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Lindsay Cross: Plotters and Pansters
Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Lindsay CrossAs a lifetime lover of reading, I have devoured book after book since I could read. In elementary and middle school, it was adventures and literature. In high school, much to my parents despair, I discovered Romance, and never looked back. My addiction to reading grew to the point of staying up all night to finish a book – every night.

But in all that time I never once stopped to think about the process of writing or even touched on imagining how much hard work all those awesome authors put into a book.

Now, as a writer myself, I am discovering the ins and outs and ups and downs. In the writing world, there is a distinct divide between processes and writers. The descriptions are as follows:

  1. The plotter – those writers I can only aspire to be. They plot and plan and lay out their story in outlines and timelines in a web so finely woven there is no way to get lost. They know what they want to write before they even start, follow the plan and make every word count.
  1. The panster – woe is me. Literally. The panster is a creature without a roadmap, a compass, or even the North Star. We write and let the story unfold as we go. Sometimes it takes us down a road lined with glittering gold and diamonds. The story just flows. Other times, the road is rocky and runs into wall after wall, forcing the panster to turn around and go another direction.

I’ve tried to plot to no avail. Plotting is not in my blood. As a panster, I usually write about 300,000 words for each 80,000 word book. Obviously, pansters are creatures of self-torture and believe in doing a lot more work than is necessary. But I’ve found through trial and error – you don’t mess with the process.

Whatever the process, they both work. And just like different processes there a thousand different types of books. What you like to read is all about personal preference. I love all things romance – period – but romantic suspense will always take the lead.

As a reader what is your favorite type of book? Western? Suspense? Erotic? Sweet Contemporary?

MAY 2015
ANTICPATION
A HEART & HANDCUFFS ANTHOLOGY
BY
MEGAN MITCHAM
&
LINDSAY CROSS

ANTICIPATION eBook (1563x2500)

Love is all you need. Really? Tell that to her unattended lady boner. Sure they had a love so relentless it shouldered the weight of children, careers, in-laws, and out-laws. But what happened to that zing of excitement his mere presence evoked? It grew into comfortable expectation.

Things had gone to hell in handcuffs. Convicts and caseloads. Files and felons. The stranglehold of work had kept him from husbandly duties long enough.

They had love, but how did they get back to lust?

With a little bit of Anticipation…

Anticipation contains two ten thousand word sizzling suspense short stories. In Megan Mitcham’s story “Climax,a busty and brainy red-head arrests her police chief husband and shows him exactly what she’s had to do to get by without him for the last two months. In Lindsay Cross’s story “Need,” a stay-at-home mom pushed to the brink pushes back, revealing her un-sated desire and making her Dominant reestablish control.

Coming soon: OCTOBER 2015

MEN OF MERCY SERIES

REDEMPTION
RESSURRECTION
RECKLESS
REHAB

BY
LINDSAY CROSS

REDEMPTION

For Hunter James and his squad, Task Force Scorpion, killing terrorists is as easy as cleaning their guns. Dark, deadly and destructive, TF-S is called in for government missions that are so far off the record, not even the president knows of their existence. But when Hunter is assigned to his hometown, he comes face-to-face with his ex-girlfriend, and all his training and discipline disappear.

Evangeline Videl tucked Hunter’s memory into a nice neat box in the back of her mind and tossed the key off a cliff. Their bond had been hotter than the summer in the South and deeper than the Mississippi River.  But Hunter pulled a disappearing act years ago and left her shattered. Now he’s back and intent on winning her heart once more.

As the enemy pulls the strings, will Evie dance to his tune or risk her heart and join forces with Hunter in a fight that could destroy them both or forge a union so scorching hot it will leave them forever scalded.

Update and a Question…
Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Maybe you’ve been paying attention…not that you had to. This week’s blown so far as work. I missed my Friday short story release. Sorry!! But I’ll restart this coming week. Expect something new soon…something about a timid seamstress who takes on a sexy challenge…

So, why have the past few days been so crazy? My daughter and best friend, Kelly, underwent a radical hysterectomy yesterday. Everything went well, and she’s recovering in the hospital.  She gets to drink things today. No food yet. And she’s already thinking about the foods she can’t wait to eat. Her wish list includes some dishes she hardly ever craves: barbecue brisket, pickles, and potato wedges. She’ll be dreaming about that as she sucks down her beef broth today.

I let her choose today’s question. So guess what the theme is? Yeah, food.

What’s your favorite thing to eat—THE dish,
the one you’d drive to the next town (or state) to eat? 

Heather Long: Untamed Wolf
Friday, April 24th, 2015

Enjoy this excerpt from Heather’s brand new book, Untamed Wolf! ~DD

UntamedWolf72

Wolves of Willow Bend
Untamed Wolf
Book #6 in the Wolves of Willow Bend Series
Releasing April 24, 2015 — TODAY!

Dylan Royce, Willow Bend Hunter, is a natural flirt and courted his fair share of she-wolves, but he’s never found the woman who makes his pulse race. With the new pack’s borders verging on Willow Bend territory, he’s tasked with keeping an eye on them. His job grows more challenging daily, especially since one seductive female keeps crossing the line.

Chrystal Landros knows she’s supposed to keep to her side of the Three Rivers-Willow Bend line. But she loves to explore, and Willow Bend is home to some spectacular sites. As a former Lone Wolf, she hasn’t always been certain of her welcome, but her new home in Three Rivers opens a wonderful world of unfamiliar opportunities. Too bad the wolf who makes her blood heat is tasked with keeping her away from the places she wants to visit.

While Dylan and Chrystal clash repeatedly over her border incursions, the game between them threatens to turn deadly. Tensions between Willow Bend and Three Rivers continue to rise. Could their forbidden dalliance be the spark to ignite a war?

Amazon | All Romance | Kobo | iTunes  

Series Reading Order:
Wolf at Law (Prequel)
Book 1: Wolf Bite
Book 2: Caged Wolf
Book 3: Wolf Claim
Wolf Next Door, featured in Under a Wolf Moon
Book 4: Rogue Wolf
Book 5: Bayou Wolf

Heather Long

National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Contact Details:
Website: http://www.heatherlong.net
Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HeatherLongAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HVLong

Excerpt:

Racing the wind, Dylan Royce danced over a thin shell of snow without sinking into the powder. A recent blizzard dumped three feet of fresh accumulation in twelve hours, all of it atop the ice-hardened pack beneath. Cold, crisp air flooded his lungs with his every footfall. Invigorated by the chill, he kept his mouth open to sample the breeze. The natural wonder from the weather made running his circuit a pleasure rather than a chore as he spun through the remote pack campgrounds.

Human families escaped to these campgrounds during the warmer summer months. The remote location, coupled with the bordering state park, also made it ideal for young wolves to learn to hunt, stalk and play away from day-to-day life. Winter often proved the second favorite season for families with older youths to escape and romp in the snow. With Three Rivers’ border so close, however, Mason slapped a moratorium on any vacation plans to the area for the pack.

The usually populated area remained virtually abandoned during Dylan’s tenure as Hunter guarding the border, a downside to Mason’s order. Such a critical position would typically have fallen on Owen Chase, but their Senior Hunter left for Hudson River eight weeks prior with his mate to train the pack’s young healer and to provide assistance to the Alpha.

So, while Dylan landed the miserable position, at least he got to enjoy the snow. And, in a few hours, he would get to enjoy Tawny, the sleek, svelte law student interning with Ryan Huston. Dylan pursued her for months before she finally consented to a drink.

Where he spent his weekend off hinged on the date. His wolf thrilled at the challenge. They would definitely enjoy taking a bite out of her taut ass. Still, better to burn off some of his frustrations…plus, he had all the gorgeous unbroken snow to himself. After climbing to the highest vantage, he growled his approval. Pristine powder lay in smooth waves down the hill.

Testing the ice crust, he found only soft powder. It clung to his fur and bunched between his claws. The swirling breeze carried the promise of more snow. Panting, he arched his head back and loosed a single call. Infusing power into the call to demand a response, he cut it off abruptly and listened.

Any wolves within his range would respond. Flicking his ears, he heard only the wind brushing the trees, the faint groan of branches heavily laden with winter’s kiss and the whuffs of his breathing. No scents teased his nostrils, no sounds alerted him to intruders, and all the magnificent snow lay waiting for him to play.

Tail wagging, he danced away from the edge and trotted several paces. Judging the distance to be perfect, he dashed forward, rushing on adrenaline-fueled muscles until he reached the edge and flung himself onto the slope, legs sprawling out. His trajectory and angle gave him additional speed. He flew to the base of the hill and crashed into a snowdrift.

Bounding out, he shook to free his coat of the snow and sneezed. Damn, that’s fun. He turned to make another climb and repeat the wild ride when a tangle of lemon and orchid teased his nose.

Whirling, he raised his head to catch the direction of the scent, because beneath the citrus was the musk of wolf—a wolf he’d already tossed three times in as many weeks.

Dammit, Chrystal. All at once, his plans for the evening began to disintegrate. If the Three Rivers bitch hightailed it over the line again, he’d have to track her, catch her, punish her, and drop kick her ass back to Luciana “I Have No Idea What the Hell I’m Doing” Barrows.

Tawny wouldn’t wait for him, either. Five minutes late, she’d warned, and he would be out of luck.

Snarling to himself, he trotted west slowly and caught the trace of Chrystal’s scent again. The swirling wind kept yanking it away from him like a tease, but he was a Hunter.

He would find her.

An hour of stalking and two false trails later, he’d finally narrowed her scent to a tract of land below the campgrounds near the old falls. The snow continued, fat heavy flakes crusting on his coat. His phone—like his clothes—were in his truck, parked more than a few miles away. He tried to bury his sour mood, knowing his date with Tawny slipped further and further out of reach.

Pausing in the shadow of a tree, he scanned the rocky slope where the water spilled from any icy crevice and flowed down into a sluggish moving pool. Ice shimmered around the shores, slicking the hard surfaces. Despite the wind, Chrystal’s scent grew stronger with each blast of wind skimming the pseudo valley.

With so much white on every surface, he expected to find her swiftly, but it took him some time to pick her out. She climbed the icy rock face along the edge of the waterfall.

His irritation switched to concern. What the hell is she doing?

Dressed in jeans, a sweatshirt, and a too-thin jacket, she climbed with determination, fighting for every hand and foothold as the slippery ice gave way beneath her grip. Straightening, he followed her progress and eyed the landscape in search of his best route to the top. A skittering of skin and shoe against the slick rock jerked his attention back to the curvy little pain in his ass. She’d dropped a foot from her upward progress and clung to the rock through will alone.

The little minx needed a damn keeper. Inch-by-inch, she continued her creeping ascent of the sheer shale. Between the composition of the stone and the ice, she risked serious injury to her bare hands. Even from his position, he could see the dampness soaking her jeans.

What the hell could be worth courting frostbite? With a leap, he bounded into the dip and sank into the wetter snow around the waterfall’s pool. Fording through the dense drifts, he found the path he’d been seeking and began to climb along the outer rim. Worn by the passage of many feet over the years, faint stone steps existed deep beneath the snow. In midsummer, the waterfall served as the perfect diving point. The pool below was a good twelve to fifteen feet deep, which meant high divers didn’t usually crack their skulls. Of course, the water wasn’t half-frozen or frigid in the middle of summer either.

Chrystal continued easing her way to the precipice. Ahead of her finally, Dylan scrambled onto the ledge and leaned over to judge the distance between them. He’d need to shift to grab her. She was beyond his neck range, even if he were able to snag her damp jacket. If she ascended another foot or two…only she didn’t. She stopped.

Dylan stared, disbelief sinking into his bones. Instead of climbing—or even holding on with her flimsy grips—she slid her free hand into her jacket and pulled out a cell phone. She stretched the phone away from her, angling toward the plunging water…why?

Forgetting the idiocy of her actions, he rushed his shift. Fur slid away, muscle twisted and bones snapped. Part of Hunter apprenticeship required shifting under high-stress situations. His mentor’s lesson had been brutal on the point. They needed to be able to change on the fly and, since they were at their most vulnerable mid-shift, hurrying the process was the only alternative.

Bliss and agony intertwined until he suddenly knelt in the icy snow with his palms flat against the chilly surface. The cold assaulted his overheated and sensitized skin like so many needling daggers plunging into his flesh. Fuck me. Blowing out a frosty breath, he did his best to ignore the wind shivering his balls and threatening to geld him.

The trembling in his muscles had more to do with the temperature than his shifting. Pushing to the edge, he found the idiot wolf with her phone angled at the spraying water, her thumb hovering over a button.

What. The. Hell?

He opened his mouth to snarl at her, but she hadn’t glanced toward him once and her scent hadn’t changed. Focused on whatever the hell her goal was, she failed to notice his position or the precariousness of her own. If he snapped at her…he clamped his teeth together, molars grinding, and waited.

Hating himself—and her more—he flattened to the snow. Working to ignore the way his dick threatened to fall off, he stretched out an arm. He could reach her. The snow blew sideways and a faint flicker of sunlight broke through the cloud cover. The light hit the water as his fingers brushed the back of her jacket.

“Yes!” she whooped. Her thumb slapped against the shutter control, snapping several shots in a row. The thin tendril of sunlight lit the water, dancing off the frost and ice around it, to shatter into prisms. Dylan might have even enjoyed the sight, save for Chrystal’s enthusiasm as she leaned further away. One moment, she dangled precariously. The next, she slid.

Even a wolf would take a beating on the rocks below.

Fisting her jacket, he ignored the scream in his bicep from lifting her falling deadweight and hauled her upward. Yes. I have her. Her howl of surprise gave him a measure of satisfaction. So did jerking her over the edge then tossing her sweet ass into the snow. She came up spluttering as Dylan rose above her and scowled.

“What the fuck are you doing Chrystal?”

Elle  James: Who doesn’t love a sexy Navy SEAL?
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

As a former member of the military, a brat to a career Air Force dad, with a sister, brother and daughter all having served time in the military, you could say it’s in the blood. I love the military men and women who represent our country and fight for our freedoms so many take for granted.

These men and women are heroes!

Each branch has their own special operations forces and I love to write about each. But lately, I’ve been reading and writing about the Navy SEALs. These men have some of the toughest training, are smart, physically fit and mentally prepared to face danger head-on. Even at home as I’ve portrayed in SEAL’S SEDUCTION.

SEAL’S SEDUCTION

ejSEALsSeduction

Available April 28th
(That’s next Tuesday!)

A Navy SEAL puts his training to the test when he must rescue a sexy news reporter from a hostage situation

Home on emergency leave, Navy SEAL Dustin “Dustman” Ford didn’t expect  to run into his high school sweetheart, local news reporter Jenna Turner, figuring she’d have shaken off the dust of their hometown a long time ago. A woman as addicted to action and adventure as he was, he thought she’d have moved on. But she was still there, and every bit as distracting as she’d been when they were teens.

Jenna Turner never got over Dustin, but moved on with her life, establishing herself as a news reporter for the local station. In an effort to take on more than reporting social events and weddings, with the help of a cousin and an inside connection on the police force, she chases the hotter news items, determined to make her break into the national news scene.

Now that he’s older and wiser and his father is on the mend, Dustin tests the heat with his old flame and finds it’s sizzling. When Jenna is caught in the crossfire and taken hostage in a religious compound, Dustin and his brothers stage a rescue operation to bring her and others out alive.

Pre-order here: Amazon| Kobo

About the Author:

ejElleNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author ELLE JAMES also writing as MYLA JACKSON is a former IT professional and retired Army and Air Force Reservist. She writes romantic suspense, mysteries and paranormal romance that keeps her readers on the edges of their seats to the very end of every book. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling to exotic and wonderful places, snow-skiing, boating, or riding her four-wheeler, dreaming up new stories.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Page

Pam Headrick w/a Min Edwards: Stops on My Way to a Writing Life
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

We all have stops along the way. They’re what make us ultimately who we are. And my stops brought me here, to a writing life. It took longer than probably most authors’ experience, but I’m here nonetheless. So let me tell you about my stops, or rather the times of my life that brought me closer to being an author.

I love to read and started at a young age. First my mom and dad read to me, then they taught me to read for myself. By the first grade I was probably considered an obsessive reader. In fact I won an award for reading the most books that year. But I didn’t stop there. I kept reading, advancing from bunny and puppy stores to Nancy Drew Mysteries.

Then, one evening in my pre-teen years, my mom gave me a 1939 edition of Gone With the Wind. The cover was tattered from age; it had obviously been well-read and well-loved.  She said she treasured it and hoped that I would too.

phStoneCold3x4I remember asking her why I’d never seen this book before, and she answered. “Because you weren’t ready.” Bless her, she knew my penchant as a child for marking in books. Of course in my mind I was enhancing them with my illustrations… but that’s another later stop.

Well, from that point, reading was my passion. I truly can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have at least a dozen novels stacked on my bedside table. Except for college. That stop got me off track, at least for fiction. Too many things to learn, too many outside influences… you know, like boys and fun. And beside I wanted to be a great archaeologist. I didn’t think fiction would get me there. It may not have gotten me there, but it sure got me somewhere else!

My next stop came as I began my life as a military wife. I found myself in a third-world country even before I knew what that meant. I spent almost three years on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. When we weren’t traveling, I was haunting the base library until there were no more books to read. And I was watching the people, soaking in the culture as I’d learned to do as an anthropologist.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was my next stop on the journey. For four years I snorkeled, partied of course, worked occasionally, and read obsessively. The base library was again my friend.

The next stop was a sad one but ultimately got me back on my track to writing. A divorce, being a young single mother, and back to my roots… Texas.

After a few years of struggle I was able to go back to school and obtain an MA in Anthropology again thinking I could be that famous archaeologist, this time with my young son by my side.

Okay, now the stops got closer together. I was writing… technical reports, research papers, a master’s thesis, raising my son… but at the same time I found out that illustrating a book (as I did as a child) could be an actual profession in and of itself. I became a rather well-known Archaeological Illustrator. That stop was fun, but it wasn’t writing.

For many reasons, and the details should go into a memoir and not a blog, I left that stop searching for something else.

In a restaurant having lunch with a friend one day, she said to me… “I’m bored. We need to do something. How about opening a bookstore?”

So I said, “Okay,” and we did. Not as easy as it seems though… there’s an actual class sponsored by The American Booksellers Association: How to Open a Bookstore. It’s true. And even after that class with the dire warnings about our success or lack thereof, we found a location. But we knew we needed a hook… just like in a book. You have to ‘hook’ your readers within the first few pages or they won’t continue.

Our hook was wine. Yes, A Thirsty Mind Words & Wines was founded. We think it was the first bookstore/wine bar in the country. I don’t have proof of that, but we certainly didn’t see any other bookstores like ours.

That stop was fun, and I got to read… actually I had to read. Publishers sent us boxes of ARCs (advanced reading copies, those unproofed copies sent out by publishers in hopes of garnering reviews.) I tried to read them all. But my customers also relied on me to give them recommendations. So I had to know my market. And I had to research. A customer came in one day and asked, “I picked up a book in Florence about a church. The author’s name started with an R or a K. I left the book in my hotel there, can you order it for me?”

Not much to go on, I know. But using my skills as a researcher, honed in graduate school, I found it… Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King. I even amazed myself!

During this stop as a bookseller I got to write again. Blogs, newsletters, advertisements. And I got to meet authors. We had many events in the shop featuring local authors as well as others traveling the country on book tours. It was inspiring.

I loved that bookstore, it was my life. But there were more adventures ahead for me. So when Amazon got so popular and the economy crashed… not related of course… I closed my shop and went on my way to my next stop.

One day a bookstore customer and author called and said…“You know Microsoft Word, don’t you? Amazon has a new self-publishing venue. Can you read up on it, and maybe help me get my books republished there?”

Well, of course I could, but this was in the early days of indie-publishing and the rules were changing quickly. Lucky for me there were already guides online with tips on formatting, not many but they were useful.

So my new stop… A Thirsty Mind Book Design.

However, another upheaval in my life came along just a few months later… I could no longer afford my perfect Texas house. Actually it was the taxes I could no longer afford, particularly in the early days of this new business. So I packed up and moved north to Maine, to a piece of property I’d owned for many years, actually from my military wife years and the divorce. A small farm on the coast of the most eastern piece of land in the U.S. The perfect place to build my business as a formatter and self-publishing consultant. All I needed was the Internet and a laptop.

I wallowed there in contentment for a year or so, then after all that time studying sentence structure, word usage, as well as formatting, I thought to myself. “I have thousands of stories running around in my head. Why don’t I try to get them out? It’s no longer necessary to find an agent or publisher, thank goodness. I can do this by myself. I can be my own publisher!” So for six weeks between formatting and editing jobs, I wrote.

After those exhausting weeks, I thought: I’ve written a novel! What do I do now?

Well, the now was solved by another phone call. Would I like to be on a panel at the NINC conference in New York in October? NINC of course is Novelists, Inc., an organization of published authors. Of course I said yes. I could talk about self-publishing and all that I’d learned, and I could meet authors!

NINC was an eye-opener. You could make money as an indie-author… but it was hard work. And writing more books than one seemed to be the key. And there were contests to join, beta readers to find, mentors. Obviously my book was not done yet. But I was almost into the station.

phStoneBay3x4A year and a half later, after 16 more versions of Stone Bay, I formatted and published the book to Amazon. Then I sat back and watched it… do nothing.

After agonizing over that for a couple of months, I was reading an issue of the RWA newsletter (Romance Writers of America) and found in the classifieds a couple of editors’ ads. I contacted one and asked if she would look at Stone Bay. Something was wrong with the story, and I couldn’t figure out what.

She said yes and a few weeks later I had a much better book. I understood POV (Point of view), conflict, timing… well better than before anyway. I was learning my craft, my last profession/stop.

A few months later (and with the help of an editor before publication this time) my second book found its way to Amazon; Stone Cold, a romantic suspense. Now a few months after that book, my third book, Stone Heart, is in final re-writes with my editor, and as soon as my incredible cover artist finishes the print and digital covers, it will be winging its way to readers worldwide.

You might ask, how did all those stops along the way help you get to the final station as a writer? Reading. Reading. Reading. Research. Art. Marketing. Learning a craft. Education. And my Mom. I’ve taken her name as my pen name, Min Edwards, because she was the start of it all. She read to me. She taught me to read. She gave me Gone With the Wind.

Books by Min Edwards

Stone Bay Contemporary Romance series: available at Amazon
Stone Bay: amzn.to/1eL74Fq
Spindrift: coming soon

High Tide Suspense series: available at Amazon
Stone Cold, Book One amzn.to/1wdl6eM
Stone Heart, Book Two: coming soon

Others in the series available in the next few months
Stone Fall
Precious Stone
The Russian Phoenix: prequel to Precious Stone

Talon, Inc. Archaeological Suspense series:
Triton Bay, Book One: coming in 2016

Pam Headrick
A Thirsty Mind Book Design
http://www.athirstymind.com
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http://athirstyblog.com

Writing as Min Edwards
http://www.minedwards.com
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http://www.minedwards.com/minblog
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMinEdwards
https://twitter.com/MEdwardsAuthor
http://www.pinterest.com/minedwards

When Real Life Happens…
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
Kelly and I in New Orleans

Kelly and I in New Orleans

I was up early today, as always. I checked my mail, quickly scanning to see if there was anything that needed immediate attention. There wasn’t. Then I opened this blog page, intending to write something funny. But that’s where my mojo stalled.

My daughter is having major surgery on Friday, so I should be trying to get ahead of my work because I’m moving in with her to help with her recovery—watching kids, cleaning house, entertaining her, because there’s nothing more awful than being bedridden without someone to keep your spirits up, right?

But I’m not getting ahead. Work is piling up. And I’m beginning to feel like I’m drowning a bit. I’m normally a very happy person, but the past few months with all the family illnesses, etc., have kind of whacked the happy out of me.

So, I thought I might see if any of you out there are a bit overwhelmed with real life, too. How are you coping? Do you have any suggestions for how I can shake off this malaise?

Opal Carew: Mastered by the Hero (Contest)
Monday, April 20th, 2015

ocMasteredbytheboss2

I love reading and writing BDSM stories.  I find a sexy alpha male taking control in the bedroom to be hot, hot, hot and I find this kind of relationship working its way into most of my stories in one way or another!  Sometimes the heroine is even pushing the hero to step up and take control when he is trying to resist his dominant urges.  :)

Mostly, I explore the Dom/sub relationship, where one character gives up control to another.  What I’m interested in exploring is the exchange of power between the characters.  On the surface, it seems that the submissive is giving up control to the Dominant, but during the course of the story, the sub discovers her own power in the relationship.

Usually in my stories, this giving up control is a new thing for the heroine, so I take my readers through the journey of discovery with her, because the heroine is experiencing these things for the first time.  In the process, she discovers something important about herself.

When I started exploring this aspect of sexuality in my writing, I wondered, given how long and hard we’ve worked for equality between the sexes, why a woman would give over control to a man.  Generally, women have a natural attraction to strong, dominant men.  This makes sense in a primitive setting where we want someone strong, skilled, and confident to go out and hunt for food, to protect us and the family.  Things may have changed, and we can take care of ourselves, but that primitive instinct is still there.  In fact, in our current society, where women have a great deal of power, sometimes in the bedroom, giving control over to someone else—someone we trust—is exactly what we want.  The key is that it’s a choice.

As an author, I need to understand what purpose these elements play in the character growth and in the story.  Is it just a fun element being added to a sex scene or two to make for more interesting sex, or is it fundamental to the story being told?  In my stories, I use the D/s relationship to push the characters’ issues and cause them to grow, so these elements are fundamental to the story and the character growth.

I want to point out that in this exchange of power, it looks like the Dominant has all the power, but in fact, he is responsible for satisfying both their needs, so he must know his partner very well, and be able to read how she is reacting to what they’re playing out. He must be constantly alert and aware of her needs and desires.  How sexy is that!  :)  Also, the sub has the power to end what is going on at any time.

Here are some examples of how I use D/s in my stories:

His To Command – by giving up control to Matt, both physically and emotionally, Kate learns to give up control in her life so she can take risks (i.e. not play it too safe) and stop limiting herself.

His To Claim – Rafe Ranier is the younger of two billionaire brothers, but Rafe was abused by his father because he didn’t feel Rafe was good enough.  Rafe feels the desire to dominate Melanie in the bedroom, and she wants him to, but he resists, struggling with his fear that he will be abusive, just like his father was.

Riding Steele – in this book, I explored the negative aspect of D/s as well as the positive.  At the beginning of the book, Laurie is in a relationship with a billionaire Dominant, but I turn it around from the usual sexy rich Dom by having this be an abusive relationship.  She tries to break it off with him and things turn violent, and she’s rescued by a tattooed biker.  She then finds herself under the protection of Steele, the leader of the biker gang.  She is now extremely distrustful of dominant men, and she believes this biker is a dangerous man.  When she finds herself falling in love with him, and longing to be dominated by him, it becomes clear that in order to find her happily-ever-after, she needs to come to terms with her desire to give over control to someone, realize it’s not a weakness, and overcome her issues about trust.

In my stories, I typically have the hero (or several heroes) as the dominant, but occasionally I like a female Domme.  What about you?  Do you enjoy a female Domme, or do you prefer the hero to be in control?  Everyone who comments will be entered in a draw to win a copy of “The Office Slave series, Book 1 & 2” collection.

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Played by the Master

(available exclusively in the Mastered 2 boxed set)

oc150421 Quote Card - OpalCarew

Opal’s new story, Played by the Master,  is initially being released as part of the Mastered 2 boxed set coming out tomorrow (April 21).

Jacqueline Bell desperately wants to help her sister out of a jam.  But to do that, she has to find a way to talk to billionaire entrepreneur Race Danner, and have him drop the charges against her brother-in-law.  She discovers he holds an exclusive poker game once a week and finds a way in.

Race Danner is bored with his life, despite his wealth and extreme hobbies.  He doesn’t know exactly what he’s looking for, but he’ll know it when he sees it.

When Jacqueline Bell walks into his life, he knows she’s it.  She wants something from him.  And he wants her.  A combination made in heaven.  In a delicious game of cat and mouse, he will leverage his advantage to lure her into his game.  And he fully intends to win.

Warning:  This story has Domination, submission, bondage, punishment, and a lot of other fun things, plus explicit, wild sexual encounters.  After all, if you’re going to play, play hard!  ;)

Excerpt:

He smiled and at the predatory look in his eyes, Jacquie realized he was going to win.  The blood drained from her face as he flipped over his cards… revealing a full house.

Oh, God, she’d lost her opportunity to try and convince him to help her brother.

“Come over here.”  His silken voice curled through her and she stood up.

Now he would touch her… probably cup her ass with his big hand.  Maybe, if she seemed willing…who was she kidding, she was willing… to succumb to his touch, then maybe he would listen to her after all.

Shock vaulted through her at her own illicit thoughts.  She wasn’t going to sleep with him to help her brother.

No, just strip down to practically nothing.  Then let him touch her.

Did she really know where her boundaries were? Read the rest of this entry »