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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday Spotlight: April Vine

April Vine is one of four Wilder Rose authors known collectively as the Scarlet Redhots. They have an anthology scheduled to be released with the individual stories all based on the late Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne.”

All of the stories started with the same premise, but quickly took on their own individual lives, with the characters and settings as different as the authors involved in this project.

April believes that love is the strongest emotion known to mankind and romance is one expression of it. She started off rather tamely in her romance writing, but then decided to let her characters share their bliss with the world instead of making them hide it in a darkened room with the sheets over their heads.

She brings that enthusiasm to her newest work, part of the abovementioned anthology, to “Blindfolded by Lust,” available now.


A blindfold of silk to heighten all senses, adding sultriness to pleasure, mystery to identities…

Five years ago, Kelly Paton's friends devised a New Year's resolution to relieve her of her virginity and catapult her platonic relationship with David van Wyk into a mind-blowing passion-fest. But not only did the blindfold conceal Kelly's vulnerability, it also masked the identity of the virile man who took as he pleased.

Nothing could have stopped Adam van Wyk from the blindfolded beauty dressing his brother's bed. After all, she was only David's present to himself, a dalliance while he waited on the virgin heiress he was in love with. Or was she?

Five New Years' later, David once again has Kelly within arms' reach but the wounds of betrayal aren't quite healed. Can Adam resist reliving the tempting memories and put his brother's happiness before his own, or will he risk it all and finally claim the one woman he's ever loved?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Spotlight: Ana Aragon

Stroke of Midnight

When newly appointed U.S. Attorney Ro Garcia agreed to waitress for her sister's big catering job, she had no idea she would run into the biggest mistake of her life—Jake Anderson.

The musician from her past is hot, hunky and oh-so-handy, and the current of sexual tension between them hasn't dissipated one megawatt. Newly divorced, she's finally ready to work him out of her system with a weekend of no-holds-barred sex and picks romantic Santa Fe, New Mexico as the perfect, out of the way location for their passionate rendezvous.

Though ready, willing, and able to burn up the sheets with Ro, Jake has every intention of convincing her he's after more than her luscious body and the hot, passionate sex she's offering. But secrets have a way of getting out, and lies surface that threaten to tear them apart. Is Jake destined to lose the love of his life once again? Or can he convince Ro things are seldom as they seem?


Ana Aragón lives in the North Georgia hills with her husband and Walker hound dog, Max. Born in New Mexico, she loves writing stories that include elements of her native Hispanic culture. Ana writes hot contemporaries in the Champagne line and erotic romance for the Scarlet line of The Wild Rose Press.

Drop her a note at anaaragonwrites@yahoo.com
or visit Ana at www.anaaragon.com
or www.myspace.com/anaaragonwrites

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Spotlight: Jennifer Haley

What gave you the idea of the anthology premise?

I’d just heard that Dan Fogelberg, one of my absolutely favorite musical artists of all time, had passed away December 16, 2007. I thought about his song “Same Auld Lang Syne” which is a true story about him meeting his old lover in a grocery store on Christmas Eve. They get to talking, have a couple of beers in her car. She tells him about her life, he does the same. Then she leaves and as he walks away, the snow turns into rain...then the few bars of Auld Lang Syne end this truly poignant song. I got to thinking...what would happen if two estranged lovers met during Christmas and didn’t walk away?

What drew you to choose the four authors you chose?

Well, they were all authors I’ve worked with and I love their distinctive voices—plus their ability to write quickly and under deadline and give me a good first draft was quite important. Their assignment was to write a reunion/holiday story where the girl doesn’t get away...and to make sure it was hot, hot, hot! Each story is set in a different location—Devon’s in Seaside, Florida, Paisley’s in Vermont, Ana’s in New Mexico and April’s in South Africa! Each author brings their distinctive voice and such different, sexy premises! I love each and every one—the books, and the authors!

Did any one story surprise you in any way?

They each surprised me! I gave each author the same instructions, we approved the synopses, but each story took on the flavor of the author writing it. I love the heroes. Devon’s hero is a musician; Ana’s used to be. April’s hero is an IT billionaire who travels the world and Paisley’s is a maple farmer in Vermont. All four are as different as can be, but they’re all sexy as hell!

And, as an added bonus, enjoy this tribute to Dan Fogelberg and the song that inspired this anthology.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Bonus

by Syrell Starr


Jared’s gaze roamed the elaborately decorated room with a practiced eye. Office Christmas parties always bored him, but as Vice President of Automotive Investigations, his presence was mandatory.

He snagged a glass of wine when the waiter made rounds and studied the other guests. He’d booked a room in the five-star hotel, so he wouldn’t have to worry about driving home late. His gaze fell on Eunice, one of the legal secretaries that worked for the firm. Her quiet presence intrigued him.

The high-pitched drumming on a wine glass signaled the beginning of the company speech. Harold Whitaker delivered the boring litany of accomplishments for the year. When he finished his pep talk, he motioned for his wife, Sarah to take center stage.

She sauntered forward and bowed. “Now for the fun part. You each drew names and became secret Santas for that person. You must figure out who your secret Santa is. Clues should be included with each gift. Correct guesses go into a drawing for an added bonus. Let the games begin.”

A whoosh of red and green swept past Jared in a bid to find individual gifts. Jared was in no hurry. He enjoyed watching the humorous moment. When the area cleared, only one present remained.

Resigned, he tore his open.

The contents made his mouth gape. Inside was a gift basket of sexually suggestive items more appropriate for someone in a relationship. A grin spread across his face, and he laughed. This had to be a gag gift from one of the guys.

He unfolded a piece of scented parchment hidden between two silk scarves and was rewarded by a photograph that took his breath. Lying nude on a bed of lacy pillows, the woman had voluptuously full breasts, a tiny waist, and generous hips. His gaze drank in her tempting curves, and he hardened. With her face turned from the camera, he could only guess her identity.

“Hey, Jared, have you discovered your Santa yet?” Clarence asked.

“No.” Warmth invaded his skin, and he loosened his tie. “But I’m working on it.”

The only possibility was too far-fetched to consider. He searched the room for Eunice and narrowed his eyes in speculation. She looked uncomfortably bored and jittery at the same time. He glanced at the photo again and his pulse quickened. A sudden urge to whisk her off to his room made his cock throb in anticipation.

~*~

“Has Jared discovered you’re his secret Santa yet?”

Eunice shook her head. “He hasn’t even bothered to approach me. You’d think he’d figure it out. I gave him a silk tie with cats all over it.”

“I bet he knows and didn’t feel obligated to seek confirmation.” Sarah tilted her head. “You really should tell Jared how you feel. You two would make a great couple.”

“He’s too …” She struggled to describe her superior. “Too debonair. Besides, office romance never works.”

“You rarely see each other. I can’t see how it would be too distracting.” Sarah glanced at her watch. “You’ll have to excuse me. Time to draw a winner.”

While Sarah handled the entries, Eunice stole glances at Jared. His short cropped brown hair, green eyes, and square jaw line made him the subject of torrid daydreams. A designer suit accentuated his trim waist and broad shoulders.

“Okay folks, we have a winner. Jared Burkett, you’re one lucky man.” Sarah lifted an expensive bottle of wine.

Jared uncurled his lithe body and came forward. “Thank you. But I plan to share this with my secret Santa. Eunice, come here.”

Her heart skipped a beat. Had he really called her name? A gentle nudge from behind made her come out of her stupor. The moment she stood in front of him, he looped an arm about her shoulders and pulled her to his side.

“Thank you for my gift.”

Heat warmed her skin. “It was nothing special.”

“Well, you got my attention.”

With a plain silk tie? “I guess it wasn’t too hard for you to figure out.”

“Oh contraire.” He grabbed her hand and headed for the exit. “But there’s still a mystery to solve. Let’s go upstairs and enjoy this wine in privacy.”

“Perhaps I best go home. It’s been a long day.”

He stopped and gave her a curious glare. “Darling, when a woman gives a man the kind of gift you gave me, she better be willing to share the pleasure.”

“But it was only silk…”

“Only?” He led her to the elevator before she could protest. “You’ve no idea how desirable I find you right now. Scarves, scented oils, handcuffs, and a photo all add up to more than ‘only silk’.”

He propelled her into the elevator. All of a sudden, the blood drained from her face. She must’ve switched the gifts. At her roommate’s insistence, she’d bought risqué items for Nelda’s boyfriend since Nelda didn’t have time to shop. Worse yet, she’d directed Eunice to pose nude for a photo she could put inside the package. Eunice should have declined, but Nelda was recovering from an appendectomy and didn’t want the scar to show.

Before Eunice could process her mistake, she found herself inside Jared’s spacious room.

The moment the door closed, he set the wine down and advanced. With the grace of a stalking cat, he pulled her to him and kissed her. She leaned into his body for more. The sound of a zipper being pulled sparked keen awareness for her surroundings and the inevitability of more than just kissing. Cool air touched her back and she shivered.

He pulled away and gazed at her with sultry eyes. “Hmm. Shall we see how closely the photo resembles the real thing?”

Her shift slid down her thighs and she trembled with need. “Guess you’ll never believe that gift was a mistake?”

“Never. That gift was ambrosia to an otherwise dull evening. And you, my pet, just became my Christmas bonus.”


About the Author: Syrell Starr is the product of two very independent thinkers who taught her to believe in the moon.. She derives pleasure from fanciful musings and hopes to share her love of storytelling with readers who possess a passion for titillating scenes. Visit her blog.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Author Interview: Victoria Blisse

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Victoria Blisse, author of The Festive Handbook, which is being released on December 22 from Total E-Bound, just in time for Christmas giving. As well as being an author, she’s also a full-time mum who can be found tidying up, procrastinating online, or baking when she’s not busy writing.

I asked Victoria how she judged what made a good erotic story in her own writing.

“I there are basics you have to adhere to when you’re writing any good story and then there is just one thing to make sure it actually is a good erotic story,” she said. “You need realistic characters, an interesting plot and some action and/or conflict for any story to be worth reading. So I try to make sure I have all those in my stories plus some steamy action for my erotic romances. Erotic does not always mean explicit but to become raunchy romance needs to continue further than the usual kissing and caressing boundaries. There has to be sexual tension and then detailed relief of that tension in my erotic romances.”

She shared with me that she finds a good part of her research incredibly enjoyable and her husband loves to help her out in that area. More specific aspects she either googles or looks up at the library. “So far I haven’t ventured into anything historical mostly because the amount of research involved scares me but you never know what the future may bring,” she told me.

Some of her stories have a basis in reality. “Getting Physical is based on my real life experience of being a curvaceous lady in a gym, and Sweet Surrender is based loosely on a real life experience in my favorite holiday town of Scarborough,” she said. “I try to draw on my own experience a lot to make the story full of life and realism.”

When Victoria writes, she wants all the characters involved to be enjoying what’s going on. “If pain is involved,” she explains, “it’s pleasurable pain and if any kind of force is involved, it is permitted or wanted force. Also, I need a story with my sex these days. I’m not saying it has to be a complex story, but there has got to be a reason for my characters to be getting it on.”

Victoria credits her husband with introducing her to erotic stories and encouraging her to write her own. She’d written from the time she was a child, writing short romance stories as a teenager. “I never really planned to write erotica,” she said, “but from that moment on, I purposefully set about writing hot stories with elements of romance.”

She has written “straight” romance and enjoys writing something different for a change, but told me she finds it more challenging than writing erotic romance. “My dirty mind constantly wants to wander off into the erotic,” she confessed, “but if I am writing pure romance I have to rein it in.”

Victoria told me that she finds chocolate to be very erotic and sensual. “Either melted already or melting from my partner’s body heat, chocolate feels good on the skin and tastes wonderful.” She added, “And, I don’t want any of this high-class, expensive dark stuff either. Give me something milky and cheap, please; it’s the kind of chocolate that satisfies my craving. And it’s good on any body part. Anyone who’s read my story ‘Sweet Surrender’ from my print anthology Curvaceous will know what I mean.”

She also shared with me a secret that might very well get her deported from the UK. “I hate tea,” she admitted. “I can’t drink it, I don’t like the smell of it and I can’t touch a used teabag.”

But, food wise she’ll try anything once. She will eat cold custard in a trifle, but she doesn’t like the taste of hot custard. She told me it was “yucky.”

As far as the difference between Coke and Pepsi, she told me she can tell the difference but she doesn’t really like either one. “I’m a Pepsi max gal myself,” she said. “Though I only treat myself to a can now and then; I’m mostly caffeine free in my life and I feel so much better for it.”

I asked Victoria about her strangest habit and she told me she probably has a million of them, but she did share with me one she picked randomly.

“I have to have things in my pantry or I feel panicky,” she told me. “If I run out of spaghetti or tins of tomatoes I will have to make a special trip out to get a tin or a packet because I will not be able to sleep otherwise. I don’t know why I have this attitude. I think it may be passed down in the genes as my mum and Nanna are just the same. I always know that if I have a full pantry we’ll never starve because I can always pull a meal together from its contents.”

You can read more about Victoria and her works at her website.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Author Interview: Alessia Brio

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Alessia Brio, whose books include all colors and flavors of erotica, from heterosexual to ménage to same sex, and from twisted to humorous to deeply touching. “Sometimes,” she told me, “usually by accident, it even qualifies as romance.”

When she’s distinguishing between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography, her personal benchmark is intent. What did the creator intend? “With porn,” she said, “the intent is only to sexually stimulate—to orgasm, if done effectively.

“With erotica, the intent is to demonstrate the transformative power of sex. Much like paranormal/fantasy genres in which the world is essentially a character in the story, in erotica, sex itself is a viable entity. Without its impact, the story simply does not exist.”

She sees erotic romance as a romantic tale that is made complete by the inclusion of explicit sex, providing necessary insight into the characters. “Now, in my opinion,” she said, “it’s impossible for sex not to provide character depth because sex is...well..some seriously powerful stuff. I mean, it's responsible for our very existence. So, its inclusion in any work of fiction is going to enhance characterization. Romance without sex, to me, is like Near Beer.”

She doesn’t see the three as being mutually exclusive, however, but sees them overlapping like a Venn diagram.

She doesn’t see intent as being a workable definition, however, for what she calls “smut censors who believe it’s necessary to specify what should or shouldn’t arouse us or the romance industry purists who have their dusty knickers in a twist about all the kinky, explicit sex taking over ‘their’ genre. Besides, no matter what the intent, anything can be perverted. After all, cucumbers are legal in Alabama,” she added with a wink.

I asked Alessia what writers she thinks write excellent erotic fiction. “Open any volume of Coming Together and you’ll have the answer to that question,” she told me. “How’s thea for shameless promotion? I seek erotic fiction that is raw with emotion, that fully engages all the senses, and that is more intricate than just two (or more) people getting off together.”

Alessia got her start writing fiction and poetry on Literotica, which she describes as “a wonderfully educational environment in multiple ways.” Her experience up to then had involved writing editorials and narrative non-fiction.

“Storytelling grew from a robust fascination with sex and how it affects people. To me, erotica is not a subset of another genre,” she stated. “It's not the red-headed stepchild of the romance genre, no matter what RWA thinks. Quite the contrary. Sex, in all its magnificent forms, is the center of the universe. Everything else revolves around it. Everything. It's life. It's thrilling. We cannot escape it. Why even try?”

Alessia admitted to being baffled when I asked her about the most embarrassing sex scene she’d ever written. “Writing sex is empowering, not embarrassing,” she told me. “I have never been embarrassed about sex scene. Aroused? Absolutely! Embarrassed? Never!”

Alessia has several pierced parts, she told me: navel, nipple, and ears. “I have a thing for stainless steel and platinum. Metals conduct temperature and vibration incredibly well, if you know what I mean.”

On the other hand, tattoos aren’t her thing. “Other than visually, they provide no ongoing stimulation,” she explained, “and unless you are looking in the mirror all the time, you don’t even have that. Piercings are so there, so front-and-center, in your sensory consciousness. I like that.”

A few other personal things about Alessia: her favorite food is grapes—“So versatile! From wine to raisins. Frozen they make wonderful ‘ice cubes’ and provide a sweet snack once the drink is gone.”

She has the ability to tie a cherry stem with her tongue; in fact, her author tagline is “The cherry stem trick—for your mind.”

And, when she’s not writing she can usually be found doing research. She shared with me, “It’s the best damn part of writing about sex!”

Finally, I asked her what one piece of advice she would give a new writer.

She said, “I rather like the advice I recently heard repeated by Wil Wheaton during a Comic-Con interview:

Don't be afraid to suck... and you're gonna suck... and that's okay. It's easier to fix a page full of words that suck than it is to fill up a blank page. It's much less intimidating.”

You can read more about Alessia and her works at her website: http://www.alessiabrio.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Author Interview: Teresa Noelle Roberts

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Teresa Noelle Roberts, author of Pirate’s Booty. Teresa also co-authors books with Dayle A. Dermatis under the name of Sophia Mouette.

I asked Teresa how she judged when she was writing a good erotic story. “Partly, the same way I’d judge any other story,” she told me. “Do the characters learn and grow? Is there conflict and resolution? Does the writing flow well? Often, I add the ‘wet panty test’—do I get turned on writing this, or at least contemplating the sex scene.” She added, “When I’m actually in the process of writing, I don’t always get turned on because writing’s hard work! And that test doesn’t always work because occasionally I write scenarios or fetishes that don’t turn me on, but work for the characters. In Cat Scratch Fever, one female character has her lover dress up in a clown costume. It made perfect sense for the character, but... ewwwww!”

Teresa told me that one of the biggest misconceptions about erotica is that it’s easy to write. She assured me that writing good erotica is just as hard as writing good fiction in any other genre. She did admit, however, “Some of the research can be more entertaining than, say, figuring out what an actuary does during the work day so you can figure out the best way to bump the poor bastard off.”

“Another is that erotica writers have actually done everything we write about,” she continued. “My sex life is quite active and varied, thanks, but if I did everything I wrote about, I’d never have time or energy to write because I’d be a mindless, but very happy, lump of protoplasm, having exhausted myself with too much fantastic sex.” She paused and then said, “Is there such a thing? Possibly not, but one does need time for other activities. Not to mention that since I write m/m stuff too, I can't have done everything I write about: I'm not a guy!”

For Pirate’s Booty, she read a few histories of Block Island, plus she had made a trip there a few years ago and pulled out pictures and journal notes to refresh her memory. “I knew I’d write something set there,” she told me. “I just wasn’t sure what.”

Her other Phaze books are fantasies, but she did research on medieval Persia and ancient Rome, both of which inspired the settings of those books. “I am a huge history geek so I didn't have to go farther than my own book shelves,” she said.

“As for researching sex-related matters,” she continued, “I'm addicted to sex blogs. The people who write sex blogs don't just talk about the clinical aspects, like a how-to book might--they talk about feelings, about BDSM scenes that went wrong and how it affected their relationship, about why they love latex or why dressing up like a Catholic schoolgirl (when they're a 50-year-old businessman) makes them hot and bothered. They talk about sex in the context of relationships, and that gives me all sorts of ideas.

“Of course, I always advocate first-hand research where possible, whether it's visiting your setting or grabbing your beloved to see if the complicated position you're describing actually works, but neither is always practical!”

Teresa told me she’d written a straight romance in the early 90s, but found it difficult to keep to the tame heat standards publishers were looking for at the time. “I never submitted it because it felt incomplete and I think what was missing was the sex,” she explained. “The characters weren't people who'd hold back erotically--the heroine was a neo-Pagan witch and the hero was an ex-hippie, neither a demographic that's known for being inhibited--and it stifled the story arc that they couldn't act on their attraction. I plan to rewrite it, not necessarily as an erotic romance, but one where the couple doesn't have artificial obstacles to getting it on when it makes sense for them to do so.” She then added, “Okay, okay, it'll probably end up erotic! It seems to happen with me.”

On a personal note, we talked about body piercings and why they were sexy. “Piercings are sexy,” she said, “because they’re daring, because they take show a willingness to take risks and perhaps a kinky streak (you’re willing to suffer a bit for fun!)—and because if done right, they’re just pretty.” She did share that she has piercings of her own—“in locations I won’t mention on the off chance my mom or boss reads this and would love to have my belly button done.”

She thinks either Scotch or chocolate sauce would be good for eating off your partner. She also said, “Sushi's a classic for eating off one's tummy, but not more than one piece at a time. I've heard tales of sushi banquets eaten off a pretty girl's body (I've only seen it with a female 'buffet,' but hey, one could be equal opportunity) and all I can ever think is I hope they eat fast, because raw fish should be kept cool, and the 'table' isn't going to be staying cool too long--not if they're doing it right!"

And, to my regular question of “Do you know anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?”, she smiled contentedly. “My husband. Have I mentioned I’m a lucky woman?”

Finally, I asked her, “If you could entertain a character from a book, who would it be and what would the evening be like?”

“I'd love to have a drink with Lucius Stone, one of the heroes of Pirate's Booty (even if he drinks Irish whiskey, not single-malt Scotch). He's not merely hunky, but hunky, smart, and a little kinky, and that's my type of guy,” she said. “But since I'm happily married to my own smart, hunky, slightly kinky guy, Lucius and I would probably spend the evening talking about historical research and life on Block Island, while enjoying a pleasant intellectual flirtation.

“Probably... It's not cheating if he's fictional, right?”

You can read more about Teresa and her works at her blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Author Interview: Ashley Ladd

Whipped Cream is very pleased to welcome Ashley Ladd. She lives in south Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. You’ll often find a mixture of romance, adventure, and humor in her books (along with very spicy romance) because that’s what Ashley loves to read.

I asked Ashley how she judged a good erotic story when she’s writing.

“If I start to squirm, if I sigh because I’m falling in love with the hero and feeling the romance,” she said, “and/or if my panties get wet while I’m writing my stories, then I know I’m on the right track. If my story just takes off and drags me with it, I know it’s going well.”

She told me that she sees the biggest public misconceptions about erotica are that is has no value, no substance, that anyone can write it, and that it’s porn. “I guess that’s about four things,” she added, “but they all stick in my craw. First of all, there's a romance to it, and a story. There are 3-D characters and a plot. It's not pure sex. They're as hard or harder to write than sweet romances. My brain and heart have to work as hard to write erotic romance as a sweet romance or even a mystery. Often, my erotic romances are also paranormal or sci-fi or a mix of another genre.”

Ashley writes both straight and erotic romance. “Both are challenging,” she admitted, “but erotic romance is more so. I love a great story, a good plot, and great characters so I always make sure they go into all my stories, sweet or erotic. However, in the hot erotic romance stories, I have to find ways to fit in the sex naturally and vary the sex. It's hard to come up with different ways to do sex after 20 or 30 books. My editors are usually screaming ‘More Sex, More Sex, More Sex’ and so I have to add more sex. But believe me, I'm up to the challenge. Currently, I have both sweet and erotic romance stories out with publishers and agents on submission.

And with finding new and inventive ways to come up with sex scenes, she’s also written some scenes that she admits would have embarrassed her if they had happened in real life. “In Price of Fame, published by Ellora’s Cave, the heroine was getting it on with her vibrator. Her door was locked, but the bed was making too much noise so her mother and her neighbor (the hero) came to make sure she was okay. She hurriedly dressed, hid the evidence under her bed, and then let them in to assure them she was fine. However, her mother dove under the bed, pulled out the vibrator, and waved it in front of the hero's face while she scolded her.”

Her own most embarrassing moment, however, was not in the privacy of her bedroom, but out in public. “As a teen, I rode horses and I was just starting to compete,” she shared with me. “In the not too distant past, my horse and I fell while jumping and I was still skittish. Thus, every time I felt like I was going to fall again, I would do an emergency dismount. Well, I felt like I was going to fall while I was in the middle of a competition, so I jumped off. A judge asked me why I dismounted in the middle of the competition and I just knew everybody was laughing at me, especially the cutest guy I'd ever seen in the universe. I knew my instructor probably wanted to crawl under the bleachers and die of shame. The only good part is that afterward, I met that really cute guy and he comforted me.”

Ashley told me that her dad is really supportive and reads all her stuff. Her husband doesn’t read. And her kids only like fantasy, sci-fi, and mangas. “They won’t even read sweet romance and are embarrassed that their mom is a romance writer much less the spicy, hot stuff,” she said. “My cousins keep asking me about my writing and want to be supportive, but they're all very religious and I'm afraid they would not understand about the erotic romances so I only tell them about my sweet works. Since most of my recent releases and upcoming releases are all erotic romances, I've not told them about any of those.”

But, even if Ashley’s husband doesn’t read her work, he’s certainly not adverse to participating in research. I’d asked Ashley what food she considered best for eating off another person’s tummy or other body parts. “Only one?” she asked. “Chocolate or butterscotch syrup in excellent—off other body parts. In my book “Purrfect Justice,” out at Ellora’s Cave, my hero and heroine eat cookie dough (several flavors) off each other.” She smiled. “I’m dying to do that—maybe tonight.”

One thing she will not be eating off her husband’s tummy, or anywhere else for that matter, is asparagus. “I can’t stand the smell,” she admitted. “It’s one of my daughter-in-law’s favorite foods and she tried to fix it for me when she was living with us. I didn’t want to be rude, but I just couldn’t get near it. I’m afraid I hurt her feelings. Ditto for sauerkraut.”

Ashley shared with me that, while she used to work for the Coca-Cola Company, she doesn’t like Coke at all. “It has a harsh acidy taste that makes me want to choke,” she said. “Pepsi and RC are so much sweeter, and thus, better tasting that Coke.”

And, finally, on a much more personal note, Ashley told me she didn’t get her first pedicure until she was in her 40’s, but now tries to get one at least once a month. “I really got into painting my toes after I started doing karate,” she said, “and my feet were bare most of my off hours from the day job. Every now and then, I’ll even have a cute design air brushed on them.”

You can read more about Ashley and her works at her website.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Author Interview: Jax Cassidy

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Jax Cassidy whose newest book, Art of Sensuality, has just been released by Parker Publishing.

Jax told me when she reads a good erotic story, she wants to feel the emotions and envision the story like it was a movie playing in her head. “I’m all the about the senses,” she said, “touch, smell, taste, sound. The sensual imagery is often more exciting for me than the explicit sex.”

The HEA is important as well. She told me, “I have to believe that the characters should be together or else it’s going to disappoint me. Perhaps I come from the old school of romance, but sex doesn’t always spell erotic; it’s the love story that pulls me in and keeps me interested.”

Jax didn’t start out to write novels or romance. She started out as a screenwriter and enjoyed writing romantic comedies, horror, and indie-type screenplays. “Along the way I met a fellow screenwriter,” she said, “who nudged me to write romance. My first attempt was a paranormal/urban fantasy called Ghosthunter, which was an idea I’ve had since I was a kid. Unfortunately, I didn’t sell that project and ended up shelving it when my friend Eden Bradley introduced me to erotica.”

Jax shared with me that she fell in love with erotica, and even though she wasn’t very comfortable with writing sex, decided to give it a try anyway. She teamed up with a co-writer and they wrote as Cassidy Kent. Jax felt, though, she needed to prove to herself she could write independently, so on August 10, 2007, Jax and her co-writer parted ways. “It turned out better than I hoped,” Jax said, “because during the break up of our writing partnership I was offered a contract with my current publisher, Parker Publishing, and am still amazed at my accomplishments!”

“I come from a very artistic family of overachievers,” Jax told me. “There are eight of us! My brothers and sisters are exceedingly gifted in acting, painting, crafts, music...I feel blessed to have the ability to write and paint without any real formal training. That said, singing is not my forte at all because no one can clear a house like I can!”

Jax started on her writing path when she was about seven and decided to write what she calls “a fairytale of sorts.” Her oldest brother had the first Tandy computer and showed her how to type on it. “I think I was bit by the writing bug, which also propelled me to be a computer geek of sorts. I had won a lot of writing contests from elementary through high school, but it never occurred to me I could do it professionally. I had dreams of being the next Entertainment Tonight correspondent when I was swept into the world of movie making.” She had also been a news anchor for her college television station and had to write creative pieces for her segments.

“The thrill of writing made me search for other avenues to focus on and that’s when I discovered screenwriting,” she continued.” After years of this competitive industry, I was more than happy to jump into novel writing. Let me tell you, it was the most difficult transition! When you’re trained for writing dialogue, nothing is as demanding and scary as the mechanics of writing women’s fiction.”

That’s when Jax and Kristen Painter decided to form Romance Divas discussion forum. “We were both new writers who couldn’t find everything we needed to know about romance in one spot, so we created it,” Jax told me. “It was our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the writing community and provide a safe forum for authors in search of support, camaraderie, and family.”

Jax said that all the twists and turns in her journey have been a great learning tool for her. “I can see my growth as a writer in every new project I do,” she said. “I didn’t want to have any regrets and I’m glad I followed my dreams and made things happen because it’s starting to pay off for me personally and professionally.”

When Jax isn’t writing, she told me she is very busy in local and national charities. “I’ve given away original artwork to various organizations,” she told me, “and last year I went skydiving for the Heifer Organization and raised $3,000. I’m currently working on creating a group to campaign against human trafficking in East Asia, as well as raising funds to invest in shares in the Heifer Organization to help small villages in Vietnam to cultivate their own livestock to sustain food for their families. It’s a huge endeavor and the true reason I write is because I want to be afforded the ability to continue doing these things.”

On a personal note, I asked Jax what her favorite food was. “I am a big foodie!” Jax said. “I love any kind of ethnic cuisine and the artistry of the dishes always amazes me. If I were to choose just one, I couldn’t.”

And, she can definitely tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. “Pepsi is sweeter and I love sweet,” she said, “but I can take either when I am desperate for some sort of caffeine.”

Finally, I asked Jax who she would choose to play her if a movie was to be made of her life. “That’s a hard one. I would probably play myself,” she told me. “Why? I started out as a child actor and spent a lot of time in the entertainment industry, so who better to play myself than ME!”

You can read more about Jax and her works at her website.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Author Interview: Dalton Diaz

Whipped Cream is very pleased to have with us this week Dalton Diaz, who recently released Love Cuffs, co-written with Ashlyn Chase.

Dalton told me her favorite erotic romance author was Joey Hill, who she describes as “an amazing writer.” She believes Emma Holly, Susan Lyons, and Lora Leigh also write excellent erotic fiction. “When I’m in the mood to laugh and play, it’s Ashlyn Chase and Chris Tanglen,” she said. “When I read these authors, I’m interested in how the story is going to play out as well as the blistering sex scenes. They all understand that the sex is integral to the story, plays into the story, instead of it being gratuitous. In other words, yeah, I'm going to enjoy reading a good sex scene no matter what, but I'd much rather read about two characters that I care about making love.”

This also ties in to what Dalton told me she thought the biggest misconception about erotica is: that it’s about the sex instead of the characters having the sex. “I want to be inside those character's heads as they're having their minds (and other things!) blown,” she told me. “It's what the characters are feeling emotionally as well as physically, and having it all described in arousing detail. The world has seen enough of the slot A, B, and C cardboard sex pornography. There's nothing to that but the sex, which is, to me, the grand difference between erotica and pornography. Give me erotica any day!”

Natural Law, by Joey Hill, used to be her favorite erotic book. That is, until Rough Canvas, also by Joey Hill, came out. “How can anyone not love Marcus and Thomas and the love they have for each other?” she asked. “You can see their growth from start to finish. Not to mention the hot sex! It has everything you could want in an erotic romance.”

I asked her about her current works and she told me that if she could entertain anyone from a book it would be Seth Foster, a bisexual lawyer from her current WIP. “He keeps trying to steal the show!” she explained. “The poor guy is bound by rules being set by the hero and heroine of the book, so my only rule would be... no clothes. The rest would be up to him because he's just too cool a guy to resist. I hope you will soon be meeting him.”

When she’s not writing, she told me she can usually be found reading and doing research. “They're both research, really,” she said, “though one can sometimes be tedious, and the other is never disappointing. I let you guess which is which!”

She also told me that the hands-on research has also been embraced by her writing friends. “I have one critique partner who questioned the physical placement of a body part and got her husband to give it a test,” she told me. “She emailed me the results, not only proving her point, but mentioning that her husband told her - in complete awe - that she has the best hobbies!”

On a more personal note: she does know someone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue. She’s not naming names, but says it’s a well-known author. “I can only watch in awe,” she said. “I imagine it would be a good tongue exercise, though, and it would be fun to see the look on people's faces if you succeed, male and female alike. Huh. I'll have to give it a try.”

Her favorite food is dark chocolate and almost anything covered in dark chocolate. Two exceptions to this? Scallops and Brussels sprouts. Those she wouldn’t eat even if they were covered in dark chocolate. As a matter of fact, she told me, “Both are completely banned from my house.”

You can read more about Dalton and her works at her website.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Author Interview: Sapphire Phelan

Whipped Cream is happy to welcome Sapphire Phelan, author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance. Her newest work, Unwitting Sacrifice, an erotic Lovecraftian horror novella, is being released by Under the Moon on November 8. As Pamela K. Kinney, she also writes horror, fantasy, science fiction, as well having a non-fiction ghost story, Haunted Richmond, Virginia published. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast.

I asked Sapphire how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.

“Pornography is sex without any feelings,” she told me. “Just the act to ‘get’ off. Erotica is a sensual act, but the people involved don’t have to be in love with each other to have relations, and it doesn’t need to have a HEA at the end. Erotic romance is two people in love doing an act to shows how much they care for each other. There is usually an HEA with this.”

She disagrees with what she sees as the public misconception that erotica is porn or that writers of erotic romance or erotica are writing “dirty sex stories.” She said, “Erotica is not just about physical sex, but of the mind and soul as well.”

Sapphire said there’s most definitely a line between porn and erotic romance she would never cross. “Sex between a minor and an adult,” she said, “Sorry, that is terrible. As a mother, I would never write anything like that. Also, a human having sex with a real animal.”

Along with her erotic fiction, Sapphire has two “sweet” stories out: a super hero romance story, To Save the Day, is an Amazon short, and the other, “Old Friends,” can be found in Cobblestone Press Quarterly’s December 2007 issue.

I asked her who she would be if she could be any person...and she has her sights set high. She said, laughing, “A best selling author?”

On a personal note: her favorite food is sushi; she can’t bring herself to eat any kind of melon (even watermelon); and when I asked if she could tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, she said, “You’re talking to a Coke fan here, so yes!”

But, there’s a lot more to Sapphire/Pamela than meets the eye. As I said in the first of this interview, along with erotic romance, she writes nonfiction, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. She’s not alone in her love of science fiction, because her husband is a big fan as well. She enjoys designing and sewing costumes to wear at sci-fi conventions. As a matter of fact, she and her husband both enjoy costuming and conventions, but she admits that her writing has taken lead in the enjoyment race.

Along with her writing and her costuming, she also has film and stage credits to her name—both acting and directing. You can find a list of her credits here.

As you can see, Sapphire keeps herself busy, mostly being at her desk writing. “And, yes,” she confessed, “the house and husband sometimes suffer for it!”

You can read more about Sapphire and her works at her website.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat by Catherine Bybee

Tess squirmed in her chair, and crossed her legs hard while she flipped the page in the paperback she held. Sucking her lower lip, she imagined herself in the place of the heroine, tied up and naked on a bed while the hero gave her the ultimate pleasure. The hero’s thick cock slid over the heroine’s clit when suddenly Tess’s doorbell rang.

“Shit.” Pulled out of the moment, Tess tossed the book to the side, unfolded her legs, and went to see who had rudely interrupted the closest she’d come to sex in several months.

The bell rang again.

“Hold on,” she yelled reaching for the handle. “What’s the big...ohh!”

“Trick or Treat?” Jack smiled behind a Zorro mask.

“What are you doing?” Tess swallowed hard and laughed. Jack Templeton was her best friend Jenny’s sexy older brother.

“The name is Zorro, ma’am.” He licked his red lips, moved forward. “So, do you have some candy?”

“Sorry, Zorro. Halloween isn’t for a few more days.” She laughed and moved aside for Jack to enter.

“Do you always invite masked men into your home?”

Tess raised her brow and sent him an audacious wink. “Only gorgeous men bent on bad things.” Flirting with Jack came natural. It was well known in their circle of friends that they had the hots for each other. Out of respect for Jenny, neither of them ever acted on it.

Closing the door, Tess took a deep breath and prepared to ignore her feelings, again.

She looked up to dark eyes peering through his mask, Jack’s expression less playful.

“Are you on your way to a costume party?”

“No.”

Her heart sped up. “Why the costume?”

“I thought it would be easier.”

“What would be easier?”

He stepped closer. “This.”

Tess’s eyes grew large when his hand captured her neck. “Oh, god,” she sighed before his lips came down on hers. Disbelief and passion spread quickly throughout her body. One swipe of his tongue and her lips parted, urging him in.

Is this really happening? He backed her up against the door. His body pressed against hers, holding her hostage. His stiff erection throbbed against her knotted stomach. Their kiss deepened.

He broke away, then tore the mask from his face and moved to explore her neck with his tongue.

“Oh, Jack. We shouldn’t be doing this.”

“Why?”

“You know why.” But her hands peeled away at his costume, searching for skin.

“Jenny gave us permission long ago.” His hand slid up her shirt, rounded over her naked breast and teased her taunt nipple.

“But...”

He silenced her with a kiss. Her knees buckled and pussy throbbed.

Backing away briefly he said, “If you don’t want me, this, then I’ll leave. But Jenny has nothing to do with us.”

“I’ve always wanted you, Jack.”

His lips curled up into a cocky grin. “Then what are we waiting for?”

All of the reasons for holding back vanished. Tess reached up and pulled him close, her hips ground to his.

Jack laughed, picked her up while her legs circled his waist. They stumbled into her bedroom and fell to the bed. She spread her hands over his hips and gripped his firm ass. He felt so damn good, better than she’d imagined.

His fingers fumbled with the zipper of her jeans, while she pulled his shirt off. Jack moved away long enough to shed his pants and boxers. His cock, full and ready, caught her eye. Tess kicked away the last of her clothing and reached for him. Her fingers stroked his length.

“Damn, Templeton. You’re built like a bear.”

He growled and thrust his hips against her fist, jaw clenched. “I won’t last long if you continue that,” he warned.

Smiling, she stoked him harder. He cursed, took her hands in his and pinned them above her head. “Leave them there,” he demanded.

Gripping the headboard, she left her body exposed to his stare.

“You’re so beautiful.”

She squirmed. “Please, Jack. Make love to me now.”

“I want to take my time.” He lowered his mouth to her nipple and gave a firm pull.

Fluid rushed between her legs, she ached with need. “Please,” she begged. “We can go slow next time.”

He laughed and slid his hand over her mound before plunging a finger inside. She quivered around him wanting more.

Her hand slid from the headboard. He captured it and put it back. “Don’t make me tie you up.”

The thought had her creaming all over his hand.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

“Anything with you, Jack.”

His fingers stroked her inflamed clit until she thought she’d go mad. “Damn it, Jack. If you don’t mount me soon, I’ll be the one tying you up.”

“Easy, Tess,” he coxed with words as he moved in position between her legs.

She arched in anticipation. “I’ve waited five years for you. I don’t want to wait any longer.”

His tip grazed her channel. Her breath held.

Inch by every glorious inch he took her, filled her until she gasped. He pulled back and thrust again, reaching. Unable to hold the headboard any longer, Tess pulled him closer and ground against him, his cock impaling her further. Like a rubber band stretched tight, pressure built into an explosive orgasm. Each pass over her sex with his brought her closer until she came on an earth shattering scream. Jack followed, flooding her channel before collapsing, breathless.

They came back to earth, their bodies sated.

“Five years was a long time to wait,” Tess murmured against his shoulder.

“I won’t make you wait that long again.”

“I hope not,” she chided.

“Move in with me, Tess.”

She pulled away to see if he was serious. He was.

“It’s always been you I wanted. I won’t stand to be away from you now.”

“Are you sure?” she asked, her heart filled with love.

“I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life.”

She nodded and kissed his parted lips.

About the Author: I have been reading romance novels for over twenty five years and writing them for the last two. I've found my muse taking me all over the board in my writing. I'm currently searching for a home for my time travel series and werewolf stories. Two small e-press publishers have voiced interest and I hope to announce who will publish my work soon. I live in Southern California with my husband of fifteen years, two son's, and a menagerie of animals. You can currently find me on myspace and read excerpts of my work there. www.myspace.com/catherinebybee

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Author Interview: Samantha Gentry

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Samantha Gentry, author of Masked Encounter, available now from The Wild Rose Press.

I asked Samantha how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.

“This is an interesting question,” she responded. “So many people consider them to be the same thing because they all involve heavy doses of explicit sex. I believe there are distinct differences between them.

“Erotica focuses primarily on graphic sex with a storyline providing the circumstances. The characters do not necessarily grow or change over the course of the story and they do not stay together, at least not for any reason other than sex. It could be a hot one night stand with the characters moving on and going their separate way rather than the characters "finding each other" and remaining together with a commitment that is personal and emotional.

“Erotic Romance is more than just graphic sex within the confines of a storyline. It includes the basic elements of romance novels. There is the emotional involvement between the two main characters. It may start as nothing more than a hot physical attraction between two characters who can't keep their hands off each other, but it grows into romance and love. Even though there are heavy doses of explicit sex, you also have them making love which adds the emotional element to the physical act. There is character development and growth which includes the internal conflict of these characters. The characters might not stay together for the rest of their lives, but in the tradition of romance there is the happily ever after ending to the book as they find love, happiness and fulfillment in their lives while making a commitment to each other.

“Pornography contains many aspects that dehumanizes the characters, usually the woman, by making her an object where things are done to her against her will rather than a person who is willingly participating in the events of the story by choice.”

One of the public misconceptions she sees about erotic romance is that people don’t see that difference-- that they tar all the above with the same brush—“those smutty books.” She told me, “Even sensual romance which uses euphemisms rather than graphic language and describes only the more traditional sex acts and uses softer terms so that it does not fall into the graphic descriptions of erotic romance is often labeled with that ‘smut’ designation.”

I asked her if there was a boundary she personally would never cross in her writing. “You bet there is!” she told me. “With regard to sexual situations: Anything that forces a character to participate/perform against his/her will, is degrading for that character or is intended by one character to humiliate another character is unacceptable to me. The once often used tactic (I think more prominent in historicals than contemporary) of ‘rape her until she likes it’ is totally bogus in my opinion. I also have other things I don't write/utilize in my books along the line of personal preferences, but don't object to others using them.

“And most assuredly and emphatically anything that even comes close to child pornography is totally and completely unacceptable without exception.”

Samantha started out being published in Silhouette’s Desire line of sensual contemporary romance and even now classifies what she writes as erotic romance as opposed to straight erotica. “I like the process of character development, of the two individuals facing their own internal issues and solving those so they can resolve the external conflicts standing in the way of finding lasting happiness, commitment and total fulfillment (both physical and emotional) with each other,” she said. “Those external conflicts can range from the quiet to the suspenseful, life threatening and all the many facets of paranormal. Sex is an integral part of an adult relationship especially between mature adults who know there is more to a relationship than hopping into bed.”

Her writing path actually began with photography. At one time she wanted to be a travel photographer with National Geographic. “I found I had a better chance at marketing my photographs if they were attached to a magazine article,” she said. “So, writing non-fiction destination pieces illustrated with my photographs for magazines was my first publishing experience. The writing segued into fiction and novels.”

On a more personal note, I asked Samantha which food she considered best for eating off another person’s tummy. “Is there an answer other than chocolate?” she asked with a grin. “Well, maybe some whipped cream, too.” And, her favorite food? “Seriously, as opposed to erotically?” she replied. “I like both Italian and Mexican.” She can also tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. In fact, she said, “To my taste buds, Coke has a sweeter taste than Pepsi. I prefer Pepsi (actually, Diet Pepsi).”

When she’s not writing, Samantha can normally be found doing photography, working with the pictures, and traveling whenever possible. She also plays bridge weekly, sometimes twice a week.


You can read more about Samantha and her works at her website.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Author Interview: Eden Rivers

Whipped Cream is happy to welcome Eden Rivers, author of Broken Pentacle which was released on August 19. Broken Pentacle is a sequel to Nature’s Pentacle, however can also be read as a stand-alone. Both of these, along with Eden’s other books, have paranormal elements. She credits growing up in New England and developing a fascination for things that go bump in the night. “Everyone needs a little magic in life,” she told me.

Eden told me one way she knows she’s written a good erotic story is “when my husband tells me a scene is a real scorcher.” She then added, “Mostly I go with what I like myself when I read erotic romance or erotica: the depth of character, the emotional intensity, the strength of the plot, the romantic conflict, and of course, the heat index.”

She also told me her husband is her biggest fan. “He reads everything I write,” she said, “often more than once. His opinion of my early-stage manuscripts helps me fine-tune my ideas. My sister is my other biggest fan, and her editing advice is awesome. I can’t possibly say how much I appreciate their help and unwavering support.”

One of the misconceptions about erotica that Eden sees is that erotica is just about sex. “Good erotic romance,” she said, “has to have every single quality you’d find in a strong traditional romance, as well as red-hot erotic love that’s closely woven with emotional intensity, plot development, and the growth of the characters.”

I asked Eden sex scene she found most embarrassing to write. “Oddly enough,” she told me, “it’s one of my favorite scenes. When I wrote the m/m/f/m foursome with simultaneous penetration near the end of Nature’s Pentacle, I blushed as I wrote it. When I reread it, I blushed more. I kept thinking, wow, did I really write this foursome on the kitchen floor? But then during edits, I read it again and loved the tenderness between the characters. The sense that they might be about to lose what mattered most. I just loved it.”

Her most embarrassing moment in real life, however was a few years before writing this scene and included not a foursome, but one other person...well, besides the police. She and her boyfriend were caught parking her senior year in high school.

Eden told me in addition to reading and writing, she enjoys gardening and yoga. As a matter of fact, you can see some beautiful pictures of her garden on her website. She told me that what she enjoys eating depends pretty much on the mood she’s in. Some of her favorite things are, she said, “cookies fresh from the oven, chocolate, and fresh baked bread.” But, she shared she’s also given to “sudden and irresistible food urges. One day it might be fried rice, the next chocolate brownies, and the next fresh baked bread, hot from the oven.”

She couldn’t choose just one food she can’t stand to eat. “First, I can’t stand the thought of any form of meat or fish prepared raw,” she said. “To this list you can add anything slimy (caviar, snails, squid), or smelly (beets, sauerkraut). Otherwise, I’m not a picky eater--honest!”

I asked Eden to pretend she could entertain a character from a book for an evening and to tell me about it. “I’d spend an evening with Jean-Claude, the Master of the City in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels. I envision a romantic meal at an expensive restaurant, a walk through the dark streets of the city, and then some intimate moments that would conclude—of course—with a vampire bite.”

Perhaps the intimate moments would include some warm, melted chocolate for body art, and later, delicious eating, because she told me that even though she once had a very interesting experience with cinnamon schnapps in college, the chocolate still gets her vote.

Finally, I asked Eden, “If you could be anyone you wanted, who would you be?”

“Me—on the NY Times Bestseller list and independently wealthy,” she said. “If you’re going to dream, you may as well dream big!”

You can read more about Eden and her works at her website.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Give and Take by Kealie Shay

"You push and you pull and you pull me right in…"

The sound of music reached Lily's ears as she stepped from the shower. She tilted her head, listened and smiled. Shawn had put one of his group's CDs on. She'd recognize his voice anywhere, but she didn't recognize the song. A new demo or album that had yet to be released, perhaps?

Emerging from the bathroom, Lily followed the sound of Shawn's voice into the living room. She stood in the doorway and watched him as he plucked the strings of his guitar and crooned along with his own voice coming from the stereo speakers on the wall. He must have sensed her presence, lifting his head he snared her with his gaze as he continued to sing.

"It's the give and the take and the love that we make…"

His voice washed over her, the music pulsed through her, and Lily had to lean against the doorjamb when her knees went weak. Just when she thought there was nothing more he could pull from her he'd catch her off guard with a look, a smile, the sound of his voice as he sang. She knew she was the center of his world. It was such serendipity to have somehow captured this amazing man's attention, and then his love, when she had given up on the hope of ever finding "the ONE."

Her gaze drifted to his long, elegant fingers as they stroked a response from his guitar. Mesmerized she couldn't help the erotic images that swarmed her brain as she watched each sensuous movement of his fingers along the taut strings. Her mind reminding her of how the calluses along his fingertips rasped against her much softer skin was pure sensory memory. She made a visual journey along his body, stopping to admire the flexing of his forearms as he played, the bunch of his shoulders as he shifted his position, the expanse of exposed skin along his naked torso that never failed to capture her attention. When she reached his face again the voluptuous curve of his lower lip had her biting her own as she felt the heat of his gaze from across the room. When the last strains of the song faded she leaned her head against the doorjamb and quirked a brow at him.

"That's a new one," she said. He nodded, his gaze moving over her face and to her hair. He had once told her that her hair was what had caught his attention with its "wild and windblown" look. He'd even admitted that he had wanted to see it spread across his pillow from that moment on. "What's it called?" she asked. Shawn looked perplexed for a moment, then seemed to remember what they had been discussing before his attention had wandered to her hair.

"Lily's Rhapsody," he replied a bit hesitantly.

She blinked surprised that he would name a song for her… WRITE a song for her. He'd said he loved her, had proven it on more than one occasion, but it had never occurred to her that he would write a song. She mentally rolled her eyes; he was a singer and a songwriter. How else would he express his feelings to her?

Shawn grimaced and Lily realized that she hadn't commented. The uncertainty in his eyes galvanized her. Pushing away from the doorway, she moved across to where he was perched on the ottoman in front of the couch. She gently pulled the guitar from his hands and placed it behind her, propping it against the end table. Smiling softly she stepped into the space between his knees and brushed her fingers through his soft, curly hair. His black lashes fluttered over his icy blue eyes when her nails rasped along his scalp.

"What exactly do you have on under my shirt?" Shawn asked suddenly, his raspy voice sending electricity through her veins. His hands moved up along the outside of her thighs and under the tails of his dress shirt without waiting for her reply. He groaned when his questing fingers found bare skin. Another tremor jolted through her when his hands stroked beneath the curves where her ass met the backs of her thighs.

Shawn leaned forward and nuzzled his face between her breasts moving the shirt out of his way. She'd only buttoned two buttons and the soft cotton gave way to his persistent movements baring her breast to his questing mouth. Her head dropped back as he took the nipple between his lips and began a slow, erotic torture that turned her knees back to the consistency of Jell-O. Cream slid from her pussy and coated her thighs as the insistent tug of his hands at the back of her thighs coupled with the moist draw of his mouth on her breast threw her off balance enough that she propped one knee on the ottoman next to his hip. The movement opened her further for Shawn's fingers to slide along her weeping slit.

Lily bucked against his fingers and placed her other knee alongside him. Straddling his lap she grasped his head between her palms as the assault on her senses continued. He thrust two fingers into her pussy from behind, and she gasped at the hard, sudden intrusion. But, it wasn't enough; those two fingers didn't fill her enough, stretch her as he did. She tugged at his hair insistently, and Shawn understood what she couldn't put into words.

His hands moved between their bodies, and she felt him release the button fly on his jeans. When the knuckle of one of his fingers grazed her clit sending a current of sensation through her, she couldn't hold still. She moaned and rubbed her soaked pussy against the hard ridges of his abdomen as he struggled to release his cock from his jeans. Her ragged cry as he finally succeeded and surged up into her grasping channel echoed in the room around them. Shawn gripped her hips and slid her slowly back up his cock until only the rounded head remained inside of her. Then he slowly pulled her back down onto him, thrusting just before he was fully embedded inside her, hitting that marvelous bundle of nerves deep inside of her. The slow thrust and retreat nearly drove her insane, pushing her toward release but keeping her hanging on the edge without sending her over.

Lily lifted her head and looked down into eyes that were studying her with fierce concentration. He was holding himself back and she couldn't have that. He must have seen a betraying gleam in her eye for he tried to control her movements. However his clenching fingers couldn't prevent her from twisting her hips slightly just before the down stroke. Fierce satisfaction raced through her when his eyes fluttered and rolled back in his head. A couple more twists and he lost whatever hold he had on his control.

Shawn surged upward and bore her back to the overstuffed couch behind her. He shoved his arms beneath her shoulders, propping himself on his forearms as he pounded in and out of her body. Lily arched her back and cried out as her orgasm washed over her. A moment later she felt Shawn's cock buck inside her and he abruptly stiffened as her womb was bathed in the warmth of his release. He collapsed over her and panted in her ear as they both continued to shudder from the aftershocks of orgasm. He nuzzled his face into the curve of her neck and chuckled.

"I take it you liked the song," he murmured. She laughed as she realized that the shirt she wore still had one button fastened and hung from her shoulder lopsidedly. A shift of her legs told her that his jeans were barely clinging to his hips. She hummed her approval into his shoulder.

"It was beautiful," she whispered.

About the Author: Kealie Shay is the alter-ego of a shy, quiet stay-at-home-mom by day. By night she transforms into a wild woman writing of wicked men and women. She is a sex-crazed nympho who routinely holds bondage parties in her garage, owns a Great Dane named Brock, and plays regularly with Juan, her Cabana Boy. She does all this while wearing a pair of red, thigh-high, stiletto boots. Who cares if it's all in her imagination! Visit Kealie at her website and blog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Author Interview: J.K. Coi

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome JK Coi, author of The Immortals series and, this week, a new novel entitled The Trouble with Destiny. JK has gotten acclaim review for her hot, sexy paranormal romances.

“One thing I’m always interested in,” I said to JK, “is where erotic romance writers draw the lines between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography. How do you personally distinguish them?”

“I think that each of them represent different degrees,” she told me. “Erotic romance still being primarily based on the romantic element and their relationship, with a higher level of sensuality and sexual language than the traditional romance. Erotica on the other hand will still be about sexual relationships, but concentrates more on those that might involve alternative sexual preferences and lifestyles, and may include multiple partners. While pornography has given up any pretence of an actual story and is all about the sex.”

JK told me that when her son got to be about a year old and started sleeping reliably through the night, she found herself with more time on her hands in the evenings. “I still didn’t have much of a life,” she confessed. “I wasn’t too impressed with the choices on television and I had done a lot of writing in university. I’d had an idea rolling around in my head for a while and decided to start setting it down on paper. That because my first Immortal book.

“It was awful.

“But, it taught me a lot,” she continued. “I joined a writers group, and I revised and revised. I entered a few contest and got valuable feedback. I revised some more. Only then did I start to submit the book to publishers. From that first book was born a series and a career that I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have, but which is very fulfilling to me.”

JK’s husband, sister, mother, and grandmother have all read her books. “I’m not shy about pimping them out to family and friends,” she said. “Then again, I admit that I write on the softer side of erotic romance. Although,” she confessed, “I did get a little wiggy when my grandmother started asking whether or not I actually... and I had to ask her not to finish that question!”

I asked JK to tell me who she would like to be if she could be someone else. “Well, I am pretty cool,” she said, “and besides the few pounds I wouldn’t mind losing, I’m pretty happy with who I am. But, for the sake of argument, I wouldn’t mind walking in Cleopatra’s slippers for a while—before the whole death by poisonous asp thing of course—because she did get up close and really personal with two fascinating alpha men of history, Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.”

On a more personal note, I asked her which body part she would pierce. “If I were brave enough,” she told me, “I’d probably get a nipple ring. Lots of stimulation and I know my husband would like it—once it healed and all of course.”

JK told me she’s never known anyone who could tie a cherry stem with their tongue. “That’s a really neat trick,” she told me, “and if you know someone who does it, let me know so I can stalk them and find out how.”

One things she doesn’t want to do with her mouth, though, is eat tripe. “My husband’s family cooks it often and they try to make me eat it every single time,” she said. “It might be a delicacy, but it’s not one that I can bring myself to appreciate. The smell, texture, taste...all of it makes me cringe.”

Her favorite letter is any letter that’s red and she loves working in stained glass when she’s not writing. Probably she uses red in those as well. She told me she usually makes a few dozen Christmas ornaments every year and one or two windows. “I love the play of light through the different colors,” she told me, “and I like creating my own patterns.”

You can read more about JK and her works at her website.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Author Interview: Zoe LaPage

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Zoe LaPage, author of Shadow Cat. Zoe is now writing the prequel for it, set in Paris during the 1300s and the black plague. Needless to say, both books required a lot of research--Shadow Cat, the Egyptian cat goddesses and their mythology and now the prequel. Zoe told me, however, “I gradually collect books on the subject and build up my own library. There are some research sites online, but I’ve found them less helpful than reading the books. Sometimes basic kid books are very helpful. Plus, it’s another way for me to justify my book junkiness.” Then she added, “Researching the erotic parts? That’s another story.”

Zoe told me that her first love, when it comes to writing, was horror. She noticed, though, that even her horror stories tended to have a love interest. “It was about that time that I first heard about paranormal romance and the erotic versions of the same,” she said. “That’s when I really found my niche. I like to write creepy stuff, but sexy-creepy, not blood-and-guts creepy. I find that in writing the paranormal erotica, my words just flow. I often sit in cafes and write, and I wonder if people know why I’m smiling to myself as I pound away on my iBook.”

Zoe told me she tried to write Shadow Cat as a straight romance at first. It was actually her theses novel for her Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. “It just wasn’t working so well,” she said. “I was advised to spice it up and that really made the difference in the energy of the novel.”

I asked Zoe to tell me about the most embarrassing sex scene she’d ever written. She told me that her characters are werecats—people who turn into full-sized panthers. “While Jules is giving Isabelle her first werecat lessons, they turn into cats and have sex in animal form. Cats have barbed appendages and that’s why they yowl when they mate. Ouch! I had to find a delicate way to handle that. It was weird.”

On a more personal note, despite this being the Whipped Cream website, Zoe doesn’t think that whipped cream is good for eating off another person’s tummy (or other body part). She thinks it’s too messy. On the other hand, chocolate-covered strawberries are ideal for any body part.

Zoe’s favorite food is Indian food, and this Friday she’s sharing one of her very favorites, Malai Kafta. Speaking of Indian foods, she said, “The different scents and tastes take me into another world. I could eat it every day.”

I asked Zoe if she minded sharing one of her strangest habits with me. “I like to hang upside down on the inversion table in my dungeon,” she said. “It stretches out my spine and makes me feel all renewed. I get good idea’s while I’m hanging like a bat, too.”

And, her most embarrassing moment is one that made me literally laugh out loud. Zoe is, as she calls it, “a corporate slave” during the day. “One day I was at corporate headquarters in Dallas,” she shared with me. “I was wearing a long skirt that day and got onto the escalator. Somehow, my skirt got caught in it and started pulling me down. My friend had the presence of mind to rip the skirt off of me. So I was standing there in corporate headquarters in black thong panties with a horrified look on my face, but it was still preferable to being eaten by an escalator. My friend (a guy, of course) thought it was a riot.”

Finally, I asked Zoe if she could get a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be? “You have to write a whole lot of bad books before you will be able to create one good one. I know a lot of writers get discouraged if their first book doesn’t get published, because it does take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to write a book. It generally takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to get a book published. That, and read widely outside of your genre.

You can read more about Zoe and her works at her website.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Winged Man by Jenny Kat Shepherd

Two minds... one thought.

Adrian winged his way through the air, his eyes searching the countryside below. Something called him to this area, time and again. But, what was out of the ordinary about this place? Sheep dotted the hills, lambs gamboled in the meadows, a girl sat reading.....wait.

Did she just shimmer?

A wave of energy knocked the wind out of his lungs and sent Adrian spiraling to the ground below. He had just enough time to fold his wings inside himself before he sprawled on the ground. For a moment, he lay motionless, then, with trepidation, he checked his limbs. He scanned them with the ability that had saved his people from extinction many times over. Being a flighted creature, his bones were of necessity more fragile than the humans among whom they lived . But, being able to tell when and if one were broken, and applying frigillious to it, had saved many an uomolato from detection or, worse, death.

After assuring himself the self-healing technique wouldn’t be needed this time, he rose and looked around. After flight, it took several minutes to orientate himself to being on the ground. Things looked much different from in air, but he much preferred the freedom of flight to the limitations of being grounded. However, that was the price that had to be paid for living in a modern world. Long gone were the days he’d heard about as a nestling, when men and uomolato lived side by side in piece.

The tune from a pipe floated over a small hill and he followed it. The odor of mint rose around him as he crushed the greenery with his feet. On top of the hill, he paused. There below... the girl sat, her book idle in her lap and her eyes turned his way. He began to draw back, but then realized there was no sign on her face that she saw him. He took a step closer, then another.

Her head cocked and her brow furrowed, as if she had heard something. Impossible. She could not have heard his feet on the soft grass. Could she? A suspicion grew in his thoughts. Slowly, deliberately he raised his right hand and waved. Nothing. She had to have seen him...unless she was blind. But, what was she doing with a book on her lap then?

Not wanting to startle her, he called out. “Excuse me, miss. But, I’m afraid I’m lost. Can you direct me to the nearest town?”

She scrambled to her feet and backed away. A large collie came bounding out from among the sheep and placed himself between the girl and Adrian, baring his teeth, growling as he did so. The girl shimmered once again, but this time Adrian braced himself.

“I’m not going to hurt...” He shook his head, surprised at the strangled sound which issued from his throat. It reminded him of the time he’d been kneed in the groin. Fortunately the pain didn’t accompany it, but it was puzzling. Even more puzzling was the slight smile that crossed the girl’s lips.

A low growl came again from the dog, which was stilled by the mere touch of the girl’s hand on his head. With no hesitation, she walked up to Adrian. As she drew near, it was as if a cloud of flowers surrounded him like a cloud. He breathed in the strange aroma and his brain whirled. His body reacted as if he’d taken the strongest aphrodisiac in the world.

Her hands brushed his face, his eyebrows.

Who is this woman?

A thought echoed in his brain. You may call me Laila.

Adrian’s last coherent thought as Laila pushed his shirt of his shoulders and flicked his nipple with her tongue was I have died and this is heaven.

All was sensation. Sinking down into the soft grass, the aroma of mint mixing with the aroma that was Laila. He didn’t know where his clothes went, but her lips were on his cock. A moan issued from his throat and he was powerless to escape, even if he had wanted to. As she slid her mouth down the length of him, he grasped her head. Her silky hair fell against his thighs and lay against his balls.

As she raised her head and began flicking the head of his cock with the tip of her tongue, he pulled her up against him. Her clothes were gone as well and her hard nipples raked against his chest. With a low growl, a claiming growl, he gathered her in his arms and launched into the air. Her arms clasped around his neck and her legs around his hips as he drove himself into her. A sharp intake of breath was the only sound she made as Adrian claimed her for his own high above the ground, holding her ass as she met each thrust with an equally eager one of her own.

The security of her thoughts filled Adrian as she released her grasp around his neck. She leaned back and he captured her breast in his mouth. The taste of strawberries filled his mouth as he sucked and nibbled on the tits she offered. Holding her secure with one hand still on her ass, he pinched and rolled the free nipple with his other.

Their thoughts mingled and, as their fluids merged, so did their minds. Adrian felt every shudder and every shock that went through Laila’s body as she reached her climax. In all the times he’d had sex, there had never been a mingling such as this. He felt her throbbing not only against the outside of his cock, but deep inside as well. Her orgasm became one with his own and, spent, they drifted silently down to earth.

Her thoughts brushed his own. It was foretold a man would come from the sky to rescue me from my curse and that only then would I be able to speak. Her thoughts because speech and Adrian fell asleep with the words “I love you” ringing in his ears.

About the Author: Jennifer Katherine (Jenny Kat, to her friends) Shepherd writes erotic romance for the fanciful in mind. Her stories are seldom set in the everyday world, but in worlds far away. No matter how far away the worlds are, though, romance is romance. Passions ignite when Jenny Kat’s characters get together. Check out the wild women of The Menagerie at http://www.menagerieauthors.com and see what they are talking about at http://menagerieauthors.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Author Interview: Anne Kane

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Anne Kane with us this week. Anne lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with, as she says, “a bouncy Jack Russell terrier, a cantankerous Himalayan cat, a geriatric guinea pig and too many fish to count.” I asked her how she personally distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.

“I find it quite easy,” she said. “Pornography reminds me of a textbook—the old put Tab A in Slot B, shake it up a bit and add dialogue of short words. Erotica is a bit more descriptive—it involves feelings and reasoning, but not necessarily a plot or romance. The best description of erotic romance I’ve ever read is that if you take the sex out, you still have a wonderful story that people would want to read. I like to think that most of what I write falls under that category.”

Her favorite erotic author is Angela Knight. Anne calls Angela “the goddess of erotic romance.” Anne went on to say, “When I read her book Captive Dreams, I thought WOW! I want to be able to write like that. That was when I started to slant my own writing more towards erotica.”

She also bought Angela’s Passionate Ink: A Guide to Writing Erotic Romance and recommends it for writers just starting out in writing erotica. She also told me she has a couple of dictionaries, two thesauruses, a grammar book, and some foreign dictionaries. Anne has also taken some online courses and joined several Yahoo loops that cater to erotic writing. She would recommend all of this to other new writers.

I asked Anne how she did research for her books. She laughed and said, “I go out and find test subjects at the local church picnic.” Then she added, “I read how-to books, such as the Kama Sutra, or I picture me being there instead of the heroine, and describe what I’m doing and how it feels. That’s my most often used tactic and it seems to work for me. Of course, if I tried all the things in my writing, I’d be a world-class gymnast. But I like to dream!”

Anne told me she’s never known anyone who could tie a cherry stem with their tongue, but if any of our readers do, she would love it if you would send her a video clip. “I find the concept fascinating,” she told me, “and would love to watch them practice.”

We talked about the best food for eating off another person’s tummy or other body part. “Personally, I like whipped cream,” she said, “although I’d never turn down a nice chocolate drizzle. Whipped cream can be used to create very nice, edible clothing that you can parade around in before you snack.”

Anne also told me that her children and co-workers fixate on a particular habit she has—she carries on conversations with her pets. “In my defense,” she told me, “they are loyal, think I’m a goddess, and never give away my secrets. What more could I ask for?”

She’s a busy lady. When she’s not talking to her pets or writing, she told me, “I sing in a choir; I belong to the local kayak club; I do a lot of walking with my dog; I have a vintage motorcycle that I’m either riding or fixign; and I read a lot.” She paused and then said, “Oh, and I do have a day job, so that takes up forty hours a week.”

I asked Anne who should play her if they ever made a movie about her life. “I think it would have to be Julia Roberts,” she said. “I loved her in Pretty Woman. She doesn’t look anything like me, and she sings and dances a whole lot better than I do. We’re both brunettes, so we have enough in common.”

Finally, I asked Anne what is the one piece of advice she would give a new writer. “Believe in yourself and never give up,” she told me. “There’s always someone out there willing to tell you that you’re too old or too dumb or that you just can’t do it. In my case, they were nice; they told me not to be too disappointed if I never got published. I loved it when I was able to say to them, ‘Oh, by the way, that writing contest? I won first prize!’”

You can read more about Anne and her works at her website

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More by Mysti Holiday

“Bar’s closed,” Penelope called and started clearing glassware, full and empty.

“Aww, Penny,” muttered good old Lance, grabbing for his glass to take one last swig of his beer. “When are you going to give all this up and marry me?”

She laughed and patted the old man on the hand. “This is my dream job, you old scamp, you know that.” She helped him of the bar stool, walked him to the door and into the waiting arms of a cabbie, just like she had every night that week. Same old, same old. Penny liked routine.

She closed the door and locked it, leaning against it with a sigh. Her dogs were barking and she’d give her left elbow for a massage about now. “As if that’s going to happen,” she murmured. All she had to look forward to was a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, an old movie and some sex with her battery-operated boyfriend.

If she wasn’t so worried about mixing business with pleasure, she’d hit on her boss. Damn, he was hot. And smart. And funny.

And her boss, she reminded herself again. She limped back to the bar and filled the dishwasher with glassware. Once that was running she covered the garnish tray and walked back to the fridge to put it away. A glance over one shoulder at the line of light under the office door told her Shane was still working, tallying up the cash, getting tomorrow’s order ready, using that amazing brain of his. There wasn’t one thing about him that didn’t turn her on. Except his job title.

She hurried back to the bar and leaned against the vibrating dishwasher, wiping her suddenly sweaty hands down her blouse, letting her palms linger over her instantly hard nipples. What would it feel like if it were he touching her there? Would he be gentle? She caressed her tits with slow, circling movements. Or just a little rough? She pinched them both lightly, giving a little gasp at the sensation that shot through her.

Yeah, naughty and a little intense. That would be Shane’s M.O. She ran one hand down her groin, rubbing herself through her skirt, letting the friction of the damp satin against her clit send shivers down her spine. She turned to face the bar and pressed herself against the washer, the soft vibration making her tremble. She unbuttoned her blouse, just enough so she could slip a wet fingertip inside and circle first one nipple then the other, still picturing Shane’s hands, Shane’s body against her. She couldn’t keep the soft moan from slipping out of her throat.

She started to work herself through the cotton fabric when a calloused hand covered hers, stopping all movement. She froze, horrified at being caught in her fantasy.

A puff of breath caressed the nape of her neck and firm lips moved against her ear. “Don’t stop on my account.”

Shane.

“I—” Penny’s words were cut off when his teeth scraped against the skin of her neck and his other hand circled her waist, tugging her shirt from the waistband.

The reality of Shane’s touch was better than any fantasy, and her resolve to maintain the employee/employer barrier was tossed away. He swung her around to the back bar rail and yanked her shirt off her body.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered, his breath in her ear making her cunt ooze with cream. “Just look.” He pulled her hair, lifting her head up.

When she opened her eyes, she saw her reflection in the bar mirror—flushed, aroused, lips parted, panting with passion. And then she saw him, and his already brown eyes were dark with emotion. “More...” she managed and he took her at her word, suddenly desperate.

His hands were everywhere, brushing, squeezing, flicking and then they grabbed the hem of her skirt and yanked it to her waist. With one sharp tug, he tore her satin thong off and plunged two fingers inside. She came in one sharp cry, rocking her hips against his hand.

“More!” she screamed and turned to face him, unzipping his pants to release his rock-hard dick. He reached into a side drawer and grabbed a handful of the condoms she kept there for customers. She took one from him and rolled it on, enjoying the low moan he gave as she encircled him and gave a couple thrusts with her hand.

“More,” he said, a small smile on his face, and he lifted her onto the counter. With one quick move, he plunged into her. Bottles fell from the shelves to bounce on the rubber floor, but nothing but Shane held her attention. He slammed into her over and over and kissed her just as hard, his tongue mimicking the movements of his cock, in and out, until she thought she’d die from all the sensations ripping through her.

He put his hand between them and pressed her clit, vibrating it in little circles until she cried out in release. Only then did he speed up his movements, one, two, three times more until a moan and a shudder announced his completion.

He hugged her tightly, laying his face on her bare chest. “Am I dead?”

She laughed, low in her throat. “Could be, because I sure think I’m in heaven.”

He tipped his face back and looked her right square in the eyes. “I’ve wanted to do that since the day I hired you nineteen months and eleven days ago.”

Her eyebrows lifted. “You did? What stopped you?”

“You did. You made it clear in the interview that you did not fraternize. I like you, Penny. You’re hot, but you’re smart and you have a wicked sense of humor. I respected what you asked.”

“Until tonight. Thank God.” She rubbed his back, not wanting him to move away.

“Until tonight.” He pulled her hands away from his shoulders and held them in his. “Come home with me.”

“Tonight?”

He shook his head. “Every night. I want more.”

She grinned. “More is good.” She leaned in and grabbed his lower lip in her teeth giving it a nip before sucking it into her mouth and watching his eyes darken again. She released his mouth long enough to murmur, “I like more.”

About the Author: Mysti Holiday is the pseudonym of a SAHM who dreams of warm climes and hot bodies. She's married to a wonderful man who happily offers himself for research, and she spends most of her days dreaming of uncomfortable situations in which to place her characters. Visit her website at http://www.menagerieauthors.com

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Author Interview: Cat Grant

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Cat Grant. Cat’s second book, Strictly Business, has recently been released from Lyrical Press. It’s a prequel to the best-selling The Arrangement. Cat told me that she’s written off and on her entire life. “I’m forty-eight years old,” she said, “and I’ve just had my second book published this year. Suffice it to say, it’s been a long journey!”

Cat wrote fan fiction for the better part of fifteen years, but didn’t consider trying to write for professional publication until she became disabled in 2004. “It was a depressing time for me,” she told me, “so my husband encouraged me to start writing again. At first I tried to crack the sci-fi/fantasy/horror short story markets. In three years, I sold a grand total of one story-- mostly because I think my heart wasn't really in it. So I went back and took a look at some of my older work, the stuff I truly enjoyed writing, and practically every single story revolved around the relationships between the characters - and a lot of hot sex too. Making the jump to writing erotic romance seemed a no-brainer.” She told me, though, that one of the biggest misconceptions she sees the public having about erotic romance is “that every work of erotic fiction out there is nothing but wall-to-wall sex, with no other ‘redeeming social value.’”

It took Cat two years to write (and rewrite and rewrite again)The Arrangement and four months to sell it. The reason she took so long can be summed up in her advice for new writers. “Work hard on your craft, and make your first book the absolute best it can be before you start sending it out. First-time authors are so hungry to get published (I know I was!) that sometimes they overlook the basics. I've seen published books out there with sloppy mechanics, inconsistent characterization and WTF? plot logic. Ask yourself this: ten years from now, do you want to look back and cringe? I know I sure don't!”

Cat’s not a big fan of sex for sex’s sake in fiction, which she admits “probably sounds strange from someone whose work is labeled ‘erotic romance.’” She believes, however, that “sex scenes should serve the same purpose as any other kind of scene—if it doesn’t move the story along or reveal something new about the characters and their relationship—it shouldn’t be there.” She added, “That said, if you’re going to write an erotic scene, it should be a genuine turn-on. I’m constantly kicking myself trying to maintain that balance.”

She gave us some recommendations for research books, so if you are interested in writing erotic romance you might want to check these out. “A book that was a huge help to me in writing my m/m/f ménage a trois novel was The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. Tristan Taormino’s written one on the same subject called Opening Up. If you want to write about polyamory, they’re the experts.”

For books on craft, recommended are the following: Susie Bright - How to Write a Dirty Story Chris Vogler - The Writer’s Journey Joseph Campbell - The Hero with a Thousand Faces Debra Dixon - Goal, Motivation, and Conflict

“In fact,” she told me, “I think Susie Bright’s Best American Erotica series is a must-read too, especially for writers who want to specialize in writing about alternative lifestyles.”

On a personal note, Cat cannot stand to eat calamari. “My dad loved it,” she said, “but to me it looks like a plateful of fried rubber bands.”

Conversely, though, she told me, “There’s a tiny little place not far from where I live that makes the best hamburgers I’ve ever had in a restaurant. My fave is their blue cheese burger. I also have a weakness for hot fudge sundaes and key lime pie.”

Cat doesn’t drink soda pop any longer, she told me, but she said she used to be able to tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, however she’s not sure if she could tell the difference now.

And, she’s a woman after my own heart. If she’s not writing, she can usually be found sitting on the couch reading. She confessed, “My TBR stack has morphed into an entire shelf!”

You can read more about Cat and her works at her website