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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.