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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Jax Cassidy

Don’t let Fear become your kryptonite

This isn't about Superman or his weaknesses—this is about authors and what seems to be their biggest kryptonite.

For me, I've observed most frequently three main obstacles writers face. I'm sure we'll have our fair share of these moments but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Now, when it rules our ability to move beyond...that's when it becomes problematic.

1.Self-doubt ... you go through days when you think that your writing has never smelled sweeter. Then, you start re-reading and over edit and discover that you're frustrated because it doesn't seem to read as well as you previously believed.

Or, when you're on a break between writing, you pick up another author's book. After reading it, you think you'll never be in their league. Never produce anything as tight and engaging. You sulk and this causes more self-doubt and you lose your enthusiasm for writing.

2. Fear ... you're terrified that your writing voice is dull, a turn off, not mass market enough. You scramble to meet the demands of the market, the trends, and you realize you've just sabotaged yourself.

A published author’s scenario...You've signed a multi-book deal and the fear of not meeting deadlines triggers more insecurity. You aren't sure if you're ready to make the next leap and it creates unnecessary paranoia. Even destroys the writing career you've always dreamed of having. You get dropped by your agent and you're back at square one but now your publishers have put you on the 'do not buy anything from this author again because she can't handle a real writing career' list.

Or, you're a successful ePubbed author. You are content, comfortable. Secretly you never want to move beyond ePublishing because you fear success. You feel inadequate and don't think you can obtain something more than what you currently have. You limit yourself by never taking risks and submitting to NY. You're terrified of going outside the writing box and when you're at the end of your ePub career, you regret not trying because you think rejection would destroy you.

3. Envy ... everyone around you is selling multi-book deals and you're the only one who hasn't yet. Not that you'd begrudge your friends of their wonderful news, but you feel like you're never going to be the one to share a bit of good news in the near future. So you slide down that slippery slope of anger, then envy builds up until you can't see past the green. You can't see through the truth. You become disgruntled and bitter and soon no one wants to be around you anymore. You find yourself alone and wallowing in self-pity when all of it could be avoidable.

Okay, so I've gotten a bit melodramatic near the end but those points I've highlighted aren't necessarily bad--to an extent. I won't lie, I've been there on occasion, but never so much that it would affect my vision. Vision meaning that I am a writer and I know someday everything will fall into place. I'll get the NY contracts, I'll get the readership, and I will get to a level where I'm satisfied with my voice. The power of the mind can repel any kryptonite. When you allow yourself to wallow, continue to wallow, your production goes down, your self-confidence goes down, and your fear comes out the winner. Look, if you have the drive and desire to succeed, you'll do it. It's like turning down the lights around you so you can focus. Lights in this analogy is the loud voices of fear and disappointment, it's the gritty reality around you, it's the loved ones who think you're wasting your time on a pipe dream. Turn the lights down until you are the sole creator in front of the computer. You are the person in charge of your universe and when you've reached the stopping point for the day...everything doesn't seem so bad after all.

You are your own worst enemy.

Embrace the fear for when you don't, it will consume you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Jax Cassidy

Who I am

There’s no denying in my mind that I was born to write. After all, my mother was a natural storyteller and throughout my life she painted pictures of a different place so romantic and interesting that I could actually see them in the pages of a book someday. Born in Southeast Asia, I was fortunate that my family emigrated to the United States when I was five years old. Growing up with the heavy influence of Eastern and Western philosophies and values, it was easy for me to connect to both cultures, yet I found it extremely difficult to belong in either. Nor could I grasp who I truly was.

I didn’t feel like I completely fit in with other Asians because I was so headstrong and independent. My no-nonsense personality made me the object of vicious gossip and my parents had to endure the embarrassment of my ‘shortcomings’. On the other hand, I didn’t fit in completely with Americans either because, on the outside, I was still a foreigner. I’m glad I never conformed to what was expected of me and continued to follow my dreams and passion regardless of the consequences. When I pursued journalism in college, my parents were displeased with my career choice and their disappointment continued when I turned to the arts. During the middle of my college years, and the height of my ongoing identity crisis, I was offered a position in Paris, France to do some public relations work with high-profile comic book artists. I didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance and in two weeks time I was boarding a plane with three bulky suitcases and kissing the States goodbye.

My first impression of Paris? It was a culture shock like no other. Paris was everything I imagined it to be, and so much more. The city was rich in architecture, cuisine, and fashion so I couldn’t help but skip through the Parisian streets at every opportunity. I was immersed in the City of Light and even with over a decade of French language training, I needed more. During those three years I traveled to many large and small cities in France, as well as visiting a few countries that I had always wanted to. Believe me, I learned so much about myself. By disconnecting myself from the limitations I had been faced with back home, I was able to be who I wanted to be. I had so much freedom to explore, grow into an adult, and come to terms with the person I was.

In Paris, no one addressed me as the “Asian woman”. Instead I was always introduced as “the American”. There was no color, no race involved and it was as if the world was equal in every sense. It was such an elated feeling and in those introductions I recognized that who I was on the outside wasn’t as important as the person inside. The lessons I learned from living in Paris and exploring exotic places impacted the way I looked at life. I embraced the carefree lifestyle and grateful I had the opportunity to find myself on my own terms.

Even now, I am shaped by my experiences and the details are still vivid in my mind’s eye. All those senses and emotions bottled up inside made it easy to spill over in my writing. As an author, I love tapping into my past to weave a romantic tale about two people who fall in love and with this relationship there are no colors or race. I try to spin stories that focus on the relationship, overcoming obstacles, and finding happily-ever-after. Because of my ability to take chances and staying true to myself, I was able to discover the person I am…ME.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Fecund Maidens by Ellen Margret

Initially she thought it was a joke, and ignored the letter, convinced it had been sent by one of her daft friends. After all, was it likely that a girl would be left a mansion and an estate of five hundred acres, by an eccentric millionaire who met her once in the coffee shop where she served him black coffee and doughnuts? That was what the letter said, but she certainly didn't remember the old man.

Evie tossed the letter and the photograph in the bin, and got on with her life. At work, she smiled at the customers as she took their orders, but the smile evaporated when she was alone. Alone, she felt sad. She wanted a man to love her, and she wanted a baby. Perhaps the former she might get, but not the latter. Chemotherapy rendered her sterile at fourteen. It was cruel for she so loved children and babies.

So, she forget about the letter, until the call came from the solicitor. The letter was genuine, and the mansion and the land could be hers. But, there was a condition. Evie could only have it if she married the deceased man's son. He resided in the mansion and was a recluse. She thought about it for half an hour, and then she packed a bag.

The mansion stood in the middle of nowhere. The track leading up to it must have been over a mile long. The taxi dropped her off, and Evie found herself knocking upon the door of the ancient building. When no one answered, she tried the door. It was locked. No matter, she would go for a walk in the grounds. It was a lovely summer's day. In fact, it was the day before midsummer. Evie left her suitcase on the doorstep and headed along the long, straight track which took her up a hillside, dotted with thousands of wild flowers. She felt excited; after all, she was walking on her own beautiful land. At least it would be her land if she married the recluse.

The sun beat down on her blonde hair and perspiration trickled down her neck. She wore only shorts and a tee shirt, and yet she was baking. How she would love to take off all her clothes and run naked amongst the flowers. She glanced around. Why the hell shouldn't she? She only had sheep for company. Grinning, she took off her tee shirt and shorts, and then her bra and briefs. She held her arms up to the warmth of the sun and sighed. It was bliss, and she felt so happy.

Singing to herself, she continued walking up the hill until she got to a fairly level field. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the large stone circle in the field. She had never seen one so spectacular.

"My God, does this circle have a name?" she gasped. She didn't expect an answer, but she got one.

"The Fecund Maidens."

She spun around and came face to face with the most handsome man she had ever set eyes upon. He was tall, dark, barefoot, and wore only jeans.

"Oh dear, this is most embarrassing."

"Why, because you're naked?"

"Yes," she said, trying to cover her most intimate areas.

"You don't have enough hands. Give up," he said, smiling.

She groaned, and put her hands at her sides. "I'm Evie. Perhaps I should explain what I'm doing here."

"You've come to claim your inheritance, but in order to get it you have to marry me."

"You're the recluse!"

"I live here alone, so, I suppose I am."

"All alone in that big mansion?"

"Yes, it's best that way. You see, I'm a sorcerer, as was my late father. Sorcerers cast spells, and it's best if not too many people see us do that."

She gulped. "So, why am I here?"

"My father saw goodness in you. He saw a kind heart, but a troubled soul. He also saw a barren womb."

"Oh, my God, he knew?"

"He decided you were the woman for me. He even fashioned your image for me to see, and it was a naked image. That image didn't do you justice. You are more beautiful in the flesh. So, do you want to marry me?"

She liked his smile, but her eyes didn't remain on his face. They moved down his body as he removed his jeans. His shaft was as magnificent as his face.

"Do you want me? I can't give you children."

"Yes, you can."

"No, I can't." Her breath caught in her throat as he approached her. Suddenly, she melted into his arms. "I don't even know your name."

"I am Stearne."

"That is an unusual name."

"I am an unusual person."

"You truly must be a sorcerer. You have cast a spell on me. I think I already love you."

"Evie, I want you to walk around those twelve stones. When you get to the last one, lie down on it. Day will become night. The stars will dance for you, and I shall caress you. You will close your eyes. When I tell you to open them it will be dawn. The sun will rise over the stone circle and shine down upon you."

"I will do it." She ran around the stones, feeling like some sort of nymph. When she lay down, Stearne lay beside her. The day vanished, the night came, and he kissed every inch of her body.

"Open your eyes, Evie."

She did. She saw his handsome face and the golden halo of the sun around his dark head. Then she felt his shaft sink deeply inside her, and she groaned with the ecstasy of it.

"Marry me."

"Yes, I will."

"You will give birth in nine months."

She smiled. She knew it was the truth. Stearne had cast his wonderful spell, and she was his.

About the author: I am a writer from the UK and I live in the lovely Cotswold Hills. I am married with four grown up children and last year we became grandparents. It has always been my passion to write and I write in various genres - from historical romance to fantasy and the paranormal. My first novel, Like Lazarus, was published with Midnight Showcase Fiction and others have followed, including the sequel, Loving Lazarus. Find out more about me on my website -

Author Interview: Roxanne Rhoads

Whipped Cream is pleased to interview Roxanne Rhoads whose latest work, Torrid Teasers #59 has been released this week by Whiskey Creek Press.

Roxanne has always been a writer, but in 2005 decided to really focus on her writing.

"I had already been dabbling but not making much progress. I sat down with my husband and said I need to write about what I know and what I am really good," she told me. "He said 'Sweet.' Yeah, most guys would freak, not him. So I started writing my first erotic stories and articles. I sold my first story to Playgirl. Since then I've been published all over the web, in magazines and several anthologies. My work is constantly evolving. I can see my writing mature and blossom into something more every day."

She sees pornography as being purely sexual—made purely to get off and with not much artistic element, if any at all. Erotica is more creative, evoking emotion, feelings and thoughts along with sexual arousal.

"Erotic romance," she said, "adds love to the mix, usually with a happy ending. Porn is only the sex. With erotica you get a more complete picture and story. Erotic romance gives you more of the whole picture—life and sex combined."

She feels, though, that the biggest misconception the public has is that there is no difference between these.

Speaking of the public and erotica, she says, "They don't see the artistic merit in it. Even some agents in the industry say that erotica authors are nothing more than porn peddlers. And that was published in Writer's Digest magazine. I made a fuss about it, but they never published my reader comments."

I asked Roxanne what her family thought about her writing.

"My husband loves it," she said. "He loves to brag that is wife is a sexpert. The other night it cracked him up that I knew the terms for male and female parts in a couple different languages and cultures. He reads all my stuff and is my biggest fan and best PR person. He encounters many people every day through his job and gladly passes out my business cards and promo materials. My mom and friends also read some of my stuff. I sometimes feel weird about showing some of my work to my mom but she still supports what I do."

Some of Roxanne's stories require no research and she's able to just sit down and write them. "Others," she said, "require extensive research, lots of time looking up info on the web and stacks of books in the library. I am working on one book right now that features an Ojibwa Native American who is over 400 years old. That requires a lot of history and language research."

She's written "straight" romance, but tells me she prefers erotic romance.

"Straight romance is good, I've dabbled there, but the basic formula you have to stick to rather irritates me," she told me. "I hate writing in form. I like letting the story and characters go where they please. And old fashioned straight romance can leave out the really good parts, like the sex scenes. I've read plenty where they tumble into bed passionately. End of scene, we see nothing else until after. Hello? I want the dirty details."

She told me how she judges what makes a good erotic story in her own writing.

"When I write a story I want it to wow me, which is hard to do considering it is my own work," she explained. "As most authors know sometimes the characters lead the way or the story goes where it wants to. I like to end up with a finished piece that amazes me; that I sit back and say to myself 'Wow, I wrote that?'"

On a personal note, Roxanne isn't really into piercings, but when she was younger she wanted to get her belly button pierced. "I never did," she said. "Now I don't have the desire or the stomach for it." She does, however, keep her toenails painted because she prefers to be bare foot whenever possible.

She thinks chocolate and maybe a little whipped cream is best of eating off another person. But, her husband has different ideas. "If my husband had to choose it would be pizza," she told me. "He is a pizza connoisseur and has always said he wanted to lay pizza all over my naked body. I just haven't let him yet."

Roxanne couldn't give a specific favorite food. She said, "I love all kinds of food and it depends on the day and my mood to say what is my favorite. Though a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake or a seven layer chocolate raspberry torte rank pretty high on any day as my favorites."

She had no hesitancy, though, in telling me what she WOULDN'T eat.

"Escargot," she declared. "I cannot bring myself to eat snails, I don't care what kind of delicacy they are supposed to be. No, thank you."

She's seen people tie a cherry stem with their tongue, but says, "I've never really tried it. I doubt I could do it; I can't even roll my tongue."

Her favorite letter? "R. It just sounds rough and dangerous."

I asked, "What is your strangest habit?"

"Which one?" she responded. "My husband thinks I am totally OCD. Really he's just a slob and I'm a neat freak. I guess my strangest habit is constantly cleaning though I have a husband, three kids and three cats. I just like things to be in certain places. My house is by no means spotless, I just want things to be where they should be or at least close to it."

Finally, I asked Roxanne what advice she would give to other authors who might want to write erotica.

"If sex makes you squeamish don't go into erotica writing," she stated. "To write really good erotica you have to be a sexual connoisseur. You have to love sex and the sensual nature of life. Indulge in all things wonderful and sensual so you know how to write about all things wonderful and sensual."

You can keep up with Roxanne on her site,

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Nathalie Gray, Compromised

It’s natural to celebrate a milestone by looking back at where we’ve been. In fifteen years, Red Sage grew from a tiny start-up to a recognized brand name. Secrets anthologies, novels, book clubs, e-books of all lengths and types, authors who have starred on many bestseller lists -- this is all part of our legacy.

What will the future hold? We have big plans at Red Sage, but until it’s time to unveil them, let’s imagine another kind of future. A spaceship. Aliens. A warrior captured and a heroine who must rescue him, even if it means he will only break her heart again. Nathalie Gray’s vision of the future will leave you breathless!

On sale until June 30 for just $1.50!

About This Book:

Jojo Da Silva always gets her man.

She’s been an elite extraction team member long enough to know second-guessing can kill you. Get in, secure the target, then get out. Anything in the way is to be shot, blasted or destroyed. Especially those vicious Elfs, Exoskeletal Humanoid Life Forms with a mean streak that seems to grow wider in torture chambers during interrogations. No human has ever survived an Elf interrogation. Never.

Jojo knows this time she has to get her man before the Elfs discover his true identity and interrogate him. He’s been undercover on their trading station, so deep undercover that even she doesn’t know his identity. All she knows is the yellow dot on her wristband monitor that shows his location.

But when her target turns out to be her tough, daring, disappearing ex, a man as handsome as he was shrewd, one gifted with amazingly skilled hands and an even more wicked mouth, Jojo can’t seem to follow orders as usual. Abandon the compromised mission? No way! She has two hours, and Jojo won’t let Mathias die. He disappeared from her life, and she’s missed his loving ever since. She won’t let him slip away again.

Because Jojo always gets her man, and this time, it's personal.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Kristin Daniels, Nameless Surrender

So many times, we’ve heard about Secrets fans collecting every volume and arranging the anthologies on their “keeper” shelves. And to such anecdotes there is only one response: Thank you! We’re honored to know that so many of you count these books among your prized possessions!

Here’s a novella that’s a different kind of prize. When we hosted a writing contest, our editors all agreed that Nameless Surrender was something special. Bondage and submission games set the stage not just for steamy encounters, but for Dean and Zoe to grow and change and learn to trust again. In the end, Dean captures the greatest prize of all -- Zoe’s heart!

On sale until June 30 for just $1.50!

Exclusive Excerpt:

Zoe loved this part.

The waiting. The anticipation.

Simon secured the blindfold and smoothed his fingers down the side of her neck. “Anything else I can do, Ms. Grant?”

She shuddered at the light touch. “No, Simon. Thanks.”

Muffled footsteps fell across the thick carpet toward the door. “I’ll let him know you’re ready then.”

Oh, yeah. Ready and willing. She needed this. Craved it. All too quickly, this had become her favorite form of release.

She pulled against the straps attached to the fur-lined wrist and ankle cuffs. Tethered to the ceiling via a simple pulley system, her arms stretched high above her head in an exaggerated Y. The cuffs at her ankles—clasped to metal hoops hidden within the carpet—presented her in a carnal display.

Blind and spread wide, she stood in limbo, poised in the middle of the room.

She never knew how long she’d have to wait. Oftentimes only moments, but he’d toyed with her before. The last time he stalled for at least fifteen minutes. She got so worked up waiting that she came with the first stroke to her clit.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Roxana Blaze, Fires Within

“My husband loves it when I get a new Secrets anthology because then he knows we’ll have a fun night!”

“My husband and I read the e-books together in bed for inspiration.”

“My husband and I have a secret code from the page numbers of our favorite kinky scenes. He can make me blush just by saying 44.”

Red Sage fans know an erotic romance can help their marriages. But what if a marriage was threatened by the husband’s yearning for something taboo? What if the wife desired the same thing but was too shy to ask for it? Some “Fires Within” are so taboo that they can destroy a couple’s happiness…or bind them more tightly together.

On sale until June 30 for just $1.50!

Exclusive Excerpt:
It was not a vague, easily dismissed ache, but a relentless, smoldering blaze deep in her womb. She couldn’t help letting her gaze glide over to fall upon him. In the dim twilight, her hungry eyes traced his well-muscled back. She devoured the outline of one strong arm resting atop his side, the firm buttocks just barely discernible beneath the white linen sheet, and the wide shoulder framed against the night sky by the window of their luxurious master suite.

“My Rafe,” she whispered in the still room. “What has happened to us?”

She pressed her fist against her teeth, vividly recalling the sensation of her husband’s taut muscles—made so by the rigors of pirating—bunching beneath her fingertips. Katja could almost feel the wicked pleasure of scraping her nails down his smooth back as an orgasm ripped through her center. She bit down on her hand to keep from reaching out and waking him. Dull pain throbbed in her knuckle.

But still the relentless need drove her. Katja stretched her arm out, fingers splayed, hand trembling. It was an enormous bed fit for a king, for a wealthy ship’s captain and his wife of three years, the mistress of his fine manor.

However, the bed had one flaw. It allowed huge distances between them.

Always, there seemed to be a distance.


Unless her wish had already been granted without her knowing it? Her pulse quickened and her clitoris swelled in anticipation. True, it was a foolish notion to entertain, and yet—her palm hovered above his bicep—there was only one way to find out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Natasha Moore, Quinn’s Curse

There are some things you never forget. Your first kiss. Your first love. Your first time. These moments stay with us throughout our lives and help create who we are.

Some stories reach into our hearts as deeply as any real-world moment, and over the years, Red Sage authors have touched more than one heart. Long after the book’s cover is closed, the story remains. Unseen but not unfelt, like a ghost. Like Quinn, the cursed pirate in Natasha Moore’s moving story about a haunted lighthouse, a heartbroken woman, and sexy ghost searching for redemption. Just as Miranda can feel Quinn’s invisible touch, so will your heart feel the power of this haunting story.

On sale until June 30 for just $1.50!

About This Book:
Where do bad boys go when they die? If the bad boy is a pirate captain, he goes to shore.

Cursed to haunt dry land for three hundred years, forbidden to touch the ocean he loves, Nathaniel Quinn’s spirit lingers near the Logan Point Lighthouse until his sentence is served. All he wants is an end to the three hundred year curse so he can haunt the seas instead of the shores.

That’s all he wants, that is, until the day Miranda Kent buys the lighthouse with the intent to turn it into a bed and breakfast. She hopes the presence of a ghost will bring in the tourists, but Quinn has finally found a benefit to his time on land.

She can hear him. See him. Touch him. He may only have a short time remaining at the lighthouse, but at least now he can enjoy it like a sailor on shore leave.

But pleasure turns to impending pain as these doomed lovers discover they’re touching more than each other’s bodies. They’re touching each other’s hearts. The long-awaited end of Quinn’s shore curse might just mean a different kind of curse…

Because an eternity sailing the seas might also be an eternity separated from the woman he loves.

Read Dangerously at!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Anne Rainey, Forbidden Fruit

In fifteen years, we’ve witnessed every economic condition from boom to bust, but throughout that time, one thing has not changed. Readers always want a story that sweeps them away from humdrum worries and into a world where dreams come true. They know they can count on Red Sage and Secrets for a good read, every time.

Trust Anne Rainey to deliver a happy ending in her story about change, Forbidden Fruit. Heroine Ava Sweet transforms herself from the shadowy veterinarian assistant to the showy vixen. Elusive bad boy Luke becomes the man who can’t leave Ava alone. And this hot contemporary story turns a dull evening into a splendid escape.

On sale until June 30 for just $1.50!

About This Book:
Veterinarian assistant Ava Sweet has lusted in secret after bad boy Luke McGiffin since high school. Years pass, but she never loses hope that he will come to see her as a desirable woman.

Then one day she overhears Luke scorning her. “Dr. Doolittle? Sexy? How can you tell when every piece of clothing she owns is big and baggy and ugly as sin?”

That’s it. No more of him treating her like a kid sister. It’s time to show the hunky roofer her feminine side. The plan? Step One: arrange a fake date right under Luke’s nose to drum up some jealousy. Step Two: let her best friend Jen give her a seductive, innocent-vixen, miniskirt makeover. Step Three: tempt Luke right out of his sexy jeans.

But can Ava handle a man with such strong appetites, or is she in over her head?

Read Dangerously at!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Author Interview: Kathleen Scott

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Kathleen Scott, author of Hotter Than Hell, the second in her Fallen Angels series, which has just been released by The Wild Rose Press.

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

"I let others worry about the distinctions. I just write stories I'd like to read and make them extra hot," Kathleen said. "Since I write in about six genres under three different names, I run the gamut on what goes into which book. For me, though, there has to be a romance there somewhere. HEA preferred, but a HFN will work too. However, I'm probably the most vanilla erotic romance writer you'll ever find. I have my characters doing anal play and I have some stories planned that will feature a few toys, but it's always a man and woman working on a committed relationship. I think there is something inherently sexy about a couple exploring their sexuality together. Learning what pleases each other and then making it happen."

Most of Kathleen's erotic romances are sci-fi or futuristic, she spend most of her research time thinking up the storylines. She tends to write the story and, if she needs to know some specific fact, she researches the answer when she's finished.

"I'm a very backward researcher," she said. "It saves time to have your question ready and know exactly what you need, rather than spending hours going over information you might not ever need or use."

When it does come to writing sex, she told me, "After being with the same man for almost twenty years, there really isn't much in that department left to research. I can wing it. Though I did have to do some research into latex body paint for Hotter Than Hell."

Kathleen has started incorporating humor into her erotic romances. She said, "Well, I didn't really have a choice. While writing Hotter Than Hell, the second in my fallen angel series from The Wild Rose Press, my hero and heroine started making these very flip, very ironic/sarcastic comments that made me roar. I left them in and hoped like hell my editor liked it."

The editor did, very much.

"Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally would never cross?" I asked Kathleen.

"I'm afraid this answer might come out judgmental, but I'm going to answer it anyhow," she said. "For me, relying on the sex to move the story forward instead of the plot is a line I wouldn't cross. Now, whether that constitutes porn or not, I couldn't really say. And I wouldn't. One person's porn is another's 'damn good read.' I certainly have bugaboos I'd never let my characters do or be, because I find them to be sitting somewhere down Sqwick Alley. Probably on the curb, or in the gutter, but down there nonetheless."

Kathleen said the sex needs to grow organically from the plot and situations in the story. "It's more about leaving that sexual tension hanging for as long as possible, then when the characters can't stand it any longer, letting them go for broke," she explained. "Though some of my books have more sex-per-square-inch (spsi) than a porno convention, I'm very story oriented. Without story you have just sex and to me, that's not really sexy. There has to be a kernel of love between my characters, or something more than just lust."

When Kathleen started writing erotica, she didn't use any "how to write erotica" books. She read a couple of Red Sage Secrets and decided she wanted to write for them.

"I pulled out an old story I had stuck somewhere, beefed up the romance, spiced up the sex to the nth degree and sold it on the first try," she said. "Yeah, I'm still gloating about that one. It was my first major sale and I was damn glad that I set a goal and reached it."

Kathleen also writes "straight" romance, under the names MK Mancos and Kate Davison.

"Though most of my books under those names have some pretty graphic love scenes they aren't as hot or as frequent in the prose as they are when I write under the name Kathleen Scott. KS is a dirty girl," she told me "MK Mancos has also written books that had no sex, or very little, or done in the periphery. It all depends on what the story calls for. To me all writing is challenging. I think both erotic romances and those with lower sensuality levels have their unique challenges they present. I've written so many sex/love scenes over the last few years, I get to one now and I have to force myself to do the act. I often tell my keyboard, 'Not now, I have a headache.' - Finding new and fresh ways to get my characters to 'do it' or into the mood is a definite challenge."

The first sex scene Kathleen wrote, however, was the most embarrassing one she's ever written.

"I did it as a writing exercise," she confessed. "I sat at the keyboard with my face flaming and hands sweaty and shaking. Then I told myself no one would ever see the scene so just go for it. And I did. After that I had no qualms about writing love scenes."

Her most embarrassing personal moment, though?

"When I was about 20 or 21, I was at a bar hanging out with a really hot Navy diver," she told me. "I started laughing at something his friend said and put my head down. Unfortunately, I misjudged the distance and got a swizzle stick stuck in the soft tissue of my nose. I pulled it out, only for my nose to start pouring blood. I jumped up from the table and ran to the ladies room. That was pretty damn hard to live down."

"If you could be anyone you wanted, who would it be?" I wondered.

"I'd still be me, but I'd be smoking hot. I mean so much so that men would denounce political affiliations and religious dogma for me. I could make them do my bidding with a mere glance. - Though I'd still be with my same hubby, since I can't imagine being with anyone else."

Kathleen feels honey is the best food to eat off someone's tummy (or other body part). Her reason? "It takes longer to lick off than most other condiments."

She loves all kinds of food, so admitted she didn't have a particular favorite, however, she said, "A really well-turned grilled steak still ranks up there among the best of the best for me." On the other hand, when it comes to asparagus..."I can't even think about it without retching," she told me.

Finally, I asked her, "If you could give a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be?"

"Keep plugging along," she responded. "Don't give up. Learn your craft and know your market. Also, don't be afraid to press your boundaries or delve into new challenges. I hear writers all the time saying, 'Oh, I couldn't write a novel' or 'I couldn't write a short story or novella.' My advice is to try. My first complete novel was 180,000 words long. The first story I sold was 1500 words long almost ten years later. Changing word length is a great way to treat yourself to write concise, or to embellish. Give it a whirl. Move the marker of your comfort zone a little farther out." You can keep up with Kathleen on her website,

Swamp Lover by E. M. Collins

Libby Darnell had lived in the swamps her whole life with nothing but her tabby cat. The only sex she ever had was in her dreams. Everyone said ole Libby was a witch and she could turn a man to stone with the wink of her eye. Of course no stone men were ever found anywhere near her place. Then again no one ever went near her place, except for Joey Claymore who stumbled upon Libby relaxing on her porch one day.

He’d been coming around about once every month for the last six months bringing her some little trinket. She knew he was due to pop up either today or tomorrow and she had a plan. Today she decided to relax on her porch nude. She didn’t want there to be any doubt in his mind as to what she wanted. Sure enough he showed up right on cue.

“You’re about the purtiest sight I ever did see. Just look at them tits,” wheezed Joey through his teeth. He stood and stared at her like a hungry wolf. She was pleased with his reaction. He was tall and broad shouldered with narrow hips.

“You lost?” she teased.

“I musta took a wrong turn back a ways,” he joked with her.

“Well,” said Libby, “would you like to come and sit a spell?”

She hoped she convince him to get naked with her. Then maybe she could finally get it on with a real man.

“Yes’um,” said Joey.

“What is a big strapping boy like you doing in the swamp?”

“Critter huntin,” he said.

“Really, would you consider me a critter?”

“Well, sweetheart, you wasn’t what I had in mind when I set out this morning.”

“You look to be pretty clean for having tromped through the swamps.”

“I got a boat tied over yonder.”

“Do you now? You should take off them clothes and make yourself comfortable.”

She knew if she could get him to undress maybe he would show her a real good time. Her mom and dad had been taken a few years back by some illness. She was just fourteen at the time and she had been fending for herself ever since. When she was young she watched her parents do it through a knot hole in their bedroom. They had so much fun they did it almost every day and she watched whenever she was around. They always told her that when she turned eighteen they would find a husband for her. But she was now twenty and no male had ever come near here. That is until now.

“You sure about that?” asked Joey.

“Do you see me wearing any clothes? I have decided I don’t like them; they get in my way.”

Libby watched as he removed his t-shirt and bib overalls. He wasn’t wearing any underwear. He was going to get the pleasure of popping her cherry. She didn’t much care how long it took him to do it either. She tried hard to remember what she saw her mother do to her father through the knot hole. She lifted her legs and draped them over the arms of the rocking chair where she sat.

“You interested in a little fun and games?”

“You better be sure you want me that way, 'cause, Libby darling, once I have you I ain’t ever leaving you alone again. I’ll be moving in here with you.”

“Is that a promise?”

“It sure as hell is!”

“Come on now,” Libby crooked her finger at him.. “I want you right here beside me.”

She took hold of his cock and kissed the head of it. Next she swirled her tongue around the head of it the way she had seen her mother do it to her father.

“Holy crap,” cried Joey.

“Don’t you like it?” she asked.

“I sure do, Libby girl.”

He ran the tip of his finger over one nipple and she almost fainted. A jolt ran directly from her nipple to her pussy and caused her insides to contract. It caused her to suck a little harder on him. Joey took both of her tits in his hands and massaged them. Now her twat was starting to pucker. No wonder her parents had done this nearly every day.

Libby let go of Joey's Popsicle and said, “Let’s go inside.”

He followed her like little puppy into her bedroom. She laid down and spread her legs wide. Joey nestled between her thighs and kissed her. His tongue invaded her mouth and explored it. She shivered in response.

“It’s your last chance to say no,” he whispered.

“I don’t want to say no. I want you inside me. I need you, Joey.”

He rubbed his pecker through her swollen folds to her clit and her hips involuntarily thrust upward. When he pushed into her she experienced a momentary twinge but then as he moved it was sweet.

“God but your pussy is tight,” he groaned.

“It’s never been used before,” she panted.

He sucked a nipple into his mouth. Heat swirled throughout her body. She wondered if anyone had ever gone mad from pure pleasure. Her face began to heat up, her body tightened. Joey was giving her the fucking she had always dreamed of. Suddenly she screamed, “Oh God.”

She began to move her hips back and forth in rhythm with Joey’s plunging cock. Her body stiffened and Joey increased the tempo of his thrusts then a guttural cry escaped her lips as well as his. They collapsed together on the bed.

“I think love you, Joey.”

He kissed her soundly.

“I know I love you, Libby girl, and as soon as I can catch my breath I’m gonna love you all over again. What do you say to that?”

“I say yes, yes, and yes.”

About the author: I have published two historical novels and am in the process of writing one more. I live in Utah with my husband of 47 years. We love to travel and explore new places.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Lynne Logan, Addiction

Over the years, Red Sage fans have developed strong preferences for certain story types. A woman in danger. A strong man who could be friend or foe. A silken mask, an erotic game, a secret club. Any of these things can lend an extra shiver of excitement to the exploration of romantic trust in a super-sexual world.

Sometimes, we come across a story that manages to blend all these deliciously naughty elements into one dazzling story. Imagine a woman risking everything to rescue her sister from a sex club, and the man who is secretly investigating the place. Lynne Logan’s explosive tale of menage and suspense reminds us why readers love these details so much. They’re not just entertaining. They’re addictive.

On sale until June 20 for just $1.50!

“Are you alright?”

“I…”  She shivered.

“Here.”  He took the glass from her hand and set it down by a small table by an empty sofa. “You better sit down. Watching all this isn’t doing you any good. I noticed on my way in here, there’s a private room that’s currently unoccupied. No one will bother you there, including myself.”
He placed a palm on the small of her back, his body inching closer to her own as he looked down at her. Thick, black, shaggy hair framed a face filled with harsh angles. The man’s near black eyes searched her face as his thick brows drew into a frown. The mask didn’t hide the concern etched across his features.

His heat enfolded her. Holly wanted to sink into his flesh, ignite a hunger in him to match the one raging inside her. Horror and embarrassment scalded her thoughts, but did nothing to ease this insane need.

He urged her past the couple and through a hallway to a room. “You took an aphrodisiac. The most potent one the club has to offer.

“I thought it was just iced tea.”

His lips curled up at one corner. “Iced tea with a distinctive kick.”

“I had no idea,” she said, sounding far more inane than she intended.

No wonder her body acted completely beyond her control, but the knowledge did nothing to soothe the burning urge to pleasure herself or have a stranger do it for her.

They slipped into a room. The muted groans from the couple in the hallway floated after them. A large, circular bed glowed blue-white beneath a black light along the ceiling. Chains glittered silver and hung from a wall that looked as if it were draped in soft fur…

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

B.J. McCall, Fire Angel

For fifteen years, Red Sage has focused on publishing stories with a high level of eroticism. Sizzling, scorching, red-hot. These stories don’t cheat the reader by letting the characters close the bedroom door and have their sex scenes off the page. These stories burn that bedroom door down!

B.J. McCall, who first appeared in Secrets Volume 3, turned up the heat factor in her most recent story, Fire Angel. This e-book features a smoking hot firefighter and the angel who saves him from a hellish death. When these two find a way to come together, they generate enough heat between them to float on its currents.

On sale until June 20 for just $1.50!

Exclusive Excerpt:
Ella slipped through the veil and hovered over her sexy hero. He slept on his stomach, his fist tucked adorably beneath his chin. A sheet covered his lower body, riding low on his lean hips. He’d left the bedside lamp on tonight. That was unusual.

Last night, she’d felt him respond. Then she’d felt his panic and decided to retreat.

Maybe tonight she’d reach him. Ella slid her hand beneath the cotton sheet. A thrill shot through her as she palmed Colin’s ass, squeezing one taut cheek. He felt so good, she did it again.

He shifted in his sleep.

Ella lifted the sheet, her gaze sweeping over the smooth curve of his ass. She moistened her lips. Colin had really great buns. Starting at his neck, Ella ran her fingers down his spine to the valley between his taut cheeks.

His butt cheeks flinched.

Grinning, Ella followed the same trail with the tip of her tongue.

A shudder slid down his spine.

She kissed him lightly on each firm cheek.

He moaned.

When she nipped his flesh, Colin rolled onto his side.

Ella stretched out on the bed, facing him and pressed her breasts to his chest, her belly to his six-pack, absorbing his warmth. She brushed her lips against his beautiful mouth.

“Can you feel my kiss?” she whispered. “Hear my voice?”

He smiled, but didn’t answer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Calista Fox, High Voltage

Passion is electrifying. We feel it in our skin, in our bellies, in that flutter of excitement when we hear our beloved’s voice murmur tender words of love. The electrical charge builds until until it breaks over our bodies at that crucial moment. No wonder we call it a climax.

Calista Fox writes electrifying stories, and not just in the sex scenes. High Voltage begins with an electrical storm on a secluded country road. The heroine, alone and terrified, manages to dodge these bolts of lightning, but then when she finds the hero, naked in the back of her truck -- direct hit! And does this werewolf story crackle with energy!

On sale until June 20 for just $1.50!

About This Book:
Lightning crackles all around Serena Lamond in the worst electrical storm she’s ever seen. If only she’d stayed in town instead of braving the dark country roads back to her isolated home. But no, with her usual stubborn independence, she’d had to set off in her pickup despite the elements. And now it seems almost as if the lightning is aiming for her, taunting her, forcing her to careen ever more treacherously down the dark road.

Suddenly, a flash of green pierces the darkness just moments before Serena hits the animal that jumps in front of her truck. Is that her neighbor’s dog? She can hardly see it in the fierce rain, but she can feel its thick fur as she hefts its injured body into the back of her pickup truck. A shudder ripples through the dog’s body, but at least it’s still alive.

But when she finally makes it home safe, there’s no dog in her pickup.

There’s a man.

A naked man.

And the air between them crackles as if the lightning had never stopped….

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Ellie Marvel, Megan’s Choice

Before there were e-books, there was Red Sage Publishing. Before there were e-readers, or, or blogs, or stories labeled “erotic romance,” there was Red Sage Publishing. At a time when the romance industry was becoming squeamish about sex, Red Sage Publishing celebrated sex as an essential component of a healthy romantic relationship.

Now, as publishing grapples with the changes wrought by the digital age, Red Sage forges ahead with an innovative e-book format. Using the same technology that allows clickable links on web pages, Megan’s Choice is an interactive e-book that allows the reader to decide how the story should proceed. It’s one e-book with nine possible stories. The future is now!

On sale until June 20 for just $1.50!

“What you don’t know is…” Gerald cleared his throat again, and Megan stopped herself from jumping into the breach. He was about to tell her something that made him uncomfortable, if the throat clearing meant what it usually did. “The Quad sent a bulletin to select businesses. Citizens who interact with them on an official basis, such as pilots, have been asked to accommodate reparations if they arise.”

Megan slapped the arms of her chair. “Slaggit, boss, are you prostituting me?” Reparations with a crown Teegan could involve things she hadn’t even tried in sensaround adult sessions. “What the hell did you see? I’m a pilot, not a sex partner.”

Piloting paid a lot better, and Terrans made terrible prosties—their species wasn’t versatile enough.

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Gerald regarded her sternly, discomfort forgotten. “I was going to suggest you not put yourself in a position of offering reparations. No kongii, no chess, no gambling, no betting. And no drinking. Be the recluse I know you can be and don’t let a crown trap you with his customs, okay?”

“Aye, aye, that I can do.” Megan saluted Gerald in a mockery of the Truce and exited the office, her thoughts already blurring into a rosy haze of imagined Ysaltrian pleasures.

At least, until she smelled the delicious scent of popcorn wafting from the company cafeteria, reminding her of two things. She hadn’t eaten since this morning, and Gerald had ordered her to go to the infirmary for a physical before embarking tomorrow evening.

What should Megan do?

(a) Drag herself to the company infirmary so the pokings and proddings could commence. Considering her plans for Ysaltris, it wouldn’t hurt to update her birth control, and the sooner it was over, the sooner she could pick a restaurant for lunch. She’d heard about a new place downtown where the servers hand-fed you sushi and massaged whichever part of your body required their attention. If she had to endure a physical, why not treat herself to the trendiest and most expensive meal she could find? Click here (6).

(b) She wasn’t sick and her birth control wasn’t expired—yet. Skip the check-up and catch a robotaxi to her favorite bar in Corman’s Alley, which had the best fresh food this side of the Beltway. The sushi restaurant sounded decadent, but the Naked Nigulean, despite being in the low-rent district, was a known quantity. They even had imported Terran chocolate, a rarity on any planet. If she wanted a rub-down, she could head for a sensaround after her meal or hire a prostie. There was no shortage of those in Corman’s Alley, and due to the diverse species on Polestar, most had capabilities beyond sexual intercourse. Niguleans, for example, had multiple limbs and gave the galaxy’s most amazing massages. Click here (7).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Red Sage Publishing

Kidnap This Logo!

And You Could Win!

To celebrate its Fifteenth Anniversary, Red Sage is throwing a party! Every party needs presents, and here’s a gift that might help you win the July Secrets anthology and Calista Fox’s new novel, Object of Desire!

Here’s how to play the party game.

Anyone can play! All you have to do is “kidnap” this logo and post it on your blog or website. Copy and paste the jpg image of the anniversary gift to your own blog or website to kidnap it. Be sure to include these instructions so people know how to play!

Invite your readers and friends to send an email with the subject line “Ransom Note” to Inside this email, they must include a link back to your kidnapped logo.

Then you and your friend will both be entered into a drawing to win free trade paperbacks! Every time one of your readers sends a ransom note with a link, you will be entered again! Each Ransom Note is worth two entries in the drawing -- one for the person who sends the Ransom Note, and one for the linked blog or website. And you both can win!

Want more chances to win? Invite your readers and friends to kidnap this logo, and then you can enter again by sending a Ransom Note linking to your friend’s blog or website!

The more times you enter, the more chances you have to win!

Group blog or website? No problem! Just be sure to sign your post so we know who the winner should be!

Good luck, and have fun!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Best I've Ever Had by Wendi Zwaduk

Emma shifted on her white wicker lounger in the afternoon sun on the balcony. Shielding her eyes with her hand, she glanced around at the neighboring terraces. For a humid July afternoon, no one seemed to be home and that suited her just fine.

Untying her bikini top, she slid the soft material off her shoulders and dumped it next to her. Emma blew the annoying ebony locks from her forehead. Her nipples pebbled as the light breeze passed over them. Heat seeped between her thighs. She sighed and closed her eyes. “Now if Sam showed up… heaven.”

A shadow darkened over her closed eyes. Was that the scent of aftershave? Or was it cologne? She wasn’t sure, but damn, it smelled familiar… and sexy. She frowned. Her brother was the only person permitted in her apartment. It couldn’t be anyone else. “Blaine, get out.”

“Are you sure you really want that?”

Her heart thumped in her chest and her mouth went dry. One arm concealed her breasts. Her left hand shielded her eyes. “How’d you find me, Sam?”

Sam stood next to the lounger. His thumbs hooked into the loops on his faded blue jeans. The plain white gold wedding band adorned his left hand. “Blaine sent me.”

She turned to take in the sight of Sam Rhodes. Broad shoulders wrapped in sinewy muscle, a mocha-colored goatee dusted his angular jaw, trim waist encased in snug denim. She longed to gaze into his eyes, the color of the sea during a storm, but he’d donned polished aviator sunglasses.

Sam dropped to one knee. His jaw twitched and his expression remained blank. “Blaine loves you and he knows I do too, Em.”

As much as she wanted… no needed… this man, Emma tried to hold her emotions in check. He’d left before and could easily do it again when his job as a private investigator beckoned, always leaving her alone. No wonder her brother hated Sam. “Blaine wouldn’t do that to me.”

Sure, Sam could make her happy, if he stuck around. The man gave her a radioactive glow each time they made love. He knew the right places to touch and lick to make her scream. Still, she wasn’t sure why he returned. Sam leaned toward her and removed his sunglasses. “I want to make you happy, Em. I want to make you burn.”

Emma gazed into his darkened baby-blues. What she found made her racing heart beat even faster. Repentance. Desire. Need. She licked her lips. The man personified sex on a stick. “How do you suppose you’ll improve my mood, Sam?” Without breaking my heart all over again?

Sam smoothed his calloused hand along her bare shin up to her thigh. She trembled. The muscles tightened and her skin sizzled.

“I want to lick every inch of you and hear you scream my name, Em.” He bent to kiss her inner thigh.

Emma gasped. Her legs fell open. She never could resist his caress. Sam groaned. His voice dropped two octaves to a rough bass that made her womb quiver. “My girl still wants me.”

Emma nodded. Her heart thrummed in her ears and her breath caught in her throat. She wanted him for the rest of her life. She dropped her hand from her breasts and guided him to her soaked bikini bottoms. She should’ve felt exposed. Instead, she felt complete. “Right here, right now, Sam.”

Sam eased the t-shirt up his body, giving Emma teasing glances of the chiseled muscles over his chest. Her eyes followed the thin trail of crisp mahogany hair that disappeared below his belt to where the true pleasure lay trapped. Emma moved her knees, her hands sliding down his body until she hooked her fingers into his waistband and tugged him forward for a searing kiss. “Make love to me, Sam.”

He cupped her chin and nibbled her ear. “Are the neighbors home?”

Emma shimmied out of the constrictive clothing. “Never bothered you before.”

Sam palmed her breast and tweaked the nipple until she cried out. His other hand toyed with her clit. “You’re so wet.” His gaze seared her. “For me.”

She slid her hand next to his, coating them both in her juices. Emma brought her fingers to his lips and Sam lapped them clean. “Only you, Sam. I won’t take another,” she murmured.

He groaned. His eyes rolled back in his head. “Come here before I make a fool of myself and come in my pants instead of in you.”

Sam kicked off his boots and socks. He unbuckled the thick leather belt and dropped his jeans in an instant. His penis pointed to her like a beacon. Emma licked her lips. “Commando?”

He nodded and knelt over her. “Always, my love.” His cock rubbed between her thighs, sending a tremor through her body.

“I want you,” she whispered. “Sam, I need you.”

Sam tugged her from the chair and onto his lap. He nudged the head of his erection into her body. Emma cried out once more. “Oh, my God!"

“Yes.” He pushed and filled her to the hilt. His cock pulsed, teasing her inner walls. “You’re the best I ever had.”

His fingers bit into her hips, but she hardly noticed. Sam filled her body and her senses. She keened and bucked into him. “Oh, God.”

Sam grunted and his thrusts increased in tempo. A bead of sweat trickled from his forehead and landed on her breast.. Emma moaned. She clutched him, scratching his shoulders and leaving marks. He pistoned into her body, making them one on a primal level. Tingles shot from her toes to her scalp and back again as the orgasm built. She threw her head back and screamed. “Sam!”

He bore down on her. His seed spurted into her womb. Sam nipped her shoulder. His breath tickled her sensitive skin.

Emma kissed him, savoring the unique taste of sweat and Sam on her lips. “I missed my husband,” she puffed.

Sam smiled and nestled next to her. “I missed my wife. Come home and make me whole.”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

About the author: Thanks for enjoying this work by Wendi Zwaduk. By day she’s a SAHM of one son, two dogs, and two cats, but at night she lets her inner muse run wild and writes tales of love won, lost, and won again. If she’s not at her computer, she can be found at her local dirt tracks cheering for the Late Model cars or haunting the local library in search of new authors. Her first novel comes out in early 2010 from the Wild Rose Press. Check out her blog at

Author Interview: Liza James

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Liza James, whose latest book Hot for Teacher is just out from Red Sage Publishing.

Liza's books are not just about hot sex (although there's plenty of that). Her characters have a deep emotional connection. She sees emotion as the primary difference between erotic romance, erotica, and pornography.

"In erotic romance the characters have to have an emotional connection," she explained. "I don't believe the same is true of erotica (not that they don't sometimes have one) or pornography. For me, the sex is even hotter if there's an emotional connection."

Liza's favorite erotic author is Lara Adrian. "I think she's amazing," Liza told me. "Her writing is powerful, sexy as hell, and her characters always have that emotional connection I crave."

Other authors she thinks write excellent erotic fiction include J.R. Ward, Angela Knight, and KyAnn Waters.

I wondered about Liza's research for her books.

She laughed and said, "I make my husband the happiest camper in northeast Wisconsin." She's not willing to share her husband, though, with other writers, so she suggests The Bald-Headed Hermit and the Artichoke: An Erotic Thesaurus by A.D. Peterkin as a research book. "Just because it makes me smile every time I pull it off my shelf," she said with a laugh.

Liza has always enjoyed hot love scenes in her romances. "I could never wait for the next Linda Howard to come out, or Julie Garwood," she said. "When I started writing, there was no doubt my love scenes would be fully described." She laughed. "Though I wasn't sure at first if I could write erotic, it came much easier than I thought it would."

She did confess that writing the first ménage scene was "a little tricky." She laughed when she admitted, "I was relieved when the reviews came in and no one said, 'Ms. James really needs to do major research before writing another ménage scene."

Liza writes straight romance as Donna Marie Rogers, but even those titles have fully described love scenes. "Not as graphic, of course," she said with a grin.

The only book she's written without sex is Welcome to Redemption, a small town anthology she wrote with her critique partner/good friend Stacey Joy Netzel, which received 4.5 stars from Romantic Times.

"I'm just as proud of that book as I am the rest," she told me.

When Liza shared with me that her mother and grandfather love her erotic romances, she laughed and said with a grin, "And no, it doesn't bother me at all. I love that they look forward to each new release. My grandpa is a horny old dog. Even at his age (85), he's still trying to get lucky."

I asked Liza, "If you could be anyone you wanted, who would it be?"

"Well, I wouldn't mind being a #1 NYTimes bestselling author like Sherrilyn Kenyon," she said with a laugh. "And I imagine a day in the life of Nora Roberts doesn't suck."

On a more personal note, I wondered where Liza would get a piercing, if she had to get a body part pierced.

"I don't know," she responded. "I'm not really a fan of body piercings. But if I had to choose...I think I'd like a nose piercing best. A little diamond stud through the outside of the nostril."

And, speaking of body parts, she's convinced that when it comes to eating food of another's tummy, whipped cream is the way to go. "You just can't go wrong with it," she said with a wink. "It's light, it's yummy, and it tastes good no matter where you squirt it."

"What is your favorite food?" I wondered.

"I'm pretty fond of the chocolate frosted brownies I'm eating right now," she said with a laugh. "I love food, period, so this is hard. Some of my favorite dishes are beef stroganoff, swedish meatballs, chicken cacciatore, steak on the grill with all those lovely grilled vegetables (we bought a new grill last week.)"

She can also tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi.... Pepsi is sweeter and that's what she prefers.

When Liza's not writing (or doing research with her husband), she can usually be found "staring at the tube. I'm an admitted reality TV junkie," she said. "I also watch soap operas, several primetime shows, sitcoms, Food Network, Forensic Files." She also loves to garden and she's a home canner.

Her most embarrassing moment, however, doesn't have to do with gardening, home canning, or (ahem) research.

"We were vacationing in Tennessee many years ago," she shared with me, "staying at this resort in Silver Point. The laundry facilities were in this round building with all glass windows and doors all the way around. You could barely tell the difference between the windows and the doors.... well, I couldn't anyway. So needless to say, I walked smack into the window and busted my lip."

Finally, I asked Liza what advice she would give to authors wanting to write erotica.

"Read, read, read! It's so important to keep those creative juices flowing, if you know what I mean, " she said with a wink.

You can keep up with Liza on her website,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Ashlyn Chase

Signs of Spring

Every year, winter gets to me. Freezing temperatures, one storm after another, ice and accidents all over the roads…by March, I’ve just about had it. I want to chuck it all and swim to the Bahamas.

Recently, I confessed my feelings to a few friends and found out, guess what? I wasn’t alone. In fact, in the grand scheme of things I was probably doing better than most. I have a warm home and the heating bill is paid. Granted, we locked in at a higher price last summer, but, oh well. Life’s a gamble. My husband and I celebrated another wonderful Valentine’s Day and counted our blessings. I received an offer for a series from a mass market publisher and my career continues to grow. And do you know what else is growing? Daylight!

I wish I could say I was the first one to notice it, but I wasn’t. An author friend shared her first sign of spring. Her subway ride from NYC to her home on Long Island was marked by a lovely purple and orange sunset when the car crawled above ground. Soon she’ll be arriving home before the sun goes down, and eventually more light and warmth will signal the flowers to bloom and allow us to take long walks after dinner.

I don’t think anywhere is perfect all of the time. The Midwest has killer tornadoes, the South, oppressive humidity and hurricanes. California, earthquakes and wildfires. So far it seems that a little cold and snow is all New England has to cope with—but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream.

I’ve often picked story settings for my own daydreaming enjoyment. Heaving Bosoms started in Boston but the adventure took my characters to the Cayman Islands. Love Cuffs began in New Jersey and traveled to Las Vegas. My next release, Djinn and Tonic moves the characters from New York City to a Bahamian Island. Do you see a pattern here?

Most of what I read in winter is erotic romance. If the climate doesn’t warm me, the heat between the characters certainly will. So as I wait for summer, I plan to curl up in a comfy spot with my warm laptop and let romance take me away—to paradise.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Ashlyn Chase

What I’ve learned as a reader vs. a writer.

I’ve learned many things recently simply by reading tons of books in my favorite genre. How? I don’t recommend the way I did it—spinal surgery followed by bed rest and a neck brace for several weeks, but everything has its bright side if you look for it. Sometimes to take a step back (or several) and witness your life can open your eyes.

First of all, as a writer I rarely get the chance to just read. I mean, to read as much as I want, anything I want, every single day for as long as I want. Over that recovery time I read print books, ebooks on my PDA or laptop, and audio books. I purchased some and borrowed some from the library. Every format has its uses and for readers to have a choice is valuable and everyone wins.

It really is all about the story. Yes, good writing is essential but I want more beyond that. I want to be surprised. I want this book to be different from the last one. I read some New York Times bestsellers that put me to sleep. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I also read an author’s debut ebook that had me so fascinated I couldn’t put it down.

Editing counts. Errors can be a jarring disappointment. I saw a review recently in which the reviewer had only glowing this to say about the author’s book, but knocked down the rating because of poor editing. I’ve done the same as a contest judge.

I learned which subgenres I like. I thought I knew this before, but I was able to fine-tune my taste and learn how much this subjective factor has to do with the enjoyment of reading. Seriously. I’ve heard that reviews are so subjective they might as well be taken with a grain of salt, but I never believed it. Now I do.

I knew I wanted to write because of what books meant to me, personally. How they saved my sanity in periods of challenge or chaos. I think my period of confinement confirmed the awesome responsibility we have as writers. I hope I’ve given my very best effort every single time. So far, I haven’t put anything out there that I’m not proud of. I may not please everyone, but I can’t control that. What I can be sure of is that as long as I please myself, I’ll keep writing and loving it.

Check out my latest paperback, Vampire Vintage. It’s also available as an ebook, so you can have it either way you like read. Heck, you can even ask your library to order it for you. I wish you would! The ISBN# is 9781419958588


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Ashlyn Chase

How Readers Impact my Writing.

Part of what I, as an author, love most is interaction with my readers. When someone takes the time to write to me, it’s extremely special. Of course I love compliments but occasionally an email will turn into a whole conversation—including a suggestion. Today’s discerning reader demands authenticity. If something strikes readers as “off” they’ll tell the author about it. I once had a New Orleans resident tell me I got ripped off on trolley fare! My hero in Oh My God (my Eppie nominated novella) overpaid by fifty cents to get from Canal Street in the French Quarter to the Garden District!

Occasionally we get the chance to rewrite and republish old book so I keep track of these suggestions, “just in case.” In that case, I DID have a chance to rewrite and republish my book and the new version (with the corrected trolley fare) was released in a British Anthology titled Nectar of the Gods. My short story in that anthology is about Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, women and party. During Mardi Gras, he falls off a balcony and lands on his head, causing a bad case of amnesia! Imagine an ancient god with amnesia wandering around modern day New Orleans not knowing who he is or how he got there! Our story opens with our hero—the god of wine—being taken to an AA meeting! Okay. I know what you’re thinking. Well, I write comedy, so I love irony and I’m allowed to pull funny stunts like that.

There are other contributions readers have made. At times I’ll put out a call on the yahoo loops for suggestions when I need a hero’s name or description, an embarrassing moment, or something fun. Some of these readers have sparked ideas and become part of a book—with their permission, of course.

In Demolishing Mr. Perfect one of those situations came from reader, Susan W. when she shared a cute ‘imperfect’ gift her husband gave her. I asked her permission to use it, and my hero, Shane (named by Billie Jo C.) made the same mistake with his love, Natalie.

But that’s not the end of reader contributions in Demolishing Mr. Perfect! Emma from London had been regaling me with true stories of her elderly neighbor, “Miss Wow” for a couple of years. Many of us feel like we know this gutsy broad who cheats at cards and runs around with a younger man she calls “Mr. Lucky.” This horrifies her daughter. With the permission of both Emma and Miss Wow herself, a bit of her true story wound up in my Demolishing Mr. Perfect novella too! Oh, no. I can’t tell you. It’s too priceless. You’ll have to read the book to know what she did!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Ashlyn Chase

If you base your love story on real people, do you tell them?

Death by Delilah is based (loosely!) on my brother’s real life romance with his wife. I dedicated the book to her for making my brother a happy man. He’s gone now and we all miss him terribly, but thanks to her, he had twenty very happy years.

But she doesn’t like erotic romance, or comedy, and as a writer of erotic comedy, well, what can I say? My books aren’t for everybody. But I find ways of honoring people in my life, even if I know they’ll never read a word I write.

The similarities between their real story and my fiction is this. The conflict was real. He was a Naval Officer when they met. She was enlisted. The Navy regulations prevented them from openly dating and as far as marriage—forget it! They lived together off base and had to come up with a solution to their dilemma before they got caught…and they did!

My solution is funnier, more creative and different from the one they chose—unless they didn’t tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—so help them! It’s well known that for a story to be interesting, even though you may love your characters, you have to torture them a bit. I sincerely hope they didn’t experience the torture I inflicted on Josh and Delilah!

Oh, and since this is about my brother, did I make an appearance in the story? Yes, I wrote myself into the book. I’m Gabby, the hero’s younger sister. And you’ll be able to read her sequel soon! "Giggles by Gabby" was just contracted by Ellora’s Cave for inclusion in their Lara Punches Memorial Anthology. Watch my website for upcoming details, or even better, sign up for my emailing list. I rarely send out a group email, but when I have something big to celebrate, I do and I usually hold a contest just for those who are on my list. To sign up, go to the bottom of my home page.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Ashlyn Chase

Erotica vs. erotic romance:

I really think the difference between erotica vs. erotic romance needs to be explained. In my opinion, romance in the name defines the story as a love it between male and female; male and male; female, male and male; werewolf, vampire and alien or what have you. Erotica, on the other hand, is a sex story in which sex is the goal and motivation and there need be no conflict unless they disagree on positions.

Confusion is what keeps us from being recognized as a romance genre. This is what conservative judges see when they read graphic language even though some national bestsellers use it. And you should know that "pure" erotica (pardon the oxymoron) venues, like the stores with blacked-out windows, want nothing to do with erotic romance and would probably appreciate our making the difference known too.

I once ventured into one of these stores with my paperback, promo matchbooks, and a press release for the manager. I was practically thrown out. “Our readers don’t want those books,” he said. “They want raunchy porn. Your books aren’t.” So, there you go, right from the erotica experts. Our genre isn’t pornography no matter what some people will tell you.

And just to be sure, I read one of these badly written books. A man on a motorcycle comes up beside a beautiful blonde in a convertible at a stoplight. She looks him over and cocks her head, inviting him to follow her. Of course, he follows her to her penthouse and they do it all over the leather sofa half a dozen times. This is described in what would be graphic detail except the writer needed an anatomy lesson.

The only secondary character was the maid who walked in and walked out, disgusted. The woman mentioned her husband would be home at 5 o’clock so they carry on until about a quarter to five at which time the biker left. End of story. Would you call that guy a “hero?” I wouldn’t. Is the woman a “heroine?” Hardly. Would I rather read a story with a plot? A conflict to overcome? Some three dimensional characters? Growth? Absolutely! Give me a good erotic romance any day.

Now, since we’re talking about good erotic romances, I should absolutely recommend my co-written one, Love Cuffs. It’s a BDSM comedy. Yes, you read that right. A BDSM comedy! I co-wrote it with Dalton Diaz. I had no problem writing the heroine’s voice or saucy attitude—but when it came to writing the Dom hero, well, I was in trouble! Dalton to the rescue! Check it out or read the review, right here at Whipped Cream Reviews!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Doggy Style by Kealie Shay

“How long does it take to spray someone’s house for bugs?” Vivianne muttered to herself after checking her watch for what seemed the hundredth time. It had been a long day of wrestling with dogs that didn’t want to be groomed. She was tired and she was ready to go home but she’d promised Gabe she’d wait for him to come get Punky, his Rottweiler. He’d sounded so desperate when he’d called to tell her he was running late at a client’s home. Apparently, there’d been some sort of pest control emergency. “You’re way too nice, Vivi. Then again, he is the guy you’ve had the hots for for months… of course you said yes.” She tried to refocus on her computer screen when the sound of the night buzzer around back pulled her from her exhausted mutterings.

She stood and stretched the kinks out of sore muscles as she went to answer the summons. She checked the peephole to make sure it was the man she’d stayed late for. Seeing that it was, she flipped the lock open and swung the door inward letting in a gust of the warm desert breeze.

“There you are.” Gabe Winters’ voice was too cheerful after the insane day she’d had. “I wasn’t sure if you’d really wait for me to get here.”

“I told you I would,” Vivi mumbled past a jaw-cracking yawn. “Come on in.” She shut the door and locked it behind them, then led Gabe into the puppy kennels' enclosure. She felt his warmth at her back and couldn’t suppress a shiver of awareness. They reached the kennel that held his adorable puppy and Vivi bent at the waist to release the latch, only to stop short of her goal when her bottom brushed up against Gabe’s groin. The evidence of his arousal pressed against her ass-cheeks and Vivi froze for a moment, sure she had to be mistaken, but it only took a moment to be certain she wasn’t.

With a gasp she stood up straight and stepped forward hoping to avoid embarrassing herself. The sudden feel of Gabe’s hands at her hips pushed a whimper from her throat as he stepped forward and crowded her against the enclosure in front of her. The cool steel at her front and the warm, hard man at her back surprised a moan from deep in her throat. She turned her head until her cheek rested against the metal and gripped the gate as hard as she could. This had to be a dream; there was no way Gabe was making a move on her. She was going to wake any moment with her cheek in a puddle of drool on her desk. Any moment now.

“Was that an invitation, Vivi?” Gabe’s rough voice against her ear sent goosebumps racing down her neck and along her arms. Holy… she wasn’t waking up. This wasn’t a dream.

She shuddered and licked suddenly dry lips, then had to swallow before she could force words past the lump in her throat. “It is if you want it to be.” She arched her back to push her ass against hard length of his arousal.

“Oh, I want it to be,” he said, grinding his cock against her. A growl rumbled in his chest, vibrating through her back as his hands started moving.

His calloused fingers scraped along the outside of her thighs to flirt with the hem of her comfortable denim skirt. A flood of moisture drenched her panties with her own arousal as he slid his hands along the hem to the front of her skirt and jerked it up to her waist. His teeth scraped her shoulder as he nibbled his way up her neck to her sensitive earlobe. His breath rushed into her ear as he sucked the lobe into his hot mouth. His right hand dipped into her panties and stroked through the cream waiting for him there while his left hand slid up over her belly and across her chest to push beneath her v-neck t-shirt. He pulled the cotton down beneath her breast then proceeded to torment her pebbled nipple.

“Do you know how long I’ve wanted you?” he asked as his finger pushed up into her pussy.

He wanted her to think when he had his finger—oh, Lord, two fingers—inside her? To talk as he rolled her nipple between his calloused fingertips? She shook her head, unable to force any words out of her mouth.

“A long time,” he murmured. “The moment I met you, I knew you were it for me. You were adorable, all wet and covered in suds.” His breath puffed against her ear.

He pulled his hand from her panties and tugged her away from the kennel with a gentle reminder to let go of the fencing as he spun her away. Dizzy from the move and his sensual assault Vivi was surprised when her stomach pressed against a hard surface and Gabe pushed her forward with his chest at her back. He pushed her skirt up over her hips and pulled her panties down to her knees. He groaned and dropped to his knees behind her.

Vivi jumped when his lips brushed her bare ass and again when he lightly nipped the plump flesh. He nibbled, kissed and licked his way across the two cheeks and down to the lips of her sex below. She heard the crinkle of foil and assumed he’d sheathed his cock with a condom. With one more kiss to her right ass cheek he stood and leaned over her, pressing his hard latex-covered length against her ass as he whispered in her ear. “If you’re going to change your mind, now would be the time to tell me,” he said.

She shook her head. “I’m not going to change my mind. I’ve wanted you for a long time too.” She cried out as he surged into her from behind. She blindly reached up and gripped the edge of what she now realized was a pet grooming table as he set up a fast, pounding rhythm, slamming in and out of her body. Each thrust in forced another cry from her lips and each slide out forced her to gasp for another breath.

“God, Vivi,” he groaned behind her. “I am so fucking close."

She could only whimper beneath him as he slipped his hand from her hip to wedge between her body and the table. He pressed against her clit and rotated his wrist, sending her over the edge. Vivi cried out as Gabe stiffened behind her and pressed harder against her clit shooting her back up into another orgasm. She felt him pulsing into the condom and grunted as he groaned and draped bonelessly over the top of her.

“So,” he gasped into her ear. “I know I’m doing this backwards but will you go out to dinner with me tonight?”

Vivi laughed, causing Gabe to groan as she tightened around his softening length. “I’d like that… but how about breakfast instead?”

About the author: Kealie Shay is the alter-ego of a shy, quiet, SAHM by day. Taking kids to and from activities, grocery shopping and being the family manager are the activities that comprise her daily life. No one looking at her would suspect anything out of the ordinary.

But by night Kealie transforms into a wild woman writing of wicked men and women. She is a sex-crazed nymphomaniac who routinely holds bondage parties in her garage, owns a Great Dane named Brock, and plays regularly with Juan, her Cabana Boy--twin to Carlos, the cabana boy of Jenny Kat Shepherd. And 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

Author Interview: Keta Diablo

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Keta Diablo, author of Decadent Deceptions, which was a 2008 MOLLY finalist, and Land of the Falling Stars, a best-seller at Ravenous Romance. I wondered about her name. "So many people have asked me about my name," she said. "My mom has a strange sense of humor. She loved the name Kate and so when I was born at the last minute she decided to scramble the letters. Actually, it’s my legal middle name, but I use it for my pen name."

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

"Erotic romance is themed around the romance, not the sex as it might be in erotica or porn," she replied, then added with a laugh, "I shouldn't offer my opinion on porn since I don't think I've ever written it."

Keta has her own style of erotica, and she feels this is true of most authors. She shared with me a very complimentary email from another erotic writer.

I've visited your web site and read some of your work, and to tell the truth I am very impressed by your style. I can see why Ravenous Romance has chosen your work. You truly have a polished, professional style; in my opinion more classic romance than erotica. I'll end up being a better writer by attempting to emulate your approach.
"What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotica?" I asked her.

"That it’s porn, and that erotica writers don’t concentrate on the relationship between the hero and heroine," she replied. "Many who haven’t read erotica believe it’s just page after page of sex. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not true. Relationship growth and development is as equally important in erotica as it is in vanilla romance."

The relationship of the main characters is of utmost importance to Keta, no matter what the gender of the participants. In addition to writing F/M stories, she also writes M/M for Phaze, Noble, and the Dark Roast Press. "As long as I stay focused on the relationship between the main characters," she told me, "the boundaries of sex don’t work into the equation."

I wondered what advice she would give to an author wanting to transition to writing erotica.

"Read everything you can about the craft of writing erotica," she said. "I rely on a book, Writing Erotic Romance. You shouldn’t try to copy or emulate another erotic writer, but read their stories, disseminate what makes the story work, how did they develop their characters, and why did the book intrigue you? Break it down chapter by chapter if you must and read it again until it clicks."

Keta writes mostly in the historical subgenre and has a huge library of reference books. The trick with writing historicals, she told me, is to "intersperse the history in with the story and not saturate the reader with boring historical facts. Although, I’ve seen many comments from readers indicating they love to learn something about history in every historical erotica book they read."

Anything she needs to know for her story that she can't find in her reference books, she can generally find on the Internet. She did give aspiring historical authors this caveat, though. "You have to be very careful with the accuracy posted on the net," she warned.

Keta also writes sensual historical novels under her legal name and her family is very supportive. In fact, she began writing sensual historical novels. "When I realized erotica was outselling other books about ten to one, I knew I had to spice up my writing or stay locked in time," she explained. "A writer should write what he/she is most comfortable with, yet stay informed about the market. Don’t write out of your comfort zone because it will show in your writing, but stretch and push yourself."

Her children know she also writes erotica, but not even they know her pseudonym.

"They always ask me how I know about such things," she said. "I tell them Helen Keller was blind and deaf and yet she knew about all kinds of things in her head and look what she accomplished. Nice dodge, huh?"

I asked Keta who she would choose to be if she could be anyone.

"Two people," she replied. "One a fictional character and one real. Scarlett O'Hara, because she could bring the strongest of men to their knees with one raised eyebrow. I’ve so envious of her beauty, her myriad facial expressions that are so intriguing, her strength and her vulnerability.

"And, Harper Lee. I’m nuts about To Kill a Mockingbird, her characters, her plot. She writes beautifully and draws the reader in so that you feel you are Scout and Jem, scrabbling under fences, running through the woods. When I read it for the first time, I could feel the hot, sultry air and taste the prejudice in that small town. For me, that’s what makes an author outstanding."

She loves pizza, anything Italian, and any kind of tea found on the market. She doesn't think a food exists that she can't bring herself to eat, however. "I’ll try anything once," she admitted, "and have discovered that with some foods you need to acquire a taste for them. If you can get past that, most of the time, you’ll end up loving them."

The strongest habit Keta will admit to is asking a lot of questions. "My brothers say I should have been a solicitor during the Spanish Inquisition," she told me. "I ask them how am I supposed to learn about everything in the world if I don’t ask questions? I’ve always been a very inquisitive person. I like to know what makes people tick, how things work, and why they think certain ways."

When Keta's not writing, she can be found rescuing animals from the local shelter.

"No kidding," she said. "If I don’t stop, my family tells me I’ll have to get a real job. 'What?' I say. 'I have a real job. I’m an author, thank you very much.' I also love to garden and read, of course."

I wanted to know who they should get to play Keta if a movie were ever made of her life.

"Probably a woman lawyer from Law and Order or Demi Moore in A Few Good Men," she said promptly. "Remember I told you everyone thinks I’m a frustrated lawyer????"

Finally, I asked Keta what advice she would give to authors just starting out.

"Persistence, perseverance and politeness," she said. "Be kind to all you meet in this arena because you never know what will come back to hit you in the ***. I like to remind myself every morning that my personal motto as I journey through life is 'Harm None.'"

You can keep up with Keta on her blog,