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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Author Interview: Danyealle Autumn Myst

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Danyealle Autumn Myst, author of Fate: In the Beginning from Whiskey Creek Press.

Danyealle started writing poetry as a catharsis for things that were going on in her life. She then moved to straight sex stories. From there, she moved on to longer, more involved stories.

"Writing is still my catharis," she told me, "and what I do to deal with things in my life. Now, it's still how I deal. If I'm stressed out, I write. If I'm having a bad day, I write. You get the picture. It's evolved into my way of coping. And I love it!"

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

"I distinguish it this way," she said. "Erotica is sex with a plot of some kind. Erotic romance is a romance novel with explicit sex. Pornography is sex with no plot and done for the sake just to write one sex scene after another. Though some may disagree with that it's the way I see it."

She feels that one of the biggest public misconceptions is confusing them. "Erotica is not porn!" she said emphatically. "Erotica has explicit sex but is not porn with no plot. It can, and does often times, have just as good of a plot line as any other story. There just happens to be sex in it is all. Porn does not have that."

She told me that, strangely, what she sees as her best work and what others consider her best can be two different things. "The one story I have posted various places—I hate with all my being. It's one of the ones with the highest download counts and the highest ratings," she said. "Go figure."

She knows, though, that if a story holds her interest even while she's writing it, it will be a good story. On the other hand, if she gets bored with it herself and doesn't want to finish it, the odds are it won't turn out as well.

Danyealle's plan was to always write erotica, but there's a twist. "I never intended to write romance of any kind," she admitted, but it turned out that's exactly what I did. In fact, that's the majority of what I write and most things turn out that way. I was also the one that always loathed romance novels and never read them. I couldn't stand them but I ended up writing just that. Strange how that works sometimes."

When she does research for her books, she told me, "Generally, I farm that out as much as I possibly can. If I can't manage that one, then I grab friends I know have knowledge in certain areas. If I still can't find what I need, I start looking on the internet and the local library. The internet, though, is where I mostly find what I need. If you look in the right places it's a fount of information on all kinds of things and is fairly easy to find with sources to it."

Her fiancé is a big supporter and reads everything she writes. "Some of it, such as the m/m stuff, he isn't the biggest fan of," she admitted. The rest of her family have copies of the book, but haven't read it yet.

"I don't really want them to read it. Even though the warning of what it is was imparted I don't think it fully prepares them for what is contained in the pages! Beyond that they say nothing about it. Up to the point I managed to get it published they really didn't know I wrote anything. Or, if I mentioned I was working on a story, did they think I was serious about it," she shared with me.

She told me that the first sex scene she ever attempted was the most embarrassing. "Like most, I suppose, I did a great imitation of a cherry through the whole thing," she told me, "and couldn't believe, when done, that I had written such a thing. But, since then, it hasn't bothered me one darn bit!"

I asked her, "What is your favorite erotic book?"

"Fanny Hill," she replied. "That was really the first one I ever read, and I loved it. Though, the darker side of me does like The Story of O. It, in its own way, is a classic as well."

When Danyealle isn't writing, she can usually be found on the internet. "I loves my 'interwebs' and always find wonderful, interesting things to do! How can one ever get bored with the whole of the internet to explore? It's always changing and more stuff being added. You can always find something to do. Normal times, when I see a website on TV or hear something I've not heard of before I write it down in a little notebook that sits on my desk. Then, when I can't find anything to do, I pull that out and start looking things up. It always takes me on an interesting journey and I learn many new things."

On a personal note:

For eating off another's tummy: "The old staple whipped cream. Yummy, a bit chilly and so much fun!"

Favorite food: "I love my mashed potatoes and gravy! It's my all time favorite and has been since I was a kid. YUM!"

Food she can't bring herself to eat: "Rice! To me, it looks like maggots and I cannot force myself to gag it down."

She can also tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. "I do NOT like Coke and can tell when someone passes it off as Pepsi!" she assured me.

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

"My cats," she said. "They have a great life! They also see the toilet as the petting chair. We won't elaborate from there..." You can keep up with Danyealle on her blog, http://www.myspace.com/danyea11e

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Lyrical Press

What Worse Place Can I Beg in Your Love? by Syd McGinley

Who’d have thought Shakespeare would spark an alien-human D/s story?

As many writers do, I hoard phrases, words, and snippets that strike my fancy. I use them as story catalysts, although, by the time I’m finished, the original words have usually disappeared. But, in this case, the lines turned into the title of the story. In A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Helena says:

I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,

The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:

Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,

Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,

Unworthy as I am, to follow you.

What worse place can I beg in your love,--

And yet a place of high respect with me,--

Than to be used as you use your dog?


Wow! Strong stuff, and poor Helena, eh? I cringed reading it. I’d be appalled in a non-consensual or domestic violence context, but since I write D/s fiction, I tucked the lines away. I take consent very seriously -- many of my stories show irresponsible Doms and subs learning a lesson in ethics -- but I also wanted to explore some limits.

Several years ago, I saw a call for a man meets alien m/m sex anthology. I often rely on submission calls to spark something in my word-hoard. At that time I’d mostly written ‘realistic’ fiction -- a vampire short had been the extent of my non-real world work. Since I’m always up for a challenge, I started looking through my idea files. I thought it’d be interesting for the human to not be the superior being and to not be the aggressor. I wanted to see what would happen if certain D/s conventions were followed to logical conclusions without ethical boundaries being trampled on. Taking the story out of human civilization let me play with that more. If this story were between two humans, I’d have real issues with it, but as it is I think it’s a story about love. In fact, I think it’s a romance with an HEA, but others beg to differ. What Worse Place... is the story of a captured xeno-cartographer who finds his submissive nature tested when his alien master realizes his exotic pet is both sentient and horny. The main character (we never learn his name) always consents, but he is truly owned.

When I was accepted for the anthology, the editor let me know mine was the only submission that didn’t have the human as pursuer/“active” partner. I was rather surprised by that. Alas, the publisher was based in New Orleans and Katrina took out their operations. The story is now happily with Lyrical Press. Many thanks to them for taking on a dark, sci-fi, d/s, alien-human, m-m, human pet story with some borderline consent issues!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Lyrical Press


Okay, so how/why did I write Moon Madness? Well, inspiration is an odd thing for a writer. It can be a huge convoluted thing with many layers (I’d say sort of like a onion here but we’re talking romance and onions, whilst dependable ingredients, don’t usually come under the heading ‘sexy’) or it can be as simple as one line, one phrase or one look captured on screen.

For Moon Madness it was a phrase. What happens when the pack goes bad? Penny’s pack went about as bad as they can go, with a sadistic alpha taking over. A sadistic alpha who wanted her mate and wasn’t prepared to take no for an answer.
That was it, that was what I started with. One phrase which turned into a little three line idea. Then it just exploded from there on outwards. Writing for me is kind of a messy business, so there were scraps of paper, odd napkins with notes on which all got taped together into some kind of mad collage as I played the ‘what if’ game to see where the idea would take me.

I don’t do soft or weak heroines so it was pretty obvious early on Penny was going to be on the run. She wasn’t going to take this change, or Jimmy’s demands lying down (or standing up for that matter)-- she was doing something about the situation. So she runs, deciding to avoid wolves altogether. She can live on her own, for sure. Can’t be that hard, right?

Wrong.

Penny forgot one thing. A mad writer with a tendency to throw a spanner in the works. Of course, there’s no way I could allow Penny to go her merry way, where would be the fun in that? We needed a spanner in the works and fast. Something juicy that she a) couldn’t get away from and b) wouldn’t necessarily want to.

A) Was taken care of by the ‘Moon Madness’ which is the heat phase of a female wolf. I tried to think of the worst things that could happen to Penny with her being on the run and trying to avoid other wolves. And it struck me, she needs a wolf! If she has to mate, she has no option but to seek out others of her kind, which creates all sorts of interesting angles. Of course, Penny being Penny decides that she can cope with it still and that chains in the basement are the way to go.

Enter Cade, packless alpha, son of Penny’s former pack alpha and banished from the Roakestown pack years before for something long since forgiven. Handsome as all hell, all the wolf ladies wanted to catch Cade’s eye but he’d never allow himself to be drawn into pack life. You gotta love a handsome loner right? But Cade has a thing about Penny and when he finds out she’s on the run and Jimmy knows where to find her, he has to go help.

Of course, knowing she’s about to go into Moon Madness and needs a dose of wolf lovin’ has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with his decision, no sirree ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Lyrical Press


When I got the idea for my Ashen Twilight Series, I had just come off writing and releasing my vampire inspired futuristic sci-fi book called Cimmerian City. This was the first in my proposed series and, although I wanted to continue it, I had an inkling to dip my toes into the paranormal genre. Although Cimmerian City offered something a little different, I wanted to write a romance featuring a vampire character true to his nature. I loved the old castles and the seduction of vampires and wanted to create a world where they existed under human eyes yet was modern enough to give it an interesting twist.

My favorite paranormal reads were ones steeped in real history to make the world-building come alive. Keeping this in mind, I researched more about the real life Vlad “Dracul” (Dracula) Tepes II for which Bram Stoker based his title character on. After some grisly details and an inspiration, I had the time period I wanted to focus on before moving forward into the contemporary world. Before I started writing, I knew who my hero and heroine would be: a vampire hero from Scotland and a fairy with roots in West African lore. I wanted a pairing that hadn’t been done before and being a fan of interracial romances, I wanted to explore different cultures coming together despite the odds against them. What I found was interesting in my research: every culture has their unique version of each paranormal legend. Although the Scottish legends of faerie differ from the African fairies, there was still a central point where they converged. Same with vampires. Each had their own origin, myths and legend and thus offered a wonderful contrast along with the cultural differences that my characters share. This coupled with the differing genres I had in mind (Fairies = light fantasy & vampires = dark fantasy) along with the Aziza fairies being assistant to hunters and vampires being hunters themselves, I now had an idea for how my two characters would react.

Thus, the first in my Ashen Twilight Series, A Kiss of Ashen Twilight, was born and so were my hero and heroine: Jacinus Aurelius Archane (also known as Jace) and Ariya.

As I started writing, I had an idea where things where going but yet there are still things that take me by surprise based on occurrences that have happened in earlier books. As I’m currently penning the follow-up book to A Kiss of Ashen Twilight, a big conflict between mortals and immortals will ensue in Within the Shadows of Mortals. New creatures like mermaids and a new mysterious undead group will emerge as well.

I’m having a blast realizing my dream and creating worlds that I only imagined when I was a little girl. I hope to do the same for those who read my books and hopefully one day will get to read them as the paranormal genre grows and grows.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Lyrical Press


In my life, there are 3 deadly phrases.

1. I wonder if I could pull that off.
2. You know what would be funny?
3. What's that over there?

A friend of mine delights in challenging me. At lunch one day, we happened to be watching a riding competition where one of the riders was named Kent Farrington. My friend threw down the gauntlet. “Isn't that a great romance hero name?” To which I responded: “That's a pretty hefty name. I wonder if I could pull that off.”

This is where we get to deadly phrase number two. Undoubtedly while doing laundry, because that's when my goofiest notions hit me, I started mulling over the phrase 'one ring to rule.' It connected with wedding rings and comicons. I've spent a lot of time at comicons as booth bait. During my stint, I knew a guy named, I kid you not, Ryder Wyndam. He later wrote Star Wars books for middle readers. Swapping out one exotic name for another, I had a hero and a punchline. The heroine was easy. I knew the Wicked Witch of Comics. The tricky part was making her sympathetic.

I think it took me two days to write the story which I did entirely so I could send it to my buddy with a note saying, “HA!” That was it. My whole plan for the story. Write it, send it to my audience of one and store it on my hard drive for eternity. This is where the story should have ended.

Trolling a writing forum, I found a thread started by Renee Rocco and-- didn't actually think, but you know it's going there-- what's that over there? Lyrical Press had changed their submission guidelines and was now accepting shorts with word counts down to – I forget. It was lower than the word count of "One Ring To Rule" which I had been tinkering with to improving my craft. Just because I didn't plan on doing anything with it, didn't mean I shouldn't make it the best little nothing it could be, right? I opened my big mouth on the thread and said that I was working on something that would fit. Renee responded that she'd be looking for it.

It occurred to me that I should find out who this person was. I assumed she was just another member. Except she wasn't. She was (and is) Lyrical's publisher. I'd opened my big mouth and committed myself to submitting.

After I cleaned up "One Ring to Rule," I sent it in on the Wednesday night before Fourth of July weekend. This was me being clever. I was going to be offline starting around noon the next day so I wouldn't be obsessively checking my email for the expected rejection for at least four days.

The next morning there was a message in my inbox from Emma Wayne Porter. It had a contract attached.

And that's where the story begins.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Lyrical Press


Hi. My name is Dara England. The book I currently have out with Lyrical Press is a paranormal romance titled Brought to Life. I got the idea for Brought to Life from a short story I had written a year or two in the past. The subjects of the two stories were unrelated except that they were both about time travel and things not being what they seemed. I thought it’d be fun to see if I could stretch a time travel story into something more than just a few pages.

I dreamed up the character Megan, her fictional dashing duke, and the mysterious character named “Duke” and after that the story just seemed to come out on its own. Oddly enough, I think the most fun I had with Brought to Life was in writing the dialogue between my main character, Megan, and her friend and roommate Carlita. Their friendship and verbal battles reminded me of a friendship I have in real life.

I’m not sure where I got the inspiration for the nineteenth century duke Megan falls in love with. I just came up with the idea of a storybook character coming to life and things took off from there. As for the other “Duke”—the mysterious stranger who walks into Megan’s life, bearing so much resemblance to the fictional duke from the novel she’s reading… well, I’ll leave you to find out more about him on your own. :)

And now, here’s a brief teaser about the book:

Megan Hurst's life has taken some unexpected turns: First she loses her heart to the dashing hero of a novel. And then she meets an amnesia victim who seems just like him.

The mysterious stranger needs her help to piece his past together, and the closer the two become the more questions arise about his resemblance to a "fictional" character.

Megan's romantic feelings and her bizarre suspicions bring her to an impossible question... Has she dreamed the Duke to life?

Reviews for Brought to Life:

Brought to Life is endearing in its ability to pull you in and convey that light, whimsical tone that Ms. England executes so well.” ~ Ava from Dark Diva Reviews

"Brought to Life is a quick, fun, enjoyable read. And as you dive deeper into the novel, you’ll have a hard time putting it down. The ending is the best part and will cause you to want to find a Duke of your own to kiss.” ~ Primrose from Long and Short Reviews

“Dara England uses characters that the reader can identify with and focuses the story on romance and a fairy-tale ending.” ~ Amazon review

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Car Wash by Etienne D’Artagnan

"All I'm saying is—"

"I'm boring in bed. Yeah I got you, Dora." He cut her off. He still wouldn't look at her.

She sighed.

"I didn't say that, Kevin. I just said I wanted to spice things up." Dora sat in the passenger seat of Kevin Patterson's Mustang convertible. She glanced at him and knew he was angry from the stormy look on his face.

"Spice things up. Boring. Same damn thing, sweetheart."

"It is not!"

He stayed silent, ignoring her.

Kevin suddenly pulled across the heavy traffic and into the car wash, an unholy look of mischief on his face. He stuck his hand out the window and flipped off the various drivers honking their horns at him and then unfastened his seat belt, reaching into his back pocket for his wallet.

“What on earth are you doing, Kevin?” Dora eyed him nervously. “You have that look again.” She watched him pull several bills out and hand them to the attendant.

“The car needs a wash.”

The attendant hooked the tow chain to the car and they began to roll toward the dim interior of the car wash.

“You had it washed yesterday.”

“Well,” he said silkily, “I need to wash it again.”

He turned and looked at her over the top of his sunglasses, an unmistakable glint in his eye.

“You wouldn’t!” Her face heated as it dawned on her what he had in mind.

“I would and I most definitely am.” He gave her a wolfish grin and reached over, unfastening her seat belt and pulling her hands away from her face. When she'd suggested spicing up their sex life this was not quite what she had in mind.

He pulled her into his arms and kissed her hungrily, his tongue sliding into her mouth, exploring just the way he knew made her knees weak while he unbuttoned her blouse. She tried to bat his hands away but when he bent his head down and covered her quickly hardening nipple with his mouth, sucking hard and lightly grazing it through the lace of her bra with his teeth she suddenly felt like a puddle of goo. He chuckled when she moaned.

“Resistance is futile, Dora doll, you will be fucked.”

She weakly hit his arm, “You’ve been watching...that stupid...sho - ohh again.” She couldn't help the soft moan; he knew just how to tease her nipples. The sound of the water hitting the car made her jump. He chuckled softly.

“Mmm-hmmm,” he murmured, still working on her nipples through the bra. He turned and pulled her onto his lap, unzipping his pants and freeing his growing erection as the water sheeted down over the car.

"Kevin, stop, we'll get arrested," she said breathlessly.

"Maybe," he said. He didn't stop. He was going to fuck her right there in the car wash, right there in public where anyone might see them. The thought almost made her come.

She straddled his lap. He slid his hands up under her skirt and beneath the elastic of her panties. His hands were rough from the construction work he did, but his touch was still gentle. He slid them over her, pushing her panties aside. The head of his cock nudged inside her.

Dora never got tired of how strong he was, his hands gripping her hips and easing her down onto himself, embedding himself deeply, joining his body to hers. She shifted and hit something on the dash. The sound of a motor announced the lowering of the top of the black convertible.

A lightning bolt of lust ripped through her. She rocked against him, yelping as the hot water of the wash hit her. This was better than fucking in the shower.

He tightened his hold on her. “Oh shit,” he laughed breathlessly as great globs of soap suds dropped down onto them. The scrubbers would be next with their plastic bristles. She groaned and Kevin reached up, pulling her head down to his shoulder, his hand on the back of her head. He arched himself up, pushing deeper into her as the scrubbers hit. She cried out and ground herself against him.

“Ohh fuck, Dora,” he moaned, digging his fingers into the soft flesh of her ass. She knew the hot wax and the rinse were next and hoped she could hold out until the hot air drier. She couldn't. The hot wax hit her and she suddenly shuddered, moaning his name, bringing him with her as she came. He bucked within her, reaching his own release, hot and wet and sticky, as she collapsed against him bonelessly.

He pushed her back over into the passenger seat, tugging her skirt into place before gingerly zipping himself up as the soothing heat of the rinse cycle started.

The car finally rolled through the air driers and out into the hot Texas sun. Suddenly there was the sound of cheering and applause from the crowd of wash attendants. She had forgotten all about them. Dora covered her face and moaned, leaning over against Kevin, thoroughly embarrassed. He put his arm around her, rubbing her back.

"Still bored?" he asked. "If you are we could test the park bench in front of the courthouse. Oh, hey I know, how about the--"

"Kevin!" She reached over and smacked his leg.

With a laugh he started the car up and waved at the small crowd of onlookers as he drove off in his car full of water.

About the Author: Etienne Michel D’Artagnan has lived all over the world and is currently living on a barge on the Seine. His dream is to live on a starship and travel the galaxy with his lover and his dog Muffin. He loves to hear from readers. http://www.etiennedartagnan.com

Author Interview: Gracie McKeever

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Gracie McKeever, multi-published, award-winning, and top seller author from Siren Press. Gracie has been writing since the age of seven, but in 2001 she caught the erotica bug and, in 2006, her first erotic romance Beneath the Surface was published by Siren Press.

Gracie judges a good erotic story the same way she judges any other genre story. "A good story is one that grabs me by the throat, moves me and has sympathetic, universal characters I can relate to," she told me. "I strive for these elements in the stories I write as well, especially the characters because if I (and my readers) don't like the characters and can't relate to them, then the rest of the story is pretty much a waste of time whether it involves explicit sex or not."

She began writing mainstream stories with romantic elements, always envisioning stories that had a broad appeal. Plus, she just loves a "happily ever after." She told me, however, that she feels both romance and erotica each offer their own challenges.

"In 'straight' romance, the author has to keep the story interesting to the reader with some form of sexual tension and not necessarily let the H/H consummate their relationship," she explained. "Like in real life, it's not always easy to stop a sexual encounter when the spirit moves people/characters. In erotic romance, the challenge is in keeping the sex interesting and exciting after more frequent encounters (kind of like the challenge between couples who have been together for a long time) and making the encounter serve more than just the one purpose of titillating the reader. The author has to make sure that the encounter reveals character and moves the story forward."

She would never skimp on the story just for the sake of sex in the story, she said. "In a good erotica, all—sex, quality, story—should co-exist."

Gracie feels that there are many public misconceptions about erotica. Some of these, she feels, are that it's dirty, all about sex, and only an excuse to string together a bunch of sex scenes. That there is no literary value or any other redeeming qualities of good fiction.

"Actually," she said, "these are the same misconceptions some people have about 'straight' romance, except with erotica the misconceptions are on a larger, more intense scale."

I asked Gracie how she did research for her books.

"I do most of my research on the internet. I have interviewed people in a certain profession to get a better idea of what my characters’ day to day life would be in that career (e.g., firefighter)," she explained. "Recently I watched The History of Sex on the History Channel for research. This and shows like it (e.g., HBO’s Real Sex series) are great resources for erotica authors and just plain interesting and fun to watch."

Gracie's family is not only very supportive of her writing by purchasing and reading her books, they are also actively involved in her career.

"My younger sister and niece have gone to several book signings and festivals with me," she said, "and my mother carries and hands out my business cards and talks up her author daughter whenever she can. My younger brother has recently appointed himself my agent and is busy researching venues other than bookstores that would be viable to conduct book signings."

Gracie told me she had several erotic authors, among them Joey W. Hill, Bridget Midway, Katrina Strauss, Lara Santiago, Morgan Ashbury, Tonya Ramagos, Michael Barnette, and Shannon McKenna.

And, I asked her for her favorite book.

"Wow, another tough question," she responded, "and again, I just can’t narrow it down to one, but Natural Law, Holding All the Cards and Rough Canvass all by Joey W. Hill have to be at the top of my list."

On a personal note, if Gracie could be anyone she wanted, she would choose to be Channing Tatum.

I also asked her if she had to get a body part pierced, what part she would choose.

"Other than my ears, which are already pierced, if I had to pierce a body part (and we’re talking under threat of death) it would be my nose, probably because it’s the least painful area, as opposed to others, that can be pierced," she said. "At least I think it would be the least painful. I don't necessarily find body piercing sexy, unless it's on a male." She laughed and continued, "Must have something to do with deep-seated djinni and pirate fantasies."

She finds chocolate syrup and whipped cream perfect for eating off almost any body part, and her favorite food is her mother's fried chicken. She cannot, however, bring herself to eat raw clams.

I asked her, "What is your strangest habit?"

"This is a carry-over from my finger-sucking days (don't ask). I rub my eyebrows the wrong way," she confessed.

Her favorite letter is "F" and she rarely paints her fingernails or toenails.

"When I do," she said, "it’s usually clear or neutral colors, or French manicure."

Finally, I asked Gracie what advice she would give to authors who wanted to write erotic romance.

"They can’t be shy. Even if they are shy, they can’t let their characters be shy, not about his/her sexuality," she said. "I think an author who wants to write erotica should be willing and open to learn about different aspects of sex and relationships and the different forms of sexuality—both negative and positive elements. Even if it’s an aspect that the author may find personally repugnant (e.g., bdsm, fetish/kink), it doesn’t hurt to know about said aspect. Somewhere along the line the author may add this element to a character’s history if only for the reason of showing what a character doesn’t like or might find personally repugnant. An author can’t let what he/she would or wouldn’t do (sexually) influence what his/her characters would or wouldn’t do. It’s not the author’s job to make moral judgments about his/her characters."

You can keep up with Gracie on her website, http://www.graciecmckeever.com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Lynne Logan

Here’s a short blurb of the book I am giving away for the week:

Desperate to locate her sister, Holly Donovan steps through the door of one of Phoenix’s infamous sex clubs. But within the club’s walls, Holly finds herself enticed by the blatant desire and the raw sexuality of a masked stranger.

Carlos Hernandez is at the club to get an in-depth story for the local newspaper and has no intention of participating in any sex games, but he doesn’t count on getting caught up in his own desire or the woman who spurs a myriad of sexual fantasies. Dare he let those fantasies turn into a reality, and if he does, will his career ruin it all?

Thanks again for visiting!

Lynne

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Lynne Logan


I don’t know about you, but I’m into book video trailers. I think they’re a real interesting way an author can promote their work. With movie trailers having been around for years, it’s only logical that books would eventually follow suite, and I truly believe with the tremendous growth of multi-media, book previews or commercials are not only here to stay, but will thrive.

Youtube, Veoh and Myspace have a huge selection of wonderful trailers. There’s a couple that I’ve watched where I don’t really know an author, but once I’ve seen their trailer, I thought wow, I may just have to buy that book. I guess trailers are a bit like book covers. The outer packaging can get your attention and have you try a new author, but when it really comes down to it, the story is what matters even in today’s highly virtual world.

I’ve decided to try a trailer for Addiction. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Lynne Logan

I’m all for doing research. Many times I’ll research a subject to death just to avoid writing on those days I get a major writer’s block. Well, when I decided to write about a sex club, I wondered how I was going to pull this one off! I really couldn’t see myself stepping through the doors of one. Call me chicken, but the idea was like jumping off a cliff with no parachute.

Well, for research I think the next best thing is the internet. I dove through site after site, eager to research a topic I’d only heard about. The sites and photos I found weren’t exactly what I envisioned. They seemed boring. I wanted drama. I wanted decadence, silk, satin, sensual pleasure. I wanted to write about a wicked establishment that not only raised eyebrows but other parts … :-)

I didn’t find one site that I could envision Carlos and Holly visiting, so I decided to write about what I would want a sex club to be all about. Pure fantasy on my part, but I’ve always liked a good fantasy.

What about you? Do you just like reading one of your sexual fantasies or living it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Lynne Logan

Sex. That one little word has a huge impact on an erotic romance. Without a heated sex scene or a lot of sexual tension throughout, the story is going to fizzle and die a slow, tortuous death. When reading an erotic romance, a reader expects sex or sexual tension and they expect a lot of it. At least, I know I do. And I want it hot, hot, hot. So hot my fingers burn from the characters combusting on the pages.

But what makes a good sex scene? I think it comes down to another, simple word--emotion. Without emotion in a scene, the connection between the hero and heroine feels flat. It’s far more than putting slot A into slot B. It’s putting the character’s emotion—it being fear, pleasure, hunger, anger, love or happiness—into every action and reaction. Yeah, you can have your characters have sex in the oddest places, at the oddest times and doing the oddest, kinkiest contortions imaginable, but without emotion, the scene along with the hero and heroine will become forgettable.

I’m still learning on what makes a good sex scene, and I will always continue to learn in order to grow as an author.

Is there a sex scene that you distinctly remember? In the movies, there’s two I think are the most erotic scenes I have ever watched and all the characters had their clothes on! Sea of Love with Al Pacino and Atonement with James McAvoy. Both men aren’t considered romantic leads but they burned up the screen!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Lynne Logan


Thanks everyone for stopping by. I write erotic romance under the pen name of Lynne Logan. I never thought I’d be using two names as a writer. It took me a while to decide if I should use a pseudo name, because that would mean I would have to maintain two web sites, two of pretty much everything. Then I realized my writing styles for Carol Webb and Lynne Logan were far too different. Lynne likes writing short erotic, naughty books and Carol loves the paranormal suspense with lots of twists and turns.

As Lynne I get to have fun and play out short wonderful fantasies that I would never do in real life. Take Addiction which just came out this month. The heroine, Holly, is in search of her sister, who has disappeared, and ends up in this dark, erotic sex club on the outskirts of Phoenix. I would never even think of entering the front doors of such a club, but Holly does just that and she gets far more than she bargained for when it comes to two dark, sexy and dangerous men.

I’ll be giving away a free ebook of Addiction to a lucky winner at the end of the week. You can also visit www.lynnelogan.com for more information on other books I have published.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Author Interview: Dana Littlejohn

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Dana Littlejohn, multi-published author of sensual romantic fiction.

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

"I think erotic romance is a loving romantic story with descriptive sexual scenes," she said. "Erotica is the romantic set of the sex scenes without the romantic story, and porn is sex crudely displayed."

She's always wanted to write, beginning in junior high when she discovered her first romance novel. She would write an ongoing story in weekly installments that she passed out in the lunchroom. She put her writing on hold when she became an adult, but in 2003, with the encouragement of her husband, she started again. Between her own name and a pseudonym for a different genre, she has written 3 full length novels, 9 novellas, 28 short stories and has had her stories in 3 anthologies.

She didn't set out deliberately to write erotic romance, however.

"I'm a very sexual person and it just kind of happened although I am trying to back it down a little," she shared.

She doesn't notice any difference in the difficulty between writing a non-erotic romance or an erotic one. "I think Behind the Wings would be considered a ‘straight’ romance and it is just as difficult as an erotic romance," she explained.

"What does your family think about your writing?" I asked.

"They are kind of neutral, I guess," she said. "Part of my family (mother, sisters, in-laws) don't show any likes or dislike for my work. They don't read it or talk about it. My immediate family (my husband and older children) are supportive and have read a few of my works."

Dana's favorite erotic authors are Bertrice Small and Jackie Collins, with her favorite erotic book is To Love Again. "I read it over and over again," she confessed. "It is incredible."

Some of the research Dana does for her books, she admits, comes from life experience. "Most I get from interviewing people who have actually done whatever I'm looking into," she said.

I asked her, "If you could entertain a character from a book, who would it be?"

"Oh, this one is easy," she said with a laugh. "I would love to be Summer from Lover's Brew. To have someone sweep you off your feet the way Peter did can only happen in a romance novel. He is truly a lover of love."

I asked her about the most embarrassing sex scene she'd ever written.

"Wow," she said. "Well the one in The Wrong Valentine was a little embarrassing. It was with two women."

On a personal note, I asked Dana if she could be anyone, who she would choose to be.

"I don't want to be anyone other than myself," she replied. "I have enough of my own issues. I would not want other people's issues!"

She also shared with me, when I questioned her about why body piercing was considered sexy, that she had a body piercing of her own-- her belly. "I did it," she said laughing, "because men are attracted to shiny things."

She tried one time eating grapes off someone's belly and nearly choked to death. "I stick to body shots now," she said.

She does love seafood, though. She said, "If it comes from the sea, I'll eat it."

However, even if okra came from the sea, she couldn't bring herself to eat that. "I have texture issues," she admitted," and can't do slimy in my mouth. It brings hurl to mind immediately."

Her strangest habit also involves around food. "When I drink I have to eat barbecue Lays potato chips," she said. "Yes, they have to be Lays. I guess that would be strange."

When she's not writing, she enjoys salsa dancing, but recently she told me her free time had been taking up with doing housework. And, she had known someone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue. In fact, she said with a laugh, "I can! That might be too much information."

She paints her toenails every week and feels that if someone were to play her in a movie, she'd like it to be Jada Pinkett-Smith. "We are of the same size and body type," she said with a grin, "and I think she could be as feisty as I am."

Finally, I asked Dana what advice she would give to a new writer just starting out.

"The same advice that was given to me," she said, "Find your voice, stay true to your voice and strive to improve your craft."

You can keep up with Dana on her blog, http://www.danalittlejohn.net

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Spotlight: The Wild Rose Press

Master Sergeant
by Kelli Zel
$1.50

When Lola stopped at the grocery store, she had no idea she’d be picking up a Master Sergeant...

After a brief flirtation with a mouth-watering hottie in the produce section, Lola hurries to her car, hoping to beat the predicted snow storm. Instead, she accidentally runs down the sexy soldier with her cart. Though he assures her he's fine, concern for his condition along with her body's sizzling reaction to his heated touch prompts Lola to take him home and administer a bit of personal first aid.

Excerpt

"Look out!" she screamed.

His head didn't pop up until the cart slammed into him.

"Oh, my God!" She skidded around the cart. "Are you okay?"

He lay sprawled on his back, his unfocused blue eyes looking up at her.

"Shit!" She took a step closer. "Don't move. Stay still. I'll call an ambulance." Digging in her purse, she mumbled, "I'm so sorry."

Blinking, he struggled into a sitting position. "It's okay. I'm fine." He jumped to his feet but reached for her cart to steady himself. "See, fine."

Snow dusted the top of his head and stuck to the shoulders of his uniform. Her hand pulled the cell phone from her purse. "To be on the safe side, we should call an ambulance." Her head nodded, and she hoped he'd agree.

"Please don't call," he swayed. "I'm fine. Besides, I can see that you're shivering. You don't have on any boots or gloves. I'll just sit for a minute and be on my way." He leaned against the fender of her car.

She studied him and ran through several options. He obviously couldn't drive, and if she did call an ambulance, they could be stuck in the parking lot for hours. With the snow, there were bound to be pileups on the freeway, and along with a rash of accidents, there would be injuries far worse than being run over with a shopping cart.

She unlocked the door with the press of a button. "Why don't you wait inside my car, and after I get my groceries packed in the trunk, I'll figure out what to do with you."

He peered from beneath his heavy fringed lashes, the corners of his mouth twitched into a sexy grin. "I might be able to help you out with some suggestions."

Her insides warmed. He was damn sexy. Even with the tic-tac-toe board stamped into his forehead.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: The Wild Rose Press

Along For The Ride
by Ruby Bartek
$3.00

When Laurel Sherman's boyfriend leaves her for a woman half his age, Laurel wonders if her romantic future is over. Forty-one years old, slightly overweight, she buries herself in the job she loves. But when her driver comes to take her to the airport each week, she can't help but give in to the allure of Rafi's cultured manners, engaging conversation, and smoldering, dark appeal.

Foreign-born Rafi may only be twenty-six, but he is unusually experienced in the ways of women. He is drawn to the mature sensuality hidden beneath Laurel's buttoned-up exterior. When sparks lead to a first touch, blazing passion is not far behind.

Excerpt

Laurel knew this was going too far. Few men had spoken to her so intimately and they were--she chided herself before the thought could form completely. They were professional men, attorneys and bankers, pale, suited men like Philip.

None, however, had ever made her feel the way Rafi had. And it had taken him only minutes. What would he do to her, if she offered him the chance? If he accepted?

Suddenly aware that her lips were parted in anticipation of an imagined embrace, Laurel clamped her mouth shut and tried to edge away. But Rafi, somehow knowing her moves, her thoughts, before even she could, took her hand again.

"I regret that we must get you to the airport now, Laurel. Next week I will be early." There was a question in his voice.

"Um ... I don't know..." A thousand protests flew through her mind, but Laurel could not manage to voice any of them.

"To talk, if that is what you need. Or if you like we shall have a latte, no?"

She nodded, relief tinged with disappointment at his words.

"But..." Rafi turned her hand so her palm faced up, and slowly traced his thumb along its surface. He deepened the pressure in the soft center of her palm, and her fingers involuntarily closed around his thumb. The touch was shockingly intimate, as he rubbed slowly back and forth, a perfect rhythm that awakened a long-suppressed hunger in her core. Then he slowly ran his thumb between each of her fingers before lifting her palm, limp with pleasure, to his lips. His kiss was chaste, but even in the pre-dawn hour his fresh shave had given way to a growth of stubble, and the sensation against her skin caused her to catch her breath.

"...it is not latte that you need, is it, Lauren?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: The Wild Rose Press

The Cougar Meets Her Master
by KyAnn Waters
$3.00

Taylor Davis is turning 40. Her high powered job leaves little room for romance outside of her high powered vibrator that sleeps under her pillow. No pillow talk allowed. And no complaints from her. The rabbit never quits before she's done, doesn't complicate her calendar, and Taylor doesn't have to concoct excuses to make it go home after orgasms.

Enter Colt Foster. Has the bitch of the Beau Monde Hotel and Casino met her match? The hot, young detective has his own rules...and expects Taylor to play by them. Can she say no when Colt slaps on the cuffs? Does she want to...will he let her?

Excerpt

Taylor watched the digital numbers continue to click higher as the elevator ascended rather than stare at the virility of the man sharing her space. The easy flirtation from the gym fizzled out. This was her best friend's nephew, which made him so far from doable. Damn it.

"Taylor, is there problem?" His lips tilted into a lopsided smile. "Your emotions show on your face."

She rolled her eyes. "I don't have emotions."

He stepped closer, and his breath tickled her flesh. "Do you intend to back out of your invitation to dinner?"

"No, but I don't intend to stay for drinks." Her eyes raked his beautiful body. She had to admit, she was attracted to him. Flutters swarmed her tummy and her pussy clenched. Just a drink. She wanted a long slow sip of Colt. She swallowed the disappointment.

Alcohol had played a part in most of the regrets she had in life. All she had to remember was Steve Mahoney. If she had a drink with Colt, she might as well fuck him right now. That thought spiked her heart rate.

"I'd like to change your mind."

"Your aunt is my best friend."

His deep, seductive chuckled tightened her nipples. "I don't need permission, Taylor. I'm a big boy."

Her eyes dropped to his groin. Of that, she had no doubt. The hardened length of his erection tented his shorts. "Are you always this aggressive with women?"

"Always."

She felt flushed. A man who wasn't afraid of a challenge. The bell chimed and the doors opened. "This is your floor."

He closed the space between them. "Thank you again, for the suite."

Oh damn, his lips moved closer. He was going to kiss her. Adrenaline flooded her veins. Her heart pounded. Lips parted, and she sucked in quick shallow breaths. So close.

"See you at seven o'clock." His lips, soft yet firm, brushed her cheek. The doors closed, and the elevator continued to her floor. Taylor sagged against the wall.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: The Wild Rose Press

Riding The Rail
by Julia Devlin
$3.00

When Serena Adams collided with a gorgeous young stranger on a crowded subway, nothing could have prepared her for the hottest ride of her life…
Serena gets more than she bargained for when her ordinary morning commute turns into an erotic encounter with a much younger man able to excite her with the merest touch. Later that morning, Serena’s prospective new client turns out to be her El train stranger and she can’t believe her misfortune. If she can't ride the rails without wanting to devour him, how will she manage to work with him professionally?

Julian St. Claire believed he would never see the beautiful woman from the El again. However, this turns out to be his lucky day when she falls into his lap hours later. Never one to back down from a challenge, he pursues the sexy siren, despite her protests about their age difference. The way Julian sees it, age is no match for undeniable chemistry.

Can the two sort out their differences to enjoy the physical attraction they discovered...riding the rail?


Excerpt

He shifted, his arm sliding along the side rail so his hand hovered at her waist, pressing them closer together. The gesture seemed deliberate. Her gaze flew up and locked on his.

His expression held unmistakable heat. Transfixed, she wanted to break the contact, but his intense stare forced hers in place. The rattle and noise from the subway dimmed. Her mouth parted on an intake of breath. Her tongue darted out to moisten dry lips and his slate gray eyes followed the movement.

His hand moved again, brushing her hip with his thumb. The contact sent a jolt straight to her clit. Well didn't this just take the cake? One touch and she was ready to jump him.

He cocked a brow at her.

She smiled pleasantly, hoping to appear unaffected. In an effort to gain some distance, she reached for the pole overhead so she could lean away from him. He followed the movement, his eyes drifting to her breasts. Clearly outlined, her nipples abraded the fabric of her dress, driving her crazy.

The man released a slow long breath and hissed, "Jesus."

She let out a small gasp. His hand slid onto the small of her lower back, his palm burned through her clothes and heated her skin. His fingers splayed, moving over the curve of her ass, applying pressure so they rocked together. A low moan escaped her lips as his huge, hard cock pushed against her pelvis.

She blinked in surprise and a small, "Oh," escaped her lips. Rationally, she should be appalled at a stranger groping her on the train. Logically, she should pull away, but some demon possessed her and she pressed back.

He bent his head low next to her ear. "Damn, I'm glad I took the El this morning."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Spotlight: The Wild Rose Press

Hired Hands
by Wendi Darlin
$1.50

Forty-two year old, Nora Lambert struggles daily to keep the family ranch running smoothly and has learned to rely on young, sexy Cole Shanahan. It’s been eighteen months since her husband passed, and the loneliness is killing her. More and more often, her sexual fantasies include Cole, but he hasn't shown any interest in her.

Out of respect for her late husband, Cole has denied his attraction to Nora. Until his identical twin, Jesse, makes a move that Cole never dared. Finding the woman he wants in his brother’s arms spurs Cole into action. He's willing to let Nora have both him and his brother. Once. Then he's staking his claim.

Excerpt

She broke the kiss and stepped back, dragging air into her screaming lungs. This wasn't Cole. Jesse Shanahan was a stranger. A complete stranger who looked like every fantasy she'd ever had. But it was all an illusion. Her fantasies had been about Cole. A man she trusted. A man she'd known for years.

"I don't even know you."

A wicked flicker lit his eye, and a slow smile spread across his face. "Pretend I'm him." He reached for her again. "He may be blind, but I'm not." He hauled her back into his arms. "Cole's never known what was good for him. Always waits too long for what he wants. And you..." His lips feathered kisses along her cheek. "I know my brother wants you."

Her head wobbled from side to side as she pushed away again and reached for the common sense that still lurked in some hidden corner of her mind. She moved back, but the table wedged into the lower curve of her bottom, and in one step, Jesse's hard thighs pressed into hers. She shook her head. "No. He doesn't want me. I'm old enough to be his--"

"Lover?" His laugh was low, seductive. Need gathered in her core and rolled through her womb as she forced herself to look him in the eye. "Yes, you're old enough to be his lover." Jesse bent his mouth to hers and slid a hand over her breast. Her nipple sprang up to greet his palm. His lips brushed hers, teasing with just the slightest dip of his tongue. "Cole wants you. And so do I." The heat of his hand was no match for the thin fabric of her blouse. "You want us, don't you?"

Her throat constricted too tight to form a single syllable. Both of them?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Birthday Wishes by Sandy Sullivan

She had never known just how good it would feel to be so very, very bad....

It was her thirtieth birthday and she was single. Two of her best friends were taking her out and it was Friday night. They were going to a bar that she was sure none of her acquaintances from work would ever be.

Tonight she would forget Scott, the black-haired, blue-eyed devil who haunted her dreams at night and her waking fantasies during the day as she watched him in the office across the room. He wasn’t interested anyway so maybe she would find someone who was, even for one night.

The doorbell rang as she stood in front of the mirror in the hall, adjusting the silky chemise top. The tight, black skirt left little to the imagination as it hugged her curves, showing off her long legs to perfection.

She opened the door to Cheryl and Audrey.

“Wow!" Cheryl said. "Don’t you look dressed to kill!”

“It’s my birthday and I plan to enjoy it. I need to find a gorgeous man in tight jeans, that I won’t mind waking up to tomorrow. Let’s go.”

The wonderful array of good-looking men caught her attention as they passed through the door and found an empty table. "“This should be fun.”

“Why haven’t we come here before?” Audrey asked. “There are a hell of a lot of nice looking men in here and those jeans…damn!”

“Um…you can say that again.” All three women watched as a nicely encased pair of Wranglers walked by.

“I thought you two might like it here.” Sarah laughed. She had been here once or twice before, but not for some time. She smiled as several men approached their table.

She was slow dancing with one particularly handsome cowboy when her world was turned upside down.

“May I cut in?” Her heart slammed against her ribs. She knew that voice. The soft timbre met her ears several times each day as she transferred call after call to his office.

She turned around and found Scott, her ultimate fantasy come to life, right before her eyes. His bright blue eyes shimmied over her form, sending a delicious ripple of awareness along her nerve-endings. With a sexy quirk of his eyebrow, he slipped an arm around her waist and pulled her tight against his chest.

“What are you doing here?” She winced at the question even as it left her mouth.

“I could ask you the same thing. I come here quite a bit, but I know you don’t.”

“It’s my birthday so my friends and I came here to celebrate.” Her eyes locked with his as she watched his dimple flash in his cheek. Damn, she loved his dimples.

Pulling her tighter against his chest, he slipped his lips along her cheek until his mouth was near her ear, his warm breath sending shivers down her spine. She felt his jean clad thigh slip between her bare ones, riding her already short skirt that much higher. “What would you like for your birthday?”

She shivered.

“Come on Sarah. If you could have anything you wanted for your birthday, what would it be?”

“You.” Her whispered wish slid from her mouth before she could stop it.

He smiled against her skin before she felt his head dip slightly and his lips met the soft spot below her ear sending heat straight to her core. A soft moan slipped from between her lips as she clung to his shoulders.

“Is that all?”

He had no idea.

“One night, anything goes.” She didn’t just say that, did she?

He moved back far enough that she could see his eyes. The pools of blue had turned to a smoky grey as his gaze caressed her face. “Your place or mine?”

Scrambling from the car toward the door of her house, she fumbled with the keys as he placed small kisses to her shoulders. A shiver rolled down her back and she tipped her head, closing her eyes. She had wanted this forever. He was here, hers for the taking even if it was only for one night. The door closed behind them as she turned in his arms, her lips finding his as his hands cupped her breasts through her silky blouse and he pushed her against the wall. Releasing her mouth, he moved down her neck as she sighed. She cupped his head, directing him to what she wanted. His warm mouth closed over the pert nipple as his hand continued to play with the other, pinching and swirling the tip with his fingers. He nipped at her breast, bringing a tortured moan to her lips. His hands slipped beneath her skirt to grab her naked ass as he moaned deep in his chest. He brought her legs up around his waist as his fingers slid inside her dripping pussy.

"God, you are so hot.”

“Only for you,” she moaned.

“You have no idea how much I’ve wanted this.”

His whispered words sent a thrill through her. Maybe he had noticed after all.

Balancing her with his hips, he pulled the straps down on her blouse, baring her breasts to his wet mouth. Her hands grabbed the middle of his button-down shirt and pulled, sending the buttons flying in all directions. His smile turned into a groan as her lips met his chest.

His hand left her breast to reach into his back pocket. His teeth ripped open the foil packet before he pushed his jeans down, rolling the latex onto his hard shaft. He centered himself and, with one swift motion, slid inside as she closed around him.

“You feel fantastic.” He breathed the words in her ear.

“Please.” With her frantic plea, he moved. She rode his hips, wanting everything. Her orgasm hit her like a wave breaking over the shore, rippling a moving until she was breathless, right before he surged against her, finding his own release.

“I’ll never get enough of you,” he whispered against her neck.

Maybe birthday wishes did come true.


About the Author: Sandy Sullivan is registered nurse by education, a wild romance author by preference. A thing for hunky cowboy's transforms her wildest fantasies into believable, honest to goodness romance with a twist for tight jeans and solid chests. The saying, "Save a horse, ride a cowboy," comes to mind often! www.romancestorytime.com www.sandysullivan.blogspot.com

Author Interview: Leah Braemel

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Leah Braemel, whose second book with Samhain Publishing, Personal Protection, will be released May 12.

Leah's been reading since she was three, mainly because her mother taught her to read so she could tell Leah to go read a book when she was bugging her mom for something to do. Her first introduction to the fact that you didn't have to look for stories written by others, but could write down your own was through her sister when Leah was seven.

"My older sister started writing her own Star Trek episodes – this was back in the days when Star Trek was on its first run and we had no idea what fanfic was, or that it even had a name," she said. "I was thrilled, because I was already writing stories in my head before I went to sleep every night. The first piece I showed my sister, she completely trashed – remember she was ten and I was seven and it probably was horrible even by a ten year’s old standards – so I stopped showing anyone my work. I remember my mother coming into my room when I was about twelve and I was surrounded by maps and floor plans I’d drawn for a story I was writing and she asked what I was doing – I told her I was just planning the type of house I’d love to live in when I grew up. I didn’t realize at the time that was called world-building and such drawings can be invaluable in writing. I just used it as a way to keep my details straight and to help me visualize my world better.

"When I got married and had my boys and I was teaching, my writing changed to more technical writing – manuals and journals and such. But then about fifteen years ago, I couldn’t sleep one night, and I got up at 1 a.m. and wrote down a story that was going through my head and it was like someone opened a faucet. Once the flow started I couldn’t stop."

She still didn't show anyone her writing, however, for several years. In 2004, she was on an MSN group and another member of the group, Sue, mentioned she was trying to get published. There were other members of the group who also enjoyed writing and Leah publicly shared her writing for the first time. The group created a round-robin story, in which each member developed an original character, then they decided on a storyline and a world to play in. They would each post what their character was doing and would have to react to what the other posters had their own characters doing.

"The storyline covered ten days in story-time, but took about five months to complete," she continued. "I had a blast, and learned a lot about character building, passive voice, showing versus telling, etc. Sue continued to encourage me to try for publication. She offered to critique for me, told me to find a local writers’ group as well."

She joined a writing group which invited an agent and an editor in to do first page cold reads.

Leah shared, "Out of the 40 they read that day, mine was the only one they both agreed they’d ask to read more. It scared the dickens out of me and I stopped writing for a year out of fear."

Another member of the group was a former copy editor for Harlequin, though, and kept in touch with Leah, encouraging her to keep writing. Finally, in 2007 she made a resolution to get serious about her writing and submit something for publication.

"That’s when I discovered the Toronto Romance Writers who have been an incredibly supportive group," she said. "That was where I first heard the term synopsis – my other writing group was more of a literary group and didn’t discuss writing synopses at all. Six months later, I ended up at the RWA National conference in Dallas pitching a paranormal erotic romance to an editor. I got my first request. Which encouraged me to polish upPrivate Property, the second manuscript I’d ever submitted. Angela James of Samhain picked it up July of last year and it’s done incredibly well. I’ve since sold another story, Personal Protection, following Sam the ‘other hero’ from Private Property, which is due out in May, and will be the start of a series."

Leah has always preferred reading stories where the bedroom door is wide open rather than even partially closed, but Private Property was her first attempt at writing pure erotic romance. She wanted to explore a part of the ménage story she had always had problems with and had never seen it addressed.

"Of all the ones I've read," she explained, "the hero has no trouble watching his girlfriend get off with another guy. It didn't always make me like the hero that he could so casually share someone he loved like that. There are some stories where the world is set up that it's part of their culture that two guys share a mate. That I can accept easily enough, but within most contemporaries I found it stretched my credibility a tad thin."

Leah decided to explore what happens when a character decides he's made a mistake in suggesting or agreeing to the ménage, that he can’t handle watching someone else with his girlfriend, and had to face his jealousy and accept why he was jealous and decide what he was going to do about it.

"It was a fine line to write so Mark, the hero, didn’t come off as a possessive or domineering brute," she said. "I really had to get into his head and confuse him, make him wonder why he was jealous of sharing Jodi with Sam where he’d never been bothered by sharing any of his other girlfriends. It was an interesting test of my writing skills."

She told me that erotic romance was much more challenging to write, because in non-erotic romance the focus is more on an external plot than the sexual journey.

"When the plot should be all about the sexual journey," she told me, "you have to focus on not making it a clinical description of the sex. You still have to have the reason for the sex, the growth of the relationship, or the growth and emotion of the characters, or else it, in my personal opinion, becomes porn. It becomes a dry and boring sex manual that reverts back to the Tab A/Slot B mechanics and doesn’t engage the emotions of the reader."

This emotional connection is what she looks for when looking for a good erotic story so it's also what she tries to give her readers. Because she focuses on layering more emotion into the sex scenes, they are often the hardest scenes for her to write, often taking her twice as long. And, she's written several since the first time she tried to write a full-on sex scene. She said her first was the most embarrassing one she's ever written.

"It was very hard for me at first to use the actual words that erotica readers prefer to read instead of euphemisms," she said. "And then it was extremely embarrassing to have to send it to my critique partner who I’m certain probably was rolling on the floor laughing at my attempt."

One of my favorite questions to ask a writer is what character from a book she would like to entertain.

"Narrowing it down to one is tough," Lean confessed. "It’s a tie between Bran Cornick of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, and Elrond of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And oh my, picturing the two of them in a room together ." She fanned herself. "If I had to choose one of the two, at the moment, I’m leaning more toward Bran. Since he’s a Bard, I’d love to hear him sing, and listen to him tell stories of what he’s seen. Because he’s so old, Bran’s stories would be about our history – stories of old England, colonial America etc. as opposed to a fantasy world. I think that would be fascinating. And heck, if he brings his two sons, Charles and Samuel with him, my evening would be complete." She laughed and added, "My critique partner Sue is probably choking on that tidbit. She’d take Elrond over Bran every time."

On a personal note, I wondered about the strangest thing Leah had ever eaten.

"Pig testicles. Honestly! I worked in a company where I was the only English person amongst a group of Chinese ladies," she said. "One day, after discussing how American Chinese food wasn’t really Chinese, they took me to a Chinese restaurant in China town in downtown Toronto where they ordered in Chinese from a menu written in Chinese so I had no idea what I was eating. By the time they finished bringing the food, the table was filled with tiny dishes and I had to sample each one before they’d tell me what it was. My father travelled all over the world with British Air and was exposed to customs from all sorts of cultures, so I was raised to eat whatever was put in front of me – that to refuse to eat something could be very offensive to the host. So when they handed me this one dish, there were two brown balls covered in this slimy oily, disgusting muck. The ladies said not to chew, just to swallow them. When I finally got them down-- and they tasted as disgusting as they looked, by the way-- they told me what I’d eaten. Pork Balls is what they said, but I finally realized it was pigs’ testicles. It’s one of the few times when I was almost sick just from the thought of what I’d eaten."

Her strangest habit? When she's sitting at the keyboard thinking, she runs her fingers around the arrow keys.

"On my last keyboard I actually wore the finish off the keyboard, I did it so much," she admitted. "I wasn’t even aware I was doing it until my husband asked what was wrong with my keyboard. Another bad habit I developed in typing class in high school was when someone speaks, I’m typing out what they’re saying. Sometimes you can actually see my fingers twitching. It’s very embarrassing."

Finally, I asked Leah what piece of advice she would give to a new writer.

"Write," she said. "Sounds overly simplistic, doesn’t it? But I’ve been to a few conferences now, and talked to a lot of other authors and I’ve discovered that a lot of people say they want to get published but have never actually finished a single manuscript. I had one lady tell me she had five stories she’d been working on; her longest manuscript was sitting at 20K and it had taken her ten years to write that much, but she was adamant about how one day she was going to finish it and submit it to Harlequin. Well, if you extrapolate how many words she’s writing per year to the word count she’d have to have to submit to Harlequin, that means she wouldn’t have that story ready to submit for another thirty years.

"You are never going to get published if you don’t finish your story. So you have to put your butt in your chair and your hands on your keyboard, or pick up a pen and put it to paper and write." You can keep up with Lean on her blog, http://leahbraemel.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Lynne Logan

I don’t know about you, but I’m into book video trailers. I think they’re a real interesting way an author can promote their work. With movie trailers having been around for years, it’s only logical that books would eventually follow suit, and I truly believe with the tremendous growth of multi-media, book previews or commercials are not only here to stay, but will thrive.

Youtube, Veoh and Myspace have a huge selection of wonderful trailers. There’s a couple that I’ve watched where I don’t really know an author, but once I’ve seen their trailer, I thought wow, I may just have to buy that book. I guess trailers are a bit like book covers. The outer packaging can get your attention and have you try a new author, but when it really comes down to it, the story is what matters even in today’s highly virtual world.

I’ve decided to try a trailer for Addiction. Hope you like it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Homecoming by Ehren Walker

Max impatiently allowed passengers to move past him before he stepped into the aisle. After a six-month stint in Korea, he was a man on a mission. It wouldn't do to keep the love of his life waiting.

True to form, Laura pushed through the crowd and almost knocked him over with an enthusiastic kiss.

Max wrapped his arms around her. "Well, hello to you too," he said, when she finally let him up for air.

"God, I missed you." Laura sighed and laid her head against his chest. Her unique scent filled his lungs, embraced his heart and caressed-- well, they were in a crowded airport. He was better off not thinking about it.

"Really now?" he teased.

She grinned. "Asshole."

He stepped back. "Let me catch my breath and get a good look."

"Like my new outfit?" She twirled around in a circle.

"Little warm for a coat."

Laura gave a furtive glace. "Not really," she whispered. "I'm not wearing anything else." She pulled the coat open far enough to reveal the gentle curve of her bare breast.

He groaned and bit his lip. "We may not make it home."

"Not to worry," she said with a seductive wink. "I rented a room."


****
Laura stepped into the hotel room and let the coat fall to the floor. Max followed its path down her body, revealing the soft curves and indent of her back. He paused to admire the sway of her ever-so-perfect bottom as she walked toward the bed.

"Whoa," he exclaimed. "Nice ass."

Laura turned to face him. "Well, don't just stand there gawking." She giggled. "Come here."

"Yes, Ma'am!" He was shirtless by the time he reached her. When their bodies came together, Max breathed a heavy sigh of relief. He'd made it home to her, marriage vows intact.

"Something wrong?"

"No." He squeezed her tighter, afraid if he let go she would disappear.

She answered with a passionate kiss, her hands working feverishly to help him out of his pants.

Max squirmed when Laura's hand slid down to his growing erection. "Be careful," he groaned. "That thing's loaded."

Laura knelt and lightly tongued the head of his hard shaft. "I'm counting on it," she cooed.

Enveloped in the moist warmth of her mouth, waves of pleasure washed over him. His knees grew weak. He grabbed her shoulder to steady himself. The pressure building in his groin intensified. Unable to control the involuntary thrust of his hips, he tried to pull away. But, Laura would not be denied. She held him there and stroked harder. Powerless against his body's aching need for release, a guttural cry escaped his lips when he came.

Max's head still swam in a fog when Laura stood and draped her arms around his neck.

"Feel better?"

He looked into her eyes and nodded. Heart racing and short of breath it was the best he could manage. He felt the heat between her thighs when she pressed against his groin and kissed him deeply. He tasted himself on her lips while she explored his mouth with her tongue.

Without a word he lowered her onto the bed. Max took a pillow and slid it under her raised hips. Laura shifted slightly and spread her legs to allow him access.

She moaned softly when he leaned forward and slid into the soft, pink folds between her thighs. He struggled to go deeper inside her, wanting, needing to bond with her soul again. He kissed her gently on the neck, tracing a path across her shoulder and down to her breast.

"Max . . . no," Laura groaned when he withdrew.

"Shhh," he whispered, touching his fingers to her lips. "It's my turn now."

Max returned his mouth to Laura's erect nipple, while his hand stole across her thigh and came to rest between her legs. She gasped when he wet his fingers in her depths, massaging her clit with his thumb.

He kissed his way down her body, shifting positions when he reached her cleft. He parted the velvet slit with his fingers and brushed his tongue against her swollen button. Greedily he licked the juices flowing from her, diving deeper into her folds for more.

Laura's breath lost its rhythm. Her thighs trembled. She grabbed his head with her hands trying to pull him up to her. "Please Max," she begged. "Fuck me!"

Ignoring her plea, Max quickened his assault on her clit, intent on sending her over the edge. Laura screamed his name, arching her back as the orgasm swept through her body. He raised her legs and rocked forward, plunging himself deep into the searing heat of her inner flesh. Repeatedly, he pulled back to the brink only to slide into her again.

"Harder," she moaned, raking her nails across his back.

He grabbed the headboard, lifting her off the pillow with each stroke, pounding his hips against hers with reckless abandon.

"Oh, God, Laura!" he cried, when the pressure welling in his groin broke free and flowed into her.


****
Max stirred when he felt a blanket settle over him. He opened his eyes and tried to focus on the figure leaning over him.

"Sorry if I woke you," the flight attendant said. "You looked a little cold."

"Thank you," Max replied, returning his head to the pillow Laura had given to him before he boarded the plane. She'd said the smell of her perfume would help him through the lonely nights, but he felt guilty for leaving her again.

Suck it up, Max, he told himself. Only one hundred and eighty days . . . four thousand three hundred and twenty hours . . . until Laura would meet him at the airport again, wearing that long black coat.

About the Author: Ehren dabbles at romance writing when he isn't busy working, helping aspiring authors, or being walked by his dog.

Author Interview: Kiki Howell

Whipped Cream would like to welcome Kiki Howell, author of The Witch's Beast, a Torrid Fairy Tale from Whiskey Creek Press. The Witch's Beast is a retelling of "The Beauty and the Beast" as told from the witch's point of view. Kiki always hated that the witch, who turned the prince into a beast in the first place, only had a one-line mention in the beginning of the story.So, The Witch's Beast is her story, complete with a powerful dungeon scene that plays upon the idea of their physical attraction meshing with a history of friendship in which both the witch and the prince have wronged each other.

Many of Kiki's books involve magic and witchcraft, so as research she often reads books on Wicca. She told me, "At some point something will spark my imagination, and I let it spiral into fantasy from there. Still, I will have to then look up a spell or ritual to find more information as I am writing. I am always at the library or on Amazon. My sons often joke about mom getting another witch book. One day, I hope to meet someone who practices Wicca, so all of my questions can be more easily answered."

In fact, if she were to entertain a character from a book, it would be her heroine from "The Healing Spell," Samantha. Kiki said, with a grin, "She was a very strong witch, who was confident in her knowledge of her craft. I would, over snacks and wine, like to have her tell me all she knows!"

Kiki's first time reading erotica was only a few years ago, when she found a local publisher in the genre. "I wanted to get back into writing after a ten-year break of raising my boys," she told me. "I began working through some writing books, one of which had an exercise that said to write something out of your comfort zone to get the creative juices flowing again. So, I tried writing erotica being totally new to the genre. Soon after that, my husband went away on a trip to Israel. I couldn't sleep, and I actually wrote two erotic short stories while my husband was away. When he got back and read them, he encouraged me to submit them to see what kind of response I would get. Both stories ended up published in Celtic Love Knots, Volume 10. I have been hooked ever since! I had always wanted to write the magical stuff, so I became an author of magical erotic romances. I found that dreams do come true if you embrace all that life is offering you."

She does get frustrated, however, with some of the reactions she gets when people find out what she writes. "I often get the word 'porn' used interchangably or I even had an old friend recently ask if I meant 'that sick and twisted stuff.' I had a lady once announce to a table of friends when I used the term erotic romance, 'Well, they are not Barney books, I can tell you that,' and then start avoiding me at later events," she said. "It is all just a play on words, but I wish people could just open their minds more. If they would, they would see that erotica is nothing more than romance in real life, as I heard someone say once. It is the love story without closing the door on the sex scene. I think the public often lumps erotica in with whatever they see as 'dirt' or 'bad,' instead of seeing it as 'exciting' or 'inspiring,' as it should be."

Kiki's desire is to write the kind of book that does what a reviewer from ParaNormal Romance said and "weaves a kind of magic around the reader." She does this through descriptions, primarily, she revealed.

"I like to play with words until I get just what I am trying to say across. That said, I want to describe it all from setting to plot to characters to the intimate acts in a slightly different way so that the reader is affected on a new level. I recently had a friend tell me after reading one of my latest stories that I wrote her a new fantasy. She wrote in an email: 'It was awesome. You set the scene perfectly. I felt like I was her. I want to be her!' With that, I thought I had accomplished my goal."

On a personal note, I asked Kiki what body part she would pierce.

"I would pierce my belly-button," she replied. "I think silver chains and stones are sexy anywhere you can find to hang them or wrap them."

She described a very sexy scene from her short story "Aquamarine" from Mystic Stones, not involving chains and stones, but rather something a bit sweeter.

"I had my male use the frosting from a couple of cupcakes to paint new lingerie onto my female before undressing her with his mouth," she said.

Curiously enough, her favorite food also includes icing, only she wants the cake as well. Do you suppose there's a connection? (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

One food, however, she can't bring herself to eat is a tomato, even though she eats both spaghetti sauce and ketchup. "I hate them so much, that when taking them off of a hamburger, I am grossed out if I taste even one missed seed," she admits.

She can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and likes Coke better, but she's never known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue. She said, "Is that possible? I am going to start asking around."

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

"I would say read what is being published, then find your own voice and your own style. I find the more I read, the more inspired I am to write my own stories. Also, look at different publishers' calls for submissions. You can often find inspiration in a genre or subject that an erotic publisher is actively looking for. I recently found I have a thing for the erotic regency-set romance that way." You can keep up with Kiki on her blog, http://kikihowell.blogspot.com

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Spotlight: Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

My Strength, My Power, My Love
An erotic sci-fi romance novel
by Linda Mooney
Editor: Sara Kent
Cover Artist: Kendra Egert


A Little About Me and My Book

I lead a double life. No, really! Some days I feel like I have a secret identity. By day I’m a mild-mannered Kindergarten teacher. But come four p.m., I become the author of sensuous, erotic romance stories. It’s not an easy tightrope I walk. Fortunately, I have weekends, holidays, and the summer break to fully escape into my worlds of science fiction and fantasy.

Hi! I’m Linda Mooney and, as one reviewer once told me, I write out of the box. Yes, my stories are erotic, but they’re also filled with a rousing plot, surprises, humor, angst, and tons of romance. I put my hero and heroine through hell and back before they get their Happily Ever After.

And that’s exactly what you get in My Strength, My Power, My Love.

First, let me tell you a little secret about my characters’ names. Grey was named because I have a friend named that, and it gave me the idea to name my heroine that with the British spelling. Why? Because a lot of times I catch myself spelling words with the British slant, rather than American. When I hit upon the idea of what to call my heroine, I also felt “Grey” was a bit sexier than “Gray.” As for Rowe, it came to me out of thin air (as most of my names do), but his last name, Maine, was a private tribute to the state (for personal reasons.)

The entire purpose of the story was to create a race of beings who could fight without the use of conventional weapons. Since all stories have to have an antagonist, I decided to give Rowe and Grey two villains to contend with—one from within, their own laws, and one from without, the aliens who attack their planet. That way the reader is kept seesawing from one dilemma to the next. In addition, I wanted the action to take place on a different world, rather than Earth in the future.

The neat thing about MSMPML is that it progressed more easily than my other books. I keep a journal on my desk, right in front of me, when I’m writing. Every time I created a plot thread, I’d write it down. It makes tying up loose ends very easy. Plus I can keep track of names and situations without worrying about making a mistake.

Of course, my favorite parts of the book are the moments between Grey and Rowe, when they’re fighting the need to consummate their attraction to each other because of the laws restricting them. Their love is pure and exciting, and you will find yourself cheering them on whenever they face a new obstacle.

A Consumer Warning for My Strength, My Power, My Love!
Warning! Book contains human weaponry, alien attacks, near gang rape, unapproved use of pudding, overly-aggressive males, excessive sex as a health benefit, badly fitting uniforms, trial by antagonistic rulers, and a love that defies the laws of man and nature.

Now available as ebook and print!


Blurb:

Once in every one million births, a child is born on Bellac with the Synergistic gene. These children are taken from their parents and prepared for the day when they will find their Synergistic other half. For when that happens, an entirely new power is created—a power ready to protect and defend their home world.

Grey Dansis is a Synergian ready to find the male who will become her life-long partner. Unfortunately Grey has secretly harbored a longing for Rowe Maine. But the man is five years her senior and an Unmatched Synergian who has lost his chance to become one of the rare few empowered union mates.

When their world is attacked by marauders, Grey has no idea that Rowe is her fated other half. Or that the power that could come from their union would be the only force strong enough to save Bellac from complete annihilation.

They may never know because the law won't even let them touch.

Excerpt (Adult)

The decision hadn’t been a hard one to make. Rowe flatly hated red. But not every shade of red. This color, the color of his jumpsuit. The dark blood color he now was required to wear because of his new designation.

Unmatched. Unmated.

The words tasted rancid on his tongue.

He watched with thinly veiled disinterest at the crop of graduates heading for the pavilion. There they would receive congratulations from friends, family, and the Academy Administrators. Afterwards they would go into the reception hall to toast each other with good luck at finding their union mates. And then, that night, all of them would go on a wild orgy of unrestrained sex under the guise of finding their Synergistic mates.

Rowe blinked. Five years ago he had been one of them. Like these new graduates, he had gone sexually berserk. After years and years of being celibate, he had gone through his choices like a hot wind. Subconsciously hoping the woman he was laying at the time would turn out to be his mate. But one by one, each female failed to excite him. Failed to electrify him. Failed to sizzle over his skin like a rocket out of control as he had been told it would feel like.

As the years rolled on he had been more selective over whom he approached. The rejections piled up. Then, before he knew it, he was called before the Academy Academia and given the bad news.

"You know why you’ve been summoned, don’t you, Cadet Maine?"

Rowe stared at the table of four men. Yes, he knew why he had been brought before them. So make the pronouncement, damn you all, and cut this short.

"Yes, I do, Master Mintin," he responded quietly. No emotion, no sign of regret must show on his face. It would be a weakness he couldn’t afford to let them see.

"You have completed your fifth full year as a Cadet, but you haven’t found your mate." It was Master Toggert who had been tapped to give the bad news. The man tried to smile, but it came out weak. "We have discussed in length your current assignment, and it’s our decision that your rank be changed to Unmatched." The man gave another watery smile. Obviously he detested this part of his job. Rowe didn’t blame him. "Starting tomorrow morning you will be required to wear the red suit signifying your new status."

The proclamation washed over him like freezing water. Rowe felt his skin shriveling, tightening over his skeleton. Unmatched. It was almost a death knell. Unmated. A Synergian who had failed to find his mate. A potentially powerful weapon now lost.

"Do you have anything to say, Cadet?" Master Forch asked.

Rowe cast his eyes in the man’s direction. Anything to say? Like what? Don’t do this to me? Don’t relegate me to the refuse pile, like a puzzle piece that no longer fit?
"No, Master Forch," he managed to reply. His voice was still strong. Still forceful. He’d be damned if he’d show them any emotion at this time. Curse them all.

"But we do have some good news we hope will off-set the bad," Master Mintin continued. A disk had been sitting on the table in front of him. He picked it up and held it out to Rowe, who took it. "We’ve been following your job assignment ever since you went over to Fleet. Your work at the Academy has been exemplary. In fact, you have surpassed every expectation we had for you, and then some. Our fellow academicians have been impressed beyond words." The man tapped his fingertips together for a few moments, then added, "As much as we hate to admit it, we were rather hoping you wouldn’t find your union mate, Cadet Maine."

The admission stunned him. In the next instant cold fury filled him. He could feel the heat rising to his face, but he twisted his hands into fists and refused to bite. The cool disk bit painfully into his palm, but he ignored it. "Oh?" was all he could manage to say, and that much cost him dearly.

Master Forch took over. "We want you to head our fleet of repellant aircraft."

This news was enough to make Rowe take a mental and physical step backwards. "Master Girdy has that honor," he started to protest.

Master Forch waved it off. "Master Girdy has expressed to us that he wishes to retire soon. You are aware he has been in less than good health recently. And with the uprise in attacks upon our planet, we need someone with a superior head on their shoulders to take over his command."

Rowe shook his head. "Masters Britt and Ambercram are Master Girdy’s seconds. One of them should take the chair."

"Your seating was their decision," Master Mintin bluntly told him. "Your scores are phenomenal. You are in prime physical condition." He tapped the table in front of him with his middle finger. "We need your answer."

"What is my alternative if I reject your offer?" Rowe questioned. To his surprise, the four men moved uneasily in their seats and glanced at each other.

"Well, we had hoped there wouldn’t be a rejection," Master Forch answered. "But in the event you decide not to accept this position, there is a slot in the Academy that you are welcome to fill. It would be teaching the cadets on basic and elementary flight, including tactical skills at the helm. Because you excel in that area, it would make no sense to assign you elsewhere. Either way, your re-classification stands."

Rowe could feel the muscles in his arm starting to protest from the strain. Slowly, he forced his heart to calm. Forced his fingers to unclench. They had taken away one reason for living, but were offering him a suitable substitute. Although he knew he no longer could look forward to the warmth and joy of having a mate, at least he could take pride in his ability at the helm of a battle flit.

"I accept your offer, Masters of the Academy," he solemnly said. I accept your offer. Hearing those words, the men at the table visibly relaxed and smiled. And from that moment on he was no longer Cadet Maine, but Master Maine.

Sighing, Rowe forced himself to watch the graduation ceremony. As one of the academia he was required to help chaperone the young men attending. And because he was now signified as being Unmatched, he could also mingle among the free females. They would feel safe, knowing he was there to render aid or answer questions if any of the young men grew overly attentive.

His eyes swept the interior of the auditorium, when he spotted her staring straight at him. He had seen her before on the other side of the transparent wall that divided the school between the two sexes. The first time he had laid eyes on her, on the abundant brown hair with the unusual golden slash running from temple to crown, and her equally rich brown eyes, he had felt something stirring in his gut. At the time Rowe had dismissed it. There was no reason to think any more about it.

Her face was pale. Her eyes were turning glassy. His body reacted with a vengeance. The flash of heat zipped to the top of his head, down to his toes, and out through his fingertips. His fingers literally burned at his physical response.

Worse, he could feel himself becoming physically aroused. Hard aroused. Uncomfortable aroused. It was as though she had sent him a silent signal, and he had answered in kind.

Astonished, Rowe continued to stare at her. It was impossible. There was no way his body could be reacting to a mere glance from the young woman. No way. No... way...
They arose as a group and began walking toward the podium. The woman’s attention was diverted. It was like a switch turning off. Rowe took a deep breath as his body relaxed from the subliminal grip. But his erection continued to torment him. He adjusted his stance, hoping to keep it from being noticed.

He moved to where he could get a good long look at her when she was called up. Where he could hear her name when it was called out and memorize it when he watched her step forward.

"Grey Dansis."

Her eyes shifted, locked on him, and the current between them was like being pumped full of adrenaline. It was so intense Rowe nearly fell to his knees.

This was insane! Insane! What would happen if he touched her? What would he feel if he simply put his hand on her bare skin? What kind of reaction would he get then? More importantly, was she also sensing the same mind-blowing response?

The cadets took their seats and the Administrator resumed his memorized recitation. Rowe found a spot along the back wall where he could see the woman seated in her chair without appearing too obvious. He couldn’t help but realize that she appeared completely uninterested in the proceedings. She kept fidgeting in her seat, twisting her hands in her lap.

The two women on the other side of her had to be friends or acquaintances. They tried to pull her into their conversation but the woman—

Grey. Dansis.

—seemed as eager to have this whole ceremony over with as soon as possible as he was.
Rowe frowned. Why? Was she waiting for the moment when the cadets were allowed to commingle? Was she hot and eager to spread her legs for the first male cadet to swear he was meant to be her union mate?

At the thought of her allowing herself to become a prized plunge for the entire graduating class of males, Rowe felt his heart thud to a complete standstill. Pain flashed through him, burning and twisting like nothing he’d ever felt before in his life. Gasping aloud, he turned away from the group and clutched his chest.

This was insane!

The Administrator gave his final congratulations, and the entire auditorium rose in applause. The clank and clatter of the graduates leaving their seats and filing toward the reception hall alerted him, and Rowe wiped a hand over his sweaty face.
This was wrong. It was wrong on so many planes, it was difficult to know where to begin. But one thing was deadly certain. Grey Dansis affected him like no other woman ever had in his life. Rowe swore to himself he would find out why.

He was a man five years past seeking his Synergistic mate. Five years, the Academy declared, was the limit. The cut-off point. After that length of time, any cadet who had not found his or her union was considered Unmatched. Unable to find their mate. And therefore no longer allowed the option of seeking one.

Five years. Five damn lonely and hopeless years. Followed by a lifetime of them.

But... what if the Academy was wrong?