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Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Elevator Gigolo by Yvonne Walus

I hate Christmas, confined spaces and my ex-husband, so when the hotel elevator shuddered to a screechy halt between floors on Christmas Eve, I thanked my lucky stars the other passenger wasn’t my ex.

The man slouched against the mirrored wall of the elevator was his direct opposite. Younger than me, shoulders twice as broad as his hips, he exuded sexual confidence. A strand of hair above the dark brows glittered purple.

Great. A punk with purple hair. A punk whose square jaw made me want to taste it….

Don’t go there.

The punk unpeeled himself off the wall and pushed the alarm button. Nothing happened. He held his cell phone in the air, shook his head.

“Hi.” His grin flashed a row of teeth, pointy and white, a wolf’s grin. A vertical groove bisected his lower lip di Caprio style. “No signal in the middle of the ocean.”

“Sea,” I corrected mechanically. “We’re on an island in the Caribbean.”

Ok, I was being rude. I blamed the elevator. This one had mirrors and a plush seat, and its glass door overlooked the waves, but it was still a cage.

“My bad,” the punk said.

“That’s not even English.”

The punk showed me his cheek dimples. “I stand corrected. Please direct me to the nearest Save The Apostrophe meeting.”

A balloon of laughter rose to my throat. “I’m sorry. Small spaces bring out the witch in me.”

“Witches can be fun. Just like small spaces.” His raised eyebrow made my cheeks burn. “I’m Miles. I’ve seen you around.”

“Angelica,” I said. My hand tingled like live wire in his. “Nothing angelic about me tonight, though.”

“Hmm. Your hair’s angelic. Tinsel.”

Last Christmas flashed through my brain, corrosive like toxic sludge.

Too much cheating ex. Not enough air.

“Your skin’s lost all colour,” Miles said. “How can I help?”

“Talk,” I gasped. “Take... my mind... off it.”

Miles took a handful of my hair. “Angelica,” he said. I felt a gentle tug and his wolf mouth got closer. “You’re hot.” His breath tickled my neck. “Would you offer your throat to a wolf with the red roses?”

I gulped. That song always set me on fire and now it was playing in the background.

“Right.” His fingers brushed my nipples as he pulled back. “I believe it worked.”

It did. My nipples felt bare without his touch, my stomach knotted with sheer lust. I never had sex with anybody except my cheating ex-husband. What a waste.

I was on the wrong side of forty, Miles probably on the right side of thirty. Still, I owed it to myself. And it was Christmas.

“Would he offer me his mouth?” I quoted right back, as though there had been no interruption.

His thumb tilted my face up, his forefinger drew a slow teasing line around my lips. I drew it between my lips. Zing! Pure chemistry.

“Yes,” he said.

The buttons of his shirt pressed into my skin as he pulled me into the kiss. His tongue was firm. No hesitation, no questioning, all promise.

Spellbound by the sensation, I lost track of time. My whole body consisted of the electric tracks his fingers made on my neck, along my spine and under my buttocks.

I pushed my hips into his, gratified to feel his hard readiness. Without breaking the kiss, I slid my hand between us and pushed down his zipper.

“Hey,” he whispered into my throat. “You’d better be sure. No going back once you get me going.”

I stroked my fist upwards, caressed the silky tip, moved my mouth away a fraction.

“Oh, I don’t know,” the perverse witch inside me teased. “I can change my mind.”

He twisted out of my reach and my disappointment blasted into overdrive. His breath came uneven. “So can I.”

My heart beat faster. This was more than simple lust.

“Really?” I meant it as a challenge. Slowly, I slid my dress down to my waist, turned away to taunt him. The cold glass met my naked nipples with a hiss.

Five people lounged in the sunset below us, five people who could look up at any moment.


Miles found a sensitive spot on the side of my neck and licked into it, alternating the pressure between unyielding and ticklish. His thumb drew slow circles on my thong, maintaining that unbearable verge between arousing and satisfying.

I forgot about the people below.

“Time to change my mind,” Miles whispered. The breathtaking ride ceased. Started. Stopped again. The low half-crazed moan had to be mine. I wriggled. My boobs squeaked on the glass door.

“Miles, for crying out loud!”

“That’s from a different song. Same artist though.”

“Miles,” my voice grew begging. “You’ve proved your point. I won’t tease you again, I promise.”

“No,” he agreed. “But I will.”

For the next while, I growled and whimpered and sank deeper into delicious ecstasy without release. Miles was relentless in his stop-start routine.

When I felt yet another climax build up and dwindle, I lost all inhibitions. “Fuck me,” I groaned. “Now.”

“Oh,” he feigned surprise. “You should’ve said.”

The dress rode up my buttocks, the thong snapped.

He took me from behind, leaning on the see-through door. He took me on the plush seat. He was taking me on the carpet when the elevator shuddered in rhythm with my fulfilled body and shot upwards.

I tugged my dress into place. Miles zipped his bulging fly. When the door opened, I pushed through the awaiting crowd.

Miles followed me out. “If the elevator hadn’t broken down,” I said, “we would have remained strangers. Why mess with that?”

Miles shrugged. “But it did break down. Why mess with fate? Plus, we have… unfinished business. It may take weeks. Months, even.”

Blood rushed to my face, spread to my neck, heated the tips of my breasts. “You had me at but,” I quipped.

Miles cupped my bottom. “I bet you say that to all the boys.”

Author bio: Yvonne Walus is an award winning author of published books and novellas. You can find her on

Author Interview: Trinity Blacio

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Trinity Blacio. Trinity's latest book, Running in Fear: Abandoned, was released by Ravenous Romance in October. It's the sequel to Running in Fear: Escape, also from Ravenous Romance. The next book in the series, Running in Fear: Home, is due to be released this month, as well as a Christmas story, The Naughty Angel and Her Three Very Wise Men: A Christmas Menage.

Erotic fiction, for Trinity, entails twining the plot with the heat.

"There has to be a balance of story and erotic," she explained, "otherwise, all the reader will see is sex…aka porn."

The erotic authors who stick out the most in her mind that succeed with this bonding include Angela Knight, Laurell Hamilton, and Jaid Black, with Angela Knight being her all time favorite, with Jane's Warlord being her favorite book. She told me that she needed to buy herself another copy because in her current copy the pages are worn out from her reading it.

"Not only is she a great story teller, but also a great person," she said. "She has helped so many authors and her stories make you drool. I so want a warlord!!!"

Trinity uses many different means of researching her books. The easiest, she's found, is the internet.

"You should see my bookmark links for research, it’s huge," she told me. "I also use the library, and if I get a chance, I love to interview or actually go and visit places. I would love to visit a BDSM club."

One book she would definitely recommend for writers who are just starting out in writing erotica is Passion Ink: A Guide to Writing Erotic Romance by Angela Knight.

Trinity has written one sweet romance that's part of an anthology from Freya's Bower.

"It was the hardest thing I’ve written," she confessed. "I can write stories with no problem, but if I can’t have my hero touching the heroine, it drives me nuts. Needless to say I haven’t written one since. Maybe one day I’ll attempt it again."

All of Trinity's family know what she writes and support her in her writing, with her mother and stepfather being her biggest supporters. As a matter of fact, her stepfather insists on reading all her stories.

"Talk about blushing when he talks about them," she said. "Mind you, he’s a seventy-five-year-old man reading alpha Tom tied Jane to the bed! Now my children know I write erotic material, but it doesn’t bother them at all. My son might go ewwy at a cover or something like that, but I’ve heard them bragging to their friends about me."

If she had the chance to entertain a character from a book, she would choose Remi, from her story Running in Fear: Escaped. What would the evening be like?

"A quiet night at his place. Candles, music, and lots and lots of sex everywhere!"

On a personal note, I asked Trinity, "If you could be anyone you wanted, who would it be?"

"See this is hard because if you really think about it you would also have to take their problems into yourself. But if I had to choose, there would be three people who stand out to me the most. My mother, my second step-mom (Yes step-mom) and my best friend, Faith Bicknell-Brown. Each one of these ladies have overcome so much in their lives and still strive to help others no matter what it costs them. Their strengths and their love never fail me."

Eventually, Trinity would like to pierce her nipples, when she gets up the courage or gets drunk enough to do it.

"If done right with the right outfit, piercing can only enhance a person’s appearance," she said. "Now there can be too much piercing, too, where it just looks tacky, but that is my opinion. Each person has their idea of what looks erotic."

I asked her to share her most embarrassing moment.

"This happened when I was in college. It was snowy outside, so the cafeteria floor was wet. There was this cute guy—and I mean cute—coming toward me. Stupid me wasn’t paying attention and fell right to my knees in front of him. Books went flying. Mind you, the cafeteria was packed for lunch too. At least the guy was nice enough to help me up and helped me pick up my books, but every time I saw him in the hall, heat would race to my face, and I’d turn away embarrassed."

Trinity's favorite food: lobster and prime rib.

"YUM," she enthused. "Think about having a nice hunk next to you licking up the butter that dribbles down your chin as you eat lobster."

Don't, however, include squid or caviar in the meal. Both of those invoke a "yuck" for her.

You can include Diet Pepsi, however.

Her favorite letter? S for…you guessed it… SEX.

When Trinity's not writing, she stays busy. She has a full-time job, kids and homework help, a house to keep up, and she enjoys the spare moment to read. And, painted toenails?

"Sometimes if I have the time. Usually too busy to do it or don’t have the money to have it done."

"If someone were to play you in a movie, what actor would it be and why?" I asked.

"My mom always told me that I looked like Betty Davis when she was young, but I guess I would have to pick Demi Moore. She has balls and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone. She’s sexy and knows what she wants."

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

"Believe in yourself. Never let critics affect you. Read it and then brush it off. If you can use the advice then do so, but don’t give up!"

You can keep up with Trinity on her blog,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

 Show me Yours and I’ll Show you Mine

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? For yourself or your significant other? As the holiday season approaches I find myself thinking what to get my hubby. I have this issue every year because he is just so freakin’ hard to buy for. He doesn’t really have hobbies as such, has everything he could possibly need for the interests he does have, and is just very…particular about things. Also, he spends a lot of time coming up with unique and special gifts for me and I hate feeling at a disadvantage. :-)

I found myself in this same situation last year for his birthday. I wanted something extra special, something memorable, something he’d never guess and something he wasn’t likely to put away in a cupboard and never think about again. That’s when I came up with it. THE idea. I was going to go and get some nice photographs done of myself, have them made into a book. You know, sexy and suggestive photographs, lingerie type pictures.

It sounded great in theory. I’m not sure how it made its way from idea to reality, how I got the courage and determination to actually go through with it, but I actually did it! I found a specialist photographer I was comfortable with and it really as costly as I thought. Certainly no more than I would have spent otherwise. I even ended up having some nude and implied nude photos taken. I was THAT comfortable LOL.

Another surprise - I had fun with it. The photo session was just really great fun. I mean, who doesn’t like being the center of attention, especially when you have someone trying to make you look as good as possible? The result? It was fabulous. The pictures turned out great and hubby loved them! I’ve included one of the more *cough* discreet ones. It’s one of my favorites, actually. Now my only issue is coming up with something just as good this year!!

So…what’s the most daring thing YOU’VE ever done?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

 It’s just … you

Writing is hard work. It’s grueling, mentally exhausting, sometimes stressful, anxiety ridden and SOLITARY! Well, unless you’re a NYT best selling author with an agent, publicist, editor and an assistant or two LOL. Even then, it’s still just you sitting at that keyboard creating and weaving stories. 

It’s all on you to come up with the next idea and execute it the way you see it in your mind. No-one else can do that part for you. It’s all on you to draw your inspiration from somewhere and wield enough discipline to keep going all in the face of increasing competition and possible rejection. 

Oh, and of course, none of us just write with nothing else to occupy our time. There’s family, other jobs, LIFE, which sometimes just gets in the way! In addition to being THE ‘creative director’, an author also has to worry about sales and marketing, branding and advertising, business planning and strategy, epiracy, going to conferences to continue to improve on the craft of writing and to network, and…probably a hundred other things. 

I have to say for me…I love that part about being an author. Yep, I like to be in charge. I’ve been the boss before and I really, really like it. It’s gratifying to know that it is just you. You’re the one in control of your own writing destiny, you’re the one steering your career, you’re the one who gets to make all the decisions. It’s kind of like being the CEO of your own little (perhaps VERY small :-)) little empire and it requires you to learn and utilize a wide range of different skills. I LOVE being an author!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

  I’ve got a spreadsheet for that…

Before becoming an author, I was in IT. I was a business owner and part of a corporate management team. Organization was probably one of my greatest strengthsthat and an attention to detail. I’m quite analytical. I like everything laid out in a structured fashion and have used spreadsheets for everything and anything for as long as I can remember. I use them for purposes you’d probably guess attracking expenses, etc., but I also use them for keeping track of a lot of other things.

I have a spreadsheet to track my submissions. I have a spreadsheet that contains a summary of every book I’ve ever read (well since 2002) sorted by author and release date and I track my kid’s holiday gifts on spreadsheets every year. I also use spreadsheets for my writing. Of course, right?

I’ve developed what I call the ‘character map’ which is how I create character profiles for my books. It lists details about my hero and heroine that typically never make it into the actual book, but allows me to learn who they really are. I also have one for plotting and outlining, tracking not what’s happening in each chapter, but how the characters are developing and what they’re revealing. 

Really, I could probably come up with a spreadsheet for just about anything. It’s a source of amusement for my family. Hey, I’m always happy to give them some light relief, you know and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I come up with another use for a spreadsheet.

So…how do YOU keep yourself organized? Are you a spreadsheet freak like me or do you have other methods?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

     So…Twitter, baby

I’ve learned a lot about social networking since deciding to become a writer and since becoming published as an author. Prior to that, I thought it was something that wouldn’t interest me in a million years. I mean, who would actually want to interact with strangers, strangers who could be anyone? I dipped my toe in slowly. My blog was first. I struggled to think about things to write about. Seriously, I thought, who’d possibly be interested in what I had to say? It was a great exercise in discipline. I played around with it, posted my entries, figured out what I wanted to do with it and…found my groove. Who knew ‘build it and they would come’ could actually be applied to blogs LOL? And then I discovered, I not only liked to blog, I LOVED it. Never saw that one coming.

I figured I needed a web site soon thereafter, so created one in an evening with a front-end, user-friendly interface. It should be called ‘building a website for dummies’ it was so easy. Then it was…Facebook. I have to say it took awhile to get into the swing of things there. I like to be a person who knows the ins and outs of something and FB has its ‘quirks’. I’d sit staring at a blank status and think…what should I say? Now, it’s become second nature and I do really like the structured nature of FB.

Click to follow Kaily
Next on the horizon? Twitter. I have an account. I follow people. I have followers, but haven’t jumped into Twitter perhaps as much as I should. Not yet. Just like with FB I think there’s a learning curve to get the most out of it and it takes a while to get the ‘feel’ for one of these social networks. I hear others rave about Twitter and talk about its many virtues, so my goal in the next few months is to get immersed in it to see if it’s for me.

So…do YOU Twitter? Any tips, tricks, suggestions and/or recommendations for an author about to jump in?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

  Dedications. Who reads them anyway?

I never much thought about dedications. I’d flip through the front of a book, eager to get to page one and if I saw one, I might scan it and flip on past. I never gave much consideration about what they contained or why an author might go to the trouble to create one. That was until I was asked by my editor what I wanted to include for the dedication in my first book. Honestly, I kind of blew it off. I wrote right back with something meaningful, but kinda generic. It was my editor (in that way she has) who asked if there was anyone special I wanted to acknowledge, would anyone be disappointed if I didn’t mention them and reminded me I’ll only ever have one first book. Huh. It gave me pause and it got me thinking. Perhaps these dedications were more purposeful that I’d thought. Perhaps there really were people out there who took note of them, found them interesting, actually read them! And she was right about something. There was only one first book. So I immediately got to work and wrote my first dedication and here it is:

I’d like to dedicate my debut book to all the aspiring authors out there. Every. Single. One of you. Don’t give up, just don’t, because all of you deserve to have people read the stories of your heart.  
I’d also like to thank Rula Sinara. Whether you know it or not, you’ve been my rock. I guess it was fate, my friend.
To Cari Quinn. You’re an awesome writer and have been so generous and supportive. I appreciate everything you’ve done.
And to D. See? I told you so.

I wanted to acknowledge the aspiring author first and foremost. I’ll never forget what it’s like to be there, how difficult it is, how much effort it takes just to continue to write each day. There were two writer colleagues I was especially thankful for and I wanted to acknowledge them specifically. And D? Well, that would be hubby…:-)

I’ll include a dedication for each of my books moving forward, I think. And if no-one reads it? Well, that’s OK because I know it’s there and it’s the special something I wanted to say at the time.

So…do YOU read dedications?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Testing Time by Shermaine Williams

Once again, the result wasn’t as she wanted, but Jennifer continued to stare at the tiny display as if she could change it with her mind.

It remained the same – she wasn’t pregnant.

Taking some comfort from Tom having already left for work, she had an excuse to keep the unwanted news to herself until evening.

For a moment, she stood still and silent, waiting for the anxiety gripping her stomach to subside.

As she prepared to leave for work, she tried to put it to the back of her mind, knowing she would have to deal with it again later.

The workday failed to ease her mind. Imagining how wonderful it would have felt to announce her pregnancy created a strong sensation, permeating her entire body and flaring up when she found her husband of two years already home.

“Hello, sweetheart.” Her attempt at a cheerful greeting came after a steadying breath, to ensure success.

“Hello,” Tom replied tentatively, appearing in the kitchen doorway and raising an eyebrow like he often did. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” She shook her head as she approached, raising onto her toes to press a kiss to his lips.

His hum suggested he didn’t believe her, but she offered a smile in the hope it would be enough to fool him. Looking into the deep brown of his eyes, she imagined his reaction if she had been able to tell him they were expecting the best Christmas present ever. Knowing he would have been elated left her overwhelmed with a feeling of failure, emotion surging in her chest until it felt like it would burst free.

“I bought you something.” Taking her hand, Tom led her into the living room where a bunch of red roses lay on the coffee table.

Unable to hold back the tears that pricked the back of her eyes, Jennifer began to cry before he could pick them up.

“What’s wrong, Jennifer?” The concern in Tom’s tone was etched on his face, furrowing his brow as he searched his wife’s eyes.

“Nothing,” she replied between sobs. “The beautiful roses are a surprise.”

“Don’t give me that,” he gently scoffed, crushing the flowers as he folded her in his arms. “You don’t cry over flowers.”

Burying her face against his shoulder, wetting his suit with her tears, her heart swelled in her chest. Pressing her body to his with her hand on his back, his composure seemed sufficient to comfort her until she quickly became calm.

“I took a pregnancy test this morning.”

She felt his chest heave as he tightened his embrace, crushing the flowers further until several crimson petals fell to the floor.

Releasing her from his arms, Tom transferred his hands to her face, cupping her chin as he looked into her eyes. “Try not to get upset, we’ll keep trying.”

The warmth in his eyes had an instant effect, releasing her body from the bitter sensation that gripped her chest. “I think it's time to make a doctor's appointment to look at other options.”

For a moment, the couple was silent, lost in their thoughts and enveloped by serenity. “We probably won’t be able to get one until after Christmas so, for the time being, we need to take the time to relax.”

She nodded her agreement, a smile lighting her face before warming her body. Simply looking deep into his eyes let her know that everything would be fine – she could handle anything with him at her side.

“I’m going to cook; we’ll relax and leave all this aside for a while.”

Knowing he was right, she put the flowers down as the tension left her body. “That’s a good idea, I could do with a glass of wine.”

“No wine for you,” Tom immediately replied. “You have to look after your body even before you conceive.”

A seductive smile curled her lips. “Are you telling me what to do?”

“Damn right I am.” Standing in front of her, Tom gazed down at her, love and desire in his eyes.

Gripping her waist, Tom lifted her from her feet with such speed that he made her shriek with laughter before he took her breath away with a passionate kiss. Holding her tightly, he carried her to where he could pin her to the wall.

The pressure of his hard cock against her covered labia prompted her to raise her legs to wrap them around his waist, making her skirt ride up.

His skillful fingers took advantage of her exposed skin, thrusting his hand between their bodies to stroke up her thigh. His probing tongue explored her mouth, tasting her as his fingers slid beneath her panties.

Jennifer tightly gripped his shoulders, fuelled by fierce passion that surged through her body, making her ache for him.

Her body was already ablaze when the head of his thick shaft met her entrance, parting her folds before plunging into the warm confines of her pussy. She held him tighter, flattening her body against his for some satisfying pressure to her swollen nipples.

Tilting her pelvis, she rocked her body in time with his, easily falling into rhythm with the man she knew so well.

Throwing her head back, her orgasmic cry filled the room, her hot body trembling as Tom clamped his body to hers.

As Jennifer sat across from Tom to enjoy the meal he prepared, she didn’t know that the doctor would order a pregnancy test as routine at the yet-to-be-made appointment. There was no way for her to know that the next appointment she would make would be for a scan. She couldn’t possibly know that she would soon be craving anything that contained carrots – a vegetable she hated.

All she did know, as she lovingly gazed at her husband, was that she could look forward to a perfect Christmas with him.

Author bio: Shermaine is a Londoner who has been writing erotica for several years. She is published with Total-e-bound, Xcite and Phaze among others. She loves contemporary tales with a twist.

Author Interview: Bethann Buehler

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome BethAnn Buehler, author of the Rebel Canyon series from Wild Horse Press. The first book of the series, Broken Together, is out now with Broken Destiny scheduled for release in February and Broken Identity due out in October. She will also have a story in a paranormal romance anthology that will be released in time for Christmas, also from Wild Horse Press.

I asked her to tell us a little about Broken Together.

"Broken Together is the first in a three part series of novels featuring a small town called Rebel Canyon where readers invest in the lives of three close friends. Bryn Baxter is hugely successful professionally but when it comes to relationships, let me just be candid--she's a mess. When her otherwise orderly life falls apart, Bryn gets help from a hired gun, Beck Reynolds. Bryn wants the fairy tale but she doesn't want to have to think about how to make it all work. So Beck takes control... "

The series was born on a mountain in Utah. BethAnn was hanging out and reading in the lodge at Deer Valley (Utah) while her husband and son were out skiing. She had taken several books to read for the week since she doesn't ski.

"Honestly, each one I finished left me flat," she told me. "By the end of the third day (and the fourth dissatisfying book), I ran to the gift shop, bought a notebook, refilled my hot chocolate and decided I could do better. Hence the Utah setting for the series."

Broken Together was the hardest to write, because of the foundation that had to be laid to create the series. BethAnn also had to begin her research into the BDSM lifestyle. The easiest was Broken Destiny, but the last book was hard for BethAnn because she didn't want to say goodbye to the series.

BethAnn told me that the titles for her books are a group effort between her husband, her best friend and line editor, and herself. For the Rebel Canyon series, not only did she want each title to match the story line, the phrase is also used in her book. Writing without an outline doesn't faze her, but she can't start the story until she has a title for it.

BethAnn has a computer in her office where she writes when she's at home which offers her a beautiful desk, photos of the people and places she loves and her puppies for company. She also writes at her favorite breakfast spot quite a bit.

"I'll confess, I have two computers!" she said.

When she's not writing, she's a avid tennis player, reader, movie buff and music lover. She also belongs to a couple of craft/hobby groups that meet monthly. And, she can be found having breakfast out with her parents or good friends almost any day of the week.

When people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, author wasn't on her list.

"I was on track to be either an FBI agent or an attorney before I fell in love. Seventeen years of marriage and a few books later, I'm very happy with my final choice!"

"Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?" I asked.

"When The Rebel Canyon series wraps, my readers will be introduced to three new friends who are each struggling to maintain healthy boundaries in their lives. Those choices lead to problems in almost every other area of their existence, including their love lives. Pulled straight from real life experience, my new series is taking shape and promises to be hard hitting and very passionate."

BethAnn told me that Lora Leigh and Maya Banks are two of her erotic romance idols, owning everything they've written. In non-erotic romance, she likes Robyn Carr; she also reads a lot of autobiographies. Elin Hildebrand is her favorite women's fiction author and for M/M books, T.A. Chase gets the nod.

On a personal note, I asked BethAnn, "You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?"

"I was a pretty selfish teenager and broke a lot of hearts so there are a few guys out there that I owe pretty big apologizes. I can say the same where my parents are concerned. Although I'm very close to my folks to this day, I still feel bad about 1984-1989. I'd like a blanket eraser to cover those five years."

The strangest thing she's ever eaten is actually something her big brother fed her when she was four: canned Alpo on a Milk Bone. She also tried everything her son ate when he was an infant/toddler.

"Think about it--all those little glass jars full of science project type food? I've tried them all...," she said.

BethAnn's son, who is nine, has Asperger's Syndrome, which is a very mild form of Autism.

"My hubby works very hard so that I can be here raising our son. It's the hardest job I've ever had but it's my favorite," she told me. "I started writing to carve out personal time for myself as a way to escape some of the stress in my daily life. Without really knowing where I was headed at the time, I created a contemporary romance with strong fetish/erotic elements. I know it sounds corny but I love "love". I love the underdog, the person who deals with their own brokenness and finds the courage to make their life happen against the odds, whatever those might be. That's why I write romance. I really want the happily-ever-after."

What does she want to know about the future?

"I want to know that my son will be alright. Given that he's only nine, sometimes when I think about all of the things he'll see and experience, I find it exciting. Other times, thoughts like that scare me to death."

Some things you might not know about BethAnn:

~~she's a little bit Greek, a little bit Cherokee, a little bit Irish, and a whole lot southern.

~~her favorite pizza is hand tossed sausage, green olive, jalapeƱo—no red sauce, extra cheese.

~~she loves researching the finer details of her stories and has gone to underground leather clubs and interviewed couples practicing various degrees of the lifestyle, consulted a doctore . I've consulted a doctor for the medically technical parts, an attorney for all of the legal parts, and she has a military consultant for the weapons and communications aspect."

~~when it comes to automobiles, she's her own expert.

"What is one thing scientists should invent?" I wondered.

"Jeans that fit! Seriously, are all designers male or just skinny? And what's with dinner plate sized flowers on shirts? Do you have any idea where those flowers always end up on someone who's only 5'4"?"

Finally I asked BethAnn if she had any advice for a new writer just starting out.

"There are several things that I think are key for new writers. Take an editing/proofreading course early on. It's so much easier to write well the first time than re-write (learned this little tip the hard way). Network with other serious writers and join a writer's group if at all possible. Relax. It seemed to me that once I started writing and networking, everyone was writing and getting published. I'm competitive by nature so sometimes I have to remind myself that there's room for everyone and this career isn't a race."

You can keep up with BethAnn on her blog,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Lori Toland

World-building starts at home…

My books are full of the things I love. Hot men who fall in love with each other, sweet romance I can wrap myself up in like my favorite blanket and cats. I adore the little fuzz balls so in every series or story I try to write cats in at some point. But let’s get back to the hot men. As in my books, it always comes back to hot men. 

In every world, even in contemporary romances set here on Earth, I write like I’m in the room with my characters, either in first person with every emotion and sight like I feel them myself or in third person, like I’m a fly on the wall. I feel it’s good to leave some things up to the reader’s imagination, like the color of the walls or the softness of a bedspread, so I can concentrate on the characters emotions and feelings. 

The Replacement Guitarist was Blaze’s story, how he fell in love with Jason Stockton, even though Jason is a mystery to him. But I started Home For The Holidays knowing that while the two men were in love, they had really just started their relationship. It was different than a lot of relationships, but then they don’t have a normal life, with Blaze touring and Jason flying around the country to his artists on tour. 

Lovers reunited, a first date after months of loving each other give Jason and Blaze an unusual relationship, but their relationship has an extra spark every time they get together, desperate to enjoy every second they have together.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Lori Toland

I love all kinds of food but I was born in Southern California and I grew up eating Mexican food and dining at awesome Japanese restaurants. 

When I first moved to Florida, though, I used to live in a small town where there was one Japanese steakhouse that was awful so I had to teach myself how to cook Japanese food. I don’t touch sushi (I let a trained chef take care of that) but I do make teriyaki, tempura and katsu. Tonkatsu (pork katsu) and chicken katsu are some of the hardest dishes to make because of the sauce but they are my favorite and hugely popular in Hawaii.

In Home For The Holidays, Blaze offers to cook for Jason for Christmas, making his favorite dish Chicken Katsu. So I’ll share my fave recipe with you. :-)

The recipe is the same for both chicken and pork. I recommend using the thinnest cut boneless pork chop or boneless chicken breast.

For four servings:

Four chicken breasts or pork chops, thin sliced
Two eggs, beaten
1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
Oil (I recommend corn oil)

First, heat your oil for frying over medium-high heat.

To prepare the meat, put the egg and panko crumbs into separate shallow bowls or plates. Dip the meat in egg first then roll in the breadcrumbs. I normally double dip the egg and breadcrumbs to give it an extra coating. Then put it in the oil (there should be enough oil to immerse 1/3 of the meat in it) and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

For the katsu sauce:

I recommend finding a good bottled katsu sauce to your liking but you can make your own. Here is the recipe:

1 1/3 cups of dashi stock
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons rice wine
1 tablespoon sake
2 teaspoon of sugar

I personally enjoy Kagome but you may find other brands to your liking.

Tip: check your meat before serving. Cut into it with a knife and make sure it is fully cooked, especially if you have never done this recipe before. Cooking times may vary due to your stove.