Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Change Me by Megan Slayer

“Ar-se-nic!”

“Ar-se-nic!”

“Ar-se-nic!”


As he stepped off the bright stage and into the shadows, the man the world knew as Arsenic bowed his head. People grabbed him and continued to shout his name, but he didn’t hear or feel any of it. He didn’t want the roar of ten thousand fans. He needed silence. Arsenic stared at his reflection in the framed art next to the door. Disgusted by his sallow appearance, he tugged the faux piercing from his lip and ran his hand through his dyed black hair. He’d played the part of emo rock god Arsenic so long, he wasn’t sure Nic Jonston still existed.

He wanted the love of one woman—if she still cared.

Once he passed through the dressing room door, he clicked the knob and locked himself in. As a rule, once the concert ended, no one bothered him for thirty minutes but it never hurt to be cautious. The other guys in Damages Unleashed took groupies backstage for sex.

Not him.

A grin curled his lips when he spied her curvy form. She knelt in front of the side table and rummaged through a bag on the floor.

“What are you doing, Mina, love?”

“I dropped my straight pins and don’t want anyone to get hurt.” She glanced over her shoulder and tucked a lock of ebony colored hair behind her ear. “I’ll be gone in a moment.”

Dropping to one knee, he eased up beside her and stilled her hands. A sigh passed between her lips. He didn’t care if she picked up the damn pins. Mina Clarke meant so much more to him than a wardrobe wench.

“Change me,” he whispered against her ear.

“What?”

“Come help me remove this makeup.” With his arm around her, he stood. He eased into a nearby black plastic chair and tugged her into his lap. “Please? I need to change out of this junk. Please, sweetheart, change me.”

“You don’t need to beg.” She smiled and slipped away long enough to retrieve a towel and some makeup wipes. When she returned and wriggled to get comfortable, a low growl rose in his throat.

Mina gently removed the layers of red and white makeup, her tongue dipping out to moisten her crimson bottom lip in apparent concentration. The action rocked him to the core better than any driving bass line.

He hooked his index finger under her chin. “Arsenic or Nic?”

She stopped working and cocked her head. “What are you asking me for?”

Over her shoulder, he caught sight in the mirror of their bodies twined together on the chair. His cock throbbed. Mina suited him. Hell, she looked so right in his arms. Why take so long to appreciate her? Because he took her for granted.

Now, he wanted the truth.

“Who do you want?” He stroked her cheek with the pad of his thumb. “Give me an honest answer.” And you...

She squared her shoulders and aimed her thumb at the door. “They want the image.” She dropped her gaze to her lap.

“But I need to know who you want.” He threaded his fingers into the silk of her hair, urging her closer. The men’s button-down shirt she wore covered her black tank top, but gaped open like an invitation for his touch.

After a pregnant pause, her gaze slipped from her hands to his face. “I want the man on the stool playing dark love songs because the music stirred his soul. He’s still there under the eyeliner and pallid makeup and he’s trying to be someone he’s not.” The fluorescent light glittered in her chocolate eyes.

“You love me?” Please say you do.

“I’ve been in love with Nic Jonston since he played the Casbah back in ’99.”

He slammed his mouth over hers, mashing their lips together in a kiss that sent a sensation he didn’t recognize surging through his veins. Respect? Yes. Desire? Hell yeah. Lust? No—love. When he broke free for air and gazed into the dark depths of her eyes, his heart swelled within his chest. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You never listened to me before.”

Her cheeks flushed a deep crimson, and her breasts heaved with each breath. Strands of her dark hair spilled down her shoulders.

“I need to feel you.” He tore the front of the shirt open, sending buttons across the room in a series of pings and soft thumps. “Goddess, I want to fuck you.”

Her frenzied fingers working the zipper of his leather pants was his answer. He smoothed the delicate fabric of her tank top up past her breasts. Two silver rings gleamed in the bright light. Good Goddess, pierced and no bra. As he sucked a nipple into his mouth her whimper sent him to the ragged edge. He needed to be inside her—now.

“Nic.”

Fuck yes! But not on the chair. In the reflection, he glimpsed the overstuffed leather couch. Perfect. “Grab onto my shoulders.” While he scooped her into his arms and carried her to the buttery soft furniture, her sharp nails bit into his skin.

Once he had her spread out to his liking, he shoved the leather pants to his ankles. Her skirt rode high on her thighs, revealing pink cotton panties. His cock strained forward, seeking her warmth. He hooked his finger in the elastic at her thigh baring her slick lips to his gaze. She squirmed and made a move to cover herself with her hands.

Nic planted his knee between her thighs and pulled both of her hands above her head. “You don’t need to hide from me.”

She arched her back and licked her lips. “Then stop looking and take me, dammit.”

As he entered her, she cried out his name. Her body trembled in his grasp and her eyelids fluttered shut. He shifted his hips setting up a steady, heavy rhythm sending him deeper into her sweet heat. “Mina, you make me whole.” Each thrust propelled him closer to nirvana.

His hair fell into his eyes as he bent to swirl his tongue around her ripe nipple. He released her wrists and she thrust her fingers into his hair, holding him to her.

“Nic!” Her sharp little nails dug into his scalp.

Her inner muscles fluttered and clamped him tightly within her as she climaxed. A moment later, he allowed the release he denied for so long.

The residual tremors still shuddered through them both as he collapsed on his side next to her. He wrapped an arm across her smooth, quivering stomach. “Will you come with me? I can’t be Arsenic all the time. I want to be just Nic—with you.”

“Take me home, Nic.” Mina cupped his cheek in her delicate hand. “I’ll follow you anywhere.”

About the author: When she's not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don't seem to mind. When she's not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school. You can visit her by going to her blog: http://www.theauthormeganslayer.blogspot.com

Author Interview: Anya Howard

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Anya Howard, author of Submissive from Kensington.

"How do you personally distinguish between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography?" I asked Anya.

"First, let me say I think these tags are very subjective ones, dependent on personal tastes and social trends. What is defined as erotic romance today might well be called pure pornography twenty years from now, or vice versa.

"But for me personally the distinction is simple: erotica involves the sexually demonstrative affection between consenting adults. Erotic Romance is a modern term to differentiate marketable erotica from formula written Romance that portrays the courtship between a single pair of individuals. And pornography is generally anything involving a sexual situation or situations that a reader personally finds distasteful."

One person's definition of porn may not be the same as another person's, so it's hard to know if there's a line she wouldn't cross, she told me. "Let’s just say I never want to write anything sexual involving little kids, animals, snuff, mutilation, or bodily functions pertaining to anything that toilet paper is ordinarily purchased and used for. Don’t get me wrong," she added. "I have nothing against a scene involving naked college guys rolling the campus. That might prove interesting."

One of the biggest misconceptions the public has about erotica is that it can't be romantic.

"When you think about it, where did the word erotica come from? The god, Eros. And he’s best known as Psyche’s lover," she said. "Over the decades erotica has been stigmatized by lurid stereotypes. I feel that these stereotypes are still often perpetuated out of ignorance, fear and sometimes personal advantage by whoever is doing the perpetuating."

Some of the most talented writers in the field of erotica, for Anya, include Monica M. Martin, Devyn Quinn, JD Robb and Anne Rice, when she was still writing as Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure.

"I also very much admire the writings of Jade Blackmore," she told me. "Blackmore not only knows how to pen erotic prose, she has a true gift for sensual poetry."

Anya admits she's very lucky to have a wonderfully supportive family who have had faith in her writing and her ability to succeed, even when she was afraid the fates were against her aspirations.

"My husband has most especially encouraged me. I think I may have given up a long time ago if it wasn’t for him," she said. "I began writing erotica shortly after meeting him. He just turned on the magic key to that particular muse and the engine hasn’t switched off yet. And I hope it doesn’t for quite awhile, either."

Over the years, Anya has written many genres of fiction, most notably –under another name—children's books.

Speaking of children's books, if Anya could entertain a character from a book, she first claimed it would be Curious George.

"Can you imagine being a young primate forced to sleep and play every day of your life with some guy in a cowboy hat? I’d have some people from PETA waiting here when George arrived so they could take him immediately to a safe shelter. I’m sure they would see to it that George receives psychological counseling before re-integrating him with his own species." She winked then said, "Actually, I really don’t know.. maybe Othello. I’d like to shake him and say, hey, can’t you see what sick mind game Iago is playing?"

Quotes from Anya about a variety of subjects:

Favorite food—"I love practically any Chinese dish."

Least favorite food—"Beef liver. Disgusting!"

Coke v. Pepsi—"Pepsi is sweeter. This is why I prefer Coke."

Painted toenails—"I don’t like the feel of paint on my nails, never have."

Favorite letter—"T. Nothing sounds better than the crisp letter 'T'; it is found at the very root, and is the beginning of every tree."

She laughed and said at one time she could tie a cherry stem with her tongue, but admitted it's been a while since she's tried.

One thing Anya does do is check her horoscope every morning before she does any work.

"I like to know the position of the moon and planetary alignments and aspects, and incorporate these things into my work schedule," she explained.

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

"Carpal tunnel comes with the territory, so if you’re looking to invest your money, think: WRIST BRACES. More seriously, I think all writers should remember one thing if they want to be happy, and that’s write what you love. Literature is like marriage vows - sure you can have it all written down on a piece of paper, but without love it’s just a bunch of words."

You can keep up with Anya on her website, http://www.anyahoward.com

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Anny Cook

"I have no friends!" my granddaughter cried. Her parents are quite strict and she lived in a dangerous neighborhood so she was not allowed outside without supervision. They hope things will be better soon. But in the meantime... So we had a talk. Turns out that she was complaining that she wasn't allowed to run around with her friends unsupervised. I side with her parents on this.

But it started me thinking about friendship and how we define a friend. What changes our definition from "a woman/man I know" to "my friend"? How do we make that shift--and why?

Some would say it's based on commonality of interests. I'm not convinced that's it. I think that two very different people can be friends. Two people of disparate interest, educational backgrounds, even age, can build a close friendship. I suspect that it is a shared spirit. In the worst case, two negative individuals forge a friendship wherein their mutual negativity feeds off each other. It's a destructive relationship from the beginning. In the best case, two individuals build a wonderful relationship which supports and encourages both of them. Most of us end up somewhere in the middle.

Friendship can be short, long or intermittent. I have a friend that I talk to about every two or three years. That's the way our lives have gone. We've been friends since we were eighteen-year-old newlyweds. If I pick up the phone tomorrow, we can take up our conversation where we last left off. I don't have to explain things to her or apologize for my feelings because she understands. We are friends.

I move frequently and that means that I sometimes have to leave friends behind. But for that time period that I lived in that place, those friends and I had shared experiences we can look back on with smiles. We were friends.

When I arrive at a new place, I face the prospect of making new friends. Fortunately in this place I have a wonderful friend and neighbor close by. We've shared some interesting times as I've become a published writer. She's my cheerleader and coach when I'm feeling blue. She's my confidant. She is my friend. Friends are a priceless gift. During this month of February let us be thankful for friends--past, present, and future.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Anny Cook

Kiss a Vet

Contrary to what some think, Veteran's Day was not set aside for shopping, a day off from school, or a day off work. It was actually set aside to honor veterans. Whether living or dead, this is the day we are supposed to take time to appreciate the sacrifices they've made and to offer our thanks.

So I'm wondering when we do this... When is the last time any of us have shaken a veteran's hand and said, "Thank you." No parade. No big to-do. Just a simple heart felt thank you. I have several veterans in my family. Seems like today might be the day to acknowledge their contributions.

My dad was in the Air Force in the late forties. He was a plane mechanic on a base in Arizona. Dad, thank you for keeping the planes up and running for the pilot's training. I appreciate your hard work.

My father-in-law was in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific. Pops, thank you for joining up and fighting in a nasty difficult war. I appreciate your hard work and the time you were away from home.

My cousin was in the Green Berets in Vietnam. Two tours of duty. Jack, thank you for going and fighting. Thank you for not giving up on America when we didn't appreciate your sacrifice. Thank you.

Another cousin was in the Coast Guard at the tail end of the war. Not many people realize that the CG is part of our military and that often it's more dangerous than other assignments. Molly, thank you.

My son was in the Navy for eight years. He finished his last tour the year after 9/11. He was stationed at the submarine base in Connecticut, responsible for 24 hour turn arounds for our subs as they guarded our shores from terrorists. Thank you, Tony. I'm glad you're safe now.

How about you? Do you have someone to thank? Speak up and let us know! Whether it's Veteran's Day or not, remember to thank a vet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Anny Cook

Writing a book is somewhat like baking a cake. The experienced cook knows when the cake is done, but it's difficult to explain how he or she knows to another person. So it is with a book or story. Each author has an inherent sense of when the story is finished, but no way to explain that sense to another person.

One of the most frequent questions I get from the house hunk is "Are you almost done?" Well... not yet. My current work in progress is close to completion, but not quite yet. This last week I wrote more than 10000 words, fully expecting it to be finished. But...not quite yet. So today I will write some more until that internal sense tells me that the story is complete.

That completeness, that internal sense is when we reach the point that our brain says “the end”. Do you remember when books used to actually have that printed after the last paragraph? Have you ever read a book where you thought those words would have been a great addition because you couldn't tell you'd reached the end? I read one that ended so abruptly I wrote to the publisher wondering why my download didn't contain the entire book. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that was the entire book!

I once sent a book to my editor, uneasy and irritable because I sensed it wasn't quite finished. Eventually, I retrieved it and added some more to the story, smoothing out rough spots, explaining things that were inexplicable. In edits, there were more additions. That book ended up nearly 10000 words longer than when I first submitted it. I will never again yield to the pressure to finish, finish, finish until my inner sense is at peace.

So the answer is: Not quite yet. But soon. Very soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Anny Cook

Ah, the heartburn of edits, critiques, and reviews! My baby, my baby is so precious. I just know it's perfect. Really. Well, almost. No?

For an author, there is nothing that stings so much as criticism of their work--whether it is deserved or not. Any author who says otherwise lies. Oh, we can be big boys and girls about it, but deep down, it still bruises the ego.

If we are to present our best work then that input is necessary because most of us are too close to our work to see the flaws. Even minor flaws can mar our work and prevent us from placing our best work before the public. The way I see it, there are three stages of criticism for my work. (I'm not counting myself as I should have done my own edits before it goes to the next stage.) Count the number of times I used "work" in that paragraph! Talk about flaws...

Critique partners: When I have my chapter/section/piece that I'm working on polished up to the best of my ability, then it's time to send it off to my critique partners. Contrary to what some people think, it's not their job to tell me how wonderful it is. I have family, friends, even neighbors who can do that. No, their job is to point out the flaws in my writing.

What is it with you and the head hopping?
Why are there nineteen characters in this scene?
Did you know that you used the word "just" twelve times in two paragraphs?
I have no idea what the first three paragraphs are about!

Or conversely, I fell asleep after the second sentence.

The critique partner is the first line of defense. She/he is the one who puts the brakes on the runaway train before it completely jumps the tracks. Rather than telling me how amusing/hot/sexy my writing is (unless my scene just totally blew them away!) what I need is for them to point out where and how I can improve. Otherwise, they are just cheerleaders yelling rah, rah.

After the critique partners shake things up, it's my job to go back and fix things. And when I've done that to the best of my ability, then it's off to submissions.

Editor: If my book is accepted, then eventually an editor will go over it with a careful eye and a big fat red pen. Well, not really a red pen. In this new technological age, it's all done on the computer with fancy hi-lighting and squawks of protests in the margins. But the end result is the same.

Why does hero have three arms in this scene?
Men are blond, women are blonde.
Fourteen "that"s on this page.
People are who, things are that.
Not on the accepted list of alternative words for penis--use something else.
There are fourteen characters in this scene. Cut some of them.
Why did the heroine suddenly turn into a whiney wimpy crybaby?


Sometimes, there are simply paragraphs of suggestions. This is erotic romance. Therefore, the hero/heroine should probably make it to bed sometime before Chapter Sixteen. There is no sexual tension in the story until Chapter Ten. At this point, you have a mystery with romantic elements--not an erotic romance.

Whatever there is, the editor is committed to improving the author's book, so taking the edits personally just doesn't work. When I receive my edits and final line edits, I always read through them immediately to make sure I don't have any unanswered questions. Then I leave the computer, walk around, have a cup of coffee and think about them.

Until my frustrations are under control, I don't work on the edits, because my best writing is not accomplished when I'm in a temper. And sitting in front of my computer is not the place to get over my mad, no matter how temporary.

Editors do not generally set out to destroy the writer's fragile ego. Really. And if your ego is that fragile, maybe you should find another line of work. Yep, your feelings will hurt. But if you want your book to be the best it can be, then get to work.

If you have radical differences of opinion with the editor, those need to be resolved before you make changes. Believe it or not, the editor is not God. However, before diving in, make sure you really, really want to draw that line in the sand, because likely your book will not be published by that publisher and you will need to go elsewhere.

Yay! I've made it through the editing process and now my book is released and I anxiously await the reviewing process.

Reviewers: Reviewers are the toughest audience of all. They're readers, generally not professionals in the writing field, but they know what they like. And when they don't like your book, they say so in a public arena. In the Internet age, public has a very different meaning than during the print age. A bad review will likely be read world-wide. Ouch. It doesn't just sting, it humiliates. No matter what spin you put on a bad review, it sucks.

But there are things still to be learned from a bad review. Don't shove it under the mattress. Print it out. Cool down. And analyze that review. What exactly did the reviewer not like? And... are they right? If so, how can you change things so your next book is better?

At every step in the process, the author can learn valuable lessons and use those lessons to improve their writing. Would I rather my critique partners pointed out the flaws privately instead of hearing about them in a public review? Yeah. Oh, yeah. But if my story made it through the entire process still flawed, then that unflattering review may be the last chance I have to learn something that will make all the difference in my next book.

So don't forget to thank them for their hard work. Critique partners, editors AND reviewers. They're worth it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Spotlight: Anny Cook

Hoo-boy…have you ever made a commitment and then totally forgotten about it? Life just seems to whiz by us at a million miles an hour. And for some reason, the more commitments we make, the faster life comes at us.

How many of us have committed (loudly) to slowing down, smelling the roses, taking time for our families or spouse--only to find ourselves buried deep in the mudpile of new releases, contracted books, promo opportunities and book signings? Is there life after writing?

Yes.

I'm convinced the number one requirement is some type of calendar. No, don't just look at it! Write stuff in it. Write down all those commitments you make on the spur of the moment. You say you've been invited to a chat? Write it down. You promised to blog for a friend? Write it down. Your book is going to be released next month? Write it down.

Next write down all those “other” commitments you've made…PTA meetings, church, dental and doctor appointments, and that Halloween costume you promised to hem for your grandchild. Um, running out of room? What about those six books you promised to read for friends? Don't forget your daily blog. And the weekly critique group?

When your calendar has more than half of the squares/pages filled, it's time to stop and reassess. Now you might be one of those writers who believe that as long as you have empty squares, it's all good. I just have one word for you. Emergencies.

Emergencies don't know about calendars. Emergencies don't care about your commitments. Emergencies are selfish, self-centered, and impossible to ignore. And they're greedy consumers of our time and emotions. The only way to deal with them is to put them on our calendar. I've noticed they seldom show up if I've planned for them. Contrary little buggers, but there you have it. Plan for an emergency and it just doesn't show up.

That leaves a day or two each week for planning, research, meditation… or writing! After all, that's our primary directive. Unless we manage all those other commitments, time for writing will vanish like the invisible man.

Anny Cook -- Simmering Romance with a Smile
Surpassing Pleasures now at EC
Kama Sutra Lovers now at EC
Rescuing Clarice now at EC
Love Never-Ending now from EC
http://www.annycook.com/
http://www.annycook.blogspot.com/
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Riding Bareback by J. Hali Steele

Whiskey brown eyes glanced her way as he walked by. His perfectly straight nose sat above a pair of lips that could only be called kissable. The sleeves of his crisp white shirt were rolled to just below his elbows and showcased tanned forearms she wanted wrapped around her. She envisioned his strong hands gripping her ass…Easy, girl! Her panties would be wet the rest of the night.

Daria Jones couldn’t wait to get off—from work that is.

For a few months now, she’d been an assistant manager in the only cinema within fifty miles. Everyone who grew up near Madisonville knew it well. It was the last independent movie house left in the state of Montana. The late shift suited her fine because the boss never arrived before six in the evening.

And Daria was tumbling headlong in love with him.

Cord Madison was hot as hell, and he exuded power and confidence. His family not only owned Madisonville, they owned a herd of prized stallions.

A big girl, she turned heads with her vivid green eyes and striking height. Still, she couldn’t believe she was dating Cord. His scent always aroused her to a fevered pitch and caused the walls of her pussy to clench tight. Heated kisses and touching was all they’d shared so far, and it was all she could handle. As if he’d read her mind, Cord told Daria he’d wait until she was ready but she suspected he hesitated for another reason. Though she ignored the crazy stories of small town people, she wondered if they affected him. Surely, his family had heard them.

“Hey, honey?”

She swung around, and a stray brown curl tangled on a button of his shirt.

“Relax.” Warm puffs of air brushed her cheek. His head moved closer and he sniffed and nuzzled her neck like he always did, swiping it with his tongue. “Want to ride bareback?”

“Sure.” Damn he smells good. His soft laughter poured over her skin like honey. Finally loose, she stepped back and wobbled on weak knees at the heated look of desire in his eyes. Cord snatched her into his arms and covered her lips in a kiss that shook her to the core. Grabbing her butt, he pulled her against his erection. She shoved her hands into his thick, black hair and kissed him deeply. Her body reacted by releasing another rush of cream into already damp underwear.

Cord stroked and massaged her back before he eased away. “Ready?”

“Yes.”

Daria was ready.


*****
He drove past the house and parked his sports car in front of the stables. “I’ll be right out,” he said.

She rested her butt against the fender.

Before her parents died leaving their finances and her life in shambles, Daria had been a damn good rider but she and Cord had never ridden this late.

For the first time in years she felt young, vulnerable.

And there were the tales about wild...

She pushed the thought away. Nothing could be worse than the awful places she’d lived and worked in. Nothing. Daria had seen people do unbelievable and cruel things in the last few years.

Despite her honesty about the past, not once had Cord judged her. His strength of character and his patience had won her over. She remembered his words the first day he took her riding-- “animals love unconditionally.”

Daria heard the clipped steps of a horse emerging from the stables and turned to face the most beautiful black creature she’d seen yet. Its cold nose pushed gently at her neck. A premonition slid down her spine at the way it reminded her of Cord.

A throaty chuckle slipped past her lips. “You’re fresh but you don’t scare me.”

Grabbing the mane, she swung onto the ebony stallion’s bare back and they galloped across the meadow. The horse slowed to a walk at the copse of trees that opened up on a moonlit lake. Cord would know where to find her. Dismounting, Daria left the animal to wonder on its own while she gazed over the water.

“There is no fear in you at all.”

Cord’s quiet words so close to her ear made her jump. He moved around to stand in front of her—stark naked.

Again, the premonition. “Where did you come from?”

“In your heart, you know the answer. Sharing kisses, subtly rubbing my scent on you, I prepared you as much as I could.” He pulled her against his chest. “I can’t wait any longer.” She barely heard his next words. “I’ll let you go if that’s what you want—you’ll never remember a thing.”

Daria’s life had been a bitch. Was she being prepared for this? Because he was right; she wasn’t afraid. What scared her was her old life and the thought of not remembering Cord.

“What will happen to me?”

“You’ll become what I am, what some of the others are.”

His scent, the smell that had tantalized her for weeks, washed over her as he nuzzled her neck.

“Make me yours, Cord.”

He unbuttoned her top and slipped it from her shoulders, her bra quickly followed. His head dipped and captured a taut nipple. Daria’s body bowed into him. His huge erection pressed hard into her stomach while she wrestled with the button on her slacks.

Breaking away, he stooped to help her. Cord pulled her down to lie in the warm surf and, leaning over, he continued to lick and tease her breast. He nipped at her neck and shoulders, feathered moist kisses down her stomach until she couldn’t stand any more.

“I’ll take care of you, honey, forever.”

“Cord…” His glorious aroma encased her in a safe bubble.

Running his fingers through her pussy, he brought them to his mouth. Daria shuddered watching him taste her juices.

He rose above her and used a knee to spread her thighs wider. Grasping his penis, he nudged at her entrance. “You’re wet and ready for me.” He eased forward, slipping inch after inch of his thick cock inside her.

“Yes,” she hissed as he pushed into her canal. “I want it all.”

“Whatever you want.”

He thrust in and out with a ferocious rhythm that she matched move for move.

Her hips arched high into his and she yelled his name as an orgasm quickly slipped from her. With a final lunge, he buried his penis in her and exploded sending a stream of cum deep inside her.

He whispered in her ear. “Let’s go home, I want more.”

She watched as he stood and shimmering iridescent particles of light surrounded him. In seconds the black stallion stood before her pawing the ground and snorting.

He was magnificent.

Bending to retrieve her clothes, she was bumped in the ass by a cold, wet nose. Twirling around, Daria looked in the beast’s eyes. They twinkled with mirth.

“Oh hell, I’ll ride bareback.”

Swinging onto Cord, she slapped his flank. He reared up and sliced his hooves through the air and whinnied.

Daria got the ride of her life.

About the author: J. Hali Steele would much rather be roaming where her fictional big cats live—in the high desert of California—so would her four furfriends. She enjoys spending time with her sisters and friends who willingly listen to her ramblings about the world of vamps, shifters and angels. She promises to untie them soon!

Author Interview: Adriana Kraft

The Long and the Short of It: Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Adriana Kraft, a husband/wife writing team who are serious academics during the day. They began writing contemporary romance, but had people tell them they wrote hot sex and should try their hand at writing erotic romance. They did and found they enjoy themselves immensely trying to keep up with the antics of their characters.

They view erotic fiction as more challenging to write than "straight" romance.

"We believe erotic romance requires more plotting and looking ahead than romantic suspense. In the latter there are so many elements that propel the story it often has a trajectory of its own and we can sit back and let the characters tell and drive their own story to a large extent. With erotic romance, because more space is devoted to sex scenes we have to be very sensitive to how each sex scene helps tie together, shape, or propel story and character development. While we certainly want the readers—individuals and couples—to find our sex scenes hot and sensual, those scenes must be essential to the telling of the story. We are not writing an anthology of sex scenes."

For them, erotic romance is driven in large part by evolving relationships and character change as the romance deepens and takes unpredictable twists and turns. Sex is graphic and often quite sensual. The stories have happy endings where two or more persons end up in ongoing, committed relationships.

"Because many of our female characters are bisexual, these end relationships often include three or more persons and may or may not be exclusive, though they are mutually committed."

Erotica is different in that there's often less attention to character development and happy endings. The sex can be more graphic, sometimes less consensual, and take up more space.

"Pornography, for us, can include all of the above including romance, but usually places even less emphasis on story line and character development. Romance, happy endings and commitment are typically not a focus. And the sex is often rawer, displaying little regard for consent, mutuality and sensuality. Obviously we are describing a continuum here with blurring lines. We have certainly enjoyed 'pornographic' videos that are quite sensual and romantic and celebrate the feminine as well as the masculine and result in happy, committed endings."

For them, a good erotic romance tells a story in which the sex scenes are absolutely integral to the story line development and the growth of the characters. No scene would be included merely to titillate—it must propel the story forward.

"We also use the wetness and hardness test," they said. "If the eroticism doesn't turn us on at the fifth or sixth read then it's rewrite time."

"How do you do your research for your books?" I wondered.

"It would require a book to answer this question fully. We love to visit places where we may want to set a story—for example, we spent a week poking around the South Dakota prairie visiting historic sites, museums, and just to get a feel for the land with the idea that we'd set some books with characters who have prairie backgrounds. Another example is our visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which provides a meeting place for heroes and heroines in two books: Smoldering Passion and A Woman for Zachary. We use the internet a lot to research specific places, occupations, and even weather. In The Diary our hero and heroine dine at a restaurant in Stratford upon Avon—when they do so they select from the actual menu that is available on line. We've 'been' at the top of the Eiffel Tower looking through a 360 degree webcam recalling the lay of the city. We've each been to Paris years ago and visited the Louvre—while writing a book that is still in the pipeline, it was very helpful to 'revisit' the city just as our characters did. Much more research goes into a story than is actually reflected in a book. This is back story that gives us a better feel for the characters and makes them more believable when they appear on the page. We've learn lots about sailing, whiskey making, art and art galleries, horses, cruise ships, photography and video making and so on by visiting actual places and virtual places. Often we choose professions for our characters because we want to learn more about the professions. If we're interested in learning about something, it's much more likely that we will be able to pass that interest on to the reader. In short, it's difficult to imagine writing without having an inquisitive, research mind."

No matter whether or not it's called porn or erotica, Adriana will only write sex scenes involving consenting adults only. If it's integral to the character development or storyline, there may be a vague flashbook to a horrific experience in teen years. Other than that rare exception, all their sex scenes require permission and mutual consent.

"Characters may choose to role play such as a pirate/captive scene but they and the reader know it is a role play. Even in role play we will stay away from heavy BDSM. That is not a judgment about what others should write. Many write the darker edge of BDSM very well. It's simply not what we do. We will include light forms of BDSM such as spanking and scarves but the emphasis then is usually on playfulness. Playfulness, humor and fun are keys to most of our work. Our characters get involved in all kinds of crazy scrapes, they rise and fall as do their counterparts in real life, but most of the time they are able ultimately to reach down into themselves and find that spark of playfulness and curiosity that so often propels them toward new discoveries about themselves and their partners."

While they write together as one person, they are still individuals and have their individual likes and dislikes.

She loves a steaming latte, but cannot bring herself to eat lima beans; his favorite food is shrimp, but don't try to give him anchovies.

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

"At least half of writing involves editing and marketing, but don't let that get in the way of getting your story on paper or on the screen. Write, write, write. Listen to your characters and write some more. Let the dialogue take you where it will. You can always go back and edit or delete. Let it flow. Write about things that matter to you. If it doesn't matter to you it probably won't to the reader either. Let the characters stretch you—they often have better ideas for working through knotty plot problems than we do. We sometimes will follow the characters down a path and wonder how the hell we got here—but it works. And the converse is equally true. When we try to force a path, the characters will often balk. It just won't work. For us we've discovered the irony over and over that the characters do have the last word."

You can keep up with Adriana on their blog, http://adrianakraft.com/blog

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Michelle Polaris


Up, Up and Away!

I thought to revisit a fun subject I blogged about at the Naughty Author Chicks this past January and have included some of that text below. Since I am trying hard to add fun and play into my life (see my earlier post this week entitled “Not Light and Fluffy”) I will end the week at Whipped Cream’s Spotlight on a light note. So let’s talk superheroes.

Superheroes have made it into non-erotic romance. Not as frequently as other paranormal creatures, but they're there. Notably in urban fantasy, whose lines have blurred with paranormal and fantasy romance. I'm thinking of Vicki Pettersson's Signs of the Zodiac series. Another series closer to straight romance is A.J. Menden's Elite Hands of Justice books, which include Phenomenal Girl 5 and Tekgrrl.

But what about in erotic romance? I admit there may be stories of which I'm unaware with superhero motifs. Certainly there are plenty of vampires and alien species running around in these books with power to inflame desire with a single breath and feeding on raw sexuality. But do any of them have official costumes? Fight on a team of do-gooder kick-butt good guys against evil and injustice? What would an erotic romance superhero power be? The ability to cause an orgasm in a partner faster than a speeding bullet while simultaneously bringing them a romantic happily ever after? To subdue worldwide evil and strife by slamming bad guys with an afterglow ray, causing them to fall to the ground in sexual repletion and then rise and declare their undying love to the first person they encounter? To cure impotency with a single blink, thereby bringing increased satisfaction to couples throughout the world, saving relationships left and right? I think all erotic romance authors deserve erotic romance superpowers. A lot of us already have secret identities, choosing pen names to protect our mundane identities as we blend in with the average Janes driving mini-vans, running to the supermarket, and schlepping to day jobs and kids' sporting competitions.

My superhero persona, if I got to choose one, would be Wonder Whip Woman, apologies to DC Comics. Her cape and lasso would be black leather and her invisible jet would come with an invisible spanking bench. Imbued with the power to bring out the hidden submissive in even the most alpha of males (grin). Okay, maybe not. Instead I think Wonder Whip Woman would fight intolerance for diversity of sexuality, valiantly battling closed minded bigotry against non-mainstream sexual practices between consenting adults. In a way I touch upon this issue in Bound Odyssey, where the post-apocalyptic setting has heightened bigotry against all sexual minorities.

What do folks think of these ideas? Would the superhero motif make it in erotic romance fiction? Should all erotic romance authors be entitled to erotic romance superpowers? What would they be? What persona and power would you choose?

Since I asked these questions at Naughty Author Chicks I have discovered a superhero erotic romance by Savanna Kougar called Her Insatiable Dark Heroes. It’s on my e book reader now ready to be devoured. I hope to enjoy and let it be the first I read in a hot new trend to come. Mark my words, ladies and gentleman. Guess I better start cracking on my own superhero themed erotic romance.

Thanks for letting me visit with you this week.

Michelle Polaris

www.michellepolaris.com

www.michellepolarisblog.wordpress.com

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Michelle Polaris


Got BDSM? A Look at Why I Write It

I love to write strong characters. Yeah, it’ s a genre trend. Tough as nails women and men fighting the good/bad/ugly fight against evil. The days of the fainting heroine melting into the hero’s arms are mostly gone. Unless she’s doing it to have him drop his guard and then deliver a one two sucker punch. Ah, true love.

What I adore about writing BDSM stories is that they allow me to redefine the idea of character strength in a very explicit manner. A contract between a Dominant and a submissive involves an overt discussion about needs and limits on both their parts. A discussion that acknowledges the very basic core of who they are and how they’re wired and pushes aside the moral judgments of the world. It involves forming a bond of trust, even if it’s for a short period of play. A submissive gives away their control, trusting a Dominant to provide them with what can be described, if it’s done right, as a perfect freedom. The freedom from needing to make any decisions, judge themselves or worry about anything other than pleasing their Master or Mistress. And getting out of your head that way, just accepting what is happening to you, experiencing the sensations of the body, can lead many to what is described as almost a spiritual high. I admire any person who is able to put his or her needs so clearly on the table. That’s strength.

It’s been said that ultimately it is a submissive that has the control in a D/s (Domination/submission) relationship. Without a sub’s permission to allow the Dominant to take power, the Dominant has nowhere to go. My recent story, Bound Odyssey, can be characterized for the most part as a FemmeDomme. Meaning the heroine is the sexual Dominant and my heroes, two of them in this case, are the sexual submissives. Although in truth one of the heroes of my story, Roman, is a switch, someone who is able to move back and forth between Domination and submission based on the circumstances and his desires at the time. Not as much FemmeDomme has been written for the erotic romance market as its counterpoint. The reason being quoted to me is often that women, the primary audience, do not like to read about weak men. They want strong alpha heroes in their stories. But I believe the definition of strength is askew in this case. Strength does not always come in beating your chest and pummeling your adversary into giving you what you want. Strength can also be found in letting go. The wisdom of the tree bending with the wind instead of fighting it and snapping in two. It takes great personal strength to be willing to let go of all control.

More to the point, people are not simply one thing or another. What is lost in this preference to read about the tough alpha male is how men may be in charge and commanding in many aspects of their life, but still feel a deep need to give up control, move away from the stress of running the show in other aspects of their lives. The stereotype of weak submissive male characters is something we need to leave behind. A true to life male submissive character is not a wuss. He’s a lot like most guys in life we know and sometimes love. I give credit to erotic romance author Anne Douglas for talking about this a lot recently. The wisdom to be willing to honor this part of himself makes a man very strong in my book given the messages our culture throws at guys about what it means to be male.

Ironically, what I believe many female readers like about the dark, brooding alpha males in so many romance stories is the nugget of vulnerability that lies inside these characters. The wounds of the psyche that the heroine touches as the relationship develops between them. The woman’s love that proves to help heal that wound. (Or a man’s love of another man. Just saying.) It’s my belief that a well-told Femme Domme love story is about the same dynamic. Or at least that’s what I was attempting to write. If you end up reading my book, you’ll have to drop me a line and let me know how I did.

In the meantime, I will try very hard to write more stories where strength does not just mean one thing and characters are the same wonderful, complex mess we all are as we struggle through our lives.

Michelle Polaris

www.michellepolaris.com

www.michellepolarisblog.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Michelle Polaris

Not Light and Fluffy

A recent review of my book, Bound Odyssey, came to the heart of the matter of my writing. An Alternative-Read.com reviewer wrote the following: “I will start this off by saying if you are looking for something light and sunny- this ain't it. If, however you are looking for a good story with plenty of meat, intensity, and a plot with purpose, this one will do just fine.”

I was thrilled because, really, these are the types of stories I intended to write. Stories where the heroes and heroines are wading through the dark inside themselves and battling both internally and externally to get out of it with their souls intact. True love is one of the many tools they use in this battle--their lovers forcing them to come to terms with who they are and accepting themselves.

As a person who values self-examination, I had to stop myself. Why do I need to write so dark? Not to say there isn’t humor in my stories. My characters use humor the way we all sometimes do. To keep us going so we don’t fall into a quivering heap and give into the difficult stuff life often throws at us. I think my love for drama is leftover from childhood. I was a way too lonely and serious kid. Play was not my forte. I firmly believe that writing is therapeutic. My stories are in no way autobiographical, but the idea of helping my characters transform from a place of inner pain is something really magical. I guess it comes down to creation of hope. Creating hope for my characters creates hope for me. It’s what we all need to thrive as human beings.

Ironically, the writing itself is a form of play. Sitting down to create everyday will keep it growing in my life. Adults need to play as badly if not more so than kids. Play brings creativity to our lives. It helps us grow. Reading for pleasure, while ostensibly an activity done solo, is also a form of play. When we read we absorb new ideas, new possibilities, and try them on. Kind of like a game of dress-up in our heads.

So here I am fully intending to keep writing dramatic erotic romance. But if the medium affects the message and the writing itself lifts my heart, who knows. Give me a couple years. I might surprise myself and end up writing comedy.

Michelle Polaris

www.michellepolaris.com

www.michellepolarisblog.wordpress.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Michelle Polaris

Gaga for GAGA

Music inspires my writing. I don’t actually sit down to my keyboard and write to a soundtrack as many authors do. Instead, a new song will hit the radio waves and my muse dive bombs down and shouts a story line into my head birthed from the lyrics. It happened to me recently with The Fray’s song, "You Found Me". That story is waiting in the wings for me to write. Each time I hear the music on the radio my muse becomes impatient and nags me about how the heroes and heroine are waiting for me to find the time to start writing the darn thing. I caved and wrote the first chapter, but it had to be shelved in favor of completing other projects.

Sometimes I hear a song that intrigues me and I just know there is a story buried inside. I haven’t mined it for details yet, but it’s in there. When this happens I make sure I store it on my MP3 player. I assure myself that sometime in the future I’ll listen to the lyrics and discover the next perfect plotline and story world. This happened to me recently with the song "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga.

I admit this new pop/glam rock star fascinates me. With a thing for cutting edge fashion and inspired by the likes of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, Madonna and Michael Jackson, she says she’s made it a goal to revolutionize pop music. Okay, taking a trip on the ego wagon maybe, but I imagine it’s a prerequisite for many superstars. (I find it interesting she mentioned Madonna because when I heard her "Bad Romance" single on the radio for the first time I was unsure whether it was she or Madonna singing.) Lady Gaga has begun to be identified as a gay icon and involves herself in political advocacy for the LGBT community. But mainly I just love her music. Her stage name came from the Queen song "Radio Gaga." My friend once asked me to choose the band or performer I’d pay the most outrageous dollar amount to see. I chose Queen. With Freddie deceased, it would take a feat of magic to make this possible and so I dreamed big.

Gaga’s lyrics and videos are somewhat disturbing, but I don’t mind. Pushing boundaries is just my thing. I do it in my stories. I write primarily BDSM romance and I hear Lady Gaga did a bondage themed photo spread for Vogue Japan. A girl after my own heart. Part of me still wants to apologize for falling under her pop spell. As if my musical tastes need to be more refined as I’m pushing forty. But really by that age it’s time to stop apologizing for your taste and accept who you are.

Ironically, I don’t follow much pop culture. I don’t watch television or even see more than two or three movies each year. That I’m taking the time to notice Lady Gaga on the music scene and Google the woman is quite unusual. Even as a kid I never read the teen mags or hung posters of gorgeous male idols on my bedroom walls. Wait, maybe my muse is trying to tell me something. Maybe its not the plot line of a story buried in "Bad Romance", but the artist herself I need to use as a character in a novel. There you have it ladies and gentleman. The act of creative inspiration happening right in front of your eyes on the pages of a blog.

Michelle Polaris

www.michellepolaris.com

www.michellepolarisblog.wordpress.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Spotlight: Michelle Polaris

Research--It’s Not Just for Bed Anymore

As an author, research comes in many forms. And information from many sources. Although I write erotica, most research I do is more mundane than the lurid imaginings of readers hearing about my genre of choice.

Last year as I wrote my futuristic post-apocalyptic BDSM romantic erotica, I tapped into the scientific know-how of my husband and two other scientist acquaintances willing to happily speculate with me about alternative energy sources, polar ice cap melt, world-wide volcanic explosions, and atmospheric poisoning for my story setting, 2067 Earth post environmental cataclysm. I consulted a Coloradoan friend about the flavor of the different districts in the city and locations in down town Denver to place the characters’ residence. Google, of course, turned into my best buddy finding me city and state maps to identify the perfect locale for a research laboratory as well as a rugged state park site to situate my portal to another world. Yes my book has a portal, ripped open by environmental cataclysm as a matter of fact. Another good friend talked to me about choices of explosives for a bomb my heroine needed to detonate. How big would the blast site be based upon the type of bomb I chose? How stable would the device need to be during transport? What would happen if the heroine needed to lob the device through air at the target? I plugged in a little gun research in this scene as well. For my character Roman I looked up slang in Appalachian America and descriptions of the Carolina mountains of his youth. And Google sent me in the correct direction for a quick and dirty primer on mountain climbing, which I needed for the climactic scenes in the novel. Not that the bomb wasn’t hallowing enough. I found a description of the entranceway to the Denver zoo and ended up using pieces of that in yet another scene.

Okay, I did spend time on a few extreme sex toy sites to choose the right gadgets for my Mistress character Mira to enflame my heroes, Roman and Jace. But you see how diverse my research needs became? Realistic detail gives an important flavor to a novel. It transports the reader into the pages and layers beneath the emotional and physical interactions of the characters to make a scene that much more impactful. It’s exciting to find just the right minutia to add. I’m not a research addict and am more than happy to leave behind the years of college term papers. But when I need it I am thrilled down to my black leather boots to find the handful of key words or descriptions or visuals to meet my needs. My characters appreciate it too. My current work in progress is set in Las Vegas and although another friend has sent me brochures galore from her recent trek to Nevada, I have one response to my up and coming research needs for this story. Road Trip.

Michelle Polaris

www.michellepolaris.com

www.michellepolarisblog.wordpress.com

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Never Ever Gone by Wendi Zwaduk

“Valentine’s Day. What a joke.”

Megan Black crossed her ankles on the worn coffee table and stared at the commercial advertising chocolates on the television. Her cat, Lion, strolled up next to her and butted her hand with his furry head.

“Just another reason for women to blubber and men to spend money. Propaganda masked as advertising.” Without looking away from the screen, she scratched his ears. “You’ll be my Valentine, won’t you, Lion?”

“Always have been.”

Megan crooked a brow and sat still.

Who the hell?

When she looked around, the emptiness of her house reminded her just how lonely she felt. Maybe being alone finally got the best of her and made her hear voices.

The law drama she’d been watching came back on and she pushed the mystery voice in the back of her mind. She resumed scratching the cat, this time under his chin. “You know, that sounded an awful lot like Ryan.” Her voice came out a bit hoarse as she punched the buttons on the remote to change shows. “He can’t talk to me. He’s dead.”

“Not quite.”

The words shimmered along her spine. Ryan could be blunt when he wanted to get a point across—but he wasn’t there. Couldn’t be. So why did she smell his brand of cologne in the air? Yes, he possessed special powers, but no one—not even cat shifters—cheated death. Did they?

As she blinked back tears, she slapped the couch cushion and stood. “You can’t talk to me.” Her shoulders slumped when her gaze landed on their wedding picture sitting on top of the television stand. Why fight the feelings in her heart? She caressed his image behind the glass. “I miss you so much. Why’d you leave me?”

“I couldn’t exactly rise from the dead. People would talk.” Warm hands gripped her shoulders. “Turn around, baby.”

Her breath caught in her throat. She battled the urge to succumb to the dream. Ryan couldn’t be real. She saw him die. When she closed her eyes, she swore his arms wrapped around her.

“Ryan.”

“I’m here, babe.”

Megan whirled around and gasped. Her gaze ran the length of his sculpted body. Ryan Black, her husband, stood before her, very much real—and very naked. After a few moments, she found her voice. “But how? I saw you. I watched them take you—” A cry ripped from her throat. “I b—”

He silenced her with a kiss. His warmth seeped into her bones. She twined her arms around his neck, clawing to get closer and fearful he’d vanish like a dream. His cock, long and thick, prodded her lower belly.

“I shifted.”

“And you’re naked. Not that I’m complaining.” She stared at him through moist eyes. “The bullet ripped through your stomach. How did you survive?”

“It put a cramp in my style for a while.” He kissed her again, almost as if to renew himself with her touch. “Don’t forget, I have nine—well now eight, lives."

She dropped her head to his chest. Realization washed through her. “You shifted to your cat to heal.”

His hands sifted through her hair. “I couldn’t walk away from the only woman I love.”

“Ryan.”

“It was risky, but I knew the EMTs. I slipped off after I was supposed to be on ice.” He cupped her jaw and smoothed his thumbs over her cheeks. “I couldn’t leave you. As your cat, I could be with you and protect you.”

“Lion.”

“He was, well, no he is me.” A growl rumbled low in his throat. “Do you know how hard it is to resist the urge to shift each time you plopped me on your lap in front of the television? How much I longed to hold you and tell you things would be all right.”

“You never showed me your cat.” She placed her palm over his heart. “Why now? It’s been a year. Why Valentine’s Day?”

“First chance I got for more than a few moments.”

“It’s been a long year.”

“Let me make up for it.”

Ignoring the noisy television, Ryan scooped Megan into his arms and carried her to their bedroom. His kisses rained down on her face. “You know you’re beautiful when you sleep.” With great care, he placed her on the bed and unbuttoned her jeans.

“You watched me sleep?”

“I shifted a couple of times in the middle of the night just so I could hold you.”

“Then it was real.” Her eyes widened. “I dreamt of your body next to mine. We made love, so slow and tender. I wanted you so much and woke up crying.”

“No more tears, my love. I need you.” He slipped her T-shirt up over her head and tossed the soft fabric across the room. “And I want this to be real.” Her hair fluttered down around her shoulders as he flicked open the front clasp on her bra, allowing her breasts freedom. “You’re so beautiful, babe.”

“Never leave me.”

“I couldn’t if I tried.”

As he drew deep on her nipple, he worked her jeans and panties past her hips. She raked her fingers through the silken strands of his hair. “Ryan.” The love in her heart bubbled and grew for the man at her feet.

With a fluid motion, he scooped her into his arms and pinned her against the bed. He entered her tight canal with one thrust, joining their bodies, hearts, and souls. Her lips parted and her eyes closed. “Oh, Ryan.”

“Goddess, yes, babe.” His hair slipped forward and a bead of sweat built on his brow. “I want to make this last, but I don’t know if I can. You feel too damn good.”

Her inner muscles clenched tight around him. As he built a rhythm, she cried out his name. His cock pulsed within her, connecting them on a primal level. Each thrust mended the wounded parts of her soul.

He came back to me.

The climax shuddered through her body. Ryan threw his head back and cried out her name. When he slumped forward, he rested on his forearms and nipped her throat. “I love you, Megan.”

“Happy Valentine’s day, my cat.”

“And I intend to celebrate with you all night long.”

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

Author Interview: Patricia Snodgrass

Whipped Cream is pleased to have with us Patricia Snodgrass, whose latest novel, Glorious, is due to be released this summer by Mundania.

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

"To me, pornography is nothing more than exploiting the sex act," she said. "There’s no love, no romance, nothing enticing me to watch. It's nothing more than watching animals mate. It’s boring. The actors are bored, I’m bored and the plot is tiresome, if there’s a plot at all. Why people watch it is a mystery to me."

When erotica is done properly, though, even watching someone eat a strawberry dipped in chocolate can inspire tremendous erotic tension.

"You can do erotica," she told me, "without ever taking off your clothes, or at least a minimum of clothing. An example of this comes to mind when I think of my late friend and mentor L. Sprague de Camp. Sprague had the fortune to be at a banquet one evening many decades ago. One of the guests at the banquet was the remarkable stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. This was back during the time women wore long gloves. While she was talking casually to a dinner companion, she began to slowly remove her glove. Everyone stopped speaking. She continued to remove the glove, one finger at a time. Everyone’s eyes were on her, and we all know what all the men were thinking when that soft white glove was finally exposed her wrist. The whole room, I’m told, was filled with sexual tension. That, to me is erotica. Romantic erotica is taking off the glove slowly and sensually for someone you love."

There are three questions Patricia asks herself when she writes an erotic story: Does it have class? Is it beautify and inspiring, or dull and probably a little creepy?

The last, and most important, question is "Are they in love?" because sex for the sake of sex is never erotic to Patricia.

Sometimes she reads as a part of her research, but she also goes with personal experience. Husband and brother are also great sources; her husband tells her where she's screwed up and her brother often gives her hints on what else she can write about.

And, readers, she wanted me to tell you that her brother is single.

Patricia didn't start off writing erotica. She began writing horror, then moved to paranormal romance. "You could call my published works paranormal erotica," she said. "Marilyn, my novel about a car whose ghostly occupant performs sexual acts on the new owners and Destiny’s Mark about an ageless silent film star who’s obsession with a starlet sends him to Nepal and to a destiny he never dreamed of."

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

"There’s a scene in Destiny’s Mark where Vincent Cleburne has an encounter with a young starlet in the prop room of MGM studios. The scene involves a hot warehouse, a mattress, a beautiful blonde starlet, and Vincent--handsome and dashing, and undressed. A bucket of ice and a dildo. In retrospect, it’s actually a very tender and loving scene. The dildo though….I don’t know if I should have added it or not. It’s a bit late to worry about it now, I suppose."

Patricia admitted she would have a hard time picking just one character to spend time with.

"I’d like to spend the evening sitting on Atticus Finches porch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I’d love to spend the evening with Mr. Brautigan and his friends in Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King. Or spend the evening talking to Frannie and Stu in The Stand. I’d love to dance the night away with Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. So many possibilities."

If she could be anyone she wanted, Patricia picked three she would like: Leonardo de Vinci, Bette Davis, or Mae West. "Or maybe Leonardo's genius in Mae's body. With Bette's eyes," she mused.

She's a huge Bette Davis fan. I had asked who she would want to play her if a movie were ever made of her life.

"Bette Davis would be able to play me easily. Unfortunately I don’t have her figure. But since her performance in Whatever happened to Baby Jane? she shouldn’t mind packing on a few extra…ahem…pounds… Besides, I think she’s brilliant. Just brilliant. When TCM has a marathon of her movies, the whole day stops for me and I spend the day with popcorn watching Bette."

Some things you might not know about Patricia:

Her favorite food is sour cream enchiladas, but she can't stand organ meat of any kind. "That includes sausages (Hebrew Nationals maybe, but only if a rabbi certifies that they don’t’ contain anything icky) bologna, stuff like that," she explained.

She also doesn't drink sodas of any kind and, if you want to know why, feel free to ask her. She'll be chatting with us on Saturday.

Her son can tie a cherry stem with his tongue. "I watched him do it one day," she shared. "I understand he makes his girlfriend very happy."

She hates to shop, so her husband does all the shopping, including buying Patricia's clothes. "My husband just said that if he turned me loose in the mall with 500 dollars I’d come back with all the money," she told me. "And he’d be right."

Finally, I asked Patricia, "What is your most embarrassing moment?"

"When I was fourteen I was hanging out with friends at the local Dairy Queen. It happened to be the cop’s favorite hang out. There were two officers sitting in a booth drinking coffee while I was out in the parking lot being silly. The kids were tossing around a Barbie doll head. I took it, went inside, walked up to the two officers and asked them if they’d like a little head. One of them said, 'Sure!'

"So I put the head in the middle of the table and ran outside. I thought I was going to get arrested but when I peeked through the window the cops were laughing their behinds off. It’s funny now, but yeah I was a bit embarrassed by following that impulse."

You can keep up with Patricia on her website http://patriciasnodgrass.bravehost.com

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Catrina Calloway

NEEDLES AND PINS...

That’s the only way I can describe what it feels like when you’re waiting for a publisher to say ‘yea’ or ‘nea’ to your work.

It is like sitting on needles and pins.

Talk about restless! Whew. That’s the one thing about writing that leaves me breathless. It’s when you get that all important answer that you’ve been waiting for...

...or the crushing rejection.

So, I always ask myself: Am I out of my mind to be doing this????

Writing and getting published. Those have been two of my most sought after goals and dreams, ever since I can remember.

In the meantime, life did what it does best and wedged in between those two lofty goals of mine. Sometimes, I’ve willingly let life get it’s way. Heck, I want it all, and maybe, I just may have it. I wanted a husband and family, too, and may I say, I’ve got the absolute best – husband and family, that is. I’ve been married over 30 years to a wonderful man and we have two gorgeous, bright, wonderful grown children who have two absolutely terrific significant others.

Oh, I almost forgot: I have a cute little cat that we adopted. I love him – his name is J.T. (ummm...let me explain...JT is short for ‘Jericho Turnpike’ – that’s where my daughter found the poor little thing just wandering around on the turnpike by her job, so, she rescued him and brought him home and he’s been with us ever since.)

While I did ‘my thing’ – writing and getting published – life did it’s ‘thing’ and gave me it’s absolute best.

Realizing my dream of writing and getting published is just some of the icing on the cake of life, for underneath it is layers and layers of simply marvelous stuff – like good friends, and a healthy life (because hey, without that – I couldn’t enjoy a darn thing). Throw in another life-cake layer of extended family and a job in an economy where jobs are hard to come by, and I’d say, I’ve done all right.

Better than all right.

I’ve got family, friends, a job I love, a roof over my head, food to eat (did I mention I like chocolate???) and an ebook reader that feels so real, I think I’m actually turning real pages in a book (LOL – for more on my crazy, ebook reading adventures, see Wednesday's essay – ‘Old Habits Die Hard.’).

How lucky am I to be able to sit down and write – to get lost in a story and characters – to be able to create something that people enjoy.

Even if I sometimes feel like I’m sitting on needles and pins.

Whether I receive that all-important ‘Yes! We’d love to publish your story...” or ‘Thanks, but no thanks. It’s not right for us,’ being involved and participating in the world of publishing, through writing, is one of the best gifts life could ever give me.

Happy reading, everyone!

Hugs from,

Catrina Calloway

www.myspace.com/catrinacalloway

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CATRINACALLOWAYAUTHOR/

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Catrina Calloway

A BODY A DAY HELPS KEEP THE MONSTERS AWAY...

Last year, I wanted to write a M/F/M erotic ménage romance for Halloween, but I have to tell you, the ideas were not coming fast and furious.

They were almost non-existent.

So, I do what I do best to get the creative juices flowing: I stop thinking.

I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve found that when I relax my mind and stop trying so hard, the ideas start to form quickly. That’s just what happened when I wrote Body Count.

I was watching television one late spring day, and lo and behold, there was a documentary on about something called a ‘body farm.’

Fascination poured through me as I discovered how a body farm operates. It is where some of the dearly departed of this world wind up so that forensic science can study their decomposing bodies, and help law enforcement be better able to solve crimes. The bodies decay naturally, usually in an open field, exposed to the elements and animals.

On this particular body farm, the deceased had all willingly left their bodies to science, or more accurately, to decay naturally so that students of forensic science at a local university could study them.

The wheels started turning in my brain, and that’s when the idea for my Halloween story sprang forth. I got to work immediately on writing...

Dr. Marta Phillips operates a body farm where the dearly departed find eternal slumber as a science experiment to help forensic students study decomposition. But someone's tampering with the bodies laid to rest in the open field. Instead of decaying, they're disappearing. Marta must find the culprit, the human--or inhuman thing that's taking off with her corpses; otherwise, her project will be shut down. It's Halloween eve, but Marta's determined to stay up all night and catch the corpse-thief red-handed.

A double dose of sexy evil lurks in the fields outside of Marta's body farm. Maximillian Effroi and his cousin, Hugh, are the two darkly handsome Frenchmen renting the old gristmill down the road. Tucked safely away from the world, they only venture out at night, lest someone discover their horrible secret. When corpses begin disappearing from Marta's body farm, the police, and Marta, accuse them of pilfering the dead, but it is her heart that Maximillian and Hugh steal when they show Marta the sensual secrets of the night, and she discovers the terrifying, yet sad reason Maximillian and Hugh hide from the world. Together they solve the mystery of whose taking corpses and the low... Body Count.

Body Count provided me with lots of great paranormal writing fun. And the bit of mystery as to who Hugh and Maximillian really are, and who is taking the bodies, just added to my enjoyment when I wrote Body Count.

I also learned lots about a body farm. There are quite a few here in America – the FBI operates one, too. I thought a lot about the people who actually donate their bodies to the cause of science – particularly to a body farm. I don’t know if that would be something I could ever do, but the sacrifice these dearly departed make is invaluable to law enforcement agencies everywhere. Decomposition, supposedly, is one of the most telling ways that law enforcement can solve the mystery behind someone’s murder. Time of death, position of the body, how long the body has been dead are important factors in determining the ‘who dunnit’ of who did it.

BODY COUNT...where a body a day helps keep the monsters away.

Or maybe not. Because if it is two, dark, handsome Frenchmen like Hugh and Maximillian who are out and about, maybe, you won’t want to stay away...

www.myspace.com/catrinacalloway

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Catrina Calloway

OLD HABITS DIE HARD...

I recently received one of the best gifts ever – my ‘Nook’ ebook reader. For those of you who read ebooks, I don’t have to tell you the absolute joy of buying and downloading a book within a minute. Right there at my fingertips, I’m able to just sit down in my favorite chair in the den and enjoy a book. No hassles – no going to the bookstore, no wasted paper, just the pure joy of reading. And when I’m done with the book, if I like it, I can archive it, if I don’t, I can delete it.

My ‘Nook’ is a joy. I truly love it. But here’s the thing: old habits are hard to break.

Do you know what I find myself doing? Get ready for this...

I manually try to turn the page!

Is it that the ebook reader is just so much like a print book that I’m doing that?

It is very easy to turn to the next page, or go back to a previous one, when you’re reading a book on an ebook reader. All I have to do is press a button on my ‘Nook’ and in an instant, I’m on the next page, or I can go to a different part of the book. Like another chapter. Or go back to a previous chapter.

But sometimes, that sneaky, little ‘print’ devil jumps onto my shoulder and whispers in my ear, ‘go on...turn the page...just reach up and flick the corner...’

And I do it.

Then I really, really laugh at myself.

The best part is, I’m grabbing at the top, right corner of the ebook reader, trying to grasp the page between my fingers so I can turn it, and it actually takes me a couple of tries before I realize...

I just don’t have to do that anymore.

And while it is an absolute pleasure to realize that, perhaps it is a little sad, too, when something new replaces something old. It is exciting, as well as distressing to realize that things have changed, and will change rapidly in the months and years to come – particularly with publishing.

I wouldn’t give up my ‘Nook’ for anything – it gives me too much reading pleasure, but...

Old habits die hard. I guess they always will.


www.myspace.com/catrinacalloway

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Catrina Calloway

How far will Laney go for...EIGHT EROTIC NIGHTS?

In my family, at different times of the year, we celebrate two different holidays. In December, we celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, and in the spring, we celebrate Passover and Easter. Then we celebrate everything in between!

Halloween. St. Patty’s Day. Memorial Day. Independence Day.

You name it – if there’s a holiday to be celebrated, in my family, we find it and do just that.

So when www.ResplendencePublishing.com asked me to write a short, romantic, holiday story for their first Red Garters, Snow and Mistletoe anthology, I thought about writing a Christmas story.

Then, I started to mull that over...why not write a romantic ménage romance, but have the heroine and heroes celebrate Hanukkah? It would be a different ‘twist’ on a holiday romance. After all, there are plenty of Christmas-themed stories, but few romantic reads about Hanukah.

Eight Erotic Nights by Catrina Calloway is about one woman’s quest to make the best of a bad situation, and do some good in the world during the eight festive days of Hanukah. The eight glowing lights of Hanukah inspired me to write a warm, passionate story about Laney Taylor, a woman whose circumstances just couldn’t be worse, but who finds joy in giving.

Laney, the heroine, gets to share eight, sensual, erotic, nights with two drop-dead sexy heroes – Josh and Zach. They are men you won’t soon forget.

Together, they all find the real meaning of the Hanukkah holiday season.

EIGHT EROTIC NIGHTS...will light up your life!

www.myspace.com/catrinacalloway

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Spotlight:Catrina Calloway

BEAT THE MID-WINTER BLUES WITH A DOUBLE DOSE OF SEXY FUN...

February. It’s the time for valentines, snow, and...hmmm...what else?

The second month of the calendar year can be depressing for some. The holidays are past, all that hustle and bustle is over, so what’s there to look forward to? In some parts of the country, it means, shorter days, longer nights, and a feeling of restlessness.

Ever feel restless? It is like you just don’t know what to do with yourself. It’s too cold to go out, you’ve watched enough television to last for two winters, cleaned enough closets, and well, you’re just itching for something different. I always turn to reading to ease that ‘looking for something different’ feeling. I experiment by reading new authors, and new genres of romance. While I love traditional romantic reads, I also enjoy a good ménage romance.

I never thought I’d find myself saying that, but I have to tell you, I am such a huge fan of ménage romance now that I’ve been reading them (Note: Mia Jae, is an author I love - she has written a couple of terrific ménage romances).

The lucky heroine in a ménage romance gets to work things out...and make love with...at least two, hot, hunky heroes.

After I started reading ménage romance, I decided... why not write one?

Which led to writing several.

While I love writing erotic romance involving one hero and one heroine (I write those stories/books under a pen name), I believe that writing erotic ménage romance settled that ‘restless’ feeling in me to try something new.

So, let me introduce myself to you if we have not already met. My name is Catrina Calloway and I write M/F/M ménage romance.

I started out a couple of years ago by writing a holiday ménage romance entitled Eight Erotic Nights. And from that jumping-off point, I wrote Kissed by the Sun, Body Count and, my latest, The Elves and I.

My heroines are feisty and just a bit adventurous. They’re smart and sexy, while not being those ‘perfect’ kinds of heroines we so often read about. I mean, who can identify with a woman who's a ‘Barbie doll’ clone? Not me. But while my heroines may not have exquisite bodies and looks, they are beautiful and sexy in their own way, and they get to ‘play’ with two, wonderfully strong and protective heroes – men to simply die for. They are men that will heat up your nights, and chase away any lingering mid-winter blues.

Remember my motto: Two, hot, hunky heroes are better than one!

www.myspace.com/catrinacalloway

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Camp Solitude by Mysti Holiday

Paul woke from his fitful sleep to the smell of smoke and coffee. “What the hell?” He was supposed to be enjoying a long weekend of solitude while Laura went to the city with her friends. Solitude sucked, but even so, he hadn’t invited anyone to join him, not when the only one he wanted here was her.

He shoved his way out of the warm sleeping bag and unzipped the tent, sticking his head outside. The campfire was burning, flames high, and his camping coffee pot sat on a rock nearby, steam spiraling up from the spout.

But there was no sign of a human anywhere. Unless the bears were getting creative, there had to be someone.

He pulled on a pair of sweats and slid into his nearby sneakers, ready to take a walk around the area to figure out what was going on. He turned to zip up the tent, then jolted when soft hands slid around his middle and up his chest, and a set of full breasts pressed against his back. “Laura?”

She laughed softly in his ear, sending shivers of desire straight to his cock. “It better be, sugar, or I’ll have to kill you when you get home.”

He turned in her embrace, thrilling to find his wife naked and standing only inches from him. He ran his hands down her back to her ass and squeezed, then pulled her hard against him. “I was just missing you.”

She rubbed her tits back and forth across his chest, the hard nubs tugging on his chest hairs. “Funny, I was feeling the same way. New York couldn’t do for me what you do.”

She stood on tip toe and kissed him, swirling her tongue around his. He tasted raspberries and coffee and everything that was uniquely her. And he wanted more. He tore his lips from hers, nibbled her jawline and worked his way down her throat. He let go of her ass with one hand, moving it to the front of her and slipped one finger in between her wet folds.

“God, Laura, you’re already ready.” He flicked a thumb across her clit, back and forth, and her small mews of arousal made his cock even harder, his balls tight and throbbing with need. She sought the waistband of his sweats and tugged them down, releasing his erection. Before she could take him in her hands, he knelt and unzipped the tent, pulling her inside and all but throwing her onto the sleeping bag.

“I have to taste you before I go mad.” He pressed a kiss onto her pale abdomen, swirled his tongue on her navel and laughed when she moaned in frustration.

“What’s taking you so long, sugar?” Fingers threaded in his hair and helped guide him to her sweet spot. He dipped his tongue into her hole, pressing it deep, but not as deep as his cock would go in just a few moments. First though, he’d torment her to the edge of madness. He shifted his attention to her clit, flicking the hard tip of his tongue back and forth against the sensitive nub.

He thoroughly moistened an index finger in her cream, pumping it and out of her cunt while sucking on her clit until her moans increased and he knew she was close to coming. Then he pulled out of her pussy and pressed the finger into her ass, still licking the cream off her labia and keeping her right on the edge of an orgasm.

“Damn it, Paul.” Her hands grabbed for him, but he laughed and avoided her grasp.

“You love it, Laura.” Her sphincter relaxed against the intrusion of his finger and he pushed in as far as he could go, finger-fucking her ass and sucking her clit until she whimpered and begged for him to let her go over.

He pulled his finger from her ass and swiveled until his cock hung over her head, waggling an invitation to her hot, wet mouth. Her tongue darted out and licked the tip before her lips closed over the head. He pumped in and out of her mouth, all the while licking and sucking her pussy moaning against her thigh when the orgasm built and his balls tightened. He pulled out of her mouth and turned, flipping her over onto her belly and yanking her ass into the air.

He plunged into her cunt so hard she slid up the sleeping bag. Balanced on one elbow, she reached back and fingered his balls, her hips matching the rhythm he set with this pumping. Flesh slapped against flesh, moans echoed through the tent and his eyes closed as he reached around and pressed against her clit. She cried out and her walls squeezed his cock, convulsing in an orgasm that took him over the edge. He gave a shout and poured his seed into her shuddering as he pumped twice more before letting go of her hips and turning so they spooned together, still connected.

“Thirteen years, and I still can’t get enough of you,” he murmured into her hair, hand stroking her waist before reaching up to cup her breast. “I’m glad you didn’t stay in New York.”

“Two days was all I could stand away from you.” She slid her leg between his and pressed her ass back to keep him inside her. “I love you, sugar.”

“I love you, too, Laura.” He reached around her and pulled the flap of the sleeping bag over the top of them. “I’ll show you how much in an hour or so. For now, I just want to sleep with my wife.”

Laura smiled and closed her eyes. Paul relaxed and closed his, too.

Yeah, solitude sucked. This was so much better.

About the author: Mysti Holiday is the pseudonym of a very busy SAHM who dreams of warm climes and hot bodies. Most people know she writes, but not what she writes about: sexy men and the wanton women who love them. She's married to a wonderful man who happily sacrifices himself for research, and she spends most of her days dreaming of interesting and unusual situations in which to place her characters. But most of all, she's a sucker for a happy ending. Visit her at http://www.menagerieauthors.com or http://www.menagerieauthors.blogspot.com