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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Lisa Beth Darling

Why I Write Erotic Paranormal Romances-by Lisa Beth Darling


I'm often asked why I like Greek Mythology, how I learned about it, and why I write 'paranormal' stories. The short answer is: I'm pagan. The longer answer is more complex.

Let me back up half a second here, although I'm a huge fan of horror movies (especially 80s B-Grade horror movies!) I don't write about vampires or werewolves or zombies or ghosts. All right, all right, I once wrote a werewolf story entitled The Limikkin but it's not your average werewolf tale. It harkens back to those old movies more than it does forward to something like, well, Twilight.

No, for the most part I write about Gods—mainly Olympian and Celtic Gods, as with my latest novel The Heart of War. Even when I'm not doing a story about them, whatever story I'm working on has a magickal element in there: an immortal who doesn't know why, a modern 'witch' whose being persecuted, or fortuitous dreams that suddenly come to life.

I'm a very spiritual person, not religious per say, mind you, but spiritual nonetheless. Once upon a time, I was Catholic and Baptist (at the same time!) but I left those paths long ago in search of something different. Something I could relate to.

I've always believed in my heart that Magick and the Divine are all around us and walk with us in our everyday lives rather than Sitting On High in some type of Judgment. Don't get me wrong, I believe in All Paths to God but that one's just not my gig anymore. I'm just your average garden variety pagan who believes that the Gods are interested in me, will listen and communicate freely with me, (anyone for that matter) just so long as I invite Them to do so and open the door for Them.

As a writer and a spiritual person, I know that The Muse is always with me; he (yes, he I know most Classical Muses are female but mine is undeniably male) is always looking over my shoulder, always whispering in my ear--plots, twists, narrative, dialogue. More than that, he is my constant companion-or The Big Guy as I've come to call him. He's always there giving direction on everything, not just stories. He's my friend, my guide, my imaginary lover, and my protector. His name is Ares and we've been together going on 20 years. Let me tell you, it took a long time to come to grips with the fact that my God and my Muse do double-duty. Even when I'm not writing, especially when I'm blue, I can feel Him standing behind me. Laugh if you want, but every now and then, I can even feel His touch. It is very comforting to know that I am never alone. My Grandpa was right about that, he always said that one was never alone because 'God' was always there with you.

I don't understand writers and other creative types who outright refuse to even consider the existence of the Muse. Those who insist they sweat for every single word, brush stroke, song lyric...whatever...all on their own. Those who don't believe that they are inspired by anything other than themselves. Not only do I not understand them, most of the time I find their work sucks or isn't as good as it could be if they got in touch with the Magickal Aspects around them, even just a little bit.

Strangely enough, The Big Guy loves to communicate with me most freely when I'm in the bath. A good hot bath, lots of scented salts, candles, incense, and he's talking a blue streak. If not in my head then through the songs on the radio. Yes, I know how that sounds, you don't have to tell me. Come the next day when we sit down to write, we just wander down our merry little path without thought or hesitation or even caring just where we're going and how we're getting there. I call that being in The Zone and it's the most indescribably additive intoxicating freeing thing I've ever found (and I've tried a lot of illicit things; I am human after all). It all just flows from the Cosmos straight to my fingers without any interruption from my brain. Ahhhh....bliss.

It's not always that way; he's a rather cantankerous fellow. Very opinionated and strong willed just as you'd probably imagine him to be. We argue quite a bit over things sometimes and we like to play games such as 'I Got You Last' and 'Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better'. Sometimes we piss each other off. Sometimes we make each other laugh. We cajole each other. We nudge each other. We spur each other forward in a lot of ways. We come up with bonzer twists and stories together. In that respect, my relationship with The Divine (God, Ares, The Supreme Masculine Aspect of the Universe…whatever name you want to give it, it's all the same in the end) is probably not like most other people's as they consider Him this huge untouchable thing that cannot be laughed at or joked with in any manner. Those are only Human restrictions put on the Divine. 'God' has a fantastic sense of humor--just look around you--you'll see it every day in the most fascinating of ways. As far as I can see 'God' loves to laugh at me, at you, and even at Himself. Further, I think, at least in my particular situation 'God' also likes sex. Oh, He adores it! Let's face it, if He didn't like it, He wouldn't have made it so much fun to begin with!

That's why I write paranormal stories because The Gods ARE Alive and Magick IS Afoot.

Always.

My Site: http://www.moonsmusings.com/lbdarling
My Blog: http://lbdarling.wordpress.com

Buy Links:
Amazon.com (Heart of War is $2.00 off through July 31st)
http://www.amazon.com/Heart-War-Lisa-Beth-Darling/dp/0615424686/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1/180-1563365-1812525
Kindle-
http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Beth-Darling/e/B002BMDA9I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Nook
http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=book&ATH=Lisa+Beth+Darling
Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lisadarling
All Romance E-Books
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theheartofwar-526917-143.html

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Lisa Beth Darling

When Is One "Too Old To Be Sexy"? by Lisa Beth Darling


When I first sat down to write my latest novel The Heart of War, the lead female character ‘Alena’ was going to be your average sexy young thing; after all, that’s what hot romance is all about, right?

Ares is a God 5000+ years old so that idea worked for about two minutes when I found myself stuck in the song Hey Nineteen-- "We can't dance together, no we can't talk at all" (Steely Dan). I realized that in order to give them a real relationship, something based on more than just sex, Alena had to be older; she couldn’t be a woman/child, she had to be a full-fledged woman.

I created Alena MacLeod a half-human and a half-fey woman, coming in at 245 years old. I wanted her to look the part to some degree so that the Reader would have a constant visual reference to her age. I gave her silver/gray hair and matching stormy eyes. I also gave her a personality that reflected her years and the wisdom she gained just being alive on Planet Earth so long. However, because she is a magickal being, I kept her face and body youthful.

I wrote my story. I put it up, free of charge in rough draft format, on the Internet. To my surprise, people loved it. They totally bought Ares as the reluctant hero and fell in love with Alena. With such encouragement, I gave it a good edit and sent it around to publishers. I knew Ares was going to be a hard sell but I never expected responses such as:

1-This isn’t for us. Alena just isn’t sexy because she’s old; why would you write that?

2-This isn’t for us. No one wants to read about an old woman having sex.

3-This isn’t for us. The heroine needs to be young and vibrant to even be interesting.

4-This isn’t for us. Alena has gray hair for heaven’s sake! There’s nothing sexy or hot about gray hair.

Huh?

I wondered a lot of things. First and foremost was: how old are these publishers?

I turned 40 (almost 5 years ago) and while I’m not exactly hot and gorgeous anymore as I might have been in my younger days I still feel quite youthful, vibrant, alive and above all, sexy. While I have graying auburn hair that cascades down to my butt I haven't lost 'it' at all. In fact, now that my children are grown, my husband and I are having the best sex of our lives! Sex is spiritual now and it is utterly fantastic. Yeah, sex in your 20s is great. It’s hot, it’s heavy, you think it’s all that. But it’s not. After 25 years together, my husband and I have it down to an art form. You know what they say: Practice Makes Perfect.

Still, I had my doubts and I wondered if all of these publishers were right and my readers were wrong. Perhaps just because I felt sexy and was still a sexual sensual being—with no thoughts of stopping!—didn’t mean other women my age felt the same way about themselves. That would be sad. Let's face it ladies, we've still got at least 1/3 of our lives ahead of us at this age. I don't know about you but I'm not ready for the rocking chair just yet. I'm very proud of my age and the life I have lived. I don't intend to 'fight aging every step of the way' as advertisers and cosmetics people and plastic surgeons suggest I do. I'm letting my hair go gray and I'm loving it. I think it's very sexy indeed and so do the men around me.
I went over to Google, hit ‘images’ and typed in ‘beautiful older woman’. I suggest you try it right after you finish this. I saw the most amazing pictures of the most stunning women in different stages of their lives that I could have ever asked for. No, they’re not Claudia Schiffer; their beauty is deeper than that. It’s more vibrant, wiser, and more alive and more tangible.

I determined that those publishers were wrong in their assessment; they were too quick to judge and didn’t have the life experience required to understand that life beyond 23 is mighty fine. In the end, what’s ‘sexy’ isn’t what someone looks like but how they perceive themselves at any age. Personally, I can’t wait until they turn 40 and get their first gray hair. I think their tune will change drastically. At least, I hope it will.

My Site: http://www.moonsmusings.com/lbdarling
My Blog: http://lbdarling.wordpress.com

Buy Links:
Amazon.com (Heart of War is $2.00 off through July 31st)
http://www.amazon.com/Heart-War-Lisa-Beth-Darling/dp/0615424686/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1/180-1563365-1812525
Kindle-
http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Beth-Darling/e/B002BMDA9I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Nook
http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=book&ATH=Lisa+Beth+Darling
Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lisadarling
All Romance E-Books
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theheartofwar-526917-143.html

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Author Interview: Cheryl Dragon


Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Cheryl Dragon, whose newest release Winner Takes All comes out this week from Resplendence Publishing.

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

"Erotic romance/Erotica/Porn...the debate lingers. It's all very different and yet as long as you know what you're getting...it's there because someone wants it. The definitions between erotica, erotic romance, and porn blur in a variety of ways so it's really more of a comfort level. Anything can be romantic but some things are too extreme for some readers (me included). Other stories can be highly sexual but the story doesn't end in a romance. If it's a good story, that's what matters."

Cheryl went on to tell me that she's not against porn, because humans are sexual beings and curious about what others do, but it's simply sexual content for the sake of sex—no story or plot to speak of. The reader doesn't care about the characters involved and it's basically sex only, no romance, emotion or depth.

"It serves a certain purpose for those who enjoy it. And obviously there is a market for it so as long as all of these are clearly labeled--that's the important thing. An erotic adventure is fine (I like that term better than porn)...the customer is always right and if someone wants it, they should go get it," she said.

"Erotica," she explained to me, "is a bit of a fuzzy area that doesn't get as much interest as erotic romance. It too frequently gets dismissed as porn but it's not that simple. The characters are finding out about themselves and what they want. Few of us end up married to the first person we ever slept with. Life isn't that easy unless you live in a Regency novel. We learn about ourselves and what we need (sexually and emotionally) through relationships. The bad ones and the good ones bring us closer to what we really need so when the right person shows up we know it and don't let them go. Whether it's certain erotic play like BDSM or bisexual experimentation, or if it's just what type of man really turns the heroine on...the odds of finding Mr. Right without sleeping with a few Mr. Not-Quite-Rights is against us. It might not be a love match, it might be too soon to tell...but the character's journey is what makes these stories so much more than porn. We want these characters to find true love. And we hope for that sequel so we can see it. But I do see this market having some untapped potential for those of us women who haven't met Mr. Right....it's nice to know we're not alone."

There's one big difference between erotica and erotic romance for Cheryl and that's the "happily ever after." She sees the romance as a "promise to the reader" and, even though the course won't be smooth, true love comes at the end. This can also include ménage and more, because love isn't something we can actually define.

"Whether it's being a submissive or juggling a group relationship, love can take many forms and it's the romantic high we want," she said. "Everyone wants true love...and to have that feeling when they read a good erotic romance."

Cheryl actually started out writing more traditional romances, but her fellow writers loved her sex scenes and they were the easiest parts for Cheryl to write. She tried submitting to Harlequin Desire, but her stuff was a little outside the box for them. She got close to publishing with Blaze, but at the time she was pushing the envelope a little more than they did. RWA had approved Ellora's Cave, so she gave submitting to them a shot.

"Once I got in with one erotic romance pub, and found I could write shorts---I was off and running," she told me. "I love the novella length and hot sex. No one says I can't write something, or it's too extreme. There is always a writer out there who will take it farther than I do. So I'm very content and free to explore in my writing."

There are a lot of "ick" things she'd never write—she didn't list them, saying, "They are well known in the industry." And, nothing is off-limits in porn…she doesn't think she could write that without it turning into a character's journey, which would push it toward erotica. She wants the characters to have that happy ending.

"Or, at the very least, a learning experience with a lot of orgasms," she clarified.

"We all have things we couldn't or wouldn't write. I couldn't write hardcore BDSM, that's not my area. Light and playful BD, that's fun to write. Menage +, love it. Have a blast writing it," she said with a wink. "A little m/m now and then is a good change of pace. M/F is a classic and I like to throw in a twist like BBW to keeps things fresh.

"Boundaries are really about how you handle the situation. Why would the character do that? How will they react? Why? But characters have needs so if they want to go to BDSM club to see what it's like, then that goes in the book. How they react is what matters. My characters might watch, might show off, but when things get rough they'll run for safer places to play."

Getting away from writing, our discussion turned to food.

"What food do you consider best for eating off another’s tummy?" I asked.

"Chocolate is good. Honey is a no, that gets sticky and weird. Any liquor is always a plus," she responded. "The stomach is rather bland. Chest, groin, whatever....the right person and the right food is a night of fun! And cherries. But those are best for games. Like using only your tongue, you have to roll it from the base to the tip of his shaft before you get to eat it. Where can I put that in a book?" She winked.

Her favorite food?

"Cherries," she said with a smile. "No, seriously it's French fries. They go with everything. Have that salty goodness and crisp feel. Some need ketchup, some don't. But even bad ones are good. So unhealthy but in truth, that's my favorite food...."

Her least favorite?

"I could never eat an onion. I hate the texture. The taste is okay, I'll use onion powder in cooking. But I'll pick onion out of stuffing, tacos, anything....I hate that feel. Mushrooms are the same way. I like the flavor but hate the texture. I'll never try liver. My parents both hated it and never even tried to get me to try it as a child so that just says something."

"Can you tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi?" I wondered.

"There are people who can't tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi?" she countered. "Unless you never drink pop (it's not soda in Chicago)...everyone has a favorite. I'm partial to Diet Coke with Lime. To get me to drink Pepsi, it better be diet cherry. But we're neglecting Diet Dr. Pepper which is the supreme drink of this writer. Feel free to toss in a few cherries for fun but that drink has everything you need and it's the underdog. Don't we all love the underdog?"

Finally, I asked Cheryl what advice she would offer a new writer.

"My advice to a new writer would be to take the time to learn the industry. Read widely and find out what you do well. You must understand that just because you love to read a genre doesn't mean it's the one you should write. You may love m/m but when you try to write it, all that testosterone doesn't work for you. So take input from crit partners and editors and listen. Ask 'what do I do well' and 'what isn't quite my thing'....don't be ashamed to get that outside input. We all have strengths and you want to write to yours. Once you find what you're good at, develop that sub-genre to brand yourself a bit and get your name out there.

"Also, trends change so if you luck into one..Great! Use it....but know that it will change and you need to be ready for that. It's not your writing, it's that moods and tastes change and you have to be flexible to work with that. But knowing that no matter how big hardcore BDSM is, I can't do it....that's a huge help to me in my career plan. So don't be afraid to learn what you're good at and not so good at. You'll make more readers happy and make your writing career easier that way!"

You can keep up with Cheryl on her blog, http://cheryldragon.blogspot.com

Two's Company, Three's Allowed by Tony Haynes


It had taken Nicky some years, but finally she had managed to save up enough to put a deposit down on a place of her own. She knew that she would find it a struggle to keep on her wages alone so she advertised the spare room to let. Although secretly she had hoped that maybe some good looking, sexy, stranger might want to move in, the only enquiries she received came from girls, which about summed up Nicky’s recent luck. On the bright side, it didn’t take long for a promising flatmate to express an interest. From the moment she first spoke to Sara, Nicky knew they were going to get along. Sara was a similar age to Nicky and had the same slightly cheeky sense of humour. The day she came around to view the pair hit it off really well and so a date was agreed for Sara to move in.

When the doorbell to the flat rang the following Saturday morning Nicky was quite surprised to discover a rather athletic, well-built lad in his mid-twenties standing there.

"Hello. Can I help you?"

"Hi. I’m Ben, Sara’s…"

"Brother." Sara dashed up and interrupted. "He’s my big, younger brother come to help me with the move."

Nicky offered Ben her hand. "Nice to meet you."

Ben took it in a very assured grip and shook. "Likewise."

"Can I help at all?"

Sara smiled. "Thanks for the offer, but I think we’ll be all right."

Conscious of allowing Sara her own space, Nicky left them to it and went out for the day. When she got back later that evening, everything seemed pretty quiet. Nicky assumed that Sara and her brother must have gone out, so she treated herself to a couple of glasses of wine, then decided to turn in. As she switched off the bedside light, she couldn’t help feeling a slight pang of regret that she hadn’t invited Ben to stay for the evening. She hoped that he would be a frequent visitor.

Nicky wasn’t sure what time it was when she woke. She was sure of what it was that disturbed her. She assumed that Sara must have gotten lucky earlier on, because Nicky could hear the unmistakable low moans of pleasure emitting from the adjacent bedroom. Still only half awake, Nicky was surprised at how aroused she had become upon hearing the sound. Her imagination began to run riot as she pictured herself writhing around naked on top of Sara, their hands exploring one another’s bodies. The moaning began to grow in intensity from the room next door. Feeling extremely horny by now, Nicky reached down and began to finger herself as she revelled in her fantasy. As Sara let out a cry of ecstasy, Nicky had to bite her pillow hard in order to stop herself from joining in as she came all over her fingers.

Nicky lay there for some time listening for any signs of further activity, but the lovers must have satisfied their appetites for all appeared quiet. Feeling a touch thirsty, Nicky eased out of bed, slipped on her silk dressing gown and padded across the landing to the kitchen. It took a couple of seconds fumbling around to find the light switch. As she hit it, the kitchen was illuminated and she found herself facing a fully naked Ben. Immediately she clicked the lights back off and apologized.

Ben did so too, almost simultaneously. "I’m really sorry. I just came to get a drink." His voice trailed off in embarrassed silence.

Nicky knew that the decent thing to do would be to go back to her room and allow Ben to return to the sanctuary of the other bedroom. In that brief instant in which the lights had flashed on though, she hadn’t missed the opportunity to take a sneaky look at Ben’s cock and what a glorious cock it was too, shapely and thick. Still wet from her earlier exertions, Nicky longed to feel it thrusting away inside her. As her eyes adjusted to the moonlit kitchen, she strained to take another look. She could swear that she could see it glistening in the dark.

Ben coughed. "Ahem. Would you mind if I got back to Sara?"

Nicky determined she wasn’t about to let him escape that easily. "Your sister?"

Hearing a faint noise behind her, Nicky turned to find Sara standing there. A white towel was loosely wrapped around her shapely figure and she looked very sheepish. "I’m really sorry. I know I should have told you, it’s just that I was a bit worried you might not let me have the room if you knew I had a boyfriend. You’re not too annoyed, I hope?"

Nicky smiled. "Don’t be silly. How could I possibly be annoyed with a gorgeous creature like this?"

Ben grinned on receiving the compliment. "Thanks."

Sara blushed. "I’m guessing you heard us then?"

Nicky giggled. "It was difficult not to."

Sara bit her lip. "I’ll try not to let it happen again; it’s just, I get so excited when, you know."

Nicky looked Sara square in the eye and decided it was now or never. "I’m not sure I do. Why don’t you show me?" As Nicky stepped aside, she noticed Ben’s cock begin to twitch into life again.

Sara blushed, "I’m not sure I could in front of someone else."

Nicky felt it was time to confess. "No need to be embarrassed. I really enjoyed earlier on."

Sara seemed more than a little curious as she asked, "How do you mean?"

"Well, you sounded as if you were having such a fabulous time, I couldn’t resist joining in."

With that, Nicky undid the knot on her dressing gown and allowed it to fall open. Turning so as to look straight at Ben’s cock, she sat on the edge of the kitchen table, slipped a couple of fingers inside her cunt, and began to pleasure herself once more.

Ben grinned and stepped over to his girlfriend. "I think your new landlady wants a show. Shall we give her one?"

Sara still looked unsure until Ben loosened her towel and threw it on the floor. Nicky let out a gasp of pleasure on seeing Sara’s magnificent, curvy body. It was every bit as beautiful as she’d pictured it in her imagination; from Sara’s delicious, large breasts, down to her neatly trimmed blonde pubes, which Ben began to run his hands through.

As Ben kissed Sara he began to ease her around in a slow waltz until the pair were embracing right beneath Nicky’s nose. Sara had shaken off her earlier inhibitions and had taken Ben’s cock in her hand and begun to masturbate him slowly. In one neat, quick, move, Ben sat down in the chair at the head of the table and maneuvered Sara with him, positioning her wet pussy right above his cock. Sara adjusted slightly until the tip of it rubbed against her clit, then she eased down until he sank inside her.

Sara let out a deep, moan, even louder than the ones that Nicky had heard earlier in the evening. Throwing her head back in complete abandon, Nicky began to rub herself furiously as Sara wriggled and writhed around on Ben’s cock. As her pussy started to tingle, Nicky jumped in surprise as she felt someone else touch her. On glancing down she found that Ben had leant across and begun to stroke her. In order to give him free reign, Nicky removed her own fingers, sat back and allowed Ben to play with her to his heart’s content. Sara let out a huge scream of delight as she came all over Ben’s cock. Nicky felt herself begin to climax and covered Ben’s fingers with her sweet, sticky, juices. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Ben waited until Sara’s climax had subsided before withdrawing his cock in order to allow the girls watch him shoot hot cum all over his thighs and stomach.

As the three of them sat there in the lovely warm afterglow of their respective climaxes, Sara began to laugh. It was infectious and so Ben and Nicky joined in. Nicky was curious though, "What’s so funny?"

Sara forced herself to stop. "Sorry, it’s just that, you were quite loud yourself."

Nicky grinned. "That’s nothing, you should hear me when I really let go."

Taking the hint, Sara kissed Ben, then invited Nicky to take her place. "Why don’t you show me?"

Nicky raised an eyebrow. She never dreamt that letting out a room could be such an education.

About the author: I have written a number of articles for local newspapers as a freelance. In August of 2009 my first short story was published by the e-zine Romance Stories Magazine. Since then I have sold a science fiction tale to Short Story Me, a sports piece to Midnight Showcase Fiction and a noir detective story to Big Pulp Magazine, and short stories to Whipped Cream. A number of my erotic stories have also featured in the on-line magazines For the Girls and Clean Sheets. I have also had a crime thriller accepted for publication by The Fringe.

Friday, May 27, 2011

First Impressions by Mysti Holiday

Jen’s ride was thirty minutes late. As if flying despite her fear wasn’t enough, now she was stranded at the airport by the very guy she’d come to see. The guy who’d won her heart with his emails, his phone calls, his chats. A friend of a friend, he’d been everything she didn’t know she wanted. And now she was stuck in a strange town with no phone. Alone. She searched through her carry-on bag, wondering how the hell she’d managed to lose her cell phone on the flight when a truck pulled up next to the sidewalk.

“Need a lift?”

She stopped her search and stared up at the man in the truck. He took her breath away with his amazing good looks: raven hair, ice blue eyes, far better than she’d imagined, far better than his pictures had shared. With a flick of her wrists, she shut the case with a slap and zipped it shut. She hated flying with a passion, and having to stand outside for thirty minutes, waiting in vain, had really pissed her off.

“I’ll take a cab.” She walked away, rolling her bag behind her.

He paced her in the truck, talking to her through the passenger window. “Come on, Jen, don’t be stubborn. I’m sorry I’m late, but you’re obviously tired. Hop in.”

Jen looked at him again, all sexy smiles and inviting eyes. Damn it. She never could resist a hot guy in a truck. “Fine.”

He leaned across the bench seat and opened her door. “Toss your bag behind the seat, why don’t you?”

She did so, then settled into the seat with a sigh. Sliding a glance his way, she scowled again. “This isn’t a good first impression, you know.”

The grin full of promise that he flashed her set her heart to pounding. “I’ll make it up to you. Promise.”

“Damn straight.” His gaze settled on her and she squirmed from its intensity until she couldn’t stand it another moment. “What?”

“I have to get this out of the way or it’s just going to eat at me.” He leaned in and slid her across the seat until they were only inches apart. “We’ve had phone sex so much, I feel like we’ve done this before. I need to touch you.” His head lowered, his lips brushed hers once, twice, never quite settling, but sending shivers of need down her spine and making her gut clench.

“Please...” she whispered, sliding a hand up his back and burrowing fingers in his hair.

Finally his lips claimed hers and she moaned, opening her mouth and taking him in. Their tongues met in a wild mating dance and her nipples hardened as she pressed against him, rubbing the sensitive nubs back and forth across his chest. He tugged her even closer, his hands traveling over her arms, her back, then sliding under the waist band of her skirt and cupping her ass. The feel of his fingers on her flesh made her pussy clench and she knew her walls were moist with desire.

He pulled away then, his breath coming in short gasps, his hands slowly slipping out of her skirt. “God. I shouldn’t have started that in the damn truck in a public place.” He caressed her back, her waist, then moved his attention to her breasts, cupping their weight and circling the hard peaks with his thumbs. “I want you, Jen.”

“Trevor.” She sighed his name and covered his hands with hers, pressing his palms against her chest, then lifting them and kissing each one before placing them on the steering wheel. “Then get us to the hotel.”

“I don’t want to wait that long.” He smiled, his eyes full of promise, and pulled the truck onto the road.

Jen scooted to the center of the bench seat, her thigh against his. She fastened the lap belt and sighed. “Me either.”

She placed her hand on his erection, rubbing it up and down, thrilling at the feel of his cock. They’d been corresponding for nearly a year now, without meeting, without touching and she’d struggled with her desperate desire for him for months. Phone sex, fingers and a vibrator just weren’t the same.

They turned onto the highway and sped toward her hotel, but she needed him now. As if reading her thoughts, he pushed up the hem of her skirt, his hand sliding up her bare thigh until her panties were exposed. Her breath caught as he pushed aside the tiny bit of cotton and touched her shaved pussy, one finger sliding between the nether lips and into the moist heat.

“God!” Her thighs fell open and she rubbed his cock harder, flicking open the top button of his jeans with nimble fingers. His middle finger dipped inside her, up to the base and pressed up while his thumb circled her clit. Overcome with sensation, her left hand stopped its ministrations on his cock and she focused on all the sensations shooting through her.

He inserted a second finger inside her, fucking her, working her and her entire body reached for the orgasm that was so close, so close. She pistoned herself against his palm, and then gave a mewling cry as she came.

She leaned her head on his shoulder, waiting for her heart to stop galloping in her chest and then smiled up at him. “Your turn.”

“Oh no ... I’m driving.”

“So?” She undid his belt, jeans button and zipper, laughing when his cock popped out into her hand. “Commando?”

He started to respond but she slid her hand up and down the hard length, and all that came out of his mouth was a moan. Feeling powerful and fully feminine, Jen leaned down and took him in her mouth. The truck slowed and wobbled on the road a moment before straightening and she took that as a challenge.

She laved the head, tongue swirling around the ridge and flicking across the vein beneath. She pumped him with her mouth, with her hand at the base, sucking and tasting, loving the feel of him in her mouth, the salty flavor of the precum on the tip of his cock. Trevor shuddered and Jen felt the truck swerve again, then continue moving right. Alarmed, she lifted her head.

“Rest stop,” Trevor said, his voice hoarse.

“Ah.”

He stopped in the first space and reached under the seat, shoving it all the way back and then dug in his back pocket.

“What are you doing?”

“This.” He proffered a condom and rolled it on his cock. “And this.” He undid the seatbelt and lifted her until she straddled him. With one quick movement, he shoved her panties aside and drove into her, stretching her cream-slicked walls.

The feel of him inside her pussy combined with the look in his eye as he watched her was like nothing she’d felt before. With their gazes locked, she opened her legs wider and took him all the way in. His hands gripped her hips, lifting her up and down in a rhythm that matched the pumping of his own body. She cupped his face, kissing him, her tongue mimicking the movement of his cock inside her. Up, down, in, out, the sensations raced through her until she knew nothing but him, was aware of nothing but the feel of him inside her, the taste of him in her mouth.

His powerful thrusts grew faster and his body tensed. She leaned away, wanting to come with him. She found her clit with her fingers and pressed it, circling the hard, wet nub until her body shook. “God, Trevor, you’re... I’m...” Her head fell back and she just soaked up the sensations , her pussy full of his cock, her heart full of her love.

The hands on her hips tightened and pulled her down, hard, one last time as he gave a hoarse shout and came. Only one more rub on her clit and she joined him, gyrating her hips to suck every last bit from the orgasm, squeezing his cock with her muscles and then collapsing against him.

“Holy shit,” Trevor whispered against her throat, his arms circling her and holding her close.

She laughed. “Yeah.”

They sat quietly for a moment, together and sated. Then he took her face in his hands and held her only inches from his. “I think we answered the one last question we had about our relationship.”

A smile curved her lips. “Apparently we are sexually compatible.”

“And then some.” He brushed a kiss over her mouth. “So, Jen, now that’s out of the way...”

“Hmm?”

“Jen, I love you with my whole being. Will you marry me?” He dug into his shirt pocket and pulled out a slim, modest diamond solitaire.

“Oh my God.” Tears sprung to her eyes. “Yes! God, yes. Trevor, I love you, too.” She held out her hand and he slipped the ring on her finger. “Only ...” She swiveled her hips, loving the feel of him inside her, thrilled to think she’d have him forever.

Worry filled his expression. “What?”

“What will we tell our kids when they ask how you proposed?”

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.  http://www.menagerieauthors.com/  or http://www.menagerieauthors.blogspot.com/

Take Me Home by Megan Slayer


A full bank account meant nothing if he had no one at home to unwind with.

Roddy tossed his headset onto the chair and strode from the studio. Frustration flowed through his veins. Sure, working as the station manager for Channel Twenty-Five paid the bills, but the headaches, the bickering, and the sexual innuendo grated his frayed nerves.

Time to get out for a while. Time for a martini.

“Best not to dwell on the negative,”he groused and made his way through the foyer of the station. The best thing to do would be to find someone to spend time with. Ha! He needed a personal life outside the station before he could begin to contemplate finding a lover. The sliding doors swooshed open, letting in a few last rays of sunshine. He stopped on the sidewalk and drew in a breath, basking in the soft light.

“Roddy? Man, wait.”

Roddy knew that voice. He puffed the breath out and turned. Kane Davitt. Holy hell. Noon news anchor and the reason the station kept its core audience. Women loved Kane’s dark hair and doe eyes, not to mention his lopsided grin.

“Hey,” Kane’s cheeks darkened, as if he’d run the length of the corridor.

“You’re here late,” Roddy replied and clamped his teeth together. Way to sound intelligent.

“You’re right. My car died and it just so happens none of the guys on the six o’clock shift know the correct use for jumper cables. Cardin gave me an idea for something I’m pretty sure is illegal, but not what I wanted to try.” Kane stuffed his arms into his khaki pockets. “Look, I need a favor.”

“Name it.”

“Take me home.”

Roddy raised one brow. “You do realize I’m gay, I haven’t had a boyfriend in over a year, and your words are a definite come-on.” Oh crap. The words rushed from his lips faster than his brain worked. No time to take any of his revelation back. He forked his fingers through his hair to mask his apprehension. Really, why did he seem to think Kane needed the information?

“And your point is?” Kane tipped his head and the beginning of a smile quirked on his lips.

So Roddy’s sexual orientation wasn’t an issue for Kane? Talk about a game changer. Roddy stared at Kane for a bit longer than a casual acquaintance should. Muscles in the right places and the very hint of scruff on his cheeks. “Um...where do you live?”

“Santa Rosa Boulevard. Sixteen Twenty-Seven. Please?”

At least it wasn’t clear across the state. Roddy nodded. “Come on.”

Fifteen minutes later, Kane sat next to him in the Lexus. Roddy gripped the wheel, afraid to say anything. It wasn’t like Kane was so hard to talk to. The guy just happened to ooze sex and star in Roddy’s dirtiest fantasies. He came to a stop in front of a Cape Cod house.

“That’s mine.” Kane shifted and stared at Roddy. “I knew, you know.”

The air rushed from Roddy’s lungs. He swallowed hard. “You knew...what?”

Kane chuckled. “My gaydar is very well tuned.”

Roddy’s stomach soured. “Wonderful.” Didn’t exactly mean it didn’t bother Kane, but the confession didn’t soothe Roddy’s soul either. He pinched the bridge of his nose. “I want to say something smart, but I’m not sure what to say.”

“Roddy.” Kane placed his hand on Roddy’s, wrapping his fingers around Roddy’s wrist. “I’m damned glad.”

Roddy slumped down in his seat. No fucking way. He replayed Kane’s words in his mind. His heart pounded. “You’re glad?”

Squeezing Roddy’s hand, Kane’s smile widened. “Come inside with me. Have a drink. A thank you for driving out here?”

“I shouldn’t,” Roddy blurted. Shouldn’t? Hell, he should run in and have two or three drinks... Damn.

Kane scooted closer. “We both just left work and tomorrow’s Saturday.” He released Roddy’s hand and rubbed his thumb across Roddy’s chin. “We’re both free and I’m dying to find out what you taste like.”

Before Roddy could answer, Kane nabbed him in a kiss. The brush of Kane’s whisker-dusted chin against Roddy’s skin sent tingles through Roddy’s system. Kane swallowed Roddy’s moan and caressed Roddy’s dick through his dress slacks. God, it had been a long time since he’d even had a casual relationship with someone else.

Breaking the kiss, Kane’s breath fanned over Roddy’s cheeks. “Come inside with me.”

Roddy nodded. Yes. Inside. He fumbled out of the luxury vehicle and followed Kane through the front door. As he stood in the foyer, a pang of trepidation slid through Roddy. Sure, he knew Kane. He’d talked to him a couple times and spent too many hours pining over him. “I’m gay, but I’m not stupid. I did random hook-ups when I was younger and I’m too old to risk anything.”

Kane tugged Roddy’s shirt, closing the gap between them. “Good.”

“I want emotion to go along with the sex.”

Nodding, Kane sank to his knees. “Perfect.” He worked the button on Roddy’s pants. The constricting fabric pooled at his feet. Kane nuzzled the bulge in Roddy’s boxer shorts. Through the fabric, he kissed the crown of Roddy’s cock.

“You’re very agreeable.” Weak-kneed, Roddy leaned back against the door. “Oh God.”

With his gaze locked on Roddy, Kane withdrew Roddy’s penis and ran his tongue along the underside. “You. Talk. Too. Much.” His fingers bit into Roddy’s ass as he wrapped his lips around Roddy’s erection.

The synapses in Roddy’s brain misfired. He thrust his fingers into Kane’s hair, taking control of the sex act. He shuddered as the orgasm built low in his belly. Too close. His knees quaked.

“Bed. Now,” Roddy bit out and kicked out of his pants and boxers. “I can’t last. Fuck me.”

In a tangle of arms and legs, Kane tugged Roddy to the bedroom. Roddy knelt on the bed and waved his ass towards Kane.

“Open.” Kane held the condom in front of Roddy. Roddy tore the packet with his teeth. The sound of Kane’s hand connecting with Roddy’s ass ricocheted around the room in a loud crack. Roddy groaned and barely had time to bask in the sting when something chilly caressed his asshole.

“Mine,” Kane growled and pressed his cock against the tight muscle. Roddy exhaled, relaxing his body and allowing Kane entrance. This time, Kane groaned and pistoned into Roddy. “Fuck, so good.”

Roddy shuddered as the orgasm growing in his balls washed through him. He closed his eyes and fisted his hands in the sheets. Behind him, Kane’s cry filled the room. “I’m coming.”

With the weight of Kane bearing down on him, Roddy fought to catch his breath. “Damn.”

“Yeah.” Kane pulled out and collapsed next to Roddy. After chucking the used protection, Kane once against closed the space between them and rubbed his flaccid cock against Roddy’s hip. “I’m gonna put it all out there—I’m attracted to you. I’m usually not this forward and I’m certainly not trolling for a hook-up. I saw what developed between Tory and River. I want what they have. I want it with you, but God, it scared me because I was sure you’d turn me down.”

“I’m no one special.” Roddy flopped over to gaze into Kane’s eyes.

“You’re a sexy man who has no idea he’s hot. You put up with shit and keep smiling. That’s incredible.” Kane shrugged. “And you turned around when I blatantly came on to you.”

“I did.”

“Call me crazy, but I think I’ve been a little in love with you from the start. Now, it’s more than a little. I’m in love with you, Roddy.” Kane brushed his nose against Roddy’s. The timbre of his voice vibrated along Roddy’s spine. “I’m so glad I had you take me home.”

Everything Roddy had ever wanted snuggled in the crook of his arm. He grinned. “Are you ready for round two?”

“Absolutely.”

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.

Friday Spotlight:: Eliza March/Elizabeth Marchat

Author, Elizabeth Marchat
My process of writing a novel continued - Part 2


The Promise


Now what? I took a few classes on novel writing. Apparently there’s a difference between what I’d been writing in the past and the method of writing a romance novel. There are rules. A writer can skate around the edge in some genres but in romances some rules are etched in stone.

The Promise is the first rule, and the most important one. There must be an “happily ever after” or, at the very least, a “happily for now.” If the book is a “romance,” you can take that promise to the bank. The genre promises their readers a HEA or HFN. You share the characters’ attractions, their experiences of falling in and out of love, overcoming conflicts as they go through heartbreak and redemption, but no matter how bad things seem—you may not know how the hero and heroine will resolve their issues—you can trust that they will.

Romance is the second rule. The story is about the romance. Yes, there can be other subplots, but the primary plot line starts when the two main characters meet. The secondary plot line usually starts after that. So for instance, if the book is a mystery, the mystery becomes evident after the couple become involved with each other. The mystery will be resolved before the romantic conflict is concluded. This is true with paranormal, fantasy, westerns, historical or any other genre. What is it you love about romances?

Ever since I could read, the written word has captivated me. I’ve worked in libraries, written for newspapers, done copy edits, magazine copy and screenplays, but the one thing that always intrigues me is choosing just the right word to express myself.

I write romantic suspense under the name ELIZABETH MARCHAT and erotic romance as ELIZA MARCH. Across A Crowded Room is my first book under the Elizabeth Marchat pseudonym, but not the last. The second romantic suspense the readers are asking for should be done before the first of the year and out shortly afterwards. To prevent boredom from setting in, I keep my hands in several pots at the same time. Perhaps the characters in my head satisfy my needs to be and do all the things I don't have time for, or wouldn't dare to do. Or would I?

Eliza’s been busy with recent releases of The Moon, The Madness, and The Magic, a sequel to the first book in The Enchanted Mountain series, The Lion, The Leopard, and The Wolf and now her contemporary erotic romance, More Than A Stud which should be available next month. All my books are available at the publishers’ buy sites and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some in both ebook and print format. I love hearing from both readers and other authors so stay in touch.

http://bookstrand.com/eliza-march
http://bookstrand.com/elizabeth-marchat
http://elizamarch.blogspot.com
http://elizamarch.com
http://elizabethmarchat.wordpress.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Spotlight: Eliza March/Elizabeth Marchat

Author, Elizabeth Marchat
My process of writing a novel - Part 1


The Anticipation


At first I thought sitting down and writing a novel would be easy; I’d written thesis papers, newspaper articles, advertising copy, and newsletters. I’d even written poetry and short stories. Everything BF (before fiction) had been a breeze for me to undertake. Until the day I decided to sit down and try writing the story in my head, I never even thought there were rules to the genre I was writing.

After I wrote the plot line to my story, something seemed to be missing. Detail? Maybe. So I added the details. Where were the characters? What was it like? How did they get there? Why were they doing what they were doing? And HOW? There wasn’t much I didn’t know about my characters and I liked them. I’d read thousands of romance novels, action books, mysteries, etc. in preparation. How hard could writing a novel be?

Well, let me tell you, it’s hard and certainly not as easy as reading one. It’s complicated and takes “ahelluvalot” longer, too. I went to a conference and found out my word count should be at about 90,000 words. When my husband asked me how I was going to manage writing something that long, I responded, “Adverbs and adjectives!”

Now that I’ve stopped adding adjectives and adverbs, learned how to show my story, not tell it, and conquered the delete key, I find I’m still learning. Part 2 - Cont’d tomorrow

Ever since I could read, the written word has captivated me. I’ve worked in libraries, written for newspapers, done copy edits, magazine copy and screenplays, but the one thing that always intrigues me is choosing just the right word to express myself.

I write romantic suspense under the name ELIZABETH MARCHAT and erotic romance as ELIZA MARCH. Across A Crowded Room is my first book under the Elizabeth Marchat pseudonym, but not the last. The second romantic suspense the readers are asking for should be done before the first of the year and out shortly afterwards. To prevent boredom from setting in, I keep my hands in several pots at the same time. Perhaps the characters in my head satisfy my needs to be and do all the things I don't have time for, or wouldn't dare to do. Or would I?

Eliza’s been busy with recent releases of The Moon, The Madness, and The Magic, a sequel to the first book in The Enchanted Mountain series, The Lion, The Leopard, and The Wolf and now her contemporary erotic romance, More Than A Stud which should be available next month. All my books are available at the publishers’ buy sites and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some in both ebook and print format. I love hearing from both readers and other authors so stay in touch.

http://bookstrand.com/eliza-march
http://bookstrand.com/elizabeth-marchat
http://elizamarch.blogspot.com
http://elizamarch.com
http://elizabethmarchat.wordpress.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Eliza March/Elizabeth Marchat

Author, Elizabeth Marchat


What are you looking for in a book? A diversion, an escape, a chance to go somewhere you’ve never been, to do something you’ve never done, or to experience your own “do over” and get it right this time? My immediate goal with each book I write is to provide one of those options for you and for me, too. If I don’t get the same satisfaction out of writing the book that you get from reading it, then what’s the point? I write because I like working through the stories in my head and sharing them with someone.

I believe every author should love diving into the next work in progress as much as the reader enjoys the page turning experience once it’s finished. If the author loves telling the tale, it shows in their work. I can’t wait to join my characters in their next adventure. For now I just finished revising my current book and am about to move on to my next series, a paranormal epic that has been in the works for five years. Two of the books are finished and the third one is outlined. I have plans for six more, but they get written one at a time. Who knows where my characters will lead us. There could be more.

My long term goal is to keep writing about characters my readers love, and as long as my characters keep showing up on the paper, I’ll keep telling their tales.

Ever since I could read, the written word has captivated me. I’ve worked in libraries, written for newspapers, done copy edits, magazine copy and screenplays, but the one thing that always intrigues me is choosing just the right word to express myself.

I write romantic suspense under the name ELIZABETH MARCHAT and erotic romance as ELIZA MARCH. Across A Crowded Room is my first book under the Elizabeth Marchat pseudonym, but not the last. The second romantic suspense the readers are asking for should be done before the first of the year and out shortly afterwards. To prevent boredom from setting in, I keep my hands in several pots at the same time. Perhaps the characters in my head satisfy my needs to be and do all the things I don't have time for, or wouldn't dare to do. Or would I?

Eliza’s been busy with recent releases of The Moon, The Madness, and The Magic, a sequel to the first book in The Enchanted Mountain series, The Lion, The Leopard, and The Wolf and now her contemporary erotic romance, More Than A Stud which should be available next month. All my books are available at the publishers’ buy sites and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some in both ebook and print format. I love hearing from both readers and other authors so stay in touch.

http://bookstrand.com/eliza-march
http://bookstrand.com/elizabeth-marchat
http://elizamarch.blogspot.com
http://elizamarch.com
http://elizabethmarchat.wordpress.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Eliza March/Elizabeth Marchat

Author, Elizabeth Marchat


My book is out under the name of Elizabeth Marchat. Because it’s a departure from my other books, I believe the change in name will differentiate this release from my other books. Across A Crowded Room (the lengthy titles should be a dead give-away that it’s still me writing them) is a sexy romantic suspense novel about a reunion romance between former lovers that borders on a love triangle.

In my former business life, there was no way I could promote myself as a writer since I was writing extreme erotic romance. So when I wrote this book, although it’s very sensual and sexy, the explicit sex isn’t as detailed as it is in my erotic books, it presented a new dilemma for me. Should I take a chance disappointing my erotic fans who have come to expect a certain level of eroticism from my stories, or do I start all over again writing for new fans?
Well, if my fans are anything like me, they’re avid fans of books of all genres. What I didn’t want was someone picking it up and expecting a certain level of sexuality that wasn’t there and being disappointed. With a new name and a new genre, I hope I’ve solved the problem. I’m ready to write the next romantic suspense, and I’ve had a few readers demanding a story about Cade or Mosel. Both men would do a follow up story justice. They’re both yummy.

Ever since I could read, the written word has captivated me. I’ve worked in libraries, written for newspapers, done copy edits, magazine copy and screenplays, but the one thing that always intrigues me is choosing just the right word to express myself.

I write romantic suspense under the name ELIZABETH MARCHAT and erotic romance as ELIZA MARCH. Across A Crowded Room is my first book under the Elizabeth Marchat pseudonym, but not the last. The second romantic suspense the readers are asking for should be done before the first of the year and out shortly afterwards. To prevent boredom from setting in, I keep my hands in several pots at the same time. Perhaps the characters in my head satisfy my needs to be and do all the things I don't have time for, or wouldn't dare to do. Or would I?

Eliza’s been busy with recent releases of The Moon, The Madness, and The Magic, a sequel to the first book in The Enchanted Mountain series, The Lion, The Leopard, and The Wolf and now her contemporary erotic romance, More Than A Stud which should be available next month. All my books are available at the publishers’ buy sites and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some in both ebook and print format. I love hearing from both readers and other authors so stay in touch.

http://bookstrand.com/eliza-march
http://bookstrand.com/elizabeth-marchat
http://elizamarch.blogspot.com
http://elizamarch.com
http://elizabethmarchat.wordpress.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Eliza March/Elizabeth Marchat

Author, Elizabeth Marchat


Many times I’m asked about the kind of research, if any, I do in order to write my books. Depending on the story, sometimes it’s nothing and sometimes it’s as simple as checking a map for a location. Since I prefer inventing my own locations, I like to make sure there isn’t really a town named for the ones in my books. I also did some brief research about the myths of the succubus and fae for my last fantasy. The thing I like about fantasy and paranormal writing is the world building. You make the rules, and you can break them. I had to stick to some reality in my most recent book, Across A Crowded Room, This romantic suspense takes place in Washington DC, Boston, and Monte Carlo among other certain locales, and I did have to gather some more detailed information to make the story believable. Other than Google Earth, one of the best research aids I discovered is the CIA website. Google Earth gave me a bird’s eye view of the area I was writing about, and the CIA site gave me the detailed facts.

I think reader’s appreciate accuracy, but I also believe there’s a level of suspending belief once you enter the world of fiction. An author still needs to make the unbelievable believable. Once a reader is immersed in our world, we like to keep her there, enthralled, until the very end of the story. What do you think about fantasy in fiction?

Ever since I could read, the written word has captivated me. I’ve worked in libraries, written for newspapers, done copy edits, magazine copy and screenplays, but the one thing that always intrigues me is choosing just the right word to express myself.

I write romantic suspense under the name ELIZABETH MARCHAT and erotic romance as ELIZA MARCH. Across A Crowded Room is my first book under the Elizabeth Marchat pseudonym, but not the last. The second romantic suspense the readers are asking for should be done before the first of the year and out shortly afterwards. To prevent boredom from setting in, I keep my hands in several pots at the same time. Perhaps the characters in my head satisfy my needs to be and do all the things I don't have time for, or wouldn't dare to do. Or would I?

Eliza’s been busy with recent releases of The Moon, The Madness, and The Magic, a sequel to the first book in The Enchanted Mountain series, The Lion, The Leopard, and The Wolf and now her contemporary erotic romance, More Than A Stud which should be available next month. All my books are available at the publishers’ buy sites and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some in both ebook and print format. I love hearing from both readers and other authors so stay in touch.

http://bookstrand.com/eliza-march
http://bookstrand.com/elizabeth-marchat
http://elizamarch.blogspot.com
http://elizamarch.com
http://elizabethmarchat.wordpress.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Author Interview: Lucy Felthouse


Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Lucy Felthouse whose newest story "Sofa, So Fun" is appearing in the soon-to-be-released anthology Best of Both: When You Just Can't Decide from Xcite Books.

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

"To me, you tend to find more short stories are pure erotica. This is because the action is crammed into a smaller word count, therefore is more of an 'encounter' and is mainly about the sex, with very little build up or any other knowledge of the people involved or their relationship. For this reason, erotic romance is often found in longer pieces of work, from lengthy short stories right up to novels. There is more time to develop the characters and the focus is on an overall storyline, rather than just sex," she said. "Pornography is much more difficult to define. Personally, I think even erotic stories have a 'story' to them. In most of the stuff I read, there is at least a storyline, rather than 'these two people had sex.' I'm no expert, but to me, I think porn would be erotica without a valid storyline. But I haven't really come across anything like it in writing, so I don't know!"

Some of the established writers who write excellent erotic fiction, in Lucy's opinion, are Portia Da Costa, Saskia Walker, Elizabeth Coldwell, Charlotte Stein, Justine Elyot and Janine Ashbless. There are also awesome writers who are relatively new to the erotica scene: Rebecca Bond, Lexie Bay, Bianca Sommerland and Eden Baylee.

"These ladies turn out some seriously hot smut – so watch this space!" she declared.

Lucy told me it's hard to judge whether a book is good while you are writing it, but she tends to find that if she's not enjoying writing the story, it's generally not working out.

"If I find it a struggle and I lose interest in the words on the page then I think that if I don't like it, why would anybody else?" she explained.

Most of the erotica she writes in contemporary, so she doesn't need to do research for them.

"I just take characters, put them in a hot situation in a certain place and let them have at it!" she said. "I've written some paranormal stuff which requires even more imagination as you're essentially creating a world and rules for it."

She said she thought she'd only ever need to do research if she wrote a historical or set it in a place she'd never been to.

"For this reason, and because I'm a wimp, I haven't written anything like that," she told me. "I'm not saying I would rule it out, but I like to write what I know!"

"Did you always set out to write erotica or did it evolve from something else?" I wondered.

"I never set out to write erotica, ever. It came completely out of the blue, as a dare. It was at University, and I was chatting with some friends. We must have been having a pretty smutty conversation, as one of the guys passed comment that I'm very open-minded and that I should have a go at writing some erotica. I laughed it off to begin with, but my friend persisted and eventually dared me. Of course, I couldn’t back out then. So I asked him to give me a scenario, character names and then I'd give it a go. I did, and I wrote Sam & Katie, and took it back into the University. The guy friends present at the original conversation were really impressed with the story, and encouraged me to write more. I did, and I've never looked back. I do cringe at some of my earlier work, so I really hope that means my writing has improved!"

She went from the dare to writing for publication very quickly. Once she discovered her interest, she started reading lots of erotica, mainly Black Lace. She started looking at the market and discovered Scarlet Magazine, now defunct.

"I submitted an early story to them, and they published," she said. "I was ridiculously excited and was addicted to that high so I never stopped writing and submitting. Luckily for me, publishers and editors keep saying yes! My aim now is to expand into longer pieces. Realistically this will start with a novella and then maybe, who knows, a novel. My ideas notebook is overflowing with ideas, I just have to get the words down on the page!"

On a more personal note, I asked Lucy about foods. Her favorites include chocolate, specifically Cadbury's, and chips (or as we call them in the United States, fries)—though she hurried to assure me that she doesn't eat them together. She is, however, also a really fussy eater, so she has an enormous list of food she cannot bring herself to eat.

"Anything gross like something's eyeballs, testicles or whatever would have no chance," she said. "But similarly, I can't stand bananas or mashed potato. But that's just a small selection of my no list."

She refused to tell me her strangest habit, however, telling me that it was also gross... so we're just going to have to wonder (unless you can get her drunk in tomorrow's chat and get it out of her—she told me, though, that she rarely drinks now, so that might not happen.)

I asked Lucy what she did when she wasn't writing.

"Reading, building websites, surfing the web, walking, visiting historical buildings and places, lusting after Jared Padalecki and watching TV shows like Supernatural, True Blood, Being Human, Buffy and The Tudors," she said.

Yep, she has a super crush on Jared—in fact, if she could choose anyone, she would choose to be his wife, Genevieve Cortese.

If someone were to play her in a movie, she would choose Keira Knightley. Why?

"Because she has such an innocent looking face but I reckon she has a filthy mind. However, she'd have to pack on the pounds and wear a padded bra, bless her."

"If you could entertain a character from a book, who would it be and what would the evening be like?"

"Ooh, this is a fabulous question. I'm torn between Eric Northman from The Southern Vampire Mysteries, and Anne Rice's Lestat. Both are very naughty vampires, so I'd get one of them to take me out of an evening and go wreak some havoc. Not of the killing kind, but the lurking and spying kind. Then when we'd had our fun, we'd go back to his place and have some more fun," she said with a wink.

You can keep up with Lucy on her website, http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Roz Lee

Bon Voyage


Our time together is coming to a close. I hope you’ve enjoyed the little trips we’ve taken. Once upon a time, traveling farther than the local ballpark or grocery store was beyond our means, so when my Shaggy Dog Syndrome kicked in I picked up a romance novel and took an imaginary trip, one that eventually led to the biggest adventure of my life – being a published author.

People often ask what prompted me to try my hand at writing. Fair warning – its cliché. One day, my teenage daughters commented that I’d read so many romance novels, I could probably write my own. Like everyone, I’d read a few I found less than satisfying, so the seed was planted. Why not write one? So, it began. It took years to write that first book, and it stunk. Trust me, it will never see the light of day, but my family encouraged me to keep at it. Their faith in me propelled me on.

I found Romance Writers of America and discovered the wealth of resources available for individuals like me. I found a whole world populated by people who believed I could write a novel, and that I could become a published author. I took online classes. I entered contests for feedback, and I wrote.

It took a number of years, and lots of time and effort, but on Jan. 1, 2011, I obtained my goal of becoming a published author. We christened THE LUST BOAT with champagne toasts, and bid it Bon Voyage. Since then, the Lothario, my fictional cruise ship, has set sail again, and many more voyages are in the works.

Thanks for stopping by to visit with me this week. It’s been a blast getting to know you. I leave you today with an excerpt from the second book in the Lothario series, SHOW ME THE ROPES. Go find a fruity drink with a paper umbrella, and a cabana boy with a palm frond, and enjoy the cruise!

WARNING!!

The following excerpt from SHOW ME THE ROPES is not for those under 18 years of age.


Richard stepped in and shut the door quickly, throwing the deadbolt as he did so. She backed a few steps into the room, unsure what he expected from her. Six feet of bronzed masculinity filled the small space and overwhelmed her senses. He smelled like the wind and the sun, and exuded enough heat to raise the ambient temperature several degrees. He wore nothing more than a white Lothario passenger wrap, slung low across his lean hips. Any lower and there would be no need to wear it at all. His sun bronzed back and shoulders filled the tiny space. He turned to her. Her breath caught in her lungs. The ship could have been named after him. He was every woman’s image of a Lothario, a seducer of women. There wasn’t a woman on the planet that wouldn’t be drawn to this man. Tall and lean, his brown hair bleached sandy by the constant Caribbean sun, and his eyes like gleaming emeralds, he even stole control of her involuntary muscles.

Those jeweled eyes made a quick sweep of her nakedness before they returned to her feet and slowly inched up, stopping at the juncture of her thighs, on the neatly trimmed mound there. His gaze lingered, but at last his eyes moved further up, pausing again at her breasts, now aching for his touch, her nipples painful rubies.
She should have felt like a bug under a microscope, or worse, a cheap whore, but underneath the obvious arousal, there was nothing but admiration, and perhaps reverence in the way he looked at her. He might be a despicable player, but it was hard to remember that when he looked at her that way. No wonder women threw themselves at him.

At last, he looked into her eyes. “Turn around.” She turned, willing her trembling legs to hold her. No one had ever looked at her so. She felt exposed, vulnerable, yet aroused beyond anything she’d ever felt. With her back to him, she waited for his command, wondering if he intended to take her now, or if he ever would. She’d wanted him for so long, she didn’t know if she could wait any longer. It wasn’t up to her. She’d ceded control to Richard in his office earlier. What they did or did not do was on his time schedule now, not hers.

“You’re more beautiful than I imagined.” His breath whispered across her shoulder. She jumped. When had he come so close? Metal jangled behind her and she quaked. “Easy. Relax, sweetheart. You followed my orders, so I have a surprise for you.”
Richard raised his hands over her head. An intricately wrought gold chain dangled from his fingers. She’d seen them in the gift shop, custom-made slave chains. She recognized it as the one from the display mannequin. Exquisitely handcrafted to look like solid gold rope, it must have cost a fortune. Richard had more money than God, so she shouldn’t have been surprised. The Lothario was a very small portion of his portfolio. “Do you want the gift, Fallon?” The chain dangled in front of her face. “Everything we do for the next week is up to you. This chain is simply a reminder for both of us, and anyone else who might want to claim you, that you are mine. No matter what we do, the choice is always yours whether we continue, or not. Nod your head if you understand.”

She nodded. Cold metal draped around her neck. Richard’s fingers scalded her skin where he fastened the intricate collar. “Do you have a code word you would like to use? Something that will tell me to stop?”

She nodded again.

“Tell me. What is it?”

“Stop,” she whispered. She’d gone from Ph.D. to dunce, in a matter of minutes.

He chuckled.

She closed her eyes. His full lips would be drawn up on one side, a dimple creasing the opposite cheek.

“Not very creative, but it will do.” His hands slipped under her arms and clamped like heated vices over her breasts. His front pressed against her back. The hard shaft of his arousal branded her buttocks. “Try it, Fallon. Tell me to stop.”

“Stop.” Her voice broke on the one simple syllable, but his hands instantly dropped away, leaving her breasts aching and cold, but he remained pressed against her.

“See. That’s how it works. Now, let’s get the rest of this chain on you. Turn back around.” He moved a step back then, allowing her room to turn.

Richard sorted the delicate chains and rings and smoothed them over her skin. Two woven gold ropes hung from a ring on the front of the collar and criss-crossed her chest in an intricate pattern before widening to form two rings of the same woven rope pattern, one to encircle each breast. Roped chains fell from under her breasts to repeat the elaborate diamond pattern across her stomach, down to her waist. Richard fastened the rope around her waist to a ring at her bellybutton with a small, jewel-encrusted lock.

There was much more to it. Every few months a new piece had been added to the display. Fallon had even tried on a few of the pieces. She’d been looking at the display one day when the jeweler came out to add the new wrist shackles. He’d noticed her interest in the piece and asked if she wanted to try them on before he added them to the display. They’d fit perfectly, and she’d admired the way they felt, as well as the exquisite workmanship. When the matching ankle shackles were ready, he’d called her and asked her if she wanted to try them too. She’d turned an appointment over to Kelsey and hurried to the gift shop.

Richard knelt before her. “Spread your legs.” She shifted and his hands on her thighs spread her further. “So beautiful.” One finger swiped through her juices. She bit her lower lip to keep from crying out. “Look at me.”

She turned her eyes to the man kneeling before her and watched as he sucked his wet finger into his mouth. Her knees buckled. Richard caught her before she fell. He steadied her, and then helped her to the one chair in the room. “There are more pieces. Every day I’ll reward you with another piece if you have earned it the day before. Now, put on the silk sarong. I want to take you to dinner.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday Spotlight: Roz Lee

Shaggy Dog Syndrome


My dad used to say my mother was like an ‘ole shaggy dog – open the car door and she’d jump in. It’s not very complimentary to be sure, but it was said with a good measure of affection. The saying also had the ring of truth at our house. I inherited a few things from my mother, my hair coloring for one thing, and her resemblance to an ‘ole shaggy dog whenever there’s an open car door in the vicinity.

So when our girls suggested we take a trip for the holidays instead of buying each other a lot of gifts we didn’t really need, I started packing. After much discussion, we decided on a Caribbean cruise with some interesting ports of call. What began as a family vacation, turned out to be a life-changing event, at least for me. Somewhere in the middle of an onboard show, I dreamed up the idea for the Lothario, a hedonistic cruise ship that later became, THE LUST BOAT, my first published work.

To say we had a good time is a gross understatement, and we have the photos to prove it. We saw Mayan ruins, swam with the fishies and, in order to lounge on a Honduran beach, took a bus ride that rivaled any theme park ride we’d ever been on.

Our ship dropped anchor off the port city of Roatan, Honduras on an overcast, somewhat cool day. My shaggy dog syndrome kicked in before the lifeboats were lowered to take us to shore. I loaded up the family-sized beach tote with bottled water and sunscreen, and we stood in line for the short boat ride to our waiting pre-paid shore excursion transportation.

We were an excited bunch. The green hillsides with colorful buildings at their base beckoned us. Our excitement grew as the charming dockside plaza came into view. Our arrival was met by locals wearing, shall we say, creative costumes, dancing to… creative music. We glanced longingly at the shops lining the walkway, but our transportation awaited us. We could shop later.

It was easy enough to find our group, and soon we were ushered to a line of waiting busses. We eyed our assigned bus skeptically. This was not the air-conditioned tour bus we’d had in Belize, the one with the sealed windows and…padded seats. The paint had lost some of its yellow luster, and as my youngest stepped aboard and turned to make sure we were behind her, I contemplated the relative strength of rust, and whether it was something I should be concerned about. My husband gave me a little nudge, and I followed the girls onto the bus, the rusted out front fender mostly forgotten, overshadowed by our pending adventure.

The interior reassured, somewhat. The seats, although not padded, were clean. The open windows were clean enough to see the passing scenery, a must in my book. On the bulkhead above the driver, and just above the rear emergency exit, were hand-painted murals depicting what I assumed was the local landscape. As my girls were not accustomed to riding school buses, they didn’t know how special the extra art really was. I suspect it might have been a diversion so we wouldn’t look too close at the important parts of the vehicle – like the brakes. Or maybe we weren’t supposed to question the sanity of the driver.

In retrospect – I think we should have done both.

When every seat was filled, the driver closed the door and we headed out into the Honduran countryside to a private beach where we’d been promised a lazy day with good food and plenty of fruity drinks with paper umbrellas. I pulled out my ever present camera and prepared to document the ride. And I did. To a point.

We skirted the beach for several miles on a two-lane road lined with colorful houses and the occasional store before turning inland. It wasn’t long before I stashed the camera in favor of hanging on for dear life. The road, and I use that term loosely, wound like a corkscrew through dense jungle, rising and falling until we reached the summit of …something. I vaguely remember the tops of giant banana trees as we whisked along. Our driver slowed, sort of, at the blind, hairpin curves, and I closed my eyes and prayed nothing was coming because there wasn’t anywhere for us, or them to go, but to the base of those giant banana trees. And the road didn’t go there.

Once we reached the summit, the bus slowed as we passed a few tourist trap souvenir shops and the shack where the zip-line adventurer’s would begin their descent via a harness and pulley attached to a cable stretched over the tops of the giant banana trees. I was glad we’d chosen the lazy day on the beach. That thought lasted until we crested the summit and headed down the other side of the mountain.

Banana trees sped past our window in a blur of green. We jostled, shoulder to shoulder, hands fisted on the bar across the seat in front of us in a white knuckled grip. I came to dread the sound of the horn, as it signaled yet another curve where we might or might not play chicken with oncoming traffic. On the descent, compact cars scrunched to the edge of the road to let us pass, some with a mere heartbeat to adjust their position before our faded yellow monster would send it to the base of a giant banana tree.

You know we made to the beach and back because I’m writing this, but I can honestly say, the theme park designers need take a shore excursion to a lazy Honduran beach. There isn’t a ride yet invented to equal that one. It took a few fruity drinks with paper umbrellas to calm our nerves, and a few more to give us the nerve to get back on the bus to make the return trip to our ship.

The adventure didn’t cure my shaggy dog syndrome, but next time I think I might try the zip-line. At least the bus trip would have been shorter.

Bon Voyage! Stop in tomorrow to chat some more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Roz Lee

Out of the Darkness, Into the Light


By far, the most memorable family vacation we’ve ever taken was to the Redwood National Forest. We did this when the girls were young, and long before vampires and werewolves roamed every patch of trees in North America, otherwise, I doubt we would have gotten the girls into a tent in the woods, much less gotten them out of it.

I could go on and on about the majesty of these monumental trees, and the awe of camping beneath them, but one evening stands out in my mind, an experience to carry with me the rest of my life.

The Ranger-led trek began late at night. We met at the trailhead and were instructed to leave our flashlights behind. It was a moonless night, not that much moonlight could find the forest floor anyway. We followed the Park Ranger deep into the forest, our only illumination the single beam of his flashlight. We walked carefully for some time, and finally arrived at a clearing. That deep in the forest, the only sounds were of night creatures, and the small circle of humans huddled together on fallen logs, listening avidly to our guide.

No sooner were we seated, feeling safe and secure in our little huddle, than our guide extinguished his flashlight. A chorus of squeals and groans rent the night. He offered assurances in the dark, and we settled. He explained. We were to remain there for twenty minutes or so, allowing our eyes to adjust to the total darkness. Once we had acquired our night-sight, we would advance deeper into the forest to a spot where the canopy obscured even the brightest sunlight.

We learned that light is measured in candlepower, the lowest measure being the light of one single candle. Once we reached our destination, the Park Ranger told us he would light one candle, and he promised, with our newly acquired night vision, we would be astounded at the power of that one candle.

When we were sufficiently adapted, we joined hands like Kindergartener’s and walked single-file into the deepest section of the Redwood Forest. It was a hushed group. We mumbled under our breath as our feet faltered on exposed roots, and the sound of things scurrying about as we intruded on their nocturnal wanderings met our ears.

The Ranger knew his stuff. We could indeed see much better than we thought possible in the absence of light, but as we made our way, cautious step by cautious step, what little we could see became less and less. After what seemed like hours, but was probably only twenty minutes, we came to a halt beneath one of the largest trees on the planet. In the total darkness, we could make out the outline of the enormous tree trunk, and if we got close enough, the wood rail fence surrounding it.

We huddled close, stood silently for a few minutes as our eyes adjusted to the curtain of black surrounding us. It was impossible not to be grateful this wasn’t our life. Distance meant nothing. The smallest sounds elevated to ear-splitting levels. We relied on each other, and our limited sight bonded us.

Our guide called us together, though we hadn’t strayed far from each other. We gathered near and he took a single candle from his pocket. The rasp of a match on the wooden rail, followed by the stench of sulfur and a blinding flash startled. We shrank back, then surged close again as the Ranger put match to wick and a single flame flickered in the night.

Our eyes darted away from the beacon and landed on faces, now clear as if the sun had made a miraculous appearance. We looked beyond our group to the surrounding forest, amazed at the shadowed recesses, now visible in the light of a single candle. We could make out individual trees, limbs, the curve of the path we’d walked like blind mice on a string a few minutes earlier. Our girls, grateful for the light, took in the change, impressed, despite their young years at this lesson in the natural sciences.

The candle burned low, and eventually, extinguished. We waited until our eyes adjusted to the darkness before reforming our string of human bodies and retracing our steps. Gradually, we began to make out more and more of the trail, as the canopy thinned and the light from distant stars illuminated our way. What we’d previously thought as total darkness now proved to be passably well lit. Slowly we dropped hands and walked more naturally, enjoying the sights and sounds of the dark, but not sleeping forest.

To this day, our daughters speak of this adventure as a singular moment in their lives. It was a few hours out of our busy lives, but a memory to carry with us the rest of our lives.