Beginning January 1, 2013

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Author Interview: Gabrielle Bisset


Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Gabrielle Bisset whose latest book Shiny Objects has just been released by Passion in Print Press. Gabrielle also has several more books scheduled for release in the next few months.

When Gabrielle was a teenager, she and her friends used to write screenplays.

"They weren’t very good, but bless our little hearts, we loved doing it," she admitted. "Then for a long time I didn’t write at all. College, grad school, marriage, children, divorce, and career (not necessarily in that order) all took precedence, and writing was put on the back burner. But a few years ago, I secured a position as a faculty member teaching history in college and life settled down a bit. I began reading more and writing followed. Finally, in the past two years, I began forming ideas that I loved and from those came my Destined Ones Series with Stolen Destiny, the first novel in that series, which released on June 29 and my novellas, so far a trio of erotic stories set in Victorian England, with the first one, Vampire Dreams which released on June 10."

Gabrielle told me that when she first got the idea for Stolen Destiny, it was far more mainstream. She began writing it, and by the time the first love scene was finished, she had left mainstream and moved into erotic romance.

"Now, it’s just natural for me. In fact, I think it would be quite a bit of work to go back to mainstream. It’s not that I won’t do it, if a story fits the bill, but I enjoy erotic romance a great deal," she told me.

She's recently written a novella called Love's Master, which came from an idea she got when she was reading something called the Agony Column from the Times of London during the 1800s.

"With one notice from that column, I came up with the idea of a man who was a dominant and was seeking a submissive. However, since I am not involved in the lifestyle, I had to do a little more than read other author’s D/s stories. I had developed some good ideas from them, but I needed more. So off to Google I went. It’s amazing what one can find with the right search terms," she told me with a wink. "I found a cornucopia of sites about BDSM and devoured the information. From there, I began writing and any time I needed details for a scene, back to the computer I went. At one point in the book, the male character named Kadar feeds the female, Lily, foods he encountered in Afghanistan. The research for that took me to a variety of sites about Afghan food. When I finished writing that day, I made a few of the recipes. Incredible tasting food!"

She does a lot of her research on the computer, but when it comes to actually writing, she handwrites everything before she types it.

"No kidding," she said. "I can’t write anything in front of a computer screen. It feels sterile to me, and nothing comes into my mind. I just sit and stare at the screen, cursing it. So instead, I write everything in notebooks with a pen. Wal-Mart loves me at back to school sales each July. I buy cases and cases of notebooks. To me, this isn’t a strange habit at all, but I’ve come to find out that among writers, saying I hand write my stories is like saying I just found out about the printing press and think it’s going to be the next big thing."

"How do you judge what makes a good erotic story when writing your own fiction?" I asked.

"I think if a story is making the author hot when she’s writing it, then chances are pretty good that others will find it a good erotic story too. Sometimes it’s just the right word coming from one of the character’s mouths, and at other times it can be the most discreet movement of an arm or leg (or other body part!) that really makes a scene pop. Erotic stories don’t have to be all thrusting and pounding to be good. I think the story that surrounds the erotica has to be as important. Without a story, then all there is between the characters is insert tab A into slot B."

Gabrielle's favorite erotic author is Charlotte Featherstone.

"Wow, does she know how to create some heat in her stories!" she said. "I’ve read all of them, but my absolute favorite is Lust. The sensuality and eroticism she crafts in that story are just incredible. I don’t think I made it out of the first scene between Thane and Chastity without feeling exactly what a reader should when reading an erotic story—hot. I can’t wait for the rest of her Sins and Virtues series."

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

"For me, porn is always about sex and nothing else. I won’t write anything that’s just sex, sex, and sex with no story. As for anything else, I’m open to many things but strictly stay away from things like underage characters, bestiality, and some fetishes."

Some random things you might not know about Gabrielle:

~she thinks liver is the most disgusting thing she's ever tried to eat—her mother used to let it sit out in milk on the counter all day before cooking it, and everytime Gabrielle would walk into the kitchen and see it seeing there, she'd feel like she was going to be sick.

~she can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and believes that Pepsi is sweeter—to the point that her teeth feel gritty after she drinks one.

~she has an anti-fetish about feet—she thinks they might be the most utilitarian part of the human body, but they are ugly. She doesn't ever want anyone seeing her toenails unpainted because she believes that only adds to the ugliness of her feet. Color? Deep red or burgundy.

~ if she were going to pierce a body part, she would probably pierce her nose, because she's always admired women with a tiny diamond chip in their noses.

~body piercing is sexy, particularly on men, because it connotes danger. She told me, "A man with a genital piercing has mad, bad, and dangerous to know written all over him, and that's incredibly sexy to me."

"Have you ever known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?" I asked.

"Uh, no. Are there men who can do this? And if there are, where do they live and where do I get directions there? Anyone with such a skillful tongue is someone I’d like to meet."

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

"Have faith in yourself. There are many people who will try very hard to bring you down or shove you into a mold they believe is appropriate for the genre in which you write. Believe in yourself and always know you make the decisions about your writing. Learn all you can about writing and the business, and then don’t let others sway you from believing in your stories. Faith in yourself and in your ideas is so important when the rest of the world says what you do isn’t what they think is 'right' or what everyone wants."

You can keep up with Gabrielle on her blog, http://gbisset.blogspot.com

Next Station by Elyzabeth M. VaLey


Little by little the half filled train wagon had emptied leaving only her and the man sitting beside her. She looked at him through the window’s reflection as the train rambled through a dark tunnel and the bright lights flickered.

He was good looking. Even sitting down he was a full head taller than her and she was five foot seven, not precisely short. He was wearing a sleeveless black t-shirt that stuck to his skin and showed off his figure. Her cheeks warmed as she found herself wondering what his skin would feel like under her touch.

The train stopped at a brightly lit station and the reflection vanished. She swallowed nervously and waited for someone to board the wagon, but no one did.

As soon as the train entered the dark underground tunnels her eyes riveted to his reflection. This time she stared at his arms. They were muscular, but not in excess. However, what raised her curiosity was the tattoo. Normally, she didn’t like men with body art but this particular piece made her body curl. The thought of tracing the ink with her tongue made her mouth water.

Embarrassed at her thoughts, she lowered her gaze only to have it rest on his hands. Her imagination took flight and her body responded to its call. How she’d love for those large hands to explore her flesh, kneading and pinching, tugging and caressing. She would hold on to his neck and rake her nails down his wide back repeatedly…

Her daydream was interrupted when she heard him loudly clear his throat. She hastily looked away feeling her cheeks and neck burn in embarrassment.

The train stopped at the next brightly lit station and after a few minutes continued its way with no new passengers. They were plunged into semidarkness as the machine rode into another dark tunnel. Only the light of the wagon itself illuminated them and once more she could not stop herself from looking at the man’s reflection on the window. His eyes were dark green, his hair was cropped short in an untidy way, causing a few stray bangs to fall a little over his right eye and causing an effect that warmed her body to its core.

She started slightly when her eyes found his. He was blatantly staring at her mirror image. His eyes full of mirth and some manner of expectancy. The beginning of a smile curled at the edge of his lips. Blushing furiously, yet unable to look away, she smiled nervously.

The train stopped at another station, and they lost sight of one another, so that she jumped in her seat when the train began moving again and she felt his hand on her knee.

Her breathing began to grow shallow as he caressed her leg, slowly winding his way up her thigh. Liquid pooled between her legs and she had to suppress a shudder when he reached her inner thigh. Surprised at her own daring, she opened her legs a little wider. His caresses became bolder and she gasped when the back of his hand accidentally made contact with her wet panties.

He began to toy with the elastic of her underwear and she bit her lower lip, trying to stop the moan stuck in her throat to burst forth.

Gently he pried his way into her slippery cunt. His thumb pressed against her clit as the train rolled to a stop. Neither of them moved nor spoke. It was as if having his hand under her skirt and inside her underwear was the most normal thing in a late night subway ride.

With a jolt the train continued its trajectory. He took the advantage of the vehicle’s movement to lean a finger into her dripping entrance. She moaned and felt heat rise to her cheeks as she became aware of her surroundings.

However, she did not back away. Instead, she chanced a glance at their reflection in the window and was surprised to see him watching her with intense concentration. Noticing that she was looking at the glass, he looked up and smiled wickedly at her reflection before pushing his index finger inside her soaking pussy.

She moaned loudly and bucked forward. With an open grin, full of malicious lustful intent, he pressed another finger inside. Unwillingly, she began to rock her body against his fingers, urging him to push them deeper, faster, harder.

Quite suddenly his fingers stopped moving. She opened her eyes and groaned in frustration. The train had skidded to a stop in the next station. Unable to see his reflection she pressed her thighs together trapping his hand between them. She felt his fingers slide inside her and she bit her lower lip, biting back the moan and the desperate need to have him fuck her.

The train began moving again and she jumped when he spoke near her ear.

"Would you like to sit on my lap?"

She looked down at his lap. She could clearly see the outline of his hard cock waiting for her wet pussy to swallow him. She nodded. She stood up and quickly rid herself of her soaked panties. While she stowed them in her bag, she heard the fly of his pants being lowered. With her back to him she allowed him to guide her onto his lap. Another moan escaped her as his hard flesh entered her. Immediately, she began to rock her body against him. One of his hands snaked under her skirt and flicked her clit; with the other he caressed her tender breasts.

“I hunger for your breasts, love. I want to suck them and lick them until you beg me to stop,” he whispered while pinching her nipples.

He spoke in her ear, his voice husky and deep only adding to her pleasure.

“Do you realize anyone can see us, Zoe? That there are probably cameras in this wagon filming how I pound into your warm cunt? That every time we slide into a station we risk getting caught?”

She whimpered and increased her rhythm, the fear of being caught fueling her passion.

“Come for me, Zoe, let me feel your tight pussy milking my cock.”

She gasped at his crude choice of words but did not stop moving against him. She rocked her body harder until she could feel that she was on the brink of the abyss.

The train stopped, lights blared, another station. She bit back a cry of frustration as the hand that had been fingering her clit moved and snaked around her waist, stilling her rocking body. A security guard strolled by their wagon making sure that everything was in order. He nodded at them and continued his way. As the train began to move he took her head in his hands and pressed his lips against hers. She melted into the kiss.

The world narrowed down to his mouth on hers, to his body pressed against hers, to his cock pleasurably stretching and filling her up, to his hips rocking hard against her flesh, to his hand under her skirt once again fingering her clit.

"Come on baby, we're almost home," he whispered against her mouth.

Their pace quickened, their movements became less cautious and uncontrolled.

As the announcement of the next station they would be entering blasted through the speakers, her body trembled and her vagina contracted in spasms. Her shriek of pleasure was drowned in his mouth as he once more made it prisoner to his own. She smiled against his lips as she felt his release burst into her.

Still shaking when the train entered the last station, she discreetly slipped her underwear back on. She stood up on trembling legs and waited for Jack to order himself. When he was ready he clasped her by the waist and helped her out of the train. “Happy anniversary, honey,” she whispered as they walked out of the station hand in hand.

With a barking laugh, Jack kissed the top of her head. “Baby, you are unique in making my fantasies come true.”

About the author: Appearances are deceiving. By day usually shy and quiet; another face in the crowd. By night Elyzabeth’s calm demeanor transforms. Words flow from her fingers giving life to elaborate fantasies of love and desire. Visit her realm at www.inadreambeyond.blogspot.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Poppy

Why review? I think most folks who love books, myself included, love to talk about them. Reviewing gives me that chance on a wider scale. Plus, there’s the bonus of not only FREE books, but all the stories I can read!

The fact is, I rely on reviews to choose what I read, especially when it comes to new authors – and there are SO many new names out there anymore; ePublishing has really opened the floodgates. So, how to do you choose where to spend your money and your time?

You ask a friend! And, really, that’s what reviewers are: other book lovers with an opinion.

We all have our favorite books and authors, and while I gravitate toward them, one of the best parts about reviewing is discovering new authors without risk. Yes, reviewing takes time, especially if you’re writing a really well composed, coherent and interesting review. But it’s worth it! I’ve dipped my toe into the pool of genres I’ve never read before, and never thought I would because of reviewing. For instance, I discovered that zombies are pretty cool (Ashley Drake, Zombie Hunter: A Plague on All Houses by Dana Fredsti), and that a good ménage is a keeper (Rough Justice by KyAnn Waters), two genres I’d never even considered until I started here.

I love a story that grips you, that makes you HAVE to turn pages to find out what happens. One with characters that you become fully invested in, ones that MUST have a happy ending after they overcome any conflict that’s thrown into their path. What a wonderful opportunity for me to find these gems, to be allowed to choose any story that intrigues me, and then ... I get to talk about it.

Reviewing is an incredible job... a joy and ridiculously fun. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Spotlight: Coreopsis

Reading is my most favorite thing in the world besides being a mother. I love to read and given the opportunity to read as many books as I want and at no cost to me was like hitting the lottery for me. I’ve always enjoying reading and to me reading a good book is a lot more entertaining than watching TV.

I have four kids so for a while I got away from reading as much as I would have liked to. About four years ago, I went to the library with my oldest child. While walking around I discovered a book by Dakota Cassidy called The Accidental Werewolf. I read the blurb and thought it sounded good. Reading that one book got me back on track for reading and every since then my collection of books has grown like crazy. Let me tell you when my husband introduced me to eBooks I was in hog heaven. To think you can by a book and read it without having to leave your own home. All I can say is paradise.

I started reviewing for The Long and Short of It website around the end of this past January. Right now I just review for the WC section of the website. I’m a sucker for a romantic erotic love story. They keep you entertained until the very end. My view on love stories-- they are great without love scenes but if an author can draw the perfect picture of the love being shared between characters it’s beautiful and adds to the story. Let’s face it, we as people have busy lives. Be it kids, work, school, or anything and sometimes you just want to relax and get lost in someone else’s life. For me reading allows me that privilege.

When I pick a book to review I go by what the blurb says. I follow certain authors and know when they have a book coming out and wait for it to come up for review and try to snag it. But a lot of times I just read the blurb and see if it sparks my attention. I feel as a reviewer it’s kind of my job to be fair. I hate when I read a review that is nothing but negativity. I totally get that we're not going to like every book we read but just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean someone else won't love it. The ladies at the LASR/WC are really good about this issue. If the book is something that may not interest us we can send it back and give someone else the opportunity to read and review it. It’s only fair to the author, different strokes for different folks so to speak. I have yet to send a book back. Now in saying that, I haven’t fallen love with every book I’ve read. I think every book deserves a fair shake when getting reviewed so I do my best to do just that.

In my everyday life no one would ever guess that I’m a hopeless romantic. I love a good love story that has humor mixed in. I like to laugh and cry and if a book has me doing both the author has done their job by my standards. As of lately my favorite authors are: Joyee Flynn, Dakota Cassidy, Stephanie Hecht, Gale Stanley, and, of course, Charlaine Harris. There are a ton more that I love; like I said, I haven’t met a book I didn’t like. If I could read nonstop I probably would, but being the mother of four kids limits my time in that area. I’m grateful to have an understanding husband who gets that reading is my thing. I’m also grateful that I stumbled upon a fabulous website that allows me to read and review some really great books.



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Mistletoe

Why do I review? The easy answer to that question is my love of reading and writing. When I review I get to put both of those things together. Of course giving my opinion of the books that I read is a plus. I love introducing other readers to new authors and books that they may have not heard of before or thought to read.

I have had reviews posted at both the LASR and Whipped Cream side but most of my picks come from the Whipped Cream side. I enjoy reading more of the racier stories and tend to pick more of those these days. I have been reviewing for two years and I still consider myself new and always learning. I am happy to say that everyone at The Long and Short Of It has been a great help. From the editors who help me hone my writing to the other reviewers who are always ready and willing to lend a hand when anyone of us are in need of help. Which makes reviewing for this site fun and friendly as well as rewarding. Which is what reviewing should be. If you do not enjoy something it is not worth doing and it will always show in your final product whether you love or hate it.

Although reviewing is fun it does come with responsibility. If you are truthful and professional about your opinions, people will want to read your reviews and authors will be more than happy to see a review of their books by you. Hopefully I have done that and when people see my name attached to a review they will be excited to read it and see what I have to say.

As a reviewer there is so much that I have learned while enjoying myself. From how to constructively put my opinions and thoughts together to finding my favorite books and writing styles. There is nothing better than a well-put together and informative review. If it makes you seek out the book and read it for yourself than I have done my job. Yet I know there is so much more that I have to learn and of course so many more books to read. I cannot help but be excited to see what will come next.

I have found so many new and now favorite authors by being a reviewer that I cannot keep up and my to be read pile is always overflowing. Reading is a passion of mine and being able to put it together with writing gives me a great opportunity to let other readers know how many great books that are out there.

There is nothing like seeing your favorite author respond to one of your reviews. Even just seeing your review posted gives you a feeling of accomplishment and pride. Thankfully I have never had any negative feedback and hope that I continue to be so lucky. Even though I tend to review similar genres I do like to branch out and try something new every once in awhile. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised while at other times I am left disappointed but as with all things you never know unless you try.

I am pleased to say that being a reviewer is a rewarding experience for me. Along with the long list of wonderful authors and books that I have reviewed I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with the wonderful group of people that are always ready to help when needed, much like a family. Who could ask for anything more?




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Buttercup

Hi, my name is Buttercup and I'm a book addict....err reviewer. I guess you could say that my love of books came from my mother; I had trouble learning to read when I was a child and she was my most demanding teacher and staunchest supporter. It might have taken a little while and a lot of work but one day everything clicked and I've had my nose buried in a book ever since. I sort of stumbled upon the reviewing thing by accident; someone put out a call for reviewers on one of the groups I follow, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I love reviewing, and everyone at LARS/WC is so great. Thus far I have only done reviews for WC. I always intend to pick books from both groups, but there are so many good ones out there that before I know it I have filled up my quota before I've even gotten a chance to look at both groups. I think that is probably my favorite thing about reviewing (besides the free books of course)-- the exposure to so many different authors and styles even within the same genre. While I probably do tend to stick to my favorite sub-genres I also try to pick something new in each batch of books I review, and then there is the rare occasion when you get a book that is nothing like you think it was going to be. I've had a recent experience with this; lucky for me the book was amazing. But even if it wasn't the ladies at LASR are very understanding and know that for every book there is a reader, but just because you are a reader doesn't mean you will like every book.

I said before that I tend to stick somewhat to my favorite sub-genres and I do. I am a big fan of paranormal romance, and because I read so much of it, it's always exciting to me when someone brings a new twist to the mythologies that surround any given paranormal creature. Not just the paranormal books either; I love new and unexpected twists in books of any genre. That's one of the great things about books anything can happen in them. I always love it when I hear authors talking about something they have written and they say how they were planning to write one thing but their characters had a different idea. It reminds me of The Never Ending Story-- how the characters come alive when you read them, and the only limit to their adventures is your imagination. Although I have to admit that I never read that story as a child, I was a much bigger fan of Alice in Wonderland and Thru the Looking Glass; even to this day I will occasionally take a tumble down the rabbit hole and see all the wonders that there are to behold.

Of course when you break it all down it, the characters, plot, everything, it all comes down to words. For what is a book, but a bunch of words strung together to make sentences, that create the fantastical worlds, engaging characters, harrowing escapes, and of course happy endings. The right words grab you from the start and never let you go even long after you're finished with the book, and, well, the wrong words can keep you from ever finishing a book. There is nothing I like better than to come across a truly great line in a book, one that feels like it was written just for you, even though the author doesn't know you from Adam. I am always in awe when I come across those truly great lines, the ones that make you feel connected to something a bit bigger than yourself. That's probably the best thing about reviewing-- finding those hidden words and being able to tell everyone about them.



Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Spotlight:: Xeranthemum


Why do I Review?

That's both a hard and easy question to answer. Why I originally started was the tantalizing carrot of the free book. I mean, what was there not to like? What was the downside? I got to enjoy amazing adventures and I didn't have to travel to find them. The cost worked for a stay at home mom and the time was well spent. It was fun. Those were the positives.

Then the little gremlins called 'doubt' and 'what-if' started poking me with, 'What if I can't write? What if I sound stupid?' I'd never written a review or even thought of doing it, ever. How do I start? I started small, with a book that really spoke to me. I wanted to share all the things that made it worth reading and why I fell in love with the characters falling in love. I wrote from my heart. What hooked me was the feedback, from the author no less.

And that is what keeps me reviewing. It's not only the excitement of discovery or the enthusiasm that takes over my fingers as I share what I like. The feedback I've received over the years gives me as much of a high as a hot fudge sundae, with extra fudge and nuts. When I hear from people who say that my review helped them choose the book, and that they liked it as much as I did, I am so thrilled! When the author takes the time to write and say that not only did they appreciate the review but that I “got it”, that makes me feel ten feet tall. There’s a personal satisfaction in a job well done. And I’m always amazed that what I say can and does make a difference.

That’s why, after four years, I still review. I love the fact that there are so many books to read, so many journeys to take and so many opinions to share. I can say what I feel and be heard. I can share what I love and others know what I’m talking about. I get to be a part of a world that celebrates the written word and the happily ever after. And I get to chose what I want when I want. It’s great being a reviewer and I love the Long and Short of It Reviews. We ROCK!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Crash and Burn by Wendi Zwaduk

“In mere moments, wedded bliss.” Paul fiddled with the door and met a cascade of balloons. Crepe paper fluttered and draped all over the room, making it look like a party gone wrong.

“Todd’s been here,” he said and kicked the balloons to the side. “The living room has got to be three feet deep with balloons.” I owe him so big. I don’t know when or how, but it will be big.

“What time is it?” Berlin yawned. She fought through the mess that trickled into the bedroom and flopped down on the bed with a thump.

“At least one-thirty,” Paul replied. “The guys at the department like to party. I noticed that you were having a ball. You love the attention.” He took the pin out of his boutonnière and popped some of the balloons. “Why?”

“I’m worn out.” She sighed contentedly. “Spent, tired, pooped, done…”

Paul cocked an eyebrow. “You aren’t allowed to be worn out, spent or tired. I haven’t gotten my present.” He scooped her up in his arms. “And I have a surprise for you.”

“Ooh!” She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. “I’ve got one or two surprises of my own,” she whispered. “Give me a minute.”

He set her down and she scurried from the room. “He’s been in here too,” she called from the bathroom. “He glued the toilet paper together. The towels could walk away on their own.”

“We’ll get him back later.” Paul shook his head and draped the jacket and vest on the easy chair. He glanced over his shoulder and withdrew a flocked box from the top dresser drawer.

“Okay,” she said from behind him. “I’m ready.”

Paul turned around and dropped the box. Thoughts raced through his mind. Heat surged through his body and settled in his stomach and below.

Berlin stood in the doorway wearing a cream-colored floor length negligee which dipped dangerously low between her breasts. The slit up the side ran all the way to her hip and revealed the lack of undergarments. Her blonde hair dusted her shoulders in mussed ringlets.

“Is this okay?” The blush on her cheeks spread to her chest. Her nipples spiked as her chest heaved.

“Darlin’ you look amazing.” He bent down to blindly pick up the surprise. His eyes never left her slender figure as he sat down on the edge of the bed and patted his lap “Come here.”

Berlin slowly crossed the few feet from the bathroom into his arms. “You do like it, right?”

“I’d have to be dead not to,” he replied. He grabbed a handful of her hair and kissed her neck. “The real thing is better than my wildest dreams have ever been.”

Paul slid one of the silky straps down her shoulder and worked his way over to across her collar bone, leaving a trail of hungry kisses in his wake. She leaned back and slid out of the negligee. He traced a line from her throat down to her navel with his index finger, marveling at how perfect and trusting she looked in the soft candle light. She trembled at his touch. God how he liked her trembling.

Berlin flattened her hands on his pecs. “Tonight, I want to please you.” She opened his shirt and kissed his chest. She hooked her fingers into his trousers and slid them past his hips. Without hesitation, he dropped the boxer shorts and pulled her close. Berlin licked her lips and kissed the thick head of his cock. A drop of wetness appeared on the tip. She rubbed it on her lips and opened her mouth to take his entire length.

Paul groaned. “You’re making me crazy,” he gasped. “But I love it.”

Berlin gave him a smoldering smile and continued to tease and torment his dick with her mouth, licking the sides, swirling her tongue over the thick vein on the underside. She used her hands and tongue to tickle his balls.

“Oh, darlin’,” he murmured. Berlin silenced him by thrusting harder with her mouth until he massaged the back of her throat. The beginnings of orgasm curled low in his belly and spiraled towards his cock and testicles.
Paul groaned once more as the climax took over his body. Damn, he was on a thin thread. He thrust his fingers into her hair and held on as he emptied his seed.

He released his grip on her hair and fumbled for words. “That was…amazing.” He leaned against the wall and sighed. “Now, it’s my turn.”

Berlin stood and scooted onto the bed.

“I love you, Berlin,” he said and crawled on top of her naked body. Her breasts were so soft and supple under his wandering hands. He rubbed his dick along her slit, bringing her to the edge of ecstasy, then pinched her clit. God, he loved to tease her body.

“Now,” she said hoarsely and reached between her legs to guide him into her body. “I need to feel you now.”

No need to tell him twice. Paul surged deep into her pussy in one stroke and shifted his hips. Berlin wrapped her legs around his waist and met his actions push for push. He groaned. If he thought the first orgasm came quickly, the fresh waves of climax knocked him for a loop.

“Oh.” She writhed beneath him and arched her back. “So close.”

Fuck, yes. Paul pistoned into her, teetering on the ragged edge. “Come with me, babe.”

Her body went taut and her eyes closed as she clamped down tight around him. She shivered. “Yes.”

Paul braced his hands on either side of her head and panted, spent. Sweat trickled down between his shoulder blades. A lazy smile curled on her lips. He chuckled and withdrew, then plopped down beside her and draped his arm across her mid-section.

“Paul,” she whispered. “Was today and tonight all you expected?”

“Darlin’, I couldn’t have asked for it to be more perfect,” he replied and kissed her shoulder.

“I didn’t want to let you down.”

“Never,” he said and retrieved the flocked box. He grabbed the pillows and propped them under their heads. “Here,” he said and placed the box on her stomach, covering her navel.

“What’s this,” she asked, afraid to touch his gift.

“I’ve never known such a soft, warm, sensuous woman in my life. I’ve also never known a woman with a belly button ring,” he said and opened the box. “Lucy had a set of mismatched earrings in the lock box. I had Dave fashion them into a navel ring you could wear. It locks together so you won’t lose it by accident. It’s not much, but it’s the thought that counts. You’ll have a piece of Lucy with you to protect you and to remember her crafty way of getting us together. Plus, you’ll always have something to remind you of how much I love you.”

Berlin took the small ring out of the box and traded it with the one she currently wore. Paul admired the way the candle light glittered off the stones and her smooth naked stomach. “I love it,” she said and kissed him.

“Ready for round two,” he asked. His desire to make love to her was insatiable. Once they finished, he hungered for her all the more.

Her eyes flashed and the corners of her mouth curled up.

“Promise?”

About the author: I always dreamed of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I tend to write books with titles taken from songs because music is one of my many muses. I earned a BA in education at Kent State university and as well as a Masters in Education from Nova Southeastern University. I've tried my hand at teaching, waitressing, and retail sales, but writing holds my heart. I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I have six books under contract and more than my brain can handle percolating. I can't wait to share them with you!www.WendiZwaduk.com or http://WendiZwaduk.blogspot.com

Author Interview with Seleste DeLaney


Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Seleste DeLaney, author of Badlands, a steampunk/alt-history romance novella from Carina Press.

I asked her to tell us a little bit about it.

After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation's border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.

Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen's assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever's reluctant ally.

As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands— if death doesn't find them first...
I asked Seleste how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.

"What they obviously have in common is steamy sex. The differences after that are more subtle. In erotic romance, the love story is a key focus and the sex plays into that romance, and most readers expect a HEA or a HFN," she said, adding, "If it’s a series, I don’t until the last story in the series, but I might be odd in that regard. Erotica doesn’t require romance per se, the sex can be there just because sex is good and sex is fun, but it doesn’t have to factor into a love story. However, there must be plot, and the sex needs to fit the plot. Pornography doesn’t require plot and it certainly doesn’t require romance. To me, porn is designed for the titillation. Do erotic romance and erotica fall under the umbrella of pornography? Of course, but the reverse isn’t true. It’s kind of like saying, 'Yes, bananas (erotica) and apples (erotic romance) are fruit (porn).' It doesn’t mean that just because something is fruit it is necessarily an apple or a banana."

In her opinion, the best erotica still has a fabulous story and great writing; you get more than just hot sex, you get great characters, settings, and a fabulous plot.

"It’s like any other genre," she explained. "It just has more sex."

The characters and plot come first for Seleste.

"If I don’t have those things, the sex is just fluff. Are there some kinks I’d never write about? Eh…maybe. If I can’t see the appeal when I write it, I don’t see the point of putting it in. So some types of degradation play or very violent S&M probably won’t ever make it into my stories (at least not in a good way)."

Her adult romances have always had sex in them, but the story that first earned her the "erotica" billing didn't actually start out with any sex it it. Of Course I Try was initially an almost-flash-fiction piece that consisted of the last scene in the final story. The publisher wanted it longer, and the sex fell naturally into helping the reader understand Jocelyn's point-of-view regarding Max.

"What is the most embarrassing sex scene you’ve ever written?" I wondered.

"I don’t know if I’ve ever been embarrassed writing them, but I have been embarrassed at other points. For that reason, I’m going to call out the first scene of Of Course I Try. It was not only my first release, but it also starts right off with sex. That’s the story my mother told everyone, including my second grade teacher, about. It’s the one my grandmother-in-law read while sitting on my couch. Basically it’s the one that shouted out to the world that I write sex. I’m not embarrassed about that fact, but the shouting I could have done without."

On a personal note, I asked Seleste, "If you had to pierce a body part, what would you pierce and why? What about body piercing is sexy?"

"If I was thinner, I would definitely get my belly button done. Alas, I like food (especially stuff that isn’t good for me) too much so it will probably never happen. A student once told me I should get my eyebrow pierced. I have debated it, but never taken the plunge. Overall, on me I really prefer tattoos. Actually, in general I prefer tattoos. However, smaller piercings on the right men I find really hot too. As for a reason, most body modifications imply a certain edge to the person’s character. Buttoned up lawyer by day, but his nipples are pierced? Oh yeah, totally hot."

For food eaten off a person, she told me, "Since men often have that wonderful treasure trail (and possibly more hair), I’m going to go with anything that won’t stick to it (I am very much NOT a fan of hair in my mouth). I’m thinking grapes would be safe. Yeah, we’ll go with grapes. Now, if we’re talking about tummies or other less hairy body parts, I’m a fan of chocolate or whipped cream."

She can't bring herself to eat cooked oatmeal, however, even though as a kid she knows she ate it. She's not sure what changed, but something about the consistency makes her gag.

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

"Definitely yes. Coke has a much sweeter, gentler taste to it (we’ll call it erotic romance). Pepsi on the other hand has more bite and sizzle (we’ll call that BDSM erotica). I’m always shocked when people can’t taste the difference. My first thought is they are either virgins or they have sex the same way every time."

Finally, I asked, "What advice do you give authors wanting to write erotica?"

"Read some erotica for starters. Learn about sex. Tab A goes into Slot B isn’t enough. If you’re writing for relationships that don’t mirror your own (for example, if I wrote M/M), talk to people who fit that relationship and have them look over your work as beta readers. But the key thing to me is learn how to tell a compelling story. The best written sex in the world is fabulous, but if it’s just the sex, it’s going to fall short. Think of the sex as the whipped cream and the story as whatever you want to put with said whipped cream. Fine on its own, but even better with pie (or some other yummy dessert). And, don’t give up. Perseverance and stubbornness are half the game with publishing. Within that advice though is the caveat of don’t quit learning. If you don’t gain any skill as you go, all the patience in the world won’t mean anything."

You can keep up with Seleste on her blog, http://selestedelaney.wordpress.com

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Wendi Zwaduk

Vignette – Ever Fallen In Love


I thought for the last post of the week, I’d share an outtake-slash-scene from the planned next race story. It’s in Megan’s pov, even though the follow-up is about Janine. Enjoy this little snippet. It’s one of my favorites of Megan and Tucker.

Megan sat in her office and stared blankly at the pile of paperwork in front of her. It was the off-season and her thoughts were focused on anything but her work. The season was about to start and her new driver for the truck series, Ryan Westfall, had already wrecked two trucks during a test session at the Rockingham facility. It was meant to give him experience, not raise her expenditures for the year.

She ran her fingers through her hair and closed her eyes. If she could get about three straight hours without interruption, she might be able to get her paperwork caught up.

“Are you in there?”

Megan opened her eyes and looked at the door to her office. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been zoning or maybe it was dozing, but she guessed it was long enough for someone to worry. “Yes, I’m in here. I can’t get too far.”

Tucker ambled in, locked the door and gave her a sheepish smile. He was dressed casually in jeans and one of his many sponsor t-shirts. His hat, emblazoned with the Blitz logo, barely contained his mop of sandy brown hair. “You can go wherever you want—as long as you take me with you.” He sat on her desk in front of her. “I’ve got a free afternoon and want to spend time with someone special. Do you mind?”

“Oh, I don’t suppose,” Megan replied with a coy smile.

“Did you know, kissing girls causes babies?”

Megan cocked her head and smirked. “If that’s the case, then we’d be swimming in children.”

Tucker pulled her up into an embrace on his lap and whispered, “I don’t necessarily need any kids in the near or far future. Some of our employees are childish enough for me.”

She gingerly touched the creases in his t-shirt and answered, “You’re childish enough for me.”

“So you want to fight fire with fire, huh,” he said and smoothed her hair to the side in order to nuzzle her neck. “Two can play that game, but I have an idea that’s much better.”

Without looking, he reached back and cleared the desk off with a swipe of his forearm. Papers and office products flew onto the floor in a fluttery mess.
Megan took his hat off, placed it backwards on her own head and continued his kiss while she ran her fingers gingerly through his hair. They slowly leaned back onto her desk, completely wrapped up in each other.

Tucker pulled her tank top out of her jeans, caressing her back. But he was quickly interrupted when Megan’s office door jiggled. Slowly they both looked in the direction of the door without bothering to change position.

“I’m interrupting something important?” Janine huffed. “Well, don’t lock your door.”

“I was trying to smother her with affection, but I guess you can see that,” Tucker said sarcastically. He was still on his back and looking at her upside down.
Megan sat up and perched on the edge of her desk.

“What was so Earth-shattering that you had to unlock my locked door,” she asked as she smoothed down her shirt and hunted for her hair clip.

“I’m sorry. I was just excited,” Janine said. “I have to tell you something.”

“Obviously,” Megan replied flatly and flicked her hair over her shoulder.

Tucker sat up and slid over into Megan’s chair. Patting his lap, he motioned Megan over and said, “So what is it that we need to know?”

“I found true love,” Janine exclaimed.

Tucker and Megan exchanged startled looks. “Who?”

Janine sat down on one of the office chairs in front of Megan’s desk and folded her hands. “He’s a photographer, makes a boat load, and seems to really like me. I thought he was hot and he thought I was cute so we kinda got together. It’s been developing, pardon the pun again, over the last couple of weeks. He knows nothing about NASCAR, but that’s okay. I know nothing about photography,” she bubbled. “I think he’s my soul mate.”

Megan smiled weakly and looked at Tucker. “Kinda? What do you mean ‘you think’?”

Janine shrugged nonchalantly. “I’m tired of dating duds.”

“That dud is one of my best friends,” Tucker reminded her bluntly. “Have you said anything to Eric about this? You two were pretty hot and heavy last season, or is the dud no longer privy to your life?”

Megan nodded in agreement. “Yeah, I think Eric might be a little hurt. Don’t you think,” she asked.

Janine bit her lip trying to delay an answer. “Well…you know how things go…”

“Oh, I see,” Tucker said. “I see very clearly.”

Megan tried to break the tension. “Well, if you like this gentleman, he must be pretty special. Are you bringing him in here,” she asked and pointed to her desk. “I don’t want to be in the middle of something with my door locked, if that’s your plan.”

“I’ll knock and give you a minute to get straightened,” Janine deadpanned, but the excitement never left her face.

Tucker scowled at her. “That’s what I’m afraid of,” he grumbled.

“See you at five,” she said and floated out of the office.

Once Janine left, Megan looked at Tucker and said, “Gee, and I thought I’d have a quiet day working on the lineup for the Fling.”

He laughed and added, “And I thought I’d come in here and relieve your stress.” He nodded to the clock. “Oh, look. It’s time to head home. Mind if I drive?”

“As long as I’m with you, I’m already home.”


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Spotlight: Wendi Zwaduk

Gimme Fuel, Gimme Fire, Gimme That Which I Desire


I thought today I’d talk about racing and romance. I love both. Someone told me the other day that racing and romance have nothing in common.

I beg to differ.

The rush as the cars fly by, the rush as the hero takes the heroine’s hand for the first time. It’s all about the high octane emotions involved. Tell me you’ve never felt your heart skip a beat when you’re watching a romantic comedy or a drama or whatever, and the hero and heroine kiss for the first time. It’s magic. It’s electric. It’s that rush.

Racing is much the same. There’s the adrenaline high of rolling out onto the track ready to conquer. The thrill of hearing forty-three cars come to life, ready to duke it out. The passing, the brushing the wall, the razor thin separation as they come to the stripe for the last time. Whew! It’s exciting.

And then there’s the trophy queens and the draw of the suit. The trophy queens add that little bit of sexuality—like a sport with toned bodies really needs sex appeal—and female interest for male fans. They want to see her skin tight body in that uniform.

Same goes for the girls. There are a lot of women who get a charge out of a guy in a suit or uniform...any uniform. Maybe the fire suits aren’t skin tight, but they show just enough to get the imagination going. Kinda like that old jeans commercial...what’s under those fire suits? I’m game to finding out.

Now how does this translate into a parallel between racing and romance?

In romance, we want the hero to be a conquering, no-holds-barred, alpha. Take charge, snag the heroine’s heart, and command the situation. If he’s wearing a snazzy suit, then bonus! The heroine must stand behind her man in the clinch. She must be willing to put him in his place when he’s wrong and give him a run for his money in bed. In my case, I want her to be realistic, too. I want them to go through thick and thin, have some hot monkey sex, swing from a few chandeliers, and come out swinging against the antagonist. They come out stronger on the other side of the conflict, more in love than ever.

I want the same from my drivers. I want them to come out swinging every time they hit the track. Bring their A game to every chance, and to have that person standing beside them, no matter how crappy their finish was.

So I look at it this way, racing has adrenaline highs, sweeping outcomes, nail biting moments, hot guys in uniforms, and thrills. Romance? Adrenaline highs in suspense stories, sweeping outcomes like when the heroine thinks she’s not in love with the hero but really is, nail biting moments—will they make it out of that cave alive or will they drown, but drown together?—hot guys in uniforms—isn’t that what a cop story is for?—and thrills.

And you thought I’d never make the comparison. *g* I’ve watched way too much racing, read way too many romance novels, and thought about this for a lot longer than necessary. What do you think? I’m sure you have an opinion. Am I wrong? Change my point of view? Come on. Let me know. I’m dying to hear from you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Wendi Zwaduk

We Are the Champions


I thought today I’d let Tucker do some talking. He’s a pro at charming the public and he’s dying to get to talk. Yeah, he’s a chatty box, but only if it’s his terms—racing, what he wants to talk about, or being good for the cameras. So, take it away, Tucker Poston.

Why thank you, Miss Wendi. My name is Tucker Poston and I race in the stock car series. At one time, I was in the top tier of racing, but things sort of fell of the racing groove and I landed a little lower than I wanted. You won’t hear me complain, though. I landed, not only on my feet, but right in the path of the one woman I love the most.

She’s just not open to realizing I still care about her.

Miss Wendi told me to talk about stock cars, what I do, and where we race, not women. She’s so silly. But I’ll behave, for now.

I race stock cars. What’s a stock car? Originally they were the cars straight out of the showroom, right off the lot, put right on the track. No modifications, no specials. And that lasted for as long as it took the main mechanic—now the crew chief—to figure out how to fudge the rules. A few guys showed up racing cars that were a little bit modified. They ran whiskey and had stronger shocks and bigger engines. Yes, there were regulations, but with lots of sports, trying to find a way to bend the rules is a sport in and of itself. Stock cars are meant to look like the cars you drive, an Impala, Charger, Camry, or Fusion, or in the case of trucks, like I race, Silverados, Tundras, F-150’s, and Rams. Yeah, so we have a few modifications, windows with tear offs so the dirt doesn’t collect, spoilers, fuel cells not tanks, roll cages, not cushy seats...but you get the idea.

What is it that I do? I race stock cars. We go to different tracks and practice.
According to our practice speeds, we qualify. You tend to want to qualify the best and stay up front. It helps when it comes to the last lap. We race anywhere from just over a hundred laps to six-hundred laps. Depends on the track. Speaking of tracks, we tend to run on ovals, super speedways, short tracks, and road courses. I’ve probably forgotten something so far along the way. Chalk it up to race brain. I swear, the temperatures we hit in those cars, it’s no wonder I’ve not cooked my noggin.

I liken the races to foot races. We want to see who is the strongest car, the fastest car, and in a lot of cases, who manages the whole of the race best. For example, you can have a fast car, but if you screw up in a turn, that fast car can collect the wall really fast. If it does, there’s a good chance you’re not going to finish on top. There are those who have strong cars. They muscle through the field and get to the front fairly quickly. Again, one mistake and it can all end in the wall. Or with an empty fuel tank. Yup. I’ve had that. I thought I had plenty of fuel, thought I could make it to the end. Crew chief says, sure, we’re good. We weren’t and I got passed by three-quarters of the field on the last lap. That stinks.

But maybe you wanted to know why I had Miss Wendi title this post We Are the Champions...the culmination of racing is to be the point champ. That’s what I want to do. Well, that and win my girl back. I want to be the champion.

And because I am in control of the post and can sneak this in, the woman I’m in love with is the woman I’m dying to make my owner. We had a relationship in the past. Damn strong one, too. But I jacked it all up by letting my ego get in the way. I’m not screwing up any longer. So you know.

I hope I gave you a taste of stock car racing and have enticed you to want to learn more. Heck, go to a track. It’s the best feeling ever. Well, except actually driving the car in the race, but that’s for the athletes.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Wendi Zwaduk

Don’t Stop Me Now


Sounds rather pretentious for a spotlight essay title, doesn’t it? It’s also the title of a Queen song. One I like a rather lot. So why start an essay about me with that particular phrase? Well, I have around five hundred words to talk about myself.

Those who know me know I love to talk. Heck, I’ve been known to wander the store trying to remember what the heck I had on my shopping list and talking to myself. No, I’m not one of those people, but it seems like when I do happen to be talking to myself about oh...whether or not I have a full bottle of cleaner in the cupboard versus whether I need another one, I’m not the only one talking.

I’m notorious for stopping, trying to figure out what it is in the store I want and then apologizing to the person who may or may not think I’m taking to him/her. I’ve apologized to inanimate objects, too.

So, now that I’ve rambled, what does that have to do with the Queen song and my writing? It’s like this. Once I get on a tangent, like starting a story, it’s hard to not deviate. I want like heck to work on the story and to not be interrupted. Hence the Don’t Stop Me Now. I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball...writing the story. You see, the characters start talking and they don’t want to stop until I’ve told their tale. If I had my way, sure, I’d be sitting and writing and getting the story out.

The characters don’t stop talking just because the world keeps turning. They’re just as pushy, crabby, and demanding as kids. They want what they want and they want it right now. So yeah, I’d love to be rolling along like a racing car knocking the story out a thousand words at a time. If I could.

Ah, but that’s the downfall. As much as I don’t want to stop, I have to. Life impedes. Animals need to go out, go for walks. Totlets need to play and be played with. Husbands need research time. Oh, and there’s the fun things that aren’t fun—laundry, vacuuming grocery shopping, playing chauffeur... It never ends.

So I’m going to close this essay and go back to writing until I have to go back to the day job. Don’t stop me now....!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Wendi Zwaduk

Spare Time


Okay, so being a writer, mom and wife doesn’t always lend itself to having spare time. At the EDJ I’m apt to say I have no spare time. It takes up a lot of time to have a job during the day, to write at night and to have a family. Sometimes it doesn’t balance out. Most of the time I manage to juggle everything.

So what do I do when I have this elusive spare time? I went to school to be an art teacher. I did. I like to draw and ever since I was a kid, I’ve been good at it. I used to amuse friends with drawings and sculptures. When I got older, I really worked at my craft to be the best artist I can be. Am I a great artist? I’m not sure. Those who have seen it think it’s pretty good, but hey, I know I’ve got wiggle room.

So what do I like to work on? I love to work in pastels, aka oil crayons. I love the feel of blending the colors together to add dimension and excitement. Plus, it’s fun to see how the colors will come together and make new colors.

I’m fond of painting as well. I love the focus it takes to translate a model or a photograph into a memory other’s can treasure. I love the challenge of getting the right color combination before the paint dries. You’d be shocked at how fast a dollop of acrylic paint can dry when you’re in the middle of painting a pug dog. It’s fast.

My favorite subject? Animals and people. People because you’re capturing someone’s essence. It’s fun to try to show the personality of the individual. And then there are animals. I usually work on those from pictures. I don’t know any animals who will sit still, not the ones I have anyway. Creating art based on them sleeping is kind of fun, but then they don’t always sleep still either. Animals have the best personality to convey in a work. The tongue hanging from the side of the mouth, the particular way they lay, the way they cock their head, it all makes them unique. That’s fun, putting all that into a painting.

My favorite? I’m biased, but it’s one I did for my Dh. Way back when we were in college, he got me a cat. By the time I created the drawing for our anniversary a few years later, the cat had passed—he had bad kidneys—so I made a drawing of the animals we had, including our totlet, who is quite a bit older now. It was a labor of love and I will always cherish it.

That’s my other passion, my free time taker-upper. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into my passion.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Author Interview: Dawne Prochilo


Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Dawne Prochilo, who is a very busy lady. Currently with six erotic and contemporary romance books released, a short erotic F/F/M will be released in an anthology with Romance Divine this summer. In October, her seventh book, His Holiday Seduction, an erotic M/F, will be released, also from Romance Divine. She's the Promotion Director for a publisher, she's a freelance writer for a newspaper, writes web content and is the administrative editor of the WM Connection Freelance Writers website and a contributing editor for the WM Connection Review. She writes relationship articles for mademan.com, yahoo.com and associated press. She's also a reviewer for Eden Fantasy products and writes for their sister website, Eden Cafe. She does book reviews for Coffee and Romance Times and Sexy Reads.

Dawne started out her writing career with writing sweet, contemporary romance in 2009. She had the entire manuscript finished with the exception of two sex scenes. She put off writing those scenes, because she didn't know how to be descriptive and make it interesting. She sent off the first three chapters to a publisher, who immediately requested the entire manuscript. Of course, at that point, Dawne had to finish the sex scenes! After she wrote them, she had her husband read them and he loved them. Once she sent the manuscript out, she realized how much she enjoyed writing more graphic love and sex scenes.

She prefers erotic over sweet, straightforward romance. She told me that she found straight romance more challenging to write because "of the extensiveness of the details, the length of the novel and I personally feel that many full-length novels (50k or more) have too much fluff and filler. I like the direct, to the point writing style that I have discovered."

Dawne had always wanted to be an author. Her first professional paying writing job was in 1999, when she became a freelance writer for a local newspaper. She worked in the industry for a decade, but the love and dream to become an author still hovered in her head, so she began the trek to finding a publisher and writing her manuscript.

"Six books and hundreds of online articles later, here I am," she stated.

"What does your family think of your writing? Do they read it?"

"My children don't read it. They see my covers on display in the house, know what I write but have never REALLY read one of my novels. My husband was my number one fan. He would read, give me ideas for story lines and he was my first editor. They are all proud of my accomplishments and encourage me to continue and find new avenues for my writing."

"What do you find are the biggest public misconceptions about erotica?" I wondered.

"That it is pornography in writing. It's not at all. Erotica is an expressive writing style allowing readers a glimpse behind the proverbial closed bedroom door. Pornography is basically sex for the fun of pure sex with no feelings or emotions connecting while in erotica writing the characters have a connection. Whether it's M/F or menage, emotions, feelings and even love play a role."

Some writers that Dawne feel write excellent erotic fiction include Maya Banks, Jodi Olson, Sandy Sullivan, Brindle Chase and Cassandre Dayne, with her current favorite being Jodi Olson.

"She writes short novels with saucy heroines, sexier than hell heroes and can really weave a tale of desire, love and passion," Dawne explained.

Her favorite all-time favorite erotic book is Maya Banks' Colters' Woman.

"When I first read this book, my first foursome/menage, I was dropping my jaw during the sex scenes," she admitted. "I kept thinking do people really live like this? I was hooked."

On a more personal note, Dawne told me that she considers whipped topping best for eating off of body parts—all kinds of body parts.

"It's sweet, light and can make such a wonderful sticky mess."

Speaking of food, Dawne's favorite is pizza loaded with cheese, bacon and pepperoni—she loves her meat. She can't stand, however, cooked peas and carrots.

"Those two actually make my stomach queasy," she said. "Ick!"

Her favorite letter? "S without a doubt," she said promptly. "The way it slithers around. It has such delightful curves. And is so sensual, sexy and intimate."

Coke or Pepsi? "Coke has a flat taste to it while Pepsi has more fizz. I love when the fizz tickles my nose."

"What is your strangest habit?" I wondered.

"While trying to relax and fall asleep I revert back to a habit when I was a little girl. I twirl my long hair endlessly around my index finger. It is such a soothing feeling and brings relaxation to my over-worked mind."

If Dawne isn't writing, she can either be found reading, cooking, or baking.

"I love to read (every great writer is a great reader) and I love to be in the kitchen making delicious meals and desserts for my family."

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

"Wow- I would love to have Kate Hudson play me. She's funny but serious...and she's a blonde with an attitude at times. Her whimsical performances are who I'd like to be."

"Have you ever known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?"

"No, I don't. But if it's a man, please send him my way. If his tongue is that talented I have a few other suggestions for him and that tongue."

You can keep up with Dawne on her blog, http://dawneprochilo.blogspot.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Gianna Bruno

I’m Old Fashioned-And I Prefer Print Books

So, to finish of this week, I decided to open up some discussion with readers about what they like to read, and how they like to read it.

I am Internet savvy--any author needs to be these days. But I am fundamentally technophobic and often long for the time when I couldn't be reached so easily with news about what someone was having for lunch or how their dog's diarrhea was coming along.

I love the convenience of research on the web, and for communicating with writers and readers from all over the world. But I don't think I will ever be able to read e-books. I've downloaded a few, won a few, and they are still on my computer--unread. I prefer the intimacy of physical contact with the glossy cover, the pages between my fingers, the smell of the binding --and the moldy smell of an old favorite or a classic I picked up in a garage sale only adds to the thrill of re-reading it.

My eyes hurt while reading from my computer, and the e-readers I've tried feel robotic, mechanical, and distance me from the characters. I've often been told that writing long hand is a better way to connect your emotions with the words--that the physical contact with the paper and pencil communicates directly between the brain and your hands. I believe reading is the same—at least for me.

I'm not ready to give up word processing and all its conveniences, but still scrawl notes and snippets of scenes on paper when they come to me, often in the middle of the night. No, I don't think there is an e-reader in my future any time soon. And in case you wondered, I don't use my MP3 player unless it's plugged into a device with speakers that immerse my whole body in the music.

I don't know if that is because I'm a dancer and need to feel the music as well as hear it, but I do know that if I can't feel the pages turning, reading loses all of its enjoyment. I’ve begun to embrace digital photography, even though I still scrapbook using prints and traditional albums because it more fun for me to turn the pages in an album and journal in my own (sloppy) handwriting.

The appeal of being able to store 1000 books on a single electronic device is intriguing, but I crave clutter. I’m a pack-rat and can not bring myself to get rid of anything unless I place it in the hands of someone I know will appreciate it. As such, my house is bursting at the seams; every room has a collection of some sort. I also collect antiques, and one day fear I will be known as that crazy lady with the carousel horse in the living room and walls made out of books. But I only have one cat. So far.

So, tell us what you think about electronic vs. print books, what genres you like to read, what makes a story great for you, and what makes you put the book down or close the file and not go back.

It’s been great being here with you all this week. I hope you’ll continue the discussions we’ve started and keep in touch with me, whichever way is best for you: on my blog, forums, Facebook Page, website, or even my Yahoo Group. All the links are at http://giannabruno.com

Thanks to Whipped Cream Reviews for hosting me!

Hugs and Hot Chocolate Kisses,
Gianna

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday Spotlight: Gianna Bruno

Inside the Mind of A Paranormal Author


There are a few places where, for me, the veil between the real and surreal blurs. And its almost always outdoors. This month, I'm out of a very hot, humid New York City and vacationing in New England. Being here conjures memories of lazy days in my favorite haunts, which lead me to more story ideas.

I once sailed out of Camden, Maine for a four day Windjammer cruise--no electricity, no running water, a marine "head" that you have to pump to flush. I had to help hoist the sails, drop the sheets, and even got to sit next to the captain at the tiller. The Windjammer I sailed on dated from the late 1870s, so it was easy to imagine it was the 19th Century. And perhaps because I grew up on and around sailboats, the sensation of walking the decks early in the morning or late at night, alone, seemed familiar, like I'd been there, done that. Those experiences helped me write The Journey-a love story with an action/adventure plot featuring a witch and a sailor just before the Civil War.

This year, we took a two-hour cruise out of Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the Kalmar Nyckel, a three masted (with three crow's nests) replica of a 1625 Dutch Pinnace. I again got to help hoist the sails of my imagination and time travel back to the days of the pirates. That was topped off by a visit to the Pirate Museum at P-town's Macmillan Wharf, where artifacts from the slave ship/pirate vessel of Black Sam Bellamy, Captain of the Wyhdah, are on display. Blackbeard was one of Bellamy's apprentices and the displays are appropriately creepy enough to have lit a spark for me to write a pirate yarn—with a female captain, of course.

Provincetown, as many towns on Cape Cod, was colonized in the 1600s, and a ghost tour of the labyrinthine streets lined with quaint historic inns, taverns, and haunted mansions was the perfect ending to the night. I've never been afraid of ghosts, and maybe that's why they allow me to feel their presence in such a real way. We weren't disappointed, and photographed an orb over a gravesite in one of P-town's five cemeteries, and noted a lot of electromagnetic activity on a cool (free) application Paranormal States.

So, that's a glimpse of how the mind of a paranormal author works—and how I do my research. It might be my imagination that allows me to conjure the images, emotions, characters and eventually the plots that go alone with them, but outdoors, on the sea, on the shore, in the woods, and on the mountains where nature is in her full glory-both beautiful and terrible, the boundary between the real and surreal, between the natural and supernatural, between the worlds, time blurs, morphs, expands and contracts, trapping me in a very special place. One I hate to leave.

Check out my pictures on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gianna-Bruno/153839997984159#!/pages/Gianna-Bruno/153839997984159?sk=wall

The Journey
http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722488

Hot Chocolate Kiss
http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781770650268

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Gianna Bruno

How I Write


I learned to cook from my grandmothers, who’d learned from their mothers. They rarely measured anything, and used what ever they happened to have lying around the kitchen in the days when there were iceboxes and root cellars, and the milkman filled a metal box every morning.

Trial and error taught them how big the pillow of flour should be, when a pinch of salt was enough or if you needed enough to fill the palm of your hand. They could see and feel the right consistency, and tasted everything. Was the batter sweet enough? Did the meatballs have enough garlic? It taught me to be resourceful, to rely on instinct, my senses, my memory. I learned how to substitute ingredients when one ran low, and “correct” the seasonings.

That’s why I am called a panster. I hate planning, outlining, plotting a story. Like a cooking student who just wants to get to it and not spend time learning the nuances of handling knives, I just write. My journalistic and narrative nonfiction projects are short and conform to certain editorial guidelines and conventions. Why do more than jot down my references and sources?

When I write fiction, character sheets and plot points are stored in my very organized brain. The Journey was not outlined. Hot Chocolate Kiss was written in one sitting.

I followed a detailed outline for my fourth novel, a paranormal romance, but it interfered with my ability to let the characters loose until I allowed myself to free write then figure out where it belonged later.

When cooking I pull my trusty recipes off the shelf from time to time, but I generally find inspiration in Grandma's hand scrawled instructions or yellowed news clippings, grease stained and spattered with who knows what, to cook up something delicious, using what ever I have on hand or in my head. And I write the same way.


Many people ask me where I come up with story ideas (besides dreams). Since I love being outdoors, I often find inspiration while hiking, boating, beachcombing, or skiing. Nature is so big, so fickle, so powerful that even small glimmers of light, sounds you can't place, and, of course weather will often trigger an idea. Extremes--heat or cold, dangerous winds or currents, storms, wrap me in an experience that begs to be shared with readers. In The Journey, being on the water in a small boat, exploring coves, caves and snorkeling helped me craft those scenes to feel realistic.

I have a lot of current works in progress. I took surfing lessons in preparation for writing the summer sequel to Hot Chocolate Kiss, whose working title is Sex on the Beach. Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, when it snowed in May, has given me plenty of material for the spring installment, Mudslide, and wandering through Salem at Samhain for Hot Spiced Cider. All the stories in my sexy seasons series are named for drinks, which Rick and Keela will share when their adventures are over.

Be sure to keep in touch for news about how they’re coming along.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Gianna Bruno

Why I Write Erotic Romance


I'm often asked why I started writing erotic romance, and with the publication of The Journey why I chose to include BDSM and ménage in a love story with an action/adventure plot. Why can’t I pick a genre and stick to it?

The answers to both questions are the same. Because the story called for it. Sure, I could have watered down the sex to be less graphic and, in fact, a few beta readers suggested that I do so.

So, why did I leave it in? Other readers felt the plot supported the scenes in question, and that they were an integral part of the story. I started out to write about a woman lost in the woods who was waylaid by fairies.

I knew from the beginning the human/fairy relationship would necessitate it be erotica. But I had no idea how far the plot would twist along a dark path until the heroine, Milena, mustered the courage to accept the challenge. She had to take extreme measures, including the granting of sexual favors, to find and free the hero, Thomas. And he had not been fully truthful with her about his dealings, causing great heartache and anguish. Milena's actions required the use of dark magic, which was justified to protect both herself and the escaped slaves.

I could have written The Journey as a traditional paranormal fantasy, perhaps even a sensual love story, but anything less than erotica was not sufficient to ply the dark depths of humanity and explore the misery of prejudice and violence against people because of race or religious beliefs.

One contest judge commented that the BDSM in the story was "disturbing" but somehow did not find the torture and murder of innocent human beings to be at issue. I am always mystified that, in any genre, graphic violence rarely triggers the same reaction as graphic sex.

I did try and remove the erotic content from Hot Chocolate Kiss, a novelette also published by Eternal Press, and the story stopped cold. I put it back in and it has garnered five star reviews, even from readers who don't traditionally read erotica, including several male readers who said they were surprised at how much they liked it.

I want to tell the best story I can, and I don't want to be typecast. I've learned to trust my writer's instinct and stories the way they need to be told, even if it means crossing into territory that I haven't previously explored. I’ve learned to trust my readers will “get it.”

I'd love to have anyone who has read any of my stories share their thoughts. Haven't read any yet? Check out excerpts of Hot Chocolate Kiss and The Journey here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Gianna Bruno

Greetings!

I’m Gianna Bruno. For years, reading science fiction, fantasy, and romance opened up new worlds to explore and introduced me to interesting characters. I grew tired of journalistic assignments. There are too many formulas, formats, recipes, and prescriptions. I suppose it was no coincidence that, when I started writing fiction in earnest about five years ago, I evolved into somewhat of a cross-genre queen.

There is romance in almost everything I write, as well as a touch of magic. But I favor real life settings, occasionally with a historical backdrop, and my characters are conglomerations of people I’ve met–some of them in the oddest situations and places.

I live in New York City, which is a treasure trove for urban fantasy and magical realist writers. But since I’ve lived a good bit of my life in southern New England: Boston, the North Shore of Massachusetts and Vermont, moving from urban to ex-urban settings, and from fantasy to reality, is so much a part of my life, I’ve learned to see the magic, taste it, feel it.

It doesn’t matter if I’m on a subway, exploring the back roads and byways in Salem and environs, watching hurricane driven surf crash onto a beach, or battling the wind to get down a steep, icy slope. The witches, fairies, ghosts, and occasional alien invade my subconscious and implore me to chronicle their stories and adventures.

My latest Eternal Press release, The Journey, began as a dream about a woman walking through a snowy wood and meeting a fairy. Milena is a witch who lives on the outskirts of Salem just before the start of the Civil War. The fact that the Underground Railroad was active in that part of Massachusetts, best known for its prejudice against witches (though it had waned by that time), created an interesting twist and gave Milena a clear mission and sense of purpose.

The result was a traditional fantasy with splashes of fairy magic, witchcraft, voodoo, action, and adventure in a historical setting. I suppose I should mention it’s highly erotic–as a story that explores the dark depths of humanity needs to be.

Hot Chocolate Kiss, published in January 2010 by Eternal Press, has garnered some very nice reviews. Guys love this story because of the action, both on and off the ski slopes. Yes, there are witches and fairies, but they sneak on and off stage like a glint of light on the snow or a gust of wind.

I do occasionally come back to the real world. My current work in progress is a collection of short stories, At Home With Peter and Sandra, featuring a couple in the suburbs of somewhere trying to reinvent their relationship. It’s humorous, five flames, and I’m having a great time writing it.

There are trailers and excerpts on my website (http://giannabruno.com) and blog (http://giannabruno.blogspot.com) and a teaser excerpt from At Home with Peter and Sandra here.

Please keep in touch and follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow by Chele Diego


Amberlyn stared in horrified fascination in her bathroom mirror. Surely she couldn’t be seeing what she was seeing. It had to rank up there as a woman’s worst nightmare. She brushed her hands over the newly sprouted fuzz encircling her areolas and jumped.

“What the…!” She gently rubbed it again and moaned. “Oh wow, that zinged right to my pussy.”

She watched her reflection as she experimented with her newly sensitive breasts. Her nipples pebbled into stiff points while waves of pleasure made her clit throb. Amberlyn Murdock never denied herself gratification. She accepted that her hands and her stash of sex toys were her only means to finding release. Her father’s penchant for waving knives around at potential mates pretty much insured that. Sexual climax would not be coming from a man’s mouth or hands anytime soon, so this little development was an erotic surprise. Amber watched her reflection as a grin spread from ear to ear. So what if men like perfect, hairless perky nipples? She was going to have some fun with these enhanced sized B’s. But later – after work.


***
Burt Thorn sauntered into the store like he owned it. Amberlyn covertly eyed him from beneath her bangs. Based on the money he plunked down every week in her father’s butcher shop, he could have bought it lock, stock and barrel.

“Hey, Amber, could you please take care of Mr. Thorn? I’m in the middle of slicing that thirty pound rib-eye for Mrs. Jackson and you know she has to have the steaks cut just right.”

She rolled her eyes but hustled over to the counter. There was something about the arrogant yet very eye appealing Mr. Thorn that made her want to put an extra sway to her hips.


***
Burt eyed his future mate behind the counter with avid interest. His nose caught the whiff of her scent. It told him she was finally ready for her first change and mating cycle. His sharp vision zeroed in on her clothing. He laughed to himself. She’d traded her typical scooped neck shirt for one with a crew neck and the effect was like a neon sign. Although cat shifters didn’t court per se, he’d enjoyed the banter – making her blush and stumble. But the time for games was over. He needed to make her his. Now.


***
“Hello, Amber.”

The affect of his voice slid down her spine like a hand stroking the back of a cat. Amber’s eyes widened. Whoa, what’s going on? He’d always called her Miss Murdock and now it’s ‘Amber’? His using her name did something to her body that was nothing less than sinful. She’d been mooning over him for months and except for some very hot stares, he never made a move. He had to be teasing her, mocking her. Amber saw red, felt her temperature spike and her body tensed. Something inside her arched and hissed. She wanted to rip into him, throttle him, tear his shirt off and grab his…

“Is something the matter, Amber? You look a trifle…annoyed.”

Annoyed? Amber whipped off her apron, threw it to the floor and flipped back the hinged counter section with force enough to make it bounce. She marched right up to the man, nose to collar bone – and poked him in his spectacular chest.

“Annoyed? You have no idea what I’m feeling, Mr. Thorn.” His raised eyebrow, his smug smile and his sudden brush of a very impressive bump against her tummy made her insides clench. She attributed her increased agitation to fury, not an immediate carnal reaction to his body’s rub against hers. No way. Amber grabbed both sides of the shirt covering his very broad and firm shoulders and dragged him towards the short hallway and the stock room beyond. His chuckling response infuriated her to the point of tunnel vision --no more thoughts, no plan, just pure action and a need so strong she let it have its way with her. Because she intended to have her way with him.


***
Amber swiped off the paper towels and extra aprons off the shelving making an impromptu bed. She tried to turn back towards Burt but found herself immobilized by strong hands on her shoulders. He pulled her backwards until she once again felt his hard thickness. She stood trembling within the cage of his hands. Adrenaline and anticipation slammed into her when he turned her body enough to get a good look into his eyes. His pupils had enlarged to black discs and golden starbursts shimmered in their depths. She couldn’t look away. Nor did she resist when he turned her face forward again, drew her hair to the side and sniffed behind her ear. He bit her lobe almost to the point of pain then soothed it by suckling and licking it. He whispered nonsense about Forever Mates and her being impossible to resist but she tuned it out. She tilted her neck further to the side and whimpered as he gently bit. Oh, how she wanted to get her own way and bite him instead. The thought caused her pussy to clench. His swift intake of breath and exhaled low growl sent her into overdrive. She had to taste him! She struggled, and ripped his shirt sleeves. Cuff buttons pinged and clattered as she tore at the offending fabric with her claws.

“Oh ho, my queen, two can play at that game.”

“I’m not a queen and I’m not playing. So shut up and fuck me.” Amber growled as she shredded her own clothes. The cotton fabric tormented her skin.

Burt’s answering groan fueled her desire. His voice sounded pained to her ears. “First, queen refers to a female cat, second, I intend to enjoy playing with you, Amber and…” his own clawed hand ripped at his jeans and released his very thick, turgid penis. “I will fuck you to both our pleasures.”

Amber shuddered at his words and almost swallowed her tongue at the feel of rigid cock. Just the thought of it penetrating her, filling her and ramming into her made her want to purr. She almost came when Burt’s claws brushed up against her newly fuzzed nipples as he removed her tattered shirt and bra.

“Face me.” His command gave her an ear-gasm and she shivered in ecstasy.

“Your mark of fertility is so sexy and hot, Amber. I intend to play and tease your new nipple whiskers.” At her motion to pull back, he firmed his grip on her breasts and bent his head. His abrasive tongue swirled around the tip of her breast. The sensation duplicated itself around her clit and she whimpered. “What do whiskers do on a cat, Amber?” His gruff voice barely penetrated.

“Ah…”She could only voice a breathy moan. Intense contractions and an erotic pressure unlike anything she’d ever experienced before had her writhing against him. Wetness between her thighs coated his cock which he’d thrust between her legs. His teeth, tongue and mouth continued their assault on her sensitized nipples. She could only shake her head.

“They sense things, my love. They are a conduit for information. For natural felines of the world, their very safety relies on what their whiskers tell them.” He sucked hard on her distended nipple and she almost came from the effect it had on her clitoris. “For were-cats, nipple whiskers, as soft and delicate as they are, indicate sexual maturity and whose growth is triggered by the proximity of their mate.”

There was that word again, mate. Amber processed the ramifications in her sluggish and lust addled brain. “You mean -- you are my mate? I got fuzzy nips because of you hanging around the shop? And you triggered my inner…what? Heat? Burt, I’m …” Burt bit her neck and her legs gave out.

“A beautiful cat shifter, a lovely queen – and mine.” He bent to once again latch onto her sensitized nipple and when Amber arched her back in response, he thrust his penis into her moist depths, filling and stretching her enough to trigger a shockwave of ecstasy that turned her mindless. He pulled out, flipped her onto her hands and knees and rammed back home again. Amber yowled and hissed as her Savannah cat form shifted into being which brought on Burt’s change simultaneously. The two were-cats finished their age-old dance in a frenzy of snarls, hissing and eventually ending in purrs.


***
“Amber?” Burt’s exhausted voice filtered through her sated brain.

“Yes?” Her answer no more than a whispered sigh.

“I have good news and great news. The great news is that we are now Forever Mated.”

Yes, she thought. Having him for a mate could be a very good thing, if she didn’t kill him first.

“And the good news?” She dared ask.

“You are now whisker-free.”

Amber looked down at her now smooth and fuzz-free breasts and stared. Her gaze whipped back Burt’s laughing green eyes. “How the heck did that happen?”

“Sex. We’ve had glorious, sweaty and raunchy sex which negates the hormone production to mate. Until next month.”

“WHAT?” Her screech did her race proud.

“Yes, Amber my love. Just like the motto says, ‘hair today, gone tomorrow’.”

Yep, he was going to need all of those nine lives.

About the author: Chele Diego is the pseudonym for a woman who believes the paranormal presents an open canvas for erotic imagination and romance and it allows her to push her earthly boundaries. She has a penchant for men who growl and bite as well as those who sweep her off of her feet in grand passionate expressions of love and desire. When Chele is not being seduced by her characters, she can be found living her own HEA with her alpha guy, researching, baking chocolate anything, reading and at the same time riding herd on a couple of alphas-in-training.