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Monday, September 17, 2012

INTERVIEW and Giveaway: Alyssa Turner


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Alyssa Turner, whose latest erotic romance Double Take was released August 3.

She's written five free-standing pieces and appears in three published anthologies with more on the way.

"One of my personal favorites right now is Send," she told me. "It’s such a roller coaster type of story. I just think it’s a blast to read. I have different favorites at different times. They are all my babies after all. Double Take is high on the list right now too, of course. It’s heavy with plot and the sex holds meaning beyond physical pleasure. I’ll often use sex symbolically in my books to signify healing or self-discovery. When I’m able to make a statement that has deeper meaning than pleasure and even love, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal."

She's currently working on the first draft of Polished, an MMF where the main character, Spencer, is a demotions foreman in a loving hetero relationship. However, he's had some secret yearnings since puberty that he's ignored. His girlfriend, Rory, knows about them even though he's never talked about them and wants him to know she doesn't judge him for them. In fact, she has some secret kinks and desires of her own and a third person might be the answer to both their desires. Jack is a self-described playboy who never had the pleasure of knowing what it is to be loved, not even by his overbearing father who he works for. After surviving a dangerous accident the two guys form a bond of friendship and Jack invites them into his life for the weekend. Only problem is Jack’s dad just might ruin everything if his fear of intimacy doesn’t make him run the other direction first.

Alyssa was an only child who grew up watching The Young and the Restless with her grandmother whenever she got the chance.

"That dramatic flare appeared first in my elaborate Barbie sagas and eventually ended up on paper when I grew out of my playthings. The stories got more scandalous, the plots more complex. I developed a sprawling world of high school debauchery—all written by hand on note book paper," she told me. "Now I’ve gone and dated myself. Let’s just say I had a word processor in college. I didn’t find my muse again until about five years ago. With barely any free time, writing erotica was (is) an amazing way to shed pretenses and relax with a few favorite fantasies. Romance brings heart to the mix and everything just falls into place from there."

She doesn't have much time to write with raising a family, and some days she's just too tried to get the words out of her head an onto the keyboard.

"I have my writing chair and a big palm tree that shields me from the rest of my brood. When I’m in that seat, it’s time out for Mommy," she declared.

When she's reading, she looks for the author to walk the line between keeping her guessing and remaining true to their plot path.

"I’m particularly focused on the element of surprise in my writing. I feel cheated every time I know what’s going to happen next when I’m reading a book. I’ve been know to play a fun little game of tug-of –war with my reader—giving them a little of what they expect and then yanking hard on the rope in another direction," she admitted. "In the end everything falls into place and the reader will even recall that there were some clues along the way. I absolutely love it when I read a review that says they were surprised or that the storyline was unique. The worst thing a writer can do is tell the whole story in the first few paragraphs. Double Take is written like a layer cake. The plot is revealed little by little. It's chapters before you know the whole story about the characters and even longer before you realize what the real conflict is. I like to build a strong foundation and then narrow in on a particular theme. In Double Take it’s the broad theme of rebels seeking social justice and the narrow theme of self-discovery and empowerment."

Because Alyssa writes erotic romance, her plots always start with a particular coupling in mind. From there she tries to imagine a unique situation that would bring them together. Once she has the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ it’s time to figure out the ‘who’. The characters are born out of their circumstances."

"Could you ever co author a book with someone?" I asked. "If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?"

"I once wrote a novella with a perfect stranger. I started with the first chapter and posted it on my blog in the first person female. He wrote the next chapter from the first person male point of view and we switched back and forth for like 10 chapters. Neither of us knew where the other was going to take the story. It was very organic and oddly intimate, since we only exchanged avatars. The end result was a smash hit among our followers and it was a blast. I’d do it again."

I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Don’t sell yourself short if you don’t have the experience or education of the other authors you admire. There’s something to be said for a fresh voice. What you should do is read A LOT! Read unpublished and published writers. Some of the best writing I’ve read was from a amateurs writers group. I learned how to hone my own voice by paying attention to others."

The biggest thing Alyssa has going for her is the element of surprise.

"It might be my characters that are uniquely paired, as in Drawing Diego where a young college student of Indian decent has a crush on her artistic Mexican neighbor, or the setting that is unusual like with my African tryst in Mia Doga Means Goodbye, and often the concept is compellingly different as in my recent twin ménage release Double Take where I’ve delved into the area of class warfare in the twenty second century.

"Now, I have a question for your readers. As a reader of Erotic Romance, do you like to be surprised by the plot? Let me know, and you'll be entered into a drawing for a copy of Double Take.” Enjoy this book video of Double Take.

About the Author:
Alyssa Turner's writings address a woman's desire to really have it all - including the things she's not supposed to want. Hot stories under challenging circumstances are explicit and emotional because erotica should leave you with lingering images and a thoughtful smile.

Few things make her smile like the rush of creativity, she's addicted. When she isn't writing, she's cooking dinner or washing clothes ... or dreaming up her next delicious scene.

She writes for Xcite Books and Etopia Press, with two full-length novels currently available. Her debut publication was a short in Best Women's Erotica 2011, edited by Violet Blue. More shorts selected for print anthologies from Xcite Books and Cleis Press, with the illustrious editors, Miranda Forbes and Rachel Kramer Bussel.

Find Alyssa online at

Same face, same mission, same woman. One big risk...

In post apocalyptic New York, Shannon Morris has one job to do: find the secrets everyone wants to hide from the all-powerful Eaglecorp. From her appointed perch high above the underclass, she would never have guessed she'd become a rebel sympathizer, or fall for two men at the same time--twins.

Ex-military resistance fighters Tristan and Pryor Davies also have a mission: to take down Eaglecorp by any means necessary. And Shannon is their key. But loving Shannon was never part of that plan. It's a complication no amount of training could have prepared them for. They know instinctually how to rule her pleasure, and the sex between the three of them is explosive. But when the twins are forced to choose between their mission and Shannon, they struggle to find a solution they can live with. Because living without Shannon isn't an option.

Awakened to Eaglecorp's oppressive stranglehold on the people, Shannon begins to discover just what she's capable of. There's no turning back from the mission--or from the searing heat of twin lovers. Shannon is the key to defeating Eaglecorp, but only if she can unlock the truth before everything falls apart. In the end, the biggest secret she'll uncover might be her own...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012



Between Shelves
Elyzabeth M. VaLey

Melanie looked at Justin from across the table. He had his head down, his dirty blond hair falling in loose strands over his eyes as he read. He swept them away with irritation and scribbled some notes.

She bit the tip of her pen and tapped her foot impatiently. She sighed. She had been staring at Justin out of the corner of her eye for the past hour but he was oblivious. She knew she was supposed to be studying for her master’s exam but she couldn’t concentrate, not when Justin’s frown reminded her of the look he had when he made her orgasm.

Melanie glanced around her. The library was practically deserted. Her pulse raced. Would she dare? Their desk was partially hidden by shelves and they would only be visible if someone came to stand right next to them. Justin groaned in frustration. Clearly, his study session wasn’t going well. He needed to relax. Heck, she needed to relax. If anyone came upon them, well...

Quietly placing her pen on the table, Melanie pushed back her chair. She held her breath. Justin remained unmoving. She grinned and slowly lowered herself to the ground. She crawled the short distance to Justin’s legs and placed her hand on his well-endowed package. Justin jumped and swore under his voice.

“Melanie!” He lowered his head to glimpse at her under the table. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Melanie laughed, amused. “Study and try not to squirm too much,” she ordered with a silent giggle. Justin groaned but did as he was told. Already she could feel his cock hardening in her hand. Carefully, she lowered his zipper and released the growing member. She caressed it in her warm hands, enjoying the silky feeling.

“Melanie,” Justin growled at her. She giggled again before kissing the base of his cock. Justin jumped in her hands.

“Shhhh,” she soothed.

Slowly, she licked his shaft from the base to the top. She repeated the process. She heard Justin’s labored breathing and had to suppress back a moan. Liquid rushed to her core, heating her inside and out. A thought occurred to her. Quickly, she released her hold on Justin and undid the buttons to her blouse. Her eyes met Justin who had bent over to see why she had let go of him.

“You’re crazy,” he stated as he watched her with eager eyes. Melanie nodded and unclasped the front of her bra. Her breasts fell free. Justin made to grab them but she playfully slapped his hands away.

“Later, you keep pretending that you’re studying.”

He ruefully obeyed. Settling herself on her knees once more, Melanie took his stiff cock into her mouth. She settled herself over the bulbous top for a moment, swirling her tongue slowly. Cupping his balls, she pressed them softly as she lowered her head, little by little, swallowing his engorged member. She lifted and lowered her head, teasing him while taking more of him into her mouth. Above her, she heard Justin’s harsh breathing, a soft moan erupting from his lips when she flattened her tongue over the base of his cock. Searching blindly, his large hands found her breasts and pinched her nipples, enticing a moan from her. With thumb and forefinger, Justin rolled her nipples, causing a steady thrumming to grow between her legs.

Abruptly, she released her hold on him. She looked around in haste and her heart climbed to her throat as she observed on the other side of the bookshelf a pair of feet. She waited for a few minutes, afraid that someone had spotted them. Barely a few seconds later, the feet shuffled away.

Relieved, Melanie observed the virile member before her. She wasn’t one to let things unfinished and she wasn’t about to start today. Both she and Justin were going to find release right then and there. Resolute, she accommodated herself between Justin’s legs. Kneeling before him, she grasped her own breasts and arranged them around his prick. She licked the head of his shaft and began rubbing her breasts against the solid member. She moaned as pleasure cursed through her at the contact. She tugged at her own nipples as she increased her speed. Justin groaned and she knew he was close. She wrapped her lips around his cock and lowered her head one last time. Justin pressed his hands to her breasts, trapping his cock between them. She whimpered in both surprise and pleasure at the gesture. Justin swore under his breath and the next thing she knew he was coming into her mouth. Eagerly, Melanie swallowed the thick strings of come. When he was done, she smoothly licked him clean, zipped up his pants and sat back.

Justin stared down at her and she wondered at her appearance. She gingerly passed a hand through her hair trying to smooth it out. Her body shook and her thighs felt wet. Her breasts were tender and she longed to have Justin’s mouth on them, but knew that under the current circumstances it was impossible.

Justin smiled. His blue eyes shone mischievously and she suppressed a shiver. What did he have in mind?

“You’re a very naughty girl, Melanie,” he whispered.

Melanie nodded. She knew that dangerous tone and this time she did shudder. Whatever he had in mind, she knew she would enjoy it.

“Button up your shirt and come sit next to me, sweetheart.”

Hastily she fastened her bra, buttoned her shirt, smoothed out her hair and adjusted her skirt. She glanced around before climbing from under the table and setting herself next to Justin. While she had been fixing herself, Justin had moved her books and pens to his side. As soon as she sat down, he hugged her to him and found her lips. Melanie moaned into his mouth as his tongue danced with hers.

“Are you wet, sweetheart?” he whispered against her lips.


“How wet?” he asked while taking his time in caressing her inner thigh.

“Very wet.”

“Put your hands on the desk where I can see them and don’t move them.”

Melanie obeyed without protest. Justin chuckled. His large hand finally reached the triangle between her legs. He cupped her soaked panties. Melanie lurched forward at the contact. His hand was so warm. Even though her pussy was on fire his heat was searing through her. More liquid rushed to pool between her legs and she bit her lip in agony.

“Please--” she began to say.

Justin rubbed his knuckles against her cunt causing her to bite into her lower lip again. Tortuously slowly, he wound his way under her panties. She grabbed the edge of the table until her knuckles turned white. Justin took his time, lightly caressing her wet lips with a single finger.


He inserted another finger and Melanie bit back a moan as he leisurely took his time exploring the outside of her soaking pussy. Finally, when she was about to despair, she felt his thick fingers begin to push inside her. She whimpered in delight. At a snail’s pace, he pushed them inside until he could go no further. Melanie pressed her thighs together trapping his hand. Justin chuckled.

“If you don’t relax your hold I won’t be able to pleasure you, sweetheart.”

She nodded and released her grip on his hand. She was rewarded by the feeling of another finger slipping into her. Justin began a constant seesaw movement into her. He’d mix it up by rotating his fingers inside her cunt. Melanie rocked her body. She closed her eyes, pleasure slowly building inside her. Suddenly she heard feminine laughter and footsteps. Her eyes popped open. She stared at Justin but he continued his ministrations oblivious to the sound of people approaching.


He captured her mouth into his and she lost all sense of direction as at the same time his thumb flicked her clit, once, twice, thrice. Her body exploded into a million little pieces. Her wail of pleasure drowned into his mouth as her vagina contracted in spasms and liquid dripped onto Justin’s fingers, her thighs and even the seat.

When her body finally began to relax, Justin released his hold on her. Melanie opened her eyes. Two tables away the group of girls she had heard laughing were settling down, opening books and chatting quietly. Justin glanced at her, a merry twinkle in his light eyes.

“How about we continue this study session at home, sweetheart?”

With a peck on his lips, Melanie agreed wholeheartedly.

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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Author Interview: Victoria Vane


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Victoria Vane. Victoria is visiting with us today as part of her Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will give one randomly chosen commenter a download of her first erotic historical romance A Breach of Promise. In addition, if there is more than ten comments on this interview, one of the commenters will win her choice of A Breach of Promise or A Wild Night's Bride.

Victoria has written eight books—she has two works of romantic historical fiction, The Highest Stakes and Fortune's Son, as Emory Lee. A year ago she began writing erotic historical fiction under the Victoria Vane pseudonym and now has six more titles to her credit.

She is incredibly proud of The Devil DeVere series.

"It's truly unique as it's comprised of four novellas (each ranging in length from 32-42K words) with each story leading directly into the next, much like a serial novel," she said. "The other thing that makes it so unusual is that the tone of every book is distinctly different. A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE is the first in the series. It's very over the top and a bit lewd at times, but it really works. THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS is also comedy, but with a very different tone. There is only one love scene and it's sweetly sexy but still very hot and fabulous. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is darkly erotic with elements of mystery and intrigue and THE DEVIL'S MATCH is deeply emotional and sensual with a touch of the exotic added to the erotic. This series has really allowed me to stretch myself."

She's been hearing from a lot of people about the series.

"They absolutely love it," she said, "DeVere, in particular, is an unforgettable character. As to what they say—they want more! And I plan to give it to them next year with two or three spin off titles.


Under stress free conditions, Victoria usually gets up between 8 and 9 AM, drinks a few cups of coffee, and does her "busy work" such as answering emails, Facebook, blogging, promoting, etc.

"I am not a morning person and am not usually creative during the day. It's my drudge time," she said. "In the afternoon I run errands and do things around the house and then cook dinner. When the table is cleared I go to my office and close the door and there I sit for the next 6-8 hours writing. I rarely go to bed before 1AM. If under deadline, however, all bets are off. I do almost nothing but write. I don't leave my office, the laundry stacks up and my family eats a lot of pizza. If I can't 'create' I edit the story but I still write. It's insanity."

"What inspired you to start writing?" I asked.

"One day I just woke-up with a story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I had never written anything, had never taken a creative writing class, and didn't know any writers, but I just knew I had to write this story to get it out of my head. So at forty four years old, I began writing. Fourteen months later, I wrote THE END and said What the heck do I do now?"

She admits that she doesn't plan her books—they just largely happen. She will be begin with a plot idea that's almost always inspired by something she read in a history book or while websurfing. Once the initial idea pops into her head, she starts to think about characters, but she doesn't really map them out either.

"I just start writing, usually with a specific scene that I have dreamt, and then they start talking," she said. "My characters always tell me who they are. I rarely tell them!"

"Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?" I asked. "If so, what do you do about it?"

"I think writer's block plagues every writer from time to time. Typically, I do one of two things, either try to skip ahead in the story and piece it together later, or go to the beginning and start editing until I can get my head back into the story. My worst bout of writer's block occurred half way through the manuscript I just finished. I was so frustrated that I was ready to chuck the whole thing! I just couldn't move forward. Everything felt all wrong, so I started at the beginning, re-reading and revising as I went. I ended up cutting four thousand words! I was under deadline at the time, so that's a scary thing to do, but it was necessary to move forward again. I had to clean out the clutter."

Finally I asked, "If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?"

"Almost everything unrelated to craft. I never knew I was going to be a writer. I went into this cold turkey and unprepared. If I were starting over, I would establish a web presence and strong support network of fellow writers and I would work early to engage readers. I would have created my 'brand' from the start. Instead everything has been a process of evolution and learning by experience (not the recommended course, I assure you!," she replied. "I don't know that writing classes would have done much for me because I don't really plot and I write what I'm inspired to write. Thankfully my editors have liked my word as I've never had to lock horns or do any major revision so far, but I'm very much a maverick who refuses to follow rules! (Probably why I don't currently have a contract with a mainstream publisher!)"

Check out the video:

About the Author:
A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms. Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee.

Find Victoria online at

Web Site:
FB: Author Victoria Vane
Twitter: Authorvictoriav

THE DEVIL DEVERE VOLUME I: Two scorching HOT historical romance novellas

A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE: What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a machinating rake? Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis is a lonely lady down on her luck. Sir Edward Chambers is steadfast, respectable and avowed to a life … of celibacy. Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere is simply bored and hell-bent to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. But with the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay.

THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS: Desperate times call for devilish measures… The coddled and pampered Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants and what she wants is Captain Hewett DeVere, but what's a girl to do when the man of her dreams has eyes for another? Younger brother to Viscount Ludovic "The Devil" DeVere, "Hew" has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down with the right woman. When Hew shows interest in Vesta's godmother, Diana, Vesta vows to prove to Hew that she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of…a huntress.

*These stories are also available individually as e-books.*

Wednesday, September 5, 2012



Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Mia Downing whose latest release Ripped has just been released.

This book is important for Mia because it deals with Gavin White's issues that stem from being the child of an alcoholic as well as other things. Mentally, he's not in a stable place, and that's why he's pushed his friend, Erik Clarke, away.

"I am also a child of an alcoholic, so the issues and concepts Gavin deals with were ones I didn't necessarily want to write about," she admitted, "but the book kept wanting to go that way, so..There are many things from my life that influenced the story. The concept of safe--having places and people that are safe havens--is still very prevalent in my life. Another interesting point was Erik never knew how bad Gavin's home life was even though they were friends since preschool. I have a friend that I've known since we were ten, and I never told her about what went on in my home. She knew my dad yelled a lot, but that was it. Kids want to be normal, even if their world isn't. I verified that while writing the story. In no way is this story autobiographical, though. "

Each book that Mia writes has a small goal she wants to achieve as a writer. Exceeding Boundaries had a goal of just stringing conflict and making a good stor work. Spy Games: Trained for Seduction was the conflict/motivation goal in a bigger word count with a touch of suspense. Mia wanted to see if she could make a situation where she would feel comfortable to indulge in a ménage is she were the heroine.

"I can honestly say I would jump at the chance to be Kate, because she has two incredible men who love her completely. A ménage with them would be a dream come true," she told me.

The second book in the series, Spy Games: Lethal Limits, will be out in the late fall.

"Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?" I wondered. "If so, what do you do about it?"

"Oh yes, I get writer’s block. I drink tequila shots off the belly of a hot male stripper until I hear the voices that tell me what to do to get the words flowing. Or maybe those voices are the cops speaking… Kidding!! Just kidding. Actually, if I have writer’s block, then I’m going the wrong way in my story, either trying to make the conflict be something it’s not, or there isn’t the motivation build to take the story that direction. In the male/male erotic romance I just completed, I had writer’s block two times. Both times I had sent the hero into the wrong direction. So I backed up, thought about what really needed to happen, and the story sorted itself out."

Mia reads Watership Down every year as a sort of a pilgrimage. She also loved growing up with Anne McCaffery's dragons and, on the other end of the spectrum, the historical romances of Kathleen Woodwiss, Beatrice Small, and Johanna Lindsey.

"I also read Harlequin Presents by the zillion because my grandmother loved them, and I think that’s where I got my love of very alpha heroes. However, I get bored writing them that strong, so I try to vary my heroes so they’re interesting," she said.

"What comes first, the plot or characters?"

"Is that like the chicken and the egg thing? Because I have chickens, and let me tell you, they come first and cost a lot more than a box of eggs. Those eggs don’t arrive every day, either, and usually when you want eggs to bake or to make deviled eggs for a picnic, the danged creatures go on strike. In the case of plot vs. characters, I’m going to say neither comes first—they evolve together. I get a snippet in my mind, sort of like a movie trailer. People doing things, saying things, and it makes me want to find out more. For me, the book plays in my head like a movie, and I just write it all down, what the characters say and do. It’s really cheating, and I think the movies come from something aliens loaded in when they abducted me at some point. Sort of like Alien Red Box, only the player is in my head and the only way I can share is to write it down."

The hardest part of writing for Mia revolves around the fact that, because she writes erotic romance, it's not always something she wants the whole world reading—which is very ironic for a writer.

"I had to tell my 95 year-old grandmother that no, I would not give her my pen name. No, she could not read my book. Yes, I understood she had nine kids, and knew what sex was, and that she read hot books in her time. Ain’t happening, Nana. I ended up writing something she can read in my real name, so she can brag and gloat, and I’ll have to write something else again, soon, because that woman is like a dog with a bone," she told me. "I also do not wish to educate my children in the joys of sex, so I have to be careful about what I write when they are around. It’s really bad enough that sex education in my house consists of Family Guy re-runs. No, I’m not a good mother, but I am wise enough to know that they may wish to claw out their eyes if they read what I write and then equate that to what I may do with their father. Which is laughable, because my husband couldn’t get into half of those positions with his back issues. As an adult kid with parents, I get this. My step-dad wanted to buy one of my books to get pointers, and I informed him he was not doing that stuff to my mother. So I get it. So you can probably guess that I do not home school. Nope. School is wonderful. Summer vacation not so much, because the kids can read, and they try to sneak up on me to read what I’m writing.But I do have parts of my stories that do not involve sex, and I write those. Or I go on the laptop."

Her actual writing space is, admittedly, dusty and cluttered.

"It would be condemned if someone actually lived at the computer (which I do, so don’t tell them, whoever those people are, or they’ll condemn it.) I write in the living room, next to the blaring T.V. with headphones on. It’s in front of an unused door to our addition that’s being built, so I can see in the reflection if people are sneaking up on me. My children like to do that. I have a rubber band gun for such occasions. It’s a six-shooter and I have deadly aim."

Mia doesn't write in linear fashion. She will jump in with the first scene she sees in her head, and then write whatever other scene she sees.

"Sometimes it’s just dialogue, or a scene set up, or something about the character. Usually I know the ending by then, and I’ll write that next. Then I go back and fill in the middle with scenes to connect the beginning to the end," she explained. "This creates problems, because if I write myself into a corner I sometimes can’t beg anyone to read it because it is a mess. I do have one very good friend that is brave enough to dance the mines that I’ve set up. She finds it amusing and interesting, or so she says. The other problem is if, in the middle of the book I learn something big, I have to fix the ending. In Lethal Limits, the heroine revealed something I wasn’t expecting, and I had to rewrite the ending. But I didn’t care, because they were only words and it just meant more time I spent with my characters. I also do not write in chapters. I write in scenes, and then go back and break everything up into nice chapters. Sometimes I have to fiddle to make things work, but I don’t think anyone can tell. I’m good with the spackle that way."

When Mia's not writing, she's a lingerie model in her spare time for a well-known company.

"Actually, I am pretty boring," she said. "I have lupus, which is a systemic disease that affects the immune system. Sunlight aggravates the condition so I am a vampire that doesn’t suck blood or sparkle in the sunlight. I actually started writing again as a way to fill the afternoon, because I needed to rest, but I didn’t want to nap, and the soaps were boring. So I started writing again. I also like horses (we just got one for my daughter) and knitting. I do decorative painting and my sister wants a mural or two in her house, so that’s on the agenda. I love to cook and was a chef at one point, but no one eats the fancy crap I can make. I learned how to shoot the shotgun this spring, and I look forward to knocking down that little caped cutout of a cowboy who I can’t seem to hit to save my soul. I swear he jumps." Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Read the genre you want to write, then read what the publisher you are targeting is putting out, so you don’t get rejected for sending them stuff they don’t publish. If they don’t publish what you offer, they’re not going to change their mind because you are awesome. Then take that information and write what YOU want to write, not for the market. The market changes so quickly that when you get your book done and to a publisher, there may be no need. Ten years ago paranormal was dead in the water. Now it’s the hottest thing since sliced cheese.

"Don’t knock starting smaller, but choose a publisher that has been around and has a good reputation. The Wild Rose Press is a small publisher, but they have great covers and work well with their authors. My editor is a goddess who I picture in a black corset and leather, thigh-high boots. She has a big whip and uses it well. "Write, write, write. If your first book is rejected a few times, move on to the next book instead of fixing that one. Sometimes a book can’t be fixed, and I really think your first novels will end up as exercises probably not meant for human consumption. I have two that live in boxes and will stay there, but what they gave me is invaluable. "My last piece of advice: do not go Indie unless you have a private copy editor you wish to pay to make sure your work is good quality and find a good cover artist. So many authors are putting junk up on sites without making sure what they give the reader is quality work. There are also wonderful reads, but it’s hit or miss sometimes, and as a consumer, I become frustrated with the misses. You are too close to your work to see that your hero is being a jerk, or your grammar mistakes are not voice, but are really grammar mistakes. Listen to those around you, listen to your gut, and then make sure your work is the best it can be before you send it out. One star reviews on a book site will not net you new readers and will make you very sad."

About the Author: Mia Downing started creating heroes at age four, but her heroes then rode ponies to rescue the princess, and only kissed her on the cheek. Today, Mia's heroes still rescue princesses, but the price of their toys and the expertise of their seduction leads to a lot more than a peck on the cheek. When Mia isn't busy creating new stories for her readers she fills in as an underwear model for a prestigious lingerie company. She also lives in CT with her family, and enjoys horses and knitting.

Lifeguard/artist Gavin White has been holding the ripped shreds of his life together by the seams. Facing the anniversary of his sister's death, he fights the dark call of dependency and is at the edge of succumbing when his best friend since preschool returns to his life. Handsome geek-turned-hunk, Erik Clarke, wasn't afraid to come out and had been bold enough to kiss Gavin the last time they were together. Damn that kiss. Gavin wants more. So much more, but he was never brave enough to tell Erik his dreams. With his future hanging by a tattered thread, Gavin must trade one temptation for another or risk ripping his life apart.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012



Long and Short Reviews welcomes Sierra Cartwright whose latest book is Jane Eyre, part of the Clandestine Classics series. Sierra will give one commenter on today's interview a copy of this book.

She told me that crafting her portion of Jane Eyre was one of the most terrifying things she had ever done and was unbelievably difficult.

"The original work is so beloved, so breathtakingly beautiful, I was awed," she told me. "I was overwhelmed. I struggled more with this project than any other, because it means so much to so many people. I loved every moment of it."

She is working on an upcoming trilogy from Total-E-Bound that she's excited about. All the books will be set in Colorado with the mountains as a back drop and she assured me that all the heroes will be delicious. Those will be followed by more releases in her Zones series.

Sierra started writing when she was about eight.

"Back then, there was no spell check and no computers! Dreadful! My elementary school librarian 'published' my books and gave me a special place in the library for my books. Turns out I was neurotic back then, too. I NEVER looked to see if anyone checked them out," she confessed. "I wrote fanfic (I didn’t know that’s what it was!) when I was in high school. I continued to write, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t find success early or easily. I wrote ten full books over the course of ten years before I finally got a fabulous agent who managed to get me a contract. And I wish I could say everything I have written since has gotten a bright, shiny contract. I’ve joked about wallpapering a bathroom with my rejection letters. Unfortunately, I only have three bathrooms!"

When Sierra went through her divorce, she stopped writing for several years—she doesn't know if it was writer's block or something else, but she eventually came back to writing. Now if she's "blocked" it's usually because she hasn't thought something all the way through—either character motivation or plot point.

"At those points, I generally go and do something physically strenuous where I stop thinking entirely," she said. "I may jump on my mountain bike or play racquetball or weight train. There’s something about getting 'away' completely that frees up my brain. If I stop grinding on the problem, I generally find a solution."

"What did you want to be when you grew up?" I asked.

"Grow up? You mean I have to?! Seriously, I always wanted to be a writer. As I became an adult, I wanted to run a company. Today, I have the best of all worlds. I serve as general manager of an environmentally friendly company and I get to spend my evenings and weekends pursuing my first love."

Sierra is very much a plotter.

"Surprisingly, the more time I spend thinking about the book before I get started, the faster I can write and the less revision I need to make to my plot points. To me it’s like going on a hiking trip. If I decide where I’m going, I know how much gear I need. Do I need my summit pack? Or will a fanny pack do? A 100 oz Camelbak? Or a couple of water bottles. If it’s a three hour easy hike, I need a certain amount of food. If I’m summiting, I need to carry enough food to sustain me at 500 calories per hour (during the ascent). I look at books to pick the 'best' trail—depending on what trip I’m looking for—shortest, most scenic, etc. I look at the weather forecast. Do I need lightweight gloves or down-filled mittens? I’ve had to bail out others on the mountain who didn’t plan as well…Some people get ill from lack of water, etc. I try to think through the possibilities before leaving the house. I approach my writing the same way."

As you can guess, when Sierra's not writing, she loves be outdoors, finding something restorative about nature.

"I love to hike," she told me. "Last week I was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Yesterday, I rode my bike next to Clear Creek for an hour and a half. I’m considering my next fourteener (a mountain that is over 14,000 feet high.) "

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.

"Okay, this is REALLY embarrassing, and I’ve never told anyone this before…I had a padded bra on at a very public event—I was receiving an award in front of hundreds of people—and when I got back to the table, a friend handed me one of the little pieces of fabric that made up the padding! Yep, I lost part of my boobs in public! Fortunately, I don’t think many people realized what was going on."

Sierra told me that one of the reasons she prefers romance, traditional or erotic, is the promise of a happily ever after, or at least a happy-for-now ending.

"Life doesn’t come with any guarantees, so when I get to the end of a book, I generally like it to end on a positive note. I want my stories to be emotional as well as smoking hot. I don’t want any gratuitous scenes, rather, I want my hero(es!) and heroine to have their relationship change or their emotions impacted by each scene."

Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"I recommend that all authors, new and experienced to read. Read. Read.Definitelyread. Read the type of erotic romance you want to write. Read erotic romances that aren’t in your particular sub-genre, so that you get a feel for what others are doing. Read outside your genre so that you’re always learning new techniques and seeing what works. Write what you know. Write what you want to learn about. And if you’re interested in adding BDSM elements, Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns by Phillip Miller and Molly Devon is an excellent book. And craft is essential. Understanding POV, scene and sequel, showing, rather than telling, is every bit as important in erotic romance as it is in any genre. My go-to book is Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain. Also, find beta readers or a fabulous critique group. Feedback, even if difficult, is essential. Always, always, always learn. One of my favorite athletes is Rafa Nadal, number three tennis player on planet earth. Rafa has said he never goes to practice. He goes to learn. If the best of the best still wants to learn, so do I."

About the Author:
Born in Northern England and raised in the Wild West, Sierra Cartwright pens books that are as untamed as the Rockies she calls home. She's an award-winning, multi-published writer who wrote her first book at age nine and hasn't stopped since. Sierra invites you to share the complex journey of love and desire, of surrender and commitment.

Her own journey has taught her that trusting takes guts and courage, and her work is a celebration for everyone who is willing to take that risk.

Find Sierra online at

One of the world's best loved books, Jane Eyre, is retold with scorching passion…

Mystery, betrayal, scandal, and a love that transcends time…

There was only him...

From the moment Jane Eyre sets eyes on her one and true master, Mr. Rochester, her life is irrevocably changed.

The tall, dark man is an enigma, complex, deep, compelling, frightening, and tempting beyond compare.

This stern, unyielding man brooks no refusal and demands all of what Jane has to offer as he invites her on a journey of the senses that would scandalise society. He demands her abject surrender. In his strong and athletic arms, Jane submits to his darkest desires and discovers hers are every bit as searing, plunging her into a world she never suspected and never wants to escape.

The thrilling and beloved novel is perhaps more relevant today than it ever was. Jane Eyre's struggles to live a life of grand passion, compromising nothing, willing to sacrifice everything for what she believes, resonates with the modern woman's struggles to have it all, to be it all, and to love with uncompromising abandon.

Monday, September 3, 2012



Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Desiree Holt who newest release, Northanger Abbey, is part of the Clandestine Classics collection from Total-E-Bound. Desiree will give away the winner's choice to a book from her backlist to one randomly drawn commenter.

"Victorian England is such an interesting time to write about and Northanger Abbey was always one of my favorites," she told me. "The challenge to 'spicing it up' comes from the fact that Catherine and Henry do not even meet until halfway through the book, so I had to think of a plot device to introduce the 'spice' earlier. I hope everyone has as much fun reading it as I did writing it."

Desiree was always what she called a "hungry reader," devouring books. Her dream, from the time she could put two sentences together, was to write a book.

"I originally thought I’d write straight mysteries, but found out I liked romantic suspense better and from there into all genres of romance," she said. She has released over 130 titles and usually has multiple works in progress. She's just done the full outlines for Locked and Loaded, book two in Attack Force and books seven and eight in The Sentinels She's also finishing up the fifth book in The Phoenix Agency, the third book in Erector Set, as well out plotting out books 5-8 in her Rawhide series.

"Of course, I'd love to do another Clandestine Classic," she assured me.

"How do you develop your plot and characters?" I asked.

"Wow. I don’t think I have a set format. Usually my characters come to me first (my friends laugh at me because I get my best ideas in the shower!). I define the characters and then play the What If game with them. But sometimes that’s not true. I wrote one book when all I had to start was one line. But I loved the line so much I developed a plot around it. And another story developed from a Letter to the Editor in the local paper."

Desiree's writing space takes up most of the wall in her great room. She has a built-in computer desk with plenty of shelves and drawers and places for her small television as well as her cats to lie down and watch her work. She has French doors on the right and a huge picture window on her left, so the room is always flooded with plenty of light.

She writes every day. First thing in the morning, she takes care of emails and promo, then she writes for six hours.

"I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last year so I have to take more breaks during the day than I used to which has cut down a little on my production. I keep a notebook beside me in bed while I read and watch television at night and jot down ideas that pop into my head based on what I wrote that day," she told me.

"What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?"

"You can hear my friends laugh about this one. I find I do my best work when reruns of Walker Texas Ranger is on my television. I know the shows so well I barely have to pay attention to them. My son tells me I like the program because the guy always gets the girl and the good guys always win. I wonder if Chuck Norris knows how much I owe him!"

She generally starts her research for a book with the Internet because you can find just about anything there. Depending on the genre and subject matter, she may move on. She has a neighbor who has a wolf that he keeps by special permission (it was badly injured and cannot survive in the wild) who has helped her a lot with wolf habits for her shifter series. She also has many contacts in law enforcement, a reader who owns a cutting horse ranch, and contacts in the BDSM community.

"You name it, I find them," she assured me. "The most important thing to me when I write is that I be accurate."

Desiree tries to put a little of herself in each of her heroines. She also tries to come at stories from a different angle. This helps keep her work different from other books in the same genre.

"For my Night Seekers series, for example, the books are all based on the legend of the Chupacabra, which no other romance author has done and it’s a real legend," she explained. For The Sentinels I created a real agency. And for all my cowboy series, which are many, I live in the middle of ranch country in Texas so I have lots of different things to draw from."

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.

"Well, I could say it was when I was in high school and the skirt I made in Home Ec fell apart at a basketball game but probably when I didn’t recognize one of my readers at a conference and she’s someone who’s been very loyal to me. I apologized for three days."

About the Author:
Desiree Holt’s writing is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the pages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Holt Medallion, multiple winner of the Whipped Cream Book of the Week Award and is published by five different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”

Find Desiree online at
Twitter: @desireeholt