Monday, 29 November 2010

Welcome Eternal Press author, Gianna Bruno!!

So pleased to have you here today, Gianna. I just do not seem to host enough of my fellow Eternal Press authors (and it's not for want to trying!) so it's great that you are happy to share news of your latest release as well as your existing Hot Chocolate Kiss.

Over to you!

Thanks so much for having me today. I’ve been busy getting ready for release day, and it’s almost here. The Journey comes out with Eternal Press on December 7, and I can’t wait!

It’s an erotic (and I mean five flames) paranormal novella with historic elements and I just love the way it all came together. Topped off by a gorgeous cover designed by Amanda Kelsey, I couldn’t be more pleased.

Can you tell us a little about your current titles and where can they be purchased?

The Journey is my second title with Eternal Press. Last January, they published my novellette Hot Chocolate Kiss.

Here are the blurbs for each, and I think readers can see for themselves.

The Journey is slow, sumptuous, much more a traditional fantasy with lots of spells, action,
and adventure. And ménage.

As the North prepares to battle the South, a witch, a sailor and escaped slaves discover the journey is not about a destination, but rather overcoming the obstacles along the way.

They don't hang witches in Salem anymore, but Milena's punishment is being shunned. When her lover Thomas' ship is lost at sea, she fears he perished with the rest of the crew leaving her alone in a town bracing for a war over slavery, but still rife with an older form of prejudice.
Milena travels into the Forest and Sea Otherworlds to search for him, paying the fairies for her passage with bodily pleasures. Circe, the evil mermaid holding Thomas hostage, demands even more. She faces off against Circe in her underwater lair, endures the wrath of a colony of escaped slaves, and learns the terrible truth of what led to the shipwreck that left Thomas as its only survivor.
On the long journey, Milena learns to use her powers in ways she never imagined and discovers surprising truths about her own past. Left questioning everything she has ever believed, she must make the choice whether to return home with Thomas or stay in the Otherworlds forever.

Hot Chocolate Kiss is a fast-paced, sexy read that guys love for the sports—on and off the slopes. It’s a great stocking stuffer or Valentine’s Day gift.

Extreme weather, three witches, two skiers fighting their own demons…and each other. Who wins?

Keela Branford’s passion for extreme winter sports, fueled by anger at a cheating soon to be ex-husband, drives her to brave sub-zero wind chills and break a lot of rules--including the one to never ski alone. There are just some battles that have to be fought despite the risks.
Keela doesn't think much of Rick Marston, a ski lift attendant who is brazen enough to question Keela's judgment. And she thinks even less of his invitation for a drink when she comes down from the summit. She's sworn off controlling jocks like her ex, and is determined to exorcise the demon of self-doubt inside her. Will Keela win the battle against The Witches waiting for her on the ski slopes? And will the heat between Keela and the man who gets in the middle rout them for good?

I’d like to invite everyone to my release day chat at My time slot is , but if that isn’t convenient, they can join in the loop chat on the Eternal Press Readers’s Group or Fever Loop (for erotic fiction). I’ll be popping in and out all day and there will be plenty of opportunities to win goodies from me and the other release day authors.

The 25% discount codes for all Eternal Press titles purchased through their website applies to The Journey and Hot Chocolate Kiss. If readers would like a personalized gift note, or prefer signed, print copies they can contact me through my website I’m running a special holiday package deal on print books, including a box of chocolates. Pricing will vary according to shipping costs.

The 25% discount code for downloads of all Eternal Press titles is given out every release day, so be sure to visit the EP chatroom or my blog on December 7.

My titles are also available in all electronic formats from Fictionwise, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing a contemporary erotic collection entitled At Home with Peter and Sandra. It’s a humorous look at a couple in the suburbs trying to re-invent their relationship. Snarky, five flames, and I’m having a blast writing it.

I’m also planning a Sexy Seasons series, featuring Rick and Keela from Hot Chocolate Kiss. Winter is covered, but I’ve got spring, fall and summer adventures planned for them including an enchanted forest hike, a trip to Salem for Samhain, and supernatural surfing in the summer.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes and no. I’ve long thought of myself as a magical realist and most of my stories are just this side of reality. Hot Chocolate Kiss and At Home with Peter and Sandra have a chick-lit feel with clipped, snarky prose. The Journey, which has more elements of high fantasy, conforms to the conventions of that genre with lush language and symbolism. It’s very different than anything I’ve ever written before.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Folks can keep in touch with me in lots of ways, depending upon their preference for level of contact:

They can take their pick, depending upon preference for level of contact.

I have a blog on Blogger,

And I’m on Twitter and Facebook if folks want periodic news and updates. I can put readers on an email list, or they can join my group. I’m really serious about not spamming or jamming people’s inboxes. Just the facts, ma’am.

My Facebook Fan Page is at!/pages/Gianna-Bruno/153839997984159?v=wall

Readers can follow me on Twitter

My website has all my contact information, forums, links to reviews, purchase information for all electronic formats and print copies of my books.

Here’s a little preview of The Journey:

Villagers swarmed around the dappled gray stallion to obstruct her passage. They buzzed like flies on dung. Since the day Milena stumbled dazed and disoriented out of the Swampscott forest, and Hecabe's lair, they'd branded her a sorceress. Thomas found her huddled near the docks, knowing little of the world and nothing of her origins, surviving only by an innate ability to forage and perform simple magic. He transformed her from an illiterate, illegitimate enigma with his love and attention, teaching her numbers, letters and the ways of the civilized.
If not for the laws on the books, and the protection Thomas provided, Milena would have been hanged. Being shunned was the extent of her punishment. And for that she owed him her loyalty and fidelity. Perhaps the winds of war blowing since Lincoln's election and the Southerners' secession now occupied the Northerners' attention, but Milena knew prejudice to be a blinder as effective as those used on skittish work horses.
"Go back into the woods where you belong, witch." A woman reached up and tugged Milena's ebony plaits. "Immodesty in dress and action. No cap covering your hair, devil worship at the full moon."
Greystone reared. The crowd fled the horse's shrill whinny and pawing hooves.
The woman spat on the ground. "Good riddance, demoness. Ride your ghost mount back whence you came."
Milena clutched the horse's middle with her legs, regained her balance and continued on to the docks. The gray, sticky aura of the sea's wrath shrouded everything in Milena's sight. Whitecaps frothed on the bay. Plumes of sea spray surged through the planks with each swell the agitated waters. A steady wind dispersed black clouds over the town.
Hateful eyes glared from a safe distance. She tethered Greystone and walked into the shipping company office. Her footsteps echoed in the room. The workers fell silent.
She approached the purser's desk. He surveyed her from the neckline of her sackcloth dress down to the battered boots on her feet. "What business have you here, witch?"
"To inquire after Thomas Harper." Milena ignored her heart pounding and stared directly into his eyes. He would not intimidate her.
"And of what interest is he to you?" A smirk spread over his face.
The vision of Thomas headed into the forest on the day he left flashed through her mind. Milena's voice quavered despite her effort. "He's my husband."
Unmoved, the brute spoke with the venom of a poisonous snake. "His ship was last seen leaving Cay West on two months ago. The ship went down, but no one knows where." His crooked smile indicated perverse delight in delivering the news.
Despair surged through Milena's body like lightning. Her heart trembled with grief, the empty pit in her soul ached. Why had the spirits not spoken the truth? She would not show any vulnerability, she would not react, she would not give them the pleasure of seeing her cry.

Great excerpt! Please drop by for the live chat with Gianna if you can, they are a lot of fun...

Comments? Questions? Gianna is waiting to hear from you.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Welcome to the fabulous Sarina Wilde!

Before we start the interview, Sarina, I have to say how much I LOVE your cover! I think the black and white with color titles look so classy and sexy. Which is exactly why I asked for that on mine, LOL! Who was your cover artist? I'd love to know.

On with interview!

1) Did you set any goals for 2010?

As a newbie author, my main goal was to get published. I’ve done that with Dream Lover in both a genre and format I’ve never attempted before. Although I spent years as a professional journalist, writing short fiction truly never crossed my mind.

2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?

I absolutely love fleshing out characters and stories. (Oops, dare I say fleshing when I’m writing erotic romance?) I am definitely not a writer who has every “T” crossed and every “i” dotted. I create amid chaos and usually add detail as I go along. All right, I sense the collective cringe of all those organized plotters out there, but when I attempt to create detailed outlines and character sketches rather than simply letting the story flow, it kills the idea.

3) The worst part?

Edits. Again, I suppose this goes back to that television journalist mentality that wants to get everything done now, get it over with, and then move on to the next project. By the time I finish doing edits and revisions, I’m so familiar with the story I never want to see it again. Sigh… But give me a few weeks, I’m sure I’ll get over it.

4) What is the book you wish you’d written?

I wish I had written Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. I would have given Scarlett her Ashley, so her spoiled Southern Belle mentality could have discovered firsthand what feet of clay her idealized southern gentleman really had. I also would have handed Rhett over to Melanie, the woman who truly appreciated who he was underneath the bad boy surface. At least that way, two people in that story might have had a HEA ending.

5) Favourite author/s & book/s?

I am an absolute J.R. Ward junkie and have already read her Black Dagger Brotherhood series several times. Her hunky vamps get into some really kinky love scenes, but I have to say, I’d want any one of those heroes to have my back in a dark alley. Another author I really enjoy reading is Nora Roberts. I’d say I’ve reread some of her books, but she’s so prolific, I’m still working my way through them all for the first time.

6) Tell us about your latest release?

Okay, first let me disclaim this by saying Dream Lover is absolutely a work of fiction, but I find that some of the best ideas usually come from one of those “what if…” moments. Dream Lover is the story of Allie Franklin who is flying to a job interview in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Allie has to run through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to catch a connecting flight, ends up with the man of her dreams seated next to her on the plane, and eventually shares a cab and a few other things with him. Flying to different places while I was a journalist, I had to make that mad dash through O’Hare on several occasions, and I did actually end up sharing a cab once with a really cute doctor (sigh), but definitely not in the way Allie shares her cab ride! Tom and Allie will really heat up a cold winter night!

7) Tease us with a blurb/short except
“You do like an audience, don’t you?”
Allie released a shaky breath. “It does add something to it.”
His fingers finished their journey, making her quiver in anticipation. “I love feeling how wet you are, but I can’t do nearly what I want right here. Why don’t we go to my room? You’ll love the view of the river, and I’ll enjoy the view much more when you’re standing naked right in front of those big windows.”
Was it possible to come just from listening to someone talk?
Tom must have seen something in her face because he tossed a twenty
on the table and growled, “Let’s go. I have some wine in the room if
you still want something.”

8) What is your favourite attribute of the hero and heroine?

They both have a mentality for seizing the moment, which I admire in people. I think truly successful individuals must live their lives with that in mind. In addition, I really like how romantic the hero is. He is truly the one who believes in love at first sight, and is willing to go after what he wants.

9) What’s next?

More writing. Definitely. I have several works in progress. Another short story which I hope to complete soon, and a novel length erotic romance I’m still working to finish.

10) Tell me where you write?

We have a small office right in our master bedroom suite, so it’s easy to write whenever the muse hits. I usually have one or two cats and one or more of the Jack Russell Terrorists snoozing on and under my feet while I work. I listen to music a lot while I write. I find it helps me focus and tune out some of the other distractions.

11) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?

I would absolutely love to be in a position where I could support myself solely from writing. Now that the publishing door has opened and I have my foot firmly wedged inside, I’ll keep writing and submitting. Storytelling has always been one of my favorite activities, and I have loads of ideas.

12) Where can we find you?

Dream Lover is available through The Wild Rose Press as an e-book. I love to hear from readers, so you can also email me at

Great interview, Sarina! Our reading tastes are so similiar, it's eerie - TOTALLY understand where you are coming from with Nora's backlist, LOL! I am still making my way through too - great, great storyteller. Currently reading Homeport and totally in love with Ryan Boldari, mmm....

Over to you, people! Comments?

Monday, 22 November 2010

Christina??? Where are you???

As I can't find Christina James at the moment, I thought I'd better fill a space until she gets back to me. But what to talk about???

I have been writing feverishly over the last few weeks but my characters seem reluctant to strip and get on with the good stuff - not a good thing for an erotic romance writer to grapple with! So the problem? They are genuinely worrying about getting to know each other before sex, are concerned about the morality of too much, too soon. I have never come up against this kind of internal battle before when writing my erotic stories.

The characters are usually confident, happy and perfectly OK with their bodies and ethics. So why is this happening? The answer, I think, is I haven't found the 'X' factor in this current work in progress yet. There must be something lacking between the hero and heroine that is stopping the clothes coming off and the foreplay starting.

I have no idea what it is yet but I will damn well get to the bottom of it!

Have any writers out there experienced this before? Or any readers read stories that you've thought, 'huh? There is no way they would have sex yet!'

I'd love to hear from you - it will make me feel a whole lot better right now!


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Welcome, Kathleen Scott, my first Loose ID guest!

Great to have you here, Kathleen! Both my readers and I would love to learn more about Loose ID and their submission procedures, editors likes & dislikes, if you have time. In the meantime, I can't wait to read your post so I'll shut up now and read!

Bad Religion by Kathleen Scott: A Loose ID Release

I can’t seem to leave my genres intact. Like some mad scientist mucking about in the lab, I like to mix things up to see the reaction and results. When I first conceived the idea for Bad Religion, it originally started out as an erotic romance set in a future far from Earth. It also started out as a novella that grew like one of those 4th of July charcoal caps that you light with a match and watch expand all over the sidewalk. Yes, I’m pretty good about establishing a word count in my head and bringing in a story within that framework. However, this time my eight-thousand word short story turned into a ninety-eight thousand word novel and the first part of a trilogy.

I tell you this because if I had just gone the straight futuristic erotic romance route, I probably would have been able to stay in the word count. Something happened though when I started to explore the background of Kree Janus and Eavan desMort, my heroine and hero of Bad Religion. Their beliefs and cultures were so vastly different that in order for them to save the world, they had to come to some kind of accord and understanding. In other words, they had to have not only a common enemy, but both fight for something they believed in that was bigger than them.

Now, I’m not talking about your average bad guy, but rather bad guys who represent horrific ideas: oppression, servitude, genocide—all added into a love story that crosses religious and cultural boundaries. All representations of such are entirely fabricated from the flotsam and jetsam of my mind. Pieces of things I’ve picked up while reading anthropology books and mythology tales that I throw together in a beaker and mix around (see mad scientist reference above.)

What happens when you start adding little pieces of this and that over the course of an entire novel is you come up with some kind of amalgamation of genre. Techno-gadgets and interstellar travel coexist with magic and Gods/Goddesses, battling it out for belief over reason.

And I like that.

I’m not one that believes because a book is labeled as erotic romance, it can’t be rich in plot or world-building. As a matter of fact I love my steamy scenes of intense sex married with complex reasons for and or against such relationships. It makes for an infinitely more interesting story, something the reader can sink their teeth into. Also, it helps when writing a series to have a larger overall arc to take threads from and tie into the next few books.

Do I ever do just straight genre fiction?

*Takes time to think* - Um, no not that I can recall. Honestly, I don’t think my mind works that way. There are too many interesting things in the universe to limit one’s self to genre or subgenre.

Here is a blurb to whet your appetite.


Kree Janus is a sexual mystic.

As the head of the Order of Sopha, it is her sworn duty to ensure her religion continues under the threat of genocide. Trapped in a warehouse by one of the theocrats' enforcers, a Druma warrior who hunts by pheromones, Kree is captured and taken to a secret hideout away from the long arm of the guards. Kree’s survival depends on the plans of her sworn enemy, a man who brings all her sensual desires and pleasures raging to the surface, even in the face of peril.

Eavan desMort is a Druma warrior.

Contracted as an enforcer for the theocratic council, he has taken an assignment to bring in the Sophite premier, Kree Janus, for execution. Eavan has plans of his own. Charged by his people to bring Kree to their settlement, he has taken vows to die for her if necessary. Nothing, however, prepares him for the overwhelming call of her flesh. It is a temptation that could mean the very loss of his honor if he gives in.


Pretending sleep, Kree held still. She forced deep, even breaths through her trembling lips. It was probably too late. He’d most likely seen her movement. She only prayed her captor had been looking elsewhere when she woke.

Why hadn’t he killed her? Had someone saved her after the enforcer shot her? It really didn’t matter. She was alive and as long as she remained so, she could still save her people.

“I know you’re awake.” His voice had the timbre of ground glass. But at the same time the confident tone sent desire shooting from her breasts to her sex.

Liquid heat settled between her legs.

Her heart pounded. Not even fear had caused such an adrenaline rush.

Her captor took in a deep breath and moaned. A swath of light spilled from a floor lamp. Kree couldn’t see his face, but his erection was visible behind the seams of his leather pants.

He dropped a tattooed hand to his thigh and shifted in the chair.

“I’m not going to hurt you.” He finally leaned into the light. Those same eagle-sharp eyes caught her in their snare like prey.

His raspy velvet voice and hypnotic gaze enfolded her, pulling her under like a drowning woman. The mystery of the other missing Sophites had been solved. By hiring the Druma warriors as enforcers, the theocrats hadn’t even given the sisters a chance at survival.

Drumas hunted by pheromones. A more effective tool when hunting a population of sexually charged female mystics had never been used. The worst part was the fact Kree’s own body had begun to betray her.

All along her nerve endings the sweet hum of desire caressed her under her skin, leaving a hot trail of need in its wake. All her strength and concentration remained fixed on her fake slumber. If he moved or came near her now she’d go up in flames without a fight.

But she had to fight. That’s all the Sophites had left.

Despite her best efforts, her nipples hardened under her thin shirt.

The Druma enforcer let out a long hunger-filled growl.

He stood, his pants hugging every hard curve of his impressive physique.

“If you don’t want to talk now, that’s all right. We can have an entire lifetime to know each other. But make no mistake, Kree Janus, you will obey me on this journey.”

He put one knee on the bed. Leaning over, he brushed his mouth against hers. “I have ways of making you cooperate.”


From Bad Religion by Kathleen Scott, a Loose ID release. Now Available.


Such an interesting post, Kathleen. I have a UK writer friend who suffers from the exact same creative problem of mixing genres but the main thing is she LOVES her stories as you clearly do too. That's what matters, that's what readers can feel and that is what will sell books - genuine author love of their stories! Over to questions and comments...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Sayde has something to say about men and pregnant dogs!

I am SO happy to welcome back my new friend, Sayde Grace! Funny, happy and a great writer, today Sayde is talking about the stuff we all like to discuss - HUSBANDS!!

Hello everyone!! Thanks so much to our lovely host today for having me here! I love doing guest blogs but sometimes I have to stop and think about what I’m going to write about. I love adding an excerpt and picture of my latest book but I also like to discuss things about life first.

Some of you that follow twitter may already know I’m married with two young children. And you will already know about my latest rant! But for those of you who don’t know I’ll tell you now ☺ My husband is a big hunter. We have dogs specifically trained for his sport and we have nothing but females. For some reason the male dogs never last around our house. Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that we have four females who constantly growl and bark at them. But let’s get on with the story.
A few years ago my husband decided it was time to take his “prize” hunting dog to get bred. Well I wanted no part in this but he went through with it anyway. The poor thing had a false pregnancy!! Now at the ripe age of 11 he took her once again to get bred. This time it took!
So I wasn’t thrilled with this news this time either. Why? Well the hubby will start off real strong on caring for the female and the pups. But within a week or so it’ll be me mainly caring for them. Now, that would be all right if it wasn’t for the care he’s already started. Five years ago when I was seven months pregnant with our little girl the hubby worked on the crib for all of an hour before declaring it was a piece of shit and to just buy one already put together. Two years later same thing! At seven months pregnant each time, I rolled around on the floor putting together the “piece of shits” . I’ve laughed over this for years, it’s a great story to tell. BUT now that his “prized” dog is having puppies he has spent two days building a puppy mansion!! Needless to say I’m hoping he will be happy living in it ☺
So I told you all that story to tell you this story. I’ve read several authors and readers rant on twitter. I enjoy a good rant once and a while. But I’ve read a few political rants and some “I’m so drunk and that dude at the bar is FINE” tweets. An editor that I follow recently blogged about tweeting too much information can be harmful for your career. I totally believe this. So what do you feel is too much info? Is my puppy rant too much information for you?

For more about Sayde you can find her on twitter and FaceBook as Sayde Grace. Her personal website
Her website Group Blog Personal Blog

Her second novella in her Built Cowgirl Tough series, THE HARDER THEY BUCK, was just released with The Wild Rose Press under their Scarlet Rose Line.

Raised by parents who don’t believe in affection, Melanie Brantley developed a hard-edged outlook on life...and love. But then along comes a cowboy who makes her blood boil, and not only with anger. A fact that scares the hell out of her. Enough that she seeks solace at Minx, a club that caters to the more carnal pleasures.

After recovering from a bull ride gone wrong, Lance Wright is ready to move forward and he's set his sights on Melanie. Her temper tells him all he needs to know about the passion he'd find in her bed. The wildcat fights him every step of the way, but she's in for a surprise. The harder Melanie bucks, the more Lance wants to ride.
The alarm on Melanie’s cell phone vibrated, thank god. She’d stayed the hour and a half she’d promised. Time to get the heck outta here.

“Someone important?” Lance’s low voice whispered behind her.

Melanie tensed. She’d been just about to run for the hills. “Kinda. What do you want?” She turned and stared at him. His deep brown hair was half hidden under his black cowboy hat, and his long sleeved orange and white plaid shirt stood out in a sea of red and green shirts. His eyes danced with mischief, and she fought not to dance with them. One thing she did love was a guy to play with, and Lance was always ready to play.

“I’m glad you invited your sister up for the holidays. She’s nice. I was worried when Billie said she was coming up.” He smirked. “It’s hard enough around here with you, but I sure didn’t need another woman threatening me with bodily harm.”

“Leave my baby sister alone,” she nearly growled.

“Can’t do that—unless you’d like to take her place. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings a bit if you’d hold off on hurting me to go out with me, at least once.” He leaned close, his spicy cologne filling her nose and setting her on path to sure destruction. “All that passion you have, I can help you put it to good use.” He nipped her ear.

She wanted to lean into him, to press her body against his and do just what he’d said. Yes, she knew he’d use her passion to drive her to the brink of madness, and what was more, if she let him, she would drive herself further. There was something about Lance Wright that upped her emotions. Never before had a man stirred such hate and love. She’d always heard the line between love and hate was thinly veiled, and standing so close to Lance, feeling his body heat against hers, she knew it was the truth.

Great taster, Sayde! Feels & sounds a great story - can't wait to buy it. With regard to your post question - this type of Tweet is great! I think followers like to get to know the writer, want to see the human side of them that makes them real. A rant about what's going on if your life without being malicious is perfect!

What do you think everyone? Let's get talking!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Leah St. James - so is it erotica?

Leah St. James has written a book that spans the genres and is here to talk about the difficulties she has faced in doing so... hurrah, for The Wild Rose Press for taking a great book and letting the author express themselves however the story dictates.

"So, tell me about your book."

There they were, the words I'd been hoping to hear, the culmination of months of work. The chance to pitch my completed novel to a real live editor of a bonafide publishing company. Forget the anxiety that was causing my heart to hammer and my throat to close up as if I'd just ingested some deadly allergen. Months of painstaking work, of pouring over the selection of each word, of proofing and editing, came down to this moment.

I drew in a breath, tried to force a confidence I didn't feel into my voice, and expelled the sentence I'd been rehearsing for the last 72 hours.

"It's a romantic suspense about two FBI agents who go under cover as master and slave in a BDSM club to solve a murder at the Jersey Shore."

My heart resumed with a solid thud, the air that had been trapped inside my lungs released, and I crossed my fingers while I waited for her reaction. In my dreams it was a gleeful smile, a shouted "Yes!" followed by a furtive glance around the room to make sure none of the other editors at the conference had heard or seen her excitement. The editor of my dreams would want me all to herself, after all.

But the editor of my reality did none of those things. She sat back in her chair, twirled a pencil between her fingers and narrowed her eyes at me while she considered. Finally she said, "So it's erotica."

"Well, no," I said. "It's not erotica, but it does contain erotic content."

She shook her head, her forehead puckered now in a bit of a frown, and leaned forward to emphasize her point. "That's not possible. You can't have one without the other."

Now, this might have been my first agent/editor pitch, but I'd read all the books and articles. I'd learned all the rules, a cardinal one being Never Argue With The Pitchee. While you want to make an impression, you don't want to make the wrong one. So if the editor/agent isn't interested, simply thank him or her for the time and move on. But boy was I tempted. This editor was wrong. So wrong. You can have one without the other. I'd done it, after all.

Certain of the validity of my position, I moved on and pitched to an editor at The Wild Rose Press who happily agreed. I was vindicated! After another year of edits and other pre-publication tasks, my baby was due to launch, and that's when my really hard work startedfiguring out how to market to a readership I hadn't fully defined.

My book, Surrender to Sanctuary, is a romantic suspense with a plot that twists and turns its way through the search for a killer and the discovery of an ancient religion, while examining a sexual lifestyle (BDSM) that is rarely revealed to the outside world. It's a love story with steamy sexual content, but it's not erotica.

As I understand the definition of erotica, the goal of the story/plot is the exploration of one's sexual identity. In today's market, a specific writing style is used as well, one that's sexually graphic in content and language, language I'm not entirely comfortable reading much less writing. (After all, I'm a child of the seventies, when euphemisms reigned supreme!)

That's not to say that my book is in any way modest, or lacking in sexual specificity. No, my characters are much freer with their bodies than I am with mine! I mean, they go under cover in a sex club, and have to perform convincingly or risk discovery, and death! My bad guys are really bad too, having no trouble being explicitly evil.

My sister, who prefers to not read books with sexual content, especially when written by yours truly, told me, "If I were to write a review of your book, I'd say, 'If you like sex, buy this book. It's full of sex. Sex, sex, sex!'" I wasn't sure whether to feel complimented or insulted! And to be fair, that's the perception of someone who prefers to NOT read about such things. Conversely, someone who enjoys erotica might find the book on the mild side. We all have different tastes, different levels of comfort. To borrow the old adage: One reader's trash is another reader's treasure.

It's my experience that readers know what they like, and they typically don't wander too far off the pathways of their chosen genres. So when I finally realized that erotica, like porn, isn't so much about a dictionary definition, but about the reader's perception, I understood that long-ago editor's concerns. Yes, an author can write whatever she wants and mix genres to her heart's content. But how does she market a book that jumps genres or defies standard labels?

Should I label my book "erotica" because of the subject matter and sexually explicit content? Or would the lack of that specific language (the words that sometimes make me blush) and the story line that's not about sexual discovery, but about two people who fall in love while solving a murder, cause the aficionado of erotica to drop it with disgust? Do I call it "hot" for the reader who prefers a more mild content and "mild" for the reader who prefers scalding?

Either way, I thought, someone is going to be disappointed, possibly even feel misled or ripped off, and that thought was enough to paralyze me, marketing-wise, for the few weeks preceding the book's release. Here I was, a brand-new author, trying to announce to the world about the fruits of all my hard labor, but uncertain of my audience! So I did the worst thing possible: I tried to straddle the blurry line between the two.

I'd tell friends and co-workers who know me as quiet and shy that "It's definitely spicy." Or, "If you're looking for fluff, don't buy it!" Only if they seemed interested would I go into further detail, and usually it was pretty easy to tell who were the more adventurous in their selection of reading material, and who were not. After one such exchange, a woman from my church said, "Leah, don't you want me to read your book?" I answered, "Well, not unless you like reading explicit, uh, um…." My voice trailed off, my face flushed, and a look of comprehension filled hers. "Oh!" she said. "Oh! Well, uh, good luck with it!" And she scurried off to tell another congregant that choir member Leah had written (in her perception) a dirty book.

Luckily reactions like hers were outweighed by praise from those who loved the story, and it was those who kept me plugging away with my marketing efforts, albeit with some caution. I posted PG-level excerpts and blurbs, always with a disclaimer that the book contained language and content that some might find offensive, yet probably never with enough of a hint of the erotic nature of the book to appeal to the reader of erotic romance. Finally, sensing my somewhat schizophrenic handling of the book, one blog host said, "Leah, kink is in! Embrace the kink!"

And that was my epiphany. My book might not be erotica, but it sure does have kinky content! And that's a definition everyone understands, one I can work with. So now instead of telling people it's "spicy," I say, "It's kinky!" and leave it at that, letting people decide for themselves whether or not they want to read the book. More often than not, I'll get a smile and a maybe a wink in reply. It seems I'm not the only one to embrace the kink!

Happy reading, and writing!

Leah St. James

Leah's debut novel is available now at The Wild Rose Press. For more information, visit her at

Great post, Leah! You've certainly given us plenty to think about as both readers and writers. Do any of you guys write across the genres, or had the same experience as Leah. I can imagine that this happens quite often under the erotic banner. As for readers, why not buy the book and decide where it belongs on your shelf rather than Barnes & Nobles'!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Nana Malone!!

I am really happy to have Nana here today to promote her latest release, Game, Set, Match. I spoke to Nana as this book is not listed under WRP's Scarlet (erotic) line but under their mainstream titles so I wasn't sure if it was one for this site....but all is well as Nana assures me the content is hot enough to justify being here, yummy!!

Shall we get started? Welcome, Nana...

1) What is your writing routine?

Ha! Routine? I wish. I used to have this gorgeous color coded schedule by book series, length, time to write etc….then I had a baby. So now I squeeze in writing at work on my lunch break or when the little nugget goes to bed and hubby is occupied with basketball on the tube.

2) Which author/s inspire you to write?

I’m so glad you asked me for more than one J It would have taken way too long to pick just one. I could show you my crazy over-organized side and give them to you by genre, but I’ll spare you and just give you a couple. Misty Evans, Kimberly Kaye Terry, Eve Vaughn, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Sandra Brown.

3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

Oh, I read them all. Contemporaries, Westerns, Paranormals, Urban Fantasy, Multicultural, even the odd historical. Write now, I write mostly multicultural contemporaries. But I might be trying my hand at a paranormal soon.

4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

Rejection? With poise and aplomb…Okay, then after I stop lying to myself, I have a good cry and/or throw something.

As for criticism, it depends of if I can do anything about it. If it’s a work in progress and I get criticism or feedback, I try to listen, see how the suggestion or change feels.
IF it makes no sense to me, I pretend I never heard it. If it makes sense to me, I see what I’m willing to alter. If there’s nothing I can do about it, particularly if it’s on the shelf – Please see earlier comment about throwing something.

5) What do you expect from an editor?

For them to help me be the best writer I can be and push me to be the best even when I don’t’ want to be.

6) Tell me about your latest release

Game, Set, Match is a contemporary romance set in Los Angeles. It’s story of lost and reacquainted love. In a world of flash and not much substance, Jason is looking to find meaning in his life again, while Izzy is struggling to keep her family together while building her career. Both characters need to overcome their self doubt, trust barriers and the pains of the past to find their way back to each other.

7) Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt


Blurb: Off the court, tennis star Jason Cartwright’s playboy image is taking a public beating. On the court, he’s down forty-love. A knee injury is shutting down his game, and the paparazzi are splashing his love life on every magazine. A comeback is in order, but the makeover he needs to save his faltering career is in the hands of the woman he loved and left fifteen years ago.

While single-mom, Izzy Connors, sees people for who they really are through the lens of her camera, even without it, she knows Jason isn’t the star he appears to be. Although his charm and good looks haven’t dimmed since he broke her heart, all she sees is his wasted talent and playboy lifestyle.

Can Izzy put the past behind her and help Jason get his game, and his image, back on track? Or will the click of her camera shatter his world as well as his heart?

8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Why?

That’s easy, Jessica. How can you not love her? She’s loyal, a great friend, and she’s not above threatening evil people. Plus most importantly, she’s hilarious.

9) What is next for you?

I’m currently writing my first series centered around three best friends. It’s going to be a little hotter. Not quite erotica, but definitely sizzling.

10) What are you working on right now?

Lots of Promotion and writing. I’m doing NaNo, so I’m feeling a little insane.

11) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Write, learn, and stay focused on your goals. Sounds simple doesn’t it? All kinds of things will act as obstacles. But if this is your dream you won’t let anything stand in the way of it.

12) Where can readers find you?

You can find me on my website – On Twitter – On Facebook –

Really enjoyed your interview, Nana - totally with you on the criticism thoughts. Listen and then act only on the stuff you agree with. The rest? Sorry...can't hear you! LOL!

Nana wants to talk, so let's get chatting!

Friday, 5 November 2010

It's a Giveaway Weekend!!

Good morning!!!

I woke up and decided it's about time I gave away a pdf copy of Explicitly what do I want from you in return??

Nothing serious. Nothing strenuous. All I want is a bit of fun.

Here is an excerpt from the the story - at the end I will give you three options for 'What Happened Next?' All the correct answers will go into a pot and I will select a winner on Sunday evening. Simple. Here's the excerpt...

He abruptly looked up and stared at her in that sexy, intimate way again. This time Laura held fast. There was no mistake—pure unadulterated yearning burned hot in those inky pools of loveliness. Laura’s pussy twitched. She would bet a hundred pounds he was thinking about what he’d like to do to her. And honey, that was just fine with her.

She smiled. He lowered his paper, smiled back. And her stomach immediately executed a strange loop the loop. Maybe she should have a little fun on the way to the meeting. Let him catch a cheeky eyeful of her pussy, while appearing oblivious to the fact that her skirt had crawled way up past thigh level. She squirmed deliciously in her seat and turned her suddenly hot cheek to the cold pane of the window.

Her naughty and impossibly dirty conscience sat on her right shoulder, while her good, ambitious, and hardworking conscience teetered precariously on her left. Laura abruptly flicked her off with a mental tip of her head. If she’d learned nothing else since her parents’ death, she’d learned about living for the here and now...


a) She walks over and straddles his lap

b) She executes her own fun - while he watches

c) She kisses another male passenger in front of him

That's it! Email me your answer at

Winner announced on Sunday - Good Luck!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Fabulous erotic romance author, KyAnn Waters!!

I am so thrilled to welcome KyAnn to my blog today - she is one of my favourite erotic romance authors. Can't wait to read her post and ask if she'd mind sharing a bit about her experience working with erotic romance e-giant Ellora's Cave!

Welcome, KyAnn!

Life is not a romance novel…or is it?

By KyAnn Waters

I’ve heard it said that sex can never be as good as it is in a romance novel and that real men are nothing like the heroes in romance novels…or are they?

From the first blush of love that tugs at your tummy to the sultry stories that make you hot and squirm on your chair, romance stories inspire and titillate. We lose ourselves in dark fantasies where the bite of a vampire is as erotic as the forbidden kiss from the boss. Whether your knight in shiny armor storms to your rescue on a majestic steed, or you imagine yourself as the heroine and are carried away into the whimsy of fantasy romance, you’re transported into the imagination of the author. Heroes are cunning, intelligent, resourceful and edgy. They’re strong and handsome and if you’re reading one of my stories, he’s wielding an impressive weapon (and yes, I’m talking about that weapon) and his skills are unmatched. Now you have to wonder…where in the hell are all the real life heroes?

Reality—men are often in a hurry and thank god, because the kids want dinner and the laundry needs folded. And if you even think about a little midnight affection, be prepared to die because the alarm clock is going to scream at five a.m. and this heroine needs her sleep!

I’ve heard some outrageous misconceptions, but I know why I write erotic romance. I love great sex! I love to read erotic romance because I love great sex! And I love to tell stories of love and lust.

I don’t expect a hero (or two) from one of my stories to come into my bedroom. My husband is probably happy about that since I’m mostly writing m/m erotic romance these days. But I wonder if women really expect of their mates. I’m happy when mine gives me time alone to write, helps with the house and calls on his way home from work. (Yeah, this is probably because he knows I spent the day writing and nothing is ready for dinner. lol.) I find that incredibly romantic because he’s thinking about me.

So are women truly looking for what they find in a book? Or like me, is it about the fantasy and that reality is much better than any fictional super hot alpha man that can rock between the sheets…and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

KyAnn Waters writes for Loose id, The Wilder Roses, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing and Siren Publishing. Visit her at

Upcoming release from KyAnn Waters.

The Naughty List

T’was a week before Christmas and Mrs. Claus conspires. Proposition Jack Frost to give Santa his greatest desire…

The deviant Dominant Jack Frost can be good, very good. Only for being so good at being so bad, Santa keeps him on the naughty list. What would Jack do to get on the good list? Kidnap Santa? With the help of Mrs. Claus, Jack could force Santa’s submission and give him the one thing he’s always wanted—to be on the naughty list. Then Jack could show Santa just how very good he can be.


Copyright © KYANN WATERS, 2010

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“It’s early, Mrs. Claus.” Although winter in the quiet magical town of North Pole would always be dark if it weren’t for the colorful lights twinkling on every house, tree and lamppost. Snow softly fell, sparkling like fairy dust on the evergreens outside the picture window. Jack Frost had been summoned to the Claus residence. Normally, he wouldn’t give a fuck, but the request came from Mrs. Claus herself. “Was there something you wanted?”

“Yes,” came her sultry response. “Being so close to Christmas, Santa is in his workshop.” She stirred his spiked mulled cider, licked the swizzle stick, drawing her delicate pink tongue along the length then closed her succulent red glossy lips around the red and white striped stem and sucked. “And please, call me Abby.”

“So you’re looking for someone to help you pass the time, Abby?”

She tilted her head coyly to the side. “I won’t deny that I need you, Jack.” Her eyes closed, her long lashes sweeping low then lifting. Her piercing sapphire eyes met his. “I’ll do anything to get what I want.”

Fuck, his dick stiffened at the veiled invitation. Her hips beckoned as she sauntered across the room.

“At this time of year, Santa doesn’t have time for me. He tries, but I have rather ravenous needs.” She handed Jack his drink, bending over to give him a perfect view of her tits. She had a rack made for fucking. Full-rounded mounds of milky white flesh and large cherry nipples. He licked his lips. The books had this Mrs. Claus all wrong. She wasn’t plump and smelling of sugar cookies.

“Thank you,” he said and sipped the hot and spicy drink.

“You’re very welcome, Jack.”

The current Mrs. Claus dripped sex. Santa didn’t bellow ho ho ho on Christmas night because he was jolly. The man had an insatiable wife. Last year, she asked Santa for a party with the elves. He’d given into her because…well she was on the good list and Santa didn’t have the ability to tell her no. Santa was inherently good. He didn’t know how to be naughty. Not like Jack. Mrs. Claus needed a bit of naughty now and again. So if her name was on the good list, and her name was always on the good list, she got exactly what she wanted on Christmas.

And that was never Jack.

Jack Frost had never been on the good list. For as good as Santa was, Jack was bad.

Mrs. Claus sat on the armrest of his chair and combed her red painted nails through the blond hair at Jack’s nape. “So, Jack, you haven’t been good this year.”

“Depends on how you interpret good.” He rested his hand on her hip, gently squeezing his way to her ass and showing her exactly what his good intentions would include. “I could be good.”

A chuckle passed her sultry lips. “You’d like to be good. I know what you want for Christmas.” Her nails raked down his back, scoring along his spine. “You’d like to be on the good list,” she whispered. “And I know why.”

Saliva pooled in his mouth as her nipples tightened beneath the tight fabric of her slinky red holiday dress. The plunging neckline teased him with a glimpse of her areolas. “I thought Santa was the only one who knew everything.”

A lecherous smile tilted her lips. “Oh Jack,” she purred as she stood and slinked around the back of the chair, letting her fingertips trace his broad shoulders. “You are exactly right. Santa does see everything. He sees you when you’re sleeping…and he knows when you’re awake. He knows the devious little tricks you play and all the naughty things you crave. You see, that’s why I know you’re the only one who can help me.”

Love it! LOL! What a start to Christmas! I have yet to write a seasonal story of any kind and if you read my last post you will all know I am keen to change that - can I ask your advice, KyAnn? How soon before each holiday would you recommend I submit my story for consideration?

KyAnn would love to answer any questions and comments!