Monday, 28 February 2011

Wild Rose to Carina - Welcome Taryn Kincaid!


Hi, Taryn!

Great to have you visit with me again today. Since we last spoke you have signed a contract with Carina Press so huge congrats! They look a brilliant publisher and I am thinking about submitting something to them in the future.

I wish you loads of luck with sales and look forward to hearing more about the release in the interview, so let's get started!

1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?

Hmm. I want to say “always.” As an undergraduate English major, immersed in all things F. Scott Fitzgerald for a semester, I kind of thought that drinking in Paris and dancing in fountains in New York seemed very fine, an awesome goal, something I might want to do. Until I learned that the Fitzgeralds, especially Zelda, were more or less loony-tunes, and that I am neither much of a drinker nor the sort of exhibitionist comfortable dancing in fountains. But still…it’s more fun than being an unpublished author!

2) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

I want to give a shout out to Trish Owens of The Wild Rose Press’ Scarlet Rose line, my first editor. Trish edited Sleepy Hollow Dreams. One of her pet peeves is the word “move.” I’ve also come to think it’s not all that. There’s always a better word, a more right word. I’m sort of partial to “sidle.” Also learning to stamp out (as opposed to “move”) “filter” words like “felt” and “heard” when I find them.

3) Favourite author/s?

Depends on the day. I often go in spurts. A Regency-reading jag. A paranormal jag. Lately I love Nalini Singh and Larissa Ione. I’m just starting Zoe Archer’s Blade of the Rose series, which was highly recommended to me. If I like the first book in a series, I’ve got to get them all!

4) What is your typical day?

Eh. I’m a lawyer. You really don’t want to know about my typical day. Trust me.

5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us.

Here is the blurb from HEALING HEARTS:

As a girl, Emma Whiteside asked Adam Caldwell, Viscount Riverton, to wait for her to be of marriageable age. Now, twelve years later, Emma hates Adam as much as she once loved him, holding the former army major responsible for the death of her brother on the battlefield.

Adam already blames himself for the loss of the men under his command. But the fiery young woman Emma's become sparks his arousal, as well as emotions Adam thought long dead. The passion between them makes him want to reclaim the man he was before the war.

Though she tries to hold on to her hatred, Emma's longing for Adam is undeniable, especially after the two share a smoldering kiss. Still, Adam is certain no woman would want a man so damaged. Can Emma prove him wrong?

And here is an excerpt:

The wind blew off the sea, moaning and wild, buffeting the man pacing the cliffs.

Hidden by a wall of rock, Emma Whiteside shielded her eyes against the bite of salt spray and continued to watch him, as she did every dawn.

Today, she thought. Today she would approach him at last. Confront him. Give him the royal tongue-lashing he deserved.
She had nothing left to lose, after all. And she might not have the opportunity tomorrow. Or ever again.

The things I will say to you, Riverton, will peel the skin from your bones and lay you lower than anything Napoleon's Grande Armée had to offer.

A small voice nagged Emma from within, the advice reasonable considering her current dire circumstances. Better to seek the man's aid than chide him. But she snapped her mind closed against the unwanted counsel. The viscount was the last man on earth she'd ever ask for help.

Grief chilled her, numbed her heart, deadened the tender feelings she'd once had for him. Only her need for vengeance broke through her frozen emotions now. She longed to set Riverton in his place, however little effect her words might have on a man so impervious to remorse.

But once again Emma could neither confront him nor beseech him. The evidence of his stiff-necked pride—and her own—continued to hold her back with as much force as if an unseen hand pressed down upon her shoulder. She glared in the man's direction, as if it were his hand oppressing her.

Fierce gusts punished him, impeding his tortured progress. Pain twisted his handsome features but he confronted the gale without flinching. A tiny chip splintered off from the ice sheath encasing Emma's heart.

Damn him.

How do you bear it, Riverton? Are you made of stone?

She knew he was not. She saw the agony against which he fought, the stalwart way he pushed himself onward, despite the uneven gait that hampered his progress.

A cold blast of wind whistled past, ripping the hood of Emma's cloak aside, whipping her hair against her neck. The frigid current stung her eyes, wringing reluctant tears. She blinked the moisture away and rubbed the damp trail from her cheeks.

No tears, she instructed herself. Not for him. Never for him.

Riverton wore no coat or cravat. His linen flapped about him, white shirttails torn from his trousers—an unlikely flag of surrender when he refused to give quarter.

Did you stand so against the French?

Emma could think of no oath dark enough to curse a man so remarkably stoic. She envisioned him in her mind's eye, saber raised, hastening up and down the lines, shouting at his men to hold: Major Adam Caldwell, Viscount Riverton, at his most courageous.



She shuddered, conjuring the brutal attack that haunted her grimmest moments, the scene clouded by smoke and thunder, blurred by the limits of her grief and imagination. The battle where her twin had fallen, belly pierced by an enemy bayonet.

Michael admired you so, Riverton. I will never stop blaming you. 'Tis time you knew it.

Anger burned within her breast, bright as her love for the viscount once had.

And yet...her gaze swept him again, lingering on the trousers that molded his muscular thighs, the loose shirt that emphasized the breadth of his shoulders. 'Twas but the vicious wind that stole her breath, she told herself.

You can find more excerpts and reviews on the Healing Hearts page of my blog, http://dreamvoyagers.blogspot.com

6) Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?

I never really know how to answer this. Adam and Emma are so clear in my head, I can’t picture actors! Angela Waters captured them perfectly on the cover of Healing Hearts. Especially Adam. His scars. His five o’clock shadow. I drool. He has beautiful eyelashes, don’t you think?

7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?

Adam has lived in my head for a while. He is based on a character I wrote some years ago, whose story never really went anywhere because the heroine was kind of ridiculous and the plot was kind of non-existent! But then Emma introduced herself to me and from the first scene, in which she spies on Adam from afar, she had me wanting to tell her tale. Really got me going. Not sure where we were all going, but we were going. Definitely wrote it as it came.

8) What surprised you the most when you became a published?

That people you don’t know actually read your books! And often comment on them, even have discussions about them. And, also, the amount of work and time involved in promoting and selling. I don’t think most aspiring authors realize how much of a business publishing is until they get that first contract.

9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?

I have a den that’s between my kitchen and living room. Usually, it is piled high with books, papers, boxes, junk, clothes, hangers (it’s got a pretty roomy closet that’s still not big enough for the overflow!) I have hoarder tendencies, it seems. I work better when it is clean. It is almost never clean!

10) What’s next for you?

Lots of super sekrit stuff in the works, including a romantic suspense, which is a real departure for me. And I’d like to revisit Sleepy Hollow one of these days. Paranormals and historicals. Love ‘em.

Come visit me on my blog at http://dreamvoyagers.blogspot.com

I’m on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TarynKincaid

And on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/taryn.kincaid1

Healing Hearts is available now at CarinaPress.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other on-line booksellers.

Taryn & I are looking forward to your questions and comments!


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Yeehaa!! Cowboys and erotic romance - it doesn't get much better!

Happy, happy, happy to welcome Desiree Holt to my site for the next few days. Desiree writes fantastically sexy and romantic Western erotic romances with heroes I could bite, LOL!

I'd better pass you over before I get over-excited...

Rawhide – it’s just what the name implies

Raw. And that’s the way the people at Rawhide like their sex.

What’s a man to do when his sexual preferences far exceed the bounds of vanilla but he lives and is a prominent member of a very conservative community?

Reece Halloran was tired of flying all over the country to private fetish clubs to fulfill his sexual needs in an appropriate environment, with partners he could trust but had no other connection to. Certainly any of the women in his community would head for the hills if they knew about his taste of the sue of the single tail whip.

But Reece is a wealthy rancher, and so, with his friend Clint Chavez he opened the very posh, very exclusive fetish club, Rawhide, on the outskirts of the Texas Hill Country. Privacy guaranteed. Membership vetted. Everything in the club including all the toys top of the line. And maybe – just maybe – a place to find that one person to complete your life in the D/s relationship you need.

And that’s the concept for my min-series, Rawhide, a series-within-a-series-in The Wild Rose Press’s Cowboy Kink. The first story, Crack the Whip, belongs to Reece. Imagine how startled he is when he meets the new manager of the club his partner has hired – Katie Warren, the woman he loved who ran from him ten years ago when he tried to introduce her to BDSM play. But Katie’s fresh from her job as accountant for three fetish clubs in Atlanta and now the lifestyle has become something she craves. But will these two be able to pick up the threads of their life and building together in a perfect D/s situation? What happens when she sees Reece Crack the Whip?

In Slapping Leather, Liz Gillibrand has long been a BDSM player but like Reece Halliday has had to take her pleasure in places far away from her work. Why? Because Liz is the new owner of the Lucky L Horse Ranch, where her reputation and her control are the two things that she values the most. The things that allow her to keep her placed in the community and her staff in line. But Liz has known Reece for a while and become very good friends with his wife, Katie. She’s stunned when Katie tells her about Rawhide and invites her to attend one night as a guest. She’s even more shocked when the Dom she meets there is the very sexy Alex Wright, uncle of one of the young girls she’s training for barrel racing.


Liz has reservations about beginning something with the relative of a client, but she’s even more worried because she’s never completely recovered from a D/s relationship that went bad. Trust was broken, and she’s not sure if she can find it again? Can the Hallidays help her see what she’s missing if she walks away?

Watch for the debut of this series-within-a-series in March. And meanwhile check out my other two Cowboy Kind title, Back in the Saddle and Eight Second Ride. Available at The Wild Rose Press and at all the virtual bookstores.

And come visit me at www.desireeholt.com

Leave me a comment today and I’ll draw a winner for their choice from my backlist.

Desiree Holt 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 ages 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 a CAPA Award, winner of two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit, 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.”

You can find her at www.desireeholt.com and www.desireeholttellsall.com


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Siren Publishing author Eliza March is talking Goals...

Welcome to my site, Eliza! When I received your post through, I couldn't wait to read it as I've never had a guest talking about achieving goals before and it is often a subject raised in so many writer interviews. How do I achieve mine? Hard work and belief, end ofI!

Now let's here from someone a lot more inspiring than me, I suspect...

How to Achieve Your Goals by Eliza March

I always refer to my vivid imagination and my ability to identify with my characters as my multiple personality disorder. I believe it was inspired by my career choice. In a service industry, you learn to be what people want or expect in order to make your way. Apparently, I learned my lessons well. Now I write books to immerse those various characters in their own stories and as an author I please myself, and hopefully my readers, too. I want to share something I learned about achieving one’s goals. Perhaps this is something we can all practice.

I most admire those people able to do or have an interest in many things, those involved and/or who inspire others to do likewise. When you think about the people who are most memorable to you, they seem to know so much about so many different and varied things. The one character in my life who inspired me, who was my guru, my mentor, was like that.

·
First rule he taught me was to FOCUS. If you want something, IMAGINE it, VISUALIZE it. Put a picture in your mind, see yourself accomplishing it, and you will.

· The Second rule, SEE what isn’t obvious. The first time I saw an olive grove was with this man. I mentioned how I loved the gnarled shape of the trees, and then he proceeded to tell me everything there is to know about growing the trees, preparing the olives, using them: canning, jarring and pressing them. He tied their story to the local economy, told me how that family of growers had fought during the depression, became successful despite the odds.

· Third rule - QUESTION everything. What’s really happening? If I mentioned anything to him, he could tell me about it down to its chemical composition. He made the grove come alive for me. It became more than the gnarled trees. It became lives, and industry, a story. And everyone and everything has one.

· And the fourth rule, maybe the most important rule, is when you can look into your heart, BELIEVE you can have it, anything.

Just watch what you can achieve following these four simple points, but don’t let anyone or anything sway you.

Good luck and best wishes . . . Eliza March

Love it, love it, love it!! What a wonderfully inspiring post, Eliza. I have read articles and seen programmes that say over and again, in order to achieve what you want you must see it and believe it. These two things are key. Great job, thank you for being here!

Eliza and I would love to hear your stories and tactics...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Novella number two, SOLD!!!!


If you are not following me on Facebook then you will not yet know my news....


I HAVE CONTRACTED MY SECOND NOVELLA WITH THE WILD ROSE PRESS!!!!!

Did you hear what I said? You did? Good! I am so excited after having months of worry that even though I sold one erotic romance, will I sell another? So happy and hope it will be published toward the end of the summer. The working title is Coming Back and here is the blurb:

Kelly Hampton loved and lost him – for the last two years she’s looked for him in other men but now she refuses to emotionally cripple herself any longer. No more sex until she knows for sure she is in love.

And then the love of her life walks back into her bar claiming to still love her. Her heart hitches and her body heats – no-one has ever come close to understanding her, or satisfying her like him.

When Sean McKenzie left Jessop Hill with his mother to protect her from his father’s fists, he should’ve known he would never love again after his explosively erotic relationship with Kelly. But now his father is dead and Sean is back for the only woman he ever wanted. Their reunion is full of fire, pain and passion – and once they touch, the sexual connection is too much for either of them to resist…

What do you think? Love to hear from you!

R x

Thursday, 17 February 2011

My first interview with a writing partnership!


I am so pleased to be able to host a visit for writing team, Sloane Taylor and Robert Appleton. I am so intrigued as to how you got together and how you write your books? I can not imagine anyone tolerating my writing process enough to produce a good solid story. Tell us more!

1) Did you set any goals for 2011?


ST: Not this year. After completing six books in 2010 and promoting at every available spot, I decided a slower pace was needed before my family gave me an all expense paid vacation to a facility with padded cells. In 2011, I’ll write just four books. They are for Amber Quill Press. If there’s enough time left in the year, I’d love to dig out the story I’m dying to write. Rachel, it seems I do have a goal after all.:)


RA: Like Sloane, I went a little epub crazy last year, finishing a massive SF novel, two steampunk books, and various editing/sobbing/screeching assignments. In 2011, I’m going to tackle one of my dream projects: a haunted house novel. If it turns out well, I’m going to sub it to a traditional publisher here in England (where it’s spookier).


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


ST: Plotting the characters and the storyline are awesome highs. It’s great fun to see how much trouble my leads can get into before they come to a satisfying end. Sometimes they fight me to tell more, but I believe a couple should retain some secrets.


RA: The best part of the writing process for me is that deep, sublime sigh that follows the last word of the final draft. It’s relief, pride and victory all in one…before the prospect of writing a synopsis puckers your soul. I like to prolong that after-prose high as long as I’m animally able.


  1. 3) The worst part?


ST: I am a world class procrastinator who can find every excuse not to work. The worst part of my job is to stay at the keyboard and write. Sometimes I even threaten myself with no candy after dinner if I mess around too long. It never works because my self-control is as bad as my procrastination. Lol


RA: Ditto! And sometimes, an editor asking me to describe a character’s emotion as a physical reaction drives me up the blinking wall. There are only so many ways to say, Her heart pounded. One time I got fed up and wrote, Her chest-jelly wobbled hoola-style against her ribs. No, it didn’t make the final cut, but I might keep trying until it does!


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


ST: Rachel, I’m a diehard suspense/mystery lover. Each of my books contains a small element, but I’d love to write a full-blown suspense with a female crime solver. I have one in the works tucked away. Some day. Definitely some day.


RA: You must pen that this year, Sloane. You’d write an awesome hard-boiled female detective. One book I wish I’d written is Olaf Stapledon’s SF classic ‘Star Maker’. It’s simply the most imaginative book I’ve ever read. The protagonist is out walking one night and looks up at the stars. The next thing he knows, he’s out of body and has embarked on an incredible journey that will span the entire lifetime of the cosmos…and beyond. Humbling and deeply empowering at the same time.


  1. 5) Favourite author/s & book/s?


ST: There’s not enough room to list all my favorite authors. lol. The book I cherish and read time and again is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. It’s a terrifying story of one man’s life in a manmade hellhole, a Soviet work camp in Siberia. Solzhenitsyn is a fantastic writer who makes you feel and smell everything his characters suffer. Each time I read it, I still get goose bumps.


RA: I’ll just say one for now: King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard. My favourite author and my favourite type of adventure—in uncharted places, this time in deepest, darkest Africa. I love Victorian genre writers passionately.


  1. 6) Tell us about your latest release?


RA: Sloane and I co-wrote Claire de Lune, an erotic SF mystery, last year. It was a unique co-op in that I’d already written the story in a shorter, less spicy form before I invited Sloane on board. Something about the characters in their setting—a luscious beauty pageant on the moon—had never really come alive the way I wanted. So I turned to my favourite erotic romance writer and…luckily she agreed to join forces and make the story all it could be and more. One of the best decisions I’ve made as a writer.


  1. 7) Tease us with a blurb/short except


You’re invited to the galaxy’s most prestigious beauty pageant. Clothing optional. Romance and danger…fully provided…

Cocky young detectives Gerry Rappeneau and Sebastian Thorpe-Campbell arrive at the premier lunar resort expecting a week of eye candy and long massages. With a half-billion-credit purse up for grabs, this year’s pageant is the focus of a hundred worlds. And beauty isn’t the only thing in the eye of the beholder.

One contestant, Evelyn Lyons, is attacked and her assailant killed. Surely a simple case of a stalker gone mad, as nothing bad ever happens at the Selene contest. So the brochure says.

The closer Gerry gets to Evelyn, the more he is convinced she’s hiding something. His meticulous character sparks with her wild, sassy nature, and they embark on a torrid affair. Their forbidden romance isn’t the only thing set to ignite in Pont de Reves.

Sebastian’s infatuation with demure Claire Villiers, another contestant, threatens to put all four of them in harm’s way.



A deadly trail of corporate conspiracy, monstrous assassins and hot bikini wax is more than anyone bargained for in this incendiary erotic mystery. Get ready for some serious heat on the dark side of the moon.

EXCERPT:

Evelyn’s self-esteem soared like a rocket into space as she gazed into Gerry’s dark blue eyes. All the need and desire that filled him shone through. She liked him, maybe even more than that if she were honest, and had wanted him from the moment his pompous ass walked into her hotel room. Being with him and initiating sex tonight was the right thing for her to do.

Gerry wrapped an arm around her waist, tugging her closer, as if he sensed how frail she was at that moment.

A sigh escaped her. Damn, his hard chest felt good against her achy boobs, but not as good as his rigid cock nestling into her belly.

“Evie—”

“Don’t talk.” She hadn’t heard that name in a long time, not since her father was murdered.

He nodded and traced his index finger along her bottom lip. She nipped the tip, then sucked it in, tonguing the pad until he groaned.

“Ah, Ev—” He caught her face in both of his hands and kissed her with a passion that ignited her like none other.

His tongue toyed against the seam of her mouth and she willingly opened to welcome him. He delved in, a beautiful taste of wine and herbs, lapping and swirling until her knees trembled. With a regretful sigh, she pulled away.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“Shh. No talking. It’s my little quirk.” She gently tapped his mouth, then took his hand and led him closer to the purple sand. After she stooped, she patted the floor, inviting him to join her. He made short work of sprawling out and laid his arms at his sides.

Evelyn rose up on her knees and combed her hands down his chest, flicking his nipples until they sprang to life. Intrigued by their stiff peaks, she swiped her tongue over her dry lips and leaned into him, licking and sucking the copper-colored discs.

She continued lower to the blond tuft cradling his cock. Gently, she glided her thumb over his swollen head, teasing the drops of pre-cum from the slit to the sensitive underside. Her other hand cupped his balls, rolling the tight sacs with her fingers, taking pleasure in her teasing.

His hips jerked with each light touch. He fisted his hands and dug his heels into the floor. Through hooded eyes, he watched, but did as she had requested and maintained silence.

On a rush of air, she gave his lips a quick peck and eased over him, holding her thighs tight against his lean frame. Heat emanated from his body, soothing and stimulating, a new awareness she longed to experience more than just once.

Her breasts swayed mere inches from his mouth. He stretched up and tweaked her pebbled nipples with his thumbs and index fingers. Cuddling them together, he licked and suckled the sensitive tips, first one, then the other. A deep shiver rocketed through her, increasing the ache low in her belly.

She teased his cock along her nether lips, loving the feel of his hot flesh grazing against her clit. In slow motion, she edged onto his shaft, savoring the inches that penetrated her wet vagina.

He rocked into her, clutching her hips, holding her in place. She locked her hands around his wrists and pulled them away, the need to set the pace paramount.

Time stood still. The only sounds in the room were their pants and grunts as they ground against each other. He stopped mid-thrust, his face set in a grimace.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he bit out through clenched teeth. “This is so sexy I don’t want to come.”

“I do.” She slapped his hip. “Again and again.”

Rising up on her knees, Evelyn again found her momentum and rode him harder, faster, loving

the feel of him pounding inside her. Her breath hitched as he thrust higher, deeper, tapping her womb, the sensation sublime.

Sweat beaded on her forehead. Her body tensed. She gritted her teeth, unable to control the emotion skyrocketing through her…


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


ST: We have two heroes and heroines. My favorites are Sebastian Thorpe-Campbell and Claire Villiers.

Sebastian is a man’s man in every sense of the word with a rakish sense of humor. I love how Rob created both his strong and gentle sides.

Svelte Claire is a social goddess who knows which fork to use, but also can get down and dirty if necessary.


RA: My favourite couple is Gerard Rappeneau and Evelyn Lyons. They’re both eccentric and huge fun to be around. He’s a posh dandy with an analytical brain, while she’s a sassy Scandinavian beauty who definitely doesn’t know which fork to use. Evelyn’s really the fish out of water in this story. Sloane and I collaborated most on her, and we made her a flawed but flavoursome heroine.



  1. 9) What’s next?


RA: We’re currently working on a prequel-of-sorts to Claire de Lune, featuring our favourite supporting character, the pageant’s irreverent doctor, Grace Peters. We’re going to tell her tale, and it’s a wild, unpredictable one. Lots of hot encounters and sci-fi intrigue on the Dark Side of the Moon.


  1. 10) Tell me where you write?


ST: I have a dedicated office that looks like it was taken hostage by a gang of kleptomaniacs. The lavender walls are covered with story boards and items such as jewelry, scarves, undies, a couple of handguns and whatever else is pertinent to the lead characters and plot in my future books. My glass desk is weighed down with dictionaries, thesauruses, and strewn with enough paper to start my own daily newspaper. I vow every Monday I’ll clean it up or at least organize the chaos. Somehow it never happens.


RA: I write on a desk under my bookshelves (mostly filled with DVDs). It’s a cosy little nook where the world can’t touch me and where I am master of all I survey. Until the bloody phone rings, that is. I heart (wobbly hoola-style) my writing space.


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


ST: Living and writing in a magnificent chalet on a mountainside in Austria. Of course I’ll have made enough money to also have a houseman to answer my every whim. Well, a girl can dream. lol.

What I’m striving for is to create more bestsellers in both erotic romance and mainstream suspense. An added plus would be to do my heart’s dream - a cookbook. I’m an avid cook and have hundreds of recipes to share.


RA: In 5 years, I’d like to have written at least three of my dream projects and have them in bookstores. It would take some fancy genre-juggling—as they’d be in separate sections of the store—but it’d be worth it. I’d hate to leave any of my dream projects unwritten. That thought scares the bejesus out of me.


  1. 12) Where can we find you?


ST: Just a few places so I can keep my head on straight.:) My website is www.sloanetaylor.com where each month guest authors share easy and tasty recipes. My main blog is located there, too. I’m also on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php and finally figured out how to create a fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sloane-Taylor/130811866964428?v=info&edit_info=all#!/pages/Sloane-Taylor/130811866964428?v=wall.


RA: You can find me at my website www.robertappleton.co.uk , my Mercurial Times blog http://robertbappleton.blogspot.com , and I also blog fortnightly at CONTACT: Infinite Futures, the Carina Press SF hub. I’d also be glad to friend you on twitter: www.twitter.com/robertappleton and Facebook: www.facebook.com/robertbappleton


Hot excerpt, guys! Phew-wee!! And a great interview - fascinating! So you are here in the UK too, Robert? I live in the South West. Where are you, Sloane? In the UK too? Please tell us more about your writing process - I think it's great.


Oh, and Robert, you've inspired me to read King Solomon's Mines - never read and Victoriana is one of my many passions!


Comments? Questions?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Obsessions - we all have them. Emma Jay confesses hers...


I have been known to have an obsession or two over time. I surround myself with music or books, I change my ringtone (which I did this morning) or buy a shirt (time out to look online for a new T—should I get long sleeved or short?)

Sports teams, time periods, authors, TV shows and actors are my favorite obsessions. Back in the 90s, I had a Spurs shirt for every day of the week. I currently have a stack of books set in Tudor times, I spent a fortune on eBay getting Nora Roberts’ backlist (before she started releasing those 2-for-1 reissues), I own every Larissa Ione and Colleen Gleason novel though I’ve only read the first couple of each series. I’ve seen and own every episode of Supernatural, as well as accompanying books and graphic novels.

The biggest clue when I’m obsessed? I watch movies most people have never seen based on obsessions with actors. When Javier Bardem was my obsession, I even watched Spanish movies, thanks to my local library, which has quite the Javier collection. My DVD case is a tribute to past obsessions—Jam and Kabluey, along with Season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy, thanks to Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Miracle Match, Dear Frankie, 300, Nim’s Island and Beowulf and Grendal thanks to Gerard Butler. Avatar (2 versions), Terminator Salvation and yes, even Clash of the Titans thanks to Sam Worthington.

Currently, my obsession is Justified, the F/X series, and its star Timothy Olyphant. The other night I even watched Rock Star, which was kinda painful, just for the few scenes with Tim. My Netflix queue is loaded down with his work. I can’t wait to get Deadwood J

Do you get obsessed (or should I say, passionate) about shows, actors, movies?

Emma's new story, Two Step Temptation is available from Samhain Publishing:

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/step-temptation-p-6249.html

Emma, you could be my sister, LOL! I am just like this - I often get to the point of hiding my purchases from my husband. Not because he would put a stop to my buying but because he knows me so well and knows damn well it will be something else next month. I hate it when he's right!!

My obsession right now (same as you!) is anything to do with the Tudors - I have also been fascinated by the era but because of the TV series, I am worse than ever. i want to know more and more and more!

R x


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Suspenseful Erotic Romance from Rachel Haimowitz


Great to have you here, Rachel! I see your latest release is with Noble Romance, I have been hearing better and better things about them. The cover is great!

Let's get started...

1) Where do you write?

Wherever I’m comfortable. I work from home but don’t have an office, so I spend most of my time writing at the kitchen table or on the living room couch. Occasionally in bed, if I wake up at 4am with an idea burning to get out. Right now I’m writing from the deck of a cruise ship, which I highly recommend :D

2) What is the best & worst part about the writing process for you?

The best part is definitely the end, when you’ve got this lovely finished piece you’re so proud of, that was exactly the story as you pictured it in your head, right there on the page(s and pages). Of course it doesn’t always work out that way, and sometimes it takes fifty edit passes and some great betas to make it happen, but there’s no denying the satisfaction of that moment. Tied with that moment is the first moments of conception, when that new idea crawls into your head and sinks its claws in. You start fleshing out the world, the characters, maybe the plot, mapping the shape of the book in your head. It’s like meeting someone new, going someplace new; there’s such excitement in that creative process. Alas, that leads to the worst part, which is actually trying to get that vision down on paper, especially on days when maybe the muse isn’t speaking too loudly, but you’ve got a signed contract and a due date and you’ve gotta get your words done for the day whether you feel like it or not. It’s all worth it in the end, though.

3) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I’ve probably thought of myself as a writer since I was six or seven and wrote my first pages-long story about a killer ceiling fan that came down from its moorings to chase (and decapitate) a family down the street. Yeah, I was a twisted little kid. (Actually, I still am.) But from that moment I knew this was what I wanted to do. Getting paid for it is just gravy.

4) What is the best & worst advice you’ve received about writing?

People who’ve followed my round the internets will already know the answer to this. I’ve gotten a lot of really excellent advice, but the best is to learn grammar. Know the rules inside and out so you can break them with clarity and purpose, rather than with carelessness or ignorance. Readers can tell the difference. The worst advice is to write for yourself. Or, at least it’s the worst advice if you want to get published. Of course you need to write things that excite (and incite) you, but you can’t afford to lose sight of your target audience if you want to sell your work.

5) Which comes first? Plot or characters?

Almost always characters, though beneath that umbrella I also count the world. So sometimes—actually, rather often—the worldbuilding comes first, and then the characters and/or plot.

Here’s a bio if you want to post that:

Rachel is an M/M erotic romance author and a freelance writer and editor. She originally dipped her toes into cable news and book publishing, decided the water was cold and smelled kinda funny, and moved on to help would-be authors polish and publish, write for websites and magazines, and ghostwrite nonfiction.

Her first novel, an M/M fantasy erotic romance titled Counterpoint: Book One of Song of the Fallen, released in August 2010 with Guiltless Pleasure Publishing. Her second novel, an M/M alternate-history erotic romance titled Anchored: Belonging Book One, released January 17 with Noble Romance Publishing. Her third, Crescendo: Book II of Song of the Fallen, will release in the fall of 2011. In between, Rachel is writing shorts and novellas, including the M/M BDSM collection Sublime: Collected Shorts, and a not-yet-released cyberpunk novella titled Break and Enter, co-written with Aleksandr Voinov.

You can find Rachel tweeting as RachelHaimowitz, chatting in the Goodreads forums, and blogging at Rachel-Haimowitz.blogspot.com. She loves to hear from folks, so feel free to drop her a line anytime at metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com.

And here’s the blurb for my latest release:


Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the bottom of the social ladder—being a slave—makes that hard to enjoy. Especially when NewWorld Media, the company who's owned him since childhood, decides to lease him on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.

Daniel's not stupid; he knows there's only one reason a man would pay so much for what little free time he has, and it's got nothing to do with his knowledge of current events. But he's never been made to serve like that before, and he fears he won't survive the experience with his sanity intact.

He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him time and again when it comes to ordering Daniel to bed. Daniel knows what Carl wants, but it seems as if Carl isn't willing to take it, and Daniel's not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, love just might flourish where once there'd been only fear and pain. Can Carl become the anchor in Daniel's turbulent life, or will he end up the weight that sinks his slave for good?

(Content warning: This book contains potentially triggering subject matter, including a violent rape that is NOT committed by either hero. Please take heed.)

Anchored is available at Noble Romance Publishing and Amazon.com.

Rachel and I would love to hear from you!



Thursday, 10 February 2011

Welcome fellow Wild Rose writer, Emma Lai!


Hi Emma,


Great to have you here today, I can't wait to hear about your debut erotic romance release, Twice is Not Enough. Fabulous cover, by the way! Let's get started...

Rachel thanks for letting me visit today!

I’d like to talk about what I found challenging when writing my first erotic story, Twice is Not Enough, available from The Wild Rose Press.

I’m a huge fan of Regency romance so the setting for the story came pretty easy. The challenge lay in shaping Minerva’s character. The heroines in many Regency romances are types: spinsters, bluestockings, wallflowers, headstrong and independent, horse-mad, unladylike, etc. Starting with a type is fine, but I wanted Minerva’s character to resonate with all readers.

Minerva is fast becoming a spinster since she’s on the backside of twenty and unmarried. However, in modern times, it’s not so unusual for a woman to be unmarried at thirty, and Minerva, like many modern women, has had her share of bad relationships.

Minerva’s also horse-mad, but every woman needs a hobby, and what better one than galloping across the countryside, hair whipping in the wind, the sounds and sights of nature for companionship. Not to mention the adrenaline of controlling a huge beast with a shift of leg muscles and a tug on some reins. (Not a scene in the story, but the image helped shape Minerva.)

But, Minerva is so much more than a horse-mad spinster just as all women are defined by more than their marital status and hobbies. I dug deeper into Minerva’s character and asked myself why was she still unmarried. Turns out she’s an expert at putting everyone else’s happiness above her own. (Something I suffer from myself.) And, that characteristic is what shaped the story.

My other biggest challenge? Well, it turned out to be maintaining the sexual heat enough to be classified as an erotica. I’ve written sweet (His Ship, Her Fantasy), and I’ve written spicy (His Hope, Her Salvation), but neither type of story requires an almost constant barrage of sensual thoughts and images.

First, I ignored the idea that women of the time were ignorant of sex until marriage. Not only did Minerva have a bevy of married cousins to eavesdrop on, but since she was horse-mad, it would stand to reason she understood the mechanics, if nothing else. Second, I added what I feel is a natural curiosity about sex. Third, throw in suppressed desires. Fourth, write down all those sensual thoughts Minerva has, but can’t talk about. And…we have heat, and lots of it. (I have to give credit to my editor, Lori LeBonde. She helped point out all the spots where the sexual tension could be increased.)

The end result is a story I’m quite proud of. Based on reviews, I’ve been encouraged to write more erotica and have a story submitted to The Wild Rose Press’ Cowboy Kink line and have a short story, Slave to Innocence, releasing next week with Sybaris Press.

Blurb for Twice is Not Enough:

After several disastrous engagements, Lady Minerva Peters is an expert at suppressing her own needs. Only in the darkness of night does she give in to her wanton desires with a fantasy lover.
In the middle of a crowded ballroom, she learns her father is not yet ready to let her fade into spinsterhood. Humiliated, she ducks into a dark alcove only to find out she's not alone. Her hiding spot is occupied by a captivating stranger. Before she can escape, the two become voyeurs to another couple’s sexual rendezvous. The atmosphere heats up and so does her body, especially with the tempting offers whispered in her ear.

Will Minerva deny her needs once again or will she embrace the anonymity of their seclusion and finally explore her basic impulses and the startling attraction to the compelling mystery man?

The story sounds great, Emma and I can't wait for Slave to Innocence? Can you tell us a little bit about Sybaris Press, I haven't heard of them before. Questions or comments?

Monday, 7 February 2011

At last, Nyki Blatchley is here and writing!


I know you're probably wondering why I opened the blog saying 'at last' Nyki is here, but God bless the man, I have not made it easy for him to visit, LOL! We have battled back and forth with topic choice but he has come up with a winner! I love it.

Take it away, Nyki...

Erotic romance. Some people, usually those with what are described as “old-fashioned” views (meant either as a compliment or a criticism) might say that sex has very little to do with love, and nothing to do with romance. After all, romance is all about courting, whereas sex is what you do after marriage, in order to produce children.

Well, I assume that anyone reading this blog-page wouldn’t hold that view, but the surprising thing is that it isn’t really old-fashioned – it’s a relatively modern way of looking at romance.

Our western culture’s concept of the romantic comes from the medieval rituals of “courtly love”, as described in the romances. They were called romances, in fact, because they were written in the “Romance” (Latin-derived) languages, and all modern meaning of “romance” and “romantic” derive from this.

And they were essentially about sex. The courtly lover’s purpose wasn’t to be pure and self-denying, and it certainly wasn’t marriage. The purpose of all the courting and sighing and poetry was to get the fair one into bed.

In fact, medieval courtly love was usually adulterous – Lancelot and Guinevere were the ideal couple. There are complex reasons for this, but essentially it was the double whammy that marriage was seen as nothing but a business transaction, and that noble girls usually married very young. You couldn’t be romantic about your wife (that would be ridiculous) and an unmarried girl would probably be about twelve or thirteen, unsuitable for the powerful, desirable woman the romancers idealised. That left widows, or women married to someone else.

By Shakespeare’s time, this had changed. Romeo and Juliet, for instance, does feature a thirteen-year-old girl, but this was a tale of angsty teenage romance, not of the knight wooing his lady. In a more morality-conscious age, Shakespeare got his lovers married first – but he got them into bed immediately after, and there’s no doubt at least part of the motive for this great love was that both were itching to get laid.

By the time we get to Jane Austen, sex as a impetus for romance has been replaced by social and economic motivation. The money aspect has diminished since then, though not disappeared – it always helps in a romance when the handsome hero who sweeps the heroine off her feet happens to be loaded too – but the social need for the status of marriage remained powerful.

Nineteenth and twentieth century romance, on the whole, combined this with non-erotic emotions until, with changing attitudes, the past few decades has seen sex return to centre-stage in romance, as it was in the middle ages.

Still, the erotic and romantic elements aren’t always perfectly fused, and nor should they be. Neither medieval and modern romance is all about sex, while erotic exploration isn’t always about love. My fantasy/erotic series of novellas for Lyrical Press Inc. about Kaydana the Sorceress is essentially about Kaydana’s gradual discovery and understanding of the deeper and darker parts of her sexuality. Most of the novellas involve a love-story, sometimes central, sometimes merely important, but Kaydana has to get through a lot of demons (literally as well as figuratively) before she’s in a position where she can give her heart for good.

The most recent book of the series, Kaydana and the Pool of the Gods, is primarily concerned with Kaydana coming to terms with aspects of her sexuality, but this happens against the background of a relationship that develops through the story. In Kaydana and the Lost City, to be published later in 2011, the love-story will be central, offering Kaydana the chance of lifelong happiness. Will she take it? Well, you can find out when it’s published.

You can find my books from Lyrical at http://tinyurl.com/488a954

and visit my website at http://www.freewebs.com/nykiblatchley/

Love this post, Nyki! The topic of love, sex, marriage and how it has changed over the years is a fascinating one. Isn't that why romance (whether erotic or not) remains one of the highest selling genres worldwide? We all want love...and we all want sex!

We'd love to hear your questions and comments, people....

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The lovely Becca Dale is here to share some important news...



Cancer – what a scary word. With each passing year I expect to hear that some genius has discovered a cure—that some incredible science nerd (and I mean that with the greatest respect) has discovered the gene or the innate cause of this horrendous illness. I have this amazing confidence in scientists and their abilities to see the unseen, but I am not a patient person. I want instant gratification, or in this case, I at least want answers before my daughter faces the seemingly inevitable. In my family breast cancer tends to skip a generation. It hit my great-great-great grandmother, both of my great grandmothers and my mother.
My sisters and I all have discovered benign cysts but finding that lump scared the crap out of each of us in turn as we waited anxiously for the results. My mother was not so lucky. I was a freshman in college the year she found three tiny lumps. When she went to the doctor, he told her to wait a month to see if they grew. (This was about twenty-five years ago but even then we were flabbergasted.) My dad threw the BS flag on that one, thank heaven, and immediately took Mom to another clinic for a second opinion. There she was tested and diagnosed with cancer. After a full mastectomy on one side and a partial on the other, she was considered in remission. She caught it early enough that it had not spread and she did not have to undergo radiation or chemo. She eventually had reconstructive surgery but that did not go well, and she is self-conscious about her appearance every day. Still, she would rather worry about that and be here than the alternative. Her doctor told her that she was very smart not to have waited as the strain had been aggressive and would have done far more damage in a month. Even though Mom survived and was eventually declared cured with only physical scars to memorialize the event, the emotional upheaval of cancer lingers among us as I am sure it does among families across the world.

So why am I telling you all of this? The lovely women behind Decadent publishing choose a book each month and the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. This month Kya’s King was selected to bear that honor. I will donate my share of February’s proceeds to the cause as well. I feel blessed to be part of such an outstanding group committed to the betterment of our world. Although those sexy, and oh so lovable, nerds are the worker bees making everything happen, someone needs to fund their experiments. If I can help just a little bit toward that cause, then I am happy to do so.

Blurb for Kya’s King

Tender-hearted and lonely, Kya yearns for heritage and home. The staff and animals at the sanctuary where she works have become almost family, but it is not enough. She craves the stability and acceptance she hears in the voice of her dream lover and sees in the eyes of a wounded wildcat.

Chosen to guard the royal heir, Ja claims his lost charge in a desperate attempt to save her from enemies she can not imagine or comprehend. At every turn desire and obligation clash as Kya tests his loyalty to the clan and his will to walk away. Touching her breaks the rules that he has pledged his life to uphold, but fulfilling his duty might destroy everything worth fighting for.

Both must face the roles they were born to play. Hers to lead. His to protect. Can Hannah blindly accept her responsibility as queen or will she turn her back on the extended family she longs for in order to keep the one who destroys her loneliness? Does she even have a choice?

Excerpt:
Help me.
The voice from her dream floated from the cage. Malachi’s eyes held hers without wavering. Hannah looked around for someone playing tricks on her, but the night remained still, eerily quiet as it had been every night since the big cat arrived. “Who’s out there?” No one answered her call. She strained to see beyond the dim circle of the yard light. Nothing moved.
Help me, Hannah.
Fear edged its way into her thoughts. Unconsciously, she slid toward the big cat to protect him. Her hand brushed the back of his massive paw. Malachi did not move. She crawled a little closer. The putrid smell of infection drifted from his open sore. “Do you trust me, Malachi?”
He lay still as she reached carefully through the bars and patted his neck gently. With a shaky laugh, she pulled her hand back glad it remained on the end of her arm.
“Maybe we should try this alone, you and I, huh?” She considered the insanity of the idea only a moment before she ran to the medical lab and gathered the necessary equipment. She had never treated an animal by herself but had assisted Harry often enough to feel confident in what she was doing.
Within moments she stood outside Malachi’s cage once more. The cat lay as she had left him. On her knees so as not to frighten him, Hannah inched across the safety line and sat next to the animal’s outstretched paw. She readied the antiseptic on a clean cloth and laid out bandages and antimicrobial solution. “Are you ready for this?” With a shaky smile, she gently patted his leg. “I hope so because I’m not sure I am.” Her hand shook as she picked up the cloth. “Don’t eat me, okay?”
http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=174
***

So you want to help but you don’t really like paranormal? I’ll tell you what. If you purchase a copy of any of my other works in February and send me a note saying you did so [authorbecca@yahoo.com] I will donate the proceeds from that sale to the cause as well. Reviews and buy links are available on the right hand side of my blog Becca’s Retreat: http://beccadale.blogspot.com or you can find me on Amazon.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Rachel, and I look forward to hearing from your readers. Perhaps this will be the year that cancer becomes just another illness that humans have wrestled into submission.

Wow, what a wonderful post, Becca...I am so glad your mom is living a happy and healthy life. I, too, have been touched by breast cancer. It was a scare on my part but I have two cousins (sisters) who have both had full masectomies. They are both in remission now and long may they be. This is a fantastic idea and I am off to download your new book right now.

I strongly encourage both mine and your readers to do the same - thanks in advance, lovely people!

Rachel x