Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Come Par-tay with The Naughty Nine!


As you may have noticed (you did read our round-up post on Monday, didn't you?) we've been working pretty hard all summer. We still wanted to party, but none of us had the time to plan something like that. 


Luckily, we have awesome characters, some of whom were more than happy to step in and help us out.  So, now it's time to party with the Naughty Nine--and friends. And, of course, as always YOU'RE invited to join in the fun!


First to volunteer her services was Tess Bonham, professional party planner from Kate Davies aptly titled, Life of the Party. Tess thought it would be fun to make Margarita cupcakes. We couldn't agree more! 

She also came up with some innovative decorating ideas, such as reusing household items like mason jars in unusual ways like these HERE  A checkered tablecloth, some fresh flowers, and lots of food and drink, and our party is ready to go!








Tristan Callaghan, Sydney Somer's sexy shape-shifter from Primal Hunger, is also the co-owner of  the bar Pendragon. He's offered his bartending services. No doubt he'll have his work cut out for him with this crew!

And, speaking of drinks, the special of the day is Amanda's Favorite Mojitos. The recipe (which can be found HERE) comes courtesy of Amanda Dixon, heroine of Erin Nicholas' new story, She's the One

Sadly, Juniper Bell couldn't make it because she's stuck in Regency England until MY THREE MASTERS comes out. Her friend Jennifer Bernard is attending in her place, however, and bringing some of the sexy Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel.

They'll be manning the grill and providing fire protection ... oh, and offering a little off-the-cuff entertainment as needed.   And when all that hot, sweaty work is done, well we're sure they'll find some way to cool off. Jump in, the water's fine (and so are the men!)
They're also bringing a few cases of Fireman's Brew beerSo drink up...responsibly, of course.

Matt, Corey and Dylan from Kelly Jamieson's With Strings Attached and Slammed are also coming to the party. Matt’s bringing beer (Riptide Red Ale--yum!) from his brew pub Laguna Dorada. Corey’s bringing handcrafted chocolates from her chocolate shop Decadent Indulgence. And Dylan is giving surfing lessons at the beach.






Keilor, from Skylar Kade's Heat Up the Night, is the head chef at Parthenon, the hottest new restaurant in Las Vegas. 

Mediterranean cuisine is his specialty, so he's bringing spanakopita--his Yiayia's recipe--and grilling lamb skewers.


Joining Keilor in the kitchen today is none other than Joe LaBlanc, sexy head chef of The Rose, from Meg Benjamin's Konigsburg, TX series. Joe is the hero of Fearless Love, of course, but he also appears in Don't Forget Me. He'll be whipping up some spaghetti with anchovies (excerpt HERE)

Sinead Quinn and Adam Sasso from Touch of a Vanished Hand (book 5 in PG Forte's Oberon series) planned to be here, but they seem to have gotten a bit...er, distracted. But they did send dessert, one of Sinead's famous peach galettes (recipe and excerpt here) and a couple of bottles of Adam's award winning pinot noir.

 So how do YOU join in? Easy peasy. Just leave a comment below telling us what you'd bring to the party (or which of our characters you'd like to see host future parties!) any day between now and Saturday and you'll be entered to win a $50 gift certificate.



Guest Blogger Sabrina York - How a Good Girl Goes Naughty...In One Easy Step

Thanks to the Nine Naughty Novelists for hosting me today! I am excited to be here!

I spent my life trying to be a good girl and follow all the rules. I certainly never intended to be a naughty novelist. But sometimes, despite our best intentions to be good, mischief bubbles up.

After years of writing sweet romances with a hint of humor and heat (none of which sold), I started experimenting. I wrote a short erotic novel entitled Adam’s Obsession. It was so much frickin fun to write, the sequel, Tristan’s Temptation just flowed out. Both were very sweet, thread through with a ribbon of kink. Then, one day at work when I was stuck in a boring meeting, I wrote Pushing her Buttons which is a little grittier, on the borderline of BDSM.

At my friend’s urging, I entered all three into a contest sponsored by Celtic Hearts and—imagine my shock—all three won. The final judge was Kelli Collins from Ellora’s Cave. She asked to see more. Ellora’s Cave bought all three and before I knew it, this good girl was an erotic author!

It’s been an interesting journey. Exciting at times, bewildering at others, but I have to say, being naughty is certainly more fun than being good. Especially at events like RomantiCon, Ellora’s Cave’s smoking conference. Held in October near their home base in Ohio, the conference strives to connect readers and their favorite erotic authors. And did I mention Cavemen??? If you go, don’t miss the opportunity to pose for a cover photo with these gorgeous men.

I’ll be there, signing copies of Dark Fancy, my steamy erotic Regency, along with plenty of other naughty erotic authors. It’s a lot of fun. I will also be attending the Jimmy Thomas Romance Novel Convention in Vegas in August. It you are planning to attend, stop by and say “Hi” during the book fair or author meet and greet.

When I am not attending conference and hanging out with cover models, I am writing. My most recent release is a heart wrenching erotic fantasy. If you dig a steamy, wounded hero in desperate need of redemption, check it out. Here’s a taste…

Lust Eternal
For thousands of years, Keeshan has waited. A curse put him in the lamp, damning him to an eternity of pleasing the women who find it. Each time, the women enter the lamp, ensnared in a web of lust and love. And each time, just as he grows to care, the women leave.

But Aimalee is different somehow. With her, Keeshan’s desire knows no bounds—he needs to be with her, inside her, every second she’s there, like an addict who just can’t get enough. Eventually she’ll leave just like the others but until then, Keeshan plans to indulge her every sinful urge. And maybe, just maybe, she’s the key to breaking the curse.

Inside Scoop: This paranormal romance features a plus-size heroine and a hero who worships her curves.

A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt:

Aimalee picked up a clipboard and pretended to scan the sheet on top. “I have to get back to work. Did you want anything else?”

“There was one other thing. Carter asked if you could, you know, not come tonight.”

“Not come tonight?” Aimalee whirled around and gaped at Sorcha. She’d been working on this display for months, utterly devoted to this project for years. She’d been so looking forward to showing off her work, presenting her findings. She’d even bought a new dress for heaven’s sake.

That happened, maybe, once a decade or so.

“It’s going to be quite a crush. All the big benefactors will be there. And you are…” Sorcha made a scornful little flourish with slender fingers. Her expression said it all—mousy. Aimalee knew it to be true. She knew what she was. But having Sorcha point it out rankled.

“This is my display.”

“Sure. Do what you need to set it up but then make yourself scarce. Be out of there by seven. ’Kay?” Sorcha pinned on a dazzling smile. “I told him you’d understand.”

With that she spun on her Jimmy Choos and waltzed from the room, elegantly swinging between boxes and crates and piles of books, leaving Aimalee sitting at her worktable, reeling with shock and repressed rage.

Make yourself scarce.

The mandate of her entire existence.

The fuck she wasn’t coming tonight. She’d worked far too long, far too hard on her dissertation, on this presentation, to simply fade into the background now when it was all coming to fruition. This was her baby. Oh, she’d be there. Come hell or high water.

Without thinking, without redonning her protective gloves—a monumental no-no in the museum world—Aimalee picked up the lamp and a cleaning cloth and began to polish her treasure. A deep sense of satisfaction and pleasure spiked through her, assuaging her annoyance.

Okay, so her love life was more than a little disappointing and frustrating. And yes, her professional prospects were limited but at least she loved her work. Really loved her work…

She renewed her invigorated scrubbing on that one smudge that just wouldn’t wipe away.

Imagine the gall. Asking her to miss the night of her life so Sorcha could stand in the limelight at Carter’s side and reap the rewards.

Aimalee rubbed harder and faster, fury rising like a chained beast in her belly. A red tide descended, blurring her vision. Everything beyond the lamp faded. The world beyond her passion, her work, dissolved.

She’d had enough of this.

Enough hiding her relationship.

Enough elicit, hurried trysts.

Enough secrets.

Enough—

Her movements slowed as a strange sensation crawled down her spine from her neck to her solar plexus. It pooled in her womb. Her fingers and toes began to tingle. Throb. Prickles of excitement and anticipation skittered over her skin. Her body warmed, softened, dampened.

Her hand flew to her nape where gentle tendrils caressed her—like a lover’s whisper. The tingling increased and contracted and wafted inward to settle just below her pounding heart. Her essence condensed, coalesced, as light as smoke, wafting and roiling. A strange sense of unreality, of disengagement, overcame her. She closed her eyes and the dizzy sensation increased. She tried to open them again but couldn’t. She twisted, curled, floated in the ether. A great whooshing sensation rocked her consciousness, sucking her into a smaller and smaller space. A dark place.

And then an eerie silence, a supreme stillness, descended.

About Sabrina York
Sabrina is an award winning author of erotic romance with nearly a dozen titles available, ranging from sweet & sexy erotic romance to BDSM to erotic horror. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york or Facebook. Learn how to win a tiara in her ongoing contest here. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on her webpage (www.sabrinayork.com) or explore on Amazon or at Ellora’s Cave.

Monday, July 29, 2013

July's Round-up



Welcome to this month's roundup! We have a lot of news to celebrate, especially since our busy calendar didn't allow us any room for a roundup last month. So this is two month's worth of news!

First up is Skylar Kade, whose F/F novelette "Exposing Ellen" has been contracted by Decadent Publishing for their 1Night Stand series!


In case you missed last Friday's post, Juniper Bell is pleased to announce that My Three Masters (the sequel to My Three Lords) will release on August 2. Check it out here: http://www.ellorascave.com/my-three-masters.html


Erin Nicholas held a fun book club and author Q&A on July 19th for She's the One, book one of the Counting on Love series. If you missed it, she has the transcript!  She's looking forward to doing another one! In the meantime, Erin's Blog Tour for She's the One will run August 19- Aug 30 with prizes at each stop and a Grand Prize of a $50 gift card to Amazon or B&N (winner's choice). Details can be found here:



And, in case you missed the cover reveal for book two in the series, It Takes Two, there it is again on the right.


Meg Benjamin's newest release, Medium Rare, will be out on August 20

To celebrate, she'll be giving away copies of the first book in the Ramos Family/Medium trilogy, Medium Well, for the next three weeks. 

Check for details on Facebook and Meg's blog (http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/).

Kelly Jamieson recently celebrated the release of  How to Love, the second book in her scorchingly hot San Amaro Singles series. 

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews  says “How To Love is gritty, emotional, sexy, and real and Kelly Jamieson has once again blown me away!”

Life of the Party, the third and final book of Kate Davies' Girls Most Likely to... trilogy also released in July. Guilty Pleasures liked this one as well: "I had a good idea where book three was headed, but I had no idea the delicious treat it would be."




And speaking of reviews, Meg Benjamin and Sydney Somers both received very favorable reviews from RT magazine on Bolted and Busted, books two and three of the Promise Harbor Wedding series. Unfortunately, those reviews are still too new for us to link to, but details on the entire series can be found here:   http://store.samhainpublishing.com/promise-harbor-wedding-series-415.html

 Finally, PG Forte continues to heat up the summer with her ongoing game of Oberon's Sexiest Man. Join the fun on her Facebook group, The Crone's Nest  https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheCronesNest/ Next game date: Sunday, August 4th from 1 to 6 pm (PDT). 






Friday, July 26, 2013

Flirty Friday - My Three Masters

This month's Flirty Friday offering is from Juniper Bell, and is excerpted from her upcoming release My Three Masters. It comes out August 2, and can be preordered here. Enjoy!

The Marquis smiled, that glittering, complicated smirk for which he was famous. “I’ve seen how loyally you’ve served my wife. But would you be such a faithful servant to one such as myself? Perhaps you know my reputation.”

Color flooded my face. I knew his reputation perhaps better than he did himself. I was fascinated by it. I put my hands to my scalding cheeks. “Yes,” I admitted stiffly.

“And yet you’re still willing to enter my household?”

No. Of course I wasn’t. That was why I’d ventured into the library. But I found myself nodding. He shifted his legs so his knee brushed against my dress. His head tilted backward so it rested on the russet leather chair back. He looked utterly disreputable, and utterly fascinating. “I’m not sure I believe you.”

I said naught. I felt guilty, as though I’d been caught in a lie.

“I’m afraid I’ll require some proof.”

“Proof?”

“Proof that you’re fit to work for me. I require a certain ease with one’s sexual nature. I cannot have prudes in my house. Are you a prude, Miss Miranda Brown?”

The diabolical glitter in his eyes made my knees weaken. This was how I’d always imagined him in my midnight fantasies. For a wild moment, I wondered if I was dreaming this whole encounter. I swayed from side to side.

“My dear, you look a bit faint,” said the Marquis. “Come here and stand between my legs. I promise to keep you upright.” He said the word “upright” with light irony, as if referring to more than my stance.

I stared at him with wide eyes. Perhaps now was the time to tell him I wouldn’t work for him. Couldn’t work for him. Instead, I took a step forward, then another, until I stood between his two long legs clad in fine garnet velvet. His boots shone in the light of the fire. His waistcoat was slightly open, his cravat hanging to one side. His dark hair fell over his forehead in unruly waves. I’d never seen the impeccable Marquis in such disarray.

“Are you quite all right, milord? Shall I fetch a tonic for you?”

“Don’t waste your worry on me. I’m merely drinking to my soon-to-be late wife.” He raised his glass and swallowed more brandy. “Besides, I don’t want you to leave yet. I haven’t gotten my proof yet.”

“Really, milord—”

“It’s nothing overly difficult. It won’t take long, the matter of a mere moment.”

Excited chills raced up my spine. What was he referring to? The way he was speaking, and watching me with those lazy black eyes, it had to be naughty. Again I swayed, but he caught me between his strong legs. 
Through my dress, through his velvet breeches, I felt the heat of him, and it made my head swim as if I’d been drinking the brandy. “Wh…what?” I whispered.

“Let me look at you.”

He was looking at me. Closely. Heatedly. Confusingly. “But, sir, you are—”

“Lift your dress.”

The words dropped into the quiet library like stones into a well. Lift my dress. The Marquis wanted me to expose my private area to him. And that very region of my body seemed to pulsate with the desire to do just that. Heat tingled between my legs. I stared at him, feeling flushed and chilled in alternating waves.

He stared back and I knew his message. If I wanted to leave—the library or his employ—now would be the perfect moment to do so. Should I choose to remain, well, the dark promise in his wicked face left no doubt that I’d be traveling down a road to new sensual horizons.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

9 Things...That are supremely unsexy foods in bed

As you know, some of us...(we're looking at you, Erin!) have characters who can't help making naughty use of edibles. And they might be onto something (alcohol-infused whipped cream, anyone?), but the sexiness relies heavily on careful food selection.

Bring these bad boys into the bedroom? You'll be sleeping alone tonight--and NO hanky panky first!
  1. Pretzels (Meg Benjamin)
  2. Lunchables (Kate Davies) 
  3. Caesar Salad (Sydney Somers)
  4. Tofurkey (Juniper Bell)
  5. Brussels sprouts--I can't think of anything they're good for (Erin Nicholas)
  6. Spotted Dick (Skylar Kade)
  7. Chips & Salsa (Juniper Bell)
  8. Liver (PG Forte)
  9. Crackers--crumbs in bed are pretty damn uncomfortable (Kelly Jamieson)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Day in the Life of Sydney - Movie Gif Style


With summer holidays in full swing for my boys, I've had to adjust my schedule and work around the chaos, while secretly chanting, "I can't wait for September." I adore my kids but working from home while they're tearing around the house all day can sometimes be a challenge.


Here's a peek at my day:

7:00 - 8:00 Wake up.


8:00-9:00 Feed the kids.



9:00-10:30 Settle in to Write.



11:00 - Kids need something.



11:15-12:00 Back to Writing.



12:00-1:00 Feed the kids lunch, ignore their grumbles about the menu.



1:00-2:30 Back to writing.



2:30-2:45 Snack time. Kids are hungry. Again.



2:45-3:45 Writing. Again.



3:45 Kids bickering over something stupid (he won't stop staring at me)



4:00-5:00 Give up and clean the house



5:00 Decide that we deserve something edible tonight if Master Chef isn’t cooking.



6:00-7:30 Candy Crush/Video Game Competition where Master Chef  lets me win.


7:30-9:00 Kids Bath time/Bed time.


9:00-11:00 Reading time.


11:00-12:00 Sleepy time for Sydney.


How does you day look? What movie gifs would you add? :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guest Blogger Alexandra (Lexxx) Christian - Life Before 50 Shades of Grey

If you’ve ever read my regular blog, “The Southern Belle from Hell,” over at Wordpress, then you probably came across my rants about the E.L. James novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. As I read the book, I wrote little posts giving my thoughts. And I have to say, I did not trash it. Well… not all of it. There were parts that I found enjoyable and parts that I found almost excruciating to read. Like pretty much any book. I completely understand where my friends in the BDSM community were coming from when they said it was almost insulting. I also understood some of my more “vanilla” friends being completely freaked out and fascinated. So this is not going to be a post about me saying that Ms. James is a great writer or a terrible writer or that her books are best used to line the catbox. My biggest problem with the Fifty Shades trilogy is that everyone acts like erotic romance was born when that book came off the presses.

I’ve been writing for a long time, kids. And reading even longer than that. I discovered erotic romance back in the 80s when I first began going through puberty (thank you, Simon LeBon). Anne Rice wrote an amazing romance novel under the pseudonym Ann Rampling called Belinda. At the time it was touted as a really hot mainstream romance novel. No one really knew what to call it, but kids--- it was an erotic romance novel. The sex was very explicit, frequent and a little taboo (the heroine is underage and the object of her affection is MUCH older). The language Ms. Rice used, as always, was beautiful. I was completely in love with the way she used words and I still am. And of course, I was a twelve year old pile of hormones, so that helped. Shortly after that, I came across The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (Anne Roquelaire if you wanted to know) and it was all over. I was officially an erotica buff. I branched out to reading Anais Nin and a lot of Victorian Era erotic fiction. I think I knew even then that what I wanted to write was extremely sensual books for smart women. I know, I’m rambling, but my point is this: E. L. James did NOT invent this genre and certainly does not define the genre and should not be the standard by which erotic romance is measured. There is a wealth of good erotic fiction out there by extremely talented authors. All you need do is look for it. Some of my personal favorites right now are Siobhan Kinkade, Crymsyn Hart, Cassandre Dayne, Zillah Anderson and Kate Douglas, just to name a few. In the words of Sherlock Holmes, “Do your research.” It’s out there.

That being said, I have a brand new book that just debuted with Ellora’s Cave called “One Hundred Strokes.” It is the first in a bunch of little shorts that I’ve written about different fetishes. I wanted to write about fetish play in a way that hadn’t been done before. I didn’t want to just talk about bondage or whips, but little playful treats that lovers can indulge in to spice up their sex lives. If for no other reason than to let folks know that “No, you aren’t a pervert. We’re all doing it.” A fetish is defined as any object or action that habitually incites a sexual response. It can be anything. “One Hundred Strokes” deals with a spanking fetish. There’s a bit of Domination and submission in there, but the two people involved are just “regular folk” who aren’t wearing leather or latex and don’t consider themselves as part of a “lifestyle.” Don’t get me wrong, I love those folks too, but I’ve heard so many people say “I’d like to try that, but the lifestyle is so intimidating.” So I wanted to make it accessible. Which, incidentally, is why I think Fifty Shades was such a sensation. To some extent, it made fetish play more accessible.

So, I’ve finished tooting my own horn. Now it’s up to you, my lovelies. Go forth and check out the book (C’mon… its two bucks. You’ll spend more on a cup of coffee today.)! Share it with a loved one and get to playing!

*********************

About Alexandra Christian-

My name is Alexandra Christian, or Lexxx if you like (yes, those three Xs are on purpose). I'm an author of mostly paranormal erotic romance and horror. In case you don't know what that means, I write about not-so-nice girls getting it on with out- of- this- world heroes. Vampires, werewolves, selkies, angels and demons-- and that's just recently! My first novel was published two years ago and ever since, I've been working my sweet Southern ass off to churn out as much sin and debauchery as I can.

A while ago, I christened myself The Southern Belle from Hell and I think it's a title that suits me well. I live in a small town in South Carolina-- incidentally, it's the same town I've lived in my entire life. The rich Southern culture, fried foods and a healthy dose of superstition have colored my personality and my writing style. I have an extremely tolerant husband who is the epitome of the Southern male with his buttery thick accent, laidback swagger and simple sweetness that makes women of all ages swoon. Of course, how we ended up together is a miraculous wonder. I'm a closeted Goth and when we go out, he looks like my chaperone, but it works! We're kind of a Herman and Lily Munster in our neighborhood and we wouldn't have it any other way.

I've published several novels, novellas and short stories so far and look forward to sharing my twisted view of reality with the masses through erotic paranormal romance and horror. I aspire to one day be a bestselling authoress and part-time pinup girl. Questions, comments and complaints are most welcome.

*****************

Blurb for “One Hundred Strokes”

Selene and Julian need to get away from it all and rekindle the excitement that has been sorely lacking of late. Heading to the mountains for a romantic getaway, Selene packs the one thing she knows will make her weekend enjoyable. However, when Julian discovers her little secret, he’ll make her pay for her deviance. With the help of a forbidden text and an antique hairbrush, their passion will ignite in a way that neither expected.


A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Links for Alexandra Christian:

Buy Links:

Ellora’s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/one-hundred-strokes.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Alexandra-Christian/e/B009QU3UD4

Social Media:

Wordpress: http://www.lexxxchristian.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @LexxxChristian

Facebook: ‎ https://www.facebook.com/alexandra.christian.12

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4684601.Alexandra_Christian

Pinterest: http://m.pinterest.com/lexxxchristian/











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Monday, July 22, 2013

Music, mood, and getting words on the page

All too often, I find myself staring at the proverbial blank page. The words won't flow, and when I push, they're stilted. Every author has their own technique for setting the writing scene and putting themselves in the right frame of mind. Yes, writing is a business so you need to just sit down and write (thank you, La Nora), but at the same time, writing crappy words doesn't help if there's an easy fix.

Through trial and error, I've figured out my magical solution: music. I used to make playlists for my WIP (work in progress); once, I even assembled a different playlist for each act. In hindsight, this was a great way to be "productive" for an hour without having to write.

I still love having my music fit the mood of the scene I'm writing, which is why I was giddy with happiness when a friend introduced me to 8tracks.com. This web-based streaming music service has endless playlists assembled by its members and--here's the important part--tagged with moods and musical styles. So if I'm writing a hot and heavy club scene, I'll search for "dubstep" and "sex" and "dirty", for example, and a series of matching playlists will pop up. You can see how many times the playlist has been favorited and listened to, which is a good gauge of quality.

The only downside is that you can't skip through too many songs in a playlist. Given that the service is free, and you can switch to another playlist at any time, I don't consider this much of a drawback. Once you sign up for a free account, you can favorite playlists and create meta-playlists (collections of playlists you want to keep organized).

When I find the right playlist, my word count can go from agonizing to flying. I'm continually amazed by the impact of music on my writing mood, and the depth of emotion in my scenes.

Do you listen to music when you write? How do you choose your playlist? 

Here's one of my favorite playlists for writing erotic romance:

 

Friday, July 19, 2013

First BOOK Friday-- Skylar Kade




It's First BOOK Friday!  For the next few months, we're going to highlight the first book from each of the Nine Naughties.  Sometimes people find us further down our backlist, sometimes readers think they're picking up our first book when really it's number 3 or so, sometimes our first book was so long ago even we've forgotten!  (just kidding... it's true that you never forget your first!).  So we thought it would be fun to revisit the books that started it all for each of us!


This month we're featuring the first book from Skylar Kade, Maison Domine.


A note from Skylar:


My first book was Maison Domine, published with Samhain in 2009. The original intent for this novella was writing something start to finish. I'd set out to write Urban Fantasy, then realized I knew nothing about plot and characterization, not to mention that my hero and heroine kept falling into bed together. To work from the ground up, I decided to write a very simple story of Dom meets sub. Laurie Rauch at Samhain contracted this book for her Binding Ties anthology with Natasha Moore and Jenna Ives.


Blurb: 

Organic chemist Lara Brunner is at loose ends. Since childhood, her life has been focused on work and achieving success in her field. Only now, weeks away from her tenure review, she realizes she’s pushed herself too far. Casting about for a way to release her stress-crazed body from career tension, she visits a BDSM retreat, hoping a weekend of sexual submission will do the trick.

Inducting her into the lifestyle is her at-work nemesis—Jaxon Greene. But the sinful intent she encounters in Jaxon’s sexy eyes makes her heart race with desire…and fear. Gorgeous men like him don’t go for zaftig academics like her. Once the fantasy weekend is over and real life returns, he’ll forget all about her.

Jaxon is blindsided by his intense attraction to Lara. The more time he spends with her, the stronger their invisible bonds become. Bonds that are stronger and more permanent than any knot he can tie. He’s not normally into converting vanilla women to his lifestyle, but something makes him want to cast his inhibitions aside and claim her for his own.

First, though, he has to free her from preconceived notions of proper sex…and love.


Excerpt:

Jax was glad Maison Domine had an opening for the weekend. He desperately needed to get away from life for a bit. He loved teaching, seeing his students grow to love a work of literature, or a movie, or seeing the flash of insight cross their faces. But, at the same time, he was overwhelmed by his obligations. His agent was making noises about him writing another book or working on another script. Greedy bastard.

When Kat mentioned there was a shy new submissive coming this weekend, and asked if he would show her the ropes, pun intended, Jax jumped at the chance. He loved introducing newbies to the BDSM world. It suited his purposes, as he had no interest in a full-time submissive. He still got to play, but there were no messy emotional entanglements to deal with. After the Jenny fiasco, that was the last thing he wanted.

Evidently this new woman had been referred by one of the regulars, and from what the regular had told Kat, she was total submissive material, but had trouble giving up control. Jax had been so eager to meet this new sub, he had barely thrown his weekend bag into his room before coming down to the meet and greet.

He stepped into the cozy game room, eyes searching for Kat. Finding her in a stunning red dress, as usual, he took two steps towards her before being distracted by coughing. Whoever it was sounded like she was ill or choking. Jaxon spun to see who was making the racket, and his eyes settled upon a lush figure with her back to him. She wore a bright red top, but it was the creamy expanse of skin exposed between her short black skirt and knee-high boots that tempted him most. Hoping to dash to her rescue, Jax reached the woman right after Katrina. She had stopped coughing, and he could hear a melodic voice arguing with Kat.

“I think I should go to my room, Kat. I’m obviously too tired to chew, much less meet a room full of people.” Jax could tell the woman was embarrassed by the attention.

“No, no, don’t be silly. Inhaled a piece of flaky dough, did you? I do it all the time.” Katrina looked over the woman’s shoulder at him. “Jax, would you grab a glass of water from the end of the table? Bring it over for Lara, and let me properly introduce you two.”

Jax saw the woman, Lara, tense when Kat called out to him. He guessed she didn’t want another person witnessing her supposedly embarrassing moment.

“Excuse me,” he started. “Would you like a glass of…” He couldn’t remember how to finish the sentence.

The woman was Lara Brunner, the uptight chemist he had to share a classroom with. But she wasn’t in a stuffy suit, and her hair wasn’t scraped back from her face. Instead, it fell in soft waves around her face, and her clothes. Wow.

“Dr. Brunner. How nice to see you again.” Jax knew his tone was less than enthusiastic, but he couldn’t bear to reveal how torn he was upon seeing her here, not to mention how very surprised he was to find she was into the scene.

“Jaxon, I mean, Professor Greene. I didn’t expect to see you here. Not that it’s not pleasant to see you, but it is surprising. Shit. First I choke, and then I stick my foot in my mouth. I’ll shut up now.” She flushed again prettily. How he wanted to put color there, to make her breath catch like it had when she was stumbling out her greeting. Except he wanted to do it while making her submit to him, and only him. It was something Jaxon hadn’t felt in years.

“Oh, great, you two have already met! Jax, this is our new submissive, the one I was hoping you could work with this weekend.” Kat grinned, obviously pleased with herself. Jaxon groaned silently. He had planned to say a brief hello and make small talk before hiding in his room for the weekend to avoid the torture of this temptingly unbound version of Lara Brunner.

Lara shook her head. “Kat, I’m sure Prof…I mean, Jaxon…has better things to do than baby-sit me this weekend. I’ll just sit back quietly. You know, watch and learn. No tutor, or trainer, required. Or maybe I’ll relax in my room and read one of the novels I brought. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.”

Jaxon snorted. “Watching won’t give you a near-enough idea of what it is to submit, to completely give over control to someone you trust. It’s a high, as much of one as it is for a Dominant to be trusted to that extent. Besides, most of the scenes at Maison Domine are private. And it won’t be an inconvenience.” He’d be damned if anyone else would introduce her to this world. Although sex was not a mandatory part of any scene, play was always an incredibly intimate thing. The idea of another man touching her, playing with her, clawed at his insides.

He took a step towards her, the rest of the room fading into the background. Like a dance, she followed, moving backwards a pace. Step, step, shuffle, and he had her against the wall. Jax wanted to give her a quick demonstration of watching versus doing.

“What…what are you doing?” Lara’s tongue flicked out to moisten her bottom lip. Her lips had never looked more kissable. Not to mention, her fiery personality turned him on. She certainly wasn’t a weak-willed yes woman like other submissives he’d trained. All of his good intentions fled and he gave up on the teachable moment.

He pressed her up against the wall, and tilted her face to meet his gaze head on. “This is how it starts. I can see the signs…the flutter of your pulse right here.” His finger trailed from her chin down to her neck, and Lara released a barely suppressed shiver. “Your eyes dilating in anticipation, excitement, and a slight hint of fear. You are, after all, putting your body and mind completely in my hands. Giving up your tightly-held control.” He wrapped his hand ever so gently around her neck, putting enough pressure for her to walk the edge between certain safety and the gray space of what if most submissives thrived on.

“Who…do you think…you are?” she managed to whisper in between shorts gasps for breath. Jax knew she would be beautifully submissive. She walked the edge of pain, of fear, of arousal perfectly. A flash of panic from the loss of control made her blue eyes light up until they almost glowed with intensity.

“I’m your new Trainer. And you, Lara, are mine…for the weekend.”




Add it to your library here!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July's Pick Your Pleasure: Beer or Wine?

In Pick Your Pleasure, we post an important philosophical question, and discuss the answer. At the bottom of the post, you'll have a chance to vote on the answer--with a little visual inspiration to boot!

Today we're pondering.... beer or wine.



Kelly: Wine. White wine. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Or Menage a Trois red.
Sydney: Wine for me too. Red!
Erin: Wine... sweet white wine. Of course, liquor of nearly any kind is my first choice :)
PG: I honestly like both. But wine probably has an edge. Right now my favorite is Peachy Canyon's Incredible Red Zinfandel. (Kelly says: I've looked in 3 different stores for that wine!)
Meg: Wine, definitely.
Kinsey: wine - honestly will any of us say beer?
Kate: Definitely not me. Wine all the way.
Juniper: I want to say beer just to stand out from the crowd, but I cannot tell a lie. Wine.
Skylar: Uh, that beer drinker would be me. I guess I have the whole six pack of Blue Moon to myself!

Beer or Wine?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Guest Blogger Tracey Lyons - The Parent Trap

A recent segment on a morning TV show that I watch featured a mom blogger who posts about how worn out she is by the end of the school year. She has five children and should be worn out! It got me remembering how I couldn’t wait for the end of the school year to roll around. Usually by Mid-May I was more than ready for the summer to begin. I went on all the field trips, was the classroom mother for both kids simultaneously and PTA president for 2 years. I can remember staying up late to “help” with homework, how one son always had his assignments done on time and one would wait until the last minute. I think how some days it seemed like I was going through grade school all over again as I toiled away beside my sons so they could go on to the next grade level.

It seemed like my fellow parents started the hands on approach to schooling our children. When I was young if I had an assignment due my mother would be like, “hey, get moving, time’s a wasting.” I recall how we didn’t have glue sticks; we had those little bottles with the rubber stoppers that you had to push down on in order to get that little drop of clear glue to come out or we made our own “paste” with flour and water! I think back to my 6th grade social studies project that counted for 50% of our grade. We each had to replicate one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. I chose the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I used cardboard pieces and plastic cake decorations for the building and then I took plastic ivy plants and flowers draping them over my rugged multi-level structure. I thought it looked pretty darned good until one of my classmates, whose father happened to be an artist, set her beautiful replica next to mine. Her building actually looked like the Hanging Gardens with sculpted columns and live flowers. It could have gone on display at an art gallery. Simply put hers was a work of art, while mine was just another class project destined for the large green metal trash can.

Would I have changed my parenting ways? NO. Do I wish one of my parents had been an artist? You bet! But the long and the short of it is I survived 6th grade and I survived parenthood. My sons are now grown with children of their own and are on the cusp of looking at life from the other side of the parenting fence. I can hardly wait to see how they fare…I’m sure they’ll do fine after all they had good examples set for them!

How about you, are/were you a hands on parent?

An avid lover of books and wine, Tracey has been writing romances for almost thirty years. She sold her first book on 9/9/99! Tracey always wanted to be an actress but couldn’t get past her stage fright. Writing gives her the best of both worlds; she can act out the parts on the pages without ever having to go on stage! She and her husband live in downstate New York with two dogs and two chickens. When not busy writing, and wine tasting, she is busy making her husband crazy with renovations on their 1800’s farm house. She holds membership in Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc. and Liberty States Fiction Writers. To learn more about the Wine Country Vixen series visit www.TraceySorel.com. Visit Tracey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/traceysorelauthor and www.facebook.com/traceyjlyonsauthor . Tracey is also published in historical romance. You can learn more about these books by visiting www.traceylyons.com.

Monday, July 15, 2013

RT and RWA

So on Tuesday I head off to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference, and I’m really stoked about it. If it’s like last year, there should be great workshops, interesting publisher spotlights, and free books by the cartload. But a lot of the people last year had a very odd reaction when I mentioned the Romantic Times convention (RT to most of us)—they were slightly horrified at the suggestion that they might enjoy it. Now lest you think that’s because RWA is made up of staid dowagers, let me say that I got a similar reaction when I mentioned RWA at RT. More than one person assured me they would never set foot in RWA.

I think that’s a real shame on both counts. I’ve gone to RT three times now and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself. I intend to be there in New Orleans in 2014. But I loved my experience at RWA last year too. I’m already thinking about San Antonio next year. In fact, I’d recommend that romance writers and aspiring romance writings attend both conferences, as long as you’re clear on the differences between them.

RT is largely a fan conference. There are workshops, but they tend to be more oriented toward readers than writers—you get to hear famous writers talking about their books and what they’d like to do in the future. And the parties are both epic and open to everybody. In many ways, in fact, RT is a non-stop party with a lot of romance writers thrown in to spice things up. And there’s nothing wrong with that! I feel like I have to emphasize this because occasionally the non-stop party aspect of RT is held up as a reason to skip it. On the contrary, I’d say it’s a reason to go. You get to meet both readers and writers in a more relaxed social atmosphere, and that can be a lot of fun.

RWA is a professional conference. That means the workshops are largely geared toward professional concerns—self publishing, dealing with agents and editors, new trends in genres, etc. It’s enormously informative, sometimes so much so that you head back to your room just to let your brain relax a little. You do have opportunities to meet famous authors, but it’s usually in a workshop setting where they may be talking about things related to craft or the profession (e.g., last year Susan Mallery talked extensively about the whole publishing process and how to make it to the New York Times bestseller list). There are parties and receptions at RWA, but they’re frequently limited to writers who are published by a particular line (Harlequin has a famous party, for example, but it’s only for Harlequin authors).

And just to take care of a couple of misconceptions: 1) RT is not a bacchanal. Yes, there are male cover models around (and they’re usually nice guys and good sports), but so far as I know there are no orgies, although maybe I just wasn’t invited to the right parties. 2) RWA is not actively hostile to digital authors. This may have been true a few years ago, but it’s definitely not true now. In fact, more and more of the Old Guard at RWA are heading into self publishing so they’re definitely interested in ebooks, and most traditional publishers have developed ebook lines.

So two conference with two different vibes. Which should you go to? Again, I’d argue for both. The professional information you get at RWA is invaluable, plus you’ll find many more publishing types there for you to network with. The social experience you get at RT is a treat, and you’ll get to network with other authors in a much less structured setting. As the great Guy Clark said (in a somewhat different context), “Long as you’re handin’ it out, Lord, I’ll take a little of both.”



Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Book Club: New-To-You Series



It's series time, or more specifically new-to-you series time! 

We've all had recommendations from friends, seen other (readers, bloggers, authors) talk about new series they've discovered. Finding an awesome new author coupled with a nice backlist to glom, and a series that let's you go back to the same world and characters that you fell in love with in book one, and you've got the holy trinity of bookworm dreams.
 
That recurring bad boy, or crazy best friend, the mysterious neighbor, or quirky in-law always making you laugh out loud. Dark worlds, small towns, historical re imaginings, weddings that go awry. These are just some of the things are what we love about a series.

Oh and did I mention getting to revisit the couple you loved in books 1 and 3? Or finally discovering what big secret everyone seems to know but you?

So what about you guys? What do you love about series books? What draws you in and has you devouring book after book? What are your favorite series? And most importantly, what new-to-you series have you fallen in love with lately?