Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest Blogger Shelley Munro - One Size Fits All

Thanks to Nine Naughty Novelists for inviting me to visit today. My name is Shelley Munro and I write spicy hot romances. Since I write so many love scenes, I come into contact…so to speak…with quite a few of the male of the species and their appendages. Yep, I’m gonna talk about dangly bits today.

There seems to be a fascination with size and shape in the fictional world. Oh, and color plays a factor too. Some heroes have huge ones even though in real life the average length is 5 – 7 inches. Some are wide. Some are thin. The colors also make me chuckle since they all sound angry, ranging from deep red to purple. They throb and weep a lot and they’re constantly pushing at zippers, like crazed creatures desperate to get out.

Let’s look at contemporary romances first. These quotes are all from my personal e-book collection.

“…he felt his cock grow rock hard and solid, throbbing in the denim prison of his jeans as his partner explored his neck with his warm, sensual lips.” The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson

“He has no style, no class, and I doubt he has a cock over five inches long. He probably only needs a finger or two to jack off with.” He sat back slowly in his chair. His cock, all five inches and several more, pulsed in outrage.” Wicked Intent by Lora Leigh

“His impressive shaft curved ever so slightly, purplish-blue veins running the entire length of it to meet together at the large mushroom cap.” Cougar by Beverly Rae

“But all Eric could do was stare at his own cock, now purplish-red with arousal, waving in the air like an unadorned flagpole.” Triad by Cat Grant

“Justin had never seen such a large cock outside a triple x movie.” Coach by Carol Lynne

See what I mean? These appendages are really creatures with a life of their own. I sometimes wonder why our intrepid heroines let their lovers anywhere near them. Now let’s move right along to paranormal and sci-fi romances. This is where things become interesting because the appendages in this genre have surprises in store for the unwary sexual partner. They sprout extra bits without warning or sometimes they even double up and there are two of them—a sort of a surprise ambush.

Here are a few more snippets from my library to show you what I mean.

“His cock tunneled inside her, then thickened further, then further, until each time his hips jerked, the unusual thickness that seemed to have grown at the point where her channel was narrowest, only lodged him inside her tighter. His cock was spurting repeatedly as he cried out her name, his body jerking against her, triggering flaring, multi-orgasms as the hard ball wedged inside her tighter, hotter than before.” Jacob’s Faith by Lora Leigh

“Then what he said finally registered. "Two cocks? She froze out of sheer surprise. Seht rolled his hips and shoved. Both cocks slid deep." Victorious Star by Morgan Hawk

“Danellan ran her hand between their bodies and cupped his cock, teasing him with her fingers. He had to give in. She wanted Michael to be the first to take her to completion. She wanted to feel his cock locked in her female band.” Second Son by Brenna Lyons

“Callan cleared his throat as a slight grin edged his lips. “Our cocks produced a phenomena resembling the barb that actual felines have. It’s blunt rather than sharp, but locks us into our women for long minutes after ejaculation. It’s possible a similar phenomena occurs in the Wolf Breeds.” Elizabeth’s Wolf by Lora Leigh

Yes, I fear it’s true. If you decide to step into a paranormal world, you must watch for hidden extras. They lurk in unexpected places.

While it’s true I’m poking fun, a little naughtiness makes writing and reading erotic romance fun.

Here’s a snippet from one of my books, Never Send a Dog to do a Woman’s Job

“He stepped behind the kitchen table in the hope it would hide his burgeoning erection. His cock was starting to feel like the sail of a glider-ship being hoisted then hauled in because of fickle winds. Up. And then down. Was it any wonder he felt a little crazed?”

And one more snippet from the same book…

“Lily’s gaze zapped to his cock. “Whoa!” She scrambled away to stare in half horror, half fascination. That was a bit…unexpected!

Alex stilled. “What’s wrong?”

“You…you’ve turned blue!” The sudden need to laugh quivered through her like a glass of tickly champagne. Alex’s…thing… She peered a little harder. Not just his thing… “My God,” she muttered. “It’s the exact color of a baboon’s bum!”

So, what do you think about these appendages in fiction? Do we writers pay entirely too much attention to them? Do you have any examples to add to my collection of examples? Comments?

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and writes romance for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Liquid Silver Books and Samhain Publishing. As you can see from the above example, she’s guilty of giving extra life to appendages in some of her stories. Her most recent release is The Spurned Viscountess from Carina Press. You can visit Shelley and learn more about her books at www.shelleymunro.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

Writing Romance Is Like...The First Day of Kindergarten

It's the last stop on my blog tour!! Whew! It's been fun, though!

So, a quick review of what's going on (ie, how you can win stuff):

Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or MyBookstoreandMore.com. Yes, you can still get in on this--- just go back through the posts and answer the questions!

And finally…
Writing Romance Is Like… The First Day of Kindergarten: everything is fun, colorful and exciting… and it quickly becomes apparent you have no idea what you’re doing.

I’d been a part of RWA (Romance Writers of America), on the loops, working with critique partners, reading, going to meetings, etc. for a long time before I even tried too hard to get published, so I thought I knew some stuff about the publishing business.

I was wrong.

Well, I knew some stuff. Like how to format a manuscript (basically, check the publisher’s website), how to write a synopsis (not that they were great, but I knew the basics), what WIP and CP and H/h meant. But wow. It was like learning to tie my shoes all over again once I was published.

The cool thing about comparing writing and publishing to Kindergarten is that the bottom-line for me in both is/was the same: having fun.

I don’t have to do this. Well, I mean, I’m not doing it to buy groceries or anything. I’m doing it because I love it and I was fortunate enough to find an editor and publisher that liked my stuff enough to put it out there. And I’ve been fortunate enough, so far, that there are readers out there who like my stuff enough to buy it. But the bottom line for me is-- this is fun.
(Okay, I wouldn’t say synopsis writing or turning edits around in 48 hours is fun. Oh, and not-great review are not fun. But overall, this is the most fun I’ve maybe ever had).

I get to tell stories. And people read them.
That’s right up there with eating cookies, taking naps, and (my personal favorite) playing at recess. After all that’s where you get to laugh and have a good time with new friends! (which means all NNN activities are like recess… )

And just like that first day of Kindergarten, the day your first book is published, your life changes. There’s no going back. Going to Kindergarten meant riding the school bus, learning to count past twenty, sitting quietly…I hadn’t done any of that before. Becoming a published author means no more getting around to that chapter whenever I feel like it, no more excuses for not understanding publishing contracts and no more talking about someday and what if.

But why, in either case, would I want to go back? There are challenges ahead—algebra and physics and new characters and new love stories and … and even more fun!

Thanks for being a part of my ride so far!!


And a final excerpt from the book that started it all!

No Matter What

“Everything that goes on in this house or on these grounds is my concern. You could have left a note.” Though his voice was low, his tone indicated a clear underlying irritation.

“A note about what?”

“Where you were going, what time you’d be back.” His exasperation came through distinctly.

“Are you always so nosy?”

“Are you always so sneaky?”

“Sneaky?” She stopped the cocoa preparation and turned to look at him squarely.

“You slipped out of the house tonight without a word to anyone about where you were going.”

“I didn’t realize I was under house arrest. I have things I have to do. And I did not ‘slip out’.”

“A million dollars is a lot to pay for an eight hour work day.” He lifted the coffee cup that she hadn’t noticed until that moment.

She felt a wave of indignation wash over her but she held her expression stoically. “This is not exactly a typical business arrangement.”

A long silence followed her statement.

“You’re right.” His words took Jaden by surprise. “For instance, any other time I hire someone, I ask a lot of questions about them personally as well as professionally. I like to know about their families, their interests and hobbies. Their habits. I should have asked more questions about you. My primary concern at the time was that I hire the best therapist for Emily.”

“You did.”

“Yes, but I didn’t think beyond the therapy sessions. I didn’t fully consider all of the things you would mean to Emily besides being her therapist.”

Jaden frowned, wishing she could see his face more clearly. “What do you mean? And what did you mean by ‘their habits’?” She wasn’t sure why but she felt offended by the comment now that she replayed it in her head.

“I expect Emily will get very attached to you. You are a young, intelligent, successful woman and Emily will likely look up to you.”

“And that concerns you.”

“Frankly, yes.”


He came to his feet in one quick, fluid movement. “Because it’s one in the morning and you’re just getting home.”

Let him guess and assume about what you were doing. Make him a little crazy for a change.

“I don’t like that you’re assuming the worst about me. I haven’t given you a reason not to trust me.”

He took a deep breath. “Okay, then, I have only one question for you. Where were you?”

She swallowed hard and tried to get a grip on the thoughts and responses that were stumbling over one another in their haste to make it to her mouth first.

“I was out, Adam. That’s all you need to know.” She added a flip of her hair to emphasize how casual she was about the whole thing.

“Jaden…” He took a deep breath and she saw him consciously work to unclench his fists. It struck her how personal her name sounded from his lips even when he was frustrated. That only increased her aggravation.

His voice slightly calmer, he spoke again. “It is important to me. At least tell me that you weren’t—”

“What? That I wasn’t…doing drugs? Drinking all night at the bars? That I’m not a call girl in the evenings when I’m not at the hospital? Smell my breath, Adam, if you don’t believe me. Diet cola was the strongest thing I had tonight.”

He came toward her quickly and she tipped her chin up to meet his gaze. He leaned in, braced his hands on the counter behind her on either side of her hips and took a deep breath.

She held hers. Having him suddenly this close was overwhelming and she fought to remember what they had been talking about.

He reminded her quickly. “How about all of the above?” His voice was lower now, huskier, and his eyes studied hers closely. “How about reassuring me that you wouldn’t dream of doing any of those things?”

She didn’t like that he doubted her. She wanted to stomp and yell and demand that he believe in her. But at the same time, this might just be perfect. She’d been off-balance since meeting him. He shook her up, as much as she hated it. Clearly her conduct during off-duty hours interested him, and worried him. This might be her chance to turn the tables a bit. Not that getting a man like Adam off-balance would be easy. But it would, very likely, be fun.

“I’ll tell you this much. Drugs and prostitution aren’t my thing.”

He pressed closer and she felt the edge of the counter against her low back. Perhaps it was her decision to try to overwhelm him for a change, but for the first time, when he got close to her, dropped his voice low and looked at her like he wanted to make all of her fantasies come true, she reveled in it.

She found the scent of his cologne and the warmth of the arm braced on the counter beside her appealing rather than aggressive. In fact, this close, she found that his blue eyes, swirling with emotion, were impossible to resist. He was a passionate man. He cared about his daughter, his household, and stood firm in his convictions. It was his unflinching devotion that made her want to know more about him. For instance, what else stirred Adam Steele’s passions?

“So tell me, what is your kind of thing?”

The huskiness in his voice made her nerve endings dance.

She studied his full lips for a long moment before her eyes traced his strong jaw shadowed with dark stubble. Eventually, she moved up slowly to again meet the midnight blue eyes that seemed to pierce straight through to her soul.

“Arrogant millionaires, evidently.”

As his lips met hers, she momentarily stopped disliking anything about him.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Release day for Taming Tara!

My latest book from Ellora’s Cave, Taming Tara, is out today!

I’ve been blogging around the interweb about how I based this story on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. (If you’re interested you can read more here and here). If you haven’t read those other posts, I got the idea for this story when I saw a similarity between how Petruccio tamed Kate and how a Dom would train a submissive.

But I’m not going to talk about Shakespeare here today. Instead I thought I’d share the naming anguish I suffered with this story.
The first version of this book was titled “What She Really Wants”. But I didn’t think it conveyed enough of the D/s aspect of the story and I also thought it would be nice to link to my last Ellora’s Cave book Power Struggle. So I renamed it “Power Exchange”. It was perfect! I sent it off to my editor and was thrilled when she offered a contract. Only one problem: Ellora’s Cave already has a book named “Power Exchange”. I had to change the title.

The Naughty Nine will tell you how I sweated over that, and I thank all of you for the title brainstorming! Eventually I came up with a title I liked, “A Sense of Place”. In the book, Tara’s family business is running an olive ranch which produces olives and olive oil, and at one point when Tara and Joe are in the olive groves she explains the concept of “terroir” to him:

     “...up here, it feels…good.” He shrugged.
     “You’re feeling it,” she said. “The romance of it.”
     He looked askance at her.
     “It’s the terroir.”
     “The what?”
     “It’s the land. Terroir is the influence of the land on the quality of the oil, the romantic part nobody can quite put their finger on. When the oil is good, people often say it is because of the land—the ideal soil, wonderful  climate or whatever.”
     “And when it tastes bad, it’s because of something else,” Joe murmured with amusement.
     Her lips curved up. “Of course.” She lifted a shoulder and his hand trailed down her cheek to touch her collarbone, revealed in the open V of her T-shirt. “There’s a lot of science involved in olive productions—you’ve seen that. But there’s something else too…things difficult to pin down. I know all that stuff like irrigation and soil quality are really what matter, but there has to be heart and soul and…love.” She lowered her eyes in embarrassment.

There is no exact English word for terroir, but in translation it would loosely mean “a sense of place” and I thought it was nicely metaphorical for how Tara finds her place in the world.

But my editor nixed that title because it didn’t given enough of an “erotic romance” feel. So it was back to the drawing board. I thought up and rejected countless titles, none quite right.

Not only did I have to change the title, I couldn’t use the name I’d picked out for the hero because it was considered an overused name. I won’t tell you what it was because I ended up using it for a minor character in the book! Once again I turned to the Naughty Nine for naming help. It had to be an Italian name because Joe’s family ran Italian restaurants. Special thanks to PG Forte for making me cry with laughter by suggesting Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael.*G* In the end, the name I used was already in the book, and my hero switched names with a minor character.

And since the only title I could come up with that I liked involved the word “Taming” and my heroine’s name was Carina, and “Taming Carina” didn’t flow off the tongue, Carina became Tara. And my title became “Taming Tara” which thankfully my editor approved of!

Can I tell you how painful and traumatic that was to rename the characters? My characters become real people to me, and it was as off-putting as if I’d had to rename both my teenage children. They are who they are, their names are an integral part of them, and though I knew someone reading the book for the first time would have no idea, it really threw me. I’m still not used to it.

Despite all the naming angst, Taming Tara is now out in the world!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies - Chapter 12

Chastity surveyed the Bloodsuck B&B that Billy Bob Whatsis had been able to rent for an indefinite period. Knotty pine paneling, tired chintz curtains, and linoleum floors. Linoleum, for Pete’s sake! Not nearly as nice as the Double Fang, which, of course, wasn’t nearly as nice as Rock Fangsworthy’s place in Houston. The sooner she got back with Rock, the better.
Of course, the last time she’d seen him, Rock hadn’t looked too eager to get back together. But she figured that was only temporary. One glance at the girls in all their double-D glory, and he’d fall into line again. Well, one of the girls was definitely double-D. The other one was more like D minus. Damn that plastic surgeon!
Anyway, as soon as Billy Bob got rid of Buffi, she’d be back with Rock faster than you could shake something at something. She was really bad at these country metaphors.
Speaking of Billy Bob Whatever, she glanced through the window to see him staggering up to the front door of the B&B. For some reason he was carrying a large sack over his shoulder, which seemed to emphasize his unfortunate resemblance to Santa Claus, at least in terms of his girth.
Billy Bob threw open the door, lowering the sack to the floor with a thump. “Geez those pups are heavy,” he panted.
“What pups?” Chastity narrowed her eyes. “I thought you were supposed to be poisoning that bitch? Don’t tell me you picked up some puppies instead?”
“Well, they were there and they were barking and it was just easier to sort of bring them along…” He opened the top of the bag, peeked in, and then jumped back. “Holy Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!” he croaked.
The bag fell open and Chastity found herself staring at two babies. Human babies. With blue eyes and black hair and a sort of angelic look around the mouth. She took a step nearer and the babies grinned, showing tiny pearly teeth and well-developed canines. Very well-developed indeed.
Chastity stepped back again. Okay. Not angelic exactly.
“You said they were dogs,” she snapped.
“They were. When they went into the sack.” Billy Bob’s forehead crinkled in thought. “Maybe it’s a magic sack.”
Chastity did a world-class eye-roll. Honestly, the people she had to work with these days. “And maybe they’re just like their Mom—who’s supposed to be freakin’ werewolf. You kidnapped Buffi’s puppies, you loon.”
“Well, of course I…” Billy Bob stared at her blankly for a moment. “Oh,” he said slowly. “Oh! You mean those kind of puppies.”
“Yes, those kind of puppies.” Chastity frowned. An idea was forming, an always-painful experience. “She probably wants them back.”
Billy Bob nodded. “Right. Well, I can take them back and tell her it was all a mistake.”
“No, you fleawit,” Chastity snarled. “If she wants them back, we can make her pay to get them.”
“Oh.” Billy Bob’s forehead crinkled again. Chastity figured ideas were painful for him too. “But she doesn’t have any money.”
“But Rock does. We’ll tell her to pay us a million, and Rock can loan it to her or something.”
“But how does that help us?” Billy Bob’s forehead crinkle had advanced to a full-on forehead crevasse. “It doesn’t help me spike Rock Fangsworthy.”
“And it doesn’t help me marry him,” Chastity explained patiently. “At least not at the moment. But the two of us get a million bucks. I think that works out.”
Billy Bob nodded slowly. “Well…okay. I’ll go tell her she needs to pay us a million dollars to get her pups…babies back.”
Chastity closed her eyes and counted to ten, which was about as high as she could reliably go without dollar signs. “Give her a note. Do not talk to her. We really don’t want to get caught doing this. And I’d just as soon Rock didn’t know we were involved. Understand?”
“Right, okay. Well, I’ll go leave her a note. You look after the er…babies.”
“Me?” Chastity cast a quick glance in the babies’ direction. The were toddling toward her on their chubby baby feet. Grinning. She moved back a few more steps. “Why don’t you look after them?”
“Because you’re the woman.” Billy Bob gave her a triumphant smile and darted out the door.
She would have cut him off before he got there, but the babies were in the way and on the move. One of them toddled to the left, while the other circled right. Both of them were watching her intently, their eyes the color of polar ice.
Chastity took a deep breath. “Hey kids, how about a little TV? I’ll bet I could find Spongebob Whoever. Maybe even Sesame Street.” She stepped quickly toward the television set at the end of the room.
Twin number two dropped to his hands and knees, then circled back to cut her off. How the hell could a toddler crawl that fast? “Well, okay then, no TV. Anybody hungry?”
Twin number one chuckled, sort of. The sound sent a shiver up Chastity’s spine. She managed a quick pivot on her four-inch heels and made it to the refrigerator. “Looks like some leftover cheese pizza and some Fritos,” she chirped as she opened the door. “And I bet there’s some lunchmeat in here somewhere.”
The low growl made her whirl. The twins were a lot closer than they should have been. Both had now dropped down to a crawl. Their pink baby bottoms trembled as they inched forward on chubby fists. The twin in front opened his mouth to show those rows of pearly baby teeth again. Except they weren’t tiny and pearly anymore—they seemed to have gotten a lot bigger in the few minutes the twins had been in the cabin. And he had those two big—very big—canines in front.
Chastity found herself backing up. One heel slammed into the kitchen table. The twins were spreading out, one on either side, their low growls making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
Quickly, she tore off one of her Louboutins and tossed it across the room “Fetch!” she yelled.
Both twins scrambled after the shoe, snarling as they yanked it back and forth. Chastity took the opportunity to hop up onto the kitchen table. Surely they couldn’t jump that high. Not in human form anyway.
The twins turned back to look at her again, their eyes suddenly more amber than blue. Could their teeth possibly have grown even longer? She slipped off the other Louboutin, holding it in front of her like a kind of high fashion Ninja star. “Get back!” she squeaked. “I’m not afraid to use this.”
The twins grinned again. She was getting very tired of the whole grinning thing. The one in front dropped the Louboutin and cut to the left, his brother cutting to the right. Their eyes gleamed with unholy light. Chastity suddenly felt a lot like a bunny facing a pair of ravenous foxes. Except they weren’t exactly foxes, were they?
“Nice babies,” she whispered. “You really don’t want to bite me. You’d probably get silicon poisoning anyway.”
The door bounced open and Billy Bob stepped back inside. “Mission accomplished!”
“Grab them!” Chastity cried. “Put them back in the sack. Quick before they go for both of us.”
Billy Bob blinked. “But…”
“Just do it!” she snarled, hopping down from the table and running for the refrigerator. She snatched an incredibly convenient rump roast and dangled it in front of the babies’ noses. “Here boys, nice snack,” she called before tossing it into the sack.
The babies obediently followed the roast inside and Chastity tied a knot in the top with shaking hands. “Here,” she said, thrusting the writhing sack at Billy Bob. “Take ‘em to Buffi. Take ‘em to Rock. Just get ‘em out of here!!”
“But…” he repeated.
Chastity shook her head. “Get ‘em out of here now. Believe me, there’s not enough money in the world to get me to babysit those two again.”

To be continued...Chapter 13

If you enjoyed this chapter of The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies, please be sure and join us again next Thursday for the next exciting installment.
You can read more about the serial HERE. And be sure to enter our contest! Rules and information can be found HERE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are you a gleek?

Since it's not a secret that music rocks my writing world, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Glee is one of my favorite television shows. Love the music, the writing, the schemes, the romance (need more Will & Emma), the rivalry, the celeb guest stars... Okay, I just love the whole damn thing.

And here are ten reasons why:

1. Corey Monteith a.k.a Finn - Yes, crush territory here, and it doesn't hurt that his dad lives fifteen minutes from me and I've yet to give up hope I may catch a glimpse of him some time when he's visiting.

2. I'm a sucker for shows involving teenage drama.

3. Sue Sylvester - Politically uncorrect as hell and yet so much fun to watch. Her journal scenes kill me.

4. Glee brings out my inner pop star and reminds me of all the times I used my hairbrush as a microphone and sang to my own reflection. Oh wait, I still do that.

5. Um, Corey Monteith.

6. Will & Sue - Their banter is hilarious, not to mention the numerous cracks about his hair.

7. The show makes me grateful that as much of a geek as I was in high school, I never got any slushies thrown in my face. Of course, it was an all-girl high school...

8. John Stamos - MmmmMmmm

9. It's a great show to relax and enjoy after promoing my latest release, Trust Me. ;)

10. And we can't forget...Corey Monteith.

So what about you, are you a Gleek? What do you love about the show? Any episodes/songs that you adored? And if you're not really a fan, what celeb guest star would make you want to tune in?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guest Blogger Fiona McGier - Family Readers

In honor of this family-related holiday week, I thought I'd pose a question to all of my fellow writers. Do your family members read what you write? Do you want them to?

I've been thinking about this lately, since being told by one of my sis-in-laws that she won't read my books because she keeps thinking of her brother and me, so feels as if she would be spying into our bedroom. She acted as if it should be obvious why she couldn't feel comfortable reading my M/F contemporary erotic romance books.

Then I asked other family members and found that my other sisters-in-law didn't want to talk about whether or not they had bought my books...so I guess they haven't. I already knew that my MIL wouldn't read them. In fact, I use a pen name because I promised my late FIL that I wouldn't use his name for my writing. I explained to him that I write romance books with sex scenes in them and I was respecting his Catholic faith. He thanked me.

But I thought that was a generational thing, that women of my age and younger would not feel odd reading books with sexual content. And the fact that you know the author would enhance your enjoyment, not detract from it.

My oldest son is 22 and has not read any of my writing, including my free short story on my website. He says that he can't possible read his mother's sexual fantasies. I tried to explain that my characters are NOT ME, get it? The heroes are NOT DAD! My characters are an amalgam of the people I've known along with the fantasy beings that my mind has created to amuse me. They are not real people. They live only in my imagination and now in books. He still refuses to read anything I write.

My second son is 20 and away at college. He hasn't read anything I've written. My third son is 19 and read my first book when it came out 2 years ago. He writes sci-fi and wants to major in English. He said that I "write in a literary style, and do tasteful sex scenes." He's a voracious reader, so I respect his opinion. But he pleads "not interested in the genre", and won't read anymore. My daughter is 17 and read the first book. She said it was interesting, but pointed out 2 typos in English and 1 in Spanish. She prefers books with younger characters and mine are usually adults well into their 30s and beyond. My husband reads everything I write before I even send it out to publishers. He's proud of me for following my dream.

I'm not in any way ashamed of what I write, so I'm feeling kind of miffed that most of my family members don't want to share my joy in writing by reading my books. I can't decide if I should write paranormal erotica, so my family can wonder if I've ever been with a real vampire...or shape-shifter...or demon. Or menage, so my family can wonder if I've ever been in a three+some. Or maybe M/M, so my family can wonder if I've ever been a man involved with another man?

So what do you think? Do your family members read your romance novels?

Fiona has always had characters telling her stories in her head. She thought that everyone did. When she felt it was getting too crowded "in there", she began to write the books that tell the stories of the more insistent voices first. When a book is done, those characters stop talking, but new ones begin to demand attention. She figures at this rate, she'll have to live to be 150 to write them all. She hopes you enjoy her stories of independent contemporary women and men who gradually realize that they were meant to be together.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grammar Woes?

Anyone who talks to me about writing quickly discovers my passion for grammar. Ok, passion may be an understatement. I love participial phrases and appositives and subordinate clauses and the rest. They are the tools of the writing trade; the words we choose and the order in which we place them in a sentence comprises part of the lofty "author's voice."

In the past, I've questioned whether it is the author's responsibility to have a strong grasp of grammar, or if that lies under the purview of an editor; I've concluded that, in a market as competitive as this, an author can't give an editor any reason to reject his or her manuscript--which includes sloppy grammar.

Because I truly love teaching grammar and believe every writer can gain something from reviewing the basics, I'm starting weekly "lessons" on my blog called SMUG Mondays.

SMUG, or Syntax-Mechanics-Usage-Grammar, encompasses four areas of sentence creation that adheres to basic, universal rules.

Here's where you come in: There are a vast number of topics that could be covered in SMUG that need to be pared down. To do so, I need a little input. What grammar questions do you have? What do you think would be most useful to have explained?

Also, feel free to stop by the skylarverse to see the first SMUG post!

SMUG Monday, Week 1: The Basics

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Our very own Juniper Bell is getting married next month, so this weekend we're having a SURPRISE bridal shower - a Naughty or Nice bridal shower, of course!

We've all gotten Juniper some virtual gifts (some naughty, some nice) and are here to dispense advice about the wedding, the wedding night and marriage.

First of all though, everyone should have a cocktail!
Sexy devil?
Menage a trois ?
Tie me to the bedpost naked ?
sexy bartender

And some naughty snacks!

chocolate bananas

pig in a blanket

chocolate strawberries

On with the gifts!


Advice: Make time for just the two of you. Put Date Night on the calendar at least once a month.

And my virtual gift: a floor full of lingerie.

because at my bridal shower, my aunt took all the lingerie and dropped it on the floor because "that's where it's going to end up anyway, so why not take a look at how it'll look there?" LOL


Looking for something to do on that long monotonous wedding night? Strip scrabble is always fun:


And for something to nibble on (besides the groom, of course):


My gift: A cookbook to satisfy naughty appetites. Because we all know the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. *wink*

My advice for Juniper: Scroll down and pay special attention to the Advice for Wives. I think it covers the basics pretty well. :) http://www.adviceopedia.com/Funny_Marriage_Advice


My advice? Buy him little presents just because. We women aren't the only ones who need to feel spoiled at random!

My gift: http://www.lushusa.com/shop/products/body/massage-bars/fever-massage-bar


And now a short break for some entertainment:

And now for the rest of the gifts!


There is almost no marital problem that can't be helped enormously by taking off your clothes.
The secret to a good marriage, as far as I am concerned, is a joke I make: Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.

Music—because you have to have that, right?

101 Things not to say on your wedding night…or, like, any other time either, as far as I can tell!

1. But everybody looks funny naked!
2. You woke me up for that?
3. Did I mention the video camera?
4. Do you smell something burning?
5. (in a janitor's closet) And they say romance is dead...
6. Try breathing through your nose.
7. A little rug burn ever hurt anyone!
8. Is that a Medic-Alert Pendant?
9. Sweetheart, did you lock the back door?
10. But whipped cream makes me break out.
11. Person 1: This is your first time..right?
Person 2: Yeah.. today
12. Hurry up! This room rents by the hour!
13. Can you please pass me the remote control?
14. Do you accept Visa?
16. On second thought, let's turn off the lights.
17. And to think- I was really trying to pick up your friend!
18. So much for mouth-to-mouth.
19. (using body paint) Try not to leave any stains, okay?
20. Hope you're as good looking when I'm sober...
21. (holding a banana) It's just a little trick I learned at the zoo!
22. Do you get any premium movie channels?
23. Try not to smear my make-up, will ya!
24. (preparing to use peanut butter sexually) But I just steam-cleaned this couch!
25. Got any penicillin?
26. But I just brushed my teeth...
27. Smile, you're on Candid Camera!
28. I thought you had the keys to the handcuffs!
29. I want a baby!
30. So much for the fulfillment of sexual fantasies!
31. (in a menage a trois) Why am I doing all the work?
32. Maybe we should call Dr. Ruth...
33. Did you know the ceiling needs painting?
34. I think you have it on backwards.
35. When is this supposed to feel good?
36. Put that blender back in the kitchen where it belongs!
37. You're good enough to do this for a living!
38. Is that blood on the headboard?
39. Did I remember to take my pill?
40. Are you sure I don't know you from somewhere?
41. I wish we got the Playboy channel...
42. That leak better be from the waterbed!
43. I told you it wouldn't work without batteries!
44. But my cat always sleeps on that pillow..
45. Did I tell you my Aunt Martha died in this bed?
46. If you quit smoking you might have more endurance..
47. No, really... I do this part better myself!
48. It's nice being in bed with a woman I don't have to inflate!
49. This would be more fun with a few more people..
50. You're almost as good as my ex!
51. Do you know the definition of statutory rape?
52. Is that you I smell or is this mattress stuffed with rotten potatoes?
53. You look younger than you feel.
54. Perhaps you're just out of practice.
55. You sweat more than a galloping stallion!
56. They're not cracker crumbs, it's just a rash.
57. Now I know why he/she dumped you...
58. Does your husband own a sawed-off shotgun?
59. You give me reason to conclude that foreplay is overrated.
60. What tampon?
61. Have you ever considered liposuction?
62. And to think, I didn't even have to buy you dinner!
63. What are you planning to make for breakfast?
64. I have a confession...
65. I was so horny tonight I would have taken a duck home!
66. Are those real or am I just behind the times?
67. Were you by any chance repressed as a child?
68. Is that a hanging sculpture?
69. You'll still vote for me, won't you?
70. Did I mention my transsexual operation?
71. I really hate women who actually think sex means something!
72. Did you come yet, dear?
73. I'll tell you who I'm fanatasizing about if you tell me who you're fantasizing about...
74. A good plastic surgeon can take care of that in no time!
75. Does this count as a date?
76. Oprah Winfrey had a show about men like you!
77. Hic! I need another beer for this please.
78. I think biting is romantic- don't you?
79. Q: You can cook, too right?
A: (Whaddaya think I'm doin'?)
80. When would you like to meet my parents?
81. Man: Maybe it would help if I thought about someone I really like...
Woman: Yourself?
82. Have you seen 'Fatal Attraction'?
83. Sorry about the name tags, I'm not very good with names.
84. Don't mind me.. I always file my nails in bed.
85. (in a phone booth) Do you mind if I make a few phone calls?
86. I hope I didn't forget to turn the gas oven off. Do you have a light?
87. Don't worry, my dog's really friendly for a Doberman.
88. Sorry but I don't do toes!
89. You could at least ACT like you're enjoying it!
90. Petroleum jelly or no petroleum jelly, I said NO!
91. Keep it down, my mother is a light sleeper...
92. I'll bet you didn't know I work for 'The Enquirer'.
93. So that's why they call you MR. Flash!
94. My old girlfriend used to do it a LOT longer!
95. Is this a sin too?
96. I've slept with more women than Wilt Chamberlain!
97. Hey, when is it going to be my friend's turn?
98. Long kisses clog my sinuses...
99. Please understand that I'm only doing this for a raise...
100. How long do you plan to be 'almost there'?
101. You mean you're NOT my blind date?

And finally, my virtual gift: A “Tie-the-Knot” Wedding Bondage Kit.

FROM KELLY: (who is trying to to steal that bondage kit without anyone noticing)

Ha! Just kidding! That's the joke gift. Here's the real gift:

And my best marriage advice comes from my mother - have lots of sex. When times are tough, and they will be, lots of sex will keep you together.

It's kind of weird since you've been cohabiting so, it's not like this is your first rodeo (as my best friend said to me when I married Hub), but anyways....

- the 4 ingredient cookbook. Every busy wife and mom needs it.

Advice - because even if you've lived together for a while, it's different once you're married - it just is: don't spend a lot of time talking about the relationship. Women want to discuss shit way too much. Unless you've got a Serious Issue like adultery or a complete lack of communication, you don't have to let him know what you're feeling all the time and you don't have to talk out every argument you have. There's a lot to be said for letting shit just go.
My .02.


Advice: Have space that you share together and space that's all your own - and use both regularly! :)

For your together-space:
H2O Plus Softening Mint Foot Rub

For your own space:
Fleece Pamper Pair Foot Massager and Neck Wrap

And in case you don't actually have your own physical space:
Hearos Ultimate Softness Series Ear Plugs...

BEST WISHES JUNIPER from The Naughty Nine!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Unhappy Endings (AKA When Good Series Go Bad)

Sorry I'm so late with this blog, I've been lost in puppyland all week--and no, I'm not talking about next week's installment of ZVCSWB!

The newest Harry Potter opens today and I did not rush to the theater at midnight last night to see it. This makes me sad because I have fond memories of midnight excursions with my daughter when the last few books came out. 

Unfortunately, it's also put me in mind of how much I love series and how depressing it can be when a once promising series begins to disappoint. I know it's unfair of me. I know how next-to-impossible it is to hit the bull's eye with every book/episode/movie in a series. And the longer the series, the harder that gets.  

However, the sad truth is, once a series has jumped the shark, so to speak, or turned unbearably dark or begun to repeat itself to an irritating extent, I find it ruins the entire series for me. I don't just lose interest in any future installments, I lose all desire to revisit the earlier books/episodes/whatever have as well.  Even the beginning becomes tainted. Once you've seen/read/heard/learned something you can't really undo it, you know?

Okay, wait a minute. Perhaps I shouldn't include learning in that list. It seems to me I've "unlearned" many things in my life, although rarely things I've wanted to unlearn. Like French, or Algebra. *sigh* But I digress...

I guess the point I'm trying to make with this mini-rant is that even though I believe an author's first allegiance should be to her characters and story, we also owe something to our audience--those people who have come to love our characters and become invested in their stories.
What do you think? Does it spoil things for you when a series you love takes a turn for the worse? If characters you care about are randomly killed off (yes, I know this happens in real life. but fiction isn't real life, so the same rules don't apply.) or begin to act in ways that are "out of character", do you feel betrayed?  Or is that just me?

For the record: I do intend to watch these last two HP movies. I just don't expect to enjoy them very much.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies Chapter 11

Once they were in her bedroom, Buffi came into his arms as if she’d never left, as if the last three years – or was it five? – had never been, as if it were only yesterday they’d made sweet feral love in the arbor.

He took her mouth with his, kissing her over and over. He could tell she felt the same – he could tell by her needy whimpers, by the way she clung to him, the way she pressed her body against his, that lithe, athletic body he remembered so well. His tongue dipped into her mouth, tasting the honey he’d never forgotten. A man could lose himself in her sweet, sweet kisses.

Need rose in him, fast and furious, need for this lupine temptress that drove him out of his mind. Kissing no longer enough, he found the pearly snaps of her shirt and ripped them open. He drew back, panting, and looked down at her, the shirt hanging open, her lush creamy breasts displayed above the lacy edge of her black bra.

She covered herself with her hands and he lifted his gaze to hers.

“I’ve changed,” she whispered, dropping her long lashes. “I’ve had babies. My body isn’t the way it used to be.”

“Buffi,” he groaned, and swept his hands over her silky skin. “Oh, Buffi. You’re beautiful.”

“I don’t want to disappoint you.”

“You could never. Please, Buffi. Let me see you.”

She lowered her hands slowly and he pushed her shirt down over her shoulders, his gaze greedily taking in the sight of her womanly curves. “Beautiful,” he said hoarsely. “I’ve never wanted you more than I do right now.” It was true. She looked even more beautiful than he remembered and his need for her raged almost out of control.

She gave him a tremulous smile and then her hands were on him, too, at the buckle of his belt, undoing it, then pulling the belt free from his jeans with a long, slow pull. She gave him a sultry smile, that sexy wolf smile that had haunted his dreams and fantasies for the last three years – or was it five? Whatever.

“You have such a big....buckle,” she purred.

“It’s custom made,” he moaned. “With the Double Fang logo.” Then she flicked the leather belt against his ass with a bite of stinging pleasure. “Ah! Buffi! You vixen.”

She paused. “I’m a wolf,” she corrected him. “And don’t you forget it.”

“No. Never.” He kissed her once more.

She dropped the belt to the floor with a clunk of the heavy buckle and then she dropped to the floor, too, her fingers now working at the fly of his jeans. When her fingers closed around him, her touch on his throbbing manroot almost brought him to his knees, and once again he gasped her name. His jaw clenched. The vein in his temple throbbed.

He threaded his fingers through her pelt of golden hair and held her head as she used her mouth to take him to paradise, used her lips, her tongue, even, dammit, her teeth, those sharp predatory, meat-eating teeth that made him just a little nervous when she was having lunch downtown. He groaned.

She licked and nibbled — gently, thank you, God—until he saw stars, sensation building inside him bigger than the Lone Star state, hotter than a Texas heat wave, and he pulled away from her. “Stop!” he gasped, his hands holding her head.

She peered up at him, those bluebonnet eyes wide, her mouth wet and sexy and pouting. “But Rock...I want to...”

“Not like that,” he muttered, hauling her to her feet and crushing her in his arms as he kissed her again. “I want to be inside you.”

With vampire speed, he stripped her out of her clothes and got her flat on her back on the bed, but he got a little hung up trying to get his own jeans off over his custom-made Lucchese, hand-crafted lizard skin boots with diamond tipped spurs. Hopping from one foot to the other, he pulled off his boots and tossed them aside, then staggered out of his jeans as Buffi lay naked on the bed, watching him with luminous bluebonnet eyes. She held out her slender arms to him and he fell over her in a rush of lust and excitement and passion.

He buried his face in the side of her neck, inhaled the sweet scent of gardenias and tuberose. He opened his mouth on the soft flesh there and sucked.

“Rock?” Buffi moved away and met his eyes with a question. “Do you want to...?”

He closed his eyes. “No. I still can’t.”

“That’s okay.” With gentle hands she brought his mouth back to her neck where he licked and sucked...but didn’t draw blood.

He slipped a hand between them, brushed over the curls between her thighs, found her soft folds, her dewy nectar. “Ah, Buffi.” Her back arched and she opened to him, like a flower opening to the sun, like the gates of the Double Fang in calving season, like a favorite book opening to the good spot. He shifted lower to taste her nipples, to feast on the sweetness of her breasts. “So wet,” he murmured, his fingers still playing in her love flesh. “So wet for me.”

“Always, Rock.” Her hands threaded through his hair and held his head to her breast. “Always.”

He moved over her, between her athletic thighs, found his tallywhacker and directed it to her bower of bliss. Then Buffi went rigid beneath him. “Wait!”

He sucked air into his lungs, his body throbbing. “What?”

“Birth control. You need a condom.”

“No. I don’t.” He gritted his teeth, lust pulsing through him hot and hard. “You know it’s not the right time in the lunar cycle for your lycanthrope fertility to be at its peak.”

“That’s what you said last time,” she muttered. Then with a sigh of submission, she wrapped her arms and legs around him once more and took him into her body. They both cried out as they came together as one and fell into the flames.

Together they gasped and sighed, kissed and licked. Tension built in his love spuds, every muscle in his body tightening. He was racing to the finish, too fast, too fast. He, who prided himself on his rock-hard control, was out of control, thanks to Buffi, this wondrous wolf woman beneath him who cried out his name over and over.

“Rock, oh please Rock!”

He gritted his teeth, clenched his jaw and once again slipped his hand between them to find her button of love.

Her body tightened beneath him, quivering, her fingernails digging into his back in sharp bites of pain as she found her climax. His mind went empty, fireworks exploded in bright colors behind his eyelids, and he poured himself into her, shattering as they fell off the edge of the earth together.

Some time later — much, much later — Buffi drifted back down from another delicious cloud of bliss she’d been floating on. Something was digging into her back. She slipped a hand beneath herself and pulled out the handcuffs, then with a secret smile, tossed them aside. She ran a hand up and down over Rock’s rock-hard muscles. “Mmmm,” she said. “Oh, Rock. That was so good.”

They lay twined together in her bed, sheets tangled around them. Her body ached with sweet satisfaction. He was the only man who could ever make her feel this way. It had always been like that between them. Uncontrollable. Undeniable. Unclothed.

Rock’s hand found her breast and squeezed gently, and that exquisite tingling started again down low inside her. “I’ve missed you Rock,” she whispered.

“I missed you too. I never knew how much until I saw you again.” He nuzzled her hair.

Should she tell him? Should she take advantage of this tender moment and confess her secret? There could never be anything real between them if she kept the secret of his fatherhood from him. Was this the time to tell him the truth?

To be continued...Chapter Twelve

If you enjoyed this chapter of The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies, please be sure and join us again next Thursday for the next exciting installment.

You can read more about the serial HERE. And be sure to enter our contest! Rules and information can be found HERE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's In a Name?

Recently, I got a review that was largely positive, for which I thank the reviewer. But she had one quibble that I found sort of interesting. She said some of my characters had names that were hard to pronounce, and she didn’t like that. Now I’m not entirely sure which characters she was referring to. Toleffson doesn’t strike me as that hard to figure out, nor Barrett nor Dupree. I suppose Avrogado might give some people pause, but still it’s pronounced pretty much the way it’s spelled. My continuing heroine Docia might have a name that would create problems for some readers, but again, it’s a short name and however you pronounce it will probably be okay (most commonly, it’s DOSHya). I finally decided it had to be one of my minor villains who was causing most of the problem—Biedermeier. If that was it, I apologize. Maybe I should have called him Schultz.

The thing is, though, this wasn’t the first time I’ve heard this criticism, although I think it’s the first time it was directed at me. It’s becoming another of those writing “rules” that get bandied about from workshop to workshop. Make sure your character names aren’t too hard to pronounce. Readers don’t like it.

Now leaving aside for the moment the fact that this new rule eliminates most Russian novels (Dmitri Fyodorovich Karamazov anyone?), it also strikes me as a difficult rule to fulfill if you’re trying for anything approaching realism in your work. Not everybody is named Smith or Jones, after all.

For example, most of my books are based in the Hill Country of Texas. Now one of the interesting things about the Hill Country is the mix of people who live there. A lot of the towns were settled by Germans, but there’s also a heavy Mexican influence (as there is in most of South Texas), as well as Eastern Europeans from countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. To be true to my setting, I need to use names that might actually turn up in towns like Konigsburg: Biedermeier and Avrogado, Richter and Maldonado, Rankin and Linklatter. And, of course, occasional emigrants from other places like the Toleffson brothers.

I’m not the only one who does this, of course. Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak books are set in the Alaskan bush and they bristle with Russian and Scandinavian names, along with Aleut and Tlingit. Janet Evanovich has Slavic and Italian names in New Jersey. Eloisa James has French names in eighteenth century England. And all of them help to give the settings some heft.

So I’m not inclined to follow this advice, although I can understand why it’s given. Occasionally as a reader I’ve had to struggle with pronunciation, but I usually came up with something that worked for me, although it may not have been exactly accurate (although Charlaine Harris, in her latest Sookie Stackhouse, threw me by telling me exactly how to pronounce a Roman character’s name, which meant I had to keep correcting my own pronunciation all the way through the book).

Character names shouldn’t be needlessly difficult, but by the same token they’re part of the setting you create. And in the end, I think you have to trust your readers to figure things out.

So what do you think? Are you turned off by difficult names, or are you willing to tolerate a few tongue twisters for the sake of local color?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest Blogger Em Petrova - Manscaping

In a world where women flock to bikini bars to be groomed, where every sexual object is waxed, shaved and using enough depilatory cream to cause a nuclear explosion, I had to wonder…how far will men go to get groomed? If you’re a fan of the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World commercials, you may have seen the one where he says he has no idea what manscaping is. In case you don’t know either, it’s the act of a man grooming the extraneous hair on his body, whether it’s back, toe, or balls. It’s the new “boxers or briefs” question. How do you like your man groomed?

I have a friend who removes all body hair a la Olympic swimmer. His only advice is, “Don’t get the Nair near your nipples. That shit burns.” This seems a bit extreme to most ladies. I don’t know about you, but I have a small routine that does not include shaving things like arm hair. I mean, who has time let alone inclination?

And we’ve all seen those Sasquatch men lying on the beach, sunning their fur coats. I’m sure some women snuggle up to those beasts at night and run their fingers through their chest hair. This, too, seems extreme.

For most women, we like our men to look like men. What romance reader wants to find their Highlander’s knees bare? I have to admit I’m a huge fan of facial hair. Most of my heroes sport a sexy scruff, the kind that deliciously burns the heroine’s sensitive skin. As for the other parts, I like to see a little trimming “down there,” but keep the chest hair please. Back? Uh, no. Nose? Oh, hell no.

So tell me your manscaping preferences. How bare would you like your man to go? And if you’re shy, you can answer the older question—boxer or briefs? Leave a comment and enter to win a copy of RUNES, my paranormal ménage a trois. Winner will be announced Friday, November 19.




watch the Runes book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxjwNTSYBSk

buy link: http://www.eredsage.com/store/Runes_Em_Petrova.html

Amazon buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Runes-ebook/dp/B004A14VCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1288734235&sr=8-1

Excerpt of RUNES: Adult Content:

Evangeline rolled to her stomach, pressing her aching bare breasts into the mattress. Maybe her state of undress had spawned the dream, but she didn’t think so. Whatever drug she’d overdosed on had had adverse effects. She’d been hallucinating for a week. Whether sleeping or awake, it didn’t matter. Her sister’s auburn-haired ex-boyfriend had sidled into her brain via psychotropic meds.

She rocked her hips against the bedclothes as the memory of his long, tapered fingers filled her mind. His fingers had circled her waist, spanning it easily, his thumb flicking the thin gold hoop in her navel as his tongue sank between her lips. She could still taste him. Spearmint gum, the faint trace of cigarettes, and the most mind-blowing scent of male. This image, like all the others plaguing her, left her trembling with need of an addict. But she was no longer addicted to drugs, and didn’t need cocaine to escape her problems or her body. The hallucinations of her sister’s ex had driven her to new heights.

Hot and annoyed, she jumped to her feet, and strode across her bedroom to peer into the long mirror. Short, spiky hair, a wave of violet over one eye, a tiny silver stud in her nose, and two other concealed hoops, one in her nipple, the other in her navel.

The tattoo still shocked her. She couldn’t remember getting inked, not surprising since she’d stumbled home from the club, drunk and buzzed, and tossed back a bottle of Xanax in an attempt to stop the gnawing pain in her soul. Swallowing pill after pill with tap water, she’d wanted to stop the pain forever. But it hadn’t worked. She’d awakened hours later with a tattoo winding from her shoulder to her temple.

She touched the stars at the corner of her eye with a fingertip. She had to admit the rune lettering and spattering of stars suited her.

What would her lover Sean make of this? She shivered thinking of him. Too much time had passed since she’d set eyes—or hands—on his sexy, sculpted chest, or felt his searing kiss. They’d been sleeping together for six months, but she’d refused to let him draw her into his life. Staring now at her new clear-eyed reflection, she wondered if it was time to move toward a commitment.

Her fingers longed for the strings of her guitar, but it was deep night. She couldn’t risk waking her sister, Jessa, or worse, her father. So she settled for leaning against the headboard with the instrument, embracing its familiar weight.

The hallucinations did more than excite her libido. They inspired new music in her, and she’d been writing. Between her job at the bookstore, and being bombed out of her mind for days on end, she hadn’t had time to devote to her true passion—songwriting. Perhaps turning over a new leaf could further her goal of achieving her dream of becoming a songwriter.

As a particular bar of music flitted through her mind, a new vision of Will rose inside her. She slung an arm over her eyes and allowed it to consume her. The short, red hairs of his jaw bristled against the sensitive flesh of her stomach, blazing a trail of heat directly to her sex, which moistened and swelled for him. Then surging upward, his big hands cradled her face, caressing the star at the corner of her eye, and sending a shock straight to her core. Her head fell back, her body shuddering as if on the edge of orgasm. Her fingers fluttered over his muscled chest down to the edges of a tattoo that disappeared into the curling dark hairs cushioning his cock. A flood of emotion surged through her fingertips. A marrow-deep jolt hit her, followed by the taste of desire, and inexplicable tenderness.

Evangeline gently laid her guitar on the bed next to her, thrashing herself for entertaining such feelings for a guy she’d seen only once or twice in passing. Her sister’s ex, Will What’s-His-Name.

Fingers shaking, she lit a cigarette, then crossed to the mirror, leaning close again to study her reflection. This clear-eyed Evangeline was new to her, but she could learn to like her. Another flash of auburn hair crossed her vision, and she stared hard into her dark blue eyes. Thoughts of Sean plagued her.

“Oh Will,” she murmured ruefully, “I don’t even know you.”

Author Bio:

Em Petrova is the author of Runes, Isolde’s Wish, Trefoil, The Tempest, Tattoo Dream, and Deux.

Since a young age, Em has been lured by the world of paranormal and romance. She penned her first novel at the age of twelve, and after gaining an arts degree, has returned to her literary roots. She loves to dig deep into the souls of her unique characters and uncover their secret desires when she doesn’t have her nose in a great new read.