Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Naughties Get Smutty with Crystal Jordan

Greeting from sunny California! Okay, I'm kidding. It's actually raining here in my neck of the woods in Cali, but considering I've lived in places where they made me dig my car out from under a small mountain of snow just to get to work every morning, I'll take the rain and not complain.

Right, right. You don't want me to talk about the weather. All righty then, here's how I'm going to roll today. We have a theme we're talking about this week, so I'll play with that. Then I'm going to lay down an excerpt on you from my book that comes out next month. My first full-length novel even, so I'm so excited I could just burst about it. And to make up the fact that I'm throwing down some blatant pimpage on you, I'm going to offer up some free goodness that plays into both my new book and being a Smutketeer.

Eden, naughty girl that she is, told me we should talk about our favorite smutty moment on film. Because we're Smutketeers, don't you know? We know smut when we see it. And, for the record, she said it wasn't allowed to be porn. Well, fine, if you want to limit my creativity that way. Hee.

All right, seriously. Smuttiest film moment. I asked my guy, and he voted for the love scene in Last Tango in Paris, but I haven't watched that one--I may have to now! I have to admit the smutness that revved me up was that sex scene in Brokeback Mountain. Anyone who's seen the movie knows exactly what I'm talking about. Oh, yeah. That late night moment, two hot guys in a tent together and they go from zero to hot sex in about 2.5 seconds. I wasn't the only one getting an embarrassing little flush going in the theater, was I?

Mmm-hmm. Yum. That's definitely the smuttiest moment that comes to mind for me. Jake and Heath worked the hell out of that movie.

While several of my books have guy on guy sex scenes, my upcoming one EMBRACE THE NIGHT is just one guy with one girl. Though, I'm toying with a guy-on-guy-on-girl ménage for later in the series. It might end up being a permanent threesome or one of the guys might go off and find another girl. The characters haven't told me yet. Anyway, enough teasing and on to some real details about the book.

Embrace the NightThey're the Magickal ones...vampires, werewolves, witches, and fae who dwell among humans, united by extraordinary talents and unbridled sexual powers...

Chloe Standish went looking for a one-night stand to erase the memories of her cheating ex--and found the hottest sex of her life. A witch and biochemist working on a cure for werewolves, Chloe knows all about magic, yet Merek Kingston evoked a spellbinding lust beyond anything she'd ever felt. But now her ex-boyfriend and research partner is dead, his part of the formula in terrorists' hands...and the detective in charge is Merek, the same man who's haunted her dreams ever since the frenzied night together.

Chloe is the one person whose future Merek can't predict...the only woman who could make him break every rule just to posses her again. Nothing will stop him from protecting her, and an explosive passion too primal, too perfect to forget...

Where to get EMBRACE THE NIGHT (which comes out on May 31st)--Amazon, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, B-A-M, Borders, Chapters, IndieBound, Powell's


“Mmmph.” Something heavy landed on Chloe's stomach, jerking her out of the erotic dream, the erotic memory. Her heart thundered, sweat slid down her face, and her lungs heaved in a desperate bid for air. Icy fear and hot lust warred for dominance inside her as the fantasy gave way to reality. She shuddered, her fingers balling in soft cotton sheets. Her familiar's eyes glowed in the low lighting of the lamp she'd left on, a freakish little alien head peering down at her. Ophelia blinked, her whiskers twitching. Chloe groaned, shoved the Siamese cat off her belly, and flopped over to bury her face in the pillow. “Gods.”

How many times was she going to have that dream? How often did she have to relive that wild night? It had happened two months ago, and hardly a night had passed that she hadn't had the dream.

Maybe she just needed to get laid. Get that night out of her system. She moaned into her pillow, squeezing her thighs together as a lingering throb of desire went through her. That was how she'd ended up having that night in the first place, by telling herself she needed to get laid, to get her cheating ex out of her system.

That had gone so well for her.

She'd gone out to Sanguine, her favorite Magickals-only private club, scoped out every species of hotty the Magickal community had to offer--elves, Fae, vampires, werewolves, warlocks--mentally debated the sexual gifts each species could bring to the table--bedroom, whatever--and then she'd seen him. After that, there'd been no contest. Chemistry was a bitch like that. She would know--she was a biochemist.

Sighing, she rolled over, kicked the sheet off of her, and forked her hands through her sweaty hair. Her body still burned, her sex aching with a need to be filled with more than just her vibrator. “Damn it.”

Dwelling on her lack of a love life since her one-night stand wouldn't help her. And thinking about Damien-Raines-the scum-sucking-vampire who'd left her for a she-vamp he'd knocked up, which was where her shame spiral had started, wouldn't help her disposition at all. However, the fact that his ferret familiar was probably still hexed into an ugly lampshade made her lips quirk. Vampires sucked at casting spells. Damien had just sucked, period. Too bad it had taken her so long to figure that out.

She heaved herself out of bed and played soccer with Ophelia's sinuous body as she tried to twine herself around Chloe's legs while she walked. Tripping, she hit the swinging door to the kitchen and almost face-planted into the floor. “Damn it, Ophelia.”

The cat sniffed, leaped up onto the counter, and flicked a delicate paw at her food bowl in an unmistakable feline demand. Chloe rolled her eyes and grumbled all the way to the cabinet that contained the outrageously expensive cat cuisine her familiar liked. Dumping the contents into the food dish, Chloe went about retrieving her own sustenance while the cat dug in.

Thirty seconds later, she had a steaming mug of coffee cradled between her palms. The first sip made her moan. “Ahhh.”

Bless the Normal human who'd invented the automatic coffeemaker. Magic did some awesome things, but sometimes Normal technology trumped all. She leaned against her counter and gazed out her kitchen window at the morning mist shrouding her Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, drifting out into downtown Seattle. The city lights were a pretty haze that streaked the skyline. Sunbeams began to pierce the fog, so she knew it would be a rare sunny day in the Emerald City. Yesterday had been wicked hot, too, but Chloe loved the brightness. She'd have to remember to go for a walk during lunch today.

Bon Jovi's “Bad Medicine” blared from her cell phone, jolting her from her reverie, and she jogged into her living room to grab it from the charger. Her best friend, Tess's, name popped up on the caller ID. Grinning, Chloe punched the button to answer. “Dr. Jones, I presume. What are you doing up at the ass crack of dawn this morning?”

“Still haven't slept from last night.” A huge yawn fuzzed the phone line. “We're short-staffed so I pulled a double. Budget cuts.”


“Tell me about it.” Tess worked as a pathologist for the FBI. The Normal side of the FBI. She was one of the most Normal humans Chloe had ever met. “I haven't put in hours this awful since my residency.”

Along with werewolf Jaya Nemov, they'd become friends in med school, which was the only reason Chloe and Jaya had gotten close to anyone outside the Magickal community. Most Magickals didn't bother because it was just too hard to keep people in their lives they had to constantly lie to about who and what they were.

Chloe knew she should probably ease out of her relationship with Tess, but when Jaya died during a full moon Change, it emphasized to Chloe that a good friend was hard to come by, magic or no magic. Tess might never know the truth behind Jaya's death, but she'd still shared the loss of someone they all loved. So, Chloe kept her friend and did what she had to do to keep her secrets.

Then again, a part of her had always wondered if the reason she held on to Tess was because her long-dead mother had been a Normal. She grinned, and it wasn't nice. Her family was almost as horrified that she had befriended a Normal as they had been when her father had married one and bred a halfling.

Another yawn sounded through the phone, recapturing Chloe's attention. Her grin softened and she cradled the phone closer to her ear. “So, you're calling because . . . you want to get together for dinner tonight and tell me more about the suckfest of budget cuts?”

Tess chuckled. “You're a mind reader.”

“Sure. That's totally a plausible explanation, Doctor.” Chloe inserted as much drawling derision into her voice as possible, and Tess laughed. Telepathy wasn't one of Chloe's magical skills, so it wasn't an outright lie, it just wasn't the whole truth. This time. A familiar twist of guilt knotted her insides, but she pushed it aside. Tess was Normal, Chloe was Magickal; there was nothing she could do about the need to prevaricate. “How about you meet me here around seven?”

“Perfect. See ya. I'm hitting the hay now.” The call was punctuated with one final yawn from Tess before both women disconnected.

Chloe went to drop the phone in her purse and saw she'd missed a call about an hour before. There was a voicemail message waiting for her. She hadn't heard the phone ring, but then, why would her subconscious want her to wake up from a steamy episode of her regularly scheduled Merek-dream?

She shoved a hand through her disheveled hair and pushed the reminder of her one-night warlock out of her mind. Flipping her cell over to speakerphone, she accessed her voicemail while she wandered into her bedroom to dress for work.

A deep, silken male voice emerged from her phone. “Chloe, it's Damien.”

Chills crept down Chloe's spine and a hollow feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. The last person she expected to get a call from was Damien. Hell, the last person she wanted a phone call from was Damien. Shaking off that inane thought, Chloe zipped up her skirt and shoved her feet into a pair of ballet flats. While she walked into the bathroom to brush her teeth and hair, she hit the buttons to replay the message she hadn't really listened to.

“Chloe, it's Damien.” A muffled thump sounded in the background of the call, but Damien hurried on. “I'm sorry to bother you at home. Don't erase this . . . I need to talk to you about work. It's . . . It's important to the project. Call me back. Please.” The call ended abruptly, as if someone had stabbed the End button with more force than necessary.

The please gave her pause. Damien never said please. Then again, he also never said I'm sorry. He was a vampire. They were, by definition, coldblooded. They also tended to have superiority complexes and thought everyone, from other Magickal species to Normals, were so far beneath them they didn't even register on their radar. Sure, most of them would stoop to having a fling with a non-vampire, maybe one or two non-vampire friends, just for variety, but anything else was out of the question. They didn't mix.

Luckily, Chloe hadn't wanted more than that from Damien, but she had expected fidelity while they were together. Apparently, that had been beneath him, too. She sighed, disconnected the call, and slid her cell into her pocket.

The worst part about dating someone you worked with was when it ended badly. She'd learned that lesson the hard way. They were both team leads in pharmaceutical R&D for Desmodus Industries, but since those teams were working on the same project, they did see each other, but not that often. Thank the Gods.

Shoving her arms into a jacket, she picked up her handbag and headed for the side door that lead to her detached garage. If the bloodsucker wanted to talk to her about work, he could do it when she got there.

She wasn't calling him back.


Since you made it to the end of the blog post, here's what you can win. Just make a comment on this post--tell me what your favorite paranormal being is, since I have so many I'll be playing with in the EMBRACE THE NIGHT series--and you're entered to win a pair of copper “Wicked Witch” earrings AND your very own copy of the book. They're kind of steampunky, which is Smutketeer-ish, and the wicked witch label fit my new book, so I just couldn't pass them up when I saw them on Etsy (this contest is limited to people in the continental US. Sorry!).

Wicked Witch Copper Earrings

Hope it was good for you too!

-Crystal Jordan

All for Smut, and Smut for all!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Naughties Get Smutty with Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin

The Smutketeers have been having a blast taking over the Naughty Nine's blog this week, so why stop now? We *love* being in control. Add in a little naughty, a little smutty, and we're in heaven! What more could a girl ask for? Prizes, you say? We've got those, too! Read on, and I'll announce my giveaway at the end of this post.
Today I'm going to give you all a peek at two of my books.

The first is THE TURNING KISS, Book Three in my Midnight Playground series. If you like sexy vampires, dark, mysterious sex clubs, a little menage with your sex, and just a touch of kink, then this could be the perfect book for you!

They have nothing to lose…except the one gift they never expected to find.

Midnight Playground, Book 3
Ilana escaped a life of sex slavery, using her extraordinary beauty to survive among the few remaining wealthy humans in London. But she has higher aspirations. For two years she has haunted the BDSM dungeons of the Midnight Playground, hungering for The Turning Kiss—that deep drink that will make her one of them. An immortal vampire.

Turned out onto the streets of Edinburgh as a child, Calam’s tortured path led him to a job at the club, where he also engages in exotic and dangerous sex play with its clientele. Craving, like Ilana, the eternal escape of the Turning Kiss.

Ilana is undeniably drawn to the beautiful Scotsman, but she has no time to waste; the club takes no one over thirty. When a sinfully compelling vampire pair brings them together for an unusual foursome, she and Calam are shocked to discover it isn’t the vampires they crave, it’s the tenderness and emotion they feel for each other.

After years of seeking to feel something, anything, other than the pain of the past, the ultimate gift is within Ilana’s reach. Yet the cost—leaving her heart behind with a mortal—could be more than she can bear.

* * *


She looked away, scanning the crowd. It was packed tonight. A few of the vampires had moved onto the dance floor. They were more than merely beautiful. Graceful beyond any human capacity. And among them were a pair she hadn’t seen before.

Two males, stunning, as the vampires always were. They were dressed alike in black leather pants and no shirts, both of them tall. One with a short crop of spiky brown hair and a tight, muscular body, porcelain pale skin. The other with a leaner build, his black hair hanging in a thick braid down his back. His face was exotic, his skin a shining gold, as if he were nearly exoskeletal, made of polished metal. They moved together, their bodies in perfect synchronicity. As she watched, they surged closer, until the short-haired one was straddling the thigh of the leaner one.

Need shimmered over her skin like a wave of heat as she watched them dance. They were exciting. Exquisite.

The short–haired vampire raised his gaze and gestured with his hand. It took her a moment to realize he was motioning to her. She took a breath, stood and joined them on the dance floor.

She felt the stinging warmth of their bodies close in around her as she moved with them, one on either side, hips and shoulders barely grazing her skin, in time with the music. Then a hard pair of hands smoothing over her shoulders. Desire was an instant, steady pulse beat between her thighs.

The one with the long braid, moving behind her, whispered in her ear, “I am Luka.”

“And I am Konstantine. You are Ilana, yes?” He spoke with a Russian accent, softened with time. She could feel the weight of his years as he stood before her, gazing into her face. She knew he was very old, older than the other one, Luka, by several centuries. “We have heard of you from some of the others. You are as enchanting as they said. And you smell luscious.” His voice was a low purr. “Human, yet something else…”

Luka leaned in, until she could feel his breath against her ear. “Yes. She smells like smoke. Like incense.” His accent was the same as Konstantine’s, perhaps a bit heavier, lyrical, with an exotic edge she couldn’t identify. “Like flowers.”

“And sex,” Konstantine added, smiling.

His eyeteeth gleamed in the pulsing lights, razor sharp and beautiful. She could see now his face was harsh featured, rugged, all hard edges and square lines. But gorgeous. His eyes were a deep, liquid brown, like two pieces of gleaming glass. His mouth was full and red, as if he’d recently drunk.

He took one of her hands, brought it to his lips, scraping his teeth across her knuckles. A wave of need rolled through her, staggering her. She swayed against Luka and he held her close, his hands closing around her waist. He had long, tapered fingers, the hands of a musician. She wanted to see him, to turn around, but she didn’t dare. And she was too stunned by them both, by the sensations already spearing into her sex, simply having them this close. In fact, she was soaking wet. Ready. For anything.

So ready she was surprised when she found herself distracted by the Scotsman stepping onto the dance floor with another vampire, a petite female with a lush, rounded figure, radiant ebony skin and curling dark hair. The vampire pulled him down for a brief kiss, and she felt a strange sensation in her chest. Envy? How could that be? He was merely human. And here she was with two vampires, both beautiful, exotic, and shining with that immortal light.

Luka’s hands moved down, his fingertips brushing the edge of her the low-slung skirt, and pleasure was like a knife, cutting into her, just as their teeth would later, if she were lucky enough.

“We offer you an invitation,” Konstantine said, still smiling. He reached out and ran one finger along her jaw. She trembled with need.

Yes, must have him. Must have them both.

“We want you with us this evening,” Luka whispered from behind her. Then he turned her in his arms.

His face was smooth, pretty almost. So different from Konstantine’s. A little androgynous. But every bit as beautiful. Incandescent. His eyes were a glowing hazel, silver and bronze and dusted with gold. His black hair was like liquid jet, dark and shining like a raven’s feathers. But with that hard gleam of the vampires.

Her breasts ached.

Yes…be with them…

“Come with us, Ilana.”

She nodded.

As they took her hands and led her from the dance floor, she couldn’t help but notice the redheaded Scotsman once more, her heart giving a sharp thud.

Whatever was wrong with her? She had exactly what she wanted. Or the beginning of it, at least. Perhaps these two vampires would be the ones to offer her the ultimate gift. And in any case, they were offering her an evening of sex—the most amazing, mind-blowing sex any human could ask for.

She wanted it. Needed it. Her body hummed with that need, a stark desire so pure and strong, she was dizzy with it.

So what was it about that man?

He was human. Nothing more. She could put him out of her mind and focus on the pair of exquisite creatures who were leading her up the grand marble staircase to the private rooms upstairs.

She burned with need. For Luka, Konstantine. And some part of her she wanted to deny, but couldn’t, for that beautiful Scotsman with the charming dimple and the enormous muscles, who was in the arms of another vampire downstairs.

* * *

Just a small peek at what's to come-literally and figuratively...*G* Hope you've enjoyed a taste of my Midnight Playground series. I adore my naughty vampires, and my favorite, the ancient and mysterious Ever, will not only get his own book later this year from Samhain, but I'm also currently working on a prequel that tells the story of how he became a vampire, which will be available very soon! Meanwhile, Books One and Two, THE SEEKING KISS and BLOODSONG, are out now!

As some of you may know, I also write for Berkley Heat as Eve Berlin-very romantic BDSM erotic fiction. PLEASURE'S EDGE is already out in both print and e-book formats, and DESIRE'S EDGE will be out in September. But let's focus today on DESIRE'S EDGE...I first wrote about the hero, Dante De Matteo, in PLEASURE'S EDGE, where he appeared as the hero Alec's best friend and fellow sexual dominant. But he was just too damn sexy to be contained in one book, and bossy man that he is, he demanded to have his own story. But I *love* a bossy man, given the right circumstances, don't you?

Giving in to desire…

As a lawyer, Kara Crawford knows how to keep a secret, especially after being spurned by an ex for revealing her sexual needs. Kara doesn’t expect to find anyone who can fulfill her more extreme desires—bondage and spanking–until she experiences one of the most incredible nights of her life with a man she’s always admired from afar.p>

…can set you free…

Sexual dominant Dante De Matteo knew Kara back in high school, and he never imagined her darkest fantasies would align so perfectly with his. The lovers don’t expect their passion to last more than a night, but when Dante’s new job turns out to be at Kara’s law firm, they find themselves confronted daily with the sparks of their blistering chemistry.p>

…but only if you give yourself completely.

As intense desire draws them closer, deep-rooted fears threaten to pull them apart—unless they can learn to embrace both the pain and pleasure of love.

* * *


He leaned over the bed and pulled the covers back, moved her onto the cool sheets, then climbed in with her, laying his now-naked body over hers.

“I need to be inside you, Kara. Just fuck you hard. Can you take it?”


“Tell me you want it.”

God, his body was like burning silk against hers. His skin so smooth. His cock so hard, resting between her thighs.

“Kara. Tell me,” he commanded.

“Yes, I can take it. I want it hard. I like it hard.”

“Hard fucking? Or more?”

“More?” Why did her breath catch in her throat when he asked her that? Was he asking what she thought he was? “Dante?”

He kissed her neck, his lips firm, yet soft. He nipped at her with his teeth, and the pain was nothing more than a sharp pleasure. He was tracing her lips gently with his fingertips, and she could smell her own ocean scent there. He was all contradictions, this man. She loved it. Loved that he touched her all over at once. Sensation overload.

“I like my sex a little rough,” he told her, kissing her neck once more, then the curve of her jaw.

“Oh . . .”

“Does that shock you?”

“No. Not much shocks me.”

“Do you like the idea, Kara? Because I think you do. As soon as I said it your whole body let go.”

“God, Dante. I . . . Yes. I like it. It’s what I want. Exactly what I want.”

It was his turn to moan. “Ah, you are perfect,” he said. Then after a few breathless moments he said again, “I like it rough. I like to really pump into you. To bite you. To pinch your nipples.”

“Yes . . .”

God, was he really saying these things to her? Her wildest fantasies come true. The ones that had sent her ex, Jake, running in the other direction. Telling her she was crazy. Some sort of weirdo. But she didn’t want to think of him now.

Dante said quietly, “What I really want to do is spank you.”


“Now I’ve shocked you.”

“No. It’s not that.”

“What is it?”

“It’s just . . . what I’ve always wanted. Craved.”

She felt a shiver go through him. Then there was a long pause before he said, “This is going to be very good, then. I promise you, Kara.”

She was shaking all over. Waiting. She was absolutely soaked. Wanting. Dazzled. And it hadn’t even happened yet.

But it was about to.

* * *

Time for a CONTEST!!!

So tell me, why do you think we love a dominant man? Because no matter how competent, how controlled, how much in control we are in our everyday lives, there's something about being released from all responsibility in the bedroom that makes most of us all warm and shivery inside. Answer the question and be entered to win one of two prizes!

~The Vampire Prize for US residents only is this gorgeous pair of blood drop earrings!

~The BDSM prize for anyone outside of the continental US is a $10.00 Amazon gift card!

I'll announce my winners here on Saturday in the comments section, so be sure to include in your comment whether or not you're a US resident-and be sure to check back to see if you've won this prize, or any of the others, including our Day One Surprise Package!

Ooh-and before I forget, I demanded…er…asked of all the other Smutketeers that they tell you all what their favorite smutty movie scene is. Mine, of course, is the spanking scene from Secretary. If you haven’t seen it, you must! So hot and wrong and the tension is unbelievable! *shiver*

Meanwhile, for more about me or my books, drop on by my websites: or the Smutketeers blog, where the Naughty Nine are no doubt messing up our sheets, leaving piles of empty champagne bottles and discarded silk undies lying around, and generally trashing the house! As long as they don't do anything I wouldn't do...which kinda leaves that door wide open...;)

All For Smut, and Smut For All!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Tall Tale of Panting Passion

The year:


The location: 

Netherloin Park, Somewhere in England
Home to His Grace, the Duke of Earl

A single man in possession of no fortune...

Meet Colin Darcy, Duke of Earl. Colin is in no great hurry to become leg-shackled to any female, no matter how comely, but with the future of his estate in financial peril, his uncle assures him that marriage to a titled heiress is the only possible solution. Colin is certain his uncle's choice for him, Lady Chastity Feelsgood, will make a fine wife—for somebody else. But Colin has other dreams and aspirations. And in these dreams there are perfect maidens swooning at his feet. There's high adventure on the open ocean. There's rum to be swilled, swords to be crossed, wind in his hair...he's on a boat.

So what's a disaffected duke to do?

Why, run away to sea, of course, where he can live the care-free life of a cut-throat pirate, buckling swashes, battening hatches, uncovering bountiful treasure chests and testing his mettle in endless battles against...ninjas?

Ninja vs Pirate...

The only survivor of the shipwreck that claimed the lives of her family, Quinn Fitzgerald was rescued and raised by Ninjas. Now known as Quan Yin the Ninja Queen, she sails the seven seas defeating pirates, reclaiming plunder and setting innocent captives free.

Colin, however, is one innocent buccaneer whose booty she'd like to repeatedly plunder and in this duel-of-wills the only thing likely to be captured is her heart.

But whilst the duke is away...

Enter Firth...that is, Westley, or should we say, Roberts? Whatever. All we know for certain is he's the scurrilous Dread Highwayman who's come to Netherloin to take Colin's place. Blackmailed by the missing duke's evil uncle Wickham, Firth/Westley/Roberts agrees to impersonate the lost duke, marry the heiress, pass the...that is, save the duchy and split the lady's dowry with Wickham.

After all, where's the bad? The actual duke is undoubtedly dead (and therefore unlikely to object too strenuously to the impersonation) and the venison is delicious. But the pseudo-duke is lost when he comes face to face with his destiny—the beautiful and very proper Miss Julia Fitzgerald.

In love with a proper scoundrel...

Poor Julia. Left orphaned and destitute when her father's eponymously named ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald, foundered off the coast of Japan, Miss Fitzgerald counted herself lucky when she convinced the Duke of Earl to engage her as governess to his ward, Ward. But there's something different about the duke these days. And although Julia can't quite put her finger on what that difference is, her maiden's heart responds to it.

How very unfortunate for her that, just as she finds she's fallen in love with him, the duke should suddenly choose to announce his betrothal to another.

A Tart in any other age...

Just like her descendent and namesake, Lady Chastity Feelsgood is nobody's fool. By which, of course, we mean she's not yet been spoken for by anyone. Determined not to be left on the shelf, this black widow bride will stop at nothing to trap the Duke or trick him into marriage.

But in this shell game that is life at Netherloin, a lady must be very careful at which Duke she sets her cap. 

Keep your friends close...and your family closer.

Best known for his inability to differentiate between parrots and ducks, the duke's uncle and guardian, the honorable Willoughby Wickham the fourteenth, did not start out a villain...although there's a certain bird who might tell you otherwise.

But, unfortunate incidents aside, Wickham clearly has the Duke of Earl's best interests at heart—a fact that remains constant regardless of whoever happens to be answering to the title at the moment. Because, after all, one duke is very much like another.

Birds in their little nests agree...

Life at Netherloin would be a lot easier for Mr. Wickham if it weren't for Pemberley the peerless peer's purple pet parrot.  This lovely lavender light o' wing takes the prize as the most loyal member of the duke's household, and the most loquacious.

Pemberley's had his eye on Wickham for a long time now. Sooner or later, one of the others will have to notice...won't they?

Children should be seen and not heard.

The only resident of Netherloin who's more intelligent and, sadly, even less significant than Pembereley is the duke's ward...Ward.

The duke's not quite sure how he ended up with a ward in the first place and Ward's even less certain how he ended up in Netherloin's nursery where no one seems to listen to a word he says and the double  threat of warm milk and early bedtimes haunts his every waking hour.


Be sure to join us next Thursday when we unleash the scandalous first installment of this sensational new serial. 

Love's Savage Whiplash

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Naughties Get Smutty with RG Alexander

***WINNERS ARE...***
StacieDM $10 gift card
SheriV- $10 gift card
Jennifer Mathis-ebook Piercing the Veil
Joder- signed copy of Possess Me

Woohoo! It's my day on the Naughty Blog! Time to get comfy in my new surroundings :)

I'm RG Alexander, and despite what Karen may have told you...I am the innocent one. *batting eyelashes furiously* Seriously. Ask anyone. (Crystal, Eden, don't mention the rimming thing-not in front of new people!) I have several series out with Samhain and Ellora's Cave, and a few books coming out this year with Berkley Heat-which I'll talk about in a minute-along with giving away a few PRIZES

Eden wanted me to share my favorite smutty moment in film. I've seen what the other Smutketeers have talked about, and I have to agree-all high on the sexy smut-o-meter. Mine isn't a movie-but I'm sure most of you know the HBO series True Blood? I JUST discovered it last year (I know, I know-but I've been very busy lol). Hubby and I were rewatching a few of the first season's episodes last night and I saw the scene where Bill climbs out of the ground, grabs Sookie and...well you know what happens next.

Ahem...that actually qualifies under several definitions of smut. The first time I watched it I felt like wandering a graveyard at night hoping Bill would find me (smutty obscene). The second time I saw it my husband and I both's covered in dirt...EVERYWHERE. That can't be entirely comfortable. hehe (smutty-sooty-dirty)

I do write about vampires...and werewolves...catshifters, fae, half-demons, voodoo spirits etc. And although on occasion I have been known to write contemporary, even then I add a magical component (like three extra men). I do plan to have several ebooks out this year, but I want to mention my menage antho set in Sedona Arizona, Three Sinful Wishes, that comes out in June- and Tempt Me, the sequel to Possess Me, that comes out in November from Berkley Heat.

In hot and steamy Sedona, Arizona, three women are about to be granted their most intimate desires.

Little fact about me, I used to live in Sedona. It's where I fell in love with my husband. So when I decided to write about three friends wishing on some falling stars, and finding love in the most unlikely of ways with the most unlikely of partners...well it isn't ALL autobiographical of course but...

In the sultry heat of the “Big Easy” desire can be a dangerous thing

I'm so excited about this story! Not only because I get to go back to New Orleans, to the Toussaints, Rousseaus and Adairs (I love those families), but also because of some new characters that have somehow found their way into Bone Daddy's world of Possess Me. BD couldn't be happier, and neither could I. :)

Instead of an excerpt I am going to have a contest with 4 prizes and 4 winners. Just look at my WEBSITE, then come and post here and tell me which ebook of mine you'd like, if you've read Possess Me, (or if you're all caught up) just say hi.

I have a few ebooks, a signed print copy of Possess me and an Amazon gift card or two waiting just for you :)

Thank you Naughty Niners, for inviting me in! I really liked switches...I mean switching!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Naughties Get Smutty with Karen Erickson

Hey everyone! A big thank you to the wonderful ladies of the Naughty Nine for hosting us this week! I must share that today is an important day for me. Why, you ask? Well, it just so happens to be my fabulous husband's birthday. He's turning twenty five - yeah I like 'em YOUNG.

Just kidding. He is younger by me but only by two years (and we're beyond our twenties, trust me)...

I am the newest Smutketeer--the sweetest and most innocent, too. *bats eyelashes* I'm corrupted by the smutty ladies I blog with constantly. Really, I swear!

Okay, I'm kidding again. I cannot deny I'm just as smutty as the rest. And to keep with the theme, I'm going to share with y'all my favorite smuttiest moment on film. That would have to be from the movie The Lover. Have you seen it? Oh, my. *fans self* When you can watch a movie and think the scene where they hold hands is sexy, then whew. Yeah. It's full of the sexy, both the subtle and the blatant. Yum.


So let's talk books. FALLEN came out last month and it's my first foray into paranormal fantasy-type stuff. Here's the blurb:

Jordan Sumner is ready to embrace her new life. After nearly dying at the hands of her mother, moving to a new town offers new possibilities. First on her agenda? Get a tattoo. She just doesn't expect the tattoo artist to be so incredibly sexy or for her to recognize him as the guardian angel who saved her life years ago.

Gabriel Wilder knows the minute he sees Jordan she's different from any other woman he's ever met. A fallen angel with no memory of his past, he senses Jordan is linked to him. He's drawn to her sexually-in every sort of way. They're meant for each other and no matter how much he fights it, he knows it's a waste of his time.

An unknown evil is sent from Jordan's past and is ready to sink its claws into her. Gabe must fight to save what he considers his-Jordan. But is he strong enough to fend off the demon who wants Jordan as his sacrifice, now that he's fallen…fallen for her?

Fallen is available at Loose Id.

Want to read an excerpt? Here ya go - and if you make it all the way to the end, you have a chance to win a prize!


She was light as a feather, but that was no surprise, Gabe thought as he scooped Jordan into his arms and started down the short hall toward her bedroom. He was careful with the way he touched her back, for he knew it still healed. She looped her arms around his neck, and it was her turn to press her face against his neck. He felt the brush of her lips, and he nearly stumbled. Felt the dab of her hot, wet tongue and almost crashed into the wall.

“Salty,” she murmured just before she gave him another lick, and holy shit, he about knocked her head against the doorway of her bedroom when he entered. With gratitude he deposited her on the bed. Let her fall to the mattress, where she landed with a slight bounce.

A bounce that jiggled her breasts, which he noticed were bra free. Those pretty little hard nipples poking against the fabric of her T-shirt were testament to that. She scooted backward so she lay propped against a pile of pillows, her gaze locked on him, and slowly, teasingly he removed his shirt. Tugged it up over his abs, his chest, then over his head, tossing it on the floor, letting her get a good look at what she was about to get involved with.

Because they were getting involved. He could protest all he wanted, but it was too late. He was in deep. Just the thought of her being with anyone else made him want to kill her phantom lover, and it was just a thought, not even a real person.

He couldn't lose her. She belonged to him. And he was about to make her his.

Her mouth dropped open as her gaze roved over him. She looked as if she appreciated what she saw, but he couldn't be sure. He was a rough-looking character, prided himself on it even. Tattoos circled each bicep, curled down either side of his torso. Vibrant, strong tattoos that represented parts of his life, the life he'd only been able to remember for the past eight years.

“You're beautiful,” she whispered, and he was oddly touched at her compliment. No one had ever called him beautiful before.

“I should scare the hell out of you.” His hands went to the front of his jeans, and he worked one snap undone, then the next. Her gaze locked on his busy hands with wide eyes.

“You don't scare me,” she confessed.

“Good.” He finished undoing his jeans and let them fall from his hips to his knees, kicking them off. “Take off your shirt.”

Her eyes went even wider if that was possible, and she wrapped her arms around herself. “But…I don't have my bra on.”

“Perfect,” he practically growled as he rested a hand over the front of his boxer briefs, fingers gripping his straining erection for the quickest moment. “Take it off, darlin'.”

Without a word of protest, she sat up, reached for the hem of her T-shirt. Slowly, teasing him just as he'd teased her only moments before, she drew the shirt up. Revealing the gentle slope of her stomach, the undersides of her breasts, then the full glory of her breasts, for they were most definitely glorious. Perfect, round, and topped with berry pink nipples. Nipples that were hard and beckoning him for a taste.

She shed the shirt and thrust her shoulders back, looking every inch a goddess. A sweet little virginal goddess with shaking hands and wide blue eyes, she leaned back and gripped the waistband of her black pants.

And shed them with one quick yank so she sat before him in just her panties.

Little black panties trimmed with bits of lace that barely covered her hips. His mouth dried at the sight of her. “Roll over,” he rasped. “On your stomach. Roll over.”

She did as he asked with a little frown. Clutching a pillow to her chest, she rolled onto her stomach, revealing the sweeping curve of her back, the bandage covering the tattoo, and the sweet little rise of her ass. Just as he thought, the panties barely covered her cheeks, and the urge to stroke her there -- kiss and lick and bite -- was too strong to ignore.

He fell onto the bed, his head level with her ass, and he squeezed her with his hands. As he kneaded the sweet, plump flesh, he heard her shuddering moan, and his cock jerked in reaction.

“What are you doing?” she asked, her voice raspy.

“Worshipping you,” he whispered as he bent down and kissed her.


I'm hosting a HUGE contest over at my newly revamped blog (grand prize - a KINDLE!). You can find out all the deets here. And because I'm feeling generous, I'm going to have a little contest today as well. Leave a comment and one lucky winner will receive a $10 online gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice!). Just answer the following question in honor of my husband's special day:

Birthdays. Celebrate like crazy or forget they exist? Let's discuss.

Good luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Naughties Get Down with the Smutketeers

Hi everyone, and thanks to the Naughty Nine for switching with the Smutketeers. Ooh-that sounded kinky--or is that just me? We *are* the Smutketeers, after all, and we’re called that for a reason! We are purveyors of smut, happy smut peddlers, deliciously deviant, indelicately indecent, relishers of ribaldry, the smut-tastically smutty Smutketeers! We are a group of authors who write smut. What is smut, you may ask? Let’s look at a dictionary definition:



1. a particle of soot; sooty matter.

2. indecent language or publications; obscenity.

4. to soil or smudge.

–verb: - smuts , smutting , smutted

-to become affected with smut.

- to make obscene

-to emit smut

Indecent language or publications-that’s us! Obscenity? Sometimes, but only at the most charmingly inappropriate moments. To soil or smudge? Well, sex *is* messy, and sometimes that simply can’t be helped. To become affected with smut? We certainly hope so. To make obscene? Yes, please. But our favorite is the part about emitting smut-we hadn’t thought of that. Perhaps the essence of smuttiness wafts around us like a favorite perfume. It would have to smell of cherries and chocolate, contain the scents of a clean white T-shirt and a little leather, and the lovely, sensual fragrance of heated skin. Obscene? Indecent? Oh, yes…and we love it!

But what else are we aside from our smuttiness? We are a group of authors and friends who love to write, and love each other. To find out more, stay tuned for our week-long blog exchange with the Nine Naughty Novelists. One of us will post each day, with excerpts and awesome prizes and a little peek at who we are!

Meanwhile, if you’d like more info about us, visit our blog, or feel free to join our Yahoo group, where we chat with readers every day, have special giveaways, give previews of our upcoming book covers, post sneak peeks at our newest books before they hit the shelves, and generally have a great time! And don’t forget to stop by our Smutketeers blog to see what the Naughty Nine are doing over there while we’re away this week—something scandalous, we’re sure!

CONTEST! What fun would today be without a contest? All you have to do to enter is comment on today's post. That's it! Today's prize is a surprise, and we'll announce the winner and the prize at the end of the week, so be sure to check back!

More coming right up!

All For Smut, and Smut For All!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Who Needs Real?

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to seeing It’s Complicated, the Nancy Myers’ comedy with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. I really enjoyed it, although seeing Alec Baldwin naked wasn’t exactly something I’d planned on. But afterward, I went back through some of the reviews the movie got when it first came out, which were pretty lukewarm. The biggest point of contention? Everybody was too rich.

To clarify: Meryl Streep’s character lives in a beautiful house on a hillside in Santa Barbara. She’s a chef who owns a gorgeous restaurant and bakery, and she hires an architect (Steve Martin) to design an addition for the house that will include a new, enlarged kitchen (her youngest has just graduated from college and she needs a distraction). And that’s where the carping began. Her current kitchen looks just fine, the critics harrumphed. She doesn't need a new one, and besides, who wants to see movies about people who live in beautiful houses and wear beautiful clothes and spend their money on elaborate extensions? It’s just conspicuous consumption. Etc, etc., etc.

Okay, the answer to the “who wants to see” question is “Me.” I live in a nice but modest house in the Denver foothills, but I love to see people in movies who live in the kind of places I will never, ever be able to afford. That doesn’t mean I sit grumpily in my shabby recliner, shriveled with envy either. It does mean I get a kick out of lavish sets where I can live vicariously for a couple of hours.

I’m not sure why some critics suddenly turn into Savonarola when it comes to romantic comedies. Why is it evil for characters to wear pretty clothes and live in beautiful homes? Would it be better or funnier or more romantic if the characters wore stuff they’d purchased at Goodwill and lived in one-room apartments?

Yes, we’re in a bad recession and a lot of people are suffering. I get that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a couple of hours at a level of society we can’t get to ourselves, at least for the foreseeable future. During the Great Depression, Hollywood turned out a whole series of comedies about madcap heiresses who lived in mansions with butlers and maids—Bringing Up Baby, My Man Godfrey, The Philadelphia Story, and so on. People got a kick out of those movies because they were so far removed from what was happening to them on a daily basis. They were Escape in the truest sense.

So please don’t tell me Meryl Streep should have lived in a hovel in some depressed city. Please don’t cavil because Alec Baldwin drives a Porsche. Believe me, it doesn’t matter. Seeing them didn’t make me feel bad about myself or make me want to live beyond my means. It made me laugh for a couple of hours before I had to go wash the sink.

So what about you? Do you like your romantic comedies lavish? Or do you prefer the ones where the characters live in two-room apartments and ride the bus?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


From the authors who brought you The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies, comes a new and even more scandalous story of sword-play, sailing ships and sorrowful separations ripped straight from the annals of Regency England...

Love's Savage Whiplash

Debuting May the Fifth, Two Thousand Eleven 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guest Blogger Lily Harlem - Menage a Trois

I’ve been pondering on the popularity of ménage novels lately. The theme of three people together has always been popular in fiction, many esteemed writers such as Ernest Hemingway (The Garden of Eden) and Dylan Thomas (Under Milk Wood) wrote about relationships when a third person was introduced and the subject has not waned over the years. I’m certainly guilty of adding to the pile J YAY! But what is it about this particular sub-genre which is so alluring to readers and authors?
Ménage à trois, a French term, originally described a domestic arrangement in which three people having sexual relations occupy the same household – the phrase literally translates as "household of three". In contemporary usage, it has also been extended to refer to the actual sexual act between three people.
When I wrote SHARED and SHARED TOO it was the polygamous relationship that fascinated me as much as the sexy stuff – although I have to admit the steamy moments do get the lion’s share of the attention in these books. But the practicalities of three people living together, all with needs, emotions and desires had me wondering. How would it work?
Initially I thought about how the situation would come about – in SHARED’s case it all stemmed from a small ad in the local paper, “Room to let- wanted girl to share”. These two gorgeous, workaholic hunks just stated what they wanted and got it! Ariane. One reviewer over at Miz Love Loves Books said of SHARED…
As well as being an entertaining story, Shared has the potential to make you sit and think. I suspect this is a trait of Ms. Harlem’s. She doesn’t just write a book. She writes “What Ifs” that prod the mind long after the book has ended.

This of course got me thinking more about the “What Ifs”. What if two of them argued? Would the third intervene? It would be hard not to if the person you loved was upset, but how could it not be seen as interfering or taking sides? Also, how would the relationship be seen by the rest of the world? Living in a threesome is not your typical set-up even in this day and age, especially when there are kids involved. I enjoyed tackling these issues when I wrote SHARED TOO which is set ten years on from when Liam, Quinn and Ariane first met.
So to the sex bit. I’ve never indulged in a threesome, came close once! So I’m going to hand over to Ariane, the heroine of SHARED and SHARED TOO and an expert in keeping two hot, highly sexual men satisfied. Welcome Ariane,
Ariane – Hi, thanks for bringing me along to 9 Naughty Novelists, Lily, it is so great to be here. Liam and Quinn are complete workaholics as you know, they work hard and play hard. Quinn, intense and brooding, likes to be centre of attention. He also likes—no, make that insists—on having what he wants. The plus side of this is he’s equally intent on giving me what I want, every time! Liam, on the other hand, is more laid back, not to say he isn’t hot, hard and ready the majority of the time. He is. He just glides through life with a more relaxed attitude, not surprising really after what he’s been through.
Okay so here goes - my tips for keeping it real in the sack with two guys. You should probably know at this point that Liam and Quinn don’t have the hots for one another, they’re just into me, which is perfect as far as I am concerned.
Establish guidelines
If you're going to have sex with two men then all three of you will have limits which may differ, so understanding and respecting one another's comfort levels should be a top priority. Talk beforehand and establish what you are up for and what is a definite no-no for each you! If they can’t respect your rules then this isn’t going to work. There is a difference from being taken out of your comfort zone and trying something new and exciting to doing something you simply don’t want to do.
Remember each guy may suddenly feel jealous, so try your best not to shut either out. Think equal give and take at all times and keep in mind that the object of the game is to share sex between three people, not two with one watching – unless of course that has been previously agreed. Mmm, that can be fun sometimes. J
Although some people try to drink their way to bravery for a threesome, drunken sex usually ends up being bad sex. If you want to have a glass of wine or two to loosen up, that's fine, but no more. You want to be at optimum performance, as well as perfectly tuned into your body for all that delicious arousal.
Pleasure in one-on-one sex goes back and forth, but in a threesome it's more of a cycle that moves from person to person. So focus on turning each man on. To do that you will need to multi-task, but hey, we’re women, we can do that. So be generous with your hands and mouth, even if, for example you are receiving oral sex, your hands and mouth are still free. Get busy, girl!
Thoughtful penetration
Penetration automatically forms a bond between you and one man, leaving the other out. For this reason, allow penetration only when you're sure both men are comfortable with it. Your natural inclination will be to pay close attention to the man burying himself deep inside you, but you mustn't focus on him entirely. This is about the three of you, so keep that thought in mind. Kiss and touch the other man, look him in the eye, and talk to him if the mood is appropriate. If you are comfortable with having double penetration then make sure the guys have the logistics and the lube sorted—you’re not going to be able to concentrate!
Be Safe
Condoms are a necessity if this is not a committed, long term relationship between all three of you.
Quinn likes his sex toys. He has quite a collection of handcuffs, vibrators, paddles and plugs. Last year he bought me some Chinese love balls and made me wear them when he took me out to dinner. Phew! I was so turned on from squirming in my seat we didn’t make it home, he had to pull over in the lane and sort me out.
Liam likes toys too, sometimes, but we don’t play with toys very often as a threesome - though Quinn certainly finds a new one in SHARED TOO he is rather fond of. So I would say for newbies at threesomes to steer clear of toys to start with, unless it’s something you are very familiar with, because let’s face it, two cocks and a selection of orifices really should be enough to keep everyone happy.
End result
At the end of the day, or night, all three of you should be sated and have achieved climax, not necessarily at the same time, because if we are being honest, synchronising orgasm can be hard with two of you. Add in an extra person, and it gets pretty damn tricky. In fact, if you do achieve it, you all deserve medals! Though, from your point of view, being adored and caressed by two ready, willing and able men means there’s no reason on earth why you can’t go for multiple!
Lily - Thanks so much for helping me out with those tips, Ariane, I’m so glad you could step out of your busy life and away from your hunky husbands to spend time with us. I hope readers enjoyed this post about menage a trois. It is a subject that’s here to stay in fiction and why not? It is such gloriously naughty fun!!
Lily x
SHARED TOO – just released – here-
Lily’s website –

Monday, April 18, 2011

My trip home from RT

My trip home from RT

We’ve heard about how much fun RT was and I will echo the others who’ve blogged here and say it was just the BEST time. But my trip home was a day from hell. In fact, I was pretty much in a fog for the rest of the week after RT.

Going to RT, I got up at 5:00 AM to go to the airport for my 7:30 flight. I stayed up until 2:30 AM that night, or rather Thursday morning, which is 4:30 AM my time, which means I was awake for 23 ½ hours. Oy. After five hours of sleep, with a little caffeine and some under eye concealer, I was good to go. I did it all over again. And again. And again. My lack of sleep didn’t seem to have a big effect on me.

But by Sunday when it was time to go home I began to see the effects of sleep deprivation. Here’s how my day went:

1. Get to the airport. In a last minute decision, I decide to check both my bags because my carry on is really heavy. All I need out of the small bag is my laptop, even though I don’t have anything to put it in. I figure I’ll just carry it like a book. However, my bigger suitcase is overweight. The West Jet girl says I can move some things to the smaller suitcase. With people all lined up behind me, I try to move things. The zipper on the big suitcase is stuck. I wrestle with it. The tab breaks off. I use the other zipper pull. Still stuck. I start to get flustered and sweaty. Finally get it open and move some things around. Now I have to get my bags from there to the conveyor and with my purse, laptop and two suitcases, I don’t have enough hands. The West Jest girl helps me, which is very nice, but embarrassing.

2. I get through security and am sitting in the waiting area. I’m wearing a new jacket I bought just before RT. I had never worn it until Thursday when I went to a publisher party and dinner with my agent and a whole bunch of big NY authors. I now see that the new jacket still has paper from the store covering some of the buttons. Greeeaaat.

3. While I’m sitting there, I realize there is a bottle of wine in my carry on suitcase that has now been checked. I don’t think it was packed very well and I have visions of everything in there being soaked in Ménage a trois red wine by the time I get home.

4. Then I realize I had my big canvas Nine Naughty Novelists tote bag that I could have used to put my laptop in. Stupid! Why didn’t I think of that?! Oh well, too late to get it now. I can get it when I get to Calgary as I have to claim my bags to go through customs.

5. A while later I have the brilliant idea that I could also get the wine out of that suitcase, assuming it’s still in one piece in Calgary, and put it in the tote bag too! Why didn’t I think of that?!

6. An hour later, I realize I can’t take a bottle of wine onto the plane. What the hell was I thinking? In fact, if I’d taken my small bag on the plane as carry on as I’d originally planned, they would have confiscated the wine. Still hoping it makes it home without breaking.

7. I get to Calgary. Get my bags. Break two fingernails wrestling them off the conveyor. Then I have the same problem I had in LAX – not enough hands to pull them. I try to stack them, but only make it about four feet. This isn’t working. Once again I’m getting all flustered and sweaty. Then I spot luggage carts. Why didn’t I think of that?! I try to make my way close enough to safely leave my bags and snag a cart. I drop my laptop. Crap! It seems to be in one piece, though, so I get my cart and seem to be on my way.

8. Clear customs no problem although I’m sure they have my records and they KNOW this is the first time in my entire life I’ve come home from the United States so far under my duty-free limit. I’m surprised they didn’t haul me in for questioning because of that.

9. Security is perplexed by something in the tote bag I’ve taken out to use, which still holds an assortment of promo items. I’m hoping it’s not the miniature flogger, which would be fun to explain. After searching through everything in the bag, it turns out it’s the little heart-shaped tin of candies from Samhain. WTF? All seems good until the security girl picks up my lap top and the battery falls out. She says, “I didn’t do anything!” I assure her she didn’t, and pop the battery back in.

10. I’m hungry so I get some French fries. I drop ketchup on my cream-colored scarf.

11. I turn on the lap top to kill some time. I can’t enter my password for some reason. Can’t figure it out. It seems half the keys aren’t working. I restart it. I push some random buttons. I don’t know anything about computers. The battery falls out again. This clues me in to the fact that dropping the lap top might have something to do with this. I push the battery back in. Still not working. I’m getting all flustered and sweaty again. What if my precious lap top is broken?! I take the battery out again, brush off some dust, put it back in and then thank heavens it works! No idea what I did to fix it though.
12. I pass the next hour and a half happily blogging, Tweeting and texting my husband to let him know I’m in Calgary. Then I get on the plane. I know I have to shut my phone off so I start digging in my purse for it. I can’t find my phone, my precious BlackBerry that connects me to the world. I take everything out of my purse. I am panicking. The people beside me are watching me panicking. My phone is not there. I must have left it on the seat in the terminal. I'm getting all flustered and sweaty yet again. I can’t get off the plane because the aisle is full of people still getting on. I push the call button. The flight attendant can’t get to me. We are trying to communicate with hand gestures but she insists I have to wait. I sit down with a sick feeling in my stomach and racing heart, and decide to look in my tote bag and…yes, dammit, there is my BlackBerry. The flight attendant arrives and I have to smile nicely and tell her, “Never mind” .

Somehow I managed to make it home safely, but I think I left my mind in Los Angeles.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cancellation Blues

Yesterday the soap-watching world was rocked by the news that ABC Daytime was cancelling not one but two daytime serials, One Life To Live and All My Children. After weeks of rumors that were vehemently denied by the people in charge, the network did an abrupt about face and trumpeted the news that yes, they were cancelling the shows after all.

I don't watch either show, but the news hit me hard. In just three years, the number of soaps on the air has been cut in half, with Guiding Light and As The World Turns on the chopping block prior to this announcement.

And some would say, so what? Soaps have outlived their purpose. They're old school, appealing to a demographic that doesn't exist anymore. Like it or not, television is a business, and the Powers That Be have an obligation to the bottom line.

But I think this spate of cancellations is a mistake, for several reasons.

First, the loss of the legacy these shows carried is immense. Each of the shows has been around for many decades, with characters and storylines that lasted (in some cases) as long as the shows themselves. Characters were born, grew up, fell in love (multiple times), and raised their own families over the course of the shows. Viewers welcomed these characters into their homes and hearts year after year, coming to know them and care about them in a way that primetime shows can't match. Think about it - a primetime series runs about 24 or so new episodes a year. A long-running primetime show may last 10 years, which equals 240 episodes total.

All of the recently cancelled soaps had over 40 years of history. 52 weeks of episodes, five days a week, for 40-plus years. We're talking thousands of episodes, thousands of hours. This is television on a scale that primetime scripted television can't even imagine.

Second, it's a real loss for the acting community. As Kelly Ripa said on hearing the news, the soaps are a training ground for actors. Soap acting is often derided, but the performers who work on these shows do an amazing job under difficult conditions. Again, we're talking about the difference between memorizing and performing in 20 or so episodes a year, with a week or more to rehearse and prepare for each ep, and creating a new hour-long show every weekday all year long. On soaps, actors are memorizing lines and blocking day to day, often without the chance to run through a scene more than once before cameras roll. Eric Sheffer Stevens said that working on a soap asked him to use a completely different set of acting muscles, requiring split-second decision-making.

So now two more shows are gone, reducing this opportunity for a new generation of actors, not to mention jobs lost for writers, directors, camera operators, and untold other backstage employees. It's even harder to take on the east coast, where just a few years ago there were three soaps filmed in New York City. Early next year, there will be none.

(I also feel horrible for the cast and crew of All My Children, who were uprooted last year and moved across country to L.A. in an effort to reduce costs on the show. Now they're pink-slipped with little notice.)

Worst of all, to my mind, is the dismissal of the community of soap fans. Soap watchers are a passionate bunch, and fiercely loyal. There are generations of viewers, people who grew up watching with their moms and grandmas, and are dedicated watchers now. Viewers meet in person at fan events and connect online, discussing storylines and pairings with other fans. They care about their shows and the people who populate the fictional towns portrayed in them. And it's a slap in the face to casually jettison decades of a unique cultural phenomenon for yet another "lifestyle" show that will be quickly forgotten. (Seriously, ABC? You're replacing a beloved soap with something called The Chew? Ugh.)

So RIP, One Life To Live and All My Children. And to Y & R, GH, Days, and B & B, please keep fighting the good fight. The future of the genre depends on you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Home Alone Winners

Congrats to the winners from our home alone party!

RT Swag winners: Angel & Mai

Print Book Winners:

Autographed print book from Kate: Jen B.
Autographed print book from Sydney: Sherry

eBook Winners:

Download from Kate's backlist: Darcy
Download from Sydney's backlist: Willa

To claim your prize just email Kate ( or Sydney ( Be sure to include your mailing address or preferred download format with your book choice.

Photos from RT

Kelly and Kinsey
Mr. Romance 2010 at our reader event
More from the reader event
Mr. Romance 2010 and his lovely wife

Meg with the Samhain poster
PG at the ebook expo
Kinsey at the ebook expo
Meg and Juniper at the ebook expo
Skylar and Kinsey at the Samhain Steampunk party

Erin at the ebook expo

Kelly's neck at the Vampire Ball