Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guest Blogger Kaily Hart..You Read WHAT???

You Read WHAT!?
You wouldn’t believe some of things I’ve heard people say or those that have been said to me about women who read romance. Or perhaps you can J. Can you imagine what’s said about the women that actually WRITE it? With all the talk this week about Judy Mays and her situation this seemed like such a worthy topic to bring up. The disparaging way the romance genre is viewed overall still confuses and frustrates me and not much really ticks me. Actually, I don’t often get ticked off at all, but this really does it for me. Yes, it’s probably primarily from men, but I’ve heard a lot of very disparaging remarks from women as well, women who “wouldn’t lower themselves to read such trash”. LOL. Sure, not everything is for everyone. But when it comes to romance, it’s not just that some people choose not to read it, it’s almost like they have to belittle those that do as well. It doesn’t seem to be the case with other genres of popular fiction. In fact, quite the opposite, so what gives??

Here are some things I’ve come across and my thoughts on it:

Women who read romance are fat, ugly, unmarried women who can’t get a guy – Wow, generalize much? I know for a fact this is not true!

Women who read romance just need a good lay by a real guy - Ah, great defensive comeback, usually masking your own deficiency and every woman everywhere could do with a good lay now and again J, romance reader or not.

Romance is not serious fiction – Oh, and science fiction and urban fantasy are? And by the way, many, many books from other genres have an element of romance in them. Almost every blockbuster movie does as well. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but what genre outsells more than any other? Huh?

Erotic romance is basically porn – Oh, honey what kind of porn have you been watching LOL?

Romance is so predictable – I love this one. You mean when you read a mystery you don’t know by the end it’ll be solved and you’ll know who did it? That sounds pretty predictable, but that’s just me.

Romance encourages women to expect something that’s not real. It sets unrealistic expectations about love and marriage – OK, this is probably said by guys who don’t…er…shall we say, measure up? Why shouldn’t women or anyone for that matter, have high expectations when it comes to the person they’ll spend the rest of their life with?

Anyone can write a romance novel - Oh, really? I get this ALL the time. People think writing romance is so much easier than writing any other type of book. Couple meet and fall in love. They boink and declare their undying devotion to each other. The people don’t think they really have to come up with any ideas, that they just have to write it. Alrighty then. Have at it!

That’s not all of them. Not by a long shot, but it gives a flavor. Romance isn’t just the 50 pound gorilla in the publishing room. It’s more like the 1000 pound monolith that aint going anywhere anytime soon.

So…have you come across some of these asinine comments and thinking? Why do YOU read romance?

About Me:

Kaily Hart, a seemingly straight-laced mother of four left corporate America and a high-powered, lucrative career to be a stay at home mom. Ha! That lasted about four weeks, during which time she realized she had a deeply repressed dream —to write. And romance at that! By day, Kaily plays conservative wife and soccer mom, but at night crafts hot and steamy tales of romance and love with gorgeous heroes who wouldn’t dream of leaving the toilet set up. Ever. She’s smart and sassy, at least in her own mind, and is trying her best to bring the alpha male solidly back to contemporary romance, one hot story at a time. Two years ago she never would have thought she’d be doing this, but now that she is? Well, you couldn’t pay her enough to do anything else.

Kaily’s books, PICTURE THIS, PAY UP & PLAY ME are all currently available from Ellora’s Cave and other ebook outlets.

If anyone would want to contact me (which I would love by the way) or just keep up with what I’m doing, you can find me all over:

Web –

Blog -

Facebook –

Twitter -

Friday, April 29, 2011

What do you think of voyeurism clubs?

I recently released a Quickie at Ellora’s Cave titled Reveal Me, the 1st book in my new Unveiled series. It’s a story I love for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is the backdrop for the opening of the story, a voyeurism club called Kink that will play a predominant role in upcoming books in the series.

Provoke Me, the 2nd book, will be out soon - it's even on the Coming Soon page, yay! - and I've posted the cover as well. Provoke Me takes place in a bookstore almost as much as the sex club, hence all the books.

But back to Kink. It's not just a playground for those with fetishes they like to explore. Rather it’s a place where anyone can embrace the freedom to be themselves, with anyone watching. Some of the characters in the series enjoy voyeurism and being part of the action. Some don’t. But they all learn more about themselves through their sexual interactions there. I’m hoping readers are excited to discover more about Kink and the people who frequent the club.

Confession time: I've never been to a voyeurism club. I've researched them, and the idea's fascinating to me, but I've never actually gone to one. I'm way too shy. I love fiction for just that reason! It's so much fun to explore things on the page. 

What about you? Does the idea of reading about a voyeurism club intrigue you? Or even better, would you rather experience one firsthand? HAVE you experienced one firsthand? After Allie's awesome post about her trip to the BDSM club on Wednesday, I had to keep the streak of naughty going!

Reveal Me's page at Ellora's Cave:

Alana MacGregor craves excitement, but when her sometimes lover dumps her at a popular sex club, she wonders if she’s outgrown her live-fast-and-recover-later lifestyle. The last thing she expects is to run into the nerdy guy she rebuffed in high school—or for him to rock her world in ways no other man ever has.

Hot on the trail of a story, Carter Nicholas can’t believe his luck at encountering the one woman he’s never forgotten. He’s come a long way from being a wall-hugging geek. Now he gets all A’s between the sheets. But can he convince Alana he’s her sure ticket to an unforgettable night—and maybe much more?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Blame Disney

In the fifties, television ads and shows promoted moms in dresses, neatly cinched belts, perfectly arranged hair, heels, and pearls. We raced to the front door when our men came home, and dropping a chaste kiss on their cheek, we cocked our legs up at the knee like a check-mark, "Yes, my duty as a wife if perfectly done."

We handed our problems over to their sturdy shoulders while we wept over the saltiness of our gravy. We vacuumed with a hum on our lips, and never smeared our make up.We were expected to keep the house, and our men kept us.

Fortunately, not all women accepted this kind of lifestyle. Women's lib was already brewing and with the aid of television, the message that women aren't completely brainless except for the brand of starch on ironed shirts, became more widely accepted.

Now there are a lot of historical details I'm leaving out, because first, I'm no historian, and second, this is my personal take on the situation. You are welcome to disagree. But here's how I see things, and I definitely have a skewed perspective.

My ex, and a lot of other men I've met (some married to friends over the years) and some just guy pals I know, retain that archaic principle that women are the home keepers. But they've adapted that view point. I'm not sure if it's clever or just lazy, but I'm finding more and more men who expect women to do it all. They saw the women's movement as a means to allow women to work. Great. Yes, some of us like work. But what they didn't alter, is the perception that anyone else but womanhood should still maintain the house and family.

For this, I blame Disney. Cartoon movie after cartoon movie show dainty female things that clean and bustle about, waiting for their dashing prince charming. Once they marry him, all their woes are over. It's what we all grew up with, what Disney is still putting out (the Frog Prince, which I didn't like, may be the only deviation I can think of to this).

I've talked to dozens of women about the men they've dated and the men they've married. There are always exceptions, yes. But there seems to be a common thread for my generation of men. They either don't have jobs, aren't looking for jobs, or they have them and come home to flop on the couch with the television. Meanwhile women are still expected to clean, cook, launder, wash, put away, vacuum, manage the children, all the daycare, AND still hold a job. Why is that?

I blame Disney.

And lax parenting. I sincerely worry about the growing generation of children. I worry about the young girls growing up and expecting nothing from their spouses, no sense of responsibility from the men in their lives. Is this what's ahead? We went from one kind of slavery to another one? We expanded our freedoms, to have them used against us?

Granted, I'm a bit preoccupied with the subject of men right now. Hey, divorce does that to you. But I left a bad situation that is (not surprisingly) similar to what my friends experienced. The sad thing is, I don't see a change on the horizon. I'm not someone who classifies herself as a women's libber in the strictest sense of the word, but I do believe in basic rights and common courtesy. I believe that when people come together, they share the load, however that load gets divided.

I'd love to know that I'm just talking to the wrong people. Yet even in the good marriages I've seen, there's a lot of leaning going on, and they choose to ignore it because that's just life. Am I the only one who refuses to settle? I don't want perfection, just common courtesy. It's too bad that we find our Beta men in books. I'd like to believe that they really exist out there.

Until then, I'll keep blaming Disney.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Behind the Door of a BDSM club

Almost three weeks ago I was in LA for the RT convention, as most of you know. What you also might have guessed is I made a special fieldtrip along with three friends to a BDSM club. Yep, you read right. I went to a D/s playroom. If you want to hear it all continue to read. If you’re afraid I’ll spill some freaky stuff then definitely read on J
            First off I will admit to having a few martinis before we grabbed our cab to head out. The drive took around twenty-minutes or so before our sweet driver stopped. Since we didn’t see a sign for the club nor could we find a plaque for the address our driver hesitated to leave us on our own in North Hollywood. The ever-adventurous Desiree Holt took matters into her own capable hands and walked straight into the nearest business. It just happened to be another club that advertised in bright neon colors NUDE GIRLS LIVE GIRLS NUDE. Yep, Des walked in grabbed the bouncer by the arm and pretty much sweet-talked her way into finding out where we needed to go. Poor guy looked like he didn’t know what hit him. Most people are that way after a Des-attack.
            Turns out the club was tucked in behind this little white brick facade. You’d never find it if you didn’t know where you were going. No loud music, no shrieks, no blood flying, no sounds of whips, chains or whatever else you might be thinking. After promising our driver we knew what we were doing (LMAO) we turned to go in and found a little black gate that we unlatched and walked through.
            The first thing I saw was two smiling, perfectly normal looking people. They were very gracious, courteous and friendly. We each handed over our ids then there were some forms we had to initial and sign. Thankfully we had a lawyer in the group. I waited until she read it, nodded her head and I happily scrawled my signature along the numerous lines. Why the forms? Because the owners want to make sure people know the reality of what they’re walking into. This isn’t a yuppie bar or some goth/vamp dungeon. This place was about understanding and catering to a special need of some people. Not a bad, evil or wrong need, just different. My philosophy of life? If you’re over twenty-one, single, consenting then go for it, baby. So long as you respect your partner’s boundaries and needs it’s all good.
            So we past the gate, sign our forms, hand over our money and follow our guide into a very new world.
            The ride side of the courtyard is taken up with a long portable table. The kind people use is church or bingo halls. Plain, serviceable and easy to clean. On top of the table sits duffle bags, suitcases and leather satchels. Having my first and last intelligent thought of the night, I immediately understand (it’s later confirmed) that these bags are brought by the members. They contain whatever toys or props they intend to play with at the club. No one uses or borrows anyone else’s stuff, I think it’s considered bad form. Can’t say I blame them. I’ll keep my cooties and you keep yours…it really works for me.
            A bright cheery fire was the focal point as a group of people sat around, sipping water and chatting about the cold weather and the Lakers. Major point of interests No alcohol or liquor is sold here. Nothing to impair anyone’s judgment. However bottles of water, Diet Coke, Coke, Sprite and that type is free to anyone who wants it. I grabbed a bottle of water and wandered. Remember I lost my voice so I couldn’t talk to these people.
This was not my brightest idea and it wouldn’t be the last stupid thing I did this night.
            So I wandered around while my so-called friends deserted me. We all made a bathroom trip when we arrived then BAM it’s Allie: party of one.
 I, umm inhaled tobacco, while wandering. Listened to a few conversations and wondered why these people kept looking at me. Doing a quick body check, made sure everything was tucked out of sight, zipped up or buttoned, I couldn’t understand why these people were staring. Thought it might be my flaring tobacco so I moved to the other side of the white brick wall. Nope, all eyes followed me. Now I really started to get self-conscience. I’d showered before we came so I knew it couldn’t be that. Finally the genius that I am turned to look over my shoulder at the brick wall & low and behold there was the answer.
            Turns out they used the wall as a movie screen. My butt was placed smack in the middle of their adult content film show. When I looked up my head ended up perfectly placed beneath the actor’s ‘happy spot’. Talk about being an idiot. Needless to say I scooted away from the wall and to the safety of a nice iron table.
            Meanwhile I kept looking around thinking this is nothing like I thought it would be. Where’s the shouting, the pain, the blood, the black leather? I found out, but that’s later in the story.
            I need to backtrack here a minute. Thursday night as we all sat in the bar together and talked about coming to this club. One of our members said “You know, if anyone gets hit on or invited to play I bet it’ll be Allie.” As this person knows more than I do about the scene I merely laughed, drank and wondered if she’d share whatever drugs currently pumping through her system.
            She was RIGHT. As I sat outside by myself, after being cruelly deserted by my no-longer-good-friends, a man comes up to me. Again, perfectly normal looking, good looking even. Older than me, but still well dressed in slacks, button down shirt and leather shoes. He comments on the weather. I, having no voice or almost no voice, nod my head like an idiot and manage to whisper “Uh huh”. He tries to talk to me, poor thing, and I’m sitting there nodding because I have no idea what the hell I’m supposed to be doing. Finally something he says catches my attention away from the porn flick playing to the side of me.
            “Do you play?” the man asks me.
            Several things run through my mind.
No, I don’t play an instrument. I have no musical talent, as my second grade piano teacher will attest to.
No, I’ve never gotten the hang of basketball. Too many people running after me is not my idea of a good time.
No, I suck at poker because I have no poker face.
Finally I manage to mutter, “Depends on the game.” Thinking maybe he had Battleship, a craps table or even bingo cards hiding somewhere.
My sign “I’m a moron and lick bus windows” will be arriving shortly.
This poor man just shakes his head, sends me a wink and tells me I can find him later.
Yeah, I know it’s amazing they let me out of the house at all.
When reality dawns on me I take off to the last place I saw my so-called friends before they left me. The first room you enter is called a private room. There are two entrances and one bathroom. BTW everything is lit with red or blue light bulbs, including the bathrooms. Weird I know, but I think it helps set the mood and give everything a surreal factor.
So I enter the private room, thanking every deity known to man that’s it’s empty. ‘Cause my luck…I’d walk straight into another situation and proceed to lick windows. In this room there are several tools. A large six or seven foot piece of wood drilled into the wall about six feet up with sets of rings on each side. A queen size bed is position in the center with nothing but a fitted sheet.  Across from the bed is what looks like an old fashioned holding stock. You know what I mean two large pieces of wood the top lifts up so you can put you hands in the holes then locks down. This way your body is bent over and you cannot move anything but you lower, most likely naked half.
All the while I can hear erotic music playing or at least sometimes its erotic. At other times it’s Nine Inch Nails pounding out a beat you can feel thrumming through your skin. When you try to take a deep breath you inhale the spice of incense burning. Mix that with the low mood lighting and you have a very potent combination.
This place not only is looking to seduce you body, but the rest of your senses as well in a very intense way.
Three steps leading to the big playroom are to the left of the bed and I make my way over there. I open the door, step through and stop because what I’m seeing is nothing I’ve ever experienced.
A man is strapped to a cross with his back to me, naked. While a woman lashes at him with a very scary looking whip. He cries out, but instead of moving away from her he arches back to her.
Another woman is lying face down on leather padded sawhorse, naked, getting spanked by an equally naked man with a very large paddle.
During all these observations I’m frantically looking for my ship deserting friends and not seeing a single one of them. This makes me very very edgy ‘cause remember I can’t really talk and I’ve had two very good, but potent Lemon-Drop martinis.
The music continues to pump out, loud but not so loud I can’t hear the murmur of conversation around me. I stand there, trying to look like I know what I’m doing when out of nowhere I feel a hand wrap around my arm and tug me backwards. Back into a dark corner I didn’t see and where I’m not sure I should be going.
Want to know the rest? Tune in next week, same time, same blog, same me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Easter Update

Piggybacking on Tess's post from yesterday here but I couldn't resist talking about our Easter holiday. Maybe because it was a tad more memorable than most. Long ago we stopped with the whole dying-eggs thing, the baskets and fancy Easter outfits. Our kids are really not 'kids' anymore so we tend to have a nice dinner and that's about it. Fine with me. I've always thought the most important thing about holidays was having family together to celebrate the moment.

This year we had a double whammy with Easter and Mr. Regina's birthday. So along with the nice Easter meal we had birthday cake and gifts. The day started out nice enough. My son and daughter were home and the moms came over. The day began overcast but since no rain was in the forecast, I figured all the 'little egghunters' would have a pretty good time in backyards and parks all over town. That wasn't in the cards. The storm hit unexpectedly as the skies opened up and we were pelted with hail for the next three hours. I didn't think it would be all that bad at first but when the pea-sized stuff turned into baseball sized hail we knew we were in trouble. Me and Mr. Reg's cars were safely in the garage but we had four cars in the driveway that got serious damage. We lost the glass from a patio table and leaves were stripped from trees to litter the ground. We had some flooding too. Alarms went off everywhere at tornadoes touched down around us. Fairly scary way to spend our Easter Sunday but, in the end, everyone was fine and there wasn't any significant damage other than to cars. Yesterday we noticed signs for local roofing companies up in a number of yards and we heard the body shops and insurance companies stayed busy fielding claims for car damage. Odd way to see a boost to the local economy, isn't it? Well, life happens and it's best to be ready for anything. Just hoping we have less drama on our next holiday.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bunny Up!

Okay! Time for everyone to BUNNY UP! Tell us about your Easter weekend. What did you eat? Who did you see? Did you travel? I would loved to have hit the coast this weekend. I heard that Regina had some bad Easter weather.

How many of you ODed on Chocolate? LOL I actually ate a marshmallow PEEP last night! Woot! My family grilled out. Very non-traditional for us. I usually do turkey and ham and all the trimmings. This year it was bbq ribs on the grill, corn on the cob, mac 'n' cheese, and green beans. AND? Store bought pies. Lemon meringue and razzleberry. What's razzleberry? A combination of blackberries and raspberries. lol

It was a nice sunny day. Got a little hot in the afternoon and I almost turned on the AC. But then I thought about my promise NOT to use AC until June 1. Sighhhh Wonder if I'll be able to keep that promise? LOL The power bill here this winter was ridiculous. But then spring took its time getting here, so we ran the heat much more so in the past couple of months than normal.

C'mon, share your holiday fun with all of us. We'd love to hear about your individual traditions!

And today's book trailer is by Karenna Colcraft for her book Seeds of Desire from Ellora's Cave. Love the music. So sexy! You can find out more about Karenna and all her writing by clicking HERE!

You can find Tess' books at Ellora's Cave and Pink Petal Books.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Exploring The World From My Desk

Our guest today is the fabulous Melissa Bradley of Melissa's Imaginarium Blog. She's also an amazing author and a regular commenter here at Three Wicked Writer's Plus Two. We're happy to have her here with us today sharing her new release from the Amber Heat line at Amber Quill Press, Byzantine Provocateur!

Welcome Melissa!

One of the main reasons I love to write is also the same reason I love to read. I adore being able to travel to distant lands, meet intriguing people and explore other cultures. I’m a poor chick from the south side of Chicago so my wallet doesn’t exactly run to exotic destination fare, if you know what I mean. Even when it is, I’m hard pressed to travel because I don’t always have enough vacation time. So I travel when I write and read. In my mind’s eye, I’ve been to Paris, Lisbon, Tokyo, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney and Easter Island, along with many, many other places including far off planets. Researching a destination and world-building fills a need inside me to know and explore all these myriad realms.

In my latest, Byzantine Provocateur, I journey to Istanbul, an ancient city that was once the center of commerce between Europe and Asia as it straddles both continents. It is a place renowned for friendly people, coffee, carpets and one of the world’s oldest bazaars. I have always wanted to visit Istanbul, seeing the pictures of the Aya Sofia and the Galata Tower in my social studies book fascinated me. Later on, I read about whirling dervishes, the Spice Market and the Pera Palace hotel where Agatha Christie used to stay and I fell more in love with the city. I dreamed of maybe traveling here and finding a spellbinding romance. How could I not write about it, use it as a backdrop for one of my own tales?

My character, Thalia, gets the chance of a lifetime when she reconnects with a college friend who invites her to visit her home in this amazing city. I am so excited to be able to bring you this story. It is a tale of my heart to be sure.

What about you? Are there places you love to travel to while reading? A favorite destination you love to share using your words?

Byzantine Provocateur

Amber Quill Press/Amber Heat

ISBN 978-1-61124-072-6


An ancient city sparks forbidden desire…
Thalia Burton arrives in Istanbul to relax and enjoy the company of her old friend. Hoping to forget the boring rut her life had become, she never imagines one meeting with Fadi's brother re-igniting the dim flame of passion inside her. Captivated by the heat in his golden eyes, Thalia finds herself tempted beyond reason...
Murat Bahar had only intended to meet Thalia as a courtesy to his family. One look at the lovely American incinerates his intentions. She is an exquisite morsel he longs to taste, a taboo treat enthralling him like a siren of myth. Perhaps just one night…
Once is not enough. Thalia and Murat embark on a fiery, secret affair that could burn them both, costing them friends and family.


Thalia and Murat are getting together for the very first time…

He caressed her in slow circles, kneading and rubbing her from breasts to belly. She quivered from the heat of his hand through the cotton of her shirt. Her breath hitched as he inched lower and lower. Palming her through her cargo pants, he massaged, squeezing and pressing until she thought she’d die.
Pliant and wanton, she dropped her head to his shoulder, undulating, pushing into his touch. Her blood sizzled, every cell in her body clamoring for him to be inside her and he hadn’t even started to remove her clothes. She whimpered, digging her nails into his forearm.
His lips curved in a smile against her neck. “Please…what?”
She inhaled sharply as he flicked open the button of her trousers.
“This?” He nipped her earlobe. “Or this?” Oh-so-slowly, he eased down her zipper, then teased a finger along the top of her panties.
She dragged in a breath. “I…I…”
Back and forth, he rubbed, skimming the top of her mound. She sagged against him, knees bent, thighs parting to give him better access.
Continuing to tease her, he reached up with his other hand up to cup her breast, rolling her nipple between thumb and forefinger. A wave of desire slammed through her and she cried out as he worked the hardened nub through the barrier of fabric.
Her vision clouded. “Murat!”
“Shh. This is only the beginning. We have plenty of time to play.”
She shuddered in frustration, wanting nothing more than to be flat on her back with him sliding inside her, bringing her to a volcanic climax. Something she hadn’t gotten from a lover in a long time. On the ragged edge, she tried to maneuver out of his embrace, take control.
He scraped his teeth over the nape of her neck and smacked her rear.
Hayir, no,” he rasped.
Clamping his hands to her hips, Murat walked her to the bed, the hard promise of his erection burning into her lower back. He ripped the duvet from the bed, scattering pillows, then pushed her onto the mattress.
Thalia sat stunned as Murat knelt between her thighs. What is he doing?
“The first time with a new lover should be a symphony of bliss, a journey to be savored.”

Author Links

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's your theme?

I know, I know, themes apply to books not people. But I think we all have certain situations we gravitate to as writers - and readers - again and again. Actually conventional writing advice suggests we should embrace our themes, that one way to build a readership is to revisit the same types of plots/archetypes so that your readers know what to expect and then seek you out. Sometimes we don’t try to do that; it just happens. Either way, thinking about the kinds of stories you find yourself drawn to is interesting on both sides of the writer/reader table.

For me, I write a lot of stories about people who aren’t who other people think they are. The window dressing changes but the core of the book is about that dichotomy. Sometimes it’s obvious - in the erotic contemporary novella I just finished, the hero is a PI working undercover as a pretty inept stripper to try to get evidence on the heroine being a madam. The heroine isn’t a madam, obviously, and she’s not even the woman the hero’s looking for. But through a mixup with a sex cocktail, she believes her “wanton” behavior isn’t her fault. She’s wrong. In this case, she’s not even who she thinks she is. Those echoes show up all over my work, since way back before I ever started paying attention to them.

Some might question why I find that particular topic so engaging. I think it’s because I don’t think we ever truly know anyone, and I also don’t think we ever completely know ourselves. Our experiences and our values and the people we love all influence and shape us, but they don’t define us. All it takes is one event to elicit a new reaction and send us down an entirely new path. That trigger, so to speak, that sparks hidden parts of ourselves we weren’t aware of, or didn’t want to be. I think that partly explains why so many serial killers are described by their neighbor as “that nice, quiet man.” We never truly know what’s going on in each other’s heads or brewing in each other’s psyches...and that’s the stuff of GREAT fiction.

Not all of my books deal with this theme, but most of them do. I suspect most of them going forward will as well. The depths of possibilities are just too rich. But to show you how unconscious this theme business is, I’m not a plotter. Ask Taryn Elliott, my beloved CP, how much I plot. But yet time and time again I return to the same intrinsic storyline, told in many different ways. And I never consciously decide to do this ahead of time.

Don’t believe me? Below is a list of my published/soon to be published books to date and what they're about.

Full Disclosure - a man who has a secret sideline business falls for a woman in his law firm who’s keeping secrets herself about her personal life.

Ex Appeal - a couple who has broken up learn new things about each other when the heroine has a makeover and the hero decides to adopt a persona on an online dating site, something he never would have done in the past.

Personal Research - an erotic romance writer who channels her sexual side into hot fiction has a secret affair with the office computer guy, who turns out to be her boss’s nephew.

Reveal Me - a reporter looking to write an edgy story goes to a voyeurism club to try to observe how it really works, and runs into the girl he’d loved in high school, who never dropped her mask of being just a wild partygirl.

Insatiable - a man struggles to get his lifelong best friend to see him as more than buddy material and sets out to prove there’s a lot more to him than she knows.

Provoke Me - an assistant bookstore manager falls for her seemingly straightlaced boss. She then runs into him at a sex club and discovers he enjoys voyeurism--both watching and being part of the action. She also quickly learns she enjoys it as well.

See what I mean? Kinda weird isn’t it? Also shows how many ways there are to skin a cat (ugh, hate that phrase!)

Now it’s your turn. What’s YOUR preferred theme, either to read or write about? Do you have one or just go for whatever strikes your fancy? (I do that too, but it's amazing how often my "fancy" goes in certain directions.) I can’t wait to hear everyone’s responses.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Commitment FAIL

Do you have an unwavering perception of yourself? You know, like, "Dude, I'm totally awesome at multitasking"?

I separated from my ex almost two years ago. The divorce was final last October. When I left him, I had already lost count of the number of times I'd asked, "What did I do wrong?"

Before we go any further, thank you, yes, I know that you're thinking, "It wasn't all your fault." That's exactly why I asked the question. I'd like to think I'm perfection walking, but we all know it takes two to make things work, and it takes two to make them fail. So I asked the douche bag ex what it was that I could have done differently. You see, I was trying to make a learning experience from it. Do you know what he said?

"Nothing. You never did anything that bothered me."

Of course I didn't believe him. Who would? I mean he lied about everything, why not this, so that I could permanently wallow in guilt because I couldn't see a way to make it work.

As much as I wanted to believe in my own perfection (please say this with tongue and cheek. I really don't have a huge ego. I just play one on TV), I couldn't. I asked my friends. And lemme stop right here and say, If you ever want to know the truth about your character, ask a friend.


My self-perception was: strong, independent, a little insecure, brave, proud, maybe a little introspective, even-tempered, and stubborn.

Theirs? Well, let's just say there was a twist on most of those. While most of my friends think I'm funny, they also say I often cross the line into inappropriate. I believe the phrase is, "wildly inappropriate."

While I'm stubborn, proud, and diplomatic, that can be construed as bitchy and greedy when it comes to business. Although it was pointed out to me that I haven't always been diplomatic, to which I pointed out, that was only after several attempts of diplomacy which was met with nastiness. Then I let it fly. Also, it appears I must be careful of email correspondence. I'm one to zip off an email and hit send, then do the, "doh!" dance. Yep. Clever, I know. It does bite me in the butt.

But why do I bring all this up? Because in the journey to rediscovering who I am and even whether or not I like the person I've become, I've learned some things on my own.

I have commitment FAIL. Not in relationships. No, unfortunately I stick with those beyond their death, believing they can be revived (which, incidentally, I don't see as a flaw). What I mean is, with projects in the real world.

I over commit to book contracts. Oh, I get them all done, but I'm stressing like crazy on the other end of the laptop. I over commit with friends too. My first instinct is to say, "yes", to just about anything. You want me to come watch you bowl, let you drink, drive you home when I have three books due and can't sit in front of my computer to work for the next five hours? YES!! You want me to attend a sex toy party even though I can't buy anything at the moment and I really need to be at home watching the nieces? YES!! You want to borrow my car and I momentarily lapsed about what I need it for? YES!! You want me to drive three hours one direction to bring you something, without gas reimbursement and then drive home again the same day? Oh, wait, I DID say no to that. Yay me!

It was only as I came into this week, that I really allowed myself to think about it. I need to say no more often. No doesn't mean I don't want to help my friends, or that I care any less for them. What it means is that I'm respecting my time more. I'm respecting your time more.

I've gotten to the point several times now, where I'll whip out that "YES!!", then when the day comes to collect on it, I flail for a way to back out when it heavily conflicts with other priorities. A good friend doesn't back out after she's said yes. A person struggling to make it on her own, doesn't cripple herself by doing things that keep her from working when she's already maxed out.

As writers we talk a lot about giving our careers legitimacy. We want other people to recognize our office hours and not take advantage of that precious time to create and sell. We can't do that until we take our hours seriously. We can't treat our friends like the precious ones they are, if they feel abused by our lack of reliability. Here's what it comes down to: Take yourself seriously, with the respect you deserve.

Would you volunteer someone else's time beyond their ability to cope? Would you want your friend to tell you she's coming to something, then back out? I'm guessing not. Don't set yourself up for failure.

We all have our quirks to work on. We are also really harsh talkers to ourselves. Stop it. You can only do so much. Handle what you can. Start with your schedule and learn to say no. It's not mean. It's respectful. Once you get a grip on those things, then look to those other characteristics you want to hone. What you'll find is that respect comes first.

If you're respectful of your time, you won't over commit. If you're respectful of your friend's time, you won't let them down. If you respect other people, you won't hit "send" before you think about your emails. If you respect the creative process, you won't whittle your time to nothing with the family, because they recharge you. Because you need them and respect them, too. If you respect the process, your writing improves.

It all starts with you. Do you respect who you are? Do you really? Or do you take yourself for granted?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

RT Survival??

How I survived RT 2011…or did I?

I’m not an RT virgin, been there done that before as the saying goes. But this year WOW everything felt brighter, louder and bigger than any other. Maybe it was just being in Los Angeles that did it?
The first thing that happened when I walked into the hotel, not my room, but the hotel was a urgent phone call from Desire Holt. The emergency you ask? A bus ride to the famous Viper Room provided by Heather of Decadence Publishing. Met the awesome band Run Devil Run. I actually liked their music. I’m not saying this to suck up to Heather or the hotness that are the band members. You have to check them out.  As for the club itself…it’s small. That’s the only word that comes to mind. It has a total of five booths….seriously FIVE booths. That’s it, that’s all and you have to spend at least fifty bucks to sit at the booth. Really weird, but at least I liked the music.

Since I’m a bit biased I’ll fully admit EC’s Bollywood party rocked. Kudos to Val, Susan, Kelly & the whole EC gang for turning a boring hotel conference room into a seductive Indian paradise. Though I still don’t see why I couldn’t borrow (long term) one of the hookah pipes on the table. I’m sure airport security would have just waved me through J I shared a table with the charming Kristen Daniels, Desiree Holt, Dee Brice, Mr. Dee Brice, Lynn Connely, Mari Freeman & Sam Cayto. It seems, somehow, Mari, had her sari on upside down or backwards. Lynn, our resident expert, set about putting her to rights. Too bad they had to almost unwind her to the skin to get it right. Thank goodness no one but EC authors and staff were in the ballroom at the time. It would have been a shame if an unscrupulous person were to have say taken pictures and videos of the event J LMAO, check out my Facebook page for all the blackmail material you could want!

After the amazing Bollywood party we headed to the bar.

Thursday there were workshops to give, editors to harass and readers to stalk. After a delightful EC authors lunch we uhhh… headed to the bar. After several hours of intense concentration and productive thinking we (Desiree Holt, Samantha Cayto, Lynn Connley & moi) got ready for the Venetian ball. Very sexy, very elegant & very good desert.
After the fairy ball we, you guessed it, headed to the bar.

Friday lots of things happened, mainly the huge e-book fair and signing. Thanks to the readers who stopped by to talk to me. Or at least tried to. My voice started cracking and dropping and disappearing so readers and authors had to really strain to hear me. But I had a fabulous time laughing with everyone who stopped by & fully expect report cards from all of those I talked to.
Next in Friday’s lineup was Total E-Bound Author dinner. Yummy, delicious and they gave shiny presents. Who could not love people who give them presents? I’m easy, but in no way cheap. Claire and Nicki, the two of you either need to be medicated or I need to drink more, but I sincerely loved meeting you both in person. I now will admit to adoring you both, but reserve the right to publish the bar pics we took after our dinner.

Saturday I woke to no voice. Seriously Sam Cayto, my delightful and fab roomie, started pouring hot liquids down my throat and kept it up throughout the day. I sat at the bar all day Saturday, but instead of downing lemon drop martinis the bar manager kept me supplied with hot water, fresh cut lemons and honey. Yep, after all my nights of drinking and tottering to my room in the wee hours of the morning I’d been reduced to hot lemon water. Oh how the drunk and loopy had fallen.
Saturday night came the real treat for three friends and myself. We went to an actual D/s club. WOW! First off let me say it is not what you expect. Everyone there was respectful and polite! That said I will admit having to drag one of our group out of the playroom when it was time to go. I could go into more of details, but I think I’ll leave you hanging for now J As we walked out of the main club we were offered some seriously amazing homemade cookies!! So yes the dark side really does have better cookies. All the more reason to visit!

Got back to the hotel around two am and what else…headed to the bar. We had a delightful time with Kristen Daniels & Mari Freeman. No I am under a gag order to keep those talks to myself under the penalty of things worse than death.  Needless to say we poured ourselves to bed, ready for another day.

Sunday dawned bright and way too early. My perfect roommate Sam Cayto left way to freaking early for her flight. So I spent the rest of my last day in LA hanging out with Desiree Holt and Lynne Connely and several other new friends.

Aside from scary elevators that didn’t always work, hot water with a mind of its own this was a really great conference. A big hello and hug to Maggie & Jesse who I haven’t seen in years. Laura, from Topaz, who took care of me and all my promo stuff throughout the who conference. My fantastic readers who kept me laughing and drinking. Katherine Faulk, for choosing a unique venue. Ellora’s Cave for throwing a hell of a party. The Bollywood dancers really rocked! Total E-Bound’s Claire & Nicki, for treating their authors to a wonderful dinner & really good wine. Not to mention all the new shiny pretties I now have. I’d say they spoiled me, but that might stop the presents.

Now I have a year to recover and get ready for Chicago in 2012. Meanwhile I’m pulling up my big girl panties and gearing up for RomantiCon in September. You really want to have some fun? Come to Ohio and see how EC authors love to misbehave.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I've Got the Fever!

I woke up this morning with that old Peggy Lee song stuck in my head. Feverrrrr, when you kiss me, fever when you hooold me tight! FEVER! The big problem is I'm not suffering from any kind of romantic fever, believe me. Nope. Spring Fever and I swear it's contagious. My mind just isn't functioning right now. Lately, we've been piddling in the yard planting our flowers and it looks like today I'll be heading to my handy neighborhood Lowe's to pick up some more.But it doesn't end there.

The other day on our readers loop we were discussing home projects we've been tackling. I got the feeling lots of us were feeling the same and needing to freshen things up around our places. BTW...if you'd like to join a small, friendly and fun loop, we'd love to have you. Sign up HERE!

For the past week or so I've been jotting down things I want to do to the house. You know, accessory stuff. I need some new floral arrangements and I have some prints in rooms that don't really work anymore. I need a massive mirror to hang over a buffet table in the dining room. Just thinking about all the improvements I needed to tackle made my head spin so one night I sat down at the computer and went mentally from room to room taking note of things I need. Let me tell you it's a long, long list but I'm planning to get to work on it.

I don't really know what brings this on. Maybe it's the sudden change of weather from winter to spring but I can't seem to think of anything but fixing up the house, sprucing up here and there. So okay. My mind is focusing in that direction so I've decided to go from room to room and add little touches. My daughter is coming in this week for a little Easter break and we've already talked about this 'nesting' thing. Hey, the birds are doing it so why shouldn't we? We have plans to tackle accessories in a few of the bathrooms before digging into the bigger, more expensive things.

My office already got a slight sprucing up (although there is much more to go) when I took some money I'd gotten for my birthday and bought a pretty new print for one wall. I have problems in my office. It was once my son's bedroom but when he left years ago, I sorta took it over so that I could have my own office. Over the years, a number of things, including my promo material, have ended up in his big closet. They sit there in boxes among his assorted broken or seldom used gadgets and clothes he wore in high school. Umm. He is now 25 so I don't think he'll be wearing that junk anymore. Anyway, I walked in there the other day to shove another box of promo stuff into the space and realized the light bulb had burned out. I tried to step inside and thought...what the hell...I couldn't step into the room to change the bulb. That's how bad it is. I felt like one of those poor people from Hoarders. So tackling that damn closet has moved to the top of my list. How did I let things get so bad?

So now I'm figuring that once I tackle the projects that are screaming at me, I might be able to concentrate on other, more important things. I don't think I'm alone with this whole spring nesting thing. Am I? What project leaps to the top of your to-do list?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Favorite Lines Today at the Blog!

Sometimes I think that what makes or breaks a book is the author’s ability to deliver a really great turn of phrase. You can have an amazing plot, true-to-life characterization, but it’s those lines that stand out that make it all worth the read.

Have you ever been reading and everything is status quo. You’re getting into the characters, the plot is moving along at a nice pace, and then BAM! The author writes a line that just says it all. And as an author, the little green-eyed monster usually nips at me bad!!!! LOL I hear myself saying: I soooo want to write like that. Why can’t I write like that? What school do I need to attend to do it?


No school for it. I’ve written some lines that I truly love. But do readers see it that way? I started thinking last night about some of my fave lines from my books and thought I’d post a couple today. And what I’d like everyone to do—readers and authors—is to post a fave line that you’ve read. For authors, it can be a line you’ve written. Or a line from another author’s book. And you can list more than one fave line most certainly. So, authors and readers, have at it! Post your fave lines.Name the author and title of the book, too, if you can. And definitely comment to each other!

Here are my fave lines from some of my own writing:

1.    He was wet panties and get-naked-quick in one fine-looking package. Bottled sin. A walking aphrodisiac. And all that with just a “hello”. –Twelve Days of Love

2.    Diving from the hidden waterfall. That’s the image his mind conjured, the feeling that raced through his body. A euphoric swell of excitement so thick he couldn’t breathe, could only taste and fall further and further, deep into the pool that was her. –Black Cougar Curse

3.    What self-respecting forty-three-year-old woman with two grown kids wears hot pink? –Latin Rhythm

And today I'm showcasing Regina Carlysle's book trailer for Panther Moon. It was created for her by Tina at Topaz Promotions. Panther Moon can be purchased at Ellora's Cave. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Welcome our Guest...Paige Tyler

I'm so excited to announce I have a new book out with Ellora's Cave! It's a paranormal romance called GHOST HUNTER, and it's got a hunky hero, a kick-ass heroine and a serial killing ghost that's scary as hell! Not to mention a smokin' hot cover!

I love when I come up with an idea for a book out of the blue, which is what happened with GHOST HUNTER. When I heard my local RWA chapter set up a lecture with a team of paranormal investigators, it got me thinking right away about writing a book about a ghost hunter. Because the chapter is far from where we live, though, we didn't actually go to the lecture. I was a little bummed about that, especially since they were giving out EMF detectors. On second thought, maybe it was better we didn't go. Ghosts freak me out, so having something that can detect them probably wouldn't be a good idea.

Enough about me, back to the story behind the story. While I knew the hero was a ghost hunter named Trace, I wasn't quite sure how the heroine fit into the story, or even who she was. So, my hubby and I played around with a few ideas at our local PF Chang's (we come up with a lot of story ideas there!) We both decided that having the heroine Cassidy need the hero's help because her house was haunted or something like that didn't seem original enough, so we made her a budding romance writer who tags along with the hero and his team to do some research. Like any good story, though, it had to have some conflict, which is why Trace and Cassidy completely rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning. Actually, he thinks he's a jerk. But don't worry, Cassidy discovers underneath that rough ghost hunter exterior, Trace is just the man she's been looking for. It doesn't hurt that he's hot!

Okay, so we had our hero and heroine. Now we needed a bad guy. That's where the ghost comes in. He's not your standard, everyday ghost, though. He's a serial killer who attacked Cassidy that comes back from the grrave to continue his string of grisly murders, and she's at the top of his list. To make things even more interesting, not only can he do all the regualar ghostly stuff like walk through walls and materialize out of thin air, he can also take solid form.

I'm not going to tell you any more than that, though. Don't want to give too much away, you know. I will add that my editor at Ellora's Cave told me she got so caught up in the story, she completely forgot she was reading a submission!

Now that you know the story behind the story, I think I'll tease you with an excerpt. Enjoy!


Almost getting murdered by a serial killer gives Cassidy Kincaide a new lease on life and convinces her to go ahead and tackle that ghost-hunter novel she's always wanted to write. So, she hooks up with a gorgeous paranormal investigator named Trace McCord to do some research.

Cassidy and Trace rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning, but they have to put aside their differences when the serial killer who attacked her comes back from the grave to continue his string of grisly murders, with her at the top of his list.

Trace has to keep Cassidy close to keep her safe, and as they try to stay one step ahead of the ghost while figuring out how to stop it, he and Cassidy end up in each other’s arms. While Trace has a whole list of reasons why he shouldn’t get involved with her, he finds himself falling in love with the beautiful blonde anyway. And even though Cassidy started out thinking he was a jerk, she learns that underneath the rough ghost hunter exterior, he’s just the man she’s always been looking for. Now, all they have to do, is live long enough to be together.


Trace was only a few miles from the address Robert had given him for Cassidy when his cell phone rang. At first he wasn’t going to answer it, but some sixth sense made him change his mind. Now he was glad he had.

He was about to disconnect the call when he heard a muffled scream on the other end of the line. It was quickly followed by a loud clatter, then nothing.


No answer.

Trace felt his chest tighten. Swearing under his breath, he shoved his cell phone in the pocket of his jeans and floored the pedal on the Hummer, running a red light to get through the intersection. The other drivers honked their horns as they squealed to a stop, but he ignored them. There was no way he was going to let Cassidy die.

Five minutes later, he slid into the parking lot outside her apartment, running over an ornamental fence and a flower bed to come to a screeching halt a few feet from the front door. Jumping out of the Hummer, he ran around to the back and grabbed his duffel bag full of gear. Throwing it over his shoulder, he raced up the steps and charged through the door into the building, scaring the hell out of two women carrying laundry baskets.

“Where the hell are the stairs?” he demanded, not wanting to waste time with the elevator.

The women timidly pointed around the corner.

Trace didn’t thank them as he ran in that direction. He hit the steps hard, taking them hree at a time. Once on the fourth floor, he ran down the hall, checking the room numbers on he doors. When he came to the right one, he didn’t even bother to slow down. Instead, he kicked the door in as hard as he could, reaching into his bag for his shotgun as the frame splintered and the door flew open.

He looked left and right as he entered the apartment, but there was no sign of Cassidy or Del Vecchio. Trace’s blood ran cold at the scene that met his eyes. The living room looked as if a cyclone hit it. The couch and throw pillows were sliced to shreds, stuffing still floating hrough the air. The coffee table was lying on its side, as were the two end tables, and the lamps that had been on them were smashed to pieces along with practically everything else in the place. Even the walls had been slashed.

“Cassidy?” Trace called.

“In here.”

Trace followed the sound of her voice until he came to the kitchen. Cassidy was standing in the center of the room inside a wobbly drawn circle of salt, ready to throw a handful of something in his face. She sagged with relief at the sight of him, letting the stuff in her hand trickle out onto the floor. That was when he realized she was holding a big container of oregano.

“Is he gone?” she whispered.

Trace nodded. “Yeah, he’s gone. But I’m getting you the hell out of here anyway.”

He didn’t wait for an answer, but simply slung the shotgun over his shoulder by the strap, then walked into the kitchen and swung Cassidy up in his arms.

She put one of her own around his neck. “Is it safe for me to leave the circle?”

“Yes. I’ll keep you safe. Trust me.”

Apparently she must have believed him because she didn’t resist. She cuddled the container of oregano close to her body and leaned against his chest.

He frowned. “Cassidy, you did great with the salt circle. It saved your life without a doubt. But what are you doing with the oregano?”

She looked up at him with big, blue eyes. “Isn’t it what you used to get rid of ghosts?”

His mouth twitched. “That’s sage and garlic. You can ditch the spaghetti spice.”

“Oh,” was all she said. Resting her head on his shoulder, she let the container of oregano tumble to the floor, then put that arm around his neck, too.

Giving the place one more look to make sure Del Vecchio hadn’t come back, Trace carried her out of the apartment and right passed the alarmed neighbors who had come out into the hallway to see what the ruckus was all about. Trace imagined they got their money’s worth seeing a big guy with a shotgun and a duffel bag slung over his shoulder carrying a beautiful half-naked woman in his arms. He abruptly realized he probably should have taken a few minutes to let Cassidy grab some clothes. But then the lights in the hallway flickered and he decided he could get her clothes later. They were getting the hell out of there.

“Is she being kidnapped?” one elderly woman asked another in a low voice as he and Cassidy passed them.

“If she is,” said the other old woman, “then I want to want to be kidnapped next.”

Any other time, Trace would have laughed, but right now all he wanted to do was get Cassidy someplace safe. Fortunately, he knew exactly where to take her.

Watch the Trailer Here!

Get your copy of GHOST HUNTER at Ellora's Cave!