Today, I'm over at Emma's

Emma has graciously interviewed me. Come on by and check it out.

And the winner of the caption contest is

Drum roll please......(insert rat a tats)

"Have you been Naughty or Nice? Only Naughty girls need apply."

This caption is curtesy of Marie Tuhart. Marie, you get your choice of e-book: AFTER HOURS or FIRST DATE.

The first review for AFTER HOURS

Yes, I've been sitting on the edge of my seat (metaphorically speaking) waiting for the first review and here it is!

Seriously Reviewed gave AFTER HOURS a 18 out of 20! That's not bad. Heck, that's pretty good! Yay!

In case any of your were worried, I am feeling a lot better. I'm still coughing and tire easily, but I've got this virus on the run. I plan to spend the days between Christmas and New Year writing.

What do you all plan to do?


I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful day!

Witty Wednesday


Today I'm over at Cari's.

I know you're all busy.
This Friday is Christmas!

But grab a cup of coffee,
come on over and say hi!

Monday's Pick-me-up

How would you like to find this under your tree?

Yes, Santa. I've been very bad er good this year.

The Sophomore Slump

"Sophomore Slump." It's a phrase that I hadn't heard until a few months ago. A phrase I wish I'd never heard. Can you say mind-numbing fear?

FIRST DATE had been out for two months. It's doing okay, I think. At least no one told me it was horrible and it was receiving pretty good reviews.

So what to do next? A follow up book, of course. I already had a contract for AFTER HOURS so Yippee! Right?


Life happens.

Somewhere in the editing process, when I was feeling less than creative, I read the term sophomore slump and immediately froze. Was my second effort good enough? I wanted it to be better than FIRST DATE... you know in the whole spirit of grow-as-a-writer thing?

But what if? What if? Okay, I'll just say it. What if it sucked?

And yes, I am that insecure. Most of time. Sometimes. Right now.

As I grow as a writer, I become more and more aware of just how much I do not know. I seriously considered taking a month off to study The Chicago Manual of Style or maybe breaking out an old college textbook. Nothing like burying yourself in syntax to engender holiday cheer. ; )

Working on AFTER HOURS, I thanked heaven daily for my awesome, wonderful, patient editor. Not only is she supportive, she doesn't let me get away with shoddy writing. I knew I could relax because, if it got past her watchful eye, it wasn't horrible. AND (that's a big 'and')wanting her watchful eye to become bored forced me to up my game.

This is a tough business. It's tough on your ego, your self-confidence, your time and sometimes your sanity. Even after publishing, my biggest fear is that I'm just not quite good enough.

AFTER HOURS' release day has come and gone and now I'm waiting the first reviews. And that's another nerve-wracking experience.

So, anyone out there have periods of insecurity? Willing to share?

And the winners are

The lucky posters who each win a copy of a Jennifer Leeland book are.... (insert drum roll)

Emma Lai won a copy of THE CHRISTMAS SHE RULES
and RK Charron won a copy of MARKED FOR PLEASURE

Congratulations to both of you and a big THANK YOU to everyone who commented!

Interview with Jennifer Leeland

Adult excerpt included.

Recently, the busy and oh-so-talented, Jennifer McKenzie agreed to let my hone my interviewing skills on her. -- I now owe her a bottle of Crown Royal-- ; ) Just kidding. Jennifer is one of those people always willing to lend a helping hand or give the gift of encouragment. So grab a cup of coffee, sit down and get to know her and her writing better.

LR: How and why did you start writing?

JM: I’ve always written in one way or another. When I was in college and whenever I had strong feelings, I wrote poetry. Really bad poetry. But I also longed to write a mystery like my favorite authors Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh.
In 2002, my Dad passed away. All his life he’d wanted to be an author, publish a work of fiction. He’d even written a novel. But no one saw it. He never thought it was good enough. When he died, I realized time whizzes by and if I wanted to be published, I’d have to get to work. In 2006, I released my first two books. Christmas releases.

LR: What is your favorite part of being a romance writer?

JM:I love to evoke emotion. I know I’ve done my job when someone “reacts” to my stories. Emotion is a big part of who I am so I try to include it in my stories. I don’t always succeed, but I make a huge effort.
Also, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Being in love is one of the most precious things I’ve been given, even when that love seemed wasted. I believe love is NEVER wasted and that’s what I write about.

LR: Least favorite?

JM: Mmmmm. I think the moral judgments out there. I write erotic romance and I have a very good reason for that. Very personal. (Not everybody wants to know gory details so I’ll save that story for when I’m on Larry King) But too many folks think erotic romance is somehow “wrong”. I love to write about the power exchange in BDSM and the way human beings will stretch their sexual exploration to keep a relationship from going cold. I’ve explored the difference between “sex” and “love” in all my erotic books. It’s a fundamental question no matter what your moral standing might be. I hate having to defend what I write.

LR: So do I and look out Larry King. : ) That's an interview I wouldn't miss. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

JM: The plotting. I don’t know how many times I’ve stalled on things I’m working on. Every book has been a struggle of one sort or another. Sometimes, they come out easily, but then revisions are a pain. Or sometimes, the whole process is pulling teeth. It’s always worth it in the end.

LR: Plotting is difficult for me too. Your love scenes are some of the hottest I’ve ever read. How do you approach writing a sex scene?

JM: Well, if I’ve done it right, the tension up to that point makes the sex scene flow naturally. The hardest sex scenes to write are the ones where two people DON’T have tension, like in “The Christmas She Rules”. In that story, it’s The Cage that provides the sexual stimulation, but it’s raw, almost calculating in how it arouses the patrons. Pamela wanted that. The lack of intimacy gave her release without complications. I don’t believe in that. Sexual conduct always leads to emotional complications no matter what. And that’s what sex is all about. It complicates, pulls two people together when they want to pull apart. Sex can be the way two people communicate when they can’t say what they feel. I don’t really think about that part of it when I write the scenes, but usually the characters are attempting to gain something. For Pamela, it’s emotional escapism. She wants release without her feelings being involved. And that is a trap.
Sexual tension makes the scenes hot. Whether that tension comes from without or within can change the way the scene is written, but tension is the key.

LR: I can attest you've done it right. Pamela sounds like a complex character. If you had to chose, who would be your favorite character?

JM: Oh man. I don’t know. I think I’m a little bit in love with David Peters, the hero in “The Trust She Yields”. He’s just so…confident and dominant. I do like that in a man.
My favorite heroine would have to be Magda Karlson in “Eye of the Storm” (a Jennifer McKenzie title). She just kicked ass and took no nonsense. I really liked that about her.

LR: I've 'met' David Peters and I think you're right. Yummy. Which character was the most difficult to write?

JM: Catherine in “The Mask She Wears”. For most of the book, she wouldn’t tell me her name. I called her “Mask Girl” while I wrote it and put Catherine in mostly because she didn’t object to it. I’m still not sure Catherine is really her name. LOL. First of all, she didn’t reveal ANYTHING about her motives or her feelings. It was all about sensation, the need to “feel” but not “connect”. Her damage was deep down and scary. Weird characters talk to me but they don’t always tell me everything. Catherine was the first time a character just gave me little bits of information but she was so real to me that I felt like she was a person in my head talking to me. (I know. Get the men in white coats, right?). Here’s the thing, though. I didn’t know anything about sensory deprivation (which was Mask Girl’s kink) but everything this character told me to write checked out. When I told an active member in the Lifestyle the things Mask Girl did/needed, it all had my friend nodding and agreeing. It was kind of spooky but very, very cool. It taught me to always stay true to my characters. Like Pamela. Wisdom said to make her more likable, make her warm and cuddly. But Pamela is not warm and cuddly. From the start, I knew Pamela had issues, but she didn’t give me details until later in the story. I could have made her more appealing, changed her kink to being a “switch”, make her submissive to a dominant male. But it wouldn’t have worked for her. She was all female domme.

LR: I've had that happen to me. It's awesome, in a spooky, not-looking-too-closely-at-it, kind of way. No men in white coats coming this way. They'd have to take me too. ; ) You’ve been productive this year. Tell us about your newest release.

JM: I have two.
“MARKED FOR PLEASURE” came out in November at Loose-Id. I’ve focused on writing erotic science fiction. It’s my favorite genre to write and this story is close to my heart. I contemplated what the universe would be like if there was a planet out there that based its entire cultural identity on the D/s lifestyle. Of course, I had to add a mysterious terrorist group with the motto “Disgrace and destroy” that attacks high ranking planetary politicians. There’s action, adventure and some very hot sex scenes.

My second release is “THE CHRISTMAS SHE RULES” from Samhain Publishing. This book almost didn’t get published. I was very lucky Heidi Moore at Samhain was willing to take a chance on this story. Pamela is a character from another series of books and I wanted to do her justice. Throughout the other three books, her character evolved. By the time TCSR opens, she’s moved from a comfortable place to the holiday insanity. And for her, it’s much worse than just the average family drama. I didn’t want to write Pamela. I knew it would be a gut wrenching experience and it truly was. The fa├žade that she presents the world is the perfect, cold, emotionless Domme. But beneath the surface lies a depth of hurt I didn’t want to explore. Of course, she didn’t let me off the hook and boy, am I grateful she didn’t.

LR: You excel in creating tortured characters that find healing in love. Pamela is not exception. What attracts her to Chris?

JM: Pamela is a female Dominant. For her, submission is beautiful, sexy. When a strong man is willing to hand her complete control, it’s an aphrodisiac she can’t resist. But total surrender terrifies her. Christian is exactly what she wants and yet, everything she’s afraid of. He is a strong, independent person with both physical and mental toughness. He’s also completely willing to give himself over to her. He’s both nurturing and accepting, something Pamela is not.
Of course, when she first saw him, it was his tawny golden brown eyes, but things change pretty quickly after that.

LR: Christmas is coming. Will you share one of your favorite Christmas traditions with us?

JM: OH! I have two I love to talk about.
One is Christmas Cookie Weekend. In the beginning of December, I start Friday night and make dozens upon dozens of cookies, tons of fudge, friggin’ Marshmallow thingies, almond roca and chocolate peanut butter balls. Then, I pack them up and give them to my friends. My best friend and I used to do it together and include a bottle of Crown Royal Whiskey but she’s moved so it’s just me this year.
The second tradition is the Santa table. We put out the boy’s favorite stuffed animals around a small table. After the boy’s go to sleep, we smear a little honey on their mouths along with cookie crumbs so it looks like they all had cookies with Santa. It’s adorable. I know they’re getting too old for it, but I think we’ll still do it. LOL.

LR: I love the idea of the Santa table. I bet the boys would be disappointed if you didn't keep doing it... and Cookie weekend? Who would't love that? What book are you reading now?

JM: I just finished “TAKING LIBERTY” by Jodi Redmond. It was AWESOME.

LR: Will you share a snippet of the hottest love scene you’ve ever written?

JM: Mmmm. The hottest to me? Okay.

“You have never been fucked in the ass.”

“No, Mistress,” he choked out and his hips jerked slightly.

She released his balls and knelt again. At his feet were two small openings in the floor. She flipped open the lids and removed two more shackles. He licked his lips and his face lost color as she splayed his legs and manacled his feet to the floor. Immobile, he was completely at her mercy.
In front of him, with his eyes riveted on her, she stripped off the leather skirt and studded blouse she’d chosen to wear. The boots stayed on. Naked, she allowed him to look, but when her gaze met his, he immediately lowered his eyes. She smiled. The hot, needy expression in his face was erotic and stimulating. The fact that he both resisted and accepted her provided a tug of war within her own mind. He attracted and repelled her. His submission drew her like an addict to a drug, but repelled her by its very potency.

Part of her was terrified.

She pushed the thought away and focused on this moment, the sexual tension, the swirling energy that surrounded them. Deliberately, she encircled her waist with the belted strap-on. The dildo was long but not too thick. She dribbled lube over the tip of it and used her hand to stroke the dildo like it was a real cock. The action rubbed two prongs against her clit, part of the equipment that gave the user pleasure as well as the used. She reveled in the way Christian’s eyes turned a tawny gold, bright, feverish and focused on her hand. His cock strained and the muscles of his legs tightened.

He was a stunning figure, taut, hard, beautiful. Even as she tormented him, she devoured him in her mind. A feral part of her brain wanted to brand him, make him hers, mark him so he would never forget her. Foolish thoughts for a Domme who only intended to play with a submissive for a short time. Very foolish. But those foolish thoughts raced through her mind when a drop of precome leaked from the tip of his cock.

Finally, she stepped around him, adjusted the step stool and stood behind him. The tip of the strap-on pressed against his anus. He tensed. She squirted lube on her fingers and explored his ass. He was so tight, so hot. The way his ass muscles clenched around her hand and his head dropped back was magnificent. Two fingers, three, then his hips rotated and he groaned.
She sank her teeth into his shoulder just under the spiked collar. Her mouth by his ear, she whispered, “I’m going to fuck you hard. I’m going to shove this dildo up your ass until it makes you crazy.”

He shuddered and turned his head to stare at her. His eyes were a bit wild, uncertain. But he didn’t say the safeword. She removed her fingers and slid the dildo in his ass. He started to tense, but she used her fingers to pinch his nipples and he relaxed slightly. Her lips brushed his earlobe and his breath whooshed out as one of her hands dipped lower.
The dildo was halfway in when her hand gripped his cock. The lubricant on her fingers let her slide up and down over his flesh easily and he moaned. The dildo slipped in further. Finally, she pushed inside him hard. The tip of the strap-on slammed into his prostate and he cried out, “Mistress!”
The two prongs rubbed on her clit rhythmically as she slid inside his ass and her orgasm coiled, ready to spring free. She grazed her hand faster over his cock and his breath came out in pants. Her pussy ached and drenched the insides of her thighs. His cock pulsed in her hand and he thrust his hips as much as they could despite the restraints.
Tormenting them both, she slowed the pace and held the dildo in his ass, the tip pressed against his prostate. His body quivered as her hand eased the pace over his hard dick. He growled in his throat, words spilled from his mouth. He wanted to fuck her, he wanted to slam his cock inside her sweet, wet pussy. He wanted her to whip him, brand him, scratch him. Every syllable that tumbled from his lips ripped through her heart. She shivered as she struggled against his will and her own. Control. This was about control. She was supposed to play him. Not… Whatever this was, it wasn’t playing.
The prongs against her clit held her on the edge. One stroke, one touch and she’d explode. But she wanted his cock in her pussy. While he fucked her, she wanted to see his face when he came. She wanted to control that moment.

She eased the dildo out of his ass and his groan echoed in the room. With a jerk, she dropped the strap-on to the floor and kicked the step stool directly in front of Christian. His eyelids drooped over his eyes, making them narrow slits of fire. She obtained a condom from the box on one of the tables in the room and ripped it open. Her gaze held his as she slid the rubber over his dick. The sound that came from him was guttural and animalistic. She licked her lips in anticipation.
Sheathed and hard, his cock stood at attention as she stepped up on the stool. Good thing she was agile. She smiled as his face changed when she slammed his cock inside her, her thighs resting on his hips, her booted feet crossed at his ass. He growled low and menacingly as her hands reached up to grasp the ropes just above his wrists.
She rotated her hips and moaned as his cock slid in and out of her pussy. God, the feel of him was so sexy, so fucking amazing. She closed her eyes and just experienced the slap of his penis, the slide of her nipples over his chest, the sounds of his grunts as he tried to hang onto his release. There was something incredible about a man who wanted to come but didn’t. He did it without a cock ring, without a demand he wait. He was perfect, special.
Somehow he got his fingers around her wrists and squeezed. She opened her eyes and his were tightly shut, his teeth clenched and his neck corded. “Mistress,” the word hissed from his lips and his fingers tightened.

A hot fire swept through her when he spoke the one name she wanted to hear from him. When he said it she forgot they were playing, fucking. When he called her “Mistress” she believed it. The power surged through her, rocked her, made her skin heat and her mind blank.

Her teeth nipped his earlobe, his neck and lips. His breath was hot on her skin and his face was fucking hot as he strained to hold back. Even through the condom sheathed over his hard penis, she could feel the throb of his veins. Finally, she whispered in his ear, “Come inside me. Now.”

The last word hadn’t died before he shouted his release and made her ears ring. His expression as he came was a mixture of joy and pain that made her insane with need. She thrust her hips faster and faster. Her own orgasm washed over her and she arched her back. It swamped her, swept her away into an ocean of sensation that overloaded her senses and sent her spinning right off the planet. They swung back and forth as the ropes stretched taut from the force of their fucking. Her pussy convulsed and throbbed as his thrusts became uncoordinated and out of control.

She dropped her hands to his shoulders and her nails scored his skin. He shuddered and growled, a sound of pleasure and sensuality that made a purr escape her own lips. She noted that she’d dug her heels deep into his ass and marked him there too. His lids drooped over his eyes and his body jerked and twitched.

(I have to say I LOVE this scene from “The Christmas She Rules”)

LR: Wow! You melted the ice on my windows. Thank you. Where can we find your books? You?

JM: I’m easy to find at Redneck Romance Writer.

To celebrate my releases, I think we should celebrate the holidays with early gifts. Leave a comment and let me know what you love about the holidays. I’ll choose one commenter to win “THE CHRISTMAS SHE RULES” and a second commenter to win “MARKED FOR PLEASURE”.

Thank you, Jennifer! You heard the woman, comment away.

Today I'm over at Lia's blog

Grab a cup of coffee, come on over and say hi! You can also comment for a chance to win a free copy of AFTER HOURS.

Monday's Pick-me-up and Contest

Can you think of a caption for this photo?

I know I have a few thoughts running through my head. *cough* And let's make it a contest! Why not? I'll send a copy of FIRST DATE or AFTER HOURS, your choice, to a random commenter between today and Christmas.

Be creative! The winner will be announced on the 28th.

Good luck.


Today is the Day!

AFTER HOURS is now available today at The Wilder Rose Press.

Can you think of a better way to warm up?

Here's an excerpt:

Some men simply walk across a room, but not David.

Elle Simpson watched from her office as the new intern, his hips moving in a predatory roll, strolled to the copier and stood with his back toward her. No, not David.

She felt the color rise in her cheeks as her gaze traced his body, from the dark hair just curling at the nape of his neck, past wide shoulders, to the dangerous-looking narrow hips and an ass made for grabbing. Her body warmed and her inner thighs began to tingle.

David turned, as though he could sense her scrutiny, and flashed a smile that could short-circuit a city. Hell, it certainly did a number on her. Elle swallowed, hiding behind a noncommittal nod, and hoped she gave the impression she was too busy for pleasantries. Damn. She needed to be more careful.

After many years with the company, she’d earned her reputation as a dependable, hard working, no-nonsense kind of woman. She grimaced. What would her fellow employees think if they knew every time David Nelson walked in the room, Elle’s synapses stopped firing as all the blood left her head to settle between her legs? She shifted on her chair and the friction caused her pussy to ache, reminding her of its neglected state.

Evidently finished with the copier, David gathered his papers and walked back to his cubicle.

Elle tilted her head to better watch him walk down the hall. A damn sexy man. Perhaps he’d been born with some sort of exclusive hip design. It would explain the fluidity of movement.

Elle shrugged. One thing was certain—when David walked into a room, or out of it, he had her undivided attention. She didn’t think he was trying to be sexy, or if he was, the effort had become, well...effortless.

And the winner is...


Jason, your comment on 11/30 just won you a copy of First Date! Congratulations.

Yes, I'm late with this. My apologies!

Coming in Two Days!

After the presents are wrapped

After the kids are in bed

Give yourself the gift of AFTER HOURS.

Elle Simpson doesn’t deny that the new intern is sexy as hell but he’s also ten years her junior--and she doesn’t date men from the office. Of course, dating isn’t what comes to mind when David Nelson enters a room. When Elle’s boss assigns her to work an important account, she’s thrilled—until David volunteers to help. Working one on one with her desirable new assistant is bound to test the limits of her restraint.

Everything about Elle, from her professional savvy to her hot body, turns David on, but first he has to unravel her mixed signals. After a few late nights alone with Elle in the office, David is at the end of his tether. It was hard enough during the day; keeping his hands off her after hours is proving impossible.

I'm feeling social.

Today I'm over on the Menagerie Authors' couch. Come on by and say, hi!

But first, here is your Monday morning Pick-Me-Up. I'm in a nostalgic mood. This man was plastered over my walls once upon a time--back when I was a Youth Gone Wild. ; ) But he makes the grown-up me smile too. I mean look at those pouty lips.

Book Review: FULL DISCLOSURE by Cari Quinn

I’m pretty sure if you looked up scintillating in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of Full Disclosure. If not, you probably should.

Cari Quinn creates a drool-worthy leading man in Alex, the owner of Hunk Du Jour, an infinitely likable heroine in Holly, and a romance you can’t help but root for. Did I mention the searing eroticism? This story is seriously steamy enough to leave you panting.

Holly Burrows is a thirty-something lawyer with a failed marriage under her belt, and who is tired of battery-operated love. She opts to place an ad in Hunk Du Jour, a website for women seeking ‘adult’ encounters.

I don’t want to give away the any of the storyline so I won’t go further, let’s just say there are enough twists and turns to make this one enjoyable ride.

While keeping the sexual tension on high, Cari manages to bring her characters to life. Holly is relatable. She doesn’t have a perfect body or even temperament, which I loved, but you will genuinely like her. Alex Stryker is more than every woman’s dream date, although he is that too, he’s a complex character. And I can assure you, he’ll steal your heart by the end of the book.

I have it on good authority that this isn't the last we'll hear of Hunk Du Jour and I can't wait. : )

Here is a blurb and excerpt from FULL DISCLOSURE.

Thirty-eight-year-old divorcee Holly Burrows has had enough of battery-operated love. Prompted by an ad left at her law office, she investigates Hunk Du Jour, a website designed to foster ‘adult connections’. After weeks of sexy emails and phone calls with surf hunk Kent, she's ready to test their chemistry in person. But first she has to get through lunch with her colleague Alex, a man with a brain as agile as his body. When their consultation ends with a bang, she barely remembers the man she'd lined up for dessert. Now she thinks she's juggling two hot young guys. How can she choose between her two gorgeous cubs – and why do they remind her of each other?


His hair brushed his collar, messily kempt in its own wayward style. She doubted he’d seen a barber in quite a while. She also doubted Alex was the type of man who’d wince if she yanked his hair too hard during sex.

That sealed it for her, and placed the cherry red lipstick kiss on the envelope. After her sexually anemic ex-husband, she deserved a young stud. And hell, she’d make sure the young stud got a lil’ something out of the deal, too.

“It is.”

After the waitress took Alex’s card, she rose, sure she seemed more confident than she felt. Her poker face had held her in good stead before, and it would now, too.

She’d simply act as if she were a sexy, voracious older woman who expected her every sexual demand to be met, and he’d never guess differently. He’d never guess her toes were curled in her sedate pumps, or that the back of her neck had already dampened, despite the air conditioning.

He’d never guess, and she would never tell.

She slid her hand down the strap of her bag. Coquettishly, she hoped. “Your place or mine?”

Alex stared up at her. There could be no debating the hue of his eyes now, a pure, rich green. Her heart skipped, much to her chagrin, but she couldn’t help it.

Had a man ever looked at her in quite that way before? As if he’d assessed every inch of her, and she’d come up a winner in every category?

What a heady feeling. And scary as hell.

He signed the credit card slip when it was presented to him and thanked the waitress. Then he stood beside her, drawing her gaze up to his sculpted jaw and the sexy cleft in his chin. He was taller than her five-ten by a good four inches. Maybe five.

Another huge plus. There weren’t a lot of guys who made her feel small—okay, smaller—but Alex did.

Of course, she’d taken note of his height in the office. Not the only thing she’d noticed. He also filled out a pair of well-cut trousers quite nicely. But she’d pretended not to notice, just as she pretended now to be unmoved by the heat of his hand as he touched her arm. Just that single contact, his fingers on her wrist, tightened her nipples to painful nubs.

Come to Mama.

“Let’s go to your place. I want to see where you live.” His gaze skipped over her face and continued down over her discreetly displayed cleavage in a way that was more proprietary than proper. “Where you sleep.”

When his fingers crept under the sleeve of her jacket and brushed her thrumming pulse, she gave him a flirty smile. She so could do this. In fact, if she didn’t take full advantage of this experience, she’d kick herself for the rest of her days.

“Where I won’t be sleeping tonight,” she said softly.

FULL DISCLOSURE is available at The Wilder Rose Press and you can find out more about Cari Quinn at her blog.



After the presents are wrapped...

After the kids are in bed...

Give yourself the gift of AFTER HOURS!

Elle Simpson doesn’t deny that the new intern is sexy as hell but he’s also ten years her junior--and she doesn’t date men from the office. Of course, dating isn’t what comes to mind when David Nelson enters a room. When Elle’s boss assigns her to work an important account, she’s thrilled—until David volunteers to help. Working one on one with her desirable new assistant is bound to test the limits of her restraint.

Everything about Elle, from her professional savvy to her hot body, turns David on, but first he has to unravel her mixed signals. After a few late nights alone with Elle in the office, David is at the end of his tether. It was hard enough during the day; keeping his hands off her after hours is proving impossible

When First Dates go wrong.

Come on, it was too good to pass up. I had to explore it just a little.

Have you ever had a horrible first date? Have you been tempted to use the, I have to use the restroom and then slip out the back door ploy? My sister was once on a date so horrific that’s exactly what she did.

Things to NOT do on a first date.

Do not talk about exes of any kind. This is a big warning sign.

Do not go to a remote location. While hiking or exploring may be something you love doing. Be smart. Wait until you get to know the person. Until then, stay in public.

Team Sports. And by this I mean playing the sport. Unless you are both into sports, don’t put your date on the spot by expecting him or her to play a team sport in front of people.

Do not take your date to a strip bar. I know some people who would so do this on a first date but for the majority of us, just don’t.

Don't drink too much.

Obviously all of these are conditional and depend on the people involved. Come to think of it, you probably shouldn’t have wild passionate sex in a barn on the first date either but hey, it worked for Bret and Jill. ; )

Your turn. Will you share some things you should not do on a first date? All commenters will be entered in the 11/30's contest to win a copy of First Date! Comment twice and you have a double chance of winning.

What are you waiting for?

First Dates

Recently, I ran across a website detailing what to do and not to do on a first date.

It has been a looong time since I've been on a date of any kind but it got me thinking.

Dinner and a movie is the most common first date idea, at least it's the one that first comes to mind. But if you think about it, it's not exactly conducive to getting to know someone. A mean dinner! Ack. I'm immediately tense just thinking about it. Don't order anything that may spill, drip or fly off the plate. Spaghetti is out, so is salad! Why do they make the lettuce leaves so large?

And then the movie? Yeah, sitting in the dark with your date and a hundred other people is not my idea of a good way to get to know someone. It is, however, a good way to avoid talking if the dinner conversation lagged... but perhaps that's another blog all together: When First Dates go bad. ; )

So, what's a good idea for a first date?

A picnic? This might be okay... except for the eating thing again.

Miniature golf? Now this sounds good. Even if you suck, it's fun, gives you something to do and an opportunity to talk. So as long as your date isn't uber competitive, this one is a go on my list.

Now this is the ultimate quick date... almost like a test date. I mean how long does it take to drink a cup of coffee? I suppose that depends upon how good the date is going.

Ok, so what is your idea of an ideal first date? Leave your answer and I'll pick one lucky commenter on Dec 7th to win a copy of First Date. (If you already have one, it'll make a nice gift for a loved one.)

And now for your Monday morning pick-me-up:

*ahem* sorry, speechless.

Just in time for the holidays

The Wild Rose Press gathered recipes from it's writers and put together a cookbook full of yummy goodness.

The best thing? The e-cookbook is free!

Check it out here!

Yes, I do have a recipe in there. ; )

My Thanksgiving horoscope.

Because I'm too stuffed to write!

Thanksgiving Horoscope for Virgo

You're the sign most likely to bake up elaborate dishes and make beautiful centerpieces.

Your signature dish: Turkey, cooked to perfection

Your signature dessert: A pumpkin tiramisu that you thought up

This holiday: Resist the urge to clean up - unless you're hosting Thanksgiving at your own place!

Well, my turkey is exceptional, but my chocolate mousse pie is my signature dessert. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

How to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving.

1 Go buy a turkey
2 Take a drink of whisky
3 Put turkey in the oven
4 Take another 2 drinks of whisky
5 Set the degree at 375 ovens
6 Take 3 more whiskys of drink
7 Turk the bastey
8 Whisky another bottle of get
9 Ponder the meat thermometer
10 Glass yourself a pour of whisky
11 Bake the whisky for 4 hours
12 Take the oven out of the turkey
13 Floor the turkey up off of the pick
14 Turk the carvey
15 Get yourself another scottle of botch
16 Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey
17 Bless the dinner and pass out

Monday's Pick-me-up

I saw this picture on someone else's blog quite some time ago and loved it so much I saved it. Now I'm sharing it with you. Sometimes, all you need is a look.

Book Review: LEGEND HUNTER by Jennifer McKenzie

Sitting at your computer, reading this review, it's fairly easy to dismiss the legend of Bigfoot, but when you're deep in the forest with civilization miles away, the possibility that Bigfoot exists is not so easy to disallow.

Jennifer McKenzie takes you deep into Humboldt County and the world of the legend hunter with skill and finesse. Her vivid descriptions had me longing to experience the vast expanse of the forest in person. So much so that I actually googled how much houses in Humboldt cost. In case you're interested: too much for me!

The characters are complex and you'll be rooting for a happy ever after long before you know if it's possible. Jennifer weaves a mystery into the plot with deft hands. I didn't guess who did it until shortly before the characters did and, for me, that's always a big plus.

Legend Hunter is available at Amazon or Fictionwise.

or visit Jennifer's website.

Here's a blurb to entice you.

Bigfoot is a fraud and the people who hunt for him are either fools or liars. Or so Kiera McConnel believes, and she should know since she caught her father fabricating evidence. So, when Ben Harmon, an experienced paranormal investigator shows up, she greets him with the business end of her shotgun. No matter how famous or attractive the man may be, Kiera is not going to help him.

Ben Harmon is sure the new sightings of Bigfoot will lead to a scientific breakthrough and no gun-toting skeptic, even a sexy one, is going to stop him. He manages to convince Kiera to lead him on his quest, but she won’t reveal the secrets he knows she keeps.

Murder intrudes and suddenly, the hunt for Bigfoot becomes the hunt for a killer. Ben and Kiera must discover the truth before the murderer strikes again.

Witty Wednesday

The Darwins are out!!!!

Yes, it's that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.

Here is the glorious winner:

1. When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Provo, Utah would-be robber Jason Ellison did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.
And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped... Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5.. A teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer... $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly.. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a South Carolina convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

9.. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on an Atlanta street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

Monday's Pick-me-up

Not sure if you've all noticed, but I've been a little hit and miss lately on this blog. My inconsistency is due to some pretty big life changes and I'm thankful I usually schedule posts a month in advance or you would have heard crickets from this site for most of the last month. Not only that, I've neglected all of your blogs too. It's my goal to jump back on the bandwagon starting today.

So without further ado, and because we could all use a Monday pick up, (and let me tell you, I'm not in to cowboys but I wouldn't turn this one down) here's your hunk.

Book Review: HIS SHIP, HER FANTASY by Emma Lai

The concept of this book intrigued me long before I had the opportunity to read it. I wasn't disappointed.

His Ship Her Fantasy is the first book in the Mates of the Guardian series. Emma Lai writes well and I was immediately drawn to Elle, her heroine and a junior engineer on board a space craft.

It's difficult to review a short story without giving too much away so let me say His Ship Her Fantasy is a sweet book and will leave you smiling.

Here is a Blurb:

Ellie Woods is in love…with a ship. When an argument with the ship results in a bump on the head, she finds herself in the strong arms of Alastair. But, who is he, and where did he come from?

Alastair has loved Ellie from afar for years, but duty has kept him from revealing himself to her. When a grave threat reveals his true identity, he hopes that Ellie will choose reality over fantasy.

Emma Lai's second book in this series, His Hope Her Salvation will be released on Dec 16th of this year from Wild Rose Press.

His Ship Her Fantasy is available at the Wild Rose Press. Find out more about Emma and her work here!

Witty Wednesday

Interview with Cari Quinn

Every once in a while, you meet someone online and just click. It was that way with Cari. Not only is she talented, she's kind, funny and one hellava writer.

Cari's first Scarlet, FULL DISCLOSURE, released last Friday.

Here's a blurb: Thirty-eight-year-old divorcee Holly Burrows has had enough of battery-operated love. Prompted by an ad left at her law office, she investigates Hunk Du Jour, a website designed to foster ‘adult connections’. After weeks of sexy emails and phone calls with surf hunk Kent, she's ready to test their chemistry in person. But first she has to get through lunch with her colleague Alex, a man with a brain as agile as his body. When their consultation ends with a bang, she barely remembers the man she'd lined up for dessert. Now she thinks she's juggling two hot young guys. How can she choose between her two gorgeous cubs – and why do they remind her of each other?

Without further ado, here's Cari.

~Every writer dreams of the day his or her book is published. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

It was a long and winding road that started on a dark and stormy night…

LOL, couldn’t resist. Like many writers, I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil, but writing isn’t my first love. Or my biggest. Growing up, my dream was to be a singer. Music is the one thing I find even more powerful than the written word…stories set to a melody, c’mon, THAT’S nirvana! But eventually I realized a singing career wasn’t in the stars for me, so I focused on my other passion: writing. I finished my first book in 2007, and that book is currently being retooled for the thirty thousandth time. ;) Full Disclosure is actually the fourth project I finished.

~Ah, another thing we have in common. I wanted to be a singer too… only I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. That kind of puts a damper on things. I for one am glad you focused on your writing.

What would be your one piece of advice for anyone interested in getting a book published?

Write. Don’t stop writing. Even when the muse scampers off to a tropical island without leaving a forwarding address. Even when you think the story’s not working or wonder if anyone will care what you have to say. Only through the repetition of writing will you ever get a chance at seeing your dream come true. Once you finish one story, start the next. Don’t let one book be the sum total of your life’s output, unless you think you may have the next Gone With The Wind on your hands.

Believe me, I know of what I speak when I say this…I worked on the same book from 1991-2007. Not continuously, of course, and the story changed a dozen times. But at its core, it was the same book. And I’m revising it yet again, though at least this time it’s only one segment of my arsenal of WIPs.

~Good advice. How did you family/friends react to your decision to become a writer?

Most of them have known I wrote as long as they’ve known me. I never really kept it a secret, and ever since I started passing around my stories to friends in high school, writing has been a constant in my life. My mom always encouraged me, especially after discussing my writing career with a woman who was known as a bit of a psychic. Once that woman said that I was destined to “make it,” my mother refused to listen to my doubts. Wish I’d been that easily convinced. ;) And my best friend has been around since my high school days, so she’s been reading my work for close to twenty years now.

~Support like that is priceless. How did you start writing erotic romance?

My first foray into steamy writing was an attempt to write for Harlequin Blaze, as I thought a 60K story would be a manageable size for me to cut my teeth on. So far, I have one of those about to go on submission again, another in progress, and my NaNoWriMo project, which has been brewing for about a year and a half. But Blaze steamy isn’t true erotic romance, and I don’t know if I would have tried it if not for my CP, Helen Hardt. Through reading her work, I became more acquainted with the genre and decided to see if I could give it a shot. She always praised my sex scenes, so I figured, why not? I started Full Disclosure and put it aside for awhile, but it stayed at the back of my mind. I love challenges, and I really wanted to see if I could write a scorching, no-holds-barred book.

~And you did! What inspired Full Disclosure?

I’ve always found the subject of internet dating fascinating. I’ve made several friends online that I’ve then met in person, and I also met a guy online eons ago. Some of the dynamics have changed, but what hasn’t is the deep connection that can be forged online. Something about the seeming anonymity allows people to feel free to express their truest self..and in Holly and Kent’s case, their deepest sexual desires. The story blossomed from my original conception of it, but the dating site behind the story, Hunk Du Jour, proved such an interesting backdrop to me that I just completed the followup story to Full Disclosure. This one is about Jenny, the webmistress of the site. Recently, I started plotting a third book set in the same world.

~It sounds like you’re going to be busy and we’ll have a lot of reading to do. Are you anything like your heroine?

I wish, LOL. Holly’s fiercely independent, so I guess in that sense we’re alike. She’s also very stubborn, and anyone that knows me knows I tend to be a little intractable when it comes to certain things. We’re also both big sports fans, though her sport of choice is hockey and mine is basketball. But as far as the hugely successful law career and her chutzpah in going after what she wants, even if what she wants is a very hot, much younger man…well, that’s not me. Not yet. But I’ll never say never. ;)

~I love reading about women with chutzpah. Okay, now for a slightly different question. If your hero and heroine went out, where would they go and what would they do?

Are they actually going out? As in leaving the bedroom? LOL Because as anyone who has read Full Disclosure can attest, Holly and Alex tend to like to stick close to the bed. Or the truck. Oops, I meant close to home. ;)

But if they were actually on a date…they’d probably go out for a low-key dinner at their favorite pizza place before heading out to a Sabres hockey game. Refer to the previous paragraph for their idea of a nightcap…

~LOL Sounds fun… the hockey game and the nightcap. Do you have anything new in the works?

Where should I start? I have 5 current WIPs, 2 completed stories that need to be edited ASAP to go on submission, and at least 2 other sequels waiting in the wings. That’s not even including all the other ideas in my “someday” file! As my awesome CP, Tara Leigh Coons, always says, I’ll never have to worry about running out of projects!

~That’s quite a list. It’s nice to know there will be lots more Cari Quinn novels to come. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?

I can’t think without music, which kind of relates to question #1, And not just music, blisteringly LOUD music. Somehow it becomes white noise for me to get into the zone with my characters. Sometimes I’ll realize exactly how loud the music in my headphones is and marvel that I haven’t gone deaf yet, but it’s a bad habit I can’t seem to shake.

What kind? You name it and I’ll listen to it. My current playlist for my NaNoWriMo Blaze, Heat Lightning, contains everything from Jo Dee Messina to the Pussycat Dolls to Marilyn Manson to Loreena McKennitt. I honestly don’t have a preferred genre, though the tone of the songs I like to listen to seems to shift from book to book.

~That is quite a variety…. And you know what they say about variety? What is the most exciting part of being a published writer?

Knowing I could do it, at least once. LOL Almost immediately my thoughts turned to making sure I avoided the sophomore slump with my next book, but those couple minutes of pure excitement were awesome.

~That moment you first see your book for sale is electric. And then you go back to work. What is the least exciting?

Worrying that people will think my book sucks. Sucking has its place in erotic fiction, just not in a book review. ;)

~LOL I almost spit out my coffee. So true and I think all writers share that fear.
Where can we find your books?

Full Disclosure just released this past Friday at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses: )

Other book news can be found on my blog:

Thanks for the interview, Lynne…this was a ton of fun!

It was fun for me too, Cari! Thank you.

Book Review: MONTEGO LAY by Helen Hardt

Montego Lay is the first book I've read by writer, Helen Hardt, but it won't be the last.

From the first page, you're drawn into a sultry Jamaican paradise and seduced along with Lisa, by Ace, the more-than-sexy instructor at Pleasure Cove.

Helen's writing is smooth and her characters well-developed. The story is captivating and the sex steamy! What more could you want?

I highly recommend.

Here is a blurb:

Vacationing at a Montego Bay nude resort, Lisa Brooks finds herself volunteering in a bondage demonstration on the beach. She’d like to continue the instructions with the Jamaican native, but the gorgeous resort employee has other duties to perform. Though disappointed, Lisa accompanies a friend to an erotic casino night where the chips are free and redeemable for sex. A night for a mysterious encounter? If only she could buy the island hottie she really wants.


Ace fingered white rope that looked like her mother’s clothesline. The idea of being bound by rope frightened her. Scarves. Scarves were soft, silky, and sexy. Wouldn’t they work better?


“Yes, sweet?”

“C-could you use scarves for the demonstration? I think I’d be more comfortable.”

“Ah, such a novice.” He smiled again, and her skin tingled. Damn, he was gorgeous. “Scarves aren’t safe, love. They’re difficult to untie once they’re knotted, and they can cut off circulation quite easily.”

Lisa’s cheeks warmed. Novice? Hell, she was a complete child when it came to this stuff.

“But don’t be scared, sweet,” Ace said. “I know what I’m doin’.”


“Anyone in the lifestyle will tell you the master takes full responsibility for his submissive’s safety. A good master knows to watch for circulation or breathin’ problems, signs of hyperventilation, and the like.”

“Really.” Lisa shook her head. “I had no idea.”

He chuckled. “That’s becoming clear. But no worries, sweet. I won’t harm you.” He held up the white rope. “Nylon is the best rope to use for bondage. It’s strong, it unties easily, and it’s generally comfortable.”

An image of her mother tying her father in clothesline shot into Lisa’s head, and she stifled a laugh.

“Did I say something funny?” Ace asked.

“No, no. It’s just...that looks like my mom’s old clothesline.”

His white teeth glimmered. “Not clothesline, sweet. That’d be cotton, which isn’t good rope for bondage. It retains too much moisture.”

“Why would that be a problem?”

“Germs, sweet.”

The crowd “mmmhmm’d” in a din, and Lisa felt like an idiot. Clearly, there was a lot she didn’t know about bondage.

Find out more about Helen here. Montego Lay is available at The Wilder Rose Press.

Better late than...

I'm sorry, guys. It's been a tough week and I've been relying on automatic post. Argh.

Today I am over at the awesome Lia Slater's blog. Please come and check out my interview and comment for a chance to win a copy of First Date.

Witty Wednesday

Monday's Pick-me-up

Really, do I need to add anything?

It pays to have clever friends.

And one of mine, Jinxie, had an awesome blog post the other day that I just had to share: Ten reasons why showerheads are better than men. Um, er, not that I'd know or anything.

An Interview with Dariel Raye

I 'met' Dariel Raye on one of the Wild Rose Press loops a few weeks ago and since I've been corresponding with her via email, I've learned not only is she a talented writer, she a very kind person.

So sit down and grab a cup of coffee--but not in that order ; ). You're in for a treat.

Tell me about when and how you started writing professionally.

Is there a point before Stephen King and Anne Rice-ism at which any writer feels “professional?” The summer my divorce was final, I took some time from work and set a few progressive goals: first, start writing again; second, actually finish the story; and third, publish it. After that, I read everything I could get about publishing.

Did you always want to write, or was your decision more of an epiphany?

I started writing when I was a child, so it was always a part of me. Actually publishing something I’d written was the epiphany part.

Where do you get inspiration for your characters/stories? Give examples from some of your stories.

Everywhere. Vashti’s Star was inspired by a dream, Raven’s Shelter was inspired by reading about the Got Wolf? Contest on The Wild Rose Press site, Aidan’s Will was inspired by a Black History event and a subsequent dream, and Jordan’s Wings was inspired in Bible study, to name a few.

Inspiration is everywhere. You just need to let your imagination go. Experts say we often build characters to fulfill our fantasies/desires. What characteristics do you desire in your main characters (hero/heroine)? Give examples from some of your stories.

The most important characteristics to me are loyalty and strength, even when the character is unaware of his/her own strength. I’ve noticed that my heroines are often “Steel magnolias” in that they appear to be fragile, but when love and crisis meet, strength emerges. In Vashti’s Star, Vashti often appears to be unstable to the reader, yet her steadfast love for Mark reveals loyalty and unexpected strength. My heroes have to be loyal, strong, and responsible, even when they don’t appear that way initially. Even when Raven in Taming of the Wolf – “Raven’s Shelter,” is in the clutches of his enemies, he’s more concerned about Karen than himself.

Those are some important characteristics. What do you find most fulfilling about writing?

Hearing or reading positive comments from readers.

What about the most challenging?

Dealing with the business aspects.

I’m sure you could write a book about this, but writing is a journey. What advice would you give to those just embarking on the journey?

You don’t have to be a literary genius, but please do brush up on your grammar. Remember – everything changes. There are resources for writers now that just a few years ago, we never would have dreamed. Take advantage of them (www, E-publishing, contests and conferences, etc.). Read everything you can about the publishing process, get started on a story or two while you’re still reading, keep reading while you’re writing, and plan to learn more about style and marketing as you go.

Good advice. What are some of your most cherished resources?

Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich’s English Grammar and Composition is still one of the best, concise references in existence. I also have a book appropriately called Writing Clinic, by Kelly Nickell. In addition to reviewing the elements of fiction and non-fiction works, the author offers examples of query letters, synopses, and proposals.

Writing Clinic sounds good. I'll have to check it out. I'd have to add my favorite to your list: Eat, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. Any helpful hints on balancing self, work, family, and writing?

I haven’t found it, and perhaps it doesn’t exist for everyone. I always seem to be running to catch up, but for the most part, I enjoy everything I do. Unless it’s an absolute necessity, I say “no.” I guess that’s my hint: prioritize and focus your efforts on what matters most to you.

I think you're right. I have so many balls in the air, I know I'm going to drop a few now and then, I just try not to drop the same one two times in a row. What do you do to re-energize, restore, and recover?

Study the Bible (with reference books and all), visit my Mom and just hang-out, dote on my dogs, play and sing, dance, move from place to place while reading an entire novel (exciting, huh?), watch two movies back to back (this is really living, folks), prepare my favorite comfort foods (spaghetti or oysters).

Two movies back to back is a luxury. Tell me about your WIPs.

Jordan’s Wings is a novella about the descendants of disinherited fallen angels and the human women they fall in love with; Aidan’s Will is a full-length piece about the reincarnation of a former slave and her rescuer, a Native American who lost his life for her; Gabriel’s Keep, another full-length novel is also about a special angel who is on a frightening mission; and Dayspring is a futuristic full-length/possible series about a race of shifters and the human women destined to save the Earth from destruction.

They all sound wonderful, Dariel. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all these questions.

You can find out more about Dariel by visiting her website and her story, Raven's Shelter is a part of the Taming of the Wolf anthology. Available now at the Wild Rose Press.

My cover for AFTER HOURS

Today is Monday Pick-me up and I thought what better hunk to pick you up than the one on my new cover for AFTER HOURS~

Isn't he yummy?

A really good post.

Recently, I was talking with a good friend of mine about my publicity campaign for FIRST DATE. I mentioned that I was going to write a regular blog for today. After a pause, in which I could almost hear the wheels spinning in her head, she told me I should write a good blog, a really good blog. A blog that would draw readers and potential buyers to FIRST DATE.

Um, yeah.

Seriously folks? This friend is the bomb! She’s taken on the hat of virtual assistant (she printed me out a schedule so I wouldn’t forget where I was blogging during the week) in addition to the web-mistress garb she wears on a regular basis. Don’t laugh. The leather and that whip? Hot!

I can almost hear her telling me to stop going off on a tangent and get back to the blog, the really good blog. *tee hee*

So I’m going to write about pressure. (She’s going to kill me)

As a writer, you work your butt off to get published. It’s hard. In fact, it’s my personal opinion that most writers have a few screws loose because we love this. The constant rejection, the edits after edits after edits are all made worth it by a single “Wow! I loved it.”

However, the goal isn’t just the writing, or the publishing, it’s the selling. After you’ve found a publisher and it goes into production, you start wondering who is going to buy it. And, for me, here is where the pressure begins to mount. Some of us are natural-born salespeople. I am not.

I will be perfectly honest with you and say I was overwhelmed (blogs, reviews, interviews. Did I post that? Should I post that? Did I say too much? Too little? More revisions? Ack) but I was hanging in there until it came time to make the trailer.

By the way, hanging in there is subjective. My house is here somewhere under the clutter. And those bills? I’m not sure the vendors think that a looming deadline is a good excuse for not paying them.


Did you hear that? I must be off on a tangent again.

Oh yes, the trailer. In attempting to make the trailer, I lost it. Bulging-eyeballs-ripping-hair-out lost it.

Voice in my head: “But you see, all your favorite books have trailers. It’s the thing to do, an excellent marketing tool, you want to sell your book don’t you? Well, don’t you? You better get on the ball!” And yes, the voice in my head talks in run-on sentences.

I couldn’t find the right music or the right pictures and quite frankly, I was getting frustrated. I couldn’t concentrate on the galley because I was so stressed about everything else I had to do. For me, the trailer was the straw that broke the publicity train. (Yeah, I know. I mixed it. I am not editing. So there.)

So what did I do? I gave myself permission to not have a trailer. Will I sell fewer books because of it? I don’t know. But this is my first publishing experience ever and I wanted to enjoy it. Letting myself off the hook regarding the trailer made all the difference in the world.

And you know what else I’m going to do? Tonight, I’m shutting off that inner voice that says I should be blogging or reading and commenting on them, and I’m watching a movie. Yeah, a movie. 17 Again. I haven’t watched a movie in over a month.

You might have all your ducks in a row and not have a problem with any part of the process. You might think the trailer part of it is a piece of cake and something else stumbles you. It might not even be promotion; it could be the editing process, submissions, queries.

I’d just remind you, whatever stage you’re in, don’t forget you. It’s true that pressure makes diamonds, but it also makes for a stressed-out person. (And, hello? I don’t know about you, but I’m not coal) It’s hard work, no doubt about it but if you’re not enjoying yourself, find out why and be sure to take some time out for you now and then.

Witty Wednesday

A few days ago, I was googling my book (I can be obsessive like that) I didn't find First Date but I did find this! From Mingle2 an online dating place:

9 Reasons Not to Date a Tyrannosaurus Rex

This site is full of funny! You'll also see why you shouldn't date a unicorn and the 8 phases of dating.

Book Review: MIDNIGHT TREAT by Becca Simone

I downloaded Midnight Treat by Becca Simone a few days after it was released but didn't have the opportunity to read it until last night. I am so glad I did.

This book isn’t hot, it’s steaming… Seriously. Well-written, with splashes of humor, excellent characterization and a plot executed so well, I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t mention the HEA. Consider yourself warned. You will swoon.

Becca, you have a new fan. : ) There is a reason why it's #1 on the Wilder Rose Site.

Midnight Treat is a treat any time of the day! Highly, highly recommended.

Here is an excerpt:
Zorro hooked his hands under the frame and tugged upward. She gasped. He was coming inside! He swung his leg quietly over the windowsill, his foot touching carpet.
“You told me you were on the fifth floor,” he said as he swung his other leg inside and unfolded to his full height. His voice was deep and raspy. His white teeth flashed in the dim light as he grinned.
Oh. My. God. Zorro was in her apartment.
“I, ah—” He must have seen her through the window and thought she was the other Marie. Again. Her insides fluttered with possibilities.
Tell him! He stalked toward the bed like a wild animal hunting its prey. He eased the sword from its sheath and leaned over her, holding it above her face. She, Cassie Snow, was smack dab in the middle of another couple’s naughty fantasy. Her eyes widened and need pulsed between her legs. Tell him he’s in the wrong apartment!
“You said you like to be scared,” he growled, right before he clamped a hand over her mouth and pressed the back of her head into the pillow.
He held the long silver blade in front of her eyes. “Make a sound and you’re dead. Understand?”
She nodded and immediately stilled. She knew she should tell him he had the wrong girl. But she was always the wrong girl. Was it so horrible that she wanted to be the right girl for a change? Was it so wrong that she wished, just for one night, to be someone else? Someone who acted out naughty role-playing?
You can learn more about Becca on her website.

Midnight Treat is available at the Wilder Rose Press.

And the winners are...

Drum roll, please.

With the help of my DD, the winners are:

The $5 Starbucks gift certificate goes to: Helen Hardt

The winner of the Tickle N Taste body powder is: Crystal Posey

And finally the winner of the free download of First Date is: Cari Quinn

Congratulations to all of you and thank you everyone for playing!

Helen and Crystal, please email me your address! Cari, let me know the email you want me to send First Date to!

New Contest

You glance at the clock wondering if the minute hand is broken and suddenly there it is, the doorbell rings. Instantly your hands are clammy and you feel a bit queasy. Did you wear the right outfit? Does your make-up still look okay? You take a deep breath, close your eyes and open the door.

There he is, still as drop dead gorgeous, holding a bouquet of daisies and sporting a goofy grin. Your heart melts, he remembered your favorite flower.

“Are you ready?"

And boy are you ever.

Okay, I’ve never had a first date like this one…
I have had some pretty awful ones. One year, this guy asked me out for Valentines. He was the lead singer of a band that played in my garage.. Hawt, I know, right? : ) I'd known him in highschool, okay I had a major crush on him but so did half the other girls in school. I was so excited. I mean the guy everyone lusted over in highschool was going out with me! Well, he came to the door with a single rose and a huge smile... the rose was fake... and he didn't know it was fake. He was quite surprised when I didn't put it in a vase...

Yeah, I pretty much knew right then and there that it would also be the last date.

In my Rosette, First Date, Bret spends a part of the book wondering how he is going to ask Jill on a First Date. He, uh, never quite gets around to it.

So tell me about your First Date. It can be your first date ever or the first date with your significant other. Good, bad or neutral.

On Monday, October 19th, I’ll pick 3 winners! One commenter will win a copy of First Date, another lucky commenter will win a jar of Tickle and Taste body powder and another will win a $5 gift card to Starbucks. Good luck!!!

And the winner is...

Kaily Hart! Yay! Congratulations. Kaily, please email me Lynne @ where you want me to send the download of First Date!

Thank you every one for participating. There were interesting, sweet, funny and kinda gross stories of first kisses. : ) You all rock.

Without further ado, your Witty Wednesday:

An Interview

I feel so grown-up ; )

Today, I'm over at Romance by Catherine.

Catherine Bybee is a fellow TWRP author and a vivacious, giving person who has generously offered to interview me.

If you've read KILT WORTHY then you're aware of her talent!

Any commenter, here or on Catherine's blog, will be entered in the First Kiss Contest and eligible to win a copy of FIRST DATE.

Winners will be announced Wednesday, Oct. 14th (tomorrow)

Popping the Publishing Cherry New Contest! First Kiss

There can only be one first time.

You stare into his eyes and suddenly you know its coming. Your heart speeds and time slows. Your gaze darts to his lips; soft and full, you imagine them on yours and a thrill of pleasure warms your body before you return your gaze to his eyes.

I think good or bad...

everyone remembers his or her first kiss. The tension: will he won’t he? Are my lips chapped? Breath okay? Will his breath be okay?
LOL It’s as nerve-wracking as it is thrilling.

Even if it’s not your first kiss ever, the first kiss between two people is special, in a sweaty palms, heart racing kind of way.

Today, I’m going to ask you to share your first kiss. It can be the first kiss you ever experienced or the first kiss with your current significant other. If you want to share your favorite fictional first kiss, or just say hi, that’s fine too. One lucky commenter between now and Wednesday, Oct 14, will win an electronic copy of FIRST DATE.
Me first?

I was fifteen and beginning to believe I’d be sweet sixteen and never been kissed when it finally happened. I was kind of going out with a senior. Tall, blond and charming, I was hooked. We were talking after school. A friend of his came to pick him up on a motorcycle. He got on the back and he leaned down to give me a hug. Out of the blue he kissed me right before he drove away.
LOL Not terribly romantic, I know. So now it's your turn. ; )

Contest Announcement

A huge thank you to all of you who made my debut so fun but it's not over yet!

To celebrate my debut release, First Date, I'm hosting a contest starting tomorrow.
10/12/09. On 10/14/09, I will randomly select the name of one lucky commentator to win a free download of First Date.

I hope to see you there!

~ Lynne