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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sneak Peek!

As I try to crawl out from beneath my mountain of work and try to ignore the fact that I am SO not prepared for Christmas yet, I figured I might as well toss up a quickie blog post. I don't have a release date yet for Second Skin, my first novella for Decadent Publishing's popular 1 Night Stand series, but I DO have a preview of the cover. And it's pretty awesome.

This is my first big(-ish) project in a contemporary setting, though there's still plenty of action. (Yes, action and action. ;) ) I won't give away too much yet, of course, but I'll mention that the grapes are there because a lot of the book takes place at a winery, and the sunglasses...well, let's just say our heroine is a bit of a badass. I like this.

On the writing front, the Disintegration sequel is still coming along nicely, though it's had to take a little bit of a backseat to the day job lately. The desert is still hot and steamy, Ro's still a pain in the ass, and there's plenty of sass and snarky banter to go around. Life is good. I'll write more about the progress there when we're not all distracted by the shiny new cover.

If I don't manage to check in before then, I hope you're all having a fabulous holiday season and you finish out 2013 with a bang!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Few Little Tweaks

If this is your first time clicking through in a while (which it probably is since I've been lazy when it comes to new posts), you've likely noticed that things look a little different around here. The new banner is an updated version of the artwork Boobulon did for me when I ordered some magnets a while back; in preparation for some upcoming events, I ordered some more promotional materials with the new image, and I figured I might as well tie everything together.

In my promotional plannings, I decided I needed a [new] tagline. The old one was sort of done as a quick joke when I first started this blog/site, but now it's time for SERIOUS BUSINESS. (Or as serious as I get, anyway...which regular readers will know isn't that serious at all.) Boobulon and I brainstormed for a long time one recent night, trying to come up with something creative and punchy that would let readers know exactly what they're in for if they picked up something I've written. And then after all that brainstorming and polling a couple other friends...I wound up going with what I pulled out of my butt to use as placeholder text when designing the new materials.

I really shouldn't have been surprised. I mean, how often does that happen while writing? You slave over a certain sentence/paragraph/scene/chapter making sure everything is exactly perfectly right and then stuff you whip out at the speed of light without thinking about it later turns out to be brilliant. Is this the greatest tagline there ever was and ever will be? No, but it gets the job done and I have other things to spend my brainpower on (like getting that sentence/paragraph/scene/chapter exactly perfectly right).

So hopefully things look a little more updated and polished around here. I seriously doubt these minor tweaks to the hub of my online presence will suddenly turn me into a best-selling author, but it was time for a change and I like consistency. And when playing around with colors, I realized I also like and have a special fondness for the dark purple script, so assume that's staying around FOREVER.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hot Autumn Nights Blog Hop!

It's almost wintertime, but that doesn't mean we can't have one last celebration of racing through falling leaves before the weather gets too cold to venture outside. Autumn is a great time for romance, whether you're strolling through a picturesque scene of reds and golds or curling up in front of a warm fireplace. Hop on through all the links on the list to check out all our different takes on this season of love, and be sure to comment at each site to up your chances for winning the grand prize, a $70 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card!

For my stop on the hop, I'll take us allllll the way back to Geneva and Marcus's fire-lit first kiss in Searching the Skies. (My, how that seems so long ago!) Want a chance to win an e-copy of this book? Follow the Rafflecopter instructions after the excerpt. Good luck!

His words to her were honest and pure and for the first time, she realized that no matter how far she tried to run, a tiny piece of her would always belong to the home planet for which she had shown so much disdain. She didn’t know whether to thank him, apologize to him, or pretend that nothing had ever happened, so they sat in silence for several awkward minutes, wrapped in their own personal reflections and the shadows of the darkening room.

Marcus suddenly jumped to his feet, disrupting the nervous tension that had settled around them. “Can I, uh, get you anything else from the kitchen?” he stammered.

Geneva did the same. “Marcus, I....” She continued to struggle to find the right words. “I’m sorry I didn’t realize what a good friend I had here until now. I know we can never make up for lost time, but I’m willing to start over again.”

The light from the flickering fire reflected in his soulful eyes as he nodded a tacit acknowledgment. She suddenly had the urge to hug him, and she took a step closer in order to do so. As he was considerably taller than her, she cautiously slid her arms around his waist, and he reciprocated the gesture. The crisp fabric of his shirt was warm from his body as she leaned her cheek against his chest, the aroma of red wine and expensive cologne mingling at her nose.

She didn’t have more than a few moments to rest comfortably before he moved back to look down at her. With one finger, he gently tilted her chin up towards his face and brought his mouth down to meet hers. Geneva almost felt strange at first as she remembered the boy she once knew, but she soon relaxed into kissing the man he had become. Their lips separated, and she tasted the sweet velvet of his tongue, no longer thinking about past missed opportunities, but future possibilities. She felt her knees grow weak as he kissed her unrelentingly and tightened her embrace, not wanting to let him go.

Her eyes were still closed when he pulled away and moved his lips to the side of her face. “I could do this all night, but it’s getting late.”

“We’ll just have to start earlier next time,” she responded, and instantly blushed when she realized what she’d said.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013


The Disintegration sequel (working title so I can make the label: The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions) is underway and the words are flying onto the page. I know I was hesitant to begin this one for a while, but all of my misgivings are gone. Despite having a touch of the flu (I could barely stand on Thursday, but went to the doctor and got a prescription for Tamiflu, good stuff), I wrote like crazy this weekend and I hope to keep plugging away at a good pace.

When I first started Defying the Skies, I mentioned here that there's a certain ease and familiarity that comes with writing a sequel. The characters and universe are already established for me, though I do try to provide a basic recap for new readers. That's been one of the [fun] challenges, actually — how do I re-set the stage without making it a giant infodump or a rehash of what already happened? What key details need to be mentioned right off the bat?

Chapter One is the longest introductory chapter I've ever written (I don't want to call it a prologue, but I guess an argument could be made). In my defense, 1) a lot happens, 2) there weren't any logical places for a scene break, and 3) only about a third of it is recapping stuff from the first book. Chapter Two admittedly has some more recapping, but it kicks off the main plot for the rest of the book, so I'm going to leave it for now. I really hope I've struck the right balance in refreshing the main plot points from the prior book vs. moving things along in the current book, but hey, that's what editing is for, right?

I know there's a good chance some (a lot?) will eventually be snipped, but I'm satisfied for now and raring to write more. I'm still itching with all the IDEAS that I want to put in this book and I'm hoping that fuel takes me far. Vroooom!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Big Book of Orgasms Blog Tour! (with Giveaway!)

The Big Book of Orgasms has been out for about a month now, and so far the reception has been fantastic! I'm thrilled to be a contributor to this anthology, one of the 69 (hee hee hee) authors who packed a ton of action into a very short number of words. I won't spend a lot of time in this post rehashing all the snippets and reviews, but you can easily lose yourself for hours over at the official tumblr.

I will, however, mention a super-exciting tidbit: On January 3rd, I, along with editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and fellow writers Andreas Amsterdam, Jeremy Edwards, Drew Griffiths, Lula Lisbon, Lillian Ann Slugocki, and Suleikha Snyder, will be reading our contributions at the Museum of Sex in Manhattan. If you're anywhere near NYC, you should definitely swing by! More details can be found here.

If you haven't picked up a copy of the anthology yet and you can't wait a moment longer, be sure to leave a comment with your email address on this blog post. Cleis Press is giving away a copy of the book for every stop along the tour, and I'll pick my winner randomly from the comments section after midnight on Friday. And fiiiiiine, since we've come this far, I guess I'll further tempt you/stoke your fires with a brief excerpt from my story "Opening Doors". Good luck!

The elevator doors are closing. “Damn it!” I yell, and try to run in my pumps. Just as I’m about to give up hope, it miraculously reopens. The man holding the door for me is wearing a zippered hoodie and baggy cargo pants, a stark contrast to my tailored skirt suit. Several days of stubble peppers his cheeks, and he flashes me a smile.

“Thanks for waiting,” I say breathlessly.

“No problem.”

We begin our ascent. As we pass the eighteenth floor, the lights go out in our small enclosure, and the car grinds to a halt.

“What the hell?” I scream.

“That didn’t sound good.”

“Shit! I cannot miss this meeting!” Time seems irrelevant as the darkness threatens to suffocate me. I can feel the walls closing in on us. Death is imminent, I’m certain of it. I yell for help. There is no response.

“I pressed the emergency button. I don’t know if it did anything.”

My companion is calmer than I am. “We’re stuck?” I try not to hyperventilate. “Great.”

“Claustrophobic, are we?”

“Shut up. You’re wasting oxygen.”

Saturday, November 16, 2013


In case you missed the facebook announcement and it's not showing up at the top of your screen, I first need to point out that this site/blog is now finally under its own domain, woo hoo! is up and running, and hopefully will continue to be for a long time.

Anyhoo! In my last thinking-out-loud post, I wrote about how I didn't know what to start writing next and rambled on for a few paragraphs about the pros and cons of each idea. I was getting itchy to start something, so after giving it some more thought, I decided upon the Disintegration sequel (which does have a working title, though I'm not married to it yet). As always, the day job has been busy, so I'm not all that far into it, but I did get off to a good start and I'm confident with my decision. My brain's chugging away like crazy with all the IDEAS I have for the book, and if I have to be kept awake at night by something, that's not a bad option.

Another reason I'm happy and excited about the start of this new project is that even after all the other stuff I've written in this past year (since I finished up the first Disintegration just about a year ago, minus the set of prequels), Ro continues to be one of my most favorite characters I've ever created and I'm already enjoying getting back to her. I can't even really put my finger on why she's my favorite. I don't think I'd want to be friends with her in real life, and she arguably sets out to intentionally irritate the people around her. I've written other snarky characters and other badass characters and so on, but something about her just speaks to me. (And before anyone asks, NO, she is not based on me, nor is she supposed to be some sort of depiction of what my subconscious wants me to be.)

I won't give too much away right off the bat, but the sequel is, in fact, from Ro's POV. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to write from her perspective and dig even deeper into her soul, and I'm hoping the results are everything I want them to be and more. Onwards!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bedded Bliss Blog Tour!

Today on the blog I'm pleased to feature a new release from Cleis Press, Bedded Bliss: A Couple's Guide to Lust Ever After, edited by Kristina Wright. It seems that so much of erotic literature available focuses on "the chase", the building of tension, and then just stops when the happy couple hits the "happily ever after". (Am I guilty of this as well? Of course I am.) Bedded Bliss combines real-life anecdotes/advice and erotic fiction to take the reader beyond the HEA and highlights the benefits (and occasional struggles) of long-term relationships.

Without getting into too much detail about my personal life, I enjoyed Chapter Seven very much, "Different Flavors of Lust—Exploring Your Boundaries". In the very beginning of her fictional story A Little Something Different, contributor Heidi Champa made me smile with her depiction of, well, going for a little something different (because again, without revealing too many details, I could SO see myself in this situation):

"How about something like this?”

He held up a mass of straps and cuffs that looked like dog leashes all bunched together. It was hard to tell where one piece ended and the next one began.

“What is all that?”

“Some kind of bondage kit. Looks like it’s been on display for quite a while.”

I shook my head and laughed as he tried to get it back on the hook. The back of the store was empty except for the two of us, the rest of the customers searching the adult DVD section for something that struck their fancy. I gazed up at the walls full of cuffs, whips and lotions, trying to find something that didn’t make me cringe or giggle.

“We don’t need a bondage kit. I like using your old ties. They are softer than all that nylon cording.”

“True. How about this?”

It was a Kama Sutra kit consisting of a book and various potions, all in one convenient box.

“Nah. Remember what happened the last time we tried to attempt a Kama Sutra position. You nearly gave me a black eye.”

“Right. Good call.”

It’s fairly easy to fall in love (or lust), but keeping that passion hot and heavy after twenty years of marriage can get tricky. Kristina Wright has two toddlers and a red-hot marriage, and there’s no one better suited to helping other couples make lust last. Bedded Bliss: A Couple’s Guide to Lust Ever After pairs hands-on advice for long-term lovers with steamy tales to inspire couples to enact their own erotic adventures. Each chapter begins with “sensual suggestions” for keeping in touch—literally! Read real advice and stories from couples, who have a combined total of a whopping 235 years of long-term relationship experience, and find out what works for them to keep their fires burning steady and hot.  Romance writer and editor Wright re-invents the sexuality genre, presenting a guide that simultaneously educates and entertains. Bedded Bliss is a treasure trove of resources for couples to ensure that monogamy will never again mean monotony.

Kristina Wright ( is an award-winning author whose erotic romance fiction has appeared in over seventy-five anthologies. She is also the editor of several Cleis Press anthologies of romance, including Best Erotic Romance 2013 and Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance. Kristina teaches both English and Humanities at the college level. She lives with her family in Chesapeake, VA.

Amazon Buy Link  

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I'm in that part of the cycle where while I'm still playing some Mass Effect (replaying as a different character, taking my time this time around), I'm doing some writing in my free time as well. I've just about worked the fanfic out of my system, so it's almost time to start something new. The kicker? I don't know what to start next.

I guess in a way it's better to have too many ideas than not enough? Efforts to multitask on writing projects rarely work out for me, though I guess I can give it another try. I'm at the point where I feel like I need to be doing something, but I just haven't made a decision yet. My life is incomplete without organized lists and spreadsheets, so I might as well throw one of the former up on the blog to help me think out loud.

Option 1) The next in the Skies series - The first two books hovered around the 30K word mark, so in theory, if I want to keep Book 3 around the same length, it shouldn't take me terribly long. (However, we all know about theory and practice....) I have the first two thirds of the book plotted out in detail and I know what I want to do there. The catch? I have NO idea how to end it. There are two main conflicts throughout the story, I know how one is going to be resolved, but I'm really not sure about the other one. I suppose I could jump in, see where the story takes me, and decide when I get to that point, but I've never started a major project without knowing what the end was going to be before.

Option 2) The Disintegration sequel - I've received inquiries about what's going on with this, and I do want to go revisit the characters. The nerd in me will also admit that since I'm still on a bit of a gaming kick, the basic plot of this one is appealing, as it's used in so many games: assemble a team of varied, colorful characters and go kick some ass. I have almost the opposite problem as with Option 1, interestingly enough: while I have all the main events sketched out from beginning to end, there are a lot of gaps to fill in between the points. Again, I guess I could just jump right in and see where it takes me.

Option 3) Another novella for Decadent Publishing's 1 Night Stand series - This idea is pretty solid and fleshed out in my mind. However, my first story with them isn't due to be released until January-ish, and while it's a popular series, I kind of want to see how the first one goes before writing another one for it (totally unrelated to my first). I can't quite put my finger on why I feel this way, but my gut is telling me to wait on this one. 

So there's my organized whining for now. In the grand scheme of things, these aren't awful problems to have and I know that all of these stories will get written out sooner or later. In case you haven't realized, though, my Type A personality is always lost without a definitive PLAN!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sounds Like Falling in Love

Work is still work, and today I had to travel an hour away for my job. It wasn't terrible, since there's no traffic out in cow country, and the autumn leaves are rather nice.* It also helps that I don't have to drive that distance for work every day.

(*If my husband pronounces "foliage" as "foil-age" one more time, I'm going to whack him with a dictionary.)

A ways back, my favorite CD went missing. I actually thought I might have left it at my old job, and when I finally gave up on finding it, I replaced it digitally. OBVIOUSLY it turned up when we moved last summer. It got put back into the rack and I haven't managed to sit down and listen to it for a while.

The professional musician in me has always thought Aaron Copland is the quintessential American composer, so what better soundtrack for my drive through the countryside? Damn, I do love that CD. It was a good choice.

So to tie this into writing - one of my favorite tracks on there is one of the four dances from Rodeo. To me, it's always sounded like falling in love, if that makes any sense. (Which is sort of what's going on plot-wise in the actual ballet, though there's a dose of unrequited love and sloppy seconds.) I know that my chosen genre of erotic romance could be considered more fiery and romantic, but while I'll always love my smut, it's good to remember the sweeter parts of a blooming relationship!

And regardless of sweet vs. spicy, I still think there's plenty of passion in this piece. Oh, Copland, my love for you is eternal.


Sunday, September 29, 2013


Ah, here's that promised blog post a week later. Better late than never!

So here's what happened: Almost three weeks ago, I finally sat down to play Mass Effect 3. And it was amazing and addictive and I didn't want to do anything else. I went to work, I fed myself on occasion, I pulled my hair out when some home improvement projects made a giant mess in my house, and I played the game. That's really it.

I actually finished the game last Saturday night (well, I've seen 3 out of 4 endings, and more on that later). Now that I'm done and I don't have to worry about spoilers, I can truly jump into the fandom with both feet. I've been reading trivia, perusing fanfic, looking at artwork...all that stuff you do when you don't want your experience with a story to end. I'm not sure if that really counts as being productive, but I don't mind the little mental break. We all deserve that every now and then, right?

And what a story it was. Yeah, yeah, I knew going in about the controversy over the ending. Truth be told, I was initially disappointed, but after a little time passed, I grew to appreciate some aspects of it. Is it perfect? Wait, scratch it satisfying? Eh. Mileage varies. While I'll never condone some of the behavior that immediately followed the game's release (sending death threats over a video game? really?), I'm also not rolling my eyes at the people who are in the "well, THAT sucked" camp. Amusingly enough, I've done some guest blog posts on this very topic before - how important is a stereotypical happy ending?

Regardless, the game was still fantastic. Since this is supposed to be a writing blog after all, I might as well pontificate a bit about the storytelling aspects. The worldbuilding is rich and complex, and the characters that inhabit said world are varied and compelling. The romantic in me was satisfied with the love story on the side, especially since the relationship I chose seemed so realistic. I both laughed my ass off and cried my eyes out, and it's rare that something can elicit both those reactions. Even if you're not really a fan of games, I highly recommend the series because it's such a vibrant fictional universe.

And yeah, there are fanfics coming out of my keyboard. I've already knocked out a quick one, and I'm collaborating with Boobulon to write a humorous tale about late nights aboard the ship. Don't judge me.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Snog (giveaway and fundraiser!)

I'll write an actual post sometime soon about video games and romances and such (hint: I just finished crying my way through Mass Effect 3), but in the meantime, I'm participating in the 100th Sunday Snog! If you want to read about a ton of great kisses and enter a bunch of giveaways, be sure to click through and follow all the links. In addition, donations will be made to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, which is a fantastic charity that does amazing, amazing work.

One of my favorite kisses that I've written is Callum and Meyta's first kiss from the (free) Disintegration prequels, so I'll pull that up for today's event. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end to win your choice of ebook from the library!

A cool breeze drifted through the desolate landscape, and Meyta shivered. “Maybe you’re right,” she said. “Maybe I should take a trip to Coral City, or some of the other areas of the country, and see what they’re like for myself.”

She sensed movement behind her. A pair of hands appeared on her shoulders, their warmth seeping through the thin material of her blouse. “You know, there’s a lot to be said for what’s right here,” Callum murmured near her ear.

Her body tensed as he stepped closer, and then relaxed when she leaned back into the comfort of his arms. “At first, I thought you were lucky,” she said. “I almost started to envy you for your exciting life, and all your travels, and the important jobs you do with the military.”


“But then I realized how foolish that was. Every day, you run the risk of being taken out by a Charytaran missile, or ambushed by an army of Palavian drones. I don’t know how you do it.”

His hold on her tightened. “Someone has to.”

She tilted her head back. His breath danced across her neck, and the scent of his skin wafted towards her nose. A combination of the dust on his uniform and the effects of the day’s exertion mingled in the cool air, yet it was not an unpleasant aroma. She breathed deeply, keeping her gaze focused on the illuminated desert. “There’s so much danger out there,” she whispered. “Do you ever get scared?”

“On occasion. Just don’t tell my teammates.”

Meyta smiled. “Your secret’s safe with me.”

“I can think of better secrets to share.”

Callum squeezed her shoulders and turned her around. With one hand, he brushed an errant lock of thick, dark hair away from her face. She closed her eyes as his fingers grazed her cheek, and leaned towards him.

His lips, soft and moist, met hers in a tender kiss. Gentleness gave way to a stronger fervor as his tongue slipped into her mouth. Another tremor rippled over her, yet the cause of her quivering muscles had nothing to do with the outdoor climate.  Callum’s hands dipped down to her waist, pulling her closer into an ardent embrace. She locked her arms around the back of his neck, and pressed herself against his broad chest.

In the infinite expanse of cold, unfeeling sand and the ever-present threat of brutal warfare, Meyta no longer felt small and alone. Reminders of Callum’s impending departure prickled at the back of her mind. She pushed aside any negative thoughts, and succumbed to his smoldering kiss.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Defying the Skies Artwork!

Boobulon has done it again! I had an idea* for some artwork featuring the starring trio from the Skies series, and he accepted the commission. This is awesome and amazing and wonderful and I love it hard!

Click for embiggening!
If you've been following along on the DtS book tour (and if not, SHAME), this is one of the prizes. You know you want this badass scene adorning your mantle, don't even try to deny it. If you're impatient, the prints are available through deviantArt.

*I believe I said something along the lines of "How cool would it be to have Geneva and Marcus in the same pose as the 'Army of Darkness' poster, but with the genders reversed?" This is the answer, and the answer is really fucking cool.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Defying the Skies Tour!

Follow the tour!

What better way to celebrate a three-day weekend than with a blog tour! Check out all the sites that have been gracious enough to host me, leave them some friendly comments, and be sure to enter the giveaway! I'm giving away e-copies of Defying the Skies, the original Searching the Skies, plus prints of some brand-new artwork from Boobulon (that he's putting the finishing touches on)!

Sept 2: Snarky Mom Reads
Sept 4: Rose & Beps Blog
Sept 4: SinfulReads Blog
Sept 6: Book Reviews
Sept 7: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
Sept 8: BookwormBridgette's World
Sept 10: Triad Literary
Sept 11: Naughty Bits' Book Reviews
Sept 12: Reader's Edyn
Sept 14: Sharing Links and Wisdom
Sept 15: Wicked Readings by Tawania
Sept 17: Dalene's Book Reviews
Sept 16: deal sharing aunt
Sept 18: Have Novel, Will Edit
Sept 20: Harlie's Books (Review)
Sept 22: Danita Minnis
Sept 22: For the Love of Bookends

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Til Death Do Us (A)Part

It's September 1st, the seasons are changing, and that's as good of a time as any to start new things! A friend of mine, Elizabeth Lake, has kicked off her free online serial today, and I love it already. I'll be honest - zombies aren't totally my thing (though they're super-trendy now), but the description/blurb for this serial made the story sound irresistible:

When Madelyn Striker awakes on her wedding day, she has only one goal: make it to midnight without killing anyone. With an alcoholic sister, neurotic mother and busybody future mother-in-law all trying in their own way to steal the spotlight and drive her crazy, it’s a goal she’s not certain she can reach. Finding the groom and the maid of honor in the middle of a chapel tryst certainly doesn’t help.

Family intrigue falls to the wayside when a sick guest unexpectedly takes a chunk out of a member of the bridal party, and before long Madelyn is on the run. Stuck with a photographer’s assistant, her rapidly drying out sister and a handsome, mysterious stranger who may or may not be a third cousin once removed, she must make her way through a deteriorating city and avoid friends and neighbors who are suddenly Very Hungry.

It’s Maddie’s Big Day, and she has a new goal: stay alive.

The first chapter went live today, and I'm hooked. Right off the bat, the characters are already well-developed and highly-entertaining. Even though I know that the zombie apocalypse is going to start at any moment, I can't wait to read what happens next. Be sure to check out and follow Elizabeth Lake's 'Til Death Do Us (A)Part: Love (and Sex) in the Zombie Apocalypse!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nothing Particularly Enlightening to See Here

So looking over at the blog stats and seeing that I haven't done anything here since the 15th doesn't feel too good. The new job got INSANE for about a week or two, and I really was doing little other than eating, sleeping, and working. It's going well, so I can't complain, but it is, obviously, leaving less time for other things.

I wish I had something brilliant and insightful to offer here about how to strike that magical balance between working a day job and writing...but yeah, I got nothing. I am writing, but not all that fast. I'm still doing weekly assignments for the video game company, and as that's paid work on a deadline, that tends to be the priority in my free time. I've toyed with the idea of giving that up here and there, but 1) I do like it, 2) it does keep my fingers and my creative brain going, and 3) I like the "fun money" that goes right into my Paypal account.

Even with all that, I'm winding down on the [neverending] WIP. I have to finish up the current chapter, and then just one more to go! Of course there will be endless amounts of editing, and eventually preparing submission packets after that, but I'll feel a huge sense of relief when it's done.

I'll try to do a better job of checking in on the blog, and who knows? Maybe one of these days I really will have some work-writing balance insights to offer!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop!

It's finally getting a little cooler here in the Northeast, but that doesn't mean we can't nudge the temperature back up with some hot summer heroes! No matter what your preferred flavor of hero is, you're bound to find something you like in this blog hop!

When I started the Searching the Skies series, I found it hard to incorporate so many appealing traits into one I wrote two! Ash is bold, charismatic, and his military uniform can barely contain his bulging muscles. Marcus has more of a quiet elegance - with his dark features and brooding stares, he can still captivate a room with his sophisticated charm. Either on their own or together, they offer our heroine Geneva more wild nights of passion than she could have ever dreamed of.

Such decadence and the pleasure of having the best of both worlds puts us all in a generous mood, so I'm giving away two e-copies of the original Searching the Skies. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog post (or follow the Rafflecopter directions for more chances to win). By commenting, not only will you be entered in my giveaway, but you'll also be eligible for the Grand Prize! Be sure to stop at all the blogs on the hop and check out their hot summer heroes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back in Action!

I've been back in the country for almost a week, which means it's been almost a week that I've been neglecting this blog. To be fair, I did have to catch up on the mountain of work that accumulated while I was gone, as well as try to stay on top of the work that continued to build when I got back. However, it pays the bills, so I can't complain there!

Confession: I did not write a single word while on vacation. I did, however, do a lot of reading, a bit of brainstorming for future ideas, and some other things here and there.

In which I reveal what I actually look like?
I've done some writing upon my return, both on my never-ending WIP and my game-writing assignments. I also come bearing good news in this blog post: I just signed a contract for a story I submitted to the 1 Night Stand series, so I'm super-excited about that! There was a lot of revising involved before getting to that point, but as with all sorts of editing, I learned a lot and I have a better idea of what to do for future submissions there. Now, as soon as I get a few more hours added to each day, I can start writing them!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hump Day Hook, with Giveaway!

Not only is it everyone's favorite day of the week, but all of us Hump Day Hook participants are hosting giveaways! Make sure you check out all the links this week, so you can be sure to shower yourself with gifts!

Neither my latest release or my WIP have hot, summery scenes, so I'm going back to the desert with Callum and Ro in Disintegration. Who doesn't love a good dose of fresh air and tantalizing breezes to help soothe the fires within (or stoke them, as the case may be)?

As for me, I'm leaving for my own vacation to the Caribbean this Friday, so I'll leave the giveaway open for a whole week. If you want to take advantage of the "tweet every day" option in my absence, go right ahead! For my prize on my own little stop of the tour, one lucky winner will win any book of their choosing from my list. Whether you like your characters rolling around in the steamy jungles or cuddling in freezing cold outer space, be sure to leave a comment here and on all the other great posts this week!

She grabbed his wrist. “I didn’t say we were done here.”

“What else do you want me to do?”

Ro fiddled with the bottom of his shirt. Her fingers walked up his chest, dancing
across the thin fabric that separated her touch from the firm muscles. “I did always enjoy
watching you move,” she said. “When you get into that zone, when your body takes

He glanced up. All he saw was the flawless blue sky, yet he was skeptical.

“Here? But—”

“There’s no one else around for miles and miles.” She pressed against him.
Droplets of sweat dotted her forehead, and her skin glistened with the lotion she had
applied earlier. “Don’t you want to take advantage of the fresh air while we still can?”

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cover Girl

Hey, a real blog post! As promised, it's time to dissect the cover of Defying the Skies, and all the FEELINGS I had about it. To refresh your recollection:

I'll be totally honest here: My very first reaction was "...where are her pants?" (Okay, if we're going for total honesty here, it was "GENEVA Y NO PANTS?") My heroic, ass-kicking commander seems to have left half her armor at home. That's quite the oversight.

Then the feminism started to kick in. My heroic, ass-kicking commander should be appealing because of said ass-kicking, and all the really smart thoughts floating around in her head. For lack of a better term, this cover is a bit...fanservice-y. I had some concerns about my heroic, ass-kicking commander being relegated to little more than a pinup girl.

I walked away from the computer to marinate on this for a little while. (Next total honesty point: I was on the toilet.) Something about the boots and color scheme reminded me of someone. In thinking it over, I came up with Tyris Flare from Golden Axe, a well-loved game from my childhood and beyond. Well, the bottom half, anyway. At least Geneva had the good sense not to go try to save the world in a bikini. Then Boobulon pointed out the obvious - on this cover, Geneva looks almost exactly like Mieu, a popular character from Phantasy Star III, which friends and frequent readers know is part of one of my all-time favorite video game series ever. Seriously, the resemblance is striking.

It's no secret that a lot of my writing has been influenced by video games. While not the most perfect representation of my character (and really, how often do covers flawlessly depict what's inside?*), I think it works as kind of a kitschy callback to the games and character designs of my youth. I DID love growing up with Tyris Flare and her irrational bikini, after all.

Lastly, I took a step back and remembered what I'm really doing here: I write erotic romance. There is sex involved. Sex involves skin. There is skin on this cover. If anything, this cover hints at what's inside more than any of my previous ones. And if that helps sell more books, even better!

Bottom line: I like this a lot. While some aspects (PANTS) made me raise an eyebrow at first and it's not going to win any points for being sensitive to gender issues, I think this is an appropriately badass cover for Geneva & Co., and how they heroically save the day and go home for some kinky fun afterwards. Fun!

(*The worst example of this is when I was browsing a well-known publisher's site and a lesbian romance book had a heterosexual couple on the cover. Eeeeeesh....)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

Wednesday, Hump matter what you call it, it's everybody's favorite day of the week! Defying the Skies is still new and shiny, so I'll try to hook you again with some naughty thoughts from my very first sequel. As always, be sure to check out the other fantastic hooks!

The idea intrigued her. “I don’t think it sounds strange at all.”

“You don’t?”

“It makes perfect sense to me.” She leaned closer to him and nudged his hands. He finally uncovered his face and looked at her. “Both of you make me feel amazing. And if you want to feel the same way....”

Her lips brushed against his. Marcus threaded his fingers through the hair at the back of her head and refused to let her go. His tongue slid inside her mouth as the heat blossomed between their naked forms. Geneva tried to picture Ash with them at that moment—his hands roaming over both of them, his mouth passing from her body to Marcus’s....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

It's Wednesday! This week, I'll be presenting a special Hump Day Hook to coincide with my latest release, Defying the Skies. Once you're done reading the hook (and the other fabulous hooks this week), be sure to enter the giveaway, because I'm giving away two free e-copies!

Marcus is missing and Geneva is pissed. Watch out!

The armed guard stood with his back to her. She crept towards him, taking care not to draw his attention. Chase’s eyes widened when he spotted her, but he said nothing to reveal her presence. When she was close enough to reach her target, she lunged forward and grabbed his arm.

She twisted the joint as she pulled the limb back, hoping the gun wouldn’t discharge. A swift blow with her elbow succeeded in making him drop the firearm. She pinned his arms behind his back with one hand, unsheathed one of her daggers with the other, and held it to his throat. “Open the door,” she ordered.

He didn’t move.

“Do it.” She gave him a nudge with her knee. “Or else it’s your time that’s running short.”

“Your friend wasn’t going to kill me, and neither are you.” The quiver in his voice suggested a lack of confidence.

Geneva applied more pressure to the blade, feeling it skim the outermost layer of his flesh. “Are you really so sure?” 

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Defying the Skies Celebratory Giveaway!

Win this!
Good morning, and happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend. (And if you didn't have the holiday weekend off, I hope you at least kept cool!) To help chase away the Monday blues, I'm giving away two free e-copies of Defying the Skies! Turn on your fans, grab a cool beverage, shed your pants like our favorite Commander, and get ready for something steamy!

You know the drill - follow the Rafflecopter directions, get your tweeting fingers ready, and so on. I'll pick the two lucky winners on Sunday, so stay tuned! 
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Friday, July 5, 2013

Defying the Skies Release!

What better way to celebrate the holiday weekend than with a brand new release?

I'll admit that when I first saw the cover, I had some mixed feelings about it, namely about Geneva's...uh...lack of pants. Yeah. However, after I marinated on it for a little while, I've decided that this is pretty damn cool. Would pants be more helpful in taking out a slew of space terrorists in their hidden lair? Maybe. But Commander Geneva Greyson is just so much of a badass, she can kill you without pants. Yup. I'll elaborate on all my feelings more in a future post, but for now, let's just marvel at that sweet weapon of mass destruction.

The book's out at DDP and Amazon as of rightthissecond. Since plenty of people are out and about this weekend, I'll hold off on the celebratory giveaway until sometime next week. Until then, have an official blurb!

In addition to her distinguished career with the Terran military, Commander Geneva Greyson has finally achieved harmony in her personal life. Her renewed relationship with her mother has grown stronger and she’s settled into a comfortable arrangement with the two men she loves. Marcus confesses a dark fantasy to her while she’s on leave from duty—not only does he have feelings for her, he’s developing an attraction to Ash. He begs Geneva not to reveal his secrets before Ash arrives to spend the weekend with them. 

The officers return to their posts after a relaxing, decadent visit. They learn of a distressing event upon completing a week-long mission: A terrorist group has organized a strike and taken hostages in their efforts to attract attention to their cause. When Geneva discovers Marcus is listed among the missing, she disobeys her orders and sets out to join the reconnaissance team with Ash by her side. Will they find Marcus before it’s too late for him to affirm his desires?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

Oh my goodness, is it Wednesday again already? Time certainly does fly when you're working your ass off having fun. This week's excerpt comes from my big WIP, my first major F/F project. Our lovely heroines, after spending much of the book in the middle of nowhere, treat themselves to an overnight trip/mini-vacation when they need to go pick up some supplies (and, uh, cake). Enjoy, and don't forget to check out the other hooks!

Catalina leaned forward and accepted the offering. The rich chocolate melted on her tongue, coating it with a smooth sweetness. She savored the thick, crumbling texture and rolled it around in her mouth before swallowing. “Damn,” she finally said. “I was never really a big fan of desserts, but I guess going without something for so long made me realize I kind of missed having the option.”

“Tell me about it.” Sari speared another bite for herself.

“Aren’t you worried about crumbs in the bed?”

“No. Isn’t that part of the fun of taking a little vacation, however short it may be?”


The wicked smile made its appearance on Sari’s lips once more. “Nothing wrong with making a bit of a sticky mess every now and then,” she said. With one finger, she scooped up a glob of the fudge topping and painted a line from the base of her throat down into the deep chasm between her breasts. “See? I didn’t even spill anything.”

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Time to Breathe

I usually don't post too much of a personal nature on here. While obviously, this blog is in my own "voice" and there's a lot of "me" in my writings (as with any author), for professional reasons, I do like to maintain some distance between day job-me and smut writing-me. And it's that day job that has been keeping me away from the blogging lately.

Once upon a time, I was a teacher. (I don't remember if I've mentioned that here or not before; if not, now you know!) As I did not teach one of the "core" subjects, it could be difficult to find work, but I always prevailed. Except for when I didn't. I got laid off at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, as did my brand new then-fiance.

He eventually found another full-time job, but I did not. I did some substitute teaching whenever I could, but quite frankly, it sucked. The stress of unemployment plus planning a wedding took its toll on my health, both mental and physical. Something needed to change, because I wasn't satisfied waiting around for the phone to ring to offer me jobs that didn't exist.

We got married in July 2011. I went back to school in October of that year to start training for a brand-new career (that had NOTHING to do with the field of education) in the hopes that I would one day work full-time again and bring home a decent paycheck so we could be more comfortable. It's not where I ever saw myself in that stage of life, but since when does everything work out the way it's supposed to?

I finished my program in April of this year, interned for a bit, and now I'm finally at the point I've been looking forward to since June of 2010 - I'm working again! My hours are inconsistent, and I don't always know what I'm walking into, but feels good. Really good. However, now that I'm devoting a large chunk of my time to being back in the work force, that means there's less time for other things.

It was during that period of unemployment and poor health that I rediscovered my love for writing. After having some fun with fanfic for a while, I started writing Searching the Skies soon after returning from my honeymoon, and started submitting it around the time I began school. I do try to see the silver linings in most situations, and having writing as a serious hobby (that sometimes even flings some cash my way) helped a lot.

Even with the increased workload, I'm still writing as much as I can. I know I've been slacking off a lot here with the blog (and the blogosphere in general; my apologies to the people who are used to seeing more comments from me!). As much fun as it is, when it comes down to writing fiction or writing here, the fiction is going to win most of the time. I've got some awesome stuff coming up in the next few months, and the list of stories I want to write never seems to get any shorter.

So even if I'm quiet here, rest assured that my writing persona is still alive and kicking. I do enjoy having a space where I can share any writing insights I've gleaned (or just run my mouth for extended periods of time, like in this post). I'd rather be busy than bored, and I've found that the more my mind is working, the easier it is for me to write a bit every day. Lucky us!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

Happy Hump Day! I know I've been kind of slacking with the blogging lately, but every now and then, real life gets crazy busy. To help make it up to you, I'll share a superfun longer excerpt from Defying the Skies (sequel to Searching the Skies), which will be released soon! Once you get your fix here, don't forget to check out the other hooks!

“I guess that’s the problem with climbing the ranks,” Geneva joked. “Once you get high enough, the military thinks you’re irreplaceable and that operations will cease to function if you’re gone from your post for too long.”

Marcus smiled. “Well, they’re right about one thing.” He kissed the top of her head. “You are irreplaceable.”

“Oh, her absence is definitely felt on the ship,” Ash said to him, grinning. “All those young soldiers assigned to laundry duty had to get their thrills somewhere else when her panties weren’t tumbling down the chute.”

Geneva kicked him in the shoulder. “You’re terrible!”

“Terrible, but undoubtedly correct.”

“That’s not very nice, teasing those poor boys like that.” Marcus said. “I mean, they’re probably curled up alone in their bunks dreaming of you every night, and you couldn’t even leave them some dirty laundry?”

Her attempts to suppress her giggles were unsuccessful. “You’re just as bad as he is. My underwear is not nearly as fascinating as you make it out to be.”

“You know that’s not true.” Marcus ran his finger along the thin band of exposed skin between the bottom of her shirt and the top of her pants. “And forgive me for being forward, but instead of arguing about these things, shouldn’t we be making the most of the time we have together? With or without your panties, of course.”

“He’s a wise man,” Ash said. Another set of hands joined the provocative exploration.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

Okay, fine, you all win. I'll give you a tiny bit of resolution for The Edge of the Sphere for this week's Hump Day Hook. This is from the "interlude" between Parts Two and Three. (You might notice a trend with each section ending similarly.) Happy reading, and don't forget to check out all the other authors and their hooks!

While he contemplated his situation, the benevolent angel that had saved him from himself beamed at him, an affectionate glow filling her eyes. With his mind firmly made up, he draped his arms around her shoulders, holding her tightly, and kissed her forehead. “Anything for you.”

She leaned her head against his chest and hugged him with the same fervor. They stood together for a silent moment on the windswept rock in an indistinguishable tangle of limbs as the clouds overhead grew darker and darker. He knew she was right. They couldn’t stay there for much longer, and he released her so she could lead them onwards. She took his hand and raised it to her lips, squeezing it as she did so. “Let’s go,” she said.

Her fingers laced through his, Liora led him to the precipice. There was nothing visible through the mists below them, save for a few streaks of intermittent light. Stephen felt his palms grow moist and his throat become dry. He turned his head to the side and saw her looking up at him, the shifting expressions in her eyes still able to convey so much. Gradually he inched closer to the edge, his trust in her implicit, and he flashed her what he hoped would look like a confident smile. Pushing his fears aside, he gripped her hand as they stepped into the flickering abyss.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Tour, Review, and Giveaway! Being Amber (New Atlanta #1), by Sylvia Ryan

Follow the tour!


Both danger and sex are inescapable in the Amber Zone. 

Jaci Harmon was born a Sapphire, but after she’s summoned to receive her final designation, the testing reveals she carries a gene slated for eradication. Within a day, she’s sterilized and dumped in the Amber Zone, where the damaged are corralled away from the rest of New Atlanta. Scared and alone, Jaci would rather die than face her future as an Amber.

Born in the Amber Zone, Xander Dimos is a product of a lifetime spent under the oppression of the Repopulation Laws. Decades of suffering have taught the Ambers to make the zone a place where touch, sex, and unconditional acceptance ease the pain of their fate. Jaci has a lot to learn about her new home, and it’s Xander’s responsibility to guide her through the differences and the dangers safely.

With the simmering undercurrents of sexual chemistry growing between them, and in the midst of discovering the Gov’s true motives, Jaci and Xander must overcome his secret and accept their love as undeniable…even if the time allotted to share it is short. 

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations (including BDSM, light bondage, anal play, sex toys, and f/f/m and m/f/m menage) and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers. 

“Let me go.” Jaci shot him an acid glare she hoped would burn and eat at him like he was doused with drain cleaner. She was mad and she had to stay mad at him, or she’d never be strong enough to do this. It would also help immensely if he was angry at her too. Today, she wouldn’t be able to survive the nurturing, protective man she loved. 


She was a mere second away from tears when she turned away from him so he couldn’t see her face and headed for the door. 

With a long stride Xander pinned her between his body and the door. “No, you’re going to sit over there and listen to me.” His voice was low, dangerous and right next to her ear. 

With her hands still cuffed behind her back, the stray thought that they must be dangerously close to touching parts of him she’d never touched before made an unscheduled and unwanted appearance in her mind. 

Then, as if he were psychic, he took a step back, grabbed her cuffs and led her into a chair. “You are going to listen to me.”

“Why? You want to make excuses for the necessary lies? The sex that wasn’t sex? The woman in the hall?” she spat. 

Xander paced past her chair, eyes flaring, jaw muscle working, then stood silent for a long minute.

“Where have you been?” he asked her calmly. 

“None of your damn business,” she hissed back. 

“It is my business. I’m supposed to be protecting you.” He watched her as she took the time to inhale slowly, calming herself, and pulling it together before she spoke. 

“Protecting me?” She snorted. “You stupid ass.” She was calmer now, except for a slight quaver in her voice that betrayed the devastating explosion of feelings lurking beneath the surface. “You hurt me more than any psycho that’s out there. You pretended to be my friend, made me think I would be okay here. When I was at the most vulnerable and painful point in my entire life, you hurt me, Xander. You should have told me. You should have told me you have a girlfriend. You should have told me you and Jordan were nothing but my temporary bodyguards, not my friends.” She cleared her throat and looked down at the table in front of her. “You knew I was falling in love with you and you took advantage of that.”

There's a lot of great stuff going on in this book, along with some things I wasn't crazy about. Time to elaborate!

First and foremost, the setting and the premise are superb. Ms. Ryan's post-apocalyptic USA is detailed, developed, and well within the realm of believability. The world-building alone is enough reason to pick up this book. The concept of the people cast to the bottom rungs of society banding together to make their lives as fulfilling as possible is appealing (and not unlike the beginning of The Hunger Games, which I love). These people have been dealt a crappy hand, but they're not going to let it get them down.

Main character Jaci was extremely well-written. You feel for her, you shake your fist at all the trauma she's been forced to endure, and you root for her to be successful. Everything about her rang true, from the stages of her grief to her reactions to everything that's thrown at her. She comes across as strong and capable, all while maintaining a certain delicate air.

Male lead Xander fell a little flat for me, unfortunately. Part of it could have been due to Jaci being portrayed so well, but I think what turned me off to him was that it seemed like he didn't fall in love with Jaci for who she was, but rather what she was. To bolster this point, according to my Kindle, it's not until the 49% point where Xander actually stops to consider what Jaci might have been like in her old life before tragedy struck and he acknowledges who she was before he met her. It felt to me that he was falling in love with more of an idea than an actual person, and that seems like shaky ground for a lasting relationship.

The part that bugged me the most, though, was that the men are supposed to take care of the women are men and women are women. Yeah. This is my own personal preference, I'm sure, and regular readers of this blog know about my feelings towards stereotypical gender roles. I couldn't help but cringe a little each time this arrangement was discussed and there was a reference made to the men and "their females".

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and if you're into dystopian settings and love that defies the odds, definitely pick this one up! Though some parts left me a little lukewarm, Jaci's character and the way the plot picks up in the final third of the book make this a solid 4-star.

(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Being Amber is available at: 
Amazon | ARe | B&N | iTunes 

Book Trailer: 

About the Author: 
Sylvia lives the life of a run-of-the-mill wife, mother, and professional in Midwest Suburbia, USA. She reads voraciously and loves to lose herself and fall head over heels for the alpha males in her favorite novels. 

When she gets the chance to shed the prim and proper persona of average wife and mother, her secret identity, Sylvia Ryan, emerges. This alter ego strives to write original ideas in extraordinary settings for her readers to remember long after the book has been read. Her dream is to transform her racy thoughts and naughty nature into tangible works of erotic fantasy for others’ secret identities to enjoy. 

Connect with Sylvia Ryan 
Email | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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