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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!