Tag Archives: erotica

Terrific Releases Tuesday


A Surprising Day, by Ava Delany

***NOTE: Prequel to The Wedding Night.***

Todd and Debbie engage in a game of strip poker that has bigger stakes than either of them expected.

Todd thinks Debbie is the sexiest woman alive, despite the hideous Happy Burger uniform she’s wearing. The tatts peeking from beneath her tan outfit and the band-aid that’s not quite covering the ring in her nose tell him she’s just the girl for him. Unfortunately, she seems to think he’s a geek. Damn, why didn’t he change his clothes after his interview? It doesn’t matter, though. He’ll just have to convince her to take it all off him with a game of strip poker. Then she’ll see who he really is, and he’ll see what hides beneath her bland clothes.

Debbie can’t believe the dorky-looking guy who’s been staring at her since he and his friend sat down has the nerve to ask her out. No way! She’d never agree to go out with such a square. Then Todd bets he can surprise her, and Debbie accepts the challenge. Partly because she loves a good bet, but mostly because something dark and sexy in his eyes tells her he might be worth it. She’s shocked when he comes to pick her up in a sexy black truck with barbed-wire on the grill, and when he gets her back to his place for a game of strip poker, she finds the evening’s surprises may never sto

Excerpt

“What are we going to play?”

“Strip poker.” The corner of his mouth lifted, revealing a slight dimple.

She cocked her head, watching him for a moment. He sat across from her, with no emotion exposed. A great poker face. Well, a bet was a bet.

“Deal.” She tapped the table in front of her, and took another drink. “But I get to pick the game.”

“Order it up.”

“Five card stud. Show ’em if you got ’em. Nice and easy.” She pushed her hair behind her ear and moved her hand toward the pile in front of her.

He nodded and started to deal, fingers flying as the cards hit the table.

“Ah ah ah,” he said, waving a finger like a school teacher, “antes on the table first.”

He grasped his shoe, jerking it off his foot, and placing it on the table. She unbuckled her jacket and placed it next to the shoe. Her black tank top and leather shorts would have to come off before her thigh highs and garter, but she had both shoes before she got to that point.

“This is a standing ante,” he said, his eyes wandering over her in a way that made her want to stretch and expose more of her body to him. “That means whoever wins isn’t allowed to remove their ante and put it back on. You only win the other person’s clothes, but you can’t wear them. And you can’t win your own clothes back.”

Slick. Good way to get naked quick.

“All right.” She hoisted an eyebrow. “I can agree to that.”

A moment later, when their cards dropped onto the table, he’d dealt himself a pair of twos and her a pair of sixes. She wiggled her eyebrows, and collected the shoe. He went for the other shoe, but she put out a hand to stop him.

“Come on now. You aren’t really going to give me another shoe are you? Are you afraid to take off something more substantial?”


Why I’m excited.

Todd and Debbie were super fun, in the sequel.

—-
April Dawn
-Author of Crushing Desire and Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press, All Romance, and Kindle.

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ONE MAN’S THOUGHTS: New Horizons


Today I find myself with one chapter left to write on my latest manuscript. There is something satisfying about completing a story. It is difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t write, but it is a sense of fulfillment followed by a bit of sadness at the void it leaves behind. The characters become like friends as you imagine them speaking and doing things each in their own way, and like friends, you miss them when they’re gone. It’s been three months of labor and twenty two thousand words to tell this particular tale, but I am proud of what I’ve come up with.

I once attended a writer’s seminar and an accomplished author, Michael Stackpole, offered a bit of advice that every writer should think about. He said that each new work should challenge the writer in some way. An author should push their boundaries and attempt something new with each book they write. If a writer doesn’t expand their horizons they will simply repeat themselves and not only lose the interest their readers, but are at risk of losing their own passion for writing.

In the story I’m wrapping up, I broke my tendency to portray my characters as flawed people. In all my works my character’s behavior and morals land in a gray area. The plot has as much to do with understanding those characters as it does the sequence of events that unfold. By seeing first hand their motives, even if the reader doesn’t agree with the character, they should relate to the character. This approach is great for gritty science fiction, but not so much for romance. The goal in romance is focus on the fantasy; make it less complex and more colorful.

I have learned so much from this exercise. A friend of mine, and fellow science fiction writer, teased me for my endeavors into romance writing. I told him it may sound easy but romance is a delicate genre and requires a lot of planning. The reason is that everyone knows where the story is going, but you still have to make the journey fun. Honestly, romance is significantly more difficult to write in a lot of ways than other genres. In romance the heart of the story is about two people falling in love. If the reader doesn’t care for the characters then it doesn’t matter what else in the book is done well, it is fundamentally flawed. While in every other genre an author still has to have good characters and characterization, that isn’t necessarily at the heart of the story. In fantasy books it is often the setting, in a mystery an intriguing case is the framework for a great plot, in science fiction it is the science fact behind the fiction— but romance it is the relationship between two people.

There is nothing more complicated in life than a relationship.

With all this in mind I have come up with a love story that has pushed me as a writer, uses some intrigue, a little action and a memorable cast of characters. Thanks to the advice of another writer on this blog, I have written something to be proud of and hope to be able to share it soon. Here’s a blurb to give you a taste.

In High Heels & Hexes three witches go in search of a forth member of their coven after she is kidnapped by the demon Vaciro. This tantalizing tale follows the charming trio of Shelly, Annabel, and Jasmine, as they become entangled in lustful encounters while they unravel the mystery of Caroline’s whereabouts. The naughty witches make allies with a surprisingly cordial demon named Nezel, whose only experiences on Earth was during the mob days of Chicago. They also meet Jack, a hunky half demon and half man, whose motives are unclear. Though Jack has a vendetta with Vaciro, Shelly finds the inscrutable half demon as dangerous as he is delicious.

Until next time— happy writing.

Michael Matthews Bingamon

Riding the tiger.


I have now officially crossed over into the twilight zone of my career as a writer. I have been wrangling with agents lately.

Oh yes, I know what you are saying. Gee, not a bad problem to have.

All I have to say is just wait until you get there. It’s like riding a wild tiger. I would just as soon let go and fall off, but the ride is so spectacular, I dig my fingers into the short hairs of the beast and hang on even though my stomach lurches and my heart aches.

Here’s the just of it: A new agent from a well known agency wants to represent THE YARD MAN. She has worked as an editorial consultant for years, but is just getting started as an agent.  She says she will be working closely with the president.  She is not interested in THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK at all. Thinks the sex scenes are coercive. My take is that as a new agent, she does not want to go out with such a controversial ms. Can I blame her? I am grateful, however, that she is willing take on THE YARD MAN, the historical, romantic suspense that just finaled in the Golden Heart.

So, at the advice of my sister GH finalists, I put everyone who has a full manuscript on notice. Several of those agents read the manuscript right away and have already gotten back to me. One of those agents sent me this amazing, complimentary rejection and left the door open. She totally gets THE YARD MAN and THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, but wants changes if she decides to represent the ms. We may get together at the RWA Nationals.

I got the most glowing rejection I have ever received from a third agent who read the full ms. but can’t figure out how to sell cross-genre.

Finally, I have one full manuscript left, floating out in the litterarrius nebula. Wish I could name names, but in the interest of my fits and starts writing career, I had better not.

At the moment, I am exhausted by this game of agents and queries and rejections. I am trying to concentrate on finishing up my current WIP. Writing is the only thing keeping me sane at the moment.

I am sticking to my brand. My voice. I know the direction I want to go with my writing. It may take me longer to get published. Someone out there has to recognize that my work is not entirely like the rest of the romance writers out there, nor are my stories.

Oddly enough, I am not afraid.

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

ONE MAN’S THOUGHTS: In the Mood for Love


Last week I received a comment on my blog from a pleasant lady, Robin, which concerned the crafting of a love scene. She mentioned that some authors have to be in mood for writing such a scene, although the act of writing can produce such a mood. It becomes one of those situations that will leave you asking; which came first; the chicken or the egg?

Well the whole issue got me wondering and so instead of writing I thought about this enigma. Typically if I’m feeling randy my body’s need will influence my thoughts. That heightened sensitivity inspires the imagination and the ‘mood’ will manifest itself. If I have the opportunity to write at such a time I crank out some descriptive passages— not necessarily well written, but it’s a start. However, if the reverse is true and I’m lost in carnal fantasies about a beautiful exotic woman in need of rescue, my body will respond with increased blood flow and once again the ‘mood’ will materialize. When the brain initiates the mood it produces more interesting scenarios in my stories and most of the love scenes come about in this manner. The curse is when the physical and mental drives for sex does not fall into sink.

As a healthy male teenager I suffered, as all boys do, from the physical drive popping up without provocation— often. It didn’t matter when or where; in school, riding in the car, going to the bathroom, or watching television, at any time the physical need could rise regardless of my thoughts. This form of imbalance can be embarrassing.

Now that I’m significantly older I have the opposite problem from time to time. The mental drive is there, but the body can’t always keep up for long. I consider my libido intact, after all I still have my fantasies– often, but the physical reaction to such thoughts has lessened.

That’s really interesting Mike, but what does it all mean?

I’m glad you asked. The take away on this is that fictional depiction of sex is healthy for both writer and reader. While reading or writing love scenes may or may not cause a physical response it should promote a mental one. As adults we require an outlet for those impulses even if it is only in our head. Often it can be called upon later for fuel when we do have the opportunity to be intimate. Quality romance or erotica will create characters we can identify with on some level and experience vicariously their exploits, good or bad, moral or not, and they take us on journey of wanton endeavors.

Until next time— happy writing.

Michael Matthews Bingamon

Paranormal gibberish. Please use sparingly.


Louis

Whether you are writing historical, fantasy, science fiction or paranormal, when it comes to world building I much prefer to be drawn into a new or strange domain by being introduced to fascinating characters/creatures or reading evocative, visceral narrative description. I dislike having to puzzle out a lot of made up words and language or worse,  read through awkward exposition or backstory to explain to me what these new words mean.

The very best example of this sort of world building gibberish can be found in the scene in Ghostbusters, when Louis (possessed by Vinz Clortho, Gozer the Gozerain) is brought into Ghostbuster headquarters:

“Louis, who is Gozer?”

“He will come in one of the prechosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldranii, he came as large and moving Torb. Then, during the third reconciliation of the Mekertix supplicant, they chose a new form–that of a giant Slor! Many shubbs and zuuls knew what is was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you.”

Okay, that was satire. Hilarious satire. But how often have you read a fellow writer’s manuscript and had one of those eye-roll experiences as you slog through an overdose of this very kind of vernacular?  I’m sorry, I have zero tolerance for gibberish of any sort. Techobabble, sci-fi slang, ghost patter, demonese, angel idioms, Greco-myth-speak.  All of it.  And the historical writers can be just as bad, especially when they get esoteric and show-offy pointless.

On the other hand. If you can do it will style, then you may get away with it. I believe that’s called pulling it off. And, I grant you a certain amount of odd-speak is not only expected, it is probably even necessary, but this made up jargon should be sprinkled about in the story. Sparingly, I think, is the operative word here.

Give me your Gozer in moderation, please.

Honestly, to suck me into an ancient or futuristic world I need layers of information.
The writer must use all the senses, sight, sound, taste, touch, smell. I need facts, the rules of the world. All of these things help to ground me, the reader, in the story. But I have to be……beguiled. Drawn into the mystery of this new world, whether it’s by a creeping fog slowly drifting over a dark lane in late Victorian London or the triple moon sky of an alien planet. These kinds of thrilling sights and eerie descriptions help create an emotional connection. Too much gibberish (especially up front) makes it hard for the reader to immerse themselves in the time-space continuum, so to speak.

No matter how extraordinary your field of dreams is, try to keep it real. No amount of comic book lingo will ever supplant the wonder of creating and experiencing a living breathing world filled with whatever kind of fire-breathing dragons you wish to thrill me with.

G. Jillian Stone
There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is a recent Golden Heart finalist for THE YARD MAN, the first story in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: http://www.gjillianstone.com

ONE MAN’S THOUGHTS: Anatomy of a Love Scene


One day I would love the opportunity to sit down with a group of romance or erotica writers and hear the creative process that each goes through to develop a sex scene. Whether the story uses graphic or suggestive styles the art of novel writing doesn’t get any more personal than the subject of lovemaking. Everything from the details chosen to depict, the acts the characters engage in, and the level of description utilized all says a lot about the author. The love sequence is always a challenge to craft and that’s why I want to share my experience with you.

In the rough draft of my novel Savage Worlds I handled the consummation of the relationship between Jaron and Sheri, the principle two characters, with a short paragraph that simply noted that they indulged each other’s desire throughout the night. When I reread the draft I decided that something was definitely missing. After all there were nearly two hundred pages of how Jaron wanted her and how Sheri realized that there was more to this dangerous, uncultured man than she thought. The two overcame not only their own preconceived notions about each other’s race and culture, but also a myriad of external pressures that kept them apart. Now stranded on a harsh world, their survival in question, I decide to represent their expression of love by jotting a couple of sentences about how they pleased one another.

Weak!

The process of writing an appropriate scene began immediately. Though nervous about my first attempt at a sexual encounter, I opted to emulate the same method I use for developing a violent scene. I clearly described the mindset of the character; why they were at this heightened state and how it affect them. In a conflict I will use key details to relate the physical interaction while blending in emotional changes to the stimulus. In this scene I did the same thing.

The first time a couple gets nude together is a monumental experience. By concentrating on that identifiable experience the reader can feel the same anticipation as the characters with the aim of creating a level of believability. Also, instead of Jaron and Sheri having a practiced perfect performance they have a moment where they bungle their attempts to undress one another. They giggle at their clumsy efforts and continue with great enthusiasm.

The sequence then broke up into three general parts.

The first was a foreplay section where they both explore each other’s bodies. Though the races in Savage Worlds are all ‘near’ human, they possess physical differences and there was a mild curiosity factor as they learn about the other. The second was the initial lovemaking that reflected the emotional satisfaction that their being together brought them. This spotlighted the awareness one gets when first with someone new— the Oh my God, I can’t believe this happening factor. The last part of the love scene was the animalistic stage. When the lust is so great a person forgets his or her own name. At this point Jaron and Sheri become so enthralled with the act that they are no longer aware of where they are. Making that point was critical because in my estimation it is the goal of a sexual encounter to reach the inner basic instincts and let go of whom we pretend to be.

As it turned out this template became my formula for writing such interaction. While there are variations to each, it is the heart of every sex sequence I write.

If anyone else would care to share their thoughts I’d like to hear them. Drop me a line at m.bingamon@att.com and I’ll write a summary of these comments for my next blog.

If you are new to writing then I hope you found this inspirational and don’t balk at letting loose on your own love scenes. Be honest. That will be your greatest tool to pull the reader into the passion shared between your characters.

Until next time, happy writing.

Michael Matthews Bingamon

Author Spotlight – Missy Martine


This week’s author spotlight is on Missy Martine.

The Pen and Muse said:
“Martine creates a world in which a reader could get lost in and never want to come home.”

Borrow Books said:
” happy to see that there’s at least one author out there who makes her characters strong enough to conquer their baser instincts! Well done MM!”

Sensual Erotic Romance & Erotica said:
“Missy Martine captures your heart with her tale of Cass. With the struggles Cass faces, you are overcome by the heart wrenching story of her past. Table for Three is a must read, scorcher of a book.”

Check out our author spotlight page and see what all the fuss is about.

Our Author Spotlight for February is Missy Martine.



About her-

Missy Martine is a retired nurse, and former business owner. She met the love of her life in an internet chat room back in 1997, and has been happily married for the last ten years. Now they live in California with their three babies, Beau, Midnight and Bubba. The three male cats live very pampered lives since being rescued by Missy and her husband.

Missy loves traveling, and has been all over the world. Although her favorite places are in the high desert, she has learned to love walking on the beach near her home. Her favorite vacations have been when they loaded up the jeep with supplies, and then took off for Wyoming and Montana to explore the back roads. Another of her hobbies is photography, and she loves taking pictures of wild animals. With her digital camera always ready, she’s been known to take several hundred pictures a day of the wildlife and scenery they encounter.

An avid reader of romance, she is a firm believer and advocate of getting a second chance at love. Visit her website and learn more about her writing.

Current Works –

Table For Three

Book Reviews R Us. 5-Stars
Cass Abernathy is heading to Oregon to claim an inheritance. She doesn’t expect to find sexy twin brothers determined to make her theirs, or an amorous attorney holding on to her inheritance. Will she accept the love offered, and discover the truth about her inheritance before it’s too late?

Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage

Dark Diva Reviews – 5 Delightful Divas
Remus has always known Maddie would be his mate, but a tragic accident and a cruel doctor kept them apart for many years. Now they’re reunited, but Maddie doesn’t know about her heritage. Will she accept the wolf that lives inside and give her love to Remus?

Reviews

The Pen and Muse said:
“Martine creates a world in which a reader could get lost in and never want to come home.”

Book Wenches said:
” Ms. Martine has a talent for pulling her reader into the story and not letting them go.”

Dark Divas said:
“Missy Martine grants us with yet another wonderful book. She is a delicious temptation too good to pass up! Missy Martine creates a world of desire and love and adds a good dose of suspense. Like a delightful drug, I seem to be coming back for more.”

Trailers –

Query and wait. Query and wait.


I decided that I would continue to write as long as I lived, even if I never sold one thing, because that was what I wanted out of my life.

—George Bernau

What I love about the George Bernau quote above is how much is resonates with me.  Every time I experience those humble, wonderful words I just feel at peace with the world. Like, I have found my life as a writer, and I will continue to write even if I never sign with a literary agent, or get offered a publishing contract or be excited about a release date or schedule a book signing.

That sentiment is lovely and all, but I also want people to read and enjoy my stories, right? So, I continue to pursue the marketing of my work with as much energy and enthusiasm that I put into writing a new chapter. Well, almost.

At the end of a writing session I can nearly always see the progress I’ve made. Not so easy on the marketing end of this business. Query and wait. Query and wait. Agents and publishers live in their own world, with mysterious timetables. I have decided that a decelerator clock hangs directly above the circumlocution slush pile on the desks of agents and editors. Lately, I have experienced a recurring nightmare triggered by a number of harrowing stories vented by other writers regarding the length of time it takes to get a decision on a manuscript.

Did someone say as long as a year?

Fine. In the meantime I will write a few novels while I wait. From everything I’m told the fiction market environment is tough right now. Tougher than what? A petrified rhino hide? What about all the sales in erotica? And YA? Jeez, how bad could it be? Then again, maybe I don’t want to know.

I began this blog with an inspirational quote and will leave you with a bit of pragmatic wisdom from my crit partner:

Suck it up, buttercup.

–a.c.Mason

I lifted the Bernau quote out of the Art of War for Writers, a writer’s workbook that I somehow managed to get downloaded for free awhile back from James Scott Bell’s website. I’m pretty sure it was a limited time offer, but nevertheless here is a link to his writer’s page: http://web.mac.com/jamesscottbell/Site/Writers_Page.html

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is a recent Golden Heart finalist for THE YARD MAN, the first story in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

Why I Love a Good Argument Between Characters.


There are some very good reasons to write at least a couple of rip roaring good fight scenes into your romance story. The most obvious reason, of course, is the make up sex, but let’s discuss the love scene later towards the end of this blog, where it belongs.

Arguments are a fantastic way to create tension while you are creating––more tension. Tension keeps the reader fully engaged in your story. Even when you have two characters drinking coffee, there needs to be what is called micro-tension in their conversation. In his book WRITING THE BREAKTHROUGH NOVEL, Donald Maass invites examination of a few best selling novels. The secret, he says, to these page turners is that these authors know how to write tension into every scene.

Arguments allow a writer to reveal aspects of a character’s hidden personality when it goes a little (or a lot) out of control. The stoic, strong character suddenly becomes agitated and edgy during conflict or confrontation. Or perhaps a character who is written as a person of questionable morals and a near-do-well, triumphs in conflict and even shows unexpected courage.

I kook forward to writing a falling-out between old friends, a cat fight between two jealous females, a bickering husband and wife, or two old hounds squabbling over a bone. And I approach every conflict with some kind of weird writer’s glee. Every argument is an opportunity to advance either the plot or relationship.

And if the quarrel is between hero and heroine, there is always the promise of a love scene. A sweet and tender counterpoint to a terrible row or a torrid, passionate mating between two highly aroused lovers.

Whether it be huge blowouts that end in a whimper, or a small schism that simply adds spice to dialogue, I have to say arguments are some of my favorite scenes to write. I love it when characters lose control and let loose their tempers. Maybe they even shout a few choice curse words. And I’m there, right in the middle of the conflict, ready to help them get it off their chest and onto the printed page.

Life is a quest and love a quarrel. ––Edna St. Vincent Millay

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

Author Spotlight – Missy Martine


This week’s author spotlight is on Missy Martine.

The Pen and Muse said:
“Martine creates a world in which a reader could get lost in and never want to come home.”

Borrow Books said:
” happy to see that there’s at least one author out there who makes her characters strong enough to conquer their baser instincts! Well done MM!”

Sensual Erotic Romance & Erotica said:
“Missy Martine captures your heart with her tale of Cass. With the struggles Cass faces, you are overcome by the heart wrenching story of her past. Table for Three is a must read, scorcher of a book.”

Check out our author spotlight page and see what all the fuss is about.

Paint it Dark.


Dark heroes. Dark heroines. Dark Paranormal. Dark Fantasy. Dark. Darker. Darkest. Darkness. And exactly how dark is dark?

Over the next few weeks, I am going to spend some time discussing the dark side of romance fiction. I have read several novels recently that are touted as a dark thrillers or dark fantasy romance, but they do not seem all that dark to me.

So, my question for the blog today is, how dark is dark? And how dark can a hero or heroine be before he or she crossess over into unsympathetic or hard-to-identify-with territory?

I am currently finishing up the last few chapters of a historical occult detective manuscript with romantic/erotic elements titled THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK. Here is an excerpt from the synopsis so you can get a feel for some of Phaeton’s darker personality traits:

The year is 1889, and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Occult detective Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe drinking, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted. Gifted with abilities to communicate with demons and other creatures of the underworld, he has fairly or unfairly, been linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders. Now, he is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, some kind of beast or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass or two of absinthe and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.

I have only just begun to enter Phaeton in RWA chapter contests and have had the good fortune to final recently. The mansucript went to an editor at NAL. Here are some of her comments:

“Phaeton and America are an intriguing pair, and their initial sex scene is steamy. I do think that more time could be dedicated to Phaeton’s thought processes in the opening pages–his actions reflect his womanizing habits, but the reader also needs to see his charm so that he really comes across as a strong hero. We want to think, “yes, he’s a womanizer, but who wouldn’t want to have him?”

Now, I know that her comments (above) are meant to help me. I know this because she spent a great deal of time and effort writing some detailed feed back. But is Phaeton really that unlikeable? And how many hints must I reveal in the opening chapters? Phaeton is a complex dark hero and part of his charm comes from the shadow side, his bad boy personna.

So I proceed cautiously. On two separate occasions I have worked on rewrites for chapter one and added a sentence or two here and there that hint at the better angels of his nature.  But I’m not sure. Am I caving too early on this? At times like this, when I add new sentences or paragraphs that I am not sure about, I color the words red, like this. And the revisions will remain that way, until I am convinced I have made an improvement in the manuscript. Not until then, do they get changed back to black.

The last time I checked chapter one, they were still red.

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

The Year of the Electronic Entry: A writer’s journey into the dark heart of contesting.


This could be the year of the penguin (NAL) or the kangaroo (Pocket Books) for me. Or so I keep telling myself. As my one-year-of-contesting mark approaches, I thought I would take time to review my experiences on the RWA chapter contest circuit for any blog readers out there who might be contemplating entering contests.

SET REALISTIC GOALS.

No one, not even the savviest, most experienced contest diva finals every time. Some of these writers are impressive though, racking up more than a dozen finals in a year.

My original motivation/goal for entering contests was to make the finals, which meant my entry would bypass the slush pile and get onto an agent or editor’s desk. I frankly did not care about final placement or prizes. What I cared about was getting into the finals. And how is that working for me so far?

Here’s how it stacks up:

Out of eleven entries since May of 2009, I finaled four times. The Contest Divas tell me that I am doing very well for being a novice and entering the wrong category for over half those contests. Ah, which reminds me of the first big lesson I learned.

ENTER THE RIGHT CATEGORY.

I cannot emphasize how important this is. Since my novel is set in late Victorian London, I assumed my category was primarily historical. (Even though I knew very well I had written a suspense story with romantic elements.) Why was historical such a bad choice? By entering historical, I was up against all those high concept Regency manuscripts loaded with GMC in the first chapter. No wonder I was getting such a hard time from the judges! In fact, it is almost strange I managed to final twice and place first once! When I examined the judging criteria in historical compared to suspense, I immediately understood what I had been doing wrong. The Romantic Suspense category gives the writer more pages/chapters to let the hero and heroine meet as the suspense story unfolds. And your entry can be set in any time frame. (Contest rules don’t always state any time period.)

Sigh. No one helps you with these things, which is one of the reasons I am writing this blog. Hopefully, I will save another writer out there time, money and angst.

DO NOT ENTER CONTESTS WITHOUT AN OPENING THAT HOOKS THE READER.

If you don’t have a strong opening and first chapter, don’t bother entering. In this sense, contests do teach unpublished writers how to compete in the marketplace. Editors and agents have a three page attention span. Remember that when you query or send sample pages.

YES, you get read by editors AND agents AND QUERIES GET ATTENTION.

A side benefit of finaling in contests is that listing your contest credits seems to get the attention of editors and agents. It most likely tells them you are a better than average writer. The combination of listing contest finals and a strong query will probably get you a request for some pages.

So far, I have been read by an editor from NAL, Dorchester and Harlequin. And I currently have editors from NAL (NAL again, different editor) and Pocket Books reading entries. Who knows? Contest Divas who final often sometimes wait years for a contract. So, does it really pay off? I am still optimistic.

In the next couple of weeks I am expecting results on two recent finals listed below. I will continue to keep blog readers posted on my progress throughout the year.

Still waiting to hear on placement and/or requests:

The Seduction of Phaeton Black, Specialized, 2010 Great Expectations; The Yard Man, Finalist, Romantic Suspense, 2010 Linda Howard Award of Excellence.

The contests below are essentially over. (Even though I received a request from Dorchester, for the first place win, I never heard back after sending a partial. Six months have gone by. I think I have been blown off.)

The Yard Man, Second Place, Romantic Suspense, 2009 Where The Magic Begins; The Yard Man, Third Place, Historical, 2009 Indiana Golden Opportunity; The Yard Man, First Place, Historical, 2009 Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing.

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

Author Spotlight – Missy Martine


This week’s author spotlight is on Missy Martine.

The Pen and Muse said:
“Martine creates a world in which a reader could get lost in and never want to come home.”

Borrow Books said:
” happy to see that there’s at least one author out there who makes her characters strong enough to conquer their baser instincts! Well done MM!”

Sensual Erotic Romance & Erotica said:
“Missy Martine captures your heart with her tale of Cass. With the struggles Cass faces, you are overcome by the heart wrenching story of her past. Table for Three is a must read, scorcher of a book.”

Check out our author spotlight page and see what all the fuss is about.

New Release


This week, I’m posting info regarding my erotic alter ego

Eve Knight

Writing as Eve, I have a new release out today with

Cobblestone Press

My story, The Angel, is part of The Pleasure Club series, and I’m thrilled that it’s out! I have to thank
Anna Leigh Keaton

for allowing me to participate in her series. 🙂

I really enjoyed writing this story. Amira is a woman with a lot of baggage. She has a chance for happiness, and she finally decides to banish some of those demons that have haunted her for years.
Here’s the blurb:

Amira Grayson is a broken angel who lost her wings. She needs the love and strength of Archangel Michael to help her regain the confidence lost one night and forever imprinted on her soul. Guilt for past mistakes carried since she was eighteen has forced Amira to seek the expertise of the Pleasure Club to embrace the love she desires. Will Michael’s gentle compassion and love be enough to rid her heart of its burden and return her wings so she might fly free to go after the man she loves?
If you want to read an excerpt, go to:
Cobblestone Press
Enjoy!
Abbey and Eve 🙂

Interview And Giveaway With Ava March


Today at A History of Romance , I’m interviewing m/m erotic romance author, Ava March.
http://www.avamarch.com
Hi Ava!
Thanks for joining us at A History of Romance.
First, let’s hear a little bit about you. Where do you live and write from. Tell us a little about yourself.

Ava: Hi Abby! Thanks for having me at A History of Romance. I live in the Midwest and write from home, usually in the basement and usually late at night, since I have an evil day job. I have a hubby and a kidlet and ss for other interests, I read when I can find the time.

Abbey: When did you first become interested in becoming a writer? What was the deciding moment for you? What prompted you to write m/m erotic Regency romances? What is it that drew you to that specific subgenre?

Ava: I had been reading m/f historical romances for a couple years when the first plot ideas for my own stories came to me. It took me another couple years to gather the courage to sit down and try to write those stories spinning in my head. I never before envisioned myself as a writer, but I always had an over-active imagination. So now I have an outlet for it. *g*

Abbey: Makes two of us. I’ve always had an active imagination myself. You have to be if you’re a writer. *g*

Ava: I love the Regency era – the emphasis on proper decorum and maintaining one’s reputation, yet anything can happen behind closed doors (and lets not forget the gorgeous clothes – I *heart* a man in a suit). I also love sex and angst in books, and with a Regency there is an extra layer of angst to mine since homosexuality was illegal. As for m/m books, it’s the relationship dynamic between the heroes that draws me to them. It’s different than a m/f relationship, and not because of the obvious reasons. I can let heroes be…almost more vulnerable in m/m than I can with a m/f, yet still have that inherent strength of a man. Plus, I just adore men, so having two heroes is just more fun. 😉

Abbey: That’s fascinating! I [heart] me too some alphaness and vulnerability and hotness all rolled into one nicely-dressed package. *g*

What do you find most challenging about writing m/m? Giving the men their happily ever after? the characters? The research? Something else?
What do you enjoy writing about the most?

Ava: The most challenging aspect is crafting a believable HEA, given homosexuality was a crime in the Regency. But it’s also the most satisfying element of the story. If a relationship can survive and flourish in the Regency, then it must be very strong and meant to be. A true love match.

Abbey: Getting to the HEA is the best part of a story. It not only means you’ve completed it, but that if you’ve done your job well, the characters will have that believable HEA.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? why?

Ava: I’ve written five books, and my favourite is…oh, you’re going to make me pick one? Okay, then BOUND BY DECEPTION.It has a strong unrequited love theme, a hero who’s into BDSM but quite determined to deny he’s gay even though he hires men at a brothel, and a best friends turned lovers theme. Lots of sex, lots of angst. Lord Oliver Marsden is my favourite hero I have created thus far. He wants nothing more than to submit to Vincent, to give himself completely to the man he has loved for years, and because of that he holds Vincent in the palm of his hand, though he’s not even aware of the hold he has on Vincent. The relationship and power dynamic in that one was very fun to write.

Abbey: I loved that story! I found Marsden very tortured.

Who are some of your favorite authors both past and current?
Dare I ask who some of your favourite m/m authors are, or is that too unfair a question? *g*

Ava: My all time favourite author is Jane Austen. Favourite m/f authors are Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas. I don’t read as many m/f books as I used to, but Quinn and Kleypas remain auto-buy authors for me. Favourite m/m authors include K.A. Mitchell, J.L. Langley, Shawn Lane, T.A. Chase and Amanda Young.

Abbey: Did you always want to write romance? m/m erotic?

Ava: Once I started writing, it was only romances. I couldn’t see myself writing anything but. I write what I love to read – Regencies and m/m romances. I’ve always strayed to the spicier and more unconventional books, so m/m Regency erotics are a perfect fit for me.

Abbey: Where would you go for the perfect vacation?

Ava: At any other time of year, I’d say England. But given it’s February, I have to say someplace warm. With lots of sun. The destination doesn’t matter – as long as there isn’t any snow.

Abbey: I second that. England would be lovely to visit. But not if you want to get away from the snow.

What are some of your favourite snacks/foods that you like to have near you while you write?
Where do you find your inspiration? Music? Meditation?

Ava: I’m not a big snacker when I write, though there is currently a box of Goldfish crackers on my desk. I get my inspiration from everywhere – music, movies, books, etc. It’s usually the emotion in a particular scene or lyric that perks up the muse and gets her spinning on a new book idea.

Abbey: I love when I hear a song or read something that triggers an idea, especially if I’m not feeling particularly inspired. *g*

What’s your favorite movie? song? book?
Have you ever modeled any of your heroes after any real-life men? Actors, models? [wink] Inquiring minds want to know.

Ava: I don’t really have one favourite movie. My favs span a spectrum from comedy to action to drama. Like Office Space, Good Luck Chuck, Emma and Vanity Fair. I’m a motown and old Jazz kind of gal, and I love Al Green’s live version of Love and Happiness, though lately hubby’s got me hooked on Pomplamoose (an indie band). Favourite of favourite books is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

There have been some models who have caught my eye during my travels to find man-candy for my blog, though I don’t model a character directly after them, more specific features, like gorgeous eyes or a perfect, kissable mouth. Have I modelled any characters after actors? Um…yes, loosely modelled characters after actors, though not the type of actors most people would think of. I do write m/m erotics, after all, and I’ll just leave it at that 😉

Abbey: Um…hmm…all right, then… 😉 On that note. [clears throat]

Chocolate or vanilla?

Ava: Vanilla, though I don’t write anything remotely close to vanilla. *g*

Abbey: LOL

Are you an animal lover?

Ava: Yep. I currently have an old, deaf dog and an old cat who is allergic to himself.

Abbey: Aw, sounds like a sweet dog. Poor cat.

Tell the History of Romance readers about your latest release.

Ava: FROM AFAR is a m/m paranormal Regency-set erotic romance, and it’s available from Samhain

It’s my first paranormal (vampires) and it was quite fun to write. It features a very lonely Georgian-era vamp and a dissolute third son of a duke. Here’s the blurb –
Some rules are destined to be broken.
Loneliness. A concept with which Raphael Laurent is very familiar. He’s lived a solitary life for thirty-six years, shunning the excesses of the local vampire clan—until he spots Lord Aleric Vane, the handsome and dissolute third son of a duke. For three years Raphael has watched from a distance, for only when he is near Aleric does the hollow, empty ache in his chest ease.
Cut off from his family for refusing to follow his father’s dictates, Aleric’s nights are filled with vice. But after three years in London, the city has lost all appeal. Desolate and penniless, his future appears bleak. Until a mysterious man drops from the shadows to drive off a trio of murderous thieves.
When Aleric awakens, he finds himself forever changed. The itch for more that drove him to London is gone. In its place is the feeling that he’s known the beautiful Raphael all his life.
But to save Aleric, Raphael had to break the rules, giving him a chance to love the one man he never thought he could have—a chance that could be ripped away by Aleric himself…
Warning: This book contains hot m/m action with a new vampire with a ramped up sex drive, and a dash of voyeurism of the m/m, m/f, and m/m/m varieties. Definitely not your traditional Regency romance.

Abbey: That sounds awesome! 😉

Do you have any upcoming releases you’d like to share?
Where do you see your career in a year? in five?

Ava: I’m currently working on the last and final book in the Bound series. Well, that’s what I want to finish next, though the muse has been having a field day lately. Perhaps my next release will end up being a different book. For the first time in well over a year, I don’t have any deadlines hanging over my head, so I’m just letting the muse go where ever she wants.

Abbey: I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t wait to read that last instalment once it’s finished. 😉

Ava: In five years, I’d like to still be writing and still have publishers and readers interested in my books.

Abbey: Good answer. *g*

Where can our readers find out more about you?

Ava: On my website –
http://www.AvaMarch.com
or my blog

Abbey: Thank you again, Ava, for stopping by A History of Romance!
And to you, dear reader, if you leave a comment, one lucky soul will win a copy of one of Ava’s titles from her backlist. 😉
To find out more about Ava’s books, visit her site at:
http://www.avamarch.com