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30.5.09

A first for me!



Well this isn't the post that I had planned but when I got home yesterday from the day job I had some good news I wanted to share.

My book Pack Alpha: The Were Chronicles is currently #2 on all short stories.com and #8 on Fictionwise.

For me this is huge! I have four ooks that have beed released but this is the first time I have ever been on any Best sellers list.

So sfter my happy dance and wine (lots and lots of wine) I happily told everyone I could. With he second book of The Were Chronicles: Pack Enforcer coming out September 28th I am looking into the future with lots of hope!

The readers, esp those on my yahoo group have been wonderful with their comments and encouragement so I decided to share the celebration with them and you.

From now until midnight Sunday you have a chance to win a free book: Here is the deatils!

Well just saw that Pack Alpha: the Were Chronicles is #2 on all shortstories.com for erotica Best sellers.http://allshortstories.com

So of course I have to share the good news with you wonderful people.

Starting now: NEW CONTEST!!!

Respond to my yahoo group post- Time to Celebrate.http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crissysmith

Everyone who responds or posts on the group from now to Sunday at Midnight will be entered to win a free e-book.

YEP! That's right.

I'll let you pick one of my books

Savage Love

Seduced by the Neighbour

Pack Alpha: the Were Chronicles

Caught in the Middle Anthology

The winner will get a FREE copy of the book of their choice.So come celebrate with me!!!!

I know i have to get back to work on my 3 WIP at the moment but I am glad I could share the news with all of you!

Crissy Smith

http://freewebs.com/crissysmith

27.5.09

Here come the girls!

When you first start writing, either a particular project, or start writing as a whole, it's hard to know where it's going to take you.

Unlike most writers I know, I didn't start off writing Male/Female and move into Male/Male stories later. M/M was where it all started for me. I wrote a few dozen erotic romances that didn't feature any women at all before the first lady managed to make it into a book and have some fun.

I still don't know why exactly. I didn't sit down and decide that the vast majority of guys in my books would prefer other guys. All the things a lot of M/M writers usually say - about the fantasy aspect, or some sense that it's still a little bit taboo and thrilling and all that. Well, not really for me.

It was never a big deal to be honest. It was more a case of. Oh, this character's gay. *Shrug* Keep writing. Try to find a nice guy for him to live happily ever after with.

But, since the straight population tend to find themselves in the minority in my books, I thought it was time to let them have their moment in the spot light.

I have a grand total of two straight stories available so far. Both in anthologies and both paranormal.

That's another thing I've noticed - the ladies in my books don't tend to end up with straight men that often. Straight vampires, straight werewolves, but not straight forward human men. Not sure why that is either. I guess there's a lot the goes on in my head that I'm not really aware of!

My first M/F title came out earlier this year. It's a Vampire, BDSM story called Whispers and it's part of the TEB Night of the Senses Anthology.

Here's a bit more about it:

Charlotte is more than happy to offer her master her body, her blood and her submission. But her mind is her own, if he really is listening in on her thoughts, he has to stop – Right now!

As soon as Zachariah feeds from Charlotte’s blood, he begins to hear her thoughts whispering into his mind. A rare blood bond forms between them and Zachariah is thrilled. He’s sure the bond and his new insights into Charlotte’s mind will solve all their problems.

Charlotte was ready for her master’s bite to hurt – she was looking forward it. She thought she was ready for anything else too, but she wasn’t ready to let her master into her mind. The bond isn’t the solution to anything. The bond is the problem.

Zachariah has to solve a whole new set of problems if he’s going to prove he’s the master Charlotte’s always wanted, and Charlotte has to learn to do something she’s never done before – trust a master with her mind.

And a quick extract:

Zachariah Radcliff ran his fingertips over Charlotte’s throat, slowly tracing the line of her jugular. It took every ounce of his self control to keep his touch gentle. He’d waited far too long since his last feeding, but now…

He closed his eyes for a moment, forcing himself not to assume too soon. Everything still hung on Charlotte’s answer.

“Are you sure, my pet?” Zachariah asked softly.

“Yes, master.”

He brushed her hair away from her neck. The dark curls fell back over her shoulder. Charlotte shivered—a shudder so tiny, it required his heightened senses to perceive.

The room was warm. His armchair stood close to the fire. Although she was naked, her place kneeling at his feet put Charlotte directly in front of the blaze. There was only one reason for his pet to shiver, and it had nothing to do with the temperature.

She appeared perfectly serene, but he sensed her blood pounding, hard and fast through her veins. He knew it was impossible for him to truly understand how Charlotte felt about the imminent feeding, but he looked down at his pet and did his best.

Was the shiver a sign of fear? Desire? He couldn’t read her well enough to be certain. He’d never known a human who was quite so infuriatingly in control of her reactions as Charlotte.

Zachariah forced a deep breath into his lungs and held back a sigh. She’d known who he was, what he was, when she’d come under his protection. She’d been given time to become accustomed to the idea. If she said she was sure, he no longer had any choice but to trust her judgement. He couldn’t wait any longer.

“If you are truly ready for this, come to your master.”

Charlotte stood. Even with the desire for her blood scorching through his veins, he couldn’t fail to appreciate her curves the same way a human man might. Zachariah ran a hand down his pet’s back and caressed the soft swell of her hip as she sat on his lap.

He arranged Charlotte so her back rested against his chest. Her neck hovered temptingly close to his lips. He stroked his hands over her limbs, encouraging her to rest against him. Charlotte moulded herself to fit perfectly against the lines of his body, but she didn’t relax. Charlotte maintained the same tense reserve she always displayed in his presence.

“Bare your neck for me, pet.”

She took her hair and twisted the thick mass of curls together, bringing the rope of hair over her left shoulder to expose the right side of her neck. Her hands showed no sign of an anxious tremble.

Zachariah wished he could trust that to mean she really wasn’t nervous.
He tilted her head back and kissed her neck. Tracing the vein with the tip of his tongue, he pushed back the urge to bite, the way he had so many times over the last few weeks.

Charlotte turned her head to the side, giving her master better access to the vein. It was more than enough encouragement. Coming from a woman who never let her wants and desires show, it was a full orchestral symphony of invitation, with an extra encore thrown in for good measure.

The forms still needed to be properly observed. Zachariah forced the syllables past his lips. His mouth trembled with the effort of forming words when every instinct demanded he forget words existed and just bite. “Give me your answer, pet,” he whispered. “I will not take what is not freely given.”

“Yes, master.”

He couldn’t ignore the calm certainty in her voice. His teeth grazed her skin. Blood immediately seeped to the surface. Zachariah ran his tongue over the wound. He closed his eyes, savouring the first taste of hot, salty liquid on his lips.

He liked to think he would have been able to stop if Charlotte panicked, but the blood on his tongue called to him so strongly, nothing less than a display of real fear would stop him.

She gave no sign of distress.

Zachariah bit.

*************************

My next M/F wasn't really a M/F at all. It's M/F/M. But since that's the arrangement where both the men are straight, I'm going to count it anyway.

This was the first M/F/M relationship I ever wrote. The first drafts of it were... interesting, lol. It took me a long time to work out why two possessive, dominant men would agree to share a woman. Sharing really doesn't come naturally to either of them. But while I do promise my character's they'll get a happy ending - I don't promise they'll get what they want all the time.

The only way to get them to share was to simply not give them any choice about it. But I'm quite pleased with how it worked out in the end. It's hard to imagine them not being a three!

Between Tooth and Paw is part of TEB's Caught in the Middle Anthology. It's a Vampire, Werewolf, Older woman / younger men, BDSM story.


Here's a bit more about it:

Caught between two dominant men until they learn to settle their differences, all Jasmine can do is submit – and enjoy.

Thrown in between the future alpha of all the werewolf packs and the next head of all the vampire clans – the entirely human Jasmine Neal is charged with the task of helping the two younger men to forget their differences and set aside their hatred for each other.

Offering Stafford and Hayden her submission is easy. Offering them her body brings her nothing but pleasure. But she’s only been sent to submit to them for one night. When the council of elders return to discover if their scheme to settle the men’s differences is successful, she knows that the joy she finds with the two men will be over.

Jasmine didn’t expect to find one potential master that night, let alone be caught between two. But, that only makes it harder when she has no choice but to lose them both.

And here’s a quick extract:

“This is an incredibly stupid idea.”

“It is the only way.”

“If they kill each other off, that is one thing. But, I will not condone throwing the girl in the middle of it all.”

Jasmine Neal knelt naked in the middle of the hotel bedroom. Her training had long ago instilled in her that during a scene a submissive’s gaze should never rise from the floor. Unable to look up and see anyone’s face, she watched various pairs of expensive shoes walk around her as a dozen eyes trailed over her skin, examining her body from every angle.

Forcing herself to stay still under their casual inspection, she made yet another attempt to work out which voice belonged to which pair of circling shoes.

“Perhaps she will be a good influence on them.” A woman’s voice. High heeled stilettos—very expensive but discreetly so—they fitted the cultured tone of voice perfectly. Old money, a vampire perhaps.

“Huh!” That exclamation, no doubt, belonged to the scuffed loafers. The edge of the man’s trousers had frayed where they’d rubbed on the floor. Poor perhaps or, more likely given the situation, a man who was simply careless of clothes and appearances. Perhaps, a man who felt more at home in a fur coat than a tailored suit—a werewolf.

“Then perhaps she will distract them,” the woman suggested.

“The situation has been explained to her and humans are far more resilient than you give them credit for. I have every confidence she will survive the encounter.”

Jasmine didn’t need the help of footwear to identify that voice. She knew Mr. Washington’s voice very well. Harsh, commanding and undeniably dominant. Even if she hadn’t known already, she would have guessed he’d wear military boots—each one always polished to a gleam by another person’s hands. A submissive’s hands. In this particular case, by her hands.

“It is all the damn humans’ fault anyway. All those stupid stories about how much vampires and werewolves hate each other. It puts ideas into our children’s heads. We’ve lived in peace—each species happily minding its own business for hundreds of generations and now we are brought down to this!”

A new pair of shoes came into her view. Black lace ups. Polished, but not excessively so. Well made, but not by any designer of note. Nondescript, just like the voice she attached to it.

“She is their physical type,” Mr. Washington said. “She’s been well trained and she knows what’s required of her. She’ll follow her orders.”

“She is still only one woman,” that was Mr. Nondescript. Jasmine struggled to attach a species to him. Zombie? Ghoul? Maybe the man was even another human. It was possible a human besides Mr. Washington had made it onto the council of elders—highly unlikely, but possible.

“Do not underestimate women,” the high heeled possible-vampire said from somewhere behind Jasmine. “There are many times when more can be accomplished by a smile from a woman than by the threats of a hundred armed men.”

“I’d prefer to be in the middle of those armed men, if I was going to be the one stuck between those two brats.”

“Threats have had no success with Hayden,” the scuffed loafers said. Jasmine changed his species label from possible-werewolf, to definite-werewolf. An alpha werewolf who didn’t like members of his pack disobeying him one little bit. The growl in his voice came through loud and clear.

“Nor Stafford,” the lady sighed. “Oh well, bring them in. If nothing else, she might keep them out of trouble until tomorrow morning.”

Some signal passed above Jasmine’s head and footsteps hurried from the room. The men and women who made up the council of elders wouldn’t have rushed to follow anyone’s command. A servant must have left the room then—or perhaps another trained submissive like herself.

The position she’d been ordered to assume would have given her a perfect view of anyone entering or leaving the room, if she had been allowed to look up. A few seconds later she heard the door open again and saw two new pairs of shoes stride into her field of vision.

One vampire, one werewolf. She’d been told that when she agreed to take part in the scene and it wasn’t hard to guess which one was which.

The vampire stood on the right—designer shoes and tailored black trousers. On the left stood battered trainers that had obviously been pushed off and on the wearer’s feet without him bothering with the laces, topped by ripped jeans. He wasn’t wearing socks either, she noted.

Jasmine looked for other clues about the men. Long years spent never looking anyone in the eye during a scene had given her a lot of practise at reading people from the knees down. The men were both tall.

Risking glances up as far as the men’s waists, she could see the werewolf carried more muscle, and that he was also an inch or two taller than the vampire. But, from her place on the floor, Jasmine would bet her life that neither man would have a real advantage over the other if it came down to a fight between tooth and paw. And both of them were ready to brawl right then, each man had already adopted a stance which would allow them to attack at any moment.

Tension poured off each man. They stood just a few feet from each other, facing the council. Technically they faced her too—although they were so caught up in hating each other, she doubted they’d even noticed her small, naked presence in the middle of the room.

****************************

It might have taken me a while to get to it, but guess what?

I actually have a straight forward, straight title about to go on sale. Well, maybe not entirely straight forward. It is a bit kinky.

Here's a bit more about it.

Hannah will give Vincent one silent night of pleasure, but that’s it. If he wants more, he’ll have to fight for it.

No one in the club has ever heard Hannah say a word, but they’ve all heard the rumours. She won’t accept any man who approaches her – she insists on picking the lucky dominant herself. And when she makes her selection he can have her submission for one silent night, but that’s it. She won’t speak or agree to a second date.

Vincent is an experienced dominant. He knows how the game should be played. When he finds Hannah kneeling at his feet, he assumes she’s just like every other submissive. But Hannah’s different and Vincent soon realises one silent night isn’t enough. He wants more time and he wants Hannah’s voice.
Hannah really doesn’t care what Vincent wants. She has her own reasons for keeping her relationships short and silent. It’ll take a lot more than a display of dominance to convince her to trust him with the truth.

And here’s a quick extract:

“Don’t waste your time.”

Vincent Jennings raised an eyebrow at his friend. If his instincts were right, and Vincent had every confidence they were, the woman standing by the bar was just the sort of submissive lover he’d enjoy hooking up with for the night.

“Trust me. Just pick another girl and save yourself the trouble,” Frank went on, sitting next to Vincent on the low sofa.

Vincent studied the woman on the other side of the room. She displayed no obvious flaws, but Vincent was well aware the bar was Frank’s home territory, not his. He hadn’t moved back into the area long enough to know anyone on the local scene and even the most acute observations couldn’t compete with prior knowledge. “You know her?”

“Her name’s Hannah,” Frank informed him. “Do I need to repeat the thing about it being pointless to approach her?”

Vincent’s gaze trailed over the smooth curve of her neck. She wasn’t wearing a collar, so she couldn’t be committed to the pleasure of any competent dominant. “She’s not owned?” Vincent checked, watching her take a bottle of Coke from the bartender.

“No. She’s free to play, but it won’t be with some idiot who hits on her at the bar. Hannah likes to choose the lucky guy herself.”

She turned around and scanned the room. For a moment, Hannah looked in Vincent’s direction. Their eyes met. Images flashed hot and vivid though his mind. A strapless leather dress hugged her curves, but her limbs were bare and begging for restraints to decorate them. In his mind’s eye he painted wide strips of black leather around her wrists and ankles. Perfect…

A chestnut ringlet escaped from the tumble of curls pinned up on top of her head. She tucked the lock of hair behind her ear and turned away from him.

His eyes narrowed. If she wasn’t already claimed, what the hell was the problem? “She’s a submissive,” he stated. He had no doubts about that.

Even more than the way she dressed, the way she held herself advertised her submission. All her movements were small and spare. There were no grand gestures. She didn’t look a dominant woman on the hunt for new prey. No, if anything, Hannah looked businesslike. That raised another question.

“A working girl?”

Frank shook his head. “She won’t take money—and I know enough guys who’ve offered her serious cash. But, those who kiss and tell say she has a signature.”

“Aren’t they reserved for serial killers?” Vincent still didn’t look away from Hannah. Everyone had to die sooner or later. She looked one hell of a fun way to go.

“Do you want to know what it is, or are you going to keep interrupting?”

Vincent said nothing. He wanted to hear it all.

“As I was saying, the woman has a signature. She comes to this club—and it is always this club—no one’s ever seen her anywhere else. She has a drink. She picks a man. She offers him her submission for the night.”

“She just says ’Would you like to be my master for the night?’“

Vincent imagined her kneeling at his feet and saying those exact words—soft and low—for his ears only. His jeans shrunk a fraction, but he forced himself to stay still in his seat and not draw attention to the fact he was slowly hardening in his pants at the very idea.

Hannah’s stroll around the room brought her closer. He caught a better view of her face. Close up she was pretty rather than beautiful, her face dominated by full, pink lips and big blue eyes. If it wasn’t for the air of submission about her, Vincent would have walked past her without looking twice—but no dominant in their right mind could walk past Hannah.

He was still waiting on an answer from Frank. When his friend let the silence draw out for another long minute, Vincent got the point. “Okay, I’ll shut up.”

That was the problem with Frank. Vincent might have grown up into an intimidating dominant, but Frank still remembered him as a skinny little schoolboy who couldn’t remember his times tables.

“No,” the other man finally resumed, “she doesn’t say that. She doesn’t say anything. I’ve never heard her say a word and apparently she only ever offers completely silent submission. One night—no talking, no repeat performances. That’s it, take it or leave it.”

“Has anyone every left it?”

“Hell no!”

***********************

And that's it for the straight guys and girls in my books so far.

What about you?

Do you lean strongly towards the M/M or the M/F or some other pretty combination of letters? Let me know!

Kim Dare.
Kink, love and a happy ending. Do you Dare?

25.5.09

A complex hero...


Alex 'The Iceman' Winters is a very complex hero. Full of mystery. He served his country - spending time in Iran. In what capacity, I'll let you determine. He's strong. He's protective. He's drop-dead sexy.

Take some time out from your busy Memorial Day weekend activities and enjoy thie excerpt from...DIARY OF A MAD ESCORT.

******************

He never let on where they were. No matter how she tried, he gave away no information as to their location. At night, she’d fall asleep to the gentle rocking of Alex’s boat and each morning, she’d wake to see new sights, different bits of land on the horizon.
But they remained at sea, never going in-land.
A part of Grace wished they never, ever would, for her days with Alex showed her that maybe, just maybe, there was indeed a man who cared about her.
And a human being who cared whether she lived or died.
His pistol was never far away, a grim reminder of her perilous circumstances.
Her memories of Mark, of the last time she saw him, started to fade, replaced by new ones…
Alex.
The Iceman.
She’d never call him that again.
Had she gone crazy? Falling in love with her captor.
The idea thrilled and frightened her. The future remained uncertain, her trial yet to come, but whatever happened, Grace knew she’d never forget her time aboard the boat with Alex Winters. She wanted to savour each second, each memory, locking it away in her mind so she could recall it when tough times came again.
He put down a plate of fluffy scrambled eggs in front of her that morning…and a small plate of black, round, shiny pearls. She leaned down and sniffed the salty, fishy odour.
“Caviar?” She glanced up at Alex’s lean, bronzed face. His hair had bleached in the sun—the pale white strands a stark contrast to his tanned skin.
“Yes, caviar, my sweet little captive.”
She squirmed in the chair, for his honeyed words washed over. His deep voice had a mesmerising effect on her these last couple of days. Each time he spoke, she felt her blood heat, fierce need building inside her body and always settling in her pleasure zone. Her clit pulsed with the most delicious sensations. Everything around her seemed heightened, more exciting, more intense.
Including Alex.
He continued to massage that cream into her skin, treating her to a different scent each day—the jasmine, yes, but sometimes, the cream had a pleasant, musky odour, and sometimes, it smelled like roses, sweet and heady. He’d bring her to a fever pitch of longing, his hands, always warm and soothing, caressing her skin, removing any trace of tight muscles.
Then he’d stop, knowing exactly what he’d done, a smug grin on his face.
“Caviar contains arginine, an amino acid—it helps with blood flow in the body—and arousal.”
She pushed the plate away. “I don’t like the smell.”
He took a seat next to her. “But you’ll like the feel.”
She angled her head as she took a bite of the scrambled eggs, enjoying their soft peaks and their delicious, eggy flavour. Grace put down her fork for just a second and sipped the drink Alex had prepared—rosewater infused orange juice. The sweet aroma of the rose water, coupled with the invigorating, citrusy scent of the fresh orange aroused her awareness of everything around her, waking her mind and her body to each sound, each thing she saw…
Alex.
How would she ever bear leaving him? When her “safe time” with him ended, Grace felt a part of her would, too.
“Try the caviar.” He pushed the plate towards her.
She took another bite of egg and dabbed a napkin across her lips, shaking her head no.
He grinned. “You’ll like it Grace. This particular kind of caviar doesn’t taste fishy at all, even though you smell that odour. It fools your senses. Keeps them sharp. What you’ll taste is an explosive, salty, yet pungent flavour as you roll the little eggs against the roof of your mouth.”
Before she could utter another protest, he leaned over and grasped her around the waist, lifting her from her chair. He settled her on his thighs, her silk-clad bottom sliding across his legs. She rested her hands against his bare chest, enjoying the smooth dusting of hair that covered his pecs. His swollen cock nudged her bottom, reminding her of his desire, of his need for her.
“This is Iranian Caviar.” He dipped the tines of a small, silver fork into the dark, shiny mass of precious black eggs. “I made sure to bring some home after my time there.”
She angled her head, enjoying the fact that he intended to feed her. Grace had grown accustomed to it, allowing him to command her palate. “You were in Iran?”
“Briefly,” he replied, his voice clipped. Alex seemed to measure his next words, his face thoughtful, as though remembering something pleasant, yet…not. “While there, I travelled to the Region of Gilan, to the large port on the Caspian Sea where they get the particular sturgeon they use for this caviar.” He placed the fork near her lips. “I saved this caviar, wanting to share it with someone special.”
Her breath hitched.
“Try it, Grace. Just a little.” Her pressed the tines of the fork gently near her lips, coaxing them open.
The salty flavour teased her mouth.
“Roll the eggs around inside your mouth, Grace, and just feel. Let them explode against the roof of your mouth, press them there with your tongue.”
She did. When the tiny eggs burst, their salty essence caressed the front of her tongue. Grace swallowed the little jewels, enjoying the saline flavour. Alex dug the tines of the fork into the shiny mass of eggs again, lifting it to her lips.
Twenty minutes later, she finished the last of the caviar, pillowing her head against Alex’s broad shoulder, enjoying the salty flavour that lingered in her mouth and the slow beat of his heart. She could hear its leisurely lub-dub beat. Placing an arm around her waist, he shifted her closer, hugging her in a tight, warm embrace.
Then he placed a kiss on the top of her head.
Grace felt replete, satisfied, but most of all, renewed and revived. She had eaten caviar before—and never liked it, but with Alex, it became a new, sensual, pleasurable experience.
He patted her bottom, then gave it a gentle squeeze, but he didn’t jostle her or move her from his lap.
She didn’t want to move.
Minutes went by. Grace heard the tick of the clock on the wall behind her, heard Alex’s deep, even breathing, inhaled his unique, minty, yet musky, citrusy scent.
“Time for your massage,” he whispered in her ear, placing a gentle kiss on the thin skin behind her lobe.
She felt her bones melt at his words.
“What scent do you want?” he asked, his voice soft, deep…inviting.
“The jasmine,” she murmured.
He rose from the chair with her cradled in his arms.
As he carried her out to the deck, to the lounger that lay in the warm sun, Grace wasn’t so sure she’d win Alex’s challenge.
Still, deep down, she knew being his captive had set her free.

***************

copyright 2008 by Catherine Chernow
www.CatherineChernow.com

Taking Your Own Advice


As a business and personal coach, I'm living the dream, all day, every day. I am fortunate to spend hours with people, talking about their hopes and dreams and goals. Once my client has honed in on the things he or she wants to achieve, we formulate a strategy for achievement.

We'll spend the next sessions focusing, honing, refining, sometimes changing the course, but always we keep the end in mind. We strategize together, talk about "what if," imagine what life will be like when that goal comes tue. Nothing is off limits; thinking big is encouraged!

After a call last week, I hung up feeling strangely dissatisfied. My client was happy; she had a plan and a goal. She was energized, she was creating something new. But I realized I wasn't taking my own advice!

I didn't have a plan of my own, let alone something fabulous with action steps outlined. I wasn't spending time thinking about what I want to accomplish!

Like a cobbler whose children need shoe repairs, I was a coach without a coaching plan in place for my own life. Whatup with that?

And it occurs to me, as a woman, as a busy professional, I, too, get caught up in the 'doing,' rather than exploring, dreaming, thinking, creating, imagining "what if?" I'm so busy on the treadmill that I forgot why I climbed on the machine in the first place.

So my question to you...

You're a brilliant person. Absolutely brilliant. People call you for advice. People come to you with their problems, people listen to you.

You give good advice.

And I'm wondering...what advice are you giving others that you should be taking yourself?

(If you're brave, share it with me. I dare you.)
Lots of love,
Sierra

24.5.09

What would you wish for?

My family and I recently took a trip to the mall...along with all the shops, there are fountains along the way to drop coins into.

"Make a wish" my kids intone before they drop their precious pennies into the depths.

"What did you wish for, Mommy?" My oldest son always asks.

My usual, pat answer is "World Peace". Yeah, it sounds trite, but its true. I know, it would put half the world's population out of business, but heck, it'd be worth it, right? Um...maybe. Maybe not. Remember the old adage, "be careful what you wish for"...well, it's something Zuzanna, the heroine in my upcoming release, Wanton Wishes, seems to have forgotten.

Centuries of granting wishes to underprivileged kids comes to a screeching halt after faerie godmother Zuzanna annoys the crown prince of the faeries one last time. His punishment - to exile her and strip her of her powers. However, Zuzanna has other plans. Instead of giving up her wand, she flees the kingdom to a cold spot where no one would think of looking for her – Chicago, Illinois.

There she meets single father Phillip Denton. He needs a nanny and fast. His son, Jamie, isn't a bad kid; the tyke’s just got a mischievous streak as wide as Lake Michigan. When Phillip hires Zuzanna, he figures he’s getting lucky in more ways than one. She’s cute, sexy and even likes snakes. Oh, and not to mention, she’s great in bed, as well.

Despite her best intentions to live life as a mortal, Zuzanna didn't count on traffic congestion, housework, or most of all, her attraction to Phillip, to deter her from the path of abstinence. From magic, that is. She also didn’t plan on getting caught...or falling in love.

So, if you could wish for anything you wanted....what would you wish for?

Me, I'm still rooting for World Peace. Speaking of which, this weekend is Memorial Day here in the US...a somber commemoration of those who have given their lives to ensure freedom, peace, and prosperity.

Ericka Scott
www.erickascott.com

23.5.09

Revision Hell, part two

I had to chuckle at Marie Harte's post. I've been in sort of a 'revision hell' myself as of late. When I first sold to TEB, I brought along several titles that had been previously published at the now defunct LoveStruck Books. TEB's lovely publisher agreed to accept these titles if I'd be willing to spice them up a bit--it seems TEB likes sex, and lots of it, in their books. "No problem!" I enthused, then buckled down for intense rewrites of five titles.

I did it, but it's not something I ever wanted to do again. Writing is hard enough, rewriting is just plain hell. I was assigned an editor with an eye for detail, and a whip that could be felt halfway across the country. I'll always be glad that I was--I trust her implicitly and think I've learned a lot from her. I know every torturous edit makes my stories stronger. This does not, however, make them any easier.

I survived writing, rewriting and editing those first five books. Somehow, I assumed I had everything figured out by the time my next few submissions were evaluated. Wrong! Just when I thought I had one thing figured out, another thing popped up.


Each time, I tried to learn from my mistakes. I stopped putting 'and' and 'then' in the same sentence. I stopped starting sentences with 'ing' phrases. I shot most of the adverbs that came into my sight. I stopped the traveling eyes and allowed the gazes to travel instead.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself, right about the time I submitted a new novel to my faithful editor. A few days later, I received a page long email of things I'd need to change before a contract could be issued. *sigh*



I sat on that email for three weeks. (It was pretty flat by then.) When I finally felt up to the task, it took a little over a week to make the necessary changes. I was rewarded with the email I do so love to see: While there are still some things to be worked out in editing, we'd like to offer you a contract.

Huzzah!

Contract signed, edits in process. It all worked out in the end, the process sometimes just takes a little longer than I expected. If I hadn't trusted my editor so much, and know that her suggestions were for the best, I might not have stuck it out. There were a few times on the road out of revision hell I'd have liked to hop off the trolley car. But when it's over, and I look back and smile, I'm glad I was along for the ride.

22.5.09

Revision Hell

Revision Hell

Several years ago, I submitted my first futuristic novel and received publication. The book did well and received some nice reviews. Lurin’s Surrender started the aptly titled Life in the Vrail, a collection of books centering around humans and humanoids living in the Vrail Solar System.


The planets and people in the stories are rich, detailed, and multidimensional. I didn’t have any problems with concepts. It’s the writing that gave me fits.


Four years later, after contracting the book with TEB, I needed revisions. Not just small comma changes or consistency fixes, but real, painful, torturous revisions. To be honest, my prose wasn’t that bad, but I made a lot of new writer mistakes, to include using A LOT of passive tense. The sentence flow stuck in parts, and dialog tags littered the copy. ‘He said.’ ‘He remarked.’ ‘He noted.’ ‘He commented.’ So ugly.


I revamped. I revised. I re-edited. Normally, my edits are easy, but with this particular work, I could only manage a few pages a day. I needed an entire weekend to finally finish the darn thing; I made myself take the time with no distractions because otherwise, I still wouldn’t be done and the book releases in July. God bless Jess, who’s now editing the book. Because I was so sick of looking at Lurin’s Surrender before handing it in that I’m sure I missed a ton of redundancies and grammatical mistakes.


Still, reading through it now, after the revision nightmare, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. My book is starting to shine, and I know it’ll sparkle once my final edits are done. The cover sizzles, the story resonates, and the characters are even more fun since I’ve to date written about every crew member on Mara’s Light, the ship carrying my bounty hunters. I also have new ideas for stories not yet written about some secondary characters I’ve missed over the years—Sernal and Gar, for example, my remaining Mardu brothers. So as bad as the story was to get through, it’s led to happier moments. Finally.


Lurin’s Surrender releases from TEB July 6th.

For Captain Mara Seni, being a bounty hunter is what she does, not who she is. But her latest bounty makes her question her job. He’s tall, dark and handsome. But a rapist? A murderer? And why is the victim in question more intent on keeping him than putting him in jail? There’s something off about Lurin Vez, and it’s more than his unusual good looks.

As part of a secret race desired by many in the System, Lurin has a hard enough time trying to hide his abilities. But when his friend is murdered and he's accused of the crime, he lands in real trouble. Because the woman who captures him doesn't respond to his thrall. He finds himself falling for her while trying to avoid an insidious evil bent on his destruction and all he holds dear-- to include his lovely captor.



Marie :)

21.5.09

First Long Weekend of The Season and a New Release

Hurray, we just had the Victoria Day long weekend. I don't really care if dedicating the 'I can see summer looming on the horizon' weekend bears the name of some long-dead British queen. It gives Canadians a reason to hope that better weather is on the way and with it will come many, many hot weather adventures. Once again, the weather for the weekend was mediocre-some sun, some rain and a bit of warmth. But that will all change in the next few weeks. I'll post some pics of my last year's warm weather activities so you can see what I'm aiming for this year.

June is Pride Month and Toronto will have a whole week dedicated to activities to celebrate Gay Pride, culminating in the incredible parade. Millions of people line the streets to watch, and participants and spectators come from all over the world. Here are some of my favourite snaps from last year.


































One of the most eye-opening events I took in last summer was The Church Street Fetish Fair in mid-August. Toronto is such an open, welcoming city and the Fetish Fair reflects that thinking. The weather is hot, the guys are hotter and the atmosphere is playful and sexy. A must-see event, for sure.



























































The end of August, I went on the Spa Excess End of Summer Gay Cruise. We spent the early evening touring the Toronto Islands then headed out along the shoreline of Toronto. The sunset was absolutely spectacular and it was awe inspiring to watch the lights come on as darkness fell over the city. The night view of downtown Toronto from the water is truly beautiful.







































































I'm planning to add a few more items to my agenda this year. I'm hoping to visit some of my Michigan author friends again this year. Bronwyn, Brynn, Cian and Dakota are wonderful women and I can't wait to see them. Some of us are heading off to Carol Lynne's wonderful author/reader weekend she has planned in July.






More recently, last Monday I celebrated the release of All Tied Up, my newest Total-e-Bound book. This is another story written after I visited Spa Excess, the largest gay spa in Toronto. Once I saw the play room with its sling, St. Andrew's cross, jail and bench, I knew I had to write a book with that room in it. It's a futuristic male/female tale that took shape because I had so many women say they wanted to see what it was like at Spa Excess. The story takes place off-world, but the heart of it, the inspiration for it, is Spa Excess.






Here's the blurb:

Cover Blurb – Captain Naymeen Renaud’s current assignment for the United League of Veluvian Planets is to thwart any contact between forces hostile to the League, and wealthy industrialist Aiden C. Blackshott. But she soon finds herself straddling a line between duty and lust. She loves it when Aiden captures and pleasures her in his sex playroom. But she suspects her new lover has ties to her former partner, now a rogue agent, she has sworn to bring in.


Aiden also has a mission, one which threatens to fall apart when Naymeen appears the very evening he will play his final role in his assignment. When he allows her to kidnap him to keep her from upsetting carefully laid plans, she whisks him to her star cruiser and ties him to her bed so she can return the favour. She wants to believe in him, but in the end, is he betraying her just as her comrade did?


Here's a brief excerpt.


She was older than he’d expected, probably thirty-seven or thirty-eight to his twenty-eight, but she was beautiful. Her lithe body was encased in a black bodysuit that hugged her like a cloak of darkness. Her hair was dark with a vibrant intensity about it that was picked up by the soft light of the room. Shades of auburn in the long, thick braid hanging down her back, hints of mahogany in the curls framing her face. He wanted to touch her skin, longed to savour the silky flesh of her inner thighs. And he could smell her arousal, sharp and rich in the air, see her nipples pressing against the tight material, hear the sound of her breathing.

Aiden reached out and ran the back of his hand down her cheek.

“So soft, but I knew it would be. I’ve dreamed about having you here, having you at my mercy. ”

Naymeen swayed as he pinched the tab of the closure of her suit and gently tugged it down, exposing the valley between her breasts. Putting his tongue to her, he licked a line up her sternum, enjoying the tang of sweat—a delicious prelude to delights yet to come.

Another tug, another morsel of flesh uncovered for his pleasure.

With devious slowness, he pulled the zipper down to her waist, taking wicked glee in pulling his tongue all the way back up the strip of skin he’d just bared.

“You are absolutely delightful and delectable,” he whispered against her throat. He could feel her pulse throbbing beneath his lips. Taking both sides of her bodysuit in his hands, he drew the bodice apart, trapping her arms as he pulled the material along her shoulders and down.

She was so quiet, he wondered what thoughts were running through her head, wondered if she were waiting for him to put his hands, his mouth on her beautiful breasts. They were generous, crowned with brown nipples, the skin pale, the blue veins prominent.

Aiden smiled. The restrictive material of the bodysuit had kept them well bound. But now they were laid out before him like food for a starving man.

“It seems a shame to keep these stunning breasts hidden.”

She jumped when his husky voice broke the silence.

He watched as a delicate blush swept up to her face. “If you were mine, I’d encourage you to walk around naked so I could pay homage to them, to you. Perhaps I’ll do that, now.”


Check out All Tied Up

available now from Total-E-Bound.


Kaenar

www.kaenar.com

Tales to seduce and entice...




19.5.09

"Love of the samurai"



Throughout the recent years in which I've been writing M/M, my research has led me to discover that there really is an historical basis for the love of M/M romance, both with straight women and gay men. The manlove genre, yaoi, the m/m branch of graphic novels which originated in Japan has a deep and abiding origin in the history of the land and its people.

It's pretty much common knowledge that there is a rich history of manlove within Greek culture, but many people don't about the same tradition that existed among the samurai for centuries known as "nanshoku." You'd never know because the classic samurai films don't evermention it. But when I was working on my seminal M/M novels that led to the White Tigers series, I found a wealth of information which showed me a whole new world of m/m lore!

Here's an excerpt from a website, gay-art-history.org which explains nanshoku:


Not one of the many hundreds of samurai movies made in the past century even as much as hinted at it nanshoku, the “love of the samurai”*. From its pivotal position in the education, code of honor, and erotic life of the samurai class, the love of youths has sunk below the level of the untouchable to the level of the unmentionable, truly “the love that dare not speak its name”. But the indelible fact remains that one of the fundamental aspects of samurai life was the emotional and sexual bond cultivated between an older warrior and a younger apprentice, a love for which the Japanese have many names, as many perhaps as the Eskimo have for snow.

The samurai often called it bi-do, “the beautiful way”, and guarded the tradition jealously. Ijiri Chusuke, in 1482 argued:


“In our empire of Japan this way flourished from the time of the great master Kobo. In the abbeys of Kyoto and Kamakura, and in the world of the nobles and the warriors, lovers would swear perfect and eternal love relying on no more than their mutual good will. Whether their partners were noble or common, rich or poor, was absolutely of no importance… In all these case they were greatly moved by the spirit of this way. This way must be truly respected, and it must never be permitted to disappear.”(1)

Indeed, the only film I know of so far that exposes homosexuality in the samurai world is Taboo, a murder mystery set in fedual Japan with that beautiful young actor, Ryuhei Matsuda.


When I first saw it, I thought it was simply a unique plot twist for a murder mystery. However, as I said, my research showed the historical basis for this scenario.

For me personally, since I love writing about this period of time and this subject matter, the fact that there was this tradition of nanshoku has given me a rich supply of subject matter and I do hope to write more M/M stories in this vein!

18.5.09

A Rousing Debate

I've mentioned a few times at various places I enjoy a good natured rousing debate when it comes to books. Since me and my friends are avid readers we have these talks often. If we like a book we can go on for hours about it and each get something different from the story. Anyway back to this current debate. Since I went to RT last month. I came back with books from various authors I have not tried. I had a good natured debate about a book a mutual friend and I had both read. She didn't like it and I loved it.

That led to a long debate of us both listing out points and countering why we liked or disliked the book. We got loud and emotionally about our point of view. I love a great debate on the merits of a book. Gets the blood pumping. Of course others around us joined in. And it lead to other discussion of various author’s work we liked, did not like, the reasons why or why not. It was a very reveling conversation.

Again I was given an example of the emotion of writing. As I said many time to various people. No matter if your book is not liked or liked. It has created an emotion. As an author this is what I want to do. Whether it is good or bad. I want you to feel it. The one thing I do not want is apathy. That is like a punch to any writer. Please NO APATHY. Give me any emotion and I will feel that I have done my job.

Now I am not saying if I get a bad review or email that a reader didn’t like my work I won’t wonder why at first. But when it comes down to it I will be content and happy. I created a reaction.

An Emotion.

I touched the reader in someway. From that little debate I had the other day. I realized that people will remember you if they have enough emotion whether good or bad. Again I came away with a few new authors to try just from that conversation alone. My TBR pile is growing by leaps and bounds. Hey just because someone didn’t like a book doesn’t mean what they saw as flaws I or another reader wouldn’t see as treasures.

Come on and share the books you have read and created strong emotion. Don’t be shy it can be good or bad.

Taige Crenshaw
http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/
…increasing the sizzle factor

Blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crenshawcafe
Newsletter: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/newsletterandgroups.shtml
Free Reads Site: http:/ /www.satinnotes.com/

17.5.09

Beyond Ménage

You want to know how it will be,
Me and him, or you and me.
You both stand there, long hair flowing
Eyes alive, your minds still growing
Saying to me
"What can we do now that we both love you?"
I love you too.
I don't really see,
Why can't we go on as three?

“Triad” by David Crosby
as sung by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane
“Crown of Creation”, 1968

I've always loved that song, especially Grace Slick's rendition. Her husky contralto voice shimmers with sensuality as she invites her two lovers to consider the possibility of a three-way relationship. I recently read that the Byrds declined to record the song because they viewed its subject, a ménage à trois, to be too controversial. In fact, the topic of this song is beyond ménage, which to me carries the implications of a one-time encounter. This is a song about polyamory – a long-term, committed, sexual and emotional relationship involving more than two people.

Polyamory appealed to me before I ever knew the word. I grew up in the late sixties and early seventies, the era of communes and free love. I read Stranger in a Strange Land in my teens and recognized that Valentine Michael Smith and his “water brothers” had multi-way sexual relationships without jealousy. I found the notion both intensely exciting and inherently reasonable.

Society and the romance mythos both suggest that one can find a single individual who satisfies all one's needs: intellectual, emotional, and physical – one's “soul mate”. This fantasy rarely proves true, many literary HEAs not withstanding. In fact, this ideal of exclusivity is responsible for the destruction of many relationships. One slip, one infidelity, is often enough to shatter a marriage. Suspicion, jealousy and possessiveness can do terrible damage even when there's no actual “other man” or “other woman”. A polyamorous perspective recognizes that life may not be as neat as traditional romance – that you can truly love more than one person at the same time, and that in fact each relationship may provide different, but equally valuable, benefits and pleasures.

Although I've been married for nearly 27 years, I don't think that I am naturally monogamous. At one point in my life I was simultaneously (and openly) involved in serious relationships with three different men. I can honestly say that I loved them all. In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I actively pursued the notion of finding another woman or couple with whom we could bond emotionally as well as sexually. (We were not successful. I have a feeling that polyamory is not something you can create deliberately, that it has to evolve.) Even now, I am in close communication with several former lovers, though at this point (perhaps luckily) I live half a world away from them.

Polyamory may be reasonable, but in Western culture at least, it is anything but easy. We're conditioned to think in terms of possession, to use the terms “my” and “mine” in discussing our partners. Even more problematic is that fact that we've been brought up to believe that a person's capacities for love and for sexual attraction are finite. If my husband feels desire for another woman, does that decrease his desire for me? If I take a lover, do I love my husband less? “Infidelity” may sometimes be triggered by dissatisfaction with one's current partner, but that's by no means always the case. A man can love both his wife and mistress, and be in agony because he feels forced to choose between them.

The ultimate source of jealousy is self-doubt. You're worried that your partner's interest in a third person is in fact a sign of your inadequacy. You're not sexy enough, smart enough, educated enough, whatever, to hold his or her interest. A successful polyamorous relationship requires all the people involved to trust not only each other, but themselves. Each one needs to feel worthy of love.

It's a tall order, and that's one reason, I think, that polyamorous relationships are relatively rare. (The other reason is societal disapproval.)

My new TEB release, Truce of Trust, which comes out tomorrow, deals with polyamory. Some women might think Leah's existence heavenly. She shares her home with two sexy men who both adore her. Ten years married to lusty, artistic Daniel, she still enjoys the discipline and release offered by Greg. But her lovers' jealousy and possessiveness have made Leah's life a hell. Truce of Trust is the story of three people struggling to overcome their insecurities in order to build a life together.

Here's an excerpt demonstrating the perils of polyamory.




Now the three of them sat out on the deck, finishing off the second bottle of wine and enjoying the residual warmth of early September. The air still smelled of summer, ripe raspberries and sun-browned grass. In the woods that edged of the yard, night birds called. A crescent moon rose over the tree tops. The strains of Bach’s “Musical Offering” filtered through the screen from inside, mingling with the bird song.

At least Daniel and Greg shared the same taste in music, thought Leah dreamily. She leaned back in her chair, finally relaxed. She glanced over at her husband. His eyes were closed. He was lost in the glorious melody. As though he felt her scrutiny, he turned to her, his handsome face luminous with joy.

Greg was watching her, a gentle half smile on his full lips, with no hint of his usual mockery. Leah smiled back, grateful that he was acting like such a gentleman.

I’m incredibly lucky, she thought. Most women search all their lives for one true lover. I have two. Perhaps I should feel guilty, knowing that they have agreed to our ménage in order to please me. But all I feel is gratitude.

Hope and relief washed through her. Maybe this would work after all. They just had to adapt, to get used to living together. To give up some of their individual selfishness for the sake of group harmony. She’d been selfish herself, expecting them to suppress their natural jealousies and insecurities just to please her. She needed to be more understanding. It had to be difficult for them, sharing her. Both men were so dear to her—she needed to work harder to show them.

Greg stirred in his chair. "It's late, and I've got to work tomorrow. Finish your wine, Leah, and come to bed."

Daniel looked up abruptly. "Wait a minute. Tonight's my night."

"No, it's not. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays she's with me. In case you've forgotten, this is Friday."

"That's not fair. She was away last night at her seminar. So she and I should be together tonight as compensation."

"Sorry, old man." (Daniel was three years older than Greg, who liked to rub that in.) "You know that's not how the system works."

"Well, perhaps we need to consider changing the system. Somehow it always seems to work out that Leah is away from the house on my nights."

"Please..." Leah stood up, trying to intervene, but it was as though she wasn’t there.

"I'm sorry, but that's not my problem. Anyway, you shouldn't be such a bad sport. After all, you had her to yourself for years."

Daniel snorted in exaggerated disgust. "To myself? Hardly! I couldn't make love to her without wondering if she was fantasising about you. I couldn't look at her without seeing the marks that you had left."

"Marks she asked for, don't forget."

"That's what you claim, at least." Daniel was sexually adventurous, but he had no interest in BDSM. Leah knew that he was truly perplexed by the power dynamics between her and Greg.

"Believe me, I can make her beg to be beaten," Greg said smugly. "Isn't that true, little one?"

Leah blushed fiercely, as embarrassed as she was angry. Of course, Daniel knew this about her, but still she didn’t want to admit it out loud.

Both of them stared at her in mute accusation.

"Answer me, Leah." Greg put a hint of steel in his voice. Shivers of anticipation raced through her in response. Her deepest instinct was to obey him, but she resisted, silent and rebellious.

"Why do you put up with him?" Daniel donned his wounded boy expression, pouting under his moustache. "All he does is hurt you. He has no respect for you. I can give you all the love and tenderness that you need."

"You have no idea what she really needs," said Greg softly. His aim was true, as always. Daniel slumped in momentary defeat, then roused himself.

"If that's so, then why did she marry me?" he asked, playing his own trump card.

Leah had heard it all before, and suddenly, she couldn’t take anymore. She turned her back on them and headed for her room, ignoring their voices calling after her.

Her overnight bag was still packed from her business trip. She pulled out the dirty things and threw in some clean underwear, jeans and jerseys. She was debating whether to bring a dress when her door opened. Stubbornly, she continued her packing.

Greg towered behind her. He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her around to face him. "Where are you going, little one?"

"Away. Away from the two of you and your constant bickering."

"He started it, after all, with his claims about things being unfair." He bent to kiss her. She turned her head away, unwilling to be mastered, but he grasped her chin and pulled her mouth to his.

Leah didn’t want to surrender, but she couldn’t help it. She was dizzy with instantly kindled lust. He nipped at her lips, probed her with his tongue. He drank her in, consumed her. Between her thighs everything melted. The room began to smell funky, as though he already had her naked and open before him.

Without taking his mouth from her, he grabbed her nipple and twisted it, hard. Her body arched against his, the familiar pain quickly transformed to shimmering pleasure. He broke the kiss and looked down at her, shaking and helpless with desire.

"You're mine," he whispered. "You'll always be mine. You just keep him around because you're afraid to give yourself completely to me. Afraid of going too far. You don’t trust your own desires."

Leah had a vision of Daniel, his wine glass filled to the brim with vodka, filling page after page with angry, aching prose. There was a wrenching pain in her chest. They've grabbed my heart and they are rending it into bloody pieces, she thought.

This pain that had no sweet after-echoes. She tore herself from Greg's grasp.

"You're wrong." Her throat tightened into a sob. "I love him. It's different from the way we are, but it's just as real."

"If we were together, by ourselves, you'd forget him."

"NO!" His arrogance, sometimes so exciting, was nothing but frustrating to her now. "You don't understand. He's a part of me, just as you are."

He reached for her again. "I'd make you forget him, Leah. I'd beat him out of you." His voice was gentle, contrasting with the violence of his words. Underneath his bravado, she felt his need.


Of course, it all ends happily. Pick up a copy of Truce of Trust and sample the joys of a polyamorous romance.