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The Fictive Dream: How Fiction Works

You know that fantastic feeling you get when you're so totally into a book that it really feels real? You know that I mean, you're so into the story that you feel like you're living it right along with the characters. That's the fictive dream, part of what makes fiction so amazing.  
James Frey noted three stages that enable the writer to reach the subconscious and thus fully transport the reader into the fiction dream:
Sympathy: “Sympathy it is the doorway through which the reader gains emotional access to a story.”[i] It requires that a character be placed in a situation which will evoke an emotion so intense—loneliness, repression, danger, embarrassment—that the reader will feel sympathy for the character.
Identification: “Identification occurs when the reader is not only in sympathy with the character’s plight, but also supports his or her goals and aspirations and has a strong desire that the character achieve them.”[ii] In order for the reader to support those goals and aspirations the writer must make clear what the character does or does not want to happen.
Empathy: A writer can “…win empathy for a character by detailing the sensuous details in the environment: the sights, sounds, pains, smells, and so on that the character is feeling—the feelings that trigger emotion.”[iii] Empathy is a much stronger emotion than sympathy, and it is through empathy that the reader will feel what the character is feeling. This is achieved by using sensuous and emotion-provoking details that suggest to the reader what it is like to be the character and to experience what the character is experiencing.
For more information on the fictive dream and how to invoke it, read  James Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling. New York: St. Martin’s, 1994.

[i] Ibid., p8.
[ii] Ibid., p10.
[iii] Ibid., p13.


Full Moons and a birthday


I have been doing a lot of research on the moon cycles or lunar cycles (whichever term you like). And it just so happens that tonight is the full moon for the month of March.

The moon has been a central part of many myths and legends across different cultures precisely because of how powerful this part of the sky is. Since my favorite genre to write about is werewolves, is there any question to my obsession with the moon? I think not!

There are several myths and legends associated with the moon. The moon even has several Goddesses connected depending on which culture you relate with. I have really just began to dig deeper into the Goddesses lately because I would like to add a little more about them in future books. Maybe when the Were Chronicles are over.

Plus since over half my books and both my series have to do with wolf shifters it just awesome research to do.

While I like to add my own little twist on my shifters series I cannot tell you how much I have found out about the Werewolves Myths around the world. It is so interesting how long some of these myths have been around. Really makes you think if they are only legend…

But I will not go too deep into that. Don’t want ya’ll to send me to a padded room or anything!

To learn more about my ‘type’ of werewolves I would like to invite you to check out my series The Were Chronicles.

Three books have already been released for this series and I am typing away at more. The third book in the Were Chronicles Pack Territory was released last month.

Pack Territory Blurb-

Book three in the Were Chronicles Series

Adam White is the new Alpha in his territory but Tasha Johnson may the one in charge.

As new Alpha of his territory, Adam White has his hands full. He must make the transition to his new role as smooth as possible, which is easier said than done. His father's mental state is worrisome, a teenage girl has run away, and the woman of his dreams is helping with the search.

Tasha knows the last thing the new Alpha needs is to look for her missing sister. Desperate, she goes to him and asks for his help anyway. As they leave their territory behind and travel to the city, she has more than just her runaway sister on her mind. Adam has taken a hold of her thoughts and fantasies.

With so much happening around them, can two fated mates find one another and leave the world behind? If only for a few stolen erotic moments.

Buy Link-

So this full moon lock your doors and close your curtains because you never know who or what may be watching! Need a hero to warm your bed, give the men of Were Chronicles, the chance.

Also, I would like to give a quick shout out to my March 2010 Contest Winner…

Jackie Chase

She won a free copy of an Ebook of her choice from my backlist.

For more information about my books, contest, and news please join me at my blog and website.

And more exciting news… at least for me anyway!

It's my birthday but you get the gift! That's right. In view of my 31st birthday I have something for you... A free story for you to enjoy!

Run over to my blog and meet the Crystal Pack... but be advised you must be an adult... you must have an open mind... you must like menage stories... you must like hot sexy male on male on female lovin... and most of all you must like to read about strong love that exists between three people.

I bring a new short story free series for you to enjoy.

Crissy Smith

Romance on the 'WILD' side...

I must run now. Gotta get ready for all the crazies out tonight. Wonder how much truth there is to that superstition…


Deadly Obsession

It seems like only yesterday I was wondering if I should try to make any New Year's resolutions, knowing full well that I rarely keep them, only to realize Easter is just around the corner. April!!! Where did the time go? I remember wishing for hockey season to be over, and now we're starting soccer. It seems the older I get, the faster the years fly by...I really need to find a way to freeze time.

When my computer alarm rang, reminding me that it was my turn on the blog I wondered what to write about only to realize I have a New Release coming out next Monday, April 5th! Deadly Obsession, the second book in my series 'Til Death, will be debuting in ebook form, and hopefully out in print shortly after. It's a full length novel, and connected to the first book, Deadly Vision by theme only, so it can be read as a stand alone story. It's a contemporary M/F thriller, continuing the stalker focus. Here's the blurb and a peek inside...

He’s blurred the line between reality and fantasy, bringing Brooklyn’s imaginary world to life...and only one man stands between him and his deadly obsession.

Brooklyn Matthews is an erotic romance author whose life is anything but “Happily Ever After.” With her marriage on the brink of disaster, it’s time to face the truth...Gage doesn’t love her, so why make them both suffer. But when she’s viciously attacked during a routine book signing, she realises she’s been given one more chance to get Gage back into her life. And she’s not above using sex to do it.

Special Agent Gage Matthews can’t believe his life has gone from spicy to sour in the space of a heartbeat. And all it took was one mistake. Now, six months later, he’s ready to sign away a decade of his life and while he isn’t above righting a wrong, marrying Brooklyn wasn’t wrong. But when an obsessive stalker puts her in the hospital, repeatedly threatening her life, will he simply play the role of the gallant knight? Or will he prove love, sex and happy endings aren’t only for the pages of her books?

And a taste of what's inside...

“Easy, darling.” Gage pulled her against him, balancing her weight.

“Oh God.” She hadn’t stood up since the stabbing and now she knew why.

“Just put your arms around my neck and I’ll carry you.”

“I’m sure I’ll be fine once I can balance against the wall,” she said.

“You’re one stubborn soul, Brook,” he huffed, carrying her over to the washroom. She was too light. Too fragile in his arms. He held back another curse as he stepped through the doorway. The shower was off to their left. It was small, but Gage doubted she’d be able to stand up for more than a second, wall or not. “Sit here while I get everything ready.”

He placed her in a chair and walked out, returning moments later with a couple of towels. Then he unwrapped a new bar of soap and opened a small pack of shampoo. He looked over at her. She was half slumped in the chair, her eyes wide with pain. “Oh bloody hell.”

He lunged forward and closed the door, stripping off his shirt as he went. Then he reached in and turned on the water, adjusting the spray before undoing his pants.

“What are doing?”

Brooklyn’s voice was timid and he could see the uncertainty in her eyes. “You’re crazy if you believe for one moment you’ll be able to do this alone. And if it’s just the same, I’d rather not get my clothes wet.”

Brooklyn looked at him for several seconds before raising an eyebrow in question. “You’re coming in with me?”

“Do you want the shower or not, Brook? Because this is the only way you’re going to get it without pulling out all those stitches in your back. And the good doctor already threatened me regarding what he’d do if he had to stitch you up again.”

He watched as she looked from the shower back to him. He thought she’d be angry when their eyes met again, but that wasn’t what he saw in her expression. “As long as you don’t mind, Gage. We haven’t…” Her voice trailed off. “I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to.”

“It’s just a shower, Brook.” But as she shrugged the gown off her shoulders, he knew it’d be much more than that. She was beautiful. The way her breasts thrust out from her chest, the nipples pointing straight towards him. She must have gotten chilled because they were already hard and thick, like tight little rose buds ready to be touched. Her ribs were showing beneath her skin and her stomach was slightly hollowed. He forced himself to swallow as she shed the garment on the floor.

She was naked. Gloriously bare from her head to her toes. He trailed his gaze down her thighs, smiling at the way her hips flared out from her waist and then disappeared down the smooth joint of her legs.

He looked away, not wanting her to catch him staring. And if he saw any more details, the bulge in his pants would only swell. He cursed, removing his other shoe as he lowered his jeans to the floor. He didn’t know how he was going to hide his erection from her. His cock was heavy and thick, and so engorged it blazed a path across his stomach. He glanced over at her. She smiled at him, her attention focused on the tent in his underwear.

“Glad to see you’re not having any erectile difficulties, Gage.”

Her tone was a mixture of amusement and arousal, and his cock pulsed at the sound of it. “Are you going to make this more difficult than it already is, Brook?”


“Good.” He stripped off his last line of defense and walked over to her, his shaft leading the way. “No wise cracks about the state of my arousal, understood?” She merely nodded, glancing once more at his flaring head, before placing her hand in his. “Okay. Nice and easy.” He lifted her arm as she stood up, cringing at the stifled moan that echoed off the walls. She sagged against his chest. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“I need to, Gage. Please.” She moved her feet forward and he half carried her to the stall. He stepped in first, sheltering her from the spray as she slipped in beside him, pressing her upper back against the wall. “Thank you,” she whispered, resting her head against his chest, her hands palming his skin.

Gage held his breath, not sure how long he could stand the pressure of her body on his without quenching his need to touch her. To graze his fingers along her side, caress the gentle curve of her breasts. Her nipples raked across his chest. They were even harder than when she’d undressed, and he could feel every subtle movement she made as they traced a path across his skin. He wanted to take them in his mouth, sip at them until she moaned his name in need. He’d hadn’t gotten a chance to touch them earlier, and just the feel of the tight little nubs against him was making his head spin.

He closed his eyes, trying to quench the sudden rush of need. He could smell her sweet arousal mixing with the steam and knew if he moved lower, he’d find her creamy juice trailing along her inner thighs. He’d caught more than just a glimpse of her when she’d stood up, and longed to touch the soft skin with his tongue this time, lapping at her until her taste was all he knew. He groaned, feeling his erection tighten further, pressing into her stomach.

“This is payback, isn’t it Brook?”

Brooklyn smiled against his chest, running her fingers across his male nipples. “I thought it was just a shower, Gage.”

Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a fabulous Easter and enjoy the spring weather. I'll see you all next month.

Kris Norris


Bi Now, Gay Later

Hi everyone,

I have a new book coming out week Monday from Total-e-bound. I’m not sure how this one is going to be received, but I’m really excited about it.

Bi Now, Gay Later is a Male/Male, BDSM erotic romance. It’s the fifth book in the Perfect Timing collection, but since all the books in the collection are only linked by theme, they can all be read as standalone titles too.

Here’s the blurb:

Can a bi submissive really find happiness with a master who doesn't believe bisexuality exists?

Jerry would be Denton's ideal submissive - if only he would just get his last foot out of the closet and admit he's properly gay. Denton loves Jerry, but he knows it's a master's responsibility to make sure his submissive doesn't lie to himself or the rest of the world. He can't let Jerry hide behind the bi-sexual label forever.

Jerry has no doubt that he's one-hundred percent bi-sexual. He's also well aware how much his master hates that fact. Jerry loves his master and he wants to please him, but he can't lie and say he's gay when he knows he's not. Denton would be Jerry's ideal master, if he could just accept the fact he's bi.Eventually, somebody's going to have to give in and admit he's wrong. The only question is who?

And here’s a quick excerpt from close to the start of the book:

Denton took his coat from his submissive. By the time he shrugged his shoulders and felt his leather jacket settle comfortably around his body, he was already on his way out of the club. Jerry seemed taken off guard by his sudden departure. He was still pulling his smaller jacket on when he caught up with him at the door to the club.

If Phillips’ lover had been anything other than a perfectly unobjectionable submissive, Denton knew he would have latched on to Jerry’s conversation with him as an excuse. As it was, he gave no reason for the tight grip he took on his pet’s wrist as they stepped into the night air.

Striding briskly across the car park, he only just shortened his stride enough to let Jerry’s shorter legs keep pace with him. As they stopped by his car, Denton heard the change in his submissive’s breathing as it sped up in anticipation. The younger man had obviously recognised his master’s altered mood and what it meant. His pulse fluttered faster under Denton’s grip around his wrist. He glanced up at his master, waiting for the first order, for the scene to start in earnest.


Denton let go of his wrist and stepped in front of him, shielding him from the sight of anyone else who might choose that moment to leave the club. Jerry didn’t even glance toward the club door before he shrugged his jacket back off. All his attention was focused on his master. Knowing that soothed Denton’s instinct to display his possession of his lover a fraction, but it wasn’t near enough to quell it.

Jerry looked to him for further instruction. Denton held out a hand to receive the jacket. The moment his hands were free, Jerry reached for the hem of his long sleeve t-shirt. Pulling the thin material over his head, he folded it neatly and handed it over. Lowering himself to each knee in turn, his pet began to pull his boots and socks off.

Denton managed to look away from his lover for long enough to scan the rough concrete and check there was nothing on the ground that might cut his feet, but his focus reverted entirely to Jerry as the younger man gave up his footwear to his master. Without any sign of doubt or hesitation, Jerry’s hand went to his fly. The black denim was soon pushed down, taking his boxers with them. He folded and surrendered them without comment.

As Denton studied him, a shiver ran through the younger man’s body. If Denton was any judge, that had far more to do with nervous excitement than the cool air filling the car park. Jerry was already starting to harden very pleasingly for his master.

Opening the car door, Denton tossed his pet’s clothes onto the back seat. Slamming the door again, he turned back to his lover and looked him over very slowly. A simple hand gesture ordered the submissive to turn around.

“Hands on the back of your head.”

Jerry raised his hands and laced his fingers on the back of his head, presenting himself for a thorough inspection as he made another slow revolution in front of his master.

Only a tiny patch of Jerry’s skin was hidden from him now, that little strip that lay under his collar. Denton tucked his fingers under the black leather and ran his knuckles all the way around Jerry’s neck so no bit of him remained unexamined, untouched by his master’s hands or eyes .

A door banged behind them. Men called to each other, laughing and yelling their goodbyes as they left the club. Jerry looked up and met Denton’s eyes, making a point of not looking at the other men, of not trying to work out if he was exposed to them or not.

A sweet little blush crept to his cheeks, but his hands stayed on the back of his head while Denton kept his fingers tucked under his collar and held his gaze.

Somewhere at the other end of the car park, someone started a car and drove away. A minute later another car drove off. Denton kept Jerry standing there as silence filled the air once more, daring him to object, to look away, to do anything other than follow his master’s orders.

He waited for any sign of weakness from his submissive, any hint of disobedience. He searched for any indication that Jerry didn’t belong to him in every way one man could belong to another, that he didn’t trust him to take complete and perfect care of any man under his protection.

“May I serve you, master?” Jerry asked softly, his eyes flickering here and there as he searched Denton’s face for any indication of how he could please him.

A man couldn’t find sign of disobedience where it didn’t exist. Denton nodded, just once, allowing his submissive a tiny moment of praise before he opened the front passenger side door. “Get in. Keep your hands where they are.”

Jerry got carefully into the seat, his hands still glued to his scalp. Denton slammed the car door and quickly strode around to his own side of the vehicle.

Sliding in behind the driver’s seat he spared a quick glance at his submissive, debating the merits of letting Jerry move his hands to do up his seatbelt, over doing the job himself.

The question faded from his mind as the brief glance turned into a more detailed study. He looked his pet over very slowly, taking in every gorgeous detail.

It was always easier to smile at Jerry’s persistent inclination toward modesty in public when they were alone, when he’d been stripped down to be admired in private. There was a part of him that loved knowing every bit of Jerry’s body belonged to him and no one else, that no one else even got to look at him. But, for once, abstract knowledge of possession wasn’t enough to satisfy him. As pretty as they were, displays of physical possession didn’t feel like enough, either.

“Legs wider,” he ordered, automatically correcting his lover’s posture while he searched his mind for something, anything, that might fix the uncontrolled spiral of emotions whirling inside him.

Jerry spread his knees as far apart as he could while still allowing room for his master to change gears once they set off. Denton looked him over again. His pet had hardened further. His erection was starting to rise and curve back towards his stomach. Denton nodded to himself, pleased that Jerry was so quick to enjoy a scene that was far more to his master’s taste than his own.

“Mouth open.”

Jerry licked his lips and parted them slightly.

Fully exposed, fully accessible, offering himself freely to his master to do with as he pleased, he looked just as fantastic a submissive as Denton knew he was. It wasn’t fair to treat him as if he was anything less than that, just because he was annoyed with a situation that was just as much his fault as Jerry’s. If he wanted him to be perfect, it was his job as the master in their relationship to see that his pet came out of the closet properly.

Thanks for reading!

Bi Now, Gay Later will be out from Total-e-bound on Monday April 5th.

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


Living With Passion

One of my passions is encouraging others to pursue their passions. It’s way too easy to get caught up in everyday minutia,the nitty gritty details of work, family, housework, shopping, always on the go, always doing for others. (And not to say we shouldn’t do for others—especially if it rewards us!)

But is there a still, quiet voice inside you, urging you to do something? To try something new? To think in a new way? I’ll be honest; it’s not always a still, quiet voice inside me. Sometimes it’s this screaming, raging monster, demanding a release.

Whether you’ve got that quiet voice or the screaming monster, what’s it telling you?

I was feeling as if I was in a rut, eating at the same restaurants (and the same foods at those restaurants!), going to work, coming home to write and coach. The little voice in me knew it needed new experiences, a new take on life. So I started saying Yes to a whole lot of new experiences

I said Yes when I had an opportunity to go to the Olympics and experience all the sights and sounds of being among the best in the world. I say Yes to skiing at Whistler. I said Yes to a chance to visit San Francisco.

Recently, I’ve begun eating foods I’ve never tried before. I’m trying new restaurants, actively seeking out places I’ve never been before. (Last week, I ate octopus for the first time—“cooked” in lime juice. In January, I sucked down oysters on the half shell—and I don’t mind admitting that it took a glass of wine to work up the courage to get that first one into my mouth!)

I’m training for the insane Warrior Dash—an out-of-this-world even put together by the crazy minds of people who thought it might be fun to combine Navy SEAL training, American Gladiators, and some beer.

I’m also taking risks with my writing, trying to see where I can push the envelope.

I decided to go “cold turkey” with the daily news and talk radio. I haven’t turned on the telly since the Olympics. I haven’t listened to talk radio in weeks. (In fact, I now have Sirius in the car. I’m learning about classical music in a way I haven’t before, and I’ve actually tried the 40s channel!)

If you were to take a few deep breaths, shut off the television, put away the newspaper, step away from talk show entertainers, unsubscribe from the news services, what might you hear?

As a coach, I encourage you to do a “media fast” for one week. (C’mon, it’s only seven days!) Shut it off…yep, the TV, the newspaper, the stereo (except for motivational/inspirational stuff that encourages you to go for it!), even the bad news on the Internet. Ignore politics—it’ll still be a raging fight when you get back, I promise.

If something winds you up, step away for seven days. Instead, listen to that quiet voice inside you, the one that says maybe you should focus on getting fit, or planning a vacation, or eating better, or writing a book, or trying a new experience, or going to the spa, or even sleeping in a bit more.

What can you learn from yourself?

You’re the wisest one around you. You know what you want, what you need. Is now the time to listen?

Cougars and Cubs...

Check out the hot cover for the upcoming COUGARS AND CUBS Anthology!

There's just something about a story featuring an older woman and younger man...

And it is such a popular theme lately in lots of television shows - remember that tv show, 'Lipstick Jungle?' It was about three women who were lifelong friends. One of them had a steamy affair with a much younger man.

Lucky her!

How about that popular tv show entitled, 'Cougar Town?' It featured Courtney Cox.

A well-known cruise line also featured a cruise specifically for 'cougars and cubs' this past December.

Perhaps age doesn't matter too much anymore. Maybe we're starting to see that women are at their prime when they reach that midpoint of their lives. We're more relaxed and confident, we know what we want...and don't want. We hear it all the time now - that 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new forty. Women at the midpoint of their lives have more free time - our children are grown, we've got more time for ourselves. We have the chance to discover what WE want, not what society says. Besides, breaking convention can be fun...and downright sexy. It all depends on your point of view.

LUCKY IN LOVE by Catherine Chernow is part of the Cougars and Cubs anthology coming your way this May from Totalebound...

Here's a sneak peek:

Maddie Summers’ friends nicknamed her ‘Lucky.’ The scratch-off lottery tickets she gives them for their birthdays are winners. There’s only one place Maddie could use some of that good fortune – her love life. She’s at that midpoint of her life - 50 - with gray hairs and a few inches added to her waistline. When her husband left her for a younger woman, a part of her died but she bounced back, and now she’s ready for...what? Maddie isn’t sure what she wants to do with the rest of her life, but she’s determined not to let it slip by.

Her dormant hormones spring to life the day six-feet, four-inches of drop-dead gorgeous man moves in to the vacant house next to hers. He’s got her hot. He’s got her panting. There’s just one problem - he’s thirty-five.

Jake Conroy’s life changes the day he finds his sexy new neighbor standing on his doorstep. He’s not looking for love, he’s looking for a fresh start in a new town, with a new job. He never figured on meeting Maddie, an older woman with a new attitude.

Maddie is patient and forgiving, while most of Jake’s peers are not. Her family has raised eyebrows and his job isn’t working out. Is their cougar and cub relationship just a fling, or will they prove they are...


Catherine Chernow


A Ball of "Buy Me"

It take more than a great cover to convince me to purchase a book. Sure, if the cover is questionable, I might not even look at the back of the book. Call me quirky, but if I'm spending my hard earned money in a brick and mortar bookstore or online, I want a quality product. And to my way of thinking, the cover counts.

But the cover just gets me to look at the book. It's the blurb that will sucker me into buying the novel. A catching excerpt will cement the deal, but it's really that blurb that hooks me.

And it's not easy to write. A one or two paragraph summary that encapsulates the tone, feel, and plot of the book. It can't be too detailed, but it can't be too open either. Secondary plots and characters that enhance the storyline shouldn't be mentioned, because the whole point of the blurb is to condense material into an explosive ball of "buy me."

Something I find helpful, and I wish all books would do this, is to give a slight "warning." Warning might be too harsh, but knowing the heat level of a book would make disappointment in content less of a risk. I've purchased books that look hot, sound hot, and barely make it past the bedroom door. And I've bought books thinking I'm going to get a mainstream romance or mystery and there's a TON of between-the-sheets action that doesn't quite mesh with what the blurb or cover promised.

Epublishing really takes a lot of the guess work out of a reader's expectations. Take TEB. You search by author, by series, by title or genre with the click of your mouse. You're taken to the book's page, where there's a big picture of a handsome cover, a blurb, a note about content, and then a nice excerpt. It's all there in the same place.

And people wonder why electronic publishing is growing in leaps and bounds. Convenience + quality writing + nonmainstream work = terrific reads.

And that's my two cents on a Monday morning. Now it's time for coffee.

Happy Monday!



Kaenar in Fetishland

Sometimes I feel like Alice in Wonderland. Almost as if I've gone down a rabbit hole and come out in a brave new world. Only instead of Wonderland, it's Fetishland. I've got to say that I'm quite addicted to my trips to Fetishland- wherever, whatever and whenever that may be.

Any time I want to find out what’s happening in Fetishland, I only need to see what Northbound Leather in Toronto is up to. I did just that in February and ended up at the 20th anniversary celebration of their monthly fetish night. As well as being on the cutting edge when it comes to leather and fetish gear, Northbound Leather has hosted many safe sexual play workshops and kinky club nights. As other events and venues have come and gone, Northbound Leather’s monthly fetish night has flourished. For twenty years.

The party to celebrate this two decade milestone of fetish was held at Revival, a club on College Street in Toronto and I was there. I can never find anyone to go with, so I set off on the streetcar by myself. At one of the stops, four young men in leather got on and I knew I was on the right track.

Revival has three floors and each had its own bar. The music was pounding, making my heart race as I moved from floor to floor to see what was going on. The main floor was absolutely packed with people but I managed to make my way to the stairs and climbed to the sort of mezzanine area so I could look at the crowd below.

There were some absolutely amazing outfits. Here are a few that blew me away.

The basement held the public playroom where, if you asked permission, you could use the equipment that Northbound Leather had brought in. There was a red metal construction that looked like it belonged on a playground for small children. It was used as a bondage area. I watched one man very intricately tie up two women with astounding knots and windings. It was amazing to watch.

A man in a kilt was bent over a bench being flogged. At one point they had to stop the play and apply a large band aid to his ass. I’m sure he wasn’t able to sit down for a week. Another man brought two young women and tied them to a bar and flogged them as they stood side by side. The basement area really gave me a better idea of the things that people enjoy doing when they ‘get their kink on’ and it was erotic and stimulating. I got some great ideas for the current m/m book I’m working on.

The main floor also had a space where some very interesting acts took centre stage. It was so crowded and there was so much going on everywhere that I only saw a few of them. There was a fabulous burlesque show and Lady Viktoria gave a very sensual display of flogging. Kimberley, a very talented artist, sketched at the edge of the stage while some of the acts were going on. She has very generously donated two of the sketches to raise money for Youthline Canada. Go to Northbound’s site to check it out.

I’m home now and eagerly checking out ideas for my next trip. Pop by next month and see what’s up. Don’t forget to read Kaenar Unkovered, my new monthly feature in the Total-e-Bound newsletter. I might take you to the largest gay spa in Toronto or to a gay, bondage bed and breakfast.

You can also go to the largest gay spa in Toronto by reading my newest release, Indulge Me, which comes out March 22.

In October of 2007, I visited Spa Excess in Toronto and Indulgence, the spa in Indulge Me, is really Spa Excess. Many of you said you’d love to see what it’s like there, so this book was written with that in mind. Come with me behind the beautiful wooden entry doors and step into an all-male world. At least for one noon hour.

Here’s the blurb.

Meet me at Indulgence. Noon today. I want you naked in the Wet Area.

Keane Daniels has received an anonymous note summoning him to Indulgence, the largest gay spa and bathhouse in Toronto. Since he’s in unrequited lust with his boss, Keane thinks a clandestine tryst might just take his mind off his gorgeous colleague.

Rayche Marquette has wanted Keane since hiring him, but being his boss means Keane’s off limits…until Rayche decides he can wait no longer and reserves the Wet Area of the spa so the two of them can spend a Naughty Nooner together.

Rayche and Keane meet in the elegant shower area, but when Keane discovers the sender of the note is his boss, his reaction is not what Rayche expects. Keane rebuffs him, thinking the noon hour adventure is a lark for Rayche, a meaningless liaison. So Rayche sets out to convince him, both with words and his body, how very important Keane is to him.



Tales to seduce and entice…


A Great Promo

A while back I saw the most interesting promo gimmick that stuck with me.
Let me set the scene. I was walking out of the subway to go to get breakfast before I went to work. As I reached my favorite breakfast spot I had to stop and blink to make sure I was seeing clearly. I even took off my glasses and wiped them to make sure. When I put them on I realized I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.

In front of me were two men and a woman in yellow spandex with red briefs outside and face masks. They were dressed as a super person. Now see in NY where I live you see a lot of interesting things. What left me flabbergasted about this sight is the temperature. It was between 20-30 degrees. I was dressed in my warmest coat, gloves, hat, scarves and enough layers to keep warm.

These super people had nothing on but spandex and a little light cape that did nothing to get them warm. The woman was shivering yet she was still promoting what she was there to do. They were giving out tote bags and hocking the wares the company they were promoting was selling. Talk about commitment.

Promo at it’s finest. I’ll remember what they were selling just because of the startling fact they were not dressed for cold and still kept a smile on their face while they were doing it. So my hats off to the super people.

A memorable promo is something that sticks with those you are trying to reach.

Taige Crenshaw
…increasing the sizzle factor

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Doing Good by Being Bad

By Lisabet Sarai

Sometimes I feel like I live an awfully selfish life. I'm married. However, my husband is an independent sort of guy who appreciates my care but doesn't necessarily require it. I have no kids, no elderly relatives for whom I'm the caretaker. My work involves responsibilities to young people whose future in some sense might depend on me, but I do what I do as much for my own satisfaction as for the benefits they gain.

I admire people who volunteer, giving of themselves and their time. I've often thought that I'd like to do something like that. Heaven knows, there are enough causes I believe in. But it always seems that I don't have any time, between working and writing and promoting. In addition, given the fact that I have specialized education and training, it seems silly for me to just be a body, working in a soup kitchen or sorting used clothing. I've always thought that I'd like to be able to apply my skills and expertise toward some charitable purpose, to fill some need that might otherwise be difficult to satisfy.

Recently, I've found a way to do this. And it's so cool that I have to share it with you, even though it means promoting outside of Total-E-Bound. I hope that Claire will understand.

Do you know about Alessia Brio's Coming Together books? She's a legend in the erotica community but I'm not sure how well known she might be among readers of romance. Alessia is an author and artist who lives near Pittsburgh with her partner and children, including a disabled son. A few years ago she began assembling and publishing collections of what she called "altruistic erotica" - erotica and erotic romance books dedicated to the support of various causes. There have been Coming Together collections whose proceeds supported breast cancer research (Coming Together for the Cure), AIDS research (Coming Together With Pride), conservation (Coming Together Al Fresco), human rights (Coming Together At Last), and global poverty (Coming Together As One). She has also pulled together special volumes for natural disasters such as Hurricane Katerina and the southern California wildfires.

Authors contribute their work to these collections in return for the credit and a copy of the book--not to mention, of course, the feel-good knowledge that they're being virtuous while pursuing their art. I've had stories included in a number of the anthologies, including several that I wrote specifically for the theme. I was proud to participate. A story here, a story there--such a small thing, really.

Then last year, Alessia contacted me and asked if I'd take on a larger role in the Coming Together effort. She wanted to launch a single-author series of charitable erotica, Coming Together Presents, and was wondering if I'd be willing to be the series editor.

I do have some editing experience. I've produced and published two multi-author print anthologies. I also do a lot of editing in my real world job. My first reaction, though, was "I don't have the time". I've committed to a bunch of deadlines, plus promotion just seemed to be eating up more and more of my time. My husband would kill me if I committed to something else.

Then I realized: this was the opportunity that I had been looking for so long. The opportunity to do something that relatively few other people had the skills to tackle, for the benefit of humanity. Or, as Alessia puts it, doing good by being bad!

I've been given complete control over these books. I get to decide which authors to approach, which stories to include, how to organize each collection. Of course I've been hitting on some of my favorite authors, who thus far have been amazingly generous in agreeing to participate. I get to write the introduction for each book, explaining why the writer is one of my favorites.

The author chooses the charity that his or her work will benefit. So far, they've all been causes dear to my own heart as well.

We've produced two volumes at this point, Coming Together Presents M. Christian (which benefits Planned Parenthood) and Coming Together Presents Remittance Girl (for the ACLU). I'm working on a third volume with C. Garcia-Sanchez, and I have several other authors signed on for later this year.

Putting a book together is a significant amount of work (although it's easier with a single author than with forty, which was the case with my anthology Cream!) It's not just a question of revising awkward constructions, recognizing point of view problems, noticing repeated words, or correcting grammar, spelling and punctuation. It also requires a level of diplomacy that authors, looking at it from their perspective, might not appreciate. How can I convince authors to make a change in their precious words, without offending them?

Anyway, despite the effort involved, I'm really enjoying the experience. I feel that both books are exceptional, from a literary and an entertainment perspective. I'm really proud of them--maybe prouder than if I were the author.

In fact, I'm so proud that I am giving away a copy of one of my own books to the first person who buys each of the above volumes, reads it and posts a review on All you have to do is email me with the link to the review and I'll send you your choice of my ebooks.

How's that for doing good? Volunteer a review and reap the benefits!

Or heck - just buy the books for the entertainment they'll provide!


Romance Heroes I love.

Having recently revisited Wuthering Heights, I decided today to blog about the Romance heroes I have loved and think about how that has influenced my taste in men and the heroes I write into my own stories.

So, firstly, Heathcliff. I can’t remember exactly when I first read Wuthering Heights but I do know it was in my teenage years, I suspect when I was around fifteen as I went through a stage of reading classic romances at that time. Heathcliff is a bad boy. Actually, I feel like I’m doing him a disservice with that label, he’s so much more than that. He’s bitter, twisted and passionate and you just know if he’d had a bit of better luck he’d have been a very good catch indeed. However you cannot help falling in love with him when you see the great love and passion and dedication he shows Cathy.

Now moving on to the product of a different Bronte’s imagination we move on to the book Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester. I remember watching an adaptation of Jane Eyre when I was about ten and it really touched me. Only a few years later my aunty gave me a copy and I read the book tirelessly and completed it in just a few nights. Mr Rochester is arrogant, stubborn but not conventionally handsome. He’s kind, if easily irritated and irresistible because Jane falls so completely in love with him that you can’t help but be pulled along by her enthusiasm.

In College we read Shakespeare’s Othello and I was completely intrigued by the story and by Othello himself. I was attracted to his deep love and repulsed by his undeserved jealousy and I found myself attracted to him even if I didn’t want to be. Othello starts out as just and brave, strong and filled with integrity and his jealousy, his insecurity drives him to the very edge of madness.

There are many more and maybe I’ll write about them another time. However I am pretty sure these three have contributed to my soft spot for arrogant men as they are all written with a proud stagger and a confident manner. I love to write those kind of slightly arrogant men too. I don’t think you can get a better example than Guy in Travel Delight.

He is cocky, confident and completely irrisistable. Here’s a snippet of the conversation from when he met business minded Janet on her lunch break:

She carried the cup of coffee and turkey salad sandwich to the window seats, there was one spare next to a tall, handsome guy who was completely absorbed in watching the people out on the street.

“Can I sit here?” she asked, and his head turned then he nodded.

“Sure, a pretty lady such as yourself doesn’t even need to ask.” His mellow growl was filled with a foreign accent, and his dark brown eyes sparkled with mischief. Janet blushed and sat down.

“Thank you,” she said and settled herself on her seat, pulling her knee-length navy skirt down over her crossed legs so that the folks in the street would not get subjected to a view of her flabby, old thighs.

“So, you work round here, then?” The American turned on his stool to face her, stunning her with his easy smile.

“Erm, yes,” she replied and pulled the cucumber out of her sandwich, delicately dropping it into the discarded plastic packet.

“Cool. I’m not from around here,” he added, and Janet nodded.

Oh geez. Why do I always pick the seat by the talkative weirdoes? she thought, absently biting into the brown bread and barely noticing the taste on her tongue.

“I’m from the USA. Mississippi to be precise. I’ve just finished my degree.”

“Very nice.” She wouldn’t normally talk back, but this guy held her attention with his dark eyes and softly tanned skin. He was quite hot…for a crazy man.

“And I thought I’d go out and enjoy the world for a bit, you know, so I sold my business, put on my backpack and headed for the place with the prettiest girls, England. I love sweet English roses, like yourself, ma’am.”

Now that compliment was good, and even the ma’am sounded sexier in his accent. Janet blushed. “What business were you in? I thought you said you’d just finished university.”

“Oh, I see you’re a feisty one, all the better.” He laughed and his Adam’s apple bobbed invitingly. ”I have indeed just left ole miss, degree in business in hand but while I’ve been studying, I’ve also been working. I set up this little internet thing. It got kinda popular and a bit too much for me to handle right now, if truth be told, so I sold it.”

“Very nice,” she replied, glancing at her watch. She’d had twenty minutes already, and she’d barely even started on her sandwich. She took a gulp of her coffee and turned her attention from the handsome young man and back to her lunch.

“So what do you do? I mean, you can’t be paid for looking damn sexy in a suit, can you?”

Janet looked back towards the young man and felt the full blast of his lecherous stare and was amazed that it turned her on.

“I wish,” she chuckled, fluttering her lashes like a besotted teenager as her cheeks flushed red. “’I’m head of my department in one of the big buildings around here. You don’t need any more details. I don’t want to bore you.”

“If you think your job is boring, why do you do it?”

This weird yet hot stranger barely knew her, yet he’d asked the very same question she’d been grappling with for months.

“I worked hard to get where I am today.”

He shook his head and leaned in closer, his breath tickled her ear.

“You’re too beautiful to be bored. Want to come travelling with me?”

“Pardon?” She sharply pulled away, but his hand snaked under the counter and rested on her thigh. For a split second, she contemplated yelling for help, then she realised her body was screaming for more of his touch.

“Really, come with me. Have some fun. See somewhere new.”

“I’ve got to be back at work in a few minutes!” she exclaimed.

His fingers smoothly stroked up her naked thigh. “So? Life’s too short—oh, what’s your name again?”

“Janet.” She couldn’t believe she’d given her name so freely to a stranger, a stranger with his hand on her thigh.

“And I’m Guy. Nice to meet you.” His long, strong fingers squeezed just below her crotch, and she gasped part in pleasure and part in horror that he was feeling how fat her thighs were. ”Oh, so very nice to meet you.”

Somehow, she’d leaned into him once more, and his soft whisper made her wish his lips were trailing down her sensitive neck. She shook her head and pulled back, his fingers let go of her thigh, but his hand came to rest just above her knee. It lingered there, heating her whole body. Her mind struggled to take control.

“It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Guy, but I have to get back to work. I do envy you, though, truth be told. It must be exciting.”

“It is, and my journey has only just started. You meet so many new people, experience new places. Seriously, you should come.”

“I really can’t.” Janet sighed and uncrossed her legs, throwing his hand off her body as she pulled herself away from the counter and off the stool.

“Look, if you change your mind, I’m boarding a train to York at five past four today. I’d love to have you along on my journey.”

Now to find out how Janet responds you need to pick up a copy of Travel Delight but I don’t think I would be able to resist Guy’s tempting offer, could you?

Now which Romance Heroes have influenced your taste in men and how have they influenced it? I'd love to find some new hot guys to read about. I'm always in search of inspiration!


Facing Reality

Have you ever been completely caught up in a fantasy only to have real life come crashing down on your head?

Yeah, me too.

Mr. Graham and I just returned from a spring break vacation where we met up with friends from another part of the States. I had fantasies of gloriously hot, sunny days to deepen my skin to a glowing bronze and to add shiny, golden highlights to my hair. In reality, we saw the sun less than half the time we were there, and it only warmed up one day. Two of the days we were drenched with downpours and threatened with tornadoes.

I imagined getting lots of "girl time" alone with my friend when we would giggle and gossip and grouse about our lives. Instead, we were forever stuck with our hubbies at our sides, which isn't a bad thing, but getting some "girl time" would have been nice, too. My visiting time was also cut short by getting sick 4 out of the 7 nights we were away, leaving me weak and nauseous the next day.

So, now I am back home, and instead of feeling rested and happy and sunburned. I am exhausted, depressed and pale.

Can I get a do-over?

I would love to hear when reality came crashing down on your fantasy. Misery loves company, and all that.



Stallion's Pride, coming soon!

Stallion’s Pride

Book #4 in the Untamed Hearts Series

By Jude Mason and Jenna Byrnes

ISBN: 978-0-85715-058-5

Publisher: Total E-Bound

Release date: March 29.2010

Info to Purchase here


A recently discovered horse talisman and a gypsy horse changeling tribe seem like the perfect match. Is headstrong Brishen ready for the power the talisman brings?

It's a stressful time for the familya of gypsy horse changelings. Shandor, King of the Gypsies, has died, leaving the clans at war and his son, Brishen, struggling with his new-found leadership. Brishen also struggles with something more personal - choosing a life mate. Will it be Tawnie, the female his father selected for him? Or handsome Jal, whose masculine features excite Brishen more than anything has before?

In cougar territory, a day's journey away, clan leader Kai and his mate Aric are dealing with an issue of their own. A new talisman discovered - a brilliant purple stone with the head of a horse in gold filigree. Unaware of any horse changelings, Kai calls a meeting of the talisman holders to discuss what should be done.

Tarek, leader of the bears, and Cole, ruler of the wolves, come together with Kai to track down their new changeling brothers. When they find the horses and meet young, headstrong Brishen, it's a battle of wills - a battle no one wants to lose.

Chapter One

Brishen’s thoughts raced. The cool evening air had his flesh crawling with goose bumps, his nipples erect. Tawnie, her supple body tanned and eager, pressed against him. Yet, the moonlight and her presence couldn’t distract him from where his mind continued to wander. His father, Shandor, lay abed, ill for some months with age and a hacking cough that wouldn’t let him rest. Pesha, his mother, tended the old man, easing his discomfort, but there was little else she could do. Shandor’s life had been long and filled with troubles, as had the lives of all of their vitsa, or clan. Years of mistrust and battle with other vitsas had taken its toll on them all. Mares lost foals too often, and many of the young stallions fought amongst themselves, even within familya groups.

“Brishen, don’t be so stubborn,” Tawnie murmured, her arms reaching around his neck, her body pressing ever closer to his. Her lips, ripe and succulent looking, pursed for a kiss as she rose onto her toes and leaned in.

Brishen straightened, peering over the top of the lovely woman’s head. The tree lined valley with the meandering river running through its centre was ideal for the families. The field of rich grasses and clover fed their equine form. There were pockets of shrubbery where berry and wild apple trees grew in abundance. Some homesteader must have abandoned the area years ago, he thought, trying to push the vision of his wasted father from his mind.

“Hey.” Tawnie grabbed his ears and dragged his face down so she could see into his eyes. “I’m still here, remember me?” Her voice was soft, but her deep brown eyes shone with a brightness that surprised him.

“Yes, I know you are, and I could never forget you.” He smiled, a little weakly he knew, but he hoped it reassured her. After all, she was the woman chosen for him by his father. He reached around her, resting his hands on her wide, muscular hips. A granite boulder behind him was at just the right height for him to perch his arse on. He drew her with him as he shifted, the thread-bare jeans not doing anything to cushion his bottom.

The woman smiled, her wide eyes appearing even brighter in the moonlight. “Yeah, I know, you’ve got a lot on your mind right now. I just thought I might be able to distract you for a while.” She swivelled her hips, grinding herself against his slowly rising cock.

Info to Purchase here

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