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Red Wolves as part of The Were Chronicles

Good morning all,
Yes I know... it's been a few months. But I am so happy to back in the writing seat. Typing away everyday (no matter what) to bring some new works to life. This time away to take care of my family has been good for one thing though- there are a ton of new stories and characters I can't wait to share with you.
As I work on the next books to my series The Were Chronicles I have learned more and more about wolves and the problems we face as they are nearly extinct.
Gray Mason the character in book four of The Were Chronicles and the main character in the next installation is a red wolf breed. While doing research on the origin, diet, behavior, and traits of these wolves I have across several great articles trying to help this almost wiped out species.
This month I thought I would share a little about the animal that I have come to love so much.
Information obtained by several different internet sites:
The Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is neither as glamorous nor as well known as its cousins, the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) or the Coyote (C. latrans). Red Wolves are only one of two species of wolves in the world. The other species is the larger Gray Wolf.
They might not be a big or famous but I still think they are great. They live in smaller Packs usually about 5-8 wolves. But I add more to the Packs. It is a fiction book, lol!
An adult red wolf weighs between 50-80 pounds and is about 4 feet long from the tip of its tail to its nose. The red wolf is a smaller and a more slender cousin of the gray wolf. It is gray-black, with a reddish cast that gives it the color for which it is named.
That’s about the same size as my Labrador retrievers I have at home. What do you think… maybe I could add a wolf to my own Pack? We’ll have to talk it over with the babies Taz, Belle, and Scrappy. They might not like that idea!
Almost hunted to the brink of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rounded up fewer than 20 pure red wolves to be bred in captivity in 1980. As of 2007, approximately 207 captive red wolves reside at 38 captive breeding facilities across the United States. Thanks to these programs, more than 100 red wolves currently live in the wild.
Sadly we are celebrating a wolf breed having a hundred in the wild.
Historically, red wolves ranged throughout the southeastern U.S. from Pennsylvania to Florida and as far west as Texas.
Yep! Texas!!!
Best place to see or hear the Red Wolf in the wilds is the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on the Coast of North Carolina.
Will have to plan a trip!
I came upon the red wolves by doing research for the books. Because the books mean so much to me I have become more aware of the real wild wolves. They might not be the shifters we read about but they are still animals we should care about.
I want to thank you for giving me the time to share what I have found out. If you would like to help with donations, education, or to volunteer there are several different organizations that are trying to save our wildlife. Here are a few that I have researched.
The defenders:
The Red Wolf Sanctuary
I look forward to sharing the red wolves and other shifters of The Were Chronicles with you soon.

Crissy Smith
Romance on the ‘WILD’ side…


Pride, a personal story

Most of you probably are aware that June is the month of many Pride festivities and marches all over the world. In some cities hundreds of thousands have loads of fun with music, exuberant costumes and people from all walks of life. While in other cities a handful face their fears because despite of what their own government says, love exists in many forms and (almost) all deserve a place in the sun.

I haven’t been to a Pride march in ages, for all kinds of reasons, most of them practical, but also because the personal need was no longer there. I haven’t seen the inside of a closet since 1980 and to be honest, I’m not doing too well in big crowds.
Still, 1979 was when it all started for me. A few months before my eighteenth birthday I had had my first coming out of many. My mother spontaneously burst into tears and within a week had asked all her friends what she had done wrong, while my father told me to keep it to myself.

I didn’t care and I certainly didn’t listen. I knew I had discovered something about myself that was essential to my happiness and I allowed no one, not even my parents, to take that away from me. After a while, my parents realised that too and they accepted my reality instead of their dreams for me. I went looking for other gays and lesbians in Rotterdam and soon found them. And not much later, on a Saturday in June, I visited Amsterdam to participate in what was then called Roze Zaterdag. (Pink Saturday)

Now remember, this was 1979, and gay people were practically invisible. We were almost never on TV (and when we were, it was as a joke, dead or cured.) We still had to wait several years before the PC with internet was available. The handful of books on the subject they had in our local library were hardly of the happyhappy joyjoy kind. I personally didn’t know even one single out gay or lesbian, and yes, I was the first in my family, school and neighbourhood to fully step out of the closet.

So perhaps you can imagine a little bit what it felt like to see perhaps 2000 people like me, even though the number of eighteen-year-old girls/women marching in the parade must have been extremely low, because during that time most lesbians came out at a (much) later age.
I no longer knew just on a theoretical level that I wasn’t the only one, I saw it with my own eyes.

It’s 33 years later, my wife and I have been together for 30 years now and our sons are getting ready for university. I wouldn’t have all of this this without the brave women and men who took the risk of full visibility. I owe them. We all do. 

PS. In case you're interested in what it might have been for those without money or power, long before the first Pride was celebrated, you might want to take a look at Unspoken.


We'd Rather Read About Sex Than Have It??

Last week, while listening to satellite radio, I heard a startling statistic: more than forty percent of women would rather read about sex than actually participate in it!

The discussion was, naturally, about the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

So is it true…? Are women reading the books but not having sex afterward?

If not, why not?

If the statistic is true, I have a few theories.

First, we’re tired!

Many of us work full-time. Many of us take care of the home and family. It’s exhausting to add sex goddess to the list after drying the last dish. (Never mind kinky sex goddess!)  Some nights, when I get to bed, I’m so tired I barely remember falling asleep. I’m not always thinking about reaching for the handcuffs. Some of us read for a few minutes before bed in order to relax enough to fall asleep. (And what interesting dreams after paging through Fifty Shades of Grey, or your favorite erotic romance title!)

Second, it can be difficult for us to ask for what we want.

Okay, so maybe tonight I won’t be too tired to reach for the handcuffs, but actually asking a lover to tie you up or spank you might be asking too much. In that case, reading offers our mind a chance to explore and play safely.

I’ve heard, and I believe, the woman’s sex organ is located between her ears. Yep, the brain. Once our brain is engaged, I think it’s easier for us to become aroused.

In some informal discussion with some pretty powerful women, I think I’ve discovered a couple more reasons so many of us would rather read about sex than engage in it…

Our men are tired, too. It’s hard for them to be heroes when they’ve worked a full day. They could use a quick release to sleep better.

Men in our books are rarely like that, right?

So how is real life different from fiction?

So here are a couple of tips…men, if you want us to be a sex kitten (and I think most of us want to be a sex kitten for you), give us what we need: a bit of foreplay, for starters. Remember our sex organ is our brain. Yes, we know Tab A needs to get inserted into Slot B, but there are some ways to help you get what you want. Turn us on with hot, sexy words. (No I don’t necessarily mean the F-word! Tell us how special we are, how much we mean to you.)

We will primp and prepare for you and we’d like a little of the same back from you! Some women love the scent of clean sweat; it can be a turn-on. End of the day, I’m tired after working all day sweat isn’t as appealing. Get ready for us as you would have for a date with us when you were wooing us.

Also, try asking us what we want. And not necessarily while we’re in bed together. Foreplay can be an intimate discussion over dinner and a glass of wine. (That’s why date nights are so wonderful!)

Give us the attention you give your job, your poker night, your sports.

And ladies, we have to do our part, too. We may have to take a few chances to get what we want. We must be as brave in the bedroom as we are in changing the world. We must never make our men feel as if they have to compare to our heroes. The idea is for us to enjoy our time together as much as they hope we will.

And if we use books as a way to be better lovers, to be more intimate, to be a bit more bold…so much the better!

Happy reading…and other things….



Let's Talk Titles

It's a funny thing about titles - they are important. I've bought books on the name alone sometimes. Single words, a catchy series name, a phrase that urges you to turn the page...Titles are all this and more. 

So how does one go about selecting a title? If you're a writer, how do you select your titles?

For me, the method comes and goes. There are times I have the title in my head as I write. These are the easiest because that's one less item to worry over. Sometimes I have a title, then I need to develop a story that will go with the great, awesome name. These are a little harder. But the most difficult are the stories where you write out your heart and soul, but the name of your creation is blank. An untitled story is worse than writers block, in my opinion. I mean, you have a story you've written and you love, but what do you call it? I Love Blank?

When I end up with tales like this (yes, it does happen), the first page is a string of random thoughts and ideas that may, if I'm lucky, end up giving me a title. My heading could very well look something like this: 

story/man and woman/woman's lover/man's love/three times two/God help me/the billy goat ate the hat/necklace galore/ripped dress/etc.

Yes, you may laugh. It can be that bad. The string of words I just put up is entirely fictional (and forgive me if I stepped on anyone's toes by revealing a title in there somewhere), but this is what I will do. Eventually, a title will evolve from my bad meanderings and voila! The book has a name. 

This almost, almost makes me wish for the days of old - like centuries ago - when a books' title was often the entire plot line. Something like, The Day Susanna Ran the Marathon and Fell in Love with her Neighbour and Her Neighbour's Gardener.  Ah, the cover artists would kill us, no doubt, but wouldn't titles like this make life much simpler? 

What about you? Am I the only one often stumped by titles, or do you have a magical method you're willing to share?

Have a great Friday everyone, and thanks for stopping by


My first post here

My first blog at Hitting the hotspot. *waving* Hi everyone and happy Friday!

It's been really hot. *fanning myself* I've been trying to keep cool which means I'm not doing much of anything. Late last week I finished another book and it is sitting a little before I do self-edits. I also subbed another book. :) It was a busy week last week.

This past Monday I had my book Wicked Intentions release at TEB. That is always very exciting to get to release day. Other than my release this week is my relaxing week before I get into another book. The characters are already talking to me. When I'm ready to start the new book they will be ready to go. I love writing that first line of a new book and imagining the adventure that is coming. :)

Talia Carmichael
Fill Your Cravings


Buy Wicked Intentions here


Give me sunshine!

Happy solstice! I am so excited that its finally officially summer and the heat is slowly creeping into town. I am ready for the hot beach with a hot book and a lot of hot bodies to look at and inspire ...yes HOT thoughts and stories in my creative mind! Bring it on! I am ready! 


The dangers of multitasking

Yes, I know. Multitasking is not actually a new topic. And we've all heard that multitaskers are prone to experience attention deficit and this, of course, leads to mistakes.

However, knowing this and actually being able to avoid multitasking are two different things entirely. I know I've been guilty of trying to talk on the phone, write an email and answer a question from a colleague while closing the window and watering the much-neglected spider plant on my desk at the same time. I've also had an estimated number of 453 documents and browser windows open on my screen at the same time, madly alt-tabbing between them to find the three I was actually working on. If two of them are work-related emails and one is a draft of a steemy erotic short story involving bondage and kink you can imagine the looming disaster...

However, there is one activity during which I would never ever multi-task (well, actually there are two because my yoga teacher would strangle me with an elastic band if I did but for the sake of my dramatic argument let's say there's only one, okay?) and this is sex. I was much appalled to read that actress Jennifer Connelly apparently likes to do other stuff while having sex. She wrote in an article in The Atlantic: “I do like to read a book while having sex. And talk on the phone. You can get so much done.” Really? Talk on the phone? Unless you like to talk dirty to your aunt Gertrude it would  be safer to only call people who are totally down with this. But apparently she is not alone in this: according to the Daily News 12% of moms use their cellphones during sex.

Also, I read an article in Men's Health suggesting stuff men could do during sex in case they were really bored with it (i.e. tone their muscles or think about what they're going to wear the next day). 
I don't know about you guys, but I'd rather not have sex with someone who is so totally bored that they're thinking about their tax return or their wardrobe choices. Then again, I tend to delay my tax return until the very last moment and wear whatever is on top of the fresh laundry pile. So maybe for people who are really into doing these things thinking about them is actually a turn-on?

I'd love to read your opinions in the comments. I'll be back here with more stupid questions - ah, interesting ideas, of course - next month on the 19th. Or drop by my blog A DARK KIND OF DESIRE any time.


Because I love it

A conversation that I’ve had a few times in the past and more recently got me to thinking. A lot of blood, sweat, time, sleepless nights and tears go into anything that you love. Whether it is sewing that fabulous outfit, painting a picture, crocheting a throw or any other number of things you do. With each it takes all of what I mentioned above on my your to get to that finished point. It is the same with being a writer. Let me break it down.

Blood – I’ve typed so hard that I’ve left blood on the keyboard or gotten paper cuts while reading through pages of my manuscript. Hey paper cuts hurt something awful. (grin). I put my figurative blood into each book I write. My heart and soul are on each page.

Sweat – I’ve broken into lots of sweat as I pounded away at the keyboard trying to get a scene just right. Talked with a reader which I love to do. Since I am shy this is the hardest for me. Hush those who know me that are laughing. I am shy, just not with those I know and am comfortable with. But I digress. I’ve sweated about a variety of things. Waiting anxiously to hear back on a submission. Edits for my book. Opened a review of my book.

Time – The amount of time spent with writing the book, doing self editing, then again self editing, crit partner editing, your editing again and then off to publisher who you will have to wait for a response. And if you get that all lovely response of “yes” then even more waiting to get to the process. When in the process even more waiting to get through the process. Then after process even more waiting to actual release. Then release then more waiting to see what people think. Whew I am tired of even imagining the time. Yet each moment is worth it. So worth it all.

Sleepless night – The idea in your brain that will not understand that you are sleeping that forces you out of bed in search of paper to write it down. The book you are writing that will not let you rest until that last scene is just so or that last word is complete. The excitement of a new project. The wait for the submission that you sent. Or waiting for a note/call from your editor on something.

Tears – Oh the tears I have cried as I write a scene in a book or read a letter from a reader who actually got the story as intended. The awesome review that said that one phrase that made you smile that the story did as you intended it to do. The bad review that even though they didn’t like the story there was something constructive in it that you took away for future reference. The tears of completion that you finished the story and it was written to the best you could get it. The tears of relief for the contract that you went after or publisher you wanted that story to be with. The tears of making hard choices that will be best for your career.

I could go on and on with a list of what all the things above mean in correlation to writing. I’ve been asked many times why do I write. My quick response is “it’s in my blood, soul and heart”. The more complex one is “because the blood, sweat, time, sleepless nights and tears go into it because I love it.” I get lots of confused looks when I give the complex one so I usually give the simple explanation. With the complex response I’ve never tried to articulate what I meant until now. There are so many layers to it all. So much to say. If you think about it all those points cover many things you do in your life. I have many creative outlets that I pursue. I draw, love to sew, do crafts and cook. Each are things I love and that I want to be my best at.

No matter what you are pursuing. The things that you put your heart into – that you bleed for – figuratively and in reality. The things that bring you closer to people you would never have expected to have anything in common with. Things that may, take time away from family and friends. What you sweat over because you want it to be you upmost best and create a reaction – good or bad. The nights you cannot sleep because your thoughts are consumed with whatever project you are working on. Or the wonder when it is seen by the world and how will they react. The tears you shed to get there, between going there and as you get there. Each tear has a purpose to make you go forward. They each make you learn and grow.

In each thing you do that involves blood, sweat, time, sleepless nights and tears none of it matters because it all boils down to one thing. You do it because you love it.

Taige Crenshaw
…increasing the sizzle factor
Chat Group:
Free Reads Site:

Wilde Rapture - When a woman ducks into an alcove at a wedding she meets the man who is intriguing and will tempt her.

Buy here at Total-E-Bound.


Giveaway Celebration For Release of The Perfect Third!

I am here today jumping up and down (at least in spirit *wink*) about the release of my first stand alone ebook here at Total-E-Bound. "The Perfect Third" came out this week, and was part of the menage anthology, All Together Now. To help me celebrate, I would like to offer a free copy of "The Perfect Third" to one lucky winner! Just comment below on what your favourite menage combination is. Do you prefer M/F/M? Or would you rather M/M/F, M/M/M, M/F/F or ???? Leave your comment with contact info by end of Sunday, June 17th, and I will let you know if you won!

To help wet your appetite, I'm going to include a hot excerpt. The story takes place in present day New York City, and this combo is an M/F/M. One woman - two hunky musicians. Will they make her their perfect third?

      He knelt down in front of her and began to kiss her again, and she could feel that her mouth was sloppy and her lips were swollen from the recent assault of his shaft. Her cheeks were flushed, and he watched as her chest rose alluringly with fast breath. He began to explore her again, and he made it clear it was time for the rest of her clothing to come off. He undid her bra, and she helped move things along by sliding her panties off.

     “I appreciate your enthusiasm,” he said, locking with her eyes again. “I plan to reward it.”

     He pushed her back on the couch, lifted one of her legs up against its back, and positioned the other so that her foot touched the floor. With her splayed before him, he began to caress and rub the inside of her thighs, reaching higher towards her hips, and rubbing her stomach. She leant back on her elbows and moaned. He reached a little higher and cupped both breasts, pinching and rolling her nipples until they were hard.

     “Oh, yes,” she whispered. “That feels so good.”

     As he continued to work her nipples, he slid closer to her until his mouth reached her inner thighs, where he nipped and licked at the sensitive skin. He alternated licking, love-biting, and brushing his lips back and forth on each side, moving ever closer to the lovely folds between her legs. She was beginning to move slightly under his ministrations, her hips thrusting forward, closer to his busy mouth.

     “Oh, Lorne, please,” she begged. “Please…”

     “Mmmm…that’s nice, the way you’re asking. I think I should give you your reward…”

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win, and happy reading!


The 2012 YAM Magazine Blogathon

If you're interested in GLBTQ entertainment, this is THE place to be. YAM Magazine organized this to celebrate Pride Month, and it's wonderful to see posts from all over the world.

Why is this important?

I don't think people realize ho rich and diverse the GLBTQ universe is. from books (my very personal interest, of course) to films, music, TV, products, and even events, it is all there. Whether you want to go there to find out what it's all about or to post something of your own (like a new release), or whether you want to give one of your blogs wider exposure - go and check it out!

Of course, once the hectic week of posting is over, you can still go back and look at all the blogs and take the time to read them. I am planning to find out about new books to read and maybe some interesting movies to watch.

In their words:
"You can talk about ANYTHING entertainment (that goes for film, television, music, books, or anything else you can think of…) that is related to LGBT themes. From anywhere in the world, in any language. Join us on June 11th – June 17th to share the best of worldwide LGBT entertainment."

Check out their website, add #YAMLGBT to your tweets, or go the their facebook events page.

On a more personal note, I have been very busy writing. What else is new, right? You may be happy to hear that AJ Llewellyn and I are about to finalize our next volume in the Elemental Superpowers series. this one is called 'The Mudpie' - and will show yet another part of the Superpowers world, this one focused on Earth. Watch the coming soon page as well as AJ's and my websites for updates.

Have a wonderful June!



You've Got to Have Friends!

I just got back from the Lori Foster Reader/Author Get Together. The best part about the gathering is that it's basically one gigantic luncheon with friends. Yes. Like 500 friends, but friends. I love going there because I get to reconnect with all the writer and reader pals I've made over the years.

Look at it like this. I walk in and there's Jambrea Jo Jones, grinning and laughing. Immediately, I'm laughing and smiling, too. Then I run into Desiree Holt. She nabs me for a hug and we talk about the anthologies we're in together. Imagine the two of us - neither one of us is much over 5'2" tall - laughing and squee-ing about being in a book together. I'm sure people thought we'd lost our minds. I had supper with Cheryl Dragon and talked about witches, bikers and menage. Well, we talked about all that, then were interrupted when the cover model invited himself to our table. Wouldn't have been so bad, had he not TAKEN her seat. Shrug.

Then there was the book signing. Some people were upset by having two book signings, but not me. Why? First of all, having two meant I had time to get the books I wanted signed, well, signed. I got to meet some fantastic authors that way. Second, I got a chance to get that book by Mima. I just have to say I love her. She rocks.

The two booksignings meant I could focus on selling my books and meeting my readers as well. Oh, and hang out with Kaenar Langford. Every moment of the get together is special, but I had an absolute blast signing books with Kaenar. Why? First, she's got the best TRUE stories. If I wanted to learn things about the BDSM and MM community, she probably knows all about it. And she tells the stories with such Gusto! Then there are the jokes. Good gravy. Some of them are the worst jokes you've ever heard, but again she tells them with such pizzazz you can't not listen and laugh.

Every year I look forward to going to Cincinnati for this event and I'm never let down. One year, I swear I will remember to get a photo of the TEB authors. One year.

So which is your favorite con? Pros? Cons of that con? I'd love to know.

Want to know more about Wendi Zwaduk? Here you go:

I always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I earned a BA in education at Kent State University and currently hold a Masters in Education with Nova Southeastern University.

I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. Come join me for this fantastic journey!

On Pinterest
On Google+
On Romance Novel Center


Back from holiday, and still with a one-track mind...

Last month I went on holiday to Majorca, which is one of my favourite places to visit – beautiful beaches, our favourite restaurants, and my favourite cocktail bar with a host to die for. Here he is.

His name’s Guapo and he’s a sweetheart. He also knows all his best angles for photographs, something I have never quite mastered.

While I was there I saw a rack of these in a shop and couldn’t resist buying one.

It wasn’t the largest, nor was it the smallest. In fact, it was just right.

When I went to buy it, I handed it straight to the cashier, who promptly burst out laughing. Apparently every other woman who’s bought one has put everything else on the counter first and then surreptitiously placed it off to the side: “Oh, and, er, there’s also, um, this…” (blushing bright red).

OK, I admit I’m probably harder to embarrass with sex-related props than others, but come on. If you’re going to buy the thing, own it! Why twitch over buying something the shop will have sold a million times before?

I don’t know if men buy them, or if they get embarrassed when they do. But I do know that my husband’s comment when he took it from me was “First time I can say I’ve held your cock…”


Leaving drinks


This will be my last post here at the Hotspot for a while. That's right, I'm surrendering my place to another hot young thing. It's been lovely hanging out with you all (and I hope to keep on chatting over at Literagasm and here in guest posts), but for now, I'll be signing off from Day 7.

This summer is going to be a very busy one for me -- I'm wrapping up the day job, obsessing over my new obsession (watching tennis), going on a few short trips (London in July! Will there be Wimbledon tickets?), and finally getting ready for the big move. My partner and I are relocating from The Netherlands back to the UK in early September! And, of course, I'll be writing. On my front-burner? Something tennis-y perhaps (see, obsession!), plus a top-secret project I've been mulling over for quite some time.

But until then, join me in my leaving drinks -- I've made some extra Pimms, and there's a spare seat on my balcony :)

You guys have been great, thanks for having me on the Hotspot! :)


Heroines, no Wussies Need Apply

Give me a strong woman. Cleopatra. Eleanor of Aquitaine. Josephine. Catherine the Great.
Notice, too, all are known as great lovers.
Were they?
We have our imaginations to point the way.
After all, women who challenged the powerful men of their day had to be formidable. And attractive.
But wily? Manipulative? And fabulous in bed?
Of course. The complete woman, wise, sensible, commanding and sensuous. With purpose.
I daresay that, too, would be necessary to survive. Rise. And flourish
As I finish Robert Massie's current best seller on Catherine, I am in awe of a woman who could sway a million minions, rule over men and still find satisfaction in bed.
And none of these women needed ELLE or COSMO, nor did they need VANITY FAIR to headline stories that make me cringe when they begin with: "5 ways to Make Your Man Come" or "What Your Bedtime Manner is Missing" ad nauseam.
Would their mamas have educated them? In some cases, I would guess yes they did.
Would their daddies have told them the way to a man's heart is through his penis? By example, I am certain this happened too!
Would they have seen their siblings conquer with brains and sex? And fail at it, also?
Of course.
I am a sucker to read about any of them, in fiction and non, at any time.
Who is your favorite Strong Woman?


Celebration Giveaway

Hi all,

I've only just realised that I missed last months date and didn't post anything. Don't worry I gave myself a smacked wrist. My writing has been dominating my time lately. My muse has been sending me on all different kinds of adventures. One of the most amazing experiences I've had so far, has  been writing with Natalie Dae. Bouncing ideas off another writer has been a truly wonderful experience.

The process of writing a single character has helped me to improve my writing style. Our first book, Shades of Grey, comes out at the end of June and I hope you guys love it as much as we did. Here is a bit more information about our first story together. You can pre-order it here:

Now, for those of you who don't know, we're celebrating the Queen's Jubilee and I wanted to give you a chance to win a copy of two of my past releases. I'm currently going through, The Valentines: Adam with the intention of submitting it soon. Simply, leave a comment for a chance to win, The Valentines, Robert and William. I will pick a winner on Wednesday.

Thank you for stopping by and listening to me ramble on.