Monday, December 28, 2009

Author Interview ~ Tracey H. Kitts

Welcome, everyone, to another Monday interview! I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday if you celebrated last week… or even if you didn’t. LOL

Today, on the couch we have with us author Tracey H. Kitts. I told her when she showed up that she matched our d├ęcor today… which was news to her! Just goes to show she was meant to be here today.

Welcome to The Menagerie, Tracey. So glad you could join us and hang out all day today. Let’s get started with some basics and then get down to the nitty-gritty. Where are you from?

The middle of nowhere. LOL Seriously, has anyone ever even heard of Graceville? Didn’t think so. Then again, strange things always happen in movies when people are in the middle of nowhere. Maybe that’s where I get some of my inspiration.

Hmmm… can’t say that I’ve ever heard of it… sorry. Not sure I like the whole, “strange things can happen” idea of living in the middle of nowhere… I have a fertile enough imagination thank you very much. So, tell us your latest news?

I have just started working on a new project and for now I’m calling it “Sex Symbol.” And yes, it is a paranormal romance. Hopefully, that sounds intriguing. Here is the beginning of my current work in progress.

My next door neighbor was the hottest thing on two legs. No, really. You should see him. There is no way to accurately describe a man like this. He’s around six foot three with short, shaggy brown hair and a body that could cause heart failure. I didn’t know anything about him except the way watching him each morning made me feel.

Our small, sleepy little community was what I’d always categorized as “dead.” That is until three weeks ago when he moved into town. The house next door to me had been vacant for two years. No one was murdered there or anything sensational. The real estate market was poor and no one had been interested. Most people didn’t want to live in the middle of nowhere. There were two kinds of people here: the kind who were born here and the kind looking to escape from something. I was born here.

Ooohh, sounds intriguing! When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It may sound weird, but I’ve always considered myself a writer. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was very little. With me it was more a matter of ‘when do I want to do this?’ than ‘is this for me?’ I always knew this is what I’d end up doing with my life.

Nope, doesn’t sound weird at all. Makes sense to me. I can certainly relate, except in my case it was, “Do I really want to wait any longer to do this?” Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write the way I speak. I guess that’s why first person comes very easily for me. Although, I can write in third or anything else if the story calls for it. But, first person is my favorite to read and it is my favorite to write. The conversational style really flows in my opinion.

I’d have to say that you’re braver than I am. LOL. Are story experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There’s always a little bit of reality in my stories that way, but names have been changed to protect the guilty. LOL

LOL, but I’m sure they know who they are when they read the story. What book are you reading now?

The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth. It’s a continuation of the story of The Phantom of the Opera.

Sounds interesting. Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, it’s the best job in the world. I look at everything I do as a career decision. I try to make sure that every story I write is not only worth telling, but worth reading. Would I read this? If it interests me then chances are it will interest others.

I agree, to all of that. :-D What does your family think of your writing?

When my family found out I was writing romance, most of them didn’t have a lot to say. People still look down on romance and I think that’s a real shame. Once I got into more erotic stories (which didn’t take long) I had neighbors (one in particular) who cursed at my aunt and said that my books were porn. What’s really funny about the situation is that the book she had a fit over (Red, Lilith Mercury book one) was only rated sensual. She should have waited for book three when we choke a vampire with a belt while doing some, um … interesting things with him.

Ha, it’s funny how people react to what we write. I have an aunt who looks down her nose at any type of romance. I can only imagine how my very conservative in-laws would react to what I write. Porn would probably be a nice term. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I’ve learned that characters do speak to you. They wake you up in the middle of the night, interrupt you when you’re reading, watching a movie, listening to the radio, and especially if you’ve had too much to drink. I’ve had characters that turned out to be completely different than I thought they would be the minute they hit the screen. (so to speak)

That is honestly one of my favorite things about writing. Never knowing where the story will go. I’ve had stories that I finished that ended up going in an entirely different direction than the original story was once I really got to know the characters. And now for the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

Sometimes. I always think I look fat. Except when Stacey (my friend and photographer) takes my picture. He is an artist for sure because he makes me feel good about myself.

Is this Stacey the one who took your absolutely gorgeous photo up there? Loving that photo of you. So, you can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

That one time when I was at my grandma’s. I was wearing green pants and my cousin tossed an alligator at me. Yeah, you read that right. I jumped back, snagged my green pants on a tomato trellis and ripped them, revealing my violently purple underwear. Oh, yeah I’d like to erase that. LOL

Oh, hon, you sound like you know my stepbrother… and in the south… what is it with boys and their alligators? What were you doing at midnight last night?

Watching Trick r Treat. Awesome movie.

Hmmm…. It sounds scary, I don’t do scary well. Might take a look if it’s not scary. What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

I use a lot of bad words and I use them often. I could give a rather comical breakdown of their meanings and origins, but I don’t want to offend anyone.

As you can see we aren’t easily offended. :-D What do you want to know about the future?

When will I be rich and famous?

I wonder that all the time! I think we all want to know. What stereotype would you label yourself as?

The fiery redhead.

So, keep back when you’re angry. Check. Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms. Might as well since we get so many hurricanes in Florida, huh? Seriously, there is nothing more relaxing to me than the sound of a good storm. I get some of my best ideas then.

I like storms… and ideas seem to have more flow at that time. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

A cure for cancer. That’s why 10% of all my royalties are donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I’ve lost relatives (adults) to cancer and the thought of a child suffering like that breaks my heart even worse.

Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, I hope you had a good time.

Thank you so much for having me. Here are the links where readers can find more information on me and my books.

Tracey H. Kitts
Grab life by the fangs - website - myspace - my author blog - yahoo group

Diary of an Incubus by Tracey H. Kitts

Jewel Mathers needed a good story for her next novel. She turned to the ancient journals in desperation. But fame and fortune comes with a price … and a couple of hot vampires.

Jewel was in enough trouble after she accidentally published Vincent’s diary. But now the head of the vampire council, Alucard, wants her for himself. Her fate is in his hands. How will she ever choose between them? Especially when her life may depend on that choice.

Rating: Carnal.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Book Commercial ~ The Dread Moon by Tracey H. Kitts

The Dread Moon by Tracey H. Kitts

Lilith's reputation as the best in the business has spread, and not just to the lycanthrope population. She's just been hired to find the original vampire. The vamps want what everyone else wants, equality. However, she will soon realize that the original vampire isn't just out for blood, or the return of rights to his people ... he wants Lilith too.

Rating: Carnal-violence, adult language, and situations, sex scene with autoerotic exphixiation.


Want to see your book commercial here? Go here to find out how!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Fun


Sex in a boat = Oargasms
Sex with a nerd = Dorkgasms
Sex at the entrance to your house = Doorgasms
Sex on the carpet or linoleum = Floorgasms
Sex at the supermarket = Storegasms
Sex with wild pigs = Boargasms
Sex at a Stephen King movie = Horrorgasms
Sex with a prostitue = Whoregasms
Sex with a storyteller = Loregasms
Sex with an accountant = Boregasms
Sex while sleeping = Snoregasms
Sex with Arthur = Dudley Mooregasms
Sex with cartoon donkeys = Eeyoregasms
Sex while broke = Poorgasms
Sex with a lion = Roargasms
Sex for hours and hours on end = Soregasms
Sex on a golf course = Foregasms
Sex with a nymphomaniac = Ready for Moregasms
Sex in a gold mine = Oregasms
Sex with a dermatologist = Poregasms
Sex with the vice president = Al Goregasms
Sex with chocolate marshmallows = S'moregasms
Sex with a bullfighter = Toreadorgasms
Sex with a masked man carrying a sword = Zorogasms
Sex on the beach = Shoregasms
Sex when you get an award = Honogasms
Sex at an all you can eat buffet = Smorgasbordgasms
Sex on a cruise ship deck = Shuffleboardgasms
Sex in Asia = Singaporegasms
Sex among the wonders of the world = Outdoorgasms
Sex in the vicinity of garbage can = odorgasms
Sex on the way to the train = All aboardgasms
Sex that isn't very satisfying = there's the doorgasms
Sex during hay fever season = Sporegasms
Sex using plastic cutlery = Sporkgasms
Sex with a Medieval poet = Troubadorgasms
Sex in an adult theater = Hardcoregasms
Sex with conquering Spaniards = Conquistadorgasms
Sex with someone not paying attention = Ignorgasms
Sex with a competitive partner = scoregasms
Sex in a firehouse = Firedoorgasms
Sex with an Icelandic singer = Bjorkgasms
Sex with the host of a horrible t.v. show = Pauly Shoregasms
Sex with a cookie = Oreogasms
Sex while flying = Soargasms
Sex with a bugle player = Horngasms
Sex with an astronaut who didn't make it into space = Abortgasms
Sex with a beloved partner = Adoregasms
Sex with a meat eater = Carnivoregasms
Sex with a person who's got a really bad hairdo = Pompadoregasms
Sex with someone who has really bad taste in clothes = Velourgasms
Sex while sightseeing = Tourgasms
Sex with a big dog = Labradorgasms
Sex with Beavs and Butthead = Gonnascoregasms
Sex during an earthquake = Tremorgasms
Sex on farm implements = Tractorgasms
Sex with Thomas Edison = Inventorgasms
Sex with a construction worker = Contractorgasms
Sex at a symphony orchestra = Conductorgasms
Sex with a person who examines dead bodies = Coronergasms
Sex on the stairs at the mall = Escalatorgasms
Sex while hopelessly drunk on shooters = Liquorgasms
Sex with a possessive partner = Yourgasms
Sex with Frankenstein's assistant = Igorgasms
Sex with three of your friends = Fourgasms
Sex with a Norse God = Thorgasms
Sex when resistance is futile = Borggasms
Sex without a climax = Nogasms

Monday, December 21, 2009

Author Interview ~ Paris Brandon

Today on the Menagerie we are so happy to welcome author, Paris Brandon to the couch.

Paris, thanks so much for joining us today. Why don’t you tell us a bit about your journey to being published and then we’ll jump into the questions.

Thanks so much for inviting me to spend some time on the couch. Sounds heavenly. What’s that? I don’t get to rest? Oh well, maybe after my next project is completed. I can’t honestly remember a time I wasn’t writing but in September 2008, I opened an email from Ellora’s Cave telling me that they were buying my Older Woman/Younger Man novella, NO HOLDS BARRED. My first sale!

I had been writing for thirteen years and on February 13, 2009, NO HOLDS BARRED was published as an ebook. My second novella, IOU, A Carnal Reunions Tale was released in November, by Resplendence Publishing. My first full-length erotic paranormal, Book One of the Jaguar Assassins series, ASSASSIN’S KISS was released in ebook format on September 25, 2009 and is now available in print.

I’ve just completed another novella and I’m planning Book Two of the Jaguar Assassins series. Are you sure I don’t have time for a nap? Just kidding. Now, what was it you wanted to ask me?

Wow, how cool is that! Do you see writing as a career?

I’ve always viewed writing as a career. If you don’t consider yourself a writer chances are no one else will either. A dear friend and mentor once told me that if I didn’t put my butt in the chair and work at writing as if it were my job, it probably never would be. There may be someone lucky enough to have an editor snap up their first story as “the next best thing” but that wasn’t the case for me. I worked very hard to get published and come to think of it, so did everyone else I know!

That’s a great way to look at it. So many times we think, “Well, I’m not really a writer… yet.” It’s far better to be positive and consider yourself a writer from the start. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

LOL! Crazy. I’m an early bird. I start most mornings between five and six a.m. (if not earlier) and get in a couple of hours before breakfast. If whatever I’m working on is flowing, chances are I’ll grab a bite at my desk and then eat a big lunch when I stop for a break. I can get a little obsessive, especially when a scene is flowing and everything is falling into place!

I try to save answering email and blogs and connecting with the outside world until I have at least four hours of work after lunch. If the story is flowing or I’m doing a book in a week for the first draft, I’ll also work several hours after dinner. Did I mention that I was obsessive?

Ugh… have I mentioned I hate mornings? I have… oh, well, I’ll say it again… I hate mornings! My brain refuses to work in the morning… I’m lucky to get my kids out the door with their socks on and shoes on the right feet each morning let alone write anything. What do you think makes a good story?

The one thing that will keep me riveted, are characters that are so interesting I can’t wait to find out what happens to them. After that, I’d have to say that believable conflict is next in line.

Both are great qualities in a good story. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Thirteen years ago, I was lucky enough to be asked to join a critique group that met once a week. I jumped at the chance even though it meant a three-hour round trip and I’ve never been sorry. Even as hectic as life gets now, we still try to get together as often as possible. I love them all dearly and can always trust them for an honest opinion!

You can’t put a value on friends like that. Crit partners who are honest with you and still supportive are golden. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

These days I almost have to schedule free time, LOL! But I’ve made it a ritual to read at least thirty minutes before I fall asleep at night. And I love watching movies, anything from old B-list monster movies to the newest action/adventure/romance that I can find on DVD.

LOL, your movie interests sound as eclectic as my own. And I can so relate to scheduling in free time… which sort of defeats the purpose… And now for the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

When I was a kid we lived in a very rural area and people were always dumping dogs. They always “followed” my little brother home and we ended up keeping them. I guess I’ve carried on the tradition because I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had a dog that’s wandered in looking for someone to love. What can I say? I love a mutt!

Our current “mutt” weighs in at eighty pounds and is most likely a yellow lab/bloodhound/chow mix. She sort of outgrew her surroundings and came to live with us.

LOL, hey, they obviously are in the right place if they stay with you after wandering from somewhere else. :-D Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms! There’s nothing like all of that crackling energy that comes with the force of nature. Very sexy.

Yep, always makes me feel so little in comparison to that awesome power. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

When was the last time I had a haircut? LOL! I could have sworn it was just the other day but I’ve been working on a new project and I have a tendency to lose track of time. Anyhooo…my hairdresser is used to me calling in a panic because I’m starting to resemble a yeti.

ROTFL, yeah, the way my life has been lately I can certainly relate to wondering where the time went and realizing that I need to see my stylist. Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’ve always loved early morning, when the house is quiet and I can have a cup of coffee without a phone ringing. My brain just seems to “fire” better at that time of day, which is probably why I do my best work before noon.

Well, we already know my opinion on mornings… What stereotype would you label yourself as?

Oh boy. The only one that springs to mind is the classic Italian mama. You know the one who thinks that anything can be made better with food. A little pasta, a little wine…a lot of tiramisu, or my personal favorite, apple strudel.

This has been a lot of fun! Thank you again, Kealie, Mysti and JennyKat for letting me hang out with you!

Nothing wrong with that… and the same goes for Irish families too… just saying. LOL It’s been great hanging out with you today, and getting to know you better as well, Paris. Thanks so much for letting us torture you… umm… I mean interview you. :-D

You can keep up with Paris online at her website and at her blogs: Six Sexy Sirens and Shapeshifter Seductions.

Paris will be giving away a copy of her latest release: Assassin’s Kiss to one lucky reader. Winner’s choice between eBook or Print version (Print version may take several weeks to receive as they’ve just been ordered). She will choose her winner from those who comment today on her interview.

Assassin’s Kiss by Paris Brandon

Book 1 in the Jaguar Assassins series.

Kira, a two-natured jaguar shifter in heat, desperate for sex with her own kind, is moments from death at the hands of a band of rogue shifters when another jaguar rescues her.

Sebastian, a lone Jaguar Council Assassin, knows he’s in trouble when he chooses to neglect his duty to kill the rogues he’s been following and instead rescues the female whose scent intoxicates him. He can’t resist the first touch of her naked flesh or her heated demands for the sex they both want.

But Kira is the forbidden halfling of prophecy, the key to a secret that the Jaguar Council will kill to keep and their ancient enemy, the Brotherhood, will kill to possess. Tortured by a desire that neither can deny, even sex with Sebastian becomes dangerous for Kira, they fight their way through a growing list of enemies for the chance to be together.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Commercial~ Assassin's Kiss by Paris Brandon

Assassin's Kiss by Paris Brandon

Book 1 in the Jaguar Assassins series.

Kira, a two-natured jaguar shifter in heat, desperate for sex with her own kind, is moments from death at the hands of a band of rogue shifters when another jaguar rescues her.

Sebastian, a lone Jaguar Council Assassin, knows he’s in trouble when he chooses to neglect his duty to kill the rogues he’s been following and instead rescues the female whose scent intoxicates him. He can’t resist the first touch of her naked flesh or her heated demands for the sex they both want.

But Kira is the forbidden halfling of prophecy, the key to a secret that the Jaguar Council will kill to keep and their ancient enemy, the Brotherhood, will kill to possess. Tortured by a desire that neither can deny, even sex with Sebastian becomes dangerous for Kira, they fight their way through a growing list of enemies for the chance to be together.


Want to see your book commercial here? Go here to find out how!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fun

Confucius say:

Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.
Man who stand on toilet high on pot.
It is good for girl to meet boy in park, but better for boy.
to park meat in girl.
Man who jizz in cash register come into money.
Man who drop watch in toilet have shitty time.
Man who fart in church must sit in own pew.
Man trapped in pantry have ass in jam.
Baseball wrong--man with four balls cannot walk.
Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
Man who go to bed with itchy butt wake up with smelly finger.
Learn to masturbate--come in handy.
Virgin like balloon--one prick, all gone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Magic

Hey all... I had another story published at Whipped Cream Reviews today. Click on the cover to read it -- it's a new take on Santa Claus (ho, ho, ho)...

And, if you're looking for a way to fight the recession and still advertise your book -- this is a great way to do it. For a 1000 word short story, they pay either $5 + 1 month free cover or banner advertising -OR- 2 months free cover or banner advertising. Go here for submissions guidelines.

I'm saving mine up to advertise "Shut Up & Kiss Me" when it comes out. And I'm thinking of another 1000 word quickie... maybe I'll use the Easter Bunny this time. *G*

Monday, December 14, 2009

Author Interview ~ P A Brown

Today at The Menagerie we are pleased to have multi-published author P. A. Brown hanging out with us on the couch. Let’s all give her a warm Menagerie welcome.

Welcome to The Menagerie, make yourself comfy. Why don’t you tell us your latest news?

My most exciting news is that I recently won the Rainbow Award for Best Mystery Thriller for my book L.A. Heat! That same book came in second for Best Overall Book for 2009.

On the publishing front: My latest book, Memory of Darkness just came out from AmberQuill Press and is getting some nice reviews. Unlike most of my books, this one is told from the viewpoint of the guy on the other side of the law. Johnny Wager is an ex-con, burglar and reformed car thief (Well, mostly reformed) who uses his wit and his sexual charms to get him through life. Then he runs afoul of the Armenian Mafia and his wits are tested to the limit.

Also just released is The Bear, my first (and so far only) shapeshifter story. It's short piece released by AmberQuill Press. Coming soon from AmberQuill is Lynx Woods, another gay romance about an ecological engineer who meets a very closeted wildlife artist. Very hot.

And most recently released on November 30 from MLR Press is the third book in the L.A series, featuring LAPD homicide detective David Eric Laine and his lover Chris Bellamere. L.A. Boneyard is about David's search for human traffickers bringing in Ukrainian women and forcing them into prostitution. It’s due to be released in paperback next week.

I just submitted the fifth book in the series, Bermuda Heat to MLR Press. I'm hoping that will be out next year, following book four, L.A. Bytes, about a cyber attack on Los Angeles.

All my books, in print and upcoming, are listed on my website:

WOW, huge congrats on your award! How exciting! And way to go onyou’re your releases. I can only hope to one day be as prolific. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably when my first book was published and I could hold it up and say 'I wrote this.' I have found there are always doubts, and always that nagging suspicion in the back of my mind that I'm not really a writer. But voice or no, it's in me and I couldn't quit if I wanted to. I have, finally, started telling people who ask what I do that I'm a writer. I figure having 5 novels in print and several short stories and novellas, I can use the term.

LOL, I’d say it’s safe to call yourself a writer at this point. :-D Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That we should respect each other. I'm firmly convinced that if there was more respect in the world, we would have the divisive issues that plague us today. You can't hate someone you respect. You can disagree with them, but you do so in a reasonable fashion. People who attack groups for things like their sex, their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their place of birth, have no respect for other people. A man who respects his partner, would never think of physically abusing that person. Parents who respect themselves and their children would never hit or abuse them. I think many of the problems in our world come down to a lack of respect. Maybe it sounds simplistic, but that's my opinion. And I try to reflect that in my books, sometimes my characters learn respect, other times they demand it of others.

It might be a simplistic view, but it makes sense to me. How much of your books is realistic?

I strive for a lot of realism in my books. I consciously set them in Los Angeles, both because I lived in the city and loved it, but also because it's a place rife with story ideas. Since I no longer live there, but still set my stories there, I now rely on friends who are there who help me out with local color and will correct errors in my manuscript.

I also write about the LAPD, and to that end have built up several contacts with current officers and retired ones. I do everything I can to make the actions of my police officers true and realistic. Sometimes a plot point will demand that the truth be stretched, but I do this as little as possible. I pride myself on getting the facts right. Right now I'm attending a citizen's police academy where I'm learning some first hand information on police and crimes. I also own a whole library of books on police procedures and things like gangs, which I often use in my stories.

Well, I believe that’s above and beyond the call… I love when authors take the time to make sure they’re as close to the facts as they can be when it comes to “real” life settings. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Michael Connelly is my favorite writer. I don't copy him, but I do admire his style and find I write something like he does – sparse and clean, without a lot of description. I was told by a reader that I reminded her of James Elroy, which was very flattering.

You have to love those comments from readers. What book are you reading now?

Monkey Man by Steve Brewer, a funny PI novel. It's the first book by Brewer I've read and I really like it. I'm also reading Next by Michael Crichton. It's fascinating, and a little bit scary, like a lot of Crichton's book. I just finished Fair Game by Rochelle Majer Krich. I picked it up mostly because the protagonist is an LAPD cop, but it was a very good book and I'll look for more of her books.

They all sound fascinating. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Will Beall, a veteran LAPD officer who wrote L.A. Rex a tight, gritty book about a part of L.A few people ever see, or want to see – the gang ridden streets of South Central Los Angeles.

Again, sounds very interesting. What are your current projects?

I'm doing a final polish on a novel I call barrio boyz, about a young man trying to protect his family from the local gangs of Cypress Park in L.A. Not only does he have to deal with gang problems, but he also has to come to terms with his attraction to a gay LAPD cop.

I'm also at work on a sequel to Geography of Murder, which was released in July of this year from MLR Press.

Well, good luck with those. You’ll have to tell us how they turn out. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Ignore 90% of what other writers tell you. Especially the ones who say 'this is a rule'. There are no rules in writing. If it works, then it's good. The best thing writers can do for themselves is experiment. Try different things. This is where writing courses and books can come in very handy. They let you do this. I would also suggest you find a good critique group and learn not only to critique others, but to accept it and listen to it in regard to your own work.

LOL, I always think it’s funny when another author says that… Good advice, but funny. How long does it take you to write a book?

It varies a lot. It took me over 2 years to write L.A. Heat. I wrote Geography of Murder in 3 weeks. Some books just fly out of my head onto the page. Others I have to work a bit harder for. Right now I'm stalled on the sequel to Geography, but I know it will come. They always do, usually better for the forced break.

I can understand that. It depends on the story and how “easy” it is to write how quickly you get it out onto… paper. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote my first book at 17. It was an angst-ridden story about a young teenage girl who got messed up with a rock star who got her into sex and drugs and sent her spiraling down into the dark abyss of drug addiction. Pure melodrama, and pure drivel. All I can say is, it was a book and it was the first one I finished. Enough said.

LOL… we’re ALL about melodrama at that age, no matter what we say. What does your family think of your writing?

For the most part they support me. No one has any negative issues with the subject matter I write about. My daughter thinks I'm weird for what I write, but she doesn't have a problem with it. Then again, she works in a XXX video store and rents and sells the stuff I write about. Must be something genetic.

*snort* Must be. Gotta love when that happens, though. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Published or all together? I wrote around 7-8 books before I was published, mostly science fiction, with one romance in the bunch. Then I started writing mysteries and since then I have written 11 books, 1 novella and several short stories. My favorite? Has to be my latest, barrio boyz, but then my latest is always my favorite. Still, I do think it's the best thing I've written yet.

Wow… Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

My biggest suggestion, aside from ignoring advice about rules, is to read voraciously. In my opinion if you read a lot you will absorb not only ideas, but techniques, and even the kind of rhythms other writers use. Don't be afraid to write a bad first draft – sometimes people get hung up on finding the best line or the perfect word and never reach the end. Too many books have perfect openings, because the author kept polishing it, at the expense of the novel as a whole. Finish it. You can fix it then. When you finish a book, write another one. When that's done, write some more. Then learn to edit. Critique groups can be good for this. They can teach you how to see flaws in your own work as well as seeing, again, how other writers do things. Sometimes you can learn as much from reading a bad book as reading a great one. Finally, experiment.

Good advice. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a naturalist. I loved the books of Ernest Thompson Seton and Farley Mowat and Gerald Durrell. I was crazy about animals and nature and thought that could be my life. But I was basically told by my teachers that those weren't 'jobs' and I couldn't pursue a passion for animals – apparently they had never heard of biology. I think it was the time – back in the 60 and early 70s – women weren't encouraged to go to university for science degrees. We were supposed to be teachers, or secretaries or nurses, none of which I wanted to be. So I dropped out of school and spent the next 40 years drifting from one job to another. All good fodder for my writing now, but it didn't make me a very stable person when I was growing up.

Well, good fodder is something we all need. And now for our “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Dogs make the best pets. They bond so closely with you that they are often closer than your own family. I've had the pleasure of owning 2 gorgeous and wonderful Dobermans. They are truly velcro dogs and want nothing more than to be by your side, no matter where that is. That kind of devotion and love will never come from another human being. Only dogs can give that to you.

As a dog person, myself, I have to agree… but don’t tell the other pets I have had. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Vegging out in front of the TV, jotting notes down for myself to work on the next day. I never go to bed before 1 or 2 am, even though most mornings I'm up by 6 am.

Ahh… a kindred non-sleeping spirit. It’s not unusual to drive by my house at 2 am and see the living room lights on. Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

I cry at a lot of movies. I cried at the end of Brokeback Mountain. But then I also cried at the end of Titanic (and not because the boat sank – that was cool) I tear up easily at the end of movies. I watched And The Band Played On again recently and I was bawling at the end. I haven't seen Milk yet, but I expect I'll be going through some Kleenexes when I do.

LOL, nothing wrong with the waterworks. It lets you know you’re still human. What is your favorite pizza?

Thin crust, mushroom with extra sauce and lots of cheese. Sometimes I'll toss in green pepper and bacon, but I like my pizzas fairly plain. I flat out refuse to put chicken or spinach or octopus or any of the weird things they put on these days. Oh, and forget pineapple AND anchovies.

Okay, so we won’t be sharing a pizza anytime soon… To each their own, I just really don’t like mushrooms. My hubby would eat it with you. LOL Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms. I will pull the curtains open on our patio doors and watch it come in and blow over. The sheer power of the lightning always awes me and the thunder is mind blowing. I lived through a hurricane in Bermuda and it was awe inspiring too. Blizzards will do similar things to me – as long as I can watch them from the safety of my own home, and not from inside a car!

Oh, me too… except… I really don’t like snow. Must be why I live in Las Vegas… it only snows here every fifteen years. Thunderstorms, though, I love ‘em, even when the dog is trying to crawl under my covers. And if you’ve ever had a large shepherd mix try to muscle his way into your bed… you know my pain. Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

Off. I like it dark. In fact, I sleep with a pillow over my head to block out light. I can sleep during the day if I'm tired. The one thing I can't do is sleep on anything that moves. Long plane trips leave me a basket case. When I went to L.A when I was 22, I took a Greyhound bus and it was basically non-stop. I don't think I did more than doze during the 3 day trip. I was not a pretty picture when I arrived in L.A at 11:00 pm

Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

I can't stand either. The only sodas I like are root beer, cream soda and Fresca.

LOL, at least you know what you like. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today. It was great getting to know you. Be sure to keep us updated on all your new happenings, and good luck with your current projects.

If you’d like to keep up with P A Brown online you can do so at her website and on her blog. She’s also on Facebook and you can follow her on Twitter.

L.A. Boneyard by PA Brown

From a shallow grave in Griffith Park, to the bucolic streets of West Hollywood into the dark heart of the gang-infested streets of East L.A, evil is pursued in this dark story of passion and redemption.

Detective David Eric Laine is no stranger to violence and brutality, but even he is taken aback at the sheer viciousness of the murder of two pregnant Ukrainian women. This is just the beginning of a baffling case which leads from their shallow grave to a bungalow community in West Hollywood, tree-lined and tranquil, on to the heart of the gang-infested streets of East Los Angeles, and points in between.

And what of Jairo Hernandez, David's new, young partner? The attraction between them was immediate and intense and growing by the day. Would this be a threat to David's settled life?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Book Commercial ~ L.A. Heat by PA Brown

L.A. Heat by P.A. Brown

In-the-closet detective, David Eric Laine has kept his desires secret. Until he meets Christopher Bellamere, proud and openly gay. When a series of horrific torture/murders of gay men leads the police to Chris David is torn between his attraction for the most beautiful man he's ever met and his fears that he's a vicious killer.


Want to see your book commercial here? Go here to find out how!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This

I've been having all kinds of emotional struggles with my daughter lately -- she's all of ten years old, and very much a drama queen and quite emotional (lots of tears and rending of clothes... okay, maybe not the rending). There are days I don't think I'm going to make it through. It's all drama, all the time. And she hasn't even hit puberty yet!

And then I heard this, and it put it all into perspective. I hope you enjoy it.

"You're Going to Miss This" (embedding was disabled, but click through -- if you're a wife or mother, it's going to tug at your heart).

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Spirit Is Willing...

So, I know I've blogged about this before, but it's something that seems to be a constant struggle for me lately. How do you find the time to write when life and the world seems to be out to get you?

As the holidays rush by and another year comes to a close I find that I'm only a little bit closer to my goal of being published. Yes, I have a couple of stories "finished" but nothing that is quite ready for submission... again. I actually have two finished: one that only has some minor edits left before I'm willing to resubmit it anywhere else and one that has been sitting and waiting patiently for me to get to the editing part of it. The one I'm working on has two of my characters stuck in foreplay for quite some time now. Not because I don't know what's going to happen but because I can't seem to find the time to just sit down and work on it.

This last year has been a rather... interesting, and sometimes difficult year. We had two deaths in our family and a very close call. For the past little bit I have been struggling with unknown health issues that are only barely being managed instead of fixed. These events left us all shaken, and left me a bit behind on everything, not just my writing.

As I slowly dig my way out of the pile of emails, laundry and other various household chores that got put on hold I find that I'm longing for the time to be able to write. I've missed putting up my Saturday Hotties more than I've remembered to do them and most Tuesdays I simply can't be bothered to post a new blog entry. I feel guilty when I sit down with my laptop and see that I have laundry that needs to be folded and dishes that need washing and a house that is basically a hamster nest (my oldest boy compulsively shreds paper... but that's another story). The only time I might possibly have to write is taken up with other chores that need doing.

Now, all of these things don't stop the voices in my head from screaming for their stories. I get new ideas all the time and certain plot aspects seem to come when I need to be doing something else. I really really really want to get the stories told and make room for the new ones I just know are there waiting for me. It used to be so much easier to just sit down, set my timer and write until my hands ached... but no more.

So, my question is, how do you deal with writing when you can't even seem to find the time to sit down and do more than stare at a computer screen? How do you schedule your life in order to make time to write? Hey, do you think I can ask Santa for more time to write?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Author Interview ~ Lynne Roberts

Today, on the couch here at the Menagerie, we have Lynne Roberts here haning out with us. Let’s all make sure we give her a very warm Menagerie welcome.

Welcome to The Menagerie, Lynne! We’re so glad to have you here, and I’ve loved getting to know you better. So, if you’re comfortable, let’s get started: Where are you from?

I was born in the great state of Utah, but my mother is something of a gypsy and I’ve lived all over the western US. We settled in California when I was in junior high. I love California. An hour drive to the mountains, 2 ½ to the ocean: bliss.

A gypsy huh? Sounds like you have lots of interesting stories to tell. Tell us your latest news?

Well, FIRST DATE, my first ever publication was released on October 9th of this year and my second book AFTER HOURS is coming soon, very soon. Be watching!

How awesome! Congrats on your very first book release. And Good luck on the release of After Hours. How did you come up with the title?

I am horrible at titling my books. HORRIBLE! But this one was easy. Without giving it away, the last line of the book gave me the idea for the title. When The Wilder Rose Press contracted the book, we spent about a week trying to come up with a new title, one that was a little steamier—did I mention I suck at titles? Well, after deliberating and second-guessing ourselves, we all agreed that the original title, FIRST DATE, really did fit the story.

LOL, I’ve heard that story before… but hey, y’all always find a title that works. What book are you reading now?

I just finished Cari Quinn’s Full Disclosure, and now I’m reading Bobby Fayes Very Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey.

Hmmm… I like Cari, but I”ve never heard of Toni McGee Causey. Will have to take a look. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

It depends on the genre. In erotica my biggest challenge is repetition. I don’t want my love scenes to be similar or boring and there are only so many synonyms for certain body parts or actions! I find myself attempting be very clever, which, especially in the editing process, is a bit of a challenge and leaves me exhausted.

LOL, I sometimes have the same problem! Not many ways you can say it… oh well. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was eighteen when I wrote my first book in a spiral bound notebook. It was fan fiction love story for Spock. I should mention at this point that I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Spock. It’s all that restrained passion! What woman wouldn’t want to tap into that, be the one that triggers its release? ; )

--I should have warned you ladies that I tend to go off on tangents from time to time--

Before that, I used to write scripts for my sister’s Barbies to act out. I think writing was always in the cards for me.

Years later, I had a dream about this woman. She would not leave me alone and out of pure frustration, I wrote her story. It’s a full length fantasy and still without an agent, but it’s my baby.

LOL, as long as you knew what you wanted. And… um… I go off on tangents ALL THE TIME! You can join me any time. And now for the “absolutely nothing to do with writing” questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Right now, I love my cats. One day I want a dog, but I just don’t have the time. Cats don’t need constant attention and are fine if I ignore them for a day or two. I have twos: Meow and Sarah. Meow is very smart and when he wants attention, he’ll swipe at the keyboard (or my fingers flying across the keyboard) Sarah is beautiful but a bit on the dim side. She also has a meow that sounds a bit like a bird. Go figure.

To each their own. I have a dog and he’s like one of my kids. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Reading. The only time I have to read is at night before I go to sleep. So you can usually find me trying to focus on a book and weighing how much I love the story vs how tired I’m going to be in 6 hours when the alarm goes off. I make up my sleep on the weekends—usually.

I am a night owl myself, so I understand. That’s the only time in the day that the house is entirely silent and I get anything done. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I’m not the most adventurous eater but I did try ox tail in Barcelona and let me tell you, it’s awesome! Oh, I’ve also eaten beaver tail. Trapped it too. Not bad if I remember correctly.

LOL, don’t know if I could bring myself to eat them. You’d have to not tell me what it was at first and let me draw my own conclusions. What is your heritage?

My father is a good part Shoshone and my mother is mostly Irish with some Welsh and Scottish thrown in there for good measure. My grandmother says we are Hines57, which she translates into mutt. ; ) I have quite a bit of family that lives at the Wind River Reservation and, although I don’t plan to live there, my application for citizenship is pending.
I have the Irish facial structure and the Indian coloring; my sister has the Indian facial structure and the Irish coloring.

So, you are an IHOP (international house of people). Don’t worry, I don’ t know many people who aren’t mutts. :-D Do you like thunderstorms?

I love them. I always have! Of course I’d rather experience them inside with a warm blanket and a cup of something hot.

I agree, thunderstorms are great. Nature in all her fury. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

Yes I can! When I was a little girl, I wanted to find out which I liked best so I grabbed a can of Coke and one of Pepsi and did blind taste tests on members of my family and myself. Turns out I like Coke better and I can still taste the difference.

I don’t drink soda much now and I prefer Root Beer, with vanilla ice cream if possible.

Well, I won’t hold your Coke love against you. LOL Thank you for hanging out with us today at The Menagerie. It was a great pleasure to get to know you better. Don’t be a stranger!

Lynne has always made up stories or rewritten the endings of books. She started writing because she dreamed of a love story that wouldn’t leave her alone. Once she’d written it down, more voices clamored for her attention. She loves the magic involved in meeting that special person and the chemistry of falling and staying in love. There is nothing more satisfying than happy ever after. You can keep up with her online at her website and her blog.

First Date by Lynne Roberts

The real estate market is about to heat up.

When Bret Jacob walks into Jill's real estate office, she attempts to maintain a professional demeanor, but memories of accidental voyeurism in high school, years of what-if's, and Bret's drop-dead sexy grin only serve to ignite her fantasies.

Bret needs a farm for his growing landscape business. When he sees Jill Daniels' picture in a real estate ad, he can't believe his eyes: The shy girl from high school has blossomed into a desirable woman. Ten years ago, she didn't stir his blood and drive away all rational thought; now, he's fighting the urge to take her in his arms long enough to ask her on a first date.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What Do YOU Think Qualifies as "Erotic Romance"?

I've been mulling something over lately because of a few comments and conversations I've seen and had. I read a review a couple of weeks ago that said something about that particular story being a "real" erotic romance which thrilled the reviewer because most of the erotic romance stories are "just" really hot sex.

I've also been challenged by my WRP editor to write a story that would qualify at "two roses" -- meaning it will include menage or bondage. Now, I'm more than cool with a good menage, and a little light bondage works for me, but mostly when I write (and read) erotic romance, I prefer one-on-one steamy sex.

I wonder -- do you, as a reader, feel somehow cheated if there isn't a little something *more* in your erotic romance? Do you think it's not really erotic if you don't have a little "tie me up, tie me down" or more than two bodies in bed?

And, what qualifies as "hot" when it comes to sex anyway? Does it need to be public, or does your heroine need to be a contortionist or should there be a touch of the voyeur? If they only do it in bed, in missionary position with one person, does it count?

What do YOU like in your erotic romance? What's the line where a spicy mainstream romance becomes erotic?

Inquiring minds want to know.