Friday, July 30, 2010

Yes, My Love

Love means never having to say you're sorry, doesn't it? I don't agree.

When I said I needed a break, she couldn't believe it. "Men don't need breathers. They can last all night."

"But you wore me out."

She cocked a brow and straightened her shoulders as she rose from the bed. The ice in her gaze spoke louder than anything she might say. She stood and strode from the room, the click of her boots echoing on my hardwood floor.

I screwed up. Pissing off a mistress isn't the thing to do, and yet I did. Dammit.

I wasn't sure if she left. Once her footsteps reached the carpet, the silence became deafening. I wanted to please her, to make her come all night. Instead, I let thoughts of work enter my mind. I forgot about how I wanted to worship her in favor of figures and tallies. I caressed the heavy chain of silver around my neck. My collar. Hell, I wasn't even sure I'd told her I loved her.

What to do next? She hated when I crawled. "I want a man to walk proud in front of me." How could I be proud of fucking up?

I sighed. If she remained, I'd beg, saying the only words in my heart. I made my way to the living room straining for any sign she might still be there. I couldn't call to her. Or could I? If she sat in the living room, she'd want to punish my disobedience. My cheeks flamed; I needed to be naughty.


As I entered the living room, the glow of a single candle illuminated her body. Her flaxen hair kissed her shoulders and her taut nipples peeked over the top of the demi-bra a she leaned forward. "Yes, River?"

I bowed my head, knowing I'd overstepped my boundaries. "Permission to speak, Mistress?"


I folded my hands behind my back. "I wish to serve you."

"And your belligerence?"

"Punish me?"

"I intend to." With steps as sure and soft as a kitten, she crossed the room. Her breath tickled my bare chest as she cupped my chin. "Sit on the bench with your back to me until I tell you to come."

"Yes, Mistress." How could she do this to me? No spanking? No further commands? I perched on the bench with my face to the wall. The humiliation. Sat in the corner like a child.

"You are beautiful when you are repentant." She stroked the muscles of my back, her nails scraping my skin. "Why do you think I sat you here?" She sighed. "You work too hard. I expect some of the stress to come home with you, but not all."

"Yes, Mistress."

She sat down next to me, pulling me into her embrace. "Enough play for one night."

Was it horrible for a man to break down? I didn't cry, but the sincerity and empathy in her voice cut through me. I buried my face against her neck.

She slipped her hand into mine. "Come to be and we'll talk."

I gazed into her green eyes, losing myself for a moment. "And then more play?"

A smile kinked her lips. "Yes, love."

Dunno if you liked this little story, but when I saw the picture, I had to write something to go along with it. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Recently, I had to stop reading a couple of books and was so disappointed ... they really sounded good and had TONS of promise, but could have used stronger editing (and maybe a little more schooling on the authors' parts).

One was full of telling. Now, I slip up on the "show don't tell" mantra now and then, but I really make an effort to pay attention AND, thankfully, I have an editor who points out when I slip off the path. This author apparently did/had neither. And, I can take a little telling, but when I'm beat over the head with it again and again, I have to close the book and move on to something else.

I think what was worse for me on this book was that the author actually did a pretty good job of showing, but then apparently doubting her ability, went on to tell me what she meant.

This is what she did (I'm making these lines up, but it gives you an idea):

Martha leaned closer to Joe, her heart pounding, shivers dancing up her spine. Her nipples puckered as the brushed against his chest. Her body filled with desire when she was near him, and she wanted him in the worst way.

Over and over and over, she would SHOW me something, and then TELL me outright what the previous sentence meant.

Finally, I just couldn't take it anymore. That book was deleted from my eReader and I moved on.

What kills the reading mood for you? What makes you stop reading a book? What finally makes or breaks it for you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Author Interview ~ Karenna Colcroft

It’s another fun Monday and I’m here at The Menagerie with Karenna Colcroft on our couch. Let’s all make sure we give her a nice warm Menagerie welcome.

Thanks so much for coming and hanging out with us today, Karenna. Make yourself comfy, snag a cabana boy and a drink and let’s get started.Where are you from?

Originally, I’m from my mommy’s tummy. Seriously, I was born in Maine and lived there until a week before my 39th birthday, when I moved to Massachusetts with my daughters to live with my real-life romance hero. There wasn’t a question here about that, so I won’t bore you with how we met—suffice it to say, we’re proof positive that love at first sight can happen. We met in May 2008, moved in together with my kids in June 2009, and we were married in April of this year.

Oh, ha ha ha… You’re a riot. Mommy’s tummy. You’re a bit of a pip aren’t ya. I love other people’s romance stories. Tell us your latest news?

I have a new book out! My paranormal romance novel Eternal Love was just released from Pink Petal Books I’m thrilled about it because it’s my longest published romance to date (my other stuff has been shorts and novellas; this is a novel of somewhat over 100,000 words), and because it contains a revised version of the first erotic scene I ever wrote.

Congratulations! I’m sure it will be wonderful. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Since the first time I wrote a story, back when I was five years old. Before that, I’d made up stories and told them to my parents or my stuffed animals, but when I was five someone finally showed me how to make those little squiggles on paper, and I started writing down my stories. My kindergarten teacher was impressed enough to make writing stories part of my language arts program (which she had to individualize for me because I already knew how to read). Realizing that someone other than me liked what I wrote, even when I was that young, clued me in that maybe I was a “real writer”.

Everyone’s writer story is so different. I love that you started so young. How did you come up with the title?

The original title of Eternal Love was Timeless. On my publisher’s request, I did an Amazon search to find out whether that title had been overused. I found about half a dozen books with the same title, including one that just came out last summer by Patric Michael, an M/M author who’s a friendly acquaintance of mine and who I respect too much to knowingly use the same title as one of his books. Since my novel concerns immortals, I needed something to indicate that, and Eternal Love was what I came up with after brainstorming for a while.

Huh, always interested in how titles of stories come abut. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

The hardest scene I’ve ever had to write wasn’t in a romance. Under a different name (which I’d prefer not to give out in this interview), I write YA urban fantasy. I was doing some heavy revisions on book 4 of my series (books 1-3 are already contracted), and had to completely rewrite the part of the novel where the female main character finally admits her mother abuses her and is taken into foster care. The scene is told from her best friend’s point of view, but he’s been worried about her for some time. The intensity of the scene as I rewrote it to include the research I’d done completely drained me. I was in tears, I was exhausted, furious, and I felt like I needed a long, hot shower to wash it all away. Hopefully that will come through to the readers when it’s published.

I sometimes think to myself, “This is the hardest scene I’ve ever written!” And then, it changes. What is your favorite character you’ve written (published or not)? Why?

Let’s see. You know asking an author to choose her favorite character is like asking a mom to choose her favorite child, right? My current romance favorite is Kyle Slidell, who’s the narrator in my current WIP, an M/M paranormal. Kyle is a vegan who is bitten by a werewolf, changing him into a were. Who refuses to eat meat even in wolf form. And who discovers that the man he’s fallen for is the pack Alpha. Kyle’s smart, sarcastic, funny, and something about him spoke to me from the moment I created him, which is why I’m writing his story.

I don’t know if Kyle makes it all the way to my all-time favorite character ever, though. Right now, that belongs to a couple of my YA characters, and I can’t choose between them.

LOL, I just like to see if you actually do have a favorite or if they all hold a special place in your heart. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Some of my characters are based on people I know, and some plot points are based on my personal experiences. In my novella Beginner’s Luck, even people who didn’t know me well recognized Kyla as me, and Alec is completely my husband. Not everything in that novella happened in real life, but a few things did.

In Eternal Love, nothing is based on anything in real life.

It’s great when we can pull bits and pieces of people we know into each character and give them depth and honor our friend all at once. What are your current projects?
Ohh… you don’t know what you’re getting into by asking this! In addition to the aforementioned M/M vegan werewolf romance, I’m revising a paranormal mystery novel with romantic elements, putting the final touches on book 4 in my YA series, and working on a short story for a submission call I spotted on Dear Author. The paranormal mystery involves a woman who works as a psychic reader at a metaphysical bookstore. A man comes to her and tells her he believes he’s a child who was kidnapped 20 years earlier. As she attempts to find out whether he’s actually that child, she meets and falls for another man who absolutely does not believe in anything psychic.

The short story… I haven’t written enough of it to describe it very well yet. Giving up control, pleasure/pain… yeah. It’s going to be fun to write.

LOL, yeah, we do know what we’re asking. And yet, we ask it anyway. Do you see writing as a career?

I see writing as being as essential to my existence as breathing. Possibly even more necessary.

I like that “as essential to my existence as breathing.” Very powerful. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Learn your craft. Keep learning your craft. If you ever reach the point where you think you’ve mastered it all and don’t need to learn anything else, remind yourself to learn. Writing is one of those things where you never, ever know everything, but you can always improve and grow.

Great advice. How long does it take you to write a book?

Depends on what genre and what length I’m aiming for. First draft, I average about 2-3 weeks for a novella and about 5-6 weeks for a full-length novel, with an additional 2-3 weeks of revision regardless of the length.

Wow, so you’ve got it down for the most part. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Hmm… I wrote my first story when I was five, back in 1975. My first book-length effort was in 1982, when I was 12. I still have that one kicking around here somewhere; it’ll never be published, because even with extensive revision it just isn’t that good, but I was proud of myself for finishing it.

Wow, ambitious! What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I’m supposed to have times when I’m not writing?

I kind of wonder the same thing, but then my family demands said time. Go figure. What does your family think of your writing?

My younger daughter complains that I spend too much time on the computer. However, she and her older sister are pretty proud of my YA stuff (especially since my older daughter’s entire high school has to read my first YA novel this summer), and they cheer me on when I get contracts or have new releases. My husband is completely supportive and proud of me; he prefers not to read my stuff because it just isn’t his thing, but he loves that I write it and proudly calls himself my “research assistant”.

It’s great to have support, even if it’s “You need to eat before I force feed you” kind of support. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Beginning with that first book-length thing I wrote when I was 12, and counting first drafts, in romance and YA…around 70, I think. I kind of lost count.

Wow, busy girl. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I don’t hear as much from my readers as I’d like. I’d love to have more communication with them on Facebook, my blog, and so on. (My blog is on my website,, and my Facebook is!/karenna.colcroft) When I do hear from them, I usually get great questions about my stories and positive comments on them.

What do you think makes a good story?

Strong, realistic characters. When I say strong, I don’t necessarily mean their personality; I mean the way the author presents them.

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

I’m doing it 

LOL, you can’t beat that. We’d all love to be doing what we dreamed about. And now for your “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Cats. They’re cuddly sometimes, but don’t demand your attention constantly. You don’t have to take them for walks, and they don’t slobber all over you. And they’re small enough to hold.

Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

I’ve always hated my pictures. Some spark or something in my personality gets lost in pictures, and they always come across looking flat and boring. Plus I’ve always had issues with the way my body looks, though I’m getting past those, and to me pictures always accentuate the worst of my features.

You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

Honestly, I’ve been through hell in my life, but I wouldn’t erase any of it. Everything I’ve gone through has contributed to making me the strong, determined, persistent person I am today, and I’ve learned from every single experience. Some things were far from pleasant, and I wish I hadn’t had to deal with them, but I wouldn’t delete anything from my life.

What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from ?

“Sarcasm is a defense mechanism.” It came from one of my YA series. One of the main characters had a counselor who said it constantly, and the character’s mother began saying it as well. Next thing I knew, it showed up in every single subsequent book in that series, at least the books in which that character appears, and I think every character says it at one time or another.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m not really sure. I’ve become a morning person by default, because I worked in schools for a number of years after graduating college, and I also have two children. So I have no choice but to get up early in the mornings, and because of that I go to bed relatively early. Left to my own devices, with no one’s schedule to follow but my own, I don’t know which I’d turn out to be.

Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms. The electricity in the air charges me up.

How many fingers am I holding up?


Amazing! Absolutely…. Lol. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

A contract from a New York City publisher with a sizable enough advance for me to replace the car I own, which is older than my 15-year-old daughter. And a nice house with an ocean view (which describes half the houses in my town).

Well, that brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Karenna. It was great fun having you here with us today.

Karenna Colcroft is the naughty alter-ego of a very sedate school teacher and mom. She- well, her mild-mannered counterpart, at least- wrote her first story at the age of five, and was immediately hooked by seeing her imagination printed on paper. Throughout elementary, junior high, and high school, she continued writing, though was too shy to show her work to anyone. By the time she graduated college, she had written over 20 book-length manuscripts, all longhand. *Shudder*

In 2004, after abandoning writing for nearly a decade, she began work on what morphed into a 30-book young adult series, which she still hasn’t quite dared to send anywhere. In 2006, on a challenge from a friend, she wrote her first erotic scene and discovered a talent for erotic romance. She began posting her stories on a free site, where feedback encouraged her to continue and develop her skills.

Currently, Karenna has three e-books and an anthology short available and a few other things under contract, and is looking forward to building her career further in 2010. She currently resides in Massachusetts, just north of Boston, with her fiance, two daughters, two cats, and a fish.

You can find out what’s going on with her at her website:

Eternal Love by Karenna Colcroft
935-year-old immortal Rhys Trevellian has been in love with the same soul since childhood. Unfortunately, his childhood love Gwen is mortal, and through eight lifetimes has entered Rhys’s life only to be taken from him by fanatic immortals who wish to prevent Rhys from transmuting her to immortality.

Gwen Davies came to a small town in Maine to escape her abusive ex-fiance. When she meets Rhys, something in her recognizes him. Although she has a hard time believing his story of immortality, she learns to trust him.

But the fanatics are after them again, along with immortal authorities who seek to execute Rhys for murder. Can they escape their pursuers and find eternal love?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Theadora Midway

Got your attention didn't I? If for no other reason than to wonder who the heck Theadora Midway happens to be.

Well, I'll tell you.

I happened to be talking to Kealie about porn names. Since neither of us has participated... we wondered what our porn name would be. Now I won't be so gauche as to give away my formula, but the name I came up with for me?

Theadora Midway.

Yanno, it actually opens up to many possibilities. How? Well... She's in the middle! Men, toys, situations, doesn't matter... she's your girl.

Okay, so that sounds really bad.

What else sounds really bad? When authors want original names for their characters, but they use names that sound...dirty.

I won't name any names, but yeah, there are some real winners out there. Not that my character names are any better. Ryan, Christorin, Clover, Juniper, Samara... nice and somewhat unique, but not so out there that people say, gee... I know what she watched while she wrote (well, they have no proof anyway).

But the boys want my attention. Ta!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PG to X-rated and Everything in Between

I'm a bit blank this morning -- just finished up edits on "Blue Light Special" and my brain is mush, so I'm stealing a post from my virtual tour from May. Enjoy!

PG to X-rated and Everything in Between

I love love. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t prefer reading books that included a little romance ... after all, even Cinderella kissed her prince, and who could forget “Lady and the Tramp” and its spaghetti scene?

As I grew older, I moved on from “Snow White” to “Forever” by Judy Blume where ... OMG... the heroine HAS SEX with her boyfriend. It all ends very badly, and I’m sure it was meant to teach me a lesson, but all of us seventh graders knew exactly which pages had THAT on it and we returned to them again and again.

By eighth grade, I was reading Harlequin Presents (not those dull romances where nothing happens... oh no, I wanted my characters to get it on) and found myself intrigued by all that tension and crackling fire between men and women.

By high school, I was feeling a little bit of that crackling myself. So THAT’S what it’s all about. I’ll admit to being a late bloomer—no nookie in high school for me—but I indulged in plenty of necking and lots of letting my guy make it to second and third base and, oh yeah, it was the ultimate. And I knew then that S-E-X was really all that.

When I started putting pen to paper, though, writing sex scenes was really difficult. I loved, Loved, LOVED writing tension: those little shivers when he brushes your hand, the tingles from head to toe during that first kiss, the tension low in your gut when his tongue touches yours and you feel him hard against you. One of my writing friends used to write these great stories, with incredible plots that were terribly romantic, and then she’d send them to me with the request to add that all important sexual tension. It was, by far, my favorite thing to write.

But strangely enough, I just couldn’t bring myself to pen “the act”.

That all changed when I was challenged to write something for Whipped Cream Reviews’ short story page. Another pre-published friend and I gave it a go (and it became the beginning of The Menagerie Authors – the website and blog I share with three other awesome erotic authors) and I had a BLAST! Sex was fun, fun, fun! And, shockingly, it was published (it’s here if you’re interested in seeing my very first attempt:

There was no going back. Writing a LOT of sex is almost easier than not writing sex—your characters can live “if it feels good, do it”. They need motivation, of course, and I prefer to have the emotion there, too, or else it’s not erotic romance, but it was freeing.

I’ll be honest, I still like writing sweeter romance, but not too sweet. I find it somehow abnormal when I read stories where the main characters don’t even kiss before professing their love for one another. There have been seven month babies since the dawn of time – it happens. After all, to quote George Michael, “Sex is natural, sex is fun...”

Go ahead. Indulge. Read it. Write it. Live it. ;-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Author Interview ~ CR Moss

Okee dokee… It’s another Monday and we have another author on our couch today with me and Megan.

:::Megan waves:::

So, let’s all make sure we give CR Moss a warm Menagerie welcome.

Welcome to The Menagerie couch, CR. Hope you have fun with us today. :-D

Let’s get started. Where are you from?

I’m from the hot, high desert in the southwest where I don’t have to deal with snow in the winter and, if I want to see the white stuff, all I have to do is look up
at the mountain ranges.

Yeah, I love living in the southwest. I rarely get snow.

Lucky duck. I get white stuff half the year on my front lawn. I’m jealous. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Geez, I’ve been working toward a career in writing for as long as I can remember. I had been creating stories since I started to read, but the thought of writing for a living solidified when I was in middle school and received an A in English. I looked at the grade and that’s when my life was defined. I realized I could do it. From that point on, I put pen to paper to get my thoughts down and made sure to take classes appropriate to learning and honing the craft. I did Creative Writing and Drama in high school. My BA from Rutgers stems from a concentration of courses in Communications and English. I’ve even taken a couple of novel writing workshops where I was mentored one-on-one by a Kensington author (see mentor question). Now there are the classes at the conventions, conferences and through the local RWA chapter that I attend, which helps to keep me writing.

Wow, color me amazed!

You’re a busy girl. But all that practice and pushing makes you better, doesn’t it? If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Terri Valentine, author of several romances including Paradise Promised (Kensington, 1996), was my mentor and instructor in a couple of writing courses I took back in the late 90’s. If I had to choose authors I’ve only read and whose works I admire, they would be Stephen King and Anne Rice.

Very interesting…

Gotta love King and Rice. I finally made the jump to erotica after reading Anne Rice. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Not just one, but all my English teachers from middle school through college, including my literature and creative writing professors. & Terri was a big support, too.

It’s always important to have those people around you to support you and to make sure you know you’re not insane.

Love that support system. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, but when I pick places for my stories, I try to make them places I’ve been or where I have contacts so I can be as realistic as possible with the descriptions of the locations.

LOL, that sounds familiar.

See, Kealie? That’s why I ask you about Vegas all the time. Until I get there, you help me make it realistic.

Yes, yes, I see… you can bug me for details all you want and you know it, ya goob.

Speaking of stories, how many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written about twenty-two stories that range from short works of about 4,000 words to novels over 75k. To date, my favorite Devine Destinies story is Postponing Eternity… Well, actually all three stories in the series are my favorites. I enjoyed writing about Tarrin and ‘seeing’ him on a regular basis. And from eXtasy Books, my favorite is Dirty Little Demons.

How awesome! That’s a lot of works. :-D

I love favorite characters. Sometimes it’s a shame to finish the story because it’s hard to let them go. But that’s where page one is a great thing—go back and start over. Kealie and I are both up and coming authors. Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?

Learn the craft! This means grammar, characterization, plot, etc., all the good things that go into a story. You might be able to ‘tell’ a good story, but, if you can’t write it by showing what the characters are doing/feeling, your writing career won’t go anywhere. Get involved in a critique partnership/group. Learn the non-creative side of the business as well. Be prepared.

Ah, good thing we found each other. Now down to the fun questions, as a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

There was a very short time period when I was very young when I wanted to be an astronaut, but I have a fear of heights and was afraid that if I went up in the rocket that I’d fall back to Earth. Then I thought of teaching, but the older I got the less I wanted to work with kids. When it comes right down to it, though, I’ve always wanted to write, be a published author. And, here I am.

LOL, I don’t think we’ve had an author admit to that one before. Now, as Megan said, it’s time for our “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

For the past several years I have. Basically I hate having my picture taken and how I look in them since I quit smoking and gained a lot of weight. When I was in my early 20’s I used to not mind having my photo taken and would actually ham it up for the camera.

There’s a gift in being comfy in one’s skin. What were you doing at midnight last night?

I was editing a story and watching television. I’m a bit of a night owl and sometimes that’s when I like to write and take care of revisions and such.

Oh, so you’re one of those peeps like me who can do more than one thing at a time. I’m dying to know what tv show you were watching, though. What is your favorite pizza?

When I’m not dieting, it’s pepperoni. When I’m trying to watch what I eat, I like to have spinach, onion and garlic.

Diets... balanced diet is a chocolate in each hand. I’d say something else, but I’d reveal way too much about me and the boys. Do you like thunderstorms?

Love thunderstorms! Especially when the sky turns that tinge of green. Unfortunately, where I live now, we don’t get too many of them.

Aren’t they comforting? Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

Nope. In fact, our windows in our bedroom have black paper over them so that light can’t get in and just in case we have black-out curtains and black curtains hanging over them as well. Aside from our digital clocks, we like to sleep in complete darkness.

You must live with a vampire because that sounds like my windows. Gotta have it pitch black. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

When I used to drink soda, I preferred Coke over Pepsi and Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke, and, yes, I could tell the difference between the four.

And now we come to the time in the interview where we say “good bye” or at least, “Okay, we need the Cabana Boys to bring us some drinks so we can just hang out now. “ In any case, the interview is over.

CR thank you so much for hanging out with us today. It was great fun having you on the couch and getting to know you better. Don’t be a stranger.

Thank you as well to all of y’all that have popped in and read this interview. Thanks for hanging out too. So, until next time… don’t do anything we wouldn’t do.

C.R. Moss, a self-proclaimed eccentric and eclectic writer, pens stories for both the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers Worlds of Possibilities. For more about the woman behind the keyboard and her books, visit:

Dirty Little Demons by CR Moss

So many demons, so little time. What's a slayer to do?

Hell's demons. Personal demons. Making sure her friend, Sophia, doesn't kill a dancer. Bonding with her soulmate. Ridding the world of the scourge that entered Las Vegas… It'll be a busy night.

Jaime Sue, now called Jay for confidentiality purposes, is back in Las Vegas, gearing up for a dangerous assignment. Sophia wants her to attend a revue with her. Master Dante requires her to go to the show since the two contacts she needs to meet work in it. There she realizes one of the dancers she has to bond with is her one, her soulmate.

While battling inner demons, fighting the demon-gang that came to town and fending off their leader, Ash, and falling in love, Jay finds there's more at stake than just her life.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Book Commercial ~ Dirty Little Demons by CR Moss

Dirty Little Demons by CR Moss

So many demons, so little time. What's a slayer to do?

Hell's demons. Personal demons. Making sure her friend, Sophia, doesn't kill a dancer. Bonding with her soulmate. Ridding the world of the scourge that entered Las Vegas… It'll be a busy night.

Jaime Sue, now called Jay for confidentiality purposes, is back in Las Vegas, gearing up for a dangerous assignment. Sophia wants her to attend a revue with her. Master Dante requires her to go to the show since the two contacts she needs to meet work in it. There she realizes one of the dancers she has to bond with is her one, her soulmate.

While battling inner demons, fighting the demon-gang that came to town and fending off their leader, Ash, and falling in love, Jay finds there's more at stake than just her life.


Want to see your book commercial here? Email us at to find out how!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Death by Chocolate

I happened to be watching one of those 'how they make it' type of shows and it was about chocolate. I dunno about you, but watching those slabs of chocolate melt and the hundreds of chocolate bars formed... my mouth watered. Yeah, I like chocolate.

That being said, this post is called Death by Chocolate. Why? Don't tell me you've never wondered why it might be like to lay under that waterfall of chocolate. I didn't say I'd roll in it. That'd waste perfectly good chocolate.

But what about a romance including chocolate? The idea isn't new. Lots of romances have the man giving the heroine chocolate...boring. Then there's chocolate body paint. Ok, more enticing, but not quite what I want. You have the story where she works at a chocolate factory... too Lucy. Cooks, bakers, ice cream makers... still not doing it for me. Oh, and then there's the interracial that's cloaked as "chocolate". Good idea, but no.

I had a friend write a story where words had tastes...hunk tasted like chocolate. I won't take her idea, but it has merit.

So what do I want? Her dreaming about laying in that waterfall of chocolate and then it morphs into his kisses... and then they meet, stuff happens, and then there's a white hot scene in the bedroom where he teases her with a chocolate bar. Hey, food play is interesting. Add in the element of bondage--she can't eat the blessed chocolate--and you got something. Or rather, I have something.

Hm..... I just complained on my blog I don't have time to write, but that story idea makes me think I need to make time.

I'll be back later.

I have a story to write.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Author Interview ~ Rae Summers

So, today is another day for fun on the couch. Get your mind out of the gutters… the couch is being used for an interview. You know who you gutters peeps are. Anyway, we have with us author Rae Summers. Rae, before Megan and I get going on your interview, do you have any new news to share with us?

My first novella, Let’s Misbehave, was released on 7th July by The Wild Rose Press. And that it got an awesome 4.5 star review from RT Book Reviews. You can read it here:

Wow, how awesome is that!

Ooh a first book! How exciting. Isn’t it a heady feeling to see your name on a work and know that’s something you did and can share with others? That said, what inspired you to write your first book?

All my life I’ve written scraps of stories, but never finished anything. About eight years ago my then-fiancé made a passing comment along the lines of “wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually make money out of all the time you spend on this” and I thought “yes, wouldn’t it?” So I sat down and started writing a novel. That one was never completed either, but it taught me that there was a whole lot I didn’t know about writing, so I went on a writing course that quite literally changed my life. The rest, as they say, is history …. I’ve now got four completed novels and two novellas under my belt.

I soooo wish I had that productivity!

You are a busy, busy girl. I’ll bet you have tons more ideas, too. Now, to inspiration, how did you come up with the title?

The idea for Let’s Misbehave came to me as I was listening to the Cole Porter song of the same name. The song not only sparked the idea, but is also central to the story, so it was an easy title to come up with. If you’d like to hear the song, just visit my trailer on YouTube:

I’ll have to track it down, I’m positively intrigued.

So many books strive to be ultra-realistic and fantasy at the same time. How much of the book is realistic?

Let’s Misbehave is set in the 1920s. As an historical novel, I wanted to be true to the period, but also didn’t want to get bogged down in facts and lose the story. So I’ve deliberately kept the background low key and placed the emphasis on the characters. I’d love to hear from readers if I succeeded or not!

Feedback is always fun. Let’s get to more fun. What is your favorite character you’ve written (published or not)? Why?

My favourite character was a rock chick who called herself Phoenix. She rode a motorbike and had a phoenix tattoo. She was so much fun to write, and I loved her sass. Unfortunately she didn’t fare too well in the contemporary romance contest I entered her into. The editor who judged the contest loved my voice but asked to see a different partial instead. One day I hope Phoenix will get her moment and that her story will make it into print.

I love tattooed heroines. If that one’s not revised and subbed somewhere, you should sub it. Strong women rock. What are your current projects?

At the moment I’m revising a full length contemporary aimed at Harlequin’s new Riva imprint (launching in 2011) and I’m putting the finishing touches on another 1920s novella, currently titled An Innocent Abroad. It’s a coming of age story set on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. I’ve really enjoyed researching that one!

Ooohhh… good luck!

I’d love to know what you found for research for the historical one. I love retro... especially art nouveau. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I wish! I love to travel and explore new places and new cultures. Sadly, the bank balance and the day job don’t always make that possible. But that’s one of the reasons I love to write: in my head I get to go places I’ve only ever dreamed of visiting, and the research is such fun!

Sometimes the best places to go are in your head. Nothing wrong with that.

Le sigh. I love research. Ask the boys. Because if you can’t quite get it right, you can keep practicing. Speaking of animals, what animal do you think makes the best pet and why? If you couldn’t tell this was the “nothing-to-do-with-writing” portion of the interview.

Without a doubt, cats are my favourite pets. I love that they’re independent and self-sufficient, so if they show you love you know it’s genuine and not just because you feed them regularly!

LOL, sometimes I think it’s because they think of us as their staff and want us to take care of all their needs and have learned they have to work for it. But that’s just me.. :-D

I dunno, I have cats and both are snobs. Even my shifter boy is persnickety in his own way. But I still love all of my pets. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

Many years ago, I had a huge crush on a guy I worked with. He was mature and experienced, and way out of my league in so many ways that I just blush now to think about it, while I was still so young and naïve. He was a co-owner in a new nightclub and I persuaded a group of friends to go with me to the launch party. When we bumped into each other in the club he said it was ‘so cute’ that I’d come, and made it clear just how obvious I was. I wished the proverbial floor would open and swallow me up. Now with hindsight I wish I’d never wasted a good evening by going there, and that I’d just hung out with my friends at one of our usual hang-outs!

We have ALL been there, hon. You are not alone.

Yes, but if we didn’t have nights we wished we could erase, then what would we learn from? Live, learn and get loves. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Visiting the Menagerie Authors blog, of course! Actually, midnight is when I usually switch off the laptop and start heading for my bed. By then my brain is usually fried.

LOL, suuuure you were… we don’t’ mind a little ego stroking now and then, though.

Ah, smart girl, she sucks up. Hee hee. And she was honest. Since beddy-bye time isn’t thrilling (Well, it is, but we can’t go into that right now), what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

In a pub in Scotland years ago I was persuaded to try haggis. It was actually really delicious, but I’m very grateful no-one told me what it actually consisted of until after I’d finished eating!

You are WAY braver than me. Sorry, I knew what it was from the get-go. I’m a wuss when it comes to gross food. Switching gears, Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Where do I begin? I cry regularly in movies. And when I read emotional books. According to my mother, as a child I used to cry during the opening credits of a local kiddies TV program that started with a monkey falling off a barrel. He clearly never got hurt, because he was back and falling off every episode, but I still cried!

Well, now it’s time to say goodbye. We certainly enjoyed your company, Rae. I hope that you will come back sometime soon and give us a heads up on how you’re doing.

Thanks for having me here on Menagerie Authors!
- Rae Summers

Rae's first grade teacher was so seriously concerned by her day dreaming that she called her parents in for a conference. Fortunately, her parents staunchly defended Rae's right to daydream and these days she's able to prove their faith right by turning those day dreams into novels. She hopes her stories bring as much pleasure to her readers as they bring to her.

Rae Summers lives in South Africa where she works in television advertising, a line of work that is only glamorous on very rare occasions. When she isn't working or being mom to two young daughters, Rae can be found with her nose in a book.

You can reach Rae online at: Her blog address:

Let's Misbehave by Rae Summers

Gabrielle is the quintessential Flapper, a wild child who turns her back on home and a resentful and unloving mother to become a nightclub singer. She wants nothing more from life than freedom and pleasure.

Sebastian is a dutiful son, following in his father’s footsteps and on the verge of marrying a suitable bride. But as the Twenties roar to their conclusion, he finds himself torn between duty and the urge to indulge his adventurous streak.

From the moment Gabrielle and Sebastian meet, the tension between them simmers. When he rescues her from a boorish suitor, Gabrielle discovers a kindred spirit beneath Sebastian's serious demeanour, and she sets out to seduce him into one last passionate fling before he settles for a loveless marriage.

But the fire that burns between them threatens to consume her. Will Gabrielle survive falling in love with the one man she cannot have?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book Commercial ~ Let's Misbehave by Rae Summers

Let's Misbehave by Rae Summers

Gabrielle is the quintessential Flapper, a wild child who turns her back on home and a resentful and unloving mother to become a nightclub singer. She wants nothing more from life than freedom and pleasure.
Sebastian is a dutiful son, following in his father’s footsteps and on the verge of marrying a suitable bride. But as the Twenties roar to their conclusion, he finds himself torn between duty and the urge to indulge his adventurous streak.

From the moment Gabrielle and Sebastian meet, the tension between them simmers. When he rescues her from a boorish suitor, Gabrielle discovers a kindred spirit beneath Sebastian's serious demeanour, and she sets out to seduce him into one last passionate fling before he settles for a loveless marriage.

But the fire that burns between them threatens to consume her. Will Gabrielle survive falling in love with the one man she cannot have?


Want to see your book commercial here? Email us at to find out how!

Friday, July 9, 2010

He Followed Me Home...

It's really hot here, like everywhere, but it's sticky ucky hot here, so I've been spending time either in A/C or outside in the shade. Oh yeah, I'm not a sun worshipper. Pale is the new tan.

Anyway, so I was outside and the kidlet shouts that there's a cat in the yard. Well, come on, we have a cat--ok so he's a lump and I sweart he's a shifter--but still, we live out in the middle of nowhere. There are cats, rabbits, chipmunks, raccoons, woodchucks, etc out here.

So he shouts, can we keep him?

Um... now this is a sticky situation. I have a reputation, as Kealie can attest to, to bringing strays home. How else do you think I've managed to end up with three vampire CB's and at least one kitty shifter man? Oh yeah, it's a gift. I want to bring the cat in because I happen to know he's a stray and even though the neighbors are feeding him, he's thin. I want to say sure, bring him in. Dip him in anti-flea stuff and give him a thorough bath (Yes, I'm crazy enough to bathe a cat--actually, I've done it).


Besides the fleas, God only knows if the thing has any other maladies. I doubt he's got rabies, but I know he's not fixed. And that's a big problem. I had a cat before that liked to leave messages on the furniture--his essence lingers. Oh, and there's the small issue of the dogs. Yup, two German Shepards (Tango and Cash) who I am sure won't like having a full grown kitty added to the family. And then there's the other cat. I hate when cats fight.

So as much as I want to be the animal lover, I'm torn. What do you think? I get my pets from the pound... but this is a bit skewed. What'cha think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Author Interview ~ Yolanda Sfetsos

It’s another lovely day here at the Menagerie. I hope all our American friends both here and abroad enjoyed your Fourth of July celebrations. And the rest of y’all, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Today we have with me and Megan, friend to the Menagerie, and repeat guest, Yolanda Sfetsos. Let’s all give her a warm Whipped cream welcome. I’m sure the Cabana Boys have already started with their warm welcome.

Welcome back to the Menagerie, Yolanda. It’s great to have you back on our couch. Let’s get started: Tell us again, where are you from?

I live in a suburb of Sydney, Australia with my husband, daughter, and cat. I’ve actually been living in the same place for almost twelve years now.

Wow, I’m sorry, I still find it fascinating whenever we interview authors from Australia… I’ll get over my awe in a moment. LOL.

Ooh, you have a cat! I love cats. Since you’ve been here before, tell us your latest news?

The Alyce Kerr, Faith Healer Trilogy is now available from Damnation Books. All three novellas are out in the wild—FAITHLESS, CARELESS, and BOUNDLESS. They’re all available in eBook formats, Kindle, and print.

I’ve also got an urban fantasy series coming soon with ImaJinn Books. The series name is The Hidden. The first book is called UNNATURAL, and already has a kick-butt cover. (You can see it here, if you like.)

And biggest of all, or at least this minute… my first Eternal Press release, Shade of Grey will be out this week on July 7!

Congratulations! How cool is that. That’s a lot of good news to have for us to share. LOL When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in my early teens. I went to school a few suburbs away, so all of my friends lived too far to hang out. That meant that I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom, and that’s when I started putting pen to paper.

Hey, that alone time wasn’t put to waste and we are the happy recipients of your labors.

LOL, this is true. And you can always come back and hang out with us. :-D How did you come up with the title?

It’s always different. Sometimes the title comes before the story, other times I have to spend hours trying to figure one out after the story’s already written.

Personally, I like titles that capture the story’s essence somehow. And if they’re part of a trilogy or series, I like them to match. A good example is my Alyce Kerr, Faith Healer Trilogy. All the titles in the trilogy end with the word ‘less’.

Nice touch making them all string together. What books have influenced your life the most?

This is probably going to sound a little strange if you’ve actually read the book, but CABAL by Clive Barker influenced my life when I was a teenager. I’d been writing for a few years before I read it and had started to delve into a darker side of storytelling. After reading CABAL, I knew I was headed in the right direction.

I’ve been treading the dark edge of fiction ever since. ;)

There’s nothing wrong with the dark side. Some of us love hanging out there.

I agree, this might be why you like to hang out here when you can, lol. The darker side has better… Cabana Boys anyway. LOL What are your current projects?

I’ve always got a bunch of different projects planned, or in different stages of revision. At the moment I’m working my way through the third (and final) draft of The Hidden, Book 5. It’s turning out to be a lot of work, but it’s all worth it because the more I do, the better everything clicks.

After I finish this one, I plan to write a few more Sci-Fi tales set in the Recast world, as well as revise a few novels I have waiting, and tackle some other ideas I have…

In my opinion, editing stinks, but, hey, when it clicks, it clicks.

Yup, editing does more than stink, but we won’t go there right now. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The Hidden, Book 5 is contracted to ImaJinn Books and I’m currently working on the final draft. It’s a novel featuring an angelic heroine who has to deal with a tremendous amount of things. This story expands on the paranormal world of the hidden even more and features the Grigori, Nephilim, Demons, and a whole host of other creatures.

Demons...nice touch. Now since you mentioned edits and 3rd drafts, how long does it take you to write a book?

Writing the first draft usually takes me a month, sometimes a little more. I get so caught up in getting the story out of my head that I find myself in a whirlwind of typing. Of course, the revision process takes a lot longer than the initial writing.

That’s a lot in a little bitty piece of time.

No kidding, I think I might have a heart attack if a story got written in one month. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I try to squeeze in some writing every single day while my husband’s at work and my daughter’s at school. I usually take the weekends off, but not always.

When I’m in the thick of things, like I am now with the revision, I find that the story and characters consume my mind every waking moment.

Sometimes, that’s to be expected. But I don’t think I’d trade it. What fun would that be?

I have characters and the boys who consume my time, but I love every moment of it. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love hanging out with my hubby and daughter. We love to go for walks together, play Rock Band, watch movies, and TV shows. I also love to read. I’m addicted to buying books, too.

A book’re a girl after my own heart.

LOL, I will freely admit that I buy more books than I ever read. I have huge TBR piles that are in danger of toppling over and taking out innocent passersby. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

It’s funny, because I either wanted to write stories or make movies. 

You can still make those movies you know. Just a matter of who you want to see them is all.

ROTFL, don’t get us started on “home movies” please, Megan. And now, Yolanda, we’ve come to that part of the interview… the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions part of our day: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

I’d have to go with cats. I live in an apartment block, so having a dog is not a realistic option. At least, not the dogs that I’d like to have. We’ve got an indoor cat called Loki and he’s quite a handful, but also a lovely companion to have around when I spend most of my days writing.

Cats rock, hands down. Kitty shifters are even better. But you all knew my preferences.

Nope, I’m not surprised Megan jumped on your bandwagon, lol. Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

You know, it’s funny you should mention this because my strange handwriting habit would have to be that I dot my “I”s even when I capitalize them.

LOL, that’s a new one. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Lol. For the first time in ages, I was actually sleeping at midnight.

Well, sheesh. I thought everyone stayed up all night long. Have you ever eaten a crayon?

Ew, definitely not!

You need to learn to live on the edge... plus around here they make those crayons out of sugar and chocolate. My faves!

LOL, I don’t know if you could have been more adamant in your denial, Yolanda. What is your favorite animal?

I'm a huge animal lover. I love all types of animals, but if I had to pick my most faves I would have to go with tigers, elephants, and crows.

Hmm, an elephant shifter. Sounds...crushing...could be the new trend. What do you want to know about the future?

I want to know when flying cars will make it on the scene. I've been waiting since I was a kid, and it still hasn't happened.

I think the cars fly up and down my road, but that’s the crazy farmers driving at top freaking speed. So does controlled speeding/flying count? I guess not...What is your heritage?

I was actually born in Madrid, Spain but have lived in Australia since I was seven.

Very cool! You’re a worldly lady, then. :-D What is one thing scientists should invent?

They should definitely invent a cure for cancer.

You and me both, that’s for sure. What stereotype would you label yourself as?

Probably the loner.

Then you wouldn’t be alone, cuz me and the boys like to be lone vamps too. Now down to the nitty gritty. Do you like thunderstorms?

Oooh, I love thunderstorms! In fact, several years back, I was writing a story featuring Thor, and whenever I sat down to actually write it would storm. I didn’t think anything of it, but then during revision, the same thing happened. It was really freaky, but cool.

If you’d like to read that story, it’s actually one of the free reads I offer on my website.

Cool, we’ll have to go take a look. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

I can definitely taste the difference! I prefer Coke Zero, although I’ve been trying to stay away lately. It’s working so far.

LOL, well, sometimes it’s harder to stay away from certain things, even if you know it’s for your own good.

And that is the end of our interview, today. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Yolanda. As always it was a pleasure to have you hanging out with us.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

When asked for an author bio, Yolanda gave us this:

I'm an Aussie who loves to write tales of the otherworldly.

Mostly they fall under the category of paranormal and urban fantasy, but I do write in other genres too. My muse doesn't like restrictions, and is quite happy to toe the dark edge of storytelling.

When I'm not writing, I love to spend time with my family. I also love to go for walks, enjoy reading, cruising the Internet, watching movies, and TV shows - Supernatural, Dexter, Burn Notice, The Big Bang Theory, and True Blood.

You can keep track of her latest releases and such online on her:


Shade of Grey by Yolanda Sfetsos

The night two intruders dressed in black break into Gypsy’s store, a mysterious, sexy man comes to her rescue. Calvin has one objective—to keep both a secret organization and an alien clan from finding and taking Gypsy. But after they meet, his duty is overridden by his desire.

Together, Gypsy and Calvin travel halfway across the country, trying to stay one step ahead of their pursuers and dodging danger at every step. When they give in to their mutual attraction, neither realizes that it’s the one thing guaranteed to reveal their location to their biggest threat.

In the small Outback town of Backwater, human and alien greed will collide. Can their passion for each other be strong enough to survive the ordeal? Or will Gypsy’s destiny lead to an alien plan that could destroy everything?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Book Commercial ~ Better Off Alone by Yolanda Sfetsos

Better Off Alone by Yolanda Sfetsos

I’m coming 4U

Nell has been forced to leave the safety of her basement. As the dead chase her along the familiar streets of her suburb, she stumbles on a group of survivors who offer her shelter. But all she's concerned about is finding her way to Todd, the only person who's helped keep her sanity.

She intends to ask this group of survivors to help her save Todd from his predicament but changes her mind when she spies the sick and twisted way they ensure their safe existence.


Want to see your book commercial here? Email us at to find out how!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Getting Done

I had no idea what to write about more than five minutes prior to opening this. Yes, I know, I've been a tad derelict when it comes to actually coming over here. I make it for interview day and then totally blow it the rest of the week.

I'd like to say the boys are keeping me busy. (They are, you know) But it's also about working for the man (men). Someone's gotta bring in a couple of bucks (bucks, boys, not studs... I have you three and that one that sorta wandered in the other day... sorry, he looked lost) Anyway, I have to work. Oy. Yeah, it's a tick overwhelming at times, but I've been trained to be one of those people who never says die (Kealie chimes in: Writer Goonies Never Say Die!). So I buck up and go to work.

Am I complaining. Nope. But, my writing career has hit the stall button (stalling? i'm not stalling.... Stall-ling... huh, stalling...). I have the ideas and I have the drive, but good gravy, I don't have the flippen time. I want to. Heck, I've got a ghost adventurer story and a hunk to match, screaming in my head to give him a chance to have his say and way with the woman he's in love with.

Have you ever said, I'll play hookie for one day so I can do what I want to for the day? I want to know about and maybe get some good tips. Hey, the muse needs let off her leash every once and a while too, ya know...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What Do You Do?

Do you ever read books that are truly amazing and then reflect on your own work and decide your writing sucks lemons?

How about the times when writing Every. Single. Word. is like pulling teeth without medication and then, after all that agony and labor, they sound stilted and fake?

Or you get everything organized and know everthing about your characters and exactly how things should work in the story ... and IT WON'T .

I've been reading some stories lately that make me feel like I should just hang up my keyboard -- they're that well written. Some days that feeling just drives me harder, makes me work to improve, throws down the gauntlet and issues me a challenge I can't refuse to take.

Lately, it's been more on the discouraging side. The Eyeore on my shoulder telling me everything I do is awful and I should just give up.

What do you do when you get discouraged? Do you have certain pick-me-ups that help you get back on track?