Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Author Interview ~ Marie Sexton

I want to welcome fellow Total-E-Bound author, Marie Sexton. We’re thrilled she’s here and can’t wait to get going with the interview! Where are you from?

I was born in a little town in southwestern Wyoming, and I still have family there, but I consider myself a Coloradoan. We moved here when I was eleven years old, and there’s a good chance I’ll be here until the day I die.

Also, for the record, there’s some debate as to whether we’re “Coloradans” or “Coloradoans”. Technically, The Coloradoan is a newspaper, and a person from Colorado is a Coloradan, but for myself, I’m a Coloradoan. :-)


Tell us your latest news?

My first non-contemporary novel is coming out on August 22nd! I’m very excited about this one. It’s called Song of Oestend. I don’t really know how to classify it. It’s fantasy, but not traditional fantasy. It’s set in an alternate universe, sort of frontier-style. There’s also a haunted house. It’s a lot of fun.

I also have a space pirate novella called Blind Space which will be published by Silver Publishing in the not-too-distant future.


Wow! You’re a busy lady. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Little bits and pieces only. There’s a karate school in A to Z that’s based on a real school. The game Matt and Zach make up in The Letter Z is one my husband and I came up with while visiting Vegas. There’s an incident in my short story Putting Out Fires involving a glass lid which happened to me in college - from the flaming pot holder all the way down to the melted linoleum. But for the most part, I just make this stuff up.

I won’t disclose the story about Megan and the ice machine, but let’s leave it as, Megan doesn’t realize that the door goes up, not out on the ice machine. And she’s not a blonde...odd. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

The ending of One More Soldier. I sat there on the couch crying as I wrote it. I rushed through it, because it was just tearing me apart, but then when I read back through it, I realized it was way too short and too abrupt. I had to go back over the next few days and slowly expand it until I felt like it worked.

Ugh. I’ve had stories like that, too. But I love them. How long does it take you to write a book?

Each book seems to take longer than the one before. I keep thinking it should get easier, but it doesn’t. It probably takes me about three months, start to finish. Give or take a few weeks.

No crime in taking your time. What does your family think of your writing?

My husband loves it. He’s very supportive. My daughter (who’s 7) thinks it’s cool, but keeps asking me to write a book with a girl in it. Specifically, a book about a girl and a horse, and she wants me to call it A is for Apple. I have no idea why. My extended family are supportive to varying degrees, although my mother does still ask at least every three months if I’m ever going to write a “real” book.


My totlet wants me to write a Godzilla book, so I get it. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

To date, I have five novels, three novellas, and a few short stories. Most of what I’ve written is part of the loosely-connected Coda series, published by Dreamspinner Press: Promises, A to Z, The Letter Z, Strawberries for Dessert, and Paris A to Z (plus a couple of short stories). I also have a short story with Silver Publishing called One More Soldier, and a novel with Amber Allure called Between Sinners and Saints.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. I love Promises, A to Z, and The Letter Z, because I was able to fit so many bits and pieces of being a Coloradoan into them - from the Eddie Mac mustard to the rivalry between CU and CSU. They were a lot of fun to write. And Paris A to Z, because I was able to put all three Coda couples into it.


Sounds like a blast. Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

A better question might be, have I ever NOT cried during a movie? I’m a total sap. Especially when it comes to anything involving animals. In fact, last time I went to the movies, I actually cried at one of the previews! It’s completely pathetic.

We’re both saps. SAPS. We get it.What is one thing scientists should invent?

Oh gosh. Hard to pick one thing. I’m going to give you two:

1. A laundry robot (must also fold and put away).
3. A mute button that works on my daughter.


And then share the mute button and the robot with us. We can both use both, if that makes sense. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Rocky Mountain Oysters. And if you don’t know what those are, well…. I’ll just let you Google it. ;-)

I’ll make Megan do it. Do you like thunderstorms?

LOVE them. When I was a kid in Wyoming, the power used to go out during the thunderstorms. We’d light candles and sit on the front porch watching the lightning over the mountains. We get some good thunderstorms here in Colorado, too, although the power rarely goes out. I especially love the sound of thunder up in the mountains. The thunder echoes off of them, and it really does sound like it’s rolling back and forth over you.

I’ve never experienced thunder on a mountain, but it sounds really cool. What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

“What the fuck ever.”

My character Angelo uses this phrase a lot, and it’s a great phrase. It has a billion uses. It’s very non-committal, and yet with a nice dose of disdain. For example, if somebody says, “How do you feel about _____ (name a hot-button issue)?” you can simply reply, “What the fuck ever.” They still don’t know whether you agree with them or not, but chances are, they won’t bother to ask for an explanation.

It also works as sort of a life motto: What the fuck ever.

Want to know more about Song of Oestend? Here’s the blurb!
Aren Montrell has heard tales of the Oestend wraiths - mysterious creatures which come in the night and kill anyone who’s not indoors. Aren’s never had reason to believe the stories, but when he takes a job as a bookkeeper on the BarChi, a dusty cattle ranch on the remote Oestend prairie, he soon learns that the wraiths are real. Aren suddenly finds himself living in a supposedly haunted house and depending on wards and generators to protect him from unseen things in the night. As if that’s not enough, he has to deal with a crotchety old blind woman, face “cows” that look like nothing he’s ever seen before, and try to ignore the fact that he’s apparently the most eligible bachelor around.
Aren also finds himself the one and only confidante of Deacon, the BarChi’s burly foreman. Deacon runs the BarChi with an iron fist and is obviously relieved to finally have somebody he can talk to. As their relationship grows, Aren learns there’s more to Deacon and the BarChi than he’d anticipated. Deacon seems determined to deny both his Oestend heritage and any claim he may have to the BarChi ranch, but if Aren is to survive the perils of Oestend, he’ll will have to convince Deacon to stop running from the past and finally claim everything that’s his.

Want to know where to find her on the web?
http://mariesexton.net/
http://twitter.com/#!/Mariesexton
http://www.facebook.com/MarieSexton.author
http://www.goodreads.com/mariesexton

Vampire Mine ~ The Finale


copyright c.2011 Megan Slayer


Cy fisted his hands behind his back. Not because Martin wanted something impossible, but because he wanted to make Martin’s desires come true. Was that crazy? Not as crazy as the need to be inside the man. Cy’s fangs elongated in his mouth. The bloodlust bubbled within him. Oh fuck. The last time things happened so fast, he damned near drained his partner. He turned away and grabbed the bottle of lube from the bureau.

When he returned his attention to Martin, Martin smiled and tipped his head. Sweetness radiated off his body and the scent of his blood filled Cy’s nose. The smile broadened a bit. “I trust you. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have come on to you.”

Trust. What a completely common word with such an overwhelming meaning. His baser desires roared within him. Bite. Bite. Bite. Cy shivered and squirted lube onto his hand.

“Hard. Make me feel every last inch.”

Martin wanted it, then Cy would give. Cy wrapped his fingers around his cock, coating himself with the slippery lube. He swayed on his feet, caught up in the overwhelming need to sink his teeth into Martin’s vein. Cy lined his cock up with the tight rosette of Martin’s ass and pressed.

“Oh fuck!” The smile left Martin’s face and his eyes closed. His lips parted. “Yes.”

Cy groaned and pushed deeper into Martin’s ass. His vision blurred like when he bit into a victim. God, it was heady being with Martin. And he hadn’t even moved. Cy grabbed Martin’s hips and worked in and out of Martin’s body. Time and space meant nothing as he lost himself in the tight, hot depths of his lover. He tilted his head back and growled.

“Do it,” Martin gasped. “Please.”

Cy forced his eyes open. Where was his restraint? Where was his reserve? He wasn’t the type to let his vampire instincts just take over. “I can’t hold back.” Frustration thickened his voice.

“I’m yours.”

The world blurred again as Cy slumped forward and clamped down onto Martin’s neck. Sugary sweetness burst on his tongue. The pressure of Martin’s ass around Cy’s cock grew tighter. Fuck. He’d lose his load in a hot second. Cy shuddered and emptied his seed into the condom. He braced himself on his forearms and withdrew from Martin’s vein.
“Oh. My. God.” Martin went limp beneath Cy. “Wow.”

Cy pulled out of Martin and flopped onto his back beside his lover. Wow was right. He wasn’t sure how long they laid together.

“I came looking for you tonight.”

“Why?” Here we go. Cyrus braced himself for the worst. The things he wanted most never seemed to turn out. He stared at the ceiling rather than look into Martin’s eyes.

“I wanted you.” Martin rose up on his elbow. He splayed his hand across Cy’s chest.

“So you said.” Optimism blossomed, but Cy snuffed it out. No hope was better than crushed hope. Still, he liked the feel of Martin touching him.

“I wanted you to notice me. You always seem so low—like someone kicked your cat. Broke my heart.” Martin smoothed his hand up Cy’s chest to his chin. He forced Cy to look at him. “When I see your gorgeous eyes and sexy smile, I can’t look away.”

“You don’t have to—”

“Flatter you?” Martin nodded and caressed Cy’s bottom lip with his thumb. “I don’t, you’re right, but I want to. Call me crazy, but I’ve been a little in love with you since we met.”

“Met? Like a couple hours ago? That’s too quick for love at first sight, even for a pessimist like me.”

“Kinda.” Martin shrugged. “I’ve been coming to the bar for at least six months. Since I made partner at Ellis and Ellis.”

“Partner? Wow.” Okay, that impressed him. The guy had a career and a future. Coming to the bar for six months watching him? That was a little spooky. Was it a vampire fetish? Death wish?

“Yeah, I’d sit in Candy’s area and just take in the sights. She knew about the crush. Hell, she figured it out before I did. Maybe it was the look in my eyes or the bloody Mary. I’m not sure.”

Cy did the mental computation. He’d made so many drinks, but with a name like Bloody Mary, it stuck out. He hated mixing the concoction...so messy and unappealing. “So that was you... but why didn’t you come talk to me before tonight?” If he’d have known it was Martin on the receiving end, things would’ve been different.

“I never said anything. I’m shy. I know, a shy lawyer. What a crock of shit.” Martin rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I have to sound like a lunatic.”

“I don’t think so.”

Slowly Martin turned his attention back to Cy. His eyes widened. “Can I be honest?”

“Please do.” There wasn’t much more Martin could say that would shock him.

“I worked over at least fifteen ways to say hi without looking like a stalker but I couldn’t go through with it. Chicken shit, I guess. I saw how you dealt with customers, how you smiled, laughed every once in a blue moon, and I wanted more than one night. Yes, Candy gave me the extra push, but offering myself was purely my idea. It was exactly what I wanted to do.” Martin’s chest rose and fell with each excited breath.

“Wanted?” Cy cupped Martin’s cheek with a shaky hand.

“Still want to.”

If Martin could be honest, then so could Cy. “You know the mate thing is a crock of shit, right? A tall tale perpetuated by those who know nothing about vampires. We hook up like anyone else and there’s no destined love. Its just attraction and we hope it works out.”
“Good.”
“Good?” The response was so final.

Martin shrugged again and the smile returned. “I’d rather be your boyfriend and lover than some made up mate.” He crinkled his nose. “Besides, mate sounds so primitive.”

Cy chuckled. He still had the limp condom on and Martin’s blood on his tongue. Being with Martin wasn’t anything like he’d expected, but more than he could’ve hoped for. “Boyfriend does have a nice ring to it.”
Martin snuggled up next to cy and wrapped his arm around Cy’s middle. “Cy?”
“Yeah?” Cyrus raked his fingers through Martin’s hair. Things had gone so fast, but hell who was he to question a simple twist of fate?

“Let’s make love again. I like knowing I belong to you.”

“You got it—once I ditch the rubber.” Then they could make love all night long.

“Sounds like a plan.”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Book Video ~ Careless Whisper by Wendi Zwaduk



Careless Whisper

He’s her kinkiest desire, if she’s willing to open her heart and believe in him.

The dead don’t always rest in peace. Some stick around to make the lives of the living hell on Earth. Ryan Black knows the frustration of dealing with the dead. He’s a Ghost Explorer. He’s conquered houses filled with apparitions, abandoned school buildings that house angry vermin, and managed to woo the female population of Snake Falls, Ohio. But he’s about to face his toughest challenge, convincing sceptical Samara Jacobs she not only shares his gift, but holds his heart.

Women fall at Ryan Black’s feet and Samara’s determined not to be one of the many—that is until she’s forced to work with him. He’s certain ghosts exist and willing to prove it. The more she gets to know the man behind the television persona, she decides the handsome klutz who chases things that go bump in the night isn’t so silly after all. But is he worthy of her love?

This book contains anal sex and a little harmless domination.

Available Now FROM TOTAL-E-BOUND!

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Want to see your book commercial here? Email us at menagerieauthors@gmail.com to find out how!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vampire Mine ~ Part Four


copyright c.2011 Megan Slayer


Martin stepped back. He’d opened his heart and poured his thoughts out for Cyrus to do whatever he wanted and all Cy had to say was it’s not that hot. What the hell?

“They say hell’s hot. It’s bad, but not that bad.”

Oh. Wait. Martin processed Cy’s words. “What are you talking about?”

“Hell.” Cy’s voice dropped an octave. “I’ve been there.” He nodded. “Come on in. You’re here.”

Something wasn’t right and yet, he had no idea what the fuck it was. He stepped into the living room of the apartment. Boring. That was the first word to come to mind. Cy’s home, if it was indeed his home, was boring as all get out. No knickknacks, no posters, nothing to give the room personality.

“I don’t usually crash here. This was my grandmother’s place.”

That explained a lot. Martin forked his fingers into his hair, not knowing what else to do with them. There was so much he wanted to say and so many things he wanted to do with Cy—like fuck against the door. “Cy.”

Cy crossed the space and pulled Martin into his arms. He parted his lips and rubbed his thumb along Martin’s bottom lip. “You’re a very beautiful man. I’m a monster. I like you. A lot. Run or stay, it’s up to you.”

Wow. He’d hoped, but Martin wasn’t totally sure Cy would appreciate his coming to Cy’s place. Hell, he didn’t even think Cy saw him as attractive. But beautiful...? Martin swayed on his feet. He had to do something other than just bobble there. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Cy’s. Rough skin met soft slick skin. Martin shivered. Cy tasted like wine and something else. His brain shouted sunshine, but how the fuck was it possible a vampire could taste like the one thing that should kill him?

Cy’s groan, combined with his inching closer to Martin turned Martin on more. Cy was intoxicating. Getting involved with him could be deadly. Why did Martin suddenly not give a shit if Cy killed him?

Martin broke the kiss and dropped to his knees. He’d never been so overt, but fuck, he needed to taste the delectable vampire. Martin rubbed his face on Cy’s groin, memorizing the scent of smoke and liquor on Cy’s clothes. The musk of excited man hung in the air as well. Nice.

“I shouldn’t want you so much,” Cyrus rumbled. “But shouldn’t sucks cock.”

“No.” Martin fumbled with Cy’s button and the zipper on his jeans. “I suck cock.”

Eyes rolling back, Cy forked his fingers into Martin’s hair, tugging the short strands. The rush of pain kicked his lust into another dimension. The definite bulge in Cy’s jockey shorts indicated something was brewing between them. Martin smoothed his mouth over Cy’s erection and breathed in deep. God, he loved the smell of turned-on man.

Cy moaned and slowly worked his groin against Martin’s face. Martin took the opportunity to lick from the bottom to the top of the bulge.

“Fuck.” The grasping got tighter. “Too good.”

No shit. The whole scene was too damned good. Martin inched back and rifled in his back pocket for his wallet. Condom. He always had a spare or two. Too bad he never really got the chances to use them. The foil refused to budge from the thick leather. Fuck. Of all the times he wanted a condom and now the thing wouldn’t cooperate.

“Take your time.” Cy ripped his shirt up over his head and shifted his weight. He smoothed his hand from Martin’s hair and cupped his cheek. “We’ve got till the sun comes up around seven.”

That sounded a little better, but he still felt stupid. Couldn’t even get a condom from his wallet. Martin closed his eyes and took a long draw of air. Settle, he reminded his nerves. Time to settle. As he let out the breath, he gazed at Cy. Even a little weathered, the guy oozed sex appeal. Crooked grin, deep-set eyes. And then there was the body. Lean muscle in all the right places, a thin trail of hair between his pecs...delicious. Martin wobbled on his knees.

“Sheath me so we can find heaven.”

Cy’s command brought Martin from his lust-induced haze. Sheathing. Yes. That would be a great idea. He pulled the pesky packet from his wallet and ripped the foil with his teeth. At the same time, Cy worked open his jeans and shoved the denim towards the floor. The fabric pooled at his feet in a soft thump.

Martin gasped. No boxers. No briefs. Just sexy, shorn cock. Wow. Martin stared up at Cyrus as he rolled the rubber down Cy’s length. Cy shivered and a slow smile curled on his lips.

“Drop you pants.”

Martin scurried from his position on the floor and unbuttoned his slacks. The cotton tangled around his ankles as he shoved his boxer shorts in the same direction. God, he had no grace when he wanted fucked.

“Easy does it.” Cy placed his hand on Martin’s back. “On the bed on all fours.”

“I want you to bite me.”

“Martin.”

“There’s more between us than just lust.” Martin sat on the edge of the bed and leaned back, exposing his ass. “I don’t understand how, but I belong to you.”

Monday, October 24, 2011

Author Interview with Giselle Renarde




Today we’d like to welcome Giselle Renarde. She’s written quite a few books and we’re thrilled for her to be here, but let’s get down to the interview. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I really started to consider myself a writer, both internally and externally, when I quit my day job to write full-time. At that point, there was no escape. When people asked me, “What do you do for a living?” I couldn’t fall back on my day job for a response. I had to fess up to being an author. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who ask, “Why the hell would you want to do that?” or “What kind of money do you make?” It’s a little baffling, actually.



Aren’t people nosy? Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Other authors, absolutely. I came to writing from the business world, with about 60 knives sticking out of my back, so I fully expected authors to be cut-throat. I was blown away when I discovered how much authors will do to help a newbie, and to help promote the work of other authors, established or not. Now I try to give back by hosting interviews and free publicity events on my blog. I want to make sure other authors enjoy the same positive experience I did coming into the industry.


We’re glad you’re here. Love your work and glad you could stop by. How long does it take you to write a book?

“Longer than it should,” I always chastise myself. I write a lot of short stories, primarily because I really love them, but in doing so I end up interrupting the flow of whatever book I’ve been working away at. When I wrote my novel ANONYMOUS, I think I started in November 2010 and submitted it in February 2011. I often scold myself for being a slow writer, but that’s actually not too bad, and when I hear from other authors I realize more and more that a lot of us tend to work at the same rate.

Well, some of us are slower than others. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Writing is my day job, so, like most people who run their own businesses, I work at it pretty much constantly. The first thing I do in the morning is check my email, indulge in a few guilty pleasures like Twitter and Amazon’s Author Central, and then I write, edit, submit manuscripts, source calls for submission, work on marketing and publicity, etc. Most days, I hardly stop to eat, which is terrible, I know.

Sadly, we stop to eat. Chocolate. But wow, you are a busy person. We can’t keep up. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Oh gosh…I have dozens of e-books on the market and stories in over 50 erotic anthologies, but I think my favourite would have to be My Mistress’ Thighs. First of all, it’s a gorgeous book. That has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Dawné Dominique, who created the cover, and with the people who did all the print formatting. But aside from the way it looks, I love My Mistress’ Thighs so much because it’s full of stories I’ve written over the years about transgender characters. There isn’t much erotic fiction on the market that depicts trans and genderqueer people as much more than sissies and sex toys. With a transsexual partner and many trans friends, it was important to me to portray trans characters as real people, who might fall in love, might have sex, but might also have concerns about their physical forms. A lot of my characters have complicated or negative relationships with their bodies, or with receiving pleasure or being seen naked. There’s a built-in depth, for those reasons.


I love how you’ve made them real. That’s big, you’re right. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I actually hear from trans and genderqueer readers quite often, letting me know they really related to this or that character I wrote. There’s nothing else in the world that makes me feel so awesome, or that spurs me to write more, even though it’s such a niche market and my trans work doesn’t tend to attract a “general audience.” (Though, I wish it would! If you’re a “general audience” type reader, give my trans work a try! I think you’ll be very surprised and it won’t be at all what you were expecting. Especially stories like ‘The Public Life of Private Paulsen’ and ‘Red Satin’ and ‘Spring Fever’ and ‘Expanded Definitions,’ which all have such lovely romance components.)

What do you think makes a good story?

Sparks of recognition. I think a good story is made up of relatable details. When I’m reading a book and I find myself giggling and thinking, “Yup, I’ve had a rude waiter like that,” or “I can see myself dropping my phone in the toilet,” or gasping and thinking, “I know what it’s like to be touched that way and feel my body respond like that,” then it almost doesn’t matter if that book is urban fantasy or contemporary erotica. There’s love in recognition, even if it is a mirror love, perhaps a form of narcissism, but that blissful collaboration between author and reader drives a story forward.


I know a little about ruining a phone...in the washing machine. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Cats! They are at best cuddly and at worst snobbish, they’ll let you know when they want attention and when they don’t, and it’s lovely to wake up wearing one for a hat.

Hee hee. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

“Why is there a cat on my head?”

I’ve never had a cat on my head, but I’ve had one attached to my leg, insisting he needed fed. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sitting in front of the TV with my hand in a bowl of cool water after slipping in my kitchen and somehow managing to plunge it into a boiling pot of pasta. Don’t worry, I’m fine now or I wouldn’t be typing. 

Probably a good thing. What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

“Damn it, Janet.” ~Rocky Horror Picture Show

That’s a great movie. Our line is “Damn,” by Jeff Dunham. Seems to explain a lot for us. Have you ever eaten a crayon?


No, but now I kind of want to. What colours do you recommend?

Chartreuse. What is your favorite animal?

I actually ask myself that question a lot, because, to me, it relates to spirit quest guides and that sort of thing. The answer I tend to come up with is “fox” (because of my name) but I feel most in awe around deer. I relate to their skittishness and fear and mistrust. There’s something so special about walking along and finding yourself face to face with a deer. I love my cats too, of course.

What do you want to know about the future?

Nothing. I’d rather be surprised.

What stereotype would you label yourself as?

Oooh…dangerous question. There are two that fit me well: “feminist lesbian,” and all the pro-equality, anti-oppression ranting and raving that entails (it really is exhausting, I tells ‘ya!) and at home “sitcom husband” because I very often end up in the doghouse and I can never quite figure out why. I’ve learned to swallow my pride and say, “I’m sorry” quite a lot, which generally works as long as my Sweet doesn’t realize I don’t know what I’m sorry for.

Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms! They scare the bleep out of my cats, but that just means I end up with cuddly kitties in my lap, and who wouldn’t love that? (Well, people with allergies, I guess…or people who don’t like cats.)

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

I’ve actually promised my girlfriend that if I ever get any opportunity to make a wish that was guaranteed to come true, I would wish for her to inhabit a fully female body. As I mentioned earlier, my Sweet is transsexual, which means she was born in a male body and raised as a boy, but internally she’s a woman. There’s a mismatch in what’s between the ears and what’s between the legs, as she likes to say. So I’ve promised to use my wish on her, and wish for her to wake up with a girl body. Though, it wouldn’t be an entirely selfless wish, because she’d probably wake up with my face between her thighs, too! LOL (Naughty Giselle!)

(http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/Anonymous.html)
Thanks so much!
Giselle



Want to know more about Giselle Renard? Here you go:
Eroticist Giselle Renarde (http://www.wix.com/gisellerenarde/erotica) is a queer Canadian, avid volunteer, contributor to more than 50 short story anthologies, and author of dozens of electronic and print books, including Anonymous, Ondine, and My Mistress' Thighs. Ms Renarde lives across from a park with two bilingual cats who sleep on her head.

http://donutsdesires.blogspot.com
http://www.wix.com/gisellerenarde/erotica
http://twitter.com/GiselleRenarde


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Book Video ~ Fire Woman by Megan Slayer



Fire Woman

She’s everything he needs...if he can withstand the burn.

Atria Moline isn't your average photographer. She controls fire. Sounds fun, being able to scorch whenever you like? Think again. She's lonely and desperate for the touch of the man who can dance in her flame -- if she doesn't immolate him first.

Zac "Iceman" Frost controls the stage with his band Glow. He's not about to back down from Atria's challenge. He's got secrets of his own and his sights set on her.

Contains some hot sex between a fire elemental and a sexy water elemental.

Available Soon From Changeling Press!


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Want to see your book commercial here? Email us at menagerieauthors@gmail.com to find out how!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

BTT: Reading Habits



Do your reading habits change when you’re on vacation? Do you read more? Do you indulge in lighter, fluffier books than you usually read? Do you save up special books so you’ll be able to spend real vacation time with them? Or do you just read the same old stuff, vacation or not?

My reading habits don't change on vacation (at least that I recall, since I can't remember the last time I took any time off from real life) ... except that I read more. I read what I enjoy reading all the time (stuff that many would consider light and fluffy, I suppose, since I tend to read romance or other genre fiction).

Why would I suddenly pick up War and Peace because I have a little time off?

What about you? Do your reading habits change when you're on vacation?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Author Interview with James Hatch!


Today we welcome Dr. James L. Hatch, author of The Final Experiment, Kill Zone, Aftermath Horizon, The Judge, Infinity Quest, The Empress of Tridon, The Substitute and Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Welcome James!


Thank you Menagerie Authors, it’s good of you to have me as your guest.


You’re thorough! Lots of titles. So, we’ll start by asking a few questions. Where are you from?



Sometimes a simple question can generate a complex answer. This is one of those. For someone who has lived in one place all their life, the answer is a slam-dunk, but moss never grew under my feet. Until I retired a third time, the longest I stayed in one place was seven years. The down side is that you never have any real friends, people you’ve known for years that can help you in a bind. The up side is you learn to deal with whatever confronts you on your own. As I traveled the U.S. and the world, I have visited Thule, Greenland, the Australian Great Barrier Reef and dozens of countries in between. I have worked in many villages and towns from Alaska to Texas, and Washington State to Maryland. I traveled until I tired of traveling, and then settled down in central Texas. I still get out three or four times a year, but life is so good here it’s getting harder to leave.


I guess you were right. When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing on 9/12/01. Yes, that’s the day after the Twin Towers fell and about 3,000 people were murdered. I was angry and writing helped. For the next five years, I poured my soul into a novel called Kill Zone, expressing my rage at religious fanaticism and the futility of terrorism. Of course, the book was so full of anger no one wanted to read it. It dripped with venom. So I spent the next five years re-writing it, toning it down. In the process, two additional stories spun off. One was “The Final Experiment”, the other Aftermath Horizon (both at xoxopublishing.com). After the nth re-write, Kill Zone was accepted by Eternal Press, and will be published in November, 2011. In the process of working out my grief and anger, I became fascinated with trying to write correctly, just to see if I could. My Sci-Fi trilogy (The Judge, Infinity Quest and The Empress of Tridon) was published by xoxopublishing.com. After that, I tried paranormal comedy, and now have two novels with Solstice Publishing (The Substitute and Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!). I find it interesting my writing has gone from deadly serious to side-splitting funny. Writing was therapeutic; I needed to do it.


Writing is therapeutic for us. It keeps us sane. Are your books realistic?

I love this question because I’m a fiction writer—I lie for a living. So yes, I try to deceive people into believing the books are real. In each of my books, I include realistic “grounding”, links to known or accepted fact/dogma that make the tale seem true. Kill Zone is my most Michael Crichton-like novel. It’s loaded with science fact and near-fact, so much so that one reader asked if the majority of the novel was real or fiction. Aftermath Horizon is next, another contemporary fiction (my personal favorite). That novel not only has considerable science fact built in, but also considerable religious reference. I enjoy including religious overtones, especially those that make people think. For example, Aftermath Horizon reveals the reason Adam and Eve’s children found mates, when, if Adam and Eve were first and second, there shouldn’t have been any. My Sci-Fi trilogy is a mixture of science fact/fiction, and religious fact/fiction. The three novels were a joy to write, and became more complex as I moved toward conclusion. The Judge is a cool story from beginning to end, but in Infinity Quest, I tried to trick the reader (and did). By the time I got to The Empress of Tridon, I had considerable practice at deception. The ending is impossible to guess. I can honestly say nothing in The Substitute is realistic, except the way rotten people act. That one was written for laughs only, is quite successful at it and has many five-star reviews. The sequel, Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! is also a paranormal comedy, but has a dark side as well. In it, I tried to mix comedy with a serious social message. It was designed to lead the reader on a ride as coarse as a saw blade, with horror intermixed with laugh-out-loud scenes. Yes, it was fun to write, and will be published in August, 2011. I am currently working on the sequel to Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!, a novel called, The Training Bra. Like The Substitute, I expect that one will be just for laughs alone.



What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

Another great question. I am a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t plan formally, I just write. Usually, I dream my plots, and write the ensuing novel rather quickly. My dreams are in color, detailed and I have a good dream memory. However, in one case, I resorted to planning on paper. The scene was so complex and difficult I could not make it come together until I locked myself out of my car at the Temple city dump during a thunderstorm. I found shelter in a small city office away from most of the dump smells, borrowed a pen and paper and waited for my wife to rescue me. That hour was one of my most productive because, in that time, I was able to plan how three killers would murder Miss Havana (with good reason) all in one night, and none would know others had already killed her. I also needed to have all the killers and accomplices die violently/comically, most of them in the same night, so that everyone involved in her death arrived in the devil’s domain in a gaggle. I’m sure, to this day, the employee in that tiny office has no idea why I spent the hour snickering when most soaking wet people in that situation would have been fuming.


What is your favorite character you’ve written (published or not)? Why?

Hands down, Miss Havana. She is wicked and funny, and even has her own advice column. The concept for the character came to me in a dream. She is beautiful (so much so that her entire face is never shown on the book covers), smart and conniving. The devil is attracted to her because of her beauty and evil nature…and because she is so apt at striking back at those who harmed her. She is a substitute teacher while alive, but becomes the substitute for the devil after she attracts him with her wile. The war of the sexes follows, all in great fun. In Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!, our heroine, having performed one selfless act that saved the world, nets a space in heaven’s probation. There she fancies herself “The Angel of Death.” She sets about righting wrongs on the surface, only to come face-to-face with God. On being scolded, she bats her eyes suggestively and asks if there is a Mrs. God, but her flirting falls flat. God deals with her in a most unexpected way. The character is wacky but charming, someone you love and hate at the same time. I love her complex nature, and the situations she puts herself in. Overall, she takes readers on a wild and comical ride through life, death, hell, purgatory and heaven. And through it all she remains…uniquely Miss Havana.


What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

I have a cat. In fact, I’ve had a cat as far back as I can remember. Once, I even had two cats. I like them because they are independent and fussy. They also make great fodder for stories. In my current WIP, the cat takes on the spirit of Lilith, the ultra-wicked daughter of Miss Havana and Lucifer. As you might expect, Lucifer is assigned to the dog. The dog and cat watch over Miss Havana’s developing spirit when she is banned to the body of an eleven-year-old girl (The Training Bra). Lucifer doesn’t know the cat is his daughter (the bane of his existence). He just thinks the cat is inherently evil. Don’t look for anything socially redeeming in the book because you won’t find it. Laughter is the only goal.



What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Okay, this might gross you out, but the strangest was a water buffalo penis. I know, I know. They are a delicacy in some parts of China, and I’m also aware that many starving people would probably enjoy having one right now; however, I left about three feet of it on the serving plate. Just couldn’t stuff another gelatinous spoonful in my mouth. Next was probably the Japanese pub food—the small pile of fish Jell-O with a raw egg topper. Come to think of it, the eels hopping around on the grill in Korea weren’t too good either, nor were the animal entrails that followed.


What is one thing scientists should invent?

A red box for books. Think about it. We have POD. Why not POD in a red box? Something like that could increase sales. Maybe I could sell more than one book a week if they put a red book box outside every sex toy store in the country? Another good invention would be a garbage disposal that doesn’t break three minutes before the first guest arrives for your biggest party of the year.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

Morning. Early morning. Very early. Sometimes so early most people think it’s still night. That’s the problem with not being able to sleep well, especially when I’m in the middle of a novel. I just want to write when the ideas are fresh. Sleep is optional. Besides, the moment my wife wakes up, it’s all over. That’s when the chores and nagging to do them begins. I mean, who cares if the vacuuming doesn’t get done. Dust bunnies aren’t dangerous. Ditto on washing the car. It’ll just get dirty again. And don’t get me started on that brown patch of rock we call our front yard. It looked like that long before I moved here, and I see no reason to fight nature over its appearance now.


Do you like thunderstorms?

Yes! So much so that I became a weatherman. No, really. My Ph.D. is in meteorology. I’ve followed weather all my life, even live in it. But here’s a surprise. I’ve never made a forecast. I’m one of those guys who designs the software and displays weather people use. Also some of the models. I love graphics and advances in computer systems—I am a true first-order technocrat. My wife wonders why I need the fastest computer available when all I do is write. I tell her it’s in the genes. I can’t help myself.


If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

World peace. A cure for cancer. An end to hunger. Oh, wait, those were my answers for the Miss America contest, just in case Miss Havana wanted to compete. For me, I would probably wish for the ability to wish for anything. Then I’d spend a month or so thinking about it. In all probability the “wish warranty” would expire before I made up my mind. At least, that’s how it generally works.


You seem to like Miss Havana a lot. Can you tell us a little about The Substitute?

The novel offers a hilarious romp through the final days of Miss Havana’s life, her trials in purgatory, and her afterlife with Lucifer. Witty and spicy, it leaves readers in tears of laughter. In The Substitute, Miss Havana’s public persona is far from the truth because, in her capacity as substitute teacher, the small community where she lived knows her as the breathtakingly beautiful young woman who demands every student learn, but in her private life, ostensibly caring for aging parents in Chicago, she races through the lives of powerful men, leaving a wake of destruction…and a deep desire for revenge. Little does she realize her conflicted life will end in a chaotic death at an early age, and to eternal conflict with the devil. The surprise ending will leave the reader stunned and gasping for more. In the sequel, Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!, she becomes an advice columnist by day and assassin by night. Miss Havana’s spirit wrongly considers itself the Angel of Death, but is eventually brought to task by God.




Do you have any final words for our readers?

I’d just like to thank them all for stopping by, and invite them to leave a comment. I’d also like to thank you for having me here. It’s been fun.

We’re glad to have you! Now do you want to know more about James L. Hatch? Here you go!

http://www.solsticepublishing.com/
http://www.myspace.com/author_hatch
http://www.xoxopublishing.com/shop-online
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000328752553
http://www.facebook.com/pages/James-L-Hatch/122349661172963?sk=wall

Although his Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. are in Chemistry and Meteorology, James
worked as a scientist and system/software engineer before retiring a third time, then
turned to writing. Extensive travel, from Thule, Greenland to Australia’s Great Barrier reef – and to dozens of countries in between – provide the real-life experiences he incorporates into everything he writes.

James enjoys boating, kayaking, skiing, traveling, hiking, tending nine grandchildren
(no more than two at a time), and ballroom dancing, but his first love is writing, and all other activities are molded around it. He has completed seven novels and one short story, and intends to continue writing in the Sci-Fi and Paranormal Comedy genres. He has contracts with xoxopublishing.com, Solstice Publishing and Eternal Press.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Book Video ~ A Wolf's Duty ~ Jennifer Alli




As the last surviving werewolf prince, it is Tobias' birthright to be King and lead his people, keeping their existence hidden fromthe humans they have lived beside for centuries and those that have hunted them,dedicated to the extinction of his species. But Tobias has no mate and withoutone he can never be King. For over two hundred years he has searched but it isonly after a mysterious call for help that his search ends.

Alex has not had an easy life and despite the happiness that Tobias brings, his arrival makes her life no less complicated. Her connectionto Tobias is strong and almost instantaneous, overcoming the years of cautionand mistrust that living with her abusive, violent father has caused, almost asthough something beyond their control was bringing them together.

As hidden secrets from Alex's past are unearthed, revealinghow extraordinarily different she truly is, Alex is pulled irrevocably into Tobias' world, but as they soon discover his world is no less dangerous thanthe one she left behind. When their two worlds collide will their love surviveor will his duty and her differences keep them apart?

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Duty-Love-Bites-ebook/dp/B004G8P0VG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313474104&sr=8-1

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35583

www.jennifertalliwordpress.com

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vampire Mine ~ Part Two


copyright c.2011 Megan Slayer



“Um...” Martin tapped the top of his bottle with his index finger. “You’re a vampire?”

“I’m a bartender.” Cyrus glanced away and fidgeted with his towel. “Nothing thrilling.”

“I see.” Martin ran his thumbnail down the line of condensation on his beer bottle. “Candy told me all about you. Crazy. She seemed to think we’d hit it off.” He paused and drummed his fingers on the bar top. Fuck. He never should’ve listened to the bubbly waitress. She might know Cyrus, but the way to really get to know him wasn’t bluntness. Still, he couldn’t help but be drawn to him, vampire or not. “I think we might...hit it off.”

Cy’s eyes widened, but he said nothing.

In for a pound... “If you’re a vampire—it’s cool. I’m not looking for status or a one nighter. I’d like a hot time with a hot guy, absolutely. A glass of wine, good conversation...”

“Hot sex?” Candy elbowed in next to him and nodded to Cyrus. “He wants hot sex, he’s just being a doofus and not saying it.”

A crimson flush crept across Cyrus’ cheeks and down his neck. Although Martin wanted to wrap his hands around Candy’s pretty little neck and wring it, he couldn’t help but smile at Cyrus. The blush was so sexy. Yeah, he did want hot sex with Cyrus and damned soon.

“I’m needed down at the other end of the bar.” Cyrus dipped his head and scurried away.

“Thanks, Candy. How sweet of you. I was making progress.”

“Bullshit,” she snorted. “I saw you. You’re so screwed.”

“No, I’m not.” Angry, more than a little. She had such timing.

“Seriously?” She leaned one elbow on the bar and leaned into him. “Good advice? Good wine? Just say what you freaking mean. You want to go into the office and suck him off.”

Okay, she kind of had him there. Just not in quite such blunt terms. “I thought I’d use a little more finesse.”

“Finesse blows.” She snorted and glanced out over the dance floor. “Look, it’s almost two am. Last call should be...” she pointed at the DJ.

“You know what time it is folks, Last Call.” The DJ waved his hands in the air. “Get those last drinks ‘cuz the bar closes in exactly ten minutes.”

Candy grinned. “See? Right on time.” She leaned in a little closer than Martin wanted and whispered, “He takes exactly twenty minutes to clean up—OCD, I swear. Be here at 2:20 sharp.”

“Candy.”

“Offer him a ride. He always walks and why? He can kick almost everyone’s collective ass. And, no, he doesn’t know I know about him being gay and a vampire, but I’m telling you, a woman knows.” She tipped her head and ambled away into the gyrating group of dancers.

Martin peeled the edge of the label on his beer bottle and thought about her words. It had been quite a long time since he’d had anyone to talk to. Even longer since he’d been in a relationship he enjoyed. He placed money on the bar and strolled into the crisp night air. He had a little less than half an hour to make up his mind.

Stay or go.

He plopped down behind the wheel of his Beemer and scooted low in the seat. He thought about Cyrus. With other men, Martin had no troubles. They saw his blue eyes and crooked smile and the deal was sealed. With Cyrus? No dice. The guy scared him. Was it the vampire thing? No. It was Cyrus, so damn skittish. What was he afraid of? Who hurt Cyrus?

Martin drew a long breath and let it out slowly. He wanted to do this right, despite Candy’s advice. Cyrus deserved honesty and the best Martin could give him. He climbed out from behind the wheel and headed back into the bar.

He’d listen to a little of Candy’s advice.

But just a little.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Author Interview ~ LaVerne Clark



The fantastic LaVerne Clark is here today talking about her work, movies that make her cry and her heritage. Come on. You know you want to read on!

I know I do. Let’s get this interview started. Where are you from?



I’m a New Zealander and live in the coastal town of Nelson, at the top of the South Island. The scenery is incredible with mountains edging us and National Parks dotted around. The beaches are clean and safe, and when the sun is out (which is most of the time - Nelson is the sun-shine capital of our country) there are few other places more beautiful.

Sounds fantastic. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

Oh, my. I’m blushing just thinking of it : ) That would have to be the sex-scene in Guardian of the Jewel. The sexual tension had been building from the moment they set eyes on each other, and so I wanted the scene to be both hot and sensual. Trouble was, I couldn’t stop thinking my folks would probably read it! Then I told myself to stop being ridiculous. I hadn’t had anything published yet, and the likelihood of them reading it was not high. So, I wrote the scene purely for the characters. Then I got the wonderful news that The Wild Rose Press would like to publish my story! After the excitement, my next thought was of THAT scene – and the people reading it! In case you’re wondering, my mother loved it and my father closed his eyes and thought of England : )

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

There was a nationwide competition for Primary schoolchildren, organized by the Coca Cola factory, to write a story about the processes that went into the making of Coca Cola. We’d been for a school visit, took notes, and had a week to write it. My idea was to write the story from the point of view of a bottle called Bob. Bob spoke about how he came to be, what it felt like to be cleaned, then filled with this delicious, tickly liquid. We travelled with him as he got placed in a refrigerator in a shop and then bought by a thirsty little girl. After she’d had her fill, he got dumped, sorted and then finally squashed by the compacting machines. Just when you think that was the end of Bob – he pops up again saying, “Hello. I’m back with a new shiny coat.” So a happy ending after all. My teacher loved the story and thought I had a great chance to win the competition, but a few days later took me aside to say the organizers wouldn’t accept it. It wasn’t factual enough for them. I’ll never forget the disappointment in her eyes – more so than me. That was my first taste of rejection. Nothing like learning from a young age! : )

I’ve been hooked ever since.


And we’re glad you were hooked, but not rejected. That's no fun. What does your family think of your writing?

My family is hugely supportive and proud of what I do. My son (he’s 10) wonders why I won’t let him read my book as he loves to read as well. My husband has been a huge help with my current WIP – probably because it’s about a heroine with super-hero ability. He keeps coming up with cool scenes, and after hashing it out together, we come up with something that fits the story. It’s been a lot of fun.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Ooo – what a difficult question to answer! I’m going to sneak in two here : ) My favorite romance author would have to be the great LaVyrle Spencer. Her characters are so real and no-one writes emotion with such honesty and depth as she does. I was in mourning the day I heard she’d retired from writing. My other would be a toss-up between Diana Gabaldon and Jodi Picoult – but I think Jodi has the edge, just. I love how Ms. Picoult shows us the two sides to a controversial topic, and constantly reminds us life is never black and white.

Yes, she does. We like both. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’d love to! I’m working on a super-hero themed novella in response to a submission call from Samhain Publishing.

Jenna Thomas is a loner. Labeled a freak when she was younger because of her ability to ‘call’ creatures and take on their attributes, she keeps to herself as an adult, not letting anyone close. But that all changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning in extraordinary circumstances, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman catches the end of the drama and investigates the incident, not sure what to believe. His cynicism and growing attraction to Jenna is put to the test when word of her abilities gets out, thrusting her into the limelight. His protective instincts kick in when she is targeted by some very dangerous people who’ll stop at nothing to get her under their control.


What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

You can’t beat a greyhound : ) We adopted our ex-racing greyhound, Jazzy, two years ago and she has been just the most wonderful addition to our family you could imagine. She’s loyal, gives unconditional love, always happy to see you, teaches the children compassion and is the biggest couch potato you could imagine. They are truly the easiest breed of dog to own if you’ve got a busy family life.

Awww. We love dogs, too. What is your heritage?

I’m a true Bitzer (bits of this and bits of that), with Maori, Irish, English and French ancestry. Although I look like a typical Irish Coleen, I’m fascinated by my Maori heritage. A current WIP has a heroine who is half-Maori called Aroha. Aroha is the Maori word for love. I’m loving the research into the culture and protocol that is present in everyday Maori life and enjoying getting to know more about that side of my ancestry.

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

Oh – I’d LOVE to be able to do this! Just for the record – I loathe bullies, but I’d love to erase the one day I joined in and became one.

There was this boy in my class who was overweight, spoke with a lisp and who had full, shiny red lips. I’d always been nice to him, especially as others weren’t. It was yet another day, and he was being taunted by the others at our table. I sneered at him and made a nasty comment. I remember the others looking at me with approval – but it was his face I will never forget. He looked up at me with wounded eyes, his mouth open in shock – and then he turned bright red and ducked his head. Oh, how I wish I could turn the clock back. I’ve never felt so low. The good news is that I’ve found and friended him on facebook and he has a great life. He’s lost weight, traveled the world and has a lot of friends who appreciate the great person he is.


Aww, but at least you learned, yanno? Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Two movies come to mind immediately. The Green Mile – no need to explain that one : ) and the other is a New Zealand, Once Were Warriors. Oh. My. Gosh. My husband and I came out of that movie theatre shaking and with tears running down our cheeks. So were the rest of the crowd who’d gone in the see it. It is a powerful, hard-hitting movie about a low-income Maori family living with domestic abuse and alcoholism. There are some beautiful moments in the movie too – but one scene in particular had me bawling like a baby. Not a movie easily forgotten, that’s for sure.

Yes! I cried during The Green Mile, too. Do you like thunderstorms?

I LOVE thunderstorms and I blame that on my mother : ) When we were little, if the thunder and lightning started up, Mum would yell out, “It’s cuddle-weather!” and we’d all go running up to her for a big squeeze. We’d all sit huddled in front of the picture-window and watch Mother Nature put on her show. I do that with my own children now and it never fails to warm my heart.

Want to know more about Guardian of the Jewel? Here you go!



After coming to terms with the brutal death of her husband by unknown thugs half a world away from New Zealand, Amy Hamblin concentrates on bringing up their son alone, struggling to make their dream of an action-adventure tourism venture a success. When a dark, dangerous-looking man knocks on her door late at night claiming to be a guest, the safe, quiet life she’d created is suddenly anything but...

Gabriel Ryan’s task of finding the priceless blue diamond Amy’s husband stole from
an organized crime ring, is made all the more difficult by the attraction that sizzles between them. Playing a role had never been so hard, and now, with a ruthless killer on the trail of the missing jewel as well, he needed his wits about him to keep them all alive.

Buy Link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=137&products_id=4283

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Guardian-Jewel-Night-ebook/dp/B004AHKBYY/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1

My Blog: http://www.laverneclark.blogspot.com/


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Book Video ~ Bite with Height by Lucy Felthouse




When Meg spots a young woman alone in the Pigalle district of Paris at night, she's intrigued. She has to know her story and find out why she looks so sad and alone. After introducing herself, Meg realizes that she and Grace have a lot in common. But when they decide to go and grab a drink together, they discover a mutual love that could bond them forever.

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bitewithheight-575237-139.html

http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk
http://www.twitter.com/cw1985
http://www.facebook.com/lucyfelthousewriter

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

Want to see your book commercial here? Email us at menagerieauthors@gmail.com to find out how!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vampire Mine ~ Part One

After much thought and talk with the girls, I went with a vampire - I do know a lot about them, living with three - and well, why not. So here's part one. Read and enjoy!


copyright c.2011 Megan Slayer



“Vampire!”

Cyrus jerked up from his place at the bar. Vampire? Who squealed? Techno music blared and sweaty bodies gyrated before him. A rainbow of colors splashed all over the bar top and glittered on the hanging wine goblets and brandy snifters.

“Come on everyone and dance to the latest by Mamie Lala, Vampire.” The DJ worked the tables and switched the track. The first strains of the Mamie Lala song thumped the floor of the bar.

Cyrus rolled his eyes and resumed drying the tall boy beer glass. He didn’t exactly advertise his...persuasion. Once most women found out he was a vampire they wanted one of two things, to say they’d bedded a vampire or to run the other way. The last one to get to know him beyond his name and preferred blood type was Annabel and she left once she realized he couldn’t provide the things she wanted, like long walks in the sunshine or day trips in the convertible. And he wasn’t really interested in getting married in a church. Call him crazy but the possibility of immolation didn’t really sit well with him.

Candy, one of the waitresses wiggled up next to him. “Like this song?” She bumped him with her hip. “I liked War Horses better. Are you finally gonna ask me out tonight?”

Cyrus placed the glass right side up on the drying towel. “Well, hon, I’m actually thinking about cashing in when the night’s up. Not in a cheery mood.”

“You never are.” She drummed her fingers on the bar top. “Oh hell. He’s here again.” Candy dug her elbow into Cyrus’ side. “Since you refused, I’m asking him to dance.”

Cyrus looked in the direction she pointed. Oh hell was right. He wobbled on his feet for a moment. He’d hoped the guy would come back, but then again, he was a terrible judge of character. For all he knew the guy wasn’t even gay or bi.

Oh well. Right now he had drink orders to fill and more tall boys to wash.

“Beer please?”

Cyrus turned towards the voice, ready to get the order. Instead of a club kid or one of the waitresses, his mystery man smiled and tipped his bottle.

His heart hammered in his chest—odd since Cyrus didn’t really need it. He forced himself forward and flattened his hands on the bar top. “Draft, bottle or house?”

The man tilted his head towards the dance floor. “Your girl there hooked me up with a Bud. Got anything by the house that’s better?”

His girl? Crap. His brain didn’t want to work. What the hell did they have for beer?

“Buddy, stay with us. I just meant I wanted a new beer. You okay?”

Shit. He’d been staring way too long. Cyrus bumbled through the beer selections. “What’ll you have?”

“What do you suggest?”

“I’ll ask Candy. She’s tasted everything on the list and a few I didn’t know we had.”

“You don’t drink?”

Not anything with liquor in it. “Nah. Not any longer.”

As if on cue, Candy bounced up next to the mystery man and pressed her breasts into his shoulder. “Since neither of you want to take me home, why don’t you two go fuck each other.”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh Martin, stuff it—in Cyrus. You can say you had a vampire.” She giggled and shrugged. “Or not.” Giggling again, she flopped her hair over her shoulder.

“I see.” Martin averted his gaze. “Awkward.”

And thanks to Candy, his secret was out and his mystery man not interested.

Shit.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Submitted...

I finally sent in another submission a week ago. It's a short story with the working title "Her Handyman" and is a friends to lovers story which is one of my favorite tropes.

In fact, I'd sure love some suggestions of erotic romance stories with a friends to lover plotline. I haven't read one in I can't remember how long.

Who wants to share?

Here's a movie with that trope that I (and maybe ten other people) enjoyed back in 1997:



In fact, just watching the trailer makes me want to see it again...

So, heck, I'll take movie suggestions, too!

Anyone?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Author Interview ~ Amy Valenti



With us today is my fellow Total-E-Bound author Amy Valenti. I’m so glad she’s here with us and letting us peek into her creative processes. But instead of my babbling, let’s get moving with the interview. What inspired you to write your first book?

Getting into the BDSM scene was a big turning point for me. Figuring out I was sexually submissive felt like finding the missing piece of my mental jigsaw puzzle – I understood myself a lot better, and with that came the inspiration to start writing about kinky characters.

Before I knew it, I had a series of short stories based around a Dom police detective and his forensic scientist submissive, and I submitted one of them to Total-E-Bound to see if they were interested. Once I got the acceptance, I showed my editor the rest, and she encouraged me to blend all the short stories into a novel-length piece, which became Dominance and Deception. It kind of happened by accident, really!




Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finishing things! I start so many stories, and up until a certain point I’m writing away merrily (usually until the characters have had sex, if it’s my erotica stuff). Then I’ll come up with some awesome new beginning to something else, and I’ll put aside the half-finished story to concentrate on that… I need to be more disciplined with myself, I think!

Yanno, I totally understand. I’ve got a ton of half finished stories laying around. Getting deep in here, too. Now, what was the hardest part of writing your book?

After I got into contract for Dominance and Deception, my editor emailed me to tell me that the publisher didn’t want to release any present-tense novels. Guess what tense D&D was written in? You guessed it. I had to rework 75,000 words of present-tense stream of consciousness into a more conventional past-tense format, and it was gruelling! It’s all done now, though, and I’ve made sure to switch back to writing in past tense for future releases.

Isn’t life always a live and learn? Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Oh, definitely. I first got into reading about BDSM via fan fiction, and while I understand that some things are difficult to include without taking the reader out of the scene – negotiation for safety purposes, for example – sometimes I’ll be reading through my fingers, going, ‘That’s not safe, sane or consensual! That’s abusive and horrible, and that sub is going to end up in hospital!’

What I wanted to convey with my characters, Zach and Faye, is that it’s possible to write a charged, thrilling, intense D/s relationship without putting either of the participants’ mental wellbeing on the line. I wanted to have their relationship threatened by outside forces, and then have the established, loving connection between them make it better again.

I hope I’ve succeeded!


Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with hearts (or anything like that)?

I have a doctor’s scrawl, which is kind of annoying, actually! One would think that someone who identifies as a writer would have more legible handwriting – but I think it comes of trying to get my ideas down as fast as I think of them, which doesn’t really encourage neatness.

Nah, neither of us have legible handwriting. Well, we can read each other’s writing, but I don’t think that counts. Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m about as far from a morning person as it’s possible to get! It takes me about three hours to fully wake up in a morning, and when I have time off work I revert to a cycle of ‘sleep until lunchtime, then stay up until the early hours’ very quickly. I wonder if it’s a writer thing…

Ah, now I know why we all get along. We’re so not morning people either. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Cats are my ideal pets – my cat, Reg, is very lazily loving and will sleep by my side for vast portions of time, every now and then stretching into cute poses to remind me he’s there. He’s the perfect writing companion!

Having said that, my dream is to one day work from home, so that I can own sugar gliders. They’re very sociable creatures that pine for you if you’re not there, and form strong attachments to one person. They’re happy to chill out in your pocket for hours, and they make the cutest little noises! I heartily recommend you YouTube them, if you don’t already know what they’re like.


Looks like we’re travelling to YouTube next. Oks, so what is one thing scientists should invent?

Teleporters. I have friends all over the world, and I’d love to be able to just zap myself over to another country to see someone for a weekend!

Sounds like a plan to me. Do you like thunderstorms?

Yes! Provided I don’t get caught in one on the way to work, that is. I can’t stand sitting around in wet clothing for hours. But I have been known to stand at the window, watching the lightning flash and the rain bounce down onto the pavement.

Once I actually grabbed my umbrella and went out walking in a massive thunderstorm. The umbrella didn’t shield me from that much of the rain, and it had metal bits in it, so I might as well have left it at home. It probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, looking back on it now, but at least I didn’t get hit by lightning!


Sounds like fun to us. Dangerous, but fun. What are your current projects?

I’m working on a novel with a working title of Suppression (I’ll think of a better one later!). It’s set a couple of hundred years in the future, in a kind of Orwellian, 1984-style dystopia where all professionals are required to have their sexual urges blocked to aid their concentration on the job. My protagonist is a medical student whose suppression procedure has failed, and she’s managed to slip under the radar, pretending she feels nothing and terrified she’ll be found out and put to death for deceiving the authorities. She’s not the only one faking it, though, and a certain guy has seen right through her pretence…

This is a story quite dear to my heart, since it’s the first novel I’ll be finishing that was actually intended to be a novel from the start! I’m not sure how long it’s going to take me, but watch this space! You can find excerpts and updates on my blog, Electrifying Erotica: http://amyvalenti.wordpress.com/


Want to read more about Dominance and Deception? Here you go:

To catch a killer, you have to think a little kinky...

Submission is a dangerous game... Faye Tate is a police forensic scientist, a switch, and secretly in love with a police detective.

Detective Zach Pierce has made many enemies, but his attraction to Faye is too strong to be denied. Can Pierce protect his submissive from those who seek to use her against him, or will her devotion to her Dom cost Faye her life?

Reader Advisory: This book alludes to scenes of F/F intimacy. It also has scenes of ménage à trois.


http://amyvalenti.wordpress.com/ - my blog, Electrifying Erotica
http://www.twitter.com/AmyValenti - my Twitter account
http://www.facebook.com/AmyValentiErotica - my Facebook account
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4676106.Amy_Valenti - my Goodreads page