Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wait, Who's That Girl Again?

Hey all, I know I've been gone a long time... sort of. I pop in now and then for interviews and hotties with Megan, but for the most part I have been seriously incommunicado. Some of you are most likely thinking, "Kealie? Who's this Kealie person?" I know, I didn't call, I didn't write (in more ways than one)... but I have very good reasons. Can you guess what they might be? I'll give a hint:

Yup, that's right, there's a new addition to the Shay household. It wasn't an easy time of it, and there were more important things than keeping up online. Yeah, don't worry, you're not the only people I forgot to keep up with... Just ask, Megan, Mysti, and JennyKat. Add more complications after the fact, some scary "We came this close to losing you!" comments and I had to take a few steps back and try to get better before I could be my bad self again. Since I'm feeling more like myself again, and am somehow managing to find at least a few hours in the day for myself, I'm back!

So, hopefully, now that I can think again, and my characters have decided that I've had enough of a break, my mind and muse are going crazy telling me I'm on notice and need to get some of this stuff I had to put off for a bit DONE! So, that's the plan.

I've missed being here, I've missed my girls, I've seriously missed the Cabana Boys (who are now the best looking babysitters in the world!), so here's keeping my fingers crossed that nothing else gets thrown at me... cuz I think I'm done for the year. :::nods:::

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Monday Author Interview with Angel Martinez

This week, I’d like to welcome the dear friend of the Menagerie, Angel Martinez. Now because I got a nasty case of Daytona 500 Fever...I sorta forgot that I posted the book video (see yesterday’s post) for Angel posted for today. Yeah, I know. Less race cars, more concentration. Anyway, since the video is up, I thought we’d start the interview as well. Hi Angel! So glad you’re here! Tell us your latest news?

Oh, my, there’s a bit of it. 2012, which is a dragon year, my birth year, is shaping up to be a busy one. The release schedule so far:
• 2/25/12: Gravitational Attraction (M/M SF Novel, Silver Publishing)
• 3/7/12: The triumphant return of Finn!! Finn: Endangered Fae #1 (M/M Fantasy novel, Silver Pub.)
• 3/10/12: Finn's Christmas: Endangered Fae #1.5 (M/M Short Story, Silver Pub.)
• 3/24/12: Diego: Endangered Fae #2 (M/M Fantasy novel, Silver Pub.)
• 4/1/12: the brand new, revised edition of Aftermath (M/M Contemporary, Romance First Publishing)
• 4/21/12: Vassily the Beautiful (M/M SF novel/ A Science Fiction Fairytale, Silver Pub.)
• Sometime later in the year will see another AmberPax release, Sub Zero (M/M SF Novella, Amber Allure)

Goodness! You’ve got a lot going on! How much of the book is realistic?

I’ve always thought this a loaded question to ask a SF/Fantasy writer. On the one hand, of course, none of it is realistic. I write about magic and the fae, non-Earth planets and author-engineered alien societies, dream-tech and imaginary critters.

On the other hand, all of these creations must be believable, so realism inasmuch as it means sticking to the created rules and fashioning worlds and characters that the reader can believe in is vital. There’s nothing more disappointing or created-world shattering than an author who says “this only works this way” only to say later, at a plot-convenient moment “Oh, wait, we forgot this one exception, that will only work right this minute.”

Yeah, I can see where that might be a bummer. I’ve written myself into a couple corners before. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

That was probably the scene in Diego where our intrepid Diego believes he’s inadvertently killed his beloved Finn during a magical duel. He was so upset that I became terribly upset. It’s hard to write when you’re crying. The letters tend to blur. Characters aren’t merely constructs of the moment for me; they become all too real, my imaginary friends. Yes, grownups have them, too. (Ever watch Foster Home for Imaginary Friends? That’s kinda what my brain looks like.)

I’ve never watched that show, but I understand. Do you see writing as a career?

If you’re asking people to shell out money for your work, you sure as rain in Portland better see it as a career. The writer might not be able to take it on full time, at least at first, since we have families to support, health insurance to purchase, and so on. But that doesn’t excuse the paid writer from a disciplined, technically sound approach. It might not be a full-time career, but it’s still a career.

True enough. If you slap it together, it will show. Good thing we don’t. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

One? I might have to cheat here. I have the most fabulous critique partner in the known galaxy, who has supported me through all my ups and downs, who believed in my when even I didn’t. I also have to give a shout out to the lovely folks over at It’s Raining Men who welcomed me with open arms, (bizarre quirks and all) and are an endless source of both information and inspiration, naughty pics and a good laugh when I’m feeling blue.

Gotta have a great crit partner. Kealie works best for me. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Oh, fine, twist my arm :D

Gravitational Attraction
A M/M Science Fiction novel

A distress call draws the Hermes to a drifting ship, empty except for the gore-spattered corridors and one survivor. Drawn to the traumatized man, Isaac offers the kindness he needs. But Turk harbors secrets, his brain a dangerous military experiment. It will take more than kindness to save them all.

Unedited excerpt:

While Isaac couldn’t run in the heavy exo-suit, he did pick up the pace. Unlike his first foray with the remote, now he knew exactly which cross-corridors and doorways to use. Within three minutes, he had them in the lift, headed toward the holding block. The heavy blast door slid aside to show the gruesome tableau at the comm console. A catch of breath in his pickup told Isaac that Rand had probably missed this the first time through. He couldn’t be sure, but their nervous scan tech had most likely been one of the bridge officers throwing up.

“Still only showing one heartbeat,” Isaac said to distract them all. “This way.”

He led them down a corridor marked “A-block” where they passed one empty cell after another, not empty because the occupants had been torn to pieces but entirely empty.

“What kind of Jud ship carries one prisoner?” Sylvia asked.

“Maybe they were trying to evacuate before…” Lester’s deep voice trailed off.

“Don’t waste time on speculating,” Travis cut in. “We’re close.”

The last cell held an occupant, it’s transparent, electrified door still intact and locked tight. The man lay curled in a tight ball against his air pallet, dazed eyes half open.

“Hey,” Travis shouted through the door. “Can you hear me?”

The man didn’t move, though he shivered violently, hard spasms running along massive arms and a broad back. Probably in shock.

Isaac found himself staring. Dark shadows marred the prisoner’s skin, but the strong jaw and even features spoke to a devastatingly handsome face when he was well. Even curled up so tightly, he could see the man was huge, easily two meters tall, maybe more. Golden-blond stubble atop his head indicated a recent shaving, though Isaac had no idea if he wore it that way out of choice or if prisoners were routinely shorn. He wore only a sleeveless, mid-thigh shift, which caused anger to rise in Isaac’s chest. Bad enough they locked him up, but to take away a man’s pants? Such calculated humiliation seemed cruel.

“Get the damn door open,” Travis said, bringing Isaac back to the task at hand.

Rand plugged into the wall jack, and all his uneasy sounds ceased as he concentrated on hacking the door code. The door whispered open on Rand’s triumphant cry.

“Attaboy,” Travis said. “Now go back out to the console and download the logs.”

“Out there? Alone?” The audio picked up Rand’s hard swallow.

“Dammit, son, they’re just pieces of meat out there. Nothing’ll hurt you.”


Travis sighed. “Sylvia, go with him so the ghosts don’t eat him.”

Distracted by Rand’s fears, Isaac had missed the moment their rescuee began to move. He had pushed up on trembling arms, hard muscles corded with the effort, and turned his head to face them, teeth bared in a snarl.

“Shchfteru scum,” he whispered in a cracked, ruined voice. “Damn you…”

He’s going to hurt himself. Or lunge at Travis, and then someone’s going to panic and shoot him… “Humans.” Isaac held the hands of his exo suit wide. “We’re not some damn chuff, we’re humans.”

A low growl came from the man’s chest, a sound Isaac had never heard from a person before. The man was obviously too far gone and the suits looked too menacing. He reached up, undid his helmet latches, and lifted the whole assembly off his head. “See, human. We’re here to help you. Get you out of here.”

The man stared at him, something flickering in his eyes through the rage. During his moment’s distraction, Travis and Lester grabbed him and pinned him so Dr. Varga could get him sedated.

Isaac caught a whiff of the foul air and slammed the helmet back on his head, coughing fitfully as he got the latches secured. “Oh, shit…that’s horrible…how was he still breathing?”

“Don’t know, bud.” Travis stood his suit back up for the return walk. “But the shchfteru, if they were here, it explains a hell of a lot.”

“Explains why the crew’s in shreds,” Lester rumbled. “Doesn’t explain why the ship’s whole and the boards are untouched. Or why this guy survived.”

Lester was right there.

“We need to get the Hermes away, Trav,” Isaac said softly. “The chuff don’t leave things half done. They’re bound to come back to finish.”

Great excerpt! When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I’ve written and told stories all my life, but my first novel length? Didn’t get around to that until I was thirty-five, a fantasy for young people called The Magic Brush. That manuscript will never see the light of publishing day, most likely, but the completion of it showed me I could do it, the novel-length story was possible for me. And then I wrote another…and another…

It’s always good to have some of those practice novels. I’ve got a couple practice novellas lying around. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

At this writing, I’ve completed twelve novels, three novellas, a number of single short stories and an anthology. I think Finn might always be my favorite, though ask me again in five minutes and I’ll say something else. I wrote my stories with different goals in mind and in different states of mind, so to pick a favorite is rather like trying to pick a favorite breath in one’s life.

Grin. What is your heritage?

Mutt. Like many Americans, I can’t claim one or two bits of ancestry. It’s a little on the scattered side. My mother is German. She came over from Schleswig-Holstein in 1959. My father had a Norwegian father, but his mother’s side is a bit messy, with no two relatives able to agree on exact ethnicities. He’s a retired professor of Spanish Language and Literature, so we grew up in a linguistic varietal garden. Hubby is Slovak-Polish. One sister in law is Dominican-Italian, though she grew up in Puerto Rico. One brother in law is Mexican-American. We have Catholics and Lutherans, Evangelicals and Atheists, Buddhists and Pagans. Sort of a cultural buffet, my family.

Mutts unite! Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

During a movie? Just one? I’m a terrible sap during movies. I cried at the beginning of Up, for gosh sakes. Get me involved with the characters, make me care, and heck, yes, I’m gonna cry. I’ve watched Dracula a couple dozen times now and I still cry. (Oddly enough, I didn’t cry at the end of Black Swan, though I was completely shattered. Different sort of emotional catharsis.)

Nothing wrong with getting involved with characters. I’ve had some books make me cry. What stereotype would you label yourself as?

My son calls me a hipster geek. I guess that’s better than being a hipster doofus. Yes, yes, I’m a little on the artsy side, love museums, turn my nose up at pop music, and can’t stand being “in fashion.” That would be the hipster side. Geek wise? Seriously? Star Trek, old Dr, Who, Star Wars, shelves of fantasy novels, learned to write in elvish when I was young, played D&D – doesn’t get much geekier…

I’m going to show my ignorance, but I didn’t know there was an elvish language, so you taught me that. Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

I did when I lived alone. My fear of the dark was sometimes paralyzing. Most people outgrow the monsters under their beds. Mine kinda followed me around from domicile to domicile. But once I had a warm body to snuggle up to every night, I didn’t need it any more. The dark’s all right if you don’t have to be in it alone.

Yep. It’s odd how the simple things in a room become somehow scarier in the dark. How many fingers am I holding up?

Twelve. I figure you’re an alien. Which also means you’d count in base twelve and wouldn’t know what I was talking about. (…eight…nine…glink…florst…ten….)

Now that’s not fair. I’m human and I’m not wearing gloves. Snort. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

TIME. That whole sand through the hourglass thing? That’s me all the time, with just a couple grains left up top. I’m not so cruel as to kill time, and I’m too frugal to waste it, but it’s constantly slipping through my fingers. Maybe I need chrono-velcro instead. That might work.

Thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you could make it. Now, do you want to know more about Angel? Check out these links!

Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of an author of several genres. She currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate. Her books currently live at Amber Allure and at Silver Publishing.

Angel Martinez: Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind

Sunday Book Video ~ Boots by Angel Martinez

Willem’s father never approved of his artistic talents, his choices in life, or the fact that he’s gay. When the only thing Horst leaves to Willem is the family cat, he thinks it’s his father’s last insult from the grave. That is, until the cat starts talking to him.

Though Willem’s lost his boyfriend, his home, and his job, Kasha, who claims to be a magic cat, reassures him that all will be well. All he needs is Willem’s trust and a good pair of boots. He soon discovers giving boots to a talking cat has unexpected consequences when odd events ambush him at every turn, such as the appearance of a handsome stranger in his arms at night. While he begins to suspect Kasha’s plans might be dangerous for all involved, how can he distrust such a charming kitty in cowboy boots?

Available here!
And for more on Angel Martinez:


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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday Fun with Megan - Movie Fun!

Gonna share one of my favorite movies and one of the things I watch when I get stuck. Not because it inspires me, but because it puts me in a great mood.

And yes, Murdoch is my favorite.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Author Interview with Tara Lain

This week we are welcoming the fantastic Tara Lain to the Menagerie! I’m stoked to have her here as I’ve read most all of her works. I’m a fan. Thanks for stopping by! Let’s get going on this interview! Where are you from?

I’m not exactly from anywhere. I’m an Army brat. I was born in Augusta, Georgia but left when I was six months old and have never been back. I lived in Austria before I was five and Japan before I was 12. In between and around those places we were in California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. But if I call anyplace home it’s Washington, DC. My grandparents lived there and that was my home when I was very young and my father was overseas. Then I went to college there and lived there a few years after college before moving permanently to California. I love DC -- all seasons. It’s a beautiful city.

I’ve been to DC. It was pretty when the trees were in bloom. I know you’re busting to tell us your latest news, so go ahead!

As I’m writing this, it’s the day before my one year anniversary as a published writer of romance fiction. (I’ve been a non-fiction writer for a loooong time, but am new to fiction). My first book, Genetic Attraction, came out on Jan 4, 2011 and I have five more books released since that time and three more book contracts for 2012. That, in itself, is a huge vote of confidence for a new writer. Then I learned that Genetic Attraction was nominated for a CAPA Award in Contemporary Romance and that I was nominated for Favorite Author! Holy COW! This award includes some of my great heroes and I can’t believe I am even on the list with them. And to top it off, I was nominated for the LRC Best of 2011 Awards as Best Author of 2011 and Best Series of 2011 for the Genetic Attraction series which includes The Scientist and the Supermodel, Genetic Attraction and Deceptive Attraction. Talk about ending a year on a high note!! With this kind of competition, there is little chance of winning but the encouragement to a new author is incredible!

Congrats! Do you have a specific writing style?

I always try to write in deep point-of-view. This means that the only thing the reader sees, feels, senses, and knows is what the POV character can see, feel, sense and know at that moment in time. If the character is ignorant, so is the reader. Of course, I generally have more than one POV character in a book since I write in third person so that expands the readers’ viewpoint. The result for me is a very stream-of-consciousness style. As if the words were coming from the character’s mind. Short, choppy, incomplete sentences often. I also tend to be very emotional. I like to tap into the feelings of even the most taciturn characters. People often say I bring romance to the erotic. And a touch of humor seems to show up even in my very serious books.

Humor is always good. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My books always seem to turn out to be about people living authentic lives. It’s not necessarily what I start with, but those are the ideas that my characters express. This is especially true in my book, Deceptive Attraction. A young soccer player struggles with signing a contract that will make him a big star when he feels called to serve people more directly. He is also gay and doesn’t want to stay in the closet to protect his team. Meanwhile, he meets a man as pretty as a woman who is fighting his own battles with authenticity, and a smart, adorable tomboy who makes him question his sexual identity. Authenticity is also a theme in my upcoming paranormal romance, Spell Cat, in which my hero is a gay witch master who has to struggle against enormous forces to save his community and live the life he wants -- all with the help of a very powerful cat!

You’re always original. Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

Yes, I tend to write i as a lowercase letter. Only one person, author GG Royale, has ever asked me about it. It comes from studying yoga for many years. In yoga, the student tries to see the real without constantly being blinded by ego. I got in the habit of reminding myself to do that by making my “i” a bit smaller! LOL

Interesting concept. I tried yoga once and it ended in embarrassment. What is your favorite animal?

Even though I own a papillon dog who I adore and think is the cutest beast on the planet, my favorite animals are cats and snakes. Don’t scream and run!! I find snakes to be beautiful and fascinating. I enjoy handling the ones that won’t kill me. Cats are a family tradition. My father used to say anyone who didn’t like cats was a rat in a previous incarnation. Just kidding! But I do love their independence, sassiness and sinuous beauty. I adored writing Spell Cat which has a particularly great feline in it. I hope to write several more books about Aloysius.

Considering I have two cats and two dogs, I’m easy to get along with. Snakes might get you the boot, but since there aren’t any around, I’ll live. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I never planned to write fiction or romance in particular. Since I make my living as a non-fiction writer, the idea of writing at night and on the weekends wasn’t appealing. And then I found erotic romance--specifically Jet Mykles, Lynn Lorenz and Z A Maxfield. These three writers inspired me! I loved their work so much I couldn’t help myself. Writing a book suddenly sounded like FUN! Since that inspiration, all three of these writers have become my friends. They have helped me, answered my questions endlessly, bucked me up when I was feeling down and constantly set new bars for how good erotic romance can be. I am grateful to them every day!

Grin. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I have the most fantastic readers. Because I do a lot of social media and have two blogs, I get to talk to my readers a lot. Plus, I send out an informal email newsletter and encourage my readers to write back. They are amazing. I get emails telling me how much they love my books and how I should bring out the next book quick! I love my readers. If I do a blog hop or an online party or visit a blog and gain one new reader I consider it a treasure.

Here’s the official bio and links for Tara Lain!

Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote published in January of 2011. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas, she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.
Tara Lain's Books are available at Loose Id, Etopia Press, and Amazon

Want to learn more about Deceptive Attraction? Here you go!

Caleb Martin faces a life crisis -- and he’s pretty embarrassed about it. A talented soccer star, he has the chance to sign a lucrative five year contract and be rich and famous. Two problems -- Cal is gay and signing the contract means he has to stay in the closet, maybe for life. Plus, he’ll have to spend his years diving for soccer balls when he’d like to be helping people like the rest of his family. A one-night stand with a beautiful man rocks Cal, but the guy vanishes only to reappear where Cal is house-sitting. Too much coincidence? And then a cute tomboy throws Cal’s life choices into confusion. How could he wind up with a commitmentphobe and a woman dedicated to her work in Africa? Oh yeah, and then there’s a big surprise in a snowstorm. Cosmic joker strikes again.

Available here:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Book Video ~ Genetic Attraction by Tara Lain

Scientist, Dr. Emmaline Silvay, has two great loves -- her life-saving work and her beautiful research partner. But he has a male lover, and the two of them have intentions for Em that go way beyond friendship. What happens when her two loves collide?

Available here:

Author blog:
Book blog:
FB Page:


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

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Reviews!

Foxglove has love for Megan's work this week on Long and Short Erotic Reviews. I'm smilin'. 4.5 stars on both books. That's some love. Megan's books got some great quotes and well, read on.
Click here to go to LAS Erotic Reviews AFTER you read the post. :-)

Livia was cast out of heaven for the crime of falling in love with a human. So what's a fallen angel to do when she meets the man of her dreams? Falling certainly has its perks.

Ty didn't expect the angel at his party to be fallen or to have a murky past. He also didn't expect her to end up in his arms. Now he's not about to let the past stand in the way of their future.

"As I said, this is a story of second chances. True ones like Livia and Ty and false ideas of trickery and evil intent aimed at Livia. Just when things look bad for our hero and heroine, forces at work help Livia find her true calling. This is a tale for those who like a bit of fantasy with their happily-ever-after."

Click here to read the full review.
Click here to buy the book.

Raylan believed himself unworthy of love until he met Chase. Chase brought out Raylan’s natural need to control and the power to force submission. But time and distance make having a relationship hard. Can Raylan prove to Chase they have what it takes for love to last through this Christmas and every other Christmas for the rest of their lives?

Chase found the muse for his songs in Raylan. Each time they touch, kiss, make love, music fills his soul. But working odd gigs to make ends meet while Raylan photographs rock and roll royalty isn’t beneficial to Chase’s creativity. Can he convince Raylan they’re better off together than apart?

"Chase and Raylan are great together, but they are also major ‘drama queens’ where their emotions are involved. This is the story of a new relationship, and the pitfalls that can come between two people in love if they aren’t careful. I really enjoyed the little things these two did for each other, and there is one big surprise Raylan has for Chase that I don’t want to reveal here. But it is the high point of the story, that one perfect moment when you just know these two have something real and beautiful between them.

I recommend this to those who love happy ever after, but one warning: tissues and ice in equal measures are needed for this one."

Click here to read the full review.
Click here to buy the book.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Author Interview with Lee Brazil

I’d like to welcome Lee Brazil to the couch this week. I’m so glad you’re here. Your books are fascinating and oh so hot! But you didn’t come here for me to chatter on about your books. Let’s get this interview started! Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think it would be incredibly difficult not to base our writing on people and events from real life. I mean, that's the foundation of who we are, our life experiences. You may not recreate an event or a person from your life on paper, but every time you ask yourself, would a person really do this? Can that really happen? You're answering that question based on your own experience of people and life. So yeah, there's a little bit of my favorite student from my teaching experience in Mischa Blake, and there's a little bit of me in every one of my characters.

Very true. I never thought about it quite that way, but you’re right. Grin. What books have most influenced your life most?

I've read three books that I consider life altering – those are John Steinbeck's East of Eden, Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. There are others that I liked or even loved, but from each of these three books I took something that guides me to this day, whether it's a deeper understanding of human nature and familial relationships, a belief in the power of the individual to affect change, or the inexplicable need to pack towels for every trip and a firm conviction that the meaning of life, the universe and everything is 42.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

I have to give kudos here to my writing group, The Story Orgy. We gathered over a year ago to have fun and develop as writers by using prompt writing. What I found here, was the best group of supportive writers, critical readers, and friends that a writer could ask for.

Sounds like a great group. Makes me want to join. Do you see writing as a career?

Of course. Once I was a teacher, for about fifteen years. I spend more time and effort on my writing than I ever spent in the classroom- and that includes time spent at home grading papers. Like teaching, it's not the most lucrative of career choices, but it is extremely rewarding in many ways.

I taught school, too and I agree it’s rewarding, but not fiscally sometimes. Funny how that works. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I've written maybe a dozen books- but I write novellas, meaning they are between 15K and 40K. So they're short. My favorite has to be Keeping House, the first book in the Truth or Dare series. It's a May December romance between a young rich man who is looking for a job on a dare form his brothers and an older man who needs a housekeeper. One of the things I love most about it is the two supporting characters, Dex and Trick. Dex and Trick are twin brothers, who are extremely close. I liked them so much that I had to bring them back in the second book in the series as the love interests of the second Blake brother, Terry.

And they are yummy to read about. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

I have both a cat and a dog. I think cats make the best pets for writers, because of their attitude. A cat chooses you, you don't choose it. When it wants attention, it gets it. If you don't respond quickly enough to the cat's demands, you get it.

I agree. We have cats and neither one chose me. The DOG chose me. Sigh.Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

Oh, man- back in school many moons ago, I created my own shorthand- to make taking notes easier and faster. Yeah, we didn't have tape recorders, or i-anythings...we wrote notes, by hand in these notebooks...with wiry spiral bindings...but...that's a different story. Anyway- I figured out a way to write s, j, t, and l- so they all looked the same. I broke a lot of my shorthand habits, but I can't get rid of that one, so a lot of my letters look exactly the same when I write by hand.

Sounds complicated, but then no one can read my handwriting its that bad. Boxers, briefs, boxerbriefs…. Or commando? Why?

*Sigh* Commando. Why not? Just watch out for the zipper and it makes life a lot easier. *blushes*

Ouch. I can see where that might be a hassle. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

When I was in high school, I had a terrific crush on this boy in my biology class. He sat across from me at the lab table, and I liked that quite a bit because I could gaze at him under my lashes when no one was looking. One day, the guy behind him yanked his chair out form under him. It was so funny, I couldn't stop laughing. Like, stomach muscles aching, face reddening, heaving for breath, falling off my chair laughing. No point hoping after that, huh?

Grin. It’s high school. Things like that happen. What were you doing at midnight last night?

At midnight last night, I was curled up in bed, trying to sleep. It was difficult because E was curled up behind me, and the Great Dane was on the other side of him, and the cat was on the other side of me. We were like a giant jig saw puzzle, and it was so uncomfortable. I was terrified I would knock the cat on the floor and piss her off. Yes, I'm afraid of my cat.

I’m afraid of the cat’s claws. They have a tendency of being dug into my foot if it moves under the blanket. And then there’s litter toes. Ugh.

Do you want to know more about Lee Brazil? Here’s the official bio:

I’m an avid reader and former teacher of grammar and composition who believes that falling in love is the grandest adventure anyone can have. In a nutshell, that’s every story I have to tell.
Relocating from the crazy pace of life in Southern California's Orange County to the beautiful and leisurely atmosphere of the Illinois countryside has given me the time to indulge the desire to write that I set aside when I started teaching fourteen years ago. Readers can find out more about me and my writing by visiting me online.

Here’s where you can find Lee On-line:

Story Orgy FB page -

Truth or Dare FB page

Lee on FB

Lee on Twitter @leebrazil

Lee Blog

Want to know more about his Truth or Dare series? Here you go!

Amazon , All Romance Ebooks And Breathless Press

Truth or Dare. The Blake twins upped the ante in their weekly poker game. When Terry loses, his debt of telling the truth sets him free.
Terry has lived his life according to the guidelines, by studying accounting, getting an MBA, and working for the family business. And while his work has its own rewards, something has been missing, and his eyes have only just been opened to what--or rather who--that could be.

Terry’s brothers have upped the ante in their weekly poker game. A Truth or Dare challenge. Terry can handle any dare his brothers dish out, but the demand for Truth is a different matter. Terry is honor-bound to divulge secrets he’s been ashamed to admit even to himself in the privacy of his own bedroom.

Twins Dex and Trick have finally found acceptance for their relationship in the homes of their friends. They’d never do anything to jeopardize that newfound sense of belonging. Fooling around with their friend Mischa Blake’s prissy, domineering, oh-so-sexy older brother is risky. A one-night stand might be okay, but they close ranks afterward, pushing Terry aside.

Terry isn’t going to back down without a fight. Dex and Trick are meant to be his, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make them realize all the safety and protection they need can be found in his arms.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Want Love!

Shared this because there's tons of Valentine's Day blog hops around and well, I want your blog hop love, too. Sure! Check out my blog for more details. But enjoy the video right now. Love this song! And who doesn't love Robert Downey Jr?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Author Interview with Jami Gray

I’d like to welcome my pal, the author Jami Gray to the Menagerie! Welcome!!! I’m happy you’re here so let’s get this party started!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was eight and had just returned from watching Star Wars at the drive-in theater (yes, the one where you park the car and the clumsy speaker hangs on your window). When I went to bed that night, I spent a couple of hours re-writing the story so Han Solo would have a kick ass female to be with instead of the whiny Princess Leia. Unfortunately this meant I was suddenly rewriting new characters into existing story lines of all the books I was reading. Eventually I got brave enough to try my hand at spinning my own storylines, which cut down on the mental edits. Years later, my parents got an electric typewriter so the six teenagers who were in typing class could practice their emerging skills. Needless to say, I took it over and we became inseparable.

Gotta have that first love. :-) When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I started writing stories in earnest as a freshman in high school. Back in the dark ages, typing on an actual typewriter was a required class. My parents had invested in an electric typewriter so the six of us in high school could practice our typing skills. Needless to say, I would hover over siblings until they finished then I would commandeer the typewriter for my own nefarious purposes. By the time I began to pack for college at eighteen, I had almost 200 pages of YA fantasy novel done. And no, it will never, ever, see the light of day again.

You never know. It might be that one great novel you’ve wanted to publish. Could be. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I’m a type-A personality so you would expect detailed outlines, character sheets and PowerPoint graphs, but nope, I start with an overall idea, some appealing characters and an intriguing problem and let it go. It’s a frightening way to write, but I’ve found it works best for me. The more I outlined a plot, the farther away from it I went. My characters want to make their own stories, so I let them. Besides they get pissy when they don’t get what they want. Trust me, you don’t want to mess with them in that mood, it’s a real killer.

There’s nothing wrong with being a pantser. I do it all the time. And yes, outlines are there for deviating. If they were meant to be followed, then everything would be in outline form. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Umm, yeah…sex scenes. Maybe it’s just me (probably) but I have the damnedest time writing sex scenes. It’s isn’t even the act itself that’s hard, it’s the emotions that go into it. Let’s be honest, hormones are fabulous but my characters have trust issues and the emotional undertones are much more influential. I have to be alone, earphones in, music blaring and in the mood before I can get anything on paper. I can do the build-up, but the actual scene, man…the first massive scene I had to write in Shadow’s Soul, my husband thought I had a sunburn. He found differently later.

Nothing wrong with getting involved in what you’re writing. What do you think makes a good story?

I’ve heard a hundred times that every story ever written has already been set to paper. My response, meh! Maybe the basic story outline—hero vs. evil, boy meets girl—but you set a strong, multi-layered character, complete with flaws and strengths in a well crafted universe and that story will leave others in the dust.

Now if I could just write that story... What does your family think of your writing?

They’re great! I lucked out twice. The first time around was when I was younger. My mom and dad put up with the hours I spent at the table tapping away at the keys. They didn’t even roll their eyes whenever visitors asked what I was doing and got the teenage superiority toned answer, “Writing my book.” I struck gold the second time with my husband and boys. They’re great at dialing for take-out or delivery, know how to hit the buttons for laundry and can generally stuff things in well concealed niches so our home appears clean. If they ever figure out human cloning, I’m in just so I can give my boys some who cooks and cleans!

Hee hee. What stereotype would you label yourself as?

Crazy anal retentive control freak with OCD tendencies. It’s a good thing my hubby balances me out, I’m not sure I’d be livable without him!

Gotta have someone to balance you out. Kealie and I share the same brain so... I don’t know if it’s balance, but it works. What is your strangest habit?

*laughs* All my books are organized alphabetically by author, then series. Before iTunes so were my CD’s and DVD’s.

Hey, my cds were alphabetized. I get you. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Where the hell are my glasses?

Have you seen my glasses, by the by? I’m missing mine, too.

Shadow’s Edge: Book 1 of the Kyn Kronicles is out now and Shadow’s Soul: Book 2 of the Kyn Kronicles hits shelves Summer 2012.

You can find me at:
Buy Link:
Blogs: or

Do you want to know more about Shadow’s Edge? Sure you do! Here you go:

It takes a monster to hunt one, and for Raine McCord, forged in the maelstrom of magic and science, she’s the one for the job. In a world where the supernatural live in a shadowy existence with the mundane, a series of disappearances and deaths threatens the secrecy of her kind and indicates someone knows the monsters are alive and kicking. Partnering up with the sexy and tantalizing Gavin Durand proves to be a challenge as dangerous as the prey she hunts.

When the trail points back to the foundation which warped Raine’s magic as a child, her torturous past raises its ugly head. Gavin and Raine sift through a maze of lies, murder and betrayal to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.

And the official Bio for Jami Gray:

Growing up on the Arizona-Mexico border, Jami Gray was adopted at the age of 14 and suddenly became the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater. Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.

Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab. Writing is what saves her sanity.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Book Video ~ Blue Light Special ~ Mysti Holiday

When Karin Lattimer moves across the country and her over-protective brother asks his friend Caleb Hawkes to keep an eye on her, she’s more than annoyed…she’s turned on. The attentive cop is a walking wet dream, but Karin knows he’s only hanging around out of a sense of duty. Acting on her crazy attraction would reveal more than the man’s buff body—it would also reveal her heart.

Caleb is well aware that Karin is all woman. He can’t keep his eyes off her and his hands itch to touch her. But she’s not one-night-stand material, and he firmly believes cops make lousy partners for long-term relationships.

Still, thinking clearly isn’t a top priority when Karin and Caleb finally touch. Sparks fly and barriers melt away as easily as their inhibitions, but can she convince him there's more to life than playing it safe?

Buy here!


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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Under and Over It - Up for Book of the Month!!!

Under and Over It is up for Book of the Month over at Long and Short Erotic Reviews. I'd be thrilled to earn your vote. So get out there and make a selection!

Here's the cover and blurb:

Regan Finley's photography makes the local music scene shine. He's four months from his final exhibition and graduation. But instead of preparing for the party, he's fretting about his exhibition theme -- bondage and passion. There's one person he wants to make his exhibition come to life, if he can convince his housemate to participate.

Camryn Tate plays the music that makes the young girls scream. He likes being a local rock hero. When he finds out what Regan wants for the exhibition, Cam has to make a decision. He can let Regan have his commanding way and get the pictures he needs for the exhibition, or he can walk away from the best roommate and friend he's ever known... all because of a little ball of nylon rope.

Get your copy here!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Hear There's a Big Game This Weekend...

I thought I'd share some hot Football hunks. Forgive me if I don't know the names. But really, do you need names with bodies like these?