Have a list of authors whose works you adore? Whose words speak to you over and over again? Ones that give you that warm fuzzy—or scorching erotic feel you love?
My buddy Desiree Holt does that for me, every time, big time.
She and I begin a new series on each of our blogs starting tomorrow, wherein we give you a hot jolt of goodness as a blast from the past!
Join us on the 1st and 15th of each month here on my blog and over on hers, too, for OLDIES BUT GOODIES, aka Books you may have missed that you certainly do not want to!
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
|Michelle's site: www.michellebirbeck.co.uk|
I saw a Q&A by Joss Wheadon that’s been going around tumblr for a while, and it got me thinking about the subject in question.
The Q&A was: So, why do you write these strong female characters? A: Because you’re still asking me that question.
Well, this inspired my own question, which is this: How can people NOT write strong female characters?
I can’t do it. No matter how hard I try, I really struggle to write weak ass, whiney women who do nothing but snivel and wait for a man to come rescue her.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of being rescued on occasion by a big strong man, with lots of muscles, dressed in leather, carrying weapons… sorry, I’m getting off track there. But I don’t need a man to come rescue me. And neither do my characters.
When I was writing The Last Keeper, it never occurred to me at any point to write anything but strong female characters. I wanted them to have weaknesses, but those weaknesses weren’t what defined them.
Serenity, Poppy, and Helen are three of my favourite examples of what I think are strong female characters.
Serenity has lived through hell. She saw the destruction of her entire race, held her brother and sister as they died. For over half of her three thousand years of life she’s had to watch as her race was hunted down and slaughtered.
Then she meets Ray, and everything looks up. She’s got her man, the one person in the world meant for her. But loving him doesn’t make her weak. Being at her happiest when she’s with him doesn’t mean she’s incapable of being happy on her own.
And when she loses him and breaks down, that doesn’t make her weak, either. Most of us would break down when we lose a loved one. It’s the getting up and carrying on, going on with her duties as last of her race, and being there for her family when she feels like hell, that makes her strong. It’s the fact that despite everything she’s been through, she still has it in her to get up, go out, do the things she has to, and plaster a smile across her face. Even though that smile is a fake one.
Then there’s Poppy. Most feared female vampire in the world. She gave the vampire’s ruling body, The Seats, everything they ever wanted. A sadistic way to hunt down disobedient underlings, one that they took great delight in for centuries. She fought her way to the top of her male dominated world, and made them worship her.
But then she gave up everything she had to be with the man she loved. Not because he asked her to, but because she wanted to. And let me tell you, when Serenity says Poppy is the only one who ever left The Seats willingly, she means it. No one leaves The Seats. Not unless it’s feet first. No one even gains a place among The Seats without years of servitude and fighting. But Poppy did. She forced them to give her a place, and she fought her way out of it in search of a better life. To me, that makes her one of the strongest characters I’ve written, purely because she had to fight so hard for everything she wanted.
But perhaps Helen is the strongest of all my female characters in The Last Keeper. She lost her partner, her parents. She watched Serenity fall apart at every loss over the years. She stood tall through everything and gave her all to keep those she loved safe. Yet where Poppy and Serenity are immortals in the book, Helen is basically human. She has no extra powers, no ability to heal herself, and isn’t immortal. Yet if she has to kick Serenity’s backside from here to the other side of the world, then she’d do it. Despite everything she knows, the loses she’s felt, she puts everyone else first, stands tall in the face danger, and doesn’t let anything stand in her way.
So in all honesty, I don’t understand writing weak female characters who just want a man to come provide for them and take care of them. We all have moments of weakness; we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. But those weaknesses shouldn’t be what define us, and they shouldn’t be what define our characters, either.
I did try writing a female character once who wasn’t strong—she certainly wasn’t weak, either—but I got about half way through the first chapter before I threw the whole thing out and started again. At this point I don’t ever seen me writing any characters who aren’t capable of standing on their own two feet and giving everything they have for what they want and what they believe in.
Michelle is 29 and has been reading and writing her whole life. Her earliest memory of books was when she was five and decided to try and teach her fish how to read by putting her Beatrix Potter books in the fish tank with them.
Since then her love of books has grown, and now she is writing her own and looking forward to seeing them on her shelves, though they won’t be going anywhere near the fish tank.
When she’s not writing, she’s out and about on her motorbike or sitting with her head in a book.
Friday, August 24, 2012
A convention with BDSM demo, sex toy demo and male strippers?
Yes! Here's one you won't EVER FORGET!
The Sassy Seven's Naughty Sleepover in February in San Antonio at The Menger Hotel.
And for ladies who want to have a great weekend, laughing and learning about stuff that perhaps you've not known too much about before, this is your weekend. In a safe environment. Controlled. Only with other women.
Women who read erotica.
Women who write it.
Women who enjoy getting away from their significant others and maybe taking home a bit of knowledge to spice up their love life.
And if that cake needs icing, we have all of this:
- GIVEAWAYS of books and bling.
- A great little city that you can safely walk in.
- A hotel, historic and comfortable, as well as affordable.
- The Alamo across the street, just in case you need a shot of history with your strippers, BDSM demo, line dancing, fun games and Tex-Mex dining.
- A conference fee that includes 4 meals and one Chocolate Extravaganza.
- Authors to schmooze with.
- Editors to pitch your story idea to!
- Sassy Seven babes who are giving away tee shirts, books, bling of their own!
- Raffle baskets.
- (Yes, you will need another suitcase cuz your carry-on will NOT hold all this!)
- And love.
- So what are you waiting for?
- Got to http://sassyseven.com
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Yeah, you know you want it all!
New erotica horror by my pal, Nicole Austin, Fatal Submission!
Claire Hanson is a submissive in need of a Dom. Finding one in rural Illinois in 1981 is no easy feat but her requirements are simple. Forget complicated limit lists, take charge and give her lots of hot, sweaty sex. On edge, body humming with arousal, Claire aches to have her desires sated. And ruggedly handsome Dominant Mason Burke is the man she wants. But for Mason work comes first and Claire’s tired of waiting.
Mason’s loss is Dr. Carl Skinner’s lucky break. The bonus—Carl’s a rich, drop-dead gorgeous Dom with a real dungeon in his basement. Getting what you want isn’t always a good thing and the game takes a drastic turn Claire never saw coming. According to the Dungeon Master’s victims who still haunt his torture chamber, submission has fatal consequences and she’s running out of time.
Reader Advisory: This scary tale contains graphic scenes of erotic torture and violence that may cause the reader to stay up late reading with all the lights on.
An Excerpt From: FATAL SUBMISSION
Copyright © NICOLE AUSTIN, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Claire ran a brush through her hair, grabbed the checklist and walked the few blocks. A cheery bell tinkled as she opened the door to find the ice cream parlor empty. She picked a table facing the glass shop front and waited.
Did Mason do this to her on purpose? She always seemed to be waiting on him. She understood his business was relatively new and required long hours. Still, constantly waiting grew old fast.
When his Bronco pulled up outside she glanced at her watch. Fifteen minutes late. He strolled toward her table, calm and in control.
“Hello, Claire.” No apology. Mason simply nodded toward the refrigerated cases. “Did you pick a flavor?”
“Not yet.” Hearing the irritation in her voice, she made an effort to lighten her tone. “I was waiting for you.”
He held out a hand to help her up and didn’t let go as they perused the offerings. Once they each had a cone they sat on a bench outside. Mason looked over the checklist without comment then locked it in his car.
“It’s a nice day. How about a walk?”
She nodded and they took a leisurely stroll, stopping every so often to window shop. As usual, Mason was in no hurry, their conversation casual.
“Why did you become a property appraiser? What drew you to the business?”
“I used to be a real estate agent, which was an okay job but I’m not a good salesperson. I do like buildings though, especially older ones.” She thought back on her childhood daydreams, how she’d stand outside a building and try to picture the interior layout.
“My friend works in a bank and complained about the excessive wait for appraisals because no one in our area did them so I checked into it.” She licked her ice cream for a moment as she remembered how everything had just clicked. “Turned out it suited me. I get to make my own hours, meet new people, use my math skills and indulge my curiosity.”
Mason nodded as if he read more into her explanation than she’d said. “And how did you discover you were a submissive?”
She didn’t even attempt to hold back a wicked grin. “Guy I was dating got invited to a munch and took me. The more I learned about BDSM the more interested I became. At first he was into it, thought it was fun. After a while he lost interest but I didn’t.” She shrugged. “We broke up and I continued to explore. Like the job, it suited me.”
Yes, there was a great deal more to it but same as with her job, getting into BDSM she’d felt the pieces click into place.
“So you’ve always been happiest when seeing to the needs of others. A true, natural submissive.”
Claire stopped in her tracks and stared at Mason for a long moment. How the hell did he do it? A bit of general small talk and he saw deeper into her heart than lifelong friends ever had. Deeper than even she had seen.
“You adapt, changing yourself to please those you love.”
He dropped that bomb so casually, as if making a general observation but getting right to the heart of the matter. And it made sense. It put several pieces of her life together. Made her take a second look at the big decisions and changes. Each and every one had been sparked by the needs of others.
At heart she was a nurturer, a caretaker. When someone she cared about needed something, Claire did whatever she could to fill the need. She’d done so her entire life and never made the connection.
“When’s the last time you did something because it pleased you?”
Good question. Racking her brain, she came up blank. She couldn’t think of one instance where something she’d done had been just for her. As she thought, Mason’s ice cream melted, a slow-moving river of chocolate rolling over his fingers.
Her first instinct was to reach out with her napkin and wipe the chocolate away for him. But what did she want? What would please her?
She’d love to taste both the ice cream and Mason.
Claire took a step closer, held his wrist with her free hand and acted without overthinking it. She moved even closer, stuck out her tongue and watched his expression from beneath her lashes as she slowly licked the chocolate from his hand.
Mason’s intense, ice-blue eyes heated, filling with lust. When she reached the top of his hand, she swirled her tongue around the ice cream, imagining it was his cock. She circled the scoop of chocolate, humming in appreciation of the flavor. His entire body tensed and she knew he pictured the same thing she did.
Glancing down, she noted the hard length of his erection outlined by the faded denim extending from his groin all the way across his right hip. Long and thick and hard.
Meeting his gaze, she blurted out what was on her mind. “It would please me to taste you, Mason. To drop to my knees, wrap my fist around your shaft and suck your cock to the back of my throat.”
He closed his eyes and his Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed hard then took several slow, measured breaths.
A naughty grin tugged at the corners of her lips as she watched him struggle to regain his composure. That little crack in his hard veneer gave her wicked ideas. She wondered how much teasing it would take to push Mason over the edge and out of control. Finding out would be fun.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I am so excited about my new release, Pushing her Buttons, which comes out on August 22nd, but is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This novella was the first place winner of the Celtic Hearts Novellas Need Love Too contest and named the 2011 Distinguished Novella of the year and tells the story of a woman battling between her desire for a dark dominant man and her fears of being consumed by those desires.
If you like super hot sex, domination and kinky play, this one’s for you!
Pushing Her Buttons by Sabrina York
Every single day, he’s there. Waiting. Watching her. Closed in with her for a hundred stories as they ride the elevator to their floor. And every single day, for a hundred floors, Samantha simmers with banked lust. She wants him—her mysterious neighbor who seems to get off on tempting her. Whose eyes promise the kind of kinky domination she’s too afraid to give in to. And then just when she thinks she’s safe, just when she’s convinced she can resist his allure, he steps up his relentless pursuit. The passion that flares between them burns so hot and so bright it could consume them both. But that’s just on the way up. Who knows what will happen when they’re going down.
Reader Advisory: Samantha’s sexy neighbor tries to drive her wild with lust, and he’ll stop at nothing to succeed. Spanking? Of course. Leather straps? You bet. Girl-on-girl action? Oh yeah. Wear your flame-retardant panties while reading this one.
An Excerpt From: PUSHING HER BUTTONS
Copyright © SABRINA YORK, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
I almost got off the elevator when he stepped on, that slick sophisticated creature oozing with masculinity, the man who haunted my dreams. He could turn me into a bundle of jangled, weeping nerves with a look.
So I didn’t look.
This took some effort.
I wanted to, was drawn to the energy, the intensity, the heat rolling off him in waves. Instead I diligently studied the sleek chrome of the elevator doors as they slid silently shut.
We were alone, together, in a box. Again. For a hundred floors.
“Going up?” His voice was a slithering snake, raspy, undulating and smooth.
I nodded. A short, curt dip of my head.
From the corner of my eye, I watched as he pressed the button for our floor. His thumb was long and blunt. He did it slowly, caressing the face. As though making a promise.
And all the while, he stared at me. Tracking my every reaction. Taking in the rise of my breast, the quick dash of my tongue on suddenly dry lips, the quiver of a lash.
This unrelenting attention made my skin prickle, my nipples swell.
I riffled in my purse for a stick of gum. There was no gum but I riffled anyway.
Honestly. How long could an elevator ride last? I focused on the lights of the header, ignoring his presence. Desperately trying to, at least, as his searing gaze lingered and stroked.
I was managing quite well, thank you very much.
Until he did it.
He made a noise I couldn’t ignore. It was something feral, between a grunt and a moan. A sound a lion might make, unconsciously, distractedly, upon sighting a particularly juicy gazelle. Or a female in heat.
I was not a female in heat.
More than one man had commented on my frigidity. The idiots. My coolness was merely a reflection of their ineptitude.
This man was probably not inept. A frightening truth for someone like me.
The sound, the growl, the urgent hungry groan, washed through me in a vibrating bass.
I punched the button for our floor several times in succession. It was a tell and I knew it, but I couldn’t help myself. Panic rose in my throat as the heat he sent off swirled around me, sank in and settled in my belly.
His interest in me had never been a secret. He’d tried flirting and sweet talk, he’d asked me out more than once but I always shot him down. I knew what kind of man he was. He had that vibe, that look, that alluring menace.
I knew what he was, for God’s sake. I could smell it, feel it, taste it. I’d been there before and sworn I’d never go there again.
Any woman with a pulse would think him attractive, what with that sable hair flopping onto his forehead, that square dented chin, that boyish insouciance belied by a satyr’s smirk. And, ah. Those deep-brown eyes ringed with sinful sooty lashes. Those exquisitely molded lips. That hard athlete’s physique.
But not every woman would notice the simmering passion, the sultry sadism that called to a woman like me. Telegraphed in secret code. Tapping. Tapping on my nerves.
I did not want a man like that. Not anymore. A man like that would eat me alive.
Against my will, I caught a glimpse of his chiseled reflection in the chrome. He’d opened his suit jacket and tucked his fingers into the front pockets of his slacks. He leaned like a lazy panther against the mirrored wall and tipped his head back, studying the ceiling. His long legs were crossed at the ankles, showcasing immaculate Ferragamos gleaming with a high gloss. A crooked grin tugged at his luscious lips.
Mercy. Those lips.
Heat sizzled through me as I imagined those lips on me, sucking, nuzzling, nipping.
But that would never happen. He was not my type and I was not his. I wasn’t.
I told myself to look away but I didn’t do it quickly enough.
He straightened as we neared our floor. Adjusted his jacket. Shook out his pants. Raked his thick dark curls…
And caught my gaze in the mirror. Caught me staring hungrily.
Horrified by this wash of vulnerability, I turned my head. Our eyes locked again but this time directly, intimately, across the car. Tangled, tied.
His body stiffened, nostrils flared, pupils dilated. He leaned slightly, almost imperceptibly, toward me. His scent, his aura intensified. He held me immobile by the sheer power of his intent.
And then he licked his lips.
Something within me liquefied. My knees went weak and I nearly dropped my briefcase. Who knows what would have happed, what could have happened, if the elevator hadn’t opened at just that moment?
The welcome ding snapped me out of this lazy, hazy daze. I clutched my briefcase to my chest and rushed through the doors almost before they were open, doing a determined power walk to my penthouse.
He followed, slowly stalking. I didn’t hesitate. I waved my keycard over the lock and slipped inside. To safety.
I tried not to look back. Really. I did. It was only a quick glance but the sight of him standing next to his double-doored entrance, pinning me with a heavy-lidded gaze, rocketed through me like a fist to my solar plexus. There was heat in his eyes. And hunger. And certainty.
I shut the door, shutting him out. Shutting it out. He wasn’t my type. I wasn’t his.
A man like that could destroy the woman I was, melt the mask I had worked so hard to forge. I refused to think about him. I refused to want him.
I didn’t sleep all night.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Some days I feel like I can accomplish just about anything. I have a steady flow of ideas and I can write for hours. Other days it’s hard to complete a single sentence. Since consistency is a main ingredient in finishing a story, those days when I don’t feel like writing are frustrating to say the least.
Everyone has their own way of getting through those low periods and I thought I’d share mine and ask what others do when they’re in the same situation.
If I have a day when it’s actual writer’s block that’s stopping me from working, I’ve found that putting aside my current story and writing something else helps. If I write whatever catches my interest at the moment, it gets my creative juices flowing.
Sometimes the ideas are there, but I have something else on my mind or I’m just feeling down. When that happens I tend to get lazy and would rather hang around than get work done. One thing that almost always gets me out of that state of mind is exercise. For me daily exercise makes me feel energized but also relaxed and helps me focus on work. Sometimes a little extra exercise, even for a short time, is all I need to lift my spirits so I can get back to work.
There are times when the desire to work isn’t the problem, but I’m stuck at a certain plot point. I can write, rewrite and turn over dozens of ideas, but nothing seems to work. In that situation, I try to find something that relaxes me. On thing that almost never fails to clear up any problem I’m having with a scene is to take a warm shower. It might sound crazy, but it seems like as soon as I’m in the shower, ideas start flowing. The biggest problem is trying to write down all the scenes in my head while I’m dripping wet.
What are some of your favorite ways to relax and get focused? Do any specific activities help stimulate your creativity?
Kate Hill is a vegetarian New Englander who loves writing romantic fantasies. When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, and researching vampires and Viking history. You can visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com
Coming in August 2012
by Kate Hill
From Changeling Press
The son of a sex demon and a fallen angel, Oliver struggles to keep his libido under control while on duty as a shadowing angel in the wilderness of Alaska. He needs help and it arrives in the form of a sexy, no-nonsense former demon.
Henrie, a shadowing angel with experience, is the perfect woman to assist a man desperate to regain his self-control. What she discovers is he actually needs to cut loose, especially on the evil forces that are secretly plotting to destroy him.
The following excerpt from ALASKAN FLAME is for readers 18 and over.
Henrie awoke with an uneasy feeling. Her muscles tightened and she sat up quickly.
Oliver stood near the dresser, searching through her open travel bag.
He held up a red lace bra and sniffed it. "Interesting."
"What the hell are you doing?" she demanded, springing out of bed, not caring that she might as well have been naked. Her snug T-shirt, the material so thin it was see-through, and tiny boy shorts offered little coverage.
His smoldering gaze swept her. "I didn't think you'd mind if I looked through your things--not after you helped yourself to mine."
If she hadn't been so furious, she'd have been taken aback.
He tossed the bra aside and continued his search. He pulled out specially made handcuffs that were strong enough to restrain most demons.
He smiled. "Are these for business or pleasure?"
"None of your damn business."
He tugged her red and black flogger out of the bag. "Even more interesting."
"Get your claws off my stuff!" Henrie picked up the bra and several other items he'd carelessly discarded and shoved them back into the bag. She grasped the flogger and tried to take it from him, but he refused to let it go. Glaring at him, she said, "Drop it. You have no business looking in my bag."
"But you can search my closet and that's no problem?"
"What makes you think--"
"Give me some credit." He scoffed.
"That's not the point. Give me my flogger."
"Maybe you'd prefer a spanking." His eyes glistened and he pulled the flogger away and wrapped the leather tails around his fist.
"I don't take 'em. I give 'em. And if you don't return my property, I will whip your ass."
His smile broadened. "Promise?"
"If you're in the mood for games, maybe your issues out here aren't so big after all. If Rutendo finds out you bothered him and me because you're just a lonely little boy, he won't be too happy."
"Oh please." He raised his eyes to heaven. "You're actually threatening to tell daddy."
Despite his bravado he tossed the flogger to her.
She caught it, stepped closer and placed the handle under his chin. Curling her lip, she said, "We both know Rutendo isn't your daddy. How about telling me the name of the angel who is?"
The rage in his eyes nearly took her aback, but she stood her ground, waiting for him to answer.
"My parentage is none of your business."
"Since it's the only thing Rutendo told me about you, I'd say it's important to my assignment here. That makes it my business."
"Apparently Rutendo has already told you everything you need to know."
"You act like a child and I'm not the maternal type. If you do one more thing to piss me off, I'm out of here, got it?"
"Go on then. I asked Rutendo for help, not hindrance."
"Hind. . .whether I leave or not I'm going to have to kick your ass."
Maybe it was too many months of being good, but she hadn't felt this kind of passion in. . .
By his scent and the look in his eyes, he was just as aroused. Or annoyed. Or an intriguing combination of both.
Watch it. He's half sex demon.
And she'd dealt with many of his kind before. After all, hadn't Rutendo said Oliver could benefit from her brand of discipline?
"Kiss my ass?" he said with feigned innocence.
"Kick your ass!"
Leaning so close that the tip of his nose touched hers, he said, "Either one sounds fun."
That was all Henrie could take. Grasping her flogger, she shifted to her winged form and shoved Oliver so hard in the chest that he stepped back, hit the bed and flopped onto his back.
She raised the flogger and as it fell, he grasped it, the tendrils wrapping around his arm. At that moment he shifted to his winged form and tugged her on top of him. In a blink he pinned her beneath him on the bed. He was lean but rock-hard and his body as hot as the flames of hell.
Both furious and aroused, Henri snapped her sharp teeth at his throat--more a warning than a bite intended to do real harm. He jerked back before her fangs actually reached his flesh.
"Was that a love bite, Henrie?" he purred, his blue eyes blazing.
"Who could love you?"
"Okay, who cares about love. How about a fuck?"
She was tempted to say yes.
"You want it. I can smell it." He dipped his head toward her breasts and inhaled. Then he held her gaze again. "I can see it. Like I said before. You're full of hellfire. We might be shadowing angels, but some things can't ever be driven out of us no matter how hard we try."
"You're right," she said, her voice just above a whisper.
His lashes lowered over his eyes and he dipped his head toward hers. Just before he kissed her, she shifted her weight and managed to push him off her.
She stood, avoiding his grasp.
"This isn't right," she said, her heart pounding. She paced the room, glancing at the half naked hunk sprawled across her bed. He raised himself on his elbows, the motion tightening the muscles in his sleek stomach. His long legs parted and the muscles in his thighs, not to mention his bulging crotch, strained against his black trousers. His long fingers rested over the flogger and his intense blue eyes followed her every motion.
"Just because it isn't right doesn't necessarily make it wrong," he said.
"Oh that's just great. A little demonic philosophy."
"I'm not a demon anymore."
"Neither am I," she said fiercely, because at the moment she felt more demonic than she had in years.
"Denial is an ugly thing, isn't it?"
"From what I found in your closet, I'm guessing you don't abstain much."
He grinned and rose swiftly, pointing at her with a long finger. "So you did search my stuff."
"Okay I apologize. Rutendo didn't tell me much about you so I needed to find out."
"You could have asked."
"And given you the chance to lie?"
"Are you always this much of a skeptic?"
"Show me a shadowing angel who isn't."
He shrugged. "You've got me there. Is that men's cologne you're wearing?"
"Yeah, why?" She liked wearing men's fragrance. It made her feel sexy. Powerful.
His eyes gleamed with lust and he wrapped an arm around her waist. "Come here." His mouth descended on hers.
Henrie had seen the kiss coming. She could have rejected him again. Something told her he wouldn't push the issue. However she wanted him every bit as much as he wanted her.
She parted her lips and her tongue met his thrust for thrust. Closing her eyes, she moaned softly and trailed her long, sharp nails up his back, knowing that she left marks.
Was this sin? No, there were far worse things than a pair of shadowing angels letting off proverbial steam.
He broke the kiss and stepped back just enough to hold the flogger between them. "Are you really any good with this?"
Her hand closed over his around the handle. Their gazes locked and she leaned nearer to speak against his lips. "You have no idea."
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I’m a man who writes straight contemporary erotic romance.
Now that we have that out of the way and if you’re still reading, allow me to present my credentials. I’ve been a published author for ten years. I have nine books out and two more slated for release later this year. One of my books is a bestseller and I’ve won several literary awards. I’ve done personal appearances from Chicago to New York to Key West, and many points in between. I blog two or three times a month and usually get good responses. My books have consistently received above-average reviews.
I grew an armadillo’s hide a long time ago because I’ve spent many years working in a field populated mostly by women and I’m accustomed to being one of the only men in the office. Gender-specific remarks and jokes don’t bother me but in the world of romance stories, there seems to be a bias in some circles, an unwritten rule that says “No guys allowed.”
A couple of review sites told me flat out that they wouldn’t review a romance written by a man unless it was male/male. One publisher said the only way they would consider my submission was if I used a pseudonym so their readers wouldn’t think a man wrote it. At book festivals and RomCons I’ve been shunned by readers and bloggers, and one well-known author actually laughed in my face when I told her what I write. I’ve also been shot down on chat boards with the opinion “a man can’t write a believable romance.” I’d like to counter that one with the following review quotes, all for different books.
“The sensual scenes are beautifully written and perfectly illustrate the evolving emotion and attraction between the characters.”
“Tim Smith has a great deal of talent for writing erotic scenes.”
“I enjoyed reading The Sweet Distraction as it gave me a new perspective of the male/female relationship from a guy’s viewpoint.”
“Anywhere the Heart Goes is a fun, enjoyable romp through the often confusing world of relationships. It artfully and humorously portrays the eternal struggle of men and women in their complicated dance of getting along.”
“This is a beautiful portrayal of an evolving romance between two individuals.”
Please don’t think I’m complaining, because I’m not. I’m truly grateful for the successes I’ve had and for being accepted by many readers and peers. A wise person once said “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I suppose the point I’m trying to make is “Don’t judge an author by their gender.” You might miss out on something pretty good.
Bio:Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author and a freelance photographer. His latest release is the romantic mystery Lido Key from eXtasy Books. More information about his books can be found at his website, www.timsmithauthor.com.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Can bad boys, I mean really bad boys, be redeemed and become heroes? That question will be answered, at least for demon Dante Akanto, in my new release from Ellora’s Cave Damned and Defiant. Readers love the Alpha male and many times there’s a tortured side that makes these Alpha guys lean toward a dark side. I asked a few friends to come up with a few movies where the bad guy was redeemed. Redemption stories can be very powerful stories and creates lots of conflict in a romance novel.
One on my favorite movies I think is a great example of bad boy redeemed is Pitch Black with Vin Diesel as Riddick. He plays a dangerous criminal marooned on a sun-scorched planet with deadly creatures that come out when the sun goes down. He’s their savior as the survivors struggle to fight for their lives. Another movie is Return of the Jedi. Darth Vader has been the evil villain throughout the series, and in this movie, he becomes a father trying to save his son. Other characters and/or movies: Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption, Megamind and Marko Ramius in Hunt For Red October. In National Treasure 2, Book of Secrets, the bad archeologist sacrifices himself to save others, even the Terminator performs an act of heroism in one of the remakes.
When I planned the three-book story arc for Demon in Exile I knew Dante Akanto wasn’t the worst of the bad guys, Gwyllain, the demoness and ruler of Anartia was the ultimate evil villain. But I planned to have Dante as a continuing antagonist throughout the series until I got reader mail. Readers wanted to see Dante find love. Readers cared about him, the bad guy.
They sympathized with him because of HOW he became a demon. Over a hundred and fifty years ago, he was dying, betrayed and murdered (almost) by his ex-wife. Demons from an alternative world rescued him and gave him immortal life but for a price. He had to do the demoness’s bidding. He retained his human side which is shown during various crises.
Then in book one, Desert of the Damned, Dante does one heroic deed and readers get a glimpse of this human side. I believe it was this point readers found hope that he could be redeemed. What ordeals does he have to go through to get there? What choices? And at what cost? That’s the rollercoaster ride Dante is faced in book three. Demon and mortal in one Alpha body struggling on two war fronts— an alternative dimension and Earth. Check out Damned and Defiant to see if love and courage can conquer the demon.
Damned and Defiant
Paranormal Erotic Romance
Ellora’s Cave, Release date: August 15
Book 3 in the Demons in Exile series.
Mortal women surrender to Dante’s seductions. He is a Drone, an immortal who feeds off their lifeforce energy—the chi that keeps his kind alive. When his dimension is on the edge of destruction, Dante must seek the help of one special woman.
Haley Moore is a Sha Warrior—a mortal with excess lifeforce energy. She has always had a strong attraction to Dante and when they meet again he thinks luck is on his side because his quota of chi energy would be obtained after one scorching scene with this mortal. But the problem is that he is overwhelmingly attracted to her and once with this woman won’t be enough.
Haley tries to draw out the man buried deep within the demon. Their fierce, undeniable passion unravels his plans and threatens her life. Can Dante bear to abandon her when he leaves Earth forever? Dante will have to choose whether to return to his world or to give up his immortality and share his future with Haley.
Excerpt: (Copyright 2012, Kathy Kulig. All rights reserved.)
The skinwalker—part man, part coyote—shifted into his human form as he gazed upon the young woman, his quarry. She removed her clothes and dropped them onto the cool, desert sand. She gave him a lustful glance as if she was the one controlling the seduction. “Nice trick with the coyote. Are you a magician?” Her words were slurred. But the trance hadn’t taken hold.
“Something like that,” he answered. He felt a flush of heat on his face. How the hell was she still aware? Something wasn’t right. This Kithra was different than the others, and he wasn’t sure why. He slid his hands over her arms and sparks skidded across her skin.
“I love the desert at night,” she added as her eyelids flickered. The air around her body crackled with electricity, her short, blonde hair stood out from the static. Not his usual choice for Kithras. He preferred ones with long, dark hair like the Drones from Prygos. It had to be her level of energy that drew him to this one.
“Yes,” he murmured, then waved his hand over her face, deepening the trance with little effort. He extended a finger and ran it down the side of her cheek, her neck, between her small breasts and cut diagonally across her flat stomach to her narrow hips. When his finger skimmed close to her pubic area she shivered and moaned. She was a slight creature with an athletic build. He preferred his Kithra to have a few more curves but she would provide adequate chi for his needs. Pointing to the blanket, he smiled when she complied and stretched out on it, her arms and legs spread.
Dante Akanto gave her a knowing smile, stepped back and paced around the naked woman. He watched her hands slide over her breasts and rub her pussy. “Fuck me, Dante.” She writhed on the Navajo blanket, deep in the sexual trance, almost ready for the offering. A rush of hot, sexual sensations surged through him and his cock hardened. No! He had to fight his urges or he’d risk killing her during the collection.
Beside her, a campfire blazed, keeping away the night creatures of the Arizona desert. She moaned, teasing him with her sultry movements and her scent. The look she gave him made him ache with a desperate hunger. The woman’s sexual appetite could yank her out of the trance if he wasn’t careful. Dante swirled the energy field around her, easing her deeper into his spell. Her eyes glazed over.
Better. Finally, this Kithra was becoming receptive to his influences. Her energy level was high and hard to manage. Probably a Sha Warrior. Lucky for him to pick a mortal with so much lifeforce. He’d meet his quota after this collection. Moving over to his Harley, he removed the rest of his clothes, cowboy boots, leather pants and hung them over his bike.
Naked and fully aroused, he stood over her and stroked his cock. The woman was quite beautiful. Was she purposefully downplaying her appearance by wearing worn jeans and a baggy T-shirt? What struck Dante the most was her eyes. Large and golden brown, they shone with intelligence, but also appeared dark with despair. Like a polished jewel that had lost its sparkle. He sensed a toughness within her, a fear maybe, brought on by a life of tragedy or loss.
Don’t get personal with your quarry.
He’d seen her walking along the highway alone. Young, attractive, fearless and carrying a backpack. A traveler? Homeless? He didn’t know. She was the perfect Kithra or quarry. She accepted his offer for a ride, with a little telepathic influence on his part, and he’d driven her out into the desert. No one would see them here.
She’d laughed when he’d swung the bike off the road, heading into open desert. While he made a campfire, she’d taken his Navajo blanket from the saddlebag and spread it out by the fire. Now naked and in trance, he craved to take her as a mortal man would take a mortal woman, but he couldn’t. She didn’t need to be naked for the collection. And tonight it was making his task more difficult.
Dante had to make his quota of human lifeforce energy to the demoness of Anartia. The immortals needed his offering to maintain their world. If he failed, he’d be replaced—destroyed—by Gwyllain, or her consort Tarik, the rulers of Anartia.
The woman watched him with hunger and lust in her eyes. The need to climax was great. His cock ached. But he’d have to wait until the offering. Stay in control. The more he teased and prolonged her orgasm, the better the harvest of chi. She whimpered as she watched him work his cock.
Straddling her body, he knelt on either side of her waist. Dante leaned forward and stroked her breasts, then eased his hand over her belly and between her legs. The woman sucked in a breath. The aura around her body told him she was close but he wasn’t ready to harvest her energy yet. As he rubbed her clit, cream coated her folds and moistened his finger. He plunged inside her pussy and shoved deep. She cried out, raising her hips off the blanket. The scent of her arousal was mixed with the scents of the desert—the earth, the sage and mesquite. He loved the desert, and he loved taking his Kithra here. The distraction of its beauty helped him control his own desire.
“Fuck me or lick me. I can’t wait any more.” She reached down and grabbed his cock and squeezed him.
Damn, it felt good. But he pulled her hand away and pressed both arms above her head. He couldn’t risk having her touch him like that. It’d been so long since he’d had the pleasure to seek release with a human.
Leaning forward, he brushed his lips over her nipple, then bit gently and rolled his tongue over the erect peak. He repeated the tease to the other nipple and she moaned in pleasure. “So good,” she breathed.
“Yes.” He didn’t even know her name. No matter. She wouldn’t remember him after the collection. “Stay still,” he ordered.
“Yes.” She nodded and stopped writhing but he still ached to drive his cock into her. A vibration surged through him as he prepared for the harvest. Opening his mouth, he held his lips close to hers without touching. She parted her lips as if anticipating a deep kiss and her chi energy flowed in a stream of light from her mouth into his. She cried out as the orgasm shattered her but he held her down. His cock throbbed and his balls tightened, his body tensed, aching for release as the chi energy rushed into him. Control, control. He had to slow down or he’d drain her.
I love your blog, Cerise! Thanks so much for having me as a guest!!!
All the best,