Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Five: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me!

I love that Cure song. I love kisses. Here are my five favorite places to get them.

On the neck. Especially right on the windpipe. Almost ticklish and very nice.

On my back during a massage. A trail from nape to tail. A tongue all along the spine.

On the backs of my knees. Little licks. Maybe some teeth.

On my heels and ankles. The scrape of teeth along my arch. A hot tongue between my toes.

On my lips, of course. Both sets ;)

Hope I didn't gross you out with the feet bit. I love that kind of thing. Where do you like to be kissed?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Reviews for Any Ordinary Day!

"Well, this book might be called Any Ordinary Day but I can tell you, it’s not an ordinary read.

Laura Bacchi engaged me in her story from the very start, I’d giggled out loud twice within minutes of starting to read and I was pulled into the plot almost instantly. By stimulating all the senses she brings the characters and scenes alive, making the sex scenes hot, sweaty and very real... If you love romance, fantasy and hot gay sex then this is a must read for you!"

- Victoria Blisse, Sexy Reads

The sexual tension in Any Ordinary Day was combustible... It was exciting to read and I found myself smiling on several occasions. Ms. Bacchi had a new twist on the classic vampire story that I found intriguing... I’ve always enjoyed Ms. Bacchi’s work and look forward to doing so again.

- Suni Farrar, JERR

Thanks to you both! Any Ordinary Day is available at Loose Id.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Five: Wine, Whine

Is it Friday already? Sheesh.

Since my tooth aches and I've had a crappy week, how 'bout some reds that are really good?

1. Big Red Monster.

Retails around $10

It's, um, big. And red. Fun label. Well-made mid-sized wine of indeterminant varietal. We don't know what's in it. We just drink it. You should too :) It makes a nice gift, fun for the conversation and hearty in the mouth.

2. Big House Red

Retails under $10

In between a Rhone Ranger and a California field blend. A fun little red to drink with just about anything. Randall Graham (Bonny Doon Vineyard) originally made this then sold it a few months ago to The Wine Group. Randall is a freak. Check out his website. Hubby says this is what happens when you give a philosophy major too much money. The site is gorgeous but hell to navigate.

3. Plungerhead Dry Creek Zin

Retails $15 to $20

A big old Zin from one of the best places in Sonoma that grows Zinfandel. Be careful because you may have a plunger on your head after tasting it... You can't stop with one bottle, um, glass. The makers, Don Sebastiani & Sons, have a twisted sense of humor. Check out their lovely Smoking Loon label or their $50 Cab, Used Automobile Parts.

4. PoiZin

Retails, well, it depends.

Wanna impress your guests at your upcoming Halloween party? Have this stuff on hand. The bottle comes in "glitter pink" for you girly types and the larger sizes of the special juice is in the hundreds. The cheap bottles are $25 without coffin, or $60 with one. Come on, you know you want the coffin :) Armida, the maker, calls it wine to die for. Tee hee. Get it?

5. Mollydooker's Carnival of Love

Retail $50ish, if you can find it

Aussie winemakers like to have fun with naming their wines and making cool labels. A lot of Aussie wines are great. This one is exceptional. It gets high ratings so it tends to sell out fast.

Okay, you can stop reading now. Go get your drink on. I'll be doing the same, trying to kill the misery in my mouth. Oh, I finally got my dentist on the phone. They set me up for an "emergency" appointment on October 1. WTF?? And that's just to get the freakin' referral for the oral surgeon. Grrrrrr.....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another Not-So-Ordinary Day

Robin at Romance Junkies gave Any Ordinary Day 4.5 Blue Ribbons!

"This love story between a man and a dragon warrior is an action-packed, sexy adventure. The passion generated by Paul and Darrien in their love scenes is extremely hot and explosive. The underlying tender feelings between the two men will leave you breathless. If you do not already believe in love at first sight, this book will convince you that it really does exist. I know because I fell in love with both Darrien and Paul at their very first meeting... Pick up your copy of ANY ORDINARY DAY and be prepared to burn. This sizzling story will set you on fire, so be sure to have something cold on hand to cool you off!"

She also mentioned that she'd like to hear more about Torin. I was planning to write Shaum's story next, but maybe not. I dunno. If you have an opinion about who should get their story next--Torin or Shaum?--feel free to share :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oh Sweet Mother of Gaaaaa.....

So I have this baby tooth that my crappy childhood dentist never saw fit to remove many, many moons ago. My dad still has a baby tooth. I figured it was a hereditary thing. Mine seemed to be doing fine through the years--a little ache here and there as the dormant adult tooth above shifted about just a tad. No big.

Well, not so anymore. At the moment I feel like some evil bastard has rammed a giant frozen ice pick up into my gums and is moving it around. My entire jaw is throbbing. My temples hurt. How am I supposed to write with this going on? Every time I type the word "smile" I whimper.

Ack. Sorry to whine.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Where I'm At

Oops... forgot to mention a few things.

- I'm up at Erotic Muses today where I'm talking about my muses.

- I did a little slash flash at the Slash and Burn blog the other day. 300 words with some angst.

- I mentioned some promo tips at the EREC blog. The reciprocal linking with the sex toy company seems like a bad idea though. Check out the comments for more info.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Amber Heat & Amber Allure Contests for Writers

Amber Quill Press is gearing up for their next author contest. I really enjoy being an AQP author and encourage you to enter if you think your work would be a good fit:

Contest Details

After the success of our four previous Amber Heat Wave™ Contests, Amber Heat (our erotica imprint) and Amber Allure (our GLBT imprint) has decided to repeat the process again, welcoming you to send us the hottest, steamiest, most sizzling fiction you can create! Think you have what it takes to win a publishing contract with us? Then submit your short Erotic Romance story (see below for content guidelines and word count) to AQP's Amber Heat or Amber Allure imprints during the first two weeks of January 2008! Apart from this annual contest, Amber Heat and Amber Allure (and its parent company Amber Quill Press) remain closed to all "outside" manuscript submissions throughout each year, therefore, this will be your single opportunity in 2008 to show us your writing skills and possibly become a part of the Amber Quill Press family of authors. Winning entries will be published in electronic format in June 2008 to coincide with our 5th annual Amber Heat Wave™ celebration.

To enter this contest, please carefully read and adhere to the following criteria, and also note, the rules and guidelines have changed since last year...

Dates Of Entry: January 1st through January 15th 2008.

Entry Fee: None!

Author Eligibility: Both published and non-published authors may submit. (Authors already under contract with Amber Quill Press or its imprints need not enter.)

Genre: Erotic Romance—all sub-genres are eligible...Hetero (Amber Heat) or GLBT (Amber Allure), Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy or Dark Fantasy (ie. Vampire, Werewolf, etc.), Historical (including Western), Science Fiction/Futuristic, Suspense/Thriller, Ménage, BDSM, Interracial, etc. (Basically, any category, genre, or sub-genre you see listed on the left-hand menu is eligible.)

Sexual Content: First, please view our Heat Level Info. Stories that fall into any of our three Heat Levels are eligible, although the hotter, the better. Please note: Certainly, we want stories that sizzle with sexual tension and contain explosive love scenes, yet we also want stories with strong and engaging plotlines and characters, stories that could stand on their own even without the sexual content. In other words, a story containing one-dimension characters or a flimsy plot wrapped around an endless string of meaningless sexual encounters will not impress us. Moreover, we are not looking to publish pure erotica, or stories containing hard-core BDSM, pedophilia, incest, bestiality (with the exception of Shapeshifter/Fantasy stories), bodily functions, etc. Each story must focus around a romance, whether Straight or GLBT. Even if the manuscript includes ménage or group sex situations, the romance between the main M/F or GLBT couple must be front and center throughout the story. We are also not opposed to stories that do not include a "Happily Ever After" ending, as long as it's warranted, although the majority of the work we publish does indeed have an HEA ending. For a clearer understanding of the types of stories we publish, we suggest you sample several of our erotica titles.

Word Count: Stories should be between 11,000 and 18,000 words (our "Extended Amber Kiss" length).

Judging Criteria: Each story entered will be judged on the following...

Plotline and Overall Story
Story Pacing
POV (Point Of View) Focus
Genre Appropriateness
Writing Mechanics (Grammar, Punctuation, Sentence Structure, Etc.)
Originality of Writing Style

Final Note: Authors may enter as many stories as they wish, as long as they are not contracted and not under consideration with any other publisher, nor have they been previously published. Authors must have all rights to each story submitted. Sorry, there are no exceptions.

Submission Procedure: Manuscripts must be saved in either DOC (MS Word Document) or RTF (Rich Text Format) and emailed as an attachment to us at only between the dates specified above. All other formats will be rejected, as well as manuscripts sent outside of the two-week time period. Again, sorry, there are no exceptions. Stories must be saved in a single file, and all stories where each chapter is sent in its own file will immediately be disqualified. In the "Subject" line of your email, please type THE FULL TITLE of the attached manuscript and its appropriate SUB-GENRE (example: Historical Erotica, Fantasy Erotica, etc.). In the body of the email, please list your NAME, PEN NAME (if applicable), full SNAIL-MAIL ADDRESS, and your EMAIL ADDRESS. Additionally, if sending more than one entry for consideration, please send each in a separate email.

What Not To Do: Please do not send us the first chapter(s) of a full-length novel and claim it's a self-contained short story in order to skirt the word count requirements and get your foot in the door--lying to us is hardly a good first impression and the contest entry will be rejected immediately. Additionally, please do not send us several paragraphs and ask for a critique—we will look only at manuscripts that are complete and that fall within the word count requirements. Finally, do not send us a manuscript that has absolutely no formatting—although we are not sticklers for specific fonts, font sizes, or line spacing, we absolutely insist on basic paragraphs. Our contest judges will not read a manuscript made up of one long paragraph, therefore, unformatted manuscripts will also be promptly rejected.

Prize: Winning manuscripts will receive our standard two-year contract for our Amber Heat (Hetero Erotica) or Amber Allure (GLBT) imprints. Each manuscript will be properly edited and copyedited by our staff according to our in-house style guidelines, then published in June 2008 to coincide with our 5th annual Amber Heat Wave™ celebration.

Winners will be announced on March 1st, 2008 and listed on our websites and authors of the winning manuscripts will be notified by private email!

Should you have any questions or need clarification regarding any contest details, please email

Good luck to all!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Six with Kate Willoughby

I've pushed my regularly scheduled Friday Five to the wayside to share something way cooler... an interview with the talented Kate Willoughby.

I met Kate at the Romance Divas forum and I think she's got one of the most interesting blogs around. From her Thursday Three to her artist days to unique contests, Kate's blog is a daily stop for me. I'm thrilled to pick her brain today and hope you enjoy getting to know her...

LB: Every sale is important, but tell us all about your first sale to an epub: Carnal Devotions at Liquid Silver. And don’t leave out the details--Champagne, happy dancing in PJs, ticking off the neighbors with squeals of delight--we want to hear it all!

Kate: Honestly, I don’t really remember much. I recall at least one scream. Some rapid foot stomping as I picked up the phone to call my husband and critique partners. I’m sure we went out to dinner to celebrate, most likely to Macaroni Grill.

LB: This month you’ve got not one but two back-to-back releases from Ellora’s Cave. Tell us all about them. And what’s in store after that?

Kate: Back-to-Back releases... OMG, I’m so ridiculously excited!

When I saw a call to participate in a chain story for a free erotic story site seven years ago, I wrote a chapter for it. The heroine, Erica, experienced a shocking variety of sexual adventures, all penned by different people. I really liked what I had written and after a while, I pulled it from the site with the intention of expanding it into a full length novel. However, other writing projects became more important, and the chapter languished in my hard drive until recently. With Ellora's Cave in mind, I completely overhauled the original vignette and was ecstatic when they accepted A MAN OF VISION (release date 9/23) for their Ellora’s Cavemen Seasons of Seduction, Volume III. At last, bookstores would have a book with my name on the cover on their shelves!!!

For Cristoforo, sculpting marble is his life, but the price of creation is a libido that rides him like a demon. When he discovers his sculpting days are numbered, he hires a mistress to satisfy him night and day.

Modern-day courtesan Delphine arrives at Cristoforo’s villa prepared for the rigors of being on call 24/7. What she isn’t prepared for, however, is the intensity of her body’s response to Cristoforo. When she learns what is driving him so ruthlessly, she wonders if she can protect her heart…or if it’s already too late.

[LB: Sounds great! I'm a sucker for those artist types ;)]

Kate: My other September release is ALL IN. I had written it at the behest of my editor (the wonderful Mary Altman.) She urged me to churn out a Naughty Nuptial Quickie to get my name out to EC readers. Obediently, I did, but when we examined the result, we decided that the characters and story, while good, were rushed. My Quickie was too quick! The good news was that it lent itself very well to a series. Long story, short, we doubled the length and so was born the Be-Wished series!

When three close friends made margarita-fueled wishes on magical woven bracelets, none of them ever dreamed that their sexy wishes might come true. But then a real-life fairy appears with United Wish Federation credentials and a ludicrous claim that Mariah’s wish is her command. And before Mariah can say bippity-boppity-boo, old flame Tucker arrives in town... and in Mariah’s bed.

Life on the road is a lonely one, but when Tucker bumps into Mariah again, all that changes. Sparks immediately fly and it’s all he can do to keep his hands off her. As things deepen between them, he swears he'll be damned before he passes on a second chance to reconnect with a woman he never forgot.

But wishes aren’t always simple and Happily Ever After is never guaranteed. It will be up to Mariah to go all in and make her wish last a lifetime... or lose Tucker forever.

I’m currently working on the next story in the series, tentatively titled A WOLF AT HER DOOR. It's my first time writing a shapeshifter story and I'm having a blast.

LB: ALL IN is out today, so go get it, folks! Kate probably needs a break from writing, but my next question puts her right back to work... You’re given a one-year sabbatical to the perfect writing location--and a personal assistant to proofread and help with your research (no, not that kind of research! LOL). There’s only one rule: You aren’t allowed to write a romance. What will you write?

Kate: Oh, that is such an intriguing question. I’ve always liked ancient Egypt, but I don’t do well with heat. I’m tempted to go to England, because I adore Regencies, but Harry Potter is still saturating society. So, I think I’d get myself a ticket to Rome. I’d rent an apartment with a bedroom for my bilingual assistant, that way I could learn Italian (another thing I’ve always wanted to do) while writing a children’s novel. It would probably have some type of paranormal aspect to it, maybe time travel!

LB: Great answer :) I love how you offer so many cool extras to your readers… A contest that gives away your handmade wishing bracelets. "Artist" days on your blog. A "Behind the Scenes" page of your site that offers deleted scenes, websites used to research a story, and more. Tell us about your future plans for readers. Any other contests on the horizon?

Kate: Oh, yes! I’m always coming up with more goodies for my readers, material and otherwise. What I try to do is put myself in the reader’s shoes and try to do things that would appeal to Kate Willoughby The Reader. For instance, I love being able to write an author a fan letter and have them respond! (Nancy Warren and Eloisa James come to mind.) So, I always reply to readers. I’m also the type of fan-nerd who geeks out over the back flap info--where the author lives and how many dogs they have, etc. So my website bio page is jam-packed with personal info and I blog five times a week.

I also love love love epilogues. Sometimes I just wish a story didn’t have to end and epilogues keep it going for just a little while longer. Because of that, I recently started an Epilogue Blog for one of my novels. I had this idea that it would be fun if my characters started blogging! That way, readers could keep up with the continuing lives of their favorite couples. Finding It is written by Ben and Charlotte, the main characters in LOSING IT, my bestseller from Liquid Silver Books. I plan to start blogs for other characters as well.

Finally, as far as contests are concerned, in ALL IN, Mariah admires a millefiori pendant in an Italian themed store at the Las Vegas Venetian Hotel. I'll be giving away a beautiful necklace like the one she coveted -- here's a picture. The contest runs through 9/18. Visit this link for details.

LB: It's gorgeous! Just like your website... On the bio page, you mention that your Chinese-American heritage. Any plans to write a character with this same background?

Kate: I’m really such a banana – yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Seriously, when I’m in Chinatown, I feel utterly out of place. My family has been here in America for five generations. But, who knows? Someday maybe I’ll conjure up a mixed-race character.

LB: Who are your favorite authors, romance and otherwise?

Kate: My favorite authors are many! Romance: Mary Balogh, Linda Berdoll, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Suzanne Brockmann, Jane Austen, Laura Kinsale, Nancy Warren, Robin L. Rotham, Rachel Gibson, Dara Joy, Maggie Osborne, La Nora. Science Fiction/Fantasy: Orson Scott Card, Jacqueline Carey, Stephen King, Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks. Thriller/Suspense/Mystery: Perri O’Shaughnessy, John Grisham, David Baldacci, Michael Crichton. Historical: Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant. Children’s: Louis Sachar, Barbara Park, William Joyce, Robin McKinley, Arnold Lobel.

LB: And I'm sure you're on a lot of favorite authors lists as well :) Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, and I wish you tons of sales on your new releases!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

An Amazing Day

After yet another crappy day at work, I came home to a package. A book-shaped package.

It was from Eden Bradley. I ripped it open. Inside was a copy of her next release, The Dark Garden, due out September 25th from Bantam.

I'd planned to buy it, of course, but this was a nice surprise. Then I opened it. Read what she'd signed. Then I read the acknowledgements. I saw my name.

Thank you, Eden. You turned a not-so-hot day into one I'll never forget. I'm truly touched. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Any Ordinary Day is a Top Pick!

Here's what Danni from Night Owl Romance had to say about Any Ordinary Day:

A Night Owl Romance Top Pick - "Any Ordinary Day is an extraordinary read. This captivating story is full of strong, sensual sexy characters. Ms Bacchi is an excellent storyteller and weaves the details of this intricate plot with finesse and grace. This well-written, richly developed story is unlike any I’ve read before."

Click here to read the full review by Danni at Night Owl.

And here's another:

"Any Ordinary Day is definitely far from ordinary. This book has everything a paranormal lover could ask for, shapeshifting dragons, great battle scenes, and hot men. The men in this story are hot, sensual creatures with enough depth to make this an excellent read... Laura Bacchi has created a well crafted world of dragons that was truly captivating. Her writing style was truly unique and made for a different way of reading about dragons. I would definitely read more from this very talented author."

Click here to read the full review by Kimberley at Ecataromance Sensual.

Thanks, Danni and Kimberley, for making my day! Here's another taste of Paul and Darrien:

When seeking a mate, avoid the Jorgenis. They are a brutal lot with no respect for Palian laws. Avoid humans as well -- few can understand our ways or want to live below ground. But if you cannot resist, please follow the proper procedures listed below...
-- from “A Guide to Mating” in The Book of Palia

“You’re late.”

“Sorry, Torin. I lost track of time.” What the hell had I been thinking, going back to Paul’s like that? The minutes seemed to fly by when I was with him -- a good sign -- but I’d forgotten all about meeting my ex to take down the greens. If it hadn’t been for the clock by Paul’s bed, I would never have left him.

It stunk like shit here in the bowels of a tunnel Torin had discovered last night. He and I walked together, but we didn’t keep talking. Not because the Jorgenis might hear us, but because I was too obsessed with Paul, his tattoo, and the sinking feeling that I’d hurt him tonight with my strange reaction to his scar. The first oath of Palian mate-taking was a promise to look out for each other’s feelings, to be considerate and loving. I could blame my reaction on being stunned, but frankly that was the easy way out.

I’d hurt him, and for this I would have to apologize.

Torin broke the silence. “What’s up? You sense something?”


Torin wouldn’t be jealous if I told him -- we were way past that -- so I blurted it out.

“I met someone today.”

“Me, too. Actually, I met a few ‘someones’ today.” His low laugh filled the dank space around us. “There’s a bar over on --”

“I don’t mean in a casual way, Torin.”

The crunch of his boots on the debris below stopped echoing through the tunnel. “You found a mate? A Top Lander?”

I nodded.

“Shit, Darrien.” He turned me to face him. “Are you sure about this? Think of the risks. You’d be taking him away from everything he knows. That is, if you can turn him.”

“I can turn him.” If he wants to be turned. I’d been memorizing the steps outlined in The Book of Palia and one thing was for sure -- I had a lot of explaining to do the next time I saw Paul.

Torin released my shoulders, a good thing because I suddenly sensed we weren’t alone in the tunnel.

“You feel ’em too?” he whispered.

“Yep.” And smell them. Jorgenis were stinky little fuckers.

“I count three,” he said. “About forty gher measures up ahead.”

I nodded and began to strip. Torin did the same. This time my heart didn’t pound when I saw his nakedness. And the upcoming battle had nothing to do with my frantic heartbeat either.

It had everything to do with Paul.

I said a quick prayer to the forefather gods and dug around in my jacket pocket for my amulet. It wasn’t there.

“Shit. It must’ve fallen out… ” I’d be okay without the amulet’s protection but I was used to it. I took comfort in wearing it around my neck while I fought, in seeing it change colors as the medallion made contact with my skin.

Torin leaned in close, his words barely audible. “What’s wrong?”

“My coin keeper is missing. I took off my jacket at the Top Lander’s place and --”

“Ah, so you’ve sampled him!” He laughed softly. “How was he?”

I ignored him and found the plastic bag nestled deeper in my pocket. We stuffed our clothes inside the bag, then did what we do best -- became dragons. The shifting was fast, probably due to the fear and battle-lust pumping through our bodies, but I held back for a moment and studied my changing form in the darkness. How much of the real me could Paul handle? Right now, I was half man, half dragon and it would be the most humanlike I could be while I turned him. Would he be frightened? Would he hate me? The fact that he’d decorated his body with one of my kind meant he could deal with what I truly was… Right?

“Come on, man.” Torin nudged me in the ribs. “What are you waiting for?”

I pushed myself into final form, and we trudged onward, the talons of my feet puncturing plastic bottles and who knew what else down below. Dragon skin was supposed to be impenetrable, and I prayed this was true given all the syringes littering the path. Our wings stayed furled -- flying would keep our feet clean but make too much noise. We’d save the airborne acrobatics for the fight up ahead.

The foul odor of the Jorgenis overpowered me -- they were near. Torin grabbed my arm as three pairs of glittery green eyes flickered open in the darkness. We all began to breathe, fast and heavy, stoking up our lungs to burn each other whenever possible during battle. When the heat inside me warmed my throat, I stepped forward.

“On behalf of the elders of Palia, I offer you this one chance to come back peacefully.”

“Fuck the elders,” one of them hissed.

“I’ll take it that’s a no.”

A line of flame went straight for my head. I ducked. Young dragons these days had no sense of humor.

They lunged for us, and Torin and I gave as good as we got. Soon the passageway was thick with gray smoke and the unmistakable smell of burning scales and whiskers. Even numbering three, the Jorgenis were no match for two older dragons. We brawled for what seemed like hours amid the ruins of the old tunnel, scorching walls and each other.

It wasn’t until near the end that I realized their advantage over us: they wanted this. We were just doing our jobs, but they wanted to be on their own, and their craving for human flesh was apparently out of control. I could smell the half-dozen fresh carcasses dotting the ground as we fought.

A green lashed out with his tail, catching Torin off-guard and slamming him into the wall. I heard the crack of bones and the soft moan that signaled the start of our retreat. Pulling in every bit of air I could, I shot it all back out and shook my head back and forth, spraying the greens with the best defense I had -- a wall of flame. They scrambled back. Lost their footing. I advanced with careful steps in case more waited in the darkness beyond.

Torin roused and joined me, but his breathing was labored. His tail, however, still worked fine. He gave them his ass, then an ass-whipping they wouldn’t forget in the few brief moments of life they had left. When we got close enough, I grabbed one around the neck. The snap of bone and the ping of scales flying into the walls reverberated through the tunnel. I dropped the lifeless green and ran for the next one, and the next.

Then Torin hugged me from behind as best he could considering the spiked tail there. “Three more down,” he panted.

I wasn’t a particularly religious being, but I said a silent burial prayer for the trio.

“Why do they risk it all?” Torin asked. “Jorgenis only have one life. It’s just not worth it.”

I clasped him on the shoulder. “I have no clue.” I scanned the dead humans around us. “Maybe these Top Landers are tasty critters.”

A naughty gleam shone in Torin’s eyes. “Well, I ate one today, and I must say he was delicious.”

* * *

I think Torin needs his own story. What do you think? :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Contest at Erotic Muses!

Today's the first day of the launch contest at Erotic Muses.

Yeah, we're gonna make you work for it, but hey it's five downloads from four great authors and, well, me :)

Go check it out or I'll send Sven to your house. Oh wait. You might like Sven. Hmmmmm. Here's a picture of him. What do you think? Maybe I should just keep him here with me instead...

Monday, September 10, 2007

There's a new blog in town...

It's called Erotic Muses and I'll be there along with Bonnie Dee, Jayelle Drewry, Dee Knight and Veronica Wilde. Stop by the blog today, September 10th, for introductions. Then come back by on Tuesday the 11th for details on our launch contest. The grand prize winner will receive a download from each of us and will be announced on Friday, September 21st.

We plan to share excerpts, talk about the writing process, and more. I hope to do some interviews there as well as here. Drop by and say hello!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Linkage du Jour

Tawny Taylor is starting a series of posts called the Seven Habits of Highly Effective (aka published) Authors. Here's her first post. Tawny's definitely got it going on, so I'll be sure to read these. Lord knows I'm about as effective as a broken shoelace some days.

Amie M. Evans discusses whether giving work away for free is "a good, bad, or ugly idea and why" in her latest column at Erotica Readers & Writers Association (ERWA). Freebies can be an effective way to promote, so this article is definitely worth a read.

Shanna Germain is up at ERWA too, and this month she talks about Taming Your Triangle. Nope, she's not talking about personal grooming habits... she's offering tips for revising your erotic stories. Great advice, as usual.

J.M. Snyder started a new review site exclusively for GLBT work of all genres. It's called Rainbow Reviews. If you write or read GLBT, you may want to check it out.

Stumble onto any cool, informative links? Feel free to share.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Five Best Nights

Man, I could've done this for a Friday Five... Lisa Andel tagged my booty for this blog meme so into that dark night we shall go with this 5 Best Nights meme:

List the 5 best nights that you can recall and then tag four other people and see if the meme can continue.

1. Some Halloween night in the '80s. This was the last time I trick-or-treated, whereupon a young man (BJC) lured me to his backyard and told me to be careful or he just might kiss me. I was twelve and I can't remember how I even got in his backyard. I do remember that I was dressed in an old evening gown of my mom's, which had an empire waist and, being addicted to Barbara Cartland novels at the time, I found it all very thrilling and romantic. I felt that little flutter or spark or whatever you want to call it--and it hit me hard. I think my cheeks (and other places) stayed warm for a whole week...until he finally did kiss me. Me and BJC got into lots of trouble after that.

2. The drunken threesome that wasn't. Me and some friends from VA Tech hiked up to Dragon's Tooth and drank like fish. We sang for hours and wondered who'd end up sleeping with whom. Good wholesome fun, that. I spent the night in a tent with two guys, both good friends, and in the end did not a damn thing. If I could go back in time, I swear I'd revisit that whole scenario and make a couple of changes ;) Anywho, that was the best college night ever.

3. My honeymoon, of course. We were beat as all get out, but I'd never had room service before. Slow, romantic lovin' until we fell asleep in each other's arms. I think I finally felt like an adult that night--a real hotel with valet service, free continental breakfast the next morning...a ring of gold around my finger, a new apartment to live in afterwards.

4. The night we decided to try for a baby. It was a little strange to do the deed knowing the purpose wasn't solely for pleasure. I remember thinking, "What I do tonight could affect me--us--for the rest of our lives." It's a terrifying thing, but in a small, subversive way it was an act of defiance in a world so frought with chaos. To choose to bring a life into this world, to say upfront I was going to be responsible for it, is tough for us pessimist types to do. I consider it my bravest moment.

5. Until I actually went into labor. Oh boy (or rather, oh girl), was that one long, agonizing night. I thought this had to be some kind of cruel joke--the Lamaze teacher said natural childbirth could be done, right? Had she been high on something? Anyway, the next day the kiddo came out--and she was amazing. And mine. Truly a magical night filled with worries and excitement and lots of love from my husband.

Okay, now to tag someone else's booty. Are you reading this? Consider yourself tagged :) Feel free to share your link so we can see yours.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Five: GLBT Issues

Writing about yummy man-love is fun stuff, but I don't just write about this because the idea of two or more guys is a turn-on for me. Like many other authors of GLBT erotic romance and that of the non-erotic kind, I believe same sex relationships should be celebrated and that certain issues should be eased into the story. So today's FF is all about organizations that try to promote understanding about GLBT individuals and issues.

1. HRC: The Human Rights Campaign. The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. In the opening scene of Any Ordinary Day, Paul mentions a ragged bumper sticker on his car, and hopefully most readers linked the description to HRC. Here in the Washington DC area, I see their logo often on cars and backpacks. From ending workplace discrimination to concerns about coming out, HRC is a great resource for GLBT individuals and the people who care about them. For an international perspective, check out the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).

2. PFLAG: Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays. PFLAG's mission is to promote the health and well-being of GLBT persons, their families and friends by offering a network of support, education and advocacy for equal civil rights. God knows it's tough enough being a kid these days, but being gay on top of all that makes things even tougher. If you know someone who needs support in this area, PFLAG offers a Safe School resource section on its site. Out Proud is another organization doing its best to inform the public and support GLBT youth.

3. Keepers of the past. According to its website, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS) collects, preserves, and interprets the history of GLBT people and the communities that support them. The National Archive of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender History is another resource in the U.S. They both feature online exhibits.

4. Butts out! Did you know that the GLBT community has the highest smoking rate of any minority group? This is according to the New York Times in 1999... let's hope that statistic has gone done since then. When I worked in a substance abuse library, one of my tasks was to find and archive articles about marketing tobacco products to different groups, and I was surprised to see exactly how tobacco companies targeted their ads to attract a particular audience. Hopefully groups like the Gay American Smoke Out [someone had fun doing their posters ;)] and Bitch to Quit are lowering the GLBT smoking rate.

Speaking of substance abuse, meth continues to be a big problem among certain populations of gay men. I'm currently grappling with how much of this to include in my WIP du jour.

5. When love hurts. According to the Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project, one in four gay men experience domestic violence. The rate of abuse among lesbian couples rivals that of hetero couples. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs is trying to address any kind of violence committed against and within the GLBT and HIV-affected communities. Back in college, my roommate got an internship at a battered women's shelter. After her first day, she returned stunned--she had no idea that so many of the victims there were hurt by other women.

I hope this didn't come off as too preachy or depressing, but I do think about some of these things when writing. And I often find it difficult to know how much reality to slip into a story, but it's good to know there are a lot of resources on the web for when I need to do this research and, more importantly, for the people who need them.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Poem: In the City of Men

Mama warned me about men like him
when I began dating
and again when I started at the plant.
But I could handle myself.
I strutted to my locker at the end of the shift,
rolling hips smooth as pistons,
and ignored the whistles and yells
that followed even the ugliest woman
in this city of men.

That Wednesday, his gaze locked on me
from three lines away.
I knew he was trouble.
His thick arms,
slick with humid Carolina air,
moved like the machines we made.
I thought of his hips pumping inside mine
with that same rhythm.
The foreman docked my pay for
backing up the line.

On Friday, he had me like a cheap whore
in the back of his midnight blue Torino.
No movie. No dinner.
But his body slid along mine
the way the serpent did to Eve
and I screamed into the July night
with a rapture that shook me to the bone.

When he moved on down the line
to the next new tender girl,
I had my work to keep me sane.
The whistles and yells started back up
and I took my pick,
as any woman would
in this city of men.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Six with Rob Graham

A male erotic romance writer is a rare thing indeed. Sure, there are plenty of authors who write under a male or ambiguous name, particularly for the M/M market, but women truly dominate the field.

So today I'm picking the brain of a guy (or "Diva Dude" as he's referred to at the Romance Diva forum) who breaks the mold. Let's find out all about him...

LB: There's nothing like a first sale story. Tell us all about yours. Do male writers scream and happy dance like we ladies do—or do you pump a fist in the air and make grunting noises?

Rob: The first sale I made was Discovery, to Phaze as part of their Fetish HeatSheet line. Didn’t scream. I did happy dance and pump my fist in the air. No grunting though, I chanted “Yes!” over and over. I’m a ridiculously articulate person, even when excited. ;)

LB: Your D/s tale, The Gift, was also published by Phaze. Why does writing about this lifestyle appeal to you? What kind of research did you do for this story?

Rob: There are two things that interest me about this lifestyle. First, I’ve always been fascinated with power, and power is an important part of D/s. The other, with The Gift at least, was me exploring the submissive mindset, something I didn’t understand at the time.

Research consisted of reading stories in the genre, determining what worked in the ones I liked and didn’t work in the ones I disliked. I also spoke a fair bit with people involved in the life. The closest I came to ‘proper research’ was reading a book by Erich Fromme, Escape From Freedom. I learned from that book that along with loss of freedom comes a loss of responsibility. That’s where the submissive mindset clicked for me. The sub doesn’t have any responsibilities but to enjoy what’s being done to them. That was a major breakthrough for me and really helped with creating my characters for The Gift.

LB: That's the cool thing about research--that "aha!" moment that supports your story and makes you love the writing of it all the more. Unfortunately, not all authors like plotting as much as research :) Are you a plotter or a pantser... or a little of both? Share with us the process you go through when you take a story from an idea to the finished work.

Rob: I’m mostly a panster with a little plotter thrown in. The clearest process I can recall was for a story I wrote called The Orange Slip. I was working as a janitor at a place here in Toronto at a place called The Distillery District. This is a cultural centre, a rather popular one. I went into one of the galleries there and I saw this painting.

Light (Housewife series) by J.T.Winik

I started wondering, “Who is this woman? Who is she smiling at? Why? What brought them to this point?” Answering those questions, and answering the questions that the answers raised eventually became the story. My creative process is sort of a Socratic dialogue with myself.

LB: That's a lovely painting--it would inspire me as well. Tell us about the details on your latest release, The Gift and any works in progress.

Rob: The Gift is the story of Charlene Raleigh. She’s a driven lawyer who has put aside pretty much everything in her drive to the top of her profession. She’s almost anhedonic, that is someone unable to enjoy pleasure. She meets a man by the name of Tom Jackson.

Tom sees something in her. Over the space of several weeks and several outings he draws this from her. He makes Charlene experience joy once again.

When she is ready, Tom takes her into his playroom and gives Charlene a gift. The gift of herself.

I’m very pleased with this one. When it was posted at Literotica I received nearly eighty pieces of feedback on it. Most of them quite complimentary.

My next release is an anthology of romances entitled Gillian’s Place. It will be available soon from Aspen Mountain Press.

This is what it’s about.

A lot of people pass through a bar. As they do, they leave small pieces of their lives behind in the form of stories.

Come and listen to the bartender at Gillian’s Place as he tells the stories of the patrons he’s seen over the years.

Here’s a short taste of it. This excerpt is taken from the story The Orange Slip, mentioned above.

Marian was standing in the entrance to the hall. She was dressed only in the orange slip from that day over two years before. Her hands were holding the hem as if to lift it and reveal herself to him. A small, wicked smile played on her lips.

“Good God,” Frank managed to choke out.

“I see you remember that day,” Marian noted, her smile growing a little.

“It’s never far from my mind.”

“I’ve remembered that time every day since. I saw you looking at me with that lust burning in your eyes. Ralph had never done it. It felt so good to be wanted so badly. If I wasn’t such an honest woman I would have had you take me right then.”

“For a second, I wanted to take you right there. But I couldn’t. You were my friend, and married. Troubled or not, I couldn’t let you risk that.”

Marian nodded. “That was my thought too. But it was so hard. That’s why I didn’t visit for a while. I didn’t think I would be strong enough to say no. If I hadn’t missed your friendship so much, I would never have come over again."

“But I did miss you. When I finally went back to your house for coffee, it was because I wanted my friend back. And I was prepared at that point to be your lover as well if that’s what it took. I was so relieved when you didn’t, and a little disappointed too. I saw you wanted me. I liked being wanted again.”

Frank felt himself relax, and his manhood harden. Marian’s honesty was allowing him to slip the tight bonds he had put on his feelings for so long.

“Marian, I did want you. But if I had followed my wants, we both would have regretted it. Neither of us thought adultery was a good thing. Sooner or later, our guilt over doing it would have destroyed our friendship. I would rather have had a friend forever than a lover for a year.”

Marian moved on bare feet towards him. “We don’t need to worry about that anymore.”

“But it will still change things.”

“I don’t care!” she replied with vehemence. “I want you, Frank. I want you now! We’ll survive this night. Changed or not, we’ll have each other, as we have all these years. As we always will.”

She sat on his lap, straddling his hips. For a second he could see the dark triangle between her legs. Reaching for his fly, she unzipped it, then pulled his stiff manhood from his briefs into the open. “I want a man who wants me,” Marian panted. “I want the man who wants me. It’s been too long and I won’t wait anymore.”

And at that, she placed him at her entrance and pushed herself down his full length.

LB: Great excerpt! Reading excerpts always makes me wonder about the dreaded editing process. So about editing your work before submission... love it or hate it? Any tips for fellow writers on revision?

I enjoy the revision process. It lets me both read and write at the same time.

As far as advice to my fellow writers goes, when revising, be cold. If a sentence, paragraph or chapter adds nothing to the story, delete it or redo it. If you get too attached to it and can’t make the necessary changes, your work won’t be as good as it could be.

LB: Very true. Speaking of fellow writers, what authors inspire you? What genres besides erotic romance do you enjoy as a reader?

Rob: For writing style I love Harlan Ellison. His stories ‘Repent, Harelquin!’ Said The Ticktockman and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream are two of the finest short stories in the English language. If I ever write half as well as he does, I’ll be very happy with myself.

My favourite fiction genre is fantasy and speculative fiction. Fantasy is just fun while speculative fiction deals with a lot of philosophical ideas that I love thinking about.

My favourite non-fiction genres are history and political science. They’re all about humanity and I’m fascinated by my species and the trouble it gets itself into.

LB: Thank you so much, Rob, for taking the time to share a little about yourself. I enjoyed learning more about you and your work. And good luck with your next release! For more about Rob, visit his website,