Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Onward



So much has happened over the past year and when I sit and reflect on everything, I can honestly say that I am pleased for the most part with my life.

I got married to the one love of my life and that was definitely the biggest moment for me of 2011. I love you with all my heart, Adam. And I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you. You are my constant support, my rock in life, and I love you for everything you are.

Christmas was great! It was quiet and I had many days off from work which was a surprise.

I've been thinking about the coming year and how I want to change some things in my life. My goals are as follows:

-To become more healthy. I want to start back at the gym and I need to eat right again.
-To not take life so seriously. I often stress about so many things. I need to realize that nothing's perfect in life and that's okay.
-I plan on taking my writing in another direction. My focus will no longer be on erotica. I want to break into the mainstream romance and literary world. I do have a sub with Harlequin and I plan on sending them something else. I also have another big publisher in mind to sub.

I will still write erotica. I won't be giving it up completely, but it won't be my primary focus.

I have a literary novel started and I plan on finishing that and subbing it to an agent. It's a risk I feel I need and want to take.

So, that's my plans for the near future in a nutshell. How about you?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Hop: Day 7

Another Stocking has been removed and it's my turn to tell you about my story in this great holiday anthology!


My story is Promises!

Blurb: 'Leda James is a woman on the verge of losing it due to her distaste of the upcoming holiday season. Sadly, being a professional baker, avoiding Christmas alltogether is totally out of the question.

When her hot and hunky Italian assistant, Joey offers her a chance to spend Christmas Eve with him and his family, she is fast to turn him down even though she secretly lusts after him.

In a matter of hours they find themselves stranded due to a fast approaching winter storm. Joey is forced to spend the night at her upstairs apartment. Sparks fly, clothing comes off, and in the end she's left to question everything she'd thought was perfect about her life.

There's a storm raging not only outside, but also within her. And when the morning comes, she's not sure if she'll be able to ride either of them out.'


Excerpt: Joey shifted the van into low gear and crossed his fingers that he’d make it back alright. And when he spotted the bakery in the near distance through the fast falling snow, he heaved a huge sigh of relief.

            “Have you seen what it’s like out there?” he asked, walking into the bakery. “And it’s only going to get worse overnight, so says the radio.”

            “I sent Kendra home early so she could avoid it. It looks like I did the right thing. You can go too.”

            “In this? I barely made it back here. I’m not going anywhere yet.” He pulled off his jacket and went to the supply room to hang it up. When he came back, Leda was leaning on the countertop staring off into space. He didn’t think she even noticed he was there. “So, what else needs to be done?”

            “Just the clean-up. I doubt we’ll be seeing any more customers in here tonight.”

            “Not if they’re smart.” He looked to the kitchen. “I’ll get to work.”

            “I’ll be in a moment.”

* * * *

            There wasn’t much to clean. As usual Kendra has taken care of most of it as she worked. And after the bulk had been cleaned up, Joey washed down the surfaces while Leda took care of the front end of the store, removing day old baked good from the display counters.

            “What a waste,” she said, carrying a load back into the kitchen. “It’s a shame to dump it. Take some of it home with you.”

            “Home? You’re kidding. Visibility is near zero out there. This is going to last all night and into tomorrow morning.”

            “You can’t sleep here,” she said. She had a small apartment located up over the shop. She could invite him to stay the night with her. Her pulse quickened thinking about taking Joey into her personal space. “You can stay upstairs with me. That’s the only sensible solution to this. The couch is reasonably comfy.”

            “Thanks. I appreciate that, Leda.” He did sound appreciative, and the way he looked at her as he spoke her name, well, she had to force her mind to other things then ravishing him right then and there.

            “It’s not a problem. I’d do it for just about anyone.”

            He smirked. “Well thank you for making me feel special. And to think, I thought I was the only one.”

            “Funny guy.” Leda smirked “Let’s finish up down here and get the heck out of dodge.”

This was a fun story to write and I hope you enjoy reading it! Happy Holidays!

Next up in the blog hop: Kelly Yeakle




Friday, December 2, 2011

Win Free Stuff From Ashlynn Monroe

From Ashlynn:

I'm thankful to so many people this year. It's been a great year for me as an author. I've been very lucky to learn from wonderful editors who've improved my knowledge of the craft I adore. Writing is in my blood. I've had so many wonderful readers reach out to me. It's wonderful when someone tells you that your work has touched them. In thanks, I want to give away goodies during the holiday season. I'm going to be giving away audio books, tote bags, t-shirts, and eBooks. Like me on facebook, Ashlynn Monroe Author, to keep up with the giveaways. 

I have three new releases in December. A Healer’s Touch from Wild Horse Press, Salvation book three in my Vengeance series from Decadent Publishing, and A Daddy for Christmas from Silver publishing will all be available throughout December. I’m looking forward to readers enjoying these books. 

A Daddy for Christmas:




When Charlie St. Claire became the caseworker for three, terrified little boys, she didn’t mean to let herself love them. But she did. The boys had unique issues, but with her typical, positive attitude, she wanted to give them a better life.

Richmond Wolfe hadn’t seen his sons in years. He couldn’t help what he’d become, but he’d tried to protect his children by leaving. Now some city girl do-gooder wanted his kids. He wouldn't give them up, not to her or anyone. He loved them that much.

Charlie soon discovers Richmond’s terrible secret and it puts her and the boys in danger. Her burgeoning feelings for the hunky outdoorsman fill her with confusion… and something more. Maybe her boys could use a daddy for Christmas.


A Healer’s Touch:




As if being a young single mother wasn't challenging enough, Phoebe is also the last adult descendant of the witch that cursed Willow Lake in response to her betrayal and murder. Phoebe inherited the family curse, but with love and compassion, she uses her magic for healing.

Fabian Sterling likes money, he likes power, and he likes Phoebe. He's also the ancestor of the man who burned Phoebe's witch ancestor at the stake. Can passion overcome a grudge that's lasted for centuries? When he looks at Phoebe, he doesn’t see a witch, only an angel. How can anyone so beautiful be reviled by an entire town? Fabian vows to protect her, whatever the cost.


Salvation:



Audra Jacobs finds herself alone and uncertain. Her overwhelming power is keeping her from her family, and her lover. The mysterious Phoenix has told her things that she can’t believe are true about her new power. She was brought back from the dead for a reason; she just doesn’t fully know what it is yet. How can she be a hero when her life is falling apart? Could she even accept being normal again if she’s given the chance?

Cain Maddox loves Audra; the demon living inside of him loves her too. The Phoenix living inside of her wants to keep them apart, but he’s determined to save her—again. When a higher power gives him an ultimatum, he has to choose between Audra and his freedom. Their enemy is closing in, and hurting the innocent people who love her. Whom can a hero call when he needs a hero? How can Cain keep her safe when he can’t even touch her?


Buy book one Vengeance:
http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=66&products_id=239&osCsid=6c1232251c1e45744bd0b3ee7262f414

Buy book two Retribution: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=66&products_id=250&osCsid=6c1232251c1e45744bd0b3ee7262f414


I hope you’ll check out these books, and take part in the giveaways. Comment here to win a 2012 calendar, emery boards, magnets and other fun swag today! I’ll contact the winner and request the physical address to send the goodies. I hope you have safe and happy holiday.

Website:
http://www.ashlynnmonroe.com/

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Cover Art: The Men of Buckshot Ranch- Mark

I love this cover. It's for the second book in my MM series with Total-E-Bound due out this February. Many thanks to artist, Emmy Ellis for the wonderful visual!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eden's Garden


Eden's Garden(MMF) has sold to Siren Publishing as of today. It will release in February 2012!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Money Side of One Author's Journey

Many authors are hesitant to discuss the financial side of the writing business, myself included. I thought about writing this post for a bit and decided to go ahead, and give a glimpse into how much I've made throughout the last year since I started writing seriously.

The first six months saw very little. My first few statements were mainly from publisher's sites and I learned that it takes a good amount of time before the third party sites pay up which is where most of the sales come from. I didn't know this previously and for anyone who thinks the money is instant, it isn't!

Some of my publishers sell better than others. I've had one novella tank(Sweet Romance) and while it's a fav of mine it just didn't sell. I've had two others that have done okay and the rest have done quite well to date. My self-published stuff has also sold well and I hope to continue with that as a side venture too.

I won't get into specific amounts earned, but I am making a decent second income from writing. Could I live alone from what I'm making at this time? Certainly not. At this time I still have to work my day job. Maybe in a year that might change.

I'd also like to note that I do a heck of a lot of promotion on my own. I have no doubt that this has helped my sales. It's not easy work. It takes a lot of time and effort. In the e book romance and erotica business you have to do your best to get noticed. In a market that's flooded it isn't an easy task!

Writing Updates:

-Awaiting on one sub MMF
-Awaiting edits on book two in The Men of Buckshot Ranch series from Total-E-Bound
-Awaiting edits on my Christmas antho story from Evernight Publishing
-Completing a couple of shorts for Iron Rose Press

It's been busy here in the writing cave, but I'd have it no other way :)






Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Gay Zombie

Coming soon to Amazon Kindle!


Blurb:
Jeremy has a major problem. He’s dead!
After a night of partying, Jeremy is awakened from his eternal slumber only to discover that he’s dead, or at least deadish. After meeting good guy, Randell on a dark and deserted road, the two guys quickly fall in lust with each other.
Jeremy is quickly discovering new things about himself such as his love of human brains. His urges cannot be controlled and when he realizes that Randell is endangered by being in his company, a decision must be made to protect him.
Excerpt:
Randells heart thumped hard inside his chest. That face and that body. Instantly, he became erect just as Jeremy walked into the living area. And now, thoughts of doing extremely naughty things with him coursed throughout his mind causing him to blush.
            Fumbling through his closet, he grabbed a pair of sleep pants along with a sweatshirt. It would do.
            Im chilled.
            Randell jumped and turned to see Jeremy standing behind him.
            I appear to have startled you this time. Its becoming a habitwith us. Jeremy sat on the edge of his bed.
            God, he was super sexy! This should fit you and its warm. His mind skittered once again to the naughties. If youre hungry, I can make something.
            Jeremy nodded. I am hungry, but it isnt for food.
            Silence.
            Coffee? I know it always brings me around when Im feeling slightly off, or a beer?
            Not what I have in mind. Jeremy pulled the towel from around his waist.
            This had to be a dream, a delicious dream. And if it was? He sure as shit didnt want to wake up.

****

Whatever had come over him, Jeremy didnt know. Much like the hunger, right now all he wanted to do was fuck. Lust flowed throughout his body and with only one thing on his mind, he closed in on Randell.
            Um, what are you doing?
            I saw the way you looked at me when I came from the shower. You had that look in your eyes, a look that told me so much with just one passing glance, he replied, taking Jeremys hand and placing it on his chest against his ashen, cool flesh.
            The guy flushed crimson. Its just that--
            No need to explain. He pressed one finger against Jeremys lips. You saw something you liked and I have too. Theres no shame in that, contrary to what some others may say or think.
            Its just that Ive never done anything like this before.
            With another guy? he asked, the thought of seducing a virgin, brought his excitement and horniness to a whole new level.
            With anyone. Im a virgin.
            But you like guys?
            Randell nodded, taking in a deep breath. Very much so.
            Jeremy dropped to his knees, his cock rock hard, pointing upward. He unzipped Randells fly and reached in until he found what he desired, eight inches of thick, throbbing cock. Uncut. Bonus!
            Sweet Jesus, said Randell.
            He has nothing to do with it, replied Jeremy, looking up. He then opened his mouth and didnt stop until he felt pubic hair rubbing against his nose.
            Like an animal driven by some unknown need to quench a lustful thirst, he sucked up and down, his goal to not only pleasure this guy, but also fulfill the urge within himself.


Monday, October 10, 2011

My First Year


It's been one year since I subbed my first story. Over the past year I have learned so much about many things both writing related and non. It's truly been a journey of sorts and I think I am better off for having the experiences that I have had thus far.

Being published had had it's ups and downs. Some of my works have sold much better than others. I have learned that in the e romance and erotica market some things sell better than others. I have also learned to be wary of certain publishers. It's been like a maze to navigate through all this information since it's tossed at you from every which way possible. Many of you know this and I'm sure have had your own experiences.

I am pleased with the ways things have gone in one year for me. I feel my name is out there and while I'm not one of the biggies selling tons of books, I am doing reasonably well. I hope to continue the way I'm going, but am expanding to write in other genres which are not romance or erotica oriented.

Where do I see myself in another year? I often ask myself this question. Ideally my dream is to write fulltime and be moderately successful. I will continue to work hard at it and see what comes of it. Afterall, I didn't think I'd be this far along one year ago. 

Cheers

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Busy Bee

I don't post much about my personal life on this blog as I like to keep that seperate, and for the most part offline. Anyhoo, I thought it'd be nice to share a little of what's going on with me along with an update of what's out and upcoming for me in regards to my writing. Bear with me, I'm exhausted sitting here with a cup of coffee after finishing two nightshifts.

I started back to work last month after taking a years leave to write and sort some personal crap out. It's been hard moving back to the city and adjusting to the shift work again. My writing routine has gone to hell and I'm finding it hard to fit it in even on my days off since all I want to do when I'm off is veg, and sleep. I'm managing to write at least 1k on most of my days off, but it's not easy when the words won't come.

Current Works:

-New sub for Siren(MMF)
-Edits for My Gay Zombie.
-Multiple shorts(MM)

Upcoming Releases:

-Forever Night(MF) Coming in December from Secret Cravings Publishing
-Stockings and Suspenders(Christmas Antho) Coming in December from Evernight Publishing
-The Men of Buckshot Ranch: Mark(MMM) Coming in February from Total-E-Bound
-My Gay Zombie(MM) Coming in October from Iron Rose Press
-The Best Gift(MM) Coming in Decemeber from Iron Rose Press

Recent Releases:

-Our Dirty Little Secret(MMF) Siren Publishing
-The Men of Buckshot Ranch: Jay(MM) Total-E-Bound
-Star Treatment(MM) Total-E-Bound

Recent News:

Menage on the Prairie(MMF) and Our Dirty Little Secret(MMF) will be released together in a print combo from Siren Publishing coming soon! I was thrilled with this news. Most of my sales come from e books, but it will be great to have print copies available.

Life's been hectic, but it's good keeping busy. My ultimate plan is to eventually write fulltime and give up the day job. Is it possible? Who knows. I'd be interested to hear from others who have done it.

That's my life in a nutshell at this time. What projects are you working on?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Men of Buckshot Ranch: Jay

The first book in my new M/M series with Total-E-Bound is out today!

If you love hot cowboys combined with an old west setting, check it out: Jay.


Book one in The Men of Buckshot Ranch Series

Jay Harnett’s predictable world is knocked upside down when he encounters the new school teacher, Will, in town. As their unlikely friendship blossoms, it turns to lust, love, and a whole lot more, surprising them both.

But when Will’s old flame suddenly leaps into the picture a decision must be made that will change all those involved.

Reader Advisory: This book can be read alone or in sequence as part of a series.







Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our Dirty Little Secret(MMF) Is Out Today!


Our Dirty Little Secret is out today. If you like hot MMF action then check it out!

You can also check out my first Siren release(MMF)!

I'd also like to take this time to thank my husband and readers. Without you all, this wouldn't be possible!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pre-order Our Dirty Little Secret

My latest release is up for pre-order at Siren Publishing! If you're a fan of hot MMF then check this one out!

A 10% discount onsite is available for a limited time.


Blurb: [Ménage and More: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, with M/M, sex toys]

Ann Hunter is a woman on the edge. She's just turned forty, and while her marriage to her handsome and attentive husband, Jeff, is stellar, she can't help but daydream about the new hunky next-door neighbor, Mike Monroe. Little does she know her husband is experiencing similar feelings but can't bring himself to let them be known, until a secret kiss forces him to face something he has hidden deep inside for years.

Mike never expected this turn of events when he moved into the neighborhood, yet all he can think about is Jeff, the man of his dreams. There is only one problem—Jeff is married.

When an opportunity comes up for an unplanned holiday weekend at the lake, all three are eager to partake. Things happen, secrets are revealed, and boundaries are broken as all three venture into unexplored, forbidden territory.

Note: This book contains double vaginal penetration.

A Siren Erotic Romance

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Author Interview with Scarlett Sanderson


X- Tell us about your most current release and what inspired you to write it?



S- Hotel Decadence is a short erotic tale about a Dominant and submissive. Gillian receives a glossy black card from her lover. Written on the card is one short sentence: “Hotel Decadence. 2pm. Pack an overnight bag. Don't be late." The story is about what happens when Gillian obeys her Dominant’s command.

I’ve always been fascinated by BDSM and the power play involved in a D/s relationship. Hotel Decadence stems from that fascination.

X- When did you start writing and what was your road to publication like? Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?

S- As clichéd as it sounds, I’ve always been a writer. I’ve been writing professionally for six years. I can’t believe it’s been that long! My road to publication was fairly simple. I had it easier than a lot of authors. I saw The Wild Rose Press had just opened their doors and were looking for submissions. I’d recently finished writing a Christmas story and sent it in for consideration. Within a few weeks, I had my first contract. Over the next few years I wrote three more books for Wild Rose and one for Phaze. Then for a few years, writing took a back seat. I acquired my rights back from The Wild Rose Press and have recently been contracted with Ellora’s Cave.

Although the road to publication was easy for me, the journey since has been a rollercoaster.

To all new writers I would say learn your craft and write what you love, but more importantly learn the business. If you want to write professionally you need to treat it as a business venture. I didn’t understand that until a few years ago and it’s started to make things a lot easier. Being published doesn’t make things easier, you still have to work your butt off.



X- What other things interest you besides writing?

S- History. Besides writing (and reading!), history is my biggest passion. Oh, and Man vs Food. I adore that tv show.

X- What are you currently reading and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?

S- I’m currently reading two things. Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill - I love her Chicagoland Vampire series. Not too serious and perfect for a bit of escapism. I’m also reading The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter.

My TBR pile is HUGE. I can’t stress how large it is! I’ll try and name a few books: Patience by Lisa Valdez, Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich, A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin, and The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly.

X- If you could relive one moment in time, which one would it be?

S- Any moment in the Tudor period of history. I’m a bit of a Tudor addict and would love to have lived during that period.

X- Name one item you cannot do without in life and why.

S- Hmmm, difficult one. I would have to say my iPhone. I swore I would never get one and if I did I would NOT be one of those people who is constantly flicking through various apps or web pages.

It’s sad to say I am now one of those people.

X- What’s your favourite flower?

S- I adore lilies.

X- What’s your ultimate indulgence?

S- Champagne. I’m a sucker for the bubbly stuff.

X- What can we expect to see from you in the future?
S- Hotel Decadence is available to purchase now from Amazon US and UK.
I have a BDSM novella that has just been contracted with Ellora’s Cave called Beg Me. Unfortunately there is no release date as of yet. But keep checking my blog for updates.

Right now I’m working on a vampire cowboy space opera, and a D/s lite novel involving cupcakes and an ex-marine who bakes.

Blogspot: http://scarlettsanderson.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Author_Scarlett

Email: scarlettsanderson at yahoo dot com

X- Thank you for allowing me to interview you. I wish you the best of luck with your writing career.





Friday, August 19, 2011

Just Married

Yup, I did it. Today I went ahead and tied the knot. It was a simple ceremony attended only by close friends and afterwards we drank wine, took pics, and ate cake.

Just a few years ago I thought I'd never meet the right man. This goes to show how your life can change and you never have your life completely figured out.

Cheers~

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Release: Kissing Michael

My newest short Kissing Michael is out and on sale at All Romance. Check out the excerpt below, but be warned, it's a little naughty!



Description: At eighteen, Brett has experienced very little in life. He’s gay, closeted, and desperate for change. When a chance meeting with the new guy in town at a party presents itself, he’s more than ready to open up and make a new friend.

Michael has more than friendship on his mind when he spots the hot jock leaving the party for the night. This is his moment and he quickly follows hoping for a chance alone with him. That chance turns into a whole lot more when Brett invites him back to his house leading to a night of intense, undiscovered passion.

[M/M, anal sex]

Short story

Excerpt: At that moment I wanted him to kiss me desperately and from the stirring inside my jeans, my cock wanted it too. “I don’t mind,” I managed to say, my heart beating hard and fast inside my chest. I swallowed and looked to the ground. I was going out on a limb here and this could all easily backfire in my face. Then I would be outed as the fag that I was. The thought of that happening terrified me.

“That’s good. So,” he hesitated. “You wouldn’t mind if I kissed you? If you do, just tell me to fuck off, man. I’ll understand. But I noticed you back at the party and well…I felt a little something between us.”

Hell yes I wanted him to kiss me. This was like a fucking dream come true. I was a complete virgin; I hadn’t even been touched up to this point in my young gay life.

I leaned in to Michael and he did the same. I wasn’t sure what to do next so I let him take the lead hoping that he’d had some experience.






Author Interview with Mary Ellen Quigley

'Ordinary girl…


For Alena Johnson, life is simple, predictable, and downright boring. The only source of excitement is her veterinary practice. When she wakes one morning to find herself in an unknown place, no one is more surprised than Alena. Why would anyone want to abduct her?

Powerful man…

As Alpha of the Southern California Feline Pride, Leander Williams has one duty - to protect his kind. When miscarriages and medical scares began to plague the community, Leander has to make the tough decision of bringing a human doctor into the mix. Alena Johnson, with her expertise in both human and veterinary medicine, seems to be the perfect choice.


Opposites attract…


Sparks quickly begin to fly between Alena and Leander, and the two find themselves fighting an attraction hard to explain. As danger threatens the future of the pride, Leander is forced to not only defend his people against new enemies, but to protect his role as leader. Will the pride survive? Can a human and feline shifter ever be mates?'

X- Welcome Mary Ellen to Write Outside the Box. Let's dig right in.

Tell us about your most current release and what inspired you to write it?

M- My current release came out a month ago and is called The Wild Side.

My inspiration came from a picture on a website. There is a wonderful artist named, Carol Cavalaris, who has a work titled Lion Man. It’s an amazingly beautiful picture and is where I came up with the idea of a man who can turn into a lion. You can find the picture on Carol’s website: Romance Works.

X- When did you start writing and what was your road to publication like? Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?

M- I have always written. Since a very young age, I would be locked in a room writing stories in my notebook. I began freelance writing in college, but never took it seriously. My current release is self-published, but the whole story of publication is a bit complicated. About a year ago, I entered a contest in my local paper. The contest was to pitch a story to the editor. Whoever had the best story pitch would be chosen to work with the editor in creating a short story. The catch was that you won the editor. It had nothing to do with publishing. Since it was a short story, I decided to self-publish. Not because I didn’t think it was good enough, but because I knew that I wanted to spend more time shopping around my other works.

My best advice for new writers is to keep writing. The more you write, the better writer you become. Also, do not be afraid of criticism. I actually enjoy getting a bad review because it gives me advice on what to improve.

X- What other things interest you besides writing?

M- Besides writing, I enjoy doing arts and crafts. I especially love the old lady crafts like cross stitching and needle pointing. My Mom’s side of the family is big on needle pointing. The craft was passed down to me.

X- What are you currently reading and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?

M- I am currently reading Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It is fantastic thus far. My to-be read pile is very small. I have a few Harlequin books I picked up from the grocery store and Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day.

X- If you could relive one moment in time, which one would it be?

M- I would go back to the summer when I was ten. My sister and I went on a boat trip with my grandparents. The entire family went along, but my cousins were much older than me. I spent the time with my grandma. We talked about a lot of things and went sight seeing together. That is my happiest memory. Now that she has passed, I would give anything to go back and spend that time with her again.

X- Name one item you cannot do without in life and why.

M- This is a hard one for me. I’m not really attached to anything material. It’s kind of cliché to say my family. Material wise, I would have to go with my laptop. I take it with me everywhere.

X- What’s your favourite flower?

M- My favorite flower is a purple hyacinth. Technically, this flower stands for sorrow, but I love the color purple. Also, they smell amazing. A small bouquet can make several rooms smell good. The only bad part is that they die quickly.

X- What’s your ultimate indulgence?

M- My ultimate indulgence would have to be ice cream, especially chocolate chip cookie dough flavored.

X- What can we expect to see from you in the future?

M- I am currently working on my next novel tentatively titled, Nocturne. It’s another paranormal romance. This time it's my take on vampires. This story is my baby, so I am taking time to make sure it is perfect before I start shopping it around to publishing companies. I also have a short story that I plan to self-publish towards the end of the year. It is titled The Cinderella Dream and is a contemporary romance about a woman who reunites with a childhood friend and realizes she is in love with him. There are two problems that hinder this: 1) They reunite at his engagement party and 2) He is a prince. You can imagine the drama that ensues!

X- Thanks for allowing me to interview you and best of luck with your writing career. Mary Ellen can be found at the follow places on  the web.

Website
Facebook

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interview with Ellora's Cave Editor Carrie Jackson



Have you always wanted to write for Ellora's Cave? If so, then check out what editor Carrie Jackson has to say about what she's looking for.

X- Tell us a little about yourself, and what led you to become an editor.

C- I’ve always been a book junkie. Even in elementary school, I knew I wanted to work with stories one day! I studied English lit and linguistics in college and was lucky to get hired by Samhain, where I fell in love with editing. When the fabulous Kelli Collins—editor-in-chief at Ellora’s Cave—mentioned on Twitter that EC needed editors, I jumped on it as fast as I could.

X- What catches your eye as editor, and what are your pet peeves?

C- I look for three things: voice, concept and emotion. A book can be incredibly raw, but if the voice grabs me, I’m more than willing to work with the author to get it into shape.

For concept, I look for something that “pops”—a plot that seems fun and original, a hook that makes me sit up and take notice.

Finally, I look for emotion. I want to really FEEL the connection between the characters.

That ties into my pet peeve—sometimes erotic romance authors concentrate on making sure sex scenes are different and inventive, and they wind up forgetting to include the emotion. If a sex scene could be between any characters in any book, it doesn’t work. It should be filled with emotion and specific to the characters involved.

X- What exactly takes place during the editorial process?

C- The editorial process can be intense at EC. I typically start by sending an email that outlines general story issues. I also like to comment—a lot—in the manuscript itself. Once all the macro issues are out of the way (a process that can take several rounds of revision), I look at the manuscript on a line-by-line basis, searching for ways to tighten and polish. When the author and I are satisfied the book is as good as we can make it, we pass it to another editor who checks for typos, continuity problems, etc.

X-  What would you like to see in your inbox?

C- I’m open to any type of romance, but specifically futuristic, steampunk, horror and suspense. Paranormal and contemporary (especially with BDSM elements) are always welcome. I’d love to find some good f/f romances—if anyone out there has a f/f steampunk romance, send it in! Above all, I want intense emotion and a fresh voice.

I’m actively acquiring, so now is a good time to submit. You can send your first three chapters, last chapter and a brief synopsis to submissions@ellorascave.com and address it to Carrie Jackson. My current response time is about four weeks.

X- What’s your favorite scent?

C-The smell of cookies baking. Mmm. Now I’m hungry. :)

X- What’s your favorite life memory?

C- Good question! I followed Tori Amos on tour when I was younger. The feeling of freedom—being in a new city every day, meeting people all over the country—was amazing. I also got to meet Tori, and she was every bit as warm and caring as you’d imagine.

X- Cats or dogs?

C- You know how every neighborhood seems to have at least one crazy cat lady? *Raises hand* Sadly, in my neighborhood, that’s me. I have six cats of my own and take care of a feral cat colony.

X- What one thing can’t you live without?

C- Caffeine. I’m a Red Bull addict!

X- Who are your auto buys author wise?

C- Lisa Marie Rice/Elizabeth Jennings, Marjorie M. Liu, Joey W. Hill, Emma Holly, Brenda Novak, Jennifer Crusie, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, Neil Gaiman, Pamela Clare…and probably a ton more I can’t think of at the moment.

X-Thanks so much for having me on your blog. :) For more insight on my tastes, check out some of the authors I work with: Sierra & VJ Summers, Zenobia Renquist, Eliza Knight, Scarlett Sanderson, Blair Valentine, Annabelle Weston, Sarah Richmond and Fiona Jayde.

I’m also on Twitter as Carriejeditor, where I tweet about editing and other misadventures.

X- Thank you for allowing me to do this interview. It's interesting to get a sneak peak into the life of an editor.

Friday, August 12, 2011

More Goodies in my Box

This lovely cover by Jinger Heaston was in my inbox this evening after I woke from my nap.

I'm thrilled with everything about it. It captures the story perfectly.

Look for it on September 7th.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Author Interview with Nya Rayne

X- What was your journey into publication like, and where do you get your inspiration?

N- Before I got the “contract offer” I went through over fifty rejection letters from publishers and agents. This is over a six month period, so they were coming fast and hitting hard. But truthfully, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I learned a lot during that time.

I get my inspiration to write and keep writing from life—its cliché—but it’s true. It comes to me while I’m standing in line at the grocery store, library, or sitting at home. I’m never without things that inspire me.

X- What’s your most current release and what can we expect to see from you in the near future?



N- My current novel is a futuristic romance called He Belongs to Me. It’s about a world dominated by women where men are not only an endangered species, but a priceless commodity. He Belongs to Me is the first of a three book series, the second of which should be complete by the end of the year and out in the spring of 2012. I’m also working on a new paranormal romance series loosely based on ancient Egypt, but that’s an interview for another time.

X- What words of wisdom do you have for writers just starting their journey?

N- First, getting published will not happen overnight, so if that’s what you’re expecting you’re in for a very rude awakening. Second, regardless of how many times you get rejected, stay the course. You’re just that much closer to getting published. And third, write, write, and write some more, don’t ever go a day without writing about something.

X- Self-publishing has come up so often lately in the media both online and off, what’s your views?

N- In all honesty, I don’t really have a view when it comes to self-publishing. The fact is some people do it and succeed, while others do it and sell maybe 10 books. I can’t say it’s something I’d never do, because I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know it’s something that at this point in my writing career I don’t need to do.

X- If I were to look at the current books you’re reading, which titles would I find?

N- You would probably find several Lora Leigh books, a few Angela Knight novels and most definitely some of Lee Child’s and John Sanford novels.

X- What’s the one thing in the world that you cannot live without?

N- Definitely my iPod. I carry it everywhere with me, even when I know I’m not going to be able to listen to it.

X- If you could have one wish, what would it be and why?

N- If I could have one wish I would wish for unlimited wishes. Why, well, because then I could have everything I’ve ever wanted and correct the tens of thousands of mistakes I’d probably make along the way.

X- Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

N- At the top of the NY Times Bestsellers list several times over!! Where else?

X- Thank you for allowing me to do this interview with you.

N- Thanks for your time and please pick up a copy of He Belongs to Me, which is available now from Aspen Mountain Press, Amazon, Fictionwise, and All Romance. Also, sign up for my blog for a chance to when a $50 AMEX gift card and an autographed copy of He Belongs to Me. Oh, and Facebook me at www.facebook.com/nyarayne. Thanks again for your time, it has been a true pleasure!!





Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Cover Art


This was in my inbox last night. It's the cover for my upcoming paranormal erotic romance coming in December from Secret Cravings Publishing!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Star Treatment is Out Today!

My m/m erotic romance is finally out today from Total-E-Bound!

Check out the blurb and excerpt.

Blurb: Superstar, Mark Hunter never expected his life to change within a matter of days when compromising pictures surface of him on a celebrity gossip blog in the arms of another man.



Mark Hunter, action movie star and closeted gay man is thrown into a tailspin after a night of casual sex with a cute guy named Frankie turns into something much more. Especially when photos appear on the internet, showing Mark kissing another man. Will he come out the other end with his career intact, and will Frankie reveal his secret before Mark has to find out the hard way?


Reader Advisory: This book contains anal sex, strong language and mild BDSM.
 
Excerpt: Mark Hunter sat in Rav Stanton’s office and listened. For once in his life, he was scared—scared of what could happen, scared of the possible realities he might face.

Rav sat beside him. Together they watched as the computer screen came alive with the graphics from that chubby celebrity gossip’s page.

“Just look at that,” spat Rav. “How could anyone look at that without being sick? Rav pointed to a horrid unflattering picture of the gossip himself. “You’d think with his money he’d be able to look after himself at least.”

Mark agreed, but he wasn’t in his agent’s office to criticise the looks and grooming habits of some hack journalist turned gossip-queen.

Rav summoned him just an hour ago, citing they needed an urgent meeting and that it was better to talk in person than over the phone. The agent’s tone of voice told Mark to do as he was told. So here he was and he was not one bit prepared for what he was about to face.

“And here it is,” said Rav, clicking a link. He sat back in his chair, turning the screen towards Mark. “Feast your eyes on that.”


MARK HUNTER IN THE ARMS OF ANOTHER MAN: EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS


Following the headline, Mark read how he was spotted in one of Los Angeles most popular gay bars in the arms of a random guy who wasn’t named. Three blurry photos showed him hugging Jason, a guy he had met, danced with and, of course, flirted with. But it was just a fun night out. Perhaps he was naïve, stupid or a mixture of both. He hadn’t seen the harm in it. Hell, he could count more than one male celebrity who played it straight to the media, but screwed around in private with guys. Most of them made him look like an absolute saint.

A lump formed in his throat, and he swallowed hard. “Fuck,” he muttered. He was blown right out of the water with this one. “Rav, I honestly don’t know what to say… I’m sorry?”

“Listen, Mark, you don’t have to be sorry for who you are. I did not call you here to rag on you about being…gay.”

Mark choked hearing the word. He never got used to hearing it when it was referenced to himself. Of course he liked guys, there was never any doubt in his mind about that—not since he turned twelve and the hormones kicked in. But back then he hadn’t even known what gay was. All he knew was that he was different, and that it was best to keep it a secret. It was ironic that, for the most part, at twenty-six he was still playing that game.

Rav closed the site’s window. “Say nothing. You may get a few phone calls requesting interviews. Redirect them to me. I just wanted you to be aware of things and how it is.”

Mark nodded. “I didn’t think that anyone would take much notice of me. I’d just finished filming at the studio and I needed to let off some stream. If I had known, I never would have gone there.”

“Listen, don’t beat yourself up over it.” Rav motioned to the computer. “That prick’s not worth it. And I’m not asking you not to have fun, if you know what I mean. Just be more discreet. There are services you can call who will provide you with top-notch companionship and they are very discreet. Heck, I can hook you up with one, if you like? I know a woman who runs one which has both male and female escorts. She can be trusted.”

Mark pondered the offer. “Naw, that’s not for me. I’ll lay low and deny everything if asked. That’s the best thing to do.”

Rav opened a drawer in his desk and extracted a small white business card. “All the same, call her if you need to. Just tell her that Rav sent you. She will take care of the rest.”

Mark glanced at the card. “Thanks.”

“I just don’t want to see you go down in flames, buddy.” Rav placed one hand on his shoulder. “You worked hard to get where you are, and with two hit films back to back and another about ready to clue-up, you’re a hot commodity in this town.”

“I suppose,” replied Mark, standing up. But at what cost? Was all this worth living a lie? Was it worth the hiding and looking over his shoulder? He liked Rav, he trusted the man. Heck, Rav was more of a father to him than his own had ever been.

“Call me if you need me, Mark. We’ll get together soon. I may have something else lined up for you.”