Sunday, March 30, 2014

Words and more words... thoughts about writing #RomFantasy

I’ve been out of the loop lately in terms of saying much, but I’ve been catching things here and there. Which means of course my brain has been mulling over attitudes and assitudes as I’ve begun to call it all… What can I say? I’ve been watching the stars of the new literary world–and yes that was the Sarcasm Fairy whizzing past... These wonderful new authors who believe their own fabricated publicity to the extent that they feel the “right” to look down on others. In my opinion, and I realize no one asked for it, there are very few real stars of the literary world. Many, many award winners, and just as many respected and well known writers with large followings. But the “stars” are few, the names everyone knows even if they don’t read their books–people like Stephen King, Nora Roberts–this is where I confess I’ve read one King book, and not one by Nora Roberts despite many attempts. BUT, I give them the respect they are due, because they have worked hard and undoubtedly deserve the accolades bestowed upon them. Others who come to mind are Tom Clancy, Patterson, Danielle Steel, J.K. Rowling… each of these authors, whether you like them or not, has achieved their “stardom” in the field of writing. So, tons of people now make millions of dollars, yet you have to ask around to find someone who knows them–welcome to the new world of publishing.

BUT, what about the mid-level authors with the big assitudes?? I use that word because most of them behave like asses with their attitudes. They think somehow they’re better than the average working writer because they’ve got a best-seller in some small house, or they’ve been nominated for an award. Hey, celebrate, it’s given you bragging rights. It hasn’t given you the right to act like you’re suddenly world class famous. Social media is full of this crap…almost as full as the authors themselves in some cases. What the hell ever happened to behaving with some kind of graciousness? I know, I’m dating myself because in most cases, manners and class are only concepts now, and that is truly sad!

Editors… The jewels of a writer’s life, don’t kid yourself. The editor can bring you to the top, or ruin your confidence, but either way, the writers who don’t think they need them are just listening to ego, not reality. I have to admit, I had it pretty easy from the time I started writing and offering it to the public. To this day the rejections I’ve received number under a dozen–and that is over 10 years pro, and years before that as a fan fiction writer. I have been, and continue to be, very lucky for whatever reason. I’ve had the worse editors and thankfully in more recent years, the best of the best. The ones who think all there is to editing is correct punctuation and grammar are the ones who’ll really do your talent some damage. Just like those who think their job is to rewrite your work to their personal style can be deadly to your confidence and your work. But then there are the ones who want to work with you and make your work the best it can be. They take the time and care to explain why certain things work, and others don’t–why it’s important to focus on the small details to make the overall picture more beautiful.

That leads nicely to another of those realities some people refuse to accept. Writing is an art that is never still, it’s forever in flux, changing and evolving. It needs to be tended like a garden, with care and attention. New techniques have to be employed for the most beautiful blooms to grow, you have to relearn over and over. If you stop learning, reading, extending yourself to be better with each new story or book, you will soon be old news. I am in the painful transition of attempting to learn to write again, with a tighter and faster style, a more immediate and accessible feel. I used to love to write deep imagery and emotion. Over the years, editors have stripped away those things, deeming them unnecessary. I’ve been told to cut out the deep POV that was present in my books, told to cut the descriptive passages, told to be stark and direct… I’ve had editors tell me over and over how beautiful my writing is, then give the wackiest reasons for not contracting. After a number of years, it’s totally paralyzed me in terms of being creative. I stopped writing entirely for the first time in my life. When I tried, I’d sometimes get 20,000 words on the page then dump it because I hated it. I didn’t just second guess, I third, fourth and fifth guessed–to the point where it was all garbage in my eyes. Coming back from that darkness to find anything worthwhile in writing is proving to be a real challenge. Thank God I’m not doing it alone, but with an exceptionally gifted editor and friend who believes I can be a good writer again.

Content and styles change, reader tastes change. If you really care about writing and storytelling, you have to move with that, and be open to the learning process every day. It’s not easy when you encounter snide remarks and shots from people you think are friends, and you’re targeted by others who have agendas and want to see you fail. This is a competitive business, and there are some truly gifted and incredible writers who love the craft and are friends to their fellow writers. Others resent anything good that someone else gets because they think it should be theirs. That’s human nature, it goes with any job. The real key to becoming the writer you want to be, I believe, is to focus on the stories you want to tell. Care about all of it. Give readers worlds that make them smile, and feel good. Whatever your genre is, study it and bring your best to it. Never stop learning. The moment you think you have nothing left to learn, or no need to change–retire, because you’re no longer going to happy. No one gives a damn how successful you were years ago, it means nothing. It’s what you bring to the table now that matters, and if it’s not a current, viable product, you’ll soon discover no one cares. That hurts, but that, too, is reality. Yeah, it bites… welcome to the real world.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Blast: The Blood That Cries In The Ground @VRevGB @GoddessFish

The Blood That Cries in the Ground
by Gregory Bellarmine


Italy. A tough master of novices, Father Dante encounters the bold young priest Antonio who challenges his identity and accuses him of being the Saint Nicholas. But despite the Father faking his death, a determined Antonio discovers a rather alive Dante arrayed in kilt and armor.

In return for Antonio’s silence—and to protect the town from attracting all manner of darkness—Dante agrees to tell his life story. Without explanation, Dante orders Antonio to meet him at night in the abandoned Cathedral, the site of a former battle that the Church has kept secret for a generation.

Until today.

The Criskindl. Ice Steeds. The Unborn. Saint.

From the Dark Ages’ when Poet-Sorcerers ruled kings, to the Holy Land when a new civilization was rising, to Revolutionary France where love is lost and gained, Father Dante pursues the one responsible for both his master and his mother’s deaths: Black Peter, his brother.


I stood up and snarled. "All this for a romp?"

Catherine walloped a blurring slap across my face. Though lights danced in my periphery, I fiddled with my jaw to click it back into place.

"My flesh is pure, Nicholas. Is yours?"

She spun on her heel and wheeled towards the night-dark palace. Wrath trailed her like her billowing fur, an anger punctuated by images that flashed into my mind. One vision showed Catherine as a girl: enraptured, she listened to stories of a man of powerful purpose; another had her beat an armored opponent twice her age in straight-sword combat, but her thoughts always wandered to a future where some day she would find me.

A wind billowed my vestment. "Befana gave me a wife? Why?"

Once the darkness had consumed my Catherine, a dread poisoned my heart. I ran after her, and the second I took my first stride, I partially understood why Befana had sent her. I was alone.


A giddiness filled me, only for a terrible fear to steal into my soul. What had I done?

"Catherine please?"

I headed for the balcony and midway up the stone steps, she paused in a half turn, her lips parted just so. I took a deep savoring breath.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Gregory Bellarmine is the author of the bestselling Monthly Roman Breviary. He lives a happy though sometimes sleepless life in the UK with his wife, two children and rather cheeky Parson Russell Terrier.

Website  |  Email  |  Gregory’s blog  |  Twitter  |  Book Trailer  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon USA  |  Kindle

“The Blood That Cries in the Ground will grab the reader by the throat with a death grip from which it is impossible to break free.” -Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite - Read the full review HERE

Gregory will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!

You can also follow the tour HERE - the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome @OpalCarew - Giveaway! #RomFantasy

I'm sure many of you are familiar with best-selling author Opal Carew, and her mega-sexy/HOT tales of passion and love. I've been a fan for ages, and honestly think she does this genre better than anyone else. I was thrilled when she agreed to do an interview with me, and she has some wonderful goodies up for grabs, too - so settle in and get to know her better, and find out all about her new release, HIS TO POSSESS!

Available NOW:

Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point?

Writing was not something I've always done. I didn’t start until shortly after I had my babies. When I was at home with them, I started reading Harlequin romances. Always a creative person, I was looking for an outlet for that creativity and started thinking about writing romance. I adore a good love story and being swept away by the powerful emotions they make me feel, so romance was the perfect fit. I enjoy watching two (or more) people come together, overcoming all obstacles. Plus, I love the sexy aspect! (At the beginning, my writing was actually too hot for what was trending!)

Do you remember how it felt when you were offered that first contract? What emotions stand out in your memory?

I always say that I was an overnight success after 14 years of trying. On my 24th wedding anniversary (I had been writing for about 14 years at that time), I got a call from Emily Sylvan Kim from Prospect Agency to tell me she wanted to represent me. She sent my book to an editor at St. Martin`s Press that day, then called me a few hours later to say it was on the editor’s desk and she was reading it right then! The next day, I was told that the senior editor missed her subway stop while reading it! They made an offer for a three book deal later that week

It was 14 years of building, writing, planning, learning and frustration that then culminated in a big burst of joy when I found out that I was going to be signed! I actually thought I would explode with pure happiness!

Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many?

This is the complete book of the erotic serial, His To Possess, an intoxicating tale of a woman torn between a dominant billionaire and a tattooed, bad boy rock musician. His To Possess was first published as a six-part e-serial novel, and is now available in this full book, featuring special bonus material. Two characters from this story will continue to live on in my upcoming e-serial His To Claim which will release on June 3rd. I also wrote a self-pub prequel to His to Possess entitled, Taken By Storm.

What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret?

Haha! You can be certain that in this line of work, there are quite a few odd moments that happen! It’s hard to remember all of them when asked, but one thing that frequently happens to romance authors is you catch yourself discussing erotic subjects or plot points casually in a public place and suddenly realize that everyone around you can hear what you are saying! It's so funny to live in your own writing fantasy world where anything goes and then hear yourself talking just a little too loudly about it in a restaurant or public transit and seeing people's reactions!

I’m continually surprised about what makes it into my books from real life. I don't tend to draw on real-life experience but sometimes I will be inspired by an event. For example, I was watching the reaction of a friend who had joined me at my booth at Sexapalooza.  She was wide-eyed and uncertain at all the goings-on around us and it gave me the idea to write a heroine who was at a show just like this (I called it Sex-a-la-gala) with an author friend, and is approached by BDSM master who introduces her to his world. That was Secret Ties, and it’s the opening scene.  You can read more about it here

Do you have your next book underway, or other titles in the planning stages?

His To Claim, the sequel to His To Possess will be out in June! You don’t want to miss this, with its hot biker rock musician hero! The covers are incredible. You can view them here.

I’m also currently working on Riding Steele, a hot biker story for St. Martin's Press! It will be released in October. I also decided to self-pub two connected novellas, Hot Ride and Wild Ride. Hot Ride and was featured in the New York Times Bestselling Box Set, Riding Desire. Wild Ride is part of the “Invitation to Eden” book series involving 27 authors, sharing their works via three ebooks a month, starting this March and continuing until December!  (See for more information.)  Hot Ride will be released individually on April 15th. Wild Ride is the second book and will be released September 16th. The third part of my “Office Slave” series will be coming out late spring/early summer, and you can look forward to a box set featuring BDSM!

You can anticipate and watch for these titles on my author website, or you can sign up for my newsletter.

Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both?

The first books that really captured my interest were science fiction.  When I first discovered these wonderful stories of ‘what if’ and brave new worlds, I was mesmerized.  Later, I discovered romance, and those books drew on my emotions.

Now my favourite genre is erotic romance! I also love fantasy and futuristic and I do sometimes write in those, but always with an erotic focus. I love strong heroines and happily-ever-afters. What fun to write a heroine choosing between two equally appealing heroes? I like pushing beyond traditional boundaries and dealing with a woman who is growing and evolving - questioning her sexual boundaries and pushing past them. Writing in the erotic genre allows me to do this. Same with fantasy and futuristic - I love that anything goes and you are only limited by your own imagination.

What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same?

For me, the most exciting part of the writing process is being along for my characters' emotional journeys. I love it when my characters really start to come to life; when they reveal their inner secrets, and deepest traumas, and I start to feel their hidden passions. I am continually surprised by my characters. They come to life and develop as I write them, revealing things to me that I hadn’t planned on but just evolve naturally throughout the writing process.

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration?

Oh my goodness! There are so many talented authors in my genre that I would love to co-author a book with and many that I have already had the pleasure of self-publishing with! Instead, I will reveal to you that I would have loved to co-author a book with the great Isaac Asimov. I can only imagine what kind of a book would come from our collaboration!

I actually met him once and he made up a limerick about me on the spot. Unfortunately, I couldn't write it down. (Would you have stopped one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time and said, "Excuse me, Mr. Asimov, could you wait while I get a pen?")

Where can readers find you on the web?

Readers can connect with me online here:

Website  |  Twitter  |  Newsletter  |  Facebook

My latest release is His To Possess. It came out on March 18th!

First published as a six-part erotic serial, His To Possess is the intoxicating tale of a woman torn between a dominant billionaire and a tattooed, bad boy rock musician. Now available for the first time as a complete book, this edition features sizzling new bonus material.

Jessica’s life was in ruins…until she met him.

Standing in the rain feeling lost in a new city, with no job and no prospects, she’s about to give up. Until Dane Rainier pulls up in his limo and offers her a ride—and sweeps her into the life of her dreams. Now she has a high-powered job and is having the best sex of her life, exploring her submissive side under the masterful hand of a gorgeous billionaire.

But there’s a part of her that’s still holding back. Because the truth is, she’s never gotten over her ex-boyfriend Storm. A heavily muscled, motorcycle-riding rock musician, Storm couldn’t be any more different from Dane… and she just can’t get him out of her head. Now Storm is about to reappear and turn her whole world upside down. Both Dane and Storm make her body burn to be possessed, but will her indecisive heart cost her the love of both men?

Available NOW:

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

Welcome to the My Writing Process Blog Tour

The lovely Lexi Post invited me, and you can visit her space HERE

1) What am I working on?
I am presenting working with my awesome editor on my next novel, Grande Amore. We’re going to polish this romantic tale until it sparkles in the Roma sunshine!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This work is different for me at this stage because it’s a return to a softer romantic touch, less explicit sexual situations, and a strong emphasis on the building relationship, the love affair, and the sensuality of falling madly in love with someone you think is out of reach emotionally and to a large degree socially.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I write this kind of story because I enjoy the beauty of creating characters and stories that make readers feel good. I write in many genres and subgenres, but even in my fantasy tales, there is a backbone of romance most of the time. Love is the universal language, and it’s unique to every person, so it never gets old or tired.

4) How does your writing process work?
I work from an outline, it starts basic, then the details begin to fall into place. Even if the story is short, I need to know what starts the story, how this catalyst moves through the roadblocks that are needed to make things interesting, and then to a reasonable ending. Once I have that clearly in my mind, I’m able to write at a steady pace, and create something that is worth submitting. I’ll never master the seat of the pants approach, and I have tried... I always end up plotting and writing an outline – even if it’s only a few paragraphs.

Next Monday discover the process of my friends.

Tina Donahue: An award-winning, best-selling author of contemporary, paranormal, suspense, and menage romances for Ellora's Cave, Samhain Publishing, and Kensington.

Kayelle Allen: Multi-published, award-winning Science Fiction Romance Kayelle Allen is the author of unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, and unforgettable passion.

Nicole Morgan: Bringing the Pages of Passion to Life...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Confessions of a dying writer… #RomFantasy

This is the confession of a dying writer...

And, before anyone gets worried, I mean that figuratively, not literally, though some days it feels like the same thing anyway. Despite the somewhat insane flurry of activity and releases that have been appearing on my pages and blogs around the cyberworld, I have not been writing much in almost a year. Most people find that hard to believe, because there has been no change in the creative ideas, they still come fast and furious. However, my ability to put them onto the page for readers has all but died.

As a rule, I keep my private issues private and my personal business is rarely posted, the exceptions being if I feel there might be anything involved that could help save other people heartache or bad choices. But, I’ve decided to stop pretending about this particular issue and discuss it openly. Who knows, maybe it’ll help?

I wrote fan fiction for about twenty years before I ever published a single word professionally. Writing 15K in a single day was an easy task for me, especially once I got a computer. Edits were often minimal, and I can’t remember ever getting a bad “review” from fans of the shows I wrote my fiction for, which is quite an achievement. I won a slew of awards, actually. That ease of creating and enjoying the process continued when I began publishing professionally back in 2004. Oddly, that was probably when the first threads of my current paralysis set in, too, though. The first time conflict arose between me and a publishing house, the editor who sang my praises did a sudden about-face and began to tell her friends I was a “labour intensive writer who required more work than she had time to give to me.” Wow… so much for honest communication, huh?

I’ve moved around a lot in terms of publishing with different houses, almost two dozen in the past ten years as I tried to find a place where I “fit” to some extent. I’m not sure I’ve yet found a publisher I feel happy and confident with, so there may be more avenues to walk before this ever settles. (Notice I’m assuming it will?) Editors have played an interesting role in my work, some have been very good, and others have been a nightmare to work with, though I have managed to work with them all in a cordial and professional manner. I’ve worked with two male editors who pretty much stripped all the lyricism from my words, I have no idea if that’s because the work needed to be made stark and direct, or if it’s a male style thing? But, it made me wonder why so many people compared reading my stories to having a movie turned on in their brains–I think that would be largely due to these descriptions and the emotions.

While some of my editors taught me about my horrendous POV issues–which I liken to being the director of a movie–who wants to see ALL of the reactions–to the actor who stars and is responsible for only his own responses. I needed to learn to be the actor, not the director, and in time, I did. I still make the slips occasionally, but mostly I don’t head-hop a hundred times in a story now. That was a tool worth learning.

Most authors at one time or another encounter the conflicting requests of editorial directive. I’ve seen one editor ask for revisions after reading, and once they’ve been made, still decline to contract. Perfectly acceptable. The problem is, the next editor wants things put in that are often the very things previously removed. That gets confusing. Then there are the glowing letters that tell you how wonderful your story/book is, how well written, etc., but end with the statement that somehow in spite of its attributes, it’s not quite the right fit. Again, perfectly acceptable, but another layer of “WTH” gets added to the little serpent of doubt that’s been unleashed inside your brain.

All of this has impacted me over the years, and I’ve gone from being a reasonably creative and confident writer to a frozen block of fears and stagnation. I have serious things going on in my daily life that cause tremendous stress and pressure. Writing was my sanity maintenance, and my escape. I say was, because I can no longer write. I doubt every sentence I put on the page, agonize over it to the point where I have deleted stories to the tune of tens of thousands of words recently.

I have, however, been blessed with good editors in the past year. Ladies who push me to try to recapture what I’ve unconsciously been chopping out of my writing–the imagery, the emotion, the atmosphere. ALL things I used to revel in when I got into a story. There is one editor in particular, Penny Barber, who has more faith in me than I do, and she is not only generous with her time and her knowledge, she cares about making good books that authors can be proud of when they publish. She said it to me herself a couple of days ago, she’s trying to hack away at the frozen block that my creative writer’s voice has become. I’m working on relearning to love what I have always loved, and what came naturally to me once, with the help of this amazing lady who sees something worth working on.

Where is all this leading, you ask? To one hard-won truth–never let anyone take away your power to do what you love the way you need to do it. In pleasing everyone else, I lost all sense of my own style and voice. There is a point when other people should NOT have the power to decide what we do, or how we present it. I was once of the opinion that an editor’s recommendations had to be accepted or contracts would never be forthcoming. It’s taken me years to realize that an editor is your guide, and in the end, you are still the one who decides the course of your story. Don’t be afraid to keep your personal style intact, or disagree. That’s what creative compromise is all about. Learn to be better, and use what works for you. If you let your initial fears silence your creative instincts and storytelling voice, you will only end up with a huge case of utter terror of the page at some point.

The road back is long, lonely, and incredibly difficult. I hope I make it, because I am miserable without my worlds…

Sunday, March 09, 2014

@SensuousPromos Presents - Book Tour for Give Me Shelter by Alexis D. Craig

Welcome to Sensuous Promo’s Give Me Shelter Book Tour.


Give Me Shelter By Alexis D. Craig

Inspector Eli Miller's unspoken feelings for his partner, Bex, color his whole life. When his past comes calling, will it be the push he needs to seek a future with her?

Inspector Rebecca 'Bex' Mulcahy has lived long enough to know that love is a street con at best, and a dangerous distraction at worst. Any feelings she has for her partner Eli definitely fall into the latter category. Will her dedication to her job keep her from finding a possible future with Eli?Their latest case is protecting Violet Burrell, a young woman with scars on her soul stretching back to birth, who inadvertently witnesses a shockingly brutal murder at the hands of a sadist. Violet is determined to testify in court. Her strength and courage impress Eli and Bex, who will protect her at all costs.

But it is Violet’s beauty and spirit that entrances Junior Inspector Atticus Randall. Atticus is also assigned to protect Violet, and while he knows he should ignore his growing feelings for her, he just can’t stop himself from falling for the brave beauty.

Life in the Las Vegas branch of Witness Protection has never been more tangled. When the emotional landmines start a chain reaction, everyone in the blast radius is going to need a little shelter.

“Violet’s a pretty name.” An inane statement, but he knew he was out of his depth attempting to tackle a subject so daunting as the life of Violet Burrell.
She shrugged and flipped the end of a pigtail over her shoulder. “It is what it is. Your parents really named you Atticus? They not like you or something?”
He snorted a laugh and put the spoon back into his ice cream. “They like to read.” 
“To Kill a Mockingbird, I know.” She smiled shyly. “It’s a good name. Strong, valiant.”
The heat of the summer air had nothing on him. He saw her grin, and he felt his ears burn from a blush. “So what’s the verdict?” He gestured towards her rapidly diminishing sundae.
“I think I want to eat this for the rest of my life,” she said as she dipped her spoon into the plastic cup to fish out a peanut covered in hot fudge.
“That good, huh?” He watched her close her eyes and sigh as she licked the spoon, and he had to loosen his tie. The way she was enjoying her ice cream reminded him that his wasn’t going to stay frozen forever. He dipped his spoon into the plastic cup and then brought it to his mouth. 
“Damn near better than sex.”
At her words, he found himself gulping down a large mouthful of ice cream, much more than he meant to, swallowing it quickly. “Oh hell! Ice cream headache!” The sharp spike of pain that it brought was quick and excruciating, but it served its purpose driving all thoughts of pursuing that line of questioning from his mind. As the throbbing ache receded, he noticed her hand on the back of his neck, trying to help by rubbing and massaging from the base of his skull to his shoulders. So much for virtuous thoughts. Nodding to show her that he was okay now, he reached in front of her and snagged her mysterious old green book from beside her purse as she returned to her ice cream Nirvana.
“Hey, that’s not yours,” she said around a mouthful, gesturing with her spoon. But, she made no move to retrieve it from him, so he felt comfortable perusing while she continued to savor her snack.
He opened the book at the place she’d marked, reading about a games keeper comforting the lady of the house, in a chicken coop, that led to so much more than mere physical release in graphic and frankly gripping detail. That was definitely not what he’d expected, and the fact that she’d been reading this book all this time did things to his already heated blood that made his mouth run dry and his ears start to ring.
“So . . . ?”                      
Her voice, smokier than before, startled him out of the words on the page. Her purple eyes were darker than he remembered, and he found himself lost for a moment before he caught himself. “It’s ah . . . definitely colorful.” He pushed the closed book back over to sit next to her purse, her bookmark still in place.
Vi smiled self-consciously. “It’s the language. It paints this picture like a smudged old photograph, beautiful and still kind of dirty.”
And that about described the thoughts he was having at that moment. “I could definitely see that.”

Buy Links

Connect with Alexis D. Craig online:

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook 


Leave a comment below (with email address) and your name will be thrown into the hat to win:
1st Prize - $15 gift card to Bookstrand (where you can buy Alexis' book!)
2nd Prize - eBook copy of Give Me Shelter

Every stop on this tour is eligible for the same contest.
You may enter by leaving a comment and email address on every stop.
That's up to 12 entries!!!

Winner to be drawn on April 2nd

Saturday, March 08, 2014

My first self-pubbed titles are live! #RomFantasy

Well, today I made a leap I swore I’d never make, I decided to step into the pool of self-publication. It’s been a rough week, books on three pirates sites, royalty cheques so laughable I cried. I’ve done this a long time, and I’ve been generous to everyone along the way, readers and my fellow authors alike. I haven’t gone to war with any publisher, ever. This is not patting myself on the back, just simple statement of fact. At this point, one of two things has to happen, I have to start earning some kind of financial return on the endless hours of work–or I have to quit altogether.

This morning, I decided to experiment and see what it was all about. SO, I pulled out a novella that I recently had the rights back from, and gave it a read through, tweaked it here and there, and used it as the learning guide. Twelve hours later, I have managed to successfully publish the book at Amazon, and Smashwords. I was lucky, Kayden McLeod had designed an amazing cover, and given her permission for me to use it again.

With that in mind, if you’re interested–these are my first two titles, published under my own name, sans publishing house:

This is an EROTIC/VAMPIRE historical..... it's set in Ancient Pompeii, mostly, and moves into modern time..... it contains a great deal of sexual content, and historical accuracy about the decadence of the Romans of that era. It was fascinating to write, and as you can see, the cover is a stunner..... I hope your curiosity will be piqued, and you'll consider adding this one to your collection - the reviews are amazing... and I think you'll find it a satisfying read!!!

Available now at:

Limited time offer: Use the promo code PK54K during checkout at Smashwords and save 40% until March 15th!


Pompeii lies complacent and decadent in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the populace thriving on their depravity and their hunger for blood and Games. Within the elite aristocracy, games of another type are being played, deadly secrets are a threat to more than status, and conspiracy is a way of life for those who are unhappy.

Lucius has long been exalted as a warrior without peer. Adored and covetted by men and women alike, he is blind to the plots that are thickening around him. While total control is his on the bloody fields of war, on the battlefield of the heart, as he is about to discover, even the strongest man can be deceived by his ignorance.

Watching over it all is the majesty of Vesuvius, sputtering smoke, promising retribution. In the midst of the looming destruction, an ancient evil emerges, and will claim not only a celebrated general of Rome, but the slave girl he has slowly grown to love and cherish. A girl who will follow him into hell itself?


Pompeii—Under the rule of the Emperor Vespasian

“The Emperor is most pleased with your progress, General,” Proconsul Flavius noted as he strolled the market streets with Pompeii’s illustrious hero. They proceeded without impediment as the people of the busy city cleared a path for them.

The general, Lucius, smiled, pleased by the undercurrent of fear that marked his passage. He enjoyed the power his position gave him, and the recognition of it came in various forms. Even the proconsul wasn’t entirely at ease with him.

“And well he should be, Proconsul. Resistance is crumbling. Another victory and Gaul will truly be defeated.”

They had reached the slave market, and Lucius stopped as a scream rose above the usual noises of the area. He felt an unwelcome empathy for the terror he heard in the voice, and was annoyed by the surprising emotion.

The slave-dealer’s bellow rang out and drowned the girl’s frightened shrieks. Unconsciously, Lucius turned to look at the raised platform that displayed the slaves being auctioned off to the highest bidders. The dealer slapped the girl across the face and silenced her before he turned his attention to the gathered buyers.

“…I’m told her name is Xina,” the dealer called out. “Not part of my shipment, good gentlemen, but a last minute addition. Seems she knifed a soldier last night when he refused to pay a fair price for her.” He laughed lewdly and hauled the girl forward so the crowd could look more closely at her.

Despite her obvious desire to remain immune to what was happening to her, her cheeks flamed scarlet when the slaver tore open her gown and left her nakedness displayed for the eager bidders. Almost immediately voices rose and purses were offered. Lucius watched as she closed her eyes and tears spilled from the corners.

“She is a beauty,” the proconsul observed with a laugh. “And a dangerous one, at that.”

Lucius laughed with the shorter man, but his gaze was drawn back to the girl. She couldn’t have been more than sixteen or seventeen, if she was that old. The trader knotted his fingers in long waves of light brown hair and pulled the concealing mass away from her body so the view was unobstructed. Her eyes stayed closed, but her chin lifted and she stood with proud defiance as the raucous bids and laughs continued.

A slow, indolent sweep of her body stirred more than curiosity within the general. His gaze caressed golden flesh, noted the smooth swell of full, brown tipped breasts, the small waist that flared into sensuously rounded hips. Firm, curved thighs were topped by an enticing triangle of sand-colored curls, and the ties of the sandals she wore twined around well-shaped calves like serpents lazing in the sun. Slender arms were tensed, muscles quivering with the effort to mask her fury, and her small hands tangled in the folds of her shredded gown where it hung limply from her shoulders.

“Who is she?” Lucius asked, surprised by his own interest when the proconsul stared up at him, clearly startled by the query.

“You don’t want that one, Lucius,” he advised. “Nydia would destroy her overnight.”

The general smiled again, but let his expression grow icy. The glitter of carefully controlled, lethal rage created a distinct shudder of terror within the Proconsul of Pompeii.

“You haven’t answered my question, Proconsul,” he whispered, his tone cool.

“Xina is the daughter of one of Boudica’s whores,” the other man supplied after a moment’s thought. “She’s been in the brothel since the day of her birth.”

Lucius raised an eyebrow and waited for the official to finish his narrative.

“Her brother, Plautus, is the current champion of Pompeii. Her mother died recently, while Plautus was away from the city, and Boudica decided it was time for the girl to earn her keep until her brother’s return.”

“That woman should be fed to the crowd during games,” Lucius muttered grimly. It was quite clear that Xina was not a common whore, despite her background. Not that it mattered, he mused. Before he was through with her she’d be well versed in a great number of arts necessary to a whore’s survival.
Without warning, Lucius strode into the crowd and headed toward the auction block. He yanked a purse from his belt, threw it toward the dealer, and continued onto the platform. The crowd rumbled with subdued irritation, but none dared defy Pompeii’s most renowned general as he took the girl by the arm and led her from the marketplace.

A sexy short story available from:

Deanna Carlisle and Vittorio D’Angelo are from different worlds, but they share a lusting passion for life, and each other, that makes them the envy of many. Often away from their island idyll, Vittorio is well aware of the temperamental moods of his lover, and she is equally aware of the number of women who covet her place at his side.

Their relationship is not always peaceful, but they’ve made shocking their contemporaries into a game, and battling each other into a tantalizing foreplay to their passion….

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Phoenix Rises...

Once in a while I do these chats, and it’s time for another one. Been a long time, so what the hell, right? It’s been a strange week, and it’s only Wednesday, which makes me hope the wind down will be more peaceful than the past couple of days. I tend to over-think a lot of things that other people dismiss quite easily, it’s a short-coming I recognize in myself, and have never been able to change despite my efforts. My mind wants or needs to process things that happen to me, get into my brain, and take up more time than they should. This tends to act as a catharsis and allows me better perspective. It also makes me totally unreasonable as it plays out–and that, too, is something I recognize within myself and try to change. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I live in a vacuum at times, a 24/7 caregiver who does about 4 different jobs at any given time, and tries to keep a creative career afloat in the middle of it all. To say that I’m tired most of the time would be an understatement of near monumental proportions. But, I’ve managed to do it, with more successes than failures. This week was a failure. I’ve wasted valuable time and energy trying to understand what is always going to be incomprehensible to me, and I really dislike that I’ve allowed it to get to me so much that I’ve had to just stop and stand still for a couple of days while the storm abates. I get to solid ground again from being lost at sea, but I inevitably toss and twist a lot while I fight my way back. It doesn’t help that people around me belittle the upset they don’t really understand, or dismiss it as unimportant because I should be doing something else. I have family that thinks every effort I make is wasted energy because there’s no tangible gain from it. Makes the swim back to shore very hard indeed at times.

Today, after allowing my poor brain to jump through the mental hoops, process the feelings and anger, I see things in a much clearer way. I’ve made decisions that will make this particular game a non-starter in future. Once I get here, I know which battles are worth the effort, and which ones will never be won. I see other people reacting and lashing out worse than I ever have, or maybe just more external than my internal wars often are. I don’t know, and I don’t care to know. We all have to do what we need to do to regain our balance and move forward. Mob mentality never cuts it for me, it makes me withdraw, wild fires become full-blown conflagrations and everyone gets burned. No one wins in that mess.

I believe people are decent for the most part. Creative art, which what writing is, goes out the window in an instant when anger and hate override the pleasure of storytelling. Anyone who writes will tell you they do it because they love it, and when other people love the stories, it’s the biggest rush/high in the world. It is. At the end of the day, that’s where the focus needs to be, not on the nastiness that often breeds in the stagnant puddles around us. Thieves are parasites, they’ve been around since the dawn of time, and always will be. They are a reality of life, just like the haters who are consumed by their envy and jealousy.

The next sound you hear will be
the glory of Gabriel's trumpet heralding in a new era
The next aroma to caress your senses will be
the sweet smell of success blossoming anew
The next shiver that ripples the surface of your skin
will be the kiss of happiness born
The next vision to fill your eyes and mind with beauty
is the reawakening of hope and faith
The next taste to sweeten your lips and fuel your pleasure
is the rich elixir of rebirth

The Phoenix rises from the ashes of despair
all chains burned away to grant perfect freedom
And we begin again...