Monday, November 22, 2010

Erin Nicholas' Winner

The winner from Erin Nicholas' blog tour is...Chelsea B.!! Check out the details on Erin's Website.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Week's Special Guest Erin Nicholas

This week's special guest at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut is Erin Nicholas. We're a stop on your blog tour to celebrate the anniversary of her first published novel NO MATTER WHAT, which btw, is a finalist for an EPPIE, along with her novel JUST RIGHT!

Erin has been reading romance since her mom first let her into her book cupboard when Erin was about fourteen. LaVyrle Spencer, Julie Garwood, Debbie Macomber... they took Erin's 'happily ever after' ideas from animated princesses to real people in the real world.

She's been writing romance almost as long. Many a family car trip was spent with her head bent over a spiral notebook in the back seat. She'll confess that her very first attempts at fiction were fantasy and paranormals, influenced by her father's love of the Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the original Alice in Wonderland. If Harry Potter had been around, Erin's sure he would have been on the bedtime story shelf as well.

But it wasn't long until Erin started writing about true love and that's where she's been ever since.

She's so thrilled to be able to share these stories with you and hopes that they make you smile, sigh, maybe even choke up a little. Most of all, She hopes that they help you believe in magical things like first kisses, the spark of passion, and the power of true love.

Erin loves to hear from readers! Please write her at

Visit Erin at her Cyber Home

Welcome Erin!

Since November is the anniversary month of my first published book, I decided to go on a tour and chat and give stuff away!

The “theme” (I use the term loosely) is Writing Romance Is Like…
And every blog stop has a different comparison that will give you some insight into who I am, how I write and my slightly weird sense of humor. Oh, and you can win stuff! Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to, or Come join the fun!!

And now, the 6th stop on the tour:
Writing Romance is Like… Dieting

Dieting. Yuck. I’m actually one of those people who have been convinced that terms like “lifestyle change” or “food intake moderation” are better. “Diet” conjures all kinds of bad images for me (and makes me want to run, not walk, to the nearest Twinkie!)

I’m dieting right now for the umpteenth time in my life (seriously, umpteen is the number I’m up to). Losing weight isn’t really the problem. Though I have noticed that as I get older it definitely gets harder (not to mention that I pretty much despise exercise. I like walking, playing with my kids, shooting hoops, even a rec game of volleyball. And dancing! But I hate exercise—so I never call it that g). Anyway, I’ve lost weight. A number of times.

The problem is—all together now—keeping it off.

That’s right. Keeping the weight off is the challenge. Because initially it’s super fun to see the numbers going down, discovering new lighter recipes that actually don’t suck, and buying new clothes. Oh, and seeing someone you haven’t seen in awhile—“Wow, you look amazing!” are four words I’ll never tire of hearing, how about you? ;)

But then a plateau. You’re doing everything the same but the scale isn’t moving. You’re tired of yogurt. If you have to walk one more minute on the treadmill you’re going to die of boredom. While you feel so much better and buying that smaller size jeans is really always fun, it’s hard to get back to that “this is gonna be great” phase.

Writing is like that for me sometimes. Finishing a book is wonderful, getting an acceptance from an editor is awesome, talking about the new book, getting reader comments, seeing the cover… all of these things are fun! Exciting! Easy to get up about!

Then, inevitably, I once again have to face the computer screen. And it always starts out blank. It’s not always easy to be up knowing I have 250-some pages to go. Knowing that my characters need depth and my plot can’t be contrived and making it fresh and entertaining and maybe even a little meaningful can be daunting.

But I have to just start typing. There’s no other way for the story to get there. You can’t end if you don’t begin. You can’t expect the scales to go down if you don’t start paying attention to what goes into your mouth. And you can’t expect words and characters and chapters to just magically appear—you have to push the keys on your keyboard.

It’s always about choices: fruit or candy bar? Sofa or treadmill? Writing or checking Twitter?

It’s tough to keep up sometimes. It’s tough to think “this is gonna be great” every minute. But it’s also about goals. It’s about knowing where you’re trying to get to—just like dieting. And it’s about appreciating where you are and the fact that writing is as important to my health (my mental and spiritual health for sure) as eating well and being at a healthy weight. Steady. Every day. Focus. Commitment. Those are things that make dieting and writing work.

Join me at the next stop on my blog tour: Samantha Sommersby’s blog: on November 18th!

And now a little blurb, from Just Like That, (the brownie discussion -- perfect for a dieting post, yes?

Danika frowned at that. “They have not been duds.” They’d all been nice, sweet guys. Unassuming, undemanding…un-lots of things. Just the way she liked them.

“Maybe not duds,” Abi said, gently. “But they’re…vanilla cupcakes.”
“What?” Maybe it was the tequila. The conversation just kept getting crazier.

“You love fudge brownies,” Abi said. “But you’re dating vanilla cupcakes. They’re not bad, but you don’t crave cupcakes.”

Carmen’s grin was huge and Danika groaned.

“That’s a perfect analogy, Dani,” she said. “You’ve got to find a fudge brownie.”

The thing was, it was a good analogy. It was scary how close her sisters had just come to the truth. It wasn’t like she was picking cupcakes on accident. She knew her weakness was fudge brownies. And therefore trouble. A great brownie could make her throw all her discipline away, forget her goals and plans. Even a not-so-great brownie—because, after all, even a bad brownie was still a brownie—could make her lose control, decide the pleasure was worth the consequences.

“So I’m supposed to only date men who make me think of food?”

Abi grinned. “Men who make you think about indulgence and devouring and…licking all over.”
“Exactly,” Carmen said, her eyes twinkling. “It’s like your life is a bakery and you have everything to choose from. But you go for the vanilla cupcakes, even though you could have a brownie and that’s what you’d really like and what would completely satisfy you.”

Her life was a bakery. Terrific.

“I like cupcakes.” Danika knew she sounded grumpy, but she was feeling grumpy. And judged. And criticized.

She hated when her sisters were right. Her boyfriends were no more exciting than cupcakes. They were good, just not…worth not fitting into her favorite jeans for.

“Cupcakes are fine,” Carmen agreed. “And for some people that’s it. Their favorite thing. The thing they go crazy for. But not for you.”

“You have to find a fudge brownie,” Abi agreed. “A big one.”


More on Erin

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Duane Simolke's Winner

Thanks to all who stopped by to visit with Duane Simolke and congrats to Valerie! You win a copy of Duane's sci fi adventure - DEGRANON!

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Week At The TIki Hut - Duane Simolke

This week we welcome author Duane Simolke to the Tiki Hut to talk about his science fiction novel DEGRANON: A Science Fiction Adventure.

Majoring in English, Duane Simolke received degrees from Belmont University (B.A., 1989), Hardin-Simmons University (M.A., 1991), and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., 1996). His doctoral dissertation was on Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.

StoneWall Society gave Pride in the Arts literary awards to The Acorn Stories, Degranon, and Holding Me Together. AllBooks Reviews gave The Return of Innocence a Reviewers Choice Award.

Simolke also edited and co-wrote a fundraiser, The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer.


Revisiting Diversity in Science Fiction
By Duane Simolke

Now that I’ve completed a draft to the sequel of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, I still find myself surprised by the slow but steadily growing audience Degranon finds. It’s been almost ten years since the first edition appeared. I rewrote the book two years after its publication, following an earlier idea of making some of the major characters gay.

Those changes, and some others, made the novel even more memorable to me, and it remains my favorite out of everything I’ve written. Dealing with themes of discrimination, religious turmoil, and oppression added emotional layers, but I mostly wanted to create interesting characters and exciting scenes of adventure. That revised, second edition immediately gained attention.

In Worried, the upcoming sequel to Degranon, the characters still wrestle with some of the same problems, though they have overcome weight discrimination, censorship, and some of the other specific issues they struggled with before. However, some past failings haunt the citizens of Valchondria, the human home world. Dark secrets haunt the Valchondrians even more.

Also, the first book spanned generations on two planets. Worried takes place over five weeks. Most of the action happens on the capital city of the home world, except for a few scenes set in outer space. Still, the epic scope of the first book gave me a universe, and that entire universe still affects the characters and events of the second book. I think Degranon’s new and old readers will enjoy the journey back; I’m certainly enjoying it and look forward to the next few months of revision.

Warning, mild spoilers lurk ahead. Some hints about what to expect in Worried follow.

The wedding of two male characters from the first book.

The rumors of a dangerous alien race weren’t exaggerated.

The balance of power on Valchondria remains in question.

The effects of past addiction linger.

Enemies might need each other.

(Read reviews of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure at Rainbow Reviews and I Must Be Dreaming.)

WIN - Leave Duane a comment or question this week, here at the Tiki Hut and your name goes in the hat for a free ebook of DEGRANON. Please leave your email address, so we can contact you if you are this week's winner - Good Luck!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Anne Hamilton's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to visit with our special guest Anne Hamilton as she talked about the inspiration for her new book A BLONDE BENGALI WIFE.

Congrats to Sandy B. - your name was drawn as our winner! Anne's publisher, LL Publications will be contacting you for your information - thanks for leaving your email address!

Monday, October 18, 2010

This Week's Special Guest Anne Hamilton

The Story of A Blonde Bengali Wife

There’s a torn billboard along the urban sprawl that links Zia International Airport with the dusty clamour of downtown Dhaka; it has the tag line “Come to Bangladesh before the tourists do.” I, the so-called Blonde Bengali Wife did just that and in doing so framed the story of a three month journey through the landscape and culture, the people and places, the humour and highlights of a little-known Bangladesh.

Whilst the book invites you to swim at Cox’s Bazaar, the longest sea beach in the world; to trek rare tigers amidst the earth’s largest mangrove forests in the Sunderbans National Park; to refresh your taste buds beside Srimangal’s verdant, rolling tea gardens, and to watch the sun rise and set at the same most southerly point in Kuakata, it is so much more than a travel memoir because A Blonde Bengali Wife has inspired, and is supporting, a UK based charity called Bhola’s Children.

It all began with my first (of eight and counting) visit to Bangladesh as a volunteer for a Non Government Organisation (NGO) when I fell utterly in love with the country. Draft after redraft followed until it was read by literary agent Dinah Wiener. It wasn’t remotely commercial, Dinah said, but it made her want to visit Bangladesh, and that was enough for her to agree to represent it—and to make a trip to Bangladesh herself. By chance, there she met Howlader Akkel Ali. Ali, orphaned at the age of eight and with forty years’ experience of caring for disabled children, had a dream of a home and a school where children and young people with different disabilities could live, learn, and work together.

Ali comes from the Barisal district of Southern Bangladesh in which lies the island of Bhola, jutting out to the Bay of Bengal. In Bengali, bhola means “forgotten” and it was on this “forgotten island” that Ali had found the property that is now called Bhola Garden. Together with some orphaned and disabled children and staff, he carried out basic renovations, and then began encouraging families all over the island to send their disabled children to daily lessons. Dinah discovered that Bhola Garden took the traditionally grim notions of orphanages, third-world poverty and disability, and simply knocked them on their heads. Full of life, love, and colour, the word Dinah used to describe it was “magical.” Thus, the charity Bhola’s Children was established by Dinah and registered in March 2007 with a commitment from all of the Trustees, of which I am one, to nurture and progress everything that makes Bhola Garden what it is today and what it can be tomorrow.

Bhola Garden is now a home to about forty children and a school for another fifteen, with many more waiting in the wings. In practical terms, Ali and the children live in very basic conditions. They bathe, swim, do their laundry, and breed fish all in the same pond. Their staple food is rice, with meat or fish a couple of times a week; milky, sugary sweets are a rare treat. They grow most of their own vegetables. When they receive gifts, they are delighted with toothbrushes, plastic combs, and hair oil. There is little to spare for visits to the doctor, the dentist, or anything unexpected.

Outreach work, that is teaching the community about disability, is part of daily life. Ali oversees hospital arrangements in Dhaka for the many infants whose frightened parents agonise over cleft palates and club feet. Better, he says that these are prevented—and educating people about the need to reduce inter-marriage and avoiding very young pregnancies is the best way forward. Better, too, that families learn there is no stigma in their child being blind or deaf and sending them to school, rather than hiding them away, will significantly improve their life chances.

As well as the day-to-day financial support, the charity’s first purchase was a Toyota microbus so that, for the first time, outings and picnics and trips to appointments didn’t rely on public buses or rickshaws. The initial major project was to complete a properly-built, two-storey hostel for the children, staff, and Ali to live in year-round safety and far greater comfort than the tin shacks that barely protected them from monsoon, floods, and hurricanes. Two years on, the current scheme involves updating the equally primitive sheds in which carpentry and tailoring are taught. Proper workshops mean these will grow into businesses creating much needed income. Longer term, the grand plan is for a dispensary and health clinic that will meet the needs of not just Bhola’s Children but the surrounding community too. Ultimately, of course, it relies on successful fundraising and charitable donation.

All money earned from A Blonde Bengali Wife goes direct to Bhola’s Children. Not because Dinah or I are particularly generous or kind people, but because once you’ve been to Bhola, you just can’t not be involved. A Blonde Bengali Wife it isn’t about Bhola, but it is a tribute to my journeys into Bangladesh and all the friends I have made there. Most of all, it is the story of the country that inspired Bhola’s Children.

Between her travels, Anne Hamilton currently lives in Scotland where she is working on a novel whilst studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Anne and her husband celebrated the birth of their first baby in August 2010.

A Blonde Bengali Wife is available in print and in several ebook formats. It can found at,,, as well as many other print and ebook retailers.

WIN - Leave Anne a comment or question this week at the Tiki Hut and your name goes in the hat for your choice of either a print or ebook of her new book, A BLONDE BENGALI WIFE. To be entered, you must leave your email address, so we can contact you if you are this week's winner - Good luck!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Desiree Holt and Cerise DeLand's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit with Desiree and Cerise this week! Congrats goes out to Marybelle - you win a free download of the first book they co-authored together UNTIL THE DAWN.

Monday, October 11, 2010

This Week's Special Guests Desiree Holt and Cerise Deland

This week at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut , we welcome award-winning authors Desiree Holt and Cerise DeLand who stop by to talk with us about co-authoring. Together they just kicked off the Nemesis Series, a new series for Ellora's Cave's Breathless line of erotic romantic suspense, with their first book together UNTIL THE DAWN.

Meet Desiree Holt: All her life, Desiree dreamed of faraway places and unbelievably sexy men. From baseball players to rock musicians to television personalities she met them all and each one enriched her life. Now tucked away in the Texas Hill Country, she shares her fantasies with her readers. In her satin robe, with her scented candle burning and a chilled glass of wine at hand, she lets her mind run wild — and hopes you’ll take the journey with her. When she’s not writing, she reads and indulges in her other passion — watching football.


Meet Cerise DeLand: What’s a gal to do if she hails from D.C., lives now deep in the heart of Texas, travels often everywhere, and adores Paris, Florence, London, Tokyo and all points east and west? Ah. She becomes an author who can write about those romantic places. And if your sweet tooth craves spies, pirates, body guards and gutsy women of today and yesteryears of medieval and Regency England, then she is the author you crave for smoldering erotic encounters and delicious love affairs!

Her name? Cerise DeLand. What’s more is that Cerise is the award-winning author of 18 print novels of mystery, mainstream and romance with St. Martin’s Press, Pocket Books and Kensington. Her books have been on every book club list you can name, including Featured Selections of The Mystery Guild, Doubleday and Rhapsody. And when she isn’t dreaming up fiction? Cerise also writes non-fiction. Busy lady. Happy writer.


Co-authoring…the spice in the stew
Cerise Deland and Desiree Holt
Authors of Until the Dawn, Nemesis: Book One

So you’re doing really well as a solo author. Great. Most of the authors out there are right there with you. But did you ever think about sticking your toe in deeper water? Finding the ticket to enhancing your ‘voice’? Bringing a new dimension to your writing? Exchange ideas? Give your work a fresh voice? Put the ‘fun’ back in writing? Then maybe co-authoring is for you. It offers continued interaction with another writer outside a critique group, and the interaction helps keep you sane, happy and creative.

Co-authoring is different than collaborating. In collaboration two or more authors get together to create a series, each one writing an entire title. In co-authoring, you are writing simultaneously. In some instances this means alternate chapters, in some alternate POVs. You have to find out what works for you. What your best method of working together is. This means brainstorming plots, refining characters, finding the common ground on which to build the story. And as you do this, the best method of co-authoring emerges.

How do you decide the point in your career to try this? For everyone it’s different. Maybe you’re stuck in a genre rut and want to try something new. Maybe you’ve become too plot-oriented and want to hook up with someone who’s more character-oriented. Maybe you want to try a new genre altogether but doing it alone is scary and intimidating. And maybe you’re having coffee, or wine, or a long cyberchat with another writer with whom you’ve developed a great relationship. And then suddenly out pops an idea and you both say, “Let’s write a book together.”

The first thing to consider is whether your styles blend. Have you read each other’s work? Do you know how the other person writes? For example: if a writer tends to write dark but you have a light and fun style could you work together? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the style could complement each other and create a fresh new voice for both of you. That’s definitely something to hash out.

Another point to consider is how you write. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do your characters talk to you when you’re writing and sometimes send the story in another direction? If it happens to one of you and not the other, then you have to discussing detail if the two methods can blend without disrupting the story. Following a timeline is another point to discuss. How much time a day you each spend writing and will you both keep to the schedule you collaboratively set for yourselves.

And finally, can you each accept the other’s critiques without blowing a gasket. Writing is probably the single profession where having a thick skin gives you the best advantage. You may be in love with every word you write but not everyone else will be. And you will not grow as a writer—or work effectively with another one—if you are not willing to be a sponge and soak up every bit of logical criticism. And then between you, you take what works and toss the rest.

We consider ourselves very fortunate. We blend our styles, work easily and well together, love the same kind of stories and the same kind of characters. This series, Nemesis, of which Until the Dawn is the first book, is iour first co-authoring venture but you can bets it won’t be our last.


WIN - Leave Desiree and/or Cerise a comment or question this week at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut and your name goes in the hat for a copy of their first book together UNTIL THE DAWN. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are this week's winner - Good Luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tim Smith's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to check out Tim Smith's interview with the hero of his Nick Seven novels. That was great fun and we thank him for sharing it with us!

Congrats to Susan - you win your choice from his three Nick Seven books! Thanks for leaving your email address, we'll be contacting you soon for your mailing information.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Week's Special Guest Tim Smith

This week's special guest is Tim Smith with a special interview with the hero of his action-packed romantic suspense novels, a former CIA agent named Nick Seven.

Tim Smith is an award-winning author of numerous books, ranging from thrillers to contemporary erotic romance. He is also a freelance photographer and when he isn’t pursuing these two passions, he works in the human services field as a case manager for adults with disabilities.


Today we’d like to introduce Nick Seven, a former CIA agent who lives in Key Largo, Florida.
Nick, how do you feel about the renewed interest in your adventures?

Nick: I think it’s about time more people had a chance to read about my exploits, even though they’ll never hear the real juicy stuff I did when I worked around the world tracking down terrorists. I could tell some good stories, but I’d have to kill anyone who read them.

Yes, your adventures are now limited to The Florida Keys, aren’t they? How did you end up there?

Nick: When I decided to quit the bureaucratic nightmare known as the CIA, I couldn’t decide where I wanted to settle. I could’ve gone to Italy, Germany, Bermuda, Rio, you name it, but I’d been to The Keys and something about the laid-back atmosphere hooked me like a marlin and reeled me in. Besides, I’ve always loved fresh seafood and the sunsets are to die for.

Okay, inquiring minds have to ask about Felicia, the beauty from Barbados you’re living with. In your first adventure, “Memories Die Last,” you two are reunited when the CIA drafts you back into action, but we can tell there’s a spark there. Anything you can add?

Nick: To put it bluntly, Felicia is sex on two feet – bronzed skin, long woven hair, sensual eyes, the cutest West Indies accent and a body a supermodel would kill for. She also has a right cross that’ll bring a wrestler to his knees. Felicia was a member of my team when I was assigned to England. There were some sparks at first but I couldn’t do anything about it because I’d recently gotten married to a young Scottish woman I’d fallen hopelessly in love with.
Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be and after my lovely bride was killed by a terrorist who was after me, Felicia really came to my emotional rescue. When the spooks in Washington conned me into coming back for one more case, there she was. We just picked up where we should’ve started a few years earlier. Good things come to those who wait, right?

In one of your adventures, “Never Trust Your Dreams,” you both are used as pawns by the CIA and Felicia is kidnapped by a rogue agent to force your cooperation. How did you respond to that?

Nick: It was déjà vu all over again, a nightmare I wasn’t about to relive. I’d already lost the one person I thought I’d ever love and there was no way in hell I was going to lose my second chance at happiness. Before Felicia came back I’d been going through life on auto-pilot, from one meaningless hook-up to another. She reminded that there’s more to it than that. In that same story I got framed for murdering a former girlfriend and had to outwit the cops and the girl’s filthy rich S.O.B. of a father. Funny, but I thought when I left covert intelligence my life would be a bit less eventful!

One reviewer said “Nick Seven is the kind of guy your mother wouldn’t let you play with.” Is that an accurate assessment?

Nick: That probably explains why I had such a lonely childhood. Seriously, I suppose some of my rougher edges turn off a few people, but when they take the time to know me I’m really a pussycat. I just don’t show it very well or very often.

Except with Felicia?

Nick: Geez, what is this, a Dr. Phil segment? Okay, I admit she’s managed to housebreak me, but I’m still the same tough guy I always was. Can we get onto another subject now?

Sorry for striking a nerve. You thought you’d gotten away from the intrigue after your first two adventures, but in the third one, “The Vendetta Factor,” you really got thrown for a loop when you were dragged into the middle of a Mafia turf war in Miami. How did you feel about that?

Nick: I think thoroughly pissed about covers it. All I did was help out a friend, a professional gambler named Rock Moretti, who used to own my club in Key Largo before opening a floating casino off Palm Beach. ‘I’m having some trouble,’ he says. ‘Come out to the boat and check things out. Nothing to it.’ Ha! How the hell did I know some Don in New York was putting the squeeze on him to sell out? Moretti didn’t share that piece of information with me and I didn’t find out until it was too late that another Don in Miami had a vested interest in keeping this other guy out of his back yard. Sometimes I think I’ll never learn.

That story gave you one of your most dangerous adversaries, didn’t it?

Nick: You mean the hit man, Tony the Crease? Yeah, he was a tough character, but Felicia and I managed to show him a couple of new tricks when he came after me. We actually ended up having a hell of a time with that adventure, but we never did settle the argument about whether Frank Sinatra or Julius LaRosa had the bigger impact on pop culture.

Frank Sinatra or Julius LaRosa? What was that about?

Nick: Read the book and find out.

So what does the future hold for you and Felicia?

Nick: Probably more adventures, whether we want them or not. I’m just trying to live my life in my personal corner of paradise, but this Tim Smith cat won’t let me do that. What did I ever do to this guy, anyway? As to Felicia, I sort of proposed when she came to live with me, but I get the impression that if I don’t keep out of trouble, she’ll pack her bags and haul ass back to Barbados – which she’s threatened to do more than once, by the way.



Monday, August 2, 2010

Last Week's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to all who stopped by to visit with Cris and to find out just how she ended up on the cover of her new book WHAT SHE NEEDS!

Congrats to Artemis -your name was drawn as our winner, thanks for leaving your email address so Cris can contact you with your prize.

Monday, July 26, 2010

This Week At The Tiki Hut -- Cris Anson

This week's guest at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut is Cris Anson who writes for Ellora's Cave and she stops by to tell us all about how she ended up on the cover of her brand new release WHAT SHE NEEDS!

15 Minutes in Angelo’s Arms
by Cris Anson

Ellora’s Caveman Angelo exploded into our consciousness at last October’s RomantiCon, Ellora’s Cave’s first annual erotic romance conference. (He has since graced dozens of Ellora’s Cave covers.) The quintessential tall, dark and handsome Venezuelan riveted everyone’s attention as he danced. Made our hearts beat faster whenever he smiled, which was often. Charmed us all when speaking with us in his delightful accent.

For a lucky few, he was more. Saturday morning of the conference, I was invited to participate in a photo shoot with Angelo at his virgin cover-model gig for Ellora’s Cave. My immediate reaction: Is the Pope Catholic? Does the sun set in the west?

If you’ve attended a Romantic Times convention, you’ve seen the Mr. Romance contestants or the Ellora’s Cavemen posing as a group with one attendee at a time, proceeds to charity, three minutes max and on to the next person in line. And yes, I have a few of those poses myself.

But this. This was fifteen minutes of permission to stand seriously close to Angelo, to look deeply into his warm brown eyes, to run my fingers through his long black hair. To have his undivided attention as he held me in his muscular arms.

Have I mentioned that Angelo is hawt?

He was wearing only a towel, as you can see from the photo gracing the cover of my July release WHAT SHE NEEDS, and I’m not positive (or maybe it’s wishful thinking), but he might have gone commando. Be still, my heart!

Alas, I could never quite forget the photographers arrayed around us—standing, kneeling, moving to get different camera angles. Furniture had been moved to the side. Sunlight poured in through the hotel room’s windows. Lights had been set up to the side and behind us. Directives flew like machine-gun fire.

“Look this way.” “Turn around just a bit to your left.” “Now move behind her.” And so on.

The results astounded me. Or, I should say, the results of Ellora’s Cave Art Director Syneca’s efforts with PhotoShop astounded me. I look like…someone Angelo might want to get closer to. Like someone living the script she wrote. Like Delia Barnes, the heroine of WHAT SHE NEEDS, who found her younger man in a most unexpected place—an erotic romance convention.

Here’s the blurb for WHAT SHE NEEDS:

Older widow Delia Barnes greets fellow authors before an erotic romance convention sporting a black eye, which she explains away with “I didn’t say ‘Yes, Master’ quick enough.” Sitting at the bar, burned-out ad executive and former Dom Kurt Reinhardt overhears that comment once too often and interrupts to suggest, “Maybe you need a new Master.”

Urged by her friends to accept the younger man’s invitation to learn some D/s basics—hey, an author needs to do her research, right?—Delia joins him to get first-hand experience at being submissive, starting with removing her panties in a corner booth. Later, she learns more than she bargained for when she spends a weekend at Kurt’s home with his eager business partner added to the mix.

But an innocent misstep brings Delia’s world crashing down around her. Can she trust Kurt with her heart…and her life?

You can read an excerpt of WHAT SHE NEEDS and buy the book here.

If you want to know more about RomantiCon 2010, here’s the link. We’ll be eagerly looking to see which of the Ellora’s Cavemen attend.

To read more about me and my books, please check out my Website , my MySpace page and friend me at Facebook.

Oh, and one more thing about WHAT SHE NEEDS mirroring real life: I attended my first Romantic Times convention sporting a black eye. This photo of me with Mr. Romance finalist and Ellora’s Caveman John Fish was not PhotoShopped.

If you enjoyed this mini-peek into a model’s hard life, I hope you’ll take a moment to comment (this will enter you into the drawing for a prize). Thanks for stopping by!

PS - Please leave your email address, so Cris can contact you if you are this week's winner!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tim Smith's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to everyone who popped in to visit with our special guest Tim Smith and congrats to Valerie in Germany! You win a free download of Tim's first erotic romance - ANYWHERE THE HEART GOES. Thanks for leaving your email address, Tim will be contacting you soon!

Monday, June 14, 2010

This Week At The Tiki Hut - Tim Smith

This week at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut, we welcome author Tim Smith who stops by to talk about his hot new romantic comedy just released with eXtasy Books called THE SWEET DISTRACTION.

Tim is the author of five novels, including two contemporary romantic comedies with eXtasy Books. His first three adventure novels have won critical acclaim and several awards. He is also a freelance photographer and works in Dayton, Ohio as a case manager for adults with special needs. When he isn't devoting time to writing, you can find him in The Florida Keys, doing research in between parasailing and seeking out the perfect Pina Colada.



I’m pleased to return as this week’s guest blogger on Author Island to share my new release, “The Sweet Distraction.” Let me tell you a bit about my newest romantic comedy. The main character, George Sullivan, is a writer of thriller novels and he’s about as far down in the dumps as you can get. His last few books haven’t sold very well, he drinks and gambles too much, he’s drifting through life on auto-pilot due to a bad break-up and he’s desperate for success. His agent arranges for him to write the memoir of notorious mob boss Vito Pasquale, who is a big fan of George’s books, and George realizes this could be the big break he’s always wanted. Simple, right? Not a chance. You just know love will get in the way, in the person of the Don’s beautiful but spoiled daughter, Cookie. Cookie is accustomed to getting what she wants and pursues George, but he resists because he fears how her father might react. What happens? Read the book to find out if love triumphs or if George winds up in the middle of Lake Erie in a cement overcoat for fooling around with the Don’s daughter.

This is a very humorous, sexy romance. I had a lot of fun writing this one, and I hope you have as much fun reading it.

I’ll now take your questions.

Tim Smith

WIN- Leave Tim a comment or question here at the Tiki Hut this week and your name will go in the hat for a free download of his first romantic comedy with eXtasy books, ANYWHERE THE HEART GOES. Please leave your email address, so we can contact you if you are our winner!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jennifer Linforth's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat with Jennifer Linforth while she was here at the Tiki Hut. Congrats goes out to JoanneR - you are our winner, please send your mailing address to AuthorIsland at so Jennifer can get your prize out to you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

This Week At The Tiki Hut - Jennifer Linforth

This week at the Tiki Hut is author Jennifer Linforth who talks about why she tackled Leroux's Phantom of the Opera in her historical series published by Highland Press.

If one is going to query a publisher, Jennifer Linforth suggests not doing so in pink ink. Her first, written when she was twelve, was nothing if not colorful. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Romance Writers of America in addition to being a writing mentor. Writing historical fiction and historical romance with unusual themes and locations, such as autism and the social mores of the mentally ill in the 19th century, she has a passion for Austrian culture and is often found searching for stories in long forgotten histories.

It was her love of research and classic literature that brought her to expanding Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.

Writing from a tiny loft office, Jennifer admits to being country mouse with city mouse tastes and is constantly fighting to keep the little critters in line. She can't pronounce pistachio, hates lollipops with gooey centers, and dearly loves to laugh. If asked for her motto in life, she points to the following poem upon her office wall:

Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It's too high! COME TO THE EDGE! And they came, and he pushed, and they flew. ~ Christopher Logue Croyez.

Visit Jennifer's Website *** Blog *** Myspace *** Facebook *** Twitter


Everyone wants to undress Mr. Darcy in one way or another. Whether literally, or by expanding his story, readers yearn to dive deeper between his sheets. So why then did I choose to do so to a Phantom?

The Phantom of the Opera has one of the largest and most devoted fan followings in the world. Choosing to expand such a classic came with an impending sense of doom. Would this idea be embraced like the countless tales of Pemberly after the nuptials? Or would I be tarred and feathered…

I had to find out. The result was a three book series contracted by Highland Press Publishing, and one which has, thus far, left this author thankfully featherless.

Certain stories transcend time leaving more questions than answers. No author made me question as much as Gaston Leroux. My love for The Phantom of the Opera stemmed from a deep respect for a book that was a mystery, horror and romance rolled into one. After revisiting Leroux’s novel for the third time the questions in my head would not fade. Why—as a jurist—did he leave so many unanswered questions in such a fascinating book?

The only way to find out was to devote years of my imagination to living deep below an opera house with a corpse-like madman.

The first challenge? Breaking down the visions created by Andrew Lloyd Webber. His musical and 2004 movie starring Gerald Butler created an iconic image of The Phantom and the story as a whole. Leroux’s original is quite different from the romantic, famous love triangle of Webber’s that millions of fans saw and fell in love with. In Webber’s film and musical we see a mildly deformed man clearly oozing sex appeal who happens to have murdered out of anger. Webber stripped away the unattainable parts of Leroux’s story to leave a basic romance as the focus. In Leroux, Erik (The Phantom), was a murderously vengeful personality… a clear madman, while concurrently being a repressed and ardent gentleman. He was the central character in a Death and the Maiden tale. Hideously deformed and hiding behind a full black mask, he slept in a coffin. He had issues with maternal longings just as Christine had issues with paternal needs. Leroux penned him as a monster for a reason. I did my best to adhere to his original ideas for my series while maintaining there was indeed a man with in the madman. Naturally, certain elements were changed to suit the limits of my imagination and to reach the broader market desired by my publisher.

The second challenge? Weaving enough of Leroux’s original story into the fabric of the series so readers could enjoy it without needing to read Leroux’s book first. Book one in my series, MADRIGAL, (released October 2008) begins four years after Leroux’s original ended.

Despite all of the above, Erik was a simply seeking the most basic of human emotions--love. Yet how can one when love society sees you as nothing more than a deviant of the underground?

You fake your death and start anew…

Sharing the back cover blurb for MADRIGAL:
Years ago he faked his death and vowed the Phantom would never again haunt the Opera Garnier. But strange packages left by Anna, an unwanted Samaritan turned unlikely friend, causes Erik to desire the unattainable—love.

When Anna’s haunted past puts Christine Daaé in danger, Erik is falsely accused of the vicious crime. The Phantom is reborn as Erik, forced to the brink of insanity, revisits his passion for Christine—the woman he once swore to possess. Fighting the injustice against Erik, Anna struggles to prove his innocence. Standing in the way is her past that cannot be transcended, and years of prejudice labeling Erik more monster than man.

Battling the nobleman determined to lock him away, Erik must save Christine, control his demons, and tame a heart unexpectedly beating for two opposite women. Christine, who he longs to love, and Anna: the woman who saw beyond his bitter soul to the man beneath the mask.

In the midst of a brutal manhunt, can he be loved for himself or is he condemned to be The Phantom of the Opera?

Murderer, Maestro, Magician, Mastermind.

ABENDLIED, book two of The Madrigals released January 2010 and continues to expose more of Erik and the manhunt to bring him to justice. ABENDLIED can be read prior to MADRIGAL even though it continues the first book. It follows all characters as they endure the manhunt and introduces an often forgotten part of Leroux’s plot:

Desiring normalcy is difficult enough with a price on his head, but when Erik is falsely accused of killing Philippe de Chagny, brother of his nemesis Raoul, he is launched toward madness.

Anna is an unlikely companion, sharing Erik's heart and the bounty on his head. As the manhunt heats, Erik's mysterious relationship with Philippe spurs the campaign against them forward, and exposes her darkest secret: defending her honor ended in murder.

Plagued by his past as The Phantom of the Opera, Erik's memories enslave his heart to Raoul’s wife Christine, whose shocking confession brings a ruthless bounty hunter into the fray and blackmail to the Chagny bloodline. Blackmail from a hunter who cares little about the Phantom or Philippe, and everything about the one he has lusted for: Anna.

With the past weeping like an open wound, can love endure or will it take memories of one unlikely man to heal them all?

Memories of Philippe Georges Marie, Comte de Chagny...

Philippe de Chagny was a vital secondary character in Leroux’s original story and my favorite of all classic literature. It was his story that sparked the creation of this series. A series I hope readers will continue to embrace long after I put down my quill. For those who are more adventurous, once I am done writing stories that expand classic literature I can loan them some feathers… I leave it to them to find the tar!


WIN - Leave Jennifer a comment or question this week at the Tiki Hut and your name goes in the hat for an autographed copy of her novel, MADRIGAL. Be sure to leave your email address, so we can contact you if your are this week's winner!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Last Week's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to visit with J K Maze last week and congrats to Andrea I who get a free download of her book, MURDER BY MISTAKE.

Monday, March 29, 2010

This Week At The Tiki Hut - J. K. Maze

This week's special guest is mystery author Joan K. Maze to talk about heroes.

Meet J.K. Maze:

I've always been involved in the arts, music, writing and painting, beginning with studying voice at Northwestern University. I interrupted this endeavor for a family, but finally finished my degree at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. The emphasis, this time, was in subjects related to writing.

My first attempt at fiction was at the age of eight when my mother taught me how to use her turn-of-the-century typewriter. It was so heavy I couldn't lift it, but that didn't stop me from spending hours learning to type and, supposedly, write. As far as the story is concerned, it contained every mistake known to the publishing world, but it sparked my interest, which grew from that point on.

After spending years learning the craft of writing and producing stories, I joined Romance Writers of America, then KOD, the mystery and suspense group, and subsequently others. While I've received help from a local non-RWA writers' group, I credit RWA for bringing my writing to the point where it was considered publishable. Red Rose Publishing is a great organization to work with, and I'm delighted and honored to be one of their authors.

My first published novel, MURDER BY MISTAKE, is a cozy and the first in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, it was followed by FRAMED IN FEAR, a single title romantic suspense. The second Mollie Fenwick mystery is almost ready to present to Red Rose Publishing, and is entitled MURDER FOR KICKS.


How does a writer choose between two heroes? by Joan Maze

I’ve been asking that question ever since working on Murder By Mistake, the first in a cozy mystery series (also Chicklit). When I originally planned this book, it was to be a stand-alone mystery. That quickly changed when I realized I wanted to keep this protagonist, and thirty-something widow. She’s also an artist and works part-time for a bus company, transporting seniors and the disabled.

She’s also psychic, and when she sees a vision of a murder in her apartment, she decides not to inform the police of the clues. Who would believe a psychic?

The hero I originally planned for this mystery is her next door neighbor, a hunky homicide cop. Below is her first impression:

I couldn’t help grinning at the memory of the hunk. He had stood there, glaring at me, his arms folded across a broad chest, his legs slightly apart. Despite my agitation, I’d been unable to resist looking him over, my eyes going from the top of his head to his feet. His hair was a sort of russet brown with an errant lock tumbling over his forehead. He wore jeans molded to powerful looking thighs.

Then the unexpected happened. Another man walked onto the set and absolutely refused to leave, at times overshadowing Hero #1. How could this happen? I hadn’t planned him at all.
To discover why I didn’t want to get rid of him, check out the following excerpt, where she meets him for the first time.

Knowing Gladys’s penchant for the unusual, I thought I was prepared, but when we walked into Jack Wolf’s studio, I damned near fainted. The man out-intimidated Bartholomew by a mile. Wolf’s black hair was long and loose, Indian style, his short-sleeved white shirt hung open, revealing the bronzed skin of his heritage and a six-pack I simply gaped at. He wore his jean shorts low, and his muscles made it obvious he still worked out regularly. He was tall, maybe six foot three or four, and his eyes were black. The room was lined with shelves containing art supplies, and three easels contained paintings in various stages of completion. The whole scene before me suggested emotions and feelings in a big way. There was also strength, as evidenced not only by the paintings themselves, but by the man.

Wolf has become a very important part of the series; in the second book, Murder For Kicks, he becomes the heroine’s kickboxing instructor, and the heat index goes up about fifty degrees, maybe more.

So, how does a writer choose between two heroes? I still don’t have an answer. Not only is my protagonist, Mollie, unable to choose, neither is this writer. And guess what, there’s a third hero waiting in the wings, anxious to take a larger role in the next book, Murder By Spook. (That’s spook as in spy, not ghost.)

The first time a character took over, I tried to fix it. It didn’t work. Now, after many such occurrences, I’ve decided it’s logic taking over.

Either that or my characters are smarter than I am.

WIN - Leave Joan a question or comment here at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut this week and your name goes in the hat for a free download of her book MURDER BY MISTAKE. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you're our winner! Good luck!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shirley Tallman's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to all who stopped by to celebrate the release of Shirley Tallman's new Sarah Woolson Mystery SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL with her and congrats to Julia Rachel Barrett, your name was drawn to win an autographed copy of one of Shirley's first three Sarah Woolson books. Please email AuthorIsland at, along with your mailing address and which of Shirley's first three Sarah Woolson Mysteries you'd like to have, so we can get you out your prize!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gale Laure's Tiki Hut Winner

Thanks to all who stopped by to chat with Gale Laure about her book EVOLUTION OF A SAD WOMAN and congrats to Jerry B. Please email AuthorIsland at with your mailing address so Gale can get you out an autographed copy of her book!

This Week At The Tiki Hut - Shirley Tallman

Hi fellow Islanders, and thanks for inviting me to blog on Authorisland! I’m honored to be asked.

First of all, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Shirley Tallman and I'm an author and screenwriter. I've written a syndicated newspaper column (titled Penny Pinchers), movies for ABC, CBS and NBC (including THE BABYSITTER'S SEDUCTION starring Keri Russell), stage plays, romance novels for Harlequin/Silhouette, and murder mysteries for St. Martin's Press (the Sarah Woolson historical mystery series).

My husband and I live in Eugene, Oregon (GO DUCKS!!!), but we spend a lot of time at our cabin in Lake Tahoe (the Nevada side). And no, I don't gamble because I never win. If I just once hit a jackpot -- JUST ONCE! -- I could probably be persuaded to change my mind. But I never do. Oops! All right, you caught me. Maybe I still give it a try every now and again. I mean, come on, there's gotta be a first time, right??

Okay, now that you know a little bit about me, let me tell you something about my books – mystery whodunits set in 1880s San Francisco. My heroine, Sarah Woolson, is young, intelligent, and beautiful – the only daughter of an eminent, well-to-do family. She is, in fact, the sort of woman any man would be delighted to marry. There’s just one catch: Sarah has no intentions of entering the domestic state, which would legally allow her husband to pretty much control her life! (Sounds awful, doesn’t it? But that’s the way it was in the 1880s).

To the dismay of her family and friends, Sarah has chosen a very different path. Defying Victorian convention, she has vowed to become an attorney, a decidedly unwomanly profession! As far as nineteenth-century San Francisco is concerned, women belong firmly in the home. To venture outside this realm is to go against God’s will – a firmly held belief most men, and a surprising number of women, are all too willing to say to her face.

In MURDER ON NOB HILL – the first book in the Sarah Woolson series – feisty Sarah finagles an interview at one of the city’s most prominent all-male law firms, managing with a little subterfuge, to be hired on as the company’s newest, and only female, associate attorney. She soon acquires her first client, a lovely young society matron accused of murdering her wealthy, and abusive, husband. Ignoring her employer’s protests, Sarah champions the young woman, only to find herself embroiled in shady legal maneuvers, a daring Chinatown raid, and a secret and very scandalous sex club.

Book two in the series, THE RUSSIAN HILL MURDERS, finds Sarah once again risking her job, and her reputation, to defend a man whom she believes has been unjustly accused of murder. Faced with her first criminal trial – and an unfriendly judge and jury – she very nearly loses her own life in an effort to prove her client’s innocence.

In THE CLIFF HOUSE STRANGLER, Sarah and her reluctant colleague, Robert Campbell, brave the worst storm of the season to attend a séance at San Francisco’s famed Cliff House. After a dramatic display of spirit apparitions, flying trumpets, and phantom music, Sarah and Robert make a grisly discovery: One of the twelve people seated with them around the séance table has been brutally strangled!

SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL – which will be released on March 30th – opens when a badly beaten murder victim is discovered only two blocks from Sarah’s peaceful Rincon Hill home. Within the next week two more bodies are found in the same neighborhood, and the city is thrown into a state of panic. Reluctantly, Sarah agrees to represent the two young men accused of the killings, only to find herself faced with the all but impossible task of proving the men innocent.

Engaged in a desperate struggle to find the murderer, Sarah becomes involved in the erotic escapades of the town’s infamous high-end brothels, secrets surrounding a proper Anglican church, the volatile goings on in San Francisco’s theater district, and a vicious killer who will stop at nothing to achieve a scandalous objective!

I think you get the idea. Our resolute heroine is determined to go to whatever lengths necessary to defend her clients, even if it means taking on the entire male-dominated 1880s legal establishment! She’s one very brave and determined young woman.

But I’ve gone on long enough – probably longer than DeNita had in mind when she invited me to write a blog for her fantastic website. If you’d like to learn more about me, or my books and movies, please visit my website at While you’re there, you can check out my book video, read chapter one of SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL, visit my blog, the San Francisco Facts page, or just drop me a note to say hi. I LOVE to hear from you, and promise to answer all your letters personally.

Thanks again for letting me visit the Island and meet all of you. It was great fun!


Shirley Tallman
WIN - leave Shirley a comment or question this week and your name goes in the hat for an autographed copy of your choice of one of the first three Sarah Woolson Mysteries! Please leave your email address so we can contact you if your name is drawn. And don't forget to check out the fantastic contest Shirley has going on over at her website - she's giving away a KINDLE and $75 in Amazon cash this month to celebrate her new release!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

This Week's Special Guest Gale Laure

This week's special guest at the Tiki Hut is international selling author, Gale Laure.

Gale is a native Texan. She was born along the coast of Texas in an area referred to as the "Golden Triangle".

Gale Laure spent her young adult years in Tyler in East Texas, and Houston, Texas. She has resided in a small suburban town in the Houston area for more than 20 years with her husband and family.

As mysterious as her mystery-suspense thriller book and novel, Laure writes under a pseudonym. She is very adamant about maintaining her privacy and the privacy of her family as a mystery!

With an attitude that "you can do anything you set your mind to", Laure travels forward in life fulfilling all of her dreams. She credits her huge imagination and true love for research for taking her to this career decision to be an author. She also credits some special people in her life which offered encouragement to become a mystery writer.

She has gained her experience for writing from her careers including owner of a business service, marketing and consulting company, owner of her own travel agency, employment in the medical field including office manager, a short stint as a legal assistant, a paralegal, and employment in an insurance office and CPA's office.

Gale Laure enjoys her career and life as an author. She finds inspiration from her readers, friends and family.

Laure's hobbies include genealogical research, movies, creating stories for the children around her, involvement in her church and people watching. By watching people she obtains ideas for the characters in her books. So watch out! You may see some of your own traits in a character in her mystery, romance, and suspense-thriller books. She loves the "human being" and everything about them, both good and bad.

Gale Laure is known for her informal Southern style of writing. Books written by Gale Laure include her current debut, mystery-suspense thriller, Evolution of a Sad Woman. It is selling internationally as an ebook download, Kindle and a trade paperback.


An Interview with Keziah Elaine Theriot
By Gale Laure

Keziah Elaine Theriot - or Kizzy, as she is called – is the main character and the murder victim in Evolution of a Sad Woman. Kizzy is described as being a different woman with each of the five men that she loved. These five men join forces as strangers to try and solve her murder in this mystery, suspense, thriller and romance novel.

Kizzy, how many men have you loved in your life?

I have loved only six men in my life. My father, Alan, was the first man I ever loved. My father was strong and gentle all at the same time.

Tom Hastings was my first true love. Tom was the most fascinating man I ever knew. I could feel weak in Tom’s arms. He was so big and so strong.

William Newton was the smartest man I have ever known. He was actually brilliant about everything. He had dignity and poise. His smile could light up a room.

Evan Picard was the gentlest person I ever knew. He tries to be tough with other people, but he always treated me with gentleness. His hands were strong and soft all at the same time.

Jimmy Smithson was the sexiest, bad boy I have loved. Even Jimmy’s badness was good. Jimmy does everything with a passion.

Father C.D. Casmiersky was the best person I have ever known. He is a genuinely good and God-like man. He was pretty good looking, too.

How many men have you had sex with, Kizzy?

(Giggles). I don’t think that number is important. I can tell you, many people have found me sexy and none of them have ever been disappointed.

What did you want for your life?

(Kizzy answers very solemnly)
I always wanted happiness. I wanted to be a movie star with the camera lights flashing around me. I wanted to strut on a deliciously, deep, red carpet with one of the men I loved on my arm. I wanted to go home from the event to my children sleeping sweetly in their beds. I wanted to kiss their foreheads and cover their toes. I wanted simple peace.

If you could live your life over again, would you change everything? Anything?

To change my life would say that I had done everything wrong. I think I would repeat meeting and loving the six men I have loved. Would I change everything? No. Would I change some things? Maybe. I would not do everything differently. You see this time I would know the outcomes of all my actions in advance. So I would do everything the same. It would only be the outcomes that would be different.

Do you feel your loss of innocence was your downfall in life?

My loss of innocence? I never lost my innocence right up to the end.

Do you think you are a good person, Kizzy?

Of course, I am. I am as good as anyone else. I am much better than many people. Believe me, I could name some.

Were you a different woman with each of the five men?

I don’t know why you say that. I am just me – always. Maybe they were different with me.

Kizzy, what do you think about the men you have loved falling in love with other women?

(Slowly moistens her large pink lips) Those five men will never love anyone the way they loved me. Once I love a man, he stays loved. (Smiles) They will never, ever forget me!

Lastly, Kizzy, what would you like to say to the readers?

Don’t judge me. You don’t know me.

(Leans forward and whispers) And, you never will!


WIN - leave Gale a comment or question sometime this week and your name goes in the hat for an autographed copy of her book EVOLUTION OF A SAD WOMAN. Please be sure to include your email address, so we can contact you if you are this week's winner!

The Cougar Book Winner

I want to thank our very special guest authors - thanks so much for sharing your excerpts with us this past week and hope you had fun...we sure did!!!

And thanks to all our fantastic readers, who stopped by to enjoy those excerpts and hopefully get to know these wonderful authors just a little bit better.

Congrats to joder!! You won the copy of THE COUGAR BOOK - I know you're going to love it!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Cougar Book - An Excerpt From Heidi Champa

Heidi Champa is a typical last-born child. Snarky, attention-seeking and rebellious, she started to create dirty stories to keep herself out of real trouble. Having tried her hand at a million terrible jobs, she bought herself a laptop and finally started typing up those handwritten tales. After much deliberation, she started to let other people read her work.

In addition to her flare with the written word, she knows every sentence of the movie Clue by heart and bakes a mean Funny Cake. When she is not writing, she can be found reading, hiking or filling her iPod with more music. Her life has taken her all over the world, but a piece of her heart will always be in Australia. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. Her greatest wish is that her sarcasm would translate better in the written form.

She has been published in numerous anthologies including Best of Best Women's Erotica 2, Best Women’s Erotica 2010, Playing With Fire, Frenzy and Ultimate Curves. She has also steamed up the pages of Bust Magazine. If you prefer your erotica in electronic form, she can be found at Clean Sheets, Ravenous Romance, Oysters and Chocolate and The Erotic Woman. Find her online at

Excerpt of SPRING TRAINING by Heidi Champa

I looked out the window, watching the fluid, easy motion of his arm. He barely looked at the ball when he caught it. It was as if he were on autopilot; until the ball thrown by his partner sailed past him, and went careening off the wall of the building where I was sitting. My heart skipped a beat as I watched him running straight towards my window, his legs pumping hard. The ball skipped up against the base of the building. Before I knew it, Derek was standing right in front of my window. He bent down to pick up the ball and stood up, his eyes staring right through the glass at me.

I froze, unable to move an inch in my chair. I expected him to just run off, but he didn’t. He just kept staring, his eyes fixed on mine. A deep flush rose up in my face. His smile surprised me, as did his apprising gaze. His hand reached out and touched the window, just for a second. His hand truly was large, his fingertips leaving smudges on the thick glass. It felt like he was touching me, a jolt of electricity shot through me. He turned and ran away, returning to his buddies and their game of catch. Nothing had happened, but it felt as real as anything ever did. Turning away from the window, I tried to calm down. But, my breath was ragged and quick. I could feel a rush of moisture between my legs. My reaction seemed out of proportion, somehow odd. I looked at my clock. It was almost lunch time again. I cast one last glance out the window, before heading to the break room. Somehow a boring sandwich seemed like just what I needed.


WIN - Six different authors will stop by this week with excerpts from their stories to give you a taste of the different genres covered in this one hot anthology! One reader who leaves a comment on each of this week's posts (March 8th - March 14), will win an autographed copy of THE COUGAR BOOK!!! Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you're the winner!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Cougar Book - An Excerpt From Craig J. Sorensen's ADRIAN'S LOVER

One evening at the close of the 1970’s in Caldwell Idaho, while sitting on a milk crate overlooking Tenth Avenue and waiting for a customer to come in and break up the monotony, Craig Sorensen had a revelation. It may not seem earth shattering now, but to a man not yet twenty years of age, this moment would be defining in ways he had yet to fathom: There had to be more to life than pumping gas. He also knew he couldn’t take the same course that so many seemed to suggest was the only proper way for a young man to get to the next stage of life. An answer seemed materialize from the cold, dry Treasure Valley air.

Sorensen joined the US Army where he learned to work with computers not long before the introduction of the PC. Armed with a blitzkrieg education in the programming language COBOL, he embarked on a journey to define himself as a soldier, programmer, businessman, manager and in creative pursuits. Many life changes later, family, career and fully succumbing to his first passion of writing, Craig has never forgotten what it means to experience a change that helps to define a person.

A nearly lifelong fascination with sexuality and a love of both beauty and ugliness that makes getting up in the morning worthwhile brought Sorensen’s writing to the fertile ground that is erotica. Though he loves to write in many genres, he is infinitely comfortable in the expression of passion and sensuality. By combining this with the study of those changes, sometimes small and sometimes big, that shape lives, he has found his creative voice, and is grateful to have found places to express this voice in numerous anthology collections by a host of editors including Rachel Kramer Bussel, Maxim Jakubowski and recently in Jolie Du Pre’s enticing collection, The Cougar Book. His story in this anthology, “Adrian’s Lover,” explores a change akin to that moment sitting alone in that gas station in 1979.

Beyond continuing to develop short stories, Sorensen’s recent efforts are devoted to writing a novel based on those days not long after that revelation overlooking Tenth Avenue as he joined a mixed bag of soldiers in a Military Intelligence unit in West Germany.

He maintains a blog at

ADRIAN'S LOVER by Craig J Sorensen

Brendan Vivaldi is a young writer who has landed in a small town working for a local newspaper. He is searching for direction in his life when he is assigned to do an interview at a local bar with a little known musician from the 70’s named Adrian Parker. From the very beginning, Adrian provides him with more surprises than he can handle.


Adrian ripped into her guitar and belted out the vocals for another set. This time, she plied even more from that Les Paul Junior Guitar, with those long, strong hands. Her powerful voice caressed the room, now nearly empty. The passion of her performance didn’t dwindle in the least. At closing one of the few that remained brought up her old album. “Jesus, darlin’ where did you find that relic?”

The man folded his hands nervously. “I bought it new.”

“Oh, you’re a doll.” She signed it. The man blushed.

“May I?” The rightful owner handed it to me. Adrian had indeed been skinny. Her hair had been straightened and was cut short around her angular face. They’d put a tight silky purple blouse on her to make her eyes appear even more exotic and to showcase her high, full breasts atop her slim chest. Her skin was warmly tanned and buttery.

“You’re more beautiful now.” I suddenly worried she’d think it was just another line.

Her brows lifted like a draw-bridge.

I shrugged. “Well, you are.”

A soft, sweet smile like I’d not seen on her face opened. “Thank you, darlin.”

“Um, listen Adrian, I haven’t, um, asked all my questions.”

One knee pressed between mine. “I was hoping you’d say that.”

A fresh hard-on stretched my zipper. She took my hand.


WIN - Six different authors will stop by this week with excerpts from their stories to give you a taste of the different genres covered in this one hot anthology! One reader who leaves a comment on each of this week's posts (March 8th - March 14), will win an autographed copy of THE COUGAR BOOK!!! Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you're the winner!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Cougar Book - An Excerpt From Sascha Illyvich's WHISKEY TASTING

Today's special guest, Sascha Illyvich.

I am a published erotic romance author with several releases out at Renaissance E-books and Total E-bound. My contemporary romance A Christmas Favor is a recommended read from The Romance Studio. I continue to write for Renaissance E-books and Total E-bound with releases throughout the year. I host the UnNamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata where we interview the hottest in today’s erotic romance fiction. I am also a founding member of the WriteSEX team, dedicated to educating authors of all genres on how to add erotic elements to any story.

Learn more at

I'll share an excerpt from my story "Whiskey Tasting" which features a rather sexy yet familiar woman in my world, who just happens to own a cigar bar. Her favorite client comes in frequently. One night he comes in with a younger woman and Morganna gets irritated. Determined to establish and keep him, she arranges to have the bar open for him alone for a special type of tasting…

WHISKEY TASTING by Sascha Illyvich


Drawing the shades over the windows, she looked at the clock on the wall. Ten till 2.

If she knew him as well as she did, he’d be slightly early.

Her body hummed in anticipation of his arrival. Nervousness wasn’t something Morganna normally dealt with but the fact that another five minutes had passed way too slowly and Nicholas hadn’t arrived yet bugged her.

She looked down at an empty shot glass. Picking up a bottle from the bin, she poured herself a shot of single malt and knocked it back. Dutch courage for a cougar, she laughed.

The handle at the door jiggled.

Morganna looked up and walked around to the front of the bar. Reaching for the handle, she pulled the door open to see Nicholas standing before her in black jeans and a faded gray tank top. His suit coat hung over thick shoulders.

She licked her lips. “Come in.”

With a smile, he nodded and stepped into the bar. “Wow,” he looked around. “It’s odd being here when it’s quiet.”

She chuckled. “Yeah. It’s kinda nice sometimes. I can fire up a smoke, sample inventory or just clean extra thoroughly if I want. But you’re here for a different reason.” She winked.

He didn’t miss a beat. Shutting the door behind him, he reached for Morganna with one hand.
Catching her by the shoulder, he pulled her forward and wrapped his arms around her.

Crushing her chest against his, she felt the firmness of strong muscles beneath the cotton shirt.
Hands cupped her bottom, squeezing her.

She squeaked and stepped back from him with a glint in her eye. Looking up at him, she saw her smoldering desire reflected in his gorgeous eyes.

He started to speak, started to dip his head down to meet her mouth, but stopped short.
Morganna parted her lips.

Nicholas didn’t move.

She arched an eyebrow. “Something the matter?”

He shook his head. The look in his eyes definitely spelled out desire. If there was any doubt, the bulge beneath his jeans reaffirmed his arousal.

“Then what, sweetie?” She touched his cheek, running fingers over the smoothness of his face.
He’d shaved, making it easier for her fingers to glide over smooth masculine skin.

Stepping closer, she inhaled. Picking up the rich scent of cigars, light sandalwood and his aroma, the smile on her lips widened. “You’re not used to being the seducer, are you hon?”

Nicholas nodded.

She smirked. “I thought so. Come this way and we’ll make this easier for both of us.” She turned, sliding her hand down his chest until she’d captured his hand.

Pulling him towards the bar, she led him into a seat where the first rocks glass and a bottle of highland single malt sat. She walked around to the other side of the bar and pulled off the top.
“This is a standard highland single malt, similar to the one you normally drink.” She poured a 1 oz. shot into the glass, then retrieved a glass for herself.

Nicholas picked up the glass and swirled it around. Shoving his nose into the glass, he inhaled a deep whiff of the liquid before bringing the scotch to his lips. Taking a sip, he kept his eyes on Morganna the entire time.

She mimicked his movements and took a sip of the strong scotch, picking up caramel notes along with charred oak before the liquid slid down her throat and confirmed her thoughts. She should know what the drinks in her bar tasted like.

Her eyes roamed up and down the length of Nicholas’s body. After the rest of the first shot hit him, he relaxed his shoulders just slightly. Leaning forward, he set the empty glass down on the bar and smiled. “Good stuff.”

Morganna moved down the line to the next bottle. Pulling the top off, she poured another shot into another empty glass and slid it forward before pouring a shot of her own.

Nicholas did the same thing, swirling, smelling and sipping the scotch.

By this time, the warmth of the liquid hit Morganna. She wasn’t feeling light headed by a long shot, and her inhibitions were never really a problem but the draft from the fans had ceased making her cold once the second shot of highland single malt hit her.

Licking her lips, Morganna poured another round for them both of the second bottle. “This particular highland malt could go great with those Hondurans you always smoke. The Patels?”
Raising his glass to Morganna, he nodded. “Good point.”

Watching the line of his throat work while he took a large sip excited her. The motion called to her desire to lick a trail down his neck and peel off that tank top to caress his chest with fiery kisses.

Setting the empty glass down, he slid it forward and smiled.

Morganna decided it was a good time to switch to shot glasses for his special treat.

He eyed her with curiosity. “Why the switch in glasses?”

Inhaling a deep breath before letting it out slowly, Morganna’s lips curved upwards in a wicked smile. She leaned forward, reaching for Nicholas. Catching him by the collar of his tank top, she tugged him forward. “I have a surprise for you, my favorite scotch drinker.”

Nicholas’s body became pliant to her pull. He moved forward, planting his lips against hers.
His mouth curved upward against her lips before parting.

She slid her tongue inside his mouth, swirling around the contours and his own tongue.

The two wrestled for control of the kiss.

Morganna inhaled deeply, the taste of scotch on his breath mingling with the heady after scent of Nicholas. Pure, masculine. Not in control.

Leaning further so that her breasts brushed across the bar, Morganna pulled back and nipped at his lower lip.

Fingers stroked her chin and along the side of her neck before reaching for her hair. And capturing tangles between nimble fingers.

Another hand pressed against the top of her breast.

Morganna adjusted herself and let his fingers wander down into the neck of her oh so tight top.
His fingers skittered along her skin lightly.

Her flesh tingled from his slight touch. She purred into another kiss, tasting him with a subtle sweep of her tongue. Her panties were wet by now, nipples had become taut against the fabric of her top.

Pulling back from the kiss, Nicholas’s eyes were somewhat glazed over.

Morganna felt a surge of pride at her ability to turn this man on. He may not know how to approach a woman bent on seduction but he sure as hell knew how to use his mouth. Bending over more, she nipped his bottom lip and grinned into another kiss before stopping to notice her feet were no longer on the floor.

Swinging back, she giggled and moved the bottles away from where she planned her next pour.
The smug look on Nicholas’s face confirmed what she suspected. He wasn’t sure where this was going, but was about to enjoy finding out.

He cocked his head to one side and licked his lips. “What are you doing?”

Morganna squared her shoulders. “Giving you a final taste of the last whiskey. This,” she picked up a shot glass and showed it to him, “is a special blend of various single malts from different regions of…” She pursed her lips together for a moment, then decided that her body was right.
She needed him in her. “Me.”

His eyes widened in surprise.

Grabbing the bar for leverage, Morganna hoisted herself up on top of the bar so that she squatted before him. Her skirt bunched up. Standing straight, she hiked up her skirt so that her panties showed.


WIN - Six different authors will stop by this week with excerpts from their stories to give you a taste of the different genres covered in this one hot anthology! One reader who leaves a comment on each of this week's posts (March 8th - March 14), will win an autographed copy of THE COUGAR BOOK!!! Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you're the winner!!!