Saturday, November 18, 2017

What's in a Name? By Suz deMello (#writing #naNoWriMo)

I'm sure I'm not the first writer to blog about the significance of names, nor will I be the last. There's even a wiki about choosing character names! 

Authors carefully choose names. Why?

First, the right name must fit in with your story. Tolkien wouldn't have called one of his characters John Smith--John wouldn't fit in with Bilbo Baggins or Galadriel. 

Secondly, some names are so famous that popular references have attached. Don't name a character Adolf, Madonna, Elvis or Marilyn--that choice will jar a reader right out of the story, and that's the last thing that an author wants. We want to keep the reader immersed in the wonderful, engrossing world we've created.
But an author can use that to her advantage. In Spy Game, my hero is named Richard Rexford--a conscious aping of Robert Redford. Richard is also a handsome, athletic blond, and I wanted readers to make the association.  

contains Ocean Dreams and
Viking in Tartan
Few readers picked it up, but I named a character in Ocean Dreams Sandi Ricks, after a character in the old Flipper TV show--Ocean Dreams is about a very unusual dolphin.

Also, I try to avoid too many names in a story that start with the same letter, which will confuse a reader, especially if there are a lot of characters introduced quickly. Avoid Martin and Maria, Barbara and Bobby, Jane and Jenny.

I avoid names that are unpronounceable. Readers don't only look at words on the page, but their minds are reading to them. When I as a reader encounter an odd name, I find myself falling out of the book and trying to figure out how the name is pronounced. So I avoid Gaelic names that are confusing. None of my characters will ever be named Airdsgainne or Slaibhin. In futuristics or sci-fi, one often encounters names with accents or apostrophes in odd paces. Avoid these. They distract and may even annoy a reader.
Every name has an intrinsic meaning. Dickens was famous for his interesting names, which often reflected characters' personalities. The Artful Dodger is only too obvious. Esther Summerson (Bleak House) is one of Dickens' most lovely characters, lightening one of his longest and yes, most bleak books. Stryver in A Tale of Two Cities is, indeed, an ambitious striver.

I often take my cues from Dickens. In a book I wrote for Harlequin/Silhouette, The Ranger and the Rescue, the heroine calls herself Serenity Clare, a name she chose for herself after she left an abusive husband. She pursues serenity and clarity in her life.

The hero of Viking in Tartan, Erland Blodson, is a warrior and also a vampire. The name Erland means "leader." Blodson is also obvious.
In my memoir, Perilous Play, I had to rename a man I know in order to protect his privacy. I chose the name Trapper Hart.

It wasn't a very good relationship.
I also look at the sounds of names. In Queen of Shadow, a futuristic, I created a name--Storne--for my hero, using a lot of strong-sounding consonants. 

If you're a writer, how do you choose names?

If you're a reader, what character names are particularly memorable for you?

Friday, November 17, 2017

#Win #KindleFires ~ $50 #Amazon #Giftcard + Limited #sales & #99cents #Preorder ALL INSIDE!


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AND we are still taking sign ups for the Phantasia Review Tour!

And TWO (2) chances to WIN a KindleFire LOADED with Naughty Literati books INCLUDING:

Naughty Beasts!

and Naughty Phantasia!

AND DON'T FORGET... NAUGHTY GETAWAYS is 40% off on KOBO until Nov. 20 with promo code at check out!

Naughty Getaways: Eleven Sultry Stories
Box Set promo on Kobo!

40% off with promo code 40BOX includes Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, Magic, New Adult, Older Woman/Younger Man, Paranormal, Rubenesque, Sci-Fi, Stepbrother, Threesome Romance from best-selling authors writing as The Naughty Literati!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Boxed Set: Summer Nights of Delight - by Marianne Stephens

Summer Nights of Delight - Latest boxed set from authors at Romance Books '4' Us!

With the summer months gone, the temperature will still stay hot when you read this heart stopping collection of passion and seduction. Brought to you by the authors of Romance Books 4 Us, and written by today’s hottest bestselling authors, there is a little bit of something for everyone in each story. So run, don’t walk, to your nearest online eBook retailer and one-click this compilation of sexy reads which will pull you into… summer nights of delight.

My story: 

Fellow professor Nate catches Carla practicing her stripper routine for an amateur night contest. Mutual attraction leads to a lusty affair. Her secret’s out…and she’ll soon discover his well-hidden one.
Genre - Contemporary    
Heat Level - 4 (Steamy to Scorching)

Visit: for buy links, excerpts, and blurbs. 
Marianne Stephens

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

That eternal question, Print or Digital

There is a very clever article on The Huffington Post about the demise of the print industry, written by J.A. Konrath.

As a primarily electronically published author, I’m a big fan of digital publishing. No trees destroyed, no remaindered books pulped and adding to the mountain of garbage we produce each day, no transportation costs adding to our carbon footprint.

Then there is the speed and ease of purchase. Anywhere I am in the world, no matter what time of day or night, I can go to a publisher’s website, and download the book of my choice and be reading inside a few minutes. For considerably less than I would pay in a traditional, brick-and-mortar store. Or I can go to one of the big multi-publisher sites and scroll around through the genres to find half a dozen new books or new-to-me authors, just like in a bookstore, only I can be reading them in moments without ever leaving my comfy chair.

As an author I acknowledge there’s something special about holding my book in my hands, and autographing it for a fan. Quite a few of my books are out in print and I love having copies of them. I also hate the downside of e-publishing where people pirate my book and “share” it with their one thousand closest friends, without giving thought to the fact that if they don’t pay me for my work, I’m not going to be able to pay my bills. Another factor is one of the saddest things I’ve seen is a book lover sitting surrounded by her books, crying because she has to get rid of many of them due to lack of space in her home. For her, the trauma was similar to farewelling old friends. At least with digital books, thousands can be stored safely on a single external hard drive.

Overall I see digital publishing as the way of the future, although print books will probably be around for many years yet. So my answer to that eternal question, Print or Digital, is both for now.

Fortunately for readers, all the Naughty Literati boxed sets are available in digital and in print forms, so you can choose your favorite format.

Berengaria Brown

Monday, November 6, 2017

When Do You Start Reading Christmas Stories?

By Katherine Kingston

I confess to being one of those curmudgeonly types who hates seeing Christmas decorations popping up in stores even before Halloween. I have mixed feelings about seeing them before Thanksgiving, but I do start my shopping and preparations pretty early. I have a reason, of course. Some of my family lives overseas and I have to get packages off pretty early.

But I do kind of like getting in the spirit early. Having my shopping done well in advance actually gives me time to relax and get in the joyful and thoughtful feel of the time of year. But I do hate when the commercial frenzy of Christmas encroaches on the beautiful celebration of Thanksgiving.

Black Friday is bad enough but I can live with it, by which I mean that I will never, ever go near any retail establishment on that day, but if you want to…well, happy hunting. However I strenuously object to having the commercial nightmare encroaching on what should be an occasion for focusing on family, friends, and gratitude for all the blessings we’ve been given.

Okay, that part of the rant is over now.  My reading life is a completely different thing. I love, love, love Christmas stories, and I'll read them almost any time of year. But somewhere around the first of November, I start looking for them. They help get me in the right frame of mind for the holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

When do you start reading Christmas stories?  Or do you?

And since we're on the subject, may I suggest a Christmas story to you - but only if you're into BDSM.

When Maggie gets a note from a very unofficial Secret Santa during the office’s holiday gift exchange, she’s surprised to be tempted by it. This Secret Santa offers to help fulfill her wilder sexual fantasies, those fantasies she’s never admitted to anyone else. Normally the very professional, uptight Maggie wouldn’t consider doing anything so risky. She wants a husband and family, but she also has kinky sexual fantasies and no man has ever moved her.

Maggie agrees to Santa’s proposal, and her first few anonymous encounters with him are a revelation, showing her levels of sensuality she’s never experienced before. But when she meets the man behind the gifts and the glorious kisses, her life gets seriously complicated.

As Maggie begins to fall in love with him, she faces two choices—longing for husband and family, and continuing a relationship that fulfills her in ways she never believed possible.

Order at Amazon    B&N    Kobo    ITunes    Inktera

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Excerpt from Swing Follies by Regina Kammer

Part of the NAUGHTY PHANTASIA boxed-set, available now!

Find it here:

Blimey. Delia’s besotted. With Edward. But when an old flame from Edward’s revolutionary past swings by and steams up the laboratory, has Delia missed her chance at love?
*Published in a previous Naughty Literati anthology.*

Copyright © Regina Kammer, 2017


Newcastle, England
April 1879
Professor Edward Ockham gripped the ratchet handle more tightly as a frisson of lust roiled within. Before him his lovely assistant Delia Bennett awkwardly adjusted herself in a swing suspended four feet above the linoleum, her skirt and petticoats in riotous disarray. She was charming in her helplessness. Her arms, secured by leather wrist cuffs, stretched above her head. Her stocking-clad legs, extended and splayed, were held in the air by silken slings supporting each ankle and knee. Her rosy cheeks and bemused expression were slightly at odds with the bizarre eroticism of her predicament.
The sound of her name tripping off his tongue echoed like a melody in the cavernous laboratory, the gentle hiss and thrum of the boiler adding a syncopated undertone.
Delia. No longer the more formal Miss Bennett during working hours. She was, by agreement, Delia.
He could say her name over and over and over again. Delia, Delia, Delia.
Her chocolatey eyes widened. “Yes, Profess—Edward?”
Edward. She was Delia and he was Edward.
“Are you comfortable?”
She wriggled her buttocks, each pillowy cheek cradled in its own sling leaving her quim exposed to the air. “Perhaps something across my bum, you know, a bolster above the crack—” She suddenly blushed crimson to the roots of her raven curls.
The door to the laboratory swung open with a dramatic flair.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?” Sebastian Broadchurch sauntered in from the hall, a little rumpled from whom and whatever he had done the night before. He stopped before Delia, his predatory stare traversing her as he combed his fingers through his flaxen hair. “Our Miss Bennett finds herself in yet another delicious quandary.”
“Good morning, Sebastian.” Edward arched a brow. Morning had but a minute left to it.
Sebastian brandished a scowl before turning his attention to the rigging holding Delia. He pursed his lips as he studied the mechanism. His gaze followed the silken slings upward to where they attached to a swivel bolt mounted to a cable. He perused the cable to where it connected to a system of belts and pulleys housed on a sturdy wooden frame. He glanced at the diminutive steam engine then grunted in comprehension as he took in the exposed gear shaft and long ball-end lever of the control box.
“It spins, does it?” he said.
“It does,” replied Edward.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Excerpt from How The Alien Stole Christmas by Belle Scarlett

Part of the NAUGHTY PHANTASIA boxed-set, available now!

Find it here:

On board a deep space station, Christmas Trent learns her sexy cyber lover, who may not be human, wants to steal her for his own.
*Published in a previous Naughty Literati anthology.*

Copyright © Belle Scarlett, 2017


I asked if you understand me, soldier.
Christie needed release, and she needed it now. She gulped some air and started unzipping her flight uniform in anticipation of the next phase of their play.
“Yes, sir. I understand. Please, sir, permission to touch myself?”
The computer was silent for a moment. Then Blitz’s next message unfurled across her vid-screen.
Permission denied.
Christie froze in disbelief, her hand in mid-zip on her flight suit.
What? She glared at his words. Screw that, she thought rebelliously, and seriously considered disobeying a direct order from him for the first time ever.
Blitz seemed to read her mind.
Don’t even think about it, sweetheart. I’ll know if you’re being naughty or nice.
Frustration sizzled through her as she stopped unzipping her suit. Damn her submissive streak. She hadn’t even known she possessed one until she’d encountered Blitzen. As an experienced sexual dominant he had recognized her latent submissive qualities right away, and quickly set about training her in the art of pleasing him during their online play. Now her body wanted to do whatever he told it to do. And that was starting to prove freaking inconvenient.
“Ha. What can you do about it from there? Text me a lump of coal for my stocking?”
Don’t sass me, soldier. You don’t want to find out what I can do about it if you disobey me.
Christie bit her lip. For better or for worse, her sexual satisfaction was now tied to his and she knew it. If he didn’t want her to come, her body would side with him even if her mind was furious at them both.
He was probably just teasing her, as part of the cyber play. Maybe some more sugar would help matters.
“I’m sorry, sir. Please? May I come?”
I like when you beg me, Mistletoe. I grow even harder for you.
“Is that a yes?” She asked hopefully.
Nope. My order stands.
“I can’t believe this!” Blitzen had never seriously forbidden her to climax before.
Believe it. I own your next orgasm. It’s mine. From now on, you will save that delight for me to share, control, and enjoy.
She shivered. He couldn’t be serious. Who knew if they would ever even meet, or when?
“You’re ruthless, you know.”
Yes. And you’re sexy as hell and hard to resist. But I mean it, princess. The next time you climax it will be with your wet pussy tight around my hard cock, squeezing me with every thrust until I come deep inside you.
Christie instantly pictured them together on a large bed in full-on, carnal coitus. Her clit twitched in spasm, yearning to uncork the full orgasm bottled inside her pussy. She could feel her back arch in aroused response.
Damn, this guy was good. He had tuned her fantasies so well over the past two months that she could envision every sexy detail he described exactly as if he was in the room doing it to her.
Okay, okay! I surrender, already,” Christie half groaned, half laughed. She struggled to get her rioting body back under control.
It’s not my fault you have a hair-trigger libido, sweetheart.
She could almost hear his warm, male chuckle in her ear.
“You wouldn’t be able to get me so aroused so fast if your titillating star messages took days instead of seconds over sub-space frequencies,” she grumbled.
Wanna bet?