Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In praise of box sets

I'm an unabashed fan of boxed sets. I've discovered so many authors and so many phenomenal stories from boxed sets. In addition to that, I've been able to participate in some amazing boxed set releases.
What's not to like? Whether the stories are based around a theme, a shared universe, or unrelated, I find boxed sets to be the gift that keeps on giving.

With a group like the Naughty Literati, you have authors from all different walks of writing life. Some of the authors have been published other than romance exclusively, while others are erotic romance stalwarts. The thing that initially brought us together was the fact that we were all signed to publishing contracts with Ellora's Cave. We all write in different genres, all specialize in stories of different lengths and themes. As a result, the Naughty Literati stories are a cornucopia of unforgettable characters and beautiful love stories. Yes, I'm a fan. J

Even if hard pressed, I wouldn't be able to choose a favorite anthology. I love them all. What are some of your favorite stories? Characters? Do you have a favorite Naughty Literati release? And what about those covers! Do you have a favorite?

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Memories by Charlotte Boyett~Compo

We never had snow in SoWeGa (southwest Georgia) when I was growing up. It rarely got below freezing even on the coldest day in January. There might have been a gentle layer of frost on the grass to make it sparkle in the sunshine but there was no fleecy blanket of white covering the ground.

Not that I missed it. I'd heard 'bad' things about snow: hazardous driving, roofs collapsing under its weight, people getting lost in a snowstorm and freezing to death.  I wasn't all that keen on any of those things happening to my family or someone we knew.

But it would have been nice...just see snow on Christmas morning if for no other reason to be able to say that it had come to visit.

As far back as I can remember, the first Christmas present I received was a brown and gold teddy bear I might have named Smoky. I say 'might' have. Chances are good my mother named him for me from the Smoky the Bear commercials on tv. Knowing me, it doesn't sound like a name I would have picked. As I write this...somewhere around 62+ years later...I'm looking at Smoky. He's a little worse for wear because he was...and is...dearly loved. He was missing one eye for years until I found one in a craft shop in Branson, MO. The eye doesn't quite match but it wiggles like his original eye and in my mind, he can see better now.

What I remember most about the Christmases of my youth wasn't so much the presents or the lack of finding the pony I wanted tied up out in front of the house. It was going with my mother to deliver baskets to the needy.  Every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas she would put together food baskets for the poor people in our county.  On Christmas, she always added a toy for each child in the family. It was important to her and it was important that she take me...her only child...with her so I, too, could develop a social conscience. You really can't understand poverty until you have seen it in rural Georgia. If you can visit the dilapidated, shotgun house of a family striving to live hand to mouth without adequate food, heat and clothing and not be touched, there is something intrinsically wrong with you.

One Christmas we visited the home of one of my classmates. Seven children, a mother and father, and two uncles lived in a little two room shack that had only a fireplace for heat. Cooking was done on an old wood burning stove and there was no running water, no bathroom in the house. A trip to the outhouse in freezing weather must have been hell for those poor people.

As we were stepping off their ramshackle porch I caught sight of their old coon dog lying on the ground. Beside him was a box full of little amber bottles--at least a hundred or more of them.  I recognized those bottles because my mother always kept one in her pocketbook and a couple in the medicine cabinet at home because she sometimes got 'a touch nervy'. Those bottles contained paregoric, a camphorated tincture of opium (not to be confused with laudanum which is tincture of opium). Back then you could buy it over-the-counter at any drug or grocery store. It wasn't regulated and the stores sold a lot of it, I'm sure.  Mama used to give it to me if I got a stomach ache and it tasted like s&*t.  It was highly addictive, by the way.

When we got in the car I told my mother there must be a lot of 'nervy' people in that family. I will never forget the look she gave me when she turned her face to me. There was deep, deep sadness in her blue eyes.

"No, baby, there are a lot of addicts in that family and that's why those poor kids had no gifts for Christmas. Their menfolk don't work. They just get welfare and use the money for the paregoric."

That was my first introduction to drugs and to the harm they could do. To have learned that on Christmas Day has never left me. I think of all the little children out there who won't receive presents this year because their father or mother or custodian spent the money on themselves to buy drugs so they can escape reality. Unfortunately, those poor children can't escape the reality.

If there was one thing I would wish for Christmas this year or any other is the same thing my mother ALWAYS wished every Christmas morning: "May every child get at least one present today."

This Christmas, may your wish be the same. Childhood doesn't last long. Some children never experience it.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Playlist from a Confirmed Atheist by Suz deMello

I love Christmas. I may love Christmas more than many Christians, for whom the season represents the mega-stress of choosing the perfect gifts and cooking the perfect meal in the perfectly decorated home. As an atheist from a Jewish family, I'm free to admire store displays without worrying about if such-and-such a present for so-and-so is too expensive or too chintzy. I love to drive around and enjoy other people's light shows without having to participate out of a sense of duty. I'm apt to whistle or hum my favorite Christmas tunes to the dismay of my British mother, who informed me a few minutes ago while we were waiting for a table for lunch, that whistling is "not lady-like." (Oddly, she seems to forget that boat left the dock a long while back).

Jazz Christmas carols are my fave, and play almost continually between Thanksgiving and New Year's, the proper time for celebrating the Yule. I do not like to walk into Target in October to see aisles so festooned with Christmas decor that it looks like Santa vomited. All holidays deserve their due, Halloween and Thanksgiving in their season.

While I often stream Pandora in my computer or cellphone, I also have a Christmas playlist, and here it is:

--Dido: Christmas Day
--Diana Krall: Christmas Time is Here
--John Denver: Coventry Carol
--Barenaked Ladies: Green Christmas. My favorite snarky Christmas song--this is the song I was whistling. When Mom objected to that, I started to hum and sing. Tee-hee-hee. Annoying one's parents never grows old :)
--Luther Vandross: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
--London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir: Hallelujah Chorus, from Handel's Messiah (In my not very humble opinion, one of the greatest artworks ever created).
--John Lennon and Yoko Ono: Happy Christmas (War is Over)
--A couple of selections by different artists from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet
--Dave Brubeck: What Child is This?
--Tony Elman: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
--Bruce Springsteen: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
--Joni Mitchell: River
--Kenny G: Medley with We Three Kings and Carol of the Bells
--Judy Collins: The Holly and the Ivy

So enjoy the music while reading our latest offering, Naughty Chances--Take a Chance on Romance
Find it here for a low low price of 99 cents:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How did it get to be December?

How did it get to be December? I swear it's only August. I just blinked and boom I hear Chicago singing Jingle Bell Rock on the radio! Hate it when that happens. Not hearing Chicago, but having the end of the year rush toward me so fast I feel like I'm driving Doc Brown's DeLorean.

One thing about December, though, is it's time for me to take stock in what I've accomplished this year. I wrote and published two stories with the Naughty Literati. Blue Plate Special came out in Naughty Flings and then Moon Dance made its first appearance in Naughty Escapes. I'd intended to have a new story in that universe ready for Naughty Reunions but the story just didn't pan out. Nothing wrong with the story itself just that it didn't fit the theme and trying to make it fit nearly broke my brain. I've been ripping out all the seams and rewriting it properly. I've got my fingers crossed that it'll be ready for the first anthology of 2016. So far it's had more names than Liz Taylor. At the moment I'm thinking of it as The School Teacher and the Rock Star. We'll see if that sticks. As for next year's Naughty Literati releases, we've got some great themes in store for 2016.

I really wanted a story in Naughty Reunions. That is a kickass anthology, as is Naughty Chances which released this month. I'm constantly blown away by the talented writers who make up the Naughty Literati. Sharing a table of contents with any of these authors is a high honor.

I also wrote and sold two stories to Dreamspinner Press this year. Lodestone is an m/m, science fiction paranormal story. I'm dying to get more of Alchemy and Nicholai's story out there. I love the universe and have another story, with different characters, underway, but it's a long one and may not even see submission until sometime next year. My other Dreamspinner release is The Stonemason in the Bare Studs anthology. That was one of those stories that seemed to write itself…while at the same time I sweated blood getting it out. It's also a rare, for me, standalone.

2015 has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. I launched Yet Another Penname (that would be Terry), moved, started three new universes, got bogged down in a story, broke free, sold to a brand new to me market, started ghostwriting (it's so much fun!) and have edited a few terrific novels that I wish I'd written. There have been many ups and downs, but I think the ups outweigh the downs.

I have plans for 2016, and if even half of them come to fruition, I'll have some terrific stories for you.

Hope you all have a lovely holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, or if you celebrate nothing at all.

Keep calm and read!

Terry Rissen

Monday, December 14, 2015

Meet Santa's Brother, Rocky Claus!

So who's prancing around on your rooftop? Meet Rocky Claus, Santa's younger brother. Santa decided that Rocky would visit all GOOD ladies this year so Santa could concentrate on the kiddies.
Rocky is so-o-o looking forward to fitting down your chimney so he can give you one, or two, or three, or more...wonderful presents...but only if you've been "GOOD" all year!

Did you write to Santa yet? Be sure to tell him if you've been GOOD and mention how you'd like Rocky to slide down your chimney for some fun! Remember to address your letter to the North Pole...although Rocky spends his time sunning himself in warmer climates so has a wonderful tan!

My letter's been mailed and I KNOW Rocky will fit down my chimney without a problem since I've been getting it ready for his visit. I even bought a cute red sheer nightie to wear that has white trim around the bottom. And with Rocky's red hat with white trim, we should compliment each other. Rocky likes to wear that hat...and nothing he can present an uplifting holiday image. Plus, clothes just get in the way and make it more difficult for him to slide up and down your chimney.

Hurry, ladies. Get those letters mailed today to be put on Rocky's list. You wouldn't want him to miss your chimney, would you?

HO, HO, HO! Happy Holidays!

Entice Me - Luscious Love Stories Anthology
My story: Operation Man Hunt
Chris Carlisle needs a man and Tony Davis becomes her goal. He learns the hidden reason for her enticing attempts to capture his attention. Both can't deny the mutual, lusty attraction. Will true love follow?


Naughty List - Thirteen Naughty Holiday Stories (Anthology) from Amazon Bestselling Authors
My story: Dear Santa...I Want a Man for Christmas 
Blurb: Frustrated with untrustworthy men, Melissa orders a man doll. When delivery guy, Nick, shows up, she has second thoughts about how to satisfy her needs. 



Monday, December 7, 2015

Emeralds to protect you

My birthstone is an amethyst. Amethysts are pale and pretty, but I’ve always preferred more vibrant colors. Sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Especially emeralds. There’s no prize for guessing my favorite color is green.

A little while ago I wrote a series of three books, the Gemstone Romances. Each romance story featured a different gemstone which was pivotal to the romance. In the first book, “Courage and Comfort” the two heroes had to find an aquamarine to bring courage and comfort to Edmund’s tragically widowed sister, Mavis.

But in “Protecting You” the heroine, AJ, finds three stones right near the start of the book. The problem is, she’s hopelessly in love with a man already in a relationship with someone else, and she would never break up a relationship. AJ has the three stones she’s found, but can’t figure out the meaning of them.

One of the stones is an emerald. For hundreds of years emeralds have been considered to bring health and protection to those who have them. Because of their innate healing abilities, emeralds can protect the wearer from poisons, physical danger, and mental distress. By increasing a person’s innate psychic abilities, the emerald enhances their decision making powers and increases their energy.

AJ is psychic. She’s the one who knew finding the aquamarine in the first book would help Mavis. But she doesn’t understand the meaning of the emerald, the onyx, and the piece of amber which she has found herself.

The emerald AJ has found is at the heart of what her future will be. Only a stone as powerful as an emerald could be tough enough to deal with a strong woman like AJ.

“Protecting You” by Berengaria Brown:
AJ has psychic abilities and knows Drew is her soul mate. But bisexual Drew flits from partner to partner. At the moment he’s with Kristien, and Kristien is very much in love with Drew. AJ can’t bear the thought that the only way for her to achieve happiness is to break Kristien’s heart.
She invites them both to join her and her friends at the beach for a few days, hoping to get closer to Drew. A rocky wall calls to her, and when she climbs up, she explores a cave and is led to three stones—an onyx, an emerald, and amber.
What do they mean?

Buy Links:

Sometimes my characters just don't listen to me! They wander off and do their own thing instead of following my plot outline. "Protecting You" is part of the "Gemstone Romances" series. In fact, it's book 2. Both the first and third books are MM romances, but no, AJ is a woman and it appears it takes two men to protect her from what happens next.

The "Gemstone Romances", "Courage and Comfort", and book 3, "A Rainbow of Happiness", aren't my only MM romances. I have an MM story in the latest Naughty Literati boxed set.

Here's a taste of "Perfectly Presented" which is part of "Naughty Chances".
Excerpt, Perfectly Presented by Berengaria Brown

Blake stood and walked behind Xavier’s chair, resting his hands gently on Xavier’s shoulders, and then massaging them. Xavier felt his tight muscles loosen a little as Blake’s fingers dug into the tense tissues, working on the knots, Blake’s thumbs pressing and rolling into each bump.
Xavier rotated his neck and head, and then leaned forward, relaxing into Blake’s firm touch. “Hmm, that feels good.”
Blake moved his hands around, pressing and working all the stiff areas until there were no hard lumps left. His hands stilled momentarily before he slid them down Xavier’s back and up under his sweater and shirt. They glided over the taut back muscles, up Xavier’s spine and around over his sides, down, then up again. This time his fingers moved around to the solid chest wall.
Blake’s fingers stilled over Xavier’s nipples, the firm little discs already standing to attention.
Xavier stood, turned into Blake’s arms, and wrapped his own around Blake. “Maybe it’s time to move this party into the bedroom?” The two men were almost the same height, a mere fraction under six feet, so Xavier tilted his head to the side to kiss his friend.
The kiss was sweet and gentle, a brief butterfly touching of lips to lips, until Blake grabbed Xavier’s head and held it still so he could lick along the seam of Xavier’s mouth. As Xavier opened up, Blake’s tongue slid inside, teasing and tasting and testing. First along the insides of his cheeks, then behind his teeth, and finally to tangle and dance with Xavier’s tongue.
Blake’s fingers burrowed into Xavier’s black hair where it curled on his collar at the back of his neck.
Blake stroked the neck underneath the curls, angling the other man’s mouth more fully over his own, then sucked Xavier’s tongue into his own mouth.
When they finally drew apart, both men were panting, not just from lack of oxygen, but also from the power and passion of their kisses.
Blake pulled Xavier hard against him from hips to chest, his arms like steel bands around the other man. Their cocks rubbed against each other, two long, hard ridges, their heat obvious even through the layers of clothing. “Want you. Need you,” he whispered.
“Hell, yeah. I want you, too.”

Naughty Chances Buy Link:

Berengaria Brown

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Favorite Christmas Things

The Naughty Chances anthology is now available – click here!  It includes my Christmas story, Sophie’s Christmas Gargoyle.  Most people don’t automatically thing “gargoyle” when we talk about Christmas, but for some reason I do.  This is actually my second Christmas gargoyle story. The first one, A Gargoyle’s Christmas, is currently out of print, but I hope to have it available again before next Christmas. In the meantime, you can get your Christmas gargoyle fix from the story in Naughty Chances, along with lots of other terrific winter and holiday set tales.

Why gargoyles at Christmas?  I have no idea. I set up the trope in my first story that gargoyles can only take human form during the short days before and after the winter solstice, which makes them naturals for the season. Why did I do that?  I don’t know. It just seemed like a cool idea and was a great way to build tension to the stories. The person who loves them has to be able to show they love them just as they are before the gargoyle can become fully human year-round.

So, now, a few of my other favorite holiday things:

  • Outdoor light displays: the bigger, gaudier, more raucous the better!
  • Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks: I have to limit myself to only a couple per season, but it’s a favorite treat.
  • Chocolate chip cookies –  I once asked my mom for the recipe for her chocolate chip cookies, and she handed me a package of Nestle’s morsels, pointed to the back, and said, “There it is” Dang those are good!
  • Candles, especially scented ones.
  • Wrapped presents under the tree. It’s all about the anticipation.
  • Watching my kids and now my grandkids unwrapping those presents.  The excitement and enthusiasm is so contagious.

What are your holiday favorites?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Winner! by Regina Kammer

Once again I am a NaNoWriMo Winner!

This was my 10th year participating in National Novel Writing Month. I wrote the foundations of The Viscount and the Veteran: An American Federalist Tale, the follow-up novel to The General’s Wife: An American Revolutionary Tale.

If you can't wait until The Viscount and the Veteran is completed, edited, submitted, and published and need your bisexual male/male romance fix now, I've got you covered with "Winter Interlude: An American Revolutionary Novelette" my story in The Naughty Literati's Naughty Chances: Take A Chance On Romance. "Winter Interlude" is a companion piece to The General’s Wife: An American Revolutionary Tale, delving into the relationship between Captain Samuel Taylor and Lieutenant Patrick Hamilton.

So what did I learn this year during NaNoWriMo 2015?

- It’s always best to end a day’s writing session with notes about what comes next.
Corollary comment: It is so great when the writing flows and a scene comes together, characters are changed, plot moved forward. But the previous night’s victory is dampened by the looming realization the next morning that, OMG, you have no idea what happens next.

- I really, really, really need to tamp down the inner editor. I try to by putting stuff I need to research or edit in [square brackets] and forgetting about it. It doesn’t always work.

- I am a combination of plotter and pantser: perhaps the word is “plotser” or “pantster”. But I do need that next-morning crutch of what comes next. So the pantser needs a plot plan, even if that plot plan is formulated a minute after the pantsing has finished.

- 50,000 words is basically a really detailed outline.

- I learn the same lessons year after year. I really need to pay attention to my inner writer!

If you want to see how my November progressed on Twitter, I've captured the tweets on my blog.

I encourage everyone who has ever wanted to write a novel to take the National Novel Writing Month challenge. If you can't wait until November 2016, the same organization runs Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July. Your voice needs to be heard and your characters need to come to life!

About the Author

Regina Kammer is a librarian, an art historian, and an award-nominated, best-selling, multi-published writer of erotica and historical erotic romance. Her short stories and novels make history sexier, whether the era is Roman, Byzantine, Viking, American Revolution, or Victorian. She’s even sexed up contemporary settings, Steampunk, and Greco-Roman mythology. She has been published by Cleis Press, Go Deeper Press, Ellora’s Cave, House of Erotica, Story Ink, The Naughty Literati, and her own imprint, Viridium Press. She began writing historical fiction with romantic elements during National Novel Writing Month 2006, switching to erotica when all her characters suddenly demanded to have sex.
Keep up with Regina on her website
Follow her on Twitter @Kammerotica
Like her on Facebook
Connect with her on Goodreads
See what’s new on her Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NAUGHTY CHANCES - Available Now!

Naughty Chances

Take A Chance On Romance

Available Now!

Get your copy from Amazon

including Fantasy, Futuristic, Historical, Holiday, M/M, M/M/F, Military, Paranormal, & Shape-shifter from Amazon best selling authors

Sophie’s Christmas Gargoyle ~ Katherine Kingston
When Sophie helps rescue a battered woman, she gets more than one surprise from the woman’s other self-appointed protector.

 Winter Interlude: An American Revolutionary Novelette ~ Regina Kammer
On a cold winter’s night in 1778, two patriot soldiers recall their first sensual encounter and ponder their future together with the women they love.

 Hybrid Mates: Your One And Only ~ Nicole Austin
My day from hell took a delightful turn when I woke up naked next to the most gorgeous man. But he’d bitten me and claimed I was his mate. Oh my!

 Take A Chance ~ Alexa Silver
Hunter and Lani never expect to find love from a near tragedy.

 The Moon Maiden’s Mate ~ Suz deMello
Luna, 2114… A reluctant Shayna must travel to remote Farside Colony to meet her chosen mate.
*previously published as First and Last*

 Perfectly Presented ~ Berengaria Brown
Blake sees Xavier agonizing over unclaimed gift tags for poor children on the holiday tree. Will Blake tell Xavier about his past and his problem?

 The NightWind’s Gamble ~ Charlotte Boyett-Compo
In the Readem and Reap casino on the edge of the Megaverse, Nightwind Ardian Cree may lose his life-mate with the draw of a card. Will luck be on his side or will he lose everything he holds dear?