Saturday, April 23, 2016

Friends To Lovers, My Story

One of my favorite themes to write about is friends to lovers. I’ve had several stories that have explored that theme, including “Love Potion #69” in Naughty Hearts, and “Stay the Night” in Naughty Flings. One of the reasons this trope resonates so deeply with me, is that I lived it.

I’ve been married almost fifteen years, and I’m still stunned at how the relationship progressed.

When I met my husband, I wasn’t looking for love, or even serious like. The “one who got away” was still fresh in my mind, and I had little interest in opening my heart to any guy. Then, I met a man in a chatroom who lived most of the world away. He was married and divorcing, and I wasn’t interested in anything more serious than a friend.

But there was something very compelling about this man, and we had an immediate rapport that changed the trajectory of both our lives.

Over two years, we became inseparable. I was working nights at the time, which coincided with his time zones, and we’d talk for hours after I was done with work and he was home for the evening. A program called Netmeeting, a precursor to Skype, allowed us to hear each other’s voices.

He was my best friend and I was his. His divorce was final, he was thinking about dating again, and I was just about to turn thirty, feeling as if I was at a crossroads. None of my “life goals” had been met and I knew I needed a change.

I’d managed to, by some miracle, hide my romantic feelings from him, and started encouraging him to date. He did, and it was the most painful thing imaginable. I had to finally face the fact that I was in love with him, and I had to let him go. He was in Australia, I was in America. How could it work?

The morning of my 30th birthday, I told him we had to stop talking and he asked why. When I confessed my feelings for him, he said: “I have one thing to ask you. Will you marry me?”

And just like that, I was engaged. I knew his voice, but not his face. I had spoken with his parents and children, but I didn’t know his eye color, or how he wore his hair. That didn’t matter to me, though it probably should have.

Just a month later, I was on a plane to Australia, to meet him. He greeted me at the airport with flowers and chocolates, and we started an epic adventure together. In three weeks, we drove our way through Australia, visiting all his family. And when I became ill, he flew home with me and met my family and friends.

In the wake of 9/11, he came over for a visit and we married spontaneously. We moved his possessions and two adorable cats over from Australia and here he is today. Imagine it; a man loves you so much that he moves across the world to be with you! It wasn’t a decision either of us undertook lightly, and we miss his children greatly. Thank goodness for Skype and video chat. We talk with his family every week without fail.

Mark’s a very proud American citizen, though he’s Aussie to his soul.

Life hasn’t always been easy. Just this year, Mark had an emergency triple bypass; I very nearly lost him. Thankfully, he’s doing much better now!

We’ll celebrate our fifteenth anniversary later this year, a celebration of love and laughter, a celebration of the triumph of love conquering all, even two hearts who weren’t looking to be bound. Friends to lovers, who are still friends after all these years.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A sweet departure for Suz deMello: Secret Father

While the Naughty Literati specialize in sexy, steamy or even scorching-hot romance, for a major part of my career I wrote sweet romances for Harlequin. I wrote for Silhouette Romance, a now defunct traditional romance category. While I was doing so, I wrote Secret Father, which Harlequin didn't buy--the line folded and I was orphaned, a dire situation for a writer.

That was a long time ago. I shifted my focus and started to write steamy, erotic romance, which to me reflects the natural, sexual nature of humans as thinking animals. Sweet romance always seemed so artificial, and I ended up writing it due to the mismanagement of my first agent, who really wasn't paying attention to a then-inexperienced and little known writer. It was actually a fairly frustrating time for me as a writer--I found myself creating situations to get my characters married and into bed ASAP, at least by the midpoint of the book--the tenets of sweet romance allow sex after marriage, and some of my books became moderately--well, not graphic, but clearly, the characters were doing it with a fair level of realistic though not crude description.

So, Secret Father languished--until now. I released Secret Father independently of any publisher, having had enough of behavior that seems to range from incompetence to outright thievery.

Here's a little about it:

When Linda Travers was fourteen, Dave Madsen, then age seventeen, rescued her from a snowy death. They later met at an end-of-term party at their college and lost their virginities to each other before Dave left the country.

And now...Despite spending her teenage years mooning over Dave, Linda has moved on with her life. Being left pregnant and alone will force that on a gal. Age twenty-five, she lives in their hometown with their six-year-old, Mac. Then botanist Dave reappears. A vicious snakebite has left him needing rehab from the only physical therapist around—Linda.

Their college lovemaking was the first time for both, so Linda and Dave remember each other. She’s amazed to feel the same old anger, hurt, and need. Less emotional, Dave’s curious about Linda, wondering why she didn't leave her address and phone number for him when what they’d shared had been so good. Neither totally believes the explanations the other offers.

Since the rescue, Dave was always Linda’s hero, but she doesn’t know him anymore. Is he worthy of fathering their son? And what of their love? Can they create a future…together as a family?

Carried exclusively by Amazon at this time.

Here's what Amazon readers are saying about Secret Father:

Five stars! Be sure to read this great book.
--Gloria Antypowich

Five stars! I loved this book...
--Erica Smith

Five stars! I absolutely loved this book!
--Kimmie Sue's Book Reviews

Five stars! ...had be hooked from the beginning... Suz did a wonderful job.

Five stars! Wow, what a brilliant and beautiful story... beautifully written.
--Charlotte Isaac

Get it soon--when it's no longer available through KU it won't be free anymore.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

What if You Write a Blog...And No One Comes? by Marianne Stephens

Blogs. They're everywhere and it seems like everyone is writing one while trying to find a "new angle" to gain your attention.

But what if you have a blog and no one comes...or comments? Does that mean you should give up? Try a new approach? Do more promo to gain interest?

Have blogs become too numerous, making it difficult to decide which ones to read? We try to stick to romance/writing material, and sometimes some personal thoughts. What makes you decide to read this blog as opposed to thousands of other ones? How can we entice you to keep coming back and reading new blogs here?

I take time to think about what I'll write, hoping I'll have some new words of interest to catch a reader's attention. I promo my blog and try to make the title "catchy".

I notice that in the past, when I've posted photos of "hunks" with blogs, I've gotten greater hits numbers. Is that the answer? Always have a great-looking guy or guys with a blog?

So...what else can be done to gain readers? Suggestions?

 Photos: Flickr: alamodestuff, Kristina B., Sean MacEntee's photostreams.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Get carried away by Whirlwind Affair!

Whirlwind Affair
Taken by storm...

Surprised by the attentions of handsome, sexy Rodrigo Torbellino and seduced into a one-night stand, curvy Erika Bergstrom shares a night of pleasure and walks away to give herself some distance.

When fate brings them together again, she's pleased when he demands more. But does he want her or a business deal with her family? Their whirlwind affair raises the stakes. Will it be business or pleasure?

Previously published... 

Available for preorder now - releases April 19, 2016
BUY e-book: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo 




Whirlwind Affair
©Francesca Hawley, 2016

Chapter One

His dark eyes caressed the curves of her buttocks like a warm hand. Erika Larson-Bergstrom shivered as she glanced at him out the corner of her eye. She licked her lips as his gaze captured hers and he smiled, unnerving her while at the same time arousing her until she ached with need.
A part of her wondered if her mischievous twenty-two-year-old twin daughters had set this up. After all, they were the ones who’d given her the $100 gift certificate for Erotically Bound, the upscale Minneapolis adult store she shopped in right now. But the man eyeing her was no twenty-two-year-old kid. He was all man and she wanted to explore every inch of him…intimately.
Erika looked down at the lingerie she fingered, trying to clear her lust-filled mind. Her biggest problem was that she’d spent the last twelve years rearing her daughters as a single mom. She could count on one hand the number of men she’d dated during that time. The number she’d slept with was even less. She was just horny and needed to get laid, and he was the answer to a horny woman’s prayer.
“Miss, could you assist me?” His voice was warm and deep with the hint of an Antonio Banderas-style Spanish accent. She looked up into the warmest brown eyes she’d ever seen. At least he’d called her “miss” and not “ma’am”.
“Assist you?”
“Yes, I must buy a gift for a lady and I have no idea what she might want.”
“Oh.” Erika forced a smile to her tight lips. “Sure.”
Well, that certainly burst her bubble. He had a woman he was shopping for. It figured. Of course it should have been a relief he wasn’t buying undies for himself since he was shopping in the women’s lingerie section, but she’d been dreaming he might possibly be as attracted to her as she was to him. No such luck.
He wanted a buddy to help him shop for another woman. Shit. Buddy seemed to be the only way men viewed her—especially lately—and it was almost always because she was a plus-size woman. Women with big butts liked sex too. Damn men, anyway.
“So what’s the gift for? Your anniversary? Her birthday?”
“Anniversary? No.” He laughed. She liked his laugh…a lot. He threw himself into it. His head back and his hands running through his hair. Thick, black hair. Yum.
Focus, Erika. Do not notice the full, wide lips and straight, white teeth. The high cheekbones. She swallowed, her gaze skimming over him. The broad shoulders, narrow hips and tight ass. Forget how hot he is. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t ignore his appeal.
“I’m shopping for my administrative assistant.”
“Your…?” Oh geez. Sleeping with an employee. Could it get worse?
He waved his hand as he read her expression. “No, she is getting married and this place has a bridal registry.”
A bridal registry? You’ve got to be kidding.” Erika raised her brows.
“I know. It sounds insane, and so I told her. But she assured me it was so.” He pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to her. “Here is a list of things the clerk printed for me that have not yet been purchased for her. My assistant is very organized and wants no duplicates.”
Erika looked at the list he held and realized he was telling the truth. It consisted of lingerie, loungewear, dresses, shoes and, good grief, sex toys and movies.
“Yes. I refuse to buy her some of these items. I am her friend, yes, but her employer first. Can you imagine if I showed up at the office bridal shower with,” he took the list back, glaring at it while shaking his head in disbelief, “a Rotating G-Spot Rabbit Vibrator?”

“It would certainly be the talk of the party,” Erika agreed dryly.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why is it so?

As someone famous once said, “I was born with the kind of enquiring mind that frequently gets me into trouble”. I, too, am one of those annoying people who often asks “Why?”

It’s not enough for me to read a book where many groupings are menages. I want to know why. Do they belong to a BDSM club that encourages its members to form polyamorous relationships? It is a custom or part of their heritage? Are they perhaps shapeshifters who need more than one partner to complete their transformation? Why? Why do some many people in this world group in threes or fours or more?

This isn’t just for ménages, it’s for any non-average situation. Anything out of the ordinary. Situations that are different make for great stories, but for me, there always has to be a reason why those differences have occurred.

I suppose that’s why once I have satisfied myself why a particular world which suits certain characters exists, that world keeps recurring in my books.

It’s not just with ménages, it also happens with other worlds as well. Several years ago two men who work at the Botanical Gardens met and fell in love. Their names are Kalman and Enre. Enre has fiery red hair and an attitude to match. The world is full of injustice and he wants everything to be fair and equitable. Kalman is older, calm and logical. Nonetheless the attraction between them is very real and passionate. Their story is told in “Hotter Than Hell.” Thus began the “Spicy Love” series.

Neither of them would leave me alone though, so they were back for a sequel in “Still Hotter Than Hell”.

The Botanical Gardens where they work is a beautiful place and there’s something erotically primeval about digging in the dirt, growing amazing flowers, and watching seeds bloom. Then several people, work colleagues of Kalman and Enre, started demanding their own story. Beverley, Hyacinthe, and Inigo now have their own story, “Spicy Love” book three, “Blooming Love”, which releases TODAY! But this story isn’t an MM, it’s a ménage, FFM. There’s also a touch of the paranormal in this story.

One thing I can promise readers though. Trust me, there’s an absolutely solid, real-life reason, why this world and this story suddenly turned out this way.

“Hotter Than Hell” Spicy Love Book 1:
“Still Hotter Than Hell” Spicy love Book 2:
“Blooming Love” Spicy love Book 3:

Berengaria Brown
Berengaria Brown’s links:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Letting the Imagination Roam Free

by Katherine Kingston

Those of you who are familiar with my stories in the Naughty Literati anthologies know that I don’t stay with one genre.  My stories have included several contemporary (usually with some level of BDSM), a couple of paranormals, and one historical. If you’re familiar with my Ellora’s Cave books (before they were pulled) you know that I’ve written in a number of genres, everything from Medieval historicals to science fiction.

As career moves go, it’s not the best. Conventional wisdom says that readers like to read the same kinds of books from their favorites.  I even know it’s true that I’ve neglected stories from some of my own favorite authors when they ventured into genres I don’t read or subject areas I avoid.

But I’ve found that the writing variety is necessary for me. I simply can’t do the same type of story over and over again. My muse leads me in all directions and I have to follow or I end up staring at a blank screen for way too long.

So instead of writing nothing, I let my imagination take me where it will and when it will. I write the stories I have to write, not the ones that marketers tell me I need to write.

Right now, though, I’m working on re-releasing previously published stories that I’ve got rights back to. Fortunately, there are quite a few of them.  And one advantage is that I can now group them by category and genre.  The first batch I’m republishing were not considered a series at EC, but they are inter-related: my contemporary BDSM, menage stories.

The first two of the Suburban Dominants stories, Dominant Boys of Summer and Nick’sLady, are already available. More are coming soon!  This is a series made up of a couple of shorts stories, several full-length novels and a novella. Each story is self-contained, connected by the characters, though each story focuses on a different couple.

On March 31st, the third story in the series, Charming the Masters, released. This one is a short story with strong BDSM and menage elements.  I hope to get out the fourth, a full-length novel, Kyle’s Bargain in May, and then the novella, Cilla’s Master in June or July. The last one in the group is a Christmas story, Secret Santa Sir, so I’d like to have it out later in the year. I have covers for all of them except the Christmas story. I’m excited about the look my cover designer gave this series.

Blurb for Charming the Masters: The amulet Lindy wears to the club’s Halloween party is imbued with a love charm intended to snag the attention of the man who’s most right for her in the room. She’s looking for a really masterful man, and she’s convinced Rick Lowery is the one. Rick does respond to her, but so does his friend, Kyle Harrison. Is she woman enough to handle submitting to both of them? And what will happen when she has to confess to them what she’s done?

I’ve had a lot of fun with these characters.  I hope I get a chance to visit them in a new story or two sometime soon.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles by Regina Kammer

Naughty Lovers: Love Is In The Air includes the third installment of my Steampunk erotic romance series, the Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles. The series focuses on the polyamorous – and bisexual – relationship amongst Professor Edward Ockham, his new assistant Delia Bennett, and laboratory Special Assistant Sebastian Broadchurch, in an alternate-history version of 1879 Newcastle, England.

“Swing Follies” in Naughty Lovers further explores the relationship between Edward and Delia, plus throws in a touch of romantic intrigue with a bit of backstory. Oh, and there’s a hint of a possible future relationship for perennial bad boy Sebastian.

The story is a stand-alone (I’m pretty sure of that) novelette. But in case you’ve not read Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles 1 or 2, here’s the rundown and location of each of the independently published stories:

One Cheek Or Two? (Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles 1)

Teaser: In an imagined Newcastle, an inventor and his new assistant discover mutual desire while testing a spanking machine.

Blurb: Professor Edward Ockham is trying not to let his attraction for his new assistant Delia get in the way of testing his latest invention, a spanking machine for a girls’ school. Delia hadn’t expected the genius behind Newcastle’s Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory to be so damned handsome. Both turn to bad boy Sebastian and his curious gadgets for release of pent-up desires. Will they ever find passion in each other’s arms?

Appears in: Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica, published by House of Erotica.

Delia’s Heartthrob (Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles 2)

Teaser: Gadzooks! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching – what’s a scientist to do? Edward knows naught of romance. Can steam power prevail over chocolates to win Delia’s heart?

Blurb: The stress of looming deadlines threatens to thwart Valentine’s Day plans for Professor Edward Ockham and his assistant — and lover — Delia Bennett. Compounding the tension, Edward insists the two maintain scientific restraint once the workday begins at the Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory. But testing erotic machines with a professional demeanor proves to be quite challenging for Edward — and terribly frustrating for Delia. Something’s got to give. Will Edward ever find the inspiration to melt his icy reserve?

Appears in: Naughty Hearts: Eleven Naughty Romance Stories, published by The Naughty Literati. Only 99¢!

Swing Follies (Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles 3)

Teaser: 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?

Blurb: It’s Springtime and passions are flaring at the Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory. As Delia musters courage to tell Edward she loves him, the gorgeous Professor Euphronia Cogswell, Edward’s comrade — and lover — during Newcastle’s Third-Wave Industrial Revolution, comes calling and takes far too much interest in Edward’s latest erotic device. Meanwhile, in Newcastle’s foggy Roman Quarter...has the notorious Sebastian Broadchurch lost his bad-boy edginess? He’s distracted and subdued. Could there be a special mandrake in his life?

Appears in: Naughty Lovers: Love Is In The Air, published by The Naughty Literati. Only 99¢!

I love writing this series and I hope you enjoy reading it!

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
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See what’s new on her Amazon Author Page