Sunday, June 30, 2013

Promo Monday with Kim Faulks' End of Dreams

I'm thrilled to welcome fellow Aussie author Kim Faulks back to The Naughty Pages. You may remember I reviewed some of Kim's work a while ago. Well, she's back with a new series, and book one was just launched yesterday Australian time. I had the absolute pleasure of beta reading and proof-reading it for her, and I can tell you, it's a hell of a book,  I was totally wrapped in it! So here are the juicy details to get you hooked and interested in getting your own copy!

Blurb:
 
An ancient prophecy is coming to fulfillment and events are being played out across the globe by two opposing factions of immortal beings. The fragile, divine balance of all things is at stake, and the world is the ultimate prize.

Drawn into this battle are two unlikely players - Young Eve dreams of being a good mother to her unborn son. Hard-bitten Queensland detective Adley dreams of justice for a string of murdered children. The killer, Edric, dreams only of his next kill.

The immortal seer, Rashda, has brutal dreams of a world where vampires rule.

Against a background of universe-changing events and an ensemble of vivid, unforgettable characters, Eve and Adley will begin to learn the truth of The Immortal Destiny.


Excerpt:

Fantastic cover by the lovely Stephanie White!
Eve tucked her hair behind her ears and straightened her blouse before stepping inside Hurrow’s Federal Hotel. Narrowed eyes and glassy stares followed her all the way to the bar. She sat down on a ruptured leather stool, listening to the juke box belt out some hit from back in the eighties. The song sounded vaguely familiar. Like something Mother had once listened to—before she became a Christian, before she found God.
“What’ll it be?” The bartender’s voice boomed beside her. Eve jumped and her heart sped. He gripped the counter, leaning forward. He was waiting for her to say something,anything. Eve opened her mouth. But no words came, so she closed it again.
This was her first drink. In her first bar. On the first night of her new life. She was finally away from her mother’s controlling rule once and for all—she was free. She stared back at the bartender as a feeling of hope fluttered low inside her belly like a weighed-down moth. Even his scowls wouldn't dampen her mood tonight. Eve couldn’t help but grin.
The bartender no longer glared at her, but exhaled, closed his eyes and swore. Beer? No. Sex on the Beach? I’m not saying that. Eve’s gaze danced along the row of bottles, trying to find something nice which didn’t look like liquid fire. “Umm. May I have a glass of champagne?”
His brows shot upwards, hovered there for a moment before his forehead creased. “Champagne? Does it fucking look like we serve champagne?”
Like a ghost, Eve’s confidence dissolved, as though it had never been there at all. Someone behind her laughed. A woman who called out behind her, “Champagne? Who does this bitch think she is?”
Eve’s face burned.
“Don’t give the girl a hard time, Trev. Can’t you see she’s nervous? Just give her something sparkling and make it expensive.”
Keeping her head still, Eve glanced sideways at the man sliding onto the seat beside her. He was older, by a lot. His pitted face and long, greasy hair matched a black ensemble of leather jacket and dirty jeans which covered his stick-like physique. He caught her staring and winked. Tiny black stumps she guessed had been teeth were revealed with a smile. She looked away and slid from her seat, her eyes drifting to the door. “No. I’m fine, thank you. I… I’ve changed my mind.”
The stranger caught her arm with a soft hold. His touch made her wince. “Nonsense, come on. You’ve come all this way. Just have one little drink.”
It wasn’t his conviction that made her hesitate—it was his words.
She had come a long way. A lot farther than the four-hour bus ride with one suitcase to her name. Her longest journey was the road she’d traveled within herself. Her fight for freedom, even though she was afraid to be alone, but more afraid she’d give in and go back, so the loneliness was bearable. You won’t survive, you’re too weak. Her mother’s parting snarl still haunted her.
Eve’s vision blurred and her throat thickened, cutting off the air to her lungs. She inhaled sharply, wheezing, coughing. The stench of sweat and nicotine filled her nose as tears blurred her gaze. She thought she’d be able to leave behind all the hurt and the hateful words. There was no new life, here or anywhere. Only the baggage of her old one she dragged behind wherever she went.
Her hair fell into her eyes and she shoved it away with the back of her hand, along with a tear. She’d never escape her father’s suicide, or the depression and Valium which followed. Eve took in the bar, now that her rose-colored glasses were gone. She didn’t belong here. She didn’t belong anywhere. But she had nowhere else to go.
The bartender slid the frosted glass toward her. The drink wasn’t champagne, but at this moment, she didn’t really care. Tiny bubbles surged from the bottom to break free on the surface. She’d tried to break free and yet somehow she still failed. The bartender waited patiently while Eve dug for a crumpled ten-dollar note. Her fingers skirted the tiny yellow pill lodged in the crease of her pocket, her weakness and her disease. She grabbed both the note and the tablet while the stranger beside her opened his wallet. His thick pile of bills was hard to miss. He pushed a twenty along the bar.
“No… please, it's okay.” She might be a lot of things, but she’d never be bought. Not for a drink in a bar, not for anything. “I can pay myself.”
She palmed the pill and slid the note across the bar. The bartender nodded snatched up her crumbled bill. “Looks like she be buyin’ her own drink tonight, Matty. You just run along now and leave the young lady alone.”
The stranger pushed off the stool to tower over her. A flash of rage filled his eyes and Eve was paralyzed. His lips slithered back over his gums. Her scalp quivered and her hands shook. He loomed over her, breathing heavily and pinning her with a piercing glare for what seemed like forever before he stormed away.
Her cheeks buzzed with heat and her hands trembled. She shoved the pill into her mouth and washed it down with the fake champagne. She wanted for one moment not to feel hurt and humiliation. She wanted for one moment not to feel anything.
For Eve, time wasn’t measured in weeks or days, or even hours. She counted time by the minutes and seconds it took for the magic pill to dissolve the grip clenching her insides, so she could breathe.
Valium and alcohol made for a dangerous combination. By the time she swallowed the last of the bubbles, she felt off-balance. The room spun out of control and took her stomach with it. Her heart beat frantically and the walls closed in around her. The barroom chatter became screams of laughter. The raucous roar was too much for her and Eve slipped from her seat, leaving the stares and snide comments behind, and stumbled for the doorway.
The November air was thick and warm. Eve fanned the bottom of her shirt to catch a breeze and headed for the alley which would lead her home. The haunting bay of a dog caught her attention. Her heavy thoughts were captured by that woeful sound while she turned and stumbled in the dark until hands dug into her back. She was shoved hard against the side of a building. The brick walls were unforgiving. Her head cracked against a wall and the pain slashed like lightening through her head. She stumbled sideways and lifted her hand toward the back of her head, her thoughts frozen. 
“Fucking stuck-up bitch! You think you’re too good for someone like me?”
Eve’s world seemed slow and thick, like syrup. The snarl in her ear became distorted. She didn’t understand his words, but revulsion shot like cold fire through her veins, fighting the effects of the pill. He pushed his hand inside her shirt to fumble at the cup of her bra. Her thoughts sharpened. She screamed.
The stranger from the bar invaded her field of vision. He gripped her jaw and squeezed. Eve ignored the pain and whipped her head from side-to-side in an effort to break free. But he held on, snaking his leg around hers to pull her tight against him. Please God, no. Not like this… not like this. “Get away from me! Let me go!
“I’ll show you. I’ll show you good, you stuck up little bitch!”
“No, plea—”
Her words were silenced by his mouth. Eve felt violated, filled with revulsion… sickened by his touch and the fear of what might happen next. His hands were everywhere. Not one part of her body was left sacred. His tongue slithered in and out of her mouth. His fetid breath, forced into her lungs, became hers as she struggled to breathe.
Valium fought against the adrenaline, pushed along by the rapid fire of her heart, Eve hit, scratched, and kicked with everything she had. Her arms felt like lead, her movements seemed as though she moved underwater. She tried to escape his touch, rolling her shoulders forward and tucking her chin down. He held her still, and his hands burrowed deeper, finding the soft flesh of her nipple. Eve's stomach rolled and the taste of acid filled her mouth. Her attacker stopped moving, his frantic fingers left her bra. Has he given up? Please God….
“I said, take your hands off her.”
A new voice bounced around the alley, low and threatening. Her attacker stilled, but he didn’t let her go. The sound of his voice reverberated against her body as he spoke. “You best be on your way. This doesn’t concern you.”
Eve thrashed, using her weight to break free. He held on, his grip on her mouth became harder, distorting her frantic words. “Pease, pease. Hep me.”
“Shut the fuck up,” her attacker growled into her ear.
The deep voice bounced around Eve once more. “I’ll not say it again. Let the woman go.”
“Or what? You best fuck off or—”
He pulled her forward and slammed her back against the wall. Her shoulders took the brunt of the impact and her head snapped back against the brick. Agony roared inside her skull, the pain took her breath away and dominated her thoughts. White lights sparked in her vision. She stumbled and her knees connected sharply with the sidewalk. Screams from her attacker filled the air. Eve lurched forward as hot wine and acid flowed from her mouth, spilling onto the pavement. Helpless, she rode the waves of panic and revulsion until only dry heaves were left.
She wiped her mouth and glanced sideways. Her attacker flailed on the ground. His body jerked and thrashed in the air and then was slammed to the ground by a blur of a hand. She caught a glimpse of a face, a beautiful face hidden behind savagery. Eve covered her ears, but his screams drilled through the gaps of her fingers. A loud snap fractured his wails. Eve looked up to the night sky. Please… please make this stop.
And the night became silent like the moon above her.
Scared to move, she stayed still and sneaked a glimpse at the fight. The streetlight cut a triangle across the alley entrance, dividing light from the dark. Shiny black shoes and the bottoms of perfectly-creased pants seem to glide toward her. 
“It is okay. I will not hurt you.”
Eve wrenched her hands from her ears to grip the edges of her torn blouse.
“You have nothing to fear from me.”
Her rescuer knelt before her, his hand outstretched. The street light illuminated his broad cheek bones, revealing arctic blue eyes and glossy black hair.
Eve searched those eyes for kindness and compassion. She found none. It's enough he just saved my life, isn't it? Her gaze shifted to the unmoving feet of her attacker.
“He is not dead, merely asleep.”
Eve turned back to her rescuer. He waited for her to take his hand, like he had all the time in the world. She reached out. Her own hand hovered in the air and trembled before she grasped his and he helped her to stand. The minute she felt steady on her feet, she snatched her hand away and gripped the edges of her shirt tightly. Forcing the words through the pain in her jaw, she whispered, “Thank you.”
“Please tell me you are okay. When I saw him hurting you I thought he had already—”
She cut him off, needing to stay the words for her own reassurance. She wrenched her hand from his grasp. “No. Thank God.”
He stared at her, his eyes reflecting the street light. He smiled. “Yes, thank God. Although you really should be thanking me.”
“I’m so sorry, please forgive me. Thank you, thank you so much, Mr…?”
He shook his head and smiled.
He doesn’t want to give me his name. He’s afraid I’ll drag him into this mess… Into my mess. Can I blame him? “I am grateful for everything you’ve done for me. I’m Eve.”
“Eve. That... is... a beautiful name. The name of the woman who begat the fall of man, if I remember correctly. How... fitting….”
He moved closer to her, drawing her into his gaze. In this moment, Eve no longer stood in the darkened alley with the remnants of cheap wine drying on her lips. Instead, she floated, caught in his ice-blue gaze.
Her mind slowed and then stilled. Her panic eased until everything apart from this stranger seemed to fade away. His words were hypnotic. “May I walk you home?”
“Yes.” She answered before she’d had a chance to think it over. Her response had been so automatic. Should I really allow a stranger to walk me home at night? Shouldn’t I be concerned? Those questions seemed to slip through the numbed fingers of her mind. Instead of fleeing in fear, she found herself nodding and taking his hand when he held it out once more.
He walked beside her, not too close so they touched, nor too distant, giving her space to slip away. 
“Are you afraid of me?”
His question was carried to her on the soft night breeze. Even though she wanted to pretend she hadn’t heard him, shame forced her to answer. This man had risked his life to save her. But she couldn't lie, not even to herself. Honesty forced her to accept the fact Valium was a way for her to cope, hiding the truth from her and everyone else—the truth that everything scared her.
“Look at me.”
She stopped, glimpsing the door to her apartment building in the corner of her eye. Keep walking, don't stop, said a tiny voice inside her.
“Eve. Look at me.”
There was something about his voice, something so spell-binding and compelling. It was hard not to look, impossible to not obey his commands. Eve turned toward him, yet somehow a part of her was urging her to run. But she couldn’t run, she was frozen. Eve stared into his bottomless eyes, unable to tear away from his gaze, or his touch.
“You are exactly what I am looking for, someone pure and so... tender.”
His accent was so strange, old-fashioned and rigid. It wasn’t Australian that she was sure of. It wasn’t anything she knew. He trailed his fingers down her jawbone. His finger hovered on the end of her chin and then lifted her face to his. His words were jumbled, whispered phrases she couldn't quite catch. All she could see were his perfect, soft lips. “Shall you succeed where others have failed?”
He didn’t wait for her answer. Instead he stepped closer, towering over her. “Well, we shall see, won't we?”
He stared into her eyes, as though he seemed to savor this moment, before lowering his head. “Ahh, humans,” he whispered, and then he kissed her.

(Gosh, I loved that scene... Oh who am I kidding, I loved them all! ~Phoenix)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Naughty Nights Press celebrates 2 years with a Blog Hop!

That's right, Naughty Nights Press has been around for 2 years already! And of course going strong. To celebrate, 30 authors, including yours truly, are participating in a blog hop with loads of goodies to give away. You can find the full list of those participating to the right side. Feel free to have a look around all of the blogs participating, leave some comment love and who knows, you could be a winner on any of them! 
Not to mention, NNP shall have one grand prize gift winner of a Kindle Fire, chosen at the end of the hop from the Rafflecopter Entries, and we shall also be randomly choosing one lucky commenter/entrant from both the blog comment section and Rafflecopter to win one of seven, yes, one for each day of the hop, one of seven titillating, erotic romance ebooks! (Titles can be seen in the picture further down this post.)

Now, being that it is a blog hop to celebrate the second anniversary of Naughty Nights Press, I want to take this chance to show my appreciation as an author published by NNP. As regular readers of The Naughty Pages know, I recently made my publishing debut back in January, and have had not only the sequels to that first novella, The Wolf in the Neighborhood, accepted by NNP, but also a novelette, which is currently in edits, with a novel recently submitted and plans for another 3 novels and another short story all eager to call NNP home. The support I have felt from fellow NNP authors as well as the people who work there butts off to polish up the musings of this fledgling author, is what keeps me going. Well, of course support of family and friends and the positive reviews I've had so far
also keep me going, but I want to talk about the support from the NNP side, since it is a blog hop about Naughty Nights Press. 
I want to give a very quick history about how I came to submit to NNP. It actually goes back to me liking Quentin Tarantino's fanpage on Facebook. A random (at the time) person added me, and we quickly became friends. Johnny Francis Wolf (find him on Facebook here!) has become a great friend of mine, and eventually, through him I got to talking to Penny Peterssen, through whom I then met Gina Kincade. This was before Naughty Nights Press was created. I came to know these two ladies as tell-it-straight, honest and reliable women who I came to trust. They were very supportive of me when I started writing again, and I was very excited when plans for Naughty Nights Press were announced. It only seemed natural that I submit my first novella to them, and I was thrilled to receive my acceptance email only two months later. Since then, I've gleefully submitted 5 more stories to them, one of which only recently so it's still early days for that one, but I'm hopeful. I have a WIP that I'd considered submitting elsewhere for a few reasons, however the more I thought about it, the more it just didn't feel right to submit it somewhere else. So I've happily made the decision that all my stories, if accepted, will call Naughty Nights Press home. I couldn't be more thrilled with the hardwork and dedication shown by Gina, Penny, the editors and of course the fantastic Shane Willis. 
And so, without further ado, happy second anniversary Naughty Nights Press, and may we grow stronger in the coming years! 

The Wolf in the Neighborhood, Book One of my debut trilogy of novellas, Wolf Smitten. 
Blurb: What do you do when your past comes back to haunt you? 
Could a dark secret revealed by a new lover be something you could overlook just to have him?
What kind of secrets could you learn to live with for true love? 

Krissy has a hunky new neighbor with a dark secret; Derek is a vet with an interesting past. They hit it off quickly but when Krissy’s abusive ex, James comes to town, Derek shows a side Krissy never could have guessed, but James refuses to give up. 

Can Derek’s secret save them, or will James have his revenge?


Excerpt:
A shuffled footstep and a deep, yet quiet “ahem” shook her out of her reverie and she immediately sat up, looking for her robe. An unusual wind gust earlier had blown it out of reach and as its fluttering caught her eye, she finally saw the gorgeous body that belonged to the voice responsible for interrupting her tanning session. Her eyes travelled up his long legs hidden behind faded denim, paused at the bulge behind the zipper and kept crawling up his torso, enjoying the sight of the defined muscles stretching his black tee shirt provocatively. His large tanned hand held out her robe, the sun making the red satin shine. 

“I’m sorry,” the stranger said, his deep voice rumbling across the rooftop. “I didn’t mean to startle you. I’ve just moved in and wanted to check out the view.”

Krissy couldn’t quite determine his accent. It seemed to flow between a Texan drawl and a classy clipped British brogue; a combination she did not expect to hear intermingled. It was very attractive and she found herself wanting to know what kind of life brought these two contrasting accents together. His muscular body only enhanced her growing interest.

As he stepped towards her, waving the robe to catch her attention, she remembered that she was standing in front of a total stranger wearing nothing but a smile, a tan, and a growing blush.


One lucky commenter from anywhere in the world will be receiving a free digital copy of The Wolf in the Neighborhood at the end of the blog hop on the 3rd of July. I may be making my debut with werewolves, but I have many more stories to come about vampires, angels, witches, wizards, demi-gods and many other assorted paranormal creatures. So please, feel free to tell me what is your favourite paranormal creature? If it isn't something that is already on my list then maybe I'll write a story involving some of those suggested in the comments. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Author Chat Friday with Karenna Colcroft, proving that inspiration comes from everywhere!

It's always a pleasure to welcome Karenna to The Naughty Pages, so let's see what she has in store for us today...

Inspiring Flight

In October 2012, I was able to attend the GayRomLit convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I really wanted to go to it, to network with readers and other authors and see who and what else was out there.

The only problem was that going required flying. I live in Massachusetts. I could have gotten to Albuquerque by bus or train, but it would have taken days, and I didn’t have days. I have kids. So flying was the only reasonable option, but I hadn’t been on a plane since 1989. Understandably, I was a little scared.

The flight to Albuquerque was okay. The flight crew was nice, and when I let them know I had some anxiety about flying, they checked in with me off and on to make sure I was handling it. The fun part came on the flight back.

The first leg of my flight was from Albuquerque to Chicago. I boarded the plane worried about the takeoff and the landing at the other end, and hoping I wouldn’t be quite as anxious this time since I’d been through it once already. And then one of the flight attendants, a tall, blond guy on the skinny side, took the mike for the pre-flight instructions and said, “Hi, I’m Chris, your flight attendant. There are others, but their names don’t matter.”

Those may not have been his exact words, but they’re close enough. And the rest of his instructions to the passengers continued in the same vein. I felt like I was at a comedy show, not waiting for a plane to take off. And I felt much more at ease.

I told Chris the flight attendant that he might show up in one of my books someday, and he did. My M/M contemporary novella Changing Planes released on June 4 from Loose Id (http://www.looseid.com/changing-planes.html), and the love interest, a flight attendant named Colin Traynor, is modeled on Chris, including using the pre-flight speech as close to word-to-word as I could remember. The book has gotten mixed reviews so far; some people feel like Oliver Sheehan, the main character, falls for Colin too quickly, and others are annoyed by the fact that Oliver is bisexual and, at the beginning of the story, is engaged to a woman. (Note for those who dislike these things: There is an almost-sex scene between 
Oliver and his female fiancée in the story, but then they break up.)

Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt from the novella:

Oliver Sheehan is on his way from Boston to California to marry his fiancée and start a new 
life, but he isn't sure Sophia and Sacramento are what he truly wants. On the second leg of his flight, Oliver meets Colin Traynor, a flight attendant with a wicked sense of humor and smile to match, and the attraction is immediate. It isn't the first time Oliver's been interested in a guy, but it's definitely the most intense.

Even after he arrives in Sacramento, Oliver can't quite put Colin out of his mind, and when his engagement to Sophia unravels in the wake of her confession that she's fallen in love with a woman, Oliver turns to Colin for friendship and comfort. Although Colin refuses to start a relationship with Oliver so soon after the break-up, they can't keep their hands to themselves when Oliver crashes in Colin's hotel room for the night. Following that, a month of texting and video chats--not entirely G-rated--leads to a hot weekend at Oliver's new apartment back in Boston to make up for lost time. In bed and out, Oliver knows he wants Colin in his life; he just hopes Colin wants the same.

EXCERPT:

The plane took off, and Oliver closed his eyes and breathed deeply. The plane would go up, level out, and stay in the air all the way to California. It would probably hit some turbulence, which was nothing more dangerous than a bumpy road. He would be just fine.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard flight three-seventy-five, Chicago, Illinois to Sacramento, California. I’m Colin, and I’ll be one of your flight attendants today. The others don’t matter.”

Startled, Oliver opened his eyes as the passengers around him laughed uncertainly. Colin stood at the front of the cabin, grinning broadly. “We’ll be serving snacks and drinks a bit later. I promise they aren’t poisoned, though they might taste like it.”

More laughter this time. Oliver joined in. Colin’s humor put him at ease, which was almost certainly Colin’s intention. He’d probably dealt with tons of nervous passengers. Or maybe he’d just gotten bored giving the same spiel over and over.

“In the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask may drop from the compartment above you,” Colin said. “If it hits you in the head, it will hurt like hell.” More laughter as Colin took a demonstration mask out of  the cupboard beside him. “Secure it this way, and don’t worry about how you look in it. We won’t take pictures.”

He put the mask on and took it off again. “If you’re traveling with a small child or someone who needs assistance, secure your mask before theirs. You won’t be a whole lot of help if you’re gasping like a fish on the floor.”

Oliver was laughing harder than the comments actually warranted, and he knew it was partly due to anxiety. But the guy was also just plain funny. He should have been on a stand-up comedy stage instead of wasting his talent on this plane.

“If we crash over water, your seat cushion will double as a flotation device,” Colin said. “If we crash over land, you’ll be pretty much screwed.”

At that, the passengers laughed so loudly Colin had to stop talking. He just smiled until the noise subsided, then went on to talk about seat belts, flight magazines, and the location of the restrooms. At the end, the passengers applauded. Definitely not the usual reaction to flight instructions. Then again, Colin obviously wasn’t the usual flight attendant.

“The captain’s telling the flight crew to sit down for a few minutes because we’re about to hit some turbulence,” Colin said. “Not to worry. He knows what he’s doing. We hope.”

The laughter this time wasn’t quite as loud, though Colin was still clearly joking. He smiled and nodded. “Yeah, yeah, time to be serious. Thanks, folks. You’ve been a lovely audience. Please make sure your seat belts remain fastened until the light goes out, and as soon as the captain gives us the go-ahead, we’ll come around to take your drink orders.”

The flight crew took their seats near the cockpit entrance, and the passengers turned back to their distractions, though there was a hum of conversation that hadn’t been present before. Colin’s comedy routine had put everyone in a better mood. Even Oliver, who now wished he could fly again just to listen to Colin more.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Promo Monday with Adriana Kraft's Best Man

Setting an erotic romance

Thanks so much for having me today, Phoenix! 

Hubs and I are so excited about The Best Man, which has already been given a five star 
review. This is the first release for the new indie imprint my husband and I are launching, B&B Publishing. Be sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter for our giveaway!
Bad boy meets bad girl. Is there anything more?

The Best Man

B&B Publishing, June, 2013: e-book
ISBN 978-0-9894693-0-2,  ASIN B00D2YEZXE
Erotic Romance Novel, 56,000 words
Cover by Dawné Dominique
Heat Rating Four Flames: Explicit sex: M/F; ménage: M/F/M; multiple partners; sex toys; anal sex; light bondage.

BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/The-Best-Man-ebook/dp/B00D2YEZXE/

BLURB

Passionate, hard working and every inch a business woman, Chicago realtor Kitty Paige likes her sex raw and edgy, and sees no reason to limit herself to just one man. Never married and not quite forty, the striking blonde has successfully raised her daughter, Susan, and is already pushing her new-found freedom to the limits.

Wealthy commodities middle-man and race horse owner Jared Jacobs is father of the best man at Susan’s wedding. He is smitten by the vision in yellow who exudes sex as she escorts her  daughter down the aisle. Also single, the handsome mustached California ranch owner with  mischievous eyes views his sex life as a series of splendid love affairs, and sets out to make Kitty  next on the list.

Together and apart, their chemistry is explosive, and their sparkling repartee and steamy sex  catch both partners by surprise. Jared is first to recognize he’s fallen in love. When Kitty panics,  can Jared finesse his every move and reel her in?

SETTING AN EROTIC ROMANCE

Have you ever thought about how the geographical setting influences the story in erotic  romance? This is certainly true in our new indie release, The Best Man, available now at Amazon.com. I thought it might be fun to share some of the story behind the setting. 

Hubs and I, who co-author Erotic Romance for Two, Three or More under our pen name, Adriana Kraft, are longtime horse racing fans and have owned race horses in the past. Ours  were what you’d call low-end horses, who ran at minor tracks and might have competed in a  stakes race or two, but never anything near Triple Crown quality, several echelons above us. Those high levels are for the very wealthy – most often, people who’ve earned their wealth through something other than horse racing, and own horses for the sheer joy of it.

Enter our hero, Jared Jacobs. We placed him outside San Diego, California, for a reason. We’ve spent two weeks in a Ramona-area time share a couple different winters. One of those years, we took the beautiful drive east, up into the foothills, and sampled the historical community of Julian. There is a very famous and large horse ranch tucked away just off the highway that leads to Julian. 

We filed that memory away (and wished we could have toured the farm), and when we needed just the right hero for Kitty Paige, it suddenly was the solution. We’ve given it to Jared, who earns his wealth in commodities, but loves his horses. Our choice of setting drove his avocation – which, it turns out, provides the perfect cover for him to re-connect with Kitty, after their disastrous first encounter.

Chicago for Kitty’s home? Less of a stretch, and probably more predictable. It’s where hubs and  I met, married, and spent the first several years of our married life. We know and love Chicago  from the inside, visit there when we can, and often set stories there or close by. 

Kitty’s definitely a kick-ass heroine, so she needed an occupation that would go with her  personality, one where her talents, her looks and her hard-nosed determination would shine. The solution? She’s both a high-end real estate agent and a contractor who builds and restores high-end homes. As with horse racing, these are occupations we’ve been close to, at a much lower end than Kitty’s, of course. A while back we briefly joined forces with our son, a general contractor, in an investment business to buy, rehab and sell houses. Our venture didn’t last long—there were too many sharks swimming in the water, and we weren’t willing to play by shark rules. Writing erotic romance is phenomenally more satisfying and less of a challenge to our moral principles. But we learned enough to be able to anchor Kitty’s occupation in reality—and, it turns out, she’s not afraid to be a shark, when she needs to.






EXCERPT

Here’s a little taste of Kitty and Jared’s first encounter:

“May I have this dance, Ms. Paige?”
Trying to look appropriately surprised, Kitty peered into dark brown eyes that sparkled. He 
clearly knew she wasn’t surprised. 
“Of course,” she said, rising to her feet. 
She let him guide her to the small dance floor. She moved into his arms, trying not to react 
to his warm smile. He was accustomed to holding a woman. He held her close comfortably, 
resting a hand on the rise of her rump. “I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage,” she said, eyeing him levelly. “You know my name, but I don’t know yours.”
“Jared Jacobs.”
“Friend of the groom, or the bride? I’m afraid since Susan moved out here, I don’t know most of her friends.”
“I’ve been a friend of Brad’s family for years. I’ve met Susan several times. You’ve done a 
fine job raising your daughter, Ms. Paige.”
“Thank you. Do call me Kitty. Ms. Paige makes me sound too motherly. So do you live in Seattle?”
“Nope. I’m a fan of the sun. I work out of San Diego.”
“That should be sunny enough. You say work out of. Don’t you live there, too?”
“You’re not only a beautiful woman and a lovely dancer, you’re a good listener.” 
The music stopped for more toasts by the best man.
“And you’re a bullshit artist.” She laughed at his scowl. “I’m not easily charmed—unless I 
want to be. So you haven’t answered my question.”
“I’m a businessman. I have several interests,” Jared said, handing her a glass of champagne. “I’m a middle man for various overseas companies seeking buyers in this country—copper, steel, aluminum. Most anything, really.”
“So you travel a lot.”
“Maybe that’s why it feels like I work out of San Diego rather than live there. I understand 
you’re a successful business woman yourself.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “That’s a matter of opinion. There’s always room for 
improvement.”
“I also travel some to follow my horses.”
“Horses?”
“Race horses. Do you ever get out to Arlington Park?”
“Of course. It’s such a beautiful place.” She’d heard the catch in his voice when he mentioned the horses. She understood the awe those majestic animals could inspire. “I’ve been to the Derby a couple times.”
“Ah, so you have more than passing interests in the addictive beasts.” He gave her a broad smile, took her hand and guided her back to the dance floor.
“Doesn’t every girl dream about horses?”
“Most girls give up their childhood fantasies as reality smacks them in the faces.” He leaned 
away from her as they swayed to the music. “Somehow, I don’t think you do.”
She grinned. “Maybe I should’ve, but I’m too stubborn for my own good. Someday I’m going to own a racehorse. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.”
“Maybe you haven’t found the right partner?” 
She saw his eyes teasing before she rested her head on his shoulder. “Maybe I’ve been too 
busy to look.” She’d add racehorses to her to do list as soon as she got back to Chicago. She had plenty of contacts. She might not have given up on her childhood fantasy, but she’d nearly forgotten it. She smiled into Jared’s suit coat. Maybe her daughter’s wedding would rekindle a dream.

CONTEST: The Silk Scarf Contest
We don't want to give away any secrets, but the yellow scarf that's just dropped to the floor between Jared and Kitty on their cover has some very special scenes of its own in the book -  and you have a chance to win it (U.S. delivery only)! One lucky reader will win a hand-finished yellow scarf made of genuine Thai Dupioni silk, just like Kitty's. All you have to do is leave us a comment about The Best Man any time all month, on our blog or on our blog tour. Please leave your email in your comment (YOUR NAME at blahdeblah DOT whatever).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adriana Kraft is the pen name for a husband/wife team writing Erotic Romance for Two, Three or More. The award-winning pair has published over thirty erotic romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. 
Long and Short Reviews: “scorching hot…refreshing...something to read 
when you want straight up hotness.” 
Romance Junkies: “filled with warmth, blazing hot sex, well-developed characters…not for the faint of heart.”  Romantic pairings include straight m/f, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.

Find Adriana on the web:
Website
Blog
FaceBook Page
Twitter
Google+
GoodReads
Midnight Seductions
Adriana’s Author Pages:
Amazon.com     All Romance Ebooks

Friday, June 14, 2013

Phoenix appreciates on Author Chat Friday

I know I do still have some more questions to post, but with some of the events I've seen in the past couple weeks or so, I've decided that can wait until next month. Instead, this time, I want this post to be full of "warm and fuzzies." 
I won't go in to too much detail of the not-to-cheery things that have led to this... sentimental post. But I will talk about the more positive details. 
Last weekend, a fellow writer in one of the awesome Facebook groups I'm a member of, wanted to hear some "warm and fuzzies," so she asked what it was that drove the rest of us to keep writing, regardless of negative reviews, bad publishers, troll reviews etc. 
So, with permission of those who posted their reasons for continuing on through the muck, here are some of the reasons we do what we do, starting with yours truly:

Phoenix Johnson: For me, it's the friends I've made along the way, keeping my anxiety and depression mostly at bay, and for those good reviews and fan emails that make the pain and frustration worth it, plus the excitement of acceptances, edits and covers. Love it. But then there're two other extremely important reasons: Gina, and Penny. Because I want them to see all their time and effort, all they do is not a waste because without our Mistress G, and of course without Penny, I wouldn't be Phoenix. They both brought her out, showed her she was worth it, showed me I was worth it. So I keep going to show both these ladies how much their faith in me means, and that their efforts are extremely appreciated.

Jess Buffett: I love sharing my dreams with others. I love hearing how much they love the characters I imagined. It's like someone telling you how adorable your child is. And... the friends you make are amazing!

Shawn Monrowe: I write cause I'm too old to start a career as a porn star. (Have to include a giggle, too!)

Khloe Wren: I love all my friends I've made since beginning my writing journey. I'm so new to it all, for me it's still the thrill of seeing your story out there, hearing people say they enjoyed it. I'm simple to please! (I'm sure once I get a taste of the nasty side of trolls/bad reviews I may change my tune a little!) xo

Shay MacLean: I write because I feel I have so much to share with the world. Hopefully my ideas will touch readers in a way that it changes their view of something. I've also found that I get a rush from finishing a story. For me it's a natural high that I can't imagine finding any other way. I actually get withdraw if I don't write for a long time. No matter how little. And of course I've made some amazing friends since I started writing.

Imogene Nix: Ahem... okay I'm different. Hands up! I know it. Believe it or not, it keeps my nightmares at bay (I dream a lot and graphic stuff) so that's what started me. Then I realised I could sleep through the night without being afraid to sleep. Plus somewhere along the way, I discovered publishers actually liked my work (well, most of them, anyway!)
Then I made friends and discovered I can write at least a decent story...
What's not to love about it?


J. S. Morbius: I continue to write because I like writing, the message of equality for all is still not getting through to some people, because it's fun and I get to meet loads of great people like everyone in this group and NNP who like the same things as I do. Without Gina, Penny and all of NNP there would be no J S Morbius just some guy writing for a free site, not learning how to improve with each new piece and with no real goal in life.


Gemma ParkesI just can't stop writing, it's instinctive for me to write, so many ideas and so little time! I would still write even if l didn't publish anything.

I think everyone has summed it up quite succinctly. Without writing, we'd probably be lost. Thanks to all the authors who allowed me to borrow their reasons, and of course all the best with future writing!
~Phoenix

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Promo Monday with Betty Carlton and Zeke Kincaid's Woman

Today I'm pleased to welcome a new face to The Naughty Pages, Betty Carlton!
Hello, Betty, and a very warm welcome to The Naughty Pages. I’m thrilled to have you here today to discuss your writing.

~So tell me, what specifically do you write?
I like to write about stubborn dominate man. Who demand their own way. I like to put them in the 1800’s. It’s the Historical Romance bug in me. I guess.
Love a bit of the historical from time to time, myself!

~What type of writer are you; do you plot it out or, like myself, are you a pantser?
I’m a little of both. Usually, I have plotted out the settings, major events, and ending in great detail. Once I start to write my characters tend to ad-lib some very interesting stuff I hadn’t thought of before.

~Why did you first take up the pen, so to speak? 
In 2008 unemployed and bored to death. Unemployed meant funds were tight and I had re-read every book in the house. I had the time and decided to write the book I wanted to read. Boy, was I surprised.

~Did you always know you would write? Or are you a newbie to the craft? 
Definitely, I am a newbie.
 If I had known, I would be doing this earlier in life I would have taken classes to learn how to do it correctly. I struggle with every sentence. Now, I’m too old in the sense every time I think I get it right tomorrow I have forgotten it. I really don’t mind because I decided to have fun with it and I do.
And really, isn't that the important thing? Enjoying it, having fun with it, means the passion is there. 

~You write specific genres, do you find them enjoyable to read as well?
Betty writes the more erotic dominate romances. I do read a few every now and again.

~As a writer, who is an idol of yours?
 I not sure she’s what I call my Idol. I do like Cherise Sinclair’s works. She makes you look forward to  reading with the anticipation of what’s next.

~Is it the same person for you as a reader? If not, who is your favourite author to read?
That’s a hard one for I read so many different genes now. I really don’t have a current favorite. That’s one of the outcomes of being a writer. You get exposed to books you never would have looked twice at before. Now you read them and enjoyed them.

~Are there any shoutouts you’d like to make?

Yes, there are. Sizzler Editions- Jean Marie Stine whose kind words encouraged me to push past the self-doubt and just write. The Readers for without them where would we be. And the authors I have come to know who believe in the ‘Pay it forward ‘ and stepped up to share ideas and their knowledge with me. 

Blurb...
On the musical stage in 1856 Lori Ann a singer extraordinaire impresses the audiences with her voice: male admirers line up for a chance to meet her - and an enamored Zeke Kincaid is one of them. A dominant man as well as an honorable one, he proposes marriage - but foolishly she refuses.

Once a Kincaid man chooses his mate it’s a done deal as far as they are concerned. Zeke does the only thing he knows the same as many men in his family before him did. He spirits Lori Ann away, and begins to train her to be submissive and obedient in the Kincaid tradition.

In all ways Zeke can think of Lori Ann will learn to please him - and he will return to the town of Paradise to finish her training.

All goes well ... until the day Lori Ann vanishes...

Purchase links https://sizzlereditions.com/2013/03/zeke-kincaids-woman-by-betty-carlton/

Website: http://bettysbloggingplace.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/betty.carlton.35
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Betty-Carlton-Books/188923114471788
Twitter: https://twitter.com/betcar1

Thursday, June 6, 2013

If Books Were Real with Alysha Ellis

Inspiration isn’t always divine.

I observed an on-line conversation recently about the writer’s source of inspiration.  People spoke seriously and sincerely about the nobility and purity of their calling.  I didn’t  contribute a thing. How could I? I don’t have a gracious lady wafting grand ideas into my subconscious mind. I have a bimbo in red stiletto heeled boots whispering smutty suggestions into  my ear. Others have a muse...I have an inner tart.

My inner tart is prepared to use anything for inspiration...and I do mean anything,  including the weirdness of some internet users. A little while ago I received an email from a fan.  This is a big deal for me. Fans are golden and must be treated as such. I was a little confused  when he (and yes, that was surprising in itself) said he loved how beautiful I was. 

At first I thought he meant I was a beautiful person, which is an odd conclusion to come  to from reading my books. A wicked person, a depraved woman, an irreverent trouble-maker: 
that would be understandable  -  but beautiful?  It turned out he thought the cover model on one  of my books was me and he had fallen in love. Actually, that would be lust, because he sent me a  detailed and somewhat icky description of exactly what he felt when he looked at the cover...and  I mean felt quite literally. Felt, stroked, squeezed...you get the picture.

Before I pressed the block user button, I sat back and had a think. What kind of person is  so inexperienced, so naive that they think the authors of books are the cover models? 

Or is it that we are so used to people making up avatars and images on the net, that we  now believe what we want to believe…and bugger reality? And if our interactions become more  and more virtual, maybe that’s the way we’ll go.

Maybe one day virtual reality will be indistinguishable from for want of a better word— real reality. So here’s a question for you. If you could step inside a fictional world, and live it as 
if it were real, what would you choose to do?

The answer to my own question—which book would I choose to live in? I’d never settle  for one. 

I’d start with Pride and Prejudice—which would immediately move to the crime fiction  genre because Eliza Bennett has to go. I’m not having any competition for Mr Darcy.

I’d almost certainly have a stay in my own book, Submitting to Him because I write the  kind of heroes I want. So if I get the chance to have them, no way would I turn it down. I want a  hot, dominant, modern Greek god, thank you very much.

And my absolute favourite hero, the one I MUST have is Dominique, Vidal from  Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub.

So where are you going to dive in, and more importantly, with whom?

I must say that would have been an interesting piece of fan mail to get. Good point though, we're living our lives so much in the virtual now, it's easy to get confused between fiction and reality. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

A hiccup on the network

So yesterday I was unable to get online, due to issues with our internet connection. We had about 3 minutes of connection yesterday morning, and then 5 minutes of connection last night. The rest of the day, the modem was just flickering and flashing, and not doing anything useful. Have contacted our provider, and hoping to get it sorted ASAP, so please bare with me for any possible missed posts. Yesterday's promo for Gemma Parkes had been rescheduled for the 19th, so thankfully I didn't have to worry about that (though silly me forgot about the re-sched and panicked!). Author Chat Friday should be able to go ahead however, and we should hopefully be back on track. 
I'll hopefully have some fantastic news to share soon, besides the fact that Persephone, the novel that I have been working on since November for NaNoWriMo last year, is finished and has now been submitted to Naughty Nights Press. Jeannie's Cowboys, erotic m/f/m short, is not far behind, so I'll be able to get back to Acapello's Lady, The Coven, The Crypt and The Lover's Lovers in between study and moving, thankfully. Very relieved. I have a potential new novel to start as well, but I won't give details until a little later. However, like I said, I should have some fantastic news to share soon, so stay tuned!