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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome Larissa Lyons



Is the Internet frakking with our friendships? Guest blogger Larissa Lyons weighs in...

Hi all. I write spicy regencies and upbeat-ending erotica and I appreciate Amber inviting me to visit her blog today. I hope she’ll be okay with the last-minute change as I originally was going to do an interview but decided to go in another direction. You’ll still learn a lot about me though (I have a thing for parenthetical notations and I’m sure by my title, you can guess one of my favorite television shows—Battlestar Galactica).

First an observation: Everyone seems connected all the time. All the time.

Remember back in the early 90s when many of us were just purchasing our first PC? AOL was king of the new “Web” waves and cordless phones had only recently made a commonplace appearance (but were heavy enough to give your biceps a workout). The cool kids carried pagers, not cell phones, and none of us had ever heard of Twitter or Facebook, Blogger or Wordpress. Epublishing? Ebooks? While the idea for this last one was out there, milling about in the minds of many forward-thinking individuals, most of us never contemplated how radically the forthcoming electronic devices (including phones that take voice commands, play music, stream movies and surf the web!) would change the way we devour books and stories.

Now? It seems as though if we aren’t constantly checking e-mail or our phones or one of the other aforementioned networking sites, we fear we’re missing out. I know I do this. After going years checking e-mail once a day, I’ve become chronic about it. Oh no! It’s been seven minutes since I checked e-mail...what if someone wrote me and I haven’t seen it yet? Eegads!

Secondly, a bit more about me: Some health issues limit my computer time so I’ve really resisted the idea of social networking. Facebook? Twitter? Tumblr too? Eeeiiiiiiii! What happened to the good old days when authors were supposed to sit in front of their typewriter, pecking away at their latest masterpiece? (Only in my case, the brownie crumbs would’ve probably jammed up the typewriter keys. Either that or the cat fur…)

But with the swiftly changing landscape of how books are produced and purchased, with e-buyers no longer returning to a specific publisher but often purchasing their selections through their retailer of choice, I realized the only way to tell people more about my stories was to be willing to share more about myself. Thanks to a fabulous author’s assistant (a new job niche several people are exploring) in less than one month, I now have accounts at Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and I’m having a blast. So far, Tumblr is my favorite (but that might be because I’m focusing on my love of regencies over there...) and there’s more of a learning curve than I expected with a couple of things, but my writing blog has been officially launched too and…well…I’m finding it surprisingly exciting to meet other booklovers and readers and writers (I’m also writing less these days so break out the feathered whips and crack them my direction—naughty author!).

Now something to consider: I wonder if the depth of friendships we maintain is suffering due to the constant “chatter” we engage in given such a wealth of ways to spend our time. Simply since February, when I decided to self publish, I’ve met and worked with a cover artist in Belgium and a logo designer in Russia. Talk about expanded horizons! The Internet has opened up so much, but I’m concerned about the opportunities lost away from the computer…when we aren’t plugged in.

I mean, when we connect with and Friend and Follow and Like so many, don’t we, as individuals, get stretched thinner and thinner? And like that brittle rubber band stashed in the junk drawer, won’t there might, possibly, come a time when we snap? Or am I off base here? Do you find your friendships have deepened, given the ease of communication?

If you’ve been braving the waters of social networking for a while now, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you arrange your day and computer time so you check in with others without checking out of real life?

And if you’ll forgive me for the shameless promo, here are links to all my new endeavors (heh, heh; when I jump in, I do it with both feet):

Larissa’s Writing Blog
Larissa at Tumblr – The Regency Rambler
Larissa on Facebook
Larissa’s Tweets on Twitter

AUTHOR LARISSA LYONS
With a penchant for sexy, studly cowboys and rowdy, roaring rogues, Larissa is happiest when writing about strong men with a weakness for the right woman.

Her latest two releases, both self-published, are the short-story erotica, A Heart for Adam…& Rick! and the risqué Regency Lady Scandal. Information about both can be found at LiteraryMadness.com.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview with Lucy Felthouse


Please give a warm welcome to Lucy Felthouse

How did you start your writing career?

I started writing erotica on a dare. Soon afterwards I came across the now-defunct UK magazine, Scarlet, and submitted a piece to it. They published it, and I've never looked back!

Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

I like the character Meg from my latest Noble Romance release, BITE WITH HEIGHT. She's a vampire living in Paris and she's sassy, sexy and smart. She also has quite the unusual lifestyle (even for a vampire!) but I'm not telling you what, because it'll give the game away!

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I don't write every day. I fit it in around my freelance work (PR, Marketing & Web Design) and sometimes I like to get all my other jobs done so I can have a full day to write. Other times I'll slot it in for half an hour here and there. I can be pretty flexible, which is great because it helps me keep to deadlines. Sort of!

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

The beginning and the end. If I don't get the beginning right, I find it difficult to keep going. Once I've got it, the writing tends to flow. Then finishing is hard because you want to tie up loose ends and give it an ending which will please readers.

Where do you research for your books?

I don't. The majority of my stuff is contemporary or paranormal erotica or erotic romance so it all comes out of every day inspirations and my sordid imagination.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a writer. Occasionally I'd say I wanted to be a vet and some other things, but it always came back to writer.

What are your favorite TV shows?

Supernatural, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Hex and Being Human.

What hobbies do you actively pursue?

Reading, writing, watching the above shows, watching films, walking and going out visiting country houses and other historical stuff.

Morning Person? Or Night Person?

A night person, definitely. I am so dopey in the mornings it's ridiculous. I never write early in the morning because my brain just won't fire up. It's late morning before any words arrive on the page!

What would we find under your bed?

Books, toiletries, dull paperwork and more books.


Blurb:

When Meg spots a young woman alone in the Pigalle district of Paris at night, she's intrigued. She has to know her story and find out why she looks so sad and alone. After introducing herself, Meg realizes that she and Grace have a lot in common. But when they decide to go and grab a drink together, they discover a mutual love that could bond them forever.

Excerpt:

Meg was hungry. Or, to be more precise, she was thirsty. Taking her usual route down the Boulevard de Clichy, she knew she'd find something suitable to drink if she waited long enough. The Pigalle area was notorious both in Paris and further afield, known for its sleazy bars, clubs, and sex shops. Most young women traveling alone would avoid it like the plague. Not Meg. For her, it was the ideal hunting ground.

At this time, just past sunset, it was always full of people, some going about their daily life, which just happened to take the crowds through one of the city's seediest areas. Others came to stare, bug-eyed, at the voluptuous women trying to entice them into lap-dancing clubs. They giggled behind their fingers as they shuffled past shop windows advertising all manner of equipment for use in the bedroom.

Then there were stag and hen parties—groups that descended on Pigalle, spent an evening causing havoc in the bars and clubs, then left, having laughed themselves hoarse and having drunk a skinful.

Most of these people were utterly harmless. The area was an attraction, a bit of fun. For others, it was much more. Attacks on working girls were not uncommon. Or at least, they hadn't been. The crime rates had dropped dramatically since Meg had moved to the area. Nobody, much less the police, knew why. And Meg didn't intend for them to find out.

Meg thought she had a thorough measure of the area and its inhabitants, so, she was completely taken by surprise when she saw the girl. By now, Meg was much further up the boulevard, on a strip of pavement between the Moulin Rouge and the inevitable branch of Starbucks. Glancing across at the coffee house, Meg spotted her. The girl sat at a table outside, gripping a cup of something-or-other as though her life depended on it.

She was beautiful. She was also completely out of place. At this time, the majority of people were here because they wanted to be. This girl looked as though she would rather be somewhere else. Anywhere else. Wondering if the girl had been coerced into coming by a boyfriend, Meg gritted her teeth and crossed the road.

As she drew closer, she realized there was no other cup on the table, no evidence at all to suggest that the girl was there with someone else. Meg headed inside and ordered a Cappuccino with an extra shot. Caffeine always did her the world of good. It warmed the blood. Taking her beverage outside, she heaved a sigh of relief as she noted both that the girl was still there, and that the seat beside her was the only one available.

Moving toward the girl, Meg smiled and asked, "Do you mind if I sit here? Everywhere else is taken."

Momentarily startled, the girl looked at Meg and smiled shyly. "Sure, no problem. There's nobody sitting there."

"Thanks. I'm Meg, by the way," she said, extending a hand.

"Grace," the girl replied, temporarily removing a hand from her cup to shake Meg's. She put it straight back on again, but not before Meg noticed a slight tremble. The girl looked as though she was about to go back inside her own head, so Meg spoke quickly.

"So, what brings you here? I can't help but notice you're not local."

"Oh," Grace said, as if surprised that Meg was still there. "I live in Paris. I moved here with my boyfriend, but . . . ." she looked at her hands.

Suddenly, a piece of the puzzle clicked into place.

"I'm sorry," Meg replied. "I didn't mean to pry. I'm just a little lonely, I guess. Just making conversation."

"You?" Grace replied incredulously, studying Meg. "If you're struggling for company, then there's no hope for me!"

"Depends what kind of company you're looking for. Can't say there are many desirables 'round here, though!" She looked around, as though to prove her point. "Say, you want to get a proper drink?"

Meg stood, hoping Grace would follow her lead. She looked down at the girl, smiled, and held out a hand. She watched Grace's posture visibly relax, and her grin grew wider as she put down her cup and took the offered hand.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Week

Today my dear friend Marie Rose blogged about how difficult it is to blog. Lately I feel her pain. I have a lot going on in my life, but most of it doesn’t relate to writing. In two months if I’ve written 3k words that’s a lot. But that has to change. More details on that Wednesday.
I write for 5 blogs. Some of them weekly, some monthly and I try to keep mine updated at least 3x a week. Let’s just say you run out of things to talk about.
The DH and I are finally close to getting what was the spare room emptied. It’s made us rethink a few of our other “hiding” places for stuff we swear we’ll use some day. This week we’ll me making a trip to the donation center. When you need space you begin to realize you don’t need to keep everything.
Only two days of work this week and then I’m on vacation for twelve days. Let’s just say I need this vacation. We aren’t going anywhere which is fine. Too much to do around here. I did insist on one beach day. Weather will play a big part in when we go.
Back to topics of blogging. What would you be interested in hearing about?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

School's Out For Summer

Alice Cooper’s song comes to mind every June. Back in high school this was the song all the local rock stations played at the end of June. Thursday was my daughter’s last day of school and I’m enjoying not having to fight with her to get out of bed. TEENS!
Only two days of work left for me before I take a 10 day vacation. The day job has been overly stressful lately and I can really use the time off. It’ll be nice because I’ll go back for about 3 weeks and then off for maternity leave. Woo hoo. It won’t be long. I’m not rushing it though because I love summer and do not want it to fly by.
I’m busy planning the DH’s b-day get together for next weekend. Tomorrow is my mom’s b-day, but we’ll celebrate that when she comes out to visit in two weeks.
So, a few weeks ago, then George Clooney’s gal pal made a comment that she would be married by the end of the year. When I read this I said to the DH, “Not to George! She just bought her ticket to a break-up.”
The DH shrugged, what does he care about things like that? Now look they broke up. If she’ll be married by the end of the year it will not be to George. :o) I just find it funny that women think they’ll tame him and tie him down to marriage. He clearly has no desire to be married.
I have to give George credit. Don’t get me wrong, I love my DH very much and I’m happy we’re married. But in all honesty, if I had to get into a relationship again I wouldn’t live with another man, nor would I marry one. I could happily date and still have my freedom to be who I want and do what I want. Apparently George likes his life the way it is and good for him.
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guest Blogger - Gracen Miller







*last minute touch-ups on hair as the producer counts down with his fingers…three…two…one…is cued to begin with a red light on the camera*





AMBER:  *sitting straight with legs crossed at the ankles*  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Today’s guest is a very interesting individual.  Madison Wescott comes from a small town in Alabama and is the heroine of Pandora’s Box.  *turns to Madison* I’m glad you could join us, Madison. 


MADISON:  *resisting the urge to blink in the glare of bright lights* Thanks for having me, Amber. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here.








AMBER:  I understand you *finger quote* helped *end finger quote* my assistant with a delicate situation?


MADISON:  Yes. 


AMBER:  He sings your praises nonstop.  Could you tell the good American folks, what it was you did to help him.


MADISON:  Well…*squints at the camera* He had a Plague Demon toying with him and his family. 








AMBER:  Mmmhmm…I admit I’m skeptical about the paranormal world, Madison.  But since receiving your aid, my assistant has begun to research for what he says is the coming Armageddon.  I figured anyone that inspired that type of radical reaction from such a laid-back man, should take the spotlight here and explain to us what is going on. 


MADISON:  I once felt the same way as you, Amber, skeptical and disbelieving of God and monsters.  Unfortunately, I learned how incorrect I was.








AMBER:  How did you discover this alternate world?


MADISON:  My son, Amos, went homicidal at the age of five. He started by killing the family pets before moving on to the neighborhood animals. Amos even came after me a couple of times, tried to kill me with a knife.  I needed answers and help.  Oh, I got answers, but the resolution will be a little slower coming.  That monster you had in your closet as a child—


AMBER: How do you know about that?
MADISON:  Amos is a psychic.  He wanted to validate our genuineness so you would believe.  That monster in your closet was very real, it has a name…but that’s not important.  Your Momma never scared it away with her lullabies and hymns.  You pretended it did to make your Momma feel better, but it didn’t stop tormenting you until you moved from the home.





*several long seconds of silence and the producer goes crazy waving his arms from behind the cameraman*








AMBER:  *glances about nervously* Where is your son today?


MADISON:  With a friend.








AMBER:  *relaxes* Where do you dream of traveling to and why?


MADISON:  Hell. 


AMBER:  *blinks* Did I hear you right? Did you say Hell?


MADISON:  *nods* The why is so I can kill the demon at the root of all our problems.






AMBER:  Has someone been instrumental in inspiring your career?


MADISON:  I guess you could say Amos inspired my career.  The only options we had were to face our problems head-on or death. Without Nix’s support, I would’ve never survived the lonely life on the road chasing demons.


AMBER:  How do you educate your son traveling as much as you do?


MADISON:  He’s home-schooled.






AMBER:  *sips on a glass of water and clears her throat* Has someone helped or mentored you in your career?
MADISON:  Yes.  Zen.  He’s taught me many things.  He’s immortal, comes from a time unknown to modern man, and not someone you want as an enemy.  


AMBER:  Is he the one with you today?
MADISON:  Yes.


AMBER:  He’s kind of cute.  Enigmatic and unsettling too, but I can’t explain why.


MADISON:  He has that effect on people.








AMBER:  Do your demon hunts require research?


MADISON:  *laughs* Textbooks on demon hunting aren’t exactly on the bestseller list.  Research is called life experience.  Nothing is as golden as experience.






AMBER:  What does your family think of your…ah…unique career?


MADISON:  Other than my son, the rest of my family is dead...or complicated.


AMBER:  I’m sorry to hear that. 


MADISON:  *shrugs*  They weren’t good parents.





*awkward silence*








AMBER:  What was the scariest moment of your life?


MADISON:  When my son started acting out.  It didn’t help that the doctors had no clue what was wrong with him, but when we discovered a demon was to blame…*shakes head* Words cannot describe the terror and helplessness I felt. 


AMBER:  Being a mother, I can sympathize.






AMBER:  What artists are most played on your Ipod?
MADISON:  Anything heavy metal. Those lyrics touch a chord deep inside me. Other things you’ll find on my Ipod are various Gregorian exorcisms.


AMBER:  What’s a Gregorian exorcism?


MADISON:  Kind of like the words to a Catholic exorcism, but much more effective at exorcising a demon from a human host.


AMBER:  Surely, you realize all this sounds like something straight out of a horror movie, right? A little hard to believe?


MADISON: *shrugs* No one really believes in the supernatural until it’s thrust into their face.  My one wish would be that no one ever learns the truth of demons.  But the reality is, anyone could be possessed with a demon.  Your spouse, your lover, your best friend…anyone.








AMBER:  *glances at her producer and makeup crew * 


AMBER:  *whispers to self* That’s not scary at all. 


MADISON:  Scary, yes, but I’ve not even scratched the surface of how much scarier it all can get.


AMBER:  Ahem…What do you do to unwind and relax?


MADISON:  Kill demons.


*tense silence*





AMBER:  Do you have any suggestions for new…ah…what do you call them? Demon killers? *nervous laugh*


MADISON:  Doesn’t matter what they’re called because they’ll be called “dead” soon.  My best suggestion, pick a new career.








AMBER:  What would we find under your pillow?


MADISON:  I wish I could say sheets and a bed, but I keep a blade there for whenever a demon gets brave enough to come after us.


AMBER:  I wouldn’t want to startle you awake. 


MADISON:  I would caution against it. 





*producer makes a wrap-up motion with his hand and displays three fingers*





AMBER:  Well, that’s all the time we have.  I hope you enjoyed this segment.  Madison, do you have anything specific you want to say to anyone watching today? A warning or piece of advice, maybe?


MADISON:  There are scarier things than the boogeyman.  To the demons…Hell hath no fury like a mother protecting her child.  *smiles at Amber*  Thanks so much for having me with you.  If you or anyone ever needs my assistance, please contact me through my Facebook or Twitter I.D., MamaHellhound.








Find out more about Madison, Phoenix and Amos, and everything that really happened in Pandora’s Box, Book One of the Road to Hell series.  Pandora’s Box will be released soon, a definite must read!  Until then, here’s where you can find author Gracen Miller, and all her other projects:











Join me on my blogs: 


Madison’s Life Lessons: http://madisonroadtohell.blogspot.com/ (Read the Prequel to Pandora’s Box)


Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem:  http://moonlightlacemayhem.blogspot.com/



PANDORA'S BOX BLURB:


Where does the road to Hell begin?


What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight, killing the family cat before gutting the family dog? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn't believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a demonic world she didn't know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.



With good intentions?


Madison had it all…or thought she did. A husband she adored and a son that brought joy to her life. Then one morning her husband kissed her goodbye, headed off to work and disappeared. Life turned upside down, Madison grows desperate and despondent to help her bloodthirsty son after numerous attempts have failed. Only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them.



Or by demonic design?


Phoenix Birmingham breaches her life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed. Even with Phoenix's aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail and they pay the crucial price with their souls?



In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind’s liberty has begun…



PANDORA'S BOX EXCERPT:


She nodded and watched as he doused gauze with antiseptic. "Dr. Nix at your service," he said with a grin, two adorable dimples charming her where words failed.


Madison rolled her eyes, and tipped her head to the side to give him better access. He brushed her hair off her neck, back behind her shoulder. Such a simple gesture, yet it felt terribly personal. The air grew thick and sticky with her awareness of him, which made her uncomfortable enough to shift in her seat and cross her legs.


Madison stared into his eyes. Green, she thought, his eyes were green, gorgeous and intense, with ridiculously long eyelashes women would fantasize about. If they didn't, they should. A flicker of compassion, concern, and something else she couldn't identify flashed in his eyes.


"Ready?" he asked.


The husky tenor of his voice forced her gaze to shift to his mouth. Nice, sexy lips, designed for kissing. She gave a mental shake, but couldn't resist wondering how his mouth would feel on hers.


"Madison?" Humor deepened his voice, a touch of a smile tilted the edges of the lips she'd been fantasizing about, and she realized she still stared at them. "You ready?" he asked again, and her eyes widened in embarrassment over her foolish stupor.


She swallowed hard. "Yeah," she whispered past the lump in her throat and forced her vision to lock on the wall over his shoulder. Good God, what was wrong with her? Her pulse throbbed like crazy, and she felt woozy.


Loss of blood! Must be why she reacted that way. No other explanation made sense.


Even though the antiseptic stung like hell, the gentle touch coming from such a gruff man surprised her.


"It's not bad," he said, dabbing the blood away. "Just a nick."


Well, she could nix the blood loss theory. Exhaustion and stress were the only other excuses she could come up with.

~~~

Leave me a comment and I'll pick a few folks to win some Pandora's Box swag!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guest Blogger - Bronwyn Green

I'm thrilled to have Bron here today and thrilled that she's sharing a Riding in Cars with Boys blogs with us!

Hi Everyone!
Amber has graciously allowed me to be a guest on her blog – thank you so much, hon! My name is Bronwyn Green and I write erotic romance. In addition to the writing, I’m also mom to two fantastic teenage boys and honorary mom to three others. I spend every day during the school year carting around 3-7 teenagers in the morning and afternoon.
The conversations I was having with these guys were so enlightening and entertaining, I decided to start writing them down. I don’t remember boys being this open when I was a teenager, but maybe that’s because I was too busy trying to make earrings out of safety pins and spike my hair. But these boys are fantastic. I’ll be putting together a whole booklet of these conversations to give each boy when they graduate. If you enjoy this glimpse into the mind of teenage boys, you can find the rest of the posts here: http://bronwyngreenblog.blogspot.com/search?q=riding+in+cars+with+boys (It’s best to read the oldest first.
Riding in Cars with Boys
I think some of you know that I am the carpool mom extraordinaire. Not because I'm a great driver, just because I'm super tolerant of teenage boyness.

In the afternoon, I pick up my son, Killian, and his friends Justin and Mitchell from school. They're tall and gangly with long hair and loud voices. They laugh too loudly and have wicked senses of humor. They're jaw-droppingly wise and ridiculously stupid all at the same time. In short, they're teenage boys, and I adore them.

A week or so ago, they were talking about annoying preppy girls.

Me: So what makes them annoying?
Justin: Seriously. Have you ever heard one talk?
Me: Not recently...no. What's the prob.
Killian: Everything's a question.
Me: What do you mean?
Justin: It's the upward inflection at the end of every single freaking sentence.
Mitchell: What's an upward inflection?
Killian: You know, the last word in every sentence goes up like they're asking questions even when they aren't.
Mitchell: Whaaaat?
Justin: (speaking in a high girly voice) I'm gonna go to my locker. It's lunchtime.
Killian: (also using a falsetto voice) I have gym class now. My name's Brittany.
Mitchell: Can I copy your homework?
Killian and Justin: That is a question, Mitchell.
Me: (muffled laughter)
Mitchell: Oh...right.
Justin: It's just so annoying.
Killian: Totally.
Mitchell: Huh...I just thought they were all really dumb.

Then there was today's conversation.

Mitchell: There's something wrong with a bunch of the dudes in my gym class.
Me: Oh?
Mitchell: Yeah. They run around the locker room all naked and stuff.
Me: Well, it is a locker room. I assume they're either changing or showering.
Mitchell: Well, yeah. But it's just not right, man. I mean, I shouldn't hafta see another dude's junk. It's not right at all.
Me: Maybe they're just comfortable with their bodies.
Mitchell: Maybe they're just freaks.
Justin: Maybe they're nudists.
Mitchell: Maybe, but they gotta keep their junk at home then. Duuuude...what would happen if you went to your friend's house and they were all naked?
All three boys: collective groan
Justin: I wouldn't sit down, that's for sure.
Killian: Unless there was plastic on the furniture...maybe then.
Justin: Yeah. Plastic. Lots of plastic. Everything else is lava!

Then totally out of the blue, Mitchell who happened to be sitting in the front seat, turned to me and said, "So, my friend came out to me today."

Me: Came out-came out?
Mitchell: Yeah. He said he was gay.
Me: What did you say?
Mitchell: I said, I did not expect that, but that's cool.
Me: I think that's great. A lot of guys wouldn't have been very comfortable hearing that from a friend.
Justin: Was it in gym class?
Killian, Mitchell and me: Shut up, Justin.
Mitchell: No in the hallway. Some asshole was picking on him and calling him gay, and he said, I am.
Me: (fearing the worst) What did the other guy say?
Mitchell: He looked surprised for a minute and said. Really? Oh...okay. I guess I won't pick on you then. You have enough to deal with. And then he just walked away.

I couldn't have been more shocked. I know sometimes teenagers are a pain in the ass, but they're all finding their way in the world. I have to say, they're doing a great job. If a boy had come out like that when I was in high school, he would have likely gotten the crap kicked out of him and he'd have been run out of the school. I love progress and I love these boys. These are the ones I get to spend time with, and I couldn't be happier. Being the carpool mom sucks because I really do hate to drive, but days like today make it all worthwhile.




Summer Surrender Blurb:
Hollis Chambers came to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to teach summer school at a small rural high school. She’d planned on hanging out on the shores of Lake Superior, taking walks in the woods and studying the wildlife. She never imagined that she’d meet one man, let alone two, to have a hot summer fling with.

Lynx shifters Daniel Cichosz and Josiah Wilder know a good thing when they see it and they’re fairly certain that the gorgeous, full-figured substitute teacher is just who they’ve been looking for. Hollis surrenders to their seduction, but how will she feel about being mated to shifters, particularly when Daniel’s brother is added to the mix?

Summer Surrender Excerpt:
Daniel Cichosz turned around at the sound of heels clicking on the tile floor. A gorgeous brunette made her way to the office with his friend, Josiah, following close behind her. This had to be the teacher Jameson hired from New York City of all places. He couldn’t imagine an inner city instructor working out well in a rural school district, but the principal had insisted.
As Daniel observed her, Josiah projected his voice into Daniel’s mind. Please tell me this is the new teacher because I could happily follow her all summer long.
Daniel fought the urge to roll his eyes. Sometimes the ability to hear the members of his pack was a giant pain in the ass. Knock it off, he responded. The last thing I need is a sexual harassment suit on my hands.
The other man grinned at him over the woman’s head. C’mon, she’s totally your type.
Daniel had to admit, his friend was right. She had long brown hair pulled back at the nape and huge brown eyes set in a heart-shaped face. Her boring beige suit did very little to conceal her ample curves—full breasts and hips that he guessed she wasn’t altogether comfortable with judging from the way she carried herself. Full breasts and hips he shouldn’t be thinking about since he was her boss for the summer. Daniel extended his hand. “You must be Hollis Chambers. I’m Daniel Cichosz, the Vice Principal. The principal is home with a cold and asked me to give you your orientation tour.”
She grasped his hand with her much smaller one and smiled. “It’s nice to meet you.”
It was impossible not to respond to her warmth.
Josiah circled to stand in front of her. “And I’m Josiah Wilder,” he said, offering her his hand as she turned to face him. “Fellow summer school victim, I mean, teacher.”
Hollis’ smile broadened, and she shook Josiah’s hand, too.
“I’ll be accompanying you on your tour and filling in any blanks Daniel misses,” Josiah continued. “Like the location of the nearest Starbucks.” At her hopeful look, he added, “It’s in Marquette. About sixty-three miles away. It’s a hell of a morning commute.”
Hollis’ eyes widened. “Seriously?”
“Sweet thing, you’re about as far from New York City as you can get up here.”
Sweet thing? Daniel projected at the other man. That. That right there is why you’ll never be in administration.
Daniel nodded. “But don’t worry,” he said, hoping she wouldn’t take offense at being called sweet thing. “Wonder boy over there can make a great latte if you’re in need of caffeine.”
“Good to know,” she said. “I’m ready to get away from city, but I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to forgo good coffee.”
“Why don’t I take your paperwork and show you around?”
Daniel gave her the tour of the school while Josiah kept up a running commentary on all the things Daniel neglected to point out—the broken water fountain by the gym, the pop machine that spit out only orange Faygo no matter what button you pushed and the locker all the kids swore was haunted.
Hollis was seemingly more relaxed by the time they made it to the science room, laughing at Josiah’s lame jokes. The low, husky sound of her voice slid up Daniel’s spine, and he couldn’t help but imagine other noises she’d make if he kissed her. If he made her come.
He sighed. He was as almost as bad as Josiah, but there was something about Hollis that pulled at him. Something that demanded he touch her. That he taste her. However, that something needed to be ignored. At least for a little while. He didn’t want to scare her away. Not when she might be the one they’d been waiting for. Instead, he showed her where everything in the room was and gave her keys to the supply closets, managing to fight the urge to drag her in there and taste her. Barely.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Amber's in a Funk!

I’ve been in a funk for way too long now. I need to snap out of it. Newbie’s often ask how to overcome writer’s block and I always answer just do it. Just sit down and write. HA! I’m a hypocrite. I faithfully open my wip every day. Every day it sits there untouched. I did manage around 500 words on Saturday, while sitting in the lab at the hospital. I do NOT want to repeat that blood test again! Those 500 words were the first in a long time. I’m going to shoot for 100 today, just to get my motor running.
I’m so glad it’s a fresh week. Last week was a bear. I do have a ton of work meetings this week, but nothing as stressful as last week. Only 8 days 'til vacation! Woo Hoo. Not going anywhere, but just to have 12 days off from the job is exciting.
In other news my sister in law is at the hospital getting ready to deliver my first niece. I’m so thrilled. I can’t wait to meet her tonight. :o)
Me, on the other hand thought I’d deliver yesterday. I was having very painful contractions that lasted most of the day. I told the little one she’s not in competition with her cousin and she has to wait the next 6 weeks out. I refuse to allow her to arrive early! I’m not ready and neither is she. LoL
So back to the funk…what do you do to shake writer’s block?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guest Blogger - Paige Tyler



Please welcome the wonderful Paige Tyler!

Thank you so much to Amber for letting me guest blog. You rock!


I'm so excited to announce I have a new book coming out with Ellora's Cave tommorrow called PIRATE'S WOMAN. It's hot, sexy and has a hero you're going to absolutely fall in love with!

I have to admit I usually ignore those themed calls for submissions - you know the ones where the publishers will ask for stories about firemen, or lifeguards, or men who dress up in chicken costumes (okay, I made that one up!). I usually ignore those calls for submissions because I'm not an author who can easily write to a particular theme - mainly because I tend to write whatever story grabs me, which doesn't always fit the theme (okay, it never fits the theme). And by the time I come up with a story idea that does fit the theme, it's past the deadline. But that all changed with the pirate-themed Ahoy! books from Ellora's Cave. The moment I read about it, I immediately came up with a story, mostly because I've always thought pirates are so damn sexy! Blame it on all those historical romances I read as a teen. There was nothing hotter than a big, strong handsome pirate falling for the feisty woman he either kidnapped, rescued or whatever. LOL!

But while my experience with pirates was in the historical genre, I didn't want to write an historical. Instead, I wanted to do sci-fi. And I wanted it to be hot! So, I came up with a story about a beautiful woman named Teyla who agrees to let the sinfully handsome pirate Slayter sell her as a sex slave on the auction block in order to pay off the enormous debt her family owes him. Teyla is determined to bring in as much money as she can, but is afraid she won't fetch a high price because she's inexperienced when it comes to men. That's when things get really fun because she asks Slayter if he'll teach her how to pleasure a man. Just to improve her value, you know? Of course, he agrees. How could he say no, right?

Now, here's where the story gets complicated. While he's instructing her on how to be a sex slave, Slayter starts falling for Teyla, and she for him. But she agreed to pay off her family's debt and he needs the money for his ship and his crew. What can either of them do?

You'll have to read the story to find out! And to give you added incentiive, I'll tease you with a steamy excerpt.

Enjoy!

Blurb:

To honor the debt her family owes Slayter Cardona, beautiful Teyla Dunai agrees to let him sell her as a sex slave in the markets of Arkhon. Determined to bring as much value as she can on the auction block, but inexperienced where men are concerned, she asks the handsome pirate if he’ll teach her how to pleasure a man. Intrigued, and more than a little attracted to the lavender-eyed beauty, Slayter agrees.

As he initiates her into the world of bondage, spanking and out-of-this-galaxy sex, though, both Teyla and Slayter find themselves falling for each other. But Slayter has a responsibility to his crew, and Teyla knows it is her duty to pay off her family’s debt. With the deal already agreed upon, there doesn’t seem to be any way for their story to have a happy ending. Or is there?

Excerpt:

“Have you ever been to Arkhon before?” she asked, trying to distract herself so she wouldn’t stare at him.

Slayter sopped up what was left of his stew with a piece of bread. “Once.”

She would have thought he’d go there more since he was a pirate. “What will happen when we get there?”

He hesitated. “I’m not quite sure. I’ve never sold a slave before, but I imagine it will be the same process as selling anything else there.”

Meaning she would be put on the auction block and sold to the highest bidder. “Do you know if buyers look for certain things when they purchase a sex slave?”

He frowned slightly. “I suppose.”

“You don’t think they’ll want to…sample the merchandise before they buy, will they?”

“I’m sure some buyers might, but I don’t think the people who run the auction would allow that.” Slayter must have seen the relief on her face because he gave her a reassuring smile. “You don’t have anything to be concerned about, Teyla. You’re a very beautiful woman. Any man can see that.”

Considering the situation, the compliment shouldn’t have warmed her like it did, but she felt herself blush anyway. “It’s just that I don’t have very much experience when it comes to sex. I mean, I’m not a virgin, but I haven’t been with a lot of men, either. I’m concerned potential buyer will know right away that I’m inexperienced.” She looked at him from beneath lowered lashes. “I don’t want you to come out on the short end of this exchange.”

He shook his head. “I really don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”

She frowned. “Maybe, but my family would be very embarrassed if I didn’t earn enough money on the block to cover the debt.” She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “This is very difficult to ask, but do you think you might be able give me some advice on how best to please a man?”

“Advice?” His eyes went a little wide at that, and he cleared his throat. “Uh, actually, sex is more of a…hands-on thing.”

“Oh.”

Teyla chewed on her lower lip. She couldn’t believe she was even contemplating what she was about to do, but the thought that one of her sisters might end up where she was if she didn’t earn enough money to cover the debt was enough to give her the courage she needed.

She lifted her gaze to look at Slayter. “Would you be willing to give me hands-on experience then?”

He arched a brow, but didn’t say anything. From the expression on his face, though, it was clear he was taken aback by her request.

“I know I probably shouldn’t be asking you for favors, but I just want to make sure you receive the money my family owes you.” When he still didn’t answer, she added softly, “If you don’t find me pleasing enough to bed, I understand.”

She was afraid to think what that would mean when it came to her value on the auction block. What would happen if no one bid on her at all?

The corner of Slayter’s mouth curved. “I find you quite pleasing, Teyla. Perhaps more than I should.”

Her pulse quickened. “Then you’ll teach me?”

There was a very long pause, then, “Yes, I’ll teach you. If that’s what you really want.”

“It is. Can we start now?”

They only had a few days before they reached Arkhon, and she didn’t want to waste any time.

He hesitated, then nodded. “If you’d like.”

Slayter might have seemed hesitant when she’d first brought it up, but now that he had agreed, she could see the fire burning in his eyes. Something told her the pirate would be a very thorough teacher. Heat pooled between her thighs at the thought of him showing her all the different ways she could pleasure a man. She might learn more with him in a few days than she probably ever would have with the men on her planet.

Slayter stood and came around to her side of the table. Taking her hand, he gently pulled her to her feet. Teyla had known out the pirate was tall when she’d stood in front of him in the cargo hold earlier, but now she realized just how tall he really was. She barely came up to those broad shoulders of his.

She waited for Slayter to say something, but he simply gazed down at her. The smolder in his gold eyes took her breath away and she swayed toward him. Her reaction to being so close to him caught her off guard, but before she could steady herself, he lowered his head and covered her mouth with his.

The kiss took her by surprise and for a moment she didn’t know how to respond. She hadn’t expected Slayter to do something so intimate. She’d thought they would shed their clothes and get to it. But as his mouth moved slowly and deliciously over hers, she melted against the hard wall of his chest. He slid his hand in her long hair, deepening the kiss with a groan. Teyla parted her lips under his, sighing with pleasure when his tongue invaded her mouth to claim hers. She ran her hands up his chest to clutch his shoulders, afraid if she didn’t hold on to something that she would fall. She didn’t know a man’s kisses could be so intoxicating.

Or that the feel of his hands on her body could set her afire. But as his free hand slid up her midriff to cup her breast through the thin material of her dress, the heat that had pooled between her thighs earlier completely engulfed her. If she responded to him like this when they were fully clothed, how was she going to react when they were both naked?

That was when she remembered the purpose behind what they were doing. She was supposed to be learning how to pleasure Slayter, but instead it was the other way around. She wondered if she should remind him of that, but as he trailed kisses along the curve of her jaw and down her neck, she decided to play the willing student and leave the teaching part to him.

PIRATE'S WOMAN comes out Jun 17th!
Watch the Trailer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyq9-yodfYM

Buy it from Ellora's Cave!
http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9266-pirates-woman.aspx

*hugs*
Paige
Website: http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com

Blog: http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1111715782

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaigeTyler

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Contest Winner

I'm a bit crazy today, but I wanted to announce the winner from Randi Alexander's blog. She used Random.org and Tina Donahue was chosen. Please contact Randi for the details: Randi@RandiAlexander.com

Congrats!!!!! :)

Tomorrow will be special guest Paige Tyler so please stop back!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Guest Blogger and Contest - Randi Alexander

New Release and Book Giveaway!

Thank you, Amber, for having me as your guest today.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
Since I've begun writing cowboy romances, I'd love to travel anywhere there are cowboys. I think Texas is the place to start. I'd begin in Amarillo and take my convertible on a big, meandering loop of the state's perimeter, then hit all the spots in the middle that seem interesting. I'd like to meet and chat with as many cowboys as possible, looking for ideas for my next book and immersing myself in Texas life.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I write all the time. Mostly days when my hubby is away at work, and some evenings after supper when he's occupied with television. I don't write much on weekends unless I'm behind, or it's raining, or I have an all-consuming scene in my head that I have to write.

Where do you research for your books?
I research online, mostly, but I have a number of writer-friends around the world, and I'm not shy about asking them things like, "So, when a cowgirl gets off a horse after a long ride, what are the first things she does?" My horse-lover friend said, "She finds a bathroom!" I laughed at her practial response because it's pretty rare that I read a romance novel where the heroine is racing for a restroom.

What does your family think of your writing career?
They're very supportive. They spread the word for me and help with research projects. The books are a little too spicy for most of them to read, but I do ask my macho hubby to check over my manuscripts to make sure the male voice is macho enough.

What do you think makes a good story?
For me, a good story involves fascinating characters who are flawed, but have a lot of integrity. They may do things that seem wrong, but they're doing them for the right reason. A good story has a lot of tension, sexual, mysterious, thrilling, etc., and keeps the reader engaged with a twisting, complicated plot.

What are your favorite TV shows?
One of the things I've given up in order to have more time writing is TV. And holy cow, was that difficult! The one television guilty pleasure I allow myself is watching Hawaii 5-0 on Monday nights with my hubby. The scenery is beautiful, and the stories are interesting. He and I play the plot-game, to see which of us can guess the ending first. Oh, one other show I watch but don't admit to anyone is Bravo's The Millionaire's Club. I allow myself one episode per week. I like it because it gives me insight into the dating scene, which I've been out of for a long, long time. It's helpful for my writing (and a lot of fun to watch!)

What is your favorite meal?
My lunch every weekday is fat-free whole-wheat tortillas wrapped around melty soy cheese, which I dip in salsa. I haven't gotten sick of it yet!

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Take time to learn the craft. Go to your local library and check out as many books as you can on writing. Join a writing support group, like Romance Writers of America, and find a local chapter and a critique group. When I started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. The urge to write was strong, but my skills were not, and to become a marketable writer, you have to have both. And don't ever give up! One day you'll find the agent or editor who will LOVE your writing, and they will be your strongest advocate.

What hobbies do you actively pursue?
I'm a drummer. I'm not in a band right now, but I bang around on the kit a little every day. Good stress relief!

Tell us about your current release.
My first book, Chase and Seduction was released May 27 from The Wild Rose Press' Cowboy Kink line. Here's the book's blurb and a romantic excerpt.


Country music superstar/actor Chase Tanner has yet to be denied anything–and he’s never wanted anything or anyone more than gorgeous screenplay writer Reno Linden. So when the film they are working on is finally finished, Chase decides to turn up the volume on seducing Reno.
Reno Linden lived a quiet, rural life until she was thrust into the Hollywood scene when her book was adapted to film. Chase Tanner is larger than life, sinfully sexy and hell-bent on getting her into bed. Skittish after a failed wedding engagement, Reno risks the plunge into Chase’s arms, and is surprised that her good girl self can keep up with bad boy Chase.
Though Chase returns to his cowboy roots often, and Reno cherishes the time spent with him on his ranch, the two find their careers pulling them in different directions. Will their attraction survive the glitz and stress of fame?

EXCERPT: Over 18 only

Chase brushed his lips against her hair, and settled in. As exhaustion took him, he smiled. He couldn’t remember being this happy. Ever. But he had to know what she was feeling.

“Are you excited to go home, Reno?”

She hauled in a long breath and let it out slowly. “I wouldn’t say excited. Maybe anxious. I have so much to do once I get there.”

“Your book edits?”

“Yes, and I’m teaching a class in a few weeks. I haven’t prepared for that yet.”

The floral scent of her hair snuck into his nostrils. Another thing about her he’d never forget. “Is that what you want to be when you grow up? A teacher?”

She laughed and ran her hand over his ribs. “I do. I love to write, but I have a longing to share what I’ve learned with others. I get so excited reading young writers’ work, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to guide them. I’ve had some amazing mentors…and some not so great.”

She was talking about her ex-boyfriend. The one who tried to change her writing style. Make her into something she wasn’t so she’d fit into his life better. Asshole.

Her shoulder shrugged once, and she asked, “What about you, Chase. What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Staring into the dark, he couldn’t find the answer. He’d always wanted to go back to school. Not high school, but college. Take some classes and learn about things that people talked about. Politics and religion. Evolution, the planets, stuff under microscopes.

But he couldn’t tell Reno that. Hell, two years ago, he’d asked Jorjia to help him find a college, and she’d freaked out. She didn’t want the media to get a hold of the story. It would embarrass her if people knew she was dating someone so low class. That’s what she called him. Low class. She’d slapped him down hard, and the ache still lingered, flaring up every time he thought about going back to school.

He kissed Reno’s forehead. She’d never say something like that to him. But he sure as hell wasn’t going to remind her how uneducated he was.

“When I grow up, baby, I wanna be twice as sexy as I am now.”

She giggled a couple small laughs, then her breathing grew heavy and slow.

His last thought before he followed her into sleep, was that he’d never do anything to embarrass her the way he’d almost done to Jorjia.


To celebrate the release of Chase and Seduction, I'm giving away, to one lucky *commenter, an e-copy of my novella Her Cowboy Stud. Just leave a comment today and we'll choose a winner tomorrow. *Commenter must be 18 years of age or older to win.


I'm also giving away a cowgirl hat to one subscriber to my newsletter. For more details, and to sign up for this contest, please go to my website, RandiAlexander.com And while you're there, you can read the first chapter of Chase and Seduction.
Good luck, and thank you!
Randi
RandiAlexander.com
WildAndWickedCowboysBlog
Buy Chase and Seduction at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chasing Forever


Spank Me Twice has a new low price - Kindle $3.99

In other news I have a new release today. Chasing Forever is a quickie available from Ellora's Cave. Here's a little taste:

Blurb:
Jordyn has longed to make her relationship with best friend Diego more than platonic. Her body drips with need to know what it would feel like to have his lips kissing every inch of her skin. Desire to wrap her legs around his waist and plunge into deep waters with him fills her every dream.

Diego is one with the ocean. His passion is surfing and chasing that ultimate wave. He doesn’t have time for a relationship. Or does he?

A storm is brewing and when a tragedy occurs, Diego and Jordyn need to decide if they’re both chasing the same dreams.



An Excerpt From: CHASING FOREVER

Copyright © AMBER SKYZE, 2011

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One



Jordyn sat on the beach towel watching Diego riding out the waves. Her pulse raced. He knew he shouldn’t be out there. Hurricane Ivan was heading inland and the weatherman had warned of the dangerous undertow. She’d attempted to chase a few waves, but once she’d swum a few yards she knew it was a mistake. She’d quickly swum back to shore and waited while her best friend tried to prove he was smarter than the ocean.

The waters had turned mean and ugly over the last twenty minutes and the sky was an ominous gray. The hurricane was moving closer. A breeze came in off the water and a chill passed through her body. She’d unzipped her wet suit down to her waist, exposing her bikini top when she exited the water. She should cover up again in case the rains poured down.

She scanned the waters. Someone on a Jet Ski buzzed around, stopping every so often to take some pictures. She hoped he would keep away from the jagged rocks. The razor-sharp rocks were Jordyn’s bigger fear with Diego being out on the water. One wrong move and a wave could drag him under and throw him against the rocks, ending his life.

Jet skis were prohibited at any time on this part of the beach, but it didn’t stop them, especially on a day like today. They’d swarm around the surfers—in this case, just Diego—hoping to get a great shot of him nailing a thirty-foot wave.

Hopefully that’s all he catches.

She scanned the beach looking for any other fools. People with cameras hoping to click the ideal picture of the perfect storm peppered the sand.

“Dumbasses,” she muttered. What did that make her? She was on the beach too. Why had she allowed Diego to convince her this was a good idea?

“Because I’m a fool too.” She buried her foot in the sand and watched how the tiny particles glided between her toes. If she was smart she’d grab her board, jump in her Jeep and hightail it back to her place. Common sense flew out the window when it came to Diego, because she was head over heels in love with him.

Too bad he doesn’t feel the same. He loved her like a sister he’d said a few too many times, especially on drunken occasions.

If she’d had a nickel for all the times he’d said, “If you weren’t like a sister to me, I’d fuck you.”

How her pussy moistened with the thought. A few times she’d been tempted to sock him one and other times she’d wanted to tackle him and show him the woman inside waiting for him to fill that void deep within.

Instead she’d sat back and waited.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guest Blogger - Lori Green and Contest



Okay I swear Lori wrote this blog about me! ;) Lori is offering a copy of her book to a commenter who comes up with the best excuse...so lets hear them!

I Meant To Write But…

I meant to write but there was a fascinating conversation on Twitter I just couldn’t tear myself away from.

I meant to write but those damned zombies kept invading and my hands were tied.

I meant to write but I had to clean bake brownies and have a nap.

I meant to write but there just weren’t enough hours in the day.

Any of those excuses sound familiar? I can claim them all along with the housework/laundry excuse, the pick kids up from school excuse and in my household, the omg! we’re out of chocolate excuse.

Writing is hard work sometimes and making the choice to write rather than nap or watch television or read someone else’s book is a difficult choice to make. It’s even more difficult when you realize that all the choices are important and in many ways can make you a better writer.

Let’s face it: having a nap and being well rested is just as important for our physical health as it is for our mental health. And writers who don’t read (in my opinion) are not writers I want to read. Reading goes hand in hand with writing. A love for the written word is what we all share both as readers and writers and it’s important to make time to do both.

But you can’t be a writer who doesn’t write. That’s my primary challenge. There are just so many distractions throughout the day including children working and trying to keep the house clean and everyone fed and happy. I can go weeks without writing a word and I challenge myself to just sit down and write.

One of the best things that ever happened for me as a writer was nanowrimo: National Novel Writing Month. Every November writers from all over the world sign into nanowrimo and write one novel in one month.

Nano doesn’t cost anything but time. The time to write 1,667 words every day so that at the end of November you have a 50,000 word novel. There’s no time for excuses, for playing around or for playing around with excuses. Internal editors are banished, outlines are forgotten and all that matters is getting the words typed and the count met.

As a procrastinator and an all-round lazy human, nanowrimo taught me a lot. I enjoyed the process of just getting it done. By the end of November I had made the word goal and had a rough draft of a special novel.

I wrote Sugar B’s Back in Town during Nanowrimo 2009. She got finished a few months later and then edited and finally sold to Lyrical Press. She was unplotted, unplanned and in my eyes unforgettable. Even though I’d written novels before and been published previously, Sugar was the book that showed me what writing was all about.

Writing is about getting it done. Getting the words on the page and meeting the goals of telling the story. No matter if you’re a beginning writer or working on your twentieth book, the goal remains the same. Tell the story. And the story can’t be told unless you plant your butt in a chair and start typing.

Sugar B’s Back in Town is available on Amazon, Lyrical Press and anywhere where ebooks are sold. It’s a story of the redemption of romance for even the coldest of hearts.

***excerpt***


I was on the screen of the laptop, an erect penis in my mouth and I was giving what looked like a very enthusiastic blow job. My mind immediately categorized the movie as Christmas Ho Ho Ho’s, something I’d done about three years earlier. I’d been sober then and the movie had been shot in a two week shoot in Northern California. We’d even gone into San Francisco for a cast dinner, as I remembered.

Carlos threw the laptop to the floor. It didn’t dramatically break into a million pieces or even make a booming sound. It was drama on the small scale.

But the bar was silent. And from the second computer were people were gathered came the soundtrack of something similar.

I took a few steps forward and people stepped away. It was like a bad dream of slow motion proportions. I saw the horrified faces of the Aunties and I heard Holly crying. Nacho was standing by the open laptop and was watching me with a nonchalance that brought tears to my eyes.

“There’s another story for you.” My voice was trembling.

“I heard a rumor,” he said.

“It’s no rumor, it’s the truth.” I blinked rapidly, trying to clear my sight. “I believe that one was called My Rear of Living Dangerously.”

The ground softened under my feet and my legs wobbled. I was ready to fall through the world and it took effort to remain upright.

On screen I was getting fucked. There was no sweet love being made, no romance or care. I was spread wide and everything I had was on display and in close-up view. Rod Ranger was the gentleman boning me on screen. Rod had been a nice guy who liked to make childish farting sounds while fucking. It lightened the atmosphere.

Nobody spoke and I forced my legs to keep working. I walked step by step to where the computer was and with the effort and will of holding the world aloft, I snapped the lid down.
“I used to fuck for a living,” I said. “Now I sell pies.”

I started to shake and strong arms came around me and held me up. I turned my head, so grateful to feel Jerusalem’s strength. So happy that he supported me and was showing everyone what I meant to him.

“It’s okay, Sugar, I got you.” Ronny gave me a slight squeeze.

I looked to the bar and saw Jerusalem standing. He was still and when our eyes met, he looked away.

“Get me out of here,” I said to Ronny and he did.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Hips Don't Lie

I’m feeling my age today. I’ve been up in pain since the wee hours of 3:30am. I’m not as young as I was the first time I had children and I’m feeling it. You’d think I’d have written or something while up all this time. Nope. Instead I’ve been trying to fall back to sleep. Damn if I can find a comfortable position.
I realize being in my forties I’ll have some aches and pains, but this is HELL…waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.
Okay, so I got that off my chest, err uh, hips.
Other than that I have an extremely busy work day. I have to take the teenage daughter out tonight for a dress. Her eighth grade class is having a dance Friday. (Yes, I know nothing like waiting til the last minute) I can’t believe she’ll be in high school next year.
The DH and I were catching up on Friday Night Lights the Sunday and at the end Coach and his wife were in the driveway watching their oldest drive off to college, while they were holding their youngest. I looked at the DH and said, “You realize that will be us in five years.”
Of course he just smiled while I grumbled, “What the #*^% were we thinking!”
It’ll be okay. I’ll only be 60 or so when this one goes off to college.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guest Interview - Juniper Bell

Give a warm welcome to my special guest Juniper Bell~


How did you start your writing career?

First of all, thanks so much for having me here, Amber! As to my writing career, when I was nine I wrote a profoundly insightful analysis of the difference between punching, hitting and slapping. It’s still unpublished, believe it or not. But it got me started, and hey, everyone has a few manuscripts under their bed, right?

Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

I know you’re supposed to love all your children equally. But sorry, characters, you’re not my children and I love Dana Arthur the best. (Please ignore the outraged screams in the background.) Dana is the heroine of my Receptionist books and I can’t get enough of her sassy attitude. She’s like the me I never was, or the wild child I never had, or something. I adore her.

Tell us about your current release.

Restraining the Receptionist comes out on June 14 and it’s the second in the Receptionist series about Dana and her two sexy bosses. The first book in the series was Training the Receptionist, and if you’d like a sample of the books, I have a Free Ebook on Smashwords called Thanking the Receptionist. Download here.

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

I had a mentor early on, a friend of my family. He’s a successful children’s book author. He gave me a very important piece of advice, which was to learn how to manage yourself psychologically as a writer – what you can handle, what you can’t, how to protect your psyche from the ups and downs. He also told me to remember to brush my teeth. I’m still working on that part.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

To me the hardest moment of the entire process is when I re-read my first draft and realize what a load of crap it is. Then I put on my big girl panties and start my first rewrite. The magic of writing, for me, is in the rewriting. I spew my first drafts like I’m drunk on tequila. Then I whip them into shape. The best moment is when I see a book come alive the way it was in my head.

What does your family think of your writing career?

My family loves the fact that I have a writing career, while living in deliberate denial of the nature of my subject matter. Although recently my mother told me her Seniors Tai Chi class loves my books -- I wasn’t sure what to make of that. My sister told me flat-out she can’t read my stuff. It’s too embarrassing because her sister wrote it. But they all loyally purchase every book I release and I’m very grateful for that.

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

I do hear from readers, which is always a fantastic experience, with a dash of bizarreness. I appreciate compliments as much as the next person, but it also gives me a nervous feeling. I have to write as if no one’s watching or reading. I have to block out other voices so I can hear what the story and the characters are telling me. But once the book is out, it’s not mine anymore. It belongs to the readers. Each reader will have their own particular, personal experience with it. Which is exactly how it should be! But it’s a strange feeling to hear about it.

What do you think makes a good story?

First of all, a good story has to make you care about the main character. Then it has to turn their life upside down and put them through hell before they figure things out. When you can’t wait to find out what happens next, when you want the characters to be okay, when you feel like you want to step into the book and shake them or hug them or tell them they’re being idiots – then you know it’s a good story. A good story makes you feel you’ve experienced something even though you were just lying on the couch reading while those poor characters had their lives torn apart.

What book are you reading now?

I’m on a historical romance kick right now. I just finished Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway family series and Laura Kinsale’s Lessons in French, and the always wonderful Eloisa James is up next.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Keep writing. And don’t be in too much of a hurry. The art of writing is what’s most important. Stay true to that, develop your skill and voice, and the publishing how’s and when’s and where’s will come. Most of all, just keep at it.



Blurb:
Every deal has a loophole.

…the Receptionist, Book 2

Dana Arthur’s new job with the firm of Cowell & Dirk is going well. Translation: the occasionally kinky ménage with her two bosses, Ethan and Simon, has been several months of politically incorrect bliss.

Except the relationship feels unbalanced. While Ethan is the undisputed master, the partners’ iron-clad agreement stipulates that Simon must be present as she performs her “duties”. And she senses there’s a subtle, powerful tug-of-war developing for more than just her body.

Simon had agreed to share the firm’s fiery, sensually daring receptionist…to a point. With Simon out of town, Ethan plans a feast of erotic temptations designed to have Dana begging him to break the deal. He didn’t realize his heart would be a casualty.

Once she surrenders to his wicked demands, Dana realizes there’s no going back. It’s time for a three-way renegotiation…this time, all or nothing.

Product Warnings
NSFW!! Do Not Try This at Your Job. Contains highly inappropriate workplace behavior including m/f/m, m/m, bondage, creative use of office space and a high-stakes trip to Atlantic City.

Every deal has a loophole.

Restraining the Receptionist
© 2011 Juniper Bell

…the Receptionist, Book 2

Dana Arthur’s new job with the firm of Cowell & Dirk is going well. Translation: the occasionally kinky ménage with her two bosses, Ethan and Simon, has been several months of politically incorrect bliss.
Except the relationship feels unbalanced. While Ethan is the undisputed master, the partners’ iron-clad agreement stipulates that Simon must be present as she performs her “duties”. And she senses there’s a subtle, powerful tug-of-war developing for more than just her body.
Simon had agreed to share the firm’s fiery, sensually daring receptionist…to a point. With Simon out of town, Ethan plans a feast of erotic temptations designed to have Dana begging him to break the deal. He didn’t realize his heart would be a casualty.
Once she surrenders to his wicked demands, Dana realizes there’s no going back. It’s time for a three-way renegotiation…this time, all or nothing.
Warning: NSFW!! Do Not Try This at Your Job. Contains highly inappropriate workplace behavior including m/f/m, m/m, bondage, creative use of office space and a high-stakes trip to Atlantic City.

Enjoy the following excerpt for Restraining the Receptionist:

My unpredictable number one boss showed up in a new mood the next day. I’d never seen him light-hearted before. Now that I had an idea about his history, not a big surprise. But that’s exactly how he seemed when he breezed into the office. He wore casual clothes, blue jeans and a light blue open-collared shirt that made his eyes look like summer without the smog.
“I’ve got no pesky clients today, luv,” he told me, without pausing by my desk to check my outfit, which he usually did. “I’d like you to order us a picnic lunch.”
“Huh?”
“Picnic. You have those in America, right? Or are they banned in the great state of New York?”
“We have them, but you can’t even spread out a blanket without kicking aside a stray used needle or two.” As soon as I said it I remembered the heroin. “I…I’m sorry,” I stammered.
But my thoughtless reference didn’t make him miss a beat. “A little local color will add to the experience, I’m sure. Handle the details and we’ll go around noon.”
Did a picnic violate the terms of our deal? Ethan and I would be doing something outside of work, just the two of us, something intimate. Almost like a date. But he hadn’t suggested anything physical. It was lunch. We both had to eat, right? It seemed perfectly harmless.
Since I was working from the company petty cash fund, I called up the neighborhood yuppie café where they served giant organic sandwiches. On my budget, I would have gone for a Subway footlong. But Ethan would no doubt demand something better.
We held our picnic on a concrete bench in a sweltering park a few blocks away from the office. Dog walkers and stroller-pushers, listless from the heat, wandered by now and then, but otherwise we were alone. The humid heat pressed on us like a steam iron. My hair stuck to my cheeks as I bit into my upscale sandwich.
Ethan didn’t comment on the slabs of free-range chicken that had probably been hand-raised and read bedtime stories before being slaughtered and inserted into a sandwich. He did remove the unruly mound of bean sprouts and toss it to a nearby pigeon. The pigeon pecked at the stuff, clucked scornfully and waddled the other direction.
I couldn’t help giggling at Ethan’s wounded expression. “I wouldn’t take it personally,” I told him. “He’s a New York pigeon. He’s used to eating dog crap.”
He chuckled. “Have you lived here your whole life, Dana?”
The sheer ordinariness of the question unnerved me. “Well, except for that semester abroad in Paris, and the year I spent in Fiji with the Peace Corps. I’m joking,” I added, when he didn’t laugh.
“Oh. Well, I’m certainly familiar with your sense of humor, but I confess I don’t understand the joke. You could have done those things.”
I let out a spurt of laughter that startled the pigeon. “I had other things to do.”
“Like what?”
“Like dodge my father’s fists after a drinking binge.”
“Ah.” Ethan didn’t show sympathy or disapproval or anything else. He chewed on his stack of multi-grain goodness. “And your mother?”
“No clue. My father always said she ran away, but for all I know he has her body dismembered in a freezer somewhere.”
That earned me a sharp taste of Blue Fury.
“I’m kidding. I have a dark sense of humor. My father’s not that bad. And my stepmother would have gone for poison instead.”
A crack of laughter from Ethan. “You really are something, you know that? You fascinate me.”
I filled my mouth with sandwich so I didn’t have to answer that. I was very much afraid the fascination was mutual. We settled into a munching, digesting kind of silence. He had one ankle crossed over the opposite knee, and occasionally his bent leg would brush against mine. Every time it happened, a little jolt of awareness zinged straight to my groin. Did he know it was happening? Was he doing it deliberately?
“Your knee keeps touching me.”
“Does it?” He didn’t move away.
“That’s against the rules.”
“So sorry.” But he didn’t look sorry. He looked entirely unconcerned, even though he moved his knee away. “One of these days we must write these rules down. For instance, is all physical contact forbidden while Simon is away, or only that of a sexual nature?”
Lord, why did he have to say “sexual” with that spark in his eyes and that slant of his eyebrow? It wasn’t fair, damn it.
“Another example. I’ve been longing to tell you how delicious you look today and how the shadow of your nipples through the fabric of your blouse keeps drawing my eyes. But is verbal praise also off-limits, since I’d be unable to keep it G-rated, I’m afraid?”
“You can’t see my nipples through my blouse!” I looked down to make sure.
“Oh, yes, I can. I know what they’re doing right now. They’re just beginning to stir to life. You’re probably feeling a pleasant prickling as they become engorged. I’ve realized something about you, you know. The sound of my voice has a powerful effect on you.”
So right he was. I tried to block out his voice. Might as well try to stop the Hudson River.
“In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I could bring you to orgasm just with my voice. I wouldn’t have to touch you at all. All I’d have to do is tell you what I wanted to do to you. I’d tell you how much I want to bend you over this bench and take you in the open air. Or how much I’d like to tie you to that birch tree over there, open your blouse and bring you to orgasm with my fist up your cunt. Sure, someone might see. For instance, those three fellows playing Frisbee over there. It’s entirely possible they’d start to notice when I tied your hands behind the tree and ripped off your blouse. Maybe they’d even come running to your rescue.”
His gravelly voice hypnotized me so I could practically picture the scene. My body melted into a shivery puddle of craving.
“And then, of course, I’d have no choice but to invite them to join us, either as witnesses or participants. They look like red-blooded, able-bodied, clean-cut gentlemen, nothing to fear. I’d have to convince them you were willing. More than willing. Eager. I’d have to show them how wet you already were, just from having your breasts exposed. You like being exposed, don’t you?”
“Stop,” I murmured. This was going into an area we’d never touched. Other men had had no place in our games so far.
As soon as I told him to stop, he did. And as soon as he did, I wanted him to start again. After all, what was the harm? He was going there in imagination only.
“Well…” I cleared my throat. “Would you let them touch my breasts?”
“I’d give them a chance, see how they behaved. Not just anyone gets to touch my Dana. Our Dana, I should say.”
I winced at the reminder of the absent Simon. But I was too caught up in Ethan’s hypothetical scenario to be bothered for long.
“Our Dana’s luscious nipples deserve nothing other than sweet tender care. Long, lingering suckles. Perhaps a man to each nipple, and one to jerk himself off as he watches. That should get you started, I’d say. You’d be making those adorable little whimpering sounds. But perhaps I’d begin to sense that you want more, that you need the grip of cold metal on your flesh.”
The image made my belly clench with need. My nipples were as hard as the bench we sat on. I thought I would suffocate if this went on much longer. I turned a pleading look on him. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of nipple clamps.
This was way over the line, totally against our rules, but I banished that thought from my mind. I nodded, biting my lip. I didn’t care who watched as he reached inside my blouse and fastened the silver clips to my nipples. The sweet pain of it made me sag against him and sigh. Exquisite relief flooded me. I leaned against him as if he were a boulder. When I looked down, the clips were clearly visible through my blouse. But I didn’t care. Ethan would take care of me.