Meet Robin’s Other Half: Take Two

A couple weeks ago, I’d intended to have my husband join us on the purple couch for his very first interview.  As it always seems to do, life happened and we got sidetracked. But now we’re back on track and finally got our sit-down together. Today I’m happy to share my husband with all of you. First off, I’d like to thank Mr. Danner…let’s call him William, shall we…for joining us today.

Ahem, William. (cough cough) Will you please turn off the television?

Without any further ado, here goes An Interview with a Romance Writer’s Husband.

*****

Robin: First, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you meet Robin?  Was it “love at first sight”?

William: Uh…uh…

Robin: Come on!

William: I’m trying! Okay, I’m twenty-eight years old. I love to play video games. I’m a cabinet maker by trade. I’ve never “met” Robin.

Robin: rolling eyes

William: If you mean Christy, then the first time we met she was actually trying to hook me up with her friend. So I would say no to the love at first sight. It was like a month or so after before we started talking.

Robin: Ahem, four months.

Robin: As the husband to a smexy romance writer, do you ever experience jealousy of the fictional characters/scenes that your wife writes?

William: No, never. Thought doesn’t even cross my mind.

Robin: You played a major role in the brainstorming of Robin’s Princes series.  Was it exciting to help her brainstorm? Is it something you would do again?

William: Yes.

Robin: That’s it?

William: Well, it’s a yes or no question, correct?

Robin: In your own words, what do you think of Robin/Christy’s works?

William: I think it’s very cool, interesting, and incredible according to my standards of thought.

Robin: Some authors’ husbands like to keep their wife’s erotic romance on the DL. You’re not one of those apparently. Have you ever been teased for having a wife that writes vivid, detailed sex scenes?

William: No, not even close. My friends actually think it’s cool.

Robin: Getting a bit personal…have you ever acted out one of Robin/Christy’s sex scenes? Would you like to? ; )

William: I don’t know if I have because I’ve never read any of her books. She won’t let me! But I would do it if she would.

Robin: Rumor has it that you plan to accompany Robin/Christy to RT next year. Are you planning on being a “behind the scenes” guy, or are you going to participate in the activities?

William: I’m gonna tell you up front, behind the scenes.

Robin: And just because your wife asks this in every interview, boxers or briefs?

William: Both…boxer briefs. I’m “bi”. I go both ways.

Robin: Dear Lord. You do realize I’m quoting you, right?

Robin: Three boys. Ever want to try for a baby girl Danner?

William: When? I can’t have anymore.

Robin: Ten books in ten months. That must’ve taken a lot of your wife’s spare time. What do you do to help her relax after a long day of writing?

William: Not a damn thing. (maniacal laughter)

Robin: Thanks for agreeing to do this for me, babe. I wub you!

Until next time!

Robin

It’s Official…ish.

As of May 15th, I’m officially a full-time writer. Now, when I say officially, I mean I’m not working anywhere else except the clinic I own and operate as a one-woman, pain management and sports therapy clinic, and my home office (where I do most of my writing).

This is a huge deal. Those who know me will tell you I am a bit of a workaholic. The last time I worked only one job (over nine years ago), I worked in a high-level, high-stress environment for close to eighty hours a week – so that was like having two jobs at once. Over the last year, I’ve completed 18 hours of graduate studies with a 4.0, worked twenty hours a week as a graduate assistant, kept my business running and wrote close to three books.

This girl needs a nap! 🙂

So, all that being said, in order to keep the stories coming to you in a timely manner, something had to give. And I’m excited!

Next week I start a blog tour to promote the release of Spring Training – which will kick off with a special feature on Sunday! I’ll be posting tour dates on my blog as they come to me. Then, I’ll be headed to Colorado for RomCon, followed by a week-long writing retreat with some other awesome authors.

It’s going to be a busy summer, and I can’t wait. What is everyone else looking forward to this summer?

And before I go, thank you to everyone who has helped keep Spring Training at #29 in sports romance on Amazon! You guys rock!

Until next time…Garrett’s trading cards are on the way – here’s a sneak peek!

Garrett Donovan

Garrett Donovan                             

Hair: Sandy Blonde

Eyes: Blue

Occupation: Baseball player

Strengths: Knows how to handle his bat

Weaknesses: Biscuits and gravy, Jessa’s smile

Quote: “I don’t know which I’d rather eat. You or the cinnamon roll.”

 

Download your copy of Spring Training at Amazon. Print version coming soon!

 

Hair

Let’s just put it out there: I have a thing for hair.

I find hair to be one of the most memorable aspects of a character’s physical description. Perhaps that’s why there are so many red-haired heroines in romance, or why so many romance heroines have long hair. 

One of the most well known Norse myths tells of the goddess Sif, wife of Thor, and how Loki cut her hair in her sleep, to shame her and trick Thor. Odin ordered him to restore her hair, and Loki had a hairpiece forged of solid gold, which took root in Sif’s head and restored her beauty. (honestly, if Sif were around today, I’d suggest Loki introduce her to my WAHL clippers and Manic Panic, and we’d make a pretty punk out of her, but I digress)

When it comes to writing (and reading!) romance, I find ways to bring memorable descriptions of hair into the story.

There’s the facial/body hair thing–Out of my Ushers trilogy, two of the three heroes are bearded. All my Bear shifters wear beards, and in my contemporaries, the guys almost always have facial hair. Or chest hair. Or both (SWOON). Even my blind heroine Romy, from Shifter’s Dance, manages to “see” Stephen’s hair:

She gave him her hand. She heard and felt his chuckle as he laid it against his cheek.

“This is how they do it in movies.”

She explored his face with her hands. A thick beard, soft under her fingers, framing the full lips that moments ago had been stoking her desire to a fever pitch. An elegant, aquiline nose. Attached earlobes. Long eyelashes. Hair that slipped like silk through her fingers. Well, that was a surprise.

“What color is your hair?”

“Brown.”

“Brown like chocolate? Brown like honey? Brown like chestnuts?”

“It’s just brown, Romy.”

“Stephen.” She didn’t even attempt to keep the frustration out of her voice. “I can’t see, but I remember seeing. There is no ‘just brown.’ Tell me.” She tried to picture him in her mind, and the possibilities were endless.

“Brown like a cup of tea, and my beard has a little red in it.”

She could see it then.

My military heroes–Zeke from Fight or Flight, and Adam, the hero of “Always You,” a recently-finished project, have “significant” hair. Zeke wears his in cornrows, flouting convention while managing to stick to the letter of the law, and the Navy’s hair length regulations send Adam to visit his lover, Harris, at the beginning of Always You.

As for me–hair is significant to me too. I wear mine shaved on all but the top of my head, and I dye it varying shades of purple, from the deep purple in my avatar to the pale lavender I sported at the RT convention. You see, there’s no dress code in my home office, and this is a way to remind myself I am lucky to do what I love–write love stories–and not everyone has the freedom to express themselves fully, either on their heads or on paper.

Let’s hear it for hair–Do you have a “hair thing?” short or long? Shaved or bearded? Share your own hair stories in the comments!

 

Out on a limb…

I would have titled this “Out of my comfort zone” but alas, that’s coincidentally the title Lynn Lorenz used for yesterday’s post! What are the chances?

So, I had a general release this week with Total E-Bound: Three’s a Cruise. I went “out on a limb” way “outside of my comfort zone” to write this one! It’s my first m/m/f. It’s not my last m/m/f, however. Nope. I ran with it after this one. The trial run was successful, so I wrote a full-length BDSM m/m/f that comes out next spring with Samhain Publishing. I’m starting work on book two and three in that series now.

What was just a few months ago “outside my comfort zone” and “out on a limb” is now my new normal. 🙂

Here’s a blurb:

When a dream vacation gets an unexpected bonus anything is possible…

Haley and Jordan are about to embark on their dream vacation, a cruise out of Miami, Florida. Arriving a night early, they head for a local bar where they meet the sexy Nathan and engage in an unexpected threesome.

Nathan has also arrived in Miami tonight by coincidence. He has to work tomorrow, but tonight he intends to let his luck at finding the two lovers drag him away from responsibilities.

After Nathan flees in the night, Haley and Jordan have no hope of ever seeing him again. But fate has a way…

threesacruise_800Three’s a Cruise is now available at Amazon, ARe, Barnes & Noble, and Total E-Bound.

Out of My Comfort Zone – Lynn Lorenz

Okay, this weekend I did something out of my comfort zone, sort of. I attended the Houston Comicpalooza – a celebration of all things geeky, comics, Sci-Fi and fantasy.

I didn’t do it alone, hence the sort of. I dragged along some partners in crime – Belinda McBride, ZA Maxfield, Treva Harte and Christy Lockhart. Somehow, I talked them into flying to Houston and attending this event as speakers on numerous panels.

We talked about Coming Out in Comics, Getting Bent, Authors Behaving Badly, Vampires and Shifters, Beyond Yaoi, and What Editors Are Looking For. There may have been more, it was a whirlwind blur of Jedi, Cyborgs, Steampunk captains, Star Trekkers, aliens, zombies and us.

I’m sure we looked odd there, sitting on our panels, with the audience dressed for adventure and us in our everyday clothing. Sort of surreal, but in a good way.

I love going to conventions, and I’d been to many as a writer, and a few as the mom of a cosplayer, but never to a Comic related con. It was very similiar to the others – a bunch of people getting together to talk about, share, meet old friends and make new ones, centered around the things they loved.

Our audiences weren’t large, but guess what? They were filled with writers hoping to one day be authors. Sci-fi, romance, GLBT, and het, sitting in our panels listening to us.

A few even followed us from panel to panel – friendly faces I soon got to recognize, even in the maze of hallways and three floors of the George R. Brown convention center. It’s massive. Massive.

And I realized, that although the bulk of the con goers weren’t interested in much of what we had to say, there were these core people, and I hoped in some small way, our being there brought them to the con.

We chatted, encouraged them to find critique partners, writing groups, and in a few of the panels, got off topic to talk about POV, characterization and working with editors.

Even among the trekkies, zombies and post world destruction denizens, we found writers. Who’dda thunk it?

So, despite feeling What am I doing here? I soon realized, hey, this is why I’m here! To talk about writing, to fire up someone’s desire to write, to discuss GLBT characters in comics, manga, anime, and why it’s important they become mainstream, gay romance, polyamorous romance (and everything in between) and to perhaps lead a writer to a place he/she can get some support and suggest where to find the best place to learn the craft of writing.

I can’t wait to see if some of them show up at my WHRWA meeting next month. Wow, wouldn’t that be cool?

Out of my comfort zone, maybe at first, sure. But once I got going, my dear friends and fellow writers at my side, I discovered my comfort zone could expand and let a whole lotta outta this world in.

Thanks to all the authors on the panels I attended, and to my special friends who took a chance, said what the hell, sounds cool, and showed up.

Winners of the LLL Prizes Offered during Wet and Wild Blog Hop

Young modelI’d like to congratulate the two winners of the prize packages offered by the LL&L Ladies during the Wet and Wild Blog Hop.

First Prize Package:  Winner is Nickie!

1. A download of Monette Michael’s Prime Selection.
2. A download of Vanessa North’s Amazon.
3. A download of Parker Kincade’s Spring Training.
4. A download of Lynn Lorenz’s novella Truth or Lie.

Second Prize Package:  Winner is Vonnie!
1. A download of Becca Jamesons’ Rescue in the Smokies.
2. A download of Robin Danner’s The Princes Bound.
3. A download of Emilia Mancini’s The Rebound.
4. A download of Rosanna Leo’s Sunburn.

I have e-mailed the lucky winners.  Congratulations, ladies.  And thanks to all who visited and commented this week.

Guest Blogger Cherise Sinclair

CS_Shadowlands7_ThisIsWhoIAm_coverlgThis week the Ladies of Love, Lust, and Laptops have stored the purple velvet couch and broken out the black leather one for our very special guest, Cherise Sinclair, best-selling author of BDSM romance. She also happens to be one of my very favorite authors.

Welcome, Cherise, and thanks for being our guest today.

What a sweet compliment. Thank you. And, ooooo, love the couch! *snuggles down into a corner, stroking the leather*

Inquiring minds want to know what originally got you interested in writing BDSM erotic romance? And how long have you been writing?

Hmm, let’s take those in reverse order. I’ve been story-telling since I learned how fun it was to terrify my little sisters with ghost stories. (Alas, they’re not so gullible now). My first published book was a western historical with a traditional publisher…and then the historical romance market completely died and I couldn’t sell another. (For you writers out there—this is a typical example of the highs and lows of a writing career. LOL)

So I switched to paranormals. But while I was writing one, I became ill for a far too long of a time. And I was miserable, feeling unfeminine and unsexy. So, purely for my own therapy, I started a new story…one vaguely related to the tales of: It was a dark and stormy night. However, rather than a woman finding she’s in a haunted house, my story has the woman taking refuge in a very exclusive BDSM club. I was shocked (and almost appalled) when a publisher wanted the book.

Your books resonate with realistic details of how the Doms and subs transition between their everyday lives to the world of BDSM. Have you ever been involved in the BDSM subculture? If so, how have your experiences influenced your books?

Let’s see…first, I’m not allowed to talk about ‘stuff’ (my husband knows me well). He says, “You may tell them that there’s a reason that our bedroom door has a keypad lock on it, and leave it at that.” I know! What’s the fun in that? *pout*

My experience influencing my books? Hmm. First, I’m submissive if/when/and to whom I want, not all the time. Giving up power to someone is an act of will and of trust. If I haven’t handed over control, then…well, there’s probably a reason that my daughter’s boyfriends were always more afraid of me than of her dad. LOL

So, my books are written from that point of view: submissives are not doormats. And that human sexuality takes place on a wide, wide continuum. Each person has to find the place which fills her needs, from dominance to submission; to giving or receiving pain; to enjoying various kinds of kink. Or if you’re not into statistics, just think of sexuality as a giant buffet. Maybe your friend likes mashed potatoes, but there’s nothing wrong with you choosing a loaded baked potato.

Which of your books would you recommend to readers just getting into BDSM erotic romance?

Club Shadowlands or Master of the Mountain seem to be where most people start.

Your Doms are very sexy and protective of their subs – so, how do I meet a Dom like Nolan from the Shadowlands or Alex from The Dom’s Dungeon? Or are these characters a composite of several Doms you might have met?

Well, sweetie, first you get a divorce or permission from your husband, since an honorable Dom won’t take on a sub who belongs to another. But if you’re free to play… 😉

You’re right—the Doms in my stories are composites of the men, Doms, and Masters I know. Are there real-life Doms who are sexy and protective and caring? Definitely! Are you going to find Masters like the ones in my books filling the clubs? Not so much. The heroes in my books are called “Masters” because they are the most experienced, powerful Doms in the club. The title has to be earned.

But if you want to check out the lifestyle, I’d suggest first reading about BDSM, then attending local BDSM classes and/or a “munch” which is a meeting given by a local group, held in a public restaurant, so newcomers can ask questions. Do your homework so you can keep yourself safe, okay?

For the writers in our audience, how would you recommend a vanilla erotic romance author add BDSM elements into his/her writing? I guess what I am asking is – what kind of resources would you recommend in the area of BDSM for them to use as research?

I love assigning homework!

I have a list of BDSM links on my website that could give you a place to begin. Pick up some reference books like Screw the Roses; Send me the Thorns.

Visit the clubs, the munches, the groups and see what they’re actually like.

There are D/s and M/s people who blog. I belong to Fetlife.com and enjoy the interaction there–they have a large submissive group. On occasion, I’ll drag a friend to a BDSM club in a city (I live in a small town–and my DH won’t set foot in a club. LOL ) and talk to people and enjoy the scenes. Find some friendly lifestylers who will answer questions. In other words, use anything and everything you can get your little hands on. <g> As you meet people, online or otherwise, you’ll collect your own varied group of sources.

Your next Shadowlands book comes out this week and it features Sam, a sadistic Master at the club, and Linda, the masochistic submissive rescued from the sex traffickers by Raoul, Kim, and Sam in To Command and Collar. How do you make a true sadist like Sam sexy?

I hope Master Sam comes across right—because he is sexy. I think if you can get deep into what makes someone tick, what their needs are, and even more, how much they enjoy something, then a reader will get lured into going along.

Even more, S/M and D/s is a kind of dance between two people, giving and receiving, back and forth. There’s nothing sexier than the dance.

Here’s a snippet from This Is What I Am, which might show a bit of what I mean:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When he paused, she looked down to see thin red lines on her pale skin. Despite the wheel’s cutting sensation, she saw no blood. Her gaze lifted to the toy, to his hand, to his face…to his eyes. He was watching her intently, studying her responses.

A tremor started from her toes, working upward to her scalp. How could his single-minded attention be more arousing than the pain?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When is Sally, the brat trainee from the Shadowlands, going to get her Dom or will it be Doms?

I said “just one hero” and the FBI agents said, “We both want Sally. Write it that way.” Sigh. The problem with having voices talking inside your head is that earplugs just don’t work. So, yes, I’m going to end up with a menage in my Shadowlands series. And I’d guess Sally’s story will be out this fall.

*****

Quick vanilla questions:

Favorite movie? Lord of the Rings

Favorite beverage? Diet Coke…which my doctor says I shouldn’t drink since it, apparently, can contribute to thinning of the bones. I need to find a new vice.

Favorite vacation retreat? Whatever place I haven’t been to yet.

*****

Some quick non-vanilla questions:

Crop or cane? Huh, I’m more of a paddle/flogger sort of girl. Neither?

St. Andrews Cross or spanking bench? Well, now, that just depends. For flogging, I prefer a cross. Spanking—the bench. And I’ve always thought benches are shiver-inducing sexy.

Tweezer nipple clamps or Japanese clover clamps? Ow ow ow. I’m not a masochist—tweezers!

Flogger or single tail? Flogger—the thuddy ones can give an awesome massage…or knock the breath right out of you.

Barehanded spanking or leather paddle? Barehanded is far more intimate.

*****

Thanks for answering my nosy questions. Where can your fans reach you?

Website: www.CheriseSinclair.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CheriseSinclair

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2882485.Cherise_Sinclair

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CheriseSinclair

Do you have a blurb and an excerpt you would like to share with the readers?

Of course! The following is from This Is Who I Am which comes out from Loose Id on May 28, 2013. I’m so excited!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Blurb:

When trying to save a woman from slavers, Sam screwed up. Royally. Now Linda wants nothing to do with him. Or with BDSM. She won’t even admit she’s a masochist. As a dominant and sadist, he can give her what she needs, and when an opportunity arises, he slips into her life, intending to make amends. She’s everything he knew she would be…except for her bullheaded determination to be ‘normal’.

Now the horrible time is past, Linda just wants to return to her small conservative town, pick up her quiet life, and be normal. But how can someone who likes pain be ‘normal’? To her dismay, when someone spray-paints her home with obscenities, Sam shows up to rescue her. Again. Doesn’t he understand that the last thing she needs in her life is a sadist? He’s amused by her objections. But his dry sense of humor can’t disguise that he’s tough as nails and dominant and stubborn. He’s not going to let her drive him off this time. Soon she realizes she wants him to stay.

When he takes her to the Shadowlands, she feels as if she’s found a home…until she hears a voice from out of her nightmares.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Excerpt for

Masters of the Shadowlands 7: This Is Who I Am

Flanked by Raoul and Kim, Linda walked into the exclusive BDSM club known as the Shadowlands. Light from wrought-iron sconces flickered ominously over the dungeon equipment lining the walls. The overwhelming scents of leather, sweat, and sex slapped into her and stole her breath. The sounds of pain were like a kick to her stomach. Even the music held a savage bite.

At least no one would see her reactions—or who she was. The black mask she wore concealed her face, leaving only her lips and eyes revealed. Now, if she could only get her feet to move. The little voice inside her screaming get me out of here grew louder.

When Raoul put his hand on her shoulder, she jumped. “Chiquita.” His dark brown eyes were worried. “You would be safe in the Shadowlands, no matter what. But you’re also with me.”

“Thank you.” Considering the man had more muscles than the beach had sand, he was a reassuring presence.

“Linda, let’s go home,” Kim said. “We don’t have to stay.” Her blue corset matched her eyes, and her black collar held a silver engraving: Master Raoul’s gatita. Of all the women in captivity, Kim had seemed the least likely to want to be a slave. But the love between her and Raoul was so strong it almost shimmered. Somehow, Kim had moved on and found happiness.

Linda hadn’t. Even worse, she was unraveling as emotions ripped through her. She cringed at the sound of a paddle against flesh. A woman’s screams made her hands turn cold and numb. As the trembling in her belly worked outward, her knees started to shake. She couldn’t escape the memories of horrors. This was the stupidest thing she’d ever done.

“Raoul.” A gray-eyed man blocked their way, and his gaze swept over her face, her shoulders, her hands. “What are you doing? She’s terrified.”

Well, sheesh. She could have sworn she’d hidden her fear fairly well.

“She wanted to come,” Kim protested, then closed her mouth when Raoul tugged her collar.

The stranger was lean and graceful, wearing all black as a Dom would—only he had no need to wear black to establish his authority. Power surrounded him like the scent of aftershave. “You must be Linda. Little one, you should go home.”

Raoul squeezed her shoulder. “Linda, this is Master Z. He agreed to give you a temporary membership, and he’s the reason you are safe here.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Master Z.” So this was the infamous Master Z who owned the Shadowlands. She swallowed. Kim hadn’t come close to describing how intimidating the man was. “Kim’s right. I wanted to come.”

He lifted an eyebrow in an unspoken command to continue. In just one night at that other club, she’d discovered how a Dom in full command mode could turn her spine into jelly.

“I wanted…” Why had it been easier to explain to Raoul, even if she hadn’t explained everything? “Wanted to remind myself that people do this for fun. Consensually.”

“You want to replace the images in your head with better ones,” he said gently.

“That’s it.” And maybe find someone to hurt me. God, that sounded so sick.

He held his hand out, and her fingers were in his grip before she realized she’d moved. He studied her for a minute, then nodded. “All right, Linda. I think you have the strength, but don’t push yourself into a panic attack.” He arched a brow at Kim. “Your companions are quite familiar with the symptoms.”

Kim actually giggled. The beautiful sound showed that healing could happen, even after horrors.

“I’ll be careful,” Linda said.

“Very good.” He released her hand and moved off with the lethal grace of a big cat.

Linda blew out a breath and glanced at Kim. “Well. You tried to warn me.” If nothing else, Master Z had broken into her nightmare and got her moving again.

Kim grinned. “And you didn’t believe me.”

Linda laughed and looked around. The place was certainly different from the one she’d gone to before. True, her single visit to a BDSM club hardly made her an authority, but she’d spent hours there before doing anything. This place was more expensive. The equipment was padded with leather, the burnished hardwood floors reflected the flickering of the wrought-iron sconces. The general populace was older and quieter, although—she enjoyed the spectacle of a woman in a full catsuit followed by a naked submissive—the costumes were just as outrageous.

“Do you want to wander around or settle somewhere?” Kim glanced over Linda’s shoulder, and her eyes widened. “Uh, let’s just go to the bar.”

Linda turned. The nearest scene was a man on a St. Andrew’s cross with a Mistress putting clamps on his nipples. The spiderweb next to it held a restrained submissive struggling to evade the flick of a crop. Then a spanking scene. Then several people watching a Dom with a flogger.

When the Dom turned slightly, Linda’s lungs felt as if they were being pinched in wickedly tight clamps. Sam. Sam was here. She’d forgotten the dangerous vibe he gave off in dominant mode. Almost half a foot taller than her five-seven, he wore black jeans, black boots, a black belt, and a black flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His silvery hair didn’t make him look old—just really, really experienced.

He was using a full-sized, heavy flogger with brown leather strands. No fancy colors for him. The woman on the cross was in tears, her back reddened. As Sam flogged the blonde with a smooth rhythm, Linda wanted to hate him for inflicting such pain.

Yet, as the woman went up on tiptoes, she pushed her bottom back to get more. Her face gleamed with sweat and tears, but her half-agonized, half-blissful expression was that of a masochist getting what she wanted.

I want it too. Linda felt like a shaken soda with the cap screwed on too tightly to let out the increasing pressure. Pain might give her a way to open up and spew everything out. I need that.

Not with Sam though. No no no. And yet… She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself over her silky shirt. Watching him with a woman made her feel odd. Wanting and angry and unsettled. After a minute, she forced herself to turn away. Thank heavens she’d worn a mask.

Raoul was watching her, his dark eyes narrowed. “Shall I find you a Dom to play with?”

How had Kim found someone so sweetly protective? But she wouldn’t—couldn’t—have another person make those choices for her again. “Thank you, but I’d rather choose my own if I decide to…do anything.”

And she’d be very careful. She’d pick a sadist, but not one who was also a Dominant. During her night at the club, the Dom she’d spoken to had told her she was submissive as well as a masochist. As if one perversion wasn’t enough, I’ve got two.

But it had been Sam who had showed her how a powerful Dom could push her limits—could go past her limits. At the auction, she could have handled being whipped, but he’d done…more. Damn him.

“As you wish. Then let us have something to drink while you decide.” After pulling Kim to his side, Raoul guided them to the bar.

Linda glanced longingly at the bottles of tequila, scotch, and rum.

Raoul shook his head. “You may have water or a soda.” He turned to Kim and settled her on a bar stool, kissing her hair lightly.

But I want a drink. Linda sighed but had to admit he was right. Alcohol, in this place, might do as much harm as good. She needed to stay on top of things. In control.

The bartender’s assistant came over to get their orders. As Kim talked with her, Linda looked over her shoulder at Sam. Again.

He’d finished the scene. The blonde with spiky hair who might have looked tough at one time was trying to bury herself in his chest. When he rubbed her undoubtedly tender back and she cried harder, he grinned. Definitely a sadist. But a caring one. And strong. She remembered the steel-like feeling of his arms. He might be in his fifties, but he was all bone and muscle.

A shiver ran up Linda’s spine.

****

Cherise has offered to give-away one free download from her back list to one lucky fan.  Make a comment on this blog to enter for the chance to win.

The winner is Leeanne!! I’ve sent Leanne an e-mail congratulating her and also let Cherise know.  Thanks to everyone that visited and commented — and not much longer to Master Sam’s story!  Yay!

Guest Blogger Sara Daniel

Happy Saturday, ladies!  Emilia here with author Sara Daniel and she has the most interesting conflict for us…take it away, Sara!

Imagine: A week before her wedding, the bride flies across the country to have a one-night stand with another man. Oh my gosh, are you as appalled as I am by that bitch’s behavior?

Okay, but what if someone else arranged the one-night stand as a surprise gift? What if her own mother gives it to her? What if she has no intention of going through with the liaison? What if she just wants one last glimpse of “the one that got away” before her wedding? What if her marriage is a cool business arrangement, rather than a love match? What if she holds faithfulness as the most important element of a relationship and vows never to cheat?

A fabulous part of writing romance is creating these larger than life scenarios and convincing readers that our flawed but likeable characters deserve unwavering support and ultimately a happily-ever-after with the right person.

What about you? What fictional character have you cheered for despite dubious behavior or actions?

SD_One Night with the Bride_LG

One Night with the Bride

When her society matron mother presents Caroline with a one-night stand date a week before her wedding, she’s appalled. Even worse, the encounter will take place at the fantasy ranch resort operated by her high school lover, Javier Alvarado. Although determined to remain faithful to her fiancé, she’s tempted and intrigued to see her first love again. It’s not like she has to sleep with him.

But one look and kiss later, she yearns for the man she walked away from so long ago. Unfortunately, when Javier discovers Caroline is engaged, all he can see is deception and heartbreak all over again.

Can a 1Night Stand from Madame Eve reunite them or will one night with the bride sever their ties forever?

Excerpt

Javier led Caroline to the seclusion of the stable then spun to face her. “Are you buttering up my employees to gather secrets about my resort so you can undermine my success and create your own for Sunburst Hotels?”

She blinked, her blue eyes owlish and innocent. “You think I arrived in a helicopter and announced my presence to the entire county to engage in corporate espionage? Granted, I don’t have any prior experience, but I think I’d take the under-the-radar approach. Arrive in a rental car and check in anonymously. Maybe apply for a job as a janitor.”

Okay, so he’d accused before thinking the idea through. Her closeness rendered him temporarily insane. He gripped her upper arms. “What are you doing then?”

“For Sunburst Hotels? Absolutely nothing. I quit my job a month ago.”

“You want to apply as my private janitor? I’m only in my office at night, and if you came in I guarantee you wouldn’t be emptying garbage cans.”

Her eyes grew even more luminous. “What would I be doing?”

“Stripping, so I could take you on my desk.”

Her lips parted, as if the image turned her on.

The hell with the desk. He pulled her flush to his body, wanting her immediately—in the stable, on his real turf.

“Wait.” She pushed against his chest. “We can’t just pick up where we left off fifteen years ago.”

“Why not? We’re two consenting, unattached adults.”

Of course, they had issues from the past to work through. But when they’d been together, she understood him the way no one else ever had.

“Um.” Her gaze dropped away from his. “Actually, I’m not unattached. I’m engaged.”

SaraDaniel_headshot_9-2012_croppedAuthor Bio: Sara Daniel writes what she loves—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She lives her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband. Connect with her online:

http://www.SaraDaniel.com

http://saradanielromance.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/SaraDanielSaraShafer

http://www.twitter.com/SSaraDaniel

https://plus.google.com/116527894393652698361/posts

http://www.goodreads.com/SaraDaniel

 

Em’s Bubble Bursting Blog

Okay, so this post may not be as exciting as naked men jumping on trampolines, but it’s still important.

There are so many things about publishing authors need to understand. Cherie covered several the other day. Today let’s talk about professional etiquette during the editing process. 

If you aren’t aware, I have edited for several publishing companies over the years, and I freelance my ass off. Currently I am working with five authors on six full-length novels, most of which are going to be self-published, some by authors who have dozens of self- and contract-publications behind them. The rest are contracted through various publishing companies.

No matter what route you are taking or how many books you have out, everybody needs an editor. However, not everyone seems to understand this.

It never ceases to amaze me how some authors are so damned disagreeable, aggressive, rude, and sometimes just downright childish during the editing process. I know the process isn’t easy, but some authors seem to forget it is for their benefit.

My list of Authors to Reject is almost as long as my Authors I Love list (yes, we do keep track). The sad thing is my Reject list consists solely of authors who have been assigned to me through various publishing companies. Authors who I’d expect to have some level of professionalism if they’ve gotten this far.

So why do self-publishing authors have such a high tolerance when it comes to editing while so many contracted authors are toddlers about it? I expect it is because self-pubbed authors have come to understand the value of a good editor—a few one-star reviews based on grammatical or continuity errors will do that—whereas some authors going through a publishing company seem think they are…I don’t know…special.

Perhaps they don’t realize editors work with published authors every day. Or maybe they don’t understand that even though they are a good writer, they aren’t a perfect writer and someone needs to iron out those imperfections. Maybe some don’t realize how very small the publishing world is and how quickly you can get a bad reputation with publishers.

Or maybe some of them are just assholes who think if they kick hard enough doors will open for them.

Whatever the reason, I’m going to lay a hard truth out there and possibly burst a few bubbles.

The amazing achievement of being a published author isn’t so amazing when everyone else is a published author too.

Yes, editors are excited for their authors, we are proud of our authors, but when we finish editing a book, we push it aside and pull up the next author in line who we are excited for and proud of. And then the next, and the next, and the next.

It’s nothing against the author or their work, it’s just that…well, nobody here is special because everybody is special. Nobody ranks higher or gets treated better.

And absolutely nobody gets to treat others like shit without ending up on a few Reject lists.

Em~

Family Vacation

220px-Vacation1983No, it’s not the National Lampoon movie with Chevy Chase and his movie family. Instead it was my family’s early summer/late spring vacation.  The first we had taken together in years!

On May 10th, my hubby, my son, and myself loaded up the family SUV (a Lexus Hybrid) instead of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and programmed the GPS (which I caught out on several mistakes along the way), and headed for Disney World, not Walley World.

We didn’t have to deal with Aunt Edna and her little dog or Cousin Eddie, nor did we see Christie Brinkley in a red Ferrari along the way.

All in all it was a fairly staid and boring two-day drive.

Well, that is, if you discounted the rain, slippery roads, road construction (Louisville Ohio River bridge backup on a Saturday was 45 minutes), traffic accidents, and distracted drivers.

Clark Griswold only had to deal with his own inability to stay focused (and his crappy truckster), not everyone else on the road’s issues. I can’t tell you how many cars we passed where the driver was either texting, talking on a phone, or just not paying attention to what in the heck they were doing. And do people not understand that when it is raining (well, pouring is more like it) that they need to turn on their frigging headlights so they can be seen through the heavy spray coming off the road? In most of the states we passed through it was even the LAW to turn on headlights during rainstorms.

Obviously, we made it there and back, or I wouldn’t be ranting, uh, er, writing this blog.

Now, how was Walley World, er, Disney World?

It was nice. We stayed at the Beach Club Resort Villas, so we had what I would call an apartment. My hubby’s sister had flown in from Minneapolis (after the snowy, cold winter she’d had up there she was more than ready for Florida). and the Beach Club Resort Villas’ apartment was the perfect layout for four adults. We could walk to Epcot and the Boardwalk, and the Beach Club had three main areas and lots of nice places at which to eat.

My hubby, son, and sister-in-law did Disney while I spent time in the nice quiet apartment and worked on my book. Just what I needed — quiet time away from home where the world intrudes all too often on my writing time.

Evenings we dined out at some really nice restaurants including former Iron Chef Cat Cora’s restaurant, Cuzzina. Yum.

In fact, the food was the best part of the trip, and I would do Disney again just to eat at the restaurants we ate at. Oh and we did do a Disney character breakfast and I got to hug Goofy. Minnie sort of blew us off.

So all in all, the family vacation was a success. But next time, no matter how scared I am of flying, we’ll take a plane. The highways are far too dangerous, and that is even without Clark Griswold falling asleep at the wheel of the family truckster.

Don’t forget to comment and get a chance to win one of two prize packages that the Ladies of LL&L are putting up this week as a part of the Wet and Wild Blog Hop.  And if you haven’t clicked through on the Linky List link on the main welcome to the Wet and Wild Blog Hop posted here at LL&L on Monday, do so.  That enters you for the main prizes listed at Skye’s main blog page.

Writing ain’t easy

Like the title says writing ain’t easy. Everyone thinks it just a case of writing a story and boom …done… you’re published….. yeah not so much. I’ve heard that a lot lately, and as I’m suffering with a intermittent ability to write I thought I’d lay out the starting steps to what a writer really does….. Also for those of you who have yet to be published, this is stuff I think I would’ve like to know before hand, it would have saved a lot of worry that I was doing something wrong, or something had gone wrong…. I can tell ya….so are you sitting comfy? Good, we shall begin….

The first part and probably one of the hardest parts is having an idea. Not just any idea but a good idea ….those little buggers are few and far between, trust me. Then comes the writing…rewriting….re-re writing…self-doubt….sheer joy…feelings of utter uselessness…and then you type those magic words “the end”.

But don’t be fooled….oh no dear blog reader that is so very far from the end it should really be called “just the beginning

Now comes the synopsis…or as most authors will tell you it’s called…the SUCKopsis…..this evil tool of torture is an outline of your book with all the main points laid out as well as the ending. Lots of publishers require them but not all, check your desired targets submission requirement.

Ah submission requirement….those sneaky little things that just jump out and catch you unawares.

So you’ve picked a target aka a publishing house that you want to submit to. Check their website. Every publisher will have a submission section detailing their requirements for any submission. You’ll find loads if information there but probably the top three will be:

1) most important; are they open to new submissions right now.

Some publishing houses will close their doors to “new to them” authors for a while as they have more submissions then their team can handle. They usually do this so they can give any submission they currently have proper time and consideration and not rush through it.

If they are closed check back frequently, they will often reopen for submissions after a short period of time.

2) style and layout; they will tell you what font they want, margin spacing the lot. Make sure you change your submission to match that.

 3) make sure the book you’ve written is suitable for them. They will usually tell you what genres and story lengths they’d accept. If it’s too short see if you can add to it without taking away from the core of your story. If not it might be any idea to either a) sub elsewhere or b)See if they have any anthology calls out that your story would be suitable for. One toe in the door is better than none.

Now you can submit your precious….and get ready to so a whole lot of waiting. Each pub house is different. Some will take a couple of weeks, some several months but know this going in and you will be fine…..which is a lie because you will freak out every time you check your email…but know that and you’ll be fine…..

I won’t string you along by saying they are going to pick your story up the second they see it. Yes, they may do but it’s more likely you’ll get a revise and resubmit, if they liked it but thought it needed some work or just an outright rejection. Don’t lose heart, if they gave you notes read through them,  see if you understand what it was they thought didn’t work or what needed to be added. You know the story they don’t so their fresh eyes might have caught something you didn’t notice.

Resubmit either to them or to someone else but never lose hope.

Someone somewhere will like your story and you will get published.

But, a word of caution, don’t rush into a contract with the first publisher that offers.

In this world there are good people and bad people. As there are in publishing. Research the publishing house before you submit to them, check the quality if their books, see if they put out good, well edited, creative covered books. Then research some more. There are many forums and blogs online that will give information on good and bad publishers alike.

Yes, getting that offer is the best thing in the world but that feeling won’t last if they ruin your book. Be aware, that’s the moral of the story.

So you’ve got that contract, with a good publisher, and now the serious work beings.

You’ll get assigned an editor this may or may not be right away. Your book is not the only one they are working on, so it may take a while before yours get to the top of the list. That editor will go through and edit your book, no matter how clean you think yours is, you won’t have caught it all. They will make suggestions on flow and continuity; again they have fresh eyes and will see things differently.

Then it will go to a FLE (pronounced flea) this is you Final Line Editor. This person will go through your story and find missing commas, spelling errors and all those sorts of things. They don’t read the story for continuity they look at grammar, punctuation, that sort of thing.

You will also get a Cover Art Request form. Read this carefully. The information you give on here will help create the cover for your book.

Give them your ideas but be aware that not everything will appear on the final cover. Your idea for a great cover and what a qualified cover artists ideas are may not match. Don’t be offended that they didn’t use everything, and don’t be scared to let them know if something just isn’t working for you. This is their idea on “paper” but if they haven’t quiet got the right feel let them know, they are usually happy to work with you. After all its their business and they want to put the best product they can out there.

Now you have done all your edits, have a stunning cover….what next? Well you will have a release date confirmed to you. This may be when edits first start or may not be until well after they are finished, each pub house is different so don’t fret, you will be told.

My suggestion, and this is just my suggestion different authors have found different ways that work for them. So about two weeks before your release date I would start promoting your book. Don’t go over board and use every tweet or status to mention it but a couple times each day, would be enough to start the slow burn.

I find a slow burn works for me, its always on the edge of their conscious then.

Perhaps offer a giveaway, my suggestion again here, don’t offer a copy of your book, people ain’t gonna buy something they think they can get for free are they? Perhaps a nice note book or pen or something to do with your book. If one of your characters is a cross stitched, perhaps a small cross stitch kit…..theme the giveaway to match your book.

Release day comes…..and go mental…scream it to the world, people will forgive you today because they will be just as excited as you are.

You’ve earnt this day of shear unadulterated “look at me” soak it up baby!!

I haven’t even covered, your blog your website, your brand, your contract with the publisher and promo…….

And you thought all you had to do was write a book…..sweethearts, that’s just the beginning……

I told you…I’m a writer, don’t mean I sit there all day tapping away at a keyboard, knowing at the end of it a magic publishing contract will appear….nope don’t happen like that.

I know it sounds daunting, but if this is what you want to do please, please, please don’t be scared. Yes it’s daunting but you can do it. Just pull on your big girl panties, or Spiderman boxers (this is a safe place we don’t judge here, so whatever undies work for you) and do it.

It’s not easy but nothing worth doing is….just remember when you are a New York best seller, to spell my name right in the dedication…..just putting that out there

Until next time remember…..The best pleasure comes with a little pain…..just my suggestion