Saturday, September 26, 2009

Help us Unleash Your Story!!

Okay, LIT readers....I'm throwing down the gauntlet! The UNLEASH YOUR STORY event is nearly over, and we haven't come anywhere *near* our fundraising goal this year. Not even close. I know, I know...times are tough, the recession has hit everyone hard.

But it doesn't take a big donation to help--any little amount will help the researchers at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation get *this* much closer to finding a cure. And with a writer pal with not one but two kids with CF, I'd like to see a cure found soon.

So here's my appeal to you, the lovely LIT readers: if you're able, please consider making a donation of any amount to this wonderful cause!

You can read more about UNLEASH YOUR STORY here.

And you can donate here, which takes you directly to my sponsorship page.

Let's see what the LIT readers can do to move us one step closer to that cure!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sharing the fun!

We've just learned that Romantic Times BOOKlovers reviews magazine has given WINTER'S DESIRE, 4 stars!
saying,"This trio of tales is a delight!"
Be sure to hunt down your copy of the RT BOOKreviews for November 2009 and check out the fabulous ad designed by the talented Rae Monet!

ok, back to editland...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Coming Soon......

....a chance to win this beautiful "winter sparkle" necklace from GaelSong (just the necklace--unfortunately, the earrings were no long available--but don't worry, we have a different pair of gorgeous earrings to give away instead!). It's beautiful, isn't it?! I had to buy two--one to keep, and one to give away! On Monday, November 2nd the LIT Ladies (along with our naughty resident Lord of the Manor) will be hosting an all-day event to celebrate the release of the first volume in the "Celtic Spice" series, WINTER'S DESIRE!

We're going to be giving away a lot great prizes that day, including the "winter sparkle" necklace. We'll be setting the stage, so to speak, here at LIT throughout the Halloween weekend, so be sure to don your favorite virtual costume and join us then, too.

Mark you calendars now!

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 2nd

TIME: All day

WHERE: The Lust in Time Manor

We'll be discussing the inspiration behind the WINTER'S DESIRE novellas, giving behind-the-scene peeks, playing games, and giving out prizes.

Hope you'll join us!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Global Boom in Bodice-Rippers

The Global Boom in BodiceRippers-

So, I see Addicted's cover in the top left hand corner of this Time Magazine article, but it's in a foreign language. Any thoughts what it might be?

Interesting reading, btw, if you're intersted about the global romance boom

Friday, September 11, 2009

Writing the Historical! RESEARCH!!!!!

Okay, before you all groan, research can be sooooo much fun! Truly. I mean,you get to go virtual shopping for fabulous gowns and accessories, furniture, fancy townhouses, country estates, get my drift!

Currently, I'm researching, and shopping for my new series coming out with Harlequin Spice. (The release is a bit away~Feb 2011) Anyhoo, I'm having fun. And with an unlimited budget, the sky is the limit!

The period I'm researching is the late Georgian era, approx 1790's. I like the gowns of that period, plus it's the era where the Gothic was slowly making it's comeback. Now, not to the extent that it did in the Victorian era, but it was there. I like pretty things, but I also like dark, gothic tones as well. So, I'm 'shopping' in both venues.

I'm having a blast outfitting my heroines, and picking out their houses. My heroes...well, that's something a bit different. Wigs and powder were out at this time (thank the heavens) but lace cuffs and ruffly, lacey jabots were still the rage for men. There's a challenge there, making a man masculine and virile while wearing lace and ruffles!!! But, I like the look for these men, because they are Dark Fey princes from the Unseelie Court. Frock coats with brocades and braid, with lace cuffs seems to go hand in hand with the Fey.

Speaking of Men, I've been shopping for them as well! And thus far, I've found three of the seven I need. (I know, I'm greedy!)

So, I'd like to introduce you to my new series, The Sins and Virtues series, as well as my current acquisitions from my shopping sprees.

Below is the outline for the Series, interspearced with some 'man candy'...A warning though, a fan may be required, and some are a bit risque....but it's Friday after all, and it's a helluva way to kick off the weekend!!!


In Georgian England, the court of King George III is full of amusements, ranging from the innocent to the most depraved. London in 1790 is a dichotomy of wealth and poverty, the West End—home to families of ancient titles, palatial townhouses and elegant courtesans, and the East End—a maze of tumbledown rookeries, gin taverns and bawdy houses.

It is the height of the Season where days are spent shopping, making calls and riding in Hyde Park. The nights are filled with concerts, the opera, and balls where marriage minded young ladies parade themselves before the available gentlemen. In the East End, Covent Garden attracts both sides of the city, and the Dark Walk is an avenue for both moral and immoral pleasure seekers.

Absorbed in their own dazzlingly world of privilege and leisure, or struggling to survive the hell of their miserable existence, the residents of London have no idea that they are living—and sleeping—with those that are not human…

It is said that the Fey have always lived amongst the mortals, their world lying parallel to ours. They live in two courts, the ‘good’ faeries, belong to the Seelie Court, where gaiety and happiness reign. And then there are the Dark Fey, those who live in the Unseelie Court, or the unholy court as it is known. These dark faeries are mysterious and sensual, well versed in pleasures of the flesh. It is said that to look upon them and their beauty is to be drawn into their erotic, voluptuous world, and once there, your fate is sealed, your body and will, no longer your own.

And that is precisely what happened, once, long, long ago to a beautiful queen of the Seelie Court who caught the attention of the king of the Unseelie Court.

The king found the queen stunning, and he desired her. Soon the queen was all the king could think about; he was consumed with yearning for the beautiful queen and wanted her more than anything, but the queen spurned him. So, the king stole her from her bed while she slept and brought her to his court where he used his erotic skills to win her over. The king was certain he could win the queen’s love, but the queen despised the king, and once she delivered twin boys, she found a way to leave his dark court.

One night, she stole away, taking one son with her, the golden haired child who was the image of her Seelie self, leaving behind his dark-haired brother who bore his father’s resemblance. As she fled she placed a spell on the Unseelie Court, that it whither away, never to thrive again until the king of the Unseelie’s could make a woman give herself to him of her own free will and love her deeply in return. As well, she cursed the sons of the king’s siblings, and any future male children of the king with each cardinal sin, further destroying the princes’ chances of finding a woman who would give herself willingly.

To this day, the Queen’s spell holds strong. The Unseelie Court is dying.
Abandoned as an infant, the son, named Aragos, is left to be raised in the cold darkness of the Unseelie Court. He knows nothing of love or affection, just the warmth of plotting revenge against his Seelie brother, and the queen who left him to be raised in misery. As the eldest of the Unseelie princes, he assumes the rule of the dark court when his father dies. Aragos is forced to watch its splendor continue to dwindle beneath the spell.

Despite trying for years, Aragos has never been able to find a way to break the spell. Until he discovers an obscure myth in the scrolls which says that to keep the courts thriving, a mortal female must mate with a fae prince. The scrolls further say that every one hundred years, seven women are born into the mortal realm who represent the virtuous aspects of humanity. Chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility. The Seelie Fey, whose court is flourishing has always been able to tempt those virtuous mortals to their court, thereby mixing mortal and Fey blood together, ensuring longevity of their people.
It has been more than a century since the birth of the last virtues, and the seven mortal virtues are not only born, but of a marriageable age. These women, Aragos knows, are the only way to save the Dark Fey. He must find a way to entice the virtues to his court, but the trick is to ensure that they give themselves freely.
He spends much time thinking of a way, and finally comes upon a plan to ensure the virtues are unable to resist the Unseelie Court. He will use the Fey princes who represent the sins—lust, gluttony, greed, envy, sloth, wrath.

The King knows that the power of the dark court and its sensual mysteries are a lure to most mortals, and he can only hope that the virtues will feel the same. Could their resolve be softened? Could they, in fact, be tempted by sin?
Their task will not be easy, but nevertheless the king does set his plan in motion. Each sin will corrupt, through erotic pleasure and sinful offerings, their opposing virtues. But there is one caveat, the virtues must be enticed, never forced against their wills, and they must follow the sins back to the Unseelie Court of their own volition to live there and become the mates of the sins.
If the virtues give themselves freely, and mix their blood with that of the Fey, the court will once again flourish. Not only that, one union between a sin and virtue will produce a daughter that will grow up to be either the Seelie or Unseelie king’s bride.

Aragos is prepared to do battle with his twin brother, the Seelie King, for the right to claim the mortal as his. And only then, when his bride gives herself, and her soul to the Dark King will the spell be broken and the Unseelie court left to regain its glory of the past—a battle he knows will be bloody and fierce—but one he must win if he, and his court are to survive.

The future of the Dark Fey rests with the seven sins, and their ability to beguile their opposing virtues. But virtues being virtuous will not be easy to corrupt, and it will take very creative thinking on the part of the Sins to make the virtues fall into their dark, sensual embrace. But who is to save the Sins from falling for the charms of their virtues, especially when said virtues are ready for a taste of sin?

So, we've got some dark and sensual Unseelie Fey princes, and some maidenly mortal women who embody the virtues! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the sins have instore for their virtues!

The first book in the Sins and Virtues series will be.....LUST

And here's a yummy look of what I think could definitely embody the Fey Prince of Lust!

After Lust, Vanity will follow. I think this one is soooooo pretty. Perfect for Vanity.

The Fey princes of Sloth and Envy will also feature as secondary characters in this book. This next picture is of Sloth. I'm still looking for Envy. Please feel free to forward any suggestions my way!!!

So, a question. If you were reading about the Fey, would you want them to have pointed ears? Or what about normal looking ears with a little point? What if those little pointed ears were erogenous zones would that work for you. Or would it be offputting? Help a girl out with some research...puleeeease :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reading Binge....

I've been on a serious reading binge lately...reading stuff totally outside my normal reading habits, and, surprisingly enough, really enjoying it. I've discovered several new (to me) authors in the process, and that's always exciting.

This is how it started--my elderly cat started having seizures a few weeks ago. Her favorite place to sit is up on the window sills. They're not narrow little sills, but very wide ones, actually part of the radiator box, I guess. So it's nice and warm and sunny and a great place for watching the birds and squirrels in the yard. But a couple of times, she's started having a seizure while up there, and fallen off. It's a long way down to the hardwood floors below, so until we got her medication right, I really needed to keep her off them.

So, being the bibliophile that I am, I stacked books all over the window ledges in my room (because hey, nothing says 'decor' more than piles of books, right?!). They were mostly books I had received for free at conferences but never read, because they just weren't the type of book I normally go for (some were just extra copies of my own books that happened to be lying around the room).

But then one night I decided I needed something to read before bed, and, being too lazy to go downstairs to my office (where most of my books are), I started eyeing the stacks of books in the windows. My gaze landed on Kristin Higgans' TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE (contemporary romance), and the back blurb sounded interesting, so I cracked it open and gave it a try. I stayed up till 3 a.m. finishing that book that night--I couldn't put it down!

That one went back to the window sill when I was done, and I picked up Barbara Freethy's SUDDENLY ONE SUMMER, the first book in the Angel's Cove series (I don't even know how to classify this one--romantic suspense lite, I guess? Women's fiction with suspense?). Read it in two sittings, and now I can't wait for the next book in the series.

Then I picked up and older, hardcover book--Lisa Gardner's THE KILLING HOUR (romantic suspense, I guess?). Suffice it to say that I'm now a big Lisa Gardner fan, and have since ordered/read another of her titles (THE NEIGHBOR) on my Kindle.

Another pleasant surprise was Joyce Maynard's LABOR DAY (just plain fiction, I guess?).

I swear, I look at those stacks of books with fresh eyes, now. Instead of "books I got for free that aren't the type I read," they're now "fresh possibilities" or "new (to me) authors just waiting to be discovered." How exciting!

Have you ever read something outside the box of what you normally read and found that you enjoyed it?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Welcome Tracy Wolff to the Manor!

Hi everyone! Please help me to welcome awesome Erotic Romantic Suspense author, Tracy Wolff! She writes for NAL Heat, and she's a great friend as well. She's here chatting about her latest release, Tie Me Down (get a gander at that cover!) as well as sharing a few recipes with us--you know the LIT ladies and food....we do like it!

I'm pretty sure all you Hussies out there will find the excerpt 'Hussy Worthy', but do keep in mind that it's for audiences 18 and older. So, without further adieu, here's Tracy....

I had the great privilege of finally meeting Charlotte face to face at the last RWA conference in DC and I have to tell you, she is absolutely fabulous. Smart, nice, and so much to be around—she kept me laughing for much of our time together. So when she offered me a chance to come visit here at the manor again, I couldn’t resist.

Now, I’m sure you know about Charlotte’s alter-ego, Sophie, who wrote the very delectable Hot In Here. As we first discussed her book, Charlotte and I realized we both have a passion for cooking. Because she knows how much I love to cook—and try new recipes—Charlotte asked that I bring one along when I came today. So, over-achiever that I am, I brought two.

But there’s stories behind both of them. My new release, Tie Me Down, takes place in New Orleans, a city that I lived in for four years while I went to graduate school. It’s a city near and dear to my heart for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it is where I first really learned how to cook. So, in light of that—and in celebration of my latest erotic suspense—I thought I’d share two of my favorite New Orleans recipes.

The first one is Jungle Juice, an alcoholic party punch that packs an incredible wallop—but that is so good it’s hard to have just one. I should know, as it was my signature drink during the years I lived in the Big Easy. It helped that they sold it frozen at walk-up and drive-thru daiquiri stands in 32, 48 and 64 ounce varieties (did I mention that I turned 21 in New Orleans?)

Jungle Juice (enough for a large punch bowl)
½ L Everclear® alcohol
2 1/2 L vodka
1/2 bottle peach schnapps
1 cup Bacardi® 151 rum
1 bottle 99 Apples® apple schnapps
6 L 7Up
½ L triple sec
1 L gin
½ bottle ® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
2 bottles Boone's Farm® Strawberry Hill wine
4 L Hawaiian Punch® or Tropical Punch Kool-Aid
1 container orange juice concentrate
sliced oranges, apples, cherries, grapes, or other fruit of your choice

Mix all the alcohol together and let fruit soak in it overnight. In the morning, add fruit juice and punch, chill for a minimum of 6 hours. Serve ice-cold.

The second recipe I wanted to share with you is for Bananas Foster. One of the first really nice dates my husband (then boyfriend) took me on was to New Orleans’s famous Brennan’s restaurant. That’s where I had my very first taste of Bananas Foster—a house specialty as they invented it-- as I gazed across the table at the man I was rapidly falling in love with, It’s been a favorite of mine ever since. This is Brennan’s actual recipe for the yummy dessert.

Bananas Foster (serves four)

- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup banana liqueur
- 4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet.

Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan.

When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum.

Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream.

Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I do 

How about you? What’s your favorite drink or dessert? Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Full Exposure, my first erotic suspense.
Oh, and one more thing—I’ve included an excerpt of Tie Me Down here, as part of my Tie Me Down Contest Extravaganza. So head on over to my blog, to get the scoop on the contest. There are daily prizes and the Grand Prize (given away next Tuesday) is a $100 gift card to the winner’s choice of bookstore.

Excerpt #6
“I’m sorry I jumped down your throat this afternoon.” She said the words quickly, as if they tasted bad.

“I thought that was my line.”

She shrugged. “Maybe both of ours?”

He nodded. “Okay.”

“So go ahead and say it.” She watched him expectantly.

“I’m sorry I was an ass this afternoon?”

“You’re not supposed to say it like it’s a question.”

He grinned because he couldn’t help himself. Then reached for her hand and tugged. “Come on in.” He dragged her through the living room and down the hallway to the kitchen. “You want a drink?” He nodded to the bottle of tequila on the counter.

She glanced at the discarded lime peels. “It looks like you’ve been drinking enough of that for both of us.”

“Not even close.” Then, because he couldn’t keep his hands to himself for one second longer, he pulled her into his arms. “I’m glad you came.”

“Me too.”

He rested his chin on the top of her head for a minute and just breathed in the sweet honey scent of her.

She shoved against his chest, pushed him away. And for a brief moment he felt bereft, though for the life of him he couldn’t figure out why.

Striving for control, needing to keep his hands busy with something other than her, he reached into the bar cabinet and pulled out a shot glass. “You ever tried Patrón?”

She wrinkled her nose. “I’m not a big tequila drinker.”

“This isn’t any ordinary tequila.” He poured a shot, handed it to her. But stopped her when she started to sip.

“If you’re going to do a shot, you’ve got to do it right.”

Genevieve lifted one cool brow, licked her full lower lip and nearly had him coming in his fucking jeans. “I didn’t realize there was a wrong way to do this.”

“Sweetheart, there’s a wrong way to do everything.” And then he was putting his hands on her waist and lifting her up so that her sweet ass was on the center island, her legs just a little bit open.

Stepping between them before she could change her mind, he slipped yet another god-awful suit jacket off her shoulders—he was seriously going to have to do something about her wardrobe. Maybe if he ripped it all off her . . .
Licking a trail from the hollow of her throat to her breastbone, he savored the taste of her.

“Mmm, salty.”

She blushed, then leaned back on her hands so that her breasts were thrust forward. “It’s a hundred degrees in the shade. Hard not to sweat.”

It took all his self-control to take things slowly when all he really wanted to do was to eat her alive.

“I wasn’t complaining,” he murmured as he trailed his tongue over the curve of first one breast and then the other. Then he slammed back the shot of tequila and finished it off by biting into a lime slice.

Her mouth was slightly open, her eyes wide as she stared at his lips. “That’s the right way to do a tequila shot?”

He loved her voice, the syrupy sweetness was a turn-on even without the hard-ass tone she deliberately injected into it. With the hard-ass tone, it was irresistible. “It’s the best way.”

“I bet.”

He poured another shot. Handed it to her. “Here. You try.”

He shrugged out of his T-shirt and nearly smiled as she did the same. Would have, if his first look at her body hadn’t brought him all the way to the edge. She was still covered in little bruises, the love bites he’d given her the last time they’d been together. It was hard to imagine that he’d done that to her, had marked her as he’d marked no other woman. Had claimed her as he’d never had the desire to do before.

Maybe he was a Neanderthal, because looking at her covered in his marks— seeing her proudly wearing the evidence of his desire for her—turned him so hard and fast his vision blurred.

Shit, how he wanted this woman. Was dangerously close to becoming obsessed with her.
Her sexy pink tongue darted out, swiped across her top lip and then her bottom one, as if she couldn’t quite decide where to lick. And every thought he had or might have had got lost in the wild need pumping through him.
Groaning, he tangled a hand in her hair and urged her closer. “Come on, sweetheart,” he whispered. “Taste me.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer's End...

Ahhh, these last lazy days of kids slept till 11:30 a.m. this morning! We recently returned from a week-long vacation in L.A. (the above shot is from our vacation--a hazy day on the beach in Malibu!), and I think they're still on California time. Only school starts next week, so it's time to get readjusted to NYC time, and to make the transition into fall mode. Summer has always been my favorite season--sleeping late, warm, lazy I'm a summer birthday girl. But as a writer, I've recently decided that I'm like Charlotte--I need more structure to be productive. A set schedule.

So, for once in my life, I'm actually looking forward to fall. To the hectic schedule. To the kids going back to school (we're actually going to buy school supplies today--fingers crossed that the Office Depot isn't crowded!).

And I'm really excited about my upcoming fall releases, because they're both new writing experiences for me. All my previous books have fallen under the realm of 'historical romance.' Mostly set in Regency England, except for my novella "Swept Away," which was Edwardian-set.

But "Lover's Dawn" in WINTER'S DESIRE marks my first erotic historical romance, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's received. Truly, it wasn't such a departure from my previous writing style. There *is* a HEA, and the love scenes aren't all that different from ones I've written before--the language is just more frank. Also, the heroine's sexual journey is a more integral part of the story. Still, it's a 'romance.' Definitely. And honestly, I think writing "Lover's Dawn" is about the most fun I've had writing in a long, long time. I'm very proud of the story--and also proud of the entire WINTER'S DESIRE anthology and Celtic Spice series concept that me and my brilliant writing partners Charlotte and Amanda came up with. I hope that readers will be equally taken with the concept and the stories.

And then in December, another 'first' of mine hits the shelves--my first contemporary romance, my first series romance, and my first NASCAR-themed romance, all rolled into one! I love racing--I practically grew up at the track, watching my dad race sports cars (now vintage), and working timing and scoring from the tower. When Harlequin began its partnership with NASCAR, I immediately had my agent lobby the Harlequin editors on my behalf--after all, what could be better than combining two of my favorite things, racing and romance? The book is called FORCE OF NATURE, and while writing it was definitely a challenge (after all, I'd never written a category-length romance before, or a book that's part of a continuity series--something that comes with its own set of challenges), I'm definitely excited about it.

It's kind of funny, because my two fall releases represent the two far ends of the spectrum--erotic (Lover's Dawn) and sweet (Force of Nature), when normally I write more in the middle ground. But then, as a reader, I read the full spectrum, so it only seems natural that I should write such a range, too. Though I will say that when I read a sweet romance, I prefer it to have strong sexual tension. In other words, there doesn't have to be consummation "on-screen", but there better be some hot glances and steamy kisses--a promise that, when the two main characters *do* get together, it WILL be hot.

What about you? Do you only read HOT, or do you read the full spectrum in romance? Are you okay with no on-screen consummation, as long as the sexual tension is strong?