Thursday, May 31, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 25

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 25 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Need the rules? Read on!

Here's how it works:
  • The prompt is a line from the previous week's winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 7 PM Pacific Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up. ;)
How it benefits you:
  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we're all about promotion - you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 25:

The ever gorgeous, color coordinated, Sci-Fi Sensualist, Cara Michaels.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"Crushed brown fragments blew away on the breeze."

Away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThread. Good luck! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5 Questions of a Paranormal and Contemporary Erotic Romance Author

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, and the Wicked. Today I have the honor of hosting paranormal and contemporary erotic romance author Nara Malone with a new release through Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Blind Heat, out today! Nara and I came together over a good peach ice cream recipe and she’s become one of my favorite authors. Nara is graciously offering an e-copy of the first story in her Pantherian Passions series, The Tiger’s Tale, to a lucky commenter.

Welcome, Nara. Thank you for being with me today.

Thank you for having me, Siobhan. Dropping in for a chat with you is always fun. I’ll be hosting Siobhan at next week and we have a groundbreaking project cooked up. Be sure and drop by for that.

What started you on the path to becoming an erotic romance author?

I was having some success as a columnist for a local weekly paper. I wrote the front page feature for the B-section. So I tried writing a couple of short stories. I was told that was a hard market to break into, but both of my submissions were published by the first market I sent to. So, I thought I’d try a novel. I like digital publishers and erotic romance because they allow authors the greatest creative freedom.

I wrote the first thirty pages of The Tiger’s Tale and submitted it to Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight contest. I was hoping for some feedback. Imagine my surprise when I was the finalist with the highest score. I had to write the rest of the story real quick in case I won. And I did win. Raelene Gorlinsky asked to see the partial. So my call, when it came, was from Raelene and the first thing she said to me was, “Nara, I need to know what happens next.” I sent her the rest and she sent me a contract.

Congratulations on your release of Blind Heat with Ellora’s Cave. Introduce us to the main characters and premise of your story.

Blind Heat is the sequel to the Tiger’s tale and Ellora’s Cave has approved Patherian Passions as the series title for all my Pantherian Stories. Pantherian shapehifters are both human and one other species. They can shift between the two species at will.

The hero in Blind Heat is Marcus, a Pantherian and a millennial being. He’s been alive a millennia, but he’s not immortal. As high magus of the Pantherians he’s revered and with that has acquired a touch of arrogance. Allie will bring him down to earth.

 Like many species on earth,  Pantherians are facing extinction. A mysterious wasting sickness has decimated the Pantherian female population, leaving males to move to human controlled regions of the world where they live in their human form and find companionship with human females.  What Marcus longs for is the one thing he can’t have, a true mate, someone who will accept him in his true form.

Allie is determined to build an ordinary life. To survive she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.

Marcus is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know he is a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night of passion spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian, won’t forget.

But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus isn’t satisfied until he discovers the source of her problem—face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. Marcus decides to use erotic rituals to teach Allie to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is that she will see past the man and recognize the beast within.

Did anything in particular inspire this story?

Two things. I used to work as a biomedical engineer and that job took me into the sort of research labs where parahuman research takes place today. My awareness of the plight of the animals,--particularly hybrid animals they call “humanized”--is the driving inspiration behind the Pantherian series.

Inspiration for Blind Heat is even more personal because I included a face blind character. I was born with a genetic condition called prosopagnosia, commonly known as face blindness. Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know other people perceived things differently than I do. I didn’t understand what was special or noticeable about Barbara Streisand’s nose or Betty Davis’ eyes.

What is face blindness and how have you found ways around it in daily life?

The best way I can think of to explain face blindness is to show you what face blindness does to a person. Here’s a video clip of a woman who was left face blind by an accident. I think she feels the loss more acutely than I do because she remembers what is like to recognize people visually, rather than from a set of facts she’s memorized as clues about them.

Face blind people can see just fine. What they can’t do is imprint the memory of a face. That’s as much as current research can tell us at this point. Some individuals, like me, also can’t imprint a memory of how to get to a specific place. I have run the same ten-mile route with running buddies over the span of 12 years and I still get confused at certain turns. When I watched the video above. I couldn’t pick out the woman’s mother from photographs I watched her take. I didn’t know when they showed Terry a picture of herself that it was her. I took the famous faces test and failed miserably.

There is no cure or treatment for face blindness. As part of a Harvard study I took part in, I learned that I can look for differences like the height of eyebrows and distance of mouth from lips to help decode faces, and that helps, but I think there are differences others see that I don’t.

I depend on friends who help me navigate and identify people at events like conferences or road races where there are big crowds in unfamiliar locations. What I notice about a person is their hairstyle, body shape, and the sound of their voice. You’ll see in Blind Heat that those factors can fail. Men have generic hairstyles and modes of dress that make them hardest to recognize. Business people have uniform dress codes that are a nightmare for the face blind to sort out. If I can hang back on encountering someone I might know, wait for them to speak first, I can usually recognize their voice. I’m acutely aware of the nuances of voice.

Including a face blind character in Blind Heat allowed me to tell a story from a viewpoint where I could describe the world the way I perceive it. That was fun. It’s the closest I can come to giving people a look at the world through my eyes. I sometimes feel like I perceive the personality of person-- imprint that subtle essence of who they are rather than what they look like. I thought that was a good fit for this story and Allie’s growing ability to see past Marcus the man and into the beast within.

What other projects are on the horizon for you that we’re likely to see?

I’m part of the multi-author paranormal series called Passion’s Portal that Ellora’s Cave has just approved. The series includes a host of shifters and magical beings. A unique element will be the interactive website where readers can interact with characters and explore the mysteries of Shadowling Manor , the mysterious location of the portal and the launching point for each character’s sex magick adventure.

My first contribution to the series is Make Me Wet, is a selkie story. I’m doing the final polish on that right now. The first release in the series, Serving Nicole comes from  USA Today bestselling author Marilyn Campbell. Marilyn says she’s turned in final edits, so we’re expecting to learn the release date on Serving Nicole in the next few weeks.

Other  stories from spectacular authors listed in the initial proposal are:
Pack Matingby Brandi Evans;  Taking Flight, by Charlotte Stein; and Trial by Fireby Shannon Emmel

You can read the blurbs and read more about the series here.
You can get to the website from either or Only a bare minimum of the features are visible and accessible at the moment. We’ll unlock more as the series books release.

Thank you for joining me today, Nara and we look forward to all your upcoming releases!

Nara is graciously offering a copy of The Tiger's Tale to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is say hello and make sure there is a valid email address or Twitter handle in your comment to win. The contest ends Thursday, May 31st at 8:00 pm PDT, and you must be over 18 to win. If you leave a comment at the website too, you’ll be entered twice. Good Luck.
If you’d like a copy of Blind Heat and can't wait for the giveaway, you can find it at:

And be sure to check out The Tiger’s Tale, the first book in Ms. Malone’s Pantherian Passions series:

You can find Nara at:

The number one place to find out more about my paranormal shifter stories is I post about both Pantherian Passions and Passion’s Portal stories there. I’ve also included links to the Pantherian Virtual World I built for readers to explore. You’ll find back story for the series, pictures and video, and profiles for characters in the series.

The following excerpt picks up where the excerpt on the EC site leaves off.

Adult Excerpt:

Marcus ran his thumbs over rain-studded skin at the edge of her bra. He needed to reel himself in. He’d been trying for the last few hours to keep the inner beast leashed. He’d only meant to come close enough to touch her dreams, thinking then her guard might be down. Few humans had the skill to shield their thoughts from him as completely as Allie. But it hadn’t been hard to track her down a few days after she’d taken Hella. She had routines he could set his watch by. It hadn’t been long before she was back in the park for another run and he’d followed her home. But Hella wasn’t in Allie’s apartment, nor had he managed to get any information regarding Hella in repeated visits to Allie’s office. Numerous suggestions and influences hadn’t penetrated Allie’s mental blockade.

The erotic suggestions he’d sent winging into her dreams had penetrated, stirred her needs, but it had opened no more than her body to him. A body soft, yielding. Her excitement evident to his Pantherian senses. The quick beat of her heart, the welcoming scent of female ready for a male.

A firm tug at the zipper on her running bra accomplished nothing, so he did away with that impediment in the same way he’d dispensed with the shirt. Her escalating arousal had her back arching, intensified the scent of desire. Her eyes went wide and pupils narrowed. He had her full attention now.

Ripe breasts springing free to fill his palms, had his attention.

Prim, shell-pink nipples begged to be licked. She held her breath when he dipped his head to do just that. Flesh tightening under his tongue had his teeth automatically closing around the hard little nub. The soft sound she made in her throat was so mew-like he was tempted to toss her over his shoulder, head back to his truck and keep her. Unfortunately, he was fairly certain that practice had been outlawed in this country a couple of centuries ago.

Sex at dawn in a public park probably wasn’t legal either.

There were only so many laws he was willing to follow.
Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Author Spolight: Alex Bowman, Erotic Romance Author

Good morning, dear readers. I have the great pleasure to introduce Alex Bowman, M/M erotic romance author. His debut release, Losing His Religion, is from Evernight Publishing, and he's generously offered a excerpt and a giveaway. This is M/M erotic romance, so if that's not your cup of tea, please skip to the bottom of this post and leave a comment for Alex.

Now, the BLURB for Losing His Religion:

Discarded most of his life, Jamie had learned as a teen that he was a Soul Collector, one of a mysterious group who fought the demons that attacked fellow humans. Cast out into the world, alone, the orphan fought hard to find his way, ending up in a seminary of all places. But chastity wasn’t a problem. He had no time or trust for relationships, let alone love.

Ios felt protective of the Soul Collector, the one the prophecy claimed would one day be his mate. Following the human for years, Ios had done everything he could to ensure his safety without stepping out of the shadows. He also held his lust in check, knowing Jamie would never accept him.

The time was upon them to join forces. Could Jamie handle who and what Ios was, and trust the growing feelings between them before it was too late?


“So did you?”
“Did I?”
“Know I was yours the moment you saw me?” Jamie pinned him with a look of lust he’d never quite seen flash on the man’s face before.
Mine. Ios’s felt the rush of need spiral through him with such force that it nearly took him to his knees. His cock thickened and he felt his balls tighten. His whispered “Yes…” floated on the air, his body trembling with the hard-won control to stand in place and not cross the room and force the human to the floor under him.
“I don’t know that I believe in fated lovers, predetermined to find one another.”
“I’m not asking you to believe in anything.” Ios believed enough for the both of them.
“I will admit, there is something…” 
Something?  “What?” He needed Jamie to say it, that he wanted Ios. Needed Ios.
Jamie’s face flamed and he glanced down, apparently unable to put the emotions he felt into words.
Fuck it. Control is overrated.
Ios stomped across the small space, grasped Jamie’s head in his hands and pressed his lips against the smoldering heat of the human’s mouth. Swallowing the gasp of pleasure, he thrust his tongue into Jamie’s mouth and tasted the ale left lingering there, as well as the heat and taste of his male.
When he felt Jamie’s hands spreading across his chest and moving down his stomach, he tightened his whole body, needing for the hands to venture further south, needing the male to show him that he wanted more through his exploration. As warm hands rubbed against his hardened cock through his jeans he could have shouted in joy. He deepened the kiss, pressing his hips forward, languishing in the caress from his male.
Ripping the shirt open, baring Jamie’s chest, the tinkering of buttons hitting the stone floor echoed around him. Ios spread his fingers along the hard muscles before him. Jamie removed the shirt, dropping it to the floor. The material puddled around his feet and Ios wanted more to follow. His shaking fingers pulled at the belt buckle Jamie wore, and he tugged at the leather, not wanting to remove his lips from the human’s.
Pulling back, he was afraid the moment would be lost if he could not keep Jamie in a frenzy. His need was too great. He could not be denied this time. Ios would have the male now, or he would explode.
Warm hands steadied his. “Let me.”
Jamie gazed into his eyes, slowly removing the belt and dropping it to the floor. His hands then went to the top of his pants and he unbuttoned them. The slow pull of the zipper reminded him that he was overclothed as well. Ios removed his t-shirt in a flash and kicked off his shoes. By the time his pants were gone, Jamie also stood naked.
His hands ached to touch the male, to explore every single inch of flesh he had to offer up for his inspection. Jamie was beautiful. Small, firm muscles curved over his slim build, his skin nearly unmarred. The wound in his chest was no longer visible.
A small smattering of blond hair started below his belly button and thickened as it surrounded his jutting cock. Fully erect, it stood proud against his stomach, a pearl of fluid shining at the tip of the purple head. Thick veins spread along the shaft and Ios’s mouth watered to taste the flesh. Dropping to his knees before his human, he got a closer look at what the male had to offer.

Alex is offering one lucky commenter a copy of Losing His Religion. Just leave a valid email address or Twitter handle for us to contact you should you win. Contest ends Thursday, May 31st at 8:00pm PDT.

If you can't wait until then, Losing His Religion is available now from:
All Romance Ebooks
Evernight Publishing

If you'd like to connect with Alex, you can find him:

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Guest Post from Siren Author Missy Lyons: Character Interview

Character Interview for Strictly Business,
which is available for pre-order from Siren Bookstrand on May 24, 2012

Today we are going to meet the Parents of the four sisters in the Stud Service series. William and Maria Gibson have been patiently waiting for grandchildren, but none of their willful daughters have had the slightest interest in keeping a man in their lives, instead putting the focus of their lives on their education and furthering their careers.

Me: Thanks for coming today.

William: Thanks for having us. (William adjusted in himself on his chair, and looked very comfortable in front of a television camera.)

Maria: Yes. We were very excited to come today. You never know, Savannah’s future husband may be watching. (She blew kisses to the camera and waved.) To all the single men out there, we have four beautiful daughters looking for a husband.

Me: (I coughed lightly to regain Maria’s attention.) Well, allow me to get right to the point Mr and Mrs. Gibson, it’s been in all the papers and I am sure everyone is wondering why you decided to make an ultimatum to your four daughters? They have to find a stud and get pregnant or lose their trust fund, wasn’t that the deal?

Maria: (She wrinkled her nose at me in disgust.) You make it sound like I am prostituting my daughters. I am not a bad mother. I only want what is best for them. Shame on you!

William: There, there. Don’t get yourself worked up over this woman. She has no idea what we’ve gone through over the years. (He patted his wife’s hand and looked at her with pure adoration in his eyes.)

Me: But do you think it is right to force your daughters to get pregnant? (I am trying desperately to keep the interview on track and still don’t feel like my last question was answered.)

Maria: What do you think I am doing? Holding them down while somebody rapes them? No, you are a bad lady. (She pointed her short stubby finger at me accusingly.) I love my daughters.

William: I am sure what my wife is trying to say is we are trying to remind them what is important in life isn’t about going to school or getting the perfect career. It’s about finding love and making a family. We’re just trying to give them a shove in the right direction. 

Me: (Maria is looking like a volcano about to blow up, so I try to turn the interview in a new direction.) Did your parents have to force you to get married and have children?

William: I fell in love with Maria the day I met her. I told her that day I wanted to marry her, but she didn’t believe me.

Maria: (She rolled her eyes and folded her arms over her plum breasts.) You married me because of the shotgun my father had pointed at your back.

William: (He chuckled at her response.) I married you because I wanted to.

Me: How did you two meet?

Maria: Our families both owned ranches and we were neighbors. One night we just happened to be out and met under the moonlight at the creek that separated our properties.

William: We were skinnydipping. (He grinned and Maria rewarded him with an elbow to the chest.)

Me: I can see you have a strong love for one another and I understand that you want to see your daughters happy as well, but what if your plans don’t work?

William: I don’t have any doubt that our plans will work. You see my daughter’s believe that life is a fairy tale, and they have been holding out for Mr. Right instead of looking at Mr. Right Now, but they can find a lot of Princes if they would be willing to kiss a frog or two.

Maria: (She huffed, and her exasperation was obvious.) My daughters are very smart girls, but they don’t know what’s good for them. They will be happier with a family and children to love them. I deserve grandchildren. I deserve to be happy too. (She began weeping and holding her face in her hands to cover her tears.)

Me: Are you okay, Maria? I am sorry if I hurt your feelings. (I am appalled I could have brought her to tears in such a short time and that something I may have said made her cry.)

Maria: (In a moment of bravery, she looked at me straight in the eye and with a fierce voice a litany of Spanish words escaped her lips and then ran from the room. I was frozen in place and shocked. I had no idea what she said, but I was sure I was being told where to go.)

William: I am afraid this interview is over. (He took up his coat and followed his wife from the room, calling to her in a soft voice.) It’s okay, dear. I promise you will have grandchildren soon.  

**You can read the four Gibson sister’s stories at Siren Bookstrand, in the Stud Service Series.

Book 1 Strictly Professional – by Sandy Sullivan
Book 2 Strictly Accountable – by Tonya Ramagos
Book 3 Strictly Business – by Missy Lyons
Book 4 Strictly Physical – work in progress by Cherie Denis

Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack - New Life

Welcome, Sixers! Thank you so much for visiting the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. I'm grateful for your visit and your comments. I realize there are a lot of good authors on the Six Sentence Sunday list and I appreciate that you've taken the time to visit my blog.

Today I'm offering a snippet of my newest release, Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack, available now from Siren Publishing. The heroine Julianna Morris found herself on her front porch, scratched, bruised, and her hair full of twigs. She can't remember the last few days and spends the whole day trying to figure out what happened. In this snippet, she just woke up from a 'dream'.

Julianna held her breath, trying to figure out what she’d seen. A clear vision of hunting a lone raccoon surfaced, complete with the scents of blood and fear. She recalled the taste of the raccoon’s fury and desperation, and the texture of its fur along her tongue as it fought the grip of her jaws. Then she remembered the sweetness of its flesh as she fed from its warm belly.
Panic and dread swelled with her revulsion.
“Oh my God,” she whispered, horrified, “I’m a monster!”

Well that might put a damper on your day. Thanks so much for stopping by. There are several authors I like to read on the Six Sentence Sunday list and a few of them are: Dianne Hartsock, Zee Monodee, Cara Bristol, Goran Zidar, and Gem Sivad. Happy reading. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Souvenirs: The Kreativ Blogger Award

So this week has been a great one with the release of Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack, my Siren debut. Not only that, but I was awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award by Chessny Silth, a wonderful YA writer from Norway (this will become important in a moment).

Thank you, Chessny! I really appreciate it. :)

Part of this award requires me to tell you ten things about myself before I pass it along, and then pass it to five more people. :)

  1. I have a master's degree in geology, emphasis in paleontology (that's right, I dig up dead things).
  2. My uncle's family is from Norway (see, I told you it was important), and my cousin carries the name of a town there.
  3. I can speak three languages and I'm learning a fourth, Hungarian, one of the hardest in the world.
  4. On one international trip, I went to India and Italy, and on another I went to Alaska and Australia.
  5. I don't like red sauce for my spaghetti, and can't stand cooked cabbage.
  6. I have written a scientific thesis project that is as long as one of my novels, and in which I made 10,000 measurements on the comparative specimens for it.
  7. I didn't learn to read until I was 9 years old.
  8. My grandfather was a mechanic for the machine gun turrets on the old B-29 bombers from World War II.
  9. I was a mime for the Colorado Renaissance Festival for two years.
  10. I was an extra in a movie when I was a kid (you can see my ponytail silhouette at the front of the stage in a concert scene).

The five people I'd choose for the award are:

Thanks so much for stopping by and I welcome comments. If you are one of the recipients, just copy the badge from my site and take it to your own. Happy reading! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

#ThursThreads - Week 24 - Winners

Week 24 of #ThursThreads had some great tales! Thanks to all who entered this week. I'm honored to see all of you and read your stories. And it was great to have some new "faces" join us along with our returning regulars. Great thanks also goes to judge Claire Gillian for reading all the tales.

  • Nicole Wolverton | @nicolewolverton
  • Angelica Dawson | @AngelicaDawson
  • Rafe B. | @etcet
  • Eli M. Clark | @EliMClark
  • Afsaneh K. | @Afsaneh_Dreams
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Aylah | @Aylah50
  • Jeffrey Hollar | @Klingorengi
  • Robert Mahone | @Computilizer
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Dee | @Dee_768
  • @Phoenixlavan
  • Charles W Jones | @ChuckWesJ
  • Goran Zidar | @GZidar 
  • Nellie Batz | @solimond
  • Jalisa Blackman | @J_M_Blackman
  • Mark Ethridge | @LurchMunster
  • Anthony Angeline | @unfoldingmyth
  • Aurora Lee | @AuroraLee

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions
Anthony Angeline | @unfoldingmyth
  Claire says: This was a very close second place for me. I liked the ending with Spring being the narrator’s fresh start on his own life making a critical life choice with his head and not his heart. I liked the use of a bumblebee as the maker of the wing whirring noise, the prompt line and how nicely it fit in with the story, not just as background noise, but possibly symbolic of a man seeking the right relationship too.

Eli M. Clark | @EliMClark
Claire says: Crisp, clear narration in what sounds like a cool YA story. I got a little caught up in the Griffith vs. Griffin vs. Gryphon in my head, but I knew what the author meant so it didn’t detract from the tension in the story. The cliffhanger ending was pretty cool too.

Jalisa Blackman | @J_M_Blackman
Claire says: I really enjoyed the writing in this one, and who doesn’t love a bad ass female playing the stereotypical male role of grizzled warrior only with a Valkyrie flavor.

Aylah | @Aylah50
Claire says: OK huge personal bias with this one because it’s incredibly reminiscent of my NPR round 8 submission that’s on my blog right now, only in my story, the man texted his lover and ended it right before they were to run off together. So…I’m already a sucker for a tale of illicit love come to a bittersweet ending with one wanting the split and the other barely cloaking his devastation with a deadly calm manner.

Week 24 Winner

  Claire says: I loved this one because the focus was on this old leaf she found, something so irrelevant to a reader now but incredibly important to this girl and the world in which she lived. That world was vividly portrayed for me in just a few sentences. I even loved the sentence about her wanting to be noticed, that passionate sense of hope. The prompt was ancillary to the story but the trigger for the tragic ending. I read this one and it really scored with me and stuck with me as the day wore on.

Huddled, Jessa reached for the leaf, easing it from the rusty old fence. Brown and sere, it could crumble to dust in her hand if she weren't careful.

How could she get it back to the Colony intact? Her pack was filled to bursting with the precious cargo she'd traveled so far to find. But the leaf, if indeed that's what it was, could be even more precious. She had to get it back to the Leader. He'd know if it was a remnant of the Before or if it meant life was returning to the planet.

It might make him notice her.

Her heart bounced, then steadied. Not likely. Her sigh was invisible in the moaning wind as she resumed her trudge, gentle fingers curved to shield the leaf.

Always watching, ever listening, she sniffed the acrid air, seeking a first sense of the Colony. The ruined road would lead her there, she knew, and she prayed to the None to bring her home tonight, before full dark made traveling too dangerous.

The whir of wings broke the silence, and Jessa dropped to the ground, just one more rock in the rubble. Only her eyes moved as she squinted to discern. Was it a Ravager's raptor or a dove from the Colony? Had it seen her?

The bird landed nearby, and she sighed in relief. Gathering herself, she rose to finish the journey. She looked for the leaf. Crushed brown fragments blew away on the breeze.

Congratulations Dee, Anthony, Eli, Jalisa, and Aylah! Claim your badges and display them with pride. You certainly earned it! :)

Pass on the great news on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, shiny mirrors, Morse Code, and signal flags. Check out all the stories here and I hope to see you all back next week for #ThursThreads. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Moth's Date #100words for the #FridayFictioneers

Another glorious Friday and another 100 words for the FridayFictioneers hosted by Madison Woods. My snippet is a little longer than 100 words, but every time I cut something out of it, the feeling of the story changed. This little tale was inspired by Madison's photo.

Jasper disappeared over the ledge ahead of her just as Jade’s strength gave out.
“I can’t do it, Jasper.”
“Come on, Jade. You’re almost there. Just a little further.”
She huffed in disgust. “Just what is so great about this place, anyway?”
“The food is to die for.”
“And why can’t we use our wings to get there?”
“Did you want a predator to see you?” She could hear the shudder in his voice. “We have to remain under the radar. Come on!”
Jade dragged herself over the lip of the ledge and lay there panting for a few moments. The hiss of metal against metal made her antennae flutter and the most delightful smell wafted over her.
“Mothra’s Wings! What is that wonderful smell?”
Jasper laughed. “See? I told you it’d be worth it.”

Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy weekend and happy reading! :)

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 24

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Right now it's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 24 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Need the rules? Read on!

Here's how it works:
  • The prompt is a line from the previous week's winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 7 PM Pacific Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up. ;)
How it benefits you:
  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we're all about promotion - you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 24:

The darkly romantic curmudgeon and word busker, Claire Gillian.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:
"The whir of wings broke the silence."

Away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThread. Good luck! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Release Day for Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack!

Happy Release Day, everyone! I'm so excited to announce the release of Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack, my debut Siren release. Woohoo!

This is a long time coming for me. Queen Bitch has had a long ride from editing to publishing and I've learned so much, not only about the world of publishing, but also about myself as an author. I hope you take a moment to check it out because even after all this time, it's still a great tale.

And right now, it's 15% off until midnight May 30th. Great deal!

Here's the blurb:

Julianna Morris didn’t know werewolves existed…until she became one.

Hiding her new identity, Julianna returns home only to find her teenage crush, Jeff Lightfoot, is the future Alpha of the Callowwood werewolf pack. She’s unexpectedly chosen as a candidate for the pack’s next Luna, the Alpha female—and Jeff’s mate. This is perfect, except Julianna knows nothing about being a werewolf, and someone’s determined to make her fail the Seven Tests of the Luna.

Jeff Lightfoot lusted after Julianna for years, even when he thought she was human. Now she’s home and all his—if she passes the tests. She’s his True Mate and he wants no one else, but pack politics trump Mother Nature and will prevent him from choosing Julianna if she fails.

For the future she wants, Julianna must pass the tests to become Queen Bitch of Callowwood—or watch Jeff take another woman as his mate.

Thanks so much for stopping by and joining me on this wonderful journey. Happy reading! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Post from Lila Shaw: Can Sex Be Funny?

Can Sex be Funny?

I like to write a touch of humor into all my stories, whether it be a sight gag or a funny line. This is true even for the heart-pounding sexy parts of the story, the parts you flip to when you’re standing in Barnes and Noble checking out the book everyone’s been buzzing about.

But what of the sex depicted in those novels? Realistic or not? I’d be willing to go out on a limb and state that because it’s fiction and escapism at its finest you will rarely read about any of the following:
  • The heroine begging off because it’s that time of month;
  • The hero whining about the last time he’s had a BJ and why he’s due, especially since it’s that time of the month;
  • The hero and heroine bickering over who gets to take top or bottom or why her leg “does not go back that far”;
  • The heroine giving a stern warning to the hero when his aim is anything but sure;
  • Squeals over how cold the lube is;
  • The couple securing a box of tissues for subsequent cleanup in advance of getting jiggy;
  • The heroine dashing off to pee afterwards so she can thwart another UTI;
  • The hero laughing at the heroine’s unsexy panties or vice-versa;
  • The bored expression on the dog’s face as she watches and you know she’s thinking, “damn I should have whined to go out before they got started”;
  • Either partner turning their head to the side to belch from the rich dinner one of them sprang for to set the mood for the night’s seduction;
  • Frustrated sighs when the pogo stick goes off course

This stuff happens! But nobody writes about it because it’s not sexy. When the hero’s nostrils are flaring with lust, the reader does not want to be informed about the heroine’s unfortunate notice of a nostril nugget. Some human foibles do not make for good reading.

BUT… in the right moment, under the right circumstances, with the right characters, it can be a win because it’s relatable. It’s sort of an innocuous means of breaking the fourth wall, or stepping out of the story, if only briefly, to rib the audience by saying, “Aren’t we silly creatures?” And you know what? Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

BLURB for All's Fair in Love and War:

Only two obstacles block Shelby Donaldson’s path to success at her new job–her sizzling hot supervisor and his freezing cold attitude. Maybe her flirting got a little out of hand at first, but that’s no reason for Mr. Sighs-A-Lot to screw her over in her performance review.

Colin Montoya is not going to fall for Shelby’s sex-in-a-suit brand of temptation. He’s got her number and is not going to dial it, nor is he going to allow Shelby’s philandering brother to marry his baby sister.

After an explosive one-night stand goes awry, battle lines are drawn.  But can the warring co-workers negotiate a cease-fire long enough to realize their romantic fortunes might just lie in each other?

Colin watched Shelby leave, baffled as usual by her flighty behavior. She was the most frustrating woman he had ever met, in more ways than one. Having to work with her for three weeks had stretched his tolerance to the limit. He was grateful to finally be rid of her, the signed performance review in his hot little hands. If only his body felt the same way about her as his head.
He rose from his chair and followed her out. He checked his watch. Nearly five-thirty. Since it was also a Friday, happy hour at the usual location awaited. Good thing, too, because he always felt like a stiff drink after an exchange with Shelby Donaldson.
Shelby sashayed around the corner to her cubicle. Colin couldn’t help but track her hips as they swayed. Exasperated with his unbidden reaction, he made a hard right into his own cubicle and collapsed into his chair. After lingering over a few last minute client details, he organized and stowed his work, then headed out.
At Roscoe's Sports Bar and Grill in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon, Colin zeroed in on the tiny table a couple of his buddies had staked out near the foosball tables. Pulling up a bar stool, he ordered a beer then dove into the order of nachos that claimed nearly the entire surface of the table. He and his friends caught up with each other, and he shared the reason for his tardiness.
"Isn’t that her over there?" His friend and colleague Allan pointed to a table of giggly women near the bar.
Colin turned and saw several women from his firm, including Shelby.
"Yeah." He spun back around, hoping she hadn’t spotted him.
"Which one is she?" his other friend, Christian, asked.
"She’s the one in the red sweater with long dark hair parted on the side, big hoop earrings with these stupid cats hanging from the bottom, sinister blood red talons for fingernails. You can't miss her if you look for the pall of obstinacy that surrounds her, sort of like Pigpen from Peanuts with his cloud of dirt."
"The one with the nice rack?"
"I hadn’t noticed." Colin feigned disinterest, struggling to keep all inflection from his voice.
“I guess you were too preoccupied with her pus – kitties.” Allen slapped him on the back, and both friends guffawed.
If Colin were being honest, he’d have to admit that not much about Shelby escaped his attention – hazel eyes that danced with amusement at the oddest things, a laugh that contrasted sharply with her delicate features in its bawdiness. And yes, she had a nice rack, as well as nice legs and a tight little body she obviously pampered. Every square inch of her was designed to distract and lure a man to his doom. Even her infectious laughter, which cut through the din of the bar, got to him. It always had, but that lethal package was marred by a personality made of piss and vinegar when she didn't get her way. Given the inappropriateness of dating a co-worker, especially a subordinate, he was almost grateful for the fatal flaw.
Colin escaped to the bathrooms to shut out the mirthful sounds. On his return, he met Shelby in the narrow hallway. They did the obstacle dance with each other before he stopped and stood to one side. As she nodded then passed, he got a whiff of her perfume, the same scent she wore every day. Over his shoulder, he watched her walk away before he continued back to his table, shaking his head. He absolutely hated how she turned him upside down.

Lila Shaw is the pen name for a writer of works of erotica and erotic romance.  She also writes adult fiction (novels and short stories in many genres) and non-fiction under the pen name of Claire Gillian.

Lila’s erotic writings typically involve strong-willed women, and are often playful, sarcastic and even silly.  She believes if you can’t occasionally laugh at the physical aspects of love, you’re taking life far too seriously.

Her published works include All's Fair in Love and War, short stories in the Midnight Seduction and Stockings and Suspenders anthologies, all from Evernight Publishing. As Claire Gillian, her debut novel, The P.U.R.E. was released April 16th. Upcoming works include short stories in the following anthologies: Conquest Through Determination (steampunk themed from Pill Hill Press) and Tidal Whispers (ocean creatures-themed from J. Taylor Publishing).

Lila lives in the Pacific NW with her very funny husband and two sons. She works full time as a finance/operations professional for a large insurance company. 

If you'd like to get a copy of All's Fair in Love and War, you can find it here:

If you'd like to find out more about Lila, you can find her here:

Thank you so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - WIP - Unexpected News

Welcome, Sixers! Thank you so much for stopping by for my Six Sentence Sunday snippet. I realize there are a lot of authors on the Six Sentence Sunday list, so I'm doubly grateful you've taken the time to stop by mine.

Today I'm continuing my romantic suspense WIP developed from #flashfiction while I wait for my upcoming release Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack. This snippet about Detective Cassie Tucker and PI Jack Pierce is a little further on in the story and came from the following photo prompt. He needs a place to clean up and she hasn't had breakfast yet. She took him home and is cooking eggs while she finds out why he's shown back up in her life.

“What are you really doing here, Jack?”

“What, no pleasantries this morning, Cas? No kiss for old times’ sake?”

She tried not to crush the egg she held as she growled, “No, so just tell me why you’re here.”

“To marry you.”

The egg exploded in her fist.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that... LOL There are several favorite authors of mine on the list and a few of them are Zee Monodee, Goran Zidar, Cara Bristol, Dianne Hartsock, and Gem Sivad. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)