Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Sleazy World of a Romance Writer—Or Not

Why is it when you’re a romance writer, especially an erotic romance writer, many people think you’re a sexual deviant? Barry Eisler writes about spies and assassins, I don’t hear anyone asking him, “So, Barry how many spies have you murdered lately?” Stephen King writes about serial killers and ax-wielding, murdering writers. No one has asked him, “So, Mr. King, how many people have you chopped up during your career?” And if Tom Clancy was teaching high school students English, I doubt the parents or students would be concerned that Mr. Clancy might also consider teaching his students how to build a pipe bomb.
I’ve had people ask me if I personally research all my sex scenes to make sure they’re accurate. Hmmm. Of course, every sleazy scene. The most exciting research I ever did was for scenes on planet Somerled in my book DRAGONWITCH. I really enjoyed the interstellar travel to another planet, and oh my, a threesome with a shapeshifting dragon. Well, don’t knock it until you try it.

Next time you meet Stephen King, I dare you to ask him what’s it like to be a serial killer?

Anaїs Nin (1903-1977)

In reality, I read a ton of books, both fiction and non-fiction, spend hours searching the Internet and sometimes talking to people. I have quite a collection of books to help me with research.
By one of the first women to celebrate sexuality with complete and open abandonment—Delta of Venus, Erotica by Anaїs Nin; Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller which was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934; the Mammoth Books of Best New Erotica, Edited by Maxim Jakubowski; and various erotica anthologies, edited by Cecilia Tan, Marilyn Jaye Lewis, Maria Isabelle Pita, and others. These books contain stories by many talented erotica and erotic romance authors. Of course, my own publisher, Ellora’s Cave has many talented authors and produces full length novels, novellas, short stories and anthologies (The Cavemen Series, Forbidden Fantasies, are just a few of the anthologies); The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice writing as A.N. Roquelaure and the series. There are so many wonderful erotic romance and erotica books out there. This is just a small sampling I pulled from my book shelf.

In non-fiction, I couldn’t list all the books I have but a few that have helped me with writing the stories: How to Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright; Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller & Molly Devon; The Loving Dominant by John & Libby Warren; The Mistress Manual by Mistress Lorelei; The Joy of Writing Sex by Elizabeth Benedict, and many others.

Besides sexy romance and erotica stories, I enjoy reading science fiction, thrillers, comedy, ghost stories, and more. Writing erotic stories and researching them takes work, just like researching a techno-thriller novel or historical novel.

If you’re an erotic romance or erotica writer, what are your favorite research books? Please share.


My latest novella, EMERALD DUNGEON is up for Sizzling Read of the Month at Sizzling Hot Books but I need a generous votes. If you have a chance the pole ends on May 1st at 8 pm. Thanks so much!
EMERALD DUNGEON by Kathy Kulig is up for Sizzling Read of the Month w/ a generous vote.


EMERALD DUNGEON available now on Amazon Kindle. New release from EC, erotic romance Irish themed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Celebrate Desiree Holt's 100th Release-Win a Netbook

I'm thrilled to be part of Desiree Holt's celebration of her 100th release DOWNSTROKE. What a milestone! And what a lovely lady. Desiree is a talented author and I've enjoyed several of her books. I'm sure you'll enjoy DOWNSTROKE too.

As part of the celebration, Desiree is giving away a prize every day of one copy of one of Desiree's novels of the reader's choice from her backlist. Names will be drawn from those who post comments. At the end of the month, one lucky person will win a grand prize of a refurbished Netbook with digital DVD drive. After you (the reader) post here, go to Desiree's web site at and enter to win the grand prize of the netbook at the end of the month.

Downstroke is the story of lovers reunited after twenty years trying to bridge a gulf of bitterness while outwitting a killer. To help out Desiree's celebration, I’m giving you a preview of one of her books from the 1-800-DOM-help series. Leave a comment here for Desiree. I will pick a name from the commenters for a winner of a choice from Desiree's backlist. Then, after you comment, go to and enter the contest for the refurbished Acer netbook. You will also find a list there of all the other blogs participating in this celebration. Be sure to visit them and comment for more chances to win.

It’s been twenty years since security specialist Charley Roper and country star Dallas Creed had their bitter parting. Now a killer has brought them together again, but neither is ready for a reunion—despite signs that their explosive chemistry hasn’t waned with time. She can’t forget the feel of his hands on her body. He can’t forget the hot touch of her mouth. When they finally tumble into bed, the sex is just as good as they remember, hot enough to singe the sheets. But is it enough?

Thrown together during an exhausting, frenzied concert tour, with a killer nipping at their heels, Dallas and Charley find themselves on a hot, suspenseful, erotic roller coaster ride. Can he convince her to trust her heart to him one more time, to reach out for a richer, deeper, more mature love?

More importantly—can Charley keep Dallas alive long enough for either of them to enjoy a second chance?

I met Desiree years ago at a writer's conference and at the last Romanticon talked to her about doing a project for the 1-800-DOM-help author series. She's such a pleasure to work with and very enthusiastic about everything she does. The series has been such a success. Her book DELIGHT ME is one of the books in that series. I'll share an excerpt from that book. EMERALD DUNGEON was my book that just came out last month. There are eight titles out now in the 1-800-DOM-help series keep checking for more. And try them out. It's a fun and sexy series.

Here's and EXCERPT from DELIGHT ME: By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.

Chapter One

The room was redolent with the scent of the cinnamon candles. Dani Maguire ducked her head, trying to find a breath of clean air. Alan loved the scent of cinnamon. Even insisted she drop cinnamon-scented crystals in the water when she bathed. But she’d reached a point where the aroma of cinnamon nearly made her gag.

Or maybe it was Alan Powell who made her gag. Two years in this relationship and try as she might, lately she couldn’t seem to find the key to make it work. He was a loving Dom, demanding but considerate, yet something deep inside her kept rebelling.

Still kneeling on the floor, hands manacled behind her, lips aching from stretching around the girth of Alan’s cock, she wondered where they could go from here. She didn’t love him. The sex was still great but she no longer found it…fulfilling. And that presented a problem.

Alan bent to unlock the handcuffs and used his hands beneath her elbows to help her rise. His tall, lean body dwarfed her small one, surrounding her with his masculinity, a sensation she usually enjoyed. But lately everything seemed to be just a little off.

“I worked you hard tonight,” he murmured, long fingers brushing her hair back from her face. “I’m going to draw a hot bath for you, with those salts that you like, and bathe you just the way you always enjoy it.”

But did she enjoy it? Did it please her? Or had it become an irritant? What she really wanted was to bathe him.

Get over it, Dani. You’re just going through a phase.

But was she?

She stayed in the same position until Alan lifted her and carried her to the bathroom, lowering her gently into the fragrant bath. The heated water stung the skin of her ass where Alan had disciplined her earlier. She’d been less than enthusiastic about using her mouth on him, and although she’d done her best to hide it, he’d been all too aware of it. Bending her over the bed, he’d used the thin quirt on her, striping her buttocks with ten well-placed strikes.

When he finished, he’d lowered her to the floor, held her mouth open with his fingers and worked his cock back and forth across her tongue. Somehow she’d dredged up a semblance of desire and given him the release he needed. She knew he wasn’t happy but when he finished he hadn’t said a word. Simply bent down to kiss her and went to draw the bath.

“Just relax,” Alan murmured, squeezing the bath sponge. “You know I’ll take care of you. Don’t I always?”

Yes, he did. But somehow over the past few months she found herself enjoying it less and less.

“Dani?” His voice sharpened. “I asked you a question.”

She blinked her eyes. “Yes, Master. You do.”

That wasn’t the question she needed to answer though. She needed to understand why that care had suddenly become so suffocating. Why she had begun to resent it in little ways.

One of his large hands cupped the back of her head, bracing her body as he skimmed the sponge over her breasts. She closed her eyes and tried to relax at the light-as-a-feather touch. A pinch on one nipple startled her and her eyes flew open. Alan’s eyes were staring directly into hers, a strange look playing over his face.

“Tell me to pinch your nipples again,” he commanded.

She swallowed. “Pinch my nipples again, Master. Please.”

He took each one in turn between thumb and forefinger and squeezed them hard enough that lust shot straight to her core, making the inner muscles of her cunt flutter.

“Well, that hasn’t changed.” His voice had an oddly hard edge to it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Golden Rule for Increased Book Sales

This week (3/15) Kristen Lamb had a great blog post  asking, “Does Likeability Matter?” I think it does. When it comes to buying books do you tend to buy books from authors you like—personally? It doesn’t mean you have to really know them, or have met them in person. But in the world of social networking, authors have a presence and readers do feel they “know” them. They hear about authors who go ballistic and get nasty with a reviewer for giving them a bad review. They get rude with a reader or another author on Facebook or on a Forum, or behave less than stellar at a conference. Or maybe a reader has met the author at an event and was snubbed.

Would you buy a book from that author again? Even if you’ve loved previous books by that same author??? We all have bad days, and sometimes people not only pushed that damn button at the wrong time, for the eighth time this week but they twisted it too. And maybe your boss yelled at you, you got a flat tire, you burned your favorite blouse with the iron, and your son failed the math exam, whatever. The readers don’t know that, so when you snub, snap at someone, they remember. And maybe you lost a reader or two. If you did it online, maybe you lost several readers.

I think it does pay to follow the Golden Rule—Do unto other and all… When at conferences and on social media sites, I believe NICE DOES MATTER.

I was at a conference years ago and the lovely Sherrilyn Kenyon was the keynote. I was standing next to her in the lunch line and thought she didn’t look well, so I asked. She said she had a migraine. I asked why she didn’t go lie down, someone could bring her lunch. But she was doing the keynote during lunch and the book signing right after. She did an awesome job. At the signing, she greeted each reader with enthusiasm as if they were long, lost friends. And stood for photos too. Poor dear. Another author sitting nearby barely acknowledged the readers who held out books to sign. This author just signed them without looking up to smile and pushed the book aside. She didn’t talk to the readers and pose for photos either. These readers were her fans, spending $7 or $8 on a book. Who do you think will get repeat sales? Or word of mouth sales?

It doesn’t take much effort to be nice. When I was in high school, I was sent to a twirling camp. Don’t laugh. I was the captain of my baton twirling team and this was a week-long camp in the Poconos.

The cabin where I stayed was full of bunk beds, and high school aged girls from a number of states were there for the week of training. Many of these girls were hardcore competitors going to state and national competitions and the rest of us were from high school squads. I noticed one girl who looked a few years younger than most of us seemed pretty shy and wasn’t hanging around with anyone. The snobby “competitors” ignored her. They ignored me too because I was one of the high school lowlifes. So the first morning I asked the young girl if she wanted to go to breakfast with me. She did. I told her I’d never been to a camp like this before and was hoping to learn new things to teach my squad. I also said when I first arrived, I noticed someone twirling a fire baton! And I hoped I’d get a chance to try that.

After breakfast, there was a demonstration by some of the staff. It turned out the young girl was one of the instructors and a two-time NJ State Champion. Not only that, she was teaching the fire baton class. Not everyone was allowed to try it. Guess who was asked? I didn’t set anything (including me) on fire. Singed a few hairs on my arms. It was awesome fun!

It does pay to be nice on blogs, forums, social networks, at conferences and book signings. And it’s a bad idea to get on a nasty rant or in a pissing contest with someone. What goes around does come around, especially in cyberspace. It goes around and around forever.

Check out Kristin Lamb’s Blog

And I have to recommend her book: We Are Not Alone For someone who isn’t all that computer savvy (me), this book helped me a lot with social networking. It’s very easy to follow. And it’s such a good feeling when you can figure things out on your own. If I have easy instructions, I can do it. This is easy instructions.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Win a FREE Copy of Emerald Dungeon

There's still time to check out Author Island for a chance to win a FREE copy of EMERALD DUNGEON my latest release from Ellora's Cave. It's part of the 1-800-DOM-help author series. Author Island is hosting me for the Book of the Day event.

DeNita Tuttle

Emerald Dungeon has received some awesome reviews already.

Sizzling Hot Books gave it 5 Hearts and said "Emerald Dungeon is a book you will absolutely love."
Romance Junkies said: "EMERALD DUNGEON is a gem of a romance. It is the perfect way to spend a quiet Saturday afternoon."


BLURB: Dana’s summer job as a musician in an Irish castle takes an adventurous turn after she witnesses a BDSM scene in the dungeon, and her submissive side awakens. Jack is a sexy Dominant who recognizes the sub smoldering beneath her demure exterior. His skillful commands take Dana beyond her darkest erotic fantasies.

Whips, restraints and increasing levels of pain heighten her passion, but complete surrender and ecstasy are out of her reach. Secrets and strange events around the castle only add to the couple’s troubles. Will a summer affair be enough to find what they both need? The appearance of a mysterious business card may help guide them. If Dana can accept Jack with complete trust and surrender, then ultimate pleasure and true love are possible.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Interview with Francesca Hawley

Today at the Passion Sense Blog we have erotic romance author Francesca Hawley talking about her latest release from Ellora's Cave called CONTROLLING INTEREST This book is one of the titles in the HOT new BDSM author series called 1-800-DOM-help. I just finished reading Controlling Interest and it was a great read! I loved the heat and emotion between Mouse and Tor and the sex scenes were unique and hot.
Thanks Francesca for visiting.

-Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story.

I was kicking back and watching The Devil Wears Prada one afternoon. As I watched Meryl Streep tear up the screen, I had a vision of Regine Stuart. Regine led me to her seemingly abused and overworked assistant Mouse and her headstrong but loving son, Tor. The story idea gelled quickly. It was the writing that was the headache.

- What’s the best and worst part of being a writer?

The best part is having an outlet for my creativity. I can sit down at a computer and craft a world where everything runs at my whim (unless one of my characters decides to take over). I also love having contact with my readers and discovering I’ve touched them in some way. It’s humbling and uplifting at the same time.

The worst part? Staring at a blank computer screen when the words won’t flow. I know I should be writing but nothing is working. I hate that with a purple passion because I hate writing crap.

- Are you seat of the pants writer or plotter?

I’m a bit of a hybrid – part pantser and part plotter. When I write, I can generally find the beginning and a few plot points in the middle and I usually know the end. I have to write from point to point and hope I don’t get lost in a blizzard of irrelevant words.

- Which actor screams SEXY to you?

Viggo Mortensen. He didn’t hit my radar screen at all until The Lord of the Rings but from the moment I saw him in Fellowship, I was hooked. It’s hard to miss the fact that he’s smokin’ hot. Not pretty, but ruggedly handsome. I’m also a sucker for a guy who looks good in chain mail, and Viggo certainly does. Plus he has a sexy speaking voice and he sings like a dream.

Aside from the pure eye candy aspect, I like the fact that he’s a Renaissance guy. He’s an artist, poet, and photographer as well as an actor and I especially admire his commitment to his acting craft. I’ve read stories about how he became so focused on learning to sword fight during the filming of The Lord of the Rings that he had a tooth knocked out during a fight scene, but kept working until the scene was finished. Now that’s dedication.

- A lot of people think that genre hopping isn’t a good idea. What do you think?

Well, since I genre hop madly, I think it’s a good idea. Grin.

But seriously, it may not be the best idea in the world for author branding. However, it’s wonderful for author creativity. Once of the worst things that I can imagine happening to a writer is for the creative juices to dry up of for an author to be “typecast”. When an author only writes one thing, it’s possible that she will begin to stagnate because she feels confined or because she won’t step out of the comfortable box she’s created for herself. And no matter how pretty, a prison is, it’s still a prison. Just as our characters have to break down their walls for a happy ending, we as writers must do the same by going outside our own comfort zone to keep things fresh.

One thing I really love about writing for Ellora’s Cave is that I’ve had the opportunity to write a paranormal/shapeshifter romance, a medieval romance, and a contemporary. I can go where the muse takes me. It makes us both happier.

- Are you an outgoing person?

It really depends on the situation. When I first meet people I’m very shy. I tend to sit back and observe before jumping into things. But once I get to know people, I’m a wild and crazy gal. And anyone that’s met me at Romanticon KNOWS how true that is. LOL

-Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve?

I’m very chronological when I write. I need to start at the beginning and write to the end. However, I revise as I go too. After I’ve left off in my story, I will pick up again and go back into the previous chapter to “get into it” again. While I’m reading, I edit. Just little stuff, but it gets the juices flowing so that when I hit white space I can just keep rolling with the story.

I usually don’t plan a series. As I’m writing a secondary character will wander into a scene and play scene stealer. When that happens, I know that I’d better pay attention. This person is important. Usually the scene stealer is a potential hero for another story. I have to go back into my story and make sure the secondary character hasn’t managed to seduce me from my main hero. If that happens, I have to fix it. As I write the idea for a series will evolve.
- Which books were the most fun to write? The hardest to write?

Protect and Defend and Seeking Truth were the easiest to write and Whirlwind Affair and Controlling Interest were probably the most difficult. The reason, of course, is length. I’m better at writing longer. I think in novels much more than novellas. My brain wants to develop all kinds of subplots and secondary characters and when you write a novella, you don’t have the time or space to do that.

Protect and Defend and Seeking Truth were also fun for another reason…research. I’m a real research slut. I love it. I can get lost in it. When I was finishing Protect and Defend, I had the opportunity to attend a Citizen’s Police Academy. It was a blast to have the opportunity to shoot a gun and drive a police car. While writing Seeking Truth, I went diving into books about the reign of King Stephen. It was fascinating. Then I also had the opportunity to pick the brains of my friends in the Society of Creative Anachronism on the topic of martial arts. I learned a lot from the fighters and knights I interviewed.

- Have any of your characters ever ended up completely different than you’d intended?

Eaduin Kempe. He started out life as a psychopathic medieval villain but he kept whispering seductively in my ear that I had him all wrong. Eaduin does seduction really really well. When I finally started to listen to him I discovered he was right and I ended up with a much better story with him as my hero. He was incredibly compelling to me. A guy who’d been deeply abused by his father and older half sister, yet he remained capable of giving and receiving love from his family and ultimately Verite, the heroine I created for him. He was truly a joy.

- What’s next?

I’m torn in a million directions right now. I’m working on a follow up to Controlling Interest which will feature Master Drago, but it’s also tied to Whirlwind Affair because the heroine is the younger sister of Erika Larson Bergstrom who was the heroine in Whirlwind. I’m also working on a story where the hero is Erika’s younger brother Andy Larson is the hero. Those are at the top of pile right now, but I have more in the works. This will be an exciting year for my writing.

Apart from writing, I’ll be visiting a friend who lives in California during April. That should provide a lot of inspiration for my writing. And I’m planning to attend Romanticon 2011 in Akron, OH. Ah, cover models. How can I not have fun staring at all those lovely young men? Evil Grin…

Blurb: Mozelle “Mouse” Vincent inherits money, a club and her boss’ son as a business partner when society leader Regine Stuart dies. Torin Stuart knows what his late mother’s wishes were for his exclusive BDSM club, Erotically Bound, but he’s pissed that he’s forced to trust Mouse—especially when her inherently submissive nature arouses the sexual Dominant in him.

After baring all in a heated, intense scene, Mouse realizes they still have to work together, but now Tor challenges any business suggestion she makes. When she wants to offer education classes, Tor dares her to organize the class and participate—as a submissive.

To his chagrin, Mouse agrees, but he can’t stand the thought of any other Dom touching her. Suddenly there’s far more at stake than the controlling interest in their club…because love is the ultimate prize in their power exchange.

Excerpt: “She did what?” Torin Stuart rose from his chair with a roar.

Mouse was entirely grateful that the lion’s roar was directed at his late mother’s attorney and not at her, but the attorney was unperturbed.

“Your mother left her controlling interest in your club Erotically Bound to Ms. Mozelle Vincent.”

“But Mother knew…”

“Please sit down and allow me to finish reading the will in a proper manner, Mr. Stuart.”

Tor ran his fingers through his bright ginger hair and glared at her briefly before sitting with a growl. Mouse kept her hands tightly around her purse. He’d been really kind in letting her stay in the townhouse his mother had set aside for her use, but with this news, he’d probably toss her out on her ass. Damn it. She thought she was done with being homeless.

“Ms. Vincent, shall I continue?” Mouse nodded. “Very well.” The lawyer cleared his throat. “I leave my controlling interest in the amount of fifty-one percent in the club Erotically Bound to Ms. Mozelle Vincent. In addition, I will her the townhouse and all furnishings thereof in which she has been living for the last five years. The estate will pay property taxes for two years, but then, and I quote ‘you’re on your own’. Do you understand, Ms. Vincent?”

Mouse’s jaw dropped. That townhouse was stunning. Huge and smack in the center of Washington D.C. with a multicar garage. It was located in the historic Capitol Hill district, just blocks from the Capitol building and Pennsylvania Avenue. The place was worth…millions.

“Ms. Vincent, do you understand the terms of the will regarding the townhome?”

“Yes, I own it and Regine’s estate will pay the first two years of property taxes then it’s my responsibility.”


“Is that all? Can we discuss my club now?”

The lawyer frowned at Torin over the top of his reading glasses, his bushy white brows extending over the frames. “I have not finished. Please remain silent until I do, sir.”

Tor waved his hand with a sigh and the lawyer nodded. Mouse wanted to laugh at the byplay between the two men, but she was too shocked. What had Regine been thinking?

She had to have had an ulterior motive for doing this, God knew, she always did. Regine Stuart was always three moves ahead of everyone else…a master strategist. That was how she’d managed to be one of D.C. society’s reigning queens. When Regine spoke, everyone listened…even the president.

“Ms. Vincent, please attend.”

Mouse looked up as the lawyer admonished her. “Sorry.” She shrugged.

“Finally, for—and again I quote—surviving six years in my employ as my downtrodden Jill-of-all-trades and for making my final years a pleasure instead of a burden, I will Mozelle Vincent twenty million dollars.”

Ice filled her body before unbearable heat melted her emotions. Her jaw dropped, but she was so utterly shocked she couldn’t move. Then she burst into uncontrollable tears. Throughout most of her life she’d hadn’t had a pot to piss in, but then six years ago she literally tripped over Regine Stuart and her world had completely turned on its head. The lawyer rose and approached her.

“My dear, are you quite all right?” He awkwardly patted her shoulder and she nodded, still trying to cover her abrupt emotional response.

She hated crying. She hated losing control of her emotions. She hid whatever she felt behind a façade of calm, which was something Regine had always valued in her. And it was something they had in common. Even if the world came crashing down around them, both she and Regine could remain calm to pick up the pieces and move forward.

Mouse glanced at Tor, worried that he’d think she was being overly dramatic or that she was getting money she didn’t deserve, but he seemed moved by her emotional display rather than scornful. When she could catch her breath, she cleared her throat.

“Don’t mind me, really. Go on with reading the will.”

“There isn’t too much more.” The lawyer returned to his desk. “To my household staff…”

Mouse stared at her perfectly manicured fingers as the lawyer finished. Those nails were a luxury she’d gotten used to with a steady paycheck and Regine’s insistence that she look polished at all times. God, if she had walked past the Capitol building five minutes earlier or five minutes later six years ago, she and Regine never would have met. Regine had given her a chance when no one else would. Sometimes miracles really did happen.

“This concludes the last will and testament of Regine Stuart.”

“Can we discuss my club now? Please…” Tor growled as he turned to her. “Mouse, how much do you want for it?”

The lawyer held up his hand as the remaining listeners filed out of the room, leaving Mouse alone with the lawyer and Tor.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Stuart. Your mother left explicit instructions. Mouse…rather Miss Mozelle is required to hold her interest in the club for a minimum of six months. Under the terms of the will, the two of you are required to work together during that time.”

Tor opened his mouth then closed it again. He stood and began to pace. Broad shoulders, narrow hips and the most amazing ass she’d ever seen. Add a stunning body to his ginger hair and bright blue eyes and he was a package of mischief that made better women than her melt and get silly.

Mouse looked down at her hands out of habit. Ever since she began to work for Regine, she’d quietly had the hots for Tor, but putting that attraction to the test was unthinkable. First, she was sure Regine wouldn’t have been keen on having her assistant flirt with her son. And second, and most important, Torin Stuart had been seen escorting tall, slender and decidedly beautiful super models around town—his lovers had most definitely not been chunky personal assistants with frizzy, flyaway, boring brown hair and dull brown eyes.

“Mouse… Mouse, did you hear me?”

She met Tor’s blue-eyed gaze and felt the blush crawl up her neck. Damn.


He sighed and rolled his eyes. “You’ve had a tough six years working for Mother. Just relax for the next six months then I’ll offer you a great price for the interest in the club.”

The lawyer cleared his throat, causing Tor to whip around. “Damn it, Thompson. What the hell is it?”

“Your mother required you to work together to manage the club. If any of the terms of her bequest are violated, the shares will be sold…but not to you.”


“If the two of you don’t work together, or if you make an offer for her shares before six months have passed, which she accepts, then the shares will be sold to anyone but you.”

“The shares belong to Mouse. She can sell to whomever she wants.”

“No, I’m afraid not. If she goes against the terms of the will, she loses everything your mother willed to her.”

God, she didn’t want to challenge Tor about this, but she wouldn’t go back to living on the streets. She just wouldn’t.

She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, Tor. I have to abide by the will.”
To learn more about Francesca and her books check out her website and blog.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April's Special Days and Oddities

What’s special about April? Most people have heard of April Fools’ Day (April 1st) but few know where it originated from. It’s recognized and celebrated around the world as a day for playing practical jokes or pranks. Some historians believe it originated in France, but it may be related to the Roman Festival of Hilaria held on March 25 and the Medieval Festival of Fools.


Arbor Day is also celebrated in April. The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. It was created by Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), a Nebraska journalist and politician. He felt Nebraska’s landscape and economy would improve with the wide-scale planting of trees. He proposed that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees, and he planted many orchards, shade trees and tree breaks on his own farm. In 1885 Arbor Day became a legal holiday in the state on April 22 to coincide with Morton’s birthday. In 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday of April as National Arbor Day.

Special Dates in April:

• April 2

Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer of fairy tales, born 1805.

Emile Zola, French novelist, born 1840.

Automaker Walter P. Chrysler born 1875.

• April 3

Washington Irving, American author, born 1783.

John Burroughs, American naturalist, born 1837.

First pony express service began, 1860.

• April 4

• Congress adopted the flag with 13 stripes and with 1 star for each state, 1818.

April 5

Pocahontas married John Rolfe, 1614.

American educator Booker T. Washington born 1856.

• April 6

Robert Peary reached what he claimed to be the North Pole, 1909.

The United States declared war on Germany in World War I, 1917.

• April 7

William Wordsworth, English poet, born 1770.

Robert Marcel Casadesus, French pianist and composer, born 1899.

• April 8

Sonja Henie, Norwegian-American figure-skater and motion-picture actress, born 1912.

Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career major-league home run record, 1974.

• April 9

• General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War, 1865.

Charles P. Steinmetz, American physicist and electrical engineer, born in Germany, 1865.

Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines fell to Japan, 1942.

• April 10

• Newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer born 1847.

April 11

Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the first time, 1814.

• April 12

• The Civil War began at Fort Sumter, 1861.

Yuri Gagarin, Soviet astronaut, became first person to orbit the earth, 1961.

• April 13

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, born in Goochland (now Albemarle) County, Va., 1743.

F. W. Woolworth, American merchant, born 1852.

• April 14

• Christiaan Huygens, Dutch physicist, born 1629.

Noah Webster copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary, 1828.

John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln, 1865.

• April 15

Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, and scientist, born 1452.

The Revolutionary War declared ended, 1783.

Henry James, American novelist, born 1843.

Painter Thomas Hart Benton born 1889.

Liner Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, 1912.

• April 16

Anatole France, French novelist, born 1844.

Inventor Wilbur Wright born 1867.

• April 17

Samuel Chase, American jurist, born 1741.

J. P. Morgan, American financier, born 1837.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev born 1894.

Queen Elizabeth II signed the Constitution Act, making Canada completely independent of Britain, 1982.

• April 18

Paul Revere made his famous ride, 1775.

San Francisco earthquake and fire began, 1906.

Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle led carrier-based planes in a raid on Tokyo, in World War II, 1942.

• April 19

• The Revolutionary War began in Lexington, 1775.

• April 20

Adolf Hitler, dictator of Germany, born 1889.

• April 21

• Rome founded, according to tradition, 753 B.C.

Friedrich Frobel, German founder of the kindergarten system, born 1782.

Novelist Charlotte Bronte born 1816.

Hippolyte Taine, French historian and critic, born 1828.

Texans routed the Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto, 1836.

The Spanish-American War began, 1898.

Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, born 1926.

• April 22

Isabella I, patron of Columbus, born 1451.

Henry Fielding, English novelist, born 1707.

German philosopher Immanuel Kant born 1724.

V. I. Lenin, first dictator of the Soviet Union, born 1870 (April 10 on the Russian calendar then in use).

• April 23

• Traditional birth date of William Shakespeare, 1564.

James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States, born in Stony Batter, near Mercersburg, Pa., 1791.

Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, born 1891.

The first public showing of a motion picture, in New York City, 1896.

Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson born 1897.

• April 24

• Library of Congress established, 1800.

April 25

Oliver Cromwell, English general, born 1599.

Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of wireless telegraphy, born 1874.

San Francisco Conference to establish the United Nations began, 1945.

• April 26

John James Audubon, American ornithologist and painter, born 1785.

April 27

• Historian Edward Gibbon born 1737.

Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, born 1791.

Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States, born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, 1822.

• April 28

James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, 1758.

Maryland ratified the Constitution, 1788.

Mutiny on the British ship Bounty, 1789.

• April 29

Lorado Taft, American sculptor, born 1860.

William Randolph Hearst, publisher, born 1863.

Conductor Sir Thomas Beecham born 1879.

• April 30

Washington inaugurated as the first President of the United States, 1789.

Louisiana Territory purchased from France by U.S., 1803 (treaty was signed May 2, but dated April 30).

Louisiana became the 18th state, 1812.

Television first publicly broadcast, from the Empire State Building, 1939.

Vietnam War ended with South Vietnam's surrender to North Vietnam

So do you have a special day in April? Or have you played an interesting April Fools’ trick at some time in your life you’d like to share?
DeNita Tuttle
I love doing contests. And I haven't stopped celebrating my new release in the 1-800-DOM-help seriesAuthor Island is running a contest for me for EMERALD DUNGEON from Ellora's Cave. Win a free Ellora's Cave print book of my choosing along with a number of goodies I plan to throw in. Click HERE for more information.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Roses and Chains, Oh My

Roses and Chains is the next hawt book out in the exciting new 1-800-DOM-help series at Ellora's Cave. Talented authors are taking their own unique twist with the BDSM themed series. These are hot, edgy, sexy, romantic, emotional reads that you should check out.

BLURB: Take one adorable suburban couple just starting to realize their D/s relationship isn’t quite enough to satisfy. Add one cute and quirky sub who can’t seem to find a Dom to suit her tastes. Place them in a room full of sex toys and candlelight, roses and chains…

And after a few smoking-hot nights of pleasure and exploration, all three just might find what they’re looking for.

It hurt to come, and Mara screamed again as the flogger continued to drum against her. She craved the feel of fingers or a cock or something inside her, and the climax ramped higher and higher and felt almost spiteful because it wouldn’t let her go and it didn’t satisfy.

Then there was a second sharp peak, and after it ebbed she finally achieved a resolution of sorts, a release that wasn’t quite the relief she had sought. But Amie pulled her down from the cross and into her arms, letting Mara weep into her honeysuckle-scented curls.

And she didn’t say “I told you so”.

A few minutes later, Mara was seated on the floor next to Amie’s chair. As she dutifully finished off a bottle of water and plucked idly at one of Amie’s bootlaces, the Domme leaned down and pressed an unexpected kiss to the top of her former sub’s head. Then she handed her a business card. Mara took the card and stared at it for a moment before looking up at Amie.


“Somebody gave it to me. But I think you need it more than I do, sweetie. You’re just barely holding it together, aren’t you?”

Mara wanted to crumple the little white oblong into a ball and throw it back at Amie, but she knew her frustration wasn’t the Domme’s fault. It was her own. She looked at the card for another long moment before answering carefully.

“I’m sorry if I didn’t please you tonight, Mistress. It was very kind of you to—”

“Don’t. Don’t bullshit me. We were never like that.” Amie gave a sharp little sigh and pulled her ankle from Mara’s reach, then stood up and tucked a finger under Mara’s chin to force her eyes upward. Mara was too well-trained to jerk away, no matter how much she wanted to.

“Honey, we had a good time here in the club. It never worked outside, and we both knew that. But we gave it a good try, and I can respect that. What I cannot respect,” she said with a soft little faux slap against Mara’s cheek, “is a sub who plays passive-aggressive bullshit games, and won’t let herself get what she needs from the arrangement.”

Mara knew better than to apologize. She bit down on the automatic “I’m sorry” and nodded her head.

“I’m not sure what you need, Mara. And I don’t think you’re sure either. But there’s no reason to feel bad about that. It’s brave just to be out there trying. You don’t need to beat yourself up for not figuring it out faster.”

“I know. I know.”

“Especially not when there are so many people who would be thrilled to do that beating for you.”

She couldn’t help but smile, and Amie grinned back, the million-megawatt, slightly evil smile that attracted subs from miles away. The prom queen has decided she wants to whip your ass…you’ll take it and like it, so bend over. Mara had been one of the first in line, and would never regret the experience.

But Amie really had been a popular former prom queen, and Mara really had been a disaffected, Indie-rock-listening, former Goth girl. And though they’d tried to find some common ground outside their scenes, it had simply never gelled.

“Mistress, may I worship your boot?” A groveling young man in a studded black leather thong had knelt down near Mara at Amie’s feet. It happened all the time, and Mara knew to just wait. She didn’t blame him. She felt much the same about Amie, even though they were no longer together and she wasn’t a boot fetishist.

This one made the mistake, though, of making a move before he had received permission. He was already leaning in, mouth open, when Amie spoke.

“Move that tongue any closer to my boot, little worm, and you’ll be thrown out of this club for a month.”

Then she turned back to Mara, ignoring the man, who was smart enough to squirm away without another word. He did whimper, however. He had almost certainly enjoyed the rebuke on some level.

“Pushy asshole. Look, just call the number. I trust the person who gave it to me. And I wouldn’t give it to you if I didn’t think it would help. It’s worth a shot, anyway. So be brave, okay? And I’ll call you tomorrow to check up on you.”

With another little pat to Mara’s cheek, Amie was gone, strolling away across the main floor of the club like the Queen of the Dommes, off to review her subjects.

Leaving Mara alone to consider the merits of calling the number on the little white card.

She looked at it again and frowned.

“1-800-DOM-help? What the fuck?”
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