Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guest Author: Kathleen Coddington



Winning Joanna Released today! My good friend and critique partner has another hot release today from Ellora's Cave. Romantic and sexy with a Medieval setting. I highly recommend this one (I've read it) :)
Kathleen has a way with historical facts. Our group is always learning interesting tidbits about the times. She also has a wonderful voice that fits the historical stories lines well. I'm sure you'll enjoy Winning Joanna for the hot, romantic and emotional scenes.

BLURB:
e widowed Lady Joanna Leland wants nothing more than to be left in peace. When the king commands her to remarry, she informs him she has other plans. Those plans did not include getting trapped inside her manor during a blizzard—or the near-frozen stranger deposited outside her door, a man who awakens sexual yearnings she thought long dead.


Lord Hugh, the king’s finest battle strategist, has been sent by the king to change Joanna’s mind. As the blizzard roars outside, the temperature inside rises until the attraction between Hugh and Joanna ignites and they succumb to long nights of sensual delight. Tempting her body is only half the battle. He must secure her heart as well. But Hugh’s been keeping a secret that could destroy everything he is fighting for…and winning Joanna is one battle he can’t afford to lose.

EXCERPT:

Chapter One
Windsor Castle
February 14, 1347


Hugh Radcliff, the Earl of Reston, gazed out into the night. The courtyard of Windsor Castle lay quiet and empty below him. A handful of torches guttered in their brackets, sending flickering shadows across the paving stones. The day had been balmy for mid-February, but with the setting of the sun, the air had grown chill. He shivered and his skin rose in bumps as a slight breeze flowed over him. He rubbed his hands up and down his upper arms to warm himself, the thick scar on his left shoulder pressing into his palm. He’d received the wound in August at the Battle of Crécy. Nearly six months had passed since that hot, bloody day he realized.

Time to go home. He should have gone months ago, before the Yule festivities, but he’d lingered until another holiday rolled around. The first few weeks after he returned to England and the court, he’d used the half-healed sword slash to his shoulder as an excuse. It had been valid at the time, but the real reason for the delay had little to do with a physical wound. Instead, it lay within, in a heart where grief, guilt and regret tangled like the roots of an old tree. No coward on the field of battle, he dreaded looking into the accusing eyes of the daughter he hadn’t seen for nine years.

“My lord, close the shutters and come back to bed, else I shall not leave a crumb of cake for you.” A sultry feminine voice interrupted his musings.

Hugh pulled the heavy wooden shutters closed. As he turned to smile at the woman sprawled naked on his bed, his face held no hint of the emotional battle raging inside him. Lady Kate Selwyn was one of Queen Philippa’s fairest ladies-in-waiting. Sun-kissed brown hair flowed over her shoulders. It shifted as she held out a linen napkin with the piece of almond cake they’d saved from the feast. The movement allowed a plump pink nipple to peek out between her silken curls.

His cock twitched and grew harder at the sight. He’d thought himself most fortunate when their names had been pulled from the lottery to share a trencher at the St. Valentine Day’s feast. He’d felt even more fortunate when she’d been willing to leave the Great Hall early to celebrate the holiday in ways most suitable to a festival honoring love.

He crossed the room in two strides and stretched out next to her. With a teasing smile, he removed the sprig of yarrow, the traditional garnish for the St. Valentine’s Eve treat and tossed it aside before biting into the corner of the proffered cake. He swallowed it then leaned forward and kissed her.

Kate gave a gasping giggle and tried to wiggle away. “Ooh, you be cold as an icicle.” Her nipples puckered in agreement.

Hugh pushed back a lock of brown hair and nuzzled her ear. “I shall have to find some way to warm us.”

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Want to learn more about Kathleen and her books? Check out her website and blog:

 









Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Release Day for EMERALD DUNGEON


Exciting day today. The green shoes have arrived! Err, EMERALD DUNGEON was released today at Ellora's Cave And I do love the green shoes on the cover.

Yes, this story was inspired by a visit to a castle in Ireland back in September 2010. A writer's mind never stops searching for potential ideas for stories. I had a medieval dinner inside this 586 year old castle called Bunratty. I watched a show, listened to music, had more than my share of mead (honey wine) and listened to the haunting sound of a bagpiper outside. It was a blast. After talking to Desiree Holt about the 1-800-DOM-help author series at the last Romanticon, the naughty mind kicked in gear and I began to wonder what could go on in the dungeon of Bunratty castle...

As so many stories begin with a what if? So did Emerald Dungeon.

What if a woman muscian, a harpist, decides to take a break from her management job and do something she has always dreamed of: perform as a harpist in a small entertainment troupe. Just for the summer. It will be like a summer vacation. Then she'll return and get back to her boring, responsible job. But shortly after she arrives in Ireland, she discovers there's more going on at Rathmore Castle. She discovers a couple in the middle of a BDSM session in the dungeon and finds that her curiosity and submissive side are aroused. A sexy Dominant recognized the sub in her who is anxious to explore her erotic fantasies. There are many other secrets surrounding the castle and the couple has to face some difficult decisions. If they can accept each other with complete trust, and she can surrender to him as his sub, then ultimate pleasure and true love is possible.


Bunratty Castle (Inspiration for Emerald Dungeon)

EMERALD DUNGEON
Line: Taboo
Book Length: Novella
Book Type: eBook
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
ISBN: 9781419933721
MSRP/List Price: $8.90
Our Cover Price: $4.45
I hope you'll enjoy the story.
BUY LINK

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back From Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference

This past weekend I attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference in Iselin, NJ and what a great conference. Liberty States Fiction Writers is a multi-genre organization dedicated to the education and support of all fiction writers. They provide workshops and networking events to aid both published and yet-to-be published writers. They have 100+ members and I believe there were over 150 attendees at the conference.


I get such a rush going to these events, meeting my writer friends and making new friends, talking to people in the publishing world. Especially talking to writers and readers about books and the industry. The workshops and speakers were excellent.

Tracey Lyons gave a great talk on “Going Fishing: How to Catch an Agent” with helpful tips for those just beginning the agent hunt and those who have been out looking for a while. Some great links: Litmatch Querytracker  Publishersmarketplace http://www.sfwa.org/Beware/agents.html  http://www.aar-online.org/
Karen Fox

Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches/Trashy Books Blog Gave a helpful talk titled: “Everything You Wanted to Know about Blogging but Were Afraid to Ask”. One of the points she made was that you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to. Some authors blog because they were told they have to, but if you hate it, don’t do it. Blogging regularly is good but it doesn’t have to be every day. If you go more than once per week, you may not get a regular following.

Virginia Kantra  always gives a fabulous workshop. This workshop was on “Dialogue: Character, Conflict and Communication”. I liked her point, “If she (character) can think it, she can say it, better if she says it to the hero, and better still if she can fight about it.” Some other good tips: It’s good to have torture scenes, embarrassment scenes, concealment or secret scenes, and revelation/confession scenes in your book

I also got to meet a few people I hadn’t met before like Kate “Katiebabs” Garrabrant who writes as KT Grant for Decadent Publishing and Ravenous Romance. She also has an awesome  Katiebabs blog  and she reviews books. Not sure how she finds the time.
The Prince's Groom

I met K.A. Mitchell who writes gay romance for Samhain Publishing. Had a great chat with her about publishing and stuff. Nice lady.
not knowing jack

And I got to chat with Ellora’s Cave author J. Hali Steele Love the book cover for her Angels In Love book.
Mary Janice Davidson was a hoot to listen too—her workshop: Finding your Subgenre in Saturated Markets (I walked in toward the end) and her keynote. It’s always encouraging to hear the struggles of a successful author and how she made it. And Mary Janice tells it with her quirky humor.

I had the chance to say hello to my publisher Raelene Gorlinsky from Ellora’s Cave who’s exciting about the new lines and themed series at Ellora’s Cave: Sex Bytes- using modern technology and sex like IM, Skype, online dating, etc. Love Letters-love letters, cards, diaries. Oh Canada- stories set in Canada. Also looking for fetish themed stories and erotic horror.

I met so many people and chatted with so many friends including my friend Jonathan Maberry who was busy signing tons of his zombie books. His new Rot and Ruin, a YA post-apocalyptic novel just came out and is getting great reviews.

Looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dystopian Novels Just for Fun?


When I first heard about dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels my interest was a bit lukewarm. I love urban fantasy, paranormal of all kinds, especially dark and sexy books and I do enjoy a hard core sci fi novel as well. But desolation, starvation, destruction, humanity on the brink of distinction and possibly threatened by nasty critters (zombies, vampires, half-human monsters, etc.) Sounds a bit too depressing, horrific, brutal. I probably started reading these books because I like vampires, zombies and other supernatural creatures and was willing to “put up with” the dystopian world. Now I love them.

When a friend told me about Hunger Games, I said, “Are you kidding? That’s YA?” I didn’t want to read about teens killing teens. Depressing, horrific and brutal? Yes. And I couldn’t put it down. Because there is so much more in these stories—Hunger Games and other dystopian novels—Courage, honor, struggle, humanity, love, survival instinct, companionship, loyalty, friendship, fear, triumph over fear, triumph over evil, etc.

These types of emotions many of us never have the opportunity to experience; we can live them through the characters in these stories. I believe this is why these stories are so compelling to readers. That and we like to see characters tortured in the worst possible “what if” situations then triumph over insurmountable odds.

If you lived through a war or a natural disaster, you might understand some of these emotions. I was in South Florida during Hurricane Andrew. I saw massive devastation and was terrified of what might happen. Fortunately, I didn’t lose my house like so many did. I saw the amazing kindness in strangers helping strangers. But also heard horror stories from friends in the National Guard and the police. Stories that didn’t make the news.

Since I was on the hurricane crew at the hospital, I had to stay there until the storm was over. The hospital was in the evacuation zone. Hundreds of thousands of people left, we stayed. Police, fire department,  and ambulance crews were stationed at the hospital. One of the most chilling things about that time was when I was on my way back to work at the hospital during the mass evacuation. Early Sunday morning there were three lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic heading west and I was the lone car heading east. Friends of friends, people I didn’t know, had to evacuate their homes. I let them stay at my house. They helped me with my hurricane shutters and watched my pets. I told them to help themselves to my food. They were there for two days and didn’t touch my food and left my house spotless.

That was nothing compared to the devastation in Japan. We can’t even imagine how bad. But as bad as it is, we’re seeing strangers helping strangers and amazing acts of kindness and courage.

So why are these dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories so popular? In my opinion, in a world that continues to move faster and faster, exponentially growing in technology, communications and population, and at the same time demonstrating atrocious violence and cruelty, people wonder in the back of their minds what would happen if it was all taken away? As awful as it would be, humanity, courage and grace would still be there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Release Date For EMERALD DUNGEON


Wow things more fast in the ebook world! I have a release date for EMERALD DUNGEON
March 23rd
Yay! I'll be doing blog tours around at a number of author blogs and I'll spread the news as I get dates.
I'll will be guest blogging with Delilah Devlin on March 23rd. Talk about synchronicity. So check out her blog.http://www.delilahdevlin.com/blog/

  It's all about the shoes.
So far I'll be guest blogging at:   Desiree Holt - 3/23
                                             Francesca Hawley
                                             Ari Thatcher
                                             1-800-DOM-help blog
                                             Michelle Polaris
                                             Christine d'Abo
                                             Delilah Devlin - 3/23

I'll also be doing a Cyber Book Launch with Author Island March 24th for Cyber Launch Party and Front page release news.

I had a blast writing this story. It's a fun, sexy read, and I love the Irish castle setting.

Line: Taboo

Series: 1-800-DOM-help
Book Length: Novella
Book Type: eBook
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
ISBN: 9781419933721
MSRP/List Price: $8.90
Our Cover Price: $4.45

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Cover & Book Trailer: Emerald Dungeon


Getting a new book cover is like opening Christmas presents. As always Ellora's Cave art department did a fabulous job on this cover. EMERALD DUNGEON is my new book that will be coming out soon and is part of the 1-800-DOM-help author themed series. This story takes place in a 500 year old Irish castle. It's a fun, sexy and mysterious story and of course there are a number of BDSM scenes in the castle's dungeon.

The mysterious 1-800-DOM-help business card appears when the relationship between the Jack and Dana gets out of hand. Other strange things are occuring in the story that add to Dana's turmoil: figures in black robes roaming around the castle, and Dana sees bizarre lights in the forest.


The business card is what links all the stories together:
The magic begins with the appearance of the business card. Sleek black print on a pristine white background—unassuming in its appearance. Those brave enough to call the number will begin a journey that will explore their greatest desires.

Once the call is made, the Operator goes to work. Somehow he knows just what every caller needs, always able to find the answer the caller seeks.

Callers may be directed to Unfettered, a new club in town, one nobody has heard of. It provides a safe haven for all who enter. Members are free to explore their every desire…even those they weren’t aware of. Little do they know Unfettered will disappear once those yearnings have eased.

Submissives who don’t know how to handle their Dominants. Masters looking for the perfect sub. People who need just a little push to admit vanilla isn’t their favorite flavor. The card finds them all.

And once you dial 1-800-DOM-help anything can happen.


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Dana gets a summer job in Ireland as a harpist in a medieval dinner show. Her life is never the same after that. Here is a sneak peek snippet. Check out the awesome book trailer that fellow EC author and 1-800-DOM-help author Delphine Dryden created at the end.

EXCERPT-(unedited)

The castle loomed in front of her. A drive into town for groceries would wait. How could she pass up exploring the grounds of a five hundred year old monument? Closed or not, she had to take a closer look. She had all afternoon to shop and unpack. Walking toward it, she admired how the dark stone structure rose well above the trees and at each corner were tower-like turrets. The view from the top must be amazing.


After working in a security company for thirteen years, force of habit had her scanning the castle walls for security cameras or spot lights. No cameras, minimal lighting, no motion sensors. She hoped the park had a better system in place inside, considering the castle was supposed to have 15th and 16th century furnishings.

Why did the castle have to be closed today? Just her luck. She walked up the drawbridge and tried the door and sure enough it was locked. Crap. Maybe it wasn’t so easy to break into a castle.

Walking around the building, she ran her hand along the rough stone. Five hundred years old. What would it have been like to live here centuries ago? What was it going to be like to entertain here? She hadn’t practiced in over two weeks since she shipped her harp. Even though the audiences for the dinner shows would be small, her stomach knotted up as if she was about to perform at a huge symphony hall.

She was three-quarters around the building when she discovered a small alcove and a wooden service door at the end of the narrow walkway. Dana tried this door and it opened. She shook her head. Very poor security. She should mention this to Jack and make some recommendations while she was here.

A narrow curved stairway led up. The castle was huge and she preferred to know the lay out of the place since the first show would be in a couple days. One flight up opened onto a great hall. A few tapestries hung on the walls between giant windows and heavy dark chairs and one table took up one wall. They’d need more tables to seat guests. There must be another room.

Dana crossed the hall to another doorway that lead to a different stairway and was about to climb, when she saw a flickering glow from the darkness below. Fire? Could the castle be on fire? Wiring or the furnishings could be. She trotted down the circular stone stairs.

Darkness crept in around her except for the golden flickering light from the basement. Walking through another doorway, she thought she heard voices but she wasn’t sure. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up.

As she rounded a stone partition, the room brightened. Flames flickered within a half dozen wrought iron sconces, a fire burned in a small stone fireplace. The room smelled of sweet burning wood and damp stone. At the far wall two people hovered in shadows. Dana remained in her circle of darkness at the bottom of the stairs unable to take her eyes away from the sight.

The woman was naked, her wrists and ankles bound with straps that hung from the ceiling. Her arms and legs were spread wide in a V-shape.
 
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