Hunting the Elusive Satyr Male

Posted by: Elizabeth Amber
One of the inspirations for The Lords of Satyr.

One of the inspirations for The Lords of Satyr. (High relief sculpture; Louvre)

“Satyrs? What are they anyway?”

Since I began writing my erotic historical paranormal romance series, The Lords of Satyr, I’ve heard this question more than any other.  The short answer is that satyrs are the carnal followers of the Roman wine god, Bacchus (Dionysus in Greek mythology.)  They’re roguish lovers of women and wine, and are associated with fertility rites and woodlands.

In short, they’re the perfect creatures on which to base my three half-satyr half-human lords, Nicholas, Raine, and Lyon.

Wine? Woodlands? Check. Check. These brothers own a large estate in Tuscany, Italy, on which they grow wine grapes.  They also guard an ancient gate leading to an alternate world.

Lovers? Fertility rites? Check. Check. They’re alpha males, who are sent on a quest to find and wed three half-fairie half-human females who are in danger. And they engage in a carnal ritual every month, which not only engenders them with unusual physical qualities, but also helps enrich the vines, which in turn insure their ongoing health.

Like Lyon, this satyr has an affinity for animals.

Like Lyon, this satyr has an affinity for animals. (Royal Palace, Caserta, Italy)

“How do you say “satyr”?

The word “satyr” can be pronounced with a long or short “a”.  I opt for the long “a”.

“Where can I find a satyr guy?”

Okay, no one has actually asked me this, but once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find satyrs throughout Europe—especially in Italy and France. If you’re lucky enough to visit these beautiful countries, keep an eye out for satyrs in the statuary, mosaics, high relief carvings, and frescoes found decorating public fountains, gardens, museums and other buildings, and on urns and other artifacts.  Here’s how you’ll know if you’ve found a satyr:

1. He’s holding a wine goblet or grapes.
2. He’s chasing a nymph or maenad, and sex is obviously on his mind.
3. He has sprouted a tail and has furred haunches.

A lusty satyr carrying off a maenad.

A lusty satyr carrying off a maenad. (Louvre, Paris)

My interest and studies in Greco-Roman art history lead me on a satyr hunt last time I was in Europe. Since pictures speak louder than words, I wanted to share some photos from my trip in hopes that they’ll inspire you to go on your own satyr hunt.  I hope you’ve enjoyed them.

Lyon giveaway

Wild On Books will give away a copy of my newest release, LYON, THE LORDS OF SATYR, to one person who leaves a comment between October 19-25th. Good luck, and thanks for visiting the blog!

Elizabeth Amber
NICHOLAS, THE LORDS OF SATYR
RAINE, THE LORDS OF SATYR
LYON, THE LORDS OF SATYR (Aug 2008)
DOMINIC, THE LORDS OF SATYR (March 2009)
erotic historical paranormal romance
Kensington Aphrodisia
erotic excerpts at www.elizabethamber.com

Thanks to Everyone!

Posted by: Todd Hunter

Thanks again to everyone who showed up to discuss “Grabbing the Reader’s Attention” and HEROES DIE YOUNG yesterday. I had a great time, and hope everyone else did as well.

I can already hear everyone out there saying “I wish he’d just get to listing out the winners!”

We had several entries for the e-book and print copies both, and since I hate disappointing such fine, upstanding ladies…I’ve decided to pick multiple winners and give them their choice between an e-book and a print copy.

So, Cathy M (comment 17), Susan Lee Wiener (comment 26), lestopath (comment 28) and OFG (comment 30)…send me an e-mail at engrboy@msn.com (make sure the subject is obvious, so I don’t accidentally delete it as spam!) and we’ll arrange for delivery of your prize.

For those who didn’t win this time around, you can visit AstonWest.com to find out more about HEROES DIE YOUNG, or head over to Champagne Books and order your copy today.

Grabbing the Reader’s Attention

Posted by: Todd Hunter

What causes a reader to pick up a book and not want to put it down?

The best way for a writer to know the answer to any writing question is to ask it of themselves, as a reader. This situation is no different. So, what makes a book so riveting that you don’t want to stop reading?

Personally, I’m a fan of any book which keeps the action moving, and I’d venture to guess this is the case for most readers, regardless of genre. As soon as things begin slowing down, I start losing interest. If things drag on for very long, I put the book down more often, and in some cases will put it aside for weeks or months at a time. So, if we assume most readers want action to keep moving, how do we (now back to being writers) do so and keep the reader’s attention on turning those pages.

  1. Start off on the right foot (or maybe the left) – In every footrace, there’s a starting gun. In your writing, you have to capture your reader’s attention immediately if you expect to keep it for the rest of the piece. There are multiple ways to do this, but some things NOT to do would be to describe every unnecessary detail of the scene, give every piece of back story you developed the story with, or have your main character wax nostalgic about their personal struggles. Action helps, but if you toss the reader right into an action scene without some setup, they’re likely going to be confused or worse, unwilling to buy your book (many readers will check out the first few paragraphs of a book before buying).
  2. Keep things moving (downhill doesn’t count) – The death bell for any novel is when the story stalls out. Interesting characters and situations have to stay interesting. Conflict helps. Anytime your characters look like they’ll reach their goals, put an obstacle in the way. Continue this pattern, making the stakes higher and the obstacles harder to overcome throughout the story, and you’ll have your reader’s attention. Life (and fiction) is more exciting when there’s more at risk and everything to gain.
  3. Don’t distract the reader (ooooh, shiny!) – Side plots can be interesting, but if they distract the reader, your pages might as well be a flashing neon sign, hard to look at and something to pass by completely. Readers read to relax, to get away from their every day lives. As such, keep things simple and uncomplicated (note: do not “dumb down” your writing). Plots should NOT have ever-overlapping threads which a reader has to stop and diagram out on a white board to comprehend. The same holds true for the number of characters a writer puts in a story. If the reader has to constantly stop and look back through material they’ve already read to remember a character (out of the twenty in the story), they’ll get frustrated and will most likely set your book down. If they do happen to pick it back up later, they’ll need to refresh their memory on your characters and will probably put the book away again during the attempt.
  4. Start funneling the reader toward the end (clean out the motor oil first) – Readers like to relax, as mentioned. They also like to believe they’re going to reach the end of a book eventually (they have their own lives after all). An author needs to be able to give readers the sense that closure is coming if they just read a little farther. Granted, some books (usually based on genre) can pull this off easier than others. A mystery can’t make it obvious who the killer is too soon, for example. But overall, the closer the reader gets to the end, the more the action should pick up in anticipation of the climax of the story.
  5. A satisfying ending (try not to read too much into this following “the climax”) – Notice I didn’t say “a happy ending.” Not all stories need to have a happy ending (a few of mine don’t), because life isn’t predictable. There will obviously be those who disagree with this, based on the fact that readers want to escape their own lives (real life doesn’t always have happy endings either). But regardless of whether your have a happy ending or not, the reader must feel like the main character achieved their main goal. Otherwise, the reader is going to feel cheated. Although they’ve made it all the way through the book (which was our main goal through all of this), they’re likely not going to bother reading your next one. People like closure, and a satisfying ending is the best way in which to give one to your reader.

So, as you can see, it takes a lot of work to keep a reader’s attention throughout the entire novel. But through time and practice, it will become second nature to you as a writer. Hopefully these suggestions for grabbing a reader’s attention are helpful to you.

***

Excerpt from the first chapter of HEROES DIE YOUNG (and no, this isn’t the beginning of the chapter…did you really think I’d violate my own guidelines above?):

I turned my gaze down the entry corridor and saw carnage I wouldn’t soon forget. Rulusian bodies lay on either side of the hallway, burn marks from energy weapons as black patches on a background of dark green skin. The putrid scent of scorched flesh was in the air. I passed an open doorway on my left, and looked inside at crew quarters. More Rulusian corpses lay amidst sparks and clouds of smoke.

I lifted the transmitter again. “You’re sure there isn’t anyone on this ship?”

“Affirmative. All scans show nothing but yourself.”

“This damage is far too recent for my liking.”

“Did the crew abandon ship as we had thought?”

I grimaced. “Doesn’t look like it.”

I continued down the corridor toward the bridge. Dark blast marks lined the doorframe and floor, where an access hatch had been blown open. Smoke particles lingered in the air and I detected a faint chemical odor while my eyes watered. I took slow, cautious steps through the opening and became witness to even more carnage. Ten more Rulusians were collapsed against the wall or slumped over consoles, all roasted by weapons fire. I definitely didn’t need to meet up with the people who had done this. I didn’t get into the scavenging business to be a hero. Everyone loves heroes, but heroes have a tendency to die young.

I glanced at the console screens as I stepped around the short end of an oval-shaped outer wall. All of the displays flickered with minimal power from backup systems, while I stepped over a pair of corpses. I stopped at one and attempted to bypass the lockout. The sweat fell off my face onto the screens and formed little pools which slowly worked up enough courage to slide down the panel. I realized my attempts were useless and walked to a single access hatch at the back of the bridge.

“Jeanie, which bays contain contraband?”

“All of them.”

A huge smile spanned my face. This was a dream come true.

Unfortunately, I only had three bays open and there was no way I was dumping the crystals. Perfect opportunities like this were the exception and after these weapons were sold, I’d likely have run some more regular cargo. Even in such a huge universe, it wouldn’t take long for word to spread that I couldn’t be trusted to complete a delivery.

“Get ready to pull three containers in. The winches should be adequate.” I had a loading arm installed, and even though it was a lot more accurate, it was slow and cumbersome. There was still a bonus to keep in mind.

“Acknowledged.”

The door into the cargo hold opened easily, which I found odd as I walked inside. The air was stale and dry in my lungs as the floor panels clanged and echoed with each step. The door closed behind me and I glanced down the corridor at six bays on either side. The best thing would be for me to drop the first three bays and ignore the possibility of a better catch in the others.

A computer console beside the bay door monitored the ambient conditions inside, while a marked service panel underneath drew my attention. I shoved my Mark II into its holster inside my jacket and knelt down next to the panel. The cover came off in no time and I set it aside. A lever on the right, and two dimmed lights next to it looked like what I needed. Even though I’d never jettisoned cargo manually from a Rulusian freighter before, there were plenty of bays to find the proper technique. After I pulled the lever, the lights flashed in sequence a few moments. Then a miniature explosion sounded off inside the bay.

Just to make sure I hadn’t destroyed a perfectly good cargo container, I lifted my transmitter again. “Do you see it, Jeanie?”

“Pulling in the cargo now.”

“Two more on the way.”

I moved on to two more bays, going through the same process. As the third bay jettisoned, I heard another floor panel echo farther down the hold.

I pulled out my Mark II and stood, just as a floor panel at the very end of the hold flew up. A woman with bronze skin and black hair jumped up out from the crawlspace underneath, a disintegrator cannon in her hands pointed right at me. I fell to the floor just before her first shot hit the bridge door behind me and showered sparks down onto the grill. I fired a three-shot burst and she dove down in the crawlspace again, while minimal damage was done to the aft bulkhead. It also gave me the opportunity to run toward the bridge door, where the impact mark from her first shot still glowed. Eager for cover, I ducked around the corner into a small alcove as another shot hit nearby. Sparks fell at my feet while I pressed my back firm against the cold hard metal. My heart beat faster than it had in quite a while.

***

Questions on the HEROES DIE YOUNG Excerpt:

  1. What line (from this excerpt) spawned the title?
  2. Who’s the real bad boy (or girl) in this excerpt? Aston or the mystery woman? Why?

A free e-book of HEROES DIE YOUNG will be given to the blog commenter who gives the best answer to the second question above (as decided by me tomorrow morning).

And as a special bonus, I will choose one blog commenter to win a free print copy of HEROES DIE YOUNG. Just tell me why you deserve to win it more than anyone else (again, winner decided by me tomorrow morning).

***

T. M. Hunter is the author of HEROES DIE YOUNG, the latest science-fiction sensation from Champagne Books. His Aston West short stories have been featured in the e-mag Ray Gun Revival with his short story “Little White Truths” a top ten finisher in the 2007 Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll. He (and Aston) can often be found over at AstonWest.com.

Thanks to Jennifer and the entire Wild on Books crew for having me!

If you enjoyed this blog, make sure to check out my regular Monday blog posts on writing over at Aston’s MySpace page.

I live for comments (and love to give books away)! So, please stop in and say hi. Be sure to enter yourself to win a free copy of HEROES DIE YOUNG, and I’ll be around at various times throughout the day to respond…

We have a winner!

Posted by: Jamie Leigh Hansen

A big thank you to everyone for the warm welcome here at Wild on Books. :) Jennifer is a one-of-a-kind hostess. :)

The winner for this week’s prize is ING! Ing, please email me at JLH@JamieLeighHansen.com with your address so I can send you an autographed copy of Cursed! :)

For anyone else, stay tuned at www.MySpace.com/JamieLeighHansen. I’ll be giving away another copy to one lucky winner. :)

Have a great week,

Jamie

Series TV and Books – chat with Jamie Leigh Hansen!

Posted by: Jamie Leigh Hansen

Everyone who comments on this blog post by midnight Wednesday, September 17 will be entered to win an ARC of Jamie’s upcoming book CURSED!!!

        Two specific things are like clockwork every Fall. Kids go to school and TV networks unleash their season agenda.  I don’t know about you, but I look forward to this every year. I type up a schedule of shows, their channel and what time they are on. Then I coordinate it all. With DVR or TiVo, this is an easy process, but even with those, I need to know the schedule. Let’s face it, if there’s a new House or Supernatural on, I don’t want to wait any longer than I absolutely have to.  But this year will be the best.

          What should be really fun this year is that the shows are recovering from the writers’ strike last year. They need to make up for the short, disappointing season we had. Which means, this is the perfect time for viewers. We get the benefits of all those writers letting their creativity rest while they performed other tasks to keep their families with food and shelter. After all, even setting aside all their works, their subconscious was considering their characters.

          Or, at least, that’s how it works with me. No matter how I’m trying to take a break or work on something else, or just enjoy a family get together, my head is still working through my current plot or characters. But how much better the story can turn out after the hiatus!

          This year, I can’t wait to see how Wilson heals after the emotional death of Amber on House. And how will Sam rescue Dean from Hell in Supernatural? How will the Justice League rescue Clark on Smallville? Will Booth and Brennan finally start something on Bones? There are more I watch, of course, but these are the ones I wonder the most about.

Which shows do you wonder about all summer?

          And when it comes to books, which series do you wait months for just so you can see what happens next? For me it is Christine Feehan, Gena Showalter and some of my new favorites: Jeaniene Frost, Yasmine Galenorn and Rachel Vincent. Well, there are so many more, but our lists really get quite long, don’t they?

          One of the greatest moments in a writer’s life, in my humble opinion, is being able to share the next installment of their series. For those who have been following mine, and anyone who would like to begin, here is an excerpt from my December 2nd release, Cursed.   

Enjoy!

Jamie Leigh Hansen
For more information, and a longer excerpt, visit my bookshelf at www.JamieLeighHansen.com

 

Alex opened his eyes, knowing the bed beside him would be empty, but what he hadn’t expected was to wake up in their dream bed, in their dream room. Usually, when Beth Ann left him, the dream was over and he was abandoned, alone in his apartment, missing her more than ever. Wishing she was real. But the black walls and the burgundy curtains hanging from the corners of their four poster bed left no doubt he was still dreaming.

The candle had burned lower, proof that time had passed while he slept. Rising from the bed, Alex pulled on his dark green sweats and matching AK Martial Arts t-shirt, staring at the door that was always firmly closed and locked so he couldn’t leave, even when he really wanted the dream over. He hated that door.

Scooping up the thin pillar, cinnamon apple pie wafted into the air all around him, filling his senses and his memories. This was the flavor of them, together. Apple pie, home and family, and love with just enough cinnamon to spice it up and make it worth fighting for.

Turning to the door, Alex reached for the handle. It had never opened before, but he had to try anyway. He’d always wondered what was on the other side. Was it escape? An end to the dream? Or would he find Beth Ann? Was she waiting to share more of herself if he was brave enough to follow?

Alex pulled the door wide and stepped out into a forest so thick, so lush, it was barely lit by a moon over half full. Cupping his hand protectively around the tiny flame of the candle, Alex continued forward. The air moved and there was a click behind him. Alex looked back in time to see the door disappearing beneath rustling trees and tangling vines until it was gone as if it had never been.

 Alex stiffened as the atmosphere changed, an ominous chill breeze flowing around him. His stance became looser, more fluid, and more deadly. Blowing out the candle, he set it down before continuing. He stepped cautiously, sliding past dark shrubbery and low hanging vines with broad, thick leaves to a break in the tree line. The clearing was wide enough for a good size campsite, but small enough to reveal a tragedy in detail. Alex jerked a few more steps forward, his surroundings all too achingly familiar. He’d nearly lost everyone he loved here.

Movement brought his eyes to the center and that hellish glowing light brightened around him, trapping him. It was the same kind of barrier that had trapped his friends and left him beating at the light like it was bulletproof glass, helpless to aid them. The light-barrier didn’t come down unless a heart stopped. And it was well known the bitch in the center didn’t have a heart to sacrifice.

He’d only seen Maeve once in a vision of her false death, but hers wasn’t a power to be forgotten. Her hair was the deep, dark red of garnets and her eyes were a bright hard green to match the cursed emerald at her throat. Once appearing broken and beaten, now Maeve stood alive and well and holding a dagger to Beth Ann’s throat.

“Come forward, little healer. We have much to discuss.”

With his heart in his throat and his hands held carefully, visibly at his sides, Alex left the relative safety of the tree line. Beth Ann’s eyes were wide in her pale face as she held absolutely still, her chin lifted to accommodate the blade. Her gaze kept shifting to the sides, but Alex couldn’t look away long enough to surmise her message.

Maeve laughed. “Your hands don’t scare me, Alex. Neither as instruments of your healing power, nor as your puny human excuse for defense.

Suddenly, all sound became silent and though Maeve’s mouth still moved, Alex didn’t know what she was saying. Straining to listen, he even tried to move closer to her, but his body was frozen. Only his eyes could move. Alex searched through the darkness, trying to find the unseen menace. His heart pounded hard in his chest and the blood rushed thick past his ears until the only sound he could hear was his own heartbeat.

Until a voice as deep as the pits of hell, as resonant as his darkest nightmares, spoke in his ear. “I look into the future and this is what I see.”

Like spotlights in the darkness, the trees behind and to the sides of Maeve lit, showing the huddled figures at their base. He should have seen them before since they were well inside the barrier of light, but they’d been shadowed, hidden from his gaze and only now fully revealed.

As the delicate features of each small face were bared to his gaze, Alex fought harder against whatever spell bound him. He didn’t know them, had never seen them before, but they were children caught by Maeve. That alone strengthened his resolve to save them, but there was even more meaning to the scene. More horror to digest.

“They are your future, every single one of them. Including her.” The voice moved until he could see a figure at the edge of his vision. Not a man, but something else. Something black with red embers burning within it, like a fire after it had been snuffed but still smoldered. “They were once my future. Let’s hope you aren’t as foolish.”

Alex followed the blue-eyed gaze to the children filling the clearing. Blond, brunette, glasses, twins, a baby…he counted ten children of varying ages and his eyes widened, swinging to Beth Ann. She didn’t appear a day older than the woman of his dreams, his fantasies. Actually, she’d seemed to age as he did over the last twelve years, as if even his unconscious mind had allowed for the changes time might have cast upon her. The children weren’t theirs, together, but as he watched her gaze shift to each of them, bright with tears and fear, full of love and the determination to save them, he knew they would be.

His future. Alex swallowed, but couldn’t speak.

“You can save them. If your love is great enough.”

With a burst of movement, Maeve struck and the clearing ran red. Screams filled Alex’s ears-his own among them. 

Don’t forget to read Betrayed, book 1 of this new series!

 

 

Risque Business

Posted by: Tawny Weber

 Hi Everyone!!  I’m Tawny and I write for Harlequin Blaze.  I was thrilled when Jennifer invited me to visit and share a little about my latest book with you.  

Risque Business is a makeover story.  I was really excited about this concept becuase I’m a huge makeover fan.  You know, the kind who can’t pass the department store makeup counters without playing in the eyeshadow, and watches those make-over a house in 8 hours shows?  My favorite fairy tale was The Ugly Duckling and I have this deep, abiding belief in the power of Swans LOL. 

So a makeover themed book was a natural for me.  I took a heroine who has complete confidence in her brains, but feesl invisible otherwise and paired her with a hero who has complete confidence in EVERYTHING… except love. The result was a LOT of sparks.  But sparks are good in a Blaze, right?

 When both of their jobs are on the line, Nick Angel and Delaney Conner resort to a public bet to prove whether Delaney’s reviews reflect public opinion.  But the real bet, the HOT bet, is the private one between just the two of them.  This bet?  To prove that good sex requires emotions, or to acknowlege that great sex only requires simple lust.   Crazy bet?  Well Delaney thought so, too.  That is, until Nick convinced her. 

This is how he did it…

RISQUE BUSINESS EXCERPT:  

 “Either prove good sex needs emotions…” Nick Angel trailed off, his voice pure liquid heat, “or admit the greatest sex in the world is purely physical.”   

Delaney gasped.  Sure, she’d imagined sex with him.  What woman under ninety with a pulse wouldn’t?  And he’d given her some hot looks that coming from any other guy—to any other gal—she’d have imagined meant he might be interested.  But her?  And the sexiest man alive?  The idea made her head spin, and, she squirmed, made her panties damp. 

     “You expect me to sleep with you?” she asked in her most shocked tone.  It was mostly show, though.  She’d already had sex with the man in her mind at least a dozen times since he’d walked on the set.  But to actually have sex with him?  Her makeover was much too surface for that. 

     “Can you think of any better way to prove your point?” he asked with a wicked laugh.  The look on his face made it clear he was turned on by the concept.  Delaney narrowed her eyes.  It had to be a trick.  Guys didn’t give her those long, sexy looks.  Not unless they wanted something.  Or, in Nick’s case, wanted to distract her.  Or worse, make her look like a fool. 

     Her shoulders tightened. 

     “You have to be kidding,” she said with a sniff.  “I’m not having…  how did you put it? Sexual relations with you just to win some stupid bet.”

     “Don’t you want to learn firsthand my version of intimacy?”

     “Just as much as you want to experience a committed, loving relationship,” she shot back. 

     “And you really believe that to have good sex, that emotional thing needs to be present?”

     “I do.  Passion is stronger than lust,” she insisted.  With a wave of her hand, she gestured between the two of them.  “How easy would it be to say, sure, let’s do it.  We could walk through that door and rip each other’s clothes off.  We could get hot, sweaty and wild.  Screams of satisfaction would echo down the hallway.”  She eyed the smug look on his face and arched her brow before adding, “Your screams.”

     His grin was fast and appreciative. 

Delaney’s breath hitched at the sight, but she didn’t let desire cloud her argument. 

“But it wouldn’t matter.  It’d only be a fleeting passion.  Quick, pointless and once it was over, you’d walk away without another thought.  That,” she pointed out, “is lust.  Which would only prove my point.”

     His eyes had darkened to a deep midnight blue, the hunger flaming clear and bright.  From the intensity of his stare, he liked the image her words evoked. 

     Nick took a step forward, so close the heat of his body warmed her beaded nipples.  Delaney lifted her chin, trying to hide the fact that she was not only turned on, but intimidated as hell. 

     “What if I promised you that if you unlock that door, the sex would be so good you’d forget all about the myth of love?”

     Delaney gulped but didn’t back down.  Not when her entire belief system was on the line. 

     “I might forget for the moment.  Good sex has a way of doing that.”  At least, she’d imagine it did.  She’d never personally had sex good enough to make her forget Lady Chatterley’s Lover, let alone something as important as her feelings.  “But that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m saying that true intimacy, that passion, is more than slam, bam, thank you ma’am.”

     “And I’m saying if the slamming is done right, ma’am is the one doing the thanking.”

     Delaney rolled her eyes.

     “You’re playing with words,” she told him.

     “Words are my specialty.  They’re not all I’m good at, though,” he said, stepping close enough for her to feel the heat from his body.  Her own responded instantly. 

     “Obviously,” she murmured, not about to argue his sexual prowess.  After all, the guy got her hot and wet just standing there in all his male cockiness.  If he actually put some moves on, she’d probably melt into a whimpering puddle. 

     “Speaking of bets…” he said, his words trailing off as he moved even closer.  Heat radiated off his chest and an answering flame flickered low in her belly.  “What do you say?  A no strings fling.  Hot, wild sex.” 

He took that final step, bringing his body flush against hers.  Delaney bit back a whimper at the sweet pressure of his chest against her aching nipples, his thigh, warm and hard, pressed between her legs.

He placed his hands on the wall on either side of her head and lowered his face until his mouth was within centimeters of hers.  Delaney swallowed, unable to tear her gaze from the hypnotic blue depths of his.  Like under an irresistible spell, she simply waited, both eager and terrified to see if he’d follow through. 

When he did, it wasn’t the deep, wild kiss she’d anticipated.  Instead it was more of a tease.  A soft brush of his lips over hers, warm, moist, gentle.  Any other guy and she’d have termed it sweet. 

His eyes still holding hers prisoner, Nick pulled back just a bit, his breath still warming her mouth.

     That was it? The hottest guy she’d ever had pressed against her and that was the kiss she inspired?  Delaney wanted to grab his hair and yank him closer, ravage his mouth with hers. To kiss him with the intense, deep passion she hadn’t even known she wanted. 

“Just consider it,” he murmured.

Her eyes narrowed, but before she could say anything, his mouth plunged again, this time taking hers with a fierce intensity that shot straight down to her belly.  Damp, warm heat pooled between her legs as she gave herself over to the wild power of his kiss. 

Delaney couldn’t think, could barely react, before he’d pulled back.  Not just his mouth, but his entire body. He stepped away, leaving her churned up, panting and cold where her body missed the warmth of his.  

“One month,” he said in a husky whisper.  “We give each other a month, totally focused on physical pleasure.  In the end, you’ll admit I’m right.” 

And that’s how Nick hooked Delaney into their little bet.  What do you think? Would you have gone for the bet if he’d issued it?

Methinks I would have 😉 

I’d love to hear what you think!  I’ll draw a name to win a copy of one of my backlist from the comments – so please, share whether you’d have taken the bet, or told Nick to take a hike :-)

And if you’d like, drop on by my website to check out my other books or see what kind of things I’ve got going on. 

Introducing TJ Michaels (woohoo!)

Posted by: TJ Michaels

Hi all! Totally thrilled to be here at Wild On Books. It’s my first of many visits, I’m sure. I hope you all don’t mind, but when I blog I don’t typically stay glued to the topic of books. Yep, I’m one of those folks who just kind of goes with whatever is floating my boat at the moment.

And right now, everyone is talking about the Olympics. My favorite events are gymnastics because I used to be a gymnast. But I also like platform diving and swimming. And speaking of swimming, did you all get a good look at Mr. Michael Phelps? Oh. My. Freaking. God! Many a romance author (myself included) were wishing the suit would slip just a little bit.

CAUTION: Click here for Totally Yummy, Michael Phelps Just After Winning The Gold

Then there’s beach vollyball. I enjoy that sport, too. But someone made a very valid point the other day – why are the women’s suits whittled down to almost-bikini’s while the men are wearing big baggy beach shorts and ugly, flappy muscle shirts?

Heck, I wanna see the hotties! So if the women are almost naked, let’s be fair and make the men be pseudo-naked, too? All’s fair in sports, right?

And all that talk about naked men on the beach brings to mind (yes, I have to throw a book plug in there *cheese*) a scene I wrote for a new book recently sold to Ellora’s Cave. It’s called Caramel Kisses and is a Older woman/younger man contemporary. Now, I usually write paranormal erotic complete with vampires, shifters, spirit guides, the whole works. My favorite series that I’ve written is the Vampire Council of Ethics in both eBook and print from Samhain. I also enjoyed penning the spirit guide and shifter books out with Ellora’s Cave (all this stuff can be found on my website at www.tjmichaels.com).  But Caramel Kisses is my first contemporary, and I must admit, I kinda like the genre.

Back to the scene I was talking about – our hero, Drew, takes his lover, Sydni on vacation. And there’s a scene where she’s just relaxing on the beach. She looks up from her novel to see her gorgeous, rugged hunk-of-a-hero come striding out of the ocean toward her:

Wait, wait, wait! Oh lord, I almost forgot. Before you read the excerpt, or after, I would love to know if you’re watching the Olympics right now. If so, share with us what you’re enjoying, or not enjoying about it. And whatabout the whole beach vollyball thing? Or beach anything, for thing matter? And of course, things just wouldn’t be quite right without a contest, so leave a post about the Olympics or your favorite personal beach adventure (the more outrageous, the better) and get your name in the hat for your choice of one eBook from my backlist. I’ll announce the winner on Friday on The Scoop page on my website.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

TJ
www.tjmichaels.com

Enjoy this unedited excerpt from
CARAMEL KISSES

Copyright 2008, TJ Michaels
Coming Soon from Ellora’s Cave
(WARNING: This is a R-Rated explicit excerpt that leaves nothing to the imagination)

So far vacationing with Drew had been a blast. Sydni was having an awesome time exploring the land of The Lord of the Rings. There couldn’t possibly be another place like New Zealand anywhere on Earth. And certainly not another man anywhere like Drew. In addition to arranging the most out-of-the-way accommodations, he’d arranged helicopter tours of some of the locations where the movie had been filmed. The land was wild and untamed in places, bringing to mind certain scenes from her favorite epic film. And she had her own action hero in a rugby player’s body, but with a more stylish haircut.

Sydni leaned back in her chaise and frowned down at the baby powder fine sand underneath her feet, debating whether she wanted to swim and get sand up her ass, or just lay here and watch Drew play. Raising her gaze, she watched her man approach and had to force herself to breathe. As usual.

Rising up out of the waves, Drew dripped sex. After planting his surf board into the sand every step he made toward her sent her stomach rippling up into her throat. The water dripped down his body in sparkling rivulets, leaving wet paths in the downy hair of his bare chest. Packed slabs of muscle bunched and flexed as he wicked the water down and away from his arms. God the man had the most delicious thighs and well-formed calves she’d ever seen on a man. And an ass to simply die for, which happened to be nicely outlined by his soaked swim trunks.

His dark mop of hair was plastered to his head, curling about the ends as he made his way toward her, dripping wet. The dripping made her think of how he made other things…drip.

Yes, he looked great in shorts, and even better in nothing. His chaise groaned as he settled down in it right next to her with a contented sigh.

“Whoever thought sex on the beach was a great idea must have been crazy,” Sydni mumbled watching him try to get the stuff off his legs. It hung on to the fine little hairs for dear life.

“Not crazy, just a fraud.”

“You mean the person who thought of selling it as something sexy had never done it before?”

“Exactly. Who would be stupid enough to fuck on the beach? The last thing a man wants is sand up his cock.”

Sydni laughed, enjoying Drew’s wit. She settled deeper into the cushions of her lounger, more relaxed than she’d been in years. In truth, the man made her feel comfortable. Like an old robe or her favorite pair of slippers, she was becoming so used to his presence, she didn’t want to think of what it would be like without him. Nor did she want to think about breaking in a new pair comfies.

Sigh. Yes, Drew was a keeper.

After a few minutes of trying to read her novel, her attention was caught by a movement from the direction she couldn’t keep her eyes from straying to anyway. Drew had risen and now stood next to her. She looked up and came face to face with a cock pushing against the front of his swim shorts. Oh boy.

Sydni dropped her book, grasped his hand and let him lead her into the house and straight to the shower.

After rinsing the sand from their bodies, Drew snatched Sydni’s favorite massage oil off the dresser and headed for the screened-in private veranda out back.

“Coming?” he tossed over his shoulder. She grabbed a couple of clean towers and scrambled after him. Naked, he lay down on the leveled lounge and held out the bottle to her. “Do me, first?”

No problems there. Touching the man, easing her fingers over those miles of muscles, teasing him with her hands until he went crazy. Yep, she could certainly do him first.

Passion by Tilly Greene

Posted by: Tilly Greene

Passion by Tilly Greene 


 

Being a fan of romances, we should all be aware of what passion means.  It’s most often associated with love, lust, desire, sex with a capital S.  But do you remember that it can also be how a person feels about something in a non-sexual way.  Gardening, flying, cooking are a few areas people feel a great deal of passion for and can enjoy without having to be naked.  Although they can if that’s the way they like it best. 

There are generally two ways to play within your passion.  Some have found a way to work within the field and others call it a hobby.  In the end, it doesn’t matter how it’s thought of or practiced, these are the things that individualize us.  It’s important that we spend time cultivating our passions, it offers unconditional joy.  

I’m sure there are others who have the same or similar passions to me, but it’s the details in how I play with them that make them mine. 

Traveling, books, and art are a few of the things I like, am truly passionate about, and to have them in my life fulfills me.  They each make up some part of how I spend my days and bring a smile to my face.  These are the things that if I didn’t have a chance to enjoy them, I’d be missing a part of what makes me, me.  

There is, however, one I didn’t mention above that is a particular passion of mine.  It’s been a part of in my life since I was a very young girlie-girl who wanted to wear the perfect dress for school pictures.  As I look back, I’ve come to realize this was beginning of my love of fashion and it remains a passion of mine today. 

Recently I mentioned how, once I finished high school, I took my passion for fashion and formally studied to become a designer.  In fact, I was doing really well until it came to the finals where I had to sew.  It appears the gene needed for sewing skipped by me without a wink or second glance.  

Despite this set back, my passion for fashion didn’t die, it changed.  Every day, I write about women who are successful in an area they’re passionate about.  Who could ask for more? 

Me! 

When the opportunity to write about not one, but two of my passions, was handed to me, I took it.  Travel, fashion and books have all come together in my Passion for Fashion series.  

That’s right.  Between the covers of Hot Couture are three stories, each set in a different fashion capital around the world [New York City, Paris, and London] and brings the reader along for a virtual vacation.  Each of the ladies are offered an extraordinary once in a lifetime opportunity in their particular area of fashion, which they gladly accept.  One, an accountant, is the muse for a designer, another is a graduate student organizing a show on the history of haute couture, and the third is a jeweler.  The outcome of their extraordinary experiences is more than they envisioned.  After the excitement is over, their lives with the men who love them are changed forever. 

So, there’s a few of my passions and how they’re intertwined, now it’s your turn.  Tell me, what are you passionate about?  What makes you giddy with excitement when you’re knee deep in it?  What puts that special smile on your face that’s impossible to wipe away? 

Enjoy!

Tilly Greene
WARNING! Red hot romances ahead!
www.tillygreene.com
Tilly Greene’s Monthly Scorcher Yahoo or Google
Tilly Greene’s Hot Thoughts Blog

Hot Couture is an erotic romance collection [The Leather Bride, Taming Marie Antoinette and The Gilded Cage] now available in ebook/paperback through Phaze, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore.

The joys of summer versus the addiction of writing:

Posted by: Kaenar Langford

Kaenar's photo

As I write this, I’m sitting at the dining room table looking out the big picture window of the cottage we’ve rented for the week. The table’s been placed so you don’t even have to turn your head to enjoy the breath-taking view through the newly cleaned glass. The gorgeous waters of Lake Huron shimmer in the afternoon sunlight, the waves gently lapping at the shoreline. Summer officially started a few days ago and the evenings are noticeably long and delightful.

I got up this morning, had my hour-long bike ride, then came back and threw myself into the chilly waters of Red Bay to cleanse body and mind. Last year’s stay was at the end of July, and after a month or more of long, lazy, sun-filled, water-warming days, the water was like bathwater. This year we’re here at the end of June following an unseasonably cool spring. Luckily, the water is shallow and the sunshine seems to be able to make it warm enough to swim. You have to walk way, way out just to get a spot where the water is up to your waist. The wind is cool but the sun is warm, and once you gather your courage and dive in, you quickly adjust to the temperature of the bay water.

Just outside the door of the cottage, butterflies and dragonflies fill the air. I’ve never seen a place with as many different types of dragonflies as Red Bay. If you want to see what it’s like here, just go to my website www.kaenar.com and check out the photos on my author page. The area is known for its wild orchids which just happen to be in bloom during our stay here.

Our younger son is fourteen and we’ve been coming here since he was a baby. Now instead of a toddler who needs to be watched constantly, he’s a young man who gets on his bike and heads off to do stuff with his Red Bay friends. Our older son was nine when we took the cottage for the first time and he just finished university and is heading to Geneva, Switzerland for a year-long internship. This place has a lifetime of memories for us and we love it here.

So what’s the drawback of such an idyllic place? I’m here with my family and can’t seem to find an opportunity to feed my writing addiction. When I’m at home, I spend the day writing, editing, revamping work and reading when I can. Now life has been turned on its end. The days are full of cottage activities. You know the kind I mean- reading all day, walking the beach, riding your bike and spending lots of time with the family. I love it, but I miss the total enthrallment of writing. I’m in the middle of writing a ménage a trois and I really want to get back and finish it. I’m also trying to get a completed older woman/younger man story polished for submission.

I’m the first to admit that I’m a social creature and people always ask how I can spend all day caught in such a solitary process as writing. This week I’ve actually had time to think about that and here’s what I came up with. To me, it’s not really a solitary process at all. I’m wherever the characters in my book are. As I write, I’m with them so it feels like I’m part of whatever they’re doing. I love being at the cottage, but I can’t wait to get home and back to my writing.

This would be the perfect time to tell you about my latest venture. In May, Total-e-Bound accepted my novel The Harder They Come and it will be released July 7 to coincide with the company’s month-long first anniversary activities. The book is set in Texas, one of my favourite states, and is an older woman/younger man story. I really enjoyed the time I spent with them. Once you read the excerpt, you’ll see how much fun it is to escape to the world of your characters like I do while writing.

Here’s a bit abThe Harder They Comeout The Harder They Come:

Older woman + younger man = off limits. Maybe so, but the ache between Ellaina’s thighs and the longing in her heart make it more and more difficult to say no, especially when Luke wants to do things to her, like turn her into a chocolate sundae.

Ellaina McReynold’s quiet existence is turned upside down by the arrival of a younger man. Luke Mason has only been in Spring Ridge a short time, but his daily visits to her café have inspired way too many erotic fantasies for her own good. Although her brain knows he’s ten years younger, someone needs to tell that to her traitorous body!

Luke, who has pursued her gently but persistently, is delighted when she finally agrees to spend the day with him. But her lover is not really who he seems. When Ellaina unexpectedly finds out the truth, can she put aside her doubts and follow her heart? Luke certainly hopes so.

Want more?

Here’s a little excerpt: Luke has been coming in to the café for a few weeks now and Ellaina has accepted the fact that she wants him, age difference be damned.

 

Excerpt:

Drawing in a calming breath, Ellaina told him what she really wanted, what she really needed. “I’d like you to stay.”

At her words, Luke leaned forwards and gently kissed her.

That was all it took.

She cradled his head and held him in place while he traced her top lip with his tongue, his touch light and almost hesitant. When he drew back, Ellaina shifted her hands and cupped his jaw, running her thumbs along his cheekbones, tracing their delicate form, memorising the shape of his face. He hadn’t shaved, and she wondered what those whiskers would feel like on her skin, the skin of her breasts or perhaps the skin of her inner thighs.

“You are so beautiful,” she sighed. “And so young.”

The way his nostrils flared told her how he felt about her comment, but it needed to be said.

“It’s the truth, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.”

“It’s not that I refuse to acknowledge or admit that there’s a…shall I say…disparity in our ages. I know there is, but it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to me.”

She found it hard to believe this gorgeous young man wanted her.

Searching his eyes for the truth, she was jolted by how they had darkened with lust and perhaps longing. “It really doesn’t matter?”

He slowly ran a finger along her top lip and followed it with a kiss, slipping his tongue inside just long enough to touch hers and then retreat.

“Ellaina, why do you think I come to the café every day? The food’s great, but there are other places in town to eat. Haven’t you noticed how I keep the same routine every day?”

“Of course I have.”

“Every day I turn and look at the old clock on the tower. Know why?” He never gave her time to answer. “Because I like to think that while I’m checking out the clock, you’re checking out my ass. Are you?”

“Every day. I can’t wait for it. I’m usually wet as soon as I hear the bike take the corner.”

“I’m very glad to hear that. Tell me what happens when I undo my jacket and take it off.”

“Sometimes I clamp my thighs together and come,” she said shyly.

Luke smiled a very smug I-knew-it smile. “I’m so glad my efforts weren’t wasted.”

Her mouth dropped open. “You did all those things on purpose?”

He playfully closed it. “What else was I going to do to get you to notice me?”

“Breathe,” she suggested.

He snorted. “Every time I come into the café and see you, I get so hard, I feel like I’m going to pop the buttons of my jeans. I look down and see your tight little nipples beckoning to me and I want to shove everything off the counter and take you right there.”

“I thought I was the only one with that fantasy,” Ellaina revealed.

“No way. In my head, I’ve taken you on most of the flat surfaces in the place.”

“Like?”

“Like on the counter beside the pie case.”

“What?”

“Oh yeah. I’d love to cover you in lemon meringue. It’s my favourite kind of pie, but I bet it would taste way better if I were licking it off your breasts. Or your belly. Or maybe from between your legs.”

“Oh my God, you really imagined that?”

“Just yesterday.”

Ellaina blushed but she pressed on. “Where else do you imagine taking me?”

“I’m partial to the counter that has the milkshake machine, the one with all the syrups and the whipped cream nearby and, I almost forgot, the cherries.”

Ellaina had to force herself to breathe.

Hope that piques your interest.

Don’t you want to find out where Luke will take Ellaina? You’ll have to wait until July 7th to read the whole book, but the first chapter can be found on my ‘book page’ at www.kaenar.com

Keep your eye on the Total-e-bound website especially throughout the month of July when they’ll be hosting lots of anniversary fun and surprises.

Kaenar Langford

Welcome Hope Tarr & CONTEST!

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

We are so pleased to have Hope Tarr guest blog with us today!  And guess what?  She brought GOODIES!  That’s right, folks, she is giving away two prizes today, autographed copies of her books STROKES OF MIDNIGHT and VANQUISHED.

How do you enter?  Well, just comment on any of her three blogs today, and you will be automatically entered.  We’ll end the contest tonight and draw two winners tomorrow (Wednesday, June 25, 2008.)  We’ll announce the winners of both books on this blog tomorrow.

And just to make it easy to figure out exactly which blogs count for the contest, here are some links:

OK, commence to chatting!  :)  Oh, and GOOD LUCK!

Jennifer A. Ray
http://www.wildonbooks.com
http://www.messageboard.wildonbooks.com
http://www.jenaray.com