New blog feature – Subscribe to Comments

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

Hi everyone!

We’ve been enjoying our guest bloggers immensely, but keeping up with the discussion online can be difficult at times.

So, we installed a new plug-in for our blog that allows you to subscribe to all of the comments on a particular post.  What that means is, if you are interested in a certain post, you can receive an email each time a new comment is left on that topic. 

To do this, simply check the box to subscribe to the post comments before you submit your own comment.  If you don’t have anything to say just yet, but still want to keep up with the discussion, you can simply enter your email address and subscribe without commenting.

The Writer-Reader Relationship

Posted by: Devon Ellington

The relationship between writer and reader is extraordinarily intimate.  When a reader finishes a well-written book, there is a sense of living the story thanks to the writer’s skill.  There’s a sense of connection completely different that the experience of watching something on the screen. 

But what happens between readers and writers off the page?  If a reader enjoys a book, very often the reader expresses appreciation to the writer via the website or a letter or going out to buy more of the writer’s books.  The writer, in turn, appreciates the response, and often thanks the reader and heads back to the desk to write an even better book to please the readers. 

What happens when readers try to dictate what writers write?  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle faced this issue when he had to resurrect Sherlock Holmes, and it continues today.  Some so-called fans grow furious or hysterical if a writer ends a series and chooses to go in a different direction.  They send vicious emails or even threats.   

Truly, all they have to do is not purchase the books.  

Sometimes, readers have good suggestions.  A close friend of mine wandered into a live chat on which I was featured a few weeks ago, about my book HEX BREAKER and the Jain Lazarus Adventures in general.  I answered questions about process and vision for the series, etc., and my friend tossed out an idea of something he’d like to see happen in the course of the series.  The idea was a good one, caught my attention, and we brainstormed back and forth enough so that I can go away and outline it.  Will the final book be the same as we discussed?  Highly unlikely, although that spark of inspiration will have fueled it (and I’ll dedicate it to him).  And why did it catch my attention, rather than raising my hackles as usually happens when the gist of a conversation is “You should write . . .” 

There are two reasons this was a positive rather than a negative.  First, the idea came from someone I trust, someone who is one of my Trusted Readers, understands my work and also my bad habits.  Second, the idea was in keeping with the vision of the series.   

Too often, reader suggestions have to do more with fan fic, in the sense of putting themselves in the context of the story rather than staying true to the vision of the story.  Only the writer truly knows the overall vision (add in the editor and maybe the agent once the writer shares that vision).  When I talk to people about writing for television series, I explain that they have to remember each episode has to carry forward the story and strengths of the regular cast and the guest stars are just that—guests.  If the episode becomes more about the guest than the star of the show, unless you’re a well-known writer with an “A” list guest star – the episode will be rejected.  In fiction, there’s a little more leeway – secondary characters have a chance for their moment in the sun.  But, far too often, reader suggestions focus on introducing a new central character to represent the reader that interferes with rather than enhances the writer’s vision for the series.  Without knowing the full arc of a series, a reader can’t know how his or her “great idea” will hurt the rest of it.  I’ve also noticed those who are the most vehement about forcing their ideas into other people’s work are those who “would write if I had time” but never “get around to it.”  It’s often a case of creative constipation used to punish a writer.  

Those would-be writers need to get over their own fears, put pen to paper, and explore those ideas themselves.  Not only would they have a creative outlet, they might gain an understanding of what it means to write a book, and all the different elements involved. 

As a reader, I love it when writers whose work I admire try something new.  I am not a fan of ”branding” or “niche”.  Far too many churned out books start to feel like all the writer did was hit “global replace” for character name and setting.  The only thing I need to know is that the quality of the writing is good.  I want the writer to try new things, explore different kinds of writing.  Supporting a writer’s forays into new territory is, to me, part of being a fan. 

As a writer, I listen to suggestions from readers, but I remain true to my vision for my work.  Unless I’m doing a work-for-hire to someone else’s specs, I need to remain true to my own stories and my own characters.   By doing so, I retain the integrity to my creative process and to the readers who were drawn to the work in the first place. 

Devon Ellington publishes under a half a dozen names in both fiction and non-fiction.  Her blog on the writing life is Ink in My Coffee:  http://devonellington.wordpress.com.  You can read an excerpt of HEX BREAKER at http://hexbreaker.devonellingtonwork.com.

You ready for more reviews?

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

Yep, we’ve got even more reviews for you this week!

Reviews posted this weekend

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

We have a few new reviews posted this weekend:

Jazz and Nick Hang Out At The Full Moon Café

Posted by: Linda Wisdom

Mega thanks to Wild on Books for having me here! 

I thought for a change of pace that an after dark television personality would interview, at least try to, Jazz and Nick, so you could find out a little bit more about them and why they’re together and even why there’s centuries they’re not together.  

Enjoy! 

Linda 

The ageless woman was the picture of pure goth in her black velvet gown that fit her like a glove, black lace fingerless mitts covering her hands that ended in blood red nails that matched her lipstick. Her dark eyes were lined with kohl pencil and appeared mysterious with their soul-stealing gaze. She sat in the chair as if it was a throne and fingered the tiny microphone clipped to the deep v neckline of her gown. She made a small gesture toward the vampire holding a camera and immediately smiled wide enough to display gleaming white fangs.  

“Good evening, my dark of the night viewers. This is Drusilla with After Midnight Broadcasting and tonight we’re at the Full Moon Café with two special guests.  

“As you know, we love to hit the nightspots popular with the preternatural community and tonight we were lucky enough to connect with popular witch (a hint of sneer appeared on her perfect features since vampires aren’t too fond of witches no matter how popular they are) and curse eliminator, Jazz Tremaine and private investigator Nick Gregory. The two have been an item for the last 300 odd years. Hopefully, we’ll pick up some tasty tidbits from this couple as we talk to them about their unlives.”   

Jazz, muttering – “Tasty tidbits, cute, Dru. And I have a life, thank you very much. Plus I don’t think Coby would appreciate being referred to as having an unlife.”  

Dru flashed a hint of fang. “We all are grateful for Coby’s efforts to keep a neutral territory for our communities.” 

Nick subtly nudged Jazz with the toe of his boot. She glared back then turned to the television celebrity with a snarky smile that outshone the vampire’s fangy beam.  

Drusilla — “Good evening, Jazz and Nick. It’s so nice to have this chance to talk to you two. Both of you have been so busy lately with adventures that rival anything you might read in a book, that I am truly amazed you’re both in one piece.” She stared at Jazz as if she’d hoped to see disfiguring scars while offering Nick a dazzling smile.  

Jazz smiled back, definitely more venom showing. “Thanks for asking us, Dru.” She inwardly cheered at the vampire’s slightly pained expression since Drusilla preferred her full name used. Jazz looked warily at Nick’s coffee mug – “There’s no AB-neg in there, is there? Because I’m not even going to sit at the same table with you if you added something to it.” 

Nick – looking a trifle pained – “No, just straight coffee and I’m not sharing. If you want more coffee, ask Coby for a refill.”  

Jazz – looking put upon – “He’ll come over here faster for you.” 

Nick – raises voice – “Coby? Could Jazz have some more coffee please?” 

The Were owner of the café, along with being a powerful pack leader for the area, walks over with the pot and tops off both mugs, but topping off Nick’s first. He ignored Drusilla’s wine glass that held a ruby red liquid that was more O-Pos than a nice Bordeaux. 

Jazz – “Uh, ladies first?” 

Coby – “Only when I see a lady.” He walks away. 

Jazz – “Everyone picks on the witches.” Raises voice. “You wouldn’t have wards around this place if it wasn’t for us.” 

Coby – calling back – “Wizards set them up, sweetheart.” 

Nick – chuckles – “No, they just pick on you because you’re so much fun to pick on.” 

Drusilla, determines to keep control of the interview. “You two have been together for the last 300 years. Exactly sow did you two meet?” 

Nick – “I worked for the Protectorate at the time and was chasing down a Comte in Venice that was a rogue vampire. Jazz was working for him as a personal maid for his wife.” 

Jazz – “The woman was a major slob.”

Nick – “Jazz was also accused of stealing the Comte’s wife’s jewels and was to be tortured as punishment. He loved to inflict major pain on his servants for the least infraction. Jazz was very lucky since I saved her from his whip.” 

Jazz, shaking her head and rolling her eyes – “He called it a whip. I called it a speck of thread that a woman wouldn’t look at twice. Not to mention if he’d tried burying his fangs in me he would have been in for a big surprise. A witch’s blood being poisonous to a vampire is a definite plus.” 

Nick – Then perhaps I should have let him bite you. It would have saved me having to destroy him.” 

Jazz – coos – “Ah, but then you couldn’t have saved the poor innocent little maid, could you?”  

Nick shot her a look that indicated he didn’t view her all that innocent.  

Drusilla cut in before she lost total control of the interview – “Tell me something, Nick. What do you feel is Jazz’s best quality? After all, witches and vampires don’t get along for many good reasons. Why would you have a relationship with her this long when it’s known vampires are the far superior race.” 

Jazz – hackles now up – “Hey!” 

Nick – ignoring the mini tantrum — “One thing you have to say about Jazz is that she’s loyal to her friends to the extreme. She’s there to help out no matter what. But if you cross her, watch out, because she cannot only eliminate curses she can call up some doozies. And one of her closest friends specializes in revenge curse. Not to mention Fluff and Puff, her magick bunny slippers are good at getting even on her behalf.” 

Jazz points her finger at him. “One time. Just the one.” 

Nick – “They were my favorite boots and they turned them into leather jerky!”   

Drusilla automatically checked out her black satin Christian Louboutin pumps. If her lungs worked she would have drawn a breath of relief there were no fuzzy bunny slippers near her toes. 

Jazz frowns at Nick. “You could have said I’m gorgeous, sexy, even smell good.” 

Nick – “That’s a given.” 

Drusilla – “And Jazz, what do you see as Nick’s best quality?” 

Jazz – sipping her coffee and nibbling on a piece of chocolate cream pie Coby left for her – “It’ll sound schmaltzy, but he really is an all around good guy. I know for a fact he was an excellent enforced for the Protectorate, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s an even better private investigator for preternaturals. Creatures know they can count on him to get the job done.”  

Nick chuckles – “She’s such a romantic.” 

Jazz chimes in — “Don’t ask me what he doesn’t like about me.” 

Drusilla – very interested in that statement — “Why not?” 

Jazz – “I probably wouldn’t like what he’d have to say.”  

Nick ignores her – without hesitation – “Stubborn, tends to act without thinking, she inserts fashionably shod foot in mouth on a regular basis, has pissed off at least one member in every community, … “ 

Coby speaks up — “You got that right.” 

Jazz – “Hey! Our interview, not yours. You want to be interviewed flash those pearly fangs at Drusilla and maybe she’ll slot in you at the next full moon.” 

Nick – nods – “’Nuff said about her attitude. But her good qualities do overtake the bad.” 

Jazz, outraged  – “I don’t have any bad qualities!” 

Nick – burying his nose in his coffee – “And the witch’s nose grows yet again.” 

Jazz automatically touches her nose and finds it the same pert size it was before.  

Jazz – “Fine, I love you because you do what’s right, you refuse to allow anyone, even me, to push you around, you are sexy as Hades, you look out for the little guy whether he’s vamp or even a troll, which, by the way, I wouldn’t assist for all the gold in the world. Nasty little guys.” She forks up a bite of pie and stuffs her mouth. “But there are times I wish you’d talk more.” 

Nick – “About what?” 

Jazz – “Everything.” She gives him THE LOOK as in you know very well what I mean. “Everything’s going so well for us now.” 

Drusilla, still struggling to control the interview and seeing it swept out of her hands. “Lately, the two of you have been in the supernatural news for destroying a serial killer of vampires and later on for killing a powerful wizard along with working to protect Fluff and Puff.” She glances around with a wary look as if saying their names would conjure them up. “They’re not here with you, are they?”  

Jazz – “No, they’re home. Or at least, they should be.” 

Drusilla continues to look around, just in case. Her shoes were new and she meant to keep them that way for as long as possible. “Do you really believe it’s safe for you to go against such powerful beings? You’re just one witch and while Nick is very strong, is it all right to expect his assistance so much?” 

Jazz – “We’re here and they’re not. That’s good enough for me.” She stared at her now empty plate, obviously considering a second piece. 

Nick – “We do make a good team.” He made eye contact with Coby and the Were brought over another helping of pie. Jazz flashed him a dazzling smile, but Coby didn’t smile back.  

Jazz – digging into her pie – “Still, you’d think after 300 years we’d be, well, more together.” 

Drusilla, looking at them both – “Together how?” 

Nick – “Hard to do when you threaten to stake me.” 

Jazz – ready to defend herself – “I only do that when you state you’d rather I was on the other side of the universe.” 

Nick – “If you wouldn’t get into trouble so much I wouldn’t have to bail you out.” 

Jazz – “Excuse me? You never bail me out! You’re always having me thrown in jail instead on some trumped up charge!”  

Nick – “It’s the only way I can keep your cute little ass safe!”  

Jazz opens her mouth then closes it again – “So you do think it’s cute and little.” 

Nick – sighs – “Yes, even when you’re a pain in mine. Maybe there’s a story there. I’m meant to keep you out of trouble.” 

Jazz – “I never get into trouble! Well, okay a few times. All right, more than a few, but I can get myself out of it without any help.” 

Nick – shakes head as he gets up – “You keep that up and pretty soon your nose will be dragging on the ground.” 

Jazz makes sure there’s no pie left on the plate as she hops to her feet. “What is this with my nose! Sure, I’ve had my bad days, but I’ve never been a wooden puppet!” She waits while Nick pays the bill then they head to the door as if they’d forgotten that a stunned Drusilla still sat in her chair.  

Nick — could be heard to say — “Maybe you should have been a puppet. Then when need be you could be locked in a box.” 

Jazz – hot on his heels – “You keep thinking that way and you’ll be sleeping alone for a couple centuries!”  

Nick – flashes her a hot look that even includes a hint of fang – “I love it when you threaten me.” He hooks his arm around her neck and pulled her toward him for a kiss that heated up the whole area.  

Drusilla stands up, adjusting her gown and saunters over to Coby. – “Jazz and Nick are very definitely an odd couple. What about you, Coby? Is it really true that the Full Moon Café is neutral territory?”  

Coby shrugs as he idly wipes off the counter – “Most of the time.”  

What about you? What would you ask Jazz and Nick? Could you keep control of the interview better than Drusilla did or would you just let them go on in hopes of hearing way more than they might want to let on?  

And since the Hex books have been optioned for pitching to TV and feature films, would you ask how they feel about that?  

Linda

New Reviews and Interview!

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

We’ve been pretty busy this week, and have a whole mess of reviews to show for it!  :)

And we have another interview for October, this time with author Stacy-Deanne!

Don’t forget to check out our forum and start chatting.  We are giving away prizes to members of the forum all throughout October.

Good luck, and happy reading!

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

Prizes, Interviews and New Reviews!

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

We have lots of new reviews for you this week – including the very first Wild on Book reviews for reviewers Kenzi and Kimberly!

We’ve also posted three brand new interviews for October:

Don’t forget to join our newsletter to enter the giveaway for a hardcover copy of RESCUE ME by Cindy Gerard, Lora Leigh, and Cherry Adair.  Did we mention that it is autographed by Lora Leigh?

Of course, there is more than one chance to win this month with Wild on Books Forum Party!  Check out the details here, as well as the list of prizes!  As we receive new prizes from our author and publisher friends, we will be adding to this page…

Party at Wild on Books – with PRIZES!!!

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

Come join the fun in the Wild on Books forum as we get things hopping over there with a month full of contests and prizes!

Forum Address:  http://messageboard.wildonbooks.com

Details:  http://www.wildonbooks.com/contests.htm#CONTEST_2

Prize List:  http://www.wildonbooks.com/forum_prizes.htm

Sexual Fantasy and Romance Novels

Posted by: Jennifer A. Ray

Sexual fantasies.  We all have them.  Whether we admit to them or not, well that’s another story altogether.  Are they too embarrassing?  Too extreme?  Or are we just too shy or reserved to fess up to what we really want with our partner?

So we have our romance novels, which are chock full of every kind of fantasy and fetish you can imagine.  The question is, where do you draw the line between what fantasies you enjoy reading about and what you really want to try in your own love life?

I’ll admit it, I love reading menage romances – most often with two men focused on one very lucky woman.  The idea of that is very heady and makes for some extremely steamy reading.  The reality?  If I suddenly found myself in that situation, I’d probably run from the room as fast as I could.  Do I frown on the practice?  Nope, not for consenting adults.  I just don’t think I could personally handle the emotional ramifications.  Not to mention the double load of dirty socks on the floor…  LOL

And I love reading BDSM romance.  Do I really want to be whipped?  Not on your life, but I enjoy reading it when it is well-written.  The act of total submission in real life would probably not work for me.  But the idea of completely letting go and giving your trust to a special guy who knows just what you need even before you do is very erotic.  So I read about it.

But enough about me…  I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Where do you draw the line?  Are there things you enjoy reading that you would absolutely never try in real life?  Has that boundary expanded a bit after reading a certain book?

Whether you post anonymously or under your real name, we’re interested in your opinion and as to whether or not reading romance has added to your fantasies?  Are there any specific books that have inspired new fantasies for you?