Friday, October 30, 2009

Guest Blooger: Viola Estrella

So you may have notice that I have been a bit derelict in my blogging duties but I have an excuse. We've just crawled out from under a blizzard here in Colorado. Unfortunately, I don't have Internet at my house (other than my iPhone but that is a whole other post!) so I haven't been able to blog. Today is the first time I've even left my house (or my jammies) since Tuesday. Yeah.

Anyway, I am back with a bang! And a guest blogger. My lovely CP and friend VIOLA ESTRELLA! Her new book, Bewitching You, is out today from the Wild Rose Press.

Isn't that a beautiful cover?!?!

Take it away, Vi!

Thanks so much for letting me have a day on your blog, Monica! Bewitching You is out today – officially – in eBook and paperback and I’m pretty excited. This book was most definitely a book of my heart. What does that mean to me? It just means I poured my heart and soul into writing it and creating characters that made me laugh and cry right along with them. It was a journey to write this story and I hope readers will like it as much as I loved creating it.


An interfering ghost, a nosy mind-reading grandmother, a psychic man-hating mother, and a spell gone wrong are only a few dilemmas Sofia Good has to deal with in order to find love. It’s not easy having control of your own destiny when you can’t even remember what you put on that morning, even worse when you’re given a “gift” of precognition to save people’s lives, and you have no clue how to use it.

Grayson Phillips lost his brother in a senseless accident, and now he’s trying to gain back control by maintaining a safe and uneventful ‘life plan.’ But after sexy, quirky Sofia crash lands into his world he’s forced to rethink his strategy.

When Sofia’s grandmother casts a love spell, it successfully maneuvers Sofia and Grayson into her home in secluded Amish country. Time will tell if the love spell helps or destroys Sofia’s only chance at love.

Excerpt from Bewitching You:

Sofia finished showering, shaving, and changing into her favorite light green nightgown. It had spaghetti straps and was silky and sleek against her skin. She ran her hands over her hips and felt truly sexy for the first time in her life. It probably had to do with there being a hot guy downstairs who made her feel like she was something more than a short, chubby, wannabe cheerleader. So much more. He was sweet for sticking up for her against her worst high school memory. It made her wish she’d met him back then.

Sighing, she pulled her sketchbook from her duffle bag and sifted through the pages. Her own personal homage to Gray. How humiliating would it be if he found it? Even worse, if he were to see the numerous paintings that filled her bedroom at home. Sofia Good: Dream stalker extraordinaire. Why, yes, Gray, I did spend hours upon hours sketching and painting you, even before I laid eyes on you.

Not good. She stuffed it back in the bottom of the bag and scrounged for a new pair of panties. All that was left were her high-cut cotton briefs. Comfortable, but not sexy at all. She really needed to do laundry, but how embarrassing would it be to hang out your underwear for the world and Gray to see on a clothesline?

No way.

She opted to wear none for tonight. Nothing was going to happen, but it was fun to feel a little naughty. To know that with one slip of his hand, he would realize she was completely bare underneath this lightweight nightgown.

He’d only have to hike it up and straddle her on his lap… Stop it, Sofe. Stop. It.

Twenty-four years without knowing the touch of a man was starting to warp her mind. Sure, she could’ve given into a man’s advances on one of the several dates she’d been on, but when she had visions of the men falling love with someone else, the idea always lost its flavor. Of course, she didn’t have that problem with Gray. In her dreams of him, he loved her, and no one else.

She let out a breath and put a brush through her damp hair.

Hey, Sofia.” Gray’s deep voice jolted her.

She swerved around to see him standing at the door with his hands braced against the doorframe. She really needed to remember to start closing and locking the door. Or not. His shirt was off again and the top button of his jeans was undone. She managed to squeak out a, “Hi.”

Am I interrupting?”

No.” She set the brush on the dresser and watched as he sat down on the bed.

He grabbed her wrist and gently tugged her over until she stood in between his thighs. “I wanted to say goodnight.” He set his hands on her hips and pulled her forward.

Okay.” Oh, boy.

And because sometimes words escape me, I wanted to make a point to tell you how beautiful I think you are. Inside and out.”

Sofia gulped. “I, um, thanks.”

His large hands slid down her butt and back up again. He must have noticed her lack of underwear, because he bit into his bottom lip and repeated the action.

Sofia was pretty sure her heart stopped beating. Not since Leo Wendle pinched her ass in the hallway in the seventh grade had someone acted like they appreciated God’s big, old, huge gift to her backside. And Leo Wendle had been an acne-faced pervert with premature facial hair.

This was so much better.


Bewitching You is available now as eBook and in paperback from You can also find it online at,, and

To find out more about me and my writing, visit my website

WOW!!! That sounds awesome, Vi! Can't wait to read it! Now you out there in Bloglandia, GO BUY IT!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And the winner is...

Miss Priss!!!

E-mail me at monicakaye at gmail dot com to claim your prize.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Guest Blogging over at Helen's Heroes

Sean, the hero from 'Dirty Business' is talking over at Helen's Hereoes. Go check him out!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RELEASE DAY!!!! (and Contest)

I cannot tell you all how excited I am to announce the release of 'Dirty Business' from Loose Id! It's a story near and dear to my heart. I hope the rest of the world loves it as much as I do.

Also, because I'm a dumb ass, I forgot to include the dedication page so I'd like to do that here. First and foremost, I'd like to thank my family. My brother, Joseph, who thinks I writes smut but is glad that I'm now getting paid for it. My dad, David, who when he heard I was getting published said that he was going to buy it--but not read it. And to my mom, Pat, who said, 'I am!' and proceeded to tell everyone in our universe, including my nana.

Also to my CP, Helen Hardt, Viola Estrella, and Tricia Leigh Wood, without whom I probably would have given up this racket ages ago. Thanks for all the support and encouragement.

Oh, and catch me over at Lia Slater's blog. I've got some pretty choice things going on over there.

Now for the fun part.

First, an excerpt. I know you all have been waiting for one and I've been waiting to give it to you!

Here's the blurb from the Loose Id website:

The moment Sean Keller spotted the dark-eyed beauty across a dim hotel bar room, it was lust at first sight. It wasn't long before he had his hands -and mouth- all over her. After one incredible night of sex, he awakens to find she’s disappeared, but it's not long before he finds her again. At his new office: she's his Executive Assistant! He can't allow himself to be distracted. He has come to Denver on a mission, to find the person trying to swindle him. Sean always gets his man. But keeping his distance from his newest employee is not going to be easy.

Chloe Walters had no idea that the handsome stranger she slept with the
night before would be
her new boss. Or that she’d be the number one suspect in his corporate espionage investigation. She's on a hunt of her own to uncover the scammer. But Sean’s idea of cat-and-mouse has higher stakes than just her job.


And now the excerpt...

She resisted the urge to fidget, knowing he was establishing his dominance. She didn’t relish the thought that he was a dog and she was the nearest tree. The silence stretched between them until she wanted to claw at the air until she could breath again.

She was just about to scream when he looked up. She jerked as his green gaze lasered into her brown one.

“So I was surprised to find you worked at Dorset.”

“Yeah, well, no more than I was to discover who you were.” Or that my new boss knew how to give an amazing orgasm using just his tongue.

Stop! Focus!

He leaned back in the chair, then steepled his fingers beneath his chin. “I’ve been reviewing your personnel file. You graduated magna cum laude from NYU with a degree in computer science, yet you work as an admin.”

She stiffened. “Yeah?”

“Why is that?”

She shrugged. “It was the end of the Internet boom. I wanted to live in Denver, and Mr. Dorset assured me that there was potential for advancement.”

“And you believed him?”

She narrowed her eyes, unsure of the direction of this conversation. “I’m not sure what you’re asking me.”

He leveled his stare on her. “It’s just that I’m a little surprised that someone with your stellar résumé is content to underachieve.”

“What does any of this have to do with the business at hand?” She hated the defensive tone of her voice. She especially hated he wasn’t saying anything that she didn’t tell herself on a daily basis. She already felt like a chump for staying and believing Dorset’s promises. The last thing she needed was for Sean to so accurately pin her as a dupe.

“Nothing. I was merely curious.”

She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him. “Well, I’m done with twenty questions, so let’s move on.”

“Okay. Just one last question, though. What do we do now?”

She pretended ignorance. “Now I help make this acquisition as smooth as possible.”

He smiled. “I’m thinking more along the lines of the fact that I want nothing more than to take you, bend you over this desk, and fuck you until neither of us can stand.”

Oh hell.

Now writing that was fun. So is this...


Tell me about your most forbidden romance. (Obviously incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and liaisons involving bodily waste are out. But that does leave the field wide open.) Leave a comment on my blog and I will choose a winner. Now if you've never had a forbidden romance, don't despair. Tell me the most exotic location you've ever made love. Or fucked. They're not always the same. Sean and Chloe have some pretty fun adventures. What's yours?

The winner will receive a PDF copy of my novella, 'Dirty Business'!

Now go, comment!

Later Gators

Friday, October 9, 2009

First Sale Friday: Diane Charles Lindford

Welcome to another installment of the series First Sale Friday. Today we have one of the truly rare birds in the exotic world of romance. The male romance writer! (Personally, I only know of ten but there may be more.) So let's give a big welcome to Diane Charles Lindford!

Harmless Smut: First of all, welcome to the Smut. Tell us a little about yourself.

DCL: I made a few small short story appearances over the years, but my first book sale was to Loose Id LLC back in 2005. Loose Id had a submission gimmick in which it published novels titled with 80's music titles. I figured I'd use the old Traveling Wilbury's song "Handle Me With Care" as the title for my book and submitted the novel.

Loose Id's editor in chief, Treva Harte turned down the story as it didn't have a happy ending. Instead the hero was killed. But she encouraged me to rewrite the novel with an HEA and resubmit. I did and a couple of months later LI contracted
Handle Me With Care.

HS: That's great. I was published using a call for submissions as well. How long have you been writing?

DCL: Easily well over thirty years.

HS: That's a long time! What attracted you to your romance?

DCL: Necessity. I’d been submitting detective, horror and science fiction for years with only a few successes. Curiously enough a romance publisher showed the first real interest in a novel length manuscript.

HS: It is a strange and wonderful journey, this writing gig. How many manuscripts had you completed before you sold?

DCL: Two novel length manuscripts. I sold my third attempt.

HS: That's so awesome. Tell us about the day (the minute, the second) you got ‘The Call’ (or The Email). What was your initial reaction?

DCL: I told our son and a few friends. It was a very quiet day otherwise.

HS: That was the same with me. What did you do to celebrate afterward?

DCL: Don’t remember for sure. I know it was low key.

HS: Yeah, I think I went home that night and had dinner. Anyone whom you wanted to rub your news in his/her nose?

DCL: Yes, but then I’d have to talk to them, and I didn’t want to do that.

HS: Gotcha. But at least you admit it. Tell us about your current release.

DCL: Phlogiston is a fantasy available from Aspen Mountain Press as of the very end of July and Dagon’s Octangle is a paranormal romance from Red Rose Press as of the first week of August.

HS: Where can we buy your books?


HS: What are you working on now?

DCL: I just contracted Contagion’s Shadow a paranormal romance and horror with Aspen Mountain Press.

HS: That sounds so cool! Can't wait to read it! What advice do you have for ‘Soon To Be Published’ writers (as I like to call them)?

DCL: Find a crit partner you trust – not just someone who’s afraid to “hurt your feelings.” The best way to do this is to offer to Beta read a published writer’s new manuscript. Now how do you do that? Join in various publisher’s reader’s groups (often called community groups) Changeling, Red Rose, Samhaim, Aspen Mountain, Loose Id—and if you don’t think that doesn’t cross boundaries just remember that Treva Harte editor in chief of LI is a crit partner to Margeret Riley publisher of Changeling. Offer your services as a Beta reader to any author who will take you.

Currently a number of closed author groups are looking for “cheerleaders” during fast draft competitions this means you keep track of an author’s work as they try to keep their word count up daily for a period of two to three weeks. They will mention this on community groups. This is a great way to introduce yourself to a professional. Take advantage of it.

Remember authors are people (creative people, but just folks). Did you love that last book? Write the author and tell her. She’ll be thrilled. I made a few fast friends when I first started and these were friendships I maintain today.

HS: WOW! That is great advice. I couldn't live without my CPs. And I am more than open to fan mail once my book is out. (Not hinting at anything at all!)

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one knows (or something very funny or interesting about you or your life).

DCL: My wife, Diane, passed away from non-hormonal (small cell) breast cancer in the summer of 2004. We'd been married for twenty-one years and I was devastated and for the longest time unable to communicate without breaking down crying. My wife had some erotic short stories and other romance notes and poems stashed away in the house; so, I took these and assembled them into a series of short pieces making the characters the same names in all the stories and wrapping a paranormal plot around all the short pieces. Thus I was published under a pseudonym honoring my posthumous partner. Chuck The Charles of Diane Charles Linford

HS: Wow. I'm sorry for your loss but I'm sure that your wife would have been pleased that you are honoring her in such a way. Sounds like you had an amazing marriage. Who’s your ideal heroine?

DCL: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all my wonderfully sexy heroines:

Sophia and Stephen in Dagon’s Octangle from Red Rose Publishing. Both “Dianes” in The Sacred Glade from Aspen Mountain Press. Both protagonist couples in The Collector: The Onyx Palace from Loose ID. Gwyneth and Prince Galduric in Phlogiston. Plus I have six dragons in that novel, each with a distinct personality. I loved writing their dialogue and quirks.

HS: I love dialogue. Especially when it reveals quirks. And dragons? Get out of here! Thank you so much for visiting the Smut, Chuck.

And to the readers, stayed tuned next week. I won't tell you who's on the agenda, but I will tell you that it truly will be a schizophrenic experience.

Later Gators!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Book Blog

All right, it's been weeks and I've read about a kazillion books but I have to choose two so here we go.

(FYI: Due to new FTC regulations, this may be one of the last book blogs I do. I'm not sure cuz I'm not a lawyer but I am looking into it.)

Rose Danvers has been in love with Greyson Kane, Duke of Ryeton, for years, but she believes he sees her as a burden. So she decides to seduce him. One night at a masked ball, she and the Duke give into their desires. She thinks it will only be one night but cannot resist his lure to come back the following week. The next morning when she arrives at the Duke's townhouse, she doesn't believe that he recognized her from their passionate night. She couldn't be more wrong.

Grey Kane has been in love with Rose for years but honor has kept him from pursuing her. Still, all of his lovers have to meet a specific criteria. They must look like Rose. So when he meets the best 'imitation' of Rose he's ever seen, his desire is instant and overwhelming. He lives for their stolen moments but once the secret is out, will he lay aside his pride, and his honor, to claim the woman he loves?

This is the first book I've read by Ms. Smith but it definitely won't be the last. The chemistry between Rose and Grey is explosive and real. I felt and understood both of their plights. I was rooting for them to be together. Their relationship seemed real and genuine.

What I loved most about this was the fact that it read like a contemporary. No bad guy lurking in the shadows, no kidnapping plot, nothing more dangerous than both the hero and the heroine having to face their demons. I liked that both characters were flawed. Usually with a rake story, the woman is almost sickeningly perfect and this was not the case in this story.


Missy Roper had been attracted to Graham Winters since the moment they met but obviously he didn't feel the same because he's never even looked twice at her. Hell, he doesn't even recognize her when they meet just a few weeks after they were best man and maid of honor at a wedding! But that doesn't stop him from sweeping her off her feet and giving her the most incredible weekend of her life. Still, Missy doesn't trust his newfound desire. He's had plenty of opportunity to be with her, all of which he's passed on. What makes this weekend any different?

Lupine Alpha Graham Winters knows from the moment he 'meets' Missy that she is his mate and does everything he can to convince her of the same. But she's human and doesn't quite grasp the concept. He's determined to keep her even as factions within his pack are rising up to tear them apart.

I've read Ms. Warren before and I can say without a doubt that I've never been disappointed. This story is no different. Graham and Missy are hit together and while I'm not usually a fan of love at first sight books, because it's a werewolf book, I can hang. My only complaint was that Missy's objections about the reasons for them to be together seemed thin but genuine. Also, the plot seemed too compressed. I think it could have been stretched out and work as well, give Missy more time to understand the Lupine lifestyle.


And because I can:


Okay, this guy is so fine, it makes you want to smack your mama. No wonder Halle Berry is keeping him!

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Sale Friday: Brenna Lyons

So Harmless Smut is starting its fall kick-off (officially) with Brenna Lyons. Brenna is a multi-published author as well as a Loose Id colleague. Please join me in welcoming her!

Harmless Smut: First of all, thank you for visiting, Harmless Smut! Tell us a little about yourself.

Brenna Lyons: Thanks for having me. About me? I’m what some people call a prolific writer. I write in 20 series worlds and am currently working with 5 publishers. I have 80 works in progress, at the moment, and I work on up to 6 or so at a time. I write in everything from spec fic romance, erotic romance, and dark romance to historical, poetry, and even YA under another pen name. Oh...pen name? Brenna Lyons.

HS: WOW!!! That's awesome. I need some of what you got. How long have you been writing?

BL: Writing in general? All of my life. Well...that I can prove, since I was about six or seven years old, which would be about 34 years. I still have a poem I wrote when I was seven, but my godmother assured me that I was making up fiction stories earlier than that.

HS: Sounds like you've always known what you wanted to do. What attracted you to your genre?

BL: Having a very bad (read as neglectful and abusive) childhood? It’s as good enough a reason for escapism fiction as anything I’ve ever heard. Somewhere in the undiscovered realms, there was a world where people had the ability to fight back against great wrongs, win or lose in the end. Dying for a cause was better than dying senselessly or in misery, a day at a time, and winning was certainly better than losing.

HS: I hear you. I needed an escape as a child as well. How many manuscripts had you completed before you sold?

BL: About four, and I sold the first two I finished at the same time. Ironically enough, that publisher had such a long work-up to release, that the first of those books released after another publisher had released six more of my books.

HS: That's amazing! Tell us about the day (the minute, the second) you got ‘The Call’ (or The Email). What was your initial reaction?

BL: It was an e-mail, for me, and I would have to say it was stunned disbelief. You see, those same two books had been through more than 80 rejections from agents...and one near miss with one. We got all the way to the full, before she decided she wasn’t taking on anything new, because of a family emergency of some sort. The two books sold to the first indie publisher I approached with them. It went from seemingly impossible to seemingly effortless overnight.

HS: That is a great story. You just never know whose taste you appeal to! What did you do to celebrate afterward?

BL: Took my family out to dinner. The big celebrations typically came on release days or royalty days.

HS: I am looking forward to my first official paycheck! Anyone whom you wanted to rub your news in his/her nose?

BL: With that first book? Not so much. The first few books were catharsis, more or less, and the “bad guys” I would have liked (on some level) to snub with my success were the same ones I was keeping away from me with a pen name. When you attempt to get a restraining order on someone, you really DON’T want to rub news in their noses. You sort of hope they never find you again.

The only time I really wanted to rub someone’s nose in a book was when my first poetry book finaled for an EPPIE. I had two poetry teachers (University of Pittsburgh and Carlow College) who said no one would ever want to read my poetry, because it was archaic. Snort. Like no one reads Donne and Shakespeare today?

HS: Shows what they knew! So, tell us about your current (or upcoming) release. When can we get our greedy hands on them?

BL: That’s a difficult question to answer, since I tend to average between one and two releases per month. My September releases should have been (if all went on schedule) NEVERMORE from Phaze, WRITTEN IN THE STARS (Star Mages series) from Mundania, and the print releases of RENEGADE’S RUN (Renegades series) and UNDEAD UNDERWAY (Undead In Blue series) from Under The Moon. My November releases will be VERIEL’S TALES II: LOSING REGANA (Night Warriors series) from Phaze and the print release of MAX SEC (Renegades series) from UTM. My December release will be ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU from LooseId. Then two releases in January (both from Phaze), one in February (from Logical-Lust), March (Phaze), and May (Phaze)... Who knows what I’ll add in the coming months?

HS: GOOD LORD!! You rock! Where can we buy your books?

BL: Well, you’ve seen all of my current publisher names: Logical-Lust, LooseId, Mundania, Phaze, and Under The Moon. If you like to shop at online superstores, you can find my e-books at Amazon, Fictionwise, AllRomanceeBook, OmniLit, eReader, Sony, B&N, Mobi, well as other sites. You can find my print books at Amazon, B&N, Books-a-Million, and comic/gaming stores. You’ll notice that sites vary greatly in how many books of mine they have. The only ways to see them all are at my web site and the individual publisher sites.

HS: We are on our way! What are you working on now?

BL: Several things. Among them: MATING SEASON (the second Xxan book for LooseId), HUNTER’S MOON (the next Night Warriors book for Phaze), PLAYING WITH FIRE (the second Grellan War book for UTM) and the first two Angel-Wing books.

HS: I can't wait! What advice do you have for ‘Soon To Be Published’ writers (as I like to call them)?

BL: How about my top 7?

HS: Go for it!

BL: 1. Don’t obsess over the perfect opening line, perfect hook, perfect market, genre distinctions... While you’re worrying about all of that, you could be halfway done writing the book. Write it first, then craft those things or fit the book to a market. There’s never only one right market for a work anyway.

2. Don’t worry about minute edits while you’re writing the book. You can edit poorly-written work. You can’t edit a blank page. Get the butt in the chair and WRITE it. Then edit it.

3. Don’t try to copy anyone else’s writing process. The words come for you how they come for you: longhand or in the computer, quiet room, white noise, music, noise and insanity...even the number of words per day that is comfortable for you. Trying to copy someone else’s process will only drive you crazy and adversely affect your output.

4. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new things. WANTING to be a pantser doesn’t mean you’ll be good at it. You may need more framework to your process. So try. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, don’t.

5. This is a career. Learn what the terms mean. Learn what’s ‘standard.’ Learn to read guidelines and how to change from standard to what the individual editors and agents want. Learn what the terms mean and how to apply them.

6. Writing the book is only the first step...and it’s one of the easier ones for the writer to accomplish. You have to learn to edit, to submit, to market, about contracts, about royalties... You don’t just write a book, submit it, and wait for the money to roll in.

7. What’s the most important subject to take in school, if you plan on being a writer? ALL of them. Whatever you learn in English (grammar, preferred spellings, etc.) will change with each new edition of Chicago Manual of Style or Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary or whatever resources a publisher uses, which is why there is never a real ‘standard’ across all publishers. You have to be able to do math to check your royalty reports. You have to know science to get it right in the books... In fact, the more knowledge you have, the richer your books will be. That applies to both book knowledge and practical experience.

HS: That is awesome advice for everyone. I am still learning CMOS. Now, tell us one thing about yourself that no one knows.

BL: How about something only my family knows? My next younger sister (I’m the oldest of eight, ranging from a year younger to twenty-two years younger, counting the full, half, and stepsiblings) has the same first and middle name I do. She’s a stepsibling, obviously.

HS: That's crazy! I would hate that. I hate that I even have to share my birthday on those days it falls on Father's Day. Don't even get me started on the group parties I had with my stepbrothers. Now something fun. Boxers or Briefs on your man?

BL: Uh...boxer briefs...or free-balling. I hate tightey whiteys...or even most briefs with color, and I completely dislike boxers.

HS: I couldn't agree more! What about facial hair? Yes or no? What about chest hair? No hair on any part of the body?

BL: Just to prove I always break the rules, if I can? I dislike beards that are more than a soft pelt of light hair; moustaches are fine, as long as they aren’t out of control. I am not crazy about a lot of chest hair or any body hair, really. I don’t like completely bald men, either. There’s a middle ground there somewhere. In fact, I LOVE long hair on a man.

HS: That is where we have to disagree. I'm not a fan of the long hair on the man. Thank you so much, Brenna for visiting Harmless Smut. If you, blog readers, are interested in learning more about Brenna, you can visit her website or her blog.