Monday, November 29, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This weekend was a big one here in Denver, CO. The planets aligned to bring a giant slice of awesomeness to our Mile High City. Last weekend was RomCon. It was billed to be the biggest event for romance readers around and I have to say I agree, although there weren't all that many readers there. It was the first year so I wasn't expecting much and my expectation were WAY exceeded.
It's true what they say that writers are readers first and so even though the ration of author to reader seemed like 5:1, it was all good. Especially since I'm a huge fan girl and I got to spend some quality time with some of my favorite authors like Christine Feehan, Jessa Slade, Shannon K. Butcher, Nicole Peeler and the woman I most wanted to see, Nalini Singh.
There was so much opportunity for fans to meet up and spend time with an author. I did the Speed Date an author and people came to talk to me and even if they hadn't read my stuff, we still could have a great conversation about the books we liked and all things romance which I love to do especially since I rarely get the chance to do it.
The most fun I had was doing the Midnight Sexcapades with Delilah Marvelle, Lila DiPasqua, Bridget Midway, Delinda Jasper, K Jones, and a couple others whose names escape me night now. It was a raucous and rowdy night! I had very little hope that anyone would even show because it was the same night as the ball but we were packed and most people stayed until the end which was awesome. I decided to get the ladies (and a couple gentlemen) drunk by playing the drinking game 'Never Have I Ever.' Let me tell you, these women were freaks! One woman in her 60s told us about the time she had sex while stowing away on a freight train. Sweet.
However, the most fun came when Delinda read aloud from one of her books and had two people in the audience act out what she was saying. There is a video out there and as soon as I can find it, I'll send out a link. The woman, Jackie and the guy, Sam really gave us quite the performance. And at the end, they basically made out for real. It was so much fun.
I also got invited to join the Denver fetish community by a woman who shares her man with another woman. Ah, polyamory! She told me that judging from some of my answers the previous night at Sexcapades, she thinks I would be an ideal candidate. I thanked her, not knowing what to say to that but oddly flattered. I told her that I did have a story in mind that involved a BDSM and they very generously offered to educate me which was great and I do plan to take them up on it.
I won't say the conference wasn't without its flaws. For one, the setup for the book signing was weird. You bought your books up front and then went to this back room to have it signed. This did not work. Like I did not know Julia Quinn was there and I love her books and I was going to buy her new one but decided against it. I would have purchased it had I known she was going to be there.
Another thing was the food. I didn't but the meal tickets and I'm glad I didn't cuz I would've been pissed if I spent $35 on the one meal I got. The only reason I got the ticket was because Nicole Peeler gave it to me because she was out being wined and dined by her publisher and eating freeze dried ice cream and root beer from a giant syringe (her story not mine). The food I had was awful and wasn't even the menu they'd advertised. I should've known about the food because the hotel used to be a Holiday Inn where my company used to hold their Christmas parties and the food wasn't good even then. So the decor got better and the food got even worse if that's possible.
The other thing I didn't like was the location. It was near the airport in a part of town that was mostly warehouses. I know it was probably cheaper to hold the conference there but I kind of wish it was in a nicer part of town that was more accessible to all the fun stuff in town. I offered to show people around and give them a taste of Denver but no one took me up on my offer.
Despite that, I think the conference was amazing. I can't wait to do it again. I'm so glad they're keeping it in Denver and I have my fingers crossed that we'll one day attract Nora Roberts.
And now for some photographs!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
If you read this blog, you know Monica Kaye appreciates a fine hero. So I thought I’d share some of my inspiration for my dark heroes, written and unwritten.
This picture works for almost all my heroes. And not just because of the chest. I’ve always liked black and white photography. I took a b&w photography class (back in the days of dark room development) and the instructor told us a good print had at least one point of true black and a point of purest white. Sounds like a perfect dark hero, doesn’t it? Black and whites can be so stark, yet so revealing. Just like the best dark heroes. Despite the shadows in a dark hero, you always know exactly what you’re getting: a man...
Oh, sorry, lost my train of thought for a moment. You get a man who doesn’t give up, doesn’t give in, doesn’t give a damn...until he meets you—I mean, the heroine. In the heroine, he meets his match. And by match, I mean the woman who challenges him and who is his other half and who sets him on fire.
Well, those sexy scars had to come from somewhere.
Looking through my stash of eye candy, I found a lot of pix with deep shadows. Not surprising, I guess, since my books are all about shadows. The heroes of my Marked Souls books, SEDUCED BY SHADOWS (Book 1) and FORGED OF SHADOWS (Book 2, out this month) are alpha male warriors possessed by repentant demons. So yeah, they’re shadowed, inside and out.
They walk a sharp line between damnation and redemption and carry sharp blades to ensure they always end up on the right side of that line. If occasionally the line gets a little blurry, that’s just because of all the malignant demon guts on the edge of the blade.
Not that all my pictures are dark. See? This one has all sorts of sunlight behind him.But he still has those wonderful dark locks and dark, dark eyes and OMG actual dark chest hair (but not too much)! Swoon!
But he’s not facing the light. Nope, my dark heroes are resistant to the light. They’re like SPF 101. But love has a way of sneaking through the cracks in their armor. Or maybe just the cracks in their shirts. Dark heroes frequently have unbuttoned shirts.It’s a syndrome or something.
Lighting a dark hero—like properly lighting a photographic subject—can be tricky. A little firelight, or should I say firefight, shows them in action. A little candlelight shows them in a moment of romantic passion. The misty light of the moon gives them mystery while the cold, hard light of day reveals them. Or maybe they show best by flashlight, reading a book under the covers late at night.
All my dark heroes get their day in the sun, of course. That’s what happy endings are for. And speaking of happy endings, doesn’t Liam have a cute butt?
Who is your favorite dark hero and why? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Book 1 or Book 2 of the Marked Souls. Not sure which one you want? You can read the opening chapters of both books at http://jessaslade.com
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
“My Right Breast”
by Andrew Shaffer (www.orderofstandrew.com)
While some of the other contestants brought their own topless photos to hand out and sign for fans (and I use the term “fans” loosely here), I inadvertently left mine at home. Let this be a lesson to all budding authors out there – never go to a conference without a stack of glossy beefcake photos of yourself. As soon as I officially entered the 2010 Mr. Romance contest, a photographer was immediately assigned to me to take publicity shots.
The photographer, a former Mr. Romance contestant himself, ushered me to an empty staircase and indoor patio inside the Columbus convention center. “We’ll take the shots here,” he said, squinting into the late afternoon sunlight coming through the convention center’s tall windows. “The shadows should give you some definition.” His wife joined us as a lookout to keep our makeshift studio clear of interlopers.
The first shots that we took were of me in my suit. Close-up headshots and a few of me talking on a cellphone. Thankfully, no one had interrupted us. “Now take your shirt off,” the photographer said.
I winced. After taking one last look around for gawkers, I slipped out of my suit jacket and began unbuttoning my shirt at lightning speed. I’d never gotten undressed so quickly in my life before -- and that includes when I lost my virginity. The photographer’s wife took my clothes and looked me up and down. “You’re pretty white,” she said. Of course I am. Show me a writer with a tan, and I’ll show you a writer who doesn’t spend enough time at their keyboard.
The photographer directed me to sit at a table, which was meant to hide my love handles. I sat as upright as possible and puffed my chest out. “That sort of looks like a pec,” his wife said, pointing to my left breast. “But the other one…” She scrunched her face up. Apparently -- and this was the first time that anyone had ever pointed this out to me – my right boob is a little, well, saggy. “It’s okay,” the photographer said, picking up an orphaned newspaper from a nearby table. “Just hold this in front of it.”
He snapped the photos quickly. The session wasn’t any more invasive or painful than walking through airport security. The photographer carefully scrutinized the photos on the digital camera’s display while I waited impatiently at the table sans shirt. He finally gave me a thumbs-up. “You can get dressed,” he said.
Thank God that’s over, I thought as I buttoned my dress shirt. Little did I know that my journey had just begun. Any modesty that I had left was sandblasted away by the dance routine later that week when I ripped my shirt off onstage in front of hundreds of screaming fans.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Hi Monica! Thanks for inviting me over and letting me talk about my latest release, WereSlave. It’s an erotic paranormal romance, the first story in a werewolf series. And it’s available now from Ellora’s Cave.
As the Queen of Paqualette, Nayla is forbidden to have a husband or a human lover. Her life is a lonely and disciplined existence, so when she’s given the opportunity to choose a Were from her dungeon as her sex slave, she takes a chance. Werewolves, she knows, are nothing but senseless monsters, but after the one she selects to be her WereSlave turns out to be more of a man than she’s ever known, she must question her beliefs.
As the alpha leader, Mace is responsible for his pack. He’ll do anything to keep them alive, even give into the Queen’s sexual demands. But not unless he’s in control. Turning his enticing captor into the submissive is the only way to show her he’s more man than she realizes. Falling in love is out of the question, but so is leaving her behind.
Nayla shoved at his chest again but, of course, he wouldn’t budge. He was solid steel. More than a man, he was a Were. A fact that surprisingly heated her insides. He was strong. Unrelenting. Powerful. Demanding. Untamable. And hers.
But would she allow herself to be tamed by him?
He grabbed her wrists and kept her from repeating the action, which infuriated her even more. How dare he try to confine her?
“Let me go right this instant, Mace Quinton.”
“Not until we have this little argument settled,” he said through gritted teeth. His bold blue eyes glinted with determination.
“There’s nothing to settle.” She jerked her hands in an attempt to escape but it was ineffective. He held her tight.
“Stop fighting me, Nayla. I want you and you will be mine. Outside your castle walls. Outside your country’s watchful eyes. You will give in to me.” He moved on top of her and wedged himself between her thighs.
Though her heart and body wanted to concede, her temper rose. She wouldn’t be forced to do anything. She squirmed and kicked and nearly pulled her hands free.
“Stop.” He readjusted his grip on her wrists and pinned them to the ground above her head. “Stop, Nayla.” His voice softened as well as his expression. “I don’t wish to fight you. You’re weak from the trek and I’m deeply sorry for that. But this battle must end.”
“I didn’t start—”
“Nayla, love,” he whispered in her ear so sweetly, she had to take in a breath.
“Let me have you. Please.”
Her heart drummed a beat so loud it reached her head. He was right. She was too tired to fight. And a large part of her didn’t want to anymore.
Not when his warm lips pressed against her neck. Not when his tongue licked her thumping pulse. Certainly not when the weight of his cock sat solidly against her pussy, making her body react. Wetness pooled between her thighs and her nerves tingled with anticipation.
One glance around the cave assured her no one could see them from the outside. They had their privacy, their own hideaway. There was no one to witness her submission. No one to see the Queen yielding to her WereSlave.
This is a GREAT book peeps. GO BUY IT!!!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Then in late 2008 I stumbled across a contest a publisher was having. I literally wrote the book in a month’s time (my own private nanowrimo). Every entry was supposed to get editorial feedback, which I thought was great, since I didn’t have any beta readers or critique partners and lord knew I couldn’t ask my rl friends to review because holy crap the book has man on man sex in it! I just looked at it as a chance to see if I could write something others might want to read.
Well, I never heard back from the publisher, except for the automated we-got-your-document response. So I wallowed in bitterness and anger for a while then segued into self-pity and finally acceptance that I probably suck as a writer. A few months later, don’t know what possessed me, but I opened up the story file and re-read my book and thought, “This needs a lotta work. But it isn’t too awful.” So I revised. And sent the synopsis and three chapters to one of my favorite publishers, Loose Id.
Lo and behold! They wanted to see the whole dang thing! And after they read it, well, wonder of wonders, they wanted to publish it. And, la, here it is!
My husband and I were off on a cruise! So I had my laptop with me (‘cause y’know I had to be able to keep in touch with my college-age son in case of emergency, right?) and sure enough, while cruising off the coast of the U.K. I received the email that said “Welcome to Loose Id!” I read that a couple times to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Then I did the “hey guess what” thing with my husband. Did the happy dance. Smiled a lot.
Dylan Forest is really pretty happy. He’s a successful architect, lives in a great little town, and has good friends. More than ten years ago, Dylan’s first boyfriend betrayed him. Since then he’s learned to appreciate men briefly and intensely, with no lingering complications. But Dylan finds himself wanting something more with Michael Gilmore, the new art teacher in town.
Michael moved to Raven Pass to get away after a bad break-up. He just wants to teach and he’s got an exhibit of his own work coming up. He doesn’t expect to find himself attracted to anyone just yet. He has to give up his fear so he can explore a possible relationship with Dylan.
The guys manage to get past their insecurities and into bed, where they find out just how compatible they are. Before their romance gains momentum, however, life gets complicated. An old dead body and a new murder are both connected to Dylan’s love life, and it appears that Michael will be next.
What’s going on? And can Dylan and Michael stop it before it stops them?
The pile from the backpack was an interesting assortment of things: tins of charcoals and pastels, pencils of different sizes, crumpled papers, an orange, several sketch pads, an iPod, headphones, tubes of acrylics, a six-inch wooden manikin, and a notebook computer.
The whole thing reminded me of Mary Poppins’s carpetbag. “If I stuck my arm in your backpack, would I pull up a hat rack?”
He didn’t bat an eye. “No, but you might get a floor lamp.”
Michael used the computer to make notes and write an outline of our plan. His fingers flew over the keyboard. When I tried to think, my eyes were drawn to his hands, and thoughts of architecture were replaced with thoughts of what those hands would feel like… I had to get up and move around the room in order to speak coherent sentences.
Eventually, my stomach pointed out that I hadn’t eaten yet by growling loud enough to be heard in New Jersey. Michael stopped typing and tilted his head to listen.
“Sorry,” I said. “Snack time?”
“Good idea.” He closed the laptop, set it off to the side, and stretched his arms toward the ceiling. My mouth watered when his stretch exposed a strip of skin at the bottom of his shirt. I turned rapidly toward the fridge and stuck my head in, hoping the cold would wash all the way to my cock.
“Do you feel like veggies and dip, or chips and salsa?” I yelled from the bowels of my Amana.
“Definitely chips and salsa.” His voice sounded from right next to me, and I nearly gave myself a concussion when I jumped. My scowl was lost on him; he only grinned at me when I straightened up. I handed him the salsa, and he poured it in a bowl while I dumped the chips into a basket. We each grabbed another beer and returned to the table, sitting at the far end away from the mass of papers strewn about. Michael turned his chair to face out toward the deck. Our conversation turned from our project to other topics.
I discovered, among other things, that he was originally from western Pennsylvania, had two sisters and a brother, graduated from my alma mater -- Penn State -- with a major in art education and a minor in graphic design, and at twenty-six, was six years younger than me. He learned that I was born not far from right here, my mother died when I was ten, my favorite thing to do was design buildings and landscapes, and gardening was a stress-relieving hobby.
I was just about to ask him about the kind of music he liked when I noticed a glop of salsa at the corner of his mouth. “You’ve got some, um, salsa, there.” I tried to point without pointing, to, you know, be polite.
“Where?” He rubbed at the wrong side of his mouth.
“No, the other side.”
He wiped a spot on his cheek. “Did I get it?”
“Here,” I said and scooped the offending sauce off with my thumb, which somehow then ended up in his mouth.
I watched with fascination as he sucked gently, pulling the digit in, swirling his tongue around it, his eyes closed as if this were the best thing he’d ever tasted. My other fingers rested on his face, feeling the suction through his cheek. He pulled back and opened his eyes; I got lost in them for a minute. When I moved my hand to the back of his neck and drew him to me, he gave no resistance. Our lips met, flavored with salt and salsa. We shared a series of little kisses, tasting each other gently.
He had turned his chair around, and we sat facing each other. His hands rested on my biceps, and my hands slid to his chest -- where they noticed that Michael did have more interesting piercings.
The soft little kisses grew stronger. The more I had, the more I wanted.
Without moving his lips away, Michael said, “I’ve wanted to kiss you since I met you.”
“So kiss me,” I mumbled back.
I caught his tongue with mine and sucked on it, a hopeful foreshadowing of events to follow. He pulled on my bottom lip with his teeth. The frenzy meter ratcheted up, our lips and tongues exploring, probing, claiming. I felt his hand in my hair, and my own hand twisted his shirt. Breathing became a secondary need, behind tasting. When air proved to be necessary, we slid back into short, small kisses. It didn’t take long for me to feel refreshed, and I plunged back into kissing him deeply, rolling my tongue across and under his teeth. He groaned when I held his face between my palms and bit lightly at his lips. He tried to take back control, but I couldn’t get enough of tasting him.
His tug on my hair pulled me away enough to look in his eyes. “Dylan,” he whispered.
“Shh,” I said. “A moment.” We were still, just breathing, and I could feel the reverberation of each kiss.
He gave me that moment; then he leaned back. “Wow.” His hands slipped away from my shoulders as he stood up. He walked to the sliding glass door and leaned against the jamb, staring out across the hills. This did not seem like a good sign to me. I didn’t know if I should follow or back away. I opted for the middle road, stood up but stayed near my chair.
He turned toward me.
“I…that was…” He shook his head. “I’ve never been kissed like that.”
“That makes two of us. Why are you over there?”
He looked out the window again. “I’m overwhelmed. This wasn’t what I expected.”
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
“Neither. Both. I’m not sure.” He crossed the room to where his belongings were piled. “I have to go… I need to think.”
“Michael, no. I want you to stay.” This time I did follow him, stopping just within reach.
He threw his things into the backpack. I grabbed his hands to hold them still. “Listen. I maybe didn’t do this right. I moved too fast.” He stared up at me, waiting. “I like you, and I don’t want to screw this up.” I thought about the different men I’d been with and how everything with them happened so fast because there was so little time for it. I realized I was walking new ground, here. “I’m sorry I scared you.”
He clenched my hands. “No…don’t…I think I scared myself. You remember I told you about the relationship I’d been in?”
“When I left, I promised myself that I would not jump into another one. I can’t do things part way.” He let go of me, and his pacing emphasized the words he spoke quietly. “Tim -- my ex -- and I, we were together almost a year, and I completely misread him. I was so excited about our being together -- I was looking at houses and furniture, but he was looking at other men. Our arguments left me realizing that I expected too much -- made too many big plans. Tim said some cruel things to me, but he made me think about not only ours, but other relationships I’d been in. I leap too quickly. I can’t trust myself.” He stopped moving, shrugged, and gave a little unhappy laugh. “My mom used to tell me I was too passionate about, well, everything. My brother used to tell me I was a nervous breakdown waiting to happen.”
He suddenly looked so very young. I felt like a lecher. I wanted to rewind back to where we were building a friendship. Before I could say anything, he continued.
“I thought I’d learned my lesson, but you were so unexpected. And it threw me.”
I’ve been called a lot of things, but “unexpected” was a new one. “I’m not sure I’m following you.”
His pacing brought him to the opposite side of the table. He leaned on it. “I never expected that I would find anyone like you in this place. You’re smart. Funny. Kind. Gorgeous. I’ve been thinking about that kiss for so long, I was sure the reality would never live up to the fantasy. I was wrong. It was better.”
I stood speechless. No one had ever said anything like that to me. I replayed his words in my head a few times so I wouldn’t forget them.
A sigh came from deep in his chest as he shoved his belongings into his bag. “It scares the shit out of me.” He zipped up the backpack and headed to the front door.
I tried to shake off the fog that was swirling around my head and stopped him with my hand on his arm. “Wait. Can’t we work through this together?”
“I just need a little time. I don’t want to go into anything blinded by my fantasies. And I don’t want to ruin something with exploding baggage before it begins.” A look of fear passed over his face. “Oh, God, have I ruined it already?”
I was too flummoxed to answer anything with conviction. “No, no, you haven’t ruined it. I think we both have baggage we need to unpack.”
Michael gave me a shaky smile and reached up to kiss me on the cheek. As he opened the door and stepped out, he said, “I will call you. I know that sounds stupid, but I promise I will.”
Before I could think of anything else to say, he was gone.
Harry: “Stairs, if they have them. If someone shoots at us on stairs, we can scream and flail around a lot more."