Beginning January 1, 2013

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Andrew Grey


Breaking the Rules

One of the cardinal rules of writing fiction is that you should never base your characters on real people because when you do, they never seem interesting enough and the story often comes off as flat and boring.  And I tend to agree with that.  However, I have broken the rule.  I have based only one of my characters on a real life person.  That character is Lonnie.  I have used him in a number of stories, Spot Me, Pump Me Up, An Unexpected Vintage, and most recently Core Training.

Lonnie is my workout partner and if you’d ever met him in real life, you’d truly know that in this case, the truth is stranger than fiction.  Lonnie has a unique way of speaking, actually the man will say absolutely anything to just about anyone.  Here’s an example from Core Training:

“Sorry,” the man responded, looking Hugh over from head to toe like he was deciding if he was going to give him shit. He must have decided that at six-four and big as hell, Hugh wasn’t someone the musclehead wanted to mess with. Lumbering into the locker room, Hugh plopped his bag on one of the benches and began tearing open lockers, trying to find an empty one.

“What crawled up your butt?” Dan opened the locker behind him, and of course it was empty. 

“Nothing,” Hugh huffed, and he willed his mood to lighten. His friends didn’t need to pay just because it happened to be his birthday… alone yet again. Granted, it was his own fault. He’d spent his entire life going from man to man. “It’s fucked getting old.”

“Quit your whining,” Dan scolded lightly as he pulled off his shirt, “I’m older than you are. And it’s all a state of mind, anyway.” 

Hugh half watched as Dan lowered his pants. “Then I’m eighty.” 

“Hey, Birdgazers!” Lonnie called as he walked in, taking the locker next to Hugh. “You look like shit, man.”

“It’s his birthday,” Dan teased with a little too much glee.

Lonnie smacked Dan’s bare ass, the slap resounding through the room. “You were moaning like a cheap whore about your birthday a few months ago.”

Dan glared at Lonnie as he rubbed his butt, pulling on his underwear and shorts. “You’ll pay for that.”

Lonnie shot him an “ooh, I’m so scared” grin and finished changing. “You gonna work out with us or be a pussy all your life?” 

Hugh looked at Lonnie, trying to see if he was serious. He was about to respond when a kid walked into their bay of lockers and undid his lock, and Hugh found his gaze pulled to a blond-headed wisp of a man who looked like a stiff breeze would blow him away.

“Hey, you listening to me or looking at dick?” Lonnie would say anything, and Hugh almost retorted, but it would only draw more attention to the fact that he was indeed looking at the young bit of eye candy instead of paying attention to what was being said.

We even have a name for Lonnie’s terms of endearment, we call them Lonnieisms and some of them to too graphic, read offensive, to include in any of my stories.  The man has colorful names for every part of the anatomy, male and female and revels in spending an extra few minutes making up x-rated nursery rhymes, such as.  

Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder where you are.
As you sit upon this rock,
While I smoke my boyfriend’s cock.

When I first created the literary version of Lonnie, I actually wrote him more true to life, but found I actually had to tone him down because the real life Lonnie was just too unbelievable, even for fiction.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Spotlight: Andrew Grey


Making a Story Feel Real

What makes a story real?  What keeps it down to earth?  It is my feeling that two things help contribute to giving a story that feeling that the reader is really there.  The first is writing what you know and the second is integrating everyday activities into your stories.
Writing what you know is important.  That doesn’t mean you have to write strictly from your own experience, but it does mean that you should do appropriate research so that details can be injected that help the reader picture themselves in your story.  As an example, I once took a set of characters to Plymouth Massachusetts during the summer.  I did research and wrote the scene.  The following fall, I visited Plymouth and discovered everything I did wrong, and now I cringe when I read that scene.  The details I used might pull someone who has been to Plymouth out of the story.  Now, having been there, I’d use very different details.  In hindsight, I should have taken my characters to a place I knew better.  I learned my lesson well and for my Love Means… series of stories, I used the farm near the house where I grew up as the basis.  I did alter the farm, but it has a basis that’s real enough to come through for the reader and myself.
 Injecting everyday details into your story is quite easy and can be incredibly effective.  The trick is to tie into activities your reader already knows.  Many of us drink coffee, so having a conversation around a table where your characters sip coffee helps pull your reader into the scene.  The action doesn’t take many words, but it helps place the reader in the scene and the interaction between the characters.  Another location that works particularly well is a group of men around a poker table.  Of course, there are similar locations that work for a group of women as well; for example in a historical setting, the ladies sitting in the parlor for tea.  A few words around the conversation can help add realism and action, hopefully pulling the reader into the scene.
Unfortunately, it is also possible to go too far and include things that make things a little too real or include too many details that bog the story down or slow the pacing.  As an author, that’s one thing I try to balance in every story I write.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sundae in Seattle by Lara Zielinsky


Jan looked out at the sun rising over the mountains east of Seattle, Washington. Running her hands through her blonde hair, she looked over to the bed to see Kelly’s auburn head just visible above the covers. Clearly Kelly was still upset, since she continued to fretfully toss under the covers. Jan’s lover had fretted with nervous energy all yesterday since they arrived to attend her son’s art showing this afternoon. Even after they talked around 2 a.m., Kelly continued to have a rough night tossing and turning.

She had to do something to distract Kelly, free her mind and give her decent rest. Jan placed a call to room service, keeping her voice low so her lover wouldn’t overhear. She met the delivery at the door and took the tray to the bedside table.

“Kelly...” She eased back the covers, crawled onto the bed, and slid herself alongside Kelly’s deliciously nude form.

She kissed Kelly’s temple. Kelly turned and stretched in her arms. Jan tried to wake her with a kiss. Just as their lips met, Kelly pulled back, put her hand over her mouth, and mumbled, “Excuse me.”

Jan laughed. “I don’t mind morning breath, Kell, I love you.” She brushed her fingers through Kelly’s auburn locks and kissed her temple. She eased back though since Kelly insisted on getting up.

Kelly noticed the tray as she was belting on her robe. “What’s that?”

“It’s not breakfast, just a treat I thought I’d get for us.”

While Kelly rinsed her mouth and brushed her teeth, Jan saw the tension in her shoulders and the deep curve to her back from the tension in her legs. Jan hoped what she had planned would loosen up Kelly a bit.

Emerging from the bathroom, Kelly asked, “Do you want to sit on the balcony and eat?”

“No.” Jan shook her head. “On the bed.” Kelly shivered at the command tone Jan injected into her words. Ooh, this could be fun.

She uncovered the small platter, revealing a small bowl of whipped cream, a tiny decanter of chocolate syrup and a bowl of maraschino cherries. Kelly settled back, arranging the pillows for them to sit against.

“No. Lay down.” Taking command again jolted Jan right to her groin.

“Aren’t we going to eat?” Kelly asked.

“Oh, I’m going to eat,” Jan said with a lecherous smile. “I’m going to eat you.”

“What about getting ready for the art show?”

“We have hours yet. I promise we won’t miss it. Trust me?” She stripped off her own robe.

Kelly's skin visibly flushed, but she lay down. Jan appreciated the warm love in Kelly’s gaze as it flowed over Jan’s figure. “I do,” Kelly said, cupping her hands over Jan’s shoulders.

With a finger Jan swiped whipped cream from the bowl. Slowly she smeared it down the middle of Kelly's chest, following her sternum and swirling in her belly button. Kelly squirmed, but made no sound. Jan lifted an eyebrow, holding Kelly's blue gaze while she placed another stripe of whipped cream from Kelly's navel to just above the patch of hair at the juncture of her thighs. Kelly squirmed again and bit back a moan.

Jan dragged her tongue along the same paths her finger had just completed. The whipped cream further sweetened the taste of her lover's body, and Jan expressed her enjoyment with a low moan. One of Kelly's hands tangled in Jan's hair, but Jan caught sight of the other digging into the pillow under Kelly's head.

She dabbled her tongue in Kelly's navel. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Kelly's legs twitch. “Put everything out of your mind for a while, Kell,” she encouraged. “Focus on what I’m doing.”

Kelly groaned. Jan smiled against her stomach before lifting her head away and retrieving the maraschino cherries. She poured two small measures of the thick, shiny red syrup and coated both of Kelly's nipples. Kelly gasped. Jan met her gaze again before slowly lowering her mouth to cover the right tip and sucking it into her mouth. Her tongue swirled to find all the juice.

Arching her back and exposing her throat, Kelly surrendered. “Oh, Jan.”

Jan growled in response to the wanton plea in her lover's voice. Her groin throbbed and she rubbed her crotch against the balled up blanket and sheets to ease the ache a bit. Lifting her mouth away from Kelly's breast, she paused to collect herself as her hunger for Kelly grew, too quickly. She wanted very much to make Kelly explode before she herself came.

Jan reached again for the tray, collecting the chocolate decanter. She painted warm chocolate stripes across Kelly's torso, outlining her ribs, circling the base of her breasts on her chest, and outlining the areolas. The chocolate, unlike the cherries' juice, did not drip. So Jan painted leisurely, licked, and traced again until Kelly was writhing and moaning her pleasure almost constantly.

Licking the last of the chocolate off Kelly's right ribs, Jan lifted her head and reached for the cherries again. “Time for a sundae.” While she spoke she stroked down Kelly's torso, past her hips, right thigh and calf, and finally she massaged over the muscles of her right foot.

Jan crushed a cherry between Kelly's big toe and her second toe, and then did the same between the toes on her left foot. The juices dripped down the sensitive insole and over the bridge of Kelly's foot leaving behind a sweet, pale red trail.

She licked away the juices and took the mashed cherry flesh between her teeth. Jan's groin was throbbing hard again. Eager to see Kelly’s release, Jan employed her entire arsenal of sensations. She chased chocolate and whipped cream trails up the strong calves and thighs. Finally she paused between Kelly's legs and saw the liquid pool soaking the sheets beneath her. Jan overflowed with her power to pleasure this woman and smiled devilishly. “I think I’ve decided on the perfect creamy base for this delight.”

“God, Jan . . . ” Kelly grabbed the pillow behind her head with both hands. Her chest shook and her breath was harsh, shallow and fast. “Please.”

Jan stretched over Kelly, suspending her body so they weren't touching except at the lips as she kissed her. “Oh, I will, love. I will do as I please.”

Moving back down, Jan stacked cherries on the apex of her lover's thighs. She trapped several between the engorged lips of Kelly's sex. Jan made peaks of the whipped cream, poured a small river of chocolate, and finally poured the remains of the cherry syrup on Kelly's own sweet, creamy center.

Her first taste of her handmade confection pulled a guttural moan from Kelly. Jan firmly held both Kelly's legs and dove in to consume her feast with thorough attention.

As she sought out the last cherry pressed between Kelly's labia with her tongue, Jan felt Kelly's legs start shaking. Kelly planted her feet down, bending her knees and pressing against Jan's shoulders. Kelly's moans, groans, and grunts promised an explosive release. Jan only pushed her more relentlessly. Her tongue plundered Kelly's center. Her hands massaged Kelly's ass and lifted her rear from the bed.

Jan felt a strain in her neck from the position, but ignored it as Kelly's thighs closed tightly around her ears. Kelly's hands finally dug into Jan's hair and her admirable self-restraint finally snapped.

“For God..! Oh, oh heaven! G-Uh! Oh Lord!” Kelly's screams were loud enough to be painful even to Jan's covered ears. She chuckled. The warmth of her breath sent Kelly spiraling out on another orgasmic journey. “Fuck me!”

Well, the whole floor certainly knows what we're doing. Jan chuckled as she thrust three fingers deep into her lover's spasming canal to wrest more lust-filled cries.

“Oh, God, Jan! Don't stop. Don't stop!”

Kelly cried out again as she finally, explosively, came. Juices flowed around Jan's fingers and she lapped them up with her tongue. While Kelly's body trembled down from its high, Jan pushed all the empty food containers out of the way. Then she drew herself up against her lover's soft and limp body, wrapping her arms around her. She pulled the sheet up shielding Kelly from the room's chill.

Kelly murmured unintelligibly then kissed the hollow at Jan's throat. Palms spread and fingers splayed on Jan's naked breasts, Kelly mumbled, “You think up the most wonderful distractions.”

“You’re welcome.” Jan kissed her lover in the middle of her forehead. “So, no more worrying about meeting your ex, all right?”

“O.K.,” Kelly murmured, so worn out from the pleasure. Eventually her breathing evened into sleep while Jan cuddled her. This time she slept soundly.


Jan and Kelly debuted in my short story “Feeldoe Fantasy”, part of Toybox: Strap-ons from Torquere Press.

Author bio: Lara Zielinsky is the bisexual author of two novels, and a host of short stories with lesbian and bisexual women characters. She edits for several publishers and hosts the radio program "Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women's Fiction." Learn more at http://www.lzfiction.net/pub.html

Author Interview: Kilt Kirkpatrick


Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Kilt Kilpatrick, whose debut novel The Manny Diaries was released this past summer from Ravenous Romance.

I asked him about his favorite romantic author and he declined to name just one, telling me, "I’ve met so many wonderful, sexy authors, esp. in the Ravenous Romance stable that I don’t dare try to single out just one… You guys know I love you!"

When it comes to his favorite erotic book, however, he didn't hesitate to name Inara Lavey’s Champagne.

"It feels like it was written just for me (possibly because she wrote chapter one just for me originally, and she very graciously added a Breton character for me)," he explained. "I know, it’s total nepotism, since she IS my girlfriend, but what can I say? It’s a book that has everything I want – funny, smart, warm, sexy as all get out, and it even has a Celtic character (and if you look close I even make a cameo appearance)."

He also told me that Ravenous has put out some amazing hot anthologies he's very proud to be in. He also enjoys the Herotica anthologies.

"They always have fantastic, sexy stories in them," he said.

Kilt told me that when he writes "it’s a pretty seat-of-the-pants process (which I realize is a strange thing for someone named Kilt to say) – I wing it while I’m writing it. Then after everything is down on paper, I like to let it sit for a day or two and then come back for another read-through. That’s when I do the final polishing and it really comes together. If I can surprise myself with how sexy, funny or well-written it is, then it passes muster."

The part of the writing that's the most fun for Kilt is the research.

"I don't just mean for the sexy parts!" he told me. "I have a very eclectic assortment of interests, and they’re all clamoring to make it into stories. So I like to hit the library (or my own home library, which is fairly overstuffed) and fold all the interesting details and factoids into stories. That’s right, reading Kilt Kilpatrick isn’t smut; it’s actually good for you!"

"What research books do you recommend for writers starting out in writing erotica?" I asked.

"Well, while I’m here steaming along on the self-promotion train, I should refer you to two books that my girlfriend and I worked on with our good friend Cindi Gentry: Secret Seductions: 62 Naughty Nights, Lusty Liaisons, and Sexy Surprises, by Cynthia W Gentry and “Roxanne Colville” (Yes, Inara and I are Roxanne Colville), and What Women Really Want in Bed (and it’s companion, What Men Really Want in Bed). All these are great idea starters, and they are just plain good books in their own right, too."

Kilt admitted he never suspected he would become a professional erotica writer. In fact, when he's not writing erotica he's a biblical historian who is writing on the historical Jesus question (of whether he actually existed or not). One day, however, Inara secretly took a story he had written as a present for her and submitted it to her publishers at Ravenous. They loved the way he wrote, and he's been writing for them ever since.

"I first wrote a lush Victorian period piece fantasy set during the British Raj ('The Tiger’s Tale') which had vivid descriptions and heightened language; like a sexed-up Merchant & Ivory production. After that I did a fun, light contemporary story of a Berkeley co-ed who sets out to seduce two Mormon missionaries who come knocking ('Later Days, Saints!'). Those both got snatched up and after that I started getting calls for athologies, so I did a sexy fractured fairy tale take on Hansel and Gretel ('Handsome and Grateful'), two very different Zombocalypse adventures ('Last Times at Ridgemont High' and 'Love Bites: A Survival Guide') and I just submitted a sci-fi story for an upcoming post-apocalyptic anthology. And somewhere during all that Lori Perkins asked me to write a full-length m/m novel for them, which is of course The Manny Diaries."

"What does your family think of your writing?" I asked. "Do they read it?"

"Great question! And no, as far as I know none of my Southern Baptist relatives have any idea I write it (or have serious doubts whether Jesus ever existed, for that matter). Nobody better tell my Mom about any of this, see!"

On a more personal note, I wondered who Kilt would be if he could be anyone.

"I’m hoping it will be the me of the near future, a successful writer with a small but devoted cult following and enough financial security to really write fulltime and not have to eat so much cold cereal. Actually, I love cold cereal so even the dream me would still be eating that."

He has thought about getting a Celtic knot work armband tattoo, but other than that he's never really been tempted to get any piercings in any of his bits.

"I’m a longtime fencer and swordfighter and do a lot of work with cats, so I already have scars and scratches pretty much all over and feel like that adds enough sexy he-man character already," he told me. "I do see the appeal of some kinds of tribal scarification, and I’ve seen people with gorgeous piercings that look fabulously gorgeous on them – and many, many more that look much less fabulous."

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I wondered.

"Let me just say, they’re right when they say you should never do math or spell in public. To that I might add if you wear a kilt to a party that your girlfriend, your ex-girlfriend, and other close female friends are attending, keep them separated before they all get drunk and start cooking up mischief together."

His favorite food?

"Black and White pudding is pretty awesome and for the longest time you couldn’t get it in this country – 'unfit for human consumption'! Just don’t ask what’s in it… Haggis is also yumska but misunderstood."

However, he cannot eat bananas, nor does he even like sitting at the same table where somebody else is eating them. The smell puts him off.

Soft drinks? In his opinion, both Coke and Pepsi tastes like "a mix of petrochemical runoff and hummingbird feeder."

He can tell the difference between Guinness, Murphy’s, McKesson’s Triple Stout, Patent Malt Porter, Köstritzer Schwarzbier, Ethiopian Harrar Dark and Brazillian Xingu. "And I love them all," he admitted.

"What is your favorite letter?" I asked.

"Oh, man - you’re talking to a Linguistics minor so that’s a really tough question! Ø, ñ, ü, ç, å, î, Æ and ß are all pretty awesome, but I think it has to be é. In Irish that’s called the e fada (or siné fada e), and it shows up it cool phrases like Sin é (pron. Shin-Ay, 'That’s it') and Tóg go bog é! (pron. Togo bug ay, 'Take it easy!')"

When he's been drinking, it's not uncommon for Kilt to stop speaking English altogether and for Gaelic to take over.

Finally, I asked Kilt, "What advice do you give authors wanting to write erotica?"

"Trust your instincts about whether it’s sexy or not, and don’t be afraid to be explicit. Actually, even more than explicit, don’t be afraid to be specific in the details. Purple prose like 'I felt waves of ecstasy stir me like an ocean of pure pleasure, blah, blah, blah…' doesn’t have anywhere near the impact of something like 'All the tiny hairs on my arm stirred, and my knees started to tremble… '. Also, my personal motto, which comes from my hero, Jen Sincero, Writing=Ass+Seat."

You can keep up with Kilt on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Kilt-Kilpatrick/160928497477

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Mahalia Levey

Where Do Ideas Come From?

I get ideas from a host of different arenas. Sometimes I’ll listen to a song and it’ll spark a thought which will spark a premise and give me an iron clad blurb— minus character names to begin with. 

When I’m out with my children or fiancé, I’ll observe people around us at public venues; people do the darndest things and say the damndest things that make you think hmmm, now wouldn’t that be great in a story! 

I mull over ideas at times and the best mulling place seems to be my shower.  Inside my shower is a placard and a grease pen. I found that I got tired of running out of the shower dripping wet to try to write down the thought, and had to come up with a course of action. 

When we go on vacation, I look at town names, gas stations, colleges, saloons etc… The last trip I found a gas station named “Kum-and-Go”, a saloon named “Happy Beaver” and a museum named “Bushwackers.”  Places like this bring out the naughty nymph in me. :-)

The important thing about ideas is that even if you can’t use them at the time, it’s imperative to jot them down. The smallest idea can be turned into a stand alone or even the beginning of a series. I’ve also had moments of sheer frustration in life leading to an entire premise. The latest example…my son’s glasses broke, the screw that holds in the lens came loose, and I couldn’t get the blasted screw back in. The situation has led to a new story with some comical content. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Mahalia Levey

How To Promote Your Work Effectively

Many people think that writing the manuscript is the hardest part of the journey, or that it ends upon final editing and production. They are dead wrong. In fact, the hardest part of being an author is selling to the different mediums available.  When it comes down to it, your “Baby” is your pride, blood, sweat and tears; who better to advocate its merit than yourself? 

This is where time management comes in. Most authors are doing edits on other works, or working on new books, in various degrees of being finished. In between deadlines and researching the next work, time has to be made to promote what’s yours.  So…your book is ready, about to hit the sites, and you’re just now beginning to promote. STOP.

When your book is in final stages, promoting is important. Sites that allow excerpts and book covers are always looking for what’s coming soon. Go ahead and give a heads up to alert the readers, so that they too can budget the next book they want to buy. 

Mediums

Blog Talk Radio- Quite a few authors and other professionals in this industry have blog talk sites.  Inquire around to find who is looking for guests and the genres they’d like to interview.

Video Trailers – There are artists and mediums that create video trailers for authors. If your pub house doesn’t have one in house or on contract ask around to find out who makes them and the fees they charge. The range is from fifty dollars to one-hundred-twenty-five dollars. There are also links that teach how to do one on your own-broken down in simple step by step instruction.


Blog
Hold a blog once a month let everyone know what’s going on in the corner of your world.
www.multiply.com

WebSites- Depending on your budget, websites are a great way to showcase your work and show what’s coming up soon. There are web designers who build from scratch, or sites that are easy to set up and free.

Yahoo Loops
Trinity and her co-hosts have daily lists on what loops are accepting promo and on what days during the week. Although they have the lists, it’s a good idea to read the rules before posting.

If you find it’s too much for you or you simply can’t find the time- hire out to promo sites.
There are many promo sites out there here’s a few:

Promote Yourself On

Yahoo Loops

Review Sites – Google your genre. My list is too long to include.

Your Personal Blog

Peer Blogs

Review Site Interviews

Yahoo Loop Interviews

Yahoo Loops looking for Book Covers to paste on their home pages

Chats

Interacting with readers and authors during Blog Tours

Paste Your Third Party Distributor Sites

Facebook

Twitter

Myspace

Multiply.com

Vista Print  - When I have spare change I take advantage of their ‘free items’ and pay only for shipping and handling. I try to order 500 business cards at a time. Then I pick a generic postcard from them and use it. Instead of paying for the back to be inscribed with blurbs or book covers on post cards. I use the ‘free’ stamp and have my website inscribed on it and stamp it instead :-)

I’ve taken cards to urban clothing stores, coffee houses, night clubs, the library, laundromats, etc.
Find out in your area where you can leave your promo material. I do it once a month while I’m out doing errands.

Contests

Hold a contest every other month or whenever you have a release going out. Keep in mind--- you have to keep track of e-books won. Ask your pub to inscribe the winners name and email addy on the pdf for tracking purposes. 

Have small gift baskets of things found cheaply in your area as special contests. Chocolate is always good!

Example- I’m from Kansas. The Wizard of Oz is big here, and there are tons of tourist things for it so it’s a fun theme once in a while.

Chocolate is always good too.

Ask your fellow authors to mail you promo cards and business cards so that you can promote them too.
Send promo items to review sites.

Personal Newsletter

Search Google for free banners and graphics or purchase one!
Use your word program to create a newsletter and save it as a pdf file.

Email me and I’ll walk you through it

www.mahalialevey.com


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Malalia Levey

Getting The Call
  
Writing wasn’t ever a planned goal for me. I found a loop on Yahoo where individuals either co-wrote together or wrote alone. After a few weeks of lurking, I decided to try my hand at creating storylines. I attempted fan fic and found that my characters refused to be penned after someone else’s work. So I sat down and began researching and plotting my own stories.

Eventually I wrote with a few other writers. It wasn’t until someone contacted me and asked me why I was giving plots away for free, and was asked to challenge myself to attempt writing for a publisher.

At first I laughed. I had no intentions of turning my hobby into a career. However, I thrive on challenges. I did what she asked, penned a story and sent it in for submission. That led me to my first of six publishers. It’s been a little over a year for me and my growth has exceeded where I thought I’d be. 

I’ve found three different genres to write in and am fairly comfortable with being a multi genre author. I found Beautiful Trouble Publishing by joining their Yahoo loop and meeting the authors and readers there. I hadn’t written much interracial or BW/BM stories and thought it’d be a great challenge to work with them and create a series of shorts I wanted to do. I also wanted to be part of an advancing business that’s black owned and has the black female readers' interests at heart. I plan on expanding there from short stories to novellas and novels that bring out what it means to me to belong to two diverse heritages by bringing vivid characters and real life issues.

Show Me Your Gun and Flaws and All were great to write and are just the beginning of what I have in mind. I find I like linking secondary characters and giving them a story too.  I may not have had the call but I have the hunger to grow and explore just how far my imagination will take me. Join me for the ride…I’m anything but…boring!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Mahalia Levey

Balancing Life and Writing

This is a topic that is never ending. It’s a constant struggle to make sure you cover the bases with the responsibilities of being a writer and making sure you don’t forsake your family for your passion of your craft.
I don’t like setting limits but I do favor setting reasonable goals as long as it’s positive no matter the outcome. One would be a minimum and maximum amount of writing you’d like to personally do in one day. The minimum for me is five hundred words; the maximum is three thousand words. These two goals are only enacted if I’m not working on edits. I’ve found the day I’m least productive is to work on promoting my work both online and in my community through different mediums. The day I do promoting so far is Monday. Just getting the kids back to school and the man off to work is tedious enough.   

Since I work from home right now, I have from seven in the morning to three in the afternoon to write and take care of the house. I plan dinner early and find that writing first thing in the morning works better for me than in the afternoon. 

I get on line a bit each day to check on my sites, update my website and speak to the readers who email me or are on loop. I find maintaining a relationship with the public is just as important as promoting. 

Family Time

Explaining to your loved ones that a good portion of individuals you need to contact a few times a week at the very least is difficult, especially when they don’t understand why the individuals weren’t available during the daytime, therefore the computer and/or IM must remain on or you must have a chance to contact them. To avert teenage angst in my household… I’ve come up with the following plan:

1.       I go to every home game to support my children

2.       When the heathens of mine walk through the door, I leave the computer to inquire about their day and chat. :-)

3.       Dinner Time is Family time!

4.       Twice a week is family board game night. No electronics or cell phones allowed by anyone in the family.

5.       One night I sit and watch an hour of TV with them all

6.       We have one hour of leisure reading a night and once a week we discuss together what we’ve read and what we’ve liked and disliked about it.

7.       Since my fiancé works for AMC we normally go see a movie at the theater for free :-)

8.       When I have edits, I say, "I love you but I have a deadline and must disappear; don’t think I’m ignoring you, I’m not; just like your homework this has to be in on a specific date." Gives me validation without guilt and them an understanding of my time management.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Spotlight: Mahalia Levey

Background of the Book

I put a lot into the background of my books.  After I’ve jotted down the premise and the nationality of my characters, I pick out names. A good portion of the names are not typical names that are routinely seen. I feel it makes my characters stand out and that the meaning of their names matches their characteristics. After I have the basics, I look at what time period I want to write in, what country, state and town fits best for me. If it’s a world build the sky is the limit as I will make up the species, world, land, water, transportation, society structure and law on my own. If not I make sure that the mode of transport matches the true landmarks already existing.
From there I decide what social class my characters are in, the lingo, peers and job types. Most of the time they tell me what I need to know, other times I have to research. :-) I research the specific jobs they portray to make sure I represent them accurately and flesh out the stage they’ll be performing on. With Flaws and All it was easy. Nadja, the heroine, portrays lounge singer and her hero, Donato, portrays a security expert and the owner of the establishment. From there I worked on the nuances of the atmosphere adding in the secondary characters and conflict with the antagonist. Background doesn’t just stop once you have the research done. You have to know how to use it to bring out the emotion, conflict and resolution in your story.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Need You Now by Megan Slayer

Waiting shows obedience.

She kept her head bowed as she sat in the playroom. If he’d only find his way to the playroom tonight. She stifled the shiver working its way up her spine as the mental image of him sharpened in her mind.

Tristan LeMere wasn’t any man. He was one of the oldest vampires in the United States. Rumor had it he didn’t play more than once with any individual and didn’t take subs.

Behind her, the door creaked, signaling its opening. The scent, something fresh with a hint of spice, like sea air wafted to her. She didn’t need to see to know who’d entered the room. The soft thump of his footsteps on the carpet radiated through her veins. Cream coated her inner thigh as he stepped closer. She wanted his hands all along her body, touching her, needing her.

“Stand.”

The simple command spoken in his gravelly voice shot straight to her core. He came to her. Being on her knees for more than an hour’s time hadn’t been kind, and she wobbled forward. A lump of embarrassment lodged in her throat. Her failure to comply would inevitably lead to his exit. Sirs didn’t approve of misbehavior unless part of the play.

“Relax.”

Tristan wrapped his arms around her, scooping her into his embrace. Every nerve ending stood at attention. The gentle breeze moved around her as he took her from the playroom. She counted the steps. Twenty-seven. Was he about to toss her out of the club? She strained to hear anything to clue her in to her surroundings. Nothing. Sweet silence. Releasing her from his grasp, he’d placed her on something soft. She scrambled into the waiting position, hands behind her back still in the cuffs, head bowed, and on her knees.

“You don’t look relaxed.” His breath warmed her skin. Her nipples pebbled in both anticipation and need. “These need to go.” The soft silk of his shirt slid over her arms as he worked open the cuffs. “Do you wish to see me, pet?”

Clasping her hands together, she clenched her teeth. The proper answer was none, although a spanking might be a fitting punishment. Whatever it took to have his hands on her body.

“You may answer.”

She hesitated. “Yes, Sir.”

“Close your eyes.” Tristan removed the blindfold and brushed her hair from her forehead. As her eyesight adjusted to the dim light, she glanced around at her surroundings. Maroon carpet lined the floor while sumptuous black silk spread out beneath her on the bed. This wasn’t a playroom she’d used. She steadied her view on her bare thighs.

“Look at me, pet. I want you to see your lover.”

The breath rushed from her chest. Her lover? He couldn’t be serious.

“I’m very serious, Melissa.”

Forgetting her training, she peered up at him. Brown eyes the shade of freshly brewed coffee stared back at her. The start of a smile quirked on his lips.

“Lay back against the sheets. I want to look my fill.”

Fear paralyzed her for a split second. What else did he know about her? Melissa slid her hands to her sides and eased back onto the silken bedding. Her mouth watered as she visually caressed him. Ebony hair fell in a hank across his forehead. A dusting of coal colored stubble sprinkled across his pale cheeks and chin. What would it feel like if he abraded her skin as he tasted her?

“I’ve waited for this moment—for you.” Tristan slid the back of his index finger along the curve of her inner thigh. “So soft.” The smile on his lips deepened as he knelt between her legs. “I knew your scent the moment you came into Club Hex.” With the tip of his tongue, he skimmed over her clit. His fingers dug into her legs, pressing them farther apart. Heat vibrated through her being. “I had to be sure.”

Another swipe of his tongue brought her closer to the edge of bliss—no farther. “I’ve waited over three hundred years for you. I feared you’d never work up the courage.”

“Take me,” she whimpered. Fear be damned. She rocked her hips, inviting him to have all of her. “Please?”

“You speak out of turn.” Tristan backed away, leaving her on the cusp. “Punishment will come later.”

Unbuttoning one silvery button at a time, he opened his shirt, revealing the smattering of inky hair between his nipples. She longed to run her fingers over the planes of his chest, to learn the textures of him. Tristan shrugged out of the shirt as if it were a bother and sat in the nearby easy chair. He patted his jean clad thigh.

“Come.”

Melissa scooted off the bed and dropped to one knee. She paused when he touched her cheek. “Beautiful, pet. Now release me. I want to feel you sink onto me.”

With trembling hands, she worked the zipper on his trousers. His cock, at least eight inches, popped free from his silken boxer shorts. The tip of his erection glistened with precum. Because of her? She ran her thumb over the thick vein on the underside of his cock and allowed the momentary fantasy to form in her mind. Fucking—him clothed and her bare.

A low groan slid past his lips. “Yes, pet.” His eyelids drooped. “Take me in. Live out your fantasy.”

Melissa drew in a long breath. She straddled his lap and positioned his cock at the mouth of her pussy. Inch by inch, she fitted them together. Tristan grasped her hips, tugging her to take him fully. She whimpered—not out of pain, but pleasure. He filled her, stretched her.

“Do you wish to be mine? Tell me, pet.”

She moaned as he slowly pistoned into her. Did she want him to claim her? With every last micron in her body. She opened her mouth to speak, but with each surge into her, words escaped her. Tristan LeMere made thinking downright impossible.

Bringing her back to reality, his hand splayed on her ass. The crack resounding from the spanking split the air. Pleasure pain spiked through her veins as she matched his rhythm with her own. Another slap echoed on her bottom.

“Mine.” His voice wavered. With need? Desire?

“Yes.” The word came out on a sigh. She fisted her hands. “Yes, Sir.”

“I can’t wait.” Tristan added a third spanking and slammed deep into her pussy. “Need you now.”

“Claim me.” Melissa turned her head to the side and offered her neck. As his teeth pierced her skin, the orgasm in her loins exploded. Lights flashed behind her eyes. The desire to settle in his arms and cat nap came to mind. Gasping for breath, Melissa fought to remain motionless in his lap.

“Melissa, look at me.” When her gaze met his, he leaned forward and kissed the tip of her nose. “Do you know why I waited to claim you?”

He’d told her to speak earlier, but that was then.

“I want you to speak freely, beloved.” Reaching behind his head, he yanked a blanket from the back of the chair.

“I’m no one.” Melissa clamped her lips shut, embarrassed by the words she’d blurted.

“You don’t see your true beauty.” He cupped her jaw in both hands, drawing her to him. “The moment you came into Hex, my heart started beating again. Each time I saw you learn from the other masters and mistresses, I fought the need to take you home.”

“Me?”

“You. But if I’d forced the issue, I’d have scared you.” He wrapped both arms around her, cradling her within his warm embrace. “You belong to me.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“I want to hear my name on your lips, my love.”

“I love you, Tristan.”

“Music to my ears, my beloved.”

“Where do we go now?”

“We stay where we are—home.”

About the author: When she's not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don't seem to mind. When she's not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school. You can visit her by going to her blog: www.theauthormeganslayer.blogspot.com or her group blog: www.menagerieauthors.blogspot.com

Author Interview: Lauren Fraser

Whipped Cream is glad to welcome Lauren Fraser whose latest book The Geek Next Door has just been released by Liquid Silver Books.

I asked Lauren how she personally distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.

"Porn is just sex for sex's sake. Whereas erotic romance is about the journey to love. Sure sex is a big part of that, but there's a story and emotion involved in that process. I think the difference between erotica and erotic romance is erotica is the couple's story in a happy for now kind of way whereas erotic romance is all about the happily ever after. Hopefully my explanation makes sense," she said with a smile.

A good erotic story has to have emotion and, of course, passion.

"I want the passion between the two people to be tangible so it literally jumps off the page so I can feel how much they want it each other and how the connection between them is so strong nothing is going to be able to keep them apart," she explained. "No matter what obstacles I throw at them, this couple is going to be able to figure it out. Sometimes it takes a bit but what they have is worth fighting for."

Lauren told me there are so many great erotic writers that it was hard to choose just one, but admitted that Mari Carr is always a favorite.

"She does such an amazing job telling the couple's story there is no way you could read her books and think they are porn; they are absolutely romance."

The research she has to do depends on each book. She will talk to people who work in the various fields that her characters work in. She does a lot of work on the Internet because she can literally be anywhere in the world with applications like Google Earth.

"The rest of my research, I'll just leave up to your imagination," she added with a snicker.

She does feel that the best research books you can read are those books that are put out by the publisher you hope to sell to.

"Study those to get a feel for the heat levels and the differences between the lines so that you know what you are shooting for," she said, adding with a grin, "I guess you also couldn't go wrong grabbing a copy of the Kama Sutra. I'm not bendy enough to personally do some of the positions but my characters sure can. "

Some other good advice from Lauren include joining a critique group, or at the very least, fina a partner that can give you an honest opinion.

"Make sure that partner is familiar with erotica," she warned. "It isn't really helpful to have someone critique your work who doesn't like the genre or someone who just tells you what you want to hear. Sometimes the truth is hard but if you listen it can make you a better writer."

When Lauren started writing, she didn't have the intention to write erotica, but it just felt natural to her.

"Sex is a huge part of a healthy relationship and it just seemed odd to leave that out of the book," she explained. "The intimacy after sex is also so important, that relaxed haze where you allow yourself to be vulnerable and really let the other person in."

Lauren admitted she's very lucky in that her family is incredibly supportive about her writing, especially her husband. Her children are too young to understand exactly what she writes.

"My mom really wanted to buy all of my books and read them and I said it really might not be her thing; she bought them anyways," Lauren said with a laugh. "It's fantastic to be able to openly talk about what I love to do with the people closest to me. I'd hate it if I had to hide it."

On a personal note, I asked Lauren, "If you had to pierce a body part, what would you pierce and why?"

"Well I've had my ears and belly button pierced forever. I just think a pierced belly button is pretty sexy. A lot of piercings are in erogenous areas so the whole sexual connotation is attached to them and how they could enhance your experience. Even earrings can be twisted and played with for some pretty great results."

Chocolate anything is Lauren's favorite food, but when it comes to eating off another person she told me, "Whipped cream is always fun. But I think the best is ice cream. The contrast between the cold ice cream and a hot mouth. Mmm Plus it tastes damned good!"

On the other hand, she cannot bring herself to eat raw oysters.

"The whole texture and consistency is just gross. It reminds me of having a really bad cold." She laughed. "Eww! I know too much info."

Lauren told me she can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, but she didn't share her preference.

"I have to admit even though I know diet pop is so bad for me, I tend to drink diet most often. I'd rather eat my calories than drink them and I definitely have a preference in my diet pop choice as well."

She told me she's not much of a foot person, but she thinks toes look so much more appealing when they are painted. "I'd feel naked to have sandals on with no nail polish."

Finally, I asked, "If someone were to play you in a movie, what actor would it be and why?"

"Gosh, that's a hard one. No one immediately comes to mind. Umm I guess maybe Drew Barrymore. We are close in age, height and body shape/build. I'd love to say I was as attractive as she is but... well this is the movies so you get to dream a bit, right?"

You can keep up with Lauren on her blog, http://www.laurenfraser.com/blog