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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

INTERVIEW: JENNIFER LYNNE

Long and Short Romance is pleased to welcome Jennifer Lynne, who is with us to talk about her new release Educating Ethan which came out February 24. It's an older woman/younger man love story, but Jennifer told me that she thinks there's a bit of a twist on that classic concept.


"This story becomes less about an older woman educating a younger man in the ways of love, and becomes more about two people with emotional baggage trying to build a better life for themselves," she explained, "and learning about the importance of putting the past behind them through the positive power of love."


She's currently working on the second of her Gods of Love series of novellas about the erotes (aspects of Eros) and their interactions in modern-day society. Aphrodite Calling is the story of Himeros, god of sexual desire, and Gina, a career woman in desperate need of Him's unique brand of sexual assistance. She's also working on the third book, tentatively called Sex Club Secrets, about Anteros, the god of requited/unrequited love. The first book in the series, Platinum Passion, was released in December and is about a long-term marriage in need of a boost, which it gets from Pothos, the god of sexual yearning.


Jennifer has always written, ever since she was young, but it wasn't until she was at university and someone dared her to write a romance that she started taking writing more seriously.


"Of course that first attempt was rejected, but I had positive feedback about my unique writing voice. For years I dabbled in writing as a hobby until after my divorce, when I finally felt it might be possible to reach for my dreams, so I rewrote an erotic romance called Seducing Serena and submitted it to Red Sage. They bought it for their Secrets anthology (Volume 28), and it was when I got that trade paperback copy of Volume 28 in my hand that I finally felt like a 'real' writer," she said.


"What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotic romance?" I wondered.


"I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that erotica and erotic romance are the same thing. In my mind, they are not. I write erotic romance, and I define it as sex with an emotional connection, where the protagonists have the possibility of a happy ever after ending. So it is never sex just for the sake of sex. The emotional connection and development of a sustainable relationship – where the focus is on the 'romance' – is what distinguishes erotic romance from erotica or pornography."


For Jennifer, the characters definitely came first. She usually gets a strong sense of the two—three, in a ménage—main characters and what their first interactions might be. She then sits down and starts writing.


"The characters are actually so strong in my head by that point that they usually take me on the journey, rather than the other way around," she explained. "Quite often I'll get a sense of where the story is going next and go to write it that way, only to find the characters saying and doing other things that lead me in a new direction. That is one of the things I love best about the writing process. It surprises even me where we end up sometimes!"


Jennifer has set up a small section of the bedroom as a study area. She has a new chair with lumbar support, which is great for her back. A small window looks out on two of the neighbor's houses and lots of gorgeous, green trees.


"Green is my favorite color, and I love the view here," she told me. "It is a sunny day, with a gentle breeze tickling the leaves – very restful. There is always coffee – long and black. My cat is never far away – she's either curled up behind the laptop screen, or sitting on the desk looking at me as I type, or near my feet. Actually, to be technically correct, she belongs to my two daughters – or they to her – but I love her hanging out with me in my writing space!"


She needs peace and quiet when she writes, rather than the music other authors use to evoke a mood. Her best times to write are when the rest of the family are either out or asleep—she loves those times.


Jennifer is from Melbourne, Australia, and she lives out toward the Dandenong Ranges to the east of the city. From there, they have access to the city, shops, nightlife, and restaurants, but also easy access to the hills, where they can enjoy cafes, art, nature, and greenery.


"I do love my greenery!" she reminded me. "There are beaches if we want them, weather that offers an interesting four seasons in a day (and if you're from Melbourne, you know how to dress in layers and peel them off/on/off!). But most of all, it is familiar. It is where I was born, where I grew up, and my family are here. Love it!"


"What is the most embarrassing thing your mother ever did to you?" I asked.


"I'm sure there are lots of things I could answer here, if I cast my mind back, but one that quickly comes to mind is how she used to cut our hair, to try and save money. Instead of taking us to a hairdresser, she would sit my sisters and I in the kitchen at home, plonk a bowl onto our heads and cut. Oh…my…God! The end result was hideous. My fringe was about 1cm long (and I have a high forehead, too!). And then we had to go out in public like that. Actually, I think she only did that once, come to think of it. But once was definitely enough!"


"What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?" I asked.


"I visited a sex shop a couple of times with my long-suffering partner in tow, as I needed to learn a bit more about the world of sex toys and who might actually visit such a place. No way was I going there on my own! I imagined a room full of sleazy guys in raincoats, but it actually wasn't like that! There was a business-like female shop assistant who was most patient with my questions (e.g. How the hell would you use something like this? And why?). It was an interesting and very informative visit. Or two! And my partner thoroughly enjoyed himself," she said with a smile.


Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"


"Write the story you want to write, and don't try and write for a particular publishing line, or what you think someone else wants. If you look for a publisher after you've written it, you have a better chance of staying true to yourself and that unique little voice inside you. Also, connect. With other writers, through Yahoo, social media, local writer's groups and support organisations. Writing is an isolating activity, and it is important to feel that connection with others who truly understand what you do. Most of all, don't give up. Keep striving for that dream and one day, you'll get there!"


About the Author:
Jennifer Lynne was introduced to romance at around the age of 12 by author Mary Stewart and her dark, mysterious hero Raoul in Nine Coaches Waiting. And what an introduction that was! Her love affair with romance never waned – it just got hotter as the years progressed. Jen has a Degree in literature & media studies and worked as a business writer and journalist for government departments and companies both large and small. She has even worked in an optical store! These days she is a mum of two who works by day in admin and at night writes sensual and erotic romance from her home in Melbourne, Australia. She is multi-published in this genre, and lives in hope that readers will continue to enjoy her novella-length tales of love and lust!


Find her online at:

Website/blog http://www.jenniferlynne.com.au/blog

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/jennilynnauthor

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Lynne-Romance-Author/29750418026267

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3228070.Jennifer_Lynne


Ida Deloraine intends to build herself a new life and a new catering career, after a painful divorce. When the much younger Ethan Holt moves in across the street, an innocent flirtation quickly becomes serious when the two realise their age difference is no barrier to all-consuming passion. But Ethan is the exact opposite of what Ida is looking for in a sexual partner. In her eyes he is young and vibrant, with his life and his dreams still ahead of him, whereas hers are all in the past. Can Ethan, who is fighting his own demons in the form of a car accident, failed marriage and forced career change, convince Ida to overcome the past and live for the moment? And just who is educating who in this cougar encounter?






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Monday, February 27, 2012

INTERVIEW: BRITA ADDAMS

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Brita Addams, who is having a blog tour to celebrate the release of Demands of the Heart. I asked her to tell us a little bit about the book.


" It begins in 1807 and tells the story of two people, Victoria Bramhill and Richard Fanshaw, who meet and fell in love when they are very young and naïve. They think their lives are their own and that a fairy tale romance will be theirs.


However, an unknown enemy and Victoria's father step in and destroy everything they'd planned.


When they meet years later, Richard is cynical and vengeful and Victoria is more determined than she's ever been.


There are many twists and turns in this story, to synopsize it makes it sound so simplistic, which it definitely isn't. It's a story of revenge as well."


Generally, Brita will have a story in mind before she settles into the specifics. She keeps a catalog of all her story ideas (she has hundreds). She'll choose one and decide how much research she'll have to do and then she'll start. Often the research dictates the path the story will take, because Brita will find facts and situations that enrich the basic story.


Creating her characters is the fun part for Brita.


"They are what will tell the story, so I spend considerable time with them. I name them and give them a backstory, which may or may not become part of the story," she said. "I get to know them, what makes them tick, what they like for breakfast. Occasionally, they'll have traits I recognize in someone I know, but most times, they are a compilation of several people, then I add their own unique traits. They guide me into the story and they become as real to me as are my children. We live together for as long as it takes to tell their story and shaking them usually takes as much time as creating them did."


Brita is currently working on two different pieces, which are quite different from each other.


"Several years ago, I wrote a story that has languished on my hard drive. Two years ago, I submitted it for publication but withdrew it because it simply wasn't the story I wanted to tell and thankfully, I realized that before it went too far. I'm rewriting it now, using the basic premise, but making it a much deeper story. In an arranged marriage, a duke marries the typical simpering miss, but loses her two months later in a highway robbery gone bad. He goes on a bender (off-screen) and two years later, comes back to society a new man. By chance, he meets a woman who looks remarkably like his wife and the old guilt and recriminations haunt him, until he realizes she's very different. There's a subplot that will provide some real surprises for the reader, as they surprise me daily as I write them," she said with a smile. "The second piece I'm working on is set in old Hollywood (1915 to 1940.) It will tell of the meteoric rise and fall of a gay actor, set against the backdrop of the biases and prejudices that existed at the time. He bucked the system and lived life on his own terms, causing him to gain and lose. I'm very excited about this story because it will span twenty to twenty-five years, something I've wanted to do with a story since reading Aleksandr Voinov's Special Forces. The research for that piece has been lengthy, yet so much fun. My dining table has stacks of books I'm using and I've watched tons of documentaries and old movies, something that doesn't hurt me, as I've always loved them. I'm 17k into the story and it's still developing as I go. This piece will be a long novel no doubt."


I asked her to describe her writing space.


"An organized mess. I write on a laptop, in the living room. I have the left side and the middle, as well as the back of the sofa, the end table, and the arm of the adjacent love seat. I know where everything is and heaven help anyone who thinks to mess around with my stuff. On the end table, I have a file box that houses my collection of index cards that concern my current project. Dividers and cards for everything from clothing, to home décor to descriptions to timelines goes in that box. I keep detailed information on each character and their personal timeline, so it's very easy to keep things straight. I won't have a blond-hair character turn up with brown hair somewhere down the line, nor will he age strangely. The middle cushion has cards and my pen. The cards also refer to the current project, but might also be several projects, each clipped together. The back of the sofa has a larger, narrow file box that holds general writing cards, as well as log ins and other info. There's another stack of stuff that really needs to disappear, because I haven't the foggiest notion why it's there," she admitted with a smile.


Brita writes historical fiction, not alternative history, so what she writes has to fit. In the book she's rewriting, she has the characters going to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in 1814. She spent considerable time researching what plays were enacted there during that period. In her story, they see Edmund Kean's performance of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which was actually playing at the time her story takes place. She also considers what the weather must have been like, what flowers would be blooming, etc.


She reads books by the authors of the period, to get a flavor of the ways things were said, as well as watching movies set during the time period.


"If I'm reading an historical, I don't want modern language coming from someone in 1814. By the same token, I don't want such archaic English that the reader can't easily understand. There's a balance," she told me. "I recently read a book, an historical, where the character actually said, 'I've got your back.' I rolled my eyes so far into my head I needed to blink several times before I was able to right them, then I filed the book under, 'Couldn't finish.' An historical isn't something where you dress the characters in costume and market it as historical. There's much that goes into creating that world and to cop out on research cheats the reader and ultimately casts the author in an unfavorable light. I've seen too many reviews where the author was called out on their lack of research. I don't want that kind of attention."


"What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?" I wondered.


She laughed. "Ah, maybe that I once kissed Mickey Rooney. And no, I won't kiss and tell, only that he was quite old and I was considerably younger."


Finally, Brita said, "I love visitors so please feel free to stop by, request a Kindlegraph, read excerpts, view videos. Visit my bookshelf page, answer polls I have up, or read the blog archive. There's lots to do. Drop me a line if you feel so inclined. I love hearing from readers."


To celebrate the release of Demand's of the Heart, Noble Romance Publishing is offering Brita's entire backlist at 20% off. This is for sales on the Noble Romance Publishing site only and only her titles. There's no limit. Buy one book, or all seven, you'll get 20% off your purchase. The eligible titles are: Serenity's Dream; Lord Decadent's Obsession; Chocolate, Tea, and the Duchess; The Rogue's Salvation; A Minute After Midnight; An Evening at the Starlight, and the book she wrote under the name Tina Ordone, Her Timeless Obsession.


The price you'll see is the reduced price.


The sale will run from midnight, Pacific time, February 20 to 11:59 pm Pacific time, March 2.


This is a backlist sale, so it doesn't include Demands of the Heart.


She has several contests running during the book tour, ending at midnight, March 2.


Contest #1



Brita will choose a daily winner from the commenters. She will be giving away an ebook from my backlist at each stop. The only exclusion is Demands of the Heart. One book per commenter, please.


Contest #2: Demands of the Heart T-Shirt Contest:



If you answer the three questions correctly, you could be one of four winners. The prize will be a T-Shirt with the cover of the book on it. The shirt also says that the cover is model Jimmy Thomas's 1500th cover. There will be four winners, each winning a T-Shirt and other swag. All answers are found on Brita's website.


Please do NOT put the answers in the comments section of this blog or on Brita's site. Email them to Brita, with T-Shirt Answers in the subject line.


1. What book did Brita write under another name?

2. Who is the character, Lucien Damrill, patterned after?

3. Describe the signature brandy snifter at the Sapphire Club.

Contest #3: GRAND PRIZE



Brita has put three questions up on her website, all relating to her book, Demands of the Heart. Answer the questions and EMAIL her, with the answers, at britaaddams@gmail.com Be sure to put GRAND PRIZE in the subject line.


You must have all three questions answered correctly to be entered into the drawing.


The Grand Prize is the entire Sapphire Club series in print, signed by the author, who will also include some other signed swag.


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Monday, February 13, 2012

INTERVIEW: LYNN CRAIN

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Lynn Crain, whose newest release is "A Lover for Rachel"--a short story about a young woman, Stonehenge and a wizard—available from Shooting Star Books.

"I just love the log line on it: The magic of love comes to everyone, " she told me. "I couldn’t think of a thing and my cover artist had the story and when she sent me the cover, there it was. How special is that?"

She's currently working on about ten new projects, she told me, so wouldn't/know where to start is telling me about what's coming up.

Margaret Mitchell inspired her to write the summer she turned eleven. Her family was just about to move from Ohio to Nevada and Lynn started to keep notebooks of what she was writing. She was so inspired by Rhett and Ashley, Melanie and Scarlett, that she could hardly contain herself. She wanted to write the next Gone with the Wind.

"How do you develop your plot and characters?" I asked.

"Interesting question. Sometimes I don’t, they tell me how it’s going to be and I move along the line they have chosen for me. Sometimes I write down ten things I want to happen in a chapter, sort of a loose type of outline and go from there. Sometimes, I know the characters and not the plot, or know the plot and not the characters. By the time I have the first third of the book done, I have both down pretty well and will go back to clean up anything that doesn’t fit before I move on."

In May, Lynn and her husband moved to Vienna, Austria, for his job. They looked for a space they felt was "old Vienna" and found a wonderful flat next to Palaces Schwartenberg and Belvedere.

"I have the coolest writing space. My window looks out over the grounds of Schwartenberg and I can see the garrisons of Belvedere out it. I have a glass desk that I call the love desk as it is covered in the word love in a lot of different languages. My husband and my son picked it out for me. I have a supply cabinet, a printer cabinet and lots of boxes still as we’ve never got our bookshelves ordered yet," she said with a laugh.

She tries to keep her writing schedule aligned with her husband's work schedule—he leaves for work around 8 in the morning and comes home between 6 and 7.
"If he works at night, I work. If he wants to play, I play," she told me. "It just works out better that way."

There are times, however, she will go through periods where family and personal situations make it impossible or nearly impossible to write. She's never really suffered from writer's block, per se, but she did tell me, "I do suffer from actually NOT sitting my butt in the chair and getting done what I need to write. That to me is totally different than being blocked from my muse. I write something every day be it fiction or non-fiction. The key for me is to not stop writing. I have more ideas than I have time. I’m thinking about selling them!" She laughed.

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

"For me, erotic romance is like any other romance except the love scenes are hot and use all the words. There must be a HEA or a HFN ending. Erotica is sex for sex’s sake i.e. titillation. There is nothing beyond the sexual encounter or relationship. Pornography is the worst of sex in my book. Most of it is made by men for men and offer nothing in the way of redeeming value in many cases."

"What is your most interesting writing quirk?" I wondered.

"Well, I really only have one and it’s really not concerning the writing itself. I’m a lot like Joan Wilder in the beginning of Romancing the Stone. I have post-its everywhere with tidbits of information. Some of them actually make it to where they are supposed to but many don’t. Right now, I have seven under my keyboard sticking out and reminding me I need to deal with those items. I have sixteen around the edges of my monitor with various other things. If I’m really in a cleaning mood, I’ll start doing them and pulling them off. Many are just notes that need to be typed and go into the idea file but some are things that need to be done. I make post-its and lists for everything," she admitted with a smile.

When she's not writing, if she's in the States she loves spending time with her family and friends. Since they are in Austria, they travel and she spends a lot time with her Parsons Russell Terrier, Harry.

"We got him over here when we learned that we couldn’t bring my dog from the States," she told me. "I was a little lost and needed a companion for when the husband traveled. He’s an adorable little dog that has his own blog called, Call Me Snarky Boy."

Finally, I asked, "What research books do you recommend for authors starting out in writing erotica?"

"There are a lot of good ones but some of the better ones are out of print now. The Sex Bible by Susan Crain Bakos is really good as are all her books. No relation," she told me with a laugh. "Any book by Anne Hooper like The Ultimate Sex Book. The ones listed so far are illustrated books. Tickle His Pickle by Sadie Allison is a really fun book. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Kama Sutra. There are many versions out there. I have a copy of the original that has reproductions of the pictures. It’s really nice and probably cost a pretty penny...it was a gift from my husband. Look for a good tantric sex book as well. Also Sex, Self and Society by Tracey Steele and Real Sex for Real Women by Laura Berman go into the psychology of sex and more. Both are really interesting. Hit book sales and garage sales, looking for anything that might help in learning what is considered erotic and what isn’t. Even within broad definitions, things vary greatly. I’ve probably read more than 100 books about sex and I know I don’t know it all. I never will. Just pick a place and start."

About the Author:
Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to being published by doing a variety of things like nursing, geologist, technical writer and computer manager all of which have added to her detail-oriented stories. Now she’s a full time storyteller and weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She normally lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, two dogs, three cats and she’s gotten rid of her snakes. Don’t ask. Other members of her clan live nearby and include a son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons as well as various long-time friends. She is a past national board member of the RWA; founding president of Las Vegas Romance Writers Chapter of RWA; has held the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and contest chair of EPIC. Her latest adventure has taken her to Vienna, Austria with her husband as he works for a UN affiliated organization. You can find her hanging out at A Writer In Vienna Blog and various other places on the net (www.theloglineblog.blogspot.com; www.twitter.com/oddlynn3). Still, the thing she loves most of all is hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.


www.LynnCrain.com

www.LynnCrain.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/oddlynn3


Rachel Hamilton comes to Stonehenge to celebrate her birthday on Summer Solstice, only to find herself trapped beneath the massive rhyolite bluestones with sexy wizard, Dewin Kingston, who convinces her that she is the key to their escape.

Friday, February 10, 2012

SHORT STORY: HOT, HARD, AND DANGEROUS



Hard, Hot and Dangerous
by
Elyzabeth M. VaLey




Her breath came out in a gasp as she crashed against the alley wall. He gathered her hands above her head and pressed his muscular body to hers. She shuddered at the sensation of his erection against her ass. She tried to turn in his arms but his hold on her was firm.



“You didn’t obey,” he growled. His breath tickled her ear flaming her arousal whilst his threatening tone made the pulse in her neck beat frantically.



“You know I never do,” she replied cheekily. She sensed his smile behind her back as one of his hands roamed to fondle her breasts harshly. She bit back the moan that climbed to the back of her throat. Involuntarily, her body pushed against his. She grinned at his loud intake of breath. She rolled her eyes, men. She moved against him again and his hold on her hands slackened. Without another thought, she acted.



Elbowing him in the stomach, she turned and kicked at his shin. Ducking, she avoided his grasp. She had barely taken two steps when his large hands wrapped around her waist and lifted her off the ground. She screamed and his calloused hand covered her open mouth. She bit him, hard. He chuckled.



“Do you have any idea how hard I’m gonna ride you?”



Her eyes widened at his bluntness and her pussy creamed in anticipation. She didn’t have time to react as he pushed her against the brick wall once more.



“Promise you won’t scream or I’ll just have to eat up that pretty tongue of yours,” he warned. He twisted her hands behind her back and the cold touch of metal caused the hairs at the back of her neck to stand. The clicking sound confirmed she was now handcuffed and at his total mercy.



Tying her up didn’t mean she would give in easily. When he began to remove his fingers from her lips, she screamed. He slapped his hand over her mouth again, feeding her desire.



“You always have to do things the difficult way, don’t you?”



He didn’t wait for her reply. Snaking his free hand under her black sweater, his hand slid up her stomach and to the swell of her breasts. She sucked in her breath, waiting. She wanted to move against him, to have him touch her, fondle her and suck her breasts until they were sore. Thick, agile fingers brushed against her left breast and the breath she had been holding broke free in the shape of a muffled moan.



“You like that, don’t you, baby?”



He grazed the pebbled nipple and she whimpered. Her breasts were heavy and full, her nipples stiff and aching for his touch. Thumb and forefinger tugged and pulled at the bud and she was grateful for his body pressed so tightly to hers or she would have crumbled to the ground. He twisted the rigid nipple and liquid rushed to her core. Unable to do anything else, she sunk her teeth into the soft flesh of his hand. As his caressing became more urgent, her bite turned into a sensual sucking, her mouth watering for the virile member pushing against her.



“You naughty kitten,” he growled. “You want me to fuck you, don’t you?”



She shook her head no but she wanted nothing more than to have his thick veiny shaft buried to the hilt inside her. His hand left her breasts, and his fingers tickled her skin as they wound their way to the top of her pants.



“Did you really think this would stop me from ravaging you?”



Ravage, plunder, pillage, fuck her. No, she knew it wouldn’t stop him, it would only difficult the task, the challenge.



He popped the button of her jeans and lowered the zipper. Before she could protest, her garments were bunched at her knees. Without preamble, he cupped her sex. Even if she had tried, she would have been unable to hide the loud moan of pleasure that burst through her lips. He buried his fingers inside her slick pussy.



“You say no, but your body is begging to be fucked.”



Heat threatened to consume her as he rubbed her pussy. Two fingers entered her and she began to tremble. Another finger stretched and filled her but it wasn’t enough. She swayed her hips back and forth, whimpering her need for him.



“Fuck baby, I’m gonna make you scream like never before.”



She wanted to scream at him and demand he fuck her already. Her heart pounded in her ears matching the throbbing ache between her legs. His fingers slipped out and she groaned, bereft of his caress. She heard him undo his belt and lower his pants. He pulled her sharply against him. His rigid member slipped between her thighs to rest at her dripping entrance, teasing. She bucked against him, moaning in desperation.



He chuckled, clearly amused at her need. Angered, she refused to play his game but when his swollen cock pressed against her tight opening she couldn’t stop herself from thrusting her hips towards him.



“If you could speak you’d be begging for me to take you right now,” his voice was a hoarse whisper and her heart warmed as she realized that his need was as great as hers.



Without warning, he raised her hips and guided himself into her warm cunny. She closed her eyes at the sheer pleasure. She longed to speak out her delight but his hand still covered her mouth. One hard thrust and he was buried deep inside her. She bit him.



“Fuck you’re tight, baby.” He kissed the back of her neck, and she groaned. She didn’t want him to be gentle. She wanted hard, hot and dangerous. Remembering himself and their game, he dropped his hand from her mouth and grabbed her hips so hard she was certain she’d be bruised the next day.



“What’s that? You want me to fuck you?”



He pulled back and slammed into her. Yes. His rhythm was frantic, his cock burying itself deep inside her in fevered possession. The friction he created was bordering on pain and yet the pleasure cursing through her wasn’t like anything she had ever felt before.



She whimpered like a dog in heat. Her breasts ached and her pussy wept without control. The alley was quiet except for the sound of flesh smacking flesh. She opened her eyes. She had forgotten where they were, everything had narrowed down to him claiming his pleasure; her pleasure. The thrill of knowing that anyone could discover them caused her breath to hitch. She heard the motor of a car in the distance. Her heart climbed to her throat. Yes. Her body tensed and with a keening cry she was coming, her world shattering as her lover finished pounding into her.



Their movements stilled. Dimitri hugged her to him and kissed the top of her head. She took in a shaky breath as his flaccid cock slipped out of her pussy. He took a step back and she shivered, suddenly aware of the cold night and her pose: ass in the air, pants around knees, arms tied behind her back and cum dripping out of her cunt.



Strong hands pulled up her trousers, loosened the cuffs and turned her around. Dimitri grinned at her. Roughly taking her hand he pulled her to him and kissed her passionately.



“I told you not to mess with me,” he chided softly, resting his forehead against hers.



She chuckled and wrapped her arms tightly around his waist, bringing him closer, needing to feel his warmth and love after the mind-blowing sex. She glanced into her partner’s blue eyes, adoring the playful glint with which he watched her. “You think that was some sort of lesson?” She kissed him lightly. “Take me home, honey, and I’ll show you exactly what messing with me means.”



About the Author: Appearances are deceiving. By day usually shy and quiet; another face in the crowd. By night Elyzabeth’s calm demeanor transforms. Words flow from her fingers giving life to elaborate fantasies of love and desire. Visit her realm at www.inadreambeyond.blogspot.com.

Monday, February 6, 2012

INTERVIEW: ANNE BROOKE

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Anne Brooke, whose latest story, "The Heart's Greater Silence," is released today by Riptide Books. I asked her to share a little about this book.


"It’s a story about one man’s love for and obsession with two very different men. I wrote it as I’m fascinated with what people do when faced with a very difficult emotional choice and how their choices affect others. I’ve also always wanted to include aspects of my own faith in a story and this seemed like an ideal opportunity."



Mark isn't sure he believes in love, especially when he's torn between two very different men: his reliable boyfriend, Craig, and his illicit lover and priest, Richard. Mark knows what he should do, but he can't bring himself to give Richard up. The sex with Richard is unlike anything he's ever known with Craig, and he hungers for it as much as - if not more than - the truer intimacy he finds in his boyfriend's arms.

When Craig discovers his betrayal, Mark is forced to look at his life more closely, but the path to self-knowledge is never an easy one. Richard seeks the way back to God, but Mark finds no solace there. Can he ever discover the truth of his own soul, or is he too afraid of what he will - or won't - find inside his heart?
Anne has written eight novels—three GLBT thrillers, three fantasies, and two romantic comedies—plus numerous short stories in a variety of genres and poems. I asked her which was her favorite.

"I think my favorite is my gay thriller, A Dangerous Man, published last year by Cheyenne Publishing and Bristlecone Pine Press as a joint venture. It was the first book in which I really hit my stride in getting to grips with the dark and dangerous voice that lives in my head. Plus I was going through a really bad time when I wrote it, and Michael (my MC) was a major outlet for all that angst. So I’ll always have a soft spot for him."

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


"I think pornography is a sexual scene that tells you only where the bits go and nothing about the characters involved. Erotica tells you about the characters but there’s no emotional relationship, or possibility of one, between them. Erotic romance, on the other hand, tells you about the characters and also the emotional connection they have together. I like to think I write erotica and erotic romance, but I’m no good with pornography – I get too involved with who the characters are, maybe!"


Characters come first with Anne when she's writing.


"I think when your characters are strong enough, then the actions they take or decisions they make because of who they are is the plot. Much like in real life, what and who we are drives us, and the same should be true in fiction," she explained. "I’ve often created a character, thought I knew where they were going, but then they had other ideas and ended up somewhere quite different. Part of the fun of being a writer is to trust your instinct when it comes to character and go with what you think they might be saying to you. If it doesn’t work for any reason, you can always rewrite!"


It's also the characters who draw her to a particular author. A few who she thinks write excellent erotic fiction include Alex Beecroft, Clare London, and Finn Marlowe.


"All three of them write marvelous characters whose stories really grab the reader," she told me, "which is what good fiction is all about."


Her favorite erotic author, however, is Josh Lanyon.


"He is very good indeed, though I do have a wide variety of gay erotic authors I regularly read. There’s something about the way he intimately connects sex, vulnerability and personality which makes any story he writes truly sing. Also he knows how to use dramatic tension and the small subtleties of character to make for a page-turning read, every time. I can’t help but admire that."


"What is your favorite erotic book and why?" I asked.


"This is a tricky one. There are so many I’ve enjoyed. Actually, to take a wildcard book, I really loved Maria McCann’s historical erotic romance, As Meat Loves Salt. The portrait of its dark and brooding hero and the relationship he has with his lover during the English Civil War is never less than gripping and oh so beautifully described. When I think about it, this book was the catalyst to writing my own gay erotic fiction, so I have much to thank it for. Without McCann’s story, gay modern thriller A Dangerous Man would never even have been started."


Anne is currently working on a gay fantasy novella, The Taming of the Hawk. It's got something of a life of its own, she told me, so she's not sure how it will turn out. She's also writing the fourth in her erotic m/m/m Delaneys series for Amber Allure Press and considering if she should write a sequel to gay BDSM story For One Night Only.


Anne was born in Dedham, Essex in the UK on an apple farm.


"It’s a beautiful part of the world, and widely known as Constable Country (as the artist painted a great deal of his works there). In fact in one of his paintings (sadly I forget which one, darn it!) you can actually see a distant image of our farmhouse, which was medieval in origin, over the Dedham Vale," she said. "Looking back, I think I had quite an idyllic childhood, though you never know it at the time of course. I spent a lot of my growing up years playing in the fields and running around in the orchards, so yes I am one of those increasingly rare people who know the proper way to pick an apple. Not much call for that skill nowadays, I fear! Mind you, the one thing I did hate about living on an apple farm was the huge number of really enormous spiders there were – like saucers, honest! I definitely don’t miss them."


"What is the most embarrassing thing your mother ever did to you?" I wondered.


"Ah, now here I could make a HUGE list (bless her!) but I think the most embarrassing thing – and it went on for a LONG TIME – was when in my early twenties, she’d always ask me how my bowels were, no matter who else was in the room," she admitted. "Yes, I was a … um … delicate child, but I didn’t necessarily want other people to know it, especially if I was trying to impress them! And I’d grown out of it by then – honest … Still, as I’ve admitted it here, then I suppose it’s not a secret any longer, is it. Whoops!"


If Anne were stranded on a desert island and only allowed to have five modern conveniences, I asked her what she would take.


"Ooh, love this question! I’d take a working toilet. Well, I was, literally, born in one (my mother will kill me that I’ve told you that …) and they say your first experience in life is the one that stays with you. Plus I’d have to be wary in case those bowel problems ever came back … Hmm, say no more," she said. "I’d also make sure I had a computer connected to the Internet – that way I could carry on writing and keeping up with what’s going on in the big wide world. My next item is definitely a dishwasher – we got one for the first time ever last year and, I tell you, that thing is seriously my friend. I love it! I even love unloading it – ah, the warmth, the joy of it all – which everyone says I shouldn’t. I swear it saves me a load of time. My fourth convenience would be my Kindle. I wouldn’t be without it and just think of all that reading I could catch up with on the island. My TBR pile would surely then be a manageable size. We live in hope, eh! Finally – if I can’t have my husband who probably doesn’t come under the label of 'modern convenience' – then it would have to be a cappuccino machine. I can’t exist without coffee, and if it’s frothy then it’s the nearest thing to heaven. Plus I’ve never had a cappuccino machine, and I’d love to (hint to husband, here …) especially if I’ve been stranded, as surely then I deserve some pampering on the caffeine front."


"What makes you happy?" I wondered.


"Having an evening at home when it’s just my husband and me. That I love. Yes, it’s great to see friends and I’m very fond of them, but I do love my own company, and my husband’s the same. We kind of count being together as being alone, which is possibly quite strange. Or cute. But probably just strange."


Other things she loves include an evening of good TV—"nothing better than slumping on the sofa in front of the box and staying there all evening, bliss."


She continued, "I also have a really deep relationship with the cake counter at our local John Lewis store, and it makes me so happy in fact that when I die I would like my ashes scattered over their home-made passion cake, the eating of which has lifted me to the heights of Nirvana. Which isn’t half bad for a dyed-in-the-wool Anglican girl. Well, I’m all for the ecumenical movement. Speaking of which, similar levels of happiness have always been achieved in the crypt café in Exeter Cathedral, who offer the best cream teas in the whole of England, no contest. Mmmm …"




About the Author: Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award, the Royal Literary Fund Awards and the Asham Award for Women Writers. She has also twice been the winner of the national DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Competition. She is the author of six published novels, her latest being the first of her fantasy trilogy, The Gifting, published by Bluewood Publishing. In addition, her gay and literary short stories are regularly published by Amber Allure Press and Untreed Reads respectively. Anne is very excited about being part of the Second Wave of authors at Riptide Publishing and is still performing her happy dance, much to the neighbours’ dismay. She has a secret passion for theatre and chocolate, preferably at the same time, and is currently working on a gay fantasy novella, The Taming of the Hawk. More information can be found at www.AnneBrooke.com.

You can find the author online at:

http://annebrooke.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/annebrooke

https://twitter.com/#!/AnneBrooke

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

INTERVIEW: NAOMI BELLINA

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Naomi Bellina, whose latest book Seducing the Stone is now available. It's a fun story about a fairy, a human, and assorted other creatures. Raya, the fairy, wants a powerful sapphire to take back to her planet and Max needs to keep it on Earth for a private showing. The two have adventures and romance, and there is a surprise ending that Naomi thinks readers will really enjoy. It's a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, action/adventure, and urban fantasy.


Naomi spent most of her growing-up years in St. Louis, Missouri and told me, "I love the fall, the hills, the colors of the trees, the smell of the woods and fires burning. I love hiking trails under tall trees, looking over the river, breathing the fresh air. Awww, now I'm getting all homesick. Oh wait, it's winter. No, I love living in Florida in winter."



She told me that she loves coming up with an exciting plot. Soon after the story starts whirling around in her head, the perfect characters pop up and introduce themselves.



"How do you come up with the titles to your books?" I wondered.



"Lots of whiskey and late nights. No, I'm kidding! That's something else I love to think up, the titles. I keep running words that I want to use over in my mind until something leaps out. I'll even start with A and run through Z on a word I really want to use to make it work. Then, at about 2:00 AM…"



Naomi told me that one of her favorite authors is Janet Evanovich.




"I love her mix of action, romance and humor," she explained. "I try to write with her style of pacing because I think that's so fun to read. She makes it look easy. It's not!"



It's this mix that sets Naomi's work apart from other erotic romance authors. It's her goal for her characters to not only have an adventure, but have fun as well.



"This doesn't mean things don't get dark and scary now and then, but in general, my books are exciting, fun and action-packed," she said.



"What is your work schedule like when you are writing?" I wondered.



"It's very odd. I work my day job by appointment and have same-day and last minute calls as well as cancellations, so I'm never quite sure what my schedule will be. I keep my laptop in my car and make sure to keep the files I'm working on saved on a flash drive so I can use whatever spare time I have to scribble away."



I asked her what she liked to do when she wasn't writing and she said, "Sleep! No kidding, I love to sleep. One of the funniest things I read recently said 'Damn right I'm good in bed; I could sleep all day.' That's me! When I'm terribly wealthy, I'm going to see just how much I can actually sleep before I get bored with it."



"Have you ever eaten a crayon?" I asked.



"Rats, who told? Oh come on, who can resist those beautiful colors, the tantalizing names, the delicious aroma of wax?"



Naomi told me that she doesn’t watch much regular TV, just Netflix and movies. She did start watching Once Upon a Time and was amazed at how frequent and long the commercial breaks were.



"Not to mention booorrrring," she said. "Most of them. There are a few cute, creative commercials. I'm enjoying Being Human on Netflix, but have to wait until my honey notds off because he doesn't like that series."



"What's your favorite meal?" I wondered.



"Believe it or not, I love vegetables. Give me a really good salad bar and I'm in heaven. My honey's mother likes an expensive restaurant, and I think the food is overpriced and underwhelming, so I get the salad bar. Man, is it good! They have caviar, anchovies, and a really fresh, diverse selection of veggies. I could eat that several days a week."



In high school, Naomi was really quiet and only had a few friends. She joined the track team for awhile, but for the most part she hung out with herself.



"I think that's why I like to read so much!" she said. "I've never been a pack animal which works well for me now, since I don't mind going to events by myself. It's nice to have my honey or a girlfriend along, but if I want to do something, I just do it and don't wait for anyone."



She belongs to several groups that work on preventing animal cruelty. It's one issue that really gets her blood boiling.



"There's just no reason to ever, ever hurt an animal," she told me.



"What would we find under your bed?" I asked.



"Dust bunnies. No, by now they are dust werebunnies! Gigantic things. When my cat comes out from under the bed I have to dust him off, poor guy. I actually have a few of those nifty under bed storage boxes. They work great! We don't have basements here, so I have to use every nook and cranny for storage."



Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"



"Get all set up in advance, so when your book comes out, you're ready to go. Get a website, an email, a blog, and set up ways to track what you've sent. Get organized. Do a lot of research on how to promote books, because you will be doing a lot of that!"




About the Author: Naomi lives in beautiful sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical black cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets, but finds she is drawn to erotic romance because her characters insist on canoodling, and sometimes even falling madly in love. So she lets them. Occasionally, however, they go to dark and strange places. She lets them do this also. Most of her stories will surprise readers with unexpected twists and turns, because isn't that what makes life exciting?




Her interests include dancing, hula-hooping, drumming, and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play, have fun, and indulge in the pursuit of passion whenever possible. She hopes you enjoy her stories and would love to hear from you at naomibellina(at)live(dot)com. Visit her website at www.NaomiBellina.com