Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free eBook Download for Read an eBook Week

In early celebration of Read an eBook Week, I am happy to offer readers a free download of my short story, Maneuvers!

When Chuck DuClay is sent to an Army base in Africa for a year-long deployment, he wonders how he'll survive the lack of female companionship. Other soldiers on base offer alternatives, but Chuck finds his overactive imagination is helpful as he conjures the woman he left behind...rather the woman who left him.

But is Rita a mirage, an actual person, or something else? Read Maneuvers and find out! Don't forget, too, Phaze Books offers a wide selection of free erotic short stories in addition to their regular catalog. You can catch up on all the free Valentine reads launched in February, including my Dareville short, Daring Hearts!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Venus Resurrected?


When I first heard that the website for Venus Press went live again, I debated on saying something. As a publisher, I need to think about what I say online, and be concerned for how my words may be interpreted by others. Is it ethical for me to discourage writers from approaching a specific press? Granted, I had been published with Venus Press for a time and therefore have personal experience in the matter. When their vice-president and top selling author announced their departures, I got the sense something was amiss and asked to be released. Fortunately for me, I was able to regain my rights without any problems. Others who waited weren't as lucky. I know at least one author who had to get the NWU to help her get her print rights back.

As a publisher, I know I wouldn't want anybody hopping on a blog and telling people not to submit to me because of this, that, and the other. Anybody who would make blanket statements about how we operate, without really knowing what is going on backstage, I would question. With this post, however, I am not going to tell you to not submit to Venus Press, nor do I encourage or endorse bombarding them. I will tell you this is a development that merits serious scrutiny.

So why am I posting now? The main page for Venus Press, which became defunct more than a year ago, recently went live with the announcement of a grand re-opening. I was alerted today that an author page is now active on this site, listing a number of former VP authors. For some reason Leigh Ellwood is there. Now, when I pulled my titles from Venus, I saw to it that I was removed from their site. Indeed, in the days before they disappeared I was off the roster. Now, inexplicably, I'm back. I shouldn't be there at all. This concerns me because if this site relaunches with my pulled titles this becomes more than an inconvenience. It becomes a legal matter.

I will state here that I have no titles with Venus Press, pending or otherwise. Two of the works I did have there once are now with Phaze Books: they are Under Covers and The Healing. The third work, Standing Guard, was a flash fiction which I have since used as a free story. It is my intention, once an e-mail address is posted on-site, to ask them to remove my name from that page.

That is all.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tonight's Chocolate

Don't ask me how I made it through Valentine's without inhaling all of Hershey, Pennsylvania. To be honest, it was nowhere near Rhode Island, so they are safe for at least another year. Tonight, however, my delicious victim is the 70% dark Valor Forest Fruits variety. This is a lovely bar, not a single origin, featuring a sharp tang of cacao and dark berries - raspberry and blackberry in particular.

This bar had a nice snap and sheen, with micro-bits of red and dark purple embedded within. The dried berries provide a tartness that almost overpowers the chocolate at times. Depending on where in the bar you bite, too, you get almost a chewy sensation, like bearing down on rind. Strikes me this would be a good bar to have with a fruit wine. Lord knows I have plenty of that from my last trip to Charlottesville.

Dare You Read?

I am the guest blogger at TRS Blue today, and there I have posted a sneak preview of my upcoming novella, the latest in the Dareville series. The Dares That Bind is coming to Phaze Books in April and is a steamy BDSM story. Hope you enjoy the teaser!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Posterity

It's not every day Phaze sweeps the All Romance eBooks What's New grid. By virtue of the free reads for Valentine's, we did it. Had to post a pic before some other ePub gets in there.

Open Relationships - Where do you draw the line?

My husband met Robin Gibb once in Miami. He was working as a personal fitness trainer and had the good fortune of taking on some notable clients, among them the wife of the Bacardi rum heir. Through these social links he was able to attend a party hosted by all three Bee Gees. He enjoyed himself, had nothing but good things to say about his hosts, and remarked that Robin's wife was exceptionally pretty.

I read this article of Robin's recent extramarital activities, which include fathering a child with the housekeeper, and I now have to wonder what kind of party this was that hubby attended. Of course, I shouldn't think that way - private things remain private until the likes of People Magazine get a hold of the news. The link I have doesn't offer much detail, but I had found information on the Gibbs' marriage. For the most part, it was open: Robin might stray, the Mrs. enjoyed men and women - sometimes with Robin - but at the end of the day they were still man and wife. Sex, they shared and distributed, and in recent years the Mrs. came to embrace a religious faith that promotes celibacy among its followers. Can't say if this was the catalyst for Robin's relationship with the housekeeper, since it had been going on for some time, but the media reports this love child marks a breach of trust in the relationship according to the Mrs.

So why I am bringing this up here? I write erotic romance. A series I write, Dareville, features characters who engage in openly sexual relationships. While every night is not filled with sweat and tangled limbs, there's quite a bit fun happening between the book covers. As I continue to write this series I realize, too, I may have to set some boundaries with regards to the relationships portrayed.

How far is too far in an open marriage? Outside pregnancy? Contracting a disease and bringing it home? Enjoying the company of a person who hasn't been "approved" by the spouse? So far in the stories I've written nothing has happened with one character that the other didn't know, and this being romance I don't intend to stray into difficult subjects like infidelity or pregnancy because I feel it would disrupt the rhythm of the stories. Yet apparently, infidelity is still an issue if you are in an open relationship - it's not just about sex, but the breaking of trust. If you are willing to allow your partner to be with other people, it stands to reason full disclosure is a given, right?

So where do you draw the line? Should authors cross that line in their stories?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chocolate and Romance, Together Again

A bit early to be thinking about that, but I'll be at a pre-Valentine's Day group signing at the Farmington, CT Borders Bookstore (1600 South East Road, Farmington, CT 06032) with other Phaze authors like Stella Price, Tilly Greene, Cat Johnson, and other great writers Donna Michaels, Allie Boniface, Kristan Higgins, Jessica Andersen, Kathryn Smith, Marie Force, Denise Eagan, Emily Bryan, Toni Andrews, Annette Blair and Isabelle Santiago. Gonna be a full house with prizes and snacks. If you're in the area come on down and say hello.

Next weekend on V-Day, it's the Providence Fetish Flea Market with Bridget Midway. Never been to one of those before. I'm sure I'll be overdressed for it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Daringly Delicious is Joyfully Reviewed!

Ms. Ellwood has written, in Daringly Delicious, a sinfully delicious tale that I think all will enjoy.

Read the whole review here, and don't forget to pick up Daringly Delicious for only $2 at Phaze Books!

Free Dareville story now available

Get ready for Valentine's Day with a FREE Dareville eBook short!

Leigh EllwoodHello, everybody! Thank you for the kind words about the new DaringRomance.com website, the new online home of my Dareville series of stories. As part of Phaze Books' Valentine's Day promotion, I decided to contribute a short in the series called Daring Hearts, which is now available at Phaze's free Valentine's Day stories page.

Daring Hearts finds the Briscoes and Garristons sharing a cozy evening with a romantic dinner and a box of chocolates for dessert. This is no ordinary Whitman's Sampler, they soon find as each little nibble inspires different cravings altogether. Sex is like a box of chocolates...so many varieties, and all of them delicious! Hope you enjoy the story.