Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chocoholic Seeks Erotic Stories

We interrupt the blog to bring you this special message:

Do you love Chocolate? Do you write Erotica? Did you know you could combine the two into a decadent delight?

Last year lots of wonderful Erotic Writers did just that to bring you Smut for Chocoholics. This year we want lots more of the same with More Smut for Chocoholics (you know one chunk is just never enough!), so we want your chocolate themed erotica. It can be from any genre even fantasy, sci-fi, historical or futuristic as long as it has an erotic twist and features chocolate somehow. We are looking for stories between 3,000 – 6,000 words.   So have a few sticks of your choccy of choice and get inspired!

The rest of the information about the call for subs can be found at http://smutters.co.uk/calls-for-subs/more-smut-for-chocoholics.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Vote Vote Vote for Meeeeeeee!

I am usually not the sort to hound people for votes, but I received a note from Mary's Menage Whispers that Closer to the Heart made the finals in the Menage Fan Awards this year! It is nominated in the Gay Menage category, and I'm thrilled for the mention.

This is a fan-voted award, so I appreciate your support. You can vote for Closer to the Heart at Mary's blog here. Also, please consider voting for Giddy Up by Tilly Greene, which is up for a few awards, too. It's a hot MFM BDSM novella, and you'll love it.

You have until February 8th to vote. If you love MMM menage, please remember my fun story. If you haven't read it yet, I've made it FREE for the next five days at All Romance. You can decide for yourself if it's worthy of an award. I'm just happy to be nominated, like Susan Lucci.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: Sugar Rush by Leigh Ellwood

I am thrilled to unveil the new cover for Sugar Rush, my first novella with Ellora's Cave. Special thanks to my editor, Kelli Collins, and the artist, Erin Dameron-Hill:


I love it. The cover perfectly suits the story, which is a romance between a baker and a slightly younger woman. I've started the follow up novella, to be called Sugar High, and hope to have news on that very soon.

Sugar Rush is due out through Ellora's Cave in late June, 2014.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Audio Book Updates

Hello all. Just a brief update on some erotic romance audio book happenings at Casa Ellwood. I have very recently regained the audio rights to Truth or Dare and Daringly Delicious; both were previously with Audio Minx. I've set a goal of getting them back in audio ASAP, especially since the sequel to Delicious, Daringly Decadent, is in audio now.

Meanwhile, the final files for The Lady Dares are in, and I hope to have that approved this week. When this is done, this pretty much takes care of open audio projects at present. Tomorrow I'm participating in the Red Hot Audiobooks event on Facebook, and I've put up some audio books as part of a giveaway, so be sure to join in on the fun.

Coming up: a cover reveal and hopefully some news on the fate of other stories.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On MarsCon and Saying Goodbye to Things

I am back from yet another MarsCon, and once again I had a wonderful time. Despite spending four straight hours talking in late night adult panels, my voice didn't give out, and it was fun reconnecting with people I see only at these events. This year I sat on panels for the Adult Match Game, the Adult Fairy Tale Writing (sort of like Chopped for writers), and panels on writing erotica in the fairy tale genre and for RPG games. This was the first year I helped coordinate the late night programming, taking over from Cynical Woman who has semi-retired. I don't know if I'll do it next year; I suppose if they ask I will help again.

For the sexy fairy tale writing contest, I chose a popular story (Rumplestiltskin) and had to spice it up while using the following mandatory "ingredients": a teacher, a strip club, a stovepipe hat, and milk delivery. Here's what I came up with:

Once upon a time there lived an arts and crafts teacher named Beauty, who was descended from Abraham Lincoln. Due to state budget cuts she didnt make much money. Her greatest possessions were the stovepipe hat that belonged to her ancestor and her ability to spin straw into gold.

One spring day the governor paid a visit, asking townsfolk to help solve the budget crisis. Beauty met with him and offered to spin straw into gold for him. But the governor was an amorous man, and couldnt take his eyes off her huge breasts. "No," he said, "I'd rather you make some milk I can deliver to some rich fetishists who will pay top dollar for it."

And so he locked her into the basement of a strip club he owned as a tax shelter, and refused to release her until all the empty jugs were filled. Beauty slumped against a bent stripper pole and sobbed. "Whatever shall I do?"

She heard a noise, and out from the shadows emerged a short nimble man with a crooked grin. "I'll be happy to produce milk, but I won't do it for free."

"Of course," said Beauty. "I have this priceless stovepipe hat which will fetch a handsome price on eBay."

"Bah! I've no need for hats." He grimaced. What I want for you is to call out my name."

"Oh, if that is all, then gladly I will," said Beauty. With that the short man leaned close and whispered in her ear the very word that would save her.

"Rumplstiltken, " she said.

"Not yet," he scolded and proceeded to motor boat the beautiful young teacher to a frenzy. She giggled and hummed and thrummed.

"Oh, Rumplestiltsken," she cooed.

"Louder," he urged, and gave her a different kind of stovepipe.

"Rumplestiltsken!" Shouted Beauty. "Oh god yes, Rumplestiltsken!"

In her excitement she gushed and flushed and flowed, and together they filled all the jugs for the perverted strip club owning governor. She was them freed, and she married Rumplstiltsken and opened a fetish knitting shop with him, and they lived happily ever after.

Just makes you want to learn to knit, eh? I saw some awesome knit hats at this thing.

Anyway, I've managed to avoid the con crud I usually suffer when I get. Williamsburg was cold as usual, but it didn't snow and I didn't spend much time outside. Now we are home and I am back to work, but my husband isn't. The new semester hasn't started yet, so he's keen to drive me crazy until then. He's been cleaning out a back room we hope to use for an office, and he found a box of books.

He thought at first these were books I'd carted around to various events. I used to bring books by other Phaze authors to cons and fairs in order to promote them, but since I've scaled back I ended up sending most of those books back to various place. What hubby found was a box of books by romance authors who inscribed their works to me. I have several Ellora's Cave paperbacks, for example, that I'd either bought or won at cons.

I've read and enjoyed them all. These were gateways to new genres for me, but unfortunately our current living situations will not allow me to keep them. Space is a premium now with the little one growing, and I have to think about what to do with them. My first thought was to bring them to AAD and offer them as giveaways. I also thought to offer them to readers in exchange for postage. I do feel weird about giving away books inscribed directly to me, but I want the authors to know that it's nothing personal. We need to scale down and we're getting rid of all sorts of things. I'm careful about books, however. I want them to go to people who will treasure them. At my husband's school, there's a security guard who loves to read. We give him a sack of used books a few times a year. I don't know if EC is his thing, though. :)

So I will think on this for a while, and hope the universe has a good suggestion for me.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Wonder Man Blog Hop!

It's the Winter Wonder Man Blog Hop! Grand prize is a book gift certificate, and I'm giving away ebooks, too!

What makes a hero wonderful to the point your toes curl? Read on!

I. Hate. Winter. I won't apologize for it, either. I am not a cold weather person, and I am counting the days until Spring. These past few weeks my productivity has slowed because the cold just saps my strength. When you're too tired to read a book, you know you're in trouble, and I am already behind on my 2014 reading goal.

However, I don't mind writing winter-themed romances. I have a few shorts with a late-year setting. A Winter's Dare is a paranormal, interracial love story with a matchmaking ghost, and By the Chimney With Dare is about a guy who finds love with Santa, sort of. Both stories are part of a series I wrote, called Dareville (named for the town in which the stories were set). Going forward, I am certainly open to winter romances in the new worlds I am building. I enjoy the heroes I created here because they are laid-back, handsome, and open to new experiences. Devon in A Winter's Dare has no hang-ups and finds confidence sexy. Jimmy in By the Chimney has no qualms about giving his time to a good cause. A man who embraces charity and is willing to help others is definitely a winner.

Anyway, I don't doubt many people find winter a romantic time of year. That first kiss in the falling snow. Cuddling up by the fire. Exchanging gifts and kissing under the mistletoe. New Year's Eve with the one you love. Winter inspires many romantic scenarios, so I can see how it's nice in that respect. Shoveling sludge and paying high heat bills, not so much.

What is your favorite winter-set romance? I'm giving away two eBooks from my backlist to one lucky commenter for the duration of this hop. Good luck!


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Join Me for Love Spanks 2014!


When two grown-ups love each other, someone might get a spanking!
How would you like a brand-new Kindle Fire or Nook HD or another prize from a pool valued at nearly $600?


How about free stories from award-winning authors?  


This Valentine’s Day, you can participate in a short story extravaganza! F/F authors will showcase romance, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and spanking fiction for your enjoyment. Chat with your favorite authors, meet new-to-you authors, find great new books and meet new friends!


Want to become a Love Spanks ambassador and earn an extra prize entry? See below!


Even better, participation could earn you a GRAND PRIZE!


Plus, the first 50 Love Spankers will receive a copy of The Bodyguard by Saranna DeWylde!
Free book! Vampire’s Bard by Kate Richards


Many authors also will offer a contest on their individual blogs.  Your comment on their blogs automatically enters you in both the main contest and the individual contests!  


What’s the catch?  Absolutely nothing!  We love writing for you and want to thank you for your readership.  Perhaps someone might get a spanking or two, but that’s a reward rather than a catch, right?  ;)


Here are the rules:
  1. Visit each blog between Friday, February 7 and Sunday, February 9 to read the posted stories and excerpts.
  2. Leave a comment answering the story question on each blog.  You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing.  You will also be automatically entered in that author’s individual contest, if she has one.
  3. If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.  Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on February 9!!
  4. If you successfully completed a previous challenge (Spank or Treat 2013, Spankee Doodle 2013, Love Spanks 2013, or Spank or Treat 2012) challenge, you may add "VIP" to your comments.  You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize.  (Yes, we will be doing this again.  Yes, if you successfully complete the Love Spanks 2014 challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)
  5. If you are a F/F author or thinking of becoming one, please add “FF” to your comments. That way, your name will be entered in the special F/F author prize drawings.
  6. Visit any of the participating blogs on Friday, February 14 to find out the lucky winners.  Will it be you?



Like these events? Want to support your friendly F/F authors? Become a Love Spanks 2014 Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes!


To find out the details, contact Head Ambassador Tara Finnegan at tarafinneganromance at gmail dot com, with the subject line “Love Spanks Ambassador.”


For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit:



Twitter hashtag: #lovespanks

Cave Dwelling

So, in case you missed my big announcement at this year's Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event, I am officially an Ellora's Cave author!


You won't see me on the site for a while, though. I have signed three contracts with EC, the first being for a novella of lesbian romance. Sugar Rush was submitted for a special call for lesbian erotica and romance - Hot Pink. That story will be made available in late June. I don't have a cover yet, but plan to reveal one as soon as I get an okay. The other two stories are for the follow-up story, Sugar High, and an as-yet untitled menage.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be part of the EC family. I've met many EC authors over the years, and I know many personally. I love their RT parties, too. Once, a few years back, an Ellora's Cave editor contacted me and invited to send her work. That flattered me, to know somebody was watching. When I began work on Sugar Rush I had no real plans for it beyond finishing. I figured I might shop it around, or else I'd self-pub. To tell the truth, though, with all the changes happening in publishing I felt I needed to take time and decide what was best for my career.

As I noodled around with the story, an author I follow on Twitter RT'd a tweet from Ellora's Cave with the call news. It shone like a beacon for me - it had been a while since I submitted work for a special call like this, so I took it as a sign. I would send the work and let the dice roll. When my new editor contacted me, I wanted to Snoopy dance!

Now, I know EC is known more for their alpha heroes and BDSM and sci-fi, but I'm pleased to see their F/F offerings grow. I feel they want to invest more in the genre, else they would not have put out this call. Does this mean I'll write only F/F for Ellora's Cave? No. Like I said, I do plan a menage for them, and I will send them stories in a variety of pairings as long as they will tolerate me. :-)

This brings my total of 2014 contracts to four right now. You know, toward the end of last year I felt at a crossroads, wondering what to do about my writing. The confidence a publisher has placed in me helped - I am renewed in 2014 and can't wait to write!




Saturday, January 11, 2014

Now Available: Coming Together Through the Storm by Nicole Gestalt, ed.

I am pleased to announce that the latest Coming Together anthology features my short story, "And Lily Makes Three"! I wrote this work of BBW erotica specifically for this call - but don't let the title fool you. It is an M/F pairing, and a rather fun one, if I say so.

Miss Evans must host long-distance co-worker Tom as Hurricane Lily rages through South Florida. It's a dangerous situation, made all the more thrilling as Miss Evans and Tom find ways to entertain themselves through the storm!

Further adventures of Miss Evans are in the works. In the meantime, consider picking up Coming Together: Through the Storm  and helping a good cause!

~

BUY: SMASHWORDS ~ AMAZON ~ ALL ROMANCE / OMNILIT ~ CREATE SPACE

Coming Together: Through the Storm is a collection of weather-themed erotic fiction edited by Nicole Gestalt. Proceeds benefit Mercy Corps, which is on site wherever aid is needed, particularly when a natural disaster occurs.

CONTENTS: "Captive Briseis" (Sheridan Blythe); "And Lily Makes Three" (Leigh Ellwood); "Take Me Like a Hurricane" (Naomi Bellina); "Mud is Good and Wetter is Better" (Louise Nimble); "Storm Surge" (Teresa Noelle Roberts); "Sinkhole" (Annabeth Leong); "Twister" (Lisabet Sarai); "Storm Across the Prairie" (Spencer Dryden); "Heat of the Night" (Brantwijn Serrah); "Inside the Eye" (Skilja Peregrinarius); "Country Pleasures" (Teresa Noelle Roberts); "Duet" (Lady Grey); "Thunder" (Karenna Colcroft)




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Know When to Fold 'Em - When to End a Series

A new year signifies intent to grow, and I like to think I have a head start on that. I have a few new releases coming soon, and some coming later in the year. As I map out my writing wish list for 2014, I haven't missed the fact that something is missing. Of the projects I hope to work on in the near future, none are connected to my first series in erotic romance.

In November, I'll celebrate ten years as a published romance author. My first novel Truth or Dare, was originally meant to be standalone, but I found I enjoyed the characters so much I built a community around that first story. Next came four long books and several shorts, all of which star different residents of this fictional Virginia town. As I wrote, I set aside notes for more stories I hoped to one day write. Ten years after that first book, though, I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I have told all the stories.

There are other factors that led to my decision to leave Dareville be, if only for a while. Sales could be better. I check what reports I get and see the numbers plateau or dwindle. Of course, if I don't put out more series books new readers are less likely to grab the backlist. Piracy is another concern. From what I've researched, my gay romances ranked among my most pirated titles, but the Dareville stories are pretty close.

Please bear in mind, though, I'm not blaming anybody for anything. I'm responsible for my writing and my career, and I know I haven't made all the best choices. I want to write stories I enjoy, stories I believe romance and erotica lovers will as well. This year I'll test the waters with three new series - one M/M, one F/F, and one M/F. It may sound like I'm throwing sex against a well and seeing what sticks, but I enjoyed writing the first installment of each one, and I look forward to something new. I'm also awaiting the fate of another M/M novella, and there could be more to do with that book.

I apologize if this sounds like nonsensical prattle, but I felt the need to air out the cobwebs today. Is Dareville done? I don't really know. Next year I could come up with a great story and write it. If my Dareville stories suddenly spiked and people demand more, I'll definitely make a return trip.