"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting Personal with Author Sage Marlowe

Do I have a treat for you! Sage Marlowe, author of male/male erotic romance, stopped by to chat about the writing life and share an excerpt from the smart and sexy new novel “Stockholm Syndrome.”

About the Author:
Sage is a multi-published author of MM erotic romance novels and novellas and loves exploring the flavours of gay erotic fiction.

A willing slave to all the fascinating guys who keep queuing up and want their stories told, Sage can almost always be found cooking up the next hot story or daydreaming about new ways of rubbing sexy male bodies together to make the sparks fly.

Connect with Sage:
For all books published with Total-E-Bound click here.
For all books published with Siren-BookStrand click here.

And now, let’s Get Personal With Author Sage Marlowe!

What’s the best part of being a writer?
Connecting with my characters so deeply that I can not only write but live their story. It’s a rare thing to happen, but when it does, it’s an amazing feeling.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Finding the time to actually write a book while juggling administrative tasks and promotion.

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
Keeping a straight face when talking to my mum about it

What is your writing process?
My writing process is best described as creative chaos. I write whenever I have the time and wherever I find a place that offers some peace and quiet.

What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the last two books in the Nightmares series, a new paranormal series which is set in the world of gay porn and features some very horny characters.

What is your most current release and what is it about?
My current release is Stockholm Syndrome, my take on the bodyguard and actor trope. Here’s the blurb:

We don’t get to choose who we fall in love with—and sometimes we fall too far…
Daniel Eames is a bodyguard. Usually assigned to protecting politicians, he has fallen out of his boss’s good books after getting too close to his last charge’s son but when rising Hollywood star and Academy Award nominee Bryan McTiernan receives peculiar letters and requires the best possible protection, Dan is put on the job.
While he agrees that the letters are more than harmless fan mail, he finds it impossible to narrow down his suspicions and Bryan isn’t helping by alternately seducing and irritating the hell out of him. Against his better judgement, Dan falls for Bryan’s manipulations, but the more he gets to glimpse behind the façade of the young actor, the more he realises that something in Bryan’s past has a strong hold over him. While both Dan and Bryan are aware of this, neither sees the full extent of his fixation.
With the help of Gabe, a fellow bodyguard and friend, Dan pursues different theories and even hires a private investigator to learn about Bryan’s well-hidden past. What he discovers has the potential to destroy more than just a promising career and in the end, Bryan has to make a choice—allow for his past fixation to take him hostage again or run away and into Dan’s open arms?

How did you come up with the title?
Actually, the term has stuck with me ever since I first heard it in James Bond – The World is Not Enough. That was long before I even thought of becoming a writer and I basically wrote a story just so I could publish a book with that title.

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I’m ambidextrous

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
Hmm, there are quite a few pleasures, but I rarely feel guilty, I just enjoy them.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I don’t really have the time for hobbies these days. My two year old daughter keeps me occupied whenever I’m not writing.

Favorite swear word?
Fuck, bloody hell, bugger in no particular order, it depends on the situation

Do you have any pets?
I have the most patient cat in the world, Mac.

And now, enjoy an excerpt from Sage Marlowe’s latest novel "Stockholm Syndrome":

 I looked up from my desk and tossed aside the paper clip I’d been toying with. "Seriously, an actor? You know that’s not my usual clientele. Tell them to look elsewhere. Or send someone else, I don’t care. I’m not interested."
Michelle met my scowl with perfect calm. "Bronson wants you for the job, Daniel."
"Why on earth does he want me?"
"Make an educated guess."
Michelle was my boss’s secretary. As she stood there in my office, arms crossed in front of her chest and hips tilted, I realised once again that she combined the looks of an Afghan with the personality of a Doberman. I let out a weary sigh. "Babysitting Hollywood wannabes really isn’t my field of expertise," I pointed out. "And he’s on the other side of the fucking continent. Have they run out of bodyguards in LA?"
She snorted. "Hardly, and it’s not that they want to haul your ass over there because you’re so fucking fabulous either. They guy lives here in New York and you know, this is just a thought, but maybe Bronson wants you away from your so-called field of expertise after the, ahem, cock-up you made of your last assignment." I didn’t like the sugary tone in her voice, but she ignored the indignant stare I shot her and added, "Besides, Bryan McTiernan is hardly a Hollywood wannabe. He’s establishing himself as a household name. His last three films were huge box office hits, he earned himself an Academy Award nomination last year and his current film will probably win him one of the little golden boys."
"Good for him. If he’s such a big star, he ought to have at least a dozen bodyguards by now. Why don’t they take care of him?"
"Well, apparently Mr McTiernan has never been too concerned about his safety and doesn’t think he needs any security at all except for the usual muscle at big events. He wasn’t even the one who asked for protection. His management, however, has a different opinion. They want him to be safe and they’re willing to pay pretty much any price."
My curiosity was raised, despite my better judgement. "If they really said that, the boy’s got to be worth something."
"He’s just entered the eight figure league if that’s what you’re asking."
"Ten million bucks?"
She smirked. "Double that."
Impressed, I whistled through my teeth. "Not bad. Tell me more. What’s his problem exactly?"
Michelle gave me the kind of knowing half-smile that made me think she’d read my thoughts. "Stalker," she said.
I reached for my coffee and leant back, considering my options. When I’d started working in personal security a few years ago, I’d promised myself to never get involved with the Hollywood babes, no matter which place they called home, or with the rich and the famous. As far as safety was concerned, it was hard enough to protect someone who didn’t lead a life in the public eye, or had crazy fans that needed to be taken into account. But even I recognised a big fish when I heard about it and if the guy was worth that kind of money, then this case might be the perfect chance for me to prove my own value to my employer. I put down the cup and took a breath. "Is it serious?"
Michelle gave a shrug. "I really have no idea, but it sounds serious enough. Looks like his stalker is the kind who believes themselves to be his soul mate or some shit like that."
"I see. What do we have?"
"A bunch of letters."
"Okay. Threats?"
She shook her head.
"Personal contact of any kind?"
I paused briefly, then I said, "Could be nothing."
"I know. And yet it might be everything. Either way, it’s not as though you’ve got anything else to do at the moment, and as you can probably imagine, Mr B is dying to bag himself that assignment. You know you’re not in his good books right now. This could be your chance to jump right back into the first chapter."
So my thoughts hadn’t been all that wrong. "Bronson can just go fuck himself," I grumbled. "Why doesn’t he look after the kid himself if he wants the job so badly?"
Michelle rolled her eyes. "He wants you to do it, Dan, and he wants you to do it well. Extremely well. He can charge McTiernan’s management basically anything he wants for this job and they. Will. Pay. Having you as his watchdog is still cheaper than what they stand to lose if anything happens to him. And as for Bronson fucking himself—rumour has it that you are the one who will be seriously fucked if you don’t give Mr B a reason for keeping you, so do I really have to tell you that this is going to be a test for you?"
"Fuck. Really?" I’d suspected as much, but knowing I was officially on the boss’s shit list put a dent into my well-polished box of self-esteem.
"Really. As I said. He wasn’t impressed with what happened the last time."
I bit back a groan. As if I needed reminding. "Fine. I’ll meet the kid. Make an appointment, would you?"
Smirking, Michelle turned and walked to the door. "Already did. You’ll see him at three. The address is in your phone."
"Oh, what would I do without you?" I heaved a theatrical sigh.
"The same as you always do—try to knock down walls with that stubborn head of yours and collect bruises in the process."

* * *

At five minutes before three, I pulled up at the address Michelle had helpfully typed into my electronic calendar. I was surprised at what I found. Instead of the huge, overpriced villa or town house I’d expected, I parked in front of an apartment building that could have been the address of any average Joe. An up-and-coming Hollywood star was certainly not who I would have imagined to live in this neighbourhood. But then again, underneath the makeup, big hair and larger-than-life personalities the media created for them, they were all just ordinary people and the Big Apple took another shade off their shine anyway.
I decided to wait for a couple more minutes as I didn’t want to appear overly enthusiastic by showing up early. It was true, I basically had to take on this assignment, but that was something my client didn’t know. Besides, lingering around for a little longer gave me an excuse to check out the hottie who’d just come running up the street. Yes, running was the right expression. Instead of the moderate pace many joggers, myself included, employed, the guy approached at full speed. He slowed down a bit when he reached my car and looked straight at me in passing. He quirked a dazzling smile, then he shot me a wink and bolted up the stairs to the apartment building. I was still staring at the door after it had fallen shut. Weirdo. Extremely pretty, though, from what I’d seen. I shook off the incident, unclipped the seatbelt and got out of the car. Time for a first security check.

Stockholm Syndrome becomes available from all good distributors on August 16th

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Boobies, Tits & Gazongas: Our Weird Attitudes about Breasts

A recent French study – which followed 300 women over a 15-year period – concluded that brassieres are a “false necessity.” These mad scientists determined that gravity was a friend to breasts – not a foe – and when allowed to roam free, breasts actually were less saggy than if they’d been trussed up.

While I found the study moderately interesting (a good thumbnail sketch can be found at The Huffington Post), it was my female friends’ reaction to it that really caught my attention.

Rather than being liberated by the findings, they were horrified. When one pal said, “I go braless at home, but – let’s face it – nobody needs to see all that nip action in public” – another enthusiastically agreed “Totally! No one needs to see my ‘girls’ flopping around.”

The banter was good-natured, but I read a deeper meaning beneath the jokes.

Nobody needs to see

Body shame is alive and well and living in the suburbs.

Believe me, I’m not judging. I never leave the house without a bra on. I strap in before I step outside to grab the morning paper. But the discussion got me thinking. Why are breasts such a hot-button topic?

The Incredible, Edible Breast

Let’s face it, for all their allure and mystique, breasts are first and foremost a food source for infants. Small and pert or big and pendulous, the purpose of the mammaries is to feed babies. It’s been going on since the dawn of time, and yet even this most natural of acts is frequently under attack. In the U.S., some states have even had to enact laws to protect the right of women to breastfeed in public.

In 2013, the Texas House of Representatives considered such a bill. In response, Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) posted to her Facebook page “I am all in favor of breast-feeding — however it is important for women to be modest while feeding their baby.”

Really? Why?

Does the gentlewoman from Texas fear that an accidental nip-slip by a breastfeeding mother will frighten young children or drive otherwise sane men mad with desire?


Weathering the Elements

I contend that humans wear clothing not as punishment for some colossal fuck-up in the Garden of Eden. We wear clothing because our woeful lack of protective fur leaves us exposed to the elements. At least, that’s why we started. In fact, in the early days – before we worried about whether or not it was okay to wear white after Labor Day – people were removing the fur from animals and adopting it as their own.

In the generations that followed, humans figured out how to make cloth without killing anything, then started fretting about just how much of our delicate skin to cover.  Hemlines and necklines zoomed up and down in response to changing social mores. Somewhere along the line, clothing became less about protecting us from the elements and more about safeguarding our virtue.

Back in the day (the Victorian era specifically), it was considered scandalous for a woman to show her ankle. One glimpse of that naughty bit between the foot and calf could drive men wild and cost a dame her reputation.

Form and Function

Then in 1946, Louis Réard – coincidentally another French guy – unveiled the bikini and all hell broke loose. The two-piece started showing up on beaches the following summer and people were aghast at all the Slutty Sluttertons traipsing about in public with everything showing.

Well, almost everything.

Old Lou Réard might have been a fashion innovator, but he was not a heathen! Even he knew enough to keep the naughty bits covered. After all, nobody needs to see

What’s that you say? But men have been going topless – exhibiting full nip action – since the invention of sunshine without causing an uproar.

Yeah, but that’s different. I studied human physiology in school and I still haven’t quite nailed down how that’s different, but apparently it is.

Titillation Nation

After the bikini busted things wide open, a new standard was born. Women could be seen in public – otherwise completely naked – as long as she covered up certain parts. Over the decades, we’ve gotten very specific – laser-focused, really – regarding exactly what those parts are. It’s now okay to be completely naked as long as the crack and nipples are covered. Hips, ass-cheeks, top-boob, under-boob and side-boob are all fair game.

Seems kinda silly when you look at it that way.

About 40 years before the bikini, the first modern bra was patented. New York socialite, Mary Phelps Jacob dreamed up the idea in 1913 because her corset was just too uncomfortable. ( More uncomfortable than a bra?)

A hundred years later, bra sales account for about half of the $14-billion-a-year lingerie market. Padded, pushup, backless, strapless, lacy and wired… there are plenty of ways to wrap up those boobs.

Whether a bra is purchased with the intent to seduce a lover or keep the nipples obscured so as not to offend anyone, it all boils down to taking part of a woman’s body and molding it to fit the way it’s “supposed” to look.

Shucking off the Bonds

Though feminists have sometimes (and rarely kindly) been labeled “bra burners” no bras were actually harmed in the incident that coined that phrase. In fact, the feminists that protested the 1968 Miss America pageant didn’t burn a damn thing. They just ceremoniously tossed bras, girdles and kitchenware – things that they called “Instruments of female torture” – into a garbage can. The press cooked up the “bra burning” part.

I learned about “bra burners” in college. By then I already had very large breasts and had been restraining them for years. The day’s lesson about gender equality was lost on me. I was too distracted. I clearly remember thinking, No bra? Wow! I wish I could do that!

But, of course, I couldn’t – because nobody needs to see…

Fun Bags

No discussion about breasts – especially a discussion led by an author of erotic romance – would be complete without addressing the sexual component.  Breasts are beautiful. Breasts are sexy. Breasts are sensual. Breasts are erogenous zones.

Whoa! Back up a minute. What was that last one?

Breasts are erogenous zones.

There it is! Breasts – in particular the nipples (of both genders, by the way) – are chock-full of specialized nerve endings that enhance sexual arousal. When these naughty little bits are kneaded, stroked, pinched or licked we get turned on.

And getting turned on is a bad thing. Right? Especially for women.

Clearly, something must be done to prevent women from running amok with animal desire. We must make sure that certain bits of their wicked flesh are always hidden from view. It’s okay to lift and enhance the breasts – so they look like they’re supposed to - but advertising that those lovely mounds have nipples just can’t be tolerated.

It’s going to be a tough sell - bras are uncomfortable. They dig into the ribcage and leave red marks on shoulders. Nobody will want to wear them, so just to make sure, it might be best to make women feel ashamed about their breasts. You know, because nobody needs to see...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Getting Personal with Author Nancy Adams


I’m delighted to welcome author Nancy Adams to the blog today! Nancy took some time out to tell us about the writing life and share an excerpt from her HOT new contemporary fantasy novel The Bannockburn Spell.

About Nancy
I am a full-blooded Canadian, right down to the maple syrup running through my veins. I enjoy watching hockey, but despise skating...and the cold.  I enjoy a good helping of Tourtiere with a side of Poutine as much as the next person, yet I am only bilingual when it comes to swear words.  I am proud to say I survived my token shot of Newfie Screech, although I did refuse to kiss the Cod - that is never going to happen - and I openly admit, that I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains the first time I saw them.

I have many occupations written down in my passport, mom, wife, author...zookeeper!  However, I have to say that writing is by far the easiest part of my day.
I have three small -but legal- addictions: bed lines, lavender, and books.  All of which, are replenished on a regular basis.  Reading into the wee hours of the morning, is one of many bad habits, next to spontaneously rearranging furniture and randomly painting rooms in my house.

Find out more about Nancy:

And now, Darlings, let’s get personal with author Nancy Adams:

What’s the best part of being a writer?
I really enjoy the research aspect of writing. I love reading up on different times and battles or animals' behaviour... anything really. Of course seeing the finished product is pretty damn satisfying too.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Getting focused. There are always so many things going on in my house it can get a bit tough getting my butt in gear.

Where do you write?
We a have a family office so that is where I do most of my writing, but I love going to the library and I have written full chapters while waiting for appointments to begin. LOL

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Keep trying. My parents said that to me all the time when I was growing up. It was totally unnecessary, because I’m a redhead and SURPRISE!!! Redheads are stubborn. LOL   But it is something I take to heart and I want my kids to be the same way so I say the same thing to them as my parents did to me.

What are you working on now?
I just finished off a shifter-erotic romance that is set on the West coast of British Colombia, Canada.

What is your most current release and what is it about?
My current release, The Bannockburn Spell, is about a couple  that is forced together by an ancient marriage contract and once both read the old contract a spell is cast on them forcing them together. It’s quite fun because  the hero, Will,  is your typical ex-British Special Forces, gorgeous alpha-male , and Meghan is an emotionally cautious redhead who has quite the smart-mouth, so things get a bit heated at times, both emotionally and physically.

How did you come up with the title?
Oh my Lord, this book had so many names, it was insane.  I finally settled on The Bannockburn Spell because it helps explain a bit of what the book is about and it begins with the spell being cast at the battle of Bannockburn.  So it only seemed fitting.

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
Oh Gabby, I have the worst time remembering names, to the point where it’s embarrassing. And cooking...I hate cooking...and baking...okay really it’s anything that has to do with a kitchen. LOL

Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?      
New Zealand, without question.

Favorite swear word?       
Any...all... LOL Although, foreign swear words are the way to go in  our house.

Favorite food?

Favorite book? 
I have two Lightening by Dean Koontz and Ransom by Julie Garwood

Favorite author?        
That’s a tough question because I don’t have just one.  But I do enjoy Christine Feehan or a Rachel Gibson just to name a couple.

Do you have any pets?      
Yes! Two dogs - a Great Pyrenees mix and a German Sheppard. We do big pups in our house.

And now, and excerpt from “The Bannockburn Spell”

“What the hell is this?”
          “Pardon me?”
          Impatiently she unwrinkled the pages and held them up for him to see. He blinked, keeping his reaction to himself. The Contract! How in the hell had she got hold of it? He focused on it as she bit out again, “What the hell is this?”
          He had made only one copy and it was sitting in the centre of his desk at home. Correction—Grace had made the copy. Grace Cameron. Son of a bitch.
          “Will?” she snapped.
          “I’m going to assume by your yelling that you know exactly what it is.” He kept his tone calm.
          “This thing can’t… There is no way… You can’t be…”
          He fought the grin pulling at his lips while she struggled with her words.
          Hamish took pity on her and handed her a shot of whisky. “Here, girl, drink this, it will help calm you.” Heated green eyes flashed at Hamish. “I am calm,” she gritted out. Then took the shot glass and downed the fluid in one swift movement.
          Will burst out laughing as Meghan gasped. The shock on her face was pure entertainment as she coughed and gasped. She was obviously not used to Scotch. He gave her a couple of hard pats on the back as she yelled, “Hamish! Are you trying to kill me?”
          The bartender shrugged. “Just thought you needed the help.” Then placing both hands on the bar in front of him, he added with a merry tone, “Because the sooner you’re done yelling at Will, the sooner we can get back to Aberdeen at Dundee.”
          “Well, I don’t need your help. And I’ll try to keep this brief so you can get back to your precious soccer game.”
          Her attention was directed back at Will, when Stewart corrected, “Football.”
          “What?” she snapped.
“It’s not soccer here, lass, it’s football.”
          “Of course! Football. What was I thinking?” Meghan turned back to face him, more irate then before, thanks to Hamish and Stewart. Looking up at him, she poked him in the chest. “There is no way this contract is—”
          “Possible?” Will supplied, looking down at her finger. “Oh, it’s possible and it will happen.”She was a brave lady to be poking him in the chest, the last person to poke him in the chest had ended up getting a few broken fingers for his effort. Except this wasn’t anyone, this was Meghan and he loved her feisty temper, it made him want to pin her to the wall and do wicked things to her. He focused on her mouth as he continued, “But how it happens is up to you.”
          “How it happens? What do you mean how it happens? Nothing is going to happen,” she yelled, throwing her hands in the air.
          He raised an eyebrow at her remark. This wasn’t how this was supposed to turn out, she wasn’t supposed to find out about the contract. He had decided not to use it after seeing her earlier. He wanted to win her on his own. But the time had come for Meghan to understand that he never gave up, or gave in, to anything in his life and he wasn’t about to start now. He would get what he wanted, and at that moment, he knew with complete certainty that he wanted Meghan. 
          "That's right, you like a gamble, then how about a little wager?"
          “A bet?” She narrowed her eyes. “What kind of bet?”
          He crossed his arms. “I bet that you fall in love with me.”
          “Yeah,” she snorted. “Like that’s going to happen.”
          “Well, then this should be easy for you.”
          She clicked her tongue.
          “Not scared, are you?” He gave her pride a nudge.
          She mimicked his stance. “What are the stakes?”
          He smothered a smile. “If you win, you’re free from the contract. But if I win…” He lowered his head until they were nose to nose. “I get you.”
Will saw the doubt cross her face then decided to give her pride another poke, just enough to get what he wanted. “Think you can win?” Straightening to his full height, he held out his hand to her.
          She eyed his hand suspiciously, then slid her smaller hand into his. “You bet I can.”
          He held fast as she tried to pull back, running his thumb over the back of her hand.            
          “Good.” He drew in her lavender scent. “You’ll forgive me if I don’t wish you luck. I don’t want you to win.”
          Meghan’s mouth dropped open in shock and she snatched her hand away. “You’re an asshole.”
          Will grinned. “I have my moments.”
          Once again Hamish handed her another shot of whisky, she took it without so much as a thanks and again downed it as she had with the first. She swallowed the second shot hard and swayed slightly. Shoving the glass into Will’s chest, she waved the printed pages in his face…again. “I’m taking these.”
          Will sighed, holding onto his patience at her last act of rebellion before leaving. Leaving! An unexpected annoyance filled him. He didn’t want her to go anywhere, he wanted her here, with him. As she turned, her hair flew over her shoulder and before he could stop himself he reached out, grabbing a handful of her flaming hair, stopping her. Stepping up behind her, he toyed with the silky strands. “Going home?” he asked softly.
          “That’s none of your business.”
          She was right, it was none of his business and he didn’t push her about it, but he needed to know. He squeezed his jaw. “Time’s up, Meghan, I’m done waiting.”
Except for the quick intake of air, she appeared unaffected by his warning.
          Once freed, she straightened her shoulders and walked out of the door.
          As Will watched her go, a sudden tension began building in his neck and shoulders. He could only assume that it was because Meghan was driving him crazy.
          Someone coughed behind him, and remembering where he was, he stepped back to the bar and took a sip of his pint. Lowering his glass to the bar he looked over his shoulder at the spectators. Most had knowing grins and a few even chuckled. He called out, “So lads, I think I’m starting to wear her down? What do you think?”
          Every soul in the bar raised their glass and cheered in agreement.

Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Order Nancy Adams’ erotic romance, “The Bannockburn Spell” from Total-e-Bound or Amazon today!