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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting Personal With Author Cris Anson

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Cris Anson. Cris stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an HOT excerpt from her novel Mercy and Redemption.

We’re so thrilled to congratulate Cris on the recent paperback release of this great ménage romance!

About Cris Anson
I write erotic romance because I firmly believe that life doesn't stop at the bedroom door. I had a deeply romantic relationship with my husband, and I want to celebrate his memory in my writing. After he died, it took me a long time to come out of my grief, but parts of him -- his honor, courage, optimism, tenacity, and lust for life -- live on in all my heroes.

And I write erotic romance because I feel you're never too old to give or receive love. My books have taken a decided turn into BDSM and I'm enjoying the research way too much. As well, many of my stories have older heroines who dazzle younger men, and I wouldn't mind being such a heroine in real life. But that's another story...

Connect with Cris

And now, let’s get personal with author Cris Anson

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
Finding new ways to express not only love, but lust. Putting part A into slot 1 can get boring. Even putting parts A, B and C into slots 1, 2, and 3…well, you know, ménages. You have to concentrate on the emotions, not the actions. But when I’m done and reread it, sometimes I have to say “Phew, that’s hot!”

Where do you write?
I’m lucky enough to have a small room to devote to my writing. Good thing, because I have two printers (laser and color) and a label printer, lots of bookshelves and several filing cabinets. And a desk that I’ve yet to see the surface of, it’s so cluttered with images and ideas and paperwork of all sorts. Hey, I’ve been writing for more than 20 years; one accumulates a lot of “stuff” over time.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Don’t ever give up. Imagine if that soda inventor had stopped at 6-Up. Or Stephen King, who got so frustrated at not being able to sell “Carrie” that he tossed the manuscript in the trash (his wife rescued it). If you keep writing, keep learning your craft, you will succeed. Don’t give up in life, either. If you’re stuck with some lemons, you know what to do: make lemonade. I’ve buried two husbands I loved, and I’m still open to the idea of loving again. Life is a banquet; sample it, taste it, enjoy it, gorge on it. And make lemonade.

What is your most current/upcoming release and what is it about?
Hooray, I just sent my fourteenth book, REDEMPTION AND GLORY, to my editor. It’s the third in my MERCY series. The first book, PUNISHMENT AND MERCY, showcased a wanton widow from 1694 Massachusetts Bay Colony and her two loves: the blacksmith her father forced her to marry and his young apprentice.

In book #2, MERCY AND REDEMPTION, a woman and two men meet in the ancient cemetery where the old lovers are buried and realize they’d known each other in a previous life; they have to work through some unresolved issues from 300 years ago. Not to make a spoiler of it, but only one hero gets his happy ending. MERCY AND REDEMPTION, which has been out in electronic format since January, is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC eBook Awards Erotica category. By the way, it was just released as a paperback on December 23. Wonderful Christmas present for me!

The new book, tentatively titled REDEMPTION AND GLORY, follows the other hero, who is captivated by Mistress Glory as she flogs a male submissive in a BDSM dungeon. This one was by far the most fun to write because I had to do a lot of hands-on research *grin*. Three-quarters of the way through the book I still had no idea which one of them would wind up “on top”. But the characters made the decision for me.

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I’m really quite shy with strangers. And believe me, it was difficult to start conversations in a roomful of BDSM practitioners when you’ve just entered all alone. It’s only when I put on my “Cris Anson, Erotic Romance Author” hat that I’m able to go forth and be daring and sexy (well, as sexy as a 60+ year-old can be).

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
Moonstruck chocolate truffles. They are expensive (around $40 a pound!) so I splurge every Christmas with a two-pound box of 40 pieces that never seems to last more than a couple of weeks. They are the yummiest chocolates I’ve ever tasted.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read, of course. Plus tend my garden, walk in the woods, play the piano, listen to classical music, dance like no one’s watching, conquer the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle, lurk on FetLife and FaceBook. I’d love to find a companion to go RVing with to some of our nation’s beautiful natural treasures. Oh, and do more hands-on research at BDSM dungeons, for sure.

Favorite swear word?
*sigh* Fuck

Favorite food?
Chocolate. Okay, if you want a healthy one, corn, fresh-picked and still on the ear. Or wait, a juicy, ripe sun-warm Ramapo tomato just picked from my own garden.

Favorite book?
Too many to enumerate.

Favorite author?
Joey W. Hill, Desiree Holt, Kathy Kulig and Samantha Cayto, all of whom write in the BDSM genre.

What’s one writers’ conference that you consider a “don’t miss”?
Actually I have two of them. The first is, no question, Romanticon™, which is Ellora’s Cave’s gathering of authors and readers and gorgeous CAVEMEN! Seriously, this is like a family reunion, and even if it’s your first time, you’re instantly made to feel like you belong. Everyone there talks about sex and erotic romance and writing and Cavemen and, oh, did I mention sex? This is not a “how to write” conference; it’s more of, what fun can we have with naughty overtones? The 2014 conference will again be in Canton, Ohio (we take over the entire hotel!) over Columbus Day weekend, October 9-12. Don’t miss it!

The other is world-renowned Sexologist Dr. Charley Ferrer’s BDSM Conference for Writers and Readers. This year it’s August 21-24 and dozens of erotic romance authors as well as lifestyle practitioners are scheduled to give workshops. A little horn-tooting here: I’ll be on a two-part panel with those four BDSM authors I mentioned above. The curriculum will include a visit to a private dungeon, to participate if so desired, or just to watch. Two years ago I ventured to New York City for the first conference and it opened my eyes to the Lifestyle. Not only has my writing become more authentic and emotional because of my research, but my personal life has followed a similar track. The people in the BDSM lifestyle are warm and welcoming and non-judgmental—and it’s fun to participate in floggings, spankings, Violet Wand play and some of the other quirky things I’ve learned about. You can read about many of my BDSM experiences on my blog, Cris Anson’s Passions. Here’s a link to my most-often-read blog, “Getting Naked at Paddles”, the longest-running BDSM dungeon in New York City.

Thank Cris! I’ll be popping over to the Moonstruck site to order up some chocolate truffles. I shall savor them while reading your latest sexy-sweet book!  

And now, Darlings, pour yourself something cool to drink and enjoy a taste of “Mercy and Redemption”

About "Mercy and Redemption"
Although this book is a standalone, Ellora's Cave recommends reading "Punishment and Mercy" first.

While searching an old cemetery for likely gravestones to illustrate her colonial cookbook, Mercy Howe meets two hunks who are tracing their ancestry, and sparks fly. Literally.

When Mercy casually touches Seth and Adam, her vividly erotic vision involving all three of them feels like a memory, not a dream, and awakens long-dormant sexual urges. Their kisses are achingly familiar, and she welcomes each in turn into her body. Then she spends a no-holds-barred weekend with both men in her bed and discovers an intimacy—and a past—that blows her mind.

As memories resurface from three hundred years ago, Mercy will have to choose whether to relive the experiences from their joint past or forge a new bond with either Seth or Adam. Or both.

Inside Scoop: Contains m/f/m and mild m/m and one doubly satisfied heroine!


This excerpt from MERCY AND REDEMPTION features Mercy with Adam. It is a little more X-rated than the excerpt (with Seth) posted at Ellora’s Cave and the other vendors' sites. But it's still not the hottest scene; just wait until Mercy gets both of them in her bed at the same time!

Copyright © CRIS ANSON, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“Step out,” he ordered softly. She did, taking his proffered hand for balance, and he scooped up the dress to place it with care on a nearby dresser. He turned to study her for a long moment, at last blowing out a long breath, almost like a whistle. “Lady, what you do to my blood pressure. The sight of you in those scraps of lace makes me weak.”

They were mere scraps, she thought idly, the silk-and-lace bra artfully constructed to lift her breasts and offer cleavage, the panties with their black triangles and half-inch-wide elastic covering just enough to play peekaboo with total nudity. Having him standing before her in his Italian suit while she was thus exposed gave her a decadent thrill. She could feel her panties becoming saturated.

“Take your hair down.” It was a mere rasp, as though he had not nearly enough air to speak.

With a sultry smile, she raised her arms and began to pull out the myriad pins the hairdresser had inserted so artfully this morning. The mass of hair cascaded down to her shoulders as she withdrew pin after pin and placed them in his outstretched palm. In the back of her mind, this too felt like something she’d done before.

He laid the pile of pins on the bedside table, the metallic tinkle pleasant in the silence of their mutual haze. Then he lifted his arms to run his hands through the disheveled mass of her hair, rubbing the strands between his thumb and fingers.

“Don’t move.”

As if she could, with him devouring her like that with his eyes. As if she could move away from her Adam, from the joy and ecstasy she knew he could provide.

Lowering his arms from her hair, he stretched one hand out, touched her clavicle with one finger, traced a trail down the center of one breast. He deliberately scraped her nipple with a fingernail, then moved on a slight diagonal, down and down to the damp triangle of her sex, sliding the finger across her plump and aching lips and down her opposite thigh, knee, calf, ending at the tip of her stiletto.

On his knees, he looked up at her, his pupils overtaking the green of his eyes until only a thin line of color remained, lust painting his face as his finger retraced its trip until it reached her panties.

“There,” he said, gently probing between her legs. “What do you think I should do right…there?”

She shuddered. “Adam,” she said faintly. “You know what to do.”

He smiled a wolfish smile. “I surely do, darlin’, but I want to know what you want me to do.”

He’d done this before, she remembered, once he’d been sure of her love. He would tease her until she’d had to beg for what she wanted, had to say the words that had made her blush until her dying day, although speaking the words had heightened her lust rather than diminished it.

“Fuck me, Adam. I want you to fuck me. Hard. The way only you can.”

In a blur of seconds, Adam stripped naked, his own clothes tossed helter-skelter, then tugged the flimsy waistband of her panties and let them slide down and dangle from one foot. He tossed her onto the bed, shoes and bra still intact. Quickly he sheathed himself and mounted her, grabbing her by the thighs, shoving her legs up so her knees nearly touched her shoulders.

“You want hard, baby? You got it.” He plunged into her in one long, hard stroke, barely giving her a glimpse of his long, thick cock before it disappeared into her. True to his word, he thrust with the power of a jackhammer, stabbing in and out with a quick, harsh rhythm that brought her to a sudden, devastating climax.

“Adam!” In that instant of sheer ecstasy, with him still slamming into her, she saw all the years they’d shared, all the orgasms they’d given each other, the dreams that were really memories, the harsh conditions of living in the days before there was a United States of America.

She fainted.

Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy Mercy & Redemption today from Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers

Monday, December 23, 2013

Getting Personal With Author J. Rose Allister

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author J. Rose Allister. She stopped by to talk about the writing life and her new release “Nature’s Bounty”

About J. Rose Allister 
J. Rose Allister is the author of fiction with a passion--smoldering, curl-your-toes romance. An avid story lover and frequent oddball, she works as a hospital secretary by day, romance writer by night.

Connect with J. Rose

And now, let’s get personal with author J. Rose Allister!

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
Kids. Ever try to write (or read) a sizzling scene with Disney Channel as your soundtrack?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
The best advice I ever received about writing was, “Shut up, sit down, and do it.” Okay, I’m paraphrasing a bit, but the general idea is there. I was a fledgling short story writer whining ad nauseum my first attempt to do a full-length novel (gasp!) to author Susan McBride, who I was doing web work for at the time. She laid it out for me. Later that year, I read Stephen King’s On Writing and he pretty much said the same thing. So I did.

What are you working on now?
I’m just finishing up The Lone Wolves of Shay Falls, a series of werewolf/cowboy MMF tales. Book 7, Disarming Cowboys, was my NaNoWriMo project this year.

What is your most current release and what is it about?
Nature’s Bounty is my newest release, one I wrote especially for Ellora’s Cave in response to their call for hot bounty hunter stories. Nate agrees to take on one more bounty before retiring for good, and when he goes undercover as a male stripper to catch his quarry, he finds himself in all kinds of trouble, both romantic and personal.

How did you come up with the title?
I like titles that play on words or have dual meanings. Nature is the hero Nate’s full name, something he gets teased about in the book. I thought it would be fun to have a hard-bodied, no-nonsense bounty hunter with a name that sounds like his parents picked it out at Woodstock.

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I collect stags. It started by accident when I tried to find one to replace a broken Christmas ornament one year. I couldn’t find a single one. I searched harder and kept trying the following year. The third year, I finally found one, and then another, and then another. This year, there are so many in stores that it’s become a joke around our house.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
Like six different things popped into my head when I read this, so apparently I’ve either got too many pleasures or too much guilt, I’m not sure which. If I have to pick one, I’d say chocolate. I went “caveman” early this year (meaning I switched to a Paleo diet). Chocolate is allowed, but not the refined sugar in it, so there went my candy fetish. Now, I allow myself one small piece every few weeks or so. It’s vital for my creative flow.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Not writing? Heavens, whatever can you mean? Seriously, I do enjoy stories of all kinds, whether I’m telling them or not. So if I’m not making one up, I’m often watching one via TV or movies or reading them my Nook.

Thanks for stopping by J. Rose! Your hero Nate sounds like one bounty hunter I wouldn’t run from!

About Nature’s Bounty
When Nature Antillean, aka Nate the Crate, poses as a male stripper to arrest a sexy-as-hell fugitive, he has no intention of taking his disguise all the way—until he meets her. Lydia Franklin is more than eager to take her gorgeous strip-o-gram for a wild ride, considering how desperately life on the run sucks. The resulting encounter is explosive, but ends with Lydia handcuffed and Nate honor-bound to take her to jail. The fireworks aren’t over yet, however, for Nate discovers he’s now a victim of the same setup that got Lydia accused of a crime she didn’t commit.

With both of them declared fugitives, Nate must work with the woman he swore to bring to justice in order to defeat the plot and reclaim their lives. His hot body and stellar moves give Lydia plenty of motivation for teaming up in more ways than one, but she knows that the criminal he hopes to protect her from is one she must face—alone.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Available Now from Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine eBook retailers.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Getting Personal With Author Marcia James

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Marcia James. Marcia stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt from the latest installment in the Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist romantic mystery series Sex & The Single Therapist.

About Marcia James 
Marcia James writes hot, humorous romances and finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first comic romantic suspense, At Her Command. 
Her latest releases are Sex & the Single Therapist (a comic romantic mystery) and Love Unleashed (a sexy novella). In her eclectic career, she has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events and had her wedding covered by People Magazine.

After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying “researching” and plotting her novels' steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.

Connect with Marcia

And now, let’s get personal with author Marcia James!

What’s the best part of being a writer?
The best part of being an author is getting to work from my home creating funny, sexy stories that I hope readers enjoy as much as I love writing them.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Being a writer is similar to any self-employed job, in that you need to set a schedule and deadlines and be disciplined enough to stick to them.  That can be tough when family and friends are tempting you away from the computer and if you like "retail therapy" a little too much.

What is your writing process?
I'm a plot-driven author, so I do a rough outline of major plot points in the book and then develop the characters. My best time for writing is the afternoon, and I try to write at least 1,000 words or revise ten pages a day.

Where do you write?
I have a home office on the second floor of my house, where I do the majority of my writing.  However, I take a binder with me to hair appointments, doctor visits, etc., and write long-hand to make good use of the time away from my office.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I first started writing romance fiction, an author friend told me how important it was to learn the business side of publishing at the same time I learned the craft of writing.  Many writers wait until they're submitting completed manuscripts or have just received "The Call" about selling their first book to start researching things like contract terms and author promotion.  So I approached fiction writing as though I were going to graduate school to get a degree in it and needed to take both writing courses and business courses.  I've never looked at my fiction writing as a hobby.

What are you working on now?
For the first time, I'm working on several books simultaneously.  I'm revising my first completed manuscript for self-publishing while writing the sequel to Sex & the Single Therapist, my comic romantic mystery series starter.

What is your most current release and what is it about?
I revised my first published book, At Her Command, a comic romantic suspense, and I'm waiting for the rights to revert to me so I can self-publish it.  I don't have a release date for it yet.  Early next year, I'm publishing Southern Exposure, a comic romantic mystery.

How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title Southern Exposure because the book is set in a clothing optional Caribbean resort.  The investigative reporter heroine is very uncomfortable with the amount of skin she needs to expose as she goes undercover at the resort.  ;-D  The titles for my "Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist" series will all have a hint as to the order of the books in their titles.  The first book is Sex & the Single Therapist (single = one), and the next in the series will be Death & the Double Entendre (double = two).

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I absolutely love to play video poker, so it's a good thing for my bank account that I don't live in Las Vegas.  When I worked in TV and video production, I met quite a few celebrities -- photos of some of them are on my website (http://www.marciajames.net/Photos_Celebs.html).  And because my husband and I asked our wedding guests to donate to charity vs. giving us wedding presents, People Magazine covered our 1989 wedding.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
My husband gives me a gift certificate for a year's worth of pedicures and facials each Christmas, so you could definitely say I'm a little spoiled.  I also love to shop and "wine and dine."  ;-)

Describe your perfect evening.
My perfect evening would be a date with my husband, beginning with a romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant.  Then we would head home to snuggle on our sofa in front of our fireplace and a good movie.  The "apres movie" time is private.  ;-)

Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
New Zealand.  We'd love to spend one week on an Orvis fly-fishing tour of the country, followed by a second week of relaxing and getting pampered in one of their five-star resorts.  A very nice dream...

Do you have any pets?
I'm terribly allergic to pets, so I don't currently have one.  I did own an Afghan hound named Taffy when I was much younger.  Once we're retired and not on the road as much, my husband and I are thinking about fostering a "hypoallergenic" shelter dog.  I'm very pro-rescue-pet, so if I get another dog, it will be from a shelter or rescue group.

What is the story behind your dog logo?
In At Her Command, I included a tiny Chinese crested hairless dog as a DEA drug-sniffing dog to the comic romantic suspense.  Smokey was so popular with readers that I had a caricaturist create a drawing of him to use as a logo.  Since then, every one of my books has included a crested,. as well as some other dogs and cats.  I think animal characters can reveal a lot about a hero and heroine, and I love pairing a tiny, often goofy crested with a big, tough Alpha hero.

Thank you, Gabrielle, for this opportunity to be on your blog!  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year's to you and your readers!

Thank YOU, Marcia. We’re dog lovers here at Gabrielle Holly Romance and Sooo pleased to have a kindred spirit visit. Stop by any time – and bring your HOT heroes with you. We’ll be happy to scratch any and all behind the ear!

And now, Darlings, pour yourself something cool to drink and enjoy a taste of “Sex & the Single Therapist”

About "Sex & the Single Therapist
To clear an innocent friend, Las Vegas sex therapist Dr. Ally Skye launches her own investigation into a patient’s murder. The last thing she expects is to find herself trading heated words and hot kisses with a sexy cop. Can this free-spirited amateur sleuth and her posse of Vegas insiders solve the crime before the killer targets her?

Cynical homicide detective Zack Crawford has the murder of a tom-catting cad to solve and a grieving widow to investigate. The last thing he needs is the interference of a red-hot sex therapist who haunts his dreams. Ally is trouble, and he’s determined not to risk his bachelor freedom for any woman. Besides, given her job, would she grade his performance in bed?

In their search for the truth, Zack and Ally form an uneasy and sexually charged alliance. Murderers, extortionists and psychos are no match for these reluctant partners. Crime-solving was never this sexy or this fun!


Zack trapped her in the V of her open car door. After several heart-stuttering seconds, he bent his head as though to kiss her.

        She leaned toward him, and the din of traffic and chattering tourists retreated. The warmth of the day paled, as sensual heat sparked between them. Ally waited, breathless.

        When he hesitated, she spoke for his ears only. “It’s okay. I don’t bite...hard.”

Zack pulled back, but his lips curved. “It’s your mind, not your mouth, that concerns me. I don’t feel like having my kisses rated by Doctor Skye.”

“Oh, well, if the tough cop has performance anxiety...,” Ally turned to climb into her car.

Taking her hand, Zack spun her back and into his arms in a single, fluid motion. She met his determined gaze a split second before his lips took hers in a dominating, exhilarating kiss.

Ohmigod. Blessed, blistering sensory overload. Ally’s toes actually curled. For several pulsing moments, her whole world was Zack.

To a cacophony of car horns, he broke the kiss. Confused, she slowly opened her eyes. His lips were wet and his expression mirrored her longing, even as he set her away.

Zack started to speak, cleared his throat, then began again. “We’re blocking traffic.”

Light-headed, Ally glanced around. Vehicles had stacked up behind her Porsche, and the drivers were either honking or clapping. She didn't know whether to blush or raise her fists like a prize fighter. It’d been a gold-medal kiss.

Not trusting her voice, Ally got into her car and closed the door. She picked up her notepad and drew a large number ten on it with a shaky hand. Then, in an imitation of an Olympic judge, she held up the pad for him to see.

Zack laughed aloud at the perfect score she’d awarded his kiss.
Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy Sex & the Single Thereapist today from Amazon, and other fine eBook retailers