Thanks for stopping in today Lilli! I'm really excited about your book BOUND TO PLEASE. I'm sure it's going to be a hot read! **As always, readers, please feel free to ask questions and comments. All who comment will be added to the contest drawing and tomorrow we'll post a winner for the autographed book!**

Here's the official blurb for the book:


Ruby Scott is a beautiful, quiet event planner who leads an oh-so-respectable life. Yet the things that go on in her secret fantasies are anything but. She has every intention of keeping her hidden desires under wraps-until she meets a gorgeous, hard-muscled man ten years her junior. Mark St. Crow is a gifted, up-and-coming musician who collects erotic art and loves to "play" women as much as his piano. After one night of uninhibited passion, Ruby realizes there's no turning back. But as she surrenders to her deepest needs and lets Mark control every forbidden thrill, her passion for him builds. Can the wild, intoxicating nights they share lead to a love that will last forever?

You can read the EXCERPT here..

Let's get to the questions...

How has your writing journey been since publishing and how do you deal with the changes since the economy?

My writing journey continues to grow and change. I started out writing contemporary erotic romance, but have since published a paranormal romantic comedy and I have a paranormal urban fantasy coming out in August. Erotic Romance has definitely taken a hit recently, but I think that just means the line between "erotic" and "spicy" is starting to blur. So I'm just writing what I writing and hoping people will still want to buy it. I'm also really happy with my e-publishers.

What’s the best part of being an author? What’s the worst part?

The best part is the flexibility and the fact that I don't have to get out of my pajamas if I don't want to. The worst part is that this is a vulnerable industry and nothing is ever guaranteed. That part can be really stressful.

How many books do you write a year and what have you seen the most results in terms of promotions?

I shoot for 1-2 novels a year plus some short stories for my e-publishers.

Do you have a posse you write with? Do you suggest critique partners or beta readers?

I have a posse. :) If you want to know more about them, check out the

Have you ever done anything spontaneous or extreme and what did it teach you something about yourself?

Everything I do tends to be spontaneous, which doesn't always work out for the best. But I can't help it, it's who I am.

Your April release BOUND TO PLEASE is not your typical writing style and the buzz is that’s it’s one to read. How challenging has it been to write this book and what did you learn from the experience? Can you tell us about your new book and maybe provide an excerpt for our readers?

BOUND TO PLEASE was challenging because I used a lot of dialogue to drive the book. My characters wouldn't shut up! But dialogue-driven books keep the reader's attention, so it was a great learning experience. I actually love writing dialogue, so it worked out well in the end.

Here's a blurb for the book:

Ruby Scott is a beautiful, quiet event planner who leads an oh-so-respectable life. Yet the things that go on in her secret fantasies are anything but. She has every intention of keeping her hidden desires under wraps-until she meets a gorgeous, hard-muscled man ten years her junior. Mark St. Crow is a gifted, up-and-coming musician who collects erotic art and loves to "play" women as much as his piano. After one night of uninhibited passion, Ruby realizes there's no turning back. But as she surrenders to her deepest needs and lets Mark control every forbidden thrill, her passion for him builds. Can the wild, intoxicating nights they share lead to a love that will last forever?

What’s up next for you? Any parting words for our readers?

Well, two of the characters from BOUND TO PLEASE wanted their story written. This new story is about an erotic photographer and a art curator. Let's just say this book is scorching hot! I'm currently working on revisions and it will be released in 2010.


The Smutketeers Blog:

Lilli Feisty was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. Like a piece of driftwood, she has washed up on nearly every beach between Santa Cruz and the Oregon border.

Because she never attended any particular elementary school for more than a few months at a time, she amused herself during lonely recesses by writing what would nowadays be labeled fanfic featuring Michael Knight and Han Solo. Sometimes in the same story.

She owned an own art gallery for several years, holds a degree in Creative Arts and was just a few units short of her MA when she decided to drop out of school to write smut.

Her first novella was published in March 2007 and she’s been hard at work ever since. She is the president of Passionate Ink, a special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America, and is also a moderator for the award-winning website, Romance Divas.

Ms. Feisty currently resides in Northern Nevada. When she’s not writing you might find her conducting “research” at brothels, staring out windows, or making Martinis.

Interviewed by:
Jenius Jax
Wednesdays are Abi's days but this week she's detained at the doctor's office. Big kisses to your baby boy!

So, I am hijacking the blog to direct you to -- I am talking about Self Portraits.

Also, this weeks guest Lilli Feisty's book BOUND TO PLEASE is now available! If you love shapeshifters you need to pick up Crystal Jordan's ON THE PROWL. Both have just released yesterday!

Jenius Jax
I've completely lost track of my days. In the last week or so I've completely edited one manuscript, cutting 18K words from it, worked on marketing and promo stuff, written a few articles for the RWA PROspects newsletter that will soon be emailed to RWA PROs, caught up on several things on my to do list including a website redesign for a friend, and I am 2 chapters away from a pretty substantial revision on a manuscript I will soon be submitting to my Samhain editor. Next up is a fresh round of query letters for the manuscript I diced and sliced on and then I'll be working on a new project for Samhain.

Oh, and I'm going shopping this evening for some Teacher Appreciation gifts. It'll be an easy trip since the majority of them will be getting SJ Day's new release EVE OF DARKNESS. Hey! They've admitted to an enjoyment of reading and these are great books. If the Christian teacher wasn't offended by the vampire romances I gave, they should all be fine with Eve. :)

And on that note, it's back to the grind stone for me. Much to do.
Have a great week!
I'm in the same boat as many authors I know where Motivation is this unbalanced, never ending road trip that has its fair share of lush countryside and lackluster hills. I'm currently going through the desert and thirsting for some indicator of finding the waterfall at the horizon. Which led me to dissect these emotions...

Desert = No writing
Thirst = Trying to find ways to get back that writing mojo
Waterfall = Unlimited creativity flowing through

Okay, I've had those wonderful writing moments when I can't seem to stop the ideas from pouring out of my head...then there are weeks at a time in which I wonder if my writing wouldn't be more productive if I turned to the bottle of red wine that's staring hard at me. Sure, I can feel sorry for myself, or I can fight this lack of motivation by just writing.

Today, I'm talking about what contributes to lack of 'motivation'. The answer is real simple: FEAR

Most writers are stifled because they fear the unknown. They fear that their writing isn't good enough. They fear that they've made the wrong choices..or they fear success. For example: Most writers fall into the safety net by joining organizations to help them move forward without the real investment of actually wanting to get published. On the other hand, most writers join organizations to try to get published with the help of their peers...but what if you subtract these organizations from the equation--a writer needs to be able to function outside of writing circles, work, home life...they must rely on their own strengths and they must always hold themselves accountable...

There are two types of writers. 1. Those who allow their surroundings (family, friends insecurities, pressures) to give them a reason to quit. 2. Those that will overcome all their fears just by trying and someday succeeding.

Of course, it's easy to give in when we're at the edge, a crossroad, a moment of weakness...There are so many excuses that can be given but when a writer chooses to write, they are choosing that even when the times are tough, they must never ever ever give up. If a writer is so easily discouraged...a writer must evaluate if they truly want this bad enough. If they truly want this because of their love of writing or simply the mere outward appearance it presents. I've known writers with both these traits and in the end...the one who has traveled this journey with me, and continues to fight, continues to create even when faced with adversity is the one that is now called "author".

Jenius Jax
WOW Yesterday got away from me. I was only here once for our guest blogger. Shame on me, but thank you so much for everyone who chatted it up with Missy. Missy's winner from yesterday is: Blanche! Congratulations Blanche. Email Missy at
I’m really staring to think I have a serious problem. I mean I’m talking a possible, I need to see a therapist or perhaps some type of help group, kind of problem. I’m addicted to buying books. Now, if you’re reading this, the possibility that you have the same problem is high. But I can say with all certainty that having over one thousand books constitutes a problem. It doesn’t help that my husband supports my habit by allowing me to buy a book every time we go the grocery store. He’s the man, isn’t he supposed to be the stronger half of this duo? I certainly tell him no on a regular basis when we walk into a hardware store, or sports outlet, or auto dealership. You’d think he would reciprocate by keeping me in line, but he simply can’t seem to tell me no. And then there are the book clubs I’ve joined. Not only do I have to buy a book every time I see them in person…I’ve started with the online and mail ordering too. It’s a never-ending cycle. Just today I bought eight books between the three stores I stopped at. Of course I had a coupon for one, a discount card for the other and the third was having a clearance sale. I was helpless to resist. And staying home isn’t safe anymore either! Hello? Can you say e-books? Ugh, it’s never going to end. Well, since it’s inevitable that books will be written and released, and I will buy them in some form or another, then perhaps I will form my own group. We can be a force of support for those who feel helpless to resist the written word! And maybe, just maybe, I can even get some good recommendations for more books…

Ms. Missy Jane is the alter ego of a Texas mother of four who has been married to the same wonderful man for thirteen years. About five years ago Missy finished reading a book by Mercedes Lackey and thought "Now, what if..." and a monster was created. Missy now spends most of her time lost in worlds of her own making alternately loving and hating such creatures as vampires, shape-shifters and gargoyles (to name a few). When not writing, she spends her time reading, taking photos of her beautiful daughters and training her husband to believe she's always right. Excerpts from Missy's work can be found at

Missy’s first book,
They Call me Death is available from Samhain Publishing.

You can win a copy of
They Call me Death! By chatting with me here you'll be entered in a drawing. We'll randomly select a commenter tomorrow morning and post the winner in a new blog post and the sidebar of this blog, so be sure to check back to see if you win!

Have a great day, and be sure to swing by the Samhain Cafe! There's a party in full swing this week and more prizes to be won!
Author Lynn Viehl gave an amazing behind the scenes look at her last Darkyn book Twilight Fall. Click here to peek into the business life of a New York Times bestseller.

In other news, I've been busy writing. This book is shaping up quite nicely and I'm so happy about it. I'm a little bummed that I'm not going to RT this year, but I'm taking solace in the fact that I'll get three times the work done in my home office than I'd get done in the hotel.

Have a great day everyone!

Until next time....

Amusing Abi

Sylvia Day, if you aren't aware has adopted the pen name SJ Day for a new Urban Fantasy series. I've had the honor of reading the ARC for the first one EVE OF DARKNESS and am in the middle of book two EVE OF DESTRUCTION.

This series is brilliantly written and focuses on the Mark of Cain. Essentially, sinners are marked and must battle demons to pay off the debt of their sins. Eve's agnostic, gut she isn't a major sinner, so what could she have done to deserve getting marked? Well, she fell in love with Cain years ago and life has circled around on her. She's now a tool being used by Cain, Abel, and an archangel all looking to forward their careers with her assistance - whether she wants to help or not.

In book one Eve finds herself adjusting to the new realities of her life, including the existence of God, and battling beings she didn't know existed. Cain is her mentor. Abel is her handler. Gadara is her boss. She is stuck in the middle and though she loves Cain and wants to be with him, she's also drawn to Abel and really wants her old life back.

EVE OF DARKNESS is a fast paced read that keeps you flipping pages as you breathlessly follow Eve into her new life. EVE OF DESTRUCTION, so far, is even better, and EVE finds herself with a new set of problems and upheavals that she doesn't feel equipped to handle. How much should a woman have to face in such a short time? And again, why is falling in love with a man enough to set her on this path?

I am LOVING this series and can hardly wait to have my hands on the third one - EVE OF CHAOS. Watching these brothers battle over this woman, and the woman struggle to make the right decisions is a hell of a ride that I'm thrilled to take.

Mark your calendars for this series!

A Marked Novel, Book #1
Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback
Tor Books - April 28, 2009
ISBN-10: 0765360411
ISBN-13: 978-0765360410

A Marked Novel, Book #2
Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback
Tor Books - June 2, 2009
ISBN-10: 076536042X
ISBN-13: 978-0765360427

A Marked Novel, Book #3
Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback
Tor Books - June 30, 2009
ISBN-10: 0765360438
ISBN-13: 978-0765360434

Naughty Nikki
Day One. Life's been entirely too hectic and stressful for me, so Mr. Right and I decided to take a weekend road trip into Texas Hill Country. We drove out on Friday morning and was greeted by a rainstorm that rivaled Florida rain season. Once we got through the mess, we were greeted by dull rays peeking through the dreary clouds. We initially had a stop in Lampasas, Texas where the first leg of our wine tour was supposed to take place. Well, let's just say the area was less than desirable so we drove straight through and headed for Marble Falls. BTW, I've decided to use this town in my next project....We managed to find a hotel overlooking the Colorado River, and most likely one of the only nicer hotels in the area...too tired to think of touring the historic downtown we decided to have a late dinner at the famous River City Grill that overlooked the water. I can only blame it on Dateline that we managed to arrive right at closing time. So no swanky surf and turf dinner for us as we ended up dining at Chili's instead...

Day Two. In the morning I was jazzed about the trip to the wineries. I've never known Teaxs to produce wine but this would be a splendid discovery and I hoped would be as interesting as Napa Valley or Santa Barbara vineyards in California. Since this is considered springtime, I imagined robust grapevines happily awaiting the guests who would participate in the annual Wine Trail and Wildflower Festival....unfortunately, our expectations were a tad bit too high. If you've never been to wine tastings, it's a really fun experience where you make stops as several neighboring vineyards to see their facilities and take part in tasting the wines they are known for, or specialized in. Usually you will find a nice venue with a built-in bar where you can pay a small fee (anywhere from $5 - $20) to taste their tasting list of recommended wine selections. Sadly, we drove up to our first destination called LOST CREEK and after viewing the lack of vines, surrounded by dilapidated conditions of the facility, we opted to drive back to tour the historic downtown of Marble Falls. We would check out the other two vineyards on Sunday since it was in the opposite direction of the hotel.

We did a brief tour and got myself an awesome souvenir...a Honey Amber charm for my was handmade by local American Indian artists so it was a perfect little gift. We browsed the main street and stopped at the local used bookstore, then popped into an Irish pub where I had plenty of coconut rum and pineapple juice while playing darts. Afterward, we headed to the R Grill to have some fresh shrimp tacos before taking a late afternoon nap before going to dinner. Of course, we had outdoor seating at the River City Grill and listened to a live band cover Johnny Cash songs. It was pleasant and beautiful overlooking the river. Yes, I stuffed myself with seafood gumbo, Caesar salad, flavorful prime rib with asparagus and french green beans, and cherry cobbler for dessert. The strawberry daiquiri wasn't too shabby either....I was surprised that I didn't need to be rolled out of there!

Day Three. We took the trip to the McReynold's Vineyard but were met with the same disappointment. Dry, rocky soil, hardly any vines worth seeing and lack of attendance....we finally decided to pack up our gear and head into Austin for a day trip instead. Although the wine tasting was a bust, the lush scenery of beautiful greenery with plenty of wildflowers made everything better. Funny how a vacation should be relaxing but I was left exhausted and ready for my own bed. This adventure was unique because I got to see the countryside, even if briefly, and it's amazing what you can find or discover along the way.

I know that Mr. Right and I have decided to make our next trip a tropical vacation. Where there's no distraction, no stress, and no planning. I can see the sandy beaches and plenty of sun in the forecast. That's one trip I think would be much more relaxing and fulfilling!

The Adventurer,
Jenius Jax
Hi Alisha! Welcome to Hooked on Romance! Can you tell us how you came to be published with Samhain?

I've been intrigued with Samhain since they first came on the scene. I loved their books, and I loved what I heard about how they treated their authors, with real professionalism and courtesy.

So I'd been writing for a while, submitted a few works to other places and received very nice rejections, and I came upon an open call for Samhain's Menage and More anthology. I'd never written a menage before, and figured it might be a shot. If nothing else, it would stretch my creative legs a little bit. Let me tell you something: a ménage is the most difficult thing to write. Do you know how hard it is to keep track of six hands? Very.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), my ménage wouldn’t stay within the word count of a novella, and when I finished, it was fully novel length. I decided to query it anyway to the slush pile. Within three weeks, I had a request for the full manuscript. You don’t even know how excited I was. Within another week, I had a contract. While I was half-convinced they had made some sort of mistake, I was more than happy to take advantage of it.

I’m thrilled to say Samhain is as professional and competent as they seem to be. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them so far.

What is the most extreme sport you’ve ever done, or adventure you’ve ever taken, and what did you learn about yourself?

When I was fourteen, I went to go live with my aunt in India for six months. Now, for a spoiled American teen, you can imagine what a culture shock this was. I’d been there before, but only for brief, sheltered vacations during the summer or Christmas with my parents.

Part of the deal I had to make with my mother, though, in exchange for letting me go, was that I learn something that I wouldn’t get a chance to learn in the States. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was doing her best to push her shy daughter out of her comfort zone. Under pressure from her, I sullenly agreed to take classical Indian dance lessons.

To put this into context, I was not a svelte, graceful teenager. I was a chubby bookworm. I’m not going to lie and say I picked everything up right away, but after months of lessons, I could pull off some convincing dances. I remember only the most basic moves now, but that feeling of exhilaration, of being able to accomplish something you didn’t think you could and feel like a different person; that stays with you.

Tell us about your book Glutton for Pleasure. When did it come out and can you give us an excerpt for our readers?

It came out last month (I love March now!), and absolutely I have an excerpt.

What’s next for you?

I’m always juggling two or three works in addition to a very demanding day job. Right now, I’ve returned to the restaurant introduced in Glutton by continuing with Devi’s sisters: I’ve just finished the rough draft of Rana’s story, and the outline on Leena’s. Neither are ménages as they stand right now, but they are hot in their own way. I need to let both of them marinate in their own juices for a bit (zing, how’s that for a food analogy!).

Oooh, I also just finished a romance about a hermit who lives in the woods, and a hot, injured, naked hunk who lands on her doorstep. Submitting soon, keep your fingers crossed .

Any parting words for our readers before we get to the excerpt?

Yes. I am a lonely person. Won’t you e-mail me? Seriously, I love hearing from my readers. You can e-mail me at, visit me on the web at, or visit my new blog at . Don’t be shy!

The Contest! You didn't think we'd have a guest blogger on HOR and not have a contest did you? Alisha is going to handle this through her website so comment here, but then be sure to hit her site!

1) Enter only if you like menages, please :)
2) I'd like it if whoever wins could leave me a review, either on a blog, on a website, or on a group. You don't have to love it, just something after you finish.
3) Everyone who visits my website and e-mails me what Devi is cooking in the first scene of Glutton will be entered.

The winner will be announced on Alisha's blog next Wednesday. I'll also post the winner here.

EXCERPT - Um, there are some strong swear words in this excerpt. AND strong sexual content. So, please, you know. Don’t read it if you can’t vote or will be offended.

“I didn’t hear you knock.”

Devi spun around, her hand pressed against her chest. “Oh. Marcus. You startled me.”

“I was in the garage.”

He stood in the kitchen doorway in only a pair of unsnapped jeans. A sexy smear of grease highlighted his rock-hard abs. Involuntarily, her gaze slid over his bare chest, the arrow of hair that trailed into his open jeans. She was suddenly all too aware of the little toy she wore, forgotten while she’d toured the house.

“Um, Jace told me to just come on in. He’s upstairs, showering. I hope that’s okay.” He didn’t say anything. “I like your house. Or what I’ve seen of it.”

“Take off your clothes.”

She blinked. “Wow, you’re not one for social niceties, are you?”

“Are you hungry?”

“Not really.”

“Do you want a drink?”

Devi slicked her tongue over her lips. “No. I’m good.”

“Good. Take off your clothes.”

“Marcus.” She frowned, though she really wanted to laugh.

“I want to see if you’re wearing the stimulator.”

“I said I would, and I am.”

“You wore it from the minute we dropped you off?”


“I don’t believe you.”

Devi stared at him, confused. “What?”

He grinned and slid his hand into his pocket. The first gentle vibration had her legs stiffening in shock. The little box came alive, rubbing against her already-stiffened clit like the finger Jace had likened it to. She relaxed and allowed the slow pleasure to sink into her bones. Marcus didn’t allow her time to appreciate it, and he must have turned a dial up somewhere, because the vibrations against her over-stimulated clit increased in their intensity. She moaned and leaned against the couch, her legs boneless and incapable of supporting her weight.

A low male chuckle reached her. “I think we can believe her.”

She opened her eyes to find Jace standing in the room as well. Clad only in a sexy pair of black boxer briefs, water still glistening on his chest and hair, he watched her with a small smile and narrowed eyes already heated with lust.

Just as her climax yawned before her, the soundless stimulation ended. “What are you doing? Turn that back on, this instant.”

Marcus tsked and walked forward until he stood right in front of her. “Didn’t we discuss you giving us orders?”

Heat rose from his body. All of the relentless unappeased desire from the day welled up inside of her. She frowned at him. “I was about to come.”

“We don’t want you to, yet.”

“I don’t care,” she said waspishly. “Turn that damn thing on again or one of you fuck me here.”

Amazing how a couple of days of ceaseless pleasure could lower her inhibitions—she felt no hesitation in making the demand.

“No.” With that simple announcement, Marcus startled Devi by scooping her off her feet.

She shrieked and grabbed on to his shoulders. No one had carried her since she’d been a small child. Pudginess had crept up on her at a young age, so even her father had declined picking her up. “I’m too heavy for you. Put me down.”

He ignored her and spoke to his brother. “Where are the supplies?”


Jace studied her with predatory interest. If she hadn’t already been soaked, that look would have done it. “In my room.”

“Did you hear me? I’m too fat to be carried around like this.”

Marcus walked out of the room and back into the grand entryway. He glanced over his shoulder. “I think the toys were a bad idea. They’ve made her way too contrary.” He jostled her until she tightened her arms around his neck in reaction.

“Stop talking about me like I’m not here. Wreck your back, see if I care. And the toy doesn’t make me contrary. Hours of sexual deprivation make me contrary.”

“Then you should be nicer to the men who are going to end that deprivation,” Marcus explained patiently. “In the meantime, why don’t you pretend your hero is carrying you off to be properly ravished instead of worrying about your damned weight?”

Devi paused. He had a point. Once she thought past her sexual frustration, of course. She relaxed into his arms. “Sorry. I’m not a very good heroine, I guess.”

He handled the dark stairs with ease, not even breathless. He turned right at the top of the stairs and entered a tidy bedroom lit by soft track lighting. Peripherally, she got the impression of heavy wooden furnishings and a huge four-poster bed. Marcus looked down at her, his face cast in shadows. “That’s okay. I’m no hero.”

She slid her palm over his jaw, the slight stubble catching on her skin. “I think you’re doing a pretty good job.”

Devi caught the hardening of Marcus’s jaw under her hand. “Then your judgment sucks.”

I have been engulfed in my new story. I go to bed smiling at night and wake up exactly the same way. In fact I didn't get to bed until 3:30AM. Even then I didn't want to stop and had to force myself to back out of my office.

I love this particular story. It is taking me to the markets of India and the streets of Italy. As I write, I feel as though I am actually in those places and I hope my readers will too.

Anyway...I'm off to write some more and to have my fist cup of coffee for the day.

Until next time...

Amusing Abi
Okay, so I've been going through my first book and making some tweaks and adjustments. I'm not even half through the story and already have cut 12K words. The writing is strong, so that part isn't bad, but there's a lot of excess words and stuff. The scenes even are all relevant, but there has been a ton of tightening.

What I can't believe is that I sent this thing out to the masses of agents. Again, it wasn't awful, but it was so not ready to be out there. *hanging head in shame* Maybe I'll feel differently after I finish this round of editing because if nothing else it's getting MUCH tighter in the writing and the pacing.

Oh, and I want to give you all a head's up that this week we have Samhain author Alisha Rai in the house. Don't miss her. :)

And on that note, I must get back to it.

Keep writing and learning.
Naughty Nikki D
Easter was supposed to be spent with friends and family but the weather wasn't on our side. Secondly, Mr. Right came down with a little stomach bug so I spent Sunday watching a marathon of The Unit so I could be better acquainted with the show that he loves.

Relationships are about compromise and finding ways to keep it strong during times of adversity. I certainly am one of those women who is quite stubborn and proud. In previous relationships I'd never backed down or give in. Once my mind is set, it's set. But with time and experience, I've learned that to retain a healthy relationship you have to remember it's about more than just getting your way. It's about learning to lose those battles when it's necessary, and giving in if it's going to impact your future with the man you love. I'm not saying to throw in the towel every time, I'm saying that you need to learn to find solutions that will make you both happy.

That got me thinking about what I love to write most in my stories...Relationships. My heroines are often strong individuals who feel that they must carry the weight of the world alone. My heroes are no different but I like to show the progress of two people compromising together in order to reach the end result: acceptance and growth. You can learn a lot from your characters because you're finding ways for two people to get around their obstacles and you have to figure out which direction they take so the readers will still like your H/H after a major conflict. Also, you don't want either characters so unlikeable and irredeemable that you've lost your reader's confidence in your story.

When you write or read a story, what draws you to it? What impacts if you're going to continue or put down the book?

The ever inquisitive...
Jenius Jax
I am super excited to welcome Angela James, Executive Editor from Samhain Publishing to Hooked on Romance today. Angie has offered some great insights in her interview, but don’t be afraid to chat it up and ask her more questions! This is your chance to learn firsthand what's happening in e-publishing, what the perceived outlook is, why you may want to consider digital publishing for yourself, and much more.

Angie is traveling, but she will pop in and out through the day as her schedule allows.

We will also be giving away 3 free eBooks from Samhain through the day. The details are at the bottom of the post. So let's get on with it!

~ Angie, thank you for spending some of your valuable time with us at Hooked on Romance today. I’m trying to decide what it says that I spent almost as much time on these interview questions as I spend figuring out the plots of my stories. LOL

Thanks for asking me to be here. I love interviews because I’m always curious to see what the questions will be. Looks like you’re going to make me work at these answers, after all the time you spent on the questions!

~ I started to keep this completely focused on business, but we here at HoR are easily entertained authors. So for a bit of entertainment...if you were a nail polish what color would you be and what do you think that says about you?

I’d be the OPI color: I’m Indi-a Mood for Love. It’s a bright pink, sassy color and the name of it is so perfect for me, as both an editor and avid reader (and lover) of the romance genre.

~ You have become a strong voice working to give value and credibility to a part of the romance industry that is sometimes frowned upon or misunderstood. Long before I knew much about Samhain or e-publishing, I knew who you were. Can you give us a little bit of your background and tell us how things (impressions) have changed since you first started working with Samhain? What changes would you still like to see happen?

My background is so not in publishing unless you count reading romances since the fourth grade! My mom was an English teacher and passed on her diverse love of reading—and her love of romances to me. I’ve always loved books and words so it’s no surprise to me that I jumped at the opportunity to become a proof reader for Ellora’s Cave back in 2004. At the time, I was working as an occupational therapist in a psychiatric hospital—a job I loved—but it was exciting for me to be able to get into publishing in some way. From there, I started working with some authors, to help polish their manuscripts and writing. My association with EC had come to an end and I’d just opened my own editing business when a few author friends told me Crissy (Christina Brashear) was opening her own publishing company and was looking for editors. They recommended me to her, I did a test manuscript for her and the rest, as they say, is history. I was the first editor she hired and eventually she realized my mad skills and made me executive editor.

As to how things have changed, I always tell people there could not possibly be a more exciting time to be involved with digital publishing than now. When I started reading ebooks just six years ago, so few people knew about digital and no major publishers were doing it. Just the past year has seen an incredible emergence of interest in digital from readers, publishers and industry experts. If you could see the goofy smile on my face right now as I type this, you’d know just how much I love this time and that digital is growing so quickly.

I’m excited and proud that people believe I’m a strong, positive voice for epublishing and digital publishing because I believe so strongly that this format is the future. No, print isn’t going to disappear, but digital is going to keep growing, if the publishing industry as a whole can find its way past its digital growing pains. I will eagerly bore anyone for hours who’s willing to listen to me espouse the evils of DRM, the benefits of standardized formats like EPUB, and what a traditional publisher can do to make a splash and a successful digital program.

~ It’s a dirty word, but I’m going to ask about the economy. It’s apparent that brick and mortar stores and many publishers in New York are struggling under the weight of the economy. How is e-publishing holding up?

I can’t say that we haven’t seen the effects but much of that has been in our print line. Digital publishing’s business model seems to have been created especially for economic circumstances like this and our sales are still going strong, as is the company. We still watch the publishing industry/news because we’re still invested in having a print line, but our digital side has been largely unaffected by the economy and, in fact, we have seen growth in some digital outlets.

~ My first book sale was to Samhain on March 16th. Since, I’ve fielded many questions about the company, how they operate, and e-publishing that I think I’ve done a pretty good job of answering. There still seems to be one prevailing misconception that overshadows the other questions – “So you sold to Samhain. I didn’t know you were writing erotics.” After explaining that while my stuff is hot and sensual it is not erotic, I encourage people to check out Samhain’s site where they can see that Samhain does in fact publish all genres and heat levels of romance. What do you think will need to happen to change people’s perceptions?

This is a misconception that we’ve battled from the beginning. I believe part of that comes from the fact that the most well-known epublisher is an erotic imprint. Part of it is because many of our covers, even the non-erotic romance, are still sexy (because they sell so darn well). Many people just seem to think the e stands for erotic. I think word of mouth will do a lot to change this, and as new readers find the digital market, they won’t come in with those same misconceptions since they’ll be coming from a different perspective—where digital is all genres, all publishers.

~ In my three years as an RWA member, I’ve learned a lot about writing, publishing, and promotion. My time spent preparing for the day that I sold a book helped keep my head grounded in the business side of things when I received the email from Lindsey wanting to buy my book. In the few weeks as a Samhain author I’ve only dealt with a small portion of the Samhain team, but I have learned invaluable lessons that make it apparent that there is nothing “small” about the way the team at Samhain approaches publishing.

Lindsey’s patience answering questions, Crissy’s and Tiffany’s speed and efficiency with dealing with the contract, Marty’s welcoming attitude and willingness to help or answer any questions about public relations, the webmaster’s efficiency in getting a new author’s bio posted to the website, the marketing plan from Lisa, and the numerous yahoo groups with great classes, support, and files jam packed with information makes it easy for a newbie author to slowly get their feet wet without feeling too overwhelmed.

I don’t have any personal experience with other publishers, so the things you offer your authors may be standard. Can you tell us if they are? And from your side of the book, what makes Samhain different and why might an author consider starting their career at Samhain?

While I think there are other good digital-only publishers out there, of course I think Samhain is the best. I don’t know the complete inner workings of any other epublisher out there, but I think what we offer is unique in many ways. While we’re not the biggest epublisher out there, we bring to the table a business-oriented approach, a great reputation not just within the epublishing community but within the publishing industry as a whole, both digital and traditional. We have dedicated marketing, editing, art, formatting, print and administrative staff. We’re invested in developing the company in a variety of ways and we never stop searching for ways to improve. In addition to all that, we’re enthusiastic and passionate about the books we publish. Everyone who works at Samhain does so because they genuinely love it, love books and love publishing.

~ I know that I am forgetting some important stuff. Do you have any last words for our readers?

People often ask me questions about epublishing and I ended up writing a series of articles that have been published in various places, but which I’ve now posted on my personal blog. I think they’re a good overlook of epublishing (widely biased by my own opinions, of course!) You can find them here on my blog.

~ Here are some helpful links to see what is happening at Samhain, or how to submit to them.
Twitter – follow the editors

Samhain readers, what do you love about Samhain books? Is there something that you aren’t seeing that you would love to see?

Authors possibly considering Samhain as a home, what would you like to know that Angie and I haven’t covered? Do you have questions about Samhain? Questions about e-publishing?

And for the contest... Up for grabs is ANY Samhain eBook. You have 2 ways to be entered in the giveaway drawing! Because we know that people have lives and day jobs, we're going to leave the contest open until midnight (Central Time) tonight. I will announce the winners tomorrow and arrange delivery of the prizes.

Option 1: Visit Samhain, spend time on the site, and come back here to tell us one thing you found that they didn’t expect.

Option 2: Scope out the Samhain offerings, come back here, and tell us what book caught your eye and why.

Chat it up! I look forward to seeing your questions.

Naughty Nikki D
I've been in the middle of construction hell for the last few days. This April will be a year since my husband and I built our dream home. The builder gave us that long to find any imperfections that we thought needed to be fixed in that time period. DH and I went through the house with a fine-toothed comb and came up with a list that was almost two pages long. Everything from our downstairs shower not draining, to beige wall paint on our white baseboards made the cut.

So on Monday at nine in the morning our doorbell rang and since then, we've had eight different contractors going in and out of our front door. Needless to say, I haven't been able to do any writing and this is the first time I've been on a computer since then. Adding to the craziness, my son's spring party at school is Thursday and I've got three different crafts to prepare for eighteen fifth graders.

I'll post pics of the work tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to a quiet Easter with my husband and son. I'm a little sad because I'm missing friends that have moved far away from me but not a day goes by that I don't think about them and wish they were close.

Have a happy holiday everyone....


Amusing Abi
You know those days where you have so many things on your plate you aren't sure where to start? What task to tackle first? I'm having that kind of month.

There's the work stuff, which as we know can't be ignored so it sits at the top of the list and will be tackled as soon as I finish this post. LOL But on top of that is the personal part-time jobs. I am sorely behind on those.

Plus, I plotted a new romantic suspense for Samhain this weekend that is begging for my attention and I've been working on revisions for my first detective story. Oh, and I got a great rejection (pass) from an agent today on my paranormal story that now has ideas floating in my head on how I can possibly improve that. That one though is going to have to germinate for awhile. I have it still out places and don't want to make any big changes until I get all the responses back. But it's another thing floating in my brain. *sigh*

I've also got this amazing ARC sitting here on my desk - EVE OF DESTRUCTION by SJ Day that I've been getting into and dang it I want more time to read it! You may have seen this on the cover of the RT Magazine. I read book one, this is book 2, and this series is going to ROCK!!! After I finish reading it I'll be sure to put together a review for it. :)

In the meantime, it's back to the grindstone for me. But come on, tell me you're having a calmer week than me. Tell me you're on vacation tanning on a beach somewhere. Let me live through you.

Oh, and be sure to swing by my blog today. While I'm here and at work, Samhain Author JB McDonald is taking over my place. Besides there are free books up for grabs over there. :)

Chat with you later.
Naughty Nikki D
I've been waiting on Spring... Longing for the weather to vastly improve, and just when the sun is peeking through, the trees are swaying to the breeze..BAM!..that's when Mother Nature decides to play her cruel trick on me! I wind up running back upstairs to throw on a scarf, wool jacket, and boots. It can be a bit of a can be downright annoying. Last week it was hail, this week a cold storm is headed our way. Thankfully I work from home...for now. I used to hate Mondays and having to get up at the crack of dawn to drive an hour and a half to work. I dreaded those mornings and although I haven't worked for 'corporate' in over a year now, I still can't seem to break the habit. I'm up at 7:00 or 8:00 AM and no amount of persuading my body to stay in the warmth of my bed helps. At least I'm not up at 5:30 AM like the first six it does show a bit of sleeping in.

But that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk characters. Whenever a story morphs in my head, I already know what my hero and heroine looks like. I know how they'll act, react. I know their very deepest secrets and I know what's their hearts desire. I was working on my YA and it occurred to me that I am not in control of my writing. Mr. Right tells me my technique is like a ping pong ball. Wherever the ball bounces is the direction of my writing. You see, the ping pong stopped at my screenplay. Most of yesterday I worked on my treatment and part of the story. It's really good and most likely I'll be finished with the screenplay before I finish any of my other projects. Maybe it's inherently a mechanism in my brain that is able to revert to my previous life when I wrote screenplays. It just clicks and I can't stop seeing the movie. I especially like visualizing my h/h and it helps move the story along. I know she has long black hair and he's got dark brown hair with rugged good looks. She's more polished and he's kind of rough around the edges.

Anyway, my question to you is...Do you know your characters before you write them? Do you find yourself stifled when you don't know what they look like? Or do you write your story and then figure out their looks while you go? It's always fascinating to know how a writer thinks.... Happy Monday!
Thanks for participating yesterday.

And the winner of Eden Bradley's drawing is JUDY!

Congratulations and please email me at jaxcassidy @ so I can provide the details to Eden.

P.S. Stop by my BLOG, I'm talking about know who that is? I hope so. LOL

Have a great weekend!
I've known Eden for around 5 years now and not only is she a fabulous author, with very sensual and emotional literary skills that makes me envious, but also an all around kind soul. She helped shaped my writing career when I first started writing romance and she never ceases to grow as a writer. Her latest novel 21st CENTURY COURTESAN is so incredibly beautiful and unconventional from any romance you'll ever read. You can't help loving and feeling for her characters, after reading one of her novels, you'll see why she's been nominated and chosen for so many great awards.

Leave a comment and be eligible to win Eden's eBook, BREAKING SKYE. Winner will be announced tomorrow!


How has your writing journey been since publishing and how do you deal with the changes since the economy?

It’s been a rollercoaster ride! Some really wonderful things have happened-including getting published at all-lol! I’ve learned so much about writing craft from my Bantam editor, Shauna Summers-she’s been amazing, and has really taken my writing to a better place.

There have been some issues in this economy for many writers. For me it’s meant contracting with a new publisher and I’ll have to produce more books, but I’m excited about it! I’ve also had to find another form of income, which has turned out to be a good thing. I’m in the process of training to be a Pilates instructor, and I love it! It’s made me exercise nearly every day. So different from my usual 12-14 hours a day sitting at my desk, but I feel a lot healthier, and I love getting out of my pajamas, getting out of the house and seeing people face-to-face.

What’s the best part of being an author? What’s the worst part?

The best part is doing what I love, being able to create something that other people enjoy. The hardest part is probably the sense of isolation, which my new career in Pilates has remedied.

What would you like to see happen for yourself and what writing direction would you like to see yourself going in 5 years?

I love what I‘m doing now: writing erotica and erotic romance. I’d like to continue, but I’d also love to branch out into women’s fiction, which I hope to do later this year. Of course, there are the dream goals: hit the NY Times best-seller list, sell a few book-to-film deals…I’d particularly love to see my latest release, A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN, made into a movie.

How many books do you write a year and what have you seen the most results in terms of promotions?

I currently write two novels and anywhere from 2-4 novellas and/or shorts a year, although this year it may be as many as three full novels. In terms of promotions, it’s so difficult to figure out what’s working and what’s not, and most other author’s I’ve spoken to feel the same way. You just have to get out there and do what you can and hope it helps. I truly think what’s best in terms of making book sales is your publisher being behind you and getting you good shelf placement at the bookstores.

There are two things that have gotten my books the most attention: The first is being interviewed on Playboy Radio, which I do every few months. My website hits always go way up in the days following an interview-plus, it’s a lot of fun! The other thing which gave my sales a great push was when my last book, FORBIDDEN FRUIT, was in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Do you have a posse you write with? Do you suggest critique partners or beta readers?

I do have a posse-two, actually. Locally, I meet with some writer friends at a coffee house, or we’ll go to lunch and brainstorm. And I have some close writer friends who are spread all over the country, especially the women I share a group blog with: RG Alexander, Crystal Jordan and Lilli Feisty (Our blog is ). They’re always with me through every book.

I also have my critique partners. Lilli Feisty and I have been working together for about a year and a half. Mystery author Gemma Halliday and I have been working together for over 7 years. I honestly feel I couldn’t get through a book without them. And I sometimes use beta readers, just to give me feedback on the overall tone of the book, find plot holes, etc. I think it’s a good idea not to write in a vacuum.

Have you ever done anything spontaneous or extreme and what did it teach you something about yourself?

My personal life has been a series of spontaneous and extreme experiences-lol! I’m not into fast cars or sky-diving, my adventures have been more of a …personal nature. I believe every interaction we have with others teaches us something, so it’s all been a learning experience, and I do use a lot of my own experiences in my books-but I’m not telling which ones!

Why have you opted to write for ePublishers in addition to your print publishers? Are people accepting your transitions from BDSM to kinky contemporary romance? What kind of readership would you like to see?

I love writing for my e-publishers (Samhain, Harlequin Spice Briefs and Phaze) because it helps to keep the joy in writing for me. I have more flexibility in what I’m able to write, and I love writing in the shorter format. It’s also a great way to keep my name out there in between books from my New York Publishers.

Your latest release 21st CENTURY COURTESAN is not the typical romance and already it’s well received by reviewers. Tell us about the risks in writing this book and what you had to consider doing differently because of the nature of the theme?

A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN is different in that it’s about a modern-day high-class call girl, and this sort of character is generally taboo in romance-even in erotic romance-although this book is more ‘classic’ erotica than it is erotic romance. There IS a very solid romance which develops throughout the story; I think it’s more ‘classic’ erotica in tone. It’s also written in first person, which romance authors rarely get to do. But I felt it was crucial for the reader to be right inside my heroine’s head in order to truly sympathize with her.

The biggest risk in this book was putting sex scenes with her clients on the page. I had to be certain to make those scenes hot-there couldn’t be any ‘ick’ factor. And I had to be even more careful to make the sex scenes with the hero even hotter and more sensual, and to carry a lot of emotional content.

Can you tell us about your new book and maybe provide an excerpt for our readers?

A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN is about Valentine Day, a modern-day call girl of the highest caliber, a modern day American Geisha. She’s educated, sophisticated, intelligent. She’s treasured by her clients, the most powerful and wealthy men in the world. She’s enjoyed her luxurious lifestyle, but when she meets Joshua Spencer, she has to stop and re-evaluate everything. She falls hard for Joshua, but can she tell him what she’s been doing for a living her entire adult life, and have him accept her? And can she, in choosing to be with him, in choosing love, leave behind the only world she’s ever known?


The house lights flash.

“Time to go back in,” he says. “Let me get rid of these glasses.”

He takes mine, holding it between his fingers along with his, brings them to the rapidly emptying bar while I stand there, feeling a bit lost. Then he’s back at my side, his hand going to the small of my back as he guides me through the theater doors.

His palm is warm through the thin silk of my dress. And my sex is going so damp from this nearly innocent touch, I’m almost afraid to sit down. To try to hold still for another hour or more, next to him in the dark.

I manage to do it. But the entire time I am more aware than ever of his tall, muscular body next to mine. I don’t dare to look at him. I don’t have to. I can feel him. And I’m soaked the entire time.


When the show is over we stand and I feel awkward again. Do I simply leave and say good bye?

“Did you drive?” he asks.

“I took a cab.”

“Let me find one for you.”

His hand at my waist again as we walk out of the theater. I can hardly stand for him to touch me. To touch me but not touch me.

At the curb he waves a taxi down.

“I won’t be so rude as to ask for your address, so you’ll have to tell the driver where you’re going. But I hope you’ll call me.”

He pulls a business card from his pocket and slips it into my hand, grasping it with his fingers for a moment. He’s looking into my eyes, and even in the dark I swear I can see a dim green and gold glow in his. He is too beautiful, this man.

I want him to kiss me. I want to pull him into the cab with me. I want to take him home and f**k him. But I do none of this.

“Thank you for the drink. And for the conversation.”

He gives my fingers a final squeeze. “It was my pleasure. Call me, Valentine.”

I smile, nod, and he hands me into the cab. He shuts the door, and I give one last shiver.

The cab pulls into the night, and we are immediately stuck in traffic. I don’t dare look behind me to see if he is standing there.

I clear my throat, smooth a hand over my hair. His card is in the other hand. I should tear it up. Toss it out the window. But instead I slip it into my bag. I can throw it away later. That’s exactly what I should do. Anything else would be ridiculous. Unrealistic. And life has taught me to be realistic. I am the poster child for accepting reality, no matter how ugly. It’s this beautiful, nice man who’s thrown me off balance.

I know what I should do. But I close my purse, my fingers tightening on the metal clasp, as though I am still holding the card in my hand. As though I really can call him tomorrow, go on a date. One in which I don’t get paid.

I’m not the sort of woman who can afford to indulge in this kind of fantasy. I will toss the card the moment I get home.
Won’t I?

If you were a nail polish, what would it be called and why?

Wicked Cherry-dark and sweet with a little edge. *G*

What’s up next for you?

My next novel, THE BEAUTY OF SURRENDER, a book about Shibari, the ancient art of Japanese erotic restraint, will be in bookstores in October, and on April 7th, my first e-book from Samhain will be out, TEMPT ME TWICE. This is also my first ménage story, so I’m excited!

Any parting words for our readers?

Thanks for coming by! I love hearing feedback from readers, so feel free to write any time! You can find me on the web:

My website:
My group blog:
My MySpace page:

EDEN BRADLEY is the author of a number of erotic romance and erotica novels, novellas and short stories, and is published with Bantam, Berkley, Magic Carpet Books, Phaze and Harlequin Spice Briefs. She also has several erotic novellas available as e-books through Phaze Publishing and Samhain Publishing. Eden has presented workshops to several RWA chapters and other writing groups: AN EXERCISE IN SENSUALITY, and EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT (WRITING) SEX. Eden, a native Californian, currently lives in the canyons of Southern California.

I've been really busy writing this week and I love how my story is going. I took a break from the Contemporary Romance I was working on and delved into a YA that I'd shelved six months ago.

I adore this story. It takes me back to my teen days when you would find me holed up on my parent's verandah with the latest installment of Sweet Valley High. I've got a little boy now. I love him with all my heart, but every so often, I wish I had a little girl to pass on the many Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High books I've been saving for decades. Those are the stories I think teen girls should be reading these days, no sex, no drugs, and no violence.

I think I'm going to hop off my soapbox and head back into my writing cave. I don't mind the solitary confinement now and can actually sit in there for hours on end doing what I love to do best. I happen to be one of those crazy people that need the television to write and DH finally got me a spiffy new T.V. for my office. I'm in heaven!

Until next time....

Amusing Abi