31 January 2014

Welcome Ashlynn Monroe- Excerpt from RUBY

Isser and Sol's pack is in trouble. Jewel's newborn cubs are ill and the pack needs money to treat them. Leaving the more experienced wolves to protect the women and children, the two bounty hunters agree to undertake a questionable assignment from known criminal Linus Lilymann. He wants them to find his stolen ruby and he insists he can't possibly go to the police. Normally, Sol and Isser wouldn't even consider it, but right now, it looks like the cubs only chance.

The mission turns out to be not what the expected at all. For one thing, Ruby's a person, not a jewel. And for another, she's a dangerous tiger shifter who escaped her kidnappers only to spend her life in a convent worshipping a cat goddess. She's never been out in the world, she's utterly unprepared to deal with men like Sol and Isser, and what's worse, her first shift and her first sexual heat will happen on her twenty-fifth birthday. Soon. And only sex will help her hold onto her humanity.

A tiger in heat will make a mate--or a meal--out of her first lover. Sol and Isser might be able to help her, but if they fail, their entire pack will suffer. It's a difficult decision: protect the pack or protect their new treasure.

 Sol gripped the shuttle’s comm and turned it off. They didn’t want any ships to hail them. He set the coordinates in the computer to take them to the planet Atala. “I wish we were closer. Every second counts, and I want to earn this bounty and get back home. Linus Lilymann—huh, he’s such a crook. You know we’re probably looking for stolen, stolen property,” Sol complained.

“I know, but Lilymann has plenty of money. This is important to him if he’s willing to contract professional bounty hunters. He doesn’t get the goods until we get paid.”

“Fair enough. You were the one to get the details. What exactly are we hunting?” Sol asked. His eyebrow rose.

“His ruby was stolen,” Isser replied.

“His ruby? As in singular? One gem?”

“That’s what he said. He said it’s the ruby he’s always wanted, and he needs it back before the full moon. A woman took it. We’re not supposed to take the gem from her. He wants us to bring the woman instead. He said she has it, without a doubt, and just to bring her back to him, alive, and that’s it. He gave me this bit of fabric. It bears her scent. She smells a bit strange, but I can’t put my finger on it.”

Sol took the scrap of pale material and pressed it to his nose. He inhaled sharply.

“You’re right. This scent isn’t quite human. Even the most mutated human wouldn’t smell like this. It’s not like anything I’ve encountered before. It’s almost wolf, but different. Strange.” He sighed and shrugged as he handed the clue back to Isser. “I hate hunting women, even thieves. Makis would never have accepted this job...” Sol paused and rubbed his tired eyes. “If Jewel and her pups die, the pack will never be home again. I doubt Rion and Makis would even survive. Rion might because he has Boon to think about, but Makis wouldn’t have anything if they all three die. If we weren’t on the run, we could take out credit. They’d already have had the benefit of a doctor. Even free from the clan, we are still suffering. I pray to the gods someday we’ll have true safety to live in the old way. Jewel is the glue holding us together. Everything turns to shit when she dies.”

“Don’t...fucking...talk...like...that... Just don’t! Makis is our leader. He’d never leave us by choice.” Isser sounded younger than his years and even a little frightened. The way he said leader could’ve easily been substituted for father.

“You feel it, the way it is for the three of them. Don’t tell me you haven’t woken to a wave of passion in the middle of the night. Occasionally, I’d experience the strong impression of the possessiveness and awe those two have for her. That’s the dream, to love like nothing else matters. It’s why we risked everything to leave the clan. I doubt I’ll ever have what they have, but it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t want to live if I lost a mate and that kind of perfect, forever love.”

Sol heard the clatter of Isser’s seat belt releasing. He turned and noticed his brother’s enraged scowl as the man crouched down in the single pilot compartment next to him. “We can’t think like she’s going to die. We do the job, and we get them what they need. We make it better, got it?”

Sol nodded, but the horror echoing from Isser’s subconscious hit him in waves of agony. They’d all lost family and community once. The idea of losing what they had slammed into his heart with agonizing force.

“At least we won’t have to go through any wormholes. Sit back and relax, Bro. We’re on our way,” Isser muttered. He gave his brother a quick look before he punched the accelerator on the old ship. The stars stretched out into long lines around them as they sped through space in the direction of planet Atala. The money they needed to take care of their pack waited for them.
 * * * *
Ruby ached all over. Sleeping on the cold ground wasn’t what she was accustomed to doing. Her life of learning and prayer hadn’t prepared her for being on the run. Since her escape, she’d managed to avoid the men searching for her by staying in the dark woodland. New men, more skilled trackers, had joined her kidnappers. The idea of so many males hunting her was terrifying. She suffered, so ill, her whole body burning, as if it were on fire. The primal wilderness wasn’t helping her hold on to her civilized humanity. The tiger wanted freedom. Ruby missed her warm, safe bed back at the house of worship. Her pussy throbbed, and she glanced up at the sky superstitiously. She’d been warned about the urges. She wanted meat, rare—raw, delicious meat. The desire struck her as odd since she’d grown up on a vegetarian diet.

Her mind wandered to the many ceremonies where the male devotees worshipped in the temple. Ruby remembered singing the hymns with passion as she observed the women riding the hard cocks of their silent lovers. Little arrows of excitement darted through her core as she imagined hairless, purified male bodies naked and chained. They lay in a state of helpless arousal during the full moon.

Her fingers brushed her mound through her tattered robes. She moaned. Pleasuring herself before her consecration was a terrible sin against the goddess, so she stopped and ignored the ache for release. If she didn’t get back to her planet, and the house of worship, she’d die. She’d escaped before they could deliver her, but somewhere on this world lurked the man who’d paid for her kidnapping. She’d heard the monsters talking. They knew her time was running out. Luckily, her change had given her the strength to escape, but now that power had left her. This world didn’t have the red burning moon of her home, but the lack of astronomical markers wasn’t stopping her body from the tormenting effects of her first heat.

Panting, she lay in the cool grass, trying to focus on the sensation of the cold dew instead of how much she craved the end of her virginity. If she were home, she’d be lying naked, awaiting the male worshippers who would unleash the cat inside her. Until today, she’d dreaded the experience, but now she needed sex.

A wave of dizziness hit her. Light-headed, Ruby sat up. The early-dawn light burned strangely bright. She lifted her hand to shield her eyes, and the action caused her to notice her nails. Gasping, she pulled her hand closer to her face. Her eyes widened, and her lip trembled. She squeezed her mouth tightly shut to stop the tremble. Terror gripped her. The bitter taste of bile rose up in her throat. The nasty flavor caused her to suck in a deep breath as she fought to maintain her composure. Her nails had grown into sharp claws, and each of her knuckles had a frightening patch of hair jutting out from her skin.

She wanted to kill prey and eat it. A consecrated youth learned the virtue of a sweet and serene attitude. Now she desired violence as her inner agitation escalated. Her stomach rolled. Hunger had always been a usual part of her daily routine. Showing restraint at all times, included meals, was part of her ritualistic worship practices, but she’d never experienced such a gripping demand for sustenance. Agony curled her into a ball. She took deep breaths through her nose and exhaled deeply out of her mouth. When the torment subsided, Ruby stretched. Sitting in the dirt wasn’t going to fill her belly. A strange urge to hunt made her restless.

She didn’t have the slightest idea about how to stalk prey, and yet her tiger wanted to do it. The beast had always been deep inside her, but this was the first time her inner animal was strong enough to control her. She didn’t like it. The sensation of losing control shook her with terrifying ferocity. Every moment she became more feline than human. Nothing made sense this morning. Her mind filled with images of animals running, but instead of thinking of them as creatures, she thought of them as delicious food. Her breath caught. She battled the impulse to run off into the wilderness and hunt. This foreign woodland taunted her with its majesty. Lost and alone, she wasn’t sure where to go. What remained of her rational thought reminded her she needed to find a way back to her sanctuary. The old mother would know what to do. The other tiger priestesses would help her through this transition.

A noise caused her to sit up. At least two light-footed creatures were running. Instinct changed the way her senses brought information to her brain. Everything hit her mind so much more richly and yet in a truly primal way that left her feeling off-kilter. She tried to stand, but the world spun, and she landed hard on her ass. Ruby moaned, closing her eyes. Cramps filled her stomach. This pain clawed her much worse than her monthly cycle, this fire burned through her—killing her. She closed her eyes and sucked in a deep breath.

“Who are you?” The gruff male voice terrified her. Ruby’s eyes opened quickly. She lay too weak to flee. She must have fallen unconscious for a few moments. Her body wouldn’t respond, as it stayed worthless for moving or fighting. This affliction had taken a great toll. Terror grew exponentially as her blurry vision sharpened, and she realized just how large and imposing the male’s body truly appeared. She could smell him. He wasn’t human.

“I am Ruby, devotee of the cat goddess,” she managed to respond. This man wasn’t one of her attackers. They’d been human. This male was like her. Shifter. His warm amber eyes weren’t cruel. His hair was long, black. He wore it tied back in a ponytail. He was handsome. She didn’t have much experience with men, but this one was so unmistakably perfect she was able to register his masculine beauty even in her condition.

“Shit! Damn it, Lilymann is fucking with us. This is the girl,” said the male who’d questioned her. “Do you smell her? I think we’ve been played.” Weakness lingered, and she couldn’t open her eyes, but he wasn’t talking to her.

“You’re right. The scent is different now, but it’s definitely her. She’s—oh gods, no, that spiciness—she’s a tigress,” replied another man. “That’s what smelled off about her scent. She’s never shifted. That’s why we couldn’t tell. Tigers don’t shift until they go into heat. Damn it!”

She managed to open her heavy eyelids. The second man was almost as beautiful as the first man was. His hair was much lighter, and she marveled at the various shades of blond, light brown, and red that glinted in the sunlight. This stranger had hair any woman would envy, but there was nothing feminine about the sculpted masculinity of his face. He was incredible. He was also...different. She’d seen men who wanted to serve, but these men looked ready to dominate. They frightened her, but she also found them fascinating. He glanced at her, and they made eye contact. His eyes were such a deep green they reminded her of the forest. The image of a wolf leaping over a fallen log filled her brain, and she drew in a deep breath. She sighed before the exhaustion became too much, and her eyes closed again of their own accord. Ruby laid her head down in the dirt as she gave up the struggle. The weakness was intolerable, but she knew no remedy except returning home to the goddess.

“We aren’t looking for a gem. She’s the ruby. Oh gods, how were we so stupid as to believe this hunt would be as simple of a matter as stolen property?”

She had no idea what property he referred to, and she didn’t care. She hadn’t taken anything from anyone. Ruby drew in another deep breath, and her brain registered what was bothering her. These men were shifters—wolves. Why wolves would agree to hunt another shifter was a mystery to her. Her curiosity didn’t last long. Pain raced through her abdomen, tearing a cry from her lips. She hurt so badly she curled into a fetal position. She didn’t care what happened to her anymore, because she was dying. No one could hurt this bad and survive. She agonized over the emptiness of life cut too short and unfinished days. She wished for another day—an hour even—just to enjoy existence. As she lost consciousness, the darkness swept away her pain, and she sighed with relief.

Copyright © Ashlynn Monroe

26 January 2014

Ringing in the New Year Blog Hop


Another year is on our doorstep.  Out goes 2013 and in comes the promise of something new, something better.  New Year’s Eve builds our hope that the coming year will be different.  That we’ll be different.  Some will vow to finally lose weight.  Some will vow to quit smoking, work harder, be a better person or spend more time with the kids.  Resolutions are a tradition and yet breaking them is also a tradition.  Some of us even make bets on when they’ll be broken.

I make the same pledge every year…to live life to the fullest of each day.  And I don’t mean I have to go out and climb a mountain every day.  What I mean is living life to the needs and wants I have that morning when I wake up.  It may be just getting enough energy to take a shower after a night of insomnia.  It may be finishing the chapter that’s been giving me a headache.  Or, it may simply be taking my son to the park after school.  I never want to realize at the end of the day that I didn’t do something that made me feel good about myself.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t an extra resolution or two.  My family is taking a trip to Japan in 2017 to climb Mt. Fuji and I need to be in shape to hike up that mountain so I resolve to hit the gym at least three days a week.  I also resolve to be a best selling writer (hey, positive thoughts never hurt anyone, right?). 

For whatever resolution you may have or make, I wish you nothing but the best.  Happy New Year, the birth of 2014.  I raise my glass and toast to the promise of a new beginning.  Happy writing.  Happy reading.

There are lots of prizes to be given away!  First of all, thanks so much for stopping by to visit with me.  On the 29th, I'll be a Featured Author for promotion so please follow the link to enter:


I'll be giving away a PDF ebook of my featured book Lights, Camera, Love Story


Jake Coolidge is Hollywood’s hot new star.  Growing up in Los Angeles among the film sets his father worked on, Jake knows fame is fickle so he lives life to the fullest.  He never has to search far for a pretty face with an amazing body to fill his bed, and he never, ever, promises fidelity.

Norah Scaritt has lived her whole life in a fantasy world.  Knowing she would never be the girl to wear a bikini or short shorts, she’s come to accept that she has curves even though she secretly wishes she was one of the slim, beautiful models that decorates Jake’s arm.

She’s written a movie script that she knows Jake will be perfect for, but she’s ill prepared for the magnetic attraction she feels for him.  As she tries to form a professional bond with him, his hot and cold attitude breaks her heart one too many times.  Can Jake save a love that he denied before he’s lost the only person that ever really mattered?


“Hello?” she asked softly.
“Hello, Norah Scaritt?” a deep male voice asked.
“This is Jake Coolidge. I work with your cousin Jill.”
Norah’s mind went blank. She pulled her phone away and looked at it, as if that was going to give her divine answers to thinking. Oh god! And that’s as far as her brain got.
“Hello? Miss Scaritt?”
“Uh…yes. I’m here.” She hoped Jake Coolidge could not hear the breathless quiver in her voice. She glanced behind her at the other customers and got out of line so she could have a private moment with Jake Coolidge!
She moved the phone away to clear her throat and then returned it. But it was impossible to steady her pounding heartbeat so she didn’t even try.
“Yes, Mr. Coolidge, I’m here. How may I help you?” She gave a fist pump her voice came out sounding normal.
“Last month Jill gave me your script to read and I was hoping we could meet for lunch and talk about it.”
Had she just died?
Because no frickin’ way had Jake Coolidge just asked her to lunch!
“Definitely,” she murmured calmly. “Is there a day that works well with you?”
“How about tomorrow?”
“I am free tomorrow.”
“Great. I live in Malibu. There’s a great little cafĂ© on the PCH, just past Las Floras Canyon Road called The Applegate. Meet me there about noon?”
“That sounds nice. Thank you for your call.”
He gave a smooth chuckle. “My pleasure. See you tomorrow, Miss Scaritt.”
And he clicked off.
Norah stood there for a long moment, staring at her phone, wondering if she’d just dreamed the whole conversation with Jake Coolidge.
Jake frickin’ Coolidge!
She jumped up in the air with a whoop of joy and then danced in a circle. It took her a few minutes to realize that she was still in the post office and everyone in line was looking at her and smiling.
She held up the phone. “Good news.”
The woman closest to her smiled. “Congratulations. Is this your package?”
“Oh. Yeah. Holy heck, I’ve got to run. Thank you!”
She grabbed the box and hurried out the door, her fingers already speed-dialing Jill. Her cousin answered on the second ring.
“Guess who I have a lunch date with tomorrow?” she asked, not even bothering to give a greeting.
“Um, Brad Pitt?”
“Why would I have a lunch date with Brad Pitt?”
“How would I know?”
“Jake Coolidge called me!”
“Really? He must have read your screenplay!”
“Yep. That’s what he wants to talk about. What do you think that means?”
“I think it means he wants to talk about your screenplay.”

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25 January 2014

Saturday After Dark ....Lights, Camera, Love Story

It's been a while since I was able to participate in Saturday After Dark so I decided to post an excerpt from my newest novel Lights, Camera, Love Story. book 3 in the Love Story series.  I used my own knowledge on how the industry works to put together a story of a script writer trying to get her work known.  My boyfriend, Brian, is the graphic artist for Tosh.O on Comedy Central, (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1315398/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1) and I used to work in Post Production for a company called Chainsaw, who's owner is now directing American Idol.  The business is really about who you know which is how the heroine, Norah, is able to get her manuscript to Hollywood's new heartthrob, Jake Coolidge.

Now, to set up this scene, Jake and Norah had just finished a pseudo date.  He went home to his place and she to hers.  Jake is a sort of man-slut and I do love writing the man whore.  They're so much fun when they crash and burn into love, which is exactly what Jake does in this novel.  Although Jake doesn't want to feel attracted to Norah, who is not his type at all, he can't get her out of his mind.

He stepped under the hot spray and soaked up the heat, letting his muscles relax one by one.  Yeah, he swore when he decided to pursue acting that he’d follow his gut on roles, and his gut was pointing directly toward Norah Scaritt.  Well, so was his dick but he wasn’t going to act on that. 
Of course, that led to thoughts of her being in this shower with him.  Standing close to him, skin to skin, her breasts touching his chest and her nipples hardening into turgid points of need.  He’d suck them.  Lick them.  He’d slide his cock between them and fuck them.  He’d have Norah fall to her knees and take him into her hot little mouth to suck him down. 
Ah hell, the image was so strong in his mind that his body jerked and he couldn’t stop himself from fisting his dick.  He’d have her bend over while he fucked her tight little cunt, holding onto her hips as he pounded into her, going deeper and harder with each thrust.
Oh, shit.  There was no way to stop his orgasm as it crashed through his body and he moaned Norah’s name, unable to help himself.  Cum splashed against the tile wall, only to have it carried away by the water beating down upon his head.  His heart raced furiously in his chest and he almost crashed to his knees.  He reached up and turned off the shower as he gulped in deep breaths of air.


Jake Coolidge is Hollywood’s hot new star. Growing up in Los Angeles among the film sets his father worked on, Jake knows fame is fickle, so he lives life to the fullest. He never has to search far for a pretty face with an amazing body to fill his bed, and he never, ever, promises fidelity.

Norah Scaritt has lived her whole life in a fantasy world. Knowing she would never be the girl to wear a bikini or short shorts, she’s come to accept that she has curves even though she secretly wishes she was one of the slim, beautiful models that decorates Jake’s arm.

She’s written a movie script that she knows Jake will be perfect for, but she’s ill prepared for the magnetic attraction she feels for him. As she tries to form a professional bond with him, his hot and cold attitude breaks her heart one too many times. Can Jake save a love that he's denied before he loses the only person that ever really mattered?

Buy here:  http://www.bookstrand.com/lights-camera-love-story

**Starting February 17th, I'll be doing the Love Story Book Tour with lots of give-a-ways!  So please check back for more updates or follow me on Facebook & Twitter.


21 January 2014

Excerpt from Stacey Espino's new book COWBOYS MINE

COWBOYS MINE by Stacey Espino

Western Menage (MFM) Romance

Releasing January 22nd from Evernight Publishing


Eva Ford lives a sheltered life on her small rural farm. At twenty-two, she feels the need to spread her wings and start her own life, planning a trip to the city to show her prized cows. Colton and North McReed from the next ranch over are determined to make sure she stays out of trouble.
Twin brothers, Colton and North, have always loved little Eva. She's their rock in life, the one pure thing in their otherwise dark existence. Their abusive father ran out on the family years ago and their mother suffers from a serious addiction. They never look at Eva with desire...until they spend a week alone with her in the city.
Everything changes when Eva and the cowboys realize just how deep their love for each other runs. Once their passion is unleashed, it's impossible to contain. But can their unorthodox relationship last? Will sex ruin the friendship of a lifetime?


North was ready to brawl. In fact, he craved it like never before. Pain would be preferable to the ache in his heart. Somewhere along the line he began to see Eva as more than the sweet girl next door. Somewhere along the line he’d fallen in love.
What he didn’t understand was Colton’s sudden disinterest. Their feelings for Eva always mirrored each other’s. Half the time when he’d escape to the Ford house, Colton was already there. They’d come on the trip specifically to keep Eva out of trouble, but instead, his twin was turning a blind eye.
They ate dinner in silence. North watched the sky turn from blue to black, every darkening shade bringing his anxiety to a new level. She still wasn’t back. God knows what that cowboy was doing with little Eva. The thought of his filthy hands on her made his blood boil. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could sit still with his imagination running wild.
He was just about to bolt from his seat when the door to the trailer opened. Cool air flooded the interior and the sound of Eva clearing her throat made every live wire inside him suddenly lose power. He exhaled a nervous breath, glad she was at least home safely.
“Told you I’d be back in one piece,” she said as she hung up her cardigan. “There’s no need to go hunting me down. Seriously.”
She started to climb up into the loft.
“Where’s lover boy?” asked North, no humor in his tone.
“His name is Wade, and he just dropped me off, like a perfect gentleman.”
“That why he had his lips all over you?” asked Colton. His brother was just as unimpressed, even though he’d condoned the behavior.
“Hush you!” Eva slipped under the covers.
“You haven’t eaten,” said North.
“Wade bought me dinner.”
He ground his teeth together, stifling a growl. The sound of that man’s name on Eva’s lips made him see red. If he never heard the name again it would be too soon.
They secured the trailer and turned out the lights before joining Eva in the bed. He tossed his shirt and lay down on his back, staring up at the low ceiling. She was already comfortable, obviously not feeling the volatile energy keeping him awake. He kept as far to his side as possible, the cold wall of the trailer chilling his arm. Every time she shifted in the bed, he tensed.
“I’m cold,” she murmured, cuddling closer to him. The heat of her body scorched his bare skin. In a matter of days, everything changed for him. He wasn’t sure when it happened, but he wished he could go back to the way things were. Uncomplicated.
He tried to get away from her but he was trapped in the tight confines of the sleeping area. He held his breath as she ran her palm over his chest, over and over in small circles. Her touch had always been soothing—not so much anymore.
“What’s wrong with you?” she whispered against his neck. His eyes lolled back in his head. Even her fucking breath was sweet.
“Nothing. Go to sleep, Eva.”
“You’re acting weird, North. Is this because of Wade?”
He decided the cowboy was a safer topic than his changing feelings for her. “I don’t trust him.”
“Why not?”
“Just don’t is all.” He rolled to his side and away from her. It didn’t feel right going to sleep on a sour note, but he couldn’t have this discussion now. Mrs. Ford was the one to teach him and Colton not to speak out of passion. It was always best to confront a person with a level head, after cooling off and replaying the events over in your head. He usually didn’t take the advice, but tonight felt like a good time to start.
“Will you two quiet down,” said Colton.
Eva pressed her body against his back. Why had he taken off his shirt? He needed layers between them—many, many layers.
“I know what I’m doing,” she said in a whisper. “You don’t have to worry about me.”
“I’d worry less if you spent more time with Bessie and Ruby than that drifter.”
“He’s not a drifter.”
“Why you defending him?” he asked. “You act like you’re already an item.”
She kissed his shoulder. “I just want you to be happy for me, North.”
“It doesn’t matter what I think.”
“It does. You’re the one who taught me how to rope a calf, and even though it took me weeks to learn, you never got impatient. You protected me when Jameson’s dogs got loose.” She ran her hand delicately down his arm, her fingers lingering over the raised scars on his forearm. “You bought me a corsage when no boy asked me to prom. Remember when the three of us danced in the rain that night? My dress was covered in mud.”
“I remember.”
“Well those are just examples of why I love you so much. It doesn’t feel right doing anything without your blessing.”
He wasn’t sure he could ever give her what she wanted.

 About the Author
Stacey Espino resides in beautiful Ontario, Canada where she is busy raising her five children with her loving husband. She loves being a Canadian but could do without the brutal winters. She enjoys writing erotic romance that will have you squirming in your seat. From hardcore cowboys to alpha shifters, she has you covered! Stacey also writes alternative m/m romance as Winona Wilder.

20 January 2014

Topic Tuesday - Support Groups

This week I want to talk about the people in your life. Are they supportive of your writing or other life decisions? Is your support system more virtual, personal, or blood tied to you?

Hello, my name is Beth and I...am a writer.

Sorry, my drifted as I typed the topic.  The closest people in my life are very supportive of me writing extremely hot, sexy sex scenes.  I mean, I’m talking downright raunchy: anal sex, spanking, male on male, threesomes…most things my Italian Catholic family frowns upon.  My grandmother passed before I was published so I haven’t a clue what she’d say, but she was a wicked little thing that always said, “It’s called fucking.  If you can do it you can say it.”  So I think she’d be very pleased with me.

I’ve only a couple of people who refuses to support me at all.  One was someone I considered a close friend.  This so called friend expected me to read and support all of her writing efforts but thinks the stories I write is porn so refuses to even consider reading anything I’ve written, even the more sedate things.  That hurts. 

But most of my support does come from social media, like Facebook.  I’ve met and made some fabulous friends there.  Never underestimate the power of being in a community, even if it’s online, that supports you unconditionally. 
Topic Tuesday Blog Hop

We Are Not Alone

First of all, thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog hop this past weekend and left a comment!  Two winners were chosen and they've already been notified.  Please visit with me on the 22nd when I welcome the talented Stacey Espino!  Also, next week I'll be "Ringing in the New Year" Blog Hop with another give-a-way!

I am a firm believer that we are not alone in this universe.  That may make some people write me off as a kook and think I walk around with aluminum foil on my head but I believe what I see and yes, I’ve seen something unidentifiable. 

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.  When I was a teenager in rural Missouri I was driving home one night on a back road where there weren’t any street lights when I saw something in the sky.  It was three triangular lights, very bright, hovering in a bank of clouds.  And it was low in the sky.  I pulled over onto the shoulder, half way into someone’s yard and rolled down my window.  Everything was silent.  You’d expect to hear the drone of an engine or the hum of a motor since the lights were so close, but there was not but silence.

My high school had a football game that night and the bright field lights blazed…but what I was looking at wasn’t that.  This, what it was, was right above me.  That’s when I noticed there were several other cars pulled over looking at the same thing I was staring at.  That’s when a sliver of fear went through me and I started my car back up and got the hell out of there.  Years later, I saw a program on the Sy-Fy channel and there were my triangular lights.  It inspired me to write the book Star Mates.

My next encounter was probably twenty years later.  I was driving back home to LA from Vegas with my mother and son in the car.  We’d just approached Barstow and I saw something in the sky.  At the same time, my son asked, “What’s that in the sky?” This object hovered for a bit of time, and then suddenly shot off, and it was moving fast.  Since it was day light, we were able to watch it and along the horizon line we saw it meet up with seven other similar objects.  They were doing maneuvers planes couldn’t do, like hover and go backwards, and yes, they could be helicopters but they didn’t look like helicopters.  And they were fast, faster than anything I’d ever seen.  I pulled over so we could watch and all three of us watched until the sun started to set and they finally flew off into the distance.

And finally, I saw something just a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the new year.  Living in Los Angeles, our winter nights are pretty mild, so I was sitting in the hot tub with my son looking up at the night sky.  Now, I live near LAX and I know planes.  I see them all the time and I know what they look like.  I saw this small dot near a star far up there, and it started moving…fast.  At first I thought it might be a satellite because you can see them too…but they blink and you know them.  This thing didn’t blink and it was traveling way to quickly.  I mean, one minute it was near this star and then it disappeared into the night light in a matter of seconds. 

In my opinion I think we all see things we dismiss easily as planes, satellites, weather balloons or some other man made phenomena.  But I don’t believe we’re alone in this universe and I don’t think Earth is as isolated as we think. 

15 January 2014

Winter Wonder Man Blog Hop & Giveaway!

What makes a hero in movies and books wonderful to the point your toes curl? 

The short answer is he over comes adversity. He’s put into a situation where the easiest path is to give up, but there is something inside him that drives him on, to continue even when others gives up. So while the odds are against him, he would rather fail doing something that is right or something he believes than never try at all. Heroes have hope when all others have no hope.

That type of hero turns my head and heats my blood right up. Wowser! Someone I might never would have thought was attractive suddenly has me salivating.

The longer answer depends on which hero draws you in. You have the flawed characters, redeemed by either love or their own drive. The superheroes, obviously. You have the unsung heroes, the unknown heroes, the regular guy heroes. The heroes of unusual size. Frodo anyone? Die Hard gave us John McClane, a balding middle aged guy who wasn’t the Fabio cover model, but his strength and perseverance made him super sexy. And some might argue with me about this but Christian Bale’s performance in The Machinist was such a flawed person that his redemption at the end turned him into someone that opened our own eyes to our flaws.

Of course, seeing the eye candy heroes on screen is nothing to sneeze at. What red-blooded heterosexual woman didn’t backtrack every time Thor’s chest was bare? Or the desperate kiss Aragorn gives to Arwen? Or Channing Tatum’s ass? Just to make a side note here, I actually did a little research for variety for this blog and there’s a website titled Hot Men of Hollywood (on tumblr) that I got a little distracted by. Perhaps I’m a little shallow for my own personal type of hero. (wink, wink)

Heroes between the pages aren’t that much different than their counterparts on screen, except instead of visual we have to use our imagination. In my opinion, that’s a little bit sexier because we can incorporate our own fantasy man into the scenario. My favorite literary heroes are the men who start off as shallow or cold and become better men through love. Lisa Kleypas writes these types of heroes awesomely (is that a word?). My favorites: Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Devil in Winter & Nickolas from Prince of Dreams.

Then again, sometimes the anti-hero is the best type of hero.  Spike from "Bufffy" was a great anti-hero.  

Call me crazy, but I always loved the bad boy, the not-quite-sterling-hero.  My first crush was a cartoon character named Jason from Battle of the Planet, a Japanese animation brought over to the US in the late 70’s, early 80’s.  And there was Han Solo, of course.  Forget Luke.  I would even root for some of the secondary characters in books, like Ramsey O’Keefe in Amy J. Fetzer’s My Timeswept Heart

Writing a bad boy is a delicate balance of keeping that heart of gold while at the same time having him make terrible choices.  I want my reader to want to reach into the book and shake him silly.  In my book Dreamland, Dicen Burke is one such character.  He’s a rock star that crashes down to Earth when he overdoses.  While in a coma, he travels to 1927 and meets Juliet, who makes him realize that he has to confront his demons.  Luckily, he wises up without losing what made him so appealing to begin with.  If the readers love him and hate him (at times), well then, I’ve done my job.


Thanks for visiting with me on this Blog Hop! I’m giving away one PDF ebook of any of my titles (winner’s choice)! All you have to do is leave a comment & a way to contact you. No contact, no win. I promise not to spam you, I just don’t have time to track people down.

 ALSO...friend me on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/bethdcarterauthor ) or follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BethDCarter ) for upcoming blogs, book tours, releases & give-a-ways!

13 January 2014

Topic Tuesday - Self Promoting

"You guys should start a topic about what people do to self promote themselves outside of what their publisher does."

It’s been a while since I was able to participate for Topic Tuesday.  January is shaping up to be a hectic month for me but it coincides with this week’s topic about self promoting.  Publishers don’t do jack shit for authors so it’s a constant battle for writers to find ways to promote their work without pissing off other writers.  I don’t know what works for everyone, but this is my month (and what I try to find for promotion).

2013 was a great year for me in publication because I had eight books published.  I was on a writing schedule where I had one coming out every month and I was about four books ahead.  Now that my publisher passed on a trilogy of books I wrote, I’m in a little bit of panic mode because I’m missing out on that instant revenue.  Now I have to promote my ass off (but that’s okay, I have plenty of ass).

In January, I had a blog hop the first weekend, I have a blog hop the third weekend (16th – 19th), I have a book tour the 20th thru the 26th, I have a final blog hop the 27th – Feb 1st with a featured author promotion on the 29th, and that doesn’t include having guests visit with me throughout the month or me guesting at someone’s site.  Now, that’s a lot of blog hops in one month.

For those of you who don’t know what blog hop is, an author signs up at a linky list to who is hosting.  There’ll be a lot of linked blogs where people will write a post, usually to a specific topic, and then people can enter contests to win prizes.  It’s a great way for people to be exposed to you as a writer and if they win, they’ll get familiar with your work.  Giving away a free ebook is a good way to hook a reader into buying more of your work. 

Now, for my book tour, I actually paid someone to get together a list of new blog sites I can visit in order to reach a broader audience.  I’ll be promoting my Love Story series and one lucky person will win all three ebooks.  (my newest and last in the series releases today!  http://www.bookstrand.com/lights-camera-love-story)

I’ve heard about street teams but I don’t have that kind of following, and I simply don’t know how to maximize my coverage at Goodreads.  I’m on Twitter but I don’t know how much that really helps in people discovering your work.  So I shall be curious to read how other’s promote to learn something new.  Right now I rely heavily on my blog and Facebook because I’m not that social media savvy to get my name out there.

Topic Tuesday Blog Hop

06 January 2014

AE Lawless - A Collar for Christmas

Thanks so much to AE Lawless for taking time to visit with me!

1) Why did you choose to write BDSM? What intrigues you about this particular genre?

Everything about the BDSM genre intrigues me, but mostly I’m intrigued by the psychology of it. I love exploring why certain characters get off on the things they get off on. That’s what prompts me to write about them.

2) Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?

I do. But *cringes* I’m really particular about what and who I read. There’s so much talk right now about how to do a BDSM novel “right” or “wrong” and I think there’s some useful information there, but I try to stay out of those kinds of discussions. There’s definitely a “right” and “wrong” way to do BDSM in real life, and I’m all for being a stickler about the rules when it comes to real life play. But in a BDSM story the whole point is that this is a fantasy, and so it’s not necessarily “wrong” to write things that are outside of what’s considered safe BDSM play, or stretch the boundaries of what most would think is a healthy BDSM relationship. Although, while I can support authors writing in the genre in whatever manner they wish and telling whatever type of story they like in a completely theoretical sense, my own kinks and my own views toward responsible play make me disinclined to read certain types of stories based on personal taste. But to each their own, and I very much support diversity in the genre.

3) What inspired you to write Liam, an actor suffering from panic attacks?

All of my stories are planned in what’s probably reverse order from what most authors plan their stories. I start with what type of sex or kinks I want to write, then I create characters whose deepest desires and emotional needs are met by those kinks, and then I plot situations that would bring those two characters together. With A Collar For Christmas, I really wanted to write some non-sexual kink. So from there it was a matter of creating a character who would participate in kink without there being a sexual component, and the key to that character was always going to be why the kink was necessary outside the sex. Thus Liam, our damaged, anxiety riddled actor was born.
4) Give us an insight into your main characters.  Tell us what draws these two men together?
Aaron I think is the easiest. He’s a born nurturer, a definite care-taker. He’s drawn to Liam because of his neediness and inability to control his panic attacks. He wants to be the guy to fix it and he’s willing to do just about anything to make that happen. With Liam, he’s so used to being the outsider, loved but not really understood and completely accepted for who he is, everyone looking for the quick fix to his problems, that how could he help falling for the first guy that really seems to see everything he is and still accept him anyway?

5)  Tell us in brief about your personal road to publication.

I started out publishing short stories for a porn website that’s no longer in operation, first on a freelance and then on contracted basis. Then one day I got the bright idea to try and expand one of those short ideas into something full length. That first attempt was an utter failure and will hopefully never see the light of day, but shopping it around taught me a lot about the submissions process. Those lessons eventually coalesced into an effort that was worthy of being published and my first novel, A Perfect Solution, was published through Loose Id in 2013. I don’t plan to do any looking back now.

6) Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?

No, never based a character on someone I know. I feel like if I ever wrote a story with a kid in it, it would be pretty hard for me to keep from making them pretty similar to my own child, just because I think my kid’s awesome, and I don’t really know enough about kids to make one feel realistic without making him say and do the things that mine does.

7) Do you have any writing rituals that you do when you sit down to create? (eg: favorite drink, music?)

Coffee or tea is a must. I have several playlists for writing and often create specialized lists for certain stories or scenes. The biggest thing though is planning. I cannot sit down to write if I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to write and where I’m going with it before I even try to work. I like to have all my notes sitting next to me so that I can flip through them as I write. I’ve often found that being outside if the weather permits generates higher word counts. Also, if I’m having trouble with a particular scene, I like to take a drive to clear my head, usually with the top off the Jeep.

8)  What’s coming next for you as an author?

A few things. I’ve got sequels planned for both of the novels I have out now and hope to release both during the coming year. I’m also working on a story about second chances, taking risks and not judging a book (or a sexy man) by its cover.

9) Were there any specific part of A Collar for Christmas that you absolutely loved writing as well as not enjoyed writing?

My favorite scenes to write were the ones with Liam and his family. I loved playing with their dynamics. There wasn’t really anything I didn’t enjoy writing, but after the first draft was finished my editor suggested we change the tense from present to past so I had to edit the entire manuscript for that. That wasn’t fun, but it was the right call, so *shrugs*

Buy Link: http://www.loose-id.com/a-collar-for-christmas.html


For actor Liam, anxiety and panic attacks are old friends, but they only get worse the more famous he gets. Nothing has ever worked to help him control the anxiety until his costar, Aaron, introduces him to bondage. Too bad Liam develops feelings for Aaron and ruins the only solution he's ever found for his neuroses.

Aaron only wants to keep history from repeating itself. He's already had one costar spin out of control, resulting in her tragic death, he can't just sit idly by and watch another friend and colleague destroy himself from the inside out. He'll do anything to keep that from happening--even enter into a non-sexual BDSM arrangement with him.

What starts out as a way to control Liam's anxiety becomes so much more. At least for Liam. So, tired of pretending he doesn't want Aaron in his life for good, Liam decides to give him the perfect Christmas gift. The kind that will show Aaron exactly what Liam wants from their relationship: the collar he's been dreaming of Aaron putting on him for months.

Buy Link: http://www.loose-id.com/a-collar-for-christmas.html
Book Links:
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18806544-a-collar-for-christmas

About The Author A.E. Lawless

A.E. lives in south Louisiana where everything is bigger, covered in camo and made with more butter. She sweats her way through the summers because she loves the people, the food and the culture found only there.

She couldn't manage any writing at all without copious amounts of coffee and her writing partner: her cat Bacon

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