Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Welcome our 1st Guest Blogger: Beth Yarnall!!!

To quirk or not to quirk…

I recently read a book that had a heroine in it that was so full of quirks and oddities that she became more of a caricature than a woman I could relate to. Now I love character quirks and use them all the time in my writing. They make the character feel more real. And don't we all love quirky characters like Monk or House? But it’s easy to go too far, like that author of the book I just read.

Everyone has weird little fears or oddities that make them unique. Some of them can be debilitating and completely take over a person's life. Some of them are kind of funny. I had a great-aunt who had gotten into a car accident making a left hand turn. From then on she refused to make a left turn. It didn’t stop her from driving; she just planned out a route where she only took right turns to get to her destination. Her fear became a quirk and a funny one too. But if she was also afraid of heights, and water and puppets and telephones… well you get the picture.

So, where do we draw the line between interesting relatable characters and overly quirked caricatures? It’s a fine line to be sure and as individual as the stories we create. Often writers use a character’s fears and experiences to add conflict and to explain their motivation. But they can also weigh a down plot and keep a character from achieving their goal.

For this blog I Googled phobias and came across a list of phobias that I thought would be terribly hard to avoid- the fear of chins, thinking, ugliness, sunshine, words, colors, air and sitting, to name but a few.

And here are some real fears of things I love and could NOT do without -

Philemaphobia-kissing (What’s coitus without kissing?)

Doxophobia-receiving praise (Tell me more, tell me more, tell me more)

Chrometophobia-money (The ONLY reason to marry The Donald.)

Melophobia-music (Then Dave Grohl couldn’t be my boyfriend!)

Medorthophobia-erect penis (Egad! Say it ain’t so! Viva Viagra!)

Bibliophobia-books (That is wrong on so many levels.)

Coitophobia-coitus (How would I get my DH to buy me jewelry? Take out the trash? Do the dishes?)

Anthrophobia-flowers (This would certainly take the pressure off my DH on Valentine’s Day.)

Hedonophobia- feeling pleasure (Again what’s coitus without it? Just a big wet spot I guess.)

Yikes! Wouldn’t it be awful to have those fears? Think of what you’d miss!

Now, I feel it’s only fair for me to reveal some of my own fears and personality quirks. So here they are, don’t think less of me:

-ALL spiders must die.
-Snakes, lizards, rats, and mice-cool.
-I must be cremated because I have a fear that I will wake up buried 6 ft under in my coffin (I saw a horror movie when I was a kid where this woman had a disease that made it appear that she died-stopped heart, no breathing-then she would recover and be alive again, it happened over and over until she woke up the final time in her coffin).*shiver*
-Also I don't like caves and could never be in a submarine.
-I love to swim but am afraid of drowning when I'm not in the water.
-I'm afraid of fire but heights are okay -I don't like people (especially men) with beady close together eyes and no lips- they creep me out
-Men with really small hands-totally gross
-The butter, cream cheese and mayonnaise must cover the entire slice of bread evenly all the way to the edge or I won't eat it
-babies with dirty ears-eew!
-The Dentist-I’d volunteer to go to the Gyno 10 times before I’d go to the Dentist

There you go. I sound like a made up overly quirked character, don't I?

What are your fears, personality quirks and oddities? What makes you special?

**Beth writes comtemporary romantic comedies. She just finished her first novel in November and is working on her 2nd. She's actively looking for an agent for her first book Hairassment. **

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gratutious Hottie Pics...

For no other reason than I love to objectify the opposite sex as much as they do us. Well, that and no one has posted yummy eye candy here yet. *grins*

Without further is my trifecta hottie list - and yes, they are in order. :-)



So, who are your top 3?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Red Hot Passionate Mistakes

On my author blog today, I tackle the topic of “The Morning After,” as it relates to Lena, the heroine in Nature’s Pentacle, my March 25 release with Loose Id. And that got me thinking about the hell we put our characters through, in the interest of fascinating fiction. Of course, when you write erotic romance, your characters have the opportunity to make choices that land them in some wildly compromising situations.

But how much is too much? Put a heroine in bed with The Wrong Man on her eventual road to finding a satisfying union with the hero, and most of us will probably give a little nod of sympathy. Ouch, she made a bad choice. We feel for her, and many of us have been in her shoes.

But what if The Wrong Man is her best friend’s boyfriend? Her sister’s fiancé? Her boss? Where do we as readers draw the line in sympathizing with the protagonist’s mistakes? My experience is that if there’s real growth following a large misstep, readers will step up to the challenge and keep on cheering for the flawed character. After all, perfect characters hardly make for scintillating reading.

In Nature’s Pentacle, my heroine, Lena, has to live with the fact that she’s participated in a forbidden sexual rite with thirteen other witches. Strangers. Hot and naked. Outdoors. All for a good cause, mind you. The arcane sexual power they raise heals the land following a horrible drought. But understandably, she’s a bit put out when someone leaks the witches’ identities to the press. Talk about aftermath that’s tough to live with.

Even more interesting, in my opinion, are the opportunities erotic romances give characters to make wild, over-the-top decisions without regretting them later. Sure, Lena regrets the fallout from that pesky arcane rite. But her ménage with hero Matt, and Matt’s best friend, Kenji? No regrets after that one.

So let’s hear from you, now. Any memorable morning after scenes you’d like to share, either from fiction or real life? How much does it take for a protagonist to alienate your sympathies? And what are some of your favorite “over the top” scenes that characters come out of whole and happy, with no regrets?

Eden Rivers

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Release!

Hi Everyone!

First off, I want to wish you all a very sexy Valentine's Day (and night) filled with hot, steamy love and chocolate covered hotties. *winks*

Also, here's a quickie about my new Valentine's Day release! Don't forget to keep checking my website for contest information - I'll be giving away some goodies signed by Andrei Claude - the gorgeous model on my cover - as soon as they get back to me from Malta. ;-)

The Marquis & The Mistress

By Meagan Hatfield

Hot-Historical Romance Novel

Now available from the Dark Castle Lords

Blurb: A Courtesan catches the King’s eye and is offered the role of his new royal mistress. She arrives at court, never expecting to see her betrothed, a man she thought perished at sea ten years ago, not only alive, but still working for the King she’d come to court to seduce.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pleasure me with your....... mouse

Keeping with yesterdays interesting blog on Rent - A- Dildo by Meagan I decided to chip in my interesting find, or shall I say a find that had been discovered by a friend of mine. Let me introduce you to the Internet Enabled Rabbit Dildo.

Yes, now you can have some fun with the click of a mouse. All for the price of $119.95

Now you and your lover can have a little bit of fun, even if he's on the other end of the city. All it takes is a click of a mouse. The bonus part is that once you plug in you can get some extra features to make the evening even more interesting.

From all the things available to get to spice up ones sex life I must say this is an interesting invention. I guess it's time to get with the computer world.

All you need is a serial port and the Windows 98 and your ready to let your lover blow your mind.

I wonder how popular this item is? A smart invention I might add.

What will they come up with next?

I wonder how many other interesting items there are out there. I guess the old fashion way of pleasure is being replaced by new items. What do you think?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Rent a...what?

First, I have to admit that after I read Eden’s insightful post about erotic romance, a thought-provoking blog topic came to mind and I truly had the best intention to post it. However, seeing how it’s Friday, I decided to share this nugget of internet insanity that recently found its way into my Inbox instead. (BTW - the person who sent it to me owes me a new wireless keyboard…I spit coffee all over mine this morning. You know who you are.)

Anyway, move over Blockbuster Total Access and Gamefly, because Rent-A-Dildo is you're new competition. Yup. You read that right. Someone has come up with Netflix for sex toys.

Now, I could paraphrase the Q&A off the RAD website, but I think it’s too mind-boggling not to read yourself:

How do you keep the toys clean and safe?
We've developed a patent-pending process for thoroughly cleaning each toy before it is sent out to a customer. Our extensive research and testing indicate that this will allow us to provide safe, hygienic sex toys without the fear of transmission of disease. Customers who are still concerned about safety can simply use a condom or other latex barrier with each toy.

What is the selection like?
We offer a full range of sex toys, from anal beads to rabbit vibrators to nipple clamps and cock rings. Not to mention dildos in every shape, size, color, and material. Each toy is tested for quality and performance before it is added to our collection.

How does the free shipping work?
We ship each toy to you in a discreet, unmarked box. Inside the box you will find a return mailing label. When you are done with the toy, simply put it back in the original box and mail it back to us. You never have to pay for shipping!

What if I want to buy a toy?
If you enjoy a toy so much you want to keep it, you have two options. You can simply keep the toy you currently have, and we'll charge you a low replacement fee, or you can order a new one at our low discounted prices. Either way you enjoy a try-before-you-buy option unavailable elsewhere in the sex toy world.

Do you include batteries?
Many of our toys are battery-operated. When you order a toy, you can select the "batteries included option" for a small fee and you'll get the appropriate batteries to power your toy right in the box!

What about lube?
With each toy shipment we include a package of our own specially-formulated silicone-based lube. We encourage you to use this lube with the toys. Not only is it extremely high quality and pleasurable, it is safe for use with latex condoms and barriers and cleans easily.

How long can I keep each toy?
You can keep each toy for as long as you want. There are no late fees, only a monthly subscription fee: $19 for one toy out at a time, $29.99 for two toys, and $49.99 for the Golden Dildo plan with three toys out and priority to receive new, unused toys as rentals.

$50 a month for the Golden Dildo Plan and you’re still not guaranteed the new toys? Sheesh! And I’m sorry, “try before you buy,” is fine on things like cars and computer programs, but sex toys – not so much.

Now, I have no idea if this is real or not. Frankly, I am hoping and praying it’s fake, (or if it’s not, they change the name to rent-an-std.) Either way, this entire concept has completely derailed me today. My head is still trying to wrap around it. I mean, who would pay $20 a month to use a second-hand sex toy, even with their patented cleaning process? And who is cleaning them? Is that actually someone’s job?

“What do you do, Bob?”

"Oh, I’m a dildo washer at the local RAD distribution center.”

Ew! Just ew!

So, what do you all think? Ingenious money maker you wish you thought of or wrong on so many levels? Either way, I hope it made you smile this fine Friday.

Meagan Hatfield

Flirting 101 - The Release of The Cougar Meets Her Master

Hi everyone,

I'm celebrating! The Cougar Meets Her Master was released today from The Wilder Roses, the erotic side of the Wild Rose Press. Click To Purchase

In my story, Colt doesn't have subtle flirations. No, he gets what he wants, when he wants it, and Taylor isn't allowed to say no.

Blurb: Taylor Davis is turning 40. Her high powered job leaves little room for romance outside of her high powered vibrator that sleeps under her pillow. No pillow talk allowed. And no complaints from her. The rabbit never quits before she's done, doesn't complicate her calendar, and Taylor doesn't have to concoct excuses to make it go home after orgasms.

Enter Colt Foster. Has the bitch of the Beau Monde Hotel and Casino met her match? The hot, young detective has his own rules...and expects Taylor to play by them. Can she say no when Colt slaps on the cuffs? Does she want to...will he let her?

So today I thought I would blog about flirting. Here is the 101...

1- Make repeated contact. You need to let the intended target know your interested. Go for veral and non verbal clues. Eye contact. Give the target time to realize that yes, you want him/her. Say hello. Smile.

2- Find a way to isolate yourself, even for a minute. No one wants rejected in front of a group.

3- During your first conversation, whisper. Make them lean in and get a smell of your pheromones.

4- If you are the intended target of an unwanted flirt, gently pass them off to your girlfriend/male friends. They might be p'd off in the morning. but at least your off the hook.

5- Always have a contingency plan if the first flirt isn't receptive. Keep your options open. Also important that a friend has your back. Sometimes the packaging is tempting, but what's inside is...crap.

7- Dress for success and have good posture. Most targets want someone equally as attractive as they are.

8- Make sure your target also knows you find them attractive. Let your gaze linger in the right places.

9- The Flirt is the first impression. Make it count.
Have any flirting 101 tips, tell me about them

KyAnn Waters

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Eden Light and Dark

By way of introduction, I’m an erotic romance author. A pagan erotic romance author. And a mom to two teenage girls. And I live in a conservative neighborhood in a Midwestern community. See where this is going?

Some days I feel like Superman and Clark Kent. Or Jekyll and Hyde. Depends on the day. My husband teaches at a Catholic college. He’s my number one fan and insists he doesn’t care who I tell that I write erotic romance. But I’ve opted to keep that information privy to those who won’t fear for my mortal soul.

Like my sister, who’s slogged through far more ménages, double penetration scenes, descriptions of anal play, creative sex toy scenarios, and one particularly memorable foursome, all for the greater literary good. She’s the world’s best reader, and has never so much as raised an eyebrow at the wild scenes in my books.

I love writing erotic romance. It’s fun, fresh, and never boring. I’m a card carrying feminist, and I see the surge in popularity of erotic romance and erotica written by and for women as a powerful statement. The feminization of sex, if you would. We’re not afraid to write about our fantasies, our desires, our secret kinks and cravings.

What we write doesn’t have to be politically correct. Erotic romance writers understand the draw of taboos, the delight of the forbidden. But unlike traditional male erotica, or newsstand porn, our characters are actors, not objects. The women in our stories may enjoy getting tied up, spanked, or tormented to within an inch of orgasm. Or they may enjoy doing the spanking, tying the knots, and driving the heroes wild.

Once they climb out of bed, erotic romance heroines do something even more important. They solve problems, negotiate sticky situations, and kick some serious ass. They run corporations, chase vampires, become vampires, succeed as single moms, dominate or submit in the BDSM scene, solve crimes, or even assume the traditional role of damsel in distress. There’s never been so much freedom to create complex characters with fascinating plots, and then follow the action and psychology right into the bedroom.

That’s a lot to celebrate. Enough to make any mild mannered writer feel like Superwoman. But at the end of the day, erotic romance writers have to contend with voices of disapproval. Like the recent letter to the editor in RWA’s Romance Writer’s Report which refers to “…hot, spicy, carnal, erotica which most publishers’ guidelines now demand…” as “pornography by any other name…”

Fact is, erotic romance writers know the difference. Love. Our writing’s about the emotions, the intricacies of human interaction, and the complexity of character and plot. But since the rest of the world isn’t always on the same page, for now I’ll remain Eden Light and Eden Dark. The suburban mom with two kids and a dog. And the writer of sizzling erotic romance who loves to listen to music under a full moon, and keeps a locked toy box under the bed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Feelings of Mass Destruction

Have you ever had a secret crush? Not the kind you have as a pimply faced teen in love with the captain of the football team. Those kinds of crushes are considered cute, a requisite part of adolescence even.

I’m talking about the chills on the back of your neck when you talk to your best friend’s husband. The way your heart races when you’re near one of your co-workers, your professor or even “gasp” your priest! These feelings that we try to turn off, bury or hide but ultimately cannot deny have the potential to end marriages, hurt feelings and devastate friendships.

No, these crushes are anything but cute.

What do you do when your heart is trying to lead you in a direction you cannot follow? Or is it all in our heads? I think I’m in love, therefore I am. (Translation = If I wanted to get over it, I could.)

What do you think? Are we victims of our own emotions or perpetrators of our own pain? Or do you think everything happens for a reason and we're all just victims of fate?

I have no answers, only questions. The only thing I know for sure is that fate is a bitch sometimes.

And I really want to slap her.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Looking for Guest Bloggers!

Attention fellow authors: If you want to guest blog send me a message. Feel free to write about whatever strikes your fancy, whether it's something weird you saw in traffic or your trouble with your latest work in progress.

I look forward to hearing from you.