Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost – “Beautiful Eyes” by Gabbi Black

Why BDSM erotic romance?

In 2012 my family bought me an e-reader for Christmas.  I had no notion of what to do with it. I’d always sworn I would stick with paperbacks until the end of time, and felt this electronic book thing was a fad.  Boy, was I wrong.  I started exploring late at night, finding inexpensive and free books.  I also bought a few from my favorite authors.  I happened upon a book called Molly’s Lips by Annabel Joseph.  My life changed.  Forever.  The book is the middle in the Mephisto series so I snapped up Club Mephisto and Burn for You.  Then I nabbed every Annabel book I could find.

I didn’t know anything about BDSM.  Complete newbie.  Something clicked, though.  Possibilities exploded in my mind.  I grabbed other BDSM books and read all of them.  A few years later, Annabel was attending a conference near my house.  I found the courage to attend.  I met her and introduced myself.  I’d emailed her the previous year and she remembered.  We clicked, and she generously and graciously spent time with me.  I was so nervous.  I met other great authors that weekend including Cherise Sinclair, Eliza Gayle, Kallypso Masters, and Red Phoenix.  I’d read quite a few of Red’s books and meeting my idols was amazing.

By then I’d dabbled in writing.  I’d penned the In Their Eyes trilogy with no notion of what to do with it.  I was unpublished, and even the thought of putting myself out there was overwhelming.  The year after I met Annabel, I joined RWA and attended their conference in NYC.  Talk about being a fish out of water.  I was lost – metaphorically – but I met some great authors including Lucy Monroe and Dani Collins who encouraged me to follow my dream.  I pitched the first book, Amber Eyes, several times over the next few years, and although I had some nibbles, nothing ever came about. A friend suggested I send the book to The Wild Rose Press and the rest is, as they say, publishing magic.

My book found a home on a wonderful editor’s desk and she helped me publish it.  Beautiful Eyes is the second book in the series, but it’s a stand-alone.  I’ve had some great reviews and readers generally agree that Alessandra Soriano is one of my most damaged heroines.  That, I believe, makes her journey to happily ever after even sweeter.  Smith MacLean can be ruthless in some aspects of his life, but when it comes to the beguiling Allie, he’s facing his biggest challenge.  He wants her, but he only has thirty days to convince her to stay.  I invite readers to check out the book to see how he succeeds.

Thank you, Amber, for letting me visit today!

Beautiful Eyes Synopsis

Entrepreneur Smith MacLean is obsessed with Alessandra Soriano, a woman he met briefly who disappeared six months ago. After a shocking reunion at Club Kink, he insists she stay with him. He means to find out where she’s been.

Alessandra walked away from her life after making a mistake that cost everything. Her self-imposed penance is living in poverty and doing questionable things with questionable people. Now she’s in Smith’s luxurious condo, under his hand, and obeying his rules.

He has thirty days to convince her to come back from limbo. She has thirty days to convince him she needs to be forgotten. Unless the flames of lust consume them first.


She needs redemption.

He needs to demand it of her.

Exclusive Excerpt

The cab ride was relatively uneventful, and Alessandra stirred, took in her surroundings, then closed her eyes again.

He wasn’t thrilled, bringing a drunk woman home to his condo, but the only other choices were the drunk tank at the police station or the busiest hospital in downtown Vancouver, and neither seemed necessary, although he’d keep his options open.

The night security guard, Tarah, was there to hold the door for him. “Good evening, Mr. MacLean.” She eyed the drunk woman dubiously but said nothing.

“Could I impose upon you to come up and open my door? I’d hate to drop the lady.”

She nodded and went for her keys. He was pretty sure she mumbled something about Alessandra not being a lady, but he put her comments down to the fact he was carrying a woman in a spandex catsuit who wore four-inch stiletto heels.

The ride in the elevator was brief, and ever efficient, Tarah had his suite unlocked in no time. As he stepped through the threshold, Alessandra stirred.

She placed her nose against his throat and sniffed. “You smell good.”

The last thing he saw before the door closed was the concierge rolling her eyes. He’d have to make sure he gave her a good Christmas bonus.


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Publisher:  TBA

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Even though Gabbi Black is a firm believer in happy endings, she makes her characters work for it in every romance she writes, no matter what the genre. From contemporary to BDSM, they are penned early in the morning in her home in beautiful British Columbia while her trusty ChinPoo dog and her cantankerous Himalayan cat keep her company. She also writes gay romances as Gabbi Grey.

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#AuthorInterview – Janice Seagraves

Let’s welcome Janice to the blog for a one-on-one talk. Thanks for visiting.

What kind of research did you do for Alien Desire? Did you travel, use the Internet, speak with experts on a topic, etc?

I took some road trips to decide where my aliens were living. It had to be California in the mountains. I finally settled on an area just above Hunting Lake California.

Sweet. What process did you go through when you picked your characters’ names for Alien Desire?

I have the Character naming source book by Sherrilyn Kenyon and get a lot of my character’s names from there. It’s a great book.

Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Yes, two of my daughter’s friends who were cutters. 

Do any of your characters take over and write the book themselves sometimes? Who?

Actually, I wrote Alien Heart before Alien Desire. This little half Japanese girl just marched into the scene and took it over. After I written the book, I kept hearing her voice asking when her book would be written so I had to write Alien Desire because of Saki. Her story happens earlier in the timeline, so I Indy published it first.

Haha. I’ve been there. The characters just take over sometimes. What do you prefer: ebook or print? Why?

I like both. I have a tablet with a kindle ap, but I still love the feel of a book in my hands, so I got a cover for my tablet that makes it seem move like a book than a tablet. 

How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?

Off and on since I was twenty. I tried earlier but didn’t make it work.

What did you do when you received your first Acceptance Letter? 

In 2003. I feel kind of stupid now, but I when I got that first email, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I called my husband over. He read it, kissed my cheek, and told me, “You got your first contract, congratulations, honey.”

Same thing with me! All writers suffer from writer’s block at least once in their career. What’s your go-to cure?

Sadly I’m suffering from writer’s block right now. Three years ago, I lost my uncle, my step-dad, and then a niece. After I moved my mom in with us, I couldn’t write a damn thing. Luckily, I have several finished manuscripts that just needs to be polished up to get published. That much I can do. And it has gotten a bit better. I started writing again. A story I stop writing the day I found out my step-dad had passed away. It’s slow going and the story is dark, but I’m getting there.

I’m so sorry to hear that, but hopefully you’ll find some light in your dark book. Sometimes the romance genre gets a bad reputation for being cliché and full of Fabios. How do you respond to that?

*shrug* It is what it is. Romance is offered up as a fantasy, a hope, and a dream. There is love out there somewhere for everyone. Isn’t that a wonderful idea?

We all need a little inspiration in our lives. What’s your favorite quote and why?

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” ~ Maya Angelou

I used this quote for a while for my website. I just love what it says. 

I love it! Any advice for the aspiring authors out there? Particularly those who are feeling a little discouraged?

I have this on a letter opener I got from my uncle who was in WWII: 

“Never, never, never give up.”
― Winston Churchill 

If you want to be a serious writer and have a career in this business keep in mind that a profession writer is someone who used to be an amateur but didn’t give up.

How do you market your books? What do you find more effective?

That is something I’m still working on.

Same here. What is your favorite book? Favorite author?

God Stalk by PC Hodgell.

Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

Photography, gardening, and playing with my grandchildren.

What’s your most bizarre life experience?

I went on a drive with my mother on my birthday, and I swear this is true, we saw a coyote leap into the air and turn into a bald eagle then fly away. 

I talked to a native American about this experience and asked if it meant anything. He told me it could be just a trickster playing a trick on me and it meant nothing. 

Cool! Thanks again for visiting, Janice.

Blurb for Alien Desire:

The Arcons Tane and Brock Moonwalker are vacationing in the small town of Greenwood. Tane is dealing with agoraphobia, a condition worsened by the loss of their female. Brock and his friend needed to get away, but a tiny, gang ridden town is the last place they expected to find love.

Saki Starling had trouble on her heels and couldn’t catch a break. She lost her apartment and a local gang threatened her at every turn. With her week at its lowest point, Tane and Brock promised to brighten her darkening world.

Tane, Brock, and Saki must find a way to come together, if they have any hope of overcoming their past and heal their broken hearts.


Brock did a final sweep of the hotel room to make sure they hadn’t left anything, and then called to cancel the shuttle pick up. Lastly, he turned in the cardkeys to Steve, the day manager.

“You’re leaving a day early?” Steve asked with a glance at the computer screen.

Brock nodded and hoped he wouldn’t be charged extra because Saki was with them. “Yes. We need to get back home.”

Steve brought out a receipt for Brock to sign. “We had some interesting visitors looking for you earlier.”

Brock picked up the pen and froze. The hoodlums? He pretended indifference. “Oh really, who?”

“Several young, badly dressed bald men.” Steve looked at him. “I told them, that there were no Arcons here. He acted like he didn’t believe me and promised to come back later. Our night manager told us he spoke to someone and told them you were here. I’m sorry that happened, your privacy is important to us.”

His mouth went dry, and his heart pounded in his ears. The urge to flee with Saki and Tane tightened his muscles. He quickly signed the paper and handed it back. “Thank you. It’s definitely time to leave.”

“I would say so.” Steve smiled. “I hope your visit here was a pleasant one.”

Brock waved at Saki and Tane who were both waiting for him. The couple wore matching wraparound sunglasses against the sun’s glare. Tane had an arm around Saki’s shoulders as they both leaned against the jeep. His best friend looked perfectly at ease, standing outside.

Brock smiled. “It was. Thank you.” He hurried to join his friends. We’re running out of time.

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Barnes & Noble: Alien Desire|NOOK Book


Janice Seagraves grew up with a deep love of science fiction and adventure stories. Always the consummate artist, she traded in her paint brush for a desktop to write breathless life-affirming novels that celebrate enduring love.




Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost #NewRelease – “Rajasthani Moon” by Lisabet Sarai

Fear of Flying

It would have been much faster to fly.

Alas, Cecily Harrowsmith—special agent for Her Majesty the Queen, expert in the martial arts of three continents, past mistress of princes, potentates and the occasional prime minister—was afraid of flying. She despised herself for this weakness, but not enough to board one of the Empire’s sleek, viridium-powered airships, strap herself into her seat and hope for the best.

Thus begins my most recent release, Rajasthani Moon, a book that deliberately defies categorization. It contains elements of the steam punk and paranormal sub-genres, plus quite a lot of moderately extreme BDSM and a M/F/M ménage. It features a kick-ass Rubenesque heroine, a billionaire Rajah and a sexy, deliciously disreputable bandit. It flirts with non-consensual fantasies and lesbian attraction. It has some funny moments, not infrequently associated with sex. Oh, and it’s a romance, with what I hope is a sublimely satisfying happy ending (although I won’t tell you who ends up with whom!)

Writing this book involved taking risks. I’ve observed how readers cling to their favorite genres. I’m breaking rules right and left with this novel. Will the market embrace my mash-up? Or will readers run away in droves, terrified of the unfamiliar?

Producing the same sort of stories, again and again, can be comfortable. It may help sales, too. To grow as authors, though, we have to leave safety behind. We must step out onto that high pinnacle of creativity and let go, defying the fear that we’ll plummet ignominiously to the ground. We have to get over our fear of flying.

MF/MMF Steampunk Shifter BDSM Erotic Romance
52,600 words
Smashwords and Amazon KDP
ISBN (Smashwords): 9781005359492

#steampunk #bondage #discipline #Victorian #BDSM #India #Bollywood #BBW #analsex #curse #espionage #dirigible #menage #shifter

Tag line

Neither kink nor curse can stop a woman on a mission.


A bandit prince cursed into beast form under the full moon.

A brilliant but sadistic Rajah whose robotic sex toys mingle torture and delight.

A voluptuous spy on a mission from Her Majesty, tasked with discovering Rajasthan’s secrets.

She has never faced such a challenge.

When Rajasthan refuses to remit its taxes, the Queen calls on her most lethal and seductive secret agent, Cecily Harrowsmith. Cecily expects to have little difficulty persuading the rebellious Rajah to submit once more to the Empire. Instead, she is the one forced to submit – to endure unprecedented extremes of pleasure and pain.

Kidnapped by the ruler’s half-brother Pratan and delivered into the hands of the handsome but depraved Rajah Amir, she soon finds herself fighting against her own lascivious nature as much as the schemes of her captors. Her sympathy for the moon-cursed wolf-man Pratan only complicates her situation. Cecily has never failed to complete an assignment, but now she risks betrayal by both her body and her heart.

Note: This book was previously published by Totally Bound. It has been re-edited, revised and updated for this release.


“Stop there, Miss Harrowsmith. I doubt I should trust you to approach me more closely.” The voice was deep and mellow, with a lazy, smoky quality that reminded her of full moons and autumn bonfires. The man’s English was practically perfect. His lilting accent only added to the charm of his utterance.

She found herself almost eager to obey orders delivered in such a lush voice.

“Kneel up. Let me look at you.”

Cecily tried to keep her gaze averted as she complied, though she was desperately tempted to see if the ruler was as handsome in the flesh as in his portrait.

His chuckle sent a shimmer through her, something like shame but hotter and sweeter. “Very nice indeed. If all of Queen Victoria’s minions were as delectable, we might be more willing to return to her fold.”

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About Lisabet

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – nearly one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost – “Love Comes in Many Shapes” by Alice Renaud

Love Comes in Many Shapes, a story by Alice Renaud in Rainbow Desire

An anthology of LGBTQIA+ romance stories by BVS

Why Love Comes in Many Shapes is a special story for me

Of course all my stories are precious. They’re all my beautiful babies. But this one is special. When my fellow BVS authors first floated the idea of an anthology of LGBTQIA+ romance stories, I wasn’t initially sure I’d be able to participate. I’d never written a gay romance or menage story. But the more I thought about it, the more enthusiastic I became. Short stories are a great way to experiment with new themes or new ways of writing. I wrote my first sci-fi romance, Space Cowboy Blues, for the BVS anthology Cowboy Desire, out now. So I thought why not try a love story between two women? Plus one man? The worst that can happen is that the story won’t be any good. So I set about writing my tale. I had had the idea of a mermaid in Las Vegas for a while. I’d read about the mermaid shows they have in Vegas, where girls dress up as mermaids with fake tails and swim in aquariums. I’d always wanted to put one of my real shifter mermaids in one of these shows. Here was my opportunity. I love witches as much as mermaids. My story “The Sweetest Magic of All” in the BVS paranormal romance anthology “Mystic Desire” is about an apprentice witch. So I decided to pair my shifter mermaid with a hot witch. 

And the warlock? Well, Ariel Wolfsbane, leader of the London warlocks, is a secondary character in my latest Sea of Love novel, “Mermaids Marry in Green.” I love him and several readers told me they love him too! I made him the witch’s ex and gave him an excuse to go meet the girls in Las Vegas. What happens next? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

I am proud of my first gay romance story. I wrote it in November, when the UK was in full lockdown, and the weather and the news were as depressing as could be. It was lovely to escape to sunny Las Vegas with my hot mermaid, witch and warlock. I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blurb for Rainbow Desire

Rainbow Desire is a celebration of life and love in its kaleidoscope of exotic rainbow colours. The stories within the book also reflect its vibrant shades of romance from light to dark. I hope you will enjoy the wealth of narratives in this glorious LGBTQ+ anthology.

Blurb for Love Comes in Many Shapes

Bryony, a shifter mermaid, has run away with sexy witch Maia, and now they’re living the dream in Las Vegas. But Maia is hiding a secret. When her ex, a super-hot warlock, turns up, Bryony can’t fight her attraction to him. Will she choose him? Or Maia? Or both?

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Bryony cleared her throat. “They’re very conservative on the Islands. Even my Clan, the Benetynns… they never understood that I was attracted to women. When Maia came and we fell in love… things were hard.” 

Ariel’s dark gaze was full of sympathy. “I get it. I’m not angry with Maia anymore. But she took something from me when she left London. Something of value. And I want it back.”

A dull weight settled in Bryony’s stomach, almost squashing the excitement. “Maia stole from you?” So that was what she’d been hiding. No wonder she’d been afraid of Ariel coming after her. 

Ariel sighed. “I’d entrusted her with a powerful amulet and asked her to test its powers. She chose to take it to a remote part of Wales… the Morvann Islands.” His lips curled in a half-smile. “Who could have predicted she’d fall in love with a gorgeous mermaid?” 

He leaned towards Bryony and brushed a strand of hair from her face. The tiny contact was enough to reawaken the embers between her thighs. His eyes held hers, drawing her in, as if she were a planet suddenly caught in the orbit of a powerful sun. “The amulet gave her the opportunity to take you away, to a place where you could live and love in peace.” He inclined his head towards her. “And now I know you, Bryony, I don’t blame her.” His breath caressed her face, as fresh as a breeze over a summer meadow. “I would have done the same.”

All she could see was his mouth. All she could feel was how much she wanted it. As if in a dream, she brought her head nearer to his… and nearer… until her lips brushed his. Only a fleeting touch, but it reverberated in her entire body, filling her with trembling sparks of arousal. 

His hand caught the back of her head, pulling her closer. His mouth captured hers, and his tongue parted her lips. A deep shiver shook her, and she surrendered to the kiss, opening her mouth wide so he could explore her better. He tasted delicious, like her first stolen sip of whisky when she was a teenager… like the first bite into a forbidden fruit.

“What the hell do you two think you’re doing?”

Maia’s scream tore through the air, yanking Bryony out of her sensual daze. A tidal wave of shame slammed into her. She broke off the kiss and jumped to her feet to face her furious lover. “Maia…”

“Don’t you “Maia” me, you little tramp!” Her girlfriend planted her hands on her hips. Her face had turned beetroot red. “How could you do this to me… and with him!”


UK Office Staff Portraits

Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she’s a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in the Sea of Love fantasy romance series, inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second and third books, “Music for a Merman,” and “Mermaids Marry in Green,” are out now. Both the Sea of Love series and Mermaids Marry in Green won their categories in the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award 2020. Alice has also contributed short stories for the BVS anthologies “Mystic Desire,” “Desire Me Again,” and “Cowboy Desire,” all available now, and “Rainbow Desire” on pre order. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#SeriesSpotlight #GuestPost – “Love in the Kingdom” by Amber Cross

Birth Order Matters, Right?

I find it fascinating how birth order affects us and shapes our personalities, evident in my LOVE IN THE KINGDOM books. 

Abby is the oldest child of parents who split up; an overachiever, spunky, brilliant, and absolutely devoted to her younger brothers. Meet her in Precedent for Passion:

Their attraction set a precedent no one else could match…

Abby’s imagination hadn’t been playing tricks with her memory. Glen Plankey is still so attractive he makes her toes curl, even fifteen years after first meeting him in a court room. And that voice! Deep and authoritative, she practically melts into a puddle at the sound of it. She can’t wait to see more of him. Glen can’t get away fast enough. Everything about Abby reminds him of a terrible day in his life, yet his brain turns to adolescent mush at her curves and his heart skips a beat every time she smiles. Soon undeniable attraction leads to scorching passion and grows into a true love affair. But is it strong enough to survive when he thinks she has played him for a fool?

I can’t remember if I planned to write the brothers’ stories when I began Precedent for Passion, but by the end I knew. Follow Romney’s story in Tender Possession:

Can he charm his way into her heart?

Emmeline Charbonneau spent most of her life protecting others from her father’s violent mood swings and erratic behavior. Now that he’s gone she isn’t so much relieved as cast adrift. She desperately needs an anchor. Romney Wilson is his mother’s second son and his father’s second child. Success may take him all over the world, but he is still that youngest sibling trying to find his place in it. Quite simply, he needs to be needed. The connection between them is immediate and strong. But can she trust this impulsive and spontaneous charmer to stick around? And will he get past her wall of self-preservation only to scare her away?

David “grounds” his brilliant siblings. The reliable middle child. Unflappable until he meets the exciting Jonnie Moulton in Open Door to Love:

A hot chef in a cold climate makes this wild woman want to settle down…

Jonnie Moulton’s chance for a fresh start as Somerset’s marketing consultant might be over before it begins unless she can convince David Wang she knows what she’s doing and isn’t the desperate woman he met three years ago. This confident new Jonnie makes David’s blood sizzle. He plans to keep her close and not just because she’s living in one of his resort cabins. He “gets” her like no one else. She excites him more every day. But is this simply passion, or have they found an open door to love?

I thought I was done, but Lisa had her own ideas. HR director at the hospital in Tender Possession, Jonnie’s best friend in Open Door to Love, she screamed, “Write my story!” So I did: A Full-Bodied Love.

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Author Bio: 

Amber Cross was raised on a family farm in New England, one of a dozen siblings, each one inspiring her writing in some way. She still lives in that same small town with her husband and the youngest of their five children. She loves spending time in the woods, in the water, and watching people because every one of them has a unique and fascinating story to tell.


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Bookbub Profile: AmberCrossatBookbub

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost – “Why Is It So Hard to Start” by Karen McCullough

Why Is It So Hard to Start?

I like writing. I must. In the last thirty-some years I’ve turned out more than a dozen novels, a few novellas, and quite a few short stories. I figure I’ve likely produced more than a million words all totaled.

And yet, every time I sit down to work on a story, something inside resists getting started. It’s almost like there’s an invisible wall I have to break through to get rolling. I had trouble even getting to work on this blog post. Why is that? 

I really do like writing. Translating thoughts, ideas, weird notions, and particularly all those stories rolling around in my head into words gives me tremendous satisfaction. But none of that makes it easy to start.

The resistance reminds me of what I feel as I start to exercise. My body seems to say, “NO. Don’t want to get up out of the chair. Don’t want to get moving. It’s too much trouble. Too much work.” But of course, once I get going, it feels good and I’m glad I started. 

The same with writing. My brain seems to resist the effort of gathering the words. Once I really get started and the words start flowing, I enjoy the process. It’s the getting going that sometimes almost defeats me.

I’ve developed a few tricks along the way.

Reviewing what I wrote the previous day and usually making some minor tweaks or edits helps me dive into the world of the story and pick up the thread.

Computer games like Candy Crush and a few Solitaire card games are a weakness of mine, so I use them to motivate myself. I buy a round of whatever game I’m playing with writing a sentence of whatever I’m working on. One sentence gets me one round of whatever I’m playing. The next sentence buys me another round, etc. Usually after four or five, the writing is rolling and I’ll change the stakes to a paragraph or a hundred words for another round.

Another thing that sometimes works is to set myself a time limit and a goal. I’ll sit down and set a timer for fifteen minutes and challenge myself to write a hundred words (or more) in that space.

Most of the time one or more of those tricks will get things rolling and the writing will start to move. I strive for 500 words a day for the first half of a novel and a 1,000 words a day for the second half. On occasion, though, I have to keep up the one sentence, one game thing for the entire time I’m writing.

I used to worry that the strain would show in the writing. But then I heard another author talk about how sometimes writing can be very hard for her while at other times the words just gush. And she pointed out that readers generally can’t tell which parts of the book are where the words were flowing and which sentences had to be plucked from your brain, kicking and screaming, one word at a time.

I’ve read a lot of books. And she’s right. I can’t tell.


When Cathy Bennett agrees to attend an important party as a favor for her boss, she knows she won’t enjoy it. But she doesn’t expect to end up holding a dying man in her arms and becoming the recipient of his last message. Bobby Stark has evidence that will prove his younger brother has been framed for arson and murder. He wants that evidence to get to his brother’s lawyer, and he tries to tell Cathy where he’s hidden it. But he dies before he can give her more than a cryptic piece of the location.

The man who killed Bobby saw him talking to her and assumes she knows where the evidence is hidden. He wants it back and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it, including following her and trying to kidnap her.

Cathy enlists the aid of attorney Peter Lowell and Danny Stark, Bobby’s prickly, difficult younger brother, as well as a handsome private detective to help her find the evidence before the killers do.

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Author bio:

Karen McCullough is the author of more than a dozen published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. She’s also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years. 

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost – “My Muse Done Me Wrong” by Karen McCullough

My Muse Done Me Wrong

By Karen McCullough

There’s a song there, and I’m singing the blues because I can’t manage to do the one thing I need to do for a successful career writing fiction. Pick a niche and stick with it.

Maybe my parents are to blame. After all, their library included Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh and Rex Stout and Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean. Or maybe it was the school libraries, where I found Arthur C. Clarke and Asimov and Heinlein and Andre Norton, that were the culprit. University courses insisted I read Austen and Dickens and Trollope and Dumas and Rilke and Thomas Mann. Later, in bookstores I tripped over J.R.R. Tolkien and Nora Roberts and Dorothy Sayers and dozens of Gothic romance novels.

To a voracious reader like myself it was all too much temptation. I devoured them all and more. And they all embedded pieces of themselves in my imagination, influencing my daydreams, my fantasies, and the stories I would go on to write.

The result is I don’t seem able to restrict myself to a single genre in my writing. I’ve been published in Romance, Romantic Suspense, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Mystery. But almost all of them cross genres, some more blatantly than others. My published romances all include elements of mystery. My mystery novels have elements of suspense and romance. Even some of my fantasy novels include romance and mystery.

This is not a good career move. Editors like consistency. Readers want another novel just like the last one you did, only a little different. And many mystery readers won’t read anything with fantasy or romance in it, just as many romance readers don’t want any fantasy or mystery, etc.

Which brings us to my self-published novel, The Wizard’s Shield. In that one book I manage to cross so many genres I can’t even figure out what to call it. Is it contemporary urban fantasy with mystery and romantic elements? Is it a paranormal romance with mystery and suspense? Or paranormal mystery with suspense and romantic elements? All of those would be fair descriptions.

What I hope is an even fairer description though is: It’s a good story!

It’s a story my muse insisted I had to write. My muse doesn’t care about whether a book is marketable or whether it will help to build my career. My muse has something to say and a definite idea how she wants to say it.

And when I tried to tell my muse that I needed to get that next book in the mystery series done, she went, “Yes, yes, of course. We’ll get to it. But first you’ve got write this one about the physicist who is also a strong wizard. The one who has a tortured past and creates a magical shield to protect himself, only to have it stolen by the magical bad guys. The physicist who has to reunite with the woman he loved and lost years ago to track it down before they can learn how to use it. The one who has to figure out who killed his mentor in order to discover where his invention is now. And the one who finally has to decide what is most important to him and what sacrifices he’s willing to make.”

Right. So I wrote the book. And let it sit on my hard drive for a while. I finished the other book and a couple of others. I sent it to a few editors and agents. The response almost always went something like this: “Good book. I can’t place it (agents). Don’t know how to market it (editors). Lots of luck.”

I decided to self publish it. I can’t say it’s been a bestseller, but it has sold some copies. More than it would’ve sold sitting on my hard drive anyway.   It’s gotten a few good reviews. And my muse let me move on to the next project. In a different genre entirely, of course.


Abandoned as a child, betrayed during adolescence, and tortured when he was just barely an adult, Michael Morgan refuses to be so vulnerable ever again. Using his expertise in both magic and physics, he invents a shield to protect himself.

Dismayed by the shield’s potential to disrupt the balance of powers, the magic councils send his former girlfriend to convince him to destroy it. Michael and Ilene have been estranged for years and their reunion is less than cordial.

But when the shield is stolen, they join forces to follow a trail of murders and retrieve Michael’s invention before a ruthless, powerful wizard learns how to use it for his own dark ends.

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Author bio:

Karen McCullough is the author of more than a dozen published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. She’s also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years. 

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost – “Why Write Together” by Liz Crowe

Why Write Together?

Liz Crowe

On behalf of Desiree Holt, co-authors of NUMBERS GAME

We all have our heroes.

And when I say “hero” I’m talking about my personal ones, not the 40 or male ones I’ve created during the course of my writing career. I have lifestyle heroes, sports heroes, parenting heroes, my kids are even my heroes sometimes. My list of writing heroes is short, and in some cases more like hero worship from afar since a couple of them are super stars that I can only be a stan for on social media.

However, luckily for this writer, one of mine is a writer named Desiree Holt. When I think back on our earliest conversations, it was mainly me, a lowly stars-in-my-eyes romance author, wowed by the fact that she was so approachable and cool. She’s also one of Those Authors who give advice, tips, and inside scoops to those of us coming up behind her, learning the ropes of what can be a bit of a brutal industry at times.

When she figured out that I lived in Ann Arbor (at the time) we got to talking sports—a mutually favorite topic of ours. When she told me that she and some of her family were coming into town for a football game a few years ago, I made sure we met at the brewery I owned (at the time) and our friendship was sealed.  Since then, I’ve approached her with ideas for books, questions about publishers, and all sorts of author-related stuff, but in 2016, I helped organize, promote, and run a massive fundraiser for my kids’ high school’s athletic department that featured John and Jim Harbaugh, returning to the high school that John graduated from to honor them. It was a roaring success. We raised $50,000 for the athletic fund in one night, and I got to give Desiree a present. A few of the commemorative 2016 Pioneer High Hall of Fame footballs we had made were signed by both brothers so I made sure I got one and sent it to her.

All in the name of bribing her just a little bit because I had a project in mind that I wanted us to tackle together.

It worked! But because we’re both busy, it took us a few years to get to the point of actually talking through the concept that became the novel: NUMBERS GAME, that is releasing April 20 from The Wild Rose Press. We wrote in the sort of back-and-forth manner that was fun but also frustrating at times for both of us. I know I learned a lot about my process and habits as I crafted the point of view for Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher, a former pro player and coach who’s hiding the secret of his downfall in the pros, but has landed at his fictional Michigan alma mater as head coach. When we finally got the book exactly the way we wanted it, then came the challenge of finding it a publishing home. That was a task Desiree took on with a vengeance and landed us at The Wild Rose Press, a new-to-me publisher. It’s been great working with them and we’re proud to present this sports romance, featuring characters that are both divorced, both a tad jaded, but once they meet….well, those sparks catch fire quick and burn hot!

Second Chance Romance
By: Desiree Holt & Liz Crowe


Making a pass could just mean scoring a second chance…

Former pro football player and coach Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher fumbled his career and marriage. Now divorced and ready to tackle his future, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as coach of his college alma mater’s football team. But how can he can turn the team’s losing streak around and keep the secret of his downfall buried when the school agrees to a documentary that will allow a lovely journalist to dig her way into his past…and into his heart?

Olivia Grant’s ex-husband almost wrecked her journalism career while he definitely did a number on her self-esteem. The documentary on Duncan Hatcher is the perfect way to rebuild both. As a freshman in college, she’d had a crush on the senior football hero, but he hadn’t known she existed. She never expects the sparks that fly between them as they work on the project nor the struggles they must face if they both want to win.

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Every move after that, to her, seemed to have some kind of sexual connotation. 

The air between them vibrated with the electricity sparking back and forth. By the time he paid the check and they left the restaurant, every pulse in her body pounded, her breasts ached, and her teeny tiny thong was soaked. She wanted to hurry home and take a cold shower before she did something really stupid. 

In the truck, he turned on the radio and found a station playing oldies rock music that he tuned low. They rode in a silence that was more electric than uncomfortable, especially when he reached over and took her hand in his, giving it a gentle squeeze. When they reached her townhouse, he again lifted her from the cab and walked her to the door, holding her hand. When she had the door open, he turned her to face him and studied her face for a long time. She waited, wondering if she had the willpower not to cross that line from professional to personal and how much damage she’d do if she did. 

“You have to be the sexiest sports reporter I’ve ever met. I would really like to kiss you. Would that be okay with you?” 

She should have turned away, but she couldn’t find the willpower. The kiss was soft and gentle, a mere brush of lips, a touch of flesh. Then it was over, but she wanted more. A lot more. She could feel this spinning out of control, and she was powerless to stop it. 

“If you invite me in, I’m not going to turn you down.”

Desiree Holt bio: 

USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and contemporary on a variety of heat levels up to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications. 

Twitter @desireeholt

Pinterest: desiree02holt


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Liz Crowe bio:

Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in Central Illinois. She’s spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a social media consultant and humane society development director, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and always linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.


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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost with Susan Payne

As many of you probably know, some writers refer to their book characters as the ‘voices in their head’.  Many complain about being disturbed in the middle of the night.  Nagged to wake-up enough to write down some tidbit of information or even whole conversations. 

Often, in the light of day, those wonderous words do not seem as earth-shattering or as insightful. Often remaining a mere memo scratched out on a stray piece of paper on the nightstand.  Judged ‘not good enough’ to end up on the printed page.  All writers seem to have these epiphanies that we mourn when we read them by the light of day.

On the opposite side – because where there is a ying there is always a yang, we sometimes come up with wise and useful words everyone can learn from.  I like to call them my Will Roger’s Moments (note the capitals) or for other writers, my Mark Twain Words of Wisdom. I re-read these over and over until I have them down perfectly.  They may only be a few words within 50,000, but they are the ‘meat’ of the story.  The reason it was written.

I can’t pick them out at the moment since they work within the story itself.  Funny because of what it tells the reader about a certain character. Poignant due to what the reader has been shown about a character’s past. Momentous break-throughs in a character’s arc.

I believe a story is driven by the characters.  That a writer may have an idea, but once the words begin to form on the page it will be the characters who finish each chapter.  I use my voice to give them the freedom to say their truths – whatever they may be.  I merely pray I can give them the stage they need to do so.


Veterinarian Henrietta Manville answered a call for a coroner more than once and this time Ranger Tanner would be her guide. She was attracted to the man – who wouldn’t be? But they both had a job to do and then never see one another again. Keep it business was her motto in life and it had kept her safe so far.


Henry peered up and met Tanner’s gaze and all sound disappeared, no more singing or laughter or piano notes. The brightly lit room faded, and there was only the two of them as they were drawn to one another by some unseen force, like a magnet until his lips covered hers and Henry had her first grown-up kiss. 

     It only lasted a moment, but when Tanner pulled back and stood straighter the light and noise and piano all returned in an unwanted roar, as if they were dropped into some kind of hole with all these other people.

     Henry knew Tanner felt the same way. She was sure of it as she touched her lips in awe.

“Don’t worry, Henry, your make up is still perfect. I’m sorry. I should have waited to do that,” he apologized.

     Staring shyly into his shirt, she said, “I really should make myself more available to the reverend. Lure him into trying something.”

     Tanner’s hand tightened a little on her elbow, but then he agreed. “You’re right. I admit I can’t completely monopolize you or this whole night will be for naught. I’ll stay close. Just play with that chain around your neck if you need me, and I’ll be at your side before you know.”

     Making his way to the bar, Tanner watched covertly as she made her way to the table the preacher occupied.

Buy Links: Payne-ebook/


A voracious reader her whole life, author Susan Payne loves the written word.  When reading more than fifty books per month wasn’t enough, she decided to allow her mind to take flight and write all the many stories that kept intruding in her life.  She blended her love of history and her love of words to create over eighty stories.  All historical and centering on a couple finding love and a happy ever after together.


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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookAniversary #GuestPost – “Rock House Grill” by D.V. Stone

Happy Birthday to Rock House Grill. 

I can’t believe it’s been a year already since publication. The road to get there was filled with potholes and detours. Rock House Grill started out as a NaNoWriMo challenge in November of 2015. The challenge is 50,000 words in 30 days. I was able to complete the first draft and received my certificate. Then, like many manuscripts, it was set aside while I finished other projects. I had a couple of independents in the hopper and focused on those.

Fast forward to 2019. I pulled up some old files, and there sat Rock House waving at me. “Hey, remember me?” I did, and with fresh eyes, began to revisit. I’d always dreamed of becoming a traditionally published author. To be able to say, my publishing house—my editor. I began to send out query letters. Let’s just say most places don’t even send a response, much less express an interest.

I sent several letters out in May. Word of warning. Be careful to look things over before you hit send. In horror, I realized the salutation in the email to The Wild Rose Press had another’s name on it. Panic ensued, and a new email went out. “Wild Rose Press. I know you’re The Wild Rose Press!”

Well, I blew that one. Wait. Not necessarily. A few days before my birthday, there was a ding in my inbox. Please send… OMG! Then came the next. Please send the full manuscript. After a couple of starts, stops, and a change in editors, this came on Jul 13, 2017. 

Dear Donna,

My name is ELF and I am the editor who has been assigned to evaluate your story, “The Rock House Grill,” for The Wild Rose Press

Poor ELF didn’t know what she was getting into. At one point, she had to use tough love and warn me I had one more chance. 

So here we are in 2021. You do the math. Publishing for me is not a straight road. I imagine for many, it’s a long pothole-filled one. But don’t give up. Even when you send the wrong email. 

Rock House Grill and I are celebrating our first birthday together. Coming soon is the second Impact book Jazz House. Who knows when that book birthday will be. But I’m sure it will be as sweet as this one. You want to know why? Just like having more than one child, holding each of your subsequent books is an amazing feeling.

My final word to you? Go forth and be bold. Don’t let fear or worry hold you back. I promise it’s worth it.

-- One man’s choices—One woman’s impact
Rock House Grill
One man’s choices—One woman’s impact
Winner NNLights Book Heaven 1st place Sweet Romance
Author Shout Out Recommended Read 2020


Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?


This engrossing story had it all, mystery, suspense, and romance. The twists and turns made it impossible to put down. I enjoyed the supporting characters as well. I will be looking for more from this talented storyteller.

This book is a delightful, savory, hopeful, fun, romantic, and warmhearted read!!

I really enjoyed this romantic suspense. The author portrayed a vivid description of the glamorous world of the high-end restaurant business. The characters were believable, and I rooted for Shay, the heroine, to overcome the many obstacles in her quest to find true love with Aden, the physically and emotionally damaged hero.

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“Easy, you’re going to be okay.” A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.” “Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.” “You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “You can’t see well because we’re under a tarp. Hold still, okay?” “‘K.” A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight. “You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving and causing more injury.” She continued to talk to him. The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo—like an angel.

About the Author

Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. I am a multi-genre author of two independently published books. Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar is a fantasy romance. Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake is a mid-grade paranormal. Recently, Rock House Grill was released by Wild Rose Press. Rainbow Sprinkles, a novella released on July 8th. I also host Welcome to the Campfire and A Peek Through the Window, both weekly blogs. Here’s a little more about me.

Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County.  They live with Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter, and their cat Baby.

D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women’s state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta, NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette. Life handed some setbacks. She ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital. 

“Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Each time you open the pages to one of my books, I hope you’ll be swept away by the story and find encouragement in your own life, never to give up on hope.”

— D.V. Stone

Find out more about D. V. 

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Welcome to the Campfire Blog Amazon Author Page

Other Books by D. V. Stone

Rainbow Sprinkles
After the storm come the rainbows.

Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar
One foolish thought. One brutal act. Instead of a peaceful alliance––war.

Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake
A Mid-grade paranormal

Contributing Author
Australia Burns

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