Friday, March 4, 2011

Pushing Her Boundaries

Blogger doesn't like me.

I came out of hiding yesterday to upload a post - in draft form. Saved it, was very conscientious, but it somehow vanished. Gone with the Wind!

So here's the news. I have a new release, a contemporary romance, Pushing Her Boundaries, with Siren.


I'm also running a contest on my site, a mucho grande contest!

I'd stop by if I were you because I think this will be the last contest I ever run. Seriously. Not to cause a panic, but sometimes when life gives you lemons, it takes you a while to make the lemonade.

I do plan to return to my weekly Friday blogging here on SSS - so that's a positive!
See ya! Julia

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sarah from Smart Bitches Trashy Books

was kind enough to answer some questions for me.

I love the site:

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is amusing, irreverent, informative and it tops my daily must read blog list. When I emailed Sarah about an interview, I didn’t really expect a response. I figured…why would she bother? But sometimes you want to know a little about what’s behind the public persona. Here ya go!

I’ve read about you on your site, but I’d love to hear, in your own words, where you are coming from. I’d like a little background, nothing too personal, but…for instance, have you been reading since you were, say, three years old? Was reading valued in your family? What genres do you read? Only romance, or do you throw in some nonfiction, biographies, straight science fiction? Do you have a favorite all time book?

I learned to read late, and had a lot of trouble with it. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t want to read or because of my eyesight or what, but I was moved backwards in reading groups and got it into my head that I wasn’t intelligent. This is how I discovered romance: when I saw the class valedictorian in high school reading a huge thick paperback, I got all angsty but worked up the nerve to ask what she was reading. It was Catherine Coulter, and she dragged me over to the romance paperback rack to tell me all about the different books. I was hooked from there.

Reading was valued in my family, but my tendency to go completely deaf and become completely absorbed into the book was not terribly valued or popular!

I read romance, mysteries, nonfiction, and a LOT about cooking and the science thereof. I don’t have an all-time favorite book but I have some that never lose their power with me:

Lamb, by Christopher Moore
The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn
Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong
Cry Wolf, Patricia Briggs
Charms for the Easy Life, by Kaye Gibbons

Be honest, do you read romance for the sex? Or do you read romance for the story? Or are both a must? How do you feel if a book has great sex, but the story sucks, or if the sex is merely insert tab a into slot b, but the story rocks? I would like to know what you think about the fact that romance/erotica has become increasingly graphic – both scenes and language - in recent years.

I absolutely do not read romance merely for the sex. I read for the story, the emotional power of a writer who can truly communicate the risk and fulfillment of a happy ending, knowing that no matter how bad the circumstances may become, it will all work out in the end. Sex is optional. I dislike it intensely when sex is, pardon the visual, wedged into the story for whatever reason. Sex is a complication, a form of progress or regression in a relationship – and its role or absence in a romance is important, but not the only reason I read.

I think erotica is popular for the same reasons that paranormal stories are popular: there are a lot of people who want to read them, and if that’s what someone wants to read, more power to ‘em. I think people should be able to read whatever they want, without comment or judgment.

How do you feel about authors who jump on the bandwagon, say switch from historical to steampunk or YA simply because it sells? Do their voices sound inauthentic, or can a very special artist successfully pull it off? Among the authors you’ve read or follow, who is able to switch voices and genres in a very satisfying way?

It always depends on the author. I don’t think a writer needs to be limited to any one subgenre. Many have written across genre lines and done marvelously well with it. Some haven’t. It depends on many factors, most of which rest on the talent of the writer.

Are vampires dead? LOL! Is the genre dead or is there life within it yet? Has it been done to death? Do you miss the good old days of bad vampires or do you like the new and improved versions? What about the shift to were-animals? Interesting? Not? I’ve skimmed a couple stories in which the characters have sex while in animal form and I’m not a big fan.

I’m very tired of vampires, personally. I am way over tales of angsty courtship with maudlin immortals. I do love were stories, particularly those that explore violence, anger, and gender roles, but I haven’t encountered many that feature graphic depictions of sex in animal form.

I may be taking my life into my hands here, but are you a Twilight fangirl, or would you prefer to say, no comment, and sparkle on your hard as marble merry way? Oh, and I must ask, Eric or Bill?

I read Twilight and gave it a D, but was very fascinated by the power and draw Edward as a character had and continues to have over a large group of fans. If folks are into Edward, they can sparkle on, though I wish they wouldn’t do creepy things like mail actors pictures of the hey nanner nanners because Lord that’s unnecessary. Eric or Bill? Neither, thanks!

Are you a BSG-er? Or perhaps you prefer Lost? Or are you more of a Thirty Rock kind of gal?

I’m a big ol’ loser in that question! My favorite shows to date are Bones and NCIS, and a few cooking shows I cannot get enough of. Sorry!

Tell me about your toughest post? I mean, what did ya’ll put on your website that drew the most ire or caused the most controversy? Do you ever back off because of controversy or do you dig in your heels and stick to your guns?

Toughest post? I honestly don’t know if there’s one that was hardest to write. I know the post I wrote after Kate Duffy died was among the most painful to write, because I wanted to say so much about her, and was afraid I wouldn’t say nearly enough.

The posts that drew the most controversy and ire were those that revealed the rampant plagiarism of Cassie Edwards. I didn’t think the story would get that much attention but it grew over the course of a week until The New York Times covered it in the weekend edition. We didn’t back off, though, even though a lot of mud was slung our way for being the bearer of unpleasant tidings.

Favorite meal/wine/do you cook? What do you think about fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and would you like my insanely good recipe?

Favorite meal: it’s cold out, so soup with barley, please. Wine: cabernet or malbec are my current faves. And yes! Cookies! Bring it on!

Favorite weekend away? If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be and why?

Favorite weekend away? Anywhere with a beach and a book. And visiting: I’m absolutely hopping to go to Australia and New Zealand. Someday I will.

Anything else you’d care to share with my readers and your fans? Books? Movies? Politics?

I think the best part of running my website is the fact that I’m always meeting new and enthusiastic romance fans. I love how many intelligent, savvy people read romance and love to discuss it.

Thanks for answering my questions, Sarah. I have to come clean…I am an NCIS addict. Got it bad!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Welcome Afton Locke!

Coming December 23, in time for Christmas -
Candelabra, by Afton Locke.

Genre: paranormal/light BDSM

Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing

Release Date: 12/23/09

eBook ISBN #: 978-14199-26525

Buy Link:

video trailer

Tandy travels to Scotland ’s Loch Enya castle to attend a BDSM convention she hopes will overcome her control-freak tendencies. When Bryne pulls her into his room of fire, she fears she’s stepped into the lair of a crazy man. But as he mesmerizes her and sears her with his hot passions, she consents to a BDSM session of hot wax play that turns out to be the most intense journey of her life. Entrusting her body and mind to him might heal her, but the elemental fire fairy has an agenda of his own that threatens to consume them both in flames.

Excerpt, rated XXX!

An Excerpt From: CANDELABRA

Copyright © AFTON LOCKE, 2009

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“Are you ready, Tandy?” Bryne asked.

“Yes, Milord” she replied in a small, hesitant voice unlike her own. “I think so.”

“I will test you first to make sure you can handle the wax the entire time I fuck you.”

The first drop of wax, a molten raindrop, landed on her lower back. Her breath hissed as her skin adjusted to the heat. After he smeared the hot puddle with his finger, a long pause followed.

The smell of hot wax filled the room. She felt so helpless with the hood on. She needed to see the tipped candle and falling wax. Every muscle in her body tensed with expectation of the next hot drop since she had no idea where it would hit next.

Another drop fell several inches to the right of the first. Since it was hotter, he must have held the candle closer. Without vision, her skin became her primary sensory organ and it was completely at Bryne’s mercy.

“You handled the test drops very well,” he told her. “Are you ready to proceed?”

Let’s get this show on the road. “Yes, Milord. It feels good and I want more.” Wax me. Wax me and fuck me already.

This time, several drops fell in succession from her back to her ass cheeks, making her gasp. The multiple drops were hotter than just one. While her skin smarted, she breathed through it. It almost hurt but not quite. Heat built in her abdomen, swelling her pussy even more than before. A rivulet of fresh, hot cream inched down her thigh.

“Your skin is so beautiful and pink,” he said, fondling the curve of her ass.

Her hips jerked when a large, hot drop landed just above the crease between her cheeks. She wanted more. She wanted to feel that hot wax drip down the groove all the way to her pussy to mingle with the hot juices there. Tiny spasms of pleasure kept her hips continually dancing as more hot wax dripped on her ass.

“You like that, don’t you?” he asked.

The sound of a condom packet being torn open tightened her pussy. Just when she expected another drop, the wet, heated head of Bryne’s cock nudged against her cunt.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Amber Skyze is in the House!

Body Shots!

Got Tequila?

Sierra does and Reed isn’t afraid to use it. He’s determined to do shots on every inch of her skin, but Sierra has insecurities preventing him from exploring intimate areas. Her insecurities won't stop her from lavishing his body with the heady liquor.

Ten years ago an accident tore Sierra Allen and Reed Walker apart. Now a chance encounter has them burning for each other. A bottle of liquor and a pool table has this duo ready to quench their thirsts with one night of Body Shots.

Will one night be enough to fan the flames of desire?


Reed Walker leaned his massive frame against the wall. His leg bent, his boot-clad foot tapped against the wall to the rhythm of the bass drum. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, as his eyes gazed upon the singer crooning the soft rock ballad. She was gorgeous by every standard of the word. Long flowing black hair, dark mysterious eyes, her arms sleeved in tattoos. Dressed only in black leather pants and a matching leather bra, her rock-hard stomach revealed she worshiped the gym but Reed wasn’t here for the singer. She wasn’t his type any longer. Another time, another place maybe. Not tonight. Tonight, he was here for the owner of the bar.

Looking to make some extra cash doing something they loved, Reed and his fellow band mates decided to reunite after a ten year hiatus. Reed having always been the businessman of the group took on the task of going around to different bars and clubs to see if they were interested in adding his band Foul Play to the line up.

When he walked into Crimson Nights he thought he was walking into a dream. Never in his wildest imagination had he thought he’d come face to face with the only true love of his life—Sierra Allen.

The look on her face when he walked up to the bar and asked to speak to the owner was one of shock. Like seeing a ghost. And that’s how he felt. Oh, she’d cut off most of her long red hair but she couldn’t deny the scar on her right cheek. It had faded some over the years and she tried covering it with her hand most of the time they spoke but he knew it was her. She told him her name was Laura but Reed knew better. Those haunting green eyes couldn’t be mistaken.

He went along with her charade, though it killed him deep inside. She had run away from him after the car accident without so much as an explanation. The weeks he spent by her side, holding her while she cried over what she felt was a deformed face. The painful recovery from the shards of glass that cut her, when the windshield shattered. He stood by her side, loving her, wishing he could take away her pain. Wishing it was him who suffered instead of her, only to have her up and vanish when she was released from the hospital.

Now she was pretending she didn’t know him. It didn’t make sense. He’d let her go a long time ago but this time he wasn’t going to leave without finding out why. It was the least she could do. She owed him an explanation.

She shocked him when she agreed to let his band play. He fully expected a flat-out “no”. Why would she want his band playing there if she was hiding her identity? Was it a ploy to make him believe she was this Laura she pretended to be? Or was she feeling the connection too? If it was to prove her charade, she was sadly mistaken. Reed wasn’t stupid enough to be fooled by a haircut or name change.

Reed would wait until the night was done and the bar empty before he confronted her but he would and when he did, Sierra had some explaining to do.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fran Lee! Part Two.

Get to know author, Fran Lee.

So Fran, tell me, with the release of Jillian's Job, how many books does this make?
I have six books and novellas published. One is an anthology series short. Two are full length novels, and three are novellas. I have one more coming in February from Resplendence titled A Brief Moment of Pleasure.
Out of Her Dreams
Hallie's Cats
Dictated by Fate
First and Ten
Her Own Set of Rules
Jillian's Job

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing professionally since this time last year. However, most of the books I have submitted were written 20 or more years ago. This was the first time I really tried to submit anything to a publisher.

I understand you have quite a following. I'd love to hear what your fans have to say about your books.

LOL! The good, or the bad? I find that my fans put me on auto-buy, then let me know when I disappoint them! Mostly it appears that my readers simply want longer books...they want more. Everyone seems to have adored my debut book, Out of Her Dreams, released in June by Ellora's Cave. It was 128 pages, and I have had many wonderful e-mails and reviews on it. I've had excellent reviews on my shorter novellas, as well, and great reviews on my super length 258 page release, Dictated by Fate, that came out of Resplendence in August.

Which publishers are you currently writing for?

Ellora's Cave and Resplendence.

What are you working on now? What do your readers have to look forward to?

I have just finished another novella (18+k words) that is a hot m/f/m menage. It isn't contracted yet, but I'm pretty sure it will be. The tentative title is "Double Your Pleasure". I am also working on a sequel to Hallie's Cats, taking Cal into his own story. Readers and reviewers all seemed to want Cal to get his own story, so this is a labor of love. I love shifters.And Cal will hav e a surprise twist in the story.

Which of your books is your favorite and why?

I actually have no favorites. I loved writing all of them, and have a soft spot for every one of them. I suppose Out of Her Dreams was my debut novel so that will always have a warm spot in my heart. My very favorite book has not been submitted to any publisher yet. It is very long and very different, and there are three different but intertwined stories unfolding in one book. I'm not sure either of my current publishers will want it. It is a hot, sexy erotic romance, but it not just one hot sexy is THREE hot sexy romances in one book. I think I will have to shop around to find a publisher who will run with it.LOL!

What do you do in your spare time? - I know you have soooo little of it!

I read. I create cover trailers. Sometimes I even write for fun. Just to see what comes up.

Where can we find you on the web?

I have several sites of my own and four that I share with other authors. I have sites for each of my releases plus a main website
My own blogs are at:
and you can also find me on Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook. I also have a column with

Friday, December 11, 2009

Welcome Fran Lee! Part One.

Jillian’s Job

Fran Lee

What good is a dream income, access to a private jet, all the perks that go with being Mike Furie’s ├╝berproficient personal assistant, if Jillian has no life? She wants a life with a man in it. And staying with overbearing, totally sexy, self-serving bachelor Mike, will lead nowhere.

A trip to Aspen to “rescue” Mike from the clutches of the latest woman seeking to sink her claws into him, an excess of champagne to fortify her, and she tells him what she thinks of his high-handed tactics. She’s quitting. Again. So how the hell did she end up in bed with him in a Tahoe honeymoon suite, naked? Why can’t she recall how her signature got on that marriage license?

Mike discovers talents he never knew Jill possessed. Now he has her right where he wants her. And he wants her again…and again. In his bed and under him. But it’s not all about the lust, and if he gets his way, Jillian won’t be leaving his side, or his bed—

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yuletide Enchantment

From my Friend!

Cindy Spencer Pape

Coming December 9, 2009

From Ellora’s Cave

The company Christmas party goes awry in an erotic way when quiet accountant Shelby Carter is magically whisked into a miniature Victorian village with the boss’s gorgeous son Noel Holiday. Noel has always honored the policy against fraternization, but when he’s trapped for several days with sweet, sexy Shelby , he knows it’s time to start breaking the rules.

While exploring the enchanted surroundings, they delve into their deepest fantasies, even acting out scenes from a collection of erotic Victorian postcards. After all, what’s Christmas without a little magic and a whole lot of sexy fun?

Though Shelby ’s crazy about Noel, she’s sure he’ll forget all about her once their interlude is over. But Noel has fallen head over snow boots in love with Shelby . Now he just has to convince her that holiday wishes can come true, and his devotion will last beyond their Yuletide Enchantment.

***Excerpt: Warmish

But the next house wasn’t there. All that surrounded them was an impassable wall of pine trees. They also couldn’t see any signs of the conference room, or of giant eyes lurking beyond the tree line.

“So, I guess we really are alone,” he told her as they walked back toward the big house that she’d already begun to think of as theirs. “I’m sorry.”

She squeezed his arm. “It’s not your fault, is it? I mean, this is an awfully elaborate ruse to get me alone. All you’d have had to do was ask me to dinner.”

“I thought about it,” he stunned her by admitting. “But my father is very picky about his offspring mixing with the employees. I think he’s terrified of sexual harassment suits.”

That or he thinks none of us are good enough for the precious Holiday clan. Shelby liked Mr. Holiday, but she’d never really gotten a feel for the man, who seemed aloof at best, snobbish at worst.

“What’s it like working with your whole family?” They climbed the steps to the house and Shelby could almost feel the warmth radiating from inside. It was as if the house welcomed them back.

“It’s nice, most of the time.” Noel held the door and ushered her ahead of him. As soon as he’d closed the heavy oak portal, he helped her off with her cloak before doffing his coat. “We all get along and it’s cool to know the company has been in family hands for over a hundred years.”

There were five Holiday children and each of them played an integral role in the company. Noel’s brother Val managed the IT department while his sister Summer handled sales and marketing. Sam was in charge of the new holiday d├ęcor product line, while sister Star was the head writer for the greeting card division. Even their mom ran the personnel department. None of them threw their weight around, which helped make Holiday a reasonable place to work.

And getting involved with Noel, even temporarily could ruin that. Shelby tried to keep that thought in her head.

“Do you want something to drink? I think I saw the liquor cabinet earlier.” He stepped away from her quickly and she felt a flash of hope that he was trying to avoid temptation.

“Actually, what I’d really like is the rest of my chocolate cake,” she said. “And maybe a cup of tea.” She moved toward the kitchen where she remembered there being a fire in the old cast-iron stove. She’d bet anything there were tea fixings somewhere.

“Well, now this is weird,” she heard him call from the dining room.

Pausing in the hallway, she detoured to see what he was talking about.

Weird didn’t begin to cover it.

The table was perfectly clean.

No dirty dishes, no leftovers, nothing. Just a pristine white tablecloth, a fresh centerpiece of holly, ivy and red roses and unlit candles. On the sideboard was a crystal domed cake plate with the leftover cake. On a tray beside it rested a bottle of champagne, a dish of strawberries, two china plates and two crystal glasses.

“Maybe a drink is a good idea,” she allowed. “This is too freaking weird to contemplate.” She stumbled on her high-heeled boot and would have fallen smack into the cake if Noel hadn’t caught her.

One look up into those intense blue eyes and she forgot all about why keeping her distance was a good idea.

He held her waist with both hands, drawing her inexorably toward him.

“Okay, I give up. We could take our snack upstairs and get more comfortable,” he suggested huskily. “If we’re going to be together for three days, I’m just not going to be able to resist you. Not unless you tell me to get lost.”

“That’s probably a really bad idea.” But oh, it sounded so very good. Her hands weren’t paying any attention to her words—they slid up to rest on his broad shoulders.

“Tell me you don’t want this,” he said. “All you have to do is say no and we’ll be back to just working together to get home. No pressure, I promise.”

“I’m not going to scream sexual harassment, Noel.” She loved the sound of his name. “And I don’t want you to get lost. It’s just been a long time for me and I guess I’m a little nervous.”

She watched his expression go from questioning to certain. He’d made up his mind and Shelby quivered with excitement.

“Maybe I can help with that.” He lowered his lips to hers and kissed her.

The kiss started out soft and gentle, coaxing and teasing. As Shelby ’s hands crept up around his neck to toy with the ends of his black, silky hair, Noel tightened his grip on her waist until she could feel it even through the boning of the corset. That slight pressure sent a zing of sensation straight to her pussy and she knew she was soaking her lacy drawers.

She opened her lips and he was right there, sweeping inside in a show of dominance she could tell he was trying to restrain. She went up on her toes and tipped her head back, silently asking for more.

When they were both gasping for breath, he pulled back and leaned his forehead against hers. “Wow. Upstairs?”

She gave him a shaky nod. “Yeah. That would be good.” Her heart was racing like crazy and she could see the pulse in his neck throbbing just as rapidly.

Taking his hand, she let him lead her toward the ornate curved staircase that dominated the foyer.

“Well, I always wondered what it was like to be Rhett Butler.” With a wicked grin, Noel swooped her off her feet and into his arms and strode up the staircase.

Cindy Spencer Pape