Thursday, August 30, 2012

Linda Mercury: Dracula’s Secret

Please welcome Linda Mercury. Linda is here as part of the blog tour for her new book, Dracula’s Secret. Enjoy an excerpt and leave a comment.

Linda will be awarding a hand-painted fan to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment for a better chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here:




She calls herself Valerie Tate. One of the few vampires left on earth, as beautiful as she is powerful, Valerie has resisted her craving for human blood for years, just as she once hid her true gender. But the night she lays eyes on the most enticing man she’s ever seen, it’s game over. He radiates goodness and light—and searing sexual energy.  Valerie must have him. Taste him. Consume him. For he is temptation—and he is her destiny…



Lance Soleil is a rugged war veteran who runs a homeless shelter in Portland. At first gaze, he knows what Valerie is—and wants her even more. But when he welcomes a pack of werewolves into his shelter, he attracts the attention of Valerie’s oldest rival—her bloodthirsty brother, Radu, who hopes to become the first vampire President of the United States. Valerie knows Radu has a hidden agenda, and with Lance’s help she is determined to stop his unholy rise to power. But first, she must risk their growing love by fully revealing herself—as the one and only Dracula…

November 25, 1431

She swam in an ocean of blood.

The exhausted, dark-haired mother howled in pain and freedom as the crown of a baby’s head emerged from between her legs. The woman panted and heaved, thrashing her sweat and gore-drenched body from side to side. Snow mixed with thunder and rain lashed the tower of the family castle, chilling the already icy room.

Vlad Dracul crouched at her feet, his face stiff and set under his moustache. His outstretched fingers curled into fists and opened again as he waited for the infant to emerge. Blankets, rags, and a pot of steaming water at his elbow kept him company. His jaw clenched with every echoing scream and his shoulders tightened with every passing moment. Not even the usual rushing of the river below covered the cries of Cneajna, his wife.

The violent storm outside had prevented the midwife’s presence. Earlier in the night, the mother had demanded that only Vlad remain with her as the pain worsened. No one defied Cneajna, even as water and blood rushed down her legs and painted her body. Vlad knew, however, that the women of the castle waited in the downstairs chamber, ready to help if he called. He was absurdly grateful for their nearness.

Fearless in the face of death, Vlad had nearly fainted at the sight of his wife in labor. The smell of the birth blood that saturated the bed roiled his stomach in ways a festering abdominal wound never did.

Another contraction. She pulled the ropes tied to the fur-lined headboard of the birth bed. The wood groaned under her strength as wave after wave of labor shuddered her body. Vlad’s heart winced at his woman’s pale, sweating face.

Another scream shook the room and Vlad saw the first peep of a black-haired head. Under the power of the mother’s undulating body, a tiny, angry face emerged.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Linda Mercury left behind her varied careers as a librarian, art model, and professional clown to pursue writing. She’s interested in writing, romance, the Middle East, reading, organizing, cooking, hand-made silk Turkish rugs, and the Nike of Samothrace.

Website and blog:


Linda Mercury


Monday, August 27, 2012

Mysti Holiday: Sugar Walls Blog Tour

Today Mysti Holiday is here as part of her blog tour to promote her book, Sugar Walls. Enjoy the excerpt and be sure to leave a comment. Mysti will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one random commenter at the conclusion of the tour.
Follow the tour and comment for a better chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Sugar Walls by Mysti Holiday


When Emilie is dumped by her boyfriend, best friend Jack Voss offers a shoulder and a place to live--the other side of his duplex. He’s always there, fixing her problems, her car, her sink. Emilie doesn’t know what she’d do without him, or with the feelings she’s having for him. His shoulder doesn’t just offer comfort anymore; his touch is a turn-on. Their shared wall is the only thing keeping them from sharing a bedroom—and fanning the flames might risk breaking something that Jack can’t fix.


Emilie hadn’t lied about the leak in her pipes.  Just  like she hadn’t broken her dishwasher, or the leg off her couch, or the alternator in her car on purpose. But, to be honest, it was almost a relief when those things happened, because they gave her an excuse to see Jack.
She’d called him first thing this morning when running water for her coffee had resulted in puddles beneath the sink. He’d come over the first chance he’d had and now he was on his hands and knees on the linoleum looking at the pipe that oozed moisture, oblivious to the woman behind him who was also soaking wet, albeit for an entirely different reason.
His ass looked good enough to take a big bite out of. Emilie couldn’t help herself; it was right there, sticking out from under her kitchen sink, and she had to clench her hands into tight fists to keep from grabbing it. Still, that didn't keep her mind from wandering, and when one of his hands reached out for a wrench, she pictured it on her, cupping her breasts, thumbs circling the rosy buds. Instantly her nipples puckered, as tightly clenched as her hands, and her crotch dampened even more. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mysti Holiday is the pseudonym of a very busy SAHM who dreams of warm climes and hot bodies.  Most people know she writes, but not what she writes about:  sexy men and the wanton women who love them.

She's married to a wonderful man who happily sacrifices himself for research, and she spends most of her days dreaming of interesting and unusual situations in which to place her characters.  But most of all, she's a sucker for a happy ending.




Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop

Welcome to the Follow the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop! In celebration of their new review site, Rainbow Book Reviews invited authors to join them in promoting the site.
The hop will be for three days, Friday, August 24, 2012 from 12:00 am EST to Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST
Rainbow Book Reviews will provide 4 Book Gift Vouchers (All Romance or Amazon) of $25.00 each and pick winners at random from comments on the Rainbow Book Reviews blog. Many publishers  are also participating and have donated even more prizes!
And one commenter on this blog will receive their choice from my backlist which you can see on Amazon. Please include your email with your comment so I can contact you.

What does writing GLBTQ literature mean to me

I've always written what the voices in my head tell me. The characters whisper in my ear and I tell their stories. It might sound cliché, but it's true.
I started out writing MF romance and then mixed gender ménage. Along the way, the male characters got louder and drowned out the women. I realized I enjoyed writing from the male point of view more than the female. That's when I wrote Silent Knights. A number of people liked this story, so I wrote a sequel. And then started a new series—The Gentlemen's Club.
Book one of The Gentlemen's Club is titled Point of Beginning. The setting is very much like the one I worked in for twenty-six years—a survey construction office, primarily male. When I started out, I was working in the field with the surveyors. My job consisted of driving the truck, holding the rod (no pun intended), staking boundaries and recording data. Eventually, I learned how to use the transit and got a promotion. At the end of my career I was working inside and managing the drafting room.

Along the way I made a lot of good male friends—Black, White, Hispanic, gay, straight, bisexual… There was no closet in that office. We all worked too closely to pretend to be anything other than what we were. And we were an accepting bunch. No, I'm not looking at the world through rose colored glasses. There was cattiness and fights and the usual bullshit, just like in any family. But when one friend and co-worker was dying of AIDS and couldn't handle the work, we rallied around to help him. Everyday his crew took him out to the jobs and let him sleep in the back of the truck so he wouldn't lose his medical benefits.
I feel fortunate to have known so many wonderful men. I learned a lot from them about emotions and sexual identity and supporting each other. I write to entertain, but hopefully along the way my characters will convince a few people that we're all deserving of finding love in whatever form we choose.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Clifftop Fantasies a BDSM Ménage Romance

At TRC 2012 I got to meet Cassidy Browning, author of Clifftop Fantasies, a new ménage romance published by Siren.

Cassidy lives in Colorado as a part of a triad with her Master and her partner. Besides writing, this very talented family sells fabulous chainmail jewelry. I was lucky enough to get one of their beautiful bracelets in Dallas. That's mine on the left. Dakota Dawn on the right.

Check out their other jewelry, clothes and accessories at Poly's Pleasures Chainmail

Now enjoy an excerpt from Clifftop Fantasies.

Clifftop Fantasies by Cassidy Browning

Available at Bookstrand:

[Ménage Amour: Erotic Consensual BDSM Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M with M/M elements, voyeurism, public exhibitionism, fire play, sex toys, HEA]


When Allie Walker inherits her father’s huge, beautiful house on the California coast, she knows it is the chance of a lifetime. Now she can start the bed-and-breakfast she’s always dreamed of—with the help of her boyfriend Brad McCarthy and the sexy, mysterious handyman Karl Masterson. But no sooner do they open for business when mistakes from Allie’s past come back to haunt her and she begins to suspect that her father had his own shocking secrets. Now Allie must reconcile herself with her past, deal with the photographer who seems to want to bring up things she’d rather not talk about, decide what to do about the sexy woman that is showing interest in Brad, and how to deal with the fact that her father was a leader in the local BDSM community. And then there is her growing attraction to Karl and the way of life he represents.


They worked in silence for a while, Allie humming to herself as she put the finishing touches on dinner and Karl washing up after her.

“You’re a messy cook, but a good one,” he said when she popped a small piece of buttered roll into his mouth.

“Thank you.” She giggled again and took another swig of wine. “I’ve been cooking all afternoon.” She frowned at the plates she was pulling from the cupboard. “How many do you think there’ll be?”

Karl took the stack from her. “I don’t think you should be carrying those. How much wine have you had?”

She peered uncertainly into the recyclable bin. “Only one.”

He pointed to the bottle on the counter. “And a half.”

She stared at it as if he had just pulled it out of a top hat along with a rabbit.“A half? Really?”

“Come on, you lush,” he said, opening the silverware drawer for her. “We’ll set the table for four. Jane and Brad should be here any minute.”

Allie remembered Brad saying he wasn’t going to come home. But she had sent him a text that she’d made a special dinner. He couldn’t possibly resist that. It was Brad, after all. He would be reasonable and come home to work everything out.

An hour later, the two of them sat at the table, finishing the third bottle of wine and attempting to have dinner. Karl had convinced Allie to eat, but she wasn’t managing much. Her cheerful mood had deteriorated steadily after several attempts to call Brad and getting only voice mail.

She speared a slice of potato angrily and said, “That rat. They’re probably having sex someplace.” She considered where they might be having sex and what her chances were of finding them and bursting in, but the thought kept turning into a confused threesome fantasy, or somehow a foursome as she imagined Karl coming in behind her. The whole thing melted into a bad porno movie in her head and she shook it, trying to bring herself back to reality.

“That rat Jane or Brad?” Karl didn’t sound completely sober himself, Allie thought in gratitude. She hated being drunk by herself.

“Yes.”She stared at the potato as if it was responsible for Brad’s defection and then put it down again, almost missing the plate.

“I’m sorry, honey.” He didn’t try to convince her that she was wrong, she noticed, or that Brad would change his mind and show up to apologize and have makeup sex with her. He just sounded sympathetic. She tried to smile, but her mouth turned down instead.

“He’s a jerk.” She tried to force her eyes away from her food. It seemed to be almost mocking her, asking her what good it was to cook him a nice dinner when he had a sexpot like Jane offering him something more interesting. Sexpot? Where had that come from? She couldn’t ever remember using the word “sexpot” before. Strange.

Brad was saying something. She looked up foggily. No, it wasn’t Brad. It was Karl.“Huh?”

He repeated it, but she still didn’t really hear. She tilted her head to the side and watched his mouth move. It was a very sexy mouth, with nice full, soft-looking lips. Everything about him was sexy, she thought. He was much more masculine than Brad. His broad shoulders and bulky arms gave him the look of someone who could pick her up without any problem, sling her over his shoulder and carry her off into the bedroom. Maybe he would tie her up, rip her clothes off violently, and take her by force. She shouldn’t be thinking that, she knew, but if he did, it wouldn’t be her fault, would it? She would be a helpless victim. Sure, she would have to call the police afterwards, and that would be a shame. She had a feeling the experience wouldn’t be unpleasant overall. Maybe if he promised never to do it again, she wouldn’t call the police…or if he promised to do it again…or something.

“…coffee?”he said. She shook her head in confusion, trying to pull herself back into the conversation. Whatever she did, she couldn’t let herself keep thinking about Karl and bedrooms and being tied up.

“No, thanks,” she mumbled then focused on him. “Or—I’m sorry. Did you say you want coffee? I’ll get the cake.”

She got to her feet, weaving a little, and suddenly Karl was next to her. She jumped, wondering if he was actually going to pick her up and throw her over his shoulder. But then she realized fuzzily that he was just making sure she wasn’t going to fall down.

“No,”he said, shaking his head and smiling. “We can have the cake for breakfast. I’m going to take you upstairs to bed now.”

A tingle went through her stomach all the way down to her groin. She opened her eyes wide and tried to focus on him to see what he had meant by that. It wasn’t easy to tell. His face seemed to be waving back and forth slightly in front of her.

He laughed at her expression. “Don’t worry, princess. You’re not going to be violated tonight. I’m just going to put you to bed before you pass out in your plate. We can’t have you drown in your potatoes. I’ll take care of the leftovers,” he continued as she made a motion to start clearing the table. “You need to go to sleep before you start crying or do something you’d regret later.”

“Crying?”She peered at him.

“Never mind,” he said hastily, turning her to the stairs. He gave her a swat on the ass to get her moving forward.

“Hey!”She turned and tried to point an accusing finger at him, but it swayed drunkenly, refusing to stay where she’d aimed it. She settled for a glare instead.

“Get moving,” he said. “Can you walk, or do you need me to carry you?”

“I can walk,” she assured him, nodding confidently as she turned and concentrated on finding the stairs. She reached for the handrail, but it seemed to evade her. She stumbled, but Karl lunged forward and managed to save her from doing a face plant.

“This is a beautiful staircase, by the way,” she told him as she straightened back up, trying to focus on the wooden banister they had picked out and installed together. She reached out again and managed to connect with it this time. She draped herself partially over it in admiration, stroking it lovingly with one hand.

“My house,” she mumbled softly. “I love my house. Thank you for helping make my house so beautiful.” Tears sprang to her eyes, although she wasn’t sure exactly why. She closed them and rubbed her cheek on the smooth polished wood, smiling dreamily.

“You’re welcome.” Her eyes flew open as she was scooped up and away from the railing. His face came into focus only inches from her own, and she realized he was holding her in his arms and starting upstairs.

“Are you—are you going to…” She knew she should be screaming for help, but much as she tried to want to, she found herself smiling instead.

“Am I going to what?”

“There’s no one to hear if I do, anyway,” she mused, mostly to herself. She had a hazy idea that it would be better if she didn’t resist. Screaming might just make him angry. She peered at him, trying to decide if he was angry or not, hoping he just wanted to rape her. He was certainly capable of it, she thought, feeling the movement of the muscles in his arms as they encircled her. “You’re so strong,” she murmured, then tried to clap a hand over her mouth. She shouldn’t encourage him. The hand landed on her cheek instead, and she pulled it away to give it an indignant look.

He chuckled. “Thank you.”

That was a good sign, she decided. She sighed and her head relaxed against his shoulder. It was actually nice to be carried to bed, even if she was going to be brutally ravaged in a minute. She didn’t really think he wanted to murder her, though. She drifted off into a light doze, debating to herself whether she should call the police in the morning or wait until he had finished painting the barn.

She was aware of being lowered onto the bed. That was odd. Surely if he was going to rape her he would have thrown her down instead and maybe pulled her hands over her head. She’d never been fucked with her hands held or tied over her head. “I hope he does,” she murmured to herself. Not hearing anything, she opened her eyes, expecting to see him standing over her, unzipping his pants and regarding her with an evil leer.

Instead, he was turning the sheets down. He looked at her and asked, “Hope who does what?”

She smiled, her hand starting to reach for his zipper. Then she realized in an indistinct blur what she was doing and managed to stop it, clumsily pretending she’d been trying to help with the blankets.

That was the last thing she remembered.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Bird's Eye View of Dallas

The events at The Romance Convention kept us pretty busy: workshops, getting to meet authors and readers I had only spoken to through email. So I didn't see much of Dallas, except through the window of my room on the 20th floor of the Sheraton. Here's a few photos.

These huge statues at the rental car center at the airport fascinated me.

And here's me getting fortified for the flight home.

Dallas was a blast. Hope to visit again.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm Baaaack - TRC 2012

I got in late last night and I'm not even unpacked but I wanted to share a few thoughts and a few pictures.

The Romance Convention 2012 was Siren-Bookstrand's first convention and the first convention ever for me and it was memorable in so many ways. First and foremost I got to meet so many wonderful writers, staff and readers. It's truly an amazing experience to be able to spend time with people who share your passion.

I want to thank my publisher and all the Siren staff who worked so hard to put this together. Already I'm looking forward to next year in San Antonio.
Here's a few pictures, I'll be posting more throughout the week.

Here's me with Dakota Dawn. What a great lady! I feel like I made a friend for life.

And here we are with good buddy A.J. Jarrett. We shared a few chocolate martinis and girl talk.

More to come...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

JoAnne Kenrick Release Blitz: Shamrocked

Will Devlin Kinney’s Irish charm and toys be enough to hold onto his leading lady, or will his heart be shamrocked into next week?
SHAMROCKED, Irish Kisses book 2, is OUT NOW in most major ebook stores.


Devlin Kinney is the crass Irish charmer who helped Shaun Bell out on his 1Night Stand by packing him up a few surprises in his overnight bag in the HUGE bestseller SWEET IRISH KISS. Surprises both he and Rachel were grateful for. And now you can have all of him because he's back! With his toy box and a 1Night Stand of his own.
Set in Notting Hill, London and the now infamous Bell's Irish Pub in Soho, London.
Bell's Irish Pub is open for business, and Devlin Kinney is serving up one tasty treat.

All Romance:
Kindle USA:
Kindle UK:
Decadent Publishing:


Devlin Kinney is focused on his Irish Rock band, Shamrocked. Between that and tending bar at Bell’s Irish Pub, he’s rushed off his feet. Still, he’s envious of Shaun who found his perfect woman through Madame Eve’s exclusive agency, 1Night Stand. Pushed for time, he follows his friend’s lead and hopes to be matched with a woman ballsy enough to share in his fetish for things that go buzzzz.
At the event of the year for soap stars, Elizabeth Grant meets Devlin and mistakes him for her soon-to-be The EastEnd co-star. Before she has a chance to confess she’s not his 1Night Stand as he seems to think, the silver-tongued smooth dancer proves irresistible. He seems perfect…for one night of pleasure. She’s ready to play the role of her
Will his Irish charm and toys be enough to hold onto his leading lady, or will his heart be shamrocked into next week?

Mini Excerpt
Surrounded by bridesmaids—the hottest guy in the place. His thick Irish brogue carried over the chattering wedding crowd and bad party songs.
Swallowing any signs of stage fright, she checked her fake hair in a mirrored wall, plumped her boobs, and plastered on a smile before making a beeline for her drop-dead gorgeous, future co-star.
She waded through the rough sea of pink-chiffoned up women, snapped out her arm, and took his hand like one of those shaking weight things. Thought she’d blown it until his mouth tilted up into a tempting smile. Dimples. Oh, my. He would be popular with the ladies. Might even help get her noticed by movie producers. Dating this hottie would get her on every front page known to the British public.
“Liz.” She fought to keep focused on his face rather than his thick muscles and rhythmic movements. She couldn’t recall ever seeing a man who could make dancing to All Night Long by Lionel Ritchie so goddamned sexy. His jig was infectious—her arm swayed in beat with his, their hands still clasped together.
“As in Elizabeth?”
“Uh-huh.” The swarm of bridesmaids knitted their brows and pursed their lips. One even stamped her foot. Liz couldn’t help but turning on a sweet smile. “Buh-bye, ladies.”

MORE ABOUT 1NS series:
JoAnne Kenrick
JoAnne Kenrick, an ex-Ghost Tour Guide turned Romance Author, is a Welsh lass who has lived in various countries around the world. She now calls North Carolina her home, where she lives with her husband, two children and two cheeky cats. When they aren't demanding her attention, she can most likely be found watching a vampire movie, reading or baking up a British favorite in her N.C. kitchen. That is, when she isn't writing or chatting up a storm on social networking sites. Travel across the pond and faraway…with JoAnne Kenrick

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Alex Carreras: Author Interview and Giveaway

Please say hello to my guest, author Alex Carreras, who has a new book out at Siren-bookstrand--Heat 4 Siesta Heat. Alex is on the hot seat today. Ask a question or leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook copy of Heat 3 Summer Heat: Back to the Farm.

Welcome Alex. How long have you been writing?

Alex: Thanks for having me. I have been writing since my mother placed a pencil in my little hand at around the age of five. I believe my first story had to do with ducks. Now I write about sexy and tortured men. Much more fun to write about than fowl.
Describe for us your typical writing day.

Alex:  My typical day is not that glamorous unfortunately. I usually wander to my computer wrapped in my stinky but lucky robe, a cup of coffee gripped in my left hand and with my right, I am hunting and pecking at my keyboard at what I wrote the day before. After a few more cups of coffee and a quick shower is when the real writing begins.
How do you come up with your titles and character names?

Alex: Sometimes a title or characters name comes at me from out of nowhere like a flash of lightening. But other times…. You get the drift.

When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

    Alex: Oh I definitely have a few guys in mind when I’m creating and writing characters. I spend hours finding the perfect model for inspiration.
As a gay fiction writer, do you feel that the trend is changing? Is the genre becoming more mainstream?                                                                                                           

Alex: I definitely believe the genre is becoming more mainstream. It is growing leaps and bounds. A decade ago, we had very little to choose from in gay literature. Today the possibilities are endless. Thankfully.
Recently, a writer sabotaged her career by answering a bad review on a blog. How would you have handled this and do you think authors should answer their reviews?

Alex: I will answer this question by NOT answering this question.
What would YOU like your readers to know about this series or you in general?        

Alex: First and foremost, I love writing this series and plan on continuing it. I grew up on a farm and when I’m writing a book set on a farm, I relive all those moments that I love to hate. Wiping cows utters are no fun, but the farm hands are.
Upcoming releases?  

  Alex:  My next release is the fourth in the Heat Series, Siesta Heat. It is based in the affluent area of Siesta Key, Florida where the “Haves” play hard and the “Have not’s” play even harder.
Can you tell us what you're working on now?


         Alex: I am so proud to say that my next series is the first installment of my erotic paranormal romance, The Count of Aragon: Book of Adam. It is based in the city of Zaragoza, Spain where my parents met and where I once lived. It is a magical city filled with attractive men and many, many stories. I’m not so sure if there are any vampires in Zaragoza, but I wouldn’t doubt it. It should be available in October from SirenBookstrand.

Thanks so much for coming by.
Readers, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to get a copy of Heat 3 Summer Heat: Back to the Farm. We'll announce the winner Monday August 13.

Siesta Heat
Heat 4
[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Romance, M/M, HEA]

This title is offered at a 10% new release discount. Offer ends midnight CST, August 11th.

Wanting a new start, Derek Johnson moves to Siesta Key, Florida, in search of a new life among the endless stretches of sandy white beaches and lush tropical landscape.

Born into a super rich and affluent family, Cody Connors returns to Siesta Key and his parents' home with his tail between his legs, jobless and penniless with no future in sight…at least a future he wants.

Meeting on the dunes one afternoon and instantly attracted to each other, their fateful hookup turns into something more. But are they willing to accept each other’s differences and fall in love? Or will they deny their true feelings and walk away?

Between the hot, sunny days and warm tropical nights, Derek and Cody do everything but take a siesta, causing plenty of heat all of their own.

Summer Heat: Back to the Farm
Heat 3
[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Cowboy Romance, M/M, sex toys, HEA]
Available at Bookstrand:

Returning to the farm where they first met, Hunter Cross and Travis Mitchell prepare for a weekend of family fun celebrating the upcoming wedding of Andrea and Bill, Hunter's mother and Travis's uncle, while also reuniting with Jaxson Mitchell, Travis's cousin, and his new boyfriend, Dr. Chase Cameron. What they get instead is a less-than-friendly welcome from Jared and Derek Johnson, brothers working on the farm that have secrets about the past, especially Hunter's.

Fighting for their love and their lives, Hunter and Travis once again prove their love is as strong as the day they first met a year ago while working in the oppressive summer's heat of Virginia. Introducing two new characters to the Heat series and reuniting the characters of the first and second, the normally sleepy, Southern farm transforms into a place where dreams are made but could be just as easily broken.

Find out more about Alex:


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

* More Than Human * available for pre-order

Urban Affairs 3

[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, werewolves, shape-shifters, HEA]

Available For 10% Pre-order Discount at Bookstrand:

Offer ends midnight CST, August 25th

A Were-cat and a Werewolf—two men headed on a collision course for disaster—find themselves fighting more than animal attraction.

Jesse Carroll is running from an assassin. When Caleb Wolfe picks him up on the side of the road, Jesse has no idea that the man he's falling for may be the very man who killed his brother.

Caleb Wolfe leaves the Division of Shifter Affairs after being ordered to kill a young cat-shifter. Knowing the Feds won't let him go quietly, he plans to hide out in Dogtown. When Caleb picks up a hitchhiker, he has no idea that it's the same man he was ordered to kill. Cats and dogs don't mix in his world, but the lust he feels for the young cat is reciprocated. When they go their separate ways in New York, Caleb can't forget Jesse. He searches for the Were-cat, never realizing he's leading a killer straight to the man he loves.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jim Moorman: The Art of Reading

Meet Jim Moorman, a shining example of all that is wrong in the universe.

A bear of very little brain, Jim has somehow managed to adorn the back cover of what might be best described as a very readable book. Barely literate himself, Jim has beaten all the odds and has actually managed to string together more than a few coherent sentences. Those sentences, paragraphs, and pages work to form Jamaican Flowers, Jim's debut novel.

Jamaican Flowers is a testament to Jim's love of all things tropical and light-hearted. A former member of the U.S. Navy, he served as part of the Presidential Ceremonial Guard in Washington D.C. and spent two years abroad in South Korea. After returning to the states, he pursued a career in sales and marketing in the technology sector, writing and scribbling in the evenings and weekends.

He holds no fancy degrees and remains obstinately determined to master the craft of writing novels, even in spite of suffering from ADHD. His sarcasm knows no bounds and he maintains that he writes to inspire and entertain his willing readers. In his spare time, Jim enjoys whistling, laughing, and just taking it easy. If you can believe it, he's a father and claims it to be the best job he's ever had.

To learn more about this enigma-author, visit his website:

Follow him on Twitter @jimmoorman

Like his Facebook Fan Page at

Look for his next release, Rumba Republic, to be released at the end of 2012 (if we're still here after December 21st.)

And now, here's Jim...

The Art of Reading

Yes, you read that right. Good job continuing to master the art! Keep going, though. There’s more mastery to be attained.

You probably learned to read somewhere around the age of five or six. Words and sentences became part of your daily existence. Through practice and progress over time, you eventually became a polished reader. You graduated from See Spot Run, to Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Then you met Holden Caufield in Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye before being thrust into the wonderful world of William Shakespeare. You wrote your book reports and learned about conflict, character, and plot. Then, ready or not, you were thrust into college or the workforce and, before you knew it, you became a fully functioning adult.

Now we’re adults and we still read every day – advertisements, spreadsheets, news articles, stock tickers, comic strips, and, of course, bills. But what kind of reader have you become since the high school book reports? Chances are good you may not even know.

I hadn’t really given the subject much consideration until I was asked to write this guest post. I thought about what subject might appeal to a general readership and then laughed at the idea. I’m a writer. I have the luxury of knowing that a “general readership” doesn’t exist. Readers are as varied and wide-ranging as the books and articles that exist to serve and entertain them.

One important element I’ve come to appreciate about readers is that, no matter their preference or brow (highbrow or lowbrow), they typically enjoy a good list. It’s definitive, structured, finite, and bulleted - perfect for the average human in today’s ADD-laden world.

I’d love to tell you that the list below represents years of hardened research and case studies, but it doesn’t. It’s based on my observations, questions I’ve asked and noted over the years, and my personal experience. While no list is ever perfect, mine is pretty damn close. Readers typically ascribe to one primary and one secondary category. I’m an Information Gatherer/Writer Reader. What type of reader are you?

Reader Categories

  1. The Information Gatherer

These inquisitive souls can typically be found perusing Internet or magazine articles, websites, newspapers, brochures, cereal boxes, labels of varied assortment, cookbooks, racing forms, coupons, and any other piece of writing that will offer answers to asked (and more often) unasked questions.

I’m (primarily) an Information Gatherer. Most of my reading time is spent on articles that will, in some way, answer a question I didn’t even know I had. What are the five keys to relationship success? I never would have thought to ask but now I must know. What were those Japanese Olympians so upset about? There will surely be an article that can answer my question. I read at least fifteen or more articles every day. Sports scores and stats, headlines, industry news, and humor columns, and select blogs are at the top of my list.

Information Gatherers are not adverse to the occasional novel, but are primarily fulfilled by many tidbits, factoids, and articles that serve a specific purpose. The writing contains facts, is long enough to add value, but not so long that it has to be put down and picked back up at a later time.

In the immortal words of Lt. John Kendrik (Kieffer Sutherland in A Few Good Men,):

“Lieutenant, I have two books by my bed, the US Marine Corps handbook and the King James Bible.”

Lt. Kendrik - A classic Information Gatherer.


  1. The Casual Reader

These folks are exactly what the name implies. They may be your significant others who have books on the nightstand they’ve been reading for three months and are about halfway through. They read the occasional article and would likely be hard pressed to name their favorite author. If they do, it’s usually a recognizable name that will pass muster in social circles like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. They’ll read a couple books per year at best and often have to be prodded to do so. Reading for these people isn’t a big deal. They get their information from television or radio and are A-OK doing so. For the Casual Reader, life often presents activities outside the printed page that they would much rather enjoy.

  1. The Voracious Reader

These readers are the exact opposite of the Casual Reader. These are the hardcore people who are always reading something and usually in record time compared to the rest of us. My stepdad and grandma are Voracious Readers. If I pop in unannounced on either of them, there’s a 90% chance I’ll catch them engrossed in their latest literary treat.

Typically, Voracious Readers are fans of a specific genre. Grandma likes romance novels and my stepdad likes crime mysteries. Once hooked on a genre, the Voracious Reader plows through one book after another by the same author and then, like a hungry termite, moves on to the next.

These are the readers who have read enough to know about the structure of a novel, pace, character development, etc. They know good writing from bad and will leave reviews. God help the new author who unknowingly wrongs a Voracious Reader. The Casual Reader will put the book down and move on. The Voracious Reader finishes a bad book if for no other reason than to let the author know about it. These readers are what every author hopes to find and woo but never upset.

Voracious Readers have made reading a habitual part of their lives and have better brains for it. The late Stephen Covey said that, “reading is for the mind what running is for the body.” Voracious Readers certainly have fit minds.

  1. The Academic

The world of academia is a universe unto itself. Like a parasite that feeds off a host, so do Academics feed off each other. Unless you’re part of this universe, you wouldn’t likely know of its existence. Educators spend their lives in the pursuit of educating themselves and others. They go from high school to college to a Master’s program to a Doctorate degree. They pontificate, write theses, dissertate, and receive meritorious accolades within their universe.

Professors compete for grants to conduct research and attain greater knowledge in their field.  The never-ending quest to become published in a scholarly periodical becomes their ambition. They compete with each other and become so filled with knowledge, in fact, they rise above the rest of us mere mortals and look down with pity.

Their reading is comprised almost entirely of subject matter papers and the occasional highbrow literary work. Academics are usually gifted in the art of snobbery and know (and use) more four syllable words than many of us knew even existed.

  1. The Literary Snob

A novel like mine would never appeal to this reader. Literary work is different than genre work in that genre novels use the same basic plot elements and rely on characters and fresh stories to exist. A perfect example would be a romantic comedy. Boy meets girl (a “meet-cute”), boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy makes grand gesture at the end of the story to win girl’s heart and complete his inner journey and character arc. Insert funny best friend for both boy and girl who seem way too involved in our main characters’ lives, and you have a ready-made romantic comedy.

Literary work, on the other hand, is to fiction what gourmet food is to the discerning palette.

Literary work is often focused around a character’s inner journey and literary authors often use their stories to explore life themes and inner struggles that far exceed that of the dime store detective. Classic tales like Melville’s Moby Dick or Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea are classic examples of great American Literature.

Literary Snobs (I’m using the term affectionately) will swoon over a well-written sentence and bathe in metaphor-riddled prose the way most of us bathe in sweat on a ninety-degree day. Literary Snobs tend to be extremely critical of non-literary work and appear to those in the industry as sort of elitists.

There’s nothing wrong with this group, as they are typically students of the written word. They are English majors, Creative Writing majors, and logophiles. Writers wishing to appeal to this snobby ilk would be well served to make sweet literary love to their work before sending it of for review by a Literary Snob. Well-scribed, the literary novel will undoubtedly elicit a word climax from even the most frigid creative writing grad.


  1. The Groupie

Groupies are nothing more than Casual Readers with low self-esteem. These poor souls know how to read but don’t know what to read. They rely on their friends and popular culture to unearth for them their next book choice.

How many young girls who read Twilight did so of their own volition?  Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Fifty Shades of Grey were all ushered into the forefront of popularity via the Voracious Reader. The Voracious Reader, as we know, is a reading machine and banner-carrier for those books they have discovered, enjoyed, or have connected with in such a profound way they feel compelled to sing the book’s praises from the hilltops and insist that all of their friends read and heed their recommendation. This is why, as I stated earlier, ever author hopes to satisfy the literary craving of the Voracious Reader.

The Groupie reads primarily because they can’t be left out of the collective conversation. All their friends are talking about evenings of self-gratification spent mentally copulating with Edward the vampire. The Groupie simply has to see what all the fuss is about. Only when the Groupie has offered a tale of intense orgasm to thoughts of Jacob the werewolf will she be accepted into the readers’ circle.

Groupies are easily identifiable. Should you ask someone to list the last three books they’ve read and hear three very popular titles, you’ll have met (and identified) your first Groupie.

  1. The Voyeur

This class of reader is by and far my least favorite and most annoying. Voyeurs are the people who keep tabloids in business.

You can immediately spot a Voyeur when seemingly ordinary topics of conversation become quickly thwarted into tales of the latest celebrity gossip. They can’t get enough. They would rather read about a Hollywood split than a major news story. I’ve also found that Voyeurs are typically very needy in the attention department, which is likely why they gravitate toward the drama of Hollywood. Women are more prone to this category but I know plenty of men as well. Most of the men of this class I know are political junkies. Washington politics are for men what Hollywood is for women - dramatic and entertaining. While the Voyeur can and will read the occasional novel, it’s usually a non-fiction biography.

  1. The Businessman/woman

These savvy folks have attended a business seminar or two in their time and have been convinced that most, if not all, reading must revolve around the never-ending pursuit toward the attainment of the almighty dollar. Growing, squeezing, pinching, tightening, and managing the pennies are what this group of readers is all about.

It’s a billion dollar a year business – the business book business, that is. I made a sale last week in an untraditional fashion. Read my book and learn how to gain the competitive advantage today.

I jest and exaggerate, but I have nothing against this group of readers. I’ve read many a business book in my day and, as an Information Gatherer, I find many to be somewhat helpful. If I have a single annoyance with this group of readers, it’s that the business folk rarely seem to entertain the idea of relaxing with a good work of fiction. They see it as leisure time and a waste. Ironically, it was some wicked smart author who wrote that concept in a business book somewhere. It makes me think of the old “don’t watch TV in the dark” adage. Who said it was bad to watch TV in the dark?

Yep, the light bulb people.

    9.The Social Media Reader  

Until a few years ago, this category didn’t even exist. Now, we have a society of people who have learned to communicate (and read) 140 characters at a time. It’s so bad that I see people every day read nothing but Twitter and Facebook posts.

Sure, it’s still reading, but it’s not quality. It’s clever, anecdotal, sometimes crass, and chalk-full of acronyms that I puzzle daily to understand. I was just tweeted the phrase YOLO the other day and, like an idiot, had to look it up. It means you only live once. It is now #1 on my most hated list of twitter acronyms. Following closely behind are ROFLMAO, and LOL.

Once consumed by the social media monster, these readers are not only less willing to read actual prose, but are becoming dumber for their effort and activities. Slang, acronyms, and anecdotal wit are all they read, so they, in essence, train their brains to think in this manner. While social media connects us all in a way that’s never been done before, the quality of writing and what we’re consuming in the way of daily writing is the weakest it’s ever been in our society.

  1. The Writer Reader

This is a very small group of readers in the world of which I’m unfortunately a member. As a writer and author, I’m no longer able to read for pleasure. While I can certainly try, I’m constantly looking at craft element/style techniques other authors employ as a way to further their stories and plots. As a student of the craft, my brain is now trained to study rather than read and it’s often maddening. Without this habit, however, I would never grow and learn. Therefore, I read a ton of books, often in my genre, for several chapters before moving on to the next. I have to force myself to read a book all the way through and not tear it apart or look for this or that. To the other Writer Readers of the world, I extend to you my deepest sympathies.

So there you have it, ten of the most common reader types according to Jim Moorman. Where do you fall on the list? Will you ever aspire or challenge yourself to become a Voracious Reader? I can only hope you do. And should you ever choose to write, know that Mr. Covey says that, “If reading is for the mind what running is for the body, then writing is for the mind what running a marathon is for the body.”

When I was young, my father told my sister, brother, and me to read every day, even if it’s just the sports page. He knew the importance of reading and its benefit to keeping our minds sharp. I read to my daughter all the time and work to help her broaden her vocabulary by sharing several words that convey the same idea.

Reading is at the heart of what makes us intelligent beings.  So, whether you’re a Voyeur, a Casual Reader, an Information Gatherer like me, or any other type of reader I didn’t categorize or define, read something every day, even if it’s just the sports page.

Jamaican Flowers

Sonny Flowers is pure, charming genius when it comes to biochemistry and genetics - specifically, marijuana and its potential to make the world a more joyful place, but he still has a lot to learn about fatherhood, guilt, women, happiness and himself, and very little time to learn it in. Sonny has already lost one daughter and will lose the other unless he can win her back - and do it before he literally loses his mind. With the Feds about to shut down his Stateside marijuana farm and laboratory, Sonny finds himself in Jamaica working for a self-proclaimed Rastafarian Deity whose wife has overdosed on the very hybrid plant Sonny and his daughter, Summer, are struggling to perfect as a cure for what has become a world epidemic: Bipolar Disorder. A crooked general, determined to make a splash in the world, has other ideas for the hybrid's properties. Faced with sharks (the salty kind), a plane crash, a tongueless henchman, the haunting memories of those he's loved and lost (and why it was probably his fault), not to mention his own blooming psychosis, Sonny finds help wherever the universe is willing to provide it: Dehlia Storm, a nineteen-year-old voodoo priestess, and her two-timing boyfriend, are for some reason willing to help Sonny save the two women he loves. Time running out, Sonny not only has to decide which characters in this crazy story he's living he can trust, but also what is real and what decidedly is not.

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