Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exclusive Excerpt From Rhi Etzweiler's “Blacker Than Black”


Individual: One randomly selected commenter at each stop will receive a signed cover card and magnet. Open to all, regardless of location (winner selected from all comments posted to blog at 11:59 p.m. EST).

Tour: Two winners to be selected at random from drawing of all comments on tour (entry ending Feb. 2, 11:59 p.m. EST – comments with date/time stamps after this time will not be counted). Restricted to mainland US and Canada only, for shipping purposes. First winner will receive an autographed tote bag and pen, signed cover flat, and large magnet. Second winner will receive a t-shirt (size XL), pen, signed cover flat, and small magnet.

If you haven’t read it yet, the previous excerpt is over here at Literary Nymphs.

Now, here's an exclusive excerpt from Rhi Etzweiler's Blacker Than Black.

Chapter Ten: Garthelle’s Entertainment

The evening swiftly descends into a blur of vampires hailing from every conceivable corner of the country and beyond. They’re Garthelle’s equals in most cases, by my estimation. His cordial addresses lack even a hint of deference. From his chosen post behind the couch across from us, I doubt his keen gaze misses a single detail. He smiles occasionally, with all the warmth of the dead of night on winter solstice. For him, the curving of his lips is a weapon, not an expression, and he uses it to lethal effect.
Mademoiselle Ferdinand, a lithe, willowy woman with short blue hair, is dressed in a startlingly conservative gown shrouding every inch of her body from chin to toe. The billowing pleats of black lace overlaying the pale blue satin, though, are embroidered with the most obscene contortions of the human body I’ve ever witnessed.
Monsieur Kent sports a garishly loud suit in the most visually offensive combination of bright colors imaginable. It’s difficult to look at him. His idea of laughter, to which he subjects us upon observing Jhez and I perched on the couch together, is equally galling to the senses.
The two sitting on the couch across from us, to whom Garthelle doesn’t fail to introduce us, are siblings. The Durrams are far from reserved, but soft-spoken, much as their host is. I don’t much care for the way their twin dark gazes regard us, though. Bad vibes.
And so the evening goes, for the most part. Ferdinand can’t resist reaching out and hovering a spread palm over my stomach, where the core of my energy simmers like a hub. She probes me with a swift, harsh penetration resembling needles on my skin. As she withdraws her hand, she offers Garthelle a simpering smile of anticipation. Her probe isn’t so swift to recede, however; at least, not without nibbling along the edges of me and snatching a tendril of energy.
Garthelle’s gaze hardens as he watches her.
She isn’t the only one who takes liberties. And I’m not the only one subjected to it.
Finally, the female vampire withdraws. Her reluctance is blatant, but her gaze lowered to the floor as she glides past Garthelle drains the offense from it. Until she brushes her shoulder against the side of his arm. Challenging, in a passive-aggressive fashion. Garthelle doesn’t step away; no doubt that would be viewed as a retreat, a sign of weakness, to another vampire. Instead he leans into the contact, catching her off guard, unbalancing her. Ferdinand stumbles, catches herself, sketches a shallow curtsy. Not daring to turn her back on Garthelle until he looks away, focusing his attention back on us.
I watch her spin away. She throws a glare over her shoulder at Garthelle before scampering off like a rabbit given respite by a hawk too full to do more than toy with a potential meal.
Vampire politicking at its finest, I guess. I doubt I’ll ever understand them. I may have welcomed Ferdinand, had she not been the first. If the mademoiselle made me uncomfortable, it was only because I didn’t have the next lyche to compare her to.
Skin as fair as porcelain, her features are about as expressive. There is nothing to read in her face, or her eyes, which are as black as her hair. The ivory folds of her loose, flowing gown billow against the side of my arm as she comes to a halt. Doesn’t touch or probe, though. Not this one. She just stares.
There is something both disturbing and familiar about her. I can’t say what it is, but my skin crawls, gut clenching, and my desire to hide, to escape her scrutiny, is almost overwhelming.
The strange vampire turns to study Garthelle briefly over her shoulder before focusing her attention back on me and Jhez. “Seems like such a waste, Leonard, given your Modere strictures.”
For a brief, tenuous moment, I wonder who she’s addressing—another vampire, or a human lurking out of sight nearby? But one look at Garthelle makes it obvious. At the sound of his name—not his surname, not his title; what else could “Leonard” be?—a startling transformation occurs.
It’s as though the sound of his name releases him from a spell. “The Monsieur of York” falls away, a too-large coat slipping from his shoulders. His features relax, the line of his shoulders and spine loosening. Each movement no longer measured and calculated as he steps closer. Is he embracing the freedom she offers, the comfort of stepping outside his role of ruler and host? Or is she forcing it, demanding? The blindness frustrates me.
“Soiphe, Madame. So glad you came.”
She holds her hand out, hovering in the space between them, amber-orange aura haloing down her forearm to extend a few inches beyond her fingers. The tendrils remind me of what I’ve seen Jhez do on occasion, except Soiphe’s aura is completely steady, still. Almost solid, ethereal become corporeal. Less an extension of aura as an extension of self.
Garthelle doesn’t hesitate to reach out, holding his hand beside hers, palms facing but not touching. Not physically, at least. His aura—colors shifting and shimmering, pearl and platinum, gold and daffodil and the hundred shades of yellow I saw in his eyes—tangles with hers along the fringes, melding together in that one spot.
To me he is Garthelle—vamp, john, unknown and potentially hostile entity. But here in this intimate moment, despite the slightly public venue amongst all these other vamps, he isn’t the Monsieur, the ruling vamp, or even an employer. He is simply a friend greeting a friend. So beautiful I want to cry, and at the same time it’s strange he’d let us witness this.
“Not all resources need be expended, Madame. Surely you would agree with that sentiment.” Garthelle stares down at us, then returns his focus to the Madame. Leonard. The shift, the transformation, fascinates me. Not just that he switches roles. It’s a glimpse of what he truly is. Not the masks he wears or the roles he plays. I can’t help but watch him, follow his sharp gaze as it flicks back and forth along the length of my reclined form, over my sister’s arm draped across my chest like a shield. “Some are more valuable as assets.”
Soiphe pins Garthelle with her dark gaze, and my breath catches in my throat as I watch her. Jhez flinches, a faint twitch that makes me conscious that I’m digging my nails into her forearm. I try to relax my grip, but the woman’s face in profile horrifies me.
That nose, the line of brow and jaw. It’s been many years since we saw our father last. Decades. But some memories never fade. I want to deny the blatant evidence. Coincidental similarities, nothing more.
“Do you see it?” I tilt my head back, desperately seeking the reassurance of my sister’s gaze.
She stares down at me, eyes wide, face pale. Sneaks another quick glance at the vampire. “How could I not?” Her voice mimics mine, barely above a whisper.
“I’m delighted you elected to attend this gathering.” Garthelle’s deep tenor slides along my frayed nerves like aloe on a burn. I watch his lips, the corners of his mouth, as he speaks with the stranger. This close, the edges of his aura tangle with mine. His awareness, his focus, diverting in my direction. It charges the mix of lust and fear in my blood. “For a while, I despaired of having your presence.”
Soiphe offers a faint, short-lived grin. “For a while there, I had no intentions of it. Things are rather unsettled of late.”
Just as Garthelle is about to respond, a rustle of fabric and sudden movement announce the arrival of a second strange vampire. A flawlessly attired woman flanks our employer, approaching from the left. Blindsiding him.
Her arrival sends tension through both Garthelle and Soiphe, and I wonder what causes the disturbance. Is it how she interrupts them, or who she is? She is Soiphe’s opposite, from the honey blonde hair to the willowy body clothed in a tailored pantsuit. Powerbroker straight off Wall Street. I imagine she fits in with the rest of the sharks rather well.
The tension originates from something more than Garthelle donning his role as Monsieur and host yet again. Though the transformation is immediate and thorough, like flipping a switch. One moment his aura tangles along the edge of mine, doing things I don’t want to think too closely about right now, while he frowns at Soiphe’s chosen turn of phrase. The next, his aura is as close as his skin, tight and still, quiescent, and the shutters have slammed down on any twitch of emotional communication.
“Madame Desmonde. How kind of you to join the festivities.” Garthelle turns only enough to keep her in his peripheral awareness as he greets her.
I see politics at play, subtle and nonverbal, flying between the three vampires. It’s not as though their auras are giving them away. Those, they hold tight and keep close. Like phobic men in a sauna, clutching their towels as a shield against exposure.
“Kind, Monsieur Garthelle? I think not, though that’s considerate of you.” Desmonde casts a pointed glance about the populated room. “I doubt anyone is here out of kindness.”
In the ensuing, stilted silence, Soiphe’s mouth twists down at the corners and her gaze drifts back in our direction. I keep my eyes focused studiously on Garthelle’s arms, folded across his chest, to avoid attracting her attention.
Deep breaths, Black. Nothing strange here. Nothing at all.
Soiphe stretches a long-fingered hand in our direction, aura relaxing to reach out and brush against the halo of our melded energy. Jhez’s hand on my stomach curls into a fist, scrunching my shirt. The material pulls uncomfortably over my ribs, and I stare at the ceiling to keep from squirming.
“Oh, Monsieur Garthelle. What a find; they’re absolutely beautiful.”
Soiphe sounds stoned. Or under the influence of something that would’ve been a controlled substance thirty years ago. If you want to score some narcotics, you can get uncut angel dust on any street corner for pocket change these days. An aspirin you won’t find, though. And Gaia forbid you go hunting for some antibiotics. Good luck with that.
Soiphe steps closer, fingers fluttering as her hand hovers a scant inch above Jhez’s clenched fist on my chest. Jhez flattens her hand, arm tense, as if trying to put as much space between them as possible. But she doesn’t pull away; her fingers splay out, and I wonder what she’s trying to shield me from.
It should be enough that her aura blends with mine, the ebb and flow of energy between us lessening the vampire’s pull as we share it. Should be.
Desmonde moves to sidle up beside Soiphe, all but shouldering the other vampire away. Her body language is stiff. Not in a tense way; more like an alley cat who’s caught another feline encroaching on its territory. She shoves her hand out next to Soiphe’s, knuckles white with the strain as she pulls on me. I grunt, stomach muscles cramping.
“Like trailing your fingertips through liquid silk.” The croon of Desmonde’s voice reminds me of stories about the sickly sweet sound of temptation: harpies singing sailors to their deaths. She should narrate audiobooks or something.
“Ladies.” Garthelle’s voice is firm; he slices through the tension with the decisiveness of a sushi chef.
Gaia, I’m hungry. I’m also more than just a little bit irritated at Monsieur Garthelle for insisting we do this. Given any sort of option, I would’ve declined as gracefully as possible. My body isn’t up to this—the rampant hunger is one of those subtle warning signs. That it feels like my stomach is trying to gnaw through my spinal cord, though, isn’t so subtle.
Too much more of this and I’m going to be beyond done for the evening.
“Give them some room to breathe, yes?” Without touching, he guides the two rivals away from our couch and draws them into conversation elsewhere.

Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address to enter the drawings! Look for the next excerpt that picks up where this one leaves off, tomorrow on Riptide Ripples. Or, if you can’t wait, get your own copy of “Blacker Than Black” over here at Riptide.

For more info on Rhi’s writings:

Twitter: @musefodder
Facebook Profile: here
Goodreads Profile: here
Amazon Author Page: here
Google+ Profile: here
Get “Dark Edge of Honor” here

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Top 5 Places to Get it On at Work with Louisa Masters

Not to confuse you, but today I'd like to introduce you to Louisa Masters! Louisa is giving away three $10 Amazon GCs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour and to the host with the most comments (excluding Louisa’s and the host’s).

Sex in the office has been called a cliché, but like all clichés it exists for a reason. It's hot. And many of us imagine it.

Ever wanted to grab a co-worker and sneak off for some nookie? Maybe even the boss? You've been trading heated glances, flirting back and forth, or maybe you're already dating. Quitting time is a long way away—too long. Surely a quickie wouldn't hurt... You might not have the nerve to do it—I know I didn’t—but there's nothing wrong with a heated daydream.
So, where would you go to get it on at work? I delved through my own fantasies, and then did some research, and the five that come up most frequently are:
The copy room. To be more precise, on top of the photocopier. After all, why risk discovery if you can't have a souvenir?
The boardroom. A place where the boss holds sway, where important meetings are conducted. Time to negotiate a merger of your own...
The boss' desk. Don't we all secretly want to sweep everything off the desk and lay ourselves on it? Plus, doing it on the boss' desk is the ultimate way to defy authority! Unless, of course, you're with your boss...which is a fantasy all by itself!
The stairwell. Find a shadowy corner, or if there's a considerable height difference between you and your partner, stand on different steps. One of the bonuses here is that an opening door will warn you if someone is coming.
Supply closet. It might be a bit tight, space-wise, but that can definitely work in your favor! Just be careful to clean up afterward—you don't want anyone asking who left the big mess (no pun intended).
One reason office sex is so arousing is the idea of being caught. A lot of people don't realize they have discovery fantasies, but the truth is, there's a tiny part of everyone that gets turned on, thinking about the people who might walk in at a crucial moment.

Inter-Office Relations by Louisa Masters

With her resignation submitted, Jeannie Price has one last task she’s itching to perform before leaving her job. After months of sitting next to hot, sexy colleague Tim Harding, it’s time to turn fantasy into reality with a scorching invitation to collaborate on matters of the flesh in Conference Room B. Then she can walk away without regrets.

Tim’s dreams of wild, sweaty sex with Jeannie come true when he accepts her offer, but he’s stunned to learn she doesn’t want to see him again after their steamy tryst. She may be trying to brush him off as just one more item on her To-Do List, but he’s determined to convince her there’s nothing taboo about inter-office relations.


Excerpt 1:

“Do you want to have sex in Conference Room B?”

Tim Harding jerked his head up from the cost analysis on his computer screen. Jeannie Price was leaning on the partition between their desks, her dark eyes fixed on his face. He took a moment to admire them as he pondered her words.

“Is this a hypothetical question?” he asked finally. “Because—”

“It’s not a hypothetical question. It’s an invitation.”

Her words slammed straight to his cock. Was she joking? Had she guessed that she was the star of his late-night fantasies? He’d even pictured taking her in the office—okay, he’d imagined the boardroom, but he was flexible.

He swallowed, hard, his cock twitching. She’d been very flexible when he imagined her on his balcony. And in his shower. And...

 “I’ll tell you what,” she said. “I’m going to be working in Conference Room B for the next half hour. You think about it, and if you decide to join me...” She shrugged, and her long brown hair slid forward, drawing his eyes to her breasts. In his dreams, her hair flowed over her naked breasts, her nipples peeking through the locks, and when he drew her down over him, it would swing forward, surrounding them like a silken tent...

She straightened, gathered up her laptop and notepad, and handed him an inter-office envelope.

“This may help you make up your mind.”

He watched her walk away, the sway of her hips and the way her dress slid across her ass making him shift uncomfortably.

Excerpt 2:

This is ridiculous. I’m hiding in the bathroom like a teenage girl.

Jeannie stared in the mirror, disgusted with herself, but not enough to go back to her desk.

She had to talk to Tim.

She had to talk to Tim.

She didn’t want to. Well, no, she wanted to talk to him, but not about sex. She wanted to talk about movies and books, weekend activities, silly habits and annoying colleagues. Like they always did.

As far as sex went, she wanted to rip off his tie and use it to bind his hands together so she could strip him naked and ride him like a cowgirl. The very thought made her shudder with need.

Okay, let’s be logical. She had to talk to Tim because they’d had sex on Friday. Wild, steamy sex. Her eyes drifted closed and she clenched her thighs together, the hot-wet rasp of Tim’s tongue almost too much to bear...

Focus! Her eyes snapped open, and she turned on the tap to splash cool water on her flushed cheeks.
So. She and Tim had had sex. And now they had to talk because sex had morphed their relationship to one beyond that of colleagues and friends.

That was a problem, because she didn’t believe in office romances.

Why was that, again? She’d thought about this over and over during the weekend, but it was getting harder and harder to remember why she hated relationships between co-workers.

About Louisa

A born reader, Louisa discovered her love of romance at an early age and began sneaking her mother's romance novels by age twelve. A sucker for a happy ending, she was often disappointed by the lead up–not enough sexy stuff. Where was the anticipation, the flirting, the tension? Her solution? Write it herself.

Living in Melbourne, Australia, she is renowned for complaining about the weather and the calories associated with eating ice cream, but has learned to ignore both and enjoy life anyway. Visit Louisa at

Make sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better the chances of winning. Complete Tour Dates Can be Found:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/11/virtual-book-tour-inter-office.html

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Vampire's Aura & Were Vamps Romance Gives "Chains of SIlver" 5 Stars!

I’ve been saving one super-special topic related to The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: Chains of Silver, and that’s the research on a vampire’s aura. The sentence weighs heavily with terms that unbelievers may not know how to interpret: Vampire, aura and research? How does one look into a vampire’s life energy and come out alive?

To read the guest post, and the 5-star review visit WereVamps Romance.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5 Jobs Along the Way to Publishing Erotic Romance

I started working early, barely past 16, primarily in order to buy my own clothes at Contempo Casuals. Thinking back upon all those positions that let me earn money while developing my craft makes me realize that it all led to writing erotic romance.

Here are a few highlights:

1) Philadelphia Cheesesteak Factory
My first job in high school was working fast food. A cheesesteak shop may seem hip and glamorous if I had lived in, say, Philadelphia. In cow-town California, it was an odd choice. But, we made some awesome waffle fries and I discovered that wearing contacts shielded my eyes from the cry-fest caused by cutting onions.

Oh, and making out in a backseat of a car can be a lot of fun.

2) Selling T-Shirts in a Tourist Trap
Sure, Laguna Beach looks all glamorous in reality TV shows, but how about handling a busload of tourists, with a broken cash register, a half-hour before closing? Oh, and would you mind walking $3,000 in cash down Main Street to the night-deposit dropbox? Side benefit: Helping hunky stars such as Ray Liotta and having him comment on how hot your dress was (yes, that was me).

Oh, and making out in stockrooms can be quite cushy.

3) Secret Lingerie Holiday Rush
There’s nothing like desperation to make men spend money. The closer it got to Christmas, they more they were willing to shell out for the perfect gift. I sold three $300 robes, and was not asked back to stay after the season finished. Top complaints: I looked for extra stock in the stockroom too much. Yes, they do have it in back. The managers just don’t want to open to room to get it. And, although I was told that there wasn’t a length requirement for the mandatory skirts, I was sent home for wearing a too-short mini. Trust Issues: Management spot-checked employee purses every time an employee left the store. As if I’m going to steal a pair of panties.

First Glimmer of BDSM: Overhearing a male customer and his teenage son commiserate that, “Let’s ask the girl (referring to me). If she doesn’t know, we’ll whip her.”

4) College Newspaper Staff
So this is where the “real” experience comes in. You gain firsthand knowledge in multiple subjects. Wild parties, drinking and experimentation – plenty of extracurricular activities in college.

Making out in darkrooms late at night = totally awesome.

5) Entry-Level Editor at Automotive Magazines
With a ratio of five women for about 100 men, the odds of hooking up continued to shine. Free bathing suits, along with a salary … and all-expenses paid trips to watch hot racecar drivers. Wait. Why did I ever leave that job? Oh, yeah: Never a female editor in the 25+ years of the company.

Mmmm – Greater appreciation for men. All types of men.

Bonus: Reporter Covering Rock & Roll
Oh, baby – that’s a whole ’nother blog. If only I had the confidence that I do now. Hanging backstage introduced me more to the beauty of bi-dom.

What have you learned on job along the way?

Friday, January 20, 2012

A wedding, an evil plan, a love story and a sacrifice are the order of the day in Lucy Felthouse's modern retelling of Snow White and the Huntsman

Susie White and the Right Hand Man

Susie White and her stepmother-to-be have never seen eye to eye, despite all of Susie’s best efforts to be friendly. Eager not to spoil her father’s happiness, Susie still agrees to be bridesmaid at their wedding. When the big day comes, she meets Louise’s right hand man, Scott. Susie had never believed in love at first sight until that moment. The pair hit it off, sharing a mutual dislike of Louise and her wicked ways. Their camaraderie quickly develops into something more, and they date in secret until it’s time for Susie to leave for University – and freedom. Unfortunately, Scott has an earth-shattering revelation, which means the two of them of them must work together to unravel Louise’s evil plan, before it’s too late.


I should have known my stepmother was up to something when she offered to help me move all my stuff to my University digs. It wasn’t like her to be civil, much less helpful, but I figured that she was happy I was moving hundreds of miles away, and therefore would do anything to make sure it happened as quickly as possible.

As my father’s only child, I’m the sole heir to White’s Bites, a massively profitable confectionary company based in Wiltshire, England. My stepmother had made no secret of the fact she resented that she wouldn’t get a stake in the business, should anything happen to my father. Of course, the reason for this was that my father knew the first thing the witch would do was put the business on the market to get her greedy little hands on the cash. I, on the other hand, loved White’s Bites and would continue to run it to the best of my ability.

We’d never seen eye to eye, my stepmother and I. However, it wasn’t the usual ‘child resents someone trying to replace their parent’ syndrome, it was her that resented me.

My mom had died of cancer when I was fifteen. My father and I were devastated, as you’d expect, but I’d always urged him to get on with his life. After all, it’s what mom would have wanted, and I certainly didn’t want my dad to be lonely when I got married and left home.

So, a couple of years later, when dad met Louise and they started dating, I was thrilled. He was happy, therefore so was I. Soon it became more serious and dad wanted me to meet her. I was excited, but nervous.

When the time came and Louise had walked into our house, I’d been in awe. Don’t get me wrong, my mom had been beautiful, but in a natural way, as if she didn’t realise, or care. But Louise clearly did. Her gorgeous hair was perfectly quaffed, and her attractive features were enhanced by expertly applied makeup. Her outfit looked like something from a fashion magazine. I managed to pull myself together before she saw me standing there, all slack-jawed and stupid-looking. Walking towards her, I’d held out a hand.

“Louise!” I’d said, beaming, “I’m so pleased to finally meet you. Dad’s told me so much about you.”

She’d smiled thinly and without any real emotion. “Charmed, I’m sure, Susan.” She’d shaken my hand gingerly, as though she was afraid she’d catch something. I’d half expected her to wipe her hand on her clothes afterwards.

“Oh please, call me Susie.” I’d said, ignoring her odd behaviour. I’d been eager to get on with the woman, knowing it would please my father. “Everyone does.”

Another tight-lipped smile. I’d tried hard to make conversation with her and make her feel comfortable in our home. But I never felt like I was succeeding. At first, I put it down to her being nervous or shy, but as weeks and months passed, I still never felt as though Louise warmed to me. I never bothered my father with my concerns. After all, as long as she liked him, what did it matter?

While Louise and my father were just dating, things weren’t too bad. They went to restaurants, the theatre, the cinema, and so on. I didn’t see her very often, and therefore didn’t have to put up with her frosty behaviour towards me.

Naturally, everything changed when dad told me he was going to ask Louise to marry him. He’d sat me down to break the news – fortunately – and I’d done my best to act delighted. Luckily, dad hadn’t noticed anything was amiss, and as he’d chatted about ceremonies, honeymoons and Louise moving in, a cold shiver had run up my back. This could not end well.


Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, House of Erotica, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

5 Types of Drunks (& What You Can Learn)

As a writer and journalist, I’ve become an observer of humanity. I eavesdrop on conversations, picking up tidbits here and there. On New Year’s Eve, I watched the people around me drinking. The closer it got to midnight, the drunker everyone became. Right before countdown time, I hit the bathrooms, and encountered what I’ve now classified as one of the 5 types of drunks: The Weeper.

A Rainbow cocktail from Pat O'Briens
in New Orleans. And, yes, I drank it!
Here’s the Breakdown:

1) The Weeper: When the level of alcohol reaches a certain point, the tears begin to fall. Often, you’ll find these specimens hanging out in restrooms, lamenting about all of the “good years” they’ve given some guy, without anything in return. The midnight maudlin I’d run into was crying about how at 22 her life was over, and she’d given her boyfriend the last good five years. I wanted to tell her that really … there’s plenty of time left for heartbreak ;-) But who’s to listen to an old woman like me?

2) The Sleeper: I’ve got no idea how writers such as Stephen King and Anne Rice supposedly wrote these fantastic books while being drunk. After a few glasses of wine, I’m ready to hit the sheets, and not in a good way (see #5 below).

3) The Yeller: Ever heard the term “mean drunk?” It’s not just a cliché, but a category. Some say that liquor lets out true personalities, and some I’d rather not know. Usually, it’s men that fall into this niche, and if you know that you tend to pick fights and smash walls while drinking then maybe it’s better to abstain.

4) The Life of the Party: Take a shy person, mix in a few Cosmos and what do you get? Sometimes, a personality peeps out. Vivacious and friendly, people often wish that this hidden persona would show up more often.

5) The Sexy Drinker: Probably the classification most written about in erotic romance. Certainly, I don’t condone drinking into one gets “stupid,” and doesn’t know what they’re doing. But, if some of those inhibitions fall by the wayside, and the situation leaves them open to experiencing something new or pursuing that dream-mate, then it’s all good.

So what have I missed? Is there a category that I’m forgetting about? Do you know someone that falls into one of these categories? Usually when I write a post about drinking, I get a lot of comments about how the reader is not a drinker at all … fess up: What type of drinker are you? 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Andrea Speed’s Diary of the Damned #3

We're featuring something a little different today, but just as alluring. Check out these offerings by Andrea Speed and Riptide Publishing. See the end of the post for information on Speed's contest!

In hopes of eventually publishing a book about his experiences at the Quik-Mart, Josh has decided to start keeping a work diary of his times on the night shift. Here is one random page.

11:54 - Some new guy I’ve never met before, Jordan, is filling in for Julia. There’s something a little off about him, and I’m not just saying that ‘cause he smells like cream soda. Although that’s part of it.

12:35 - First creature of the night, a lizard man who seems to love every kind of corn chip made. They must have stomachs made of steel, and taste buds made of steel too. (I mean, have you ever had the “zesty ranch” flavor? If a chemical factory could barf, I bet it tastes just like that.) Got a “tip” of $4.97 - biggest to date! I will take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about Doritos if I keep getting tips like this.

1:28 - A first! I think a werewolf in human form came in. He was a really hairy guy, looked like a bum, smelled like a wet dog, and made a beeline to the flea collars. He asked me if one brand was the biggest flea collar available, and I told him it was in this store. He bought three, and while I was making change for him, he scratched behind his ear and I swear his foot started tapping. I managed not to laugh until he left.

1:43 - A series of loud noises brought me out into the alley behind the mart. I don’t like to go there at night ‘cause of the hell portal, but there was so much screaming I had to check it out. A family of raccoons had gotten into it with a werewolf over the Dumpsters, and the mom and dad raccoon were two of the biggest raccoons I’ve ever seen in my life. Like pit bull sized. I’m not sure they were raccoons, now that I think about it. Whatever they were, they really messed up that werewolf. For what it’s worth, I waved the silver broomstick around, feeling like a stupid douchebag, until they all scattered. The raccoon things gave me a look that seemed to suggest leaving was their idea. I hope I didn’t make an enemy.

2:27 - The yeti returned. This time he brought me half of a radial tire. Maybe he thinks that’s what humans like? I asked him about raccoon things, but I might as well have asked about the ending of Lost for all he understood me.

3:15 - Colin arrived. Asked him about raccoon things. He asked me to be more specific (!). He’s not sure, but he thought they might be vilkacis (?), which are apparently some kind of creature that can shift into a multitude of different animal shapes. Colin may be making this up, I can’t really tell. Vampires have great poker faces.

3:20 - 4:13 - Fooled around with Colin.

4:15 - A loud noise, like a big thud, on the roof made us both shriek like little girls. I made Colin go check it out (well, he’s the undead guy …) and he came back in holding what looked like some kind of fruit bat upside down by its leg. It was cursing up a storm at him. He explained it was a kludde (?) named Claude - I’m 87% certain he made that up - and it was trying to dismantle the parking lot security cameras so it could sell the scrap for cash. It’s addicted to baking soda, apparently. So I gave it a box of Arm & Hammer and told it next time it tried to tear apart store property, I was sending the yeti after it. It couldn’t fly off fast enough.

4:16 - 4:48 - Colin hung around because I was so freaked out by all my beast encounters tonight. But just to make me seem like a complete fool, the only thing that happened was two different lizard guys showed up to buy chips. But it was sweet he cared.

5:53 - Jorge shows up for the morning shift, a little freaked out himself. It seems he just barely missed hitting the biggest dog he’d ever seen in his life. He thought maybe it was a coyote or something, but he was pretty sure it was wearing a flea collar. I was just glad it wasn’t a raccoon thing. I ended up blaming the broken parking lot camera on a meth head. I think Mr. Kwon bought it, but he gave me the strangest look.

Blurb from Pretty Monsters:

Josh knew the night shift at the Quik-Mart would be full of freaks and geeks—and that was before the hell portal opened in the parking lot. Still, he likes to think he can roll with things. Sure, the zombies make a mess sometimes, but at least they never reach for anything more threatening than frozen burritos.
Besides, it’s not all lizard-monsters and the walking dead. There’s also the mysterious hottie with the sly red lips and a taste for sweets.
Josh has had the hots for Hot Guy since the moment he laid eyes on him, and it seems Hot Guy might be sweet on Josh too. Now if only Josh could figure out whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between. After all, with a hell vortex just a stone’s throw away, Josh has learned to take nothing at face value—even if it’s a very, very pretty face.
This title is #1 of the Josh of the Damned series.

Read an excerpt and purchase Pretty Monsters

Blurb from Peek-A-Boo:

As night-shift clerk at the go-to Quik-Mart for monsters with the munchies, Josh Caplan believes he’s seen it all. Battling lizard men, werewolves chasing cars in the parking lot . . . nothing fazes Josh anymore.
Or so he thinks, at least, until a yeti with poor communication skills drops a dead skunk on the checkout counter. Josh can’t figure what a living, breathing shag carpet wants with him, or why it won’t leave him alone no matter how hard he ignores it. But hey, at least it seems harmless . . . if perhaps a little slow on the draw.
But Sasquatch is plenty fast when two of Josh’s human customers try to out-monster the monsters. Times are strange when creatures from the hell portal save the day, but in the protective hands of a lovesick yeti and a sexy vampire boyfriend, Josh realizes that maybe his new normal isn’t so bad after all.
Read an excerpt and purchase Peek-A-Boo

Email address: aspeed2@gmail.com

Question for the grand prize:

What two things does the yeti try to give Josh? Simple, but you'll have to have read the story.

The Grand Prize – The Infected series ebook collection

Send the answer to the question to aspeed2@gmail.com

Put the name of the blog and Contest Answer in the subject line.
They can send as many entries as they'd like. Contest ends January 20.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"The New Year Got Me Thinking" with Meggan Connors

I know, I know, it's a dangerous prospect. You never know what might come out of my mouth—or my fingers (not in a weird, shooting fire kind of way, though that would be awesome)—when I get to thinking.

Generally, I don't do New Year's resolutions. I usually save that kind of stuff for the Fall. Again, weird, but we all have our quirks. But with the start of the New Year, everyone is posting on his resolutions social media sites. You know, lose 50 pounds, get in shape, get published, blah, blah, blah. They are all very well intentioned, and, sure enough, I've made those same resolutions before, too. But I never achieved them. After all, at this very moment, I am looking at an elliptical machine that is currently being used as a coat rack.

With that in mind, in the coming year, I will:
  1. Endeavor to watch more bad TV on crazy conspiracy theories, aliens and bigfoot.
  2. Watch The Biggest Loser and eat pie while doing it. And I will laugh in the face of all that exercise (looks painful, by the way).
  3. Order pizza for dinner and not feel guilty about it.
  4. Wear my pirate shirt with geek pride (it really is super cute).
  5. Not feel guilty about the stack of laundry in the hamper or the dishes in the sink. They'll get done eventually (you know, when we run out of plates or no one has any clean underwear… well, hopefully before that, but I don't want to stretch myself. That's not what this list is about).

So there you have it: attainable resolutions! So tell me, what are yours?

Leave a comment for a chance to win an e-copy of my debut novel, The Marker.

I would love to hear from readers (or anyone else, to be honest). You can find me at www.megganconnors.com or on Facebook.

While you're at it, take a peek at the blurb from The Marker, out now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and from Soul Mate Publishing.

The Marker

The Marker
Meggan Connors

When her father loses her in a poker game, Lexie Markland is sent to work in the household of Nicholas Wetherby for one year to pay off the debt. Innocent, but not naïve, she is savvy enough to know she must maintain her distance from this man, who frustrates her with his relentless teasing but whose kisses bring her to her knees. Because although she may be just another conquest to him, it’s not just her heart in jeopardy should she succumb to Nicholas’ considerable charms.

Since his brother's death almost a year before, nothing has held Nicholas’ attention for long—not women, not booze, not even an excellent hand at cards. Nothing, that is, until he meets the woman he won in a drunken night of poker. Intrigued by his prize and her chilly reserve, he makes it his mission to crack Lexie’s cool demeanor. But even as passion explodes between them, the question remains: will Nicholas be able to take the ultimate risk...and gamble on love?