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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Night Games - by HC Brown and KevaD

Joe Harrison’s attraction to the young, handsome part-owner of Bowers’ Beautiful Excursions has become an obsession. His purchase of a sailboat, and need for a skilled captain, gives him the opportunity to spend some time alone with the elusive Dazz.

Although sailing a brand-new schooner through pirate infested waters isn’t Dazz’s idea of fun, his desire to know Joe more intimately overrides his caution.

Hijacked by pirates and forced to flee into the jungle, they must overcome all obstacles and fight to recover the vessel. Will their fragile relationship survive the bittersweet trials to come?

Buy Link

Excerpt:

Joe Harrison stared down the long, bleached wooden walkway beside the marina to the graceful man working on the schooner’s deck. A gust of wind tumbled the dark blond hair, streaked from long days at sea. The Rio de Janeiro sun glistened over his sweat-soaked body, tanned to a golden brown. His gaze drifted across the distance to the handsome, chiseled face he knew so well. He visualized the man’s blue expressive eyes and the fullness of his lips. He longed to nibble the day-old stubble on his chin and flick his tongue in the corners of his smile.

Joe tilted his head back and closed his eyes, overwhelmed with an ache to sink his fingers into the silky mass falling to the young man’s shoulders. He inhaled. The smell of seaweed mixed with the ocean’s brine drifted through the window. His mind went back to their earlier meeting. Dazz’s preference for expensive French cologne, its citrus fragrance mingled with his natural musk, both surprised Joe and drove him crazy with the need to bury his nose in the man’s neck.

Joe leaned a shoulder against the window frame and watched Dazz secure the rigging with the skill of many years at sea. His cut-off jeans displayed strong thighs and the way the frayed fabric molded to his muscular ass—God! Joe chuckled and swiped at his mouth. The man had become an obsession. Joe gripped the window ledge.

The guy made him hard with one glance of his sapphire eyes. Joe bit his bottom lip. Their lingering handshake earlier upon meeting invaded his mind. The warmth of Dazz’s callused hand and the way his long fingers, burnished by the sun, curled around his palm. Joe groaned. His balls throbbed at the thought of the man’s rough thumb circling his cockhead.

Joe shook his head to clear the image of Dazz stretched out naked on his bed. Did he have a snowflake’s chance in hell with the young guy? Sure, they got on well enough together. How often had he discussed the latest soccer game with Dazz? Okay, so they had sports in common but little else.

With a sigh, Joe contemplated the situation. For a start, Dazz had to be five years his junior. The man of his dreams lived in a different world and had a different class of friends. What chance did he have to fit in Dazz’s “live every day like it’s your last” attitude toward life?

He ran a hand over the small dog tucked under his arm and chewed on his bottom lip. As much as he wanted to run off into the sunset with Dazz, he had a business to run and people who depended on him.

As if the man had read his thoughts, Dazz lifted his head and flashed a brilliant smile in Joe’s direction. Without a second thought, Joe smiled and returned the man’s wave. His face grew hot. Damn, he knows I’ve been watching him.

His idea to become a minor partner in Bowers’ Bountiful Excursions had become a financial windfall. The job had benefits as well. His work marketing the company kept him in contact with Dazz on a regular basis.

Joe pursed his lips. Dazz was a free spirit. He ran with the wind. Tying him down would be like putting an eagle in a cage. The sea was in the young man’s blood.

There had been a buzz between them from the start. Although, to his chagrin, Dazz had remained as elusive as a butterfly—a very sexy butterfly. Joe wet his lips. That gorgeous man is out of my league.

“Harrison, are you drooling over Dazz again?” Patrice Bowers slipped her hand through his arm.

Joe patted her long, slim fingers. “Darling, he has me in the palm of his hand. The trouble is I don’t think I’m his type.”

“You don’t work for Daddy now.” She ruffled his hair. “You need to relax, grow your hair, and lose the suit. He likes you. But I know for a fact, Dazz hates society types.”

Turning away from the window, he led Patrice to a chair. He slid his hip on the edge of the office table. “My business is flourishing and I have clients coming out of the woodwork. I have a position in life, Patrice. In fact, I like who I am and what I’ve achieved. Sure, I’m attracted to Dazz, but I’ll find myself a man sooner or later.” He grinned. “Don’t worry about my love life.”

“You can’t fool me.” Patrice eyed him critically. “But far be it for me to intrude.”

Joe laughed. “Ah, well, I can dream.”

“Dazz has worked with Brian for a long time. Please don’t do anything to cause a problem in the company.” Patrice drummed her fingernails on the desk. “You know, a sour love affair isn’t good for business.”

“What and ruin my investment?” Joe ran a hand through his hair. “Not a chance.”

Bowers’ Bountiful Excursions ran a romantic cruise service for couples from Sao Conrado, Rio’s upscale southern district. Joe knew Dazz’s commitment to his partner in the business, Brian Bowers, was one of long standing. Joe believed his luck had changed for the better the day Bowers married socialite, Patrice Lampton.

How many years had Joe cared for Patrice as personal bodyguard and mother confessor? Ten? Life had been normal before Bowers emerged from the sea like Poseidon with a schooner named after Patrice. Joe doubted anyone could resist such a declaration of devotion.

“When are you moving into your new office?” Patrice inclined her head.

“Yesterday.” Joe winked. “My personal assistant is holding down the fort.”

“Oh! And a personal assistant too. What’s he like?” She leaned toward him. “Sexy as hell, I bet.”

“Spectacular, darling. But unfortunately, he has a boyfriend.” Joe glanced out the window. “Although, I think my tastes have moved to the more rugged type of late.”

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Iron Curtain Meltdown

Iron Curtain Meltdown is now available.
This action/suspense novella is the second of the Grimsley Journals series and is set in London and Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1978.

Both Iron Curtain Meltdown and Eyes to Die For were inspired by events I lived. "Inspired." They're fiction. =)

When Army Specialist Lewis Stepka visits London's Speaker’s Corner, the last thing he expects to find is Svita Noskov pleading for help. He has enough of his own demons to fight. Still, he can’t deny his interest in the beautiful, slightly eccentric Russian.

He discovers Svita’s father works as an engineer in a nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, Ukraine, where he claims a disaster will occur if no one intercedes. The CIA wants whatever information the engineer holds, but in the Cold War, sharing isn’t on Russia’s agenda.

Lewis’s attraction to Svita leads him to a plan a reunion for father and daughter. A dangerous mission that he might be able to pull off because of a unique ability that can aid him in rescuing the engineer from the secure facility.

Still, double crossing the CIA might not be a good idea. But Svita isn’t like any woman Lewis has ever known, and the heart can lead a man where common sense fears to tread.
Buy Link: Decadent Publishing
video

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sex Tip #31


When your partner stares up at you with a death ray beaming out of glazed eyes, flared nostrils, and gritted teeth from the bed you have tied them on, and snarls, “Put it in me, NOW!”, it is safe to assume no further foreplay is required.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Alphas


I enjoy creating strong characters, male and female. 



In Sea Games, Brian Bowers is a man bent on revenge. Patrice broke his heart. Now, he wants to balance the scales. When Patrice’s father, a wealthy international businessman unaccustomed to not getting his way, intervenes, Brian has to step up his game or lose at love. And, Brian doesn't like losing. What Alpha does?

Eyes to Die has Dorn Wheeler. The story was inspired by events I lived in Amman, Jordan during a security operation I was part of. Dorn’s a no nonsense guy who is used to using women, until he meets his match in Haneen. 

For me though, the real Alpha is Charlie Harris, a WWII combat veteran in Whistle Pass. Charlie just wants to be left alone. But, when a quiet, invisible life is ripped out from under him, and the one person he cares about is hurt, Charlie doesn’t hesitate to go after the people responsible.












I'm giving away copies of the erotic romance novella Sea Games and/or the suspense full length novel Whistle Pass.
Whistle Pass is only available in pdf. Sorry. The winner will have their choice of different formats for Sea Games.
To be eligible, you do need to leave a comment including your email address and which book you would like to win. My random comment selector, aka my wife, will chose two numbers, and those will be the winners.
 
The blog hop has THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times! 

Now what are those prizes? 

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!
 
                            Good luck! And thanks for dropping by.
 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shaken, Not Stirred – by KevaD


I like my women shaken, not stirred.

Actually, I mean I prefer my heroines to have that attribute. Give me a woman who can be caught off guard, but quickly recovers and formulates a plan of action, versus a dizzy ditz whose mind tumbles like an olive in a martini glass. Women, say, like Patrice in Sea Games, the first book by H.C. Brown and me. Hey! You knew there had to be a plug in here somewhere. 

Patrice is taken aback when her former teenaged lover Brian appears in front of her after twelve years of not hearing from him. The fact he’s disguised himself and is using a false name blips all over her radar. Obviously, he’s up to no good. Still, he’s the one man she’s never been able to get out of her heart. So, while Brian makes his move of revenge, Patrice plots her own assault to make him hers one more time before the sun rises and they have to go their separate ways. 

Yep. Give me a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. Brains, courage, and sexuality. A perfect recipe for seduction. 

How about you? How do you prefer your heroines? 

Blurb: 

Brian Bowers is a man on a mission. Revenge weighs heavy on his mind. The need to punish the woman he once loved above all others falls into tatters the moment he sets eyes on her again. Fifteen years of walking on the fine edge between love and hate ends in an explosion of lust.  

Patrice, sophisticated and wealthy, has her own agenda. She knows how to use her body to get what she wants. But Bowers knows how to play the game. 

Set in a world of indulgence, Sea Games follows two hearts as they battle memories of the past. Will they win or lose a future together? 


 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Multiple Orgasm Brownies & Tracey H Kitts - Yes, Really


In celebration of my new release, Bitten, I’m sharing one of my favorite things with readers (and anyone else who cares to try it), Multiple Orgasm Brownies. You heard me right. Ha. Ha. Ha.
First, let me share a little bit about Bitten. This story was inspired by many of my favorite things. For example, the story takes place during my favorite time of year, fall. Plus, it’s full of witches who grow herb gardens. (So do I.) In addition to being witches, these women are smart too. There’s also sexy vampires (three to be exact) and equally hot were-creatures.  By the way, this story is a vampire ménage. If that doesn’t go well with Multiple Orgasm Brownies, I don’t know what does.
Zanna, one of the supporting characters, is Sandra’s grandmother. She’s sassy, fun, still great-looking, and can make margaritas like it’s nobody’s business. This recipe sounds like something she would not only make, but love. From the moment I decided what I wanted to call these awesome brownies, I thought of her.
This is the kind of thing she would bake to comfort Sandra (the leading lady of Bitten), or her sister Priscilla if they had a bad day running the magic shop they share. It’s called Potions, Lotions, and Other Wicked Notions. In the case of Sandra, she might need comfort if something reminded her of her late husband. Our main witch is still a grieving widow until she meets Navarre, a master vampire who awakens her long-dormant ability to love.
As for Priscilla, if she needed comfort it might be because one of her many spells or potions didn’t work correctly. Like the time when she tried to make a tonic for hair growth and instead made their neighbor bald.
Either way, these brownies would really hit the spot. Pun intended. Ha. Ha.
All right, now to the point.
We all know what they say about chocolate. Sometimes, a little chocolate is all you need to make everything right with the world.

Multiple Orgasm Brownies


Ingredients

1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1 cup melted butter
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2-teaspoon baking powder
1/2-teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of chopped chili (optional)

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl add your cocoa powder and the melted butter. Whisk until combined. Add sugar, mix together. Next, add the rest of your dry ingredients, chopped chili (optional) and finally, the 4 eggs. Mix until well combined.
2.  Grease a 9x13 inch pan and add batter (about an inch in thickness). Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes to allow for ooey gooey brownies, be sure not to overcook.
Serving size depends on how hungry you are and whether or not you want to share.
 
Here are the details on Bitten.
 
About the story:

Sandra Ashton is a witch who suddenly finds herself dating three vampires. So, what do you do when you’ve got three immortal beings professing their undying or is that undead love for you? You agree to what they like to call, “joint custody.”

WARNING: This book contains graphic language, violence, and lots of sex.

This book was previously published. It has since been revised, re-edited, and expanded.



Purchase Link:


 

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ENCHANTED - by Judith Leger

She knows how to unravel secrets, but getting to the bottom of this one might just kill her. Magic is for fools, television news reporter Caitlyn believes. And she's no fool. She's determined to prove master illusionist Shay a fake. Somehow though, with Shay the lines between magic and reality blur. Perhaps it's his charisma, or being in Wales with him, but now she's dreaming of a magical place. One that seems oddly familiar... Shay hides a terrible secret. He's to blame for Caitlyn's separation from her family and the world she doesn't remember. She must go home to the Sidhe, and to recover his honor, he must be the one to bring her. He'll willingly lose everything he is to help her break the curse binding her. But time is of the essence--the old evil has surfaced. He must make Caitlyn believe in magic, and his love, before she becomes its prey. A Lyrical Press Fantasy Romance Judith Leger Website Blog ENCHANTED$5.99Author: Judith LegerGenre: Romance/Fantasy/ParanormalISBN: 9781616504014Length: 76,000 wordsePub Page Count: 223Publication Date: September 3, 2012Formats: pdf, epub, mobi

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sea Games



Sea Games, book 1 of the Game Play series by H.C. Brown and myself is scheduled to be released October 8th by Liquid Silver Books. Enjoy the video until then.


video

Monday, July 30, 2012

19th ANNUAL CALLIOPE FICTION CONTEST

Once again, it's time for Calliope magazine's annual fiction contest.
I like to bring this competition to folks' attention because it's open to novice and experienced writers alike, the judging truly is fair and impartial, and Calliope is a not-for-profit organization designed to aid and encourage interest in reading and writing.


Will I be submitting an entry this year? No. But, only because my story "The Caretaker" won first place in last year's contest.


Check out the guidelines and rules, and I hope to read your winning story!


19th ANNUAL CALLIOPE FICTION CONTEST

Theme: “GADGETS & GIZMOS”

Deadline: OCTOBER 15, 2012

Gadget/gizmo: A small device with a practical use, but often thought of as a novelty. What’s yours? A can opener, iPad, Swiss Army knife, e-reader, Slice-o-matic? Whatever it is or its role, the item(s) must be mentioned in the story. Make your story come alive with sharp characterization, vivid imagery and artistic use of language. Winners will not be separated into categories, but entries will be compared to others within their respective genres for judging purposes. Neatness and manuscript presentation count.

Word Count: Up to 3,000 words.

Form:
All types of fiction (including genre) accepted: this includes general audience/mainstream; magical realism; science fiction, fantasy, light horror, mystery, romance, or cross-genres thereof; young adult and juvenile. NO picture books. NOexplicit sexual content, excessive profanity, gory violence and/or extreme horror, please.

Entry forms/fees:
No entry form required. Entry fees: Calliope member/subscribers—$5 first entry; second entry free; $3 for each additional entry. (Write “Member” on upper right corner of title sheet.) Non-members: $10 fir st entry; $5 for each additional story. Maximum: five stories per entrant. Membership special: Send $20 and receive a one-year subscription to Calliope (4 issues) and one free entry. Make checks or money orders (in U.S. Funds only) payable to: Writers' SIG. (We will also accept fees in mint, U.S. stamps in lieu of checks or money orders.) To make payment via PayPal, go to
www.paypal.com, click on “send money,” and enter Cynthia@theriver.com when asked “which vendor.”

How to Submit/Format:
Entries accepted from June 15 to October 15, 2011, and must come by regular mail. No other method will be accepted. Use standard manuscript format: 1” margins, double-space for stories more than 500 words. Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and title of story should be on a separate cover sheet, stapled to the manuscript in upper left corner. Print only title and page numbers on manuscript. State “End” below last sentence of story.
Work must be original—no reprints. Winners must retain sufficient rights for publication in the Winter 2012/13 issue of Calliope, or their entries will be disqualified.



Prizes:
Although final determination depends upon the total amount of entry fees received, a minimum $50-1st Place, $25-2nd Place, and $15-3rd Place is the goal.
Gift subscriptions to Calliope will be at the editor’s discretion. All winners and honorable mentions will receive certificates suitable for framing. Other prizes depend on donations received.
Receipt of entry will be acknowledged if an email address or a self-addressed postcard is included; manuscripts will not be returned.
All stories submitted will be considered for future publication.
Include a SASE for the winner’s list, and receive a free mini-critique of your entry.

Notification:
Winners will be notified by mail or email; state preference on cover sheet. Formal announcement will appear in both print and electronic versions of the Winter 2012/13 issue, together with the First through Third Place winning stories. Other winning stories will be published in appropriate subsequent issues. We use one-time rights only.

About The Judging:
Winners will be selected by the Fiction Editor, with comments, opinions and concurrence solicited from other Calliope editors and/or others the Fiction Editor deems appropriate. The decision of the judge will be final; every attempt will be made to render a fair and unbiased decision.

Mail entries and fees to:
Calliope Fiction Contest
5975 W. Western Way PMB 116Y
Tucson, AZ 85713


Monday, July 23, 2012

Photographs, Pictures, Cover Art Copyrights for Bloggers – Part I – by KevaD


This is the first article in a series about photographer and artist copyrights.

I am a strong and avid supporter of those copyrights, just as I am about author copyrights.

I am not an attorney, and I’m not suggesting to dole out legal advice here. What I do have is experience in dealing with copyrighted materials, including art, photographs, and pictures, and have the mistakes and gaffs to prove it. As examples in this series, I’ll make reference to my own blogs and the pictures, etc., posted there. 

This article covers generalities, book cover art, and author photographs.


Attention all bloggers: 

If you do not own, have purchased limited use rights, or have specific permission to use a photograph, picture (including those ‘hawt’ naked pics you just have to share), artwork, or book cover, you are most likely in some form of copyright violation for which the true owner may be eligible for compensation. In other words, yes, you could be sued. 

No, it doesn’t matter that you posted about how you don’t own the material and that if someone asks you to take it off your blog you will be happy to do so. You already used it to your advantage and purpose. The damage is done. By the way, you also readily acknowledged you didn’t have permission to post the work in question. Yeah, you used the pic knowing you didn’t have permission. 

There is no “blanket statement” a blogger can apply or declare that relieves the blogger of the responsibility to ensure no copyright violations have occurred. Nor can you carry a TV you didn’t pay for out of Walmart, shouting how if anyone wants you to bring it back you’ll be happy to do so, otherwise, the TV is yours to use. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s the way it is. Time to pony up. 

But, let’s put it another way: Time to get educated and help protect the hard work of photographers and artists. 

Photographers and artists own their work unless they contract away or sell their rights, such as in most cases involving book cover or cover art. 

Just because I have a picture or artwork posted on my blog does not make that picture public domain or common use property. In fact, the majority of visual aids on my blogs are not owned by me. What I do have is permission to use them, or I purchased limited rights for use. That does not mean I can transfer permission to anyone else. Neither can you. Neither can Pinterest or any other photo sharing site. Because a picture or artwork is on a public site does not automatically mean it’s there legally and fair game. If you download or copy a picture for use in any form from a social or community site, you could find yourself violating someone’s copyrights of ownership. 

Let’s examine book covers, or cover art as the book jackets are frequently referred to. 

Now, most publishers own the book’s artwork through contracts with the artist and/or photographer, right? Well, yes and no. Unless the artist sells all, and I do mean “all,” rights to his/her work to the publisher, the artist still may retain certain rights of ownership. Certainly, the publisher owns specific rights in regard to the cover. 

In author contracts with publishers, there are usually provisions allowing for the author to use the cover art for marketing purposes. Generally, that includes allowing me or you or just about anyone permission to post the book cover on our blogs. That’s just good advertising and the vast majority of the time no cry of “foul” will ever be heard. However, if there weren’t exceptions to this, I wouldn’t be mentioning it. Here’s one such exception: 

On my dakentner blog I posted an interview with internationally bestselling author Juliet Marillier. Her work has been sold and read all around the globe. The artist who designs (designed) the covers for her Australia produced books did not contract away his rights of ownership outside of Australia and New Zealand. Ms. Marillier’s books that are sold and purchased in the U.S. do not have the same book covers as those sold in Australia for that very reason. 

Again, on my dakentner blog, I have two of the Australian book cover art posted for viewing. Here’s the link: http://dakentner.blogspot.com/2011/01/multi-award-winning-author-juliet.html
Note here that I did not post the artwork in this article, but posted the link instead. Why? Because the artist granted me permission to post those two examples of his artistry on my dakentner blog, not this or any other blog. If I posted those book covers here, I would be in violation of the limited use granted me and subject to penalty for copyright violation. Yes, this stuff gets that specific.

If anyone were to copy one of those book covers and post them on their blog, then that person would definitely be in copyright violation. And, no, I cannot grant anyone permission to use either of those pictures because I do not own the rights, nor does my permitted limited use include allowing anyone else to use those pictures. Permission simply is not mine to give. 

How does a blogger avoid these pitfalls? Ask. Ask the author, agent, publicist, or publisher to send you a copy of a book(s) cover for use on your blog, or obtain written permission (an email generally fills the bill). Problem resolved. 

Same applies to author photographs. Many author photographs used on author or publisher web sites are professionally taken pictures. As such, photographer copyrights may, and generally do, apply. Again, ask first before doing a copy and paste. Usually, the author will send you a picture to use – one that has been provided for the author’s use in marketing themselves and their work, or one the author owns outright. 

Of course, I have an example of how this can get tricky at times. 

Alafair Burke is a marvelous author and lady. She really is a joy. Ms. Burke agreed to an interview with me. Posted with her interview is a picture of her: http://dakentner.blogspot.com/2012/06/crime-drama-author-alafair-burke.html
Notice the green lettering at the bottom of that picture. Now, that particular photo is one used in marketing her and her books. However, said picture is not available for the general public’s use, and as such, I had to be given permission to post that pic with her interview. Ms. Burke’s publicist is the one who handled that end for me, and I added the wording per the publicist’s instructions. 

Bottom line, the photographer retained some copyright ownership of the photograph, though in this case permission for use did not have to be obtained by contacting the photographer directly. Copy and paste that photo without permission and a blogger could very possibly hear from the copyright holder’s legal department. 

Again…ask. Common courtesy is never out of style and always appreciated.

Next time we’ll discuss photo sites such as fotolia.com and dreamstime.com.
Just because you “bought” a picture doesn’t mean you can actually use it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Beholding Beauty - by Sam Singer


Sam Singer’s latest book is now available to readers. I’m very pleased to offer a look at it.



Blurb:

Craig Ryan’s modeling dreams crashed and burned on the streets of LA. Still, a man has to eat, and the escort biz pays well, and the sex isn’t bad. Actually, Craig enjoys his new job and benefits. That is, until a client called Dee hires him. Dee is a mystery. He keeps his face hidden and prohibits touching, even when touching his mouthwatering body becomes Craig’s fantasy.

Falling for a customer was never in Craig’s plans. But wrapped inside Dee’s peculiar requirements, there’s a sense of loneliness and pain that strikes deep within Craig, awakening his own need for something more—something with a future beyond one-night stands.


Excerpt: 

The elevator stopped and opened directly into the luxurious penthouse; it was huge with an open floor plan, elegantly furnished, and smelled faintly of sandalwood and leather. The kitchen gleamed with top-of-the-line chrome appliances. There was a nicely sized, but not ostentatious, LCD television to the left of a fireplace surrounded by built-in mahogany bookcases crammed full of books. The floors were gleaming hardwood with beautiful, intricate Persian rugs here and there. On the coffee table was an array of magazines—Time, Newsweek, Men’s Health, GQ, The Advocate, and Details—along with a book of erotic male photography. The entire west wall was made up of floor-to-ceiling windows that provided a spectacular view of the city at sunset, and there standing in front of them, looking out, had to be his client. 

He was big, not overweight, but tall, lean, and most likely muscular if the broad shoulders were anything to go by. His hair was to his shoulders, dark, brown probably, and thick. He looked to be impeccably dressed in dark slacks and shirt—silk, Craig guessed. Despite a couple of years in the escort business and being plenty jaded, Craig was intrigued. He wished the man would turn around. He’d love to see if the front was as appealing as the back.

“I’m Craig,” Craig said evenly.  

“I’m Dee,” his client said in a deep voice, not turning to face Craig. 

Craig took a few uncertain steps closer. “I hope I’m what you wanted.”  

“You’re fine,” his client replied shortly.  

Craig frowned and his brows knitted together in puzzlement. How could he think Craig was fine when he hadn’t even turned to look at him? The first tendrils of unease began to unfurl inside him. This guy was big, strong, and could easily overpower Craig. Not that Craig was a slouch, but he didn’t have the muscle mass his client seemed to under his expensive clothes, and this guy was at least three inches taller than him.  

There was a low mechanical hum, and the curtains began to close over the windows, shutting out the weak light from the setting sun. A second later the television clicked on.  

“Have a seat, Craig,” Dee said, motioning to the overstuffed suede sofa.  

Craig swallowed and nodded even though Dee couldn’t see. He sank down into the plush sofa but kept Dee in his line of sight. The curtains closed completely, and the only light came from the glow of the television and the dim recessed lights in the kitchen. Craig didn’t like this, didn’t like not being able to see his client, not being able to judge his reactions.

“Do you have a favorite genre of film?” his client asked, moving away from the windows and over to sit beside Craig. Craig looked over at Dee but couldn’t really make out any facial features because of the dim lighting, and Dee’s hair was obscuring his face. It didn’t exactly make Craig feel better about this situation.


Buy Link: 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cedar City Author Works To Write Out Child Abuse

Child abuse is never an easy topic to discuss for those who have either been a victim or an abuser. As a society, we publicly abhor child abuse, but also tend to close doors on it, hoping it will go away. Discussions over cups of coffee do not have an impact. Sorry, they don’t. Changing mindsets requires action, not idle chitchat. 
I grew up in a time when abuse wasn’t discussed, when few people wanted to acknowledge it existed. Schools and churches weren’t havens. I know. I tried. 
My story doesn’t come close to those children who have suffered broken bones, hot grease thrown on them, and death. Nonetheless, I’ve been there and carry the emotional scars, as well as a disfigured knuckle. 
The first incident I remember, I was five. I’d been sledding, hit a post and cut my lip. My usual punishment for doing something wrong was my father’s belt on my bare bottom. This time, he used the buckle end. The next day, he took a metal pancake turner to me because I couldn’t sit on the welts and cuts. I became convinced I was a horrible child and deserved whatever was done to me. I tried and tried to be good, but always failed. He once slammed the car door on my hand to prove to me how bad I was. While in grade school, I did something that angered him during a party at our house. He took me to the basement and pummeled me with his fists. Each time I cried out, he hit me harder. He hit me until I quit begging him to stop. That took a long time. He left me cowering and bleeding, wedged between the washer and dryer. The next day I had to move all the snow from one side of the yard to the other and back again. We lived in South Dakota then. There was a lot of snow. 
The abuse wasn’t centered on me. I couldn’t help my mother when he hit her. When my brother and sister were born, I could take the hits intended for them, and did. As a teen, I started to work out on weights. I got into fights, learning from those who could better me. The day finally came when I had the confidence and ability to step between my parents. That was the last time he hit my mother. They divorced shortly after that. 
As with most abused children, I loved my father and only wanted his approval, though I never could do enough to receive it. Even when I enlisted in the army, he scoffed. Finally, when I volunteered to become an EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal [the bomb squad]) specialist and worked with the Secret Service and State Department, his attitude began to change. When I entered law enforcement, he actually told me has proud of me. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. We slowly built the relationship I’d only been able to dream of having with him. He was killed in a car crash a few years later. 
I was and am extremely proud of my father’s professional achievements. He was abused, passed off to relatives, and dropped out of school. He refused to be less than he could be, and climbed up the ranks to become the Labor Relations Officer for a major railroad. After that, he joined the National Transportation Safety Board until his full retirement. 
I don’t fully hold him to blame. He didn’t have any experience beyond the abuse he suffered under. In his mind, that’s how fathers acted. 
One day, when we were enjoying some time just being together, he suddenly said he was sorry.
We both cried. He loved and cherished my sons, providing them with fond memories of their grandfather, and for that, I will always be grateful.

I am honored to post this announcement of what a group of authors have gathered to do in the struggle against child abuse. 
I won’t be posting anything else on this blog for the next week. If you have a story to tell, feel free to share it, by name or anonymously. I’m not a doctor, therapist, or anything other than someone who will listen.

If you need an ear or an understanding shoulder, I’m here.

Cedar City, UT, June 14th, 2012- Local author J.S. Wayne has long wanted to take direct action to help survivors of child abuse. In August of last year, he discovered a way when he founded Writing Out Child Abuse (WOCA), a collaborative charitable effort among authors, literary agents, and other publishing-industry professionals united by one common cause: To provide comfort, aid, safety, and hope to survivors of child abuse, both locally and worldwide.

As WOCA’s inaugural fundraising effort, he brought together authors from a broad range of backgrounds and genres with a submissions call for an anthology. These authors were given some simple parameters: Child abuse had to be the central conflict or motivation in the story and could not be portrayed in a positive light, and the abusers had to pay for their crimes. In due course, Laurie Sanders, editor in chief of Black Velvet Seductions Publishing, expressed an interest in assistingWOCA in publishing the work in progress.

The result is A Light In The Darkness, a WOCAcharity anthology to benefit child abuse prevention and intervention initiatives around the world. Containing stories ranging from historical paranormal fiction to gritty urban fantasy to ripped-from-the-headlines realism, this anthology demonstrates the emotional and physical scars child abuse leaves and the chilling reality of the damage child abuse leaves in its wake. At the same time, every story ends on a hopeful note, a reminder that people can choose to be more than what their environment and circumstances conspired to make them.

Mr. Wayne, the anthology editor, states: “I’m very humbled and honored to have had such talented authors answer the call for this anthology and the cause it represents. As a child abuse survivor myself, I felt that turning my talents to a cause that would help children in my situation and worse was a logical decision. I’m very grateful to Laurie Sanders at Black Velvet Seductions and all the authors who pitched in for this project. It’s a pleasure to have edited and worked with such amazing authors in the service of helping children.”

J.S. Wayne is best known as an author of paranormal erotic romance, and is a multi-published author with Noble Romance Publishing, LLC with numerous poems, short stories, anthologies, and novellas and novels to his credit. Joining him in A Light In The Darknessare Amber Green, Gillian Colbert, and R. Renee Vickers, all established authors, and newcomers Eric Keys and Phoebe Valois.

Mr. Wayne has pledged to divide fifty percent of author proceeds from his first novel, Shadowphoenix: Requiem, between WOCA and local child abuse prevention and intervention charities, as well as twenty percent of author proceeds from his entire backlist of available works. 

About Writing Out Child Abuse
J.S. Wayne conceived of Writing Out Child Abuse after reading a pair of horrifying true-life child abuse stories. Since its inception in August of 2011, WOCA has attracted numerous authors and publishing-industry professionals who all share a common goal: To bring comfort, aid, safety, and hope to survivors of child abuse worldwide. For more information about WOCA or the authors involved, visit their website at http://wix.com/writingoutchildabuse/intro.




Blurb:


In A Light in the Darkness, the inaugural anthology
from the authors of WOCA, a dark world awaits you.
Spanning centuries of time, encircling the globe, and
running the gamut from eerie historical fiction to gritty
urban fantasy to page-scorching erotic romance, these
authors unflinchingly dissect the horror of child abuse
in all its forms. These authors have taken great pains to
ensure the innocent are assured justice and the guilty
pay for their crimes in the unique fantasy worlds they
have created. Sadly, in real life, this is not always the case.

This book contains scenes of graphic violence and
honest depictions of child abuse. Readers who may
find such material unduly disturbing, objectionable, or
“triggering” are strongly advised not to read it.

Some of the newest and hottest names in fiction have
lent their talents to this collection, including Gillian
Colbert, Amber Green, R. Renee Vickers, Eric Keys,
Phoebe Valois, and J.S. Wayne. All of these authors are
united by one core belief, and with this collection, they
seek to turn their talents to a greater good.

One hundred percent of all proceeds from this
collection are being donated directly to Writing Out
Child Abuse. These proceeds will then be dispersed to
charities whose sole aim is to help survivors of child
abuse all over the globe. To learn more about WOCA or
their fund-raising activities, or to get involved yourself,
visit
http://wix.com/writingoutchildabuse/intro
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/170707

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Random Musing

I sometimes wonder if we've been thinking outside the box for so long that we've forgotten what was inside to start with.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kantu's Heart - A Time Travel Romantic Suspense Story

Kantu's Heart, part of Decadent Publishing's Western Escape line, became available to readers today.

I hope you enjoy this look at my latest romantic suspense story.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

BLURB:

Before the ice age, warrior Kantu lost his tribe, his mate Sanda, and his life to a vicious band of cannibals led by his most powerful enemy. He awakens in a world beyond his comprehension only to find his mate in the arms of her killer. Misery and strength meld into one goal—to win back his heart and kill his enemy.

With a nudge from her gentle guardian, Sandra Harn travels to Freewill, WY, looking for bargains at the annual rummage sale and, hopefully, answers to her mysterious past. Once there, visions of a time before the town existed make her question her sanity. When an exotic stranger with flowing raven hair and a body she can’t resist tries to kill her companion, logic tells her to run, but her heart and body have other ideas.


Buy Links:
Decadent Publishing
Smashwords

video


EXCERPT:


A shift in the slight breeze carried a faint hint of animals mixed in a pack. The wrong animals. Tware, sconta, and garrel did not travel together, did not feed or birth their young anywhere close to each other. Kantu jerked his head from side to side and inhaled short bursts of air. The draft rolled and turned as if a child at play in a stream’s mud, and the scent escaped his track. He closed his eyes and slowly faced the four corners of the winds in the hope the beings above and below would give him the wisdom to understand why these plant feeders had gathered without reason. Or had they come together?

At the base of his neck, a ball of heat bore into his body and slithered to his brain where it crumbled and floated through him until lingering once more under the skin on his forehead. With the sensation came the scents. The odd mix of smells dripped like melting icicles into his nose. Kantu quickly layered the traces. Garrel to his left, tware in front, sconta right. A stench remained. Sweat. Man sweat.

Kantu opened his eyes and shifted his gaze to the gray sky rocks where he had left his people…and Sanda...more than a day ago in the caves, in safety while he found a garrel herd’s trail. His tribe weren’t warriors. Man hunters would find the caves and feast on his people, then wear the hides and skins Kantu and his hunters provided the clan. That was the mix of the animals—man hunters clad in their stolen hides and skins. He traced his fingers over the long, bumpy lines from his left shoulder to his right hip. Only he bore the three claw marks of a warrior.

“Sanda!” he screamed to the sky rocks. Kantu gripped his spear sticks and ran.

His father had brought peace between the peoples following the garrel. So much land, so much food. They didn’t need to fight each other. When Kantu became the leader, he hadn’t trained his young in the warrior ways. He taught them to trail the garrel herds, to skin their hides for robes for the cold and white rain, and how to preserve the meat. But his beliefs that tribes needn’t war KevaD 2

wouldn’t protect his people and Sanda, his mate, the one who owned his heart, from man hunters.

Each stride carried him closer. Each blade of knee-high grass placed him one blade nearer. As he ran, his long hair pulled at his scalp. The skins tied to his legs and waist tightened against his body. Night fell across the plain; the moon taunted him with its yellow laugh on the sky rocks still so far beyond. He swallowed his fear, his grief for what he knew lay ahead and ingested the emotions for food to give his muscles the strength to continue. Water coated the grass when the sun rose behind him and warmed the ground. After transferring his spears to one hand, he raked his fingers through the wetness and sucked the liquid from his skin as he continued his trek. Briars appeared at the edge of the plain and tore at his hide leggings. Pain stabbed his body, each breath shredded his chest and throat. Finally, the sky rocks slopes passed under his feet.

He scaled the jagged rocks, gripping the cracks to climb toward the hollow that contained the caves and his people. Staggered, but stark and bitter, wafts of burnt meat passed his nostrils. He sucked in the stench and welcomed it into his head, chest, arms, and legs. The stink wriggled and balled to hate inside him. Pain and exhaustion melded to a need to avenge those killed, butchered, and roasted on spits.

Over a flat of stone, he focused on the overhang of slender trees that marked the twin caves in the hollow below. Traces of burned wood and meat hung like insect clouds in the air. A want to scream his anguish, to release his grief and guilt to the beings of the sky surged through him. But the offer of his life would have to wait until he knew if any below might yet possess breath. He leapt to an outcropping then jumped to a path of dirt that led to the caves.

Three rings of stone contained the shadowy remains of the fires. Blackened strips of flesh clung to charred spits. White and yellow bones rested wherever they had been thrown. Blood painted the rocks his clan members had sat on to share their meals and soaked the small breaks filled with dirt. His hunters and the young, the bodies that hadn’t been cut apart and devoured, lay naked in a pile. But not the females. A flint spark of hope pulled Kantu to the caves. But for the beds of hides, the shelters were empty. The women had been taken. Whether Kantu’s Heart 3

for food or to birth the man hunters’ own young didn’t matter. The women of Kantu’s people, and Sanda, still lived.

Kantu walked the edges of the hollow, staring at the rocks and dirt for signs. The man hunters had eaten here. They had taken their time, maybe even slept on the beds after they shoved their seed into the women. He forced back the hate. Hate could lead his vengeance, but he needed his hunter calm to find this human pack. He would slaughter them as they had his people. Then he could grieve. He kept his eyes from the stack of men he hunted with, laughed with, and the children he had held, fed, and clothed. Their memory would be the power in his arms and legs, the death in his weapons. Until then, Kantu couldn’t afford to allow his mind to be trapped in the past.

A glint of white in a rock’s shadow caught his eye. He jogged to the spot. A fang as long as his middle finger. Only Sanda wore a necklace of fangs. It had been his father’s gift to her the day she and Kantu vowed their lives to each other. The fangs had been passed from father to father, carried from the times of old when stories of cats with teeth the length of a child’s arm were shared around the cook fires.

Sanda had left him a sign, a path to follow.

Kantu gripped his spears and studied the breaks in the distance, the curves of the stone. The man hunters had chosen a smooth path worn by waters that ran after the white rain turned to tears. At the crooked peak, a half day’s journey, the eaters of men would turn their shoulders toward the sunrise and leave the sky rocks for the dirt and grass. Their trail would speak to Kantu. And Sanda would help him by encouraging the clan’s women to slow their pace.