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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best of 2010 - Books

This has been a good year for me. I've read a lot of good books, watched a few good movies, listened to some great music among other things. Since I'm not just a writer, but also an avid reader, I thought I'd post a list with my favorite reads for 2010.

Best Urban Fantasy

Considering it's one of my favorites, I've read several good books in this genre this year. It was hard to narrow it down, but there are three that stand above the rest.

City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane

I loved this series. It's dark, gritty and so unlike anything else out there. I have to say I love all the books, but the third blew me away. Bathroom scene, need I say more? There were so many emotional moments for me with this book. I chewed a few nails, I laughed, I teared up and when it was over I wanted to read it again. Ms. Kane's story-telling skills and characterization are superb and it really shows in this book.




Double Cross by Carolyn Crane

I'm not even sure what I can say about this book that would do it justice. It was such an emotional roller-coaster and so clever. Ms. Crane has given us such a unique and unusual world. The brilliance of the characterization, the idea of flaws being powers and the tension make it a huge win for me. The ending of this book about killed me, but you can bet I'll be first in line for the next one when it finally comes out.



Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

This series is my crack. I can fully admit it. And this installment? There aren't enough words. Curran alone was enough to send me into serious book-high. I love the Andrews team's writing. The voice speaks to me in a way few others do, but it's the world-building that really grabs me. As far as I'm concerned, it's unmatched.




Best Paranormal Romance

Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

This is a book that stood so far above the rest I couldn't recall the other books I read in this genre this year. Again, the world-building was fantastic. The relationship between Cerise and William was full of tension, emotion, action...you name it, this couple had it. I fell in love with this book.





Best Horror

Heart-shaped Box by Joe Hill

Creepy and engrossing, this was heads above the rest in the horror genre for me. I simply love Joe Hill's writing style and can't wait to read more of his books.






Best Zombie
Rise Again by Ben Tripp

For a book I almost gave up on, it ended up being my favorite zombie read of the year. It starts a little slow, but once it picks up momentum, it never stops. Full of apocalyptic goodness and zombie gore, I loved it. The protagonist, Dani, is an unusual character, flawed and at times selfish, I loved her to pieces. I'm anxious to read more from Mr. Tripp. He's an amazing and talented addition to this genre.



Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne

I can't say enough about this book. Written in journal form, it drew me in from the first page. It's raw, gritty and full of everything I love about this genre.







Best YA
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I adore The Hunger Games trilogy, but this book hit me in a way the others didn't. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first two. But Mockingjay twisted me up, turned me inside out and left me in awe. Suzanne Collins has a gift for telling a tragic story. Despite how many were disappointed with the third book, I wouldn't have it end any other way.





Matched by Ally Condie

I know, another dystopian on my list. What can I say? I have a soft spot for certain genres. This book is reminiscent of others that have come before it, but Ms. Condie was able to put enough of herself into it to make it stand on its own. This was one of those books that when I finished it, I wanted to tell everyone about how great it was. It's going to kill me to have to wait for the next one.





Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Zombie books are like candy for me and this one is no exception. The world Mr. Maberry created with Rot & Ruin speaks of his unbelievable talent. Post-apocalyptic with an Old West feel, zombies, action and heart, I loved every word!




Best ERomance

Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

Raw, gritty and unlike anything in this category, Willing Victim was by far my favorite read in this genre. Ms. McKenna took a huge risk with this book and it paid off in a big way for me. After I read it, I went and bought her entire backlist.







Best Alternative Romance

Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph

Ms. Joseph's voice and writing style just do it for me. This particular book was so good I read it twice. The characters have a realism despite the unreal situation Ms. Joseph created for them. Jeremy is the kind of D-type that is very difficult to write. He's selfish, harsh and quite cold at times. He delivers swift and sadistic punishments that are as cruel as they are titillating. Ms. Joseph pulled it off with flare and style. Very few BDSM books can compete with this one.



Stay tuned for more later this week!

Friday, December 17, 2010

randomness

I know, I've been a complete slacker and you haven't seen a blog post from me for a while. With the holidays fast approaching, another round of illness, my daughter and her issues and writing, time is something I don't have a lot of these days. I can proudly say that all my Christmas shopping is done! I'm treating myself to a cupcake for that one. Granted I did most of my shopping online, but hey, it's done. Of course I still have to wrap everything...so not looking forward to that one.

On the home front, the flu has made a visit to our household and can I tell you what fun that has been? Hopefully everyone will be completely over it by Christmas. Sick toddlers, presents and a family get-together do not a good day make. Aside from the sickness, I've had other stresses. My three year old was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder last year. Unfortunately, she has not progressed with the therapy as far as we'd hoped and she's now displaying more autistic features. It has been a hard and emotionally exhausting road. I can admit that I have had problems accepting that it may be autism. I love her fiercely and as a mother I just want her to be okay. It's taken me some time to come to the realization that her being okay, starts with me. The decisions I make now will affect her future and they aren't easy ones. We've begun the process of getting her tested and it makes me angry how difficult insurance companies make it for children like my daughter to get the help they need, but I won't bore you with all that. Some days are harder than others and I don't get as much time to write as I'd like, but I'm okay with that. Some things are just more important.

About the writing, I've been working on an Urban Fantasy that has me really excited. The world-building has been time consuming, but I think I have all the kinks worked out. I'm also working on a new BDSM contemporary about a bartender and her boss with lots of spanking, because let's face it, bad girls need to be spanked every now and again. I have plans to write Aimee's story (Indigo's roommate from Wrapped Around Your Finger) and Jared's story (hot D-type and friend of Banner Faust). But I won't likely get to them for a few months. I'm dying to write an apocalyptic erotic romance. The plot and characters are coming together nicely for this one. Expect zombies, mayhem, gore and of course hot sex.

I've been listening to a lot of really good music to get the creative juices flowing for both the apocalyptic romance and the urban fantasy. I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. If you can't tell, I'm a big psychobilly / rockabilly freak. Enjoy!







Oh! Good news. I just came across another great review for Wrapped Around Your Finger. I'm a little overwhelmed by how much everyone has loved this book. There are so many pieces of me in this story and it's always good to see that it makes a difference when put yourself out there. Of course it's scary as hell, but worth it. So worth it. You can read the review here at Whipped Cream Reviews.

Okay, on to my current retail and mancandy obsessions. I have to leave you with a little something don't I?

I am in love with Too Fast and man if I had the cash, I'd have a closet full of their stuff.

I want! Zombie dress, killer cupcake heels...I'm all over it!

























And your delicious eye candy for this week is courtesy of Ink Spots by Lissa Matthews. Oh, this has me written all over it: tattoos, bald hottie, muscle cars and spanking. What more could you want? And how 'bout this cover?


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday



Another Six Sentence Sunday is upon us! I've decided to give you a small taste of one of books I'm currently working on. It's an Urban Fantasy with a few horror elements and that's all I'm going to give you.

The air was so saturated with magic she nearly choked on it as she settled into the antique chair across from Remy Louviere.

"Mmm, such a pleasure seein' you in my neck of the woods Ms. Kelly." His accent was lyrically smooth and lazy slow. The man talked as if he had all day to sit and converse. And she could sit all day and listen to him. Considering he was the most dangerous man in this godforsaken swamp, that was probably a bad thing.

Go visit the rest of the authors who participate in SSS.



Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Release Day and Reviews

So today is the big day, Wrapped Around Your Finger releases from Ellora's Cave! It's already received two awesome reviews from Jessica Rabbit's Corner and Book of Secrets. Go check them out and don't forget, you have until 10 p.m. tonight to enter the giveaway.

I know you've all seen the gorgeous cover and I've posted the blurb, but I thought I'd do a little excerpt from Chapter One and give you a taste.

Chapter One

Anxiety nagged the edges of Indie’s already frayed nerves as she waited in the dressing area with the other models. The haughty, judgmental glares from the younger, skinnier Barbie types had her desperately itching to offer a sarcastic smile and a middle finger. So what if she wasn’t even close to a size two? She did okay working as a model for the alternative fetish agency Exquisite Flesh. It wouldn’t make her rich, but it paid the bills and her tuition at culinary school.

Usually she did pinup shoots and ads for alternative clothing. Very rarely did she take assignments that required nudity. She wasn’t actually naked for this, but damn close to it. Who was she to pass up the opportunity to be a sushi model at a trendy restaurant like Crave?

“Indigo Hartley!”

Indie walked through the curtain and into the dining room with pride. Well, about as much pride as one can muster while wearing a flesh-colored thong and paper booties.

The manager, Elaine, stood waiting in her drab suit and looked rather alarmed. “Oh no, this is the new model? Lance, I thought I told you that she had to fit the type!” She whirled to face the man who prepared the display table before them.

“Exquisite Flesh was the only agency that had a girl available on such short notice. I’m an assistant, I don’t do miracles,” Lance said with a smirk.

“Chef is not going to be happy. At all. She’s covered in tattoos and,” she fingered a lock of Indie’s hair, “are those blue streaks in her hair?”

Torn between mortification and annoyance, all Indie could do was stand there. The last thing she wanted to do was piss off Chef Faust. He was the culinary world’s version of a rock star. He was known for being demanding, flashy and prone to excess, but his talent with food was undeniable. The chance to catch a glimpse of him in action was the main thing that motivated her to accept the job.

Her agent hadn’t mentioned they’d wanted to book a specific type. Just fucking great.

“I’m sorry that I’m not what you were expecting. I’ll just gather my things and be on my way,” Indie offered with a polite nod, but was met with the manager’s sigh of irritation.

“No, no, no. It’s too late to find a proper replacement. You’ve already been prepped. We’ll just have to make it work.”

Prepped meant she’d been shaved baby smooth and washed thoroughly with an organic unscented soap. It had been an odd experience, having unknown people scrub and shave her so completely. Actually she’d found the whole thing rather arousing. Maybe she should be embarrassed about that, but right now she was too nervous to put much thought into it.

The manager turned back to Lance. “Take her to pastry and have them airbrush over her tattoos. When they are finished let Chef know he will not be able to put the food directly on her skin. Then get her into place on the table in the corner, the one that’s out of the way.”

“You got it,” Lance responded as he held out a robe for Indie.

She thankfully wrapped herself in the silk and followed him into the kitchen. She stopped and stared for a second. She couldn’t help it. It was as if she’d just died and gone to culinary heaven. There was so much space. The polished stainless steel and top-of-the-line equipment almost had her drooling. Everything you ever needed to be a kick-ass chef was in this kitchen. She could just imagine the high-end, exotic ingredients it would be stocked with. This wasn’t a place for cooking. No, nothing as ordinary and mundane as that. This was a place to create art.

“Indigo?” Lance’s voice snapped her out of her trance.

“Sorry, it’s just…this kitchen,” she murmured.

“Come on, sweetheart. Shame really, but we have to cover those gorgeous tattoos of yours,” he said with a sympathetic smile. “If it were up to me I would—”

“What is she doing in here?” Chef Faust made a beeline for them, toweling off his hands as he approached.

It’s him. Indie’s heart did a little dance. Okay, so she could admit she was a little star struck.

Meticulously he scrutinized her as he stood waiting for an answer. He had the kind of intense features that made him appear almost angry—perfectly straight nose, hard, square jaw, brooding and stormy blue eyes. The man was chest-achingly beautiful. She knew from the articles she’d read about him that he was thirty-four, just six years older than her. To have achieved all of this so quickly, he had to have hunger and drive, two qualities no top chef could succeed without. She bet arrogance and superiority belonged on that list too.

“Chef, this is the replacement model. I was just taking her to pastry to have them airbrush over her tattoos,” Lance replied with an audible level of anxiety and eyes so huge it seemed as though he was braced for nuclear fallout.

“May I see?” Chef Faust addressed Indie.

Showing her personal bits to the executive chef of one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the area was not high on her list of fun things to do. This is what you signed up for so suck it up. She was not ashamed of her body and Chef Faust could go sous-vide himself if he didn’t like what he saw.

She nodded and let the robe slip off her shoulders to pool at her elbows. The way he drank her in made it seem as if everyone else in the room had vanished. Her already hardened nipples stood out like beacons. She felt the blush creep into her cheeks as she imagined him pinching, tugging, sucking on them. Where had that come from? Her unexpected arousal unbalanced her. She hadn’t reacted this way to a man in a very long time. Disconcerted by the need and lust he’d so effortlessly invoked in her, she averted her gaze before tentatively settling it on his once more. He ran a hand through his shaggy, walnut-brown hair as he studied her. “No. No airbrushing. She’s absolutely perfect,” he exclaimed, circling her.

Lance let out a sound that was halfway between a sigh and a laugh.

Had Chef Faust just said she was perfect? Indie with the extra padding around the hips, a bit of roundness to her belly and lily-white skin? She followed him with her gaze, watching as he continued to peruse her body. It should have felt cold and dispassionate. He was contemplating whether or not he wanted to use her as a display for raw fish after all. But the way he moved made her feel as if he were a predator and she his prey. It was somehow sensual, and she was incredibly embarrassed that she was turned on by it. Attempting to regain her composure, she straightened her spine and lifted her chin, praying he hadn’t noticed the way he affected her.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Food, Sex and a Giveway!

Wrapped Around Your Finger releases this Friday at Ellora's Cave!


Plus-sized fetish model and aspiring chef Indigo Hartley has plenty of tattoos and a fiery attitude to match. When she’s offered a job as a sushi model for one of Miami’s trendiest restaurants, she jumps at the chance. Little does this country-mouse-turned-city-vixen know that what starts out as a modeling job will end up the answer to all of her kinkiest fantasies. Three days serving as a sub to this hot chef is too tempting an offer to refuse.

Banner Faust has worked his ass off and sacrificed his love life to become a rock star in the culinary world. On what should be the biggest night of his career, he realizes something is missing from his life—the submissive woman he’s always craved. The curvy new model with the blue-streaked hair and innate submissive nature just might be the one he’s been waiting for. And when he gets her home—and in his bed—he soon realizes three days will never be enough.


I really enjoyed writing this one. There's a bit of humor, some steamy sex and a Dom whose creative use of food isn't limited to the kitchen. Kink and food, two of my favorite things.

So tell me, do you think food is sexy? Does a favorite sexy scene with food come to mind?

Leave me a comment for a chance to win a copy of Wrapped Around Your Finger. The rules are simple; comment with your answer and follow my blog. Don't forget to include your email so I can notify you if you win. The giveaway will run until November 19th at 10 pm. The winner will be announced Saturday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday

I've decided to join in on the fun over at Six Sentence Sunday. I can fit a good amount of teasing into six little sentences. It's actually a fun idea and I'll likely do this every Sunday. For my first SSS post, I'm going to give you a small taste of my upcoming Ellora's Cave release Wrapped Around Your Finger. It comes out November 19th!

He retrieved a metal clip from his bag and hooked it to the D ring on her wrist cuff. “Last chance to scratch if you have an itch.”

There was that gorgeous sarcastic smile. “So thoughtful.” She tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear then offered him her other wrist.

“So brave to be a smart ass while I’m strapping you down to have my sadistic way with you.”


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Cover Yumminess!



Wrapped Around Your Finger has a cover! I absolutely love it. It fits the book really well and the cover artist did a wonderful job matching the description for Indigo.

As for recent news, I was assigned a new editor and I couldn't be happier with her. Hopefully we can get going on my edits soon and get this baby released.

On the home front, I have walking pneumonia so I've been pretty sick. Unfortunately I haven't been writing much. I can tell you that I decided to dive in and finish the second Telal book, Between Heaven and Hell. I've missed Seth and it will be fun getting down and dirty with him.

I've been doing quite a bit of reading recently since I haven't been well. I've come across some really good books too. Being sick isn't all bad I guess. I'll keep you all updated on the new release and such.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October is Horror Month



Well it is for me anyway. I've decided to pollute my brain with as many horror movies, books and shows as I possibly can. I love Halloween and all things horror so you'll likely be sick of seeing me post about it by the time November rolls around.

Last weekend the husband and I sat down to watch The Human Centipede. This little gem has fought hard to win the title of 'The Sickest Movie Ever', but it seems to fall a bit short of that. Don't get me wrong, it is a sick movie. There are certainly a few stomach churning moments. How can you not have those in a movie where three individuals get sewn together mouth to ass? In concept, it's original and extremely twisted. Despite not quite living up to the hype, the film does have it's moments and Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser) is by far the best part of the movie. Creepy doesn't even begin to describe the insane, sadistic surgeon. Director Tom Six has flaunted over and over that the movie is one hundred percent medically accurate and that may very well be. But the movie has some incredibly stupid moments that just left me scratching my head. I won't go into spoilery detail. You'll just have to see this freak show for yourself. Oh and in case one human centipede isn't enough for you, there are two more in the works.


Now if you're thinking that it can't get any sicker or more disturbing than three humans creatively sewn together, you'd be wrong. Martyrs makes The Human Centipede look like child's play. Reading the synopsis at IMDb, you might think it looks like a revenge movie, toss in a little torture-porn and voila, you have the French horror phenom Martyrs. But oh you'd be so very, very wrong. I will not go into specifics because the power of this film lies in the clever way it seduces you into thinking it's something that it's not. Just when you think it's over and you're sure the credits will roll at any second, director Pascal Laugier pushes it further and still, further.

I watched Martyrs with a heightened level of anxiety that never let up. Not once. It was so incredibly uncomfortable to sit through this. But more than that, there is a depraved intelligence to it. It's a horror movie that not only gives you death and blood (buckets of it), viciously brutal torture (lots of that as well), moments of terror (yes, it's scary too!), but it makes you think. It took me a full day to digest what I witnessed in this movie. I can't say as though I'd want to watch it again, but what I can say is that I'm glad I saw it. It ranks up there as one of the best horror movies of all time for me and that is saying something.

On my list of movies to see by the end of the month are Irreversible, Let Me In, [REC] 2,
The Abandoned, Buried and many more. Later this week I'll be posting the book portion of this little fright-fest. Off Season by Jack Ketchum, The Association by Bently Little and Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Squee!!! Supernatural is tonight!

As most of you know, I am a rabid Supernatural fan. Love me those Winchester boys. The season six premier is tonight at 9 p.m. EST on CW. I'm jumping-up-and-down excited about this. I was so happy when Sarah Gamble announced there would be a season six. For the longest time we believed that Eric Kripke would end our beloved show with the end of the Apocalypse and we'd forever be watching re-runs to get our Dean fix. We get one more year. I can't wait to see what's in store for our boys and their family.

Here's a look at the bloopers from last season.



And...in case you need a little teaser while you're waiting for nine o'clock to roll around, I have one for you!



I'll be on twitter during the show, so be sure to find me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What day is it?

It seems like I've been away forever. I'm still trying to get over this lingering illness so I haven't done much writing. Adding a little here to and there to Consensual Risk is about all I can manage. On a brighter note, my edits for Wrapped Around Your Finger have begun. It's always a little overwhelming adjusting to a new publishing house and the way things are done there. Luckily I have a good editor.
Since I do have a new release in the works, I thought I'd post a blurb for it. It's unofficial of course, but at least I can give you a taste of what's to come.
Wrapped Around Your Finger
Plus-sized fetish model and aspiring chef, Indigo Hartley has plenty of tattoos and a fiery attitude to match. When she’s offered a job as a sushi model for one of Miami’s trendiest restaurants, she jumps at the chance. Little does the country mouse, turned city vixen know that what starts out as a modeling job, will end up the answer to all her kinky fantasies.
Banner Faust has worked his ass off and sacrificed his love life to become a rock star in the culinary world. On what should be the biggest night of his career, he realizes something is missing from his life, the submissive woman he’s always craved. The curvy new model with the blue-streaked hair and innate submissive nature just might be the one he’s been waiting for.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I *heart* Zombies.


Okay so for those of you that don't know, I have a minor obsession with zombies: fiction, television, movies, shoes, tattoos...you get the picture. This past week I was down with a nasty virus and my wonderful, beloved husband allowed me to rest as much as I could. Now I don't know about you, but I have comfort movies and shows I like to watch when I'm under the weather. If this is something you do I want to hear about it. What's your list look like??





My husband's list looks like this -

Avatar
The Thirteenth Warrior
Man on Fire
Wolverine
First Blood
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

My list looks like this -

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Dead Alive
28 Days Later
Zombieland
Supernatural Seasons 1-4

Yeah, hubs and I are a bit different on our choices. Unfortunately, he doesn't share my zombie love. I could tell you he's a closet Supernatural freak--even quotes the show on a regular basis--but he might tan my hide if I let that cat out of the bag.

In my fever filled fog, I decided to watch some of my old zombie favorites and try out a few new ones. I hate to say this, but the UK has turned out the best zombie entertainment installment that I've seen in a long while. Dead Set is spot on. It was not easy to get a hold of either. For starters, they don't make the dvd in a format that plays in the US (region 1). So, we purchased it from Amazon as a region 2 dvd and also had to splurge on a region free dvd player. Luckily Amazon had one for pretty cheap. Now, you might be thinking this is a lot to go through for a zombie flick, but for a fanatic like me it was well worth it. I'm adding it to my list! It's fresh, or rotted rather, and I loved it. The Big Brother spin was unique, done without cheese and without a cast of young Hollywood actors (thank you). It makes me excited for The Walking Dead series that AMC is putting out this year.

Here's a little peak at Dead Set.



And The Walking Dead









I'm in love too, with these new heels. And with a name like Glamour Guts, how can I resist? I developed a weakness for Iron Fist shoes after I purchased my zombie stomper flip flops this spring. And hell, they weren't that cheap. Maybe I should have waited *grins*. If you come across any awesome zombie stuff, send me links!




In other news, I signed my very first Ellora's Cave contract last week for Wrapped Around Your Finger. I'm really excited to get to work on edits. When I have a release date, I'll be sure to let you all know. Now it's time to get back to the grind. I've had enough sick time off and I really need to dive back into this next book, which now has a title - Consensual Risk. What do you think?