Exciting News!


I am way beyond ecstatic to share the news that Claimed by the Enchanter, Book 3 in the Bayou Magiste Chronicles, is a finalist in the paranormal category of the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. And I am in good company – my pal and critique partner, Elizabeth Shore, is a finalist in the contemporary category with Hot Bayou Nights. Notice a theme here?

To say I’m excited would be a huge understatement. Many of you are aware of the struggles I went through with a previous publisher, and because of that, this book sat collecting dust for some time while I had to work through all that BS. When the time finally came that I could submit the book to Sizzler Editions, I also wrapped up the nightmare with the other books in the series. When Enchanter was finally released late last summer, with the other two books revised and ready to go, I felt finally, these tales were told the way they were meant to be. Enchanter was the final piece of this trilogy and it killed me to have it sitting on the sidelines for as long as it did.
I really enjoyed Reggie and Cameron. She was a bit like me in some respects, though I suppose all my heroines have some piece of my soul in them. But she was a bit of a wild child, which I was at the same age (and sometimes still am!), she loved horses, though she had the money I didn’t to really make a go of that, and she liked kink. Putting that all together was a hell of a ride, and I had a hard time letting go of her. Cameron is probably one of the nicest of all my heroes, but he was still a very strong Dom, and he wasn’t above using a few underhanded tricks to get his way. For the right reasons of course.
So now the book has been recognized by NJRW as one of the best in paranormal romance fiction. How freaking awesome is that? NJRW is one of the foremost and well-respected chapters of Romance Writers of America. Just to final is a huge honor, in my opinion. Their annual conference, where the Golden Leaf and Put Your Heart in a Book winners are announced, is on a par with RWA’s national conference, and I attend just about every year. This year will be super fun, for obvious reasons, and I really hope this means a lot more people will get a chance to know Reggie and Cameron.
Kindle readers can get a copy of the book here: 
If you don’t have a Kindle or the Kindle app, check out the book page at Sizzler Editions to see where you can get your hands on a copy in every format: 
And of course, I’m including a snippet here, to share some of what the judges thought worthy of recognition. But before I do:  SQUEEEEEEEEE!
Ahem. Now that I’m composed again, here’s the cover, blurb and an excerpt from the book:

Regine Marchand loves being in control—and the role of domme is the perfect way for her to exert that control. An accomplished equestrian, she has her goals of championship in sight and no one will get in her way. Her life and future are in her hands, she doesn’t need to depend on anyone for success and happiness.

Cameron McIntyre is fascinated by the cool façade Regine displays, but he senses the depth of her passion lurking under the surface; despite her protests, he recognizes her desire to submit and be dominated. But when he is forced to suspend her from competition due to performance enhancement spells used on her horse, he worries he may drive her away, instead of into his arms. Believing her innocent of the charges, he vows to help her uncover who set her up while convincing her that submission to him is what she truly wants and needs. Submitting to the tall Irishman brings a new level of pleasure Regine has never known, at the same time making her question everything she knew about herself.

Regine is unaware that an enemy from her past has targeted her for revenge. Together, she and Cameron must discover who wants to knock her out of competition for good, possibly killing her in the process.

And now for the excerpt:

Despite her position in the furthest corner from him, the way-too-small elevator gave her no space, and his presence seemed to surround her.  She watched him warily. What game did he play now?
“You have the most incredible eyes.” His voice remained just above a whisper, deep and with a hint of danger that sent a shiver along her spine.  “They’re almost silver, like shards of deadly ice.”
“Remember that.” She lifted her chin.

“The ice? A sexy biscuit like you? I doubt that.”
“No. Deadly.” Why did she take such delight in knowing he found her attractive?  She pulled her gaze from his. Big mistake, as it landed on his lips.  Full lips, above which, to the right, lay a tiny scar.  She wanted to lick it.
He chuckled, the sound oddly loud in the quiet of the elevator. “I have no doubt you would be deadly, in the right circumstances.  Bet I could disarm you. Leave you helpless as a kitten.”
“You might try.”
“Retract your claws, kitten. No need to draw blood.”
“According to you.”
He smiled, an almost feral grin, and her heart beat in a strange uneven rhythm.
“That doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy feeling those claws on my back, when I’m fucking you so hard, you see stars.”
She gulped, once again at a total loss for words. She lifted her chin, her gaze still held by his.  He stepped closer. She backed up. He repeated his step and so did she, but found any further retreat halted by the wall.  The movement of his arm drew her attention and she realized breathing came a little easier when free of his piercing gaze.  Until she realized what he’d done.
The elevator ground to a halt after he pushed the button, but the expected alarms didn’t sound.
“What are you doing?”
“Testing a theory.” He inched still closer, and she held up a hand.  Unfortunately, because of his proximity, her hand came up against his chest.  A solid, muscular chest, with a heart beating under her fingertips.  She drew away as if scorched.
“Enough nonsense.” She winced at the tremor in her voice.
“This is anything but nonsense.” He angled his head, moving in for a kiss. She started to turn away.
“Don’t move,” he ordered.
She froze, once more caught by his gaze, the knowing glint in his eyes pinning her.
“You take orders well.”
Before she could protest, he covered her mouth with his.  His lips burned.  She lifted her hands to his shoulders, but instead of pushing him away, she tightened her fingers, as if trying to hold on.
He moved slowly, tasting and nibbling, but made no move to otherwise deepen the kiss.  Giddy sensations started deep in her belly, uncurling through her body, settling with a pulsing ferocity in her clit.  When he drew away, she blindly followed, not willing to give up the delight building within.
His chuckle rang in her ears, and her eyes fluttered open.  His smug smile quickly cooled the heat blistering through her veins.  She lifted her hand, intending to slap him, but he caught her wrist, then did the same with the other when she again moved to strike.  All too soon, her arms were pinned behind her back when he pressed his full length against her.  Her heart threatened to explode out of her chest.
“Hitting a dom will get you punished.”
“I’m no sub,” she hissed. “Let go of me.”
He gave a nearly imperceptible shake of his head and she tugged against his grip.  Her attempt seemed weak against the iron hold he had on her.
“I will have such fun taming you.”
“You can try, but you’ll never succeed.”
One dark eyebrow arched, and she attempted once more to free herself.  She couldn’t and remained helpless in his grasp. Liquid pooled between her legs, and her clit ached, needing to be touched.
“It’s obvious you like it when I subdue you.  I have so many ways I’d like to do that.”
Her breath hitched, and his lips curled in a knowing smile.
“So the kitten does like to be caught. I thought so.”
“No, I’m a domme. I get off on being in charge. I do not want to be controlled.”
“Surely you know the sub is the one with all the true power.”
He ran a finger along her jaw and she fought to keep the shiver suppressed.  She failed.
“You have an exquisite fire, one that should be stoked and not extinguished.”
She closed her eyes, wishing she could leave.  Damn her body for reacting this way. She got off on dominating, not submitting.  Then why was she wetter than she’d ever been before?  Her breasts hurt with the need to be touched, suckled.  She groaned, wishing she’d never decided to come to this party tonight.
“Look at me.”
His words held a stern order, and despite her intentions, she obeyed.  She caught his stare a split second before his mouth crashed down on hers.  This time he was forceful, demanding entry with his tongue.  She had no will to resist and allowed him in, her knees buckling as the rush of desire overcame her.  He continued to hold her captive against him as he tasted her, finding every spot that left her a panting puddle, ready to melt at his feet.
Abruptly, she found herself released, and the car once again began to move.  She didn’t dare look at him when she tried to right her coat over herself, patting her hair, and trying with little success to steady her racing heart.
“I can’t wait for the chance to really teach you how to submit:  To me.”

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We’ve Come a Long Way – But Apparently Not Long Enough

For those who write and read erotica, especially BDSM-themed, you know that lately there has been an escalation in what seems to be an attack on these works and authors by several sites (one in particular) , based on content THEY find offensive. The folks over at Pink Flamingo, one of my publishers, are very active fighting against this sort of thing, but sometimes it’s like beating your head against a brick wall. In any case, they’ve asked that I re-post this for them, and as they have put it so much better than I ever could, I’m happy to do so. And considering a couple of my titles, it’s likely I’m going to be banned in some of these places as well.

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to add my own rant in at the moment (off to a friend’s daughter’s wedding – when did the kids grow up and we get old?), but rest assured, I will be back to speak about this again. In the meantime, please read what PF is dealing with and see the ways you can prevent being cut off from your favorite erotic books and authors.

A Request To Our Faithful Readers…
As some of you already know, we have had problems with major retailers banning our books. Pink Flamingo Publications has always strove to publish what our readers want. Some of those books include non-consensual or harder books that may have content that some people deem offensive. The major retailers, such as Amazon, Apple, and Google Books are now taking it upon themselves to determine what you find offensive. Even though our books are pure fiction, if they have non-con or even fantasies of non-consensual acts, they are being kicked off the websites. This is not just affecting Pink Flamingo, but other erotica publishers as well.

We understand that the retailers have made it quite easy on customers to get our books, especially with their 1-click buttons. But when they make our content harder to find, unless you’re a searching guru or they just take our books down, what will our customers or any erotica book lovers do?

Our request is simple. If you want to keep seeing the books that you love, from the authors you want to read, please buy the books directly from the publisher or from Indie Retailers. We have quite a few Indie Retailers that will be happy to help you find the books you want and need.

What to Include and How Much?


I write a lot of different genres, and some of my favorite ones are the ones where I make up worlds of my own. I can do or have anything happen in these worlds. I can toss the rules out the window. I also love to write stories that take place in the past. The medieval era is one of my favorite times and I can toss a few rules out when dabbling in the past as well.
But there are times when research is essential, no matter where or when the tale takes place. For instance, the Bayou Magiste Chronicles all take place in an alternate version of modern-day New Orleans and the surrounding area. Since the location is real, I need to make sure I am up to speed on the modern culture, the history of the city and the general flavor of the area. In the Warrior’s books, the research needs to be a bit more in-depth. Since there are real historical figures as supporting characters in these books, the facts need to be accurate.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to sprinkle the realism in with the fantasy. When I first started writing in the medieval era many eons ago, I was anxious to show how much I knew about the period, so I crammed in so many details around every event in the book that the darn thing ended up well over 120K words! I read and bought every book I could get my hands on about the area I was writing about, the people I was including and the general way of life of the time. I have a lovely library of books about the Middle Ages up to Elizabethan times.
Then the internet dawned and everything changed. For one thing, it was easier to buy all those research books online. For another, websites dedicated to every possible person, place and time popped up all over. I didn’t have to go to the book store or pore through mountains of books to find the fact I knew I had but couldn’t remember where I got it from. And I didn’t have to wait until the next day when I was writing after midnight and needed a critical piece of information. Of course, this created a whole new distraction.
It’s so easy to get caught up in research – the books were bad enough. I could spend hours reading through them, highlighting and flagging pages with places to refer back to later on. But the internet… I could spend DAYS clicking on links and uncovering new details and off I go to another site, then another, then another. Next thing you know, two hours of valuable writing time is gone. Oh, but wait, there’s one more place I need to look… poof! Another three hours gone.
I finally had to stop. I came up with a way to keep my focus on the story – mark the place in the book where I needed to confirm something and move on. Finish the scene, chapter, whatever it was that needed to get done. Then, and only then, look up the fact(s) that needed clarification. They can be added in or adjusted during revisions and future edits.
The other dilemma is determining how many of the facts to include. Too much and it’s overkill, not enough, and you can’t tell 1284 England from modern day U.S. Striking that balance can be difficult – it’s so easy to get caught up in adding everything you know. Setting the stage is one thing, piling mountains of monotonous details will send that stage crashing right down.
It’s the same thing with the BDSM aspects. When writing paranormal or historical BDSM-themed books, today’s standards and protocols don’t always apply. There are no such things as safewords in medieval Scotland and Wales (not that I’ve found, anyway and believe me, I looked!), but there sure as hell is bondage and spanking, multiple partners and the like. On other planets, where the culture revolves around submissive women and dominating men, again, the general rules don’t apply. That doesn’t mean there aren’t certain guidelines or standards to apply, they’re just different from what us Earthlings know.
Creating all these different situations requires a different kind of research – brainstorming. I am a firm believer that plotting and planning is research, just as much as looking something up in a book or online. A basic knowledge of our own world is enough to start the creation of another, but the details of that world still need to be spelled out clearly. Which circles right back around again to how much should be included? You want the reader to get a real visual for your world, whether it’s a time long ago, or a place on a distant planet, but you don’t want to bog it down with too many details.
Striking the balance is something I’ve learned to do much better these days, though, with each book, when I get to the final edits, I always find something in there that I have way over-killed, or even under-killed! Usually, it’s the former – I am a bit too wordy for my own good. And like all writers, every word is near and dear to me, cutting them out is like picking yourself with a needle. Over and over and over again.
I have learned to be ruthless – while some information is fascinating, and usually spurs the hunger to learn even more, sometimes it’s best just to address whatever facts there are lightly. The key, I think, is to let the characters, by their words and actions, reflect the historical data such as the laws and culture of the time, or inter-planetary customs in a galaxy far away, or even when two people, one magical, one not, interact.
At least, that’s the goal. I like to think I’ve gotten better at reducing the fat, and getting right to the meat of the story. Now if I could do that with myself! lol