Boys Don’t Cry – Unless They’re REALLY Cute

James 1
Don’t cry out loud — or, well, okay, go ahead and cry buddy.

Have you been watching the World Cup this hot July? The conclusion of the semi-final and the final are Saturday & Sunday.  I will be glued to the set.

One thing to note–aside from how fit and attractive 9 out of 10 soccer players are—is the bursts of unfettered bromance happening at the end of games. Men embracing, men sweating, then crying, and laughing—and then embracing some more.  I’m making little chittering noises, like the cat watching at the window while the birds flutter about.

James 2I haven’t watched many World Cups before – is all this emoting new? Is this the rise of a new generation of men much more in touch with their feelings? Are foreign men just more emotionally expressive? I’m not sure, but I know one thing: it’s kinda hot.

James 3There was one moment last week that had me absolutely transfixed. James Rodrigues*so cute* was on the Columbia team which was matched against Brazil in the quarter finals.  Then Columbia lost.

Brazil's Luiz and Marcelo console Colombia's Rodriguez after their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals soccer match at the Castelao arena in FortalezaAfter the game, David Luiz came over to James (Are they normally teammates on a soccer team? Players unscramble from their normal teams for World Cup into national teams.)

Brazil's Marcelo and David Luiz console Colombia's Rodriguez after their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Castelao arena in FortalezaSo I’m only half watching the end of the game UNTIL: Luiz embraces James, consoling him as James experiences a burst of emotion.  But then after a really long hug, they take shirts and exchange them (Okay, I know that they often do this in various sports.)

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilYet bare chested, then they continue to embrace some more, as emotion overwhelms James again.

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilAt this point I’m riveted? We’re seeing a lot of man-flesh pressed together in a long sweaty embrace, of tender consolation….and….

James 8Luiz continues to embrace James, exhorts the audience to cheer James as a winner, and then helps to escort him off the football pitch. Other guys are popping around to console James as well.

EPA BRAZIL SOCCER FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 SPO SOCCER BRASomewhere I know gay men are still transfixed by the memory of this moment. Also readers of m/m romances.

I recently did Q&A interview with Ellis Carrington where we discussed the popular queer romance trope of hurting/caring. Check it out here. This seems to be a real life caring/hurting moment…I’ll let your imagination drift with the players back to the locker room and fantasize about what comes next.

Meanwhile, we’re in countdown mode over at LadySmut.com.  Our anthology, LADY SMUT’S BOOK OF DARK DESIRES, is releasing in August.  Stay tuned for more updates on the release in less than one month!

The Lady Smut Story: From Blog to Book

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LadySmut.com has over 10 thousand followers. We blog 7 days a week about romance, erotic romance, and anything sexy that’s going on in our culture.

Hi Readers!

Liz Everly posted today on LadySmut.com about our story–how we went from creating a successful romance blog to having our own anthology.  Her post is HERE.

It’s really interesting how it all went down.  We had originally started our blog with Elizabeth Shore, and it was going along swimmingly.  We added C. Margery Kempe, and were headed towards the end of a triumphant first year.  But how were we going to celebrate our anniversary?

Well.  For about two years every now and then Liz Everly would mention this story she really wanted to write about a vampire and technology.  I thought it was a great idea.  So finally, we talked about putting together an anthology and that would be her part of it — her vampire story.  I had an idea for a story too — about someone who had sexsomnia, and then the others had ideas for stories that all fit into this theme of paranormal steamy sexy stories with a hint of spooky.

photo taken from youbringthatsmarthaircut @tumblr.com
photo taken from youbringthatsmarthaircut @tumblr.co LADYSMUT’S BOOK OF DARK DESIRES is an anthology of sexy, steamy, paranormal stories with a hint of spooky.

Then about a month later it was May, and Elizabeth and I were saying to each other “Um, are we supposed to be writing these stories or just writing a pitch for a story or what?” when Liz emailed us both saying, “Okay, I finished my story, Margery has finished hers –so where are yours?” and we were like ‘doh’ and scrambled to catch up. [Just you so you know, folks, Liz Everly is one fast, prolific writer.]

Liz put together the proposal with me cheering her on and sent it off to her agent who was excited about the project and thought it would sell quickly.

Boy was she right.  We had just gotten two new bloggers to join us (Alexa Day and Kiersten Hallie Krum) when we got the news–there was interest in the anthology. In fact, it was *exactly* when we were celebrating our one year anniversary–but we couldn’t tell anyone because it wasn’t official yet! It almost killed me to not share the news.  I was extra excited because this is going to be my first romance publication.

Liz Everly’s agent Sharon Bowers has been a doll. With her incredibly generous, encouraging, and enthusiastic support our anthology LADY SMUT’S BOOK OF DARK DESIRES will be released by HarperImpulse in August. Meanwhile, our publisher is holding the first ever online romance festival on June 7th & June 8th  Check it out HERE.

Saturday is an author day. Sunday is a reader day. They're having twitter chats and google+ hangouts, etc.
Saturday is an author day. Sunday is a reader day. They’re having twitter chats and google+ hangouts, etc.

And that’s our happy story.

The two best things about creating our own group blog is that we can take it in any direction we like. While right now we’re the Jezebel.com of erotic romance, who knows what the future will hold? The other great thing about our group blog is how much the other bloggers at LadySmut inspire me. They keep me in a whipped up froth of feeling confident and sexy.  I’m never at a loss for what to write about because I just want to respond to the interesting things they all say and share.

Haven’t checked out the LADY SMUT blog yet? (Quelle horror!) You can find it HERE.

xo,

Madeline

Swanky Xmas

tinselGod, I love an old fashioned Xmas tree.

My secret fantasy is being transported into The Thin Man, where I spend the holidays partying in swanky clothes. I’d be taking taxies from one gin joint to the next, dancing in the New Year.

While Nora’s character from The Thin Man is the perfect mix of fun– I think I wouldn’t mind being more the femme fatale type.

The women in the book are a more interesting than they are in the movie–esp. Mimi.  Think I’ll get the book down and start reading it again.

Meanwhile, have yourselves a merry little Christmas…see you in the New Year when I can hopefully finally…FINALLY….share my sooper sekrit news!

xo, Madeline

Dyson, Dyson, Dyson…Staying Satisfied Over the Holidays

If it's not Dyson on the screen...then why am I watching?
If it’s not Dyson on the screen…then why am I watching?

Ladies, these days staying sane means daydreaming about Dyson and the TV show LOST GIRL.  I mean, what are you going to do during that long span of time when there’s only football on TV and re-runs? Lost Girl is a great TV show to watch around the fall holidays.  Those fae folk are just naturally festive and there’s a ye olde harvest-solstice-spirit-y vibe that just emanates from the show.

I first saw a glimpse of LOST GIRL on Hulu.com–but they only had clips, not a full episode.  Then I was on holiday batting around the remote control and came across a scene where Dyson was “healing” Bo the succubus by having sex with her.  Yes, yes, and more yes! Yet it seemed that was just a kind of one time-y thing.  I frowned and moved on to other channels. Until Kiersten Hallie Krum joined Lady Smut, and she had this post about wolves.

Beach glass
Okay, maybe her eyes are really blue? I don’t know, but it’s a really cool look.

So I just had to take another look. I started watching the show and I was bitten–bitten hard.  Yes, there’s a lot about Lost Girl that people love in terms of world building.  And yes, Kenzie, the side kick is so fascinating and fun to watch with her eyes that look like green beach glass.  But really, the alpha and omega of that show for me is Dyson.

There is Bo’s character arc, (yawn) and the arc of what’s going on in Fae land (meh), and then there is Dyson’s feelings for/being there for Bo (!).

healingHe’s got a voice that’s like a black bear licking honey.  He’s got a body that does not stop, despite being forced to wear dorky fae vests.  He’s a long cool glass of water, and he makes me thirsty.  His character and how the actor embodies the character is like the relaxing sensations of a vibrating…foot massager.

Why doesn't Bo go for Kenzi? I don't get it.  Why doesn't Dyson go for her either? Really don't get it.
Why doesn’t Bo go for Kenzi? I don’t get it. Why doesn’t Dyson go for her either? Really don’t get it.

However, if you haven’t watched the show yet, you should brace yourself.  At one point they pull the rug out from under you.  I’m squinting with one hand in front of me while looking ahead for Season Two.  Part of Lost Girl’s unique niche is that Bo is bi.  I’m thinking season number two is all about giving her a lot more girl time…which is okay…I guess…It’s just that for me the only reason I’m watching the show is Dyson, so I’m hoping that whatever he’s doing while kicking his heels as Bo gets it on in Lady Land is as good as the stuff in Season One.

HardMeanwhile, here’s something for your Xmas wish list.  I’ve been reading HARD AS IT GETS a romantic suspense book that’s coming out by Lauren Kaye.  Sounds like an erotic romance with that title–but it’s a little more trad romance.  Loving it — even if you’re not so into tattoos (and I’m not), Kaye will keep you zooming through the pages with her taut hero and his gritty world.  It’s available for pre-order here.

I’m also squealing over the fact that I just got ONYX by Jennifer Armentrout in the mail — this is the follow up to OBSIDIAN — the first book in her Lux series.  While the books are ostensibly Y.A.-ish, they are hawt.

OnyxThey really sit on that line between Y.A. and New Adult. I whiffled through Obsidian.  Now I am drooling over the amethyst cover and can’t wait until I can start reading it later tonight.  In the meanwhile, back to some new chapters for me!

So go over-indulge with a big glop of romance on top of your pecan pie next week. I’ll see ya around the time we start to deck the halls.

Just say no to Xmas creep! — and follow my blog, plz.

Eye Rolling Goodness in Sexy Saturday Round-Up

It’s Saturday. (Sunday if you’re me.) You’re bored. Trying not to eat the fridge. And there’s nothing on TV. You’re longing.  Perhaps for a man, but maybe some engaging romance news, sex tips, and an update on the romance industry will do.  Sexy Saturday Round Up is what you want, missy.  It’s got bizarre stuff, salacious stuff, and the obligatory cute article with a kitty in it.  >**<

Sometimes romance ain't pretty.
Sometimes romance ain’t pretty.

So long no longer, mah friends, here are the last eight SSRU’s from Lady Smut. Just click on a date below and–voila! Hours of time suckage.

July 6th (many levels of sex, trantric sex)

June 29th (swoon worthy heroes, the fake tongue wheel, giving great blow jobs)

June 22nd (best couples in horror)

June 15th (eyeball licking, deep point of view, cosmo super lift twist!)

June 8th (weirdest sex stories of the ancient world)

June 1st (hair archeology, how to flirt, how not to suck at promo)

May 25th (swirling, desperation breath, how to ask for oral sex)

May 18th (best condoms, keep sex toys safe, sex advice from cougars)

As Liz always sez–“Stay sexy.” Check out more of Lady Smut here–And please follow my blog!

Out, Broken, & Saved–The Shocks Keep Coming on The Voice

VoiceThey pull it off every year.  These whacky battles just confound my expectations.

For instance: Christian Porter is knocked out of The Voice.  Oh the humanity! Christian was one of my top favorites from the blind auditions.

He's out!
He’s out!Christian was one of my top favorites from the blind auditions.

Meanwhile, who would have thunk it, but Usher–the man destined to rein as coach supreme–broke his little red-headed girl, Miss Taylor Beckham.  Broke her.  As in, he– Usher–just snapped her confidence in two.  Why would he do a think like that? What was he thinking? Meanwhile, who knew her confidence would snap so easily?

Here’s what happened: It was a three punch knock out:

First he gave her a song that was way beyond her years and experience to convey.  Amy Winehouse had been to hell and back by the time she was 17.  Miss Taylor didn’t become an olympic gymnast hopeful by being trouble and letting people know she was no good.

She's got sad, sad, eyes. Hopefully Blake wants her for more than cannon fodder.
She’s got sad, sad, eyes. Hopefully Blake wants her for more than cannon fodder.

Then, while Taylor’s hopelessly lost trying to find her inner sexy button, Usher attempts to help.  He walks off a ways and saying to lure him in.  Bring it, Taylor.  But he’s Usher. Usher!  I mean, the guy oozes seduction.  What unprepared woman would be able to handle that?  I’m sure she found the experience surreal.  Why oh why couldn’t he have thrown some pimply PA down a dark corridor and let her try to give her inner siren call a whirl with that dude? Then maybe she won’t have been so overwhelmed.

The last straw was when, lost and bewildered, she just needed a hug. Instead, Usher wrapped up the session in a professional way, giving her a few more helpful notes in a very nice sounding voice.  But it wasn’t the help she needed.  She didn’t find a way into the song and now she wasn’t going to, because time was up.  That’s when we saw her confidence snap.  Poor Taylor crawled away, still lost and already defeated.  Hopefully Blake–who’s good with youngin’s–can put her back together.

Amber Carrington, you rocked it.
Amber Carrington, you rocked it.

Then there are the folks who I NEVER expected to make it this far. Swon Brothers I’m looking at you. Okay I get it.  The older one is funny.  He’s fast on his feet.  He and Blake have a natural rapport. He gets Blake and Blake gets him.  I’m still sore about it.

Then there’s Garrett.  He sounded better than the other guy, I’m just amazed that he did sound better than the other guy.  Still not a huge fan, Garrett.  It’s probably not your fault.  I’ll admit it, I just don’t care for your stinkin’ looks.  It’s totally subjective.

Some of the rounds were so good–here’s the best one of the evening.

Now let’s talk strategy.  I think Blake is doing chess player moves.  Surely people want to see a duo get farther than they have the past three seasons.  If he’s looking a few rounds ahead, I bet he matches the Swon Bros. up against the Twins so that a duo makes it to the third round.

Let me make some predictions: I think that Adam’s team is going to look scary strong by the end of the battle rounds but I think he’s still going to sound like a whiny twit.

Do you all have any predictions out there?  I’d love to hear them.

If you want to follow my blog, just click on that lil’ ole button to the right.  You can also pop over to Lady Smut where I blog Mondays and Thursdays.  xo -Madeline

Your Voice Dream Team

Yes the blind auditions are over. Yes, there’s some really good stuff going on this season and I am as sucked in as ever.  Last season on The Voice website they had some sort of ‘build your own Voice dream team’ kind of thing.  I regretted not doing it after a few weeks and they don’t seem to have that option this year.  So here’s my Voice dream team–I’ll track them and see how I do.

I Think Blake has the best team this year:

Here are my Top Picks:

Christian Porter's figured out he's sexy.
Christian Porter’s figured out he’s sexy.

1)Christian Porter

2)The Morgan Twins — duos have yet to make it past the first round in the past, but I think this year we’ll see at least one duo bust through and become a major threat.

3)Savannah Berry

Fun pick: Christian Porter (so he’s a double threat)

4)Fun pick: Grace Askew (best name ever!)

Adam started off with so many four chair singers.  I think he has the next best team:

Top picks:

5)Sarah Simmons

Judith6)Judith Hill

7)Midas Whale

Fun pick:  Midas Whale –so they’re a double threat

Secret Threat: Patrick Dodd (Sarah mentioned she used to go see him perform in Memphis, I was meh about him, but we’ll see if he’s hiding something)

I DO NOT LIKE: Warren Stone (in one clip he seemed like the sexy firefighter. Maybe—but watching him interact with his children made me think something’s wrong there—his little girl would NOT look him in the eye)

Usher didn’t get some good picks until towards the end—but I have a feeling he do a lot with what he’s been given:

My top picks:

8)Jessica Childress

9)Ryan Inness

10) Fun pick: Audrey Karrasch (irrevent, love her hoarse voice)

Taylor
Taylor –Usher’s eyes lit up with cash signs when he saw her.

11) Think he’ll favor Taylor Beckham—the female version of Justin Beiber.  His eyes lit up with a fanatical glow when he turned around and saw her.

Poor Shakira has only one singer that wowed me.  I just hope she can pick up some more heavy hitters in the battle rounds when coaches can steal.

12)My final pick is Monique Abbadie — so who would you pick?

Terry McDermott DID IT!

Hi peeps! Fellow Terry McDermott fans (Hi McHobbits!), will remember how I obsessed I got over Terry on The Voice—how much hand wringing I did over his progress on The Voice.  I think we all saw real talent in him and wanted that talent realized.  So when the show was over, I felt again this tremendous anxiety–would he fade away? Go back to working Bourbon St. in New Orleans?

Nooooooooo! He released a single (how did I miss it?) a few weeks ago and it’s blasting away on itunes.  It’s clear that he needs the right people creating songs for him.  This song showcases that he can take a new song and make it work.  Now MORE of the right people will want to work with him.

Yay Terry!

Screaming For More: Mary Burton’s Dying Scream

screamI’m ready to scream this morning after tangling myself up in Facebook for over an hour. Does anyone really understand how those wacky author pages work?  I’m taking a breather to do something fun — like chatting with you about Mary Burton’s, DYING SCREAM.

Now, this isn’t Burton’s latest book.  Her latest book is THE SEVENTH VICTIM.  DYING SCREAM came out in 2009, but I picked it up last year and plunked it on my TBR pile (Which is so toweringly high I give one of those silent Edward Munch screams every time I peek at it.)

screamyDYING SCREAM is my favorite Burton novel to date.  This book reminds me of an early Mary Higgins Clark. There’s a hard working heroine named Adrianna who’s pretty perfect.  Normally, I’d not be very sympathetic to Adrianna as a character, but life has handed her a heavy load to bear for the last few years and you’d need to be pretty perfect to keep chipping away at all the problems in it, as Adrianna has. As she’s working through a massive heap of both emotional and work-a-day world woes, you wonder if they will ever end–and that’s just when the spooky-creepy factor starts to build.  Adrianna gets a loving note, but it’s from her dead husband.

What I like about Burton’s skill in this book is that once that fear of a crazy stalker sets in for Adrianna, she starts thinking back.  She’s perhaps been too busy to notice, but maybe he’s actually been around for awhile.  The ripples spread far and wide in her mind as uneasiness spreads to all areas of her life.  Being an extremely busy woman, she’s not exactly surrounded with people to support and protect her.  It’s more like she’s alone in an empty dark building at night, counting out cash and paying bills. I certainly can relate to this workaholic scenario of tired isolation. I really enjoyed the way Burton started cranking the tension from there.  She also does that really good Higgins-Clark move of providing a wide array of male suspects who are both appealing and likeable, yet they all have a little kink in them that could potentially reveal something nasty.

SeventhThe cherry on top for me in this book was Gage Hudson, detective as well as Adrianna’s former love interest.  The writing Mary Burton does around these two in their moments of sexual intensity were SO DAMN GOOD.

That’s all I’m going to say.  It’s a romantic suspense thriller after all.  I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.  Meanwhile, you can see Mary Burton in person this year at The Virginia Festival of the Book in March.  On Saturday, March 23rd, she’s appearing over at Crime Wave but she’s also on a panel at 4pm called KISS KISS BANG BANG.  Writers on this panel will talk about romantic suspense and how to injecting that romantic intensity into works of mystery.  I’m definitely going to ask Mary about how she makes her wound up readers melt.  There’s a book signing right after the panel, and you can find the details here.

The Next Big Thing: C’est Moi!

I was tapped by Rebecca Lamb to do a Next Big Thing Post.  What is that, you ask? Well,  I answer several questions below about my novel manuscript that she sent me.  Then I pick some other authors to link to, and you my dear reader can skip merrily along the links discovering, hopefully, a whole slew of exciting new authors.  By the way, you can learn more about Rebecca Lamb’s work on her website here.  (Her manuscript, LADY VICE,  is glorious!)

Here are the questions:

What is your working title of your book?  I have two erotic romances that I’ve written: WICKED APPRENTICE–which is a fantasy erotic romance & BE MY BRIDEZILLA which is contemporary.  I’m going to talk about BE MY BRIDEZILLA today, since I’m sending that out to Loose Id this week.  They’re having an I Do, Unless I Don’t call for submissions call for wedding-gone-wrong erotic romances, and BE MY BRIDEZILLA is perfect for them!

Where did the idea come from for the book?  Basically, I thought about all the elements I was looking for in a romance: Sex, Fun, & Luxuriousness–With a little crazy thrown into the mix.  For instance, there is a hot wedding cake battle at one point that was soooo much fun to write.

What genre does your book fall under? Erotic romance, but with a lot of witty dialogue and a robust plot–a la Victoria Dahl.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is a GREAT question because I almost always base my heroes on an actor.

BE MY BRIDEZILLA’s hero is 100% shamelessly based on my obsession with John Krakinski.John

As for the heroine, this may reveal how out of it I am, but I was looking at People Magazine one day in the doctor’s office and I saw this photo and said:  “That’s her! That’s Becky.” It was Kim Kardashian pre Kris Humphries and the wedding-with-a-budget-bigger-than-Mexico’s-GNP.  As a result of this, I now feel a little sympathetic towards her marital breakup woes.  I mean, I feel that in picking her for my heroine I sent a lot of kharmic wedding break-up vibes her way.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A naughty bridezilla gets dumped on her wedding day, then runs off to Paris with her hottie wedding guest after discovering his penchant for taming bad brides.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Come on you agents out there, represent me.  I dare ya!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Two years, but that includes a lot of non-essential TV watching. It took me six weeks to reduce the manuscript by half.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  While the sex is more explicit than Victoria Dahl’s contemporary erotic romances, it has that same light comedic tone that her books have.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? I was watching an ad for Bridezillas one day where this actress dressed up as a sexy bride in long satin gloves was screaming at a chef and throwing spaghetti right into his face. I was riveted–I just couldn’t look away.  It was so out of control, and almost sexy in a way.  I thought to myself: Taming of the Shrew meets Bridezillas.  And voila!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  The ‘villian’ in the book is the hapless groom who turns out to be a sweetheart named Spencer.  About three-fourths of the way through the book, I found myself in one of those Casablanca situations wondering who Becky would end up with–Spencer or Braden? I didn’t quite know myself, and it made writing the ending very interesting because I found both men very sympathetic and really hot.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

I was tagged by Rebecca Lamb.

I’m tagging:
Liz Everly and Nara Malone.  Click on their names and check ’em out!

I’m also tagging Leah St. James here cause the tag line on her book SURRENDER TO SANCTUARY just kills me.  “Love and Danger collide when FBI Agents David Owens and Anna Parker go undercover in a BDSM ring.” Doncha wanna read it? I do!

Sexy Holiday Cheer–

pretty treeHello sexy-sex kitten! Enjoying the festive season? I bet you are. If you’re looking for a little holiday joy, here’s some quick fun from Lady Smut.com & the blog-o-sphere.  Enjoy!

Here are some great movie recommendations for the holidays. (I forgot to add White Christmas to the list.)  “What’s So Sexy About Christmas”? If you love holiday food and alcoholic holiday drinks try this perfect marriage of the two in this seasonal recipe for Bailey’s Irish Fudge.

Bing doesn't look happy.  Rosemary Clooney is George Clooney's aunt.
Bing doesn’t look happy. Rosemary Clooney is George Clooney’s aunt.

Wear your favorite scarf and mittens to watch the December meteor shower with someone special.  Date and details are here. Holding hands is mandatory.

If you’d rather stay indoors in front of a toasty fire, I don’t blame you. Here are  ten fun blog posts from Lady Smut to keep you entertained:

By now you must know about my obsession with Terry McDermott.

#1 This obsession includes All Men Scottish.

#2 Meanwhile, sexy bald men thrill Liz Everly.

Oops! I broke one.  Well, I'll just have to eat it.
Oops! I broke one. Well, I’ll just have to eat it.

#3 Elizabeth Shore concurs, but reminds us not to forget long haired hotties.

Elizabeth asked this year if horror can be erotic? I said hell yeah.  and wrote this campy post on         #4 really cute guys creeping into horror movies.

;>  Oh, you liked that, did you? Well then…

#5 Here’s some Steam-Punk sass.

#6 For some shivery fun, Pamela Palmer got interrogated about her dark n tormented creation: Vamp City.

ornamentsThe future — I predict it’s full of sex.

#7 Do you love Hunks O Steel?

#8 A World Without Men?

#9 Teledildonics? (Seriously–what are they doing over there in Second Life?)

Meanwhile, it’s Christmas.  Here’s something about #10 Sexy Elves.

Have a joyous holiday! May your stocking be full of delights and your time under the mistletoe slobber free.

Love n nutmeg,

xx Madeline

Menage by Emma Holly

I’m interviewing Charlotte Stein over on Lady Smut on Thursday.

I asked Ms. Stein about some of her favorite erotic romance reads and she mentioned MENAGE by Emma Holly.

I’ve been interested in Emma Holly for awhile, so I looked it up on Amazon.  Man, you get to read a LOT of it before it comes to the point where you are asked if you want to buy it.

Buy it, readers.  Buy it.  You won’t be sorry.

A Bloody World & A Reluctant Seduction: BLOOD SEDUCTION by Pamela Palmer

Hello Kittens!

I owe you — shoulda posted yesterday.  Let me make it up to you: here is a review of Pamela Palmer’s A BLOOD SEDUCTION.

Pamela Palmer is an author who has interested me ever since she came to the Virginia Festival of the Book last year and spoke words of wisdom.  I noticed she had a die-hard core of fans in the audience who, from their hoots n hollers were there to see her, only her.

A BLOOD SEDUCTION is the first in her new VAMP CITY series.  For those of you who grok her Feral Warrior series, A LOVE UNTAMED is also coming out soon.

In A BLOOD SEDUCTION Our heroine Quinn starts off experiencing ever-increasing weirdness in her life, while hovering over her younger computer-geek bro and his would-be girlfriend Lily.  People are disappearing from D.C. and soon enough, Lily is one of them.  Searching for Lily with brother in tow, Quinn is sucked into Vamp City — an alternative dark  world to D.C. where cruel vampires rule, and humans are slaves.  (I mean, it’s literally dark — there is no sun) There are also werewolves lurking in the swamplands and other fey creatures treading about that are no help to Quinn at all.  Soon she’s fighting to find her brother, to save her brother, and along the way to escape rape, torture, and becoming immortal (and thus stuck) in Vamp City.

Along the way she slams into Arturo. As we see, Quinn adapts to her circumstances.  Part of that adaptation is the building connection between her and Arturo.  No matter how little either of them wants to get involved, it’s just happening between them.

In this new series, Pamela does several things that I really like.  She explores the kind of Urban Fantasy where old, new, and really old mix together.  We’ve got modern day yellow jeeps mixing with civil-war era frocks n decor.  Some gladiator style entertainment is tossed in as well.

Palmer creates a world so harsh that the hero is quite horribly flawed and yet still a nice guy by comparison.  No “oh at first he seemed so awful and dangerous, but really he’s not”.   [I am usually quite peeved by that kind of backsies move in romance novels.]  No, Arturo is a slippery character that Quinn most definitely shouldn’t trust.  But she doesn’t have a choice.

Pamela Palmer knows how to keep her readers turning the pages.  Brace yourself, though, this novel is definitely part of a series.  Nothing is really resolved by the end–probably because everyone is too busy scrambling around to simply stay alive. Palmer is remorseless in her willingness to let her characters almost succeed in finishing their goal or mission and then dragging them right back to the beginning again.  She creates an adaptable heroine, a very flawed yet understanding hero–and by trapping them in Vamp City she shows us that she is one very cruel author.  ;>