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Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Naughty Books that were Banned in Boston (and Elsewhere)! #BannedBooksWeek

The way the term “Mommy Porn” has been slung around lately, you’d think sex had only been recently invented. And you might think that E. L. James was the first author to ever write a sexy novel. I’m happy for Ms. James and all the success she’s had, but I’m sure she’d be the first to remind us that many authors have written sexually explicit material long before Fifty Shades of Grey came on the scene.  And some of these books were banned or nearly banned because some people found them offensive. Today, in honor of Banned Books Week (Sept. 22 -28, 2013), I’d like to share a few of them with you.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne—published in 1850. Now this book has been on many high school reading lists, and actually contains no sexually explicit material. But its heroine, Hester Prynne is an adulteress and has a baby as a result of an extramarital affair. Because of this, some people felt that this was an inappropriate topic for a work of fiction. As the book became popular, a Reverend Arthur C. Coxe attempted to have the book banned in 1852. Over the years, The Scarlet Letter has faced challenges, one as recent as 1982 in Ohio. (Perhaps those objecting to the book felt Hester, in spite of having to wear the scarlet letter A, was not punished sufficiently for adultery? The book actually portrays her in a much more sympathetic light than it does her partner in adultery or her “wronged” husband.)
 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is another classic work of literature that has faced attempts at censorship. It so shocked the public when it first appeared in 1856 that the author was placed on trial on obscenity charges. Those familiar with the story may remember that the book’s main character indulged in two extramarital affairs before falling deeply into debt and committing suicide. The attempts to ban the book failed when the author was acquitted in 1857 and thereafter Madame Bovary became a bestseller (of course). When are people going to realize that the best way to insure a book’s popularity is to censor it? People want to find out what all the fuss is about!
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. Though one version was published in 1928, the unexpurgated version not published until 1960 in the UK. The book was also banned in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. . This novel features explicit sexual encounters between married Lady Chatterley (whose husband was paralyzed due to a war wound) and the game keeper Oliver Mellors. In addition to the explicit love scenes, the terms found in the story (“fuck” and “cunt”) contributed to charges of obscenity.
The book’s UK publisher, Penguin Books, faced trial under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 and was forced to prove the book had literary merit to justify publication. The jury delivered a verdict of not guilty in November 1960.

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller was originally published in 1934, but banned in United States until 1961. Even after the book was published, booksellers in 21 states faced obscenity charges for selling it. The book is a blend of autobiography and fiction narrated by the main character Henry Miller. “There are many passages explicitly describing the narrator's sexual encounters.” (Wikipedia article, Tropic of Cancer)

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious—published in 1956. If you haven’t read the book, chances are you’ve seen the movie starring Lana Turner. The film had to be toned down somewhat, but still managed to cover much of the novel’s themes of unwed motherhood, adultery, sexual abuse, rape and even abortion. Though the term “Peyton Place” became shorthand for any small town dirty secrets and hypocrisy, the book was banned in Boston and the entire state of Rhode Island.

For more information on Banned Books Week: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/

Some other “naughty books” are listed here!

And there’s a Banned Books Virtual Read Out! http://www.youtube.com/bannedbooksweek

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Nona Raines

Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Monday, September 23, 2013

Quick update from Danica

First, let me congratulate Nona on her wonderful author interviews -- I've learned a great deal about successful writers. Keep up the good work.

Second, for those who may not be aware, Noble Romance Publishing LLC officially closed its doors, and is no longer in the business of publishing. While the Noble authors have had their rights reverted to them (so we "own" whichever books were released by Noble), it means that our books are no longer available through booksellers until we either find new homes for our titles, or re-release the books independently.

My long-awaited Aloha Man, Book Five of The Men of Sanctuary series, is safely in the hands of its editor, and may have a new home. I'm debating what to do with my backlist. In the meantime, I've targeted a possible publishing house for my novel-in-progress, a paranormal shape-shifter story that may be a jump-off point for a new series.

The Noble authors who wished to do so were also able to get their covers, minus the Noble imprints, so I have the rights to my Fiona Jayde covers -- yay!

My Sophia Roslyn book, Her Special Forces, is undergoing edits at Entangled. So, now back to your regularly scheduled program [grin].

Danica St. Como

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rachel Leigh's New #Erotic #Romance Teach Me to Ride!

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I'm thrilled to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Scarlet author Rachel Leigh. Rachel currently has a yummy new erotic romance, Teach Me to Ride, available on Kindle. And lucky us, she's here to tell us all about it!


Caroline James wants to be the best investigative journalist London has ever seen. But until she has the money to leave the small town of Fayre Mead, she's stuck and her resentment is building. So when she’s assigned to cover the Lakeland Horse Trials and meets sexy, dark-haired, and astoundingly fit horse trainer, Michael Canton, she is happy to vent some sexual and emotional frustration…and write the story of her career. But after getting personal with Michael, can she remain impersonal with the article?

Michael Canton will do anything in his power to silence his tyrannical father once and for all. Under extreme pressure to compete in the countries show jumper trials and prove his worth, Michael’s fiery emotions are running high. Caroline’s beauty and sexual confidence stokes an inner strength and determination he never knew he had. But can he trust her to know the difference between fact and fiction? Together, they are a formidable team…but will their burning ambitions ultimately blow them apart?


Still sitting in his lap, she reached behind her and lowered the zipper of her dress. It fell down over her shoulders, revealing naked breasts. His erection ached at the sight of her creamy white, perfect tits with nipples big and dark. He licked his lips and moved forward to suck one hard tip into his mouth. Her gasp sounded above him.
Her skin smelled of something sweet and sexy, innocence mixed with danger. He inhaled deeply as he grazed her pebbled nipple with his teeth before reclaiming her mouth. Her tongue was rigid and demanding against his as they fought for supremacy.
Rolling her over, he shimmied the dress down her body and tossed it to the floor. Naked, but for tiny satin panties, darkened by juices at her clit, Michael didn’t think he had ever seen a woman look more beautiful. He drank in every inch of her, knowing deep inside that this might be the only moment he’d ever see her like this. The only chance to take her, to watch her enjoy unadulterated pleasure. God, he wanted to give her pleasure.
He snapped his gaze to hers. She watched him. Her eyes were heavy lidded, screaming for him, wanting him. Male pride surged like a fireball behind his ribcage. He crawled up beside her and kissed her, his fingers trailing over her breasts, lower over her torso before diving into her panties.
She was wet. Soaking wet.
His hand glided over her narrow strip of pubic hair to her rigid clit. He circled, stretched, and teased, then moved lower until his fingers found her slit, his blood roaring in his ears. He felt alive, masculine and powerful. Her legs opened and he thrust two fingers deep inside. 

Teach Me to to Ride Buy Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Author Bio:
Rachel Leigh lives in the UK and has been married to her own sexy hero for fifteen years.

With four novellas contracted with The Wild Rose Press, Rachel is busy plotting her fifth, sixth and seventh. She plans to venture into the historical genre for the first time and write a trio of novellas set in a small English village in the early1900s. The characters we meet aren’t quite as prim and proper as they seem…

When Rachel isn't writing, she's reading, watching TV, running around after her two daughters....or playing with her husband. 


Looks like an awesome story! Thanks for being here today, Rachel, and much success with Teach Me to Ride!

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Nona Raines

Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

#RealityTV for #Writers??

So I've recently had this idea that I want to create a Reality TV Show kind of like a cross between American Idol and The Bachelor.

The judges/panelists would be one USA Today/NY Times Bestseller, two agents, and two editors.
The authors/writers would all be genre writers in all genres, though we'd try to have at least three in each genre to start with.
The host would be... well, me! :-) A sort-of mid-list multi-genre author with an MFA. I could host/mentor a few of the contestants, and we'd need a few more mentors depending on how many contestants. And we could be #TeamRach, #TeamNona, #TeamDanica #TeamPris #TeamBill etc. :-)

The format would start out with a five page submission that we'd have people read/act out on stage - that would be like the HUGE music-halls of people they have for American Idol. This process would take a few weeks and the winners would be pared down to 30 or so and then they'd all be flown out to live in a huge gorgeous house with multiple rooms/dens for writing time, a larger class-room type room and stuff. Something from the Romantic/Gothic or Victorian ages would be appropriate for a bunch of writers I think. Each week the contestants would have to submit 10 pages to the panel, some of which will have to be read/acted aloud for judgment. Of course, since popular fiction is supposed to be POPULAR, there would be an audience participation voting process where they could vote based on the selection read/acted on air or could read on the website the whole submission.

When a contestant has to leave - the Quill ceremony would hand out quills to all the writers who get to stay and a Golden Quill for the winner that week. That person would get an hour of one-on-one time with one of the judges to talk about their work/ideas etc.

Soooo... who would watch this awesome show? I'm really only half-kidding about this. We should make this happen.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

High Octane Heroes VBT Plus #Interview with Elle James, #Giveaway and #Review! #goddessfish

What is it about heroes like Superman, Iron Man or Thor that revs our engines like no other? Is it the suit? The manly physique? Or is it the courage they display, wading in where others fear to go, to save the damsel, the city, the Earth? Are there real-life heroes who inspire the same lustful fascination? Kickass iconic heroes who enter danger zones in the name of duty, honor, country—or maybe love—who conjure images of hard, chiseled bodies, deadly glares and camouflaged features?

High Octane Heroes will satisfy the reader who craves the romantic idea of that “super alpha” man. Imagine the Navy SEAL sent on a suicide mission; the damaged Army Ranger home from war; the para rescue team member jumping into frigid waters; a SWAT team member entering a human trafficker’s den… military members and based in far-flung places around the world or the smoke-jumper living next door. Then imagine the romantic possibilities of being held against that massively muscled chest by a man whose mission is to protect and serve…

Nona’s Review:

High Octane Heroes, an erotic romance anthology edited by Delilah Devlin, features alpha males of every stripe: cops, military men, prison guards, EMTs and others. Since these are short stories, the authors have only a few pages to set up an exciting situation, introduce the drool-worthy hero and serve up some sexy romance. It’s a tall order, but the stories deliver.

Every reader will have her own favorites in this collection, but some standouts for me include Sabrina York’s  Five-Alarm Fire, which offered a funny meet-cute for the hero and heroine and went on to show how a sweet girl-next-door can be very naughty when she meets the right guy. I also enjoyed the sassy first-person voice of the heroine in Michael Bracken’s Big Guns and how she fantasizes about a bad man, though she thinks he’s bad news. I swooned when the to-die-for hero of Elle James’ Besieged was not about to let even the siege of an Embassy keep him away from the woman he loved.

Tahira Iqbal’s The Star impressed me as a sexy, touching and bittersweet tale of a hero who “saves” the heroine emotionally, rather than physically. It would make an awesome prologue to a longer work (hint, hint, Ms. Iqbal). Another story that I hope the author will expand upon is Seal Destiny by Sharon Hamilton—Luke and the unnamed heroine have a real spark, but the story is too darn short--I want more!

Due to size constraint, some of the vignettes lean more toward the erotic, while others provide more of a balance with romance. They all, however, deliver the steam! Anyone looking for some hot heroes to fantasize about will find them aplenty in High Octane Heroes.  

***NOW ***
Don't go anywhere, friends! Elle James, who contributed the short story Besieged to the anthology, is here with me. She's offering one random commenter an awesome prize package today. ALSO, there will be a grand prize (U.S. only) for the entire blog tour consisting of:
  • * $50 Amazon gift cert, signed copies of Cowboy Lust and Smokin’ Hot Firemen from Delilah
  • * Tiara from Sabrina York
  • * A print copy of Under His Skin and a So Inked mug from Sidney Bristol
Individual blog day prizes for randomly drawn commenters will include:
  • Adele Dubois: a download of REV ME UP
  • Brindle Chase: an eBook copy of his book Dark is the Night awarded every day of the tour
  • Delilah: a hand-painted art pendant, backlist downloads
  • Elle James: a prize package of books and swag on her blog day
  • Jenny Lyn: $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N and a copy of her new book
  • Megan Mitcham: a “hot high-octane guy” calendar
  • Sabrina York: an eBook of choice from her backlist on the day she blogs
  • Sidney Bristol: an eBook of choice from her backlist on the day she blogs
  • Tahira Iqbal: a digital copy of The Merger.
 Yowza! So please remember to COMMENT for a chance to win! And if you'd like to learn more about the other contributions to High Octane Heroes, follow the entire tour here: 

 Thanks so much for being here, Elle!

1.        Cops, firefighters, military men—all guys with intense, high-stress professions. All guys who make our hearts flutter. Why do you think these Alpha heroes are so popular among romance readers?

They embody what it takes to be a hero. They're the ones who rush into burning buildings without thinking about their own lives. They carry out the helpless the injured and the weak. Who wouldn't want a sexy, alpha hero to swoop them off their feet and carry them from a burning building? I believe it's a fantasy of most women to be swept off their feet by a gorgeous, hunk of a hero. Sigh...

2.      As much as we adore our alpha males, these heroes also need to show a bit of vulnerability, at least when it comes to the heroine. Is it difficult as an author to balance the tender with the tough?

Not at all. Those heroes have to have the stiff upper lip, but they need to be loved too and they have emotions they love to hide, but the heroines always tweak the right buttons to bring them out.

3.      What is it about erotic romance that appeals to you as an author?

We as women are really reaching out to embrace our sexuality. It's no longer shameful to admit you have desires equal to or greater than any man. But the sexual organ of the woman is far different than that of a man. Our sex organ is our minds! Stimulate the mind with erotic romance and you're much more likely to achieve your sexual goals. I hope by writing erotica, I'm helping others achieve those goals. Hehehe.

4.      High Octane Heroes is an anthology to which a number of authors have contributed. Do you find it easier or more challenging to write shorter works as opposed to full length?

I like writing short stories in between my longer books. It allows me to refresh and pack a lot of story into one short burst. Gets my juices flowing, so to speak.  Now we're back to the why I write erotic romance question...

5.      Can you tell us a bit about your story in High Octane Heroes?

With all the unrest in world and the dangers of working in embassies I thought it timely to write about an embassy takeover where the good guys get out safely. My hero is on the verge of asking the heroine's father for her hand in marriage, but is afraid her father might thing he's not good enough for her.  When the embassy is attacked, his lady love is trapped in her quarters. What better way to prove his love and worth to her father than to rescue her? BESIEGED follows the hero through his ordeal to reunite with his lover.

6.      What’s coming up for you regarding future work?

This month, BODYGUARD UNDER FIRE is out, the third book in the COVERT COWBOYS INC series with Harlequin Intrigue. COWBOY RESURRECTED is the 4th book in the series due out in October. Next year, I'll have out 7 books with Harlequin. Three Intrigues and four Romantic Suspense books. I've been a very busy writer!

I also write under my pen name Myla Jackson and have the next book in my UGLY STICK SALOON series coming out in December, BOOTS AND BUCKLES. In March 2014, BOOTS AND TWISTERS will release. Myla Jackson books tend to be sexier and have more ménages in them. Something for everyone!

EXCERPT from BESEIGED by Elle James

Tonight he planned to ask Kate Seward, daughter of the U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of  the small nation of Trejikistan to marry him and follow him to his next duty station in Italy.

He'd discovered the passageway during his initial week exploring the embassy quarters located in an older, historic district of the capital of Trejikistan. A breakaway country from the Soviet Union, Trejikistan had seen a few years of peace, interspersed with the occasional secular strife and violence. At some time in the past, a former ambassador had been foresighted enough to design and construct several hidden passages known only to the ambassador and his most trusted staff members for use when a silent retreat was called for.

 One such passage just happened to be located behind the ambassador's wing of apartments including the one assigned to him. Max had been given a suite designated for family of the ambassador. Since Ambassador Seward's wife was deceased and he had only one child, he'd offered the suite to Max upon his arrival, claiming he wanted his bodyguard close by to protect his daughter.

Had Max known that Seward's daughter was a grown woman and one of the most kind, caring and beautiful women Max had ever known, he might have asked to be placed farther away to keep his distance physically as well as mentally.

From the first day, Kate Seward had been a force Max had to reckon with. Their mutual attraction had launched a game of cat and mouse Max ultimately lost when he realized he'd fallen in love with the confounded woman.

Now, he slipped through the passage connecting his room to hers, like he had on numerous occasion, praying the reflection of love in her eyes wasn't just a dream. She'd asked him to stop by and check the security of her room after the dinner party.

It was code for a lot more than checking security.

As  he neared the panel that would open into her huge walk-in closet, his groin tightened and he imaged Kate in that simple black dress she'd worn for the dinner party, her long dark hair pulled up in a sexy twist, wearing the pendent he’d given her for her birthday.

Max had sat near the end of the table, resisting the urge to tug at the tight collar of his dress mess uniform. If not for Kate he’d have begged to redeploy to the strife-ridden country of Chad—more comfortable in ACU’s and face camo, training Chadian soldiers on anti-terrorism techniques, than sitting at formal dinner tables.

He pushed aside the panel leading into Kate's room and stepped through, the ring in his breast pocket burning a hole through to his heart. He loved Kate and he wanted her to be a part of the rest of his life. He'd planned on laying out clues for her to find over the next few weeks until finally he'd take her out to dinner and propose to her.

But today, he'd received his transfer orders, Max knew he couldn’t wait and he couldn't walk away from Kate. He didn’t want this fantasy to end. Tonight he'd ask her to marry him and he prayed she'd accept.

When he stepped out of her closet into the bedchamber, at first he didn't see her. "Kate?"

"It took you long enough," she said, her voice low and sexy. She lay in her bed, the cream-colored sheets pulled only up to her waist, her breasts bare and tempting in the light from a softly glowing lamp on the nightstand.

Max stepped forward. "I hope you were expecting me."

"Only you, babe. Only you." She threw back the sheet and quirked her head. "Join me?"

His heart flipped in his chest and his blood pounded through his veins as he ripped through the buttons on his dress mess uniform.

For such a proper ambassador’s daughter, she was mind-blowingly passionate, a fact that still amazed him and made him burn with desire.

Max shrugged out of his jacket, hanging it on the bedpost.

"Let me help, or we'll be all night." Kate leaned up on her knees and reached for the buttons on his shirt, flicking them through with quiet efficiency. Then she tugged the tails out of his trousers and pushed the edges over his shoulders, her hands sliding down the muscles of his shoulders and arms. She pressed her lips to his chest, finding and nipping at the little brown nipple over his heart.

Max sucked in a breath and concentrated on control. He unbuckled his belt and slipped the hook free on his trousers, his motions jerky in his haste.

"Uh uh." Her fingers caught his as he reached for the zipper. "Mine." Kate dragged the zipper down. "Always in uniform? Right down to the tidy-whiteys." She clucked her tongue even as she hooked her thumbs on the waistband of his trousers and underwear and pushed them downward until his cock sprang free. "Come to me." She stroked him, those supple digits sliding over his engorged member, her right hand reaching low to cup his balls and roll them between her fingers.

Patience shattered, Max kicked off his dress shoes and trousers. He grasped Kate's shoulders and lowered her to her back in the bed, then climbed in over her. "You take my breath away."

"I try." She smiled up at him, her full, pink lips puckering. "Aren't you going to kiss me hello?"

"I'm going to do more than that." He nudged her knees apart, and slid in between her thighs. "But first...I'll launch my own assault."

"Oh, should I be wearing camouflage..." Her calf slid up the back of his leg. "And should I be carrying a weapon?"

"Babe, your are the weapon. You've completely pierced my heart and laid it open."

"Such sweet talk from a grunt." She wrapped her hands around his neck and drew him down to her. "Shut up and kiss me."

He lowered himself to her, his mouth claiming hers in a devouring kiss. He braced himself in the front-leaning-rest position so as not to crush her with his weight, the muscles in his arms tight.

When he came up for air, he forced himself to concentrate on pleasing her. If she'd let him, he'd spend a lifetime showing her how much he loved her.

Max started by laying siege to her throat, tracing a path from her chin to the base of her neck where he tongued the spot where her racing pulse beat crazily beneath the skin.

"I thought the dinner would last forever," she admitted, her hands skimming over his shoulders and down to his waist.

"I couldn't take my eyes off you." Max continued his attack, firing kisses and nips over her collarbone and the swell of one breast. He captured her nipple, sinking his teeth in, sucking in a strong hold on the defenseless treat.

Her back arched off the mattress in her surrender to his campaign of lusty torture down the smooth contours of her ribcage, across the field of taut abs to his ultimate target.

Max slipped his fingers between  her folds and flicked the bundle of nerves that never ceased to set her off.

Kate buried her heels in the mattress, her hips rising. "Please, Captain, I surrender. Take me."

He chuckled. "Not yet. You really should put up a little of a defense."

"How can I when you do—"

He tongued her clit.

"That!" she cried, her fingers clutching at his ears, pulling him closer. "Oh, please."

He pressed a finger into her channel and swirled it around. "Please what?"

"Do it again, damn it."

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Elle James aka Myla Jackson spent twenty years livin' and lovin' in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. She has 34 works with Harlequin, self published works under pen name Elle James, over 40 works with other publishers including Samhain, Elloras' Cave, Kensington and Avon and 18 works self-published under pen name Myla Jackson. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn't wrangling cattle, she's wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she's not at her computer, she's traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

....escape with elle
TRIGGERED - COVERT COWBOYS INC #1- Harlequin Intrigue July 2013
TAKING AIM - COVERT COWBOYS INC #2- Harlequin Intrigue Aug 2013
DEJA VOODOO - CAJUN MAGIC - Entangled Suspense - Jun 17, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Melissa Lopez Shares her Upcoming #Erotic #Romance and an #Interview!

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I'm so happy to have fellow Loose Id author Melissa Lopez here today. She's a great sport who's agreed to let me ask her some nosy questions. And she's going to tell us all about her new release, Forbidden Savior, which will be published next Tuesday! Welcome, Melissa! It's great to have you here today. 

Hello, thanks so much for having me.

You’ve lived in Indiana your entire life. Unfortunately the states in middle America are sometimes termed “flyover states” by snobby people. What do you love about being a Hoosier?

Besides Indiana basketball, Notre Dame football, the 500, and the cultured-side of downtown Indy? Lil’Mayberry-like towns dot the American heartland. The powerful sense of community, the lack of pretense, and the sense of seasons is Hoosier pride. There’s nothing compared to growing up in a small town in Indiana. Our flyover state is full of wonderful folklore, interesting history and heritage. I’ve lived here in Indiana nearly my entire life. I was born in Indiana to two transplanted Kentucky hillbillies.

Your Netherworld series are paranormal romances and your Thorns series are contemporary romances. What do you enjoy about these two romance genres?

I love the imagination that spins to life in paranormal romances and I love modern tales in contemporary romances.

According to your website, you’re working on a historical romance. What are some of your favorite historical novels?

    I sure am. Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss will remain my very favorite. Shanna was the very first romances I ever read. My senior literature teacher Mrs. Kay Deluise turnedf me on to the most wonderful genre of romance. Kay read the historical to me during our lunch break. After school my mom was shocked when I told her she had to pick up reading where Kay left off. LOL…I assured Mom it was for a class assignment.
    I have dozen and dozens of favorite historical authors. Goodness where to start… Constance O'Day-Flannery time travels fascinated me. The queen of comedy Rebecca Paisley’s stories always made me laugh. I once used Zoya by Danielle Steel for a presentation in a world history class. Jude Deveraux’s medieval Velvet Series (4 books), the Americana Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer, Loretta Chase’s Lord Of Scoundrels, and Penelope Williamson’s Keeper of the Dream,  
    Lorraine Heath’s Americana Always to Remember contains one of the greatest sentences I’ve ever read… Oh! Bertrice Small’s beautifully written polygamy tale titled The Kadin, and The Lover an erotic romance by Robin Schones are all among my favorites. I could go on, but I’d best stop. *grin*

Your bio mentions that you didn’t gain eyesight until you were twenty two—do you feel that has had any influence on your writing?

In a sense my blindness has played a huge part in my writing. I was completely blind until I was 22 years old. Today, since my visual cortex went so long without stimulation I’m visually challenged. I’m among the rare who live with Visual Agnosia. Anyway, my first hero was the eye specialist who discovered why I was blind. While I was a teen he would always ask me, what I wanted to do when I grew up. And I always had fanciful career ideas. Every single visit he’d tell me I’d have to think of something else to be because for all those careers I’d need eyesight. Well, despite being legally blind through writing I’ve done –at least for a little while- all my fanciful careers.

I understand Forbidden Savior is your new book, Melissa! Please tell us all about it—we’re all ears!

Yes, I’m so happy to see Forbidden Savior, my latest paranormal romance, come alive for readers.

Rhonda has the most vivid nightmares that she’s ever had and thinks she maybe going insane until one night she sees someone being tortured and he appears. The man from her dreams is real. Maybe she’s not crazy after all…

In hell, Deke has been forced to watch the lovely woman for many months. He’s ordered to go seduce her and nab her soul. But how can he take away the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen in life? Only how can he not?

Rhonda and Deke must fight Rhonda’s mother, evil, and the apostles of hell to save themselves and Rhonda’s very soul. But can they subvert hell’s own dark will?

Excerpt :

    I really am totally insane. She growled at herself as she piled the bags in his arms. Strong, muscular arms that could hold me tight and make me feel safe…or choke the life out of me! She quickly shoved the books on demons into her canvas bag and swung it over her shoulder.
    After she gathered up the last two grocery bags, she clicked the Trunk Close button on her still-clenched keychain. She’d been clutching her keys so tight her palm hurt. But if this tall, dark-haired, dark-skinned stranger tried anything he’d need stitches. It wasn’t so crazy, she rationalized. Her philosophy was that it was better to keep him where she could see him than to wonder where he was lurking. And it was hard to get past the fact that physically he was her perfect type.
    Tall, dark, and handsome. Her womanly bits quivered deliciously. She’d always had a thing for Native American men. Since her late teens she’d daydreamed about having an Indian lover. Their arms brushed as they walked along, and instead of jerking away she stayed close. The nearness kindled warmth in her depths. Her nipples hardened delightedly. At present the notion of a lover was crazy, and she shook the sensual arousal off.
    Why couldn’t he be a sixty-year-old guy? She glanced his way. What scared her more was that he didn’t feel like a stranger to her. He looked exactly like the man attacked by the monster in her room last night. But it was more than that…
    She tried to calm her rising anxiety. Maybe it wasn’t him exactly. A sense of déjà vu? After all, she’d enjoyed all those old multicultural romances by Rosanne Bittner and Janelle Taylor. What everlasting heroes the authors had created in Zeke Monroe and Gray Eagle. Perhaps her imagination had created the man from her vision from last night. Or conceivably it was just a case of mistaken identity?
    Rhonda studied the big man walking down the road beside her. No. It’d been him last night. She wasn’t imagining the likeness. He wasn’t a person she’d soon forget. In a dream, or whatever it was, was one thing, but never in a million years had she expected to meet a dream come true.

Forbidden Savior releases Sept. 10, ’13 from Loose Id.

Journeys of Love Every Woman Needs to Take.

Wow, what an awesome romance! Thanks so much for stopping by today, Melissa. Best of luck with your new release--it sounds like an incredible story.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Thursday, September 5, 2013

#50Shades Casting - Opinions Abound

Hey Folks,

Welcome back to the Divas of Desire!

Tonight I'd like to chat about the recent casting of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. There's been a lot of talk about the casting, about making the book into a movie in the first place. So here's one Erotic Romance Author's opinion on the subject:

Charlie Hunnam wasn't even on my list of people who could possibly play Christian Grey. For me it was all about Richard Madden - the charismatic, and gorgeous, actor on Game of Thrones. 
I mean just look at that penetrating gaze! 

Now say what you will about Fifty Shades, the characters, the book, the author... it was a wildly successful best-seller that opened the eyes and bedrooms of many readers who'd never heard of erotic romance before. 

But alas, it wasn't in the cards. Now there's a real reason that I wouldn't have thought of the Sons of Anarchy star as the right person for the job, and it's not because he's not a terrific actor. He's amazingly gorgeous and I love him as Jax Teller on the amazing SoA, but he plays such a gorgeous scruffy anti-hero on the show that I first had trouble picturing him as the suave billionaire persona, because this is how he embodies his Jax Teller persona.
 BUT this is what he looks like as well. 

Cut the hair a little, shave the beard, and DAMN! This could totally be Christian in the red room wearing his beat-up jeans. 

Now onto Dakota Johnson, whom I'd never heard of before a day or two ago. She's a virtual unknown. Cute, kind of perky looking, and I'm not sure what to think about her actually. I hadn't put much thought into who I would cast in the Anastasia Steele role, so I didn't really have a pre-formed opinion of who would be good in the role. 

So I suppose for now, we'll just have to wait and see. I'm liking Charlie more and more as I think about it.

From an author's standpoint, I can definitely say there have been moments when I'm writing where I know who I would cast in the film version, and I wonder if EL James thought the same thing and if she was surprised or disappointed in the choices. I for one have confidence that Charlie will rock the roll, because he's an incredible actor.

Readers, what do you think? Excited about the casting? Disappointed? Indifferent??

Share your thoughts.

~ Rach

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Writing Through the Drama

Hey Folks,

I know I mentioned over a month ago that I was getting back into the swing of things and slowly coming out of hibernation, but it was clearly a big fat lie... Cue Pinocchio Nose Growth Here... I haven't written anything more than a few thousand words in the past three months, my online presence has been slipping from active to almost nonexistent, and I haven't even been to any writing-related events since the In Your Write Mind Workshop in June.

In short, I feel like a loser.

But... lest we get too damned depressed here, it happens. And I need to stop holding myself to ridiculous standards that no one could meet. So now it's time to power through and write through the drama that life
has dumped on me this year.

This applies not only to myself and other authors out there, but also to everyone reading this post. It's about inner strength, about knowing yourself, your limits, your goals, your mind and body, your soul. Last night I returned to yoga practice for the first time in months, and our instructor informed us that whatever we ever needed, we were automatically equipped with - we had it, always, in our heart center. We had only to dig it out, reveal it, and let its strength flow forth.

It's an interesting notion. Everything I need. Here, already? I wasn't sure I could believe that at first, but I've slept on it, meditated over it, let it mull and simmer inside me since last night. And I've decided she was absolutely right. Was the timing of me falling off the face of the digital earth ideal? Nope. Will I rebound, deal with it, and shake off the effects of a long-term break? Absolutely.

So here I go, making my pledge known to you all, and hoping to pass on some wisdom I've picked up this year: Life will kick you in the teeth. Repeatedly. But that doesn't mean the world is out to get you. It doesn't mean the universe will end or that you're being singled out and dumped on. It doesn't mean that there isn't hope, love, desire, support, and a wealth of amazingness still left in the world.

I promise to go forth and reinvigorate my writing life by:


Anyone else having the year from hell who needed a pick-me-up - I hope this was insightful and helpful. Power through, get the support you can, believe in yourself and trust that you have everything you need inside, even if that "thing" is the wisdom to seek guidance, love, and support outside yourself. You can do it.

And so can I.

Will post progress on this process as I balance a full time job, a home business, and writing.

~ Rach

A special note of dedication to two of the strongest fighters I've ever known: my grandmothers.


The Romance Reviews