Word-Slingers – Spotlight’s on Elene Sallinger


Hailing from Washington, DC, Elene Sallinger first caught the writing bug in 2004 after writing and illustrating several stories for her then four-year-old daughter. Her writing career has encompassed two award-winning childrens stories, a stint as a consumer-education advocate, as well as writing her debut novel, Awakening – a novel of erotic fiction that won the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011. 

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This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. 35-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, there she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife.

As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire’s submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go.

As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realizes that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love.

Caution – Graphic
‘I feel safe here.’ She waved a hand around to encompass the bookstore. ‘You make me feel safe. Despite your attitude, I don’t believe you would hurt me.’ Claire flushed such a sweet shade of pink as she spoke, her hazel gaze roaming the store as she looked everywhere but at him.
Safe. She thought she was safe with him. That he wouldn’t hurt her. Evan sat in stunned silence for the briefest moment before a red tide of fury suffused his body. Fury at Marianne for dying and leaving him alone when she had been the centre of his life. Fury at Claire for tempting him and reviving desires that he’d believed were dead and buried with his love. Fury at himself for being so damned foolish and afraid in the face of his temptation. In that moment, he knew himself for a coward and he snapped.
‘Safe. You think you’re safe with me?’ he all but sneered at her. ‘You know nothing.’ He spit the words at Claire as he leant, forward his hands clenched into fists on his knees. She shrank away from him, pushing so far back into the leather club chair her feet no longer touched the floor. Her eyes were wide with shock and the beginnings of fear. Shame crawled over his skin and he reached for self-control, only to lose it all over again when her small, white teeth bit into her trembling lower lip.
‘Damn you!’ He slammed a fist down on the arm of his chair, causing her to jump at the violence of his action. ‘You are anything but safe with me. Every time you walk through that door all I can think about is bending you over my lap and spanking that pretty little ass until it is shiny, red, and stinging. Then fucking you from behind so that the sting feeds the orgasm I give you. I fantasise about binding you and whipping those sweet little tits, your pussy, and your ass. Marking you everywhere so that each time you look in the mirror you remember me and how I put them there, and then beg me to put more on you when they heal. I want to drench you in my come, fuck you in every goddamn hole, and make you scream until you can’t speak.’
As the words died on his lips, he dragged in a breath and took Claire in, really saw her now that the apex of his anger had passed somewhat. She was glassy-eyed and panting. The knuckles of her slim, elegant fingers were white and she gripped the arms of her chair as if her life depended on it. She looked like she was having a panic attack.
Fear and shame overrode his anger and he lurched forward, coming around and sitting on the table before her. He took her face between his palms. She was so tiny, his hands seems to swallow her up.
‘Claire.’ He spoke softly, soothingly, as he rubbed his thumb over her cheeks. ‘Claire, please. Look at me.’
She turned just a fraction, closing her eyes and refusing to look at him. Her motion brought his thumb to rest on her lower lip. Quickly, so quickly he almost missed it, she licked his thumb. It was the barest touch, but the sight of her pink tongue against his skin was more than he could take. What control remained to him was lost.
‘Damn you,’ he repeated, but this time it was the hoarse whisper of a drowning man. ‘Suck it,’ he demanded as he thrust his thumb between her full, rosy lips. She obeyed instantly, enveloping the digit in wet, velvet heat. A shudder coursed through him at the silken feel of her mouth on his skin. She sucked gently in slow draws that he felt all the way to his cock, which surged violently to life.
With his other hand he untied the bow that held the halter of her dress together and yanked the barrier from her body so that it pooled at her waist in a lake of red silk. She faltered briefly, but continued to suck on his thumb as he squeezed her breast, massaging and shaping it in his large palm. She was small, tiny even; the entire globe barely filled his palm, but his mouth watered to taste her. He pulled his thumb from her mouth and trailed damp circles around each nipple before leaning down to suck the puckered tips into his mouth. He sucked hard, eliciting a cry of pained pleasure from her as she arched into his mouth.
He squeezed and pulled, sucked and bit at her nipples furiously, his mind blank except for the driving urge to mark her, claim her. Only when they were red and swollen, jutting out from the cream of her skin, did he leave her breasts. But he was far from done with her. He yanked her hips forward and roughly pushed the skirt of her dress up to her hips. She wore a brief, black silk thong which disappeared in a savage yank as he tore it from her. The fragile elastic snapped as easily as if it were an errant thread. He dropped the offending silk to the floor and threw her legs over the arms of the chair so that she was spread and open to him.
He didn’t stop to appreciate the sight she made, though the memory would haunt him later. Her eyes were half-closed and glazed with desire. Her rosy lips were parted and damp from her tongue. Her small, tight breasts were swollen and tipped with hard, berry-red pebbles from his earlier feasting. The scarlet silk pooled at her waist, framing and showcasing her plump hips and drenched pussy. The damp curls were trimmed close, just a shade darker than the honeyed brown of her tousled hair. No, in that moment, he only took in the sandpaper dryness of his throat and the need to taste her.


Word-Slingers – Spotlight on Ashley Nemer

Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her life long best friend Laura gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.

Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life, they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.


Reporter Nadia Maverick takes an adventure through the underbelly of her town where she discovers that even the criminal life she had been reporting on isn’t quite like it seemed. Things turn bad for Nadia when in the middle of an investigation the tables are turned and she becomes the one under the watchful eye of Mr. A. Everyone becomes a suspect when Nadia turns up missing. Who will be there to set her free? Read and see.

Spot on, at five forty-five a.m., her alarm sounded off, waking her out of her dream. “Every bloody morning.” She turned it off and got out of bed, heading for the shower. She looked in on her nephews, passed out, their best side, asleep. Sweet angels, when they’re sleeping, she thought. She got dressed and fixed her hair in a cute style and went and woke the boys. It almost made her sad to disturb them. Tony the Tiger rubbed along her leg in the threshold of the spare room’s door while she looked at the two boys.
 “I know, you want to play don’t you?” She picked up the kitten and walked over to the bed, setting him down and gently stirring the boys awake.
“Aunt Dia, stop licking me” Daman said.
Leon mumbled in reply, “Dummy that’s the cat.”
“Hey, no name calling. Come on, get up, we need to get ready for school.” Nadia said, tussling Leon’s hair. “Pancakes ready in 10 minutes; be there or starve.” She left the boys and went to prepare breakfast. The kitten followed her and hopped up on a stool and then onto the counter top. She could tell, by letting him on her desk yesterday afternoon, she had started a bad trend.
“You are going to be trouble, aren’t you Triple T?” She scratched under his jaw. He purred into her touch and his tail began swinging back and forth. “Yup, nothing but trouble.”
Nadia dropped the boys off at school then drove into work. Gabe was waiting on her in the parking lot when she pulled into her assigned spot. She gave him a little wave as she turned the steering wheel. She knew once he was interested in something, there was no stopping the lengths he would go to when he wanted to talk.
 “Hot chocolate mi lady,” he said, grinning and shaking a Starbucks cup at her.
“Mmm mi lord.” She faked a little bow before grabbing the drink from his hand and taking a sip. “You look happy to see me. Something to talk about?” She eyed him with a questioning look.
“Can’t I just be happy to see you love?” He grabbed her arm and guided her towards their office. “Or could it be I have a bit of gossip for you that is to die for?”

Word-Slingers – Interviewing Red Garnier

1)                  How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for myself for about ten years, but seriously maybe for seven. I started taking writing courses, entering contests, then began my career writing for Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, Loose ID, and Liquid Silver.

2)                 How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I use to juggle with far more balls than I’ve cut down to now. My health needed attention and I had to stop working, so now I dedicate my time to my family, keeping my health in shape and my environment as stress free as possible, and my writing.

3)                 What can you tell us about your release Taken by Him? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

Taken by Him is the second story of my Billionaire’s Club series. This story came about the wonderful suggestions of my editor, who wanted to read more about billionaire friends finding love. Luke Preston dazzled me in the first story, and I couldn’t wait to get to his own story. I actually had an idea of his plot from an earlier book I had worked on, but Luke took it over, owned it, revamped and made it, and it is absolutely one of my faves. It is sexy, funny, and heartwarming. I hope readers love it too! J

4)                 What is it about the contemporary romance genre that you like so much?

I just love how relatable this genre is. I can identify and imagine it happening to me, and I can also forget about having to keep track of any details “such as in romantic suspense or other genres) and focus more on the exquisite details and emotions of falling in love.

5)                 Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I am always tempted to write other kinds of books, sometimes after watching an inspiring movie, reading an inspiring book. At the moment, I still love contemporary, but like they say, never say never!

6)                 Sweet or sour?

Sweet AND sour. Hahah. (TM – Smart aleck)

7)                 Chocolate or vanilla?



I don’t think there’s anything as magical as reading a wonderful book. Since I read my very first, I was utterly transported to a world that made me want to pack my bags and move right into it. I was twelve. Maybe thirteen. And I finally knew what I wanted to be.

A writer.

But a writer’s life isn’t as romantic as it sounds. Life always gets in the way of writers. You either live your own, or you sit down and create one for someone. Someone more wonderful, more interesting, more courageous. And because I met a wonderful man, my life came first. I married him. And we have two wonderful kids, whom we adore. And writing seemed to be just a little moment living in a big dream. I wrote, but I wrote little, and I needed more.
It wasn’t until the start of 2005 when my life had settled around me, and with that stillness came a gnawing restlessness. I really needed to write, really write, or I’d be miserable.

So I started, spending a few hours a day on the computer, and later entire nights. I heard of Ellora’s Cave, an erotic romance publisher, and their call for submissions for their hotter Exotika line. Ahh! Something sexy, I thought, and mulled through that a bit further: Something scandalizing. Shocking. Out of this world caliente.

And so began a career writing erotic romance, which took off quickly and unexpectedly. First with the epublishers, and later helping me find my fabulous agent Roberta Brown. She signed me up with my first full single title, The Satin Sash, which NAL/ Penguin bought on proposal in April 2008.

Am I a writer now? I wondered that day.

Nah! I was a writer before that, but perhaps at last I start to feel like one.I live in Texas with my family, two very big dogs, and dozens of wandering deer who keep eating the flowers. Sometimes I write all day, and sometimes the words elude me, little devils. But the thing is, at last I write. Or perhaps I spin, weaving tales of love and woe and raw, unbridled passion.

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The Billionaire’s Club: The wealthiest, most powerful men, not only in Chicago, but in the world.  They are used to having whatever they want, whenever they want it.
Luke Preston is the ultimate playboy among his billionaire friends.  Every bad girl in Chicago has surrendered in his bed.  Some good girls, too.  But when he ends up in the hospital after an assassination attempt, his friends suggest he take a long vacation to recoup, regroup and lay off the women until the man is caught.  However, when Luke lays eyes on the stunning brunette across the beach, she inspires every dark, erotic thought his mind can conjure.

Peyton Lane has always been serious and responsible and she’s determined to have some fun for once in her life.  And that means a deliciously, sexy affair with a stranger while she’s on vacation.  So when a blond Adonis named Luke crosses her path at the Cancun resort, she’s determined that he will be the one. But Peyton gets more than she bargained for when Luke introduces her to a passion unlike any she has ever experienced and she discovers that behind that charming smile are secrets and a beautiful, damaged soul. 

Word-Slingers – Interviewing Annie Nicholas

1)                  How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since the summer of 2008. Wow, this summer will be my five year anniversary.

2)                 How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I worked two 12 hours shifts per week as a nurse. I am married and have two young sons. I own two dogs, one of which is a Great Dane puppy. I write as my second job.
 Many hats. I live with a Zen-like philosophy. Whatever needs doing the most gets priority and it all works out somehow. I might lose some sleep occasionally or two (or three) things at the same time. Live and learn. LOL

3)                 What can you tell us about your release Prima? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

Prima is the continuation of Sugar and Daedalus’s story. It started in book one of The Vanguards series where they first met. In each consecutive novella their story was in the background. I did this because I wanted to show a true progression of real romantic relationship. Through richer or poorer, sickness and in health… I’ve put them through a lot over six books as secondary characters and Prima is their love story as main characters.

4)                 What is it about the paranormal romance genre that you like so much?

I love world building. I like to make certain rules and watching my characters unfold within it. For example, if I had a succubus who had to feed every three days, at least, but she hated having sex with strangers.  That’s my rule. Then I watched as my characters deal with it and all the conflicts I toss at them. With contemporary, I feel too restricted.

5)                 Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I won’t move from paranormal but I do wish to expand into science fiction, specifically space opera. What’s space opera? Think Star Wars, Star Trek, or Firefly (my favorite). I actually have to two books on my hard drive in this genre and I’m just waiting for the right time. J

6)                 Sweet or sour?


7)                 Chocolate or vanilla?


Annie Nicholas hibernates in the rural, green mountains of Vermont where she dreams of different worlds, heroes, and heroines. When spring arrives the stories pour from her, in hopes to share them with the masses one day. Mother, daughter, wife are some of the hats she happily wears while trudging after her cubs through the hills and dales. The four seasons an inspiration and muse.

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One year ago, Sugar survived a wolf shifter attack but it had left her broken.  Paralyzed on the left side, she fights for independence in her day-to-day life. Her worst injuries are the scars on her soul. She can’t bear who she has become and it drives her to push her vampire lover, Daedalus, away. How could he still love her when she is just a shadow of herself? But a new threat on Daedalus’s life yanks away her veil of self-pity and she resolves to help him.
The vampire council sends an emissary to Daedalus. His clan brother, another Nosferatu, hands him an ultimatum. Return to his post as Prime in Pal Robi or he’ll kill Sugar and her shifter friends. Daedalus has brought enough trouble into Sugar’s life. He won’t be responsible for more, so he agrees to leave Chicago.

To both warriors surprise, Sugar’s not willing to remain behind, and with her own shifter guards she’s ready to assist Daedalus regain control of Pal Robi.

As soon as he closed the sliding glass door shut, Daedalus would bet his bank account that his conversation with Pallas would only have a pretense of privacy. Shifter hearing could be miraculous, especially when pressed to cracked-open windows. The distant sound of a chair clattering to the floor in the dining room reached his own sensitive hearing. He could picture his housemates scrambling to find the best places to eavesdrop.
Pallas strode to the center of the moonlit garden. “So the rumors are true. You’ve lost your mind.”
Daedalus chuckled. The other Nosferatu hadn’t changed. They’d been close once. “Maybe. I wish the one about you was true.”
Pallas spun around. “Which one?”
“You being dead.”
“That would be too convenient.” A familiar crooked smile bloomed on his ugly face.
Daedalus laughed louder and shook Pallas’s hand, squeezing his fingers together as hard as he could. “You’re such an ass.” Bearer of bad news or not, he was still a brother, a tie to his past, and a comrade at arms.
Pallas returned his strong grip. “I learned from the best.” His clan brother, and he used that term loosely since they weren’t born from the same parents, bore the trademark appearance of their people—bald, pale, and deadly. “You’re creating quite a stir in the council, enough for them to coerce me to wake and seek you out.”
They released the painful handshake, and Daedalus shook his numb fingers, grinning as Pallas did the same. “You can tell them, for once, I’m happy.”
He snorted. “Like they care. I can’t believe you’re living with shifters again.” He made a distasteful noise.  “Nasty habit. They said you left your post.”
“I did, and I left it in good hands.” Then the fools were killed and the traitors who took over tried to have him assassinated, but Pallas didn’t need to know that.
“Your company is in chaos. I went there before arriving here.”
“No.” Pal Robi Inc. was his private security company, hence it being named after him. What better than hiring an almost indestructible vampire as a guard? The company also served as a front for the vampire political structure in his area. Vampires had revealed themselves, with the other supernatural creatures, to humans fifteen years ago. Vampires were expected to follow human laws and their government, but vampire society had had these things in place long before humans had figured out how to organize themselves. The Vampire Council didn’t expect their people to follow human laws, but Pal Robi Inc. was developed to give his people legal jobs and to police their hunting. In other words, if a vampire couldn’t feed without killing, it was his responsibility to stop that person before humans were aware of it. “I didn’t assign those who presently think they are running my company.” 
Pallas sighed. “Are they under your command?” He gave Daedalus a pointed stare. “Currently.”
“No.” Daedalus shrugged. “How much damage can they do? The last thing they want is to draw the Council’s attention. I haven’t truly lost control.”
“Your estate is abandoned.”
“It’s not abandoned. I dispersed my staff to other tasks, and there’s a shifter house sitter. You probably scared the shit out of him.” He’d have to call Stephen and check on him. The young shifter didn’t like company, let alone drop-ins from hell.
“A little scare never killed anyone. The council wants you to straighten things out at Pal Robi Inc. and return to your post as Prime. Things are falling apart in the area.”
An alien sourness curdled his stomach. He examined the odd sensation and decided he didn’t like the source. “Or what?” This visit was expected. Not Pallas himself but someone the council would send. The Prime kept the peace among vampirekind in his area. Sort of like a sheriff. If those traitors hadn’t been so greedy and tried to kill him, things would still be fine.
“They’ll make me kill everyone at Pal Robi Inc…” Pallas’s gaze wandered to the house, “…and here.”
“Do you think you can defeat me?” It had been ages since he’d fought one of his own kind. Living among the Vasi pack had softened him.
A hard shield fell over Pallas’s eyes. “Yes.”

Word-Slingers – Interviewing Sylvia Ryan

1) How long have you been writing?

Five years ago, I found myself with a job that gave me summers off. I quickly realized there’s only so much puttering in the garden and reading a person can do.  I wrote my first book, Saved by One, Shared by Two that summer.  Since then, I’ve written four others and I’m going strong. It’s a great hobby.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I’m lucky, I only work part-time and my family is past the needing-mom-for-everything stage, so I don’t have as many balls in the air as some authors. Still, it would be wonderful to be able to be an author only and dump the day job altogether, but…I don’t think that will happen until I get on the bestseller list. But at this point, priorities are family, work, and then writing.

3) What can you tell us about your release Being Amber? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.  
Well my introduction to dystopian literature was way back in high school when I read 1984 by George Orwell.  I’ve been a fan of the genre for my entire adult life. Then, a few years ago I read several young adult books that I really loved, the Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield and Delirium by Lauren Oliver as well as a couple others that were similar.  These YA books  introduced some romance into the dystopian genre, and I’d never really seen it there before. By then I had completed my first two books and was waiting for my next big inspiration.  It didn’t take long for me to create my own dystopian future, except with a little more focus on adult romance. The New Atlanta Series is the result of that with Being Amber the first in that series.J

4) What is it about the sci-fi romance genre that you like so much?

Right now, what I like most about it is that there’s so few authors doing it. My books are not about vampires, shifters, billionaire Doms or any other of the many themes that are a dime a dozen right now.  Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved those books too, but I have found my memory mixing up story lines of the twenty-or-so vampire romances I’ve read. Most of the reading in the sci-fi romance genre won’t get lost in a person’s memory once mixed with all the books one has read before it because there are so few out there that are similar.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I have thought about writing in a different genre, maybe one that wasn’t erotica since the erotic scenes, for me, are the hardest to write. But inspiration has to hit, and so far my inspiration has always been more toward the sexually explicit end of the spectrum.

6) Sweet or sour?


7) Chocolate or vanilla?


Author Information
As an avid reader, I’m always on the hunt for that next amazing story. Those unforgettable books with the perfect balance of action and passion are hard to find and even harder to write. My hope is that Being Amber has given readers a few hours of happiness while they savor the gradual discovery of each character and how their story unfolds. I usually fall in love with the hero and heroine in the books I write by the time I’ve written the last page. If I’ve done my job well, you’ve fallen in love, too. So many times I find myself not wanting a book to end.  I crave more of the story, wanting to know what happens after the happily ever after. If you’re like me and want to read more about Xander and Jaci, the epilogue to Being Amber is posted on my website at http://www.RyanBooks.net. Stop in and find out how their story ultimately ends before moving on to Jordan’s story in Being Sapphire. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.
Book Information

Both danger and sex are inescapable in the Amber Zone.
Jaci Harmon was born a Sapphire, but after she’s summoned to receive her final designation, the testing reveals she carries a gene slated for eradication. Within a day, she’s sterilized and dumped in the Amber Zone, where the damaged are corralled away from the rest of New Atlanta. Scared and alone, Jaci would rather die than face her future as an Amber.
Born in the Amber Zone, Xander Dimos is a product of a lifetime spent under the oppression of the Repopulation Laws. Decades of suffering have taught the Ambers to make the zone a place where touch, sex, and unconditional acceptance ease the pain of their fate. Jaci has a lot to learn about her new home, and it’s Xander’s responsibility to guide her through the differences and the dangers safely.
With the simmering undercurrents of sexual chemistry growing between them, and in the midst of discovering the Gov’s true motives, Jaci and Xander must overcome his secret and accept their love as undeniable…even if the time allotted to share it is short.
CONTENT WARNING: This title contains explicit sex, graphic language, ménage a trios, use of sex toys, and anal sex.

“Why didn’t you just let me die?” she whispered.
“Because you’re mine to take care of now.” He leaned in close so that his lips were brushing her ear. “It’s okay to stumble and fall. I’ll be here to catch you. I’ll take care of you Jaci, I promise.” 
Xander squeezed the words out through a tight throat and then sat on the edge of the bed. He settled her in his lap and tucked her into him, wrapping his arms around her to keep her warm and let her know she was safe. After a few beats of stillness, Jaci started shaking her head. Almost imperceptibly at first, but within seconds, a sob escaped her. “I don’t want this. Let me die next time,” she cried. “Please. Please,” she sobbed. “I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to feel it anymore.”
“That’s enough,” Xander growled. “I don’t want to hear any more of this. I’m going to take care of you, Jaci. I’ll help you chase the pain away. We’ll do it together.”

Word-Slingers (2/2) – Interviewing Kristal McKerrington

Here’s my second post and I hate doing this without Word. ARGH! We need to buy a new copy soon. Had no idea how dependent I was on it for blog post pre-editing. 🙂
1.    How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for gosh this will be my 16th year. I’ve been writing professionally for 3 years. Dance took over my life before that. 

2.   How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

Oh gosh. Really good question. I juggle screenwriting, show creating, author work, family and health every day. Just have to schedule my time and hope nothing runs over the time I’ve got for it. 

3.   What can you tell us about your release In the Shadows? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.

Well In The Shadows came out of a odd encounter. I was a dancer and we use to think of the ways to make the story we told with our bodies stand out. We did the “would you rather game.” Everyone knew I’m a fan of wrestling have been since I was 5/6 years old. I’m 24 now just encase your doing math. I got asked a hard question between two wrestlers. How would I rather mess around with

I answered with something funny. Handcuff one to the ropes play with the first one then do the second one. The story started to form back then. I didn’t write it up from the notes we played with back then until last year when L. Anne Carrington started to talk me into writing wrestling erotica. 

4.  What is it about the erotica genre that you like so much?

Well the freedom you get in the Erotica genre is also what makes it the hardest portion of the industry to write. You have to make every scene force the reader to want to know what happens next. I like the challenge. Through the Erotica genre I learned about wrestling erotica and the challenges it offers to me.  

5.  Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I move from genre to genre. I want to do a military themed book at some point. I think it will add to what I can do and make the readers experience more of what I have on offer. 

6.  Sweet or sour?

I like both. Depends on my mood.

7.   Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla. I can’t eat Chocolate. If you follow me then you know why.

Kristal’s been a professionally published author since 2010. She’s a monthly writer for Calling Spots magazine. She created and wrote on Romance and The Wrestler for Bishop-Lyons Entertainment. She’s represented by Barone Literacy Agency. She’s been a best selling author for XoXo Publishing. She’s appeared on TMZ a few times and writes with Reem Vision.

Jasmine got obsessed with a wrestler and now the wrestlers obsessed with her. Steamy nights, kisses and rules being broken at every turn. She turned his whole world upside down and now he’s doing it to hers. In this free fall, can they survive each others love? Will she take him from the wrestling mistresses arms?


Word-Slingers (1/2) – Interviewing Imogen Rose #giveaway

Sorry if the formatting’s all screwed up. Had to replace the harddrive this weekend and don’t have Word on the computer to do my pre-editing on it at the moment.

1) How long have you been writing fiction?

I have been telling stories all my life. (Some people even called it telling lies. 😀 ) However, I didn’t begin writing fiction until relatively recently—just four years ago.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.).

A lot of balls! Multitasking is second nature for me, plus I do work long hours to keep it all moving along.

3) What can you tell us about your release Fusion? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.

The Portal Chronicles was born of a dream I had many years ago. I told my daughter about it, who then wanted to know what happened next. I wrote it down for her, and then decided to bind it so it would be easier for her to read and share with her friends. After writing the first one, the next part of the story was spilling out of my imagination and I just kept writing. Fusion is the conclusion to the Portal Chronicles. It’s a story about choices, about how they not only affect us, but produce ripple effects that can alter the timelines and destinies of others.

4) What is it about the paranormal young adult genre that you like so much?

I never really set out to write a paranormal YA story. I just sort of landed in it and have been happy living in that genre ever since. I am now obsessed with all things YA from the awesome YA TV shows to books. Being able to share this with my twelve-year-old is an added joy.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I don’t know. I won’t do it purposefully, but if a non-YA story starts brewing in my imagination, I will certainly explore it.

6) Sweet or sour?

I love the combo!

7) Chocolate or vanilla?


Imogen Rose is the author of the bestselling YA series, the Portal Chronicles. Imogen was born in a small town in Sweden and moved to London in her twenties. After obtaining a PhD in immunology from Imperial College, she moved with her family to New Jersey, where she’s been based for the past ten years.
For as long as she can remember, Imogen has dreamt stories. Stories that continued from night to night, from dream to dream. So, even as a child, going to bed was never an issue, just an anticipation of the story to come.
PORTAL, Imogen’s first novel, would have remained in her imagination, to be shared only with her daughter, Lauren, had her eight-year-old not insisted that she write it down. In the course of a month, Imogen typed while Lauren waited eagerly by the printer for the pages to appear, and a novel took shape.
The warm reception PORTAL received encouraged her to continue with the story and the Portal Chronicles. Diving into her second series, the Bonfire Chronicles, Imogen continues exploring the paranormal YA world.
Imogen is a self-confessed Hermès addict, obsessed with Kurt Cobain and a certain unnamed Irish actor. She enjoys shopping, traveling, watching movies, and playing with her dog, Tallulah.
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What if, once upon a time, I had taken that leap of faith?
Our choices not only affect us, but send tremors of change that can alter the destiny of others. Especially if you happen to construct a time-travel portal…
My name is Arizona Darley and my mom did just that.
When Olivia decided to go back in time to find the one man she was destined to, she catapulted Arizona’s life into rollercoaster of confusion. Fusion is the highly anticipated conclusion to the Portal Chronicles, which began with the YA bestseller, Portal.
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Word-Slingers – Interviewing Grace Burrowes (#giveaway)

It is an incredible honor and an exciting moment for me to welcome Ms. Grace Burrowes to my world. Ms. Burrowes is the super-prolific author of a wonderful stream of historical romances published by Casablanca. Her release this month is Darius, and she has at least one book scheduled to come out each month for the next year! Let’s make her feel welcome and give her a chance to catch her breath!

1) How long have you been writing?

The short answer is that I started writing about seven years ago, at the age of forty-seven, when my daughter moved out of the house. Abruptly, the house was full of peace, quiet, and time to think, and my brain went on a writing orgy. Lovely. The more accurate answer is that I’ve always felt an urge to write, though for decades that mostly found its outlet in a journal.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I have two jobs, the lawyer job representing foster children, and the writer job crafting happily ever afters. One can see how the two might complement each other. Unlike many people struggling to write while raising a family, tending a young marriage, looking after the elders, and holding a day job, my situation is fairly simple. Because I’ve waited until mid-life to attempt publication, I’m particularly eager to get a backlist up. (TM – WTG on the foster kids. I was a Guardian ad Litem for a brief time. You’re awesome)

3) You have a book coming out every month for at least the next year, and you’re a family law attorney. How the HECK do you do it?!?!?!

I am an example of the person for whom all the motivational sermons make no sense. I had twenty manuscripts done before I explored publication because publication was never a goal. I still don’t have goals, I don’t write down my objectives, I don’t write every day, I’ve never had a crit partner… All those things you “must, must, must” do to find success as an author are beyond me. (TM – and yet you clearly are successful. Fellow future authors, take note! You can break the rules and still fly high.)
 I write because I love to write, and my publisher has been generous enough to set up a monthly release schedule because they understand my reasoning with respect to building a backlist quickly. There are days when having one book in revisions, another in draft, a third in copy edits, a fourth in galleys, and a fifth hitting the shelves is a challenge—but it’s like trying to decide among favorite desserts, or which ride to get on at your favorite amusement park. It’s ALL good.

4) What can you tell us about your release Darius? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J I know this is the book of your heart, and that Deb coaxed you into moving forward with publishing it. Can you tell us the story?

Darius popped up as good secondary sort, in “The Virtuoso.” I wasn’t sure why he was the one sidekicking for Valentine Windham, but Valentine and Nicholas got along with him (he popped up in Nick’s book too, as brother to Nick’s lady), so what the heck—I’m just the author. Then I wrote a story for Darius’ brother Trent, and again, Darius was skulking about, out until all hours, and giving off a quietly desperately vibe.
 The guy needed a book, clearly, but what on earth was he up to, out past his bedtime, looking after everybody but himself, being so handsome and miserable? At first I thought he was stealing, or maybe trying to return goods he’d stolen.  Maybe he was trying to return goods stolen by a friend’s sister. Maybe he had gambling debts to work off and THAT was what he was up to. Except, Darius doesn’t gamble with coin, only with his honor. This guy did not want to give up his story, and when the answer popped into my head, I at first did not believe it myself.

5) Darius has an interesting…job, one that’s almost never talked about in your standard historicals though you frequently see women with a similar profession being redeemed and the like. Why did you decide to give him this particular, er, position?

I am eternally indebted to one of my brothers for telling me that the worst challenge a man can face is to have to choose between the competing demands of honor (all my author buddies, write that down if it helps with a plot). What is the worst compromise a man could make to protect and care for his loved ones? What is the worst compromise ANYBODY who is broke, disempowered and desperate, can make…?
 The answer surprised me, but it was right for this hero: Darius was selling his favors, just short of the deed, in exchange for the coin he needed to support his dependents, all of whom, were cast on his charity by the father who has also rejected Darius. When enough coin is laid before him, when he’s reached the limit of his despair and self-loathing, he makes that last, last compromise, only to find he’s found his salvation.

6) What is it about the historical romance genre that you like so much?

Oh, everything. When I started reading romances 35 years ago, historicals were all you could find. Then too, there are pioneer romances authors still writing in the historical genre, and their work has reached near-perfection. Who wouldn’t be inspired by that?

7) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I’m writing Scottish historicals that I’m enjoying tremendously (TM – Having read the first one, I quite agree that it’s lots of fun!), and I’ve written a pair of Georgian novellas that were a lot more fun that I’d anticipated. Both the Georgians and the Victorians had their wild elements. I’ve also written a trilogy of contemporaries, about lawyers in love…

8) Sweet or sour?


9) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate—and most good chocolate has vanilla in it.  (TM – Quite a valid point)

 I am the sixth out of seven children and was raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life I spent a lot of time reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named—unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. I also spent a lot of time practicing the piano. My first career was as a technical writer and editor, a busy profession that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels.
It also left time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion), and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.
While reading yet still more romance novels (there is a trend here) I opened my own law practice, acquired a master’s degree in Conflict Management (I had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing…. romance novels. This aim was realized when Beloved Offspring struck out into the Big World a few years ago. (“Mom, why doesn’t anybody tell you being a grown-up is hard?”)
I eventually got up the courage to start pitching manuscripts to agents and editors. The query letter that resulted in “the call” started out: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.) (TM – LoL, love it. Lovely call story)

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Although there are lines he will not cross, Darius Lindsey has performed intimate favors for desperately needed coin. He contracts one final liaison that will free him from all financial constraints: Get Lady Vivian Longstreet with coin to preserve the title for her aging husband of convenience, only to find the bargain he thought would cost him the last of his self-respect instead resurrects both his honor and his heart.

Edited at 12:50 PM to add: Please be aware, there is a giveaway of TWO SIGNED COPIES of Darius. All you have to do is leave a comment below (see Ms. Burrowes’ question in Comment #1 below) and you’re entered to win. This is not to be missed. 🙂

Word-Slingers – Interview of AD Starrling

1)         How long have you been writing?

For more than twenty years. I started when I was twelve, stopped eight years later to enter the medical field, and started seriously writing again six years ago. I had always planned to write again after retiring from medicine but brought that goal forward by a few decades.

2)        How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I juggle two big balls on a daily basis, pun unintended! Work and writing. Most of my family are abroad and my friends are scattered all over the UK, so I get to see them less often than I would like to. As for writing and work, it’s a fine balance. Long day shifts and night shifts are exhausting, and I tend not to manage more than a bit of social media on those days. If I do a ‘normal’ work day (9-6), then I’ll manage 2-3 hours of writing as well. It takes a hell of a lot of dedication and determination. Once I published though, the discipline was established. I have deadlines to work to and I relish the challenge.

3)        What can you tell us about your release Soul Meaning? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

Soul Meaning was initially a short story that I wrote for the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. It was inspired by the striking image of the number 17 written in dripping red paint on a black rock on a sandbank in the middle of a lagoon on the island of Mauritius. After considering several ideas around that number, I finally thought about deaths. More specifically 17 deaths. Thus started the story of Lucas Soul, the man who could die up to seventeen times. I knew it could be a novel even before I finished writing the short story; Lucas Soul and his business partner Reid Hasley lived and breathed naturally for me on those first pages. I WANTED to know what would happen to them next.

4)        What is it about the supernatural thriller (is there romance involved???) that you like so much?

The first book I wrote when I was twelve was a children’s fantasy novel. It was a ‘Narnia’ meets ‘The Goonies’ kind of story. The next one was a boarding school action-adventure tale. The third book I started, but never finished because I entered medical school, was part of a supernatural YA series. The main reason I returned to writing again in 2006 was because I had an idea for another fantasy series, this one a light hearted, humorous adventure one. The three main characters walked into my head one day and just wouldn’t go away. So, you could say writing fantasy has always been in my blood. Soul Meaning was a complete change of pace and style for me. I have never written something like this before and never, ever thought I could write a thriller with fight scenes, guns, and swords. I ended up surprising myself. I defined the novel and the series as supernatural thriller as I felt it was the best description for the genre.
 I guess the final answer to the question is because it satisfies my need for speed, kickassery, and the fantastical. As for romance, it’s definitely present but it takes a backseat to all the action. I like my protagonists to shoot first and kiss later.

5)         Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

A return to light hearted fantasy may be in the books in the future. The three characters that got me back to writing have been sulking in my head for the last three years, since I was forced to abandon them to pursue Lucas Soul and his story. They occasionally pipe up with acerbic comments, so I may have to do something about them before they sabotage future stories. My current plans are to finish the series Seventeen (I haven’t decided on the total number of books yet), then start on an epic, dark fantasy trilogy that has been marinating gently at the back of my mind for the last few years. I also have a tentative idea for a YA sci-fi/steampunk novel that may see the light of day at some stage in the future.

6)        Sweet or sour?


7)         Chocolate or vanilla?


AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Paediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.
Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in a supernatural thriller series entitled Seventeen. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the second novel in the series while drinking gallons of tea.
 She still practises medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.
A half breed immortal. An international manhunt. A race against time to stop a terrifying plot that threatens to kill millions. The gripping, action-packed debut novel by AD Starrling and the first in the supernatural thriller series Seventeen.
‘My name is Lucas Soul.
Today, I died again.
This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.’
The Crovirs and the Bastians. Two races of immortals who have lived side by side with humans for millennia and been engaged in a bloody war since the very dawn of their existence. With the capacity to survive up to sixteen deaths, it was not until the late fourteenth century that they reached an uneasy truce, following a deadly plague that wiped out more than half of their numbers and made the majority of survivors infertile.
Soul is an outcast of both immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.
One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. When a lead takes them to Washington DC and a biotechnology company with affiliations to the Crovirs, they cross the Atlantic to Europe, on the trail of a French scientist whose research seems intrinsically linked to the reason why the Hunters are after Soul again.
From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans.

Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war? 

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Word-Slingers – Spotlight on A.M. Griffin

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies. (Tory – Ahhh, Ms. Griffin, but do you believe in intelligent life here on Earth, or at least in Congress?)

After aliens invade and conquer Earth, Eva is transported to a distant slave trading planet. Escape and freedom are her only priority, but none of her martial arts training prepared her for what she faces. She finds herself enslaved to the warrior King Taio. Eva’s drawn to this sexy alien male who ignites her heart and body.
Taio is disgusted with the idea of owning a slave—until now. From the moment he sees her, he knows Eva is his for the taking. Torn between lust and duty, Taio knows nothing will stop him from protecting his little warrior.

Eva pressed her face against the rectangular window in the training room, watching the lights of unknown origin whiz by. She stood in one of the training rooms Ship had sequestered for her. After lunch, she felt more than a little stir-crazy. She needed to work off some of the tension that coiled around her muscles. It took all her strength not to get up and leave the dining hall while Taio’s gaze bored through her back. Did he really have to keep sending those smoldering looks her way?
His lavender eyes locked on her whenever she entered a room. The intensity of his gaze made her body respond in a way that she didn’t want it to. No one would ever consider her to be a coward. But there was something about the way he looked at her that had her frightened.
And that tattoo on his face. Sometimes it intrigued her and other times it made her scared. Who would allow such an intricate drawing to be completed? The pain alone would have been enough to deter any sane person from getting it, alien or not.
His body was a whole different story. It was downright criminal to have a body like his. The man had a body that would make a nun want to sin. He was tall, unbelievably so, but he was all rippling muscle.
This vessel was full of men and the only one who would give her a second glance was Taio. The thought should have given her some type of comfort. Instead of beating off twenty men, there was only one she would have to worry about. There was no mistaking his intentions. Every time he looked her way, it was as if he were willing her clothes to fall from her body. Her only counterattack so far was to stay away from him.
But she did have to agree with Ship, being under the care of Taio was for the best right now. She was fed, the dining hall was open around the clock, which was a plus. Oftentimes she found herself standing in front of the computer, requesting the buro flank with nitlick soupafter everyone else was fast asleep. These were the closest thing to Earth food she could find. They had the same taste as chicken and tomato soup.
She was finally clean. Although she would have loved to feel the caress of running water on her skin again, the ionized shower hit the spot. She had clothes, which, although they were tight, were at least clean. And most of all, she didn’t feel her safety was in any type of jeopardy, not at the moment.
She wanted to find Ally, but she had to face the hard facts.
She was far away from home.
In an alien world.
No money whatsoever.
Nowhere to go.
And alone.
Finally, pulling herself away from the window, she pulled a training bag from the corner to start her workout. Hand-to-hand combat always made her feel primal, the main reason she loved it so much.
Within minutes, her training suit clung to her body, the lightweight material not constricting her movements at all. Perspiration covered her from head to toe, her once tied-back hair hanging wet and loose around her. Her muscles thrived under the workout, coming alive once again.
Heavy breathing behind her caught her off guard. She flipped away, landing in a fighting stance facing the intruder.
Taio stood in the doorway, watching. He gave a curt nod her way, the acknowledgement doing nothing to make her feel relaxed.
“You have good skills, Eva.” He hooked his thumbs in the waist of his pants and leaned on the doorway.
Her name never sounded better.
“Thank you.” She relaxed and straightened, her eyes still watching him. This was his first time speaking to her since their ill-fated first encounter.
She didn’t dare move closer, especially since she still didn’t know his intentions. She didn’t move away either, fearing he would view that as a sign of weakness. So she stood her ground, her body betraying her in the worst way. Her heart sped up a little and her breathing became more labored. Now she found her nipples hardening as her name rolled off his tongue.
I know trouble when I see it.
Eva willed her body to fight against whatever “mojo” he was throwing at her.
Taio walked into the room and took a sword off a rack on the wall. He began flexing it, testing its weight. The gesture caused his arm and chest muscles to ripple with each movement.
“Who taught you fighting moves?” he asked.
“My sensei, he lived back home.”
“Earth,” he said as a statement, rather than a question.
“Yes, Earth. Ann Arbor, Michigan, more specifically.”
She eyed the weapons on the wall. She was trained to use various fighting weapons—sais, kamas, knives, nunchakus, bo staffs and swords. She could show him a thing a two.
She walked over to the rack and took another sword off the wall.
It weighed a ton! No wonder he smirked when she picked it up. Even though she strained to hold it in both hands, she made sure not to let him know. She would give anything to smack that look right off his face. Instead, she concentrated hard on not dropping the sword. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. She dared not try to maneuver it as he had.
“A male taught you?” He sounded surprised.
“Yes. Thirteen Earth years of training.” Taio laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “It’s not unusual on my planet,” she said. “A male can teach a female how to fight or even a female can teach a male.”
He laughed harder and shook his head. “There could never be such a thing on my world.”
She turned away. “I earned a black belt, first Dan in Kyokushin Karate. On Earth I’m considered to be a great fighter.”
“Your people did not fare well in the war against the Loconuist. The fighting techniques of your species mean nothing to me.”
If the sword in her hands wasn’t so heavy, she would have swung it at him.
“We didn’t know how to fight them. We’d never encountered aliens before.”
“Then it is good that I will take care of you from now on.”
Her head snapped around. “I don’t need you to take care of me.”
“You were captured by the Loconuist and the Tresdonians almost killed you.”
She shrugged. “But they didn’t.”
He smirked. “Because I saved you.”
“Thanks, but I can take care of myself.”
“It doesn’t matter. You are my responsibility now. You are my slave.”
Her eyes, squinting and cold, fixed on his. “Ship told me those assholes on that planet gave me to you. I think you got cheated. I’m not a slave. Not yours or anyone else’s.”
“If this arrangement does not suit you, I could turn the vessel around and give you back to the Tresdonians.” He turned from her and put the heavy sword back on the wall rack.
Her heart began pounding in her chest. He wouldn’t… “No. I’m not going back there.” She held her sword tightly in her grasp.
“Then you are my slave.” He stalked slowly toward her. His eyes locked on hers.
“No.” She backed away from him.
This cannot happen.
“You are mine.” He took another step toward her. “You will need to get used to the idea.”
He stopped his advancement. They stood facing each other. Her breathing came out in deep and heavy breaths. Her heart thumped in her chest.
Abruptly, he turned and walked from the room. She blinked at the empty doorway. The cold surface of the wall was against her back. She held the sword close to her chest, shielding her body. She stayed there until her arms shook from the sword’s weight.

She was no one’s slave.