Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Word Joust is on In May!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

In honor of the Castle In The Sky group turning 500 (members that is--not age of moderators combined) we are hosting a Jousting tournament. Consider this a war of words for all of you authors out there. We are throwing down the gauntlet. We want your best line ever, your best 20 word entry. It will then be bracketed in a poll against another line from a similar genre author. Go into the Castle Yahoo group and enter your information into the database labeled Word Joust.

Now readers, you get something out of this too! Just for voting or commenting, you will be entered to win a release from one of the many participating authors.

The ultimate prize for our
Champion of the Word Joust--
One Week Cover feature on the Castle
A Review by Dark Diva Ava James
An Interview with Trinity Blacio's Blog
A Week long spotlight on Ava James' Blog

To join our medieval merriment follow the link below. The fun ends at the stroke of midnight (oh, now that sounds bad )on May 17th, when we crown our Champion!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I have been weighed down with the daily goings on of my split life-style, i.e. writer by night, teacher by day. To uphold the wholesome home front and then write the erotic behind closed doors, is a fence it seems many of us straddle.

Like so many other Americans, I have a graduates degree and no job to show for it. The stress of facing yet another year without a "real" job has caused my creativity well to run dry. I have been writing for the past few evenings, a few hundred words here and there. Now that I reread what I wrote, I realize that it is all worthless crap. My writing lacks the life that it showed before. I am sure that some of you have experienced this before. It is a temporary thing that will pass. But the troubles of the daytime seem to bleeding over into my evenings more and more. Why is it that a decent, hardworking, reliable, and well educated individual cannot find employment? Half of the jobs I apply for, I am over qaulified, the other half, I lack the expereince they are searching for--so what is it that I am to do? You know, I passed up a decent job outside of my intended feild to accept a temporary job in order to gain the "experience" necessary, and I feel that all my hard work was an exercise in futality. I have left college (grad. of 08) with a very expensive piece of paper and the student loan statements to prove it. Before now, when I put my mind to something, it worked out. But this past year, nothing has. My paternal grandfather passed away, I did not get a job offer for this school year, my father died, my maternal grandfather and grandmother died, and thus far I still have no job prospects. You know, if my dog ran off I could write a damned good country song here ;P

Here is to better days ahead--b/c I damned tired of feeling like Llyod Dobler holding that boom box over my head while Peter Gabriel sings Your Eyes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A taste of Crossroads by Keta Diablo

Keta Diablo was kind enough to drop by and leave us a little snip-it of her latest. You can find out more about Ms. Diablo on her blog,

Enjoy! And Thanks Keta for sharing!


Phaze Publishing,
Keta Diablo,
A male/male novella

About the book:

Handsome ex-cop Frank McGuire is on a quest to locate his dead partner's missing son. Rand Brennan has an identity issue, exacerbated since the death of his father. Hoping to find himself, Rand drops out of college, takes to the streets and doesn't realize he's embroiled in duplicity and murder.. In order to save Rand, Frank must confront the nefarious killers and . . .. confront his long-suppressed feelings for Rand.

Elements: scenes of intense sexual activity


From the corner of the candlelit bedroom, an outline of a body beneath the bed sheets flooded Frank’s vision. At a foot-dragging pace, he inched his way forward, praying Rand was alone in that bed. He meant to put the fear of God in him, and his plan would only work if he didn’t have company for the night. Images of the young man behind the bar flooded his brain. He strongly resembled the seventeen year old who stood in front of his father’s casket at the cemetery five years ago. It was Rand all right in that bed. A box had been tucked under his arm on the walk home, and now, Frank intended to find out what was in it.The kid must have sensed a presence. He sat up in bed, rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and glanced around the room. His body tensed and his eyes widened―forest green at the moment and glistening like jack pines after a summer storm.His voice barely a whisper and strained, Rand asked, “Who’s there?”Frank put the gun to his cheek. “Get up.”With trembling arms, he pushed the covers off, dragged his legs over the edge of the bed and stood up. The whites of his eyes gleamed stark against the dark shadows in the room. “What do you want?” Frank had taken the bullets out earlier, but the kid didn’t have to know that. He placed the gun to his forehead and grabbed a shaft of his thick, dark hair. “I’ll ask the questions.” He flicked the switch on a dim lamp beside the bed. “Do you understand?”Rand swallowed hard, nodded and stared at the black hood covering his face. A fleeting moment of recognition passed over his face, but it wasn’t possible he could make out Frank’s features behind the disguise.His lean, well-muscled body sent a shiver down Frank’s spine, every inch taut and smooth, covered only by a pair of blue boxer shorts. His dark hair rested above his shoulders, glossy like his mother’s, and streaked with mahogany. Reflected light caught the angular planes of his face, the carved cheekbones and generous mouth. This was going to be harder than Frank thought. Determined to scare the shit out of him if need be, he had to find out what he was up to and he had to get his hands on that box.Rand’s voice faltered. “I don’t have any money, no jewels, not even a pack of smokes, if that’s―”His head reeled to the side when Frank delivered an open-handed slap to his cheek. “Keep your mouth shut! Unless I tell you to speak, you say nothing, got it?”Another nod.For emphasis, Frank slapped him again on the other side of his face. “Where are the drugs?”“Drugs?” Anger and fear slithered through his voice. “You’ve come to the wrong place if you’re looking for smack or coke.” Frank holstered the gun, grabbed him by the hair again, and shoved him toward the wall, face first. A fine bead of sweat had broken out on his forehead and his hands were clenched tightly at his sides. “You call me sir when you address me.”“Yes, sir.”“What’s in the box you carried home tonight if not drugs?”“You followed me?” Rand cranked his neck around to look at him. Frank pushed his face into the wall and kicked his feet out until his legs were spread wide. “Put your hands on the wall, palms flat. You even twitch, I’ll drop you quicker than butter melting in a pan, got that?”“I ain’t got no drugs, man . . . I mean, sir.”“Such a smart, pretty boy, and a quick learner.” Acutely aware of the smooth, tanned skin of his shoulders and back, mere inches from him, and the sinewy muscles of his forearm stretched out to the wall, Frank sucked in a quiet breath. To heighten the tension, Frank put his hand on his back and snapped the elastic band of his briefs. “You know what they do to little boys in prison?”

Crossroads Decadent Land of Falling
Deceptions Stars

Friday, April 10, 2009

Welcome Ms. Maddie James! Let’s get right into it. Maddie, tells us a bit about how you started writing.

Hi Ava! Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I started writing years ago, before I even conceived that I could be a writer. I’d jot down scenes and exchanges of dialogue, and then I’d fold them away in a notebook or in my underwear drawer. Then I’d tell myself, “You’re not a writer, you’re a teacher,” and off I’d go and do the teacher thing. But before too many years passed, I couldn’t ignore it any longer and it became more than an occasional thing, it became a way of life. I started out writing and publishing non-fiction locally and kept working on the fiction all the while. It took ten years of writing and learning about writing, before I published the first book.

Isn’t it funny how the writing bug bites you to get working on those budding ideas we all have. I see that you have been published in print and epublished. Do you have any advice for newer writers out there?

Keep writing. Think writing. Do writing. Every single day. Make it a lifestyle. Finish the manuscript, polish it up as pretty as you can, and market it. Then start the next one. Most of all, don’t give up.

Easier said than done, but you are proof that it can be done. I am hoping to enter print in the near future. I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN…
In three words, tell us how your best friend would describe you.

Creative. Witty. Smart.

Hum, those are all polite ways to say opinionated and troublesome—I would know since my friends describe me in much the same terms. Hey, we witty and smart women have to stick together and shine.
Moving on to one of my favorite questions…What do your heroes wear underneath their trousers, faded jeans, or leather pants?

Oh, boxers. Of course! Unless it’s nothing at all.

I agree. Although, I think nothing at all takes away from the suspense. LOL
What genres do you write? Do you have one that is your favorite to read or write? I am a lover of Sci-fi movies, but the writing and reading it is a whole different ballpark.

My friend Jan Scarbrough used to say, “Maddie, focus! Find one genre and stick to it!” I think she’s given up on me and frankly, it’s difficult to pin me down. I write time-travel with a hint of suspense and paranormal and oh, a little erotica thrown in there (how is that for a sub-genre?) I also write romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and erotica. I’ve just come out of the closet with a new pen name for my erotica—Mia Jae. You can read more about her at

I think the technical term for women like us who float around the genre and subgenres to write whatever comes to mind is genre whore. LOL

Here is a fun question, who is your Favorite and Least Favorite Hollywood Actor/Actress?

My new favorite actor is Nathan Fillion. Sigh. Have you seen him on Castle? ABC, Monday evenings. 9 p.m. Don’t miss it.

Did you see him in Firefly or Serenity? Yummy! I love him as a thieving scoundrel. Honey, I will be watching his new show as faithfully as possible—darn my day job.

As far as actress, I’m a huge Sandra Bullock fan, and Julia Roberts, as well.

Can’t argue with them. They are each fabulous and seem like genuine people, unlike so many in the spotlight. I hate to end this, but why don’t you tell us where we can find you lurking online?

Oh heck. I’m usually bantering about with my SisterWriters (my critique and writing partners) on our own little loop. We also banter about on our SisterWriter blog, I check in with a few reader loops now and again. I blog (semi) regularly at my own blog, Life, Unedited, and I also blog once a month on the Resplendence Publishing blogsite.
I also have my own yahoogroup, too. Feel free to join us at Oh, and I’m always a LOL

Thanks so much, Ava!

You are more than welcome. It was a pleasure having you and I wish you many more sales in the future Maddie!

The Matchmaking Chef series, Perfectly Matched, Available Now!
See Mia Jae’s Nice & Naughty at
Check out my Examiner page at

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I am personally sick and tired of irresponsible people. They are the reason that so many of us are out of jobs. The reason so many people who work actually make less than the ignorant (meaning lacking knowledge) individuals who are no good at any profession except sloth (and baby making--more welfare money in that don't you know).

This my "Soooo sick and feed up!" moment.

All of you know my usual sarcastic and smiling demeanor. But I am feed up with irresponsible individuals making decisions that ultimately affect every part of my life. Financially, most of us will never have the chance to recover from the nonsensical decisions made by a few with their own interests. Why the hell should my tax money go to better the lives of people who have never paid taxes and completely inept of any discernible skill?

"Here, please take the money that could pay off debt, and fund more welfare. I mean if we are all on welfare, then we have appropriately socialized and degraded our self worth down into the level of learned helplessness that will support the current idiotic beliefs of this blatantly wasteful system."

I think I'll move to Australia.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jeanne St. James Stops By...

Welcome Jeanne St. James! So tell us about you? I want the full abbreviated story.

I have been writing for over 25 years. I started when I was about 13 years old. Over my high school years I wrote my first novel, a young adult novel, that was pretty raw about a young girl growing up in a gang. That manuscript was left behind in my ex-husband’s attic. He can keep it.

I have been published in Playgirl though.

I only started submitting my stories to publishers a few months ago. I procrastinated big time. However, the publishing world has definitely changed over those 25 years and epubs are more open to new writers.

Playgirl? Interesting. So where and what do you have published?

In 2006, I had a short erotic story published in Playgirl. That story, along with another erotic short, can be found on my website ( under the Free Reads page. They are not my typical stories because one: they are in first person (I usually write in 3rd person) and two: they are erotica and not romance (no HEA ending). It’s entitled “The Hot Ride” and the other one is “Dirty Laundry.”

In addition, I posted a third story called “Disturbed in the Suburbs,” which is a short story about a psycho teen. It’s not romance at all, but was just a fun writing exercise and very out of character for me.

As for romance, I have two separate manuscripts out with publishers and am waiting to hear from both of them.

I hate waiting--it is the bane of my writing existence (she says with four works out to publishers right now). Moving on to a more enjpyable subject....

I have to know, what does your hero wear beneath his faded jeans?

He definitely doesn’t go commando. I love a man who can fill out a boxer brief. My heroes all wear them. No bikinis, no boxers, no plain briefs.

A boxer breif is especially nice at times, but a few of my heros wear kilts--no boxer breifs in fourteenth century Scotland for them. LOL.

How about your favorite genre in writing?

I love to write contemporary erotic romance. I usually write m/f, but recently finished an interracial ménage a trois (m/m/f) and just started a short m/m erotic romance. I really enjoyed writing the ménage and plan to write more. I love to write about men in uniform, usually ones that carry a badge. But my current work in progress and my ménage include men in a different kind of uniform: an NFL football uniform. I have a thing about football. I’m a huge (HUGE) Steelers fan.

I also have two different paranormal story ideas. I am only fleshing them out now. Let me just say this: they aren’t about vampires or werewolves.

That all sounds great. Roethlisberger is swiftly becoming one of my favorite players. His ass in spandex ain't bad either. ; )

What are your plans for 2009? Any exciting developments or wonderful adventures in the works?

Croco Design has just redesigned my website and MySpace page, so that’s new for 2009. I’d like to get contracts on the two manuscripts that are already submitted. And I just plan on writing, writing, writing, along with doing whatever I can to improve my craft. I am also looking for some part-time editing positions so I can really get my hands dirty in the world of publishing.

I’ll also be attending the RWA National in Washington, D.C., in July.

Oh, and I’m getting married on the beach in St. Lucia in October. I guess I shouldn’t forget that! (BTW, my fiancé carries a badge, too, like my alphas usually do)

Wow that is exciting. And what a coincidence, my husband is police officer as well. Enough about the men though, tell us something interesting that we would never guess about you?

Hmm. You want my secrets? I can’t share them all with you. But, let’s see… Jeanne St. James is my pen name, which is a morphing of my own name and my fiancé’s name. I work full-time as an emergency dispatcher. I have my both my A.A. and B.S. in Criminal Justice and have had extensive law enforcement training.

That's very cool! So before we end this interview how about some shameless links. Where in the wide world of the web can we find you?

All over. I live on the ‘net. I just launched my newly redesigned website at Also, you can find me on Facebook and MySpace. I have a blog: The Ranting & Ravings of Jeanne St. James and I love to Twitter (it’s addicting): Jeanne's All a Twitter. And there’s more but too many to list.
You’ll also find me on various writers’ loops and forums. Come say “hi!”

Will do! And thank you soo much for being a fellow James author on my blog!

Below for your reading enjoyment is an excerpt from Ms. Jeanne St. James.

Excerpt of Banged Up by Jeanne James

Relief flooded over Mace Walker as he twisted the key in the lock, gave the front door a shove, and stepped over the threshold. Finally home. About time.
Time to heal.
The foyer was dark, but he didn’t need to hit the light switch. Even being gone for as long as he had been, he still knew the house well enough. He made his way to the stairs and set down his bags. Those two small duffels didn’t hold much evidence of his life for the past couple of years. Just some toiletries and a few basic items of clothes.
As he straightened, the foyer lit up, blinding him for a second. He blinked as a young voice rang out from the top of the steps.
“Hold it right there! Put your arms up and back away from the stairs.”
What the fuck?
Mace had expected to see his sister bounding down the stairway of his two-story colonial, excited after not seeing her brother for the past two years. Actually more like one year, eleven months, and fifteen days. Not that he was counting. But instead he stared up into the deadly eye of a Glock. And from his viewpoint it looked like a model 23, a .40 caliber. A compact, but still a decent sized, gun in a very small, very uneasy hand. Instantly, the hairs on the back of his neck rose.
Damn. He'd dealt with crime bosses and their flunkies -- from drug to porno rings -- and had managed to survive. Now he was going to be killed by some measly punk he surprised while burglarizing his house? The cruel irony made him want to laugh.
Instead, he did as he was instructed. With caution he raised his hands above his head before stepping back toward the middle of the foyer. He avoided standing directly under the light, trying to get a better view of the top of the steps. But he didn’t have much success; the upstairs hallway and the upper section of the stairway were hidden in shadows.
If he played his cards right, this little situation would be under his control in no time at all. He just had to keep the kid calm and make the skinny punk believe that he was the one in command. From experience Mace knew the Glock didn't have a conventional safety. All the kid had to do was pull the trigger and pull it again and again until all the rounds in the clip emptied into Mace’s body. And from what he could see in the limited light, the kid's fingers were twitching from nervousness.
Not a good sign.
Where had a young punk gotten an expensive handgun like that? It certainly hadn’t been in the house. And if it had been it would have been locked up in the gun safe.
If only he could see the boy's face. He needed to see the eyes. Mace couldn't even begin to predict what the kid would do without seeing his eyes.
“Don't you dare move or I'll blow your face off!” The kids’ voice raised an octave, making him sound more and more like… a girl.
Tension ran through Mace’s body as the boy started down the steps. At first he could see bare toes, then one slim calf, then another. His eyes flicked to the gun, then returned to the shapely naked thighs that couldn't belong to a kid – no way. Especially not a boy. Those smooth legs definitely belonged to a woman. And he couldn't wait to see the rest of her. So far, the view almost made it worth being held at gunpoint.
He was disappointed when an oversized t-shirt – shit, was that Marmaduke on it? -- blocked his view of creamy flesh. His arms were tired, his leg throbbed painfully, and his patience was wearing thin. But he still wasn't going to move, since he had no idea who this woman was descending the stairs. His curiosity piqued when she stepped down into the light, which highlighted her long, curly red hair and made her wide, green – glaring -- eyes sparkle and snap.
A twitch shot through his lower stomach and landed in his groin. Fear or pain didn’t make him suck in his breath. It was her unrestricted breasts bobbing under the cotton shirt with each step she took. Her nipples stood out like two beacons under the worn cotton. Jesus.
He had to clear his throat twice before he could ask her, “Are you robbing this house, dressed like that?”

Jeanne St. James
erotic romance writer

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