Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Being a Beta


Let’s start with what a beta does. In its simplest form, it is reading a manuscript for an author and providing them with feedback but sometimes, it is a lot more than that. It depends on each individual author. Some need lots of help with every part of the manuscript from spelling to language and my biggest nemesis, punctuation.  Others just want someone else to read their work and make sure they tie up loose ends and that everything makes sense to the reader. You might ask isn’t that the editor’s job? Yes, but it always helps to have a couple of people read the book. Sounds like a lot of fun doesn’t it??  Sometimes it is, other times not so much. I can only write this from my experience. Every beta is different and not every writer needs the same thing from their betas.  You will get a couple of different blogs from a few different betas, so you will know if it is a non-paying job you want to take on.

How did I become a beta? I am not really sure. I had never even entertained the idea of being a beta reader nor did I seek it out. I am not special in anyway, except in my ability to read fast. I have always put authors in a category of Gods. I have the utmost respect for anyone who can put pen to paper or nowadays fingers to keyboard. There is no way in hell I could ever write a book or even a short story. I have trouble writing these blogs and yep, I have several people reading them and correcting my atrocious language skills. And spell check is my best friend. I am not a fan of reading a book and critiquing it. I rarely even write reviews because I hate them. I don’t know what makes a good book. I just know if I enjoyed it and most of the time, I don’t know what it is that made it good for me. Besides, who cares what I think about a book? I was raised to be an individual and if I didn’t like a book, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t strike a chord with someone else and their life experiences. I know that is not a popular opinion and lots of people write reviews, and I say more power to them. It just isn’t my cup of tea. I will rate the book and tag them on Amazon and things like that to help an author. But nope, I’m going to try like hell not to have to write a review. But I digress and am beginning to ramble so back to the blog.

I have had several authors ask me to read something for them and see what I thought (why I have no idea). Like I said before, I have no special talent except being able to read a book in a couple of hours. So how did I become a beta, you ask? Well, let me tell you my short story. I became friends with some crazy chick (even though she didn’t like my porn) and then found out she was an author. She was looking for a couple of betas and she was crazy enough to ask me. She has told me that for her Trust is the biggest thing she needs from a beta. This seems to be a reoccurring theme with authors, which I understand completely. They are putting not just their livelihood in your hands, but they are also giving you a part of their soul. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but it is true none the less. They have worked for months on their book. They have fretted on everything from character names, sex scenes, emotions and relationships, to setting up the next book, if it is a series. I have been on this journey with my author a couple of times and even as a beta, you get wrapped up in wanting the book to be the best it can be as well. This is the hardest job I have ever had, and I doubt myself every time I give her an opinion. I mean who signs up to tell a friend that their work sometimes sucks or that they are just rambling and going nowhere with the story they are trying to tell? A crazy person that is who!!

Before I start talking about my author, let me just let you know that she is going to be reading this so I will not be telling you secrets (unless you contact me privately). Now what does my author want or need from me?? That one is a hard question. It depends on the day. Each author is different and the relationship is different with each beta—if they have more than one. Sometimes we spend hours on the phone talking about our days just like girlfriends do and then move on to the book or problem of the day. Other days we just get right down to the nitty gritty and plot the book and smack around the characters till they behave (which rarely works). I never tell her what to put in a book or what to say, but we do talk about scenes and what could make them better or if they won’t work at all. Sometimes she just needs someone to bounce ideas off of, and I can listen and give her my opinion. Most of the time she tells me to bite her, but I keep refusing and remind her that she has a husband for that kind of thing. Again with the rambling.

The next step after the manuscript is done and she has read it over one last time and fretted for days over each and every word, she finally sends it in to the editor. Now the really hard part begins. We wait ….And wait…..and wait some more. Most of the time I am trying to get her to take a couple of days to unwind but normally, she can only do that for a day maybe. Then she is chomping at the bit to get back to writing. So she starts the next book or maybe I should say she plots the next book and writes scenes and annoys me with calls about names. Then the edits comeback. She reads them over and then calls me crying (just kidding). She gives me the gist of what the editor has said and at this point, I still have not seen a copy of the manuscript. I know the plot and some of the scenes, but I have not read it.

She will go through the edits and change a few things and then she reads it through again and sometimes again. Then I finally get the damn thing after weeks of talking about it (yep by this time, I am jonesing to get my hands on it). Now this is where it gets different for each author. Okay, most authors may or may not do any or all of the above mentioned things. In my case, I sit down and read it the same day I receive it. Depending on the time I finish, I may call her or I may just send her a text to give her a general idea of what I thought about it. I know she won’t sleep till I, at least, give her an idea of my thoughts.

Usually the next day, we get all our snacks together and for her the booze and pick up the phone. As I read, I highlight things that I find wrong or that just annoy me. I start at the beginning and she just opens her copy and gets her fingers ready for some corrections and cut and paste work. I give her the general rundown on the book then we really dig into it. We talk about what works and what doesn’t. We think about future books and if she needs to add a scene or cut one out. I rarely catch grammar, spelling or punctuation issues. I figure the editor will get that stuff.  I am more about the story and tying up loose ends.

When we finish we then wait for the other beta to get back with her corrections. Usually we then ramble on about the next book and characters and when she is going to write my Sam’s book (yep, you knew I was going to have to mention him). When she talks to her other beta and they run through the book and fix any issues she has found then it is time for yet another read through. I have now usually read the whole manuscript once and some parts multiple times. She reads it one more time to fret over every single thing then back to another editor. Again, with the waiting. At this point, she may or may not have a cover. So far, she has had the release date so that is one more thing to think about, and we hope and pray that this round of edits comes back with just a couple of easy fixes.  She finally gets it back and fingers crossed it is minor issues. We go through it one final time, and I will read it again all the way through and really this is the biggest one for me. I need to make sure that with all the changes that have been made there is no issue and we still have all the things tied up with nice little bows and no one is called by the wrong name and small issues that drive a reader up the wall. She reads it till I tell her to just send the damn thing in and stop trying to make herself crazy. Then she finally hits the send button. Now we can take a breath because there is nothing we can do to fix any issues that we may have missed.

My job is still not done though. The hardest part for me is done but for the author, it is still not over. No matter how successful they are, they still want people to love their books. They wait with bated breath for release day. When it finally gets here, they usually have a couple of things they do. Some go and keep themselves busy and try not to think about it (like that works) or they haunt the sales figures. I have told my author never to read reviews. Most so far have been good, but you never know when a bad one will make your author climb up on a ledge.  I try and keep mine occupied by talk of ice cream and Sonic. But sometimes, you just have to let them vent about how it is not doing as well as the last one or that the next one is not going to live up to this one. Most authors seem to be confident in their work but really, they have put their heart and soul out there for others to comment on. Sometimes you have to be the one they can depend on to be in their corner and remind them they are talented or the publisher would not have bought the book.

It is a strange job, beta reading. You are part coach and part I hate to say it but cheerleader.  You have to give them your honest opinion and yet not discourage them. This is not a job for the faint of heart because you have to be tough yet sometimes, you have to nurture their creativity and make sure you do not ever break their hearts.

 I never knew how much went into a book till I started this job and now I am absofuckingly sure I NEVER want to be an author.

Sinfully Sarcastic,

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Having A Beta

Miss Smarty Pants: “I’ll take ‘Fish’ for $600, Alex.”
Alex Trebek: “This anabantoid fish is known as a Siamese fighting fish. It is vibrantly colored with flowing tails. Because they require only minimal care, they’re often found on desks in people’s offices.”
Miss Smarty Pants: (presses buzzer)
Mia: (cringes and mumbles) “Ouch.”
Miss Smarty Pants: “What is a betta?”
Alex Trebek: “Correct.”
Mia Ashlinn: “Now wait just a damn minute! I thought a betta was…”

Okay, so I wouldn’t win Jeopardy. (Don’t say it…I know what you’re thinking.) And I definitely wouldn’t get this question right on a game show or pretty much anywhere else. Why? Because I don’t think of a fish when I hear the word ‘betta.’ And I don’t think of wolves when someone mentions a ‘beta.’ No, my mind always goes to the person (or people, in my case) who help an author with his/her manuscripts before they’re released to all the eyes of the reading world.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this blog. After all, it does sound kind of random. But it really isn’t. My beta aka the Sinfully Sarcastic Righteous Pervert (Sheesh, talk about a mouthful), Tina, asked me to discuss what a beta is to me on The Pulpit. Since she is my partner in crime and I’m rather scared of her (or at least, she thinks I am), I try to do what she asks of me. That’s what friends do. Right?

Anyway, here is my take on betas…

A beta is someone who sees the person, not the author. What does that mean? Well, it means that my betas, Tina and Tara, know me personally. I’m not just Mia to them. I’m not the naughty author who writes about Kansas, unorthodox towns, or ménages. They know my real name—Anastasia Beaverhausen. Hehehe. Got to love Will and Grace. Tina and Tara know about my family and some of my friends, the ones I claim anyway. And they know what I like and what I don’t. For me, this is essential because…

A beta is someone I trust. I have to be able to trust my betas. Frankly, they have my life in their hands. Each book I write is a cherished treasure for me, and I want to know they are doing everything in their power to help me make the story into the best it can be. I have to know they can be honest with me, no matter what. They can say the book sucks, and I know for one hundred and sixty-nine percent they are telling me the truth. And more importantly…

A beta is someone who is looking out for me. When my betas have my books, I know they are always out to help me. If they tell me they don’t like something, I know they’re not saying it to be mean. They’re saying it because they want to help me. It is not criticism or an insult. It’s a friend saying, “Hey Mia…You might want to (fill in the blank).” And not a person screaming, “OMG! You suck Mia. How dare you (fill in the blank). I’m going to hunt you down and beat you with a stick.” LOL. Okay, so I might be stretching it a big. But you know how I am.

A beta is someone I can talk to. If I can’t talk to my betas then I’m screwed. I need betas to run things by or asks tons of questions. For example, poor Tara gets bombarded with questions after she reads a book. I have a list of questions (I know that is shocking) that I ask her. Everything from ‘What did you think about this character?’ to ‘Did this part of the story bother you?’ And poor Tina, I call her all the time. She helps me with everything from names of characters to plotting holes to even the plot as a whole. That’s just the beginning, too. Tina is truly my right-hand. Without her, I shudder to think of where and what I’d be.

A beta is someone who can talk me down from the ledge. Yes, I’m a neurotic writer. Every book is the be all and end all for me. And I have lots of panicky moments before release. I admit it. I’m human, and I have fears and anxiety. So I need people who I can turn to that will help me see past the end of my nose.

A beta is a life-saver. They catch tiny details that escape my notice. Sometimes I forget minor details. (Stop your laughing Tina Dowds!) Okay, I often forget details like the heroine can’t get on a bar stool when her hands are cuffed or the hero can’t do that unless he’s Stretch Armstrong. They catch these. And while they probably laugh their asses off, they remind me of those things.

A beta makes me see things I would never have seen. This is a huge one for me. Why? Because this is my story, I am incapable of stepping away from the book. I can’t separate myself from the characters, the plot, or anything like that. So if something is too much or not enough, I will not notice it. Let me tell you, this one has popped up more than once with my betas. I’ve had Tara remind me that condoms are a must. No, I’m not a proponent of condom-less sex. But I am a married woman, who has only been with her hubby—ever. Frankly, I don’t think about condoms. However, safe sex is essential in real-life and the fictional one, too. Without Tara, I might not have even thought of it. Then there’s Tina. At one time or another, she’s had to say, ‘Um, you might want to tone them down a bit. They’re (fill in the blank).’ Actually, that has happened more than once. A couple of my characters are…quite colorful while the book is in the editing process. And some of the heroes are a bit too alpha. But with a little tweaking, they aren’t nearly as over-the-top. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t alter the character—not at all. I wouldn’t do that. I just work with what I have and make sure they are seen in the best light.

And finally, a beta is someone I’m eternally grateful for. They are my eyes and my ears. They are a support system and dear friends. They are a lifeline when I need one, a stress reliever when I’m nearing a meltdown, and a whip-cracker when I’m procrastinating. Without them, I could write and release books. But, and this is a big, huge but, they help me make each book the best it can be at that time, in that situation. And for that, I will always be grateful for them. I love them both to death, and I can’t imagine going through the writing process with two better people.

How about you? What do you think a beta is? And if you’re not a beta, do you wish you were one? Why or why not? Heck, just leave a comment with whatever you want to say about betas. I’m easy…to get along with.
Have a righteously perverted day!


Thursday, 21 March 2013


Publishers be warned and stop reading now. This blog is about how both publishers and, sometimes, authors do not trust the readers. Now I don’t want anyone to think this is directed at any one publisher or author. This is a conglomeration of things I have heard from authors and readers alike.

I have a very love/hate relationship with publishers. I think sometimes they don’t trust us as readers to be able to read multiple genres. Maybe I am strange and I am not talking about my mental issues, that is a blog for another time. I am talking about the fact that I will read just about anything, well except Stephen King. I love him. It's just his books scare the crap out of me. Anyway, I have no problem reading Patricia Cornwell one day then The History of Scotland the next. I can jump genres and never blink an eye. This is the sign of a reader who loves books. I really don’t care what the genre is as long as it is well written.

I know there are people out there who will only read one genre, but they are robbing the rest of us from some awesome books. I know of a couple of publishers that will only accept one genre from an author. So if you start writing male/female books, you are not allowed to write a male/male/female book.

I may be stupid, but I just don’t understand this. If I find an author that I love then, I will read any book they write. For example, I am a huge Sherrilyn Kenyon fan. I am not a big sci-fi fan but when she released her League Series, I bought them just to try them out and you know what, I loved them.

Publishers say that authors need to fit in this little box and they are not allowed to venture out of it. I want to call bullshit on that because how is an author supposed to grow as a writer if they are not allowed to expand their horizons. This makes no sense to me. If a character falls for another man and not a woman, how are you supposed to force them to be in a relationship with a woman? This is making the author either skip books or characters who would love their own books can’t have one. I think authors need the freedom to write what they want. If a reader doesn’t like the genre then they can skip the book. I know there are stupid people out there that aren’t smart enough to read the warning labels on the books. But why should their stupidity deny the rest of us the opportunity to have a great experience reading a book that we have wanted or sometimes begged for?

Now sometimes authors fall into the same trap as the publishers. They want to write a book and the characters are talking to them, but they are afraid to write them because of the hateful people out there. I know of a few who have told me that they want to write specific books, but they were unable to because either the publishers said no or that genre doesn’t make them money, and they have to write what people will buy. I understand this because we all have to make a living but in the end, it cheats both the author and the reader. Now I am not saying this is all the author or the publishers fault. I am saying the sometimes you have to trust your loyal readers to help you out by buying the books.

This also brings up the pen name issue as well. I know of a few authors that write under several names, and I may know them but others may not so they are missing books by their favorite authors. Pen names are confusing to a lot of readers. I know one author that has three names. One for each genre she writes. I understand this, and it doesn’t really bother me because I know them. But if there are other readers out there like me, they are missing a few books just because they don’t know that the author has multiple names. Again, this is cheating the reader and author alike because, sometimes, it is the publisher who will not allow the author to post that they have other names they write under as well. Does this all sound confusing because it is to most people.

Readers also have to shoulder some of the blame, as well. If you don’t like a genre then don’t buy the book. Wait till the author writes the books you love, but don’t drink the haterade and send the publisher/author hate mail. This does nothing but force them to censor what they write. Yep, I used the C word. Because in reality that is exactly what this is. Censorship by the publisher and sometimes the author themselves. You have to wonder what great books we have been cheated out of just because some reader has a stick up their butt and sends hate filled rants to publishers, authors and booksellers.

The moral of this blog is sometimes publishers and author need to have a little faith that readers don’t care what genre they read-as long as it is a well written book.

Sinfully Sarcastic,

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Guest Blogger Lori King

The Music of the Pencil…

I know a lot of authors say they’ve always known they were meant to be a writer, but in my case it’s the honest to God truth. I’ve been writing since I was big enough to hold a pencil. At the age of seven I wrote my first one act play, The Pony Princess. It was a musical piece full of drama, intrigue, and a pretty dress with a matching tiara for the star of the show….betcha can’t guess who that was.  I took it upon myself to cast my fellow daycare attendees to act in my show, and we performed it for our parents. This would be when I realized I liked sitting in the Director’s chair.  My mom tells me that from then on I was spinning tales of crazy creatures in imaginary places that had magical abilities. I find myself daydreaming no matter where I’m at. Lost in a world only I can see, and talking with people that no one else hears. Yeah, I know, this is also called schizophrenia, but that’s one of the few afflictions that I DON’T have.

Second to my passion for writing, is my love of music. I tend to link music with various events and people in my life. Every time I hear  the song “Getting Jiggy With it” by Will Smith, I’m transported back to the summer of my Junior year in high-school when I nearly got caught skinny dipping in the lake with a group of friends.  “Paradise By the Dashboard Lights” by Meatloaf, is one of my mom’s favorite songs, so I think of her when I hear it. “Because you Loved Me” by Celine Dion, brings tears to my eyes because it’s the song that I danced to with my Dad at my wedding. “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen, is the song my husband and his groomsmen walked down the aisle to in preparation for saying his vows-believe me this was a crowd favorite, and my friends and family still talk about it.

I personally love to listen to music while I write, and I have had several stories that grew out of musical inspiration. Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Rascal Flatts’ “I Melt,” and Rhianna’s “California King Bed,” are just a few of the songs that I’ve used to inspire my characters and my stories. My new book, Sidney’s Triple Shot, (Releasing April 2!) was inspired by the song “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. It follows the journey of a woman who has been abused and neglected as she finds love in the unusual town of Apache Crossing.  I have plotted out five books for the Apache Crossing series so far, and each on is inspired by a different song. I will be sharing the playlist for each book when it releases, so that my readers can indulge all of their senses while reading them.

I’d love to hear if you have songs that bring to mind a specific event or time in your life. Does a particular song bring someone to mind?  Leave a comment for me, and be entered to win an ARC of Sidney’s Triple Shot, which releases April 2!


Sidney Rowe has been abused in ways that most people can’t even imagine.  After a horrific miscarriage, she left behind everything she had, to escape her ex-boyfriend.  She finds refuge in the kindness of the three Dawson brothers. They give her a job and a sense of security in the small town of Apache Crossing.
Xavier, Tyce, and Noah Dawson, have built their bar, Triple Shot, into a profitable enterprise.  The three former Marines, have also built a reputation for integrity in the community, but their sex appeal and charm are legendary. They enjoy their playboy status…that is until a jumpy, skittish Sidney stumbles into their lives needing their help.

Sexual tension explodes when the brothers decide they want to protect and share Sidney, but to have her they have to stop her ex from haunting her. Can they keep her safe, and win her damaged heart?


Tyce, Xavier, and Noah whipped into the parking lot of the restaurant, and all three men exited the huge SUV, heading directly toward Sidney. She swallowed hard as her heart jumped at the view. Three sexy men stalking toward her with fear and concern on their faces was mind numbing. Her own personal cavalry had come to the rescue. Xavier’s blue eyes were hard, but she could see the barely concealed desire rippling under the surface. Tyce looked worried, and his gaze scanned her from head to toe before turning to look at the wreckage of her car across the street. Noah’s eyes held hers for a moment and he smiled reassuringly.

“Are you okay, love?” Tyce reached her first and pulled her into his arms, brushing a kiss on her forehead. She nodded against him. Inhaling his masculine scent, she let out a heavy sigh, and all of her muscles relaxed now that they were there.

“I’m sorry, Tyce, but I didn’t know who else to call.” Her voice cracked, and she drew in a shaky breath. She hated that she was showing weakness in front of them, but she had no strength left in her body to fight the wave of bleakness that overwhelmed her.

“Hush, Sidney. You have nothing to be sorry for. You did exactly what you should have, baby.” Xavier’s arms went around her from the back, rubbing gently against her belly and lower ribs. His head dropped to place a gentle kiss on the tendon between her neck and shoulder, and she shivered, remembering with the last time she was in between Tyce and Xavier. After a moment Tyce released his hold on her hips, allowing Noah to take her into his arms. Now Xavier and Noah held her, while Tyce continued to grip her hand tightly in his, giving her silent comfort. Tears began to slip down her cheeks again, but this time the tears were a release of sorts. She was able to let go of the overwhelming feeling of despair that she had been swamped with just minutes ago, because they were there to take the burden.

“You can always call us…for anything. We will be there no matter what.” Noah’s voice was full of emotion, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to examine it too closely right now. This was the closest to safe she had ever felt in her life, standing in the circle of their arms.

“Do you know what happened yet?” Tyce asked quietly, and she shook her head no. She was surprised at the sense of emptiness she felt when Xavier and Tyce both released her into Noah’s hold alone.

“Stay here with Noah, Sid. We’re going to go talk to the deputies,” Xavier said, and she just nodded sinking deeper into Noah’s warm embrace. He was so solid and comforting that it would be easy to pretend none of this night had ever happened. She wished she could just start over, but when she started to think that way, she realized that she didn’t know where she would start.

The desire that Tyce put in her belly reminded her that she was still a woman, and she didn’t want to give that up. She didn’t want to start over before she left Robert, because Robert was no good and would have eventually killed her anyway. She didn’t even want to start over before she met Robert, because if everything had been different, then she wouldn’t have met her guys. Her heart jumped when she realized that she had just mentally claimed them. Clearly, exhaustion was getting to her, because they hadn’t even offered her more than a wild night of sex and their protection. Fear swamped her, and her breathing became shaky again. Robert would kill her if he found out that she wanted the Dawson brothers or, even worse, kill them.

She turned her head to watch Xavier and Tyce talking with the sheriff and his deputy. The fire was completely out now, and they were investigating its cause. How could a parked car just go up in flames? She hadn’t had anything even remotely flammable in it, and her keys were in her pocket so there was no way she left it running. She watched the two men as their faces grew dark with anger. In the back of her mind suspicion tickled at her brain. What if Robert had tracked her down already?

Keep in touch, and find out more about my current works in progress:


Twitter: @LoriKingBooks

On Bookstrand: 

As always Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance!~Lori

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Guest Blogger Loin Licker

BDSM How far is too far?

One of my first introductions to BDSM was through Kim Dare’s Pack Discipline Series.  I saw the blurb on book 1 and thought why not?  I am glad that I did because it was an eye-opening and wonderful experience.  Since then I have read many BDSM books both paranormal and contemporary, although I may lean towards paranormal.  Hey, if I am going to live on the wild side why not go all the way?  I like the kinkier side of a book, that naughty piece that your friends would be shocked to know that you are reading. My friends have no idea that I enjoy BDSM, ménage, M/M, etc. They would probably be shocked! It’s a long way from the Catholic school girl, right?

I read a book a few months ago, BDSM advertised, that I did not finish. I won’t mention the book title nor do I know how it ended, but it was an example of how far is too far, at least in my eyes. The young submissive was urinated and defecated on by multiple men. Then he was caned and meant to crawl on all fours. In my opinion, this was too far. My definition of BDSM is a complete trust in your partner that goes both ways. It is not meant to humiliate nor subjugate either party.  It should be a mutual release and a complete satisfaction for both parties. It is the dominants job and duty to take care of the submissive; to see to that person’s every need and sexual satisfaction. Safe words are used for a reason, when someone is uncomfortable with the situation then all play should stop and things should be reevaluated for the benefit of both parties. I have a hard time reading a book if the BDSM advertised humiliates someone and makes him or her feel less than human.  Bondage, spanking, flogging are all acceptable, among other things.

I’m also not into the whole “Master” thing. I don’t know, maybe there is a place for it but not in my world.  I don’t mind reading it and I can see where the characters get off on it, but I can’t begin to imaging me calling anyone “Master”. It’s not that I don’t trust, but as an independent woman I would rather turn over the reins in other ways. I can be blind-folded, spanked, brought to the brink and then back again, but for some reason, “Master” just gets my goat up.

I think that BDSM is a beautiful thing and can be completely sensual and releasing for all involved.  I love how the authors of my favorite books start out by molding the characters with their kinks and then allowing for the build-up. I love Sean Michael’s books because I believe the theme of BDSM is always tastefully done with a heavy dose of eroticism. My favorite series is the Hammer Series, where BDSM runs rampant.  He writes the books so well that I think that I am right there with the Dom & Sub.  I have never read a book in the series where I felt that it was taken to far.

I suppose that BDSM-themed books are not for everyone, but I think that you should try it before you judge. Start out small.  There are plenty of books out there in every genre that can ease you into the theme. Go for it!

Happily Lapping Around,

Loin Licker

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Guest Blogger Tymber Dalton

*Tymber steps up to the microphone and taps it.*

Is this thing on? Testing, one…two… Okay. Hi, I’m Tymber Dalton, and I’m addicted to storytelling.

What? This is the wrong room? *Checks flier.* Um, oh. *Looks down at Spongebob pj pants and tank top.* Guess I’m kind of underdressed if this is a sex addicts meeting, huh? Heh. Um, sorry.

*Runs to other room.* Okay, THIS is the Righteous Perverts room. *Closes door and walks into the room.* Sorry about that, folks. Okay. As started to tell those folks across the hall over there, I’m addicted to storytelling. People ask me what genres and romantic parings I love best, and I honestly don’t have an answer for you. I follow the stories the “voices” tell me to follow. As the characters come alive on the page, they share their story with me and I tell it.

That story might be a MF mystery, or a MM suspense, or a MMF contemporary, or it might be a MFMM paranormal, or… It just depends on the story, really. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but it’s really not.

And “they” say write what you know. Well, not always possible. I don’t know what it’s like to be a two hundred year-old male wolf shifter, or what interplanetary space travel feels like. I do, however, know what it’s like to be in love. I know the racing heart from new relationship energy flooding through me. I know what it’s like to pine for a loved one you can’t be with.

I know what grief feels like. (Boy, do I know what it feels like.)

I’m particularly drawn to writing BDSM and power exchange dynamics because I live it in real life. I have a Hubby and a Sir who are two different people (no, we don’t all live together, and no, it’s not as sexy-timish as you might think LOL). I am a switch, meaning I’m comfortable on either end of a flogger. I have a lot of very dear friends in the lifestyle, some of whom I consider extended family.

It’s scarier for me, in a way, to put out a book like The Denim Dom, because it is such a personal book. There are a few “ripped from real life,” so to speak, passages in the book that were either close to or identical to things I’ve done. Relationship dynamics and rituals that are spot-on. I’m professional enough not to whine that it’s my “baby,” but yeah, putting a literal piece of myself out there for the world to rip apart is damn scary. Add to it the fact that there are so many people out there new to the BDSM genre who don’t know much about it, and that just multiplies my fear.

On the other hand, there are things, like skeet shooting, my Pagan beliefs, and other experiences I’ve had in my life that I’ve easily folded here and there into stories with little personal exposure, as it were. My love of the original Star Trek television series mixed with my adoration of the movie Alien to give me the idea for the Deep Space Mission Corps series. Character-driven stories that focused on the people, not the technology.

I know there are people who think being a writer is a glamorous job, and you couldn’t be any more wrong. LOL I’m not Stephen King. Me and most other writers out there are working just as hard at this as we would at any other evil day job (EDJ). More, in some cases, when it’s our sole source of income (as it is for me). It’s just little ole’ me at the keyboard every day, banging my head against the desk and praying the words fall loose onto the page in some semblance of order. I’m fortunate enough that Hubby is retired, so he’s taken over the housekeeping and dog walking duties, but my average working day is 10+ hours at my desk. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how the book is going and if I’m stuck in home improvement hell (like I currently

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do for a living. Despite the numbing fear I frequently feel when writing, the worry that this is the book everyone will hate and that’ll be the end. I’m under no illusions that there is zero job security in my world. Couple that with asshole pirate sites who give away my books for free (or worse, sell them and pocket MY money) and it can be pretty discouraging sometimes.

But I, as do all writers who’ve stubbornly made this our life’s work, pick myself up and brush myself off and get back in my chair and do it again. (Guess I really am as masochistic as I am sadistic, huh? LOL) Usually it never fails that at the time I feel the worst, get the most discouraged, I’ll inevitably receive an email from a reader who loved something I wrote, or talks about how therapeutic my work was for them, or how I helped them see something in a more positive light, or how I helped them get through a dark period in their life.

That’s when I smile and dig in again, loving what I do and thankful for all the readers out there who support me (and other authors) by buying our books. I know you have other, better ways to spend your money, but the fact that you spent it on me really means something to me. I appreciate it more than you know. (And so do my furbabies every time I fill their food bowls. LOL)

So thank you, you gals and guys are great, and I truly appreciate you reading my books. We couldn’t do this without you.

Tymber Dalton can be found on the web at: and

Her latest release is The Denim Dom, a sequel to The Reluctant Dom and Domme by Default and part of her Suncoast Society series of books. You can find them on her Siren-BookStrand page at:

Hi All,

I'm happy to announce that "The Denim Dom," Tony's story and a sequel to "The Reluctant Dom" and "Domme by Default," is now available:


Who needs leather when you can have denim? A denim Dom, that is.

Shayla Pierce dumped her lying ex and moved to Florida to start a job at a magazine. An assignment to write about BDSM leads her to discover a new world and make a slew of new friends, including the sinfully sexy Tony Daniels. She’s just not sure she can ever trust again.

Tony is used to teaching about BDSM, but he’s never trained a submissive he wasn’t dating before. After losing hope he’ll ever find the perfect submissive for him, Shayla walks into his life and asks him to train her for her series of articles. He knows about her bad break-up and their agreement is supposed to be nothing more than business. But as she raises the ante, he’s finding it harder to keep his heart under lock and key.

Will Shayla stay a hostage to her past, or allow Tony to become her Denim Dom?


Other books from this "world" and characters followed up by this book include:

The Reluctant Dom
Domme by Default
Safe Harbor
Cardinal's Rule

I've dubbed this group of stories "The Suncoast Society" and have several more books planned involving these and other characters.

They're all available at my author page on Siren-BookStrand's site:

You can go to my Siren-BookStrand author page and click on the Notify Me link to get an email from Siren when they update my page and add new books for pre-order. (It's also where you can find all my releases under my various pen names: Tymber Dalton, Lesli Richardson, Tessa Monroe, and Macy Largo.)

And you can find me on the web at:


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Caught, Said The Spider To The Fly

                                      Caught Said The Spider To The Fly

That may or may not be from a book, I have no idea. I bet I have you stumped on what the blog topic is about don’t I? I am debating on telling you.  I guess since it is the first paragraph I am supposed to tell you what the goal of this blog is, or something like that, I think.  Fine, I will tell you about today’s blog. It is about friendships via the internet.  Do you get it???  I thought it was funny.

Now, as many of you know I am technology challenged to say the least. I have only owned a computer for about five years. I know, you are probably wondering how I functioned. Believe it or not there was life before computers. I know, it is shocking for you young pups, as my Momma used to say.  Hell, I remember only having three television stations and on a really good day if the stars aligned you would be able to get pbs too. Yes, I know I am off topic already but you should be used to it by now.

Back to the whole computer thing, I never thought I would use my computer for anything but research. I stayed at my nieces one weekend and was looking up Sherrilyn Kenyon’s website to check on some release dates when I found her bulletin boards. I joined and roamed around looking at all the things that was on the site and was very intrigued.  So, when I bought my computer I went back and started to lurk in the game part of it. I would make some random comments and people would actually talk back to me. I mostly played the games for the first few weeks but then someone invited me into one of the conversations and I slowly started to get seduced into chatting with the people there. One of the first people to talk to me was Luna Wildwood.  She was so witty and easy to chat with, it made it fun. I met several other people including Christie Von Ditter, Tara Pelfrey Clegg, Whitney Stambler, Bonnie Hoffmaster, Marcy Barr McDermott and Laura Evans, and so many more.  I found that I spent more and more time hanging out with these ladies and many, many others and less time doing research or reading articles.  I also met another Midwesterner, Debs. We hit it off and started to chat all the time not only on the bbs but on yahoo as well. We became good friends and as you know (if you have read my other blogs) I went to visit her.  I had a good time but as the weeks went on we started to drift apart. By this time the bbs had shut down and most of us had moved to Facebook.

When I joined Facebook the only people I had as friends were people from the bbs.  We still chatted and had a good time but it seemed to be lacking some of the fun. Then Bonnie suggested going to one of Kris Cook’s chats and the rest is history. And if you would like to know that history I guess you should be following this blog so you can keep up.

Anyway, from that chat site I met even more amazing women and Kris. I am happy to call them all friends but there are a few that I classify as best friends.  We bonded over our love of books but as the weeks went by we found ourselves sharing not just superficial things but deeply personal trials and even better the joy of our lives.  We have been there for each other through some of the worst things in life like the passing of family and friends to the best things in life like finding love, the birth of children and grandchildren.

I have been lucky enough to have met a few of these ladies in person.  The first time I met anyone from the chat group was almost two years ago and it was the lovely, kind and gracious Dawn Gore Meador.  I was nervous as hell and almost turned around and headed home several times. She only lives about five hours from me and we talked everyday on the phone. It took her a long, long time to convince me that we should meet up. I am so glad I stuck it out because it became a day I will remember forever.

When the opportunity came up to go to Authors After Dark in Philadelphia, I was almost too chicken to do it. Dawn convinced me to put on my big girl panties and board that plane. I am so, so glad I did.  I had a wonderful time and I finally met the man who brought me together with so many wonderful people and some of my best friends. What to say about Kris Cook??? I am not sure. Besides being a wonderful author he is one of the most genuine, kind and loving people you will ever meet. He took me under his wing and refused to let me be the lurker that I love to be. He along with Bonnie, Christie, and Marcy made AAD so much fun that I couldn’t wait to go to another convention.

Since that May in 2011, I met up with even more wonderful women in Chicago, for the Romantic Times Convention. I shared a room with Mia Ashlinn, Sheri Vidal, Mikey Vidal and Dawn Gore Meador.  Wow what a wonderful weekend. Then there was FigFest which is a whole other blog.

I know I ramble but I wanted to show you that even though there are a lot of crazies that you can meet on the internet.  Sometimes if you just take the chance you will meet some of the most important people in your life there as well. I know that if I called these women they would be on a plane or in a car asap to help me hide the bodies. Hell,most of them would even bring their own shovels.

Sinfully Sarcastic,

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Heather Long - Guest Blogger

Sexy, and I Write It
I like sexy stories. I like sexy heroes. I like sexy heroines. I like sexy romance. Now by sexy, I don’t just mean hot, steamy sex scenes—but I like those, too.  In fact, if you’d asked me two years ago, why didn’t I write more sex scenes into my books, I would have told you: I’m bad at sex scenes.

What Makes It Sexy

So if I thought I was bad at sex scenes, why did I think that? Because for me, sex is just a bunch of choreographed moves you write onto the page if it lacks an emotional component. I needed to dig deeper into my characters for stimulation. I needed to find a way to turn them on so I could dial up my sex scenes.

In fact, one of my favorite Marine books is all about food. Proud to Serve Her had me starving for touch and food all the way through it because writing about the seduction of Helena’s senses was extremely sexy. It made the sex hotter—and me hungry!

Playful Sex

Beyond the scope of slam her against the wall and ride him until you both weep, I like sex that combines with laughter. Today is release day for me, and I get to share with you some of my favorite—and what I like to think of as some of my funniest sexy moments with Malcolm and Jeannie in Into the Spotlight. 

While I won’t tell you exactly which moments they were, I had times where I burst out laughing when I was writing. Literally laughing so hard tears rolled down my face. This made their sex scenes fun for me…fun and playful and tender and romantic…sexy is in every interaction the characters have whether they are meeting for the first time or reuniting after a decade apart.

It’s those moments that build anticipation—foreplay if you will—and that pay off the first time she brushes her fingers against the back of his hand, when he curls a hand around the back of her neck, and when their mouths meet in an open, wet, back-bending kiss…

Yeah, that’s sexy.

What do you find sexy?

Keep Up With Heather

Into the Spotlight by Heather Long
Available Now


Fifty years ago, Jeannie Williams made her way to Las Vegas seeking fame and fortune. Instead, she lost her soul and wound up performing nightly shows at the Arcana Royale. Every day, she straps on her feathers, her glitter, her stilettos, and she dances. Every day, it’s the same.

Until the day he walks in.

For six centuries, Malcolm Reynolds has been the go-to guy for anything his family needs: warrior, diplomat, wrangler, researcher, and now an attorney. He enters the Arcana Royale Casino, intent on negotiating the release of his cousin’s bad debt, but one look at the golden-skinned showgirl ignites a fire of need that he’s never experienced. When the fantasy come true sits at his table, words he never expected to hear come out of her lush mouth: “I need your help.”

Now he’s in for the toughest battle of his life, because the Overseers own both his cousin’s debt and her soul. And he’s not planning on leaving the Royale without either one.

This book has been previously published and has been revised and expanded from its original release.

Warning: Contains high-stakes games, sexy showgirls, and a powerful showdown between a vampire that can’t lose and the House that never does. Spells, slots, sirens and sex, oh my!