Thursday, 17 April 2014

Books, Take Me Away

I know I am getting bad about coming up with titles, but I guess you all will have to learn to live with my lack of imagination. This blog is going to be pretty short, I think, because it is about things I don’t like in books. That list is almost nonexistent.

I am easy to please when it comes to books. I can suspend reality for a while, if a story pulls me into another world. I have never been a big fan of sci-fi, but I have found that if some authors write it, I can be drawn right in and forget that it takes place in outer space. I can believe that a woman wants to sleep with 12 guys all at the same time. That is not saying that I don’t hurt in many places for her, but I can see it, if done right. But there are things that I will just not read. Things that just push me right to the edge, and I don’t care who wrote it. I. Will. Not. Read. It.

Most of you probably know that I have a slight obsession with Sherrilyn Kenyon. I am telling you that I had a hard time reading Acheron. I waited so long for that book, and I wanted it so bad that I could just spit. I got it and the size didn’t bother me at all. I was okay with a nice, long book. I started reading it, and there were things in that first half that almost made me want to stop. But I knew that if I could just get through it, I would love it. That first half was so hard to read, but it was necessary for you to really understand Acheron. For those of you have not read it, I will not give away spoilers. Yes, that means you Mia. I know you still have not caught up to the rest of us with Sherri’s books.

There is another author who shall remain nameless, but I love her books. I just can’t read the last one because the heroine was raped in the book. I know that it is not graphic but, to me, I just can’t read it. If it has happened in the past, that is one thing, but I have known people who have been raped, and I know that it took them years to get to the point where they were ready to be in a relationship. Some of them were already in relationships, and it still took them a long time to be ready to deal with their partners. This is not a subject that I want to read about—at all. I know some of you are going to say that everyone deserves happiness and, yes, I believe that as well. But there is no way that someone who has been through something that traumatic will be ready for their happily ever after in the space of one book, unless that book skips ahead and they add a lot of therapy to the book.

Another thing that I can’t handle is when the relationship starts and one of the people is underage. I don’t have a problem, if they are both around the same age. You know, like when one of them is 16 and the other is 21 as long as there is no sex when one is underage. The thing that bothers me is if one of them is 16 and the other is 30. That brings out the Ewwww factor for me.
Really, the only other thing that makes me want to run screaming from a book is if one of the people has all the control. Some will say that a Dom has control of his slave, but I know that is not true so that does not bother me at all. The ones I am talking about is if the man controls the woman/man to a point where they do not have a mind of their own or feel that they can’t be themselves for fear of retribution in either physical or mental abuse. I hate if a character is abused by someone who is supposed to love them. I will toss that book across the room in frustration.

Now, I am not saying that there are no other things that make me gag, but these are the ones that will turn me off a book in a heartbeat. I will tell you that I was scrolling through some free books and saw one where the hero was a pimp. Really, a man who takes advantage of women is not my idea of a hero in any world.  I mean what kind of woman would fall for a man who makes her have sex with other men for money?  I just don’t get it, but that is a topic for another blog.
So my question is what turns you off in a book?

Sinfully Sarcastic,


Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Nightstand

The nightstand beside my bed holds all my most important things. Nope, they don’t all fit in the drawer. One is way too big for that. Have you guessed what it is? It’s my To-Be-Read pile. Right now my tbr is out of control. It has fifteen books. These are actual paperbacks. This is not counting all the books I have on my computer which probably numbers well into the hundreds. I try to be good but these damn authors keep writing amazing books that I just have to read.

I never used to have a TBR pile. I would only read the books I really wanted. I would spend every night reading several books. The weekends would be devoted to more reading. Then I started talking to all these new-to-me authors and their books always sound so good that I have to run and buy them. This is how my pile overtook my nightstand. Don’t get me wrong. I love my books and free books are even better. Some people collect shoes or clothes. I collect books. It is no wonder the eye doctor looks at me strange when I have to go and get my prescription adjusted. He asks me if I read a lot and when I say yes, he asks how much and I tell him nine to fifteen books a week. He always just looks at me like I stepped off an alien spaceship.  

There are a couple more reasons my TBR pile is insane. One is that I am one of those people who likes to go back and visit my old friends in books. I probably read a couple of my favorites a week. To me, it is like calling your bestie just to chat. Sometimes it is fun just to hear an old friend’s story. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have read some of my Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sophie Oak, Sandra Hill, Hannah Howell and Melissa Schroeder books. Let’s just say I am glad that I have some of them on my computer so I don’t  have to keep buy multiple copies of my paperbacks.

Another big reason is, sometimes, I go into a reading funk. Maybe I am the only one who has these kinds of days. I want to read but nothing interests me. These days make me sad. If I find myself in a funk then I don’t even try to read. I know I won’t give the book the attention it deserves. On these days, I try to watch some television or listen to music or even do the dreaded cleaning that my apartment always seems to need. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t.

Now that we have started this blog, I have taken to writing something and hoping it will trigger the need to read. It doesn’t always work either. I have never found a surefire way to fix my book funk, I am sorry to say. I wish I could. So there are days that I don’t even pick up a book or even look at my pile. This is a nightmare to a voracious reader. I don’t know what starts the funk either. I sometimes think it is because I have read books that are similar to other books and that my brain just thinks that they are all starting to blend together. I just normally step back and hope that the funk doesn’t last long.

A reading funk doesn’t stop me from buying more books and that just makes my tbr pile even larger. I recently moved and my nephew freaked out when he saw 35 cases of books that had to be carried downstairs and to the new apartment.  Now I have a walk in closet full of books and my nightstand is dying under the weight of my to be read pile.

So how big is your to be read pile? Is there a reason your pile is out of control or do you keep it down to a certain number?

Sinfully Sarcastic,


Monday, 7 April 2014

The Importance of Friendship.

Thanks, Tina and Righteous Perverts. As always, I’m thrilled to be here.

I wanted to talk about friendship today. For me those special relationships were the very beginning of how I got published in the first place. Also, my friends are a big part of why I remain a working writer to this day

Shayla Black and I go way back. I met Shayla in 1998 between releases of her historical romances One Wicked Night and His Lady Bride. At the time, we both worked for the same telecommunications corporation. We both weren’t satisfied with our jobs, dreaming of a future we could work full-time as writers. In those days I wrote screenplays and stage plays, but the connection of storytelling bonded us.

Almost immediately, we started having lunch weekly to talk about characters, plot ideas, twists, and more. The bond grew and grew. Our weekly lunches have become less frequent due to our constant deadlines, but to this day, we talk on the phone two and three times a week – and still make time for margaritas whenever we can. Like last Friday with Lexi Blake, Isabella LaPearl, and Jenna Jacob.

Speaking of Lexi Blake, Shayla introduced me to Lexi and we became close friends. Have you ever had an experience where you meet someone and instantly feel this cosmic connection, like you’ve known each other your whole life? Well, that was how it was for me when I met Lexi. She gets me, including my BS, which unfortunately is quite substantial at times. She’s been a cheerleader, a mentor, a confidant, and more. I’m a better writer and person because she’s in my life.

When I had my accident in 2012, Lexi and Shayla came to the hospital with their husbands that very day. I’ll never forget it.

When I sunk into a malaise and stopped writing, after some very difficult things occurred in my life, I received hard, but loving kicks to the ass, from Lexi and Shayla. I owe them so much and will never forget all they’ve done for me.

There are other wonderful friends like Chloe Vale, Liz Berry, Tina (RP’s mistress of all things right in the world – LOL!] and my mom – yes, my mom and I are very close. Lucky that way. I don’t talk to them every day, in fact a couple of them I only talk to every couple of months, but all four play important roles in my life and without them I would be lost.

I’m very lucky to have more wonderful friends, who support and encourage me along the way. All are dear to me.

Why talk about friendship? Because that’s what a writer really is, someone who observes the world with the beauty and brokenness and tries to bring it to the page. My friends are beautiful and my brokenness is healed in the light they bring to my life.

A quick update on my Secret Diary series. Misty’s Bondage Diary will be out this month. Yay!!! I’ve been waiting some time for that and can’t wait to hear what you think.

I’m including a sneak peak at Misty’s Bondage Diary cover and an exclusive excerpt just for you.

Dream Big!!!

-          Kris Cook –

It began with Mia’s Spanking Diary, where a young woman’s education in Dominance and submission becomes a lesson in love, and was followed by Lea’s Menage Diary. When Lea agreed to submit to their training, she never dreamed they would demand her love.

And now, Book 3 of the Secret Diary’s series releases in April!

Misty’s Bondage Diary

As they bound her body with their ropes, they also tied up her heart

Misty spent her life clawing her way up the corporate ladder. She sacrificed everything for her career, including any hope of a love life. When her dream job is downsized, she is completely lost.

Trip and Dominick have always shared everything, including women. Working as Doms at The Cell, an exclusive BDSM club, they enjoyed their decadent lifestyle but feared it wouldn’t ever leave room for anything permanent. Until the night that Misty walked into their club and asked them to teach her about bondage.

As their lessons intensify, Misty discovers that Trip and Dominick’s ropes aren’t just binding her body – they are also tying up her heart.

Excerpt from Misty’s Bondage Diary:

© Kris Cook – 2014

8:48 p.m.
I arrived at the party almost two hours late.
I stood in front of the massive home surrounded by every style of luxury car imaginable. They looked like jeweled accents by its three-story walls. My five-year-old BMW 328i looked like a little stepchild next to the shiny new Bentleys, Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, Aston Martins, and Lamborghinis. There were several models I didn’t recognize but clearly weren’t even in the realm of possibility on my salary—correction, former salary.
The reflection from the massive lit marble fountain in the center of the circular drive only added to the fairy-tale effect. Lex knew how to make an impact—that was for certain.
My little red Beemer had been a present to myself. Everyone, including my staff, peers, sister, and cousins, had been shocked at my most recent selection of transportation. It was flashier and sportier than my last car, a four-door previously-owned Honda Accord I’d driven for twelve years. I would’ve driven it longer but the repairs—engine, transmission, air conditioning, and more—would’ve cost more than the car was worth.
I’m not sure why I’d taken the leap away from my sedan norm. Impulse isn’t my usual form. Would I be able to keep her now that I was unemployed? My gut clenched.
“No claim ticket?” I asked the guy in the tuxedo who had taken my key. I’d gone back and forth in my mind about going. Finally, I gave in after fifteen calls and even more texts from both Lea and Mia.
“No need. No man would be able to forget you.” He smiled and his eyes fixed on mine, giving me a shiver. “Have fun. Your car is safe with me, miss.”
“We’ll see,” I said, turning to head up the stairs to the double doors of my sister’s new home. It looked more like a castle than a home in the suburbs of Dallas.
When I walked inside, the castle motif continued. Heavy wooden furniture was scattered around a foyer twice as big as my one-bedroom apartment. An elderly man in a butler’s uniform greeted me. His accent was English.
“Welcome, Miss Weiss. Master Brogan and your sister will be pleased you have come. They are with the other guests in the music room, just past these stairs and to your right.” The man was so formal. “May I escort you there?”
I had the oddest feeling I should curtsy or something, but instead I only said, “No thank you. I can hear the crowd from here. I’ll find it on my own.”
“As you wish, madam.”
The whole place seemed odd for Lex’s taste. I would’ve guessed him to be more on the modern side of things, and this home was anything but. The paintings I passed lining the walls were of landscapes. Some looked like masterpieces from previous centuries, though I didn’t recognize any of them. Classic sculptures, lit beautifully, were in alcoves.
I had no idea the sex club business was so lucrative. My sister lived here now as queen bee. Lucky girl.
As I entered the music room—more like a palatial ballroom—my jaw dropped to the floor. The space vibrated with the large crowd and the music from the four-person rock band playing on the stage opposite where I stood. Have you ever felt alone in a big crowd? That’s how I was feeling, and nervous, too. I was wondering how the hell I was going to find my sister or cousin when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and came face to face with two devastatingly handsome men.
They towered over me, both several inches over six feet tall. The one to my left with the green eyes leaned into my ear and spoke loud enough for me to hear his deep rumble of a voice. “Are you Misty?”
I nodded sheepishly, admiring his thick, dark hair. He had the longest lashes I’d ever seen on a man. He wore jeans and a crisp white oxford shirt with the cuffs rolled up to his forearms. His hands were big and his wrists were thick. He was beautifully male.
The other man to my right, with the dark brown eyes and bulging muscles for days, pointed to his ears, indicating how loud the room was. He motioned for me to follow. The gray T-shirt he wore couldn’t conceal the powerhouse arms and chest he had. Neither could the jeans hide his muscled legs, which were thick as a linebacker’s. He turned and started walking toward a closed door to our left, giving me an unobstructed view of his backside. Michelangelo’s David didn’t have that nice of an ass.
Green eyes smiled as if to say everything was going to be okay. I wasn’t so sure but didn’t have a better idea at the moment. They knew who I was. Perhaps Lex or Mia had sent them to fetch me. I certainly hoped so since my heart was racing just being near them.
We left the hubbub and walked through a door into a side room.
“There you are,” Mia said. She was sitting on a sofa next to our cousin.
“It’s about time, girl.” Lea patted the cushion next to her. Relief washed away my nervousness.
“Hey,” I said.
Mia smiled. “Come sit with us.”
Kane and Reed, Lea’s men, were standing in the corner talking to three other guys.
“This is some party. Where’s Lex?” I asked Mia.
“He’s getting us some drinks. I see you’ve met Trip and Dominick.” The corners of her lips curled up into a mischievous grin. Was she trying to play matchmaker? Which of these two studs did she have in mind for me? God, my sister could really push my buttons. I was in no mood to meet any guys tonight. I only wanted a distraction from my own thoughts about losing my job. I didn’t want a date. But what better way to distract myself? Were these guys attached to Lex’s club in some fashion? Likely. If so, I wasn’t interested. Couldn’t be. Mia and Lea might like the kinky stuff, but not me. I have had a few illicit dreams about the club after hearing stories from them. No. I had to remain focused.
I turned to green eyes. “Are you Trip or Dominick?”
“Trip,” he said, fixing his stare on me, making my blood warm.
“Pleased to meet you,” I said in my most corporate tone and held out my hand.
He took my hand in his and looked at my fingers as if they were made of priceless crystal. After several nervous seconds, his big eyes returned to mine.
My legs weakened and my breath became shallow. I wasn’t about to make a fool of myself, so I steadied my stance and deliberately deepened my inhalation.
“The pleasure is mine, Misty. All mine.”
Trip’s good looks and pick-up lines were impacting my nerves. Hoping to gain some much-needed stability, I pulled my hand free and turned to the other handsome man.
“You are Dominick then?”
“The one and only. Call me Nick.”
“Thank you both for bringing me to my sister.”
“I’m with Trip on this one, Misty. Guiding you here has been a pleasure. If I have any say in this, and believe me I do, I will see you again.”
I lowered my eyes to my fingertips as a fresh bout of anxiety rolled through me. Was he flirting with me? Was Trip, too?
When it comes to the nuances of attraction, and in particular how to communicate through the minefield of desire, I am always lost. Always.
The two delicious-looking studs just stood there staring at me. All eyes suddenly turned my direction. Were Trip and Nick waiting for me to say something? God, what could I say? What should I say? I remained mute for what seemed like several minutes but was likely more a few seconds. I opened my mouth to say something banal and was rescued when Lex walked into the room, distracting everyone away from me.
“Hey, baby.” Lex placed a cocktail on the coffee table in front of Mia before lifting her up in his arms like she was made of air. Mia’s man was quite strong. “This room is sure quiet. What gives?”
Mia leaned her head into his chest. “Your boys are teasing my sister, that’s what.”
Lex turned and glared at Trip and Nick. “This is a munch. Just a munch. Got it?”
Trip’s left eyebrow shot up. “This isn’t my first rodeo, boss.”
“Mine either,” Nick said. “We know the score. Doesn’t mean we can’t get to know this doll better.” He pointed at me, and my cheeks burned like lava.
Trip nodded. “She’s club bound, no doubt about it.”

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt because I loved writing it. Now to the fun part I will be giving away a copy of one of my backlist books to one lucky commenter. Tina will contact you so please leave an email addy for her.

Good Luck and lots of Hugs,

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Dedicated Follower

Wow, that makes me sound like a lemming. If you don’t know what one is, Google will help you out. By being a dedicated follower, I mean I follow authors. Yes, in a stalkerish way. (Yes, Merriam-Webster, I do make up my own words so Nanananana!)

Have you guessed what today’s blog is about? Yes, you are right it is about authors.

Let’s start with how I became a dedicated follower. Luna Wildwood said Stalker sounded bad so she told me that I was a dedicated follower. Therefore, I am going to stick with that. Anyway, I was never really a dedicated follower of anyone till about 20 years ago. I am not sure how my stalk... I mean my following began.

I have always been a voracious reader. I would pick up any book that caught my eye and read it then move on to the next one. I don’t know what author triggered my obsession with collecting, but I found myself just buying books by certain authors. I know I missed a lot of good authors but I can now say I have a complete collection of Connie Mason, Hannah Howell, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sandra Hill and even Tom Clancy. Between these author’s new books, I would still read others, but they never triggered the need to buy their entire back lists.

Then it happened, and I know I have told this story so if you have heard it, suck it up.
One of my favorite people in the world, Bonnie Hoffmaster, sent me Decadent by Shayla Black for my birthday. I became hooked on Shayla’s writing and started collecting her backlist. This also introduced me to erotic romance.  I then joined Kris Cook’s chats where I actually was able to talk to the authors. This drew me in like a bear to honey. I first bought all of Kris’s books, which at the time was Three to Play and Perfection. This was one of the easiest collections to gather. I then started on Melissa Schroeder. Wow, that woman can write fast. As I was getting my collection of Melissa, I started buying several authors who regularly attended chat. My bookshelves started to get out of control. I would buy them all in print when I could find them. If they were just in ebook form then I would buy them and buy the print book later when it became available. My book shelves started to groan. I always tried to buy at least one book by every author that came to chat. Not all of them triggered my buying obsession but a few did.

I think one of the reasons that I started collecting author’s work is because of Facebook. When authors connect with you, it makes you want to support them. Other times, it makes you want to run screaming. But that is another tale to be told later. Anyway, I don’t just collect the books of author’s I talk to but it does help if they are personable and genuine in their comments and interaction.

Back to the original subject. Damn my blog ADD.

I have a huge collection of books now on my shelves and my bank account hisses at me when I go to a book seller site, but I have lots of pretties to pet and more importantly read.

Do you collect author’s work or are you a  “if it catches my eye” kind of reader? Whose books do you collect? Is there a reason you collect certain authors?

Sinfully Sarcastic,