Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Author Interview...Sloane Taylor

Happy Hump Day!!! I am so very excited because one of my very favorite authors. Sloane Taylor is here rockin' the Imaginarium. I love her stories. Can't get enough of them. They are spicy, funny, sexy and she has one of the most unique story-telling voices out there. She's here to celebrate the release of her newest and hottest, Sultry in Sweden, from Amber Heat and to answer some probing questions from yours truly.

Hi, Melissa, Thanks for inviting me to the Imaginarium. I’m really excited to be here. You’ve created a beautiful, fun site.

What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
A huge 2x4 wielded by my three amazing critique partners.:) Seriously, I’d committed to the Melt the Ice series for Amber Quill Press – Amber Heat. After Finnish Fantasies, book one, was written, I froze. With my CPs help and guidance, Sultry In Sweden became a published reality.

What do you love most about being a writer?
This is a good question and one I’ve never been asked. It’s probably the solitude and privilege to indulge in whatever romantic experience I want any where in the world. Pretty heady stuff when you think about it.

What genre haven’t you tried, yet, that you would love to explore?
Murder and suspense have always intrigued me. A little known fact is that I’m a closet Criminal Minds fan along with reading all the hot authors in that genre. My goal is to write a terrific novel that will have James Patterson give me a high five . LOL

Music or silence when you write?
Absolute silence. There are a few times a month Studs comes home early from work. He heads straight to his computer and whistles while he surfs. I just want to bang my head on my desktop because the mood’s shot and my concentration’s killed. He’s really lucky I love him.:)

Favorite naughty dessert and decadent drink.
Hmm, I’m not much of a dessert eater, but I do love a good drink before dinner. A glass of Stoli’s on ice with one olive is my sure winner. Once in a while, after a special dinner, I do enjoy gelato. The best is one scoop of pistachio sitting next to a perfect ball of chocolate.

This has been fun and I thank you again, Melissa.

You can find out more about Sloane by visiting her website here

Sultry in Sweden

Battered hockey player Colt Coltrane arrives in Sweden with one thing on his mind – victory. A bad spill later he’s at the tender mercies of the hottest masseuse he’s ever seen. All his good intentions go straight to hell when he strips for the Swedish iceberg.

Disa Ellstrom has had it with sports figures who always expect more from her than a massage. She can’t believe her friend Carl sent the American goalie to her. Unable to ignore the man’s pain, Disa takes him on and finds her heart melting faster than a spring thaw.

Combine a hot-blooded American and a Swedish spitfire and they’re sure to set Stockholm on fire.

Colt stampeded down the stairs, cursing with each jolt to his spine. He shoved open the door and skidded across the slick marble floor, then sidestepped the glass table and scanned the crowd beyond the mammoth bouquet plunked in the center. He spotted Disa across the lobby, headed for the sidewalk.

“Disa!” he hollered not caring about the people who turned and frowned, especially a silver-haired woman who sniffed and curled her lip. “Hey, Disa, wait.”

Some big guy, all handsy feely, wedged himself next to her and pushed them through the revolving door.

Oh, shit.
He stopped short, royally screwed. She had to be horrible mad at him to pick up another guy in a matter of minutes. Insane thoughts and images raced through his brain, colliding with logic. He knew in his heart she wasn’t the type to troll or react out of spite. Didn’t matter, he was determined to correct this fucked up night of lost opportunity.

Colt slammed his palm against the glass side door and shoved his way into a hellacious rainstorm. Rain splattered across his face, but he managed to see Disa and Romeo duck into a dark entryway a few stores down the street. He charged after them and sloshed to a stop.

“What gives? I thought we were on for tonight. Why are you with him?” Colt jerked a thumb toward the face hidden in shadows. “Disa, if it’s about what happened upstairs, I’m really sorry. I had no clue Jake had it planned. It’s not my scene. I swear.”

He reached for her.

Stefan stepped forward, catching Disa up in his arms, and Colt’s heart turned to stone.

What the shit is she doing with that prick?

“Get away from my wife.”

“You’re married?” His clenched gut rolled over itself.

Check these out

Two of my fave authors, Sloane Taylor and Rick Reed have new books out.

Sloane continues her spectacularly hot Melt the Ice series for Amber Heat with her spicy new tale, Sultry in Sweden. When an injury lands American hockey player Colt Coltrane in the office of masseuse Disa Ellstrom, the sparks fly. Read with a huge glass of ice water in front of the air conditioner. For more information, go here. Sloane will be in the house tomorrow with an excerpt, so be sure to stop back and get to know her as she answers my provocative questions.

Rick Reed leaves us laughing, crying and wanting more, more, more with his sizzling new paperback collection, On the Edge, from Amber Allure. This anthology features some of his most unique work to date. For more information go here. Rick's also giving away a free signed copy at his blog, Rick R. Reed, Reality. For a chance to win, go to Rick R. Reed Reality

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lost and Found by M S Spencer...A Review

Released June 10, 2010 by Red Rose Publishing

Contemporary Romance/Action/Adventure, M/F

Heat Index: 3 Flames; Red Rose line: Autumn Rose

69,000 words; eBook; ISBN 978-1-60435-707-3

Rose Culloden has come to Maine in search of the husband who left her without explanation. As she surreptitiously looks for answers, she finds herself continually drawn to James Stewart, a local guide. They embark on an unexpected,passionate affair that leaves Rose torn between loyalty to marriage vows and a chance at real happiness. As her search continues, Rose finds herself questioning everything about her life and facing some awful truths she's never acknowledged. It isn't until she's hit with the true depths of David's deceptions that she finally realizes what real love is all about, only it might just be too late.

This is a wonderful tale of one woman's difficult journey to free herself from the expectations she'd had for herself and the kind of life she'd always imagined she should have. Rose is a frustrating, endearing, visceral character that readers will easily identify with. There were times I found myself wanting to hug her, slap her, cheer her and yell at her. Ms. Spencer has created a deep, intelligent protagonist that is engaging and provocative. Her quest to be free from not only her marriage, but her the weight of her own flawed expectations is something everyone can identify with at some point in their lives.

The characterizations in this tale were absolutely unforgettable. James is a strong, upright man whose own flaws provided the perfect counterpoint to Rose. The supporting cast was amazing. Each one of these characters leaped from the pages, everything from their dialogue to their descriptions was original and off-beat.

Ms. Spencer has a dynamic way of setting the scenes. Her descriptions of places are vivid and arresting. In my mind's eye, I was right there, feeling the bite of the wind, the cold of the rain. I could actually taste and smell the lobster and the various dishes. Ms. Spencer has an obvious love of food that translates to her fiction. I wanted to eat everything she described. There were times all that detail seemed extraneous, though, with too much information packed in.

The passion and conflict between Rose and James was believable, if a bit rushed. I felt like I wanted them to have more time together and some of their scenes ended too abruptly for my taste. Overall, though,their romance was beautiful, the lovemaking touching and sweet.

I enjoyed this story very much. Ms. Spencer has a real gift for crafting honest, engaging tales that will stay with the reader long after the last page has turned.

You can purchase Lost and Found here

To find out more about M S Spencer and her delightful stories, please visit her
at http://www.meredithellsworth.com/

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why can't the heroine just wear a skirt?

Good description is the hallmark of a great story. It sets the scene, helps us to picture what is going on in our mind’s eye; it gives us a sense of when the story is taking place. I love reading a well-written paragraph that describes where a character lives or what the heroine is wearing. A good author can really make the tale come to life using the five sense and vivid details. Many times brand names are used, especially in contemporary pieces, to reinforce the description. Unfortunately, this enhancement is often over-used. Using brand names is a big writing peeve of mine.

I don’t mind reading a story that has some brand name products or well-known celeb names, song titles, movie titles, etc. In fact, if I am familiar with these names, it often cements the characters and story for me. What I don’t like is when the author feels it necessary to name-drop in every other sentence. If the character has a particular fondness for designer clothes, an author can get away with a Prada skirt, Chanel blouse and Jimmy Choo pumps on the top of page ten then a Versace gown three paragraphs later.

However, what becomes annoying and in my opinion, lazy writing, is the constant brand name-dropping in lieu of description. I’m talking about a story where the main protagonist pops in the Metallica Black album as he fires up his Ferrari Testarossa. He arrives at Spago where he meets his date, a woman wearing a skimpy Marc Jacobs number and carrying a Kate Spade clutch. He takes her home where they make love on his Ralph Lauren sheets then sip Cristal as they enjoy the afterglow. Wow, really? He can’t throw on some heavy metal music as he fire up his expensive sports car and races off to an Italian restaurant to meet his date who’s clad in a scanty designer dress. If I don’t know what Marc Jacobs’ dresses look like, then I’m going to feel compelled to leave the story to go look him up on the Internet.

Now you might be thinking, “But Melissa, this is a story about a really wealthy guy and they have designer everything.” Okay, then how about this: Our vampire hero throws on his Aerostitch jacket, climbs on his Ducati Monster 796 and races to rescue his vivacious heroine clad in nothing but a silk Victoria’s Secret lingerie set. He’s a vampire for crying out loud. Immortality should put him above being concerned about who he wears and drives.Why can’t the guy simply ride a powerful bike while wearing a fitted red motorcycle jacket? Or how about he just jumps on his bike and races to his lady’s side?

Some of these authors are so over-the-top with name-dropping, that it’s like they don’t trust the reader to even have an imagination. “You will not be able to picture my story exactly as I have written it therefore I am giving you instructions on what you should be seeing.” Yes, we have to be told Levi’s because we can’t picture jeans.

Perhaps these authors are getting corporate sponsorship for product placement. “Pay me $10,000 Armani, and my hero will wear your suits.” Or “Attention Steve Jobs, for a free iPad, my heroine will write her news articles on a MacBook Pro.”

A little goes along way with brand names. It’s okay for characters to listen to country music, they don’t always have to be listening to the latest Rascal Flatts song. What do you think? Do some authors get carried away with brand names in their stories?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Author Laura Tolomei

Yay!! It's Thursday and I am just over the moon. Author Laura Tolomei is here today, rockin' the Imaginarium. This amazing author was born in Rome, Italy and grew up in Nigeria, the US and India. She returned to Rome to complete her studies and started a working career. In 2008 she published her first short story in eXtasy’s Anthology Atlantis Allure and has been writing and publishing since then in both Italian and English. Still a fairly new author, she has already published three full length novels and several short stories at eXtasy, with more yet to come as you can see on her website www.lallagatta.com.

What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
Actually, my latest novel, The Festival, is Book 3 of a serial, the Virtus Saga, which is an ambitious project comprised of several more planned releases, so inspiration was not a one-time affair, rather grew out of the plot itself or mostly, from the characters themselves as their story unfolded. So there wasn’t a real inspiration behind any of this, rather the characters played inside my head for quite some time before I set them down on paper. Mostly, I kept seeing this handsome dark prince with long hair flying wild as he rode on his black horse, utterly lost in a land he should’ve known but oddly didn’t—a storm about to hit him just to make the situation more tragic—until he sees candlelight shimmering in a window. When he gets to it, he realizes he’s not lost at all, in fact he’s very close to home, but with the storm’s fast approach, he decides to stop there for the night if they’ll offer him hospitality. But the woman standing on the thresholds feels awfully familiar, though he hasn’t the slightest idea who she is or why she should feel like someone he’s intimate with. Thus begins Virtus and from there on, readers will get more surprises than they’ve bargained for LOL

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since high school when the school’s journal published my short story “Nostalgia” back in 1983. But I didn’t know I actually wanted to be a writer until much later because I wrote stuff on and off, life taking me in some pretty unexpected directions. Yet, at the dawn of the new century, well almost, did I decide to get seriously involved with it and my first published work with eXtasy Books, Trespassing All Hallows Eve, was released at the end of 2008.

What do you love most about being a writer?
The unique opportunity to create my own stories and characters. After years of reading about other people’s tales, I was getting tired of having to submit to their decisions about how the plot would twist and turn or how the characters would behave. Being a writer allows me the greatest freedom for I can move things in the direction I see as best and no one can object!

What genre haven’t you tried, yet, that you would love to explore?
A genre I’m afraid to try seriously is science fiction. So far, I’ve just dabbled with it because I think it requires greater scientific and technical knowledge than I possess.

If we looked on your bookshelf right now, what are some of the titles we would find?
You’d find lots of different titles, mostly of different genres like history, political science and fiction, lots of fiction, all of which I still have to read. Yeah, like all book lovers, I’m a compulsive buyer, but sadly I have little time to devote to it, so they often remain in my bookshelf unread for ages.

Music or silence when you write?
Music definitely eggs me on! I love it, live it, hear it, feel it every day and I couldn’t work without it. It helps me concentrate and focus my mind like nothing else, but it’s such a part of my life I can’t see it as a “writing technique”. Still, it keeps my imagination going! So whether it’s jazz, rock, pop, funk, country, fusion, instrumental, electronic, house, lounge, easy listening, new age, Brazilian, techno, ethnic, dance, rap, rave, anything goes for me except for heavy metal, hard rock, folk and bluegrass, but for a complete listing of my favorite artists, check out MySpace page

If you could take one of your characters out on the town, who would it be and what would you do?
It would be Leon Sterling, the main character from my recently released Tasting Leon’s Mark. For one thing, he’s loaded with money, so he’d make the night very interesting simply because he can afford the best and most exclusive places. Then we share, and not by any chance LOL, a musical taste for he’s into much the same genres I am and like me, loves to listen and drive. Oh, of course, I’d take his Maserati out on the town, too! How else would it be fun? But mostly, he’s probably the most passionate of lovers I’ve created so far and to be honest, I couldn’t wait to try him first-hand!

Favorite naughty dessert and decadent drink.
I’m not much into desserts, prefer the saltier stuff better. If I had to name one, it’d be cheesecake with strawberries, the fresh ones not the topping, which is too sweet for me. As for drinks, well, that’s a whole different thing! What I mostly love to drink is wine, white or red according to the season and to what I’m eating, or even as an aperitif, Prosecco is excellent with peanuts and chips, while after dinner, I like long drinks such as Negroni, Cuba Libre or Vodka Lemon.

Be sure to pick your copy of The Festival: Virtus Saga Book 3 here.

To get to know even more about Laura and her fantastic work, you can visit her here at lallagatta.com

Author C.R. Moss

Happy Hump Day! I'm dancing on the ceiling because I have author C.R. Moss here with me today. She is simply fantastic, a self-proclaimed eccentric and eclectic writer, who pens stories for both the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers Worlds of Possibilities.

What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
My latest story, Look What the Cat Dragged In for Julie, is book two in a series titled Look What the Cat Dragged In. The inspiration behind it ~ The Look What the Cat Dragged In series was supposed to be one story following secondary character, Philip, from my novel Concealed Affairs, but my characters had different ideas. So the one story morphed into three and Philip will be Cassandra’s love interest in the third book. The original story idea came to me in the 90’s. If I remember correctly, there was an old house in my neighborhood and I said to myself “I wonder if it’s haunted” and the ideas took off from there.

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Geez, I’ve been working toward a career in writing for as long as I can remember. I had been creating stories since I started to read, but the thought of writing for a living solidified when I was in middle school and received an A in English. I looked at the grade and that’s when my life was defined. I realized I could do it. From that point on, I put pen to paper to get my thoughts down and made sure to take classes appropriate to learning and honing the craft. I did Creative Writing and Drama in high school. My BA from Rutgers stemmed from a concentration of courses in Communications and English. I’ve even taken a couple of novel writing workshops where I was mentored one-on-one by a Kensington author. Now there are the classes at the conventions, conferences and through the local RWA chapter that I attend, which helps to keep me writing.

What do you love most about being a writer?
Coming up with new ideas and having people say they enjoy my stories.

What genre haven’t you tried, yet, that you would love to explore?
This might shock some people but I’ve thought about writing Inspirational.

If we looked on your bookshelf right now, what are some of the titles we would find?
It’d be easier to say authors since I have a lot of books… Some of them include: Clive Barker, Jude Deveraux, Christine Feehan, Frank Herbert, Stephen King, Fern Michaels, Anne Rice

Music or silence when you write?
I listen to music that puts my mind into a specific frame of reference for the type of story I’m writing. The genres of music I’ve been known to listen to are spa, alternative, new wave, country, Flamenco, etc.

If you could take one of your characters out on the town, who would it be and what would you do?
I’d take Ash, from my Dirty Little series, out on the town. Yeah, he’s a naughty demon but he’s also a very handsome, charming man…suave…We’d go out to dinner, have some drinks, dance, maybe catch a show and/or do some gambling, then go back to his room… ;)

Favorite naughty dessert and decadent drink.
Chocolate mousse pie & Baileys and Coffee

Buy link for Look What the Cat Dragged In for Julie

You can visit C.R. here at her website http://www.crmoss.net/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why am I watching this?

It sneaks up on you like a shark under the water, the godawful movie or TV show that you can't look away from. There you are clicking through the channels when you can't sleep or just feel like vegging and it attacks, sucking away your will to change the channel or even shut off the TV until you know what happens.

I was ambushed tonight. I'd done quite a bit of writing, turned off my computer and thought I'd catch a bit of screen time before going to bed. And there it was, waiting for me. Before I could even hit NEXT on the remote, I was couch-potato napped by Raptor Island, a lovely gem of a film starring Lorenzo Lamas. For two hours, I watched this story unfold with all the horrified curiosity of a gaper at a car wreck. Powerless to change the channel, I became addicted with each passing moment. No matter how ridiculous the action, I had to know what happened.

This evil phenomenon happens a lot with reality television shows. These are like the drug cartels of cable and dish networks. I don't want to know about the spoiled brats on "You're Cut Off" or whether or not Kim Kardashian will make up her mind about a handbag. Dear God, I can't even believe I know how to spell the name Kardashian.

What is it about these bad films and bad television shows that suck out our will to think and move? Is there some sort of psychedelic drug embedded in the signal so that they can score ratings with a captive audience? I wish I knew because once the whole thing is over, I'm left with the urge to bleach my brain.

Any of you out there been held prisoner in your own bedroom or living room because of this? What shows or movies did you have to suffer through?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bet You Didn't Know...

Every once in a while, I like to throw out some random things that most people don't know about me. These aren't things you'll find on a bio or even in an interview somewhere. It's simply me letting my freak flag fly. And today's random things are...

1. Thanks to my friend Antonio, my new fave drink is a green tea frappuccino.
2. I love football with an unreasoning passion.
3. I hold out the hope that one day I will be able to get myself organized.
4. I think intelligence is HOT
5. Favorite indulgence is chocolate
6. My dream vacation is to Paris
7. I love to make bracelets
8. I collect rocks, crystals and Buddhas
9. I'm Type 2 diabetic which curbs my chocolate indulgence severely
10. I hate having my picture taken, but I'm working on this

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you all for coming out to the Imaginarium. The response to my first ever post has been overwhelming. I hope you all will make return visits as I explore whatever comes to mind. I have some cool stuff in store like guest authors, reviews, discussions, etc.

To everyone out there in Canada and the USA, have a safe and wonderful holiday.