None right now.
(all international & blog specific unless told otherwise, aka "U.S" only or "TW" aka Tour Wide)

Monday, September 30, 2013


"Bridget Ross is a woman with a shameful secret. Despite a life full of success and close friends she denies herself her true desires in penance for the crimes she can't take back. 

Connor Reynolds is a man without a purpose. His own tragic past prevents him from putting down roots and pursuing his dreams. 

Their paths collide forcing them to face the ultimate question … is their love worth confronting their deepest fears and insecurities?"

Five Things Every
Erotic Romance Needs
by Elene Sallinger

I think we all have specific things that we look for in the books we read and they aren't necessarily the same from person to person. My list is simple, only five things, but without these things I won't be satisfied with a book and I likely won't seek out anything else by that author.

1. A heroine that doesn't make you want to poke your own eyes out. 
I love romance novels. I've been reading them since I was 10 or 11 years old. I started out with Barbara Cartland and have progressed to erotica. One thing unites all the novels I read – a good heroine. Nothing makes me put down a book faster than a woman who wines, feels sorry for herself, refuses to solve her own problems or routinely makes bad decisions. This isn't to say I want a stereotype “strong” woman. I'm very open, in fact I enjoy flawed characters, they are much more believable. One of the things I enjoy about the Harper Connolly series by Charlaine Harris is that Harper doesn't always do what I expect and sometimes I disagree with her. But, there comes a point where a character goes too far. She crosses that line into inane or weak and meek and I just can't stomach that. I need a relatable woman that I can champion.

Bad characters drive me crazy. I've been known to scream at books the same way I scream at the TV when I'm not happy with what a character is doing. The more a character makes me want to put out my own eyes, the less likely I am to finish that book.

2. A hero that makes your heart race even as he melts it.
I'm a huge fan of what I call the warrior poet. A man who can kick ass and take names right before he utters the words that melt your heart and make you weep. I need the heroes of the books I read to have an edge of unpredictability and just a hint of danger. They don't need to be bad boys, but I need to know that they can be relied on in a tight spot. I want my heart to race as I question will they? Won't they? How could they? Then, I want my heart to melt when they do something so sweet and tender that you can't help but get damp-eyed.

I've had this happen in real-life and it's an aphrodisiac unlike any other. My freshman year of college, I was stalked by an ex-boyfriend around the same time I met my daughter's father and longtime partner. He faced down the man following me. It was a tense situation and I was scared to death. Later that night, I took him home with me and saw him with my new kitten, Rex. He let Rex crawl all over him, laughed at his antics and slept with that kitten curled up next to him. I was hooked immediately. My badass boyfriend was a sucker for kittens. I knew then that I wasn't going anywhere.

It's the same way with the books I read. I need complicated men with big hearts.

3. A compelling conflict.
Personally, I need more than “he had his heart broken before.” That's just not enough for me. We've all had a broken heart, that just isn't enough reason to resist love, so I find those stories boring. I want to bleed right along with the characters. This may sound harsh, but I'll read a story about a couple working past her rape, or his past abuse, faster than I'll read about a woman having to overcome her ex cheating on her. It's a rare “broken heart” storyline that grabs my attention.

4. Great, believable sex.
Nothing throws me out of a story faster than ridiculous, unbelievable sex. As both a writer and a reader, I want smoking hot, relatable sex that leaves me breathless and anticipating more. Bad sex, like bad characters, will ensure I don't finish a book. Recently, I was reading a paranormal romance about a vampire couple. Everything was going well. The storyline was compelling. I genuinely liked the couple and the settings were rich and exotic. Then, they had sex on the ceiling. Now, I get vampiric abilities and all that, but sex on the ceiling was just too much for me. Levitation! During sex! I put that book down and didn't finish it.

Even worse are the clinical sex scenes that read like medical recitations. Yes, our genitalia are correctly called “penis” and “vagina” but those aren't words I want to see when I'm supposed to be getting hot and bothered because my couple are finally about to do the deed. You might as well talk about mammary glands and areolas rather than breasts and nipples. Clinical sex is a major turn off and quick way to make me never read another story by that author.

5. A satisfying ending.
The end of the book is probably the most important part. It's the last impression you have of the story. A bad ending will send a reader running the other way faster than you can say “boo!” Now, I don't personally need a happy ever after or even a happy for now ending, but I do need the ending to make sense within the framework of the story I've just invested my time and energy into reading.

As an example, my favorite book of all time, Dragondoom by Dennis L. McKiernan, has a very sad ending, yet it is extremely satisfying within the context of the story. In the story, Elin and Thork, embark on a quest and through the adversity they share, they fall in love. The couple doesn't have a happy ending. I cry every time I read that book. But, there was no other way I can see that story ending. It just wouldn't have made sense. Despite the sad ending, this is my favorite novel and one I highly recommend.


Thank you for having me!

Elene Sallinger is Giving away two free eBooks to random commenters during the tour! 
August 5th - September 30th!
Comment here about the Guest Blog above to take part!

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

Sunday, September 29, 2013


The Pros and Cons of Being Casanova
by Oliver Pearl

        There are no cons in being a Casanova.

        To be one is to see women in a special light, treat them with exceptional poetry albeit composed exclusively to deprive them of their volition. Not many men are fit for such undertaking. Those who are, are gifted troubadours women submit to in search of romance and remember for the rest of their otherwise prosaic lives. 

        Casanovas are witty, charming, at times coy but always warm and never boring. Like Batman, Casanova roams the night but saves the day.

"Then like a home-ridden werewolf, I would call in my preys. They were usually women slightly closer to my age. We smoked pot and drank vodka with cranberry juice. Sex was full of a kind of garish physicality I did not allow myself with Misha, who inspired only tenderness, only tenderness. With a few very unhappy exceptions, they were all single women because of my newly developed respect for my fellow man, and also because of the level of stress he lived under in this country that made it easy to overreact and start shooting over such a simple matter as catching a wife in bed with another. Some of my midnight guests fell in love with me despite and because of the dictatorial aggression I displayed toward them, and which, I heard, was stirring up a small circle of publicity, popularity and occasionally fear. I was living the polygamous life of a man who was happily in love. Guilt keeps love alive. Monogamy is possible when you have somebody on the side. If there are exemplary couples out there, look for unknown heroes under their beds – they are vents for frustration and boredom the very word “marriage” makes your face exude when you say it. If the spouse is unhappy – worry, if she is happy – worry even more."

ABOUT The Last Gentle Dentist by Oliver Pearl

Based on actual events, spanning continents from San Francisco to Paris, from Amsterdam to Odessa, from New York to Siberia, The Last Gentle Dentist is a novel about a modern age Casanova, a romantic-vigilante, who is fond of pain medications and elective plastic surgery, whose life is a tumultuous river running with the speed of a putrid pond, which makes an unexpected turn when he goes on the run from the law due to charges of medical fraud. He wanders the streets of Europe looking for ways to stay. This search throws him into bony arms and narrow beds of people he meets, fugitives in their own right, only to bring to a new light his own immaturity and unscrupulousness he only yesterday called boyishness and charm. He revisits his recent past, ornate with Vicodin fountains and Ecstasy-laced threesome fender-benders, while adding more crumpled and soon blood-stained pages to his love affair with Life.

Oliver is giving away prizes, including an e-copy of his book at each blog stop on his tour AND two Grand Prize Giveaways of a $50 Amazon gift card OR a signed hardback copy of his book.

1) To win an eBook : Leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win a book. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends five days after the post goes live.

2) To win the $50 Amazon gift card, OR a signed copy of The Last Gentle Dentist enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. Winners will be randomly selected on September 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oliver Pearl
Age : Early Forties
Place Of Birth : At Sea
Physical Description : Reclusive, yet to be seen
Residence : South of France


Thursday, September 26, 2013


Niina : Welcome to For The Love of Reading, Mr. Quibner , I’m glad you could make it!

Milton Quibner : Thank you, Niina, I have soooo been looking forward to this!

Niina : Awesome! Let’s get started! Can you tell my readers here 4 fun unknown facts about you so we can break the ice?

Milton Quibner : Well, I'm still madly in love with my wife of 25 years; I'm a crazy San Francisco Giants fan; my wife has total freedom to do whatever she wants; and I have a beach-front home in Brasil that I am dying to go spend some time at.

Niina : Brazil... sweet! Tell us little about your book "HOW HIGH SHOULD I JUMP", what’s it about?

Milt : JUMP is a fun but intense sexual satire where I mock and belittle selfish, boring guys who are not willing to support and free their women; it's filled with classical references, wild erotic scenes and absurd products but, underneath the zaniness, I am directing men to become less selfish and more devoted to women while deflating jealousy and egotism.

Niina : And how could we not love that! :D So how do you write, chapter here and there - or follow from beginning to the end?

Milt : I start with an outline, a frame, which generally is the most actual work, and I then go about creating each chapter, which then gets revised ad infinitum. The real work is setting up the outline; I need a general heading I'm aiming at, then I allow the magic of the writing moment to occur. That means I prepare each day before I write; I study some of the Classics, take a look at my notes, maybe read something from some modern writer, look over the Internet for an hour or so, then I dive in.

Niina : What inspired you to write this book?

Milt : My own personal struggles with sexual betrayal when I was young led me to realize there were no good books, especially funny ones, on the subject of dealing with being betrayed, and thus, I set out to create one. I chose satire rather than to be all serious and finger-pointing, because I think we actually learn more when we laugh at ourselves than we do when we're made to feel bad.

Niina : What’s the best compliment you've received on your writing? And who complimented you?

Milt : “I hated this book until I actually read it, now it's a favorite.” Joyce Breen said this earlier this year, a radical feminist who wanted to kill me...until she actually read it. I love it!

Niina : What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Milt : My combination of intellectual firepower with informality. I like to be smart but not a jerk about it. Everybody has their problems and I respect that, so I give real knowledge you can actually use without attaching a lot of bluster and arrogance to it.

Niina : How did your cover come about, or what’s your opinion of it?

Milt : I love my book's cover and it was a result of my publisher, Seaburn Books in NYC, really understanding the essence of the book; I told them the essence of what I wanted, and they showed me the first proof and bam! I loved it!

Niina : Now to more personal questions! Can you share with us 4 of the physically closest books to you?

Milt : 'The Apology/last days of Socrates'; Plutarch's Lives; The Mistress Manual; Jarry's Ubu Roi

Niina : What is your signature dish?

Milt : Organic brown rice, black beans, garlic roasted chicken and tossed salad, with lemon water.

Niina : Which Disney Princess would you pick if you had to choose?

Milt : Cinderella. I'd find a way to cheat the midnight hour for sure!

Niina : What’s the number one thing you like to do when you are not writing?

Milt : Kiss and adore my wife. Seriously, we are becoming closer every day, and I can't keep my hands off of her, and don't want to!

Niina : Awww... :) How many jobs did you have before you became a writer? What was your first job?

Milt : Many many jobs, in and out of writing. Restaurant work, house painter, farm worker, logger, gold miner, audio/video engineer, radio host, editor. I worked sometimes three jobs while I studied at the College of Pataphysics in Sebastapol, CA, a very demanding regimen that took my all to get through, but I emerged finally and have since almost exclusively worked in the the arts and literature.

Niina : Before we finish, here are some…

Quick Fire Questions!

Trees or Shops? Trees
Football or Nascar? Football
Boots or Sexy heels? Sexy heels
Shots or Wine? shots
Movie: Popcorn or Hard candy? popcorn
Date: Going on a picnic or Going to a winery? Picnic
Scarier: Ghosts or Demons? Ghosts
Women: Power Suits or Sexy Nerds? Power suits
Women: Bad girl or Girl Next Door? Bad girl
Dresses or pant suits? dresses
Women in the bedroom: Dominating or Gentle? dominating AND gentle...
Sexier: Woman who can sing or woman who can cook? woman who can cook
Romance: Knights or Kings? Kings
Romance: Fallen Angels or Sexy Demons? fallen angels
Romance: Doctors or Cowboys? Cowboys
Romance: Shifters or Vampires? Shifters
Sexier: Kisses or Licks? Kisses
Sexier : Flimsy lingerie or Trench-coat only? Flimsy lingerie
Romance or Erotic Romance? Erotic romance, baby...

Niina : Thanks for visiting the For The Love of Reading, Milt! Any news would you like to share with your readers, or websites they can check out?

Milt : Yes, please head over to my website,, where you can look over and even order my book, take a look at my weekly blog or listen in to my radio show, airing weeknights at 8 pm Pacific, . I love getting reader questions and comments, so email me at on any subject related to relationships.

In October, I will be joined by my wife, Mia, a Life Wizard, for a new half hour podcast, 'Get Over Yourself!' The Milt and Mia Show, so get connected at my website or through Facebook and/or Twitter and as soon as we have the details worked out, we'll let you know. Mia will astound you with her clarity, and for my part, I just try to keep up with her, she's a genius!

I am just beginning work on my second book, How Low Should I Go: The Satirical Guide to How NOT to Live Your Life, and I've just put the finishing touches on a Reality Show, A Real Man for My Wife! Which I am anxious to see made into a series soon. In truth, Life couldn't be better for me!

And Niina, thanks for a great interview!

Niina : I glad to have you here too Milt! And good luck with all those great things to come in the future! :D

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Niina : Welcome to For The Love of Reading, Ms. Leon, welcome back!

Katalina Leon : Thank you Niina, I love being part of For The Love of Reading.

Niina : And I love to have you around! Let’s get started! Can you tell my readers here 4 fun unknown facts about you so we can break the ice?

Katalina Leon : I’m going to willfully feed your readers some facts about me that helped inspire “Fairy In The Flesh”.
First: I’m a painter. I have murals, paintings in hundreds of homes and private collections.
Second. I’m married to a very talented artist illustrator whose first job out of college was with Disney in the matte painting and special effects department.
Third: I’m obsessed with time travel. My imagination can slide along the historic timeline pretty easily.
Fourth: Years ago I taught middle school level art and art history and I loved introducing the students to broader prospective of how art can shape a culture and even reveal hints about where that culture is headed.

Niina : So tell us little about your newest book Fairy In The Flesh - what’s it about? ( Oh and readers, don't miss the First Chapter at the end of this post! :D )

Katalina : My latest book is a very romantic time-travel fantasy that takes place in Avignon France in the present and in 1903. “Fairy In The Flesh” asks the question—what if your soul mate was born a century before you?

Niina : What chapter did you most enjoyed writing and why?

Katalina : Is it awful to say I loved writing every chapter. “Fairy In The Flesh” is a very personal book because this is basically me exposing my favorite “What if?” fantasy to the world. I do love chapter two where Maya gets tossed back to 1903 and finds herself naked in André’s bed. That first meeting where Mays’s fantasies materialize and she’s confronted with the real flesh and blood man was a joy to write.

Niina : Oh... sounds so good... I can't say that ain't fantasy of mine too. ;) LOL! What character did you most enjoyed writing and why?

Katalina : I love writing my heroine and heroes equally. The women are often easier to write, but I absolutely love writing the male POV as well. Having said that there’s a secondary character named “Miss Ruby” who’s a type of enchantress who calls herself a “Time-twister”. Miss Ruby is eccentric, unpredictable and she really surprised me when her character spoke up inside my head and told me what sort of mischief she wanted to commit.

Niina : I love a male POV especially when it's a love scene! :D Now to more personal questions! Who is your current alpha hero crush?

Katalina : My own alpha hero or someone else’s? I’m always crushing on James Bond 007 or Tarzan that’s an ongoing condition. Of my own heroes I’m still very sweet on André Bosco from Fairy In The Flesh. He’s passionate, generous and so loving.

Niina : What is your signature dish?

Katalina : I love to cook. We work out of the house and eat most meals homemade. Several weeks ago I went to my friend’s house for dinner. She served delicious Greek food. One easy thing that everyone loved was whole-grain pita-pockets cut into wedges, brushed with olive oil and minced garlic and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese. Toast them on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, but don’t overcook and they’ll come out warm and little chewy. The kids grabbed them all and adults had to go begging.

Niina : Sounds so yummy! I'd grab some. :D Now, which Disney Prince would you pick if you had to choose?

Katalina : I like dark hair and a more down to earth man so I’d have to chose Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid.

Niina : If your book were made into a movie who would you cast as the leads?

Katalina : Maya Rousseau is a redhead so Christina Hendricks or Amy Adams came to mind. André would have to be some intense dark haired, green-eyed foreign actor we've never heard of yet, but could instantly fall in love with.

Niina : Before we finish, here are some...

Quick Fire Questions!

Trees or Shops? Trees. I love to walk and I have a park in my backyard. Besides I like shopping on-line.
Football or Nascar? Neither. Formula One all the way.

Niina : Go Kimi, aka Iceman! ;D

Boots or Sexy heels? Boots, boots and more boots! I love everything from hiking boots to thigh high BDSM beauties with killer heels
Shots or Wine? I drank small amounts of Absinthe while writing Fairy In The Flesh. It was the professional thing to do and I was hoping for a visit from La Fée Verte
Movie: Popcorn or Hard candy? Buttery, salty popcorn please!
Date: Going on a picnic or Going to a winery? Why choose? Would you consider a picnic in a winery?
Scarier: Ghosts or Demons? Demons for sure. A ghost might be an innocent lost soul—a demon..?
Men: Alpha-male or Sexy nerds? Alpha-male please
Men: Bad boys or Good guys? Bad boys who are really good guys below the surface
Dresses or pant suits? It depends on who needs to be impressed or intimidated
Men in the bedroom: Dominating or Gentle? Gently Domineering
Sexier: Man who can sing or man who can cook? There’s a huge personality difference between these two types of sexy. I think I’ll dream about the singer but live with the cook.
Romance: Knights or Kings? Knight, I love a man of action
Romance: Fallen Angels or Sexy Demons? Fallen angel who needs to get back up
Romance: Doctors or Cowboys? Let’s see both men are dirty, exhausted and seldom around… I pick neither

Niina : LOL! Nice detour, Miss... ;)

Romance: Shifters or Vampires? I refuse to be forced into a choice! I love and write both.
Sexier: Kisses or Licks? When, where and by whom?
Sexier : A guy holding your hand or touching your hair? Hair stroking and touching is definitely hot, especially during a kiss if his hands tangle in your hair and pull you close.
Sexier : Flimsy lingerie or Trench-coat only? Of course I have to choose flimsy lingerie that breaks the bank and the man really doesn’t notice anyway.
Romance or Erotic Romance? In my mind there is no ”Erotic” without the underpinnings of romance

Niina : Thanks for visiting the For The Love of Reading, Katalina! Any news would you like to share with your readers, or websites they can check out?

Katalina : Yes, please come and visit my gorgeous new website at:
Also I have new book coming soon “Loup-Garou For You” is a paranormal, time-travel, wolf-shifter romance available September 27th from Ellora’s Cave. This is book 2 in the Voodoo Bayou series and I promise you it’s hotter than Louisiana red-pepper sauce! Here’s the blurb:

"Bayou Country, 1834. Aubert Marston awakens on the eve of his twenty-seventh birthday to discover he’s undergone some disturbing physical changes. His body is bigger, stronger and hairier than it’s ever been, and burns with the lust of a beast. To make matters worse, a hundred guests are about to arrive for the plantation’s annual ball.

A mysterious young woman named Corrine appears in his home, temping Aubert to unleash the inner lycan, and family secrets from a medieval past surface. Corrine lures Aubert to a bayou camp of Cajun Loup-Garous—werewolves, But Aubert’s wealth and good looks are no advantage here. He must surrender to his feral nature and fight tooth and claw against another male pack member to claim Corrine as his own."

Inside Scoop: This story contains mild bondage, southern hospitality, consensual sexual torment, f/f, m/m, anal play, cage fighting and unfettered animal lust. Enjoy!
A Romantica® historical paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Buy Links!
/ Facebook / Twitter aka @Katalina_Leon

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Chapter One
Avignon, France

        Maya rubbed her tired eyes with the heel of her hand and blinked. It didn't help. The glare of a dry July day and endless hours looking at art had left her in a dazed state of overload. The rods and cones of her retinas were kaput. Her feet ached too. She’d packed more than she could comfortably handle into her single allotted vacation day in Avignon and was now suffering from a bad case of too much of a good thing.
        Tired or not, she felt alive. This was what her soul had been starved for. Since morning she’d wandered Avignon’s street exhibits, tented galleries and somber museums filled with masterpieces, gazing in awe. She’d enjoyed an outdoor concert on the bank of the Rhône and photographed the sunbaked Romanesque ruins of a medieval bridge, where she had stopped just long enough to eat a light lunch. She loved photography and Avignon was the perfect place to indulge a hobby she wanted to take further. When she got home she intended to look back and feel as inspired to revive her art career as she felt at that moment.
        The daytrip to Avignon would have been perfect excerpt for one important omission. She’d failed to locate the art studio of her favorite modernist painter, the mysterious André Bosco. It was a shame, because Bosco was the real reason she’d been attracted to Avignon in the first place. She’d been a fan of the obscure painter for years and had hoped to see the place where he had launched his brief but brilliant career, which had inexplicably ended in 1903.
        What she’d expected would be a simple task had turned into a bust. To her disappointment she’d seen no plaques displayed anywhere mentioning Bosco, and no one seemed to know much about him. Even the guidebook had been vague, mentioning a single abandoned building as a possible site of Bosco’s studio. A daylong search had proven fruitless and ended in frustration. Within the next hour she’d have to leave Avignon without touching base with one of the great inspirations in her life. Considering Bosco was a local artist of merit, it surprised her that he was so little celebrated in Avignon.
        Maya turned the corner and headed into one of the older parts of town. The buildings were quaint. A few were in need of repair. The shadows stretched longer and the narrow streets bustled with foot traffic. The evening festivities had already started and she realized it was time to leave.
        A few yards in front of her, a team of young male dancers burst onto the crowded sidewalk and claimed a small circle of smooth pavement as their stage. A heartbeat later they were dancing a wild routine that had them spinning and kicking in unison like the blades of a blender.
        Maya dodged past the acrobatic dancers but got trapped in the crowd that had gathered to watch. She recoiled at the last second from one dancer’s lethal backflips and high kicks, which were executed an arm’s length from her nose. She pushed past the dancers but the crowd closed in and she got sandwiched between the exuberant performance and a gritty sandstone wall.
        This sort of thing had been happening all day. The official festival d’Avignon had something interesting planned for every hour of the day but all over the city spontaneous off-festival performances took place anywhere a crowd gathered.
        The dancing was fun but she was thirsty, tired and just wanted to sit.
        “Excusez-moi.” Maya crept along the wall, managing to push through the throng of observers. She reached the doorway of an interesting looking bistro, tugged the door open and darted inside.
        Once inside she entered a soothing candle-lit Victorian-era building and found herself in a charming Bohemian-themed bistro with cranberry-red velvet cushions on the seats and colorful curtains of glass beads dangling from the windows. Glowing hand-blown glass lanterns sat upon polished tabletops. A framed Gauguin print of an ebony-eyed Tahitian beauty holding a bowl of pink flowers hung near the bar. The pungent scent of amber incense and cherry pipe tobacco perfumed the air.
        It was like stepping back in time to another era. Maya’s senses were instantly transported back to the heady days of the modernist art movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. She savored the feeling because it was her favorite fantasy time period, and one she would have loved to experience firsthand.
        It surprised her that for such a busy festival day the bistro was empty of patrons. The only other occupant of the bistro, and presumably the proprietress, was a woman who appeared to be in her fifties who was dressed in the theatrical garb of a flowing- sleeved poet’s shirt, a black satin corset and flouncy red skirt and tall boots. She stood beside the bar looking like some sort of piratical gypsy queen.
        “Bonsoir.” The lady spoke French but addressed Maya with a familiar accent.
        Maya smiled at the lady. “Puis-je commander un café glacé, s'il vous plaît?”
        “Of course you can have an iced coffee.” The woman’s keen gaze locked on Maya. A thick layer of black kohl ringed the lady’s eyes and lent her an unsettling appearance. “I speak English and I’m going to guess that you grew up not far from my hometown of New Orleans.”
        “I’m from Thibodaux!” Maya laughed. “There’s no hiding the accent, is there?”
        The lady reached for a coffee press and packed it with fresh grounds. “Seeing as how you’re a Louisiana girl I’ll add a touch of chicory to your coffee.”
        “Thank you.” Maya sat at the bar, fully realizing just how much her feet hurt from walking all day on cobblestones.
        “My name’s Miss Ruby.” The lady brushed her long black hair away from her face and appeared to be studying Maya with intense interest. “What’s yours?”
         “Maya Rousseau.”
        Miss Ruby poured hot water over the coffee grounds and pushed down on the press. “Rousseau is a wonderful name for an art lover.”
        “You sound certain I’m an art lover.”
        “Why else would you be in Avignon in July? I know what drew you.” Miss Ruby toyed with one of her dangling chandelier earrings while she waited for the coffee to strengthen. “I realize my current costume makes me look ridiculous as I say this, but I really do possess the gift of second sight and prophecy. You see, I’m a world-class enchantress with the highest security clearance.”
        A nervous laugh burst past Maya’s lips. “I didn't realize enchantresses had to earn security clearances.”
        “They certainly do!” Miss Ruby’s eyes flashed. “You wouldn't believe the stringent tests we must pass. A world-class enchantress must prove beyond a shadow of doubt that she is trustworthy, ethical and has the highest good of others in mind before she’ll be granted the powers I have.”
        Maya wondered if Miss Ruby was another bit of festival street theater or an ex-pat who’d forgotten to take her medication. “What special powers do you possess?”
        “I’m like a fairy godmother, but my work tends to be grittier than what a fairy godmother might attempt. The moment I meet someone I know exactly what their soul needs. I understand the inner workings of time and space and use them to advantage. I don’t actually break the laws of nature but I know how to bend them. In fact my specialty is time-twisting. I’m like a witch but I call myself a ‘Beneficent’ because I always serve the highest good. The gift is hereditary. My mama was a New Orleans Voodoo queen. I could have stayed in New Orleans too, but I chose to travel the world as a high-level enchantress and an ambassador of magic.”
        “I see.” Maya recoiled. It was just more of her bad luck in Avignon. First she’d failed to locate Bosco’s studio and now a crazy lady dressed like a carnival psychic had trapped her in a weird conversation.
        Miss Ruby poured the steaming coffee over a tumbler filled with ice and slid the glass toward Maya. “Enjoy.”
        Maya sipped the chilled, chicory-laced coffee with relish. “I feel revived.” She drank fast, not wanting to linger in the deserted bistro. She decided it best to gulp the iced coffee, pay and run for her life before the conversation got stranger.
        Miss Ruby picked up a chamois and busied herself polishing the brass rail that ran the length of the elegant mahogany bar.
        Maya’s gaze wandered toward the far wall and fixated on a framed pencil sketch of a handsome man with a proud, compelling face. The sketch was framed beneath glass and the paper had yellowed at the corners and crumbled with age. She studied the man’s face and guessed he was in his mid-thirties. He had a thick head of wavy dark hair and a rugged face with square, noble features, chevron brows and luminous eyes that glanced sideways from the portrait and seemed to follow the viewer around the room.
        Maya found herself unable to look away. The man had a magnetic quality she seldom saw in contemporary faces. It was a look that could only belong to someone who possessed the self-confidence and perhaps a touch of arrogance not to care what the world thought. The generous arch of the man’s lips was so sensuous her thoughts wandered toward what it must have felt like to be kissed by him.
        “You like Bosco, don’t you?” Miss Ruby leaned close. “He has a interesting face, doesn’t he? He can appear both compassionate and feral in turn. I’ve heard many differing opinions about the portrait over the years.”
        Maya started. “Is that a portrait of André Bosco, the Fauvist painter?” she gasped. “I’m a great admirer of Bosco! I had no idea a portrait existed.” Her heart fluttered. “Did he really look like that?”
        “You know of Bosco?” Miss Ruby looked elated. “So few do. History has all but overlooked him, which is a shame because those familiar with his small body of work have hailed him as one of the most innovative painters of his time. Some say Bosco inspired his more famous peers and set the example for the Fauvist moment by showing the world how to paint like a wild beast. Of course, a few of his nastiest critics called him a ‘paint waster’, but it’s clear Bosco had vision.”
        Miss Ruby waved her hands through the air in an expansive gesture. “A few art historians have credited Bosco with being the original wild beast, in part because of his physical intensity and unruly head of hair, but also because he had a habit of tossing his paintbrushes aside and smearing the brightest colors across the canvas with his fingertips, with passion. It was said by those who watched him work that he ravished his canvases like a ferocious lover.” She giggled.
“He sounds exciting.” Maya drew a sharp breath. “Years ago, I saw an original Bosco in a traveling museum show of modernist work. Bosco’s painting was the most expressive piece of art in the entire show. I kept wandering back to look at it again and again. The painting was of a white stallion but the colors were vivid—every hue of the rainbow was hidden in the lines and shadows. Before I left the museum I bought a postcard of the painting and carried it around in a battered sketchbook for years. Bosco was my greatest inspiration. I heard a rumor he had a studio somewhere in Avignon?”
        “He did.” Miss Ruby pointed upward. “His studio is a corner room on the third floor. The landlord of the building has preserved it.”
        “Bosco’s studio is here?” Maya tensed. “Can I see it?”
        “No.” Miss Ruby shook her head. “I don’t have permission to open the room, but the landlord will return on Sunday. You can ask him then.”
        “I won’t be here on Sunday.” A note of desolation crept into her voice. “This is my last full day in France. I have to start making my way back to Paris tomorrow for my flight home. I’ll miss my only chance to see Bosco’s studio.” Maya leaned across the bar, feeling absolutely desperate to get a look at Bosco actual living space. “Please reconsider—I promise not to touch a thing.”
        “I’m sorry.” Miss Ruby nodded toward the top of the bar, where an ornate brass skeleton key dangled from a green satin ribbon. “The landlord is the only one allowed to use that key to open the studio…”

(La Fée Verte, the green fairy is going to make an appearance soon and cause a little mischief. Who do you think ends up getting ahold of that key and going upstairs?)

Monday, September 23, 2013


One day her prince would come…disguised as a zombie-killer.

"Having been disgraced and tossed out by her own scientific community, Gwyn is convinced she can develop a cure for a SuperVirus that has turned the Infected into zombies. By pure luck and determination, she has survived on her own for years, but while out scavenging, a clash with the local zombies leaves her potentially infected. Now, running out of time, she needs help and takes a chance on a hero for hire.

Rafe loves the apocalypse. Since the world went to hell, everything’s come up roses for him. Having procured a mansion in the Hollywood hills, adopted a slew of homeless boys and one cantankerous but useful Doc, Mr. Charming is benefiting from the nasty zombie infestation. His job? Killing the bastards, which he considers fun anyway.

Gwyn Snow needs Rafe Charming to help retrieve her research from the Paragon Pharmaceuticals lab, also known as Zombie Central. Believing she can yet save the world, Gwyn makes Rafe question what’s right and what’s worth the fight."

CONTENT WARNING: Prince Charming, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as you’ve never seen them before.

A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance | Once Upon

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Merissa McCain
My name is Merissa McCain. I grew up in the African bush, without T.V, and often without electricity. I now live in the deep South, with my very own superhero, and my three minons. Together, we attempt to take over the world.

When not otherwise occupied with planning world domination, I love to read, write, drink strong coffee and eat dark chocolate--not necessarily in that order and sometimes all at once.  I'm a voracious reader, and will devour any type of good fiction I can get my hands on, but I'm particularly partial to happy endings.

I write with a partner (Margaret Madigan) and on my own. We love to hear from our readers, so please shoot us an email at or

Margaret Madigan
Hi. I'm Margaret Madigan. Or M.K.D. Bail, depending on what literary genre we're talking about.
I live in the vast Northern Plains where it’s quiet and mostly empty, and very conducive to letting my imagination run wild. As a result, I have difficulty focusing on just one genre of storytelling. Of course, I love romance, so I write a lot of that, but I also write science fiction, a bit of horror, and dabble in other genres just for the fun of it. 

When I’m not writing you’ll find me in a college classroom teaching English, or working as a literary agent for an amazing agency…and of course enjoying time with my family.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Niina : Welcome to For The Love of Reading, babe, I’m glad you came by!

David : Thanks for having me. This is one interview I can do naked, so that is a plus.

Niina : LOL! Isn't it always. ;) Let’s break the ice! Can you tell my readers here 4 funny unknown facts about you?

David : 1) I have a phobia of looking inside women’s purses. Even if they ask me to get something for them I won’t do it. This dates back to when I was a teenager and saw one of my buddies get caught going through his girlfriend’s purse. The look in her eyes convinced me to never, ever go inside a purse for any reason whatsoever. 2) When I eat, I have to eat one thing at a time. First the hamburger, for instance, and then the fries. 3) Cleavage hypnotises me. 4) Whenever I go through a door – and this is any door, mind you – I have to compulsively check to see that I have my keys, wallet and phone with me. It might be related to some subconscious fear of being locked out. Or it might just be weirdness.

Niina : Yeah, your eating habits confuse me as I'm a 'mix them together on a fork' eater. ;) But hey it’s been a while since you've been here. I believe it was when your first book Mohamed 2.0 : Distruption Manifesto was released – so what’s new?

David : Dead Romans is new. I’m quite happy with it. Also, it is new that Mohamed 2.0 is now available in America. My American publisher Stairway Press picked up both books.

Niina : Yay, now americans can enjoy 2.0! What is your new novel Dead Romans about? ( I typed Romans as Romance at least three times… it’s all due to me writing Romance about twenty times a day! ;) Muscle memory at its finest. :/ )

David : Dead Romans is about three people in second-century Ephesus. Daphnis the shepherd slave boy has to satisfy a new and cruel master or his family will be broken up and sold off. Panthea, the emperor’s mistress, is abused by her father, hated by the nobility and loses her grip on reality. The aspiring writer Aristides has to decide to either write a high-profile panegyric for someone he hates or else remain a humble baker.

Each story is independent, but they are intertwined. Overshadowing the whole novel is the outbreak of the Antonine Plague. The plague causes havoc, society starts to break down, and there is a rush to flee the city. Panthea has the last ship which will leave Ephesus, and everyone wants on board.

Niina : Tell us something about your book that we wouldn't know just by reading the blurb?

David : I use sex as conflict. Literature has to have conflict between characters, but normally sex isn't used this way. It is instead a by-product or indicator of other conflicts. I would say only one relationship in Dead Romans could remotely be described as healthy.

Niina : Definitely interesting! Which character in your book became your favorite?

David : I can’t choose between the three main characters, but out of the others Chloe is my favourite. She is feisty, intelligent, and is somewhat mysterious. You know there are interesting things going on in her mind and her life, but they are in the background and you can’t quite make them out.

Niina : How did you come to pick your genre … actually how would you define your genre? It’s not just plain historical fiction right?

David : I didn't pick a genre. I picked the story, which happened to fit into a genre. It is character-driven historical fiction, similar to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, or Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles. This seems to be quite a thriving genre currently.

David J. Cord
Niina : Were any of the characters based on real life characters?

David : No. I created all of the characters. However, there is a lot in the book which is inspired by things I've went through. My Finnish literary director demanded I do this, so I did a lot of research about it. For instance, Daphnis’ love of his ‘sacred place’ in the countryside is basically my love for a place in the country where I grew up. As the population becomes more urban and more of us move to cities, I think this sort of pastoralism will make a comeback in our culture.

Niina : How did your cover come about? ;)

David : I traded sexual favours for it. She did a pretty good job, I think, both in the sexual favours department and on the cover. Luckily the publisher liked her cover and chose it. If they hadn't, I probably would have been in trouble.

Niina : LOL! Okay by now I have to mention we are married and I made the cover! LOL! :D Now to more personal questions! Flirting with the idea of bringing a new mythological/paranormal creature to page, what would be exciting to write about?

David : Cupid, specifically in his relationship with Psyche. This was done most famously by Apuleius in the Golden Ass, but I would love to do a modern interpretation someday. Cupid was supposed to be a hitman of sorts and hurt Psyche, but instead fell in love with her. He was going against his mother Venus’ wishes and had to be careful. He was quirky, like trying to keep his form secret. He had a temper, too. I think he is a fascinating character, and is much more interesting than the modern symbolic ideas of him. This is one of those very basic stories that has captured our imagination for thousands of years.

Niina : Agreed! Which Disney Princess would you pick if you had to choose?

David : Jasmine. She’s hot.

Niina : Is there a natural wonder of the world you would like to visit?

David : Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Niina : How many jobs did you have before you became a writer? What was your first job?

David : My first job was in the meat department of a grocery store. That was a lot of fun, and I still remember those days fondly. I was in the investment industry for many years before I started writing professionally.

Niina : Body Hair: Wax, Shave or Leave?

David : Shave. It is less painful than waxing, less gross than leaving and carries a hint of danger with that razor.

Niina : LOL! Before we finish, here are some Quick Fire Questions: 

Trees or Shops? Trees.

Football or Nascar? Football. I love Formula One, so trying to enjoy Nascar is like trying to enjoy a trip in a 1950s airplane after you have flown first class in an Airbus A380. There might be some nostalgia in it, but it all kind of seems outdated.

Boots or Sexy heels? Heels. Oh God yes. Heels.

Shots or Wine? Depends upon the context. Both have their uses.

Movie: Popcorn or Hard candy? Popcorn. I grew up in Indiana, one of the biggest popcorn-producing areas of the world. I have to stay loyal to my roots.

Date: Going on a picnic or Going to a winery? This depends upon the context, but I would probably pick the winery. I like the agricultural aspect, and the food is normally better.

Scarier: Ghosts or Demons? Definitely demons. Ghosts may be here unwillingly and are being acted upon, but demons have an agenda, a thing to do, and it is normally not a warm and cuddly agenda.

Women: Power Suits or Sexy Nerds? Sexy nerds. I love glasses.

Women: Bad girl or Girl Next Door? Both. I know you don’t like me to say ‘both,’ but how can you choose? This is like trying to pick between Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo.

Dresses or pant suits? Dresses. I love legs.

Women in the bedroom: Dominating or Gentle? You have to alternate. Perhaps start with dominating, because that is a good way to set the stage.

Sexier: Woman who can sing or woman who can cook? Sing. It means her mouth and tongue are well-trained.

Knights or Kings? Knights. Kings just sit back and made decisions, but knights make those decisions happen.

Fallen Angels or Sexy Demons? Fallen angels. Sexy demons have an agenda and a job to do, so they are characterized by a plot. But fallen angels have a past. They have made mistakes of some sort to become ‘fallen’ so there is more character development there. It makes them more interesting.

Shifters or Vampires? Vampires. I’m very dismissive of shifters. Shifters are the teletubbies of literature. You stare at them, but can’t seem to figure out the point of it all.

Sexier: Kisses or Licks? Licks. Hell to the yes.

Sexier : Flimsy lingerie or Trench-coat only? Lingerie.

Romance or Erotic Romance? It depends upon what you are looking for because they serve different purposes. Romance is for the characters and plot, and erotic romance is for titillation. They can be combined, though.

Historical Fiction or Literary Fiction? Why can’t they be both? But typically I would go for literary fiction. If you speak strictly of genres, historical fiction is normally just telling a story but literary fiction is deeper. It is like the ocean: you can enjoy the surface, but there is a lot going on beneath the waves.

Niina : Thanks for visiting the For The Love of Reading, David ! Any news would you like to share with your readers, or websites they can check out?

David : Dead Romans is out now, you can purchase it from Stairway Press & Amazon.

You can also visit me at : 
( #DeadRomans )
and YouTube

Friday, September 20, 2013


Niina : Welcome to For The Love of Reading, Ms. Leon, I’m glad you could make it!

Katalina Leon : Thank you for hosting me.

Niina : Let’s get started! Can you tell my readers here 4 fun unknown facts about you so we can break the ice?

Katalina Leon :
1) My favorite mythical creature is a griffin.
2) When I was about three or four years old, the first griffin I fell in love with was an illustration in a Child’s Craft book that showed a beautiful starry, griffin lapping cream off the Milky Way. To this day I can’t look at a full moon without expecting to see that griffin.
3) I have a casting of a griffin on my writing desk.
4) The griffin was an anniversary gift from my husband as a symbol of eternal love and loyalty. You can’t beat that.

Niina : Tell us little about your novel Lord Griffin's Prize, what’s it about?

Katalina : Lord Griffin’s Prize is part of a multi-author book series from Ellora’s Cave—Emerald Isle Fantasies. My story is about an Irish war chief trapped under an enchantment. For seven hundred years Ronan O’Griofa has protected Castle Tullamore and it’s inhabitants as a resident griffin and he longs to experience life again as a man. His chance comes when the reborn soul of his long lost wife Maeve, shows up at the castle to do a little genealogy.

Niina : What chapter did you most enjoyed writing and why?

Katalina : I loved chapter two when Maeve is jet-lagged, sleepy and already quite smitten with a handsome portrait of Lord O’Griofa that is hanging above the castles griffin bed. She climbs under the covers and gets a very tender and erotic visit from a lonely phantom lover who materials beside her in the bed.

Niina : What character did you most enjoyed writing and why?

Katalina : I fell in love with both Ronan and Maeve, but I really loved writing a nasty little villain named Aodhan de’Burgo. He was a horrible man and lots of fun to write.

Niina : Now to more personal questions! Who is your current alpha hero crush?

Katalina : Mister Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre is always high on my list of gallant liars and schemers and men I wouldn’t say no to. Vin Diesel as Riddick would be dirty dog fun too.

Niina : What is your signature dish?

Katalina : I love to cook. The day I did this interview was so hot, I’d have to say chopped salad with everything in it. A current favorite is Romaine lettuce, spinach, Greek olives, shredded carrots, salami or turkey, walnuts, feta cheese and green apples. Everything gets chopped and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and a little balsamic vinegar.

Niina : Which Disney Prince would you pick if you had to choose?

Katalina : Disney’s Hercules is pretty princely isn’t he?

Niina : If your book were made into a movie who would you cast as the leads?

Katalina : Wouldn’t I love Lord Griffin’s Prize to become a movie! I had photos of a young Sean Connery, Clive Owen as King Arthur on my desktop when I was writing. I pictured Evangeline Lilly as Maeve with dark hair and freckles.

Niina : Before we finish, here are some...

Quick Fire Questions!

Trees or Shops? Were bookshops an option?
Football or Nascar? Formula One
Boots or Sexy heels? Sexy boots
Shots or Wine? Shots of chocolate infused wine please
Movie: Popcorn or Hard candy? Buttered popcorn
Date: Going on a picnic or Going to a winery? a picnic with wine
Scarier: Ghosts or Demons? A freaking demon would be a lot scarier
Men: Alpha-male or Sexy nerds? Alpha in charge please
Men: Bad boys or Good guys? Bad boys turned good
Dresses or pant suits? Elegant pantsuit with killer shoes
Men in the bedroom: Dominating or Gentle? Dominate me gently
Sexier: Man who can sing or man who can cook? Or sings while he chops my salad
Romance: Knights or Kings? A Knight in service to his lady please
Romance: Fallen Angels or Sexy Demons? A dark brooding fallen angel, eager to redeem himself
Romance: Doctors or Cowboys? How about a country veterinarian that way I get both.
Romance: Shifters or Vampires? No way will I be pressured into choosing between these two hotties, Nope. It’s not going to happen.
Sexier: Kisses or Licks? Sweet, slow kisses
Sexier : A guy holding your hand or touching your hair? Stroking your hair and pulling you into a kiss
Sexier : Flimsy lingerie or Trench-coat only? Flimsy lingerie that gets thrashed and tossed on the floor
Romance or Erotic Romance? Erotic and romance travel together in my mind.

Niina : Thanks for visiting the For The Love of Reading, Katalina! Any news would you like to share with your readers, or websites they can check out?

Katalina : Come visit my beautiful new website at
And check out my new paranormal time-travel romance “Fairy In The Flesh” from Ellora’s Cave Publishing!

"Maya Rousseau’s fantasy vacation in Avignon France heats up when an eccentric enchantress tricks her into drinking mojo-laced absinthe.

An unexpected encounter with the green fairy causes Maya’s reality to have a serious melt down. She travels back in time and wakes up naked in the bed of her favorite bad boy Bohemian artist, the tall, dark and mysterious André Bosco. There’s nothing wrong with that except it’s 1903.

For André it’s love at first sight. He begs Maya to become his cherished model, muse and lover. The chemistry and shared passion between them is overwhelming. André’s a generous-hearted dream man but there’s a catch. Every hour they spend together bonds them tighter and time is running out. The same powers that flung Maya back to 1903 are preparing to snatch her back.

With a hundred and ten years separating these soul-bound lovers it’s uncertain if they can find a happy ending without the help of a little magic and La Fée Verte."

Note: Story contains super hot sex with an unattainable man, enchanted hallucinatory beverages, mischievous time-twisters and green fairies.

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