Monthly Archives: October 2012

My Ideal First Date…Would Raise a Little Cain

Check today’s MANdatory Wednesday eye candy! Oh, yeah. I have a reputation to uphold. I’m always on the hunt for lickable pictures for you, my fellow MANhandlers! Now to my ideal first date…

So, about a year and a half ago, I wrote this nifty super long novel called Raising Cain. My hero, Cain, is 6’8″, blue eyes and black, full hair that hangs just past his shoulders. He’s comfortable in soft denim, old Aerosmith T-shirts and can work the hell out of dark blue silk sheets. He also rocks the hell out of leather pants, in case you were curious. He’s a Roman gladiator who made a bad deal with the devil and ended up damned. Now he’s a Specialty Demon. His specialty? Seduction. He’s an incubus. Will the story be published? Absolutely. The only question at this point is by whom. The entire five-book series will see the light of day, I promise you.

Now, of all my heros, I’d be most likely to take him on a date. He’s a metal fan, so we’d probably end up at a Nickelback concert, probably in Seattle. He drives a BMW 650 coupe, so of course I’d let him pick me up from the airport. After the concert, we’d hit Pike’s Place and wander around for a while before we hit this great crepe place. We’d share an order of strawberries and cream crepes, and he’d undoubtedly be compelled to take advantage of the fact that there was a little whipped cream on my lower lip. He’d lick it off. Yep. Just a late, shared dinner. Nothing more. 😀

He’d pull my chair out and take my hand, leading me back to the waterfront where we’d check out a couple bars with live music. We’d dance to both fast and slow songs, undoubtedly drawing stares from the crowds. I mean, the man’s got the body of a warrior with a few scars that are hard to miss. And I’m 6’1″. We’d be freaks on the floor (interpret as you will). After the band signs off and heads for the bar, he’d bend down, lay a tender kiss to the side of my neck and whisper, “Let’s get out of here.”

We’d head to Golden Gardens Park and hit the beach. Of course, it’s a little chilly so he’d pull me under his arm. For once in my damned life, I’d feel petite. We’d watch for orcas in the moonlight, the quiet hush of their breathing still louder than our own. He’d turn me toward him and kiss me as if I’d never been kissed. Without a word, he’d take me back to the car, settle me in and drive back into the heart of Seattle.

The valet at the Pan Pacific would take the car. Cain would bypass the front desk and take us straight to our suite. A variety of items would be waiting–all things an incubus would know exactly how to best put to use. He’d take his shirt off and approach me slowly, his intent evident in his gaze. And at this point…I’m fading to black. I’ll let you figure out what we have for breakfast, and when.

Wait. This was my fantasy date, right? Well, shit. I’m not deleting this. It’s too perfect. Beside, I’ve known Cain for more than a year and a half so it’s about damn time we ended up in bed together.

Rest assured, when Raising Cain comes out, you guys will be among the first to know.

With a Flick of a Finger: First Date with a Wizard #Darkertempts

I’m an east coaster, one of the luckier ones on the fringes not at the center of Hurricane Sandy.   As I write, the shush of the winds is getting louder, an odd tree branch  slams against the brick of the house, the  overhead lights flicker.  My heart to all out there in the middle of it.  Be safe. Take care.

There’s a reason storms steal such a prominent place in our stories, our nightmares and our aspirations.  A symbol of passion, pent up and needy, and one of rage seeking outlet, it is dark chaos before the dulcet calm of peace.   The anger of the storm outside brings out the grounding that shelter gives to our lives—it is our haven, a manifestation of safety, security, home.  Passion tied to home, rage to security—the foundation of romance.

Just think: A darkened living room, lit by soft glow of candles and scented by crispness of a wood fire. Cliché?  Perhaps, but also timeless.  For it is here closest to elements, yet protected from them, is where I would choose the perfect first date with dark, ripped and wizard.

My dream guy—a magic wielder, who can blaze the fire brighter, have it shimmer in rainbow colors, and refill the glasses with hot mulled wine with a snap even though the electricity fizzled out hours ago and the supermarket’s been empty for days.

In the confines of the house, those wizard power can create a romantic, erotic journey anywhere, any place.  With a few choice words and finger slides (I won’t say where), we’re floating on rose petals to the bedroom or on a canal in Venice with the an off-key gondolier (a little unexpected dissonance adds to the uniqueness of the venture) or windsurfing along the Great Wall of China, playing tickle on the ceiling, riding centaurs in a grass-lined basement. The possibilities limited only by your imagination and your fears without ever leaving home.

If you had yourself a wizard, what would you do with him?

Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine in romance fiction. You can meet the first heroine in Fires of Justice at Elloras Cave, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Furtastic

In case you didn’t know, here at Darker Temptations, we like our romance with a little bite. In my case, I like it with a lot.

I’m a shifter fanatic. I love reading about them, writing about them and daydreaming about them. I’ve always thought it would be awesome to be able to shift into a big cat. Sorry, I have nothing against wolves, but I’m a cat person through and through.

So when this topic popped up on the calendar, I immediately thought about the heroes I write about and how I’d want our first date to go. You know, if they were interested in a short, curvy, anti-social writer who prefers staying home and watching football and ogling hot men. Uh. You know…whatever.

Okay, obviously we couldn’t go to a football game. As much as I love the game, I wouldn’t want someone to see me acting like a maniac on our first date. It just doesn’t make the right impression. You know, of ladylike poise and language.

We couldn’t go to a heavy metal concert unless he was a fan and wore earplugs. I wouldn’t want the poor guy to go deaf because we were right next to the stage. They have sensitive ears, you know. Besides, sweating and rubbing up against complete strangers isn’t romantic. Well, unless you’re into orgies. *shuts up*

I think the best thing for me to do with my shapeshifter date is to stay home. He can cook for, lest you think I’m capable of cooking. Rub my feet. Feed me bon-bons and laugh at my jokes as we watch horror movies because it’s my remote and I control the television. Later, I’ll brush out his fur while he licks his balls.

It’s a perfect kind of relationship.

Fires of Justice: Meet the Supporting Cast

Meet the Cast: Supporting Characters in Fires of Justice

My paranormal romance Fires of Justice released recently.  The blurb below gives a great introduction to our hero and heroine, but they engage with a cast of characters who shape them and have intriguing voices all their own. I thought it would be fun to introduce the supporting cast.

Esmy Slaughter, Calista’s aunt, raised our heroine from infancy after her parents were killed. Ambitous, driven, amd prickly, Esmy was a powerful mentor but a reluctant mother.  The following snippet captures Esmy’s personality and her relationship with her niece.

Esmy nodded, her face, carved in stone, displayed no indication that she noticed her niece’s distress. With typical brisk efficiency, she shooed Calista forward. “Upstairs, niece, serve some wine and give me all the details so I can decode the message.”

Pinot noir poured and crackers laid out in neat rows, Calista plopped herself down on a tan suede couch pushed against the far wall in her living room.

Esmy wiped the cushions on the adjacent matching loveseat and rearranged the pillows before sitting. “You may begin.”

As her highness commands.

Argenta, the guardian of balance, justice and unity, pulls the strings behind the scenes.  Our heroes are sworn to serve her and those vows force them together, even when they would prefer to be otherwise. When she pops in, she steals the scene. Below is her description.

The unsmoked cheroot always dangling from her mouth, the white flannel nightgown that hovered midcalf to make sure everyone got a good look at those muddied combat boots, laces untied. Disheveled silver hair stuck out in odd clumps around her head, creating a wild halo effect around the unending wrinkles that crisscrossed her face. She could choose any avatar in the universe and she opted for defiant old prune.

Richard Fowler is the rogue fire witch Calista and Cullen must capture on their mission.  The excerpt below details his arrival to the story.

A red Ford Explorer ripped through the trees, squealing as it braked too fast at the cabin entrance. A tall, thin unshaven man with a receding hairline emerged from the car. Greasy hair hung limply to his shoulders, his clothes mussed and wrinkled as if he’d slept in them for several weeks.He paced around, muttering something unintelligible under his breath.

I love to hear from you.  Think about your favorite books. Who are your favorite supporting characters and why?

Ellora’s Cave 

Amazon

Barnes and Nobles  

Book Blurb

Always read the fine print when swearing an eternal oath to gods and guardians…

Beholden by the sacred vows of her coven, fire witch Calista Reid agrees to temporarily mate with shifter Cullen McMahan to fulfill a mission assigned by the guardians. When tall, dark and damaged arrives on her doorstep, generating enough heat to scorch a fire witch, Calista finds herself drawn to his battle-hardened body and broken soul. His pain speaks to her own deep-rooted isolation and the intensity of his hunger slakes her passion like no other.

Cullen, scarred by a past that left him an indentured soldier to the guardians, resents yet another hump-on-command assignment…until he encounters the compassionate, fearless, incendiary redhead who detonates his body and reawakens the emotions sacrifice and loss had suppressed. But Cullen harbors a terrible secret—one that reaches back into Calista’s troubled childhood and threatens the foundation of their growing bond.

Link to Excerpt

Loki – God of Mischief

Villains We Love To Hate – I am a little obsessed with the Marvel Universe at the moment, having watched The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America a few dozen times. Let me just say my post is based on the films not the graphic novels and there will be spoilers.

So, out of the villains in the films I find Loki the most intriguing. On the one hand he found out that Odin, the man he thought to be his father, had lied to him all his life. He lived with a brother who was the golden child and appeared to receive all his father’s love and attention. And I think Thor can be somewhat annoying with his willfulness and his determination to see only good. Tom Hiddleston, the actor playing him in Thor and The Avengers, describes Loki as follows “He’s one dark, anarchic, bottomless black hole of rage, hatred, pity and pain. An exiled outcast, a lost & lonely agent of chaos, who wouldn’t know what to do with familial forgiveness if it walked up to him in the street and slapped him in the face.” I emphasise with this Loki.

Then there is his other side, the side that imagines he deserves to be king, that he can just go around killing people with no consequences, because they are all beneath him. Oh, he is so hateable in those instances! When he takes over Hawkeye and makes him go up against his own team, when he manipulates Odin to banish Thor, when he demands to be worshipped and wants to take free will away.

Both sides are part of Loki. What I enjoyed most in The Avengers was his ambuguity. I was never quite sure which side he was on, if Thor could persuade him to give up his quest to rule earth or if he was manipulating his opponent. The instances where it appeared as if he realised his mistakes and he was ready to stop. I loved his interaction with the Black Widow, thinking the whole time he had the upper hand only to discover, at the same time as Loki, that she had played him.

Overall, Loki is an interesting and developed character. I hate what he does, the pain and anguish he brings with him. And I can understand where some of it comes from.

But I still love the scene where Hulk trashes Loki.

Puny god indeed:).

How about you? Do you have any villains you find yourself torn between loving and hating them?

Tina

Tina Christopher Writer of Sexy Steampunk and Sensuous Sci-Fi available at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, and Kobo.

Villains I love to Hate & Contest!!!

Can I say I love hating ZOMBIES!

THE WALKING DEAD is a perfect example! I’ve been following the horror tv series THE WALKING DEAD and I get so freaked out when those evil zombies kill one of my favorite characters. Who will be next? What if Laurie’s unborn baby dies inside of her…and turns into a zombie and then turns her into a zombie? OMG! I can’t watch! But I have to see what will happen week after week! I squirm in my seat and I love the horror those zombies inflict. Am I a sadist? LOL Anyone else enjoying “The Walking Dead”? Has anyone seen the movies Dawn of the Dead? Shaun of the Dead? Night of the Living Dead? What did you think of them?

I’m out of town for a few days but I would appreciate your help – hence where a chance at getting a prize comes in. Squeeeee!

Do you have a good zombie horror (erotic romance or not) ebook or book that you can recommend? I have plans to write a zombie horror erotic romance one of these days (I even have the outline all worked out) and I would love to see what other authors have done with zombies. Feel free to post below your recommendations in the comments section.

For your help I will pick one person from the comments section and post the winner’s name here when I get back to town and I will email the winner too.

Prize? The winner can pick one ebook from any of my Jan Springer ebooks and I’ll send it your way FREE (sorry Michaela’s Experiment is excluded). Thanks!

You can see the books up for grabs at this link: http://janspringerauthor.wordpress.com/books/

Hugs!

jan

Sauron the Ultimate Bad Ass

Sauron 12-inch figure from Lord of the Rings
There is no life in the void, only death.

—Sauron’s voice to Frodo Baggins through the Great Eye, when Frodo has the Ring on.

I’m not much for villains and rarely do I love them. I’m a ‘love the hero/heroine’ kind of girl. But we are not talking about the good guys today. This post is about villains we love to hate and after thinking long and hard I decided that Sauron was on top of my list.

The Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a master ring, to control all others. And into this ring he poured his cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life. One Ring to rule them all.

—Galadriel regarding Sauron and the forging of the One Ring.

Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor, was the boss-man and the quintessential role model for every role-playing game I’d ever played. He is the perfect model for the ultimate bad-ass. Even the most powerful warriors in Middle Earth, Captains of the West, elves and dwarves weren’t able to destroy his reign over their land for he had forged the One Ring to rule them all. This incredible will to dominate all things corrupted his heart and soul. There was nothing left to redeem within him, his soul shriveled, and so he had to be destroyed.

Every villain has an Achilles heel and Sauron’s was the very ring that gave him his power. And I love the dichotomy because that’s very human. So many times our gifts or talents are also our flaws. We learn to rely on them and sometimes take the easy way out instead of growing or learning from our mistakes. In the end, it took a very fragile and powerless hobbit and a corrupt Gollum to defeat the Dark Lord. The One Ring perished along with all the power Sauron had invested in it.

And like many villains, Sauron didn’t start out being evil. In the earliest of days, he was known as Mairon the Admirable. It was his fatal flaw of having to dominate and control that turned him to the dark side. He became corrupted by the Dark Lord Morgoth and took the name Sauron and the rest was history.

I have a villain in my White Tiger Tales series. He is similar to Sauron in that his power seems indestructible. Eidolon is a shape shifter that has lived for hundreds of years. Slowly he became corrupt by his intellectual powers and his need to dominate the will of others. He has it out for Antoine, the white tiger shifter, because he blames him for his family being cast out of the tribe. He wasn’t always corrupt but evil has a way of transforming a person into something ugly.

Happy Reading!

Viki Lyn
http://www.vikilyn.com
http://www.vikilyn.com/blog
FB and Twitter: VikiLynRomance
And running a contest at CTR: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/ContestPage.html

Viki Lyn: Award winning author of male/male paranormal and contemporary romances. You can find all of Viki’s books at the following sites: Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and GLBT Bookshelf.

Villains: Ba’al

Halfway through Stargate SG-1‘s ten season run, came a two-parter involving Daniel infiltrating a meeting of the show’s Big Bads at the time – the Goa’uld. As well as a few of those the audience had met before, there were also new ones introduced – most of which were never seen or heard from again. However one played against type… and the audience absolutely loved it.

Best known for torturing lead Jack O’Neill to death over and over again (long story), Ba’al was played to utter perfection by South African actor Cliff Simon. Instead of the arrogant loudness of previous Goa’uld, Ba’al is a calm character who delivers his flavour of revenge cold and with a smirk. He has an eye for the ladies and a wry sense of humour, though his grasp of human sayings sometimes alludes him.

In the later seasons, with the introduction of a second antagonistic race – the Ori – Ba’al entered a grey area. Sometimes an enemy, sometimes an ally, the only thing the audience ever really knew for sure was that, no matter what else he was up to, he was always looking out for himself.

Key to Ba’al’s character is the actor who portrayed him. Cliff was determined to create more than a one-dimensional “bad guy”, and he very much succeeded – Ba’al is layered, complex and morally ambiguous. He never reacts as the audience expects, facing his own execution with quips and a smirk… only to violently stab O’Neill when he escapes his bonds. A good part of my love for Ba’al comes from utter adoration of Cliff; his generosity to his fans (and yes, I have been on the receiving end of this), his wicked sense of humour and his passion for the causes he supports.

Um, this post went a little sideways on me… I’m such a fangirl. Anyway, let’s announce the winner of two of my backlist books.

It’s…… *drumroll*

http://www.freesparkle.comhttp://www.freesparkle.comhttp://www.freesparkle.comhttp://www.freesparkle.com

Viki, please email your preference to misa[.]buckley[@]gmail[.]com

Villains We Love to Hate: Mama Argent from Teen Wolf

On Teen Wolf, the hit MTV series, there is no shortage of villains.

There’s an evil Alpha werewolf running around killing people.
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There’s a kanima doing the same.
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And there is a really evil old dude that cuts innocent werewolves in half.
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We can’t forget the psychotic, former statutory rapist, mass murderer with a penchant for torture!
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And that’s not even the end of the list!

Keira and I have to admit–we love them all. But the scariest villain on Teen Wolf by far is…Mrs. Victoria Argent!

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Source: Teen Wolf Reasons Tumblr

Yes, indeed, the mother of the hero’s main love interest, Allison Argent, is one terrifying mofo. There’s just something about Mama Argent that sends cold chills down your spine so that you never want it to stop. Oh, God, she’s so scary and so dang enjoyable!

Keira and I are just gonna let these gifs speak for themselves.

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Because MTV is awesome, you can watch both seasons of Teen Wolf streaming for free on their site. Season 1 and 2 have 12 episodes each, but they’ve been cleared for a third season with 24 episodes. Color us thrilled! We can’t wait to see what villains they’ll bring us to love next!

And, uh, this has nothing to do with Mama Argent or villains, but this man is on Teen Wolf with his shirt off all the time, and if that’s not a reason to watch, we don’t know what is!

Derek Hale is allergic to shirts

Leta Blake and Keira Andrews write fairy tale inspired m/m erotica and romantica with Ellora’s Cave. Check out Earthly Desires, the first book in the series, available for purchase at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.

Green Limelight and Twirling Moustaches

“In the old days villains had moustaches and kicked the dog. Audiences are smarter today. They don’t want their villain to be thrown at them with green limelight on his face. They want an ordinary human being with failings.”

                                                                                                                                                                                 Alfred Hitchcock

Well, Al, you’re far more successful in your field than I am in mine, but I will say in rebuttal…

“It depends.”

Yes, yes, sometimes the ordinary person can be truly, scarily villainous. Think of the controlling, obsessed mother who claims to want only the best for their child while systematically destroying the object of their affections. The spurned lover who thinks he’s within his rights to stalk his ex, or the seemingly nice, quiet man who can’t talk about his pain, only take it out on unsuspecting others. Cheerleaders/most popular girls in the class make great villains, wielding their power with all the hormone-driven desires seething in their teenage hearts. Who knows what evil lurks in the souls of ordinary men and women—or how it will be manifested?

Yet, the truth is, sometimes I want the green limelight, the moustache, even the propensity to kick at small, furry creatures. Sometimes, that’s exactly the kind of over-the-top, Joker-painted-face kind of villain a story calls for.

But…but…here’s the thing…

There has to be something more.

The villain has to play against the hero or heroine in such a way we’re occasionally drawn to wonder if there isn’t something wrong with the way the supposed good guy/girl relates to life. He or she must shine a light on the hero or heroine’s actions, be the funhouse mirror if you will, showing us something we might not have seen before. And they must have that little something extra, a quirk or habit we find interesting—maybe even just a little endearing. Something the hero or heroine apparently lacks.

There are a host of characteristics that can take a bad guy from cookie-cutter, Snidely Whiplash stereotype to someone we love to hate. Pathos, a kernel of kindness, a true (even if twisted) affection for someone else, or a need—for love, revenge, power, visibility—we can all relate to.

Perhaps even a sense of humor.

One of my favorite villains ever was Q, played with gusto by John de Lancie in the Star Trek, The Next Generation television series. Q is everything Captain Jean Luc Picard isn’t—omnipotent, amoral, disinterested in preserving life or viewing much with any sense of gravity. Q has no conscience. Not even the destruction of an entire specie gives him a qualm, while we’re quite sure Jean Luc remembers every crew member who died under his command and sometimes lies in bed reliving the moment he had to inform the families of their losses. Even physically Q is Picard’s opposite— 6’ 4” and solidly built to Picard’s 5’ 10” and trimly slender physique.

Yet, while Q no doubt was a crazy, life-form destroying, humanity judging, Enterprise endangering bad guy, lordie, he was also an absolute hoot! He had the kind of sense of humor Picard didn’t have, or couldn’t allow himself to have.

I always remember the scene at the end of the episode “Deja Q” when the Enterprise crew believes Q to be dead. Picard is being completely solemn, not hypocritical enough to pretend to mourn Q’s passing, but searching for meaning in the despised being’s demise. Suddenly, Q appears with a cry of “Au contraire, Mon Capitan. Q is back.”

There is a mariachi band! Cigars! Women! And, in that moment, you want to dance with Q, while shouting, “Lighten up!” at Picard. Although you can understand the captain’s annoyance, and know he doesn’t have the freedom to behave with Q’s abandon, you can’t help laughing at Q’s antics, and wonder what he’ll come up with next.

So yes, Al, the ordinary person made extraordinary by their inner demons definitely has a big place in the villain pantheon, but don’t count out the dude with the handlebar moustache or the wild eyes…give them a relatable quirk and we’ll love to hate them too.

Anya
Journeys Through Seduction

Anya Richards/Anya Delvay books available from Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Chapters Indigo.

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