Nope, I didn’t quite fall off the face of the earth….

A you can tell I’ve not exactly been speedy with updates to my blog, but I was recently contacted by a writer for The Otago Daily Times for some commentary about the sensation that is 50 Shades of Grey.

Here’s a link to the full piece (also with comments made by Sarah Frantz) and an excerpt:

“It’s  been my experience that the stories that stick with a reader have a lot of plausibility to them – the human condition underpins even the most unusual sexual elements.

“While the sexual aspects of an erotic romance might well be beyond a reader’s sphere of experience, the emotions leading to and within that sexual moment are experienced at varying levels and degrees by all of us.

“So far, I’ve written in the erotic romance and erotica areas. One of my publishers, Ellora’s Cave, coined the term ‘romantica’, meaning that while the story contains explicit sexual content like erotica those encounters are wrapped up in a romantic storyline.

“In contrast, straight erotica [or erotic fiction] often has no romantic overtones at all and while I’ve very definitely enjoyed probably more than my fair share of ‘stroke stories’, I prefer to write romantic sex.”

Douglas, whose titles include Tea For Three and Husbands and Wives and Lovers, says she enjoys depicting the interplay, angst and tension a “hot” sexual relationship can provide.

Another part of the appeal lies in exploring sexual situations “I might not or would not act on”.

Yet are books such as Fifty Shades mere escapism?

Might they possess the potential to redefine sexual parameters within a relationship?

“I think erotic romance can spice up a relationship if the people involved are open to it,” Douglas says.

“I’ve had a number of readers, women and men – yes, men read romance, too – who’ve dropped me a line to say their partner very much appreciated their appreciation of a good erotic romance story. It doesn’t mean they go out and re-create scenes from a story, but they can definitely build on the emotional and sexual arousal it brings.

“If you read a story involving a sexual dynamic you’ve never known, or perhaps understood, it could well be the light-bulb moment you didn’t know you’d been waiting for – for both good or bad,” Douglas says.

“It could be as simple as the knowledge that you aren’t wrong for fantasising about asking your partner to spank you; or it could be the opposite, in that it promulgates a stereotype where power is unfairly held by one party.”

And some reviews…

Joyfully Reviewed by Jo

Confirmed lovers seek to find the “something” that will satisfy needs.  His Intimate Submission continues Lucy and Jason’s story from Curious Intimacies.   Jason and Lucy have no secrets with their sexual relationship, just understanding of the needs and what pleases each other.  But when Jason reveals his latest need, Lucy finds a way to give it to him while still pleasing herself. I truly love the honest and openness of Jason and Lucy’s relationship and the fact they work to make it stronger.  Their erotic discovery is both sensual and loving, even while trying to figure out the mechanics of this new loving.  I really enjoyed the fact that Shane makes a couple of appearances.  His Intimate Submission is sensual eroticism at its best with that sense of discovery.

And from RomanceReader at Seriously Reviewed:

Um, yeah, I want—want Jason, want Lucy, still want Shane. Okay I don’t want the enema but Jason loved it and this book is all about him. I absolutely adored Lucy and the lengths she was willing to go to in order to please Jason. Lucy crossed a few lines that initially made her uncomfortable. In doing so she understands that pleasing her man is incredibly erotic and damn is it ever erotic. In this story you get a very palatable taste of Fem Dom. Ms. Douglas brilliantly reveals the strength and promise of pleasure in submission. While some aspects aren’t typical in any book, including erotica, Ms. Douglas is still tasteful in her descriptions of bodily functions and enemas. Should they be in every book, egads no. but in this case, the elements just worked. As for the love and devotion of Jason and Lucy, they are the characters love stories are made of.

#RT09

So I said I’d twitter my experience of being a Reader at the eBook Author signing, Wednesday night at Romantic Times. If you were on twitter and following the #rt09 hash tag you got to read all about it in real time, but for those of you not twittering here’s the transcript of my tweets sent.

# ROAD TRIP!!!! #rt09 ( it does class as a roadtrip if I’m going solo, right?)

# 305 miles to Miami wooooo

# I4 now. Orlando is now closer than farther

# Orlando us having a beautiful day! Ikea here I come (for returns)

# @Winidapuh well I was waiting for the locals to chime in with ‘you’re going the wrong way!!

# Eerk opened door, tis hot out!!

# Arrived earlier than I thought I might l. Damn. Now what do I do until 4.30? #rt09

# Did I just see @SmartBitches wearing pink in the parking lot? #rt09 oh the first ‘star’ sighting.

# Going to go park myself in the foyer and figure out where the ebook author signing is and star search.. #rt09

# @angelajames LOL I was the crazy lady in the orange Element going where she shouldn’t @SmartBitches

# @angelajames smuggle me in behind the scenes… I can fake it #rt09

# Well there are lots of parking spaces here… Where ever here is. So hopefully I have found a space where I should be. We’ll see. #rt09

# @SirTristam stuff and things, that’s what ebook authors sign #rt09

# Think I went in the wrong door. Many people wearing tags, but I think I might have hit the right room for the signing.. #rt09

# Wonder if I can just hang here and wait? #rt09

# Promo alley looks interesting, lots of goodies from all sorts of authors #rt09

# Oohhh the Mr Romance photo section!!! Big cluster of men, 1 woman in the middle feeling the whoa!! #rt09

# If I sit just here I wonder who I might see? I’m just outside club rt by the look and my fingers itch to go do some looksies #rt09

# It’s a very eclectic group of people walking by. Well dressed, very casually dressed, some a little bit themed (corsets and the like) #rt09

# Romance readers make up every level of society, don’t they. #rt09

# Leather cowboy hats and denim! #rt09

# Oooh was that a tag with Brashear on it that just walked past with a metric tonne of swag? #rt09

# @katiebabs blue shirts and denim look for the photos. Saw some skin … Only it was in the form of sunburned slighty pudgy late teens

# @avidbookreader I was just wondering if I can photograph promo alley #rt09

# Samhain swag walking past!!! #rt09 I will go attempt to photo…

# Beth williamson swag #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sdwu

# Useful swag- highlighters and lighters kc sehlhorst? #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3se45

# @linneasinclair swag #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3se7f

# Sally mckenzie swag #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sebf

# Authors filing in for signing I think #rt09

# Samhain swag #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3seo3

# @jane_l I will obtain a jane photo for the tweeples! #rt09 l

# ARe interview station #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3seym

# Lacy Savage sighting #rt09

# So is the ebook expo just a wander in thing? I figured it would be like sat morn and be $5 entry?

# Oooh Piers Anthony is who the older gent is!!! Nice! #rt09

# Dakota Cassidy sighted! #rt09

# 4.45 and nothing open yet. What’s the hold up?? #rt09

# Ooh something kinky with the download codes #rt09

# La banks and kwitney behind the crush #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3shdl

# authors authors everwhere! #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3shvw

# From the back #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3si3o

# Samantha Kane!! #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sih5

# @tinagerow here she is signing!! #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sih5

# @rainonroof I gushed and asked how she liked Tpigs latest piece on her work! #rt09 (re Sam Kane)

# Shayla Black #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sj1w

# Deidre knight #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sj7x

# Many many ec authors. Very many! The ec cover flats look lovely, very professional. #rt09

# I wonder if I can find Treva of LI? I have reports she is around. #rt09

# @TinaBurns running LSB table #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sjvw

# Said hello to Ralene Gorlinsky of EC. She was kind enough to give me the ec author gift even tho I’m not attending #rt09

# Found Barb Perfetti and Lori James and thanked them muchly for involving me in the @stanza promo #rt09

# Samhain bags #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sl6r

# Ah hah! An @jane_l in the wild! http://twitpic.com/3slb7

# And a @SmartBitches too #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3sle3

# Feeling kind of stalkery at the moment. But said hi to @SmartBitches Sarah. Nice to see her in person! #rt09

# Still no Treva. oh well can’t win them all.

# Chrissy Brashear was kind enough to try point her put to me though.

# Loreli James goodies #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3smg2

# Oh crap. The room goes dark then light then dark. Everyone is oohing and ahhing. It’s me leaning on the damn switch for the whole room #rt09

# EC party room for tonight #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3snoj

# Dare I sneak peek?? EC party #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3snrw

# Party room not a good pic I’m afraid #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3snzj

# @jane_l LOL you had your head in your phone twittering. Nice dress FYI!

# @jane_l plus I wasn’t signing but being a reader going squeeeeeee!!

# Bye bye #rt09 it was nice seeing you.

# Con center seemed nice (what I saw of It past the carlot I’m sittin in). Big and orange like most of Florida #rt09 http://twitpic.com/3souc

# @LorelieBrown seriously! Right? I hate those ‘snigger someones leaning on the switch SHIT!! It’s ME’ moments’ I guess I left my mark! #rt09

# Don’t think I saw many Samhain authors, but it was kinda a sea of EC so I prob missed some. A few Siren. A handful of LI #rt09

# @angelajames I’m envious… Will be food on road for me the party is over *sniff* #rt09

# LSb, Ec, Samhain, Redrose, total ebound, & tease publisher tables. No Loose Id, Sony, kindle or Ravenous Romance (I don’t think) #rt09

# Ack was hoping I’d miss rush hour but I’m not 🙁

# Just realised who else was missing Phaze. Saw them through the door at club rt but not at ebook fair… Wonder why? #rt09

# One couple there marketing kindle covers. #rt09 not sure if they had Sony reader covers or not… *cough* Mine are nicer though *cough*

# Bugger! Wrong St Augustine turn off which means going wrong direction for gas. Doh!

# Well. Home from #rt09 ebook signing. This has been one long arsed day. I think I twittered my fingers off. Hope it amused the tweeples…

# @laceysavage It was a walk by before the signing started. I’m never quite sure if I should act like a crazed fan and stop people or not 🙂

# @avidbookreader I wore my fingers to the bone! I think I need a new protector sheet for my phone, I wore this one out! 🙂

# Got to investigate bags this am. Door bag had 2 manga bks & I got 1other full bk. I want to say Tease pub ? (it’s not in my hand) #rt09

# Scored myself a ‘I’m a naked reader’ button on the way out (@sallymackenzie) now to find perfect venue to wear it! 🙂 #rt09

When I grow up I want to be a romance Heroine.

Have you played that game before? The one where you declare what you want to be when you ‘grow up’ and why.

It’s been years for me, but this morning as I stared in the mirror inspecting my pimplicious face and reflecting on the pain of getting an upper lip wax for the first time in 35+ years yesterday afternoon, I decided I wanted to be a romance heroine when I grow up (or come back in my next life, whatever *shrug*).

You might think “Of course you do, the heroine 9.9 times out of 10 gets the hunky hero and they live happily ever after”, but no, thats not the reason why. I’ve decided I want to be a romance heroine because they don’t seem to have to suffer the indignities of primping quite the same way the rest of us do.

Depending on who you follow on twitter, you might have seen some various comments about the fact that no-one ever pees in romance books…well, the heroines at least. Men often do, although its always a very closed door affair. These couple of random comments (and the one about my best ideas coming from contemplation time on the loo) got me thinking — all our lovely, perfect, flawed, kick arse, Mary Sue, thin, fat, inbetween, tomboy, barbie girl, mother nature heroines seem to have a void when it comes to primping.

Other than the tomboy to siren plot line, you never see the heroine go get her eyebrows waxed… let alone her upper lip, and you sure dont get to see her eyes glisten with the pain of a little asian lady ripping out bodyhair by the dont-want-to-let-go-roots. (Okay, I might just be harbouring a teensy little bit of angst toward the lovely Ms Lily at my nail salon for the lip wax thing because holycrapmonkeysdamn why didn’t anyone warn me how much that freaking hurts!! Ms Lily really is nice, and she’s a pretty dab hand with a brush and building fake nails for people like me who can’t grow them.)

Which leads to another point… where are the fake nails? And why do they always belong to the evil bitches who want the hero, or want to rule the world, dominating one man at a time and collecting enormous amounts of Baby Daddy monies? It seems all the heroines have perfect nails. No worried to the quick, flaky, hangnail, or overgrown cuticle in sight. What’s up with that??

And as for hair. What, heroines can’t have hair colours of artificial means? ( Kick arse urban fantasy, fantasy and scifi chicks excepted, cause you know elves with pink hair are hawt.) Seriously, I can’t be the only author with hair an unnatural shade of purple or pink (depends on the week, heh 🙂 ), heck even an never-seen-in-nature shade of blonde… And just why-oh-why has colour treated hair become yet another sign of the villianess…or worse, the whore of the story?? But that’s a whole other post.

So yeah, I’ve decided I want to be a romance heroine because they have perfect hair (that glistens/shines/glints/curls softly/wonderfully sleek), perfect brows (no unibrows and stray curlies need apply, and we wont touch on *whispers* ‘down there’… cause frankly, I don’t wanna know), and wonderful strong, perfectly shaped nails. Because frankly, I don’t have none of that.

And I want it.

Really bad.

Organization

I swear, the hardest part about organisation is not the organising itself, but figuring out just exactly how you are going to organise.

(And who knew that year at a view wall calendars were so damn expensive!)

Someone please bring the neat and tidy fairies to my house, my brain needs a clean out!

Sweet Review

Just a snippit from the Literary Nymphs Review of Witch Vamp Were?

Witch Vamp Were? is the second release in the Huntingdawn Pack series by talented author Anne Douglas, and like the first book, this one is a hoot that takes the reader on a fast-paced rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. It’s filled with great characters, snappy dialogue, a nosy ghost, a confusing prophecy, and enough hot sex between Shaun, Rob and Jak that you’ll need a fan.

Read the whole thing here

Review for All Boxed Up

And  a nice one it is at that!

Romance Junkies

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5 blue ribbons
Format: EBOOK

Aimee Small is the proud owner of a year round Christmas shop aptly named The Jolly Santa.  She’s a lovely shy young woman whose romantic life could use a little pick me up.  Her wild cousins have taken matters into their own hands and done their part in making sure Aimee’s Christmas wish comes true – only their convoluted attempts at matchmaking leave much to be desired.

Joseph Christopher has had the hots for Aimee since he first met her.  In fact he has more Christmas decorations and supplies than any straight single man should possess simply because he wanted to be near her and that requires spending a lot of time in her Christmas shop.  His fondest wish is to have Aimee notice him as a desirable male but so far she hasn’t shown much interest in him.

Aimee’s shocked when she wakes up nearly naked in a box – from her own shop, no less – and trussed up in bows after a pleasant evening with her cousins.  Obviously they drugged her in order for her to find herself in such a precarious situation and just where is it that they’ve left her?  It’s not until she hears someone enter the house and begin reading the card left with ‘the gift’ that she realizes that the recipient is none of than Joseph – a man she’s been crushing on for the past five years.  Humiliated beyond belief and saddened that he’d be witness to her sorry situation Aimee simply wants him to release her so she can preserve what little dignity she still has but Joseph has other ideas.

Joseph, a self proclaimed nerd isn’t one to reject a gift of such proportions and he’s been wanting Aimee far too long to simply release her and let her go about her way.  He’s aware that Aimee’s uncomfortable with her full figure but to him she’s a beautiful desirable woman and he adores every single one of her curves.  Besides, she can’t go anywhere until he undoes her ribbons and he’s not inclined to do so yet.   Joseph and Aimee both have esteem issues – Aimee because of her weight and Joseph because he’s a geek and doesn’t believe she could ever truly want him.  They’re both in for a heck of a Christmas surprise and a night to remember.

ALL BOXED UP by Anne Douglas is a quick read full of plenty of emotional turmoil and red hot passion.  Aimee and Joseph are warm hearted friendly characters who deserve a little happiness and love in their lives and while the situation that brings them together is unorthodox it’s definitely an experience they won’t forget.   What I found particularly endearing about this whole story is the honest insecurity that both the main characters display.  While the Christmas ‘gift’ turns out well for Aimee and Joseph I’m afraid I’d still have to ‘pay back’ the cousins Candy and Petunia so I’m hopeful that we’ll see another story with these characters getting their comeuppance.