NEW RELEASE: Erotic Takeover by Tina Donahue

CLICK ME to BUY!
CLICK ME to BUY!

Hey kids!  I haven’t featured a new release on The Belle in quite a while, so I thought– what the hell.  And boy did I pick a scorcher this time.  My friend and colleague at Ellora’s Cave, Tina Donahue, has just released her latest, Erotic Takeover.  It’s a story about the curvaceous and beautiful Jodi who is longing for the attention of her boss, sexy photographer Mac.  Take a look at this smoldering excerpt and I promise you’ll want to read more…

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True to his word, Mac didn’t touch her in any inappropriate places while he strolled the aisles, pulling boxes and cans off the shelves, reading the ingredients as if he’d never done anything like this before.

Jodi suspected he hadn’t, finding her life an adventure he’d never had to face. For someone like him, it was a fun challenge to budget money, clip coupons, search for all the specials. At least until it became a bore, which would happen eventually.

Her heart cramped at the thought that this would be their first and last grocery trip together. Never had she wanted him more. He was so damn hot and adorable. Like a little boy with his first puzzle, trying to put all the pieces together.

Bent at the waist, Mac studied the store labels beneath the spaghetti sauces. Each showed the cost-per-ounce comparison between the brands.

Two middle-aged women reached past him for their choices. He apparently didn’t notice.

They stared at his luscious profile then gave Jodi the once over, dismissing her as though she had nothing to do with him. She could read their thoughts in their expressions—a hottie like him surely wouldn’t be with someone like her.

Sighing, Jodi checked the time. They’d been here forty minutes already. Mac looked as though he could go all night at this.

“This one,” he said, tapping the bottle of Prego. “It’s three cents cheaper than the other—wait, I think we have a coupon.” He checked his iPhone and beamed as if he’d just inherited Garner’s. “Fifty cents off. Awesome. I’m adding it to your shopping cart.” He put the Prego in her basket. “Where’s the cheap wine?”

“Why?”

“We can’t have spaghetti without booze. What kind of cook are you?”

Jodi lifted her shoulders, her mind stuck on how he’d said “we”, as though they were a couple…or maybe just friends. That had to be it. Mac had fun when he was with her, just as he would with a guy, with the added bonus of sex.

“You can’t cook?” he finally said then sighed. “Looks as if tonight’s on my shoulders.”

“You’re going to make a meal for us?”

“Sure. How hard can it be? If I hit a problem, I’ll Google it on my phone or call Joe.”

She frowned. “Who’s Joe?”

“The chef at Garner’s. Great guy. He can talk me through anything.”

Jodi laughed. “You do know there are cooking instructions on the packages.”

Mac picked up the box of spaghetti. His eyebrows lifted as he read the directions.

God, he was beautiful when he was clueless. “Do you eat out for every meal?”

“Nope.” He tossed the box back in her cart. “I get delivery or takeout sometimes.”

“You don’t even have coffee at your place?”

“There’s a Starbucks less than a mile away.” He leaned into her and murmured, “That’s why God made them, for guys like me.”

Wow, he really was a virgin at this. Tonight was going to be something.

***********************

Whew… I think I need a Mac in my life.  Here’s a bit more about Tina…

I’m an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Kensington, Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Booktrope, and indie. Yay! Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised my work, and trust me, I’m forever grateful for that. I’ve had my books reach finals in the EPIC competition, one title was named Book of the Year at a review site, and others have won awards in RWA-sponsored contests. I’m actually featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Talk about feeling like a freaking star. Before my writing career, I was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. Outside of being an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, I’ve flown a single-engine plane (scary stuff), rewired an old house using an electricity for dummies book, and have been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally whenever I’m eating anything Mexican or Italian. Yeah, I like to eat (burp).

You can check me out here – yes, I am everywhere!  J

 FB Fanpage: http://on.fb.me/1ChWdD7

Email: tina@tinadonahue.com Website: http://bit.ly/15Xy6LI

Blog: http://bit.ly/1yRB9k9

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1wFmIu6

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ziy4IU

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1Dl8DHy

Triberr: http://bit.ly/1CE2ec7

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1yFLeMx

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1ChWFkO

My page at TRR: http://bit.ly/1vb7eEc

EC Author Page: http://bit.ly/1Dh9wor

Samhain Author Page: http://bit.ly/1Bvw6mL

Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas: http://bit.ly/1ChWN3K

Romance Books 4 US: http://bit.ly/1JPtfeS

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Now, down to brass tacks— Tina’s also hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway.  You can enter to win a whole slew of eBooks (40 eBooks by 30 different authors)!  Just go on over to Tina’s site and enter to win!  http://www.tinadonahue.com/massive-e-book-giveaway-contest/ 

 

Sharp Decline in Ellora’s Cave Sales… DUH!

me and amy (2)Well, I’ve kept my mouth shut for months now.  People have gone so far as to ask me point blank about the upset going on with Ellora’s Cave and I’ve politely changed the subject.  Or maybe given some cryptic comments like “don’t get me started.”  But I’m not going to hold my tongue any longer because well… what have I got to lose at this point?  I’m also sick of seeing people who have NO idea what they’re talking about making judgments for the sake of pointing and laughter.

Now, you’re probably thinking that this is going to be the start of a rant where I trash Ellora’s Cave and just generally commit career suicide.  Well the joke’s on you, because I’m not going to do that.  I’ve been with EC for over a year now and in that time I can say nothing but nice things about how I’ve been treated as an author.  My editor, Rebecca Hill, is an absolute delight– top of the line (but more about that later).  My royalties were paid out monthly and for the most part on time, despite any glitchy computer issues.  My thoughts and concerns about my books have always been addressed and dealt with.  Ms. Gorlinsky and Mrs. Marks have always been attentive to any communications and very forthright in their answers to concerns.  All this being said, I have to tell you, kittens, that I’m pretty heartbroken over some of the things that have gone down in the last several months.

Let me start by saying that I LOVED EC books.  They’re part of what shaped me as the writer I am today.  They inspired me to believe that I could write the romances that I wanted to read.  That romance wasn’t just for sweet little librarian types (no offense to any librarians) who loved those sweeping bodice rippers where everyone was named Tarquin St. James.  They could be gritty, explicit stories with Alpha heroes that were as smart as they were dangerous.  My very first EC book was Bitten by Sherri L. King.  I read the whole thing sitting on the beach and nearly burned myself to a crisp.  After I turned the last page, I said to myself, “You can do this, Lexxx.  You can write a romance novel for women like you.”  I started writing with every intention of one day becoming an Ellora’s Cave author.  Which I did when I published “One Hundred Strokes” last year.  Since then, I’ve put out three more books with them with one more on the way.  My royalty checks haven’t been horrible, but let’s just say I haven’t quit my day job.  I’d be happy as a clam to continue handing them quality erotic fiction to satisfy their readers as long as they’d have me.  But after the last few months, I’ve started to question my position a bit.

The first blow came in the form of the big announcement that the savior of the press was going to be a book series by Farrah Abraham.  I have not read her book.  I have no plans to read her book.  I only know the image that Ms. Abraham has put forth on the internet and on television.  And this is not an image that I would want people to associate with me or my work.  What I’m selling are story driven books with an erotic edge.  All indications point to Ms. Abraham selling pornography.  Not that there’s a thing wrong with that.  That’s just not me and I can’t say I was happy to see that her books were going to be sitting beside mine on the virtual shelf.  It’s a bit like serving a porterhouse steak on a trash can lid (to borrow from Bill Cosby).  But that wasn’t even what bothered me.  Not really.  What bothered me the most was the way in which it was presented to me.  Ms. Abraham’s series was announced to me in an email that basically painted her like the Jesus Christ of erotic fiction and wasn’t I just pleased as a parsnip to have her on board?  There was this notion that her readers would flock to the press and find the rest of us hacks, so we should do our best to get the word out about her books.  It was insulting, despite how it was intended.  1.)  No one announced my coming to EC like Moses to the Hebrews.  2.)  No one pushed my book out in a couple of months (ebook and print simultaneously).  3.) No one offered me national promotional opportunities (i.e.– Cosmopolitan, syndicated radio, etc.) I shudder to imagine how much money the press has spent on promotion for this ONE AUTHOR when they have scads of really good writers who have been faithful to them for years.

The next blow came weeks later with the now infamous letter about the decline in sales on Amazon that is requiring Ellora’s Cave to cut back on staff.  There are many theories as to why this is happening.  Some theories are painting EC as just another media conglomerate that’s robbing Peter to pay Paul.  The bottom line is this:  of COURSE EC sales are declining.  Once upon a time EC was the only game in town.  They were the only place to buy quality erotic fiction that was written with the woman in mind.  There was no such thing as small press or indie authors (well, there may have been, but nobody was really talking about those).  Self-publishing was still a dirty word.  And then the eBook boom came.  Finally we got the hang of those handy little devices and the big giant head at Amazon proclaimed, “bring me your tired, your trashy, your shower nozzle masturbation material.”  Suddenly the market was FLOODED with “Taken by the T-Rex” for JUST 99 CENTS! and Come read my 1st book in the “Ridin’ Stepdaddy’s Pole Series” for FREE!  You can get your rocks off for free now, isn’t that great!?  It’s tough to compete with 10 book bundles for 99 cents. Especially when Ellora’s Cave is still offering their books for the same prices they always have been.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we start giving books away.  The people screaming “I’m not paying 7 bucks for 150 page book” make me just as angry because it lends credence to the notion that writing a book isn’t hard work and it isn’t worth paying for.  I mean, come on– you pay almost 7 bucks for a cup of coffee from Starbucks.  Daily.  And making coffee is far less miraculous.  In the words of Harlan Ellison, “Pay the writer!”

The cutbacks have affected me personally by thrusting me into this horrible state of “wait and see.”  I have books almost ready to go, but now, I’m seriously questioning if I want to give them over to a publisher that has, as of late, acted irresponsibly.  It’s a bit like a working mom who needs to work, but doesn’t want to send her child to the daycare down the street with the rusty playground equipment.  My editor, the brilliant Rebecca Hill (who is a freelance editor– shoot me a message if you need one) was one of the victims of the cutbacks.  Which means that I have no editor and therefore no idea what’s going to happen to any future submissions.  Of course, given the article I read over the weekend and the email threads I’ve been a part of— that might not be such a bad thing.  The most recent stink has been the rumor that EC will be copyediting books ONLY (this means just giving it a once over for punctuation, etc.) with no input from the author and releasing it without author approval.  EC of course says this is ludicrous, but there’s a multitude of evidence to the contrary.  Including common sense.  How are 3 or 4 people going to thoroughly edit THOUSANDS of manuscripts?  Simple answer:  they aren’t.  Just out of curiosity– doesn’t that void the contract?  Releasing a book without edits seems to be a violation of rights.

And I’m not going to mention the nonpayment of royalties because that hasn’t happened to me.  Yet.  Again, wait and see.  Do I believe it’s happening to others?  Hells yeah.  Am I pissed off on their behalf?  Of course I am.

I’m not going to rehash what others have done.  Dear Author and other outlets have done that pretty efficiently.  I’m not going to commit career suicide by posting a misspelled and grammatically incorrect rant that makes me look like a crazy person.  The whole thing is turning ugly and starting to look like a bunch of trashy women shouting at one another across the parking lot of the trailer park.  “You better stop talkin’ ’bout me or I’ma come over there and bust you in your eye and turn you over to the secret police!” You know, that sort of thing.  Others want authors to rise up and have some kind of 60s style sit in with signs and chanting.  I’m not sure that’s not a publicity stunt in and of itself.  Personally, I’m going to take care of me and mine.  I’m not going to be silent, but I’m also not going to be hothead.  Voices are powerful, so my advice to my fellow authors is to watch what’s coming out of your face and in the words of Christian Bale:  Be a fucking professional!

internal screaming

 

#TeaserTuesday “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”

CLICK ME to buy for $1.49!

CLICK ME to buy for $1.49!

So I’ve decided to try this #TeaserTuesday thing.  I don’t normally do it, but I’ll give it a whirl.  So the idea is to give a teaser– just a little paragraph– of your book.  My problem is, I have the hardest time finding ONE paragraph that will entice all of you rabid readers.  But I’ll do my best.  BTW– this teaser isn’t exactly SFW. 

****

“No undergarments.  How scandalous, Miss Spencer,” he rasped against my ear, so close that I could feel his lips moving against the cuff.  He accented his mock displeasure with a firm squeeze.  My nipple immediately tightened under his palm.  Biting back a groan, I leaned back into his embrace.  I could feel his cock, already impossibly hard and trapped in an unforgiving prison of denim, nudging against my backside.  “I could do it, you know,” he continued.  “I could eat you alive.”  His words made my heart pound like a jackhammer against my breast, sending a shockwaves of sensation straight to my center.  Involuntarily, I moved against him, rocking my hips backward in a desperate attempt to get some sort of relief.  Between my thighs was a rainforest, hot and wet.  I wanted so badly to open them and let the cool air sooth my sex.  I was thankful that I had opted for no panties.  I don’t think my body would stand the friction.  “Careful, love,” he whispered, his voice startling me. “It wouldn’t do to have you come right here in the elevator.” 

Copyright © Alexandra Christian, 2014

All rights reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

****

Damn, that Alexander Kensington– whew…. I could just eat him up.  Here’s more about the book so you can go buy the WHOLE thing for the bargain price of less than 2 bucks! 

Fangirl favorite Alexander Kingston has a “type”—blonde, willowy and sophisticated. He doesn’t give mousey wardrobe mistress Elizabeth a second look, until she transforms herself and sets out to seduce him.

But dark desires are at play. Before long their erotic encounter will turn into a date to die for.

Inside Scoop: This story contains sinister themes and predatory intentions.

A Romantica® horror erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave 

http://www.ellorascave.com/gentlemen-prefer-blondes.html#

 

NEW RELEASE: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes_PROOF3

Well baby loves, I’ve been away on vacation for a week but now I’m back and ready to roll!  The last few days I’ve been playing “catch up” at the day job, doing LOTS of laundry and trying to figure out Google+ (Do people really use that?  If you do, please join me there and teach me the ways of your people.).

Well is there a more perfect way to come back after vacation than to have a shiny new release?  I don’t think so.  That’s right, it’s finally available from Ellora’s Cave— “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”  It’s a short little erotic horror piece that was shamelessly inspired by the craziness of the #Sherlock fandom.  In fact, I’m really expecting some kind of cease and desist order from #BenedictCumberbatch ‘s legal team.  I defy you not to see the similarities in the “hero”, Alexander Kensington and Mr. #Cumberbatch.  Though, I have to apologize a little for that.  I can’t tell you why, as it would spoil the story.  Just keep in mind— it’s erotic HORROR.  “Happily ever after” is not part of the equation.  So I’m going to shut up and give you a little glimpse….

****

I did a little research before hitting the salon. Just a little. Alex’s tastes in women haven’t really changed all that much—blonde stick figures with lazy bedroom eyes and pale skin. Or, as I like to call them, corpses. The hardest part, really, was losing the weight. For a year I’ve done nothing but eat seaweed and go for unenergetic walks around the block. The good news is, I now have that ghostly, wan look I’ve always wanted. Then all I needed was a little hair dye, some makeup and a new red dress. Standing in front of the full length mirror in the hotel bathroom, I surprised myself. For a moment I might have believed that I could actually be one of them. One of those posh peacocks who looked like living goddesses as they strolled down the street.

Teetering on high heels, I step out to cross the street to his hotel. It’s late, nearly midnight. He’ll be at the bar, having a drink at a table in the corner and trying to be unobtrusive. It’s been his habit each night for several weeks. Come in from set, take a shower, put on something casual and un-put-together and head down to the hotel bar for a vodka and tonic. He stays there for about an hour. That’s how long it usually takes for some doe-eyed waitress to catch his eye. They exchange niceties. He compliments her smile. She stammers and blushes, immediately recognizing him by that gravely baritone voice. Innocently, he flashes his famous boyish grin and begs for her utmost discretion, which she will, of course give. At least until the next morning on Twitter. He always leaves a pile of cash on the table and then ushers her out of the bar and up to his room. It’s Alex’s M.O. and it isn’t new. Of course, tonight will be different. Tonight I’ll be the prey.

Copyright  © Alexandra Christian, 2014; All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

Ok, so now that I’ve tempted you with an excerpt, I better tell you where you can find this jewel.  You can click the image above or go to http://www.ellorascave.com/gentlemen-prefer-blondes.html to download in any of your favorite eBook formats.  I’ve also put together a little muse board on Pinterest if you’re interested.  It has pics, music, recipes and little excerpts from the story:  http://www.pinterest.com/lexxxchristian/gentlemen-prefer-blondes/ .  And speaking of social media– I’ve done a little update page that has all of my links so you can stalk me better.  If you aren’t following me on Twitter, Facebook, etc– you’re missing out.  I’m way funnier on Twitter at 2am.  Just sayin’…

 

NEW RELEASE DAY!! Hellsong is LIVE!

Hello kittens!  It’s my release day and I’ve had way too much coffee already.  So I thought I’d start by posting a little blurb about Hellsong, just to give you a taste of my madness.  There’s also a link to the Ellora’s Cave store AND the Hellsong_ECAmazon page so that you can go forth and purchase, share or just LIKE if you’re short of funds and time.  Maybe later I’ll even post a picture of myself in a dog collar suckin’ a riding crop…

*****

Theo is a child of the storm, found wandering after the hurricane that devastated New Orleans, with no memory of her past. She’s made a quiet, contented existence for herself. But all that changes when two very different but equally compelling men come into her life.

Dantalion and Saraqael both want her body, and her soul. But there’s a much greater prize at stake. If she chooses right, she’ll find Heaven in the arms of an angel. If she chooses wrong, all Hell will be let loose on Earth.

A Romantica® horror erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave 

Buy Links:

Ellora’s Cave:  http://www.ellorascave.com/hellsong.html

Amazon Kindle:  http://www.amazon.com/Hellsong-Alexandra-Christian-ebook/dp/B00J2XAC2C/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395160055&sr=1-3&keywords=Hellsong

#newrelease #novel #erotic #romance #paranormal #angels #demons

Just Sluts with Pens

me and amy (2)Hello, denizens of the Interwebs!  It’s been a while since we chatted and I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath to see what I had to say next.  Well wait no more, here I am!  Well, it’s going to be an exciting Springtime for the old girl. Why, you ask?  Well, tomorrow 3/19/2014, I have a new release coming from Ellora’s Cave and, wonder of wonders, it’s my first novel length work with them!  It’s also my first foray into erotic horror with them, so we’ll see what happens.  So keep watch tomorrow for excerpts, blurbs and just general squee-ing.  I’ve also written a little article called “Velocirapture, the Rise of Crypto Porn” that will be featured in Jamais Vu– Journal of the Strange Among the Familiar, Issue 2.  It’s snarky and fun and I do hope that you’ll like it.

Well, with all that in the works, you’re probably wondering about the title of my little blog today.  Yes, I’m afraid another rant is coming your way.  I know you’ve missed them.  At any rate, yesterday I heard that some romance authors in my area were approached about a reality show that is set to focus on romance writers.  Now, I’m sure that what’s being pitched is a show that would feature “The Writer’s Life.”  But think about it, people.  Many of you reading this blog right now know that “the writer’s life” in actuality would probably not make a good reality show.  Watching me go to my day job, trying to write a sex scene in between answering the phone to say things like “no, I cannot excuse you from jury duty because you have an infected toenail.”  Sitting for hours on the couch with my dog, trying to write but instead succumbing to the swansong of Pinterest and Facebook.  Knowing that I need to write the next chapter of my novel when really all I want to do is write more Sherlock fanfiction.  Staring at a blank piece of paper while I sip yet another cup of tea.  These things would not be intriguing to the general public.  This is not glamorous.  Which makes me wonder– what is the show really going to be about?  I don’t know, but I have some guesses.

It may be because I’m jaded or because I’ve gotten the “oh, you write romance” look far too often.  You know the one.  The one that says 1) Romance novels… that’s not like real writing and 2) You must be a freak in bed!  But I’m very skeptical. I have visions of romance novelists being represented as desperate housewives who are writing up their sexual misadventures with the plumber.  I’m seeing camera crews following authors to conventions where they only manage to catch the parts where we’re sitting in the bar after a day of panels, knocking back some margaritas.  Maybe producers encouraging said authors to dance on tables while having lipstick lesbian encounters with other members of their caste.  Or worse, romance novelists being portrayed as frustrated librarians who can’t get boyfriends writing about their fantasies of watching homosexual couples whipping each other with riding crops.

Hellsong_EC

NEW RELEASE!

In short, I’m afraid that reality television would perpetuate the myth that romance authors are “just sluts with pens.” Reality television isn’t solely to blame, of course.   After all, I have no idea if the show has even been greenlit.  I do spend an awful lot of time on Twitter and Facebook and see an awful lot of authors that, while talented, are so desperate to be noticed that they’re glad to project that slutty image (by the way, if you’re an author and my Facebook friend– I’m not referring to you) just to get attention.  Here’s a pro tip:  if your profile picture on Facebook shows you either A:  half dressed with your tits jacked to Jesus, or B:  wearing a collar and sucking a riding crop,  chances are folks aren’t interested in you for your books. And you’re degrading yourself and the rest of us who consider ourselves artists.  Those of us who work hard every day to craft a story that we can be proud of.  A story that is worthy of our readers.

Just a thought.

Coming up tomorrow:  A new release!  And a blog post entitled:  “If the words “dripping wet love hole” appear in your book, it’s probably not erotica.”

 

EXCERPT: Ingenue: Introducing Rose d’Vine

ingenue_new lineAlright, my pretties… as promised, here is an excerpt of my new book from Ellora’s Cave!  Presenting…. “Ingenue.” 

*******

Rose turned and began to loosen the ribbon ties that crisscrossed over her back. The bodice was so tight that lines, clearly visible to the front row, had been cut into the flesh of her back. She could feel each one, but like the gentle sting that came with a tangle of curl, she was used to this slight discomfort. Craved it, even. Despite being so constricted, she moved with a dancer’s grace, twisting and turning until she faced them again. A coquettish smile played on her lips as she delighted in their growls of frustration. She was teasing them. Only at the last possible moment would she reveal the hidden pearlescent flesh.
Her middle, soft and curvaceous, was smoothed into an unyielding cylindrical form that tapered toward her hips. Her ample breasts peeked just over the top hem of the undergarment and if anyone had looked closely, they would have seen just the hint of rose-café areola exposed in a flurry of lace. She moved her hands over her hips and up her sides until finally arriving at the sumptuous globes of her bosom. She caressed them with her palms, her bright-red nails standing out over the milky skin. She tugged gently at the corset, a tiny promise of what was surely to come. They could hear the tiny snaps hidden at the front of the corset begin to give way. The climax of the song had arrived and Rose ceased to move. Only her fingertips, gently working free the closures as she sang, gave any sign of movement. The crowd below was holding its collective breath. They knew that at any second she would pull the corset open with a savage flourish. The notes in her voice climbed higher as she strutted down the runway until finally, inevitably, she arrived at the end. Then, standing there in the midst of her admirers,
Rose held the final strains of the song, pulling the corset fully open and tossing it into the audience. The pasties over each nipple and the web of rhinestones over her sex glistened in the dim spotlight. She gave them only a moment to stare at her near-naked form. They reached and hissed at her, everyone wanting to caress even just the smallest bit of her flesh. Rose smiled and waved, blowing kisses to them all as they passed around the silk corset, pressing it to their noses to inhale her womanly perfume.

“Easy, boys,” she sighed, still breathless. “I wouldn’t want anyone to have a stroke.” Turning on her heel, she walked toward the wings. She paused for only a moment. “At least not until you get home.”

************

That Rose… I just love her.  I want to be her when I grow up.  At any rate, if you liked that bit, hop on over to Ellora’s Cave by clicking the image and grab a copy of “Ingenue” hot off the presses.  You won’t be sorry…

Show Me Your Burlesque, or RELEASE DAY!!

ingenue_new lineWell, it’s finally here!! You can officially purchase my new short, “Ingenue,” from Ellora’s Cave!  It’s a sexy little historical romance that takes place near the end of the Roaring 20s.  It’s the era just before “talkies,” when Vaudeville was king.  Variety show circuits dominated the entertainment industry, bringing song and dance, bawdy comedy acts and striptease to the masses.  Though our story takes place in the 20s, burlesque dates back much farther.  Theaters in Victorian London staged popular parodies of grand opera and Shakespearean plays that had comedic musical numbers and raunchy humor.  Of course, it didn’t take long for the art form to cross the pond into America where, like everything else, it was made bigger, raunchier and rowdier.  Striptease was added to the mix and the shows became more of a variety-style format with comedians, magicians, singers and short versions of the English style that might parody a popular play or some political issue of the time.  Striptease, for obvious reasons, became a major draw for the shows.  However, rules became more and more stringent and the performers found creative ways to get past obscenity laws.  Pasties and props kept the essentials covered and the routines were more about the tease and less about the strip.  The “hoofers” were not only sexy, but talented singers, dancers and comediennes.  Stars such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand and Blaze Starr emerged as classy sex symbols of their time.

“Ingenue” is a story about this Golden Age of Burlesque.  The heroine, Rose D’Vine, is a burlesque dancer, desperate to escape the seedy New York theater scene and break into movies.  She’s so desperate that she’s willing to sell her love to the highest bidder– a horrible meal ticket named Charlie Potter.  He’s abusive and selfish, but he’s got connections in high places and he’s promised to make her a star.  What Rose really needs is a hero.  Enter Stefan, the soft-spoken stagehand.  He’s loved Rose for years and wants to take her away from Charlie.  He wants to make all of her dreams come true, but what does a poor immigrant have to offer.  Only his love.

Stay tuned for an excerpt, but in the meantime….

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Never fall in love with a hoofer. That’s the advice given to Stefan—advice he immediately ignores when he falls head-over-heels in love with burlesque dancer Rose, the shimmying, corseted star of the Footlight Theatre. But wicked, wounded Rose is far out of the humble stagehand’s reach.

Rose has stars in her eyes—and bruises on her face. As she suffers abuse at the hands of a cruel patron, she dreams of the day when she’ll find her way out of her nightmare and into the arms of the passionate, protective Stefan.

Inside scoop:  This book contains scenes of domestic violence before the heroine fights back and finds her true hero.

AHS Coven Roundup and Halloween

american-horror-story-coven-2You guys probably noticed that I didn’t comment on American Horror Story last week. Well, I was a little disheartened by last week’s episode.  There was some stuff going on that I just didn’t feel were particularly necessary.  And the one thing I hate in horror is when the writer does something just for ick factor.  There was a lot of ick factor last week:  the Incest is the Best storyline with Frankenwiener, the Is that a Cowbell or Are You Just Happy to See Me event with Queenie and the Minotaur— it was just too much for The Belle.  So I didn’t say a lot.

This week, the show was redeemed!  I’m not really surprised.  Every season has had a mediocre episode followed by the bombshell Halloween episode. This season was no different.  Marie Laveau has permanently cemented her place in my heart with this week’s badassery. Hell hath no fury like a voodoo queen scorned.  I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that the Civil Rights Movement might have sped along a little faster if they’d let Marie settle some of the disputes.  I actually kind of like that we’ve got some social commentary going on this season.   I was also pleasantly surprised that Delphine and Queenie seemed to be coming to an understanding.  Perhaps old Madame LaLaurie will be the one getting redeemed this year.

The theme this week was obviously:  When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.  As I mentioned on Twitter, there were a lot of checks being written that asses can’t cash.  Never cheat on a witch– her Coven will come after you.  Never hurt a witch– her Coven will come after you.  Never gang up on a witch– her Coven will come after you.  They may hate one another, but nobody else better fuck with em.  Which brings me to the double-edged sword of this week’s episode for me:  the witch council.  I hate complicated political structures in paranormal fiction.  Remember that stupid vampire power structure in the Sookie Stackhouse books? The Volturi in the Twilight series?   Yeah… I hate shit like that.  You’re freakin’ witches. I think a governmental body is a pretty moot point.  However, I loved the three actors that played The Council.  If these kids had been the Volturi, it would have been entertaining.

Coven did one thing extremely well tonight, though.  The Southern Gothic element was portrayed with the mysterious reverence it deserves.  If you’re an author who is trying to pinpoint how to capture that atmosphere, watch the encore episode and take notes.  It doesn’t get more perfect than this.

Happy Halloween, kids!  Have a spooky, sexy day!  And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow when I’ll be all about my RELEASE DAY!  That’s right, I have a new quickie from Ellora’s Cave dropping on Friday, Nov. 1st! So come back and see me!  You never know… I may give away a free book!

 

Fanfiction: Masterclass for Baby Writers or Root of All Evil?

me and amy (2)OK, admit it, when you saw the FANFICTION at the beginning of this blog post, you thought, “Has The Belle finally taken leave of her senses?”  And the answer is: no more than usual.  Let me begin by saying that I’m very positive on fanfiction.  Like many of my colleagues, “fic” was my introduction to building a story.  Yes, kittens, beneath this cool exterior beats the heart of a true fangirl.  If you’ve seen my Pinterest page, you know that already.  I’ve always been a movie person and had that little obsessive streak.  I still do. I’m hugely inspired by movies, music, television, actors and actresses. Therefore, fanfiction has been crucial to my development as a writer.

The first complete short story I ever wrote was a fanfiction.  It was 1996, I was in college and I was obsessed with the TV show, Forever Knight.  If you’ve never seen the show, its the predecessor to all the sympathetic vampire shows we know and love now.  Anyway, I joined a mailing list (remember those?!) full of other Forever Knight fangirls and I was introduced to the fic phenomenon.  The story was called “First Kill” and it was a shortish, angsty piece about Nick Knight and his first involuntary vampire murder.  I’m sure if I came across it now, I’d cringe at how awful it was.  However, it helped me craft a complete story without having to worry about building a world and a lot of original characters.  I also got lots of encouragement from other people that  liked the story and liked my writing style.  They also told me things that I could do better.  I started to think, “Hmm… I might be able to do this.”  Fast forward about 5 years and found a new mailing list dedicated to “Moulin Rouge.”  That’s where I really took off and started writing A LOT.  I actually gained a following (hi out there to any former Cleo followers) and learned how to add details, description and plot twists. Oh and did I mention explicit sex scenes?  I also had the remarkable experience of meeting some of my best friends IN THE WORLD on those lists.

The point of this story:  writing fanfiction is like training wheels for authors.

Now, the dark side.  Fanfiction is technically copyright infringement.  Wait, wait… don’t jump on me yet.  When you write fanfiction, you have to keep in mind that your fingers are playing in someone else’s pie.  And if you’re going to play with their worlds, then you have to respect their rules.  Some authors/ screenwriters/ filmmakers/ actors are very positive on fanfiction and even encourage their fans to have fun with their universes as long as said fans aren’t making money off of it.   Authors such as Neil Gaiman, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.K. Rowling, E.L. James, Stephanie Meyer, Terry Pratchett, Jim Butcher and many others give their full blessings to fan fiction writers as long as no profit is being made (the exception being Conan Doyle who is, in fact, dead– of course his estate is a different matter for a different blog post).  They realize that their works have inspired others to write and their creativity might lead future authors to realize their potential.  Others are VERY MUCH against it. Marion Zimmer Bradley, Orson Scott Card, Diana Gabaldon, Laurell K. Hamilton, George R. R. Martin, Anne Rice, and J. R. R. Tolkien are pretty adamant that their works NOT be borrowed or played with.  And that’s just a small sample.  So keep that in mind before hitting that PUBLISH button on Fanfiction.net.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVRDQacBVh0

The thing I don’t like about fanfiction is that some folks have taken it too far.  The “rules” have become way more stringent than in my day and flaming seems to be the rule of the day.  When I was writing fic regularly, it was a very supportive environment where aspiring writers tried to encourage other aspiring writers.  Now it can be like a warzone.  Fic authors are afraid to write Original Female Characters (OFCs) because they’ll be accused of doing a “Mary Sue.”  If you don’t know what that is, a “Mary Sue” is the author inserting herself into a story in order to engage in sexual situations with the objects of their desire.  I was actually reading a story on fanfiction.net the other day (yeah, I went snooping before writing this post) and in the author’s note the poor girl had actually apologized for her OFC.  This disturbed me because 1– you should never apologize for creativity and 2– if you never create an original character, then you’ll never move beyond fanfiction into your own stories.  I wanted to write this poor girl a note and tell her to take that apology back.  It was obvious to me that this girl was very young and very new to writing, and I’d hate to think that some fandom battleax would crush her because she’d dared to have an original idea.  I’ve also heard that for some fandoms, if someone dares to write a “hetfic” (meaning that the pairings are heterosexual rather than slash) that they’re almost guaranteed to be flamed off the list.  This disturbs me.  If two male characters aren’t gay in their fandom’s canon, why do we insist on forcing them into a sexual relationship in fanfiction?  Don’t get me wrong, if you want to write that– awesome.  Have at it.  However, don’t flame someone else who isn’t into that.  Personally, if I’m writing fanfiction about a heterosexual character, then its more satisfying to me to keep them in character (I’m lookin’ at you JohnLock!ers… ;P).

Now, the answer you’ve all been waiting for:  Do I, Alexandra Christian, Southern Belle, erotic author and part-time pinup girl, write fanfiction?  Yes.  I do.  Do I publish it anywhere?  No.  It’s something I write for myself for my hard drive for my eyes.  Fanfiction is now how I break through blocks, give my brain a rest and work through writing issues that I might be having.  I share it with a few friends every now and then, but for the most part I keep it to myself.

Mostly so George Lucas doesn’t kill my dog.

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ingenue_new lineCOMING FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST!!– Not a fanfiction…LOL

Never fall in love with a hoofer. That’s the advice given to Stefan—advice he immediately ignores when he falls head-over-heels in love with burlesque dancer Rose, the shimmying, corseted star of the Footlight Theatre. But wicked, wounded Rose is far out of the humble stagehand’s reach.

Rose has stars in her eyes—and bruises on her face. As she suffers abuse at the hands of a cruel patron, she dreams of the day when she’ll find her way out of her nightmare and into the arms of the passionate, protective Stefan.

Inside scoop:  This book contains scenes of domestic violence before the heroine fights back and finds her true hero.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave