Archive for April, 2009
ON THE PROWL by Crystal Jordan
Meet the Cruz brothers. They look human—except for the golden sheen their eyes take when they’re aroused beyond control…and the way their claws come out when it’s time to play rough. They’re Panthers, ancient shapeshifters, and their survival depends on mating to bring out their wild sides…
When Antonio, the strong, sexy new leader of the Panther pride, meets luscious Solana in a dark alleyway, their passion lights up the night. But she’s an outcast, an impossible mate—and her touch makes him lose all control…
Ex-model and businesswoman Andrea doesn’t need anyone—until she meets Miguel, who tempts her mind with daring games and teases her body with dark, forbidden pleasure she can’t resist…
Wild twins Ricardo and Diego do everything together—and their women appreciate the teamwork. Until shy Isabel takes refuge in their pride, and both want to claim her. Of course, sometimes two mates are better than one…
Places to get it on the web:
Barnes & Noble
BOUND TO PLEASE by Lilli Feisty
FROM FANTASY TO ECSTASY
Ruby Scott is a beautiful, quiet event planner who leads an oh-so-respectable life. Yet the things that go on in her secret fantasies are anything but. She has every intention of keeping her hidden desires under wraps-until she meets a gorgeous, hard-muscled man ten years her junior. Mark St. Crow is a gifted, up-and-coming musician who collects erotic art and loves to “play” women as much as his piano. After one night of uninhibited passion, Ruby realizes there’s no turning back. But as she surrenders to her deepest needs and lets Mark control every forbidden thrill, her passion for him builds. Can the wild, intoxicating nights they share lead to a love that will last forever?
Barnes & Noble
I’m over at author Beth Kery’s blog today, talking about my latest books, A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN and TEMPT ME TWICE! And I’m giving away some goodies to two lucky winners! Come on by and visit!
The winner of Anne Cain’s signed print is….
Congratulations! please email me at email@example.com with your information.
Thank you all for participating in our Cain special this week!
After a week-long well deserved love fest, we finally got a chance to interview the artist herself! Anne Cain :) And she’s got some interesting answers, as well as a great prize for one lucky poster.
~When did you first become interested in art? What mediums do you work in and have you had any sort of formal training?
I think I’ve been drawing since maybe the age of two—lol! Seriously, I’ve been in love with art longer than I can remember, and I enjoy working in a bunch of different mediums. Color pencils, oils, watercolors and pastels/conte are my favorite of the traditional sort, but I love digital art and photography. My associate’s degree has a focus on design and journalism/publication production, and I’m currently finishing up my BFA.
~How did you become involved in doing book covers? What attracted you to doing romance and erotic fiction covers?
My friend and co-author Barb Sheridan introduced me to the world of e-books, and then Samhain was the first publisher to pick me up to create covers for them. I absolutely love bringing to life an author’s world and characters through the cover art process, and it’s a career I find extremely rewarding as an artist. There are so many opportunities to be creative and have fun!
~You’ve won a lot of awards for your cover art work-can you give us a list? And don’t be humble-pimp your wins!
*laughs*! I always hate to sound like I’m tooting my own horn when it comes to awards because my joy comes from making the authors and readers happy. But an online friend pointed out that if someone takes the time to acknowledge my art with a kind word or an award, that’s something to really be proud about! And thankful, too! So here’s a short list with some of 2009’s highlights so far:
• Ariana Award – “Devil Take Me”
• TRS Ari cover art winner – “Into the Lair”
• 2009 Sammie Reader’s Choice Awards – quite a few of my covers were selected by readers, which really gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
• Fantasm Award Finalist – There are some seriously talented artists on this list, and it’s an honor to be there with them.
~Do you have a favorite cover? I know, it’s like having a favorite child, but it’s just us-we won’t tell anyone…*G*
Eeeee!!! It’s always so hard to choose! My favorite ones always end up being the ones I’m working on at the moment, and I’ve got a few really awesome assignments that are in progress which I’m totally thrilled about. There’s an illustrated cover I finished earlier this year that took me a long while to get just right, but I love the finished product. It’s for the YA novel, “A Strong and Sudden Thaw”: http://annecain.deviantart.com/art/Art-Strong-and-Sudden-Thaw-111771993
~You’re also a writer, busy girl! Tell us about your fiction.
Dude! Being busy with art is fan-ta-bulous, but it’s seriously cut into my writing time! When I’m not working on an art masterpiece (yeah, right! *gigglesnorts*), I tend to write romances of the m/m variety. I love yaoi! Occasionally, I’ll work on a short story that isn’t gay romance, but I can’t resist the call of the Man-love for long.
~How did you start working with Barbara Sheridan? Was it difficult to get used to working with a writing partner?
Barb and I met through an online roll-playing game, and the characters we were writing totally evolved into this epic, dramatic and sizzling hot story that eventually became the Dragon’s Disciple series (http://www.dragonsdisciple.com). Barb is wonderful to work with—she’s awesome!—and we have so many similar interests, like our fascination with Japanese pop-culture and sexy J-rockers, that it’s a blast when we write together!
~M/m erotica has become enormously popular. What is it about Yaoi that first drew you to it? And tell us what differentiates Yaoi from other m/m erotic fiction.
Yaoi is this totally idealized interpretation of gay romance, and it’s very much a fantasy rather than reflection of the actual gay culture. It’s all about the aesthetics, and let’s face it—the concept of two gorgeous men in a loving relationship is hot! There’s a fun element to yaoi where authors and readers don’t necessarily have to worry about issues or plot themes a regular m/m novel might address. And I think it’s that element of beauty and fun, especially in the manga format, that really drew me in to the genre.
-What’s a typical day in the life of a cover artist? Is it all waking up looking adorably scruffy at noon, drinking French wine in front of the blank canvas while your houseboy feeds you chocolate and provides inspiration as you paint his body with a mink-tipped brush? (‘cause that’s how we like to imagine it).
Oh, man! If that was really what the lifestyle was like, I wouldn’t get any work done! LOLOL!! (The poor houseboy would never get a chance to relax either. *wink*) Seriously, the typical day is boring to the outside observer. I’ll spend around six to eight hours a day doing actual design work on projects (I try to have at least two in progress so that when my eyes get tired of one, I can ‘refresh’ them while working on another). I try to budget only one hour or two to answering emails on top of that, but I can never keep up with my inbox, darn it. And then there’s miscellaneous studio work I do on the side, which includes photography.
~If you could have any paranormal or superpower, what would it be?
I would LOVE to fly. And move things solely with the power of my mind. And be able to eat massive amounts of chocolate without cupcake-ing over the waistband of my jeans! *g*
~Flannel PJ’s or silk?
Believe it or not, I, the Tomboy, prefer silk. :o)
~Beer or girly drink with an umbrella?
Sam Adams, baby!
~Pool boy or gardener?
Pool boy. Mmm…speedos….
~boxers or briefs?
~Voyeur or exhibitionist?
Voyeur…the role of the artist is always to observe. ;)
~Innie or outie?
~Tattoos or piercings?
I am not so bold or interesting. In fact, I think I let my ear piercings close up. :/ I suck!
~Chocolate or vanilla?
~Kinky or vanilla?
~Thanks, Anne, for coming to visit and talking to us, and to our readers! Let everyone know where we can see more of your artwork, and find your books!
Thanks so much for having me, ladies! And thank YOU, dear reader, for making it through all my long-winded responses. :) Please check out my Deviant Art gallery for info on my art and writing and stuffs: http://annecain.deviantart.com AND, sometime this summer, I will be unveiling my new website at http://www.annecain-art.com
Oh, one more thing! Don’t forget the contest! I’ll be giving away a signed print of one of my covers to a lucky winner here at the Smutketeer’s blog. So please leave your comments. :)
When I found out I was going to get an Anne Cain cover for TEMPT ME TWICE I was thrilled! Why? Well, look at it and you’ll know exactly why The Smutketeers are so in love with her work. Is that hot, or what? And she uses color and form and balance flawlessly. Yes, I’m an art geek, so I think about these things. The way things look is important to me. I’m a frustrated artist, so I tend to have images for all my books in my head, with no way to execute them. Waiting to see a new cover can be excruciating for me-especially this one, as TEMPT ME TWICE is based on a real life experience and Paul is a real person. With Anne, I didn’t even have to worry. It’s as though she caught some psychic fragment from my mind because Paul looks like Paul. Amazing!
I already knew Anne’s work not only through my fellow Smutketeers, but because she’s done some of my favorite covers ever, many of them for authors I know personally. R.G. has already shown two of my favorites: GO BETWEEN by Dayna Hart and THE FALLEN by Gwen Hayes, but there are so many other amazing Anne Cain covers! Here are a few of my favorites:
The award-winning cover for FIREFLIES by Ally Blue. This cover just glows! Sensual and lyrical and romantic. *sigh*
Then there’s the cover for LOVE AND LORE by Sela Carsen. This cover is so evocative to me. Sensual, beautiful imagery. The colors and fluid lines make me think of Lord Leighton’s Flaming June, one of my favorite neo-classical paintings.
I also love the cover for TEMPTATION CITY by Lyric James. This cover is pure sex! And the cover for MK Mancos’s BY A SILKEN THREAD is so dynamic to me. It’s visually simple, yet it has a certain energy and emotional component to it that I love.
So you can see why we are celebrating Anne’s work for an entire week-we worship her a li’l bit, as we should. And in honor of the Week of Cain, I am going to give away a copy of my latest release, TEMPT ME TWICE, to one lucky winner who comments on today’s post. The winner will be announced in this post on Friday, so check back!
And you must all come back to see our interview with Anne on Friday-get into the mind of the artist, see what makes her tick, see how she handles our relentlessly nosy questions! And stay tuned for more interviews here at Smutketeers with all sorts of fascinating folk in the coming months!
Some of you dear readers may not know this, but I’m a bit of an art geek. My degree is in Creative Arts and I owned an art gallery for several years. Why do I think you should care? Well, all it means is that I am a visual person and bad romance novel covers make my eyes hurt. And when a bad cover has your name on it it’s doubly traumatizing.
Which is why I am SO excited that the brilliant Ann Caine will be designing the cover for my upcoming Samhain Release, Sting of Desire. Sting is an erotic urban fantasy about a tarot card reader. This is probably the hottest book I’ve written, so if you like lots of bondage, sex clubs, whippings, orgies, tree sex, m/m and a variety of other creative sexual scenarios you might want to check this out. Oh, and my hero carries a striking resemblance to Han Solo. Just sayin’.
Meanwhile, check out some examples of Ann’s work! Oh, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of Sting when it’s released in August!
Lords of Chi’ by Ciar Cullun. I love this cover! Anne specializes in anime/manga which is very cool!
Here is The Scoll Theif by R.F. Long. Isn’t it gorgeous? So sensual, so yummy…
And here is Future Found by Mima!
I love the modern look and the cover promises lots of sensual romance to be found inside. Mmmm.
So there you have an example of some fabulous covers created by the talented artist Anne Caine. I can’t wait to see what she does for Sting of Desire!
Oh, and remember, one lucky commenter will receive a free copy of Sting!
This week is all about Anne Cain, right? Right. So I’m going to tell you about the day I fell in love with Anne and realized she was the best and most awesome sauced cover artist on planet Earth. Sure, I could give you examples of other work she did before mine, but I love what she’s done for me bestest, so there! On with the art show!
Here it is, the one that made me love Anne like Anne’s never been loved on before. Treasured. My dirty, kinky, filthy, sexy pirate time travel. This is exactly what I asked for, only better. Why? Because I am visually retarded. I can’t tell you how many times my understanding of art or covers has been, “It’s pretty” or “It’s kinda fug.” Anne does my cover? I don’t even have to worry about the fug possibilities.
Then, there is a the amazingness of series continuity. I had this idea of people and cityscapes and prettiness for my In The Heat Of The Night series. Allow me to show off what Anne did for this.
First up was sexy girl on girl action. And, man, did it turn out nice.
Then, THEN! As if I couldn’t love her more, we got to my big girl cover. I believe my input for this cover was, “The heroine is a plus sized MODEL. She’s pretty, not frumpy. NO SKINNY CHICKS.”
And voila. Anne does her Anne magic. Sexy Big Girls Lives!
Still, I think the boy on boy is my fave of the series (Treasured will always be my ultimate fave, methinks). I mean, yum. Look at it. You just wanna slurp your screen!
So, I thought it would be a good time to give away some of this awesomeness. Anne’s going to have her own contest later this week, but if you’d like the chance to win a pdf copy of one of the books she’s prettified for me just tell me which you’d like in the comments and I’ll pick a winner on Thursday and announce it on this post.
*AND THE WINNER IS ESTELLA* Thanks to all who entered!
This is the week of Cain.
Anne Cain. Author and award winning artist extraordinaire. We Smutketeers have a particular fondness for her, since she has done most if not all of our Samhain covers.
I knew from the very first book, Regina in the Sun, when she sent me my character, Regina, looking just as I’d imagined her, that she had talent. But with cover after cover she has continued to go above and beyond, understanding what we wanted and making it better.
Yeah. I like her. :)
This week we’ll talk about her art and her body of work, we’ll show off our covers and a few of our favorites that she did for other authors, and we’ll get a nice juicy interview!
And prizes. Yes, there will be prizes, so stay tuned.
Every single cover I have with Samhain Publishing has been done by Anne. See HERE. A fact I am continuously grateful for. Lux in Shadow, Twilight Guardian, Not in Kansas, Surrender Dorothy and, cover fairies willing, my upcoming Three for Me?
If I had to pick a favorite that wasn’t mine or a fellow Smutketeers? Well two spring to mind.
Dayna Hart’s Go Between
And The Fallen by Gwen Hayes
Both are also fantastic reads FYI
Anne’s talent for book covers, as well as her original artwork, astounds me. As an author, I can say that the way she works to really capture the emotion and characters of my work is something I can never thank her for enough. Covers are important. They are the first thing a reader sees, a decisive moment in time when they decide whether or not they want to read the blurb and the excerpt. Especially if they aren’t yet familiar with the author.
I think all our readers will agree…Anne makes you want to read the blurb. :)
My latest release, TEMPT ME TWICE, is my very first hot menage story, and my first story from Samhain, and it’s out today!
One hot man is good. Two’s double the fun…until your heart gets involved.
Jessie has been in love with her bisexual best friend, Paul, since their college days. He’s never made a move on her, though, and at this point she values his friendship too much to risk revealing her feelings. Especially since now he has a new male lover and seems so happy.
Paul and Noah have only Jessie’s rest and relaxation in mind when they invite her along on a camping trip to Lake Tahoe. She’s been pretty stressed out preparing to show her art at a major New York gallery. A weekend getaway will do her a world of good—and they won’t take no for an answer.
Jesse thought she’d be nothing more than a third wheel on this trip. But Noah is as sweet and hot as Paul, and their first night turns into a heated tangle of bodies in the dark tent by the lake.
It’s an erotic, intense experience that must come to an end. And when it does, will she still have her best friend?
Warning: Explicit and unusual sex in nearly every possible combination: boy on girl, boy on boy, boys on girl, with a little anal action and some spanking thrown in just to keep things interesting!
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Want a little peek inside? Okay, but only for you…
* * *
Somehow, an hour later, she was in Paul’s black Jeep Cherokee, roaring up Highway 80 on the way to Lake Tahoe. Music blared from the CD player, the windows were down to let the fresh summer air in and she was more relaxed than she’d been in months.
“So,” Noah started, “tell me how you two met.”
“I picked her up in a sex ed class,” Paul said, winking at her over his shoulder.
“Hah. Hardly. I was his English tutor.”
“Yeah, but my version is so much sexier.”
Why did he have to say something like that? When had things between them ever been sexy, other than in her vivid imagination?
“You’ve known each other a long time then,” Noah said.
“We’ve been friends for ten years.” Paul turned again, flashed her a quick smile, and her insides melted as always.
“Why just friends? Or has something more ever happened between you two?”
“No, nothing,” Paul was quick to answer, then they were both silent.
Noah looked from Jessie to Paul. “Sorry. Not my business. I shouldn’t have asked.”
“It’s okay,” Jessie told him. “It’s a reasonable enough question.”
One she’d never been able to answer.
“What about you two? You met when Paul went to Quebec to pick up that T-bird, right?”
Noah nodded, smiled, a brilliant flash of strong white teeth.
“Yeah. He came into the bar where I was having a drink with an old friend. I’m really not usually the bar type. But Paul walked in, the hot American import. I liked him right away. I still do.”
He reached out, stroked a hand over Paul’s T-shirt-clad shoulder, and a rush of envy went through her. If only she could touch Paul so casually, express her desire for him so openly.
If only Noah would touch her like that.
Jesus. She really was a mess. She didn’t even know who she wanted. And nothing was going to happen anyway. She may as well get over it.
But she was wet, aching, as much as she’d been in the shower.
They reached their campground on the edge of Lake Tahoe in another four hours, parked and got out of the car. The sun was lowering in the sky, casting darkening shadows over the crisp blue, touching the water in the lake with silver. Fir trees surrounded the lake, which sat like an enormous blue bowl, cradled by the surrounding mountains.
Jessie raised her arms over her head and stretched her back, breathing in the crisp, clean air. So gorgeous here. She was glad she’d come, despite her uncontrolled surges of lust. Paul came around the side of the car and slid an arm around her shoulders.
“Can I tempt you to get some food ready while we put the tent up?”
He could tempt her into doing almost anything, if only he knew it.
“Sure. I saw the ice chest in the back. I’ll take care of it.”
They spent some time getting the campsite together. The sun dove into the horizon in a blaze of summer sky glory. Shades of pink, amber and gold cast long shadows against the trees, touching the boughs with color, before sinking, leaving them in darkness other than the light from the fire they’d built and the two Coleman lanterns, the faint glow from the other campsites.
Dinner was simple, pan-fried steak and potatoes wrapped in foil and baked in the fire, a bottle of wine followed by another. Conversation was easy. Noah was easy to be with, warm, friendly, open. He and Paul sat side by side, laughing, touching, yet somehow still making Jessie feel included.
She’d had too much wine, but it didn’t seem to matter. Paul and Noah would take care of her, she knew. She could let go, for the first time in far too long.
Finally it was time to settle in for the night. Paul helped her to her feet.
“Whoa, Jess. Hang on.”
“I’m okay. Just have a nice little buzz going.”
“Maybe more than a little.” He grinned at her.
“Maybe.” She grinned back, her body going warm all over as he looped an arm around her waist.
They moved to the tent, and Noah held the flap back for them. It was a large tent, almost tall enough for Paul to stand up straight in. Noah was already spreading out their sleeping bags, Paul’s in the middle. Jessie sat on hers to take her shoes off.
Paul yawned, stretched.
“Anyone else tired?”
“A little sleepy from the wine,” Jessie said.
“Me too.” Noah pulled his shirt over his head, revealing tight abs and a wide chest. She could make out his muscle tone even in the dim light of the single lantern they’d taken into the tent with them.
Paul stripped his shirt off too. She’d seen him without a shirt before, and it was something she never got over. The lean lines of his body, his smooth skin, his nipples dark, surrounded by a sprinkling of black hair. She wanted to put her mouth there, to suck…
Stop it. Time to sleep.
The men stripped down to their boxer-briefs, and she could see they were both hard, aroused. She squeezed her thighs tightly, her sex burning with need.
Paul glanced at her. “You’re not sleeping in your clothes, are you, Jess? It’s too hot.”
“Um…I guess not.”
She shrugged, wiggled out of her jeans, leaving her in her tank top and her underwear. It wasn’t that she was ashamed of her slim body. But they were all nearly naked together, and as Paul lay on the sleeping bag next to hers, she could swear she felt the heat from his big body. His scent, warm on the night air. And more faintly, Noah’s scent, fresh and all male.
How was she ever going to get to sleep?
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Buy it now!