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How do you define your shifter world?

Today we welcome guest blogger Jessica Lee!

Paranormal romance is one of the most popular genres in the business with new authors on the horizon almost daily. But as they say, “competition is good for business,” right? Yes, I believe that’s true. Competition in publishing inspires the imagination to work even harder to bring the readers something different.

I recently attended the Authors After Dark convention in New Jersey this year where I sat on a panel called “Cats Vs. Dogs.” It was a lively discussion and debate between readers and authors of cat and wolf shifters. What a privilege to have had the opportunity to join some of the most popular names in the paranormal romance industry: Eliza Gayle, Samantha Sommersby, Jacquelyn Frank, and Bianca D’Arc. Part of the dialogue had been based on this very topic: “how is your book different from other shifter books?”

In Bloodlines, I refer to my characters as “shifters” not “werewolves.” I don’t know about you, but for me the term, werewolf, brings to mind this image of a monster—not something sexy. Second, my shifter, Evin KinKaid and his pack family possess the ability to change at will. They’re not controlled by the full moon. Allowing my character to have control of when and where he could shift gave me a little freedom when creating the story. There’s so much more versatility, and their powers can work for you when you need them to.

Another question that came up was how and when did your character first change/shift into a wolf? Where they born able to shift, or did they have to wait until a certain point in life?

When creating Evin, I saw their world as one where at puberty they gained the ability to shift. Unfortunately, I can’t go into the details any deeper without giving away a spoiler. Let’s just say there are extenuating circumstances or events that could make that first shift a not so pleasant experience. *wink*

One unique twist that I enjoyed adding into Bloodlines was giving one of the characters an additional power outside their shifting ability. Who have been some of your more memorable characters in paranormal romance, and what made them so different?

Leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick one lucky person to receive $10 in Omni Bucks from All Romance eBooks!

In addition, please check out my website for further information about another contest I’m holding on Bloodlines’ release day. http://www.jessicaleenovels.com/news.html

Thanks so much, Adriana for allowing me to be here today!

Bloodlines Excerpt:  

Evin had been cocky as hell in front of Mason. But the truth was, he was anxious as shit.

A year had passed since his father had banished him from the pack and he’d moved to Dover. Twelve months of jacking off alone in his bed. And the loneliness was driving him out of his mind. But no one in town had even piqued his interest, and a string of anonymous one-night stands wasn’t Evin’s thing. They had a nasty tendency of making an empty bed feel even colder.

There was something different about Mason, though. The human definitely piqued his interest. From the moment Mason had walked into his bay, Evin had been coiled so tight and his dick so hard, he was surprised he’d been able to form a coherent sentence. The spicy scent of Mason’s skin made his blood hot. The way those damn linen pants hugged Mason’s ass when he moved had Evin’s cock aching for release. Shit. No other guy had ever got under his skin so quick before. But it had been all Evin could do to keep a handle on his control and not grab the man by the back of his head, spin him around, and fuck him until Mason knew who he belonged to. Whoa. Where the hell had that come from? He shook his head.

Evin turned left on Highway 211, heading out of town and toward his cottage. After rounding a curb, he pulled onto the shoulder and set the brake.

“Why are we stopping?”

“If I turn around now, there’s a hotel about two miles in the other direction.” Evin pivoted in his seat and faced Mason. Even though the moon served as the car’s only source of illumination, Evin’s perfect night vision allowed him to drink in the rich hue of Mason’s dark eyes. A striking contrast to the short layers of golden blond hair that shimmered under the beams of moonlight. Evin tightened his hand around the leather-covered steering wheel. He had to, or in the next second, his fingers would be wrapped in those locks, and he’d be finding out if they were as soft as they looked. But he knew one touch would never be enough to satisfy the craving about to drive him out of his mind.

“Is that what you want, Evin? Would you rather I choose the other end of the road tonight?”

Yes. Because I’ve got a bad feeling you’re going to be a taste I’ll never get enough of.

No. Because I think I’ll go crazy if I don’t touch you.

“I think it’s pretty clear what I want.” Evin reached out and trailed a forefinger along Mason’s cheek. The coarse sensation of Mason’s shadow of a beard shot through Evin’s skin like a bolt of lust aimed straight for his cock, forcing him to bite back a hiss of pleasure. Mason turned into his touch, then took Evin’s finger knuckle-deep inside his mouth.

And sucked.

Evin couldn’t hold back the groan that emanated from his throat. “Tell me what you want, Mason. Say it.” With a final swipe of his tongue over the tip, Mason released his finger with a pop.

“I want you to fuck me.”

 

They Don’t Call it Animal Attraction for Nothing

Please welcome Guest Blogger Kerri Nelson!

My September release is entitled Vegan Moon and features a hot sex scene with a werewolf hero.  Of course, he is in human form at the time but he’s still less than full human.  He’s half man, half wolf and the sex is hot and carnal.

What is it about sex with creatures that titillates us as readers?  And how can we improve our sex life by mating like the animals do?

I did some research on animal attraction through Discover Magazine.  And they asked the question “what are girls really looking for in a mate?”  Below are some of their points along with my comments.

Would you go for his golden mane? (Hmmm….lion or blond guy?)

His nice pink chest patch? (Uh, well how about hairy chest or smooth chest?)

Would it be how attentive he is, how much he grooms you, how much he looks after the kids? (Attentive, good.  Grooming, very good.  Watching the kids, excellent!)

The article went on to say that what actually matters to most animal kingdom mates are the characteristics that you can’t actually see.  I found this an amazing concept because don’t we always wish that men would select us based on something beside appearance?

But what happens after you attract your mate, can you keep them?

The article says, “Ninety-nine percent of mammal species never form lasting pair-bonds, and those that do continue to bear illegitimate offspring. The reason is probably that with every copulation, a female increases the chances that she is getting access to the best genes.  This says that lots of sex is good for her and for her offspring, too.”

Well, lots of sex is good but the promiscuous nature of animals is not so good when it comes to humans. So, what do you do to spice up your sex life without living exactly like the animals do?

Here are some tips borrowed from Buzzle.com:

1. Reveal fantasies: Have the courage to reveal your innermost fantasies to your partner and at the same time gently prod your partner to tell you his or her fantasies.
2. The eye connection: Try to keep the eyes open during the act. It will help you connect better emotionally, spiritually and physically with your partner.
3. Make use of spontaneity: Try to use any other room of the house or even the backyard for that matter.
4. Criticism has no place in the bedroom: Instead of complaining about what your partner is doing let him or her know what you would like.
5. Schedule a time: Do whatever you like to do beforehand, go to a movie or dinner, take a walk, have a glass of wine by candlelight, whatever you like to do as a couple. But set aside that time.
6. Do not hesitate to ask: What does your partner want from your love life? Talking openly might bring you closer to one another, and that’s likely to make sex more interesting for both of you.
7. Pay attention to sexual problems: Ignoring it can only make matters worse. Instead address these problems head on and try to solve it as a team with your partner.
8. Lubrication is important: Lubrication is as important for a woman as an erection for a man. It all depends on the state of arousal and take action accordingly.
9. Make no comparisons: Stop worrying about what others are doing. You stick to what is right and agreeable to both of you.
10. Foreplay is important: Take a hot shower or bath together. Give each other a sensuous massage. Extend the foreplay as much as you can.
11. Try to innovate: Blindfolds can add a degree of intimacy and trust in your partner that other things cannot. Read your partner an erotic bedtime story or write a sexy letter describing everything you’d like to do to them.
12. Make use of foods: Feed each other sensually suggestive finger foods. Of course doing this in the naked builds up to an incredible love-making experience.

Or, you can simply pick up a copy of Vegan Moon and enjoy food, sex, and a bit of romance too! 

BLURB

When a vegetarian werewolf falls for a celebrity chef, will his appetite for her cause him to stray from his vegan ways?

Santiago Salazar is a reformed werewolf living in sunny Beverly Hills, California. When he catches sight of celebrity chef Gabrielle Connor on television, he’s soon drooling in his tofu burger. After they meet at one of Gabbi’s book signings, Santiago is thrilled to discover that the attraction is mutual. The two hit it off in a major way but when the night takes a dark turn…Gabbi must decide if she can live with the new world that she’s discovered and Santiago must ultimately answer to the werewolf code of conduct.

Take one hungry werewolf and mix with one lonely chef, stir in some hot sex and Vegan Moon delivers a tasty treat that will keep you coming back for more.

EXCERPT

The last time Santiago Salazar killed and ate a man, he got terrible heartburn. That had been almost ten years ago, and that guy really had deserved a lot worse fate.

The man had been a drug dealer who preyed on young children, and Santiago had put a stop to that. It had been the right thing to do, but the man’s blood was so full of chemicals that it had made Santiago sick for days.

After that, he’d decided to turn over a new leaf…so to speak. He’d become a practicing vegan with a new lease on life. Of course, since wolves were carnivores by nature, Santiago still had cravings that required serious impulse control management. Frankly, he found it easier to deal with if he kept to himself. Other than his day job, Santiago had become a bit of a homebody. Today, he was off work and was spending the day lounging on the sofa, snacking on his third tofu burger and flipping through the channels.

As the television landed on the Meal Network, Santiago’s eyes focused on a small pair of delicate hands massaging a large piece of steak. He pushed the volume up button on his remote and found himself sitting straighter and leaning toward the screen as her lovely voice wafted through the room and filled his ears.

She was describing how she made the spice rub that she was currently spreading onto the meat. Santiago felt his tongue jut out from his mouth and run around his lips in a circular motion. He was almost panting over this petite woman, and it wasn’t just because of the way she was handling that steak.

Santiago felt a carnal need begin to surge through his body, and it surprised him with its intensity. He hadn’t felt this way about a human in a long time. Somehow he had to shut off those cravings when he gave up his carnivorous ways. Right now, he couldn’t take his eyes off the screen.

The phone rang then, startling him out of his thoughts. Without taking his eyes from her chiseled face and shoulder-length blond hair, he snatched the phone up off its base.

“What?” he snapped into the mouthpiece.

“Hey, man!” The voice of Tenny Rodriguez spilled through the phone.

“I’m busy,” Santiago replied in an attempt to keep the conversation as short as possible. He wanted to get back to the program that he suddenly found irresistible.

“You need to get out of the house, man. You gotta come check out this hip new club downtown,” Tenny rattled off with a huge amount of enthusiasm.

“No, I’m not going.” Santiago was barely hearing Tenny’s voice as he strained to focus his ears on the words that the lush pink lips were saying on the screen.

“This club is kickin’. It is absolutely chock-full of young, delicious coeds, and get this…They have to come wearing a bikini top or they can’t get in!”

Tenny Rodriguez was a werewolf just like Santiago, and they’d known each other for about thirty years. Tenny had not given up eating meat and spent a large part of his time hunting young human girls to stir up his appetite. He didn’t go about killing each of them because that would violate their species code; rather he simply used them as a sort of pre-meal foreplay.

Santiago was long past those games. “Not interested, Tenny.”

“Aw, man, you never want to hunt with me anymore.”

Santiago thought that his friend sounded wounded. It seemed pathetic to realize that a werewolf as tough as Tenny would have hurt feelings.

“Tenny, do you ever watch this Meal Network channel?”

His question was followed by silence. He imagined that Tenny was trying to figure out where this conversation was headed with such a drastic change in topic.

“Uh, sometimes…” Tenny sounded puzzled.

“Who is this tiny little blond woman on here?” Santiago asked as he watched her adjust an apron around her waist and saw her hands glide down her abdomen and upper legs. He was actually getting turned on while watching a cooking show. Perhaps he was the pathetic one, not Tenny.

“Yeah, uh…I think I might’ve seen that.” Tenny sounded as if he didn’t believe his own words.

Just then, the show went to a commercial break, and the words Grilling with Gabbi scrolled across the bottom of the screen.

“Her name is Gabbi something,” Santiago said out loud more to himself than to Tenny.

“Oh yeah, man…she’s a hot little blonde, right?” Tenny sounded thrilled that he was finally connecting with his friend’s train of thought.

“Will she be at this club?” Santiago asked as he could barely contain his patience while waiting for the never-ending commercials to cease.

“I doubt it. She’s, like, totally famous.”

Santiago let out a small growl. “Find out where she’s going to be, and I’ll be there,” he said as he punched the off button on the phone without waiting for a reply. The show was returning, and the camera was focused on Gabbi’s smiling face. Her white teeth glistened in the light, and Santiago felt a heat rise through his body. 

He had to find this magnificent creature.

©  2010  Kerri Nelson

Kerri Nelson has always been passionate about reading books but when she wrote her first poem in the second grade, she discovered her love of writing.  At the age of sixteen, she became a columnist for her local newspaper as the high school correspondent for the weekly “Panther Tales” column.  She won the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts.

After an education and career in the legal field, Kerri began to pen romantic suspense novels with a legal or law enforcement theme.  She is a true southern belle and comes complete with her dashing southern gentleman husband and three adorable children.  When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her baking homemade goodies for her family, feeding her addiction to blogging online or designing custom made book trailers.  Kerri is an active member of Romance Writers of America as well as numerous Chapters including Hearts through History,  Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

Kerri is a multi-published author of romance in every genre from romantic suspense and paranormal to young adult and inspirational novels. 

Read more about Kerri’s books at her website:  www.kerrinelson.com

Want to play, learn and compete with other authors in the biz?  Visit Kerri’s industry blog here:  www.thebookboost.blogspot.com

For the latest news and updates from Kerri, follow her on Twitter here:  http://twitter.com/kerribookwriter

 

Cecilia Tan: Multiple Partners, Multiplying Plots

I think it’s wonderful that “menage” and other forms of multiple-partner relationships are finally gaining some acceptance within romance. The realization that true love doesn’t only have to come in a two-pack is one I’ve experienced in real life and truly enjoy reading in fiction. What makes fiction exciting is the conflicts and unexpected twists. Realizing that there are various ways things could go and that it’s not a given who ends up with whom in exactly what configuration in the happy ending adds some of both!  

Since I enjoy multiple-partner relationships, love triangles that become triads, pairs that meet to become quads, and maybe even—as I joked on Twitter with Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan the other day—the love trapezoid, it only made sense for me to start writing them as well. In the Magic University series, our hero arrives at Harvard to his own “Harry Potter” moment—the shocking news that he is magical, and will actually be attending Veritas, the hidden university of arcane arts on the campus.

 

Thus begins a fantasy epic, but since it is paranormal romance, rather than a quest to defeat evil, I have turned the series into a quest for true love. I already knew at the outset that our hero would have a different love interest in each book of the series. In THE SIREN AND THE SWORD, the very first girl he meets seems absolutely perfect for him, and he spends much of the book trying to be perfect for her. But you know a quest doesn’t just end in the first book. By book two, THE TOWER AND THE TEARS, his search needs to move on.

 

Originally I had planned for Kyle to just have one partner per book, but he has not been very good at doing what I want. He was supposed to start dating a girl named Marjory in book two, but before the second chapter was out, he was making a date with a girl named Ciara from his sex magic class! Marjory was not to be denied, though. As a tutor in sex magic (known in academic circles as the “Esoteric Arts), Marjory gets involved with both Kyle and Ciara, both sexually and emotionally. At one point they even have a foursome with Kyle’s best friend, over the holidays when all four of them live together off campus.

 

This may sound like all fun and games, but it actually becomes a challenge to give each of the important characters enough “screen time.” In a typical fantasy, the camera is nearly always on the protagonist. But in a romance we are already doubling the difficulty, as modern romance readers want to know what is going on in both the hero and the heroine’s heads. Now add a third or a fourth character to the love mix, and you have a whole additional layer or two of backstory to be told, and limited pages within which to win over the reader with a new person.

 

To succeed, each character must have an emotional arc that carries them in the story from one place to another. If characters do not grow or change, they are more like scenery than people. The larger the cast becomes, the more difficult it is to make them anything more than spear carriers. The reader wants to go on an emotional journey while reading a romance. They become invested in the characters, and the writer wants to give them good return on that investment!

 

This is probably why each of the Magic University books has been longer than the previous. In THE SIREN AND THE SWORD there was just one major love relationship to explore. In THE TOWER AND THE TEARS, it evolves into a threesome. In book three, THE INCUBUS AND THE ANGEL, things are complicated further as Kyle is essentially in a love triangle, but when he discovers lucid dreaming, he ends up carrying on the equivalent of four relationships, not two, as each has a waking and a sleeping version.

 

I’m writing book four now. Maybe this one will end up with a love trapezoid. We’ll see.

 

About the Author: Cecilia Tan is a writer, editor, and the founder of Circlet Press. She is the author of many books, including Mind Games, The Hot Streak, White Flames, Edge Plays, Black Feathers, The Velderet, and Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, as well as the Magic University series of paranormal erotic romances, and the currently ongoing web serials The Prince’s Boy and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles. She has the distinction of being perhaps the only writer to have erotic fiction published in both Penthouse and Ms. magazines, as well as in scores of other magazines and anthologies including Asimov’s, Best American Erotica, and Nerve. Learn more at http://blog.ceciliatan.com.

 

Related Links:

The Magic University Series: Info page http://blog.ceciliatan.com/?page_id=318

 

Print Book buy links:

The Siren and the Sword: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159003208X

The Tower and the Tears: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159003211X

 

Ebook buy links:

Mind Games: http://www.ravenousromance.com/breathless/mind-games.php

The Siren and the Sword: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/magic-university-book-one-the-siren-and-the-sword.php

The Tower and the Tears: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/magic-university-the-tower-and-the-tears.php

The Incubus and the Angel: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/magic-university-the-incubus-and-the-angel.php

 
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