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Today is Laced With Desire Day

 

 

I want to thank each of you Jasmine, Jaci, Joey, and Denise for agreeing to be interviewed today:

Could each of you briefly introduce yourselves to the readers?

Jasmine:  Thanks so much for having us!  As Jasmine Haynes, I write erotic romance for Berkley and Loose-Id.com.  As Jennifer Skully I write humorous romantic suspense and as JB Skully, I’ve penned the Max Starr mystery series available through LiquidSilverBooks.com.  I live among the Redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area with my dog Star and a bunch of wild cats.  Oh, and my husband, too!  Can’t forget him!  Readers can learn about me on my website http://www.jasminehaynes.com/ and my blog http://www.jasminehaynes.blogspot.com/.  Readers can also join my e-newsletter on the site for updates on contests and new releases. 

Jaci:  I’ve written over 40 books in multiple genres and have been published since 2003. I got my start in e-publishing and currently write for Berkley and recently signed a contract with MIRA. Right now I’m concentrating on erotic romance and romantic suspense. I live in Oklahoma with my husband and our 5 dogs.  You can find out more about me and my books at http://www.jaciburton.com/

Joey:  It’s lovely to be here. I live on the Carolina coast with way too many animals and a husband currently addicted to World of Warcraft (though we’ve recently been told he needs to convert his addiction to Star Trek online – oy). I write 3-4 books/year; therefore, I have no life beyond meeting deadlines and promoting my work (laughter – it’s probably good that my husband has an addiction!). I write paranormal and contemporary erotic romance for Berkley Heat, Berkley Sensation and Ellora’s Cave. My work tends to be of the BDSM genre and is characterized by its deep emotion and strong characterization. I write about vampires, mermaid/angels, witches, cops, sexy corporate executives, owners of BDSM clubs, etc. I love to explore how people can heal pain and connect with another through raw sexual expression and surrender. I have about 20 titles out, and you can find free excerpts and blurbs on all of them on my website, http://www.storywitch.com/. I also write free vignettes featuring characters from my full length works. I put those on my blog and yahoo fan group (those links are also on my home page), as well as offer a monthly newsletter with contests for books and sometimes exclusive early excerpts to upcoming releases. 

Denise:  An absolute pleasure to be here, Greta. Thank you for the invitation.  Okaay. Well, I’m an Aussie. Beyond that, I’m small, noisy and tend to wave my hands around a lot, which can be unfortunate if the tale I’m telling happens to have explosions in it. When I was very small, I had an aunt who would tell me the most wonderful fairy tales – all original. I grew up, as little girls do, but the magic of story still dazzles and enthralls me. On the good days, I like to think of myself as Scheherazade’s sister. On the bad days – not so much. 

I remain an incurable romantic who loves happy endings, heart-pounding adventure and the eventual triumph of good over evil. All hail the guys in the white hats – unless the ones wearing black are more…um…interesting? 

A two-time winner of the Passionate Plume Award (I’m very proud of that!), my work has been described as ‘darkly intense, warmly romantic, and blazingly erotic’. One particularly discerning reviewer praised my ‘erotic scenes that exude sensuality without sounding at all cliché’. Lord, I want that woman’s babies. *grin*  

I’m published with Berkley Ace, Sensation and Heat, and also Ellora’s Cave. 

You can find excerpts, free stories and more about me than you ever wanted to know at my website http://www.deniserossetti.com/ I also send out a monthly newsletter which features exclusive peeks at new works, contests and prizes, general gossip and a monthly serial with no redeeming features except that it’s naughty, silly – and readers get to participate. 😉 There’s a sign-up link on my website. 

The four of you are part of the anthology LACED WITH DESIRE? Could each of you briefly tell us about your stories? 

Jasmine:  In La Petite Mort, supermodel-turned-cosmetics-executive Sophia faces the potential of a life-threatening illness, and she now regrets all the fantasies she was too career-focused to fulfill.  CEO Ford Connelly doesn’t give a damn that he’s Sophia’s boss, he means to fulfill the one fantasy she revealed to him, two men to give her all the pleasure she’s denied herself.  Readers can find a La Petite Mort excerpt on my website. 

Jaci:  Ella Hicks is a widow who took over her husband’s construction company after he died. Clay Mansfield is a friendly rival who meets Ella in Hawaii and offers a no strings fling when Ella decided to have sex again. But these two lovers realize that the bond of love and passion often has strings attached.  You can read an excerpt of No Strings Attached here at my website http://www.jaciburton.com/lacedwithdesire.html

Joey:  My story is a standalone, but it is part of a series called the Knights of the Boardroom, which features five heroes who are high level manufacturing executives and strong sexual Masters. In each book, one of the heroes finds his soulmate, and must use all his sensual talents – as well as those of the other four men – to convince her to surrender to his love. In Honor Bound, the Laced with Desire contribution, Peter Winston is a member of the National Guard as well as a successful businessman. The night before he heads out on his second Afghanistan tour, he meets Dana, a sexual submissive who gets into his head and heart the way no woman ever has. But Dana is also an Army sergeant. It will be over a year before they see one another again, and when they do, she’s suffered injuries that have taken her sight and will to live. With the creative use of a corset and the talents of the other “Knights”, Peter sets the stage for another special night for them, knowing that only a submissive’s willingness to trust her Master will bring her back to love and life again. 

Denise:  I think I got browbeaten into this story – by my own character, no less. The hero is Rhiomard, a battle-scarred veteran of both love and war, a soldier right down to his bootstraps and a Captain in the Queen’s Guard. Rhio started life as a convenience, a secondary character in Rubies and Black Velvet (in Unlaced) and Thief of Light

But was that enough? Oh no. Rhio refused point-blank to go away. In the end, he folded his brawny arms, fixed the Muse with a steely gaze and demanded a suitably macho Happy Ending. The Muse caved, ‘cos big manly men do that to her every time, the flighty creature. 

So Rhio got his story and his woman. He’s never met a woman as fierce, as fascinating – as downright dangerous –as Dancer. Even worse, she’s up to her pretty neck in political intrigue. She just might kill him before they’re through, but what a glorious way to go! And I have to say, the Muse and I enjoyed the process very much, though we’re not so sure about Rhio. He had to do an awful lot of quick thinking. But then, he was always good at that… 

            You can read a nice fat excerpt here –  nice fat excerpt from Rhio’s Dancer here

This is your second anthology together, UNLACED being the first, do readers need to read it first before reading LACED WITH DESIRE? 

Jasmine:  The theme of the two anthologies is obviously corsets, but the stories are all stand-alone.  However, in La Petite Mort, you will find characters from my Courtesans Tales, both Yours For the Night (Book 1) and Hers for the Evening (Book 2), put out by Berkley Heat. 

Jaci:  The two anthologies aren’t connected at all, so readers don’t have to read UNLACED in order to read LACED WITH DESIRE. Of course, we hope you’ll want to read both! 

Joey:  While we’d be delighted for you to read both, no, you don’t need to read them in order. My story in Unlaced is Controlled Response, Book 2 of the Knights of the Boardroom series, and it’s a standalone just like Honor Bound. In that one, the CFO, Lucas, stumbles upon a beautiful woman pleasuring herself on a Harley in a secluded Berkshire glade. The encounter they have burns itself into his mind, because she gets away before he can get her name. Then he ends up facing her across the boardroom table a month later and a battle of wills commences! 

Denise:  Nope, not at all. Rhio’s Dancer is perfectly fine as a stand-alone story, though it’s set in the same Pentacles universe as my hot fantasy series for Berkley – The Flame and the Shadow, Thief of Light and my novella in the Unlaced  anthology, Rubies and Black Velvet

Is it usual or unusual for the same authors to appear in multiple anthologies like UNLACED and LACED WITH DESIRE? 

Jasmine:  Although we’re not the first, it’s not that common.  Working with my co-authors has been a wonderful experience.  They’re all great writers, and I think our styles mesh well while at the same time each giving readers something different.  I’m happy to have been given a second chance to be in another anthology with these talented ladies. 

Jaci: I think it’s been done before, but not that often. And I know we were all thrilled when Berkley asked us to do another anthology together. I love working with these incredibly talented authors and am honored to be in another book with them. 

Joey:  Though I’m not much of an anthology reader (I read like I write – looonng – laughter), I haven’t noticed a lot of anthologies that utilize the same group of authors each time, so maybe we are a little unique. The readers liked our first set of “corset” stories, the way our four styles meshed, so the publishers thought it worth doing it again. I’ve really enjoyed sharing the cover with these three talented ladies, so I’d be happy to keep doing that each year (smile). 

Denise:  Don’t theeenk so. All I do know is that our editor was delighted with reader response to Unlaced. Also that publishers like to make money and authors need to eat. *smile* Besides, we had a total blast with Unlaced. The J’s are seriously wicked fun! 

In your own words could each of you define desire?

Jasmine:  Desire is an intense emotional need that has profound physical effects, the way your skin tingles, your breath sharpens, your pulse races.  A simple touch can make you burn.  It’s generated in the heart and soul and mind with wonderful physical ramifications.  It’s wanting someone so badly you can’t see straight.

Jaci:  Desire is the feeling of wanting someone with a deep need that you can feel right down to your toes. It’s a warmth that builds from the inside, that envelops you with a slow heat that draws in all your senses and directs them at that one person you want more than anything.

Joey:  A yearning that can’t be ignored, that springs from intuition, the heart and soul, not the mind. As a result it can often override good sense, or at least breaks down the normal rules/boundaries a person imposes upon herself. For instance, when Dana first sees Peter, he’s many things she normally doesn’t go after. However, the BDSM club environment, the fact she’s on military leave, and the fact that she’s always yearned for a certain type of Master (and he’s emanating those vibes bigtime!), make it impossible for her to refuse her own desires.

Denise:  Dictionary definitions are so bald – want, wish. There’s a whole range of emotion and physical sensation bound up in the word ‘desire’. It encompasses craving and yearning and yes, lust, but it’s much more than that. Doesn’t matter how wet you get, how you can’t catch your breath, desire is only powerful because it encompasses connection.

There’s no scientific explanation for it, the discernable click! that tells you want this man and not this other. Pheromones? Opposites attracting? Proximity? Who knows? I don’t think anyone understands it, either in real life or in fiction. But it’s beautiful and enthralling and overwhelming, and in my books, I get to live it over and over. Gosh, it’s good.

How easy or difficult is it to show desire between characters in a story?

Jasmine:  Once my characters become real to me, it isn’t difficult to show their desire for each other.  It comes across in how they think, how they feel when they’re close, how everything they say to each other seems to have a double meaning.  As I’m writing, it’s as if I’m feeling what they feel and that helps it come across on the page.  The desire isn’t in the physical act, but in the way they feel and think about each other.

Jaci:  I think if you have characters who truly desire each other, it’s not difficult at all to showcase it. It shows in the way they look at each other, a subtle touch that ignites a spark, in the context of their dialogue. Every time they’re together their desire for each other is evident, even if the scene is one of anger or frustration or laughter. Desire is hard to mask so when it’s there it’s easy to see…or to read.

Joey:  If you connect to the characters, it’s not difficult at all. There’s always this point between the first and second draft where I have to hit that groove. Once I’m there, I can dive into the heroine’s head and feel how the hero arouses her, not only by stimulating her senses, but by how he relates to her and keys into her deepest needs. At that point, I can also step into his mind and feel how much he desires the heroine, what he will do to persuade her that he can love her like no other, and that she can trust him with her heart and body (since a woman’s heart and body are inextricably entwined when it comes to desire).

To convey all that to the reader is a trick of its own, though it’s in the tiny details, both physically and emotionally. When Dana and Peter first meet (this excerpt is on my website), she notes many things about his appearance that attract her interest, emotionally and physically – how he sits, the way he listens to his companions, how his shirt fits his body, the lean length of thigh in his jeans, the intensity of the storm gray eyes… Whereas when he first sees her, he notices the mask she’s wearing, as well as the armed services tattoos on her nearly bare back that declare her sense of duty and patriotism. It tells him she’s a woman of conviction, and he follows that ink from her delicate nape down to the curve of her buttocks in her nearly transparent club wear… In short, a picture is being built in the reader’s mind, and if you create desire there, you’ve successfully conveyed the desire between the characters.

Denise:  Not sure how easy it is, but I enjoy the hell out of it. *grin*

An erotic romance without sexual tension isn’t erotic and it isn’t a romance, so I guess I’d better be able to show desire. Not to be too technical but the best way to do that is write from writers call ‘deep point of view’ – that is, from the inside of the character’s head, so the reader is in effect looking out through their eyes, feeling what they feel, every touch, every quiver..

For example, here’s Rhio watching Dancer perform for the fist time. Can you see her through his eyes?

Gods, she was intense, wholly engaged in her artistry, lost in the music. The faintest of lines between her brows revealed her concentration. A drop of sweat trickled from her hairline and down the side of her face. His feet planted solidly apart, his face a careful blank, Rhio could almost taste the salt of that liquid on his tongue, feel the heat radiating from the dark honey of her skin.

The music built to a crescendo, dropped, and built again. No one in the chamber moved, save the dancer. When her dark gaze flicked past him, and returned, Rhio felt the touch of it like a branding iron. Clenching his fists behind his back, he fought for breath.

Later, she subjects him to a public test of his courage and when he passes with flying colours (hey, he’s the hero!), she gives him his reward – an erotic dance for him alone. The air between them is thick with unfulfilled desire and the scene sets the tone for the rest of the story.

What can readers look forward to each of you this year?

Jasmine:  I’ve got a busy upcoming year.  After Laced with Desire in February, I’ve got Take Your Pleasure, my first e-release from Loose-Id.com, coming in April.  In May and December, readers can find the next two books in my Courtesans Tales, Hers for the Evening and Mine Until Morning.  And finally, November will see the mass market release of my Holt Medallion winner, The Fortune Hunter.  The second book in that series, Show and Tell, will be out in mass market sometime in 2011.

Jaci:  Bound Branded & Brazen releases March 2nd and is an erotic contemporary ranch story. In July is Nauti and Wild, an anthology with Lora Leigh that includes one of my Wild Riders stories. And in September is Riding The Night, the final book of my Wild Riders series.

Joey:  Aside from Laced with Desire, I have two books coming out in my Vampire Queen series: Vampire Mistress in May 2010, and Vampire Trinity in September 2010. These books are the two-part story of Gideon, a cynical vampire hunter who gets in the unlikely situation of helping a Mistress of a BDSM club, who is brutally turned by a pack of rogue vampires. He also finds himself partnered with a mysterious male vampire in order to help her with that transition. It’s a ménage, and for those who are familiar with the series, Gideon is Jacob’s brother, Jacob being a character from the first two books, though it isn’t necessary to read those to read these (though it might be fun – wink). I also have a contemporary coming out in February called Branded Sanctuary, which is part of my Nature of Desire series. Brendan is an extraordinary sexual submissive, uniquely attuned to satisfying a Mistress’s needs, but he falls in love with Chloe, a troubled woman who is not part of the D/s scene at all. However, in order to heal, she desperately needs the talents Brendan has. The question is, can Chloe be what he needs, in order to give them a chance at forever?

Denise:  I’m hard at work on Book #3 in the Four-sided Pentacles series and having a ton of evil fun with a silent deadly warrior and the woman who baffles him by walking right through his barriers as if they didn’t exist. In their spare time, there’s a delightfully creepy bad guy to deal with, not to mention saving the world as we know it. No sweat. That’s scheduled for release early next year.

The moment it’s finished I’m diving back into Book #4 in the Phoenix Rising series for Ellora’s Cave, aiming for a release later this year. Another delicious ménage – one all-too-human master thief, a man without a conscience, and two Aetherii lovers. For those who aren’t aware, Aetherii have magnificent wings and wicked feathery tails. Liseriel the Gray is serious, practical and tough, the sort of woman who needs lightening up in a big way, and Dax is – well, he’s Dax – not quite an innocent, but a truly good soul. He’s so lovely and he’s going to be so thoroughly corrupted. *happy sigh*

Is there anything that you would like to ask the readers?

Jasmine:  What are your romantic plans for Valentines?

Jaci:  Yes, this is a very important question. What’s your favorite pizza topping?

Joey:  What do readers want most from an anthology? The most common drawback you hear about them is that the stories are too short, and don’t give a sense of fulfillment. So in your favorite anthologies, what specific qualities made them your favorites and avoided that pitfall?

Denise:  I love me an alpha hero, all dark and deadly and dominating, but there’s something about those guy that makes me yearn to take them down a peg or two. I can’t help myself, my alphas are flawed. Sometimes they even have to be rescued by the heroine. Of course, it’s their own fault for being so brave, but it pisses them off to the max. The poor darlings are always full of angst. To see a strong man trust the heroine enough to make himself vulnerable, even to the extent of cathartic tears is beautiful to me and yes, romantic.

Do these qualities necessarily turn an alpha hero into a beta? Do readers think the less of these heroes, preferring the totally ‘together’ guy who never loses his cool?

And from all of us, thanks for having us!!!!

***Leave a comment answering Jasmine, Jaci, Joey, and Denise’s questions or asking them a question and one lucky person will win a copy of both UNLACED and LACED WITH DESIRE. Good Luck 🙂

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118 Responses

  1. Hi everyone, loved the insights & the excerpts. Jaci after reading your question I just had to make pizza for dinner with lashings of spicy hot pepperoni. I don’t have any specific plans for Valentines. I’m not a fan of anthologies. I feel cheated. Just as I am drawn in, it’s over. I adore alpha heroes – the whole maleness is yum!!

  2. I missed the other blog tour … and was determined not to miss out on this one!! Congratulations to all of you on another beautiful book! I grabbed up my copy the other day and am making my way through it at a feverish pace. My poor brain is about to spontaneously combust – I LOVE it! Continued successes to you all.

    And to answer your questions:
    Jas ~ No real VD plans, though I’ll give my hubby a handmade Valentine as I have throughout our life together. Our anniversary is the following week and we always make a special evening of it.
    Jaci ~ besides the obvious cheese, a delicious pizza (for me) is loaded with mushrooms. Last night’s pizza was delicious!
    Joey ~ “It’s not the size that matters … but what you do with it.” [laugh] We’ve all heard that one before, yet it’s true is so many ways! When I read an anthology (as with all the books I read), I want to be completely taken over by the characters, breathless with anticipation and sexual tension, strung out emotionally, and at the end left with a feeling of mental exhaustion and total completion. [grin] Not asking for much.
    Denise ~ I love a flawed hero. Dominance is a must, but let me feel his insecurities and fears, and how the power of love helps him move beyond them.

    Have a wonderful day, ladies!!
    (I already own both of these amazing books … so you don’t need to add me to the drawing)

    Rita (Rosemary Gunn)

  3. Mary and Rita, you have the jump on us this morning (laughter – of course, it may not be morning where you are). I just jumped on for a second between the early AM dog walk and curling my hair. Be back after I get them all squared away (hair and dogs), promise! Want to look my best for you all… ;>

  4. Oh! Awesome interview – thanks ladies!
    Jasmine: I’m not sure, the hubby says he has a surprise for me – he’s the “romantic” one so I know it will be really special – I did get a series of “boudoir” pics taken that I’m having framed to give to him 😀
    Jaci: mushrooms and tomatoes – and pizza is pretty much the perfect food, if you match it up with some type of dessert that includes chocolate – you’ve covered all the food groups! How simply wonderful 😀
    Joey: I just want a good story that draws you in with intense characters 😀
    Denise: I LOVE it when the Alpha has a bit of vulnerability to him – very sexy and shows that he can appreciate the strength of a woman, which to me is uber manly LOL 😀

  5. Loved the excerpts and interview! Great way to start my Friday!

    Ok, Valentines. We don’t do anything special. Every year I get a room redecorated in the house, so that is my Valentines, birthday, Christmas all rolled into one. This year is the family room, and my husband does all the work, and I hope we get started by Valentines day!

    I am a cheese girl. Cheese only on the pizza. Not a lot of sauce, and a lot of cheese. YUM

    In an anthology, I want some sort of connection between the characters. I don’t mind if the story is short, so long as there is something going on more than just sex. I just like a relationship, even a budding one, more than I like to just read about just sex. Not sure if that makes any sense, but it feels like it does in my head 🙂

    I don’t mind a flawed hero. One that is dominant, strong, brave, but then is also man enough to let his woman help him out. Yep, good kind of man!!

    Thanks ladies!

  6. Hello everyone and thanks to Greta for inviting us today! Greta’s one of my favorite people so it’s always an honor to be here.

    And it’s still early here so I’m off to grab some coffee. Going to be a long day and I need to pry my eyes open. 😉

  7. Evening all. I’ve finished my writing quota for the day, so I’m positively glowing with virtue. *grin* I’m about to totter off to bed, but wanted to say g’day before I go.

    I wish Jaci hadn’t asked about pizza. Now I’m hungry, and it’s bed time. Hmpf.

    Mary, Rita, Bonnie and Amy, so glad you all like your alpha guys with a touch of vulnerability. Being perfect is oh-so-boring. (Geez though, on that basis I must be an absolute riot!)

    As Rita said, “let me feel his insecurities and fears, and how the power of love helps him move beyond them.” Yep, that’s it. And yes, Bonnie and Amy, it does take a real man to appreciate his woman’s help.

    Okay, nighty-night! I’ll back later tonight (US time).

  8. Good morning, everyone, I’m prying my eyes open, too, but my husband just made me a mocha so I’m sure that will help. Thanks to Greta for having us!

    Mary, I hope you’ll give this anthology a try. I think we’ll surprise you!

    Rita, thanks for stopping by! And for the sweet things you said about the anthology! I know you got a sneak peak of my story, and you’re going to absolutely love the other girls. And your VD plans (okay, sorry, that makes me laugh) sound romantic combined with the anniversary!

    Bonnie, I loved the idea of the framed “boudoir” photos! I actually did that for my husband one year, too! He has it down in his “dungeon.” We call it that because we live on a mountain, and it’s under the main house.

    Amy, a room decorated, AND your husband does all the work. Now that’s a great gift!

  9. Jaci, I’m starting with the mid-morning breakfast of champions – semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with butterscotch chips and Wildberry tea – to be chased by a Cherry Zero. lol

    Mary, did you have any leftovers on that pizza you could send our way (hopeful?) – I have the same problem with anthologies, but occasionally I’ll hit one that will give me a sense of satisfaction – though I’d like more of the story, I feel they’ve given me a good introduction to the characters and haven’t left me hanging. Roarke’s Prisoner by Angela Knight was one of those (Secrets Vol 2). And of course, we hope you’ll enjoy our anthology despite the shortness issue (grin).

    Rita, thanks for that! And a great description of what makes a wonderful story, no matter the length.

    Bonnie, your husband sounds like a keeper – one that will go out and plan a lovely surprise for Valentine’s, rather than look at you blankly and say “What do you want to do?”

    Amy, I definitely understand the “get to know the characters and make it about more than sex” issue. Interestingly enough, erotic romance authors are probably more cognizant of that issue than any other genre, because our mostly female readership demands that the eroticism be well integrated with the story and characters – not just sex for sex’s sake!

  10. Great interview. The covers for both Unlaced and Laced with Desire are just beautiful. As to Jasmine’s question I have no specific plans for Valentine’s Day. As to Jaci’s question my favorite pizza topping would be roma tomatoes, bacon, italian sausage, pepperoni and extra cheese….yum! As to Joey’s question what I want most from an anthology is a really good story that fits in with the other stories in the anthology and if it is a part of series that is already being written or planned the only thing I ask is that it fits the timeline of the series in a good way. As to Denise’s question, I don’t think that being vunerable to those that you love makes you less of dominant, in reality, I think it makes you a stronger dominant.

  11. Okay… so I broke down and both the damn books… I tried to wait.. I tried to hold out to see if I could win… but I could not wait!
    So… now I am just waiting for them to come in my mail… which probably my mail people are passing them around reading them, that is why they take forever to get in the mail, lol!!!
    You ladies rock!!

  12. Crap… not enough coffee this morning.. it is supposed to say… “broke down and bought both the damn books”!!!

    Oh man.. need more coffee!

  13. Jasmine wrote – “He has it down in his “dungeon.” We call it that because we live on a mountain, and it’s under the main house”

    Glad you clarified that. You know how a BDSM romance writer’s mind works (wink) – I was picturing all sorts of things…

    Maria, another good point. That’s probably the second complaint I’ve heard about anthologies, after “the stories are too short”. It’s “the stories don’t really fit together/aren’t the same genre/theme.” I think that’s probably why Unlaced did so well and therefore the publisher wanted us to do Laced with Desire. Our styles seem to mesh well with one another. Also, though the three ‘J’s did contemporaries and Denise does a paranormal, they’re all very character/romance centered as well. Wish publishers would try to make sure of that cohesion for more anthologies, because it is a bummer to get an anthology and like 1-2 stories and the rest not really be your thing.

  14. Cecile, you always make me laugh! It might not be far from the truth, however. I went for my bi-annual dental cleaning a few months back, and while the hygienist had the cleaning thing in my mouth, she said brightly “Oh, the girls have all been reading your books – we pass them around.” Chuckle. People are always full of surprises. Hope the books get there soon!

  15. Mary – Pizza is always a good idea. Had it myself last night. 😉

    Rita – Handmade valentine? That’s so incredibly thoughtful. I bet he loves that.

    Bonnie – that’s what does it for me, too, is the characters. Give me great characters and I’m sucked in.

    Amy – redecorating! Fun. We’re redoing the master bath right now. It’s in the ‘nightmarish’ stage, but I’ve just picked out new tile for the shower and floor and we went paint shopping last night so I can at least envision how it’ll look when it’s done. Can’t wait!

    Maria – the covers for both anthologies are awesome, aren’t they? I think Berkley’s art department rocks hard. And I love roma tomatoes on pizza! *grin*

    Cecile – I laughed at the visual of the postal people passing our books around before delivering. Actually, that would be awesome lol

  16. Agreed, Maria and Jaci, you want a bit of cohesion between the series and the stories, something that pulls them all together. I believe we’ve got cohesion yet we still all give something a bit different, too.

    LOL, Joey, yes, I had to clarify the dungeon comment!

    Have to say I’m glad you broke down, Cecile! And since I’m so proud to be with the other Js and D, I think you’re going to love the stories!

  17. Great interview ladies!!

    Valentine’s Day plans…….not sure yet but I do know that my heart shaped box from See’s Candy will be filled with chocolate butter creams…….I have the same box hubby gave me 15 plus years ago and he fills it every year for me! 🙂

    Favorite pizza topping…..I’m a plain cheese kind of girl but we recently discovered a really good sausage topping from our very favorite Italian restaurant.

    Anthologies….I usually pick them up because they have atleast one of my favorite authors in them and the best thing is that I usually discover a new author and then I go crazy looking for all their back books!! I do agree that they are usually too short though. I like that the stories usually have the same theme but they don’t really need to be “tied together” other than that for me!

    Alpha males…I love a big and strong Alpha but if he has a little softness to him or a few flaws that makes him even more sexy to me!

    Happy Friday everyone!!

  18. Thanks for all the lovely excerpts and a fascinating interview!

    I must admit, anthologies aren’t my thing. 😦 But you have intrigued me now, and since I am already a fan of Joey’s and Denise’s I may give in and try this one. My main gripe is just that the stories are too short – in a book, size does matter for me! 🙂

    As far as the questions;
    I don’t eat pizza. I’m sensitive to tomatoes.

    For Valentine’s day we probably won’t do anything special. We usually write each other a card or sweet letter and I’ll bake him some cookies. That’s about it.

    I don’t have a favorite anthology. I tend to go for either short stories or preferably books. But the few i have semi-enjoyed have all had one thing in common – longer stories! LOL

    As far as the flawed alpha; for me the premise of the question is somewhat confusing. Being vunerable (shedding tears, regular human emotions, perhaps having to be rescued by the herione) is not the same as being flawed. I love vulnerable heroes; I dislike flawed ones intensely. I suppose everyone could draw that line differently for themselves, though.

    Thanks again and I may have to break down and try this one! (especially since I can’t say I’ve read everything Joey’s published until I do, LOL)

  19. Plans for Valentines are dinner and a movie, my favorite pizza topping is pepperoni!

  20. That is a fantastic cover for Laced with Desire. I would definitely pick it up to read the blurbs and possibly buy in a store.
    No plans, no sig. other
    Extra cheese
    Stories that are 100 pages or more, so no anthologies by 4 or more authors
    No, as long as the hero isn’t too “angsty” and that he rises above his difficulties in the end.

  21. Hello! I had sooo much fun with the blog tour. Then I pouted because I didn’t win lol. Then the lovely Joey informed me of this blog so I had to stop by!

    Let me start off by saying these books sound sooo good! LOL. And I love both your answers to the questions asked as well as the questions you ask us. So here are my answers.

    Jasmine: What are your romantic plans for Valentines?

    My answer is not much actually. My husband and I have been together long enough that we don’t really do so much with valentine’s day by ourselves. We do have plans for February 15th. As the kids have the day off of school we are going to the movies to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Both my husband and I have read all of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books and we are hoping we will enjoy the movie as well.

    Jaci: Yes, this is a very important question. What’s your favorite pizza topping?

    I love supreme pizza. But if I had to choose just one topping it would probably be bacon. Because I love love love bacon lol.

    Joey: So in your favorite anthologies, what specific qualities made them your favorites and avoided that pitfall?

    Anthologies are tough to write. I find that there are outstanding authors out there that just cannot do justice to anthologies. However, there are others who make an anthology just seem effortless to write. As far as what makes a great anthology my favorite I would have to say timing is the key. Not how long or short a story is. It is the timing of how the characters meet, fall in lust, have their conflict, and then find themselves completely in love with each other. There could be a story that is 100 pages long in an anthology but if 99 pages is nothing but conflict and sex and 1 page is love, it doesn’t mesh well.

    Denise: Do these qualities necessarily turn an alpha hero into a beta? Do readers think the less of these heroes, preferring the totally ‘together’ guy who never loses his cool?

    A great alpha to me is complimented by a strong female. Even in the BDSM books I like to read, the sub somehow comes across as strong and even independent. So an alpha male may take her down a peg or to even as he shows some sort of weakness or flaw in his character. Because a “perfect” male to me is very irritating and usually comes across as arrogant, egotistical, and just plain horrid. However, I think an author can go to the extremem opposite when showing an alpha male being a little on the flawed side. I read one where the alpha cried and it was because he ruined his chances with this woman. Even before they really met and fell in love. I was so disgusted because to me that isn’t an alpha male. I don’t see a true alpha crying over a missed opportunity but I also don’t see a true alpha being all “me tarzan…you jane” lol.

  22. Hey Ladies!

    Great interview. I’m pretty excited to add this one to my reading pile.

    Jasmine: I don’t have anything planned for Valentine’s Day. All though, the better my husband plans the day, the better I plan the night. LOL

    Jaci: I love every vegetable possible on my pizza AND extra cheese. Personally, I don’t think there is such a thing as too much cheese.

    Joey: Yours was the first contemporary romance that I’ve read!! What I most from an anthology is a good story with sexual content that intensifies the relationship. I also love those short stories that are loosely connected to an existing series, giving me a glimpse of a world that will inspire me to dive head first into the series.

    Denise: I love to see vulnerability in doms. I think it creates a balance and when love is added to the mix, it makes the situation that much more meaningful. Personally, I love to see a villain with vulnerability who becomes a hero in the end.

    Congrats to all of you!

    Jaime

  23. Chocolate butter creams sound wonderful, Blanche. And that your husband refills the same box, oh my, how romantic!

    Dinner and a movie is always perfect, Teresa!

    Thank you, Anne, so glad you love that cover!

  24. I don’t have any plans for Valentines Day. My favorite pizza toppings are pepperoni, ham and black olives with light sauce. My only problem with anthologies is sometimes they don’t feel finished they need just a little bit more in them. I love a alpha man and since no one is perfect he has to have a few flaws other wise he would probably be boring and everyone needs a little help every now and then.

  25. Well I’m single right now so I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with my family since it’s also Chinese New Year.

    My favorite pizza topping is…umm…sausage!

    I love the anthologies that have an actual plot and everything is tied together neatly to have a HEA at the end.

    I definitely don’t think less of those heroes because it’s more realistic in a sense that every person in the world has some type of flaw, and showing some vulnerability will just make me, as a reader, love him more.

  26. I had a funny question for all of the authors…what is the weirdest place you’ve ever had an idea for a story??

  27. Quick mention for those who may already have the stated giveaway books of Laced with Desire and Unlaced – it’s looking like the authors are going to work out some substitute titles if that’s the case, so don’t hesitate to comment and get your chance to win, regardless!

    Blanche, I’m a serious butter cream chocolate fan myself. I was incensed when Whitman’s stopped putting them into their big assortment box. And that’s an excellent point about the anthologies – I do admit that, while I prefer the longer story, if I’m impressed with a writer’s style, I will go out and actively seek the longer books! Definitely one reason it’s a plus to write with other talented ladies, like these three. :>

    Teresa, is it bad my greatest Valentine’s night wish would be for a long nap cuddled in my husband’s arms? He’d have to put down the mouse long enough to do that, though. Maybe we’ll have an electrical short (snort).

    Anne, I love how striking that cover is. It practically jumps off the shelf. I wasn’t expecting the white spine, which also makes it stand out if it’s shelved sideways. As far as not having a significant other, sounds like a perfect reason to treat yourself to something special that YOU’LL enjoy – don’t have to coordinate with anyone else (grin).

  28. Hi Ladies!

    Absolutely wonderful interview! It is fun to find out about my favorite authors and all their likes and dislikes.

    Good morning Jasmine! I am a tea drinker and love my cup in the morning. For Valentine’s day we are thinking of a going out to dinner with our friends to a really nice restaurant. We went out with them on New Year’s eve and had an extraordinary time at a fancy restaurant where we had lobster, shrimp, filet mignon, and yummy appetizers, etc. Can’t wait!

    Hi Jaci! My favorite pizza topping is everything except anchovies! I even like the ham and pineapple pizza’s! Our favorite pizza parlor here makes a fabulous barbecued chicken pizza with green peppers, onions, bacon, etc. It is extraordinary!

    Hey there Joey! Yes, that would be my comment is that the stories tend to be to short. I think the best anthology I ever read was a romantic mystery where all the stories were tied together. That way there is a common theme and it all wraps up nicely and the ending doesn’t seem so short and stunted.

    Hello Denise! Gosh, Alpha males are my favorites but sometimes it is fun to read a story where there are hero’s that need saving by the heroine. I do love the Alpha’s that grab the woman, make passionate love to her and leave her senseless. Something about all that power and oozing maleness from him just gets me every time!

    How fun to have you all here together ladies! Have a fantastic day! I am getting my teeth cleaned at Indiana Univ. where the gals practice on your teeth. My husband had it done a while back and he said he never had such a good cleaning! So it is my turn today plus it is reasonable since we don’t have insurance. With X-rays and the cleaning which lasts up to 2 or 3 hours will be $81.00.

  29. Lyoness, that would have to be Hell. Mistress of Redemption was a trip through Hell for my hero, who had been a very bad guy prior to that book, and he had to see the possibilities of redemption. Then of course the Daughters of Arianne series features angel heroes, so we get to visit the seven levels of Heaven, as well as the depths of Hell (where we meet Lucifer, of course – and many of my readers were quite intrigued by him – lol – that ultimate bad boy thing, I guess.) ;>

    Good question – remember, if you don’t want to comment on our questions, you’re welcome to ask your own, just like Lyoness did (everytime I type that, I think of The Black Lyon by Jude Devereaux – a wonderful book on my keeper shelf! He calls the heroine his Lyoness – smile)

    Jeanette and Sherry, I think we’ve got a common thread going. I definitely know what to be careful of in my anthology writings. :>

  30. Blanche – butter creams..yum. Those are my faves. Sadly I’ve had to give up chocolate. *cries*. And I choose anthologies for the same reason. I always have a favorite author in them, and it’s a great way to find new authors!

    Teresa – Dinner and a movie has to be my favorite date night.

    Anne – Extra cheese! What’s pizza without extra cheese, right?

    Sherry – I so agree. Perfect men are so unrealistic. They have to have some flaws, otherwise they’re inhuman, right?

    Jeanette – Oh Chinese New Year! How fun that must be! And the HEA is an absolute must for me in a story, no matter the length.

  31. Lyoness – I think True Lies was probably the weirdest place for me, because it was off planet and I so am not a futuristic writer. It was a true challenge for me because of the shapeshifting characters (super tall and blue!…hey look at me, early Avatar…heh) and the whole atmosphere just totally threw me out of my comfort zone. But then stretching myself as a writer helped me to grow too, so though it was a really strange experience for me, it was probably one of the most fun books I’ve ever written.

  32. Going to see the Valentines Day movie (has Ashton Kutcher and a ton of other stars) with my Mom actually 🙂

    Fav pizza topping – mushrooms

    I enjoy anthologies as a get to know a new author kind of platform. Length doesn’t bother me as much as an unfinished story. If it comes to a satisfactory conclusion and seems plausible, I like it.

    I’m a sucker for a flawed hero. Physical, mental…as long as they have a problem to work through, I enjoy it.

  33. Joey, thanks for making that announcement!

    Sherry, I agree on anthologies that feel a bit rushed. But I do think there are ways to give that fully satisfied feeling in the short format, too. And I believe we’ve done that in Unlaced!

    Hi, Jeanette! Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day and family all rolled into one sounds perfect!

    Since I write ordinary-world contemporaries, Sherry, I don’t get too weird. However, when I visited Hearst Castle last year, the docent mentioned that people could actually purchase packages on E-Bay for a night’s stay at the castle. Okay, NOT cheap. They use the proceeds to fund the restoration (no, that funding doesn’t come from the ticket price). And I thought what a cool place that would be for one of my erotic romances to take place! So, in Hers For The Evening (book 2 in the Courtesans Tales), my couple make a visit to Hearst Castle. Although I did change the name to protect myself! Hah, I called it Caine’s Castle!

  34. Great stories ladies! I’ve enjoyed your blogs as well.

    Jasmine: We don’t have any Valentine’s Day plans so far, but you never know with my hubby.

    Jaci: My favorite pizza topping would be chipolte peppers. Then you must add on the goat cheese, mushrooms, Itl. sausage, pepperoni, black olives…

    Joey: I don’t necessarily mind the length of stories in anthologies, as long as they’re wrapped up well. I don’t like to be left with more questions than answers in a book, and most especially a WTF moment (city of angels..again). A commonality between all the stories gets my curiosity up and encourages me to read all of them, not just the one by my favorite author which probably drew me to begin with. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s an object, like the corset, or secondary characters that drift in and out.

    Denise: I’ve always enjoyed a good dominant alpha male in books (just ask Joey). Perfection can be rather boring and hard to relate to so I might lose interest. Heroes with some vulnerabilities and flaws don’t reduce him from an alpha to a beta for me. It makes him more human, or inhuman depending on what genre you’re reading, and easier to relate to the whole story. Angst and a few tears are fine, but if he’s crying over a broken nail, or his socks not matching, well, you’ll lose me there and toss him down to a gamma. 🙂

    Thank you ladies.

    BTW, I don’t need to be entered into the contest since I already have both anthologies.

    Now I’m reduced to finding some lunch thanks to Jaci’s question and Joey’s munching hasn’t helped. 🙂

  35. Greta (and authors): thanks for a great interview. Much enjoyed!

    Jasmine: plans, if any, will be completely spontaneous (aka last minute 🙂
    Jaci: pepperonimushroomsextracheese!
    Joey: really seeing the connection between the characters.
    Denise: love a well-rounded man (alpha/beta mix)

  36. I just wanted to say personal thank you Jasmine, Jaci, Joey and Denise for taking the time out of your busy schedules to be here today.

  37. I will be watching Valentines Day on Valentines Day! LOL.

    My favorite topping is cheese, or mushrooms.

    What I love about Anthologies its a easy read and very filling.

  38. Thank you, Lyn! And I hope your hubby does something very special. I agree, what matters in an anthology is wrapping everything up.

    Alison, spontaneity is wonderful!

    Cindy, your idea on anthologies being very filling sounds like the answer to Jaci’s question, LOL!

    Greta, thanks so much for having us!

    I have to dash out to visit with my brother who is here from Atlanta. However, I’ll try to log on later and swee what’s up!

  39. My “romantic plans” for Valentines is nothing really. My hubby moved past the stage of “romantic”. Though, he has promised me, once our tax refund gets here, to set me loose at Borders so I’ll say that’s a good romantic plan even if it doesn’t happen.

    Jaci, my favorite pizza topping is ordinary and plain I guess, but I like extra cheese, pepproni, sausage, and maybe the right kind of bacon. Yeah I’m a massive meat eater

  40. Hmm I don’t have any romantic plans for Valentines’. My fave topping is mushrooms. What I love about anthologies is that I get introduced to new authors. Who doesn’t love an alpha hero!

  41. Ack! Went to lunch and came back to lots of messages (grin). Happy Friday, everyone! Let me get re-ordered here, because there are new messages popping up that I either overlooked or are ordering themselves among the older messages based on time stamp. Either way, lots of good reading…

  42. Hey folks, I’m off to get Lasik surgery this afternoon. I’ll leave the blog in the capable hands of Jasmine, Joey and Denise who I know can handle it well. Just didn’t want you to think I completely dropped the ball but I’ll be totally blind the rest of the day. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick back up tomorrow when I’m allowed to open my eyes again. Heh.

    Thanks again everyone!

  43. Sheila, just remember, in terms of “in an anthology, size does matter”, the same rule can apply as it does to other…er…things. The size isn’t always as important as the skill with which it’s wielded (chuckle). Hopefully these books will give you an enjoyable experience, even if they’re not as long as your normal fare.

    Anne, I think you make a good point about limiting anthologies to 3-4 authors to ensure the stories have good substance. It isn’t important for all genres, but it seems to me many romance readers want time for there to be romantic interludes and a building of sexual tension – that kind of omits the 5 page short story (lol) – though I won’t say there authors that can’t do it!

    On that note, I agree with Danielle. I will never be an accomplished short story writer unless my brain shorts out, I get abducted and rewired by aliens, etc. But it only increases my admiration for the authors that CAN write an incredible, shorter romance. And hey Danielle! (waving madly) – glad you did come over. My husband and I really want to see the Percy movie as well. Hopefully it will be as good as the Harry Potter’s and not just a knock off of those.

    Jaime, oddly enough, I only recently started recognizing the value of writing shorter, standalone works for anthologies or free ebook offerings that nevertheless connect to an ongoing series to generate interest in it. My agent mentioned that to me the other day, as to whether I’d be interested in writing a 50k something or other that connects to my series. That is, if my publisher wants to jump on the bandwagon of offering a free ebook read to generate interest in the series. That sounds much easier to me than writing a 50k book from “scratch”, where the hero/heroine just met each other (grin).

  44. Wonderful job you guys loved your answers. As a person who really enjoys anthologies, because I buy them for 1 author, and find a new 1 to enjoy also. I’m single & happy no V-Day plans. My absolute fav topping is Italian sausage with any veggie. Hey Joey finding other new authors or new genre I like is why I love anthologies. Denise, hot alpha males need you say more, but who doesn’t want them bowing down to you also, sweet!

  45. Michele, I hope your teeth cleaning goes well (grin). And the romance mystery sounds like a great coordination. Was it all the same author, or different authors? I know several authors who write together under one name, and I bow to that ability to work together. I’m always so deep in my head when I write, I’m not sure how I could co-write with anyone. Of course, I was also the kid who always dreaded the term “group project” in school (laughter). If you come back and care to share the name of that romance/mystery, I’d love to know what it was!

    Rachie, I want to see the Valentine’s Movie as well – the vignette premise reminded me a lot of the Christmastime Love Actually of a few years back. I’m sure I’ll have to wait for it on DVD, though – WAY too much of a chick flick for my husband. ;>

  46. Congrats ladies!! Ooh la la, I just saw Laced With Desire at Borders yesterday!! That is some cover, the pics here don’t do it justice!! I predict it will sell well if nothing else from that “I gotta have it” cover. I loved the red and black combo. I know it called to me!! LOL!! I was there on a mission for something else, but I will buy it in the near future. We kind of celebrate Valentine’s Day for a whole week along with my Bday, the 15th. My Valentine’s tradition is making choc covered strawberries for us. Hubby and I have been known to have strawberries and champagne in our boudoir on the 14th! We actually usually eat in on the 14th. We have shrimp cocktail and other horderves and choc mousse. . We eat out on the 15th and usually go to a casino or two. We only like veggie pizza and pretty much Chicago or thin crust. I LUV anthologies, and I collect them too. I really have liked all I’ve read except for one last year. It was my 1st where they seemed to race to the end and also end abruptly. I was sad to see this since it included some of my fav authors. I LUV a read where an Alpha gets saved by the heroine. I don’t think it means he turned into a Beta. Thanks, Sue

  47. Lyn wrote -“a WTF moment (city of angels..again)” – we’re going to name that the movie ending we most love to hate before long (lol). I think it’s fair to say that a sad ending is bad enough – when it’s a sad ending that makes NO SENSE, it will drive us insane. I bet your DH will do something for you on Valentine’s, for sure :> And another goat cheese fan! I think for me it stuck because in college I worked on a Berkshires goat farm for six months, making cheese and taking care of goats. Gave me a lasting appreciation of both the cheese and the funny, smart creatures.

    And “Joey’s munching?” I’ll have you know I am delicately (and in a very ladylike way) consuming my chocolate and Cherry Coke Zero (grin).

    Allison, the connection is it for me as well – as both an author and a reader. It’s something hard to describe in both the creative process and in reading a story, but we all know that click. That something that tells us it’s going to be a good story, that these two (or more – I do write ER, after all – grin) characters will be memorable. On that same note, as an author, I get panic-stricken if I don’t feel that connection with my characters by at least the 2nd full edit. It’s only happened once (so far – knock on wood) and it put me in such a bad mood until it resolved itself my husband wanted to shut me into a room. And before you ask – it was Dante and Alexis of Mermaid’s Ransom – it took Dante until the 3rd edit to open up. Just because he’d spent his 60 years of half-vampire existence being brutally tormented and trusting no one, he decided to be standoffish. Sheez…

  48. Greta, thanks for having us here!! And Cindy, I’m jealous – I want to see it!

    Jasmine, say hello to your brother for us!

    Raonaid (lovely name, btw) – I understand what you mean. But in a way, it’s nice – my husband and I have been together over 20 years, and we’re kind of past the big fanfare on romantic holidays, birthdays, Christmas, etc. Doesn’t mean we don’t love each other enough to do special things, it just means we know what we’re happy doing on such occasions. Like you, if we spend a day at a bookstore, or tell each other to go on line and order something we’ve really been wanting, and then just take some time out of our chaotic schedules to hang out together – that’s enough, and fulfilling. Hope you get that bookstore trip…!

    Amanda – even if I don’t have special plans, I always like to do some silly something for V-Day though – mainly because, as a romance author, I just can’t resist honoring the spirit of the day. So it might be something as simple as getting a pretty pink and white cupcake from the grocery store (smile).

    Jaci, good luck with your surgery – from all I hear, you’ll be able to see SO much more clearly afterwards!

    Sue, it is an amazing cover. We were debating the pros and cons of both of them not too long ago – the pretty pink classiness of the Unlaced cover versus the bold red and black of the new one – they’re both lovely, but this one definitely does catch the eye. And I like the model – she’s delicate and sexy at once, like our heroines (smile). And wow, your Valentine’s plans sound divine. I’m going to go get a second helping of chocolate. You gave me a chuckle, because my mom is a fiend for casinos. She just got back from Tuneca (probably misspelled that) where she won $300 off Sluggo the clown slot machine!

  49. Thanks so much for a great interview and terrific excerpts. I really enjoyed this.

    On to the questions..

    Valentine’s Plan…Each year on Valentine’s Day I try to add some new thrill to our sex lives. It might be a toy, book, sexy outfit, or game. Having been married for 31 years that adds up to lots of interesting Valentine’s Days. This year I have been reading more about light bondage and plan to lay a light hemp rope out on our bed and see where that might lead. Fortunately we enjoy good laughter as well as good sex, because this could go either way.

    Pizza Topping…onion.

    Anthologies…Having grown up with Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, I developed an early aversion to anthologies. But, with so many authors using them as an integral part of a series, I began reading them and found some great new authors. And now that’s how I use anthologies…as an afternoon quickie that could lead to more if everything feels right. Once I am hooked by an author I read everything I can get my hands on whether in an anthology, novella or novel.

    Alpha Characters…For me there has to be a balance of strength and tenderness. I appreciate a powerful character not into ego power plays with the person he/she loves. The journey to reach the point of trusting someone with our honest emotions is very romantic. Trusting someone with the physical body is a much easier thing to do.

    Thanks again.

  50. Denise – since I missed your note and didn’t get to say good night, I’ll say good morning now, since you’ll be waking soon!! Of course, think it’s Saturday in Oz, so maybe not – it would still be only about 6am (lol).

    Maisha, I do have to concede the discovering-new-author reason for reading anthologies. I think publishers are recognizing that more and more as a way to introduce readers to their new midlist authors – put them with a good lead anchor author; the reader buys the book for the anchor author, and then discovers the others (smile).

    Donna, I remember the RD abridged versions! I found James Herriott that way, about the only series concerning animals I ever enjoyed, and there was one about a male school teacher in a rural area I particularly liked – it did help me investigate the longer works of authors I liked, so you’re right, once again, just as Maisha and others have said – anthologies are a great, short taste of what an author can offer to a reader.

    Really liked your V-day ideas as well. Hemp rope? You’re a brave woman – I prefer soft nylon or lined cuffs (grin). Of course, I loved your description of just laying it out on the bed and seeing where it goes from there. I can see the intro to a story where a heroine describes that as her V-day plans to her friends, and then airily heading out the door with a secret smile on her face, them watching her with amused envy. :>

  51. Hi there 🙂
    wow, thanks for this fantastic interview – I love your answers 🙂 and congrats on the release!!! can’t wait to get my hands on it!
    and to answer your questions:
    my plans for Valentine’s – watching Valentine in the cinema *gg*
    oh, pizza – I love pizza with pineapple on it *yummi*
    I like anthologies, because I get a first impression from different authors and then I can decide if I read more or not…mostly it’s more *gg*
    Denise, I like my heroes like you described – that shows that they are “human” and I love them because of that “weaknesses”…
    wish you all the best,
    Ina

  52. So everyone is taunting me by going to this movie (laughter). Ina, seriously, hope it’s wonderful! And pineapple/cheese/tomato sauce is my favorite pizza combo as well, though I’m really not supposed to eat all that much cheese. I’m weak!!

  53. Congrats on the new anthology! Each story sounds great!

    As for my answers……

    I’m a single gal right now so I’m staying in, reading a super smutty book, and eating copious amounts of cheesecake.

    Favorite pizza topping is mushrooms.

    I love anthologies since I always get introduced to a new author that I then become obsessed with.

    I love alpha men, especially when they show their more emotional side. That makes them even sexier.

  54. Joder wrote – I’m a single gal right now so I’m staying in, reading a super smutty book, and eating copious amounts of cheesecake.

    LOL – I’m a married gal, and that sounds like the best V-Day EVER. Chuckle. Thanks for the grin.

    Okay, I’m logging off for a while to take care of the critters’ evening feeding and do my treadmilling, but I’ll be back later to catch up again. Talk to you soon!

  55. I plan for lots of chocolate on Valentines Day.

    I love sundried tomatoes and pesto on pizza.

    I love finding new authors from anthologies grouped with familiar ones. I picked up Unlaced because I was familiar with Jaci and now have 3 more authors I like. I have your Mermaid books, Joey, in my TBR now.

    I have no problem with a sometimes vulnerable alpha…it makes them more “real”!

    I am really looking forward to reading laced with desire!

  56. Amy, I’m so glad to hear my mermaids are in your reading stack – hope you like them, and of course we hope you love Laced with Desire. :>

    Just as info for everyone – we’ll announce the prize winner on Sunday morning, probably around 9am EST. I’ll post it in the comments, then Greta will give me the winner’s email in order that I may email you directly and you won’t miss the post.

    So those who haven’t commented yet, you have a couple more days to get your comment or question in – and of course those who have already commented are welcome to continue commenting or asking questions!

    Now that that little service announcement is done, on we go! :>

  57. Very interesting interview. I love that you’re all back for another anthology together.

    I don’t have any romantic plans for Valentine’s Day. I never have. While I think it’s great that the holiday makes people really think about those they love, I don’t care for it, personally. I would much rather do nothing on Valentine’s Day and then something special at any other time of year.

    My favorite pizza topping is olives.

    Personally, I love anthologies. I love getting stories from multiple authors and have used anthologies to test out new authors before buying their individual novels. However, I do agree that there are times when it seems the short length leaves something to be desired. I am happy as long as I feel like the story itself is complete and not rushed.

    Denise, I don’t think that turns an alpha into a beta. I think that makes the alpha more human, at least for me. I like heroes that aren’t completely together because those that are just seem a bit unreal to me. I like knowing that even the most alpha male has things he has to deal with.

    I hope you all have a great weekend!

  58. Karin, my brother takes a more aggressive approach to V-Day. His little tradition is he likes to go out and look for anti-Valentine Day cards, things that express his general disgust with women, romance and love in general – yes, he’d make a great romance hero! (laughter). And I think we were surprised and equally pleased to be drawn together for a second anthology. I’d be happy to do one every year with these three (smile).

  59. I’ll answer your questions.
    1.I have no plans for Valentines Day,but that could always change.
    2.If it is a bought pizza I get plain or extra cheese. If it’s homemade I usually add vegetables.
    3.As for anthologies, I would like for all of the stories to be good. I find that many anthologies seem to have a lot of throw away stories in them.
    4. I like a flawed hero. The reader gets to see more of the character that way.

  60. I was going to try to catch up, but I’ve missed so much while I was out with my family! So instead of addressing every comment, I’ll just say thanks so much to all of you stopping by and saying hi and answering our questions!

  61. Wow! You guys have been busy, busy, BUSY! Know how you feel, Jasmine – catching up is going to be difficult. On the up side I had a great night’s sleep, with dreams interesting enough that I wish I could recall them. *sigh*

    Off now for a late breakfast and then popping back in.

  62. Leni, it’s interesting how many folks have said they don’t have plans for V-day…yet. Sounds like there will be surprises on that day. And there also seems to be a common theme on wanting anthologies to have 100% quality stories, instead of one good and a few so-so’s. Which makes a lot of sense, considering everyone is pinching pennies these days and you want to get the most for your dollar! Not saying it just because we wrote it (grin), but I think that’s why our anthology has done well.

  63. Jasmine, we haven’t made plans for Valentine’s day.
    Jaci, I love extra cheese on my pizza.
    Joey, I do want the story to be long enough to delve into the characters and have a full, fleshed out plot. I don’t want the author to skimp on that just to meet the word count. I have read more than one short story that should have been a full length book.
    Denise, I love the tortured hero. Of course he has to open up, and become vulnerable, but only to his heroine (or his hero).

  64. Okay, I officially give up,. The J’s have looked after you all so beautifully, I’m just going to rave on at random. Forgive me if I don’t respond specifically to your comment.

    Valentine’s Day makes My Beloved mad. He says it’s all about commercial exploitation. I, OTOH, wouldn’t mind flowers. Donna – sounds like you have an absolutely wonderful relationship, good for you both for continuing to work at keeping it fresh!

    As for pizza, I’m okay with most of it except hot sausage and pineapple. What do you think of those ‘gourmet’ pizzas though? We had a local place that did Peking Duck or tandoori chicken pizzas. Never qwute came to terms with that. 😉

  65. Thoroughly enjoying Laced With Desire! Just like I did Unlaced. Really like the idea of one theme, 4 stories. I usually do like longer books, but sometimes I need a shorter read, and an anthology fills that need perfectly while introducing me to a new author or two. The fact that I’m familiar with all the authors this time is just icing on the cupcake!

    Now for your questions;

    Jasmine: No plans as of yet. We’re more spontaneous, I guess.

    Jaci: A pizza’s not complete without black olives.

    Joey: What I want most is a connection with the characters. Doesn’t matter how long or short the story. And I think you’re right about erotic authors having their work cut out for them. You’ve got to get down to the emotional nitty gritty. It’s not like a cheap porno movie made for a quick thrill. Erotic romance has to have more “meat” to it, if you’ll pardon the pun.

    Denise: I love my heroes all dark and deadly and dominating, but they have to be “real” to be believable. How dull and boring a “perfect” hero would be. I’d be afraid he couldn’t stop looking at his reflection in any mirror he passed and admiring his glow-in-the-dark white teeth! LOL!

    I thank the powers that be that threw the 4 of you together the first time, and had the intelligence to do it again!

  66. Hi guys, made it to this one. no problem (bombed out at your previous interview) Hmmph…

    Hello Jasmine: Valentine”s day has never been a big ‘thong’ in my married life. although it falls around our wed Anniversary so we celebrate that instead. Everyday with my DH is a valentines day.
    Hi:Jaci: I don’t eat a lot of Pizza, (I know.. I must be the only person in the world LOL) But I don’t mind an occasional slice of Supreme.
    *Waving*Hi Joey: Great Authors.The book must contain more than 1 author I like to read. I have been bitten several times by purchasing an anthology because of a fav author only to be and been disappointed by other writers. Therefore I have become very particular when buying Anthologies.I am looking forward to reading all of your stories girls.
    *Waving* Hi Denise. I like it when an alpha male occasionally realizes he may need to accept the hand of a beautiful, smart, clever Heroine. And as long as she has his best interests at HEART and he understands this I think there is room for him to concede to her judgment in a story (as there is in real life) so hard for some men to let go those protective reins. But sometimes it’s nice.
    Does it make them a beta male… I don’t like to think it does but that will depend on the hero and his characters make up. A bit of what can make him appear more human and less the only creature that can handle the heat, can certainly endear him to a reader more perhaps.

    Can’t wait for my new copy to arrive. (snail mail) LOL
    Mary

  67. great post/interview. I love to see a hero who is real. and no one who is real can keep it together ALL the time.

    hugs,
    WendyK

  68. Janet, I was pretty worried about that issue (skimping on something that should have been a full length book) with Honor Bound, but fortunately, I had some great CPs (including Denise) that helped me round it out. And of course these three ladies don’t have my struggles – they write brilliant, shorter fiction, leaving me in baffled envy (grin).

    Denise, tell DH that’s a pathetic excuse to not give his wonderful wife flowers. And I was just speculating with another reader earlier today that there are some connections of Valentine’s with the Goddess Brigid, and the celebration of Imbolc. There’s a symbolism to it that it’s the point on the wheel of the year when the young Goddess meets the Great Lord and they fall in love – so see, there are deeper roots than Hallmark (grin). I’ve never had gourmet pizza though (wink) – you know me – I’m plain potatoes and Hershey bars all the way.

    Terry, you said that so well. And hey girl! Glad you could make it. Love the glow-in-the-dark teeth. Reminds me of Enchanted, when someone asks the charming Prince, “Sire, do you like yourself?” and the prince looks puzzled and then cheerful, announcing “What’s not to like?”

    Wendy, on that note, I agree – a hero who could keep it together all the time isn’t as much fun. I LOVE the JD Robb In Death series, and I adore Roarke, but every once in awhile I want him to end up in the hospital or something, because he’s almost TOO on top of things sometimes. I want Eve to take care of him a little bit (grin).

    Okay, I’m off to bed soon, but this was so much fun. Remember, you’re welcome to keep posting comments and questions so you can be eligible for the Sunday morning drawing for a two-book prize of Unlaced and Laced with Desire. While, depending on our respective schedules, we may only be able to check in sporadically after today, if you leave a direct question for one of us, we’ll of course answer. And I’m sure Jaci will be checking back in with her new and improved eyesight (grin).

    Thanks again to all!

  69. Thanks for a great interview ladies, and congratulations on a gorgeous anthology. That cover is amazing! I also love reading through the comments – makes me smile.
    Valentine’s day – no major plans, I get to see my bf so rarely, that we’re planning on holing up the whole weekend and just cook and watch movies and relex 😉 Can’t think of a better way to spend it actually..
    I adore white pizza =) Jaci, you made me hungry just thinking about pizza. The more garlicky and cheesy, the better!
    I actually like anthologies, especially when I just want a quick read. I especially like it when the stories are connected somehow – best friends, sisters, etc. I’m really looking forward to reading Laced with Desire =)

  70. Wow! You got a wonderful response from everyone!
    Hi Joey,
    Just to comment back on the romance mystery book was written by 3 different authors. I can imagine how hard it would be if just one author wrote all 3 stories for the anthology.
    It was so much fun reading all the responses from everyone! Great idea for this blog!

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  71. Thanks, Joey. I had a great time with the family. My brother flies out tomorrow.

    Jaci, hope all went well with the surgery.

    Hey, Denise, nice to see you!

    Wow, what a lot of great answers, everyone. It’s been very fun to read what everyone had to say. What fun! Joey, thanks for holding down the fort. I really didn’t think I’d be gone that long.

  72. I don’t much care for anthologies of short stories. I’m with you on that, Leni – you tend to get too many ‘throw-aways’. Wrting a real short story is a delicate art, and Terry’s right, in an erotic romance, it’s not so easy to make the right emotional connections in a short space. I prefer three of four stories, so each is novella length.

    And Joey, nice of you to pay such lovely compliments, but I always feel like I need more wiggle room, like having to flap my elbows!

    About the only anthologies of short stories I’ve really, really enjoyed is where there was an established setting in common – a ‘book’ if you will. Each story was about a different aspect of the fantasy world and featured a different protagonists – who also turned up in the other stores as secondary characters. It was neat. Edited by Robert Asprin from memory.

  73. Thanks everyone, for your take on alpha heroes. Okay, so there’s a definite yen for the masculine, dominating type – but only to a certain degree. he couldn’t be totally perfect or he’s not believable.

    That makes me really happy, because I have a confession to make. Too much alpha-ness and my fingers itch for a lump of four by two or a frying pan to hit him upside the head with. But because I’m an author and eveeel, I keep my guys under control by making them vulnerable and let’s face it, sometimes downright confused. I honestly think a man is more manly when he faces his flaws and overcomes them.

    I’m currently writing the third book in the Four-Sided Pentacle series and the hero, Walker, is one of those dark deadly warrior types, the kind you don’t hear coming until his knife is at your throat and it’s way too late. But his heroine is has no concept of tact or personal boundaries and he’s finding her pretty hard to cope with. She’s just swanning past all his barriers.

    No way is he a beta guy, but he’s struggling. heh heh

  74. Joey said: “So everyone is taunting me by going to this movie (laughter).”

    now I’m curious – what are your plans for Valentine’s Day? (sorry, if you answered that already – there are a lot of posts, but I couldn’t find that one…)
    greetings, Ina

  75. Hi Ladies!
    I’ve really enjoyed the blog tour. I’ve been reading Jaci’s Wild Riders Series and now I have three new (to me) authors’ books to explore, after I read Laced With Desire. So, here are my anwers:

    Jasmine: I’m single, so I don’t have any Valentine’s Day plans. I will probably spend my time reading a good book.

    Jaci: My favorite pizza toppings are sausage, mushrooms, and garlic. Which might be one of the reasons I’m single…hahahaha!!

    Joey: The thing I want most from an antology is to feel satisfied with the ending of each story. If it leaves me feeling like I want to know more, but I’m okay with where it ended then I think it’s a good anthology. I dislike really abrupt endings. The anthologies I’ve enjoyed most have also had cohesion with each story and have had really good pacing. Even though it is a short story, whether romance or erotic romance, there are well developed characters, well developed emotion/conflict, building tension, and hot sex scenes. I’m looking forward to reading Laced With Desire. From the excerpts I read, it looks like it will meet my idea of a good anthology.

    Denise: I love alpha heros. If they have chinks in their armor, even better. It adds another layer to the character and I think those layers help readers connect more to them.

    Thanks for the great interview and the chance to win!!

  76. Hi, Denise! I love your description of Walker, you don’t hear him until his knife is at your throat! Love it! I don’t write the kick butt kind of alpha male, but I do love a man who is master of his domain, whether it’s the boardroom or a power tool in his hand (so to speak).

    I think short stories are the hardest thing in the world to write. I admire anyone who can do it. I’m too wordy to tackle it, but I do find I love the novella length. For erotic romance, it feels perfect to me.

    Jaci, hope everything is great with the eyesight!

    And Joey, thanks for all the hard work yesterday. Your fingers must be tired!

    I know you were addressing your comment to Joey, Ina, but I’ll state my Valentines’ plans anyway! I’m making my husband his favorite meal (which I hardly ever make because it’s NOT my favorite), then I’m letting him choose the night’s movie!

    And I’ll be around all day today to answer any comments!

  77. Hi Jasmine 🙂
    I’m happy your’re back… oh, your hubby is a lucky man! but isn’t it a risk to give him the remote?? I wouldn’t get it back from my friend -.-
    greetings, Ina

  78. Ina, I’m sure it’s very dangerous idea, I’ll be setting a precedent! But since it’s Valentines…well, I’ll have to change the precedent later on!

  79. Good morning, everyone! Did a quick pop in to read the latest comments and saw Ina’s question “What are YOU doing for Valentine’s Day?”

    No, I hadn’t really answered it, Ina, so no worries about a repeat question. My husband and I are considering one of those nearby overnight hotel packages with the champagne for two and chocolate on the pillow things (smile). Getaways for us are always a little complicated, since we have seven animals and are fostering a dog right now (anyone who wants an adorable boxer mix with a clownish disposition and enough energy to shave pounds off your hips with a cleaver, let me know – laughter).

    However, sometimes a romantic getaway is just a necessity – as my mom might say, a necessary investment in your marriage. So we’ll probably do that, catch a movie, eat dinner and enjoy being with one another without a lot of furry children scurrying about beneath our feet. The best part of such a getaway is 24 hours with no demands from any direction! We all stay so busy, I’m sure you all can relate to that!

  80. Hi, Savonna, sorry I missed your comment when I was checking earlier. I think reading a good book is great for Valentines! I also completely agree in the abrupt ending to a short piece of fiction. I want everything wrapped up neatly. I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpts for Laced with Desire!

    The overnight getaway sounds great, Joey. But I hear you on the complications when you need to make sure the animals are taken care of, too.

  81. Hi Ladies.

    I have a question for each of you.

    What is your favorite scene that you’ve written between your heroes and heroines? I know, it’s like choosing between your children’s accomplishments but what is the one moment(s) that stings your eyes and melts your hearts when you read it again and again?

    Jaime

  82. Hey Maryde (waving back) – “Everyday with my DH is a valentines day.” – I loved this. Thank you for that warm fuzzy. Think thats the way I feel, too – even on the days I want to smother him with a pillow (lol).

    Eshani, I think sometimes when the anthology stories are connected (like you, Denise and others have mentioned) it feels more like one long book, and that’s nice – smile – I may get a chance to be in an male/male anthology like that later this year. My first, so the coordination should be a new challenge. Thanks for the congrats and hope you enjoy the story.

    MIchele wrote – “the romance mystery book was written by 3 different authors. I can imagine how hard it would be if just one author wrote all 3 stories” See, I was just the opposite on that, thinking how hard it would be for three different minds to mesh, vs one mind to come up with three stories. Are you going to tell me the title, or am I going to have to wrestle it out of you (laughter)? I always love a new book for my TBR list. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog!

    Denise briefly mentioned her next story in the Pentacle series. The powerful Walker, who is very absorbing all on his own, and the “tactless” and rather unique heroine Mehcredi have a tangled, fascinating chemistry that really make this story one to watch for. I’ve only had the opportunity to review the first pages and can’t wait for the rest! So I’m crowing about it a bit to coax Denise to send me the rest (wink).

  83. Savonna, you described well what makes a good story ending, as well as a successful overall anthology. The ending is the hardest part of any story I write, long or short. That abrupt wrap up is such an easy pitfall for an author, because I spend so much energy on the beginning, middle and the final climactic scene, such that after that, I’m kind of at a loss of where to go (and sometimes running way too close to that deadline because the other parts of the book seem so important.). But you’re right – it’s essential that end provides as much a sense of fulfillment as the rest of the book. And that can be scary (laughter) – the creative paranoid brain starts to run around in cycles like a hamster, saying “it has to be good as the rest of the book, it has to be great…oh God, what if it’s not?!”. Lol

    And Jasmine, yeah, it can be a hassle to get everything squared away for the getaway, but then, if I always let the “to do” list stand in the way of spending quality time with a loved one, then all my memories when I’m old and gray will be of laundry lists – not very exciting (grin).

  84. Jaime, you always come up with great questions (grin) – the favorite scene I’ve written between my hero and heroines…oh geez, just one?! This is a tough one. You said “the one that stings your eyes and melts your hearts when you read it again and again”, and that helps. I’ll rattle off a couple of those, but there are always more – I do write angsty stuff, after all (lol)…

    Trying not to do spoilers here…

    Mark of the Vampire Queen – toward the end, something happens where Jacob is willing to sacrifice his life for Lyssa, and the way she reacts when it looks like it’s going to become a reality always brings tears to my eyes. She’s 1000 years old, and never expected to have a 30-year-old servant be so devoted to her, understand her so deeply, and everything she truly needs…okay, getting a bit teary just recalling it now!

    There’s another scene in Mark of the Vampire Queen, involving a baby, and I can’t say more than that or I will definitely be giving a spoiler, but it also makes me cry, because it’s the first time she acknowledges a deep, deep connection with Jacob.

    A Witch’s Beauty – when Mina has to take David into a situation where he is sure to be tortured – and she has to allow it to get where they need to go – what’s going on in her head in that moment. It reminded me of the first time I read Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe and Aslan’s sacrifice scene – I bawled during that, too. :>

    In Natural Law, when Mac brings Violet home to his house after she gets wounded in the line of duty, and cares for her – that night, they end up making love, and in the darkness, everything is laid bare and vulnerable between them, with barely a word spoken.

    Rough Canvas – pretty much the whole dang book – the chemistry between Marcus and Thomas was heart rending throughout.

    ANd of course, you all who are familiar with my work know Ice Queen/Mirror of My Soul, the two-book story of Marguerite and Tyler, is filled with scenes that remain special to my heart – her return to Tyler after a two week hiatus during which she had to decide if she has the courage to love him; the scene where Tyler allows her to “Dom” him, to prove a point (they were both sexual Dominants, and their wedding – I cry like a baby every time I read the chapter when her surprise flower girl shows up (and that’s all I’ll say!).

    Aren’t you sorry you asked – see, just like kids, I couldn’t decide!

  85. Great question, Jaime! Thanks for asking. The moments that sting my eyes. Hard to say without doing a spoiler, but here goes.

    In Somebody’s Lover, the argument between Jace and his father where all the emotions are laid bare for everyone to witness makes me cry every time.

    In my story in Laced with Desire (La Petite Mort), there’s a moment where Ford cares for Sophia when she’s ill that pushes my tear ducts.

    In my May release Courtesans Tales, Hers for the Evening, the third story, when Simon tells Haley he loves her, the emotion gets to me there, too! For some reason, that story seems to be very special to me, and at the end of it, I get that “wow” feeling that all writers strive for. Simon made an appearance in Yours for the Night, he’s in La Petite Mort, and finally gets his own story in Hers for the Evening.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll stop.

    Joey, I love all your moments, too!

  86. Joey…”Mark of the Vampire Queen – toward the end, something happens where Jacob is willing to sacrifice his life for Lyssa, and the way she reacts when it looks like it’s going to become a reality always brings tears to my eyes. She’s 1000 years old, and never expected to have a 30-year-old servant be so devoted to her, understand her so deeply, and everything she truly needs…okay, getting a bit teary just recalling it now!”

    Oh yes, I recall this moment. I bawled like someone was going to take my first born. I was sobbing to the point of breathlessness and my husband thought someone died. LOL

    These are the scenes that leave me satisfied with a story, that I’ve grown emotionally attached to characters, and make me want to run out, in the middle of the current blizzard, and grab the next book.

    Jasmine, thanks for the examples. Now you know I will be reading the stories, for sure!

    Jaime

  87. It’s the same for me as a reader and writer, Jaime, when I can bond with the characters and cry with them. I’m glad you enjoyed my samples. But Joey is a master at it!

  88. Hello Ladies
    I loved your first anthology & your individual books as well.
    No plans yet for Valentin’s Day but it’ll be a long weekend here so that’ll be good.
    I love sundried tomaotes & roasted red peppers best.
    If short stores are paced right then the story is whole. If we complain about them being too short it’s because you guys are so good we don’t want the stories to end
    but that happens with your regualr books too LOL.
    Alphas that are vulnerable to love are still alpha & sexy. They are still alphas to everyone else & pussycats to their love.

  89. Yes, Mary, I keep forgetting it’s a long weekend for some! Well, actually, I still have to ask if my husband gets the day off. I love your description of alphas, pussycats to their loves. So glad you enjoyed the first anthology! I don’t think #2 will disappoint!

  90. Hi Jasmine
    I’m sure I’ll love it. I love all your books but the ones that hold a special place in my heart are Invitation to Seduction and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reread Somebody’s Lover. Funnily enough, both are in anthologies – good things come in small packages.

  91. Thank you so much, Mary! When Jaime asked about favorite moments, I forgot to mention Invitation to Seduction, which is in the anthology Open Invitation. That one made me cry, too! I’m so glad you loved it, too. I do love writing anthologies.

  92. Hi everyone! Hope you’re all ok Over There in the snow. It rained here all night, so it’s a teeny bit cooler, but not by much.

    Oh boy, what a question, Jaime! And Joey and Jasmine, what great answers. Joey, I remember that moment of sacrifice in Mark of the Vampire Queen. I cried too, right through the critiquing.

    As for me, hmm, here are a few, hopefully with no spoilers.

    The Flame and the Shadow – when it crashes down on Cenda how completely Gray has betrayed her. She wants to kill him – she has the power – but she can’t, because she loves him. Such despair and rage. Or later, he manages to tell her about dreadful events in his past. (Referring you back to alphas struggling with emotions here.)

    Thief of Light – right at the end, when Erik has to confess to Prue about something purely awful that he did long ago. She’s become his reason for living, and he knows she’ll be horrified and reject him, but he owes her – them, really – his honesty.

    Tailspin – Jan (one of the heroes, it’s a menage) has been imprisoned and tortured by a female demon. He’s an extremely dominant man, alpha to the max, so he finds it almost more than he cope with. Fledge offers to let him use her in whatever way he wishes if it will help, essentially she offers not only her body, but her kind heart as well. Poor Jan, he knows he can’t subject her to the darkness inside him, so he refuses. “I’m not a machine to be mended,” he says. So broken. *sniffle*

    Strongman – this is a male/male romance. Fort, who was brought up in a very conservative homophobic society, can no longer resist temptation and has spent the night with Griff. As dawn breaks, the memories of his bleak childhood sweep over him and the impact of what he’s done sends him stumbling out the door. Poor Griff, he’s terribly wounded, but Fort is heartsick.

    There’s also an Epilogue to Strongman, that I wrote in a state of emotional conflagration. Griff finally turns the tables on Fort and they both gain their hearts’ desire. It’s the big man’s vulnerability and trust that gets me very time. It’s completely free, but only available to my newsletter subscribers. https://app.expressemailmarketing.com/Survey.aspx?SFID=79564

  93. As for Laced with Desire… Thought I’d better do that one separately, given that’s what this blog is all about. 😉

    You have to remember Dancer has been a slave since she was fifteen, so there are quite a few heartrending moments. But there’s one time, she’s in bed with Rhio and he realises she doesn’t know how to kiss. Yes, she’s sexually experienced, but the men who’ve used her weren’t interested in her mouth for kissing. It just about breaks his heart.

    Rubies and Black Velvet (Unlaced) – when John walks in the door after Meg thought he was dead for 6 years. Not only that, she thought he’d betrayed her. Instead, he’s experienced terrible suffering and survived. And he’s come back for the only woman he’s ever loved. Aaah…

  94. Oh Denise! Great moments!

  95. Jaime wrote – Oh yes, I recall this moment. I bawled like someone was going to take my first born.

    Yep, you obviously knew exactly what scene I was referencing! Chuckle. When it comes to scenes like that in my own favorite books, I tend to go back to them again and again – Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, Denise’s GIft of the Goddess, Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay and Dream series…just makes me feel good to revisit them periodically to recharge my batteries or just feel better about my day.

    And Jasmine, thank you for that overwhelming compliment, though I think similar kudos should go to you! (as Mary G just pointed out so well…)

    Tennismom Mary G wrote – If we complain about them being too short it’s because you guys are so good we don’t want the stories to end

    Mary, I already like you (laughter). Thanks for that. And you have a holiday weekend where you are? That’s lovely – I wish they gave us a long weekend for Valentine’s. I mean, after all, if we celebrate it passionately enough, we should need a day off to rest up, right? (wink)

    And Denise, I was just sighing through the memories of your favored scenes – had real trouble keeping my critique partner cap on during some of those – particularly anything with Fort and Griff. Still love those guys. But oh boy, that scene in your Laced with Desire story, where he teaches her to kiss – you’re right, that one did pull my heartstrings. Think I remember putting a notation in the margin to the effect of Wonderful! Nice! Delightful! Etc…

    I’m headed to bed soon now, but remember everyone, I’ll announce our winner Sunday morning (U.S., EST). I said 9am, and I hope to do it around then, but my wonderful husband has been letting me sleep in a bit, and if he does that tomorrow I may take full advantage and be an hour or so late. ;> Sweet dreams all folks on this side of the hemisphere, and those on the opposite hemisphere, have a lovely day!

    Another great day of comments…

  96. Thank you, Joey! Enjoy the sleep in. You deserve it.

  97. Joey sleeping in? Wow! *blinks* Enjoy the snooze, Joey. I couldn’t agree with Jasmine more – you totally deserve it!

  98. It’s Family Day in some provinces in Canada on Feb 15th. Only started a few years ago here in Ontario. Unofficially they stuck a holiday in there so things don’t get too ugly in the middle of winter LOL.
    As for passion, yes, I’ll probably be reading about it for sure. I see more love playing tennis with hubby.

  99. Oh, definitely you need some passion (and a holiday) in those winters, Mary. I was born in Toronto and despite having to moved to California many years ago, I still remember those winters! Fun for a kid, but not so fun as an adult when you have to get the snow shovel out! Here’s to keeping warm and a very passionate way!

  100. Small world it is. I was born in Niagara Falls & we moved to Toronto when I was 5. Live in the suburbs, now Pickering. You’re so right – we could stay out all day & play in the snow & now I can’t stand the walk from the house to the car LOL. Lucky you in Calif.
    Best wishes.

  101. Wow, what a fabulous interview, ladies! I enjoyed reading all your answers! And as for mine…

    Jasmine, I don’t have any especially romantic V-day plans–gotta remember to help the kids finish up their Valentines, so maybe I’ll remember to write a special one to my husband this year; it’s been a while 😉

    Jaci, I know it isn’t terrible good for you, but I still love a good pepperoni and mushroom pizza. The kids favor Hawaiian, which I like, too, but not as much as the tradition combo (in my view ;))

    Joey, some stories in anthologies *are* too short, or somehow don’t give me a feeling that the story is complete. I like stories that give me enough backstory and plot/character development to make me feel satisfied; I sometimes like stories where the characters already have some history, because that helps to short-circuit some of the get-to-know-you stuff. I also enjoy stories that tie into an author’s other books or other anthology contributions–I’m just a huge sucker for a series, I guess!

    Denise, I’m not sure that trusting a heroine or even needing to be rescued turns an alpha into a beta; I think it can make him seem a little more human, and there’s an appeal in vulnerability (as long as he isn’t sobbing into his beer or something like that ;)) And it’s especially hot when he’s soft only for that one woman…

  102. LOL, Mary, we really do lose some things when we have to grow up! I was born in a suburb of Toronto called Don MIlls (funnily enough, that’s Harlequin’s headquarters), but then we moved to Willowdale. I’m not sure where that is in relation to Pickering.

    Hey. Fedora, glad you enjoyed the interview!

    Oh yeah, make a special Valentine for the hubby, too! It’ll be fun!

    You know, I do love the stories where the characters have a history, where one of them is already in love with the other. That just really gets me going. I used Simon Foster in Yours for the Night, and he’s got a naughty little part (or big depending upon how you look at it) in La Petite Mort, my Laced with Desire story, then in Hers for the Evening, he forced me to tell his real story. And yep, Simon’s got a history with one particular lady! I think that’s my favorite story in Hers for the Evening.

    Thanks for stopping by, Fedora and Mary!

  103. Hi Jasmine
    If you remember Scarborough then Pickering is just east of that. If you remember Sheppard Ave. , you keep going east & you’d end up in my neighborhood.
    Take care

  104. congrats on the books and is there mor e coming

  105. Jas/Denise – thanks for the kind sleep wishes; it was BLISSFUL. As Denise pointed out with that grin (I saw it, even from over here!), I rarely sleep in, so it was heaven. And Mary G, thanks for that explanation as well on the holiday – of course Terry, one of my lovely readers and fan group admin, reminded me tongue-in-cheek we have a holiday here as well – President’s Day. I have a tendency to lose track of time. If there’s ever a cataclysmic event in the world, I’ll probably miss it, since my head will be buried in the latest draft or I’ll be out walking dogs (chuckle).

    Fedora, thanks for coming by! I miss very little about my school days, but I miss exchanging valentines. We would sometimes make ours; othertimes, we’d buy the little boxes with all the cute animal designs on them.

    I hear you on the tie-ins to characters from other series. We were just mentioning earlier that there’s starting to be a trend of publishers offering free ebook novellas and shorts where authors can feature characters in that manner and interest readers in the full length books. You also aptly pointed out that it makes it much easier to write a fulfilling short novella when you’re not having to start at the beginning, so to speak. I also like those “guest appearances”, such as the example Jasmine gave (grin).

    KH, thanks! While we (like most authors), don’t have much input on scheduling or plans for future anthologies – that’s pretty much the domain of the publisher – if the books do well, sometimes that makes a future one much more likely. We think that’s why they proposed we do a second one, which doesn’t happen all that often. So, it would be lovely to have the chance to write with these ladies again. We’ll keep you posted through our respective sites, no worries! And of course that’s just my take on it – Jaci, Jasmine and Denise may have different insights/more knowledge than I have on this! Okay, enough running my mouth…time to announce the giveaway winner!

  106. Hey Everyone!

    I’m so sorry I couldn’t be here to talk to everyone on Saturday, but my doc limited my computer time after Lasik (darn him) so I just wanted to thank you all for being here. We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out and I know we’re all so happy about that.

    Joey gave me a heads up that Jaime asked about a favorite scene b/t a hero and heroine that melts the heart and stings the eye. I’d have to say that would have to be the scene after Faith and Ryan make love on Nothing Personal when she tells him why she chose that moment and she explains to him about a gift he’d given her. You see, Ryan had been trying to buy her love before then, and he’d given her a simple gift. It was a moment when he learned that love can’t be bought, that he’d given her something from his heart. Always makes me a little weepy when I remember that scene.

    Okay, better get off the computer before husband yells at me. *g*

    Thanks again everyone! Y’all rock!

  107. Okay, the winner of a two-book prize – Laced with Desire AND Unlaced – is Cindy C! Congratulations, Cindy!! If you’ll email me at storywitch@ec.rr.com, we’ll coordinate getting that prize to you asap!

    It has been delightful to be here, everyone. And for those who are wondering, we just heard from Jaci – all is well after her Lasik surgery – she just had to sleep about 15 hours afterward and they wanted her to limit her computer time, but her lovely eyes are all good! She’ll be back at her computer, diligently preparing her next fantastic book, in no time. :>

    Have a wonderful Sunday! I’m off to spend the day with the family, but it’s been lovely spending time with you all – and Denise, Jasmine and Jaci, it’s a pleasure as always!

  108. Ha! She got the jump on me (laughter). Hey Jaci!!

  109. Welcome back, Jaci! Glad everything went great with the surgery! Love that Faith and Ryan moment! Take care of those eyes!

    And congratulations, Cindy C!!!!!

    KH, I don’t have more information than Joey about another anthology, but I love working with them so if I get the opportunity, I’ll jump on it!

    Thanks to Joey, Jaci, Denise, Greta, and all of you readers for making this such a great time!

  110. Congratulations Cindy C!

    And congratualtions to Jaci, Jasmine, Joey & Denise for another job well done! Usually sequals aen’t quite as good as the original, but you guys blew that one out of the water! Thanks for all your hard work to give us quality stories. It’s a pleasure to know all of you!

    Thanks also to I Do Not Want To Wait I Want The Book Now for this interview. It was great!

  111. Thank you, Terry! What a wonderful thing to say. I’m glad we didn’t disappoint. And it’s been such a pleasure working with these ladies.

  112. Congrats & enjoy Chris C!!
    So glad Jaci is okay. Congrats ladies & more success.
    Nice chatting with you Jasmine & always great to hear Canadian success stories.

  113. […] Posted on February 7, 2010 by lillie80 Just in case you didn’t see it in the comments section, the winner of Unlaced and Laced with Desire has been drawn and the lucky lady […]

  114. Hey, congratulations to you, Cindy C.! And Joey and Jasmine, thanks so much for keeping the chat ticking over. You ladies are awesome.

    Jaci – so glad to hear the surgery went well. I’ve been wondering… But take it easy, you hear?

    kh – I don’t know any more than anyone else on a third anthology with the fabulous J’s. I’d love it though, because I must admit that riding on their talented coat tails is fine by me. 😉 But publishers are all about making a profit, which is why they wanted to build on the success of Unlaced. All I can suggest is that you vote with your credit card/wallet. And get all your friends to do likewise. *grin* It would certainly help.

    Thanks Terry, for those reassuring comments. It’s always a relief – and a pleasure – to know someone derives pleasure from your writing.

  115. Greta, thanks so much for having us at your place. I loved the interview questions. It’s been a blast!

  116. Jasmine: I plans for Valentines is to watch the Olympics on TV.
    Jaci: My favorite pizza topping would be pesto, which I change around by making it with spinach or sun dried tomatoes when I’m tired of basil.
    Joey: I want a common theme going through all the novellas in an anthology. My favorite anthologies are by Kensington Brava. I like them spicy and I like to have at least one of my favorite authors in the mix.
    Denise: I also love alpha heroes, and I do enjoy when the heroine takes them down a peg or two.

  117. HI Joey,
    The book was titled, Behind The Red Door, and was written by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Stephanie Bond and Leslie Kelly. I had to go on Vicki’s website because I don’t have the book anymore and couldn’t remember the correct title and who all the authors were who wrote it.

    Have a great Monday!

  118. Thank you, Mary, and delightful chatting with you also!

    Gosh, Sue, I’d forgotten the Olympics are coming up! Great plan to watch them!

    Behind the Red Door sounds interesting, Michele. and I love those authors.

    Hope everyone had fun yesterday whether you were watching superbowl or doing something else. I attended a party at my sister’s and oh my God, I have to go on a diet today for a week!

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by to say Hi and share. And thanks to my coauthors and Greta!

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