Thursday, April 28, 2016

Signs of spring as Beltaine draws near

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. The hummingbirds are visiting my feeder, the quail babies hide in my yard while their parents stand guard. I love spring and the new beginnings it brings. This is the light side of spring, one I would rather embrace.


But there is a dark side. Spring was important to the ancient Celts. Beltaine was a vital time of the year, signaling the end of a long, cold, dark winter. It was also a time tinged with sadness because battles were fought in the spring.

One of my books, Beltaine's Song, is filled with spring themes, including battles fought between the Irish and the Picts in the sixth century of what is now called Scotland. There were women warriors among the fighters. My heroine was one of them. What puts the warrior in the heart of a woman? This is one of the themes I explored in this trilogy.

Among the beauty of spring, there was the ugliness of death.

Excerpt from Beltaine's Song:
The armies clashed below on the peninsula, staining the green earth with bright red blood. Heartrending screams from the dying broke the calm, silencing the seabirds with fear. War is ugly. Is the Christian Hell like this?
Surrounded on all sides by the churlish sea, islands emerged from the mist, brooding in the distance, witnesses to the horrible bloodshed. Fresh sea air swallowed some of the detestable smells of battle, filling her lungs with the scent of briny air, but the faint scent of blood set her pulse racing. With a heavy heart, she thought this battle particularly ugly because blood fought against blood, dividing the clans.
Domelch sensed something foul in the air around Dunadd, treachery lurking in the darkest corners. She thought back to the day she saw her brother riding hard to Dunadd—from the south. She knew Aedan sensed the foulness of treachery for the archers' positioning had been kept secret from all the commanders. If he suspected Galan, he had kept that to himself.
Gathering her archers, they positioned themselves in the hill's crevices, waiting for Aedan's army to lure the enemy their way and give Domelch the signal from the battle horn.
Crouched in a painful position between two rocks, Domelch nocked her arrow and waited. “Fire at my signal,” she ordered her archers.
Quiet, the archers became one with the craggy hill dressed in gray and green tunics, blending into the gray moss-covered hills. The cold, damp stones pressed painfully into Domelch's sides. Keeping her muscles still, she ignored the pain, her mind focused on the battle array below.
Clashing spears and swords against war shields splintered the air, drowning out the sea tides. War cries and yelps of pain mingled with horses' neighs and bursts from battle horns. She waited for the three short bursts of the battle horn, her heart racing with each passing moment as the battle neared their position.
Three short blasts from the ox-horn echoed through the hills, a fearsome sound like the trumpets of the Underworld calling home the dead. Domelch shuddered at the thought. We will send the dead home, she thought. “Loose your arrows,” she commanded, gathering her courage and battle fury.

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.


A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse… 
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in Dark Age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Why is it so?


As someone famous once said, “I was born with the kind of enquiring mind that frequently gets me into trouble”. I, too, am one of those annoying people who often asks “Why?”

It’s not enough for me to read a book where many groupings are menages. I want to know why. Do they belong to a BDSM club that encourages its members to form polyamorous relationships? It is a custom or part of their heritage? Are they perhaps shapeshifters who need more than one partner to complete their transformation? Why? Why do some many people in this world group in threes or fours or more?

This isn’t just for ménages, it’s for any non-average situation. Anything out of the ordinary. Situations that are different make for great stories, but for me, there always has to be a reason why those differences have occurred.

I suppose that’s why once I have satisfied myself why a particular world which suits certain characters exists, that world keeps recurring in my books.


It’s not just with ménages, it also happens with other worlds as well. Several years ago two men who work at the Botanical Gardens met and fell in love. Their names are Kalman and Enre. Enre has fiery red hair and an attitude to match. The world is full of injustice and he wants everything to be fair and equitable. Kalman is older, calm and logical. Nonetheless the attraction between them is very real and passionate. Their story is told in “Hotter Than Hell.” Thus began the “Spicy Love” series. Neither of them would leave me alone though, so they were back for a sequel in “Still Hotter Than Hell”.


The Botanical Gardens where they work is a beautiful place and there’s something erotically primeval about digging in the dirt, growing amazing flowers, and watching seeds bloom. Then several people, work colleagues of Kalman and Enre, started demanding their own story. Beverley, Hyacinthe, and Inigo now have their own story, “Spicy Love” book three, “Blooming Love”, which is due for release in April. But this story isn’t an MM, it’s a ménage, FFM. There’s also a touch of the paranormal in this story.
One thing I can promise readers though. Trust me, there’s an absolutely solid, real-life reason, why this world and this story suddenly turned out this way.

“Hotter Than Hell” Spicy Love Book 1: http://www.amazon.com/Hotter-Than-Hell-Spicy-Love-ebook/dp/B00MQIJY4W/
“Still Hotter Than Hell” Spicy love Book 2: http://www.amazon.com/Still-Hotter-Than-Hell-Spicy-ebook/dp/B00N29T32M
Berengaria Brown

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March 31, 1944 - A trip down country music memory lane by Kaye Spencer


I was a child of the 1950s and 1960s who grew up in a country music-listening home. I feel fortunate that my parents, particularly my dad, kept the radio tuned to our small town’s local radio station, which played country music almost all day long, every day. I still have most of my 33⅓ rpm and my 45 rpm records that I played hour-after-after on my record player.




While my tastes in music have changed over the years, and I’m not particularly enamored of today’s country music (George Strait excluded – love his music), I’m grateful that so many country music artists and songs from my growing-up years had such long-lasting and far-reaching influences on my writing.

Marty Robbins, Faron Young, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Johnny Horton, Hank Snow, Ferlin Husky, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Jim Reeves, George Jones, Tammy Wynette…

You get the picture.

Where am I going with this? One of my favorite country music legends was born today—March 31, 1928—in Corsicana, Texas… Lefty Frizzell.

But I’m not here to give you a biographical tribute, you can read more about his life Here and Here.

I’m sharing this, because his song, Saginaw Michigan, ranks way up there on my list of all-time greatest country songs. It’s a story of true love overcoming obstacles and persevering in order to blossom and grow, which is what lies at the heart of the stories I write.

Here is Lefty Frizzell singing Saginaw Michigan.



Also, for your reading pleasure – THE COMANCHERO’S BRIDE – a western tale of love, jealousy, and revenge






Buy Links    Amazon | Barnes and Noble  |  Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks



Until next time,

Kaye Spencer
Writing the West one romance at a time

Record player image:  Morguefile.com
Musical notes image: Openclipart.com



 

Monday, March 28, 2016

An Easter surprise visit

Easter is a time for rebirth and new beginnings. This year is all about new beginnings for me because we just made a big move. We downsized. I'm not going to miss the house as much as I'm going to miss my huge Palo Verde tree (aka The Tree of Life) and all of the wildlife that gathered beneath that beautiful tree. There were the large desert iguanas, Mr. and Mrs. Godzilla, owls, and a multitude of birds that visited our old backyard. I was bummed about leaving all of that behind, but today I had hope that I will have some new backyard wildlife to interact with and enjoy. As I watered the new Palo Verde tree growing on our back slope at the new house, a hummingbird appeared, then there were two hummingbirds bathing in the water's spray. I managed to capture a picture of one of them. It was a magical experience and a sign of the new experiences to come. Happy Easter!


My hummingbird visitor.


Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Naughty Lovers: Love Is In The Air


Naughty Lovers: Love Is In The Air
by Tina Donahue, Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Suz deMello, Terry Rissen, Nicole Austin, Regina Kammer, Berengaria Brown, Katherine Kingston, Alexa Silver.
Nine stories for only 99 cents!
Including BBW, BDSM, Contemporary, Fantasy, Lesbian Romance, M/F/M, M/M, New Adult, Paranormal, Regency, Sci-Fi, Shape-shifter, Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, & Stepbrother romance from bestselling authors.

Featuring:
THE RIDE OF HER LIFE, by Tina Donahue
Maddy’s so desperate for fun, she’s signed up for speed dating. Ew. Before she can ditch the event, Ben, her sexy driver, arrives. After one sinfully hot kiss, they’re breaking all the rules, and then some, on a sensuous spring night.

LOVE IN THE AIR, by Suz deMello
Jill’s been curious about BDSM since reading Fifty Shades, and firefighter Zack is more than willing to scratch that itch for her.

RENAISSANCE, by Alexa Silver
Kira meets Sage, one of the guys from her favorite band, at a “rock workshop”. Can she trust this handsome rockstar or is he after more than her talent?

BASTARD’S BONUS, by Terry Rissen
There is no love lost between the Glass Spinners’ Guild and the Tavern Keepers’ Guild. For Ian and Zane, it means they can never be together, or risk losing everything.

CINDERELLA SCANDAL, by Nicole Austin
It was a onetime indulgence—a random encounter between strangers. A good girl’s dirty little secret with her bad boy stepbrother. Anything else is forbidden. Or is it?

SWING FOLLIES: OCKHAM STEAM-WORKS LABORATORY CHRONICLES 3, by Regina Kammer
Blimey. Delia’s besotted. With Edward. But when an old flame from Edward’s revolutionary past swings by and steams up the laboratory, has Delia missed her chance at love?

SAPPHO’S SISTERS, by Berengaria Brown
Lady Eustacia Lumley, the only child of the Earl of Wentworth, must marry well and ensure the succession. Only problem is she’s falling in love with another woman.

BLAST FROM THE PAST, by Katherine Kingston
Lynn’s past relationship with Ryan wasn’t healthy, but when she meets him again after a long separation the old flames reignite. Can they have a more mature relationship now?

THE WYNDRAIDER’S CONQUEST, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Prime Reaper Xandon Cree must pick the next test pilot to fly a super-secret war craft. Picking a female for the job is not what he had in mind.

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BZECETY/

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1523830735/


An excerpt from my story, "Sappho's Sisters'. PG13 FF romance.

That evening, the women settled into a comfortable sofa in front of the fire in the yellow sitting room at Green Meadows with their embroidery.
“It’s good to be home again,” said Eustacia. “I like the hustle and bustle of Town, and shopping and parties are always fun, but I prefer to come home and sleep in my own bed.”
“Thank you once again for inviting me to stay with you for three months. Poor Papa is at his wits’ end wondering what to do about us all. Now that I’ve turned eighteen, he’s suddenly realized that Anne is very nearly twenty-two and time is running out to find her a good husband.”
“Four children in four years. Ugh. That’s one aspect of marriage I have never accepted—a baby every year.”
“No. I find that concept unappealing too. In fact, I find most men unappealing—selfish, arrogant, and quite often, silly. So many of the notables I danced with at Almack’s could not think past their clothes and their horses. They all either owned, or would inherit, property. Shouldn’t they be thinking about their lands and the needs of their tenants? Papa is always concerned about the lives of his parishioners.”
“Maybe they thought they shouldn’t talk about such things with a young woman.”
“Possibly.” Margaret did not sound convinced.
“Do you not want a husband and children of your own?”
“What I want is irrelevant. Papa can’t keep supporting us all, and what else is there for a woman who’s noble-born but impoverished? I’ve thought seriously about becoming a teacher or governess, but families wanting a governess usually also have sons, so they won’t hire a young woman like me. I could be a companion to an old lady. I can sing, and draw, and sew, as well as speak passable French. But I suspect agreeable old ladies wanting a companion are few and far between, and I’m much more likely to end up with a most disagreeable old lady.”
They both laughed, and then turned the conversation to happier topics.
Much later that evening, Eustacia noticed Margaret screwing up her eyes and frowning. “What’s wrong, Margaret?”
“I have the headache. I seem to get it more and more often these evenings. I don’t understand why. The light here is good for sewing, much better than at home. Good wax candles are so much more expensive than tallow,” she said and sighed.
“It’s almost time to go up to our chambers anyway. Would you like me to come and massage your head? My nurse used to massage mine and it really helps.”
“Yes, thank you. That would be nice.”
They put away their embroidery and walked companionably up the stairs together. Eustacia’s maid was waiting for her and soon Eustacia was in her night rail and robe, her hair brushed out. She dismissed the maid before walking down the hall to Margaret’s room. Margaret, who had no maid, was just tying her robe.
“Sit at your dressing table and let me undo your hair,” Eustacia said.
Slowly, she pulled out the pins and untwisted the braid. Margaret’s long, shiny brown hair rippled across her shoulders and down her back. Eustacia picked up Margaret’s hairbrush and drew it through the thick, wavy hair, pulling carefully and steadily from root to end in smooth sweeps.
“That does feel good. I can remember when my nanny used to brush my hair. I always enjoyed it.”
“I want you to enjoy this, too,” Eustacia whispered, letting her hot breath tickle Margaret’s left ear as she kept up the smooth strokes with the hairbrush. From front to back, from root to tip, Eustacia drew the brush through the hair in firm but gently soothing sweeps.
Margaret’s eyes closed and her shoulders relaxed some of their tension.
Eustacia noticed this, nodded to herself, and put down the brush, replacing it with her fingers as she pressed against Margaret’s scalp and began her massaging. First she rubbed in deep circles, beginning at the left ear and working her way across Margaret’s head to the right ear. Then she moved to the front of Margaret’s head, massaging deeply, pressing her fingers firmly against Margaret’s scalp, kneading from front to back this time.
By the time she’d finished, she could tell Margaret was much more relaxed, her shoulders no longer tense, her brow no longer furrowed.
Eustacia bent and pressed her lips to Margaret’s still-exposed neck, kissing it with soft, light, butterfly kisses from left to right across her neck, ending at her right ear, which she gently sucked into her mouth and nibbled on. Eustacia blew into that ear, then began to kiss her way across to the other side and repeated her caress on the other ear.
“Mmm, feels so good.”
Eustacia let her hands rest on Margaret’s shoulders, rubbing them softly, then more firmly, soothing and stroking down to the elbows, and then back up again.
Margaret’s eyes were closed, her breath coming more harshly, her body totally relaxed in Eustacia’s hands.
Eustacia rested her palms on Margaret’s sides, and when Margaret made no move to complain, she ran them up to cup the younger woman’s breasts. Margaret’s nipples were hard little points under the soft velvet of her robe. Eustacia pushed the robe apart so she could touch Margaret’s breasts through the thin linen of her night rail. The breasts were full and round, her nipples now engorged, and just touching them made cream seep from Eustacia’s cunny.
“Take off your night rail. Let me see you naked.”
“You first.”

Buy links:
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BZECETY/

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1523830735/

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBgvO9B6LRc



Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ever wonder what it's like to be a wolf?

Wouldn’t it feel great to be in the body of a wolf? I’ve always wondered what it would be like. Alas, I don’t have that extraordinary ability, but my character in The Wolf Queen does. I get to live it through her eyes.

Snippet from The Wolf Queen:
Naked, she closed her eyes and thought of the wolf that lived inside her. Her blood grew hot as it coursed through her body. Her limbs twisted, her body shifting and transforming in a rush of tingles and surprisingly mild pain despite muscles, bones, and skin reshaping. The exhilarating sensations thrummed in her blood, a powerful combination of strength and belonging. She found herself on all fours, looking through the keen eyes of a wolf. An unexpected surge of excitement sent her leaping and pawing at the ground. She ran around to prepare for the jump across the river, testing her newfound skills. How could she have gone through her life so far and not experienced this?
Because it is forbidden.
****


Book Title: The Wolf Queen
Author: Kelley Heckart
Genre: Greek myths/fantasy/paranormal/werewolves/romance
Release date: 12/17/15
Page Count: 246
ISBN-13: 978-1519606242
ISBN-10: 1519606249 
ASIN: B019HML564

Blurb

The Wolf Queen
Book 2: The Arcadia Series

A new twist on Beauty and the Beast and the Greek myth of Lycaon the werewolf. A Bronze Age fantasy, adventure, and romance set in Arcadia, the wild forests of the goddess Artemis… Game of Thrones meets The Iliad


A tormented wolf man… A mysterious girl with a terrible secret…

Alara, a princess from a foreign land, is forced to wed the sorcerer-king Aramon, a power-hungry warlord, who discovers her dark secret and wants to use her to create an invincible army. When she meets Lycaon, she must decide if she should trust the cursed, tormented half-man half-wolf who might be her enemy or her true mate.

Lycaon, once a great king until he was cursed by Zeus to be a werewolf, is drawn to the mysterious princess. He is torn between helping Alara escape and using her to gain power over those who despise him.

Secrets abound and old enemies are reunited to battle Aramon before his terrible plan is unleashed. Time is running out as the dark moon approaches. Soon, Arcadia will be overrun with an unstoppable, vicious army unless Aramon can be defeated. To prevent his victory, the cost is high. As Lycaon’s affection for Alara grows, it becomes more difficult for him to decide which to save: Arcadia or her.


5 stars! “A read any paranormal reader could love and one I highly recommend.” Sorrel at LASR
5 stars! “This was an amazing story full of twist and turns. Kelley Heckart is an incredible author and I found myself lost in the story from the start.” Amazon review

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Tribute to Charlee Boyett-Compo by the Naughty Literati

Charlotte Boyett-Compo
On January 20th The Naughty Literati lost one of our own, Charlotte "Charlee" Boyett-Compo, one of our founding members who contributed her wonderful stories to every one of our releases since we all began to write together. Today we celebrate the life of this strong, charismatic, sarcastic, creative, prolific author and dear friend who touched each of our lives in indelible ways.


One of the things I cherished most about Charlee was her candid way of saying exactly what she thought without beating around the bush or worries of being politically correct. You always knew exactly where she stood on things.



I have fond memories of her intense dislike of polls, which we often use in the Naughty Literati to help so many opinionated women come to a group decision. In one particular case Suz asked, "Can everyone please weigh in on this so I don't have to do another poll and upset Charlee? (Snicker--please say 'no, we want another poll!' just because)." Charlee's response was classic and priceless. "Yeah, may the bluebird of happiness fly up your: (1. Nose (2. Ass (3. Other." 



People will hate you, rate you and break you. How strong you stand is what makes you. Charlee was one of the strongest women it has been my honor and privilege to know and work with. I love you and miss you, Charlee. Thank you for being my friend. I take solace in knowing you are once again in the arms of the love of your life.

-- Nicole Austin

Around 2007, after she had already pioneered an impressive backlist of books that stemmed back to the early beginnings of ebooks in the mid to late 1990s, Charlee first blipped onto my radar as Charlotte Boyett-Compo, author of the Reaper ™ aka WindLegends ™ book franchise… or “my creations,” as she referred to them.  I was thinking of trying to write a romance for arguably the largest epub in the romance market at that time when I happened upon several of her titles on said epublisher’s website. An avid romance-aholic with a penchent for dark fantasy, I gobbled up her entire backlist in short order.

Flash forward to near-end of 2014. By that time I was published with the epublisher in question and had “met” Charlee in a couple of online forums for the authors. When several of us authors decided to band together and indie publish our own short romance anthologies, I was very excited that Charlee wanted to be one of our founding members. The Naughty Literati was born. And from the first moment, Charlee was our Georgia peach who proved she was a real Steel Magnolia to boot.

Her direct, intelligent input and vast, published author experience was vital to the early formation of The Naughty Literati; I recall it was initially her idea to incorporate “Naughty” into every antho title as part of our brand. Her blog posts here were always insightful, bursting with her own, indelible writing voice, and usually held a message that possessed more gravitas than most romance blog posts ever hope to contain. Christmas MemoriesCharlie's last blog post for this website, was December 21st. Just barely a month ago. In it she speaks so eloquently about her bittersweet Christmas memories as a child in Georgia where the beginnings of her social conscience were seeded and took root. It ranks as one of my top favorite pieces of her writing ever.



On our online group (and on Facebook), she often regaled with us with peppery tales of some residents in the small town of her adopted “Ioway.” She loved her country house with its wealth of cat “Overloards” who habitually lolled upon any given square inch where she wanted to sit or work.

She was annoyed yet resigned when people misspelled her name. Usually, people wrote “Campo” instead of “Compo,” but I once committed the faux pas of mispronoucing her maiden name before the hyphen. “It’s Boy-yett (emphasis on the yett). Boy-yay is the way a lot of folks pronounce it. It's actually German.”  She forgave me quickly, saying I was the least offender. “It's not a problem. I had an internet radio interview once and the lady announced me as Charleen Boyer-Campton. I took great delight in correcting her. To get all three names wrong was inexcusable.”

She loved to cook robust home meals for her loved ones, and shared some of her favorites with us - I’m drooling to try her Southern Chicken Dressing and her Lime Yogurt Pie soon. She was committed to doing service for her church and loved her sons, who relied on her and vice versa.

Perhaps the most revered corner of her heart was reserved for late husband, Tommy Compo, her high school sweetheart and love of her life whom she referred to always as “my Tommy.” She scoffed at the idea of dating again after his passing, declaring she’d already “had the best.” She believed he was her guardian angel, for she declared he always took care of her in life; why wouldn’t he continue to do so once he was in Heaven?

Now that her own epic love story with Tommy has resumed on the celestial plane, we are left with the unique worlds and fascinating characters she created in her books beloved by so many of her fans. As well as the memory of her friendship and the wisdom she imparted to us while she was here.

She always ended correspondence with, “May the Wind be always at your back…” A reference to an Irish prayer and also her own WindLegends ™ creations.

May the Wind always be at your back, Charlee. And thank you.
-- Belle Scarlett
I didn’t know Charlotte Boyett-Compo until about October 2014, when she and I were part of the group that became The Naughty Literati. Charlee wrote dark fantasy and paranormal romance which, generally, I don’t read simply because it’s not my taste.



Charlee had, and still has, a huge following. She built elaborate worlds involving Nightwinds, Reapers, Shadowlords, and WyndMasters – characterizations I cannot even fathom ever creating and still don’t quite understand. The sexuality of her worlds was dark, and I appreciate and applaud that direction in erotic romance. She was the consummate professional and a willing mentor.



I never met Charlee in person, I only knew her online. But nowadays, that is sometimes the only way we know colleagues. The lack of face-to-face interaction does not diminish the impact a person can have on another.



I learned a lot from Charlee, and was quite inspired by her example. She wrote prodigiously this past year, almost like she knew she had to get all the words out. She achieved new success this past year even in the face of some pretty aggravating publishing hurdles. She had health problems this year and yet soldiered on tenaciously.



Farewell, Charlee, and thank you.

-- Regina Kammer



Charlee on her wedding day to her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Tommy Compo.
I’ve known Charlee for ten years. Not a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it feels like a very long time indeed in the writing community where most of the people I knew five years ago have disappeared. I was thrilled when we both joined the Naughty Literati when it began, and I was able to spend time with her again. I love Charlee’s characters that leap off the page, her incredible, detailed and consistent world building, and her smart wit that enables her to be endlessly patient when explaining something to a newbie, yet still demonstrates her low tolerance for stupidity. Sometimes all in the same sentence.

-- Berengaria Brown

I first met Charlee when I ran a book review website, back in the late 1990s. She was one of the "go to" people that everyone recommended for dark fantasy, so I picked up one of her books and got lost in her world. Hours later, I came back to the world, disoriented. I'd devoured the book so thoroughly that the outside world ceased to exist. When I finally stumbled to my feet, it was with the knowledge that my reading world had changed. E-books were so young, so new, and while I was open to them, I can clearly point to reading Charlee as a turning point.

When we found ourselves at the same publisher, I was over the moon. With each and every release, she deepened the reader's experience and colored her world more vibrantly.

And who can forget the enduring love she had for Tommy. Her love and affection for him was a living and vital thing that just grew through the years.

In 2014, I was delighted to find myself working with Charlee in the Naughty Literati. Her stories were fantastic, and the trailers she made were just perfect. Charlee, we miss you more than words can convey. Thank you for everything.
--Alexa Silver
I first "met" Charlee online in 1999 when we were both writing for one of the very first epublishers. (I was writing under a different name at the time.) Her book with that publisher (and I'm sorry that I can't remember the title now) was also one of the first ebooks I ever read, on my clunky old laptop since even the early ereaders were still a couple of years away. It simply blew me away. At the time many people argued that ebooks weren't "real" books, that they were inferior, things the authors couldn't sell to "real" publishers. If ever a book demolished those denigrations, Charlee's book did. It blew me away with its depth, its ferocity, the brilliant, unforgettable characters, the marvelous writing, and a plot that left me in tears at the end. I can't remember the title, but I do remember the plot and characters quite vividly after all these years.

In 2002 or 2003 I was delighted when Charlee offered a few of her books to the publisher I was writing for at the time.  When a group of us became the Naughty Literati, I was even more excited that she was part of the group, too.

I never met Charlee in person, but from all the interactions we had on various author and fan lists, and occasional off-list exchanges, I felt like I knew her fairly well. Her acerbic wit found humor in unexpected places and her creative mind extended into many other areas of her life. We found common ground in the discovery that we were both practicing Catholics who found writing erotic romance an integral part of our extended world view and not something sinful or disgraceful (though we both had struggles with fellow Christians who didn't share our outlook on sexual activity as a vital and glorious part of God's creation). 

She had a talent and passion for writing that still fills me with awe when I read her stories. Pardon the innate sexism in this, but in the spirit of a "mankind" that is bigger than just male persons: "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind." The loss of Charlee leaves a huge hole in our lives.
-- Katherine Kingston
I think of all of us, I knew Charlee the least. The Naughty Literati brought us together and I wish I'd had more time to get to know her better. I did have the great pleasure of editing her. The hardest part was getting so wrapped up in her amazing words that I forgot to look for errors. I can't count the number of times I had to backtrack (not that I ever found much that needed changing). I think, as someone else intimated, our somewhat loosely controlled chaos drove her bats, but she was good about telling us exactly what her position was. I can't see a poll anywhere now without thinking of Charlee's aversion to them. 

The world is a little darker now, without Charlee in it. May her words and her creations live long into the future. 

The wind is always at your back now, Charlee. 

-- Terry Rissen
I'd seen Charlee's posts on an author loop I belonged to and I remember that she always had interesting things to say and helpful advice for those of us who were newbies and struggling. Back in 2009 or 2010 (I think, my memory is a little foggy), Charlee made big news. Or rather one of her books did. A print copy of one of her books was being listed for sale on Amazon at $75,000 dollars. I think it was an out of print book, but still that was insane and it was all over the place. It was at that point that I realized that she lived just down the road from me - I in Newton, IA and she in Grinnell, Iowa. I hesitantly emailed her and asked if she ever got over to my library in Newton. She showed up one day and we got a chance to meet. She was so sweet and kind, a real joy to talk to. We talked about her wildly priced book and she laughed. She said it made for good publicity as she'd been interviewed by local newspapers and a local tv station.



Since we've been working together on The Naughty Literati projects, I've been impressed by her great ideas, her work ethic, and her kindness. She will be truly missed. Good bye, dear lady. We who remain here will miss you, but I'm sure you're happily reunited with Tommy, the love of your life. A true romance if ever there was one.



--Francesca Hawley

Sunday, January 31, 2016

New from Prairie Rose Publications - Valentine's Day #WesternRomance #Anthology

Just in time for
Valentine's Day
Prairie Rose Publications
presents
Lariats, Letters, and Lace
**Eight western romance short stories by eight different authors**


A FAMILY FOR VALENTINE’S DAY by Agnes Alexander
Dreams of love come true when a rancher realizes a city woman is what he wants for Valentine’s Day.

A VALENTINE PROMISE by B.J. Betts
Come hell or high water, Kitty Clark will hold Brady Wells to his Valentine promise.

BETWEEN THE LINES
by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Will a fateful letter push a couple apart, or draw them closer?

HE IS A GOOD MAN by Zina Abbott
A letter delivered from the grave changes everything for two young people.

HEARTS IN HARMONY by Patti Sherry-Crews
A secret love, a Valentine's Day dance, and a plan that can’t go wrong…or can it?

A RESPECTABLE WOMAN by Gail L. Jenner
Second chances often come unexpectedly, even when the future seems hopeless.

CHANTILLY’S CHOICE by Niki Mitchell
A young woman must choose between a Pony Express rider and a wealthy rancher.

MAIL-ORDER MIX UP by Kaye Spencer
There’s mischief aplenty when match-making sisters order a bride for Grandpa.


Available on Amazon.com 
Lariats, Letters, and Lace

                                                 

Kaye Spencer

Writing the West one romance at a time

http://www.kayespencer.com

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Release: BET YOUR SWEET ACES, contemporary erotic romance

Blurb:

Eve Sorrel is owner of the Double Tumble Hotel and Casino.
 She's got a reputation as a temptress whose wicked mouth makes men long for a taste of her.
 Scandal erupts and she finds herself the object of scrutiny from investment lawyer, Brad Templeton. 
 
Eve's naughty ways may have just landed her the perfect man, if she can convince him to fight for her. What's a woman to do when her heart is on the line, except stack the deck in her favor!

Bet Your Sweet Aces by Mary Corrales
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
SKU: 978-1-77233-650-4
Length: 109 pages

Story Excerpt (PG): BET YOUR SWEET ACES    

He caught up to her in a few long strides. "I intend to put you out of business."

"Not very sporting," she mused. "What have I done to you? Better yet, what would you like me to do?"

He blinked, opening then closing his mouth like a stunned fish, before frowning at her and catching her arm. "I'm not playing with you."

His hand was firm but not bruising. He knew his own strength, apparently, and she found that intriguing. "I look forward to the time when you do," she said. If he thought to intimidate her, she intended to show him the error of his ways. She might be a sexy woman but that didn't mean she didn't possess an arsenal of dangerous weapons, the most lethal being her cunning mind.

He frowned at her but otherwise ignored her comeback. "Why don't we go somewhere to talk?"

"Ah, so you do want to be alone with me after all." Eve hoped to get a smirk out of him, but his mouth remained a stubborn thin line. She gazed into his gorgeous blue eyes and felt frustration well up within her as they stared at one another. His silence irritated her on a level she rarely experienced with men. Maybe he'd be more amenable in private.  

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Mary Corrales is a multi-published author of erotic and erotic romance. She writes in several genres including contemporary suspense, paranormal, fantasy, and futuristic. She often combines genres for a uniquely sexy read. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted via her website: http://www.authormaryc.com. Follow her on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MaryCorrales_A1