Archive | Military RSS feed for this section

Hela Yes, I Want To Be A Goddess of Death!

27 Jul

I literally squealed watching this preview. The trailer for Thor: Ragnorak is *so* good.

Yes, we want more Loki–and look! It’s Jeff Goldblum! Add it to the pile of movies I’m impatiently waiting to see **cough** #WeWantAquaManNow **cough**

Hela Rad! Guess what we’re all going as for Halloween this year?

And then…she appeared. Kate Blanchet plays Hela: Goddess of Death.  The bar is now set for great acting: can you wear antlers and make it work? Kate can. Just sayin’. Also, Blanchette looks GREAT with dark hair. (I always wanted dark hair).

Action figure anyone? Kate goes Goth. LURV!!!!

I am now so massively into the whole goddess of death thing.

To sum up: I predict Hela turns a thousand little girls kinda gay.

I do love a great villain, I really do. I’ve talked about Circe Lannister before –as well as the actress who plays her, Lena Headey. I just love powerful female characters. Show me a powerful, complex, intelligent leading female character–frankly, I don’t give a damn if she’s evil.

We all relish a female character who walks around without excuses or apologies.

Let me amend that–We all relish a woman of power who walks around without excuses or apologies –and is comfortable with it.

Yes to these new powerful heroines and villains —

Bring on the child free. I confess I still inwardly roll my eyes at the otherwise wonderful Wonder Woman movie when at one point WW squeals: “Oooh! A baby!” I mean, it makes sense because she’d never seen a baby before, but I was relieved that she never seems to engage with one again. (Whew!)

Bring on the kick-ass. Bring on the women who aren’t trying to please, who don’t live for others, who live in their own skin and never cringe about it.

We all have to wait until November to see the new Thor movie (sob!) but the wait is over to watch ATOMIC BLONDE.

Quotes: from Evan Narcisse of i09:

“What’s stuck with me after seeing Atomic Blonde is the portrait it paints of the emotional decay that happens to espionage agents.”

Excellent! I LURV emotional decay! It’s my favorite kind of decay ever.

“As Percival, McAvoy doesn’t get as much of a spotlight in the action department but makes up for it by making his character luridly indulgent and seductive.”

Yes please! McAvoy is an awesome actor, and makes every scene he’s in wiggle with life. You want to crawl up on the screen and hang out with him. This is a perfect role for him.

While I love watching James, the best fun is watching a powerful woman, when she has a hot guy side-kick giving her support–of whatever kind she needs. (Wink wink. Nudge nudge. If you see the movie, you’ll reflect on these lines and know what I mean.)

“From the first, Broughton comes across as icily aloof, even as it’s shown that she had a romantic past with a murdered colleague.”

Or…um, maybe she’s just into her job? Like Bond? You don’t see him needing excuses to cold blood-edly kill—he’s just really good at it.

Thank GOD she’s not another of those movie characters who we have to watch being beaten and raped.  Or someone who wants vengeance for some crazy form of abuse.  I have great empathy for damaged, traumatized, broken women–I really do. And these stories of survival and transcendence are important.  Yet life is always better with a diverse array of choices. There are plenty of *other* excellent reasons to go out and kick ass–we don’t all have to be victims first.

Talking about Bond – that franchise is so dead and old it’s mouldering in the grave, especially now that they’ve passed on Idris playing Bond.  I’m going to look forward to more movies like ATOMIC BLONDE instead– especially if they’re written and directed by women too.

Speaking of women who are the boss of you….

I absolutely loved this interview Alexa Day did Tuesday. Having read her short story “Passing Through” I advise you to hop on this new novella on Friday, July 28.  The whole fem-dom thing is hotting up, people.  Catch the rising wave:

Click to follow Alexa Day on Amazon…so you’ll know the instant this bad boy drops.

Look — a blurb!

The summer’s brought two surprises to bar owner Gigi Dean: the former Army Ranger she hired is the perfect barback, and he pleases her in bed as much as he does at work. Gigi swore long ago never to let a man come between her and her business, so allowing herself to succumb to her intense attraction to her employee for more than one night is a definite no-no. But for how long can she resist the desire to seduce this powerful alpha male?

Right at the start, Noah Monroe told his boss that he is just passing through on the way to a more permanent job. He hasn’t told her that his hunger for her keeps him awake at night. He won’t have more than this summer with the gorgeous woman who is his perfect match. Can he coax her into his arms for a summer fling? Or will acting on instinct cost him everything he’s begun to love?

You like women in charge–don’t you? Show us your desire to please by following us at Lady Smut and subscribing to our newsletter.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

 

 

 

Sexy Sunday Snippet: For the Love of a Soldier edited by Kristina Wright

25 Jun

Today’s Sexy Sunday Snippet is about a popular subject: sexy military romance! For the Love of a Soldier: Military Erotic Romance edited by Kristina Wright and published by Circlet Press, is out June 29 for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo.

About the book:

Sixteen stories of passion with soldiers, sailors, pilots, and men (and women) of war. When you love someone in the military, erotic opportunities can few or far between. These authors, veterans of the erotica and romance writing world, turn their pens to the subject with insightful and sizzling portrayals of those in (and out of…) uniform.

Edited by award-winning author Kristina Wright, who is married to a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, For the Love of a Soldier is filled with sexy, romantic stories by some of the top authors in the erotic romance genre. Cat Johnson, Victoria Janssen, Lucy Felthouse, Sidney Bristol, and 12 other talented writers reflect on the lives, loves, and sacrifices of men and women in uniform and answer the provocative question: What would you do for the love of a soldier?

Excerpt from For the Love of a Soldier from short story “Penelope Pending” by Axa Lee:

It happened fast, too fast. It was less a whirlwind romance than an obvious. Of course, you moved in with me. Of course, we wanted a baby. Of course.

Neither one of us really noticed that we’d only known one another a couple of months. It felt like we’d been together far longer. Of course. You’re the type who’s willing to gamble and risk again and again. Just so happens that this time, you won.

And now you’re leaving, and the thought of it, of days and weeks piling up on one another without you in them, makes my throat tighten. It’s amazing how quickly you and the baby have become my whole world.

You come up behind me while I’m folding laundry and the baby is napping and grab a handful of my ass, squeezing just hard enough so it hurts, the way you know I like. Then you do that thing, pulling my hips back into yours, biting my neck, in that way that makes me absolutely cream for you.

“Only another seventeen years and two months,” I joke, “then I’ll be rid of you.” It’s been a joke between us that we’re only together for the sake of the baby, based off something someone said while I was pregnant.

“Oh really?” You lick the edge of my ear, biting the lobe. I suck in my breath. “How about I buy a week at a time, every time I make you come.”

“A day at a time,” I bargain, biting my lip as you press your hand over my mound, using a sudden but steady pressure.

My pussy will still be sore tomorrow when I throw my leg over a horse from how hard you fuck me this afternoon. But I don’t care. I want to freeze this moment, be able to rewind and play it again while you’re away.

You tease my lips and tongue with yours, until I’m bursting for you. Usually we make love, but this time we rip off our own clothes, desperate to press as much skin against skin as possible. It makes my head spin when you kiss me, all wrapped up, knotted up in my head, until there’s only room for your and pure sensation. Your touch is as purple as a thousand clichés, scorching, sizzling, burning, tingling, tender, savage, tortuous, yearning, transcendent.

You split me open with those smooth, gentle fingers, sliding into my wetness with a groan, as I suck you. Your cock in my mouth feels exquisite, full and hard. It’s got me dripping wet already. Sex has always been my drug of choice. You run your hand over the smooth curve of my ass. I love the sharp, sudden crack of your palm, how you grab my flesh, twisting, moaning.

“God, I love that ass,” you say. “But, baby, I really need to be inside you.”

Then I’m impaled on your cock, up to the hilt, dropping my head back, moaning, grinding against you, your hip bones jutting upwards, pressing against me. By the time your thumb finds my clit, I’m done. You fuck my pussy so well I speak in tongues, babbling, begging, so hot and tight for you that I swear you’re going to come in the first few minutes. I think you swear you’re going to come in those first few minutes. Holding off is something you pride yourself in. We’ll have sex a couple three times sometimes before you’ll let yourself come. You’re that into getting me to come. And come, and come… It’s not a line when I say I’ve never come like this, explosively, vibratingly hard.

“How many days does this buy me?”

“One…” I breathe.

You thrust into me, roll your hips. It’s so unfair that you know all the combinations that get me.

“Two…” My breath catches. “Three… oh… fuck!…”

My mouth swallows the vibration of your chuckle.

You turn me onto my side, legs stacked, change the sensation and angle with delicious insightfulness. I’ve barely recovered from the first few and already I feel another orgasm building. You’ve learned this, over time, the amazing variety of ways you can get me to come. And you exploit them ruthlessly.

You pound into me, fast and hard, almost stereotypical, fucking like a soldier looks like he should fuck, with your whole body, all dominance and power, with barely restrained strength rigid through your thick neck and shoulders. You fuck the way guys imitate fucking when they’re around one another, palms up, pulling the girl into them, making them feel all cocky and in control, flaunting the power of their being a trained killer.

But your eyes put a lie to the illusion. Your eyes are raw, exposed. And it’s as though we’re having the most connected sex on the planet right now, as you lean forward, hips still shallowly thrusting, and nip the side of my neck, breathing hard beside my ear.

“Mine,” you say, “you’re mine. And I’m yours.”

I feel safe in your arms, safe enough to be vulnerable, safe enough to admit my want for you in return. I don’t have to be tougher than you are. I don’t have to be ashamed that I like being your woman, like it’s a shameful thing for a woman to enjoy—even get off on a little—on having the protection of her man. Because, in return, you’re willing to do anything for me, anything to keep me safe, to help me be happy. I can set aside my mother’s feminism for that.

“All yours,” I agree.

I can’t see the look on your face, but I feel the breath go out of you and the complete yielding to this thing between us. There’s nothing sexier than a trained killer, who can end a life with his bare hands, being completely vulnerable and in love with you. And you embrace me as I erupt on your cock, coming so hard my legs kick and I clutch you like you’re the last solid thing in the world, as I descend into body rocking orgasms, that only get better when you come inside me, making me quake even harder as you stroke against my cervix and I feel you fill me, pressing the entire length of your long body against me, and we both quake, overwhelmed with the intensity of the raw emotion between us.

Love only cuts as deeply as one is willing to be cut. You and I are both gutted.

Wild for All of YOU!

29 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I am, Lady Smutters. I am absolutely wild for you–and so grateful for all your support during our Wild Week here on Lady Smut when we celebrated the nomination of my novel, Wild on the Rocks, for the prestigious RONE award by InD’Tale Magazine. Truly, you make me giddy with grateful glee.

While I do not yet have the results of the contest, I’m happy to report that Wild on the Rocks made a stunning return to the Top 100 Kindle World Romance rankings holding steady in the 50s for the last two weeks, more than a year after first being published! That’s amazing! I’m so grateful for all your support and I hope everyone who took a wild chance on Quinn and Jasper enjoyed their sexy, emotional ride.

Wild on the Rocks is still on sale for $.99, so if you haven’t snagged a hot copy of this sizzling romantic suspense, now is a great time!

“Her taste was narcotic. His mind fogged over and the burn in his chest exploded as he drank deep. Somewhere along the way that day, she’d indulged in a shot of rum. He licked the spicy flavor from her lips and dived deeper.” From Wild on the Rocks.

You know what else is sexy? Service to our country. I know, I know, it sounds formulaic and, let’s face it, potentially insincere. But the truth is that committing your life to something greater than yourself is the sexiest thing a man (or woman) can do. And it’s important that, each year, we take the time to remember those nameless and faceless heroes. After all, they’re not nameless and faceless to everyone.

The hero of Wild on the Rocks, Jasper, is a Navy SEAL, and one of the sexiest things about him is his commitment to that job, that calling, that has shaped his life in many ways. I write heroes like him because I am so in awe of people who have the courage to put their lives on the line for our nation and our people. I believe that says something amazing about the character of such people, right off the bat.

Much as I would like it to be otherwise, Jasper is, alas, a fictional character. But there are many real-life men (and women) who have followed that call and given their lives in service to our nation. They didn’t first ask to know what were our politics or who we voted for or where we stood on national healthcare. They went where they were told and did extraordinary work that, in many cases, cost them their lives.

Today, on Memorial Day, we remember those sacrifices. We honor those men and woman who gave their all so that I can maintain the freedom to do things like, say, post sexy things on a website and not go to jail for doing it–and so you can enjoy those sexy things too.

Follow Lady Smut to get all the sexy by signing up for our newsletter and joining us at the Lady Smut Speakeasy on Facebook.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, has been nominated for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Click on image to buy!

 

 

It’s the End of the World as We Know It : Sexy Sunday Snippet

27 May

Hey folks! Here’s a snippet of C.M. Moore’s latest 1:05.A.M. And check out the interview I did with him about his ex-soldier past here.

Blurb:

In a dystopian future, an assassin must choose to fulfill a final contract or keep the love of her life alive.

Yearning for a normal life, assassin Karmen-Marie has had enough of of the post-apocalyptic world. Forced to take one last assassin’s job, Karma sets out across the frozen landscape of Earth.

Rea MacBain’s job is to ensure the safety of Earth’s precious few water purification plants. He believes his abusive past must stay buried under the snow that encases his domain.

Ice cold assassin’s blood drives the woman sent to kill him, yet it ignites the fire which thaws Rea’s heart.

Karma rolled out of bed and landed lightly on her feet. She grabbed one of Rea’s button-up shirts out of the plastic drawers and slipped the garment over her head. Without making a sound, she crept into the bathroom and used the facility before returning to the bedroom again.

She came out to check on Rea, who was snoring. He looked handsome even while he slept. A lock of red hair covered one eye. His face seemed serene, and worry was no longer evident. She resisted the urge to crawl back in bed and wake him in a very naughty way. He looked so calm she didn’t have the heart to wake him, even if it would be fun. It made sense why he was sleeping so hard. They had both been up most of the night. Not that she was complaining.

Last night, she’d been awakened by him twice, and both times were everything she had missed about him.

The first time he woke her, he was sweet and loving. He carefully pulled her to him and touched every inch of her as if trying to memorize her skin. She could tell by his murmurs of approval that he missed her screams of pleasure and her declarations of love.

The second time was when she’d stroked him until out of pure frustration, he flipped her over and took her from behind. She thought she should be more tired after a night like that, but for some reason, she was refreshed.

Instead of getting back into bed she meandered over to the computer and clicked on a few of the buttons that showed different areas of the water bases. Strange, but snooping around the computer seemed natural. Nothing looked familiar on the screen like she’d hoped, so she roamed into the kitchen space. She figured she could make Rea food, and she ambled past the dark wood cabinets and tan counter. She opened some broken drawers and the fridge, but she didn’t know what he would want to eat.

Frustration flooded her that she couldn’t remember even the most basic item of what he ate for breakfast. Giving up on food, she glanced at the clock on the microwave in the kitchen. The time blinked 7:11. Her body had summoned her awake fairly early. She thought about that. She was restless and fidgety. Did she normally get up this early? She used to love to sleep in and snuggle all day in bed with Rea.

As she glanced around the room, a few other thoughts struck her as well. From what she gathered, this was an entirely different water base than the one they grew up on. If that was the case, everything looked exactly like she remembered. The broken plastic drawers that held his clothes were in the corner. The blanket on his bed was the same thin rag with the blue diamond pattern. The few plates and cups in the cabinets were adorned with the same green flowers, and even the bathroom layout was identical to what she remembered. If she and Rea were so much older, why was their home the same? Why had the two of them not cleaned his room and decorated together? Did Rea’s father still hate her? She remembered how bad life got right after Rea’s mom died. Was he still being beaten? Too many unanswered questions nagged at her, and she resolved to get some answers today. When Rea awoke, she’d ask him then.

Karma started to head back to the computer, not bothering to turn on any of the lights since her eyes had adjusted to the dark perfectly. As she moved silently, so as to not wake Rea, she passed by the kitchen table. When she reached one of the pushed-in chairs, her ears picked up the sound of footsteps outside the door. She moved around the table and checked to see if Rea had awoken.

Curious about who’d be here this early, she opened the door. Gears was standing just outside the door with his fist raised in a position ready to knock. A look of surprise was written on his face when she appeared. He cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Good morning,” she whispered with a slight nod.

She didn’t know why, but around the doctor she was edgy, like there was a secret he wasn’t telling her. Gears looked at her with apparent distrust, and she considered all the actions she could’ve done to warrant that look.

“Good morning, Karma.” Gears gave a solemn smile. He looked around the hall nervously. He then tried to lean past the doorframe. “Is Rea here?”

“He’s sleeping,” Karma answered. She kept her voice low so as to not wake Rea. Why did everyone keep asking stupid questions? Of course, Rea was here, where else would he be? She waited for Gears to say more. Did he regularly show up this early? That seemed odd to her also.

“He’s sleeping, really?” Gears’ eyes went wide with astonishment, but Karma couldn’t think of what could possibly be so shocking about that. People had to sleep, didn’t they?

As a snore cut into the brief pause in the conversation, Gears began looking her up and down. She could tell he was assessing her and drawing conclusions as to what they’d been doing during the night. She tugged at the bottom of Rea’s shirt and wished the fabric was longer. She also awkwardly brushed some of her wild hair so the tendrils didn’t look like she had just been rolling around in bed.

“He had intercourse with you?” Gears voice went high on the last word. He cleared his throat and pushed his glasses up his nose in an almost nervous gesture. Karma thought she was either getting used to that particular move, or his action was familiar.

“We’re grown adults. I don’t think you should be concerned. People do sleep, and they have sex, and they eat too. It’s all really boring, actually. I thought you were a doctor.”

There was something about how Gears reacted to her that bothered her. She had the impression that when she was talking to him, he was silently interrogating her. Maybe she had caused some type of rift between Rea and Gears. It was also possible Rea’s father could favor the doctor over Rea. There was a chance Gears worked for Rea’s dad and was reporting back. If they’d just tell her what was wrong, she was sure she could make amends.

Gears seemed to recover and collect his reaction. She noticed a tiny smile play on his lips.

“That came out all wrong. You’re right. I’m a doctor. I was making sure you were healing. I didn’t want you to engage in any activity that might not be good for your health. I know you’re an adult. I was concerned as your doctor only. Just keep your wounds clean. That’s important. I always say cleanliness is next to godliness.” Gears paused awkwardly, like he wasn’t sure what he should say next. “I brought you some clothes my girlfriend left at my place. I thought you might need them.”

Karma looked down at the pile of fabric in his arms and relaxed. Maybe she’d gotten Gears all wrong. She offered him a small smile. She shouldn’t be so quick to judge him. He was the doctor here, and she should give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Thanks for the clothes. I didn’t know I didn’t have any here. Where are my clothes normally?”

Gears looked uneasy and glanced past her again. Was he hoping Rea would answer her question? Another awkward silence filled the air between them.

“Maybe you should wake Rea and tell him what time it is. You can ask him your questions. This is a friendly doctor’s suggestion.” With that curious sentence, the doctor quickly departed.

Karma was left standing in the doorway, and as Gears left she mulled over what to do next.

She supposed the first thing she should do is get dressed. She closed the door and went into the bathroom to try on the clothes he’d brought.

One by one, she tried them on, only to find nothing fitted properly. If this clothing was Gears’ girlfriend’s, then the other girl was a lot shorter than she was, Karma concluded.

Finally, she discovered a pair of black stretchy pants that had enough fabric to cover her legs down to her knees. She then chose the largest shirt she could find. The shirt was royal blue, and the garment covered her breasts but clung to her like a second skin. Since she couldn’t find anything else that looked like it might fit, she dressed. She then brushed out her hair with a hairbrush she found on a shelf.

As soon as she got back into the bedroom, she decided it was probably a good idea to take Gears’ advice and wake Rea. A part of her didn’t want to wake him, but if he had somewhere to be, she’d hate if he slept all day and missed his appointments.

From what she gathered, Rea was somewhat of a busy man. If his father were still around, he wouldn’t be happy if Rea wasn’t doing whatever he was supposed to be doing. The idea of meeting an irate Rea’s father was a frightening thought. She remembered how he used to bust into Rea’s room. She hoped he didn’t still do that.

Karma lay down on her side and cushioned her head next to Rea’s face. She softly kissed him and waited to see if he’d wake up. He mumbled incoherent words in his sleep and moved closer to her, as if seeking her out. When his hand found her breast, he brushed his fingers over her shirt and then gave a lazy smile. She loved when he did that, and she scooted closer so he could wrap his arm all the way around her.

“Hey, handsome,” Karma purred as his eyes leisurely lifted open.

“What’s going on, Kitten?” he mumbled sleepily, still caressing her.

“It’s past seven, so I thought maybe I should wake you. We could have breakfast or…”

The word “seven” brought out the strangest reaction in Rea. One moment he was snuggled next to her making lazy circles on her back, and the next second he’d thrown himself out of bed like he’d been laying on razor blades.

“After seven? Shit!”

Karma scooted to the edge of the bed as Rea started to wildly throw on clothes. She was amazed at the speed with which he could get fully clothed. When he was dressed, he shoved his feet into boots that lay next to the bed.

“What’s wrong with seven?”

“I’m late for training. I haven’t been late since—” Rea looked like he was going to say more, but he stopped himself and ran his hand through his rumpled hair.

Frowning, he crossed to the door of the bathroom and disappeared. Karma sat on the side of the bed and waited for him to come back. How was she supposed to know what time he had training? She didn’t even know where her clothes were.

Rea rushed out of the bathroom and headed straight for the exit. He paused at the door with his hand on the knob. For a moment, she thought he was going to exit without saying anything more to her. He spun around and looked at her like he’d completely forgotten she was there. Karma was mildly annoyed.

“Damn it. What am I supposed to do with you?” He swore two more times and then swiveled his head back to the door.

Karma stood up and went to stand next to him. She could tell he was worried, and she could see the war within him starting.

Ignoring his frantic state, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and brought his mouth down to hers. She kissed him with barely leashed passion, not letting him go for a second. She swept her tongue inside his mouth to taste the toothpaste he used. She clutched at his muscled upper arms. She didn’t let go until he wrapped his arms around her body and crushed her to him. When he finally surfaced from the kiss, he looked at her with a bemused expression on his face.

“What was that for?”

“I wanted to say good morning before you left, and tell you I had a great time last night. I can wait here for you. I can sit around and try to get my memory back while you’re out. You don’t need to worry about me.”

Rea’s expression turned grim. He ran his hands through his hair again. Her words had the opposite effect on him than what she’d intended. He looked more worried now than before.

“No, you can’t stay here alone. Your boots are over by the chair. Put them on and come with me.”

“You want me to go with you… to training?” Karma was truly astounded.

Once she’d snuck in to watch his training with his dad. After his father had humiliated him in front of everyone, he then pitted Rea against two men who were better trained.

Karma remembered keenly watching Rea get slammed into the mud repetitively. When Rea found out she’d seen it, he had made her promise to never come to training again. She’d honored his request because she couldn’t watch his sadistic father in action ever again. Watching the love of her life get crushed had been a hell like none other.

“Hurry up.” He pulled a pair of socks from a drawer and tossed them at her.

Karma was still stunned he invited her. She fumbled with the socks as she put them on. She grabbed the soft black leather boots he pointed to and sat in a chair by the table. They felt like they were made for her, and she zipped them up over her calf. These boots gave her a measure of comfort because out of everything, these were familiar. A memory of her zipping up these boots popped into her head, and the thought was comforting.

Rea didn’t spare her another glance as they hurried out into the hallway. As Karma trotted along after Rea, she glanced at the empty rooms to the right and left. The plain cement walls were smooth on either side of the large walkway. Bright round lights hung every few feet above them. Each room they passed had the door open, and empty beds and sparse furniture came into view.

“Why are all the rooms around here empty? Are we antisocial?”

“It’s ‘coz once I leave to build a new base my room and all the rooms in this area go to the scientists and their families. Once the men are trained, they’ll be the police and the safety of this water base. Scientists, women, and children can’t move onto the base until it is safe. It’s my father’s rule.”

“I didn’t know this was a new base. Thank you for bringing me along while you build it. I heard you’re not supposed to do that.” Karma mulled what they’d been discussing. Was having no one around him hard, or did he want it that way? Maybe he liked that his life was just her, him, and his dad. Karma shuddered at the thought of Rea’s father. She was glad she hadn’t run into him so far.

After a few seconds of silence while they walked, she started to wonder if they were going to stay on this base or if they were going to move on to build another one.

“After this base is fully operational and people move in, will a family or a couple live in your room? After the scientists and workers move here and this base is safe, where do we go?”

They turned a sharp corner and headed down similar hallways of cold cement with large fat columns. The walls were sterile, like they were waiting for someone to decorate them. She thought that adding finishing touches to a base might be fun.

“My room and the others around me are for single people and sometimes for couples. Down further, there are rooms for larger families. This way is past the greenhouses that grow some of the food. Spouses and children are responsible for the underground farms that get added after I leave.” Rea sounded resigned to this, like he was a tour guide educating her. “All the best shit gets added after I leave.”

Rea hurried Karma along over the rock flooring, past the different areas of the water base. They rushed past large equipment rooms where the scientists would clean water from the surface and put it into huge tanks. They passed barracks for the single men and an enormous empty cafeteria.

Something about the greenhouses was familiar to her. The time 1:05 a.m. leaped into her mind. As soon as she tried to catch the memory, it was gone again.

“Until the families get here, who takes care of the greenhouses?” she asked to chase away the perturbed feeling seeping into her. She was practically running to keep up, and she was irked she had no memories.

“All the men have to spend time in the greenhouses. It’s partly ‘coz we have to grow our food, but mostly it’s mandatory that we all have to be under the sun lamps. Gears gets after us if our vitamin D drops too low. He checks our health once a month.”

“That makes sense, but you didn’t really answer my other question. Where do we go after this water base is built? What do we do when we don’t have Gears with us? Does he come with us, or is there another doctor?”

“We?” Rea gave her a quick side glance and kept up his jog.

“Yes, we. Are we going to a new base to train others, or are we going back to an already established base? Do we stay here? Where does your father go? Does he come with us? Does Gears move with us? I thought he was a close friend of yours.”

Rea abruptly stopped. They came to a large metal door and paused. His hand reached out and grasped a long metal handle.

“That’s a lot of questions, Kitten. We’re going to work it out.” He spoke meticulously. He stopped and turned around to look at her. A fierce frown wrinkled his brow as his eyes slashed over her. “What are you wearing?” he added after studying her.

“Clothes.”

“That’s not clothes. That’s a second skin, only in color.”

Karma looked down at herself and shrugged. The boots came up to where the black stretch pants left off, and the blue shirt covered her torso even though the top was snug. The clothes did fit, but he was right about the fabric not hiding much. It seemed tight, but she could move easily.

“Gears gave the clothes to me this morning.” She smoothed her hand over the bottom of her shirt. “He also told me to wake you. I think he was surprised you slept in.”

“I bet he was,” Rea grumbled. He then mumbled under his breath a few more words about how Gears was trying to make his life miserable. With a frown now permanently plastered on his face, he put his hand on the doorknob and swung the door wide. The entrance was a large double door, but the opposite one stayed firmly shut.

“I would’ve worn my clothes if you’d told me where they are,” Karma commented to his back. What did he expect her to do, run around the base naked? This was better than nothing.

“We can work that out too,” he grumbled, preoccupied.

It was apparent he was now dismissing her from his thoughts.

Rea’s stride was swift. He entered the room with head held high and back straight. Karma followed him, and she recognized the huge training room. The massive room had only a mud floor, but the ceiling was cement and at least twelve feet high.

She looked up at the columns, which held up the giant chamber, and she let her eyes pass over the different things going on around her. On her left side, near where they entered, two shirtless men were fighting with jagged looking knives. On the opposite side, a large group of men was practicing with some type of club and shield. The center of the room was only a big ring, which wasn’t occupied, but all the way around the circle, men were standing as if waiting for someone to enter it. The ring in the center was familiar. She remembered Rea in the center, being beaten to the floor while everyone stood by watching. A part of her knew this wasn’t the exact same ring, but the area was so recognizable a feeling of helplessness swamped her.

To banish the raw memory, she looked at all the different sizes and shapes of the men around her. Every male was fit, but they were as different as light and dark. Some were black, some Hispanic, and some maybe Asian or Indian. Tall, short, and medium, the room was a collage of sturdy warriors, and all of them were intimidating and well built.

“I want you to stay close to me. Don’t talk or draw attention to yourself. You already look too damn sexy. These men haven’t been around a woman for a few months. Dad says women are a distraction and shouldn’t be around during training. Especially, not a hot woman like you.”

“You think I’m sexy?” she purred.

“I said don’t talk,” Rea groused, but Karma couldn’t help but smile anyway.

“If women aren’t allowed on the base because they’re not safe, then why did you let me come?”

Karma knew she shouldn’t ask, but she couldn’t help herself. She hated that she still didn’t have the ability to recall even the simplest information.

“We’ll talk about it later.”

He was brushing her off again. Karma wanted to be offended, but she wasn’t. She could tell Rea wasn’t happy about bringing her near a bunch of men while they were in training mode. If Rea hated doing this so much, he must have an excellent reason to have asked her along. He wasn’t the kind of man to jeopardize her safety or cause problems for his men.

Even though he told her not to say a word, it didn’t matter. Her presence caused enough of a stir that she might’ve shouted at all of them instead of meekly walking behind Rea.

“Boss-Mac got a piece of ass?” someone in the back called out.

“I thought he was gay!” Another man remarked loudly.

“I heard that, Essie,” Rea yelled over his shoulder as he kept striding forward.

A few other men gave out hoots and whistles behind her.

“Now we know why he slept in.” A man to her left gave out a sharp bark of laughter at his own comment.

“Did you bring us a prize to fight for? I heard your dad used to do that. If we get to do her when we win, then I’m first up to fight.” A large Asian man to her right spoke, as his eyes raked her body like she wasn’t wearing a stitch of clothing.

He adjusted the small pistol on his belt so he could grab his balls and wink at her.

The vulgar way he looked at her made Karma’s blood run cold with rage she didn’t even know she had inside of her. She thought she wasn’t a violent person, but the idea of grabbing his gun off of his belt and beating him over the head with it filled her head.

“I’m up for fighting this morning if she’s the prize,” a shorter blond with a big nose called out from the back of the crowd. “Hell, I’d even marry her.”

Karma felt like a piece of meat thrown to dogs. She quickly assessed what other weapons were around the room and which ones would be easiest to steal.

“Hey, Boss-Mac,” a brawny brunet man standing next to her side spoke up. “You said if we’re late for training then we have to be in the ring first thing to fight you, so who do you fight if you’re late?”

Karma studied Rea. His face looked like it could’ve been carved in granite. He seemed like he didn’t care if anyone had sex with her or if he had to fight in the ring with all of them. He took bored to a whole new level. Karma couldn’t believe this was the man she’d had sex with last night. When he was with her, he was so expressive and caring. Now he looked like an icy stranger.

“First off, I’m the Water Base Boss. I get the women around here. If you guys want to get laid, then become better fighters. Learn the rules to make this base secure. After it’s safe, you can chase as much trim as you want. You can also bring your girlfriends and wives here once this is fully operational.

“Second, as boss, I can be late. However, to honor the rule, I’ll step into the pit. Who is first up for me to beat?”

Rea strolled into the center of the ring without even looking back at her. Karma found her hands going up to her hair. She began swiftly pulling the strands into a tight ponytail. She didn’t know why she was doing it, but the action was as if it was ingrained in her to have her hair out of the way right at this time.

From behind her, she heard some of the men grumbling about fighting Rea. She could tell from his overpowering confidence he wasn’t worried about sparring with any of them. She recalled a bandage near his rib cage that she’d seen last night. She couldn’t believe he’d fight with an injury. He didn’t appear concerned about any of it, injury or men.

As he stood casually in the center of the mud, he waited like he had all the time in the world. His body was hard and muscular, with strength radiating off of him. Karma’s body felt like her insides were winding up. As if someone was twisting her internal organs. She could feel the heat of the men around her pressing in, and a deeply rooted battle cry was trapped in her throat. She wanted to fight all these men. She wanted to defend Rea even though he was standing so mighty before her. She didn’t want him to stand alone.

“I’ll take you on, Boss-Mac,” a Hispanic-looking man, with a thick accent, called from behind her.

Karma turned slightly to look at the tall, husky, curly-haired man casually striding toward the ring. He stopped when he came to her, and something about him seemed recognizable. He smiled at her, but the flash of teeth wasn’t friendly.

“How about you watch a real fighter?” Curly spoke as he walked up to her. He was talking loudly enough for Rea to hear from where he was standing.

She glanced to Rea to gauge what he wanted her to do. Once Curly had Rea’s attention, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her to him.

“Playing a damsel in distress, Karma?” he whispered to her before he nuzzled her neck. No one seemed to hear what he said, and she had no idea what that meant.

Disgust filled her at his smell and touch. She tugged away from him. He only laughed at her squirming, but he let her go and slapped her ass. She restrained herself from striking him, but her muscles tensed to do so.

The slap seemed loud in the space. Although it only took seconds for him to touch her, it was as if time had slowed down. She saw Rea’s eyes darken only slightly, but he kept his face as an unreadable mask.

“Quit fucking around,” Rea barked out.

When Curly entered the ring, Karma could tell he was slightly shorter than Rea but just as fit. The two of them looked evenly matched. Karma’s heart dropped to her stomach. Curly was a good fighter. He was dangerous. She didn’t know how she knew that, but she did, and she trusted her knowledge.

As soon as the two men faced each other, Rea’s eyes narrowed. Karma started to study Curly as if she was going to enter the bout with him herself.

“Who are you?” Rea asked as they eyed each other.

“My name’s Nash,” Nash spoke with a slow drawl. “I’m new.”

“I don’t remember seeing your name on the roster.” Rea’s voice was flat.

“I transferred here from another base. I showed up yesterday, around the time you kicked out Charlie and Josh. I heard about what went down. Guess I can’t blame you. If I were fucking an ass as fine as that bitch, I wouldn’t be sharing either.”

Rea’s anger swelled noticeably. He threw the first punch.

Nash blocked Rea’s fist. He landed his elbow straight into Rea’s gut. Rea bent over with the hit. The crowd of men cheered. The room filled with noise all the way up to the ceiling. Rea got back up quickly, and his eyes flashed with rage. He threw his entire body at Nash, wrapping his arms around the other man’s waist. They wrestled to the floor. More cheering followed.

Karma moved closer to the ring. Rea’s eyes caught hers for a moment. She shifted slightly through the men, who were now captivated by the spectacle before them. They cheered and shouted. None of them even noticed her any longer.

As Karma moved through the crowd, she had the urge to call out the command for Rea to focus on what he was doing. He needed to stop looking for her.

Biting her tongue, she moved until she was standing on the opposite side of the ring. She was following Nash’s movements. She didn’t know why. As she moved, the two men exchanged hit after hit. Nash was pounding at Rea’s injured side. Blood could be seen smearing across his shirt.

She thought she should be appalled at the blood, which splattered on the dirt, or at the crack of bone hitting bone, but she found the fighting dull. She was resigned, bored even. An odd jaded feeling was filling her. She shifted her weight to the balls of her feet. She was waiting for something. Even though she was waiting, she didn’t know what she was looking for.

The air crackled with unexplained discord. What was she expecting to happen? It was the way Nash moved, the way he glanced at her. His actions were speaking silently to her. She trusted her instincts.

Everything happened so fast Karma wasn’t sure why she did what she did.

As she saw Nash pull a sleek steel dagger from the side of his boot, she turned and grabbed a handle-heavy throwing knife off the belt of the man shoved next to her. For some reason, she wasn’t happy with his knife selection, but that idea came like a quick bolt of lightning. She balanced the rusted blade on her palm. The action was as if she’d done this a thousand times.

With ease, she threw the cumbersome knife with practiced grace. The throwing knife lodged in Nash’s hand. Swiftly, she moved again between two more men. Nash hollered with pain and surprise. His eyes shot to her for a second. Her actions startled the man next to her, but she slinked away from him around the circle. None of the men moved quickly enough to stop her.

Stepping to the edge of the circle, Karma assessed what other weapons were within arm’s reach. The dagger Nash had held now lay on the ground, forgotten. The knife was stained with mud and splattered blood. The blade had never reached its intended destination.

Nash swore at her in fury.

Rea stumbled backward. Shock etched into his features as he rotated his head toward her.

Nash brought his hand, with her knife stuck between the bones, down to his middle. With a concentrated effort, he pulled the oxidized blade from his skin. Dark, rich blood spurted in all directions.

Now that he had the old throwing knife clutched in his good hand, Nash turned to her. His eyes were ablaze in outrage.

“Fuck you, Karma. I knew you switched sides, you sneaky bitch.”

The entire room stilled collectively as if they were holding their breath.

Nash charged her. In a flash, she felt the swipe of the knife at her belly. Karma jumped back before the next swing of Nash’s weapon. Warm blood and ripped cloth fell to the ground. Her body reacted even as her mind went blank.

Karma crouched low, sweeping her leg under Nash. She knocked him backward to the dirt. As her hand reached for the gun hung on the belt of the man behind her, her mind rejected her actions. She fought to focus on what was happening. This was starting to feel like a dream… or a nightmare.

Rea threw his body over Nash. He kept him pinned to the ground. They grappled for the knife Nash still held. Rea’s hands forced Nash to stab himself in the neck.

The sound of a single shot being fired reverberated around the room. Scared, she glanced around to see who’d fired a gun.

Finally, there was only an eerie silence in the training room.

Blood flowed freely from the huge gash that had been cut into Nash’s throat. As the dirt around him turned red, she spun away. She was lightheaded and trying valiantly to not vomit. What had she done? She looked around the room. The weight of every man’s eyes was on her. This time, they weren’t assessing her figure; they were afraid of her. Every man, including Rea, looked tense and alert.

Rea stood unsteadily. He stepped between her and the lifeless body. He didn’t speak but merely stared at her like all the other men. Her eyes jumped to him. She wanted to beg him to hold her, to chase away what had happened. She wanted Rea to comfort her, to tell her he was there for her.

“Karma?” Rea said her name slowly.

His voice wasn’t more than a whisper of sound, but she felt it in her heart. She could feel the persistent connection that said he’d be there, no matter what. Rea would be there for her. He loved her.

“Kitten?” Again he spoke slowly, like he was trying to soothe a wild animal.

He took one tiny step forward, then another, until he was only a few inches from her. Carefully, with his hands steady, he reached out to her.

Karma looked down at her hands when he reached for them. She realized she was tightly gripping a gun. Where had she gotten it? When?

Wildly, she spun around. She let her eyes return to the dead man on the floor. A perfect bullet hole was in the center of his forehead. What had she done? Tears welled up at the corners of her eyes, but she couldn’t seem to let them fall. Everyone was waiting for her to give up the weapon she still clutched. This was evident without the words being spoken. She didn’t want to let the gun go. That idea frightened her more than anything that had happened so far.

She released the small pistol into Rea’s hand and waited to see what would happen. She had killed a man who worked for Rea. What would Rea’s father say when he found out? What would Rea do?

“Gears,” Rea called to the doctor, who appeared at his side. Karma was stunned to see him. She didn’t even know he’d shown up in the training room. “Take Karma back to my room and check her injuries. Check her memories.” Rea linked his fingers through hers. They rushed through the men who moved out of their way like they were an avalanche.

They got to the far side of the room with Gears following them. Rea opened the door. The hallway looked like a welcoming sanctuary that would let her escape this madness. She turned to Gears, who was now standing next to her. Gears and Rea exchanged a look. The men were silent, which made the training room seem abnormal.

“Gears, I’ll stay here and handle the body. I have to speak to Ken. Take Karma home. I’ll be there soon.” Rea pressed the gun she’d had moments ago into Gears’ hand. Gears looked at the weapon and wagged his head back and forth.

“Back to your room again? Really? Don’t you think you should reconsider that?” Gears pushed the weapon back at Rea. Rea pushed it back again.

“Take her to my room. Do what you have to do to look after her. I’ll tell Ken what happened and have him handle it. I’ll be there soon.”

“I don’t think so.” Gears shoved the gun back again into Rea’s hand. “What if this triggers all her memories? Does Ken know what’s going on? Maybe I should talk to him instead. You go with Karma. I’ll stay.”

Gears’ hands were shaking. He looked like he was scared of going with her. She hated that. He took a step away from her and moved closer to the training room door.

Rea was not to be swayed. He stepped in front of Gears, handing the gun to him one final time.

“I’ll only be a minute. Ken will help me remove the body and talk to the men. He’s efficient.” Rea started to push him out into the hallway. Karma meekly followed, feeling dejected.

“What if she…” Gears trailed off.

“She’ll be fine,” Rea insisted.

Rea returned to the crowd of men around the body. At this point, she didn’t believe him. She thought she’d never be fine again.

Want more? Buy it, bitches! Available on AMAZON  or KOBO.

 

 

 

 

Blown Up & Ice Bound: Q & A with Male Romance Author C.M.Moore

25 May

Click to buy…

by Madeline Iva

MADELINE IVA: You’re really one-half of a whole.  Who’s your other half?
 
C.M. MOORE: I do rely on my wife Monica. She is my editor, my muse, my battle buddy, and my best friend. She tells me when something isn’t “sexy” and she is my brain when my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) gets the better of me. I will be the first to say that without her none of my books would be possible.
 
MADELINE IVA: You’re a former soldier, right? Tell us about that — how long were you soldiering? Where were you stationed? And you saw action — what happened? I get the feeling you were blown up.
 

C.M. MOORE: Yes, I am. I joined the military just out of high school. I spent my first seven years as a 13 Foxtrot, Fire Support Specialist. An FO’s (forward observer) job is to aim indirect fire and air support. I deployed twice under that occupation. After my second tour, in Iraq, I decided to reclass my career choice. I went with the craziest job imaginable. I joined the ranks of 12 Bravos, the Combat Engineers.       When I was pitched the idea of engineer work I was told: “You will breach obstacles by the use of explosive force”. That sounded awesome! What they didn’t tell me was I wouldn’t be placing explosive, but finding what is hidden along the road. Yuck. My first two tours were a cake walk, but the third one damn near killed me, ten times. I was the lead security gun truck commander. I have been mortared, shot at, and blown up nine times. The ninth I.E.D. (improvise explosive device) awarded me the Purple Heart. I retired from my military career not long after. I sustained a compressed spine, six bulging discs, left shoulder and right knee are shot, and a traumatic brain injury. Which all lead to my writing career.

Connor Moore

 

MADELINE IVA: How’d a nice guy like you come to hang out with a bunch of romance women like us?
 
C.M. MOORE: My wife loves to read. We both own a little bookstore in the middle of nowhere Minnesota. I’m a fan of authors like Robert Ludlum, and their stories of espionage. I have fancied the idea of writing my own series under the same genre. Monica came to me one day and told me she ran out of books to read. Seriously? We own a bookstore.  How do you run out of things to read for fun? With this new found information I told my wife, Monica, I wanted to write a story. When I was about page two into it, my wife pitched to me adding a love story. She pulled on my heart strings to accommodate her. Surprisingly, I had a great time merging the two stories. I haven’t looked back ever since. 
 
MADELINE IVA: Your first book 1:05 a.m. is a (Fill in the blank here.) Hint: I’m looking for a genre…
 
C.M. MOORE: 1:05 a.m. is a futuristic romance. Set after the fall of the U.S. government and the dawn of a new ice era. 
 
MADELINE IVA: What’s the heat level of 1:05 a.m.?
 
C.M. MOORE: I would say a 3.5 out of a 5. It does have some hot sex, but it has some story too.

In a dystopian future, an assassin must choose to fulfill a final contract or keep the love of her life alive.

Yearning for a normal life, assassin Karmen-Marie has had enough of of the post-apocalyptic world. Forced to take one last assassin’s job, Karma sets out across the frozen landscape of Earth.

Rea MacBain’s job is to ensure the safety of Earth’s precious few water purification plants. He believes his abusive past must stay buried under the snow that encases his domain.

Ice cold assassin’s blood drives the woman sent to kill him, yet it ignites the fire which thaws Rea’s heart.

MADELINE IVA: What I really really really really want to ask is this: So many women’s jaws fall open when it comes to military men in romances.  Are we doing something really screwed up when we objectify military men as sex objects?
 
C.M. MOORE: I don’t have a problem with romance novels objectifying and glamorizing men in uniform… what I don’t like is when the story doesn’t properly review what happens to those men after they come home.
 
No one is the same after they return from a deployment and as long as a writer shows a character’s real struggle and their growth, I’m happy to see them writing about the men (or women) who fight for our country. 
 
Look, in the end, I understand that this is a fantasy… that’s okay and what’s more, it’s fun. Read for fun! Read hot sexy firefighters, and cops, and soldiers with muscles, who can bench press you into the bed. (For the record, I used to be able to do that. You can ask Monica if you don’t believe me.)
 
MADELINE IVA: Then what the hell? Why aren’t you writing military romances, Connor?
 
C.M. MOORE: I find writing contemporary romances not as entertaining for me as writing the future in the way I envision it. However, there is a definite military feel in my books that does come from my background. I hope no one holds that against me. ; >
 
MADELINE IVA: And Monica! We can’t forget Monica. She was a soldier too — can you answer #2 for her as well?
 
C.M. MOORE: Monica wants to answer that for herself, so… perspective change. 
 
MONICA: I joined the service after high school. I was in the service for eight years, most of that time as a 38A (Civil Affairs Specialist). I deployed to Afganistan as a Civil Affairs Specialist. CA was an interesting job. I had an officer who liked to say that they hand out “hugs and lollipops” to foreign countries to get them to like the United States a little better. I did things like help build wells, taught English classes at an orphanage, and helped build schools and hospitals.
MADELINE IVA: So, like, did you guys meet in uniform? If you DID then you know I’m totally expecting you to twist/distort the story, however, necessary to make it — pick one: romantic/sweet/hot/fraught with romantic tension.
 
C.M. MOORE: Monica and I did not meet in uniform. I am sorry to disappoint! Actually, as the story goes, It was my senior year of high school and I had a friend named John who claimed he had met this “hot” girl in the next town over and was dating her. I didn’t believe him, so one night I drove to said “hot” girl’s house and knocked. Monica appeared and I was tongue tied. She was about to slam the door in my face, but she recognized another friend (Richard)  who’d tagged along. I told her why I was there (to prove she didn’t exist) and she didn’t take that too well. So to help my poor pounding heart and sweat soaked shirt, I invited her to a party at my house. 
 
At the party (I threw together), I thought I would show off and I challenged a tiny elf-sized woman to a drinking game. What I didn’t know at the time was she wasn’t a light weight. I could bearly keep up with her and before long I was blitzed. While stumbling around I noticed that Monica was leaving with Rich so I thought I would ride along and make my move. I wanted to sing her sonnets and maybe pet her hair while I fed her grapes, but honestly, I could bearly sit up straight. 
 
I had claimed a seat next to her in the backseat of Rich’s car when my friend made a vicious u-turn at the end of the street. My hand flew to my mouth to stop the alcohol that had decided to exit my stomach, but it was no use. I threw up all over Monica, part of the backseat, and finally, I got the door open and colored the pavement.
 
So yeah, after I vomited all over Monica she became mine forever! We’ve been together 17 years and married for fifteen. Monica is strong, smart, kind, and most of all… forgiving. Any woman you can throw up and stays with you is a keeper.
 
MADELINE IVA: Let’s go back to talking about your experiences in the army when it comes to gender. What’s the proportion of men to women in the units you served in?
 
C.M. MOORE: I served mostly in male-dominated units. Only a few headquarter units I was assigned to had females. Monica was in more blended units.
 
MADELINE IVA: How does having women around affect things–if you have any insight into that?
 
C.M. MOORE: In my experience, I know the female perspective is needed on and off the battlefield. Women soldiers bring certain aspects to the table that men don’t think about. For example, compassion. Compassion for the civilians caught in a war-stricken country. 
 
MADELINE IVA: How does being in the middle of soldiering affect the way men think of women?
 
C.M. MOORE: Speaking for just myself, and what I saw, I know that the men had no problem if the female pulled her own weight in her duties. I also noticed women who pushed and sustained themselves to the male standards were held in higher regard.
 
MADELINE IVA: What do we need to know about the whole world building in your novel — it’s post-apocalyptic.  So what are the fundamental big issue they face? Water? Cold?
 
C.M. MOORE: A meteor has struck the pacific, causing massive climate change. Earth begins another ice era. After the U.S. lost the Oil Wars, the remnants of the population are either migrating to the Equator for warmth or burrowing deeper into the Earth’s crust. However, the cold brings its own issues. Issues that create a new rare precious commodity. 
 
MADELINE IVA: Why are the titles certain times of the day?
 
C.M. MOORE: The title starts with Karma and her story in 1:05 A.M. She is tasked with completing her mission by 1:05 A.M. I didn’t want the cover to blend in with all the hot half naked dudes on the cover. Plus, I am a little jealous of their abs.
 
MADELINE IVA: You know I have to ask the next question—so what comes after 1:05 A.M.? 1:10A.M.? ; >
 

C.M. MOORE:  My fans fell in love with a secondary character nicknamed Gears. So, naturally,  Gears got his own Novella. It’s called “Grinding My Gears, An Off the Rails Ice Era Chronicle “. That will be released next month. It will be free for my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up at www.authorcmmoore.com

Click and subscribe to C.M. Moore’s newsletter, and get this free story…

 
In August/September 2:05 A.M. will be released. We will follow Gears’ daughter on her own romance adventure.  
 
MADELINE IVA: Thanks so much for being with us today, Connor! Ladies (and gents?) if you want more of Connor, you can find him cracking wise on facebook here:
 
Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Something Wild This Way Comes

15 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

It’s Wild Week here at Lady Smut! We’re celebrating the nomination of my novel, Wild on the Rocks, by InD’Tale Magazine for their prestigious RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Award in the category Best Suspense/Thriller: Short.

Click on image to vote!

The first step of the RONE nomination process is the public voting stage. I ask you, Lady Smutters, to kindly support my book for this award. Please go to http://indtale.com/rone-awards-week-five now to cast your vote for Wild on the Rocks in the Best Suspense/Thriller: Short category.

But wait, there’s more!

Welcome to the Lady Smut Wild Scavenger Hunt!

All week long, the Lady Smut bloggers will be sharing one wild thing they’ve done and one wild thing they’d like to do but haven’t yet. Then, you, lovely Lady Smutters, post in the comments of this post all the “wild” things you hunt down on the Lady Smut blog posts this week. All who comment will then be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card giveaway along with a copy of Wild on the Rocks! You can also be entered for the raffle by posting a screen cap confirmation of your vote for Wild on the Rocks.

And be sure to check in with Lady Smut on Thursday when I’ll be posting a brand new excerpt from Wild on the Rocks!

Something Wild This Way Comes…

In my family and with most of my friends, I’m known as the wild one. I am usually the first one to climb out on the cliff, the first one to ask the question, the one willing to try anything–within reason. The first guy I brought home when I was fourteen wore a leather jacket. My mother took one look at him and said to my father, “we are in trouble”. (BTW the guy turned out to be a total tool and my mother never stop needling me about him.)

Being the designated wild one always amused me because I’ve actually always been the good girl, endeavoring to get it right, follow the rules–and I am always, always afraid. Afraid of doing it wrong, afraid of disapproval, afraid of a conclusion I can’t anticipate or control, afraid of being punished for breaking the rules, however wrong those rules may be, ultimately afraid of “getting in trouble”. My best friend once said “Kiersten wants to be a rebel, but she keeps getting tripped up by the rules,” an eerily accurate description for the dichotomy of my personality: the Wild Good Girl.

Age has helped me get over the idea that being good and following the rules is some kind referendum on my character. A decent part of my adult life has been allowing myself to be free of those rules, or, more specifically, not to allow those rules to keep me from taking risks with long-term benefits for myself simply because they may not be looked upon as the right thing to do and/or may benefit the one over the many. Men make such decisions all the time; it’s expected of them, but when a woman breaks out in such a way, when a woman behaves in a manner traditional ascribe to the man’s role, it’s received with decidedly less favor. Socially, we’re expected to be self-effacing and modest, inclusive and without ambition, nurturing and unselfish. Standing up for ourselves and doing things that ensure our own happiness regardless of the opinions or judgments of those around us takes courage and verve and the ability to live with any potential fallout. It is, in effect, a wild move.

One of the wildest things I’ve done in my life is to travel abroad alone. I’ve done this twice–to Ireland in 1999 and to Italy in 2001 (a few months prior to 9/11)–long before women travelling by themselves became a regular topic in the The New York Times’ Travel Section. I love to travel and wanted particularly to visit both these countries, had longed to do so for many years. But I was never able to find a friend or partner equally ready and/or able to take the trip. So I finally decided, the hell with it. I’ll go on my own then. I was no longer willing not to do something, not to achieve a dream, simply because there was no one to do it with me.

It doesn’t sound very wild, does it? Not in today’s global climate where we’re all interconnect and the world is Twitterfied. But remember, there were no smart phones back then (I left my flip phone at home–both times). I had a digital camera with panoramic capabilities and that was considered pretty damn special. When the loneliness broke me halfway through my first trip, I called my mother from a cell phone booth on the west coast of Ireland–on her AT&T long distance card. Social media did not exist. By the time I got to Italy, Internet cafes were prominent because email was commonplace, but the full might of the Web had yet to become the lifeblood of every home. So stepping off a plane into a country you never before been in where you know no one and, in the one case, don’t speak the language, and you aren’t sure exactly where you’re going or staying from night to night, trust me, it felt pretty wild at the time. These are the things on which episodes for Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders are based.

For the past two years, I’ve been on a journey of physical self-improvement. I didn’t like my life–specifically, the limitations put on it by my physical restrictions–so I decided to change it. It’s an ongoing journey that I often get wrong, but as I walked around downtown Toronto last weekend in the rain, without having to stop and catch my breath, without having to rest every 30 or so feet, without each step being filled with pain and effort, without sweat dripping down my face from the immense effort of walking a straight line, I reveled in getting it right this time. Enough now that I can go back to being more than a bit wild.

So what’s something wild I *want* to do. Well, that list has been getting longer and longer, but top line are two things: sky diving and learning to drive a motorcycle.

I’ve been parasailing and loved it, so sky diving seems my next natural progression. And, I love to fly in planes; how much more awesome to fly in the sky (with a parachute for landing, natch)? As for the motorcycle, remember that first leather-jacket clad boyfriend? Not like this hasn’t been coming for a long time. My love for MC romances is well documented here at Lady Smut, so it’s hardly a surprise. And why ride pinion when you can drive (outside of being able to hold tight to a hot biker, of course)?

With any luck, there’s all sorts of wild out there yet to come for my future.

Click on image to vote!

Tell me something wild about yourself, some crazy thing you’ve done or have always wanted to do. Be sure to keep track of all the wild goings-on here this week at Lady Smut. And remember to get out the vote by going to http://indtale.com/rone-awards-week-five and voting for Wild on the Rocks!

Follow Lady Smut. We bring a bit of wild to everything we do.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, has been nominated for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

 

 

 

Guess the Lady Smut TBR Stack–Win $10 Amazon Gift Card!

4 May

Hi RT Orphans! Does your TBR pile have some of the same titles as ours? Let us know–leave us a comment below. 🙂 Want to buy the book on our TBR list? Click the link.  Meanwhile, here’s another fun game you can play at home.

FIRST Read the TBR lists. THEN guess which list belongs to which blogger. Your blogger choices are below & we’ve abbreviated the longer names for you. We also provided some hints.  THE FINAL STEP IS TO email us at LadySmutBlog@gmail.com with your guesses. The first reader to email us the most correct answers wins a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

CONTEST ENDS FRIDAY MAY 5th AT 12PM PST!!!!!

OUR BLOGGERS:

Elizabeth Shore

G.G. Andrew

Kiersten Hallie Krum (KHK)

Alexa Day

Rachel Kramer Bussel (RKB)

Elizabeth SaFleur (ESF)

Isabelle Drake

Thien-Kim Lam (TKL)

Madeline Iva

Ready to play? Here we go——

Lady Smut TBR List #1

Hint: This blogger is a foodie who loves diverse romances & sex toys

  1. Alpha by Jasinda Wilder
  2. Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey
  3. The Muse by Anne Calhoun
  4. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
  5. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Lady Smut TBR List #2

Hint: This blogger likes to share all after a few dirty dates. ; > 
  1. The Pawn by Skye Warren
  2. Trophy Wife by Alessandra Torre
  3. The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke
  4. An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
  5. The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

Lady Smut TBR List #3

Hint: This blogger is a big fan of New Adult romances, secrets, and other crazy, sexy topics.

  1. Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia
  2. Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole
  3. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  4. Deadly Testimony by Piper Drake
  5. Ghostland: An American History of Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Lady Smut TBR List #4

Hint: This erotica author loves blogging about TWD, kidnapping & a few other illicit topics.

  1. Truly Helpless by Joey W. Hill
  2. All the Lies We Tell by Megan Hart
  3. Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Chorderlos de Laclos
  4. Slow Surrender by Cecilia Tan
  5. The Infamous Miss Rodriguez by Lydia San Andres

Lady Smut TBR List #5

Hint: This blogger is wild about reviewing her fav authors.

  1. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
  2. The List by Tawna Fenske
  3. Madly by Ruthie Knox
  4. Beyond Doubt by Kit Rocha
  5. Edge of Ruin (set of 3 Viking Dystopian Novellas) by Megan Crane

Lady Smut TBR List #6

Hint: This author blogs about edgy topics of desire including: swallowing, tattooing, cross-dressing–even Jewish Swingers. 

  1. Purity by Jonathan Franzen
  2. The Fireman by Joe Hill
  3. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  4. The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose
  5. Beyond Ruin by Kit Rocha

Lady Smut TBR List #7

Hint: When this author wasn’t all tied up, she’s blogged about CW’s Riverdale.

  1. Lilith’s Brood by Octavia E. Butler
  2. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  3. DC Comics Bombshells: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett & Marguerite Sauvage
  4. Initiates of the Blood by Cecilia Tan
  5. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Lady Smut TBR List #8

Hint: This blogger is a capital BDSM Erom author

  1. Bombshell by CD Reiss
  2. Truly Helpless by Joey W. Hill
  3. Royally Matched by Emma Chase
  4. The Chosen by J.R. Ward
  5. The List by Anne Calhoun

Lady Smut TBR List #9

Hint: This author loves blogging about wicked villains & paranormal television shows.

  1. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  2. The Unlikeable Demon Hunter by Deborah Wilde
  3. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  4. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
  5. A Darker Shade of Magic V.E. Schwab
Send off those answers and follow us at Lady Smut. If you want to know the about the latest fun when it comes to sex, romance books, and pop culture–we won’t leave you guessing.
Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

I Want A Hot, Devoted, Skilled Soldier Lover and It’s All Susan Stoker’s Fault

28 Apr

by Elizabeth SaFleur

A new Susan Stoker book release generally sends her fans into hyper-ventilating excitement. So, everyone have your paper bags ready. Her fifth Delta Force Heroes book, Rescuing Kassie (Delta Force Heroes), arrives May 15 and is now on pre-order. Let the one-clicking commence.

Romantic suspense is a popular genre in Romancelandia, and Susan’s books have kept fan swooning over SEALs, Delta Force operatives, soldiers, cops and cowboys for the last few years. A prolific writer (i.e. almost the definition of prolific), Susan has several series available in e-book, paperback and audio, not to mention titles landing on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists–more than once.

Susan stopped by LadySmut today to share her thoughts on the enduring love of men in uniform and what’s next for her hot heroes and strong heroines, and gave us a peek into her latest, Rescuing Kassie, with a new excerpt (bottom of this post).

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interview with Susan Stoker 

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: The romantic suspense genre seems to be growing, especially where military are involved. Do you think this is indicative of our world today, meaning it tracks with our fast, action-packed times?

SUSAN STOKER: I’m honestly not sure why it’s growing…I mean, I know why I write it and why I like to read it…men in uniform. 🙂 I simply think they make great Heroes because they’re ALREADY heroes. Who better to “save” someone, than a man in the military? But honestly, romantic suspense hits that “damsel in distress” trope that I think a lot of women enjoy. Just because we’re strong women in our everyday lives doesn’t mean we don’t think about being able to put our problems in someone else’s hands.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Amen. I mean, SEALS! SEALS! SEALS! Oh, sorry, I got a little excited there. In your Seals of Protection series, a lot of saving goes on. What is it about the SEAL hero? Why do women swoon? Is it really because they can get you out of any jam? All that alpha energy? Or the fact they are so selfless in their service? Or something else?

SUSAN STOKER: I think it’s the fantasy of the man in uniform saving someone. Mr. Stoker was in the Army for twenty-one years and we were married for seven of those, and I’ve certainly seen a lot of men (and women) who wouldn’t be able to find their way out of a paper bag nonetheless try to rescue someone else. LOL

I’m a huge fan of the damsel-in-distress trope, and who better to rescue you than a hot man in uniform? SEALs are appealing because they’re a little mysterious, andthey have to be super in shape because of what they do and to even become a SEAL in the first place. So to have them swoop down and carry off the heroine is just such a heart-swooning image.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Moving on to Delta force in your Delta Force Heroes series….I hear the Delta Force are the most secretive of the special ops world. I’m dying to know how you do your research! But, in the meantime, how do you differentiate your different special ops guys? SEALS from Delta? And is it important to do so?

SUSAN STOKER: I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

HA! Just kidding. You’re right, there’s not a lot of information about them, and that makes them even more mysterious and fun to imagine them swooping in to save the heroine.

My books aren’t really “military heavy.” And by that I mean a lot of time the drama that happens isn’t related to the military at all. The heroes just happen to be Delta Force (or a SEAL). But to answer your question, I differentiate them because of where they live and how they talk (using Army lingo). I believe that I don’t need to be super specific with guns, missions, uniforms, ranks, etc. It’s not necessary for the story. I let my reader use her/his imagination to fill in the blanks.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: In your Ace Security series, you have a band of brothers who launch an agency to help people free themselves from abuse. How did this series come about?

SUSAN STOKER: When I wrote Justice for Boone, the Hero was abused by his ex-girlfriend. There aren’t a lot of books out there where the male is the one being abused. But it happens. Just as I like to write about “real” issues out in the world, men being abused is one such issue. It’s just not talked about as much as women being abused.

As far as ideas, I watch a lot of crime shows. I’m totally addicted. Disappeared, Forensic Files, CSI, Criminal Minds, etc. are all great places to get a nugget, and then my imagination makes up the rest.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: In your Badge of Honor series, you turned to cowboys and law enforcement. What called you to write those kind of heroes? How are they different from your SEALs, Ace and Delta Force guys?

SUSAN STOKER:  Man in uniform…need I say more? 🙂 Seriously, again, it’s the saving the heroine thing. Who better to rush into a burning building and carry the heroine out than a fireman? Who better to save the heroine from a gun wielding lunatic, than a police officer? And honestly, they AREN’T a lot different. I always tell people, I could put my team of SEALs or Deltas in the BOH series and it wouldn’t be a lot different.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: You do the strong, selfless women with tragic backstories and the alpha males who find them really well. The women also seem quite supportive of one another. Do you take anything from your real world experiences and import them into your stories? And, what is it about this theme that attracts you as a writer?

SUSAN STOKER: I think close relationships with other women is something a lot of people are missing in their lives and it’s wonderful to read about close friendship circles like this. I know I would love to have a closer circle myself. I’ve moved a lot in my life and it seems as if those close friends have always been out of reach for me. So it’s a bit of “wishful thinking” on my part. 

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Your characters also deal with some dark stuff like abusive pasts, murder, trauma. Would you consider your books on the darker side or most realistic because that stuff happens in real life all the time?

SUSAN STOKER: I am very “mean” to my heroines. And I’m honest about that. A lot of it is fiction, but I also do that to show exactly how strong my heroines are. I mean, they take a beating (sometimes literally) and keep on going. I don’t really consider them “dark” because I don’t go into a ton of details with some of the situations, but again, women are living these kinds of life all over the world. So even though I write fiction, for many readers, it’s not.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Alabama, Mozart, Summer, Rayne. You have a lot of interesting character names! How do you go about naming your characters?

SUSAN STOKER: I definitely use websites for baby names, but I also stalk social media, too. The name Jessyka is actually one of my readers. As is Adeline. Sometimes I see a name and just love it so much I want to use it in my books. Other times the names just come to me. But if you are a friend of mine on social media, don’t be surprised if I steal your first or last name sometime. It’s the best place to “research.” Ha!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What is next for you, writing-wise? What can we expect in the future?

SUSAN STOKER: I’ve got a busy year planned, with a book coming out every month from May to December. Some are novellas, but most are full-length novels. You can expect more of the same in 2018. I like what I write, and I don’t have any plans to veer off in a different direction.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What is your secret sauce for writing so many books so quickly? Asking for a friend….Seriously, you are so prolific. What is your writing process, and how long does it take you to go from idea to completion?

SUSAN STOKER: I can type really fast. 🙂  Okay, that’s not totally it, but I’m type A. Once I start a book, I get obsessed until I finish it. That means writing up to 7 to 10K words a day until it’s done. When I’m really into the story and it’s flowing well, I can manage to finish a full length book in two weeks. Then once I’m done, I don’t write anything for a couple of weeks…to let my brain re-fresh. Then I start again. I’m a pantser. I start out a book knowing how the characters meet and what the drama at 85% is going to be. Then I just start writing. My imagination takes over.

I also write “ahead.” Deadlines would never work for me. I have friends who can write a book right up to a deadline, but that’s not me. I’ve finished all the books coming out in 2017 (first drafts) and I’ll be starting on 2018 books soon.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What is one questions readers ask you all the time? And what do you wish they ask?

SUSAN STOKER: What my favorite book/character is. I honestly don’t have one. I love all the stories and characters. I wouldn’t have been able to write the books if I didn’t.

I’m pretty open with my readers. They ask me stuff all the time and I can’t think of anything I didn’t want to answer. In fact, I probably give them TOO much info about upcoming books and plots sometimes. Ha.

But, how about, ”do you like what you do?”

Absolutely. I used to be a University Registar and not a day goes by when I miss it. There might be days where I struggle with writing, or marketing, or dealing with people, but when push comes to shove…I feel incredibly lucky to be able to make a living using my imagination and writing stories. I just want to say THANK YOU to every single person who has ever bought one of my books. It means the world.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Thanks for being here, Susan!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The LadySmut Fast Lane

We ask, Susan Stoker tells….

  • Beach or Mountains? Mountains
  • Coffee, Tea or a favorite alcoholic drink? (you can name it) Midori Sour
  • Seal, Delta, Cowboy or Cop? (menage is a completely valid answer) Um…ALL of the above!
  • Driving the motorcycle or riding on the back? Riding on the back
  • Favorite season? Spring
  • Dream vacation? Maui, Hawaii

Susan’s Love Links:  Web site  Facebook  Twitter   

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt from Rescuing Kassie

After she nodded at each of the men, Truck said, “You ladies want some punch? I’m going to get a round.”

Kassie looked over to where the large man had indicated and flinched. She’d been looking for the grog bowl, and wasn’t sure how she’d missed it. On a long table against the opposite wall were two large punch bowls.

“I don’t want any grog,” Kassie blurted.

“Pardon?”

“Grog? Did she say grog?”

“What?”

The murmured questions came from Hollywood’s friends, but Kassie only had eyes for Hollywood. “I don’t know what I did wrong, but please don’t make me drink it.” She knew she was panicking, but couldn’t help it. The grog bowl was one thing she’d researched that was true about Richard’s farce of a military function.

“Kass—” Hollywood began, but she cut him off.

“I promise I’ll be good. I won’t embarrass you. Just don’t make me drink it. I’ll gag. I know I will. I just—”

“Kassie,” Hollywood said sternly, putting his hands on either side of her neck and forcing her to look up at him. “There isn’t a grog bowl here. It’s punch. Just punch.”

Her brows furrowed, Kassie looked up at him in confusion. She gripped his wrists as if her life depended on it. She saw nothing but concerned eyes looking down at her. Didn’t hear his friends whispering to each other. “Punch?”

“Yeah, Kass. Plain ol’ watered-down Hi-C, most likely. Fruit punch. Not grog.”

She swallowed hard. “Are you sure? There’s always grog. I Googled it.”

Hollywood turned his head, but didn’t take his eyes from hers. “Blade. Can you tell Kassie the grog bowl tradition?”

“Sure. They’re commonplace at dining-ins. It’s a tradition dating back to the Knights of the Round Table. Because of the weight of armor back in the day, it was hard to move and get a drink. So it was used as a punishment for someone who was out of order or unruly. The same thing applies today. There’s usually an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version and people who are found to be in violation of any kind of rule have to drink from the grog bowl.”

“And what’s a dining-in?” Hollywood asked, still holding Kassie’s eyes.

“It’s a formal military ceremony for members of a unit to foster camaraderie,” Blade said immediately.

“And are spouses, girlfriends, or significant others invited?”

“No,” Blade said succinctly.

Hollywood’s eyes narrowed, and he asked Kassie in a low voice, “When did you partake of a grog bowl, sweetheart?”

“I…uh…” Suddenly Kassie was more than aware of all the men and women around her, staring. She swallowed hard, embarrassed, but the terror hadn’t left her.

“Did your ex take you to an event with a grog bowl? You saw people drinking from it?” Hollywood pushed.

“He had an event at his place one night that included it,” Kassie told him, then bit her lip. “I told you about that. His friends dressed up in their fancy uniforms and came over. I usually messed up the most and had to drink from it all night. They thought it was funny to make me.”

Hollywood’s eyes closed momentarily and Kassie swore she heard one of his friends say “motherfucker” under their breath, but before she could say anything, Hollywood’s eyes opened and he said earnestly, “I’m sorry you had to do that, Kassie. As Blade said, the grog bowl is reserved for special soldiers-only functions. I can’t deny it’s gross, we’ve all had our share, but it’s supposed to be all in good fun. And I swear to you, all that’s in the punch bowl tonight is punch. Nothing gross. Okay?”

Kassie nodded. Embarrassed now. She’d made a fool out of herself. She should’ve known Richard hadn’t been following proper military protocol. The grog bowl was a real thing, but only for closed ceremonies…not for friends or family members.

“I don’t think I like this ex of yours,” Hollywood said, straightening, and reaching down for her hand once more.

“That makes two of us,” Kassie said with a nervous chuckle.

“Now that we have that out of the way…anyone want a cup of watered-down, barely drinkable fruit punch?” Truck asked dryly.

“Oh, with that description, how can we say no?” Emily asked with a laugh.

“Four cups, coming right up,” Truck said, lifting his chin at Kassie in what she thought was supposed to be a reassuring gesture, but in fact was just confusing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pre-Order Rescuing Kassie (Delta Force Heroes)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Coming to the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta this May? Join the Ladysmut.com bloggers for a very special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever — and win crowns, toys, books and more. (Ooo, and we’ll have brownies….) Goodybags (with fun stuff!) to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. Add this event to your RT Personal Agenda here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get graphic about it  — “it” being the sex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington. Join her Sexy, Saucy, Sometimes Naughty exclusive reader’s group or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Person Of Interest: My TV Show Hangover

30 Mar

He’s a soft-spoken, hot killer–if you like that sort of thing.

By Madeline Iva

The upside to having a week long bout of stomach flu was enjoying a PERSON OF INTEREST marathon, aka watching Jim Caviezel eye candy.

I’d never been interested in watching the show until I saw a recommendation on i09 that was like: The last season is out! You have to go check out the entire show on Netflix! Well, okay then.

Now I’ve finished the last episode, and I am in the thrashing throes of a terrible TV show hangover…So thanks, i09.

Of course, seeing commercials for the show at one time, I thought: Hey! It’s that guy who was the leader of the Others on Lost.  And hey! It’s that guy who was in that whack sci-fi alien/Viking film (Outlander—but not the Outlander you’re thinking) and G.I. Jane. Damn he’s hot. Even when he’s looking anxious and sad.

I *liked* Carter and am following her from this show to other work she’s done.

So why wasn’t I interested? Cause it seemed to be about these wistful attractive women in danger, and this creepy-yet-competent ex-military guy who saved them with some slightly futuristic computer device. Yawn. Happily, it’s not like that AT ALL.

WARNING: SEMI-SPOILERS AHEAD!

Even in the first episode there a tart reversal and the heroine in need of saving turned out to be something else all together.  That made me happy and kick-started my whiffling through all five seasons before pulling the plug on Netflix. (I have a book deadline coming up and need to buckle down.) Also, I had no idea that it was a bit futuristic. (Though since the election it leans into that zone where it’s not completely Science Fiction, it’s really more like Really Scary Science Fact.)

The show with an AI called “the Machine” spitting out numbers that saved people morphed a lot as it went on. It started out as a kind of surveillance heavy 24, with a lot of white, male characters. Instead of dumbing down like most shows do, it went the other way…We saw more POC story lines and actors join the show, more female characters & LBGT references—and more female villains. The show found a sci-fi geek audience and as a result, leaned into progressive, liberal ideas and concepts as it went along, reversing its stance on the surveillance machine from “I know it violates our rights–but look! It does good things!” to “I’ve created a monster! A MONSTER!” wails of despair and gnashing of teeth.

But when we’re talking the best parts of the show, I’m sorry, CHARACTER IS KING! Pontificate on all the weighty discussions you like including:

  • AI and personhood
  • Safety vs. privacy in the modern state
  • Misuse of governmental power

my true obsession will still lie with Jim Caviezel and powerful story arcs about Carter, Sameed and other human characters. The AI lacked all qualities I want to spend time my with: sexiness, humor, cleverness, and personality.

Jim Caviezel, on the other hand, is this reader’s hero proto-type. The character he plays, John Reese is brooding, handsome, soft-spoken with a sense of humor, and yet, um, deadly.  Because he’s in mourning for his dead one true love, every episode leaves you wondering–will he feel the pull of desire/love/passion again? Oooooh how I wanted him to! But then I’m a complete masochist for the unattainable hero.

A do-er, not a talker, Reese has done bad things to a lot of bad guys—and yet, he can no longer tolerate the grim, clandestine life where he was given orders, but no iron clad proof of guilt for those he assassinated. Unquestioningly following orders eats at his soul, until he’s at the point where despite orders, he can’t betray his partner—who at the same time betrays him.  At the top of the show, he’s lost his mission in life, his identity, and even his one true love.  He needs redemption and a purpose—enter Harold who has a quirky all-powerful machine and gives John Reese’s ex-CIA black ops dude a goal in life.

Tarij Henderson – so sparkly bright and fun off the TV show, plays Detective Carter–who goes looking for “the man in the suit” out shooting knee caps of bad guys and breaking a thousand laws while doing so.   Now, I knew from Kiersten Hallie Krum via facebook, that Carter left the show at a certain point. For Kiersten it was hard to keep going after that. For me, knowing Carter was going to leave but not when or how ended up giving the show tremendous suspense — and like a horror movie I waited, tense and clutching my pillow to see when It Happened, getting more and more wrenched about it the more I liked her character. Henderson did a phenomenal job with developing her character and growing it. By the time she left the show, I was nodding my head thinking about what Lexi says about the infuriating state of racial diversity in entertainment today…This is another tragic example, and though the actors actually sought to correct that as much as they could in their penultimate scene together, grrrrrr. And now I’ve followed Tarij over to not just her Oscar nominated role in HIDDEN FIGURES but also over to EMPIRE where she’s did an actor 180 and portrays a completely different kind of role. (Why has no one on Lady Smut talked about Cookie yet? Why?)

Kevin Chapman plays detective Lionel Fusco, a crooked cop who finds redemption after some swift strong-arm tactics from Reese sorts him out.  Lionel got some great noir-ish lines and had fabulous delivery. I wonder if they had planned on making him such a big part of the show from the beginning, or if he was a happy discovery.  Reese has done much worse and seems less fundamentally tethered to the world.  As Jim Caviezel said at one point (I paraphrase from an interview I found on You Tube that took place at some con) Reese is a shark.  If he stops moving, he dies.  Other men have described him as batman in a suit.  It’s very interesting that the show portrays these two paths to redemption, each with its own singular flavor.  Lionel’s character has some charming grit, and a less tragic trajectory.

Michael Emerson was born to play the role of Harold, reclusive billionaire dork.  Harold builds the machine that plunges the characters into their episodic heroism.   Amy Acker (you know her from Firefly) got the thankless task of spending half her time having moral dialogues with Harold, while the other half was spent voicing the words and motives of the AI. Not fun—not fun at all, and yet she carried the weight of a whole other character upon her shoulders to the point where you felt like there actually was a machine with some proto-personality hovering about inside the internet ether.

I enjoyed the inclusion of Sameed – a short, female version of John Reese’s character, showing that a woman could do whatever a man could– and playing a kind of sociopath role to boot. No guilty torment for Sameed!

Although the show starts off Reese and Harold as the stars and swiftly includes Lionel and Carter as side kicks, the show changes direction in a fundamental way.  Soon, it becomes more of an ensemble cast with Harold and Amy Acker’s character, Root, in the staring roles.  We often see a lot more of Sameed as well, and John Reese’s role shrinks substantially over five seasons.

I think this was a wise move on the part of the producers…nor did a greater sense of inclusivity (fall out from Carter leaving the show?) seem to bother Jim Caviezel much in interviews about the show.  There was a way in which the show settled his character arc and then let it rest there.

Then they turned to other topics that more heavily involved Michael Emerson’s role as Harold, and his moral responsibilities as the one who created the surveillance AI machine. By the end, the AI character, AKA “The Machine” had as much character growth and backstory as any of the other characters—not an easy trick to pull off.  

Another thing that I liked about the show was that it started off grim, and only got more grim as it went along. But I’m perverse that way…

I’ve watched all five seasons now, and I now have a horrible tv show hangover. I actually went to You Tube and started watching a lot of videos taken at various Comi-Cons to ‘learn more’ but really to ramp down my addiction until I could walk away.

Hangovers I now think, are more than any other reason why we authors have social media platforms…So people have a place to go when they can’t say goodbye.

In all these interviews, I never really wanted to hear anything about what the creators had to say about the show, even though they were articulate men of ideas. I wanted to hear from the actors instead. This is because in essence the creators HAD their say…and we saw it all play out. Choices about character deaths, romances, etc, we saw the creator’s ideas were splatted across numerous episodes and dialogue everywhere. I was more interested in the background behind the show. What kind of training the actors go through? What kind of humor did they share? How did cast members related to each other? (Jim Caviezel trained with special delta forces men in San Diego, Tarij told all kinds of Jesus jokes poking fun at Jim, and Michael Emerson is every bit as articulate and intellectual as his character.)

Now I’m going to go off and write something in Jim Caviezel’s character’s voice…buh-bye!!!

Follow our blog — we’re not soft spoken, we’re outspoken, but charming nonetheless.

And check us out at RT Booklovers convention where we’re going to have a really fun event:  Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever — and win crowns, toys, books and more. (Ooo, and we’ll have brownies….) Goodybags (with fun stuff!) to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. Link: https://www.rtconvention.com/ event/never-have-you-ever- ever-ever

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

 

 

 

“Up On the Hog Babe, Let’s Go For a Ride”: The Hot Men & Sexy Voices of Male Audio Narrators

27 Mar

HOT MEN, SEXY VOICES: Last Saturday was #VALoveFest at Virginia Festival of the Book 2017.  Among the excellent panels during the day by far the most popular was THE MEN OF ROMANCE panel where audio narrators shared their experiences about the work, a bit about their backgrounds, and their appreciation for the romance genre.  Below is a video that you must watch/listen to if–like me– you twitch involuntarily at any real man who is into romance.

Andi Arndt was the fabulous moderator. She spoke with David Brenin, Luke Daniels, Will Damron, Derek Perkins and Aiden Snow. Jennifer Dodde Conner captured this video of the event. (Caution! It looks like the video goes sideways for a second–but it’s just for a moment and then gets righted again.)

Details of note:

Luke Daniels has done audio for Heather Graham and Sylvia Day among many, many, others.

When Will Damron does the really sexy stuff he uses the name Jeremy York.

Aiden Snow mostly does military romances, but he likes romances that play out deep gender and relational dynamics.  Most of the time, however, he said “it’s like: ‘Up on the hog babe, let’s go for a ride.'” And all the women in the room about fainted.

Speaking of Aiden Snow —  I saw him walking across the lobby at the festival — and having been converted by my friend Adriana Anders to beardy hot goodness, I said to myself ‘Damn, who is *that* guy?’ (Shoulda stopped him and gotten a picture.  I’m just kicking myself now. Oh well!)

Derek Perkins is British and does a mean Scottish Accent.

I, for one, find a man’s voice at the top of the list for the sexiness factor.  I think that romances often neglect the serious ear appeal of the right voice.  There are men who I find reasonably attractive, but when they speak and their voice is like low thunder, I’m suddenly riveted by their whole being.  I want to chitter like a cat at the window watching birds fluttering around outside.

Perhaps it’s because there is something fundamentally right and reassuring to me about a relaxed, warm male voice.  It’s a verbal embrace, a reassuring caress in my ears that everything is going to be all right.

I’m so curious to find out if any of you listen to audio books and if you do listen to audio books, are you aware of who the audio narrator is? I know Richard Armitage narrated two Georgette Heyer book, but do you actively seek certain narrators?

Are you like me? Does the right male voice send you?

If you want to listen to more of the panels from Love Fest, including HEROINES OF DESTINY — which is the panel that I moderated–go here on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1905127766399699/permalink/1909010616011414/

Kiersten Hallie Krum will be back next week — and I’ll be blogging more on Thursday about other fascinating & fun parts of Love Fest.

Meanwhile, get on the hog, babe, and follow us at Lady Smut. ; >

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: