Thursday, March 31, 2011

More on Series or Sequels . . .

Eliza March Hooked – Series or Sequels?

(This is reprinted from the blog I did for The Whipped Cream Review Blog, March 7, 2011)

One of my most popular blog posts involved the topic, “Series or Sequels”. For fun (and because I’m reading Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning) I’d thought we could start a discussion. I always avoid TV programs that are continued next week . . . so you can imagine how excited I was when I finished the first book in the Fae Series and kept looking for more pages at the end of the book. Surely, I was ripped off. OMG there had to be more!

The story didn’t have a conclusion. I just had more questions, and there weren’t any more pages. No Answers!

AAAHHK! I was hooked. Why? Because I loved the characters, and I had to find out what happened to them.

The next book was already out, only I was determined not to pay the big bucks for the hardback. So I held off for several weeks. Then my resolve started weakening as people I knew started discussing the book. I felt left out. I covered my ears, did a lot of “La, la, laaaing” . . . but it didn’t stop my need. In a moment of weakness, I eventually caved. I did. I mean, I ended up buying the hardback at full price.

When the fourth came out, I bought the eBook because I finished the third book at midnight and couldn’t risk becoming one of those “People of Wal-Mart” who you see posted on the internet. I stayed in my nice warm bed and had instant gratification. Mmmm . . .

So, okay, I’ve got it bad! If any of you are friend of mine on Facebook or Twitter, you know I was waiting for it to come (pre-ordered this time) from UPS like a kid waiting for Santa. I wanted to rip my phone out of the wall when I got interrupted that day. You can see why I don’t like to get started on something like this, because I’m a lunatic. I’m a FAN, and what’s really bothering me now is that I’ve heard this fifth one may be the last. I’m trying to read it slowly, savoring each word, but I have to pry it out of my own hands to go eat.

Hooked! Oh, yes I admit it.

Although I’d like to get my readers hooked like that on one of my books, I’m writing stand alone stories which can be read in any order. The ENCHANTED MOUNTAIN Series is about a place where the people of the Lore come to mingle . . . and more. Download a copy of The Moon, The Madness, and The Magic available from http://bookstrand.com/the-moon-the-madness-and-the-magic or The Lion, The Leopard, and The Wolf http://bookstrand.com/the-lion-the-leopard-and-the-wolf 

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

BIO: Since I could read, the written word has captivated me. I’ve worked in libraries, written for newspapers, done copy edits, magazine copy and screenplays, but the one thing that always intrigues me is choosing just the right word to express myself. I write erotic romance as ELIZA MARCH and romantic suspense under the name ELIZABETH MARCHAT. To prevent boredom from setting in, I keep my hands in several pots at the same time. The characters in my head satisfy my needs to be and do all the things I don't have time for, or wouldn't dare to do. Or would I?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Excerpt - ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM Released Today

Across a Crowded Room
By: Elizabeth Marchat

Word Count: 105,427
Heat Level: SIZZLING
Published By: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.

[Siren Allure: Erotic Contemporary Romantic Suspense, public exhibition]

After anti-terrorist agent Jason DesJardin survived the explosion that killed Emily Holmes’s father, he went deep undercover. Guilt and his dark past kept him from returning for her. When Emily discovers ties between the old bombing and the terrorists, she finagles an assignment to Jason’s next mission. The balance of world power drops into her inexperienced hands, and she is forced to play a dangerous game of seduction with Mosel Reinhardt, the notorious international arms dealer. Is Reinhardt peddling the nanotech chip technology, or are Emily’s instincts about him correct?

The mission heats up when Jason finds he can’t resist Emily—agency computer genius gone femme fatale—anymore than Mosel can. After years of waiting to have her again, the tables turn. Jason is unwilling to share her now, but will he be able to watch her seduce Mosel in order to find her father’s killer? Would she stop if he asked her?

Cover Art by Jinger Heaston

STORY EXCERPT

Jason called to her. “Emily?”

“Be right there. I’m ready,” she announced.

She rounded the corner upstairs, and when she came into view, he couldn’t stop the response that escaped along with the rest of the air in his lungs. “I’ll say!” He could see she was definitely ready for something.

She paused at the top of the stairs and glanced down at him. One of her hands flipped a stray curl back off her shoulder, and the other rested lightly on the old wooden banister.

Emily was fully aware of the impact she made. He could tell from the glint in her eyes. But regrettably, he couldn’t focus on her face once she took the first step. She looked incredible, and he felt gut punched. The multi-colored flowered skirt was too short. It looked even more so from his vantage point.

Strategically situated at the bottom of the stairs, Jason wished he could be sorrier about the view. But in the deepest recesses of his mind, the only feelings he could drag to the surface were pleasure, pleasure, and more pleasure. He’d just caught a glimpse of heaven, and poking his eyes out now wouldn’t be enough to erase the image of a sliver of black lace that was now branded in his memory.

He quickly tried to blind himself from the sight, but wasn’t fast enough. His gaze dropped, and he locked on the image. The only thing he could do was turn away.

Instead of soothing the impact, the image reflected repeatedly in the mirrored foyer. She was everywhere, taunting him. His mouth went powder dry. It took every bit of self-control to force his eyes shut and turn back to her and focus on her eyes.

After the day’s events, he felt like a lab rat. She was the motivation, and he kept responding. He couldn’t seem to stop his reactions, no matter how much he tried, and just like any good lab rat, he didn’t care. All he wanted was the reward at the end of the experiment.

She is that reward, all right.

She smiled that womanly, all-knowing smile with a casual glance directed boldly at his fly. His body jerked to attention as she took that first step, giving him an even better view with her knee bent. An uncontrolled groan escaped as his body reacted. Was she aware of the power she wielded? Damn right, she was. It was maddening to be at her mercy like this.

In a few minutes they’d be with the whole family. How was he going to manage any self-control under the circumstances? With each step she took toward him, his anxiety increased. God, what was wrong with him? He was very worried. She was initiating a full-out assault on his senses, and his control was diminishing as the day wore on.

He winced. This was going to be a long night.

There was no point trying to hide his response from her. Since she walked in the door earlier this afternoon, he’d managed to sport a chronic erection. He was past being embarrassed by his dick. Trying to recover some ground, reclaim some of his masculine pride, he dragged his gaze back to her face and forced himself to stare directly at her. Making sure to hold her attention as she descended the rest of the steps, he boldly reached down and adjusted himself.

She flushed.

Score one for the boys.



Jason felt triumphant, felt a smile start, until she looked directly at his face. He had to rethink his success. Her blush was intoxicating. Her tongue flicked over her parted lips, her hand dropped to her blue diamond pendant, and she inhaled, drawing his attention to nipples alluringly visible through the thin material of her top.



No bra?



He swallowed. He readjusted.



This time her expression widened a little in response. A small smile tempted the corner of her lips, but she contained herself. She seemed pleased instead of shocked.



Rats, no ground gained for the men’s side. Maybe he’d been too quick to claim victory.

When she reached the bottom step, he moved toward her, taking her coat from her. He had an urge to wrap her up in a useless attempt to cover her. Maybe if her body was concealed, he could put this hunger aside.

His hand lingered, refusing to be controlled as it slowly slid down her arm, taking in the silkiness of her skin. Caught in his own trap, a little voice in his head laughed as he draped her coat over her shoulders. He knew it wouldn’t help. It was too late for him. He sniffed her hair one last time before they headed out the door.

He could cover her up all he wanted. He’d still be thinking of the contrast between that scrap of black lace against her pale pearl skin all night.

ADULT EXCERPT

He glanced around. The street was empty. As concerned as he was about their public display, he didn’t stop mauling her in the middle of the street where she lived. Jason watched the mist from her hot breath rise with her smile. He tried to smile back, uncertain of his success as she stared hungrily at his mouth. He thought about devouring her right here, right now, damn the neighbors, but she grabbed his hand and dragged him up to the door of the old Victorian house.

Slipping his hands inside her coat, he undid her bra and pushed it up, giving his hands and lips full access to her breasts. He could hear her struggling to catch her breath as he bent in to nuzzle her nape while skimming his hands down her sides and over her hips. That short skirt ended up around her waist, and his fingers came into contact with hot velvet skin as he cupped her tight ass in his hands. That scrap of black lace he’d moaned about earlier would be no barrier when pushed aside, better yet, when he tore it off her.

He wasn’t the only one desperate for skin to skin contact. Emily tore off a couple of his shirt buttons accessing his chest, and her fingers scraped over his nipples, driving him to distraction. He suddenly realized she had his fly open and her hand wrapped around his throbbing cock before the door completely closed behind them. As fantastic as her grip felt, he grabbed and took both of her hands in his, inhaled, and lifted her fingertips to his lips. They had to slow down, or he was afraid he’d lose control, and he hadn’t let that happen in a very, very long time.

Damn, what made him so crazy with her, so crazy he couldn’t wait? After this afternoon, the hard-on he’d been sporting hadn’t subsided for more than a few minutes at a time. He’d already waited too long. He was ready to explode. Her hair wrapped around him and her scent enveloped him. He was lost.

She pulled her hands free and grabbed his hips, pulling them toward her as she fell to the steps. His knees hit the bottom step, and he had her back against the railing, legs open, spread-eagled. He was on fire, blinded with passion, intoxicated with her.

Patience escaped with his good sense. He shouldn’t take her there on the steps. Even though he didn’t want to stop, thoughts tried to sneak through the red haze.

“Stop thinking,” she said.

She was right. He’d been thinking too much, for too many years, and now all he wanted was the sensation of burying himself deep inside her, of finally being immersed inside her soft, tight heat. Merging their bodies as one.

Instead, he paused at her entry, still kissing her senseless. He waited until he was physically capable of dragging them up to the first landing, hoping he could manage the rest of the stairs and get them into the bedroom before every ounce of self control left him.



But the landing was as far as he got before she moaned. “Please, here, now.”

He couldn’t resist her. The need to brand her with the fire burning in him and make her his was too great. More than anything, he wanted to plunge into her without thinking and damn the consequences. He took another deep breath, still paused at her entrance despite his desire. The crown of his cock surged against her warm, moist opening, fighting back at him with independent intentions.

Emily lifted to him and arched, as if inviting him to push in past her hot, slippery folds, a silent request to take her deeper. The initial shock, the sensation of having him penetrate her, knocked the breath from her. Her gasp emptied into his mouth as he leaned in and kissed her.

Obviously she wasn’t very experienced, but no matter what pace she wanted to set, he knew he had to prepare her to take all of him. He paused again to give her time to adjust, deliberately slowing his entry as she stiffened slightly. “Oh, Emily, you feel so good, so damned tight.”



Gradually, Jason stretched past her tight opening, inch by painful inch, despite thinking he’d have to push into her fast and hard or die holding back. Somehow he forced himself to take her slowly, prepare her more for his size, make their first time together last.

However, her body and her moans goaded him on. She pressed against him, whimpering needy sounds, and her nails dug into his hips, her legs embracing his thighs. Then, just as he was ready to press further inside, he met an obstacle.

He paused. Damn! Suddenly cold with the realization, stark reality returned in a heartbeat.

Unbelieving, Jason stopped breathing for a moment, shocked at the barrier of her virginity. He stared into Emily’s eyes, not really looking for answers, but the expression on her face told him everything.

“Don’t think. Don’t stop,” she said as he held himself back. A flare of pure determination lit up her expression, warning him. She wasn’t letting him off this time.
As he held his ground, her next move really didn’t surprise him. She did the only thing left to her when she impaled herself against him. Stifling a scream, she forfeited her own innocence and stared deep into Jason’s eyes in defiance. With the deed done, neither of them moved.

Mine.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Romance and Erotic Romance...What's your preference?

by Stacey Espino and Eliza March

STACEY SAYS ~~~

As a reader I'll devour any type of romance from young adult to sextreme. Going Too Far, Perfect Chemistry, Twilight, etc. are young adult books enjoyed by women and teens alike. I can fall in love with a book that has little or no sex, but I dooo like the romance :)

As a writer, I find it more difficult to switch back and forth between writing classic romance and sextreme romance. For me, it seems that once I started writing erotic books, it was difficult to go back and write tamer sex scenes. A big difference between mainstream romance and erotic romance is word choice. You won't see offensive words (or many) in a classic romance, but they are expected in erotic fiction. In erotic books—cock, pussy, cunt, dick, etc. are commonplace. In mainstream, the descriptions border on purple prose to keep things tame and acceptable to a broader readership. The frequency of sex scenes and type of sex acts will differ as well.

Sexual tension and the build up of a romantic relationship can be even more rewarding than a graphic sex scene if written correctly. It's all about escaping reality and becoming one with the book and characters while you're reading. I think that's why I love reading YA books. They focus on those core emotions we've all had when falling in love. In general, I like the balance of a good plot, great characters and the treat of hot sex scenes.

Although I'm known for my menage books, I also write erotic m/f books (paranormal and futuristic). They are rated scorching which means the sex scenes are hot, but not as graphic or frequent as my sextreme books.

What's your take on switching from romance to erotic romance, Eliza?

ELIZA SAYS ~~~

Good question for me at the moment, Stacey. My first romantic suspense is being released by SirenBookstrand this month, and because there's a marked difference in my style, I chose to release it under a different name.

Elizabeth Marchat writes sexy romance but her word choice is slightly milder than language her alter ego - me, Eliza March - writes. After writing erotic (SEXTREME - m/f/m and m/m/f) settling down to write a traditional M/F romance with less offensive language and more sexual tension instead of sex was frustrating to say the least for me (...the proverbial, instant gratification girl - LOL). My characters aren't used to holding back and when they think about sex it's in extremely graphic terms.

Now Elizabeth couldn't risk having her sexual encounters border on that purple prose you were talking about, so in several instances, the encounters are sufficiently explicit to satisfy Eliza fans. Finding the balance in language is harder than I thought it would be. It's easier to use explicit language or purple prose than it is to stage the scene so the reader instinctively gets the drift without spelling it out in a four letter word.

The trick to toning down a sexy book is ramping up the sexual tension. Put the characters in a small bath tub, naked, and only give them one towel. Have the plumbing spring a leak. Repeat something similar until the characters don't care where they are or who is watching, they can't keep their hands off each other any longer. Then blow up the building. And start all over again.

When you start reaching for the wine bottle and it's empty, let them make love, for goodness sake!

Personally, I read just about everything, and all genres, but honestly, I like my recreational reading to be romance with real honest to goodness, hot, I-can't-live-without-you-for-another-minute sex (Eliza fans: explicit definition = balls-to-the-wall sex) at some point.

I'm a hopeless romantic and always have been. Because love makes the world go round, I believe in love at first sight, soul mates forever, and happily ever after. On March 30th, I'll have been happily married to the same man for 43 years - if he doesn't do anything to mess up before then. LOL - God bless him.

Thanks, Stacey, for coming by and sharing your thoughts.

I encourage everyone to check out Stacey's books at http://www.bookstrand.com/stacey-espino

website: http://www.staceyespino.com/



Bio:
Stacey Espino resides in beautiful Ontario, Canada where she is busy raising her five school-aged children. She loves being a Canadian but could do without the brutal winters.

When she’s not escaping into the romantic settings she creates on her laptop, she’s reading one of the many books threatening to overtake her bedroom.

Stacey also writes m/m erotic romance as Winona Wilder.

Monday, March 7, 2011