For the first time more than five years I truly feel like a writer.
That statement might sound weird coming from me, but it’s true. When I first started writing, it was because I was searching for a career other than being a bartender/waitress. I was in my early thirties, and I knew I didn’t want to be depending on other peoples generosity (tips) to pay my bills when I was in my forties or fifties and onward. I also didn’t want to go back to school for something.
I’ve always been a bit of a gypsy wanderer with a short attention span and a try anything once outlook on life. My attitude lead to an interesting and well-rounded life, but not so much to stability. It also meant I never really had a driving urge to do or be any one thing. I’ve been a photographer, a traveller, an english teacher, a Karate teacher, an abuse counselor, a bodyguard and a graphic designer. In between – sometimes during – all those brief careers I was a waitress and bartender. I always went back to that for some reason.
Envy isn’t a pretty thing, but I’ve had it. Especially for anyone who could say “I’ve always wanted to be XXX” a doctor, a lawyer, a mechanic, and mother. It didn’t matter what they wanted to be, just that they’d had the desire to be one thing. A direction for their life. My direction had always been to simply be happy living life. It worked for a long time, but then I noticed a bit of restless that just wouldn’t leave me alone. A yearning for something, but I didn’t know what. I was still doing anything and everything that made me happy, but I wasn’t happy.
The decision to become a writer was made because it was another thing I could do that I didn’t have to go back to school for. I’ve always loved reading, and there were times I’d read a book and think, “I wish this or that had happened.” So I thought, why not?
I went after that career with the same determination Ive done pretty much everything in my life. Low and behold I was good at it! Less than three years after I’d decided to give it a try I’d sold my first novel to a NY publisher, on proposal. I’d never written a full novel before, but that didn’t scare me. I was raised to believe I could do anything if I set my mind to it, so I did it.
My writing story isn’t typical. I didn’t really know this at the time, but things had gone very easy for me. I sold the first story I ever wrote, and everything else after that pretty easily. I’d only ever received three rejection letters, and they hadn’t hit me hard at all. My first novel (Bound) made me a National Bestselling Author, and before it even hit shelves I had contracts for four novellas and two more novels from various publishers. I quit my night job, and focussed on writing.
Writer friends always found it weird when I told them the actual writing was the worst part of this job for me. I didn’t really enjoy forcing myself to sit still for hours at a time and stare at a computer screen. I loved being an author. I loved the promotions, the conferences, the people. Best of all I loved holding a book and knowing that the words on the page came from my mind, my imagination.
But the writing itself? The writing was fucking hard work. Don’t let anyone ever tell you different.
The thing is, despite having an agent, a couple of great publishers, and many friends who were also kicking ass in the publishing world, I started to flounder. I lost my drive, and the urge to do something else kept sweeping over me. Friends and family all thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to move on from writing, which made it even harder to do.
In the end, it wasn’t really a choice. I did choose to back away from my traditional publishers. I did choose to part ways with my agent. However, I did these things because I figured it was good time to try writing something different. I had a plan. I was going to take a year off, and write my “Nevada” story. A story that had been niggling at the back of my mind for a while. Only in that year, I didn’t write.
For whatever reason, I lost my way. Another year went by, and I was still sort of lost. I’d gone back to bartendeing, and was trying to write again, but I just couldn’t seem to focus. My health got worse, both physical and mental. Without going too deeply into everything, I’ll just say depression is a black hole that once you fall into, is very hard to get out of.
For the last three years I’ve been constantly trying to get back to my writing. Anti-depressants have helped. I started to feel like myself again, but it was still very hard to regain my focus on, well, on anything. I’ve been planning the Overwatch stories for almost 2 years, but I just couldn’t seem to write. About three months ago Emily Ryan-Davis and I started talking about doing a box set, since they were all the rage, and neither us had been invited to take part in any, we figured we’d put one together ourself.
Emily talked to Portia Da Costa, who I’ve known and loved for years, and the Mastered Box Set was born. We invited some of our favorite authors to join us and were thrilled when they said yes. This set came together with a line up of authors that are out of this world in the erotic romance genre.
Knowing that a deadline always motivated me nicely, I decided this was the perfect time to give myself a kick in the ass, and get the Overwatch series going. Now, here I sit, on Sunday afternoon, with Unfettered, the first Overwatch story, due to the editor tomorrow so it can be cleaned up in time to make it into the Box Set…and I’m only 5,000 words into what will be a 20,000 word story.
Am I writing the story? Uhmm, nope, I’m writing a blog post thats over 1k because I had a moment this morning where I realized I truly felt like a writer. Sitting in front of the computer and spilling words from my fingertips no longer feels like the worst part of the job. It’s still fucking hard work, but it feels like heaven because I’m actually doing it again. I’m not editing, or re-writing, or republishing….I’m writing. New words, new characters, new stories, and it feels great.
When I look back now, I think everything I’ve done has been in preparation for this. The world travel, the variety of jobs, the passion for being open to whatever opportunity arises has served me well. Even the past few years of struggle and feeling lost has served me well. It’s all helped me find my way to what I truly am. A writer.
PS: I will get those other 15k done in time, because the words are flowing from my fingertips again.
Three Secrets by New York Times and USA Today bestseller Opal Carew
Sharing secrets has never been so exhilarating…
Nicole and Abel met in Paris and fell in love, but Nicole believes her secret lifestyle will drive Abel away. After the vacation ends, she decides to take a chance and share her secret, but little does she know he has a secret of his own.
His Secret by International and UK Sunday Times bestseller Portia Da Costa
Ben Chambers is the perfect handsome boyfriend. Sarah adores him, yet despite their delicious lovemaking and the fun they share, she senses he has a secret. But then, during a luxury weekend away, one casual pat to her bottom transforms everything, revealing Ben’s thrilling hidden dominance, and a world of decadent pleasure and deeper love.
Remastered by Multi-Award-Winner Madelynne Ellis
A bad experience with a former girlfriend caused Spook Mortensen to repress his sexual urges, but when sound engineer Allegra Hutton is called upon to remaster Black Halo’s first album, there’s only so much attitude and stubborn refusal to listen to the bands’ wishes he can take before he’s forced to break his self-imposed vow and take her in hand.
Working Out by USA Today bestseller Marie Harte
When lust turns to love, who’s really on top?
An ex-Marine with a kink for dominance, Mac is Maggie’s boss. But Maggie doesn’t seem to realize he’s in charge…until he shows her that Sir is more than a title. It’s a lifestyle that could suit them both. That’s if Maggie sticks around long enough to wear his collar.
The Scientific Method by bestseller Joey Hill
Mastering her body was easy. Mastering her heart and soul will be an erotic science…
In the vampire-servant relationship, the vampire holds all the power. Being Lord Brian’s research assistant as well as his servant, Debra accepts that, but she craves her Master’s heart. When Brian notices his servant’s unhappiness, he uses methods they both understand to prove just what belonging to him fully means.
Juicy by bestseller T.J. Michaels
Twilight Teahouse ~ Choose something decadent from our menu…
Solie Shaw is a brilliant self-made woman. After managing a corporation by day, at night, all she wants is to not be in charge. The last man she’d gifted her heart to had smashed it to smithereens and then did the mambo on top of the pieces. Now, along comes the chance to get exactly what she needs. All Solie has to do…is choose.
No Limits by USA Today bestseller Kate Pearce
All bets are off when there are no limits…
Dr. Julia Reed deals with life or death situations at a California ER. When British businessman Alex Logan offers her a sexual bargain, she gets to share her darkest fantasies; he gets the power to carry them out. But who is the real winner in this high stakes game, and is Alex even playing fair?
Ink Reunited by USA Today bestseller Carrie Ann Ryan
Only two men can give Sassy the happily ever after she craves.
Rafe, Ian and Sassy loved each other…until it all blew apart. Now both men are back for the woman they love. It will take more than apologies for these three to overcome their history. But once they take that step, the streets of New Orleans will never be the same.
Unfettered: an Overwatch novella by Sasha White
You never forget your first love
Mechanic Ronnie Lang is tired of being “one of the guys“. Chasing the fantasy of finding a dominant male to help her explore her sexuality she applies to Overwatch, a private BDSM club where her eyes are opened to a world that’s more than she ever imagined, and the man she’s never forgotten.
Bondage on 34th Street by Emily Ryan-Davis & Jennifer Leeland
In knots over love
After years of searching, Tasha Sears finally finds the Master of her heart …on his knees in front of intimidatingly sexy bondage enthusiast Noah Dreyfuss. As sparks flare between the three, Noah’s ropes will either bind them together or pull them apart.
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If you’ve already got a ticket to AD14, and yore name is drawn, no fear, I’ll offer up an alternate prize of drinks with me, (and some special swag) and will draw another name until I get one who does not have a ticket already, and can make it. This way anyone can win.
Winners name will be chosen and announced THROUGH the newsletter on Friday May 30th so keep an eye open for the Newsletter. (If the first winner declines or cannot attend I will keep drawing until one can)
Other Authors After Dark Info.
Wednesday Night: Joey W. Hill and I will be hosting our Erotic Trivai Hour, which is one packed full hour of fun, prizes, and naughty laughs. Did Mention that the first 75 people int eh room will get a goody bag? Yes, and this is a bag you want. trust me on that!
I’ll be on three panels this year.
Anti-Heros (where I’ll spill special deets on my new upcoming series)
Romantic Suspense (where I’ll share whats up with Devon and Lexy from WICKED GAME)
and BDSM: Different Strokes (where who knows what we’ll talk about. *evil grin* )
Hope to see you all there!
Back in 2005 when New York publishers were just starting their erotic lines, my first novella for the Aphrodisia line was part of the Pure Sex Anthology. This anthology didn’t do super well in sales, and it would be easy to blame that on the title turning off romance readers or maybe the cover turned off readers (It was a pile of whipped cream with a cheery on top). No matter though. What was interesting is that even though they sales weren’t off the charts, those that did read it, gave the stories in it fabulous reviews. This thrilled me because my own story in it, The Crib, was one of my favourites.
The Crib featured a kick-ass female P.I. who wasn’t afraid to use her feminine wiles to get what she wanted. and in that particular story what she wanted was to find a killer. You see, I love to read thrillers and suspense, but I love to write erotic fiction, and I thought this story had both.
I recently got the rights back to it, and In prepping it for re-release, I once again fell in love with Lexy, Devon, and the whole idea of erotic suspense stories. Ideas for more stories started swimming through my head, and excitement thrummed through my blood. I LOVE getting excited about things.
With all these new ideas and excited whipping through me, I retiled it, and got in touch with the fabulous Frauke of Croco Designs. She made me an awesome cover for it, and I’m thrilled beyond words. This new title and look really does suit the story, and I hope it will encourage readers to jump in and enjoy.
Take a look at what’s releasing at the end of this month…
Family means everything to P.I. Alexis Signorino. After being orphaned at a young age she grew up running rampant between her uncles garage and the biker bar next to it. When bar owner Jimmy D, a man she thinks of as family, is charged with murder there’s nothing that can stop her from running to his rescue.
Going home isn’t easy, but she slides smoothly into the role of cocktail waitress in The Crib, and begins searching for the real murderer. When Devon Kaye strolls into the bar, not only does her libido kick into high gear, so do her instincts. There’s much more to the criminally hot biker than meets the eye. Her gut says the sexy mystery man isn’t the murderer, but he’s definitely hiding something.
The questions are piling up, and Lexy is determined to find the answers even if it means indulging in some sinful acts along the way.
Digital ISBN 978-0-9936590-6-5 * Print ISBN 978-0-9936590-8-9
“This is a raw and sensual story. Lexy is not your average heroine, and Devon is more than her match.” – Romantic Times BookClub
“[Wicked Game is] so smooth and compelling. Raw when it needs to be, romantic and sensual when it needs to be. I just enjoyed the story so much!” – USA Today Best Selling Author Julie Leto
A heady mixture of adrenaline and arousal coursed through my veins as I lifted the half-full snifter to my lips to sip at the creamy concoction. I’d been trying for hours to wrap my mind around the latest news I’d received. Jimmy D, a man I considered family, was a murder suspect. My temper had been simmering since I got off the phone, and I couldn’t seem to get a grip.
I’d learned that the only way for me to deal when that happened was to go in search of a physical release. A fight was one way to take the edge off my emotions and give me a chance to think again, but my sparring partner was out of town, so I had gone with option two.
Setting the drink down again, I swiped my tongue slowly across my top lip to catch anything left behind, and watched my companion’s eyes darken. A slow flush crept across his high cheekbones and he inched closer.
He was a good-looking guy. In a clean-cut boy next-door kind of way that made him look younger than he probably was. Not my usual type. However, I knew for a fact that looks could be deceiving. And the fact that he was hanging out in this bar, a known meet-market, told me that he wasn’t as naïve or innocent as he appeared.
Just like I wasn’t as frail or delicate as I appeared.
“What was your name again?” I tossed my hair over my shoulder and looked him up and down.
“Steve,” he answered.
“Are you horny, Steve?”
Now it was his neck that slowly turned red. I slipped my hand below the edge of the bar, leaned into him, and reaching between his legs, tested his size. His cock swelled beneath my fingers, and a satisfying feeling of power swept over me.
Men. They were so predictable.
“I think you’ve discovered the answer to that question yourself,” he spoke with confidence.
With a naughty smile I stroked him a few times through his trousers. That was all it took. He reached into his pocket and tossed a few bills on the bar for the tab. Stepping back, he took my now empty hand in his, and we exited the bar.
The night air was humid and the parking lot was dark, a couple of the lights along the roof of the building burnt out. I automatically scanned my surroundings, noticing dark corners and the proximity of potential danger zones. It was the perfect place for illicit activities.
God, I loved the rush of living-on-the-edge, of doing the unexpected.
Steve lead the way across the parking lot, with me following him, not saying a word. Instead, I focused on the way my heart raced, my pussy lips plumped, and my juices pooled between my thighs.
He hadn’t even touched me yet. The overeager reaction of my body was a clear sign I was doing the right thing. I needed this liberation from my tangled thoughts for just a short time.
Steve stopped next to a big shiny red pickup truck that was backed up against the building, and beeped the door unlocked.
“This is yours?”
“Yup.” He ushered me between the truck and the compact car parked next to it. “Where are you going?”
Instead of climbing into the truck like he’d expected, I continued to walk toward the building. With a quick glance I confirmed my suspicions. There was just enough room for what I had in mind.
Reaching into my bra I skipped over the small blade I kept nestled between my breasts, and pulled out the condom I’d tucked next to it earlier. I handed it to Steve, and then let down the tailgate of the truck.
Bending over the end of the truck, I planted my hands on the truck bed and spread my legs, feeling the cool air on my hot sex. I looked over my shoulder, quirked an eyebrow at the gaping man, and wiggled my tail.
“Here?” he croaked.
An eager grin spread across his expressive face and he couldn’t unzip his pants fast enough. Once I saw him rolling the condom onto his rigid hard-on, I turned away and looked out over the parking lot.
“Lexy, baby,” he said as he lifted my skirt and grabbed my hips. “You’re a fantasy come to life, aren’t you?”
“Don’t talk, Steve.” I arched my back and thrust back against his groin. Reaching between my legs with one hand I gripped his cock, guiding him to my entrance. “You’ll ruin the fantasy.”
An ecstatic groan echoed in the empty lot as he thrust deep. My eyelids dropped to half-mast and I fought to keep my head up, to keep my eyes on the other dark corners as my insides pulsed low and heavy. The thrill of the forbidden enhanced the fire burning through my veins. A moan slipped from me when the man behind me gripped my hips tighter, and pumped into me faster and harder. His rigid cock slid in and out, filling me and pulling away in delicious torture. Our panting breaths filled the silence in the dark night air and my insides started to clench. A mini spasm swept over me when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.
It was another couple, strolling into the parking lot, arms wrapped around each other. They hadn’t seen us yet and I doubted they would as they were heading for the other side of the lot. But just the chance that we might get caught had me striving for the orgasm already building inside me. I lifted a hand from the truck bed, reached between my thighs, and pinched my swollen clit.
A shudder racked my body, and I bit my lip to stifle my outcry as pleasure rolled over me in waves. My orgasm set off Steve’s and he bucked against me, groaning loud enough for the couple across the parking lot to turn in our direction before jumping into their car quickly.
Steve leaned over my back for a few seconds to catch his breath before pulling out. I used that time to catch my own breath and shake off any misplaced sense of shame.
I turned to Steve after pulling my skirt down, and patted him on the cheek softly. “Thanks. I needed that.”
“Can I get your number?” He called out as I walked away.
I didn’t bother to answer. The orgasm had cleared my head, and I knew what I had to do. I didn’t really want to go back to Edmonton, but I wasn’t about to stand by and lose another loved one when I could do something about it.
Most men think women use sex to get what they want, out of them, out of life. But I know different. I know that women are trained from childhood to believe that sex is something special, to be shared only with someone special. That it’s more than just an urge, or a natural high. I know that if women really used sex as a weapon, they’d be more dangerous.
They’d be more like me.