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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Giving Thanks

With Thanksgiving only a week away in the U. S., I've decided this month's post will be about what I am thankful for as far as writing goes.

I'm thankful I have a supportive family. My son and husband cheer me on all the way.

I'm thankful to be able to write, period. I take frequent breaks so I don't get too overwhelmed, but I'm happy I'm able to put pen to paper to begin with.

I’m thankful to have a peaceful location to write. Our apartment is small but it's cozy. No stress at all.

I'm thankful for Internet radio. I listen to trance, ambient, classical and Baroque music while I'm writing. It helps me to relax enough to get in "The Zone" and write. I know some people prefer dead silence but I have to have my beats.

I'm thankful I have some opportunities coming up soon for non-fiction writing.

I'm thankful for the free turkey we're getting from my husband's work. Where it fits in the fridge is beyond me, LOL.

I'm thankful for the good publishers I'm with that support my work (including NNP). I've had my share of duds, but the good ones make up for them.


Those are a few of the things I'm thankful for this year. I love this time of year. I spend it writing as well as baking, decorating, and listening to holiday music. It's cookie season so I'm baking gingersnaps to go with my coffee I drink while I write. May the rest of 2014 be good for me.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Importance of Self Care

First of all, apologies for being late. It's been a rough week for me health wise and, as such, I lost track of days.
And so that inspired my thought for this post. The importance of self care.
So many people are too busy with work, family, studying, and everything else, that they don't take the time to just stop and relax for a moment. We forget, in our need to do so much in such a short time frame, that we need to be able to pause and take a breath. We need to take stock of what we have, not just what we want, or need to do.
I'm most definitely guilty of focusing on what my family needs, and the stress has caught up to me this week and smacked me down. Hard. So I just want everyone to know, and start doing this one small thing every day: take 5 minutes, clear your mind, breathe and be grateful for what you have. Make time for yourself once in a while, relax and treat yourself. We're no good to anyone if we run ourselves ragged. We need to look after ourselves to be able to do our best in everything else we do.
So stop and take care of yourself. Do it! You'll thank me.

Monday, November 3, 2014

We All Have a Dark Side

Cassandre Dayne

Yes, everyone of us has a very dark side, one in which we need to venture into a heightened state of evil or kink. For some reason we all need to let loose, explore our inner sanctum and yet few of us allow the creatures who dwell within to breach the surface. For many, the concept of embracing a touch of raw evil is too all consuming. For the rest of us the thought is pure euphoria. 

I write in many genres and for those of you know know me realize I embrace all aspects of sex and kink. I'm also one who craves giving you a taste of madness, a moment where you're allowed into the rabbit hole few are ever invited into. In my writing I'm allowed to explore the type of dark terror the majority of us would run away from, screaming as though

the nightmares presented are real. Perhaps they are - if only in our minds.

What I've realized over the past few years is that I truly prefer to explore the evils of man, examine how basic normalcy moves into the sublime of murder and mayhem. When you add the paranormal aspect, whether we're talking vampires or werewolves, zombies or other creatures of the night, everything becomes more sensual, provocative. When I began combining my love of murder, serial killers, vampires and BDSM, for some reason readers truly embraced my personal dark side. I was able to give the worst of humans as well as the best of monsters and co-mingle them in a method that seemed to be a wild ride, one so many grabbed onto.

I had no idea where the Fire Trilogy would go. I had two characters in mind - my human cop who was very flawed and my Russian vampire, who longed for so many aspects of his past. I was very intrigued by attempting to bridge a curse with what had to be a heady dose of humanity. Throwing in aspects of BDSM and the reality of being a damaged soul proved to be a caustic but very powerful connection.

I fell in love with the characters and so did my readers. And so a new collection was born, one bringing you yet an even more intense side to the characters, showcasing their worst fears and tortured souls. ICE will take you much further into the depths of the characters, the reason they came to certain decisions. You'll be able to see the horrors in humans as well as a certain level of salvation within the monsters we so fear. 2015 will be the year of the vampire in ways you certainly can't imagine. A small taste...

ICE

In the days of the beginnings they knew no end. In the time before the Passing they celebrated life that held no bindings of man or beast. In the days of the kingdom they celebrated in life and in death, as they needed, until they were forced to ask for more…

MELTING ICE – DESTRUCTION

For Detective Jax Steele, his life serving the good people of Richmond Virginia was forever changed. Just coming to terms with his status as a recently turned vampire, he was faced with a series of brutal crimes instilling fear into the hearts of every human in the city. A monster lurked, one so heinous no one was safe from danger. Assigned to the case, he was partnered with a new detective, one who could never know he was now a creature of the night. The crimes centered around the city’s nightlife, including kink clubs and raves, he and his partner were forced to go undercover in an effort to hunt down the killer.

Master Vampire Aleksandr Vasiliev’s art business was thriving as well as his newly acquired club, one catering to those interested in all aspects of BDSM. Life was good, especially given his relationship with Jax. The Time of Passing concluded, he was relishing in a peace his kind rarely experienced. When a gruesome murder occurred in his club, he was drawn back into Jax’ world, forced to question whether another malevolent force was at work. Was the killer very human or a new brand of vampire, poised to take over? As the light of day intermingled with the stench of night, a cold wave washed over the city. Would there be anyone who could survive the destruction?

FRACTURED ICE – OBLIVION

Detective’s Jax Steele and Tyrone Walker had developed a close relationship working the gritty streets of Richmond Virginia, having solved various crimes against man and nature. What Ty would never know is that Jax was a vampire, serving both humans and creatures of the night. After being assigned to a series of kidnappings and murders, sons of prominent leaders within the community, they were taunted by shocking videos depicting the horrendous crimes. The only connection shared between every victim? A man of God. After receiving a viable tip, one both knew would lead to an indictment of the suspect, suddenly they ran against a brick wall. All communication stopped cold.

The case falling on ice, both detectives became frustrated, unable to find any additional leads. A single phone call captured, Ty began an investigation of his own, one that led him to face his darkest desires. As he traveled down a rabbit hole of knowledge, his past began to unravel, yet he was drawn into the light – a step that could lead him into oblivion. As Jax grasped the realization there was a ruse involving well-known citizens, he was forced to enlist the help of his lover, Aleksandr. Together they bridged the world of darkness, following a trail of death, but at what cost – what price would they pay for the truth?

CRUSHED ICE – REVELATION

A curse shall be reborn…

Nightmares plagued Detective Jax Steele, scenes of violence so unnerving he questioned his very sanity. Having difficulty coping as a vampire, he refused to feed, preferring to live life as a human. His work slipping, he was placed on a leave of absence, something he couldn’t afford. As a series of taunting notes began, ones drawing him back into the world of Edge Play, he found the attraction too difficult to resist.

There was no way to describe the agony Aleksandr Vasiliev was experiencing, no understanding of the reason why – except a knowing in his gut. His existence as a vampire challenged, including his life with Detective Jax Steele, he was being forced to make a choice. His past was forever comingled with Jax and a new dawn was coming, one where his ancestors wanted to take the lead, possibly destroy all he’d come to enjoy.


Both vampires faced the toughest task of their existence, one that could cost them immortality as well as the lives of all they cared about. In a race against time, they were enticed by a single promise and by the power behind the ancient curse, one they thought extinct. Floored by the revelation, they were empowered to fight against the blood of their own, a battle to the bitter end. Would either vampire survive the apocalypse of souls?

I hope you enjoyed. Soon the curse will be revealed...

Kisses and Spanks...

Cassandre

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Romantic Horror Films Just In Time For Halloween


Elizabeth Black writes erotic romance, dark fiction, fantasy, and horror. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and four cats.

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Halloween is just around the corner. It's my favorite holiday. Although it's also Samhain, a holy day for wiccans, the secular world has enjoyed the holiday. I've already decorated the house. Two snow globes, one with a bat and one with a black cat. My "Halloween" movie snow globe depicting Laurie on the floor in front of the couch with Michael Myers looming nearby brandishing a knife. My "Fargo" car crash scene snow globe. A spooky oven mitt. Cute Halloween-themed dish towels. A ceramic pumpkin with a battery-powered light that flickers like candlelight.

I love Halloween.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of horror films. After all, I write horror as well as erotic romance. There are lots of dreadful horror films out there, but there are also some gems. Since I write romances, I looked for romantic horror films. There are quite  few out there. Here are six:

Let The Right One In – This disturbing yet fascinating Swedish movie depicts the strong friendship between children Oskar and Eli, who happens to be a vampire. It's one of the best of the modern horror films made after the year 2,000. The remake is good, but the original is better.

The Mummy (Hammer Films version) – I'm a sucker for Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Cushing is my favorite actor. This one a classic tale of love lost. Kharis wants the Princess Ananka all to himself. When he is caught trying to bring her back to life after her untimely death, he is wrapped in gauze and sentenced to guard her through eternity after being entombed within a wall. When archeologists discover the tomb, the mummy emerges to defend his love. An added wrinkle is that the wife of one of the archeologists is a dead ringer for Ananka. You can guess where this is leading. There are many versions of this story – including the Boris Karloff original which rocks – but this one is my favorite.

Ghost – Wet clay. Pottery. A spinning wheel. Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore wrapped in each other while "Unchained Melody" plays in the background. This is one of the most famous erotically-charged romantic scenes in movies. This very romantic ghost story is a great mix of action, the supernatural, comedy, and romance.

Warm Bodies – This is an unusual one and a good one. It's also a twist on the usual, tired zombie theme that bores the hell out of me now. The story is about a zombie who slowly regains his humanity with the help of a woman. It's loosely based on "Romeo and Juliet".

Dead Alive (Braindead) – When I first started dating my husband, I made him watch this movie, telling him if he couldn't sit through it we weren't meant to be together. Directed by Peter Jackson long before "Lord Of The Rings", it is a blood-splattered laugh riot. According to a gypsy reading, Lionel and Paquita are meant to be together, but circumstances keep tearing them apart. This Australian gem is loads of fun.

Fright Night – What if your next door neighbor was a vampire who was horning in on your girlfriend AND your mother? Watch the original with the fantastic Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, the vampire hunter. David Tennant does a great job in the remake, but the remake doesn’t hold a candle to the original.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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Where To Find Elizabeth Black On The Web:

Elizabeth Black - Blog and Web Site

Elizabeth Black - Facebook

Elizabeth Black - Twitter


Monday, October 20, 2014

Why Historical? (Giveaway!) #RomFantasy

I’ve been asked that question a few times, and I suppose it always comes back to the same thing. I grew up watching a lot of Westerns, and it’s where my interest in storytelling came from. My first heroes were Paladin, the Cisco Kid, Zorro, all shows with their core characters based on western themes. The first story I ever sold as a pro author was a Western, and it’s still available, though under a different title and with a tighter edit than when it first appeared. My debut with Naughty Nights Press was a genre familiar to me, but new to the house–and yeah, it’s a Western! And, in fact, my next story is going to be the same genre, it’s called Parlour Photography. It’s got a sexy theme, and should be a ton of fun to write.

We all have things within us that resonate creatively. I wrote a lot of paranormal for a few years. I like it, but when I am at a loss and want to find inspiration to revive my enthusiasm for the written word, I always end up back in the Old West. The possibilities for stories is endless to me. I think the heroes are certainly more straightforward, though they are no less complex than those in contemporary. There is a grace to the era in some settings that enchants readers and keeps them coming back.

For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, this is a look at the debut of a genre for NNP, and my latest venture into Post Civil War America. Enjoy a taste of Champagne and Chocolate, and enter the giveaway I’m running for the next 10 days, the prize is a very cool multiple holiday themed package of goodies.


Indulge in a wickedly seductive taste of CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE:


ARe Romance  •  Smashwords  •  Publisher  •  Barnes & Noble  •  Amazon

From different worlds, drawn by desire, passion is about to change their lives forever....

Austin Standish is a man of refined tastes. Intelligent and educated, Austin enjoys all of the best life has to offer. A gambler, a gunslinger, and a man who has plans to taste the sweetest prize at The Palace Casino and Saloon - the lovely owner, Chantille L'Amour, the most sought after jewel on the Barbary Coast.


Running a high-class brothel and casino isn't exactly the life she was born to but Chantille is determined to overcome the ruin her family was left in once the Civil War ended. But, she has chosen a difficult path... one that demands much and leaves her lonely. She's noticed the handsome man who comes into her world from time to time, and when she chooses to give in to desire, the passion evoked by Austin's touch may change her life forever....



Excerpt:


As she led him to the private wing of the large building that housed her home and business, Chantille had time to question the wisdom of her actions—again. She'd been berating herself for most of the past thirty minutes. Austin Standish was a danger to her; she knew this on an instinctive level. Not that he would hurt her, of course. But, he was dangerous, just the same.

She was acutely aware of every panther-like, lissome step he took behind her. He was elegant in manner and dress, quietly contained but always alert. The sense of being in perilous company assailed her with new severity. She opened the twin doors to her living suite and went inside, hearing him close the doors behind him before joining him.

She continued into the room, uncomfortable as she chafed against the restraints of her heavy dress and the many layers beneath it. She'd permitted a few select men into this suite over the past five years, but none had ever made her so acutely aware of herself and the desire to shed her clothes and feel solid muscles and male hardness pressed to her warm curves. Her breasts felt heavy, and her nipples strained against the fabric of her chemise, rubbing against the soft material until the pebbled points ached. Between her thighs, a slow, steady throb began to increase in rhythm, finding a matching tempo in her heartbeat.

The soft illumination from the fireplace touched the wood that dominated the room's furnishings, warming the smooth, lustrous finish as shadows danced on the walls and glimmered in the reflections of the mirror that adorned one wall of the room. She saw nothing, only the darkness that had grown around her so steadily throughout the past half-hour, a darkness that touched her with fears she couldn't clearly define, much less explain.

Watching the play of light catch in the soft gold of his hair, Chantille was struck again by the intuitive knowledge that dominated the man's handsome features. Barely suppressed sensuality and anticipation were so strong in the shadowed intimacy of the suite that she felt she could reach out and touch the things that presently put them on opposite sides of a chasm she didn't know with certainty she wanted to close. The only thing she did know was that she wanted to be with him more than she had any man she'd ever met.

"Tell me what you're feeling right now, Chantille."

"Angry."

"At me?"

"No," she whispered, then shook her head to deny her dishonesty. "Yes."

"Why?"

"I don't like being vulnerable."

* * * * *

For the first time, Chantille looked right at him, and Austin could read all the uncertainty he hadn't taken the time to notice before. He answered her honestly, unwilling to do anything less.

"Being vulnerable isn't always a bad thing, Chantille. Sometimes it makes you stronger."

"I don't believe that, and you certainly don't." The edge crept back into her tone. "I feel like I did when I was a child, needing to be wanted. When I came to San Francisco, I swore I'd never feel that way again."

Austin drew in a deep draught of air and ran a hand through his hair.

"You don't have to be afraid of anything, Chantille." He knew the words were weak, and he could have kicked himself for them once they were spoken.

She actually managed to smile at the statement, though there was no warmth in the expression.

"Weak women hold no appeal for men like you, Mr. Standish," she remarked.

"Is that what you want? To appeal to me?"

She laughed, a low murmur of sound that stirred the air between them.

"I want to share my bed with you, Austin," she conceded. "What I don't want is for it to cost me everything I've worked for."

"What are you afraid of losing?"

"My independence."

"Your heart."

"Don't be ridiculous."

"Don't lie to me, or to yourself."

Chantille met his eyes as if she were trying to pierce the shadows that surrounded them, to see what lay hidden behind that confident stare. When nothing shone forth, she closed her eyes.

Austin let the silence engulf them again for a long minute, then he closed the distance, touched her chin, and made her face him. His thumb brushed at the tear welled in the corner of her eye.

"I do want you," she murmured, voice raw with the force of her feelings.

The loneliness and the need for reassurance was almost a physical presence in the room with them, and Austin was forced to wonder just how long it had been since Chantille L'Amour had uttered those words to any man. If she ever had.

"I want you, too, Chantille."

Austin's whispered words were like a soft breath of air touching her face as he leaned forward to cover her lips with a tender kiss. She moved into the caress with a soft gasp, and her knees seemed to buckle as Austin's tongue slipped into her mouth with possessive hunger.

Chantille broke the intense kiss, and her head fell back as a sigh of relief and pleasure slipped out of her. She wrapped her arms around Austin's neck, then buried her face against his broad shoulder as she shivered into the sensations they were igniting in each other. She smiled at the slight catch already detectable in Austin's breathing, then shuddered when his hands began to work the buttons of her gown.

Suddenly, she eased free of his embrace and took a step back. He watched, eyes narrowed for a moment as he waited to see why she'd withdrawn. The wariness left his gaze a few seconds later when she lit another lamp and stood next to it.

The soft golden glow of the flickering lamplight illuminated the deft movements of her hands as she undid the buttons and hooks that held her gown together. Austin smiled and went to sit in a chair near the fireplace, his eyes never leaving her. The beautiful amethyst silk crumpled into a heap at her feet, and she gracefully stepped free of the shimmering mass. Next, the petticoats and crinolines fell into a crisp white pile, and she smiled, her expression faintly wicked with delight. He forced himself to remain still while she undid the hooks of her corset, her actions slow and deliberate. Her eyes never lost their hold on his, and she walked toward him, hips swaying seductively.

When she was standing directly in front of him, Austin smiled up at her. His look dropped, and his eyes locked on the thrusting peaks of her breasts, mere inches from his lips, nipples a soft shadow against the white of her chemise. She bent slightly and cupped his face in her hands as she leaned into a slow, exploring kiss. Austin's arms went around her, and he lifted her off her feet and sat her astride his thighs as he settled deeper into the armchair. The kiss went on forever and grew more intense with each tiny stroke of tongue they exchanged. When he thought he'd die for want of air, she drew away again and met his gaze.

Austin's smile became a grin when Chantille slipped the straps of her chemise off her shoulders, then tugged on the front of the thin garment. She peeled the material away from her skin, offering lush ivory breasts to him. He was only vaguely surprised when she took his hands, and kissed each palm before placing his eager fingers over the smooth swells of her flesh. She placed her own hands on his shoulders and slid closer to him, her thighs gliding against his.

She turned as she pushed closer, and her breath hissed from between her teeth when he licked slowly at the ripe nipple she'd all but guided to his lips. She kissed his temple and pressed against him until he took the hard point into his mouth and began to suckle. He repeated the erotic play, first lavishing attention to one nipple, then the other, encouraged by the soft moans that escaped Chantille as she rocked gently in his lap.

"Austin…."

"Mmm?"

"Let me up?"

He leaned back in the chair and released her, curiosity holding his lust at bay for the moment.

She slid back, laughed shakily when her knees wobbled, then she walked a few steps from him. The light trailed her, seemed to be drawn to her within the room, and he watched with renewed fascination as she finished opening the chemise and tossed it aside.

She locked her gaze with his again for an instant, then smiled when his eyes followed the motion of her hands...

ARe Romance  •  Smashwords  •  Publisher  •  Barnes & Noble  •  Amazon


Denyse
"Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy..."
** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2013 **