Monday, February 25, 2008

Tempted by Megan Hart

So, I received my copy of Tempted by Megan Hart last week as the prize for winning the Erotic Woman's Tempted Competition. I started it on Saturday and finished it on Sunday. It isn't short, over 400 pages, making it the longest erotic novel I've read to date. It was very good - I was really surprised by how much actual story there was. Sure, there was plenty of sex, and it was explicit and hot. But, the story was interesting and the characters had lots going on outside the bedroom as well. I was a bit disappointed in the ending, it definitely didn't end how I had expected it to - but, I think the ending was very realistic given the characters and the scenario of the story.

I'd definitely recommend it for anyone who likes the genre and will be keeping my eye out for more by Megan Hart in the future.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Keyboard Shortcuts

My Thursday Thirteen...

13 Keyboard Shortcuts I Couldn't Live Without

1 - ctrl+end (takes you to the very end of the page/doc)
2 - ctrl+home (takes you to the very top of the page/doc)
3 - ctrl+s (saves)
4 - alt+tab (toggles between programs)
5 - ctrl+t (opens a new tab in browser)
6 - ctrl+tab (toggles between tabs in browser)
7 - ctrl+x, ctrl+c, ctrl+v (cut, copy, paste)
8 - F5 (refreshes a page)
9 - F2 (accesses editing function for file names or cells in excel)
10 - windows logo+m (minimizes all windows)
11 - ctrl+a (select all)
12 - ctrl+z (undo)
13 - ctrl+f (find)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in other's comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave your link in a comment, and I'll link back to you here:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Things to Avoid in Italy

Ran across this today at Profoundly Shallow and wanted to share!!

Things to Avoid in Italy

Originally Posted By: MaggieMc - 15 Feb 2006 (from the Lonely Planet site)

Crossing the road

Look both ways. Pedestrian crossings are there for decoration or as a perverse form of population control. In order to cross the road before next Christmas, one must make a "leap of faith". Ironically, this is most unnerving near the Vatican

Wearing tracksuit pants

Casual is not cool. Even in the smallest village, the locals will glare with the condescension Italians spend a lifetime perfecting. These people get Armani to design the caribinieri uniforms. They are serious about fashion.

Criticising an Italian man's mother

Don't diss mamma. To him, she is the Virgin Mary and after a lifetime of cooking, cleaning, pampering, petting and mollycoddling them, they are rendered completely useless.

Going to a nightclub solo

Girls, Italian courtship is akin to watching a nature documentary; you are their prey and chances of survival reduce dramatically when unguarded. Female tourists are fresh meat: they smell you long before you come into view and you smell good.

Ordering a "latte"

It might work in Starbucks but in Italy you'll get a smirk and a glass of lukewarm milk. Best not to delve into the chai tea, caramel infused or decaf skinny varieties. Here, coffee can be black/white, short/long but always strong and good.

Forgetting the Romans

Italians believe they are directly descended from Caesar and Augustus. Some men around the Coliseum will even don togas to prove the point. All roads lead to Rome but no emergency exits when confronted with a grown, hairy man wrapped in only a sheet.

Criticising Italian cuisine

Don't joke that spaghetti is just noodles with tickets on itself. Marco Polo, aside from being the world's most popular swimming pool game, brought it back from Asia along with garlic and chilli, the staples of Italian cuisine. A sore point.

Asking for "a plate of penne pasta"

Americans, in a homespun accent "penne" sounds like "peni" to Italians, and you'll be asking for "penises". May put you in a spot of bother with a red-blooded Italian waiter. He'll assume it's a come-on and who knows what you'll get on your plate.

Mentioning the mafia

Use the "m" word in a cafe, guys will drop their espressos, the chick behind the counter will burn the foccacia and Godfather music will begin to play.

Asking for the vegetarian option

Vegetarians, Vegans, fruitarians and gluten intolerants, cancel flight now! This is the country that has one gastronomic mantra: "carb up!" Welcome to the wonderful world of the omelette.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Busy, Busy

So, it's been a pretty busy couple of days. I'm working on two short stories to submit at the end of this month. One for the Loose Id March Madness contest and the other for the Torquere Press Love Bites Anthology. I've got a pretty good sense for what I want to happen with both stories, and a couple thousand words written on both. I'm getting down to the wire to get them done and off to beta/edit before the deadline. I'd like to have a draft of both ready to go by the end of this week, which is definitely do-able.

That's it for now, I'm off to write...


Friday, February 15, 2008

Picture Prompted Flash #2

This week's picture was too good not to include (see above). Below is the flash story I wrote in response.

Lake House
(598 words)

I crept silently down the dock that led out onto the lake. It was dark and the only light was the glow of the full moon overhead. The summer evening was warm with just the slightest breeze in the air. The perfect evening for a midnight swim.

I sat down on the end of the dock to take off my shoes and socks. I pulled my t-shirt over my head and dropped it on top of my shoes. I sat there a moment longer, enjoying the solitude. I heard the familiar sounds of crickets and frogs, of the water lapping against the posts of the dock beneath me. I stood and began unbuttoning my denim shorts but paused at the sound of water splashing.

I turned my gaze out to the lake and stared intently, trying to locate the source of the sound. In the gleam of the moonlight I saw a pale hand raise out of the water and next to it a smiling face. My breath caught in my throat, fear filling me. Was it a ghost? I stood still, unable to move. The hand lifted from the water again and this time I saw a foot kick lightly against the surface of the water.

I watched as the figure began to drift toward the dock, using arms and legs to direct her travel in my direction. I took a step back away from the edge of the dock and was leaning down to grab my shirt and shoes when I heard a familiar voice.

"Wait," she said.

I looked quickly back to the water and this time recognized the beautiful face of Rose. Her family owned the cabin next to ours and like us, they spent their summers here at the lake. She was treading water several feet away from the dock and the thin white gown she wore clung to her curves. I watched as her breasts bobbed in the water with her movement.

"Hey," I said, standing up and taking a step back toward the edge of the dock. She smiled up at me.

"Didn't you come out here to swim?"

"Yeah, I'd planned on it. I didn't think anyone else would be out here."

"My family's leaving tomorrow to go back home," she said sadly.

"Oh," I said. I wasn't sure why she was telling me this.

"I thought maybe you'd come swim with me, since it's my last night here."

"Oh, sure," I said lamely, still standing on the dock not really understanding.

"I wanted to tell you good-bye," she said, face down toward the water.

I looked at her and when she glanced up at me, I finally saw what I had been missing all summer. She wanted me.

We stared at each other for a few moments and then she cocked her head at me in question. In answer, I slowly slipped into the lake and treaded water a few feet away from her. She floated toward me, her creamy skin almost glowing in the moonlight. She reached out and placed her hands on my shoulders, her breasts brushing against my chest. I leaned forward and kissed her hesitantly on her lips. She responded with enthusiasm and soon I was pulling her against me, our legs rubbing together as we continued to tread water.

We stayed out all night, talking and swimming and saying good-bye.

Her family packed up and left the next day and my family left a few weeks later. The next summer I found out Rose's family had sold their house. I never saw her again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Free Reads

Once again this year, Romance Divas has organized the 2008 E-Book Challenge.

What the heck is the E-Book Challenge?

The E-book challenge is a network of authors who will be linked together. They have writen a story of their heart to share to the world for FREE. There are no limits. There are no word counts.
See the list of authors who participated with links to their free stories here and enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's FFC Listing

The complete list of participating stories for the Valentine's Flash Fiction Carnival has been posted. Check out the list here to view all the submitted stories on the topic of Love.


Thursday Thirteen - Valentine's

A Valentine's Day edition of Thursday Thirteen...

13 gifts I've received from boyfriends/lovers
(many, but not all, for Valentine's Day)

1 - a dozen sunset roses
2 - a painted wooden fish
3 - a fancy dinner
4 - a diamond bracelet
5 - haiku
6 - a white fluffy rabbit
7 - duct tape
8 - a bottle of tequila
9 - a couples massage
10 - two dozen red roses
11 - a sapphire ring
12 - a weekend at the beach
13 - a rat terrier puppy
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in other's comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave your link in a comment, and I'll link back to you here:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Erotic Poetry Contest

Oysters and Chocolate is still accepting entries for their 2008 Erotic Poetry Contest. The deadline was originally Jan. 15th with winners to be announced Feb. 1st. Then the deadline was moved to Feb. 15th. I just checked today and the deadline is now pushed back to Feb. 21st. They say they will still announce winners on March 1st. I sent my entry in back in early January, so I'm still just waiting. But, if you have some erotic poetry lying about, you might want to send it in. O&C says they've received less than 12 entries and they're giving prizes to the top 3, so that's pretty good odds. This is the first time I've submitted poetry anywhere so I'm anxious to find out the results.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Valentine's Short...

Alice's eyes widened from behind the counter as the courier entered, shielded behind a cascade of vibrant roses. They had to be for Emily. Her latest boyfriend was always showering her with gifts, and Valentine's day was coming up this week.

Alice smiled as the man approached and set the vase on the counter. She could smell the rich scent of the bouquet and she leaned forward to breathe it in. The heady perfume filled her head as she admired the blooms. They were yellow and orange by the stems and then faded to deep red and pink on the tips of the petals.

The man looked at the card and then at her, "Is Alice here?"

"I'm Alice," she stammered.

"These are for you," he said.


He smiled at her, "Somebody must think you're pretty special."

"Yeah," she said absently. She couldn't take her eyes off the flowers. She reached for the card and began to open it as the man turned to leave.

"Have a good day," she called to him. He smiled and waved as he walked out of the shop.

The card read, "143."

A cryptic message, but she knew the flowers had to be from Josh. They'd been dating for several months now and were starting to get serious. But, he wasn't usually the romantic type. She picked up the phone by the register and dialed his cell.

"Hey," he answered.

"Hey. I'm at work and you won't believe what's on the counter," she said, the smile on her face coming through in her voice.

"Oh yeah. What's on the counter?" he asked, obviously playing along with her game.

"A dozen of the most beautiful roses I've ever seen." Alice's voice was positively giddy.

"You like them?" he asked.

"Of course I do. They're gorgeous."

"They're sunset roses," he stated proudly.

"That's exactly what they look like! They've got shades of yellow and orange and red."

"I'm glad you like them."

"Oh, I do. Thank you. I forgot to say it earlier, but thanks. I can't believe you sent me flowers."

"Well, it is Valentine's this week."

"True," she said.

"Are you coming over after work?" he asked.

"Yes, I'd like to."

"That'd be great. I've got to get a few more things done at the office this afternoon, but I'll see you there tonight."

"That sounds good," she said.

"Okay, bye."


Alice hung up the phone and glanced at the clock. It was three thirty. Emily was scheduled to work at four and then Alice could leave at five. Maybe she'd scoot out a little early today if they weren't busy.

She looked down at the card in her hand and realized she had forgotten to ask what one-four-three meant. Unfortunately she needed to get back to work so she resisted the urge to call Josh back. She'd just have to be patient and wait till tonight. Five o'clock couldn't come fast enough.

Emily ooh'ed and ahh'ed over the flowers when she arrived and agreed that they were the most beautiful roses she'd ever seen. Alice watched the clock tick by slowly until four forty-five when she asked Emily if she could leave just a little bit early today. Emily smiled and told her she didn't mind in the least.

Alice decided to leave the flowers at work since she would be back the next morning. Besides, she liked displaying them where people could comment and ask her who they were from. She didn't get that sort of attention often, and wanted to enjoy the sudden adoration Josh had lavished on her. She pulled one stem out of the vase and took it with her as she walked out of the store. She sniffed the flower on the way to her car, inhaling it's rich scent. She smiled as she thought of Josh talking with the florist, taking the time to pick out something special and not just going with the standard red roses.

She left work and drove straight to Josh's apartment. He answered the door with an expectant grin.

Alice leaned in and kissed him firmly on the mouth. Josh pulled her to him and inside the apartment, closing the door behind them. Her hands were on his shoulders, holding him close to her. He leaned her against the back of the door as their kiss deepened. This heat had been between them from the beginning, and the strength of it still amazed them both.

When they broke from the kiss, Alice leaned her head back against the door. Her mouth was curved in a satisfied smile and her cheeks were flushed. She still had the single rose in one hand and she lifted it to run the bloom down her cheek. Her eyes closed and a sigh left her lips at the feel of velvety softness against her skin.

Josh took the rose from her and taking her hand in his, led her down the short hallway to his bedroom. Their eyes stayed locked one another as they slowly undressed. Alice laid back on the bed and Josh moved to lay beside her, the rose in his hand. He leaned over her and skimmed the petals along he r body. He traced the curve of her neck and collarbone before running it between the mounds of her breasts. He continued teasing her with feather caresses until Alice was writhing on the bed. He set the flower aside and began to move on top of her.

As he looked down at her she gave him a quizzical look and whispered, "I forgot to ask earlier, but what does one-four-three mean?"

Josh smiled as he replied, "It's the number of letters in each of the words."

Alice cocked her head at him.

"I love you," Josh murmured.

Understanding dawned on Alice's face, but before she could voice her amazement, he captured her mouth in an ardent kiss.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Accepted at Ruthie's Club

This just in...
As to the three Flash stories, they are (in relation to our extremely high Flash standards at Ruthie's Club) not bad but not great. However, I think we should accept them on trust, because your style is crisp and neat, and because I have a hunch that you will take a step up or two once you find your way in our Flash community.

By way of criticism, there is not enough happening in any of the three submissions, especially Wedding Night. Really high class Flash packs much more of a story into 300 words. We should be getting motive, and character development, and strong hints of stories past and future. The best Flash is not a snapshot. It is a complete, fully-rounded and fully-developed story, artfully truncated.

My partner will be in touch about our further requirements and your benefits. When you get into the site, go straight to the (very large) Flash section and dig around. You'll soon see what I'm talking about.

Yay!! This is my first acceptance to a paying gig! I really appreciate the honest feedback I received from them and hope to incorporate these points in the future to improve my flash stories! I'm waiting to hear back about my "further requirements and benefits", but I'm very excited to have been accepted. Ruthie's Club is a subscription site, so I may not be able to provide direct links to my published work there.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

February FFC Listing

The complete listing of participating stories for the February Flash Fiction Carnival has been posted. Check out the list here to view all the submitted stories on the topic of Cowardice.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Picture Prompted Flash #1

Picture prompted flash writing is one of the exercises we do on the Writer's Retreat. We take turns posting a picture and everyone writes a flash piece in response (500 word limit). Here's my piece for this week. The picture is hard to explain (and I'm not going to post it here for copyright reasons) but it doesn't play a huge role in the piece anyway.

Sleeping Over
(Word count: 499)

"Wake up, sleepyhead."

Gloria's eyes fluttered open as she slowly began to wake up. She was stretched out on the black leather sofa, her head resting on Bryan's lap. She glanced at the TV and saw a man with arms raised toward a cloud-filled sky.

"Who is that?" she asked in confusion.

"You've missed too much for me to explain it, we'll rent the movie again another time." Bryan smiled down at her.

"Sorry I fell asleep," she said. "It's been a really long week."

"It's not a big deal. I could tell you were tired, you barely made it through the first half hour." Bryan ran his hands through her hair as he spoke.

Gloria yawned and nodded.

"You going to drive home, or do you want to stay here?" Bryan asked her.

"I was planning to go home, I don't have a change of clothes with me," she told him.

"I'm not sure you should drive home. You can barely keep your eyes open."

"True. You don't mind me crashing here?" she asked.

"Of course not. Come on, we'll get you settled upstairs."

Gloria sat up and took Bryan's offered hand. He led her upstairs and into a small guest room. He turned on the lamp on the nightstand and pulled back the covers.

"Could I borrow a t-shirt to sleep in?" she asked.

"Sure, be right back," Bryan told her.

Gloria sat down on the edge of the bed and removed her shoes. Bryan returned and handed her a shirt. He leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on her forehead.

"Goodnight, sleepy head. I'm right across the hall if you need anything."

"You're being such a gentleman," Gloria pointed out.

He smiled at her. "What did you expect? You're exhausted and you've never stayed here before."

"True," she smiled back at him. "Good night."

"Night," he said again, and left the room.

Gloria quickly undressed and pulled the borrowed t-shirt over her head. It was one she recognized, one that Bryan wore frequently. It was soft and worn and smelled of him. She crawled between the sheets and turned off the lamp.

She laid there for a while trying to get back to sleep, but it seemed she was no longer tired. Maybe it was being in a new place, or the smell of Bryan from the shirt, or knowing that he was just across the hall from her in his own bed. She stayed in bed for a while longer, staring at the ceiling and letting her mind wander. She finally realized that her mind kept wandering back to the same thing. She wanted to be in the bed across the hall. She finally gave up and with a sigh, threw back the covers and got out of bed.

She stepped quietly across the hall and stood silently outside his door. After a moment she heard the sounds of movement from inside the room. She lifted her hand and knocked lightly on the door.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Fruit

My First Thursday Thirteen...

Here are 13 fruits and what I think about them.

1. Bananas - love them
2. Rasberries - ick
3. Strawberries - good most of the time
4. Cantaloupe - really like it, as long as it's ripe
5. Grapes - good, especially if they're seedless
6. Apples - yum, yum (Gala are my favorite)
7. Tomatoes - like them cooked in stuff (and yes a tomato is a fruit)
8. Grapefruit - I'm a big fan
9. Kiwi - I could do without most of the time
10. Oranges - usually I like, but I really love orange juice
11. Watermelon - one of my favorite summer treats
12. Papaya - I've actually never tried it
13. Starfruit - tasty, but also big points for presentation

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in other's comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave your link in a comment, and I'll link back to you here:
Gwen Mitchell's TT

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

FFC - Cowardice

A friend of mine recently told me about Flash Fiction Carnival. This month's topic is "cowardice" and below is my flash piece. I really didn't like the topic, and had a hard time coming up with something. I figured that in these cases it would be best to try to work on a particular skill. So, I tried to focus on characterization and voice in this piece.

A Tough Decision

"I am not being a coward." Susanna thought that if she just kept telling herself that, maybe eventually she would come to believe it.

She had known that sleeping with Bobby would be a mistake. But, she loved him and he had told her he loved her too. It was easy to look into those deep brown eyes of his and believe him. It probably didn't hurt that she had wanted to believe him. Had wanted him to love her. And once his hands had started to creep under her skirt, she hadn't wanted him to stop either.

But, once again, her mama was right. Good girls don't go parking with boys, just like good girls don't wear short skirts. But she had gone parking with Bobby, wearing a skirt that was too short. She had proven she was not a good girl. And now, she was paying the price.

Susanna spent the first month in denial, certain that there was some other explanation for her missed period. But, after the second month she knew she had to find out for sure.

She borrowed the car and drove 45 minutes away to go to a Wal-Mart where nobody would recognize her. She bought the test and then snuck into the store's bathroom. She wanted to leave all evidence behind where it could not be traced back to her.

This plan had made complete sense to her until she looked down at her fate in the form of an x on a stick. Then she didn't want to be sitting on the toilet in the Wal-Mart. And she didn't want to be alone. She wanted to be held by her mama or even Bobby. She wanted somebody to tell her it was all going to be okay. But, nobody had done that.

She told Bobby, although now she wished she hadn't. He got mad and angry. He didn't want to believe she was pregnant at first, then didn't want to believe it was his. She finally begged him just not to tell anybody. She didn't want anything from him but for him to not tell anyone.

She thought about telling her parents. But she knew mama would never forgive her and she couldn't stand to think of what daddy's face would look like when he found out she really wasn't his 'perfect little angel'.

So, she was taking the only other option she saw available to her. She was leaving. Susanna looked down at the small duffel bag between her feet. It held everything that mattered to her. Everything that she thought she couldn't live without. It wasn't much. Some clothes, her diary, a few family pictures. She had some money saved up from working last summer at the supermarket.

She had a one way ticket on a Greyhound bus going to Birmingham. She wasn't sure what she'd do when she got there. But, she'd figure out something. She was smart, capable.

She just had to get out of town before she started showing and everybody learned what had happened. Better to disappear than to stick around and face the shame.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tempted Competition

This just in...

...from The Erotic! You are one of two winners in January's Tempted Competition. We had more than 50 entries so there was tough competition, but we especially loved how you closed out your Dear Diary entry (with your husband coming home), that was a very strong finish and exactly the type of thing we were looking for.

Your entry is currently on feature within the Competition section of the main menu, and the winners announcement is also leading the latest features.


You can view my winning entry here.

Prompted Flash

Every now and then I'll write flash prose based off provided prompts. (I usually don't write erotica for these, but rather use them as an exercise to try something different.) Here's one from the Writer's Retreat.

You are a middle-aged woman. You are dressed all in black. You are walking in New York's Central Park. It's night. Who are you, and what are you doing? (300 word limit)

My response:
(300 words)

Janet walked silently through the park. It was a crisp fall afternoon. The wind was calm and the air was cool, but not cold. There were people strolling around, families picnicking, children playing. It all went by in a blur around her. She had been surrounded by people for so long and all she wanted was to walk in silence. To not be forced to smile or nod, not to pretend to be okay. She just wanted to breathe in the air and take in the freedom of space.

She walked on and on. She had no particular destination in mind, no goal; she just wanted to keep moving. If she could have walked to the end of the earth, she would have. But there was no escape. Eventually she would have to go back and face the well-meaning friends and relatives.

She reached a small white bridge and began to cross it. She paused halfway across and turned to the side. She leaned down, resting her elbows on the concrete railing. She watched the ducks gliding along on the water below. She got lost watching the swirl and flow of the water until her vision began to blur.

She reached up and wiped the tears from her eyes, but it was no use. There was no stopping them now. She ducked her chin into her chest and sobbed the tears that had eluded her these past days.

How could he be gone? How could it be possible they would never walk through the park, hand-in-hand, again? What had she done to deserve this? How could she possibly keep going with her life?

Her hands fisted and beat against the railing in rage. She wanted to cry out, to scream her anger. But, instead, she stood up and kept walking.

I didn't notice the "It's night." part of the prompt until this was written and decided not to go back and change it.

~ Kat


Welcome to my blog!

This is my first attempt at blogging. I get the concept, but have never actually tried to sustain one on my own. Eh. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

I am an erotic fiction writer - mostly short stories, but I do write poetry and other short prose as well.

I'll be posting links here to other writers I know, communities I participate in and, when possible, places to view my published work.