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Saturday, April 19, 2014

#BookBlast Rakes in Tartan by @Suzdemello

What’s a romance? You may think you know, but…
The standard definition of a romance has been undergoing some change lately, but the definition of romance has always been changing.

Right now, most of us see a romance as a love story between a man and a woman that contains a happy ending, with the heroine going off with Mr. Right. But that wasn’t always the case.

Centuries ago, people married for reasons other than love. They married for money, status or property, and love was something found outside marriage. The most famous romance in our literature, Romeo and Juliet, doesn’t have a happy ending, unless your idea of a good HEA is uniting in heaven.

Other forms of art reflected the belief that love was found outside marriage. Medieval troubadours traveled from castle to castle and sang about the joys of courtly love and romantic love. Art often depicted the clash between marriage and love, such as Tintoretto’s Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan (1545).

When did romance change, and why?

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) by Samuel Richardson, is often mentioned as the first romance novel. The main point, however, was not that the title character had found love but that her persistent rejections of the so-called hero’s attentions finally got her the prize: marriage.

A less moralistic novel, and one that’s often cited as the best of the genre, is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813). Despite its somewhat archaic style, it’s one of the most popular novels in English Literature, and for very good reasons. It doesn’t preach the way Pamela does, but instead reflects the real concerns young women had during the Regency: marrying well and marrying for love, or at least respect. Although arranged marriages for the purpose of uniting property or increasing wealth were still a custom in our culture, the desirability of gaining a life with a partner founded on love rather than money was taking hold, and is reflected in the literature of the time.

Each era has produced literature that’s reflective of the time, and romance novels reflect their eras, too. As the love ideal took hold, more romances were written that reflect the joy of love rather than its discouraging end, and cautionary tales took back seat to entertainment.

As time went on, and as mores altered, romances became steadily more erotic. The Flame and the Flower (1972) by Kathleen Woodiwiss is viewed as the first modern romance novel, even though it’s a sequel to Petals on the River. Both are quite racy compared to, say, Austen, and reflect changed attitudes regarding sex before marriage.

Our century

Perhaps the greatest changes have occurred in the last few years. First came chick lit, in which the heroine’s goal is not finding Mr. Right but hooking up with Mr. Right Now. Then writers of digital romance broke the hetero barrier and started writing LGBT romance, which doesn’t require the love story to be between a man and a woman. I’m reliably informed that the biggest consumers of M/M romance aren’t gay guys but hetero females. Go figure!

Rakes in Tartan

Set in 1816, my book reflects the mores and customs of the Regency. Heirs to their clans’ lairdships, Andrew MacReiver and Tor Kilburn must find suitable brides. As did many noblemen of the time, they journeyed to London for the social season after attending Oxford. They hoped to find love, but not a Nordic fairy, a dragon and a vampire assassin.

But, being a book written in the 21st century rather than the 19th, Rakes in Tartan ends happily.

Here’s what some reviewers have said about the previous books in the Highland Vampires series--These are customer reviews from Amazon.

By jmaze
Temptation in Tartan is the first book I've read by Suz deMello. It won't be the last. The book is well written, easy to follow and easy to read… I would highly recommend the book and I hope that she plans another book to follow in this one’s stead.

RE: Desire in Tartan:
Five stars..."Engrossing... I was grabbed from the start of the book..." 
--S.J. Foulkes (
Five stars... "Super Read!!!... I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day." 
--Becca (
Five stars..."Such a wonderful read!!!... Such a wonderful book... Love this series!" 
--Kimberly Jaksina (

Rakes in Tartan by Suz deMello                                                              

Setting: London 1816

The social season promises both sex and danger for Torquil Kilburn and Andrew
MacReiver, Highland heirs arrived in London to seek brides. The Scotsmen must              
negotiate the complicated morés of high society to woo and win an exquisite
debutante and her passionate, unconventional mother while keeping their vampire heritage a secret.

But evil stalks the ballroom at Almack’s, the streets of Piccadilly, the drawing rooms of the ton. Headless bodies have been found drained of their blood, for another vampire haunts the streets of London, murdering noblemen. As he draws ever closer, Tor and Andrew must fight not only for love, but for their lives.

Buy it here:

About the author:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press, where she is currently Managing Editor. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

--Find her books at

--For editing services, email her at
--Befriend her on Facebook:,
    and visit her group page at
--She tweets her reading picks @ReadThis4fun and @Suzdemello

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Recipe: Sausage Pasta

I was going to post the Sausage Bread I made but I used the same recipe as I'd previously posted. So today's recipe is Sausage Pasta, since I had some sausage left over from the sausage bread and this sounded very easy.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Servings: 6
3/4 pound pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and reserve.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil and sausage; cook through until no longer pink. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add onion and garlic to skillet. Add broth, basil and tomatoes with liquid.
3. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to slightly reduce. Add chopped spinach; cover skillet and simmer on reduced heat until spinach is tender.
4. Add pasta to skillet and mix together. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Victorian: What Romance Would you Indulge in?

In my May 7 release, Wicked Seduction: A Victorian Menage at the Parisian Exposition, Victoria Scott thinks she's a worldly adventuress. What she discovers is that she yearns for that adventure. What she finds at the Paris World's Fair is sexual adventure she never thought she'd embrace.

Victoria is a woman of her time, young and confined to Victorian ideas about sexuality. However much like many women, she wants to break free and explore. She discovers things about herself she never knew.

The question is, which romance would you choose?
  • A menage with 2 men who also love and enjoy each other?
  • A menage with 2 men who love and respect each other but don't enjoy one another?
  • A menage with 2 women who also love and enjoy each other?
  • A menage with 2 women who love and respect each other but don't enjoy one another?
  • A hot fling with the opposite sex?
  • A hot fling with the same sex?

Monday, April 14, 2014

#BookBlast Letters to a War Zone by by Lucy Felthouse @cw1985

When lonely insurance broker, Bailey, gets himself a new hobby, he ends up exchanging letters with a war zone. But he’s not expecting what happens next…

Bailey Hodgkiss is lonely and dissatisfied with his boring life as an insurance broker. In an attempt to insert some variety, he signs up to a website to write to serving soldiers. He’s put in touch with Corporal Nick Rock, and over the course of a couple of letters, the two of them strike up a friendship. They begin to divulge their secrets, including their preference for men.

Nick encourages Bailey to add more interests to his life. As a result, Bailey picks up his forgotten hobby, photography, and quickly decides to team it up with his other preferred interest, travel.
Booking a holiday to Rome is his biggest gesture towards a more exciting existence, and he eagerly looks forward to the trip. That is, until Nick says he’s coming home on leave, and it looks as though their respective trips will prevent them from meeting in person. Is there enough of a spark between them to push them to meet, or will their relationship remain on paper only?
After clicking all the available links on the website to find out more about it, Bailey decided to go ahead and sign up. He’d never know what it was really like unless he gave it a go.

He’d read about the site in an article somewhere, about how it linked people with serving soldiers, pilots, marines and sailors in order to write to them. It had been proven that receiving mail—even from someone they didn’t know—improved military morale. It sounded like a damn good use of time to Bailey, and it would be interesting, too.

He began typing his details into the online form. Of course, the chances were that he’d be paired up with a man, given the ratio of males to females in the forces. It didn’t matter, though. He could still exchange letters with a guy, become friends. It seemed like such an old-school way to communicate with someone, given how technology had come on over the years, but at least it was different. Perhaps it would give him something in his life to look forward to, something other than getting up, showering, going to work, coming home, eating, watching television and going to bed. The watching television—and even the eating—were occasionally replaced by nights out with friends or seeing family. Weekends were spent cleaning, washing clothes, gardening and odd jobs. Dull stuff, in other words.

He had an utterly mundane life, and Bailey knew it. It wasn’t even as if his job was exciting. Insurance broking was hardly thrilling, game-changing, or going to save the world. He didn’t expect having a pen pal to change his entire life, but it would certainly break the monotony. Hopefully.

He went through the various steps to fill in his details and create a profile, then continued right through to the information on actually writing and sending the letters. It looked straightforward enough.

His mind made up, Bailey immediately went in search of a pen, some nice paper and an envelope. Armed with a print out of exactly what to do when the letter was finished, he settled down at the kitchen table. Instantly, his mind went blank. What the fuck was he meant to say? He didn’t know any soldiers or other military personnel, didn’t know anything about their lives, other than there was a great deal more to it than shooting people and being shot at. His own existence was so fucking boring that he didn’t want to write about it. Unless there were any insomniacs in Afghanistan—telling them about his day would solve that particular condition right away.

After chewing on his biro until it broke, covering his lips and chin with ink, Bailey replaced it, resolving to try harder. He’d tell his pen pal the bare essentials about himself, then ask lots of questions about them and their work. That was bound to rustle up some conversation.

That decided, he began to write, absentmindedly swiping at his inky skin with a tissue. He’d have to scrub it off when he was done with the note. His wrist and hand had begun to ache before he was halfway down the page. He rolled his eyes. He sat on his arse at a desk all day, using a computer. As a result, even writing something short by hand was hard work! There was no way he was going to divulge that particular piece of information to someone that was willing to lay down their life to protect their country.

He just about managed to fill a single side of the A5-sized paper. And that was only because he’d formed large letters and spaced his words and lines out plenty. But he tried not to worry—at least he’d finished it, his first letter to a war zone.

He read through it carefully, relieved to find no mistakes. He’d forgotten how much more difficult—and messy—errors were on the written page. Computers let you edit and rewrite to your heart’s content. No correction fluid or crossings-out necessary.

Finally, he addressed the envelope. It felt like the longest address ever. The area and country was bad enough, even without including the soldier’s name and BFPO address. But it was done—Bailey Hodgkiss had penned a missive to Corporal Nick Rock, currently stationed at Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Now he’d just have to post it and wait for a reply. The website had said his missive would take between one and three weeks to reach Corporal Rock. Then he had to allow for time for him to read it and send a reply. It could be around six weeks before he heard anything. If he heard anything at all.
Author Bio:
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women's Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Recipe: Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops

Looking for spring recipes, Better Homes and Gardens had this. I'm not sure how springy it is, but how can you not like mustard-glazed pork chops? I don't have any fresh veggies yet, but steamed up green beans and a baked potato for my sides. Photo is theirs...mine didn't look this good. Tasted delicious! Plus I need to remember to take the pictures before eating.

41/2 inches thick bone-in pork chops
Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon-style or spicy mustard
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon paprika (skipped this, not big on paprika)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (skipped this, not a fan of nutmeg)
Fresh sage leaves (optional)
  1. Season pork with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and onion to skillet. Cook for 3 minutes; turn pork and onions. Cook for 3 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small microwave-safe bowl combine preserves, mustard, the water, paprika, and nutmeg. Heat in microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted. Pour over pork in skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until pork is cooked through (slightly pink in center).
  3. Divide pork and onion mixture among serving plates. If desired, top with sage.
  4. Nutrition Facts (Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops)
    • 503 kcal cal.,
    • 32 g fat
    • (11 g sat. fat,
    • 3 g polyunsaturated fat,
    • 15 g monounsatured fat),
    • 89 mg chol.,
    • 313 mg sodium,
    • 31 g carb.,
    • 1 g fiber,
    • 21 g sugar,
    • 20 g pro.
    • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hellfire Club Erotique Box Set #Excerpt 4 from Devil's Pawn

I've released my Hellfire Club series as a box set on April 7 and thought I'd  post a short excerpt from each story before then. This is from Devil's Pawn: A Hellfire Club Erotique.

“While I don’t doubt your skill,” he responded with a sly smile to, no doubt, indicate Trent’s skill in bed. “I’m afraid this mess is entirely too messy.”

Crossing the room in two strides, Trent gripped Graham’s chin firmly and raised it so there could be no doubt as to his meaning. “The messier the better. These sorts of challenges intrigue me.”

His voice was hard—he didn’t want Graham to misunderstand anything he said. Trent couldn’t be certain why. Yes, he was attracted to the Englishman, wanted him again in fact. But they’d barely met and now he’d volunteered to help the man out of whatever caused him to be marked for death.

Trent relaxed and offered an easy smile. He wanted Graham, and intended to have him again. And despite the fact he enjoyed a challenge, this felt more than that. He didn’t want Graham’s body damaged. He’d rather enjoyed that body.

“I’m certain you relish challenges,” Graham said as he dressed. “This isn’t something I’d foist on an enemy much less a lover.”

Trent grabbed his arm to halt his actions. Graham let him, didn’t so much as raise a inquisitive eyebrow at the movement. “I want to help. And you are not in any position to turn down assistance unless…”

He trailed off and released Graham’s arm. He didn’t resume dressing, but watched Trent with eyes that fluctuate between amusement and…interest.

“Unless,” Trent added and stepped back. “You truly want to become acquainted with the hangman’s noose.”

Look for the box set with The Escape (m/m/f), The Masque (m/m/f)Aycliff's Vow (m/f), and Devil's Pawn (m/m)! 
 All Romance eBooks
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#Excerpt for Extinct by @NancyAdams_A

My name is Nancy Adams. I am a full-blooded Canadian, right down to the maple syrup running though my veins. I enjoy watching hockey but despise skating...and the cold. I enjoy a good helping of Tourtiere with a side of Poutine as much as the next person, yet I am only bilingual when it comes to swear words.Besides writing, I have three small - but legal - addictions: bed linens, lavender and books. All of which are replenished on a regular basis. Reading into the wee hours of the morning is one of my many bad habits, next to spontaneously rearranging furniture and randomly painting rooms in my house.

Theo’s sole purpose for the last ninety-eight years was to protect his wolf. That changed the moment he met Drew and the wolf called ‘Mate’.

Carrying the soul of an extinct wolf alongside your own isn’t easy. Swapping into said wolf is even harder. Ask Theo Grey—he’s been doing it for ninety-eight years. Yet, after surviving two world wars, witnessing the space race and patiently enduring the eighties, you’d think he’d have seen it all, but nothing could have prepared him for meeting Tofino’s new vet, Drew O’Bannion and according to the wolf, his mate.

Drew loves her dog, sleeping in and coffee. She also loves being a vet. The main reason behind her accepting the veterinarian practice offered to her from a family friend. Hoping for a slower pace at life Tofino seemed the ideal spot. What she didn’t expect was Officer Theo Grey. Theo is tall, dark and drop dead gorgeous, a definite 10 on the ‘wow’ scale. Regardless of his looks, there is more to Theo, there is her unexpected attraction for him. It’s unnerving and completely out of character for her, but she is able to match Theo’s hungry kiss, for hungry kiss.

With their desire growing at an alarming rate and the threat of an unknown shooter roaming the woods of the coastal town, Theo must face the ultimate decision—let Drew go for her own safety or claim his mate for all time.

Reader Advisory: This story contains scenes of violence and threats of non-consensual sex.

“So your little lover has left you, has she? Gone back to treat sick animals? How very noble of her.”

The wolf growled and Theo fought the urge to reach through the window and haul Linde’s fat ass to the ground and beat some manners into him. He knew Linde was trying to prick at his temper, wanted him to make a mistake, and if Theo did that as a police officer, there would be repercussions. This was when living for well over a hundred and twenty years came in handy, dealing with—as Drew liked to call them—ass-hats. 
“Very good, Mr Linde. Hitting where you believe you can cause the most damage.”

“Thank you. I’ve been playing this game a long time.” Linde grinned.

“That would make two of us.”

“Now that is intriguing.” Linde sat forward and rested his elbows on his knees. “And how long would that be exactly?”

Theo snorted despite the anger that swirled in his belly.

The wolf pushed to the surface of his face. Theo’s skin prickled and his eyes burned. The beast had done this very thing a few times before to warn off potential threats, so Theo recognized the sensation right away. This behavior wasn’t something he allowed very often, but in this case he went with the flow. He took off his sunglasses, and bending at the waist, he leveled his stare at the older man. “It’s time for you to leave this area, Mr Linde,” Theo said with a smile.

Linde’s eyes suddenly grew wide as Theo’s eyes flashed a silvery-white.

Linde blinked as Theo chuckled and once again covered his eyes with his sunglasses. Linde didn’t appear overly nervous, but the wolf pulled in his fear.

Satisfaction hummed through his veins. Damn, that felt good.

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