Monday, December 14, 2009

Kickin' Off the Holidays--Erotic Romance Authors and their Kick A** Shoes!

by Michelle Polaris

It’s December again, and even erotic romance authors need to gear up to kick some holiday butt preparing for the winter celebrations to come. In the spirit of these winter warriors’ battle to get ready for the holidays, I’ve asked seven of them to contribute pictures of their favorite ass-kicking shoes along with links to their “go-to” sites. These includes their personal web and blogsites, links to buy their books, etcetera. For an extra treat some have included a blurb about which of the characters in their stories are most likely to kick-ass, holiday or otherwise. So browse below and get a feel for the flavors of these authors. Perhaps these are the very sexy and powerful shoes that get them in the mood…to write, of course.

(And read on for a contest at the end of the post)

**Come by and check out the favorite shoes and boots belonging to several of your favorite Ellora's Cave authors!! Including mine!! Hee-hee!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blogging with My Daddy, the Rev!

Usually for my Hawtie of the Month blog I extol the virtues of a beautiful man who has captured my attention—among other things. Hee-hee-hee! But this month, I’m doing something a little different.

After I blogged for
Petit Fours and Hot Tamales on November 20th, my father—the pastor—received many favorable responses. So, being the clever opportunist that I am, I asked him if he would guest blog with me as my Hawtie of the Month…how disturbing is that to call my daddy a hawtie you ask?? Very…

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I I did! Merry Christmas!!

Naima Simone: Okay, Daddy we’re going to start with something fairly easy. Heidi Klum or Julia Roberts:

Reverend: Oh jeez. *laughs* Oh…that’s tough, man. Heidi.

NS: Why?

REV: I don’t know! Heidi or Julia… I mean, I like them both but for different reasons. Julia because of her lips. Love them lips. And Heidi…man, that body and sense of humor. Both have the sense of humor, but Heidi’s body and walk…Heidi, definitely Heidi.

NS: Is that your final answer?

REV: Yeah, we’re going with Heidi. Even pregnant she looks good. And they both dig brothers. *laughs* Besides Heidi’s dangerous.

NS: She's what??

REV: She’s dangerous. There’s this look in her eyes. You know it’s like dangerous but in a sexy way. It’s challenging. Yeah, that’s it. Sometimes we like it dangerous. A lot of your readers do too.

NS: Okay, yeah. That’s true. You got something there.

REV: You know that bad boy, bad girl thing.

NS: *plugging fingers in ears* La La La La La La…

REV: You know what I mean!

NS: No, I don’t. Don’t want to either.

REV: You’re such a prude, Nina.

NS: Prude’s good when it comes to thinking about you and dangerous Heidi…In my bio I mentioned how I came by my love for romance honestly. By the way, you do preach a mean Song of Solomon…Tell us something romantic about the Song of Solomon we may not know.

REV: Okay, well first you have to understand that Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines. Out of all of them, it took this one unassuming, hardworking country girl to help King Solomon, one of the wisest of persons, to learn and experience the true meaning of monogamous love. Which, when you think about it, is kind of strange for a man, who had so much in the way of material wealth and political power, to find the most treasured and honored thing—love—in another person with no financial means, titles, agenda, and in her own words, possessed no great physical beauty. She would never stroll down the runway like Heidi or become a movie star like Julia, but yet, to Solomon, she was unique in comparison to all the others. Solomon said she was a lily among thorns.

NS: Would you consider the Song of Solomon sexy?

REV: First, I need to say that I interpret the Song of Solomon in the same way I do all the other 65 books of the Bible. This is to say, I interpret it by taking into account its historical, grammatical and symbolic content. When I do this, my answer to your question is, yes. Yes! It’s sexy, warm, soft, physical, funny, exciting, dramatic, and yes, my beloved and spiritual minded sisters and brothers, the Song can also be erotic. Now I’m going to say this at the great risk of having some old, white-headed deacon call my house—women are so much mature about these things—but I believe that God intended for certain parts of the book to be erotic in the sense of helping those of us in marriage to know the pleasures and joys of sexual love and romance. The right study and reading of the Song is a great tool to help us sustain and keep fresh the romance and sexual fun in marriage.

NS: For example?

REV: For example, the phrase, “to climb the palm tree” had a special meaning in the ancient Near East. The male and female flowers of the palm tree are born on separate trees. In order to fertilize the female tree, the gardener had to climb the male tree and take some of its pollen bearing flowers, then turn around and climb the female tree to tie in the male flower. By doing this the tree was fertilized. Now, in the love dialogue between Solomon and his wife—by now they have been married and the union consummated—Solomon says to the love of his life, “I will climb the palm tree. I will take hold of its fruit stalks. Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine.” (Solomon 7:8) Here Solomon is using the language of the vineyard to say that he intends to make love to his woman, and that, right away! Solomon is saying that he will caress her fruit stalks, or her breasts. And that he is excited to enjoy the swell of her breasts, which by now are like the ripened grapes.

NS: Get out! Really?

REV: Really.

NS: Okay…I do believe I’m blushing! Go ‘head, Solomon! He was a freak!

REV: *laughs* We can all learn something from these two people!

NS: Hee-hee! Okay, Daddy, got another one for you. If you could meet one person in history who would it be and why?

REV: See, you have me in a dilemma because I don’t want to be all super spiritual…jeez. One person in history…Wow. Jesus Christ. It would be Jesus Christ, seriously.

NS: I know this sounds like an obvious question, but I’m gonna ask it anyway. Why?

REV: Because in meeting Him I would know what I could become, you know the potential of what I could be. I would be shaking in my boots to meet Him, but yeah, in Jesus I could recognize and see my full potential as a person.

NS: See? I’m glad I asked, because I wouldn’t have guessed that answer. That’s deep.

REV: Well, Nina, I’m a deep person.

NS: Must be where I get it from.

REV: Uh….no.

I’m going to go on with the questions before I find myself in strife. Daddy, have you read my book yet?

REV: You want me to lie or be honest…uh, yeah, I read your book.

You do know that I know you’re lying, right?

REV: Aw c’mon, Nina! *laughs* You know I’m going to get there. I’m just a major procrastinator. I’m going to read it though. Look, I’m still waffling over the first question. Heidi…Heidi…wait a minute let me think on that a minute…Yeah, it would be Heidi. The accent, look and walk. Yeah, yeah it would be Heidi…

NS: I thought we’d moved past that question! How is that shaping up to be the hardest question out of all of ‘em??

REV: *laughs* I’m certain now. See, she has that German thing going on. *laughs* She stirs passion. When people make love sometimes they want gentle, but then there’s the animalistic thing that comes in. Some men want the white negligee when they make love, but most of us want black…or red. Throw out the white negligee! We want the red or black negligee. Ever think about that? White is for the wedding. When the doors are closed, though, put the red on!

NS: I have no idea what you mean. I don’t own a red negligee. White. Only white…

REV: Riiight, Nina. But look, it’s like music. People don’t want to make love to no Beethoven or Bach. They don’t want the 5th symphony or the butterfly suite. They want Luther! Turn that other mess off. Even the staunchest Christian, when they’re making love, you know the one thing they don’t want playing? Gospel. They turn that off and turn the radio to the slow jam station.

NS: LOL! You’re definitely going to have the old, white-haired deacon calling the house! Now that you’ve cleared that up and my eyes are bleeding from the mental images, what is the most romantic book you’ve read and why?

REV: It would have to be the Song of Solomon. It’s so real. In some ways, it relates so much to my own experiences. And as a pastor and counselor, it relates to what I know to be the experiences of others. It also gives us something to shoot for in terms of what we hope to have some day in our relationships. But mostly, it helps me to understand the intimate and unfailing love God has for us. I really find that element in it. And as Solomon says, that makes me lovesick.

NS: That’s good, Daddy. That’s really good. So if the Song of Solomon is your favorite book, who is your favorite author?

REV: I have two. First, there’s the apostle, Paul. He satisfies my need and desire to know stuff. He appeals to that part of me that seeks knowledge and understanding. “Faith seeking understanding of itself.” My second favorite author is Kahlil Gibran. While Paul satisfies my desire for knowledge, Gibran excites my heart to love. When I put them together I understand and accept that of the two—knowledge and love—that love is by far supreme. Without love we have nothing.

NS: No wonder I’m a romance writer. I have a romantic at heart for a father. Speaking of writers—you notice the subtlety of that lead in? How do you feel about having a daughter who writes erotic romance?

REV: You, and your friends, are needed and welcome. We need you. What you write adds to us who read your work. So much of our lives are spent doing this and that and we never take time out for the important things like enjoying one another and life, keeping the flame of passion burning in our lives. Sometimes our marriages, expectations and relationships get stuck. We’re so worried about bills and problems that we never take the time to care for our own feelings, emotions and relationships, and as a result, the fire burns out. We have to keep the fire burning in love. It’s writings like yours and your friends that keep our imaginations working and maintains excitement in our lives. So that’s how I feel. You’re needed. We need to welcome you and embrace what you do. Your gifts are God given. And all God given gifts are for the benefit of others. The ability to write, the vision you have, they’re gifts. And they should not be hidden. So we thank you for your gift—I thank you for your gift and adding the excitement and joy. Thank you for breaking up those mundane periods of my life. Thank you for filling those moments when I can simply enjoy life. You help make life a little bit easier. And, remember, not all of God’s gifts are received. They didn’t embrace Jesus. But you have to keep on writing. Keep on giving because somebody’s life has just been made better.

NS: Speaking as your daughter and an author, that made me feel incredibly awesome. Moving on—because you sooo didn’t make me tear up—you’re a writer, too. If a publisher offered you a contract right now and said write any book you wanted, no matter the subject. What would it be?

REV: Any subject I wanted, huh? I would write a “Salvation for Dummies” kind of book. *laughs* Somebody has to help people understand how great salvation is through Christ. I need to write this book for dummies….like myself.

NS: *snicker* Hey, when I first started writing with the goal of becoming published, I bought a “Getting Published for Dummies” book. That’s classic! Daddy, who has been your biggest influence as far as your views on love, women and relationships?

REV: All of the women in my life who have ever dumped me, they helped me the most. God bless their hearts. I’m sending a big “thank you” shout out to all of ‘em!

NS: *hollers* Alright, final question. What makes a good love scene?

REV: You know what? It isn’t the place. It doesn’t have to be in the best looking bedroom. What makes the best love scene is the mindset of the two people. When the two people’s motives and desires are not on themselves but focused on the other person. When her mind is on him and his needs. And his pleasure. “What can I do for him?” “How can I make him feel like a king?” And when he’s concerned with how he can make her feel like she’s the only woman in the world. “How can I make her happy?” “The otherness of lovemaking.” That’s what we can call it. That’s makes the best love scene, when the concern and focus is about the other person.

NS: The “otherness of lovemaking”. I really like that.

REV: But let me just say one more thing, Nina, about the best place. I would be remiss if I didn’t say this. It’s my belief, and has been my experience, that the best place to fully experience the joy and deep intimacy of our sexuality is in the state and place of holy matrimony. In marriage. It’s there that the two become one. As a pastor I have to make this statement. I don’t want people to think I condone sex outside of marriage. I recognize it happens, but I honestly believe that in marriage—the marriage God designed for us— it’s the best place. If we can get our marriages to mirror God’s desire and purpose, than that’s the best place to experience the joy and intimacy of lovemaking. The sexual act is about sharing—sharing each other’s lives, histories, joys and sorrows. When you add commitment to your lovemaking that boosts it through the roof. That takes it to heights unknown. God created marriage so sex could have a place to be fully enjoyed and experienced.

NS: I know I said that was the last question, but let me ask you this. In a romance novel, often the couple isn’t married in the beginning, but end up that way or together. Do you think this is wrong? Some people consider the fact that two unmarried people having sex makes romance novels morally wrong.

REV: Look, you’re writing about something that happens in our lives and happens often. We can’t deny that it does. You’re writing truth. How can that ever be wrong? It would be wrong not to address it or talk about it. We understand that sex outside marriage is not what God wants, but you’re not promoting it, you’re talking about it. And look, Nina, when we first meet, we all start out single and then maybe, at some point, become married. That’s what happens in our lives. It may be disturbing to some but it’s more disturbing not to recognize it happens. I’m not promoting it, you’re not promoting it. What you’re writing is fiction, its entertainment. It’s not an instructional book. You’re not creating a doctrine about free sex. You have a right to write fiction and entertainment. It has nothing to do with your Christianity. You don’t have to defend your spirituality and shouldn’t be placed in the position where you feel you have to. You’re writing fiction.

NS: Amen! Say that, Daddy! You know what? We’re finished. See that wasn’t painful at all, was it? And you thought it would be hard.

REV: I don’t know. I’m still thinking about Heidi and Julia. Why not Camryn Manheim?

NS: Alright, Daddy, don’t start no junk. Interview over…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

July through February.

Some people would call these six months the dog days of summer, autumn and the lion of winter. I call them the loneliest months of the year! Football season! AAAARRGGGHH!!!

It’s when pork rinds become a staple in the pantry like chicken is in the refrigerator. When the bedroom turns into the Pentagon as the computer, radio and television are crackling and running stats in one synchronized flow. It’s when communication with the husband deteriorates to grunts unless you’re offering more afore-mentioned pork rinds. It’s when nookie is squeezed into 2 minute warning commercials and half-time…unless it’s the Superbowl.

Football, oh how I detest thee…

That is until two years ago when I discovered the Pittsburg Steelers. Or more accurately Troy Polamalu, the Steelers’ uh…umm…well, his position isn’t important.
I mean, have you seen his hair??


One fateful Sunday night two years ago I decided to be self-sacrificing and long-suffering and sit through a football game. And who should I see busting across the screen but a strong, authoritative, no-holds-barred player who destroyed everyone in his path! Oh and did I mention how his dark, wavy mane of hair just poured out the back of his helmet?
I was entranced by his presence, his talent, his confidence…

And the way his dark curly locks hit the middle of his back.

I soon discovered that this bastion of Gridiron superiority was Troy Polamalu. Of Samoan descent, he is a hard-hitting…uh…err…like I said the position isn’t important. His speed, agility and dark beauty reminds me of a panther, sleek and dangerous. How one can be so terrifying on the football field and then such a soft-spoken gentleman off the field is endearing and hero-worthy. What woman doesn’t love an aggressive and dominant man who can still be gentle when—and where—it counts? And when he removes his helmet …Hallelujah!! Hosannas break out! The man is beautiful in a little-grass-shack-in-Hawaii-save-the-virgin-from-the-roaring-volcano way. (Please cut the snickering. I never said I was the virgin!)

Needless to say, my husband and I spend quality time together every Sunday between July and February…well, except when the Steelers have a by-week…Anyhoo, because you are a sexy gentle giant with gorgeous locks and you bridged the communication gap between husband and wife, Troy Polamalu, you are…Hawtie of the Month!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Temptation is Unleashed with Savannah Stuart!

Unleashed Temptation – Available Now from Ellora’s Cave
After finding out her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her boss, Carly decides her life needs a makeover. She trades in her winter coat for a bikini and heads south to Miami, Florida. Almost as soon as she arrives, she falls in lust with the sexiest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Too bad he’s her new boss.
Alpha werewolf Nick gave up hope of finding his mate a century ago. When sexy redhead Carly comes to work for him, she disrupts his entire world. Although he desperately wants to come clean about what he is, he keeps running into problems. Like the fact that an ancient enemy has set his sights on Carly. Nick discovers he’ll go to any lengths to keep her safe. Even if it means losing her in the process.
Read excerpt here.
Purchase digital version here.
For more titles from Savannah Stuart, click here.
For a chance to win a copy of Unleashed Temptation, visit Sarai J’s Blog here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And the Winner Is....

As the title hints, the winner of the Sweet Ultimatum Release Day basket is "Angel"!! Congratulations, Angel! If you'll email me privately at I can gather your information and send the basket out to you.

Thank you all so much for visiting the blog and leaving comments. But most of all thank you for celebrating with me and making it a wonderful release day!! You're all awesome!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free to Soar

“You have to let it all go. Fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind.”

This is what Morpheus told Neo in “The Matrix” before he leaped a great distance from the top of one building to the next. As most everyone knows, Neo tried to jump after him and plummeted to the ground. His mind hadn’t been freed, so he couldn’t make the jump.

This part reminded me of a scripture in Philippians 4:13 that states, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Notice the wording there. Not just “things”, but “all things”. Now whether you’re a Christian or not…whether you liked “The Matrix” or not…whether you believe you actually exist in “The Matrix” or not…they both declare the same thing. Don’t put limits on me. By the freeing of my mind, I’m limitless!

There is power in freedom. As a writer, I understand what it is to be held in bondage. Not physical enslavement, but held captive by fear, insecurity and inadequacy. Becoming a published author was intended for other people, not an African-American woman from a small town in New Jersey. But at some point, my mind was renewed and set free to the truth. The only limits on my life were the ones I set for myself.

I think about the writers I’ve met who came from humble beginnings, faced circumstances that would have broken others and still persevered to attain their dreams. Their minds were freed to soar like the eagle. And like the eagle that not only flies above the storm, but uses the winds to buoy him up, writers utilize rejections and disappointments to hone their craft, make them stronger and better…and fly above. It’s then that nothing holds them back. They can look towards seemingly impossible dreams and goals, claiming them because they know and believe that all things—good and bad—work for their benefit. When the mind is free, life is free. When the mind is free, we’re able to fly.

Think back again to “The Matrix”. At the end of the film, Neo’s mind had been freed to believe in who he was, The One. And what did he do?

He soared.

Sweet Ultimatum
by Naima Simone

Caitlin Madison has returned home after a self-imposed exile. Haunted by the erotic memories of the man she once loved and abandoned, Caitlin is unprepared to come face-to-face with Selig Richardson and the hunger resurrected under his golden gaze. Even as her body craves his touch, she denies him, realizing her reasons for terminating their relationship so long ago are as valid now as they were then.

Six years have passed since Selig Richardson left New Eden, WA disillusioned and bitter after Caitlin Madison’s cold denial of him and his love. Now he’s returned, demanding retribution for her cruel rejection. The payment: her body.

Unknown to Selig, Caitlin has harbored a deadly secret all these years. And as love awakens with each passionate encounter, so does the danger that has simmered for almost a decade. Once again, Caitlin is forced to make a choice between a future with the man she's never stopped loving or crush his heart...and save his life.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It took me forever to see the movie, "Apocalypto", the name of which I still can't say without stumbling over it at least two times. The subtitles didn't put me off--I mean, I am a reader--but I knew with the subject matter it would be gory and I freely admit I'm a punk when it comes to blood...and knives...and sacrifice...But once I started watching it, I was completely entranced. Not just by the cinematic beauty, but by the story and the main character, Jaguar Paw.

As a lover of Alpha men, Jaguar Paw inspired quite a few dreams that night! Phew! Even with a bone in his lip and being blew my mind! To see the evolution of a Beta man to an Alpha when his family and way of life was threatened won me over with the speed of...I don't know...a jaguar. Wily, cunning, strong and determined, he escaped his captors, led them on a chase through the rain forests where he picked them off one-by-one. And what was his goal, his motivation? To save his wife and son before the enemy or the elements found them first. The love that drove him made me not only cheer him on, but adore him!

Rudy Youngblood played Jaguar Paw in "Apocalypto". I'd never heard of him before so of course I had to do a little investigating. And was soon as impressed by him as I was by his character in the movie. A young Native American actor, he has broken ground and found a foothold in an acting world that is notoriously tough to crack. And he has stayed true to his culture, embracing it when the field he seeks to conquer would suggest he "tone it down". I watched a video of him dancing in full Native regalia during a celebration. Yes, it was beautiful, but there's something to be said about a man who possesses that much confidence and pride that he can lose himself in the tradition, beauty and magic of his culture. It's sexy.

So, because of your awe-inspiring portrayal of the warrior, Jaguar Paw, and your unselfconscious celebration of who you are, Rudy Youngblood, you are...Hawtie of the Month!

**To view the video mentioned above of Rudy Youngblood, click on Enjoy**

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A few years ago, Phat Girlz, a movie starring comedienne, Monique, came out in theatres. Truthfully, it had been out on DVD and on TBS long before I bothered looking at it. I just didn’t want to. But my sister nagged me until I gave in—and I didn’t do so graciously, I might add. The movie is about a plus-sized woman who wants to break into the fashion industry that has no place for women of voluptuous physiques. Along the way, she meets a man who loves her for her--size and all. Not only does she have to come to believe in her talent, but she also must accept that this fine man can love a woman of her stature.

Enter Jimmy Jean Louis. He plays, Dr.Tunde Jonathan, Monique’s love interest. While the acting, cinematography, and plot was umm…okay (I’m not Siskel and Eibert, mind you, but it’s not winning an Emmy!), what captured my interest and imagination was Jimmy Jean Louis, or rather his character. Smooth, Hershey Kiss chocolate skin, dark sexy eyes, adorable smile and “Slap a Warning Label on that Thing!” body aside, his love for her made him positively drool-worthy. So many times we say, “Oh, he loves her in spite of her weight.” No, he adored everything about this woman—her intelligence, talent, charisma and her body. How sexy is a man who looks at a woman's hips and doesn't see a flaw but one of her perfect, unique characteristics? The way he spoke to her…the way he looked at her…the way he touched her…they were as sexy as his “If You Touch Me With that Thing I Will Faint” body.

I’m sure Jimmy Jean Louis has played in other roles, but he will always be Dr. Tunde Jonathan to me. And because his shiver at the sight of a curvaceous body made me shiver, Jimmy Jean Louis aka Tunde Jonathan, you are…Hawtie of the Month!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

“Here we are…born to be kings! We’re the princes of the universe!”
And with the onset of the guitar riff from that Queen rock anthem, all work, talking and studying ceased because Highlander had come on. There were only two times in the day that complete solidarity could be found in the dorm at my college: 1 p.m. for The Jerry Springer Show and 6 p.m. for Highlander. On both shows people fought, followed funny scripts and had only one man left standing. But, Highlander had Adrian Paul.

Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod.

With the exception of Linda Howard’s, Niall in “Son of the Morning” is there a man who’s sexier in a kilt than Duncan MacLeod? But then, it didn’t matter. The hair (though his long, don’t-you-just-want-to-grab-it ponytail remains by far my favorite!), clothes and the century changed, but the man was pure Alpha male for five hundred years! The accent that wooed like a smooth dark, wine. The war-honed body that could wield a sword on the battlefield and the bedroom…pun definitely intended. And that smile? He could do more with a smile then most men could with dinner and a movie!

Still, Duncan was more. And isn’t that what all women want? More. Witnessing his skill in battle as he chopped off the head of his opponent and received an electric shock that could have made Charlie Manson sane, you knew Duncan was powerful enough to not only be the last immortal standing, but to also be the last man standing protecting you. The way he could flip the script and shift from humorous to dangerous when detecting a threat never failed to elicit a shiver of pure deliciousness from me. Duncan would die to protect and keep the ones he loved. I remember watching the series and loving the way he loved Tessa. He possessed a touch of the bad boy with the bevy of beauties he bedded through the centuries, but when it came down to it, Duncan was a one-woman man. What is sexier than fidelity? Unless it’s fidelity in a man who is loyal, caring, courageous and immortal? It’s pretty heady stuff!

For these reasons, Duncan MacLeod, you are…

Hawtie of the Month!