Friday, January 13, 2012

KAT SHERIDAN: Friday The13th My Lucky Day

In celebration, I have homemade Lemon Drizzle Coffee Cake! 

It is my great pleasure to welcome historical romance author, Kat Sheridan, to Over Coffee. Kat is a regular reader/commenter, sometimes book review contributor, and a personal friend whom I dearly love and respect. It’s wonderful to see one of her stories published.

Friday the 13th is my lucky day! Well, it never was before, but it is now because today marks my debut as an author, as a contributor to the anthology, Demon Lovers, from Ravenous Romance.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of the most superstitious people I know. I come from a family of mostly sensible, level-headed, practical people, but was influenced early by a grandmother who devoured astrology magazines and believed in all sorts of signs and portents.

I had no idea I was so superstitious about so many things until Hubs (my real-life hero) pointed it out to me. If I spill salt, I throw some over my shoulder. I knock on wood to counteract negative words. When I make a wish (and who among us doesn’t make wishes?) I always find something blue and add the words “touch blue, wish come true”.

I’ll refuse to take a knife, pair of scissors, or anything else sharp from your hand, but will make you lay it on the table (so our friendship isn’t “cut”). When Hubs (that patient man) gave me a lovely set of kitchen knives as a gift he was unsurprised when I immediately came back with bread and salt as a “gift” to him.

I don’t allow hats on the bed. I don’t allow umbrellas to be opened indoors. If I’m walking with someone and we have to separate to go around an obstacle (light post, hydrant, etc.) I always say “bread and butter”. The correct response should be “salt and pepper”, but Hubs (who’s always willing to humor me) says “peanut butter and jelly”. It works. We’re still together. In spite of my superstitions (that’s partly because I insisted on getting married when the clock was on the upswing, at 1:30, instead of a downswing, such as 1:00). And of course, I had something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue!

But from now on, I’m going to look on Friday the 13th as a lucky day. You’ll think you lucked out as well when you pick up Demon Lovers, which just so happens to have 13 tales of erotic romance. Each one is about either a succubus or an incubus (or in Inara LaVey’s entry, one of each!) and the lucky folks who get entangled with these sexy demons.

There’s something for everyone here. The anthology opens and closes with carnivals and cotton candy (Inara LaVey and Kilt Kilpatrick) although each is as different as can be. Some of the stories are contemporary, some are humorous, and some have a delicious horror thrill. And three are Victorian pieces (my favorite era!). Mine, La Petite Mort, is Victorian, as is “Original Cyn” by the uber-sexy Olivia Cunning (best known for her rock star erotica; yes, this one has a musical component as well. And a vampire!), and the third historical set piece, Demon’s Grace by Elena Derring, who is also making her debut (glad I’m not the only one!)

So, here are my questions for you: Are you superstitious about Friday the 13th? Do you have other superstitions?


Demon Lovers Anthology
A Succubus and Incubus Anthology

La Petite Mort: Blurb

La petite mort“The little death”. To the French, it is a euphemism for “orgasm”.
For Robert, seventh Viscount Weybridge, it might be more literal.
For six generations the firstborn sons of the Weybridge viscounts have died in the prime of their lives, wasted away by some mysterious force. Robert is the seventh, and last, of the Weybridge lords. He is determined the curse will die with him. But he never expected his killer to be such sweet temptation…
Ajalon. Temptress. Lover.
For hundreds of years she has yearned. Ached. Hungered for just one thing. Something only a Weybridge lord can give her. Robert is her last hope of rescue from an eternity of howling emptiness. Now she must convince him that life in her arms is worth a little death…



Kat Sheridan is a recovering project manager and business analyst whose hard-bitten persona has always hidden a secret romantic. She likes her stories with a dark and dangerous flavor, so long as the villains are vanquished and true love triumphs in the end. She is inordinately fond of glitter nail polish, shiny things, bourbon, and any comestibles on which frosting can be placed. Kat splits her time between the Midwest in the summer and the South in the winter. Her peripatetic life is shared with her own real-life hero who shows her every day what happily ever after means. Connect to her on Facebook or visit her website 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TAWNY WEBER: A Kiss Is Still A Kiss.

Tawny Weber is visiting us with a fun topic—kisses. There are all sorts of kisses. Moms give them out regularly. We kiss our pets, our friends,  boo-boos to make them well, a quick peck as a goodbye to family. Our fairy tales speak of magical kisses that awaken the princess or turn a frog into a prince. There are devotional kisses —such as many Catholics do when making the sign of the cross. Knights kissed their lady fair's hand. The French kiss their fingers in appreciation of good food, or for something excellent c'est magnifique! Not to be confused with French kissing, which is usually considered intimate, romantic, or sexual.

Let's not forget kisses under the mistletoe or at the stroke of midnight on New Years, which brings me to Tawny's contribution (you get to contribute at the end):

Ten-Nine-Eight-Seven-Six-Five-Four-Three-Two-One and... Kaboom!  It’s kissing time. 

Happy New Years!!!!

Oh, sure, that midnight chime means other things.  Welcoming a new year.  Resolution time.  A clean slate.  Tooty horns and confetti.  Champagne toasts.  You know, all the fun things about changing to a new calendar.

But New Year’s kisses got me thinking about all those other special kisses.

First kisses – I was seven when I had my first kiss. He was the preacher’s grandson and so cute!  He was also my first date, since he (and his grandma) took me to see Disney’s Robin Hood.

Wedding kisses – “I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”  How often did I dream of those words growing up?  Pretty often, actually.  I played that scene out with my Barbie and my brother’s Frankenstein doll (Hey, he was alpha!)  so often, but it was nowhere near as wonderful as the real thing.  And while I wasn’t able to pry the photo of my wedding kiss out of the album to scan it, I did have this one on my hard drive.

Tawny and her husband

Which brings me to the next kiss on my list...

Storybook kisses (not hot sexy storybooks, though – that’d be a totally different blog post. Or, well, hey, I have a few you can check out if you’d like J SEX, LIES AND MIDNIGHT is out now and it’s chock full of sexy story kisses!).  The romantic, deep sigh inducing kind of kisses in fairytales and historical romance novels. These storybook kisses are the ones that reel us in first, which makes us believe in romance and sigh at the sweet, gentle promise they offer.

And then there are the sexy kisses.  The first time you kiss a particular person and know, just know, you have to see what comes next (pun unintended, but it made me grin so I’ll keep it there). There is an early episode of my favorite TV show, Friends, where the gang is all talking about kissing vs sex. The guys compared sex to seeing Pink Floyd in concert, and the kiss to the comedian opening act. The girls  explained that everything you need to know about a guy is in that first kiss. I’d have to agree. Whether it’s in real life, or in a book!

Okay, since I mentioned it, I should share a kiss from SEX, LIES AND MIDNIGHT, right?  So this isn’t Maya and Simon’s New Year’s Eve kiss (they were otherwise occupied at midnight on NYE  J ) but this is their first kiss...

            Triumph was so close, Simon could taste it.
            His gaze traveled down over her body, noting that she once again wore a dress that covered her from neck to mid-thigh, yet screamed hot and sexy.  The way the midnight blue fabric draped and hugged her curves made his fingers itch to see if the fabric was soft enough to touch that glorious flesh.
No.  Even though his hardening body screamed in protest, he put on the mental brakes.  That wasn't a road he was going down.  She was a case.  A tool at the most.  Sexy, gorgeous and apparently fun, but still means to an end.
            She was so damned hard to resist.  Telling himself it was all in the name of the job, he took her hands again, lifting them both to his mouth.  He brushed soft kisses over her silky knuckles, then placed her hands, palms flat, against his shoulders.
“I need to get this out of the way,” he said quietly.  “It’s got nothing to do with the deal, and everything to do with how I’m feeling.”
She shook her head, looking like she wanted to protest.  But instead her fingers dug into his shoulders.
            Hips brushing a tempting invitation against hers, his hands smoothed down the tiny curve of her waist to the sweet roundness of her hips.  Her breath shuddered, just a little.  Simon almost groaned aloud.  She was so delicious.  Was the reality of her as tasty as the promise?
            Totally forgetting his plan—hell, his own name—Simon pulled her closer, so their bodies were close.  So close, but not quite touching.  Her warm scent wrapped around him like its own caress, making his mouth water, his dick harden.
            Crazy, he thought, as he leaned down to take her mouth with his.
            Their lips brushed, soft and sweet.  Just this side of innocent.  Safe, he told himself.  A Happy Holidays kind of kiss.  Totally acceptable.
            Then she made this tiny sound.  Somewhere between a purr and a growl, deep in her throat.
            And he lost it.
            His mouth took hers.  His tongue slipped between her full lips, taking hers in a dance as old as time.  He coaxed, he battled, he challenged.  And damned if she didn’t do exactly the same.
            Simon’s body screamed in pleasure.  Passion, way out of line for such a simple kiss, demanded release.  His muscles tensed as he forced himself to not grab her and find a dark corner to explore just how good this could get.
            Having to grab control before he went over the edge, he pulled his mouth from hers.  Her eyes were closed; thick dark lashes curving over the tops of her cheeks.  She took a deep breath and slowly lifted those lashes.
            Absolutely crazy.  Breathless, Simon stared into her deep, golden eyes and wondered if she was the answer to his prayers.  Or the curse that would finally take him down.

So... c’mon, sharsies.  

  • Did you have a wonderful New Year’s kiss to welcome 2012 into your life?  
  • And what kiss stands out as your absolute favorite that you've ever read?
  • And which special kiss do you think has the most lasting impression on someone’s life?

Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin Blaze since her first book hit the shelves in 2007.  When not obsessing over deadlines, she’s shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.  Come by and visit her on the web at 

In December of 2011 Tawny launched her Undercover Ops series with SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE.  The second book in the series, SEX, LIES & MIDNIGHT is on shelves in January 2012, quickly followed in February by SEX, LIES & VALENTINES.  You can read the first chapter of SEX, LIES & MIDNIGHT on her website, too – all you have to do is join the Reader LoveFest!  Be sure to follow Tawny on her Holiday Survival Tour as she celebrates these three books with tons of fun and a chance for readers to win a $100 giftcard!  

Monday, January 9, 2012

MONDAY MUSINGS: Are Huge Bookstore Chains On Their Way Out?

I subscribe to several newsletters and I enjoy reading about the latest marketing/promotion news as well as what market analysts have to say about digital publishing.

I was saddened, but not greatly surprised, by the news on Barnes and Noble. I do believe Barnes and Noble (as well as other large chains) stores, as we know and love, are going to be a thing of the past. Oh, Barnes and Noble is not going to disappear this year or even next but there is a strong indication that is on the path, according to market analysts such as IDC , The Daily Finance, and reports from The Bottom Line  Even Publishers Lunch had something to say about it. 

Barnes and Noble has been busy the last week with not so great quarter in sales and now talking about spinning Nook off into a separate business. There’s a lot of concern that making the Nook a stand alone company will nail the coffin on the chain’s physical stores and Barnes and Noble will go the way of Borders.

It’s hard to compete with Amazon and while Barnes and Noble had a whole quarter in which to bask in the glory of its color android based Nook e-reader, with Amazon releasing the Kindle Fire and at a more affordable price, their glory was notably short lived. Nook holds only a small portion of the market (at one time they were second only to ipad). The iPad is the dominant media tablet; Amazon definitely is surging ahead of Barnes and Noble with over four million of the new fires shipped out over the holidays. Overall, Barnes and Noble hasn’t had a great or even good year.

According to Tom Mainelli, IDC, the United States holds about 80% of the e-reader market, but he expects that to change. Mainelli also suggests that Barnes and Noble may not have the financial resources to compete with Amazon in creating the necessary international presence within the next few years. Speculation is the spin off is a step in attracting a money partner for expansion without the high maintenance of physical stores.   

So what does that mean for huge book store chains like Barnes and Noble?

Rick Aristotle Munarriz (aka The Motley Fool) had this to say:
There's no denying that digital delivery is the future of media. We saw it happen with music, and now most of the record stores have closed down. We are seeing it happen with movies, as streaming and downloads replace physical DVD purchases. Video games are also being dished out by server farms to Xbox Live users and smartphone owners… Progress is inevitable. Every quarter finds millions of bibliophiles making the switch to e-readers, and the migration continues as hardware prices continue to drop.”

He continues:

“This doesn't mean that books will go completely obsolete. We may never see a world where everyone owns an e-reader or tablet. However, the demand for gargantuan dedicated bookstores will dry up -- and with that, Barnes & Noble's livelihood.”  You can read the full story here, Why Barnes And Noble Will Never Be Great Again 

With the event of Print On Demand technology, this isn’t surprising. We’ve all seen the changes for the publishing industry since it has. The demand for digital delivery is everywhere and changing how we get our media.

Online stores can offer more variety and less expensive products, than physical stores and as far as media goes, instant gratification.

We can rant and rail over this turn of events, but it’s like spitting into the wind. There is no stopping it.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll make a trip to Barnes and Noble, grab a cup of coffee, and savor the smell and sight of all those lovely books. At least I’ll have tales to tell to my grandchildren.

Once upon a time the only way you could get something to read were bookstores and libraries…huge ones…