Thursday, October 4, 2012


For those who like short stories that are sexy and hot, I thought I’d introduce a friend of mine, Raven Morris, who writes some very hot stories indeed. In fact the stories are hot enough to keep my entire coffee bar area steaming. J 
What I like is the fact that Raven shows how a story doesn't have to be long and complicated to be enjoyed. She opens a small window in a character's life and shows it to the reader. In these stories, she written a fantasy around a special occasion. Simple. Fun. Sexy.

Hi Sia and thanks for having me here to talk about my erotic romance series, Tied with a Bow.

These are short stories about that special day in someone’s life, a day that really should be all about you. I mean, come on, if the day you came into this world isn't all about you, then you need to boot that so-called special someone out of your life and find someone who will celebrate the wonderfulness of you.
I love celebrating my birthday. And it’s not the presents or the cake (but, okay, sure, why not?), and it’s not the fact that everyone calls me all day or messages me wishing me a happy one. It’s actually a day to be thankful to my parents for deciding to have me, and then for making that happen ;}. It’s the starting day of who I am and a good time to reflect on who I've become over the previous year. It’s my special day, even if I share it with thousands of other people. It’s my day.

The presents are just a bonus.

And what a bonus these ladies get…

And as a bonus for you, JACKED is free now on all the e-retailer sites. Here’s what you can expect:

Debra, Nicole, Heather, Maddie, and Melody have all found their special someones. Kiley has too, but we’re still working on how that’s all going to pan out, but for now, here are the stories that are available:

JACKED: Debra’s husband, Jack, is a three-piece-suit, straight-laced attorney during working hours, but before and after? Jack’s a very fun boy. He’s into some light bondage and, oh yeah, a threesome. Debra’s never done anything like that before, but when Jack brings an old buddy of his, all wrapped up in a bow tie and nothing else, to their bed, she’s more than willing to accept this gift.
 He’s definitely not about all work and no play during office hour because that would make Jack a dull boy… 
MAXED: Max is a successful L.A. agent who knows how to handle his clients’ needs. Especially birthday girl, author Nicole Gennessey. Tonight is the premier of the movie made from her book and he wants to make it a night she’ll never forget—starting backstage where no one can see them.
 Or can someone? Does someone know what they’re doing in the wings? Is someone watching?
 Nicole doesn’t care; tonight’s all about getting MAXED out.
ROCKED: Rock is the temporary housemate/boy-next-door younger brother of Heather’s best friend. They’ve known each other their whole lives—and Rock’s had a thing for her the entire time.
Imagine Heather’s surprise when she comes downstairs on her milestone birthday to find Rock enjoying himself on her sofa—all because he’d been sorely tempted to join her in her shower. She’s sorely tempted to let him. Which she does. Later. First though, Rock’s got a tour planned for her birthday. From the restaurant, to the park bench, to the zip line (that harness has all sorts of possibilities), to the erotic rides on his motorcycle, neither of them will ever forget the day they let their world get ROCKED. 
MARKED: Small-town Maddie has moved on up to the big time and big is what she gets at the welcome-to-the-neighborhood party that just so happens on her twenty-ninth birthday, and Maddie is more than willing to meet Mark. In any aspect he wants.
 And Mark wants a lot. Actually, everyone at the party does. Especially each other. Numerous each others. There’s more sex happening around her than Maddie has ever imagined. Is she willing to participate? Can she shed her small-town girl shyness to play with the big boys? With Mark willing to show her the way, she’s most definitely willing to be MARKED for life by him. 
DICKED: Then there’s Rich—and all his bachelor-party buddies out for a good time in New Orleans. Melody sure could use one of those. Life and her ex haven’t been the best lately lately, so when she sees one of Rich’s friends naked in the room across the courtyard, she’s hoping things are starting to look up.
 Rich and his friends are definitely up for that. It’s one hell of a hot time in New Orleans, and the weather’s only part of it as Melody gets DICKED. 
TYED: Ty made Kiley’s 22nd birthday memorable in the most erotic way and she’s never lost the torch she’s been carrying for him ever since. So when she has the chance to interview him for her job, Kiley’s not about to let him slip through her fingers.
 And when Ty gives her a glimpse of his world—in the most erotic way possible once again—she menas that in every sense of the word, because Kylie is all tied up in Ty. 

And, it turns out that Debra and Jack are going to get yet another story. This time, they’re celebrating Christmas. Look for A Very Naughty XXXmas soon, featuring me and authors Olivia Cunning, Cari Quinn, Stephanie Julian, and Cherrie Lynn. If you think Debra’s birthday gift was hot, wait ’til you see what they get each other…

You can read Raven's stories individually, or get the Tied with a Bow anthology Volume 1 and 2:


  • So… your best birthday present ever?

Raven Morris loves celebrating birthdays. Has she ever received a present like these? Ah, that's for this fiction writer to know and you to wonder... But instead of wondering about her love life, set your imagination to work on your own. And if her books can help those fantasies along, well, everyone has a birthday. 

You can put all her books on your wish list. Find them at:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I'm pleased to have as my guest, debut fiction novelist, J.B. Chicoine, to Over Coffee. 
Bridget's topic compares her writing journey to creating a wedding gown. Creative skills become honed by deconstructing and reconstructing a piece of creative work.

Thanks Sia, for having me as a guest! I do believe this is my first guest post ever!

To start with, I’d like to share a little-known fact about myself: In a former life, I designed and constructed formal wear  specializing in wedding gowns. (Even now, I love to grab a handful of silk taffeta, give it a scrunch and see how it holds its shape like sculpted butter!) Just recently, a friend asked me to have a look at her wedding gown that was ‘doing something weird—the back wouldn't lay flat.’ The second I looked at it, I knew what the problem was and rattled off, “There’s more lining than shell, so it’s bunching.”

How on earth did I know what the problem was, let alone how to fix it? She asked, as if I were some sort of miracle worker. I just shrugged. I dunno—experience, I guess.

Later on, I thought about my learning process—about the first gown I made, when I was seventeen. I was so proud of it. Not only had I designed it, but I sewed it up and wore it to a formal dance in my senior year. *cringe* It was horrid. I mean the premise—the idea in my head was good, but in reality, it looked like a polyester sack hanging from two thin drawstrings. That undertaking reminds me of my first novel, written over twenty years ago. I was so proud of it. I actually made people read it *cringe again*. Sure, I had been writing since I was a little kid, just like I’d been sewing since I was old enough to thread a needle, but when it came to constructing something complex, I was just winging it.

So, with big aspirations, I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan—oh yeah, I was going to be a big name designer! It took only one semester to realize that was not the career I wanted. I also learned classroom settings squashed my creativity. Just the same, in those few short months, I acquired some very important basic rules of design. I continued to sew for myself and, later, my children, but it wasn't until after I started doing alterations for a bridal shop that my skills improved exponentially. I had to muster the courage to deconstruct and reconstruct very expensive and elaborate formal wear  I figured out what worked and what didn't work by being methodical and taking my time.

Here’s the parallel with my writing. I persisted and wrote more novels, but it wasn't until I had to deconstruct and reconstruct them—because three years and over 200 rejections from agents told me my writing wasn't yet proficient enough—that I really figured out how to write a good novel. I read some helpful How To books (my favored way of learning) and figured out how to apply the basic rules and principles. I found a few good beta readers that helped me cut away ‘the unruly stuff that wouldn't behave.’ Then I put it all back together until everything fit just right.

Recently, I completed the phase of writing that is akin to adding the finishing touches to a wedding gown—final edits on my novel, Uncharted: Story for a Shipwright that has just been released by Rhemalda Publishing. It was like sewing on the last of thousands and thousands of beads, adorning luscious silk taffeta, awaiting its debut. It is complete and it’s breathtaking, finally out of my hands, out there for anyone to see.

Now, I’m off to ‘alter’ some earlier novels of mine that don’t ‘fit’ quite right.


When a peculiar young woman shows up at the Wesley House Bed and Breakfast with a battered suitcase and stories to tell, shipwright Sam Wesley isn't sure if she’s incredibly imaginative or just plain delusional. He soon realizes that Marlena is like no other woman he has ever met. Her strange behavior and far-fetched tales of shipwrecks and survival are a fresh breeze in Sam’s stagnant life.

Sam isn't the only one enchanted by Marlena. With his best friend putting the moves on her and a man from her past coming back into her life, the competition for Marlena’s heart is fierce. In the midst of it all, a misunderstanding sends Marlena running, and by the time Sam learns what his heart really wants, it may be too late to win her back. 

Bridget Chicoine has been coming up with characters and stories since she was a child. She started writing seriously in 2006 and undertook educating herself on improving her craft and about the publishing industry. Working on her painting simultaneously with her writing, one creative outlet stimulates the other. Much of her inspiration comes from having lived near the ocean and in New Hampshire's Sunapee Lakes Region. Bridget has a contract for publication with Rhemalda Publishing and is currently working on several other writing projects.

Currently, Bridget live near Lake Huron in Michigan with her husband Todd, renovating yet another old house, and painting when she can clear away the debris and sawdust. When she’s not involved with a painting she’s working on various writing projects 

You can find Bridget: ARTBLOG, FACEBOOK, WEBSITE, and TWITTER.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Guild of Spies - An Interview with Author L.B. Beckett

Sia, thank you for letting me be a guest hostess today! 
Today you are going to learn a new word and be given a perfect example of it. 
The word is “uchronia”. The “u” part of it comes from the word “utopia.” Most folks think that means “a perfect world”, but it actually comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos”, meaning “place." So, “not a real place.”  The second part of the word comes from “chronos”, meaning “time”. So “uchronia” means a place that doesn’t exist and a time that doesn’t exist. Think of JRR Tolkein’s Middle Earth as a good example of it. 
Uchronia also applies to the new novel, Guild of Spies, by L.B. Beckett. In a time that is vaguely turn-of-the-century/Victorian, the secretive, vaguely China-esque country of Tem decides to finally allow visitors from the Western world. The first delegation consists of a politician, a minister of trade, a cultural minister, a historian, and a translator. 
And of course, a spy. 
Dian Von Camff, ostensibly a dilettante “lady adventurer,” finds herself in a land where politics and intrigue are woven into the very fabric of life, where rituals and customs must be strictly observed, the slightest whim of the Emperor must be obeyed, and the “Hand of Tem” is everywhere. Her “minder” in this dangerous new world is Counselor Sen Ari, a man with secrets of his own.

I was fortunate to interview the author and delve further into this work of intrigue, secrets and romance.

KS: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
LBB: Most of the book was fun to write, honestly! Just as a little bit of background: I wrote Guild of Spies a number of years ago when I was between more “serious” projects—which is to say, ones that I thought might get me published and get me started on a real writing career. The problem was, I didn’t know what that next “serious” project was going to be—I just didn’t have any ideas at the time. I’d learned enough about writing to realize that like most skills, you need to practice, so I decided that I would write this book purely for fun and to keep my chops up. I wasn’t putting any expectations on myself other than to write every day. So the whole thing was kind of a romp.

There were a lot of scenes that I enjoyed writing. I think where the whole thing really took off was from that first scene between Dian and Sen Ari, the first of their many conversations that take place on several levels at once. I loved writing anything with the Emperor, especially that very dark moment when Dian is called to his observatory in the middle of the night. The second meeting between Dian and the Minister of Rituals was a lot of fun, because he’s very polite, but obviously not a nice person. A lot of the “action” of this book takes place in conversations, and all of that verbal fencing was a kick to write.
KS: I love the place and character names in this book and the fact that some of them are what I call “Easter Eggs,” meaning they have a layered sort of meaning. For instance, the delegation is from “Albion,” which is an ancient name for England. You also have countries named Aquitaine and Khalabad. How you came up with these names? And why “Tem”?

LBB:  I wish I could tell you that I had some master plan or intellectual construct for the names, but the truth is, I just made them up as I went along. As mentioned, this was a book that I wrote for fun, just to write without a lot of expectations, and a part of that was avoiding research (which is usually a large part of my writing process). So, I set it in an imaginary place, where I could do whatever I wanted without having to respect actual facts or real history. I picked names that had the sort of resonances that I wanted for the places I was making up. With “Tem,” I just liked the way it sounded!
KS: What exactly is “The Hand of Tem”?

LBB: The Hand of Tem is several things at once. It’s a faction of fundamentalist extremists, sort of like the Taliban, that becomes an unofficial militia and creates a lot of chaos in Tem. What isn’t known is the extent to which The Hand of Tem is a genuine grassroots movement and to what extent it’s being manipulated by powerful forces in the Temish government.
KS: Dian Von Camff is by nature (and necessity), aloof, distant, an observer (making her the perfect spy!). Councilor Sen Ari Of Tem is a man of rules, rituals, and secrets. What makes these two perfect for each other, and how did you get them to “open up” to each other?

LBB: It was a challenge. When I was beginning the draft, I honestly didn’t know how much of a romance there would be between the two of them, how it would develop, what their feelings toward each other would be. Both of these people are very guarded, and they both have hidden agendas. Both have reasons to pursue each other to advance their own interests. So their relationship of necessity had to develop slowly. It starts with a mutual attraction, but acting upon it would be extremely risky for both of them. It advances because of a shared secret that binds the two together up to a point, but still, neither one can be open and honest with the other. The lack of honesty and trust, while understandable, leads to some devastating consequences.
Beyond attraction and beyond manipulation, they’re drawn to each other because they have a similar approach to life—both are close observers who rely first on analysis rather than emotion to make their decisions—or, that’s what they tell themselves. In reality both of them have a lot of passion that they try to cover up. Dian’s aloofness and distance cover up a deep well of anger and the truth about her life before the Guild. Ari’s loyalty and devotion to duty cover up a rebellious streak and a love of power games, of winning.

What draws Dian to Ari is that he’s smart, he’s funny, and he seems to genuinely respect her, in particular her strength and “spirit of adventure.” That’s the part she’ll admit. What she’s less likely to cop to is that he’s a man who seems to want to take care of her, and she’s had very little of that kind of support from the romantic partners in her life.
What draws Ari to Dian at the beginning is that she’s absolutely not a woman he should get involved with—a delegate from a foreign nation traditionally considered an enemy of Tem. One of the ways that Ari’s rebellious streak expresses itself is in an attraction to women that are going to get him into trouble. We find out as well that living and working in the viper pit of Temish politics, he’s lonely and isolated, and it’s very tempting to open himself up to an outsider. Also, Dian is smart, she’s interesting, she challenges him, and she knows about a world outside Tem that he’s very curious about but has never gotten to experience.

Whether this mutual attraction and compatibility is enough to transcend their very different backgrounds and conflicting loyalties is something that you’ll have to read the book to find out!

KS: Guild of Spies is a BIG book, but it’s worth it for the delicious unfolding of the intrigue. Reading it reminded me of a Japanese tea ceremony, where every slow gesture and ritual holds a deeper meaning. It’s available in two parts, “The Open Hand of Tem” and “The Hand of Tem Closes,” but I’d advise going ahead and getting the combined version, Guild of Spies, because once you start, you’re not going to want to stop!

  • What other examples of "uchronia" have you read? Do you find made-up worlds as appealing as I do?

In a country of secrets, even a spy has her limits...

The Guild recruited Dian Von Camff when she was little more than a child. She’s served this secret organization ever since, performing covert missions to advance their Grand Conspiracy. Now she’s been given her most difficult and important assignment to date—infiltrate an Albion diplomatic delegation to the reclusive Imperial Kingdom of Tem.

Once in Tem, Dian finds herself surrounded by strangers who play dangerous games at the highest levels of power. Chief among them is Counselor Sen Ari, a Temish official who takes a special interest in Dian. But what are his motives? When Dian saves the life of the Emperor himself, she becomes enmeshed in subterranean plots whose objectives she can only guess—and even the best spy the Guild has might not be good enough to survive the unleashed fury of the Hand of Tem.
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.