Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!








Friday, December 21, 2012

Leader of the Pack - available for Kindle

Leader of the Pack is available for:




Happy Release Day to me!

Leader of the Pack is finally available for purchase on the Ellora's Cave web site! Woo Hoo!

I'm super excited because last year was a pretty dry year for me - writing wise. But I feel much more confident about where I'm going with my writing and in my life.

Syneca designed a beautiful cover for me and I'm so happy to introduce new characters to my shapeshifter world. I'm filled with a lot of hope.

And on top of all that - the end of the world did NOT arrive today. So I'll go with the view that the Mayans were predicting a new age rather than the destruction of the world. And I'm down with that. I feel like I'm beginning a new chapter in my life now.

I'm visiting Jocelyn Dex today on her blog where she interviews me about life and writing and I'm also participating in the TRS Christmas party.

At the TRS Christmas Party I've posted an excerpt today. You can read it here...

So, just to refresh your memory, here's the blurb...

Leader of the Pack

Surgeon Dr. Per Goldwolf needs a mate to make partner in a prestigious practice. Predator-Match.com—a matchmaking service for shapeshifters—not only finds him a mate, they match him with his True Mate. Yohana’s long legs and fair flesh make him lick his lips and her scent makes him rock-hard.

New packleader Yohana Whitewolf’s life goal is to follow in her sire’s pawprints and lead her pack. Leadership demands sacrifices. To calm her people, Yohana needs a mate. But finding an Alpha male who won’t take over is a tall order. Yohana doesn’t want the complication of a True Mate, but Per is a sexy, intelligent Alpha male and she wants to shred his clothes every time she touches him.

Everything should be perfect—except she’s a packleader, and the Whitewolf pack is nervous.

Excerpt



By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: LEADER OF THE PACK
Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

            Per looked up from his coffee to see Yohana striding confidently across the room. Two steps behind her was the young waiter, looking dazed and horny. What the fuck? Per had been on edge ever since she left the table, envisioning her in the bathroom stall with her legs spread and himself on his knees on the floor plowing into her. Now, here she was sashaying back to their table looking satisfied. He stood to hold out her chair. As Yohana stepped close to him, he was enveloped in the scent of her recent arousal…and orgasm. His bitch screwed someone else then walked back to the table as if nothing had happened. Fuck that! Per caught the worshipful gaze of the wet-behind-the-ears pup and growled.
            The pup blinked and stammered, gulping in terror. “I’ll bring your check,” he squeaked.
            “Like hell you will, you whelp. You just mounted my Mate. We’re going for a walk. Now.
            The boy yipped, flying off for the kitchen at a run. Per was after him in a shot, ready to kill.
            “Per!”
            He ignored Yohana’s cry of command, looking back once, rage filling his vision. “I’ll handle this.”
            The boy weaved between tables before slamming headlong into someone exiting the kitchen with a tray full of pasta dinners. Per caught the boy before he hit the floor, lifting him up by the collar of his shirt. A firm female hand grasped his wrist, while her arm encircled his waist.
            Yohana pressed against his back to whisper in his ear, “I masturbated in the bathroom. The pup was nowhere near me. Let him go…” She sighed as he turned to look into her eyes. “Please, Per.”
            He took a deep breath and nodded. The scent of his Mate wasn’t on the boy, so he released the whelp, watching as the boy ran hell for leather through the kitchen doors. Per closed his eyes, mortified at his stupidity. He had never claimed a female this publicly in his entire life, not even when he was in Sweden before his sire threw him out of their pack.
            Yohana eased away from him, turning to the man, who happened to be Stefano Blackwolf the restaurant manager and son of the owner, Roberto. “I’m sorry, Stef. This is my fault. I’ll pay for the meals. Please allow me to buy the diners whatever else they would like to apologize for their wait.”
            Per shook his head. “No. My fault. I’ll pay for it.”
            Yohana frowned at Per. “I will pay. It’s my responsibility.”
            Per’s blue eyes blazed, then he paused. “We’ll split it. Fair?”
            Yohana patted his arm. “Yes. That’s fair.”
            Per blushed as Stefano lips twitched, fighting to control his amusement. Per looked into Yohana’s eyes then he started to chuckle, drawing giggles from her. She blushed, looking down at her toes. He reached over, lifting her chin with a fingertip barely brushing her lips with his.
            “Dessert, Yohana? Would you like some cannoli?”
            “That sounds wonderful.”
            “Two, Stefano?” Per inquired of the manager.
            Stef nodded, directing the busboys to clean up the mess while he went to inform the waiting diners of the delay with their meals. Per set his hand at the small of her back, escorting her to their table. He seated her and reseated himself.
            “I’m sorry for setting this mess in motion. I didn’t consider you might imagine me having sex with Marcello. He’s a baby.” Yohana took his hand, meeting his eyes.
            Per clasped her hand before lifting it to his lips to kiss. He froze, taking a deep breath. She’d washed her hand, but he knew it had been inside her…recently. Per looked into her startled gray eyes, breathing deeply so she’d know he smelled her sex. He opened his mouth engulfing her thumb, sucking and licking it. In spite of the soap, her taste lingered faintly on her skin bringing his body rigidly to attention.
            Yohana gasped, color rising in her cheeks as she licked her lips. He could see her pebbled nipples tight against the silk of her dress. This was no frigid bitch and he was in big, big trouble because his mind rejoiced to discover it. Per wanted to mount her now. He wanted to grab her, throw her face down on the table, rip off her panties, and sink into her to make her his while everyone in the room watched…then cheered. What scared him the most was the expression evident in her eyes. She wanted the same damn thing!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Warm soup for a cold day

View from outside my office window today. Central Iowa has had it's first snow of the season, just in time for Christmas. The wind has picked up though and we now have a blizzard out there. I'm snug in my house and happily, I have power and heat. So I'm okay.

But on a day like today, I want something warm and comforting to eat. I made a taco soup. Here's the recipe I used, if you're interested.




TACO Soup

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 15 oz  can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of whole corn, drained
  • 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 8 oz cans of beef broth
  • 1 pkg dry ranch seasoning mix (like Hidden Valley)
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning (I used Ortega)
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef and onions, drain. Combine the cooked beef with all the other ingredients and simmer approximately 30 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips, shredded Mexican cheese, and sour cream, if desired.  Variations: You can add chili, black or kidney beans if you like beans. You could also use salsa and/or chipotle if you like a spicy taco. I go mild all the way, but you can make this as hot or mild as you prefer! This is really great on a cold day...or any day really.

And here it is - ready to eat and yummy as can be! 
Warm. Soothing. Tasty. 
Yes, the ultimate in comfort food on a cold winter's day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What is plus-size?

I write plus-size heroines. Always have. Always will. That's what "Romance with Dangerous Curves" actually means to me. It means a big girl. A girl with curves.

In modern parlance, plus-size seems to mean anyone who isn't a size 0-2 or 4. By modern standards, Marilyn Monroe is plus size. That just seems whacked out to me. Marilyn was a round, healthy girl. But times have changed, and not always for the better.

The modeling world classifies models who are size 12 and above to be full figure models. I personally think that's crazy but the modeling industry worships a size 0, so I suppose I shouldn't expect anything different there. Sad but true.

My view is that any woman size 16 and over regardless of how the weight was distributed is a plus-size woman.

That's what I have in mind when I write my heroines. Tall or short - it doesn't matter. They are size 16 (US) or above. I haven't written any really large heroines, but I should. Women deserve love regardless of size and we aren't just a number...we're people. With hearts and minds and souls who yearn for happiness and partnership.

Beauty comes in all sizes. Love comes in all sizes. And I just want to write about women who look like me who get their happily ever after with the partner of their dreams. I also like to write about heroes who love those curves. Men who like big butts. Full breasts. Who dig a woman's jiggly bits. Who see dangerous curves and want to explore every inch of them...more than once.

So what the hell is plus-size? And what qualifies as a plus-size romance? I really want to know. Does the story have to focus on the woman's weight to be a plus-size romance? Or is it enough that the heroine is plus-size? Will that make the story a plus-size romance?

Oh, and would you want to see a plus size woman (like one of the ladies above) on the cover of your romance? I've had that fight too. Various folks telling me that if you put a big girl on the cover the book won't sell. What do you think?

Please post in the comments and share your views.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Plot Poll...forgetting an anniversary...

So.... 

What if your husband forgot your anniversary? How much groveling is needed?

What if the anniversary he forgot was your 25th anniversary? Forgivable? Ever?


Share your thoughts. I'd like to know!

Release week schedule!

Hi folks,
   I'm blogging with Shelley Munro today. I'll be back here tomorrow with another blog about size and I'll be giving away a book from my back list. On Wednesday, I'll be visiting Kathy Kulig on her blog for an interview. Thursday, you can find me at Sidney Bristol's blog discussing shapeshifter hook-ups. And on Friday - RELEASE DAY - Jocelyn Dex will be interviewing me. I'll also be at the TRS Christmas Party from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23!

 Hope to see you at any and all of the above!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sidney Bristol - Let's Talk About Kink


I recently had the chance to meet my lovely host, Francesca, at the Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon conference in October. This last year has been my first, true year as an author. My first book, a novella called Flirting with Rescue, released in January and it’s been a wild ride since. Part of what’s made it so wonderful is the community of authors and readers and bloggers who have been there to cheer me on. RomantiCon was my second big convention, but the first one that I really felt like I contributed to. No, I wasn’t on a panel, I didn’t present a session, but I can’t count the number of times I sat down and hung out with authors and readers alike.

At an event like RomantiCon, the conversation inevitably turns to the question, “What do you write?”

Considering the sheer number of authors and readers in attendance, it’s an honest question. No one can know every single author’s backlist by heart, and it gives a really fun opportunity to talk about your babies. Er, I mean, backlist. Yes, backlist. Up until the book that releases tomorrow, Bound with Pearls, I’ve been writing contemporary romances. Tomorrow marks my first day as a kink author, and man has it been a fun beginning! I all ready have plans in the works to write more, and a follow up book coming out in February.

With the sudden popularity of several books with heavy kink content, everyone wants to talk about what goes on in the bedroom, or if kink is involved. Especially the kink. At RomantiCon alone it was the topic at each meal for at least a few minutes. Why does it interest people? Who wants to do that? How can someone want a person to do that to them? How do you get started? Where can I learn more? Can I get someone to do that to me?

The answers to all of those questions differ on a person’s interests. There is no one answer. No one right way. But it’s a hell of a lot of fun to talk about, and that’s what I love about the reader-blogger-author community. We might all be different, but we’ll talk about it. It’s a safe place to talk, ask questions, bring up that thing you read about in that one book. Because do people really do that? The answer is probably yes.

There’s been a handful of books discussed more than others over the last year. Some people have no love for those books, others think they’re to die for. Me? I don’t care one way or another, what I love is that we’ve begun a dialogue with a new crop of readers about female sexuality. Kink and BDSM isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. What I’ve loved is the discussion, the questions, the conversations I’ve had since announcing the sale of Bound with Pearls.

Bound with Pearls is by no means a book about people just beginning their foray into kink. What I wrote is more of a slice of life view about how kink isn’t all that makes up these two individual’s lives. They have parents, siblings, friends and co-workers who are either kinky or not. Their lives don’t revolve around the bedroom (or not bedroom) antics. I hope the dialogue doesn’t end, because I’ve loved every minute of talking about this book and kink with people.





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It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life.  She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Bound with Pearls, purchase December 12th from Ellora’s Cave!

The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.

Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.

---

Excerpt

Christine’s mouth closed with a snap. Her jaw hurt from clenching. Her hands ached from gripping her wrists. Blinking rapidly, she looked at the Dom’s broad back. He was getting ready to leave.

She’d failed, completely blown it, and he was right. Her attitude sucked. This wasn’t like her. She’d hit a low point and didn’t know how to dig herself out of this one.

Pinpricks of pain stabbing the backs of her eyes heralded tears. Screwing things up seemed to be her specialty today, from the reports at work to forgetting her entry fee for the charity race, and now it was going to cost her. Lucy wouldn’t give her the pearls when she found out the Dom had left, rightfully disgusted with her.

The muscles in her chest constricted until she was panting for breath. Her vision blurred with tears she had to dash away.

“Wait,” she said, her voice sounding strained and too high to her own ears.

The Dom glanced over his shoulder, unmoved. It shouldn’t get her off, but the idea of a man with such control was a turn-on. She’d been ready for someone big and scary or maybe on the scrawny side with a penchant for pain. Finding him a fairly normal guy unsettled her.

Fairly normal was an understatement. Sure, most women might not notice him. He had nondescript brown hair and his features were handsome enough. It was something else about him that drew her.

“Why should I?”

She took a deep breath to calm herself. “You’re right. My attitude sucks.” Another deep breath. She couldn’t think of a good reason to give him, except the truth. Her shoulders slumped. She hated airing the dirty laundry between Lucy and her. Sisters should be close, they should have a bond. All she and Lucy shared was a last name and some DNA.

“I’m not involved with Nate. Lucy’s my sister and she—she’s afraid of you, so she probably whined to Nathan until he suggested trading me for her.” She could feel her cheeks burning. “I wasn’t going to do it. I-I don’t know you, I’m not entirely comfortable with this, and Lucy knew that. When I said no, and I meant it, she—”

Her throat constricted around her words, cutting them off. Squeezing her eyes shut, she balled her hands into fists and let the wave of emotion wash over her. She was angry and upset, hurt that her sister cared so little, but it was no different than any other time Lucy had conned her. The only person she could blame for this situation was herself. She drew in another slow, deep breath. “She told me if I’d come here, she’d give me our mother’s pearls. She’s dead, and they’re one of the only things we have left of hers.”

Her gaze locked on the floor. She knew she should stop talking. This man was as disgusted with her as she was, but her mouth kept working. “I loved them. I wore them to prom and graduation. I’d borrowed them for luck every now and then. Lucy never wanted them. They didn’t sparkle enough, they weren’t flashy. But when I wore them to her funeral, Lucy started yelling and crying about how I got everything. I gave them to her to shut her up and I’ve never seen them since.”

She hiccupped around her words. No doubt her face was red and splotchy. She didn’t cry delicately. No, when Christine cried her nose turned red, her eyes got big and puffy and she turned into a fountain. She hated crying and dumping ugly family business on a stranger. She couldn’t wait for him to leave. She could curl up on the bed, cry herself out and slink home where she could camp out on the couch with a pint of ice cream.

“Shhh.”

Hands gripped her shoulders from behind. Her stomach dropped right before the ground disappeared from under her. The Dom picked her up effortlessly.

“What are you doing?” She gripped his shoulders, expecting to land on her ass any second.

He crossed to the chaise and sat down with her cradled in his lap. She tried to slip onto the bench, but his hand clamped on her thigh. It was natural to obey the unspoken command. This close she could see the deep blue of his eyes, the strength of his jaw and feel the power of him. There was no doubt under the black t-shirt and jeans he was every bit as strong as he looked.

“What are—?”

“I’m the one who gets to ask the questions here.” His voice was stern, but unlike his reprimand from before there was a warm quality.

She relaxed against the curved arm of the chaise, comforted by his commanding nature. Let someone else call the shots for now, she was too tired of it all.

“Here.” He handed her tissues from an unknown source and she snatched them up.

Bowing her head to let her curls fall over her face was as much privacy as she could get to clean herself up. The Dom didn’t touch her except where their bodies nestled together, which was one small relief.

She hated crying, but she was better for getting it out. It felt good to be honest, even if the recipient of her words didn’t care what she said.

Tossing her head back, Christine met his gaze. Her breathing was shaky and her eyes and nose raw.

“Feel better?” His voice was the deep, rumbling kind that spoke directly to her pussy. The whole situation would have been easier to write off as one huge mistake if he hadn’t been attractive. Now it was salt to a wound.

She nodded.

He quirked a brow and her blush became more intense.

“Yes Sir,” she mumbled. How could she already be blushing on command for the man?

“You agreed to take your sister’s place because she has something of sentimental value you want, correct?” He looped his arms around her waist, settling his hands at her hip and thigh.

“Yes Sir.”

“I’m going to be frank with you. Would you prefer I wasn’t?”

“No Sir. I’d prefer the truth.” She braced herself for a pat on the head and a goodbye.

“I don’t care for your sister. She’s spoiled. I was, and still am, a little apprehensive you’re too much like her—”

“I’m nothing like my sister.” Memories of cold Thanksgiving meals and waiting for Lucy to show up at Christmas with their father stabbed her. All the times when Lucy should have been there but never was. Their father made excuse after excuse for her—she was busy, being young and carefree. Christine knew better.

The Dom quirked a brow at her again. Her blush felt as bad as a sunburn, stretching across her cheeks, down her neck and gripping her chest.

“Sorry, Sir.” The urge to lean into him and kiss his jaw in supplication was strong.

“I don’t think you’re sorry about that admission.”

She shook her head. “No Sir, I’m sorry for interrupting you.”

“That, I believe.” The hand at her hip swept down to her knee, treating her to the first sensual skin-to-skin contact.

“Sir?” Christine bit her lip and focused on the collar of his shirt.

“Yes?”

“I don’t know your name. I just—”

He squeezed her thigh and she shut her mouth. Another unspoken command she read perfectly.

“Daniel,” he growled. “Christ, she didn’t even tell you?”

She shook her head, curls sweeping over her shoulders. His anger didn’t scare her, though she would be lying to herself if she said some part of her wasn’t pleased someone recognized her sister for who she truly was.

Daniel. Dom, Master, Sir Daniel. It fit him—understated and powerful.

He swept her hair over her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her neck, not quite in the sweet spot, but close enough to make her shiver.

He wound a stubborn curl around his finger and leaned back against the cushions, pulling her against him. She wasn’t accustomed to being handled, but in comparison to him she was small, which didn’t happen often.

“So how did your sister and you get involved in the scene?” The hand at her knee stroked up her thigh and back down, distracting her from his question.

She had to marvel at how well he managed her. She probably wasn’t what he’d expected, and still he pulled pertinent information from her. Something about him put her at ease, which, considering his size and what she wanted him to do to her, was a questionable assessment.

“Um, I had a boyfriend in college who, who liked to tie me up. It was fun.” She lifted a shoulder. “After we broke up I did some research and decided I would try to meet someone new who could—could teach me.”

“How does your sister fit in?”

She wrinkled her nose, wishing he would drop that particular line of conversation. She looked down at his tanned arm. The muscles and veins she could trace with her fingers made such a stark contrast to her pale skin.

“Lucy has always done what I do. Same schools, degrees, even where I used to work. She has to do what I did and try to do it better. When she found out I was into BDSM, she got into it.”

“Did you mentor her?”

Her gaze leveled with his. “Have you met my sister? She showed up one night in a slutty cocktail dress, whined her way through the orientation meeting and attached herself to my Dom.”

“What did he do?”

“Brandon and I were not in an emotional relationship, so he was free to do whatever he wanted. He tried to help her for about a week before he washed his hands of her.” It had been one small victory following many losses. “Lucy attached herself to someone new, and here she is today.”

Nodding, he continued to stroke her leg, his fingers edging higher, disappearing below the hemline of the romper.

“So what happened to you? I’ve never seen you here before.”

She took a deep breath and fought the urge to open her legs and push his hand against her pussy. Any man could be attractive but it took a special man to dominate a woman with a look.

“I’ve been busy between work and our father, and it hasn’t been worth it to compete with her here. I know how people look at me when they know I’m her sister.”

“Are you seeing someone?” His question was casual but his hold on her knee was not.

“Of course not. I wouldn’t be here if I was.”

His hand continued its lazy caress of her leg. Her stomach fluttered. How could she be embarrassed and turned-on at the same time?

“Relax,” he said, jostling her with his legs.

“I’m heavy—”

“What did you say?”

“Uh, that—that I was—um,” she continued to sputter, her mind going blank.

He sighed, his hand rubbing against her knee in a circle. “I’m going to have to punish you for that. I’ve been generous, but I’m not your therapist. Stand up, take off your—” He pinched the hem of the romper. “Take this off and lie over my lap.”

Heat flooded her body, emanating from her pussy. She loved her figure, but baring all in front of a man she’d met fifteen minutes ago wasn’t normal for her. But he wasn’t sending her away. She’d willingly take whatever punishment he wanted to give her.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rockin' Little Christmas - update

Well, bummer. I didn't get this story submitted early enough in the year for it to make it as a Christmas story. That's the bad news. The good news is that my editor liked it enough to reconsider it if I wanted to do some edits to remove the Christmas elements. I thought about her suggestions and decided, yeah, I could do it. So Rockin' Little Christmas has morphed into Cupid Rocks. It still involves rock musicians and family angst, but now the setting is Valentine's Day. I'll let you know when I hear anything about the status of this one. I sure hope she wants to contract it!