Okay so erotica is not a genre known for its use of literary devices. But people who read erotica do not read it to improve their mastery of English literature. They read it to be entertained and perhaps even aroused. Where The Pleasure Room knocks spots off Fifty Shades of Grey is that it has a proper plot and good story line. The characters are real and well-developed. There is a balance of humour, mystery and sex. If you like erotic novels then this is a good read. If you get offended by graphic descriptions and sex talk then this may not be the book for you.
Felicity Summers is an ambitious reporter who's trying
to make a name for herself as a serious investigative journalist with the
biggest newspaper in the city; the Chicago Word. When she catches wind of a
rumor about the city’s mayor that might just be the hottest story of the
decade, she jumps at the opportunity to expose the corrupt mayor and derail his
chances at winning a second term. All she has to do is infiltrate a private
BDSM club to catch him in the act. Simple right? Well, maybe it would have been
if not for the club's extremely dominant, gorgeous and charming owner, Sir
Alistair Montgomery-Piers. He takes notice of her at one of the scenes and sees
something in Felicity that he wants to her to explore. Alistair makes her an
offer neither she nor her body can refuse. Can Felicity stay focused on her
mission long enough to get the proof for her top secret story, or will Alistair
completely take over her heart, mind, body and soul?
Reader Advisory. This novel contains the following
Adult Themes. Strong Sexual Situations. Lots of Foul
Language. Hot, Naked Bodies. Sexy Accents. Lusty Toys That Make You Beg For
More. And a Whole Lot of Other Naughty Things That Will Send Your Libido Into
Overdrive... Are Your Ready To Unleash Your Desires?
Simmons lives in Chicago IL., with a rambunctious German Shepherd that's too
big for his own good and mischievous cat that she affectionately calls
"Itty-bitty". She is highly acclaimed for her groundbreaking,
fast-paced and engaging novels winning “Author of the Month” at Warrior of
Words, “New Voice Of Today” at Romance Reviews and “Rising Star” at Love
Romance and More.
been nominated at Love Romances and More, for “Best Book” of 2012 and “Best
Paranormal Book” of 2012.
isn't writing, D.N. loves to read, listen to music, watch movies and TV and
hang out with friends.
To learn more, and have the opportunity to speak with
the author personally, please visit her official website at www.dnsimmons.com.
D.N. is always interesting in meeting new and wonderful people.
When I began writing, I didn’t think
in terms of a particular genre. Rather, I wanted to share the stories that
circled in my brain and floated to the surface at odd times--when I was making
dinner, watching the birds at the feeders on my back deck, in the midst of watching
a television show, while listening to music, driving down to see my son and his
wife… Those stories included characters that had captured my imagination and I
wanted to learn more about them, too. So, I started writing. The words seemed
aimless at first, mostly just scenes that weren’t connected, but which seemed
to illustrate something about the character in question. Soon, almost as if
ordered by the characters themselves, I had a story with a beginning, middle
When I finished the first draft of
my first novel, DREAM CHASER, I realized I’d written a romance that was couched
in a contemporary woman’s struggle to find herself. That surprised me. I’d
never thought of myself as a romance writer, but there it was. In fact, I
should have guessed at the genre long before I finished it, for the wedding
scene of Suzannah’s son and the ending scene, too, were written long before I
finished the story. I laughed at myself and figured, “why not?” So I went with
the notion of creating stories about real people with real problems, who ended
2. Where do you draw your
My characters are drawn from my
imagination, but each of them reflects people I’ve known or situations I’ve
experienced or observed. My friends probably wouldn’t be able to say with
certainty, “oh, that’s me!” because I don’t write that way. However, if my
readers have found themselves in similar situations, I would hope that they
recognize the reality of those situations and that they appreciate how the
characters deal with those experiences.
3. How much has your own life
experiences influenced your writing?
None of my stories are
autobiographical, but each of them include details that I could claim as my
own. Something as unimportant as the color of a particular car or the way a
character describes something, using word phrases I’m familiar with. In
GILLIAN’S DO-OVER, the main character has a white-water adventure that
paralleled my own except for one important detail. I loved going white-water rafting. Poor Gillian’s experience is less
positive, but enabled me to show her in a humorous situation. In CHOICES, my
personal experience with divorce was very different from Melanie’s, but her
concerns about making enough money as a struggling real estate agent mirrored
my own in the early years of my career. Places I’ve visited also figure in
several of my novels. For example, I worked on Mt. Rainier several summers
while I was in college. That made it easy for me to describe the visit Olivia
and Beau make to Paradise Inn in GRANDDAD’S HOUSE.
4. What do you think makes a
Success is a coat woven in a variety
of colors. To me, a successful author is one who creates a world that the
readers recognize and might even want to inhabit. That world is real, with all
the foibles that real people encounter. Through their experiences and
adventures, I hope the reader gains insight into how to deal with real world
situations without being preached at. In DREAM CHASER Suzannah finally comes to
realize who she is when she finally realizes how much she has changed. In
CHOICES, Melanie’s children point the way for her when she has yet to decide
how she wants to live the rest of her life post-divorce. And, in HER DAUGHTER’S
FATHER, Gretchen uses her own childhood experiences, and how she overcame those
difficulties, to help both Laine and Nettie move past their early life problems.
5. Why should people read your
When I was in college, I studied
family dynamics. In CHOICES, I opted to explore divorce from the perspective of
a mother as well as that of her children. On its face, the subject might seem
to be a downer kind of book, but it never struck me that way, even when her
teenagers were having difficulties that complicated Melanie’s life. And as the
words flowed, I realized that the primary message of CHOICES was hope--hope
that Melanie could make a life for
herself and her children, hope that her daughter and sons were there for her,
and that she would find love again--in part because little Jeffrey proposed to
Sam and thus precipitated a happily-ever-after conclusion that made me laugh
out loud while wiping away tears. I hope the readers of CHOICES feel the same.
BLURB for CHOICES:
Holmes has her hands full when 15-year-old Keith and 13-year-old Anne, react
badly to Melanie’s impending divorce from their father. Only four-year-old
Jeffrey is his usual sunny self.
complicating her life is her attraction to Sam Hudson, the detective called to
her home when Ken runs off, and Anne is abducted from a strip club.
is forced to confront his own demons as he contemplates becoming deeply
involved with Melanie’s family after she is seriously injured in the same car accident
that kills her ex-husband. After she returns home, Melanie’s kids tell
her they want to marry Sam, even though he hasn’t uttered the
will Sam react when her kids do the proposing for him? Can the long-time
bachelor commit himself to her and her children?
More about Kate Vale:
Vale lives in the beautiful fourth corner of northwestern Washington state. She
enjoys the slower pace of a small city located between Vancouver BC, and
Seattle WA. Her stories reflect the many different careers she has experienced
and the crises that confront real men and women. Helping her characters get to
a happily-ever-after is a continuing goal.
2014 Great Beginnings* 1st prize
for DREAM CHASER (the first novel I published) – in cozy mysteries for Romantic
2014 Great Beginnings* 1st prize
for HER DAUGHTER’S FATHER (this comes out on Feb 10, 2014!) – in Romantic
Previously, PACKAGE DEAL
won 1st prize in Romantic Suspense Category for books published
In addition to the 2013 1st prize
for Contemporary Romance for CHOICES
*All four of these awards
were given by Chanticleer Books and Media. The Great Beginnings contest was for
the first up to 1500 words only. According to the people running the contest,
their intent was to identify titles whose beginnings “captured” the reader,
urging them to want to read more. The other two contests required
submission of the entire novel.
It's great to step out of your comfort zone and explore different authors. I think that is one great thing Amazon has done with Kindle, to expose us to many different authors we might never have found in the neighborhood book shop. Kathryn Johnson, writing as Mary Hart Perry, has taken on Jack the Ripper and written it from a completely different perspective, focusing on a love affair between the investigating detective and aunt of the main suspect. If you like mystery, crime and historical romance then this will be a great read for you!
THE SHADOW PRINCESS, by Mary Hart Perry
To catch one of history’s most notorious killers, a princess
risks losing her family, her life—and her heart…
1888: A year after Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee terror mounts in the city's
slums. A killer has butchered two prostitutes, the crimes brutal even by
London’s hardened standards. Rumors of the murders reach Princess Vicky,
daughter of Queen Victoria and grieving widow of the German Emperor Frederick
III. When her niece Princess Maud visits, she brings with her even worse
news--the Metropolitan Police have a suspect. It’s Vicky’s nephew, Crown Prince
Eddy. Desperate to clear her family's name, Vicky rushes back to England.
Inspector Thomas Edmondson believes there is a royal cover-up behind the
killings. He will stop at nothing to expose the truth and bring a murderer to
justice before he can kill again. But when Vicky joins him in searching
for the man who will become known as Jack the Ripper, neither of them foresee
the overpowering attraction that will draw together the royal and the
commoner—or the danger their love puts them in.
Mary Hart Perry grew up
in New England and now lives in the Washington DC area with her husband and two
feline writing partners, Tempest and Miranda. She's the author of over 40
novels published by major U.S. and foreign publishers. She writes historical
fiction as Mary Hart Perry and contemporary romantic thrillers under her own
name, Kathryn Johnson. She also teaches fiction-writing workshops forThe Writer's Centerin Bethesda, Maryland. Her popular 8-week course,The Extreme Novelist, supports and encourages class members through a full first
draft of their novels. In 2008, she foundedWrite by You, a writer's mentoring service, to aid individual authors in
reaching their publication goals. She has been nominated for the prestigious
Agatha Christy Award, and won the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller's Best
Awards (sponsored by the Romance Writers of America). Her works in progress
include Victorian thrillers inspired by the lives of Queen Victoria's
daughters, and a new contemporary romantic-suspense series scheduled for
release in 2014-15. Kathryn is a member of the Author's Guild, Romance Writers
of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Novelists Inc, and
the Historical Novel Society.
I don't want to be a Job's Comforter or a Prophet of Doom.
I want to join in the celebrations of the ousting of a corrupt and evil dictator.
But unfortunately I have a gut feeling that as the euphoria of winning the battle of Kyiv starts to evaporate, reality is going to set in and it's not going to be pretty.
No armed protest ends in a brightly-coloured gift wrapped parcel with pretty ribbons and bows on it. Victory by force is ugly. There are always repercussions and consequences and some of them are not pleasant.
Before the protests how many people around the world had even heard of Ukraine and knew where it was? How many thought it was still a part of Russia?
The protests have highlighted Ukraine's problems to the world. They've never managed to quite escape from Russia's leash; you have opposition parties who although were united in their desire to oust Yanukovych, weren't united in much of anything else; you have a divided country consisting of Ukrainians who want to be a part of Russia and Ukrainians who want to be a part of Europe; you have numerous corrupt politicians who have decimated Ukraine's economy for their own financial gains so that the country's coffers are so empty spiders have started building cobwebs there; you have a middle-aged woman in a wheelchair with a bad hairstyle who was jailed for corruption who wants to be the new president; you have an ex-boxer with a charming smile who upset the masses when he shook hands with Yanukovych after the phony peace agreement who also wants to be president; you have lawless criminal titushkis still running around, many with weapons; you have protesters who played an active part in the fight with blood on their hands, a veritable boiling cauldron full of testosterone, ready to fight at a moment's notice; you have Europe dithering about economic aid packages and lastly you have Putin and Mother Russia. Russia's fleets are based in Ukraine. Russia sends Europe 1/4 of its gas supply through pipelines through Ukraine. Ukraine builds planes, military weapons and nuclear arms for Russia. Do you really think Putin is going to give that up without a fight now that the distractions of the Sochi Olympics have passed? The Russian envoy to the peace talks refused to sign the agreement. That says something. Putin told Yanukovych to be heavy-handed and stamp out the protest. That shows his thinking.
So not to be a Prophet of Doom, but I don't think getting rid of Yanukovych so quickly means an immediate happy ending for Ukraine. There is a long road ahead. A road filled with unseen potholes, and you never know what might leap out and hit you. Too much testosterone roaming the streets looking for a fight. Unsatisfied people who are not united in their view of what the future for Ukraine looks like. And the West and Russia pulling from both sides. Something's got to give. Cindy Vine currently lives in Kyiv and is the author of Hush Baby and The Colorful Art of Pain, both available on Amazon.com as kindle books or paperback.
I've always been proud to be a South African but today as I watch the live feeds from Maidan and the struggle of the Ukrainian people as I sit in the relative safety of my apartment, I have to wonder about my citizenship. Is being a South African all that great? Because really, having a South African passport in Kyiv has got me trapped.
For starters we have no embassy here. So that means that I am not on any embassy list, I do not receive embassy updates on the situation and travel warnings. I don't exist. That also means if foreigners need to get evacuated in a hurry, I have no embassy arranging my evacuation. I am stuck here.
My place of work does not have an emergency evacuation plan. If they do have one I don't know about it or what it contains.
I can't slip over the border into another European country like all the other staff can do, because South Africans need a Schengen visa to visit Europe. A Schengen visa takes ten working days and requires an original bank certificate from my bank - which happens to be in South Africa. No can do. Also, all those embassies are shut at the moment.
I can't fly to the UK because even though South Africa is a part of the British Commonwealth and we take part in the games, and we fought two world wars for them, gave our blood for them, we require a visa to go and visit them. Maybe it's because we regularly beat them in rugby and cricket.
So for all intensive purposes I am trapped in Kyiv and it seems to be intensifying today. Lots of explosions and ambulance sirens.
Welcome to my world. Cindy Vine is the author of six novels, 3 children's stories, a travel guide, 2 self-help books and an adult picture book. All her books are available on Amazon as paperbacks or kindle books. For more on her books go to http://cindyvine.com
Why is this happening?
When I arrived here in September 2013, I thought Ukraine was a peaceful country. I knew that it was looking to move closer to the EU and I thought it would be a perfect gateway for me to explore Europe.
All that changed on the 21st November 2013 when President Viktor Yanukovych decided not to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. The people were upset, they protested and gathered in Independence Square (Maidan) to hold rallies to voice their protests. Yanukovych, who hit the spotlight in the peaceful Orange Revolution a few years back in 2004 when he was accused of electoral fraud and rigging an election, wanted to move closer to Russia's welcoming arms. The people of Ukraine, however, find Russia's arms more strangling than welcoming and so they got upset. The protests and rallies were initially peaceful until riot police called Berkut, tried to forcefully remove the protesters on the 30th November. The police presence increased, more and more protesters arrived from all over Ukraine and set up camp in Euromaidan, turning it into a well-equipped tented village. The government was unimpressed. Every weekend, thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of people attended Euromaidan rallies led by leaders of the opposition parties. Into this mix arrived bands of government-funded thugs called titushki, many of whom spoke with Russian accents.
(Interestingly although many Ukrainians speak Russian, the accent is different to when Russians speak Russian and they can identify Russians from the accent.) These titushki dress like the protesters and mingle with them and wreak havoc amongst them. They are responsible for kidnapping various high profile protesters, some of whom made it back alive after being left for dead in the forests, looting, beating up innocent bystanders, egging the US Embassy, burning cars of protesters and initiating violence between police and protesters. They provoke the police deliberately so that the police retaliate forcefully against the protesters causing violence and intensifying the unrest. Of course, throughout these past few months journalists have also been targeted by police and titushki, some beaten badly, some even killed. Just last night titushki pulled a taxi off the road, beat up the occupants of the taxi including the driver, and shot and killed a journalist who was in the car.
Police have been heavy-handed, using live ammunition and not just rubber bullets and tear gas. Protesters have an armed self-defence unit who are radical and who fight back to protect the people at Maidan. Not many have modern weapons, most resort to more medieval measures. They built a giant catapult, dug up paving stones from the roads to use as missiles, armed themselves with sticks, baseball bats and shovels, collected tyres to burn, created barricades and built up a stock of bottles to make molotov cocktails. Many would say they have no chance against the well-equipped Berkut, but they have the desire to change the Ukraine and the conviction of their beliefs to give them strength to withstand the dark forces.
Police have captured and tortured protesters, making them strip down and parade naked in sub-zero temperatures. The government brought in Draconian anti-protest laws. The people got more angry. This was not a healthy situation.
The opposition leaders called for the corrupt government to stand down, for there to be immediate elections. The government signed a multi-billion dollar bailout deal with Mother Russia, sealing Ukraine's fate.
An amnesty was achieved when the opposition agreed to vacate government buildings they had taken over in exchange for all protesters in prison being set free. The minute the government buildings were vacated and some barricades were being dismantled, the government made its next move and flooded the streets with thousands of Berkut armed and kitted out in their riot gear. Their mission was to clear the Maidan of protesters. 20 000 protesters held firm behind the smoky remains of blazing fires that kept the Berkut at bay throughout the night. 25 dead so far, over a thousand injured, the stand-off continues.
Big Brother is watching
The last time Ukrainians made a stand and got rid of the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych they managed to bring in a West-friendly government. The constitution changed, it was a real democracy. At the time that scared the living daylights out of Putin. He believed and probably still believes, that Ukraine is still a part of Russia, just another state. Therefore he watches Ukraine's every move, threatening economic sanctions if they don't succumb and bow down to his will. Putin does not want Ukraine to have anything to do with the EU, he wants them firmly ensconced in Russia. He dangles economic aid like a carrot. You have to remember that Kyiv is the cradle of Russian civilisation. It used to be the capital city many years ago. I have to wonder though, if the people protested against Yanukovych in 2004 and got rid of him then because of his corruption and greed, why did they vote him back into power in 2010? It makes no sense to me.
What is happening in Kyiv is spreading all over the Ukraine. Putin must be angry with Yanukovych now for not having stamped this rebellion out at the onset. One wonders when Big Brother will come to his rescue. Will there be more Human Rights abuse in the Ukraine?
Where to go from here?
Excuse the pun but that is the burning question. One has the feeling that there can be no winners here. It is a lose-lose situation.
The opposition doesn't have enough control over the more radical elements of the protesters to make them toe the line. The people of Ukraine are united in their dislike of the government but not united in whom they support in the opposition. The potential withdrawal of financial aid from Russia if Yanukovych doesn't do what they demand and the West's humming and hahing of how best to help Ukraine has left the president with little choice. Cindy Vine is a teacher and author currently living in Kyiv. She is the author of Hush Baby, The Colorful Art of Pain, CU@8 and Defective. All her books are available on Amazon as kindle books and paperbacks.