Naughty vs Nice: Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades B&N CoverFor those who’ve read the E.L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy, and admit it, you so have, at least book #1,you know that the erotic romance between fictional characters Christian Grey and Ana Steele definitely weighs in on the naughty side–fifty shades of naughty. Readers seem to fall into one of two camps: those who love the books and those who love bashing them. Regardless, the cultural conversation continues.

So now that you’ve read the book(s), how to keep the love–or hate–fest going?

FIFTY WRITERS ON FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (BenBella Books) is the brainchild of agent and publisher Lori Perkins, a savvy compilation of fifty “insider” essays examining various aspects of the Fifty Shades juggernaut. Contributors hail from erotic fiction, BDSM, fan fiction, pop culture and, of course, romance; the essays range from tongue-in-cheek humor to no holds barred detestation to steamy homage.

My essay, “Because Love Hurts,” examines Christian and Ana’s relationship through the dual lens of romance fiction and Freudian psychology, prominent aspects of my background and ongoing world view. Other contributors include M.J. Rose, Sylvia Day, Heather Graham, and publisher, producer, and radio talk show host, Judith Regan.

The plot twist at the end of Judith’s essay is–well, as this is a PG-rated blog, you’ll just have to read it for yourself but read it you must!  ((winking wildly))

FIFTY WRITERS ON FIFTY SHADES is available as both a print and e-book at brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as from  AmazonB&N  • IndieBound.


Book Week in Review: Barbara Vey, Lady Jane’s & the RT Con

With PW Blogger @BarbaraVey at the RT BOOKLovers Convention Book Fair.

This past week was rather…full. Or better yet, replete with lots of great opportunities to meet and interact with fellow writers and readers in both Milwaukee and Chicago.

Kicking off the fun fest was PW blogger Barbara Vey with her first Annual Readers’ Appreciation Luncheon in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. More than 200 readers and 38 authors including Cathy Maxwell, Roxanne St. Claire and Yours Truly congregated at the Oak Creek Community Center for a lovely catered luncheon. Heather Graham gave the fun keynote talk, regaling us with true tales far stranger than any fiction.

Tempting cupcakes by author Dianna Love.

More than 38 author-donated raffle and door prizes were awarded including my “Tote of Tempting Treats” filled with an ARC of the Tempting audiobook and other goodies. Lastly, the guest authors signed our for sale books. Didn’t make it this year? No worries. Barbara’s already set the date for next year’s luncheon: April 27, 2013, location TBA. Indeed the sell-out event was so successful that next year’s will require an even larger venue. Way to go, Barbara!


Then it was off to Naperville, a Chicago suburb, for my guest reading at our satellite Salon, Lady Jane’s Salon Naperville. Founded by romance authors Tracey Devlyn and Adrienne Giordano in February 2012, the Salon is held every other month in the loft of Le Chocolat, a lovely local chocolate patisserie and coffee bar in downtown Naperville.

My table at Barbara Vey's Luncheon.

Just a few months’ old, the Salon already boasts a robust following of romance readers and writers. The April 10th event hosted five guest authors: Laurie London, Traci Hall, Tracey Devlyn (reading her romance debut, A Lady’s Revenge, Book #1 in the Nexus series), Cherry Adair, and yes, me, reading from Tempting. To learn more about the Naperville satellite and “Celebrate Differences,” the recipient charity, visit their website.


Another Tempting tote was a charity raffle prize at Lady Jane's Naperville.

Last but in no way least came the RT BOOKLovers Convention. Highlights of the con included the Thursday E-Book & Graphic Novel Expo, workshops and panel talks by authors representing every Shade of Gray (so to speak) of romantic fiction, a mind boggling array of theme parties and costume events, and of course the renowned giganormous Saturday Book Fair, open to the public as well as convention attendees.

But there is indeed no place like home. After a week of glamor–or at least makeup, “real” clothes, and daily hair washings–I returned home to New York on Sunday evening pleasantly weary and wonderfully… replete, happy and blessed to be back to this writing life of sweat clothes’ wearing and copious cat cuddling and sitting down every day to write the books of my heart.

At the RT Book Fair with @LenGunnModel, Mr. Romance 2011

Back from RT!

I’m just back from the RT BOOK Lovers Convention in Columbus, OH, exhausted but still beaming with conference goodness. Personal highlights include Heather Graham’s Vampire Ball where costume peeps from Victorian widows to dagger-stabbed ghouls strutted their stuff; the Saturday afternoon book fair where I got to meet fabulous readers as well as literally hundreds of other authors; and of course our Special Lady Jane’s Salon Event with guest authors Sabrina Jeffries, Linnea Sinclair and Delilah Marvelle. Bonus: an impromptu shout-out for donations for local no-kill cat rescue group, Purr Babies, brought in more than $150 for this labor of love and all-around good cause.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the romance community rocks!

Thanks to our guest author, Delilah Marvelle, who got the giving rolling by donating ten copies of her fabulous release, Lord of Pleasure to the first ten givers. Ditto to the RT staff, especially web wizard, Morgan Doremus, for scaring up not one but two more bags of books so that every attendee who donated to Purr Babies could receive a book as our thank you. Also, thanks to former Lady Jane guest author, Louisa Edwards, for the donation of the lovely take away champagne flutes in celebration of her latest release, On The Steamy Side.

Special sloppy cyber hugs and yes, kisses go out to conference coordinator, Jo Carol Jones, who personally supervised the putting out of shimmery red table clothes, the lighting of candles, and yes the pouring of champagne, all of which transformed the Hyatt’s Peppercorn Lounge from hotel event room to a very Lady Jane-like boudoir.

Putting on the Ritz...Leanna Renee Hieber and Hope at the RT BOOK Lovers Convention, Columbus, OH.
Putting on the Ritz...Leanna Renee Hieber and Hope at the RT BOOK Lovers Convention, Columbus, OH.

I could go on (and on) but I’ll stop there with a reminder that the goodness didn’t end with my plane trip home to Big Apple Landia. Tonight, Monday, May 3rd is our regular monthly Lady Jane’s Salon here in Manhattan at Madame X, 7-9 PM. As always, admission is $5 or one gently used paperback romance novel to be donated to New York City groups serving women in need. We have the usual great lineup of guest authors: YA urban fantasy author, Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade); Christina Britton Conroy (One Man’s Music); and Lady Jane Salon Co-Founder, Victorian paranormal author, Leanna Renee Hieber (The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, Book #2 in “The Strangely Beautiful” Series).

Giving back–it’s a good thing!


August Lady Jane’s Salon etc.

Tonight’s Lady Jane’s features authors Johnny Diaz, Delilah Marvelle and Anna DePalo. Same time (7-9 PM), same place (Madame X) and bonus: admission is free for this month only! Go to Lady Jane’s Salon and read all about it.

Last but not least, a big thank you to everyone who tuned in to my Saturday interview for Medallion Press on BlogTalk Radio. Heather Graham and Vicki Hinze are two talented and tres savvy ladies. In reference to romance readers being teased for their reading choices, Heather said, “Love is probably one of our finest emotions.” Indeed! Click on over and listen to the recorded program online…


Hope “Live” at BlogTalk Radio with Heather Graham

Join me live this Saturday, August 1st, 8-10 PM EST with Medallion Press on BlogTalk Radio. Note: I go on at 8:45 PM. Fellow guests: Heather Graham and Vicki Hinze and the illustrative team of Fortin & Sanders.

We’ll be dishing on the publishing industry and our latest books. Bonus: there’ll be prezzies! Call in at 347-327-9389 and win my “Men of Roxbury House” books: Vanquished, Enslaved and Untamed.