Posts Tagged etopia

Vienna Valentine – Antonia van Zandt

Today I’m delighted to have the lovely Antonia van Zandt with me to talk about her latest release, Vienna Valentine, and a certain creature of the night…

Over to Antonia:ViennaValentine_ByAntoniaVanZandt_200x300

My latest paranormal erotic romance, Vienna Valentine, features a trio of werewolves. Well, with all the lush green pine forests that blanket so much of the Austrian countryside – not to mention the Vienna Woods themselves – you might expect to come across the odd shapeshifting canis lupus, mightn’t you?

In Austria, there are many old folk tales of werewolves, and I’m afraid that none I know of  contain such passionate and beautiful creatures as Magda, Jakob and Karl in my story. So, today I’ll share with you the strange and deadly tale of

The Werewolf of Neffer

The Neffer Werewolf

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Way back in the sixteenth century, in an old Austrian village called Neffer, there lived a woodcutter. One day, as he was out in the forest chopping wood to sell to his neighbours, he heard a gigantic crash. He looked behind him, but all he could see was darkness. Then he realised why. He raised his head and looked up. Towering above him was a massive wolf, standing on tiptoes,  paws outstretched ready to grab him. But most frightening of all was the demonic, slavering grin on its face.

The woodcutter set off and ran for his life. For hours he sped through the forest, while all the while, behind him, he heard the crashing of felled trees and huge, thumping paws that made the earth shake with every step.

When he finally reached the edge of the forest, he had left the village ten miles behind him. He fell to the ground, gasping for breath, his heart hammering in his chest. He dared to look behind him but could see nothing but the trees. He listened. No sound of trees falling or thudding paws.

But then he heard sounds that chilled his blood, turning it to ice in his veins.

The hideous, agonising screams of his fellow villagers.

Terrified to go back into the forest, the woodcutter made a long detour around it, to return to his village. The sight that met him there was horrific. The buildings were destroyed. Flattened as if trampled into the ground. And then there were his friends, neighbours, family. All lay dead, hideously murdered and torn apart by the fearsome beast, who, having accomplished his demonic work, moved on…

Old pic

You’ll be relieved to know that the Neffer werewolf makes no appearance in Vienna Valentine. Here’s the blurb:

On a hot summer night in Vienna, wolves dream of passion…

Escaping from a disastrous marriage, Nina comes to stay with friends in Vienna for a much-needed holiday. Love is the last thing she’s looking for, but when she sees the hot couple in the apartment below making love on their balcony, she can’t take her eyes off them. When they invite her to join them for a night of pleasure, how can she refuse? Captivated by the handsome, seductive Karl, Nina agrees and has the hottest sex of her life. It’s just supposed to be a bit of fun. A one-night stand.

But one night of passion with this gorgeous, mysterious man is not enough. There’s something unusual about him. But what is his secret? And why won’t he let her look at him when they make love? When she finally learns the truth, Karl’s life hangs in the balance, and Nina must leave, never knowing if she’ll ever see him again…

WARNING:  Vienna Valentine contains strong sexual themes, language and scenes. Strictly for broadminded, over 18s. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Vienna Valentine is available from:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca
All Romance eBooks

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

I love to welcome people to my blog and connect with them on Twitter and Facebook. Here are the links:

http://antoniavanzandt.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/antonia.vanzandt

https://twitter.com/AntoniavanZandt

(If you’d like to look at a website dedicated to Werewolves, here’s one: http://www.werewolves.com/)

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Guest Blog – Elin Gregory – On a Lee Shore

Today I’m handing my blog over to fellow Etopia Press author, Elin Gregory!

Many thanks, Kiran for allowing me space on your blog and time to talk about pirates, a subject very close to my heart.
Democrats, with a small ‘d’.
Some years ago the museum in which I work was short of an exhibition to cover the summer months. During a discussion with the curator I suggested that we do something to bring the kids in. “And what do you suggest?” she asked.
“Something everyone likes – like pirates. Everyone likes pirates.”

pirate-party

So much fun! I borrowed artefacts from all over and had a dressing up box. It was a hoot to see fully grown men putting on eye-patches and bandannas and sword fighting all around the gallery. We even had a pirate day – free to anyone in costume – and made hats and cutlasses, dug for treasure and let the kids walk a very low plank. For the 4 months of the exhibition we heard more giggling than ever before or since.
Of course, we also had people who pointed out what awful people pirates had been in real life – scum of the earth, cowardly thieves and murderers with poor personal hygiene – and all that is true but there were interesting social aspects to piratical history that we didn’t have the space or the means to cover in the exhibition.

slavery

Pirates were drawn from all walks of life, not just from amongst seamen. For quite minor crimes a man could be transported to the Caribbean as an indentured servant. Poor labourers or apprentices could be shackled to well-educated professionals. Some of the prisoners were political – supporters of the Duke of Monmouth or, later, of the Jacobite cause. In the cane fields it was the ability to swing a machete that mattered, not ones social standing. When the time of servitude ran out, or they escaped, they signed on ships as deck hands to try to get home, or as sailors. Some of them ended up as pirates – free men with a uniquely egalitarian idea of how the world could be made a better place – and some pirate crews began to organise themselves.

This was a time when birth was everything and it was sincerely believed that God decreed a man’s status. Yet in the early years of the 18th century pirates established a system of accountability for their own behaviour and for that of their officers. The captain, quartermaster, bo’sun and mates were elected by vote from the most able men available. Major decisions about the route they took or prizes to be attacked were made in the sight of the whole crew. In addition, ‘articles’ were drawn up – a list of rules to live by. Some of the rules concerned the safe running of the ship – limits to drunkenness, care to be exercised with naked flames – and some governed the division of treasure, laying down the shares of plunder each man could expect and promising retribution to anyone who tried to defraud the company. Other rules placed limits upon the power of the officers – the captain’s cabin, for instance, though nominally his, could be entered at any time by anyone in the company and if he gave orders that could place the company in peril the quartermaster could countermand him. All men were entitled to equal treatment, equal shares of necessities and, if injured while about their business, they would be compensated from the common fund at a rate suitable to their injury – an eye was worth 100 pieces of eight. When a new recruit joined, or was forced to join, he would be made to sign the articles to show he understood the rules and agreed to abide by them.

It was recognised that if these sets of articles with their signatures had fallen into the hands of the authorities it would have spelled disaster so pirates crews often came to an agreement that they would blow the ship and themselves up. Men who regularly toasted each other with “curse the King and all Higher Powers, and damn the Governor” preferred death at their own hands to trial and hanging.
Below is an excerpt from On A Lee Shore where democratic principles are weighed against good old common sense.
Find more of my thoughts about the Golden Age of Piracy on blogs belonging to Sue Roebuck, Trisram Laroche and Catherine Cavendish. Comment here or on their blogs for a chance to win a copy of “On A Lee Shore”. Each comment = one chance so the more the merrier.

Blurb: “Give me a reason to let you live…”

Beached after losing his ship and crew, and with England finally at peace, Lt Christopher Penrose will take whatever work he can get. A valet? Why not? Escorting an elderly diplomat to the Leeward Islands seems like an easy job, but when their ship is boarded by pirates, Kit’s world is turned upside down. Forced aboard the pirate ship, Kit finds himself juggling his honor with his desire to stay alive among the crew, not to mention the alarming—yet enticing—captain, known as Le Griffe.
Kit has always obeyed the rules, but as the pirates plunder their way across the Caribbean, he finds much to admire in their freedom. He deplores their lawlessness but is drawn to their way of life, and begins to think he might just have found a purpose. Dare he dream of finding love too? Or would loving a pirate take him too far down the road to ruin?

Obtainable here or here if you’re in the States.

Excerpt:
“How can a Captain rule a ship if every man of the crew knows as much as he knows and is privy to the workings of state?” Kit asked. “There needs to be a proper order.”
“Don’t see why,” Davy said. “We’re all men. You, me, O’Neill even though he’s Irish, Valliere even though he’s black, Lewis and Prothero even though they are mollies. We all deserve our say.”
“Indeed,” Saunders was there again. “Young Davy has grasped the great Athenian principles of democracy, which is a fine and wonderful thing on paper but falls down sadly when applied to flawed and sinful men. Take Denny for instance,” they looked across to where Denny was clinging to the rigging waving to the Garnet’s long boat. “Denny is a man, therefore he is entitled to his say. But would either of you agree to put Denny in charge of any great enterprise? Could he Captain a ship? Would you expect him to inspire men to exert themselves under terrible and dangerous circumstances? No of course you wouldn’t. He can just about be trusted to run an errand as long as it’s not a complicated one. So, although all hands are able to hear what is said, and speak their piece, we rely on our betters—for they are our betters—to decide what is best for the greatest number and to see us safely to port.”
“An’ if they don’t, we get to vote them out,” Davy muttered and Saunders nodded again.
“True—they remain in charge just as long as the hoi polloi are kept satisfied. As long as panem et circenses are forthcoming our Captain will remain the cockalorum. Now—if you gentlemen will excuse me—I have a crisis to attend to.” He hefted an empty bottle and went on his way.
~~
Many thanks, Kiran, for your hospitality.

It’s a pleasure to have you 🙂

Elin may be found on her website, blog and on Twitter and Facebook.

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Halloween Heat M/M Goodreads Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Halloween Heat M/M Paperback Edition?

Halloween Heat M/M contains all the stories from HH I and HH IV

An Anthology of Erotic Paranormal M/M Romance and Contemporary M/M Romance

Five erotic stories of gay love and passion with a paranormal twist-ghosts and spirits and otherworldly delights. “Love Lies Deep” by Tristram La Roche “Idle Hands” by Reneé George “Costumes” by Dianne Hartsock “Eden” by Kiran Hunter “Set in Stone” by Elin Gregory

Plus

Two hot tales of contemporary gay romance.”Trex or Treat” by Tara Lain “Desert Candy” by AC Fox

For a chance to win one of two copies click on the Goodreads widget below

Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Halloween Heat M/M by Tara Lain

Halloween Heat M/M

by Tara Lain

Giveaway ends November 30, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Halloween Heat Interview – Antonia van Zandt

I’m excited to have new friend and fellow Etopia author, Antonia van Zandt on my blog, today. It’s been great to get to know a little more about another of the contributors to the Etopia Press Halloween Heat anthologies. Antonia’s short story, Serena appears in Halloween Heat Vol 3.

Kiran: Tell me – who or what was the inspiration for your short story, Serena?

Antonia: There is a painting in my house of a very beautiful woman, with black hair, emerald eyes and an enigmatic look. As you move about the room, her eyes seem to follow you. A bit spooky, but captivating.

 Kiran: What drew you to write erotic fiction?

Antonia:  A number of reasons, but one was a challenge to see if I could write good sex. It is not as easy as many people think!

 Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing career?

Antonia: My family don’t know. They would be shocked and probably disown me. Mind you, they don’t really approve of me anyway, so I probably wouldn’t notice much difference. But, best to be on the safe side. My true friends are very supportive – and some of them even contribute ideas!

Kiran: What would your perfect writing day look like? (Mine involves being shut in a darkened room with my characters)

Antonia: In my lovely quiet study, surrounded by books and paintings, the door slightly ajar to allow my cats to wander in and out. The phone goes to voicemail and it is peace, perfect peace until I am ready to say goodnight to my characters, switch off the laptop, feed my cats and curl up in my comfiest chair with a glass of Blaufränkisch.

 Kiran: You are holding an All Hallows Eve dinner party. Tell me the four sexiest fictional characters you would invite.

Antonia: One would definitely be Serena from my short story of the same name. She is sultry, sensual, strong and passionate. Another would be Karl from my latest WIP Vienna Valentine. He is a Hunk, but also compassionate and caring. Third would be Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights – but I would have the Timothy Dalton incarnation from the 1970 film as far as looks were concerned (certainly not Laurence Olivier!). Heathcliff was so mad, bad and dangerous to know – dark, swarthy, earthy and undeniably sexy. Lastly, The Sundance Kid (OK, I mean Robert Redford’s portrayal of him). I’ve always fancied riding off into the sunset with a gorgeous cowboy and I’d make sure he didn’t get shot!

 Kiran: What can we look forward to seeing from you next?

Antonia: Around Christmastime, a new novella called Seducing Amanda is coming out. This is creepy, atmospheric and as hot as a sizzling poker in mulled wine. I’m hoping Vienna Valentine will follow soon after, but I’m waiting to hear. You can rest assured there will be gorgeous people, lots of erotic fire and passion, all set against a background where things are never quite as they appear to be…

Serena

Marianne closed her eyes and luxuriated in the perfumed water, as it caressed every inch of her body. Soon her secret lover would be here. Soon it would be her fingers stroking her skin, probing deep within her, rousing her to new pinnacles of passion.

Serena. Even the sound of her name swept through her on a tide of ecstasy. On this magical night, all Marianne had craved would be hers. And now she need wait no longer. Framed in the doorway, stood a tall, slender woman with black hair and emerald eyes.

Serena had come for her and Marianne was ready.

Excerpt from Serena:

The scent of jasmine wafted up from the sea of fragrant bubbles and I stretched out my legs until they touched the far edge of the oversized bath, such decadent luxury made all the more exquisite by its rareness. I lifted my right arm out of the water, stroking its silky softness, then touched my breasts, their rosy nipples poking up through the water. My fingers traveled to the firm contours of my stomach and on down to my pelvis. I hesitated, longing to touch myself and start my arousal, but that would be cheating. Serena must do that. It was our way.

A little moan escaped my lips. So long since I had seen her, since I had felt her warm, vibrant body and rained kisses on her smooth skin. But I didn’t have much longer to wait. A rustling sound made me open my eyes. Framed in the doorway, there she was. My beauty.

Antonia van Zandt can be found on her website: http://antoniavanzandt.blogspot.co.uk/

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/antonia.vanzandt

And Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntoniavanZandt

Halloween Heat 3 is available from Amazon US and UK

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Halloween Heat M/M Blog Hop – Prizes At Every Stop

Get to know the authors from the Halloween Heat M/M mini-anthologies between October 12th and October 14th and be in with a chance of winning some great M/M fiction as well as gift certificates.

I was thrilled when Eden was chosen to be part of the Halloween anthology collection, being a lover of all things dark…

All Hallows’ Eve – the night when the barrier between the physical and supernatural worlds is at its weakest and magic can happen.

When Sebastian, a dusty, sad antiquarian, throws a Halloween party, the last thing Jack expects the evening to be is magical. A wrong turn in Sebastian’s country house leads him to the cause of his employer’s sadness – the gateway into a dark and bewitching garden of temptation. Surrounded by nature at its most wicked, Jack is seduced by a master craftsman – a true force of nature.

You can find Eden in Halloween Heat Vol 1

Halloween Heat I
An Anthology of Erotic Paranormal M/M Romance

Five erotic stories of gay love and passion with a paranormal twist—ghosts and spirits and otherworldly delights, perfect for Halloween.

“Love Lies Deep” by Tristram La Roche
“Idle Hands” by Reneé George
“Costumes” by Dianne Hartsock
“Eden” by Kiran Hunter
“Set in Stone” by Elin Gregory

Buy Halloween Heat I here:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
All Romance eBooks

Halloween Heat IV
Erotic Contemporary M/M Romance

Two hot tales of contemporary gay romance to fill your goodie bag this Halloween.

“Trex or Treat” by Tara Lain
“Desert Candy” by AC Fox

Buy Halloween Heat IV here:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
All Romance eBooks

Win!

For the chance to win a copy of my first Etopia Press publication, my short story – Bedevil,  in whichever e-format you prefer, leave a comment below and tell me who you think the sexiest creature of the night is, including your email address (mine is Angelus, BTVS).

Competition closes at midnight Sunday 14th October EST.

One winner will be drawn on Monday 15th October.

Hop on over to visit the other Halloween Heat M/M authors and find out more about their stories and see what treats they are offering for you to win!

Click on the links below to visit the other authors!

Dianne Hartsock Costumes
Kiran Hunter Eden
Renee George Idle Hands
Tara Lain Trex or Treat
Tristram La Roche Love Lies Deep
Elin Gregory Set in Stone

Happy hopping!

Kiran

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Halloween Heat – Celebrate the Launch

Six Halloween themed erotic mini-anthologies from Etopia Press available from Amazon and All Romance!

Join Etopia Press on Twitter tonight, 5th October – 9.00pm (EST) to meet the authors!

Search for #Etopia and join in the fun

Participating Authors

Click to buy from Amazon

Release Date October 5th 2012

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It’s Been Oh, So Quiet….

…but not for much longer – the nights are drawing in (here in the UK) and things will be going bump in the night more often as Halloween approaches.

Coming soon from Etopia Press – just the thing to warm things up on a spooky winter’s evening –  Halloween Heat… including my erotic short story – Eden!

Release date to be announced soon….

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