Review: Surrender (The Entwined Series, Volume III)

surrenderReview by Lynn Reynolds

This may be the type of book that you have not read before.  But I warn you; unless you have no feelings these stories are going to get your juices flowing – and possibly other things as well.  And even your partner may benefit.  You may want to read in bed, or other comfortable spots, but be careful whom you sit next to if you dare to read this in public.

Because this book is interactive you can decide which order you want to read the four stories.  You will be able to go back to the story at any time and change your path so you may never read it the same way twice.  Each journey is told by a different author.  If you want to be vanilla, you can read each tale in order but why not be adventurous and mix things up.

This book’s main character is Kate Sorentella and her fiancé; Barry doesn’t seem to excite her any more.  Then this tale gets interesting because you have a chance to go on four different adventures to find out what happens between them.  And they live next to a hunky neighbor, Jack – need I say more.

For me, I decided to be different and not start with the first author.  I decided that I was going to be adventurous and started with Down the Rabbit Hole by Lissa Trevor.  This is not a story for the shy type – it is erotic after all.  I found that I made the perfect choice for my first read.  And this is definitely not a story for when you are out in public – it is beyond hot!

Our author gives the reader a very interesting ending.  But the only disappointment is that it came too soon.  Depending on the amount of time you have to read during your day, you can certainly read more than one book.  Or if you want to take your time and tease your senses, you could read one adventure a day.

So once you get to Lissa’s ending, you can decide if you want to go to the very end of the book or go back to the Table of Contents and pick your next adventure.  I decided to pick another author.  I chose Watching Kate by Nik Flandrè.

One thing each story will have in common is the BDSM theme.  And also certain names will stay the same so that each story flows from the first chapter.  The sex scenes are hot as well as graphic but not disgustingly so.  Just enough to give you dream material for months to come.

Nik’s story made me glad that I was reading it during the winter – can you imagine my electric bill if it was the summertime?  This tale, in my opinion, was longer than Lissa’s but it is just as good.  Now you’ve finished your second story, what are you going to decide is your next step?  I hope that you will read all four stories before deciding that you have reached the end.

When you have finally come to that end, make sure to read the Acknowledgements from the authors, information on Coliloquy, and About the Author.  If you’ve never read these authors before why not find out more about them.  You may then decide that you want to see what else they may have written.  You may also decide that you want to check out more of what Coliloquy has to offer.  I hope you enjoy this third book in the Entwined Series as much as I did.  This is a book that you get your money’s worth.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Surrender, The Entwined Series: #3

Getting in the Mood: Put Your Inner Martha Stewart to Work

spank me mr darcyGuest blog by Lissa Trevor, author of Spank Me, Mr. Darcy

Writers are a creative bunch. But sometimes we need to jump start the creativity a bit.  We need to flip a switch from our left brain to our right brain, so we can stop analyzing the sentences we’ve just wrote and start synthesizing them into a story.

Sometimes all it takes is a quick craft, like knitting or crocheting a dishcloth.  Just the act of creating a simple, pretty and useful scrap of material is enough to start the creative process.  My favorite dishcloth pattern is to take a ball of one of the variegated colors of sugar and spice brand cotton and a size seven needle. Cast on fifty stitches and knit until you have a dishcloth sized square.  If I need a bit more challenge, I’ll knit the ball band pattern – which you can find with a quick Google search.

Or maybe the jewelry bug hits me.  You can never have too many earrings, you know.  So I’ll grab my ear wires, head pins, pretty beads and my tools and have a go.  You just plop a bead on a head pin, trim the wire with the cutter, curve the wire into a loop, slide on the ear wires, and close the loop.  Repeat for the other ear. YouTube has some great videos on how to do this.

But what if you can’t knit or don’t have the supplies to make earrings?  You can get your Martha Stewart on in a few more ways.  There’s baking.  If you’re not into making something big from a mix, there are individual mug cakes you can make in the microwave.  The basic recipe is three tablespoons of cake mix and two tablespoons of water.  Mix together and nuke for one minute.

If you’re looking for a little variety or guilt free options, Hungry Girl has a bunch of cake mug recipes. http://www.hungry-girl.com/weighin/show/2279

Another way is to decorate a mantle or a little shelf.  Decide on a theme.  Holiday?  Beach? Maybe something to do with your book?  Clear out the space and design it from scratch.  Add some mood candles and voila!  Instant inspiration.  You get bonus points if you have to use your glue gun!

If you’re a visual person, you can take some poster board and a bunch of magazines and flip through to find phrases that jump out at you.  Glue them on the board along with pictures of people who could be your main characters or settings that they may find themselves in.  When you need to describe a person or a place, use this board to help.  It doesn’t even have to be that complicated, though.  You can grab some crayons or colored pencils and channel your inner child. Go on Amazon and search for adult coloring books.  There are a few *ahem* adult-adult ones, but the stained glass and the mandala books should allow you to play around with colors and make the designs pop out.

So what ways do you fire up your creativity?

Author Bio: Lissa Trevor has her stilettos firmly entrenched in the romance community. Spank Me Mr. Darcy is her debut novel from Riverdale Avenue Books. She is a frequent reader at Manhattan’s Between The Covers events, where her novellas Wild Oats and Timelash from Coliloquy’s Entwined volumes 1 & 2 have been very popular. Lissa also created an erotic story template for Coliloquy’s ValEntwined promotion that allowed readers to download a personalized ebook starring themselves and their significant other. You can find her at http://lissatrevor.wordpress.com/

Buy: Spank Me, Mr. Darcy

Get into Bed with Entwined: Unbound Authors

entwined_final_600x800_300Lynn Reynolds: What inspired you to write the opening for Unbound

Lacey Michaels: I’ve always had a thing for airports—and no, it’s not a kink, not really. Nor is it anything to do with induction into The Mile High Club—at least not that I’m admitting! ((wink)) To me airports are semi-magical spaces—the arriving and departing planes, the kiosks of upscale shops and restaurants, and the people whose lives intersect there be it for a few slice-of-life seconds in passing— or prolonged welcomes and farewells weighted with life-altering meaning.

Several years ago, I was returning from a first trip to Ireland. Standing outside the security gates at Cork International, I witnessed the saddest of scenes: a young American woman and an Irish man, both in tears, embracing. Clearly their leave taking was not a goodbye but a final, wrenching farewell.

“I’ll never forget you,” the woman said, tears streaming her upturned face, her trembling mouth seeking his for yet another kiss.

“I love you,” he replied simply, pulling her so close that it was as if he sought to absorb her into his skin.

And that’s when I saw it—the rusty glint of his worn gold wedding band.

The woman was ring-less, the considerable luggage all hers. Both seemed to be deep in doomed love and appropriately miserable. Looking on, I longed to intervene, to suggest that maybe others weren’t as fragile as they feared, to beg them to reconsider, to flout conventional morality and take a chance on love.

Of course I did none of those things. I picked up my bags and continued through security—and began rewriting their story in my head.

At the start of our Unbound, Entwined #1 interactive e-book, romance novelist Charity McCormick has just landed in New York’s JKF Airport after a hiking trip to Western Ireland. The vacation has been a convenient excuse to put some distance between her and her dream man, Drew, whom she’s begun dating in New York. What’s her problem, you might well ask? Finally freed from a sexless, decade long marriage, Charity has promised herself a year of dirty, sexy fun—dirty sexy fun the likes of which she doesn’t dare have with Drew. The hot Texas-transplant is definitely monogamous relationship material, but to explore her kinky side, Charity needs a fling with Mr. Right Now! To that end, during the trip Charity hooked up with her sexy Irish tour guide, Patrick, only Patrick is married to Meg. The couple has twenty years and two grown children together as well as a deep mutual affection that’s sadly never found its way into their bed.

Guilty about their brief affair, Charity and Patrick have agreed to break off all contact. Only once she deplanes, she finds his text message waiting. He has confessed their encounter to Meg! Despite her understandable upset, she has invited Charity to return to Ireland and enter into a marital ménage-a-trois. The start of an unconventional Happily Ever After for all? Read our quartet of erotic novellas and decide for yourself.

Lynn: What do you like about the erotica genre?  What is it that draws you to cats as opposed to dogs as pets?

Cecilia Tan: I can’t imagine not writing about sex. To me, the erotic drive is one of the most basic human drives. Books that have a love story and no erotic component just confuse me. If someone wrote a banquet scene and never mentioned the actual food, for me that’s what a romance without sex is like. Everything I know about the characters, or think I know–their quirks, their hangups, their connection to each other, their conflicts, and their passions–can be shown through well written sex scenes. In fact, if I don’t see those elements tested and proven in a sex scene, I don’t believe them!

Cats are exactly like me: very sensual nocturnal creatures who are quiet and self-sufficient. If I had to get up in the morning to walk a dog? Forget it. I wouldn’t last a month as a dog owner.

Lynn: What did you like about a “choose your own adventure” book?  What does your husband think about you writing erotica?

Lissa Trevor: I have always been a huge fan of “choose your own adventure” books.  I would read the books over and over again to make sure I took every path there was.  I didn’t want to miss any part of the story.  When I was a kid, I wrote my own “choose your own adventure book.”  It was about pirates.  I remembering spreading all the pages out on the living room floor and using colored markers to show where the stories interacted.

My husband loves it.  We went swag shopping today at a local sex store.  We had a great time trying out the floggers and whips.  Do you know there’s one out there made out of Koosh material?  He supports my crazy ideas.  Like when I ordered two hundred paint stirrers to use as giveaways for “spanking” or when I drag him places.  This weekend we’re going to the Museum of Sex in Manhattan.

Lynn: Do you find that winning the Lambda Literary Award has changed your writing at all?  What is it that you love about the older editions of erotica?

Debra Hyde: The Lambda was a pinnacle achievement, a validation, and winning it didn’t so much change my writing as freed me to write across a broader spectrum of storytelling. Since then, I’m writing more for the reader’s entertainment, and Hers, my contribution to Entwined’s Unbound, Volume 1, is entertaining first and smart, second.

Why old erotica? Erotica’s history spans centuries and I’m a book junkie at heart. For Unbound‘s Hers, I wanted the presence of 1950/1960s to reflect how far we’ve come in terms of personal freedoms. “Vintage sleaze,” as these paperbacks are now called, were the closest thing to legal erotica that the readers of that era had. In fact, the explicit language of today’s erotica and erotic romance would’ve landed us authors and publishers in jail back then. And we all know the history of LGBT repression during that same period of time. Today, we’re far more free to love who we want and read what we want and Hers, to a small degree, celebrates those facts.

But, to a far larger degree, I aimed to make Hers entertaining, engaging, and hard to tear yourself away from. Let me know if I succeeded.

Buy: Unbound

Blog: www.entwinederotica.com

Follow us: @Coliloquy @EroticaColiloquy

Giveaway details: 1 ebook- winner can choose format preference (Kindle, Nook, iOs, or Andriod) Ends May 12, 2013. Enter by leaving a comment!

Review: Unbound (The Entwined Series, Book 1) by Debra Hyde, Lacey Michaels, Cecilia Tan, and Lissa Trevor

entwined unboundReview by Lynn Reynolds

This is a new type of book that will have you going back for more – it’s interactive. There are four stories to choose from. But I warn you, unless you have no feelings these stories are going to get your blood flowing – and possibly other things as well. And even your partner may benefit. You may want to read in bed, or other comfortable spot, but you definitely won’t need a fire – this will get you plenty warm enough.

Unbound is written in the first person. Charity McCormick is all about wanting to find romance and yet she already has her own Prince Charming. His name is Drew. But something happens to her after she returns from a trip. This is where you can become adventurous – which story will you choose first?

Hers by Debra Hyde

Charity gets an adventure she never dreamed of when she travels to Ireland. She’s ready to explore the unknown and see where it takes her. Debra introduces a character in her story named Riordan. I found it interesting that Riordan happens to work in my neck of the woods.

If you have never personally experienced the BDSM lifestyle, Debra gives you a little background information. Don’t be shy, experience this tale that Debra has written – you know you want to. It’s not all about the sex. Debra builds a relationship between Charity and Riordan.

You don’t realize how quickly the story goes by. With this book being interactive, you can read one story in just a short amount of time. You can also decide whether you want to start reading another one or save it for another time.

Dear Girl by Cecilia Tan

Right from the start, Cecilia shows the reader how technology has affected Charity. I wonder how many others are affected the same way – what would we do if all technology was here one day and gone the next. Charity has to work the old fashioned way. Cecilia shows how sometimes the lines can become blurred between what is reality and what is fantasy.

This is a story of finding your sexual being – now don’t be shy. We don’t necessarily need a name to be fulfilled by our partner. It’s all about sensation and pushing the limits of what you’re used to – your deepest desires. But don’t despair; Cecilia will reveal her male character’s name eventually. You’ll just have to make sure to read her story if you want to find out his name.

Eight Days in May by Lacey Michaels

In this tale, Lacey takes Charity back to Ireland where she meets her tour guide and his wife. It’s another tale of sexual adventures. This tale shows that sometimes sex can be emotional. It can also push you out of your normal comfort zone.

One thing that I liked about Lacey’s story was that I got a chance to “see” more of the Irish countryside. I felt that I got to experience it right along with Charity. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, maybe this will give you some ideas. And depending on how adventurous you are, you may or may not want to be reading this at an airport. It depends on whether or not you want someone reading over your shoulder.

Wild Oats by Lissa Trevor

Lissa takes the reader on a very different journey. Charity gets to choose which way she wants to travel. Her adventure starts at the airport like the other stories but she doesn’t quite leave the same way. Lissa puts in a paranormal twist but it’s more time travel than paranormal.

I feel that her story is the hottest of the four tales – although they are all smokin’. Her story pushes the boundaries of what’s comfortable. Lissa adds in another male character that helps Charity with that. I will say that I was a little disappointed that Charity didn’t choose him in the end but it left me hoping that Lissa’s next story will take care of that issue.

I hope you will choose to get this interactive book and when you are finished, or even right now, stop over to http://www.entwinederotica.com/ and join this series web site. And you will be happy to know that there is a volume two coming. The bad news is it’s not out yet – coming out Winter 2013.

Rating: ★★★★★

buy: Unbound, The Entwined Series: #1