Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blood Slave Review & Giveaway

You know those books that everyone told you to read, but you put them off.  And then when you finally read the book, you couldn’t believe you had put it off for so long?  That is Blood Slave by Travis Luedke.  

Inner Goddess Kayla had told me about the Nightlife series, a new vampire series.  I even downloaded the first book, The Nightlife: New York.  But it wasn’t until I saw the cover for Blood Slave that my true interest was tweaked.  The story is told from the point of view of a kept woman, kept for her blood by the vampires.  Hope is beautiful, every man’s wet dream.  Her life has been lived in one cage after another, with men owning her body and taking or selling the pleasures her body offered as they wished since she was fourteen.  But one “date” with a psycho woman turns Hope’s existence upside down as she is thrown into the world of vampires.  Unable to risk revealing their existence, the vampires move Hope into a new cage to be both food and sex toy to the powerful Enrique.  And as a relationship begins between the two, the jealousy of his underling cuts their happiness short.  The side stories of drugs, prostitution, and violence take the reader into the belly of New York City’s underground, while showing the dangerous power wielded by both men and beasts.

Even though it is the third novel in the series, I read it first—and that was fine.  Luedke created a story that stands by itself.  The pacing of the story is swift, moved along by the narrator Hope’s quirky sense of humor.  Luedke’s brand of vampires are beautiful, seductive, and deadly strong.  Their venom creates orgasmic states in the humans while feeding, and Anna becomes addicted to the venom, needing constant bites.  She is confused if her feelings for Enrique are real or a result of this addiction, a constant source of frustration for her.  But he gives her what no other man has:  a place and purpose in the world outside of the bedroom.  The happily ever after is still a gilded cage she reminds herself, and when Enrique leaves for a trip, his underling proves how precarious Hope’s position is. 

Enrique and Hope are part of a world that includes prostitution and drug cartels.  Brutal violence and rape are part of the business day. To survive, both must be willing to fight to the death for what they want.  This is a gritty, realistic urban book which pulls no punches.  And yet it provides hope where there should be none.  It is a balancing act of storytelling between life, lust, blood, greed, and love which Luedke manages quite adeptly.  My heart still races along with Hope’s from her race into the City to find Enrique. And my body still rejoices with hers at his revelations.  

Luedke explores many themes in Blood Slave.  What does it mean to be betrayed by those you trusted to keep you safe?  How do you rebuild yourself and learn to live and love again after experiencing the worst life has to offer?  Where is the line between physically needing someone and emotionally needing them?  Is self-worth something that comes from within or from others?  He shows us the plight of immigrants in a strange country, of women in a patriarchal society, of ethics in business practices.  And he does all this while we fall in love with Enrique and Hope, with her Cinderella story.  4 Stars out  of 5.

You can find out more about The Nightlife series by visiting Travis Luedke's website and by following his book tour this week.   See all the stops here on the blog hop tab.

Vote for the cover of Book 4, The Nightlife: Paris by clicking here for poll.
And then join us in discussing this book on the IG forum. 

Check out Travis Luedke’s Nightlife series, available at Amazon, Smashwords, and iTunes.  Enter the contest to win all three books

Enter to Win

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The True Value of Loyal Fans

Hello Inner Goddesses out there. I'm so excited to be with you today to talk a little bit about some of the work I'm doing. It's such an honor to be on a site that has hosted "real authors" that I adore. I'm a brand new author and it's been a crazy few months. I literally wrote my first short book over a weekend in October 2012 and have been cranking them out since. 
Of the many things I've learned over the past few months, the most significant is that readers WANT indie authors to be successful. They will forgive a few typos (just a few), silly dialogue and amateurish cover art as long as the author puts out a good story. I am the first to admit that I have a long way to go before I'll be considered a 'great' author. Being on multiple best seller lists doesn't necessarily equate to quality but it does mean that people are talking about your book and they want more of it. I try to get better with each book and I know that my fans have noticed. They know that I'm learning from my mistakes and that the next book I put out will be better than the previous...which was better than the previous. ;-)

When I talk to other new authors, they often complain about not having a big marketing budget to reach fans but it doesn't necessarily take money. Just some perspective. Once you've published the book, there isn't usually any overhead. You've paid to get it that far but you don't have to keep paying to stay published. So, don't be afraid to blanket the world with your work. I was able to build a loyal following quickly by offering free books. I'll give a book to anyone that asks for one. Sure, I might be losing a few dollars from the people that would have gone out and purchased it...but having one more person that tells their friend about a new author that they love is absolutely priceless. The people that were willing to give me a chance on day one are now the friends that I can rely on for an honest review, an uplifting message and even a note about the occasional typo that I missed in my 50th pass over the book. ;-)

So, in that vain, I'd love to give all of you a copy of two of my books. Pick up codes to download one or both here:

1) More Than Friends is a gay novelette (apx 75 pages) about a straight guy that falls for a gay guy. 

2) Or, if you're into the more traditional male/female erotica, grab a copy of Dog Walker: Sexy Gigs #2. It's a short story (apx 30 pages) about a girl who takes a dog walking job that is more about entertaining the owner. 
For new and aspiring authors, if you have questions about getting started, join Aria in a discussion by commenting below. We would love some words of wisdom from the more experienced published authors.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Twisted Secrets and Out-of-Control Desires (Giveaway)

This week I have the joy of talking with Seattle based author Kristine Cayne.
 Award-winning author Kristine Cayne is fascinated by the mysteries of human psychology—twisted secrets, deep-seated beliefs, out-of-control desires. Add in high-stakes scenarios and real-world villains, and you have a story worth writing, and reading.   

 Kristine’s heroes and heroines are pitted against each other by their radically opposing life experiences. By overcoming their differences and finding common ground, they triumph over their enemies and find true happiness in each other’s arms.

 KC: I’m thrilled to be visiting the Inner Goddess blog today. It’s always exciting to talk about my work, especially with someone who’s already read it. LOL. Okay, I’m ready now. Fire those questions at me!

 IG: You wrote in an anthology with a group called The Rainy Day Writers. Did you come together for this project, or is it an ongoing group? What others things do you do with this group?     
KC:  The Rainy Day Writers is an ongoing group. The current group of six has been together for about three years. We meet every couple weeks to read each other scenes from our individual projects. Romance in the Rain was our first anthology, but hopefully not our last. 
IG: Many of our members are also writers. How can they find writing groups to join? What should they look for in a group? 
KC:  If they write romance, Romance Writers of America is a great place to start. In addition to the national organization, RWA has chapters and special-interest groups, both online and local, in many cities across the country. It’s a great place to meet like-minded authors and then create your critique group, plotting group, and so on. In terms of what to look for, you want people who will be honest, but in a constructive way, and they should be people who will let you tell the story your way and not try to take over and tell it their way. That’s critical to letting your voice as a writer come out. If RWA isn’t an option for you, another great place to find writer’s groups is 
IG: The Romance in the Rain anthology is unique in that each author chose a different generation of the same family. Can you talk about the generation you wrote, and if you worked in a bubble or in conjunction with the others for continuity? 
KC: We had two requirements: first, the story had to at least partially take place in Seattle; and second, the hero or heroine had to be a member of the Caldwell family. Each writer chose their generation based on the time period they wanted to write about. Because mine was an earthquake in an actual city, I placed mine in the near future.
We worked together very closely, reading each other’s stories and adjusting ours based on what was happening in the other stories. We created the genealogical charts as went along as a way to keep everyone in sync.
 IG: Your Deadly Vices series looks at how secrets from our past can affect our present and future. How do you create these secrets: are they from the headlines or grow as you create the character? 
KC:  The secrets start with the headlines and grow from there. For example, the idea for Deadly Obsession sparked when I was looking at a fan site for Gerard Butler and people were posting pictures and talking about the times and places where they’d seen or met him. Some of this seemed almost real time. It got me thinking about how easy it would be to use this information to stalk a celebrity. Likewise, for Deadly Addiction, Native American issues are always in the news in Canada, especially the ongoing chill between the provincial police and the local Mohawks. 
IG:  Your latest novel Under His Command examines what happens when a couple doesn't communicate, allowing guilt and assumptions to create a wall. I like that you chose to look at an established relationship (5years with a child) instead of an emerging relationship. Why did you decide to go that direction?
 KC: Under His Command started with the story Aftershocks, which appears in the Romance in the Rain anthology. Because that story focuses on a rescue that takes place during an earthquake, the hero and heroine needed to have an already established relationship that was on the rocks in order to make a romance story believable in those circumstances. Even though they achieve a major breakthrough in Aftershocks and admit that they love each other and want to fix their failing marriage, it was clear to me that they had plenty of work ahead of them. Saying that something needs to be fixed is different from actually fixing it. Thus Under His Command was born. 
IG: The Hawaiian scenes in Under His Command are beautiful! Are these real places you've visited or a great imagination? 
KC: They are definitely real places, but they are not places I’ve visited. As an author, I need to be able to write about places all over the world, and to do so, if I can’t get there myself, I rely on research. This includes talking to people who live in those locations, watching videos, and looking at photos. All this combined gives me a hopefully accurate feel for the setting. Diana Gabaldon wrote Outlander, which is set in mid-18th century Scotland, before ever setting foot in that country. She did an amazing job of putting you there, and that was all through research. 
IG: The Six-Alarm Sexy series begins with the story Aftershocks in which Seattle is rocked by a destructive earthquake. Why create this scenario rather than use one of the many real events in California? 
KC: First off, all the stories in Romance in the Rain had to be set in Seattle. Secondly, Seattle has had many earthquakes, including the Nisqually quake in the 90s, which damaged the King County Courthouse where the heroine works. We keep waiting for “the big one” that scientists assure us could happen any day. If you use a real event, you’re limited to what actually happened, unless you’re writing an alternate history. In Aftershocks, the type of destruction and the location in which it occurs are based on the predictions scientists have made for future big quakes in Seattle. (See here for an in-depth report on the risks: 
IG: What is next for Six-Alarm Sexy fans? 
KC: The next book in the series is Everything Bared, which is Dani and William’s story. The series is based on kink; each couple expresses it in their own unique way. I’m trying to release Everything Bared in early summer. 
IG: What is next for Deadly Vices fans?
 KC: The next Deadly Vices book is Kaden’s story, called Deadly Betrayal. Kaden returns to Afghanistan to help the doctor who saved his life and to investigate the ambush that led to his injury and honorable discharge from the military. 
IG: What is coming up for Kristine Cayne fans? 
KC: In March, I’ll be participating in several blog hops, where I’ll be giving away my new Six-Alarm Sexy t-shirts! Be sure to visit my blog at For my fans, I also have a free romantic suspense story available, called Guns ‘N’ Tulips, on Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance eBooks. Hopefully, it will be free on Amazon soon as well. Enjoy!
 Thank you, Kristine, for coming in today.  I loved learning more about you, your books, and the wonderful city of Seattle.  (Who knew it had real earthquakes?)  And I can’t wait to see how Dani takes the starch out of William!!!  And don't forget to download her free book Guns 'N' Tulips! 

You can find Kristine Cayne at any of these links: 

Her books are available at:

Deadly Obsession (Deadly Vices, Book 1)

Amazon US -
Amazon Paperback US -
Amazon UK -
Amazon Paperback UK -
Apple iTunes:
Diesel ebooks:

Deadly Addiction (Deadly Vices, Book 2):

Amazon US -
Amazon Paperback US -
Amazon UK -
Amazon Paperback UK -
All Romance eBooks:

“Aftershocks ” in Romance in the Rain (Six-Alarm Sexy, Prequel)

Under His Command (Six-Alarm Sexy, Book One)

Guns ‘N’ Tulips

Un-Valentine’s Day


Contest Time:    

Kristine is giving away the anthology Romance in the Rain, which includes the story Aftershocks, book 1 of the Six-Alarm Sexy series.  To win this book, post your answer to the question in the comments below.  Be sure to provide an email contact so we can let you know you won.  Contest runs until Feb. 23, 2013, midnight CST. 
Jamie and Erica take their honeymoon in Hawaii.  Where do you think is the perfect honeymoon destination?