Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RomantiCon 2012: Great Friends, Fabulous Readers and EC Staff

Greetings everyone!!
This blog comes to you several days after the close of RomantiCon 2012, Ellora's Cave Publishing's annual convention for readers, authors and staff to mix, mingle and celebrate red hot Erotic Romance and the women who write and read them.

I can't tell you how many wonderful people help to bring the convention together with style, class and dedication to detail and planning. As a former conference chair and the president of an RWA chapter, I know what it takes to pull off a conference of any size, but every year Ellora's Cave staff manages to impress and make the planning look and feel effortless. It should go without saying, but I will anyway, thank you Ellora's Cave for all you do for authors, readers and staff members.

Believe it or not, planning for RomantiCon 2013 is underway, and the dates are set. Check out EC's RomantiCon 2013 website for details! And if you're a RomantiCon virgin, don't be nervous about attending. Everyone is welcome and before the convention is through, you'll have 300+ new friends. The minute you step into the convention, you're drawn into a safe environment where you can be free to be yourself, read the books you love and write the books fans crave. Here's a look at next year!

Note the date, October 10-13, 2013, the theme, Old Hollywood, New Bollywood, make costumes if you're crafty (unlike myself) and be free to push reality to the curb for a few days and live a fantasy that will leave you smiling, laughing and partying with follow readers and authors, and have I mentioned the Cavemen? If not, let me tell you, you cannot miss the Cavemen.

Here's a look at the beautiful man who was named Alpha Caveman of the year this past Saturday night! The Cavemen dance, charm and pose throughout the convention without fail and are always ready with the warmest of smiles and the sweetest of personalities to boot. The one thing that stood out to me this past weekend was the fact that not only are the Cavemen incredibly talented, they are genuinely nice! Some are quiet-spoken, and yet, their intensity and dedication to detail and their natural sense of charm makes any woman melt and feel like a woman, no pun intended.

At RomantiCon 2012, the Cavemen included this year's winner, Nick, who led an incredible Zumba class that must be witnessed, David, Ace, Christian, Georgio, Ryan (a South African who was not only gorgeous, tall and chiseled, he was also gracious and well-spoken, just listening to him for five minutes was an honor), Eli, Bryan, Taylor and Justin (both of whom wrote 'Take it Off' available now from Ellora's Cave, and Cole.
If you want to learn more about them, click the links:  Georgio:
Cole: Ryan:  Eli: Taylor: Justin:  David: 
Bryan:  and Ace:

Next year, I'm sure many will return, as well as new Cavemen and some who were unable to attend this year due to other obligations. They're really super nice and make the weekend all the more special. Of course, the fact that they're incredibly gorgeous and grace the covers of our books, as well as have moves on the dance floor that will leave you breathless, is one of many, many reasons attendees return year after year.

On Thursday night at RomantiCon 2012, attendees gathered during the Meet and Greet, a time when everyone can gather at the bar, grab a drink and catchup or meet for the first time. Within minutes new faces became instant friends, past attendees reunite and the Cavemen dance, talk and socialize. Now, I admit that I arrived this year on Wednesday evening, giving a whole day to explore before the events kick off Thursday evening. Next year, I'm determined to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was literally down the road from the hotel and I'm a HUGE football fan.

After a day of workshops and discussion panels that featured everything from open discussion of writing BDSM, to sexy Pictionary games and what books make a reader's keeper shelf and why, not to mention Poi and hula hoop dancing (I'll get to the lap dancing lesson next), and plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with 80+ authors and many, many readers of Exotica, Romantica and Blush romances, everyone gathered in the banquet hall for a night of food, fun and dancing. The theme this year was 'Party Like There's No Tomorrow', and attendees dressed in costumes ranging from Cleopatra to Hollywood-chic, and Carnival! The Cavemen entertained us with skillfully crafted choreography and dancing, here's a link.

Warning in advance, it's about 25 minutes long!

Also, this brings me to Rodney and CJ! Both men are important parts of the RomantiCon experience. Rodney was named the Ultimate Caveman, acts as the event emcee, and is all-around charming, friendly, open and possibly the nicest man on the planet. The moment Rodney walks into the room, women get all giddy because we all know that he can charm your socks off, all while remaining respectful and seeing the beauty of a woman, inside and out, no matter who they are. CJ, is the original Caveman and he loves to pose with attendees and is really, very sweet. He also helped to hand out awards at the Saturday evening ceremony, his smile is wonderful and his hugs are even better!!

This brings me to Saturday evening, this theme being Survivors vs Zombies after the Mayan apocolypse! The costumes were incredibly creative, everything from walking dead, blood-soaked brides, angels, military specialists and vampires. This was the night Nick was crowned Alpha Caveman of 2012, giving him the honor to be 'the' Caveman, he'll appear in a national magazine, many covers and become the cover boy for EC's annual calendar, among other benefits.

Sadly, this draws me to think about an incredibly wonderful man who was tragically killed shortly before RomantiCon. An angel in his own right, Angelo/Ruben, will always, always be missed by those who knew him and called him a friend. Angelo was the reigning Alpha, and it is only fitting that his good friend, Nick, received the honor this year. I know that Angelo was smiling down from Heaven when Nick's name was announced. And it's no surprise that Nick won. He is charming and genuine, not to mention gorgeous, and man, can he move! There's something incredibly sexy about a man who can dance, and this man can dance!

On a happier note, Saturday marks the author awards ceremony. Rising Stars, featuring authors new to EC, to Superstars, authors who are awarded with beautiful, dazzling crystal trophies, for their books or something in their book that made the editors stand up and take notice. I was honored to learn that Cuff Master received an award for 'Best Race to Orgasm', and when I heard the title and then my name, I was so shocked, I nearly fell over. The room roared with laughter and cheers. To be honored in such a way will always mean the world to me. Thank you EC!

Now, of course, every night there is dancing. Dancing, and more dancing. In addition to our gorgeous Cavemen leading the way with another choreographic masterpiece, this time Survivors vs Zombies, and when the zombies look like the Cavemen, (I'd gladly let them bite!) attendees danced late into the night, then we all converged in the lounge and socialized some more.

Sunday at RomantiCon is the SEXPorium, a 4 hour event featuring a book signing by the authors, and more entertainment from the Cavemen and the local burlesque troop from Cleveland Exotic Dance. These ladies are really, really sweet, and fit right in at RomantiCon. One thing I'd forgotten to mention, early on Saturday, we learned all about lap dancing. No, we didn't do anything that would make our husbands or significant others nervous, but we did learn some moves that would entertain them! We also learned a startling difference between how a woman's sensuality can be enhanced during a lap dance and how a man can be both physically charming and dominant, and yet, not once put her in an awkward or dangerous position. The men of RomantiCon do this with class and perfection, making certain that every woman feels safe in their company.

It is with sadness that I must end this blog post, or I fear tears, because I do love being at RomantiCon and the friends I've made there. Each year gets better and better, this being my third, and next year will definitely be my fourth. Don't miss it. Attend, even if you think you're too shy, don't let that stop you. Come and be part of the EC family and you will find friendships that last and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Until next time,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cuff Master: 4.5 Star Review from Sensual Reads

Hello everyone,

Fall is underway here in New England, leaves are turning and falling fast and pumpkins are dotting doorways and front steps. It's really very lovely.

I just received some fantastic news to share. Cuff Master, Ellora's Cave Taboo, the second Maddox romance with BDSM and features Ethan Maddox and Morgan Everhart, received 4.5 Stars from Sensual Reads!

Here's a link to the review:

The reviewer, Jacquie , had this to say, "The story actually kept me interested and would have been a great story even without the sex. However, I’m so glad the sex was included because that made the book that much stronger." She also said, "A fantastic read to while away those long cooler evenings"

As mentioned above, there's a link to the review and it'd be great if you'd check it out. Additionally, Cuff Master is available at Ellora's Cave,, B&N, ARe, Sony and Kobo. There are links for each venue on my website at

Thank you for letting me share! This week marks the beginning of RomantiCon2012. If you're on Twitter, you can follow along and join the #Romanticon12 conversation. Hopefully, you'll be attending or want to attend next year. It's a blast.

Until next time,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tribute to an Angel

Greetings everyone!

Please forgive me for not revealing a Hump Day Hunk of the week yesterday. I'd arranged for a guest blogger, Sabrina York, and I wanted to give her the space and time. It's my hope that Sabrina's readers and mine checked out her post.

On that note, let's get to the topic of the day, RomantiCon2012. If you're on Twitter, you can follow discussion at #RomantiCon12 or @Ellorascave for updates on EC's annual convention. But first, it's safe to admit that my heart is broken as I write this post.

As many may know by now, Ellora's Cave lost a dear friend and last year's Alpha Caveman, Ruben Dario Riguero Brito, 'Angelo', in a tragic shooting earlier this week. Jaid Black, EC's founder, has written an amazing tribute to him here: and on her personal blog. He was so young and had such promise and vitality and a warm smile that charmed every person who knew him. By nature, he was a peacemaker, the kind of man who you could trust and laugh with.

By many accounts, he was a fitness fanatic and loved baseball. He had an incredible sense of rhythm and dance, and when he was on the dance floor leading others, you simply couldn't look away, he was that magnetic. He also created a rumba explosion class in Dallas and his friends there have vowed to continue his legacy there.

Two years ago, I had the fortune of meeting Angelo/Ruben for the first time. It was my first RomantiCon as an EC author, and most attendees danced the night away with Angelo in the center of the dance floor along the way. He was surrounded. The most memorable moment for that convention for me happened when he graciously coaxed Maggie, an attendee who'd seen many, many health challenges in her family, not to mention her own concerns, onto the dance floor in her wheelchair, along with her daughter. They were his focus, they were charmed, and they had a blast. To see them smile and dance and be treated as the beautiful women they were was endearing, allowing them to live for the moment as their cares and concerns were a million miles away in that moment and time.

One year ago, my second turn at RomantiCon, Angelo was on the cover of one of my books, Field of Play. I proudly displayed the cover flats because Angelo was the epitome of the hero I'd created for that book. When he saw the cover, he immediately came over, chatted with me about the book and then signed a cover flat for me with the words "For My Babe, Angelo, XOXO", and he handed it back with the biggest smile. Afterward, he took one of my promo tip cards featuring the cover from the table, asking if he could keep it and almost shyly placed it into his pocket.

Not long after, the Sexporium, featuring burlesque and pole dancers, was going on, and Angelo led the other Cavemen to not only watch, but to remain respectful of what the ladies were doing. Sure, they were men and the enjoyed the show because the women were beautiful in their art. The Cavemen also gave the pole dancing a try, including Angelo, discovering that it wasn't easy at all! To see them try was truly funny. But beyond the pole dancing episode, that moment when Angelo signed Field of Play's cover for me was mine to cherish. It wasn't more than five minutes, and yet, that five minutes featured who he was as a person, warm, compassionate, kind, and genuinely interested in what I write.  

When I returned home, I had the autographed cover framed and it now sits above my desk. It will never be replaced, as he will never be replaced. While I know RomantiCon12 will be another great success, his spirit will be among us, his legacy never to be forgotten but embraced by all who knew him. The Cavemen will make certain his name is honored, as Jaid herself said in the page dedicated to him on RomantiCon's website, Friday night will be "Angelo's night", and rightfully so.

One of the best descriptions I've heard and seen when someone met Ruben, it was that he had the smile and features of an angel. In fact, many covers featured him with an angel's wings. There's no doubt that there's a new angel in Heaven, but he will surely, always be missed.

As RomantiCon2012 approaches, may we all know that no matter what, an angel will be calling out Bingo numbers in that thick Venezuelan accent that sent hearts aflutter.

Rest in peace, Ruben, and keep smiling. You will always be in our hearts!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Guest Post: Sabrina York

Hello everyone! I'm happy and proud to welcome my guest blogger this week, Sabrina York. Sabrina's celebrating a new release, Trickery. While that's always fun, it's beginning to look and feel like autumn, the perfect time to have pumkin-spiced coffee and read spicy Halloween tales. Read on to learn more about Trickery and EC's new Hex line!
Getting Ready for Halloween? How about a naughty erotic novella about mischievous witches and warlocks?

Just in time for early trick-or-treaters, Ellora’s Cave is launching a new line featuring witches and warlocks engaged in some very naughty business. It’s called the Hex line and you can watch for releases all the month of October.

My offering was just a joy to write. In fact, Willow and Damien whispered into my ear the whole time I was crafting the story. They are an impish duo with some very interesting…talents. Of course they use their powers to drive each other wild with lust.

Willow is a novice witch—with a robust appetite for dark, sexy men. But she’s forbidden from having doing the dirty until her Sacred Circle. Enter Damien, masquerading as innocuous coffee vendor, Austin, who has come to this plane for one reason and one reason only: To seduce the woman his powerful father has deemed off limits. Add in some devious puppet masters attempting to control the fate of the Witching World, and a lot of hot steamy magical domination and you have the bones of Trickery.

Ah yes. Far too tempting to resist.

Trickery by Sabrina York

Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at Ellora’s Cave

Though seducing a mortal is expressly forbidden, novice witch Willow Ostreth wants Austin. Bad. Unbeknownst to Willow, Austin—the glorious, delicious specimen who makes her heart pound and her body weep—is no mere mortal. He’s really Damien DeWinter, a powerful warlock, a man determined to lure Willow—and bind her—to his bed.

When the luscious Willow breaks the rules and uses her magic to ensnare him, Damien—rebel, renegade, outcast from the Witching World—figures he has carte blanche to pursue her and seduce her using any means possible. And his arsenal is vast.

What neither of them realizes as they tempt and torment each other with pleasure is that there’s a greater magic at work here. One that could bind them together, forever.

You can read an excerpt on my website, but watch out. It’s full of adult language and wicked situations. If you like Trickery, check out my bookshelf or my Ellora’s Cave Author Page and read excerpts from all my books.

What’s next? Folly, an erotic Regency with BDSM elements comes out October 31st and Training Tess, a scorching BDSM contemporary releases November 28th.

Yes. Sabrina has been a very busy girl!

Enter my contest to win a Tiara
Oh. But not too busy to give away some bling.


You can enter to join the royal court and win a gorgeous tiara by signing up for Sabrina York’s Royal Hotsheet (new book and contest info only–no spam! Your e-mail address will not be shared). If you’re already getting the newsletter, don’t fret. You’re already in the drawing. Send an email with “Enter Me” in the subject line (this is erotica, after all) to The drawing will be December 31, 2012. One entry per person.


Refer Your Friends Bonus Entries: Tell your friends about Sabrina York, Her Royal Hotness. If they sign up for Sabrina’s Hotsheet you earn another entry. (NOTE: They must tell me that you referred them in the message box).

Connect with Sabrina!

You can connect with me on Twitter at @sabrina_york and on Facebook at Of course, you can always contact me, check out coming books and read more excerpts on my webpage at


It’s been great chatting with you! Thanks Frances, for the opportunity to share.