The Tortured Hero Blog Hop Was Canceled.

Portrait Of Young ManHowever, I’d still like to do my post as I thought it was really cute and I had this gorgeous man as the poster boy for the tortured hero!

Tortured and brooding are the best qualities for movie romantic heroes to me. During the course of the film you get to see the tough exterior they have developed begin to crack until they are all soft and mushy under the gaze of the one they love. They may even shed a tear or two.

Awww…

Two of my favorite tortured heroes are:

Jack Twist in Brokeback Moutain

In this 2005 film set in the Alberta Mountains, a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy begin a lifelong affair filled with complications and tragedy that shows the endurance of love.

My favorite line: I wish I knew how to quit you. (Jack to Ennis)

Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets

In this 1997 film set in New York, an obsessive compulsive writer is thrown out of his comfort zone when he has to care for his neighbor’s dog and the only waitress who will tolerate him has to leave work, leaving him incapable of having breakfast. This leads to a weekend trip in which the unlikely trio discover the true meaning of love and tolerance.

Best scene:

Melvin Udall: Don’t be pessimistic, it’s not your style. Okay, here I go: Clearly, a mistake. I’ve got this, what – ailment? My doctor, a shrink that I used to go to all the time, he says that in fifty or sixty percent of the cases, a pill really helps. I hate pills, very dangerous thing, pills. Hate. I’m using the word hate here, about pills. Hate. My compliment is, that night when you came over and told me that you would never… all right, well, you were there, you know what you said. Well, my compliment to you is, the next morning, I started taking the pills.

Carol Connelly: I don’t quite get how that’s a compliment for me.

Melvin Udall: You make me want to be a better man.

Those are my Awww movie moments for the day! Please feel free to share yours!

Shameless Desire and A Giveaway

I want to thank Author Tina Donahue for dropping by the Vallory V Blog and sharing her new release with us. It sounds as great as the title.

ShamelessDesire-RPassion without limit. Carnal hunger that knows no bounds.

Within Earth’s five dimensions, nothing is as it seems…and desire is never far away.

In E4’s jungle, Kuma was the Alpha werewolf, bent on revenge against the hated guards. Swept with them into the E1 dimension, now he prowls Seattle at night, stopping the thugs from abducting women for use as sex slaves in E4’s Pleasure Palace.

On her way home from her nursing job, Gwen senses danger in the night’s shadows—an instant before a stranger attacks. Clinging to consciousness, she watches the impossible, a wolf fighting him off…protecting her. She wakes in her own bed, convinced it must have been a dream until she sees Kuma in human form. Virile, intense. A man like no other.

Within his powerful embrace, Gwen experiences rapture she didn’t believe existed. His unrestrained lust and burning need end her loneliness, though not the menace they face. The guards are a constant threat in their hunt for women and their determination to see Kuma dead. Together, he and Gwen must fight—for his life, her freedom, their future.

PRODUCT WARNINGS

Out-of-this-world sex and a romance to die for. Features a hunk whose inner beast won’t be tamed, and the woman who craves his most shameless desire.

Excerpt:

This couldn’t be happening. It was too damn weird. Maybe she was still unconscious and dreaming, having the mother of all nightmares.

“Do you want me to show you?” he asked. Not waiting for her answer, he lowered his hands to his jeans’ button and fly.

Staci made a strangled sound that could have been fear or arousal. “Is he going to strip?” she breathed.

Appeared that way, which made Gwen wonder if this would be the first or second time he’d done so tonight.

“Stop it right there,” she ordered, frowning at how weak she sounded. As though she wanted him in the buff. “Just take me through this verbally. Your name’s Kuma. You’re from E4. You’re not a man, you’re a…”

Gwen couldn’t continue without shivering or laughing at how outrageously screwed up this was.

“Werewolf,” he said.

Staci made a gagging noise. “What?” She spoke to Gwen. “He’s on drugs, right? I should call 911, get the cops over—”

“I’d be gone before they ever arrived,” he said to her, then asked Gwen, “Is that what you want?”

She chewed her lower lip, not certain whether to tell him to get lost or to see this through, whatever it might be. He wasn’t on drugs as Staci had claimed; his eyes were too clear, his touch too enticing, at least those parts of it she recalled. He was as sober as she was. His thought processes, however, were definitely off. Maybe he was a psychiatric patient…an extremely hot one who thought he was a wolf, having seen the one in the alley.

Where had it come from? Where had it gone?

Didn’t matter, as long as it wasn’t in here, and it was not. The damn thing would have been jumping on her furniture, destroying it, leaving its drool all over the place. There were no sounds of crashing glass or splintering wood, only Staci’s rapid breathing and the pounding rain breaking the quiet.

“Do you?” he murmured when Gwen didn’t answer.

His manner was nonthreatening, his baritone gentle. Despite Gwen’s misgivings, she couldn’t deny that he had seen to her safety after the attack tonight. Her being here proved it. So did the cruel scratch marks on his arms.

Lowering her revolver, Gwen pushed to all fours to get a closer look at his injuries. In the gloom, the lacerations appeared black. She recalled when he’d been in the bathroom. He must have been washing the blood off. If those gashes were from the wolf, Kuma would need rabies and tetanus shots. She stated the obvious. “You’re hurt.”

Her breasts appeared to entrance him. His Adam’s apple bobbed with his hard swallow. “I’m fine.”

Spoken like every other man she’d ever known, so macho they’d deny a bullet to the heart. “Screw that. You’re still bleeding.”

He ran his fingertips over the wounds. They narrowed instantly, closing to thin lines as they healed.

Gwen gaped. “Oh my God, how’d you do that?”

“Do what?” Staci asked, moving toward him.

Kuma regarded her. She stepped back and flapped her hands. “I won’t come any closer. Don’t hurt me.”

“He won’t,” Gwen said, even though she didn’t reach for her gun again. Somehow, she knew she wouldn’t need it…at least not against him. “I don’t understand any of this. What you just did, it was a trick, right?”

“No.”

“Then how—”

He interrupted, “The experiments the rulers conducted on my kind millennia ago allowed us to heal ourselves to some extent, as long as the wounds are superficial. For serious injuries…” He stopped, a pained look racing across his face.

“What?” Gwen asked.

His expression changed, as though he noticed her again. “The rulers wanted to use my ancestors to benefit their kind as warriors, fighting whatever battles they faced. They bred us for strength, resiliency and intelligence. We’re able to adapt quickly, learning customs, languages, whatever we need to survive.”

Their kind? His kind? Rulers? Gwen forced down a swallow. “I get it that you’re not from here.” It took her a moment to continue. ”That is, Seattle or this country.”

“This plane,” he said.

That didn’t sound good at all. Before Gwen could stop herself, the words rushed from her. “Are you saying you’re from another planet?” Was such a thing even possible?

“Not another planet,” he said. “Another realm. E4.”

Staci moaned.

More info: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/shameless-desire-p-7360.html

 

Tina_Donahue_Picture_-_Color_optAbout the Author

Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.

Email: tina@tinadonahue.com

Website: http://www.tinadonahue.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinadonahue

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tina.donahue.75

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/authortina/my-books/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/tinadonahue

My page at TRR: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/mypageprofile.php?location=tinadonahue

 *** CONTEST ALERT *** CONTEST ALERT *** CONTEST ALERT ***

 

In celebration of Shameless Desire’s release, I’m offering one of my backlist ebooks to one lucky commenter. The winner’s choice includes:

1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT

2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit

3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award

4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT

5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT

6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller

7. Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books

8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR

9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR

10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book

11.  Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR

Make sure to comment for your chance to win and leave your email address.

Sad Song for Tuesday – Love Is

Researchers have found, according to a NPR report on a random day, that Americans are most unhappy on Tuesdays. The happy effect from the previous weekend has passed and the upcoming weekend seems far away.

So from the Vallory V blog, I add artistic validity to this sad day:

Love Is as sung by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight.

At Least I’m Doing Other Things…

I haven’t gotten a lot of manuscript writing done lately. It’s hard to begin working in earnest on a project after finishing one.

But I’ve been doing other things.

I finally finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Loved it!

I’ve been blogging and you’ll see me all around the blogoshere in the next week:

April 22, 2013: I’m visiting Jamallah Bergman’s Stories of Love and Romance

April 25, 2013: I’m appearing on the Tracee Ford Spring Fever Blog Tour

Segretaria stressataApril 25, 2013: It’s my day over at Luscious Literaries! I’ll be talking about my experience with taxes and the business of writing.

April 25, 2013: The Tortured Hero Blog Hop begins (I need to write that post.) Yikes!

April 30, 2013: Last day to enter my giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win a print copy of Deja Vu.

See I’ve been doing stuff. Even wrote up this little unexpected blog post!

~Val

Hump Day Hook – Deja Vu

This is a weekly blog hop that happens every Wednesday–Hump Day–where authors can showcase and share their work.

My hook is from my new release Deja Vu, a contemporary romance available on All Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. This snippet is near the end of Darcey and Vincent’s first official date.

BookCoverImageAmazonShe thrust the box back at him. “I can’t accept it. It’s too expensive.”

It wasn’t gratitude he sought. He wanted her, needed her to have something from him that was especially for her. He leaned forward taking in a deep audible breath. “Darcey, when I give someone a gift. I expect them to accept it because it’s a gift. Like I told you before, this isn’t a marriage proposal. Take the damn earrings. Wear them when we’re together.”

He pressed the box firmly into her hands and sat down. “In fact, why don’t you wear them now?”

To find others joining in the Hump Day Hook, click here.

You just may find your next read!

And for a visual of Darcey’s and Vincent’s story, view the trailer on Youtube!

Sad Song for Tuesdays – Cumbersome by Seven Mary Three

Researchers have found, according to a NPR report on a random day, that Americans are most unhappy on Tuesdays. The happy effect from the previous weekend has passed and the upcoming weekend seems far away.

So from the Vallory V blog, I add artistic validity to this sad day:

P.S. This song is best minutes before a break-up.

My favorite line: 

Too rich or too poor, she’s wanting me less and I’m wanting her more

The bitter taste is cumbersome

Sunday Chat with Ray Sostre

I am very happy to welcome author Ray Sostre to the Vallory V blog!

Ray Sostre 09182012Where are you from?

Hi, thanks for having me here. I’m Ray Sostre, and I live in Nevada, but not near Las Vegas or Reno; it’s a small town close to Salt Lake City, just two hours away. I’m originally from New York City, and yes, I’m a proud city-boy. Although, I didn’t grow in NYC all of my life; I’ve lived in New Jersey and Northeast Pennsylvania before moving out to Nevada.

Tell us a bit about your family.                     

Well, I’m a son of a retired New York City Transit Worker, and a son of retired school teacher. I’ve always considered myself an unusual kid growing up. I had a cool childhood, but I was also the ‘black sheep’ of the family – lol.

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

Well, I never give up. While my schedule is chaotic, I always get things done. I have a spontaneous mind when it comes to writing, and I’ve always had the appreciation for all kinds of arts –both erotic and non-erotic – and I’m always willing to learn about other people’s work.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I have to take the bad along with good, and accept that I’m never going to be perfect. I strive to improve what I struggle with, and I also learned that I’m not going to please everyone.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

In 2001, I was sampling a song on my turntable, when I DJ’d, called “Burning” by Hybrid, and the beat rock rocked, and this quote got to me – “Life is all about expressions. You only live once and you’re not coming back; so express yourself.” I’ve kept this motto in my mind for a long time, until I learned this quote was a sample taken from Salt ‘n Pepper “Express Yourself” ten years prior.

Although, it was from the original artist, my inspiration moment was from this track by Hybrid. If anyone grew up with the good ol’ days of DNB and Breakbeats, you’ll know what I was talking about.

 What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

*sigh of relief* My accomplishments was in 2010, when I decided to pick up a flash drive and a keyboard and type my first published short story at a story submission site… RSVP Erotica and then the site I established in October 2010 – AfterDark Online.

AfterDark Online was also another accomplishment I created. I established a site for readers of erotica, and beginner authors of erotica. This site also hosts interviews, contests, and weekly events for other sites.

My third accomplishment is establishing my first ebook in September 2011. It was my first erotic story, which is only available on Smashwords – Their First Night Together. Although, it was rough around the edges, it was my first crack at it, and I felt I can continue as an author in publishing books.

What is your favorite color?

I have actually four favorites – Blue, Silver, Black, and Purple.

What is your favorite food?

This would definitely be the hardest one. Right now, my girlfriend and I could live off sushi.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

If I could live in the area, I would. My favorite place in the world is Lake Tahoe, California or Carson City, Nevada. I live 6 – 7 hours east from the area, and I vacation there every year. I party in South Lake Tahoe and Reno, and I love the area. Like I said, if I could live there I would. I’m four hours away from the Bay Area; I have other parts of California to visit, and I could go to Reno whenever I feel like it, or go party in Lake Tahoe.

When and why did you begin writing?

While I’ve been writing erotic romance since 2010, I actually started writing in 1990, while I was serving detention. I remembered the first story I wrote, but I never titled it, and I don’t have it ‘til this very day. Although, I remembered writing a story about a guy serving detention with his secret admirer, and in the end he met his secret crush. I wanted to pursue screenwriting, but I put aside my writing in 1997 to follow a new passion – music.

I DJ’d in the club for the next 7-8 years, spinning mostly house music. When that passion died, I didn’t’ return to writing until the summer of 2010, and that actually happened by accident, when I came across that hobby. The very first erotic story I wrote was a threesome, but I never published it, nor had I ever posted it on my blog. It was rough around edges, and it needed reworking. I was so rusted with my writing I had to re-learn the process, because I was away from it for more than a decade. But when I completed the story called Lonely Hearts – a story about two online pals that realized they were neighbors, I felt there was hope for me to advance with my passion for writing, and that’s when I decided to write erotic romance.

What inspires you to write and why?

Lots of things today, erotic pictures, stories I’ve read, and then spontaneous moments. What inspires me to write is also reading other people’s erotic stories. I prefer to read erotic, because it’s what has inspired me ‘til this very day to write.

I could look at a picture of a man and a woman, or two women making out or having sex on the sofa or bed, and if the scene is intriguing, I’d find ways to get my thoughts through and write a short snippet based off that scene.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I prefer writing erotic because it’s where I feel the most comfortable. I love the drive it gives me when I’m writing erotic. I prefer erotic romance, because I want to write something with a purpose. I love mixing the story with drama and comedy, but without erotica, I don’t think I’d have the interest in writing. I have to be honest with myself in what I want to read and write.

I learned that some of the authors from this genre were once sweet romance writers. Some still write erotic romance, others have returned to their sweet roots. I have nothing but love and respect for them, and understand that this was there originality, but for me, I love writing erotica, and the fan base that comes along with it.

One author told me she’d never want to work with me since I wrote the genre, and I was quite fine with it, because I wanted a style that I was most comfortable with; not to please the author I am working with. I enjoy writing about lustful attractions between a man and a woman, or two women, or three or more people that share the same passion with each other.  I believe sex is part of life, and I don’t find it taboo to talk about it. While I don’t discuss my sex life, I enjoy writing about fictional sex lives.

What inspired you to write your first book?

When I wrote the first book – Their First Night Together, I was writing based on an era I grew up in and where I grew up – New York in the 1990’s. I wanted to write a simple erotic romance about two people that went to high school together, but didn’t reunite until eight years after. I wanted to write a story where I could call it my pride and joy. Back in 2011, I was in the tadpole stages of being an established author. I wanted to get my foot in the door of the e-publishing world and to be taken seriously as a male erotic author. A month prior, I finished a novel, which I haven’t yet published, because I wasn’t ready to get it published.  It was for once where I wanted to write something that more than 3k words, and less than 10k. It was perfect when I wrote it, and I will re-write now that my style has gotten better.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

I actually do. I also want to make a career with my other baby – AfterDark Online. Three things I want to keep in my life, since I find them very important to me – my long time girlfriend, my website, and my writing. I love all three of them. Although, the reality lives up to your expectations when you don’t have enough money, but I’m in it for the passion while I keep a real job.

Angela_finalCan you share a little of your current work with us?

Surely, the book “Her Angela & Protection” is a series that I’m working on. It’s my first f/f story, and the story is about two best friends from high school that start living together, after the heroine of the story, Vivienne, was thrown out of her place by her good-for-nothing husband. Angela lets her stay, and could use her company, but she soon develops feeling for this woman, but wondered if Vivienne felt the same way, because of her inviting gesture towards her. The name of the story is officially In The Beginning, because it explains how these two end up being lovers. While the story is a short novella, another sequel to the story is in the making.

How did you come up with the title?

Funny to say, lol, it all came up from a song remix I heard from 3LW feat Nas – I Can’t Take It (No More), respectively. This was a track I heard back in 2000 & 2001, and the phrase, which originated from Eric B & Rakim, respectively, in their 1986 Paid In Full song, “Let me be your angel and I’ll be you’re protection.”

Can you tell us about your main character?

When I originally designed the characters, I painted Angela & Vivienne  a little bit like Risoli & Isles. And funny to say, I never saw the TV show, but I wanted to paint these characters as best friends and lovers; these two were meant for each other. Angela was the tomboy, while Vivienne was the girly-girl. I wanted to design these girls as the odd couple, but lovers.

Why did you choose to write this particular book?

I wrote this story because I was very fascinated in writing an f/f story. Plus, as a male erotic writer, I wanted to break down the barrier of men that wrote the typical f/f stories. I wanted my stories to have meaning and purpose, and be taken serious as an author of f/f erotic romance.

I was inspired by Dawne Prochilo’s ebooks Rachel’s Desire and then her following f/f Callie’s Way – VW Club. and then everything else fell into play. Upon completing my story, I had it read by three other people. One author who inspired me to come out with a series was a f/f author Erin Miller. She came out with a f/f series about Jackie and Honey, and I was left with a positive feeling after reading the story, and that’s what inspired me to write a series.

How can we purchase your book?

People can purchase these books easily through:

No Boundaries Press

All Romance eBooks (ARe)

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

Do you write under a pen name and why?

No, I have no pen name. I write under my real name – Ray Sostre, because I love the way it sounds I guess, lol. But perhaps if I wrote another genre other than erotica (which I highly doubt), I would probably use one. However, all of my stories are under my real name.

Have you started another book yet?

Yes, I’m working on the sequel to the story “Her Angela & Protection: Moving On.” This story is about Angela and Vivienne being faced with challenges of their relationship. I intend to get more in depth with the characters; show where they’d came from before they got into the relationship.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I actually see myself in five years doing what I truly love, establishing my site – AfterDark Online as an influential site for both amateur and professional writers,  and writing lots of erotic romance stories.

What are your current writing projects now?

I’m in a middle of several. One series that I’m dying to publish,  hopefully by next year is the Darla Love’s Tyler Series, and the first story to the series is “About The Night Ride Home.” This story I wrote dated back in 2011, but I never published it, because my writing style was different at that time. I so much want to get this story published, and these are my most favorite characters to write about. But I waited so long, because of other commitments; I have many other writing projects.

I’m currently writing several stories; one in particular is a cougar-erotic romance called “Finding Possibilities” about a woman who just turned forty and meets a man who is ten years younger than her. This story I’m writing is about the stereotypes and the possibilities of a younger man/older woman relationships.

I’m also working my attempt to make a five-flame erotic romance called “The Weekend.” It’s about a single woman (Sylvia) who spends the weekend over at their best friends’ place (Jacob and Melissa). The three spend the weekend out partying when something takes a turn – all three end up sleeping with each other, and the decision to take their friendship further weighs in with them. Were they meant for each other? It’s a polyamorous ménage story, and that’s why I’m working on a five-flame.

I also have a few others coming out. I have a second f/f short story called “To Get With Stephanie” This story is for the Erotic Countdown and soon on Amazon.com In addition, I am working on a holiday story called “Snow Day” another attempt on a five-flame story, and lastly my erotic comedy called “Service With A Smile”

How do you deal with bad reviews?

Depends, how informative they are. I learned that many reviewers can be helpful; depending on how the author takes it. I’ve encountered those who are nit-picking at the author over the pettiest little things, like not enough realism, when the story is supposed to be fiction. I learned some reviewers don’t know how to review too, but I don’t let them discourage me, because I strive on improvement, and I understand that some people have a different flavor to what they read. I remember one person was overly-critical that she forgot to give the positive aspects of the story; nothing but the negative. Show me an author that likes a bad reviews, and I’ll show you a very offended author. But you have to take them with a grain of salt, and see if they’re going to help you improve, or hurt your feelings out of spite.

Do you have any advice for writers?

Yes, don’t stop because you’ve learned everything. You’re always learning, but always keep an open mind for new things. You don’t have to change who you are or your style, but you can learn from others and either adapt to their success or avoid their failures. And one cardinal rule – never quit. You’ll never know what you can make out of it if you’re persistent.

What is the demographic for your targeted audience?

My demographic audience is women, and I’m happy to say that, but I’m most comfortable writing for younger women, particularly the generation X & Y, because of their open-mindness to the genre, especially from the younger generation now born 1995 and before.

I also want to have an LGBT following, especially for the f/f genre. I want to cater to that audience as well, people who have a love for contemporary m/f stories, f/f and f/f/m stories. It’s who I am, where I feel best comfortable writing.

Why do you feel you can write for them?

I feel readers of f/f or f/f/m, should be represented. What I want to separate myself from other authors is the typical sex stories. I want to write the stories with meaning, even though the sex scenes are there. I have a love for ménage stories that involve two women and a man, and two women also. I want to represent them, even thought the numbers were small. I’d rather represent those readers than just do the typical.

If you could have any supernatural power, what would it be and why?

To be impervious, lol. But I’d use this kind of power wisely to help the helpless against the evil.

If you could have a book signing anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Salt Lake City. Why? Because my writing career begins here and I want to represent those readers who showed me the love.

Wow, I truly want to thank you for your time, and I had fun answering the questions. I can’t wait to finish my next story and go ahead to get it published. It’s been a real honor to be interviewed by you – thank you. 

Thank you, Ray. Very informative interview!