Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Today's Guest Poster...CAITLIN KITTREDGE!

This week our guest poster is the lovely and talented YA/Adult UF author, Caitlin Kittredge!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, here’s a bit about Caitlin:

Caitlin started writing novels at age 13. Her first was a Star Wars tie-in. Fortunately, she branched out from there and after a few years trying to be a screenwriter, a comic book writer and the author of copious amounts of fanfiction, she tried to write a novel again. Her epic dark fantasy (thankfully) never saw the light of day but while she was struggling with elves and sorcerers she got the idea of writing a story about a werewolf who fought crime.
Two years and many, many drafts later, she pitched Night Life to a bevy of agents and one of them sold the series to St. Martin's. Since then she’s written a plethora of other novels, including THE ICARUS PROJECT series with Jackie Kessler; THE IRON THORN, a steampunk YA UF series, and the BLACK LONDON series.  The next volume in her YA series, THE NIGHTMARE GARDEN, was released in early February and is available NOW in print and e-book.
When not writing, Caitlin collects comic books, print books, vintage clothes, and bad habits. She loves tea, loud music, the color black (especially mixed with the color pink) and ghost stories. She can drive a stick shift, play the violin and knows more English curses than American ones.

And now…I’m turning the blog over to Caitlin!

Thanks, Rocco!

Folks, since Rocco invited me to guest post on his blog in honor of The Nightmare Garden's release, I figured I'd talk about the book a bit--and then I went on vacation for a week. Now, vacations are important for writers. We tend to be pale and solitary, insomniac and frequently overworked. The sun burns us, and we do not sparkle. For me, the concept of taking a week off from working on a novel, talking about my new book release or otherwise engaging with the publishing industry was, well, weird.

The truth was, as much fun as I have with Aoife, Cal and Dean and their steam-powered, monster -populated world, I needed a little break. Because when I came back I was so excited to get back in the groove of promoting Nightmare Garden and working on the final volume of the Iron Codex trilogy. It's nice to clear your head if you're a writer, drink tropical drinks, go outside when it isn't night time, talk to other human beings in words of more than one syllable, and generally act civilized for a while, but if you're a writer your characters will always call you back.

Aoife was happy to let me have a week off, but she made sure I knew she'd been here the whole time, waiting with all new stories to tell. And I was glad to be back, because when you're a writer you don't want to escape your characters. You may go away temporarily, but you know that your stories will always be there, waiting to welcome you home. - Caitlin

Meow, thanks for the post, Caitlin. We all hope you had a good vacation!  (Im in the mood for one myself, having just finished MY first novel, Meow! More on that at a future date.) Check out her latest, Book 2 in the Iron Codex Series, on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nightmare-Garden-Iron-Codex-Book/dp/0385738315/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330426798&sr=1-1

People Caitlin is giving away TWO hardcover copies of THE NIGHTMARE GARDEN!  To enter, leave a comment below with your email address (comments without email addys will be disqualified).  To get extra entries, the usual applies:

Tweet about this post and contest
FaceBook about this post and contest
Friend myself, the HUMAN, or Caitlin on FB 
Follow @RoccoBlogger on Twitter
Follow Caitlin on Twitter

Be sure to list all youve done in your comment to get extra entries!  FBing and Tweeting about the contest gets you double entries! Contest is open to US and International residents, and closes midnight EST March 4! Winners will be chosen using random.org and announced Monday March 5!

So what are you waiting for!  Enter NOW!

And it would appear I did not do too badly on my OSCAR predictions so disappointed about PUSS N BOOTS!  And Michelle Williams, you really deserved to win. (Although who doesnt like Meryl Streep plus she needed the Oscar trilogy, heh heh heh)

Next week:   author Margarita Felices in my hotseat! Meow!

Friday, February 24, 2012

ROCCO predicts...the OSCARS!


time for my very favorite awards show...and time for my yearly OSCAR predictions:

Best Picture: The Help
Best Actor:  Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, the Help
Animated Feature Film:  Oh, come on - PUSS IN BOOTS, of course!
Best Director:  Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist

Tune in to ABC Sunday night to see how i do! And who doens't love Billy Crystal!

Next week:

Caitlin Kittredge


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today's Guest Blogger...ASHLYN CHASE!

Today I am turning the reins over to the HUMAN's fellow author, Ashlyn Chase!  Ashlyn recently visited Panama and would like to share her experience with our readers!

So...Here's Ashlyn!  (and say hello to Lightning, Ash! MEOW!)

What I learned in Panama

Ashlyn Chase

Like many people, I didn’t know a whole lot about Panama. (Ashlyn before) “Let’s see…there’s a big canal in the skinny part of the Americas, and it cuts through the middle so people don’t have to go all the way around. It’s called the Panama Canal.” So far, so good, right? Well, no. Because that was the extent of my knowledge, I’d say not good enough. The place is well worth a closer look.

Now, politics aside (waaaay aside, if I have anything to say about it) Panama is an awesome country with beautiful beaches and hard-working people. Unlike other countries I’ve visited, there are no beggars! Not even hucksters. Well, okay one beggar—in a wheelchair. And you might find a few hucksters in the city—but I have no problem with people coming to my car window if they have something to sell…as long as they go away when I say, “No, thank you.” That was hardly the case when I visited Mexico and India.

I don’t know what it was like under Noriega because I wasn’t there, but these days Panama is doing quite well by any other emerging nation’s standards. They’d still like to be us, and by that I mean the USA, but we don’t appreciate what we’ve got one little bit and could take a lesson from the Panamanian people.

Did you know it’s not at all unusual for the average Panamanian to climb aboard a bus called a “Red Devil” and commute two hours to a job that pays them $400 to $600 a month? Yeah, that’s right. A month! I was shocked until I realized I make about as much writing as the average Panamanian does pulling weeds in the hot sun, but I have an American husband who makes up the difference…They don’t. Thank goodness their cost of living is low! Sure, I don't make 5 figures yet either, but my workday is a piece of cake compared to theirs. (95% of the big advances go to 5% of authors. The rest of us are struggling and every sale is crucial. Thank you for buying our books!)
If all you need is food and shelter, Panama is the place to be. But no…we North Americans need gourmet food, luxurious shelter, designer clothing, the latest electronics, perfectly paved roads, top-notch healthcare, at least twelve years of schooling…oh, I could go on and on, but I won’t. My blood pressure is high enough.

Seriously, I don’t want to rant, but I live in NH, and every four years we’re inundated with people telling us how badly our lives suck and how much better we’d be if only we’d give them our votes. Then finally they all go away and we can get back to our lives (which don’t suck at all if you ask the average Mexican, Indian or Panamanian.) You know what? I don’t envy the winners of our elections! Why? Because no matter what they do or don’t do, people are going to hate them, treat them like the enemy, and blame them for everything they don’t like about their lives.

If I had one wish, I’d wish that every single American could spend one month in a third world country…then come home and dare to complain about our taxes. They make possible our clean drinking water, our paved roads, our free public education, our medical research, etc. etc. etc.

Aw, crap. I ranted, didn’t I? I was trying so hard not to do that. *Sigh* Well, back to our commercial.

My latest book is called Immortally Yours and is about a beautiful French woman who has no idea why she hasn’t died after three-hundred years. She doesn’t get furry under the full moon, doesn’t drink blood, and doesn’t come from an alien planet. But now her long existence is lonely and meaningless. 

She’s ready to call it quits and needs help so that she doesn’t muck it up. Who do you go to for suicide advice? A specialist in the area, of course. So Lizette seeks out Dr. Colin Breyer, a Seattle psychiatrist who advertises his interest in unusual cases and willingness to see patients at odd hours. Lizette’s instincts are right. Colin is one of the few doctors who believe immortals exist, but he refuses to assist her suicide.

He has other ideas about how to help her, but it might spell disaster for him. Free first chapter  can be found here:

I was in Panama when this book was released and with spotty internet I had a tough time getting the word out. I’d appreciate your passing along the link to your friends who enjoy a light, hot, paranormal romance.

Thank you for this informative post, Ashlyn!

Be back Friday with another new post...and next week Caitlin Kittredge guest blogs!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Meow...as you know, i don't usually devote much space to dogs - with the possible exception of Kris Weber's pug - but this photo was just so darn cute even I had to make an exception!

he's Pete Webb, and he belongs to one of the human's co-workers. Doesn't he just look ready to grab the remote?

Let me know what y'all think- i might feature more pet photos in the future. 
Tomorrow - guest Ashlyn Chase reflects on her Panama vacation!
Next week - Caitlin Kittredge!

"C'mon Babe - enough of the Dog Show - I want CASTLE!"


Monday, February 20, 2012

Winners...we've got winners!

Happy Monday, Kitties!

Firstoff, it's time to announce the winners of our CROWN giveaway! three lucky readers have won a hardcopy copy of THE CROWN! and they are:


Congrats to all the winners! I will be contacting you shortly for your mail information to forward onto Nancy for your prize!

Sadly, our guest post from UF and YA author Caitlin Kittredge has been postponed until next week....but never fear! I shall return tomorrow to expound on...something heh heh heh. What will it be?  News on Dark Shadows, KNTR, Nathan Fillion?  Maybe my Oscar predictions, heh heh heh.  Those air this Sunday - and Billy's back!

I'll leave you in breathless anticipation.


PS:  Tonette:  Need your email addy, hon! Otherwise we'll h ave to pick another winner! Please leave a comment with it here before the end of the day!  R

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spend Valentine's Day with ROCCO and...NANCY BILYEAU!

MEOW!  Today’s hotseat guest is author Nancy Bilyeau. Nancy’s first historical thriller, THE CROWN, has debuted to stellar reviews (including a five-star one from NIGHT OWL REVIEWS from yours truly, who HATES historical – so you know it must be good).  Shown above are the US and the UK covers of this amazing book.

A magazine editor and writer whose work has appeared in magazines such as Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Good Housekeeping, she is also an aspiring screenwriter and her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions, including the Nicholl Fellowship and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope competition.
For Nancy, the writing of “The Crown” was the fulfillment of a lifelong obsession with the Tudors and their history.  As a child she saw the BBC dramas “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” and Elizabeth R” and after that devoured everything she could about that era.   She attributes her fascination to the fact that “the dynasty has everything – love, death, war, betrayal, greed, sacrifice and beauty….the Tudors are less obscured by bureaucracy and industrial democracy than later European dynasties. They are, first and foremost, a family.”

And now, in my hotseat…NANCY BILYEAU!

R:  Tell us a bit about your first novel, THE CROWN, and how you got the idea for it?
N: It’s a historical thriller set in Tudor England, the whole novel is told from the point of view of a young Dominican novice in a priory. She leaves her priory without permission to go to the execution of her cousin, who rebelled against King Henry VIII in the North of England. At the execution she and her father are arrested for interfering with King’s justice and she’s sent to the Tower of London. She gets caught up in a conspiracy to find a mystical object of great importance. There are murders. Tapestries with messages. Sensitive friars. Tombs. And Stonehenge—just everything I like.

R:  One can tell you did extensive research. Did you come across any facts during the course of this that surprised you in any way?
N: I was surprised by how little sleep a nun would get. Most nights it was broken up into a few hours before Midnight, when they had to put on their habits again and go the Chapel. Then a few more hours’ sleep until dawn.  There weren’t many fireplaces or sources of warmth, even in depths of winter. And a lot of fasting. So this was a much more rigorous life than what any of us could handle now. Yet many of the “real” nuns at Dartford Priory in Kent—which I try to re-create in The Crown—lived to old age. And they very much wanted to be there.

R:  How did you feel when you got “the call” from your agent Josh Getzler that he’d sold your book?
N: I was beyond ecstatic and I was relieved. Josh Getzler sold my book in an auction and that is a wonderful but very harrowing experience.

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
N: Earl Gray tea. And music really helps. I find inspiration through Thomas Tallis, Beethoven, the opening theme for “Game of Thrones,” a 70s rock song like Kansas’ “Carry on My Wayward Son.” I know, I know. You are grimacing. (R: Ha – Cats don’t grimace. We frown suggestively.) But 70s stadium rock can get the heart pumping!

R:  You’ve been a magazine editor for such magazines as EW, Rolling Stone, InStyle, etc.  Which do you prefer, editing or writing fiction and why?
N: I love editing and actually miss it because I took a huge break from the magazine business to write my second book. Sometimes it’s a  bit like being a story detective when you sit down to edit a piece and figure out how to help it reach potential. Does it need a new lead paragraph? A quote with more emotion to keep the reader going? I like editing. But for whatever reason, I started feeling an urge to create my own characters and stories a while ago. And there is nothing more satisfying than coming up with a world of my own and then sharing it with people.

R: It’s obvious you like historical fiction. What other genres are you into?
N: Thrillers of all kinds. Murder mysteries. I often read and then re-read the classic works of English literature by the Brontes, Austen, Hardy, and so forth. I also like some light, modern novels. I just got to Diane Johnson’s “Le Divorce,” and I really liked it.

R: If you could be any of Henry VIII 6 wives, which one and why?
N: I think I’d take the early years of Katherine of Aragon, his first wife. She married Henry VIII when he was just about 18 and considered the handsomest and most athletic prince in Christendom. Obviously there were some changes. LOL.

R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
N: I would like to go back to 1661 when my ancestor  Pierre Billiou arrived in “New Amsterdam” from France. He came over on the St. Jean de Baptiste with his wife and children. His son Isaac was born on the boat and I am descended from him. I’m just so curious about what it looked like here before it was “New York City.”

R:  Are you planning a sequel to the Crown, and if so, can you tell us a bit about what we can expect?
N: I’ve already written it. “The Chalice” is a sequel, with Sister Joanna and some of the main characters from “The Crown.” It’s a bit darker and more dangerous. And Joanna comes face to face with Thomas Cromwell!

R:  Your novel’s been optioned for film: who would you like to see bring THE CROWN to the big screen?
N: You know I keep wondering if Kiera Knightley would mind donning a Dominican habit. But really I didn’t write it with any particular actress in mind—I am hoping someone talented falls in love with Sister Joanna Stafford and wants to bring her to the screen. (R:  D’ya think there’s a part in there for a handsome, debonair tuxedo cat? I’m just askin’)

R:  What did you do the day your book was officially released?
N: I wish I could say I did something artistic or spiritual, but I went to the hair salon to get a cut. I wanted to look good for my first-ever bookstore reading at Barnes&Noble.

R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
N: I snuck into a Bob Seger concert when I was 18. I’d already seen him twice!

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done? 
N: I went to Bermuda on vacation at the very height of hurricane season. That way I got a great deal on the plane and hotel and a near-empty beach. My priorities were off, no question. No hurricanes, by the way. I got lucky.

And now, a little thing Big Rock calls, “Just for Fun”
R:  Your Favorite?
Movie? "Vertigo"
TV Show? "Columbo"

Actor? Daniel Day Lewis

Actress? Cate Blanchett

Drink? Champagne. Also Belgian beer.

Henry VIII or Louis XIV? Do I need to answer? Henry!

Anne Boleyn or Marie Antoinette? Ditto. Nan Bullen.

Mountain or Seashore? I've grown to prefer mountain. My favorite is Camelback in Phoenix, Arizona

Cat or Dog? (This is what we call a LOADED question) Cat. Retract your claws. (R: Retracted !

Night or Day? Day--in fact, I'm a morning person

R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
N: I want to immerse them in a fascinating time. I hope they will find it interesting and thought-provoking to see life through the eyes of someone who, as a friend of mine said, was at the “wrong end of the Reformation.” I really hope the suspense will be enjoyable. I get very excited when someone says they stayed up late at night reading my book.

MEOW – thanks for this informative interview, Nancy! Folks, rush out and get your copy of THE CROWN TODAY!

Check out the Human’s Night Owl Article on Nancy, in this months digital magazine:

Check out Nancy’s website: http://www.nancybilyeau.com/

And now – three lucky readers will win a hardcover copy of THE CROWN!

To enter, just leave a comment below and tell us which CROWN cover tickles your fancy, along with your email address.  To get extra entries, you can:
·       Friend me or the Human (or both) on Facebook
·       Follow me on Twitter @RoccoBlogger
·       Friend Nancy on Facebook
·       Follow Nancy on Twitter
·       Tweet or FB about this contest, or both! (Doing this gets you 2 extra entries!)

Remember, the more entries, the more times your name goes into random.org, giving you more chances to win! Please put everything you do in your comment so we know how many entries to give you, Meow!

Contest is open to US and abroad (UK, Australia, etc.)  and closes midnight EST Sunday, February 19th. Winner announced Monday, February 20th!
So get goin’!

Next week:  Guest post from Caitlin Kittredge, author of YA fantasy THE IRON THORN AND NIGHTMARE GARDEN, and adult UF, including the Black London series from St. Martin’s!


Until then, Stay Cool! And enter the contest! And now I must go back to my cat-nap, and await my chocolate covered catnip tonight for Valentine's Day....what did I get the HUMAN? You ask...well, duh!  Ins't living with me present enough, heh heh heh.

Sci Fi Blogging Cat

Monday, February 13, 2012


Meow! Happy Monday!

for those of you who haven't heard, February is National Prevent a Litter Month. Did you know that spaying and neutering just one male and one female cat will prevent more than 2,000 unwanted births in just four years -and more than 2 million in 8 years?! Many area shelters are offering assistance on February 24, World Spay Day.

National Prevent a Litter Month
To find out more about the Humane Society's World Spay Day, click here:

Overpopulation of kittens and puppies too is an ever-growing problem!  Let's all do our part in controlling the animal population - it will greatly help our already overcrowded shelters throughout the US!


Y'all come back now, y'hear?????

Sci-Fi Blogging Cat

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Coming Events cast their shadows before....


it's time to let you all know what's ahead for February:  Firstoff, it's National Prevent a Litter Month, and I shall be expounding on that next week.  I shall also bring everyone up to date on what's happening with the Dark Shadows movie, my quest for my very own Browncoat (no, that hasnt' been forgotten and NO, I did not get one for Christmas...bummer!)  I shall also lay out my plans to try and ensnare CASTLE for my hotseat!

As far as guest authors, the below are scheduled:
February 14, Nancy Bilyeau, author of THE CROWN has a Q&A and a giveaway!
February 20:  YA and UF author Caitline Kittredge drops by with a guest post!

And coming up in March:  Charlaine Harris, Sookie Stackhouse's creator, sits in my hotseat! MEOW!

So, as you can see, we've got lots coming up....and now I must start preparing!

Have a grandoise weekend, kitties!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Blogaversary Concludes with....EJ COPPERMAN! (aka Jeff Cohen)

I welcome today mystery author E. J. Copperman! (aka – Jeff Cohen!)

Some of you might remember Jeff from our Q&A last year.  He’s a freelance writer and the author of three mystery series: The Aaron Tucker series from Bancroft Press (FOR WHOM THE MINIVAN ROLLS, A FAREWELL TO LEGS, AS DOG IS MY WITNESS), the Double Feature Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime (SOME LIKE IT HOT-BUTTERED, IT HAPPENED ONE KNIFE, A NIGHT AT THE OPERATION) and lately, under the name E.J. Copperman, the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED and  AN UNINVITED GHOST).  In honor of Jeff’s (or his nom de plume’s, EJ’s) new release tomorrow, OLD HAUNTS,  he’s posted a guest blog, and is hosting a giveaway on his own blog!

And now…Jeff (MEOW, sorry! I mean…and now, EJ!)

A Real Character
By E.J. Copperman

When I began the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED, I was concerned, as any author would be, about readers taking to the characters in the book. After all, readers come back to each book for the characters, not for elaborate plot devices or simply for the whodunnit puzzle. Characters are the core, the real center of any book, and certainly of any book series. If they don't like your characters, you're dead.

There was quite a cast to choose from: Alison Kerby is a single divorced mom and the narrator of the story. She moved back to her home town and bought a tremendous Victorian to turn into a guesthouse on the Jersey Shore. This was before Snooki, believe it or not. Alison and her nine-year-old daughter Melissa, who sometimes seems like the real adult in this relationship, moved into the house and began renovations for the upcoming tourist season. Until one day when Melissa was at school and Alison was "accidentally" hit on the head with a bucket of wall compound, and started to see Paul Harrison and Maxie Malone, which was a problem.

They were dead.

Maxie, a 28-going-on-17 interior designer, and Paul, a young private investigator, had been murdered by someone and died in what had been Maxie's house and was now Alison's. And they--specifically Maxie--refused to let her finish her renovations until she agreed to find out who had killed them. So after a good deal of coercion and convincing (Alison wasn't interested in being a detective), she met Lt. Anita McElone (rhymes with "macaroni") for information, and with help from her mother Loretta and her best friend Jeannie, Alison solved the case (hope that's not a huge surprise for those who haven't read DEED yet).

So let's recap: Our cast of characters were Alison, the mom, Melissa, the daughter, Loretta, who is Alison's mom, Lt. McElone, Paul and Maxie the ghosts, Jeannie, Alison's best friend, and if we want to broaden it a bit, Tony, Jeannie's husband, and Phyllis Coates, who runs the local newspaper.

The only one I was sure would be a hit was Maxie. Sassy, almost childlike, but eventually helpful and kindhearted, she was going to wow 'em. She'd be the breakout character. The rest were a question mark.

Until the book came out. And readers started telling me how much they hated Maxie.

Because she spends much of DEED thwarting Alison's renovation plans and metaphorically stamping her feet in a huff (Maxie can't stamp her feet because they'd go right through the floor) every time she didn't get her way, some readers saw Maxie --whom I named after a character in a not-great Glenn Close movie, by the way--as an impediment, a spoiled brat, and a somewhat evil poltergeist. I thought she was fun. They thought she was annoying.

Say la vie, I always c'est.

All this is preamble: as the book went on (that is, as people read through to the end), Maxie redeemed herself. It wasn't in my original plan, but readers warmed up to her. 

Now, I'm running a contest on my blog, http://itsthegreatestthing.blogspot.com/ in conjunction with the release of the third book, OLD HAUNTS on February 7, and one requirement is that the entrant names his/her favorite character in the Haunted Guesthouse series. (If you haven't read any of the books, the instructions are to say your favorite character is THE HOUSE). 

And of course Maxie is outpacing the competition by a large margin as of this writing. The contest goes on until Leap Day. Take a look and chime in.

Some people just have to grow on you. – E.J. Copperman, the author also known as Jeff Cohen.

E.J. Copperman is the author of the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, which started with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED and AN UNINVITED GHOST and now continues with OLD HAUNTS on February 7. E.J. likes walks on the beach, long nights in front of the fire... wait, no. E.J. is a dedicated baseball fan and writes for a living. You can find out more at www.ejcopperman.com

Now folks, don’t forget – to try and win either an OLD HAUNTS travel mug or t-shirt, go to: 
http://itsthegreatestthing.blogspot.com/ and follow the directions!  Jeff will be announcing the lucky winners on his blog on Friday, I believe!

And now…the winner of Ashlyn Chase’s giveaway.  The lucky winner will have their choice of EITHER all three of Ashlyn’s books in her Strange Neighbors series, or a $25 B&N gift card! 
 And the lucky winner is:  HarlieReader!
Congratulations, and watch your email for one from Ashlyn about claiming your prize.

Kitties – that concludes our official BLOGAVERSARY celebration! I want to thank all the authors who participated, and all my followers for – well – following!

What we’ve got coming up in February:
Guest posts and Q&A’s with:  Caitlin Kittredge and Nancy Bilyeau!

And in March: Charlaine Harris in my hotseat! Coming Soon:  Victoria Laurie and Jeaniene Frost!

And I want to hear your opinion: would you like a CASTLE Q&A! Get Richard Castle in my hotseat!  I need to know!

Until next time, be good. And if you can’t be good…meow…be careful.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Helping me celebrate my Blogaversary is one of my very first interviews, the fabulous Sourcebooks author, Ashlyn Chase!  Ashlyn writes light paranormal romance, but she’s also penned some erotic romance as well!  Her guest post today is on that very subject- so without further ado….Here’s Ashlyn!

Thanks, Rocco!

Erotica vs. erotic romance:

I really think the difference between erotica vs. erotic romance needs to be explained. To me, romance in the name defines the story as a love story...be it between male and female; male and male; female, male and male; werewolf, vampire and stripper or what have you. Erotica is a sex story in which sex is the goal and motivation and there need be no major conflict unless they disagree on positions.

You should know that "pure" erotica (pardon the oxymoron) venues, like the stores with blacked-out windows, want nothing to do with us romance readers and writers and would probably appreciate our making the difference known too.

I once ventured into one of these stores with my paperback, promo matchbooks, and a press release for the manager. I was practically thrown out. “Our readers don’t want those books,” he said. “They want raunchy porn. Your books aren’t.” So, there you go, right from the erotica experts. The erotic romance genre isn’t pornography no matter what some people will tell you.

And just to be sure, I read one of these badly written books. A man on a motorcycle comes up beside a beautiful blonde in a convertible at a stoplight. She looks him over and tips her head, inviting him to follow her. Of course, he follows her to her penthouse and they do it all over the sofa about half a dozen times. This is described in what would be graphic detail except the writer needed an anatomy lesson.

The only secondary character was the maid who walked in and immediately walked out, disgusted. The slutty woman mentioned her husband would be home at 5 o’clock so they carry on until about a quarter to five and the biker leaves.  End of story. Would you call that guy a “hero?” I wouldn’t. Is the woman a “heroine?” Hardly. Would I rather read a story with a plot? A conflict to overcome? Some three dimensional characters? Absolutely! Give me a good erotic romance any day.

Now, since we’re talking about good erotic romances, I should absolutely recommend my newest novella Immortally Yours. I had no problem writing the French heroine’s voice or saucy attitude—and I also had no problem writing my psychiatrist hero’s voice and impartial attitude. These characters were very real to me. Why? Well, possibly because I speak French and worked as a psych nurse for fifteen years.

Here’s where you can find the blurb, excerpt and deets:  http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9862-immortally-yours.aspx
 Happy Reading!  - Ashlyn

Find Ashlyn at these links:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ashlynsnewbestfriends/  (My fans e-mail chat loop. We have contests.)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Raymond-NH/Ashlyn-Chase/101303673285353 (My fan page, please ‘like’ it. We have contests.)
http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/ (my fellow Sourcebooks authors)
http://naughtyauthorchicks.blogspot.com/ (A group of awesome hot romance authors)

Thank you Ashlyn...we love you and your cat, Lightning, too.

And now….a giveaway! One lucky reader will win their choice of ALLTHREE OF ASHLYN’S STRANGE NEIGHBORS SERIES,  or a $25 BARNES AND NOBLE GIFT CARD!

All you have to do is leave a comment in our comments section with your email address. For extra entries, you can friend me, the Human, follow me on twitter @RoccoBlogger, friend Ashlyn on FB follow her on Twitter, or tweet or FB about this contest!

Contest closes midnight, February 5th – winner announced Monday, February 6th.

Speaking of giveaways, it's time to announce the winner of my store giveaway!  Since there were only two entries, I have decided to award them BOTH an item since they had the correct answer. So congratulations to chrisbails and FillionFanatic! Watch for email from THE HUMAN!

Next week – closing out BLOGAVERSARY – JEFF COHEN, AKA EJ COPPERMAN! A guest post plus giveaway on Jeff's blog!
Also in February...a guest post from UF and YA author, CAITLIN KITTREDGE!

And don't miss March....Charlaine Harris in ROCCO's hotseat!