Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oooh, Tortured Hero! #SixSunday Sentences from Spy Games: Trained For Seduction

Ready for some tortured Chase? 

Chase Sanders has never had trouble being the boss before, until he met sexy spy Kate Wells. He's been assigned the task of training her to learn the art of seduction, for her first--and possibly last--mission. Yeah, he's feeling a little conflicted right now, because how can he send her off to die when all he wants is to love her? Enjoy! 

“You’re sorry for what?"

“I’m sorry for being the man you’ll learn to hate.” She opened her mouth, and he shook his head. “You will hate me. I’ll send you to hell and back, make you do horrible things, and though the safety of America is worth it to me, I’m not so sure it’s worth it to you. I hate my job for taking someone I saw as so pure and beautiful, and turning her into a fucking hot, killing machine.”

Available at: The Wilder RosesAmazon.comBN

Want to play? The rules are easy. Visit Six Sentence Sunday, sign up, then come Sunday, post yours! Go check out the links to other great blurbs!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lovin' Him Should Be Dirty...

If you're here for the Reading Romance Blog hop, hop yourself down the page.

Blog Hop

Comments get you entered for prezzies! Read on down the blog to get to the good stuff. 

Agent Jake Anderson is one of my favorite charmingly smart spies. His personal slogan: Lovin' me should be dirty. He is featured in a book coming out NOVEMBER 2, 2012.  Spy Games: Lethal Limits is book 2 in the Spy Games series. (Shh, don't tell him it's erotic romance. He loves the kinky stuff, but he's afraid of love. He thinks he's in an action spy book with explosions and gunfights.)

Now, if you're afraid to read out of order, don't be. Our Team Jake fan club president was hooked as a cold turkey beta reader. It pisses Chase (book 1) off, but Jake needs love. Come. I'll introduce you to Jake.

Secret Agent Jake Anderson is the perfect best man, best friend, best partner. He hates running, courier runs and anything to do with barfing women, even if they are his best friend's wife. He secretly loves Paris. He openly loves missions that end in gunfights and exploding cars, anything kinky, fantasy role playing, and his favorite love--tying up willing women and making them scream his name. He's not boyfriend material, not one bit. He doesn't fall in love. So why the hell is he suddenly feeling all weird about his best friend's wife? 

Jake's worried it might be love, but he's not so sure. He's is loyal enough to his best friend, Chase Sanders, to want to run and abandon his buddy's barfing wife--his work partner--in their Paris hotel room. It doesn't help that downstairs, in the bar, waits a willing woman--Tia Richards--one he had once tied up and run out on, leaving her unfulfilled. It wasn't his fault work had issued a 9-1-1 to the airport, and he did untie her before leaving. Jake has these odd feelings for Tia, too. She's wild and twisted, and he's quite happy with not adding notches to the bedpost with Tia in his life. But these silly emotions for Tia also smack of something deeper, things a man whore shouldn't be experiencing.

Poor Jake! He spends most of his adult life avoiding love and now he has not one woman, but two, he's feeling iffy things for. So what's a man whore to do? RUN. 

Giving Stuff Away! 

I don't wish to live like a hoarder, so I'm pimping 2 Copies of Spy Games: Trained for Seduction on GoodReads to make room in the clutter. Plus it's sort of a party, for Jake's big day! He loves a good party. Giveaway is in the side bar, >>>>>>>> over there, somewhere. 

Special update! 

Edits are underway for something fun. Jake is a little pissed his birthday menage is off-screen between books 1 and 2. You don't turn thirty-five every year, and he thinks he deserves a short story. So check back for the release of his story, featuring a bit of background for the last book, Spy Games: Endgame. Is there much plot? No. It's some office chatter and a whole bunch of sexy Chase, Kate and Jake action. Jake gets to be 'hostess,' which is code for him being in charge. Jake at the wheel of anything could be dangerous, and he does like missions that end in gunfights and exploding cars. 

Other updates! 
  • Edits are in the works for my second m/m It's Seven Somewhere (which is a working title to put on the contract because we couldn't get sexy out of two hot men on a resort island. How we could miss the whole volcano-load of lusty titles on that one, I don't know.) 
  • Edits are in the works for Spy Games: Endgame! Charlotte gets to bodyguard Jake's brother and upcoming actor, Aaron. 
  • Follow me on Twitter because one can never have too many friends! @miadowning007
  • If you read this far, you deserve a cupcake! Or a present! Leave a comment if you're Team Chase, Team Jake, or undecided. You'll be tossed into the running for an advanced e-copy of Spy Games: Lethal Limits OR Spy Games: Trained for Seduction. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Naughty or Nice? Hmmm....


nautghy or nice

The Naughty or Nice Giveaway Hop was organized by Nat @ Reading Romances!

Hi, I'm Mia Downing, and I write erotic romance. I'm the naughty side of the blog hop, because I think life is more fun if you're a little naughty. It's fall here, which is my favorite season. Warm days and crisp nights, combined with so many tantalizing scents are enough to make anyone want to snuggle with that someone special.

So my question to you is, what scent gets you in the mood? Is it something as simple as a vanilla candle, the cinnamon from an apple pie, or the scent of your special honey's aftershave or perfume? I personally think Old Spice knew what they were doing, because DH really rocks their deodorant scent. If you're not scent-oriented, what else do you find tantalizing? A massage, a date night, or is it enough if your sweetie cleans the whole house and folds the laundry... Yes, I'm a romance writer, even if it's naughty!

If you're looking for some reading to spice up your naughty side, check out my books. Mia's Amazon Page All are guaranteed to get you thinking about what fun you could have on a crisp, fall night (or afternoon, or morning...)

Here's the blurb for my sexy office erotic romance, Exceeding Boundaries, the perfect way to spice up a fall weekend. I'll be offering an e-copy of Exceeding Boundaries, along with a gift card to one lucky girl or boy!

Lawyer Megan Connors wants a man, one that will wine her, dine her, and help her to forget the pain of a date rape she experienced as a teen. Her boss, Adam Wentworth, is just the man--tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed, and a confirmed player. He's perfect for a weekend of non-committal sex that will entice her inner woman out to play for good. So Megan devises a plan for seduction, one that will lure Adam into her arms.

Adam has been attracted to Megan since day one, but his preference for dominance and her fragile air kept him at bay. Megan's kiss under forgotten mistletoe is just the fuel his lust needs to exceed the boundaries she once put in place. He's game, but he wants more than a weekend with the vulnerable yet sexy Megan.

When the weekend is over, will Megan allow the past to keep her bound or can Adam convince her she’s strong enough to submit?

What you can win here: A $25 gift card from and a digital copy of Exceeding Boundaries!

Number of winners: One lucky boy or girl!

Open to (INT, US or US/CAN): If you can use an Amazon Gift Card and a steamy read, I'll give it to you

Hop and enter the other giveaways!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Do Your Characters Talk To You?

They say as long as the voices don't tell you to do something heinous, like kill someone, you're okay. I'm not so sure about that, but I don't have to worry, because my characters don't speak to me. "What?" you shriek. "But you're a writer. What do you mean, they don't speak to you?" I know. I feel the same way.

Actually, mine speak to each other. It's like watching something on Netflix. They boot up, and sometimes it starts before I'm at the computer. That's a lot like real life because the family starts shows without me all the time. And then I sit there. I watch and listen, typing furiously as they do whatever it is they're doing, like fighting, or getting to know each other, or...well...other things I shouldn't probably watch but it's really fun and naughty.

Watching them is better than Netflix, because it has that theater feel to it, but I can hit rewind if I want. Sometimes I skip forward and write parts they're ready to rehearse. I don't have to write in order if they don't want to. Unfortunately, if they don't want to do their scenes, they don't have to. I don't know where they go when they hide, but it probably involves whiskey and Coke if it's Jake. I have to wait until they up and decide it's time to get stuff done. It can be frustrating the other way, because if they're on, then they are ON and they are not waiting. So type faster, writer lady. 

Someone asked once if I'd do a character interview for Chase Sanders, my hero from Spy Games: Trained for Seduction, and I was surprised. First, he's never spoken to me, so I don't even know if he knows who I am. Second, he's a spy boss, so I'm supposed to think he works for the IRS or something. I'm not supposed to know who he is, and he'll be pissed as hell if he thinks his cover is blown. We won't even talk about what he'd do to me if I asked about his relationship with Kate. He's a very private person. He can snipe stuff at over a mile away and you'd never see it coming. Do I really want to tempt the man? Really? 

Probably the only ones I could interview would be Kate Wells, Chase's woman, or Aaron James. Kate's new to the spy business so she has a hard time lying still. Aaron is an actor, and you haven't met him yet. He gives interviews all the time, but again, he's a fairly good liar, given the acting and he's Jake's brother. Kate would probably get her butt paddled for speaking with me, but since her ménage with Jake and Chase, she doesn't mind paddling. Jake would just lie and make stuff up, but he'd be charming as hell. Jake also wouldn't let me near Tia for an interview, seeing he's as protective as Chase about his woman. Charlotte...I wouldn't get the time of day with her. 

So I'm sad they don't talk to me. I'd like to do a character interview someday, damn it. Maybe I need to find more friendly characters. 

So my question is, do your characters talk to you? Am I the only crazy one who doesn't get a conversation?

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Write Kick-Ass Blurbs!

Editor for The Wild Rose Press, Trish Owens, has stopped by with a few informational posts about writing kick-ass blurbs. She and Diana Carlile fix my blurbs for me, and I love how they wrangle my words into something really cool someone just might want to buy. I asked her to give us insight about her gift of blurb writing.

Mia: Hi, Welcome, Trish! I have coffee and tequila, as well as a buffet of delectable snacks. Help yourself. 

Trish (peering over at the coffee table) Does the hunk mind that he has vegetarian sushi decorating his abs? He looks suspiciously like the guy from your Ripped cover. 

Mia: Shhh. I kidnapped him. He doesn't mind as long as you don't put soy sauce on him. It tickles.

Trish (helping herself to a cucumber roll): So blurbs. You stink at them, Mia. Really. You write such wonderful prose and then you hand us drivel. What do you have to say about that? 

Mia: You and Diana never taught me your secrets. I think you don't share on purpose, so we can bow down  to you both. I think you get a kick off the goddess worship. 

Trish: Maybe a little. I don't get worshiped as much as Diana. I kinda like it. 

Mia: So spill. Not the soy sauce! 

Trish: Sorry, sweet boy. (Pats the hunk's chest. He grunts.) So great blurbs come from knowing your characters and their conflict. A great blurb is short, to the point, and contains the secret formula of outlining your characters' goals, motivations and conflicts. It also contains the flavor and genre of your book, be it erotic romance, historical, or comedy. Try to keep it around 150 words. 200 words, maximum.

Mia: That's it?

Trish: That's it. Well, in a nutshell. For longer novels, I like to make two paragraphs, one about the hero, one about the heroine. For shorter novels you can stick to one informative paragraph. I like to state very clearly what that character wants, why they can't have it, and what they are going to do about getting it. 

Mia: So...Mia wants sushi, but she can't have it because Trish is eating it all. Mia will get the sushi, dammit, by beaning Trish on the head. How's that?

Trish: Sure. That works if you want crappy blurbs from now on. You want me to craft something from that? You sure about that? Think of your career future. 

Mia: I see it as a challenge, but I don't want crappy blurbs. How about I create you a sushi banquet served on Ripped boy so you think about sharing?

Trish: That's better. 

Mia: Then prove your greatness, O Blurb Queen. 

Trish: Blurb Princess. :::cracking knuckles::: Here it goes. 

Lowly serf Mia has always wanted to taste the delicacies wealth and power have to offer, starting with the sushi held in the hand of the powerful yet deadly monarch, Princess Trish of the Garden. But the strict rules of The Garden do not allow those of tainted blood to be more than chattel. Mia yearns to be more, to sample more, and yet can't seem to attract the gorgeous yet aloof redhead who holds the reins to Mia's body, the key to her heart. Catching her eye could mean sudden death. It could also mean ultimate ecstasy. Mia tempts fate by creating the princess's favorite sushi dish, served off the most gorgeous male slave The Garden has to offer, and now the princess is heading her way. Will Mia's first taste of the forbidden be one laced with ultimate desire, or will it end with the kiss of death? 

Mia: That was...amazing, and 150 words, exactly. I take it it's Sci-fi or fantasy with a little suspense. I see that you're a, and I'm your slave. I think I'm fairly stupid to tempt fate, though.

Trish: I sense you were going to say I was a scary bitch. Go ahead, you can say it. I'm a ninja princess in my own mind.

Mia: No, really. You're nice in person. One complaint, it really smacked of a little f/f action. No offense, but I like him a lot more. ::pointing at the hunk laying on the coffee table, decorated in sushi:::

Trish: I got a little carried away. If we woke studly up, it could be f/f/m. ::laughing:: Kidding! You forget where I work. My mind just goes straight to the naughty side, all the time.

Mia: So...readers are going to want to know. Do I die, or do I get to eat sushi. 

Trish: Your readers will have to wait to find out. If Spy Games: Lethal Limits doesn't release, you're dead. 

Mia: We have readers waiting for Jake! You can't do that to them. 

Trish: How about I take all the sushi and go home? Studly, too. 

Mia: ::sighing:: Okay. Fine. Go. He needs a coat, though. He'll catch cold.

Trish (rising, and yanking the hunk by the hand): Why don't you share Jake's blurb, so they can see something decent I helped craft? 

Mia. Good idea! I'll share the cover, too, since it's new! My thanks to Trish Owens for stopping by with that informational (and really scary) demonstration of blurb prowess. 

Blurb for Spy Games: Lethal Limits, book 2 in the Spy Games series out late fall, 2012. 

Secret Agent Jake Anderson would rather have the measles than love his best friend’s wife. So when she gives him a mission— to find his own woman to love— he knows just the woman to target. Exotic beauty Tia Richards— his new partner— is wild, twisted, and has no limits when it comes to adventure, in bed and out. She’s perfect for him. Now he just has to get Tia and his heart to agree.

Sexy spy Tia Richards has a problem, and the solution is Jake. The last time they hooked up, he left her bound and begging, unfulfilled, so close to finally getting the fireworks she deserves. But Jake loves his former partner, and Tia refuses to be second best. Will she listen to the ache in her heart that whispers she has what it takes to be first in Jake’s life, or will lethal limits separate them forever?

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Rules of Erotic Romance.

Hello. My name is Mia Downing. I write erotic romance. 

The definition of that, from Wikipedia, is:
Erotic romance novels are stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction.[1] The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. 

Yep. That's exactly what I write. There are books out there that blur the rules, and some of those books have become really popular. That makes it hard for us who write to the rules, because the newbies to erotic romance expect everything to fall in line with the book they read and loved, not realizing there's a whole system to the madness, already in place. 

I joke that there aren't many rules, and some of the few include don't love the dead people or pets, harm children or rape people. I'm good with all of those, because that doesn't excite me or my characters, and it's morally wrong. But did you know there are actually quite a few rules I have to follow, if I want to be published? Here is a list of the big rules. 

1) Heat it up, fast!
That's a hard one, because the true readers of erotic romance (and my publisher) want the sizzle right from the get-go. I don't get 30 pages to slow-burn the lust between the characters and let them get to know each other over crumpets and tea. They want it fast, they want impact, they want a connection. That's hard, because if you have characters that are strangers to each other, you have to somehow make the attraction believable. 

2) Lots o' sex!
Yep, the readers and publishers want this, too. Lots of sex, lots of details. I try very hard to show character growth, conflict, or motivation in my sex scenes so it's not just tossed in there for fun and giggles. I do a lot of dialogue and toss story line pieces into the sex, too. It's hard to write sometimes and I'll admit, sometimes I'm like, "really, who would read that?" Usually, that sex scene ends up to be the favorite one of test readers. Who figured? 

In the sex, it's important to note there's a certain level of frank language that's expected. We call those 'buzz words.' So if you've read a book where the heroine might be referring to her delicate bits as 'down there' realize that's not at all par for the genre. In fact, in an erotic romance, the hero would probably demand she call her delicate bits what he calls them. Or vice versa. Do I like using buzz words? Hell no. It makes me cringe sometimes. But quite honestly, when I read books that use something flowery instead of the buzz word, I get a little cranky. 

3) No 'I love you' until the end. 
I never get to write the wedding scene, because in erotic romance, any romance really, once they say I love you, it's definitely over. Some authors don't even get to have characters say that, if they have a happily-for-now ending. Why? That's not what the reader/publisher wants. They want that romance formula, the chase, catch, release, suffer heartache and then resolve formula that works so well. Delving deeper, into a committed relationship or marriage, doesn't happen because usually, they say 'I love you' and the book is done. Unless they have an epilogue, or they're in a series (like my Spy Games series) you get a glimpse of what the future held for favorite characters. 

This is a rule a few books break, because they go into a series that cumulates over the character's relationship. A lot of erotic romance publishers don't take serial/saga books. It will be interesting to see if guidelines change. However, from what I've seen, readers really hate that a book's conflict/romance isn't solved in a book. Hence why my series consists of stand-alone books with characters that cross-over. But each romance gets the happy ending at the end of their book. 

4) Sometimes, you don't have aNY say in story length
It's interesting to see reviewers or readers complain about story length. Sometimes the author just doesn't have a say. If they want in on that series or anthology, an author has to come up with a story that fits the word count specified. That's really hard. I don't like to write short, and had a hard time doing so with Ripped. My Spy Games books are all full-length novels, and if they'd let me, they would have been longer. But you can only do so much sometimes. 

5) Sometimes, the title and cover isn't what you wish it to be
If you want to sell sexy, your title and cover have to reflect that. I am horrible with titles, so I tend to name them after the character then brainstorm with my editor after she reads it. I know the title I pick isn't going to be sexy enough, and I've come to terms with that flaw. I also want a horse on every one of my covers, but I don't get one unless I write a Cowboy Kink. Now, I only have one book with a horse in it, but whatever. I can't complain at all about my covers--they're sexy and hot, and I love them all. But I won't deny that at times, I just want one of those tame covers with scenery and a cottage or something. A horse. If I want that, I have to go to a different genre, because that is not what sells. 

So those are the rules I live with in my genre, erotic romance. Did they surprise you? 

I'm also blogging over at so if you want a chance at free stuff, go there. But a comment here might win you something good...