Saturday, July 23, 2011

Going Deeper: Insights into the Writer's Craft

Want to get to know your characters (and yourself) better? Take a journey with me into the darkness, and look fear in the face.

As a writer, I try to get to know my characters as well as I can before beginning a story. Sometimes this takes the form of a character interview, a sketch or other visual art, a bio, or free writing. An exercise I used in developing the characters in my first novel, Her Captive Muse, was centered around each character's fears.

Morgan Roan, a dynamic and powerful woman, fears loss of control. Brendan Delaney, my leading man, fears being alone. He is immediately attracted to Morgan's take-charge attitude in the studio- and in the bedroom. As the novel progresses, he begins to fear being controlled- losing his freedom and his sense of self.

The next time you create a new character, try asking yourself, "What is his/her greatest fear?" Free write about it, list their fears and hopes and dreams. This can lead to some interesting insights, and help you better understand your characters- and yourself.

Typing with Sticky Fingers,

Indigo Skye

Readers... I want to know what scares you, what you dream of, what you hope for. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of my novel, Her Captive Muse!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Indigo Skye Reviews "Fall into Winter" by Eden Baylee

This collection of four erotic novellas by Eden Baylee is a tantalizing read that promises to tease, entice, and satisfy. Fall into Winter was published in 2010 by iUniverse. Fall into Winter is available at, or by calling 1-800-AUTHORS.

Once again, I’m taking part in an Indie Book Collective event to help get the word out about Eden Baylee’s Fall into Winter through the IBC’s July Ménage a Blog.

Eden Baylee recently interviewed me on her blog  for her “Inside the Author’s Mind” author interview series. Read our intimate and revealing interview here.

Today, I’m excited to feature her sexy collection of erotic novellas, Fall into Winter. I will review each novella separately, so the reader can get a feel for each individual tale.

Seduced by the Blues

As a rabid blues fan, I was immediately intrigued by John Cook, Eden Baylee’s blue-eyed, guitar-picking leading man. The heroine of the tale, Ella Jamieson- named for jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald- is a dominating and powerful thirty-something single gal who knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. I enjoyed the power-play between these two captivating characters from the first. The fast-paced seduction had me hooked from page one, and her steamy sex scenes didn’t disappoint.

I loved the insight into Ella’s character, and her conflicted emotions as John begins to prove himself different from her typical conquest. He fights her for control, asserting himself in a hot backstage finger-fuck scene that had me typing with sticky fingers…

Frightened by their intense connection, Ella quickly distances herself from the way John makes her feel. She’s a powerful woman who prefers to be in control- but can she be seduced by the blues? Will John persuade her that their relationship can be something more than just a one-night stand?

Act Three

This story was a fast starter. Stella and Norman, an adventurous couple, move from an argument about a ménage to a hot make-up fantasy in which King Norman punishes his naughty queen with a good tongue-lashing. While I always enjoy good head- and reading about it is nice, too, the dynamic between the couple in this story wasn’t quite as hot as Baylee’s first offering, “Seduced by the Blues.”

Because I’m naturally dominant- the alpha bitch in the pack, as it were- I prefer strong heroines who don’t take any shit from anyone. That’s the kind of woman I can relate to in real life. In this relationship, Norman is in control from the first… or so it seems. When Stella first brings up the idea of a threesome with another man, Norman forbids her to speak of it again. Older- and more experienced- than Stella, he indulges her fantasies and satisfies her desires like no man has ever done before.

But Norman only pleasures Stella on his own terms, maintaining control. His idea of a great first date includes a home-cooked meal, and a session in his pleasure-den. Dinner and a dungeon, anyone?

When Stella brings up the idea again, Norman takes some convincing. He finally agrees to a three-way with a hot younger man, Joe. That’s when things start to get really interesting. What began as a one-off soon turns into a weekend rendezvous. The author keeps you guessing until the last moment. Is Stella still in control of her fantasy? Or has something gone terribly wrong? “Act Three” is a thrilling ride that had my heart pounding.

The Norwegian

Protagonist Leah Jones, alone for the holidays, retreats to a secluded resort in hopes of finding inspiration. Stricken by writer’s block, she is grateful for the distraction of a handsome guest who comes knocking on her door one night. The handsome Norwegian, Henrik, reminds her of an earlier love, and her reminiscences of their doomed affair left me hot and bothered.

I enjoyed the complexity of Leah’s character. The tragic loss of her first love makes her guard her heart closely. Following Johan’s death, she immerses herself in her work. I can definitely relate to that- in tough times, I turn to my art and writing for solace. Some days, putting words on the page is the only thing that makes sense. I also admired Leah’s courage- she deals with her loss bravely. When a new opportunity for love presents itself, Leah accepts Henrik’s invitation to dinner. Henrik’s similarities to her first love are eerie, haunting her with memories of time spent with Johan.

A sexy supernatural encounter with a ravenous ghost heats up the plot, adding a thrilling edge to the tale. On her way to dinner at Henrik’s cabin, Leah encounters a strange beast in the snow. When Henrik appears suddenly to rescue her, scaring the animal away with a rifle, Leah can’t help but feel grateful- and afraid of her growing emaotions. Following a night of strange dreams, she awakens to find herself alone. Is Henrik the wonderful man he seems…or is something more sinister going on? This fast-paced erotic thriller kept me guessing. Leah’s a compelling character. Learning more about her life as a writer led me deeper into the story, and I found myself rooting for her happily-ever-after ending.

The Austrian and The Asian

The exotic locales and well-travelled characters in “The Austrian and The Asian” were an immediate hook. I love a story that can transport me to new places, and make me feel like I’m living a sexy adventure along with the characters. Elena and Stefan meet on holiday. Their cultures and backgrounds are very different- but there’s a spark between them that can’t be denied. Both are a little shy and reticent, leading to a slow, steamy buildup like good foreplay. I enjoyed the sensuous language of this story, and the patient, tender love-making featured in the final story of Baylee’s Fall Into Winter is a fitting grace note to end this collection.

Some Final Thoughts on Fall into Winter, by Eden Baylee

Baylee’s work is compelling, lusty, and visual. Her lush prose and mastery of language are evident throughout, and I highly recommend this spicy read. Baylee’s work gives me hope for the future of erotica- compelling plotlines, characters I can relate to, and sex that never disappoints. My definition of good erotica is a great story which happens to include hot sex. Baylee’s work hits the mark.

As some of my fans know, I often write in bed. While working on my review for this book, I was relaxing between the sheets with my man. I was typing along, enjoying the story, when I noticed he wasn’t watching TV. He was looking over my shoulder, reading “Seduced by the Blues,” and getting just as turned on by Baylee’s spicy prose as I was. This led to a hot afternoon in bed I won’t soon forget. With great pleasure, I award this five-star collection or erotic novellas by author Eden Baylee my highest rating. These steamy stories had me typing with sticky fingers!

Until Next Time- Stay Naughty!

Indigo Skye

Want to win a copy of Fall into Winter? Just leave a comment here! Don't forget to include your email addy so we can get in touch with the lucky winners! For a chance to win a Kindle and some great author swag, visit her blog today and leave a comment here-

Author Bio:

Eden writes erotic, provocative stories incorporating all her favorite things: travel; culture; and sex. Sometimes there’s romance, sometimes not. Sometimes there’s a happy ending, sometimes not. What is consistent are the multi-dimensional characters who grow and change as the stories progress. Sex is the backdrop, but a very important element in their evolution.

Eden left a long and distinguished career in banking to become a full-time writer. As a fraud consultant, she honed some important skills that have helped her make the transition, the most important one—perseverance.

She lives in Toronto, Canada with her extremely good-natured and tolerant husband whom she sometimes refers to as “Ramone.”

Author Links:



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Because Longer is Better...

Big news, readers! Red hot stories are flooding my in-box as writers enter my Heat Wave Short Story Contest, but I'm still not satisfied. I want more!

So I've decided to extend my pleasure- and the deadline. This contest will run until August 15th, and the prizes will be awarded by August 30th. If you've already entered a short story, you'll be receiving a special early-bird prize, so watch your inbox for a copy of my novel, Her Captive Muse.

Dying for more details? Click on my Contests Page for the info you'll need to get started.  

Questions, comments, ideas for another contest? Send them to

Typing with Sticky Fingers...

Indigo Skye

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guest Starring... Rachel Thompson!

My Voice

by Rachel Thompson

Someone asked me how I know to trust my voice as a writer.

I get that a lot.

There is a program my husband teaches about communication styles; it is one of his most popular. You do a self-assessment and then have five to six others fill out the same assessment on you also. This is critical because self-assessment is correct less than fifty percent of the time. (This is usually because we place ourselves subconsciously where we want to be, not where we actually see ourselves. Good ole ego.)

I have taken this assessment a few times over the years and I am always in the same spot on the grid: task-oriented and assertive.

When I say I’m a snarky bitch I can back it up, baby.

There is nothing about me that screams THIS CHICK IS WARM AND FUZZY! So when people are looking for cute or nice or sweetness and light from me, I often wonder: WTF?

I clearly know who I am. I’m very comfortable in my skin. Having this kind of information is, I find, extremely helpful. I took the first of these types of tests in college when I majored in Communication Studies. When I met my husband, JP in my late twenties, I did more testing (we met in a work environment). I’ve done several more throughout the years and they have stayed consistent.

I’ve read intensively on the subject of communication for many years. Despite years of corporate brainwashing which I’ve now fully recovered from, I find it fascinating and supremely interesting that I’ve come full circle back to my college major – writing about communication between the sexes.

So how do I trust my voice? I can’t imagine writing any other way. I write what I feel, from my soul. I don’t worry about what others will think. I shook that monkey off my back a long time ago. That is a huge obstacle for so many people and to be honest, one that has given me the freedom to write about so many amazing topics.

The author Lorrie Moore teaches her students to “write as if your parents will never read it,” which most people don’t have the nerve to do. When I read that, a light not only went on for me, it broke into a million pieces. Because I was blogging and I knew my mom read every post (and still does. Hi mom.), I needed to just let that go.

It was okay that my mom read everything, but she needed to accept that her adult daughter was going to write about sex; and not just sex in general but the actual having of it; and not just the having of it but lovers; and not just lovers but my ex with whom I’d recently reconnected; and not just our reconnection but his shocking suicide; and not just his suicide but how deeply it affected me...and on it goes.

Taking those essays and forming them into my book A Walk In The Snark (self-published this past January) was very exciting for me. It was my chance to bring my voice together into a cohesive book form for my fans, and for people who have never even heard of me.

I added 25% new material, some of my most popular tweets (one of the few books to have done that), and it has sold really well in strictly eBook format. I average between 5-6 sales per day, where the average indie author sells four books/month! – and of my 30 reviews on Amazon, 95% are positive (with the exception of a few cranky men :). My themes are Mancode, Chickspeak, and lost love.

Snark is consistently in the top #10 ranking on the Kindle Humor/Motherhood list, #20 on Humor/Parenting and Family; and hit #1 bestselling status on Smashwords in May #woot. I’ve had a wonderful write up by @2morrowknight in the Huffington Post books section (about me, the book, and the Indie Book Collective which I cofounded last October); and I’ve been approached by an agent – on Twitter! who read the book and loved it. We’re meeting in NYC at the end of this month.

Speaking of the Indie Book Collective, I’m also a coauthor of Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success. My coauthors, Carolyn McCray and Amber Scott, are amazing authors and my cofounders in the IBC. We share our wide range of personal experiences in both indie publishing and social media. Soup to nuts any author needs to write, publish, and market their book.

And with our special promotion, Menage a Blog, 7/18-22, anyone who visits my blog on Tuesday, July 19 and leaves a comment will receive a FREE COPY and will be automatically entered in our free Kindle contest! There are twelve amazing authors on the tour and all are offering free books – be sure to visit them all!

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me. If you want to find out more, please visit my blog, buy my book A Walk In The Snark, Twitter @RachelintheOC, Facebook, or email me at, or visit the Indie Book Collective and become a part of something great.

A Note from Indigo:
Visit my new Reviews Page for an in-depth look at Dollars and Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-Publishing Success. Want to win a copy of this amazing resource for writers? Just leave a comment on my blog, along with your email addy, and we'll send you a copy of Dollars and Sense!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heat Wave Short Story Contest Update

Greetings, fellow smut-o-philes and word wranglers! Summer is such a busy time, I wanted to give my followers a few extra weeks to concoct steamy stories for Heat Wave, my sultry summer short story contest.

The extended deadline will be July 25, 2011. Please send your stories to me no later than midnight, Mountain Standard Time. See my Contests Page for further details! Lots of great prizes are up for grabs, so don't delay- submit today!

You could win...

Doc Johnson i-lube and Pocket Rocket Vibe

Eden Fantasys Gift Card

E-Books, Signed Print Editions, and More!

Click here for all the dirty details...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating Independence Day with the Uniform Behaviour Crew! Indigo Skye Interviews Cassandra Carr

Indigo Skye: Ink and Art
Welcomes Author Cassandra Carr!

Q: Cassandra, readers are eager to know all the dirty details behind your erotic story, Circling. Was the story you penned for Uniform Behaviour based on a hot real-life hook-up, or a sizzling fantasy?

A: Ny hottest experience with a man in uniform was the basis for my story, Circling. I steamed it up a bit for the book, but that guy in the story? He and I did "circle" around each other for a couple of months before getting together and dating for a year and a half.

Q: Any steamy new projects in the works? We'd love to dish about your latest release and any works in progress you'd like to discuss.

A: Oh man, have I got projects in the works... *takes deep breath* My current release, Talk to Me, is available now. It's about a radio producer who is seduced by her new host's voice. I'm thrilled that the book is getting a lot of great reviews! Right now I'm editing my next release, Caught, which Loose Id will release in December 2011. It's a BDSM holiday-themed novella. How do BDSM and the holidays fit together? I guess you'll have to read and find out! I'm revising the first of my bull rider series as well, and writing a my first menage story.

 Q: Your pick for hottest uniform- soldier, policeman, fireman, or priest? (If none of these do it for you, what is your favorite uniform and why?)

A: For some reason I find firemen kinda sexy. I think it's the tight T-shirts and the fire pants.

 Q: When you're not hard at work creating steamy erotica, how do you like to spend your time?

A: I'm a bit of a hockey freak. Okay, more than a bit. I also love to garden - I'm wrestling my perennial beds back into submission after a few years of letting them go while I was pregnant and had a newborn. I don't watch much TV, but I'm loving True Blood and Mad Men on DVD, and I watch White Collar and Burn Notice religiously. I can also be found skulking around Twitter (@Cassandra_Carr is my handle).

Q: I'm always interested in what other authors are reading. Your top three picks for a great book to read on the beach?

 A: LOL! Now that I have an ereader it's easier to read the kinds of books I enjoy - erotic romance. Before I had people looking at me like I was reading a skin mag or something - pretty ridiculous. My top three picks for a beach... hmm... I'm going to say any of Lorelei James' Rough Riders series, any of Jaci Burton's Wild Rider series, or any of Maya Banks' Sweet series. I'm going to the national conference for Romance Writers of America in a few weeks and am hoping to meet all three of these awesome ladies and get my books signed. Yes, writers are total fangirls for other writers!

Q: Tell us about your day as a writer- do you stick to a set schedule, or just write when inspiration strikes?

 A: Neither, unfortunately. I write when I can, since I stay home with my toddler. Most of my writing gets done either when my mother-in-law takes her for the day or between 9:00 p.m. and midnight. When I get going, I can put at least a couple thousand words on the page in a few hours.

 Q: What inspires you, makes you itch to write?

A: Luckily, tons of different things inspire me, but most of all - I love love love telling a love story. Sure, erotic romances have more sex and the scenes are graphic, but the characters are still falling in love. I don't really have a choice about writing - I need to do it.

Q: Are any of your stories based on personal experiences, or are they mostly derived from your fantasies/imagination?

A: My stories, with the exception of Circling, are almost entirely taken from my wild and wooly imagination. I have to say - I wish my sex life was as exciting (and frequent!) as my characters'. But fear not, readers, I have plenty more ideas - I actually have an "ideas folder" on my laptop and besides my current writing I have no less than a dozen other ideas.

Q: Do you do any research as part of the writing process? What does that entail?

A: I do tons of research. It's a pet peeve of mine when it's obvious a writer hasn't done their research, especially where sex, or even worse, BDSM is concerned. For my BDSM holiday novella, I talked to a bunch of people who practice BDSM. I also did research online and read two of the most prominent books on the subject - SM 101 and Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns.

Q: Any final words of inspiration for emerging authors?

A: Keep writing, don't take rejection personally, keep writing, and keep writing. Oh, and once you actually publish? That's when the hard work really begins. ;-)

To Be Read...

Talk to Me, out now from Loose Id & named a Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews!

Uniform Behaviour, out now from Andrews UK

Caught, coming December 2011 from Loose Id

Author Bio...

Cassandra Carr lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. She is also an Editor at Wild Child Publishing and Freya's Bower Publishing.

 Author Links...

Author Website:
Facebook fan page:  

Purchase your copy of Talk To Me here: