An Intern’s Take on Erotica

Kiera O'Rourke : February 13, 2014 10:59 am : Blog

My early sexual awakening took place in the colorful, sweltering clubs of South Beach. Packed dance floors, international guys, skinny-dipping at sunrise—growing up in Miami was an eighteen year old’s dream. From dancing to kissing to more, sex was at the forefront of all conversation – Should I do it? With who—him? Where?… HOW?! I stumbled upon all these answers during my college years, and like most American women, considered my education complete.

Until I read Surrender, the third installment of our interactive erotica series, Entwined. Blushing again and again, I ravenously ripped through the book. Twice. I honestly thought I had a comprehensive understanding of my sexual preferences as a teenager. Hardly. We acknowledge that our tastes in clothes, food, and books evolve, but we often exclude sex from those more mundane choices. More than any other erotica I’ve read, Surrender opened my eyes to a whole new world of sexual play. From provocative BDSM and voyeurism to online play and same-sex/multiple partnerships, I was continually challenged to new levels of self-discovery.

Starting with an commonplace scene, Surrender introduces us to our protagonist Kate; a woman bored with her sex life who discovers a secret on her fiance’s computer. But rather than casting a shadow over her relationship, this illicit find brims with kinky potential. As with other titles in the Entwined series, the story hits a fracture point, and Kate’s sexual fate can take any of four exciting turns. The talents of Nik Flandré, Lori Perkins, Jamie K. Schmidt and Lissa Trevor come together to make Surrender a customizable erotic journey.

The result is a sexual masterpiece. While all choices are BDSM focused, they explore the genre from different angles. For those who enjoy a slight edge to their personal fantasies, the erotic emailing in “The Piña Colada Escape” and the BDSM for beginners in “Making of Mistress Kate” tease the reader plenty. Reading the digital back and forth makes one feel deliciously ashamed, while the tutorial scene features swift and assertive dialogue, pleasing anyone who pledges girl power.

For those who crave the more risqué, a tantalizing multiple partner play in “Down the Rabbit Hole” will make your jaw drop: it’s a sweaty tease of infinite possibilities. The provocative cuckolding in “Watching Kate” offers extra-marital sex without guilt and awakens a new category of reverie.

Where you go is up to you. Whether you hop into bed with that gorgeous, bicep-bulging neighbor, or experience a slender woman who promises novelty, Surrender satisfies. Experiment with the form and see which man/prop/woman/forum Kate will use—and which you prefer. You could even invite a partner to read with you.

Entwined III gives another meaning to voracious reading. Dive in and experience the desire, heat, and awakening that comes with Surrender.


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Three Times Round the Witch’s Candle

Lisa : January 21, 2014 11:38 am : Blog

I spent part of last Friday at my son’s preschool, helping him celebrate his third birthday. He walked around a lighted candle (representing the sun) three times, while I recounted highlights of each of his years. Parker loved it — mostly because he got to run around a candle — but I did too. I’m no longer awed by candles, but I appreciated the excuse to stop and reflect on three magical years.Devil's Frost

Which is a long intro to say that I’ve been feeling warm and nostalgic all week. Mostly because of Parker, but also because we are releasing Devil’s Frost, the third book in Heidi R. Kling’s Spellspinners series.

You see, Heidi has been here from the beginning. She was Coliloquy’s first author. That, alone, would keep her close to my heart, but she also lives a mile from me and she is as amazing a person as she is a writer…so she has become a dear friend.

I met Heidi on February 23, 2011 at 9:30am, when Parker and Coliloquy were both brand spanking new. I was likely sleep-deprived and mentally fuzzy, but Heidi got what we were doing immediately and she told me about her new YA trilogy — Romeo and Juliet, but with warlocks and witches. She said that the beginning and ending were well-defined, but she’d written at least 30 different pathways. “Their fates are written, but how they get there? That’s the interesting part.”

And that’s also the interesting part about Heidi. Three years later, I feel like she could write an infinite number of pathways for her characters, because she inhabits them in a way that is very unique — she doesn’t so much tell stories as breathe life into these teens.

When I look back at her original manuscript, there are startling differences in plot, but the characters have remained remarkably the same. Heidi challenges them with new scenes, and they react differently to the new stimuli, but who they are never wavers.

The character who benefited the most from Heidi’s exploration of different pathways has to be British bad boy Jude. Did any of us EVER think Logan could be unseated in our hearts? I certainly didn’t. I predicted our readers would simply flip from one scene of Logan’s ink creeping up his arms to the next. (Aside: Could there ever be a more perfect YA metaphor for teen lust?) But as soon as Heidi started playing “what if”, Jude suddenly stepped into the frame and demanded our attention.

Fans of both guys won’t be disappointed with Devil’s Frost — Jude steams up the pages in a master class of YA hot boy-ness, and Logan’s mix of strength and vulnerability will melt your heart.

The biggest difference between Devil’s Frost and the prior two books is that we’ve reached Heidi’s well-defined ending from three years ago. There are no additional pathways to explore — just one blistering race down the home stretch. Devil’s Frost is very much Lily’s story, so Heidi tells it first from her perspective. Afterwards, you can reread the book from Logan’s point of view, filling in small gaps and (of course) swooning over his magical charms. As an ending bonus/teaser, Heidi also gives us our first look at the world through Daisy’s joyful and uninhibited eyes. Her short perspective at the end of the book teases a whole new layer of Spellspinners mythology, setting up the next chapter for our beloved witches and warlocks.

So happy third launch day, Heidi! Don’t forget to blow out the candle after you’re done circling it.

xx – L


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Reading Totlandia Book IV: Summer in the San Francisco Winter

Kiera O'Rourke : December 11, 2013 12:06 pm : Blog

I love winter in San Francisco–it’s cold enough to justify sitting in a warm cafe for hours, reading, drinking coffee, watching people catch up with old friends. Cafe-hopping (as I call it) has been my primary way of exploring this beautiful city. Hence, in the spirit of our latest launch, Totlandia Book IV: Summer, I trekked from my humble neighborhood, Inner Richmond, to the classier Pacific Heights.

And hello, Bettina’s world…Sitting at Jane’s on Fillmore, in the midst of the Brazilian Blowouts and five dollar mochas, I had fun playing director, casting the Lornas, Allys, Jillians and Jades of the crowd. In a corner sat a hunky, blonde forty-year-old pitching a business deal to two other men. His charm was all Brady and his subtle appraisal of every woman left no doubt he deserved the part. Another woman, furiously scrolling through her iPhone 5, made me think of Ally–a business woman struggling to balance her work and personal life.

There were many more matches–finding Art and Bettina was too fun, who doesn’t love browsing through whips to match that Marc Jacobs leather jacket?–but I won’t bore you with my musings. Josie Brown outdoes herself in this newest addition to her series. In Book IV: Summer, the lines between submissives and dominants blur, and the Pacific Heights Mom and Tots Club members seem to have a dark side.

This new character gradient reinvents Totlandia and its characters: Jillian, deserted by her husband, actually has a vindictive streak; Allie, the noble member of our beloved foursome, resents the club from which she’s been booted; and Jade, desperate for Brady’s affection, plays into Bettina’s manipulating games. But Josie bests herself in her portrayal of Lorna and Bettina, two women who, after starting on opposite ends of the spectrum, find themselves on a very similar path.

This installment races forward like no other, and leaves us dizzier than usual–but the book is more than just plot. For those of you who enjoy Bettina’s wickedness, Brady’s pulse-quickening sex scenes, and of course, Josie Brown’s captivating descriptions of motherhood, this author is for you.

After four hours at Jane’s (feeling completely underdressed) I noticed how makeup, designer clothing, and perfectly highlighted hair doesn’t change the fact that these women are mothers. Children wake up early, cry for companionship, want to help when they can’t–and they never, ever want to go to bed. Being a parent is exhausting. Totlandia gives readers a chance to laugh at these moments and share the experience of parenthood.

Whether you’re a mom looking for that sassy, understanding voice or a chicklit fan hoping for scandalous affairs, this book promises to satisfy. Check it out now!

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Season’s Greetings: Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

Melanie Downing : November 20, 2013 5:13 pm : Blog

I’m not one of those people who objects to Christmas decorations appearing around Halloween, or carols hijacking my favorite radio station on the fourth Friday of November. I say, the more seasonal spirit, the better.

So although Thanksgiving has yet to come and go, I am happy to feast on Season’s Greetings, Kira Snyder’s latest Parish Mail short novel. When I say feast, I do mean it. Kira’s series provides a veritable cornucopia of cute boys to fall in love with—and lucky for us we can choose more than one.

The Parish Mail series begins when Celia Macarty moves to New Orleans, a playground for the weird and wonderful. Celia develops an ability to cavort with the paranormal world, and realizes that not all is what it seems in her new hometown. Celia’s best friend Tilly is a witch with a powerful connection to animals; Celia’s grandfather may or may not be in on a secret involving century-old letters; and who can forget Celia’s hear-me-roar mom, a former punk-band bass player who’s picked up and moved to the Crescent City in hopes of starting over.

But that’s not what keeps me anxiously awaiting the next installments of Kira’s books. It’s trying to decide which of Celia’s three – that’s right, three! – love interests is the boy for her. Depending on how you decide to read the books, one of a trio of handsome helpers may or may not want to deepen their relationship with our fearless, lovable Celia.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Luc lived in the nineteenth century, and now his spirit roams the New Orleans streets with only memories to keep him warm…until he meets Celia who, sensitive to Luc’s kind, can see and hear him. Luc, always the gentleman, helps Celia unravel her otherworldly mysteries–as long as it’s after dark.

Another good choice for crime-solving is Donovan Blake, a detective’s son. Donovan’s handsome in a boy-next-door way, yet there’s more to him than broad shoulders and a cute face. Donovan’s capable. He can talk himself out of trouble, strong-arm unhelpful leads, and install a car windshield. Donovan’s kiss is warm, confident, and well, hot. Added bonus points for him being alive.

But who am I kidding? There’s one kind of guy that can make a ghost boyfriend seem like a safe choice and a street-smart kid seem a little ho-hum. That’s Sloan Carver, the bad boy, rich-kid with an attitude a mile long. Sloan might not be interested in Celia’s after-school activities, but when she needs him, he’s there. Plus his angelic singing leads to un-angelic thoughts, and he isn’t afraid to get a little chippy if somebody’s giving Celia a hard time.

I realize of course that prickly Sloan isn’t for everyone. But that’s what’s so terrific about Kira’s Parish Mail stories. If an old-fashioned romantic turns your insides to goo; if, perhaps, the boy next door with the killer, dimpled smile melts your heart; if you’re like me and just can’t say no to a devilish grin, you’ll find a way to love Season’s Greetings. Because you get to pick which of Celia’s three suitors she turns to for help…and, hopefully, for a little smooching.

And if you’re just a reader who loves a good yarn, then this story’s got what you need. It’s up to Celia to give somebody she loves a holiday filled with happiness, and the only way she can do that is to figure out the cryptic meaning behind an early twentieth-century Christmas card. It’s up to you who she asks for help.

Read it all three ways if you like! And please excuse me while I go order myself a Team Sloan t-shirt.

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Happy Colilo-ween!

Kiera O'Rourke : October 31, 2013 4:40 pm : Blog

Instead of regular Halloween costumes this year, I thought it would be fun if we all came to work dressed as characters from our books. With the unbridled glee of a recent college grad, I sent out a cheery email, helpfully including suggested character assignments.

Here’s a sampling of what I got back:

Ummm…we’re old, Kiera
NFW Waynn paints his hair pink
Wait…she really wants us to dress up? That’s adorable.
I retract my superawesome

OK, so no dressing up. But my character suggestions DID spark some extended commentary. Here’s my picks, followed by each person’s analysis.

LISA  = TILLY from Parish Mail

I was torn over my choice…I really wanted to be Nevra from KSW because she’s BASED ON ME (yes Jen, I am riding this one as long as possible). But then I would want to run around recreating her incredibly badass scene all day, and that would be HIGHLY inappropriate…

Then I thought of Lily from Spellspinners, because I understand her Northern California-ness and was lucky enough to run into my own soulmate (xx Doug) at a young age. But the whole iliac crest thing also seems inappropriate…

So I approve of Tilly — I’ve always had an unusual bond with animals and I am pretty quirky. I also need to get dressed quickly in the morning, thanks to my 2-year-old terrorist’s current early morning wake-up time, so the ease of Tilly-fying myself (black clothing + crow) is also a plus. And yes, I do have a spare crow in my attic. What – you don’t?

WAYNN = JONAH from Spellspinners

I love Jonah for 2 reasons: pink hair and hipster coffee. Ever since a miscommunication at SuperCuts caused me to go an entire summer in college looking uncomfortably close to a white supremacist (even though I’m Asian…and not a supremacist), I’ve been curious about other hairstyles and colors. Pink hair would go great with the unofficial Shirt.Woot of Coliloquy in a Christmas-y kind of way. And everyone at the company already knows my affinity for awesome coffee spots, even if I can’t tell the difference between any of the coffees…

JEN = JJ from Getting Dumped

I do dream about one day leaving my desk job to crush garbage with a 150,000 pound machine. And a hard hat, overalls and general grunge construction wear would be so much more comfortable than the corporate clothing shenanigans that Lisa and Waynn insist that we all wear so we look “professional”. As for other ways I’m like JJ…

  1. I love to cook.
  2. With the exception of my husbie, I have generally and previously had questionable taste in men (luckily none of them turned out exactly like Daniel).
  3. I too have drunk weird teas in Chinese restaurants.
  4. I have used choice points to figure out who to call while in crisis.

The best part about being JJ? Blue Cat!

AIMEE = TARYN from Georgetown Academy

It would be an absolute dream to walk into my closet and come out looking like Brinley or Ellie, however I have to admit that I have absolutely nothing in common with either of these fashionistas, so I’m going to have to pass on being a GTA socialite for the day.

However, I definitely think I could pull off being Taryn. Not only do I love her bohemian style and laid back attitude, I can also relate to her being a California girl & snowboarder! Both of which are near and dear to my heart!  There are very few things in this world that I enjoy more than strapping on my snowboard and hitting the slopes.

SHAYAN = JACK from Game. Set. Match.

I’m down with Jack, mostly because I think I already have the costume taken care of. I’ve been trying to play tennis off and on since I was 11, so I’ve collected the tennis balls, racket, wristbands, sunglasses and short shorts to pull it off. As an added bonus, I even went to Harvard *cough* summer school *cough*.

KIERA = BRINLEY from Georgetown Academy

Personality aside, I’d want to go as Brinley and dress up in a fabulous outfit. We get to expense our costumes, right?! I’m also uber competitive, but I’m working on it.

MELANIE = LENORE, Tilly’s raven in Parish Mail

Oh, I like this. I’ll fly in from New Jersey and sit on Lisa’s shoulder. Unless you’ll let me be one of Sloan’s girlfriends from Parish Mail…

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