Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blogging at

Hi, as most of my writing and editing activities these days are on behalf of Elm Books, I will be blogging from now until the foreseeable future at

Come on by and say hi!  We always have lots going on at Elm Books.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fantasy Romance & Mystery Calls for Stories

Two calls for stories from Elm Books (

We are looking for romance stories taking place in fantastical settings for our upcoming collection, Fae Love.  Stories can be set in either completely imagined alternative realities or diverse ordinary places with a bit of magic.  Good stories will be rich in detail and include solid doses of lust, fickle love, jealousy, and adventure, heat level 2.5 to 4 out of five. 3000-10,000 words.  No vampires.
Deadline: February 1. Initial inquiries, rough outlines, or early drafts welcome.
CONTACT: LilyCallahan75 at  Free sample PDF story if interested.

We’re looking for short stories (2,000-10,000 words) for our upcoming anthology, Death and the Detective. We’re happy to work with new, as well as seasoned writers. Here are the particulars:
-There must be a detective: cop, PI, hotel detective, security guard, insurance investigator, arson investigator, casino in-house security, local Miss Marple or whatever. Your main character must be a professional or recognized investigator of some sort.
-There must be death: accidental, purposeful, suicide, attempted, past, future, cold case…it doesn’t matter. Your plot must revolve around a death.
-Diverse heroes and heroines welcome.
DEADLINE: February 15, 2013. 
CONTACT:   Jess Faraday, editor at: editorjessfaraday at  Free sample PDF story available.

All accepted stories will appear in both the print and e-book versions of the anthology. Authors are paid quarterly royalties based on sales. We use an adapted EPIC contract.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas is for Bad Girls

Christmas is for Bad Girls is a collection of fun sassy Christmas romance stories from Elm Books edited by M.M. Ardagna and myself.  

Below are samples from each of the stories.  Hope you enjoy!  The full book can be purchased at

A Partridge in Pear Treacle

Sample from A Partridge in Pear Treacle by P.K. Tournes in Christmas is for Bad Girls from Elm Books:

Cory pulled the door open enough to slip out into the kitchen, and was almost immediately engulfed by the arms of Mr. USDA, the Grade A Beef rent-a-cop.

“Oh, thank you! Aren’t you sweet?” she purred up at him. With anyone else, she probably could have just grabbed a tray and headed out of the kitchen, but she could see the wheels turning behind those hard hazel eyes. He still thought he was going to kick her out! Damn, what a hard ass. Dropping the wounded kitten act, she opted for shock and awe. She really only needed ten minutes to get through the party set-up and up the stairs. She was pretty sure she could buy that much time.

“You’re not really going to kick me out, are you? Do you think I’ve got weapons on me? What you see,” Cory pulled her blouse up, pressing her breasts together and lifting them out of the lace that held them, “is what you get.” Triumph swirled in her as she watched his pupils darken. She wasn’t done yet. Smoothly lowering her blouse, she let her hands flow over her stomach and down her legs, gently rotating them open. Cory hooked her thumbs in the skirt hem, lifting it as she ran her hands back up the length of her inner thighs. She stopped just short of her panties, her legs open just enough, thumbs out of sight in a way that she knew left little to the imagination. “This is the only weapon I have, and I don’t know if we have enough time for you to disarm it.” 

His mouth was still hanging open as she and her tray of Christmas goodies left the kitchen. 

A Very Chunky Monkey Christmas

Excerpt from "A Very Chunky Monkey Christmas" by M.M. Ardagna in Christmas is for Bad Girls from Elm Books:

She saw a tall, dark-haired man coming down the side aisle, headed the same way, poised to reach her destination mere steps ahead of her.  He looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t quite place him.  As she caught up to him, she watched in dismay when he reached for—she scanned the shelves—what appeared to be the last carton of her favorite ice cream.  “You can’t have that,” she blurted out.  “It’s mine.”

He turned to face her.  “Pardon me?” 

She stared into silver-gray eyes surrounded by insanely thick black eyelashes.  Him!  Her heart started beating faster.  No wonder she hadn’t quite recognized him.  He’d only come into the restaurant a few times, and that had been more than two years ago.  His dark brown hair was longer now, curling over the collar of his jacket, but he still had the same pale skin and square jaw, and she would recognize those eyes anywhere.  She would have expected gray eyes to be cold, but his had always seemed warm and friendly.

He dropped his hand, leaving the ice cream on the shelf.  Seeing her opportunity, she reached past him and grabbed it.

“Hey!”  He grabbed for it again.  “What are you doing?  I was here first.”

“No.  I mean, yes, you got here first, but I was already on the trajectory toward the freezer when you turned in front of me.  If we were playing basketball, that would be a foul, wouldn’t it?”  She was babbling, and she knew it.  Perhaps she ought to let him have the ice cream. But she really, really wanted it.  In fact—“Please, let me have this ice cream.  I need it.”  She yanked at it to make her point, but his grip didn’t budge.

“You need it?  What if I need it, too?”

Noisy Night

Excerpt from "Noisy Night" by Yvette Franklin, in Christmas is for Bad Girls from Elm Books: 

I fucked God.  And then I was screwed.  You know Henry Darden, the guy with the most incredible voice in the whole world, the one who plays God in all those different movies?  Yeah, that guy.  And it was totally my fault.

We were at a fabulous Cinco de Mayo party given by that cute Latino actor from the last James Bond movie.  Never seen so much tequila.  I was wearing the dress that never fails, a little black thing that makes my boobs look like DDs and my waist look like Barbie’s.  And my red Jimmy Angelo Fuck Me Pumps.  With no panties.  And of course I am Manda Spellman, the second coming of Marilyn Monroe, the Pamela Anderson with real tits.

He was drunk and flirtatious.  I was drunk and horny as hell.  He put a hand on my ass, and I decided I wanted him so bad that I dragged him out behind the pool house.  He objected that he was married, but I just ran my hand down his very nice if a little elderly body.  His views on the sanctity of marriage changed after copping a feel of my luscious breasts, and we allowed nature to take its course.

Best cheap and dirty quickie I ever had.  I just unzipped his pants, straddled that long, strong cock of his, and wham—he came.  Then I came so hard I almost fell off my shoes.  The sensation started at my groin and spread in fast, fiery jolts through every fiber of my body.  It was like lightning hit.  The perfect Erica Jong zipless fuck.

The lightning of God is a powerful force.  Given I had not seen fit to use any protection, my ovaries did not stand a chance.  Yes, Manda “I know exactly what I am doing” Spellman got knocked up.  

Mistletoe in Minnesota

Sample from “Mistletoe in Minnesota” by Jess Allyn in Christmas is for Bad Girls from Elm Books:

Keep the change.  Thanks.”

“Thank you, miss.  Have a good Christmas!”

Emily flashed a smile and nodded as she took her luggage from the cab driver.  As he drove away, she stood in the snow and stared at the large house in front of her, tears welling up to sting her eyes in the crisp, frigid air.  Aunt Marjorie, I wish you were still here.

Sniffling and wrapping her scarf tighter around her throat, she set her shoulders and stepped forward, digging the unfamiliar keys out of her purse even as she dragged her suitcase along the long driveway to the front porch. 

At the front door, she paused, turning to survey her surroundings.  To one side of the house, the grounds extended into a wooded area along a creek, rising up on the far side to more wooded cliffs.  The property line ended in the middle of the creek, but since the other side was virtually impossible to develop, the grounds afforded privacy and quiet—both qualities that her Aunt Marjorie had enjoyed. 

Not far beyond the hedge along the perimeter on the other side, she saw a smaller, cozy house with smoke billowing merrily from the chimney.  She shivered in the cold and wished for a fire to warm her.  To her surprise, she saw someone exiting the house and jogging a beeline toward her.  Although she was in a small town, and remembering the stories her Aunt Marjorie had told her of the friendliness in the tight-knit community, Emily was still aware that she was a stranger, alone, and she transferred the keys to her other hand while she dug in her purse to clutch her pepper spray, ready to strike if she felt threatened.  There were some lessons that being a young woman at a large, urban university taught well.

The bundled-up figure approaching resolved into a man who looked to be in his early 30s, hazel eyes, auburn Van Dyke beard, and silver hoop earrings peeking out below the black knit cap covering his head and ears.  His smile revealed dimples in his cheeks as he stopped on the porch steps.  He tugged his fleece-lined glove off his right hand and extended it to her, saying, “Hello and welcome.  My name is Lars.  Lars Andersen.  I live next door—obviously.”  His smile quirked into an abashed, lopsided grin.  “Marjorie Nichols was a great friend of mine.  I’m assuming you knew her, too.”