Hot Tango Countdown–two days!!

January 27, 2014 in My Books

Hot Tango Countdown Day 2Happy Monday, Dear Readers!

We’re just a few days away from the release of Hot Tango, book one of the Good Guys Wear Black series! I’ve been super busy behind the scenes, I’m so sorry I haven’t posted an update lately. Totally on my shoulders.

How about an excerpt from the book??

Each night he got to come home to Tanya. It was a novelty that hadn’t worn off yet, even after three years. He was so used to coming home to their condo. Empty. On a good night he would get to make a video call to whatever part of the world Tanya was working in. In those days he’d lived for the first week of her coming home. For that time they were randy teenagers all over again, unable to keep their hands off each other. He’d pitied his married coworkers who talked dispassionately about their spouses, because he and Tanya burned up the sheets.

Cole scrubbed his chest and shoulders, taking off a layer of skin as he went.

He wasn’t unaware of the change in his relationship with Tanya. He sure as hell wanted her, and that was the problem. Not long after they’d moved into the house, Tanya had suggested christening their couch. They’d been tipsy and his fine control had slipped. He’d left actual bruises on her arms, shoulders and hips. She’d not complained once, never brought it up, but the sight of bruises he’d left on her was enough to shut down their sex life.

Cole knew his own strength. He tested it out against bad guys in the field every day, and Tanya didn’t stand a chance against him. So he kept a firm handle on his control, because the honest truth was that she was a brightly burning star and he was the weight holding her down.

Sluicing the water off his body, he did a quick rubdown with a towel then paused at his clothing. A dose of painkillers sat on top of the fabric and a glass of iced tea was sweating condensation on the counter.

His temples pulsed with an impending migraine.

Tanya.

She’d known his head was killing him before even he realized it. He took the medicine before getting dressed in sweatpants and one of the many gray SWAT t-shirts that made up his off-duty wardrobe. Glass in hand, he retraced his steps to the kitchen, which was empty. The light beyond it was on, illuminating an intimate dinner.

The hair on his arms rose in a precautionary warning, as if to say Danger ahead!

On a typical night they ate either at the bar in the kitchen, the back patio or in front of the TV.

They rarely used the dining table.

“This looks nice,” he said as he stepped through the kitchen to the table long enough to seat ten people with elbow room.

Tanya turned to face him. She’d changed into a simple cotton dress in a soft, summer green that set off her eyes. All that was missing was a flower for her hair. “I thought you might want a nice dinner after working late last night and all day today.”

The table was set, complete with linen napkins probably sewn by thankful mothers from Thailand or somewhere. A small vase he vaguely recalled being part of a Valentine’s Day gift sat in the middle with a bunch of daisies in it.

“It looks very nice.” He put a hand against the small of her back and kissed her forehead with the briefest touch possible. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” She preened under his praise and circled the table to sit across from him.

He settled into the chair, evaluating the room for a tactical retreat. Until the time when he needed to make an exit, he smoothed the napkin over a knee and inhaled the fragrant aroma of whatever concoction Tanya had put together. The woman wasn’t a chef, but she could cook a wide variety of foods, at least three dishes from each people group she’d spent considerable time helping. It was her souvenir, she said.

Tanya picked up her fork and studied him across the table. “I didn’t even hear you come in last night. Did you get to see any of the opening ceremony?”

“Nothing. My team was on the outside. We mostly did traffic control all night.” He shoveled a mouthful of what looked to be meat, some kind of noodle and sugar snap peas into his mouth.

“That’s too bad. I loved the superhero theme they went with. It was very cool to see the city’s history played out like one big musical number.” She snickered and grinned. “Made me think about that old Halloween costume your mom made you.”

“Stop right there.” He coughed around his food, shaking a finger at her. His mother had terrorized him by holding Tanya’s hand and showing her every single picture she’d ever taken of him. Including those of the superhero costume he’d worn until the seams literally burst because he was too big.

Tanya laughed, not at all repentant. “You were so cute. I wonder if she would give me a copy to frame.”

“No.”

“Oh come on.”

“No way.”

“Please?”

“Not going to happen.”

Tanya didn’t even try to pout, she just grinned at him and twirled her fork between her fingers. He could hear her mother’s voice in his mind telling Tanya to stop playing with her food. Some habits could never be broken.

“How was practice?” he asked to change the subject.

“Really good. I think the bout next weekend is going to really be awesome. Did you get Saturday night off, or do you have to work?”

“I worked it so I’m on duty during the day and will be off that night, but I am on call.”

“Awesome.” Tanya smiled without a trace of bitterness or resentment.

Cole was not unaware that he had yet to make it through a single one of her games because of work. He felt guilty, but she’d never said a cross word about it. He hoped like hell he could make it to this one as it would be the last major home game of the season before playoffs, which were held over one week in a tournament style.

“What do you have going on this week?” He stabbed a large piece of meat with his fork and cut it up.

“Finishing up the consulting gig with that soda company, writing up a leadership plan for continued Gulf relief and I’ll probably get started on the plan for the office building job. They want to make the whole tower green, mount solar panels on the roof, do a few terrace gardens and implement a paperless system on top of the regular stuff.”

Tanya’s move into the private sector was to serve the latest craze and even she didn’t know how long it would last, but she was one of the most well-equipped people to offer these types of services. It didn’t hurt that companies paid her a king’s ransom to do the jobs either.

“What about you?” she asked.

Cole chewed slowly. Sometimes it was difficult to decide what to tell Tanya and what to keep from her for her own good. There were aspects of his job that were dark, disturbing and haunted him.

At other times he just didn’t want to worry her needlessly. Usually he shot straight with her because she’d always told him the stark facts about situations she’d faced with One World. They were both the type of person who didn’t shrink from difficult situations.

“Truth?” He swallowed and put his fork down. “We’re working on a raid on top of all the Olympic staffing. It’s a good thing we have so many other PDs supporting this because it’s crazy. Everyone’s on high alert too. Remember that Ali Saed guy who was captured? He’s the one thought to be a leader of a radical terrorist group. Well, his followers have been threatening to attack symbols of our way of life unless he’s released.”

“And you think they might target the Games?” she asked as calmly as if they were discussing the weather.

“It would make sense.”

“Please be safe?”

“Of course.”

They lapsed into silence. Forks scraping bowls and the click of glasses on the table were the only sounds between them. Tanya was the first to finish her meal. She pushed her plate away and folded her hands together on the table. The energy in the room shifted slightly, raising the hair on his arms.

Danger! Danger! Danger!

“Something on your mind?” he asked, despite knowing better than to ask. Whatever Tanya wanted to talk about, she’d damn sure let him know.

She had the grace to appear abashed. “I just want to talk to you about something. I know this isn’t great timing, there’s a lot going on over the next two weeks, but I just want to talk about it.”

Cole’s mind raced with the possibilities. Children? A new business move he wouldn’t like? A trip? Something from home? He tested each but came back to the same one.

It had to be kids.

They’d been married for over a decade and everyone was on their case about popping out the next Cole or Tanya. Parents, siblings, friends, coworkers—they hounded Tanya and him all the time about babies, but he and she had been on the same page about where they were in life. Sweat broke out across his brow and his vision sharpened the way it did before a raid.

“God, forget it.” Tanya shoved away from the table and grabbed her plate.

Part of him wanted to let her storm off, but she didn’t deserve that. He squeezed his eyes shut. “Tanya, wait.”

“No. Anytime I want to talk about something serious you get like that. Start looking for a way to escape.” Dishes hit the bottom of the sink and the sound of water rushing out of the faucet punctuated her words.

He winced.

Great move.

She had him figured out.

Cole picked up his plate and brought it to the sink, where Tanya was resolutely ignoring him. He scraped the last of the dishes off in the compost bin and waited for his wife to acknowledge his presence. Her mouth was frozen in an adorable frown he wanted to kiss away. God, he had fantasies about that mouth. Even when she was angry.

“Babe?”

Her scrubbing increased in speed.

“Babe, please talk to me.”

“Don’t be patronizing,” she snapped and plunked the dish in the opposite sink to rinse.

He pushed her hands aside and took over the rinsing, letting her go back to scrubbing. Their first date had been dinner at her parents’ house, after which they’d washed dishes together. It was one of their oldest routines.

“I’m not.” He took a deep breath and stepped off the proverbial ledge. “The truth? I keep waiting for you to bring up the topic of kids.”

The plate Tanya was scrubbing slipped out of her hand, suds flew up in her hair and water doused the front of her dress.

“Kids?” she yelped.

He turned toward her and rested a hip against the counter. “Well, yeah.”

Tanya wiped her hands off, staring at him as if she didn’t know who he was. “You know what has to happen in order to have kids?”

Danger!

That tone was downright scary. There were two exits from the kitchen, if he didn’t count leaping over the bar that partitioned off half the space. From there he could make a tactical retreat to the backyard, the hallway or the den. Cole took a deep breath and shoved aside the urge to flee.

“What?” he asked.

“Sex, Cole. People have to have sex in order to make babies.”

“Well, not technically. This is the twenty-first century. People get shot up with sperm all the time now.”

“Oh my god, just forget it.” She threw the towel on the counter and began to storm off, but he caught her wrist and swung her around. The way her eyes flashed shouldn’t make him hard, but it did.

“Hey now, it’s just a joke.”

She tried to jerk out of his grasp but he kept his hold on her. Not enough to bruise, just contain. “No it’s not. I’m trying to be understanding of all the stress you’re under and still talk about stuff like grown-ups, and you’re evading the discussion without even knowing what I want to talk about.”

Put that way, he was being a shithead.

He took a deep breath and reversed his hold on her so that their fingers laced together. He could take anything she had to throw at him if it wasn’t kids. “Okay, what did you want to talk about if not kids?”

“Sex.” Tanya tried to pull out of his grip again, but he clutched her hand harder. “We aren’t having any. Hell, if we don’t fight we seem to not even talk, so maybe I’m getting ahead of myself and should just be asking you for a conversation about the weather every now and then.”

“Wow. Wait. Back that up. Sex?” Color him surprised.

“Yes, sex, Cole. Is that such a shocking thought?” She wiggled her hand free of his and crossed her arms over her chest, plumping her breasts.

Sex, her boobs—it made for a distracting cocktail.

“Well, uh—”

Tanya steamrolled over him. He’d opened the door and she’d stepped through. There was no shutting it now.

“I miss you actually talking to me. God forbid, I miss sex. I miss feeling like we’re a goddamned couple. And this is not how I wanted to have this discussion.” One of the hair ties that were all over the house seemed to appear magically in her hand, and up went her hair.

The truth was he missed those things too, but any time he opened his mouth or got the urge, she was busy. If he were honest with himself, he could do more. He knew it and still he pulled back.

“You know what’s embarrassing? The girls took me to an adult novelty store today and I actually bought their crap thinking it might help. But no. Never mind. Go to bed. You look exhausted.”

“You bought stuff at a sex shop?” Suddenly he didn’t feel quite so tired.

Tanya busied her hands with the dishes again, but her cheeks were turning a bright scarlet. The idea of his wife surrounded by dildos and masks was going to fuel a good laugh—later. Right now his shortcomings as a husband were glaring at him.

“Yes, okay?” The anger seeped away, replaced by her signature frustration with compressed lips, high color and refusal to look at him. Tanya could never stay angry long, for which he was eternally grateful. He’d never slept on the couch as a result.

“What did you buy?”

“Nothing.”

“Yes, you did. You said so.” He stepped behind her and placed his hands over her hips, pulling her firm ass against his groin. Her scrubbing rhythm faltered. “Come on, tell me what you bought.”

“Forget it. It’s stupid.” Her voice quavered in the telltale fashion that foretold tears.

Shit.

He reached around her and unplugged the sink.

“Cole.”

He turned her in place so she faced him. “Babe, it’s not stupid. I’m sorry we don’t talk as much. We’re both busy and—”

“And you’re my husband. We should make time for each other.”

Busted.

There was no denying the truth. He kissed her forehead in a silent plea for forgiveness. She answered it by looping her arms around his waist and hugging him, her head tucked perfectly under his chin, their bodies lining up just right.

“You’ll show me?” he said into her hair.

Tanya turned her face into his chest and muttered something that sounded like, “Yes.”

“I’m going to take the trash and recycling out. Why don’t you go get your new toys ready and I’ll be back in a minute?” He would need a moment to get his head screwed on straight. Besides the weird stuff her friends had given her before their wedding, they’d never brought anything into the bedroom with them. They’d never needed toys or anything to get off, so he didn’t see the point. Still, the novelty was appealing.

“Okay.” Tanya pivoted and walked swiftly out of the kitchen.

Cole watched her leave, committing the image to memory.

What kind of an asshole was he that he ignored his wife’s needs and made her genuinely embarrassed to approach him about something like sex?

He stalked across the kitchen, dug the trash and recycling bags out of the receptacles and took them to the garage.

Early on, when they lived in Nowhere, USA, the sense of wonder that she loved him, Cole, the guy who could barely graduate high school by the skin of his teeth, never ceased to amaze him. Hell, he’d only passed because his grand scheme of getting the pretty girl to tutor him had worked out so well. Not only had she tutored him, she’d given him her heart. Even after thirteen years he was still waiting for her to wake up and realize her mistake and divorce him. Waiting for it was wearing him thin. The higher she rose, the farther he had to fall, and that would kill him.

He reentered the house with a dark mood clinging to him.

How fucked up was he? He had a hot piece of ass for a wife, whom he was in love with, and he was trying to get out of their marriage. Something had to be seriously unhinged upstairs.

Cole flipped the lights and radio off, taking his time progressing down the hall to the square of light that taunted him.

He could face down drug lords and armed robbers, but his wife left him anxious and uncertain. He sucked in a deep breath and strolled through the bedroom door.

Tanya glanced up from where she sat in the middle of their bed, still wearing the soft green dress from dinner. Two boxes sat in front of her on the bedspread, one red and the other black.

“What’s this?” he asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

She sighed and picked at her nails. “It’s called Pandora’s Box and it promises to equip you with challenges to spice up your sex life. Dumb. I know.”

“It’s not dumb. I just don’t get it.” He picked up the box and popped open the magnetic top.

“The instructions say that you should give all the challenges a go to properly explore your sexual adventures.”

He picked up the black box and turned it to read the script. “What about this?”

Tanya snatched it from his hands and bounded off the bed. “I’m returning this.”

Now his curiosity was piqued, but he didn’t want to make her any more uncomfortable than she already was. He held up his hands. “Okay.” He turned his attention back to Pandora’s Box. “So do you or I pick the challenge?”

“Whichever.”

Tanya didn’t seem that interested in the box or amorous activities.

Cole peered into the box. There was a booklet he skipped, dice, a feather, some black folded stuff and a deck of cards.

Tanya deserved to be treated to pleasure, and if she wanted to use the box, he’d get on this train. He was aware of her gaze tracking his movements as he investigated the cards. They seemed to be ideas, suggestions for something a little out of the ordinary. A few of the cards were downright ridiculous, but the rest he could work with.

Cole peered at her over the top of the cards. A light bulb went on. He fanned them out, displaying the image on the card to Tanya but the text to him.

“Pick one,” he dared.

Tanya’s brows rose and her mouth formed a little “O”. A thread of tension, sensual and full of lust, stretched between his wife and him. He held her gaze and neither breathed as she selected a card with two people, arms wound around each other, on the brink of kissing. He took the card from her, placed the others in the box and cleared his throat. He peered into the box.

Why not?

Cole pocketed one of the dice.

“Rediscover the sensual pleasure of kissing. Frequent kissing can improve the appearance of the face, giving the thirty muscles a workout. The racing pulse of a passionate kiss boosts metabolism and helps burn calories. And lastly, kissing is nature’s antidepressant, releasing the feel-good chemical oxytocin into the bloodstream.” He chuckled at all the data, but the reality was that he couldn’t remember the last time he’d kissed Tanya with anything more than a quick peck.

Tanya’s brow wrinkled. “That’s it?”

He shrugged and placed the box on the bench at the end of the bed. “I’m resourceful.”

“This is silly. Let’s just go to sleep.”

Cole circled the bed, watching how Tanya kept her gaze anywhere but on him. “I think we should give it a try first. Come on.” He stopped inches away from her.

Tanya’s gaze landed on his chest and he watched her trace the SWAT letters on his shirt with her eyes.

Sometimes he wondered if she resented his job and how much it took him away these days. It was an odd exchange for them, but he couldn’t deny that she was getting a taste of what the first ten years of their marriage had been like for him. But he wasn’t about to hold it against her. He’d never wanted to stand in the way of her dreams and, in the end, she’d pulled him with her. Making him who he was today. So he could help her.

Cole tugged the elastic band out of her hair. The way the light shone off her wavy tresses mesmerized him.

* * * * *

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.

Embarrassment.

Hope.

Shame.

Frustration.

Lust.

A hundred different emotions warred within Tanya’s breast. She watched through her lashes as Cole wrapped a lock of her hair around his finger and lifted it to his lips. She drank in the sight of him kissing her as if she were a dehydrated plant.

She hadn’t realized she missed being kissed until she grew jealous of her damn hair.

Cole tugged the lock, tipping her head forward. He pressed his lips to her forehead and kissed a line to her temple. Her skin tingled everywhere he made contact. She leaned forward into his touch and tilted her head to the side, acquiescing to his questing mouth.

“Where should I kiss you?” he whispered.

I have a choice?

There were a couple of options, but she couldn’t bring herself to say them.

Cole produced a die from the Pandora’s Box and tossed it on the bed.

“Neck,” he said.

Tanya sucked in a breath.

Cole was doing it. He was playing along. She didn’t know what to think or feel or even do. It was as if she’d never had sex with her husband before.

He hooked his fingers in the straps of her dress and pulled her forward against his chest. She gripped his shirt in both her hands and shut her eyes.

Tanya loved Cole’s strength, the rough quality of his personality and how no matter how long they’d lived in the city, he was still a small-town boy at heart. But right now she loved his mouth the most. The way he didn’t rush this silly request of hers, but paid special attention to her cheek, jawline, the tip of her nose.

And now her neck.

He started at her collarbone and kissed around the base of her neck, turned her in place and trailed kisses up her spine. She shivered and leaned against him, relishing the way his arms closed around her, supporting and protecting her. He pulled her head back against his shoulder, exposing the column of her throat.

His lips moved over her skin, planting kisses here and there. Each time she felt the contact, her breath shuddered in her throat.

She turned her face toward him, seeking his mouth, but he straightened out of her range.

“Cole.” She hated the whining quality to her voice, but damn it, he was teasing her.

The twinkle in his gaze told her he knew what he was doing to her and meant to keep going.

He tapped her lips.

“Not yet. Dice didn’t say to kiss you there. Where should I kiss you next, hm?”

Cole picked the die up from where he’d tossed it on the bed and let it fall again.

“Thighs, huh?” He sounded amused, and she could only guess at the evil ideas running through his head.

Tanya glanced from the die to her husband.

Cole twisted the straps of her dress and bra off her shoulders. Thighs be damned, her breasts ached.

Her breathing hitched as he dipped his head to press kisses to the fronts of her shoulders and along her collarbone. Cole turned her and pushed her back against the mattress. The room spun; her heart was pounding too hard against her ribs. Her nipples were tight, sensitive buds against the abrasive fabric of her bra.

Cole grasped one ankle. She propped herself up on her elbows. He caught her watching him and held her gaze while he brought her foot to his lips. Tanya held her breath as he kissed the top of her foot and up to her ankle. He grabbed her other leg and repeated the worshipful treatment.

Tanya’s panties were soaked. Honest-to-god wet. She couldn’t remember the last time arousal had ruined her underwear for a night. The damn box was worth every penny on these grounds alone.

Her husband didn’t stop at her ankles. He pushed her knees farther apart and peppered her calves and shins with more kisses, running his hands over her skin, investigating the ticklish crease behind her knee. She giggled and tried to roll away, but Cole surged up and pinned her to the bed.

“Where do you think you’re going?” A smile the likes of which she hadn’t seen in ages graced his face.

Looping her arms around his neck, she felt the dusty cobwebs of her heart loosen their hold, as if someone had opened a window and a fresh breeze blew through. “Nowhere.”

“Good.” He kissed one cheek then the other. His dark gaze promised more than his smile foretold. “I’m not done with you yet.”

God, I hope not.

“Now where was I?”

Cole pushed to his knees and studied her for a moment. He shoved her skirt up to the tops of her thighs and she shivered. Tanya licked her lips and forced herself to relax. Enjoy what her husband was doing.

He slid his hands up and down her thighs, from the outside in, working his fingers higher and closer to her pussy with each motion. She shifted her hips, silently begging for more.

She grabbed the die and pushed it into his hand. Cole chuckled at her and let it drop onto the bed again.

Did it have “pussy” on it anywhere? She prayed it did.

“Fuck yes,” Cole muttered, his voice low and rough.

“Huh?” She pushed up to her elbows, finding it hard to focus on his face.

Cole grinned at her and tugged the top of her dress down. When her bra didn’t go south willingly, he yanked the fabric down around her waist, freeing her breasts.

Tanya gasped, surprised by the aggressive move and overwhelmed by the riot of sensation radiating from her nipples.

“Breasts,” he practically purred as he crawled over her.

Cole’s mouth closed around one peak and the brush of his teeth had her back arching off the bed and her hands cupping his face. She could feel his thick erection against her thigh. Knowing he was aroused just as she was only turned her on more.

He took his time with one breast before switching to the other. He moved his knees between her legs, so she hooked her ankles behind his thighs and clung to him. Not that she moved him an inch, but she needed to hold on to something and he grounded her.

Cole reached between them and rubbed his hand over the crotch of her panties. When had they rolled the die again? If pussy was on there, she was a lucky girl.

“Fuck,” he growled out.

“Yes, please.” Tanya panted and shifted her hips.

“I’m going to—”

“Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do?”

Sidney Sig

Hot Tango–coming soon to an ereader near you!

January 13, 2014 in Let Me Tell You, My Books

hottango_msrHello Dear Readers!

Settled into 2014 yet?? I just returned from my annual work trip to Florida. It was a blast–as it is every year.

I came home to the awesome news that Hot Tango will release from Ellora’s Cave January 29th–everywhere!! How awesome is that?? I’m super excited about having this book out there for everyone to read and enjoy. It was a real pleasure to write.

Good Guys Wear Black, Book 1

SWAT officer Cole Westling walks a fine line of control. If his wife knew exactly what he wanted to do to her, he’d lose the most precious thing in his life. Instead, he throws himself into work.

Tanya Westling did not leave her job as a globe-trotting humanitarian to spend her nights playing roller derby and sleeping alone. Armed with a few adult toys and a prayer, she challenges him to a sensual game that will strip away their ideas of what sex should be.

Cole’s surprised but it’s his dream come true. With each sexual encounter, the walls between them come crumbling down and each must face the truth of what their marriage has been and what it could be.

Inside Scoop:  Contains an alpha hero who wants sex at all hours and a heroine who knows what she wants, just not the words to get it. Also depicts criminal activity, the strong arm of the law and a self-rescuing heroine.

Sidney Sig

RomantiCon: Always worth it!

October 22, 2013 in Adventures, In My Closet, Let Me Tell You

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ellora’s Cave editor, Whitney, and me at the Thursday night karaoke.

Dear Reader,

I thought I’d whip out a quick RomantiCon wrap-up post last week, but man did I underestimate how exhausted and swamped I would be! Ellora’s Cave conference never ceases to be one heck of a party. If you’re a fan of hot books and even hotter men, this is the conference for you!

This year I planned it all out right, I gave myself a day before traveling to pack, and a day after travel to rest and get a tiny bit caught up.

From the moment I arrived at the hotel on Wednesday, it was like coming home. Readers, bloggers and authors get top notch treatment by the staff. The whole staff is just so personable and fun to be around.

We kicked off the conference Thursday night with a welcome panel by the Cave Chaos radio crew. They gave us these super cute little pocket knives with the EC logo on them, but of COURSE I left mine in my purse and TSA confiscated it. My own fault, but still, bummer!

Friday was the day. The first big day where things got rolling. There was zumba and belly dancing classes in the morning, but lets be honest. I’m no the greatest morning person and it takes a while to get those fake eyelashes perfect so I never made either class. Don’t judge me!

Regina Cole modeling with 2012 Alpha Caveman, Nick, behind her, and one of my favorite cover models, Justin.

Regina Cole modeling with 2012 Alpha Caveman, Nick, behind her, and one of my favorite cover models, Justin.

There were several sessions of romance-novel-cover-shoots with the cavemen. I swear I can take a non-awkward picture, just not with professional models around me! For some really amazing pictures, you should check out anything that has Regina Cole in it. She’s so gorgeous in her pictures, I might just hate her a smidgen. ((Not really, I like her too much for that))

Friday afternoon there were sessions, but in true Ellora’s Cave fashion, these weren’t educational. Unless you’re talking about the proper manner in which to give a blow job, yes, that really happened. These sessions are by far some of the most fun, and at times all the different rooms for panels were howling with laughter at the same time. It made you want to get up and run from room to room so you didn’t miss anything!

Author A.S. Fenschel and I at the Bollywood party.

Author A.S. Fenschel and I at the Bollywood party.

The evening parties at RomantiCon are to die for! This year the Friday party was a Bollywood theme. Between Eden Bradly giving me costume advice, and Regina Cole dressing me, I don’t think I looked too bad! Of course there were so many beautiful outfits! I loved getting to see how everyone dressed up, and we all had a good laugh about learning how to properly put on a sari. Pretty sure everyone attending bought stock in safety pins for this night alone!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Elora’s Cavemen performing a Bollywood number.

The cavemen did some amazing belly dance and bollywood inspired performances. it was crazy cool to get to see a lot of the moves I learned in belly dance classes performed by men. I might be a little jealous of the way their abs rippled, but deep down, I totally enjoyed that show! I believe there will be official footage posted at some point of the performances. They were really top notch!

Unfortunately during the very first opportunity to get on the dance floor after the dinner and performance, no sooner than I got out there and got to shake my groove thing, than I turn around and my sari is wrapped around three other people and I have yards of fabric hanging off me. Thank goodness I’d brought some of my old belly dance stuff to wear afterwards! I was able to more freely move around, running from dancing, to the bar, up to the Two Lips party and back to the lobby to hang out with everyone. There was something happening just about everywhere!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Author Regina Cole and I taking a menage photo with the 2012 & 2013 Alpha Cavemen, Nick and DeAngelo.

Saturday was the big day for me. The morning started out mostly with preping for the afternoon, so again I missed the zumba and belly dance classes.

But, Regina Cole and I were able to slip in a quick photo session for an upcoming project. Mums the word for now, but it’s going to be awesome. The pictures with the 2012 and 2013 Alpha Cavemen, Nick and DeAngelo, turned out really well. So glad we got to take them!

1391845_10151670604466048_621048584_n

My set up at the Carnal Carnival, the Cock Ring Toss.

First thing in the afternoon, I had the Carnal Carnival, which was a super fun hour long games, prizes and snacks session. I sponsored the Cock Ring Toss, and I’m pretty sure everyone all over the hotel could hear me calling to people, “Come put a ring on my cock!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am that classy! There were a lot of repeat players, and it was just a blast. I’m told there are some incriminating pictures of me licking cotton candy, but I will deny this ever happened.

((And if anyone has pictures of the Cock Ring toss, either people playing or me, send them to me! I was way too busy handing out rings and prizes to take any pictures!))

1380622_206473862866021_739964340_n

Regina Cole and I modeling the scavenger hunt basket before the session. Don’t mind our bare feet! It was a long day.

Almost directly after the Carnival, Regina Cole and I did a session on Sexy Mods, where we talked about everything from tattoos, to piercings and other more extreme cases of body modification.

I’d worried that the session would be too educational. To say that Regina and I are passionate about the subject is an understatement! Between us we have over 20 piercings and tattoos. Neither of us are done, either. We discussed the history, culture and perception of body modification, and I’m pretty sure we terrified our audience by explaining just why going to the piercing pagoda in your local mall is the worst idea ever. That said, the feedback from the audience after the session was fascinated and enthusiastic horror. I think we charmed them.

((Why not your local accessory store? In short, there is No Way to sanitize the piercing “gun” used in most accessory stores, and the apparatus is then covered in bio matter and a potential opportunity to spread blood born pathogens. Go to a tattoo or piercing shop. Yes, it’s more expensive, but your health is worth it.))

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The special host for RomantiCon, Diamond, my boobs and I all glitzed up for the Old Hollywood night.

Saturday night! OMG it felt as if I’d blinked and the conference rushed by me. I was excited for the Old Hollywood night, in part because I got to finally wear my red dress. This dress was about the most difficult garment to get. The first dress I purchased for the event was lost via shipping, the second destroyed by dry cleaning and I literally bought this one a few days before the conference. It fits like a glove. I just never quite realized how boobaliscious it was until I wore it for more than a few minutes. That was a lot of boob on display, but I never once had a wardrobe malfunction!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My boobs and I after winning my Rising Star award.

The final evening party of the conference is also the night of the awards. Ellora’s Cave presents a few awards every year, and this year I was honored with two. The first was my 2012 Rising Star award for being a new author. ((They forgot me last year and were kind enough to remember me this year.)) The second was for my active involvement in Social Media. Oh lordy, rewarding me for procrastinating!! But seriously, I’m honored to be part of the Ellora’s Cave team, and I’ve had such a blast working with them.

The rest of the evening was full of dancing, drinking and more Cavemen! They did a fantastic performance to many classic Old Hollywood songs and rocked it out before crowning the 2013 Alpha Caveman, DeAngelo! He was really sweet all conference long. I’m looking forward to seeing him on many a bookcover in the coming year, and seeing him at future conventions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Showing off Under His Skin and Bound with Pearls, both books I got to sign at the book fair!

Sunday was the book fair, which is the one event at RomantiCon that is open to the public. This year I got to sign not one, but two books! I had copies of Under His Skin and Bound With Pearls to sign and sell, as well as a few other books in digital that could be purchased and downloaded later. As you can see by the picture, I also had the Cock Ring Toss going on during the signing for a bit of naughty fun.

1378054_10151925597982427_1150330380_n

A lovely reader in I in leopard print at the signing.

It’s always so cool to be able to sign books at the event and chat with readers. I hope it’s as fun for the readers as it is for us!

This year there were performances by an Exotic Dance school, doing both pole and belly dance. They did a fantastic job! The Cavemen also did a medly of their best numbers from the two previous  nights. As a bonus there was also cake! What event isn’t more fun with a slice of cake?

RomantiCon is a great experience. I’m crossing my fingers everything works out so I can attend next year, but I won’t know for a while. If you can go, do it!

For a complete album of RomantiCon pictures, check out my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Sidney.Bristol.Romance.Author

Sidney Sig

Whirlwind attack!

September 18, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 14 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

Sometimes opportunity passes you by, and others, it grabs you and yanks you into the current.

This last week I had both happen.

I had a really awesome opportunity come at me, I reached out, but it wasn’t to be. For a lot of reasons it was a physical impossibility to contort my life and schedule into the necessary mold. I hated to see it happen.

Days later, during a seemingly innocent conversation about a really neat thing a friend of mine is putting together, she paused, bat her eyes as she is wont to do when trying to get her way, and asked if I wanted to play in the sandbox with her and the rest of the cool kids. The circumstances are still a contortion act, I really can’t talk about the specifics–yet–but I’m allowing myself to be swept up in the excitement of it all and just make it happen.

As a result, I’ve just about lived writing, books and edits for the last week. I’ve been talking a lot about balance in my life, and I really enjoy being able to do it all, but sometimes you can’t have it all. You have to put priority on things and this is that season. For the Get Excited Midnight Ink Is Coming 03 smallerremainder of the year I will have a crazy work load, to the point of having to not do some things. It’s going to stretch me, put me to the test, but I hope it will be worth it.

On top of this, I’ve made some good progress on my other goals for this #ROW80, as it draws to a close!

My new list of goals:

  • Finish editing So Inked #3
  • Complete the anthology short story
  • Send anthology short story out for edits
  • Finish expansion on Dream Vacation (this would be the short story I got the rights back on)

Monday I jotted the final words and tweaked that last sentence on So Inked #3 and sent it off for a critique. Chances are it will be back in my hands later this week, but for a few blissful days I get to pretend like this baby is flying the nest.

Monday I also submitted another short story. I don’t anticipate hearing back from the editor/publisher until the beginning of next year, but I’m patient.

Dream Vacation is the project that’s suffering. Poor little shortie. If all goes well, it’ll go out early 2014 unless I get a gap to wrap it up. It is very close to being ready to go, but that little jump feels like a mighty leap with so many other things clamoring for my attention.

This next week will be crazy. There’s no way around it. That’s just how it’ll be.

One of the key methods for me to get anything done at all right now is the use of to-do-lists and checking things off as I go. Even things like eating and showers go on the list, because when you’re really hooked sometimes you forget those things. Yes, that’s where I’m at! The process can be different for everyone, this is just what’s working for me.

I also didn’t realize that #ROW80 was ending this week. Sad! But I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do with my first and only goal of the round. I’m happy with my progress. :)

Sidney Sig

Hard at Work!

September 11, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

Another week, another page!

I’ve been hard at work, or as much as I can with birthday celebrations going on around me for a few people. All in all, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. I think it’s not so much the sum of the numbers I’ve accrued since the beginning of the month.

Yesterday I watched a National Geographic documentary about the impact stress has on baboons and how it relates to humans. It was a fascinating, biological and socially relevant piece about how our self worth and perceived level of importance impact our lives. I’ve been on a “less stress” kick for a while now for my own benefit and health reasons. That said, I feel like whenever I enter the editing stage with a book, my stress level doubles.

Bassorilievo, Roberto Ferrari from Campogalliano (Modena), Italy

Bassorilievo, Roberto Ferrari from Campogalliano (Modena), Italy

Don’t get me wrong, I highly enjoy editing. The whole process of sculpting, scraping away and adding bits to make the picture as a whole more pleasing. I often find that to be more enjoyable than slapping the first words on the page, though that process is more emotionally draining. The last full length book made me cry. Twice. The whole crying thing never happened before I wrote the last two So Inked books, so I guess they don’t suck, right?

I’m highly goal driven, and it shows in my daily activities, how I keep myself on track and it’s a hard thing to turn off, but I’ve been managing to do a lot more this year as far as putting aside the writing and the stress and the crazy, and just have fun. That doesn’t mean I don’t stress about OMG WRITING DEADLINE! It just happens a little less.

Being able to say the word, “No,” every now and then actually helps as well. I had to tell myself no on a really cool potential project this week because I’m at my commitment limit for the remainder of the year. I’m pretty sure I have enough stuff to do to carry me into 2014, but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here about this week and #ROW80!

So Inked LogoLast week I revamped my goals to look a little like this:

  • Finish editing So Inked #3
  • Complete the anthology short story
  • Send anthology short story out for edits
  • Finish expansion on Dream Vacation (this would be the short story I got the rights back on)

I’m hugely relieved to have finished the first pass of edits on So Inked #3, as of last night. It’s not complete. I need to add some scenes, do a tad more research and then it’s off for first round critiques. It’s exciting to see a series half finished!

The anthology short story is near submission ready. I was really lucky to have several people look over it, and I feel confident saying it’s going to be a good little gem. As soon as I’m done with it, I’ll be able to move onto Dream Vacation. Wondering if I should target a winter release, or wait a while longer for a more appropriate, seasonal release since it’s a beachy story.

Plenty of irons in the fire this week, but I’m not stressing about it! What’s the point? :)

Sidney Sig

New goals!

September 4, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

Man, it feels pretty weird to have already knocked out my big goal for #ROW80. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m totally happy dancing over here that I’m technically done, but it’s beyond time to shift into high gear on the next leg of my journey.

HighOctaneHeroesSo, since it’s been a minute since I did my last #ROW80 post, I’ll recap!

To start this round, I just wanted to finish the draft of So Inked #3, His Marriage Bargain. I wrapped that up in August, gave myself about a week away from it, and started editing like crazy on it. I’m already over 100 pages into the book, so I’ve hit that murky, messy middle part. I’m alternating between thinking it’s an amazing book–and it sucks, so it’s about par the course.

In the meantime, the High Octane Heroes anthology released yesterday. *wild cheering* I’m also working on two different short stories. One is for an anthology, the other is an expansion of a previous anthology story that I have the rights back on and plan on re-releasing some point in the near future.

I’m staying super busy, there’s never any doubt that’s happening.

dreamvacationBetween now and the end of this #ROW80, I think I’d like to:

  • Finish editing So Inked #3
  • Complete the anthology short story
  • Send anthology short story out for edits
  • Finish expansion on Dream Vacation (this would be the short story I got the rights back on)

It’s a good list that will keep me really busy for the next few weeks, that’s for sure! My daily schedule of getting up early to write before work, during my lunch hour and then after work is really functioning well. Sure, I’m not spending as much time with my writing work, but I’m making all the time count instead of piddling it away.

Here’s to another great week.

Sidney Sig

Winning the race.

August 25, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

I find myself in an odd place.

When I set out for this round of #ROW80, I had one goal. To finish the first draft of So Inked #3, His Marriage Bargain. I knew this would be a big book. A very big one. It clocked in right at 92,000 words, and will easily grow by a few thousand (Okay, probably 10K) in edits.

Having this finished, and finished early, is such a relief. I’m excited. And looking forward to edits. Revising is actually a favorite of mine. And getting to the finish line is even more exciting! I’m at the halfway point in a series. There’s so much cool stuff coming, it’s exciting!

So Inked LogoFor the remainder of #ROW80 I’m going to do a few random tasks, get some short stories finished up and out the door. Edits are underway on some other projects.

I’ve already begun the revising process for So Inked #3 after a week away from the project. I wish I could give it more distance, but there’s not time in the schedule for that. Sadly, I was really knocked off my rocker with a bad infection that zapped my strength all week. With a super powerful round of antibiotics under my belt, I’m back on track! I have the release of High Octane Heroes staring me in the face, as well as edits for How Zombies Stole Christmas in my lap. Then there’s two other editing projects and one writing project underway.

All in all, I’m still a very busy girl. And that’s how I like it!

Sidney Sig

I’ve been shopping…

August 16, 2013 in In My Closet

Sooooo, I might have gone shopping lately…

Okay, I did!

Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon is coming up in October, and really, I’d planned on wearing pretty much what I wore last year, with a few additions. I wasn’t going to buy anything specially for the event because it’s not like I don’t have an extensive closet collection of clothing. Well, that was all fine and good until someone said, “Oh, I can’t wait to see what you’ll wear this year!”

Um, I started to sweat a little. Something different?

I shook it off for a while, but then I started thinking about it. I forget that I have lost weight since last year. I see myself as a completely different shape than other people see me.

I’d challenged myself some time ago to get to a point where I felt comfortable wearing a wiggle dress. A few months ago I tried on some at a boutique here, but they didn’t have sizes that I would realistically fit in, but I did realize that I wouldn’t be the size I thought I was. I was smaller.

VooDoo Vixen Dresses smallerThis last month I made two purchases for conference wear that are a completely different silhouette from my full skirts. And I love them!

What’s crazy is that both of these dresses are VooDoo Vixen line, and purchased at different stores.

The stripped rose dress I got on eBay of all places for I’m scared to tell you cheap. Seriously good deal!

The purple leopard print satisfies my desire to own a leopard print dress at last. And I love that it’s a non-natural leopard print. I got that one on sale at the Dallas Pin-Up Boutique!

My luck in getting both of these has been crazy! I still need better shape wear to smooth them out, but I’m super excited to wear them at the conference and feel fabulous and better than ever.

I still plan on making a few small purchases to add to my wardrobe for the conference, but these are by far my two most favorite. I need to figure out exactly how I want to style myself, because OMG more choices!!!!

Sidney Sig

Doing something new!

August 14, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 10 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

I had all intentions of doing two check-in’s a week, and I’ve gone down to one! Okay, so I got busy, mostly with the writing stuff, so I feel like it’s okay.

For this round of #ROW80, I have a single goal, and that is to finish So Inked #3, His Marriage Bargain. Last night I crossed over the 90K mark, and I think I’m getting close to completing this draft. It’s such a relief to say that, and I honestly believe I might hit that goal a week early. And that would be a huge ego boost! Of course there are scenes that will need to be added, things worked on, but it’s all fixable. I’m an odd duck who actually enjoys the revision process.

TheInkMeTourBanner02The Ink Me Tour is growing to a close. I think I have three more blogs set up for it, and then I get a mini break of like, a whole weekend, before I have a handful of blogs for the High Octane Heroes tour. I’m already setting up my December tour for the release of How Zombies Stole Christmas. It’s a lot to do, but I’m moving forward and I’m excited about things. I’ll admit, blogging and promo aren’t my favorite part of the process, but I do it reasonably well, so I’ve got to stick with it. I feel it’s something I can do.

This is super short! But I have words to write!

My favorite part of the process is revisions. It didn’t start out being my favorite, but over time it’s evolved to be that for me. What’s your favorite?

Sidney Sig

Working on RomantiCon SWAG!

August 5, 2013 in Dear Reader

Keychain FloggersI know it’s only August and most people are thinking about sending kids back to school and how to escape the increasing heat–and I’m thinking about Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon in October!!

Unless things change, I’m going to be signing Bound with Pearls at the conference, my first BDSM book. It’s the one with the beautiful red head on the cover. Anyways, I was thinking — what’s something really cool I could give away?

Or what if I could make something?

I went on the hunt for something kink related and a friend suggested… key chain floggers!

Yup, I’ve been weaving leather and making key chain floggers lately. I spent a whole Saturday vegged out on the couch watching the Shark marathon on SyFy, which I blogged about, and gluing my fingers together making the floggers.

IMG_20130727_172413No lie!

To the right, my fingers are guerrilla glued to pink leather.

By the time I was done with the above batch, my fingers were encrusted with glue. It was pretty funny and a huge mess to clean off.

I will have limited number of these available at the conference, and will be holding around 20 for anyone who chooses to purchase the print version of Bound with Pearls.

These aren’t the only promo items I’m going to have with me. I’m currently redesigning all my trading cards and having buttons designed. I’ll have a limited number of the lip balm from last year, for anyone who wants more.

What swag items do you like receiving from authors at events?

Sidney Sig