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Farewell and Many Blessings…

17 Apr

Dandilian farewellDear readers,

After much discussion and attention to the long range plans of the authors on this blog, we’ve decided it’s time to shut the doors on Passionate Reads. We’ve enjoyed connecting with you and sharing our tales. For me as one of the newest bloggers here, it’s been a great experience and honor to post on the blog, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with you all.

But for now, we must stay goodbye and turn our attention not only to our individual blogs, but our writing too. You can find us all at the links below and the best part is most of us regularly blog at these places.

Nara Malone
Tea and Strumpets

Nara’s Nook
Therian Verse

Marilyn Campbell

Siobhan Muir:
The Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked
Buy a Book, Tell a Friend

Brandi Evans

Shannon Emmel
Shannon’s Blog

Thank you all for joining us on this blog. Take care, be well, and stop by our respective blogs. If you follow them, you can get announcements when we post. Thanks again, and many blessings.

Let’s talk about VD…

13 Feb


Passionate Reads

Okay… I’ve never been a big one for Valentine’s Day, but I would ABSOLUTLY take up drinking if he was delivered to my door!

Where was I? Oh…I remember! I was about to do a blog on VD!  🙂

Seriously, I’ve always looked at Valentine’s Day as more of a “Hallmark Holiday” because I believe that the reasons we celebrate Valentine’s Day, like Christmas, should be observed EVERYDAY, not just on a few dates marked on a calendar.

As far as traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, here’s my thoughts on those (take notes, guys!):


All flowers, including roses, don’t need a special occasion to be given to a woman. In fact, getting them for no reason at all is, in my estimation, the BEST reason to receive them!

Guy Hint #1:

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Flasher Fiction: Working Girls

7 Jan

At the start of the New Year it’s nice to strike out in new directions. That’s what we aim to do here at Passionate Reads and at the Greyville Writer’s Colony. The publishing industry and writers are struggling with digital disruption. I’m ready to embrace it, ready to see if we can make digital work for us in new ways.

Author Tina Glasneck shared an article with me this morning on the J A Konrath’s predictions for the future of publishing. He says some interesting things, including plans to explore interactive media more. A similar theme was at the heart of the Future of Storytelling class I took recently at iVersity. The future is interactivity.

If you know me, you know interactive fiction is my passion. I’m pleased to see that the genre is gaining attention just as the Greyville Writer’s Colony authors are hard at work on new ways to bring interactivity to writing and publishing.

Konrath wound up his predictions with this comment:

“The way to succeed in this future is to live and think in this future. That means continuing to innovate, experiment, and refuse to be satisfied.”

At Greyville Colony we literally log into the future of fiction. We walk around in that future and sit down to chat with it. If you want to keep an eye on the future then this blog is an excellent place to see where that future is headed.

My first experiment of the year was to build a scene in a virtual world populate it with characters and use it to make illustrations for a new form of storytelling I wanted to try. It’s not interactive fiction but is was a story created in a pixel world by an avatar. I call it a Flasher.

My definition of a flasher is a story length somewhere between 55-250 words–a page or less. Sixty-nine words being my favorite length and a sixty-niner threesome being a nice tool for creating the beginning-middle-end setup of a story.

I love flash fiction but I’ve always felt it could gain a wider audience if paired with images. Yes, you can create mood, setting, characterization in just a few words. That’s part of the challenge. By employing a few poetic techniques, flash fiction delivers characters and emotional punch that can get lost in longer narratives.

This process, learning to use the poetry of images and words together, was like crack for the creative mind. The project hooked me and wouldn’t let go until I finished.

Get the complete Working Girls flasher here. It’s a free quickie–7 pages in PDF format. I think I’ll write a lot more flashers. Maybe a 69er threesome flash next time.

If you’d like to make a flasher, keep an eye on the blog. I plan to have a tutorial up in 2 weeks detailing how to make these graphic flash fiction mash-ups–no drawing ability required. If you’re impatient to learn more, drop in and visit us at the virtual Greyville Writer’s Colony where we’re always pushing the limits of what a story can be. Membership is free and open to everyone.

SexyScopes for December 2013

1 Dec

SagittariusNews for all signs:

***Sun in Sagittarius thru 12/21 encourages free spirited fun and adventure; ***New Moon in Sagittarius 12/3 is an ideal time to begin a new, enjoyable hobby or activity; ***Full Moon in Gemini 12/17 will illuminate one’s creativity and might eliminate something time-consuming to make room for an artistic endeavor; ***Venus goes retrograde 12/21 thru 1/31, causing one to look back on previous relationships for review or reconnection ***Jupiter still retrograde thru 3/6, slowing down career progress and plans; (Info on eclipses and retrograde planets at>Astrology Basics)

The forecasts below involve two of my passions – astrology and tarot. The first card is a general message, the second is about love & relationships (sexual, romantic, friendly, familial). The interpretations are from my book, “Tarot of The Lotus Circle”, but you’ll have to use a little intuition to determine what it means to you personally. Have fun!

Cover_Start Your EnginesARIES – March 21 to April 19

5 of Cups: Though mourning is a healthy step in dealing with loss, it is not a lifestyle. It’s time to pick up the pieces, clean yourself up and get on with your life.

2 of Swords: You’ve had a feeling that there’s something going on behind your back and you’re right. Take off the blindfold and face the truth. You’ll be pleased to discover that it’s not as bad as you expected.

GhostsChristmasPast_web.blackTAURUS  – April 20 to May 20

Ace of Cups: The Universe is a generous parent, always willing to give more than you need. All that is required is your faith and love in return.

7 of Cups: You have multiple choices but seem to be waiting for a fantasy lover to appear. Connect your head to your heart, then make a choice.

inandoutoftime CoverGEMINI – May 21 to June 20

Prince of Swords: Time to switch from a holding/wait-and-see pattern to charging full speed ahead; trust that the Universe will protect you from the harm you’ve been concerned about.

9 of Swords: At least one relationship in your life is causing so much stress that your body is suffering. It may be affecting your sleep or eating habits. Remember, you can’t be of service to anyone else if you are not well yourself.

Serving NicoleCANCER – June 21 to July 22

Lucky moon babies – Jupiter is visiting Cancer until next July, so you can expect a major goal or dream to be achieved before the Great Benefactor moves on, as long as you put in the necessary time and effort. (See opening note regarding Jupiter’s retrograde period.)

The High Priestess: Your intuitive abilities are at an all-time high. Your guides are ready to assist you at your slightest request. This is a time to keep your own counsel, however. Share your wisdom and secrets sparingly.

8 of Coins: If single, you are about to enter a relationship unlike any you have experience with. If committed, you’re about to enter new territory, like parenthood, or a change of roles.

Zenith Rising CoverLEO – July 23 to August 22

Justice: You need to find some balance in your life before you can move on. A past life is seriously influencing your present circumstances. Regression therapy could clarify what makes no sense. An encounter with the legal system may be needed.

The Lovers: Opposites attract, but respecting the differences makes the relationship work. As to love, the sexual magnetism is strong, but is it worth the price? One of you seems to be committed elsewhere, forcing the relationship to remain in the dark.

Ghost Lover CoverVIRGO – August 23 to September 22

Ace of Coins: A money Spirit Guide has just stepped forward to help you find a new source of income. It will be to your benefit to start fresh.

10 of Swords: You’ve reached the end of a relationship as it has been. Either work together to figure out how to rejuvenate it or let it go and move on.

Romulus.phpLIBRA – September 23 to October 22

6 of Wands: It hasn’t been easy, but you trusted your Guides and went the distance. Success is assured. Don’t give that negative thought any space in your mind. Be appreciative and humble.

Queen of Swords: A female over the age of 35, either dark in coloring or nature, possibly in a position of high authority or in the legal field, will be at the center of a relationship matter that is very important to you; expect this to be time-consuming in an already packed schedule.

Falcon.phpSCORPIO – October 23 to November 21

5 of Wands: Life is filled with competition and conflict, but the Five of Wands tells you to be the best person you can be and ignore how others are playing their games.

3 of Coins: You have enough experience to succeed in a current relationship. Common careers and interests have formed a strong bond, but sexual attraction seems low. It’s what you need at the moment.

Gallant.phpSAGITTARIUS – November 22 to December 21

2 of Cups: Listen to your heart at this time. Your conscious mind will only confuse the important issue. However, try to remember that there is still a world beyond the two of you.

Empress: Your sensuality is at a peak. Let it work for you. If seeds of love have already been planted, they are about to bloom. Pregnancy is associated with The Empress, so the time is ripe if you want that, take extra precautions if you do not.

Gabriel.phpCAPRICORN – December 22 to January 19

4 of Wands: You are being blessed with the energy of a harmonious environment. Enjoy the moment of peace rather than struggle to force some sort of action.

The World: Everything you’ve been wishing for in a partner is right in front of you. All the obstacles between you have finally been cleared away.

Unnatural Relations-final coverAQUARIUS – January 20 to February 18

Hermit: A spiritual teacher or human mentor is standing by to guide you through a dilemma. Go into your cave for a while, be silent and listen to the message being offered.

5 of Coins: A mutually agreed separation is on the horizon. As sad as parting may be, it’s for the best. If you and your mate survive the present difficulty, your relationship will strengthen and last through time.

Tardis-TennantPISCES – February 19 to March 20

The Magician: With The Magician on your side, you have the skill to surprise everyone else. This is a very lucky time for you to amaze and impress others with your abilities and ideas.

Princess of Wands: A workplace relationship is in a transitional phase—one of you may be moving on or moving up, but the result should be beneficial to you.

For an introduction to astrology, tarot and numerology, I invite you to visit my personal website,, FB–AuthorMarilynCampbell; tw–marilyncampbel3

P.S. That last pic was just my way of wishing Doctor Who Happy 50th Anniversary!

Ode to Friday 55

21 Nov

There are days
when love of you
makes a promise
like June skies
so blue
I want to turn the earth
upside down
and dive
glide through watered silk
to gooey bottom
probing for pearls
mine irritants
transformed to
iridescent orbs
treasure to fill
quickie tales
of adventure and love.
Today wasn’t one.

~Nara Malone

This post is my contribution to dVerse Poets and G-mans Friday 55. Stop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.

Flash Fiction: Mutual Assured Safety

11 Nov

You say you feel safe here. I used to wonder why.

You follow the falling sun to distant realms, to do devil work half a world away. Beneath the stifling wing of night, you rain down nightmare things on enemies I cannot name. Then you’re here, a Colossus sheltering this tiny place beneath your powerful body. If this doll’s house is safe, your presence has made it so, as it would make any place safe.

No threat would dare approach you here at home.

But within you lies a still, dark place that is yours entirely, the home to things I need not contemplate, the implacable source of your powers. By night, this well gives rise to something sinewy and strong. A shadow uncoils within its blood-warm depths, hungry for the music of my cries. It seeks out the tight, hot places made to fit you and you alone. In its guttural protolanguage, it claims me, makes me bend to your will until pleasure seizes us in its undertow, dragging us down together.

You could force me to admit that I feel safe here, too, but you are too secure in the safe feeling to do such a thing. Sleep is more seductive than this logic spiral.

Truth is gentler in the morning.

**Hope you enjoyed a touch of flash fiction this Veterans Day! If you can thank a vet personally, go do it. If you can give the lot of them a shoutout, hey, go do that too!

Alexa Day’s ILLICIT IMPULSE is a finalist in the Erotica category for the 2014 EPIC E-book Award. You can catch up to her here on the second Monday of the month, on Facebook, or on Twitter every Thursday night for Scandal.

Of Sex Magick and Selkies: Make Me Wet

7 Nov

Hangin’ with Ronin…

I spent my first book release day, way back in 2010, in a beauty shop with purple goo in my hair. It was the my first run-in with release day go-wrong syndrome.  Then I had satellite internet and heavy rain that kept satellite from connecting. So I drove an hour to find a spot with free WiFi. I wound up at a beauty shop blogging from a net-book after I agreed to let them do a “treatment” to my hair. My hair and I survived.

I’d like to say I’ve gotten better at managing the craziness of release days. I haven’t.

Make Me Wet released yesterday. I thought tomorrow was the release day.  So I started the day behind schedule and the go-wrong syndrome kicked in its share of obstacles. I may not be better at managing release days, but I have come up with a few nice ways to deal with the stress. I discovered one of them in the process of writing this story. The opening image above is a picture of me and Ronin, hero of Make Me Wet. We’re recovering from release day in the virtual Selkie Island I created while writing Ronin’s story. It’s not unusual for authors to do some world building and write out dialogues between themselves and their characters. I’m probably not the only one who discovered they could bring their characters to life as a digital being and sit down face-to-face to have a chat. I did my world building virtually too. I like logging in and having the sense of the story world coming to life around me as I sit down inworld to write a scene. That’s what I did whenever I was stuck on where to take a scene. That’s what you can do with Ronin anytime you want. I left Ronin’s world available for readers to enjoy. I hope you find his company as inspiring as I do. Before I tell you how to visit Ronin, let me tell you more about him.

He’s a selkie and legend has it that a selkie has sexy encoded in his DNA. He’s a magickal being, conjured from the deepest desires of the woman he is called to serve. Ronin is summoned to a Maine beach by the priestesses of Shadowling Manor. The sex magick they weave together is meant to bring a lost daughter of the manor home. Ronin will serve for one night. At sunrise he will return to the sea to spend another seven years alone. He’s resigned to his fate, doomed to repeat that cycle of love them and leave them unless he can find a woman who can resist him for an entire night. Which, being irresistible to humans, is never going to happen.

There’s something about the word never that gets my creative juices flowing. Give me a sexy hero with an  unsolvable problem and the words start to flow. Make Me Wet is the result:


Seven tears cast upon the water summon the selkie, summon seal across the ocean, summon man from beast—liquid keys to break the curse. Freed one night every seven years, Ronin is doomed to repeat that cycle into eternity. Unless he can find a woman powerful enough to resist a selkie’s irresistible pheromones and sex magick.

Maille believes she lost reality between Maine and New Mexico. Between where she is now and where she should be. She believes in facts, not magick. But facts can’t explain how she wound up naked on a beach with the sexiest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Or how she knows in her bones that losing herself in the passion Ronin offers is a path to disaster.

It’s going to be a long, hot, wet night. Caught between sex magick and a sexy selkie, disaster is inevitable for Maille. To break the enchantment she has to rely on the oldest magick of all—the power of love-drenched hearts.


I filmed the trailer in Selkie Island Region of Nara’s Nook, a virtual world I created where authors can bring their characters to life and role-play scenes from their stories. The Greyville Writers Colony includes interactive activities for author’s characters to connect with their readers. If you’d like to visit Selkie Island or Greyville, find out how to do that here.

If you’d like to know more about Ronin and read Make Me Wet. You can read the excerpt here and buy the book here at Ellora’s Cave.

If you’d like to learn more about Shadowling Manor and the Passion’s Portal series, you can do that here at the Passion’s Portal website.

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