A group of crazy, neurotic, absolutely hilarious erotic romance authors working together to corrupt the world... one reader at a time.

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's A Natural Talent

I think I'm wrapping up the month for the Cabal on the topic of what we would do if we weren't writers. Which is just an absurd topic. (Sorry Sasha) But I couldn't imagine not being a writer. I seriously remember being young...seven or so and writing a story for class. It was better than anything I'd previously read. In my own mind.

So to come up with jobs on par with my life as a writer? Pshaw!

Okay, y'all know I'm full of it right? Because I'm not a full-time writer. I wish I was. I can see myself now riding young bulls around the world in the name of research. Everything I did would be in the name of research.

Danica in Jamaica stuffing money into some sexy man's G-string and doing a little feel around. "What? I just wanted to see how much they can fit in there!"

Danica in England sweet talking a Brit out of his pants. "What? I wanted to find out if it was true that British men don't come, they arrive."

You get the idea.

But as a writer, I can expand my imagination to see life without putting words to paper. *thinks hard*

I'd totally be a talent scout. Not singing or acting, but erotic dancing. I'd have a lovely chair with my name in big, shiny letters, a cabana boy with muscles and very little clothing kneeling next to me feeding me chocolate while another massages my feet. Then, in front of me, man after man with muscles and beautiful smiles and sexy moves do a little show. Like this gorgeous man who happens to be a real dancer. Oh Chase...

And they would dance their little hearts out just for me in the hopes of making it to Danica's Dangling Dongs All Male Revue...

Sorry, I'm laughing at myself so hard I can't continue. Oh it would be a marvelous thing if I could pick my own job. Truth is, if I wasn't writing, I'd be a regular person who works five days a week, spends their weekends trying to catch up on sleep and reading as much as possible. That wouldn't change at all.

But life would be a lot more boring without my writing and my writing friends and all the hard, difficult, steamy research I'd have to do for my books.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Writer? Archeologist? Special Agent? DIY-er From the Wrong Side of the Tracks?

If I wasn't a writer...

...that's tough because I have so many interests. Let's go through the iterations of my past career dreams. Fascinating? Well, you might as well finish. You've committed!

When I was little I probably just wanted to ride horses, likely in the circus. Then I wanted to be an archaeologist, but a summer spent at an archeology camp convinced me my allergies were too bad for any outside job. Indiana Jones must have taken allergy shots. And all that tedious dirt scraping only uncovered bits of pottery, never the Ark of the Covenant. Which is probably good because likely opening such ark would have melted my face off, if the movies have taught me anything, and my allergies were doing a bang-up job of melting my face off already. So not the glamourous life I imagined. Though I did teach myself to read and write Egyptian hieroglyphics, a skill I taught to my friend and then spent much time in high school writing "coded" hieroglyphic notes back and forth. Because we were Cool Kids. (not) So yeah...time well-spent.

Then I wanted to be an FBI special agent!! But being nearly legally blind uncorrected (and they didn't accept Lasik back then) killed that dream. Oh, and I'm quite sure there were some questions on that entrance application that I would rather have not answered.

...Which brings me to criminologist! Or a criminal psychologist--a profiler! WAY back before that shit was cool. That one held me for a long time, including minoring in criminology in college.

Secretly I really always wanted to be a writer, but that's against the rules of this assignment, so if I could be anything today, it would be....

Someone who makes things out of other things. (Do I sound like the guy from Say Anything?)

I would either be a fashion designer because I love to sew and create things, or maybe a purse designer, lingerie designer, something like that. No, I think I'd flip houses!! Not for the money so much as the fun of improving it and turning a dump into something people want. Or I'd have my own business decorating or making and selling furniture I'd salvaged, repurposed or improved. I just love that shit. Hence my preoccupation with thrift stores. I tell people it's my way of being thrifty and green, but it's really due to my selfish desire for the pride I feel when I point to something and go--hey, that was once someone's trash and now it's this glorious thing I made!

As illustration, here's a $15 iron St. Vincent DePaul outdoor table that I upcycled (<--fancy word for "spray-painted") to use in my Master Bedroom. Sorry, I haven't had time to style it yet with a candle or a small, decorative pile of books and a picture frame or something, but still--much improved, huh? :)
$15 thrift store outside table BEFORE...

Chic brass, blingy masterpiece following one can of spraypaint AFTER!

Yeah, there's that pride.

What makes YOU feel that pride? Is it your current job, the way you live your life, or maybe one of your hobbies? Leave me a comment!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

If I wasn't a writer...

Then my little old brains would be exploding everywhere.

When I was a chillin' I played with Barbies and an assortment, of what I called, Little People. Which was a mish-mash of Fisher Price characters, Calico Critters, Charmkins, She-Ra ...whatever wasn't Barbie sized.

This is a picture of me and my cousin. I'm the one in the orange plaid dress. Aren't I cute? I was just happy to play Barbies and Little People by myself. Screw playing outside with friends.

Weekends, when we weren't in Toronto visiting my grandparents, was heaven to me. AND I loved rainy days. Rainy days I could be in my own little world all day long.

I had a Ken doll from the 1970's that wasn't a Barbie brand. He had a huge plastic head with hair molded into his skull and fingers that were separate and long.

He was a hand me down from my older cousin. He was creepy and ALWAYS the villain who was trying to "smooch" and kidnap the heroine.

Anyways, when my mother deemed I was too old to play with Barbies (though honestly sometimes I would sit in my big closet with a flash light and play with them) I had to have an outlet for the voices.

Writing was what came naturally.

Just ask any of my high school friends. I wrote stories on my spares, at lunch, whenever I was bored.

I'd have my big spanning books (which were kept private and are under my bed never to see the light of day. Talk about melodramatic), but other times I would write stories about friends. Goofy stories and parodies, that I would illustrate. There was a long running digest of my friends. We were superheroes and we were fight "Frigging Tall Man" or FTM as we called him. He was a boy at school, who we were friends with.

I'd also include latest crushes of Hollywood in there. Like Keanu, David Duchovny, Pete Sampras, Richard Ian Cox aka RIC (who was my one friend's crush because she was a horse fiend and watched the Black Stallion relentlessly) and Jacques Villenuve. What can I say, it was was the 90s.

It was weird, but everyone enjoyed getting the latest edition of FTM's latest antics. I also incorporated people who'd bully me and make them absolutely ridiculous. It was a way to deal with that.

Yeah, we writers will kill off dinks. You are warned.

So, what would I be doing if I wasn't writing? Most likely going bonkers.

I can't picture a day-to-day without the mini movies in my head. My imagination has always been there.

My mind is constantly going. CONSTANTLY. It's not quiet in there at all.

It's full of lots of things.

Lots and lots.

It's a wonderful, but SCARY place sometimes. :)

You can find out more about me, my latest news and my antics:

Website: http://www.amyruttan.com
Twitter: @ruttanamy

Friday, April 12, 2013

If I couldn't unleash the voices...

This month we're all talking about what we'd be doing if we weren't writing. Because writing isn't my main source of income, yet, I can't really say my day to day life would change much. BUT, I'm sure I'd be on meds and found more often than not curled in a corner, blowing spit bubbles and giggling about the elves tickling my toes.

Okay, so maybe it wouldn't be quite that bad, but writing for me is an outlet for creativity. I write for the enjoyment of it. The release of characters and storylines from my mind is therapeutic. I use it as a way to focus my energy or turn my irritable ass around to a happier outlook. I get a mental itch if I've set aside a story for too long.

I sound a little neurotic? Perhaps psychotic? :P *nod* Yep. Maybe.

So, if I wasn't writing I'd need another outlet. I love photography. Black and white stuff to be exact. In high school I was on the yearbook committee and I was the only one that could run the dark room. So, for two years I spent lots of time in a tiny closet getting close and personal with chemicals and strips of 35mm film. I loved the smell of that room. The absolute quiet.

Yeah, that's what I'd do. Build myself a darkroom and pull out the ol' Nikon 35mm we have that takes the most amazing pictures and become an eccentric photographer. Wander around taking shots of weird things like dead animals and leaf shadows that look like pandas eating ice cream. Then spend hours in seclusion developing pictures with a tiny red light shining over my shoulder.
picture taken with 35mm during high school

What? I did say writing was a creative outlet. Who wants to come play with B&W photos with me? :)

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and my blog... come play in my sandbox. I've got cookies.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

If I could, I'd be looking back

Oh, the things I would be if I weren’t a writer…in my dreams. You know the list—singer (despite being unable to carry a tune in a paper bag); supermodel (I’m 5’ 2”); pilot (although I’m afraid to fly)—that kind of thing. Those dreams will remain simply dreams, when they don’t become plot points in my books. But if I weren’t an author, and I had the time to pursue another career, I’d be a genealogical researcher. But I’d specialize in a very specific area—one very important to me personally.

Thing is, I’m of mixed heritage and grew up hearing stories about some of my ancestors and how they ended up in the Caribbean. There were the French brothers, the Scottish land manager and his gorgon of a wife, the English gent running away from scandal. All very exciting (if ultimately more fantasy than reality) but it was only as I got older it struck me no one spoke about a large part of the family tree. The slaves and indentured servants, who played a vital role in the survival of my family, were invisible and ignored.

It’s not surprising. History is written by those on the top of the heap. In a place like Jamaica during the 17th through 19th centuries (and, to be honest, beyond) the rich chose what and who to celebrate. Plantations kept records but many of those have been lost, and it wasn’t until Emancipation owners were forced to baptize the slaves and, as a corollary, give them last names. In many cases, those are some of the first traceable records of the slaves.

My mother was interested in genealogy and began doing research into her family when I was a teen. After she died I became the official keeper of the family records and chief researcher. Unfortunately it isn’t something I’ve been able to devote a lot of time to, but last year I had a breakthrough—and it was one of the most touching and humbling moments of my life.
I had found a list of names among my paternal grandfather’s possessions a number of years ago, labelled as being his grandmother and her siblings. Using that list I was able to go back another generation and found a woman by the name of Mary Gittoes, my great-great-great-grandmother. It might not sound like a great find but to me it was gold, as it also connected two arms of the family. I found a number of records of her children’s births or baptisms and a marriage record for her and her husband, but then I hit a dead-end, not able to find anything more. Who was she? Where had she come from?

Fast-forward to last year, when I found a christening record from 1811, from the time when the plantation owners were first being forced to register their slaves, and there she was—my Mary, listed as “a child of colour”. Then I found another record, one from 1821, from a mass baptism. The ages didn’t seem to indicate the same person, but vernacular from that time frame is specific and “child of colour” seems to be indicative of a child born to a slave woman and a white or mulatto man, rather than being indicative of age.

Irrespective of whether I was looking at the records of one woman or two, one thing was certain. Mary was a slave. She survived the brutality of life on a plantation and the paternalistic and inhuman post-emancipation conditions. Because of her strength, I’m here. I want to know more, discover the truth, rather than the revisionist history we’ve been fed. So, if I weren’t a writer, that’s what I’d be doing…and hopefully, even with my writing career, I’ll one day have the chance to do it. That’s the part of my heritage I’m proudest of, and I hate to think the story won’t be told.
My Great-grandfather and grandmother and their children. My grandfather is the one on the left. Can you imagine how they must have been sweltering in those clothes??

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Hot Mess

If I wasn’t a writer….hmm. Interesting question. Which path should I go down, the sensible path or the wild and crazy insensible one? I think I’m leaning to the wild, crazy insensible one.
Things I’ve wanted to be over the years: rich, pilot, business executive, artist, travel agent, architect, singer (gawd help us), chef, horse trainer/breeder, jockey, sugar baby, marine biologist, interior designer…oh I could go on but I won’t. It’s too boring for you and depressing for me.

What have I been? Clerk, mother, secretary, marketing specialist, student, bus driver, scuba diver, advertising manager, wife, stressed.

What am I? Mom, daughter, sister, Meat Man’s lady, ex-wife, friend, employee, aunt, pet owner, writer,
author, jack of all trades, artist, tired.

Where I wish I was? (sure its not part of the question but hey) Independently wealthy so I only needed to count on myself and do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. Ideally, parked on a private beach, in a little grass shack, with all the comforts of course, under a palm tree so I could watch the sun go down and the sea roll in.

I’m Aquarian, and we like to be different, eccentric and at times proud of it. Sadly, we only get one trip around the sun, unless you believe in multiple lives which I’m still pondering, so any paths stepped on that may not be where I wanted to go are still opportunities and experiences. Trying to make the most of the one trip is the name of the game.

So back to if I wasn’t a writer? You know, I have no clue. Looking back though, it seems all I’ve ever wanted to do is write. Right from the first story I created about a horse in Grade 11 and conjuring tales about the Bay City Rollers on the walk to and from high school with my friend – just dated myself didn’t I :). Right through my 20’s, 30’s and finally into my 40’s I pondered and dabbled writing. Writing ad copy carried me through the 40’s until I finally got focused and finished a story and got it published.

The the black and white pic is a blast from the past. It's me at 17, in the high school cafeteria with some friends. Back when I wrote my first horse story :) I'm the one with the coke bottle glasses LOL

All the crazy words in my head would most likely explode into a hot mess if I wasn’t a writer. And that’s the truth. 

 A girls’ night out for a pole dance workshop at her friend’s upscale sex club takes a wild turn for normally timid Karen. She knew what to expect, but not how far she’d be willing to go.
Rob comes to Desire After Dark as a plus one. His only expectation is visual stimulation, not participation. But that soon changes when he spots the buttoned-up-to-there beauty hanging around on the sidelines.
Thrown together, Karen and Rob find the sexual heat between them undeniable. Surrounded by twosomes and moresomes, they step on an unexpected and steamy path. But when another joins in, they have a plus one of their own.


“So, Karen, did you want to go in?” Wendy asked her.
“I didn’t bring a suit.”
“Well, we can fix that.” Wendy peeled off her bikini top and stripped her bottoms down her legs. Rob tried not to ogle his friend. He knew she had great tits but seeing them now, bare, exposed to him, was the last thing he expected.
Karen looked at Wendy and chewed her lower lip. Would she or wouldn’t she strip? Take off her very businesslike clothes. Rob realized he was anticipating her
Plus One
answer and wishing she’d make up her mind quickly. He wanted to lay eyes on her hidden body and see if she was really as smoking hot as he thought she was.
“So?” Wendy asked her again.
Karen gulped the last of her wine and set the glass on a table. “What the hell? Why not?” She looked at Rob. “Are you coming in too?”
He didn’t miss a beat. “Yep. Sounds like a great plan.”
She smiled and he returned it. Looked as if he might be getting some tonight after all. He watched her undo the buttons on her blouse and sucked in a breath when the mauve bra, cradling her very nice tits, was exposed to him.
She met his gaze and it was as if her mannerisms suddenly changed from shy to temptress. Every move smooth and controlled as she stripped until she stood in only her bra and panties.
“I thought you were coming in too?” Her voice held a note of teasing.
“Don’t worry. I am. But your little strip there was too entertaining to miss.” He whipped off his shirt and jeans, tossing them on the chair. She dropped her gaze to his briefs and smiled. He was hard and in charge. If she wanted to see, he would show her, and his shorts landed on the pile of clothes.

You can find me at:

Friday, April 5, 2013

If I Weren't a Writer....Brazen Style

With a name like Brazen Hotness, my "If I weren't a writer" should probably be a little racy with a side of full on titillation and maybe lots of cleavage. Ok it's me, so that would definitely be lots of cleavage.

I won't lie. At one point in my life I did want to be a Vegas Showgirl....mostly because they got to wear such awesome costumes with glitter and feathers and the shoes! There was a time period when I wanted to be a Bond girl. But only if Pierce Brosnan got to be my Bond (This was after Remington Steele was off the air but he had not yet become Bond) and after the movie would routinely call me just to ...chat.  I think the craziest idea I've ever had was wanting to be a dominatrix..again for the clothes and the shoes. 

On the less risque end, I wanted to be a bartender -- I had dreams of competing in the national competitions; a fashion designer -- oh those drawings were terrible;  a geneticist -- kinda hard when you're squeamish from blood; college professor -- English of course!; or the person who came up with the cool/pun names for nail polish.

Romances books weren't my first love (hello mysteries!) or even my second (hi there writing the story lines for video games) but I'd be lying if I wouldn't have found a way to dive, Scrooge McDuck style through those books.

If money were no object, I would be a book reviewer. There are few things on this planet that seem more amazing then reading books and then talking/writing about them non-stop. I had it all planned. I was going to be a middle school librarian by day, book reviewer by night.  With plenty of time to sip tea and shoot the breeze about my books while waving my latest review in the USAToday.

Occasionally I get twitchy and think what if....? But then I remember the wonder of writers cons and the joys of seeing my name on a book like my latest release below.  

Makes it all worthwhile. Though I do have to admit, I could go for a pair of dominatrix boots.....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If I Wasn't A Writer (Chocolate Hotness)

If I wasn’t a writer…

Let’s face it. I know I’m not normal and despite what my mother says, “Baby, you are so unique.” Or what my hubby says, “You are one in a million.” I know that what they’re really saying is, “You are one step away from a strait-jacket.” But hey, the crazy in me takes it all in stride.

It’s no secret that my debut book Dangerously Mine was hatched because I kept having dreams about Earth being invaded by hostile aliens. The self-defense mechanism in my brain just happened to click on and think of a way that the alien invasion could turn into a good thing (being rescued by a hunky alien king and having lots of hot sex). Yay for self-defense mechanisms!

I was blessed with an over active imagination (yes, I see it as a blessing). While my school-age friends were dreaming about the boogey man, I was dreaming about vampires. By the time I reached junior high, my closest friends understood that the cross I wore around my neck wasn’t because I was very religious, it was to stave off a vampire attack. And even though they would laugh about it, whenever a bump was heard in the night, they would all rush to my side. Why? Because I was the only one prepared to fight off a vampire attack.

I would keep two Popsicle sticks in my pocket at all times. Why? You guessed it, so I could whip them out and form a cross at a moment’s notice. Ever since my mom caught me tearing the braches from the trees in the backyard and sharpening the ends on the sidewalk into points, the Popsicle sticks were my only defense.

By high school my vampire obsession hadn't subsided, but had to make room for aliens. I was convinced they were coming and they weren’t going to be happy when they got to Earth. Think about it, if you had to travel years to get to your destination would you be in a good mood? No. Exactly.

Luckily for me, writing provides an outlet for every cray-cray thought I have in my mind. Now, when I wake up in a cold sweat, I turn to my pen and paper and write the craziness down. I, like my family, is hoping that one day I’ll be able to make a living off my craziness.

I could ramble on and on about the inner workings of my mind, but I think you get the gist.

If I weren’t a writer, I would be on medication and sitting in group therapy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

If I wasn't a writer...

The crazy members of the Cabal of Hotness need keepers. This is something we know. But we do try to keep each other in line. One of the more organizationally-skilled members of the Cabal is the lovely Danica Avet. Danica, in her infinite wisdom, has provided the rest of us with themes for our blogging.

I love themes. They make blogging way easier. If I don't have to come up with a topic, I'm already ahead of the game. So why am I talking about all this? First, because I can. It's my blog post and I'll do what I want. *evil cackle* Second, because the theme of this blog is:

If I wasn't a writer...

Huh. If I wasn't a writer. I assume the biggest question here is "What would I be?" and I suppose "An unemployed housewife sitting around the house and eating bonbons" is an unacceptable answer. You people are slave drivers.

Okay, so what would I be? As boring as it sounds, I'd probably go back to what I was doing in my Evil Day Job - marketing/PR/media relations/event planning. Yes, I was a Jack (or more accurately) Jill-of-all-Trades, Master of None. I worked in my Evil Day Job during the Great Corporate Restructuring, when employees were being laid off, departments were being consolidated, and entire companies were being swallowed up. So even though I started out in a specific area - market research - I soon had to learn a lot of other skills.

I didn't hate the work. I hated some of the companies and most of my idiot bosses, but I liked the work itself. And I was good at it. I especially loved doing media relations and PR for the cancer hospital in my area. You see, I'm a cancer survivor, and that hospital is where I had my treatment. I literally owe them my life. After treatment, I worked at the hospital at two separate times doing two completely different things, but of the two positions, I loved doing the PR and media relations.

It was awesome work to tell people what a great place the hospital was. I'm sure some of you are thinking - it's a cancer hospital where people die every day. What's so great about that? It's true, of course, that people die every day there. But a lot of people live. And they live because of the great medical and research staffs the hospital employs. So why wouldn't I focus on that and be grateful for that?

So if I wasn't a writer, I'd hopefully still be working for that hospital, tooting its horn 'round the globe.

Now that we've gotten that serious stuff out of the way, have you seen my latest covers? Might want to get a drool cloth...

Yummy, no? For more information about these books or any of my others, check out my website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com.

-- Cassandra