Friday, May 30, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name page 3

Zna suppressed the growl growing in her throat as the Handler locked the collar around her throat. Of all the humiliating and maddening parts of the Hunt, having a collar locked around her throat like she was some kind of house cat, was the worst. The Handlers always had masks on to protect them from any kind of retribution. But they couldn’t suppress their smell.
“Do you ever get tired of being a Handler, Tosca?” Zna asked the hooded Handler.
“As much as you are tired of the hunt. We each have to do what we must to survive,” Tosca answered.
The Handler was a friend of Zna. They had known each other since childhood. Tosca was from the species Grlica. Zna had heard off-world hunters call him a turtle. She was sure that was misspoken. Tosca did have a beak instead of whiskers like she did. He also had scaly skin and a hard shell on his back. But he also had wings. Tiny useless wings, but wings nevertheless.
Zna was knocked out of her revelry when Tosca pressed a tiny object into her hand. She opened her hands slowly, under cover of their two bodies. Shiny and hard, a metal key rested in her palm.
“What is this?” Zna asked.
“The key to the collar,” Tosca whispered as he pretended to adjust the collar. “You know I see visions sometimes.”
“Yeah, your mother was a Psy. So?”
“I don’t know anything precise. All I know you will need the key and,” Tosca leaned in. The mask touched Zna’s check. She felt Tosca’s beak touching her, kissing her cheek. “This is good bye. You will not see me again. I want to give you a present, that is why the key.”
Zna placed the little piece of metal in one of her pockets in the jumpsuit she wore.
Tosca backed away as the hunter approached.
Zna inhaled steadying herself for the first look at the man who would hunt her, and if she lost, mate with her. She always dreaded this instant.
The last hunt she ran the male was not only humanoid, but he was white and pasty as though he had not gone outside for several moon cycles. His belly hung over the belt that held his trousers up. His face was jowly and pock-marked. Zna had suspected that he was a hunter more due to money paid in the dark than hunting skills. It would have been an easy hunt if it had not been for the fancy tech traps he used. She had nearly lost her leg with one of the traps he set. However, she won and the Mister had his money.
Turning toward the harsh, solid thunk of boots walking along the wooden platform, Zna let her breath out with a whoosh. She had to consciously remember to start breathing again.
The hunter coming at her was breath-taking. His powerful well-muscled body moved with easy grace. The rich outlines of his shoulders strained against the fabric of his hunting jacket. His compelling blue eyes pierced raked over her taking in her body in one swift glance. The set of his chin suggested a stubborn streak. The hunter smiled at one of the people sitting beside the platform, not at her. His teeth, even and white, contrasted pleasingly with his olive skin. This hunter spent a lot of time active and outside. He had an air of authority and the appearance of one who demanded instant obedience.
The tantalizing smell of his spicy after-shave and the musk of his masculinity wafted to Zna. She felt her body respond to his pheromones. Zna bit into her tongue to put her body back where it belonged, ready to win a hunt. She raised her eyes to find him watching her. His captured her eyes with his, holding her mesmerized for an instant, studying her. The light of desire flashed in his eyes. He looked at her for a sign of objection or acceptance. Zna kept her face passive and her eyes hooded. She wanted to give nothing, not a shred of advantage to the hunter.
“Well, now, let’s get this thing on the road,” the hunter said breaking his gaze away from Zna.
The referee, a member of the Ministry, came forward. “Lovac, this is the lioness you will be hunting, Zna Menita. She has triumphed in seventeen hunts. She will give you a good run.”
Lovac laughed. The sound rumbled deep within his chest. Zna felt his laugh all the way down to her toes. The last time she felt this draw toward a male was when her husband was alive.
The remembrance of her husband, his mane matted with blood from a hunter’s machete, dying in her lap made her blood run cold. It was this type of human that destroyed her family. It was this type of human that held her daughter hostage.
Zna vowed that no matter how much she was drawn to this human male, she would not lose this hunt. She would not be mated to a despised human. And to make the thirty tick advantage she would kill this Lovac if necessary.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I am having a contest.

I have put up a couple of pages of a serial novel. Here and on

The contest is this:

Find the name of the heroine in the Serial Novel A Rose By Any Other Name and email me the name at

Whoever emails me the name of the heroine wins a copy of the eBook Stone of Cruento.
No picking name. Everyone wins. Just email me the name.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name, page 2

If you like reading fantasy with an adventurous twist. If you like erotica but like it as part of the story instead of the focus of the story. Check out my latest book Stone of Cruento available at Cerridwen Press.
Charlene Leatherman
Defeat the Villain, Destroy the Monster, Deliver the Hero, and Never Break A Nail.

Now for the next installment of A Rose By Any Other Name

Zna shifted nervously as she waited for the hunter to arrive. She glanced at the com-link on her wrist. She didn’t want to here from the person on the other end of the com. She jumped when the device on her wrist buzzed.
“Another hunt?”
“You know all about it. You arrange all my hunts,” Zna said with venom.
“Yes, I do. We are almost to the end of our relationship.”
“We don’t have a relationship. You have my daughter. I am trying to get her back. That does not create a relationship.”
“I have a lot of money riding on you this hunt.”
“When don’t you? Let me speak to my daughter.”
“Perhaps after you win.”
“No, now. Let me speak to her or I don’t run.”
The voice on the other end of the com-link chuckled. “You are not in a position to barter. If you don’t run, your daughter dies.”
“She may as well be dead already, since I never see her. If I don’t run you lose your money.”
“You have a point. I do not want to lose my money nor do I want to kill your daughter. She is too valuable to me, to you, to Dyad for that matter. I will concede, but with a condition.”
Zna sighed. “There is always a condition with you. What do you want this time?”
“I want a larger spread on the points. You have won each hunt but there has not been any odds on the outcome. I want you to win with a thirty tick advantage over the hunter.”
“Thirty ticks? I am out there running for my life and the life of my daughter. How do I know the hunter is not going to want to kill me? Six lionesses were killed instead of mated last cycle. I have to run as though it is my life. I am not willing to slow down. Not only do I not want to mate with a hunter, but I want my daughter back. But how in Leana’s name do I run a hunt and win with a thirty tick advantage?”
“The how is not my concern. If you want to talk to your daughter you have to agree to win with a thirty tick lead. If you only want to win, then you do not need to talk to your daughter. It is simple.”
Zna felt defeated, trapped. “Very well. You will have your thirty ticks. The hunter doesn’t have to survive, does he?”
The voice at the other end of the com-link laughed. “Not at all. Losing a hunter might even create more audience. But that is your call. Here is your daughter.”
“Mama?” A tiny voice timidly spoke over the communications device.
“I am here Bescjen. I wanted to hear your voice before I ran again,” Zna could feel the tears building behind her eyes and a lump of emotion grew in her throat.
“I am well Mama. I do as I am told and I behave myself. The Mister allowed me to have some sweets last night. He said that you ran very well and made him a lot of money. Mama, if I refuse sweets will you come home and stop running the hunts?”
Zna wanted to cry. She wanted to hold her baby in her arms and hear the soft purring deep in her child’s chest as they nestled together.
“Bescjen, the choice for me to stop running the hunt is up to the Mister. Although, if I win this hunt there will only be two more to run.”
“Then we will go home?” Bescjen asked.
“You had better get ready for the hunt. Bes has school work she must complete,” the voice of Mister interrupted. “And remember thirty ticks.”
“Yes,” Zna replied. “Thirty ticks and only two more hunts, then you free her.” Or else. Zna said in her thoughts.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name - Serialized Novel

A Serial Story

I am writing a serialized novel. You can catch the serial at
Here is the first installment. For the rest of the story, stop by my blog or stop by
A Rose By Any Other Name
“I hear you. I hear you,” Zna slammed her hand onto the annoying alarm.“Zna Menita, hunt commences in 45 ticks. Report to hunt initiation site in 45 ticks.”Zna grit her teeth against a growl rising in her throat. She hated the mechanical voice that nagged at her every time she was scheduled for a hunt.
And she was scheduled almost every day. By her choice. But still, it was tiring and irritating to hear the computerized voice call out her name.Zna stepped from her bed and into the shower. Water was scarce on Dyad. Zna couldn’t remember when she last had a water bath. Pressing the button to start the cleansing cycle, Zna let the sonic pulses tap over her body. The sound waves were at a range she could not hear. The waves pushed dirt, sweat, dead skin off her body and left her fur silky smooth and shining. She twitched her ears and wiggled her whiskers. The sonic pulses tickled. She heard the computerized voice calling her again. Flicking her tail, Zna punched the off switch and went to her closet. She pulled out a skin-tight jumpsuit. It fit her like a glove, and moved with her. It did not hinder her in any way. It was the perfect outfit to wear for a hunt.She liked at her image in the mirror. She was desired in the hunt. Her curvaceous body was covered with the tawny colored fur of the lionesses. Her hip-length red hair framed her face and the pert ears that sat on top of her head. Her whiskers were sensitive and strong. The claws on her hands were sharp and retractable. Likewise she had human feet instead of the clawed feet of the less desirable lionesses.
Zna slipped the tools of the hunt into specially made pockets in her suit. A small compact phaser. It was set always on stun. It was the desire of the Ministry that lionesses have an equal chance against the hunters, not kill them. A knife that would slice through metal. Her claws were effective against cloth, flesh, wood, and most other substances other than metal. Some hunters used metal nets to trap lionesses. The knife gave the lionesses equal footing. The whole idea of the hunt was not only to give the hunters access to the best of the lionesses as mates, but to give the Viewers a show.
Zna sighed. She had run and won seventeen hunts. Each hunt she won gave her greater prestige, kept her out of the mating market, and kept her daughter safe. She had to win.
If she lost her daughter would lose her life. She only had to complete three more hunts to win her daughter’s freedom.
“Zna Menita, please report to the hunt staging area,” the mechanical voice intoned.
Zna took another deep breath.
Only three more.
Charlene Leatherman
Author of Adventurous Romances

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Guest Author Marianne LaCroix

Marianne LaCroix is an Author who writes Award Winning Action, Adventure Novels about yummy swashbuckling heroes.

You got a taste of the novels yesterday. Today, you meet the author.

Marianne LaCroix has had a passion for romance since reading Gone With the Wind when she was a high school sophomore. Voracious reading eventually spawned another passion—writing.
Mari is an active member in Romance Writers of America and holds a B.A. in English Literature. She lives in southwest Georgia with her husband, their twin daughters, two rascally dogs, a noisy cockatiel, and one demanding cat.
Thanks for dropping by to do an interview. I know readers want to know more about you and your writing.

Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time. Even as a kid, I wanted to create stories to entertain people. In fourth grade I wrote a children’s book about a Christmas celebration under the sea with an eel, whale and octopus. It was really cute. I got to read it for the first graders and they loved it. Since then, I wanted to write. I didn’t seriously think about making it a career until I was pregnant with my twin girls. I would sit in my recliner with a word processor on my tummy. (The whirr of the machine calmed them from the constant turning.) It wasn’t until the daze of their first year was over that I went ahead and completed my first novella.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I think my favorite was Fredrick from Crossed Swords. I fell a little in love with him as I wrote that book. Big hunk of a blond man with a commanding stature and a heart of gold...what’s not to love?

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Hmmm...either Gerard Butler or Hugh Jackman. Of course, I would HAVE to be on set too!

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
To be entertained. I don’t go for teaching a lesson. I like the action and romance of a satisfying tale.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Write what you read. And read a lot!

What are you reading right now?
I just finished Rita Herron’s In the Flesh, a Harlequin Intrigue. I liked it until she introduced a character the reader never heard of for the entire book until the very end—and make him the killer. I hate that. If you write a romantic suspense with a mysterious killer on the loose, don’t bring in a brand new character into the mix at the last possible moment. I liked the story until that point. I felt jipped...

Describe a time when you had to sacrifice quality for a deadline, or visa versa. Would you try to extend a deadline to stay true to the quality of writing you aspire to?
I do not want to think I sacrifice quality for a deadline. I have asked for extensions in the past. In fact, Crossed Swords was 2 weeks late, but I was given an extension. I don’t think a book is worth writing unless you devote yourself to writing quality—even if it means asking for more time.

Tell me about a project you have been working on and how you organize your paperwork, chapters, writing goals, etc.
Right now I am working on a novel I plan on submitting to agents and Harlequin Blaze. All I will say is it is 1) hopefully the beginning to a series, and 2) features a sexy cowboy.
To organize I use WriteWayPro ( I like the storyboard feature. I have a basic outline of plot points I need listed like “Turning Point” or “Dark Moment”. I also use Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation, Conflict to map out my characters. (There is a character building feature in WriteWay as well.)
I do get suggestions along the way from my writing pals at Romance Writers Unlimited. ( Those ladies rock!

What aspect of your past books did you enjoy the most?
I like the romance intertwined with action and adventure. I love action movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Ladyhawke, or Pirates of the Caribbean. I try to infuse that love into the books I write. I noticed if my book doesn’t have someone wielding a gun or sword, I get bored. Something about a man with some sort of weapon...I love it. Must be some sort of psychological thing on my part. LOL!

Now that we know you better, how can we by your books Royal Bondage and Pirate’s Mistress?
Royal Bondage is in bookstores everywhere right now. It is also available on the Simon & Schuster website, and B&N, etc.
Pirate’s Mistress is available for order through EC’s print store, Jasmine-Jade at

Marianne LaCroix

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Do you like Pirates? My Guest Author Writes About Them


Marianne LaCroix
Ellora's Cave
trade paperback
ISBN: 9781419957437

Torrid Tarot - Crossed Swords By Marianne LaCroix
Arabella Prescott's dreams of marriage were shattered when her fiancé was murdered by pirates. When she is kidnapped by the roguishly handsome Captain Fredrick Thorne, Arabella is determined to fight him with every inch of her being. She will not become the pirate's lover — no matter her body's unexpected desires.Fredrick quickly discovers Arabella's weakness — him. Her feisty spirit amuses and her sweet innocence inflames, and when she resists his seductive touch, he forces her to submit to his desires — awakening intense passions even he had not foreseen. But with her sensual defeat comes a price neither are prepared to pay.At the news of her kidnapping, Arabella's father, Governor Prescott, begins the hunt for Thorne's ship, Neptune's Sword, to save Arabella — and finally capture the most dangerous pirate upon the Caribbean. He will stop at nothing to see Thorne pay for his crimes at the end of the hangman's rope.Reader Advisory: Crossed Swords contains scenes of forced seduction.

Sea Hawk's Mistress By Marianne LaCroixOn summer vacation from grad school, Shelley Hanover takes part in a modern-day treasure hunt on a newly discovered Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys. During the dive, Shelley finds a silver bangle, and when the clasp opens, she is swept into a sudden water vortex — and into the arms of a sexy-as-sin pirate.Captain Jason Flint finds a woman floating in the wreckage of his latest victory, strangely dressed and wearing a sex-slave band. He decides to keep her as his private pleasure captive, and they enjoy each other's hot flesh as they sail the cool Caribbean waters. But when a rival captain kidnaps Shelley, Jason realizes he's lost something greater than any pirate treasure.

4 1/2 Stars, RT Top Pick! - “LaCroix has outdone herself. This swashbuckling tale will have you offering to swab the decks, if it will put you in good graces with the wickedly handsome pirate captain! There’s plenty of action in and out of the captain’s quarters to keep you flying through the pages of this sizzling story.” ~ Romantic Times BOOKClub

“5 Stars…wonderfully written story about the powerful sea Captain and his prisoner falling in love…If you are looking for steamy sex, that will leave you seeking your own release, look no further…It’s perfect!” ~JERR

“4 Stars…a fun blast-from-the-past…This was a terrific, sexy little romance…The romance is sweet and tender; the sex scenes are vanilla with a touch of dominance and bondage. Sea Hawk’s Mistress was good to the last drop…” ~JERR

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another New Beginning, A Serial Story And a Guest Author

A Serial Story
I blog sporadically. You've probably noticed.I am always at a loss of what to blog about. So I end up blogging about Invisible Space Alien Vampires (see Wednesday, May 14 on decided to start a Serial. Whenever I blog I will write the next installment. This serial will be written off the cuff, so I have no idea where it will go. You will find out as I do. I will let the Characters write the story.Now, since I wrote about cats yesterday, I decided to develop a story about a moon in the thirteen planet system called Dyad. If you have read Prophecy of Vithan and/or Stone of Cruento you know that there is a Twin Planet System in which there is two planets Dkr and Sonij encircled with thirteen moons. Each moon has its own ecosystem, its own type of inhabitant based on different animals and mythic creatures.

Dyad is a moon based on the lion. The Spirit is named Leana. She is a lion-headed woman holding an onyx staff. The heroine's name is Zna Menita. The hero's name is Lovac.That is all I am going to tell you tonight. Stop by for the next installment tomorrow.

If you haven't read Prophecy of Vithan or Stone of Cruento you can go here to purchase your copy. Simply click on the cover picture of the book you want to purchase.

Today’s Guest Author is Anita Birt.
Anita Birt writer, avid reader, knitter lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, three African violets, a Christmas cactus that never blooms at Christmas and a demanding computer that sulks when neglected.

For Anita, writing romance novels is like having a love affair with words. Characters emerge. Plots develop. Crises erupt. Her historical stories are set in England, Scotland and Wales, countries she knows well.

Isabelle’s Diary available at Cerridwen Press
Blurb for Isabelle's Diary

On a sunny June morning in Llandrindod Wells, Sally Carter stops for coffee at the Celtic Café. She notices a beautiful young woman dressed in somber Victorian black sitting at a window table weeping over the pages of a diary. When the girl disappears without a trace and the waitress insists the table had been vacant all morning, Sally is compelled to discover the girl’s identity.

Unraveling the mystery leads Sally on a wild goose chase with the assistance of Dr. Dan Conway, a handsome Welsh history professor. But it’s not until she returns home to Toronto that the final pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Even then the question lingers. Why was Sally the only person to see the girl?

Excerpt from ISABELLE'S DIARY, a contemporary romance by Anita Birt

Sally was brushing her teeth when the phone rang. Spitting out foaming toothpaste, she rinsed her mouth and dashed to answer it.
“Dan Conway, Ms Carter. Are you free this afternoon?"
“Sure, any time you are.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes. Where shall I meet you?”
“In the lobby.” Before leaving the bedroom she scanned her reflection in the bathroom mirror and hoped the dear old professor wouldn’t be shocked at her short shorts and clingy T-shirt. After sending her hiking clothes to the hotel laundry, her wardrobe choices were limited. She had one summer dress, too pretty to waste on detective work.
She freshened her lipstick, picked up her handbag with her notes, hurried downstairs and dropped into a chair facing the entrance. He arrived within five minutes looking very professorish. About five eight, slightly stooped, gray hair, thick glasses perched on the end of his nose. Sally hurried over to greet him.
“Dr. Conway, thank you for coming.”
The man backed away. A worried frown creased his brow. “Oh dear me, you’ve made a mistake. I’m looking for my wife. She’s supposed to meet me here.”
“Ms Carter?”
Sally recognized the voice and whirled around. Momentarily speechless, she stared at Dr. Conway. A solid six foot and then some with broad shoulders, a strong, well-muscled neck and dark brown curly hair. He was handsome in a rugged kind of way, more like a street fighter than a history prof. The sleeves of his faded blue denim shirt were rolled up to his elbows. He had a sports watch on his left wrist.
Sally pulled herself together, smiled and held out her hand. “Dr. Conway, I presume? I’ve frightened that elderly gentleman. I mistook him for you.”
“Please drop the doctor, I’m Dan.”
Humor lurked in his green eyes. He held her hand for a few seconds and the earth moved under Sally’s feet. Unreal.
She withdrew her hand and dropped her gaze to the safety of his denim shirt. His touch had triggered an aftershock, probably from surprise when she’d expected a musty old professor.
“I’m Sally. I hope I haven’t dragged you here on a wild goose chase.”
“Not at all, your story interests me.”
His matter-of-fact comment reassured her. “I’ve made some notes,” she said. “Let’s sit in the garden behind the hotel. It’s pretty back there.”
In her sexually deprived condition Dan was too overpowering male for her to cope with but he’d changed his plans to accommodate her. She could hardly fall ill, plead a headache and retreat to her room. That would be cowardly, but two years as a single woman had made her wary of men’s intentions. Dan Conway wasn’t on trial. Not yet. Depended on whether he kept his hands to himself while they solved the mystery of the girl in the café.
All the same she wished she hadn’t sent her loose cotton shirts and jeans to the hotel laundry. Her navy shorts were too short and her white T-shirt hugged her breasts leaving nothing to the imagination. Maybe he wouldn’t notice.
She dug into her shoulder bag for the notes as she walked ahead of him through the lobby and on to the patio.
Happily ambushed by this attractive woman, Dan admired her sensational tanned legs. By the time they reached the garden and sat at a glass topped wicker table, he hoped they’d spend days together searching for the mysterious girl.
Maybe a night or two?
He dismissed that thought as unworthy; interesting but unworthy. For the few seconds he’d held her hand and gazed into her eyes a spark had crackled between them. Meaning what?
Male desiring female? Female desiring male?
Forget it. She’d quickly looked away and almost snatched her hand from his but he couldn’t be shot for thinking.
Like a student arranging an essay in front of a critical professor, she smoothed out sheets of hotel paper on the table.
“I hope my notes are coherent. I still can’t make sense of what happened yesterday. It’s still not clear to me whether I was dreaming in the café or really saw the girl.”
Dan picked up the papers and began reading as a group of noisy hotel guests strolled out on the patio and seemed to be settling in for an afternoon of drinking.
He folded the notes and gave them to Sally. “Let’s go across to the park. It’ll be quiet there and cool under the trees. We can go to the café later for a coffee.”
Out on the street he grasped her elbow and hustled her safely across the road to the park. The feel of her cool skin against his bare arm distracted him into thinking more unworthy thoughts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Too Young To Die Contest

A friend of mine, Anita Birt, is having a contest. The prize is a copy of her ebook
Too Young To Die. To enter you have to answer a question that is posed in her blog at

Friday, May 2, 2008

Stone of Cruento

Stone of Cruento is available at CerridwenPress.

You can read Stone of Cruento on an Amazon Kindle.

Cerridwen Press has some information about the Amazon Kindle here.