Shara's E Zone

Discover the erotic world of Shara Lanel romances…

Archive for the month “November, 2006”

Hunky Calendar


Hope your holiday cooking and eating went well. My turkey was gorgeous! Hubby’s monkey bread was entirely too tasty. This week’s weigh-in at Weight Watchers is sure to be a nightmare, and not just because of the half gallon of eggnog that is now finito.fdny guy

On Regis this morning (I tend to watch the first fifteen minutes only–the dialogue between Regis and Kelly) they showed a calendar that looked so hot, I had to go find it on the web. It’s the America’s Heroes calendar.  Oh mama! I’m particularly fond of Mr. March. Not to say that I wouldn’t mind exploring Mr. January’s abs. Seriously fine! Seriously inspirational for my next book, wouldn’t you say?

That’s not to say that I’m not particularly fond of the guys in the 2007 FDNY calendar as well. Oh yeah, I’m very fond. And proceeds from these calendars go to good causes as well. I’m very for that. Of course, not sure hubby would go for me hanging these hunky guys on the walls of our house. Sigh.

Have you all read any good hero books lately, ie. stories about cops, fire fighters, military fellas that make you drool? I’ve been reading the anthology The Cop from Aphrodisia. Although since we did our mass cleaning of the house for Thanksgiving, I’m not sure where the book has wandered off to. Any thoughts as to what makes these guys our faves when it comes to romances? And do you like local law enforcement or the Feds? I think I’m partial to Feds–FBI, NSA, those guys.

And on a totally separate subject…have you started your holiday shopping yet? 😉



Happy Thanksgiving!

Macy'sHappy Turkey Day everyone! I hope you’re having a marvelous holiday, one that’s not too stressful. Besides cooking turkey and finally getting to use my pretty dishes (they’ve been used once in the past three years), I’m also blogging over at Silver Expressions today. I hope you’ll drop by. I’m discussing family gatherings (good or bad) and kitchen disasters–if you have any today come on over and moan. I’ll listen and relate. I must say that my banana bread (fresh from the oven a couple of hours ago) came out PERFECTLY! Hubby was nervous that once again I’d burn something, but I didn’t, so there! Plus I’m Tivo-ing the Macy’s parade so I can fast-forward through all the commercials–they barely show the parade any more. I missed Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving episode, though. Someday I really need to invest in the DVD.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


What should I write next?

Blogging is a great procrastination method, I must admit. Especially when I can’t decide what I want to work on. (Also, great for avoiding Thanksgiving grocery shopping because the store is going to be crowded and it all sounds like work. Sigh.) I’ve got a few things started, anywhere from 20 pages to 100 pages. You’d think the one with 100 pages would be the best choice, but by the time I’ve gotten that far–that’s when the plot problems become glaringly obvious and start to seem insurmountable. And those fresh ideas beckon…they sound fun and new…enticing…seductive.thinking

I have my werewolf and mind reader story, BLAME IT ON THE MOON. This one is furthest along and in some ways seems hopelessly tangled, but that’s my job as a writer, right? To untangle it. It’s set in Richmond and super sexy (the heroine can read all of our hero’s illicit thoughts). Then I have DREAM HEALER. Not nearly as far along, but those dreams are sooo HOT! I also have a stripper story called LOSING IT ALL. Do you think strippers are overdone? I think there’s a lot of emotion in this one, because the heroine recently lost everything in a divorce, but she discovers losing everything can open her up to a brand new adventurous world.

Then there are the new stories that beckon. A loosely formed idea for a sequel to THE MEN ON MARS, featuring Freddy. An idea for a futuristic with a magic shoppe at its center. And one idea I just started that takes place in my old hometown in Western NY–or more likely a fictional town that closely resembles my old town. I think this might involve a Wiccan heroine. Or I could even go back to my time travel, where the hero travels forward to modern day from Regency times, or my book collecting mystery.

You see my trouble? I’m indecisive! Ideas are everywhere, each one calling to me. Which should I spend time with? Any suggestions?


The Eggnog Issue

Am I a freak to be so in love with eggnog that I buy it every week from mid-October to the beginning of January? That I drink the whole quart or half gallon in two days all by myself? When asked at Weight Watchers what holiday food could cause our downfall, I responded with eggnog. Some suggestions were: try soy eggnog or light eggnog, but I like the ultra-thick, ultra-creamy stuff. Doesn’t have to be spiked with rum or brandy. Doesn’t even need a sprinkling of nutmeg. Just straight eggnog, and no the eggnog ice cream won’t do.

Do I have an illness? Some people absolutely can’t stand the stuff, whether it’s because of dairy allergies or an aversion to eggs in beverages. I don’t know, but they look at me really oddly. Yes, I love pumpkin pies (they’re vegetables, you know) and Williamsburg cookies (which luckily only my friend’s mother makes perfectly), but I can limit my intake on these items. Even rum cake, which I now can make myself, only intrigues me for a bit. No, it is th eggnog alone that can cause me to gain ten pounds during the holiday season.

We did just do a fascinating exercise during our last WW meeting. We wrote on a paper plate all of the items we planned to eat for Thanksgiving dinner–not even counting seconds–then we added up the points. Whoa! My daily points are supposed to be 24. My calculated Thanksgiving dinner came in at a whopping 82! Talk about eye opening!

And that didn’t even include the eggnog…:-o


In preparation for the feast

retro posterFood Network is killing me! They keep showing their Thanksgiving cooking episodes, which include every conceivable way to cook a turkey, to stuff it, and to make all the trimmings. Plus I get Rachel Ray’s magazine, which has recipes such as Adam’s Bourbon-Glazed Barbecue Turkey. Hmm, interesting. The picture of pecan pie by itself set my stomach to growling. Then my friend and I were on the phone discussing Thanksgiving dinner–she’s coming to my house–and by then my stomach was in pain from the longing for turkey gravy and stuffing. Oh, and the hubby’s Monkey Bread.

The problem with anticipating Thanksgiving is that before all that food comes to pass, I first need to clean the house and go grocery shopping and cook. So much work! We’re having it here this year, instead of at Mom’s because I’ve only had a chance to use my new set of “good” dishes once a couple of years ago on Thanksgiving. To justify their continued storage in my cupboard, I need to use them again.

Thanksgiving is primarily an American holiday, so if you’re from elsewhere around the world, I’d love to hear what you do at this time of year. My friend and I were also discussing plum pudding and double clotted cream, which I recently saw in the grocery store. Then we were discussing the fact that I’d never had lamb, rutabaga, and am not particularly fond of cranberry sauce. She tells me I’d like lamb if cooked the way she does it with rosemary and lemon.turkey tools

What does your family cook for the holidays? We do ham for Christmas and Easter, and I really don’t like ham, except in ham biscuits, which means I’ve lived in the South too long. I’m particularly fond of salty country ham with horseradish sauce on sweet rolls. For a long time Mom made me a separate turkey thing for Christmas dinner, and one year it was this awful processed turkey roll. Totally nasty. Think I’d rather pop a ribeye on the grill, thank you very much.

And you know, I’m still starving because tonight is Weight Watchers weigh-in so I can’t eat anything until AFTER the meeting. Ugh!


A Bird in the Hand or Wishful Thinking?

This year has been an interesting year full of joyful offers of contracts and depths of despair readings of contracts. If you’re a writer, you’ll understand the bizarre hope we cherish of selling our baby, our book, to the perfect publisher. Against all odds! We will prevail! And finally we do prevail…

That’s when things get complicated.

I don’t have an agent yet, but I’m hopeful that I’m getting close. What I know more than anything is that I want an agent, because I’m tired of trying to figure out these contract clauses and the chess game of my career by myself. It should be simple–I write a book, I sell a book, I write another book. But who do I want to sell to? What will help my career? What will stop it cold?

If your friend steps off the top of an iceburg, do you do the same?

What do I mean by that? What in the world does that have to do with contracts? Well, if your fellow author signs with one company despite a nasty clause in the contract, should you do the same? Do they know something you don’t? Or is it more likely that you’re looking at the whole picture…your career…while they’re not? I don’t know, and how do you tell?

You get advice from more experienced authors, maybe even a lawyer or an agent, but then it comes down to you.

I hate that part! Just tell me what’s right. Don’t make me decide. Don’t make me pull out my crystal ball and say, “If I choose A, show me the future. If I choose B, show me the future.” Because my crystal ball can’t see very far down the path, can’t anticipate future sales, future offers of representation. Maybe they’ll be NONE. Maybe the bird in the hand in better.

Just tell me!

But it’s up to me, isn’t it? I have to choose the path of my career by carefully reading the terms of each contract, attempting to negotiate, and ultimately walking away if I think those terms are either not fair to me or may screw up future opportunities.

Will I ever find out if I made the right decision? 20/20 hindsight right, so at some point in my career I suppose I’ll be able to look back and say, “Here’s where I made the right choice, and here’s where I went off track.” But if I went off track, hindsight is not very helpful, is it? Will it be too late to fix the mistakes I’ve made?

So what’s my point? Anticipate the path of your career as you envision it and judge contracts based on that path. If those contracts with their funky clauses mean you might lose a future opportunity, then you probably need to negotiate or walk away. But making that decision is AGONY! I want to announce to the world that I made that sale to that company with that book, and walking away means a delay, a bridge burned. It’s painful, after all the waiting, to have to wait some more for that unknown future, that possibility, that hopeful wish.

But then I believe in HAPPY ENDINGS. That’s why I write romance, so I guess in the end it’s worth the risk to believe in myself, take that leap of faith instead of jumping off an iceburg after someone else. I need to follow the path that makes sense to me, even if I can’t explain it to someone else. Live through the pain, feel the fear and do it anyway. Grr. Just let me write my books, dammit!


Congrats to…

Elizabeth C.! You’re the winner of an e-copy of THE MEN ON MARS (or if you’ve already read this, one of my other books). Please email me at sharalanel @ comcast. net (w/o the spaces) so that I can send you your copy. Also let me know if PDF is okay, or if you prefer another format.


An excerpt from THE MEN ON MARS

Here’s an excerpt from my Loose Id book, The Men on Mars:

Nate slammed the Coke to the desk and grabbed my shoulders. “Have you no self-respect? Yes, you killed someone, but in honor — in defense of your mother, whether she wanted it or not. Where’s your honor now?”

I would not cry again. I’d burn on the sun before I would cry again. “I left it on Earth.”

His eyes wouldn’t leave mine, and his strong palms on my shoulders wouldn’t let me turn away. I wanted to scream in frustration and smack the look of concern from his face. But then his face drew nearer, a millimeter at a time, barely perceptible. What was he doing? We had customers to wait on. I could hear the shouts from the walk outside the store; they were waiting for us to open up. But Nate didn’t seem to care. His face was so big in my view that I couldn’t even look at it. I closed my eyes and waited for the warmth, the tenderness, of his lips against mine. A brush, a wisp of sensation, a hesitation, then more. A firm pressure, his lips against my own. I pressed my palms to his chest, wondering whether I should push him away. He was my boss … beings needed fuel …

Then his lips widened, inviting mine to follow. I’d imagined this many times since he’d saved me from the de Lunas. My mouth became an O, open and waiting to be filled by the man who’d accepted my past without a flinch. Then he did fill me with his questing tongue, wet and hot. I sucked it in and concentrated on the feeling, like nothing I’d felt before. Hot, sexy, caring, and suddenly it mattered that he was kissing me. It mattered that I might have to leave him behind.

Available now at Loose Id!Men on Mars cover

4 Nymphs from Literary Nymphs! Water Nymph had this to say:

“Ms. Lanel’s creative story provides an enjoyable ride with exciting stops on the way and just the right amount of hot sex on the side to keep you in anticipation of the next move. For a hot space travel read, The Men on Mars is a wonderful choice.”

4 BLUE RIBBONS from Romance Junkies!!! Here’s a snippet from the review by Traci Marsac:

“There wasn’t a dull moment to be had in this novella by Shara
Lanel! Lanel packed in plenty of sex and danger in the fast paced

And 4/5 Stars from 2 reviews at JERR with a heat rating of “O“:

“I not only felt involved with the characters, I
was in the world that surrounded them…It was primal and raw, just
the way I like my stories.”–says reviewer Suni Farrar

Don’t forget to post comments before Friday to win an e-copy!


To Talk (or Not) on Politics

So how did the elections go in your state? I hesitate to ask this question, because we’re always taught to avoid discussing politics and religion. We adhere to this credo, for the most part, in my house, because the hubby and I are on opposite sides of the fence and things can get a bit too heated, especially around the last presidential election. We have a strict rule that no political bumper stickers may be added to either car and no signs may be posted in the yard. That doesn’t stop my friends from coming over with bumper stickers on their cars, however, which I find endlessly amusing. What’s interesting here in Virginia is that we don’t know who won the Senate race yet, and apparently we might not know for quite a while since Senator Allen is already calling for a recount.

I’ll just be so thrilled to have possession of my answering machine back! I mean, how many recorded messages can they send out in one day? I’ve gotten so many phone calls from the Governor, the former Governor, and the Senator, that I’m starting to get a swelled head. Of course, none of these calls were from actual live human beings. Honestly, I don’t remember any other election resulting in quite so many phone calls. And let’s not even discuss the televised ads, but at least those were par for the course and I could put it on Food Network to generally avoid them, though I think even HGTV and Style were starting to air political ads, too, or maybe I was just having flashbacks. I’m quite sure I was dreaming about them.

I really do want your opinions! In fact, I’ll give away a download copy of THE MEN ON MARS to one lucky person who posts comments–and since I’m just getting the word out on my new blog–I’ll pick a winner on Friday.


Hmm, think of something catchy…

Tastes of PleasureWow, I’ve got a new blog and I can’t think of a thing to say. Don’t worry–I will, though. Not sure how often, but I’m a writer so I’m sure I’ll think of something. For now, let me introduce myself (in case you stumble across this blog accidentally and have no clue who I am)…

I’m Shara Lanel. I write erotic romance, currently for three publishers: Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Ellora’s Cave. My first novel, Enlightened Love, is about an ex-Buddhist monk and a debutante on the run from her ex-fiance. I have four other releases with Liquid Silver, a brand new release with Loose Id called The Men on Mars, and an upcoming release with Ellora’s Cave called Secrets & Spies. The Ellora’s Cave thing is so new that I haven’t even received the contract yet, but I’m expecting it any day.

So one thing I plan to do here is post excerpts of my new and older stories for your enjoyment. I also have a newsletter called Shara’s E Zone, which comes out monthly on a Yahoo loop, and a web site:, and you’ll find contests frequently posted on my News Page.

And I hope you all will help me out by posting comments any time the urge strikes you. Fun and interactive is the name of the game. I’ll be talking about all the varied topics that strike my fancy and I’d love to hear about your fave things as well. Hmm, and hopefully by my next post I’ll have thought of something catchy…you know, that thing on the tip of my tongue…that great comeback or awesome title that simply eludes me when I need it most. Sigh. Or not.

Thanks for joining me!


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