Monday, November 28, 2011

Please Welcome Misty Rayburn

The Decision to Review Erotica

I had the website set up and had just announced to the world on Facebook that I was going to do reviews.  A few moments later, I got back a question.  I was asked if I would review erotica.

This surprised me a bit because it wasn’t something I had thought about.  Erotica generally has a bad reputation and is considered to many to be exactly the same as porn.  At first my reaction was to say no but instead, I sat back and considered things.

I had to think to myself about what exactly it was that I wanted TTS to accomplish. 

In the end, I decided that in order to make The Top Shelf a well versed place on reading of all genres, I would have to say yes to this question.  For me, being well versed as a reader means stepping outside of your own personal comfort zones and in the end, making myself a better reviewer in the process.

So I said yes.

Now that I’ve actually read some erotica, I can say it really gets a bad rap.  Most of the time, it’s people jumping to conclusions that have never actually read one making all the fuss.  What I found is that by giving a work the title of erotic fiction, it gives the author a little more freedom to push the envelope.  There can be some BDSM, some more graphic sex scenes and freedom to play around with metallic underwear and nipple clamps. 

And let’s face it.  There are people out there that LIKE this stuff even though it may not be YOUR cup of tea.  So why wouldn’t characters be the same way?  If it was a thriller and some sadistic killer was into these things, people would generally have nothing to say but if it happens in an erotica and the characters actually enjoy certain things it’s bad? 

You can’t say erotica doesn’t have a story.  Not if it’s done right.  I’m sure there are a few garbled sex scenes strung together out there by someone who thinks they can write.  REAL EROTICA has PLOT!  The sexual instances all add to the story.  Take for example in Ashlynn Monroe’s Slave to His Desires.  The main character is forced to wear metal underwear and nipple clamps.  What do you think they’re gonna be nice to her?  She was bought as a sex slave!

I think it’s okay to also have that OMG they do THAT!? exclamation when dealing with erotica .  I think that’s part of the whole experience.  This is one end of the extreme, it’s meant to evoke that response.  It’s meant to have some shock value to it. 

Please let me also note that it’s totally okay to have whatever opinions you have on erotica.  I’m not trying to change minds here.  Just kinda laying out what I’ve learned from my own experience.  I had not read anything considered erotic fiction before this.  I think my mindset is the way it is because my parents didn’t really believe in censorship.  Do I believe that people should try reading different genres?  Of course I do!  We have to climb out of our boxes sometime! If you don’t like it, that’s completely fine.
Me?  I’m glad I took the chance.

For those interested, I’m giving away an erotic anthology called Indulgence Tales of the Cirque Romani.  I have just actually requested a review copy of this so I haven’t checked it out myself but it’s got a friend of mine in it.  You all would know her as the author of Expectations and What Money Can’t Buy.  Since Liz Borino is in it, I am very anxious to check it out. 

Synopsis: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…” the Master of Ceremonies echoes every night. These are the words that launch a night full of entertainment, magic, seduction, debauchery and desire.
Cirque Romani was a troupe like no other, a carnival  full of true mysticism, power and dark seductive secrets. It travels from town to town, performing to an audience and consisting of a cast of creatures that folklore tales weave stories about.

Cirque Romani is a troupe full of magical, dark and fascinating people that choose to entrance others, rather than hide in the depths of the shadows.

We introduce to you...Indulgence: Tales of The Cirque Romani.

Let the show begin...

I’m giving away one e-book copy of this book.  Winners will be chosen by and the close for this contest is November 29th at 8pm eastern!  Good luck!  Once you read it, let me know what you thought! Be sure to come visit The Top Shelf at

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can't Fake This by Casey Crow!

CAN’T FAKE THIS coming soon

Thank you, Gracen, for having me and helping me kick off the CAN’T FAKE THIS BLOG TOUR. I'm so excited to announce my debut will be out Dec. 6 with Loose, Id. It's funny how things work out. CAN'T FAKE THIS started out on a whim. At the last minute, I decided to enter this 10,000 word contest. I’d written spicy mainstream, but this was my first dive into erotic waters. I didn’t win the contest, but after having what I thought was a good start, I added some more words and low and behold, this erotic became the first manuscript I sold.

The story is about a divorcee ready to reenter the dating world. Anna Ryan is determined to be the best “product on the market,” which requires a lot more experience so she propositions sexy police officer Chase Harris to teach her how to make hot, passionate love as opposed to just having sex. He takes it a step further, instructing each lesson based on The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The blog tour is kicking off now and there will be a huge blog party on my website Dec. 6 where 12 authors will be doing 12 give-aways to go along with the 12 Days of Christmas theme in the story. Best sellers & RITA nominees from various genres will be there! Here’s the list of authors: Kimberly Killion, Judi Fennell, Cynthia Eden, Cat Johnson, Susanna Carr, Katie Reus, Ella Jade, Catherine Mann, Desiree Holt, Paige Tyler, Juliet Burns, and Mercy Celeste. I can barely stop myself from jumping up and down in glee thinking about all these fabulous authors visiting me! Mark your calendars and visit Casey Crow on Dec. 6 to win great books and other prizes!

So do you have a story about something that came to fruition but never should have? Something that happened because you acted spontaneous and it changed your course of life? I'd love to hear about it!

About the Author:

Casey Crow is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from the University of Alabama with degrees in Business Management and Dance.  She received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Mobile.  Casey resides in Mobile where she stays busy with her two young children.  She also works as a dance choreographer, pageant coach, professional emcee and model, and certified Miss America preliminary judge.  In fact, she is a former Miss University of Alabama.  Casey writes erotic and spicy contemporary romances with the tagline “Sexy, Southern & Sassy.”  Visit her at  Follow her on Twitter – caseyecrow and Facebook – Casey Crow.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog Tour de Troops!

Welcome Hellhounds and Blog Tour de Troops participants! If you’re following along, you’ve just come from visiting Elena Gray and when you leave, make sure you continue on to see Rachelle Reese & John E. Miller!

This event is HUGE! You can get up to 50 books on this Blog Tour, but for every comment you leave, one of our troops gets an e-copy, also! So, spread the word and invite your friends to join the tour…it’s a very small painless way to say THANK YOU to our troops!

Veterans affect almost all of our lives, if it’s not a family member, it’s someone you know. All of them deserve our gratitude! They give up a lot to keep our country and families safe!

I have two veterans in my family, my grandfather and father.

My grandfather, Bernard Miller, was a marine in WWII stationed in New Zealand and at Guadal Canal. He made a bracelet out of the remains of a Japanese fighter jet—or so he says! He’s a HUGE storyteller, so anything he says could be true or blown into a story out of this world. He’s unique to say the least, fun to be with and such a jokester. And you gotta watch him because he’ll shamelessly cheat at billiards!! Regardless of what the bracelet is made out of, it’s super cool and an amazing piece of history to me. It’s one of my most cherished family heirlooms. Here are the pictures of it!

My father served in the army in the Vietnam War. He’s very embittered by his country’s protests of that war and don’t even get him started on the actress, Jane Fonda. He’s got very strong opinions about what should have happened to her. He thinks the Vietnam Memorial Wall is a cop-out and only erected as an afterthought. My father reminds me that our troops need our support regardless if we agree with the war or not.  Every military man and woman deserves the support of their country! But the way my grandfather and father see their tours is startling different. My grandfather is proud of his service, while my father is sour.

After returning from Vietnam, my father suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. He was living with my mother in California after his tour. They were outside and a plane flew by overhead. My father started screaming, “Incoming! Incoming!” and dove underneath the vehicle. It freaked my mother out, but it also details the horrors these men experience in war. The little things we think nothing about panicked him and had him taking cover.

Stop and think about what our soldiers see every day. They do it for us and to keep our country safe! When they return to the safety of America, how do they cope with the mundane realities of life? I would think it’d all seem so very trivial. To EVERY soldier and their families...a huge THANK YOU from me! They all make sacrifices for us and they’re all heroes in my eyes!!!

As part of my blog, I’m giving away an e-copy of Madison’s Life Lessons, my prequel to the Road to Hell series. Leave me a comment with your email address, and I’ll forward you the coupon code for you to get your copy of the e-book from Smashwords. For an excerpt and blurb of Madison’s Life Lessons, click HERE.

Please feel free to visit Forbidden Reviews and Intoxicatedby Books (both clickable links) for reviews of Madison’s Life Lessons

Don’t forget there are 50 e-books up for grabs on this blog tour. Visit Indie Book Collective for a list of author blogs! If you’d like to make a donation to the troops, go to Paypal and use Please make sure you include a note stating that your contribution is for the troops!

But that’s not all! The Indie Book Collective is also giving a brand new KINDLE to a tour commenter, randomly drawn, and multiple KINDLES to several lucky troops! You’re thinking, why? Because books are the number one care package item requested by troops! If you want to give back to the troops with KINDLES, just click here for secure, donations via Paypal.

Have fun on the hop and happy reading!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

VooDoo Doll Contest

There aren't enough folks talking about my Road to Hell series fan page! I've still got VooDoo dolls I can give away! Let's do a "like" "talk" about Road to Hell series DEMON. Have folks "like" my page and have them TELL ME WHO SENT THEM. The person who sends me the most new "likes" will win the VooDoo Doll AND a signed Pandora's Box poster. It'll run until midnight CST Sunday, November 13th! And I’ll give the winner a set of pins that say “GM’s Hellhound”, “Micah Kool Aid” and “Nix one dead demon”.

NOTE: VooDoo doll is not guaranteed to be one of these, but this is an accurate depiction of them, except color may differ. 

Good luck!