Tag: Ellora’s Cave

Publisher Ellora’s Cave Sues Book Blog Dear Author #ChillingEffect

Posted September 30, 2014 by Holly in Discussions, News | 6 Comments

I’m sure most of you have heard about this. For those who haven’t, a quick recap.

On September 14, Jane of Dear Author wrote a blog post titled The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave. She outlined the history behind the company – praising them for being one of the first e-publishers to offer authors and readers erotica-type content – then related news of their slow decline in management and business practices. Per Jane’s article and the subsequent comments from EC authors, editors and cover artists: authors and sub-contractors haven’t been paid in a timely manner; royalty checks are at an all-time low and Tina Engler/Jaid Black, the founder and owner of the company has been taking shopping trips, buying new property and looking into starting new ventures (this, apparently, from her Facebook page, Twitter stream and personal blog).

EC is suing Jane and Dear Author for defamation, claiming what Jane wrote in her blog post was false.  I am not a lawyer. I don’t claim to understand a whole lot about the law in general and defamation in particular, but my basic understanding is that in order for EC to win this suit they have to prove that what Jane said – their authors/cover artists/vendors/editors/tax liens/etc not being paid – isn’t true. In order to do that, I would assume they’d have to provide company records, financial statements, etc. I may be mistaken about that, so don’t take my word for it, but I do know part of a defamation suit is proving what was said was untrue and that the untrue statements hurt the reputation of the one filing. So how else would they prove what she said wasn’t true but opening up their records for public scrutiny? Even worse, however, is that EC is demanding the anonymous commenters’ true names be revealed.

Here’s the thing, though. This suit isn’t about EC’s reputation.  Not really. It’s about is instilling fear in a community of authors and bloggers. Engler has been rumored to be notoriously vindictive when it comes to authors speaking out against her company. As bloggers, we’re often threatened by authors when we write bad reviews/report about the goings-on with the community, etc. That’s a scary thing for those of us who aren’t lawyers and don’t treat our sites as a business venture, but rather a hobby. I don’t know about you, but spending thousands on a legal battle isn’t my idea of a good time. Especially since this site doesn’t make any money on its own.

The Chilling Effect, defined by Wikipedia as:

In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction.

Basically, I think EC filed this lawsuit as a scare tactic. They want bloggers and their authors/staff to be scared of speaking out against them. Sunita wrote a post about it that goes into more detail, but essentially EC  is saying “we’re watching you”. As Sunita says in her post:

EC picked the wrong person to sue, no question. But by filing at all, they’re also reminding their authors and editors that they have no compunction about publicizing the personal information of anyone they see as an adversary. It’s not necessary to sue an individual person in this case; suing Dear Author LLC would have taken care of their needs.* But it wouldn’t have sent the same “we know who you are” message. EC has already stipulated in internal communicationsthat authors “include both legal name and pen name when communicating with Ellora’s Cave.” This just ups the ante.

Author Courtney Milan wrote about not being cowed by EC and their tactics. In her post, On Limited Purpose Public Figures #notchilled, she discusses the effect this lawsuit has already had in terms of the Chilling Effect and says she is Not Chilled (#notchilled).

CM notchilled 2


Jane has hired a lawyer and plans to fight this. I say good for her. Good for all of us. We shouldn’t be silenced. We shouldn’t be afraid that speaking out about a publisher or author will result in the worst possible outcome. We’re saying we won’t be silenced and we hope you won’t be either.

Today Jane asked for a bit of help. If anyone who worked for or with EC has any information they’re willing to share, please contact her.

DA Request for Info


Also, if you’re an EC author, be sure to take a look at the Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support Thread, hosted by author Deirdre Saorise Moen.

For those interested in following the story, here’s a compiled list of links detailing the troubles at EC and the coverage of the suit against DA.

Also, LATimes Jacket copy picked up the story.

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Guest Review: Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Posted August 30, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Above All by Rebecca BrooksReviewer: Tracy
Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Publication Date: July 18th 2014
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Reeling from a sudden breakup, Casey Webb leaves Brooklyn, drives north and settles in a sleepy mountain town in upstate New York. She’s convinced she’s happy being alone—until she reads the acknowledgments in her ex-boyfriend’s hit debut novel, thanking his new girlfriend “above all”. Good thing Ben Mailer is in town. The hot, young Brooklyn-bound chef offers the perfect distraction, and soon Casey is having the best sex of her life—on a mountain, in the lake, all over her cozy cabin. But as their weekend fling turns into something more, the demands of Ben’s family and budding career make moving to her idyllic town impossible. Now Casey must decide what she can’t live without—her life in the mountains or the man she wants as hers. Smart, sweet and blisteringly hot, Above All is about getting lost…and finding yourself right where you belong.


Tracy’s review of Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Casey is settled in her cabin in the Adirondacks. She never expected to leave Brooklyn but when she did leave, and found her mountain home, she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. She loved living in the mountains as it made her feel free.

She had given up many years of her life to kowtow to a temperamental boyfriend who in the end broke up with her. She is floored when she reads the acknowledgements in his best-selling novel and sees that he thanks another woman “above all.” It’s been about a year and a half since they broke up but it still hurts when she thinks about it and all she sacrificed for him over the 7 years they were together.

She’s working the desk at the campground that she works at when she checks in a group of late 20-somethings. She meets Ben and the pair have an instant connection. Instead of spending all of his time with his group of friends (as it’s a bit of a college reunion), Ben finds himself spending time with Casey. They talk about their lives and though Casey doesn’t share her past with Ben he tells her of his struggles with his parents and his decisions about his future. He is in culinary school and they want him to be a top chef in an expensive restaurant while Ben wants to bake and have a specialty sandwich shop. That’s his passion but his parents don’t understand.

Ben and Casey become closer but then Ben leaves to go back to school. He returns eventually gets closer and with Casey. They make plans for their future together (after he graduates culinary school in a month) but unfortunately there are more than just Casey and Ben involved in their lives. To shorten a famous saying, the best laid plans often go awry, and in this case it was totally true.

I really liked this contemporary romance. I thought the writing was engaging and once I started reading I didn’t want to stop.

Casey was a great character. I think she had run from her hurts and heartache, which I don’t always think highly of, but I think that ended up being the best thing for her. Her life changed drastically but it all ended up working out really well for her and she was happier than ever. She was smitten with Ben from the first moment she saw him and while I think she fell fast, sometimes that just happens.

Ben was cute and had a good life ahead of him. I think he was young in this story and had a lot of growing to do, which he eventually did. Because of his age he was still greatly influenced by his family and that played a huge role in this story. There were parts in the book where his actions made me want to smack him a time or two, that’s for sure. I won’t give you certain details about the book because I think that it’s something you need to read for yourself, but I will say that Ben did hurt Casey. In the end I don’t feel that he groveled enough to completely redeem himself. His actions did speak incredibly loudly but I think he needed to grovel just a bit more. 🙂

Overall this was a good read and one I recommend. For me, I think I’ll definitely be reading more from Brooks in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Ellora’s Cave Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Excerpt & Giveaway: Bloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips

Posted October 29, 2013 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 2 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Check out Bloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips


Tired of the thin-blooded aristocrats in 1815 London, Alexius yearns for better sport. He is drawn to a dark-haired seductress who shows no fear and refuses to obey his commands. Entranced by such novelty, he denies his bloodlust and decides to keep her to warm his bed.

 Immortal vampire hunter Morana has never mistaken her prey before, but the dark stranger mesmerizes her, enticing her to forget everything but the dangerous pleasure she finds in his arms.

Neither one can deny the pull of the other, but there is something beyond the lust—a recognition neither can put a name to. The past and present collide and unless they discover the truth behind the lies, Death will triumph once more.

Inside Scoop: Silk makes much softer shackles than iron, but is just as binding as our lovers engage in light BDSM sport with spanking and mild submission in this risqué Regency story.

Bloodlust DeniedBuy from:

Ellora’s Cave   Amazon   ARe   Booktopia    Kobo    Nook    Angus & Robertson   Amazon UK


A ripple of movement around her drew her reluctantly back to the present. The elderly Lady Harriet, her unwary mentor tonight, fluttered like a flustered schoolgirl as the young gentlemen retreated and Mr. Shaw, the Master of Ceremonies, approached, unaccountably beaming with delight.


The breath strangled in her throat, heart collided against her ribs. The tall, broad shouldered man being introduced to Lady Harriet was the reason she questioned her purpose, her existence, her sanity.


She tried to relax her fingers before they shattered her fragile fan, but it was her only lifeline. The only thing preventing her from doing or saying something so outrageous the ton would gossip about her for innumerable Seasons to come.


They turned to her. She heard Mr. Shaw explain she was the Lady Harriet’s great-niece, but his voice came from a great distance as each amplified beat of her heart echoed through her ears and thundered through her blood.


“May I present His Grace, the Duke of Havenshire.”


He bowed, and a shiver raced along her spine as she recalled the last time he had bowed to her just seconds after she’d demanded his soul. She forced a curtsey, her knees stiff, thighs shaking and finally risked glancing up at him.


Vibrant green eyes mocked her in a face so starkly beautiful her breath escaped in a shocked gasp. The flickering lantern in the alley had revealed his strong jaw, his high cheekbones and sensual lips, but had concealed the extent of his charismatic allure that enfolded her like a living entity.


But his eyes. She stared into them, mesmerized. In the dark alley, it had been impossible to discern their color and yet she knew these eyes. They were as familiar to her as her own but that was impossible. Madness.


He was speaking. She struggled to clear her mind, to compose her senses. Resisted the urge to press her hand against her face, just to check her cheeks weren’t really as hot as they felt.


“May I have the honor of this dance, Miss Craven?” The quirk of his mouth was the only indication he found such formality amusing. She flicked the tip of her tongue over her lips and didn’t miss the way his eyes followed the movement.


She could refuse. Turn and run. And knew she never would.

Author Bio:

Christina loves writing dark tales of tough, sexy warriors and vampires who are brought to their knees by their heroines. A mystical touch of fantasy or paranormal usually weaves its way through her stories, although strangely enough this wasn’t her intention when she first starting writing her historical romances. But when ancient gods and goddesses get involved, it’s best just to go with the flow 


Christina is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her family. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Author links:

Website    Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads    Blog


I have an e-copy of Bloodlust Denied to giveaway to one lucky commenter on this post  Just leave a comment or let me know which you prefer – sparkly or spanky?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): Avery Aster – Manhattanites Blog Tour

Posted August 13, 2013 by Holly in Promotions | 2 Comments

Manhattanites Tour Badge

The Manhattanites is an extended modern erotic romance series of full length juicy melodramas multilayered on love, friendship, and drama to the hilt. If you grew up reading Jackie Collins, Judith Krantz and Danielle Steel you will devour this series as each book may be read as a stand alone. Sex & The City fans who watch TV shows like Girls (HBO), Mistresses (ABC/BBC Drama), and The Bold & the Beautiful (CBS) love The Manhattanites series. Avery’s characters are over the top. They have raunchy sex, speak their minds and always get what they want.

Unscrupulous_CoverUnscrupulous (#2 The Manhattanites)

Content Warning: due to graphic sex scenes, strong language, suggestive themes, mature humor, and just about everything your friends ever told you not to do–including getting vajazzled, this novel is for adults only.

At thirty-three Warner Truman is one of the richest men on the planet, a spa mogul who buys and sells resorts at will. He holds powerful executive’s careers in his well-groomed hands. Nothing is beyond Warner’s reach…until he meets her.

Stunning, tantalizing, and perverse, Taddy Brill captivates Warner’s carnal desire like no woman he’s ever met. A self-made millionaire, Taddy is tougher than steel, more brilliant than diamonds and, at twenty-seven, she’s never depended on a man for anything…until she meets him.

The more Taddy plays with Warner’s affections, driving him to erotic heights, the more she is confronted by a dark past. But before she can love him, Taddy must meet her worst fears head-on or risk losing it all, including herself

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17453515-unscrupulous

Amazon: http://amzn.to/18zn24z

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1bguN3D

Avery Aster’s Top Five Places To Read a Book…In Manhattan


                Whether you reside in New York City or are visiting for a vacation chances are if you’re a bookophile you’ll want to get a little reading in. But how does one find solstice to read in the world’s noisiest city? Today we have The Manhattanites author Avery Aster to tell us where to go…

            I’m a hybrid reader so when I’m out and about it’s my Kindle all the way. But when I’m at home I savor my hardbacks and vintage book buys. Problem is I’m rarely in my apartment except to sleep. With that said, here are my favorite places to read.

The Subway

            I have a ton of friends who live in Brooklyn. I visit them on the weekends. From door to door it may take up to an hour underground. Often the train gets stuck or you’re left waiting on the platform. When most passengers start to bitch, I pull out my Kindle and read. The C train is quiet and peaceful. Just make sure that whatever you’re reading is captivating. If you fall asleep you could wake up—in Coney Island.

Bar Seine at the Plaza Athenee

            Foo-foo but Ohhh so fabulous it’s an eclectic lounge ideal if you fancy a martini while you turn the pages. It’s located on the Upper East Side on a neighbored street and is far away from the usual touristy crowd. The amber-lit room allows for good smut reading. Order the truffle popcorn. Yummers!

New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue

            This is when I bring a hardback as I know I’ll be able to sit and relax. I love it because there are several reading rooms. Sign up for one of their popular docent-led tours if you’re new to the library. I feel well read just by walking in the front door.

Sìcafe on Lexington

            This is not only where I read but also where I write. I wrote about eighty percent of the first draft for Unscrupulous at Sìcafe. I love it because there is no wifi. *gasp*that means no video gamers, social media peeps or online chatters, just locals with their newspapers and an espresso. This is old school.

Central Park

            Making up 6% of Manhattan’s total acreage, you can’t live in the city without hanging in Central Park. 250 out of its 843 acres are dedicated to lawns. Take a blanket, a pair of sunglasses and park your butt on the grass. It’s heaven. And it’s so quiet you’ll feel like you’re in Oregon. Promise.

brand pic cropped(1)AVERY ASTER pens erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave. As a resident of New York’s Upper East Side and a graduate from New York University, Avery gives readers an inside look at the city’s glitzy nightlife, socialite sexcapades and tall tales of the über-rich and ultra-famous. “I write about what I see in my metropolis that never sleeps–Manhattanites on the quest for a passionate thrill,” Avery says. “By and large, my characters are drop-dead gorgeous, ripped straight from the headlines and on the hunt for their next conquest.”

UNDRESSED #1 (Lex & Massimo) launched The Manhattanites series, exploring people’s forbidden desires of lust and longing. UNSCRUPULOUS #2 (Taddy & Warner) is the highly anticipated prequel coming August 14, 2013. Also, stay tuned for the sequel with UNSAID #3 (Blake & Miguel) coming winter 2013.

Website:  http://averyaster.com/

Twitter:  @AveryAster

GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6940334.Avery_Aster

Giveaway Details:

Enter in The Manhattanites Rafflecopter prize contest (must sign up for Avery’s newsletter and will only be notified about upcoming releases) and win:

  • First prize: a $200.00 American Express gift card.

  • Second prize: your name in Avery Aster’s upcoming novel; Unsaid (#3 The Manhattanites) scheduled to release fall/winter

  • Third prize: ebook of Unscrupulous & Undressed

  • Fourth prize: ebook of Unscrupulous

  • Fifth prize: ebook of Undressed

**** Please follow the Rafflecopter directions at each stop. Full Terms and Conditions are located on the widget. ****

Find the 40+ Tour Stops, Book Info, & More:




a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Please note: This is not a Book Binge sponsored giveaway. You must enter to win following the rules listed on the Rafflecopter widget.

Undressed (The Manhattanites #1) is regularly priced at $8.75 and will have an amazing 65% off the retail price at $2.99 from August 14th, the same day that Unscrupulous (The Manhattanites #2) launches, until August 27th.

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#DFRAT Excerpt: Smolder by Graylin Fox

Posted July 30, 2013 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments


Check out Smolder by Graylin Fox

Clinical psychologist Ellie Quinn is starting a brand new job at a hospital in Savannah. She doesn’t expect the amorous attentions of quick-tempered ex-cop Owen Mata and handsome Russian surgeon Dmitri Komarnitskaia. But choosing between the two is soon the least of her worries. When she persuades a battered woman to leave her husband, Ellie finds herself the target of a sinister serial killer, and something about the case is making Owen increasingly unstable. Only with Dmitri does she feel safe, but if she can’t bring her psychological skills to bear to catch the killer, she won’t be the only one in danger.

Read an Excerpt of Smolder:

smolder_HiRes - smallThe alarm clock woke me up, but it didn’t have a way to remind me I had moved to a new home. So after I bumped into the first two walls, I found the light switch and headed to get cleaned up. After a long, hot shower and a huge mug of coffee, I was off to start my new job. The three-mile drive to the hospital took thirty-five minutes. You can’t call it a rush hour if no one is moving faster than twenty-five miles per hour. The parking deck was nearly empty, so I had plenty of room to pop the trunk and pull out the boxes I needed to take to my office. The offer of help that I barely heard with my head in the trunk registered enough for me to stop and turn around. Oh, my.

Damn, he’s gorgeous.

He stood a few feet away, yet I still had to look up to find his eyes. They were the deep blue of the ocean with gold flecks that made them sparkle even in the dim light of the parking deck. His black hair was smooth and perfectly placed except for one straggler that hung down just over his brow. I wanted to reach up and run my fingers through it. He had broad shoulders and stood confidently as I let my gaze linger over his strong, lean form. His smile indicated that he was enjoying the attention. The hand he held out to me was tipped with perfectly manicured nails. I saw no wedding ring on his left hand and was relieved. My knees were weak from the brief encounter and I wanted to know more about him.

“Thank you,” I replied. “I could use an extra pair of hands. But I’m not quite sure where I’m going just yet. I only know the hallway where my office is located.”
“It is next to mine.”

His sexy Russian accent was beautiful as he spoke softly, almost in a whisper. My body responded with longing I hadn’t felt in a year. I think I swayed toward him as he spoke.

“I’m Dr. Komarnitskaia,” he added.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Dr. Ellie Quinn. Psychology.”

We shook hands and his were smooth and strong. I felt breathless and weak-kneed. As someone who talks for a living I’m rarely out of words, but looking into his eyes I had trouble finding air or words and momentarily fumbled for my reply. The last time I’d felt like that had been in high school, when my crush had asked me to move out of the way at the lockers.

“I should warn you, I’ll mangle your last name.”

He smiled and my knees buckled. I leaned back against the car for support. Reaching behind me, I grabbed the edge of the trunk and tried to make it look intentional. His eyes sparkled in a way that told me he’d noticed, but he didn’t mention it.

Find out more about Graylin:

Graylin Fox is a multi-published author and poet. She began writing poetry in 1993 with her first poem published in 1995. In 2008, her characters demanded a larger format and she began to expand her talents into the short fiction market.

Decadent Publishing published her short story, Coming Home, in January 2011. In July of 2011 Decadent Publishing released Your Biggest Fan, a psychological thriller. Her series, Summer Fae, began with Contagion in April 2011. This series continued with Bloodlines, a novella in September 2012. The final installment of the series, The Legacy, will be out in 2013.

Her first full-length novel, Smolder, about a Hospital Psychologist who finds love while dodging a killer, released May 9, 2013.

She lives in a marsh off the eastern coast with plants that struggle to survive on her “happy muse” weeks and a tiny cat runs the place. Graylin can be found at GraylinFox.com and contacted at GraylinWrites@gmail.com.



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