Red Sage Newsletter Sept 2008 issue

In This Issue

  • Ten Questions With Ann Wesley Hardin

  • Ann Wesley Hardin’s “Grandma’s Farmhouse Pound Cake”

  • Vote for Secrets! Vote for Red Sage Presents!

  • Red Sage Presents: This Month’s Recommended E-Books

Ten Questions With Ann Wesley Hardin

This month Red Sage Presents … Ann Wesley Hardin!  Ann has had many incarnations. After spending seven years earning university and post-graduate degrees in Anthropology, Museum Studies and Earth Sciences, she worked as a bartender, a radio weather forecaster, an environmental groundwater consultant and, finally, a novelist. A native New Yorker, she spent countless months traveling the world, and finally found a European style village in rural Pennsylvania, where she settled with her family.  

Ann’s story Bonded has been wowing readers and reviewers alike.

1) Did you ever think you would be doing what you do?
Are you kidding? Of course I knew. It was destiny! Don’t laugh because that’s actually pretty close to the truth. But that belief, as strong as it was, didn’t stop me from spending years crying in my closet over the stacks of rejections.

2) How did becoming a writer change your life?
In a funny way it gave me permission to be myself, strange attributes and all. We’re conditioned from birth to fit under the bell jar and some of us just don’t. Getting that validation, feeling necessary, and able to contribute to society in some small way is a wonderful thing for a wacko.

3) Are there common themes that show up in all your stories? If so, what are they?
I think acceptance is probably a recurring theme. Gee. Wonder why? (see answer # 2)

4) What draws you to the setting you chose for this story?
I usually use places I’ve been. It’s important to get the lingo right because my books are dialogue heavy. It also depends on the character. Sela, from Bonded, had to be from New York City with her bold, brassy attitude. In A Lick and A Promise, a neighborhood in Seattle called Fremont inspired the setting because the local nickname for Fremont is “The Center of The Universe” — extremely appropriate and inspiring for that book.

5) You write wonderful sex scenes. What makes a sex scene really sizzle?
Thank you! Sex sizzles when it’s all about the characters, who they are, and what they’re learning while they’re going at it like lunatics. I do try never to stray from my character’s heads when they’re in bed. That’s when they’re most vulnerable and the wrong word or phrase — something they wouldn’t think or say — will be jarring and untrue. Nothing is less sexy than a lie.

6) Which comes to you first, the plot or the characters?
Characters. Like for many writers, they speak to me in some way. I let them tell me what the plot is. There’s no way I could manufacture some of this crazy stuff otherwise.

7) Your story is very funny. Do you think it’s harder to write comedy than to write straight contemporary stories?
Alot of people think comedy is harder to write. I suppose on some level I agree, but then, why wouldn’t I? Agreeing enables me to whine, “Woe is me. My life is so much harder than any other writer’s!” The truth is, comedy comes easily to me. I simply can’t resist it.

8) Any plans to step out of your usual genre?
I’m starting to dabble in Urban Fantasy. But rest assured there will always be romance, and the sex will always be hot. There’s no going back from there. Who would want to?

9) Of all the heroes you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?
Here’s where I’m supposed to say I love them all. But I don’t. I like them all. But they’re my heroine’s dream men, not necessarily mine. My dream man is brainy, sexy, alpha in his own way, and also very weird. Totally my kinda guy!

10) Will Jorge the Masseuse be making any cameos in upcoming stories?
Jorge is a man of mystery and allure. Jorge keeps us guessing…

Ann loves to hear from her readers. Write to her at

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Psst–! Want to know a Secret? We’re giving away a free e-book to one lucky winner! To enter the drawing for a free download of the Red Sage Presents story of your choice, send an email to with “Secret Clue Primary Vote” in the subject line, and the name of your favorite story in the body of the email. See the “Vote for Secrets! Vote for Red Sage Presents!” article below for more details!

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Grandma’s Farmhouse Pound Cake

  • 1 c. butter — softened to room temp.

  • 2 c. sugar (great with half brown half white)

  • 5 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 3 c. flour


Vote For Secrets!

Vote for Red Sage Presents!

And Win a Free E-Story!

Election hype got you down?

Well, here’s a full slate of candidates we can all support! 

Vote in this month’s “Primary” for your favorite story from Secrets or Red Sage Presents. We’ll be showcasing some of the candidates over on our blog, Red Sage Revealed, so check the blog for platforms and polling results!

Next month, we’ll shift out of the Primary and into the Election! Watch this space for details!

Everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing to win a free download of a Red Sage Presents story of their choice! 

Here’s how to cast your vote. Send an email to with “Primary Vote” in the subject line. In the body of your email, name your favorite Secrets or Red Sage Presents story. That’s it! No lines, no confusing touch screens or punchc ards, and best of all — this is campaign literature you actually want to read!

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Candidate Number One for Red Sage Presents:

Scarlet and the Sheriff by Carly Carson wants your vote today!  If you like sassy heroines and strong heroes, then this is the ticket for you!

If you need a little help making your decision, ponder this platform–


“No.” He spoke softly, but his deep voice licked right into her. “You don’t have any rights in this game, Ms. Scarlet. You strip when I say strip, you spread your legs when I say spread your legs, and you get a drink when I give you one. Understand?”

She nodded, her head as heavy as her breasts.

He took a step closer. “If I’m pleased with your obedience, I’ll dispose of this warrant.” He touched the rustling paper. “And you’ll be free to go. Agreed?”

She nodded again, her mind churning. Go? She’d been planning to spend the night here, assuming he’d want her to stay. She didn’t have anywhere else to go. Did he really mean that, or was it just part of the game?

“Do you agree, Ms. Scarlet?” Just the faintest threat in his tone.

“Yes.” She hesitated. Every time she said the word, she felt weaker. “Sir.”

“Good.” He reached to his service belt and removed his gun. The moon flashed briefly on the dark barrel as he placed the gun on the serving table next to the grill, pointing it away from them.

He turned back to her. “Let’s see how well you understand your part in this deal.” His gaze raked her body. “Take off your top.”

She jumped, startled by the suddenness of his command. His eyes watched her steadily as he waited, a predator certain now of his prey.

Slowly, she reached for the hem of her tank top and inched it up her body. When it crept past her breasts and they popped free in the moonlight, she heard him catch his breath.

She dropped her shirt on the flagstones.

“Good,” he grunted.

He reached behind his waist and removed a pair of handcuffs. They clanked together as he held them up. This time, Tory caught her breath. Did she want him to use them, or not? She didn’t know.

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Candidate Number Two for Secrets Volume 24:

Vote for Hot on Her Heels by Mia Varano!  All the male dancers in the Lollipop Lounge like to bare it all, but only one is also an undercover investigator! Will Jack solve the crime before Vivica blows his cover?

Jack sure knows how to show some movement on the issues. Check this out–


The slow, sinuous strains of a Latin beat filled the room, and Jack weaved into the spotlight.

He moved his body to the rhythm, swiveling his hips and rolling his shoulders. He swept the hat off first and tossed it in her general direction where it landed on the floor. The black cape swirled around him as he whipped it over his head and flung it off stage.

The form-fitting black shirt and pants molded to his muscular frame as he arched his back and dropped to his knees. She’d seen better dancers, but Jack knew how to move his body with an athletic grace and power that oozed pure testosterone.

He ripped the shirt from his body and threw it at her. She reached out to block the shirt from hitting her face, clutching at its silky folds. His light sandalwood scent clung to the shirt, and she dropped it as if it scorched her hands.

He pumped his chiseled chest and caressed his pecs. Vivica sat forward in her chair and ran her tongue along her dry lips.
Jack turned his back on her, reached down and ripped off the Velcro pants. He flexed his buttocks a few times before spinning around. The lights bounced off his gold lamé pouch, which swelled with his erection. Her nipples tingled, and to keep from touching them, she wedged her hands beneath her thighs.

His pelvis undulated, his bulge straining against the thin material barely containing it. The black mask hid half his face, but his eyes gleamed and his lips turned up in a smile.

She gulped. Could she stop this now? Did she want to? He dropped to the stage and pumped his hips, imitating the sex act. She felt each thrust and pressed her thighs together, squirming in her seat.

The music ended with a flourish, and Jack skidded across the stage on his knees, coming to a rest in front of her, his thighs spread.
His chest rose and fell, a trickle of sweat inching down his flat belly. As steam rose from his body, Vivica couldn’t distinguish her heavy breathing from his.

Red Sage Presents:

This Month’s Recommended E-Books Bonded by Ann Wesley Hardin

When Sela Wilson requested a gothic hero during Fantasy Weekend at a luxury hotel, she didn’t expect to be stuck with the worst actor ever.

Daniel Bond, womanizing, billionaire hotelier, didn’t expect to have to go under cover to play the part, nor did he expect Sela to ditch him for a dildo.

There’s only one solution. Daniel will give Sela her Fantasy Hero — and he’ll keep trying until he gets it right. She doesn’t like the gothic hero? How about Jorge the European masseuse with world-class hands? Or Randolph the Worshipful? He’ll play any role at all, as long as he gets to spend more time with her.

But soon, Daniel yearns to peek out from under his mask, and show Sela the real man he is inside.

Too bad Sela already knows Daniel Bond’s reputation.

And too bad she would pick anyone at all other than Daniel….







Scarlet and the Sheriff by Carly Carson


Fleeing a cheating fiancé, Scarlet breaks down on the Fourth of July in a sultry Southern town where the Sheriff is even hotter than the firecrackers. Now she has no man, no money, and no car. What’s a girl to do?  And how can she begin to think seriously about the future when teasing the Sheriff is so darn much fun?

Unfortunately, the Sheriff holds all the cards when he receives the warrants for her arrest sworn out by her ex. Stolen car? Stolen jewelry? There’s something not quite right here, and the Sheriff aims to find the truth. Whether she wants to tell it or not.

What’s a man with handcuffs to do? Why, use them in a sexy interrogation, of course!

For those of you who want a longer story, try Scarlet and the Sheriff today!

Until next month, happy reading!

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