The Men Who Dare To Go There In Erotic Fiction

This first appeared on LadySmut.com

The evolution of Viagra’s marketing from Bob Dole to 40 something men during football games (so now she wants it) has given me further insight into the degradation that women experience every day, living up to impossible standards of beauty and sexuality. ~Spencer Dryden

You pretty much have to love a guy who emails you the above lines in response to your interview request related to why he writes erotic fiction. And then when he—and other male erotic writers—jump in with other awesomeness, well, it’s hard not to let pride swell one’s little heart that these gentlemen are part of our book tribe.

Authors DaddyX, Spencer Dryden, Daily Hollow and Ian Smith graciously shared their experiences writing erotic romance and erotica, including why (oh, why?) they went there. Few men do. Let’s hear from the few, the proud and the brave.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Okay, guys, how did you get here? Why do you write in the erotic genre?

SPENCER DRYDEN: Nearly all my life I have been enchanted by female allure. I come from a time and background where anything sexual was obscured by a cloud of guilt and shame. When I reached my early 60’s (I’m 66 now) I gave myself permission to explore those fantasies through fiction as it would be much safer that trying to carry them out in real life. I have learned so much about sex and sexuality in the process, things I wish I had known as a younger man. A guy could learn a lot by reading my stuff.

DADDYX: To be honest—and I will be honest—being horny. And in appreciating the fact that I still felt sexy rather late in life. It’s what was always on my mind, even at 64 years of age, when I began writing erotica. Figured to document my libido before it went away.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: We love honest guys.

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Good things come in plain brown wrappers. Daddy has stenciled a big red “X” on the cover of his new collection to warn the reading public. Open this book only if you’re ready for X-rated excesses beyond the ordinary. The five tales Daddy has chosen for this volume are X-tra outrageous.

IAN SMITH:  I read some ‘chick lit’ for relaxation, and enjoyed the development of the characters and the romantic story, but felt the lovemaking scenes were a bit tame. I decided to try writing this sort of story, but with rather steamier scenes. Sex is an integral and important part of most people’s relationships, and I thought it must be possible to be realistic without being ‘porn’.”

DAILY HOLLOW: I wanted to get back into writing fiction so a few years ago I googled ‘writing competitions’ and stumbled across Literotica. After reading a few stories I was like “I can totally do this.”

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: There’s that honesty again. You all come from different walks of life so I’m calling you my ‘representative sample.’ Here’s what I want to know. Why aren’t there more male authors in the erotic genre?

DADDYX: Hah! Momma X says that when a woman writes smut, it’s considered cute. A woman can get away with appearing something akin to adventurous without looking like a perv. Conjure a naughty picture of a cute girl, book in one hand, masturbating with the other. Isn’t that sweet? But a guy in a basement who can’t get a date, one hand beating Red Roger, typing like crazy with the other? Let’s just say it’s a different picture.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Okay, true that.

SPENCER DRYDEN: I don’t have a clue other than women weren’t seeing what they liked and have systematically taken over control of the ship. Very admirable. We need to get more male readers into erotica but I don’t see many characters I can identify with. Until men can identify with character and plot in erotica, what little fiction they read will continue to be action genres.

DAILY HOLLOW: I think because there are more female readers of erotica, so it would make sense more women would write it. Men (such as myself) tend to gravitate more toward action, horror, etc. Honestly, I very rarely read the genre, unless one of my friends has a new book or I am beta reading for someone.

IAN SMITH: There appears to be a widespread opinion that “men can’t write romance’” which I disagree with. Men feel romantic and get emotionally involved, probably in similar ways to women. Fewer men appear to write romance, or at least not under male pen names. I know the market for romance generally is predominantly female, and I can understand that people reading for escapism will typically identify more readily with their own gender.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: So as a man, do you feel responsible or obligated to write erotica or erotic romance a “certain” way? Such as more respectful (or more blatant) in certain areas because people know you’re a man?

DAILY HOLLOW: Not really. I write what I feel, then send it off to the betas. I have never had anyone tell me my writing was derogatory or disrespectful.

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Plumbers and Other Lovers is collection of four short stories about tradesmen who find unexpected rewards in home repairs as they stumble into romantic encounters during the course of their everyday blue-collar lives.

DADDYX: Not at all. But I sure get told when I get it wrong. :>) Much of my experience in offering, receiving and observing criticism is through The Erotica Readers and Writers Association lists. I have acted as Storytime editor for either flash fiction or short stories for the past few years. There, I see varying perspectives of criticism and as many ways of interpreting the same work. Everyone has his/her own way of perceiving and receiving erotica. That’s one of the more intriguing aspects of writing in our genre. Everyone absorbs the material according to their own turn-ons and squicks. In fact, with all the variety out there, it’s a miracle a writer ever connects with a reader.

SPENCER DRYDEN: My writing reflects the way I feel about women, which is that I hold them in high regard, especially the way they can use their powers of enchantment.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: See opening lines above.

IAN SMITH: No, I try to write with my own “voice.” I like my male lead characters to be decent, nice guys, and be courteous to the women they’re involved with, but that’s at least partly because it’s how I hope I am myself. I find it difficult to imagine being anything else, but that might be something fun to play with when I feel more confident about my writing.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Do you find people hold you to a higher standard? Like a woman can get away with writing certain things, but a man would get his hand slapped for “crossing a line?”

DAILY HOLLOW: Not really. I have heard some male writers feel that way, but I have never encountered any issues.

SPENCER DRYDEN:  I don’t know if “higher standard” is quite the right term for what I feel. I have read lots of short form F/F erotica (which I love) as a way to improve sensual vocabulary. Often these stories move fast and feature plots that move quickly from initial encounter to sex. (Hi I’m a girl that likes girls. Oh I like girls too….begin humping) My stories have the same structure and character arc as F/F stories but my are frequently labeled as “stroke” or “only about sex.” So it’s more like a double standard than a higher standard.

DADDYX: Some of my characters can be despicable. I do have to work to tone them down upon occasion. Though assholes make for interesting subjects, there should be someone for the reader to relate to. Often the reader equates a character with the author, so I wouldn’t want to alienate readership of any sexual orientation. Despite everything as personal as squicks and triggers, I’d like my work to be universal; but that’s nigh impossible, considering that many people wouldn’t open an erotic book in the first place.

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Paul is Hayley’s lover and now her leading man. But acting and portraying a hero on a period TV show takes far more than a suit of armour. He’s totally out of his depth, personally and professionally. Help arrives with dramatic lessons in leadership and courage, when strange events put him and his friends in harm’s way.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: And, you Ian?

IAN SMITH: I don’t think so. Well, aside from trying to write from a female POV and getting it wrong!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: In general, men’s fantasies vary wildly from female fantasies. They experience sex differently in real life. Do you believe that colors a male author’s viewpoint when writing erotic fiction? Do you try to write something that will appeal to what females (the bulk of erotic fiction readers) want to read?

DADDYX: Wish I had an inside track for success with female readers. Any readers. It sure would be nice. Maybe then I could sell some books. :>) So here’s what I think:

Again, I can’t really say that I write to a particular gender. To me, it’s all about the story, no matter who’s reading. The plot has to be fresh, intriguing, and hold together. The story arc must be accessible, if not immediately obvious. I like to give my readers credit as intelligent people who will extrapolate content and subtleties by my prompts and suggestions. I don’t want to alter or conform my work to appeal to the lowest common denominator. By the same token, while I’m writing, I wouldn’t want to distract myself imagining my readers as any particular gender. I feel that engineering the delivery by gender could effectively limit scope in development of the story. I like to think of literature as universal.

That said, I also like to get my readers juices flowing, no matter their gender. Problem is, how would I know?

DAILY HOLLOW: I write what I feel. I’ve actually written a few F/F stories, and honestly my novella, Leslie’s Dilemma, may be my best fiction piece to date.

SPENCER DRYDEN: “I hope that female readers will find my male characters to be genuine and memorable. There are no billionaire bad boys, alpha males or self- destructive ego-maniacs in my stories. I feature ordinary guys who fall into the orbit of sexually assertive women. [As for a different viewpoint?] Absolutely. It’s why we are more visual and more mechanical in our fiction writing.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Confession time: Are you writing stories you wish would pan out in real life?

DADDYX: Heh. I’m 72 years old, for chrissakes. My fantasies will remain as such. :>) If Momma and I can achieve orgasm in the missionary position without injuring ourselves, we consider ourselves lucky. Best fantasy these days is a sexy dream. Or a trip to a thong beach.  In truth though, I often write situations I’d like to have happened. Other situations, not so much. Depends on the character. He/she may think like me. Or decidedly not.

IAN SMITH: In a general sense, of people meeting and forming solid, emotionally-fulfilling relationships, and having a few adventures along the way.

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Mark Jenson is a handsome, easy going man who enjoys drinking with his buddies and the occasional Myrtle Beach golf outing. Gabriella is a beautiful, yet intimidating Jamaican assassin who has nearly fifty kills to her credit. Because Mark unknowingly insulted a mobster’s daughter after they had a drunken night of sex, Gabriella is hired to end Mark’s life

DAILY HOLLOW: LOL, who doesn’t? I also try to throw a little personal experience in as well. I’ve been in several multi-racial relationships and have written a BWWM novella and short story. I’ve also had sex in public and one of my works in progress is going to have a scene where my MC has sex in a river at a popular college hangout. In my short story “Charlene’s Surprise”, my MC is tied up while his wife and her best friend “put on a show.” I guess that would be something I wish would have panned out in real life. 😉

SPENCER DRYDEN: I think fantasy; especially sexual fantasy is a very important part of a balanced life. Fantasy helps us set boundaries and then offers us a risk free way of seeing life on the other side of the boundary. In my case, through fiction, I can make love to any woman I want, my wife could care less and the woman even likes it. I think it would cause lots of marital difficulty if I were to ACT on my fantasies. I can also brutally murder people I dislike without fear of jail time.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Isn’t that the best? I digress… For you, what is the most satisfying part about writing erotic fiction?

DADDYX: Positive feedback. Connecting with a reader in an erotic endeavor. Nothing feels better than hearing a reviewer you don’t know say: “That’s the most erotic book I’ve ever read,” as has been said about “The Gonzo Collection.” Considering the aforementioned variety of erotic preferences (and the odds against of making that connection) the connection, once made, may be on some level equivalent to sharing sex with those readers.

SPENCER DRYDEN: When I see the whole story arc. I write most of my stories backwards, that is, I start at the end and work my way back to the beginning.

IAN SMITH: Readers telling me they enjoyed my storytelling. If they found it hot and steamy as well, that’s a bonus!

DAILY HOLLOW: Typing the words “the end.” One of the most challenging parts about writing is actually finishing. I currently have about five WIP going at once.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: So, I guess in the end, it turns out all writers are alike!

Thank you, gentleman. Keep up the great work. Readers, below is how you can stay in touch with our male cohorts in sexy crime. And follow LadySmut. We know all the great writers…and lovers of sexy romance.

 Love Links

Daily Hollow’s Facebook and Amazon author page

DaddyX’s  Oh Get A Grip blog  (where he posts fortnightly with nine other accomplished erotica writers) and Amazon author page

Ian Smith’s Facebook, Facebook Author Page and Blog

Spencer Dryden’s Facebook, Twitter and Amazon author page

 

 

Kissing William Shatner and Drinking Wine With Sierra Cartwright

This blog post first appeared on www.LadySmut.com. Check out this group blog for some wicked fun. Now onward…

International best-selling romance novelist, SIERRA CARTWRIGHT, has authored more than 30 erotic romances about capable, submissive women who yield to powerful, alpha male Dominants. She doesn’t see that as a conundrum, saying submissives are some of the strongest people around. She was born in Manchester, England where she earned the nickname, “Bossy Britches,”  and she once ran a company. Now, thankfully, she writes seriously hot books full-time. I had the good fortune to say hello to SIERRA at the April RT Booklovers Convention, and learned her thoughts on writing and BDSM are as fascinating as her characters. SIERRA stopped by LadySmut to, well, kiss and tell . . .

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: First things, first. Did I hear correctly that you once kissed William Shatner? You know, we have to know more…

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I wish it was more spectacular than it was! Should I make up a story? Make it scandalous, rather than totally innocent?

I remember sneaking down the stairs and hiding behind the couch to watch Star Trek when I was a little girl in England. It came on past my bedtime, but I loved the show so much. I’m totally sure my parents knew I was there, but since I was quiet, I was allowed to stay. I was so in love with Captain Kirk. (ES Note: Me, too!!) As I grew older, he made me swoon. So handsome in his uniform. And that smile…

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One year, for Christmas, I got twelve books, in a big box. They were all Star Trek books, a series of them. Star Trek Five had a red cover! LOL

The first book I ever wrote was a Star Trek fanfic. Handwritten in blue ink. I think it was 123 pages long. I’m not sure now whether or not it was legible. It’s fair to say I was one of the original Trekkies. (Before they were Trekkers!) And, yes, I went to Trekkie gatherings.

I think I was sixteen when William Shatner appeared in the play Death Trap at the Elitch Gardens Theatre. I remember driving myself, and no one was as in love with him as I was, so I went alone. After the play was over, I dashed backstage with my program clutched in my hands, shaking. I wanted his autograph so bad.

He was as lovely and as gracious as I had hoped he would be. And I was bold. I told him my life would be complete if I kissed him. Did I mention he was lovely and gracious? He tipped his head to the side and let me kiss his cheek.

Can I tell you a secret? Because he was so kind to a smitten girl with her first celebrity crush, I’m still a little in love with him…

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What a great story. Speaking of which, let’s talk about your books. I just finished Bind (The Donovan Dynasty). Loved it. What a fabulous premise with compelling characters, not to mention hot as Hades. Which character came to you first, Lara or Connor? Did you start BIND with the premise of Lara going to Connor for help or was their “arrangement” a surprise to you as you wrote?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Thank you for saying so… Wait until you get to the elevator scene in Boss. Even I needed a cold shower! <g>

And it’s an astute observation that one character comes to me before the other. In this case, it was Connor Donovan. He was such an interesting character to me. There are three brothers in the Donovan Dynasty series, and that’s a dynamic I’ve never before explored. But of course I can’t do anything the easy way. So the oldest brother is actually the bastard child who lives hours away from the rest of the family. Connor is technically the second son, but because Cade runs the family’s agribusiness, Connor gets to be head of the family.

Originally, I’d seen him as a bit more of a hardass than he turned out to be. And since his Dad had been in a marriage he didn’t want to be in, I thought it would be fun to give Connor a marriage of convenience. In playing with that plot idea, Lara then came to me. I wanted her to be equally strong, so I made her an only child. And I made her an executive.

I loved playing with two strong characters and watching their negotiations and seeing them evolve. Iron sharpens iron, right? But these two make each other better people. It just takes a lot to get them there…

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  When choosing the various smexy acts for your books, do you try for a broad spectrum of BDSM in each book, or do you think, “okay, this is going to be primarily a spanking book.” Or “this is going to be primarily a bondage book.”

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I try to let the BDSM acts arise from the characterization, rather than the other way around. I’ve never really written a book I’d consider primarily a spanking book because I adore the full spectrum of BDSM. I’ve had newbie heroines, a heroine who is a submissive at a club, even a heroine who was a masochist. I think BDSM is unique to each couple, and their personalities will influence the naughty tools and implements. For example, the heroine who enjoyed masochism is considerably more likely to enjoy or be familiar with the cane than a heroine who has never experienced BDSM.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  You’re great at warning readers what your books include (because let’s face it, not everyone likes to be surprised). Are there any fetishes or sex acts (not talking the usual ones that most publishers refuse to print) that you just won’t write?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: That’s a tough one because the minute I say I won’t do something, I’ll get an idea for it. I guess if the idea seems to fit, I might run with it. If it’s kind of unusual or questionable, I might work it into a subplot using secondary characters. I learned that trick at a writer’s workshop once, taught by Stella Cameron.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  Do you ever discover ‘trends’ in the BDSM writing world? Like this summer it’s all about bondage or this year it’s all about Femme Dommes? Do you decide to incorporate that new trend in your work?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I wrote my first BDSM novel about eight or nine years ago. Back then, it was a very small subgenre of erotic romance. I’ve never written to trends, though I wish at times I was able to! Truth is, I write too slow for that. It would be like me trying to catch a train that had already left the station. I can picture me standing on the tracks, bent over, gasping for air, and wondering what happened.

My Fem Domme offering was published about seven years ago…proof positive I’m nowhere near the trends!

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Psst… Crave (Bonds Books 1) won the Best BDSM Book of the Year award by the BDSM Writers Con in 2015.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Do you think that women seek to read about submissive women in the same way powerful men seek dominatrixes, i.e. even average women carry so much responsibility in their lives, they are looking for a few hours where they can fantasize about being completely without power, without having to take care of others? We know that’s a common reason for being in that role in real life, but I was wondering about the desire to read about it.

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I fantasize about someone keeping my wineglass topped off while I soak in the tub with a good book. Oh, wait. I digress. 🙂

There’s something about storytelling that’s elemental. We stand around campfires and tell stories, and the more compelling, the better. I agree with you, Elizabeth, that we are so damn busy juggling a million responsibilities. And reading can be a great escape. I’m sure that giving up responsibility is a part of it for many of us.

I’m really struggling with this question because I think you’re absolutely right, and I also think there are other elements to it.

There are components such as: suspending reality, being swept away in a fantasy world, the emotional charge of being swept up in the drama of someone else’s relationship. I also enjoy identifying with the heroine and I yearn to be as brave or witty or smart as she is. Through reading, I vicariously seize new experiences and get the weak-knee feeling that comes from challenging an alpha while I’m the center of his attention. But most of all, I can ignore the goddamn relentless buzzing of the dryer and dinging of the microwave for a few minutes.

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And especially when it’s the end of a long day and I simply just want to relax. I’ll bet if we toss this question out there, we’ll get a million different answers, too. Isn’t that the awesome thing about reading? It can be all those things. A romance novel got me through endless hours in the hospital waiting room. Another gave me blessed relief as I tried to cope with my beloved stepmother’s death. Annabel Joseph’s series occupied my time while I was driving cross-country for a funeral.

When I pick up a romance, I’m always guaranteed of that happy ending. I get the sense that life is worth the struggle and the effort. And I always feel good (maybe gutted at times) when I reach the end. I’m a romance fan, all the way to the end.

Great, great question. Oh, and I have different reasons for scening. But that’s another conversation entirely…

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Next time! What are you reading? What BDSM novels inspire you? Has your taste in BDSM changed over time?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I’m really an eclectic reader. I just finished the latest Harlan Coben paperback on an airplane, and I also downloaded an R.K. Lilley, an Aleatha Romig, and an Eden Bradley for the trip. On my last trip, I read an Annabel Joseph trilogy.

Another insightful question from you about my taste changing. I think the market has grown and evolved. We have new dark erotica titles to choose from. As for my tastes, I enjoy reading a broad range, from light BDSM to stuff that’s a bit more hardcore. But my writing has evolved, too, to more complex characters in more complicated relationships. The sex may have gotten hotter along the way, too.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: And, because readers want to know, what’s next for you, writing-wise? Anything you can tease us with?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT:Thanks for asking. I’m finishing up a super-secret project that I’m announcing in the next couple of weeks. And then, due to reader demands (and a few threats), I think I’m diving into a story about a certified genius… This will be the most difficult writing I’ve ever done, mostly because I never intended for Julien Bonds to be a hero. So I made him outrageous and a bit of a mad man. Honestly, I’ve been working on character charts and plotlines for months. I’ve had several brainstorming sessions with other writers. And I’m still nervous that I might not have the skillset to pull off my vision. I’m not sure, honestly, that I’ve ever been scared as a writer, but I am now. Pass the wine. (ES Note: You are a woman after my own heart.)

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FINALLY…THE LADYSMUT FAST LANE

LADYSMUT: Favorite song?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Depends on the time of day! Yikes! Right now I’ve got the Blake Shelton song, “Came Here to Forget” on endless loop.

LADYSMUT: Billionaire or military hero? (Or other?)
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Give me a billionaire any day of the week. Didn’t I mention I want my wineglass kept full? And I want seriously good wine. (This is my fantasy, after all.)

LADYSMUT: Going back in time or jumping forward to the future?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I love technology. I want to go way, way into the future.

LADYSMUT: Leather or lace?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Not even a question. Give me the leather baby. It absorbs blows from the flogger better than lace does. Oh. Wait. Did I say that out loud? (Ed. Note: Oh, yes, you did! ;-))

LADYSMUT: Number one bucket list item?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: January in Mexico, or somewhere really, really warm. I checked out Key West just yesterday. The place I wanted to rent was $8,736. Can you send that billionaire my way, stat?

LADYSMUT: We’ll get right on that…once we’re through with him. He-he.

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LOVE LINKS to SIERRA CARTWRIGHT

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FRIDAY HOT READ: Meet the Stars of Darkness Calling by Laurie Olerich

Below is a wonderful recap of Laurie’s Primani series, featuring angels, demons, special powers, and . . . why don’t I let Laurie tell you more. Tell us about your series, Laurie!

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LAURIE OLERICH: In my Primani Series, the Primani are the good guys. Made immortal by an archangel, they exist to give humans a fighting chance against the chaos caused by demons. This doesn’t mean they are pure, or always good, or completely moral. They still retain their humanity. Darkness Calling represents the struggle that Primani Sean and Aisling, and yes, even the demon Cain, face inside their minds. Centuries of loneliness and pain leave scars. Obsession, lust, fear, desperate sadness… sometimes the dark offers an escape for the wounded. Sometimes the dark hides their sins. Sometimes the darkness is impossible to resist even if it destroys them. Curious?

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: You bet!

LAURIE OLERICH: Let’s meet two of the stars of book five in the Primani Series, Darkness Calling. Aisling Andersson and Cain–just Cain–but also known as Irku, Slayer of Angels, Bringer of Nightmares, and more titles than probably necessary, have agreed to meet with me to share their dirty secrets with my readers. I invited Sean O’Cahan to share his thoughts, but he flatly refused, pointing out that he’d rather be spit-roasted in Hell (again) than play nice with the demon who keeps trying to rip his heart out. While I can totally understand his attitude, I feel safer when he’s around. I’m more than a little nervous. This is the first time I’ve interviewed my characters, and these two are explosive together. I hope we can keep the noise down and not blow up the studio so I get my deposit back!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Here we go…make like a fly on the wall and read how Laurie interviews her characters.

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LAURIE OLERICH: Cain, my wicked, but delicious demon, is radiating his usual raw sexuality and overwhelms the chair he’s sprawled across. He is evil to his core, but that doesn’t keep my skin from tingling as my blood pumps harder in his presence. His compelling green and gold eyes hold mine with way too much knowledge, and he shoots me a tiny smirk so I know he senses my arousal. Mmm. He is yummy in a bad, bad, bad sort of way. I cross my legs just a little tighter.

Aisling is another story. She’s pissed as hell to be here. The last thing she wants is to be anywhere near Cain now that the book is finished. Perched on the edge of her seat, she’s dragged her fingers through her pretty strawberry blond hair until it’s floating like a cloud around her pale face. She’s moved her chair as far from Cain as possible and looks ready to slap me–hard. I really wish Sean was here. He’d have my back. He always does. Well, the clock is ticking as Cain likes to say, so best to dive right in.

“Thank you both for agreeing to be here today. I’m sure my readers are dying to hear from you so let’s make this exciting for them. Cain, why don’t we start with you? How did you two meet?”

Cain leans back, crosses his ankles and smiles at Aisling’s scowl. Before she can respond, he replies, “I picked her up in a quaint little trattoria in Rome. 1925. I was bored, and she was desperate for a good fucking.” He lifts one strong shoulder in a careless shrug. “After that first time, I couldn’t get her off my dick.”

Aisling gasps, but recovers to snap, “You bloody asshole! I was minding my own business when you showed up and invaded my space. I was in a really dark place. You offered sex. I wanted a one-night stand. You used some demon mojo to get me to stay!”

He chuckles as Aisling walks right into his trap. He loves to make her lose control. Angling into her face, he asks, “Is that how you live with yourself now? I thought we’d agreed to be honest. You were hungry, angel. Admit it. You loved what I did to you.” His voice drops to a purr, “Every. Single. Thing.”

She sure did, and so did I. After all, I wrote it. My imagination is beginning to roar to life. I clear my throat to get their attention but neither hears me. The tension is palpable, and I’m starting to sweat. Why didn’t I frisk them?

Aisling flushes and rounds on him, teeth ground together. “Fine! I won’t lie. It wasn’t horrible, but I’ve had better!”

“Liar!”

Glaring daggers, she sneers, “Don’t flatter yourself. You weren’t that good.”

“Really? I’ve still got scars on my ass from your nails. It’s been over 100 years.”

She freezes as his words sink in. Time to change the subject before Aisling does something I’m going to regret. I like Cain. He’s too evil to kill just yet. So I say, “Why don’t we move on to talk about what you’ve been doing since the book ended? Aisling? How are things in Plattsburgh?”

She ignores me. She only has eyes for the demon who turned her life inside out. After the space of a heartbeat, she hisses, “You were convenient. A distraction from the pain of my life. Nothing more, Cain. Move on. I have.”

“Still lying? You want me now. You’ll always want me.”

“Are you kidding me? I hate you for what you did to me!”

“What exactly did I do that you didn’t want?” Cain’s voice drops so low that I have to lean closer to make out the words. His hands are steady on his thighs, but one finger twitches with anger. He’s doing his best to stay civil, but he’s got a short temper.

I interject, “You threatened to kill Sean Michael. That wasn’t cool.”

He cocks his head and murmurs, “Ah. But I didn’t. Did I? I left the boy alone. I didn’t cross that line.”

Aisling throws up her hands in exasperation. “You kidnapped me and threw me in a dog crate for two weeks! No food, no water! You put a friggin’ shock collar around my neck, you prick! You tortured me!”

Cain waves away her protests. “You provoked me. I told you to stay away from that Primani. I wasn’t going to interfere until you spent the night fucking his brains out.” He looks at me and arches a brow in question. “You didn’t expect me to let that go, did you? I’ve got a reputation to protect.”

I can’t argue with him. I created him to be the bad guy… and he was a very good bad guy. I use my best apologetic tone. “Sorry, Ais. I have to agree with Cain on this point. He wouldn’t be a legit demon if he let that go. Fucking Sean was a slap in the face.”

Her blue eyes begin to glow with her saol. Uh-oh. “You’re just jealous because you want Sean to be real! You sit at your computer and write these smoking hot sex scenes without caring how they hurt your characters in the end! Why don’t you find your own demon to play with?”

Ouch! “Whoa! That’s not true! I do care what happens to my characters! After a thousand years of loneliness, I gave you mind-blowing sex with two gorgeous studs. I know it didn’t end well, but you enjoyed Cain’s intensity until you found out he was a demon. I’ll admit that was a little cruel of me, but it fit the story perfectly.”

Cain crosses his arms over his chest with a smirk. “Ah, yes. Good times. My favorite was bending you over the statue of Gabriel. Do you think he watched?”

Aisling has calmed down, but she’s clearly unhappy with me. She glares at me one last time before turning to Cain. “You’re a pig.”

That finger begins to twitch again, and his eyes narrow to slits. “Be very careful, cara. You might want to rewrite our history, but you are only lying to yourself. I didn’t love you, but I gave you freedom. Freedom to embrace the darkness inside you. You should be more grateful. You can lie to yourself, but don’t lie to me. I was there.”

She opens her mouth to argue, but then stops. Her eyes dart around the set as if she’s looking for…

Sean. I feel his body heat before he’s fully rematerialized behind me. As soon as he’s corporeal, he lays his hand over my shoulder and squeezes.

“Easy, darlin’. I thought you might need me. Mind if I sit in?” He drags a chair to my side and straddles it backwards; his black Oakley’s hide his glorious eyes.

“Um. Yeah. Sure, Sean. Are you armed?”

He picks up my hand, kisses my knuckles, and smiles tightly. “Always.”

I breathe him in, and my nerves calm. Okay. I can do this. They aren’t real, right? They can’t really draw blood? Feeling a lot like Jerry Springer, I say, “Why don’t we move away from the past and talk about something else? Sean, what scene was the most difficult for you as a character?”

Sean’s shielded gaze rests on Cain’s golden eyes; his muscles tense. He’s ready to launch himself at the slightest twitch of the demon’s body. After less than a second of thought, he breathes, “Gina.”

Oh, damn. I used Gina to rip his heart open and leave him on his knees, utterly destroyed. Cain made that happen with a few clever strokes of his knife. I grope for Sean’s hand and find the cold silver of his Primani blade instead. The haft’s resting in his palm; the blade gleams along his thigh. I swallow hard as his body vibrates with subtle power.

“I’m sorry I put you through that, but you handled it very well. I was proud of your self-control. Please use some now. I don’t want any fighting today.”

Without breaking his stare, he says, “I’m biding my time. He’ll get what’s coming to him whether you write it or not.”

Cain unfolds himself and flexes his fingers with a hard grin. Aisling jumps to her feet crying, “Sean, no! Not now!” She splays her palm over her belly. “He’s not worth it!”

Cain snaps his fingers, and his black athame appears in his palm. Sean springs to his feet with blade ready, mouth curled into a snarl. Aisling throws herself between them, cursing them both in Italian.

Oh, for fuck’s sake! Clearly, I’ve lost control over this interview…. “Sean, please! Cain, get back to Hell–NOW!”

Cain rakes his eyes over me, but takes a step away from Sean. “Control is an illusion I let you enjoy. Don’t get comfortable with it.” With that, he’s gone.

Sean and Aisling share a private thought before she gives me a stiff hug. Sean rolls his eyes at her prickliness before sweeping me into a bear hug that steals my breath. After dropping a kiss on my cheek, he slips off his favorite Oakley’s and sets them on the top of my head. His mesmerizing eyes delve into my soul, and he smiles at what he finds. “Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Call me any time.”

They leave me standing here with the light techs, the sound guy, and a nerdy little producer who thinks he’s Steven Spielberg. I touch my cheek to feel the lingering heat from Sean’s mouth on my skin.

Maybe my demon is right. Control is only an illusion.

~~~~~

To find out more about Sean, Aisling, and the delectable Cain, pick up Darkness Calling and dive in. It’s a stand-alone book in the Primani Series.

AMAZON KINDLE      iBOOKS      SMASHWORDS      BARNES&NOBLE NOOK 

Laurie Olerich is the author of a hot new series that will suck you into the world of psychics, angels and demons like you’ve never seen them. Urban fantasy meets paranormal romance in this best-selling series–Beginning with Primani, the story sweeps across the mountains of New York to the underground world of Manhattan with pit stops in Hell along the way. When not plotting, writing, or fantasizing about her next hero, she’s planning parties, traveling the world, and relaxing with her family and friends. After spending most of her life in the Northeastern United States and Germany, she now lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her son and Dalmatian duo, Domino and Rambo.

Connect with Laurie here:

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Pink Jimmy Choos and A New Kristen Ashley Series!

This interview with KRISTEN ASHLEY first appeared on LadySmut.com. Check out all the smexiness on this group blog, where I post sometimes.

Author KRISTEN ASHLEY can’t write fast enough (pour moi). That’s saying something since she has published just under 50 books and 10 series, if I counted correctly. If you didn’t read KIERSTEN HALLIE KRUM’s ode to Kristen’s work, you must. Then, consider yourself duly warned that once you turn that first page you will disappear into a pleasure hole of anti-heroes, kick ass chicks, bikers, witches, cowboys (and more), love and lust like you’ve never done before. This New York Times best-selling author offers contemporary, steamy romance, erotic romance, fantasy and paranormal stories that kidnap you. I swear. So don’t say we didn’t warn you. Check our interview with KRISTEN below (with questions from KIERSTEN, too!)

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Does writing come easy to you? I get the sense you channel characters, given how “alive” they are on the page.
KRISTEN ASHLEY Yes, fortunately, fingers crossed it never ends, writing does come easy for me. I do have times in books where I slow down, usually around two-thirds, three-quarters of the way through when things get tough. But I figure this is because I know I’m coming to the end and I don’t want to say good-bye. But mostly, luckily, it usually flows (ward off writing hexes! so I can keep it that way!).

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: In terms of genre, are there genres or settings you’d like to explore (soon)? Zombies? Urban fantasy? Dare I ask, historical? Or, perhaps there is a culture (like your bikers) that you’d like to explore?
KRISTEN ASHLEY Weeeeelllll…as I’ve mentioned around and about, I recently read the excellent NATURAL LAW by Joey W. Hill. [Editorial note: We love Joey, too!] I’ve never gone full erotica or BDSM. Though, I did write a complementary short book about Valentine (the witch from my Fantasyland series) that I was going to release alongside BROKEN DOVE which was much in this bent (BDSM erotica with an alpha-sub). I chickened out and never finished it. But when I read Joey’s fab NL, it just opened something up in me and I wrote Amélie and Olivier’s story, setting up an entire new series if that book is taken well. As I’ve mentioned it in a variety of places and there’s been a lot of love thrown my way to release it, we’re looking into that. So that’s one genre I’ve not done that I’ll be jumping into. [Editorial pause from Elizabeth: HAPPY DANCE. SQUEEING. TOSSING HAIR AROUND LIKE CRAZY WOMAN.]

As for the others, anything can happen. I love historicals and they were actually my favorite genre back in the day. So, once I complete some series I’ve got going, who knows what will happen!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR & KIERSTEN HALLIE KRUM (KHK): With the your most recent release, Sebring (The Unfinished Heroes Series Book 5), you’ve finished your erotic romance UNFINISHED HERO series. What did you like most about writing this darker series? What more do you wish you could have done in it? Did you find the experience of writing an erotic romance series any different from writing your contemporary series?

KRISTEN ASHLEY I’d always wanted to write anti-heroes. Tack and all the Chaos boys are somewhat anti-heroes and, well, most of my heroes have a significant edge. But really diving into that…I mean, really, I loved it. It was freeing and it was fascinating. Not sure there’s a thing I’d change or add. I think those stories are the bomb. They’d just run their course, what with Nick bookending it after his intro in Knight. And thus it was time to move on!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR & KHK: Again in SEBRING, you have a heroine (Olivia) whose family defines dysfunction and, in her case, is a day-to-day danger. What makes you revisit the theme of “the family you’re born with vs the family you find/make” in so many of your books?
KRISTEN ASHLEY I really don’t know. It’s just what comes to me. And it’s important to offer depth to a character and one of the things that defines us is how we’re raised, the family we’re born into, what they give us – not to mention the family we make for ourselves through friends.

I think family is a crucial component in life (for good or bad). In my case, I’m fortunate to have a large, crazy, loving, generous, wonderful family so for the good parts, I have lots of inspiration. But when it comes to the bad, when we have to carve a beautiful life for ourselves despite the familial hand we’re dealt, that’s fascinating too.

In the end, the people around us, family and friends, how we let them enrich us, or if we need to endure them, define us and I use that with my characters for the same purpose.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR & KHK: We’re total fan grrls. One of the reasons Kiersten says she’s compelled to re-read your books is because she’s so into the alpha heroes, even when they’re bossy and demanding. (She’s even rated her top five favorites. Shhhh. Don’t tell them.) What is it about the alpha hero archetype that appeals so much to you? Do you think you’d ever write a beta hero?
KRISTEN ASHLEY There are a variety of things I like to inject in my writing. My heroines can be anything – crazy, goofy, shy, outspoken, survivors – but each in their way, they’re strong. They also can be curvy, or have no ass, petite or super tall, and like all of us sisters in real life, their beauty shines through and the people around them (particularly their heroes) see that…big time.

To round that out, I like to share that a man can be a man. He can say what he has to say, do what’s in his nature to do, be strong and this doesn’t overshadow his heroine. He doesn’t cow her or break her either purposefully or through the force of his personality. They complement each other. I want to point out that women can be women however that’s meant to be, they like to cook, want to stay home with their kids, run successful advertising agencies, are talented private investigators, and they can find a man who is what he is, strengths and “flaws,” and they work great together.

I have actually written and released a beta hero. Joker in Ride Steady (Chaos) has alpha traits but he’s a beta in his pack. So yes, I’d write one because I already have! 🙂

KIERSTEN HALLIE KRUM: There is so much humor in your books. My first time through the ROCK CHICKS, I realized it felt like the cray cray in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series…with much better sex. Do you find humor difficult to bring to the page?
KRISTEN ASHLEY Luckily, no. Not sure it would work if I tried to be funny. Then again, this may seem odd, but I sometimes feel it isn’t me who’s funny. My characters are so real in my head, and I’m just going with their flow, it feels like it’s their sense of humor. I always think Indy’s a stitch. Or recently, Justice, in the upcoming BOUNTY, is pretty freaking hilarious. So when I was doing read-throughs, I kept thinking, “Justice is hysterical!” like she was her own person. And in my head she is.

That said, I’m glad their humor works for you!

KIERSTEN HALLIE KRUM: Your epilogues at the end of series are infamously satisfying. Does it feel like leaving family when you end a series? Do you ever have the urge to, say, go back to the ‘Burg for another go?
KRISTEN ASHLEY: Yes. I delayed writing Rock Chick Revolution (Volume 8) for months and months and months for this exact reason. That was the end and it had to be the end and I didn’t want it to end.

But I don’t think of going back. I realized a while ago that I’ve created (with my contemporaries, not sure Lee Nightingale is gonna show up in one of my fantasies – though again, anything can happen!) a whole world. So when I need a security expert, there’s Joe (from AT PEACE). When someone needs an investigator, well, you can take your pick. Or a bodyguard, there’s Mace and his boys (to come, of course). This means I really don’t have to let go. I can revisit them whenever they come to mind…and big bonus, in turn I can give them to my readers.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR & KHK: Okay – one last question: any rock chick gathering we should be looking out for? We travel, ya know…
KRISTEN ASHLEY: My schedule of appearances is on my website, with links to the official sites for the different events, including the Rock Chick Rendezvous site, and some links to pre-order books for events. We keep that up-to-date as we confirm appearances and we also share the schedule in my newsletter. So it’s always there for folks to find! Visit here!

FINALLY…THE LADYSMUT FAST LANE:
LADYSMUT: Favorite rock song? (Check out her playlists here. #LOVE)
KRISTEN: God. Seriously? Hard to narrow down to just one. I’ll pick meaningful: “Daughter” by Pearl Jam

LADYSMUT: Favorite rock chick accessory?
KRISTEN: My Cactus Mountain beaded chokers.http://www.cactusmountain.com/

LADYSMUT: Driving the motorcycle or riding on the back?
KRISTEN: Riding on the back! Who wants to pay attention to driving when you’ve got unobstructed scenery and the wind blowing in your hair?

LADYSMUT: How many LBDs to you have at this point?
KRISTEN: Hmm…two, no, wait…three.

LADYSMUT: Do you have a favorite pair of shoes?
KRISTEN: Well, right now it’s my Joie suede booties. They’re comfy and totally kick ass. But it’s winter. In summer, I’d say my carnation pink Choo pumps.

jimmy-choo-anouk-patent-leather-pumps-hot-pink

LOVE LINKS TO KRISTEN ASHLEY:
Web site: (Be sure to check out her Rock Girl Nation charitable effort. So cool.)  Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest    Goodreads   Instagram

Welcome to the Love Month

Happy Valentine’s Month

Where I live, February is pretty dismal, weather-wise. Every year to make myself feel better I dub this month the “Love Month.” To that end, I’m spreading some love and romance… 

WIN STUFF!

Check out February’s giveaway! a $25 Amazon gift card. Enter here. Enter often. Just, well, enter!

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FUN STUFF!

Have you checked out Ladysmut’s Sexy Saturday round-ups? Every Saturday the LadySmut.com bloggers (of which I am one) gather all kinds of romantic, I can’t-believe-people-do-that, and fun developments related to romance and smex. Last Saturday’s can be found here. Best story shared last week, IMHO? Rainbow freckles. You have to see it to believe it.

READING STUFF!

Speaking of Ladysmut, check out my interview with Kristen Ashley, writer of hot, hot HOT biker erotic romance, contemporary, paranormal, and more. She’s a prolific writer. Read all about her new series in this interview.

ELITE DOMS’ STUFF!

Wondering where the heck that third Elite Doms of Washington novel, PERFECT will debut? I refuse to cheat you, my wonderful readers, so I’m making sure this story of Mark and Isabella is, well, perfect. No pun intended. These characters surprised me. (When do they not?) But we’re still on track for a late spring debut. Here’s a little teaser blurb to whet your appetite:

After her husband’s sudden death, Isabella Santos fled D.C. and its bruising memories. Estate matters force her to return and into the arms of Mark, her late husband’s brother, the man who has loved her from afar for ten years, the man she’s secretly drawn to call Master. As their forbidden love blooms, they forge a perfect domestic discipline life that provides a feeling of oneness and completion, until threats from her dead husband’s past rip at their new-found love.

This month I’ll debut the music playlist for PERFECT on this blog. 

Oh, and let me know what you think of my site’s new “look.” You like?

May your February be filled with love, romance, and great reading, my friends.

XO,
Elizabeth

 

FRIDAY HOT READ: Rose C. Carole – From True Confessions to Catering to His Needs

Debut author, Rose C. Carole gives us a wonderful story in Catering to His Needs (Kitchen Confessions Book 1), involving one hot alpha male, an over 30 woman (Yay!), food, spanking, suspension and bondage. See for yourself…

Smexy Excerpt from Catering to His Needs

(Warnings: NSFW, sexual scene)

“Okay, Rebecca, turn over and let me look at you.”

She slowly turned onto her back.

“Arms above your head, feet spread wide.” As she complied, he pulled down the chains from the headboard and attached them to her cuffs, then chained her ankle cuffs to the footboard.

“Now, I’m going to prepare a snack for us. If you’re uncomfortable or need anything, just speak up. I’ll hear you on the monitor I have in the room.” He bent down and sucked a nipple into his mouth, laving it with his tongue. It beaded nicely, just the way he liked. He gave it a little nip with his teeth. She arched up to meet him, but he pressed her back into the mattress.

“Stay still. I want to play with what belongs to me.”

She settled down, but he could see the muscles in her stomach contract as he took the other nipple in his mouth. He nipped it, as well. Moans of pleasure emitted from her lush lips, a siren song of temptation to his cock. But it was the squirm he loved best, her inability to keep still while he took his own pleasure, feasting on her lush body. Making his way down to her clit, he clasped it in his mouth and sucked hard. Then before she could respond further, he rose up and left. Her whimper only made him smile.

“Be good. I’ll be back shortly,” he called as he went to the kitchen.

“What else can I do trussed up like this, even though I’m on fire?” she muttered.

Before she could say another word, he was back at her side.

“Watch your temper,” he admonished, “or you’ll have to wait a lot longer before you get any satisfaction. You certainly haven’t done anything yet to deserve it.”

“Sorry, Sir,” she whispered.

Want to know more?

Story Blurb

Being a single mother running a catering business isn’t easy. Finding time for love is nearly impossible. Adding in a man with his own family issues could be a recipe for disaster.

Ethan is at his wit’s end. Gina, his brother’s ex-wife, has threatened to reveal that Ethan is a member of the Playground, an exclusive BDSM club, unless she gets more alimony from the family trust fund. The scandal that would arise from such a revelation must be avoided at all costs—not only for the sake of Ethan’s reputation, but for the future of his relationship with his treasured sub, Rebecca.

Rebecca is a single mother working hard to expand her catering business. The only peace she finds from her building stress is in the handcuffs of her strong Dom, Ethan. But Rebecca’s life is not her own. Her teenage son is not handling Rebecca’s divorce well, and Rebecca feels the responsibility for her son’s happiness like a weight on her shoulders. Between her business and her son, she has little time for herself—or the growing emotional demands from her Dom.

Ethan is determined to take their relationship to the next level, and Rebecca is equally determined not to upset her son further by revealing that she has a new man in her life. Fortunately, Ethan is a Dom with a passionate interest in seeing that his sub is happy—even if he has to whip some sense into her. He’s making progress until suddenly his own problems take a turn for the worse. His brother Zach has gone missing under suspicious circumstances, and now it’s all Ethan can do just to keep himself out of jail. The cat, as they say, is out of the bag.

As their lives spiral out of control, will Ethan and Rebecca be able to find a way back into each other’s arms?

Interview with the Author

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Welcome Rose! Congratulations on your first release. What first drew you to the BDSM erotic or romance genre? 

ROSE C. CAROLE: I’ve read erotic romance for years and always enjoyed it. My first job out of college was working as an editorial assistant for True Confessions and Real Love magazines.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: How fascinating!

ROSE C. CAROLE: It wasn’t long before I was writing the stories myself. My publishing career then took a different turn and I became a book editor and then an editor for entertainment magazines. But my roots in romance stayed with me. After my son went off to college I started writing again, and I decided to once again explore romance. I attended the first BDSM Writers Workshop and had a wonderful time and met some inspiring authors who helped me on my writing journey.The BDSM dynamic is one I find intruiguing. The emotional connection has to be intense or it doesn’t work. The Dom has to be able to get into the mind of the submissive or he will not be able to maintain control. Bringing my characters into the D/s lifestyle was a way for me to enable them to unite all the elements that are needed for good sex—body, mind and spirit

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: How would you say your take on your genre is different from other authors?

ROSE C. CAROLE: As much as I love novels about billionaire Doms who pluck ordinary women out of their lives and bring them into their world, I wanted to write a series about women who were more like me — women whose lives require them to be strong and creative so they can give attention to all the demands on them; work, family, friends and love. My struggle has been to keep my life interesting and fulfilling while meeting the needs of those who depend on me at home and at work. I think it’s a challenge other women will relate to and I hope they will empathize with the characters I have created in this series.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What made you decide to sit down and actually start Catering to His Needs? How did the idea come about? 

ROSE C. CAROLE: The Kitchen Confessions series was inspired by my own experience working in a small catering operation. Working so closely with other women in a high-pressure environment forges tight friendships. You learn to rely on each other and trust they will have your back. Hours of cooking next to one another also lends itself to conversations about your personal life. It is as much like a group therapy session as it is a work environment. Problems are solved, questions are answered and mistakes are prevented. But not always. And when disasters — with family, friends or lovers — do happen, the kitchen is where you go to be soothed, comforted and restored. Rebecca’s story is the first, since she’s the owner and creator of Catered Affairs, the company around which a lot of the action happens.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Tell us a little bit about Ethan. What is his goal, motivation and/or stops him from having the life they want as the story opens? 

ROSE C. CAROLE:Besides being deliciously tall, dark and handsome, Ethan is the guy who always takes care of everyone else—but not himself. He likes the BDSM lifestyle because he feels he can have a measure of control over what happens. As a Dom, he is strong as well as creative in helping a sub explore her own desires. Ethan wants to help Rebecca take charge of her own life and open herself up to him more fully. But it’s almost an impossible task, since Rebecca is being pulled in as many directions as Ethan is. It seems that love and desire may not be enough to create a lasting relationship. 

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Tell us a little bit about Rebecca. 

ROSE C. CAROLE:Rebecca is a woman overwhelmed by life when the book opens. She loves spending time with Ethan. He brings out all the passion she never really had in her first marriage. But she is being pulled by a teen son who is resentful of the fact that his parents have divorced and holds her responsible. She has a demanding business she needs to run to replace the income she lost as a result of the divorce. Despite the burgeoning feelings she has for Ethan, she doesn’t quite have the time or energy to seriously pursue the relationship. But she can’t quite let it go either. Ethan is too good to resist. 

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What is next for you, writing-wise? Any new books you’re working on you can to share?

ROSE C. CAROLE: I am working on the next book in the Kitchen Confessions series. It is about Mya, a young woman raised in the foster care system, who was inspired by Rebecca’s visit to her high school to go into a culinary program. Now she’s a chef in Rebecca’s kitchen, but she still struggles with self-esteem issues. Jake is intrigued by Mya but is reluctant to get involved with her because he has lost love before and doesn’t want to risk experiencing that pain again. Can these two damaged souls conquer their fears and find a way to heal each other?

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: We can’t wait!

Quick Takes

Favorite word: Delicious

Favorite season: Fall

Mountains or beach? Definitely beach

Dogs or cats? Dogs

Blonds or brunettes? Brunettes

Small town or city? Big city. I don’t think I’ll ever leave New York.

Favorite place to vacation? Italy

Sweet or savory? Both

5 Books you’d take to a desert island:  I love sagas, the bigger the better so it would have to be War and Peace, Gone With the Wind, Our Mutual Friend, Wuthering Heights, and Les Miserables. But please don’t make me leave all the other wonderful romances behind, including yours, which I enjoy so much. I’m a voracious reader and I can never have enough. 

HOW TO BUY Catering to His Needs

Amazon US      Amazon UK     Totally Bound Website     Barnes and Noble     iBooks     Kobo     Google Play     Allromance

LOVE LINKS: CONNECT WITH ROSE

Website     Twitter:@roseccarole     Facebook 

 

 

 

Love, Compassion and the Psychology of Erotic Romance with Best-Selling Author BETH KERY

This interview with BETH KERY was first published on LadySmut.

If you like your erotic stories on the smart side, you must read a BETH KERY book. I was fortunate enough to meet Beth at the RT Booklovers Convention. She’s as nice as she is prolific with her writing. She has more than thirty books and novellas, in eleven languages and has landed on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists – more than once.

Many of her contemporary novels contain BDSM elements, and you can count on a lot of heart, steamy couplings and very interesting plot lines. Her unique ideas for careers, personality traits and the creative endeavors of her characters are one of my favorite parts of Beth’s work. (BTW, she also has paranormal and historical titles.)

Beth graciously answered some questions for LadySmut (below).

Welcome, Beth! Of all the book genres you could write, why erotic romance?

The seemingly simple answer to that is that although I read in all genres, I thought I could write romance. I think there is something with my voice—which is always hard to define for a writer or reader—which works for romance. As for erotic romance, I like reading it. So it was a matter of liking the genre as a reader, and wanting to try and write it.

One of the many joys I receive when reading your books, are the unique angles, plot points or character traits. In ‘When I’m with You’, heroine Elise had a brilliant idea of a five star, alcohol-free restaurant. In ‘Since I saw You,’ Kam created a luxury watch (before Apple!). The father of heroes Ian & Lucien was “addicted to paternity.” (I’m putting that last one nicely.) Where do you get your ideas?

Thank you! I get my ideas everywhere. Travel. Work history. Reading. The news. My very smart husband, who knows the business world in and out. I was a clinical psychologist in my other life, and I had a specialty in medical/health psychology. So between the business world (thank you, hub), medicine and psychology (which helps so much with characterization, motivation and relational issues), I have a lot of bases covered. 🙂 So . . . yes, I actually did biofeedback with patients regularly, so I incorporated that idea into Kam’s watch. As a psychologist, I know how people struggle with socialization and going out to nice restaurants when they are recovering substance users, because the triggers are everywhere: thus Elise’s restaurant. And unfortunately, although rare, there is such a thing as serial reproductionists. Ugh. 

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Your stories also always have wonderful emotional depth. Does your Ph.D. in behavior sciences help with that? And could you tell us anything about how that’s helped?

I get people pretty well. I like to figure out what makes them tick. I know from experience that we all struggle with issues. None of us is immune. I think maybe one characteristic that I get from my background in psychology that helps me as a writer is that I consider all those flaws or shortcomings, like being emotionally closed off or struggling with intimacy, with a degree of compassion. That’s important, because that’s what essentially happens in a romance: the hero and heroine’s development as individuals, and eventually as a couple, comes from the compassion they have for one another that stems from love. Love and compassion redeems them, in a way. An author has to feel with her characters, just as a psychologist has to empathize with her patients’ struggles.

Where did the idea for your latest release, Glimmer, come from? What is your favorite aspect of Alice and Dylan’s story?

Oh, I can’t answer that about the origin idea without giving away a major plot twist! Suffice it to say my research began with one of the most famous cases in criminal history. I also would have to say I wanted to do a sort of rags to riches, Cinderella story.

My favorite aspect of Alice and Dylan’s story has to be that when you go back and re-read it, so many little clues and hints abound. It’s a richer story on a second read, which I love. There’s a sense of layering and richness to it. You just don’t realize until the second time around how perfect and fated these two people are for each other.

 
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Did you write this book with a series in your mind? Or did the idea evolve naturally?

Well, it’s really not a series. After Glimmer, there is a sequel: Glow. This story had such a huge arc to it that I knew I’d shortchange the story by trying to cut it down for one book. The good news is that Glimmer doesn’t have a terrible cliffhanger ending, though. It ends at a satisfying point for Dylan and Alice’s relationship, while giving the reader the impression there is more mystery and more of their story to be told.

I can attest to that. I wanted more from Alice and Dylan after finishing Glimmer!

 
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How does a book start for you? A conversation between characters? A plot idea? Or do you just start typing and see what shows up? 

Every book has had a different inspiration. For Sweet Restraint, I remember I had a very vivid vision of a man breaking into a house and finding a woman’s jewelry box. Instead of robbing her, though, he takes what he knows to be a fake emerald and replaces it with the priceless original. Then he leaves without her ever knowing. Why did he do that? I wondered. The ‘why’ is what became the story.

Editorial note: See what I mean by those unique plot lines?

Sometimes, like for Glimmer, it began with a plot idea that I researched extensively. I’m an urbanite, so the inspiration for Wicked Burn was living in high rises, and becoming fascinated by the concept of all these people living separate lives just inches apart from each other. What would happen if they collided one night?

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I’m working on another serial now called Make Me, which originates from a favorite trope of mine: a couple with some kind of childhood history or shared trauma, making them know one another in intimate ways that eludes other people. So again, every book is different.

Your covers are always so sophisticated. Do you have much input on them?

I always give input, and the Berkley art department and my editor have been great about working with my ideas. I’m not an artist, though, so sometimes my ideas just won’t work either artistically or logistically. Thank you in regard to the sophistication. That is important to me. I want them to be elegant and sexy at once. There have been a few times when I’ve wailed if a piece of jewelry looks especially cheap or gaudy, and I’m like, “This is supposed to represent a billionaire’s rare gift to the love of his life?” 🙂 But Berkley has actually been great about working with me when possible on those occasions, and making changes. With very few exceptions, I love my covers.

What is your definition of erotic romance versus steamy romance?

Well, it’s been an increasingly hard definition to make. I’d say the use of graphic terms for body parts, longer, more detailed sex scenes, and a focus on sex and the evolving sexual relationship as a major part of the story are major aspects of the definition.

For me, though, it’s not an important definition to make. The reason being, I’ve learned everyone has a different definition. What one person thinks is outrageously erotic another thinks is mild. I’ve had people call my books BDSM themed. Others say it’s hot contemporary romance versus erotic. It all depends upon the reader and her mindset and expectations. I’ve had people blush and say they’d never let their mother read my Harlequin Special Editions, so. . . . point made. 🙂

Do you have a favorite writing “moment?” Perhaps something just came together or a character you love just appeared (or anything at all)?

Hmm, there are probably several. Recently, I absolutely adored Alice from Glimmer. She’s so rough around the edges and defensive, and yet so earnest, funny and strong. I didn’t have many specifics for her character in mind when I started writing, just the plot. She came alive for me on page one though. She was one of those characters that as an author, you start to become half-convinced really exists out there in some alternate universe. I was just the means by which her story was told.

What is next for you, writing wise? What can we look forward to?

As I mentioned, I’m working on a new serial called Make Me. It’s been really rewarding, but this one has been emotionally taxing on me. It’s about a man and a woman who encounter each other in Lake Tahoe accidentally. He remembers her poignantly, because of a childhood trauma they endured together that changed his life forever, but she doesn’t recall him.

The serials are very challenging for me in general, because I think of each portion episodically, like a small story arc that belongs to a larger whole, but has to stand on its own. Both these characters are very layered and complex. Because of his childhood experience with the heroine, the hero struggles with some of his sexual preferences that he never had to question before, so that’s been some interesting and rich writing territory.

What is exciting you right now?

I would have to say a combination of writing this serial (Make Me) while in the actual setting of the book, beautiful Lake Tahoe. We bought a vacation home, and this is my first summer spent here. It’s breathtaking every day, and wonderful to be able to incorporate what I see and experience here in Tahoe into the book.

Is there anything you’d like to tell readers that I haven’t asked?

I’d tell them thank you for reading. And thanks so much for asking me over to LadySmut! It was a pleasure to meet you at RT this year.

Thank you for stopping by today, Beth!

Find Beth’s books here on her Amazon page. Or click on any of the book covers above.

Find Beth online:  Web site   Facebook  Twitter (@BethKery)

Why Set an Erotic Romance in Washington, D.C.?

This blog post first appeared on Kay Dee Royal’s blog during my Lovely blog tour. 

Don’t know about Lovely? The story is a contemporary erotic romance where college student Christiana Snow finds dominance and submission with Congressman Jonathan Brond adventurous—and ripe for scandal.

But, why set the book in Washington, D.C.? Our nation’s capitol  is a fascinating place to set an erotic romance.  Really? you ask. [Drops voice to a whisper] But the thought police live there. You know, the government? Yes, but just like Hollywood isn’t the totality of Los Angeles and Wall Street isn’t the definition of New York City, the government isn’t everything that exists in Washington, D.C. A whole lotta naughtiness goes on in our nation’s capital that has nothing to do with a federal budget.

Tourists flock to this city every summer, people raise families both inside and outside the Capital Beltway, and people get stuck in traffic, grocery lines and relationships just like anywhere else.

Still, the government and all its influence is palatable. Because of this impact, two unique characteristics of Washington, D.C. make it a fascinating place to set an erotic romance: the quest for power and the absurd level of judgment.

First, the need for power. Reminders of power’s importance are everywhere: monuments and memorials marking important historical outcomes; black SUVs travelling in packs; the Pentagon building looming over rush hour traffic; and the heads of federal agencies and businesses standing in line at Starbucks. Alpha energy is everywhere.

 
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In particular, as a BDSM erotic romance author, setting a sexual, dominance-submission dynamic against this natural, “power-aware” backdrop is fun. Imagine a submissive’s delight walking into a reception filled with dominant personalities – attorneys, members of Congress, judges, and CEOs. Heaven. Picture a submissive male walking into a restaurant where everywhere he looks sit female leaders of software companies, political action committees and trade associations. Jackpot.

Also, the idea that you could lose your power because of the second element — the ridiculous level of judgment — adds yet another layer to a juicy and titillating romance.

Have you watched the news lately? Pick any Washington scandal from the last year and it likely involved sex. Yet the town is notorious for telling people how they should live, especially around their sex lives. Carnal acts are only accepted if conducted with a marriage partner, in the missionary position, with the lights off, right? Well, let’s get real. In reality, people everywhere act out their desire, lust and love. But, in Washington, few people will approve of it. So when my characters act like real people (read: indulge in lustful fantasies), all hell can break loose pretty quickly.

 
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So, what could be more fun? Power hungry people having “unacceptable” sexcapades! Yeah, I think I like it. Sorry, Washington. You kind of brought it on yourself, you power-needy, sexy city.
 
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Lovely
Book One of the Elite Doms of Washington Series (Stand alone. Not a cliff-hanger) 

Book Description:
Can you have love and power at the same time?

Congressman Jonathan Brond has mastered his work, his reputation and the art of sexual domination while keeping his family’s political legacy intact. But a chance encounter with college student Christiana Snow promises something he didn’t think was possible–meeting someone honest.

When the charismatic man proposes a summer of sensual, sexual submission, Christiana leaps into his world—the antidote to her bland life. But Washington, D.C. is an unforgiving place; soon gossip and scandal threatens their relationship.

Yet, in a town of players, sometimes introducing a new game is the only way out. Who knew love would be the winning plan?

Available at Amazon     Kobo      Smashwords   Barnes & Noble 

Lovely (Elite Doms of Washington, #1)

Giving Up Secrets (and Gifts) — Interview with Elizabeth SaFleur

 

PictureI’ve been on a blog tour lately. The bloggers have asked fascinating questions, causing me to think back to how my writing career began . . . and inspiring me to let loose a few secrets.

The following author interview was first published at Deal Sharing Aunt, a wonderful blog site featuring many new authors, books and special deals!

Be sure to scroll down to the end to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. 

Interview With Elizabeth SaFleur

DSA: Where are you from?
ES: I consider myself from two places – New York and Virginia. I spent most of my childhood in upstate New York, between Buffalo and Rochester, where it snows six months of the year. When I was fourteen, my mother married a (real) cowboy and we moved to a Central Virginia horse farm. Can you say culture shock? But both states will always own a piece of my heart. New York for its gritty honesty and Virginia for its beauty and charm.

DSA: Tell us your latest news?
ES: My first full-length novel, Lovely, debuts January 1. This is probably the biggest news I’ve had to share since I got married nine years ago. They both felt like the start of a new era. But my book marks a serious foray into a “writing life.” 

Lovely is the first of seven Elite Doms of Washington novels that will be published over the next two years. My husband didn’t realize someday his wife would become an erotic romance author. But he’s slowly warming up to the idea. It helped when I named him Lead Research Assistant.

DSA: When and why did you begin writing?
ES: I’ve been writing since I was five, starting with poetry. I wrote my first novel at age seven: the Mystery of the Bunny. A real bestseller! Over the years, the desire to write never left. But I didn’t get serious about it until three years ago. Truthfully, I can’t not write at this point. My head would explode if I kept all these stories inside.

DSA: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
ES: For the first time, a few months ago. I answered the question, what do you do? (a standard Washington, DC cocktail question) with the answer, I’m a writer. Until then I’d always responded with I’m in public relations. It feels good to own the writer role. The impending publication of Lovely is what pushed me over the edge. There’s nothing like a publisher saying, yes, I’ll put your baby into the world for you!

DSA: What inspired you to write your first book?
ES: I assume you don’t mean “The Mystery of the Bunny.” LOL Lovely was written over the last two years, but the story came to me in 1996. While sitting at an outside café in Washington Harbor watching the sailboats glide by on the Potomac River, I thought I saw a woman being lashed to a mask. I wondered, does she like that? Jonathan Brond, the hero in Lovely, answered. He asked, would you like to find out? He’s been talking to me ever since.

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DSA: Do you have a specific writing style?
ES: I tend to write long, especially around the sex scenes but always trying to delve into what’s happening to the characters emotionally. Reading sex scenes that are just “insert Tab A into Slot B” doesn’t do it for me. Exploring the emotional development of the characters—both in and out of bed—is exciting. So, I write what I like to read – relationships that evolve over time between complex characters with deep-seated (and usually conflicting) motivations and desires.

DSA: How did you come up with the title?
ES: Lovely’s hero, Jonathan, calls Christiana Snow “lovely” throughout the book. But the meaning goes deeper than a mere endearment. Very little is “lovely” in Washington, D.C. Yes, it’s a beautiful town, with cherry blossoms in the spring and regal white monuments and memorials. But it’s also a town where a lot of ugly things go on, like the constant jockeying for power. When Jonathan meets Christiana, he is stunned by the contrast of his life against what she represents. Her innocence and honesty captures Jonathan’s attention immediately. Christiana is like a wildflower in a sea of hothouse orchids.

DSA: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
ES: I’d like readers to feel the struggle that both characters undergo around maintaining their power (Jonathan) and independence (Christiana) while allowing love to enter their lives. In Washington, especially in politics, one is often forced to choose between love and power. Jonathan certainly faces such a choice.

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DSA: How much of the book is realistic?
ES: Ooo, I’ll never tell. Okay, I’ll tell you a little bit. I worked in Washington, D.C. for fifteen years, often supporting public affairs efforts. I’ve been to Capitol Hill many times: sitting in the congressional gallery, attending hearings, and visiting members’ offices. I’ve also been to umpteen receptions, charity events and galas mixing business, finance and government officials. My characters are 100 percent fictional but you could say all that experience provided inspiration for them as well as events, setting, motivations and more.

DSA: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
ES: I wish my characters were real. But sadly they are, at best, composites of various people I’ve met. As for the events and plots points, I don’t want to give too many spoilers. But, about fifty percent of what happens in Lovely has occurred in some fashion in real life to people I know.

DSA: What books have most influenced your life most?
ES: Books are a huge part of my life, so I could list a library here. But the day I finished Joey W. Hill’s Hostile Takeover, I decided I wasn’t going to “cheat” my own Dom, Jonathan by trying to make him into someone he wasn’t. I kept trying to tame him down. But Jonathan wanted to be far more hardcore than I originally allowed. In the end, he won. So, you could say she provided me permission to unleash the character as he wanted to be.

Other books that have impacted me are Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby and just about everything Anne Rice has ever written. The Mayfair Witches are a favorite series, and her Sleeping Beauty series, which I read in the early 1990s, opened me up to a whole world I had no idea existed. I haven’t looked back since.

DSA: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
ES: My critique partners are definitely my saviors and mentors. Patricia A. Knight, Marilyn Lakewood, and Kris Michaels are fantastic authors and even greater friends. They understand what a writer goes through, and the self-doubt that can arise. All three of these ladies have talked me off the ledge more than once (and probably saved my stories from going with me!).

(Editorial addition since this interview first aired: And Rachel DeLune, a new erotic romance author!)

DSA: What book are you reading now?
ES: I just finished reading Cecilia Tan’s Slow Surrender series. Once I finish edits on the second Elite Doms book, I’m dying to read more of J. Kenner. I read her book, Wanted, recently and now I want more.

DSA: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
ES: I’m actually on the hunt for some new erotic romance – especially from new authors. They could write paranormal, regency, contemporary or other. Does anyone have any suggestions?

DSA: What are your current projects?
ES: I’m deep in edits on Untouchable, the second Elite Doms book, and writing the Lovely sequel, which will be the third book. Lovely’s sequel picks up the summer Christiana graduates from college. She and Jonathan are going to hit a rough spell when their age difference begins to strain their relationship. It also doesn’t help that another Dominant enters the picture.

As for Untouchable, we meet uptight heroine, London Chantelle. The story opens with her visiting a private BDSM club in an attempt to exorcise unwanted submissive desires. But then she runs into client Carson Drake—a man who has very different ideas for her. Carson makes a cameo in Lovely, and he “told me” in no uncertain terms he was next in the Elite Doms line-up. Those bossy Doms! But, while Carson is tough, he’s also loyal and dedicated. Of course, London poses all kinds of challenges for him. It’s been a fun and complex story to write.  

DSA: What would you like my readers to know?
ES: How much I appreciate what they do for authors – reading, reviewing, giving feedback and reading some more! Most writers would write regardless. But readers inspire us as much as our characters who whisper in our ears. And we do listen to what you have to say about our stories. We cherish your feedback.

Also, if anyone ever has questions for me or even just wants to say hello, I love to hear from readers. I can be reached at elizabethlovestory@gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Blog Tour Giveaways (Enter the Rafflecopter below before January 19!)

–5 vanilla scented Yankee candles
–5 warm vanilla sugar Bath & Body Works sets
–One $50 Victoria’s Secret gift card
–3 pairs of silver handcuff earrings
–One blue flogger key ring
–One air freshener visor clip with 2 lavender and vanilla scent pods – this is an amazing gadget for your car!

Shipping is available only for U.S.

– See more at: http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2014/12/lovely-by-elizabeth-safleur-excerpt.html#sthash.iP8owhGW.dpuf