Thursday, 28 July 2011

Where do i get my ideas from???

Writers are often asked where they get their ideas and as much as this question becomes repetitive, I still understand why it is asked – if some Harlequin writers are producing four books a year and have written for ten years, that is forty completed novels from forty nuggets of inspiration.

How do they do that?

Even as a writer, I sometimes wonder where my ideas come from but for the most part I get them from TV shows or books. And no, before you think it, I do not steal those ideas but rather use them to kick start the famous ‘what if’ game.

So if I enjoy or hate an episode of a drama or soap and I’m looking for a new story idea, I will grab a pen and paper and scribble down the pros and cons of the story as it stands and THEN I scribble down as much as I can think of how I would have changed it if I had written it myself.

The result is that more often than not, I come up with three or four possible story ideas from a single episode of say, Brothers & Sisters of which not a single one resembles the original premise at all. Great, huh?

So then that begs the question of how this method works for me when I write erotic romance rather than mainstream – simple, I establish the story line and then turn up the heat from the very first page! Erotic romance is not that different than mainstream romance, the readers just want more heat and steam but all the other elements needs to be thoroughly explored too.

Take my first release Explicitly English, it was inspired by an episode of a UK period drama yet ended up being a contemporary romance between an interior designer and a stockbroker. The link? The English country setting and the train journey, the rest as they say is history! Here’s the blurb:

Laura Markham needs to forget - just for awhile. Be someone else for change - live as her parents will never have the chance to. And for Laura, that means leaving the City for the English countryside and doing just what the hell she feels like…wherever she feels like doing it…

British stockbroker, Stephen Cambridge knows by going home to his country retreat two days early, he's likely to surprise his contracted interior designer. And when he finds out she's the woman who performed the solo masterbation show for him on the inward bound journey, Stephen will do anything to further convince her to miss the outward bound train and stay with him forever…

Buy link:

Erotic romance is a sub-genre that people are sometimes embarrassed to talk about yet it is the highest selling of all romances. So the ideas, the sensuality, the sexuality and the danger of them only adds to the thrill a mainstream romance can bring. Why wouldn’t they be more popular? Makes complete sense to me.

For any aspiring erotic romance writers reading this, or any published mainstream writers who are considering trying erotic, go for it! The process to me is no different but the results infinitely so…and of course, climactically satisfying time and time again… ; )

Rachel x

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Yum...what a nice little treat Olivia Starke has for us today!

Welcome to my site, Olivia! I have to say when I received your post, I was very pleased I could share such a quartet of deliciousness farther than just the two of us. What a delicious choice of heroes and I hadn't even heard of number three so of course, the past few days have been spent with a little googling...

Take it away, my friend!

Top 4 Sexiest Heroes

Today I thought I’d blog on my top picks for movies’ sexiest action heroes. These are the men of the big screen we flock to see, perhaps not for their awesome acting skills (let’s face it some are just straight up eye candy only) but they do put a smile on our face for a good two hours. And let’s face it sometimes that’s all we need from a good man ;;)

Number 4

You’re not afraid of the dark, are you? Okay hands down this is one of the sexiest lines I’ve ever heard courtesy of Pitch Black. I personally love the movie, so it didn’t win academy awards, so what! Vin Diesel isn’t especially known for his wit, but hell he can fill out a muscle shirt not to mention that deep sexy voice that sends my heart all a-flutter (okay it’s not my heart but you catch my drift)! Speaking of drift there was this little movie called Tokyo Drift which brings me to...

Number 3

…our next actor, Paul Walker. He and Vin make up the awesome duo in some of my favorite flics, the Fast and Furious series (I know not Tokyo Drift, but still <3 the movie sans Vin.) With his incredible boy next door looks couple with his less than stellar acting performances, he manages to capture the attention of my libido none-the-less.

Number 2

English actor Jason Statham is a hottie times ten who looks equally compelling nearly naked as he does donning a snazzy suit. I’m a huge fan of The Transporter series, and yes even Crank—you either love it or leave it when it comes to the movie. Who can resist his bad ass persona combined with that incredible Brit accent? I certainly can't! And honestly his acting ain't that bad considering the roles he plays.

Number 1

Okay I know you’re probably thinking Brad Pitt goes here. This Springfield, Missouri boy (sorry had to throw that part in since I grew up and live nearby) is tops on many women’s stud list. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of his looks though his ability to morph into his many characters is impressive. Yes he is classic gorgeous, but somehow doesn’t flip my switch, though I do enjoy his performances.

I’ve decided to reserve this honorable #1 position to (drum roll please…)

Johnny Depp. I mean its JOHNNY DEPP what more needs to be said? The Pirates of the Caribbean series made us remember this yum-worthy man, but his roles have been as varied as his abilities. Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Sweeny Todd, etc etc etc.

He’s not a muscle bound action hero, his look can be a bit…unkempt, but I am captured by each movie he stars in. I’ve been a fan since 21 Jump Street, remember that 80s series? I was young but I do remember him specifically, though the other actors are hazy.

Would I jump his bones? Probably not, I think I’d be too star struck, but I’m sure I’d make a complete fool of myself and that’s a true measure of man-hottness.

Olivia Starke is an erotic paranormal romance author. She has release available at Cobblestone Press and Decadent Publishing. You can check her blog out at and her website Look for her on Facebook!

Great, just great!! Loving the men, loving the blog - comments anyone? I know you must have some opinions of these four...or more!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Welcome Ellora's Cave author, Elaine Lowe!!

Great to have you here today, Elaine. Unfortunately I haven't hosted many Ellora Cave authors which is a shame because from what I have heard they are a great publisher to write for. Could you tell us a little bit about them? Their editors? Turnaround times etc? A lot of my visitors are writers trying for that break!

Let's get started...

1) Who is your favourite author and why?

This is actually a really tough question! I don’t think there’s any one author, there are dozens. I love Mark Twain for wit and insight, JK Rowling for world building and wonder, David Brin for making my brain spin and my universe expand, LaVryle Spencer for introducing me to romance, Jane Austen for making me adore the awkward accidents on the way toward true love. My current favorite, Gail Carriger, whose amazing steampunk romance/adventure series starting with Soulless has me completely addicted to tea.

2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I really first thought of myself as a writer the day I was finishing one book, editing another, and doing promotion for a new release, all at the same time. Juggling three completely different stories at the same time made me realize I had created all these worlds, and people wanted to read them! It was exhilarating.

3) Describe your writing space?

Anywhere and everywhere. In the waiting room for my son’s speech therapy. In the garden under the rose arbor. Starbucks. On the couch in the living room is the main one though. I got a couch with a chaise longue attached to it just so I could put my laptop on my thighs and my legs up and write comfortably! I live in a small house with no room to create my own physical space, so it’s more an internal landscape of imagination and inspiration.

4) What are you reading now?

I’ve just finished “Out of Time” by Monique Martin, which was a nicely written mix of time travel and paranormal romance with very well realized characters set in 1929 (I adore the Roaring Twenties, I wrote Enchant the Dawn mostly because I adore the NYC of the period)

5) How many books have your written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve written seventeen books, some short novellas of fifteen thousand words, some much longer stories closer to eighty five thousand words. Everything from science fiction romance to paranormal, but most of my books are historical romance with a touch of magic. I have to say my favorite is a toss up between my first book, Scandalous Profession, a sexy Regency novella, and Lady Six Six, an intense political romance set in the Mayan courts of 682 A.D.

6) What comes first, plot or characters?

For me, characters. They have to speak to me, or their story just doesn’t get written. The plot is problem solving to walk them on the path they need to tread. I’ve read incredible books where the plot is intricate and amazing, but if the characters aren’t memorable, I find that I don’t go back and read again. If I love a character, I will go back again and again to that book or that series.

7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Absolutely. Somedays, the words just aren’t going to come. Either there’s too much stress and I don’t have time to write, or I’m not sure of where I want the story to go. Word goals, even just 500 words a day, really help push past those times. I also frequently have two or three different manuscripts I’m working on at any one time, so that if I get stuck on one, I can move to another and work on that. The more I write, the more I write. The longer I get stuck, the harder it is to build up momentum again.

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read of course! But when I’m not engaged in literary pursuits or “research” with my wonderful husband, I do love spending time in my garden, indulging my passion for good food, and most of all making my son giggle.

9) Tell us about your latest book?

My latest book is a bit of a departure for me. Rather than a heavily researched and plot-heavy historical, Magic Eights is a fun contemporary romp with that touch of magic. Susanna Wong makes a wish on a Magic Eight Ball that she receives as an anniversary present, and gets seven copies of her husband ready and willing to fulfill her every need. It’s fun and sexy and perfect summer reading.

10) What’s next for you?

Trying to get through summer vacation with my child not driving me crazy? No, he’s a sweetheart and I will maintain my sanity somehow. Mostly, I’m working on several sequels to Magic Eights which delve much more deeply into the magic behind that Magic Eight ball. I’ve just finished Memory Lapse, the story of a vampire and a half-Fae brought together after a century worth of courtship, and who are going to have to bring in Esme Morgan before she destroys most of the West Coast. Esme is the very same witch who gave that Magic Eight ball to her good friend Susanna. I’ve been having a “ball” world building for these books, and I think you are going to enjoy the results!

Please, read more about me and my books at my website, or come visit my and my very active Twitter addiction at!/elainelowe

Have fun and keep reading!

Elaine Lowe

I totally hear you with the summer vacation thing, Elaine - it's the last day of school for my two daughters tomorrow and already they've asked me..."What are we doing next week?" Oh, lordy, here we go!!


Monday, 18 July 2011

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Shoshanna Evers!

Welcome, Shoshanna! Shoshanna and I have only recently become acquainted through Twitter and the Wild Rose Press yahoo loop. You seem to be a very focused and prolific writer, Shoshanna, I am looking forward to finding out more about you.


1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?

Originally I didn’t decide to be a published author, I just enjoyed writing. When I was a kid every story I wrote had the words “Chapter One” on top, even if the whole thing was only a few pages long, since that’s what I saw in books. As an adult, I wrote sexy stories and shared them only with my husband. He was the one who suggested that since I spend hours a day writing, maybe I should turn it into a job and make an income at it! That’s when I got serious about getting published. I’m thrilled to be multi-published now with Ellora’s Cave, The Wild Rose Press, Cleis Press, and Berkley Heat.

2) What is the best and worst thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

The best thing I’ve learned from both my editors and my recently–acquired agent (Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates) is that my work is saleable. It’s nice to know that other people are interested in reading the books I spend so much of my time writing. Not really sure about what the worst thing would be. I like to think learning anything is a good thing!

3) Favourite author/s?

I have so many, if I name just a few I’ll feel bad about leaving some out. Lately I’ve been reading books written by the authors I’ve gotten to know online, on Facebook and Twitter.

4) What is your typical day?

Wake up at the crack of dawn, take my son to preschool, and sit in the lobby with my laptop and answer emails and try and write while I wait a few hours for him to be done. Then I drive him home for a nap and I get more writing done, or edits, depending on what’s on my plate. Afternoons are for playing and reading, and when my husband comes home we eat dinner together, put our son to bed, and either hang out for a bit or we both get back to work depending on what our schedule is. As you can see I’m a bit of a workaholic, but it’s because I love it. I used to do this even when I wasn’t getting paid for it. I also work every other weekend as an RN, and I write a weekly advice column under another name for a couple of local New York papers.

5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us.

Taste of Candy is an erotic romance novella available now from The Wild Rose Press. Here’s an adult’s only excerpt:

Excerpt from TASTE OF CANDY, copyright 2011 Shoshanna Evers

Candy took another sip of the wine to buy time. Who wouldn’t want to hook up with a rock star? And he was so amazingly sexy…but he didn’t know what she was like in bed. According to all three of her ex-boyfriends, she was a prude. A cold, vanilla prude. But something about Dave made her feel sexy and exciting…

“I should tell you something,” she whispered.

Dave leaned in to hear her, a lock of his dark hair falling into his warm brown eyes.

“I’ve never been able to reach, um, that point with anyone.”

Dave frowned. “You’re a virgin?”

“No. I mean, I’ve never been able to have an orgasm with a man before.”

“How do you…relieve the tension?”

Candy lowered her voice even more, so that she could barely be heard above the quiet murmur of the other dining guests. “I’m fine if I’m by myself. Just um…not with anyone else.”

Dave broke out into a grin. “I’m taking that as a personal challenge. I’m going to make you come tonight.”

Was this really happening?

Their food came then, and Candy dove into her filet mignon with relish, enjoying how the meat practically melted in her mouth. “Delicious,” she murmured appreciatively.

“Not as delicious as you’re going to taste,” Dave said as he put down his steak knife.

“I really wouldn’t know.”

“Oh come on, are you telling me no guy has ever gone down on you before?”

“Well, I’ve never felt comfortable enough to do that, exactly. I get embarrassed.”

“I just need to get you to the point where you can’t think about anything except what I’m making you feel.”

Candy squirmed in her seat with barely contained excitement. “How?”

“I’d really like to tie you up so you can’t get away and then take my time bringing you to orgasm.”

Candy got wet at the thought of his mouth on her body, her hands tied above her head. She’d never done anything like that before. “I don’t know…”

“Why not? It’s just one night. One night to forget everything you thought you knew about yourself sexually and just let go.”

You can buy Taste of Candy here for $2.50:

6) Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?

When readers read one of my stories, they can imagine whoever they want. I purposefully leave my visual descriptions of the characters minimal so that readers can fill in the blanks and make the Hero look like whoever they think is hot. And the heroine could very well be cast by the reader, if she wanted. Because of that, I can’t think of any movie stars that I would automatically want to play the roles in a movie. Of course, if Hollywood came calling, I wouldn’t say no! ;)

7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?

I usually start a book by knowing the opening scene (in Taste of Candy, I imagined a woman being surprised that she won a date with a hot rock star on a radio call-in contest, and how thrilling that would be). I know the ending is going to be happy, or as I like to say “Sexily *Evers* After”, LOL. Then I write by the seat of my pants until I get there.

8) What surprised you the most when you became a published author?

The amount of editing and promotional work involved. When I was an aspiring writer, I spent all my time writing. Now as a published author, I spend equal amounts of time editing books I’ve sold or am trying to sell, doing social media, and writing new work.

9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?

I write wherever I can (like in the lobby of my son’s school) but at home I have a desk facing the living room, so I can pop online quickly when I need to.

10) What’s next for you?

I just sold a book called Bedhead to Ellora’s Cave. It’ll be part of a multi-author series called Skin Deep. I’m really excited about this project, because the heroine has alopecia (she’s bald). I wanted to explore how losing her hair would affect her relationships and sex life. I haven’t even started edits on that one yet, so I’m not sure when it will be available. Hopefully this year. I’ve also got two anthologies coming out in December. I have stories in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 from Cleis Press and Agony/Ecstasy from Berkley Heat.

Thanks for having me, Rachel!

Sexily *Evers* After…!/ShoshannaEvers

Great interview, Shoshanna and as I suspected you work hard, girlfriend! I recently had the amazing opportunity to write full-time around my two young daughters as well. What a liberating feeling it is - I wish all writers the same opportunity!


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Coming Back has a release date!!!!

I have just received notification from the Senior Editor at The Wild Rose Press that 'Coming Back' will be released on August 12th - I can't believe it!! I was expecting an October maybe even November date so I am desperately grappling around for blog and interview appearances if any of my writer or reader visitors want to offer me a date, it would be grateful received!

In the meantime, here's the blurb - enjoy!

Kelly Hampton loved once...and lost. After two years of looking for Sean McKenzie in other men--and failing miserably--she takes a vow of celibacy. No sex until she finds love. Then Sean strolls back into her bar, reigniting old flames. No one has come close to understanding or satisfying her like he did. Her body burns for the passion they once shared, but her heart still remembers the pain.

Sean escaped Jessop Hill and his father's fists in the middle of the night without a word--even to his love, Kelly--to protect his battered mother, but he never forgot the explosively erotic relationship he left behind. Now his father is dead and Sean is back for the only woman he's ever wanted. Their reunion is full of fire – but can sexual attraction and noble intentions overcome years of heartache or will Kelly walk away to protect her heart this time.

And more news is that my third novella is shaping up nicely - loving the sexy Greek setting and British hero & heroine. Brits abroad tend to let EVERY inhibition go...

Rachel x

Monday, 11 July 2011

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Lelani Black!

I found it eerie when I came across Lelani's latest release as both her story and the novella I am currently working on are set in Greece. There is something so erotic, so romantic about this beautiful island that when I holidayed there in 2009, I knew I would use it as a setting. It was inevitable, the words would be on the hotter side of decent of course! I will reveal more about that story on Thursday, in the meantime, it's over Lelani...

1) Did you set any goals for 2011? I’d hoped to have another book out in 2010, but due to timing, I’ll have two books out in 2011, instead. I want to complete another story, or two, by this fall, submit it to my editor and hope for the best!

2) What is the best part of the writing process for you? When I’m so inspired that my fingers burn up the keyboard. When I’ve pinned that story down and the lines just flow…pure joy!

3) The worst part? Staring at a blank page, scratching my head, staring some more. Stare…stare…blink.

4) What is the book you wish you’d written? So many books I love, I’d feel guilty picking one, but most recently I said (out loud and wistfully) to my husband that I wished I’d written the hilarious, deliciously naughty and romantically twisted movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

5) Favourite author/s & book/s? There are so many authors whose stories I enjoy in different genres, I’d feel bad not naming all of them, but authors of The Wild Rose Press’s Scarlet Rose line are among my favorites, Bertrice Small’s historicals fill two bookshelves in my den, along with other series type romances by various authors, including the cluster of books in my e-reader by authors from other publishers, lines and genres.

6) Tell us about your latest release? Going Greek rolled out on July 8, and whisks readers off to the sultry Mediterranean. Pleasure destination? Corfu, Greece!

7) Tease us with a blurb/short except.

Blurb – Going Greek:

Lingerie model Marigold Laurent arrives in Greece for a much-needed vacation from work and the sweet-talking man who broke her heart. Fate and the machinations of her well-meaning sister ensure that she collides with tall, dark and luscious Dmitri Damianos, forcing her no-men policy right out the window. But can he give her more than one-and-done?

Wealthy entrepreneur, Dmitri, guards his emotions well. And while he wants everything Marigold has to offer--beauty, wit, charm, and the best sex of his life--he can't give her what she really needs. But when the red-hot beauty climbs out of his bed and possibly out of his life, can he let her go?

Excerpt :

"Hello, did you miss me?" murmured a deep voice in Marigold's ear.

A finger slowly traced a strand of hair away from her cheek and tucked it smoothly behind her ear. She smiled, and inhaled the citrus-flower fragrance floating through the courtyard on an afternoon breeze.

"No," she said. He chuckled. She grabbed his hand and rubbed her cheek against her dream lover's palm. Masculine notes of an evergreen forest after a spring rain tickled Marigold's nose. With a sigh, she welcomed the imagery playing in her mind, especially since her only audience to this fantasy was herself.

"Why not, beautiful?"

"It's my dream. I can say what I like."

"Can you do what you like?"

She nodded and kissed his inner palm. "So can you."

8) What is your favourite attribute of the hero and heroine? Dmitri makes no long-term promises. A man who likes to run the show, he knows what he has to offer, and lays it on the line for the heroine. While he wishes he could offer her more, she’s got a few wishes of her own. Things soon steam up into a hot throw-down between the two!

Favorite heroine attribute--there is something so appealing about how Marigold just says “no” to Dmitri’s delectable offerings. She’s not afraid to tell him she’d like some of her deeper needs catered to for a change! A set of handcuffs and a lost key make them both re-think their positions.

9) What’s next? I’m finishing up another erotic contemporary. I’ve been tinkering with an erotic paranormal/fantasy, and I’m finished with part 1 of 2 parts. In other words, I’ve written half a story.

10) Tell me where you write? The garden room in my house, with its stone fireplace and out-of-control plants. Bookshelves of knotty pine are built into either side of the fireplace, and filled with special things. We’ve got a fossil stone from Colorado hills, and rocks from our travels imbedded in the stonework. The covers from my books are in frames. I’m surrounded by pictures of my family, and framed art. French doors look out into a yard hedged with soft purple lilacs, and allow light and sunshine in. No clutter, other than what’s on my desk.

11) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?

I’d like to be established, my name branded in erotic romance fiction, with an abundance of current releases that are selling well! A friend asked if I saw myself writing other types of stories (non-erotic), since the natural progression of a writer would be to branch out into bigger books, or to sign with other publishers, perhaps. Strangely, I’m having fun right where I’m at, for now, doing what I’m doing. That said, I started my writing journey writing longer, sensual books targeted to paper publishers. I’ve got more than half a dozen sixty-some-thousand word manuscripts sitting in my computer. But, with the surge of popularity in e-readers, and my interest in writing shorter, heat-packed works of romance fiction, came the realization--I wanted in on that action. I shifted focus a bit, hopeful I, too, might sell stories that could ride this industry wave, and growth, in the delivery of erotic romance fiction to readers.

12) Where can we find you? Dinkering around on Facebook. When I’m not in Colorado, I’m traveling with my family around the US mainland, or chasing waves and coqui frogs in Hawaii. Readers can also look up my website for information on new releases:

Your surroundings sound amazing to me, Lelani, both your office and where you go when you're not writing! As I live in the UK, I am surrounded by what Americans love - the countryside, cottages, eighteenth century buildings just a short drive away. But when you mention chasing waves in!