Category Archives: Author Interveiws

Tell Us What Inspired Your Story- Seven Days of Questions for the authors of “Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition”

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Because I like to talk about my writing I assume others like to talk about their writing to. In this spirit, I forced my lovely co-authors in Owned by the Alpha to answer a bunch of questions about how they got from the blank page to this book.

Question 4: Tell Us What Inspired Your Story?

Is there a magical idea farm where all the sexy man-beasts hang out and wait to inspire you? Can I get tickets to watch?

 

Maia Dylan

No idea! Lol.  The opening scene in the bank came to me and I started writing.  Less than a week later it was done and A Tiger’s Luck was born!

Jules Dixon

Two things inspired this story. One, my vision board for this year—my theme is “Take risks”, so I did. And two, I made a Spotify song list for Mooncrest. The songs “All That Matters” by Colton Dixon (no relation to me, just happy accident) and “Standing Here in Front of Me” by David Mead helped me examine the story and go deeper into the characters. How would I feel if my true love was just over a fence and he ignored me for years? What if I found out the one for me had been waiting and yearning for me, his heart almost stopping beating for fear of never being mine? That crushing pain on both sides was what I attempted to pull out. I hope I did the story justice. And Saber and Kace and their love will appear in future stories as well.

Elena Kincaid

The Evernight submission call prompt lit the fuse and my two gorgeous inspirations Brodie Beaudry and Harvey Newton-Hayden) took care of the rest. Waretown had been a setting I wanted to use for some time, but nothing ever fit until His Guardian Panther.

L.J. Longo

I love Evernight Anthologies; I’ve been reading them a lot longer than I’ve been writing for them so I make it a point now to submit to each. I really struggled to figure out what I was going to write for this one. Now I have something like eight half finished novels about shifters both M/M and F/M. “The Scarf” eventually came about when I caught pneumonia and binged on modern Disney films (I’m in deep love with the cartoon fox from Zooptopia and I’m not ashamed) then when I couldn’t keep my eyes open listened to Suspense! audioplays. When I regained consciousness, I had the idea of a bad-ass fox hiding refugee animals.

Pelaam

As a pantser, that’s a hard question to answer. I really liked the sound of the anthology call. But I had no idea what direction the story could take when I first sat down and thought about it. Firstly, the occupations came to mind, then the types of shifters I wanted, and then the way the story would unfold.

L.D. Blakeley

Is it cheating to say: the call for submissions put out by Evernight in the first place? No? Good. That. 😉

James Cox

Owned by the Alpha, the anthology title. The second I read it I sat down at my computer and started thinking about a short shifter story that I really wanted to tell. In an hour, I had an outlined planned and Last Alpha Standing was born. (And no, I wasn’t wearing pants. It’s kind of my thing, lol.)

Tell Us About Theme Writing- Seven Days of Questions for the authors of “Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition”

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Because I like to talk about my writing I assume others like to talk about their writing to. In this spirit, I forced my lovely co-authors in Owned by the Alpha to answer a bunch of questions about how they got from the blank page to this book.

Question 3: Tell Us About Theme Writing

What challenges did you work though writing for a theme or such a short work for the anthology?

 

Maia Dylan

Having to keeping things short and sharp.  Most of my works are around the 40,000 – 50,000 length so trying to tell the story and do my characters justice in such a short word count was a challenge.

Jules Dixon

After reading shifter romance for probably a dozen years, I was cautious if I’d be able to do the genre justice in such a short word count. I usually write in first person (I and my) but decided to write this as third person to stretch not only my genre’s but my point-of-view skills. I put more weight on my shoulders than probably was necessary, but I love to challenge my own writing. And in the end I loved it! I actually wrote a blog post about the journey. Love to have you check it out.

Elena Kincaid

My biggest challenge always is having a word count limit, however His Guardian Panther just poured out of me and the story felt complete.

L.J. Longo

Partly because I was emulating Noir-style detective fiction, which by it’s very nature were short and fast, the word count wasn’t an issue. However, because this world is part of an Epic Fantasy, I feel like there’s sooo much I didn’t get to share. Like entire continents of story these characters don’t even look at. My difficulties were much more in trying to get my main character to behave like an alpha; I was worried I missed the mark completely, but I guess I did alright.

Pelaam

Keeping within the word count. It would have been very easy to add much more, about all three of my characters. Anthology calls have this danger for me. A few times there’s just been too much about the characters, and what happens to them, to keep within the word count.

L.D. Blakeley

Writing anything with a word-count limit is its own challenge. But, for me personally, I am the WORST with deadlines. Thankfully, I’m pretty good at lighting a fire under my own bum.

James Cox

Wishes to let his story speak for itself, damn it. Now stop asking questions and let him write more delicious stories.

Tell Us About Your World- Seven Days of Questions for the authors of “Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition”

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Because I like to talk about my writing I assume others like to talk about their writing to. In this spirit, I forced my lovely co-authors in Owned by the Alpha to answer a bunch of questions about how they got from the blank page to this book.

Question 2: Tell Us About The World

Is there anything particularly special about the setting to you? Is it from our real world or is it some larger world?

Maia Dylan

A Tiger’s Luck is based in Chicago, a city I have only visited once, but looovveed! In fact it appears in more than one of my stories.

Jules Dixon

Mooncrest is set in the state of Colorado, at the foothills of a mountain. There are a dozen wolf packs living within a 25-30 mile radius of the town of Mooncrest, including the Creed and the Gunn packs found in this short story. As you’ll see in future stories, the Wade, Persa, Janus, and Moxie packs inhabit the area as well. Mooncrest is a small town where full-humans and shifters live side by side, but the full-humans don’t know about the secrets of the smaller mountain communities the shifters have developed. And the packs fight to keep it that way, but their secret gets closer to revelation with each story.

Elena Kincaid

My story is set in Waretown, New Jersey, which believe it or not, is actually a real place in my neighboring state. The neighborhoods I describe are purely of my own creation. I wanted them to have a certain feel, but I felt like a place called Waretown should have a story told there.

L.J. Longo

The Scarf is part of a bigger fantasy world I’m developing for my thesis novel (I’m a graduate student getting and M.F.A. in genre fiction). In Tovar, society developed with magic, so instead of steam and electricity they had spells. This means that witches are the ones who run the world and shifters, the animals witches curse with the ability to transform into humans, are at their witch’s beck and call to be used as spies, fighters, familiars, anything else the witch sees fit.

Pelaam

The story is set in New Zealand where I live, so the places are real. But it’s also a world where shifters exist and are known about. They don’t live in the shadows. I love writing fantasy/paranormal themed stories.

L.D. Blakeley

I’ve set my story in a world no different from our own. The only (big) difference in this reality is that humans aren’t its only inhabitants.

James Cox

Wishes to let his story speak for itself, damn it. Now stop asking questions and let him write more delicious stories.

Introduce Your Studs- Seven Days of Questions for the authors of “Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition”

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Because I like to talk about my writing I assume others like to talk about their writing to. In this spirit, I forced my lovely co-authors in Owned by the Alpha to answer a bunch of questions about how they got from the blank page to this book.

Question 1: Introduce us to your studs:

Tell us about your studs. Who (or what?) inspired them?

Maia Dylan

Xander’s character is based very much on a friend of mine who we say has always had the worst luck.  He once got his knee caught in a bridge in Pamplona and was almost run over by the bulls.  Honestly.  Worst.  Luck.  Ever.  Until he met his now husband, and then his luck most definitely changed for the better!

Jules Dixon

Mooncrest is a Romeo and Romeo (not Juliet) story of fated love with families who have issues galore. My alpha, Saber Creed, spent his life preparing to be his pack’s alpha, but the focus didn’t prepare him for his fated mate. His mate, Kace Gunn, has waited for Saber patiently, but when they finally meet, Kace doubts their families’ pasts can be set aside. Saber’s physically based on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kace reminds me of a cross between Ed Sheeran and Prince Harry.

Elena Kincaid

Both my studs, panther alpha and Sheriff Luke Benson and his mate, Dr. Tom Barrymore, are brilliant and dedicated to their roles, saving people in their own way and both men come to love each other fiercely. I was searching for inspiration on the internet when I came across Brodie Beaudry (Luke) and Harvey Newton-Hayden (Tom). They were perfect and matched the vision I had in my head for them.

L.J. Longo

I developed a thing for werewolves and Raymond Chandler (who wrote Noir detective novels that were usually turned into movies starring Humphrey Bogart) at the same time so The Scarf is really my love letter to them both. Tru, who’s a lone wolf taking on a corrupt pack, has the same hard exterior and internal poetics that makes Philip Marlowe and interesting detective. But because he’s a shifter, he’s also completely helpless to defy his desire for his fem-fatal who ain’t that fem.

Pelaam

Tudor is my alpha and a lion shifter. I said in the story that Eirian, his best friend, PA, and chef, watched Tudor’s back. There’s a specific reason he did. Young lions, on reaching sexual maturity, are excised from their prides by older males. Tudor experienced this expulsion from his own shifter family as a rite of passage. But instead of still being there if he needed them, they fully excluded him because he wasn’t interested in a female mate or having his own offspring. The hurt from that experience created the aggressive and arrogant Tudor to suit his public TV persona. But the real Tudor, and his softer side, are expressed in the country house, and what’s in there.

L.D. Blakeley

My Alpha (Eamonn) actually came secondary to his mate (Izzy) who was absolutely and unapologetically inspired by actor Noel Fisher’s portrayal of Mickey Milkovich on the HBO series, Shameless. From there, I liked the idea of a misguided street thug—already having a tough time trying to make a break from the criminal life he’s always lead—finding out he’s the fated mate to an Alpha wolf who also happens to be a police detective.

James Cox

Wishes to let his story speak for itself, damn it. Now stop asking questions and let him write more delicious stories.

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Rising from the Ashes

Charity West is a young adult/new adult romance author who has always had her head in the clouds. She had her first crush when she was four, and it lasted for six years. Then she quickly fell head over heels for another boy, until she had to move away and leave him behind. Jumping from one boy to another, she finally found a keeper when she was twenty, and she’s been married to him ever since.

By the time Charity was twelve, she was sneaking her mother’s Harlequin romances and reading them in secret when she was supposed to be asleep. Teased throughout middle school and high school for the bodice ripper covers on the books she openly read in class, she knew that one day she wanted to write her own happily-ever-afters.

 

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Click that sexy cover to buy

About Rising from the Ashes: Flame Kissed:

Kaycee Witherspoon barely escaped her last relationship with her life. Now that she has a fresh start in a new town, she feels like she can finally breathe. But is she relaxing her guard too soon? When she finds her tires slashed and her apartment broken into, she has to wonder if her past isn’t quite so far behind her.

Zarek O’Donnell doesn’t know much about the new assistant at his fire station except that her mesmerizing curves and bewitching smile have him under her spell. Even though she laughs easily and seems to light up around him, he can tell that there’s something darker haunting her. His protective side rises to the surface whenever she’s near, and he knows he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe.

When the lines of past and present begin to blur, there’s only one thing Kaycee knows. This time she might not escape. If she wants the new life she’s forged for herself, she’ll have to fight to keep it.


 Excerpt from Rising from the Ashes: Flame Kissed

“You have to be exhausted after working until this morning and then dealing with my apartment this afternoon.” I nibbled my bottom lip. “What if I made dinner? I haven’t eaten yet, and I’m sure you haven’t either.”

“I have a better idea. Why don’t we order some pizzas and watch TV for a while? We can sit on the couch and just relax for the rest of the night. Put on PJs and kick back.”

I arched a brow. “You own pajamas?”

“Well, I own pajama pants. Does that count?”

Holy Jesus, was he seriously going to run around without a shirt? Because I wasn’t sure my hormones could handle it. The hint of muscle I could see through his t-shirts was enough to make me drool. I didn’t think I could handle bare skin. Although, it would be a nice distraction from my problems, as long as I could keep my hands to myself. I wasn’t going to make any promises, though. A shirtless Zarek might be too much temptation.

He smirked, and I realized I was staring like an idiot.

“You just pictured me shirtless, didn’t you?” he asked with laughter flashing in his eyes.

My cheeks flushed. “No. Of course not.”

His grin widened a little, and he shook his head, clearly not believing me.

“If you tell me what you want on your pizza, I’ll place the order while you get comfortable.”

“I knew you were anxious to get me out of my clothes.”

My whole face felt like it was on fire. Before I could embarrass myself further, I bolted from the room and went to get a drink from the kitchen. I’d made a fresh pitcher of sweet tea last night and hadn’t touched it yet. By the time I’d poured myself a glass and returned to the living room, I could hear the shower going. I set my glass down and went to change into a tank and sleep shorts. They were old and comfortable, but they showed enough skin to be considered sexy. Do I want Zarek to see me as sexy?

I’d thought we would be roommates, co-workers, and nothing more. But the more I got to know Zarek, the harder it was to resist him. I’d felt that instant spark when we’d met at work on Monday, and I had to wonder what that spark would feel like if our lips touched. Would I feel the zing all the way to my toes? Just being near him was enough to make me tingle with awareness. I thought about him in the shower and wondered if he was as sexy dripping wet as I imagined him to be. I gave myself a mental slap, changed into my pajamas, and then returned to the living room. I couldn’t order the pizza yet since Zarek hadn’t told me what he wanted on his. I hadn’t paid close attention at work when the crew had ordered enough pizza to feed a small army.

I heard the shower shut off, and a few minute later, he wandered into the room.

My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, and I nearly choked on my own spit as he sank onto the sofa next to me. Holy hell, he was hot as fuck! His broad chest was well-muscled and his abs … I nearly fanned myself. As I whipped around to face the TV, before I got caught staring, I absently wiped at my chin to make sure I hadn’t been drooling.


Buy Links:

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Amazon US

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Interview with Lea Bronsen

Interview with Lea Bronsen

Somewhere in some city, some building is burning down. Amid the spits of fire and falling ashes of the structure’s sordid past, two figures sit across a burning coffee table. One of them is Lea Bronsen, amazon best-selling author and two-time winner of Evernight Reader’s Choice Award. The other is a creature of darkness who is-

L.J.: *squeals* Oh my God! Lea Bronsen, I have loved your work since Wild Hearted. So excited to talk to you!

…the worst at being dark and mysterious…

L.J.: So where you from?

Lea Bronsen slyly lifts a cup of coffee and looks around the flame-soaked room.

Lea: I like to say I’m a European because I have ancestors from all over the place – France, Norway, Scotland, Germany…

A piece of timber crashes across the room. The squalls of a baby and the bark of a small dog are heard somewhere above. Lea notices the fire flare as if acknowledging the sounds, and sips her coffee.

Oh, she is so much better at being mysterious, L.J.

L.J.: I guess, what I’m really asking is… are you actually married to Charles Bronson and just changing the name ever so slightly to avoid being accused of using it to gain popularity?

Lea: *swoons slightly* No. No. I don’t have… Nothing ever happened between me and Charlie… I mean, Charles Bronson, actor extraordinaire, love of my life… Nothing.

A door breaks and a firefighter, who looks suspiciously like Charles Bronson, races in the room taking no notice of the two authors. Instead, he rushes up the staircase.

L.J.: Right. So we’re here to talk about Fiery10-16? That’s a cool title. What’s a 10-16?

Lea: 10-16 is the American police scanner code for “domestic problems”, and I wanted to use it in the title because one of the themes of the book is domestic violence.

L.J.: That’s dark.

Lea: I prefer the edgier side of romance.

L.J. So what inspired Fiery 10-16? Brooding love affair? Daring rescue? Troubled past?

Charles Bronson coughs as he returns to the staircase cradling a little girl who looks suspiciously like the mysterious Lea Bronsen and a mini-schnauzer.

Lea: *laughs* It’s pretty funny, because I got the idea for this book after responding to a private ad for children’s clothes last year. The seller gave me an address in town…and I ended up knocking on the door of the main fire station. Of all places! The guy just happened to be a daddy selling children’s clothes online. He wore shorts and sandals, like he was on the beach.

Another piece of falling timber lands directly across the stairs and Charles Bronson is caught behind looking suddenly underdressed in shorts and sandals instead of his protective gear.

Lea: I left the station laughing and shaking my head. It was a most surreal experience, but real enough that I started the book with the same scene!  At the same time, a friend of mine showed me a pic of the excruciatingly handsome actor, footballer, wrestler, and rugby player Geno Segers.

Lea swoons a little as another door is kicked down by another firefighter, this one bearing a strong resemblance to Geno Segers.

Lea: And there and then I swore I would write him a book!

L.J. and Lea both watch appreciatively as Geno Seger sweeps Charles Bronson, the child, and the dog off their feet and carries them to safety.

L.J.: The weirdest things happen to me at interviews…. Anyway, what kind of research went into a firefighter story? Are you on any watch-lists for arson, now?

Now is when you ask her if she’s into arson, L.J.?

L.J. pointedly ignores the narrator and listens attentively to Lea. There are applauds and sounds of weeping from outside as the gathered crowd celebrates their heroes.

Lea: Research… let me see, I googled everything from firefighting equipment to the interior of a station, the trucks, the ladders, the schedules and routines… I looked up how carbon monoxide works, how a fire spreads… I visited firefighter forums and learned about their fears and hopes, personnel issues, interpretation of the law… I downloaded tons of photos from all kinds of situations… and I read a few firefighter romances to make sure I got the vocabulary and jargon right.

Lea leans closer and whispers, very mysteriously.

Lea: crucial, since I’m not a native English speaker.

L.J. looks at narrator and mouths “did you know?” Of course, not or I would have mentioned it. Do you want me to revise? Stop making faces. You have a guest.

 Lea: If I’m on a watch-list for anything, it’s not arson but “hot, sexy firefighters.”

L.J.: I’m told if you google, “not an arsonist, just a romance writer” they take you off the list. Which sounds really untrue when I say it… New topic… new topic, uh… Sex or action scenes!

Smooth, L.J. By the way… upstairs there is a creak and a groan as the support beams of the building begin to lose their fight against the flames.

Lea: Honestly, sex is complicated. You need to include so many things like emotions and senses etc. My beta readers always tell me to extend, extend, extend. It makes me pull my hair out!

Out on the street Charles Bronson shouts in a husky smoke-stained voice. ‘The roof is collapsing. Stand clear!’

Lea: Action scenes are all about choreography and maintaining an intolerable level of suspense, and I find that much easier to write. I also LOVE to add a dash of gore here and there, lol.

Above the floor gives way and what appears to be a charred corpse lands on the coffee table.

L.J.: So… you’re just an arsonist, right?

Lea: I told you I’m not an arsonist.

Lea smiles mysteriously and winks before ducking out the back of the unstable building and being lost to the flames.

 Lea: Thanks for the coffee.

L.J.: Well, I guess there’s other reasons to start fires… Thank you to Lea Bronsen for letting me interview her about her latest release: Fiery 10-16. Scroll on down to buy her sexy new novel. Follow Graceful Indecency to encourage me to meet more of these fabulous characters. Now, let me out of this firetrap!

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She made this cover herself, folks! How frickin’ talented is this lady?

About Fiery 10-16

Runo Wiggins is a scarred man, the wounds etched into his psyche deeper than those on his skin. But he loves his job: fighting fires helps reenact his survival of a house fire as a teen, one that killed his mother and brutal stepfather.

Dawn Caravello is married to a psychotic drunk. She can take his beatings as long as he doesn’t touch their children, and she’ll do anything to put food on the table, even if it means stealing from the town hero.

When Runo meets the fiery Dawn, sparks fly. But he suspects she is victim of the same abuse as his mother was. As day turns to night, the past and the present blend in an exhausting, hold-your-breath chase to prevent another death.


Excerpt from Fiery 10-16

Dawn’s eyes shimmered with a mix of stubborn pride and extreme sadness. They seemed to be made of molten brown stone. Runo had never seen eyes like these. So vibrant, saying so many things. They revealed her life, her endurance, her dreams, her combats, her despair. And she was still so young.

While he stared, she leaned forward and kissed him, an act a whole lot more intimate than he was comfortable with. A short, hard peck, a statement. Not the tender gesture a kiss was supposed to be, but one telling him her gratitude as well as her dignity. She thanked him, but was going to go back to her life and continue fighting.

He stood shocked, his whole body rigid, didn’t know what to do. She, such a small woman thing a whole head shorter, shook him, a giant of muscle and stupid testosterones inside a hard shell.

He would definitely take care of Dawn and her kids. Any way possible. Alert the authorities and make sure they got the protection they desperately needed.

She stepped backward, her features softening, and turned on her heel.

Not so fast.

He cleared his throat and called, lifting a weak hand. “Hey, wait!” His heart hammered in his chest, blood pulsed in his ears.

She turned. “What?”

“Promise to be good. Promise it’s the last time you do it.”

“Do what?” Her eyes gleamed with humor. “Kiss you?” In the midst of this emotional turmoil, she found the strength to tease.

“Steal.”

And lie.

She pursed her lips, looking like a disappointed little girl. Maybe she still was a child inside. A child taking care of children. A child beaten savagely.

He swallowed. “Promise.”

After several long seconds, she nodded. But her gaze told a different truth.

Liar.

Copyright @ 2017 Lea Bronsen

 

 

 

Shari Elder: Interview and Excerpt from “Race to Redemption”

About Shari Elder

Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid off to school, hop on the metro, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.

At night, the other Shari emerges.  I take off the suit, curl up on the couch and let my imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom).  As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.

In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can’t resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives me immense satisfaction.

Join me on my journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.

Okay, we have some kind of superhero who believes in happy endings and writes romance.  I believe I’ve found my Guinea pig for this question series… now to get a hold of her… and her six toes… weird.

L.J. swivels in chair, while patiently stroking Pierre the Metal Dragon.

Well, as delicious as that ambrosia sounds, I’m not allowed on Olympus ever since that debacle with Athena — virgin, my ass. I’m not particularly keen on messing with the space and time continuum as long as that English doctor dude is hanging around…  And teen-agers…

L.J. shudders. Then grabs a fishbowl helmet.

Come, Pierre, we’re going to Andromeda—

Pierre swings head and riffles his tongue at L.J.

Oh come on, Pierre.  No sassing… Okay. Too cold on Andromeda and probably the Himalayas. I guess, there’s only one option.

 Pierre flutters over with the white lab-coat and L.J. pulls on the super-villain goggles.

 Pierre!  Fetch my freeze ray!

 Pierre raises his eyebrow.

 Ok, I’ll get it this time… but someday, Pierre, you’ll respect me.

 Pierre rolls eyes.

___

“My latest evil plan is coming to fruition at last!” L.J. focuses a blinding light on super-hero/romance novelist Shari Elder.

Slightly surprised, Shari sits in spangled tights and a cape inside the cage.  In her lap is a giant tub of Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz used to lure our hapless heroine into the trap. Shari licks the spoon calmly.

L.J. laughs maniacally. “The truth serum I slipped into your ice cream will ensure that your answer feed into the thronong-ulating dohickey and then—”

Pierre coughs gently while turning down the brightness of the light.

“Are you sure it’s monologuing?  It seemed like a pretty valid plot point—” L.J. relents under the steely eyes of the pet dragon. “My first question then, guinea pig of my devious question series: why, Shari Elder, do you write romance?”

Our heroine chews contemplatively on the spoon. “Romance is the candle in the dark, the star that lights the way, the book I reach for when I need a jolt of hope—”

“Okay. Can we be less of a super hero for a second?” L.J. steps into the light, clipboard in hand. “I’m really trying to understand this on an intellectual level.”

Shari is unimpressed. “I believe in a HEA. No matter how much crap the world throws out you nor how little time you have to enjoy it, everyone deserves an HEA.”

L.J. writing furiously. “And what’s the some kind of secret code?  Maybe an infectious super-flu?  Is it… A new flavor of Ben and Jerry’s?”

“Happily Ever After.” Shari explains and very helpfully. “It’s that little reminder that people can get over themselves, work through their issues, and figure it out – together.”

“Okay…Happily Ever After… I think I can get behind that. But what about…” L.J. swings the light back sharply. “Sex?”

“Lots of authors write without explicit sex scenes.”

“Wait… what? Do you do that?”

“No, I’m pretty spicy.  But I can. I just prefer to be direct and forthright.” Shari leaves the spoon in the tub and leans forward on the her chair.  Her magic necklace catches in the light as she goes on. “I think how we make love also defines key components of our relationship.  We tend to assume that when folks fall in love, they get naked and have sex.”

L.J. and Pierre exchange glances. L.J. flips through notes. “Love comes first?”

“Sex is another way couples discover each other, and maintain their relationship over time. It’s really not something that happens separate from everything else.”

“So unlike proper pornography, which I’m used to writing, romance writers use the sexy bits to show character growth and change?”

“Sex  It is an essential piece of how a relationship develops.  These scenes in romance allows writers to explore that relationship more deeply and readers get to see how that plays.” Shari nods. “Like in the bedroom, do they switch roles?”

“Like submissive bosses…”

“Are they playful or shy?  Experimental or fearful?” Shari picks up the spoon again and savors the chocolate crunchy bits. “But saying all that, I do think many romance writers, me included, often make the sex part too easy.”

“Too easy? In a Romance novel, no one can be too easy!”

“I mean, we should make it more real, show the mess and the fear and mistakes. Most of that is pretty funny, as two people…” Shari pauses and considers. “Or more.  You know, try and figure it all out.  But that’s the next writing frontier. We’ll get there.”

Shari gestures with the spoon. “Building a physical relationship takes time, patience, humor, compassion and effort. To get the HEA, a couple has to figure out how to make sex work over the long term. It does not just happen in a dark room tucked in the corner of the house.”

Shari looks at the bars of the cage again. “Or in cages on rooftops.”

“Yeah, speaking of the sub-story…” L.J. checks readings on a device. “Pierre, why isn’t the thronong-ulating dohickey …”

Pierre sticks his head out of the Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz ice cream and tilts his little metal head with confusion.

“What do you mean you never plugged it in?”

Shari laughs and put the ice cream down. “Well, this has been real fun, L.J.”

She grabs the bars and with super-strength bends them as if they were flimsy wire art. Shari Elder high heels click as she comes onto the roof. “Thanks for the ice cream, but I have to jet.”

And with the tap of her sixth toe, her high-heels ignite and Shari blasts into the sky.


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Here’s her latest which looks SUPER GOOD.

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Race to Redemption: Green Rising, 1

A woman who lost everything.

Intergalactic storm racing champion Elaina Carteret had it all—fame, wealth, men—until a horrific accident took it away. To get it back, she agrees to pose as Lainie Carter, medical transport pilot and corporate spy. Her risk-taking attitude infuriates Dr. Erik Johansen, who runs the medical outpost with an iron hand, a permanent scowl and the tightest bod on the planet. 

A man desperate for redemption.

Unable to forgive himself for a past tragedy, Erik works himself into an early grave. He has no patience for the insubordinate Lainie Carter, who can’t take an order, disrupts routine, and flames his body to ash.

A planet at risk.

When the outpost is attacked, they’re thrown together in a race across the desert to stop a deadly biogenetic weapon. As a fragile trust blossoms between two damaged hearts, their pasts resurface and threaten their growing bond.

Be Warned: anal sex, bondage, menage sex, gender neutral characters


Excerpt:

Elaina and Fintarl transferred the meds from the craft to the supply hut. This was her last stop today. Her routes varied daily her first month on the job. Someone was either trying to ramp up her knowledge of the terrain and facilities quickly, or prevent her from finding out too much. The collections of mysteries and snippets of information she’d gathered made her head hurt. All she wanted was a bath to wash away the stink of too much desert driving and a nap to give her mind a few minutes to turn off. Fintarl’s toothy scowl warned her that wasn’t on the agenda.

“Boss man. Want.”

She raised an eyebrow at the Ranharran and took a deep breath before heading to Erik’s office. He kept their exchanges to a minimum during her regular drop-offs at this facility. She was getting under his skin, she knew it. A meeting had to mean she pissed him off somehow. Good. It gave her another opportunity to ramp up the heat. Anger was close enough to lust to wedge open a door.

Shoulders pulled back, head high, she barged into his office. She’d always been good at bravado and she liked to keep him off balance. “Hey farm boy, you wanted me?” She flashed him a flippant smile to push the double entendre right into his face, and all she got was a grimace in return.

I’m only getting started, Dr. Johansen.

Settled on the mud blocks that passed for seats, she arced her back to offer up breasts wrapped to perfection in a tight white tank. The perspiration worked in her favor. It molded the top around her so she was as good as naked, maybe better. Her bare legs, firmed by countless hours in the gym, crossed in front to put all that toned flesh on center stage. Take a good long look, boss man.

Days of beard growth and a rumpled shirt signaled erratic hours and insufficient sleep. It seemed to have gotten worse since the last time she’d seen him. Was it only days ago? The world of secrets and hurt he dragged around on his shoulders was devouring him from the inside out. Why he avoided her when he could benefit from the physical release she offered confused her. He didn’t even have to like her to screw her. Still, he stayed away.

Erik pushed his too-long hair off his face with one hand and a package across his desk toward her with the other. The flicker of lust that darkened his eyes when she ran her hand from breast to thigh, he quickly buried. Droplets of sweat glistened along the carved muscle of his forearms. A tattoo—a yellow sphere sitting on a black line encased in a blue circle—peaked out from his shirtsleeve. Like Saskia. How odd.

“One of my better ideas, yes?”

“Ms. Carter.” Stiff formality. “On the job for a month and you’re already messing with the medical packaging? Until you show me a pharmacology degree, don’t do it again.”

“Seriously, Erik? It’s the Ranharran equivalent of string and paper. No harm done to the medicine, and I can increase the load by thirty percent. The more I move the better for everyone.”

“You’re missing the point.” He enunciated each word like it hurt to say. “The meds are volatile. Any shift, no matter how small… Damn it, Lainie, do you have any idea how dangerous this stuff is? You could get someone killed.”

“I’m trying to save lives.” Her eyes closed, she swallowed hard, trying to keep her frustration from spilling out. A raised voice wouldn’t get her very far. She already tried that. “I don’t get you, Erik. This compound is thirty miles from the Karas border. Your medical supply closet’s always running on empty, the transportation infrastructure on this planet is deteriorating and rumors that the Den Vedran Corporations are arming the Ranharran mercenaries are escalating. With unpredictable storms that can close transit corridors at any time, I’d think you’d welcome ways to move more medicine.”

His faced blanched at one point through her tirade, but was now back to its normal grim. “Not. The. Point. I won’t have my orders questioned by anyone. Without some discipline, I can’t ensure the safety of everyone under my protection. I’ll make it easy. Don’t tamper with my meds, or I’ll get a different pilot.” His lips thinned so tight they trembled. She wanted to kiss them calm after she beat him with a stick.

“You don’t want to get rid of me. Whose face would you use for target practice?” Her voice lowered, forcing him to lean closer. “And whose body would you think about when you jack off in those late hours when you’re crawling for relief?” She was guessing, but the way he struggled to suppress those flashes of longing when she got close to him convinced her she was on the mark.

“You’re trying to annoy me. Okay, it worked. No tampering, no arguments. Meeting over.” He ran his hands through his hair and pulled at the roots. His eyes looked haunted and decades older than his thirty-six years.

This was not about packaging or her rule-breaking proclivities. Whatever he kept sealed down tight was driving him to an early grave. Without thinking, she leaned over the desk and traced a finger along a blond eyebrow. He recoiled like he always did when she touched him.

“Yes, I do it to piss you off. You’re wound up so tight, farm boy, you’re going to snap.” Her finger slid down his cheek to his chin. “Let me in, Erik. I could help you reduce all that tension, but you stay so far away. So, I poke.”

She pressed her breast against his arm to make her offer clear. “No commitment required. Just two people trying to get through the long, lonely nights.”

He pulled back. “I said we’re done here.”

She swallowed her anger and flipped him a bow. “Your highness. I’ll visit Sen and Qirta before I head back to Mendasa.”

“No miskberries.”

Sen’s favorite treat were hidden in a secret pocket in her bag. What Erik didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.