"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Monday, January 27, 2014

Getting Personal With Author Angela Claire

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Angela Claire. Angela stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt from her sexy, suspenseful erotic romance, Executive Perks.

About Angela Claire 
Angela Claire's first love was romance novels, but she resolved to give them up temporarily for law books (which were considerably less fun).  In a quest for a 'responsible' career, she headed off to Harvard law school, obtained her diploma and settled into a corporate law practice in New York city... which she hated! 

After staying in the rat race long enough to pay back her massive student loans, Angela returned to her roots in the Midwest and is now raising two active boys and working as a lawyer at a more leisurely pace than big city law firm life would allow.  She writes in her spare time and finds romance in real life with her husband of 27 years.

Connect with Angela

And now, let’s get personal with author Angela Claire!

What’s the best part of being a writer?
Actually sitting down and writing. Maybe because I only do it part-time so far, but I just love to work on a story, especially the dialogue. I love to write in different time periods and genres too. I have a series of Western romances taking place in the nineteenth century at Siren Bookstrand and quite a few contemporary romantic suspense novels at Ellora’s Cave and then a time traveling one at Musa. So I get around!

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Trying to support yourself on what you make! I haven’t managed to figure out how to do that yet!

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
Mmmm…I don’t find it hard to write erotic scenes at all. (I don’t know what that says about me, but there you have it!) I actually love to write those scenes, unless I’m writing too many in a row and then it can get kind of stale. I had a reviewer once say about one of my books (Undercover Surrender) that even though the sex was plain vanilla, it was so well written it felt kinky. I loved that comment! Because the truth is all of my romances are M/F (except one M/M I wrote that was so hard for me to do that I’ll probably never write one again) and there’s only so much you can do with one guy and one girl! But I do try to keep the tension and the excitement there. And I figure I never got sick of reading romances, so I’ll probably never get sick of writing them. Really, the most challenging part of being an erotic writer is having people you know read your books. 

What is your writing process?
I am seat of the pants all the way and character driven. I think up the main characters (who they are, what’s interesting about them) and then I shape the story around them.

Where do you write?
I write in a little room that looks out on to the lake we live on. I just curl up on the couch and put the computer on my knees and go to it. And if I ever get stuck, I look out the window.

What is your upcoming release and what is it about?
I wrote a short “Flirt” for Entangled Publishing that I just signed the contract on. It’s about a woman who goes to NY on business and has a fling with the guy in the hotel suite next to her. It’s a light-hearted sexy little story and I’m looking forward to having it out, either in the spring or summer.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
Writing erotic romance novels! I’m a staid lawyer in real life and whenever anybody first finds out about my books, they’re shocked.

Thanks for having me!
Thank YOU, Angela!

And now, Darlings, kick off your heels and enjoy a taste of Executive Perks.

About Executive Perks
Virginia Beckett had always known she’d run the family business. Ivy League degrees and a flawless pedigree prepared her for it. So when businessman Aaron Winston buys a stake in her company and threatens to launch a takeover, she plans to fight him off with every Wall Street lawyer she can buy. Fight his corporate advances, that is. His personal ones, she’s not so sure about.

Aaron Winston plays hardball. How else could an orphan from the Bronx end up with a successful business and boast-worthy bank account? He doesn’t plan on letting one corporate princess’s disdain for his methods get in the way of the deal, no matter how sexy she is. Although he wouldn’t mind removing that silver spoon and putting her luscious mouth to better use.

When a dead body ups the ante in their corporate war, Aaron and Virginia join forces in a trek that leads the unlikely lovers from fast-paced Manhattan to bucolic Connecticut to an isolated island off the coast of Oregon. Through it all, they learn nothing is more deadly than desire.


Clutching her can of cola as if it might prove to be some kind of weapon, Virginia Beckett looked royally pissed off. It didn’t exactly surprise him. Most of his targets were at first. So he knew that he should stay away from her for now and let her cool off. No good could come out of any one-on-ones between them at this point. But when he’d recognized her in the cafeteria, it had seemed like fate and he hadn’t been able to resist approaching her. For one thing, he was surprised by how sexy she was in person, with dark blonde hair and big gray-blue eyes, not to mention a killer body. Full, high tits with mile-long legs. They didn’t capture that kind of detail on the cover of Fortune. It made him half regret they weren’t meeting under friendlier circumstances.

Unfortunately, he’d already dropped a hefty amount into her company and wasn’t willing to kiss off the investment just yet. He knew what he should do was present her with the solution he had come up with, or march back to the conference room and present it to her and her lawyer. But he couldn’t resist teasing her first. Something about the uptight corporate exec vibe she was giving off made him want to for some reason.

“Any price?”

Virginia visibly relaxed, smiling smugly, and stood her ground, no longer inching away from him. “Greenmail is a dirty word these days,” she said, referring to the practice of certain corporate raiders of threatening to take over a company to extract a bribe from management to go away. “Just be careful not to get too greedy.”

Aaron flashed a gaze down her body, the gray silk snug against her tiny waist and the high curve of her breasts hidden by the demure neckline.

How about fucking you? Is that too greedy?

For one terrified second, he was afraid he had uttered the crude, completely inappropriate words out loud. He froze.

Since he was still standing and hadn’t been belted one, he assumed he hadn’t.

Instead he said, “You seem pretty fond of BFD and I’m going to assume it’s not for the same reason most CEOs cling to their jobs, namely for the fat pay packages and petty little fiefdoms.”

“For the sake of the civility of our negotiations, I’m going to pretend that you didn’t say that,” she murmured icily.

For half a second, he was tempted to say, “Good, then you can pretend that I didn’t do this either.”

He’d place his hands on her shoulders and gently nudge her back against the soda machine, then close the space between their bodies, feeling the luscious length of her against him, and before she could react, he’d kiss her lightly, his tongue tracing her soft, surprised mouth. The can she had been clutching would drop with a clatter to the floor and he’d move his hand down to her ass.

That’s when the slap would undoubtedly come, probably as hard as she could possibly make it, given her mood.

It would almost be worth it, though.

He cut short his daydream and smiled faintly. Smutty fantasies usually didn’t overtake him in the presence of business associates, not to mention about them. He chalked it up to surprise at how attractive she was.

“You didn’t hear me out. I said I’m assuming you’re not clinging to the independence of your company for those reasons. I’m assuming you have some kind of sentimental attachment because your family founded the company.”

“I wouldn’t call it sentimental. I’d call it a sense of value, of purpose, that you, with all your voracious gobbling up of companies, could never understand.”

“Whatever. I wouldn’t want to interfere with that. What I’m trying to say here is that I’ve thought about how we could make this a win-win situation and I’m willing to have you stay on as CEO of BFD. That’s a concession I almost never make. And if you agree to the merger to make BFD a subsidiary of Winston Enterprises, I’d be willing to give you an ownership stake in Winston as well as a hefty cash payment. Maybe even an operating role in the bigger company if it works out.”

“My, my, be still, my heart.”

He didn’t know what he’d expected, but she hadn’t even thought about it. In his book, that intransigence made her less than the businesswoman he’d thought she was. He found himself feeling a little less warm toward her.

“Again, no thanks, Mr. Winston. I meant what I said. BFD is my family’s company. It’s the only one I’m interested in running and I’m not interested in running it with any interference from any parent company or from you. If I don’t want you as a stockholder, what makes you think I’d want you as a boss?”

“As long as you make your numbers, you wouldn’t have any interference from me.”

“It’s all about the bottom line with somebody like you, isn’t it, Mr. Winston? Not people, not heritage—”

This was rapidly getting more heated than he’d intended. He didn’t back down from the argument, though. He rarely did. He was glad a quick glance around confirmed the cafeteria was empty. “I don’t know what people you’re talking about, but if you mean stockholders, mine are damn happy, thank you. And no, I don’t have a heritage to worry about. I made what I have. I didn’t inherit it.”

“Stole what you have, you mean,” she muttered, but loud enough for him to hear it.

“Fuck you.”

It just slipped out. Forget about smutty daydreams. She had managed to make him drop his cardinal rule of staying calm in initial meetings with a target, never losing his temper. But the thought that this corporate princess with all her family money was judging him and his methods unexpectedly infuriated him. Maybe he wasn’t as squeaky clean as she thought she was, but he’d done what he had to. Done things she’d never even imagine dirtying her hands with.

She popped open her Diet Coke and took a sip. “No thanks to that either.”

“Don’t be so hasty.”

Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy Executive Perks today from Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine eBook retailers

Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting Personal With Author Zenobia Renquist

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Zenobia Renquist. Zenobia stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt from her hot vampire urban fantasy, CREAM.

About Zenobia Renquist 
Zenobia Renquist lives in her imagination. When not traveling through her fantasy worlds, she can be found in Hawaii living with her husband and two cats.

She is an Air Force brat turned Air Force wife, which means she’s accustomed to travel and does it whenever possible. Her favorite pastime is torturing her characters on their way to happily-ever-after for the enjoyment of her readers.

On the few occasions her muse flees the scene of the crime, Zenobia likes to read (comics, manga, and Romance), go to the movies, play a few levels of whichever puzzle game has hijacked her interest, knit, or experiment with a new chain maille weave.

Connect with Zenobia

And now, let’s get personal with author Zenobia Renquist!

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
I can write narrative and character interaction at the drop of a hat but I have to be in a particular mood (and you know which one) in order to write sex scenes that might require cranking up the fan to high or possibly a refreshing ice bath. Just like normal sex, having a headache or not being in the mood means that scene isn’t getting written today.

What is your writing process?
I’m a full-time writer so my writing process starts the second I wake up. I like to write in the “mornings.” (I put that in quotes because I don’t get out of bed before 10AM unless I have to. On the flip side, I stay up until 3-4AM most days.) My mind is rested and fresh and ready to pump the words out right after I wake.

Once I start writing, I’ll write until the hubby interrupts me (he’s learned not to do that) or the sun goes down and my stomach decides that it’s the time to request food. I write by the seat of my pants but usually have a general idea of where I want the story to go. My characters also have a general idea of where they want the story to go and we have yet to see eye to eye on that. Most of the time, I end up doing what they tell me. Easier to avoid writer’s block that way.

Where do you write?
I converted one of our three bedrooms into an office so I can shut the door, closing out all distractions. The white board on the door is a quick and easy way to pass messages to the hubby so he won’t bug me while I’m in the zone.

What are you working on now?
I am working on an Erotica of the fantasy variety where a husband acquires a coin that can hypnotize people so he decides to use it on his wife (with her permission). You can probably imagine the sexual mischief he gets her into and she enjoys every second of it.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
My current non-writing distraction is knitting. I took it upon myself to knit the 4th Doctor’s scarf…all 12ft of it. Seven different colors. Took me almost all of December. I gave it to the hubby for Christmas. He loves it. That was my very first knitting project. I’ve seen started loom knitting and I also plan to knit another Doctor Who scarf using acrylic yarn. The one my hubby got was 100% wool, thus not cheap. Also, because it was 100% wool, I had to compromise on some of the colors so it’s a little darker in some areas than the 4th Doctor’s scarf. The acrylic version won’t have that issue.

Favorite swear word?
No one puts it more succinctly than the boys of Boondock Saints:
Rocco: Fuckin'- What the fuckin'. Fuck. Who the fuck fucked this fucking... How did you two fucking fucks... Fuck!
Connor: Well, that certainly illustrates the diversity of the word.

Favorite food?
Mac ‘n Cheese. I have yet to meet a MnC I didn’t like. I love cheese. I love pasta. Put them together with some hot sauce (Crystal preferably but I’ll settle for Louisiana) and I’m in heaven with a capital H.
And now, Darlings, pour yourself something cool to drink and enjoy a taste of “CREAM”

About CREAM (On the Hunt)
She's entered a world where blood, sex, and cash rules everything around her.

What do a four hundred-year-old vampire and a mid-level necromancer have in common? Money. Jeliyah needs it to pay off the people who trained her and Teaghan enjoys killing to get it. Together they hunt rogue vampires—assuming Teaghan can focus on something other than getting her in bed and Jeliyah doesn’t put a bullet in him first.

The uneasy partnership promises to be lucrative until Teaghan and Jeliyah get on the wrong side of a feud. Jeliyah is forced to use forbidden magic and finds herself bound to a man she should hate—but whom she can’t stop fantasizing about.

Every second they stay alive fuels a growing desire Jeliyah is unwilling to deny. Is it the magic? The danger? The only way to get the answers she craves is to outrun the enemy or kill them. She knows Teaghan’s preference but it's Jeliyah who must put their mind-blowing sex aside and make the choice that will decide both their fates.

Inside Scoop: An interracial romance between a wannabe-gangtsa vampire and a career-focused magic user who go from being the hunters to the hunted in an exciting new urban fantasy world.


He jabbed his finger at his shoulder where the marker was located. "Do something about this damn thing. It's how he's tracking me."

"So his necromancer is still alive then." Jeliyah rummaged through the pouch dangling from her gun harness. She quickly jammed her rings on and then grabbed his head. "Don't get any ideas from this."

He started to ask her what she meant but her lips landing on his answered the question. Teaghan sat in stunned shock. He came back to his senses when Jeliyah bit his lower lip. She sucked at the wound, tasting his blood, and then he realized what she was doing—besides making him hard when he should be worried about killing the mofo who'd shot up his car.

Jeliyah pulled back from the kiss. Her upper lip and tongue were stained red with his blood. Her breath came in shudders and her grip on his head tightened as his blood entered her system, amping up her abilities.

She pulled in a deep breath and then said, "Activate. Recognize."

Teaghan's body hummed along with her necromes but it wasn't painful or uncomfortable. The sensation could almost be described as soothing, like a tingling massage.

She shuddered again. "Confusion. Ghost Status."

"What's Confusion?"

Jeliyah dropped her hands from his head and hugged her arms. In a shaky voice, she said, "Decoys. It gives every vampire in a one-mile radius a beacon that mimics a marker."

"Nice." He stood. "You going to pass out again?"

She shook her head.

"You good on your own while I take care of him? We don't know if Dumas brought someone besides his necromancer."

Jeliyah slipped on her bracelets and then pulled out her gun. It started humming along with her necromes. Good enough for him. Teaghan unsheathed his sword. Before he could walk away, Jeliyah said, "My necromes know you now. I can back you up from here without hitting you."

"Do it then. Where is he?"

She closed her eyes. "Chasing shadows. Headed for nine."

"Can you track his necromancer?"


"Keep me posted." He tapped his head and then ran after Dumas. There were a lot of vampires in this district. It's the other reason Teaghan chose hotels here. A rogue wouldn't be able to pinpoint him. That was working in his favor with Dumas as well.

You should see him. He's almost on top of you. Jeliyah's telepathic voice entered Teaghan's head. She sounded as sweet as though she were whispering in his ear. Focus, vampire!
Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy CREAM today from Ellora’s Cave, All Romance eBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine eBook retailers