"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 6, 2014

Getting Personal With Author Gia Dawn

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Gia Dawn. Gia stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt from her new contemporary erotic romance “A Taste of Winter.”

About Gia Dawn 
Here is a quick history of my story as a writer: After several deaths in the family and a health scare of my own, I quit writing back in 2008 after releasing several titles with Samhain Publishing. When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes--young adult onset--in May of this year, I did what any good mother would. Cried for several days and then went to check out the Brenda Novak Auction where I bid on, and won, a three chapter critique from Ellora’s Cave!! I pitched to the lovely Julie Naughton at the Readers and Writers weekend sponsored by Lori Foster and Duffy Brown in June, and voila, the Red Masks Series was born. The first in the series, A Taste of Winter, was released in November 2013.

Connect with Gia

And now, let’s get personal with author Gia Dawn!

What’s the best part of being a writer?
The flexibility of the work. I am at that age where my mother needs me more and more. Writing allows me to go out of town to be with her for a couple of days without having to ask for time off. It was also a great job to have when my boys were still home, I could work around their school, orthodontist, sports and after school activities.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Sitting my butt down in the chair and getting started for the day. Suddenly so many other things need done. The dishes and clothes need washed, the dogs need another walk, the carpet needs vacuumed—the list goes on and on. This year I plan to go out and work at the library or a coffee shop so I don’t get sidetracked by things I think are more important.

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
Writing good sex. It’s so much more than putting tab A into tab B, and gets harder and harder to keep the sexuality fresh and fun without going way over the top.

What is your writing process?
I am a major panster. So much so that as I get through the book, I find myself going back to adjust character traits, plot points, etc. as the characters and the plot take shape. But it works for me, and I don’t mind going back to add detail to the manuscript.

Where do you write?
Going to try and get out of the house this year so I don’t get distracted by housework, etc.  Oh, and nap time…I can majorly get distracted by nap time.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
My husband had a wonderful uncle who always said don’t sweat the small stuff—and it’s all small stuff! He was so right. Unless it is a major life or death situation, it resolves itself eventually. I save my panics for the big stuff.

What are you working on now?
Now, I am going back to pick up a manuscript I started 20 years ago! This book has stayed at the back of my mind for a long long time and I am very excited to be giving it another go. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed I finish it this time.

What is your most current release and what is it about?
My latest release is A Taste of Winter, a contemporary erotic short and the first in my Red Masks series with Ellora’s Cave.

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I love to belly dance (This will be clear in my second Red Masks novella whose heroine is a belly dancer.) My husband and I also take ballroom dance.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
I love television and film, so much so that I really have to limit my viewing time or I wouldn’t get anything done. Castle, Once Upon a Time and Revolution are some of my new favorites. I also have a very guilty side that loves serial killers in all their gory glory, Dexter, The Following, and the TV series Hannibal make me squeal in delight. I was also a fan of the Spartacus series on Starz. Yeah, so sue me.

Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
Right now it’s Charleston South Carolina where my Red Masks series is set. Other than that, I would love to go to Rome, or back to England to poke through the Roman ruins there. I am fascinated with the Roman Empire and its history.

Favorite swear word?
Fuck—in all its guises. 

Favorite food?
Really good bread and butter.

Favorite book?
I am now completely engrossed in the Hunger Games series and the Divergent series. Love the books, loved the first two Hunger Games movies—my husband and I graduated college with Woody Harrelson who is wonderful in the movies. And I can’t wait for the first Divergent movie to come out next year.

Do you have any pets?
We always have pets! Lots and lots of pets. I currently have two Labrador/shepherd mixes, Vickie and Vinnie—litter mates, and two aging cats who get surlier and surlier as the years roll on!

Thanks for stopping by, Gia! I  know our visitors will love the following excerpt from A Taste of Winter.

About “A Taste of Winter” Red Masks, Book One

For the ladies of the Red Masks pleasure waits behind every door…and no one is ever who they seem to be.
When Alaina accepts an invitation to Charleston’s premier sex club, she has no idea the stranger who makes her scream with pleasure is her micromanaging ex-boss Ryan. But while she couldn’t stand his domination on the job, his mastery in the bedroom takes her to whole new levels of pleasure. He forces her to submit to his every decadent demand—including a threesome with his old friend and her new employer, Zayne.
While Ryan knows Alaina’s true identity, she remains unaware of his deception until the masks come off and she is faced with a decision. Can she continue to submit to his will now that she knows who he really is?
 Inside scoop: Alaina enjoys a blistering-hot ménage and light bondage in her explorations—lucky girl!
A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


Then…after she'd finished for the day…Alaina planned to do something so wicked, so decadent, so completely out of character, just the thought of it sent shivers of need across her skin. She was finally going to accept the invitation she'd received several weeks ago from the notorious Red Mask Society, the best-kept secret in South Carolina history.

Started by the notorious Monique Gaston well before the Civil War, the Red Mask Society was housed in a massive old plantation just minutes east of the city. Originally a brothel, it had morphed through the years into an exclusive sex club where th e men were gorgeous, rich and highly skilled in the bedroom, and the women were admitted by invitation only…ostensibly at the request of one or more of the male members of the club.

That someone had singled her out for decadent pleasure gave her a shiver of delight she could barely control. After months of not having a single date due to Ryan's 24/7 work schedule, Alaina was more than ready for some sorely needed physical release.

Her hand trembled as she dialed the number, but she was determined not to chicken out as she heard the exotic female voice answer on the other end.
* * * * *
Ryan Marquis stared in displeasure as his cell phone rang. He had a strict policy of no business between the hours of six on Saturday night, and noon Sunday, that brief block of time set aside every week to satisfy his need for rest and relaxation-along with some decadent indulgence when the need arose.

He frowned as the phone rang again, noting it was now three minutes after the hour, before picking it up to see who dared break into his personal time, his frown twisting into a semi-smile as he noted the number and answered.

"Bon nuit, mon cher," came a husky voice across the line. "I have someone for you tonight. Someone you have been waiting for."

His heart pounded in uncharacteristic excitement, his fingers tightening around the phone, a weakness he stifled in an instant. But his body proved a traitor to his discipline, every nerve buzzing, every muscle tightening in anticipation as thoughts of the night ahead wove dark and dangerous pleasures through his mind.

Was it her? Finally, after all this time, had she accepted his invitation?

Alaina Winter.

He'd been unduly fascinated with the frosty blonde ever since he'd hired her two years before. Not only was her work exceptional, the woman had an unnatural ability to match him on a professional level, her wall of politeness so thick she'd refused to break no matter what he'd thrown at her. And every time he heard her precise Southern voice across the phone, agreeing to his every ridiculous demand without a single hesitation, he became more and more obsessed with finding a way to make the ice queen melt.

It wasn't a thing he was proud of in any manner. He deplored his need to feel her tremble in his arms, hear her cries of pleasure as he stroked his teeth across her skin…drive his flesh so far between her legs she'd beg him to stop while he kept her bound and still beneath him. His need had grown so distracting he'd finally taken action. He'd petitioned Madame Manette Brisson, the proprietor of the Red Mask Society, to issue Miss Winter an invitation to come and play-an invitation she'd ignored for so long he thought she would never send a reply.

So what had fueled her sudden acceptance? The lady was up to something, he understood in a heartbeat, remembering their last conversation. And whatever she was up to, he planned to enjoy the ride.

"Monsieur Marquis? If you are unavailable, I will find someone else to keep the lady occupied." The woman on the other end of the line sniffed, her voice chill with censure.

"Not if you value your life," he finally answered, his own voice throaty with rising excitement.

"Then I expect you here at eight o'clock sharp. Don't disappoint either of us by your absence."

Ryan's laughter rumbled from his throat. "I never disappoint, Madame. Is my room cleaned and ready?"

"Mais certainment. Do you have any special requests for the evening?"

This time he didn't bother to try and control the surge of want that throbbed between his legs, spreading them to make room for his growing erection, his hand dropping to rest on the lengthening mass of flesh.

What instruments did he need to make her scream in pleasure?

"Leather," he answered with grunt of satisfaction. "Black. New. Enough to bind her to my will."

"I will see it done," said the woman in a whisper before the line went dead.

Lime green, my ass, he thought with uncharacteristic delight as he pocketed his phone and headed home, the taste of winter already tantalizing on his tongue.

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


  1. Gabrielle, thanks so much for hosting me here today! I am in the middle of that arctic blast, so it was -5 when I got up this morning. Now I know some experienced Northerners will tell me to stop whining...lolol...but here in Southern Indiana, we aren't used to this degree of cold. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Gia

  2. We love having you here, Gia! It's -41 windchill here on The West Coast of Wisconsin! I think once the outdoor temps plunge to the "life-threatening" level (The Weather Channel's term, not mine - though I concur) then a little whining is in order! Might I suggest to our gentle visitors that - no matter what the outdoor temp where you are - it's the PERFECT day to curl up with a HOT romance ♥

    1. OMG...I don't know how I would deal with -41, although the wind chill factor here is -25. Took the dogs out for a short walk in their doggie sweaters and we made it quick. I had a sudden fear of my eyeballs freezing...not a pretty picture, hahahahah!

  3. Yay, Gia...so glad you're back in the game!
    My husband and I sat next to Woody at a bar in Dayton one time, back in the Cheers era...he got up and sang Hound Dog with the band.
    Can't wait to read this!

    1. Teri, he sang in college, too. Not a bad voice. I dated a friend of his and we used to double-date together...I have stories, lots of stories!! Gia

  4. So glad you are writing again! We'll have to meet at the library and write together sometime!

  5. Gia, it's fabulous to see you're writing again. I love your cover and your series sounds wonderfully wicked. Congrats and good luck!

    Stay warm,

  6. Michele and Gabriella, thanks so much for stopping by. Stay warm and I hope to see you all at the next RWA meeting. Gia

  7. Gabrielle, thanks so much again for hosting me today. Stay warm everyone and remember to make certain your pets stay warm, too!!! Gia