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The Story Behind the Story- Another Cup of Coffee by Jenny Kane

The Story Behind The Story

 

A big thank you to Grace for letting me come and visit today to share with you a little of the background to Another Cup of Coffee, my very first contemporary romance novel.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about the arrival of this novel into the world- for although it’s my very first dip into the world of romance, it was a long time in the making!

 

Another Cup of CoffeeThirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn’t seen since she was at university.

Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she’s kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.

It’s time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in England, when her heart got broken and the life she was building for herself was shattered. Time to make sense of all the feelings she’s been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it’s time to discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…

With her mantra, ‘New life, New job, New home’, playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest…

 

As the blurb says, it took Amy thirteen years to come to her senses and sort her life out – it took me thirteen years to write how she did just that! Not that I’ve been sat puzzling at the pages everyday in all that time- far from it.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin the story of my story…

The idea for Another Cup of Coffee came to me all that time ago, but was originally only intended to be a short story for a competition. I had never written a story before beyond the requirements of school homework, although I had written poetry, some of which I’d been lucky enough to have published. The story, Getting It Back, was all about a quiet girl, who’s cut herself off from her old life after her heart had been broken, and told of how, out of the blue, a package had arrived through the post that made her look at her life afresh. That package was an old fashioned cassette tape, which had a variety of different songs recorded onto it- as was the craze in the 1980’s and early 90’s.

That short story was not well written, and quite rightly got nowhere at all. I gave up writing after that. I’d only entered the competition so that I had a project to do that would occupy my mind and keep me awake. I had a one year old at the time- and she never slept and was a pain to feed- totally the opposite of now bless her!!

So the story was shelved, and I didn’t go back to it for two years went, you guessed it- I had another child- and I remembered the story I’d written. Being the type of person who never throws anything away, I dug it back out, and in fits and bursts I turned it into a novel based on my experiences as a student, my time as an archaeologist, and a friends music obsession.

I’ll be honest- it was not a good read. So again, I shelved it.

Then, a few years later my children went to school- and as is fairly well documented, I had an idea for a very different type of story- an erotic story which I simply had to write down. The result was a persona I called Kay Jaybee- readers of Kd Grace and Grace Marshall may have heard of her…

Such was the unexpected success of Kay Jaybee that I had no time to look at my first early attempt at a novel. I also had no confidence in it. I had become Kay, and Kay was good at stories that oozed kink- I wasn’t at all sure I could do a story that kept the pages turning without it.

Now, I love writing as Kay- she has had one hell of a ride over the years, and has a fair handful of novels, novellas and short stories under her belt- but last year I decided that the time had come to prove to myself that I could do more- and so I rewrote Another Cup of Coffee– and to my surprise it was snapped up…

So- if you fancy discovering my softer side and delving into the story of Amy, her ex boyfriend Jack, and his best friend, erotica writer and Mum, Kit (sound familiar at all????), then why not give Another Cup of Coffee a sip?

Many thanks again for letting me visit today!

Jenny (a.k.a Kay)

You can buy Another Cup of Coffee as either a paperback or an eBook from-

Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

Bio-

Jenny Kane is the author of the contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013). This is Jenny’s first novel, but more are in the pipeline…

Keep your eye on her blog at www.jennykane.co.uk

You can also follow Jenny-

Twitter @JennyKaneAuthor https://twitter.com/JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl

 

Jenny also writes as the erotica author Kay Jaybee.

As Kay she has written several novels, novella’s and short stories, including,  The Retreat, (Xcite 2013), The Voyeur, (Xcite 2012), Making Him Wait (Sweetmeats, 2012), The Perfect Submissive (Xcite, 2012)Digging DeepA Sticky Situation (Xcite 2012), and The Collector (Austin & Macauley, 2012).

Details of all Kay’s work can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

 

Life in the Land by Rebecca Cohen

Life in the LandBlurb

The magic of the Sawyer family’s extremely green thumbs comes straight from the land. But Bobby Sawyer’s expected superpowers don’t become a reality until he kisses his best friend, Mike Flint. That kiss moves the earth—literally.

When Bobby moves to the city, leaving Mike behind, Bobby keeps his green thumb nimble by working in a garden center and uses his superpowers to help fight crime. He’s on a mission when a bomb explodes, leaving him seriously injured, forcing him to return to the family farm—the source of his strength—to recuperate.

While attempting to recover, Bobby realizes Mike is still the love of his life. But Mike is leery: Bobby left him once before. What if all Bobby needs is one more magical kiss?

 

Short Excerpt from Life in the Land

The distant hum of a tractor’s engine and a few notes of birdsong were the only noises, and once again Bobby’s chest filled with heart-clenching disappointment. His eyes prickled, and he tried to hold back the tears, but he couldn’t. Large, wet tracks raced down his cheeks, and he leaned forward and rested his head and arms on his knees as he sobbed, pent-up disappointment and salty worries splashing into the soil.

“Please don’t cry, Bobby.”

Mike’s eyes were large and imploring, and Bobby was so miserable at his lack of progress that he just wanted something to hold on to. He leaned forward and tentatively brushed his lips to Mike’s in the gentlest of kisses. With a soft sigh, Mike kissed back in the same chaste way.

There was a tremor beneath him, a mild shake that made his whole body vibrate. They sprang apart, both staring wide-eyed at the dirt as they tried to work out what could be causing the disturbance.

Bobby’s jaw dropped. Before his eyes two of the large roots pulled themselves free of the ground, clods of soil falling from the delicate rootlets as they reached out to him.

With an undignified yelp, Bobby fell backward and scrambled away, but a soft rumble from the oak made him stop. It was reassurance, a call for calm, and he knew then everything was okay.

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
All Romance eBooks

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710

 

Buried Secrets by Emme Rollins

Buried SecretsBLURB:

Should some secrets remain buried?

Dusty has always been a hothead, far more impulsive than her twin, Nick, the calm, cool and collected one of the pair. But Nick is dead, found murdered in their local cemetery, and Dusty simply can’t rest until she finds out who–or what–has killed her brother.

Sure the local authorities aren’t being straight with her–or anyone else–about what’s been going on in their little upper Michigan town, Dusty delays going off to college for a semester, defying her father and stepmother and taking a job in the local bar to start doing some digging.

Her focus soon fixes on Shane, her brother’s best friend and the town bad boy. The tension and rivalry between Dusty and Shane has always been palpable and sparks fly as the two collide. Dusty finds herself sinking in deeper with Shane and the mystery of what happened to her brother–and a lengthening list of victims–grows even stranger.

When everything comes to a head, Dusty focuses on one thing: What happened the night her brother was killed in the cemetery? She’s sure Shane is keeping a secret and she’s determined to find out what it is, one way or another.

Available from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

EXCERPT:

“Nick told me something the last time I saw him… alive.”

She closed her eyes, not sure why she was telling him. Maybe it was the way he turned his head toward her before inhaling deeply, like he was trying to breathe her in. Maybe it was the way he cupped her shoulder in his hand, like he was holding something delicate—a tiny field mouse or a baby bird—and he was trying to be careful not to startle it. But mostly she thought it was the memory of his kiss in the darkness, the way he had taken it, how he had groaned and given into her response in that one brief moment before his senses returned.

“What did he tell you?” Shane’s spine straightened slightly, breath catching in his chest. He went completely still, like a deer caught in the shine of a poacher’s flashlight.

“He said he saw the way you look at me.” She hesitated, hearing his intake of breath when her hand moved to his thigh. Leaving it there, halfway up, she rested her head in the crook of his shoulder, feeling him breathing again. “And he saw the way I look at you.”

“What, exactly, is that supposed to mean?”

“Nick said he had the feeling, if he hadn’t been around, we might have ended up together.” Dusty lifted her chin to see his reaction. He didn’t look surprised, not like she had been. They were very close now. Close enough she could see the reddish stubble on his cheeks and the gold flecks in the light blue of his eyes and that little divot above his lip. She had the impulse to touch him there and repressed it.

“You and me?” he asked, pondering it, lips pursed in thought, making her think about that damnable kiss. She didn’t understand why she was feeling this way. First, the funeral home. Now they were both sitting on her brother’s grave. What was it about her dead brother that revved up her libido around Shane? It went beyond crazy and slipped into the realm of the surreal.

“You and me.” She nodded slowly, fascinated by the shape of his mouth.

“I don’t know.” Shane blinked those striking blue eyes at her, both eyebrows raised. Her attention was drawn down to his mouth again when he licked his lips, drawing the lower one thoughtfully in before asking, “What do you think?”

“I don’t understand why…” She didn’t. She didn’t understand any of it. Her world made no sense anymore. Nick was dead and Shane was here, offering her comfort and something else—she didn’t even know what—after all the years they’d spent sparring and going after each other’s throats.

But he’d come looking for her, had known she would be in the closet. He’d known her temper well enough to hold her back when she would have gone after the idiotic sheriff with her bare hands. And he’d held her and rocked her and let her cry when she needed to, which was far more than anyone else in her life seemed to want to do.

She didn’t understand it, but she knew she was feeling it. And whatever “it” was, it was powerful. Magnetic. It made her want to act, to do something reckless, careless, shameless. It made her feel like she had in the closet of the funeral home, ready to strip down to nothing and give into the feeling. It made her feel like doing that now, right here, on her brother’s grave. It felt wrong and right at the same time.

“What don’t you understand?” he prompted.

Dusty took a deep breath, reaching out and doing it, touching that little divot above his parted lips. She didn’t stop there, tracing the delicious shape of them, feeling him go still again, but it was different this time. This sort of stillness was more predator than prey. It was like the watchful, waiting crouch of an animal.

“I don’t understand why,” she whispered, swallowing as she let her finger trail down over his Adam’s apple, feeling him swallow. “But I think Nick wanted us to kiss and make up.”

“Do you want to?” He turned more fully toward her, the question in his eyes.

“Kiss?” Her finger traced the V of his t-shirt, his jacket still undone.

“Yes.”

His lips were slightly parted, wet. So were hers. They were so close she’d lost focus and longed to close her eyes. Her body thrummed, so very alive, and the irony didn’t escape her because they were surrounded by death. Everything else faded away, lost its shape, until all she could focus on was Shane’s presence, the heat of his body, the way his hands moved down the curve of her shoulders to grip her upper arms.

“I don’t know why,” she confessed, finally letting her eyes close in anticipation, feeling him drawing her closer by micro increments. “But yes. Yes. Yes.”

She whispered the last three words, her lips almost touching his. His breath was warm, fruity and sweet, fingers tightening their grip on her arms.

 

BIO

Emme Rollins is Top 100 Amazon Bestselling New Adult/Mature Young Adult fiction. She’s been writing since she could hold a crayon and still chews her pen caps to a mangled plastic mess. She did not, however, eat paste as a kid.

She has two degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s, one of which she’s still paying for, but neither of which she uses out in the “real world,” because when she isn’t writing, she spends her time growing an organic garden to feed her husband and children (and far too many rabbits and deer!) where they live on twenty gorgeous forested acres in rural Michigan.

She loves tending her beehives (bees are wonderful pollinators and Hello!? Honey!) and keeping up with her daily yoga practice and going for long walks in the woods with her boxer, Rodeo, who loves chasing squirrels almost as much as Emme loves writing!

Social Media Links

Site: http://www.emmerollins.com

Blog: http://www.emmerollins.com/blog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emmerollinsfanpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/emmerollins

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/104962183698626394500

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/18901147-emme-rollins

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emmerollins/

Tumblr: http://emmerollins.tumblr.com/

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L.C. Wilkinson’s Hot New Novel, All of Me, is A Part of Her

The Story Behind The Story

It’s a question a lot of authors get asked: How did you come to write the story; what was your inspiration? For me, the interesting thing is that whatever the inspiration, once the story has been set in motion it more often than not takes on a life of its own and the finished narrative can be quite different to the original idea. The roots are there, if you dig deep enough, but the tree itself has a different canopy to one first imagined. Here’s my attempt to unearth the seeds of All of Me.

In the late 1990s, when I worked as an actress, I did a tour of Italy. While it wasn’t the high point of my acting career (though career makes it sound grander than it actually was) it was a fantastic and magical experience. Later, when children came along and I’d moved into writing words for a living rather than saying them on stage, friends and colleagues often said I should write about my time in Italy. It would make a great story, they said. I wasn’t convinced. Location has always been important in my work – it affects tone, pace, rhythm, language – but in itself it doesn’t a story make. But showbiz people are interesting; they tend towards the dramatic (unsurprisingly), so whilst I didn’t water this narrative seed, I didn’t dig it up either, to continue the metaphor.

I wrote other stuff: short stories, flash fiction, novels. Alongside fiction, raising my boys and a part-time job in education, I work as an editor, freelance and for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. Last year, I edited some MSs described as erotic romance and thought that I’d like to have a go at writing in the genre myself. A female character, an actress – one who would go on to become Flick Burrows – had been rattling around my imagination for some time. She was successful – a soap opera star – and driven. An unconventional beauty from a difficult, disadvantaged childhood, she owed her success to hard work and determination. And she was no ingénue.

Because of my background, I understand how tough it can be for actresses facing 40 and I started wondering how challenging it might be if a younger, much younger, man was interested in Flick. On the one hand, the industry is telling her she’s past it; her leading lady days are numbered and there’s a wilderness period before one is old enough to play the ‘hag’; on the other hand, a young man – a rich, clever, sexy man – is telling her she is hot, fascinating and utterly irresistible. Putting my leading lady in a glass house, via her career, would exacerbate the sense of fading desirability that many women feel approaching middle age. The sense that they need to carve out a new role for themselves. It was at this point the Italian backdrop appeared on the stage that was becoming All of Me. In another country – Flick is a Londoner – she is free to reinvent herself, behave atypically and the glamour, beauty, and let’s face it, sheer sexiness of Italy was perfect.

All of MeThe theatrical tour provides the structure of the novel; the different locations and theatres marking the progression of the tour and of Flick and Orlando’s relationship. And because of my own life experience I needed to do little research on the world of the theatre and many areas of Italy, though I had to do some, of course, because of the passage of time. The real life tour did begin in Milan, before moving south to Sicily and working its way up the boot of Italy before finishing in Sardinia. However, because fiction is life without the dull bits (the quote is attributed to legendary film maker Alfred Hitchcock [replacing fiction with drama], or Clive James depending on where you look) the tour in All of Me visits many more glamorous locations than I did – Venice, Verona, Florence, for example – and takes place principally in the summertime (as opposed to the grimmer winter months). And the characters and their dilemmas are far removed from my own.

Flick’s dark past was inspired by so many people’s stories. Sadly, we hear similar tales almost every day on the news and in the papers. Similarly Orlando’s, though perhaps to a lesser degree than Flick’s. And once I knew Flick’s desires and demons, and I’d set the stage, the story near enough wrote itself. The origins date back 15 years, but All of Me was written quickly; at least by my standards. It took 11 weeks. Other works have taken two years. It is perhaps unfashionable to say this, but it is the truth. I had such fun writing Flick and Orlando’s story that for a while I thought it couldn’t be any good. I only hope that readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Excerpt for All of Me:

 Mr Hot led me through to a brightly lit room, the light scorching my eyes after near darkness. He pulled up a wooden stool and gestured for me to sit. I did as I was instructed. Row upon row of bottles of oil, condiments, herbs and spices lined shelves that covered an entire wall. It was a store cupboard, and the strip lighting was harsh; every fine line, blemish and open pore would be visible. Inwardly, I cursed my lack of foundation once more. I felt exposed, stripped right down, and vulnerable. I shielded my eyes, allowing my hand to drop low enough to conceal most of my face.

‘Better here, fewer people. Can I get you a drink? Cup of tea?’ he said.

‘Something stronger might be better.’ I attempted to cover my embarrassment with humour. He did not laugh, or even smile. ‘Water would be great. Wouldn’t do to be seen drunk. Imagine what they’d make of that,’ I added quickly.

Through a gap in my fingers I watched him push open swing doors with considerable force and sashay out, revealing the bustle of a hectic lunchtime kitchen; he barked out an instruction in a language I couldn’t quite place. Italian probably, possibly Spanish. This was no ordinary waiter in more ways than one. He returned moments later.

Despite his blistering good looks, or maybe because of them, I wanted to get the hell out of there; I gulped down the water. ‘Thank you. Can you show me the other way out now please?’

‘It’s not too soon?’

‘I have to be somewhere.’

At the exit, he paused and looked into my eyes, the hazel fading to black as his pupils dilated. He ran his tongue over those sensual lips. I couldn’t breathe and for a moment I thought I might pass out. The attraction I’d felt was mutual; he was devouring me with his gaze; his desire was palpable. Had it been a movie, or an episode of the cheap drama I’d been in, we’d have thrown ourselves at each other, kissed passionately, before being interrupted by an angry chef brandishing a meat knife. I coughed; it broke the spell.

He leant forward to grab the door handle, the bouquet of his aftershave mingling with a distinct, very masculine aroma. I was soooo tempted, but this was real life, and my personal life was enough of a mess. He opened the door, leant forward to look up and down the street before turning back to me and nodding that it was clear. Neither of us knew what to say. I had no idea if he knew, understood, or even cared why the press were hounding me, and I wasn’t inclined to explain.

I held out my hand. ‘Thank you. You saved my life.’

He took my hand, but rather than shaking it, as I had intended, he lifted it to his mouth and kissed the back. A charge raced up my arm, exploding in my mouth and groin. ‘It was nothing. Anyone would have done the same.’

‘Thanks anyway,’ I gasped. I had to get out of there, and quick. My internal red light was flashing: danger, danger, danger.

I stepped into the street and, unsure which direction to take, turned right and walked; the skin on my hand still thrumming from the touch of his lips. I wanted to look back, and tried desperately to resist the urge. After a few metres, I gave up and turned my head. There was no sign of him.

Blurb: Actress Flick Burrow’s career is in the doldrums. Dumped by long-term boyfriend at the altar and nudging forty she escapes to Italy touring with a theatrical company.

Orlando Locatelli is a successful businessman. He’s rich, clever and drop-dead gorgeous.

When the two meet, the attraction is instant. But Orlando is 15 years Flick’s junior; he’s the controlling director’s son; his stepmother is possessive and destructive. He’s trouble and he’s determined to have her.

Sparks fly when a tour romance turns into something altogether more dangerous, threatening to reveal pasts, and desires, both lovers are keen to bury.

All of Me is published by Xcite in paperback and e-book formats.

You can buy All of Me here:

Amazon.co.uk

Ebook

Print

Amazon.com

eBook

Print

Xcite Books

eBook

Print

Laura L C Wlikinsonone eyeAbout L.C.:

L.C. grew up in north Wales and now she lives by the sea in Brighton with three fellas (her ginger sons and her husband) and a cat called Sheila. After many years working as a journalist, copywriter and editor of hagsharlotsheroines.com, she writes fiction and works part-time as an editor for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. All of Me is her first romance for Xcite. She hopes that it is the first of many.

To find out more about L. C. visit her site – www.lcwilkinson.com – for news and freebies. Or follow her on Twitter: @ScorpioScribble You’ll also find her GoodReads, and she loves to hear from readers and other writers so do get in touch.

 

Lucy Felthouse and Lily Harlem Talk Co-Authoring

Lucy FelthouseLucy’s thoughts…

I’ve been published for a few years now, mainly in the short story arena, though I have novellas available and others contracted, as well as a novel coming later in the year. I always keep my eye on what’s out there, what’s coming soon, how people are working, their achievements, and so on. And one thing that’s caught my eye several times has been co-authoring. To me, it looked like a brilliant way to work on a project with someone, have fun and then end up with a piece of work at the end of it. But I admit I didn’t really understand how it worked, so it just bubbled away in the back of my mind, and I didn’t do anything about it.

However, towards the back end of 2012, my good friend and fellow writer Lily Harlem suggested co-authoring something together. I explained I had a few projects on, so I couldn’t start right away, but I would definitely be interested. She was busy too, so we said we’d start in the early part of 2013, when all the Christmas and New Year festivities were over and done with, and life was back to normal.

The writing bug bit Lily, however, and in December she sent me a chapter that had just come to her, so she’d written it down. I managed to read it quickly, but knew I still wouldn’t be able to do anything with it until January. I was eager to try out co-authoring, but other commitments had to take priority.

Then 2013 arrived. I’d cleared my commitments and was free to start something new – hurrah! I read the chapter again and then bombarded Lily with a million and one questions about the process of co-authoring, how she thought it would work, our intended publisher, and so on. I was very lucky in that a) Lily had co-authored many times before so knew how it worked b) she was very, very patient with me and answered all my questions c) that our writing styles are quite similar, so that although we wrote from separate character viewpoints, our respective sections would still fit together well and d) we know each other well enough to give constructive and honest feedback that will be truly helpful, rather than trying to sugar coat anything for the sake of being nice.

And so we began. The chapter Lily had written back in December was from the female perspective and I was happy to write from the male perspective. I’ve done it many times before and enjoy it very much. We’d already agreed that if things didn’t work out, we wouldn’t worry too much about it, so I opened the document and began to write without thinking too hard. We had no plan, no idea what on earth the book was going to be about, really, just that it would be an erotic romance. Despite this, the words came. Fast.

After writing a chapter of roughly the same length as Lily’s, I skim read it and sent it back to her. And thus the mad email exchange began. Prior to this project I’d only written one full-length novel by myself and found it a learning curve, albeit it a fun and very satisfying project, but often I had to force myself to carry on and not procrastinate. With this book, however, it was totally different. It was full of surprises – because we hadn’t planned it, the chapters we sent back to one another were a total surprise, and we both had to think on our feet to work out where the plot would go next. We’d agreed not to rush one another for chapters as we both had other things on, too, and although we didn’t pressure one another, we still produced the words at lightning speed (for me, anyway!). I grew eager to read Lily’s next chapter, to see where the characters – which I’d quickly grown very fond of – would go next, what they would do. There was very, very little procrastination! None, really. Just lots of use of Google Street View.

The only thing we’d really planned was that the book would be longer than 50,000 words – to make it novel length. We did discuss how it would end, but never made a set decision, we just decided to keep writing and hope it came to a natural conclusion. We agreed that because Lily had written the first chapter, that I would write the last. That was the only time throughout the project that I felt pressure – and it was from myself, not my co-author. I had to write the last chapter, therefore the ending, therefore it had to be good, and satisfying! I put my fingers to the keys of my laptop and hoped that what came out would be good. When I finished the final chapter I read it again and made tweaks, then decided that no benefit would come of me staring at it – so I sent it to Lily. And waited with baited breath for her reply.

She loved it!! She even said that it made her cry. Naturally, I was incredibly relieved that she liked it – and the fact it made her cry was a huge bonus. Poor Lily was suffering with a bad cold at the time so she wasn’t feeling her best, but I decided to take the compliment anyway. And voilà – our novel, which had been through what felt like a bazillion title changes throughout the writing process, was finished. We smashed our 50k minimum and ended up with 70,000 words, roughly. In five weeks (with me even doing two chapters in one day – one in the morning, then one in the late afternoon as Lily sent hers back in the early afternoon) we penned a novel that we were both absolutely delighted with, and characters we adored.

Next, we made ourselves leave it alone for a while. We both agreed that jumping in with edits and polishing too soon wouldn’t help. We’d made comments on each other’s chapters as we went along, asking for clarification of certain points or even just saying parts had made us “LOL” and that helped immensely. So much so that after our waiting period, we didn’t change very much at all.

Then came the discussion on submission. We’d had a publisher in mind all along – Ellora’s Cave – and we submitted to them. Thankfully, they said yes. Cue much happy dancing from Lily and I! As we waited for news, we had a bit of a debrief and agreed we’d both loved the process and were amazed at how quickly the book had come together – and even discussed making it into a series. Now that series is in progress, and even has its own website: http://rawtalentseries.co.uk. The first book, Grand Slam, just released – cue lots of nerves from the two of us –but thankfully, we’ve already had some excellent feedback. So our baby is out in the world and people are enjoying it – what could be better?

I totally adored the process of co-authoring with Lily. It was genuinely fun and we just seemed to work really well – and quickly – together.

So if you’ve been thinking about co-authoring, I would say go for it. If you know someone that you can work well with, and you will be honest with one another and complement one another, then it’s a great way to write a book. You’ll have to ask lots of questions to make sure you’re both on the right wavelength, but it’s worth it in the end.

 

Lily HarlemLily’s thoughts…

Well, I think Lucy summed our co-author experience beautifully, Grand Slam was borne from a ‘yeah, lets give it a go’ comment one evening on London’s South Bank over a glass of wine and a gourmet burger, and is now a fully fledged novel that we are both so proud of. Thank goodness we took the plunge!

As Lucy said, that first chapter did just come to me. I’d been watching tennis on Sky Sports, some hunky player whose name I don’t recall, all in white and darting around the court with skill and grace. And it had me wondering, as I often do about athletes, that if he was that focused, so utterly in control in his chosen sport during the day, what was he like at night, in the bedroom? Mmm, you see how my naughty mind works now, don’t you?

I also liked the contrast of his pristine whites and his tanned skin and brooding expression. This got me wondering what other layers he had? Were his desires dark? Did his passion also go to the physical extremes he clearly put his body through during a match? And was his determination to find satisfaction as unstoppable when he was with a woman as when he was facing an opponent?

That is how Travis Connolly was created, though because I wrote the first chapter I didn’t actually get very far into his head. As it turned out Lucy wrote Travis – and because of her A Taste of… Series, a male viewpoint is something she is exceptional at – and I wrote Marie. Oh, la, la, now I think I got seriously lucky there, because every time Lucy sent a chapter back my heart flipped. I just needed to read it. I was desperate to know what big, bad Travis had done next to me… I mean… Marie! LOL, you see that is the beauty of co-authoring, as long as you’re easy going, writing with someone with a similar style, then it is just a whole heap of fun. Marie and Travis were in our heads, bouncing off of each other, their voices loud and clear. The sex scenes were steaming up our laptops and having them from the both characters point of view made them very intimate.

The next book in the series is currently our work in progress, and readers of Grand Slam will already know the two main characters – cryptic, I know! Co-authoring is incredible, I guess it helps if one person has done it before and ‘gets it’. My first attempt was with Natalie Dae, and she was wonderfully patient with me, and encouraging, she certainly taught me a lot too. Sharing writing experiences, the highs and lows, makes it a less lonely profession for sure, and like many things in life, the more I learn about it, the more I realise I don’t know, which is where an easy going attitude is worth its weight in gold if you want to be a co-author. So give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen…?

*****

We’re on tour right now with Grand Slam, so if you want to learn more about the book, feel free to follow: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/lucy-felthouse-and-lily-harlem/

*****

Excerpt:

“Some people like pain,” he said, still not looking at me.

“Masochists you mean?”

“Yes, I suppose.”

Shit, was he trying to tell me that he enjoyed the pain the accident had left him with? If so, we really needed to discuss this. “That’s not the majority of people though.”

“No, but more than you think. And some people like administering pain.” He turned to me, cocked his head slightly and moved into the space I’d left between us.

I looked into his eyes. Swallowed and tasted his cologne as it traveled into my nostrils and then laced my tongue. “Would you consider them to be good people, Travis? These individuals that like to hurt others.”

“I’ve known a few people who like to give and receive higher sensations, and most of them I consider to be good friends as well as good people.”

I hesitated, felt his body heat radiating toward me, wrapping around me as I pondered his words. We were close, very close, and his consuming presence made logical thinking much harder than normal. “I’m not quite sure what you’re telling me.”

“You talk about pain like it’s a bad thing, Marie.”

“It is.”

He smiled but it wasn’t a sweet smile, more like one of a hunter who’d spotted prey.

“Pain is unpleasant for a reason,” I said. “Because it’s bad.”

“I disagree.” He raised his eyebrows and widened his eyes. It was a challenging, cocky gesture.

A tingle snaked its way up my spine and threatened to wreak havoc in my body by turning into a tremble. But I beat it down. I wouldn’t let a patient get to me this way. I was the one supposed to be holding the reins here.

“Maybe, Marie, you should open your mind to new ideas with a little more grace.”

“I fail to see how I haven’t been graceful in discussing your theory that pain is good.”

“Can we keep it that way?”

“I hope so.”

“In that case,” he flicked his attention from my eyes and looked at my hair, “would you like me to demonstrate?”

Damn, the guy made me feel tiny. Even though I was wearing heels, his broad chest and wide shoulders were looming over me. “Okay.”

He twitched the right side of his mouth into a half-smile. Now he looked like a hunter who’d captured his prey. A trickle of fight or flight seeped into my system. Which would be my best option?

“Now that’s the first rule.” He reached up and undid the clasp holding my hair on the top of my head. It tumbled around my shoulders as the clasp fell to the floor.

“Consent.”

“Doesn’t consent require knowing what you’re agreeing to?” Fuck, with him this close and stroking my hair, spreading it out, I’d pretty much agree to anything. Who was I kidding? Fight or flight was not an option, the only thing that shot through my mind was giving myself over to him. Allowing him to do whatever he wanted, control my body, feed it what it needed.

Damn, it had been too long since I’d been with a man. It was making me desperate.

He slotted his other hand over the left side of my head, the sound of him sliding his fingers over the shell of my ear noisy. My breath hitched and I locked my knees to stabilize my stance. I stared up at him, noting the small shafts of black hair sneaking out of his skin on his chin and the way his bottom lip was a little plumper than the top.

“You see, some pain,” he said, gathering my hair up at my crown and tugging to create tension on the roots, “can heighten the awareness of everything else going on in the body.”

He pulled harder, forcing my head to tip back.

I gasped as discomfort shot across my scalp.

He increased the pressure a little more.

I reached out and clutched at his shirt, felt his hard chest beneath. “Travis, I—”

“Shh, I’m just showing you.” He slipped his arm around my waist, dragged me close and yanked my hair, really hard.

“Ow, I—” A barrage of sensations blasted through my system. The feel of him pressing up against me, hot hard male, all wide pecs and solid thighs. The pain from having my hair tugged with force, and the awareness that my belly was shoved right up against his groin. A groin that held a wedge of thick flesh.

“Just feel,” he whispered, hovering his lips over mine. “Endorphins are rushing into your bloodstream, giving you a natural high as pain alerts your nerve endings that something exciting is happening.” He slid his free hand up my back, tracing the outline of my spine through my blouse.

I breathed in the air he was breathing out, warm and sweet. The scream of hurt in my scalp made me want to wriggle but being held so firmly and confidently kept me still. The heat of the discomfort slipped down my nape and neck and over my shoulders, then combined with the lovely sensation of him stroking my back.

“Can you feel it?” he whispered. “Pain mixing with pleasure, the lines between the two blurring.”

I could feel it with every fiber of my being. My skin was alive with awareness, my breasts were heavy and desperate for stimulation, and between my legs I was buzzing for action. Good, hard man action, preferably of the naked, sweaty variety. “Yes,” I gasped.

*****

grandslamBlurb:

California had seduced me with promises of a new life working at Los Carlos Tennis Academy. What I didn’t expect was the dark, brooding number one seed, Travis Connolly, resisting my help. He wasn’t interested in my psychology skills. Instead his attention was drawn to the edgy, sharper corners of my desires, proving that they existed, setting me challenges and driving me crazy to the point of combustion.

I’m the best tennis player in the world—officially—so why would I need a damn woman full of psychobabble to get me on form? Despite my irritation, however, I can’t resist pushing Marie Sherratt’s buttons even though doing that shows her the darkest shades of my lust, the parts of me I buried deep. So I set her a challenge, one she rises to, one that has me rising too, and before long my game relies on her calling the shots, hitting the target and bending to my will. One thing was certain, being not just master of the court, but also of Marie is seriously good for my soul.

Buy links: http://rawtalentseries.co.uk/book-1-grand-slam/

Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18212109-grand-slam

*****

Author Bios:

Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK with Mr Harlem and a host of rescued animals. She is an award winning author of contemporary erotic romance and writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora’s Cave, HarperCollins, Total-E-Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeats Press as well as self-publishing. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations and sportsmen who are talented both in and out of the bedroom often feature in her novels. But whichever book you choose of Lily’s one thing you can be sure of is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/
Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/lily_harlem
Facebook http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Lily-Harlem/100003519563064
Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lily-Harlem-author-page/200182030094568
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/lilyharlem/
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Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/106837751333678531161/posts

 

Lucy Felthouse

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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