I know everyone asks this but why did you decide to write romance?
Because it’s a genre that resonates deep within me, honestly. Over the years I’ve held in a lot of buried aggression and reading has given me an outlet, but because romance stories are about people with issues, I’ve gelled with this genre more than any other.
What was the hardest thing you had to do when you started?
Gain street cred. Wrestle with ego, honestly. The idea of artistic integrity had to be thrown out the window and it didn’t take too long for me to do that, but was still hard because I intended to sell and be a bestselling author, not an artist.
What was the easiest thing?
Sitting you in my lap. You’re such a lithe lover…
How long did it take you to finish your first manuscript and where did the idea come from?
First MS, few months actually. Maybe longer. I think that was either the collection of poetry or the collection of short stories I’d subbed individually to different places and had all the rights to when I shot the book over to David Dyer Sr. at Renaissance E-books.
Tell me about your first contract?
I barely remember it but I can assure you, the lawyers were generous enough to personally hand craft letters to form words, specially selected for both my benefit AND enjoyment, in order for me to simply sign the contract, thus creating a mutually euphonious experience.
Do you base any of your stories on real people or places or events?
Yup. Mostly because it gives me license to write for them, expressing a version of their lives with a happy endings when their lives are dark.
What gets you in the mood to write?
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years?
In five years I’ll be a household name, in 10? A real god. Movie deals, hopefully, larger book deals, the whole Richard Castle thing.
What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Control – as in I’m a control freak and I get to control (mostly) the hours I work and what I work on.
Okay, quick fun questions:
Favorite ice cream – Rocky Road (like you didn’t know!)
Favorite music – Metal (Djent, speed/thrash, death, lotta prog)
Favorite movie –The ones I write.
Favorite time to write – all day every day, every which way.
If you could be stranded with a movie or television star who would you pick? Bernadette Peters…yum!
If someone played you in a movie who would it be and why? – Batman. Or Grumpy Cat. I honestly don’t know, don’t have that huge a list of favorites in Hollywood nor do I have an extensive background in movies honestly. Shame, I know.
In order to cure the dreaded creative rut she’s in, Livia ends up in Las Vegas by suggestion from her therapist. Oh and there’s a catch. Livia ‘s been set up to have a one night stand with a very handsome man who promises her freedom through submission. Can she surrender to more than just passion?
Livia smirked, bumped into the desk, and leaned into it. Matchmaking was the same as an adult service. Right? She was supposed to get laid, right? Wasn’t this what Dr. Gena wanted for her? Setting her hands on her hips, she stared at Bruce. “Yes but….”
“Madame Eve, the owner, is very thorough with her clients and very particular with their needs and wants. Trust me.” He reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a handkerchief, wiped his brow. Then he folded it back into a perfect square, stuffed it into his jacket, and continued. “I went through hell to use her service.”
Curious, she relaxed her posture, just a touch. “What do you mean? Why would you need a blind date or matchmaking service?”
Color filled his cheeks and tinged his fair skin with a light shade of pink. “Well.” Bruce held his hands out to his sides. “Some time back I was in a relationship that didn’t go well. I loved her, but she left me for a woman named Alexandria Rayne.”
Livia had to cover her mouth to stifle the laughter that threatened to bubble up from within. “Some woman left you for another woman? I find that hard to believe!”
He sat at edge of the bed and smiled nervously “It does seem sort of ridiculous, doesn’t it? But this woman was a powerful romance author who wove spells around her audience with her words. It seemed that even I was ensnared by her net until I realized she wanted nothing to do with me. Alexandria was selfish, she’d strung me and my girlfriend along. She broke my heart.”
She really wanted to laugh but she tried to contain her giggling.
“Go ahead, laugh!” Bruce’s voice boomed through the room.
She thought he was annoyed until she saw the corners of his full lips turn upward in a grin.
“It is a little embarrassing now, but I didn’t find it funny then. In fact, it caused me to overwork and end up in the hospital because I was pushing myself so hard—” His voice dropped. “To put her and Alexandria out of my mind. Then one day I was talking to a coworker who wanted to go out for drinks. You know, as friends.”
“I can see where this is going.” She pursed her lips together in a thin line. She crossed her arms over her chest and straightened.
“No, not entirely. I wasn’t going to sleep with her, if that’s what you think.” He leaned forward. “We went to a different type of club. She asked me to go with her and to obey her every whim.”
Livia cocked a brow, “This sounds suspicious.”
He nodded. “Yeah, it did to me too. I wasn’t sure what was up, but I hadn’t left the house or office in several months. I had a heart attack, and when I got out of the hospital, she was there waiting to pick me up. We had only seen each other outside of work that one time when she took me to the club.”
“And you didn’t question it?”
Bruce shook his head and a few strands came free of his ponytail. She realized his hair had been pulled back by a large black scunchie, not a neat rubber band like she’d thought.
“I was just glad to be alive. The next few weeks with Lilith were interesting”
He was supposed to seduce her? Livia had heard enough. “Let me guess, she taught you a valuable lesson and then you ended up being left alone by Lilith only to realize you needed yourself? Tired story. My therapist has given me that line numerous times.”
“No.” He shook his head again. “It doesn’t end quite that way. Please, let me show you what I did learn. Lilith, taught me things I’d like to share with you. Her suggestion that I approach 1Night Stand surprised me, but I’ve found them to be very thorough. Don’t worry.” He shed his suit coat and set it neatly on the bed beside him. “I’m just a single man who didn’t know what to expect. And I haven’t had a partner in a very long time.” He stood and approached her, bending down on one knee while setting his hand out before her. “Please, let me show you how to own control?”
She gasped. The words she’d wanted to take back had come to her in the form of a person. A real, live person who…she didn’t know what. Livia watched him bow his head. What was with a man who could control the entire universe, dominate her rather large space, and still make himself subservient before her?
What would cause that behavior?
Worse yet, the way he knelt before her gave her a view of very broad shoulders beneath his black T-shirt. His hair hung thickly in a loose tail that stopped just at the small of his back. His musk, so male and potent made her nostrils flare. Something tightened low in her stomach. Her thighs grew damp. “Okay. So, how does this work?”
He looked up from the floor. “I have found that freedom, true freedom comes from when the body is restrained, stimulated and—” Standing, he leaned forward, pressing his lips into hers. “Forced to let the mind and heart work in tandem.”
He brushed his lips against hers one more time, the words echoing like silk over her mind. His voice caressed her, causing pinpricks to race up her spine. Her nipples hardened beneath the satin. She tried to move back from Bruce, but the desk and his large frame trapped her.
Slowly, his mouth caressed hers then his tongue swept over her bottom lip.
She tasted his plump lips. Fresh, sandalwood, hints of rose and cinnamon swirled around her nose, knocking her senses off balance. Her mind zeroed in on the image before her, a powerful man, willing to do her bidding while focusing on her pleasure. Some part of this still confused her.
Finally, Bruce pulled back from the kiss, set his hands on either side of her body, and returned to a kneeling position.
Her head swam and she had to steady herself against his shoulders, only to find that his face was at the level of her sex. “How would you go about restraining the body and stimulating it?”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a two bundles of dark blue rope. “Silk helps for those who are afraid of iron.”
An eyebrow rose.
“The chair, a perfect place to hold you,” he indicated with a nod of his head. “You’ll sit with your hips at the edge, legs spread. Arms tied lightly.”
“It won’t hurt?” She looked at the chair, a high-end leather and wood piece of furniture with arms that could be used to hold her hands down if he tied her to it.
“If it does, I’ll loosen the ropes. Just ask.”
That was the problem. She could trust him; she felt somewhat safe with a man who seemed to be in so much control over himself. He could easily hurt her, but she didn’t get the sense that Bruce would. It was odd, but she really found him worth at least a shot. Livia had never asked for anything in her life. She’d always done for herself or gone without. Life had been tough going without, even as her income grew. Still, she wanted things and feared asking for them.
The question jumped from the back of her mind to her lips before she could stop it. “What if I get scared?”
Bruce looked into her eyes and smiled. “You simply say Bluetooth.”
“Bluetooth?” Her eyebrows furrowed.
“Yes. That’s your safeword. If you feel scared and want me to stop, you simply say it and all play of any sort ceases.”
The thought of all things ceasing at her asking gave her a rush as did the tone of his voice. The words again seemed to wrap around her ears in a symphony of seduction that curled like smoke over her bare skin. Her pussy tightened at the thought of him touching her. Her body thrummed with arousal.
“You start by taking control of yourself. You have already done that.” Bruce set a hand on her exposed thigh.
Tingles raced up straight up her back. Anticipation at how this could turn out built like butterflies buzzing in her stomach. She wanted this man. “Okay. So what now?”
“Indulge me, so I can indulge you. Sit on the chair, rest your hands on the arms. Strip off the robe.”
Slowly, Livia moved toward the chair. She let the robe slip off before tossing it on the bed. “Here?”
Bruce blinked, looked at the chair, the window, and then back at Livia. “Well, we could move it away from the window if you’d like, but frankly if I were to look up and see you in all your naked glory, I’d want to know your name. I’d want to devour your body and share nothing but immense passion with you. I’d want to make sure I pleased you continuously, sexually and otherwise.” He stood and held the ropes in his hands.
She felt herself blush again. The rich timber of his voice did things to her insides. After the kiss, she felt empty. She wanted another taste of Bruce but didn’t know how to ask.
“Tie me up facing the window.”