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Monday, December 3, 2012

Interview of Author Cris Anson

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Cris Anson.

Latest Book: Mercy and Redemption
Note: Because Mercy and Redemption doesn’t have buy-links yet, here are the links for the first book in this series, Punishment and Mercy. They are stand-alone books and don’t have to be read in chronological order.
Ellora’s Cave

I write erotic romance because I firmly believe that life doesn't stop at the bedroom door. I had a deeply romantic relationship with my husband of 22 years, and I want to celebrate his memory in my writing. After he died, it took me a long time to come out of my grief, but parts of him -- his honor, courage, optimism, tenacity, and lust for life -- live on in all my heroes. They’re all alpha men, as well.

And I write erotic romance because I feel you're never too old to give or receive love. Many of my stories have older heroines who dazzle younger men, and I wouldn't mind being such a heroine in real life. But that's another story...

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Mercy Howe in the upcoming Mercy and Redemption, because she’s a successful interior designer, demonstrates colonial cooking on her own TV show, and is awaiting publication of her first cookbook. Plus, she has two gorgeous men in her life and indulges in hot monkey sex with both of them.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Not at all. I have a vision of each character when I start out. Each of them has specific characteristics that make them who they are, and their physical makeup is only part of the package. For example, in Mercy and Redemption, I pit a dark-haired, dark-eyed, laid-back architect against a brown-haired, green-eyed, extroverted sculptor as they vie for the heroine’s hand. In my DANCE series, three brothers are introduced. The two older ones do look similar (blue-eyed, blond-haired Vikings), but one doesn’t trust beautiful women and the other steers clear of women altogether. The third brother has sultry dark eyes and dark hair and is so in-your-face that he poses nude for art classes. The hero in my Cougar Challenge book, Adding Heat, has freckles and reddish hair and is a shy and nerdy accountant. My heroines are likewise varied in looks, temperament and outlook on life, ranging from plus-size and confident to tall and willowy to petite and fragile.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I nosh on whatever happens to be lying on my desk at the time (or in my stash in the kitchen if I have to scrounge). Dark chocolate Doves, Craisin trail mix, spicy Doritos, thin pretzels, mixed nuts, it’s a nervous habit to chew on something physical while my brain chews on the story problem at hand.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Depending on the time of year, my garden takes precedence. I love digging in the dirt and communing with nature. I love to cut the flowers I grow and display them in various rooms (and surprise my neighbors with bouquets, too). I love the smell of newly-mown grass, although not the chore of cutting it. And the taste of a ripe tomato freshly pulled off the vine? Divine! Even the smell of autumn leaves as I’m raking satisfies my soul. Or I’ll walk past the rosemary, lavender and lemon balm just to crush a leaf and inhale their pungent scents. When it’s too cold to garden, I’m likely to sit down at the piano and play some Scott Joplin or Frederick Chopin. And read. I’m always reading.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I’ve been told it’s my ability to wring every bit of emotion out of a scene. Also, my descriptions bring the reader right into the story with sights, sounds, smells and textures.

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: Whoo! That’s a hard one. Out of the thousands I’ve read over the years, I have a handful (maybe a dozen or so) that I consider perfect “10s”, all of which made the tears flow. In no particular order, offhand I can think of Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Mirror Image by Sandra Brown, Dream Man by Linda Howard, Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale, Sky Pirate by Justine Davis, Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann, and Natural Law by Joey W. Hill. Gosh, I just realized what an eclectic mix of genres this is.

Tell us where to find you:
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BLURB for Mercy and Redemption - Coming soon from Ellora’s Cave
Searching in an old cemetery for likely gravestones to illustrate her colonial cookbook, Mercy Howe meets two hunks who are tracing their ancestry. And sparks fly. Literally.

When Mercy casually touches Seth and Adam, her vividly erotic vision involving all three of them feels like a memory, not a dream, and awakens long-dormant sexual urges. With their kisses achingly familiar, she welcomes each in turn into her body. Then she spends a no-holds-barred weekend with both men in her bed and discovers an intimacy—and a past—that blows her mind.

As memories resurface from three hundred years ago, Mercy will have to choose whether to relive the experiences from their joint past or forge a new bond with either Seth or Adam. Or both.

EXCERPT: WARNING: Adult Language (Mercy and Redemption)
She’d been acutely aware of Seth’s presence as he alternately followed or preceded her through the downstairs, aware of the piney, masculine scent of him, of the way his clothes hugged his lean body. Aware that they had deliberately refrained from brushing against each other in doorways.

Aware of the stark desire in his deep, dark eyes, the bulge in his jeans that he did nothing to hide.

Just last night she’d allowed a complete stranger to take greater liberties with her body than she’d ever encountered in her thirty-five years of existence. And tonight she was contemplating even more with another stranger.

If Seth knew about her encounter with Adam, would he think her a slut? Did she think she was?

No. Today’s woman was as emancipated as today’s man. If she wanted it, she should go for it.

And she wanted Seth. No guesswork about it.

They moved simultaneously, halting a mere inch apart. “Mercy. I want to kiss you.”

The cream seeping through Mercy’s panties threatened to make a dark patch on the faded denim of her shorts. Maybe he wouldn’t notice. Maybe he would notice and would welcome its appearance.

Maybe she should stop overthinking this and just lean a hairsbreadth forward…

Their lips met softly. Mercy’s eyelids fluttered downward at the contact. Nothing but lips brushing together then melding to each other with mouths closed. For a long moment she savored the sweetness, the luxury of it, unhurried, nascent, fragile. Then she felt the gentle stroke of a finger on her cheek, tracing the line of her jaw, her throat, felt the soft exhalation of his breath against her skin.

She needed more than a chaste kiss. Somehow she knew Seth could give her more, much more than this baby step. Tentatively she opened her mouth, allowed her tongue to explore the seam of his lips.

On a groan he grabbed her upper arms with strong hands and brought her body into full contact with his, chest to breasts, hips to hips, thighs to thighs. His cock, hot and hard behind his jeans, pressed into her belly. His mouth opened to receive her tongue, and then his tongue was stroking hers, thrusting and receding, demanding her response.

Mercy replied by snaking her arms around his waist, undulating her hips to deepen the contact and declare her intentions. Skin to skin, that’s what she needed. This reckless feeling he aroused in her was new, made her bold, knowing. Her hands slid down to his firm butt, which at the first touch she decided was world-class. She grabbed his round ass cheeks and kneaded them, bent her knees to rub her body up and down against his. She couldn’t get enough of the feel of him, hot and hard and…here. Finally. After how many lifetimes—

“Mercy,” he moaned, “I want you. God, I’ve thought of nothing but you since we met. But—”

Suddenly, inexplicably, he withdrew, holding her at arms’ length to look into her eyes, chest heaving with his ardor. “Mercy, I’m sorry. I was out of line. I don’t want you to think you’re merely a notch on any bedpost of mine.” He took a deep breath. “I want to spend time with you, to get to know you. You’re somebody special, I already know that, and I don’t want to blow it.”

Mercy smiled, licked her lips while staring deeply into those dark-chocolate eyes. Eyes she’d stared into before, somehow she just knew she had. “Seth, everything you’ve just said to me was a negative—‘I’m sorry.’ ‘I don’t want this.’ ‘I don’t want that’.” She shook her head. “What I don’t want is…”

When she didn’t continue, he blew out a breath. “What?”

“I don’t want you to hold back. I want you to follow whatever urges you—”

He ground out an oath, thrust his hands under her armpits and lifted her several inches from the floor. “That worktable. The first time, it has to be in front of the fireplace.”

A scant moment later, Mercy found her ass plunked on the table as Seth bent her backward to position her on the scarred and weathered oak, then hoisted her legs to wrap around his hips, with him curved above her, overwhelming her mouth with the intensity of his kisses.

Seth had no clue how this sudden inspiration—desperation—had flared into his consciousness. He only knew that he had to have her on that table. Never in his life had he performed such an impetuous act. Never had he so disrespected a woman, treating her like a thing to be ravished.

He only knew that he had to have her—now.

Lifting his head, he searched her eyes. They held a matching desperation. For him. Mercy’s pupils were so dilated with lust the startling blue had all but disappeared. Her mouth was swollen from his plundering. Sweat beaded at her hairline, rolled down her temple.

He kissed his way down her throat, down the center of her chest. That flimsy scrap of clothing had to go. Buttons. He had to unbutton the front placket. His fingers felt encased in cement. Grabbing the soft fabric, he pulled. Buttons pinged on the oak, on the floor. Relishing the sight of that creamy expanse of skin, he bent his head to her exposed breast, sucking one hard nipple fully into his mouth, foreplay be damned. He felt as though he couldn’t get enough of her firm, pillowy flesh. As though he needed to consume her totally.

Mercy’s head thrashed from side to side on the unyielding oak. Her thighs tightened their grip on his hips. Small mewls of pleasure erupted from her throat, sexy sounds that egged him on. He shifted to her other breast, giving it like treatment as his fingers pinched the nipple of the first one, still wet and turgid from his mouth.

More. He needed more of her. All of her. Now. Or he’d die.


Anything else you’d like to add?
As of this writing, I’m still awaiting notification of the publication date of Mercy and Redemption (hopefully in January 2013). Please check my blog, website or the Ellora’s Cave website for the announcement.


Tina Donahue said...

I love your comfort food. Sounds like mine. :) Congrats on your release. Looks awesome!

jean hart stewart said...

Awesome excerpt....way to go girl!!!

Katalina Leon said...

Congratulations Cris on a great release!

Sandy said...

It's definitely hot, Cris. Congrats on the release.

Cris Anson said...

Thanks, ladies, for stopping by and for your comments. May you all have a wonderful holiday season :-)

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