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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Welcome the authors of Breathless Press - Dianne Hartsock



My Delightful Dive into Erotica

Thanks for having me as your guest today. I’d like to talk about my impulsive, headlong dive into erotica.
            Back in December I was tapping away at the keyboard of my computer, despairing that I’d ever get anything published. I’ve tried! The bulging file of rejection letters will attest to that. But then an idea occurred to me. Why not try something completely different? I closed the file on the MS I’d been working on forever, and opened a new document, simply titling it Romance.
            I’ve always shied away from romance, uncomfortable with the thought of characters stripping in front of me. But you know what? As I wrote, the characters came to life under my fingertips. I found myself writing with an excitement and energy I hadn’t felt in a long time. Try it! If you find yourself in a rut, try writing in a completely different genre. It’s challenging, to say the least, but the exhilaration of discovering a hidden talent is well worth the effort.
            That’s how my sweet romance ‘Shelton in Love’ came about. I was chatting with my friends over at Litopia Writers Colony http://www.litopia.com/ about the possibility of writing an erotic romance, but couldn’t figure out what to do with the socks. Does a MS have to be that detailed? Some of the responses were hilarious, and an idea began to take shape in my mind. That night I sat at the keyboard and began to write. I let myself go and just had fun with the story, allowing the characters do whatever they pleased. And wow, did they do lots! I relaxed and wrote whatever came into my head, and managed to do the best writing of my life.
            The first publisher I sent ‘Shelton in Love’ to rejected it. But I wasn’t going to give up that easily. I had my favorite critique group read the story, and after reworking a few of the scenes, I sent it to Breathless Press, who offered me a contract. I couldn’t believe it! I read the letter over and over to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood.
            And I’m having so much fun promoting it! I’ve met some of the nicest people these last couple of months and have received so much encouragement and well-wishes that I wish I’d been published long ago.
            The sequel, Shelton’s Promise’, is also out from Breathless Press. I’ve been writing other things, but found I missed Nevil and Shelton and had to continue their story. I’ve also just signed with Breathless Press for the third book ‘Shelton’s Goodbye’. Yea!
Oh, one more thing! I have a ghost story due out from MuseItUp Publishing in October, and my paranormal/suspense novel ALEX has been published through Solstice Publishing.
            And that’s the happy ending. My advice to new writers is: Believe in yourself; don’t be afraid to try new things; and never give up! There’s a publisher out there for you. You just have to find them.

            Shelton in Love
Breathless Press: http://bit.ly/gA4pUd

            Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then his loneliness would be complete.

Excerpt
            Nevil parked the car in front of their apartment and shut off the motor. His beautiful eyes smoldered as he gazed at him, and Shelton could hardly breathe when he touched his cheek. Nevil shifted on his seat and leaned over to claim Shelton’s mouth again with his own.

            The kiss was different this time, urgent, demanding, drawing an instant response from Shelton’s love-starved body. Nevil’s tongue plundered the soft lining of his mouth, plunging in and out until Shelton’s head was spinning with a nameless yearning. He slipped his own tongue between Nevil’s lips and thrilled at his soft moan. The scent of Nevil’s cologne became a pleasure in itself, alluring, seductive, swamping his doubts in an overwhelming need.

            Nevil’s kisses burned down his neck, and Shelton leaned his head back to give him access as he deftly undid the buttons on his vest and the shirt beneath, spreading them open to expose his chest. Shelton’s tie was still in place, in stark contrast with his white skin. Nevil rubbed the silk over one of his nipples with a decadent laugh in his throat, sending a tingle of pleasure through him. The man quickly nipped the opposite nipple and this time the current jolted straight to Shelton’s groin, making him cry out in surprise, instantly aroused, his lower body straining against the confining clothing holding him in.

            Nevil’s lips teased at the hardened bud on his chest, then returned to his mouth for another shattering kiss. "We should have done this ages ago," Nevil murmured appreciatively, slipping an arm under him to lift him closer.

            A horn blared as headlights swept through the windows, the car pulling out of the parking lot with a squeal of tires. Nevil loosened his hold, chuckling as he pulled away from Shelton. "No one’s done that since high school."

            Shelton stayed where he was, panting, slightly dazed. Nevil took his hand, kissing his fingertips. His eyes lingered on Shelton’s heaving chest. "I could take you right here," he confessed, his voice unsteady. "But let’s go inside. I need a little more privacy for what I have in mind."

            Shelton’s Promise
            Breathless Press: http://www.breathlesspress.org/Book/345

Shelton has a gift he’s eager to give to Nevil. At a party, Nevil flirts with one man after another, keeping Shelton on his toes. Then Percy, an ex, shows up to complicate things. Despite his best efforts, Shelton can’t find the right moment to give Nevil his gift. Will Nevil ever let Shelton get close to him, or will Shelton have to keep the gift in his pocket all evening?


Excerpt
            Nevil leaned back on the couch, driving Shelton to distraction by playing with his curls. He pulled one of them, and Shelton met his gaze, his breath catching at the fire smoldering in the blue-green depths.

            Nevil suddenly reached for the empty glass Shelton had been rolling in his hands. "Here, let me get you another drink."

            Shelton murmured a protest, but Nevil had already disappeared into the crowd. Turning back to the girl he’d been talking with, Shelton encountered Percy’s intent stare and gasped, stunned. No one had hated him so openly before. Jealousy and pain glinted in the wide, gray eyes, and Shelton shivered slightly.

            Percy sat on the edge of his chair. "You need to get out from behind that desk and into the sun, darling." He tilted his blond head. "Or are you coming down with something? You’re quite dull this evening."

            Shelton studied his nails. Percy was currently drowning his sorrows in a college freshman, and Shelton couldn’t help getting in a dig at the man’s ego. "How’s the child? Brandon, isn’t it?"

            Percy narrowed his eyes, and Shelton braced for the man’s next attack, but at that moment, Stewart’s wife discovered Shelton on the couch. She immediately took Nevil’s spot beside him. "Darling!"

            "Hi, Andrea." Shelton patiently moved her hand from his knee, only to lift it from his thigh the next instant.

            "You naughty boy. So this is where you’ve been hiding." Andrea leaned against him, and Shelton could smell the gin on her breath. He scrambled to his feet as the woman brushed his lap with her hands. He wished Andrea would try to seduce another one of her husband’s gay friends at the party. Between her and Nevil, his head was reeling.

            As if conjured, Nevil appeared at his side, handing Shelton a full glass of something golden. Percy laughed spitefully, and they both glanced at him. "I didn’t know Shelton liked girls," Percy drawled, waving a hand at Andrea.

            The woman lounged back on the couch as she sipped her martini, her hot gaze traveling from Shelton’s shoulders to his dark slacks.

            Nevil looked back at Shelton. "Neither did I," he said, interested.

            Before Shelton could answer, someone pushed between them. The interloper threw an arm around Nevil’s neck and then kissed his cheek.

            "Michael!" Nevil grinned at the attractive brunet. "What brings you here?"

            "I’m with Sara Gibbs. And who’s this gorgeous man?"

            Shelton blinked when he realized the stranger meant him.

            "This is Shelton," Nevil replied, slipping an arm around Shelton’s waist.

            "He likes girls," Percy put in nastily and raised his glass as Shelton glowered at him.

            "Is that so?" Michael remarked, his tone cheery in contrast. "How nice. Oh, Nevil, that reminds me…" Michael pulled Nevil aside. Shelton watched their animated conversation a moment, curious how Nevil knew the man, then moved across the room to the wall, needing something to lean against as the last drink began to take affect.

            Shelton floated, pleasantly dizzy, but he hadn’t had enough to drink to numb the stab of jealousy when Nevil leaned over Percy’s chair and whispered something in his ear. The man looked into Nevil’s face and laughed, a tinge of color in his cheeks.

            Seeing them together, Shelton thought of the jewelry box in his coat pocket and wished he’d had the balls earlier to give it to Nevil. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever have the nerve. What if Nevil didn’t want it? Irritated with himself, he made his way through the crowd to the kitchen, intent on finding the bottle of bourbon he’d seen on the counter earlier.

            The kitchen proved to be as crowded as the rest of the house, and Shelton brushed impatiently at his alcohol-blurred eyes. Where is that damn bottle? He almost knocked it into the sink before pouring a good amount of the golden liquid into his glass.

            He sipped the warming drink and let its slight burn trickle down his throat. He supposed Nevil couldn’t help himself with those beautiful men. Until a short time ago, Nevil could have slept with any number of them. Six months. That’s all Shelton had had of him.

            He took another swallow of the numbing liquid, then looked at his glass, nearly empty again, and used both hands to set it on the countertop. It hadn’t helped at all. He leaned over the sink, but refused to throw up. Shelton jumped when an arm suddenly went around his shoulders and was too surprised to struggle when he was dragged across the crowded kitchen and pushed through a doorway.

            He squinted in the dim streetlight coming through a curtained window. Nevil slammed the door of the utility room and twisted the lock in the knob.

            "What’s the matter?" Shelton asked, wincing at the slur in his voice. Nevil crossed to him in two strides. He shoved Shelton against the dryer and then gave him a hard, urgent kiss. Shelton turned his head away, and Nevil bit him on the lip.

            "Ouch! What are you angry about?" Shelton asked, not liking the glare in Nevil’s eyes.

            "You deserted me," Nevil growled against his mouth. "Percy practically raped me on the couch, unable to keep his hands to himself, apparently, and you weren’t even there to help. Some hero you are."

            "You can handle Percy without me," Shelton asserted then yelped as Nevil gripped his arms. Shelton was confused when Nevil brutally kissed him, his tongue darting into his mouth. He bent Shelton back uncomfortably over the dryer and continued to plunder his mouth.

            Shelton struggled slightly when Nevil dropped his hand to his groin. He squeezed Shelton through his slacks. Nevil gave a guttural laugh, stroking Shelton, his hold too tight to be comfortable. Damn. Nevil had never made Shelton feel cheap like this before.

            It slowly rose through Shelton’s muddled brain that Nevil must be hurting and acting on it, probably from Shelton’s seeming indifference to Percy’s flirtations. It always surprised Shelton to find a chink in Nevil’s self-assurance.

            Shelton pushed against Nevil, and the man stepped back, eyes dark with pain. Shelton placed a hand on Nevil’s heaving chest. He could feel the rapid heartbeat against his palm. A tear clung to Nevil’s thick lashes, and Shelton swallowed his pride. "I love you, Nevil. Please, don’t make love to anyone else. It would break my heart."

            Nevil narrowed his eyes then hid his face against Shelton’s neck. "I’m a fool. I’m sorry. It’s just that I’ve never belonged to anyone before." He shrugged. "It makes me crazy when I think you don’t care."

            Shelton felt an unaccustomed thrill of power that this gorgeous, virile man wanted him only. Shelton put a finger under Nevil’s chin and raised his face for a tender kiss. Nevil sighed into Shelton’s mouth, warm hands sliding up Shelton’s back to urge him closer. Shelton gave in to Nevil willingly, molding his body against Nevil’s enticing heat.


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1 comment:

diannehartsock said...

Thanks for having me as a Breathless Press guest!