Laurel Cremant is in my hot seat today, answering my nosy questions, so settle down and get to know her.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well I’m a little bit of a diva and a lotta bit of a geek. I was in denial of both those things until one day I found myself standing in a computer game shop wearing lime green high heels, chunky gold bracelets and throwing a massive fit that they didn’t have the latest Final Fantasy game! It was a great moment of self awareness. Oh yeah and I also happen to be an erotic romance author. I really do fear for my future children and the resulting therapy bills they’ll most likely incur.
However, in terms of hard core facts. . . I started writing seriously a few years ago . My first published work was a titled Negotiating Skills and I’ve just released my second contemporary romance, Persuasion Skills via Evernight publishing. Writing happens to be the most amazing and horrifying thing I’ve ever done and I’m loving every minute of it!
What made you write ‘this’ story?
I'd been thinking about writing a friends-to-lovers themed romance for a while. I had these two snarky characters rolling around in my head for a while and was just plain avoiding putting them on paper. So late last year I was puttering around the house (procrastinating really) and watched the following movies back to back; Two Weeks Notice, Iron Man and 10 Things I Hate About You. Yeah. . . by night fall I realized the universe was trying to tell me something so I really had no choice but to sit my ass down and give these two characters their story, hence Persuasion Skills was born.
Tell us about your cover.
I love this cover. Isn't it just delicious? The book takes place in a secluded cabin in Colorado and has some light DSM elements sprinkled throughout and I wanted the cover to reflect no just the setting of the book but also the chemistry between my H/h, Jaxon Grey and Pepper Holts. The design was done by Sour Cherry Designs and I couldn't be happier with it.
Describe a typical day’s writing for us.
I wish there was something typical about my writing days. The truth is that I just try to squeeze in as many hours as possible, in between my day job, family, friends and two attention loving cats. When I do actually manage to sit at my computer, up go my feet on a footstool, on goes my music and lord help the person who tries to interrupt me.
What inspires you?
Everything! Friends, family, the writing community, the reading community, the blogging community, the world at large. . .inspiration comes from all around. I learn so much interacting with the world around me. Seeing how people react in the face of love, sorrow, tragedy, triumph. . .it's impossible not to find inspiration in real life.
If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
A librarian. I kid you not. Although my formal education is very science oriented, I always wanted to get a degree in library science. Still, you never know, I hear the local book shop is coming back in style, maybe I’ll open a small tea and book shop one day :)
Do your characters ever surprise you?
Oh all of the time! I always start off a book with an outline (at least now I do), and even though I use my outline as a guide for how I want the overall story to flow, my characters often surprise me and insist on taking a different direction. In my latest release, Persuasion Skills, there’s a shower scene that is a prime example of a character strong arming me to make certain changes. That scene was originally going to be very different.
What could you not do without when you’re writing?
Music! I create playlists for every story I work on and for every character. Not only does it help me relax, but it also helps put me in certain moods for different scenes throughout my books; from the sad to the sexy.
What words of wisdom do you have for the aspiring authors out there?
Plant your but in a chair. Literally just do it. Stop googling, stop researching, stop blogging, stop thinking about it and just do it! It’s so easy to constantly think about writing, but it’s so much harder to take that first real step and put words to paper (or computer, or laptop, or tablet). Once you finally get to that point and you’ve got words strung into sentences, into paragraphs, into pages you’re ninety percent to where you want to be. However, since being an author requires about two hundred percent effort, the next step is reviewing your first draft, getting an honest critique and developing a very thick skin. But really it all begins with that first step. Just get to writing!
Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?
Hopefully writing full time. I know that is so cliche but that truly is the ultimate goal for me.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Any line Marilyn Monroe or Jane Russel speak in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I love that movie. A great combo of sweet, sexy and snarky. Sorry, profound just doesn't work for me.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Oh gawd! All. The. Time. Thankfully it never lasts very long. I’ve found the best thing to do in those situations is write anyway. Even if it comes out as utter garbage. I have a full time day job so I can’t let the few hours I have to write pass me by. In the cases when I write despite the garbage I’ve actually been able to find little nuggets of a great story or scene and I either incorporate them into my current project or set them aside for my next.
What other books can your readers look forward to?
I’m currently working on completing the first book to a paranormal trilogy. Once that’s done I’ll be finishing up my next contemporary romance titled Acquisition Skills.
And finally can you share an excerpt with us?
Most definitely. This excerpt, shows off a little bit of Jax’s expertise at persuasion...
Excerpt, Persuasion Skills
“Hell, Pep, I missed you,” he said before dragging her from her chair into his waiting lap.
He dipped his head to the crook of her neck and engulfed her into a tight hug.
There was nothing quite like a Jaxon Grey hug. He hugged with his whole body. His tall frame and broad shoulders always curved just right around her, immersing her in a mantle of warmth and shelter.
She dipped her head and rubbed her chin onto the top his head and closed her eyes.
“I missed you, too, jackass.”
His resulting rumble of laughter caused his chest to shift against hers, and just like that, her back stiffened in addition to a few other things along her body.
She bit back a groan as her nipples tightened against the lace of her bra.
The warm gust of his breath against her neck wasn’t helping matters either.
“You’re such a sweet talker,” he said. “And since I like you so much, I promise not to spank you for your bad behavior.”
He pulled her in tighter and began to rub the base of her back. His stroking hand was far from soothing as it settled low, and his fingers grazed the swell of her ass. All it did was remind her of how good his big hands had felt stroking her naked flesh.
She shifted uncomfortably on his knee, trying to scoot away from the heat of him.
“I’m sorry, but I left my Emily Post handbook at home.”
He lifted his face from the crook of her neck and drifted his hands lower. Holding on to her hips, he dragged her forward and caught her gaze with his.
“Really? That’s too bad. Chapter six is dedicated to the perfect way to drape yourself across a man’s lap. Feel like practicing?”
Both his suggestion and hooded gaze held her captive for a few silent seconds. The idea of his strong hands spanking her ass flushed her body with heat.
The thought of him holding her down at his leisure and pleasure was surprisingly arousing. She knew that Jax liked to control things in bed, but how far did his need for dominance go?
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.”
He continued speaking as if he hadn’t just casually filled her mind with raunchy goodness. She tried not to pout before responding.
“It is what you’re known for,” she said, trying hard not to stare at his mouth. Her clit was already warming at the recollection of what that mouth could do.
She yelped at the pinch he gave her hip.
“Brat. I’m serious. After Mom died, I really started thinking about what I wanted in my life. I started thinking about all of the things missing.”
“Jax, you can’t expect to fill the void your mom left with things. It’s just gonna take a little time to heal.”
“I’m not talking about things, Pep.”
He smoothed a hand up and began to rub the nape of her neck.
“Mom was always pestering me about settling down and starting a family, but I always thought there was plenty of time. You know me. I’ve never been one to believe in love and marriage.”
Pepper tried not to flinch at his words. Jax had always considered love to be an illogical emotion. He always joked that it was just nature’s chemical drug designed to propagate the species. His outlook on love was one of the reasons why she had always been able to avoid acting on her attraction to him. There was no use ruining a perfectly good friendship for Jax’s idea of a romantic relationship.
His words only served to remind her that falling in love with him was a lost cause.
“But, ever since the funeral, I’ve realized she was right.”
It took a few seconds for his words to sink in.
“Uh, what exactly was she right about?” she asked, confused at his line of thought.
“She was right. I shouldbe thinking about getting married and starting a family,”
“What? Okay, who are you, and where have you hidden the real Jaxon Grey?” she said, laughing desperately, and hoping this was his version of a horrible joke.
The look on his face sobered her up quickly.
“You’re not joking, are you?”
“No. I’ve analyzed the situation and determined that my mother was right. So I’ve decided to get married,” he said.
The words came out of her mouth in a whisper of disbelief. Married? Married?
“Yeah, married. And I’ve concluded that you would make me the perfect wife,” he said before pulling her head down and covering her shock-slackened mouth in a hot kiss.
This sounds delicious, Laurel. One for the TBR pile indeed. Thanks so much for sharing with us today.
In the aftermath of a major health scare, Pepper Holts makes the relief-inspired decision to seize the day. Unfortunately, most of her “seizing” involves a bit of merlot and her best friend's pants! After a shared night of passion she realizes that her feelings for Jax are a lot more complicated than she ever thought.
Jax has finally realized that his allergy to marriage has nothing to do with the institution itself, and everything to do with the women in his bed—or more specifically, the one woman not in his bed. Her reaction to their one night together has him scrambling to regroup. So he does what he knows best—he disappears, and he thinks. The plan?—convince Pepper into staying with him at a secluded cabin for one week. One week of pretending to be a happily married couple to show her how great they could be together.
Thanks for having me on your blog today! I loved the interview questions :) It's nice nice cyber visit “over the pond”.
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