Just Published today! Rebecca and I 'met' on a forum online and I've had the opportunity to read some of her work. It's original, diverse and hot, hot, HOT. Trust me, you'd never guess she was a straightlaced attorney by day! Congratulations on your first full length novel, Rebecca!!
Title: Have Stake, Will Travel
Date Published: May 24, 2010
Orion Masters is no ordinary slayer, she's a dhampir—half vampire—and she uses her superhuman abilities to her advantage.
After all, a girl's gotta make a living.
But her life takes a dramatic u-turn on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The balmy nights of paradise hold a forbidden temptation. Hot, steamy sex with Julian Hunter.
Like Orion, Julian is a slayer. Unlike Orion, Julian is a pure blood. Their paths cross on the hunt and Orion finds herself unable to control the allure of Julian's seductive powers. Yielding to her body's instinctive, passionate reaction to Julian, she discovers the erotic lure of heritage, shared blood, and destiny.
He's tall and dark. His midnight hair, all one length, hangs as straight as a board down to his shoulders and sweeps across his face. He is powerfully built, his muscles rippling beneath his faux, dark blue turtleneck. The black jeans hug his legs and leave little to the imagination. I try not to stare at the bulge between his thighs.
He's a vamp, I remind myself. This is the first time I can ever remember having to do that.
He strolls to the bar and orders a drink. His eyes scan the room, and then lock on me. Yeah, this is what you're here for, bloodsucker; come and get me. I'm ready for a fight.
Kinau notices I'm no longer dancing and I'm staring at the new arrival. "Orion, are you all right?" His gaze darts from me to the stranger then back again.
"Sure, Kinau. Why don't you go wait by the car?" My voice sounds harsh, ordering him out like that, especially after I invited him to come in with me. But just because the Corporation pays his tab doesn't mean he's been told why I'm here. That kind of information is strictly on a need to know basis, and Kinau does not need to know.
"Yes, Ms. Masters." From the slightly sarcastic tone of his voice, it's obvious I've offended him. Well, I guess that's life.
The vamp waits until Kinau leaves the club, then strolls, sinuously, to my side.
"Hello." His voice is unexpectedly warm, drifting across the short distance between us and settling like fire on my skin. The warmth creates a sensation I've never felt before, at least not for the undead. Passion. No fucking kidding. A craving washes over me, a need to feel his breath skate over every inch of my body.
What the fuck is going on? I take a step back, then another, trying to get a grip on my senses. The pain in my chest subsides. Instead of ice pulsing in my veins, heat rolls down my spine and nestles between my thighs.
I look past his breathlessly handsome features and I can see his aura. But the light surrounding him is not red like the aura of other vamps. Instead, he's draped in a light blue veil. Almost like a star, shining in the night. The light pulses in short, rhythmic bursts that create an irresistible tempo of lust.
I'm sure my dhampir powers have gone haywire. But if my senses are somehow broken, it's never happened to me before.
His smoldering gray eyes catch mine, hold them, and fill me with darkness. I try to look away, but I can't. I take another step back. Why am I trying to escape? I should be running toward him, ready to attack. He grabs my arm.
"Don't be afraid; I won't hurt you."
He's kidding, right? I need to get a hold of myself. I need to remember who I am, why I'm here. I try to reply, but my breath catches in my throat as his fingertips move gently up my right arm. He grabs the strap of my blouse, situating it back on my shoulder. His hand lingers.
His mouth twitches, twisting his luscious lips into a smirk. When his mouth opens, slightly, I hear a low, seductive laugh. What's so funny? I realize I'm shaking and my teeth are chattering. But the tremors aren't because I'm cold. I think my body is quivering because I might be in shock.
He pulls me roughly to him and my breasts crush against his stone chest. The fire is an inferno now, eating me from the inside out. I'm having a hard time thinking straight. All I can do is yield to his advance. This is not like me at all.
"You're shaking. Let me warm you up."
His hands move down my sides and over my hips. Even through the leather, the flames ignite and burn mercilessly. There's an area of exposed skin near my navel and he rests his hands there, slowly stroking my skin with his fingertips. The flames smolder in my stomach with scalding heat.
He grips my hips and moves them toward his swiveling pelvis, our two bodies together in rhythm with the native beat. The vibrations of the song travel from the floor of the club up my legs and tickle my pussy, mixing with the hunger growing there for the fucking vamp. This dance is much different than the one I shared with Kinau. The moves are erotic, too erotic, given the undead status of my dance partner.
His cock throbs, pulsing against my pelvis. My sex tingles in anticipation, building to a feverous pitch. I'm on the verge of exploding.
All the while, his breath drifts across my neck, my cheek, my ear. I can't remember the last time I was close enough to a vampire to feel its breath on my skin. Surely his breath isn't supposed to be so hot. Or smell so sweet.
His lips brush over my temple in a long, flaming line.
This must be what it's like to be the victim. This is how a vamp enthralls, seduces its victim before biting. The calm before the storm. This is something I've saved others from, but never experienced myself. Not in twelve years of slaying.
I've never been dazzled by a damn bloodsucker.
I've never felt so aroused. He's a vamp, I tell myself again. But my feeble attempts at rationalization don't matter. My body has a mind of its own—ignoring truth, seeking fantasy.
"Who are you?" My words are almost breathless. I need to know the name of the fucker that has captivated me.
"Julian Hunter." He whispers his name into my ear and the tingle in my sex shoots straight up my spine. "Who are you?"
"Orion Masters." I say my name, but I want to also tell him I am a vampire slayer. I want to tell him I know what he is. My mind screams, but the commands do not reach my lips.
If they did, I wouldn't be kissing his chin. What the fuck?
"Orion." The word spills erotically past his lips. Wow. I never thought my name could sound so passionate. "What a unique name. Where are you from, Orion."
Please, I think. Please, say my name again.
"Not here." A short, vague answer. A slight feeling of relief washes over me. Maybe part of me is not so paralyzed after all. I'm starting to regain some of my control. Thank god.
"Hmm. Me neither."
Not from here either? I wonder if he's one of the vamps the witches sent me here to dust. Then I wonder why the fuck it matters whether he is or not. I should dust him regardless. He's a vamp; I'm a slayer.
But, I don't want to kill him. I want to do something else. Something much more dangerous than fighting, more perilous than staking. Something naughty. I want to fuck him. I want his thick shaft plunging deep inside my pussy, thrusting and driving until I see the fucking stars.
So, Rebecca, how would you describe what you write?
I write erotic romance, everything from paranormal to gay and lesbian. My current works in progress include a zombie romance, vampire romance, and a lesbian retelling of The Graduate.
Wow, that's a pretty diverse line-up! What's your writing process in a nutshell?
I’ve been told recently that my writing style is that of a painter rather than a plotter. For the most part, I think that sums up my writing process. I do some outlining (the amount varies on the length of the story and the number of characters I need to keep up with), but I generally let the words flow and then go back and revise as necessary later.
What has your submission history looked like? Rejections? Manuscripts written? Number of years ‘seriously writing’, etc?
I have been writing erotic romance for about a year and a half. My first novel had a good premise, but was certainly a drawer novel. I wrote my first erotic short story in late 2009. It was rejected by the publisher for whom it was specifically directed. Around the same time, I unofficially participated in NaNoWriMo. My debut novel is the product of that endeavor.
How did you pick your publisher?
For my short stories, I generally pick particular publishers based on whether I think what I have written would be suitable. I often submit stories for specific publisher calls too. For my novels, I’m probably much more likely to send several queries. My zombie romance and f/f graduate novel, however, are being written with a particular publisher in mind.
Tell us about you ‘call’ story.
I’ve never received a phone call per se in epublishing, so for me it’s the “email story.” When I sold my first short story “Tight End” to Ravenous Romance I nearly fainted when I received the email from Lori telling me she liked my story so it was going in the anthology. I’d been following Ravenous Romance for a while and had set my 2010 goal as getting something published with them. That goal was accomplished by mid-January!
When Jill from Noble Romance Publishing emailed me that she was interested in Have Stake, Will Travel I bubbled with so much excitement I ran around my house jumping for joy. I don’t think I came down from the high created by either acceptance for days!!
I’m still sending queries and still getting rejections, but getting THE EMAIL makes it all worthwhile!
Yeah, I can relate to that! Did you have an agent when you sold? Now?
No. I have an epub agent now for a couple particular stories I am trying to sell, but I also still submit solo.
What’s it been like for you working with a publisher and editor? Are revisions really as bad as you hear?
I have had a great experience working with the editors are my current publishers. The edits are, not surprisingly, always necessary and definitely make my stories better. Editing for me feels different when it’s on my own (or with a crit buddy) or at the behest of an editor. There’s a lot more pressure (self-induced I’m sure) when the edits occur after a work is accepted for publication. But, I thank the heavens for editors and edits.
You've got an awesome cover. How did you feel the first time you saw it? How much input did you have?
When I first saw the cover for Have Stake, Will Travel I was amazed at how much it looked like the description I gave on my cover art request form. The cover artist did a fabulous job!!
I have given input into one of my covers, but I leave the work up to the people who enjoy the gift of art. That is not me. I’ve been very fortunate so far to have wonderful covers!!
What was release day like?
Interestingly similar to an orgasm!
It was? Then I need to have whatever it is that you're having :). How did you market your book?
I’m still learning the ropes on this. Currently, I use facebook, twitter, my blog (http://blog.rebeccaleighromance.com/ ) , and my website (http://www.rebeccaleighromance.com/ ) to market my work. I am also a member of http://paranormalists.blogspot.com/ and http://www.allmaleromance.com/.
My heroine for Have Stake, Will Travel also has her own blog (she writes when she’s not slaying vamps) at http://orionmasters.blogspot.com/.
I know there are many ways to market and I’m looking forward to doing much more!
The character blog is a really interesting idea. What’s the most surprising thing you learned during the publishing process?
Honestly, that I had what it takes to be a published erotic romance author! That was a surprise.
What do you think were the factors that got you published?
Writing. Writing and finishing what I’m writing. There are a lot of people out there who want to be writers but who have trouble finishing what they’re writing. The only way to get published is to write and finish what you write – so that you can sub it!
What’s your 5 year plan look like?
In five years I’d like to be living in paradise, writing romance, and getting published. Wait . . . that’s my life right now. Okay, I just want to do more of the same in five years, ten years, always.
So, what’s next for you?
I have a couple short stories and novellas that have recently been accepted by publishers in the m/m arena.
One of my favorites is The Outlaw: Damian Junter is a Bringer, an employee of the eastern aristocracy who doles out justice against those that break the law. Kell Laughlin, an outlander, is the leader of the western resistance whose stronghold is Terra Noir in Death Valley, California. Damian travels to Terra Noir to kill Kell, but instead encounters a man who sparks a deep sexual desire in him. After learning of Kell’s innocence to the crime for which he is charged, Damian works with Kell to spark a revolution against the east. He also gives in to his desires and has hot, steamy sex with Kell. In the end, the two ride off together into the badlands of the west to evade capture, intent not only on surviving but continuing to sate their sexual needs.
Only a few weeks ago I finished my novel No Brainer, a zombie romance. In No Brainer, government employed zombie killer Grace finds herself drawn to her new partner, zombie Ethan. In addition to having super hot sex, the two work together to defeat the zombie mafia and its red brain project. I know zombies and romance seems like an oxymoron – but my zombies are different (or at least some of them are). Trust me, Ethan is super sexy!
What’s the best advice you can impart to writers aspiring to be published?
Write, finish what you write, be persistent, don’t let rejections get you down, and write. Did I say that twice? That’s because writing is the most important thing for an aspiring writer to do.