I am a bad, bad blogger. I've been neglecting the blog way too much as the evil day job and toddler motherhood are combing to kick my behind. But, I'm so thrilled to have Cassandra Carr with me today. Not only is she an awesome twitter tweep, but she's also a new RWA PAN member, giving hope to writers seeking PAN status from e-publishers. I've had her books on my to-buy list for months now, and I have to tell y'all as soon as I finished formatting this post, I went and clicked buy on COLLISION. Figure skating AND bull-riding???? In the same book! I think I totally died and went to fan girl heaven. Nothing I love more than a cowboy hero. And I've been a figure skating fan since childhood. And of course, since I hate to read series out of order, I bought IMPACT too. Check out her excerpt below--I dare you not to be tempted to buy. And have a glass of ice water handy :)
1) One fiction book you would take to a desert island?
Hmmm. This is a tough question! You knew that, though, didn't you? ;-) I'm going to say Pride & Prejudice - the Annotated Version. It's fascinating. On the left page is the book itself and on the right page is a bunch of annotations about what the carriages look like, when they would've gotten up for breakfast, etc.
2) One book you've read recently that you just can't get out of your mind?
I just finished Control by Charlotte Stein. Great book! It was a recommendation from Twitter.
3) One favorite sub-genre?
Hmmmm. Right now, probably menage.
4) One perfect hero?
Personally, I think a lot of my heroes are perfect! I think Brady, from Collision (bk 2 in the Buckin' Bull Riders series, releasing 4/4 from Ellora's Cave), is pretty perfect! He's a professional bull rider and just about the sweetest talker you ever heard.
5) One favorite heroine?
Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice. Are you sensing a theme here? ;-)
6) One favorite character of your own?
Other than Brady, I'd say Conner, the hero from Impact, the first in the bull rider series. He's a Dom and a professional bull rider who loves women and flirts shamelessly but adores his woman and will do anything for her.
7) One favorite place to write?
Favorite place or necessary place? LOL I can't really be picky since I only have part-time child care. I do like writing outside on a deck with an umbrella overhead so I don't bake and I can actually see my screen. Unfortunately, my house doesn't have a deck. We built the house and there's only so many things you can do at once.
8) One favorite setting for stories?
For me? The greater Buffalo NY area, which is where I live. Who says sexy stuff can't happen in a place like Buffalo? Trust me, it can!
9) One book of your heart (your favorite of the books you have written)?
Talk to Me, my debut novel. Love that book.
10) One excerpt from your new release:
“Can I help you with something, darlin’? Need a hand back there?” Brady turned on the full force of his smile and Leah cursed her weak knees. As soon as she was able to recover, she berated herself. Here she was, a grown woman, practically falling at the feet of this cowboy who was so not her type.
“No,” she bit out, but then rolled her eyes and relented. “Well, yes. I need someone to help me into my dress.”
He winked and the phrase “bad boy” flashed through her brain. Yeah, this Brady was no Boy Scout. “Helping women into their dresses isn’t my specialty, but I’ll give it a shot. You must be Leah.”
She held up a hand to shake his, but snatched it back when the dress began to fall, briefly revealing the side of her breast before she was able to conceal it once more. “Yes, I’m Leah. And I need the wardrobe assistant’s help. She’s over there, brushing off some chaps from what it looks like, if you can believe it.”
Brady laughed. “Yeah, I wore them last night, they’re probably pretty dusty.”
Leah’s mouth fell open. She’d been making a joke about the chaps, hoping Brady would agree with her about the apparent cheese factor. “You wore them? In public?”
“Yes ma’am. But I’d be happy to oblige you if you need help—”
“No! Just get Sandy,” she commanded, adding, “Please,” when he didn’t move immediately.
Giving her another smile, as well as a smoldering look that had her nipples tightening and her thighs clenching involuntarily, he loped away. Sandy came to zip up her dress and then her hair and makeup were done. She was wearing twice as much makeup as she usually did, which was saying something, considering by necessity she wore entire vats of it to perform. Not only that, but the makeup they used were colors she thought were better suited to a burlesque dancer than a figure skater, but she was so eager to get the show on the road she sat there and let them do whatever they wanted without protest.
Through it all, she watched as other assistants fussed over Brady, helping him dress in his chaps, which she was quite sure he was perfectly capable of putting on himself, and smoothing their hands over his Western-style shirt on the ridiculous premise of making sure it wasn’t wrinkled. All the while Brady smiled and laughed and flirted, and Leah fumed. He was acting totally unprofessionally, like a country bumpkin on his first trip to the big city. And of course the girls were eating it up. It was disgusting to watch, and yet Leah couldn’t take her eyes off him. She didn’t stop to consider why it bothered her so much.
When they were both ready, David brought them together. “All right, now we’re going to take a whole bunch of pictures. All you two have to do is stand there and look good. We’re gonna play off your nicknames. Leah, did you know Brady’s is ‘the Rodeo King’? Isn’t that perfect?”
“Perfect,” Leah grumbled, not happy they were going to use her dreaded nickname.
As they were being positioned, Brady spoke to her out of the side of his mouth. “Come on, sweetheart. This whole thing’ll be a lot more fun if you loosen up a little.”
“I’m plenty loose,” she ground out between clenched teeth.
“You’re about as loose as a calf I’m tying up on the ranch.” He paused and then gave her another long, thorough perusal. “Though I like tying up women a lot more.” Despite the heat that flooded her in parts she’d rather not think about at the moment, she managed to throw him another glare which he laughed off. Did he take nothing seriously? Her career was hanging in the balance and he acted as if he didn’t have a care in the world. It would be nice if she wasn’t the only one with a stake in this.
Turning away from him, she concentrated on the cameraman. Through the next few hours, she simply shut down and gave them whatever they wanted, put on each ugly skating dress without complaint, even while knowing the pictures were only going to give more fuel to those who hated her for whatever reason. She posed however they put her, and smiled through it all. Brady continued to laugh and joke with the crew as if this was the most fun he’d had in months.
The cameraman gave them a break while he checked the pictures he’d taken thus far, and Leah took the opportunity to eat a sandwich and guzzle down a bottle of water. When the cameraman called them back, he said, “All right. We’ve got some good pictures so far, but I’d like to sex things up a little.”
“Sex things up?” Leah echoed.
“Yeah. Both of you are young and good-looking, let’s play that up. Now, Leah, if you could turn toward Brady. Great. Put your left arm around his waist and your right hand on his chest.” Rolling her eyes, Leah complied. As soon as her hand made contact with his muscular pecs it started to tingle and her breath caught. Luckily Brady was listening to the photographer and didn’t seem to notice her sudden discomfiture.
“Brady, put your right arm around her shoulders and stick the thumb of your left hand in the belt loop of your jeans. Pull them down just a little. Perfect.” He took a few shots that way and then cocked his head as Leah fought to get her breathing under control. No man had ever caused a pure visceral reaction in her like Brady did, and she was stumped about what seemed to draw her to him like bees to honey. “Brady, would you mind unbuttoning your shirt?”
Brady grinned and Leah snorted, trying her damndest to cover her still-increasing respiratory rate. Of course he didn’t mind. The women on the crew were already drooling and falling all over themselves—including her, much to her own chagrin. When he began to unbutton his shirt and finally separated the two plackets, pulling the shirt out of his jeans as he did so, it was all she could do to keep her own mouth closed. The man’s chest was mouthwatering, sprinkled with the same dark-blond hair that was on his head. His well-developed pecs led down to six-pack abs, where another trail of hair led to…
Brady cleared his throat and Leah’s head snapped up. “Excuse me?”
“The photographer is talking to you.” Brady was smirking and she had a crazy notion to shock him by kissing that expression right off his face. Instead, with her cheeks flaming she turned to the cameraman.
“I want you in the same position as before, but,” he walked up and shoved her hand underneath Brady’s shirt, “put your hand here.” Leah’s stomach dropped as her fingers came into contact with the coarse hair and smooth skin of Brady’s chest. “Brady, lower your right arm and put your hand on Leah’s hip. Pull her into you. That’s good, very sexy.”
Her gaze flew up to Brady’s face. His brown eyes had darkened with heat. Forcing her eyes away, she concentrated on the photographer and tried to ignore how warm and hard his body felt against hers.
A few moments later Brady leaned down and whispered into her ear, his own breathing hitching, “Darlin’, if you don’t stop petting me we’re gonna have a mighty interesting situation that I don’t think any amount of airbrushing can disguise.”
Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora's Cave, Siren, and Loose Id who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra's book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe.