Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blackraven interviews Laura Ashton

Guest Author in the Spotlight: Laura Ashton

Sharing Brenda

Sensual Awakenings 2

by Laura Ashton

Brenda has been through enough relationship drama. After her husband was caught cheating at their wedding, she decides it's time to start over. Brenda leaves her fast-paced city life behind to start over on a ranch in east Texas.

Part of her fresh start comes in the form of ranch hand Billy Joe Watkins. Brenda's taken with his gentlemanly, handsome ways. When she meets his good friend and fellow ranch hand, Salvador Rivas, the next day, sparks fly with his overly seductive nature.

Both admit to being ladies men, but claim their attraction and feelings for Brenda are sincere. They say they will do whatever it takes to prove to her they're in it for the long haul. Can Billy and Sal be trusted? More importantly, can Brenda learn to love again so quickly and easily?

Well ladies and gents, we've gone from Kathy B's. bull riders and the rodeo to Jasmine's Urban Cowboys and Brenda sharing two good ole' boys who admit to being ladies men.

Fallen Angel Reviews gave the prequel to Sharing Brenda 5 Angels and said, "Jasmine Urban Cowboys is a dynamite read...Laura Ashton awakens the senses and breathes life into the pages.

The Romance Studio also gave Jasmine's Urban Cowboys 5 Hearts and said, "The sexual tension was vigorous and frequent. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart...The menage was uninhibited."

You're gonna love this one.

But before we begin Laura, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us at The Blackraven's Erotic Cafe. I must tell you! I've been waiting for Brenda's story every since I read Jasmine's Urban Cowboys, so I'm excited that it'll be released tomorrow. I've already pre-ordered. I'm encouraging everyone to pick up a copy of Jasmine's Urban Cowboys if you haven't read it because it's excellent and it gives you a little more insight into Brenda's situation. If you want to know more about Jasmine's story, the book is listed under my recommended reads on the side bar. Just click to read an excerpt. Now, without further delay...

Laura, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi everyone, I'm a fairly new author. Last year we spent winter in Las Vegas and this summer, we stayed in Prescott. Pronounced Pres'-kit. So, don't be surprised if I use those places as settings for my upcoming books. I lived near Dallas a few years ago, so that's why I used it as the setting for my Sensual Awakening series.

Having my book published is a dream come true. My first Siren Menage Amour release, Jasmine's Urban Cowboys, only came out four months ago and my second release, Sharing Brenda will become available October 2nd. I write about menages because, although I've not been fortunate to participate in one (one can dream, can't they?), nothing seems sexier or stimulates my imagination more than my heroine enjoying two or more hunky partners of the opposite sex. Grrrrrrrrrr!

My age is one of those things you need a government clearance to know. Although right now I live in Las Vegas, where I'd really like to live would be Santa Barbara. If I ever got to where I could live off my writing, I'd consider living there. Let's see, what else. I'm married to my second husband. Actually, hubby helped me quite a bit on the first book, but not the second.

Laura, I'm glad you brought that up. I've heard you mention that you had a Jasmine type of divorce with "husband number bye bye and that your current husband helped you quite a bit with Jasmine's Urban Cowboys. Would you care to elaborate on those statements any further?

Blackraven, have you ever heard of the term scallywag? That's all I'll say about husband number bye-bye. Ted didn't exactly help a lot, but he did let me know when my male POV was off and make suggestions. He doesn't particularly like me writing mfm menages. I see his point of view, but I'm not going to stop. You think he might shape up if I wrote fmf menages? (wink)

I know he would prefer it in real life. LOL.

ROFLMAO! I'm familiar with the term sacallywag Laura and you're correct, enough said.

Now I loved Jasmine's Urban Cowboys, but I must admit that I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to Brenda after her character was introduced in Jasmine's story. So, tell us about your upcoming release, Sharing Brenda.

I'm sure you can tell from the title-Sharing Brenda-that we're dealing with another mfm. I can't tell you too much about the story, but I will tell you a little about the characters. Brenda's heroes are Billy Joe Watkins and Salvador Rivas, so I guess the story could be considered interracial, though it doesn't feel like it. Camilla is in the story as well. I actually modeled her after my favorite Aunt. Naturally, she is one of my favorite characters.

I'm sure you've been asked this question many times, but I'm going to ask it again. What inspires your writing and how do you develop your characters?

I've always liked writing. The interaction of words and phrases always fascinated me. About three years ago, I decided to see if I could write fiction. It took a year or two to learn the ropes. I started writing Jasmine's Urban Cowboys about a year ago and Sharing Brenda seven months ago. As for my characters, it seems to be the story that dictates what they're going to be like, not me. You might say I inject my characters into the story rather than build the story around my characters.

Now Laura, I know most authors have a ritual they go through before they can sit down and write. What's yours? Are you considered a storyteller or a story builder? Do you write every day?

I used to think of myself as a storyteller, but I've changed my mind. I now think I build a story, like building with blocks, layer by layer. Each layer on top of the last. I never box myself in on an ending either. Usually my endings don't reveal themselves to me until two thirds through the book. I get some great endings that way.

I must agree with you on that because I didn't know what was going to happen with Jasmine until the end, which intrigued me and held my attention. That's a good thing because I get bored easily. Great job!

Who are some of your favorite authors and if we were to visit your home, what books would we find on your bookshelf?

Confession time. Since I started writing seriously, I haven't read a full length novel. Prior to that, I read mostly authors with a humorous, or horror bent. Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen, Dean Koontz and F. Paul Wilson.

Favorite books by them are: One for the Money, Skinny Dip, Hideaway, and The Tomb.

That's not a bad thing. Leah Braemel said she doesn't read anything when she's writing a new book. Now when she finishes a book, she reads a novel as a treat to herself for finishing a new book. Maybe you could look at it that way.

What author(s) introduced you to romance, but more importantly erotic romance? What intrigued you about their books and made you want to write erotic romance?

My first exposure to erotica was through and author named Dan Simmons, who's really a sci-fi writer, but husband bye-bye had an erotic anthology by him that was wild. After reading that, I would periodically gloss over his erotic anthologies.

I suppose Emma Holly was my main erotic romance influence, not so much for her stories but for her writing. I wish I could make sentences flow as she does.

How do you determine which love scenes to put in your books? Is it based on your connection with the characters, from personal experience or friends' suggestion?

All I can tell you is it's entirely spontaneous, like good sex should be. Let's see, in Jasmine's Urban Cowboys, there are six sex scenes. Two in a bed, one in a whirlpool tub, one in a bar, one in a kitchen and one in a hot spring.

Now for my favorite part of the interview. What does it feel like being a new author? What projects are you currently working on?

Being published feels great. I feel fortunate being associated with a progressive company, SirenBookstrand. I've heard horror stories about some other publishers. The promotion is daunting though. I can see where it's necessary. After all, if I don't tell the world about my books, nobody else will, but it's tedious and takes time away from writing.

I'm finishing up Victoria's Secret Life. After that, who knows. I have ideas for several additional Sensual Awakening stories. I also want to look into writing western historicals.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I don't seem to have a lot of spare time, but when I do, I read and if we have time we like to travel. Last weekend, we spent two nights at the historic Boulder City Hotel. We loved it. Other places we like to visit are Sedona, Grand Canyon, Jerome and Payson. On our radar is Bisbee, Taos, Sante Fe, Lake Tahoe, Virginia City and Biosphere, II.

You've mentioned that there's another story to be told in the Sensual Awakenings series - Vickie's story. Is this also a release we have to look forward to in the coming months? If not, when will it be released?

Vickie's Secret or Victoria's Secret Life, not sure which, is completed and I've been working the kinks out of it for the last two weeks. In case you haven't guessed, Victoria is Jasmine's matronly looking neighbor. I'm not sure when the book will be released. It may not be released until next year, but it will be worth waiting for.

Well Laura, our time has come to a close. It's been a pleasure having you visit The Blackraven's Erotic Cafe. Please feel free to come back anytime.

Thanks for having me Blackraven. It was fun.

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