I don’t know about where you are, but in Vermont, we’ve already had our first snow fall. In fact, I had to reroute my travel plans because of the icy roads.
I should be used to the cold and snow, but each time it comes, I end up being surprised. The types of books I read in the weather changes, too. Sultry summer romances take a back seat for darker tales. Whether these are mysteries, or classics about Russian winters, I need a certain type of story when the cold sets in.
And apparently I’m not the only one. Recently, author CM Stunich invited me to be in an anthology, Snow and Seduction. This Tuesday, November 21st, the anthology releases, and CM agreed to be interviewed for this blog about her new releases, and the winter anthology. Enjoy!
For people who aren’t familiar with your work, you’re a prolific author, and you write both contemporary and paranormal romance. How is going back and forth between each one? Do you have to be in a certain mood? Listen to a certain kind of music?
Oh, I love writing all sorts of different genres! As long as the book includes romance in some way, shape, or form then I’ll write it: new adult, young adult, romance, reverse harem, erotica, motorcycle clubs, werewolves, rock stars, etc. Switching between contemporary and paranormal isn’t difficult for me because I’m always more concerned with character development and relationships (not just romantic but familial relationships and friendships, too) than the outer packaging the story comes wrapped in. As long as there are interesting, dynamic people involved, I can get into any story. I do make a playlist for each book I write (check me out on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/12101321503), and the music definitely varies A LOT between books, whether they’re paranormal or not. I prefer reading paranormal myself, but when it comes to my writing, I’m equally happy either way! I am particularly excited though about the new adult/reverse harem werewolf romance I just released called “Pack Violet Shadow.” It’s book two in the series, but both book two and book one are free with Kindle Unlimited AND they’re decently long reads: 357 and 400 pages. If you like werewolves, vampires, dark fae, demons, intrigue, action, and steamy scenes with seven hot alpha male werewolves, check it out! My other favorite thing to do right now is co-write! I’ve been lucky enough to work with the talented Tate James, and I have to say–we have both paranormal AND contemporary projects in the works. 😉
You’ve combined two of my favorite genres, reverse harem and rock stars. How did you find reverse harem and what drew you to it?
Before I released my first reverse harem book, “Groupie”, I had no idea it was a genre in and of itself! I’d heard the term in reference to Japanese anime, but when I came up with the idea for the “Rock-Hard Beautiful Trilogy,” I didn’t know that I was writing RH. I was honestly just thinking about my romance readers and eager to give them another rock star series (the first one I did was “Hard Rock Roots.”). The idea of Lilith and her boys came about, and I knew right away that I wasn’t going to be able to have her choose just one! I put the book up for pre-order and then a few days after it came out, I had a post on my Facebook page from a reader who said she’d love to see me join the reading group she was in called ‘Reverse Harem Readers.’ That’s when I found out I was now a part of a much bigger movement … 😉 Such a fateful moment! I can’t look back on it without smiling!
You have an anthology of stories coming out November 21st called Snow and Seduction. What sorts of stories can readers expect in it?
Yes! “Snow and Seduction” is a collection of contemporary romance novellas–reverse harem style. Not only is it Christmas/winter/holiday themed, but it’s also steamy, sexy, and filled with stories that run the gamut from rock stars (yes, that’s me doing rocker boys again! LOL) to professional snowboarders, billionaires, and college football stars. The heat level in each story varies from hot … to REALLY hot.
Now it’s time for my new favorite thing to do—the speed round of randomness:
Last song you listened to?
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Tarja, from her new Gothic Christmas album, “From Spirits and Ghosts: Score For a Dark Christmas”
Favorite book as a child?
Tie–between the “Animorphs Series” by K.A. Applegate and “Catwings” by Ursula K. Le Guin
Favorite book as a teenager?
The “Anita Blake Series” by Laurell K. Hamilton (there were only about twelve books out when I was in high school though!)
Favorite holiday song?
“Angels We Have Heard on High” (featured in a sexy scene in my “Snow and Seduction Anthology” story, “Blizzards and Bastards”!), particularly the versions by Andrea Bocelli and an instrumental by Lindsey Stirling
Wham or Duran Duran?
Let’s just say, I’m hungry like the wolf for Duran Duran
“SNOW AND SEDUCTION” Purchase Link
My newest release, the next book in “THE SEVEN MATES OF ZARA WOLF” series links:
“PACK EBON RED” (Book #1)
“PACK VIOLET SHADOW” (Book #2)
CM included some teasers for everyone… and at the end, I’ll add mine, The Thief of Hearts. For those of you who may be interested in more adult teasers from the anthology, please visit the blog Romance by Starlight for more!
TEASERS x2 from “Snow and Seduction”
“FROSTED BY MY BILLIONAIRES” by Amanda Rose (included with permission; this is our cover designer’s story!)
Whittaker waltzes into the room, radiating authority … and sex. Wow, he absolutely dominates the space. He is already dressed in a sharp three-piece suit, a cup of tea in his large hands. As I watch, he sits in the chair directly next to me, slowly and sensually sipping from the steaming mug.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like having him this close. He notices me looking and gestures for me to continue with what I’m doing. Normally, it would be too awkward to have someone scrutinizing me as I work, but for some reason … with him I don’t mind.
The entire time, I feel his dark gaze on me, and my body starts to heat, so much so that I can’t help but wiggle. I’m sure Whit notices as he finishes his drink, setting it down with a genteel clank.
He stands up and leans over me, sending my heart racing. The spicy aroma of Scotch and cinnamon tantalizes my senses. The thick fall of luxurious locks on his forehead and the light dusting of stubble look like they were crafted for his magnificent face. The combination is pure perfection. He plucks the pencil out of my hand, giving me a mesmerizing smile, then presses the hard lines of his heated body against my back and shoulder.
‘Join me for a sleigh ride through the snow,’ Whit writes in elegant, looping cursive. He tilts his head, and his obsidian eyes blink slowly several times, looking for my answer.
I don’t want to break the silence, so I shake my head yes. God, he smells so freaking good.
After last night’s breakdown, I almost ran, got on a bus and headed home. But I crave their touch—all five of them. Addicted to their kisses. Obsessed with the feel of their eyes on me. I know that this dream is almost at an end, and I’ll be cast aside like yesterday’s newspaper. But the thought of leaving them tears a hole in my heart that I fear will never heal. I knew this was a bad idea.
“When?” My voice comes out a hoarse whisper. Shadowed eyes watch me hungrily. Whit licks his lips. At the simple motion, my skin flushes and I lean toward him ever so slightly. He’s bewitching.
‘I would love if you’d join me … right now?’ he scrawls, just below his last question. He gives me a big smile, teeth and all. Whit is absolutely magnetic, electrifying the air around us. How can a man say everything that needs saying without a single word?
“Yeah.” I try to stand up, but I’m flustered and end up tripping over the chair. Whittaker catches me, the movement graceful and effortless, teasing my stomach with butterflies. I find myself completely tongue-tied.
He guides me back to my feet and gestures at the door, ever the picture of grace and poise, of Lucullan luxury and ardent passion.
Outside is a freaking one-horse open sleigh, bright cherry red, like Santa’s sleigh.
“BLIZZARDS AND BASTARDS” by C.M. Stunich
A fire crackles in my fireplace (yes, I get one of the house’s three fireplaces because I’m the baby of the family), giving the room this homey feel that makes being away from the bookstore just a little bit easier.
“We were snowed in last night,” Vale says, leaning his shoulder against the doorjamb, his beautiful blonde-blue-silver hair falling over his forehead. The colors remind me of a morning sunrise over a snow drenched landscape, the golden beams of sunshine bouncing off the white powder, the sky a soft but brilliant blue.
“Snowed in?” I ask, blinking at him and wondering why he’s standing at my door at five-thirty in the morning to tell me this. “There are only six days until Christmas,” I add, as if the drummer for Inked Pages doesn’t know his own concert schedule.
“Terrible, isn’t it?” he says softly, his golden eyes boring into mine. Vale Kesselring has a quiet intensity to him that makes my skin feel tight and hot, like I’m trapped inside my own flesh. The only way to escape the feeling … is to let somebody else in. “Your parents offered to let us stay in the house for a night or two until the storm clears.”
“And you woke me up to tell me this … why?” I ask, and Vale smiles softly, his face this angelic little mask that I don’t buy for a second. His quiet sweetness, the furtive glances, the soft smiles, it’s all part of the man-whore package.
“Random girls is Vale’s thing, not mine; I don’t want this getting out.”
Frost’s words aren’t far from the forefront of my mind as I put my palm out against the doorjamb, right next to Vale’s shoulder. In his blue t-shirt, I can see that he’s got some ink, too, just one tat on his right hand and a few across both knuckles, but it’s quality work for sure. It draws my attention away from his sickeningly handsome face and those gold eyes of his … I mean, they’re not really gold, just a pale, pale brown flecked with hazel, but they look like stars in a night sky. So pretty.
“I was thinking,” Vale says softly, fluttering his lashes. Like, holy motherflipping Christmas star, he seriously bats his freaking eyelashes at me, “if you were interested in pursuing those strong feelings we had on the bus …”
The Thief of Hearts By Ripley Proserpina
The gallery was quiet as Shira walked through the building, flicking off lights and setting alarms. Now and again a car would fly by, but it was a Wednesday night. Most people were home in bed, warm and tucked beneath their covers.
The final alarm was set, and she was locking the front door before she remembered Carmen’s directive to call a lift.
Shira’s heart dropped to her toes—along with her keys.
Something poked into her side. A gun? A knife? It was blunt and rounded, so probably a gun. Oh God, she was going to die here.
“Give me your purse and empty your pockets.” The man’s voice was low, barely above a whisper, and hoarse, like he had a cold.
Okay. She was being mugged. Her hands slid across her coat. For the life of her, she couldn’t find her pockets.
What would happen if she took too long? Would the guy holding the gun get mad? Shoot her because she couldn’t get the travel pack of tissues out of her pocket? Her purse hit the ground, and from the corner of her eye, she saw the man duck his head to pick it up.
Something came over her. She didn’t know what it was, because her mind wasn’t working right, but her body acted all on its own.
Throwing her weight to the side, she knocked into the man, sending him sprawling to the ground. He landed with an “oomph!” and she took off, tearing down the street as fast as she could run, and slipping on the ice that had formed when the sun went down. She skidded into the side of the building as she ran around the corner toward the bright lights of the 24-hour Denny’s a block away.
She couldn’t hear anything over her breathing, and the pathetic, half-sob, half-squeaks, she was making as she ran. But she imagined the man behind her, running full-tilt, ready to lunge and drag her into an alley to finish her off.
The lights bobbed ahead of her. Almost there. Safety was ten feet away. She was going to make it.
Her foot hit a slick patch of pavement, and her legs flew out from under her. She saw the lights and darker rooftops against the lighter, city-lit sky before her head cracked into the pavement.
Now the only stars she saw were the ones dancing in front of her eyes as she waited to be murdered.
Her breath made little white clouds. Move. Get up.
Her body wouldn’t obey. Like earlier, it let her down. Far away, someone ran toward her. Here they come. This is the end.
Green eyes met hers, and a warm hand cupped her cheek. “Are you okay? Don’t move.”
Shira couldn’t move if she wanted to.
Another set of green eyes in a more serious face appeared next to the first. The man studied her and frowned. “Stay still. You’re okay.” Shira glanced up at the sky, but it was hidden by the men. A moment later the two were joined by a third man, and then another.
Four beautiful faces stared back at her.
“Wow,” she breathed. Later, she could blame fright and adrenaline for her slip-up, but right now, Shira would enjoy the sense of shelter and protection these guys gave her.