Interview With Mara Leigh

By Cynthia Sax on November 24, 2014

I sat down (virtually) with Mara Leigh for a short interview. Mara Leigh’s latest release is Bedded by Strangers, a contemporary erotic.


Cynthia Sax: What excites you about Bedded by Strangers?

Mara Leigh: Everyone has sexual fantasies, even it they never expect to act them out in real life. What I love about this series, is that it allows readers to go along on the ride as my heroines play out their wildest dreams. In Bedded with Strangers, Jamie plays out the fantasy of being with more than one man—in a safe way, one that doesn’t jeopardize her marriage. It was exciting to discover, through writing, how this couple makes it work.

Cynthia Sax: What is your favorite line from Bedded by Strangers?

Mara Leigh: I’m going to cheat and include two short passages. Because that’s how I roll.
Here’s the first.

“Fantasies are one thing when they’re confined to our minds, when they’re used to turn us on when our lovers are away, or when we want to drift to somewhere different and exciting. My mind had played out variations on the same fantasy since I was a teen, but did I actually want the real thing?”

I like this passage because, in many ways, Jamie, the heroine of Bedded by Strangers, sums up the entire theme of the Fantasies Unleashed series. She states, in a nutshell, why reading (and writing) about sexual fantasies is so exciting and fun!

The second passage I’m including is:

“My knees trembled and, like an old-fashioned gentleman, he extended his arm for me to hold. The gesture set me at ease. My husband might have paid this man to have sex with me, but nothing about him or his demeanor read sleazy. And in spite of the words he’d just practically growled, I felt safe, like everything about this was at my discretion, my invitation.”

I like this quote because it shows that she’s safe. Maybe not entirely safe—she has no idea what’s about to happen—but it shows that she feels in control of the encounter. Some of the fantasies the women in my stories play out are pretty wild, and even if the “fantasy facilitators” do things that push the women to their limits and make them feel uncomfortable, the women always have the option to stop it. That was really important to me.


Cynthia Sax: Where is Bedded by Strangers set?

Mara Leigh: What do they say about what happens in Vegas? ;) That’s one reason I chose it. And also because it’s possible that Fantasies Unleashed, the company featured in my series, might actually exist in the state of Nevada—legally. Although everything about the company is pure fantasy.

Many parts of the stories take place in luxurious penthouse suites in the fanciest hotels in Vegas, adding to the fantasy. Let’s face it, the glamourous elements of Vegas—the luxury, the decadent food and drink, the bright lights—they all ooze sex appeal.


Cynthia Sax: Does a character in Bedded by Strangers have a secret? What is it?

Mara Leigh:
Yes.
I’m not telling.


Cynthia Sax: Is Bedded by Strangers part of a series and will you be writing more stories in this series?

Mara Leigh:
Yes. This is actually #2 in my Fantasies Unleashed series, but the stories can be read in any order.
The titles released right now are: Dirty Business, Bedded by Strangers, and Surrender. Humbling the Boss will release on December 2, 2014 and is available for pre-order.

I hope to continue the series for as long as I can come up with fun and fresh fantasies! I’m currently planning at least six titles, and numbers 5 and 6 will be coming in early 2015.


Cynthia Sax: What one piece of advice would you give new writers?

Mara Leigh:
Learn your craft and don’t give up! That’s two pieces of advice—one about writing, and the other about publishing—but I think they’re equally important.

Even though we all have some experience in writing from when we were students, or in other jobs, writing fiction is different from other forms of writing. It takes study and practice to do it well.

When it comes to publishing, that’s when the persistence comes in. Writers, even multi-published authors, are faced with rejection all the time, whether it’s from agents, editors, reviewers or readers. Writers need to develop a way to cope with their inevitable disappointments, revel in their eventual successes, and always, always focus on why they love writing and wanted to be a published author in the first place.


Cynthia Sax: What do you love about writing in your romance sub-genre?

Mara Leigh:
I also write bestselling novels in a completely different genre, under a different name.
**Shhh… Don’t tell anyone.**
Writing these steamy contemporary stories is a refreshing change from the novels I write under my other name. For me, writing as Mara Leigh is beyond fun! It’s freeing to break the bounds of my other author persona and let my imagination run wild!

Thank you, Mara Leigh, for joining us today!

Mara Leigh’s Website: http://www.amazon.com/author/maraleigh

*****************************************************************************

When Jamie confessed to her husband that she fantasized about sex with strangers, she never imagined he’d help make her fantasy come true. While in Las Vegas, Jamie has a sexual encounter with six hot men who fulfill her wildest dreams and leave her even more deeply in love with her husband.

What’s your sexual fantasy? The men of Fantasies Unleashed are here to fulfill your wildest, kinkiest and hottest desires.

Buy Now: http://amzn.to/1E3TDgh

Topics: Author Interviews | No Comments »

Sinful Rewards-Bee’s Dresses

By Cynthia Sax on November 21, 2014

This is the dress Bee wears to the fateful lunch in Sinful Rewards 5

http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/402646

This is the dress Hawke thought wasn’t sweet and innocent enough

http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/424605#

And this is the Dolce & Gabbana ‘number’

http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/product/336729?cm_mmc=LinkshareUS-_-J84DHJLQkR4-_-ProductFeed-_-Dolce_and_Gabbana&siteID=J84DHJLQkR4-qgf4Ya52Mb77epLOgrNEOg#

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Nicolas Rainer, Chicago’s most sought-after billionaire bachelor, has finally decided what he wants, and that’s Bee Carter in his arms, forever. He shows up unannounced on her doorstep and kisses her until her toes curl and her body burns.

Nicolas wasn’t the sexy man Bee expected to see this morning. Hawke Masters, her tattooed former marine, is riding his customized chopper toward the condo building, anticipating an equally mind-meltingly erotic encounter.

Both men want her with a thrilling intensity. Neither her billionaire nor her biker wishes to share her affections. Is today the day Bee is forced to choose?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00IMHU7FG

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards5-1663924-237.html

Avon: http://www.avonromance.com/book/cynthia-sax-sinful-rewards-5

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-5-cynthia-sax/1119919838

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_5?id=nFaYAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-5/id828414457

Topics: Guest Post | No Comments »

Writing Erotic Romance – Virgins, Sluts And Toe Suckers

By Cynthia Sax on November 20, 2014

This post has adult content. If you are under the age of eighteen years old and/or sensitive to adult language/situations, please do not read this post.

We’re writing erotic romance. Sex plays a huge role in our stories. Exploration of the character’s sexuality is part of his or her growth as a person (or as an alien or as a sheepdog shifter).

We’re also trying to write interesting stories. No one wants to read about the average person. Average people are boring. Fucked up people are more exciting. Usually fucked up people have fucked up sex lives.

Tell Me Why

In the real world, people are random. If you asked me why I had jellybeans for breakfast, I couldn’t tell you. I do shit and have no idea why.

In erotic romanceland, characters should have a reason for doing things. If they like to have their ears tickled with feathers, something in their past made them crave this fetish.

Sexual Experience

If a character has more or less experience than the average person, readers want to know why. Your sluttastic Regency heroine is banging half of the ton for a reason. Tell us. Your modern New Yorker knows why she’s saving her cherry. Ask her to share this reason with readers.


Modern Virgins

I’ve written about virgin heroines in my contemporary erotic romances. It can be done. But they have to have a reason for waiting. There’s tremendous pressure from peers, society and media to have sex. Just saying “she wanted to meet someone special” isn’t going to cut it.

Anna in He Watches Me waited because she doesn’t trust people. At all. She wasn’t allowing some bigger, stronger man inside her. No way. No how. Arianna, my heroine in the Mastered 2 story, waited because her father threatened to disown her if she had sex. Some heroines are religious. Some heroines saw their moms being abused. Some heroines are training for the Olympics. Some heroines have the Godfather for a father.

Modern virgins and, hell, even rural living Regency virgins, know about sex. Anyone coming from the farm has seen bulls and cows (or horses or squirrels) go at it. A modern virgin has likely watched quite a bit of porn (either Hollywood approved or the real hard core stuff). Unless she has lived under a rock, she has read or heard of Fifty Shades.

The modern heroine knows what and where her pussy is. The hero shouldn’t have to point her pussy out to her (Oh my God. WHAT is THAT doing THERE?) or explain how it works. She’s touched herself. She might have used sex toys or a cucumber or the anal invader (grins).

When the heroine has sex for the first time, it is unlikely to be fucktastic (unless there’s been a LOT of prep – Anna had two novellas plus worth of prep). The first time hurts. Unless she’s a pain whore, she won’t get off during penetration.

A considerate, in love, aware hero will prepare the heroine. Maybe he’ll give her an orgasm before the main event, ensuring she enjoys some part of it. If the hero is none of the above, the first time could be a disaster, adding delicious conflict to the budding relationship. She loves him but, oh noes, the sex is bad. Whatever will she do?

The Super Slut

The opposite of the virgin heroine is the super slut. I’ve written about super sluts also. Again, they have a reason for banging every guy (or girl or chicken) they meet. Condoms are a must for the super slut heroine or you’ll receive an email from the condom police, a group of passionate readers ensuring fictional characters don’t get herpes. Proving that super sluts feel differently for their heroes is a big challenge. What makes our stud different from the hundreds of men who came (grins) before him?

Be careful with the super slut heroine. Some readers become very angry if the heroine (or the hero) has sex with a person other than her love interest. If super slut needs a monogamous relationship to be happy, I usually hint at her past but don’t show it. So maybe she runs into people she’s had sex with (awkward!). If super slut needs variety, I show that the hero is as into this sharing of her naughty bits as she is.

Toe Suckers, Exhibitionists And Pets

Any kink or fetish or different sexual lifestyle should have a reason for being. If I receive a review saying “I don’t understand why anyone would like (insert kink here)”, I know I haven’t made this reason clear enough. That’s a #WritingFail

My story for the Mastered 2 box set has a BDSM theme. BDSM is complicated. It usually has two or more elements to it. In my story, I had to explain why the heroine likes pain with her sex AND giving over control. I also had to explain why the hero likes to deliver pain AND take control.

Exhibitionism is simpler. The heroine likes to be watched. What in her past created this preference? Why is the hero attracted to a woman who likes to be watched?

Having the kink helps with the mechanics. It doesn’t always help with the psychology because, as I mentioned previously, we don’t always know why we do things.

Truly understanding why a kink appeals to people takes a bit of research. This is often why writers specialize in one kink. Once we’ve done all of this research (normally because we’re personally interested in that kink), we spread that knowledge over multiple
stories.

From a marketing point of view, if the kink has a large following (as BDSM does), mentioning the kink in the back cover copy might increase sales (with BDSM – this might mean talking about Doms and subs and BDSM clubs in the back cover copy). If the kink has a smaller following and you’re looking for a wider readership, hinting that the heroine has strange yearnings might be a better route to take. I’m not into foot fetishes so I won’t pick up a story centered around this but I WILL read a well crafted story starring a character with a foot fetish.


What do you keep in mind when writing about characters with extreme sexual experiences or fetishes?

If you liked this post, you might like
Writing Erotic Romance – Balancing Sex And Plot
or
Writing Erotic Romance – Making Every Sex Scene Different
or
Writing Erotic Romance – Making Sex Sexy
or
Writing Erotic Romance – The Basics Of A Sex Scene
or
Writing Erotic Romance – Word Choice

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Nicolas Rainer, Chicago’s most sought-after billionaire bachelor, has finally decided what he wants, and that’s Bee Carter in his arms, forever. He shows up unannounced on her doorstep and kisses her until her toes curl and her body burns.

Nicolas wasn’t the sexy man Bee expected to see this morning. Hawke Masters, her tattooed former marine, is riding his customized chopper toward the condo building, anticipating an equally mind-meltingly erotic encounter.

Both men want her with a thrilling intensity. Neither her billionaire nor her biker wishes to share her affections. Is today the day Bee is forced to choose?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00IMHU7FG

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards5-1663924-237.html

Avon: http://www.avonromance.com/book/cynthia-sax-sinful-rewards-5

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-5-cynthia-sax/1119919838

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_5?id=nFaYAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-5/id828414457

Topics: Writing Tips | No Comments »

Sinful Rewards 5-An Addictive Series

By Cynthia Sax on November 19, 2014

Shannon at Cocktails and Books shares this about Sinful Rewards 5

“I normally don’t like episodic novellas, but this is an addictive series and I anxiously wait the next episode.”

http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com/26947/

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Nicolas Rainer, Chicago’s most sought-after billionaire bachelor, has finally decided what he wants, and that’s Bee Carter in his arms, forever. He shows up unannounced on her doorstep and kisses her until her toes curl and her body burns.

Nicolas wasn’t the sexy man Bee expected to see this morning. Hawke Masters, her tattooed former marine, is riding his customized chopper toward the condo building, anticipating an equally mind-meltingly erotic encounter.

Both men want her with a thrilling intensity. Neither her billionaire nor her biker wishes to share her affections. Is today the day Bee is forced to choose?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00IMHU7FG

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards5-1663924-237.html

Avon: http://www.avonromance.com/book/cynthia-sax-sinful-rewards-5

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-5-cynthia-sax/1119919838

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_5?id=nFaYAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-5/id828414457

Topics: Reviews | No Comments »

Cover Reveal For Sinful Rewards 8

By Cynthia Sax on November 19, 2014

Yay!

We have a cover for Sinful Rewards 8!

(click on the photos to enlarge them)

Isn’t it pretty?

I love seeing them all together.

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Nicolas Rainer, Chicago’s most sought-after billionaire bachelor, has finally decided what he wants, and that’s Bee Carter in his arms, forever. He shows up unannounced on her doorstep and kisses her until her toes curl and her body burns.

Nicolas wasn’t the sexy man Bee expected to see this morning. Hawke Masters, her tattooed former marine, is riding his customized chopper toward the condo building, anticipating an equally mind-meltingly erotic encounter.

Both men want her with a thrilling intensity. Neither her billionaire nor her biker wishes to share her affections. Is today the day Bee is forced to choose?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00IMHU7FG

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards5-1663924-237.html

Avon: http://www.avonromance.com/book/cynthia-sax-sinful-rewards-5

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-5-cynthia-sax/1119919838

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_5?id=nFaYAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-5/id828414457

Topics: Cover Reveal | No Comments »

5 Things About Me With Elizabeth Boyle

By Cynthia Sax on November 18, 2014

I’m at the always awesome Elizabeth Boyle’s online home today, talking about 5 things you might or might not know about me.

http://www.elizabethboyle.com/blog/2014/11/18/5-things-about-cynthia-sax/

Here’s a snippet…

Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been?

My favorite tropical paradise is Bali (the combination of beaches, art and the spiritual is wonderful). My favorite city is Istanbul (a combination of so many different cultures). The city I’d most like to live in is Chicago (the setting of Sinful Rewards).

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Nicolas Rainer, Chicago’s most sought-after billionaire bachelor, has finally decided what he wants, and that’s Bee Carter in his arms, forever. He shows up unannounced on her doorstep and kisses her until her toes curl and her body burns.

Nicolas wasn’t the sexy man Bee expected to see this morning. Hawke Masters, her tattooed former marine, is riding his customized chopper toward the condo building, anticipating an equally mind-meltingly erotic encounter.

Both men want her with a thrilling intensity. Neither her billionaire nor her biker wishes to share her affections. Is today the day Bee is forced to choose?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00IMHU7FG

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards5-1663924-237.html

Avon: http://www.avonromance.com/book/cynthia-sax-sinful-rewards-5

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-5-cynthia-sax/1119919838

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_5?id=nFaYAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-5/id828414457

Topics: Guest Post | No Comments »

Sinful Rewards 5-A Well Deserved 10 Out Of 10

By Cynthia Sax on November 18, 2014

Yay!

We received our first review for Sinful Rewards 5!

Brit Nanny Reads shares

“I give Sinful Rewards 5 a well deserved 10 out of 10! and now I go back to counting off the days till SR6 is released.”

You can read the full review here

http://britnannyreads.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/sinful-rewards-5-by-cynthia-sax-review-blog-tour/

I especially like this part of her review

“3 little words completely devastated Bee and changed her life! and now my life has been split into 2 parts, Before Sinful Rewards 5 and after (#BookNerdProblems ;-) )”

Because those 3 words will change Bee’s life and test all of her relationships – with Nicolas, Hawke, Cyndi, Lona, Friendly, her mom, everyone.

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Nicolas Rainer, Chicago’s most sought-after billionaire bachelor, has finally decided what he wants, and that’s Bee Carter in his arms, forever. He shows up unannounced on her doorstep and kisses her until her toes curl and her body burns.

Nicolas wasn’t the sexy man Bee expected to see this morning. Hawke Masters, her tattooed former marine, is riding his customized chopper toward the condo building, anticipating an equally mind-meltingly erotic encounter.

Both men want her with a thrilling intensity. Neither her billionaire nor her biker wishes to share her affections. Is today the day Bee is forced to choose?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00IMHU7FG

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards5-1663924-237.html

Avon: http://www.avonromance.com/book/cynthia-sax-sinful-rewards-5

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-5-cynthia-sax/1119919838

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_5?id=nFaYAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-5/id828414457

Topics: Reviews | No Comments »

A Year Of Sizzling Hot Sax – Sinful Rewards 5 Read Along

By Cynthia Sax on November 18, 2014

Sinful Rewards 5, the fifth novella in Sinful Rewards, a 12 novella contemporary erotic romance serial, releases today! Yes, we figure out the resolution to that cliffhanger ending in Sinful Rewards 4.

(We’ll be discussing these in more details on our Goodreads group – https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/139616-a-year-of-sizzling-hot-sax-read-along ).


The Meaning Of Hawke’s Tattoos

Hawke has three tattoos.

He has a barbed wire tattoo encircling his right bicep. He rubs this image whenever he’s thinking of his best friend, Rock.

He has USMC printed on his left pec (over his heart) which stands for United States Marine Corps. All four men in his fireteam, including Hawke and Rock, got the same tattoo.

Hawke’s largest tattoo, wings with a center sun etched across his collarbone, has a more complicated story, which he shares in Sinful Rewards 5. Bee interprets this story one way. Hawke interprets it another way.

Nicolas Opens Up

Nicolas finally shares why he doesn’t like Cyndi’s father (why he won’t allow Cyndi in his club) in Sinful Rewards 5. This is also one of the reasons why he deliberately acts like an asshole, pushing everyone away. Our billionaire isn’t perfect, which makes him, IMHO, more interesting.

That Cyndi’s father can mess up a confident, intelligent man like Nicolas also hints why Cyndi is so broken.

Why Hawke Became A Marine

Hawke shares why he became a Marine.

***

“You’re bored.” I pat pressed powder over my shiny nose. “You don’t have to stay.” I force the words, wanting him to stay, to keep me company.

“There’s nowhere on earth I’d rather be than right here.” Hawke’s low rumble rolls over me, lighting fires we have no time to tend. “There are many reasons to go to war. Some men fight for their children. Some men fight for the glory. Some men fight because their fathers fought and their grandfathers fought. I fought to protect moments like these, the quiet moments everyone takes for granted.”

I meet his gaze in the mirror, not expecting poetry from my rough, tough military man. “You don’t take them for granted.”

“No, I don’t.” Sadness flits across Hawke’s face. “I’ve seen too much to do that.”

***

For more discussions about Sinful Rewards 5, please join us on our Goodreads group!

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/139616-a-year-of-sizzling-hot-sax-read-along

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Nicolas Rainer, Chicago’s most sought-after billionaire bachelor, has finally decided what he wants, and that’s Bee Carter in his arms, forever. He shows up unannounced on her doorstep and kisses her until her toes curl and her body burns.

Nicolas wasn’t the sexy man Bee expected to see this morning. Hawke Masters, her tattooed former marine, is riding his customized chopper toward the condo building, anticipating an equally mind-meltingly erotic encounter.

Both men want her with a thrilling intensity. Neither her billionaire nor her biker wishes to share her affections. Is today the day Bee is forced to choose?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00IMHU7FG

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards5-1663924-237.html

Avon: http://www.avonromance.com/book/cynthia-sax-sinful-rewards-5

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-5-cynthia-sax/1119919838

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_5?id=nFaYAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-5/id828414457

Topics: Guest Post | No Comments »

Cynthia Sax interviews John Quinlan, The Most Tattooed Male Romance Cover Model In The World

By Cynthia Sax on November 17, 2014

Today, I have the honor of interviewing John Quinlan, a former wrestler and bodybuilder. John has the distinction of being the most tattooed male romance cover model in the world. Yes, he’s hunky AND he supports romance. Woot! ( Shout out to Lori Green for fixing me up with this opportunity!)

(Note: If you’re reading this directly from my blog, click on the photos to enlarge them)

Cynthia Sax: John, tell me a little about your tattoos. How many tattoos do you have? Which tattoo means the most to you?


John Quinlan
: Right now I have 27 individual tattoos. All of them have deep personal meaning and some of those meanings I keep to myself but I will tell you a few of my favorites. The oriental Kanji symbol for “family” inside my left wrist represents my 3 children as well as the 3 nautical stars I have inside both forearms. Each star is a little bigger than the next representing each child.


Cynthia Sax
: That’s so wonderful. Family is incredibly important and your tattoos must serve as a great reminder of this.

How did you become a cover model?

John Quinlan: A long time ago people often told me I had the look for it and I just laughed and thought they were crazy. After quite some time I began to really consider it as the masses had to be right to some extent. I began talking with author Cassandra Carr and she was the one who really pushed me into doing it. I personally thank you Cassandra for believing in me and for all of your support. And here I am today sitting with you as the most tattooed male romance cover model in the world. I am sure another model will come along with more tattoos than me and take the title but I will always be remembered as the first guy in romance who broke the stereotype for guys with body art. I paved the way for them to be successful and be accepted.

Cynthia Sax: Yes, it is a really big something to be a trailblazer. I’m stoked for you!

You were depicted as an evil troll on your first cover. You’re a handsome man. That must have been shocking.


John Quinlan
: Well thank you Cynthia for your kind words. I think you are an amazing author as well and I am truly honored to be sitting down with you today doing this interview. Yes, that was a great cover! I believe the book was titled, “The War of Trolls” (Scream Shop Series #8) by Tracey West and it was illustrated by artist Brian Dow. Brian actually recruited me out of one of the World Gym’s back in the day when he saw me and thought I had the perfect body for the ogre he needed to design this cover. I will never forget the photo shoot at the gym as his art model for this project. I had to wear a toga type outfit and pose in front of all the girls in their aerobics room because that was where the best lighting was for the camera. They were all laughing at me but it was all in good fun. One has to have a sense of humor in this business as I have done some crazy things and I don’t blame people for thinking some of the stuff is funny as I would be laughing too.

Cynthia Sax: Awww… (hugs John) You’re a sweetheart.

What has been the most interesting photo shoot you’ve ever done?


John Quinlan
: The most interesting photo shoot was out in the desert in Las Vegas back in 2012. It was 105 degrees but zero humidity which was weird as I am from Boston, Massachusetts and we always have tons of humidity it seems like. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and because the temperature got so hot and there was no water out there no signs of life existed except for a few bugs on the ground. No birds, animals or anything. Just cactus and tumbleweeds but the backdrop with the mountains and scenery made for a great shoot as this was a once in a lifetime thing and I was determined to take advantage of it and looking back I am glad I did.


Cynthia Sax
: That does sound like a once in a lifetime thing (but a little too extreme for this luxury loving gal – grins).

If I see you walking around a romance convention, do you want me to approach you?


John Quinlan
: I always encourage my fans to approach me as I am a people person and very down to Earth. I think if you ask anybody who has met me, for example, at the 2 Romantic Times Convention’s I have attended as a cover model thy will all say similar answers. I have always said that if it wasn’t for all the great authors like you Cynthia around the globe who take the time out of their busy schedules to conduct interviews with the cover models we would never be able to showcase out talents to the world. It is a symbiotic relationship where we really help each other. I always go out of my way for the fans to show my appreciation as I am honored they care so much about John Quinlan.

Cynthia Sax: We, writers, do LOVE our cover models. You make our books look good.

Speaking of writing, is there a quote you live your life by?

John Quinlan: “Sometimes you have to go through Hell to get to Heaven.” This really describes my life. It has been a long road which included a lot of sacrifice but in the end John Quinlan will ultimately land at the top of the mountain.


Cynthia Sax
: Fun question (and one I know my readers are dying to hear the answer to): Boxers Or Briefs?


John Quinlan
: Great question Cynthia, ask and you shall receive. On a normal day boxer briefs are what I usually wear but there are some days when I wear briefs or nothing. Depends on my mood.


Cynthia Sax
: Oh boy. (waves hand in front of my face)
How do publishers or self-published writers find images of you to use for covers?


John Quinla
n: There are many ways I guess like Google image search me etc. but one of the easiest ways is to visit the John Quinlan Gallery on Flickr. Just go through the albums on there and find something you like and ask me about it. Some of the albums have 1 photo while others have as many as 40 plus.

Cynthia Sax: There is so much eye candy in those albums! Thank you, John, for hanging out with me today!

John Quinlan: It was my pleasure conducting this interview with you Cynthia. Keep up the good work and continue being one of the greatest authors in the world today.

Cynthia Sax: If you want more John (and who doesn’t?), here are some must-click links!

http://www.johnjosephquinlan.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Quinlan_(wrestler)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/75617256@N05/sets
https://twitter.com/JohnJQuinlan

***

Subscribe To Cynthia Sax’s Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Four years ago, Bee Carter left her tiny hometown, escaping her tormenters. She concealed her tarnished reputation under a good-girl persona, hiding her history from Nicolas, her strong and silent billionaire; Hawke, her tattooed bad-boy biker; and Cyndi, her man-crazy best friend.

Today, she’s returning home … and she’s not alone. Some of her deepest, darkest secrets will be revealed. Trust will be tested. Clothing and inhibitions will be discarded. Bee and her hometown will never be the same.

When her past and her present collide, will any of Bee’s relationships survive?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00I7V89N4

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards4-1645053-149.html

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-4-cynthia-sax/1119919839

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_4?id=PvxzAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-4/id814148698

Topics: Author Interviews | 5 Comments »

Sinful Rewards – Not A Friend, Not Quite A Boyfriend

By Cynthia Sax on November 14, 2014

In these scene from Sinful Rewards 4, Bee introduces Hawke to her mom.

***

Customers glance toward us, open curiosity on their faces. My mom turns and her brown eyes light up. “Honeybee.” She slides her order pad into the front pocket of her red-and-white-checkered apron and hurries toward me. “You’re early.”

“Hi, Mom.” I smile as I’m pulled into her arms, given a fierce hug. She smells of coffee and bacon. “I got a ride.” I wave my hand self-consciously at the man beside me. “Hawke, this is my mom. Mom, this is Hawke.” I don’t call him my friend or my boyfriend, not knowing what he is, what he could be.

***

Hawke isn’t a friend. They’ve been physical and Bee’s feelings for this tattooed bad boy biker are definitely more than friendly.

But he’s not a boyfriend either. They’re not in a relationship. They’re not exclusive. They’re in the early stages of seeing each other and might never progress past that point.

Hawke’s not her date because…well… this isn’t a date. Bee is returning home to help her mom in the diner.

Bee can’t even call Hawke ‘the guy I like’ because she likes Nicolas, her handsome billionaire, also. She might have a future with Nicolas. Her mom might meet him next.

Hawke is in that awkward stage between friend and boyfriend, acquaintance and lover, other and significant other. This makes introductions challenging. I’ve had many conversations with buddies about how they’ll introduce their not-quite-boyfriends. It never feels natural.

How would you have introduced Hawke?

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Four years ago, Bee Carter left her tiny hometown, escaping her tormenters. She concealed her tarnished reputation under a good-girl persona, hiding her history from Nicolas, her strong and silent billionaire; Hawke, her tattooed bad-boy biker; and Cyndi, her man-crazy best friend.

Today, she’s returning home … and she’s not alone. Some of her deepest, darkest secrets will be revealed. Trust will be tested. Clothing and inhibitions will be discarded. Bee and her hometown will never be the same.

When her past and her present collide, will any of Bee’s relationships survive?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinful-Rewards-Billionaires-Bikers-Novella-ebook/dp/B00I7V89N4

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sinfulrewards4-1645053-149.html

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinful-rewards-4-cynthia-sax/1119919839

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Sax_Sinful_Rewards_4?id=PvxzAwAAQBAJ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sinful-rewards-4/id814148698

Topics: Guest Post | No Comments »

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