Erotic romance author Anne Calhoun has made me cry. And I’m not alone. Her novella Breath on Embers was released as part of a Christmas anthology from Carina Press last year, and I bought the story because of all the buzz it got on Twitter. Everyone said it made them cry, but I never thought I would. I was wrong. So wrong.
Anne’s here giving away her latest erotic romance, Uncommon Pleasure, to one person who leaves a comment. But first, welcome Anne!
1. For readers who are unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your stories? Do you often reduce readers to tears before you give them that extra-poignant HEA?
I’d describe my books as character-driven romances first, erotic stories second. As for reducing readers to tears…I think that was just BREATH ON EMBERS, and maybe my upcoming book UNFORGIVEN. I don’t aim for super-poignant moments all the time. Although…darn it, readers did seem to cry when Hunter told Lacey about his mom. Hmmmm…I’m contradicting myself. I don’t plan to do it! Honest!
2. You used to work for a Fortune 500 company and then you moved to the Midwest and started writing romance. What first drew you to writing, and why romance in particular?
I’m not one of those super creative people who’ve been writing since she was a kid. I read romances when I was in high school and college, but I stopped because they weren’t hot enough for my adult self. (Anyone remember back in the 90s when Susan Johnson’s historicals were shockingly racy?) But my husband, who is far more intuitive than I am, used to ask me why I wasn’t writing, and writing romances. That’s the story I always want to tell, the path to love. When I watched the Battlestar Galatica reboot, I sent my sister (who was a season ahead of me) a text telling her I was going to be super-pissed if Apollo and Starbuck didn’t end up together. She asked me if I remembered the torture scenes, the wrenching battles, the betrayals, a major character’s shocking death. “This is not a happy ending series, Anne,” she said.
I think a longing HEAs in stories is hardwired into me. As for writing…I didn’t do it for a long time, and wasn’t a particularly healthy person as a result. I’m better now. 🙂
3. If you could step into the shoes of one of your heroines for a day (or a night), which one would it be?
Dear God. The thought has literally never crossed my mind. I’d probably choose Corryn from VERSED IN DESIRE, a Harlequin Spice Briefs release. She’s an urban poet who ends up with Luke, a VP of Investment Banking in New York City. Second choice would be Thea from BREATH ON EMBERS, but she’s a systems analyst, which is a job I loathed, so I’d want a night switcheroo with her. It’s not about the heroes. It’s about NYC. 😉
4. Suuuure it is. 🙂 What’s the best compliment a reader has ever given you?
A reader said recently that she loves my characters, which made my day. Any time I get that comment, there’s jam for tea.
5. In June, your first non-erotic contemporary romance is coming out – hooray! What can you tell us about Unforgiven?
Here’s the blurb!
For as long as he could remember, he wanted her…
Raised by a single mother, Adam Collins resolved to take no chances with a girl’s future—or his own. That’s why, as hard as it was, he resisted everything he felt for Marissa Brooks. Then one night a reckless challenge left a fellow student dead and changed both their lives forever. As penance, Adam took the boy’s place in the Marines, where he could disappear into discipline and duty, and left Marissa behind to struggle with her dreams.
Twelve years later, Adam is back in Walkers Ford to serve as the best man in his friend’s wedding. The years haven’t diminished the electric connection he has with Marissa. But Adam’s mistake continues to haunt him, and Marissa is stumbling under the weight of her family’s legacy. Together they wrestle with demons and dreams, but if there’s any hope for a future together Adam has to not only find a way to forgive himself, but also ask others for forgiveness—especially from the woman whose heart he broke.
1. Which three people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?
Judi Dench, Anne Lamott, and Melinda Gates.
2. How do you celebrate your book releases?
I take the day off and have lunch out with my husband.
3. Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
This is hard. I grew up in Nova Scotia, so frankly, the rest of the world has to put on a big show to even get noticed. I loved the Dingle peninsula in Ireland. Second place goes to the Mediterranean coast in Turkey.
Anne is giving away a copy of Uncommon Pleasure to one person who leaves a comment. I’ll randomly choose the winner on Tuesday April 2nd. Good luck!
Uncommon Pleasure by Anne Calhoun
From a “fresh and imaginative” (The Romance Studio) voice in erotic romance come the tales of two women, each daring to challenge the toughest of men…but in these edgy, heated encounters, the greatest thing she’ll risk is her heart.
In Over the Edge, after a tragic incident during Ty Hendricks’ last tour of duty he cut off all connection with anyone he cares about—until a night with Lauren Kincaid draws him reluctantly back into the world. Lauren sees a wounded man in danger of losing everything to his inner demons, but the sensual, no-holds-barred fight for Ty’s soul could cost Lauren her heart.
In All on the Line, Abby Simmons fell hard for Lieutenant Sean Winthrop, but he sacrificed their relationship when he deployed to Afghanistan. Now he’s home, full of regrets and intent on winning back the woman he never forgot. Abby gives Sean her body but holds her heart aloof, until one night of pleasure forces her to choose her U.S. Marine…or life without him, forever.
Release date: March 5, 2013
Read an excerpt
I discovered Anne Calhoun with the novella “Breath on Embers” and I now recommend her books a lot. I am very picky about stories in the erotic genre because I do feel like the characterizations often suffer because of an emphasis on sex. And, quite frankly, that gets kind of boring. With Calhoun’s books, I find myself thinking about the characters long after I am finished reading. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I am excited to hear that she has another book coming out this June, too.
I am sorry to say I haven’t read any of your books yet. But I just finished reading your write up, your books sound like my kind of books. I am very picky when it comes to books I read, but I just read the write up on Uncommon Pleasure and it sounds great, I will add you to my list of authors.
Any book that can make me cry I call “very well written”. I look forward to reading Breath On Embers. It sounds like a great book. Thank you for the interview!
I have never read a book by an erotic romance author before. What a great interview! I will have to get some of Anne’s books and read them. They sound really good.
Nice way to celebrate the book release
Sign me up! I want one! Pick me Pick me Pick me!!!