Saturday, August 24, 2013

#SaturdaySpotlight Is On Author @LeahJMichaels #eroticromance #BDSM

Welcome to the House of Taboo! I'm Luscious Lia the owner of this establishment and your host for the evening. Come on in and find your seats. Place your orders with the waitstaff so my partner and Taboo Head Bartender Tony can whip up your favorite Margaritas.  Any flavor you can dream up of, he's already done it. Don't believe me? Give it a try. Believe me, he's up for the challenge.

Our very special guest today is someone who happens to share my name...well very close to it. Author Leah J. Michaels is here today hidden backstage while we prepare all the surprises we have in store for her. The first is an extra large pitcher of her favorite strawberry 'ritas. Tony's gone the extra mile on these bad boys! Thanks, babe!  (Tony raises his own glass and blows me a kiss. Awww. Don't you just love that man!)

Lia, darling. Do you think you could have Tony whip up a second batch of these fabulous peach mango berry delights? I didn't think he could make all those flavors blend so well and manage to get me buzzed all at the same time.
Oh I think we can manage that for you, Helen. How about you finish dressing and join me out here on Center stage. Tony will have a pitcher made just for you. Maybe you can give our guest, Leah a taste. We have to get her to venture out into more exotic flavors than just strawberry.

Now, now. Don't you go changing her. We love her just the way she is, plain old strawberry margarita and all!  But while you're at it, Tony. I could use another taste of that spicy pepper one you made for me last week. It was HOT, just like Luscious Lia and her guest Leah. Oh man. How are we going to talk to both of you at once? You may spell your first names differently, but you can't tell that in speech now can you?
No you can't, Alan but since today is all about our guest, LEAH you can always refer to me as Mistress. ;)
Oh now that would be fun! We are talking about Leah's brand new BDSM erotic romance today. Come on, Alan. Let's finish getting ready so we can make this an extra special surprise for her. 
Okay, Helen but this time I get to wear the nipple clamps. Lia...I mean Mistress promised!
(Helen rolled her eyes and pulled Alan off the stage to the roaring laughter of the crowd. He smiles and waves at them as the duck through the opening of the purple velvet curtain to head back toward their dressing rooms.)

Never a dull moment here at Taboo! For those of you visiting us for the first time, our Saturday Spotlights are known for bringing in very special surprises for our guest authors. Our staff meticulously researches each guest to find out their favorite colors, music and actors. During those investigations we usually uncover many secrets...usually the relationships between the guest and their surprises. Some are secret crushes and others are shall we say, past loves that just never fade to black. hehehehe
(The crowd gasps as Helen and Alan return to the stage in their costumes. Helen looks AMAZING in the dark purple patent leather body suit and thigh high boots. Alan's sporting black leather pants, studded color, and as promised, the purple latex coated nipple clamps. Helen attaches a leash to his collar and leads him over to the couch beside me. I shake my head and smile. These two are going to make Leah piss her pants for sure!)

You too look fab! Now it's time to bring out the guest of honor. Put your hands together and give a big taboo welcome to erotic romance author Leah J. Michaels! (The crowd is immediately on it's feet as the purple spotlights zoom around the stage before finally landing on our guest.)

(I'm thrilled she's chosen to wear the Taboo clothing we had made specially for her.  She looks absolutely stunning in the black leather micro-mini, four inch heels and the blue leather and lace corset. In her hand is a bullwhip. She cracks it twice and the crowd goes wild before she tosses the whip to one of my stage hands. Time to get to work!)

Welcome to the Center Stage, Leah! I'm sure you know Helen and Alan. They've flown in to be here just for you.
OMG! I thought both of you were busy this weekend. You sneaks!
Now you really didn't think we'd miss your spotlight interview here at Taboo, did you?
Come on, I told you all about these fabulous spicy 'ritas I had here last week. Of course we'd drop everything to join you today. 
Well, I didn't say I wasn't thrilled to see you both but DAMN! Both of you look hot in those leathers. How the hell am I supposed to concentrate on the questions if you're dressed like that?
Don't worry darling. After you have a few of Tony's Margaritas, you won't have a care in the world. He's made an entire pitcher of the strawberry just for you. Here, Alan be a love and pour her a tall one. Make sure you salt the rim of the glass—
I got it, Helen. You don't have to micro-manage everything.

All right now that the drinks are all in hand, how about we get this interview started? What inspires you to write?
Great stories I’ve read, interesting people I meet or see, sometimes it’s just the idea that I want to write a story that takes place at a certain time or under certain conditions. But mainly it’s the characters, if I can’t figure out an interesting character to put in a story, the story dies.

Are you a plotter or panster or a little of both?
Plotter, big time plotter. I’ll plot out, in pretty good detail, anywhere from 15-20 scenes before I start writing. Then its plot a little, write a little, plot a little, write a little as I finish the story.

Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven?

Character driven, very much character driven. If the characters aren’t talking to me or they aren’t people I’d at least be willing to hang out with for an evening the story never gets off the ground.

Oh, my turn now. I know you listen to music while you write. What kinds work best for you?
The soundtrack to the movie Kingdom of Heaven is flippin’ AWESOME! Do different types of music help you for different types of scenes? Yes, if I need to write a fight scene or an angry scene I’ll listen to something like Lincoln Park.

Tell us about the different types of characters you like to write about? 
My men are Alpha’s in one way or another and my women are usually strong but have some kind of vulnerable underside. I like my heroines because most of the time they have a central issues. Getting their brains to shut up. 

Why are these types so appealing to you?
Truthfully, I don’t think they are all the same type but there is something in them I fall in love with and something in them I identify with. It’s true that as we write there is a little bit of ourselves as the writer in each of our characters. It may only be a tiny sliver sometimes, but we’re there.  

In what ways are your characters like you? 
I can tell you that exactly. Karen is me on too much caffeine and not enough sleep. She’s curious, scatter brained, and always happy. Abigail is me on just the right amount of caffeine. She’s organized, together, she’s good at getting things done and she tends to mistrust things that look to perfect. Ella (my current WIP) is me with my family and when it comes to being crafty. Ella can’t seem to say no when her family asks something of her (even when she knows they’re taking advantage) and when Ella finds something new she dives in with both feet and gives 150%.

In what ways are your characters not like you?
My characters are free to give themselves 100% to one or two aspects of their personality. They give themselves completely to being a certain way. I’m not good at that. I tend to reign myself in (for good or for bad) to an even medium.

What are the recurring core issues in your stories? 
Self-discovery and couple growth, with a lot of my characters the issues in the plot is them finding themselves not only within the BDSM lifestyle but also how that works for them as a couple and the trust that’s needed there. 

Why do you think you are drawn to these types of characters/plots again and again?

I love a good love & rescue story but so often I feel like I love the idea of the story as much as I love the characters. But I think I’m drawn to these plots because so often they help me think about parts of my own life and make me look at things from a different point of few. 

What are your favorite fiction genres to read from? Contemporary BDSM Romance & Paranormal Romance (preferably space/aliens)

It's my turn now. What are your favorite non-fiction genres to read from? 
I love a good biography. I’m always fascinated by what makes people tick and you’d be surprised how many story ideas you can get from an account of someone’s life.

Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you think they appeal so much to you? Cherise Sinclair: Her men are wonderful and I’d be friends with almost all of her women. I need more of her mountain series though. 
Kristen Ashley: I love her Unfinished Hero series because again, her men are HOT and her woman are usually pretty level headed I can get behind what they are saying and how they are reacting. 
Sophie Oak, her Bliss series was the first time I read a male sub and was still turned on my him.   

What kinds of stories are your comfort reads when you are sick or feeling low?
Old school traditional Regency Romance. Amanda Quick or Julia Quinn, those are my women on a gloomy day!

Who is your favorite all time heroine? Why do they resonate so well with you?
Jane Eyre. I read that book was I as 13 and found so much of my 13 year old self in the young Jane. I re-read that book at least once a year to this day.

Who is your favorite all time hero? Why do they resonate so well with you?

Edward Rochester. Because at 13 I saw myself in Jane I fell in love with Rochester right along with her. He has shadowed every man and hero I’ve ever loved since then. That why, I smile to say, when reading a book I LOVE the broken, anti-social, hero

Who inspires you and why? (loved ones, friends, authors, public figures, historical figures, actors, teachers etc) 
As cheesy as it might be to say, my husband. He has so much faith in my success and so much pride in me as a writer it’s kind of humbling. I always want to live up to his expectations. 

What inspires you and why? (Art, poetry, music, movie, book, etc. Please share something specific if you like.) 
I love photography, especially portraits. You can see an entire life in a good portrait. One of my favorites is The Girl with the Pearl earring. There is so much in her eyes and face it’s amazing, so many emotions in the single expression. 

Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time? 
I have a 2yr old, a 1yr old, and I work full time. What’s leisure time? But honestly, my favorite thing to do is chill on the sofa with my husband watching a movie.

What’s your day job? 
I’m an Event Coordinator for a Teleconferencing company 

Do you like it? 
Yeah sure, it’s good.  It pays the bills and I love the people I work with.  

How has your job affected your personal development? 

How has it affected your writing life? 
It’s given me one. With two infants at home I don’t often get time to write so I cheat and write a little each day at work.

In one or two sentences, give the core premise behind your story.
If you were given a chance to explore your darkest fantasies, what would you do?

When and where does your book take place?
Modern Day, The Mansion resort in North Carolina

Does the time and setting weave into the plot and persona of the characters?
Yes, The Mansion is a privately owned BDSM themed resort. The hotel is almost a character in and unto itself.

Who is the heroine? 

What drives her?
Curiosity. She’s always getting herself in trouble because she can be distracted by shinny objects.

What is she running away from (literally or figuratively)?
The Russian Mob

What obstacles will she encounter in this story?
Her own tendency to not think things through and a Russian hit man.

What draws her to the hero in this story? 
He’s this steady calming guide into a world she’d only read and fantasied about.

What gives her that push away from him?
She’s not sure of how long all of this is supposed to last. He only ever talks in short term time lines.

Who is the hero? 
Steven Edwards

What obstacles will he encounter in this story?
Steven doesn’t realize he’s in love with her until she goes away from him.
Hmmm...that story sounds a bit familiar. (I look up and wink at Tony. We've been through a lot through the years. It took me walking out of his life for him to realize he didn't want me ever to do that again!)

What draws him to the heroine in this story?
Her love of life and her ability to find beauty in everything.

What does he need to learn to make the happy ending possible?
He has to realize he’s in love with her and make the choice to keep her.

What makes this hero hot and lovable? (Alan tweaks his nipple clamps and winks at the audience eliciting a round of whistles and cat calls.)
He's charming and strong and he loves Karen’s love of life, even when she gets in trouble and he has to discipline her.

Is this book a part of a series?
Yes, it’s call The Mansion

What is the theme of the overall series and how does this story fit into that?
The theme is the idea of the goings on of the BDSM themed resort called The Mansion. This book is the first in the series and is about the owner.

Will these characters show up in other books in this series? 
Yes, off and on. Steven & Karen already appear in book two Fit To Be Tied which is coming out in October.

How many books to you anticipate will be in this series?
I’ve got at least 6 books at the moment. But I don’t plan on limiting it in anyway.

What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on book 3 of the series. Bottom’s Up.

Thank you for joining us here today, Leah! I hope all of you had a great time learning a bit about her and her new series.  You can find The Accidental Submissive (The Mansion) at Bookstrand, Amazon and other major outlets. 


What’s a girl to do when fate hands her a look into her darkest fantasies? Grab on with both hands, both cuffed hands. Karen McGuven’s dangerously curious nature has gotten her into trouble before, but this time she’s hit the mother lode. Kneeling on the auction block she hears the gavel hit and SOLD just as the blood drains from her head. What has she gotten herself into now?

When Steven Edwards looks up and sees an angel kneeling on his auction block, he knows something’s wrong. Because the angel on her knees isn’t the pain kitten the auctioneer is selling. When he rescues her from a sadist, he can’t help but want to keep her for himself.

When she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, and possibly hunted by the Russian mob, he takes her under his protection. Keeping her close to keep her safe, he doesn’t even mind as she stumbles into his heart.

Story and Adult excerpts can be found HERE

About the Author

Leah started writing about ten years ago. At the time she was under the misguided conception she was a fantasy fiction writer. After working on that book for seven years and eventually using it to line her kitchen cabinets she took Mark Twain's advice and decided to write what she knew. She knew romance. She'd been reading them and rewriting the ones she didn't like since she'd discovered Regency in high school. So now she writes what she loves, runs after her two kids and squeaks every times her husband pinches her ass.

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