GS: Thanks! I’m very excited to be here.
NG: What genre(s) do you write and why?
GS: I’ve always loved romance fiction – my mom turned me on to Catherine Coulter when I was a teenager and I was hooked ever since. One of my favorite things to do was (is) get lost in a really good, heart-tugging love story, and I devoured every romance novel I could get my hands on. The jump to writing my own wasn’t a very large one - I’ve always written stories, and I completed my first full-length novel when I was 14, and I used to write what I didn’t realize at the time was fan fiction. Every one of those stories was romance focused in some way. As I got older, I found my way to RWA and began to work on my writing in earnest. And with the way the market has expanded in the last ten years or so, so has my taste for the more erotic romances. I especially love to read and write about the physical side of that romance, that’s just so much fun!
NG: Your journey to writing is similar to my own! Why are you drawn as a writer to paranormal stories?
GS: I love magic and immortal beings, the possibilities really are endless for what can happen. Magic can be used in so many ways, some mundane, some extraordinary. You can open a door, or you can tie someone up! Immortal creatures such as vampires, or someone cursed to walk the earth for eternity – my mind starts spinning with thoughts of what could happen when someone like that meets the one person they are truly destined for. And after that, how does the otherworldly aspect affect them? Just thinking about this is giving me all sorts of ideas! :D
NG: What do you enjoy the most about being a writer?
GS: Most enjoyable is feeling the characters come to life. When I’m writing a scene and it just flows and the characters interact with very little input from me, and I sit back and realize what I’ve learned in channeling these people through words. It’s very rewarding to read something back, and watch the story unfold, and often it’s not something that hits me until after I’ve finished writing the scene or chapter to see how well it works.
NG: What do you find the most challenging about being a writer?
GS: Time! I work full-time for a global electronics company, and I travel a bit for my job. And I have two children, (three if you count the DH!), who needs quite a bit of my attention, though lately the 13 year old daughter would rather I wasn’t around, I think! ;) Most of my writing is done at night, after everyone’s tucked in for the night and no one needs my immediate focus.
NG: Same here! How long does it take you to complete a book?
GS: It depends, a lot of it on scheduling. I have my spurts where I write like a demon for a few weeks and have been known to get to the 90-100K mark in a month for a first very rough draft. But then I end up spending at least two to three months revising and polishing, tossing and rewriting. On average, with family and work obligations to a minimum, I’d say it can take anywhere from two to six months. It’s been known to take longer, due to major changes I may need to make. And most of my books tend to be about 100K words, I can overwrite a bit too!
NG: Writing 90-100K even in a rough draft within a month is very impressive! Do you use beta-readers or critique partners?
GS: I have several beta readers that I’ve worked with in recent years, and I also have a critique group that I have been part of for probably close to 20 years now. Those ladies have seen or heard everything I’ve ever put to paper, and if it wasn’t for their guidance and support and help (lots and lots of help! LOL!), I’d never have published anything.
NG: Which is harder to come up with...the blurb or the title?
GS: In my eyes, they’re both pretty damn agonizing. Blurbs are killer for me, I have such trouble writing short. Period. I have a couple of trusted critique partners that help with that. But titles just might be worse. I’ve had some pretty bad ones. I have a previous title published under the name Gina Rosavin, and my working title for that one was pretty atrocious. The publisher came up with the final title.
NG: How do you celebrate your first sale?
GS: It’s weird, I haven’t done anything real special – I shared some champagne with some friends, and did have a nice evening with the DH in honor of it as well.
NG: Hey, champagne with friends is always a nice way to celebrate! Now for a little Gianna Simone trivia! Favorite romantic movie?
GS: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney.
NG: Favorite love song?
GS: Hmmm, tough one. The first one that comes to mind is Peaches and Diesel by Eric Clapton. It’s an instrumental.
NG: Favorite dessert?
GS: Anything with lots of chocolate!
NG: Hear! Hear! lol. Let's talk about your latest release, In The Devil's Arms. What's this sexy story all about?
GS: Helene Gaudet, my heroine, has been broken in a lot of ways, her magical skills are damaged, and her ex-husband has cursed her. She’s resigned to a life alone, convinced no one could want her with all of her problems. But she’s always had fantasies about the hero, Devlin Marchand, when she really shouldn’t. When they were teenagers, Devlin was responsible for her near-death at the hands of an evil sorcerer. But Devlin was forced into his actions, and also harbored a secret attraction for Helene. But after the traumatic events that changed their lives, they moved on in very different directions. Now Helene is divorced, Devlin’s widowed, and he finds out, in a rather underhanded way, that she is interested in BDSM. Since he is a Dom, he decides to finally make a move on his long-buried desires. Of course, as it turns out, he’s also indirectly related to the other traumatic events of her life, namely the curse that has left her sterile and unable to have children.
NG: Oh, wow, this story sounds wickedly intense! What inspired you to pen this sizzling tale?
GS: A lot of things – I’ve always liked the idea of people from opposite ends of the spectrum being destined for each other, no matter what their logic may tell them. The city of New Orleans has always been a magical place to me, I’ve had several ideas for books set there but none of them felt right until this one. I wanted to write about magical people, but with my own little twists – the idea of a powerful witch using a cell phone or laptop always makes me grin. I freely admit my magic is more along the lines of Charmed or the Harry Potter series, rather than the real Wicca practiced by so many today.
NG: In The Devil's Arms contains BDSM elements. What would you say is the biggest misconception about this lifestyle/fetish?
GS: The first thing people think is that the person in the submissive role is weak. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I believe the submissive, male or female, is probably stronger than the Dominant in many ways, no matter that the Dominant is in control. The other thing that kills me is the assumption that people who live the lifestyle, whether it be full-time, or just sometimes, are freaky abnormal people. People would be surprised how many normal, business-suit wearing corporate types are in the scene. I know people that find it especially abhorrent that a woman would willingly submit to the activities practiced in the lifestyle, which I find ironic, since it’s not uncommon to find a woman who wields power in her business life or other areas of her life, but willingly submits to her Dom in the bedroom. It’s very freeing to give up control, someone who has to be in charge of everything all the time needs a break from that. BDSM can provide that freedom.
NG: Great answer, Gianna! The term BDSM scares off many people, but I think erotic romance is broadening the minds of adult readers in this area. What’s the one thing readers can always count on when they pick up a book written by you?
GS: It’s going to have a lot of sex and likely a healthy dose of kink! But I also like to get deep into the characters’ emotions as well. I try very hard to convey that heart-wrenching angst or gushingly tender romantic declarations of love.
NG: Thanks for stopping by, Gianna!
GS: Thanks for having me. This was fun! And I will be giving away a copy of In The Devil’s Arms to a random commenter here.
You must leave your email addy to be eligible to win! Good Luck!Blurb: Helene Gaudet is finally free of her past—a rage-filled ex-husband whose curse has left her unable to have children. Helene shares those past agonies with no one—certainly not with a Marchand.
Her lonely life is upended when she encounters who she believes is her perfect Dom in an Internet chat room. To her shock, her Dom is none other than Devlin Marchand, the very person who handed her over to a dark sorcerer to be killed.
Yet Devlin proves himself to be a loving Master, and lust and love grow with each tormenting, releasing, encounter. But guilt over his past betrayal is multiplied when he learns the curse that has dogged his lover for years comes from the trove of magic created by his very own family. Devlin fears all he has built with Helene will be destroyed.
Can they overcome the past to have a future together?
Caution! Scorching Excerpt Below:
Helene paced the length of her porch, taking several deep breaths as she moved along the wooden boards. The humid night air increased her anticipation. The sun had set hours ago, yet the temperature remained unseasonably warm. A bead of sweat trickled between her shoulder blades, and she forced herself to sit in the rocker in the corner, to calm herself with the gentle motion.
Her disjointed thoughts were interrupted by the crickets and cicadas of the bayou, their song occasionally silenced briefly by the calls of owls in the cypress trees. She glanced at her watch. Ten more minutes.
Why had she done this? She should never have given him her phone number.
She let her gaze settle unseeingly on the thick pillar candles burning on the stand, casting shadows in the darkness. She should be inside, but her tiny cottage felt too confining. But coming outside hadn’t lessened the sensation of being suffocated.
The cell phone in her hand buzzed, and she glanced at the display. Unknown caller. Dragonslayer. She let it buzz again, clasping it to her chest. What was she thinking? It buzzed again, and somehow this time the vibration seemed sharper, more intense, perhaps because she held it so close to her pounding heart. With a deep breath, she flipped the phone open and put it to her ear.
A brief silence. "Goddess?" A hushed voice, hovering above a whisper. Her heart slammed into her throat. She gulped.
"Y-yes. Dragonslayer?" The sensation of his name felt foreign in her mouth.
She sensed his smile. She had no idea what he looked like, yet she found herself picturing a face. His face. Her hands shook. She rocked more insistently on the chair.
Silence fell again, and Helene’s heart continued to race. She clenched her fingers.
"Talk to me. I want to hear you." His camouflaged voice sent shivers along her spine.
"Um, well, what do you want me to say?"
A chuckle, then the same hushed tone, soft yet with a steely edge. "Tell me what you’re doing."
She glanced around and had the sense of being watched, even though she knew no one intruded on her privacy. A strange thrill ran through her at the thought she could be wrong. "All right. I’m sitting on my porch, talking to you."
"Where are you sitting?"
The chair still moved in an uneven rhythm. "Um, on the rocking chair." "Are you comfortable?"
"Yes. It’s one of my favorite places to relax." Her heart settled. Finally.
"Good. So tell me, Goddess, have you been thinking of me since our last chat?" She hesitated. "Yes." All the damn time.
"And what were you thinking?" His words were still muffled, just clear enough to hear if she listened carefully, as if he spoke through some sort of voice distorter. Why? He’d pushed for this, now he wanted to hide? The errant thought scattered as he asked again. "What were you thinking about, Goddess? What did you imagine about me?"
She suspected where he led her, and she squeezed her eyes shut as she decided how to answer. Oh, what the hell? When had she ever done something so exciting and risky and completely insane?
"About you touching me," she whispered.
"What? I didn’t quite catch that." A hint of laughter tinged his muted voice.
She cleared her throat. "About . . . about you touching me."
An approving sound, igniting a burst of pleasure in her belly.
"Really? That’s very good. Because I’ve been thinking of touching you too."
She held her breath, her heart exploding into a staccato beat that left her trembling. "Have you now?" She wanted to shout with triumph at the steadiness of her voice.
"I have. There’s just one problem."
A sudden twisting of her gut left her breathless, for a different reason, as a note of disappointment blended into her anticipation. "What’s that?"
"I’m not there. I can’t touch you. Not the way I truly want to. Shall I tell you how I would touch you?"
Her dry mouth made it difficult to form the words. "If you want to."
"You’ll have to ask me nicely, Goddess."
She sucked in a sudden gasp, his responding chuckle sending another shiver through her. "Would you . . . tell me how you imagined touching me? Please?" She’d added the plea at the last second, sensing what he wanted.
"Since you said please."
His voice, low and sensual, resounded in her head. The hint of French woven into the slow drawl of his southern heritage left her panting, as he told her how he wanted to touch her. In her mind, she could see his hands sliding over her skin, up her abdomen to cup her breasts, flicking at the nipples. Her free hand slipped under her shirt, mimicking the motions he described.
"Can you feel it, Goddess? The way my finger circles your nipples, teasing them, making them ache to be touched?"
Helene circled her finger around the tip of her breast, imagining his fingers touching her, the straining nub doing just as he said. The intensity exploded in her breast as she ran her finger lightly over the pink tip, and it tightened further beneath her caress. The fiery heat shot through to her pussy, throbbing already in anticipation. She squeezed gently, surrounding the heated flesh as he spelled out what he would do to arouse her. Her hand imitated his descriptions, massaging and patting, until the heat inside threatened to leave her in ashes on the porch.
"I can’t wait to explore the rest of your body, bound and held open for me."
Despite the muffled tone of his voice, the words sent a flood of longing to her core. She bit her lip against the cry trying to escape at the image he projected in her mind. Would he continue?
He revealed his intended path, and her hand slid down over her belly, as if he had commanded her, her muscles twitching at the teasing strokes, just as he described. She pushed aside her wrap skirt, her fingers pausing at the edge of her panties. Just below, her heated pussy swelled and grew wetter and wetter, and she pressed her thighs together to try and soothe the ever sharper craving.
"Do you want me to touch you, Goddess?" The silky question slid over her, and she moaned aloud that time.
Her fingers trembled, waiting for his command, even though he’d never actually given her one. But she could not resist the need to let his words guide her, and she had the feeling he knew it. The thought served as more tinder for the fire growing in her core.
"Yes," she hissed.
Now a teasing note, and she inhaled sharply, the sweet juniper scenting the air like a drug to her already frazzled senses. "Yes, I want you to touch me."
She couldn’t answer, bit her lip against the sudden plea. Where had that come from? Her fingers curled against her skin, frozen as she awaited his next words.
"Tell me, Goddess, where do you want me to touch you? Your pussy?"
She moaned again. "Yes, please."
"I don’t know if I should. You’ve been a naughty girl, haven’t you?"
She stiffened, the haze of desire clearing a little. Still, her hand hovered near her heat, waiting for the moment of contact. "What?"
"I never gave you permission to touch yourself."
Her heart lurched out of its beat for a moment. "What?" She sounded like a mindless fool.
"You’re touching yourself."
She glanced around again, but the cottage’s location, snug and hidden in the darkness of the cypress grove, ensured her isolation. The trespassing protection spells remained securely in place; she’d know if someone had breached them. Yet, the idea of being watched as he talked her through bringing herself off notched the arousal up, lifted it like the fog rising off the water.
His voice, still muted, took on a hard tone. "You are already touching yourself, when you know I can’t. When I haven’t given you permission. Do you know what such blatant disobedience deserves, Goddess?"
"I—uh, no . . . I—"
"Don’t try to hide it from me. I can hear it in your voice, the way you’re breathing. You’re doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing."
Her face burned, but her hand remained just above her mound, fingers twitching against the trimmed hair.
"We’ll have to work on your rebelliousness. Starting now. You’re going to follow my instructions. If you don’t, you’ll be punished."
He didn’t ask, his order setting her heart to racing again. She could barely contain her eager agreement. The heat climbed higher in her body, and she clutched the phone tightly.
"Do you want me to touch you?"
"Yes," she whimpered, caught in the fever of passion he aroused in her. Hearing
him instead of reading the words on a computer intensified her yearning, a thousand times more incredible than she’d imagined. His voice now made him truly real, and the connection between them just as tangible. His next words shook her, sending shocks of excitement along every nerve ending.
"I bet you do. All right then, Goddess. Do it. For me. Touch that hot little pussy for me."
He continued to speak, and once again, her fingers followed his guiding voice,
sliding slowly along her slit, back up to flick her clit before resuming the exploration of her folds. Helene could barely breathe, the pleasure overtaking her as she continued to toy with herself.
"Fuck yourself with your fingers, Goddess. Make yourself come." His voice grew strong and demanding.
She gave a broken cry as she obeyed his order, shoving a finger deep inside, her thumb grinding against her clit. She cried out, her hips jerking as she imagined Dragonslayer between her legs, stoking this inferno himself.
"That’s it, you’re getting close, aren’t you? Don’t hold back, Goddess. I want to hear you, let me hear you come."
She cried out as the pleasure rioted in her body, taking her with violent shudders,
her body bucking wildly against her fingers, the orgasm rippling endlessly through her.
Each hoarse cry torn from her throat rasped in rhythm with the quaking of her body.
His voice soothed her when the roaring in her ears finally died down. She imagined his arms around her, holding her tightly. She let out a deep breath, her scattered wits slowly reassembling.
"The next time you come, it will be in my bed."
"What?" A thrill overcame her, tempered by a hazy apprehension.
"You heard me, Goddess. When?"
Her pleasure-dazed senses refused to focus. "I . . . what do you mean?"
"I want to meet you. I want to be the one to make you come like that next time. I want to see your face when you explode; I want to feel your body as you come in my arms. Tell me when."
The thought of making his words a reality overtook her. "I . . . uh, next Friday?"
What was that? She hadn’t meant to say that. "No, wait!"
He proceeded as if he hadn’t heard her protests. "Next Friday, Goddess. I expect you to be there. I’ll send you an email with the time and details of the location."
"No, wait, that wasn’t what I meant. We can’t, I mean . . . ."
"Oh, we can, Goddess. And we will. You’ll see. I can’t wait."
The line went dead, and Helene stared at the phone, aware of her hand still buried in her pussy. As she pulled free, another rippling aftershock tore through her. Never in her life had she experienced such a powerful orgasm. Her gut told her if she agreed to let Dragonslayer touch her like that, the pleasure would be even greater. She yearned for that delight, to banish the last few years of loneliness.
What would it be like to submit to him in reality? Now, she might actually find out.
Mon Dieu! What had she just gotten herself into?
Still curious about Gianna Simone?
Stop by her blog here: http://giannasimone.blogspot.com
Gianna has selected the lucky winner of In The Devil's Arms and so without further ado....that person is...Sarah!!
Congratulations and enjoy!
Stop by her blog here: http://giannasimone.blogspot.com
Gianna has selected the lucky winner of In The Devil's Arms and so without further ado....that person is...Sarah!!
Congratulations and enjoy!