Sweet With A Bit of Heat: Romance Author E. Ayers in The Spotlight

It is my great pleasure to introduce (or perhaps re-introduce) you to a wonderful author who also a great friend of mine.  I met E. Ayers at my local RWA chapter several years ago and we’ve been chattering away about romance and publishing ever since.  She’s here today with her most recent novel, A Calling in Wyoming, and her soon-to-be-released A Child’s Heart, the next in her River City series.  And don’t forget to leave a comment!  She’s going to do a giveaway. 🙂

ACIW 500x750

Wow! May has so busy and now it’s almost over. Do you happen to know a way of adding a few more hours to each day? I really need them.

You asked what I’ve been doing. Where should I start? Well, my fourth, contemporary, sweet western, A Calling in Wyoming was published earlier this month. My other westerns have all landed on Amazon’s top sellers list and kept me on that list for seven months. Naturally, I have my fingers crossed for this one, too.

I wrote this one based on a friend’s son. He’s handsome, single, and the kind of guy every mother hopes her son grows up to be. But at twenty-seven, he’s starting to think about settling down, except he’s not met the right gal.

He looked at me one day and asked if I’d write a romance for him. I think he was asking if I knew someone who would be perfect for him. Since I don’t, I let his question rattle around in my head until a story formed.

It was easy to borrow his good looks, but I realized that I couldn’t ignore his strong Christian beliefs. So I put his faith to the test. He hasn’t finished reading the book yet, so I have no idea what his reaction will be.

Slowly family and friends are voicing their opinions. At the moment, it’s rather divided. Some are saying, yes to his stay in Creed’s Crossing and the others are saying no way would he accept such an offer. And the reaction over the lovely young woman I created for him…? Mixed.

It was loads of fun fictionalizing someone. The hero in the story, is not the real man. If I put twenty young men in a room, you’d probably be able to figure out which man fits the hero’s description, but that’s where it ends. He knows I put him in cowboy boots and let him ride a horse, but that’s all he knows, and no one is telling him the rest. He has to read it! To him, it’s hoot that I’ve made him into a cowboy.

So that’s the story behind the story of A Calling in Wyoming. It’s the perfect length for a rainy afternoon or a quiet evening, slightly less than 40,000 words.

It’s available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook) and on Smashwords in a variety of formats.

As soon as A Calling in Wyoming was published, I did a publishing workshop for writers. Then I turned my attention to my next River City book, A Child’s Heart. It had come back from the editor with a long list of corrections. (Someday I might remember to use all the commas.) With luck, the book will begin to show up at various e-book retailers the first week of June. This one is the sixth River City novel. They do not need to be read in order because the glue that holds them together is the city itself.

River City is where I started writing romances. They have strong mainstream overtones with the happily-ever-after that people want in a romance. They are all young urbanites trying to make River City a better place. To use an old term, they are the young-movers-and-shakers of the community.

RC6 trent&cassie 500x750A Child’s Heart is about Trent Callahan, a widower with a young son, Shawn, who needs heart surgery. Married at eighteen, Trent’s a blue-collar worker, living with his mom and trying to support his son. Except, he finds himself falling in love with the curator of the River City Museum.

Dr. Cassandra “Cassie” Jones is older and has her PhD. Confident, and competent, she portrays a very polished exterior. But under it, she’s a vamp (as in seductive), and Trent is about to have some lessons in history that would make Cleopatra blush.

Just for fun, I thought you’d like to read the excerpt of their first kiss. Kisses can be delicious and occasionally they can have an interesting and unexpected effect on the body.

Excerpt from A Child’s Heart:

Cassie pulled in front of a small home that looked exactly like every other house in the working class neighborhood. Tiny, cookie-cutter houses sat on postage-sized lots. The Callahan home was painted a pale yellow with dark gray shutters and trim. The grass was recently cut, and a few petunias were planted around the base of the lamppost. She parked her car and drew in a deep breath as she gathered up the two books.

“Hi,” she said, when Trent opened the door. “I brought something for Shawn.”

“Come on in. He’s not here right now. My mom took him shopping for some slippers and a robe. He’s going to need them for the hospital. They say he’ll be there for a while.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I should have called first. Tate gave me your address, and I thought I’d stop on the way home, since you weren’t very far out of the way.”

“You live in the area?”

“Not really. I have an apartment in Sweet Grandview.”

“This is not exactly on your way home from the museum.”

“It’s not, but it’s not that far, either.” She forced another smile.

He glanced at his watch. “They should be home soon. Would you like a glass of iced tea?”

“Thanks. I’d appreciate that.” She gazed at Trent standing there in his work uniform, his name written in an oval under the embroidered company name. “What exactly does River City Manufacturing manufacture?”

“Countertops. We measure, custom cut, and install counters for both commercial and home use.”

“Oh. What do you do?”

“Everything. Mostly, I handle the computer and oversee the shop. It’s a rather involved process. The measurements are dropped into the computer, which then runs the saws that cut the counters.”

She followed him through the tiny house to the modern kitchen. “Cute kitchen.”

“Thanks. My mom loves it. I tore out what existed a few years ago. I made the cabinets from scratch and the countertops are leftovers from a large job the company did awhile back.”

“Granite?”

He nodded, opened a cabinet, and withdrew two glasses. “I’ve got a small woodshop in the backyard.”

“I’m impressed. You do beautiful work.”

“Thanks.” He handed her a glass of iced tea.

She put the two books on the counter and accepted the glass. Her fingers touched his, sending a spark though her body. Gazing into his eyes, she smiled. A golden blonde lock fell across his forehead, and she noticed slight dimples when he returned the smile.

Broad shoulders filled his shirt, and golden hair covered his forearms. Desire filled her as she stared at the man with gray-blue eyes.

He returned the stare and she found herself lured to him. Golden-brown eyelashes framed his penetrating gaze. Taking a sip of the sweet liquid only enhanced the burning inside her. His fingers wrapped around the glass and removed it from her clutch as his mouth covered hers.

Sweet, probing kisses caused her to close her eyes, as she was drawn to him by the magnificent sensation that streamed through her body. Her hands found his shoulders, as his arms locked her into his embrace. Her hips swayed against the soft bulge in his pants. His hand on the small of her back pulled her tight to him. The room vanished. All that was left, were two bodies pressed together.

His tongue danced with hers as her pelvis rode his hardening length. Her breasts burned. She clawed at the fabric covering his shoulders. It was primal and she lost herself in the ancient ritual. Heat flowed through her until it peaked, causing a groan to escape her throat. Her lips unlocked from his, and she buried her face into his chest. The course material was permeated with the pungent smell of perspiration and oil. Inhaling deeply, it was nauseating, exciting, and very masculine. Reality hit, sending a jolt through her system. She let go of him and turned away. “I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I just did that.”

His hands grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back to him. “I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it was terrific.” His breath flowed over her face as he spoke. “I should be apologizing to you. I’ve never spontaneously kissed someone before.” His voice was deep and raspy. “I’ve heard it said that you can tell a lot from a first kiss, and that was one hell of a first kiss.”

“I’m so embarrassed.”

“Why? It was awesome.” He pulled her tight to his body.

Her gaze locked with his as his lips once again touched hers. Her knees weakened and her body trembled. Wanting to flee, she found herself riveted in place. His tongue found hers. Heat coursed through her as the room began to swim. A gray cloud enveloped her until there was nothing.

***

“Hi, welcome back. Feeling any better?” Trent asked.

Cassie looked up at the man kneeling beside her. “What happened?”

“You fainted. I was about to call 9-1-1. You’ve been out for a few minutes.” She started to sit up, but he gently pushed her back down. “You’re not going anywhere. Take a couple of deep breaths.”

“I’m fine.”

He ran a finger across her cheek as he stared into her crystal blue pools. “You remind me of a china doll, perfectly beautiful.”

“Please, let me get up.”

“Slowly.” He offered her his hand.

Making her sit at the kitchen table, he brought her the glass of iced tea and then pulled out a chair across from her. As he sat, a grin split his face and erupted into a chuckle. “I’ve kissed many a woman in my life, but I’ve never had that effect on one.”

“I’m sorry, I have no idea what came over me.”

“There you go apologizing again for something that requires none.”

“I’ve never been that lost in a kiss, and I’ve never fainted before in my life. No, that’s not right, I fainted one time after I gave blood when I was still in college.”

“Gave blood on an empty stomach?”

“Probably.”

“Bet you’ve got a empty stomach now.”

She shook her head, as if trying to clear it. “Maybe. I ate a banana at some point today.”

“That’s it?”

“Ah, I think so. I skipped breakfast and drank a pot of coffee at work.”

“You’re not leaving here until you’ve eaten something nutritious and filling.”

 

Just in case you didn’t notice, my writing spans from sweet to a mild amount of heat. To me, it’s all about the story, and my writing falls into what I call Main Street, America. You aren’t going to have to worry about the eight-year-old looking over your shoulder if you are reading one of my western novellas, and the fifteen year old isn’t going to read anything that they don’t already know about in my River City novels, although I do consider my River City books to be mature reading.

Me? You want to know more about me? Let’s see if I can find some little tidbits for you.

Jenna and I know each other. Okay, between us we probably know half of the romance authors in the world, but unlike them, Jenna and I can actually share an afternoon and a good cup of coffee. Do you know how much she loves chocolate? We’re both chocoholics. But Jenna might be worse.

I’m a widow and was married to Prince Charming for almost thirty-seven years. Now I rattle around in a humongous pre-Civil War home in a historic district. That just means at any given time something is wrong. During the coldest days this winter, my heating system failed (twice!) and parts had to be ordered. (Yes. I was prepared. I own a small, oil-filled space heater.) Having down quilts, two dogs, and a cat helped to keep me warm as I slept. Of course, that meant very little bed space for me! Do you have any idea how much space on a bed that a cat can take up, especially when plastered against you? How do they do that? I’m not sure if I’m spoiled or my animals are spoiled.

I have a question for you. We all know that Jenna writes stories that will singe your monitor, but do you enjoy a story with less heat or one that closes the bedroom door?

Answer the question, or leave a comment and you might win a copy of A Child’s Heart. Don’t forget to leave your email address if you’d like to win a copy.

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30 Responses to Sweet With A Bit of Heat: Romance Author E. Ayers in The Spotlight

  1. Lily Bishop says:

    This is a great blog post, and a sizzling excerpt to be about a “sweet” story. I think this is an issue that every current romance writer struggles with. EL James has made some themes more mainstream than ever, but to me, the story must be center stage. (And I say that having not read her trilogy, so I’m not speaking to her character at all) I don’t mind heat, but I read for the characters. If the plot is just a mechanism to connect sex scenes, I lose interest. The thing that I dislike most is characters who pray a lot in the book and writers who use religion as a theme. To me, religion is very personal, and if it’s added in a book it often comes across as preachy. For that reason, I usually avoid sweet because often sweet equals Christian fiction, and I would rather leave that out of my fiction. I’m having trouble rating my own book.

    Like

  2. E. Ayers says:

    Thanks, Jenna, for inviting me to your blog. I always enjoy chatting with your readers. It’s been an interesting discussion on reading different heat levels. (I’ll check back, in case we have some stragglers to the post.)

    A big thank you to all who have stopped and read, especially those who took the time to comment.

    Like

  3. Love that you fictionalized your friend’s son! I’ve considered doing that for a friend who I work with too… but problem is her ex-hubby is also a friend and a co-worker.. just don’t agree with what he did to her– he cheated (the worst part–the woman he cheated with is also a co-worker). Anyway, I like stories with lots of heat.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      It’s tough to fictionalize a real person. I doubt I’d touch that story with a ten foot pole, unless you changed everything so that no one could tell that you wrote about them! But it is a classic cheating situation.

      I love the fact that we have so many options when it comes to romance. People can chose to read something mild or steamy, often depending on their own mood at the time. There are still barriers in what we can write or chose to read, but the walls are crumbling. I’m not an erotic writer, but I will defend my follow authors who write it and readers who enjoy reading it. It’s all about freedom of choice.

      Thanks so much for stopping, Sara.

      Like

  4. I really like that you’re continuing on with the small town life. It reminds me of Payton Place! Best luck with this and the rest E.
    🙂
    Rose

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Payton Place? We’re showing our ages. But I’m honored to be aligned with such a successful TV show. But you didn’t dare miss a show or you were lost. I prefer to write so anyone can read any of books without worrying about starting at the beginning. Whether it’s Creed’s Crossing or River City, it’s the location that glues these stories together.

      Thanks, Rose, for visiting Jenna’s blog.

      Like

  5. Hi E, I loved A Calling in Wyoming. I had no trouble accepting Adam’s dilemma and ultimate decision. Your young man friend, who is the basis for Adam, should be honored to be written about in that way.

    My style of writing is sensual/erotic, but I am able to read stories that aren’t graphic. It’s really all about the story…

    Like

  6. lizaoconnor says:

    I’m all about the story, however, if a book as too much explicit detail about any topic: sex, gardening, etc, I’ll start to skim. I’m into characters, dialogue and plot.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      I an so with you on that. Unless the topic is one that really holds my attention for some reason, I too, skim. I want the story not a dissertation on growing herbs.
      🙂
      E.

      Like

  7. Great post. I tweeted.

    Like

  8. Both book sound really good and you’ll have to tell us your real life hero’s reaction to his fictional character.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      I’ll be sure to let Jenna know. I wasn’t so sure when I started writing it, but once I got into it, the whole story fell into place. I enjoyed writing it. All I need to do now is find him a real Lindie.
      🙂
      It’s fun playing matchmaker in fictional stories. It’s not so easy in real life.
      Thanks, Sharon, for stopping by Jenna’s blog.

      Like

  9. You have a lot of courage to fictionalize a real person, and even more for using someone you know! I’d be terrified. Of course, nearly all my books are erotic, so there is another layer of potential embarrassment to work with.

    Your book sounds wonderful. Sweet romance is sometimes so very touching and special. We need variety in the romance genre, and your work certainly helps provide that. Keep at it!

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      And that is exactly why I made him a cowboy and dropped him into Creed’s Crossing. Sweet I could write. Besides, neither he nor his mother would never talk to me again if I’d added any heat to that story. Seriously, he believes in marriage and waiting until marriage. I couldn’t have done it any other way.

      Thanks for stopping by, Patricia.

      Like

  10. Karen Lopp says:

    Great post and excerpt. Congrats on your book

    Like

  11. Great post! I like a bit of heat too 🙂
    jennyrlowery(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      I let my characters drive the heat levels, especially in my River City books. Everyone is different. What is comfortable for one person, isn’t for another. And that goes for my characters. We all have body parts and we know what to do with them. I prefer to write the emotion that flows between two people who are in love. But I’m not afraid to let them physically express that love.

      I’ve read some sweet romances and thought I’d die laughing. You don’t go from holding hands as you walk up the stairs, to OMG she’s pregnant. It takes more than hand holding to make that happen. So for me writing sweet romances is often more difficult, but I have a lot of readers who do prefer the sweet. A CHILD’S HEART is not sweet, but it’s still far from erotic.

      Thanks for stopping by Jenna’s blog.

      Like

  12. NancyS.Goodman says:

    Great post and excerpt. One day I will remember all about commas myself!! Tweeted

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Oh, commas! 30 credits in English and I still screw them up! Just say indirect object and my eyes roll. You’d think I learn.

      When I was little, I had an English teacher who used to say write what you mean. Now, I wish I had paid more attention in her class because she was a grammar guru. Today I totally understand what she meant by write what you mean. Commas can change the meaning of a sentence.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  13. Daryl Devore says:

    Fantastic post . Love the excerpt and how you came up with the premise foe the book.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks, Daryl. Writing A CALLING IN WYOMING was the most challenging book that I’ve ever written, because I wanted to capture the essence of the real man, yet keep it fictional.

      Like

  14. I love how you came up with the hero in A Calling in Wyoming.

    As for the heat level in a story…I am good with either direction. Spicy and hot or sweet and closed door. It depends on the characters and the story for me. Some stories just don’t need the extra heat, and some stories have characters that demand it!

    Congrats on your books and much success!

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thank you, Christine.

      I don’t read very many erotic romances. I will read those put out by my close friends, but I have one friend who knows I will never read what she writes because what she writes is too dark for me. I like a good story. Jenna might singe my monitor (I read on my computer) but she always has a lively story with it. The story (and the characters) make the reading worthwhile.

      I have a darling friend from NZ who writes a hot romance that doesn’t quite hit erotic, but she can hand her hero a rose petal in a public place and the reader is going to need a cold shower. It’s all about the story and the characters.

      Like

  15. D'Ann Lindun says:

    Answer to your question..I like a bit of heat! Sounds like a good read!

    Like

  16. maw25 says:

    For me its all about the characters and the story. Not every book has to have sex in it. I like everything from inspirational to dark erotica. Again, its about the characters and the story. Bedroom scenes to me are just a bonus.

    Seriously, to answer the question…I’m really enjoying stories that have less heat. I like build up between the characters, the sexual tension. For me, it makes for a better resolution in the end. 😉

    Harlie
    harliewilliams25@gmail.com

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Sexual tension is fun to write. I think real life is full of sexual tension. It’s not so much what goes on in the bedroom, but it’s those flirty looks while in the kitchen, that touch, and all those things that go on well before getting around to doing anything. Isn’t that part of the fun? Knowing you’ve got to get those kids in bed and asleep? Or maybe it’s done in the morning when he’s got to go to work? Give him something to think about all day. Oh, yeah!

      Thanks for stopping by, Harlie.

      Like

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