Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Visting Valse Gothique today

Hope your Wednesday is chugging along fine. 
Mine is faring rather well, despite the rain falling outside. 
To find a bit of peace from the mud
 I've flown over to Aurelia Evans' place today 
to share my views on Romantic Gestures. 

I hope to see you there. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guest Post: Ashe Barker and Re-Awakening

Please give a warm welcome to my wonderful guest, Ashe Barker. This busy woman has taken a few moments to spend some time with me, and she's brought along a very handsome guest. Read on, to find out more...

Getting Up Close and Personal … with Zack Lassiter 

Thanks Ayla for inviting me over here today to share a snippet from Re-Awakening, my story in the Paramour collection. If you want to get your hands on the whole thing – and who wouldn’t fancy getting to grips with the hot and oh-so-sexy Zack Lassiter? – you can find it in the Totally Bound book boutique. The Paramour collection went on general release on 7 February.

Knowing the sort of hot gossip we all like to keep abreast of, I tracked down Zack and fired a few finely honed questions at him. All in the name of research obviously. Here’s what he had to say for himself…

Me: Hello Zack, thanks for finding time to chat. I realise you must be very busy just now.
ZL: No problem, lovely to see you again, Ashe. Always nice to chat. Now, what is it you’d like to know?

Me: Well, let’s start with the big one and get that out of the way. If I gave you an elephant and asked you to keep it a secret, where would you hide it?
ZL: A what?

Me: An elephant. Big thing, grey, has a trunk.
ZL: Right, an elephant. That’s what I thought you said. I think I’d probably stick it in one of Gennie’s guest bedrooms. Might be a struggle getting it upstairs, but she’s been thinking about getting a lift installed for people in wheelchairs. That might work…

Me: Excellent answer, very inventive. Now for something simpler. What’s your favourite colour for socks?
ZL: Red, definitely. Or brown. Black perhaps. Anything really, except white. I don’t like white socks.

Me: Excellent taste. So, boxers or briefs
ZL: Boxers as a rule. More ball room

Me: Ball room? Is that an important factor.
ZL: Oh yes, I’d say so. Can’t be getting all constricted, it’s not good for the circulation. I do like to circulate, when I can.

Me: Right, I see. So, dogs or cats?
ZL: I’m not that keen on either, but probably dogs. Cats tend to trip me up

Me: Apart from Gennie, is there a famous person would you like to get naughty with?
ZL: Me? Naughty? I hardly think so. I’m a choirboy.

Me: Raises eyebrow sternly. Please give the question some thought, Mr Lassiter
ZL: Oh well, as you insist. Scratches head, thinks hard. I suppose Keira Knightley has her attractions. In a good light. So does Julia Roberts but my own pretty woman is my lovely Gennie

Me: Good answer. Now, would you ever take part in a TV reality show? And if so, which one?
ZL: ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. Definitely. I’d love to eat slugs and kangaroo penis, and stick my dick in dark holes with rats running around. Full of those tricks, I am. And Gennie would love the trip to Australia to meet me coming back across the bridge through the fireworks and ticker tape. I’d do it for her…

Me: What a hero. Now, could you tell us something we don’t know about Gennie?
ZL: She’s a closet foot fetishist. She loves it when I stroke her heels and massage the soles of her feet. Purrs like a kitten. She’ll do anything for me when I get between her toes…

Me: Yes, quite. (Fans self discreetly) What will I find if I look in your fridge?
ZL: Sod all. Now Gennie’s fridge, that’s a treasure trove. Ice cream, cheesecake, Stella Artois. I’ve been known to shove the odd dildo in there when her back’s turned – makes for a nice evening’s sport.

Me: More fanning. I hardly dare ask - what’s your worst quality?
ZL: I’m too self-effacing.

Me: What would you say was the best thing before sliced bread?
ZL: I’m not sure just when sliced bread arrived. I think the internal combustion engine might be up there though. Pennicillin? Electric lightbulbs?

Me: What’s the naughtiest thing you ever did as a kid?
ZL: Me and my brother used to play chicken on the train lines near our house. My mum would go ape if she ever knew. Don’t you dare tell her – I’ll deny it.

Me: What’s on your ipod?
ZL: Coffee stains and a swanky cover.

Here’s the blurb for Re-Awakening:

Her Master gone, is she destined to spend the rest of her life alone? Or can she bring herself to surrender – again?

Too busy trying to make a living out of her guest house in the Yorkshire Dales, Imogen hadn’t time to be lonely, or even think about having fun. And surrender to her innermost submissive desires is just a distant memory.

A widow for six years, Imogen is not looking for another lover, let alone a Master. She had one of those, once, and no-one could ever compare. Certainly not a handsome, cocky young man, passing through the area and needing a room for the weekend.

But when sexy Zack Latimer turns up on her doorstep he instantly recognises the underlying grief cocooning Imogen from the world outside. The intuitive young Dom makes himself at home in her house, and quickly exposes her most private needs and fears. He sees straight through her facade of self-sufficiency to expose the yearning she tries so hard to stifle. Unable to deny or resist the intense attraction she feels for her sensual guest, Imogen is quickly drawn in as he invites her to rediscover her submissive nature. Can she surrender once more, perhaps even  find happiness and fulfilment again with a new Master?

And is Zack that Master, or has he also gone for good?

Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite…
Young. Ridiculously young to be let loose with a car like this. Her first impression was one of incredulity that this beautiful machine might be entrusted to the care of, well, someone like him. Someone with long, dark hair, brilliant blue eyes, full lips that smiled to reveal strong, straight, white teeth. And a tattoo of an angel on his tanned forearm. She had to admit, the artwork was impressive as he reached out to offer her his hand. Not to her taste, of course, but still…
“What? Sorry, I…”
He’d said something, but she hadn’t caught it. Too busy staring. And lusting after his car. And her eyes were still blurry, though that shouldn’t impair her hearing.
“I saw your ‘Vacancies’ sign. Wondered if I could hire a room. For the weekend?”
His hand was still outstretched, and belatedly Imogen took it. A brief shake, then, “Yes. Yes, that’ll be fine. The weekend? What’s that—three nights?”
“Yes, if that’s okay. Till Monday.”
“Monday. Right. Just bed and breakfast?”
“And evening meal, if you do that? I can’t be bothered looking for restaurants if I don’t have to.”
“No, of course. Evening meal’s fine.” Her head was busy totting up the tariff, and wondering if this unexpected windfall of a customer might stave off the evil day when she had to go out to work. Probably not. But it all helped. Maybe he’d recommend her to—someone. “Please, come inside. I’ll show you the room.”
She unlocked the front door and automatically toed off her calf-high Wellington boots as she went inside. He noticed, made to remove his polished leather shoes too, but she stopped him. “No, no. It’s just that I’ve been on the moors. It’s muddy. You’re fine.”
He nodded, murmured his thanks as he waited for Imogen to slip into her indoor pumps and lead the way upstairs.
She decided to offer him her best room. A double really, en suite, with its own kettle. And a sofa. And the best view of the moors. She’d offer it to him at the normal single rate. She opened the door at the end of her upstairs landing, stepped back and gestured him inside. She watched nervously as he cast his gaze around the room. Imogen was proud of the traditional oak furniture and—she hoped—classy but understated d├ęcor. His brief nod seemed to indicate he liked what he saw.
“Yes, thanks. This is really nice. It’ll do fine. Do you accept credit cards?”
Ah, awkward. Imogen really preferred cash. She didn’t have a terminal for accepting credit card payments, and cheques too often bounced. She hated asking her guests for cash up front, but she had to be realistic. She was searching for a tactful way to explain, and was relieved when he seemed to pick up on her concern. He was quick to offer reassurance.
“No? Not a problem. I’ll nip down into—where? Where’s the nearest cash machine?”
“Er, Bainbridge. In the co-op. I’m sorry, it’s just that we don’t have much call for… Most of my customers pay in cash. Or a cheque would do.” He really didn’t look the bouncy type.
“Cash works fine. How much?”
“With evening meal, it’s forty-five pounds a night.”
He nodded, smiled briefly. “A bargain. I’ll be back in half an hour.”
And he was gone, clattering down the stairs and out of the door. Imogen heard his engine roar into life, and the crunch of gravel as he reversed out into the lane
Well, he won’t be back, she thought to herself. Wonder if I need to drop my prices? And I really should have got his name before I chased him out.

You can pick up your own copy of Re-Awakening from any of these fine ebook sellers:

And here's a little more about Ashe...

Until 2010 I was a director of a regeneration company in Leeds, in the UK, before becoming convinced there must be more to life. I left to work as an independent consultant, and still do some of that though most of my time is now spent writing. At last I’ve been able to realise my dream of writing erotic romance myself. I’ve been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres, and I still love reading historical and contemporary romances – the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse – research.

In my own writing I usually draw on settings and anecdotes from my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters, but my stories of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of my own lurid imagination.

When not writing – which is not very often - my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises.  And most recently a very grumpy cockatiel.  I’m a rural parish councillor, and I’m passionate about evolving rural traditions and values to suit twenty first century lifestyles.

I’ve completed my third trilogy in the Black Combe ‘family’ and I’m well on with writing the fourth, as well as a novella, and a stand-alone novel for Totally Bound’s ‘What’s Her secret?’ imprint. All are due for release over the next few months.

Don’t be a stranger…
Ashe always loves to hear from readers. You can find her on her blog, and on the Totally Bound site. She’s on Facebook, and twitter. She’s on Pinterest too, and Goodreads

Thank you for stopping by Ashe. Best of luck on your terrific book and here's a cheer to everything Love!

Monday, February 24, 2014

It's my blog so I can be happy, right?

Okay, so I may be a little presumptuous in this post, but a writer has to have some place to shout and holler--and my Southern is showing--and simply bask in happiness. Today is such a day for me.

I started my day simple: reading my emails. I checked out this and that and came across the All Romance Newsletter. Cool. I like to see what's up at ARe.

Imagine my surprise as I'm scrolling down to see one of my books a staff pick! Yes, With the Lights On now has one of those sweet little award symbols next to the listing at ARe:

(Insert happy squealing. Or squeeing. And dancing. Don't forget the dancing.)

Click here to go to Kat's posting in the ARe Cafe. She says that With the Lights On is "a hot, quick read." 

So my week's starting off on a good foot. Now I only hope Mr. Murphy stays away and lets me enjoy these few moments of happiness. ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guest Post: Elizabeth Coldwell and Maestro

This week I'm sitting down with another amazing author in the Paramour Collection: Elizabeth Coldwell. She's brought along a guest of her own, Kieran Vale. Please give them both a warm welcome. 

Hi Ayla, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to share an extract from Maestro, my story from the Totally Bound Paramour Valentine’s collection, and let you into a few secrets I managed to coax from its sexy, charming and very dominant hero, Kieran Vale.

It’s not often I get to talk to an absolute superstar, but I’ve been lucky enough to sit down for a one-to-one interview with world renowned tenor – and one of the hottest men to come out of Canada – Kieran Vale

Liz: If I gave you an elephant and asked you to keep it a secret, where would you hide it?
Kieran: OK, I can see the questions are going to be coming out of left field today! Well, I figure I wouldn’t need to hide it, because everyone always ignores the elephant in the room, right?

Liz: Good answer. So, something slightly easier now. What is your favourite colour for socks?
Kieran: Black. You can't go wrong with plain black socks.

Liz: And boxers or briefs?
Kieran: Comfortable underwear is very important to me, so I go for shorts, the cotton jersey kind. Of course, they don't always stay on for long.

Liz: Do tell me more.
Kieran: Hey, a guy's got to keep some secrets, right?

Liz: Of course, but you know I'll keep trying to find out. Dogs or cats?
Kieran: Because my schedule means I can be in Milan one week and New York the next, pets are out of the question for me. But when I finally settle down in one place, then I'd like to have a dog. And a proper guy's dog, a chocolate Lab or something I can take for long walks, not one of those yappy little things women like to keep in their purses.

Liz: Apart from Jax, what other famous person would you like to get naughty with?
Kieran: Well, I've been linked to some pretty well-known women over the years, from Jennifer Aniston to Taylor Swift. Though who hasn't been linked to those two, right? But I've always looked for someone who's smart as well as sexy, and who I can have a strong mental connection with. So maybe Angelina Jolie - as long as I could prise her away from Brad for a little while. But right now, Jax is pretty much all I need.

Liz: Would you ever take part in a TV reality show? Which one?
Kieran: Maybe I should be in the next series of Rupaul's Drag Race - let out a side of me no one's ever seen before. (laughs) But seriously, if I was forced at gunpoint, because reality TV is just so not me, you guys in England used to have a series called Popstar to Operastar? Mentoring someone, and showing them techniques to get the best out of their voice would be pretty cool.

Liz: Tell us something we don’t know about Jax Wiltshire?
Kieran: Well, apart from the fact she's one of the most talented costume designers I've ever had the pleasure of giving me a fitting, she has a real weakness for cookies and cream ice cream. It's great fun to feed it to her in bed - but maybe I've already said too much...

Liz: Not at all; I'm sure the readers are fascinated by these sexy snippets of information. Apart from ice cream, what will I find if I look in your fridge?
Kieran: Cooked meats, cheese - I've spent a lot of time in Milan over the years, and I've developed a real weakness for Italian food. Proper antipasti, pasta, and risotto Milanese, that kind of thing. But I'll always have champagne in the refrigerator, too - because why not?

Liz: What’s your worst quality?
Kieran: I guess I'm too driven at times. I've achieved a lot in a short space of time, but I'm always looking for the next challenge, the next project. I need to learn how to relax if I don't want to burn myself out, but maybe Jax will help me do that.

Liz: What would you say was the best thing before sliced bread?
Kieran: Unsliced bread, I guess - toasted and buttered. Maybe you're getting the impression I like my food here.

Liz: What’s the naughtiest thing you ever did as a kid?
Kieran: Oh man, now you're asking! I did a few bad things when I used to go trick or treating - some friends and I once egged a neighbour's house, but the guy was one of those grumpy old so-and-sos who really hated kids. He totally deserved it. 

Liz: Remind me never to get on the bad side of you...
Kieran: Oh, I’m a pussycat, really.

Liz: Final question. What’s on your iPod?
Kieran: I'm really into English rock music, and at the moment I'm listening to a lot of Kasabian. I'm planning to record their song Empire on my next album, which will consist of covers of rock tunes I really love. I'm looking forward to giving my fans the chance to see a different side of me.

Liz: Well, if they read Maestro, they'll certainly do that! Thanks so much for talking to me, Kieran.
Kieran: It's been a pleasure, Liz. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go feed my elephant (grins).

More about Maestro:

She admires his dominance on stage, but does Jax have the courage to let this gorgeous young opera singer dominate her in the bedroom? 

Opera is Jaclyn ‘Jax’ Wiltshire’s great passion, and she loves her job as chief costume designer for the prestigious London Opera Company. However, at forty she’s still single, and she can’t help but envy her best friend Helen’s happy home life with her husband and children. 

Jaclyn’s life is turned on its head when world-renowned tenor Kieran Vale arrives at the opera house. The company’s artistic director sees the chance to stage a production he hopes will be talked about for years, with a scene that requires Kieran to strip naked on stage. The handsome, demanding Kieran is very comfortable in his own skin, and when Jax begins to fit him for costumes, she realises what a great body he has, and how attracted she is to him. 

Kieran enjoys flirting with her. Their teasing develops into something more intimate as she begins to realise he has a distinctly dominant side. But she can’t really believe that a man eleven years her junior would be seriously interested in her? Kieran makes it clear to Jax he needs a woman who will submit to him. With a fiery leading lady who has the hots for Kieran waiting in the wings, can Jax find the courage to let her guard down and allow this gorgeous Dom to make her his?

Extract from Maestro:

Though I’d promised myself I wouldn’t talk shop tonight, I couldn’t resist spilling the news that Kieran Vale had committed to appearing in Perpetua
“Oh, wow!” Helen exclaimed. “He was on the last Royal Variety Performance. He’s a serious hottie.” “Hey!” Jack’s tone was one of mock-offence.
Helen took her husband’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “Darling, you know no one’s as hot as you are…”
The look they exchanged sent a pang of envy through me, which I did my best to ignore. Helen and Jim were such a perfectly suited couple, and even though their relationship had its ups and downs, it was obvious they were as much in love now as when they’d married fourteen years ago. From the hints Helen dropped, their sex life was still pretty spectacular, too, particularly on those weekends when they packed the twins off to stay with Jim’s mother on the Sussex coast.
As for me, I hadn’t expected still to be single at the age of forty, but sometimes that’s the hand life deals. It wasn’t, as I’d pointed out to Helen, that I had such ridiculously high standards no man would ever be able to meet them. He just had to have certain characteristics, without which he’d never be right for me. I’d never told her that in addition to being witty, considerate, and not still living at home with his mother, he had to be able to awake the submissive heart I kept buried deep inside me. I kept no other secrets from my best friend, but somehow I didn’t feel able to explain that what I needed more than anything was a man who would compel me to obey his every command, and who would punish me with his palm, then soothe my hurt with his words and his love.

More about the lovely Elizabeth Coldwell:

Elizabeth Coldwell is the author of numerous short stories and novellas and four full-length novels. Her stories have appeared in the best-selling ‘Best Women’s Erotica’ series and Black Lace’s popular ‘Wicked Words’ collections. Formerly the editor of the UK edition of Forum magazine, she also contributed a spicy monthly column, ‘The Cougar Chronicles’, to its pages. When she is not busy writing, she is an avid supporter of Rotherham United Football Club and can be regularly found on the terraces at weekends, cheering her boys to victory (hopefully!).
Elizabeth loves to hear from readers. You can find her contact information, website and author biography at

You can pick up your own copy of Maestro from any of these popular ebook sellers: 

Thank you again to Elizabeth and Kieran for their lively interview, and thank you, dear reader, for stopping by for a visit.