Friday, September 28, 2012

Fridays Firsts with...CHANTILLY WHITE

The first five sentences of... PEARLS OF PASSION 

Sabrina licked her crimson lips, adjusted the low V of her scarlet satin blouse a bit lower, the black mini a bit higher. She admired the toned cut of her thigh muscles and the creamy swell of her breasts in the glass as she pushed through the double doors of the county library on ice-pick, black-patent stilettos. She could do this. If her heart was beating a bit too fast and her breathing was a bit, well, breathy, that would just help set the stage.

Mr. I’m-Too-Shy-To-Ask-You-Out was going to get a Valentine’s Day surprise like no other.

Genre: Contempory Erotic Romance
Publisher: Indie

Available now!

* * * * *

Who was your first love? Oooh, that's actually a tough question. My very first love was a sweet, chubby little boy whose name I no longer remember, but my mother has him circled on my Tiny Tot's (basically preschool) class picture. I was three. I experienced a short dry spell in my love life after that, but the role of personal hero was next filled by the charismatic Jimmy Alvarez in kindergarten. He wooed me with rings from the gumball machine at a local pizza parlor and Avon lipstick samples he liberated from his mother's vanity table.

I was, in a word, crazy about him.

My mother would say I was boy crazy, period. She's probably right. I spent a fair amount of time in school ignoring math lessons in favor of selecting my next victim. I mean boyfriend. I always paid attention during story hour, however.

In all that time, and through all those boyfriends, I was pretty lucky. There were only two young men who truly broke my heart. My first serious boyfriend, Mike M., in high school, and a "much older" guy—by four years! It seemed like a lot bigger difference when I was nineteen—who promised to love me forever, named Jeff. He left me—on Christmas Day—for his ex-girlfriend, a woman who had rammed his car with hers when he broke up with her the first time.


I have to thank that nameless crazy girl, though, because she cleared the way for me to meet the real love of my life, my husband, Mark, who has been by my side for more than twenty years.

What was the first romance you ever read? The first romance I ever read was The Proud Breed, by Celeste de Blasis, which, if you've never read it, is an epic tale—probably more women's fiction than straight romance, now that I think about it—which follows the heroine, Tessa, throughout her entire life from the day she turns sixteen.

The book is around a thousand pages and quite spicy, romantically. I was twelve and visiting my grandparents at their vacation cabin outside a tiny little town in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. After the first three or four days, I was bored out of my mind. I'm sure I was driving everyone crazy, the way only a bored twelve-year-old can. I'd already shaved the neighbor's golden retriever—without their permission—to free her of mats she'd gotten from swimming in the lake. Poor Maggie. She looked like she'd lost a fight with a lawn mower wielded by a maniacal chimpanzee.

Out of desperation, my grandma thrust The Proud Breed at me and firmly told me to, "Read!" All she remembered about the book was that it was a history of California. She thought it would be educational. Oh, boy, was she ever right about that! I stuck my nose in that book and didn't surface again for days, though every once in a while my mother or grandmother would want to know why I was blushing and giggling.

I was captivated by the first sentence and all the way to the end, through all the ups and downs of Tessa's life with her husband and lover, Gavin, of the dark hair and deep blue eyes. Is it any wonder that particular masculine combination is still my favorite? Lucky for my husband!

To this day, The Proud Breed remains one of my all-time favorite books, and has been read and reread many, many times.

Tell me about your very first kiss? Since I started kissing boys—quite enthusiastically—at a very, very young age, I'll fast-forward to a slightly more age-appropriate answer. My first French kiss lesson, when I was fourteen. His name was Chad, and while he didn't have dark hair—it was, in fact, a very beautiful and pale rocker-dude flowing blond—he did have dark, soulful blue eyes.

We were hanging out at a mutual friend's house, a whole bunch of us, and as usual I was the only girl. Aside from being boy crazy for boyfriends, I mostly preferred the company of boys all around, even just as friends. But I'd had my eye on Chad for something more than mere friendship for a little while, and he'd been giving me the eye right back.

Somehow the topic of kissing came up. When I admitted I'd never had a French kiss, Chad grabbed me by the hand and hauled me outside into the bright sunshine where, in the shade of an ancient oak tree, he pulled me around to face him. He placed his hands ever so gently on my cheeks, and very, very slowly leaned in. He pressed his lips to mine, soft and sweet, and kissed me exquisitely, for what felt like eons. I put my hands on his waist and held on, because my world was already spinning.

Then he pulled back slightly and whispered, "Open your mouth."

The words alone sent a zing straight down my fourteen-year-old spine, but when he touched his tongue to mine, I quaked all over. Such sensations!

We didn't date for very long, but I'll never forget that first "grownup" kiss. I'll always be grateful I had such a wonderful, tender teacher.

Chantilly White was born and raised in southern California, an only child who spent her days acting out favorite scenes from beloved fairytales and reading everything she could get her hands on. Childhood favorites were soon followed by romance novels from Celeste de Blasis, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts and many others.

Always a storyteller, Chantilly holds a degree in Creative Writing/English Literature from the University of California at Riverside. Now living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three kids and three crazy cats, she is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and several local and online chapters. She serves as Membership Chair for the Evergreen RWA Chapter in Everett, Washington.

Chantilly writes romance in a variety of subgenres. She is currently trying her hand at shorter works, and spicing them up quite a lot. She's finding the results. . . stimulating, and hopes her readers will happily agree.

Pearls of Passion and Pearls of Wisdom, both short stories, are available now. Her third title, Pearls of Pleasure, a novella, will be available mid-September, 2012, to be followed in short order by Remember Me and Captivated. Look for them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and anywhere e-books are sold.
To learn more about Chantilly, please visit her website at

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fridays Firsts with ERIN McCAULEY

The first five lines of... THE CONFESSION

Aimee gripped the steering wheel, her stomach churning as she stared at the mansion in front of her and the reality of where she was sank in. She still couldn’t believe she’d come all the way to California, and she didn’t have any idea what to do now.

The towering front door opened, and a tall man in a T-shirt and tattered blue jeans emerged. His dark hair caught the light from the sun as he stepped off the porch, giving the impression of a glowing halo. She gasped when he smiled and waved at her.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance

Available now!
* * * * *


1. What was the first Rated R movie you ever saw?
It was my birthday, I was either turning 12 or 13, and we told my parents the group of us were going to a Disney movie, but instead snuck into Halloween. I’m not sure you can even say I actually “saw” the movie, because I had my hand over my eyes the whole time (I still watch scary movies that way). After it was over and we met my parents out in the lobby, I was still shaking and told my mom I had the caffeine shakes. So when we were all loaded into the car, my mother mentions that they’d decided to go see the “new scary movie,” and how they couldn’t hear a word of it because of the group of teenagers sitting in the front row screaming their heads off. Sigh, yeah, she knew it was us. Luckily, she let the nightmares we all had that night be our punishment.  Don’t go see a scary movie for the first time when you live in the middle of nowhere and your mother doesn’t believe in curtains in the living room to block the view. Michael Myers was everywhere that night!

2. What’s the first thing you do when you sit down each day to write?
I read. I have to go back one to two chapters of my WIP and pull myself back into that world. I also find it helps me tremendously with the editing process. I’ve read each chapter a zillion times before I even start to do the serious edits.  For me, it’s a terrific way to catch some of the little things, and it does help me get a feeling for the flow of the story when you pick it up in the middle.

3. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
I dream of this moment constantly! I’m beginning to wonder if I would have a better chance of it happening if I actually bought a lottery ticket. The first thing I would buy is a house on the beach, somewhere relatively close, but a place with no television, small and easy to maintain, that I can run away to write. My girlfriend, who is also an author, rented a place on the beach and about once a month I run away with my perma-puppy (he’s only 3 pounds, so it doesn’t matter that he’s 7) to join her and write. I get more done there in two to three days than I do in a month at home. It is amazing, and I would love to have the ability to run away to my own place anytime I felt like it.

More about Erin: I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, but as a military wife, I was able to experience the beauty of Alaska, the tundra of Iceland, and the warmth of North Carolina and California, and am able to use all of these locations in my writing. In the years that followed, I worked as a Bank Officer, and a Regional Sales Manager for a local winery, before settling down to work towards my dream of being a writer. 

I’m an active soccer mom, who spends hours in my car driving my little jock around. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my three children and my dedicated writing partner, Maxx, a three-pound Yorkie who never leaves my side.

You can find Erin online here:

Facebook: Erin McCauley

Twitter: @ekmccauley

Friday, September 14, 2012

FRIDAY FIRSTS with...Kathryn Knight

The first four sentences of... SILVER LAKE

Three hours. She would see Jason in three hours, if he left for the lake house when he said he would. A potent mix of apprehension and excitement hummed through her veins, causing her to grip the steering wheel with enough force to turn her knuckles white. “You’re ridiculous, Rain DiMarco,” she mumbled to herself as she ordered her nervous hands to relax.

Genre: Paranormal, fantasy romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Available now!
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press
* * * * *

1. Who was your first grade teacher? Any funny/interesting memories?
I actually don’t even remember her name, because first grade was such a strange year for me. Apparently I did so well in kindergarten (doing what, I wonder? Probably reading – I started early and never stopped!) the school decided I needed some kind of advanced placement. But since they didn’t have that type of class, they settled on having me attend second grade each morning, and then go to first grade after lunch.

Well, I had no idea what was going on in the second grade classroom, so mostly I just fooled around and learned very little. Then when I went to first grade in the afternoon, I would finish my work very quickly. So usually then I would ask to go to the bathroom and just go back to the playground by myself. Thankfully that would never fly these days (I hope, anyway, as a mom!). As you can imagine, my mom petitioned and succeeded in getting me switched to the better school in the neighboring district, and things went much better in second grade.

2. What was the first meal your significant other ever made for you?
On our first date, my husband made me a nice Italian dinner. The thing I remember the most, though, is that three years later, when we were packing up to move to a new house, I held up these dingy candle holders and asked him if I could toss them (we had received about 10 new pairs for our wedding). He said sure, but then added, “Those are the ones I bought for my apartment before our first date, so we could have a candlelit dinner.” Needless to say, I still have the candle holders, in a place of honor on my bedroom dresser!

3. Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? Whatever happened to it?Well, the first story I wrote was in second grade (at that better school!), and it was about a little girl who finds a wild (but somehow quite tame!) pony and gets to keep it. That was my dream at the time, and that “book” is still tucked in my baby book. Silver Lake actually is my first novel, although it has been through major alterations and improvements since I initially completed the first draft. My second novel, Gull Harbor, recently received a contract from The Wild Rose Press.

More about Kathryn: As a child, Kathryn Knight kept her parents on a constant quest to find enough reading material to last her through each week. An early fondness for books about horses later gave way to a lasting preference for both love stories and ghost stories; as a writer, the paranormal romance genre is a perfect fit. Silver Lake is Kathryn's first novel; her second novel has also received a contract from The Wild Rose Press and will be released in 2013. She lives in New England with her husband, her sons, and a number of rescued animals.

You can learn more about Kathryn on her website, Facebook and Twitter.