The introduction to this book described the stories as sweet and romantic like candy hearts on Valentine’s Day. Mmm… After reading them, I’m not sure if I totally agree. Yes, they are all that, but they’re more than that, too. The sweet can be captured by candy hearts, but it doesn’t quite capture the sexy bits. How would I describe the stories in this anthology? Maybe like the bottle of flavored spray lubricant I once bought in an adult novelty store that heated up on contact with skin. Yeah, that’s it! The stories in XOXO: Sweet and Sexy Romance are a sweet, cherry-flavored naughty lube that warms you up and makes you hungry for more.
This book means a lot to me in so many ways. Not only is it filled with amazing stories to satisfy the perfect holiday, but it was my first opportunity to work with editor Kristina Wright, who has become one of my favorite editors to write for. Yep! I’m in this one, people. Yay, me! And to make things even better, so is my friend and, at times, my inspiration, Rosalia Zizzo.
To celebrate the release of this anthology, Kristina was the first one I tracked down for comments. (Maybe someday I’ll get so good at this interviewing type stuff, I’ll actually get paid… Hee Hee.)
1. I loved the perfect blend of pure, sweet, innocent romance and naughty sexy in these stories, like the little candy hearts you say inspired this collection. Fiction is great, but I can’t help myself. I love true Valentine’s stories as well. Tell me about a Valentine’s Day in your day-to-day that’s worthy of the books. One that makes you glow like readers do when they finish XOXO.
There was a time when I wasn’t a big fan of Valentine’s Day. After all, when you have love in your life, Valentine’s Day happens every day– or it can. My day-to-day life is one of little Valentines because I married a pretty romantic guy. He brings me flowers at least once or twice a month (though now he claims they’re from our 2 and 4 year old boys!) and keeps me in my favorite chocolates. But it’s not just about presents, he really takes care of my emotional and mental health, which is so important for a writer/mom whose time is constantly being split between work and children. He’ll bring me hot tea in bed after a rough day, or make sure the Walking Dead is queued up on the DVR when we finally get the boys in bed. He’s as enthusiastic about date nights as I am, and whether it’s dinner or a movie or just running errands we can’t do with two young kids, we’re always holding hands and saying, “I love you.” Valentine’s Day is lovely and I’m really going to enjoy it this year–but it’s the day-to-day romance that makes me happy!
Sigh… Now I long for a Mr. Martha. (Nobody show this to my parents and get their hopes up again. She FINALLY? We thought it’d never happen!)
2. According to your bio, you’ve been married 23 years. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Can Mr. Kristina still surprise you, or have you happily already figured out his plans for next week?
“Mr. Kristina” Jay has already made my Valentine’s Day special– I’m going to be doing a book signing at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia on Valentine’s Day and it’s a couple of hours away from home. So he’s taking the day off from work and coming with me so we can make a day of it– and since we did the same thing last year, I guess it’s becoming our annual Valentine’s Day tradition. I don’t know yet if he has any surprises up his sleeve, but what’s more romantic than a man taking off work and making time for you on Valentine’s Day? I’m looking forward to our adventures.
3. What’s next in store for your readers?
Newly released is Best Erotic Romance 2014, the third edition in the series. This summer will bring the release of my third collection of erotic fairy tales. A Princess Bound includes original and retold fairy tales with a BDSM twist!
Excerpt from Very, Very Well
by Kristina Wright
“I have a confession,” he murmurs in my ear as we maneuver between closely spaced racks of men’s suits and towards tables of causal wear. “I got you here under false pretenses.”
He says it so seriously, I have to laugh. “No kidding? Wow, I really thought you wanted to go clothes shopping. Okay, Mr. Secretive. Why are we here?”
He pulls me off the aisle and toward the dressing room. “There’s something I want for our anniversary — something you do very, very well.”
I can’t help but blush because I know exactly what he’s talking about.
Whew! Okay, where was I? Oh yeah… Next up on my imaginary microphone is my friend Rosalia. She’s a California girl, suffers from MS, cruises and conquers her world from a wheelchair and has to write her stories from a voice adapter on her computer. And she still gets it all done! Whenever the lazy bug bites my extra round ass I always think of her and I get to work, my excuses suddenly seriously lame.
1. This is a Valentine’s Day anthology, full of sugary sweet and sexy. Do you have any favorite Valentine’s Day memories? A special one you’re willing to share?
Valentine’s Day is the reason for this anthology and a day when I once received quite a few kudos from several young migrant farm workers here in California. I am so grateful for the goodness I have received from both my husband and the young farm workers . Both have made me feel as if the human race will not be defeated and hence, neither will I.
2. What was the inspiration for your story A.M. Wood?
What inspired me to write A.M. Wood is my 23 year marriage to a man who has seen me go from dancing in Danzantes Del Alma, a dance troupe in northern California, to a woman who is wheelchair-bound and controlling her computer with only her voice. Amazing really. We met in college as teenagers and are now middle-aged and approaching yet another Valentine’s Day.
Excerpt from A.M. Wood
by Rosalia Zizzo
Returning from the restroom and passing by the cold hearth, axe propped aside it, I slide into bed next to my warm husband and curl into the space at his belly that hugs my backside perfectly. Spoons, I think. Mmm… As I roll to the side, I notice his erection saying good morning to me while he sleeps, so I stop and look down at him, mentally processing my options. I could return to my position beside my warm lover, but my thoughts would never allow me to sleep.
Hesitating briefly, I slowly draw nearer because I don’t want to wake him.
And we can’t forget about me! It’s my blog. I get an excerpt, too.
Excerpt from Dirty Laundry
by Martha Davis
“Honey, can you carry the laundry basket down into the basement for me?”
Josh grunted, the tone and swiftness letting me know he was pleased. Neanderthal man enjoys every opportunity to prove his physical superiority over tiny cave girl, and he eagerly lugged it down the small flight of wooden steps, dropping it by the washing machine.
“Sweetie, I was thinking. It’s been a long day and I’m kind of tired. Why don’t you do the laundry and I’ll supervise?”
He grunted. This time longer in length and from deeper in the throat. Less pleasure.
“Here,” I added, stripping off the bathrobe and throwing it in the basket. “You’ll need to wash this, to. Just toss the whites in the corner for now and load the colors.”
Seeing me dressed in nothing but a see-through open-mesh, red chemise with matching G-string made him a lot more agreeable to my request.
Ooooo, all this love stuff. It just gets you right here, don’t it? If you’d like to win a free trade paperback copy of XOXO, leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite Valentine’s Day. I’ve been inspired to go make out for a whole week and when I return, I’ll randomly select a winner on Sunday, February 16th. Happy Valentine’s Day!