Today I have the honor to have Laurel Cremant as my guest talking about her latest book "Persuasion Skills"
1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
I have degrees in Microbiology and Immunology and have more than a bit of an obsession with all things data and gadgets. I often describe myself as an out of the closet geek and I also have an obsession for chunky accessories, kick-ass shoes and frilly dresses. So of course it’s only logical that I’m also a writer right? Logic of course being completely absent in my life at least when it comes to certain things.
Despite, always wanting to be a writer, it took me years to finally make the decision to sit my butt in a chair and get to typing. My writing tends to be more on the erotic side of romancer and I love creating smart, strong willed characters. I began writing professionally several years ago and simply put, want to kick myself for waiting so long! I love what I do and can’t see myself doing anything else.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Like most authors, I’m also an avid reader. I actually consider reading one of my first passions, so when I’m not writing I’m snatching up as many good reads as possible. I’ve also got a bit of a DIY obsession at the moment. Which pretty much means that I spend way too much time at Ikea, Home Goods and The Home Depot.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
Between, my day job and family, my writing time is both limited and very precious. So once I have a story idea, I take the time to outline the basics. This is usually the story structure, character background and major movements in plots. I used to just sit down and let it flow at the keyboard, but since every moment counts now, I plan out my writing jaunts for maximum writing time.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Everywhere! I pull inspiration from everyone and everything around me. Whether its a personal experience or a snippet from a news story, bits and pieces of reality always provide great kernels that have the possibility to grow into great stories.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
Currently my favorite is a story I’ve yet to publish. It’s a paranormal romance titled How To Kill Your Immortal that also happens to be the first book I officially completed. Aside from being my first, this book is my favorite because the H/h remind me most of me and my husband. I didn’t set out to do that, but in the end I feel that the heroine in this story, Jasmine, has a lot more of me than any character I’ve written.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I mentioned I’m a “geek” right? Well I was also the proud vice president of my middle school’s Greek Mythology club. I’ve got a crazy obsession with mythology period, regardless of origin (Greek, Egyptian, Roman etc.). I even got have a tattoo in homage to this love. And oh yes, I’ve also got a crazy love for Marilyn Monroe. I’ve probably seen Gentlemen Prefer Blondes about a hundred times.
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
All of my stories are a little bit of both. I like to pull from my own experiences, because frankly it's easier to write what you know. I also feel that when authors include a bit of themselves into stories it adds a level of realness and connection that would otherwise be missing. Obviously there are some things that are pure imagination, but I admit that my characters are often modeled after people I know or have met in passing.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
My muse doesn’t currently have a name, but I’m sure she’d just tell me to call her Diva.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I’ve been working on several Paranormal Romances for a little over a year now. It’s been a challenge for me since it involves a lot of world building. Eventually I’d like to get these works polished up and published. I’d also like to dip my toes into the Sci-Fi Romance genre.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
It’s so hard to choose just one! I tend to read across the gamut of genres and romance sub-genres. Currently I can’t get enough of Thayer King. I think she has a great voice and writing style. Lily Harlem is a plain beast when it comes to writing Erotica. Her books should come with a fire extinguisher! Cherise Sinclair, I think has mastered BDSM tales with both grit and heart. Shyla Colt has a quirky funny voice that grounds her stories. Rosanna Leo I think is on her way to becoming a paranormal force and there are just so many more! I can’t list them all.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
My answer to this question changes from day to day, minute to minute. I love all of my characters. But currently, Jax and Pepper from my latest book Persuasion Skills are first place winners. These two are snarky, quirky and stubborn as hell. They’re also incredibly sweet and have been friends for so long, that getting these two to a happy ending was a great journey for me as both a storyteller and lover of romance. Their history together allowed me to add a certain level of vulnerability to their characters that I don’t think would have been possible otherwise.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Aside from finding time to let my muse run free, I think one of the most difficult thing about being an author is putting your stories out for public consumption and opinion. Authors spend a lot of time wrapped up with their stories and trying to provide readers with a read. Once you’ve spent weeks and months writing your heart out, its extremely nerve wracking to see how it will be received.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Just sit down and do it. This is the most difficult step. Working past personal insecurities and doubt is incredibly daunting, but so worth the effort. Starting is the hardest step of all, but once you do, it becomes an addiction that you can’t shake.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Being very unhappy. Yes I know that sounds gloomy and morbid, but every since I began this journey I’ve realized how much a part of me this process is. I’ve always wanted to be an author. To provide readers not only with a good story, but an escape that they can both enjoy and appreciate. Now that I’ve started, I can’t imagine ever stopping.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
Anywhere quiet and remote. My hubby and I are big no frills vacation types. As long as we’ve got access to food and each other, we’re good. One of our favorite spots is this secluded boutique hotel in the Florida Keys. Snuggly mornings, afternoons swinging in a hammock and peaceful sunsets. You can’t get any better than that.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
In the aftermath of a major health scare, Pepper Holts makes the relief-inspired decision to seize the day. Unfortunately, most of her “seizing” involves a bit of merlot and her best friend's pants! After a shared night of passion she realizes that her feelings for Jax are a lot more complicated than she ever thought.
Jax has finally realized that his allergy to marriage has nothing to do with the institution itself, and everything to do with the women in his bed—or more specifically, the one woman not in his bed. Her reaction to their one night together has him scrambling to regroup. So he does what he knows best—he disappears, and he thinks. The plan?—convince Pepper into staying with him at a secluded cabin for one week. One week of pretending to be a happily married couple to show her how great they could be together.
TAGS: Contemporary,BDSM, Light Bondage, Erotic, Interracial
EXCERPT. . .
Marching into the main room, she confronted her friend-cum-raving-lunatic.
“Forget Misery. You’re in definite Psycho territory here!”
A tint of red darkened his cheeks. At least he had the decency to blush. His show of embarrassment gave her hope that there was still a chance to reason with him.
“I know it looks bad”
“Looks bad? Looks bad? Jesus, Jax, you bought a closet full of clothes!”
“I didn’t want you to get cold. You’re such a Miami girl.”
“And my shampoo?”
“I wanted you to feel at home.”
“And the drawer filled with lingerie?”
He grinned at her. Stupid, sexy dimples.
“Okay, that one was more for me than you, but you can’t blame a guy for being hopeful.”
She stared at him and tried to take deep, calming breaths.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
“What exactly is your grand plan here? What are we supposed to accomplish trapped up on this mountain?”
He planted his arms across his chest and gave her a long, unreadable look.
“We live here for one week, like a real married couple,” he said finally.
She opened her mouth to retort, but he cut her off.
“Consider this a trial run. If at the end of the seven days, you’re not convinced we’ll be amazing together, I’ll let you walk away, and I’ll drop the whole thing.”
“I can’t just not go back to Miami, I have work—”
“I called your assistant this morning. She’s cleared your schedule for the next week.”
“All think you’re on a much-needed and overdue vacation. They say ‘Hi,’ by the way.”
Her left eyelid trembled. Was it possible to develop a chronic tick in a matter of minutes?
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
“And how exactly is a real couple supposed to live?”
“We do the things any other vacationing couple would do. We spend time with each other, go on walks, have romantic dinners.” He sent her a heavy lidded gaze. “We sleep together,” he said huskily.
Her body heated at his words, and her mouth went dry at the thought of being in a bed with him again. She let her gaze drift to his crotch and bit back a moan. He was most definitely aroused.
As if sensing her gaze, she could swear she saw his cock thump against his zipper.
She drew her gaze away from the hypnotic view as he made his way towards her with long, smooth steps.
“I’m not having sex with you again,” she said shakily. “That’s what got us into this mess to begin with. If we hadn’t slept together in the first place, you wouldn’t be proposing marriage right now.”
“That’s where you’re wrong.” He placed a hand on her lower back and drew her into his warmth.
The look in his eyes had her catching her breath. Crazy Jax she could handle. Aroused Jax was a whole other story.
He leaned down and nuzzled her throat with his nose before whispering in her ear.
“The sex only helps prove my point, but I’ll make you a deal.”
Her stomach quivered at the feel of his lips at the flesh of her ear. She cleared her throat before responding.
“Does it involve you coming to your senses?”
The rumble of his chuckle vibrated up his chest and against her sensitive nipples as one of his hands smoothed down her back and squeezed her ass.
“No, but it should put you at ease.”
His meandering hand was making it hard for her to concentrate. All she could do was snort in reply, silently begging her hips not to give in and rub against him.
“For the next seven days, we get to pet each other as much as we want, fondle and taste to our heart’s content, but I won’t fuck you, Pep,” he said while nibbling at the soft skin of her throat.
It took a minute for her lust-addled brain to process his statement.
“But you said—”
He lifted his head and placed a soft, too-short kiss on her lips before stepping away.
“I said we’ll sleep together. Before we have sex again, I want you fully willing to be my wife and nothing less,” he said, a serious expression flattening his lips.
She searched his eyes, but his gaze didn’t waver. She grasped at the last life-line she could find.
“I don’t think I can be what you need, Jax.”
“And what exactly do you think I need?”
“I’m not exactly a submissive kind of woman,” she said.
She frowned as he snorted at her statement.
“I’m serious, Jax. I don’t think I can be the type of woman you seem to want. Our night together was good—”
“Amazing,” he said firmly. “It was amazing.”
“Whatever, fine amazing,” she said, not wanting to go down that road at the moment. “But I’m not wired to be bossed around and told what to do. You want a submissive woman, and I’m just not that.”
He shook his head sadly at her. It hurt to see his look of disappointment, but it was what she expected. She wouldn’t take her words back because they were the truth. As much as she enjoyed him dominating her in bed she knew that the bedroom was as far as she would allow it.
“Pep, if I wanted a submissive woman, we wouldn’t even be here right now.”
“Do I want to tie you down and fuck you senseless? Hell yeah. I can’t wait to see you bound and spread-eagled for me again.”
He reached up and cupped her heated cheeks, tilting her face up to meet his gaze.
“And I can’t wait to see your nipples in pretty little clamps, tight and hard just begging to be sucked.”
Her breathing was way past erratic, but she couldn’t look away from his heated gaze.
“But that’s where it ends. It stays with sex. I like your kick-ass attitude, Pep. I don’t want a woman who isn’t willing to argue and fight. What I prefer in the bedroom doesn’t extend to the rest of our relationship.”
Her heart sank as she saw her chances of surviving the next week with her heart unscathed deteriorate in a pile of ash.
“I don’t want to change who you are, Pep. I just want to prove that we work together. Give this week a chance,” he said.
A heavy sigh worked its way past the lump in her throat.
“You’ve got yourself a deal, Mr. Grey,” she told him.
It almost hurt to see his answering smile of relief.
“Well, Mrs. Grey, I think it’s time for lunch. How ’bout I fix you a grilled cheese sandwich and then we head out for a walk?” He pulled her back in for a hug.
She laid her head on his chest and breathed in his scent. She had a fleeting thought that traipsing around in the woods with him sounded like fun. Apparently, insanity was contagious.
“Yeah, sure. Why the hell not?”
Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/Persuasion-Skills-Boardroom-Acts-ebook/dp/B00DSHXQWG
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-persuasionskills-1228259-147.html
ABOUT LAUREL CREMANT
Laurel is a romance author, who like most writers loves to read. Her first love (pun intended) has always been romance. From the sappy YA romance novel to the more risqué erotica novels, Laurel is a sucker for a good love story.
Laurel writes paranormal and contemporary romance and is a self proclaimed, out of the closet nerd. She admits that she can't seem to avoid adding a bit of "nerdology" or "geek-dom" to all of her books. Living in Miami, she also admits that she can't seem to avoid giving her heroines gorgeous shoes, "In Miami, we worship everything strappy, open toed and just plain hot!"
AUTHOR WEBSITE & LINKS