Tag Archives: Ellora’s Cave

Interview/Giveaway: April Vine, Author of Unbound

Please welcome romance author April Vine! Her new release from Ellora’s Cave, Unbound, is funny and sexy and full of magic. She’s graciously offered to give a free copy to one lucky commenter.

Unbound, by April VineStaid and straitlaced Michelle Stein has two thoughts fueling her mind…

1. Floor the first man to walk into her antique shop.
2. Throttle her three witchcraft-practicing aunts.

They promised her a tiny spell to fix her ridiculous inhibitions, but instead mischievously delivered a full-blown, sanity-squashing lust spell. The temporary curse apparently has no boundaries either…since the first man who walks through her door is the same man who broke her heart ten years ago. Despite Michelle’s vociferous resistance, Sebastian becomes the only man who can appease her unending physical hunger.

Thirty, heirless and restless, Sebastian Gray is drawn back home to Cape Town to claim the only girl he ever loved. What he finds in her place is a hotly bewitched erotic seductress. Now with the reparation spell her aunts cast gone awry, Sebastian might be on the losing end of a futile battle against a strength-ascending hex, no matter how hard he tries to keep Michelle satiated, alive…or even just human.

April, can you tell us a little bit more about Unbound?

It’s a sometimes funny, sometimes dark love story that unfolds when my highly reserved heroine is cast with a lust spell but in all that finds true love and accepts who she really is.

Would you mind introducing us to Michelle and Sebastian?

Michelle is staid and straitlaced. She wants nothing but rigid order to her life, something that is hard to achieve because the three aunts she lives with and takes care of practice real-life witchery. They’re constantly messing with her ordered existence but more so when they cast a lust spell on her and turned her world upside down.

Sebastian is at an age in his life where he wants to settle down. He spent time in special forces, then took over his father’s company and now needs heirs to leave his legacy to. Of course only one girl ever owned his heart and that’s Michelle, so he comes back home to Cape Town, to claim her. Only to find in her place a hotly bewitched seductress.

What’s your favorite moment in this story?

The ending. I felt Michelle and Sebastian did get their happily ever after after all so my work was done!

Will there be a sequel to Unbound?

There are two more books I plan to write featuring the three matchmaking-witch-practicing aunts. The next two will feature each of Sebastian’s friends, Zach and Nick.

How did you get started as an author, and how long have you been writing?

I can’t pinpoint a time when I started actually writing, I feel as if there was never a time I wasn’t writing. But of course marriage and babies took priority and now that my youngest is in school, I decided to write full-time. So seriously for about four years now.

I submitted a contemporary romance to a publisher and somehow it landed on the wrong editor’s desk. That editor was an erotic romance editor. She liked my voice and wanted to work with me and then recommended I read a few erotic romances to see what she was looking for. Once I picked my jaw up from the floor, I blindly dived in to writing my first erotic romance and realized I enjoyed it thoroughly.

What was the very first story you ever wrote? What was it about?

The first true story I ever wrote was an historical romance of mammoth proportions and an editor’s nightmare. I threw in everything I knew into that book and it showed in a bad way.

What are the key elements of an April Vine story?

Humor, emotion, conflict and definitely a happily ever after at the end.

How do you balance the erotic and the romantic in your stories? How do you see those two aspects conflicting or enhancing each other in fiction?

I don’t see erotic and romantic aspects as separate factors, but rather that the erotic is a bonus of the romance. There must be romance first in my opinion, for the erotic to be meaningful. So definitely erotic descriptions of a sex scene should wholly enhance the romance itself or the scene will leave me disinterested. The other way I look at it is the romance brings the emotional conflicts and the eroticism makes those conflicts hotter. 🙂

How does your family feel about the fact that you write sexy romances? Do they know?

What they don’t know won’t hurt them. 😉 No one knows what I write except hubby, who is my reason and my sanity and my pillar and even my research partner!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I read! It’s the safest hobby I could come up with. When I’m feeling brave, I bake or cook. Shoes, the beach, chocolate and lounging around are other stuff I like and do from time to time.

Who are your favorite authors?

I have met so many wonderful authors since becoming published and have read their books and enjoyed them so much, that I couldn’t name all of them. One that comes to mind immediately is you, Ms. Drake, love your books. 🙂 Others include Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Dostoevsky, Ayn Rand, Austen, Hemmingway, Coetzee to name a few.

*blushes* Thanks, April. For those readers who are just discovering your work, what other April Vine books are in print?

I have three short erotic romance ebooks out with The Wild Rose Press. Details are on my website.

What are you working on now? What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

I just finished the second book to follow Unbound and I will start working on the third one soon.

Would you mind sharing an excerpt from Unbound with us?

I’d be happy to.


Chapter One

Michelle leaped from the floral-embossed Victorian chair, gripped the edge of the walnut desk and dropped her chin to her chest. Labored breaths somersaulted from her mouth. Her heart beat with swift speed. Her skin screamed under a raging fire.

She was having an attack.

Not a panic attack.

A sex attack.

Oh how she vowed to strangle her aunts, wring their collective witches’ necks and put them on a diet of cabbage for as long as they lived. She thought they’d agreed with her terms and stipulations.

Obviously not, since they’d turned her into a raging sex fiend who without any hesitation would attack the first man who walked through the door of her antiquities shop. Not by her own doing, because how could she, twenty-six-year-old, staid, even-headed and collected Michelle Stein, sign up for such reckless sexual abandonment? Not ever.

She resisted the urge to squeeze her scorching nipples and the temptation to bunch up her cotton panties and pull them taut against her clit. She couldn’t give in. Not while her door remained opened for business.

She wobbled out of her office to the entrance of the store. Pressing her legs together, she chewed her lip in agony as the slightest movement ricocheted spasms of pleasure through her body. Her eyes fixed on the gold-plated sign hanging on the inside of the glass door meters away from her. Her mission to flip it around and keep out any possible victims until the crazy her aunts bestowed upon her evaporated.

Too late.

The door swung open. Eighteenth-century chimes hanging from the paneled ceiling danced in the afternoon breeze. Their former melodious jingle a sex-alert siren in her ear now.

She zeroed in on a musky scent mingled with the clean, self-assured aroma of pure red-blooded male. Her senses hummed. She licked her lips then swerved to a dead halt.

Bedeviled with the worst kind of heat known to any man, woman or animal for that matter, and who chose to walk into her ordinarily sedate but presently doggoned world?

Sebastian Gray.

He who broke her heart in two.

“Glitterbug.” His gravel-and-silk voice spiked and inebriated her nerves. She tore her gaze away from his killer smile and stared into his wicked green-tinged blue eyes, which teased her the same way they did ten years ago.

Only one thought shot through her mind.

Oh dear, I’m going to molest Sebastian Gray.

She stepped back—her restless hands crossed over her breasts, curled around her neck and intertwined behind her in a clammy mess. She squelched the incoherent reverberations tickling against her closed lips, afraid she’d growl at him instead.

She backtracked into her office. He followed her, his stride unhurried, lazy, unaware of the red-hot danger he seemed intent on pursuing. She held up her hand. Cease! her palm screamed at him. He closed in, his eyes narrowing at her fidgety silence.

“Glitterbug?”

The part of her wanting to keep him out of her office died in distress. The other part, the part her aunts had concocted wicked mischief with, purred with glee. She’d managed to lure her prey into the confined space of her office.

No, he is not your prey.

She grew up with him, fell in love with him then realized she missed his league by a mile and a half—a gap he had no intention of closing when he left without saying goodbye. She’d beat the potion dragging her hormones on a no-recourse sex fest. She’d resist him, really she would.

She opened her mouth to speak.

The will to resist him crashed and vanished. She charged, grabbed his jacket and pulled him down to her level. Her lips assailed his gorgeous face. She kissed his beautiful eyes, licked his delicious clean-shaven jaw.

Her desperate attempts to devour his face had nil effect on his balance. His chuckle, deep and sexy, ambushed her nerves. Her teeth sank into the fleshy part of his earlobe. Her long skirt tangled about both their limbs as she tried to climb up his six-foot-two frame.

“Glitterbug…whoa.” He forced an arm’s-span distance between them. Her cheeks burned. She’d never live this day down in her life. Never. “I’m happy to see you too. But shouldn’t we talk first? How are you?”

He insisted on niceties? She wanted him naked and inside her. She pushed into his chest and toppled him onto a velvet-upholstered Louis XVI loveseat. Her surge of foreign strength caught them both off guard.

“I haven’t seen you in…” His voice reverberated down her spine, setting off lively celebrations in all her nerves.

“I’m sorry.” She straddled his lap, ripped his tie apart, broke the buttons off his shirt and unfastened his belt. “I’m so sorry. I can’t seem to stop myself.”

Her hands ran up and down his concrete eight-pack. “I can’t control this. Oh, oh, oh.” His powerful thigh wedged between her legs. She ground her pussy against his contracted muscle, rocking herself, and was sure she turned a new shade of red. “This isn’t me.” Her breasts. He needed to touch her breasts. She captured his hand and smacked it against her chest.

“Squeeze.” She manipulated his fingers around her engorged flesh and licked her lips at the torturous pleasure. “I have no power to stop this.” She looked into his face and begged he’d see how useless a grip on the situation she had.

A bemused grin flitted across his lips. “Do your aunts have anything to do with your new uninhibited self?”

“Yes!” she screamed. “Yes,” she repeated, less vociferous. If anyone could understand her strange behavior, Sebastian would. He knew her three chubby and cheerful aunts, who lived in a cottage on his father’s land, practiced real live witchery. He’d understand and forgive her, her erratic, uncharacteristic conduct. “They said they would help me with a bit of flirting. In fact they talked me into it. Said I needed help in that department. I’m getting old as they put it and they thought a tiny little spell would make me less…cold and more…inviting. Look what they’ve done to me instead!”

Available at Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10020-unbound.aspx


April Vine writes erotic romance by night and is a professional dreamer by day. She has two precious sons who keep her sharp and one very tolerant husband who chivalrously and bravely defends her honour daily.

Writing keeps sane her, or so she says. She’s been found on more than a few occasions eyeing her laptop lasciviously, pulling her hair out in front of her laptop, smiling stupidly or cussing badly at her laptop, pacing nervously before her laptop, shoving it under the bed and more than once, she’s been seen hugging her laptop with tears in her eyes. Case rested.

She writes contemporary erotic romance and paranormal erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave and The Wild Rose Press.

Connect with April:
Website: http://www.aprilvine.co.za/home.html
Email: april.vine@yahoo.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Vine/1540121433
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/April_Vine


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Unbound, take a moment to say hi to April in the comments!

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Interview/Giveaway: Michelle Miles, Author of One Knight Only

Michelle Miles, author extraordinaire, returns to tell us about her new time-travel romance set in medieval Scotland. 

There will be jousting. 

And sexy rogues. 

And stand-up knights with brogues.

The generous Ms. Miles is giving away a free copy of One Knight Only  to one lucky commenter! 

Let us waste no more time with introductions…welcome, Michelle!  Can you tell us a little about your new book, One Knight Only?

One Knight Only is set during a jousting tournament in the Middle Ages. It’s the story of Maggie, a woman from the present day, and Finn, a Scottish Knight with a gambling problem. It also has some paranormal elements that were a lot of fun to mix into the story.

Here’s the blurb:

A snarky Faery princess, a Scottish knight with a gambling problem, and a murderous earl all add up to one thing: Trouble. Maggie’s medieval education never prepared her for life in the Middle Ages!

Do-gooder Maggie Chase throws her thesis out the window when she wakes up in the arms of a hot Scottish knight. When she realizes she’s somehow ended up back in time, she embraces the persona of Lady Margaret. But she may be in over her head when she realizes she has to keep the sexy knight alive during a jousting tournament in order to get back to her own time.

Sir Finian “Finn” McCullough is a gambling man and owes a very large debt to an evil earl who is after his family estate. When the beautiful and outgoing Maggie arrives in his bed, he can’t remember tupping her the night before and thinks she’s a spy for one of his neighboring clans. He intends to find her kinsman and return her safely but he can’t resist her charms, her smart mouth or her sex appeal. Instead he keeps her close, taking her with him to an important jousting tournament—one he has to win or lose his castle forever.

What’s your favorite moment in this novel?

There are so many! I had so much fun writing the entire book that it’s hard to pick just one. Maggie has a lot of funny dialogue with Elyne (the Fae princess). Plus Elyne butts heads with Finn because she thinks he killed her love, Derron, on purpose during a joust. There are two scenes I really like: when Maggie jousts in Finn’s place (you’ll have to read the book to see how she ends up in the saddle) and when Finn is in the gambling tent playing cards.

What do you like about the time travel genre?

I like the idea of taking a modern character and sending them back in time to experience the wonders of the past. I’ve done it more than once – the Ranson & Fortune series with Samhain is a time travel.

Are there paranormal or magical elements in OKO besides the time travel?

Oh yes! I have a Fae princess, Elyne, who uses magic to alter time and other things. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. 😉 She’s in love with a Fae knight who is jousting and masquerading as a human. But Elyne’s use of magic in the human world is strictly forbidden by Fae law and she gets in trouble with Mom, the Queen of Faery.

What was the most interesting thing you learned while researching this novel?

Aside from jousting itself, I did a lot of research on games in the Middle Ages. Specifically card games and dice games. Hazard is the predecessor of Craps. Playing cards were actually introduced to the Western Anglo world in the mid-1300s. The suit system we know today was adapted by the French in the fifteenth century and referred to as a French deck. Other regions had their own suits (e.g. Germany, Italy, Spain). Some of the earlier suits had cups, swords, coins, and batons; others had animals, flowers, etc.

In what ways are you like Maggie, the heroine of OKO?

Oh, that’s a hard one. I think there’s a little bit of me in every character. With Maggie, it’s her stubbornness. She’s a do-gooder who wants to help everyone and she won’t let anyone, not even an evil Earl, stand in her way.

If you could travel back in time to experience one event in history, where and when would you go?

Just one? Hm. Queen Elizabeth I’s coronation, to see the beginning of her reign, which I think would be awesome!.

Derron the seductive rogue or Finn the honorable knight — if you were going to get to spend a night with one of these characters from OKO, which one would you choose?

Ooo! That’s hard! But I love all things Scottish and that includes beefy men with a brogue. Finn wins this one. (Poor Derron.)

You’ve been writing a lot of contemporary romance (the uber-sexy Coffeehouse Chronicles, for example). Is OKO your first paranormal romance release?

I have a time travel series with Samhain Publishing—the Adventures of Ransom and Fortune. The first book is A BEND IN TIME. When hit man Dane Fortune was hired to kill Skye Ransom, he never counted on her leading him on a game of cat and mouse through time…or that he’d just as soon kiss her as kill her. He chases Skye Ransom, who knows she’s his next target, but she inadvertently transports herself back in time—with Dane.

I’m also one of eleven authors in the ENTANGLED paranormal anthology. All proceeds are going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so I’m very excited I was asked to be part of something for such a great cause.

How did you get involved in that project?

My good friend, Misty Evans, asked me one day if I would be interested in doing a short story for a paranormal anthology releasing around Halloween. Of course I said yes! It was also a great way to give back to a community that writers don’t often have an opportunity to give back to. All the proceeds from the sales of the anthology go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The book is for sale through Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks, and other online distributors. So far, we’ve sold over a thousand copies and I hope there are a thousand more to come. My short story is SINFULLY SWEET and is the story of a witch who bakes a little magic into her cupcakes.

Do you take a different approach when writing contemporary romance vs writing paranormals?

I think I take a different approach to each and every book. They all come about in a different way. Some I just start writing because a character showed up in my head and demanded attention. Others start with the seed of an idea (“I’d like to write a book about INSERT SUBJECT HERE”). And still others start with a snippet of dialogue that nags at me until I start writing.

What was the first paranormal romance you ever read? What paranormal romance authors have influenced you?

Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series was the first paranormals I ever read which are all time travels and—surprise!—Scottish romances. So she’s definitely influenced me and I devoured her Fever series. Plus I enjoy reading Sharie Kohler/Sophie Jordan, Gena Showalter, Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kim Harrison. I also read a lot of fantasy. Authors I like: George R. R. Martin, Patricia A. McKillip, Terry Goodkind.

Are you planning a sequel to OKO, and if so, do you mind giving us a preview?

Yes, I’ve already planned out the next book which will be about Elyne and Derron. It picks up where ONE KNIGHT ONLY leaves off with Elyne in some hot water with her mother, the Queen of Faery, over Elyne using magic in the human realm. Her mother is making an example of her and sends her off to Fae prison, where she’s stripped of her powers and left to think about her actions and the consequences.

Meanwhile, Queen Maeve has asked Sir Derron to go in search of his missing father, Guardian and Lord of the Sword of Light. The sword is also missing, causing the queen much concern. She bides him to bring them both back and Derron readily accepts the challenge. But not without busting Elyne out of prison first. 🙂 I have lots of fun things planned for this one that includes dragons, dark Fae kings, and kick-ass Elvish warriors.

ONE KNIGHT ONLY EXCERPT:

“Who are you? How did you send me back in time?”

“I am Fae royalty, a princess of the Otherworld—you humans call it Faery—and you’re nothing but a gnat on the map of the world.”

“Fae?” Dawning began. “You seriously can’t mean Faery?” Then snorted. “You’re telling me you’re part of the Tuatha dé Danaan? Yeah, as if.”

“Believe it, human.” The Fae princess glared at her, a hint of an Irish lilt coming out in her speech now. “I’m a direct descendant of the Daughters of Danu, the royal bloodline who protects all Fae magic and those within the Otherworld realm.”

“If you’re Fae, then how old are you?”

“Older than time itself,” Elyne said. “Older than you can comprehend. I’ve seen your past, your present and even your future. A future you could not imagine.”

“So you just snapped your fingers and poof here I am.” Maggie snapped her fingers to enunciate her point.

“No, I did not snap my fingers.” Elyne snapped her fingers back. “It took a lot of effort to sift the sands of time and put you here, where you certainly do not belong.”

“Did you wave your magic wand? This fairy tale—sorry, no pun—just keeps getting better and better.”

Maggie giggled and perched on the edge of the bed. She could believe in standing stones that possessed a certain magical ability on certain days of the year such as Beltane and Samhain. In fact, she did believe in them. But magic? Magic wasn’t real. It belonged in bedtime stories. The ones Dad used to read her before she’d fall into blissful slumber as she dreamed of fair princesses in towers and sugarplums that danced in her head.

“You would be wise not to mock me, human, or I can make your life a living hell while you’re here in what you refer to as the Middle Ages. I am a princess and you will address me as such.”

“I know history, your highness,” Maggie said, thumbing at herself. “I’ve spent the last six years studying it and I’ve never heard of the Fae meddling in ‘human’ affairs. It’s not history. It’s myth and legend.”

Elyne took a step toward her, standing toe to toe. “History,” she hissed. “Not myth. Not legend. History. My history and I’ll thank you not to mock it, or me.”

Touchy, isn’t she? Maggie held up her hands in surrender. “Sorry.”

Elyne crossed her arms, giving Maggie a superior look. “It happens among you lesser folk. At any rate, your knowledge should come in handy where you’re going.”

“And where am I going?”

“Like Finn said. To tourney. Middleham, England, if you must know. South of the Scottish border. It’s about a week’s ride from here.”

“You can’t make me do anything.”

Maggie’s eyes narrowed as she looked at the blonde-haloed wispy woman. She didn’t look all that tough. In fact, she looked nothing more than a servant girl. Perhaps she was playing an elaborate hoax on her.

Or somewhere in her sleep-deprived mind, her imagination had run amok.

Elyne laughed, a surprising bellow of a chortle from the pit of her lungs. “You silly human. You think you have so much control.” She punctuated the sentence with a lift of her head, looking down her straight, pointy nose at Maggie as though she were nothing more than pond scum. She leaned forward, her voice dropping to a dangerous level. “You have no control of your own destinies. You are nothing but simple fools.”

A pounding on the door made them both jump. “Lassie?” It was Finn, his voice muffled through the thick chamber door.

Maggie huffed out a breath. “Not ready yet,” she called, hoping to stall.

“You best be in the next few minutes or I’ll be dressing you myself.”

Maggie tried not to think of his hands on her trying to dress her. It sent too many erotic images through her fertile imagination. She held her breath, waiting for him to boom through the door again but he must have left since all fell silent. She turned back to Elyne.

“Send me back.”

“As I said, I cannot. Not until tournament is over.”

“And what if I can’t keep Finn alive? Then what?”

“Then…well… Then that’s on your pretty head, isn’t it?”

Available for purchase at Ellora’s Cave and Amazon.Com

Michelle Miles found her love of writing buried in the fantasy books of Patricia A. McKillip and the beautiful romances of Victoria Holt. It wasn’t until her high school years she decided to take up the pen and try her hand at writing. She created faraway lands, space adventures, and even princesses who just wanted to be saved. Never learning to plot, she always believed that jumping in feet first was the way to go and has since become a self-proclaimed Pantser, writing sexy contemporaries and sizzling paranormal and sweeping fantasy.

A Native Texan, she loves hockey, football, baseball, drinking coffee, cross-stitching, and shopping for shoes and Coach handbags. You can read her daily antics at her blog, Ye Olde Inkwell. Michelle is also a regular contributor to Pop Culture Divas  and Plotting Princesses.