TITLE – Her Men
SERIES – N/A
AUTHOR – Ashley Ladd
GENRE – Contemporary Erotic Romance
PUBLICATION DATE –
LENTH (Pages/# Words) – 24, 200
PUBLISHER – Totally Bound
COVER ARTIST – Emmy Ellis
BOOK BLURB / SYNOPSIS
Forty-four year old Julie Weston has loved Timmy and James since her college days twenty something years ago. She’s fantasized about both all these long years, never able to choose between them.
Hoping Tim and James will attend, she attends their college marching band reunion. When both men show up her dreams are answered. They’re sexier than she imagined and she hopes they won’t be disappointed by her older self.
It turns out both men came just to see her again and neither is happy about the other’s presence. They fight over her, confusing her more than ever. It takes a hot ménage…or two…for her heart to decide which one she’s in love with.
BUY & TBR LINKS
A shadow fell across Julie, waking her up from her nap and a husky voice washed over her. “You’re going to be sorry falling asleep out here. This sun is brutal.”
Groggy, she shaded her eyes and looked up at the shadowy figure in awe. “Timmy, is that you? You’re early.”
He leaned down, his body still sinewy and strong, and held out his hand to her. Nary a wrinkle marred his matured face. Only a few laugh lines fanned out from his eyes which added to his attractiveness. “You, too. Is that a sign?”
She couldn’t help but chuckle. Since when did Tim believe in signs? “A sign?”
“That you want to see me, be with me in private, as I want to see you and be with you in private.”
She swallowed hard and put her hand in his, her heart somersaulting when they touched for the first time in more than thirty years. A maelstrom of emotion washed over her and she didn’t want to mess up what was probably her last chance to be with him, so she wasn’t about to play coy. Slowly, seductively, she licked her lips. “You read my mind.”
As he helped her up his gaze smoldered into her eyes. He dragged her against him and his hard cock rubbed against her. He nipped her ear, then whispered huskily, “Your nipples are puckering against your suit. I’d call that a sign.”
Standing on her tip toes, she replied hoarsely, “Your very hard, very hot cock is pressing into my stomach. That’s another sign.”
He pressed his lips to hers, not plundering but light enough he was able to speak against them, “Then we should do something about all these signs.”
Julie Alexander Weston is the sheriff of her small Indiana town. She’s also an ex-FBI agent with degree in Russian literature. Disenchanted with her current career since she shot and killed a young man in error, she has a new hobby which she hopes to make into a new career—she’s writing and photographing copy table books that she hopes to publish. As accomplished as she is, she’s never stopped loving or dreaming about her college boyfriend and her college best friend. Now that she’s divorced and there’s a college reunion, she attends in the hopes of seeing if any sparks are left with either of them.
If Your Book Were Made Into A Movie – What Songs Would Best Fit The Story On The Big Screen?
Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison
Father Figure – George Michaels
Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen
Where Do Broken Hearts Go – Whitney Houston
She’s Like The Wind – Patrick Swayze
Kokomo – Beach Boys
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
Be My Baby – The Ronettes
Stay – Maurice and the Zodiacs
What to say about her men? Firstly, let’s talk about the boring stuff. To start, the writing. There was some confusion over a spot or two from the way it was written, but other than that Ashley Ladd can write! Her sentences and descriptions were nicely done and I definitely approve of that. On the flip side of that, the dream scene was like “wham” graphic for me with no build up to it and sudden move into D&S sex was a shock. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading some BDSM or D&S type stories. I do tend to not like the “Master” and “slave” names being used during sex, nor actual name calling. That kind of bugs me. I can handle Master and slave names sometimes, depending on how it is set up. Name calling, no. I feel that makes the encounter more about sex with a person they care nothing about versus an actually story about any sort of love or caring. Ya know?
I’ve gotten off topic, I apologize. It wasn’t a horrible scene or anything. It was written very well as a sex scene, even if the words the heroine of our story used made me blush. So yeah, nicely done scene, with elements I’d preferred not to have in it? Does that make sense?
As for the characters, Julie was likable in her interaction with her friend Connie and when she speaks with ‘her men’. (Although I found her as naughty minded in bed with her words as the men!) I find her fantasies a little… hurried. Tim and James were also nicely done in that you can’t help but like them.
Also, maybe it’s just me, in some erotica there seems to be some… odd notions about things. I don’t know how to explain without sounding picky or mean or give away spoilers, all of which are no-nos in my rule book. So let’s just leave it as there were a few of my ‘erotica’ pet peeves in the story and leave it at that.
Overall, the story well quite well done for its length. Nicely written. Good, strong and likable characters. Sex thoughts or actions throughout most of the story like you’d expect in the genre. If you add those to my issues I’ve already mentioned above, which do not detract from the story, I’d give this story a solid 3 stars!
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.
She’s been told she has a wicked sense of humour and often incorporates humour and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
When did you start writing?
I began writing as soon as I learned how to read and write – about age five or six. I was always writing stories when I was growing up – mainly for my dad but I entered a couple into writing competitions.
What made you decide to start becoming a published author?
Ever since I watched Superman with Lois Lane I wanted to be a published journalist like her. And when I discovered Harlequin romances when I was a teenager I knew I wanted to write some of my own.
I wrote my first Harlequin-type romance when I was in college back in the late 1980’s. That one was never published, Surprise surprise.
Which authors inspired you?
A lot of the original Harlequin authors: Anne Mathers, Violet Winspear, Margaret Rome, Anne Hampson, Carole Mortimer, Flora Kidd.
Which are your favorite authors at the moment?
Sherryl Woods, Stephen King, and Stephen White.
Which genre do you generally write in?
Contemporary romance, often romantic comedy. Within that I have different romantic couplings: mf/mm/mfm/mmf/mmm.
How many unpublished stories do you have?
Only two, or three if you count my work in progress. That’s not bad knowing I’ve had about 74 published stories.
What have you written?
It’s a very long list – about 74 published romances. My recent ones are: Cooking Up A Storm, Business or Pleasure, Her Men, and Spooky Sojourn and Pretend Lover are coming soon. A couple of my bestsellers are American Beauty, Purrfect Justice, The Perfect Gift, and Pirate’s Booty.
What are you working on at this moment?
“Gaycation” which is an MMF about Molly who is an erotic MM romance writer who takes her vacation to attend a gay convention so she can get more story ideas. When her day job boss shows up (she’s still in the closet about her writing) at the same convention, she gets way more than she bargained for.
What is your favorite type of hero/protagonist to write? Bad boys? Damaged men? The boy next door? The sensitive soul?
I love men like Indiana Jones and Rick O’Connell from The Mummy. I also loved Shang Li in Mulan and Alex Hopper in Battleship. I’m not sure what classification they’d be or if they’re in different categories. They’re all good men so not bad boys – except for maybe Alex Hopper. I guess you’d say adventurists. In addition, I loved Kevin in 27 Dresses who is a smart-aleck. Hmmm. I guess all of the heroes I mentioned are smart alecks at some point.
What is your favorite type of heroine/protagonist to write? Feisty women? Strong women? Weak women? Flighty women?
Strong women like ‘Mulan’ who saves her hero and her country from the Huns or like Samantha in ‘Battleship’ who thwarts the invading aliens and helps to save the world. They’re still very feminine but strong, intelligent, determined women on a mission.
Julie in my recent release ‘Her Men’ is an ex-FBI agent who is currently the sheriff of her hometown in Indiana. Deanna in my upcoming release ‘Spooky Sojourn’ is the general manager of her city-sized hotel.
How hard is it to research for your novels?
It depends on the novel. During ‘Pretend Lover’ and ‘Spooky Sojourn’ I was constantly researching hotels and hotel life from the perspective of the employees.
How is your day structured to include writing?
I work a full-time 40 plus hour job weekly so it’s tough. It’s even more difficult lately since I’ve been promoting four books that are releasing back to back to back.
When I’m not doing a lot of promotion, I get to write 2-3 hours nightly after I get home from work and finish dinner for my large family. Unfortunately, I’ve been using my writing time for promotion the last couple months: writing guest posts, conducting interviews, finding new hosts for my blog tours, Facebook parties, etc.
Do you write from an outline or just where the story and characters take you?
I’m pretty much of a pantser. I start with an extremely loose outline, knowing the beginning, ending, and a few high points in the middle and I go from there. When I outline too tightly, I feel stifled, as if I’ve already written the story.
Do you get the dreaded writer’s block and how do you combat it?
Unfortunately, I have. I didn’t write for almost two years until recently.
Now, if I get blocked I will re-read and edit what I’ve done in the story so I can bump myself into action again. I’ll also research new ideas or the general story theme as I go if I get stuck.
Do you prefer to read ebooks or paper books?
Ebooks! I feel like I’m on the Starship Enterprise in the future when I use my ebook reader. Also, I’m able to adjust the type for my aging eyes. And I can carry around a huge library on my phone and no one can see the cover and make comments on my reading choice. I also enjoy being able to download a book onto my phone from just about anywhere, anytime.
What TV shows & Movies are your favorite? Or the genre you prefer?
TV: I love love love ‘The Big Band Theory’ and I get cranky if I don’t get to see at least a couple episodes a day. I also enjoy watching ‘Love It or List It’ on HGTV (which drives my husband crazy as he feels our home is too small to do anything to, so that I’m wasting my time watching it). In addition, I like the cooking contests and restaurant makeovers and hidden camera shows on Food Network. Finally, I’m enjoying the new series ‘Forever’ about the coroner who keeps dying and coming back to life. Oh! And Star Trek!
Movies: Mulan, Battleship, The Mummy, While You Were Sleeping, Pillow Talk, 27 Dresses, the Indiana Jones movies, Star Trek movies.
(Blogger Asside Here: Forever is freaking AWESOME!!)
How many proofreaders/editors do you use before publishing your work?
My publisher provides one primary editor and I don’t know how many proofreaders. I know that after my editor edits my work it goes through line edits and final line edits and sometimes the executive editor will get involved.
Do you have input in your covers? Who designs them?
My publisher gives me a cover questionnaire on which I describe my heroes and heroines as well as scenery and any scenes I think would be good to show on the cover. Emmy Ellis is the cover artist at Totally Bound which is where my current story is published.
What are your thoughts on good & bad reviews? (We aren’t counting bashing reviews, simply negative reviews that are respectful)
I’ve read various trains of thought about this. When the reviews provide reasons why they liked or disliked the story that’s very helpful insight to help me when writing future stories. I appreciate the suggestions as long as they are stated respectfully.
Although I would love to garner all five star reviews, or at least all four and five star reviews, that may not seem realistic to readers. They may suspect that only friends and family are providing the reviews. As much as I dislike one and two star reviews, I’ve read that they generate a lot of interest for a book. They pique readers’ curiosity and they often want to see if they agree with the rating. Thus low reviews don’t necessarily kill a book. No promotion (aka no reviews) is much worse than a poor review. (I hope.)
How do you relax? Or activities you use to relax?
I love to go the movies and watch stories on the big, silver screen. I was really in a movie mood last night and so I dragged my daughter to see the new Jason Bateman/Jane Fonda movie at our local theater.
What is your favorite quote?
Live long and prosper by Spock. I’m a huge Trekkie.
But I also love Marion’s line in Raider’s of the Lost Ark when she sees Indy for the first time in years “Indiana Jones. I always knew some day you’d come walking back through my door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable.“
Is there anyone who supports you that you couldn’t do without?
My biggest supporter is my editor at Totally Bound, Faith. She’s awesome. She provides a lot of encouragement and praises my work a lot.
Unfortunately, my family is not supportive. They feel that my writing and promotion takes time away from them. Also my adult children are embarrassed by romance much less erotic romance, so they like to ignore it.
That said, my dad was very supportive of my writing. Unfortunately, he is suffering from dementia now so I’ve lost that support network.
What is the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
Wow! What a question. I guess it’s when I refer to my oldest child as “he” at my day job instead of “she”. My oldest child is transgender female. She actually used to work with me and a lot of my coworkers still ask how “he” is doing. Or when I talk about “her” while I’m in my office surrounded by twelve other people, I will say “him” or use her former male name. As you can see, it’s all very confusing and I slip up sometimes. I’ve told my closest friends at work about her gender change, but I’m afraid my employers and coworkers as a whole will not understand. I told one ex-friend at work about her change, and she stopped going to lunch with me or being friendly, as if it’s my decision and as if I have input on my daughter’s decision which I don’t. This is a 30 something year old adult who is paying all her own medical bills and living expenses who made the change.
(Blogger Aside: I’m happy to read this post – not the hiding it part – but it kind of lets others know about the issue. And that friend who stopped being your friend? How ridiculous! I have had an online friend going through the whole thing once. And he is definitely male in mind and now in body. When he was still female, during IM conversations and such with her, I kept saying him because the tone of his IMs were masculine to me. (If you can’t tell the gender based off text, this might not make sense to some of you, but those who are good at it like me will understand what I mean.). So to me, he has always really been male. Luckily, he kept his name which fit a man or a woman. And he’s happy now the way he is. They can’t help what they feel they are (and I believe they are in mind what gender they choose) and it’s bloody stupid to act on such blatant bias against them! Ahem, sorry. Bigotry of any form ticks me off. On with the interview!)
Do you feel upset if you kill off one of your main characters?
Since I write romance I only kill off villains, never the protagonists and rarely their good supporting characters. Except for once when I blew up Earth (Eternal Damnation) and I felt pretty horrible committing genocide. I have to remind myself, however, that it was really the evil space vampire who did the slaughter, not me.
And then I redeemed him by going more than a thousand years into the past in the sequel where love saved him so that in the new future, he no longer blows up Earth.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee (although honestly I drink very little and then only pumpkin spiced coffee).
How do you take your coffee?
Pumpkin spiced only so I usually only drink this in the Autumn. Usually I drink diet Pepsi.
Starbucks or Seattle’s Best? Or what IS your favorite coffee shop?
If you don’t drink coffee, what the HECK do you do to stay motivated without THE best beverage known to man?
I drink tons of diet Pepsi – so much that not only my family but my friends are on my back to go cold turkey or at least to cut WAY back.
If you don’t drink coffee, what is WRONG with you, woman/man!?! (I’m teasing, really… although if you hate coffee you might have a screw loose… *hee* I love you!!)
I’m an addict! To diet cola. I crave it. But when I drink coffee it has to have pumpkin spice or at least tons of milk and sugar.
How many cats do you own?
Four – I’m a crazy cat lady wanna be. I would adopt more if I could afford them. Even if I could afford more, I can’t take any more in as my family has threatened to walk if I bring one more animal home. The funny thing about that is that when we found a kitten under our house last year, it was my daughters who brought her in, nursed her to health, and demanded we keep her (which we did).
As a Trekkie, do you go to conventions? Perhaps speak Klingon? Or simply just love the Star Trek universe?
I’ve never been to a Star Trek convention although I’d love to go. I was supposed to go to one on a date thirty something years ago and my date canceled. I was really disappointed.
Unfortunately, I don’t know a word of Klingon. The only second language I know is shorthand. Does that count as a language?
But I watch Star Trek a lot.
(I’m not really making fun, I’m an anime fangirl and some of the people that go to those conventions are as dedicated as Trekkies. ^_^)
Do you write about military men and women because it is something you’re very familiar with as an Air Force vet, kind of like the old adage, write what you know? Or you just REALLY like the military men and women?
Both. I tend to write about what I know whether it’s military characters or something else. However, I really admire military men and women and they also fascinate me (especially the men). My favorite movie is “Mulan”. I know it’s a cartoon, but the heroine goes into the military to save her father and after struggling to learn how to fight she ends up kicking all the men’s butts and saving the man she loves – as well as saving her country. It’s the perfect story (for me anyway).
(I’d like to take the time here to say thanks for your service to our country!! I sincerely support our military and have the utmost respect for anyone who can survive serving (and I don’t mean death in war and such, I mean the actual training, because I am a super wimp).)
Lastly, how does your life experiences show up in your stories?
In many ways.
In my March 2015 release ‘Pretend Lover’, the heroine has a cleft palate like me. It’s not a pivotal story point as frankly, it hasn’t made a big difference in my life since I was a child taking weekly speech classes and going through many surgeries.
In ‘Self Defense’ the hero is an ex-soldier with hearing loss which does make a big impact on his life. I’m also former Air Force with hearing loss. I based his character a lot on me.
Sometimes funny things my kids do work their way into my stories too. When my oldest child was in high school she hacked into the school’s computer system and changed the vice principal’s password to “Jack Ass”. I’m not condoning her actions and I was scared to death when I was first told—uh hum—threatened that my child might be slapped with a felony offense (if it turned out she had damaged the school’s computers which fortunately she didn’t). Although I was mortified, everybody else laughed their asses off when I told the story. And wouldn’t you know? The school turned around and hired my daughter to work on their computer system after she got off school in the afternoons – for pay. I guess they couldn’t have been too mad. That scenario became the basis for one of my stories – alas out of publication. It was a good one.
Give us your stalker links!
THIS OR THAT
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee but only Pumpkin spice and only once in a blue moon. I usually drink Diet Coke
Movies or Books?
Do I have to decide? I love both so much
Rock or Country Music?
Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Write with clear outline or just guidelines?
Bad boys or Boy-next-doors?
Boy next doors
Strong women or vulnerable women characters?
Facebook or Twitter?
Male or Female Friends?
I have both but I have more female friends
Dogs or Cats?
Dunkin Donuts strawberry coolata
Diet Root Beer
Root Beer Floats
Strawberry milk shakes
Pumpkin spice coffee
1 pdf copy of the book “Her Men”
$15 Amazon gift card – rafflecopter giveaway