Today I’m interviewing Cassandra Carr. Her book, Impact is a contemporary western erotic romance and was released on February 1st.
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Impact is book one in the Buckin’ Bull Riders series. It follows Conner, who is a professional bull rider who also happens to be a closet Dom – he isn’t “out” with his lifestyle because he knows many of the management and fellow riders are conservative and he doesn’t want to cause problems in his career. Then he meets Jessica, a stock contractor liaison and recognizes the natural submissive in her. When she asks him to train her as a submissive, he can’t say no.
Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?
Impact is a contemporary western erotic romance, but with bull riders rather than ranchers or cowboys. Many of these riders come from the ranch-heavy Midwest, though, so there’s a strong western influence on the sport. I write contemporary western, contemporary BDSM, contemporary M/F, and contemporary ménage.
That’s a funny story! I’m a hockey freak, as you can probably tell if you look at my backlist. One day I was looking for a hockey game on the channel that’s now NBCSports. There was no hockey game, but there WAS a bull riding competition. I watched it and was hooked! Then I read some books by great writers like Lorelei James and Cat Johnson and said to myself, “You can write romance about bull riders? Sign me up!”
Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
Ha. No. I’m sure a lot of people are going to hate me now, but I sold the second book I ever wrote. Between selling and having my debut come out, though, I wrote Impact and the second book in the series, Collision. That’s a good thing, too, because as any writer can tell you, once you have something out there in the marketplace it’s just crazy trying to keep up with everything: writing new, editing, promotion.
What is your writing routine like?
I don’t have any routine at all. I really can’t since I stay home part-time with my toddler. I write whenever I have enough energy to, and oftentimes when I don’t. ;-)
What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
I’m a total promo whore. But I do think it’s helped my sales numbers, so I plan to keep doing it. I come from a marketing/PR/media relations background so promoting my work was never a question. I do have help, though. The wonderful people at Sizzling PR are now on retainer and help me set up reviews, blog tours, and the like. Everything else I do myself. I’d love to hire a personal assistant but at this point I can’t afford to.
Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
Hearing from readers who enjoyed my books. Readers, seriously – if you adored a book, email the author and tell them that. Even after we’re published we still get things rejected, and have to make huge changes to our work to get it out there, and are battered by sometimes unfair negative reviews. Trust me, it makes an author’s day (or possibly week) to hear from a gushing fan. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, at least try to leave a short review on Amazon and Goodreads. Those are the two most influential sites for user reviews from what I’ve seen.
Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
Just Romance Writers of America. While RWA has its challenges, it’s still the leader in dealing with issues that affect romance writers. Within RWA, I belong to a whole bunch of chapters – my local chapter in Western New York, where I’m currently president, ESPAN (Electronic & Small Press Author’s Network), and Passionate Ink, the special interest chapter for erotic romance writers. I’m the newsletter editor over there.
What’s next for you?
*takes deep breath* Cold As Ice, book 2 in my Buffalo Intimidators ménage series, released last week. Collision, book 2 of the Buckin’ Bull Riders series, will release most likely in late April. I’ve also sold some short stories and am part of a voyeurism/exhibitionism anthology with two other authors. I’m 40k into writing book 3 of the bull riders, Momentum. Trust me, 2012 is packed!
Professional bull rider Conner Raub hides a secret from the world. He’s a Dom. When he meets a submissive on tour who pulls at his Dom tendencies, he fights to deny his true self, believing his colleagues will condemn his lifestyle.
Jessica Talbot is new to the BDSM scene and the bull riding tour, but after seeing Conner come to the aid of a submissive being mistreated in a club, she sets out to have him for her own. After their first night together she asks him to train her to submit and he refuses, afraid to mix business with pleasure. But Jessica isn’t deterred. She’ll do whatever it takes to make him realize he can have it all—a career, true love, and the BDSM lifestyle he craves.
A little bit about the author.
Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora's Cave, Siren, and Loose Id who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra's book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe.
For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com, "like" her Facebook fan page athttp://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter athttp://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr.
Jessica sat in her living room with her parents and two of her brothers, waiting for Conner to arrive. She couldn’t help but feel as if he was walking into a firing squad. She’d told them she wasn’t angry at him and he was worried because she hadn’t called, but they thought it was a little crazy he’d driven all the way from Dallas to track her down. They obviously didn’t know Conner. The thought put a hint of a smile on her face.
When he’d called earlier he’d sounded as if he wanted to be with her for more than a fling, and the thought made her want to hope so badly, but she was afraid to let herself. He’d made it clear to her in the beginning he couldn’t live the lifestyle he wanted while he was on the tour and didn’t intend to settle down until after his riding days were over. So what did that mean for them? She knew he wouldn’t truly be happy if he was denying such a big part of who he was. He’d end up resenting her because she’d be a constant reminder of what he wanted but didn’t think he could have.
She heard the crunch of gravel on the driveway and looked up. He was here. Forcing herself to remain seated, she watched as the door opened and her brother Evan strode in instead. “Hey.” He looked around. “What’re y’all doing in here?”
“Waiting for Jess’ boyfriend,” Travis explained. “Where’ve you been?”
“I got restless so I went to check on those minerals we ordered. Junie said they should arrive by midweek. Why are we waiting on Conner? He’s coming here?”
“Yes,” Jessica answered. “He called a couple hours ago and said he was on his way. You must’ve been out in the barn when he called.”
“Must’ve been,” Evan agreed. “I’ll go wash up and be right back to join in the interrogation.” He winked at Jessica and moved into the kitchen.
A moment later the gravel crunched again and then a knock sounded at the door. Her daddy rose from his recliner and opened it. “You must be Conner. Come on in, son. We’ve been expecting you.”
“Thank you, sir.” Conner removed his hat and shook hands with her father. He looked nervous and Jessica wondered what was going on inside his head. She glanced around. It did look like an interrogation. Or an inquisition.
Her father moved into the room and stood by her mother’s chair. “This is my wife, Rita.”
Conner nodded and gave her one of his patented smiles. “Ma’am.”
Her mother grinned back, and Jessica had to hold in a chuckle. Apparently he’d already charmed her mother, but then again, her mama had always loved the cowboys—she’d married one, after all, and all her sons had taken after him. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Conner.”
Her father continued with the introductions. “My oldest, Travis, and my youngest, Nathan. We call him Nate.” Her brothers stood to their full height—neither of whom matched Conner’s—and Conner shook hands with each, looking them in the eye. Jessica was never prouder of him than in this moment of meeting her family. “That’s Evan lurking in the doorway over there.” Her father jerked his head toward the kitchen where Evan was leaning on the doorframe. Conner acknowledged him with a nod, and then turned to her, smiling at her almost shyly. Daddy cleared his throat. “And you know my only daughter, Jessica.”
His last sentence held a clear warning, and Jessica sent her father a reproachful glare. “Daddy, really.” She rose from the couch and came around the coffee table. Putting her arms around Conner’s neck, she reached up on tiptoe to kiss his cheek. “Are you hungry? We’ve got dinner waiting in the oven if my family is done staring you down.”
Conner smiled at her, looking relieved. His hand came up to rest on her waist, squeezing briefly. “Starving.”
Her parents led the way into the kitchen and Jessica and her mother began setting out the meal while her brothers grilled Conner about being a bull rider now and his plans for the future. Of course they also inquired not so subtly about their relationship. Her father sat back and allowed Travis and Nate to take the lead, while Evan also stayed silent and observed. When everything was on the table, they sat down. Jessica caught Conner’s hand under the table and gave it a reassuring pat.
He responded with a quick wink and began to eat as if he hadn’t seen food for days, complimenting her mother on her cooking until she blushed like a schoolgirl. When she protested her cooking was nothing special, Conner reminded her of the fare he was used to—arena food, truck stops and diners. Laughing, her mother accepted his praise and began to quiz him on his favorite foods. If Jessica knew her mother, there was a care package in Conner’s near future.
Once dinner was over Conner tried to help clean up, but Evan shooed him away, suggesting Jessica take Conner on a tour of the outbuildings. They began to walk around the main areas, and though it had gotten dark by then, the motion-detector lights on the front of many of the buildings guided them from one to the other. When they reached the third building, which Jessica told him was the storage shed for the feed for the cattle, Conner shut the door behind them and didn’t turn on the lights. Pulling her to him, he muttered, “Finally,” and lowered his head to hers, taking immediate possession of her mouth.
She melted into him, her body flaring to life. His tongue pushed into her mouth and she gladly accepted it, sucking him in farther to encourage him to explore her depths. He moaned and lifted her up to fit her pelvis to his groin, pushing the bulge of his erection between the juncture of her thighs. She rubbed up and down his body, eliciting another moan. “I missed you so much,” she whispered on his lips.
“Don’t leave me again,” he replied, his voice breaking, before his mouth dragged down her neck.
Copyright 2012, Cassandra Carr
How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the publisher’s home page at http://ellorascave.com
You can find more information about Cassandra Carr and her book, Impact, by
visiting her website, http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com or
her blog at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com/wordpress.
Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.
1) White chocolate or regular chocolate? Regular. White chocolate isn’t even real chocolate – a sacrilege!
2) Coffee or tea? Don’t drink coffee, rarely drink hot tea. I am addicted to Diet Raspberry Snapple Iced Tea, though. Does that count?
3) Favorite place to vacation? Ever? A tie between Honolulu Hawaii and Rome/Naples, Italy. Both were awesome vacations.
4) Who is your favorite author to read? Oh man, I don’t have one author I like above all others. There are so many great authors out there. And I tend to have a favorite m/m author, a favorite ménage author, a favorite BDSM author, etc.
5) What’s your biggest pet peeve? Adults who don’t act like grown-ups. Seriously.
6) What’s your favorite color? If you’ve seen my website or my promo materials you know the answer to this. Purple!
Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!