The Noble Romance Authors Blog Tour kicks off in smokin’ style with my first guest, award-winning author Cherie De Sues! She’s here to talk about a rather impressive career with a focus on THE SEDUCTION OF SIMONE. Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win some awesome prizes!
Welcome, Cherie! Let’s dig in. Looking back to the beginning of your writing career, what was the plot of the first story you wrote? Whatever happened to the manuscript? What was the craziest story idea you’ve ever considered? Did you end up writing a version of the story?
My first novel in creative writing class many years ago was a Sci-Fi manuscript with a talking spaceship, a Prince on the run and a woman space mechanic. I was young and never sent the ms to a publisher, but I bring the novel out of storage and read my professor’s comments on occasion. He was enthusiastic about my skill to tell a story, maybe I should send him a note of thanks for his support! He’d be proud to see I never gave up.
Oh, I’d love to see that manuscript! That kind of encouragement is absolutely priceless. How do you feel about your first published book? Do you feel you’ve improved since it hit the shelves?
I may have to go the other way with my first novel, “Tales of the Red Moon Clan”. The novel is popular and complex about a shapeshifting Navajo bounty hunter and a hellcat DA on the run for their lives. The novel is with the judges currently in the Romance Writers of America RITA Awards. I’m a little nervous with all the attention and awards the novel has garnered, I hope all of my novels reach that caliber. I have improved my editing and style, but the heart of my novels remains true.
What a fantastic accomplishment! Hard to improve on a winner, but with your talent I have no doubt you’ll continue to wow your readers. And as for wow-factor, how about a little intimacy? Thinking back over all the sexy scenes you’ve created between characters, which one would you most like to experience for yourself? Why?
Ah, now that’s a question no one has asked before! Actually, many of the sexy romps in my novel come from personal experience. However, there are three scenes in “The Seduction of Simone” that I would stand in line for…very hot. Imagine two ghostly lovers in a spa bath, who seduce you with pleasures only a spirit could conjure…mmmm. Another scene is the kitchen with Boston crème pie and apple pie. If you’ve never had a lover lick their favorite desserts off your body until orgasm, you’re missing a great adventure.
Okay, where’s the waiter with the dessert menu? WAITER! *Clears throat.* Where was I? Which of your releases most reflects who you are as a writer? What gives it that distinction?
On a personal level, “Triage” is the closest resemblance to my life in the military during wartime. A sexy doctor and Marine special ops officer track down a virus before Miami is infected. Very high-risk mission, with edge-of-your-seat action-suspense. The romance is hot, but true to the character’s lifestyle and mission. I could really get into the character’s heads.
That’s amazing! Which of your characters reigns as your favorite? Why, and where do readers find this character?
Choosing a favorite character is like choosing your favorite child. The riskiest character I’ve ever created is Selena Russo, a full-figured supermodel with death threats. Many authors are warned to stay away from Rubenesque or curvy novels by publishers. Publishers think that romance readers must have a perfect heroine with minor flaws. I disagree, and so did Noble Romance who published the novel. That’s one of the reasons I stay with Noble, they “dare to be different”. Selena is doing very well, the novel has gained an audience and I’m not a bit surprised!
Indeed, the buzz around Selena’s DANGEROUS CURVES has been HAWT! If you could change one thing about your writing career and accomplishments, what would it be?
I really can’t think of a better time to be a full-time author in my life. Ebook readers, small press publishers, social websites to promote my work. I believe I have everything I need to be successful and get my work in front of romance readers. In 2010, I had 8 books published and set up all my social websites and author website. I’ve received awards, acclaim from reviewers and romance readers. Really, I don’t have a single thing to complain about.
I hope there’s a lot more of that in your future! Let’s take a look at THE SEDUCTION OF SIMONE. How did the idea come about? How long did it take you to write the story after the plot first came to you?
The Seduction of Simone is a paranormal suspense novel with ménage, ghostly spirits, gypsies and witchcraft. I am half gypsy and half Irish with a family history of The Craft. This novel came to me in a dream and I wrote the novel in two weeks. The words flowed and kept me up until 3-4 am just to keep the story on track. That does not happen often when I write, when I’m that possessed, I let the muse take over and get the plot and characters on paper.
A-MAZE-ing! Did you face any specific roadblocks as you wrote it, or did the words come easily?
Very easily, I was walking and breathing the story night and day. I lived that book as if I were part of the cast, so the novel is very real to me.
What made you decide to submit this story to Noble?
Noble Romance has always taken good care of my work and is supportive of my career. The Noble authors assist one another in a friendly way, there’s no competitive undertone. Noble staff and authors know that romance readers enjoy variety, no one buys the same books over and over again. So we put out the best novels, novellas and short stories in the industry and let readers enjoy the variety.
I have to agree with your assessment of Noble. I’m so happy I found a home there! What is your favorite part about THE SEDUCTION OF SIMONE?
The pacing. When you have a complex story with a serial killer, ghosts, a sexy man next door, a mom and dad who come to visit…you have to have great pacing. Noble editors worked on that in this novel and I’m very pleased with the results. There are frightening moments with lots of suspense, and tender moments with love and ambiance.
What do readers most often comment about in THE SEDUCTION OF SIMONE?
I get lots of email about the imaginative and erotic sex with food. One reviewer said she’d never look at a Boston Crème pie the same way again. Snicker. I hear from readers who enjoyed the hot Irish brothers who came to Simone early in the book. There’s a sadness and tenderness there I can’t explain without giving away the plot, but readers appreciated the scenes. The last thing I hear about, is the differences between Simone’s accepting ghosts as a natural part of life and Trent is a computer security specialist for the government. Trent is all science and finds anything paranormal offensive. That kind of conflict is good in a romance novel.
Hey, with that kind of introduction, how can we resist? Here’s the blurb for THE SEDUCTION OF SIMONE.
Simone Devereaux has inherited an estate on the Northern California coast after her Aunt Celeste meets with a sudden, mysterious death. The hot neighbor, Trent Grayson, insists Celeste was murdered, and wants to be more than the man-next-door. When clients arrive to pose for their nude portraits over the weekend, Simone realizes she’s inherited more than an estate. Two randy poltergeists enter her dreams for a lusty ménage, and a budding serial killer threatens her sanity.
Now her Wiccan mother and gypsy father are coming for a visit, just in time to watch Simone lose her heart . . . and possibly her life.
Tempted? Indulge in the following excerpt from THE SEDUCTION OF SIMONE:
She climbed the spotless carpeted steps toward the master bedroom. Creaks from the old, wooden stairs brought back pleasant memories of playing cat and mouse with cousins. Weekends with Aunt Celeste had always been a great adventure, especially when she pulled out the tarot cards and read Simone’s palm by firelight.
Celeste had encouraged her to read tarot and became enthusiastic with her attempts. Her aunt believed she could be a natural and someday would read true from the gypsy blood coursing in her veins.
As she neared the top of the stairs, a deep growl made her stop in rigid fear. She gripped the banister as she quickly looked down the stairs for a dog.
She frowned, looked at the landing above and caught sight of two large, marble gargoyles. Simone’s gaze flicked from one to the other, then she whispered a protection charm. When the low growl stopped, she moved slowly up the remaining stairs.
The gargoyle sentinels were new since her last visit. Why would Celeste need to guard her home so fiercely with gypsy magic? As Simone turned left toward the master bedroom, she shook her head at the amazing ability her aunt possessed to conjure such a powerful protection spell.
The question of why Celeste needed so much magic nagged at her as she walked down the long hallway. Her gaze followed the walls, lined with mirrors and portraits of long-dead family members. Celeste had a talent for drawing out the essence of a person’s character in her art. The skill had been another similarity they shared, but her own journey never included painting portraits of ancestors.
At the end of the hallway, Simone stopped at a closed door and laid a hand on the glass doorknob. As she turned the handle, an unexpected pressure-change occurred and frigid air burst past her into the hall. Blinking at the chill on her face, she entered the bedroom. The presence of her aunt filled her senses.
Familiar scents, wall hangings and Celeste’s favorite colors of rose and cream were everywhere. Simone crossed the room, pulled back the heavy drapes and found an open window. Whoever had cleaned must have left the window open for fresh air before the storm hit.
Drops of rain on the windows warned her that the storm out at sea would come toward the estate. The odor of uprooted seaweed lying on the wet sand below floated up on the tiny droplets of sea spray. The turbulence of the ocean farther out would do more damage before the day ended.
She ran her fingers along the wet edge of the windowsill, looking for the crank. The stiff, metal handle complained loudly from rust.
Satisfied the room would now warm up, Simone turned to assess the furniture. The bedroom looked spacious, regardless of the antiques from her great grandparents. The hand-carved, four-poster bed had always been her favorite piece. The polished wood had a bright sheen, and ever since she was a child, it had reminded her of princesses in fairy tales.
The king-sized bed rose high from the ground, with three steps to reach the mattress. The light-rose bedspread and canopy coverings were subtle and feminine. Simone ran her fingers across the silk material and purred. Her hand-me-down stuff in the Jeep would never pass muster in this room. Maybe she could use her cotton sheets in one of the spare bedrooms downstairs.
“Aunt Celeste, I can feel you in here. I miss you.” Her heartfelt words didn’t travel far and almost seemed absorbed by the room.
Simone sighed and took in the large armoire, perfect for hanging delicate clothing. The two matching dressers, designed for a married couple, were bookends to a wide, gold-framed, full-length mirror—an identical match to the one in the library. Simone rubbed at the prickly hairs standing up on her neck, feeling eyes, once again, watching her. She chewed her lip and turned on the old, Victorian lamps on either side of the bed. She didn’t want to run into anything tonight when she moved her things inside.
The house would also be cold. Simone stepped over to the fireplace against the wall. She crouched to make sure the flue would open then closed it again. She should be grateful Cavendish had arranged for logs and matches for her first night. She had no idea if there were any other methods to heat the estate. There didn’t seem to be thermostats in any of the rooms. She’d need to ask Cavendish tomorrow; he might know of the earth-friendly heating method her aunt preferred.
At least she’d have a hot bath. Celeste had bragged in one of her last letters that she’d remodeled the bathroom into a spa and enlarged the closet space. With a deep breath of anticipation, Simone walked inside the bathroom and spun around with a grin.
The room looked outrageous. A sunken spa ready for four people, hand-painted, Italian floor tiles and a double sink with cabinet space galore. Simone cooed at the window next to the spa, that looked out to sea. In her opinion the breathtaking view cried out for lovers and candlelight. Her gaze traveled to the ledge around the spa and found oils, bubbles and candles already in place.
Celeste’s libido obviously hadn’t been suffering. Who had she been entertaining? With a satisfied smile, Simone backed out of the room in hunt of the closet. The door lay open. She switched on the internal light and inhaled a rush of air at the sheer size of the space. As big as a small bedroom, the closet had more hanging space, shelves and drawers than she’d need in a lifetime.
Simone appreciated that Cavendish had the cleaning staff empty the closet and chest of drawers. Having those items stored away in the basement gave her the chance to go through Celeste’s things later. The task would be too hard until she finished moving in and made the house her home.
She turned off the light and came out of the room quickly, right into the arms of a tall, muscular man. Shocked, she pushed against tight abs and strong arms, which seemed determined to keep her imprisoned.
“Let go!” Her heart pounded from an injection of adrenaline.
The stranger relaxed his hold and tilted her back from him.
Green eyes framed by dark lashes stared down at her with a curious expression and the twinkle of a smile. Simone roughly pulled away and stumbled back in fear.
“What the hell are you doing in here?” Her voice projected anger as she edged to the side, hoping to make a run for the bedroom door.
The ruggedly handsome intruder stepped agilely to the side to let her pass. “Sorry, I knocked and called out, then heard noise upstairs.” He put his hand out in greeting. “I’m Trent Grayson, and I’d say you’re family of Celeste’s?”
His smile and easy charm seemed harmless enough, if she didn’t count his impressive physical attributes. He had to be six-two easy.
“Yes, I’m Simone Devereux, Celeste’s niece; I’m moving in today.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chérie De Sues is a “critically acclaimed” and “award winning” author of thrillers, paranormal and contemporary suspense romances from sensual to sizzling heat levels. When Chérie takes a break from writing novels, you can find her at book signings, online, or traveling to research her next novel. She shares her home in San Diego, California, with her Irish terrier, Reilly.
Thanks for rocking our world today, Cherie! Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win prizes and to be included in the grand prize drawing for $100 for Eden Fantasys! Ready to continue the tour? Click the button below!