I am very, very excited to be guest blogging here for the Romance Man and the BBLs and sharing my debut release day for DEEP AUTUMN HEAT with you. I’ve been following this blog almost from day one, and I have to say that although I don’t get to comment as much as I’d like, I read every single post and almost all of the comments.
When RM asked me to do a guest blog post, I thought, hmmm…this is going to be tough. I don’t swear, and I don’t write about gay wolf sex or toe sucking. Or gay wolf toe sucking. So what could I possibly write about that would be on the naughty side (that isn’t a love scene from my book) that would have the crew interested in what I have to say?
Then I got some inspiration: Naked Massages!!
I had my first professional massage at the tender age of 22 on the resort/gaming island of Macau. I was staying in a five-star hotel with some friends – we were traveling the world, singing (an a cappella group on tour in Asia) – and several of us decided to splurge on massages. I’d never had one and was determined to do it, but didn’t count on my reaction once the session started. As soon as the masseuse—a beautiful young woman—asked me to take off my clothes, I blushed a vivid red, and refused. A stranger! Touching me! Heavens! As I recall, the masseuse reluctantly agreed to give me a massage with me wearing all of my undergarments and a t-shirt that read, “The Black Dog, Martha’s Vineyard.”
I still have that shirt.
Fast forward a decade and I am completely relaxed, lying under crisp white sheets, the aroma of lavender-scented oil permeating the air and new age-y music playing out of speakers that look like rocks, while a woman with strong hands massages my bare skin. I am blissed-out. I am calm.
I am one-hundred percent naked.
What happened in that decade to make me change my mind about naked massages? Did I (a) have a lobotomy; (b) get a rocking hot bod; or (c) just gain some self-awareness?
I’m sure you can guess that the answer is (c) (though I’d love for (b) to be the case). I grew up and realized that massages were not only good for my physical health, they were good for my emotional health, too. I lost some of the self-consciousness of my youth, and realized that I’d get a lot more out of the massage if I let the masseuse actually touch my body. Sure, my first utterly unclothed massage was embarrassing, but I moved past it.
At the start of every story, I see my characters as the 22-year old me—self-conscious, awkward, and more than a little scared (whether they realize it or not). It is my job to take them, and to strip them naked, to force them to confront the aspects of themselves they’d rather not contemplate. And to have their foil—their significant other—help them to figure out who they really are
In DEEP AUTUMN HEAT, my debut novel, Sebastian Grayson is a man with too much hubris and too little humility. He’s a celebrity chef and is happy to let his reputation precede him, wherever he goes. But when he meets Lexie Meyers, he’s forced to check his ego at the door. She could care less that he’s famous—what matters more to her are his manners, which are utterly appalling. It was really fun to write her dressing him down, time after time, and him coming back for more. Celebrity doesn’t interest her, but the man underneath does. And she proves to be inspiring—her passion for cooking is contagious, and Sebastian regains his zeal for doing what he does best. She deconstructs him, and forces him to confront what is really driving him forward—in his career, in his life, and most definitely in love.
Of course, Seb does the same thing for Lexie, but in a completely different way.
And, because I’m on RM’s blog, I need to state that the sex is wicked hot.
Thank you for helping me to celebrate my debut release. I hope you love reading DEEP AUTUMN HEAT as much as I loved writing it!
About Deep Autumn Heat:
In this sexy new Star Harbor romance series, featuring the too-tempting Grayson brothers, a celebrity chef turns up the heat for a local café owner—and things start to sizzle.
Lexie Meyers decides there’s nothing sweeter than watching Sebastian Grayson’s perfect, wicked mouth devour her coconut cake. He’s hot, he’s hungry, and he’s sizing her up like she’s the best thing on the menu. But she’s been burned in the past and flings just aren’t her thing. Too bad Sebastian can’t resist a challenge.
Worldly, famous, and notorious with the ladies, Seb had planned a weekend of fishing and relaxation with his brothers. Until Lexie, with her kissable lips and frosty “get lost” attitude, makes him want to forget his culinary empire and create some magic with her. After he fires up his charm—including challenging her to a televised cook-off to break through her resistance—it’s now hotter in the bedroom than it is in the kitchen and Lexie isn’t sure whether she’s lost her mind . . . or just her heart.
View an excerpt of Deep Autumn Heat on Scribd: Click here
Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicks off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter (coming September 2012). Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. She loves getting massages. Naked. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
How about a Giveaway?
One commenter on my blog will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of Deep Autumn Heat. Contest ends July 15th at midnight (EDT).You’ll need a NetGalley account. I know the comments will start to fly fast and furious, but I thought I’d start you all out with a question:
What have you overcome/gotten over that has been the product of self-awareness