Winter Blogfest and Giveaway: Lily Harlem

Party! By Lily Harlem

 Hi to everyone, it’s great to be here at the Long and Short Reviews Christmas Party. I love a party and add in some mulled wine, mistletoe, and a few cheesy festive songs (Wham’s Last Christmas anyone?) and I’m a happy girl.

Parties are of course great at any time of year, whether it’s birthday celebrations, a wedding (yes, that’s a party in my eyes, there is booze, dancing and lots of laughter!) or the end of the academic year send off. Parties are great for meeting new people and of course confessing to secret crushes-actions spurred on by a little Dutch courage and being swept away in the moment.

The first time I spoke to Mr Harlem was at a party. I was wearing some hideous red dress that I wouldn’t be seen dead in now (luckily he remembers it fondly though he mainly describes the tightness of it when asked!). He was actually chatting to another girl who was batting her eyelashes up at him. Fortunately it seemed I’d caught his attention and he worked his way over to my group, started chatting to someone he knew near me and then before I knew it he was handing me a glass of something bubbly and talking about taking me out the next week! The rest, as they say, is history!

Parties therefore often appear in my stories because not only do they hold a huge amount of memories for me (some aren’t quite a good as the one I just mentioned) they are also incredibly useful as a catalyst to get the story going and the characters interacting.

cold nights, hot bodiesIn Cold Nights, Hot Bodies, the heroine Ashley, has been chosen to go to the company party at a posh hotel in The Cotswolds. She doesn’t really want to go, she’s shy, she’s a bookworm and she never knows what to wear to parties. Luckily for Ashley, her ‘friend’ sneakily replaces her safe black pants and plain blouse for a vampish red dress (nothing like mine I hasten to add), some seriously sexy stockings and high-heels to die for. Of course Ashley goes through a lot of angst deciding whether or not to go downstairs at all, she’d rather stay in her luxurious hotel room and read steamy novels. But, her boss doesn’t let her get away with that and she attends the Christmas party in her great new outfit. Before long she has caught the eye of super hot Shane Gallaway. Oh, yeah, he’s the stuff of fantasies and before long they’re dancing the night away and then sharing all kinds of secrets and desires. Let’s just say when the hotel gets cut off by snow they don’t get cold at all!

Another of my books that starts of at a party is Slap Shot, book #3 in my Hot Ice series. It also starts off with a particularly terrible chat up line by our hero, captain of The Vipers hockey team, Rick ‘Ramrod’ Lewis. “Is there an airport around here or is that my heart taking off?” Luckily his conversation does improve but he uses this ice-breaker to chat up wedding planner Dana Wilcox, well kind off, she can’t help but groan initially but, you guessed it, it doesn’t take long before she’s moaning and groaning for a different reason altogether! I loved writing Rick’s character, he’s such a solid and real guy despite his fame, fortune and talent, and when things get rocky he’s the one you can rely on.

Enchanted Submission is a short story about Cinderella’s hen night (Do you call them bridal showers in the US?). All the fairytale princesses are out on the town looking for a serious night of partying before Cinderella ties the knot with the rampant Prince Charming. But it’s Rapunzel the tale follows as she submits to Beast whose dominant streak shows no sign of abating and whose membership to The Turret Club proves the perfect place for their night of mayhem.

In my newest release Stories for When the Sun Goes Down, a collection of 10 erotic and romantic stories, A Classic Wedding Night jumps to the end of the night, after the lights have gone off and the guests have gone home. Ever wondered exactly what the gorgeous Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett got up to on their wedding night? Well wonder no more…

It’s been so much fun partying with you all today at this joyous time of year. I’m going to give away a copy of Enchanted Submission in ebook, so just leave a comment telling me about your favourite type of party along with your email address and I’ll pick a winner at random on the 28th December.

 

Have a wonderful day, chink, chink!

Lily x

Author Bio

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora’s Cave, HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeat Press. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Glass Knot and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release in 2012.

Her latest novel, Breathe You In, is a super-sexy romance with a twist that will not only heat you up but stay with you for years to come.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae – check out the Sexy as Hell Trilogy available exclusively on Amazon – The Novice, The Player and The Vixen – and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel ‘every woman should read’.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Buy Links

Cold Nights, Hot Bodies – http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Nights-Bodies-Lily-Harlem-ebook/dp/B006MXE7U8/ref=la_B004MHRTQK_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385022122&sr=1-12

Slap Shot http://www.amazon.com/Slap-Shot-3-Hot-Ice-ebook/dp/B005KT7HZW/ref=sr_1_27?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385022513&sr=1-27&keywords=lily+harlem

Enchanted Submission http://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-Submission-erotic-fantasy-novella-ebook/dp/B008HGPN8I/ref=la_B004MHRTQK_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385022449&sr=1-10

Stories for When the Sun Goes Down http://www.amazon.com/Stories-When-Goes-Down-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00G2GIZ7Q/ref=la_B004MHRTQK_1_27?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385022642&sr=1-27

Lily Harlem Links

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/

Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/lily_harlem

Facebook http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Lily-Harlem/100003519563064

Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lily-Harlem-author-page/200182030094568

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/lilyharlem/

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4070110.Lily_Harlem

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/106837751333678531161/posts

Harlem Dae http://www.harlemdae.com

Raw Talent http://rawtalentseries.co.uk

BritBabes http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk

Newsletter Subscription http://www.lilyharlem.com/newsletter-subscription.html

 

 

Co-Authoring – The Joy of Sharing a Writing Experience by Lily Harlem Guest blog and giveaway

When I say that I co-author it brings an expression of both admiration and horror to other author’s faces. That reaction makes me smile, because it’s something I love, passionately, and although I write plenty of my own novels, the co-authoring work I do with Natalie Dae (and on occasion with Lucy Felthouse) really gets me excited about the journey. Why? I think it’s because writing can be a very lonely experience. Sitting quietly working away, day after day, immersed in imagination, sometimes turning down social events because characters are being so needy, so demanding, is rewarding but also very different to my years working as a nurse and being surrounded by people. I’m not complaining, just analyzing that maybe it’s the lack of teamwork in my life now that makes the act of writing a novel with another writer so fulfilling. It gives me back that sense of achievement with someone else. Goals are set together, a standard adhered to, and conversations about many, many different things are enjoyed from sex to food, from architecture to Caribbean islands.

Natalie and I have been writing together for several years now and have started to publish under the single name of Harlem Dae. We have three novels out with publishers– HarperCollins, Total-E-Bound and a self-pub. We have found a comfortable routine with our writing, I do my section in the week when she is busy as Head of Art at TEB, and then she pens hers at the weekend. We both look forward to each other’s additions, swap emails, texts sometimes and even pictures of locations or characters or BDSM equipment – a Vampire Glove being the latest picture to be sent!

The question most people ask is ‘how do you do it?’ and I think what they mean is, ‘don’t you argue like hell about the plot/the dialogue/the character development?’. Fair enough question because many authors plan their work meticulously, creating lavish drafts of each chapter, who goes where, says what, how the conflict erupts, revealed, is solved etc. But the beauty I have found with co-authoring is this just isn’t part of the process. Luckily I’m the sort of writer who just types Chapter One and goes; I often have a couple of lines jotted down about several events in the story, but pretty much it just flows in one long string of words. I believe that is the writer-trait that makes co-authoring possible for me, or at least, understanding that being flexible and open to anything is essential; curve balls are par for the course. There is no point in being fixed about a plot because the other person may have a totally different idea. You have to just go with the tide and see where it takes you.

The first book Natalie and I did together came about by accident, and in actual fact, the very reason I got the first chapter of That Filthy Book in my hot little hands was because Natalie is the same type of writer I am; she has characters, an idea and just starts. But on this occasion after one chapter she said ‘Read this, Lily, I’m having a wobble. I don’t know where to take this story. Is it even any good?’ (I’m sure many of you will get that feeling from time to time), so after reading it and loving it I said, ‘let me write the next few thousand words and we’ll see how it goes’. Anyway, she adored where I took the story, couldn’t wait to add to it and send it back for me to do more and that was it, we were off. Karen and Jacob’s rude ride of wild fantasies being realized poured out of us in a matter of weeks and was accepted by the first publisher we sent it to. When we started getting reviews that said ‘Every woman should read this book’ we were spurred on to write more. Soon Anything for Him and Good Cop, Bad Cop were born and entertaining readers far and wide. In fact both books hit #1 in the Amazon Erotica chart within weeks of publication.

I guess being exceptionally good friends – though we don’t see each other face to face very often – is a great advantage to co-authoring. We’ve never, ever fallen out about a plot line, or even had words. We’re respectful but honest, laugh at our silly mistakes, jump for joy when we see lines the other has written that are sumptuous – for we share the credit – and fall in love with our characters together.

Falling in love with characters, now that is a biggie for us at the moment. We’ve just completed a trilogy of novels called Sexy as Hell . In these books the hero, Victor Partridge, completely swept us off our feet; we are both bonkers in love with him. He’s innocent, yet experienced, demanding yet demure, vulnerable but strong and above all sexy, successful and kind. He gets a rough ride with his teacher, the sexy Zara who has decided to up his BDSM experiences, and it was going on this journey with him that made us fall hook, line and sinker. Originally Sexy as Hell was going to be a stand alone novel, but half way through Natalie emailed me and said ‘I don’t want this to end, I can’t say goodbye’, I felt the same and so we decided to make it into an almost 300k trilogy of darkness, love, extreme sexual acts and romance.

Extreme sexual acts. Mmm, okay, yes, we push boundaries. One of the great things I’ve found about co-authoring is that boundaries can be flirted with (especially with a self-published book as this trilogy is) because it’s kind of like having a safety net when you have someone else to bounce things off. Though most times, like in That Filthy Book when the heroine asks her husband to grab her in a dark alley and take her hard and fast against the wall wearing a balaclava, we work through it carefully. In Sexy as Hell we both found our extremes, our limits. Once each we responded ‘I can’t write that’. So yes, learning about ourselves, is definitely part of co-authoring and I highly recommend it if you fancy giving it a shot. The key words are to be honest, flexible and above all have fun. If it works, great, if it wasn’t well, that’s just how it goes. As for me and Natalie, I expect we’ll still be co-authoring when we’re old and gray and sitting side by side in our rocking chairs. You can find our more about our writing together on my dedicated Harlem Dae page on my website.

Up for grabs – a pdf copy of Good Cop, Bad Cop. Just leave a comment telling me your favorite co-authored books. One random commenter will win. Make sure you leave your email address so I can send your prize!

7_12 GCBC_cover_HDFame and fortune is a blessing that, for me, has changed its taste from sumptuously sweet to murderously bitter. Leaving me no choice but to look over my shoulder at every turn and question the scruples of even my most faithful friends.

I would give up all the glowing adoration from my fans in a heartbeat in exchange for not running for my life. But fate doesn’t deal cards that way, and instead I find myself far out at sea and being bounced between two hot cops—one so chilly just his glance gives me frostbite, and the other showing a kindness that barely covers his own demons.

So with nowhere else to turn, quite literally, I have to trust two men I hardly know with my life and cope without the luxuries my status usually affords me. But it’s not long before I discover when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Turns out these cops are not only the wrong guys to mess with, they also have partnership skills above and beyond the requirements of their day job. And for once, while just being me without the frills, I get to discover that they are as sinfully bad as they are dreamily good in every department, and it seems, I am the one they want cuffed and controlled at the same time as they are protecting and serving.

About the Author: 7_12 Lily-Harlem-14Lily Harlem is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She lives in the UK with her husband and a bunch of animals, all rescued, and loves to spend her days immersed in imagination.

Her books are a mixture of full length novels and short stories, some are one offs, some are sequels or part of a series (all can be enjoyed as stand-alone reads). What they each have in common are colourful characters travelling on everyone’s favourite journey — falling in love. If the story isn’t deliciously romantic and down and dirty sexy, it won’t be written, at least not by Lily. So with the bedroom door left well and truly open you are warned to hang on for a steamy, sensual ride – or rides as the case might be!

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SHORT STORY: GOAL by Lily Harlem

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Goal!
By
Lily Harlem
My grand home was eerily still and echoing, my least favorite way for it to be. Wandering around the vacuous hallway and the elegant rooms made me feel like I was in a movie, watching someone else’s life. The laughter, the love went with Ted when he left for work leaving just empty space and extravagant possessions.

When he was gone I sometimes had a sensation of spinning, of reaching out for something to hang on to and finding nothing. I hated it, this flailing, soul-aching need to be with him that had been with me since I’d met him. I’d fallen for his cheeky charm which layered over a sure sense of self with all the grace of a rock hitting the base of a puddle. His combination of humor and confidence had been irresistible—add in a body honed to athletic perfection and eyes so dark I could lose myself in their depths, and I was smitten.

But traveling with his job was unavoidable. Ted ‘The Hands’ Hatton was England’s star goalkeeper and tonight the football team were playing a friendly against Spain. They needed him in Wembley more than I needed him at home. His big, strong, safe hands were being counted on by the nation. He had to save those goals, live up to his nickname and be, quite literally, on the ball.

After brushing my teeth I turned back the sheets on our four-poster bed and slipped between the cool cotton, naked. The plasma TV hanging on the wall was on low volume. I’d watched the match earlier and enjoyed seeing my hot hubby stop three goals much to the delight of the crowd. He’d taken a skid across the mud and missed cracking his head on the post by a mere hair’s-breadth, which had me wincing. But the camera zoomed in on his face moments later and had shown him upright and smiling, the ball cradled into his chest just the way I liked to be.

The commentators on TV were now chatting about England’s next match and I flicked the light off, wondering if Ted would get another mention.

I must have dozed because when my mobile phone trilled to life I started, disorientated for a moment, then fumbled and reached it from the bedside cabinet.

“Hey, baby.”

“Ted.” My heart rate picked up. Just hearing his voice had physical effects on me.

“You watch the game?” he asked.

I dropped back onto the pillows, lodged the phone at my ear. “Yeah, great result, well done.”

“They put us through our paces.” He hesitated. “Did I wake you?”

I glanced at the clock. “Yes, but it is one in the morning.” I sighed. “I must have nodded off watching TV. It’s just some dull black and white movie on now.”

He gave a small chuckle. “You sound all lazy and floppy, like when I’ve made love to you for an entire afternoon and you can’t keep your eyes open.”

Running my hand over my breast, I remembered Ted reducing me to that floppy state the week previously. I’d been shopping, had bought new vampish lingerie, and when I’d come home he’d insisted I model it. That had been the end of achieving anything else that day, though I wasn’t complaining. “Mmm,” I said, scooping the lower portion of my breast into my palm. “I like feeling like that.”

“I like feeling you like that.”

His voice was an octave lower and I wondered if he was picturing the same scenario as me. It had been so hot, bent over the back of the sofa, him ramming into me from behind, the doors to the pool and patio flung open, sunlight pouring in. Somehow the fact we were doing every-room-in-the-house sex in the middle of the day made each touch and cry of delight more erotic, more sensual, more carnal.

“Where are you?” I asked.

“Er, just, you know, in my hotel room.”

I paused. “Is that the air conditioning I can hear?” There was a low rumble in the background.

“What, oh, yeah, probably. Tell me what you’re wearing, baby?”

“Nothing.”

“Perfect.”

“You know I sleep naked.” I tweaked my nipple, wishing it was his firm fingers creating the delicious spikes of pleasure.

“Like I said, perfect.” There was a smile in his voice. “Were you dreaming of me?”

“I only dream of you.”

“Was it hot?”

“I’m sure it was.” I was getting hot now, my body tingling and moisture building between my legs. “I wish you were here.”

“Me too.”

“What would you do?” I swallowed and skimmed my hand over my flat belly, ruffled through my strip of pubic hair.

“I’d make you fly high. Have you crying out my name until your throat was hoarse.”

“Ted,” I whispered, parting my legs. “Tell me exactly what you would do.”

He was quiet for a moment. “Are you touching yourself?”

“Yes.” I slipped my fingers through the first folds of my slit, let damp heat wrap around my digits.

“Ah, fuck,” he said, his voice a little tighter.

“So tell me, describe what you would do?”

I heard him swallow, a small gulping sound. “I’d start with your mouth, kiss you, stroke my tongue against yours.”

Squirming, I closed my eyes and pictured his handsome face over mine. Ted was an Olympic-standard kisser. He could almost bring me to orgasm by just kissing my mouth, my neck, my breasts. There was something so sensual, so strong yet teasing about the way he adored me with his lips and tongue.

“Mmm, then what?” I asked, parting my thighs and spreading moisture from my entrance up and over my clit.

“Then I’d head lower, kiss your neck until you wriggled and whimpered. Worship your perfect tits until they were swollen with need and your nipples so hard they ached.”

They were aching now, just from me hearing him talk that way. I sucked in a breath, arched my back and enjoyed the thud of my heart beating loud and hard with arousal. “And once you had me writhing with lust beneath you, then what?”

“I’d push your legs apart, settle between them so the soft skin of your inner thighs pressed against my shoulders, and I’d lick you.”

Another flood of warmth filled my pussy. Damn, just the memory of his tongue on my clit could have me climbing toward an orgasm.

“Are you touching your pussy?” he asked.

“Yes, yes…what was that?” I’d heard a strange wailing noise on his end of the line.

“A siren, a police car or something.”

“Oh.” I pictured him on his hotel room bed, his cock hard as he spoke dirty words to me, the London traffic ceaseless on the streets below.

“Are you?” he asked again. “Touching yourself?”

“Yes, but I’m pretending it’s you. Fingering me, fretting my clit.” I gasped. My clit was distended and needy, a pressure building within. “Oh, Ted, I wish you were here.”

“Get yourself ready to come, baby, so I can listen to you build up. It’s turning me on so much, making my cock throb with the need to feel you squeezing it.”

I sped up the rotations on my clit, the pressure just right. I let my breaths come wild and ragged against the phone, knowing Ted would love hearing them. “Oh, oh, yes,” I gasped. “Oh, Ted, I’m thinking of you, here. Your big cock shoving into me, the weight of your body blasting over me, fucking me, filling me, oh…”

“God, you look so sexy,” he said.

“I’m going to, oh…” I paused. Somewhere in the threads of sense in my mind I realized there’d been something different about Ted’s last words. They’d echoed into my right ear from the phone, but my left ear had also registered his voice.

Flicking open my eyes to the dim light of the room, I saw a shadow standing by my bed.

I stopped masturbating and scooted upright, a squeal catching in my chest.

“Shh, baby, its me.”

“Ted?”

I must be dreaming.

“Yeah.” He took my mobile from the pillow. Clicked it off and set it on the bedside table. “Now let’s both come together.”

The sheets flicked back, the mattress dipped, then Ted dropped over me. His body heat seared against my skin, and the smell of the outdoors mixed with his fresh lemony cologne filled my nostrils.

“You’re here,” I gasped, slotting my fingers into his hair.

“Yeah, sod staying in a hotel when you’re only two hours away. I just packed up and left the guys to celebrate alone.”

“I can’t believe it,” I said, wrapping my legs around the backs of his thighs and tilting my pelvis so the tip of his cock nudged my entrance. “You did that for me?”

“Baby.” He brushed my hair from my sweat-damp forehead. “I would do anything for you. Making you happy has become my ultimate goal in life.”

About the Author: Lily Harlem is an award winning, multi-published author of erotic romance. She lives in the UK and since giving up a career in nursing has been widely published on both sides of the Atlantic. She particularly enjoys writing sports themed romance and has four books currently published in her HOT ICE series, all about those bad boys of the ice, and her latest novel, Scored, follows the England football captain on his road to victory in and out of the bedroom.

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/
Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/

If you enjoyed meeting Ted ‘The Hands’ Hatton in “Goal!” why not hang out with the broodingly sexy captain of the England football team, Lewis Tate, in full length novel, Scored – also by Lily Harlem.

GUEST BLOG: LILY HARLEM

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Erotic Romance for Men
by
Lily Harlem

Steamy reads for men, yes, you read that right! Ellora’s Cave have a new line of saucy stories designed to get your man hot-under-the-collar and ready for action. I am thrilled to say I have a book included in the line up called DESSERT. (available from 13th July onward)

But do men like raunch between the pages as well as between the sheets? I wasn’t sure, so before I started writing I did a little research into male reading habits.

Here are two reactions from men when asked about reading…

“Women cook, women clean, women look after the children and women read. Men bring back the dough and have no time for luxuries like reading.”

“I like to read, but I’m a very busy person. I don’t have time to read!”

Of course that is a big generalization and surely we have left such static gender roles behind, however, studies show that there are still big differences in reading habits between the male and the female of the species. First up, women do read more, or at least are more willing to admit to it according to a UK study, and they certainly seem to be more avid readers – not wanting to stop until they’ve turned the last page. With more than half of men confessing to never finishing a book though this might not be due to short attention spans, perhaps men gravitate towards books that don’t necessarily need finishing because they are more factual based.

Which brings us to the issue of fiction. It is here, it seems, the gender gap is at its widest. Studies carried out in the United States, Canada and Britain consistently find that women read more fiction than men. Men account for only about 20% of readers in the fiction market. Which of course makes the challenge of writing an erotic romance for men a bit like trying to fly to the moon with chocolate wings!

But I wasn’t daunted (well, a little bit maybe) and I asked myself a few questions before I started typing.

Are men’s heartstrings harder to tug, than women’s? Among the men who answered one survey, more than half said they disliked romance and chick lit. But, I wondered, is this because they’re tough and gruff by nature or because society expects men not to swoon over love stories? Perhaps they’ve never tried a romance or, don’t want to admit it. Personally I don’t think their heartstrings are harder to tug, I just don’t think they like having them yanked. Other things float their boat when it comes to a story of two people getting together?

So what is it? What is going to win a man round and make him pick up a book he wouldn’t normally? The answer is simple – SEX! Men like sex, a lot, we don’t need to do a survey to find that out! Therefore, in order to write a book for men – I’d already decided to make DESSERT a novella rather than a novel, more chance of him finishing it – I figured that sex had to be a massive theme going through it. And not a slow build up to the action, I wanted to give men that instant gratification, the fantasy come true, a scenario that wouldn’t likely happen in real life but was realistic enough to get away with in a contemporary setting.

Which is why I chose the ancient Japanese tradition of Nyotaimori to kick-start the story. What could be hotter for a guy than sitting down to a dinner that is served from the body of a beautiful lady? Well, apart from when it’s time for dessert which happens to be a…

I’ll let you read the blurb…

Nyotaimori was new for me, eating my dinner off a beautiful, naked woman an experience I’d never been lucky enough to indulge in. So when a customer treated me to a meal at The Geisha Plate it was an effort to keep my cock under control and my focus on the food. Damn, it had been a while!

But control myself I did until, that is, the spice levels cranked to boiling point and dessert turned out to be a mind-blowing, soul-twistingly delicious blowjob. I instantly craved more.

Plus I’m not a guy who likes debt, I had to return the favor by hook or by crook, it was an urge that threatened to consume me. Luckily my lovely Geisha girl turned out to be the sweetest woman I’d ever had the pleasure of pleasuring, and her healthy appetite for getting raw and naked with me for starters, main course and dessert turned out to be a wild ride for my every fantasy, and enough to keep me more than satisfied in every department.

I hope it’s tickled your fancy, and you’ll treat the hottie in your life to some spice for his e-reader. Perhaps if men give erotic romance a try they’ll become as hooked as we are on the genre, and that can only be good for all of us.

And, I hear you ask, did I road-test Dessert on Mr Harlem? Yes, I most certainly did and all I will say is it hit the spot!!

Lily x

You can buy a copy of DESSERT here http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10202-dessert.aspx. About the Author: Lily Harlem is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance and lives in the UK with the lovely Mr Harlem and several crazy cats and dogs. In a past life she worked as nurse in a busy trauma unit in London but now has a slower pace to her days and relishes indulging her imagination in raunchy, naughty stories which flow from her fingertips onto the screen.

Find the author online at:

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/
Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/lily_harlem
Facebook http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Lily-Harlem/100003519563064
Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lily-Harlem-author-page/200182030094568
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/lilyharlem/
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4070110.Lily_Harlem

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Lily Harlem

Keeping Warm
by Lily Harlem

Winter is such a wonderful time of year and I adore everything about it. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against the summer; lounging on the beach with a cocktail and a good book suits me very well. But I don’t get that snuggly feeling at the approach of summer that I do with winter. The leaves beginning to turn and the mornings that hold a nip in the air are a promise of long cozy evenings snuggling up to Mr. Harlem. We like to open a nice bottle of red wine, light the fire and watch all the programmes we said we’d watch over the summer but didn’t. Yep, winter is great – soft jumpers, fluffy socks, tasty treats and long, long nights.

I live in the UK, miles from any big city and right out in the countryside – or the ‘sticks’ as we call it. Wildlife is abundant and often more so in the winter as animals brave the cold in search of food. But another thing that brings animals and people out is the age old tradition of The Hunt – which I have to say is another wonderful way of keeping warm in the winter. It used to be fox hunting but that’s illegal now so the hounds chase a synthetic fox scent that has been dragged over miles of fields and woodland by a quad bike.

The hunts are grand affairs full of pomp and etiquette. They always meet late morning at one of the biggest houses around. The hosts, usually the Lord and Lady of the Manor, dish out port, sausage rolls and fruit cake -sustenance for a day of riding and a little alcohol to boost nervous riders.

The horses are, in the majority, some of the finest creatures you will ever see. Huge athletes with their coats clipped to prevent them getting too sweaty and their manes and tales shampooed and set. And the people on them, well, they are of course impeccably turned out too, at least at the beginning of the day; by the end there is a considerable amount of dishevelment. The Hunt Master and his team wear bright red riding jackets with cravats and gold pins. They carry long whips to keep the hounds in order and one of them uses a brass horn to signal which way the hunt is going. I always study these men carefully; they are skilled riders and have had their positions in the hunt passed down over generations. They love the thrill of the chase, the hedges and gates that need to be jumped, the spectators along the way. Many are really very handsome as they sit there in the finery, and there is something about the way they are so calm and genteel at the beginning and then career off into the distance on their fine steeds. Beneath their exquisite tailoring and polite smiles they are adrenaline junkies, risk takers – watching them gets my heart going every time!

At the end of the day, as the light fades and mist begins to roll across the meadows, the hunt returns to the starting point. There are always stories of falls and near misses; horses and riders are sweaty and muddy. There are lots of smiles, laughter and raucousness as horses are loaded onto trailers to be taken back to their stables. Most people have hip flasks and you will see them swigging their whiskey or brandy as they chat about the next hunt.

So you see in the UK we have many ways to keep warm, belting around the countryside with a pack of hounds chasing a fox scent is just one of them. But the feeling of being outside in the cold, sharp air, flying over fields and hedges, trusting your horse and him trusting you is truly amazing, and sitting down that evening, tired but happy, makes you feel warm to the bone. So what about you? Any winter traditions where you live that keep you warm? I’d love to hear about them.

Lily Harlem

My latest release is Cold Nights, Hot Bodies available from Ellora’s Cave and I will be giving away a copy here at Whipped Cream. Also if you get time do stop by my website; there’s plenty of FREE reads and heaps of man candy!

About the Author:Lily Harlem is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary erotic romance.

She lives in the UK and writes for several publishing houses including Ellora’s Cave and Total-E-Bound and features in numerous UK and US anthologies.

Her stories are made up of colourful characters travelling on everyone’s favourite journey — falling in love. If the story isn’t deliciously romantic and down and dirty sexy, it won’t be written, at least not by Lily. With the bedroom door left well and truly open readers are warned to hang on for a steamy, sensual ride – or rides as the case maybe!

Website – www.lilyharlem.com

FREE READS by Lily Harlem

In 2009 I was lucky enough to win the Love Honey Award for Erotic Fiction with my short story Madam President . It started me on this wonderful journey writing erotic romance where I have learned so much and made many wonderful new friends. You can read my winning story for FREE by clicking on the cover below.
Last year when Love Honey launched another competition they asked me if I had a story which they could use to help promote their contest.
I happily obliged and offered up something I’d been tinkering with called A Classic Wedding Night – it’s all about the first night Mr. and Mrs. Darcy spend together as a married couple – its steamy!
You can read it for FREE by clicking on the cover or, head to the girl in the headphones and download a FREE podcast which takes about 30 minutes to listen to.

Be sure to let me know what you think, and if you want more FREE reads, click on the hottie below.
Lily x

GUEST BLOG: LILY HARLEM

How I got started writing and advice for aspiring writers

People often ask writers how they started. Well I can only answer by telling them how it happened for me. I’ve always enjoyed reading – especially romance with the door left open – and when I found myself living in a new area, with no friends and no job I realised the time was right to write!!

I checked out the local University and took a part time course in creative writing. Soaked up every bit of feedback and advice my wonderfully talented teacher gave me and then I was off…

I wrote and wrote and wrote, and when I had more words than I knew what to do with I started sending them off to publishers and editors who advertised on ERWA (Erotica Reader and Writer Association at www.erotica-readers.com ). It’s a great site and they always have a ton of requests for long and short stories in all erotic romance genres, some pay, some just get you a foot on the ladder. The website also has a host of information about reading and writing steamy stuff!

I went with royalty paying publishers, ones who would edit my book and give it an ISBN number, and also ones who’d expressed an interest in the themes and lengths of stories I’d written. No point sending an epic historical romance to a house that’s asked for short snappy space sex! I got lucky on a few short stories which went straight to print in anthologies and then longer ones were accepted by Ellora’s Cave, Total-e-Bound and Xcite. The result, as you can see from my website, is a cacophony of publishers and editors for both my long and short stories, all of whom I adore working with.

New authors should also try competitions – some are advertised on ERWA. My first big success was a contest hosted by ‘Love Honey Vulgari’in 2009. It was the first time I’d attempted writing something truly steamy and ‘Madam President’ won first place! (Read it for free by following the book link at www.lovehoney.com ) I couldn’t believe it, not only did it pay handsomely it also boosted my confidence and profile to suddenly be an ‘award winning author.’ So go for the comps but don’t be disheartened if they’re judged on public vote, many people enter and have a data base of thousands to vote for them whether the story is any good or not. Better to have a panel of judges or better still, a publisher give your book the thumbs up.

If you can find a crit partner to read your stuff before you send it off then all the better. When looking for a crit partner you need to find someone who already has an interest in the genre, someone who can pick out writing hiccups in the middle of a ten people orgy laced with whipped cream and strawberries and not be so shocked and stunned by the content that they miss the fact you’ve given one person three arms and someone else two tongues! I have a crit partner and she’s awesome and way ahead of me in the erotic romance game. I admire and trust her and I’m always very excited to receive her comments. We have the same editor, who introduced us, which helps us to be consistent in the house style. I love the fact that she’s so honest with me. If it’s good she tells me, if it’s not she tells me too.

But if you send that perfectly polished manuscript off and it gets rejected – don’t worry. What author hasn’t had rejection letters? Or these days, rejection emails. Just delete and focus on the positive. It’s hard sometimes, and as you go about your daily routine you find yourself sighing in frustration, but when the positive begins to out-way the negative life sure feels great. Just to get loads of stuff out there, that way you’re bound to find someone who likes something. As for the information in a rejection letter, nine out of ten times there is no explanation, but if there is, for example ‘we like your style but we’re looking for M/M stories at the moments’, then it’s well worth having a bash at M/M and sending your new submission to whoever sent the rejection letter. If they like your voice they’ll want to hear it again.

Here are a few other tips I stick to when doing the actual writing, maybe I’m a bit kooky but this is what works for me…

~~When writing dialogue just go for it, let it flow out of your fingers as fast as you would speak. Don’t even think about speech marks and punctuation, or if he is scratching his head and she’s licking her lips, you can add all that in afterwards – dialogue moves the story forward and if you can get it flowing naturally then you’re onto a winner.

~~Don’t get bogged down with adverbs, eg. he groaned ‘loudly’, she panted ‘heavily’, it’s considered much less lazy to write ‘his groans were loud in her ear’ or ‘her heavy pants filled the small space’. There’s usually a way to describe your scene better if you circle around the adverb and it will make the story meatier.

~~Let a story brew in your head. Have the idea, jot it down if you need to, and then sit quietly and play out the scenes like watching a film in your imagination. It will give you a clear picture of what you want to achieve in your writing and help you with the tiny details.

~~If the house is quiet make the most of the peace and get busy getting those words down. You can iron and dust and cook with everyone around chattering and demanding help with homework and lifts to friends and clubs. Writing, for me at least, requires silence, so silence has become a very valuable commodity in my life.

~~Incubate the final product. When it’s written tuck it aside, for a few days, longer if you can, then go back to it. I can guarantee you’ll spot silly mistakes, inconsistencies or simply find better word choices to slot in. There’s nothing worse than sending a manuscript off and then on a re-read seeing stupid errors. In fact now, when something has gone I refuse to look at it again unless it’s with an editor.

~~Start off with shorter stories, maybe just one scene, (but give the characters a background and a way to step into the future,) then if you don’t quite hit the mark you’ve not wasted 50,000 words plus.

I can only recommend doing it my way because it’s what I know and it worked for me. Get the brain cells into gear at a locally run or on-line course and then when you’ve grasped the basics of creative writing just get it down. Write and write and write. First attempts will make you cringe in later years but you have to start somewhere. Try offering free stories too; it lets readers hear your voice, and the time it takes you to write them will be worth it. I’ve got two free stories coming out.’ Stockholm Seduction’ with Ellora’s Cave and ‘Unhealthy Obsession’ at Total-E-Bound. I hope you’ll check them out and when the house is quiet get your creative juices flowing and have a bash at writing in this fabulous genre.

Good luck and happy writing

Lily x

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and when she isn’t chasing her workaholic man around she is sitting at her desk letting her imagination run wild!!

Lily’s stories are made up of colourful characters travelling on everyone’s favourite journey, falling in love. If the story isn’t romantic, sexy and exciting, it won’t be written, at least not by this author.