Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Interview with Alyssa Turner + Giveaway

Today I welcome to the blog Alyssa Turner, author of erotica and erotic romance novels, whose latest release By Surprise really took me by surprise. I was expecting a scorching hot erotica and instead I got a wonderfully moving and emotional love story (of course with some verrry hot scenes *winks*). Read on to discover more about Alyssa and her novel, and you could even win a copy of By Surprise for yourself!

Stella: Hi Alyssa, welcome to Ex Libris! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Alyssa: Hi Stella! It’s a pleasure to be invited. What can I say about myself? I’m old enough to remember the first reality show (MTV Real Word filmed in New York) but young enough to think that Jersey Shore is funnier. I’m a wine lover, a connoisseur of fine chocolate and sometimes gobble up an entire bag of cheese doodles. If you asked me to summarize with a single phrase, I’d say that I am juxtaposition personified. I find myself always seeking a measure of duality in my life and my writing, pursuing both what is sweet and sexy, prim and salacious, refined and crass. It is the complexities that intrigue me about people and situations, not the predictable path of assumption.

Stella: You pen erotic romance/erotica stories, what attracted you to this genre? What makes it special?

Alyssa: I think most writers write for the sake of connecting to an audience. Certainly published authors write for this reason. I can think of no greater connection to an audience than one that causes a physical and emotional reaction. Romance and her naughty cousin, erotica are perfect for that end. Combine the two into erotic romance and the results are truly powerful. A good erotic romance can transform your mood, encourage your imagination and give you something to look forward to. As both an author and a reader I can attest to that personally.

Stella: Your latest story By Surprise was released in March, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of it?

Alyssa: With By Surprise I wanted to honor the complexities of a developing m/m/f ménage a trois relationship among a loving gay couple and the once best friend of one of the men. By Surprise differs from the usual m/m/f ménage plotline, in that it focuses partly on Nicholas’s struggle with his attraction to a woman. Nicholas has always identified as gay and he is comfortable with that. Jodi, his husband Paxton’s childhood friend, is irresistible to him in a way that is more than just physical. By Surprise is as much about emotional discovery and connection as it is about hot bi-sexual action. It’s a good read for a lazy afternoon and a peek into how such a lofty idea could actually come to pass. So many readers have said that they found the characters relatable and the story very realistic.

Stella: Can you introduce to us the heroes and heroine in By Surprise?

Alyssa: Of course I’m always in love with my characters, but these three really hold a special place.

Paxton is our first hero in the story, the alpha of the two men; he wears his protective nature on his sleeve. He’s tall, slightly muscular still sporting his swimmer’s physique from high school. He is weeks away from thirty when the story begins. Short dark hair and brown eyes with a soft stubble usually found on his angled jaw from too many hours working overtime as a police detective round out his facial features.

Nicholas is as tall as Paxton but more lanky and fluid under his clothes. His hair is longer and a bit curly, due to his Greek roots. The best part of Nicholas is his compassion. His days as a social worker have brought out his nurturing talents and his beauty is as plain to see on the inside as on his ex-model face. Blue eyes that burn bright with laughter, often threaten with the clouds of his sullen tendencies. Gardening brings him joy, Paxton brings him joy, but he has a heart big enough for so much more.

Jodi is a spit-fire little scrap of a young woman; petite of body, but not of spirit. She’s tough, because she’s had to be, but there is a sensitive side to Jodi that shows mostly in her sculpture and in the way she loves. Her mixed heritage of Irish and Native American make for a striking combination of thick auburn hair and olive skin. She’s not the type to cry easily. If she were, she’d have drowned in a river of tears already.

I sometimes do character interviews and have one with Paxton and Nicholas on my blog.

Stella: Can you summarize By Surprise for us in Twitter-style (140 characters or less)?

Alyssa: That’s a tough one, but here goes:

Paxton gets the love of his life and the love of his dreams in one bed. Nicholas discovers he’s more than a label and Jodi finally knows what it is to be cherished by both.

Stella: Can you tell us any behind the scenes secret related to By Surprise? (either to the writing process, or some tidbit about the characters that didn’t end up in the final version)

Alyssa: By Surprise was my first experience writing about an M/M relationship. Love scenes in my other books are lusty and intense, but usually quite tender. For By Surprise I needed to focus on a more rugged ideal in both their interactions and their sex life. Guys aren’t lovey-dovey with each other all the time. By Surprise is still quite a sweet story, but in a different kind of way.

Stella: What kind of books/genres do you like to read? Any favourite authors/novels you’d recommend?

Alyssa: Not surprisingly, one of my favorite genres to read is ménage, both M/M/F and M/F/M. But I enjoy straight forward romances between one woman and one man too. The last stay-up-all-night-with-my-kindle book I read was Hearts of Darkness. I love how the author solved the challenge of two people finding a connection without being able to see each other. For the most part, I enjoy a story that focuses on a challenging situation and keeps you thinking about an underlying message or concept long after. I try to do the same with every story I write.

Stella: If you could try your hand at another genre, which one would you like to try?

Alyssa: I’ve already dipped into the sci-fi genre with a new novel planned for release sometime this summer. If I were to take a leap in yet another direction it would be a BDSM thriller, I think.

Stella: What advice would you give to readers who haven’t read any erotica stories yet, how, with what should they dip their toes in the steamy waters?

Alyssa: Firstly I would sing the praises of the all-liberating E-reader and the discretion and privacy it offers. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to freely explore the gambit of inspiration, titillation and overall hottness that captures your imagination. Reading erotica and erotic romance is particularly healthy in my opinion, because it gives the reader a playground they might not otherwise ever visit, or want to visit. And oh my, the endorphins ... I would recommend the erotica genre with the same enthusiasm as I have for chocolate. But just like chocolate, there are the fine Belgium variety and the dime store tasteless bricks; not all erotica is created equal. Try an anthology first so you can sample a variety of authors and genres. I have found some of my favorite authors this way.

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?

Alyssa: I’d put my spaghetti and meatballs up against the best Italian grandma from the old country’s any day of the week.

Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?

Alyssa: My newest work, Double Take is a sci-fi erotic romance ménage novel anticipated for a summer 2012 release by Etopia Press. Set in New York, 150 years in the future, ex-military rebels Pryor and Tristan are twin brothers focused on the demise of the oppressive corporate dictatorship the country has fallen under. Shannon is a strong and capable business woman who has enjoyed the perks of her corporate status, yet she’s thrown into the middle of the resistance and a whirlpool of attraction for the sexy and intense Davies twins. We follow her journey as she realizes who she is and where she really belongs in the dawn of a revolution. Double Take was as much thought provoking as it was scorching hot for me to write. I hope you check it out!

You can find Alyssa at her website, Facebook and Goodreads.

By Surprise by Alyssa Turner

Sex that's twice as good, love that's three times stronger.

When Jodi returned to Burlington after a nasty divorce, broke and without a much needed place to sculpt, she never expected to bump into Paxton, her best friend from growing up. With her unresolved feelings for him still smoldering, it was a shock to find him married—to a great guy. But when Paxton and Nicholas offer her a room for rent in their too-big, too-expensive Victorian, complete with a turret to use as her art studio, it seems like the perfect solution for everyone. Until Jodi overhears Nicholas and Paxton making love—and finds herself burning hotter than she ever imagined.

Nicholas always knew his husband Paxton was bi-sexual, but finding his forgotten stash of cheerleader DVDs makes him wonder if Paxton's been tamping down his old desires. As strong as their love is, he knows there are things he just can't give Paxton...or can he? He decides to get Paxton a very special birthday present—a night with a woman—a no-strings arrangement to grant him the fantasies Nicholas isn't equipped to fulfill. But when he meets Paxton's best friend Jodi, Nicholas finds himself facing new feelings of his own. If only he could stop imagining Jodi's body wedged between Paxton and him and figure out what to do...


Alyssa has generously offered an ebook copy of By Surprise to a lucky commenter!

All you need to do is leave a comment and answer Alyssa's question: Since By Surprise features both an alpha and a beta hero, I’d love to know which type of male main character you find the most tantalizing and why?

Giveaway is oöpen worldwide and ends on 6 June 2012!

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