Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Inspiration for Sexy Men... by Lily Harlem + Giveaway

As part of the Romance and Me Reading Challenge since November is Erotic Romance month, we have the good luck of having two authors join us and tell us about how they discovered this genre and what gives them inspiration to those steamy stories. ;-) My first guest is erotic romance author Lily Harlem, whose Hot Ice series I loved (check out my reviews of Hired and Cross-Checked) and whose erotica novel That Filthy Book became one of my Top 2012 Reads. So please give Lily a warm welcome and read on, you could win a sexy sporty book! ;-) 

A big thanks to Stella for inviting me to her lovely blog today. I’m thrilled to be here.

I love this time of year—the lead up to the holidays, cosy nights and roaring fires, good hearty meals and snuggly jumpers to keep me warm when I’m walking the dogs on the beach.

But always, without fail, as the last leaves fall here in the UK, the very lovely Mr Harlem – who I will confess does spoil me – asks the question? We’ve been together for quite a few years, so it isn’t the big ‘will you’ question, he’s asked me that before, Lord love him, no it is the ‘S’ question *drum roll* - Do you want to ski this year, Lily?

Argh!!! Is what goes through my head and I mentally clasp my cheeks in horror. Not again!!! I know, I know, I’m like a spoilt, ungrateful child, because it really is fantastic that he wants to take me skiing, again. And its not like I don’t adore the whole ambience of an Alpine resort, I most certainly do. The scenery is stunning, the chalet hotels divine, as is the food, the smells and the après ski. All that I can happily enjoy for a week, my problem is, as you might have guessed, the actual skiing. Think Bridget Jones falling off the ski lift and whizzing down the mountain, that’s me. I’m just so rubbish at it. The skills required completely elude me. Last year I actually got banned from one ski lift, the type you just hang on to, because I kept falling off and causing pile-ups!

It isn’t like I haven’t tried to master this crazy cold sport, I have, on numerous occasions – and even had a few rather hunky instructors who I’ve just had to cling onto all day – but sticking these things on my feet just doesn’t work for me. I’m pretty sporty otherwise, trampolined for the county in my younger days, I’ve competed in long distance bike riding, always spent a lot of time on horseback and even studied martial arts for a number of years, so I can make my body do bending, balancing stuff – usually.

So what is it about skiing that makes my blood run cold and stops by brain connecting with my muscles? I think basically its fear, the fear of heights in particular. Have you ever been to the top of a mountain and looked down – damn, it is sooo high up, and what’s more, there are no steps to get to the lovely, safe, welcoming bottom.

The speed of skiing both thrills and terrifies me, on the rare occasion I’ve felt in control and been going smoothly but quickly with that whoosh, whoosh sound, the cool wind on my cheeks, feeling at one with the rugged landscape around me, it has been bliss. But unfortunately those moments are few and far between and usually end in me baling out into a snowdrift (my preferred method of stopping.)

I’ve decided, though, because Mr H loves it so much to say yes again this year, but with a condition – I don’t have to put two stupid long planks on my feet and hurl myself from the highest point in France. The thought of long lazy days writing by a fire appeals while he nips off and gets his adrenaline rush (a rush that is highly overrated as far as I’m concerned), I’ll sip glühweine and nibble on warm crusty bread, maybe even find a spa if I’m really, ridiculously lucky.

In fact last time we went, on the final day my nerves had just given out on me, my bravery all used up, so I claimed a painful shin and gave my skis the day off. The weather was stunning, crystal clear blue sky, lashings of snow and the light was so bright it was impossible to go without sunglasses. I remember sitting waiting for Mr H and nursing a mug of the richest, gooeyist hot chocolate in the world. My outdoor table gave me a wonderful vantage point up the mountain, and all those clever, competent skiers were zigzagging their way down as though they’d been born to do it. Right at the top, like dots I could make out three guys hurtling past all the others, carving a wild path half on the piste, half through the shadowy patches of pine trees. They sent up huge sprays of snow behind themselves, bouncing through the drifts and flying through the air. They actually were boarders and as they got closer and took to the highest moguls, my heart did a little trip.

Now there’s no harm in looking is there, and look I did. Like I said it was a sunny day, utterly perfect, and the guy leading the pack had on the usual salopettes, the black elastics short and hanging near his hips, the material a dull mustard and black harlequin effect, but on his top half he wore nothing. Zilch, nada. He was bare chested, and a very lovely chest it was too. Broad and golden-skinned, thick shoulders and a swirling black tattoo on his right arm. His biceps were tensing as he adjusted his balance, his whole body tipping as he maximized his aerodynamics.

I watched him shoot into the air, grip the base of his board as he hunched into a ball. He then released and straightened as he hit the ground with a soft whump. It was a perfect jump. Flawless. A flight of absolute control. Then with a couple of nifty leg movements, a body twist that highlighted an impressive set of abs, he was gone. Melted into the crowd and no doubt towards the nearest bar to sate his thirst.

You might think I remember the whole incident in a bit too much detail, you’d be right. I can see him now, as I write this. Handsome, young, free as the wind, looking for both fun and danger and completely confident in his ability to master the mountain. I wish I knew a bit more about him. His name, his nationality, how long he’d been so wonderfully talented at oozing cool.

But of course I’ll never know these facts about him, though being a writer, I can use him in a story at some point. My imagination can fill in the blanks, give him flaws and attributes, a history and a future, and of course a very lucky heroine.

I like to write about sporty guys, in fact along with ménage it’s pretty much my most favourite type of story to dream up. I have a whole series about ice hockey called HOT ICE the fourth novel TEAMWORK has just been released at Ellora’s Cave. I also have a sexy soccer novel called SCORED, which follows the story of Lewis Tate the hunky England football captain and a young, ambitious journalist, Nicky. I’m a massive fan of the beautiful game, as a spectator, and never miss out on a Saturday afternoon watching football either at my local stadium or on TV, so writing SCORED really was right up my street.

Here is the blurb for SCORED:

Scored by Lily Harlem

Okay, so I eat, sleep and breathe football and reporting the beautiful game is my dream career. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have time for a major crush on the England captain, Lewis Tate. The bloke is sex on legs, hot with a capital H. Add in his awe-inspiring talent, his brooding good looks and what’s not to lust after?

So my excitement is sky-high as I set off with the official press team to cover England’s battle for the European Cup. But when a series of unfortunate, or as it turns out fortunate events, attracts Tate’s attention my way, who am I to say no?

Add in a misogynistic manager, an over-zealous colleague, two blue silk ties and some incredible ball-handling skills and it becomes clear the road to victory, for me, will be an intensely erotic journey. Determined to savor every moment, I hang onto my sanity as best I can while living the fantasy and wondering if it can ever become reality. Because once Lewis Tate has taken me to heaven and back, its clear no one else will ever compare.

I’m giving away a copy of SCORED so do enter to be in with a chance to win, and thanks so much for stopping by and reading about my ski fears! Have a wonderful day.
Lily x

Connect with Lily Harlem at


Lily has generously offered an ebook copy of Scored a sexy sporty romance to a lucky reader!

You have two chances to enter:

1) just leave a comment to Lily either about her post, the erotic romance/erotica genre, any of your favourite books/authors in this genre, what introduced you to it, or tell us do you like to read about sporty/athletic heroes? If so what sports are your favourite? OR is there a sport that scares you?;

2) or just submit the link to your review of an erotic romance HERE.

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 1 December 2012!

Good luck!

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