“Death is only the beginning.” You hear that all the time. Maybe it is, for the soul who passes on. But what about the ones who are left behind?
I lost my husband unexpectedly in a tragic accident and now have to move back to my childhood home in New Orleans. Thank God for my friends Wesley and Paige. I’d be absolutely lost without them. As I pick up the pieces of what is left of my life, we settle back into our old routines. That is until I hire Olivier to work for me. Now my world is once again turning upside down as the people I’m closest to, old and new, shed the skin of what is familiar and ultimately redefine the nature of our relationships. Couple all of this with the return of my debilitating headaches and ominous dreams of green fire, and well, I’m just at a loss.
What do you do when what you thought you knew turns out to be wrong? What do you do when you find out you can’t trust the people closest to you? What do you do when you keep trying to move forward but life keeps getting in the way? And given all of this, how am I supposed to figure out who Charlotte Grace is now?
An excerpt from Smoldering Embers
He cut me off and growled, “Im iam damnari,” under his breath before silencing us both by crushing his lips to mine. A familiar burn instantly tore through me, stealing my breath as it singed my skin. I opened my mouth to gasp. He seized the opportunity to invade it, his tongue lapping at mine hungrily. My knees buckled and I arched into him, gripping his neck with hands I didn’t even know had wrapped around him. His arms supported me as his hands roved and caressed my back, waist, hips, and neck, restless in their search.
After what seemed like a lifetime, Olivier stopped just as suddenly as he had begun. My eyes remained closed as I tried to compose myself. Remembering what he’d said before the kiss, I asked, “Why?”
“Why what?” he responded through labored breaths.
I opened my eyes to see that his were liquid pools of the green fire. And not in their coloring or meaning that he desired me. Though that was there too. I mean flames. Living, undulating flames were burning in his eyes; dancing around his pupils. Holy crap! How is that possible?! All the familiarity snapped into place. The burning I’d experienced from his kiss, while exciting, was the same as when I had the fire dreams.
I blinked and they were gone. No smoke. No embers. No trace. Had they even been there? I must be crazy. It’s not possible for them to be there. Actual fire doesn’t burn in someone’s eyes. I’d had quite a bit to drink tonight. My mind had to be playing tricks on me. When I let go the image of my dreams lighting in his eyes I remembered what Olivier had said before he kissed me.
How long have you been writing romance, and what inspired you to get into this genre?
I started writing in 2012. I used to read books that always seemed very descriptive of the build-up of a relationship. That first look and the butterflies. The first touch and the spark. That first kiss. But when the relationship evolved to the logical next step, it was always the next morning and I felt a little cheated. But then I stumbled upon the paranormal romance genre where the doors remained open so you got a great story and the full progression of a romance. So when I decided to try my hand at writing, that’s the kind of story a wanted to tell. A fully fleshed out journey where you got a complete understanding of everything that changed the characters you, as a reader, are investing your time in.
What gave you the idea for your latest book?
I pulled from my own personal experiences for the Charlotte Grace Series. I was a dancer and a martial artist as a kid. I had a good childhood with good friends and boyfriends. I went to college and moved away from home. I’ve always wondered, because I’m a little off, what would I do if the worst possible scenario happened? What would I do if my husband died? Would I go home? Would I date again? Who would I lean on? That’s a journey I wanted to explore, so I did.
Who are some of your favorite erotica writers or other literary inspirations?
Through this writing adventure I was introduced to Emma Payne. She’s a new indie author but I love her Room 237 series. The mix of good story with the erotic was so well done. I also really liked Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye. The way the main characters meet and connect, in a pitch black, stalled elevator, was just really clever and pulled me in immediately.
Describe your typical writing routine. Where do you usually write? How many words/pages per day? Do you keep set hours? What does your workspace look like?
I write in my den on a laptop computer which sits on my coffee table. It is Grand Central for my house, so it allows me to keep up on my kiddos and what they’re doing. I have a full time job and full time family, so I have to schedule writing. It typically try to write a couple of hours every day when I’m writing a story. I have no word or chapter goals as some parts of a story are easier to write than others. I just write and get done what I can when I can.
Do you have any favorite foods or beverages that help keep your creativity flowing?
Not really. I eat a bowl of popcorn and drink a Sunkist every day for my snack after work. Typically I’ll read the previous chapter while snacking to get back in the headspace for my story.
Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals when starting (or ending) a new book?
No. I’m not a superstitious person by nature. So, I change my socks and underwear every day. I don’t have a lucky outfit or anything. No spinning in circles three times or standing on my head to get the creative juices flowing. I will post a picture of an elephant with its head in the surf (buried like an ostrich) when I’m writing the sex scenes of my books. Those are always the most difficult for me to write because I want it to be appropriately steamy and engaging and true to my characters without being cheesy or over the top. It’s a very delicate balance and one I take very seriously as a writer.
What do you think makes for a good erotic story?
I don’t like reading books that are only sex. I like it as much as the next person but, just like in life, I like it to be meaningful. I like the characters to have a connection. They don’t have to get married or anything, but, for me, there needs to be attraction that makes sense.
What’s your favorite euphemism for genitalia?
So I’m totally blushing right now. The euphemism that I use really depends on my characters and who I’ve made them be. I’ve used cock, shaft, erection, and pecker in stories. I’ve used wet lips, woman’s secret, slick warmth. But in real life, they’re penis and vagina. That’s what they are, so that’s what I say.
What else have you written, and where can people learn more about you and your work?
The entire Charlotte Grace Series is available on Amazon. Smoldering Embers, Wild Fire, and Ashes. I have also released my first novel, The Underground, which is a story set in Seattle and their underground city. You can learn more at my website, pmbriede.com. You can also learn more and interact with me directly on my Facebook page or on Twitter.
About the Author
PM Briede is a lover of all things artistic. She grew up surrounded by the performing arts both as a spectator and performer. That love of creation and design is the fuel for her writing now. Being able to create and entertain is a dream come true.
The imagination is a powerful thing, able to take you places you never dreamed. PM Briede writes realistic fantasy. The idea of the possible having impossible explanations fascinates her. That idea is the driving force behind the Charlotte Grace series.
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