Julie Shelton’s Keeping Sarah is out today.
SimplySxy takes this opportunity to interview Julie and find out more about Keeping Sarah, the inspiration behind her writing and future novels in the making.
Can you tell us a little about your new book Keeping Sarah that just came out on August 7th?
Keeping Sarah is my third contemporary BDSM ménage romance for Siren Publishers. It is the third and final installment in the series which began with Loving Sarah, published in 2012, and its sequel, Owning Sarah, published last September. By the time I finished writing Loving Sarah, it was clear to me that I had enough material for more than one book, hence the sequel, Owning Sarah. Both are MFM ménages. But even though Owning Sarah ended with Sarah, Jesse and Adam’s wedding and their happy ending, I couldn’t stop thinking about the three characters. I couldn’t help but feel that Jesse and Adam needed to explore the feelings they were developing for each other as well as for their beloved wife, Sarah. So, Keeping Sarah was born. But this is Jesse Colter and Adam Sinclair and nothing comes easy for them. So, in addition to telling Jesse and Adam’s evolving love story, Keeping Sarah is also a harrowing thrill ride of deadly car chases, Albanian blood feuds, a sex slave auction, murder, betrayal, and gut-wrenching intrigue.
Please tell us how the idea came to you for Jesse Colter, your main hero. Be sure to include all the fun details.
It started with his name. Jesse Colter. It was the perfect name for a Dominant, alpha hero. I spent months thinking about him and coming up with a compelling back-story for him.
Abandoned by his Native American mother, neglected and abused by his alcoholic bully of a father, Jesse is embittered, angry and going nowhere fast. At age nineteen, he takes a summer job as part-time gardener at the Marshall estate and meets thirteen-year-old Sarah Marshall. To a hardened biker and sexual Dominant, Sarah Marshall is like some fey, magical creature from another world, and he is enchanted by her. For the first time in his life, Jesse has someone who thinks he’s wonderful. Someone who listens to him and values his opinion. Someone who makes him laugh and who cares for him. Sarah Marshall quickly becomes someone precious to him. Someone to treasure and protect. Someone to love. At first he loves her as an adult loves a child.
But as Sarah grows into a beautiful, voluptuous young woman who makes no effort to hide her growing love for him, Jesse is terrified that his carnal feelings for her and his Dominant nature will end up destroying the one thing he treasures most—Sarah Marshall. So he leaves their small town of Marshall’s Creek and joins the Navy, becoming a SEAL. Eight years of grueling training and dangerous missions give him a sense of identity and self-worth. He realizes that he is a man of honor and integrity and is finally able to admit to himself that he needs Sarah in order to make him complete. Determined to do whatever it takes to win her trust and her love, he returns to Marshall’s Creek. That’s where their love story begins in Loving Sarah. It continues in Owning Sarah, and finishes with a bang in Keeping Sarah.
What influenced you to send your first book to a publisher? How long did it take?
I spent four years writing, editing, polishing, re-writing Loving Sarah. It was a never-ending cycle. Then I lost it. Completely wiped it out of my computer. I was devastated. The thought of having to recreate an entire 400-page novel from scratch was so daunting, I fell into a deep depression. Then around four months after I lost it, I had to print something and that’s when I discovered that the entire novel, minus the last 15 pages, was still in the print queue. I was elated! And I knew that I had to send it off to a publisher immediately, before my ignorance of computers caused something else to happen to it. Siren was the first publisher I submitted it to, mainly because they published a lot of my favorite authors. Around three weeks after I sent it to them, they emailed me and asked me to make a few changes. I figured this was a pretty good sign, thinking if they weren’t interested in it at all, they wouldn’t have bothered to ask for the changes. They offered to publish it less than two weeks after I submitted the revised manuscript.
Could you tell us a couple of favorite authors who inspired you to write?
Sure. Lora Leigh; Maya Banks; CheriseSinclairSophieOakLisaMarieRiceLaurenDaneJoeyWHillLeahBrookeEdenBradleyKristenAshleyLexiBlakeShaylaBlackFionaArcherLyndaAicher—and that’s just her first name! My earliest influences, years and years ago, back in the dark ages, were Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels and Phyllis Whitney’s gothic novels.
Is music a factor for you while you are writing? Do certain songs put you in the right frame of mind to write certain stories?
When I put music on, it’s to listen to it, so I usually find it distracting when I’m writing because I want to sing or hum along with it. It’s hard to write when you’re bopping around in your chair, singing at the top of your lungs, lol
If you could collaborate with one author who would it be?
Good grief, there’s no way I could pick just one! Go to the list above, close your eyes and point. I’ll go with her.
What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
Years ago I was watching the movie, Becket (with Richard Burton and Peter o’Toole). In one scene there was a minor female character dressed in a blue gown. I was finishing my BA in French at the time and doing extensive research on life in a thirteenth-century French castle.
Well, the minute I saw that gown, an entire romance novel sprang into my mind. I couldn’t write it down fast enough. And since I was taking all my research notes on 3 x 5 index cards, that’s what I wrote the novel on. I wound up with two shoeboxes full of index cards, one with all my research notes, the second with my novel. Last year I transcribed the entire book onto my computer and that became Dark Warrior, my third book for Siren, published in January of this year.
What are you working on now?
Oh, I am so glad you asked that! I am nearly half-way through with Passion’s Dream, the first book in my new Passion Lake series. It’s a series of books about a bunch of Jesse and Adam’s former SEAL buddies, all characters in the three Sarah books, who buy a bankrupt town around thirty miles down the road from Marshall’s Creek and turn it into a profitable tourist attraction. Passion’s Dream is about Clay “Raven” Nighthorse, who is hired to protect Leah Stanhope, a woman with whom he had a brief encounter three years ago on a California beach. When their location is compromised, he brings her to his ranch in Passion Lake, where he has plenty of friends who are willing to help keep her safe while he devotes himself to proving that he wants and needs her in his life. Permanently.
Look for Passion’s Dream, Passion’s Fury, and Passion’s Hope, the first three exciting books in the Passion Lake series, at the beginning of 2015.
Below is a brief excerpt from Passion’s Dream.
Unperturbed by her anger, he reached out and placed his fingertips against her cheek.
She jerked her head away, but otherwise couldn’t move. It was as if she’d been turned to stone. “Don’t touch me!” She’d meant it to be an icy command, but instead it came out a choked, frightened whisper.
Ignoring her, he sent his fingers on a journey along the line of her jaw, down the slender column of her neck. He paused at the base of her neck, holding the tip of his index finger over the pulse hammering there, betraying her agitation. The journey continued down over her collar bones, across the creamy, sloping mound of her breast to the edge of her bikini top. When she made no move to stop him, he hooked his forefinger into the stretchy material. When she still didn’t move, he allowed his fingernail to scrape against her tender flesh as he traced the outline of the fabric down to its lowest point—the point where it stretched across the shadowed valley between her breasts.
“Don’t—”It was a choked whisper. She closed her eyes, but she made no attempt to remove his hand. She was trembling, every clamoring nerve aware of his nearness, the potent sexuality of his hard, male body so close to hers. ‘I-I’m engaged to be married.”
“Ah, yes.” His lips twisted. “The ever-devoted fiance. Tell me, Leah,” he tugged her toward him, the weight of his hand pulling the stretchy, jersey top downward and outward, threatening to release the rounded fullness of her breasts. “Tell me about him. What’s it like making love to an old man?”
She should have pushed him away. She should have stepped back—anything to put distance between them. Instead, she stared up at him helplessly, trapped as much by the confusion leaping within her as she was by the sensual spell he seemed to be weaving around her like a web.
Resting his left elbow on the underwater shelf, he lifted his other hand to shape the back of her head, his long fingers threading through the damp silk of her hair. “Does his touch arouse you?” Slowly, sensuously, he pulled her toward him, closing the distance between them, until his firm, mobile mouth was less than an inch from her own, his breath warm against her lips. “Set you on fire?” The hard contours of his body brushed tantalizingly against the softly rounded curves of her own as the cool water undulated against them. “Does he kiss you like this?” Clay persisted, dropping a warm, feather-light kiss near one corner of her trembling mouth, “like a father? Or perhaps like an uncle or older brother, like this,” he pressed his lips first to her cheek, then, tilting her head down, her forehead. “Or does he kiss you like a lover? Like this”—and his mouth closed over hers in a dark, golden storm, his lips expertly parting hers to admit the probing sweetness of his tongue.
Leah stiffened and tried to pull away, but it was too late. The flame ignited by his touch was all-consuming. Without volition, her arms went around his neck, her legs circled his waist, ankles locking behind him. The sheer size of the erection pressing against her sex made her gasp. Her belly plummeted, sending moisture gushing out of her pussy onto the thin strip of fabric that was her bikini bottom. She’d never been so aroused in her life. Her traitorous body arched toward his, her hips grinding her sex against his cock. She moaned into his mouth as his arms went tightly around her back, crushing her soft breasts to his hard chest. Locked together, they sank beneath the surface of the water. Instead of panicking and struggling to break free, Leah wound her arms tightly around his neck and held on, trusting in his care of her.
Without breaking the kiss, Clay pushed off the deep end of the pool with a powerful thrust of his muscular legs, gliding swiftly through the water to the center of the pool, where he could stand up. They broke the surface still locked together, their mouths tearing apart only long enough to drag air into their oxygen-starved lungs before crushing back together, tongues dueling passionately.
Leah loosened her hold on his neck, running her hands wonderingly over his shoulders and back, savoring the power of the muscles flexing beneath his satin-smooth skin, delighting in the heat of his body beneath the cool slickness of the pool water. In spite of the pervading smell of chlorine, she could still smell his clean, masculine scent. Losing all reason, she broke off the kiss to bury her face in the side of his neck, where it curved into his shoulder, inhaling that scent deep into her lungs. Daringly, she put out her tongue and took a tiny lick of his warm, moist skin. God, he tasted so good! He felt so good! She couldn’t stifle the groan that ripped from her throat. Her hands curved around to the back of his head, her fingers gripping the thick, wet mass of his hair, holding his head still. She drew a shuddering breath, trying desperately to get herself under control. This is a mistake! This is a colossal mistake!
Keeping Sarah is out and can be purchased on www.bookstrand.com/keeping-sarah