Guest blogger Sidney Bristol has quite and interesting background. From her bio: She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.
- How did you get started writing novels?
This is possibly my most favorite story to tell about my writing.
My childhood was spent traveling and doing rodeo. I am so out of the loop when it comes to pop culture type things of the 80’s and 90’s because I just wasn’t exposed to that stuff.
When I was about 10 or 11 my mom retired from rodeo and we started our “normal” life in rural Texas. I got a lot of my social cues from doing what everyone else was doing and figuring out if I liked it or not.
I made one friend early on. Her and I are still friends to this day. Anyways, while most of the girls in our grade went out to practice cheerleading during recess/after lunch, she was scribbling in a notebook. I asked her one day why she wasn’t cheering. I was looking for a reason to stop that business. She told me she was writing, because that’s what the cool kids did.
I totally believed her. Over the next year I wrote what amounted to fan fiction using the aliens from the Predator movies and a young girl who was kidnapped, genetically mutated and through her greater judgment and supreme bad assery changed an entire race and stepped into the line of succession for control of their empire.
-Would you like to share how you first got published?
I really wanted to write science-fiction and fantasy. Like, super bad. About two years ago now my friends finally told me I should just try writing romance. I kind of blew it off, but they insisted I try writing romance, so I did. I wrote something really awful we pretend doesn’t exist. After that I wrote the book that would be Flirting with Rescue. I’m a member of an online romance writer forum called Romance Divas. During the summer they host a big, online conference and the Ellora’s Cave editors were taking pitch appointments. I pitched. An editor asked to see more. Six weeks later she told me she wanted me for all time ((okay, not quite but come on, this has to have a HEA)) and here we are! Happy as can be.
- Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice?
Oh my gosh, most of them! Let’s run through the list, shall we?
Flirting with Rescue was initially called Rescue Me. We went over titles for days.
Personal Adventures used to be called One Night of Adventure, but then the story kind of expanded when the Editorlady started asking, “What happened here?”
Under His Skin was turned into my editor with that title, but I can’t take credit for it. I was calling it Homeward Bound, which made all my friends think of some Disney movie with cats and dogs. Remember I said I was pop culture clueless, kay?
Bound with Pearls is the first one I can say is my title, though I didn’t turn it in with that title because I thought for sure it would be shot down. I turned it in with the replacement title of Passion and Pearls. Editorlady wasn’t crazy about it so I told her what it had been called, I would say there was some shaking of her head, and it went back to Bound with Pearls.
Collar Me in Paris, the follow up to Bound with Pearls, was the worst one. The working title was Kinky Race. I retitled it Race to Come for a few different meanings in the book, but that was an awful title and I knew it. I wound up googling major movies, books and songs with Paris in the title and tweaked them. I’m responsible for coming up with Collar Me in Paris as a title, but it took some tweaking and encouraging. I’m pretty proud of it.
- Which actor screams SEXY to you?
Sexy to me is confidence and a great smile. I’ve been attracted to guys who aren’t traditionally hot simply because they were clearly confident men. And they smiled. Gotta love a guy who can smile!
- A lot of people think that genre hopping isn’t a good idea. What do you think?
I totally understand readers not being fans of authors who write more than one genre. They read someone who writes one thing really well and they want to return to that author for that feeling with each book. But maybe their paranormal doesn’t have the same feel as their contemporary, or maybe someone just doesn’t like sci-fi no matter who writes it.
That said, authors are people too and sometimes we need a change of scenery to help those books in the genre you really like to be better.
I’ve started out writing contemporary and BDSM. I think I’ll always have one foot in the contemporary world, kink or vanilla, but I love writing sci-fi and I have at least one paranormal idea floating around I’d like to write.
- Is there something about you or your life that readers might be surprised about?
I usually get surprised looks when I talk about different chapters of my life. I grew up doing rodeo. As a teen I showed livestock, mostly goats and horses. In college I did time as a missionary. I’ve lived in a commune. For a while I was a roadie doing sound for bands. I’ve been on a roller derby team. I guess I’m just a glutton for the weird and exciting!
-Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve?
I’m a habitual planner, so I really like to plan the major arc points of a series out if I know the book will spawn a series. In the case of Under His Skin, I resisted the idea of it being a series until I was called on the carpet for it and just admitted, yes, it’s a series. With the other series I’m working on, the arcs are planned out.
Once it’s planned, I write from beginning to end. I try my hardest to keep from stopping because if I lose that steam there’s no promise the book will work out. I’ve lost a few because I stopped. After the book is written, I do a few editing passes before getting someone to read it, clean it up again and send it to the Editorlady.
Bound with Pearls is the beginning of a single title series that revolves around people in the Atlanta kink community.
- Which books were the most fun to write? The hardest to write?
Dang. They’re all fun to write, but some are easier than others.
The hardest by far are the BDSM books. There’s activities and roles to research, people to interview, classes to take and in a few cases I’ve done some hands on to see how it feels to tie someone up or knot rope, for example.
I’d say the most fun I’ve had has been writing the So Inked books. It’s cracking open a world I enjoy and love, and turning around and sharing that with readers.
- Do your books have a particular theme or premise?
Yes, I always like to talk about something when I write a book. It’s usually woven into the plot arc so I’m not beating people over the head with it, but I do like to talk about it.
In Bound with Pearls I decided to touch on the sometimes difficult and complex family relations. I have an older brother I haven’t seen since I was 13. His choice, not mine. He’s about 20 years older than I am, and has never been an active part of my life. I’ve always wanted a bigger family. I decided to talk about when you just have to accept that a relationship is rotten within the context of the book and the sisters, Christine and Lucy.
My other books deal with themes ranging from animal abuse to how to live with a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
- Anything unusual you had to do for research on this book?
While writing Bound with Pearls, because of the Dominant-submissive nature of their relationship, I had to do more formal research into the BDSM community. I’ve always been “kink friendly” but there’s a difference between being okay with it and learning about it in a first-hand manner. All of this research was text based and through interviews, so no hands-on training for this one, but it was still a wild, eye-opening trip!
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Sidney.Bristol.Romance.Author
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Bound with Pearls Ellora’s Cave | Barnes and Noble | Amazon
This book comes out on December 12th. check it out!
The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.
Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.---
Christine’s mouth closed with a snap. Her jaw hurt from clenching. Her hands ached from gripping her wrists. Blinking rapidly, she looked at the Dom’s broad back. He was getting ready to leave.
She’d failed, completely blown it, and he was right. Her attitude sucked. This wasn’t like her. She’d hit a low point and didn’t know how to dig herself out of this one.
Pinpricks of pain stabbing the backs of her eyes heralded tears. Screwing things up seemed to be her specialty today, from the reports at work to forgetting her entry fee for the charity race, and now it was going to cost her. Lucy wouldn’t give her the pearls when she found out the Dom had left, rightfully disgusted with her.
The muscles in her chest constricted until she was panting for breath. Her vision blurred with tears she had to dash away.
“Wait,” she said, her voice sounding strained and too high to her own ears.
The Dom glanced over his shoulder, unmoved. It shouldn’t get her off, but the idea of a man with such control was a turn-on. She’d been ready for someone big and scary or maybe on the scrawny side with a penchant for pain. Finding him a fairly normal guy unsettled her.
Fairly normal was an understatement. Sure, most women might not notice him. He had nondescript brown hair and his features were handsome enough. It was something else about him that drew her.
“Why should I?”
She took a deep breath to calm herself. “You’re right. My attitude sucks.” Another deep breath. She couldn’t think of a good reason to give him, except the truth. Her shoulders slumped. She hated airing the dirty laundry between Lucy and her. Sisters should be close, they should have a bond. All she and Lucy shared was a last name and some DNA.
“I’m not involved with Nate. Lucy’s my sister and she—she’s afraid of you, so she probably whined to Nathan until he suggested trading me for her.” She could feel her cheeks burning. “I wasn’t going to do it. I-I don’t know you, I’m not entirely comfortable with this, and Lucy knew that. When I said no, and I meant it, she—”
Her throat constricted around her words, cutting them off. Squeezing her eyes shut, she balled her hands into fists and let the wave of emotion wash over her. She was angry and upset, hurt that her sister cared so little, but it was no different than any other time Lucy had conned her. The only person she could blame for this situation was herself. She drew in another slow, deep breath. “She told me if I’d come here, she’d give me our mother’s pearls. She’s dead, and they’re one of the only things we have left of hers.”
Her gaze locked on the floor. She knew she should stop talking. This man was as disgusted with her as she was, but her mouth kept working. “I loved them. I wore them to prom and graduation. I’d borrowed them for luck every now and then. Lucy never wanted them. They didn’t sparkle enough, they weren’t flashy. But when I wore them to her funeral, Lucy started yelling and crying about how I got everything. I gave them to her to shut her up and I’ve never seen them since.”
She hiccupped around her words. No doubt her face was red and splotchy. She didn’t cry delicately. No, when Christine cried her nose turned red, her eyes got big and puffy and she turned into a fountain. She hated crying and dumping ugly family business on a stranger. She couldn’t wait for him to leave. She could curl up on the bed, cry herself out and slink home where she could camp out on the couch with a pint of ice cream.
Hands gripped her shoulders from behind. Her stomach dropped right before the ground disappeared from under her. The Dom picked her up effortlessly.
“What are you doing?” She gripped his shoulders, expecting to land on her ass any second.
He crossed to the chaise and sat down with her cradled in his lap. She tried to slip onto the bench, but his hand clamped on her thigh. It was natural to obey the unspoken command. This close she could see the deep blue of his eyes, the strength of his jaw and feel the power of him. There was no doubt under the black t-shirt and jeans he was every bit as strong as he looked.
“I’m the one who gets to ask the questions here.” His voice was stern, but unlike his reprimand from before there was a warm quality.
She relaxed against the curved arm of the chaise, comforted by his commanding nature. Let someone else call the shots for now, she was too tired of it all.
“Here.” He handed her tissues from an unknown source and she snatched them up.
Bowing her head to let her curls fall over her face was as much privacy as she could get to clean herself up. The Dom didn’t touch her except where their bodies nestled together, which was one small relief.
She hated crying, but she was better for getting it out. It felt good to be honest, even if the recipient of her words didn’t care what she said.
Tossing her head back, Christine met his gaze. Her breathing was shaky and her eyes and nose raw.
“Feel better?” His voice was the deep, rumbling kind that spoke directly to her pussy. The whole situation would have been easier to write off as one huge mistake if he hadn’t been attractive. Now it was salt to a wound.
He quirked a brow and her blush became more intense.
“Yes Sir,” she mumbled. How could she already be blushing on command for the man?
“You agreed to take your sister’s place because she has something of sentimental value you want, correct?” He looped his arms around her waist, settling his hands at her hip and thigh.
“I’m going to be frank with you. Would you prefer I wasn’t?”
“No Sir. I’d prefer the truth.” She braced herself for a pat on the head and a goodbye.
“I don’t care for your sister. She’s spoiled. I was, and still am, a little apprehensive you’re too much like her—”
“I’m nothing like my sister.” Memories of cold Thanksgiving meals and waiting for Lucy to show up at Christmas with their father stabbed her. All the times when Lucy should have been there but never was. Their father made excuse after excuse for her—she was busy, being young and carefree. Christine knew better.
The Dom quirked a brow at her again. Her blush felt as bad as a sunburn, stretching across her cheeks, down her neck and gripping her chest.
“Sorry, Sir.” The urge to lean into him and kiss his jaw in supplication was strong.
“I don’t think you’re sorry about that admission.”
She shook her head. “No Sir, I’m sorry for interrupting you.”
“That, I believe.” The hand at her hip swept down to her knee, treating her to the first sensual skin-to-skin contact.
“Sir?” Christine bit her lip and focused on the collar of his shirt.
“I don’t know your name. I just—”
He squeezed her thigh and she shut her mouth. Another unspoken command she read perfectly.
“Daniel,” he growled. “Christ, she didn’t even tell you?”
She shook her head, curls sweeping over her shoulders. His anger didn’t scare her, though she would be lying to herself if she said some part of her wasn’t pleased someone recognized her sister for who she truly was.
Daniel. Dom, Master, Sir Daniel. It fit him—understated and powerful.
He swept her hair over her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her neck, not quite in the sweet spot, but close enough to make her shiver.
He wound a stubborn curl around his finger and leaned back against the cushions, pulling her against him. She wasn’t accustomed to being handled, but in comparison to him she was small, which didn’t happen often.
“So how did your sister and you get involved in the scene?” The hand at her knee stroked up her thigh and back down, distracting her from his question.
She had to marvel at how well he managed her. She probably wasn’t what he’d expected, and still he pulled pertinent information from her. Something about him put her at ease, which, considering his size and what she wanted him to do to her, was a questionable assessment.
“Um, I had a boyfriend in college who, who liked to tie me up. It was fun.” She lifted a shoulder. “After we broke up I did some research and decided I would try to meet someone new who could—could teach me.”
“How does your sister fit in?”
She wrinkled her nose, wishing he would drop that particular line of conversation. She looked down at his tanned arm. The muscles and veins she could trace with her fingers made such a stark contrast to her pale skin.
“Lucy has always done what I do. Same schools, degrees, even where I used to work. She has to do what I did and try to do it better. When she found out I was into BDSM, she got into it.”
“Did you mentor her?”
Her gaze leveled with his. “Have you met my sister? She showed up one night in a slutty cocktail dress, whined her way through the orientation meeting and attached herself to my Dom.”
“What did he do?”
“Brandon and I were not in an emotional relationship, so he was free to do whatever he wanted. He tried to help her for about a week before he washed his hands of her.” It had been one small victory following many losses. “Lucy attached herself to someone new, and here she is today.”
Nodding, he continued to stroke her leg, his fingers edging higher, disappearing below the hemline of the romper.
“So what happened to you? I’ve never seen you here before.”
She took a deep breath and fought the urge to open her legs and push his hand against her pussy. Any man could be attractive but it took a special man to dominate a woman with a look.
“I’ve been busy between work and our father, and it hasn’t been worth it to compete with her here. I know how people look at me when they know I’m her sister.”
“Are you seeing someone?” His question was casual but his hold on her knee was not.
“Of course not. I wouldn’t be here if I was.”
His hand continued its lazy caress of her leg. Her stomach fluttered. How could she be embarrassed and turned-on at the same time?
“Relax,” he said, jostling her with his legs.
“What did you say?”
“Uh, that—that I was—um,” she continued to sputter, her mind going blank.
He sighed, his hand rubbing against her knee in a circle. “I’m going to have to punish you for that. I’ve been generous, but I’m not your therapist. Stand up, take off your—” He pinched the hem of the romper. “Take this off and lie over my lap.”
Heat flooded her body, emanating from her pussy. She loved her figure, but baring all in front of a man she’d met fifteen minutes ago wasn’t normal for her. But he wasn’t sending her away. She’d willingly take whatever punishment he wanted to give her.