I just want to say how excited I am to host Qwillia Rain today on my blog.
Without further ado.........
Tell us a little about yourself.
Oh, boy, hope you’re ready for this. I grew up in Las Vegas (yeah, Sin City!), moved to Arizona for three months in my early twenties, went back to Vegas, then Alaska for nearly eleven years. After that it was Montana for three years, and more recently, North Carolina. I guess you could say I like to travel. I’m also an adult with ADD(Attention Deficit Disorder), “what-if” maniac, and choco-holic, who loves to explore ideas and information. This combination is a good thing, because I’m always distracted by something, until I latch onto a story. I’m a perpetual student, who would love nothing better than to spend the rest of my life taking university classes and writing my novels.
Tell us a little about your book.
Rite of First Claim is an older woman-younger man story, the third book in the Diablo Blanco Club series, and tells the tale of Mike Halsey and Lyssa Lawrence. It reunites the couple four years after an intense encounter at the DBC. When Lyssa attends the club’s Midnight Masquerade in order to fulfill a secret desire, Mike interferes in her plans by invoking the club’s Rite of First Claim. The Rite of First Claim is the oldest rule of the club whereby any dominant who has had intercourse with a submissive on the premises has the right to claim that submissive for thirty days. All the lost opportunities and miscommunications that have separated this pair are revealed as well as a terrible secret that Lyssa has kept from Mike and her family.
Rite of First Claim
What's a Dom to do when the submissive he wants runs from the feelings between them? From the moment he met Lyssa Lawrence, Mike knew what he felt was love -- not lust. Convincing her has been an uphill battle even after the two steamy hours they'd shared at the Diablo Blanco Club four years earlier.
Lyssa Lawrence wished the man who claimed to love her wasn't so damned appealing. Twelve years of denying the pull of her submissive nature almost went up in smoke four years ago, but she'd gathered the nerve to tell him 'no' when he asked for more. She'd have stayed away for good if her biological clock hadn't hiccupped, threatening her dreams of motherhood.
In the same way she'd strategized her success in fashion design, Lyssa worked out a plan to get the baby she wanted. The Diablo Blanco Club's annual Midnight Masquerade would provide a number of potential donors to choose from. What she hadn't bargained on was Mike's interference through an arcane Club rule.
When Mike invoked Rite of First Claim, Lyssa finally became his. Now, he had one month to prove that the role of his submissive was one she was born to play.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
My mom says I’ve been changing the endings of the stories she used to read me from the time I was three. I started writing romances when I was in middle school, but I didn’t really finish my first romance novel until I was in the eleventh or twelfth grade…and I only did that because a schoolmate was reading it and she wanted the ending. (Go figure. LOL)
Where do you get your inspiration?
From anywhere and everywhere. (Did you see my answer to the first question? Really, I am a “what-if” maniac.”
Do you plot and outline or do you just write?
Depends on the story and characters. Sometimes I’ll have a rough idea of a story and sometimes just a scene that I have to work from. I let my characters determine which direction we’re going to go in, that way I’m not fighting the information, just flowing with it. Plotter or Pantser? Pantser. Usually. For the most part I “pants” my way through the story or through part of it, then I’ll end up outlining the rest of the major scenes of the book. Sometimes I’ll end up writing the book’s ending, because that’s all I see, and work my back to the beginning.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your first book published?
My first book was Santa’s Elf (the fifth book in the Diablo Blanco Club series—although I didn’t know the club was going to be at the center of a series when I started.) It was a whirlwind process since it was contracted with Loose Id, LLC by the fourth of November and it was revised, edited, and published six weeks later on December 18th because it was a Christmas themed book. And what I’ve never told the editor of that book was that I wrote the last three chapters the day she asked if the book was finished. Those last chapters had languished, unwritten in my mind for nearly three years before I actually put them down on paper. I DO NOT recommend other writer’s do that. LOL
What book have you most recently released?
Unfair Advantage is my recently re-released title. It’s the first book in the Diablo Blanco Club series. Since I received the rights back to it and decided to self-publish it, the only change I made to it was an epilogue, but for readers who already have it, the epilogue is a free download on my website.
What was your favorite part of the book?
Oh man, why’d you have to ask me that? There are so many that I love, but I’d have to say, when Mike returns from Europe and Lyssa gets in the shower with him. He’s such a strong man, a powerful dom, and so in love with Lyssa and that scene is amazingly moving (at least for me.)
(Mmmm... That is a good scene.)
Rate your story on a Heat level of 1-6?
8. LOL, okay, maybe it’s only a 5, but I leave that up to the reader.
Do you have another book in the works?
Oh gosh, way too many. LOL. I have four more books to work on in the Diablo Blanco Club series. The beginnings of a young adult time-travel novel; a paranormal trilogy with Archangels; a five or six books paranormal series about a parallel world; a two book story with both a werewolf and a vampire with time-travel; and a five book series that I call my “Golden Girls meets Failure to Launch” Poker Posse… See, told you way too many!
What advice would you give new authors?
Trust your writing process. Learn as much as you can about the craft, but don’t betray your process by trying to write using someone else’s methods. And don’t give up. If you love writing, keep writing. Never lose the joy in telling a story, that’s more important than money.
Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-briefs.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Mike: That she was mine. No matter how long it took or how much she fought it, she belonged to me.
Lyssa: (laughs and gives him a grin) Really? (turns to face interviewer) My first impression was that he was a kid.
Mike: (low growl issues from his lips)
Lyssa: (looks at him then shakes her head) Seriously. I swear he could have passed for sixteen, but I was attracted to him which only made things worse, because his older brother was my little sister’s boss.
What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
Mike: (grimacing) Her determination. When Lys sets her mind to something, nothing is going to stop her. It’s only when she makes a poor choice that I have to step in —
Lyssa: (rolls her eyes) Puh-lease! You wrote the book on stubborn! (leans forward, looking intently at interviewer and points back at her husband) Twelve years he spent propositioning me to pose nude for him. Me! (she looks down at her full-figure)
Mike: (picks up Lyssa and puts her in his lap, his right hand settled over her slightly rounded belly) You were perfect, beautiful. And I have the awards to prove I was right.
What are your plans for the near future?
Mike: (adjusts his hold as Lyssa snuggles into his shoulder) Keep her from overdoing things until the baby starts school— High School. And help Tuma, my daughter, get settled in at my studio.
Lyssa: (snorts but doesn’t move from her spot) Finish the designs for my Spring line and start on my Summer line as well as the Fall. Get the nursery decorated and run up some baby clothes for this one (she puts her hand over Mike’s on her baby-bump) and for Mattie’s twins which are due in a few months. And (tips her head toward Mike) get him to relax.
Excerpt from Rite of First Claim ~
The majority of the guests were dressed in evening gowns or tuxedos. The only ones in costume, like her, were submissives—both those owned and those looking for owners. Scanning the faces, she identified several of her potential donors, but she was careful not to stare at them in a way that might arouse unease or make them leery of her approach. She ignored the tiny pain that twisted her heart when Mike wasn’t among the guests. Forget the fantasy and face reality, Lyssa.
“Smile. We aren’t that scary,” David whispered, his warm breath stirring the hair of her auburn wig over her ear.
A tingle slid up Lyssa’s spine.
“You’ve been here often enough to know we don’t bite.” A wicked grin lifted his lips. “Well, not unless you ask us to.”
Lyssa smiled and shook her head at his jest. “And just how do you know how many times I’ve been here before?”
David reached up and rubbed a curl from her wig between his fingers. “You might be in costume, but I’ve seen you visit a few times with Vance and Ben.”
She met his gaze, trying to read his intent. His capricious eyes gave nothing away. Another tremor worked through her at the thought that this man would never allow another person to guess what he was thinking. Good information to have if she hoped for events to proceed as planned. Especially if she chose him this evening.
“Invitation.” A security guard dressed in a black tuxedo and white shirt stared down at her.
David nodded at the man, who then consulted the clipboard in his broad hands. Both men waited for Lyssa to fish the card from the pocket of her costume. She handed the heavy velum over and watched the doorman check her name off a list.
When Lyssa held up her left hand, he slipped a white plastic bangle over her wrist. There were other colored bracelets, similar to the one she’d been given, in little boxes on the table beside the bouncer.
Once she walked through the double doors leading from the foyer to the lounge area of the Club, she searched the assembled guests for the other men on her list and ignored the urge to scan the crowd for the one man she already knew was not going to be there. She spotted a few of the members she’d designed and created gear and costumes for, and nodded when they waved at her. At the bar, her neighbors Ben Murphy and Vance Justiss were chatting with each other and a few Club members. Vance stood behind the long expanse of teak nestled between the curving staircases leading to the second floor.
His snug black cotton T-shirt emphasized his muscular build and highlighted his copper skin and silver-threaded black hair. In the four years since he’d been back in San Diablo and retired from the Marine Corps, he’d allowed his hair to grow. Tonight the long, thick waves were pulled back into a ponytail that brushed the area between his shoulder blades.
Ben looked sophisticated and sexy in a tailored tux that fit his athletic frame. His dark blond hair, which he kept neat and short, brushed the collar of his white linen shirt.
She sneaked a look at her companion. Four years ago David, with his goatee and long, tied-back black hair, had seemed yummy when dressed in jeans and a shirt. Now that he was dressed in a well-fitted tux, Lyssa wasn’t surprised to see several women moving toward them. The colors of the women’s wristbands varied, but not a single white one was among the group.
Retreat definitely seemed the wiser choice at this point in the evening. There would be plenty of time to determine if David would fit her needs. Lyssa smiled up at him and conceded softly, “I’ll leave you to your admirers.” She eased her hand free of his arm and headed for the bar.
If he protested, she didn’t hear or see it. She smiled at the surprised looks on Vance’s and Ben’s faces as she moved toward them.
“Lys!” Ben rose from the stool he’d occupied at the bar to envelop her in a warm hug. “Darlin’, what are you doing here?”
Vance leaned over the teak counter and kissed her cheek as she took the seat Ben had vacated. “Decided to finally check out a Select-a-Sub Night?” Vance teased with a grin.
“I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about,” Lyssa hedged. There was no way she was going to give away her true purpose behind accepting Mike’s annual invitation.
Ben picked up her wrist and ran his finger over the white band. “More than just see?”
Lyssa ignored the glint of concern in his gaze and asked a question of her own. “What’s the significance of the colors?”
Ben looked at her, his gray eyes measuring as if she were one of his patients before he answered. “Red means a sub has recently left a master and is actively searching for another. Black indicates a sub who is mourning the death of a master, usually within the last three years, and is just returning to the search. And yellow is a sub currently being tested but who is still unsure of the master she is interested in.”
“And white?” Lyssa fiddled with the bangle.
“White means you’re a virgin, baby.” Vance grinned as he set a highball glass filled with ginger ale in front of her and a rocks glass of Scotch in front of Ben.
Thank you so much, Qwillia, for being here today. I hope you all enjoyed the interview as much as I did. Please be sure to let us know you stopped by with a comment or question for Qwillia. She has promised to give away a copy of Rite of First Claim to one lucky commenter!
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