After giving you teasers of the stories included in the Shades of Pink Charity Anthology in September, this month I'll tell you a little more about the authors involved. I interviewed them with questions about their contributions, their writing life, their works in progress...
Today, Rachel Firasek
Kallysten - First, thank you very much for contributing a story to this anthology, and adding a dash of BDSM to it! How did you come to pick this theme to spice up the eternal ‘office romance’ storyline?
Rachel Firasek - Oh, I’m so glad I could participate. This was so much fun and for such a great cause—I’m a thyroid cancer survivor, so I jumped at the chance to help! :-)
To answer your earlier question, I love Contemporary Romances and Erotic Romances. Why not combine the two? :-) A man in power is super sexy, IMO, so it only made sense that my hot boss man found his perfect submissive in his secretary. And, as the story unfolded, that’s just how they all came out of my head.
K - Just between you and me… (and all the people reading this interview!) Was it absolutely completely an accident that Allison mixed her mail with her boss’, or was her subconscious playing matchmaker despite her?
RF - Oh, it’s definitely possible that the little minx subconsciously mixed them up. Although, I think it really was deeply hidden in her psyche. She’s too sweet to have deviously planned the whole mix up. But I have to say, I’m glad she did.
K - You mentioned being an editor when we first talked. Do you see writing and editing as two separate things with their own skill sets, or is there a lot of crossover for you?
RF - Oh, it’s definitely two very different skills. If I try to edit too much while I’m writing, my characters become distracted and do silly things like mixing up private packages. I have to have a critical eye as an editor and basically, no one wants to look at their own work and find fault. I revise my own work, but I try not to edit it. I’m just not objective enough. Editors are the guys that pick apart a story and tell us what we’ve only thought was fantastic is really mangled sentences and broken plot loops—I can’t be that person to myself. :-)
K - Looking at your backlist, I noticed a lot of supernatural elements, which I’ll admit I have a special interest in. What is your favorite supernatural power or entity out of those you’ve written about and what makes it so special to you?
RF - Vampires used to be my first love, but after sparkles, (I love Twilight, really) I just couldn’t get back into them—maybe I’ll find my first love again someday. I’d have to say that my Curse of the Phoenix series and the phoenix in general was my fave supernatural being. The idea that we’d get to have a do over is just too fun to not want to play in that world. Plus, my phoenixes were kind of like the “first” super heroes.
K - Can you tell us about your current writing project or next release?
RF -I’m currently working on two books. I’m in revisions of Drowning, my first Contemporary New Adult project. Musicians, sadists, adrenaline junkies, and disastrous love come together to create the world of Alice and Seth. I can’t wait for everyone to meet these two. And I’m also working on a series of erotic novellas that put the Sin in Sin City. :-)
K - Would you care to share an excerpt from it?
The floor drops beneath my feet and my stomach hiccups with the fall. I love it. It’s the same feeling I get when I jump. Cliff diving, sky diving—when I can afford it—even the time I jumped off the Main Street bridge onto the train and rode it through town gave me the same hiccup, only bigger. Much bigger and way more satisfying.
I’m still riding the sensation when the elevator doors glide open. Without waiting for a clear view, I rush out and smack into a wall of solid muscles beneath a dark cotton pullover and fall back into the closing doors. One strong forearm wraps around my waist while another zips past my face to keep the heavy steel from shutting on my head. A firm thigh, still in a lunge move, cradles my hip. We pant in a diagonal position. I glance at his wide chest, up to his neck where veins bulge, and on to his chiseled, dark stubble covered chin. His perfect bottom lip twitches but doesn’t lift.
Holy damn, he’s fucking beautiful. I’m jumping again. Jumping or falling. This time, both are scarier than hell.
He glances down, over the bridge of my nose, pauses on my lips, and then flicks back up. I freeze under his intense blue eyes. They aren’t glacier, cobalt, or any other pretty color. Just intensely blue. His gaze lands on my pierced eyebrow and he frowns.
If he hates that, I wonder what he’ll think when he sees my tragus piercing. That little stud had bled like a bitch, but I loved it.
I squirm, twisting against the heat of his abdomen, trying to right myself and leave the awkward comfort of his grip. “Uh, thanks.”
He reels me in closer and helps me stand. The air whooshes out of my chest at the way his muscles bunch around me. I’m more than a little overwhelmed by his alarming good looks and obvious disdain for my face bling. But, he hasn’t voiced his thoughts and I don’t usually go on the attack first.
If he wasn’t so freaking gorgeous, I might be able to find my tongue and peel my body from his grasp. As it is, we’re both still clinging and if his deepening frown is proof, neither of us are real happy about it. “If you’ll let go, I’ll get out of your way, and we’ll forget this embarrassing situation ever happened.”
One dark brow arches and I want to lick it. I step back and create a tiny bit of room for my shudder of air. Those were the kind of thoughts that got girls like me in trouble. Even with my dark heritage, there’s enough of my father in me that I’m sure this stud will notice I’m flushed from the press of his body against mine.
He smirks in that, “I know I’m hot” way.
I brush past him. I don’t have time for him and his creepy no-talking attitude. So what if he saved me. I wouldn’t have been falling if he’d moved back for exiting traffic. Everyone knows that rule.
The foyer is stretching with each step I take. The heavy weight of his gaze heats my back. Don’t turn around. Don’t turn around. I want to bad.
Shiny silver lockboxes gleam for me and have never been more welcoming. The gold key slips neatly into the lock, and I tug out three small letters from our slot.
Bill. Bill. Something from my father addressed to me.
He never speaks to me anymore—as soon as I’d found the will to stand my ground, he didn’t like me near as much as he used to proclaim. I palm the short stack and head back to the elevator where he waits.
He’s reclining against the buttons, one foot kicked back resting on the wall like he doesn’t have a care in the world, and he’s watching me. A frown tips down the edges of his bottom lip. I stop and tilt my head, matching his scowl. He crosses his arms over his chest, further defining the muscles in his forearms, bare beneath his short sleeved shirt.
I slam my hand on my hip. “What?” I think I’m more pissed with myself than him for letting him get to me.
A light sparks in his eyes, and my control is sucked out from under me. He gives me that non-commital man shrug and his lips soften.
He couldn’t be serious. “You’re not going to say anything?”
He shakes his head and averts his eyes. I think I’ve hit a chord with him. Let’s see if I can push for at least one word.
“So, are you waiting for an introduction, or do you stalk all the girls you run over in elevators? Cause, I have to say, as cute as you are, it’s still kind of creepy.”
He laughs and the light billows up from somewhere deep and sad. I know that light. I’ve seen it in my paintings, but never in the mirror.
K - Thank you again for being a part of Shades of Pink. Any last word before I let you go back to your writing?
RF - I can’t wait to own my copy of Shades. It’s going to rock. :-) Thank you for letting me be a part of this and to all the readers waiting to get their hands on it—that last part was my own little “subconscious” push into the minds of those reading this. To the readers: If you could let your subconscious have its way, what do you think it would do or what do you think you’d try to get away with? Have fun with that!
Find Rachel at http://www.rachelfirasek.com/