1. Tell us about your newest release.
It's the fourth book in my Regency Series. Miss Simpkins' School for Seduction: Jane. Oh Jane, I love her. She was so much fun to write. Everyone assumes she's hard done to, and yearning for her late husband, but she's not. Well not in the way people think. She has to go to Molly Simpkins for help, for a most unusual problem.
Molly runs a school to enable young ladies of the ton achieve what they want or need from a relationship, and is the only person Jane can trust to aid her. Luke De Freitas is roped in to help. Reluctant at first, he soon becomes very involved in Jane's plight, and is determined he's the man to help her.
Luke and Jane really do rub each other up the wrong way, and writing their story, made me laugh and cry. (And fan myself)
2. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?
I can write without chocolate. However it makes me grumpy. Also that my husband cooks a mean curry, and knows how to work the washing machine. (As long as you want it on whites and a long wash)
3. Do you have any interesting or quirks or rituals?
Not unless you count hiding the chocolate.
4. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
My Crit group, UCW. We got together on line a few years ago and clicked. We all encourage, nag, hug, and high five at the appropriate times. (and send virtual wine and chocolate when needed) Robyn Donald, a New Zealand writer who invited me for tea, and told me to write, write, write.
5. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
Proud and incredibly supportive.
6. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
Well I’m typing this at 4 a.m. in the middle of the longest and loudest thunder and lightening storm I’ve been in for ages. (2 hours and counting) The rain is so heavy it sounds like a waterfall. However, it is the south of France, and I’m on holiday. Travelling is definitely one of my interests, I love revisiting places, but also discovering somewhere new. Dh and I say we’re doing our gap year in two week chunks. I also do cross stich and tapestry, walk and of course, read.
7. Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?
July and August are busy months for me, with a total of seven books coming out. It's definitely the London Bus Syndrome at work. Nothing for ages and then lots at once.
There's this Miss Simpkins' story, (Jane) and then the final book in this set of Miss Simpkins' School for Seduction: Molly, will be out next month, plus all five stories will be in one print book. I'm working on a couple of new series. One's based on a travel agent and one is set on an island in a Loch in Scotland, which is run by women. Great fun, and a change from my Regencies. Although I have another set of Miss Simpkins series clamoring to be told.
8. How can readers connect with you online?
Take one virginal widow, add Molly Simpkins School of Seduction and one obliging gentleman, and what do you get? Scandal avoided and a virgin no more?
Molly Simpkins' School for Seduction has helped many ladies of the ton to achieve their hearts desires, so helping Lady Jane Nicholby ought to be easy.
However, this young widow's deep, dark secret means she can never remarry for fear of the scandal it would cause. Widows are not supposed to be virgins, after all.
Fortunately, Molly knows just the person to help her change this state of affairs. Persuading Luke De Freitas to fall in with her plans, though, will require all of her considerable skill.A spot of blackmail should do the trick quite nicely
Jane let Luke lead her from the sitting room into the bedchamber. The bed itself, an overlarge four poster, seemed to dominate the room and the intricate crisscross of silken ropes and ties were, to her mind, excessive. She liked simple plain lines. Not at all the fashion of the day, but then Jane had never been one to follow fashion. Luke caught her gaze.
"I find it exciting to bind my companion's hands and perhaps her body," he said in the same tone he might use to admit he enjoyed a glass of port or a day's riding to hounds. "Only if she's willing, of course." His look was speculative and Jane ignored the dampness between her thighs. The only times she'd ever experience that feeling was with the help of a specially crafted darning mushroom, that had never been near a sock or a hank of wool.
"Of course," she said in the same tone. "And are they?"
"Well, you tell me." Luke set one of the ropes swinging. "I'm not a mind reader, mores the pity."
"I intend to walk before I run, or swing," Jane said and turned into his arms.
Luke held her close, and she enjoyed the feeling of rightness. "Then a cuddle it is. Do you need—" He gestured to the door leading to the bathing chamber. "Everything is in there."
The heat of a blush prickled her skin. "Please? Oh, and my nightrail?"
"Not needed. There's a robe in there for you to wear until you come to bed. I'm going to use the bathing chamber across the hall, and meet you back here. I'm a modern man. I bathe and expect my guests to do so after a day's hunting. We smell, the dogs smell, and I have no intention of my house smelling as well. Cleanliness is next to godliness, and I need all the help I can get." He went out of the room whistling, and Jane chuckled as she made use of the facilities.
She eyed the robe that was indeed waiting for her. It was almost transparent. A robe for a lover. Had he really put it there with her in mind? She took a deep breath, wrapped it tightly around her body, and hurried into the bedchamber. To her relief, she was there before Luke and scrambled into bed, still wearing the robe. It might not afford much protection, but the illusion helped her.
Should she stretch out or sit up? Pull the covers up tight around her neck or strive for nonchalance and let them sit looser? Really it was so complicated.
The door opened and her mouth went dry as Luke reentered. Water droplets still clung to his hair, and he ran his hands through it in an effort to dry it. He was dressed in a banyan and as far as she could tell nothing else. The thin material clung to his damp body, and defined every muscle and sinew. It tented over his cock, which even as she stared pushed even more at the material.
Luke saw where she was looking and grinned. "My imagination on seeing you in my bed went into overdrive, and therefore so did my—er…" He gestured downward.
Jane gulped. Really it was way too late to act the prude. She rushed into speech before he could finish his words. "Your 'er' is pleased to see me?" she asked.
Luke gave a delighted shout of laughter. "Oh yes, even wrapped up like a mummy you entice and enchant."
"That's doing it a bit too brown, Luke," Jane said, although a thrill of excitement coursed through her at his words. "I'm an overweight, widowed virgin of thirty five, not a young deb."
"And I thank the lord for that." Luke pulled the banyan over his head as he stood, seeming unconcerned by his magnificent nudity, before he turned back the covers on one side of the bed. "Except you are not overweight, but a perfect handful for a man to hold and caress. Move over unless you want me to stretch out on top of you? I think that's missing a step, but I'm game if you are?" His light tone showed her he was kidding.
Or she thought he was. Jane slid further away from him until she hit the edge of the bed.
"Not that far, woman. I want to feel every inch of your beautiful curvy thank the lord non-deb body, not fresh air. I like something warm and womanly to hold on to. Come here." Luke tugged on the edge of her robe, and pulled her toward him. She met his body with a thump, and his cock waved its greeting. Jane gave a silly, breathy giggle as he began to walk his fingers over the cloth, bunching it up and away from her body as he did so.
His fingers stroked the side of her breast and she squirmed.
"Ticklish?" There was a wicked twinkle in his eyes.
"Yes, no... argh you..." Jane did her best to inch away, but Luke pinned her arms to her sides and before she understood what he was doing, slipped her gown down them, and somehow had her naked before she could blink.
"How on earth did you do that?" she asked, genuinely interested.
"Practice, and no. I'm not telling you who on. That part of my life is over. I've turned over a new leaf. I'm a reformed character."
"One who is about to deflower a virgin," Jane reminded him with a smile.
"Only one virgin, and then I'll stick to an experienced woman," Luke said.
His words hit her as surely as if he'd used a stick. So she wasn't what he wanted. Why did it matter so?
Because I want him to want me, only me. The regret she'd had when he offered her carte blanche and she'd refused came back multiplied. Luke's was the face she imagined, and the body she fantasized over when she pleasured herself. She tried to move away, but he rolled on top of her and pinned her between his legs. His staff rubbed her belly and she felt the wetness that leaked from it. No doubt her quim and channel were as damp.
"Tell me now, Jane; do I stop or do I make you into that experienced woman now? My experienced woman." His voice was strained. "I swear once I take you I won't let you go. You'll be mine however and whatever else happens. God, I've wanted you ever since I saw you at Nic's when we were at Cambridge and oh fuck, say yes, please say yes." He ground his cock into her belly and then lifted himself so it teased her cunt.
"Yes." She nipped the first bit of skin she could get to. His ear. It would have to do until she could nip, kiss, and touch the rest of him. He wants me; he wants me, not just anyone, but me. Jane lifted her legs and circled his waist. The movement inched his cock just inside her channel. His sweat-slicked torso rubbed her breasts, and the hairs on his chest tickled her. She tightened her legs, in the hope his cock would move even further into her, but he held back and lifted his head to stare at her. "Yes, and yes."
"Eh?" Luke looked as astounded as she'd felt at his words.
"Yes, for fuck's sake, fuck me. And now before I lose my courage.
A multi-published author of erotic romance, Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats—their children having flown the nest—surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.
She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland—the midge. As once she is writing she is oblivious to everything else, her lovely long-suffering husband is learning to love the dust bunnies, work the Aga, and be on stand-by with a glass of wine.