In Holding Court , Schoolteacher Clara lives a peaceful, solitary life when she's away from the school house. That is, other than the nights when rich, powerful landowner Courtland Raymond comes to call.
Court makes her feel things she'd never before dreamed of. He's forceful and dominant, and he always knows just what she needs. Their secret arrangement allows them to enjoy each other without the disapproval of the community they both rely on for their livelihood.
Clara loves Court, and she'd do nearly anything to be with him forever, a real relationship, but she's not willing to risk their stolen moments. But when their secret trysts are exposed, will she be able to hold on to Court? Or lose him forever?
If time travel were invented where would be the first place you would go and what would you do there?
I am a huge local history geek, so it's Alberta history that I would explore first. The native culture, the fur trade, the whiskey trade, the Northwest Mounted Police, the homesteaders and ranchers … I'd want to see it all. See, told you I was a geek!
What made you decide to make Clara a school teacher?
I loved the idea of a character who was assertive and in control in most of her life - and few people need to be better at controlling a situation than a teacher in a one room schoolhouse -- but submissive in the bedroom. Then there was the added bonus of a country school and isolated teacherage …
Please can you tell us about the development of the characters throughout the story.
Clara and Court have been secret lovers for a long time, sharing stolen moments but living very separate lives. They both want more: a real relationship. Clara believes more is impossible, and is determined to preserve what they have. Court hopes they can have a life together, but he's also afraid of ruining a good thing. When their secret is discovered, the status quo is no longer an option. They have to be brave and believe in each other… or walk away forever.
Can you give us a short review of the book you are currently reading?
At the feed store the other day I picked up "Whisky Wars of the Canadian West: Fifty Years of Battle Against the Bottle" by Rich Mole and I'm really enjoying it. Very interesting to see how much the liquor trade shaped the development of Western Canada. I know, I know, I'm a nerd.
I did just finish "A Rose At Midnight" by Anne Stewart too - loved it. Her characters are always so rich and complicated. They're not perfect people, or sometimes even very nice people, but they're always sympathetic, and you can't help but root for them to find their true love and happiness.
What is your writing process?
I spend a lot of time mulling. While I'm driving to work, cleaning the barn or washing dishes, I'm daydreaming my way through a story, getting to know my characters and figuring out why they're in the situation they're in. Then I need to find some dedicated writing time, which is often the hardest part, and write the story. I'm very linear - I start at the beginning and write until I get to the end. If something changes in the course of the story, and I need to rewrite an earlier scene, I HAVE to go back and change it right away, or it messes with my chi.
What advice can you give to an aspiring erotic writer?
Read widely in the genre. There are so many facets of erotic romance, there's a niche for any writer. Also, don't be afraid to explore stories that are outside your personal comfort zone - it is fantasy after all!
Which authors do you think have had the most effect on your work?
Two of my favourites are always Jenny Crusie and Anne Stewart. They don't write erotic romance exactly, but they do write some very hot sex between characters that you care about. I don't write like either one of them, but I greatly admire their work and I am constantly inspired to work harder at my craft from reading their books.
What is next for you?
I am working on my Outlaw Women series. I'm really excited about these stories, and I can't wait until I can share them! Set (as usual) in the old west, each story is about a frontier woman whose journey takes her to the wrong side of the law. Some choose to become an outlaw, others are forced by circumstance, but all of them find themselves in a relationship somewhere along the way.
You can purchase Holding Court from Total-E-Bound Publishing!
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