Monday, March 21, 2011

Author Interview: Lily Harlem

Hey everyone, it's a beautiful spring Monday, at least where I am, lol... and today we have an author willing to hang out with us on the couch. I'm sure the Cabana Boys may have had something to do with that, but we'll pretend it was our sparkling personalities that enticed her to talk with us today.

Our guest is author, Lily Harlem. Let's all give her a warm Menagerie welcome (yes, the Boys are already busy making her comfortable...rubbing her ... feet...) and have a good time today.

So, welcome to The Menagerie, Lily. We're so glad you could hang out with us today. Let's go ahead and get started with some basics. Tell us your latest news!

First of all thanks for having me at The Menagerie it is great to be here.

My newest release "Ménage à Music" is the third and final in a set of three short stories available at Ellora’s Cave. The first is "Mattress Music" and the second is "Mirror Music". They don’t have to be read in order, but the characters do pop up in each story so it is fun to go on their journeys in the correct time sequence.
Here is the blurb for each book –

Mattress Music
Is it possible to lose one’s ability to orgasm? Nina has. Lately, her fun weekend hook-ups have been more ho-hum than hot damn! It doesn’t help that she has three flatmates and is forced to play loud music to mask the sounds of her lovemaking. Talk about distracting! Of course, there’s another reason Nina’s less than satisfied these days…she’s just having a hard time admitting it.

It’s a good thing she’s met Ian, then. Not content to be a weekend hook-up, Ian is set on giving Nina what she’s been missing while making her admit what she needs. His talented fingers—and other body parts—are up to the task. But Ian’s not admitting a few things himself. Turns out his fingers can do more than make Nina’s body sing.

When she discovers his secret, it’s time for both of them to face the music.

Mirror Music
As Robbie Harding belts out hit song Jenny to a packed Wembley Stadium, my heart tears, my mind fudges and my insides heat to a lusty, pulsing boiling point.
Why me more than the other 90,000 screaming fans?

Because I’m Jenny—he’s singing about me.

The guy is sex on legs with a voice to match and has starred in all my hot dreams since the day boys became interesting. For three precious years, it was more than hot dreams. Turns out he wants me back in his life and his bed. How can I resist?
So with lots of naked, sweaty and downright dirty time to make up for, I wield my backstage pass, hunt him down and refuse to be starstruck by the boy next door. Seems Robbie agrees, as he insists on tuning in to my needs and rediscovering our rhythm before we even reach a bedroom.

Ménage à Music
Most women would think themselves eternally lucky to have a hot, sinfully sexy rock star giving them the serious come-on—so imagine how I felt to find not one but two giving me the eye! Phew! I was turning somersaults.

But of course this led to a massive and, quite honestly, unenviable dilemma. How the heck do you choose between two rock gods who want nothing more than to give you pleasure of the extremely intense variety?

Lucky for me these global superstars were brothers who knew just how to share the same toy—sorry, I mean woman. That left me free to take a break from managing the band and let their experienced, talented hands manage me.

Oh, WOW! Those all sound really hot! :::fans self::: What inspired you to write your first book?

I was taking a part-time creative writing course and studiously handing in all my assignments on time and getting great feedback when I spotted an erotic fiction competition at Love Honey. I’d read some saucy literature in the past so I got my head down and came up with Madam President – you can read it for FREE on my website - much to my delight I won first place. This inspired me to write more sexiness and I was thrilled to contribute to several anthologies over the coming months, including Best Women’s Erotica 2010. By this point I had well and truly found my genre. So what inspired me to write my first story – it was a competition!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Oh, yes, my head is buzzing with it at the moment! I’m writing a series called Hot Ice for Ellora’s Cave all about those bad boys of hockey. "Hired", the first in the series came out just before Christmas and has had awesome reviews, "Cross-Checked" – the second book – is with my editor and I’m on the very last chapter of the third (working title "High Sticked") I’ve adored writing it and drawn characters from each book to be the heroes of the next. I am already plotting the fourth!!

Oh, I do love me a sexy hockey player!! I'll have to check out "Hired".

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

An astronaut, a princess or a nurse. Eventually I settled into nursing which is my bread and butter money – or rather chocolate and wine money! I love being around people, helping them, talking to them and I’m lucky in that I work less hours now than I used to which gives me more time to write.

What is the hardest part of writing?

I find the blurb incredibly difficult to come up with. It’s silly I know, but when I’ve had up to 80,000 words to tell a story I find squeezing the essential elements into a couple of hundred words has me banging my head against the wall. I write it all out, hit delete, re-write, hit delete, have a glass of wine, write, hit delete, eat chocolate, write, delete… you get the idea, not fun!!

Also the fact that I use the UK spelling for everything – I drive my editor nuts sometimes!!! But I’m getting there, it’s just hard to see words like colour spelt wrong. (See ‘spelt’ is wrong to for US too, it should be spelled!!)

Isn't spelt a fish? *G*

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

To have the people back in my life who I miss every day.

Awwwwww.... that's a good wish. What is one thing scientists should invent?

Time travel – I can’t bear those long haul flights. I need my sleep and I need my space and it takes me weeks to recover from jet-lag!

What is your favorite pizza?

Pizza. Mmm – I am a total wimp with spice so probably a Hawaiian or BBQ chicken. Lots of authors complain about eating too much when they write but it’s the opposite for me. When I’m in the middle of a story, especially a full length novel, it is the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night. My mind is hyper, I whizz through my day so I can sit down and write – or sometimes, if I can get away with it, I neglect my jobs so I can sit down and write! – once I start, especially if I have my fat cat, Rupert, on my lap I just go and go and go. I drink tea and sometimes have a biscuit, but often my stomach is groaning and I start to feel a little funny and I think oops! better eat something. That doesn’t mean I am a complete skinny minny, I like my chocolate too much, but I don’t eat when I am writing, at least it saves crumbs in the keyboard.

I wish I could say that ... snacks and I are the best of friends! What do you do when not writing?

Recently I’ve been taking the train to London a lot, a few times I’ve been to see West End shows, shop and do lunch but also I’ve been attending erotica and romance readings. There are more and more of these and it’s a great way for authors and readers to get together in the UK.

Most of the readings are at a sex shop chain called Sh! It’s a great initiative as it is so female orientated, in fact, men are not allowed in Sh! unless accompanied by a female. The atmosphere is always great, they are very welcoming to authors and there is always a glass of something bubbly to be had!

For exercise – to stave off the dreaded writers bum – I walk. I walk miles and miles with my dog. I’m very lucky and live by the beach so whatever the weather we march across the sand twice a day (well, he kind of bounds). I love it in the summer but even more I enjoy it in the winter. The waves are wild and more often or not in the winter I have it all to myself for as far as the eye can see. The light is beautiful this time of year, especially in the evening when the sun is setting. The cliffs are majestic, I don’t walk under them though, they are prone to collapsing. There is always plenty of wild life to study. Peregrine falcons, buzzards, gulls of every description – see I’m a bit of a bird watcher too! So if I’m not writing, working or on jaunts to London I’m usually walking on the beach, more often than not daydreaming about my next story as I meander along.

I like to brainstorm while I walk, too. Funny how ideas come when we least expect them! So, what would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Mmm, maybe the fact that I always have lots of ideas. I seem to constantly be wishing there was more time in the day to get all the novels down that are in my head. Once I write a book, no matter how I end it, there always seems to be another one bursting to get out. Sometimes it’s the same characters like in Shared – Shared Too is due out soon – or other times its secondary characters who are begging to have their story told. That was true of my Hot Ice series and my Mattress Music series, just sorting out one member of the team/band wasn’t enough – they all needed a happy ever after.

Nothing wrong with having too many ideas! What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?

As a teenager I read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. It’s a wonderful epic tale of love and desire, duty and honour and I was completely taken in from that moment on to read romance. The novel really tugged my heart strings. Of course I’ve perused many romance novels since then, erotic, romantic, YA, many of which have been excellent, but The Thorn Birds and the great love battle between Father Ralph and Meggie has always stayed with me.

I have to admit that I never read the book ... but I did have a passing acquaintence with the mini-series.

We have to know: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?

I adore blogs. It was my New Year Resolution to get mine up and running and I have (with a little help and encouragement). Now I don’t know what I did before I had it! I love posting stuff about my books and books I’ve read or books which are on my TBR list. I also take great pleasure in sourcing hot photographs to adorn my blog. I had a wonderful time on the Secret ‘n’ Sensual Valentine Blog Tour and created a big post on erotic photography, that was great and the list of comments was enormous. I make a point of visiting my favourite blogs a couple of times a week and seeing what everyone is up to.

I like Twitter – it is just so easy, no room for waffle. Facebook I’m not into, just haven’t got round to it yet. And chats I enjoy too, I’ve made some great new friends this way, other authors and readers.

We love Facebook, but there are some serious time suck problems there! Chats are a lot of fun, too! We'll have to check out your blog -- can you give us the URL? And, anything else you'd like to share?

Thanks so much for having me at The Menagerie, it’s been fun and I wish everyone a lovely day. Also do stop by my website if you have time, there’s plenty of eye candy, tons of free reads to enjoy plus a free podcast available for download all about Mr and Mrs Darcy’s seriously sexy wedding night.

Lily Harlem x

Website –
Blog -
Twitter -

Ellora’s Cave –



Friday, March 18, 2011

Out of Idears for Today

I am struggling with an idea for a post today, so I decided, when in doubt...get the eye candy out!!!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Blogging

I'm in the author spotlight all this week at Whipped Cream Reviews! Come visit, leave a comment and you're entered to win a $10 Amazon or GC.

On Monday, I shared Ten Things You May Not Know About Mysti -- wherein I talk about the time I put blow jobs on special and more. You'll have to read it to find out!

On Tuesday, I talked about 3 Things I Want In a Good Romance Story -- what are those "must have" things that really make a good story?

On Wednesday, I dished about 1 Thing I love To Read About in Erotic Romance and I even share some of my favorite published stories that include that thing.

Today, I discuss 3 Things That Make Me Buy Books (from a new-to-me author) -- and would love your input.

Tomorrow ... I spill the beans about 4 Things I Want to Do Before I Die. Please come visit!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mysti in the Whipped Cream Spotlight!

I'm in the Whipped Cream Reviews author spotlight this week -- am posting daily and would sure love some company over there. I'm also giving away a $10 GC to the online bookseller of your choice, so come by and visit!

Today, you'll find out ten things about me that you may not know!

You can find me here.


Friday, March 11, 2011


Had a few things on my mind. Won't get into all of them here. Not enough time and I'd hate to bore you with the wanderings in the old attic.

I'll talk about the WIP instead.

The WIP is still with the CP--which that's actually a good thing, since I heard from her and she thinks it's right on track (finally). I love my man stories and was ready to work on another. Now the above picture got my brain going. There's a scene in Permanent where River and Tory watch a BDSM scene. I thought, yanno, the guys involved could have their own story. Wouldn't that be fun? Yup, you guessed it. Brain switched into overdrive. Now there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything down.

What do you do when the brain goes at warp speed, but the rest of you is going normal pace?

Tell me so I can get a better handle on the muses. Boy, those men love to play.

Back to the WhIPs...I mean, WhIPS....Freudian slip...WIPS. There.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Got Nuthin'

I swear, lately it's like someone has come along with a brain sucker and sucked out all my brains. I open a document to write and I'm blank. I'll be talking to someone and words escape me. I can't settle for more than a few moments before I pop up to do something different.

I'm antsy. Tired. Irritable. Uninspired.

The muse -- all the muses (because I have them for other life things, too ... the muse of cooking, the muse of mothering, the muse of cleaning, the muse of entertaining, etc) have gone on vacation. And they haven't even sent a postcard.

And still, I'll open those documents and struggle to get words down. I'll try to make dinner more than a box of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. I'll continue to clean well enough to keep the health department from condemning the house.

And hope the muses return.

I don't suppose you've seen them anywhere?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Hump Day!

He can always buy another suit...or take that one to the dry cleaners....later.