An interview with Red Garnier

Red Garnier burst onto the erotic romance scene in May of 2007 with her exceedingly hot debut, Spin Devil, at Ellora’s Cave. Since then, she has published three more books at EC with her fifth, Spin Some More, releasing this month. She has also branched out to Loose ID and Liquid Silver, which just published her Stroke of Midnight. A brand-new author with tons of fire, we can expect to see much more of Red in 2008!

Sierra Dafoe: Red, thanks for joining me as November’s author of the month! It’s been an incredible first year for you -- you’ve really burned up the pages in a very short time. What are some of the things that stand out most in your mind, looking back over the six months since Spin Devil was released? What accomplishments have you been especially proud of?

Red Garnier: Sierra, thank you so much for having me! It has been such an amazing, amazing year for me. The past six months have been a whirlwind of activity, and I’m so proud of so many things. Of having my first book published. Of successfully tackling my first edits. Of being in a fantastic position to meet such wonderful people, from editors, to other writers, to readers. I’m just proud - very proud and humbled and honored - to be here, right where I am! ;)

Sierra: And what, if anything, has been different than you’d imagined or expected?

Red: I had no idea what to expect if I ever became published. Or maybe, yes, I did expect something. To be writing all day, and whenever I finished my book, I would just ship it out to the editor and tada. That is so not true, Sierra! I spend a great part of my days just promoting; blogging, chats, online appearances, interviews, contests. The ‘marketing’ side of being an author came a bit as a surprise, though I’m loving it, of course. ;)

Sierra: Speaking for myself, one of the things I love about your writing is the sheer ebullience of it, the energy of your language -- even when the subject is a dark one, that energy comes shining through. What authors do you think have influenced you in the development of your writing?

Red: I am blushing prettily, Sierra. LOL. It’s very hard to gauge your own voice and writing sometimes, but I can only wish I’m as delicious as the authors I grew up adoring. I’ve always been a fan of Jude Deveraux and Julie Garwood, and then of course when I discovered Anais Nin I loved her books, too.

Sierra: You’ve written everything from romantic comedy to dark paranormal -- are there any romantic genres you haven’t tried yet that you’d like to?

Red: You know, Sierra, I’m determined not to rest until I’ve written a western, too. ;)

Sierra: Tell us a bit about Stroke of Midnight, which just released in October at Liquid Silver. You start with a very wounded heroine, quite literally -- Elena is still recovering from a tragic accident. What made that story particularly compelling to you?

Red: You know, I think there’s some kind of magic in the process of healing (both in inner and outer wounds) and I found it very compelling to watch Elena let herself want something again, let herself feel. Heal.

Sierra: When exactly is Spin Some More releasing? And can you give us a hint of what that crazy Spin Devil is up to this time?

Red: Spin Some More is out November 14th at Ellora’s Cave. The crazy spin devil continues to cause havoc. I had so much fun with this third book. This is Jason and Penelope’s story, and this pair is really adorable. They’ve known each other forever, but Jason thinks Penelope is too innocent to play spin devil. Ha! Penelope is determined to prove to him otherwise, and let me just say that it is very fun to watch.

Sierra: Your output in six months has been really impressive. I’m going to ask the dreaded question -- where do you get your ideas? And when writing, where does the story start, for you? With the character, the plot, what?

Red: Inspiration is so varied I can’t really pinpoint the source. Sometimes it’s a song, or a particularly poignant scene in a movie, or a sight or a word I hear that suddenly spur on a whole book idea.

I’m pretty sure my ideas have always started with the character. I might not know what’s going to happen in the story when I start it, but I know how they feel, what they fear, and most definitely what they want. ;)

Sierra: What have you got coming up in 2008? Any new goals you’re working toward?

Red: Upcoming in 2008 so far with Ellora’s Cave I have Seven Sinners, a very hot vampire Exotika Quickie, and Amatista, a part of the Jewels of the Nile series. I do have several other more projects in the works which I have high hopes for. As for goals, I just want to be better. To keep growing, learning, writing, so that I can write the best books I can and give the readers stories that will really touch them. That’s what I really want. Can I get it for Christmas? ;)

Sierra: And where can readers find out more about your books and writing?

Red: Most definitely at my website. I hope they take the time to visit me at www.redgarnier.com. And Sierra, thank you so much for having me, it’s been fantastic! I love the Sierra Club. ;)

Books by RED GARNIER

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Excerpt: Spin Devil by Red Garnier

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Sebastian chuckled a slow, mirthless laugh. His laugh sounded old, as if it had rusted from so little use.

Slowly kneeling before her, he placed his hand over her knee. She jerked at his touch, her heart pounding against her breast like a mad little thing. Splaying his fingers over her knee, he slid his hand upward, shifting his thumb to her inner thigh. His touch was firm, possessive. It scorched her, all of her, even her heart, as if he'd taken what was left of it and flung it into the fiery red pit of a volcano.

She knew he should make her sick. She knew she should cringe at his touch, but instead her body felt like liquid. Like she had wings to fly and was floating above the ground as if by magic. Still she despised it, despised the way he made her feel and the hundreds of times he'd made her cry. So she slammed her legs shut, trapping his wayward hand in the process.

He shook his head, a lock of black hair falling on his forehead when he did so. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you didn't want me."

"I don't."

"Liar."

With both hands and with little effort, he forced her thighs open. She yelped when he cupped her pussy, splaying his fingers on her ass and rubbing the heel of his palm against her clit. His touch ignited her. Closing her eyes, she mewled helplessly as she fought the wildness raging inside her.

"You're very aroused, Cleo. So wet. You've made it a habit of lying to yourself all these years."

"I don't...lie. Please stop...stop this."

"Do you really want me to stop?"

It was hard to look at him. Hard to look at his proud, powerful face, but she forced herself to. Bravely, she opened her eyes and met his lethal black gaze, biting her lower lip in a futile attempt to keep it from trembling. It wasn't fair that he should know. Know how and where to touch her, to bend her will in such a way. "Yes."

That shaky word brought a well of stinging tears to her eyes and she quickly dropped her eyelashes to hide them from him. There was no way in hell she was ever going to admit that she wanted him. No way in hell would she ever succumb to his caresses, to his domination, no matter what her body wanted. No matter what her heart said. The poor thing was badly broken and poorly mended. The little dear obviously had no idea what it was in for if she succumbed. It was not in its best interest and she would not willingly put herself through four more years of misery.

She swallowed the lump in her throat and drew in a deep breath. She wouldn't let him see her cry. Why should she cry? All she had to do was say no and mean it, and this would be over with. Sebastian might be the meanest son of a bitch in the world but her friends-no matter how far gone and drunk-would never allow him to hurt her. And deep down, Cleo knew it.

"What is this?" Sebastian whispered, his breath hot against her face as he bent forward. She would have preferred he mock her, for the concern in his voice was even more painful. His thumbs brushed the wetness from the corners of her eyes. "Are you crying, Cleo?"

Cleo forced her eyes open with the last remaining shreds of hostility she'd clung to like a lifesaver. "I hate you," she hissed.

The men's grips tightened around her wrists when she tried to pull away but her movements were weak, as if she'd been somehow drained of all energy. She tried once again but before even making a decent effort, went limp in defeat. Maybe it was better to stop fighting so he could finish with her already-finish the slow, painful torment he'd subjected her to for years. Perhaps when he was through she might not feel anything anymore. Maybe this overwhelming hate for him would be replaced by nothing but a welcome, blissful numbness.

"Baby...I want to make you shudder and scream and moan. I don't want you to cry." He cupped her face with his big, strong hands and brushed his lips against hers. Cleo lost her breath completely when he pressed his lips to hers firmly and forced his tongue into her mouth.

Fire. She was on fire...blazing under the strokes of his strong, wet tongue.

Heat flamed inside her like a furnace and he fed it with every thrust, every dark claim of his tongue. He pillaged her lips, claimed every inch of her as his own. She fell under his spell, his black magic, and even moaned when he tilted his head sideways to gain better access. He tasted of things that were hazardous, bad for your health-beer and cigarettes and man. It couldn't be good for her, feeling this. It couldn't be good for her, wanting him. All of him. All the time.

When he withdrew, Cleo was feverish and breathing harshly.

"Why don't I give you a few minutes to think about it?" Sebastian calmly suggested, seemingly unaffected by the same kiss that had left her limp, dazed and burning.

Cleo shuddered when he left her, suddenly feeling cold and vulnerable, her chest heaving with each breath, her eyes wild and desperate on his retreating back.

For a crazy moment she would now promptly forget, she wanted to beg him to come back to her. Beg him to touch her, fuck her. Beg him to break the strict, self-imposed restrictions she'd lived with her whole life and make loud, crazy love to her like he had to the women who'd stumbled out of his dorm room after hours and hours of moaning. Instead, she silently watched as he paused before Luella and stretched a hand out to her, palm up.

"Let's show Cleo how it's done, shall we?"

"With you? Are you kidding me? I've lived for this moment."

There was a sharp spark of desperation in Cleo's eyes as she watched Luella daintily set her hand in his bigger one. He lifted her to her feet with an effortless tug and with slow, precise movements that meant he did this sort of thing very often-more often than Cleo would like to know-began to remove Luella's clothing.

He pulled the pink cotton top over her head then kissed her lips while his hands worked on the button of her tight blue jeans. Luella wore no bra, and her breasts heaved as she bent and helped him undress her. Her jeans dropped to her ankles with a soft whoosh. Standing in all her splendor, wearing only a flimsy pair of panties, Luella stepped out of her jeans and toward the glorious man before her.

"Nice," Sebastian whispered, eyeing her appreciatively.

Luella moaned when his hand disappeared into the soft silk fabric of her panties. Cleo's throat went dry, and although the hold of the men beside her had slackened around her wrists, she was too engrossed in the scene unfolding to even notice.

"You're so wet, so slippery, baby," Sebastian said in a hot, husky voice.

Luella's answer was a deep, loud moan and a thrust of her hips against Sebastian's probing hand.

"Bas, please," Luella begged, rubbing her breasts against his chest and rocking her pelvis against the onslaught of his hand.

"In a moment, sweetheart...but first things first."

He took Luella's shoulders and turned her around to face Cleo. He stood behind her, a whole head taller than she was, and Cleo was helpless but to watch the slow movement of his lips as they grazed Luella's earlobe while his hands cupped her breasts from behind. His fingers were long and tapered, his hands big and sleek, easily managing to cup the whole flesh of Luella's perfect silicone breasts.

"Do you see this, Cleo?" he asked softly, his eyes boring into hers. His thumbs ran circles around Luella's areolas. "This is what I want to do to you."

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Excerpt: Bona Fide Liar by Red Garnier

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"Do you plan to explain to me why I'm here, Carly?" he asked, his gaze boring into hers.

This was going to be very, very difficult. She couldn't outright kiss him, even though he did have the hottest pair of lips—no, no, no! They weren't all that special. They were plump and sensual and chiseled to perfection, which was certainly nothing extraordinary. Besides, she couldn't kiss him now, not until the drops took effect. She needed their help with this. She couldn't do this alone!

When all she could do was focus on dragging air into her lungs while trying her damnedest to yank her gaze away from his, he gently tugged on her hand and in a hot whisper that tingled over her skin, said, "Come here, Carly."

She was so not ready for that!

Quickly yanking free of his hold, she walked around the table, intent on putting a safe distance between them. His eyes followed her, piercing her to her bones until she felt so unsteady she had to sit on a nearby chair facing him. "Well," she said, staring blandly at him across the coffee table and crossing her legs in a supreme effort to appear cool and collected. With a confident expression she'd studiously practiced a few hours ago, she arched her brows. "You sure you don't want some more wine?"

Resting his elbows on his knees, he linked his hands in between. There was a long, tense silence as he eyed her steadily, his jaw set firmly. It had always bothered her how he could be so smooth and flirty with everyone and so serious and solemn with her. "Just tell me this isn't a joke," he finally said.

She almost choked on her own saliva because that had not been part of The Plan. His having a brain and playing Dr. Freud with her had not been part of it at all. How the hell did he know?

Rising restlessly from her seat, she rounded and gripped the back of the chair—a poor substitute for throttling him. "No. Why would it be?" she countered, not even bothering to hide the annoyance from her voice. If Alex had expected her to sweeten her words with honey and a frivolous bat of her eyelashes then she was clearly not his girl—something she should be eternally grateful for.

Besides, this wasn't a joke. This was revenge. It was justice.

Oh, bother what he thought, anyway! She wanted to get this over and done with as soon as possible, because her palms were sweating and her feet were shaking from sheer nervousness. Were the drops in effect yet, damn it?

"Look, Alex, we've been friends, right?" she asked, quickly interjecting, "Colleagues. Okay, competitors."

He looked solemn as he regarded her, as if there was something he didn't quite comprehend. "Yes," he said cautiously. "But I figured...I mean, you said..." He cleared his throat. "You asked me to bring the, um..."

"Condoms. Yes. Did you?"

He shifted, looking uncomfortable, suddenly taking a small pillow from the couch and setting it atop his lap. "Um. No. Not that I don't want to...you know...I just..." He sighed, rubbing his face with his hands for a brief moment before looking up at her again, his gaze dark and almost desperate. "I'm sure you didn't mean that, Carly."

"Why wouldn't I mean it? You mean you thought I'd lied?" she asked, horrified at just how accurate an assessment the man could make.

He was deathly still, every muscle in his body emanating a tension that was so strained it was palpable, even from a distance. A muscle twitched in his jaw. "You tell me."

She was not going to let him make her feel remorseful! Uh-uh, no way. This was all his doing. The law of cause and effect. Of course his crap talk this morning would have an effect and guess what? This was it, genius.

"I was completely serious...and I still am."

She had no idea what to do next, and apparently neither did he. She wondered if he was still breathing, he was so stiff.

When he didn't move a single muscle, she sighed dramatically, dismissing his accusations and, without even thinking, pulled the sheer black top over her head, flinging it to the floor. "I'm on the Pill anyway, so let's not let that stop us, shall we?" After this improvised statement, she finished by smiling a real dazzler, grateful to find the effects of it were exactly what she’d hoped for.

Alex's whole body jerked. One part of him especially so.

The cushion on his lap moved slightly upward, as if thrust by an unseen force of nature, a mountain of rioting goods maybe, and now it appeared to be sitting almost an inch over his body. His face reddened furiously and he slammed his hands on the cushion, forcing it back down.

In light of that event, Carly was certain she was about to faint because she was beginning to suspect Alex Callahan was not complete bullshit and maybe he was sort of a stud. Maybe he had a very big dick. A killer dick. Her mouth watered at the thought but she forced it out of her mind, trying to concentrate on her mission and getting on with The Plan.

Make him hot then let him rot.

Sighing, she planted her hands on her waist and tried not to wince at her next words. "So what do you say, Callahan? Should I call Gregory Hutchinson instead?"

He moved like a stroke of lightning. One second he muttered, "Shit," and the next he was at her side, crushing her body against his and locking his lips to hers.

Oh, he was bad.

Very bad.

His powerful, naughty tongue immediately took charge. It wouldn't take no for an answer, and with an easy thrust, penetrated her mouth completely, claiming it as his.

Carly kissed him back like a starved nymphomaniac slut—only for the sake of her master plot, of course. Rubbing her frigid sex against his body was actually part of The Plan. And so was sticking her tongue into his not-doing-anything-for-me mouth. If she felt dizzy and lightheaded it was only due to knowing that soon—very soon—Alex Callahan was going to get his due.

Her accelerated breathing had nothing to do with him.

She was totally immune to his hands as they fondled her breasts. In fact, aside from the disgusting tingles and the unbearable heat and the unwelcome havoc on her insides, she didn’t feel a thing.

No fair! Now how was she supposed to remain unattached when he groaned like that? So low and deep and sensual, sending vibrations all the way down to her previously frigid, now strangely near-boiling-point sex.

Maybe Carly shouldn't win that creative award after all. She clearly didn't have much of an imagination, because she had never imagined that kissing Alex Callahan, or anyone at all, could be so utterly... amazing.

She knew she shouldn't be enjoying it but then she'd never imagined—duh!—he would feel this good, this big and warm and strong, and she had no idea he would taste so delicious. All right, she had wondered about it sometimes, but that was way back when she'd had the hots for him. Not now, when she was totally immune to him. Not after she'd heard what he'd said about her.

Oh god, she did not just whimper. Oh no! She did not just moan!

This was getting way out of hand.

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