I’m delighted to welcome Isabella Kole today, with her new book, Accepting His Terms. Isabella kindly agreed to be interviewed and we’ve also got a lovely, teasing excerpt which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
Welcome, Isabella. Grab a comfy chair and we’ll get started with the questions :).
How did you get started writing?
I’ve always been an avid reader and I’d always dabbled in lyrics, poems, and short stories. One day I decided to try and write a romance novel and it grew from there.
What was the best piece of writing advice you received?
Don’t give up. Rewrite, revise, edit, and change as many times as you need to in order to get your manuscript noticed.
What do you think makes good erotica?
I am a true romantic. Anyone who really knows me will tell you this, and my readers have often said it. So I’d have to say to me, good erotica has to include a love story. The erotic scenes are essential to the genre but without a true love story at the core, it’s just another dirty book.
Where do you get your ideas and your characters from?
I’m often asked this question and there is no definite answer for it. Some of my ideas have come from a line in a song, something someone has told me, or something that just popped into my head. As far as characters, I’ve often used the names of people I know, much to their delight, but sometimes I hear a name that just speaks to me and I find a place to use it in one of my books.
Who would play Jarrod and Jill in the film of the book, and why?
Oh, this is a good question…wouldn’t I love to see this story on the big screen! Possibly Henry Cavill for the role of Jarrod and Emma Stone as Jill. There are others but these two really pop for me!
What do you think makes a good sex scene?
First of all, there has to be a heat between the couple, a special yearning to be together, a sense of urgency yet the desire to take things to the limit…the rest falls into place.
You’ve written romances for Rebel Ink Press for a while under the name Anna Kristell. What made you decide to write something spicier for Lazy Day Publishing and where there any challenges with writing something different?
Actually, I also have a dramatic/romance series with LazyDay in addition to the sweet and sensual romances I write for Rebel. It was in one of the series books, I teasingly added the hint of a spanking for one of the more tumultuous couples. When I told Staci at LazyDay about it so she would be aware it was in the book, she said she could see a different book in my future…hint hint. Some of my readers had already asked me to write a spicier book. And some of my author friends had encouraged me, as well.
After much deliberation as to whether I could or even wanted to try it, I finally made up my mind to give it a shot, but I wanted to write it under a different pen name so as not to offend the Anna readers who don’t like erotic romance. Anna has sort of a sweet rep and it seemed appropriate to create a new persona for the erotic story. Thus, Isabella Kole, or IzzyB as she is affectionately referred to by some, was born. IzzyB is the spicier side of Anna. What you’re going to get in one of her books is an Anna love story with some Isabella spice added to it.
As far as challenges, yes, there were a few. I wanted a domestic discipline story but I wanted it to be different from the rest, so Accepting His Terms is about a couple who are experimenting with a light form of it. She is a bit more interested in it than he is, but he also sees that she needs it and is willing to accommodate her…to a certain degree. This is not something Anna writes about, although Anna covers many subjects in her books, so it was a bit of a challenge for me.
Did you find that your writing process was different for this book?
It took longer because I kept rewriting, sending it to my beta readers and to other authors for advice, then more rewrites. This is not a normal practice for me. Normally, I sit down and write…I don’t rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. I finish the first draft and go back over it several times, changing things here and there, but with Accepting His Terms, I probably changed the first seven chapters ten times before I was satisfied with it.
Do you have a writing routine? Do you need absolute quiet to write or background music/noise?
I like background music, usually country love songs, but I can also write if it’s quiet. I have learned to tune out the distractions and once I’m engrossed in a story, nothing really gets in the way. I work a day job, so weekends are my time to write.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so, how do you get over it?
Occasionally, but not often, I get a block. I am very lucky in the fact that I have people who work with me on my marketing team, who are also great people to bounce ideas off of. When I’m stuck I’ll have a discussion with one or two of them and they’ll usually get me back on the right track.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’d have to say I’m a plotter.
What do you like most about being a writer?
I love everything about being a writer. It’s my life dream and I’m so grateful to be able to pursue it finally. The only thing that could make it better would be to be able to do it full time.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work a day job, in the billing department of a local Community Mental Health Center. When not there, I enjoy road trips, and spending time with family and friends, and recently have begun traveling around to do book signings and will be attending some book shows.
Out of all your books, do you think you could pick a favorite and why?
Oh my…since Isabella only has one book so far, I’d have to say Accepting His Terms. Now out of Anna’s books, without a doubt, hands down, Remember Our Promise, the book that wrote itself. The storyline came to me one night, and when I was able to begin writing it, it was finished in sixteen days and required very few edits. Once it was released, the readers wanted me to turn it into a series, which had never been the plan. I spoke to my editor at Rebel Ink Press and we decided to make it a Trilogy. The Promises Trilogy will be released in 2014, hopefully.
What’s next for you?
Right now, I’m just trying to find time to write, which has not been easy. It’s been an extremely busy few months for me, personally and professionally. As my marketing team and I plan signings, contests, etc, I’m kept busy…I have had several releases very close together, and my son is getting married soon. I am currently at work on Book Seven in my Fab Five series for LazyDay and then will start on the second book in The Promises Trilogy for Rebel. As far as IzzyB…we’ll see what the future holds.
Jill Lincoln has the hots for her stern, hunk of a boss, Jarrod Baine. With his piercing steel-gray-blue eyes, hair as black as coal, and a body to be enjoyed, she wonders what it would be like to be his woman. But she’s only one of many who would give her eye teeth to be in his bed.
The day Jarrod rescues her from a would-be assault by a young mail clerk; she finds that he is as attracted to her as she is to him. As the two begin a relationship, it becomes very apparent to Jarrod that Jill is a nervous, high-strung lady and he searches for the best way to ease her tensions. Together they begin to form a strong bond as they experiment with discipline.
As the couple realizes their feelings run much deeper than an office affair, Jarrod asks her to be his wife. As they enter into a hot, passionate marriage, complete with the discipline, by mutual consent, a deeper emotional bond is formed that continues to grow much stronger over time.
But when Jill suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage and Jarrod is not by her side, she retreats into a deep, dark depression, turning away from the one man who can save her.
Will their bond be severed forever?
On Saturday morning, Jarrod kept his word and phoned Jill to tell her he would pick her up at noon.
She flew around her apartment, straightening, fluffing pillows, and making sure everything was in place. Then she treated herself to a long soak in a cherry-blossom scented bubble bath before getting dressed for their date. She chose a green floral sundress and a pair of sandals. It was spring in Tennessee and the weather had turned warm. After her makeup and hair were near perfect, she sat on the couch waiting for him to arrive.
At eleven-forty-five, her doorbell rang, she sprang from the couch and let him in.
“I’m early, I know, these are for you,” he said as he entered the room and handed her a bouquet of flowers.
“Flowers?” she asked, “Thank you.”
“Have you eaten?”
“No, I had a late breakfast,” she replied.
“Good, there’s a nice little Italian restaurant in the winery. I thought we could have lunch there before we do our wine tasting.”
“Oh, that sounds fantastic. I love Italian food.”
He grinned. “Are you ready to go?”
As he drove to the winery, she said, “I thought it would seem odd to be out with you, but it doesn’t. The other night at dinner was the only time we’ve been together outside the office.”
“It feels perfectly natural to me, Jill,” he replied as he cast a sideways glance in her direction.
She smiled and asked him about the music playing in his CD player.
When they reached the winery, he walked around and opened her car door, helped her out, and took her hand as they walked inside.
They sat at a corner table and as Jill looked around, she said, “This is nice. I like the atmosphere.”
“Romantic?” he teased.
She blushed and took a sip of her water.
“So after we finish touring the winery, what would you like to do?” he asked.
“You mean there’s more?” she asked with a smile.
“If you’d like; we can extend this afternoon date into an evening date. Do you dance?”
“I love it,” she replied.
As his hand reached across the table to caress hers gently, she shivered. As her gaze met his, she saw amusement in his eyes.
“Are you cold, sweetheart?” he asked with a sexy grin.
“Uh… no…” she stammered.
Their lunch arrived and the moment passed. As they made pleasant small talk and enjoyed their food, Jill found herself becoming aroused. The sound of his voice, the look in his eyes, and the touch of his hand made her nipples harden and heat to flow through her veins. She caught him watching her and she was sure he’d looked down at her breasts. She shivered again.
“Are you sure you’re not cold?” he asked again, the amused look back in his eyes.
“I’m really quite… warm,” she answered with her sweetest smile.
“I can see that,” he said in a low voice as he leaned across the table. “I think we should get started on our tour before you get any… warmer.”
She stood up and took the hand he offered. As they made their way to the winery, he leaned over and whispered in her ear, “You’re cute when you’re… bothered.”
“Bothered? What makes you think I’m bothered?” she asked.
“Your body betrays you, my dear,” he teased as he leaned over to kiss her.
They began their tour, tasting many of the different wines offered and finally Jill chose her favorite, a sweet red.
“We’ll save it for a special occasion,” he said as they walked to his car.
“Where are we going dancing?” she asked.
“Well, this is Tennessee. Where else but a good old country dance hall?” he asked.
“You… like country?” she asked in surprise.
“I’m an old-fashioned southern country boy at heart.”
“I never would have guessed that,” she said as he pulled out of the parking lot.
They arrived at one of the well-known bars in town and as they sat waiting for the band to begin playing, he asked if she was hungry.
“A little, how about you?” she replied.
“They have great wings here, how about it?”
“Sure, that sounds good.”
They talked some more about movies they’d like to see, books they’d read, and when their wings arrived, they ate, laughed, and talked some more. It was becoming more and more natural for her to be in his company. He really was quite different away from the office. There was still a commanding presence, but there was also a softer, more romantic side to Jarrod Baine.
“Oh, look, the band is ready to play,” she said as she looked up at the stage.
“And they’re starting with a slow song. Let’s go,” he said as he stood and took her hand.
As she was whisked into the arms of the man she’d spent months dreaming about, Jill melted. The moment he pulled her close to his chest, she knew there was nothing she wouldn’t do for this man. She was his. Whether he knew it yet or not, she would surrender to him, and she would love him for as long as he wanted her in his life.
She looked up at him and caught sight of the corners of his mouth turned slightly upward. His eyes danced as they gazed at her. She put her head on his shoulder and as he pulled her closer, he whispered, “I could stay like this all night.”
She nestled closer, letting her right hand tease the hair at the nape of his neck. Her body was on fire, as a warm wetness flowed from within. Her nipples were aching, begging for attention. Her left hand moved down his back.
“If you don’t stop that, I’m going to take you to the parking lot and have my way with you in the car,” he warned as he nibbled at her ear.
“In that case, I won’t stop,” she teased.
“Oh, you’ve got such sass… you know I owe you a spanking for putting yourself at risk, for staying late that night, and now with all the sass and teasing you’ve been throwing around, I think you’ve had your three strikes. You’re out, baby.” He spoke in a low, husky voice.
“Three strikes? I’m out?” she asked as she raised her face his.
Isabella Kole lives in southern Indiana, where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Always an avid romance reader, she began writing several years ago and although she has had several mainstream romances published under a different pen name, Accepting His Terms is the first erotic romance in her collection.
When not writing, Isabella can be found traveling around signing books and meeting her readers, working at her day job, or simply enjoying life.