Anna Ellis

Author


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If you’ve been following along with my blog tour you have. If not, what are you waiting for? Find out more about me, my books and maybe win a gift card so you can buy more books. Doesn’t have to be mine, although that would be so sweet of you!!!

Here’s my stop that should have gone up last week. I visited Turning the Pages

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!!!

What can we expect from you in the next year?

I have big plans for 2018! First off is continuing with my Adults Only series. At first I thought it would be a trilogy, with the characters from my previous series, Husbands and Wives, Office Plays, and Touch visiting Morena’s resort for swingers, but now I think there will be new folks to meet. The second book, featuring Callie, Sadie and Jason from the Office Playsbooks, will be out in February, with the third out in the spring. Iliya and William from Touch will be heading to Morena’s for some play time.

I’d also like to delve into Callie’s life with her own full-length story.

And finally, I want to get back into writing about neighbours and swingers, so I’m gathering thoughts about that. Let’s see how much of this I can fit in!

What are 3 things we can always find in your grocery basket?

 

Fun question! You’ve got the basics for our house – bagels, milk and bananas. Always a lot of fruit, because that’s the one thing my son can’t live without. But for me, it would be a variety of teas (green, Earl Grey with vanilla and my old staple, Red Rose), Pepsi, and cheese. I love cheese!

Are any of the characters in your book based on real people you know?

The characters in my first series, Husbands and Wives, were actually based on a group of my neighbours. We used to host Friday nights where friends and neighbours would come by for wine and pizza. Kids were included too. In Making Friends, the first book in Husbands and Wives, I introduced Jacey and Dominic, who just moved into a neighbourhood where all the neighbours liked to get together about once a month. In my book, they left the kids at home and shared much more than just pizza and wine!

What is something that happened during or right after your publishing journey that nobody knows about?

When I started my writing career about five years ago, I was also writing and editing the newsletter for my church. It was okay when I was writing PG rated women’s fiction, but when I dipped into erotica, I went to my minister (who had been a friend as well) and confessed to what I was doing. I thought I’d give him a chance to replace me as editor, and I was fine with that. But no, he said he wanted me to continue and wished me all the luck! I ran that newsletter for three more years, writing sexy bits in the morning and then switching to articles like the origins of Easter bunny in the afternoon!

What is your morning routine like?

My morning starts early. I like to get up to have time before anyone else is up. These days, I get up, check email and Facebook for anything interesting, then exercise or go for a run. (I’m putting this in to motivate me! If I tell you I’m doing, then I have to!) After that, I plan my day – what I’m going to be working out, whether it’s my WIP or marketing/promotions. Then, if I’m up really early, I get a little writing done before the kids wake up. After that, I break and do the breakfast/shower/dishes/tidy thing. Once the kids are off the school, I head back to my PC and get to work. Some days I’m amazed what I can accomplish before nine a.m!

Are you a morning, afternoon, night writer?

Definitely morning. I run out of steam around 2:30, and can’t do much after kids are home from school.

When did you write your first book (doesn’t have to be published) and how old were you?

I wrote my first book, Get Carter, when I was in university, so I was in my early 20s, in the mid 90s. I worked on that book for years, even taking it to a novel writing course and a writing group after I graduated. I remember being devastated when I was at the movies and saw a trailer for a Sylvester Stallone movie with the same name in 2000!  I finally gave up on the dream of Carter coming to life, but never forgot him. I used part of the plot and a couple of the characters in my book Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder (written as Holly Kerr)

 

What does your family think about your writing?

My hubby thinks it’s going to be his retirement plan! My kids still think it’s cool that I’m a writer, even though they don’t know exactly what I write about. I tell them it’s romance for adults, but now they’re getting older, it wouldn’t take much for them to figure out how adult it really is! And my parents are proud of me, even though my father will never discuss my books. I don’t think he can fathom how his little girl can write sexy bits like that!

What was something you loved doing during the summer growing up?

I loved going blackberry picking with my mom. We lived in the country and had a trail lined with bushes, so we would get up early and take the dogs and see who could pick more. Now that I have a big enough backyard in the city, I’ve started planting my own bushes and my daughter and I will pick together. No dogs, though.

What is something you love doing during the winter now?

I’ve never been a skier, but I do love tobogganing with my kids.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was writing women’s fiction and one of my books had a scene that was a bit too steamy for some of the readers. This was when Fifty Shades of Grey had come out, and I was reading it with the rest of the world. I thought, maybe I could write something like that, so I gave it a try. I left out the red room and added swingers and my Husbands and Wives series was born!

Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details that would enliven your page.

Three things to know about me:

  • I never drink coffee. I hate the taste, but love the smell. Tea has always been my drink of choice, even though I did do my best to love coffee when I was younger. And I don’t like chocolate. Potato chips (plain Miss Vickies) are my snack of choice.
  • Looking for gift idea for me? Easiest thing to make me happy are gift cards for Indigo book store or the liquor store! I really can’t stay out of those places
  • I am a bigger Star Wars nerd than your average twelve-year old boy. We’re talking movies, books, games. I have an R2-D2 keychain and a Han Solo figure sits on my desk. Talk Star Wars with me and you’ll have a friend for life!

Can we have an excerpt from one of your favorite books you’ve written?

Of course!  Here’s a bit from Making Friends, always a favourite because it was my first. Jacey and Dominic show up in book one of my Adults Only series, Shared Accommodations, and it was fun to check in with them.

This is from the first time Jacey goes to one of Tia’s swinger parties.

Making Friends

I don’t know what to expect, but Tia manages to create this whole atmosphere of hedonistic pleasure in her house. Or maybe it’s always like this. Although with three kids, I sincerely hope not.

We’re ushered into the living room where the lights are low, the music sultry, and the spread of food and wine are amazing. I’m wearing my red wrap dress, the one I haven’t had a chance to wear since before Hanna was born. It shows a lot of leg and an amazing gorge of cleavage. I’m getting off on the unmistakable admiration of the others. As nervous as I might be, I’ve haven’t felt this sexy in a long, long, long time. I’ve forgotten how much fun it is to talk and flirt with a handsome man who isn’t my husband.

I take the opportunity when we first show up at Tia’s to learn as much about these people as I can. Because really, other than Jackson, it’s going to be like sleeping with a stranger. And while I have done that enough in the past, I think I should at least have a working knowledge of who is who and belongs to whom. Everyone stresses the friendship theme so if we’re doing this, I should get on board.

It’s not that difficult once I make an effort. Colin is married to Paige and is tall, a bit gangly with thinning hair on top. If he’s not forty, he will be soon. He has very nice eyes – almost an ice blue, with tiny wrinkles at the corners. I’ve always been into eyes, probably because I get a lot of comments on mine. Colin sticks close to Jackson, which is a shame because Jackson’s gregariousness almost eclipses Colin’s more quiet humour. But like I say, I’m into making an effort tonight and manage several conversations with him.

I don’t really need to make an effort with Melissa’s husband because he seeks me out within the first ten minutes. And once I stare mesmerized into his darkly hooded eyes, I pretty much forget any other husband exists, including mine. But I draw a blank on his name. I’m bad with names, and he’s not helping by distracting me being so good-looking. He’s taller than Dominic and very dark with loose, wavy curls and a close cut beard. I remember seeing him at Melissa’s welcome to the street brunch and in several pictures dotting her house but for the life of me, I can’t remember his name!

“You seem to be getting along well with Mahak,” Tia asks with a smile as she pours more wine for me. “Melissa’s husband,” she prompts as I stupidly stare at him.

“Mahak. Melissa’s husband. Of course. I’m sorry but I’m not that good with names.”

“There is no need for apologies.” He picks up my hand and kisses my fingers. “I will make sure you never forget it.”

“Oh.” Cheesy maybe, but Mahak works it. I can’t seem to tear myself away from his dark hooded eyes. Listening to him, I hear a mixture of formal English and melodious Arabic.

“I’m at your service. In every way possible.”

“You don’t seem like a Mac.”

“It’s Ma-hak,” he corrects. “Arabic. It means waning of the moon.”

I purposefully let my eyes drift downward. “And is your moon waning tonight?” Might as well have some fun with this.

“I sincerely hope you shall find out?” he asks with a huge smile.

“I’ll let you two become better acquainted,” Tia says with an indulgent smile, moving away.

“So…Jacey…” Never before has my name sounded quite so sexy. “Welcome. My Melissa has been telling me so much about you.”

“Like what?”

“She’s very…intrigued by you. Almost enamoured.”

“Of me? Why?”

His eyes travel down my body, so slowly it makes me breathless. No man has ever looked at me quite like Mahak does – like he wants to eat me alive and how it promises to be so very good! “You are exquisite,” he finally says, after following the trail of his eyes has left me hot and bothered. “Such a welcome addition to our little group. I very much hope I am the one to get to know you tonight.”

“Okay,” is the only thing I can think of to say. I empty my glass of wine to relieve the sudden dryness of my mouth. Mahak tops up my glass which gives me a little time to collect myself. I glance around the room.

“So you’re married to Melissa.” She is on the couch with Dominic, laughing hysterically at everything he says and constantly touching him. She’s touching his chest now, running her skinny fingers over the buttons on his shirt. I turn back to Mahak. “You seem really different.”

“Our love keeps and our hunger for life keeps us connected.” He has a big wolfish smile on his face, so I’m guessing he’s not totally serious.

“You sound…how did you end up here?” I wonder. I don’t say ‘with her’ but I’m thinking of it. I can’t stop watching his fingers stroking the stem of his wine glass.

“We moved from Dubai when I was a teenager to London, and then Toronto. I’ve been here since my early 20s.”

“I love the accent.”

“Most women do.”

 

 

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