Publisher: Totally Bound – Buying Link
Date of release: June 2015
Length: 376 pages
Two men are separated by more than the dam between their houses. Can Mollie be the path that unites them?
Flint Klavan appears to have it all. The sought-after British actor is affluent, loved and vocal in his professional life but privately he’s a mess. A devastating breakup leaves him full of self-loathing. He hopes to find the way to turn things around when disaster strikes. He’s left speechless with fear he’ll never get the chance to recover what he’s lost.
Mollie James has the perfect job teaching children, and used to have the perfect boyfriend. Attentive, kind and thoughtful. Only now he’s not. She has to sacrifice everything if she’s any chance to survive, and run as fast and as far as she can.
Lysander Weldon is a wealthy, talented artist who’s hidden himself away following personal tragedies. He shares his house and his body but never his heart. When opportunity to forgive confronts him, he has to choose between giving up his fortress or bracing to watch happiness leave him behind.
Hi Barbara, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Born to royalty, my mother gave birth to me on a windswept shore – darn it, lying. I was born to ordinary parents, in an ordinary house, in an ordinary town. Which I think might be why I like to write about extraordinary things. I live in Kent in the south of England. I’ve only just moved here after spending most of my life in the north. Grandchildren were calling – though we are soon to have one in Texas too.
I’ve always written – fan fiction when I was a teen, my first full length novel in my twenties and when I finally discovered what I like to write – I was off! I now have over 40 books published. I write MF, MMF, MM and in almost every genre – contemporary, sci fi, paranormal, suspense.
Prior to writing full time, I had a variety of jobs. Started off as a government inspector – spying on people trying to cheat on their taxes. A short period as a media planner in an advertising agency. I fled that at dead of night. Several years selling cyanide – mainly to Sweden for the largest chemical company in the UK. Had two kids. Then went to work as Government Inspector, spying on teachers. I was so popular, you can’t believe. Thank goodness I married well. (Married for money anyway)
The fact that people actually want to read what I’ve written fills me with awe and gratitude. I’m grateful to every reader who buys a copy of one of my books. Every one of you has made my dream come true.
What inspired you to start writing?
I wasn’t very happy at school. I was bullied because I was tall and I had no close friends. It’s not easy being the tallest girl in school – even taller than the boys until I was seventeen. I had a long walk to get to school and I used to make up conversations with movie stars to keep me company.
A short step then to writing down those conversations and making them into a story. I jumped from that to fan fiction and I still have the notebooks with the stories I wrote based on TV series – with me as the heroine of course!! Always tall, slender and blonde. I was very consistent.
I was – oops – I mean the heroine was usually abused by her parents or an orphan. Not that my parents abused me but I wasn’t happy at home. I liked the worlds I created much better than the real one I lived in and pretty soon I was writing every night in bed under the covers with a flashlight. My parents were strict about lights out. So the short answer is – writing was my way of escaping (and still is). From bullies, from disappointments in my life, from the ironing!!
Which genre do you prefer and why: MMF or MFM?
MMF – to read and to write. The opportunities for different positions, conflict and very rewarding sex make a ménage fun to write, though I’d be sunk without Google. (Surely not, says husband. I’ve stripped and I’m waiting) Hmm, not sure he’d want another guy there too.
I like the added dimension that bisexual guys can give to a story. How can they make sure the woman doesn’t feel left out or second best when they are into each other – maybe literally. LOL It feels to me as though in an MMF the guys have to work that bit harder to reassure the woman. In an MFM – she knows that both guys are really into her. The dilemma then, is more – does she like one guy more than the other? But for me, MFM feels like a wasted opportunity to let the guys get together. I find two guys who are into each other, very sexy. Add me – I mean – a woman in the middle and it’s perfect.
What’s life as a writer like?
Since I’ve been published, I’ve bought a mansion, a yacht and a Ferrari. I vacation in the Greek Islands….er…..oh no, that was a dream. To be honest, life hasn’t changed much at all since I had my first acceptance. I write just as much as I did before but I feel vindicated somehow, because I proved to my family that becoming a published author wasn’t an impossible dream. I actually did it!
My typical day is – butler brings coffee and croissants at 9.00. Manicurist arrives at…. On darn it, I’m lying again. I wake early. Stagger out of bed. Think about exercising. Don’t exercise. Drink coffee. Deal with emails etc until 8.00. More coffee. Write until 4.30. I’m not a plotter. I just sit and write. Bed by 9.00. Read for at least an hour. EVERY day unless husband insists I prove I’m not agoraphobic.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. My inspiration is from the world around me. An episode when I got stuck in a malfunctioning self-tanning booth made it into one story – I dripped home a coffee colored mess on one side of my body. The issue with a life raft inflating INSIDE the boat – yes, based on me and fact. But my imagination is the most useful tool. I once stood at the kitchen window and wondered what I’d do if a space ship landed in the garden. Husband said – you’d die. He’s Mr. Sensible. My version –I’d go into space with the hunky if inept pilot and have zero gravity sex. Well, I didn’t tell my husband that bit.
For my MMF Girl Most Likely To, inspiration came from an advert in a newspaper. I rewrote it in my own words.
Would you like to work for an inconsiderate, demanding bastard? For a ridiculously large salary I want someone to work twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Three hundred and sixty-six next year. You’ll speak at least three European languages, and it would be an advantage if you were able to do at least some of the following—dive, cook, ski, sail, ride, climb, fly and bench press one hundred kilos. If you don’t like being shouted at, don’t apply.
The real ad was from a guy who’d made a fortune in internet dating who was looking for a man Friday. The ad was very funny, went viral and I convinced my daughter to apply. A couple of years later, the guy who got the job – a US graduate, and his boss were killed in a helicopter crash. Very sad. I wanted to put the details in the back of the book and the actual ad but there was a copyright issue over using the ad again so I couldn’t.
For my MMF Talking Trouble – inspiration was a walk around a reservoir close to where I used to live. There’s a house either side of the dam and every time I went there I used to wonder who lived in the houses, so I put them in my story. In fact I found out who lived in one of the houses. The guy no longer lives there but he’s just become England’s football manager. Not only that, an escaped boa constrictor was spotted by the water so I incorporated that into my story too!
How do you describe your writing style? Is the sex easy to write?
Well, I hope it’s easy to read, with funny dialogue, heavy on character and not brain taxing. I do tend to go for tall, blond heroines – oh guess what – I’m tall and blonde. They also tend to have some vile flaws and of course, I’m flawless. (cough) I like dark haired guys though the odd blond has crept in. But the main gist of my stories is two or three damaged individuals who grow and heal through their relationship with each other. I have a need to write angst! But I want to make people laugh and cry and think. And if they also think – I’ll read another by her, so much the better.
A consequence of my lack of research (your own fault, says my husband, how many times do I need to offer?) has been insecurity about how much sex a book needs to make it work. I’ve never put sex in just to keep up the heat level – I always make sure the situation fits, but I’ve had a few comments that in some of my stories there was too much sex. (No, no, no, no, no – says husband).
I think part of the issue is that my stories have a plot that’s not entirely sexually based. They’re more like very hot romances than pure erotic stories. So people who like deeper characters and non-sensual plots would find those elements in my stories along with detailed graphic sex and humor. I try to balance everything and hopefully succeed for the most part.
What do you like to read in your spare time?
Almost anything. (Though not non-fiction unless it’s research) I binge read so I’ll have weeks where I read nothing but historicals. Then I’ll swap to thrillers. I really like those and psychological suspense novels. I love Tom Wood who writes about an assassin called Victor. I eagerly await Victor falling in love though I know it won’t happen. I tend to shy away from too much reading in the genres in which I write. I don’t want to accidentally suck up an idea without realising! But I love romance above all. I like proper plots, lots of character detail with people I can relate to and happy ever afters are compulsory.
Thank you very much Barbara for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. I love your interview! It was so fun to be part of your world and know you better. I read Talking Trouble and reviewed it 5 STARS. I hope everyone will consider reading you. ~Mary
Thank you for having me, Mary!
Barbara lives in the South of England with her husband. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.
After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.
Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they are to write.
(c) Barbara Elsborg – no reproduction without her consent.
Flint didn’t talk much as they ate but he listened intently, his eyes narrowed in concentration. There were no awkward silences. Lysander listened in awe as Mollie held everything together and ensured Flint didn’t feel excluded. She was endlessly patient when he struggled to get things. She kept explaining until he did when Lysander would have been tempted to say forget it and change the subject. She even figured out when Flint was bluffing, saying he understood when he didn’t. Lysander liked her more and more.
With every glance at Flint, Lysander’s body told him that no matter what he’d thought, or what he’d said, he and Flint weren’t over. The slow curl of warmth in his belly and the occasional rush of electricity down his spine kept his dick en route to diamond status on the hardness scale. He could practically hear the blood rushing to his cock. Not helped by the way Flint’s gaze fell on him when the guy thought he wasn’t looking. Did Mollie feel the sexual energy in the room? Lysander could taste it. Or was that burned egg?
When Mollie caught his gaze, she looked away, flustered.
Yes, I am thinking that, Mollie. About you and me and Flint.
She turned to Flint. “I fell in the reservoir last night.”
“Lysander saved me from drowning.”
Flint’s eyes widened. “What?”
“It was a stupid dare,” Lysander said.
Flint’s fist clenched around his fork. “You dare?”
“No. Not Lysander. It was a game.”
“Need…lock…you up,” Flint said. “No water… No snakes.”
Preferably in a room with two smaller snakes, one large bed and no rules. He wanted to lick, kiss, fuck… Oh shit. His cock pressed right against his zipper. Bloody well stop thinking about sex.
He smiled when he saw the dessert. Flint had laid out their initials using blackberries and raspberries and squirted dollops of cream around the edge of the plates. He brought in Mollie’s cookies as well and another bottle of champagne. Mollie filled their glasses, which was a relief because he really didn’t want to stand up. But unfortunately his mind had moved onto a particular track and wasn’t going to be derailed any time soon.
“What plant does cream grow on?” Mollie asked, but Lysander saw Flint didn’t understand. “Cream grows?” she said slowly.
Flint’s lips twitched. “Tree.”
“Yes. Well done.” Mollie laughed.
“Sticker?” he asked.
Lysander was slowly becoming aware how hard this was for Flint, a guy who made his living with his voice, a guy who oozed confidence, who always had something to say, who could mesmerize anyone he spoke to and was funny and entertaining. All that had gone.
“You’ve changed,” Lysander said.
Mollie looked up but he was talking to Flint.
“Good? Bad?” Anxiety was written all over Flint’s tense face.
“I think you’d change too if this had happened to you,” Mollie said, a defensive tone in her voice.
“Angry,” Flint spat out the word. “Frustrated. Exhausted. I was… The sun.” He let out a choked laugh. “Now useless. Black…hole.”
“Not useless,” Mollie said. “You’re determined, brave, funny. Still you.”
“She’s right. Plus you’re more reasonable,” Lysander said. “Quieter. Thoughtful. Less cocky.”
It took Flint a moment to get what he’d said. “I’m not…less…fucking…cocky.”
Mollie choked on her champagne as she laughed.
Lysander plastered a smile on his face. “Prove it.”
Flint pushed back his chair and stood. He grabbed Mollie’s hand and hauled her to her feet. Unseen by her, he gave Lysander a challenging look that said roll with me. “Mollie decide.”
“Er… Decide what?” she asked.
“If he’s less cocky.” Lysander’s heart began to pound. He’d play Flint’s game but he wasn’t sure Mollie would.
“Honestly, you guys,” she said with a sigh. “Okay. Anyone got a six-inch ruler?”
Lysander laughed and after a moment, Flint did too.
Stop yelled one half of Mollie’s brain. No, that was a lie, it was a lot less than half, maybe a quarter, so that made it okay to ignore, didn’t it? Flint pulled her back against his chest and swept his arm around her waist. She froze when she felt the hard length of his cock wedged against her butt, then groaned and pressed back into him. She couldn’t help herself. Lysander sat twiddling his glass in his fingers, his gaze flitting between the pair of them.
“Better make that a twelve-inch ruler,” she said.
Oh no, please strike me dumb now.
Lysander snorted. “I don’t think he’s changed that much, though I know he’s a big guy.”
Oh my God, oh my God. Mollie thought she knew what was happening but wasn’t entirely sure she could go along with it. It might sound sexy in a story where three got together, had fantabulous sex in every way, shape and form, and they all lived happy ever after. She wasn’t sure this story could match fiction. But she’d never been so tempted to take a risk in her life. Watching the pair of them together would be a huge turn-on. For her to be involved too… The muscles clenched between her thighs and the stop part of her brain fell away like a slow landslip, leaving clouds of confusing dust in its wake.
“Moll…ee.” Flint blew into her ear and flicked around the shell with his tongue, and her throat seized up.
When Lysander pushed to his feet, her gaze fell straight to his groin. Oh wow. How to give myself away in one move.
“Play chess or poker, Mollie?” Lysander asked.
She lifted her head but her gaze kept dropping. His cock was clearly outlined beneath the tight material of his pants. She could even see the rounded shape of the head. Was that a damp spot? Wild horses couldn’t—well, yes, obviously wild horses could drag her away. Luckily there weren’t any nearby. She’d always wondered why people—back on track! Swallow your drool. But it must have something to do with the medieval torture of tying people by their arms and legs to horses and stretching them to make them confess.
Mollie girl! Hell, I’m scared, petrified, excited. If Lysander stepped toward her she’d… Fuck, he’s stepped toward me. If he took another step… Hell, he took another step.
Flint spread his palm just below her heart and rested his head against hers.
“Want words. No words. Moll…ee.”
She thought if her heart managed to beat any faster, it would take off and fly out of her throat. Flint’s breathing grew shallower, she could feel it hitting her neck. He smelled clean and sharp and citrusy and she wanted to lick him.
“Mollie.” Lysander stopped two feet away.
She wanted to lick him too.
“You both keep saying that,” she blurted. “My brain has turned to mush but I’m beginning to think it might be my name.”
They laughed. She wanted to ask them not to use her, not to go any further unless they felt something more than lust. It didn’t have to be love, though she wasn’t sure that idealistic ‘instalove’ was only found in books and films. Whatever they felt, she needed them to care, not to just fuck her and walk away without looking back. Worries fragmented in her head as Lysander stepped forward and pulled both her and Flint against him. She had a rigid dick wedged against her butt and another against her belly. A shower of red-hot sparks burst in her veins and she felt as though she’d been plumbed into the National Grid. Lysander kissed her forehead then kissed Flint’s.
“I declare a draw,” she whispered. “You’re both very cocky boys.”
Her hands fluttered at her sides, twisting the material of her dress.
“Not sure you should judge until you’ve seen the evidence, not just felt it,” Lysander said.
Why don’t I just die now?
“Scared, Moll…ee?” Flint whispered.
“First time for us too, remember?” Lysander slid his hands to her hips, moved one of them back onto Flint and pulled them tighter together. “Don’t be scared. Be excited. You can tell how much we want you. Stop thinking and feel.”
“Please,” Flint said at her ear. “Help…forget. Help…remember. Make you…happy.”
Her hands had found their way forward and back onto each of the guy’s backsides and as if the pair acted instinctively in sync, their hands crept over hers. Flames flickered down her spine and she stared into Lysander’s dark eyes, unable to look away, barely able to breathe.
“You okay?” Lysander asked.
Nowhere near okay. “Feel as though we’re caught up in a net, but…”
“But what?” he asked.
“Don’t want to get free.”
“What do you want?”
A million things, but she played safe. “I want you to kiss Flint.”