The Lush series releases in Digital and print on Feb 11, 2014. If you’re interested in an Advance download be sure to comment here. There will be three chances to win, and Delilah will announce the winners on Monday!
One of the most common questions for a writer is “Where do you get your ideas?” or “What inspires you?” I find this question both the easiest thing to answer – and the hardest – because my true answers are not that romantic or inspirational.
Mostly, my ideas come from real life people – the ones I see on the streets, talk to in the mall, or read about in the news. Occasionally music or a picture will stir the muse, but basically, life inspires me.
However, being able to pay my bills at the end of each month also inspires … it inspires me to plant my butt in the chair and get my fingers dancing across the keyboard, even when it’s the last thing in the world I really want to do.
Unromantic, but it’s true.
It’s not often I can pinpoint exactly what inspired a story idea for me, but with the LUSH stories I can. The opportunity to write a single author anthology for Kensington came at the same time I wanted to shift gears a bit with my storytelling. Most of my stories tend to be on the edgy/raw side of things, but I wanted to try something …. LUSH. And yes, the title did come first.
But what is LUSH? Think erotic, romantic, decadent… that’s what I decided LUSH was. I’m a big believer that things don’t have to be explicit to be erotic. A kiss can be erotic. The brush of skin against skin, or the scent of the pillow after your lover leaves the bed, and you’re still curled up warm in bed. Those things are erotic. Those things are Lush.
With the idea of a decadent series in mind, I thought about setting. Often my stories are set in bars or cafes or retail stores…like I said, every day life. But for this, I thought an art gallery would be perfect. And not just any art gallery, but one that specialized in erotic art, and the woman who makes it happen.
I’d love to show you some of the things I found during my planning that inspired the characters and stories, but they are not for everyone’s taste, therefore, I’d like to encourage you all to surf over to my website, and visit the LUSH GALLERY built there. You can view some truly erotic photography, a sculpture that I placed in the gallery, and then follow the link to the Bookpages for some excerpts.
So, for the first time in my life, I planned a series. Yes, they are only novellas, but for a panster like me who doesn’t ever plot, this was a big deal. Okay, I admit it…I planned it pretty loosely. I just planned the character connections, and then let them run free during their stories, and I have to say, I fell in love with them all. Each story has a different feel, but they all retain the erotic decadence that defines LUSH.
Eight years ago when it released, it got fabulous reviews, but not a ton of readers because erotic romance wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, so now that I’m re-releasing them all again, I’m really hoping more readers will discover the Lush Gallery and fall in love with it, and the people who are connected to it.
Want to win an advance Download of One of these novellas? Answer this question in the comments.
If you could be an artist, what form would you work in?
Photography? Sculpting? Glass? Jewelry? Wood?
Excerpt from PASSION PLAY
I decided to give you the first meeting between the hero and heroine instead of the first chapter. I have to admit, I found this story very fun to write because both characters were very strong and came through loud and clear to me. Which is why both Dominick and Mia are in first person.
The early evening sun felt great beating down on my shoulders as I strolled through the small park area that separated the new offices from where I’d had to park. Parking along Whyte Avenue wasn’t easy to find, especially with all the shops and businesses on the street. But at least the warm September made it an easy walk to the lot.
My mind was quiet as I walked … peaceful. There was no regret for what I’d just done. It felt pretty damn good actually. Better than I’d ever thought possible. Writing was my addiction, but Tom was right; it had been a long time coming. For the first time in the six months since Terrance had taken over the paper, I felt human again. Like I could finally move forward.
The question was, forward to where? I’d never been unemployed before.
Forget it. I refused to think about that right now. Tonight I’d celebrate.
Only my brain wouldn’t cooperate. Options and ideas flowed steadily. There were plenty of things I could do. Tons of local papers and magazines I could write for, or maybe even write that novel I’d always wanted to write.
My gut clenched at that thought. Nah, I wasn’t ready to tackle that yet. I’d start looking into other periodicals tomorrow. Maybe even try some freelance work for some men’s magazines. The work is always out there.
If worst came to worst, there was always Teal’s gallery. I could sell erotic art. Hell, I could sell anything if I had to.
Suddenly, a bundle of curves hit me head on, the world tilted and I was flat on my back before I could blink. The air jumped from my lungs in a swift rush and something hard smacked into my mouth.
I squinted at the female cry of pain and tried to catch my breath. The soft bundle of warm wiggling curves on top of me wasn’t helping matters any. A soft moan made my dick twitch and I sucked on my bruised bottom lip.
When I could breathe again, I shifted so that the sun was blocked by the armload of sweet-smelling woman, and focused on her face.
Smooth fair skin, plump red, cock-sucking lips, diamond stud in her left nostril, and eyes that were so dark they looked black. Eyes that held the same shock I felt.
“Ouch. My head and your chin are not a good match,” she chuckled.
Her breath was a sweet breeze across my lips and I was suddenly acutely aware of the way she straddled my hips.
“Hel-lo,” I said softly.
She stilled. Our eyes locked and I saw awareness dawn in hers. Then they started to sparkle. Damn, she’s hot!
She put a finger to my lip. “Are you okay?”
“Nothing a kiss wouldn’t fix.”
A delicate eyebrow arched and I waited for her to smack me one. Instead, her lips tilted up at one corner and she lowered her head slowly.
Oh, yeah. I lifted up to meet her, my mouth inexorably drawn to hers.
Soft plump lips pressed against mine and my blood heated and my body tightened as our tongues tangled. Hot and wet, she tasted of caramel and whipped cream. She pressed her hips against me and my cock throbbed, eager to get in on the action. I ran one hand up the curve of her spine and the other down to cup a firm ass.
She tore her mouth away to nuzzle against my neck and a shiver ripped down my spine. Her head tilted to get better access and the sun blinded me … along with the knowledge of where we were.
I groaned. Shit, we were in the middle of the park.
“Uhmm.” I tried to speak, but her tongue in my ear made it difficult to think, let alone talk. I slid my hand to the back of her head, tangled my fingers in her silky hair, and tugged.
“Ooh!” she cooed as she came away, the sound making me wish we didn’t have to stop.
Our eyes met and the heat there made my fist clench with the urge to pull her hair again. To flip her over and tangle my hands in her hair, spread her thighs, and plunge home.
A rowdy cry of, “Get a room, would ya?” made her sit up and flip off the passerby. A chuckle built inside me at her actions and I shifted, unable to not press up against her warmth. A woman after my own heart.
“I think I’m in love,” I said.
She looked down at me, planted her hands on my chest and pushed to her feet.
She laughed, shaking her head in way that made her red hair dance like flames in the sunlight. “That’s really too bad, because I don’t do love.”
* * * * *
Want steamier excerpts? Check them out on my website:
“Sasha White’s stories are molten lava all wrapped up in spun silk. Richly emotional and highly passionate, these erotic stories take the reader on a sensuous journey inside the bedroom and out. These sexually explosive novellas will undoubtedly leave you breathless and begging for more. Sasha White continues to have a spot on my keeper shelf.” -NYT Bestselling Author Cathryn Fox
“Within the pages of LUSH, you will discover three sensual tales that will have you laughing, crying and grabbing for a fan to cool off. Ms. White does an excellent job penning these short stories to read like full length novels. The characterization, imagery and intriguing plots will keep you mesmerized until you have finished the last page.” –Billie Jo, reviewer for Romance Junkies