It's no secret by now that we have a thing for Katie Porter. And we just couldn't resist to let you get to know these ladies better!
First of all we'd like to welcome both awesome ladies that make up Katie Porter, Carrie Lofty and Lorelei Brown, to UTC!
Lets start with the easy stuff. Can you please tell us about the Vegas Top Guns series?
Lorelie had an idea about a contemporary series set in Las Vegas but couldn’t find a fresh hook. We started brainstorming when she mentioned that Nellis Air Force Base is located just outside of Sin City. Hmmm…. Air Force pilots? So we did a little digging and found out about the 57th Adversary Tactics Group. The pilots’ objectives are as we’ve described in the series: to fly as adversaries against allied pilots from around the world, teaching them to better counter enemy tactics.
What better? Sexy, talented pilots who played “bad guys” and had little chance to be redeployed to a warzone—the perfect way to salvage a military happy ending! And with a series of contemporary erotic romances set in Las Vegas…anything could happen!
In this series you explore a variety of desires such as voyeurism, male submission, role-playing, power exchanges, etc. Why did you decide to incorporate these elements in your books?
We always wanted the series to explore different kinks and why they appeal to people. We wanted to “normalize” them, to a certain extent, and encompass them within love stories that showed—yes, real people enjoy kinky and fetishistic sex! Then it was a matter of matching personality types to the various desires that interested us as romance writers, then keeping from boring ourselves (or potential readers) by repeating too many themes. Hence…a smorgasbord of passion.
What can readers expect from HOLD 'EM?
First off, readers can expect what they’ve already found in DOUBLE DOWN and INSIDE BET: hot fighter pilots, strong heroines, vulnerable hearts, refreshing humor, dedicated friends, and strong emotional growth from the hero and heroine, both individually and as a couple.
Second, of course, is our trademark scorching, exploratory sex. In the case of HOLD ’EM, Leah “Princess” Girardi is a woman in a man’s world. She’d fought throughout her career to be taken seriously as one of the top fighter pilots in the world. Her wild child days are almost behind her when she’s reunited with a fellow pilot, Mike “Strap Happy” Templeton. He’s the Zen to her manic. He’s the calm to her storm. And he’s the male submissive who nurtures Leah’s repressed desire for dominance.
We explore femdom in a way that hopefully satisfies readers’ curiosities about a power dynamic rarely explored in romance, where the woman takes charge in the bedroom. But seriously? Mike is so damn hot that it makes his utter desire to please his mistress so arousing. Pain, bondage, Mariachis, rock climbing, and surprises from previous characters in the series…HOLD ’EM has it all.
I know favorites are hard but, which character did you have the most fun writing about?
Carrie: I wrote Mike, so it was a blast working that balance between creating a seriously manly man—a former chauvinistic who’s since learned to admire Leah’s professional skills and bravery—and carrying that machismo into his role as a submissive. And I got to write two or three scenes featuring Jon Carlisle from INSIDE BET, which was fantastic. I still haven’t recovered from my crush on him.
Lorelie: So far, I think I’d have to say Nate from CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR. He’s had a hard life and pulled himself up by the bootstraps, all those happy clichés. All that is fairly common for romance heroes, but the thing I love about Nate is that he screwed it all up by being bullheaded. He had a way out, a scholarship to a posh boarding school and Kyle, a boyfriend who made him incredibly happy. Then he blows it by getting himself locked up for a couple years. Came Upon A Midnight Clear is his second chance. And I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for people who really, truly need a second chance.
How does the writing duo dynamic work?
We brainstorm based on characters first. What if we had a female fighter pilot who still fought to be respected. She came from a hard-charging family of adrenaline junkies. She’s been struggling with bored and risky behavior… What’s wrong with this woman? What sort of man would suit her, go toe-to-toe with her, satisfy her?
Then it’s a matter of choosing which character to write. Since Lorelie is a US Army veteran, she’s written all of the pilots…until now. With two fighter pilots in HOLD ’EM, Carrie had to climb into the cockpit, so to speak. We write one point of view per chapter and switch back and forth. Edits and revisions help smooth out individual quirks, but the “voices” of the characters remain unique because they were written by two different women.
You have a lot of projects in the works, amongst those an m/m book and a new series centered around a kink club. What can you tell us about those?
The “Club Devant” series will launch in January, set in a glitzy, upscale burlesque club where at least one hero or heroine is a professional dancer. The club isn’t BDSM or the like, but a public nightclub where dancing is the main attraction. We’re taking more chances with this series, still focusing on fetish and kink, but with threesomes, m/m, and multi-cultural romances. Here’s a teaser for the debut, LEAD AND FOLLOW:
LEAD AND FOLLOW is friends-to-lovers romance between an American temptress and her stoic Russian touchstone. Two catalysts rock their history as champion Latin dance partners: her career-threatening injury, and a sexy Texas bartender who sparks exciting new passions—if only for a dance or two.Is there one particular heroine in your books that you most identify with?
Carrie: Probably Lizzie Maynes from LEAD AND FOLLOW. She’s a passionate dancer, and we artist types are dedicated perfectionists who can be stubborn and rather hard on ourselves. Plus, she’s a natural optimist and bright, shiny cheerleader for her more stoic partner. Doesn’t hurt that I used to dance Latin ballroom in college…
Lorelie: Captain Leah Girardi for me. She’s a slightly foul mouthed, spastic mess who is trying so very hard to improve. That doesn’t seem at aaallll familiar to me. *cough* She’s also at home in masculine environments, while never losing her femininity.
Many authors get their ideas from everyday life. Do you have a story to share where your real-life experience has influenced your writing?
Carrie: In INSIDE BET, Heather’s story about about freezing five-pound blocks of government cheese comes directly from my childhood. Those little anecdotes from one’s past can really add depth to characters.
Lorelie: At the time that we were writing HOLD EM, I was working really hard to get in shape and be more fit. So Mike drinks Coke Zero. I was going through them by the case load. Of course, I’ve since discovered that’s fake-healthy, not real-healthy, but close enough, right? Right?
What is your favorite quote from your latest book?
Carrie: Our hero, Mike, finds rich playboy Jon from INSIDE BET in the on-base food court noshing Cheetos, a Slim Jim and a Slurpee:
“That’s quite the lunch, Tin Tin.”Lorelie: The morning after the first time they sleep together, Mike and Leah are trying to sort out the details:
“To fuel the temple that is my body,” Jon said. “We can do tradesies if you have Twinkies. But I don’t do generic.”
“Do I need to give you a sex-ed talk? I thought you were a big girl.”
“No, not sex ed,” she said with a little laugh. “I’ve had plenty of that. But maybe BDSM 101?” She nibbled on her bottom lip. “Because that is what we’re doing here, right?”If you could pick anyone in the world to be the cover model(s) on your latest release, who would it be?
He scraped his fingers along his nape. “Yeah, you could say that. I’d prefer to say we’re having a good time. Getting off.” He aimed that volatile smile at her, the one that made her heart go pitter-pat like she were some type of idiot tweener. “Getting off majorly.”
“But I don’t know where the line is. Where we stop.”
He shrugged. “We stop wherever we want to.”
Can we just say Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, then drop the topic? We write with specific actors or models in mind, but we never want to reveal them to readers. Everyone has an idea of how the protagonists look, and we don’t want to spoil those personal impressions!
And lets end this on a difficult note... You write some steamy sex scenes! Do you ever find yourself looking over your shoulder as you write one out because you know it's "too sexy"? Have you ever had to cut down or remove certain parts of a love scene? If so, can I read the original? And where do these ideas come from? *we are taking notes*
We both have kids, so the only “looking over your shoulder” that happens is when they’re being pests. We have been asked to alter and tone down certain love scenes, but not because they were “too dirty”—more like that particular direction didn’t suit the story or the characters.
As for the ideas, we just…wander the internet! There’s a LOT of kink to be had out in that Wild West cornucopia. We find a fetish or kink that appeals to us as romance writers first—for example, I can’t imagine a romance where furries are the protagonists, although that kink is perfectly awesome for some real life folks. Then we research. We’re both historians by trade, so investigating what sort of cane Leah would use on Mike is just as important as getting the details right about a Regency’s debutants gown.
For more insight on this particular topic, check out the next month’s issue RT BookReviews, which features our “Pros on Prose” article about co-writing erotic romance. Can anyone say “naughty slumber party”?
Now that the first three of the RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick “Vegas Top Guns” series have been released, readers can anticipate the final two installments, HARD WAY and BARE KNUCKLE, in 2013.
November brings the m/m Christmas-themed CAME UPON AMIDNIGHT CLEAR, described as “masterful” by Publishers Weekly. In January, LEAD AND FOLLOW will launch the five-part “Club Devant” series of erotic multi-partner romances set in a hot New York City burlesque club.
Where to find us:
Or individually: @carrielofty and @LorelieBrown
Thanks again to Under the Covers for featuring Katie Porter and Hold ’Em!
A man with handcuffs. A woman with a paddle. Both fly F-16s.
Daughter of a world-famous motocross champion, and head-on competitor with three brothers, Captain Leah "Princess" Girardi was born with a need for speed. No one tells her what to do, especially not men with chauvinistic "girls can't be fighter pilots" attitudes.
That's what ended her brief relationship with Captain Mike "Strap Happy" Templeton. Now, six years later, he’s been assigned to her squadron, and whoa damn, he’s filled out nicely. Plus he’s cultivated a Zen-like chill factor that pulls at her hormones.
Even after four tours, Mike's the new kid in the 64th Aggressor Squadron. That's not the only thing new. Since he last saw Leah, he's learned a few things about himself. A female who outranks him still makes his teeth grind, but in the bedroom he craves the rush of pain inflicted by an adoring, powerful woman.
Their reunion is an explosive revelation. Leah is the beautiful mistress he's been searching for, and she takes to her new role like a natural. But Leah's aware one thing hasn't changed. Loving him is still an all-or-nothing proposition. She's not sure her reckless streak is wide enough to risk her career--and her heart.
Warning: This book contains a hot stud on his knees, a woman wielding a paddle, and filthy-gorgeous femdom sex. Also: dangerous rock climbing, two amazing motorcycles and some bad tequila.