Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Terrific Tuesday With Rue Allyn:)

Apologies; I'd forgotten I'd scheduled an interview for today!  For those who tuned in for Part Two of the RT trip, please visit Kenzie's Place:)

Welcome!  Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi. I’m Rue Allyn.  My latest release is Off Limits, an erotic romance from Red Sage Publishing and the first in my sexy sailor series.  Here’s a quick blurb:  For Senior Chief Hank O’Mara no woman could compare with the sea until he met Lieutenant Bethany Morton. Only the sea could draw two passionate people of such opposite backgrounds together, and only US Navy regulations could keep them apart. Because fraternization between Officer and enlisted is forbidden, both Beth and Hank do their utmost to resist the passion and love growing between them. However, love proves stronger than either the sea or the USN. If they are to be together, Hank must sacrifice his career and Beth will risk the destruction of her professional dreams.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Only in the best way.  I’ve had several story ideas that caused me to wonder if I could do the story justice with my writing.  I’m still working on a number of those.

How much research do you do?  Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?  
I believe that too much research is not enough, so I am always researching.  Right now I anticipate writing a contemporary romance with a Native American character, so I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about that character’s culture and talking to anyone who will share with me about that culture.  I will continue my research until I send the manuscript out for consideration and maybe after, since I might discover new material that I need to include on revision.  Research is an ongoing process and is never done.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?  
Life is short, live it.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?  And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I guess you could say I’m a pantser with a little plotter thrown in.  If a story doesn’t take on a life of its own, then I’m not doing my job correctly.  LOL:)  I know what you mean!

How long did it take for you to be published?  
I started writing professionally in 1996 and received my first offer in 1999.  The book (no longer in print) came out in 2001.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?  
It’s all about the reader.  Give the reader a great story and everything else will fall into place.  Oh yes, be very patient.

Laptop or pen and ink?  What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?  
Laptop and music, that’s pretty much all I really need.

Who are your favorite authors?  Who would you say influenced you the most? 
Chaucer, Shakespear, Dante.  Of the three, I’d give most credit to Chaucer.  Reading his work and studying his life convinced me that ‘literary’ writing is for academics.  Chaucer and Shakespeare wrote for the masses, for entertainment.  Dante was a bit different.  I believe that his primary audience was God.  I’m not certain I could or would ever aspire to that height.  The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer was my favorite book in my World Lit class:)

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?  
I answered this somewhere else recently, so I hope I don’t duplicate my answer or reveal too much.  I hope my readers would be surprised to learn that I think I’m boring.

For Fun:
 Are there any Easter scenes in your books? 

What is your favorite Easter memory?  
Singing the Easter cantata in my church choir.

Do you garden, or do you have a black thumb like me? 
 I tend to have a black thumb, so I’ve learned not to keep house plants.  In the yard I only plant stuff that will survive being neglected.

Excerpt from Off Limits:
Chapter One
  That’s not a batter; that’s a walking wet-dream.  Through the grid of his catcher’s mask, Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Hank—The Wall—O’Mara watched the opposing team’s last minute addition to the roster approach the plate.  Usually, he liked his women on the long, lean side.  Small women made him feel awkward in his solid 6’ 4” frame.
For this woman, he’d put up with feeling awkward.  She had all the right pieces in all the right places—curves, bumps, satin-skin, ocean deep green eyes and dewy, pink, kiss-me-naked lips.  He licked his own lips at the thought and gave a low, soundless whistle.
Down boy.  He crouched, holding his mitt at half-mast.  The last inning of the command fast-pitch softball championship is no time to get distracted.  From the look of the batter, we’ve got no worries.  So calm down and concentrate.  You can put your moves on her after she strikes out.
As she settled in at the plate, Hank couldn’t help but appreciate the compact lines of the woman.  He ran his eyes boldly up her trim ankles and sleek calves, past slender thighs, and round hips to a tiny waist.  All encased in skin-hugging denim.  Above that waist, the gentle swell of her breasts arrested his inventory.  Bigger than a mouthful, smaller than a handful, they gave a pleasant distortion to the hot pink letters, L-T.-S-L-U-G-G-E-R, scrawled across her black T-shirt.  Resisting the urge to discover the exact color, shape, texture and taste of those twin mounds caused Hank no small amount of pain.
Uh oh.  The meaning of that lushly stretched phrase finally registered.  Lt. Slugger.  Why did the wet dream have to be an officer wet dream?
Off duty, off base, he didn’t mind an occasional outing with a female sailor, even one with bars on her collar, but he drew the line at climbing into bed with one.  Sleeping with officers was just plain stupid, and 
Hank wasn’t stupid.  What a shame that God created Lt. Slugger with beds in mind.
She shifted, and her breasts swayed.  Mesmerized, Hank licked his lips again.  Somebody coughed.  Still 
Hank stared.  I bet she’s soft.  Real soft.
Another cough, louder this time, followed by, “Hey Wall.  Play ball, will ya.”
Hank shook his head and raised his mitt.  “Uh, yeah, sure thing Ump.”  As he lifted his gaze, he caught speculation in the Lieutenant’s misty green eyes.  He looked away and focused on flashing signals to the pitcher. 
Hank motioned for a straight pitch.  With a batter this small, the worst they’d have to sweat about was a line drive.  Even the rookie right fielder could handle that, especially with the rocket he had for an arm.
But Hank figured he didn’t have to fret on the rookie.  The Lieutenant couldn’t possibly have much power in her slim shoulders.  Even if she hit the ball, those shapely legs weren’t long enough to carry her very far, very fast.  She’d be out before she got to first base.
He balanced on the balls of his feet and nodded to the pitcher.  The guy wound up and let go with a straight slow ball that crossed the middle of the zone.  The Lt. swung and fanned air.  The ball smacked into Hank’s mitt.
He grinned and raised his gaze to hers.  Her eyes filled with a sea of cool assessment.  He lofted the ball toward the pitcher and cocked an eyebrow.  “Too fast, Ma’am?”
She blinked, quirked one corner of her mouth and settled into position again, giving a sexy little wiggle to her hips.  Hank felt his jaw go slack.  She turned her head back to him.  The action rubbed pale, silky curls across her nape, just where Hank imagined placing a tiny bite. “Not me, Chief?  How about you?”
“Uh, no Ma’am.”  His grin broadened, and he aimed a quick glance at her hips.  “You’ve got a nice swing, real smooth and easy.”
She smiled and once more blinked spiky black lashes at him.  Her voice came at him low and inside.  “Why thank you, Chief.”

His heart skipped.
The ump shouted, “Play ball!”
The Lieutenant turned away and resettled her stance.
Hank signaled for another strike.
She tipped it back.
The ball plopped gently into his mitt once more.  Damn, this is too easy.  “With all due respect, Ma’am, that’s our best pitcher out there.  He can’t throw ‘em much slower.”
She gave Hank an easy grin.  “I like mine hard and fast, sailor.”  Her smoke and whiskey voice licked at his ears, then bit down hard.
Every nerve in his body stood on alert.  How could he refuse a challenge like that?  “Whatever you say, Ma’am.”
Hank sent the ball back to the pitcher and watched the petite officer sway into her stance.  He crouched.  Then signaled for the outfield to move in.  When they had, he gave the sign for low, fast and away.
The pitcher nodded, wound up, and let ‘er rip.  Hank heard the bat crack and stared as the ball took high flight into right field.  The batter sprinted toward first.  Hank kept the ball and the rookie in sight.  Back, back, keep going.  The kid back peddled, his eyes on the ball.
No!  Hank knew the moment his teammate looked into the sun and lost the ball.  It fell to earth ten feet to the rookie’s rear and bounced hard all the way into the farthest corner of right field.  By the time the kid found the ball and was set to throw, Lt. Slugger rounded second and picked up speed.
We’re still okay, Hank told himself.  If the rookie sends it home, we’re fine.  Hank tensed and set himself to catch the throw from the kid.
What the…?  Damn rookies, he cursed silently as he watched the right fielder fire the ball at the third baseman.  With the runner nearly at third, he’d never make it.
“Cut it off and throw it home, Joe.”  Hank yelled to the shortstop.  Joe would get the job done, they’d been playing ball together ever since A-school.
The Lieutenant sailed onto third.  Joe leapt.  He landed hard, nearly losing his balance.  The runner kept going.  How could such a small woman move so fast, Hank wondered and set himself to catch Joe’s bullet.
The ball hit the edge of Hank’s mitt.  He reached for it.  Felt it settle into the leather and turned.
The woman steamed on.  Damn she’s a game little thing, but she’s up against The Wall.  Just where I want her.  Hank grinned and waited, defending home plate as if attacked by an entire fleet. 
 Crunch time!
Five feet away, the runner should have stopped.  The only way she could score would be to literally knock him off his feet.  Hank’s grin broadened.  She’d never make it.  Nobody ever broke through The Wall.
Just as Hank decided the game was in the bag, her ball cap flew off.  A blinding light flashed out, surrounding her head.  A stream of red-gold floated on the air behind her.  He’d never seen hair like that.  Hank blinked at the sight and leaned back.
She blasted for home.
The next thing Hank knew, the ball rolled on the ground, and warm sweaty female filled his arms.  His senses registered the softness of her breasts.  A fresh minty scent teased his nostrils.  Pink lips hovered close to his cheek.  Sea green gleamed between sooty lashes.  A throaty laugh bubbled against his ears.  Hank sat up.  The Lieutenant dropped to the ground.  He placed his mitt over his lap before his body could tell tales.
“I did it.  I did it.”  The woman chortled and turned over in the dust beside him.  “I knocked down The Wall.  The command’s very own immovable object, and I knocked him down.”

Buy Off Limits here


Rue Allyn said...

Thank you for the interview. I look forward to chatting with your readers.

Kenzie Michaels said...

Thanks for being here today Rue:) This is just the right time for a baseball scene, lol!