Today I welcome the first of my international imports to sit ‘On the Bench’ – Please give a big cheer for my favourite tease, Amy Valenti.
Amy Valenti is a tarnished tease, and her mind has lived in the gutter since the day she realised what sex was. She hails from England, which she doesn’t find quite as exotic and sexy as the average US citizen seems to, but if people want to compliment her on her accent, that’s all fine with her! Her muses are many, fickle and very demanding.
She has a degree in creative writing and currently works as a proofreader/editor. In her free time, she reads, writes and plays videogames. On the rare occasions she doesn’t have a laptop on her knee, she loves to curl up with friends and pets – and chocolate – for TV show and movie marathons.
Book blurb (from Little Tease) –
Lena is a switch – seventy percent Domme, thirty percent sub. When she’s forced to give up her seat to a more Dominant man on Rack and Ruin’s opening night, she resolves never to submit to him, on principle. The trouble is, she really, really wants to…
Josh is all Dom and sexy as hell, and he’s prepared to wait for Lena to come to him. All she has to do is kneel at his feet, and she’ll be his. But is she too stubborn to give him the satisfaction?
To complicate matters further, their charged little game has drawn the curiosity of most of the club’s regulars. All eyes are upon them, which makes Lena all the more determined not to submit.
As the months wear on, the bond between Lena and Josh deepens as the sexual tension reaches new heights – but can their almost-relationship survive the challenges thrown their way?
We headed back out into the club, and I sensed more than one curious pairs of eyes on me as I approached our group. Josh caught my gaze as I sat down a couple of seats away from him, and I smiled at his obvious concern. Whatever he saw in my face, it was enough to reassure him, and he turned to listen to something Izzy was saying—not dismissing me, but letting me do my own thing.
The atmosphere was fairly relaxed, but as a few people jumped up to dance, Matt scooted over to talk to me. “How’ve you been, Lena? Really?”
His focus used to make my head spin. It still did, a little, but I was older and wiser by this point in my life. “Pretty good. Finished my Masters, and I’m a computer programmer now.”
“Lost most of your accent, too.” Matt grinned. “I’m betting that Southern drawl still comes out to play every once in a while, though. If you go submissive enough.”
I scowled at him. “You think you can just walk back in here and try to pull that, after all this time? Things have changed.”
His attitude didn’t falter. “So I hear. But just because you’re playing hard to get with this guy, that doesn’t mean you can’t play a scene with me, just for old times’ sake, right?”
Memories flashed through my mind. Matt had always been really good at taking me in hand, and I doubted that had changed after all this time. We’d had some pretty amazing times together back in the day. Part of me was tempted by his offer… but what about Josh? I couldn’t do that to him, not after all this time…
“I’m gonna got a drink,” I announced abruptly, getting up. “Anyone else want?”
A few people took me up on the offer, and I headed over to the bar, grateful as hell that Matt didn’t follow me. Taking the short respite from the Lena-centric drama that was unfolding around me, l watched the bartender do his thing, lost in thought.
When a hand touched my arm, I stared up into Josh’s face, startled. “Josh, hey!”
“Hey.” He leaned against the bar, a small smile touching his lips. “Relax.”
“Doesn’t look like that’s gonna be an option tonight,” I muttered, and he laughed softly.
“He asked you to play with him.” It was a statement, but also a guess, from the expression on his face. I wouldn’t have gained anything by lying to him, so I nodded slowly.
Josh watched me intently, and I felt another ridiculous urge to sink to my knees in front of him. If only he’d ask me to do it, I’d give in to him without a second thought. But he wouldn’t—if I’d learned anything by now, it was that he wouldn’t be the one to act first. Damn him!
“Something stopping you?”
How could he even ask that? “Well, yeah…”
I hadn’t expected him to be this direct. Staring down at my fingers, laced together on the bar, I nodded, biting my lip.
“Good.” The word was so casually pleased that I glanced up immediately, my instinct to submit to him intensifying at the smile on his face. God, he was so… there were no words for how attractive he was. All I could think about was what it would be like if he leaned over and kissed me. He’d be forceful, possessing me with his lips, and I’d just give in to him completely…
“You trust him?” His focus didn’t waver, but I saw more than a spark of concern for my wellbeing in his gaze.
“Yes.” That, I knew to be true. Matt had always been a careful, responsible top.
“You love him?”
I didn’t even have to stop to think, shaking my head emphatically. “No! We were never like that.”
Was it just me, or was he relieved? I’d have liked to hope so, but…
As the bartender set the last of the drinks I’d ordered down, Josh gave a one-shouldered shrug, smiling a little. “Then go play with him.”
I blinked up at him, trying to work out his angle and feeling a little hurt that he’d given up on me so easily. “Why?”
He leaned in close, his lips almost brushing my ear. “Because I want to watch.”
Oh. My skin tingled, my nipples hardened and I almost just turned my head and kissed him right then and there. “Josh—”
“Shhh.” He drew away, and I felt a twinge of disappointment. “Your call, little tease.”
Before I could process the fact that he’d just called me that name again, he grabbed a couple of the drinks and headed back towards our group, leaving me hopelessly turned on and confused.
Book details and buy links for Amy http://amyvalenti.wordpress.com/rack-and-ruin-series/1-little-tease/ :
Question Time – Getting to know a bit more about Amy!
What was the first book you had published?
I was about six years old, and it was a story chosen to be in an anthology of pupils’ stories at my first school! It was about a magical fairground carousel, if I remember rightly… First solo publication? An early version of Shocked, which is with Total-E-Bound at the moment, with a small press that never paid my royalties and went under rather quickly. 😉
What was your initial reaction when offered that first contract?
I think it was, ‘Oh, another rejecti… good God, they want to take it? Are they mad?!’ Then again, the standards for that small press weren’t that high. The first offer I got that I count as a ‘real’ one was from my first editor at Total-E-Bound, Becca. She offered a contract for Dominance and Deception and I think I actually did a little happy dance all the way to the kettle to make a cup of tea. 😀
Of the books you have written is there one that hold a special place in your heart and why?
I started out publishing converted fan fiction (don’t ask which fandom!), and the first book I wrote without any fan fiction influence was Model Submissive. That one is my favourite for now, because it’s the first book that began life with original characters that I’ve been able to finish. There have been others since, though!
Are you a disciplined writer or do you have to wait for the muse to arrive? Do you have a ritual that gets you in the mood?
I used to make myself write every day, even if it was just a couple of paragraphs, so I was disciplined in that respect. Lately I’ve been horribly writer’s blocked and really busy with the day job, so I’ve lapsed into not writing much at all, unfortunately. But I don’t tend to plan much – when I do write, I go where the muses take me!
What was the last book you read?
At the moment, I’m in the middle of reading Count to Ten by Karen Rose. She writes fantastic crime fiction with a strong romance subplot, and there’s usually at least one detailed sex scene to look forward to in every novel – even if you have to wait a while for it. 😉 The crime/mystery elements are always superbly executed and unpredictable, too.
What are you working on now?
Next on my list is to finish my Hot, Rich and Dominant series – it’s an unashamed ride on the billionaire kink wagon, but hopefully my hot, rich Dom has a healthy dose of tenderness and compassion to offset his in-scene hardness. (I meant hardness of attitude – get your minds out of the gutter!)
What genre would you like to try and write that is different from your own?
I like mixing different genres into my erotic romance – I’ve already done it with paranormal, thriller/crime, dystopian fiction and horror. I want to write some erotic fantasy (with dragons, though the dragons wouldn’t be involved in the sex!) at some point, and also some post-apocalyptic stuff.
When you receive edits are you Teary and Disillusioned or Feisty and Focussed?
Oh, always feisty and focused. I edit as part of my day job, so I know enough about editing to question things if I don’t agree with them. My editors have been great, though – I’ve very rarely had a change suggested that I don’t see the merit in. And it’s definitely true that you can’t edit your own work – well, you can up to a point, but you tend to miss things in your own darlings that you’d see in other people’s work. *D- Having a great, understanding and supportive editor is very important.
What is the one thing in your books you’d like to try?
Ooooh… now there’s a personal question! 😉 Well, in Always the Quiet Ones my heroine ends up being Dommed by two tops at once. I think that’d be an interesting thing to experience, being the only sub in a D/s threeway!
Now for some hard hitters with an Aussie flavour!
A sport /sportsperson that you watch? (C’mon there must be one) OR An embarrassing sporting memory.
Oh, God – I’m so uninterested in sport, it’s untrue! Sorry, Donna, I know you’re the exact opposite… I remember being ordered to run the 100m for Sports Day in high school, since none of the girls in my class were remotely interested in taking part so we were all ordered into various events. I think I came second to last. *D – at least you participated Amy 😉
Favourite Aussie Author/Actor /Musician?
Oooh… Marianne de Pierres is without doubt my favourite Aussie author – she writes speculative fiction and YA, and has been my mentor ever since I set up an online fan group for her debut novel, Nylon Angel. Her world-building is amazing.
Your view on Vegemite?
Oh, you Aussies think you’re so original with your Vegemite. :p In the UK, we have Marmite and that came first, and apparently tastes stronger than Vegemite. I haven’t tried Vegemite, but I love Marmite on toast. 😀
Formal dinner party or backyard barbeque?
Hmmm… I’ll go for the dinner party because I’m not a fan of eating outdoors really (too many insects to ruin your food!) but it has to be a naughty dinner party with very inappropriate company. None of this airs-and-graces stuff. 😉
Adventure holiday or relaxing by the pool?
I’m not particularly active, but I’m not a sun-worshipper either. My favourite holidays are when a bunch of friends fly in from various countries (I have close friends in many places around the world) and we all chill out together for a week on couches or wander around the local area. If I do go abroad, I like to sightsee in places with tons of history. Soaking up the atmosphere in Venice was amazing. 🙂
Favourite Aussie holiday place or one you’ve always wanted to visit?
I have my Aussie holiday roughly planned out for 2014 – I’m going to fly to Melbourne to visit friends, let them show me what’s worth seeing locally, then go on to Brisbane to visit the aforementioned Marianne de Pierres, whom I affectionately refer to as my Aussie-mum #1 (with you being Aussie-mum #2, of course, Donna!). If I have the cash maybe I’ll do Sydney as well, seeing that I’ve read so much about the place in your fantastic League of Love series! 😉 *D – You had better get to Sydney (and Darwin) Amy – maybe I’ll take you to a rugby league game Lol!
Thank you so much for playing today Amy. It was fun having you struggling away with the sporty theme of my blog 😉
Just as an added note I would like to mention that Amy’s story ‘Switching Off’ is one of my favourite BDSM books.