Jen: Today we welcome Lily Harlem back to Romancing the Book. Lily, will you share a short bio with us?
Lily: Lily Harlem is an award-winning, best-selling author of contemporary erotic romance. She lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk and a crazy cat. With a desk overlooking rolling hills her over active imagination has been allowed to run wild and free and she revels in using the written word as an outlet for her creativity.
Lily’s stories are made up of colourful characters exploring their sexuality and sensuality in a safe, consensual way. With the bedroom door left wide open the reader can hang on for the ride and Lily hopes by reading sensual romance people will be brave enough to try something new themselves? After all, life’s too short to be anything other than fully satisfied.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Lily: RULE BREAKER. This story was an indulgent one for me. I was in a dark place in my ‘real’ life for a variety of reasons and this mood fed my imagination a plot that pushed what was ethically and morally acceptable. This itchy state of mind also created the kind of characters I most adore, ones that are not cardboard cut-outs. By that I mean they follow the voice in their head that tells them to do something even when they know it’s wrong, they make mistakes (the way we all do) and they fall in love with the wrong person. I was also inspired by the music of Black Lab, a band I stumbled across but then became addicted to (the way I do with music) and some of the tunes and lyrics helped moved my story forward in my mind. I was obsessed with this song in particular… https://youtu.be/kmz7mV1WavA
Here’s a short excerpt:
“Come on,” I said to Miller.
He followed me into the clinical room.
I walked up to the counter and reached for my tray of equipment.
I startled. He was right behind me.
He set his hands on the work surface, one either side of my body, trapping me against it with his torso.
“What?” I whispered, glancing at the door, my head brushing his.
“Tomorrow,” he murmured, his mouth right against my ear.
A thrill and a chill went through me as my neck and scalp tingled and tightened at his nearness.
“What about it?” I placed my right hand over his, cupping his hard knuckles. It was a bold move, but touching him was what I craved—I couldn’t help myself.
I heard him pull in a breath. “Meet me.”
“Anywhere you want. Just be there.” He paused and pushed a little harder against me.
His groin nestled against the crack of my buttocks.
Lust blazed through my veins. Damn it, tomorrow was too long to wait.
But we had to.
“There’s a pub, round the corner from here,” I said. “The Cow and Slipper.”
He turned his hand and gripped my forearm. His fingertips pressed over my pulse points, his fingers were big and dark against the delicate veiny underside of my wrist.
“I’ll be there at noon,” he said.
“So will I.”
“Thank you.” He pressed his cheek against my ear. The weight of his head was heavy against mine.
I leaned into him. The daring, risky move heightened all of my senses. His chest against my shoulders, his breath on my cheek and his stubble against my temple. And damn, his body shoved into mine. I wanted it. All of it.
“We’ll take it slow,” he whispered. “Get to know each other without a boss watching over us. Speak freely about what we want. I’m not in it for a lay. What we have is special. I’m doing this because I want you—always have, from the first time I saw you.” He paused. “But you know that.”
I swallowed and turned. I did know that.
He released my wrist.
I looked up at him. This was the closest we’d ever been. I was surrounded by him, wrapped up in him. It was where I wanted to be.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Lily: I write full time, to pay the bills, so I write every day. I tend to get up, check on emails, look at FB then publish my daily blog. I love to run (it helps stave off writer’s bum!) and am lucky enough to live by the beach so that’s my next job and the dog accompanies me. I then settle down to write for the rest of the day or until Mr H comes home from work. I’m content when I’m writing and I’m very lucky that I have a gorgeous pink study at the top of the cottage with glorious west facing views. I spend many an hour staring into space over the fields plotting and planning what will happen next to my characters.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Lily: I adore all pairings. Rule Breaker is MF but I also write ménage a trois, MM, MMF, MFM, the list goes on. I nearly always write contemporary, it’s my happy place. What would I never write?…sci-fi, it just doesn’t do it for me whether it’s in a book or a movie.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Lily: Lacey, who is the heroine in Rule Breaker, is a prison nurse. Before I started writing I worked as a nurse in a busy Accident and Emergency Department in London UK. I’ve found that I often have characters who are in some way linked to hospitals as it’s what I know and they say, ‘write what you know’. I’ve never worked in a prison though, so I made a call to one of my nursing friends who does in order to get some fine details right.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Lily: I think probably Karen from That Filthy Book. I co-authored this novel with Natalie Dae and we both identified with our heroine. The couple have been married for several years and their busy routines have taken a toll on their sex life. In order to jazz up bedtime Karen uses a book she read many years ago to inspire a wild selection of fantasies they turn into reality. It’s a steamy, rollercoaster of a story from the get go and has been hailed as a book ‘every woman should read’ by reviewers!
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Lily: I’m very lucky in that there have been many highlights, from Totally Bound giving me my first break and publishing Candy Canes and Coal Dust to books like Who Dares Wins hitting the top spot on an Amazon Best Seller Chart and my super sexy romance Breathe You In being a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Lily: Next out I have a fun spanking story called Spicing it Up which is available from Totally Bound. It’s about the Victorian kink of ginger-figging and was an eye-opener to write!