Today’s Guest is Anne Calhoun

Hey everyone, please give your warmest welcome to the fabulous Anne Calhoun (if you love contemporary romance you should definitely check her out if you’re not already a fan!)

Just last week I had the totally squee-inducing pleasure of finalizing back cover copy for my first print-first release, UNCOMMON PLEASURE, coming from Berkley Heat in February of 2013. The book contains two long novellas, each featuring a former Marine and the woman who’s going to turn his life upside down and give it a brisk shake, then help him pick up the pieces. (Ooooh, that’s good a nice start…why didn’t I think of that when I was working on the back cover copy?) Writing enticing cover copy isn’t my favorite thing part of the writer’s life, and writing it to cover two stories took some mental effort. And raw cookie dough.

But writing that particular piece of back cover copy got me thinking the journey from “I want to write a book” to “I’ve achieved my dream and sold to a New York print publisher”. Thinking about endings got me thinking about beginnings, or why I wanted to write romance novels at all. When people who know me in person find out what I do, they usually say something like, “It’s always the quiet ones, heh heh heh” or “Why write that smut/trash/stupid junk, heh heh heh?”

Heh heh heh.

It is a valid question, if you consider my outer world. I’m a suburban mom and writer now, but for ten years held down the kind of job that tracks to a hefty paycheck, a corner office, and a matrix of people reporting to me, and I’ve got the dated wardrobe from Talbots to prove it. I’m pretty quiet and unassuming in the real world. And yes, I write erotic romance.

There are two components to that answer. I write romance because while I’m completely practical when it comes to real people’s love lives, something bone deep inside me looks for the HEA in a fictional story. It’s pretty bad, actually. I stayed with my sister for a week when she was recovering from surgery, and she bought the first season of Battlestar Galactica for us to watch together. When I got home I watched the rest of the series in a two-week binge that prevented me from doing things like cleaning, or cooking, or remembering that other people lived with me. Somewhere in the middle of season 3 I emailed my BSG-crack-dealing sister and said, “Look, if Lee and Kara don’t end up together, I’m going to be super-pissed.”

She wrote me back and said, “Anne, this is not a happy series. Do you remember the torture in season 1? Do you remember how Dee killed herself, or what happened to Gaeta, or the serious social issues they address? The HEA…not happening.”

Well, dammit, yes, if I think about it I can intellectually get that Lee and Kara can’t be together forever because he’s kind of broken and she’s probably dead, but my gut reaction is OMG I WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY AND IN LOVE FOREVER!

As for the erotic half of the equation…if I’m going to get involved in a character’s emotional journey to love, I want them to risk everything to ride the HEA rollercoaster, including that area where a woman’s most vulnerable: sex. Which brings me back to my cover copy, and thinking about the two heroines who are risking it all in order to have their HEAs with not just any man, but stone-cold, bad-ass warriors. In OVER THE EDGE, Lauren Kincaid and former Marine Ty Hendricks (the second guy from the sole book I wrote as Raine Latimer, ON THE EDGE) end up in a battle of sexual one-upmanship with devastating consequences; in ALL ON THE LINE, Lieutenant Sean Winthrop fights for Abby Simmons, the woman he broke up with during his deployment…and now wants back badly enough to use the tactic of being her stress-relieving hookup while he’s on leave to get under her defenses.

Sexual encounters form the backbone of both stories. Both Lauren and Abby are giving as good as they get sexually and emotionally because I love that battle where the heroine challenges the hero on every level, including the one where he’s most alpha, making him dig deep and find strength and love he didn’t know he had. Which means she has to be strong. Tough. Resilient. Loving and passionate and compassionate, too, but so incredibly strong. Yes, he’ll care for her, body and soul, for the rest of her life, and yes, he’s Marine-tough and can bring it in bed, but the heart of their relationship is her strength complementing his. It’s about who they become together, strength to strength, heart to heart.

Enough philosophizing. If you leave a comment pertinent to any of the above, or just saying hello to me, or Lauren, who’s super-sweet to let me stop by her blog, you’ll be entered to win a copy of my Raine Latimer release ON THE EDGE. I’ll pick two later in the week. Thanks for stopping by!

27 comments to “Today’s Guest is Anne Calhoun”

  1. Tracey D
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:10 am · Link

    Hi, Anne.

    You’re a new author for me but not for long. I just checked out your books and they sound great. I will certainly add some to my wish list.

  2. Juliana Ross
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:49 am · Link

    Hi Anne,

    Liberating Lacey is one of my all-time favorite books — I have re-read it umpteen times and have recommended it to many, many people. What made it so exceptional, I think, was the emotional depth to the relationship between Hunter and Lacey, and the way that depth added so much heat to their lovemaking.

    So needless to say I am thrilled to hear about your upcoming release — congratulations! And thank you, Lauren, for hosting Anne at your blog.

  3. Kimh
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:17 am · Link

    Love books about marines whoo congrats Ty for coming
    sounds great whoo 😀

  4. Blanche
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:22 am · Link

    I love a heroine who can give as good as she gets!! I can’t wait to read your books!!

  5. Cheryl McInnis
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:40 am · Link

    Congratulations, Anne on your first print release for Berkley! 😛 One of the things that I love the most about being a reader of small, digital first publishers like Samhain and Ellora’s Cave is “discovering” wonderful new authors and then getting to see them realize their dreams of being published by the bigger publishing houses and getting on store bookshelves all over the world. It’s almost as exciting for us readers as it is for you authors… we get to say “Hey, I read so and so’s books way back when” ,lol
    Congrats again, and I’m adding Uncommon Pleasure to my handy-dandy notebook to look for next year 🙂

  6. Melanie J.
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:43 am · Link

    Anne, I love your books! and I cannot wait to read more! 🙂

  7. IP
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:07 am · Link

    I think this is it! Two people who bring out the best in each other and thus create something awsome which neither of them could have achieved on their own. And let’s be honest: life doesn’t hand out HEAs too often, so reading about them is like candy for the soul. Thanks for providing that! 🙂

  8. Marc
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:12 am · Link

    I have been hearing your name everywhere Ms Calhoun but I had not heard you were also Raine Latimer so now I have two versions of you to try. Which name will Uncommon Pleasure be released under?

  9. Melissa B
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:16 am · Link

    Oooh, this sounds SO good! And I’m with you, I want my reads to have HEA’s…actually, no matter how great a series is, if it doesn’t, I don’t want to read it. I’m all about escaping in my books, and that doesn’t include the book ending w/ someone dying, or a coupld NOT being together!

  10. Lori T
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:46 am · Link

    Hi Anne~

    I, also, really want to have a HEA when I am reading! I think that it would be very hard to write the back cover copy. That is often times what draws a person in and makes them pick up your books and buy them. I am looking forward to reading your books.

  11. Viki S.
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:41 am · Link

    Hi Anne,
    I don’t think I’ve read you yet. I will be checking you out. Thanks.

  12. Anne Calhoun
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:03 am · Link

    Hey, everyone – thanks for commenting! Marc, UNCOMMON PLEASURE will be released under Anne Calhoun.

  13. Debbie Talbot
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:25 am · Link

    Thanks Ann and Lauren.
    I have read ALOT of Laurens books and LOVE Them. I also love reading about a couple that has to really dig deep to get that HEA too. I will be checking out your books too Anne since I have not read them but your name is on my TBR list now. Thanks so much

  14. Na S.
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:22 am · Link

    I also like when a heroine can challenge the hero and vice versa. It makes for great banter and a great way to build a relationship. It’s what I often look for in romances.

  15. Priscilla Pomeroy
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:41 am · Link

    Lauren, L
    Love your books!

    I have never read any of yours before, but based on the description, I will definitely start! Thanks for being a guest on the blog! 😛

  16. StacieD
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:54 am · Link

    I’ll be honest. I really didn’t like how BSG ended. I loved the journey though.

    I love to read erotic romance. I think having the bedroom door open (and the volume cranked to 11) in a love story only enhances it. I think it shows a different layer of each character.

  17. Baba
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:43 pm · Link

    Hi Anne,

    I don’t think that I have to say a lot–you already know that I adore your work! Just wanted to drop by and say “hi”. I’m so looking forward to Ty’s story. YUM!


  18. Jessica T.
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:25 pm · Link

    Hi Anne,

    I’m new to your work but definitely not for long!! Your stories sound so good and I love anything with sexy military men 🙂

  19. Robbye
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:34 pm · Link

    I really want to read some of your books. From what you’ve said your characters will have the type of personalities that have me reading non stop until the end.

  20. Jordan H
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:57 pm · Link

    I haven’t read your books before but I will definitely be checking them out now as they sound fantastic.

  21. Anne Calhoun
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:04 pm · Link

    StacieD, I couldn’t have said it better myself…and I didn’t. 😉

    Just wanted to say thanks for commenting, everyone. I’ve been under the weather today, so I apologize for not checking back more frequently. Stop back Thursday morning for the names of two winners, and thanks again!

  22. Diane
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:43 pm · Link

    I’ll apologize first, I haven’t read any of your books; I do know that when Lauren recommends a book it is worth it.

  23. ClaudiaGC
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:55 am · Link

    I can’t tell you how much I loved Liberating Lacey and I’m so excited that you have another full-length book coming out! I’d love to read On The Edge!

  24. bn100
    May 22nd, 2012 at 4:48 pm · Link

    Congratulations on the book! I like books where the heroines challenge the heroes.

  25. JenM
    May 22nd, 2012 at 5:16 pm · Link

    I get enough darkness when I watch the regular news so when I read a book, I don’t mind lots of angst on the journey, but it’s gotta have that happy ending.

  26. Melissa Lamb
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:13 pm · Link

    Hello Anne! I am new to your books but I will be adding them to my TBR list!! I love all of Lauren’s books so if she recommends that I check you out I will. I can’t wait to get started reading your books!!!

  27. Anne Calhoun
    May 24th, 2012 at 5:09 am · Link

    All right, folks…the random number generator known as the Small Boy, age 7, the winners are Stacie D and Tracey D! Drop me a line at anne (at) annecalhoun (dot) com and let me know which kind of ebook file you prefer, Kindle, Nook, or straight PDF.

    Thanks to all who commented, and a big thank you to Lauren for hosting me!