Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Guest Post & GIVEAWAY with author Lily Harlem

Ellora’s Cave Feature Month
Brought To You By
Reader’s Edyn

Guest Post & GIVEAWAY with author Lily Harlem

Continuing today with the Ellora’s Cave Feature Month! Remember, the author may have been previously published with EC or is currently published with EC. Either way you will be learning an awful lot about the Ellora’s Cave authors this month. I hope you will continue to join us for this exciting adventure! You are sure to find it very entertaining! So let’s get on with it!

My next EC author is Lily Harlem. Here is her bio.


Lily Harlem lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk, a crazy cat and an old dog.
With a desk overlooking farmland, she allows her imagination to run free and
revels in being able to use the written word as an outlet for her creativity. She
won the Lovehoney award for erotic fiction in 2009 and has been writing non-
stop ever since and is now multi-published by both US and UK houses as well as
featuring in numerous anthologies.

Please help me welcome:



Thanks so much for having me here today, Kendra, it really is great to be hanging out and chatting about one of my favourite subjects – naughty books!

I have a growing number of novels and novella’s at Ellora’s Cave and more in the pipeline for release later this year. My inspiration for plot lines and characters seems, if anything to just keep tapping me on the shoulder. Trouble is that tap turns into a poke then a prod and then a damn good shake and I have no choice
but to sit and write – heck to the chores, the story has to get out of my head!!

Someone asked me a while ago where I got my inspiration from and I found it hard to give an exact answer. There are so many parts of my life that can start a story off as a seed – a seed which then grows into a full-length novel.

I find it easy to recall my inspiration for some books. For example, Shared, my debut novel at Ellora’s Cave, came about from flicking through the local newspaper. For some reason, and it wasn’t because I needed a place to live, I glanced at the letting section. I came across an advert – Room to Let – Wanted girl to share. Well, me being me, with my dirty mind, I thought, what if that is literal, what if, two hunky guys actually do want a girl to share? And that was all it took. The story grew from there, beginning with creating a situation where a girl, Ariane, found herself homeless in Cardiff and on the guys’ doorstep. I then
set about working on the reasons why these two hot, successful men needed to share a woman, why they couldn’t have one of their own?

So for that novel, that was all it took – a line in a newspaper. I wonder what the person/people who placed that advert would think if they knew it had inspired such a racy ménage story, with a sequel?!

My Christmas release at Ellora’s Cave was titled Cold Nights, Hot Bodies. I started writing this book the previous winter. There’d been several weeks of snow and as I live in a very rural part of the UK getting out and about had been incredibly difficult. Luckily I had a full freezer, well-stocked wine rack and a whole pile of logs to burn. It was the heroine, Ashley, who came to me first for this book.

I imagined her as quiet, mouse-like, but with a secret, sexy side that longed to surface. In the meantime she was losing herself in erotic romance novels, lusting after the heroes and admiring the heroines. I actually started writing this with a very loose idea of the plot, but as soon as Shane came along it all cemented into place. But the descriptions of the hotel the couple get snowed into and the surrounding countryside, the lovely fires and Christmas trees, the food and drink, that all came from what I was doing at the time, so that was easy to imagine and in turn write—though it does bode the question: What kind of love affair would Ashley have had if she’d come to me in the middle of the summer? I’m sure the book would have been quite different, all bikinis and picnics, jaunts to the beach. Shane may even have been a surfer! Yum!

Hockey also plays a heavy role in my inspiration. But not so much the skill and talent – though I hasten to add I admire that very much – but just the damn fine bodies and the steely looks of determination the players get in their eyes when they get that puck! Phew, it makes me all a fluster just thinking about it and in turn, as a writer, I can’t help but imagine all that brawn and dominance in the bedroom. This delicious appreciation for action on and off the ice is what led to my Hot Ice series. There are now three full length novels available, Hired, Cross- Checked and Slap Shot. Teamwork will be out later in the year and High Sticked
in 2013. I just can’t seem to stop writing about these beautifully bad hockey!

Be they good or bad reviews are part of the territory when you’re an author. I am happy to say that the vast majority of reviews for my books are positive and it completely thrills me to know readers have enjoyed my stories. One book however seemed to create a bit of a Marmite effect. People either loved it or hated it. It is a free short read that came out at Ellora’s Cave a couple of years ago called Stockholm Seduction. It is about a Penny Tipping, the British Foreign Ministers daughter, enjoying a gap year in Australia. She is kidnapped by a hunky surfer and…

Actually it’s probably easier for you to read the blurb -

I was having a fabulous extended gap year in Oz. Sun, sea, sand and seriously hot
surfers rolling in on every wave. Mmm, what could possibly be better?

But then I was taken…taken against my will. Stolen like a prized object. I was tied up, held for ransom. I didn’t know if I would survive, if I would walk away alive. And then, to top it all off, I was tortured in the sweetest, most delicious, most sensual way imaginable.

That was when I realized my fun down under had only just begun.

To be honest I didn’t think much more about this story after it was released. It was just a taster for people to hear my voice and sample my style without having to pay for it. Then about a year ago I was wandering around Amazon looking for something to read when I came across reviews for Stockholm Seduction. I was surprised to find that it either had the ick factor or the ‘more’ factor. Here are a couple of reader comments from either side of that spectrum.

“A woman is kidnapped, and decides to have sex with her captor? The message in this short story is disturbing on so many levels.”


“I was panting to know what happened when he found her next! I've read
romantic short stories before, and they always left me hollow, but Lily's left me craving. I would definitely recommend this e-book if you want a quick read with steamy scenes, hot men, and
women that know what they want and are not ashamed to admit it. I get excited shivers thinking what the author could do with a full length book!”

This got me really thinking and I headed over to Goodreads to see what readers had said there. The overwhelming comments were to the effect of “this story is too short” and “where is the rest?” So me being me, I got my naughty mind whirring and over the next few weeks waited to see if the characters would talk to me again. I wanted desperately to oblige the people who had taken the time to comment on the book and give them the rest of the novel. Luckily Penny and Ty were eager to have their steamy tale told and soon it was evolving in my mind and flowing from my fingertips at a rate of knots. Stockholm Surrender is now available and has the free short story Stockholm Seduction as the prologue, but you can still download it for FREE to get a taster and then read the full first chapter at D Renee Bagby’s first chapter blog – that’s a lot of free reading!

So I guess in summary, and I won’t subject you to the inspiration behind all my books, ideas for me, that very first spark, light-bulb moment, comes from a variety of places. I can’t force an idea to arrive, and it would be easy to panic and scream ‘writers’ block’ when one book is finished and the next is waiting to happen, but I know a newspaper, a picture, a song, a day dream, or just a day- to-day life experience will be all it takes. Something simple, usually, but with a whole lot of potential, and I am off, typing away, ignoring the housework, racing through life until I can get back to my characters and get their stories down.

Thanks for reading and if anyone wants to share where their inspiration comes from, I would love to hear from you. Also I am holding a contest to win the book of your choice from my Ellora’s Cave backlist.

~Lily Harlem x

You can visit Ms. Harlem at the following places:

I want to thank Ms. Harlem for appearing today and for taking the time to create this fun post. Ms. Harlem has several books out with EC. If you visit her blog at the link included above you can check them all out. But for today, I would like to share a few of her Ellora’s Cave titles with you.

I am doing something a little  different today because Ms. Harlem included several of her books in the blog post. So simply click on each cover in the above post by Ms. Harlem and you will be linked to the book information on the EC site. You will be given a blurb, excerpt, and buy link.

But I would like to highlight Ms. Harlem’s Quickie books. I have read several of these steamy novellas in the EC  QUICKIE line and thought it would be good to tell you all a bit about this one too.

An Ellora’s Cave QUICKIE

As Robbie Harding belts out hit song Jenny to a packed Wembley Stadium, my heart tears, my mind fudges and my insides heat to a lusty, pulsing boiling point.

Why me more than the other 90,000 screaming fans?

Because I’m Jenny—he’s singing about me.

The guy is sex on legs with a voice to match and has starred in all my hot dreams since the day boys became interesting. For three precious years, it was more than hot dreams. Turns out he wants me back in his life and his bed. How can I resist?

So with lots of naked, sweaty and downright dirty time to make up for, I wield my backstage pass, hunt him down and refuse to be starstruck by the boy next door. Seems Robbie agrees, as he insists on tuning in to my needs and rediscovering our rhythm before we even reach a bedroom.

An Ellora’s Cave QUICKIE

Most women would think themselves eternally lucky to have a hot, sinfully sexy rock star giving them the serious come-on—so imagine how I felt to find not one but two giving me the eye! Phew! I was turning somersaults.

But of course this led to a massive and, quite honestly, unenviable dilemma. How the heck do you choose between two rock gods who want nothing more than to give you pleasure of the extremely intense variety?

Lucky for me these global superstars were brothers who knew just how to share the same toy—sorry, I mean woman. That left me free to take a break from managing the band and let their experienced, talented hands manage me.

Ms. Harlem has generously provided an excerpt for us to accompany a GIVEAWAY! Yay! We love us some giveaways on the blog, don’t we? Yes, we surely do! Yippee skippee! So read the excerpt and then be sure to enter the giveaway!

(adult content)

With my window letting in the sounds of the city, I spread my notes on my bed and tapped away on my netbook. The history of law was everyone’s most hated subject, but I knew the sooner I tackled it the better. Leaving it to the last minute would be crazy.

Eventually though, as darkness claimed the hall grounds and the lampposts flicked on, I decided to call it a day, or rather a night. I saved my work and flopped back on the bed. I would just stretch out for ten minutes before I got up to change and get ready for sleep.

But sleep wouldn’t wait, and before I knew it I felt myself drifting. Falling into a dark, dreamy world. My eyes were heavy, my breathing shallow. I let myself go— float into a world of thoughts and nothingness, white clouds and black sleep.


There was tightness over my mouth and pressure over the entire length of my body. Whatever it was had squeezed the air from my lungs and was pinning me to the bed. I opened my eyes, panicked.

“Shh!” Ty said, his eyes wide and his nose practically touching mine.

Hastily, I nodded. Oh my god. Was I dreaming or was Ty really here, lying on the bed with me?

He hesitated then lifted his gloved hand from my mouth just a fraction. “You are going to keep quiet, aren’t you?”

“Yes, of course,” I whispered.

This was no dream.

“Good, ’cause I don’t want that copper who’s stalking you to come crashing in.”

“He won’t. I promise.”

Ty lifted up, reached over and shut the window. With a snap, he drew the curtains then pulled off his gloves.

“Is that how you got in?” I asked.

He nodded.

“Really, up the tree, and…” Something was different. I realized what it was. “Why has the lamppost gone off?”

“I tripped it, didn’t want anyone seeing me breaking into the foreign minister’s daughter’s bedroom.” He grinned naughtily.

“And did they?”

“No, I shouldn’t think so, not at three in the morning.”

“Three?” I glanced at my bedside clock. Sure enough, it was three a.m.

He chuckled and lay back down next to me. “I guess you got carried away with your studies. I used to be like that.”


“Yeah, don’t look so shocked, I have a first in sports science.” He touched his finger to the bald patch of my scalp and a rush of heated desire poured through me. “I know all about the human body,” he whispered, “and exactly what it needs to stay healthy and happy and…satisfied.”

Unable to suppress a whimper of pure lust, I slid my hand over his shoulders and tugged him closer. “I wish you would damn well give me some of the satisfaction I need.”

“You’re always so demanding, and so…damn…horny.” He touched his lips to mine, soft and gentle, his tongue peeking into my mouth and past my teeth to tangle and turn and explore. “Oh Jesus, Penny, you drive me crazy,” he murmured. “You do know that, don’t you?”

“Good, because that’s how you make me feel.”

He stroked down the column of my neck, dipping his fingertip into the hollow of my throat and down my sternum. “I want you so bad,” he said, “but there is something we have to do before we can be together.”

“What?” What could he possibly need to do other than put on a damn condom? His erection was growing by the second against my hip. All I needed was for him to get inside me like he had before. Thrust and grind and do that thing to my clit he was so bloody good at. Just the thought of it had me shivering.

“Wait,” he said, reaching behind himself.

Suddenly a tight strip of tape slapped over my mouth. Gone was the luscious kissing of moments ago and in its place foul plastic stickiness.

“Mmmph!” I managed, trying to project massive indignation with my eyes.

“It won’t take long.”

I tried to reach for the tape, intent on pulling it off, but he had both my hands harnessed in just one of his.

“Sit.” He pulled me upright, tugging at my sweater. “We need this off.” His breaths were rapid and hot on my face as he moved his hands quickly and efficiently, freeing my arms from the sweater before swiftly dragging it over my head.

“Ah fuck, white,” he said, staring at my pretty lace bra. It had delicate scallop details over the rise of my small, pert breasts and a tiny pale blue flower in the center between the cups. “White is my very favorite.” His voice was almost wistful.

“Mmmph!” I mumbled again. Why did I have this tape on? I said I wouldn’t shout for Roger. Why didn’t he believe me?

“Shh, shh, just for a minute, baby, just for a couple of minutes.” He stood, still holding my wrists tight, and nudged the straight-backed chair out from under my desk with his foot. “Up, come on, sit on here, quickly.” He glanced at the door.

As soon as I was on the chair he was behind me, wrapping what felt like cord around my wrists. I yanked but the binding was tight and attached me to the rungs.

“It’s okay,” he soothed by my ear, his breath warm and tickly. “It’s okay.” He slid his hand over my bare shoulder, tracing the strap of my bra right down to the cup.

I arched my spine, needing his touch so desperately. Ty in my fantasies would have his hands all over me by now. Ty in my fantasies would already be ravishing me until we were both desperately trying to muffle our screams and panting for breath.

But this wasn’t fantasy, this was real. Ty was really here, really tying me up again. And for god’s sake, why was this stuff on my mouth?

He poked his fingers into my bra and tweaked my nipple. I whimpered and fluttered my eyes shut. His caress sent sinful licks of wantonness raging though me.

“Damn it, Ty,” he muttered. “Think of James.” His body heat left me and the next thing I knew he was pulling off my jeans, exposing my tiny white thong. “Ah, fucking hell, what are you trying to do to me?” he groaned, wearing a very real expression of pain.

I couldn’t answer.

He reached back onto the bed for a small, brown leather rucksack. He delved into it and pulled out a newspaper and a camera.

“It’s yesterday’s,” he said. “But your father will still get the message.” He tilted his head and smirked lopsidedly. “The message that I can get to you whenever I want, wherever I want, bodyguard or no bodyguard.” Carefully he laid the newspaper on my lap. It was sort of folded up onto my belly so that the headline was visible. He took a step back and held up a small, silver digital camera. “I would say smile,” he said with a shrug, “but I guess it’s not appropriate.”


That was the goddamn understatement of the year. Dad was really going to flip at this one. Me in my underwear, gagged, tied to a chair in my room with Roger snoozing outside, just a few feet away. The shit was really going to hit the fan.


I heard the camera click once then Ty was back next to me. He folded up the paper and shoved it along with the camera into his bag.

“Mmmph,” I said, shifting on the chair.

“I’m sorry, so sorry,” he said, bending over me and peeling off the tape. It tugged and stung as it pulled my skin. “Baby, I’m sorry, I just needed to do that.” He shoved the tape into his bag too.

“For fuck’s sake,” I hissed. “That stuff is foul and what the hell are you playing at?”

He stooped and pressed a soft kiss to my lips. “Sorry, I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

I allowed my mouth to become pliant and open, let him in to search and gently tease my tongue with his in slow, languid movements. He tasted divine, like fresh water, a hint of vanilla and turned-on man. As he kissed me reverently, indulgently, my irritation with him dissolved as though it were a spoonful of sugar in hot tea. This was what I’d been waiting for, this moment with Ty. The man I shouldn’t want but did. The man whose tenacity and loyalty I admired
even though everyone else thought he was a brutish thug who should be hung, drawn and quartered.

“Ty,” I gasped. “Please, untie me.”

“Mmm, in a minute. I kinda like having you at my mercy.”

“I’ve noticed.”

He smiled, slow and sexy. “It gives me all kinds of dirty ideas.”

Ms. Harlem currently has a FREE read out and she wanted me to tell all of my readers about it! Simply click on the link below and you will be on your way to reading STOCKHOLM  SEDUCTION in a couple of clicks! And don’t forget the contest below.

Buy Links for Ms. Harlem’s books

So what do you think? If you liked those blurbs, or you want to know more about Ms. Harlem, please visit her website. And if you are interested in the books, support these awesome authors and buy their books. You can find out more about the mentioned Ellora’s Cave titles by clicking here: Lily Harlem.

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know a bit about Ms. Harlem and her EC titles. Please feel free to leave a comment or question for Ms. Harlem in the comment section below. We love hearing what you think and finding out what you want to know! AND Ms. Harlem has generously offered a digital copy of one of her backlist titles; winner’s choice to one lucky commenter. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form to be entered!


One commenter will be drawn at random to receive an eBook copy of one of Ms. Harlem’s backlist titles; winner’s choice. Must be 18 or older to enter. Contest open to international so long as you have a valid e-mail address! Reader’s Edyn and participating author are NOT responsible for lost or damaged items. Anyone may be disqualified at any time so be sure to follow directions to avoid disqualification. No substitutions allowed. Contest ends July 1st at midnight MST. That means you will have through June 30th to enter. When the clock strikes midnight on the 1st, the contest will be over. Winner will be contacted by e-mail. Winner will have 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen. Odds of wining depend on the number of entries received. Be forewarned! *serious face* Those who enter and do not follow the tasks properly will have their entries removed. *peers closer* Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I. Will. Check. Them. Not trying to be a pain, Sorry.

Okay everyone ... so Rafflecopter currently hates me! So I am going to forget about it this time. Please leave your question or comment for Ms. Harlem. I also ask that you follow Ms. Harlem at least one way and that you follow me at least one way. And don't forget to tell me how you followed us and your username. This contest will remain open until the end of the month when I announce all winners in the EC Feature Month. Thanks everyone!

Until next time …


  1. I am reading Stockholm Surrender and have become an instant fan of Lily Harlem! I am following her blog via email and am now following this one through GFC and Linky. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Michelle V
    romanceinreview AT gmail DOT com

    1. Michelle ~
      I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. Probably the best compliment I can ever recieve is that I have helped bring a new reader to an author. Thank you so very much for letting me know. And enjoy! Best of luck in the contest!

  2. Thank you for the link to get Stockholm Seduction for free. It's being downloaded to my Kindle asi type. I enjoyed all of the blurbs. I'm intrigued by the Stockholm stories the most. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    I follow you both on Twitter as @GeishasMom73

    Geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

    1. Stacie ~ I love telling readers about FREE reads. Generally those books are novellas, but I often find that they are just enough to allow the reader to get to know the writing style of the author. If you like what you read, then you are pretty likely to read more from that author. I think that novellas are some of the hardest books to write because there is a lot that has to be covered in a way the draws the reader in, doesn't overwhelm, yet still leaves you satisfied at the end. Authors who write novellas that I enjoy are pretty much always going to be an author I read in the future. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Best of luck to you in the contest.

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me, its great to be here. :-)

    1. Ms. Harlem,
      You are more than welcome. Thank you so much for helping me to make this month a fabulous one. :)

  4. And the winner is Stacie :-)

    1. Yay! CONGRATULATIONS Stacie! Enjoy your read!


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