Monday 29 December 2014

Interview: Purely Professional by [+giveaway]

Purely Professional
by Elia Winters


Columnist Bridget Hartwell agrees to write about BDSM to impress her new executive editor at Sultry, the “sex-positive magazine for sex-positive women.” Unfortunately, it’s a topic she knows absolutely nothing about…but if she ever wants that promotion, she’ll need to learn the ropes, fast.

English professor Max Harlow is active in the Dom/sub scene, but only for casual play—he’s never found his ideal partner: a woman who is his equal, but sexually submissive. When he’s asked to explain the lifestyle to his cute but obviously inexperienced neighbor, Max is certain it’s best to approach it academically—to keep things purely professional.

Until Bridget’s first article is a huge hit, giving her the perfect excuse to delve deeper into the naturally submissive side of her sexuality. But as their encounters intensify and each of her boundaries is skillfully pushed, Bridget must decide what this all means… for her identity, her career, and, most importantly, her future with Max.

Purely Professional is available from:
Carina Press
Barnes & Noble,%201

Hi! Glad to have you here. 
Thanks! I’m happy to be here.

Now, to start, what inspired you to write Purely Professional?
I wrote Purely Professional for my ten-year anniversary of National Novel Writing Month. I’d spent the previous years writing some pretty intense stuff - high fantasy, dystopia, horror, and I wanted to step away from all that intensity and write something fun. I hadn’t written erotic romance in a while, so I thought I’d write an erotic romance that indulged all my fantasies. When I finished, I knew I had something that I could make publishable, and Purely Professional was born.

How would you describe the story to someone who hasn't read it yet?
In Purely Professional, a journalist explores the submissive side of her sexuality under the guidance of her Dominant neighbor. It’s a great introduction into BDSM, but also hot enough for those who have a few knots in their rope already.

Describe Bridget and Max in 3 words each.
Bridget - curious, independent, tenacious
Max - playful, smoldering, confident

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why? 
Without giving too much away, there’s a scene with a remote-controlled toy at one of Max’s lectures. I find public play super hot but don’t usually have the courage to do any myself, so I got to live out one of my own fantasies through Bridget.

Why do you write erotic romance?
It took me a long time to embrace my sexuality. I think I owe my current confidence and sex-positive attitude to reading a lot of romance and erotica. Female sexuality is still frowned upon and repressed by our society - in movies, for instance, female orgasm instantly gets a higher MPAA rating than male orgasm - and romance novels are one way in which our sexuality is explored and celebrated. I want to be part of that and help further that cause. Plus it really turns me on.

Do you listen to music while you write?
I do! My husband likes to have the television on, but I’m easily distracted, much like a raccoon. Music helps me tune out the world. I prefer classical music for writing and I probably listened to the “Danse Macabre” on repeat about a hundred times while editing my latest book. 

Did you always want to be an author?
Yes. I knew I’d probably have other jobs, but I wanted to be an author since I knew what an author was. 

Does your family read your books?
Oh, my, this is a hell of a question. My mother recommends my book, but I don’t think she’s actually read it. My mother-in-law keeps “meaning to read it,” but either she hasn’t done so yet or hasn’t brought it up. I want to be all sex-positive and say that I want them all to read it, but I don’t know that I want to have those conversations with them afterward.

Can you tell me some of your favorite authors? How about books?
I come from an English Literature background, so I love the classics - anything by Dickens, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, all that stuff. For more modern lit, I love Margaret Atwood, especially Oryx and Crake. My favorite book is probably The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, which shaped my religious views more than I realized at the time I was reading it, and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is a book I can return to over and over again and never tire of its wonders. I have a special place in my heart for the Harry Potter books, of course, but I think everyone does… or should. On a very different note, Charlotte Stein writes some of the hottest sex I’ve read on paper. 

What are you currently working on? 
My next book, Playing Knotty, comes out this March. I’m so excited about this book, I can’t even tell you. As a fat activist, I’ve wanted to write a book with a plus-sized main character for a while, one where she doesn’t lose weight and still finds love and some incredibly hot sex. That’s Playing Knotty. I’m also in edits for Combustion, which is a Steampunk erotic romance. Combustion is the book that launched a series - I hope! - and I have a handful of drafts of other novels in that world that I can’t wait to revise and get into submission. 

A few short answer questions:
Tea or coffee?
Tea most of the time, coffee no more than twice a week when I want a treat.

Do you prefer the sea side or the mountains?
Mountains, no question. Preferably on a lake.

Sweet or salty?

Print or ebook?
Print for books I want to treasure, eBook for books I want to consume. Usually I just want to consume, so I go eBook. 

Movies or TV shows?
Movies, easily. I love the whole theater-going experience.


When Bridget woke up the next morning, her head throbbing, it took a moment for the events of the previous evening to come flooding back to her. She groaned. What had she gotten herself into? Setting up this arrangement with Max was, undoubtedly, the dumbest thing she’d ever done, and in the light of morning, her own stupidity seemed so obvious it was almost painful. She picked up her phone from the nightstand and considered texting him and calling the whole thing off, playing the drunk card; she even got so far as to open the message window. But then other thoughts came to mind: his hand on the back of her neck, holding her mouth pressed to his. The insistence of his lips and tongue. His deep voice, like sex and whiskey and naughty promises. She set her phone aside and licked her lips. This might be dumb, but damn it all if she wasn’t going through with it anyway, because honestly, she wanted him to show her what else she could feel.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a  bottomless well of geekiness.

Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.

Elia’s virtual life is as busy as her real life. In addition to her website,, you can also find her on:


Elia will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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