Recently Sirens Call Publications released it’s first romance/erotic anthology titles He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. True to form, we’re going to bring you guest posts from most of the authors who contributed stories, letting them share the inspiration behind what they wrote. Next up we have the author of Freefall – Kate Monroe.
Kate Monroe is an author and editor who lives in a quiet and inspirational corner of southern England. She has penchants for the colour black, horror and loud guitars, and a fatal weakness for red wine. Her interests in writing range from horror to erotica, taking in historical romance, steampunk and tales of the paranormal on the way; whatever she dreamed about the night before is liable to find its way onto the page in some form or another. With stories featured in anthologies by Sirens Call Publications, Cruentus Libri Press, Angelic Knight Press, Rainstorm Press and Smart Rhino Publications, her published works are as eclectic as her tastes. Kate’s steampunk romance novel, The Falcon’s Chase, is available through Sirens Call Publications. Find out more at http://kateserenmonroe.com/ or join her on Facebook.
FreeFall: The Inspiration Behind the Story
Everyone knows the forbidden thrill of an office romance. Whether it’s a harmless crush on the new guy who always brings you a cappuccino in the morning, or a furtive delight every time the boss calls you into his office, most of us have been there at some point. Normally it goes no further than a handful of loaded glances or a few flirty smiles over the water cooler, but now and again that initial sense of attraction fails to fizzle out.
Sometimes it becomes something far stronger.
In the workplace, though, the risk of taking that next step is perhaps more dangerous than anywhere else. If it works out, you have to endure the torment of being the focus of the office gossip, aware that everything that should be the most private part of your life is open for public delectation – and worse, if it doesn’t work out, you either have to leave your job behind or face up to seeing the one person you can’t stand being around every day.
Far easier to pretend it isn’t there; to pretend you don’t need that person anywhere near as much as you do. Far easier not to take the chance of ruining everything you’ve worked for, or even having your heart broken.
That’s exactly what Amy tells herself in Freefall. Her boss, Rhys, captivated her from the very first moment they met, but she’s proud. Too proud, perhaps. Her career means everything to her, and she fought with all she had to get to where she is at the start of the story. Rhys, though, is a desperate temptation; but it’s one she knows she has to resist. Protected by the facade of professionalism they both wear like a shield, it’s all too easy to ignore the secret longing that threatens to ruin everything she’s worked so hard for.
Emotions, though, can rarely stay bottled up forever. When Amy inadvertently lets slip to Rhys just how much she wants him, she sets in motion a chain of events that make it impossible to ignore all she feels for him any longer. One way or another, the risk has to be taken and the decision made.
Maybe there’s more than a shred of personal experience in everything that goes through Amy’s head. Without giving too much away, my story that perhaps subconsciously inspired Freefall didn’t have a happy ending – but the title of this anthology is He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. To find out which one applies for Amy and Rhys, I guess you’re just going to have to read it!
All little girls, and some little boys, know the game He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Each one who plays hopes to end on the He Loves Me petal. But how many of us really find that perfect mate? That one partner who will love us unconditionally for the rest of our lives? How many of us really live the dream, and how many live through the heartbreak of ending on the He Loves Me Not petal?
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is an anthology of ten stories told from ten different perspectives on love and romance. Some have happy endings, while others end in tears, on a note of desperation, or even a new beginning. A few of the stories are fantasies come true, some steamy encounters of wanton lust, and others still are tales of woe – but the one thing they all have in common – they answer the age old question; does he love me, or does he not?
North Star – Rhiannon Fox
Glynnis – Julianne Snow
The Headless Ladies – Brenda Moguez
Keeping Distance – Alex Chase
Don’t Call Me When He Tries To Kill You – Kerry G.S. Lipp
Freefall – Kate Monroe
Living in the Shades – Vincent Ashcroft
Ruby – Stephanie Nett
Control – Ara Lynn
Railroaded – O.M. Grey
And now it’s time for an excerpt…
Amy Madden didn’t want to be here. When at the age of eighteen she had moved to London, this wasn’t how she had imagined her life would be. Full of the heady, untouchable optimism of youth, she had thrown herself into all that the vibrant city had to offer her, certain that by the time she was twenty five all she wanted would be hers. But here she was on a Saturday night, alone in the corner of a painfully fashionable townhouse for another dull dinner party she didn’t want to attend.
The hosts were near strangers to her; she had met Dylan and Karin only once before. The only reason she was here was that Dylan’s younger brother, Jamie, had begged her to come with him to keep him company. The two brothers had nothing in common beyond genetics and had never got along, so she had reluctantly sacrificed her evening to hold her friend’s hand through the Knights’ latest chance to boast to all their family and friends of their wealth and success.
With a low sigh, Amy took a deep sip of the expensive champagne that Karin had pressed into her hand and slouched against the wall. Before her thoughts could continue their journey down the morose path they seemed set upon tonight, she heard her name being called from across the room. Dylan ambled towards her with a champagne flute in each hand and a mischievous spark in his eyes that instantly had her on her guard. “Hey, Amy! Have you seen my little brother around?”
She gritted her teeth. So much for her keeping him company; Jamie had disappeared into the garden with one of Karin’s friends almost as soon as they had arrived. “Sorry, Dylan. I’ve not seen him for an hour or so now.”
“Damn him! I wanted a hand dishing up in the kitchen.” The twinkle in his round eyes briefly dimmed, but when he glanced over his shoulder it sparked again. “If you’re all on your own, maybe I should give one of my friends a shout to keep you company for a few minutes until dinner’s ready.”
Amy inwardly groaned. From what Jamie had told her, Dylan’s friends were City boys to a man, arrogant and condescending with only one thing on their mind. “No, really, Dylan. I’m fine, honestly–“
He held up a champagne laden hand to cut short her protest. “I insist, Amy. Come on, there’s plenty of guys here who’d be happy to entertain you for a while.”
So that was his intention. No doubt prompted by Karin, it seemed that Dylan was set upon a little match-making. Even had she been interested in any of his friends, Amy was far from in the right mood to play along with his games. Her face tight, she shook her head from side to side and waved away the fresh drink he tried to ply her with. “I’m really not up for making conversation, Dylan. I’ve had a busy week at work and I’ve barely stopped.”
Before Dylan could reply, someone else spoke for him.
“All the more reason to wind down and relax now, Amy. From what I heard on Friday, you’ve more than earned your fun.”
Amy knew the voice that had so coolly interrupted hers and Dylan’s conversation.
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow when Alex Chase talks about his inspiration for Keeping Distance!