Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Stripped Bare
Author: Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin
Genre/Sub-Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, M/M Romance
Prism recently reviewed Stripped Bare. You can find the review here.
When Donovan Ramsey comes home from yet another business trip he realizes he and his long-term boyfriend, Nate Pearson, have drifted apart. Donovan is used to engineering solutions in his career, but he’s stumped on how to fix his dwindling sexual relationship with Nate.
After a late night internet search, Donovan finds a place that might be exactly what they need to rekindle the romance in their relationship. There’s just one catch: the idyllic Cooper Mountain Bed and Breakfast specializes in BDSM for couples.
Over the course of the weekend, the two men experience a taste of what the BDSM lifestyle has to offer. Will that taste lead to a stronger connection between Nate and Donovan, or will it ultimately be their undoing?
We are here today to talk about Stripped Bare. What can you tell us about it?
We’ve always been intrigued by the BDSM scene and so the question “Where would a couple go to learn about it all?” came up. There are clubs and private lessons one can take, but what if a couple wanted to get away, make a weekend out of it, learn a little just to see what it was like? The cool thing is there are several resorts/B&B’s that cater to this. So, after some brainstorming, the whole Cooper Mountain series started to take form.
Tell us more about Donovan and Nate?
For us, Donovan and Nate are an average couple who love each other, but have found themselves in normal grind of working and responsibilities that so many of us find ourselves in. They work long hours, take work home even after those long hours, are exhausted after those long hours of work, and so their physical relationship is flagging. They still love each other, but they both miss the passion they had when they first started dating. So, Donovan decides to remedy that. Donovan is a natural caretaker, but he’s also likes to have control. Not in a destructive way, but more in a problem solving/let me take care of this for you to show you how much I love you way. Nate’s fully independent, but he’s so drained from having to be in control so much in his classroom, he craves giving up some of that responsibility of making decisions so he can just relax and enjoy his time with Donovan.
Can you tell us more about Cooper Mountain?
Cooper Mountain was inspired by our search of places that hold classes for people interested in BDSM. We wanted something more intimate than a club and a lot less intimidating for a newbie who isn’t even sure this is the right thing for him and his partner, so Cooper Mountain B & B was created. It’s a place for couples (or individuals when Logan holds classes) to go to get away from the hectic pace of their everyday lives so they can reconnect with their partner, get in touch with themselves, or discover what (if any) kinks they might be interested in. Cooper Mountain is run mostly by Logan, but his submissive, Toby, helps with the demonstrations and classes.
Do you have inspiration images for Donovan and Nate?
I just remember our discussion about how Donovan resembles Colin Firth in our heads. Because Colin Firth.
How did your partnership begin? How do you split writing duties?
We met online a few years ago in a group that was discussing a particular book. (Ironically enough, it was a BDSM erotic romance book.) Through chatting, we found we liked the same books and food (we’re both crazy into food) and quickly developed a friendship. One day, Nikka brought up the idea of collaborating on a novella based on a submission call she’d seen online, which would later turn into our first collaboration and our first novella, Chasing Matt. After that, we knew we wanted to keep writing together, so we began brainstorming other ideas for novels/novellas/short stories we could work on together.
Since we don’t live close to each other (something that seriously needs to change or Eileen is going to go crazy), we use google docs when we’re writing. We talk on the phone/chat/text our ideas to each other, plot out an outline (which Eileen loves and Nikka hates), then we start writing. Usually, one of us has more of an affinity for one character over the other, so we write those sections. However, there are always times when real life gets in the way and a deadline is looming, so we write whatever/whenever we can. It helps that we know each other so well that we can pick up where the other person left off.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
Nikka: Right now I’m reading Bareback by Chris Owens which is sexy and very hot. On the fantasy front I’m reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. On my TBR list is The Spectr series and Josh Lanyon’s Adrian English series which Eileen is poking me to read.
Eileen: I just finished Jordan Hawk’s Spectr series (OMG – soooo good!) and I’m about to begin Amy Lane’s Beneath The Stain, but I’ve heard it’s a tear-jerker so I need to invest in Kleenex before I start it. After that? I have Josh Lanyon, Riley Hart, and Tiffany Reisz in my TBR queue.
Do you read your reviews, and if so do they influence the way you write the next book at all?
Eileen: Wow, that’s a hard question to answer. I can honestly say I try to stay away from reviews. I try really hard to thank a blogger for reading and reviewing my/our books, but I don’t go searching for reviews. So if I don’t get tagged somehow, I usually miss them. When I do read them, I can’t say they influence the way I write. I’m of the mindset that not everyone will like our books. I read a lot and I’ve had to put down a few books other people have loved simply because they just didn’t hook me. But I see that as a personal preference thing, not a “This writer sucks” thing. So for me, reviews are a reader’s outlet on how they felt about the book. Nothing more, nothing less.
Nikka: I think it’s great when people take the time to leave a review. I don’t always get the chance to read them but they are appreciated. As for influencing the way we write the next book? No, not really. They books we plot out in advance and while reviews are appreciated, they don’t really effect the story.
Rapid Fire time:
Alone or At a Party?
Nikka: Both. I like hanging out with other people but I love downtime alone.
Eileen: Sometimes both. I like being around other people, but I get overwhelmed easily and need downtime.
Vodka or Tequila?
Nikka: Vodka! Tequila is the devil.
Eileen: Neither. I’m actually not a hard liquor fan. Instead I love really good robust red wines and microbrew or designer (AKA: way over-priced) beer.
Country or City?
Nikka: Both. Depends on my mood.
Eileen: I’m a city girl. I grew up in a huge city and never left. I love visiting the country for its beauty and serenity, but I get bored easily and can only take a few days of the peace and quiet before I get antsy.
Music or TV/Movies?
Nikka: Both. I love music to write to, but I’m totally a movie and TV nerd. Last movie I saw was Guardians of the Galaxy and am currently catching up on 30Rock.
Eileen: I love music (started out as a music major), but I also like to lose myself in TV shows. TV shows are just the right length for me (I like movies but usually can’t sit still for that long) and they allow me to just veg out for awhile and not think about anything. I get ragged on all the time for it, but I love reality TV (“The Amazing Race” and “Face Off” are two of my favorites), silly comedies (“Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family”) and totally unrealistic but juicy dramas (“Revenge”).
Sweet or Sour?
Nikka: I’m more of a savory fan, myself.
Eileen: Sweet all the way. I would happily dine on cake, pie, ice cream, and chocolate if I could get away with it. Alas, if you’ve seen my hips, you’ll know I can’t.
Handcuffs or Rope?
Nikka: Handcuffs. For the sensory feel.
Eileen: Oooh … rope for sure! I fine shibari fascinating and you can always use rope to bind someone’s wrists, so the handcuffs wouldn’t be needed at all 😉
Steak or pizza?
Eileen: I love a good steak. Medium, with a lot of cracked pepper on the top, maybe some melted butter and a little garlic. Nommy!
Nikka: Both. I’m with Eileen. I love a perfectly cooked Rib Eye, but I will throw down with a pizza any day.
Coke or Pepsi?
Eileen: Coke. Real Coke. 100% normal, real, full of calories and caffeine Coke.
Nikka: I second my co-writer. Coke.
What are you working on? What is next?
Together, we’re currently finishing Book 3 of our In The Kitchen series. We also have Book 2 of the Cooper Mountain series outlined and partially written, as well as Book 3 in the outlining phase.
Nikka: I’m working on a Christmas short for next year with Jamie and Ethan, a follow up to Saving Sam and Waking Up Wolf on my own.
Eileen: I’m also working on a short story for a potential anthology, a Christmas short featuring Ethan and Jamie, and a WIP I’ve been working on for about a year now, but those pesky deadlines for contracted WIPs keep pushing to the back burner.
Donovan recognized a few of the search results from friends’ suggestions about quick weekend getaways. The majority, though, were ones Donovan had never heard of. “Deluxe cottage, nestled in the woods. Full shower and bath. Total privacy.”
Donovan kept that window open, even though the price was way more than what he would normally pay for a hotel room for the night. The next boasted similar features, except this one had a private outdoor hot tub for the guests’ use. Donovan was about to go back to the first listing until he saw one that looked different from the others.
“Cooper Mountain. A secluded B&B that caters to couples who want to rekindle their relationship. Fully catered meals, private quarters, and attentive staff. LGBTQ Friendly.”
Out of curiosity, he clicked on the link. The first picture that popped up featured a beautiful cottage situated in a rural setting next to a lake. The next picture, however, had his mind reeling. A wooden cross, labeled St. Andrew’s Cross in the caption below, made him wonder if this was a couples’ retreat or a torture palace. The owner’s message at the bottom of the image gallery explained that play was optional, and every stage of kink was welcome. There were educational classes for newbies as well as complete privacy for the more advanced couples.
Testimonial after testimonial made his head swim.
“Toby and Logan are the perfect hosts. Not only did my partner and I rekindle the passion we thought we’d lost, we found out we really love floggers!”
“Thank you, Logan, for the best weekend getaway we’ve had in years. We’ll definitely be back on our next anniversary to try out the spanking bench.”
And the last one, “A weekend at Cooper Mountain worked wonders for expanding our understanding of the D/s relationship. We’ve grown closer as a couple and can’t wait to take more of Logan’s classes!”
Donovan’s mind raced as he clicked through the image gallery, shocked and slightly scandalized by the images he saw. After all, what kind of person got off on pain? What kind of person got pleasure from tying another person up or by dominating someone else sexually?
About the Author:
EILEEN GRIFFIN BIO:
Eileen Griffin lives in the southwest, but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M romance. Her past published works include: Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Nikka Michaels, Dinner For Two, a M/F romance novella, “Claiming Ayden”, a M/M shifter romance that is part of Evenight’s Alpha’s Claim Anthology: M/M Edition, and “Lost and Found”, a short story written for the M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet: Love’s Landscapes Event. Eileen is currently working on book three of the In the Kitchen series from Carina Press with Nikka Michaels, as well as several other projects both individual and co-authored.
NIKKA MICHAELS BIO:
Nikka Michaels lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking up romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story. She currently has several releases out including, Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Eileen Griffin, Christmas with Caden, a M/F romance novella from Cobblestone Press, “Waking up Wolf”, a M/M shifter romance in Evernight Publishing’s Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology, and the MM series which includes, Mile High Service, Room Service and Lip Service from Cobblestone Press’ Blue line. She also has a short story, “His Assistant” in Evernight Publishing’s best-selling Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition anthology.
EILEEN GRIFFIN SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Website and Blog: http://www.eileengriffin.wordpress.com
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/eileen.griffin
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/eileengriffinauthor
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/eileen-griffin/
NIKKA MICHAELS SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/Nikka.Michaels
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/nikkamichaelsauthor
Cobblestone Press: http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/author/nikkamichaels.htm
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/nikka-michaels/
Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin has kindly offered an eCopy for 1 lucky commenter
Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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