Please welcome the brilliant H. K. Carlton to the StudioBlog. [Cheers and clapping from the sidelines. Someone is even blowing one of those noisy party wotsits. You know the kind, where a shiny paper tube unfurls. God bless them.] We’ve known H. K. for some time now, and she’s fabulous to work with. So, without further ado, let’s interview! Oh, we’re poets and didn’t know it…

Studioenp: Silence or noise when writing?

H K: Noise, noise, noise. I always have the TV or the radio on. Not that I pay attention to it, I just need some sort of background sound.

Studioenp: It’s so interesting how some people can work with noise yet others absolutely can’t. What’s your latest release?

H K: I am up to my keyboard in re-releases at the moment. The latest is entitled The Fall of Cairnnon Castle, the third instalment in the haunting Lustful Possession saga.

Studioenp: Ooh, that sounds delightful! How did the plot come about for it?

H K: This series originated from a dark, erotic, paranormal, romance submission call. It was intended to be a stand-alone short story. I wrote the first instalment, Meet Me in the Dark, and when I reached the end, I knew there was more. Much more. Seven shorts later…well, let’s just say I’m not a fan of a preset word restriction. The series is a bit of a menagerie, mixing several different sub-genres, beyond the above mentioned (contemporary, historical, time-travel) and couplings, including m/f and m/m relationships, with m/m/m, f/f and m/f/f encounters.

Studioenp: Well now, quite the mixed bag and something for everyone. Excellent! How long did it take you to write it?

H K: If I remember correctly, it took about seven months to complete the series.

Studioenp: Wowsers! What’s next on your writing list?

H K: Next on the list is a sequel to a Christmas story that came out at the end of 2017. Xmas Spouse Swap is about a set of twin sisters who decide to spice up their love lives by switching places and swapping husbands. Talk about a Merry Christmas! The sequel is sort of an aftermath story. As you can imagine, spouse swapping, especially with your twin sister, can come with some side effects.

Also, one of my goals for this year—I’m hoping to try my hand at self-publishing for the first time. I’ll be re-releasing what was my very first published work, which Emmy designed the cover for, all the way back in 2012. And when it’s time, I’ll be knocking at The Studio’s door for a brand-new cover for that story. I can hardly wait!

Studioenp: Oooh, so exciting! Can’t wait! Are you a plotter or panster?

H K: I’m a bit of both, I guess. Sometimes I begin with a vague idea and a loose outline. For me, a lot of the plot comes during the writing process itself. It’s that part of the creativity that really gets things flowing for me. I may intend to head one way, and as the words come together and the characters develop, I head in the opposite direction. I never truly know ‘the end’ until I get there. And even then, sometimes it’s not really the end, if that makes sense. Several times I’ve penned what I thought at the onset was a stand-alone, but once I reached the intended conclusion, I found there was more to the story. Often other characters emerge, who demand a say in the rest of the story.

Studioenp: You have a very active imagination, then. So when you’re not madly writing, what’s your go-to form of procrastination?

H K: Ugh, social media! Twitter and FB. And if I’m really trying to avoid writing or more so marketing—grrr—I hit the dreaded housework.

Studioenp: Ah, but housework means a wandering mind and plot bunnies, which is good. How many hours per week do you write?

H K: That depends on what’s going on in real life. Beyond that, often marketing, blog posts, or editing get in the way of writing new material. Though I try to fit in a couple of hours a day, it rarely works out that way anymore.

Studioenp: Real life can be so rude with its intrusions. What’s one genre you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t—and will you ever write it?

H K: I would like to write a horror story. In fact, I started one, 2,700 words so far. One of my publishers has a submission call out for horror, too. My dilemma is, the guideline calls for steamy romance with an HEA or HFN, and I think this one wants to go full-on horror, so there will be no happily-ever-after for the protagonist. The way it’s shaping up in my mind, the main character will be well and truly effed.

Studioenp: Ahahaha, Em’s kind of story. What’s the best book you’ve written?

H K: Oh my, isn’t that like having a favourite kid? LOL. It’s a toss up between historical romance, The Devil Take You, set in England and Scotland. The male MC is a nasty guy, a classic anti-hero, with lots of secrets. (TDTY, will also be out later this year as a re-release with a new publisher). The other story I am most proud of is The Always Cambridge Saga, a romantic suspense series about the daughter of a mob boss who goes on her own journey to escape the life. She quickly finds it’s not that easy.

The stories are very different, but both very near and dear to my heart. Funnily enough, I wrote them around the same time, and they are my best and steadiest sellers.

Studioenp: Yay for steady sellers! Thank you so much for visiting us today, and Em is looking forward to creating a new cover for you. She’s bouncing up and down on her seat in excitement—ha!

Dear readers, please grab what’s on offer today—a cinnamon roll and a cup of tea or coffee—and relax while you read H K’s excerpt.

Blurb for The Fall of Cairnnon Castle [Lustful Possession #3]

Castle Cairnnon—perhaps not the gate, but the epicenter of hell.

Neve Brádach had always wanted to work with an internationally renowned team of paranormal investigators, so when a U.S. team decides to explore a famous site in her own backyard, Cairnnon Castle, she does everything she can to secure a place on the team.

One of the most haunted places on earth, Cairnnon Castle is home to one of the most malevolent entities ever documented, Bás a thagann. Loosely translated, it means simply—death comes. When the enthusiastic American troop descends on Neve’s Irish hills, the last thing they expect to do is rile up the evil within.

But Bás takes an immediate interest in one of the American investigators and holds him prisoner within the castle, sapping his strength and will. As Neve and the others rush to find a solution before another good man loses his soul to the malicious elemental, she discovers the secret that might send Bás a thagann to its own permanent hell.

As Neve verbalizes the words that should free Cairnnon from its most evil resident, the castle crumbles around her, leaving her broken, dying, and trapped in the belly of the beast.

Neve is left defenseless to fight it and is forced to suffer a life that is not her own.

This series is a re-release

Warning: This collection of short stories contains m/f and m/m couplings and cliff-hangers. Instalments must be read in order.

Excerpt for The Fall of Cairnnon Castle [Lustful Possession #3]:

Neve Brádach opened her eyes. She was floating outside her body, above herself, looking down through the rubble and ruin that just hours ago had been Cairnnon Castle. Centuries-old stones and debris lay on top of her broken body, but somehow, she managed to see through the layers to her physical form below.

Unbelievably, sadness at her own horrific demise was not her first concern.

“Neve! Neve! We’re coming! Don’t give up! I’ll get you out!” It was Arnie Rollison’s frantic voice. The man she’d longed to work with for years was now digging desperately with his bare hands. Unguarded tears ran down his dirty cheeks, leaving trails.

She felt sorry for him. He sounded so adamant, so determined. As if he still had hope.

There were tons and tons of wreckage. Even if she were still alive—and she wasn’t convinced that she was—they’d never reach her in time.

Neve laid a hand on his shoulder. “Arnie. Stop, my friend.”

His head twitched, as if he’d heard her, and his frenetic actions ceased for a moment

“I’m sorry, Neve. I’m so sorry!”

Without warning, she was jerked back inside her body. The pain was dull, not sharp like it had been in the beginning.

Shit! I’m not dead. But I’m goin’ to die in here. I’ve seen the devastation above me. Death was going to be long and arduous.

* * * *

Much later, the heavy equipment continued to dig above her, but she drifted out once more.

The next time she woke, the weight had been lifted from her chest. She opened her eyes, and to her astonishment, she was able to move her arms and legs. She looked down at her limbs.

“What am I wearin’?” She let her fingers run over the unfamiliar fabric. “Where am I?” She searched the strange room. She blinked rapidly, confused. Who am I?

Her mind was blank, devoid of all memory.

Noise, like that of a large crowd reached her ears.

Gaining her feet, she followed the sound, out of the room and down a hallway.

It seemed like a party. Everyone was in costume. Lit torches in sconces lined the wall, giving the entire area a dreamlike quality.

From nowhere, someone grabbed her.

“There ya are. Where have ya been?”

Neve gaped up at the most incredible looking man she’d ever seen. Chiseled, rugged features. Striking, dark eyes. Strong chin. Tall. Muscular. He wore a crisp-looking white linen shirt, baggy trousers, and a blue and green checked sash.

He smiled, obviously sensing her attraction to him.

“Watch that smoulderin’ gaze, my sweet Nevaeh, or I will throw ya over my shoulder, with or without the vows, and take ya to my chambers and ravish ya until ya canna walk.

Sounds good to me!

“Come. This is our celebration. Let us dance. I want nuthin’ more than to feel ya in my arms.”

He twirled her around and escorted her out onto the ballroom floor.

About H K:

H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and its varied sub-genres. From naughty to nice, historical to contemporary, time travel to space travel, and everything in between.

Variety is creativity’s playground—It’s where you’ll find me.

       

 

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