January 21, 2014

'Naked Edge' by Charli Webb - Interview, Excerpt + GIVEAWAY

January 21, 2014
I've got an interview with author Charli Webb about her latest novel, Naked Edge, and an excerpt to share with you, along with a giveaway!

Title: Naked Edge
Author: Charli Webb
Publication Date: January 9, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Skylar's family was forced into the witness protection program when she was only seventeen. After her mother died years later, Sky moved back in with the only family she had left. She knew she'd run into her high school sweetheart but she didn't expect the changes she found in Rowdy. He wasn't the sweet boy she left so many years ago. He'd turned into a womanizing jerk but that didn't stop her heart from wanting him.

Q: Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?

Charli: Usually I just get up, walk across the hall to my office and start writing. Sometimes I’ll eat breakfast first, but Naked Edge kept me so excited that it negatively impacted my personal hygiene, diet and exercise routine.

My husband often came home to a dark house, no evidence of supper and me still in my pajamas.

If I need inspiration, I listen to music. I also write lyrics. Distilling a story into a few stanzas can help me focus on what’s essential.

Q: Where did you get the idea or inspiration for NAKED EDGE?

Charli: I wasn’t inspired to write Naked Edge. I was forced. ;-)

Rowdy made his first appearance in my head while I was working on River’s Remorse, the overdue, second book of my current YA paranormal romance series. Skylar quickly followed.

I tried to ignore the hot wilderness EMT with washboard abs, hiding a broken heart behind a bad attitude, and the sexy, stubborn, adrenaline junkie rock climber that refuses to give up on him. I had a deadline to meet. But Rowdy and Skylar refused to let me work. I tried to bribe them with promises of writing their story as soon as I finished River’s Remorse. They not-so-politely declined. I threatened to never write their story at all if they didn't shut the hell up.  

They responded by kidnapping my muse. 

As the deadline for River’s Remorse drew near, I started having panic attacks.

After lots of soul searching and tearful phone calls with my editor, we decided the best way to finish River’s Remorse was to put it aside temporarily and write the story that wants to be written. 

So that's what I did. The first draft of Naked Edge only took three months.

Skylar and Rowdy forced me to write their story, but I was inspired to set it in Eldorado Canyon. Climbers from all over the world come to “Eldo” to tackle its unique and challenging routes but it’s literally ten minutes from my front door. I can’t imagine a better setting for a wilderness EMT and an adrenaline junkie.

“The Naked Edge” is one of the most famous climbing routes in the park. It also makes a great title for a contemporary romance novel ;-)

Q: What was your favorite part writing this novel?

Charli: I loved writing all of Rowdy’s POV scenes. You’d think writing from a female perspective would be easier for a woman, but I always fall in love with my male protagonists.

I had the most fun writing the lyrics for “Where You Are,” the song that Rowdy sings to Skylar in his bedroom. The lyrics aren’t even in the book, but I hired a musician to write the music and perform it.  I cried the first time I heard it. The song will be available on iTunes soon, but it’s on YouTube right now. Check it out “Where You Are.”

Q: What was the most difficult part writing this novel?

Charli: The climbing scenes. I’m not a rock climber so I had to do a lot of research to figure out how to stage the action. I enjoy research, but it definitely impacts daily word count goals.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Charli: I love to hang out and hike in Eldorado Canyon, explore local bike trails and ski.

Q: Any future writing news you would like to share?

Charli: I have to finish River’s Remorse but the next Rocky Mountain Romance book is begging to be written. I’m not sure which couple I’ll focus on, but a large part of the story will be set in a tropical rain forest when Rowdy, Skylar and the gang travel to Costa Rica for spring break.

Rowdy turns my hands over and kisses both palms. “I didn’t break any of my promises until after the funeral.”
My heart stops. I take a step back to give myself some breathing room. “Why then?”
“I ran out of excuses.” He shrugs. “You were nineteen. I couldn’t blame your absence on your parents anymore.”
“Is that when you started to hate me?”
“I never hated you.” Rowdy lifts my chin with his forefinger and ducks his head to capture my gaze. “I tried. Everyday since the funeral, I tried to hate you. But it never worked. I could be angry with you, furious even, but hate you? Never.”
I’m melting into a puddle of Rowdy-adoring goo. I need to reestablish a few boundaries, before I forget how. I rock back on my heels.
Rowdy slides his calloused palms down my arms, guiding my hands to his shoulders. He digs his fingers into my hips and pulls me against his body. Holy crap, he’s hard.
I instinctively lean into him. We’re both trembling.
I sway on my feet. “Can we sit down? I’m feeling a little lightheaded.”
He pulls back, and searches my face. “Do you need your inhaler?”
“No. I’m just nervous.”
He chuckles. “Me too.”
“You’re nervous?”
“I haven’t done this in a long time.”
“That’s not what I heard.” I push away from him.
He catches my wrists, completely encircling them with his fingers. His voice deepens to a growl. “What have you heard?”
“That you’re with a different girl every night.” I stare into his eyes, daring him to lie to me.
“That’s a gross exaggeration.” He lets go of my hands and sits on the edge of the bed.
I sit beside him and put a hand on his knee. “I get that you felt betrayed. And I understand why you broke your promise to never make love to anyone but me. But I don’t understand—”
“I didn’t break that promise.”
“Don’t lie to me, Rowdy.” My heart aches. I hate that he sleeps around, but I can forgive him as long as he stops doing it and doesn’t lie about it. If he lies, we don’t have a chance.
“I’ve fucked more women than I can count, but you’re the only one I’ve ever made love to.”
I really shouldn’t find that obscene remark the least bit endearing. I bite my lip to keep from smiling. I can’t let him think for one second that I’m okay with his promiscuity. Because I most certainly am not.
 “I’ve never kissed anyone but you, either.” His cheeks flush. I definitely find that endearing.
“You’re joking, right?”
“I don’t like kissing, so I don’t do it.” He cups my cheek. “If anyone has a problem with it, they can walk away.”
“Has anyone ever walked away?”
He quirks one side of his mouth up into a lopsided grin then caresses my lower lip with his thumb. “Never.”
“That cocky attitude of yours is not the least bit sexy.” My shallow, rapid breathing and racing heart indicate otherwise. Who’s the liar now?
He brushes his lips across mine, barely touching them, softer than the stroke of a butterfly’s wing. He kisses my neck, right below my ear. “Did you seriously just use cocky and sexy in the same sentence?”
“I thought you didn’t like kissing.” I tilt my head, giving him better access to my throat.
He kisses a trail across my collarbone. “I don’t like kissing anyone but you.”
My eyelids flutter shut.
He brushes his lips across mine again. Once, twice, and then his mouth captures mine. His tongue sweeps across the seam of my lips, a subtle request for permission to enter.
I can’t refuse him. He tastes so good. A hint of cinnamon layered over something that is pure Rowdy. I search for an analogy so I can always remember it. His taste, his smell. God I missed it. But how do you describe the taste of pure bliss?
He moves slowly, gently. So tenderly. His kiss is just as I remembered. It awakens something deep inside me. Something that has lain dormant for the past four years. A whole-body yearning that’s so intense it’s painful.
I love that he’s being careful with me, but I need more. I keep one hand over his heart and tangle the other in his hair. I pull his face closer and suck his lower lip into my mouth.
A primitive, animalistic sound rumbles deep inside his chest, vibrating against my palm. He thrusts his tongue into my mouth. No longer gentle, he’s claiming more than just my lips. I follow his lead as he establishes a seductive rhythm that promises so much more.

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