Breath on Embers was one of my favorite Erotic Romances of the year, and Anne Calhoun one of my favorite authors. So today I’m very happy to welcome her to the blog. The story is set in New York, and the city features prominently, almost like a secondary character. She’s here to tell us more about it.
Location, Location, Location – Columbus and Manhattan
“You know who lives here?” he asked as she was about to walk out. Without waiting for her response, he added, “People who want to feel alive.”“I should go back to Columbus then,” she said.“Is that a possibility?”She shrugged as she wrapped her scarf around her neck. “I don’t have a plan one way or the other,” she said truthfully. Right now her only plan was to get through the holidays. Life in January was impossible to imagine.She had the door open before he spoke. Like Erin, he liked to get the last word in. “Maybe you should stop fighting the city.”
BREATH ON EMBERS, my current release through Carina Press in the RED HOT HOLIDAY anthology, is set in Manhattan, specifically on the Upper East Side and in Midtown. This is a setting I know well. My husband and I moved to Manhattan in the late summer of 2001 and lived there until 2006. I would have stayed for the rest of my life but by the end we had a toddler and an apartment that seemed to be shrinking as he grew. I know people raise kids in the city, but we didn’t want to do that. So we moved back to the Midwest.
In some ways my time in the city was the best years of my life. Graduate school meant lots of time to read in Central Park as the season shifted, and I absolutely love public transportation. Life in the city was hard, too. We moved to NYC just in time for 9/11, and were also there through the blackout and the transit strike that left me pushing my son 50 blocks in a stroller to his preschool and my work.
Thea and Ronan fall in love in all the places I know best in New York. Ronan lives in my old building. A friend’s apartment provided the setting for Thea’s place on Carnegie Hill. Thea’s soup kitchen takes place in the one my husband and I worked in every month (Mr. C. washed pots and pans, too) and who could forget Midtown Manhattan tricked out for the holidays? I walked through the St. Patrick’s Day parade celebration on Second Avenue every year, and the Great Lawn in Central Park was my back yard. My son learned to walk on the Great Lawn.
But Columbus, Ohio plays a role in this story, too. Thea’s left her and her dead husband’s entire extended families back in Columbus. I’ve been to Columbus twice, once for a Romantic Times convention and another time for a chapter conference (at which I met my agent and my Berkley editor). The fair city of Columbus holds a special place in my heart, so when Thea needed good solid loving roots to avoid, Columbus fit the bill perfectly.
A friend of mine who read the book told me she felt the book was a cut above my other stuff because the setting was so vibrantly described. But…she also lived in NYC, so it was familiar to her.
What about you? Do you choose books based on settings, or do you find yourself reading more closely for errors? Comment for a chance to win BREATH ON EMBERS!
After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Her first book, LIBERATING LACEY won the EPIC Award for Best Contemporary Erotic Romance. Her story WHAT SHE NEEDS was chosen for Smart Bitch Sarah’s Sizzling Book Club. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, and yoga. She lives in the Midwest with her family and singlehandedly supports her local Starbucks.
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About the book:
Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.
Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.
Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?
Anne has kindly offered us an e-copy of Breath on Ember to give away to one of our readers. To win, just leave a comment answering Anne's comment or telling us about your favorite city. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your email address, please make sure to visit the blog on Sunday, December 16, to check if you won because I won’t be able to contact you. Contest open to all.
- Winner gets one digital copy of Breath on Embers by Anne Calhoun.
- Giveaway ends 12/16/12 at 5pm EST.
- Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced here on the blog, and will have 72 hours to respond.
- Contest open internationally.
- For more info read our Giveaway Policy.