Title: Red Handed (Benediction, #1)
Author: Shelly Bell
Genre: Erotica | Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 10, 2015
An exhibitionist who’s waited her whole life to be seen …
After her stepmother is abducted, Danielle Walker has no choice but to follow the kidnapper’s cryptic instructions. Under the guise of a sex slave trainee, she must infiltrate Cole DeMarco’s BDSM club and find evidence of his offshore bank account … or she’ll never see her stepmother alive again. But Master Cole is no stranger, and despite the dark past they share, Danielle cannot resist his magnetic pull.
The voyeur who’s always been watching …
As Danielle begins uncovering Cole’s secrets, the artistic voyeur arouses her deepest desires, and she surrenders to a fiery passion she never expected. But with time running out to save her stepmother, Danielle and Cole will face off against an evil growing more ruthless by the day … and discover a twisted web of lies, betrayal, and murder that neither saw coming.
❖ Author Q&A with Shelly ❖
Ing: Hi Shelly! Welcome to ATPT! Could you tell the readers of ATPT about Red Handed? What can they expect plot, pace, sex, etc from this book?
Shelly: Hi Ing! Thank you so much for hosting me. Red Handed is an erotic suspense about a woman who must become a sex slave trainee to find evidence of a missing bank account in order to save her kidnapped stepmother. Readers should expect simmering tension, heart-pounding suspense, and hot sex. I enjoy writing books with complicated characters with real life flaws and stories with thrilling twists and turns that keep the readers on the edge of their seats.
Ing: Can you tell us a about the hero Cole DeMarco? What about Cole do you think will draw the readers in and make them love him?
Shelly: Voyeur Cole DeMarco is the sole owner of Benediction, the sex club he runs out of his mansion. Readers will discover why he created the club as well as why he developed a sex slave training program, and the reasons are not what you’d expect. He’s built his own secluded world where he is the master of the Masters, and despite being surrounded by people all the time, he’s a very private person, hiding those personal demons that haunt him daily. When I first began writing the book, I saw him as the Beast and Danielle as Belle, but he’s much more controlled and gentle than the fairytale character. Cole has spent his adult life giving back to a community that saved him from continuing down the destructive path he was on. I especially love how Cole teaches Danielle to find acceptance of her body and proves to her how beautiful he finds her.
Ing: Now tell us a bit about the heroine Danielle Walker? What about Danielle do you think will draw the readers in and make them love her?
Shelly: I think a lot of romance readers will be able to relate to the plus-sized, introverted Danielle. Her stepmother’s kidnapping forces her into a situation where she has to come out of her shell and even though she’s at Benediction under false pretenses, she’s able to be herself for the first time in her life. Having lost her mother in childbirth and her father to suicide, she’s lived a sheltered existence with her stepmother and stepbrother, and has never had the opportunity to explore her exhibitionistic and submissive tendencies. I love that she sees beneath Cole’s surface to the real man underneath and that while she’s confused by her feelings for him, it doesn’t prevent her from helping him at one of the darkest moments of his life.
Ing: Why are these two perfect for each other? What about them individually makes them so drawn to each other? Why do you think the readers will fall in love with this couple?
Shelly: Although they don’t officially meet until eight years later, Cole and Danielle first see each other when she’s seventeen. That electrically charged moment stays with them both throughout the years, even while Danielle believes he is responsible for her father’s death. I wouldn’t call it love at first sight, but I do believe their souls recognized each other, or perhaps it’s that the submissive and exhibitionist in her acknowledged the Dominant and voyeur in him. But circumstances, including their age difference, have kept them separated. Apart, they’re two broken individuals, but together, they’re able to heal.
Ing: What was a scene that stood out or was memorable for you when writing Red Handed? Why did this scene stand out for you?
Shelly: I really enjoyed writing the scene when Danielle poses for Cole’s erotic photography. They’re both so vulnerable and open with each other that every movement, expression and word is significant. Both of them are filled with guilt, but for a few hours, they’re able to suppress those feelings to experience pleasure and contentment. Readers get their first glimpse into just how hot these two burn together. And I do mean that literally. The scene involves hot wax!
Ing: I like knowing and hearing the back story about how a book or series came about. Can you tell us where the idea for Red Handed came from? Is this book going to be part of a series or is it strictly a stand alone?
Shelly: Red Handed is the second book in the Benediction series, the first being the White Collared serial which was released in four parts last June. I love reading legal thrillers, but I couldn’t find one with open-door sex scenes. Then there was a local case about a man who was accused of arranging to have his wife killed so that he could live his life as Master Bob with his mistress and a slave. I didn’t like how the media assumed he was guilty simply because he participated in BDSM and was a Dom/Sadist. That case inspired me to write White Collared.
When I wrote White Collared, I hadn’t given thought to writing more books set in Benediction, but I loved the world I created. Since Cole DeMarco is essentially the king of that world, I decided to write his book first and give readers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of Benediction. Sticking with the color theme, Blue Blooded will release in October and Black Listed next March.
Ing: Can you give us a peek at what you have up your sleeve next? What else can we look forward to from you? Could you give the 411 on these upcoming projects?
Shelly: I’m working on two more books in the Benediction series, Blue Blooded which is slated for an October release and Black Listed, which will release next March. Blue Blooded is different than the first two books in that the hero and heroine are on the run from the FBI which makes getting their kink on more challenging for me as a writer and them as characters! Rachel and Logan are both alphas, so the dynamics of their relationship is different, but I think readers will really enjoy it.
I also have a novella in a self-published anthology called Falling Hard, coming out in May. It’s a little more taboo than what I’ve written before since the heroine is an eighteen year old college freshman and the hero is her twenty-eight year old professor. Like my Benediction series, Forbidden: Freshman Year is a BDSM erotic suspense story, but the characters and the story is very different in that it focuses on forbidden aspects of a love affair. They’re both extremely damaged individuals who find each other at the wrong time in their lives. While there’s no cliffhanger, I’m hoping to write either three more novellas about them or possibly a full-length book, depending on my schedule.
Ing: Now on to questions about you. We want to know more about Shelly. Who are some auto buy authors that you read now?
Shelly: I was a romance reader before I was an author, so I’ve got a huge list of favorites. I read all subgenres of romance with the exception of inspirational, but I’m particularly drawn to erotic and contemporary new adult. Some of my auto-buys authors are Alessandra Torre, Lexi Blake, Shayla Black, Samantha Young, Lauren Blakely and Sawyer Bennett, but I probably have over one-hundred auto-buy authors. I swear I write so that I can afford to feed my book-buying habit.
Ing: What are three essentials that you need while writing and why are they essentials?
Shelly: My laptop, an Internet connection, and caffeine. I know some writers who will write long hand or use whatever computer they have available to them, but I’m not one of those people. My lap top is like a detached body part of mine. It’s necessary for my survival and I go through withdrawals without it. While I write, I keep the Internet open for any research I may need to do whether it’s on rope bondage or ways to kill someone. My research is never boring! Last, I’m a caffeine addict. I need my Diet Coke and coffee to survive, especially on those days I begin writing at 5am when I didn’t get to sleep until 1am. Lately, there have been quite a few of those.
Ing: If you could hang out for a day with one author or book character who would it be and why?
Shelly: This one’s an easy question. I would love to spend a day with fellow Avon Red erotic romance author Cynthia Sax. She’s the perfect combination of funny, brilliant, and professional. She’s been there for me since I began writing with Avon and has inspired me to become a better writer. I’m blown away by the uniqueness of both her characters and her stories. Her heroines, like Bree, the heroine of the Sinful Rewards serial, and Camille, the main character of Breaking All the Rules, are women I’d love to have as friends.
Ing: Shelly thanks so much for stopping by today! I really appreciate you answering all these questions. Do you have any last words or questions you would like to pose to the readers of this blog?
Shelly: Thank you, Ing! I mentioned when Danielle and Cole first see each other, it’s a bit of love at first sight. I knew the minute I heard my husband’s name that I’d marry him, and when I did meet him, I had a feeling I already knew him. I’d love to know if readers believe in love at first sight and if so, have they ever experienced it?
★ Red Handed ~ Excerpt ★
“Welcome to Benediction, Danielle. I’m Adrian.” He swiped his hand over his erection. “And yes, I’m proud to say it’s all mine. Master Cole has decided to torture me today with a cock ring . . .” His gaze flicked up to a discreet video camera in the corner of the entryway. “Which I accept with most humble gratitude.” He mumbled a litany of profanity under his breath. “He’s waiting for you in his office. May I take your coat?”
She opened her mouth, and all that came out was a squeak.
He waited for her to respond, and when she stood there frozen, unable to move or talk, he arched a brow. “You are
Danielle Walker, right?”
She swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded, her long dark hair falling in front of her eyes.
He shook his head, his lips curved in what she guessed was amusement. “Guess you can keep your coat and come with me.” He pivoted and sauntered across the foyer.
A small gasp flew from her lungs. Adrian’s slacks were cut in the back, exposing his perfectly toned bare ass with what looked like a humongous fake diamond wedged between the cheeks.
He stopped at another door and glanced at her over his shoulder. She jerked her head toward the camera in the corner, hoping Adrian wouldn’t notice her embarrassment. From the corner of her eye, she caught the shake of his shoulders and realized he was laughing at her again.
She pressed her lips together and straightened her spine. If the sight of a man’s naked behind shocked her, how would she ever get through the next week?
Since the day of her father’s suicide in prison, she’d thought about what she’d do to Cole DeMarco when she finally got her chance. But now that she was here, instead of slapping him hard across his face and calling him out as the murderer he was, she would beg him to train her as a sex slave.
Adrian led her through a doorway into an ordinary Grecian-style mansion, complete with pillars and vaulted ceilings.
As she followed the blond Adonis past a sunken living room similar to the one in her home back in Arizona, she was surprised by the mixture of relief and disappointment racing through her. For some reason, she’d expected to see sex at a sex club. But the place was quiet and empty.
The butler continued down to the end of the hallway, where he stopped in front of a closed door and knocked.
★ Giveaway ★
This giveaway IS NOT monitored and/or administered by this blog. Winners will be contacted directly by the author or event coordinator if you win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway