Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cougar Growls Tour: Are You Experienced?

Please welcome Elizabeth Coldwell to my blog. She's one of the "Cougars And Cubs" anthology authors.

Elizabeth Coldwell worked on Forum magazine for twenty years, and has had stories published by Black Lace, Cleis Press and Xcite Books among many others. Something Within Him in the Cougars And Cubs anthology is her second release with Total-E-Bound, her first being The Christmas Box, part of the Christmas Crackers series. Her other big passion apart from writing is Rotherham United, and she lives in London with her partner and two cats, only one of whom thinks walking over her keyboard when she’s typing is a good idea...

Are You Experienced?

Waiting on a tube station platform the other evening, I saw a huge poster advertising Courteney Cox’s new TV show, Cougar Town, which has just started airing in the UK on the Living Channel. Featuring a shot of Courteney straddling a chair provocatively, it bore the slogan “No Experience Necessary”. It made me smile, because experience is one of the themes running through my story in the Cougars And Cubs anthology, Something Within Him.

I originally started writing it when another publisher was looking for cougar-themed stories. At the time, a cute young man I knew had started on a journalism course, and friends were teasing me that I should offer him work experience – even though his degree was in sports writing and I edited a magazine dealing with sex and human relationships ¬– just to have him brightening up the office! Out of the jokes came the idea for a story in which a woman whose policy was not to accept interns was forced to take one on as a favour to her best friend, only to find herself deeply attracted to him. The story ended up being sidelined because of work deadlines, but when the call for Cougars And Cubs came out, I had the time to work on it again. By the time I’d finished it, it had become one of my favourite things I’ve written.

I couldn’t resist setting some of the action in Amsterdam, a city I really love. The place has a unique mixture of the blatantly erotic (the red light area, where cougar Kate and her young lover, Stephen go shopping for adult toys) and the romantic (the canalside hotel where they finally act on the sexual attraction they feel for each other), and a beautifully relaxed vibe which actively encourages you to do nothing but take it easy and enjoy yourself. As the story unfolds, Kate has the opportunity to give Stephen the benefit of her experience, both in a work setting and in bed, but he also turns up with a few tricks of his own. Out of their everyday environment, they have the opportunity to explore the dominant and submissive sides of their personalities and play some deliciously naughty games together.

Of course, no relationship where there’s a big age gap between the two partners is ever free of conflict, and I knew I had to explore some of these in the course of the story. Kate initially worries – needlessly, as it turns out – about having to compete with younger women for Stephen’s affections. She and Stephen also have to cope with the negative reaction of Stephen’s best friend, Charlie, who thinks Stephen should really be dating someone of his own age. But love always has the possibility to conquer all, and there are enough real-life cougars in long-standing relationships with hot young cubs to prove that if you overcome those obstacles it really can be happy ever after...

Find out more about Elizabeth and her stories at http:elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com

"Cougars And Cubs" is available at Total-E-Bound.com

Something Within Him by Elizabeth Coldwell

He was looking for work experience, but she taught him so much more...

Kate Mellanby has one rule on the magazine she edits? She never offers work placements to students. Then her best friend asks her to employ Stephen, a friend of her son, as a favour.

Wanting to turn the boy down, she discovers he is not only a talented writer, but very cute, too. She knows she shouldn't act on the attraction she feels for him as she is his boss and he is only half her age. But when they are thrown together on a press trip to Amsterdam, they can no longer ignore their mutual passion, and share a night of explosive sex.

Stephen's jealous friend believes this is nothing more than a fling. Kate is determined to prove him wrong, and as their liaison grows kinkier, so love begins to blossom between the high-flying cougar and her cub.

Reader Advisory: This story contains scenes of domination and strap-on play.

I only took him on as a favour to Suzanna. I knew when she called me she must want something. It was the way our phone conversations always went. She would let me know how her two boys, Damon and Charlie, were doing in their respective glittering careers in medicine and law, casually drop into the conversation the size of the advance she had received for her latest novel, then hit me with the request. So I was prepared.

Or I thought I was, until she said, “So you will help Stephen, won’t you, darling?”

“Stephen?” Somewhere along the line, I had missed something. I tended to filter out most of what she told me, only tuning in for what I thought were the relevant bits. And apparently Stephen, whoever he was, was one of them.

“Oh, you know. Stephen. Charlie’s friend. They went backpacking round the Far East together. I sent you the photos, remember?”

I didn’t. I had more than likely deleted them without even looking at them. But I just replied, “Of course. What about him?”

"ell, darling?” Suzanna paused to take a drag on the menthol cigarette that was never far from her lips. “He’s doing some kind of journalism course, and he needs to find a work experience placement. And when Charlie told me that, I immediately thought of you.”

I said nothing. I knew I was expected to help out, but I had an unbreakable rule: I never offered work placements to anyone. That hadn’t always been the case. In my first couple of years editing City Living, I’d had a stream of eager interns, doing a couple of weeks here and there with the aim of bulking out their CV. They would help to compile the music and theatre listings, write little news pieces about gallery openings and book launches, or help reorganise the filing system. It was an arrangement that suited both parties. They gained lots of valuable experience and I was able to employ someone who didn’t expect payment and, very occasionally, made a decent cup of coffee. One person had changed all that, and while I probably couldn’t tell you the name of any of those other interns, his was lodged in my memory banks forever. Jamie Pettifer.

Six of Total E-Bound's hottest romance writers are sheduled to appear:

May 10, 2010 - Imari Jade

May 11, 2010 - Elizabeth Coldwell
May 12, 2010 - Catherine Chernow
May 13, 2010 - Mia Watts
May 14, 2010 - K. S. (Kaz) Augustin
May 15, 2010 - Ashley Ladd


Nara Malone said...

I love the premise. I haven't read any cougar stories. I'll have to check this one out.

Elaine Hopper said...

Thanks Nara. There are 5 all in one anthology here. :)

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