Monday, 10 February 2014

Hot Seat Welcomes - Sara Brookes

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of todays popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into sections - Getting started, about your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering—still, they all answer.

We have a very special hot seat today. Not only is, Sarah Brookes, here answering my questions as part of her blog tour for, Break Me In, but there's also a competition included and a review of her book. I don't normally include reviews but this book tweaked my interest, so I said yes. Both the review and competition details appear at the end of Sarah's interview.  So to begin, let's see what Sarah has to say.

Getting Started:

Tell us about your latest book. What was your inspiration for writing it, is it part of an ongoing series, the characters, the genre etc?

Break Me In is the 3rd book in my contemporary BDSM erotic romance series, Geek Kink. When I first introduced these two characters—Elena and Alex—in the first book of the series, Taking Over Me, I already knew they were going to end up together. However, Alex was obviously in quite a bit of pain so I knew his story was going to a hard and emotional one. I didn’t know just how tough of a time he was having until I started writing Break Me In and discovered his addiction with alcohol.

About your writing:

How many books have you written during your career so far and which is your favorite?

Break Me In is my 21st published book. It’s still a little surreal to me to be able to say that. *g* Each of my books have a special place for me, each for different reasons. Break Me In has been patiently waiting in the wings to be written for quite some time, but the hero, Alex Conners, is not your typical hero because of his addiction, so I wanted to make sure I took the time to give his story justice and gave him the HEA he deserved.

Have any of your books received negative reviews and how did you handle the situation?

Oh, I think at some point they all have gotten a negative review. LOL I don’t think there’s an author out there who hasn’t received some. It’s just a fact of the business. And it’s okay. Not everyone is going to connect with my characters or my writing style and I’m perfectly fine with that.

Do you believe in writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?

At one time I did, but that isn’t the case anymore. I tend to leap frog on stories. Which just simple means if I get stuck on one story, I’ll go work on another story. Most of the time, it will be a few weeks or months before I go back to the other story and when I read what I’d written, I can clearly see the problem or have figured out the direction I wanted to go. Getting clarity and stepping away from a book is sometimes necessary to see what is going on.

What is the one genre you would never write and why?

I will never say never about a genre. There are too many ideas floating around in my head to think that way.  What works one day may not work another and I’m not opposed to changing things up once in a while.

Have you ever written a book that you’ve regretted publishing and why?

Nope. I’m one of those who feel I wrote a book for a reason, even if I don’t understand what the reason is. I usually figure it out eventually. LOL

If a reader said they wanted to write a book, what advice would you give them? 

Plant your butt in front of a keyboard and get to it. And don’t stop reading just because you’re writing. Always keep reading because, if you think about it, we’re authors because of our love of reading a good story.

About you:

Tell us what a typical day in your life is like?

Total chaos. I have to write around the desk job, carting my teen to dance, a new puppy, two cats, a husband, family commitments, and such. I write on the go a lot.

What sort of things put you in a bad mood?


Do you have a bucket list and what’s one thing you still want to do that you haven’t done?

I do! And one of those things I’ll never be able to do because the suspension of the Space Shuttle program. Since I was little, I wanted to travel down to be in the Cape Canaveral area to see a shuttle launch and now I won’t get to.

What makes you laugh?

Spending time with family watching a good movie.

What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?

At the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in 2012, I was introduced to Francine Pascal. She is responsible for the Sweet Valley High series, books I cherished when I started reading them in 5th grade (I still have all my books of the series on my bookshelves). She saw my badge and that I was an author as well. Well…let’s just say that was one interesting conversation when I’m sure my face was several shades of red.

Do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?

I will read anything with well-crafted characters and an intriguing storyline. I don’t read just romance books, in fact, most of my teen years were spent reading mystery and horror. YA wasn’t a genre when I was a teen! (Yah, I’m old. LOL) Right now I’m reading through some books that I’m judging, which is something I find interesting because it introduces me to authors I may not have previously heard about.

If you couldn’t write anymore, what would you do instead?

When I do have a little free time, I play around with graphic design and website coding. I’d love to have more time to devote to it, but there are only so many hours in a day. So, I would more than likely be doing some kind of website building and such.

Fun Stuff:

If you could go out with one famous person who would it be and why?

Steven Spielberg. Just to pick his brain for some of the things he’s accomplished in his career. And the man wrote The Goonies. How can you not want to meet the creator of the Goonies?

Do you have a habit that drives your partner/friends/family nuts and what is it?

I tend to leave glasses all over the house. Kind of like Bo Hess (Abigail Breslin’s character) from the movie Signs. I don’t do it for the aliens, though. ;^)

In your opinion, what makes a person attractive?

A sense of humor is usually number one on my list. You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself.

What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

I loved ketchup and potato chip sandwiches when I was a kid.

Would you rather have a classic 1969 convertible Mustang or have the use of a beach side condo any time you want?

Ooo, can’t I have the Mustang while using the beach condo? No? Okay. The car. I live near the beach, so that isn’t as appealing to me.

And finally:

Would you rather survive an apocalyptic event (yes, even a zombie apocalypse) or die instantly without knowing what happened to your family and friends?

I would totally want to survive a zombie apocalypse just so I can put all those rules Zombieland taught us to good use and kick some ass! Rule #1: Cardio…


Elena avoids relationships by using her flogger as a shield. Alex is struggling with substance abuse and Elena will do nearly anything to help him conquer his demons, even risk losing him forever. When he comes home, whole and healthy, he raises the stakes by requesting their friendship turn to a D/s bond. His submission will change their dynamic forever. She convinces herself it’s just sex. Love and desire aren’t part of the equation.
Under Elena’s reverent command, Alex finds a comfort he’s always yearned for. He’s happier than ever as he spends his days slinging coffee and his nights bound and collared. Submitting to Elena exposes more than his strengths—it reveals a powerful attraction. Most of all, it uncovers their passionate love. He’s ready to convince her there’s no reason to mask her feelings, but his efforts are derailed when his toxic past resurfaces to annihilate their future.
Warning: A hunky, tortured barista. A seductive, stubborn Domme. Desire that can’t be tamed by cuffs, ropes and chains. And angst. So much drama and angst, John Hughes would be proud. Being bad never felt so good.
She turned, her breath hitching quietly at the gleam in those liquid crystal eyes as he leaned closer. His hands settled on the roof of her car, effectively caging her in so she couldn’t move. “You want to know just as much as I do. A willing submissive offering himself with no strings attached is hard thing for you to resist.”
“But there are strings.”
“Strings that uncomplicate a hell of a lot of things. They break down a lot of barriers you know you won’t have to deal with. I may be new to this, but I’m not new to you. Your inventive mind is already working over scenarios, dismissing what you think I can’t handle and devising scenes which will break down my walls. It’s written all over your face. This way, we’ll both have our answers.”
His mouth brushed gently against hers, a slow sweep which shook her knees and shattered a few of her defenses. Caught up in the feel of such a loving, gentle touch, she opened to him, drawing his tongue into her mouth as his body pressed tight against hers.
Their last kiss had been filled with a breath-stealing concoction of stale liquor and sweat. Now, the fresh, invigorating scent of his soap and the coffee he’d had with his dinner filled her senses. There wasn’t even a hint of any kind of vice to be had. Not even the faintest wisp of smoke. Just pure, unadulterated male free from sin and debauchery.
Except Alex was sin.
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Review by Jan:

As I said earlier, blurb for this book intrigued me, so I agreed to read and review it as part of the promotional tour Sara is doing. Before I get onto the review, let me clarify that the book was given to me by the publisher at no charge, in exchange for an honest review. 

For me, the book was a light, enjoyable read. I found the characters, both main and secondary ones, interesting and very likeable. Given it was set over an extended timeframe (a period of a year) the story flowed well. The author does a lovely job of taking us into the main characters past history and the issues they face in relation to making their relationship work, without bogging the story down by to much detail.

Break Me In is the third book in Sara's Geek Kink series, so I was initially concerned that the book wouldn't work as a stand alone read. It does. The inclusion of cameo appearances by characters from the other books and brief indications of how they came together helps to give the reader a fuller picture of the family and friend dynamics from previous books. In fact, their inclusion acted to tweak my interest in going back and reading the first two books of the series.

I found the BDSM to be on the lighter side of things. Bare in mind, what's light to me as a member of the BDSM community, may not be light to a reader who isn't involved in kink. The activities described by the author were fairly well explained, particularly for the uninitiated, and I only had one moment where I thought that the content was inaccurate, giving the reader a false impression of those involved in the lifestyle.  

On the whole I liked the book, but there was one thing that annoyed me with this read. Editing errors. I hear you all groaning at the thought. There weren't many, but there were enough to make me mention them. I found some missed words, as well as a couple of 'her' that should have be 'he' type errors. Minor things really. I can understand how they slipped through. There was also an instance where a character's name momentarily changed. These things were disappointing, but I didn't let them deter me from continuing to read. I understand how difficult edits can be, so a few errors don't tend to bother me. However, I know some readers find this sort of thing unacceptable, which is why I mention it. 

Because I don't normally do reviews I don't have a rating system to apply, so I'll make one up in line with the theme of this series. 

I give, Break Me In, 3.5 geeks out of 5. 

If your looking for a light, easy, erotic romance read, with some BDSM thrown in, I think you'll enjoy it. 


  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful interview in the Hot Seat, Jan!

    1. You're welcome Sara, drop back around anytime ☺