by Elia Winters
A war orphan, Astrid Bailey is content living her adult life alone, working as a contract machinist. Her real passion, though, is inventing felicitation devices that promote women’s sexual empowerment and help them find pleasure independent of a man.
The upcoming World’s Fair, with its substantial cash prize, is an opportunity to open the shop she’s always imagined and hopefully solve her financial woes. Except the committee has denied her entry unless she obtains a “sponsor”. Astrid suspects they mean “male”.
Eli Rutledge, noted watchmaker, knows entering the fair will solidify his reputation as an innovator —but he’s fresh out of ideas. Until Astrid approaches him with her outrageous product line. With no other options, though, he agrees to lend her his good name.
As construction heats up, so does their chemistry—and the complications. Astrid is unaccustomed to asking for help, much less sharing credit. And Eli fights an attraction that could spell professional disaster. As the Fair date approaches, Astrid and Eli must decide how far they’ll go. For the business…and for each other.
Product Warnings Contains period-appropriate graphic language, highly inappropriate amounts of M/F and F/F sex, and copious amounts of *ahem* product testing. May *ahem again* “spark” an online shopping binge for *cough* toys. Of the adult variety.
When she met his eyes again, her gaze was resolute. “Mr. Rutledge, I don’t mean to give the wrong impression. It’s very kind of you to come meet with us, when I’m sure there are other things you could be doing.” Astrid put her shoulders back slightly, straightening. “But whether you realize it or not, you’re the very reason we women need groups like this.” With a wave of her hand, she gestured to the other ladies gathered in the room. “You have nothing in common with us. You inherited a successful business from your father, who was already a prominent businessman, and your greatest achievement is to not yet have run it into the ground. Other people have given you everything you’ve ever needed. As a man, you can get a position on the Chamber of Commerce or the Fair Board or the IFCT or the London Business Council or whatever, and know that when you talk, people will listen. And I’m very happy that you have the money to own a shop and rent a booth at the World’s Fair, but to assume that everyone else is in the same position as you demonstrates how completely clueless you are about the plight of women business owners in this city. So no, you haven’t said anything to offend me. Everything about you offends me.”
The room had gone silent, and Eli stood frozen, staring down into Astrid’s face, into her dark eyes that suddenly widened as she realized the magnitude of what she had just said. She flushed, her face and neck and collarbones turning a rosy shade of pink, and she pressed one hand to her lips before turning and rushing from the room.
As she left, Eli watched her go with numb shock. Her words had been incredibly rude, and he couldn’t help but feel stung. What shocked him the most, though, was his sudden and overwhelming urge to kiss her.
Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness.
Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.
Elia’s virtual life is as busy as her real life. In addition to her website ( http://eliawinters.com/), you can also find her on
Tumblr ( http://eliawinters.tumblr.com/) ,
Pinterest ( http://www.pinterest.com/eliawinters),
and Goodreads ( http://goodreads.com/eliawinters).
Combustion is available from Samhain Publishing (https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5416/combustion), Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Combustion-Elia-Winters-ebook/dp/B00TLIGATW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428684169&sr=8-1&keywords=combustion+elia+winters),
Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/combustion-elia-winters/1121228845?ean=9781619224322), and other ebook retailers
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m originally from eastern Massachusetts, but I grew up in Florida. We moved back to Massachusetts when I started high school, and I’ve lived in that state ever since. As for me, I’m into lots of different things. If there’s adventure to be had, I’m in. Lots of folks ask me how I can do so many things, and I joke that I’m mediocre at everything. That isn’t exactly true, but I’m certainly not great at everything I try. I enjoy the process of trying.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
I’m a Steampunk aficionado, so after Purely Professional got published, I knew I wanted to write a Steampunk erotic romance. The idea for Combustion came when I started brainstorming my favorite qualities of erotic romance. I love writing about sex toys, so I was tickled by the idea of a Victorian sex toy inventor. Combustion is a little bit kinky and a lot of fun, and I had a great time writing it.
How do you create your characters?
I usually start with a profession. Once I know what they do for a living, I flesh out their hopes and fears. I ask myself what they most want to gain and what’s keeping them from achieving that goal. I read excellent advice on character development once that said all characters believe a lie, and we need to know what that lie is and where they learned it. The character development comes when they realize their belief is a lie and realize their truth. That’s been instrumental in my writing ever since.
What inspires you and what got you started in writing?
I’m inspired by my characters. I love creating their journeys and seeing them through to fulfillment. I’ve always been a writer, ever since I was little, because I like hearing and telling stories. Now, I get to tell those stories to a larger audience than ever before, and it’s incredibly gratifying.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I write at home on the laptop, sitting on the couch. If I’m home alone, I don’t need anything to write except some self-determination and a willingness to stay off social media until my daily session is over. If my husband is home or the television is on, I need headphones and classical music. I have a Youtube playlist to which I do all my writing.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I’m always on the lookout for ideas. I wish I could give a clear-cut answer, but my inspiration comes from everywhere. I see a person with a particular quality or working a particular profession, and that gives me an idea for a character.
What do you like to read?
I read a lot of different genres: romance, of course, but also science fiction, fantasy, young adult, and literary fiction. I seldom read mysteries or horror because I don’t enjoy those genres, but anything else is fair game.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Write for yourself first. If you’re always writing to please the crowd, then negative reviews are harder to take. If you like what you’re writing, though, and it’s fun for you, then you’ll always be entertained. You’re going to spend so much time with each book that you should definitely enjoy what you’re writing!
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m so happy to be on the blog today, and I appreciate people stopping by. I’m hard at work finishing the first book in a series this week, so it’s nice to take a break from that and visit with readers on the blog. Thank you for hosting me!
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Elia will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.