AL: Hi Cherise. Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Cherise: Thank you so much for having me here, Ann.
AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.
Cherise: I’m being good and exercising (don’t you just hate New Year’s resolutions?) taking long walks around the neighborhood while making mental notes on what I want in my garden…and who needs to be chained up in the next book. Decisions, decisions…
AL: Tie me up and tie me down. What new works do you have all tied in knots?
Cherise: Interesting wording there. *BDSM author’s ears perk up* Oh…you didn’t really want to be tied up. Ooops. *shoving rope back under the bed*
A question about new works. Got it.
Meantime, I’m working on a novella for an anthology set in San Francisco. You see, Belinda McBride and I visited a BDSM club there, and…well, you know what happens when you let an erotic romance author loose in someplace like that. No, not kinky sex--for heaven’s sake, people!--you get stories!
AL: Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you?
Cherise: Oh, pieces of each probably. Jessica in Club Shadowlands--jumping in to save and protect someone who needs help, and being a little sarcastic at time. Beth in Breaking Free who just keeps on going and doing what needs to be done. Rebecca who can’t believe a man can love her soft curves. Heroines tend to be sneaky and will steal personality traits right out from under an author’s nose.
AL: Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook in case you forget?
Cherise: Ideas come from everywhere, sometimes thunking me in the head hard enough to cause a Chicken Little reaction --“The sky is falling,” -- and sometimes bubbling up like goo from the Black Lagoon. Ew. Uh, let’s try, bubbling up like champagne bubbles. Yes, that’s better.
And being one of those individuals lacking a decent memory, yes, I write ideas in a book and later save them in the computer. (I lose notebooks constantly, but I’ve never misplaced my computer. LOL)
AL: Out of all your stories do you have one that is more near and dear your heart?
Cherise: Honestly, I love them all when I’m writing them, think they’re all not nearly good enough when I’m done, and miss the characters afterwards so much that I have them show up in later books, just so I can check on how they’re doing.
AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?
Cherise: I love reading and writing science fiction, so I plan to branch out a bit. A Dom is a Dom, whether he’s from Earth or another planet, right? And sooner or later, I’ll probably cross back over into print again.
Goals? Well, damn. Somehow I didn’t achieve my goals of being in the Olympics, marrying George Clooney, seducing Wolverine, and being the first female astronaut. But trying for a best-seller is still on the list.
AL: What did you do to pay the bills before making your break in writing?
Cherise: I work part-time as an RN. It’s one of those careers that engages me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I love it and hate it, and it’s hard to stop. Rather like writing.
AL: You have to ask a fictional character out on a date—who would you ask and what would you do together?
Cherise: Hmm, you realize asking anyone out would get me in severe trouble with my husband, right?
But…if you twisted my arm -- *ow!* -- then I’d have to say that I’d steal Master Z from Club Shadowlands, protest uselessly that I didn’t really intend to…whatever…and then cave in and let him do whatever he wanted, which undoubtedly would include ropes and chains and cuffs. And toys. Toys are good.
AL: What would people be surprised to know about you?
Cherise: Me? I’m an open book. Got no secrets. *kicking the flogger back under the bed*
AL: What annoys you enough to be considered a pet peeve?
Cherise: You mean besides Microsoft’s ‘blue screen of death’, computer viruses, teenagers who leave dirty dishes trailing behind them, cats who meow to get in then change their mind and stand in the doorway like maybe the house isn’t up to their high kitty standards, and small dogs with ear-piercingly high barks that act as if you’d left them for years when you go out to get them mail…well, I can’t think of a thing.
AL: You have just won five thousand dollars! But...you have to spend it all today. What will you buy?
Cherise: That’s a tough one. Not enough to buy a car; too much to spend in a store, especially since I hate shopping. Ah. A prepaid vacation for a fully-stocked remote cabin in Alaska (summer, please), with a bag of laptop batteries. And if my DH promises me many, many sexual favors, I’ll generously let him accompany me. (ahhhh, we’re not going to let him read this blog, right, Ann?)
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Cherise: "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiams; the great devotions; and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Cherise.
Cherise: Thank you for inviting me and sharing your blog. I’m in awe of people who can keep a blog updated and fun.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Cherise please visit:
available from Loose Id
Foster child. Teenage whore. Now a veterinarian, MacKensie's turned her life around, but the scars remain. She saves her affection for the animals who never judge or scorn her, but it's time to get out, move on from her past in Iowa. So, she arranges a vacation exchange to job hunt in Seattle.
Although the house is lovely, one room is locked. Her years in foster care have given her two ‘gifts’: a neurosis about locked doors and the ability to open them. After she gets into the room, she's appalled…and intrigued. Chains and manacles, whips and paddles, odd benches with straps…
When Alex returns home days early and finds MacKensie draped over the spanking bench in his locked dungeon, he’s furious. But her wariness arouses his protective nature and curiosity, so he strikes a deal to keep her close—she’ll act as his submissive in exchange for a place to stay and help finding a job.
He’d planned to use the veterinarian to deter an ex-girlfriend, not replace her, but with MacKensie’s compelling mixture of strength and vulnerability, the little sub slides right into his well-defended heart.
Alex parked next to the cheap rental in his driveway. Obviously the exchange person had arrived. Had Butler liked her? Finding the woman’s mangled remains in the foyer would really top off the day.
Hopefully he could work out some arrangement with her. By the time he could get a flight, the conference would be almost over, so he saw no point in pursuing that plan. Damned if he’d take up residency in some hotel in his own town. She’d just have to see reason. The house was big enough they didn’t have to run into each other, or maybe he’d give her enough money to rent a hotel.
He walked in and called, “Hello.”
Then with a woof of delight, Butler appeared from around a corner, skidding on the slick marble tiles in his excitement. Alex chuckled as he petted the squirming beast. They’d lived together for a good five years, ever since he’d found the dog skulking around the garbage bin at the beach house. His mother hadn’t been impressed, but dignity ranked high on her list of priorities and was nonexistent on Butler’s.
“So where’s our tenant?” Alex asked as he tugged gently on Butler’s ears. He didn’t hear any noise in the house, so she was probably upstairs unpacking. As he headed toward the stairs, he felt a warm trickle from under the dressing the emergency room nurse had applied. Apparently his stitches hadn’t appreciated being rubbed against a car seat. Turning, he headed for the dungeon, where he kept most of his first aid supplies. Might as well patch himself up, although that might prove difficult considering the wound was on his back. Maybe he’d grab some gauze and tape and see if he could get the woman to slap it on. She was a vet, after all, which was one of the main reasons he’d chosen her.
He went down the hallway to his dungeon and stopped. The door stood slightly ajar, and he knew he’d locked it before he left. In fact, he’d even checked it before leaving. Anger unfurled inside him, growing hard and fast. The terms of the vacation trade were spelled out clearly in the contract, including the locking of nonessential rooms. She’d deliberately broken in.
He couldn’t hear anything inside, but he’d soundproofed the room years ago.
Placing a hand on the door, he silently pushed it open. Not difficult to spot her. She’d draped herself over the spanking bench, head hanging down on one side, legs on the other, with her ass -- a pretty, round ass -- up in the air.
Well, well. A trickle of humor dampened the anger. Now wasn’t that an appropriate position for someone richly deserving punishment?
He’d enjoy turning those cheeks a nice pink.
He walked over silently. Before she could move, he set his hand on the back of her neck, holding her firmly across the horse. She gave a yelp of surprise. Her thick, wavy golden hair hung almost to the floor, concealing her face. Maybe five-five or so, she had a nicely toned body.
Since he’d adjusted the horse for Cynthia’s taller body, this smaller woman’s arms and legs dangled, giving her no leverage to struggle. Although she was certainly trying.
He didn’t bother to listen to the sputtering and cursing coming from the submissive under his hands. And that she was submissive, he had no doubt. Someone might have played on the spanking horse, possibly, but the way she’d positioned herself so carefully, and the tiny wiggle she’d given when finally in position, spoke of a person imagining herself helpless and being excited at the idea.
A Dom had a duty to give a submissive what she needed, not always what she wanted…and to administer punishment as required.
“I locked this room before I left. You broke in.” A sub always needed to know the reason for the punishment. He gave her a hard swat, precisely placed on the fullest part of her buttocks.
What was the owner doing home? A second later, the man’s hand hit Mac’s bottom, the stinging pain almost extinguished by her shock. He hit me! She struggled furiously, but his large hand gripped her neck and pressed down unyieldingly.
Naked and caught. Humiliation swept through her in a hot wave. “Let me go!”
He didn’t respond to her struggles or shouts, as if what she said was meaningless. His voice deep and controlled, he said slowly, “I trusted you with my house and my dog. Rather than respecting that, you break into a locked room and make yourself at home. Your punishment is five swats.” His hand slammed across her bottom again.
The burning pain swamped her mind. The fiery sensations on her bare skin hit each time in the same spot. At the fourth blow, her eyes filled with tears. His hand felt hot against her neck as his grip on it eased slightly. From deep inside her, guilt and shame welled up, choking off her yells. She shouldn’t have opened a locked door; she’d betrayed an agreement, a trust.
But spanking? No one had ever spanked her. Ever. Foster children got time-outs; children who belonged got spanked.
As he gave the final swat, a shudder ran through her, leaving her trembling inside and out.
He still held her firmly with one hand; now the other stroked down her back, a firm, knowing touch. Not sexual, but…assessing. When the hand reached her stinging bottom, she hissed with the increased pain.
“I want you to remain in this position -- what was your name? -- ah, MacKensie. Is that clear?”
“Yes.” She couldn’t manage more than a whisper as the magnitude of her terrible blunder struck her harder than his blows. Oh, God, what have I done? She’d not only broken the Vacations contract, but more… Her neurotic need to open doors had destroyed her new start. How could she get a job as a vet out here if he turned her into the police? Or he could do something worse…
After Vacations sent Fontaine’s bio, she’d checked him on the Net. He was not only richer than God, but he mingled with the elite in Seattle society. He could easily destroy her reputation. Who would hire her if he denounced her?
Footsteps moved away and returned. Then his hand pressed down on the small of her back. “This won’t feel good, but it will help the pain and redness.” She had only a second to wonder what he meant before he began to massage lotion into her skin, right where he’d hit her. As pain flared back to life, she jerked, arched, tried to kick -- and got a swat on her burning butt.
“Lie still.” The sheer authority in his voice made her force herself back down. “Good girl.” His touch gentled, and the pain eased, leaving only a hot throbbing in its wake. “Up you come now.” He lifted her off the bench. Broad hands gripped her upper arms, steadying her when she wobbled.
After a breath for courage, she looked up into a strong face and piercing blue eyes. His short, dark brown hair lightened to gray at the temples. He had sharply chiseled features and a stern jaw with a cleft in the chin. A white, tailored shirt with sleeves rolled up displayed muscular forearms.
Still holding her by one arm, he cupped her cheek, using his thumb to brush away her tears. “Almost over, pet,” he murmured, then stepped back. “Kneel and apologize.” His voice had turned cold, eradicating for a frozen moment even the thought of arguing.
But kneel? Did he think he lived in some feudal century or -- her mind flashed to the BDSM club she’d visited and the submissives at their master’s feet. Frak, she’d not only found the Dom’s dungeon, but she’d found the Dom to go with it.
Still…if this guy thought she’d kneel, he could think again. She gave him a scathing look and headed for the door. Could she arrest him for hitting her? Probably not, considering she’d broken --
She glanced back.
He crossed his arms over his chest. “If you leave, I’ll report this through legal routes. If you stay, perhaps we can discuss alternatives.”
What kind of alternatives would a man demand? Oh, she knew exactly what, and a cold hand squeezed her chest. She wouldn’t be a whore again. Never. But stalling couldn’t hurt. Maybe his anger would cool a little. “What alternatives?”
He pointed at the floor in front of him. “Apologize.”
Fine. She started back across the room and almost groaned when the room blurred. No food since breakfast, too long in the Jacuzzi and this… Her legs buckled as she tried to kneel, and she landed painfully on her knees. She gritted her teeth against the pain.
He bent over and lifted her face. “Are you all right?” he asked softly.
She nodded, confused. Beat me and then make sure I didn’t hurt my knees? Was the man bipolar?
After caressing her cheek, he stood. And waited.
Damn him. She forced the words out, the taste of the apology bitter in her mouth. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have opened a locked door.” She stopped.
“’Please forgive me, Sir,’” he prompted.
Oh, honestly. Her hands tightened into fists. If she thumped him in the balls, she could run and… And what? Escape onto the street bare-ass naked? Assuming her legs even held her up, because right now, that wasn’t looking likely; she could feel fine tremors sweeping through her. “Please forgive me, S-sir.” Her voice broke at the last word.