Friday, 20 September 2013

Special Guest - HK Carlton

Please welcome HK Carlton to my blog today with her wonderful new release If You Can't Stand the Heat. Take it away HK...

Confidence vs. Arrogance

When I submitted the manuscript for my latest release, If You Can’t Stand The Heat to my editor at Total-E-Bound; I went through the normal anxiety that I suppose all authors go through after presenting their work for consideration. 
The waiting is the hardest part. 

But this time along with an acceptance and contract offer, the last thing I expected was a little constructive criticism, from my beloved editor, that went something like this: 

In the beginning, I think you need to tone it down a little (and not for the sexual content) but your male protagonist comes off as a major douche bag.

Leave it to my editor to give it to me straight. Well, after I stopped laughing I responded:

 Thank you, then I did my job. He’s supposed come off that way. That’s just what I wanted.

I wanted this character to be so confident in himself and his expertise that he appears to be arrogance personified. 

My editor (who is sadly, ☹ no longer my editor) wrote back:

You’re one of those women who secretly likes men like Simon Cowell, aren’t you? 

Well, I’m not sure if the Simon thing is really a secret but I also have a weird thang for Gordon Ramsey, as well. 

She tells me, that this weird attraction might have more to do with my obsession with Englishmen and Scotsmen, ☺ which is also no secret. 

But I guess that’s really how my douche bag hero, really began. (No offence intended to either Mr. Cowell or Chef Ramsey). But there is a show here in the Great White North and when I first started watching it, there was one guy on the panel that I absolutely detested on sight. He is good-looking, but not, in-your-face, women-fall-at-his-feet kind of handsome, but I’m sure he does all right. Nevertheless he’s just one of those people that seems to have an inflated opinion of himself. My first thought, just from the smug look on his face was, Oh, he’s a cocky f**k. Then I heard him talk and my attitude didn’t change any. He was rather full of himself, and at the time, I thought he talked down to the contestants. Now, this show doesn’t always have the same expert panel, but I found myself looking for this guy and was disappointed if he wasn’t on it. To the point that if he wasn’t a guest, I didn’t watch. But there was something about him that kept me coming back. ( and nowadays, I even think he’s better-looking :D ) Ahhh, snap judgements. Had I again, confused confidence for arrogance? Possibly, but whatever it is, I’m hooked, so much so that I can dedicate my douche bag lead to him and his cocky counterparts Simon, Gordon and one or two other conceited men that I’ve run into over the years.  

Sesto Théodore is a real mixture of all these confident men. And sometimes isn’t that what attracts us to another person; self-assurance. Besides, let’s face it, if you can’t believe in yourself, no one else will either (and douche bags need love too). LOL!

Oh, and let me just say, I gave Sesto a match that gives as good as she gets. But that’s another story…

Thanks for having me Lily!


Somebody’s about to get burnt…

An unlikely couple is brought together as celebrity judges on a new cooking show—Sesto Théodore, an American-Italian New York chef, and Syn Fully, a world-weary author of erotica. It’s instantly clear that they are complete opposites and their personalities clash, but physically, sparks fly and passion ignites.

However, after a video with some rather personal content surfaces on the Internet, Sesto immediately jumps to conclusions and accuses Syn of the breach.

Can the arrogant chef forgive and forget, or will his pride leave him out in the cold?

Reader Advisory: This book includes an occurrence of mild bondage and a scene of slightly dubious consent, as well as covert sexual contact in close proximity to bystanders. There is also reference to stalking and non-consensual taking of videos and photography and the dubious consensual use of restraints.


Standing, he demanded, “May I speak to you out in the hall, please!” 

“Of course,” Syn responded, haughtily, as though she hadn’t just been giving him the initial stages of a hand job under the judges table. He allowed her to take the lead although he was unexpectedly mesmerized by her long shapely legs, as she stalked across the space, confident and oh-so-fuckin’ sexy in the red stilettos. Sesto pulled level with her and couldn’t resist the urge to place his hand to the small of her back, left bare by the severe cut of her dress. If he wasn’t mistaken, she’d trembled at the contact. Or more likely it was his own hand that shook. 

In the hall, she turned to face him and at the same moment he blurted, “What the fuck do you think…” The words died on his tongue, as she once more found his firm cock with her hand, her gaze settled on his mouth, as she breathed shallowly. 

“Where’s your dressing room?” she asked, backing him up.

Grabbing her wrist, he dragged her into the room, before slamming the door behind them. He pulled her hand, which he still had possession of, above her head and forced it against the door. Expecting her to fight, he was not prepared for her brazen little smile as she raised her arm to join the other, as if she wanted him to pin her there and take control. With both hands stretched above her head, and Sesto still in an uncertain defensive type crouch, Syn arched towards him, bringing her beautiful tits, right in his face.

“What the fuck are you doing?” he asked again. “We don’t even know each other.”

“I know. Isn’t it wicked, how our bodies want to though. Don’t even bother to deny it, I can see that you do.”
Sesto groaned, shifting uncomfortably foot to foot. 

“Go ‘head, Théo, set them free,” she invited.

If You Can’t Stand The Heat is now available for pre-order at Total-E-Bound

Pre-release: 4th October 2013
General Release: 1st November 2013

H K Carlton is a multi-published author of erotic, historical and contemporary romance. 


  1. Hot excerpt. I'm really looking forward to reading this one H.K. I love the 'Simon' comment from you ex(and wonderful)editor and her reasoning that it's your obsession with the English/Scottish that is to blame:)

    1. I hope you enjoy it.
      Our shared beloved editor knows us well, huh! :) LOL
      Thanks for stopping, Donna.

  2. So weird, I only got the yahoo email about this guest blog today and it looks like it too place five days ago. Yahoo continues to screw things up. :-( Anyway, the excerpt is HOT and I can't wait to read the entire book. Congrats!

    1. Hi Noelle, yes for some reason yahoo likes to keep my messages for days and then spits them out (after the fact).
      Glad you enjoyed it thanks for stopping by.

  3. I wonder if we have the same ex-editor at TEB?

    I also needed to tone down my introduction to Nathan Darke in The Dark Side because he came across as just too nasty and might put readers off. I like nasty, at least to start with, gives us more to go at in the melting process. But, compliant little wannabe author that I was, I did as I was told. I suspect my editor was right though, and I liked the end result.

    Loving the excerpt, by the way

    1. Hi Anne, I think sometimes we as writers are too close to the character and a fresh set of eyes, (and an editor who knows the market) can steer us in the right direction. I'm also happy with the end result. I'm with you, I love a bad guy too. Thanks so much for stopping.

  4. I had a hated/douchebag character in my first book. Learned a lot from that, took a lot of heat for it. Lol. I get the attraction...

    Putting on my psychologist hat - Arrogance usually covers insecurity, which is one of the reasons arrogant people don't bother me. (I know their secret. haha!) People who are truly comfortable with themselves don't come across as arrogant. It's a defense mechanism. But the determination as to whether someone is confident or arrogant is based on the perception of the person observing...

    1. Hi Normandie, my first published book dealt with adultery, and I also took some heat. I think I'll take the douche bag backlash any day over that. Phew!
      Thanks for breaking out the psychologist's hat. Sometimes, I just call 'em as I see 'em. :)
      Thanks for dropping by, Normandie.

  5. Hey HK! Another awesome sounding read - *adding to my TBR list*
    I like the arrogance idea, and the excerpt was quite tantalizing. :)
    I always seem to go on defense with your first book - too many people turn away about the thought of adultery, but if they just READ it they'd see it differently. Hopefully people won't be douche bags and turn away from IYCSTH just because Sesto's one. I think his attitude will make for a good story. ( I'm a Ramsey fan too ;) )
    I actually had a publisher turn away Pavarus because Wesley came across as too b*tchy, but that was the whole point, that was how he's supposed to be in the beginning. Glad TEB took it, and I'm glad they went with yours.
    Can't wait to read it!


    1. Hi Jen, thanks for that, I'm a little defensive about it too. I get what people are saying, no one likes to get hurt or betrayed, but sometimes there's more to the story. I'm wondering now if that other pub is regretting turning down Pavarus and they missed out on the entire Finding Home series, too. :D I guess it really is all in the eye of the beholder.
      Thanks for popping in Jen,

  6. I totally get this thread of conversation. One of the first novels I wrote - unpublished - was about a woman who has an affair with a younger man.

    I really delved into her emotions. She wasn't connecting with her husband who blamed her for their childless marriage and threw himself into his work, ignoring her at best and at worse pushing her away.

    When it was finished I went on a creative writing 'masterclass' which was very good, but the well known mainstream romance author who took the class said the first rule of romance was not to make your heroine an adulteress. I shelved the book, despite the fact I really like the twists and turns and if the heroine had been my best friend and she'd been telling me what had happened I would have totally got it and supported her.

    I think adultery is just too raw a nerve for many people, even though it makes for fabulous plot lines, but, at the end of the day, it is fiction, and I love characters who don't always do the moral thing, what they should do, but what they want, what they need - because that's what real people do.

    1. Are you going to take it off the shelf and revisit it, Lily? Maybe publish it now? :)

      I guess my problem is, I can see it from all sides. And although I might not condone it, I can clearly see how it happens.

    2. I've heard that too, Lily. Never have either of the two main characters cheat. That does limit us. Some great stories may not get told because of this. Maybe these are the stories for self-publishing. That way the author is the only one to take the heat. I would read stories like the one Lily described.

  7. Oh, the post - it reminds me of another arrogant hero of yours;) BUT, wowsville on the excerpt...I can't wait for this one, HK;) Congrats on your upcoming release!! Hugs!

    1. Hello my lovely, Kay Dee. I guess I have a thing for arrogant heroes. :) Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping.