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Friday, September 28, 2012

Interview with Leigh Ellwood, author of Dare to Act!


Please help me welcome author Leigh Ellwood to Full Moon Bites today! You all know I am a huge fan of m/m and I am really looking forward to picking this book up! :)

Holly: Hi, Leigh! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Leigh Ellwood: Hello, thanks for having me. I am Leigh Ellwood, and I write erotica and erotic romance in a variety of sub-genres. I have been published for about eight years now and have several books and stories available in eBook and print. When I’m not writing, I work my day job in social media marketing and take care of the family.
Holly: Your life is an action/suspense novel; your stuck on a ship and it’s about to blow. If it was just you, you would jump overboard and get away fast, but there are a few people that were being held captive on the ship, too. What do you do?

Leigh Ellwood: I’m hoping I’m within reach of one of those spears they have on hooks near the life preservers. If yes, I’d grab one and get rid of the captors before getting everybody on the nearest lifeboat. If not, I’ll have to rely on my martial arts skills. ;-)

Holly: When did you realize that you would like to write and publish a book?

Leigh Ellwood: I think I’ve always known that I would write in some capacity. When I was in elementary school I started a number of books, but it wasn’t until I left college that I finally completed one. That one, of course, will never see the light of day.

As for when I decided to try erotic romance, that happened when I got pregnant, if you can believe that. I had only written mysteries previously, and I suppose the hormonal changes got the best of me. It helped that publishers like Ellora’s Cave had launched around the same time.

Holly: Can you tell us a little bit about your book DARE TO ACT?

Leigh Ellwood: DARE TO ACT is an M/M erotic romance, published in August by Ravenous Romance. It is my longest M/M work to date, and is part of the Dareville universe – a series I have written for other publishers. It’s about an actor whose career takes an interesting turn, and he decides to take a time out and visit his retired parents. While in small town Dareville, he meets the director of a local acting troupe and decides to do more than act out a few scenes with him. J

Holly: Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?

Leigh Ellwood: I’d say it’s a six of one situation here. There are characters in this story who have appeared in other Dareville stories, but technically the plot came first for this one. Dareville regulars just happened to appear as I saw fit.

Holly: What was the inspiration for this novel?

Leigh Ellwood: I’ve always had a fascination for the performing arts. Notes for another version of this story – which centered more on the play being produced – have existed on my PC for a few years. Part of the story was also inspired by the various acting awards I’ve watched – one day I asked myself, “What if this happened? What would the actor do?” and I took it from there.

Holly: You’re out demon hunting (because you’re that kind of awesome) and you come across one about to kill a young couple. He has not seen you yet; what is your first course of action?

Leigh Ellwood: Pull a bow from the quiver and aim for the throat.

Holly: Where can we purchase DARE TO ACT?

Leigh Ellwood: DARE TO ACT is available digitally through Amazon, B&N, All Romance, and Ravenous Romance.


Holly: Can we expect more novels from you in 2012?

Leigh Ellwood: I hope so, but my next work may come out in early 2013.

Holly: Are you working on anything at the moment?

Leigh Ellwood: I am currently working on a shapeshifter novella called PURE BLISS, which is part of a new series I have about shifters from rival families trying to live together. I’m also working on the next Dareville novel, which will be an MMF ménage.

Holly: Are you reading anything interesting at the moment? If so, what is it?

Leigh Ellwood: I love biographies. Right now I’m reading the Amy Winehouse bio written by her father. She was a tremendous talent – it was very sad to lose her.

Holly: Can you tell us a little about your first publishing experience?

Leigh Ellwood: I sold my first story when I was 19, to a small Colorado magazine. At this time I had received so many rejection slips, that I looked at this envelope and figured I’d been sent another one. When I opened up the contract I must have screamed for ten minutes! I’d written a humorous roman a clef story that they apparently liked. While they paid me immediately, though, it took nearly a year for the magazine to come out. I think I was more concerned about seeing my name in print than getting paid!

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Leigh Ellwood: I just want to say thank you for your support, and that I hope you’ve enjoyed my work. To those of you who have written me, I appreciate it very much. Readers are the best, and it’s my goal never to disappoint.

Holly: Your life is a romantic comedy; what humorous but very embarrassing thing happens on your first date/when you meet the love of your life?

Leigh Ellwood: Knowing me, we’d forget our wallets at dinner and try to buy our way out by winning the karaoke contest that just happens to be going on that night. Don’t go breaking my heart, indeed.

Random Quickies!


Holly: Ebook or hardcover/paperback?

Leigh Ellwood: eBook

Holly: Pepsi or Coke?

Leigh Ellwood: Coke

Holly: TV Shows or Movies?

Leigh Ellwood: Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, anything with Alan Rickman

Holly: Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?

Leigh Ellwood: Dark


Dare to Act
Leigh Ellwood

When actor Parker Stigwood stuns the world by doing the unthinkable on live television, he's convinced his career is over. Disgusted by Hollywood hypocrisy, he pushes the pause button on his life and retreats to his parents' home in Dareville to contemplate his future. Little does he realize, various forces have plans for him on a personal and professional level.

Luke Hall is excited to direct his first play for the local arts center, more so when the handsome movie star volunteers to watch rehearsals and offer pointers. Luke would rather watch Parker, but there are interruptions to his viewing pleasure. When a well-meaning friend seeking benefits places doubts in Luke's head about Parker's intentions, Luke wonders if their relationship will bomb at the box office.

On and off-stage, Luke and Parker's passion sizzles. But will Parker dare to act on his feelings for Luke and leave his star behind for good?


“I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the rehearsal. You have a great ensemble there, and I liked how the script and the action flowed.” Parker sipped his coffee. “If I had to offer anything constructive, just based on what I saw, I think maybe your Titania could slow things down a bit. There were parts where it sounded rushed, and she slurred her words. Even if you’re going to use the original Shakespeare with the contemporary sets, people still need to understand what everybody is saying.”
“I don’t disagree with you there. Janie’s audition was practically flawless, too, but lately it appears that she’s somewhere else during rehearsal. Mentally, that is,” Luke said.
“Gotcha. I thought my presence might have distracted her, but you’re saying this isn’t an isolated incident.”
Luke shook his head. He wished he could attribute the rehearsal gaffes to Parker’s presence—Lord knew he had trouble concentrating on anything besides Parker’s smile and long legs stretched out as he reclined—but he knew he needed to deal with Janie soon.

“Anything else you liked or disliked?” he asked. “We have a full dress rehearsal in a few days, beginning to end. If you’re not busy, you’re welcome to sit in.” His crew would think him insane for making the suggestion, considering how he didn’t let even his mother linger in the auditorium after delivering his lunch. Eventually the play would open to a live audience, even if the prospect of someone witnessing the rough product unnerved Luke.
If Parker proved the lone exception, it was because Luke liked having the man near, and sitting close to him like this was nearly ideal.
Parker nodded, as though pondering the invitation. “I suppose I should get a rental car tomorrow if I’m going to be out and about while I’m here,” he said. “My parents have given me use of their cars, but I don’t like holding them up, even though they insist I don’t go to any extravagant lengths to make things more convenient for them.”
Luke laughed. “They actually said that? Man, if I were raking in millions, my mother would be shopping for vacation homes in the Bahamas. Forherself.”
“They let me go wild at Christmas, but that’s about it. I wouldn’t say I’m raking in millions, not like DiCaprio or Tom Cruise, but I do well.” Parker wrapped his hands around his mug and studied the contents. “They spent their lives together not having much, forever wondering about the next paycheck, so they feel it’s wiser to keep the money in the bank. You know, after I signed my first film contract, instead of popping open some champagne, I got a lecture about investing wisely.” Parker raised his eyebrows, looking quite comical as he spoke. “Because the movie could flop, and then where would I be?”
Luke laughed again, shaking his head. He knew Parker’s filmography. The man had yet to star in a bomb.
“The more I think about it, they had a point,” Parker continued. “I don’t have an agent right now, and I don’t know if she’s taking calls or blowing people off. When people do realize I have no representation, would they call me directly?”
“That sounds typical given the circumstances, but are you really worried about not getting offers?”
“Maybe.” Parker smiled. “I’m not hurting for money, but I like to work. I thought this signaled a change in my career path, but I realize I’m not ready to retire. I suppose I could try for more indie projects.”
“There’s always the stage,” Luke said.
“Yes. I’m going to need new representation anyway. I should shoot up to New York for a weekend and scout some prospects.” After a brief silence, Parker held up his mug. “Refill?”
Luke curled a hand over the rim of his mug. “I’m good, thanks. It has kick—either that or I’m failing at holding my liquor tonight.”
“I know I am. Whoa.” Parker stood and wobbled, but quickly corrected himself and moved to set his mug on a shelf inside the garage. “I should throw in the towel as well.”
“Okay.” Luke carried his mug over to Parker. “Well, thanks for having me over. Hopefully we’ll see you—
The rest of his sentence was muted, thanks to the kiss Parker planted on his lips. He held Luke’s face close and stroked his cheeks with his thumbs. Luke shuffled into a more comfortable posture and wrapped his arms around Parker’s waist. He tasted whiskey and cream and moaned appreciatively when his host pulled him tight.
Their bodies joined, Luke closed his eyes and focused on the hands that stroked his back and slid down his spine to cup his ass. Hard muscle brushed against his groin, stirring his cock in his jeans. Luke wondered when Parker decided that this was a good idea, but knew better to question good fortune.
Gripping Parker at the waist, he broke off the kiss and took in a deep breath. “Your parents,” he began.
“Go to bed early, and even if they decided to stay up late they wouldn’t be coming out here,” Parker finished for him. “Like you intimated earlier today, our mothers hatched a plan, and my folks knew I asked you to stop by. There’s no way in hell they’re going to butt in and break this up.”
Parker twined his fingers with Luke’s and beckoned him to follow. They walked around the garage, along the landscaped exterior of the house. “Let me show you something,” Parker said.



Leigh Ellwood is an award-winning author of erotica and erotic romance. She is the author of the best-selling Dareville series and several other novels and stories. Her book Dare to Dream was an All Romance Book Club selection, and her book Nuclear Soul won the EPIC Award. She is a Gaylactic Spectrum Honorable Mention and a finalist in the Gold Crown Literary Society Awards. Leigh is very active on Twitter @LeighEllwood and invites readers to visit her at www.LeighEllwood.com.





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