I am so lucky, once again I get to spotlight one of Siren's most talented authors. Mellanie Szereto. When her fingers aren't attached to her keyboard, Mellanie Szereto enjoys hiking, Pilates, cooking, gardening, and researching for her stories. Many times, the research partners with her other hobbies, taking her from the Hocking Hills region in Ohio to the Colorado Rockies or the Adirondacks of New York. Sometimes, the trip is no farther than her garden for ingredients and her kitchen to test recipes for her latest steamy tale. She is multi-published with Siren-Bookstrand and has started a new self-published foodie contemporary series, Love on the Menu, in addition to her nonfiction book, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Craft Handbook, based on her informational blog series. Mellanie makes her home in rural Indiana with her husband of twenty-seven years, their son, and two cats. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Indiana Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and PASIC.
I asked her some questions:
If you had to choose to give up one, which would it be, chocolate or sex?
Not a fair question! Considering my newest series is based on food and sex, that’s very tough to answer. Hmm… I think I’d give up chocolate because carob is a pretty tasty substitute and I can’t think of a reasonable replacement for sex!
Why did you choose to write erotic romance?
Funny story! I attended my first RWA National Conference in 2010 with several friends from my local RWA chapter. Over sangria, we jokingly came up with titles and premises that would fit into the erotic romance genre. Our ideas sort of blossomed into a series of anthologies (The Sextet Anthologies) published by Siren. We still blame it on the sangria!
Describe your idea of the perfect first date.
I’m fairly introverted, so a perfect first date for me would be a quiet picnic, with the chance to talk without having the background noise of a busy restaurant. I’d enjoy a hike in the woods or a walk through themed gardens and a relaxed canoe or kayak ride on a lake.
If you’re in a relationship, tell how you met that person.
My husband and I had seen each other in passing several times at a gym/natatorium. He pointed me out to someone at the pool and said he wanted to meet me. Then mutual friends introduced us at our town’s annual homecoming festival a couple weeks later. We sat talking on the park bleachers until four in the morning. We still celebrate our day-we-meet anniversary! Next month, it’s 29 years!
Do you fall in love with the characters you write?
Absolutely, and some more than others! Part of what I love about my characters is their growth throughout the stories. When they learn to accept their faults and make the best of who they are, they became real—to me and, hopefully, my readers!
Where do you get the ideas to develop your characters?
My characters tend to tell me about their personalities and what makes them tick. If I try to add my own ideas, my characters also push back or stop talking to me. Stubbornness seems to be on ongoing trait…
What series do you read and can’t wait for the next installment?
I don’t have much time for reading, between homeschooling my son with Asperger’s and my writing. I do, however, always make time for the latest installment of Cheryl Brooks’ Cat Star Chronicles series. Rebel is out July 1!
Do you have a favorite activity to recharge your batteries before you start a new project?
I always more than one project in the works, so I rarely take time to recharge after I write “The End” on one. When I need a break, I usually go to one of my favorite hiking spots with my family for a few days. I’m always anxious to get back to my laptop!
Do you ever get angry at the characters you write?
Frustrated, yes. Angry, no. Sometimes, the wrong characters are trying to tell their stories or the right ones don’t like where the story is going, so they stop talking. My characters are very good at letting me know when they aren’t happy with me. Definitely stubborn! For the most part, I sympathize with them over the decisions and choices they make and cheer for them when they find happily ever after.
You can Contact Mellanie the following ways:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mellanie-Szereto/e/B005FAKVWC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1400689272&sr=1-2-ent
Love Served Hot (Love on the Menu 1)
· All Romance ebooks (e-book): https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-loveservedhot-1360650-177.html
· Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/Love-Served-Hot-Menu-Volume/dp/0991147316/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1389648384&sr=1-2
· Amazon (e-book): http://www.amazon.com/Love-Served-Hot-Menu-ebook/dp/B00GY5HEPY/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389648384&sr=1-2
· B&N (e-book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-served-hot-mellanie-szereto/1117515530?ean=2940148810681
· Createspace (print): https://www.createspace.com/4580991
Here is an Excerpt of her book Love Served Hot (Love on the Menu 1)
A glance toward the dark dining room brought him up short as he strolled past. Light filtered onto the carpet from beneath the serving door to the kitchen and through the porthole window.
Had he forgotten to flip off the switch when he left earlier?
He’d been distracted enough.
He backtracked down the hallway to the other entrance. As he lifted his hand to push the door open, a noise came from the other side.
Was that a moan? Geesh. Please don’t tell me old people are having sex in my kitchen. And why do I smell tomatoes and basil?
Hesitant about whether or not to enter, he strained to hear another sound.
“More. I want more.”
Was that Lilith’s voice? Did she have a guy in there with her?
Not if I can help it!
He shoved the door open and stepped into the room, shading his eyes against the brightness. A squeak brought his attention straight to the woman in question, her face half hidden behind a tipped-up carryout box. Only her wide green eyes were fully visible. She lowered the container, revealing flushed cheeks and a dab of red sauce on her chin.
He strode into the kitchen, grabbing a towel on his way to the sexiest female he’d ever met. Wiping away the drop of sauce, he bit the inside of his lip to hold in a combination of lust and amusement.
She liked his food.
No, she loves my food.
The week of not showing up for meals in the restaurant had nothing to do with his cooking.
Was she avoiding him because she wanted him as much as he wanted her?
Hope built in his chest—and lower.
Her gaze skittered away from him. “I was hungry. I didn’t have time to eat supper. You said I could help myself whenever…”
He took the licked-clean box from her to set it on the counter. “I did, and you can. Did you enjoy it?”
She nodded slowly, the tip of her pink tongue snaking out to lick the corner of her mouth. “It was delicious.”
The sensual action could’ve been involuntary, but it sent an electrical charge straight to his dick, either way.
Was she delicious too?
The need to know proved too much, and he leaned in closer for his own taste. Sounds like those she’d made deserved to be induced by something a hell of lot more interesting than campanelle and ports.
Soft, full lips met his, stealing his sanity and making his heart race. She raked her fingers through his hair, tugging him against her full breasts as her tongue slipped between his teeth.
Wrapping his arms around her, he held her in place, letting the mixture of spices from the entrée and the sweet flavor of Lilith feed his hunger. He rubbed his tongue over hers, relieved to finally be able to kiss her. Barely keeping a tight rein on his reaction, he rocked his hips forward, rubbing his erection against her hip. Damn, but he wanted to be inside her.
I need to be inside her.