What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Thanks for having me today! I’m Sierra Brave, and I write romance novels in several genres. My Horse Mountain Shifters series is paranormal. The Crystal Coast Romances series is contemporary with a side of spanking. The Triple Passion Play books are a ménage series. I also have a few one shot stories, one of which is hard BDSM. The one thing all my books share is humor. Even if the story is serious, I always throw in some comedy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
When I began brainstorming, I thought about how every Dom has a beginning, and I liked the idea of a reluctant Dom. Enter Chance Locklear, a stubborn, prideful and self-disciplined man who thinks his way is always right. He doesn’t like hiccups in his strict routine so when the matriarch of his equine-shifter clan saddles him with a girl he perceives to be a spoiled, twenty-one-year-old brat from out-of-town, he’s none too pleased.
I also liked the concept of a strong heroine who might not be totally opposed to allowing someone else to be in charge at least for a while. Lucy has been burnt by her parents’ self-centered behavior to the point she doesn’t expect much from them. At the beginning of the book, her step-father’s latest hijinks have forced her to abandon her job as a blackjack dealer and skip town to hiding out. That’s when she lands in Chance’s care.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I enjoyed Charlaine Harris’s books even before the Southern Vampire Mysteries series, but the Sookie Books ignited my love of paranormal heroes and heroines. As for the erotic side of my books, I feel the old adage, “more is less,” doesn’t apply when it comes to romance novels.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Although the setting of the Horse Mountain Shifters books is fictional, when writing, I have a certain area within the Appalachian Mountains in mind. I researched the types of trees, flowers and animals normally found there. I researched a lot about horses: different types, sounds they make, how they move. I also made several visits to a farm, where my daughter volunteered, so I could watch the animals, especially the horses.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Bridling Lucy is book three in the Horse Mountain Shifters series. The series began when I was still writing for Ellora’s Cave Books, and Horse Mountain Heat (then titled Bareback Christmas) was part of a group of books in the their holiday “stocking stuffers” offerings. At the time, my beautiful sister, who is a curvy girl, had just gone through a tough divorce. I believed she deserved a hot cowboy who appreciated her so the heroine of that story was inspired by her. All of the Horse Mountain Shifters books, including Bridling Lucy, feature big, beautiful women and rugged, sexy men though BRIDLING LUCY is the first in the series to feature spanking.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Ouch…that’s like choosing a favorite child. I will say I’m always studying to learn more about story structure and writing in general as well as enriching my style by reading works in my genre and others so I believe each book I write gets a little better.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I knew I wanted to write a shifter story set in the mountains. I started thinking about snow and cozy mountain cabins with roaring fires in the winter and fun family vacations to dude ranches in the spring so cowboys and equine shifters seemed like the perfect combination. Plus the phrase “hung like a horse” always makes me smirk.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Aside from the geographical and farm research I already mentioned, I also read a lot of spanking and domestic discipline blogs.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes and many of the characters from book one and book two make appearances in Bridling Lucy.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
There’s no typical work day for me. My schedule has been all over the place since my son left for college (I lost my biggest helper.) and my oldest daughter entered her last semester of high school (She graduates early at the end of December. Yay!). All the running around I’ve had to do has been a hindrance to my process so sometimes I have to be a little selfish. My family teases me about claiming a chair in the living room as mine and running anyone else out of it, but my recliner along with the long end table next to it are like my office. I keep my laptop there along with anything else I’m working on at the time. I feel anxious if someone is impeding my access to write so they’ve gotta go! Having my special space allows me to jump in and work whenever I can even though my day-to-day schedule is unstable.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I’ve got several books outlined and I’m writing them in bits and pieces as the creativity flows and time allows, but the one most likely to be finished first is Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice in Shifterland. I started writing it one chapter at a time on Wattpad as a form of stress relief. I wanted to lose myself in writing something fun, sexy, campy and over-the-top without rules imposed by publishers. I didn’t know if anyone would like it, but it has built a nice following. I’m working on wrapping up Alice’s story, which I will eventually polish and publish as a full book. I’m also writing the sequel, Scarlett and the Big Bad in Shifterland.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Sometimes there are special meanings to character names, but it really depends on the book. Since the hero of Bridling Lucy and some of the secondary characters are Native American, I chose surnames common among members of the Lumbee tribe.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere! My head has always been filled with stories or at least pieces or beginnings of them. Sometimes, I’ll hear a song and the lyrics inspire me or I might meet an interesting person and start dreaming up a backstory for them.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I normally write racy romance, but I’d love to write a young adult series my kids could read. I’ve started writing a YA science fiction story and have most of it worked out in my head, but I haven’t had the chance to get it all written down yet.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time to get all the dreams and ideas written down is tough. When I can carve out a few hours to work, I love to brainstorm and write—that’s the fun part. The hardest work is the editing, re-writing, and polishing.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Trailers are a great way to showcase books or series and promote them. I work with two very talented graphic designers. Lex Valentine of Winterheart Designs made all the covers in the Horse Mountain Shifters series, and I love them. I also work with Talina Perkins of Bookin’ It Designs. She’s done trailers for a couple of my series and is making one for Bridling Lucy. She does terrific work, and those videos can be seen on my YouTube channel.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I feel like there are “seasons” in life and many are capped off with an accomplishment before your next journey. Obviously, education is important so high school and college graduation were two milestone accomplishments. Receiving my first publisher-acceptance letter and then seeing my first book up for sale at all the major retailers was amazing, but when it comes to the absolute best, it’s got to be raising my three kids from tiny babies into the smart, talented and kind young adults they have become. I’m very proud of them.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
I love so many things about being an author. I enjoy having a creative outlet, and working from home on my own schedule is awesome. When other people like my work, I’m proud to have brought them some happiness, but the very best thing has been the opportunity to meet some wonderful, talented people who have enriched my life with their friendship.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
The setting of my Crystal Coast Romances series is based on a small island off the coast of North Carolina. My husband wants to retire there so in ten years, I hope we’ll have a little cottage a few rows back from the beach where I can continue to find inspiration and write.
Have you always liked to write?
I have always had stories in my head, but for a long time, I didn’t have the self-assurance to write them down. When an anxiety order prevented me from working outside the home, I decided to give writing a shot. I still wasn’t sure if it my work was good enough, but my confidence increased after I received my first acceptance letter from a traditional publisher about a year later.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t wait! Start writing and while you do, read all kinds of books and study story structure in lots of different mediums. Then keep writing.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Before I had children, I worked as a college administrator at a satellite college on a military base and later at a state university. Now that my anxiety disorder is better controlled, if I couldn’t write, I’d probably return to work in the adult education field.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Some of the best advice I ever heard was: Don’t let your successes go to your head or your failures go to your heart. I try to look at reviews with that sentiment in mind. I appreciate readers who take the time to write a review so I definitely read them. I’m thrilled when they like my books. Of course, it hurts when readers don’t respond positively, but for me, the only way to handle bad reviews is to learn what you can from them and put it to use in future works.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
Line edits are the least fun part of writing and publishing, but they’re necessary.
What are you working on now?
I have several dishes simmering. The previously mentioned Shifterland series is definitely in the works as is the YA book I’m writing. I’m not sure if the time traveling book I put so much time into researching will come together anytime soon, but I’m making progress on a gritty post-apocalyptic thriller.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work?
Sexy Bridling Lucy Teaser
In a flash, he’d parked and thrown the driver’s side door open, and before she could get a handle on what was happening, Lucy found herself staring at the ground as he hauled her across his lap with her hips resting over his thighs and her torso hanging off the side of the bench seat.
“Agh!” What the hell are you doing?” She flailed her arms and tightened her abdominal muscles, fighting gravity as the blood rushed to her head.
His hand landed on the back pocket of her shorts with a thud, and she squealed. The next swat fell just an inch or so off from hitting the exact same spot. She kicked and squirmed as she squawked and flailed her arms, but he was strong as an ox, and the truck was raised up enough she couldn’t touch the ground.
“You need to learn how to act, and since you’re too unreasonable to talk to, this seems like the best way to teach you.” Her shorts tightened across her backside as he tugged at the waistband. He smacked her butt again and she gasped.
“You can’t do this!” She put her hand behind her back in an attempt to cover her stinging buns, but he grabbed her wrist and twisted her arm so he could hold it at the small of her back.
“Really?” His question preceded four sharp, painful slaps against her posterior. “Because I’m pretty sure I’m already doing it. I’m not exactly thrilled about having to take time out of my schedule to chauffer you around, but I can’t disobey the matriarch.”
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I started writing steamy romance because I found the love scenes between my favorite characters didn’t go far enough for me. I’m still working out the kinks in my balancing act, but I hope to branch out into other genres soon.
Where did your love of books come from?
Honestly, I didn’t always love books. When I was in elementary school, I was diagnosed with ADHD at a time when not a lot was known about the learning disorder. I struggled to learn to read and felt inferior to my friend whose school teacher mother had taught her before she started Kindergarten. Luckily, the Sweet Valley High series and books by V.C. Andrews drew me into reading as a middle schooler and I’ve been devouring the written word ever since. When my son was in pre-school, I purchased the book, Teaching your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and I taught my children to read early so they wouldn’t face the same struggles I did.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Yes! I’ve mentioned a few already. George R.R. Martin is amazing. I’m dying for the Winds of Winter to be released. There are also tons of romance and erotica authors I enjoy—way too many to list.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
I know lots of readers love what’s now been termed, Alpha-holes. I enjoy writing and reading them sometimes too, but I’ve always been into nice guys, especially if they’re funny. For that reason, I adore Thomas “Tommy” Marks from my ménage/Poly series, Triple Passion Play. He’s gorgeous and loves to tease his co-husband, Ken.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A little of both. When inspiration hits, I’m filled with energy, but I tend to keep going until I hit the wall.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Distraction—I try to force myself to use my time wisely, but some days, I find myself spending too much time on social media.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I hope I’m able to do both.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Since I started writing, I’ve been blessed to meet so many wonderful authors. The community is filled to overflowing with generous people who genuinely want to see others succeed and are willing to help promote or give advice. Jan Springer and Sierra Cartwright have been inspirations and terrific mentors to me. Both ladies have always been happy to answer my questions and share their experience and expertise. January Bain is probably my best friend in the business. She’s an amazing talent I became acquainted with right after my first book was published, and we’ve always encouraged each other.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Where can your fans find you and follow?
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you so much for having me on your blog! —Sierra
A Spirited Girl. A Reluctant Dom. Fated Mates.
Bridling Lucy by Sierra Brave
Horse Mountain Shifters Book #3
Release Date: January 11, 2019
Genre: Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Spanking
Stubborn, prideful and self-disciplined, Chance Locklear believes his way is always right, and he doesn’t like hiccups is in his strict routine so when the matriarch of his equine-shifter clan saddles him with a spoiled, twenty-one-year-old brat from out-of-town, he’s none too pleased.
While growing up as a member of a rogue-shifter clan, Lucy Tate didn’t have the luxury of an easy or predictable life, but she’s learned to live with her parent’s self-centered behavior causing problems for her or leaving her in the lurch. When her step-father’s latest hijinks force her to abandon her job as a blackjack dealer and skip town, she resents having to live with a stranger and work as a maid while hiding out. To make matters worse, she’s been placed in the care of an arrogant but sexy game warden/werehorse who demands her respect.
The first time Chance pulled her over his lap for a spanking, she was shocked and angry, but her body reacted to his touch in a completely different way. Just as the two begin to give into their shared attraction and admit they are fated mates, outside forces show up to pull them apart. Will destiny, love, and amazing sex be enough to save their relationship?
Warning: Bridling Lucy is a smoking hot, stand-alone romance with graphic sexual language. If you are offended by corporal punishment/adult discipline or sizzling, put-you-in-the-moment love scenes, you might want to look for another book. Adults only, please.
Lucy sat with her arms folded across her chest and her bottom lip poking out as she stared out the passenger-side window. Despite her sour mood, Horse Mountain’s rustic scenery enchanted her—beautiful cabins, both big and small, grassy pastures, and lush evergreens abounded for as far as the eye could see. This would be a nice place for a vacation if I wasn’t practically being kidnapped. She shook her head as she tried to fathom how she’d been uprooted from her comfortable life by no fault of her own. Mama might as well be carting me off to prison. She licked her bottom lip as she pressed her forehead against the cool glass.
“Oh, come on now. It’s not as bad as all that?” Dory Crane continued driving.
“As all what?” She kept her attention on the greenery. If she saw her mother’s face, her anger might transform into sadness and she didn’t want to cry.
Her mom huffed. “You with the silent treatment up here and the refusal to so much as meet my gaze.”
Lucy’s nostrils flared. “You’re lucky I’m too old for an Amber Alert. How am I supposed to react when you’re sending me off to the middle of nowhere to stay with some strange old woman I’ve never even met?”
“She’s a family friend. Her daughter and I attended finishing school together.”
Lucy snorted. “I still can’t believe you went.”
“In my day, all of the girls of our clan were expected to go. It was a very big deal amongst the equine shifters.”
“And look how much it taught you. Did you even graduate?” She practically spat her words.
“Your mama knows how to behave like a lady when she needs to.”
“So this woman isn’t even kin?”
“No, but she is an equine shifter. One of her sons was good friends with your birth father.”
She gasped, finally turning to look at her mom. Her mother’s husband had raised her, and most of the time, Lucy claimed him as her daddy, but she longed to know more about her biological father. Trouble was her mama was always tight-lipped when it came to the subject. “My dad? Does he live around here? Can I meet him?”
Dory shrugged. “Can we not talk about him? Nothing you learn will make you happy.”
She locked her index fingers together while pulling her hands close to her chest. “I wonder if he looked for me.”
“He might have if he’d known about you, but I was only three months along and not showing yet. Telling him would have just complicated our separation and eventual divorce.”
Lucy’s jaw dropped and she fought not to shed the tears welling up in her eyes. She pursed her lips and stared straight ahead, taking a deep breath. “I don’t know how you could do such a horrible thing.”
Dory frowned, knitting her eyebrows. “So self-righteous! One of these days you’ll realize when it comes to our kind, the head can’t always control the heart. Getting involved before finding your one true mate is dangerous.”
Lucy opened her mouth as if she were gagging and made a retching sound while pointing her finger toward the back of her throat. “Please stop talking.”
“Excuse me? At least I’m not pushing you into an arranged marriage the way my father did to me.”
“Sorry, but I don’t want to hear your selfish reasons for running off with a gambling-addicted coyote shifter.”
“Hush your flapping lips. You know Craw didn’t start playing the slots until after we left Mississippi.”
Lucy huffed. “You mean after we got run out of Biloxi because of your low-rent fortune teller con jobs?” Her mom shot her a nasty look but didn’t deny the accusation. Lucy held her left wrist with her right hand while shaking her head. “Either way, I’m being forced to pay for someone else’s mistake. To think your husband used to actually be a pretty good dad. Now, not so much.”
Her mama’s head jerked to the side as she threw a furious look Lucy’s way, complete with narrowed eyes. “Stop testing my patience, Lucy Abigail Tate.”
I hit a nerve. Lucy tried not to smirk. Her mama couldn’t tolerate any bad-mouthing of the love of her life, regardless of how true the words rang. Crawford “Craw” Crane continually proved himself to be a turd in the punch bowl, but her mama always defended him and probably would continue to until her dying breath. “Why’d you give me his name instead of Craw’s?”
Her mother pressed her lips together. “Legally, I was still married to him when you were born so Tate was my last name, but can we please drop the subject? Your daddy, Craw, the man who looked after you like his own blood from the minute you were born—He loves you. He thinks he’s doing right by you.” She shook her finger at Lucy. “I just don’t agree. A girl needs to wait for the one.”
“The one,” Lucy mimicked while rolling her eyes. “I still think this is crazy. It’s not like I couldn’t just flat out refuse Grayson.”
“Hmm, I wonder if you’d be able to stand strong if the patriarch got involved. Would you tell him no?” Without waiting for Lucy to answer, Dory reached toward her. She flinched but relaxed as her mother fingered a strand of her hair. “I like the color.”
She gritted her teeth, fresh anger filling her gut as she recalled her mom forcing a bleach job on her in a crappy hotel room about midway through the trip. “I miss my red.” She jerked her head away from her mother’s touch.
“If Craw or any of the Vegas-clan tries to find you, they’ll be looking for a ginger, not a towhead.”
Vegas-clan…Lucy let the words scratch at her brain. When she was younger, she hadn’t realized a bunch of different types of weres joining a clan under a “Boss” patriarch was weird. Now she understood most clans were matriarchal, and Mr. Black’s operation was similar to organized crime groups with their Godfathers.
Her mom pulled up in the driveway of a lovely one-story cabin surrounded by tall trees before turning off the engine. “Now you mind Ms. Banks. Do whatever chores you’re assigned.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work though I guess my real job will be filled by the time I return home…that is if I don’t die out here in Hickville, USA.”
“You shouldn’t say such things, sweetie. Mama’s going to get everything fixed up.” Her mother patted her arm, but Lucy yanked away from her. “I’ll get your daddy straight and find another way to settle his debt, but you better not go talking any trash about him.” All the tenderness of her touch seemed to have faded as she wagged her finger again. “I can’t have any of my old clan, particularly my kin or some of the nosey strumpets I graduated high school with, getting any word of Craw’s misstep. Stick to the story. You hear me?”
Lucy’s blood boiled. “So it’s alright for a bunch of people you haven’t said a single word to in years to think your daughter’s some kind of out-of-control hoodlum as long as they don’t find out the truth about your crappy husband?”
Dory pointed her boney finger at her again, shaking it about an inch from Lucy’s face. “I asked if you heard me, girl.”
“I got it.” The corners of Lucy’s mouth turned down and her shoulders drooped as she huffed.
“With any luck, I’ll get the money from my daddy, and you’ll be home in no time.”
Lucy’s eyes widened and she nearly snapped her neck while jerking her head around to look at her mother’s face. “My granddaddy? Can I meet him?”
Her mom’s eyes rounded and she smirked. “Depends on if he’ll give me the money.”
She tightened her closed lips, squinting slightly. “So you’ll ransom a visit from me?”
Her mom smiled. “Whatever it takes.”
Sierra Brave is a multi-published author of smoking hot romance. She writes across genres, dabbling in a little bit of everything, including ménage and BDSM. Her love of erotic fiction started in her last year of high school when she first read the sensual classic, Fanny Hill. She felt so naughty yet liberated with her copy tucked away in her book bag and hopes her work will have the same delicious effect on her readers.