What would people be most surprised to learn about you, HK?
People who know me might be surprised to learn that I’m a writer. Only a handful of people are even aware that I am a published author. Even my own mum doesn’t know! It makes things extremely interesting when she visits.
When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I’ve always written stories and when I wasn’t jotting them down, I was reciting them to myself at bedtime when I was little, to help me fall asleep. I still do so when I’m plotting out a new story. The hard part now is remembering the best parts when I wake up the next morning. LOL. But I’ve been writing seriously for about six or seven years now and I’m happy to say I will celebrate my five year authorversary (as a published author) next year.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
The experience has been eye-opening, in many ways. As with all jobs there are good things and not-so great aspects. The business side of it and the marketing part are much more time consuming than I had anticipated. I’d rather be writing but it is a necessary part.
The rampant piracy that goes on in the e-publishing world is also an evil I hadn’t realized was such an epic issue, which makes an author often feel as though he or she is working for free. It’s disheartening.
On the upside, I love hearing from readers who have enjoyed reading my stories and that in itself outweighs the downside. And I have also come into contact with some wonderful people, readers and other writers alike. Also wonderful editors and publishing teams who help us get these stories out, all who have come to mean so much to me.
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
It felt like a dream coming true. It was one of those pinch myself moments, for sure. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I get to do this.
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
Hearing from readers who’ve enjoyed one of my stories is absolutely the best part. Whether in a review or on a social site or if they take the time to contact me personally through an email message, it means everything to know that someone enjoyed my characters or that my words touched them. One of the best things is when you hear things like ‘your story stayed with me’ or ‘I’ll read it again and again.’ Priceless.
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I don’t get as much time to read as I’d like to anymore. I used to read all the time, especially when my kids were small. But when I do get a chance, I love a good historical romance, though I like ‘em on the rather steamy side!
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I already write the romance gamut. I like the variety. And isn’t life and love really like that? Sometimes you need to shake things up. I do have a story that I’ve been working on for a few years. I work on it then put it away. The problem is, I don’t know where it might fit. I’m not even completely certain what genre to classify it as. It’s not a mushy story and it certainly doesn’t have a happy ending. It addresses some touchy but very real issues. But I feel like it’s a story that needs to be told and would resonate with some people. Not every story, like in life, has a happy ending. So I know I wouldn’t be able to send it to one of my romance publishers, though there is a love story in it. Hopefully someday I’ll find the right home for it. Son #1 has already designed a brilliant cover for it too. Here’s to someday.
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
In the Flesh, now available as a stand-alone, was written for Pride Publishing’s Ladies Only Anthology. It’s about an ATF agent, who goes undercover to help take down a nasty crime boss. Under an alias, Kate with the help of her partner, infiltrate a strip club, called In the Flesh, where Kate has to rely on her past experience as a dancer to fit the part.
At the club, Kate meets exotic dancer Carly and boom, there’s an instant attraction. Hot cops and even hotter dancers… In the Flesh.
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
In the new year, I’m looking forward to sharing a new story coming from Totally Bound. An m/f paranormal romance entitled Autumn’s Healing. It’s about former serviceman who’s trying to get a fledgling construction business off the ground, with the help of an all-veteran crew. When he meets the homeowner of his next job he’s immediately attracted to her. But there's something very strange going on in the dilapidated house that has nothing to do with rotting timbers or shoddy wiring.
Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for allowing me to share my stories with all of you. And thanks for sticking with me even though I’m a bit of a genre hopper. I’m still pinching myself. I love to hear from readers.
HK Carlton’s recent releases
We all have hidden desires. Sometimes we conceal them, even from ourselves.
Andrea, your average college co-ed, has signed up for some extra courses at the local university, but so far the only thing that has sparked her interest is the sexy guy on campus with the tight-fitting jeans, muscle-hugging T-shirt and ever-present shabby cowboy boots. From their fiery exchange of awareness, the admiration is not completely one-sided.
After a miserable day at her part-time job and a few drinks, Andi takes a walk, only to find herself in the arms of her campus crush, Street. As the two get to know each other rather robustly against a storefront window, Street's girlfriend appears and issues a deliciously steamy proposition.
Andrea soon realises she's about to get a crash course in down-and-dirty street smarts that she won't soon forget, under the smouldering tutelage of Street and his exotic-looking girlfriend, Toni. Apparently, you can score anything on the street these days—even a threesome!
After a frenzied night of satisfying experimentation, Andi sneaks out while her two companions sleep, escaping the particularly awkward morning after. But in the stark light of day, Andi has to admit that her feelings for Street are more than simple infatuation, and Toni isn't a part of the new equation.
Could Andrea possibly hope Street might feel the same?
The Best of Both Worlds
Single white female seeks perfect couple…
After participating in a threesome with her boyfriend and a female schoolmate, Antoinette Oakes finds herself alone. But Toni is less upset by the loss of her boyfriend than she is by the realisation that her idea of the perfect relationship requires two people. A man and a woman.
The week before graduation, in the midst of setting up job interviews and apartment hunting in New York, Toni is summoned back home to Manchester, Georgia—a place she swore she’d never return to—and to a father she has no desire to see. The last thing Toni expects is to rekindle old feelings for her high school beau, Griffin, let alone reawaken a past infatuation with her former best girlfriend, Avery, with whom she once shared a passionate kiss and a little bit more.
But keeping her eye on the ultimate prize, Toni is determined to move to New York, where the impossible dream of finding that perfect couple just might be possible. Something the small town intolerant community she grew up in would never understand. Toni wants the best of both worlds and will settle for nothing less, even if that means leaving Griffin and Avery behind, for a second time.
Publisher's Note: This book is best read after enjoying the first book, Streetlight People.
In the Flesh
Working undercover, nothing is ever as it seems…
Assigned the unenviable task of taking down the untouchable Travino crime family, undercover ATF Agent Kate Benson and her veteran partner Mike Pennington are thrown into the seedy underworld of organized crime.
Kate is asked to draw on her past experience as a dancer and infiltrate one of Travino’s skin clubs, In the Flesh.
Posing as Vivienne, Kate meets exotic dancer Carly. From the moment they first dance together, she can’t seem to keep her mind or her greedy hands off the dynamic dancer. Together they sizzle on stage and off. She soon realizes she’s falling for Carly but knows from past experience that beginning a relationship built on half-truths is a recipe for failure.
As Kate attempts to straddle the line between doing her job and being as honest as she can be with Carly, while still maintaining her cover, Kate and Mike are caught snooping around the club after hours by none other than the mob boss himself.
And Kate knows there’s not a two-step in the world that can save them now.
Publisher's Note: This book has previously been released as part of the Ladies Only anthology with Pride Publishing.
Excerpt from In the Flesh
“We’d better get back at it.” Carly pulled her arm.
“Are you sure?” Kate whined jokingly, trying to lighten the mood. She let her limb go slack. “I think we should scrap this number and go old school.”
“Bump-and-grind?” Carly’s cute little nose wrinkled in distaste.
“Okay, I’m easy. If you don’t want to do that, how about you simply give me a lap dance?” Though kidding, another steamier, erotic image flitted through Kate’s dirty mind of Carly sitting in her lap, doing figure-eights with her hips, their cunts nearly touching.
“That way, I don’t have to dance. No one will question my skill, or lack thereof. I can sit back and watch you.”
Carly played along. “The audience would love it.” She wiggled her eyebrows. “And we might, too.”
Guaranteed, Kate added silently.
“Nice try. Get your fine ass up.” Kate let Carly pull her to her feet. “It’s time for you to dance with me.”
Once they were in hold, Carly peered into her eyes. “But play your cards right, baby, and I’ll give you the lap dance of a lifetime.” As she was speaking, she yanked their bodies together. Kate gasped at the intimate contact as well as the provocative promise. Carly’s gaze snapped to hers.
“Sore muscles,” she lied deftly. “Body parts I haven’t used in a while.”
“All right. Open up a bit.” Carly inserted her knee between Kate’s legs. “This is where I want your focus.”
Kate was trying really hard not to concentrate there.
“These next steps are fast.”
With a guiding hand, Carly turned them in a dizzying series of quick-succession steps across the floor. But Carly’s sexy flare of hip action and innate way she flipped her hair made it much more carnal. The top half of her body was so stiff and immovable, the bottom half fluid yet powerful.
The first try, Kate lost her balance.
“Center your chest to mine.”
Kate realigned in an attempt to imitate the other woman’s tense frame. Better prepared, Kate readied herself for the whirlwind to come.
“Inhale.” Carly pulled their combined frames tall and set out, calling steps and direction as they quick-stepped across the space. “When we stop, I want your feet staggered, like we’re going to do a turn, open step.” When they came to an abrupt halt, Kate watched in the mirrors as Carly raised one knee and did a series of rapid, intricate footwork in the vee of Kate’s stance.
“That was incredible,” Kate cheered.
Carly paused long enough to expend a small smile before she barked more orders. “Hop and together.” She readjusted. “And promenade.”
Breathless, Kate followed, trying not to stumble.
“Stop. Lean into me. Drag your leg slowly up mine. Point your foot.” In a side lunge, Carly slid her leg out on an angle as Kate gradually raked her toe upward. Carly caressed her thigh then eased her foreleg around back. “Tuck your calf to my ass. I won’t let you fall. Put your crotch right up against my pelvis and inner thigh.” She cupped Kate’s backside, roughly pulling her into position. “Yeah, right here.”
Kate’s pussy throbbed.
With the most amazing show of strength, Carly held them both in that suspended position. With a sharp thrust of her hip, Carly bucked Kate from her perch and broke the hold. She immediately grabbed Kate’s head and twisted, lining up their mouths.
Once they were eye-to-eye, Kate realized they were both breathing hard. In slow motion, Carly’s tongue peeked out and she wet her lips. Her gaze dropped to Kate’s mouth. Kate’s stomach clenched as Carly closed the distance.
For a moment, they breathed each other’s air.
Kate tilted her head. Carly slanted hers the other way. Their lips barely touched when, without warning, she straightened and said, “Let’s do it again. Just like that.”
Stunned, both physically and emotionally, Kate struggled to catch her balance. Was she imagining this attraction? Was it all about the fucking dance?
“I promise, it’ll be much hotter when we put it all together.”
Holy fuck! Hotter? Every erogenous zone was already smoldering.
Carly strutted back to the start point and tapped one foot impatiently.