Monday, February 23, 2015

Interview, Review & Giveaway - Purely Professional by Elia Winters

Purely Professional

by Elia Winters 



Columnist Bridget Hartwell agrees to write about BDSM to impress her new executive editor at Sultry, the “sex-positive magazine for sex-positive women.” Unfortunately, it’s a topic she knows absolutely nothing about…but if she ever wants that promotion, she’ll need to learn the ropes, fast.

English professor Max Harlow is active in the Dom/sub scene, but only for casual play—he’s never found his ideal partner: a woman who is his equal, but sexually submissive. When he’s asked to explain the lifestyle to his cute but obviously inexperienced neighbor, Max is certain it’s best to approach it academically—to keep things purely professional. 

Until Bridget’s first article is a huge hit, giving her the perfect excuse to delve deeper into the naturally submissive side of her sexuality. But as their encounters intensify and each of her boundaries is skillfully pushed, Bridget must decide what this all means… for her identity, her career, and, most importantly, her future with Max.





“For this to work, and I’m not saying it will, you would have to reveal everything to me. Tell me all your deepest, darkest fantasies. I want to know the secret things you don’t tell anyone.” Max moved closer, one arm draped on the back of the sofa, the other hand moving to her knee, and Bridget jumped. His touch felt like a smoldering coal even through the fabric of her jeans. “I’ll tease you, make you beg me for more, and then sometimes I won’t give it to you. This won’t be a game for me. I take my role very seriously. I’ll demand control of your entire sex life, and I’ll drive you completely crazy. You’ll be uncomfortable, nervous, aroused, exposed.” He lifted one hand off the back of the sofa and cupped her jaw, his fingers just resting against the skin there as he brushed his thumb across her lower lip. “Are you sure this is what you want?” 

At his touch, Bridget pressed her hands to the sofa to steady herself, and she actually had to stop herself from moaning. There seemed to be no air in the room. His thumb had moved off her lip and was caressing her cheek. Unable to look away from his darkened eyes, at last she whispered, “Yes. I want that. I want all that.”

Talking with Elia Winters! 
What is your writing environment?
I don’t use a desk, so I sit on my couch with the laptop and a fuzzy blanket. I pop in some headphones to drown out my husband’s TV-watching with some classical music, and then I’m off and running… er… typing. Whatever.

Who is your perfect hero and why?
Anyone following this blog tour is going to figure out my obsession with Misha Collins, but I’m going to say Misha Collins anyway because he’s such a wonderful human being. He does a lot of charity work, mobilizing his fanbase to do amazing acts of kindness and creativity rather than selfishness. From all I’ve read, he’s an excellent husband and father. Plus, he’s both kind of dorky and smokin’ hot.

What authors have caught your interest lately and why?

I’m excited about reading more Rainbow Rowell. I’ve only read Eleanor & Park so far, but Fangirl is next on my list. She writes absolutely beautiful, complex characters that seem completely real. Also, I always love Charlotte Stein’s romances. She hits all my hot buttons.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I’m a passionate feminist, and it’s important to me that my books have feminist values. I’m also tired of books where there are “good” female characters and “bitchy” female characters. Our society wants to pit women against each other for men’s attention, and I don’t ever want to be the woman who writes those books. I’m also trying to write more characters of color, not just as side characters but as main characters, and trying to do so respectfully since I’m white. To put it all in one sentence, I want to write more books that feature complex, interesting, diverse women who have awesome sex and aren’t pitted against other women for conflict. I think that’s my mission statement.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?
  1. Build a log cabin. I mean actually build it, not commission someone else to build it. That’s on the three year-plan.
  2. Attend San Diego Comic-Con. I’ve struck out two years in a row trying to get tickets. Maybe this time’s the charm?
  3. An octopus shoulder tattoo. I’m getting it this summer.

How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
Purely Professional was the romance novel I always wanted to write. I first drafted it back in 2010, before the whole Fifty Shades scene happened, and it was a way for me to engage with all of my personal kinks in one story. Originally, I was writing it just for me, celebrating my ten-year anniversary of National Novel Writing Month with a book of pure indulgence. When I finished it, though, I realized it was marketable, and so I polished it up for publication.

What is your favorite scene in your new release?
I think my favorite scene in Purely Professional is actually the scene where Bridget confronts Max and asks him to teach her BDSM. I enjoy their banter and interplay. A very close second favorite is the lecture hall scene, which seems to be the overwhelming favorite amongst my readers.

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?

My next release is Playing Knotty, which comes out on March 16th. I’m so excited about this book. I wanted to write a plus-sized main character, since I’m plus-sized and there aren’t many of us in romance novels where the book isn’t all about the main character losing weight to get the guy. I hate that trope. I think it’s damaging and lazy writing. (I’m actually part of a panel on this very topic at this year’s Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Dallas!) I also love rope bondage and wanted to write a novel specifically focusing on that. It was surprisingly easy to combine these desires into one novel, and that became Playing Knotty.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m a high school English teacher and Drama director, which keeps me pretty busy. I love sewing and take on really elaborate projects just for fun. I make a lot of corsets. I’m a big geek and play a lot of tabletop games, plus our weekly Dungeons and Dragons game on Saturday night caps out each week for me.

What would you consider a perfect date?
I’m so tempted to pull a Miss Congeniality here and answer “April 25th.” Actually, I’m a fan of the classic “dinner and a movie” date, and my husband and I still go on a lot of these. Good food, good entertainment. It’s a classic for a reason.

What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
I met Morgan Freeman when I was 16. He’s every bit as awesome as you’d hope him to be.

 My Review:

This was a fantastic romance that I was unable to put down until the end!  The characters where so easy to love and relate to, the storyline was sweet with a lot of spice and the relationship building was off the charts wonderful.  Bridget has a new boss and to impress her she has implied that she could write an article about BDSM.  The boss is intrigued and now Bridget is in trouble, she knows NOTHING about this subject.  She finds herself referred to Max, her sexy next door neighbor.  Max is a Dominant and is willing to help out Bridget.  Learning can be sexy fun with Max and Bridget.  This was a beautifully well written and wonderful story that really captured my attention and I highly recommend to lovers of spicy romance! ~Booklover Sue



AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a  bottomless well of geekiness. 

Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets. 

Elia’s virtual life is as busy as her real life. In addition to her website,, you can also find her on: 


Buy Links: 

Carina Press   Amazon   B&N   and other ebook retailers.

Elia will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Follow the tour HERE


  1. I'll be popping in and out today to answer questions and comments, so please, drop a line!

  2. Interesting interview and the book sounds like a really good read. I've been looking for romance books that have a bit more meat on their bones, such as M.Q. Barber's Neighborly Affection series.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! Is the "meat" you're looking for plot, length, or a little of both?

  3. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks for following the blog tour, Patrick! Nice to see you again.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'm definitely interested in checking this out out, especially because of that awesome cover! Thanks again for sharing :)

    1. Thank you, Victoria! I love that cover so much. The font, the model, everything. I'm glad you like it, too.

  5. I'm glad to find more books about the BDSM lifestyle. So many think it's just kinky sex but there's so much more than that to it. As for those that say "it's not normal".... well of course not, what really is normal anyway? lol

    1. Thanks for your comments, Jan! I love all the intricacies of BDSM, the different ways it manifests for its enthusiasts. People tend to think of practitioners as living a sex-dungeon swinger lifestyle, when it has so many different variations.

      And I think "normal" is highly overrated. :)

  6. Thanks, bn! Nice to see you on the tour again.

  7. Replies
    1. I always appreciate reviews, Mary. Even when readers don't like aspects of a book, I file that away for reference in future books. But when they DO like it, well, of course I enjoy that, too. :)

  8. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. Great excerpt, sounds really good. Entering under the name of Virginia

  10. i enjoyed reading the blurb/excerpt.sounds good