Daddy’s Best Friend
Publication date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance
She’s temptation personified
Nathan had always been more than just my dad’s friend. I never thought he’d see me as an adult, especially not after avoiding me for so long. But one hug, one moment feeling every inch of him against me, shattered that illusion. Consequences no longer mattered—I was eighteen, and I was willing to risk everything for my shot with him.
He’s not going to resist anymore
I never should’ve seen Eve as more than my best friend’s daughter. As a cop, I knew it was wrong. It was my job to protect her from guys like me. Chasing her could cost me my career—not to mention the only family I’d ever known—but I couldn’t hold back another second. One taste, and I wanted her. To hell with the fallout.
“What are you doing?”What was I doing? I’d come in to check. To see if what I thought I’d seen and felt outside had been a figment of my imagination. But it hadn’t, as evidenced by the bulge he was obviously sporting, and I needed to figure out what to do with that information.
So I answered honestly. “Pushing you.”
“Pushing me to do what, exactly?”
“Whatever it is you want.”
“Because you look like a man who needs to be pushed.”
His eyes devoured me again, burning me from the inside out. Leaving nothing but ash where I’d once stood. “Maybe I’m the one man you shouldn’t push.”
London Hale is the combined pen name of writing besties Ellis Leigh and Brighton Walsh. Between them, they’ve published more than thirty books in the contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense genres. Ellis is a USA Today bestselling author who loves coffee, thinks green Skittles are the best, and prefers to stay in every weekend. Brighton is multi-published with Berkley, St. Martin’s Press, and Carina Press. She hates coffee, thinks green Skittles are the work of the devil, and has never heard of a party she didn’t want to attend. Don’t ask how they became such good friends or work so well together—they still haven’t figured it out themselves.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel? Why?
Brighton: The first, for sure. A blank page is incredibly daunting, and trying to get a sentence just right so it not only sets the tone for the book, but also hooks the reader? It's hard as hell.
Ellis: Usually the first one. I “see” my characters in action, so they tend to drop me right into a scene without warning. The last feels more natural as I’m writing it because the scene has an ending point in my head; the first usually has to be edited fifteen times before I’m happy with it.
How is writing in a team different than writing solo?
Brighton: Writing solo means you can do whatever you want to your characters and the plot without getting anyone else's approval. It also means you have to create those characters and plot without anyone weighing in, which can be exhausting. And boring. We both went into this unsure if we'd like it or even be able to work together, and now that we've got a short break to work on solo stuff, I miss the co-writing like crazy. We have so much fun writing together—even during the challenging parts—that it doesn't feel like work to me.
Ellis: It’s a lot more fun, that’s for sure. It’s also harder at times. Brighton’s characters are solid in her head, as mine are in mine. Sometimes, that creates issues. “The heroine wouldn’t react well to that” or “He wouldn’t act that way” tend to be conversations we have a lot. We usually write the scenes with interaction together in Gdocs, but that also creates issues. Can you say sex scenes feel like sexting? Yeah. Loads of fun.
What’s your co-writing process like?
Brighton: Fun as hell. No? That answer won't work?
Ellis: We spend a lot of time in Whatsapp. Like...A LOT. We go back and forth about ideas, themes, tropes, characters. We send pictures and snippets of dialogue or stories we saw online. Once we know what we want to write, we set everything up in our files and work out a loose plot for the book. We each write a character, and we go back and forth until the book is done. Then we go back over it about fifteen times.
How do you decide who’s going to be which character?
Brighton: So far it's worked out that we've switched with every other character. But Ellis is really unique in that she has far-off side characters whispering in her head already. Characters don't come to me like that, so I'm fine giving her the ones who speak louder to her.
Ellis: Sometimes one of us has a better feel for them, sometimes it’s their turn to write the hero instead of the heroine. Totally depends on the story we’re telling.
When you get an idea for a book, what comes first? Plot or characters?
Brighton: Characters. I tried it the other way around for two books, and I slogged through every word.
Ellis: Characters. I can’t figure out a plot until I know the person making the moves.
Do you have a writing spot that only you can work, like a writing cave? If so what does it look like?
Brighton: Nope. I can write anywhere as long as I have my laptop and ear buds.
Ellis: I moved from writing at my dining room table to a real desk this year. It’s in my living room with two huge bookcases on either side. I have a 27” iMac that dominates the space and a snowman coaster where I set my coffee. I don’t need much else.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Brighton: First, I sacrifice a virgin to the gods of sex scenes… Just kidding. I just sit down and write.
Ellis: Nope. Sit down, type words. I’m very much in the mindset of “writing is a job with goals and tasks.”
Do you have a writer’s playlist, or do you write in silence?
Brighton: The music I write to depends on what book I'm working on and/or what kind of scene. But I live on Pandora or Spotify.
Ellis: I can’t write with music or a lot of background noise. I use brain.fm for focus music when the kids or husband are around and I need to concentrate. Otherwise, it’s pretty quiet when I write.
How do you come up with plot ideas?
Ellis: For London, we sort of start with a theme. What’s taboo about it? What line can we nudge a little? From there, we come up with characters, and then the plot starts to unfold. Our stories are completely character driven, though.
Brighton: A lot of times we’ll see an article or a meme or something and tuck it away in our idea folder.
How do select names for characters in your books?
Brighton: Very, very carefully.
Ellis: This one made me laugh because OMG the naming conversations! So, I have a huge family with a ridiculous number of cousins. We both veto family names or names that mean something to us in real life. We also adjust based on current events. We also have to veto when the name intersects with our individual projects. It’s a lot of back and forth like “Nope, I have a cousin with that name” or “Nope, that's the name of my neighbor and it’d be weird to use it.” We keep a list of approved names and cross out fingers when it’s time to build a new set of characters.
How do you plot your books? Do your plots ever change as you write or does it go pretty much according to plan?
Brighton: We've got a pretty good system down as far as what happens where in the story, and after six books together, we know where we need more room to develop plot, etc. But even knowing that, sometimes what we planned doesn't work, so we go off track. Then head to WhatsApp and brainstorm a different direction.
Ellis: We loosely plot—something like a paragraph per chapter. They change, though. Every story needs to unfold organically, and every character has their own timeline to grow into what we want them to be.
What three words would you use to describe your books?
Brighton: dirty, quick, fun
Ellis: fun, flirty, filthy
Favorite bookish moment:
Brighton: Being able to have intelligent conversations about books with my oldest son. Our tastes tend not to intersect all that often (he’s a fantasy/dystopian kid and I like to read about kissing), but when they do and we are both interested in the same book, we read and then have our own little mini book club to discuss.
Ellis: Reading and watching the Harry Potter books with my daughter. Those stories were so meaningful to me that sharing them with her feels like we’ve reached a certain level in our relationship. I love watching her get excited about the same characters and moments as I did.
Best moment as an author:
Brighton: This is really hard to pick because I’ve been blessed with a lot of super awesome moments as an author. But there was only once when I cried, and that was when my editor told me Target picked up my book.
Ellis: When authors I love and respect recommend my books to their readers. That’s the ultimate marketing tool, IMO, and it’s not something you can buy.
Best advice you’ve ever gotten as an author:
Brighton: Don't listen to all the advice you'll get as an author.
Ellis: Write the next book.
Favorite part of the book-writing process:
Brighton: Drafting, from beginning to end.
Ellis: Getting to that point where you know you have a good story and feeling that inertia to finish it.
This or That
Hotel or camping?
Brighton: Hotel. Allllll day, errday.
Ellis: I want to say camping, but the reality is hotel. In the woods. With a sauna.
Greedy or generous?
Brighton: I hope I'm generous.
Ellis: I strive to be generous.
Pessimist or optimist?
Ellis: optimist. Totally.
Casual or formal?
Brighton: Both. Casual in day-to-day, but I love getting dressed up.
Ellis: Casual AF
Beer or champagne?
Ellis: Can I sneak in a margarita instead?
Brighton: While I get Ellis a margarita, I'mma sneak myself some rum.
Deliberate or spontaneous?
Ellis: I think deliberate, but I could be wrong.
Town or country?
Brighton: Both. I'd love a huge lot of land right in the middle of a city. Lol
Waffles or pancakes?
Brighton: French toast.
Coke or pepsi?
Brighton: I don't drink either anymore, but Coke will always win.
Ellis: Coke, diet please
Vanilla or chocolate?
Rock or pop?
Brighton: Can’t choose.
Zombie horde or plague?
Ellis: Zombies. At least I can defend myself.
Beach or mountains?
Ocean or pool?
Ellis: To sit by? Ocean. To swim in? Pool. I don’t do open water. There are things in there that will eat you.
Fireplace or bonfire?
Bath or shower?
Ellis: Shower. Totally.
Museum or theater?
Night owl or morning person?
Brighton: Night owl
Ellis: Morning person.
Sun or stars?
TV or movies?
Salty or sweet?
Karaoke or concert?
Neat freak or slob?
Brighton: Neat freak
Ellis: Slobbish tendencies for sure
Fancy restaurant or diner?
Tattoos or piercings?
Farmer’s market or grocery store?
Brighton: Grocery store
Ellis: Farmer’s market