|After Paul Craddock’s life-mate died, he turned to surrogacy to ease the pain of loneliness. His reaction to Teriza surprises him by being more than a casual attraction. He’s intrigued to discover she feels the same. They experiment with the Human way of courtship, but the ultimate bond that Crainesians experience eludes them.|
Teriza fears Paul cannot be content with her since he’s experienced heartglow during his previous marriage. Paul worries that the existence of Teriza’s life mate makes him the consolation prize, good enough, but not her first choice.
Though they are falling in love, they’re in uncharted territory without the engulfing pheromone storm of life-mates to guide them. Will they learn to trust their feelings and listen to their hearts before it’s too late?
Also available from Amazon, B&N, and other retailers.
Reviews for Bittersweet Obsessions
I liked Bittersweet Obsessions a lot. It is fresh and different, and a charming love story. The sexual tension is non-stop, with only brief respites for all the characters. It's hard to predict who will end up with whom, and how that might happen, so it keeps you turning pages till the very end." -Alberta, Manic Readers, 4.5 Stars!
"The sex in Bittersweet Obsessions is explicit and it's hot; the plot is complicated; the heartache is lingering; the commitments are tender and intimate and romantic.
Paul and Teriza's verbal volleys and eventual passion will remain with you for a long while- in that keeper shelf in your heart and mind, where you call up the journeys of your favorite couples." -- Pamela V. Mason, reader.
“I loved it! I was hooked from the first emotionally and erotically charged scene until the last page. A must read! I can't wait for her next story and I hope it's about Klaus!”—n22v (Amazon review)
Read an excerpt from Bittersweet Obsessions
Visit Annie Rayburn's web site
About Annie Rayburn
Annie Rayburn is no stranger to the oddities of the writing life. Perhaps it was the hot Texas sun, or the long, lazy days of summer that fueled her vivid imagination. Whatever the muse, she grew up with scenes playing in her head and imaginary playmates taking over the show while she patted out mud cookies dotted with Chinaberries.
The stories she crafts today are decidedly more adult than the ones that involved Ken and Barbie. The scenes still play in her head, the characters argue with her right to craft their very existence, but she's learned to harness their energies, and delivers on the promise of "sizzling romance that tugs at your heart." Her books have soft sci-fi and light paranormal elements, but there's nothing soft or light about the erotic romance and she doesn't skimp on the emotion!
Annie’s backlist includes a short story, INSIGHT, and a novella, PHANTOMS & FANTASIES. Information regarding both can be found on her website.
A note from Annie...
Connect with Annie via Twitter, Facebook, and learn more about her writing and events on her website.
An Interview with Annie Rayburn
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Annie, thank you for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Bittersweet Obsessions and it's the tale of a woman and three men. An impossible choice. <g> What inspired this sizzling tale?
AR: First of all, I should probably explain to your readers that Crainesians have an intense pheromone surge when they meet their life-mates. So they know who’s right for them...or should be right for them. ;) So that presents a real problem for me in finding deep, believable reasons why the couple can’t be together right away or not at all. While pondering scenarios that would work, I came up with the dilemma Teriza faces in Bittersweet Obsessions.
HH: What can you tell us about Teriza and what makes her unique among your heroines?
AR: Teriza is a strong woman despite the knocks she’s had throughout her life. She knows what she wants in life and is determined to have it. Her determination leads to a reevaluation of centuries-old Crainesian traditions and down a path which has her choosing between three drool-worthy guys.
HH: What can you tell us about her three men and what is special about each?
AR: Deacon is Teriza’s life-mate, but when they meet he’s married to Sallie, a Human female. He fights a battle with his conscience and his heart.
Klaus is Teriza’s sexual surrogate with his own tragic past. He’s inferno hot and mysterious and the kind of lover every woman would like to have at least once. Let’s just say Teriza is one lucky woman.
Paul is also a sexual surrogate and a widower willing to explore the reevaluation of Crainesian traditions with Teriza. It was fun to write them trying out the Human way of finding a mate.
HH: How did you deal with the challenge of tackling three relationship arcs in this one work and blending them into a great story?
AR: Very carefully and with a great deal of trepidation. LOL! Bittersweet Obsessions was a challenge. When I first conceived the idea, the story was too ‘big’ for my talents at the time. I let it sit for over a year before I finally felt confident enough to tackle it. Even after finishing it, there were massive revisions to get all the relationships in the best order so that each segment of Teriza’s journey played out without giving away the suspense of who she’d end up with. I have to be honest and say it was the collaborative effort with my editor that made it the book it is today. I’m proud of the way it turned out.
HH: What else do each of you have in store for lucky readers?
I assume by ‘each of you,’ you mean Annie Rayburn and her real persona, Carol Burnside. Annie self-published two previously e-published works that are still available.
Insight is a short story about Jon, a half-Crainesian, half Human man who is unaware of his heritage. His intense attraction for Sela is a shock. It’s only through a special Crainesian insight that Jon learns his true path.
Phantoms & Fantasies is a Crainesian novella about life mates given a second chance at love. It’s sexy and fun and tender, featuring Zeenie and Turk. If you like a man who’s willing to lay his soul bare to win his woman, you’ll fall in love with Turk.
My plans are for the next Crainesian work to be about Brekke, Teriza’s oh-so-sexy male cousin. I guess you could say he’s the fourth man in her life.
I’m taking a break from writing Crainesians and have gone in a different direction. Writing as myself (Carol Burnside) I submitted a blurb to the Harlequin Editor’s Pitch Challenge for their Medical Romance line and was one of six chosen to pitch online. The editor requested to see a partial manuscript, so that’s up for consideration now.
HH: How has the romance genre changed since you began writing?
AR: Perhaps Iím just more aware of them now, but it seems like thereís a lot more sub-genres than there used to be even 5-6 years ago. The stigma of self-publishing has all but disappeared and e-publishing is the rage rather than the ugly stepchild.
HH: What changes in the market please you most?
AR: I’d have to say the latest trend for authors to have more choices in how they want to publish. Nowadays, even an unpublished author has the choice—when she/he feels their work is ready—to pursue traditional houses, a wide variety of e-publishers and the avenue of self-publishing. No longer does an author have to wait months or, as is more often the case, years for the big houses or an agent to pick them up before getting their work in front of the readers. Having choices is very empowering.
HH: What sources of inspiration do you draw from for ideas?
AR: Life. Ideas are everywhere in every situation. I always carry a notebook and pen with me so I can jot down the germ of an idea or a name I like, sometimes even a snippit of conversation. Often TV shows, movies and books have one or two elements which spark ideas for a totally different kind of story.
HH: What's your favorite book so far in 2012?
AR: Oh, there’s no way I’m going there. Usually, it’s the last book I read because it’s freshest in my mind. My time is limited these days, so I read a lot of shorter books and stories.
HH: What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
AR: Right now I’d have to say there are four things I’m anticipating.
1) Hearing back from the UK editor on the Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance partial that I submitted.
2) Writing another Crainesian story.
3) Water in my pool warm enough for swimming
4) Celebrating my 32nd wedding anniversary with my dream man, the love of my life!
HH: Thank you!
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