Sunday, March 15, 2015

A visit with Lily Harlem, author of Breathe You In

Today, I am honored to have the wickedly talented Lily Harlem. Lily is celebrating the release of Breathe You In, which was re-released on March 13th from Totally Bound.

Breathe You In 
by Lily Harlem

Evocative Images

Thank you for inviting me today, it’s great to be here. I’ve brought with me my new contemporary erotic novel Breathe You In.

Breathe You In is a sexy romance with a twist that’s very unusual. The twist is all to do with a secret the heroine, Katie, is keeping from the hero, Ruben. This isn’t really a spoiler because the reader finds out in Chapter One what the secret is so I’ll go ahead and tell you now…

Katie is a young widow, her husband Matt died in a tragic accident and when this happened Katie made the honourable and brave decision to donate his organs. While Ruben knows that Katie is a widow, what he doesn’t know is that he has Matt’s heart and lungs.

But Katie didn’t meet Ruben by accident, she orchestrated it because she was obsessed about seeing the person how had received Matt’s heart. It was a thought she couldn’t shake, she just ‘had to know’. She didn’t feel she could rest at night until she caught a glimpse of the recipient.

Please don’t think Breathe You In is a depressing story, because while it certainly examines Katie’s grief it’s also a tale of passion and love and looking to the future. Ruben’s new heart is serving him well, he’s becoming the vibrant, sexy young man he was before his illness, and he’s ready to get back in the driver’s seat of life and he wants Katie with him for the ride. Breathe You In is fun, flirty, and sexy it also takes on serious issues, and because it’s a book from my imagination, the bedroom door is left well and truly open when the temperature heats up!

I adore Pinterest as I’m very visual. I’ve been told my novels are like watching a movie which I find a great compliment because when I’m writing they are rolling around my head like that. Each scene slipping to the next, connected, working together. I also tend to have some very specific moments that I want to put into my story. Sometimes this is before I’ve even started writing. If I then find an image that works with that moment then I am one happy writer.

Here is an image I adore and used during the first bedroom scene. Ruben has a new heart and despite being well now he hasn’t made love to a woman since the operation. Before he became sick he was quite the lothario, travelling with the Formula One team he worked with, enjoying the high life in all the most glamorous of locations. But now he’s slowed down a pace, for a while at least, as his mojo returns. I adore this picture, it’s so serene, he’s so enraptured, its gentle but full of passion.

I also love this picture, for the same reason, it’s quiet, sensual, it’s got that feeling of yes, ‘it’s going to happen but we don’t need to rush’.

This next picture absolutely speaks to me. It’s so perfect for Breathe You In. Katie is keeping this huge secret about whose heart and lungs Ruben has. It’s a heart she still loves, that loved her, the emotions are raw, they run deep, there is so much at play here, so much to live for. Him not knowing just makes this image all the more powerful to me.

I hope you’ll check out Breathe You In. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite. Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Pinterest and if you like a picture, steal away.

Lily x

“Well you have to look after it.” I nodded at his chest. “That heart.”

“Yes, I intend to, but, Katie, I understand if you don’t want to…” He looked away.


He turned back to me, shook his head. “I’m as out of the whole dating game as you are. I’ve just found myself a quiet job in a quiet place and I’m happy to be alive. I haven’t been looking for romance or love, only trying to put the pieces back together. You might not want to be around someone like me.”

As he’d spoken, his sweet, cola-laced breath had washed over my face. I breathed it in. This was air that had been inhaled and exhaled through Matt’s lungs.

Matt’s lungs.

I breathed deeper, breathing him in, allowing that air to fill my chest, circulate my body—air from lungs that I had gasped and panted with in a hundred beautiful memories.

A full-body tingle attacked me. My eyes stung, but I fought for control. Maintained it, just. “You’re alive,” I whispered, not wanting to move my hand from his chest. Feeling Matt’s heart beating was like coming home. How many nights had I gone to sleep listening to that rhythmic sound?

“I’m alive.” He softened his voice. “And so are you.”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“So?” He used his other hand to tilt my chin, bring my attention to his face.

“What?” I whispered.

He paused, worried at his bottom lip with his teeth. “Can you cope with a broken man?”

“You’re not broken. You’re fixed.” I bit back a sob that was threatening to erupt. “You have a wonderful new heart that feels perfect and strong, like it will beat forever. You’re not broken anymore, Ruben. You’re fixed. They made you better.”

He frowned. His eyes were moist too. “I hated being broken.”

“Me too.” I let a tear overspill, unconcerned by its track down my cheek.

Without a doubt, the decision I’d made when I’d sat in intensive care, holding Matt’s lifeless hand, with the organ-retrieval team waiting for my answer, had been the right one. It had been painful, torturous and as Ruben had just said, the worst day of my life, but it had been the only thing that had made sense.

He caught the tear with the pad of his thumb. “Don’t cry.”

“I’m sorry. I’m just happy for you. You’ve been through hell. And I know what a horrible place that is.”

“Right now it feels like I’m in heaven.” He smiled. “I can almost hear harps.”

A slightly hysterical little giggle burst from me, then I did what I’d been wanting to do all evening. I slipped my fingers into his soft hair, cradled his skull, and pressed my lips to his.

Breathe You In
Lily Harlem
Totally Bound
March 13, 2015

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - Totally Bound
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Soul-aching desire was only the first layer of emotion around a secret I had to keep for all of time.

If the road to heaven starts in hell, then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline, he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.

I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even on the nights our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy—because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.

Emotions tangled with bliss and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him, and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.

Publisher's Note: This book was previously self-published. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

Lily Harlem lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk and a crazy cat. With a desk overlooking rolling hills her over active imagination has been allowed to run wild and free and she revels in using the written word as an outlet for her creativity.

Lily's stories are made up of colourful characters exploring their sexuality and sensuality in a safe, consensual way. With the bedroom door left wide open the reader can hang on for the ride and Lily hopes by reading sensual romance people will be brave enough to try something new themselves? 

After all, life's too short to be anything other than fully satisfied.

Lily's Links

Click on the banner below to enter to win an eBook copy of Breathe You In plus three additional eBooks from Lily's backlist.

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