Monday, May 5, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Needing It by Renee Luke

Title: Needing It
Author: Renee Luke
Genre: Erotica

Virtual Book Tour Hosted by: Diva's Literary World

Can you please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a wife and mother. I'm a country girl at heart, but have been living in the suburbs, but have still found a way to garden in my back yard. My kids and I grew potatoes, tomatoes, corn, green onions, peas, green beans, and our own Halloween pumpkins. I am also a lifelong vegetarian, but I love to cook for my family. And, I'm pretty good at it, too. Just ask my husband who is from New Orleans, so he knows his soul food.
I love to read, but I hardly read at all while I'm writing. As it is, I am struggling for balance and time, so if I started a book I loved, that's all I'd ever want to do. In addition, I wouldn't want to read my genre and subconsciously use phrases or ideas from other books. And I don't want them to contaminate my own voice.
And a confession, I have a rather bad addiction to Bath and Body Works. But my skin and home always smell delicious.  

What inspired you to write your first book?
I've always been a writer. I use to write poetry as a little girl and then included short stories when I got into middle and high school. I never knew I wanted to write professionally until after the birth of my second daughter. I had two little girls and was a stay at home mom. I was mistakenly delivered a box of Harlequin Romances. I was hooked. I was gobbling up every book in any romance genre I could find. I was reading a book a day and couldn't get enough. But then I started feeling like I could do better. That I had ideas I wanted to see, things I liked better than others but didn't see often enough, and found story lines I never wanted repeated. Ha! So thinking I could do better, I set off to write my own book. I was green. The book is about 700 pages long because I thought it had to be about 400 pages, but I wrote it single spaced in 10point font. Yikes. Most likely, it'll remain in a hidden place forever. But after getting a taste of romance, I couldn't stop.

What do you wish more people knew about the publishing side of things?
That there's a lot of waiting and it's a lot of hard work. The fun part is the writing, but then you have to edit and edit and edit some more. I always knew I'd have to do some of my own promo, but when I was writing for larger houses, they at least were taking care of distributions. Now I am in charge of everything. It's hard. It's time consuming. It's a kick in the gut when things don't move as fast as you'd like. And it's stab in the heart when readers don't like your voice or writing. But the rewards of sharing my stories are well worth the time and effort. I love what I do.

How did you come up with your titles?
There are a few different ways I come up with titles. One, I find a phrase from the book that feels right and I use that. Sometimes I try to think of titles that match the story line or that are catchy and fun. Most often it's about trial and error. Seeing what feels right. 

What author(s) has influenced your writing style?
I'd like to say none. That I have developed my own style and voice. As a young girl we didn't have a TV and my mom read to us. She read eclectically and as I grew up I read across the genres, except romance. In 8th grade a friend had a historical romance novel. We read it for the lovemaking but a teacher caught us and took the book. That was my first taste of a romance novel but I didn't pick up that genre again until my 20's. I read everything else except horror. So when it came to writing, I think I've developed my own style based on years of seeing things that worked for me, and didn't.

For your first book, how long did it take you to find an agent?
Currently I am agentless. However, I have had several agents. It took a few months to get my first agent, who got my first sale to NAL. NAL had never published African American erotic romance and since I was new, they had me cut my book in half and included it in an anthology with my dear missed friend, Francis Ray. After that sale, I was able to change agencies fairly easy and I changed agents depending on where my career was and to suit my needs. I am contemplating getting an agent again.

How important was a "platform" in selling your books?
I'm not sure how to answer this question since I've never had a platform. I've just been me.

Do you have book signings coming up where readers can meet you?
I don't have any upcoming signings, but I am open and love talking to my readers. They are welcome to email me, or friend me at or follow me on twitter @ReneeLukeNovels or visit my website at Message me, I'm chatting :)

Can you tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
In the next week I'll be releasing part two of The Night Kitty Quickies, Bad Tabby. And later this month the book Tease will be out. From there, I am working on some proposals for my old publishing houses and a request from an author/publisher that I've idolized for a decade. I'm super excited about that. I am more concepts and works in progress than I know what to do with. I certainly don't have time to do them all at once, so I've got to figure out a schedule soon. Also, I am submitting to a few anthologies I'd love to be included in. Wow, I'm busy.

What advice do you have to an aspiring author?
Write. Write a lot. Don't stop writing. Master your craft. Develop your voice. Don't give up. Follow your dreams! 

About The Book

Mya Ball has put all her eggs in one basket. Betting her entire future on a promise she’s made her grandmama, she knows she’s got to be rested and sharp in the morning when giving the presentation of a lifetime. But anxiety and nerves have her restless and unable to sleep.

When nothing else works, she resorts to sex.

Needing it, she calls her standby booty-call, but a different man answers the phone. Vaughn Paul had just relocated, getting a new number to match his new business and new life. He’s awoken in the middle of the night by a woman begging for him to sex her down.

He knows he’s not the man Mya wanted, but something in her voice keeps him on the line. How far will he let things go with the sexy sounding stranger on the phone?

Can calling the wrong number lead Mya to the right man? 

More about the author

Renee write keeping-it-real erotic romances feature funky urban characters that get-their-groove-on and give up their hearts. She strives to write stories that both stimulate physically and satisfy emotionally. She believes in happily-ever-afters and has found her own in Northern California with her five children and her New Orleans swaggalicious hunk of a husband.

12:43 AM

Mya groaned and dropped her phone on the smooth cotton sheets beside her. She’d checked the time, and confirmed her alarm was set, every fifteen minutes for the last couple of hours, but being assured she’d wake up on time wasn’t doing a damn thing to ease her into sleep. Closing her eyes, she took a few deep, measured breaths and tried to slow her heart rate, to create some sense of calm, to relax against the building anxiety of what loomed early in the morning.

She’d made a promise.

Swallowing past the lump in her throat, Mya ignored the pang in her heart, her entire future resting on her ability to be sharp and on top of her game. If she didn’t fall asleep soon, the only thing she could look forward to was puffy eyes and an Ambien hang-over.

Nothing was working. Not the ceiling fan on full blast, not stripping off her t-shirt to lay naked beneath the swirl of wind, not the old swamp-cooler that created more humidity than heat relief. No, not even the shot of Hennessy or the second shot she’d used to wash down an Ambien sleeping pill.

Mya stared at the fan spinning above her, the room awash with milky moonlight despite the flimsy lace curtains being pulled closed. Grabbing her cell, she glanced at the time. Again. Nothing had changed except a single minute had ticked off.

“Shit,” she whispered, smoothing the hair back from her face, her curls clinging desperately to the beads of sweat on her brow. Her body ached like the onset of the flu, but what she ached for had nothing to do with a virus and everything to do with sexual tension and need. It kept her tossing and turning rather than peacefully in dreamland.

A good dick-down did the trick better than booze and pills, she reasoned. Tucking her bottom lip between her teeth, she picked up her phone and started scrolling through her contacts.

Kenneth… he’d always been the perfect booty-call; single, sexy, nice package equipped, ability adept. And best yet, he’d always been available, just a phone call away. Not that he’d been a call she’d made in a while. Hell, these project proposals had kept her so busy the last few months sex had been put on a back burner. Until tonight. Sex would work when ceiling fans, booze, and Ambien couldn’t.

Finding his name, she touched the call button and smiled when she heard the phone begin to ring.

“Yeah?” The voice was rich, deep, and husky from sleep.

She whispered through her smile. “Come over, baby. I need you tonight.”

There was a pause, silence drumming in her ears.

“Yeah?” He cleared his throat. “Yeah, who is this?”

Mya smiled, wondering how many different booty-callers hit him up on the regular, not that his love life affected her at all, as long as he was available to put her to sleep when she needed him. Kenneth was sex, not relationship material, and although she wanted a relationship at some point, he wasn’t the man for her forever.

“It’s Mya.”


He cleared his throat again, the sleep in his voice beginning to fade. “Mya? Okay, baby, who you calling for?”

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