Interview with Kaitlin Maitland

I’m happy to present my interview with Kaitlin Maitland. The third book in her Phoenix Trilogy has recently released! Phoenix Flying is a very hot contemporary erotic romance.


(blurb and excerpt below)

* * *

Hi, Kaitlin. Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let’s jump right in. Tell me a little about the characters and the conflict in Phoenix Flying.

Phoenix Flying is the third book in the Phoenix Trilogy so readers actually meet the two main characters—Gabriel & Anne—in the previous two books. I think I chose to give Anne her own book because she just seemed like she deserved a happy ending. I had a soft spot for her from the beginning because she’s not a svelte heroine that can fit into a pair of size 2 jeans. She’s a big woman who suffered through a horrible marriage, which I kind of touched upon in the Trilogy’s first book. Her husband was the worst kind of cheater. He left her confidence in shreds and she’s been trying SO hard ever since to find herself and where she belongs.

I adore Anne as a character because she wants so badly for everyone to think well of her. She’s a complete romantic. She paints in watercolors and desperately wants to be part of the vibrant life she watches from her patio. Yet she’s got a pretty classic case of I’m-not-good-enough-for-love going on too. She wants Prince Charming, but she’s bought into the idea that a girl like her doesn’t deserve the HEA.

Which is why I gave her Gabriel Hawkins on a platter. The guy is every girl’s fairytale romance fantasy come to life. Not only is he actually British, he’s ex-military, very fit, built like an old-fashioned warrior, and he loves a woman with curves. He’s also packing around a good chunk of emotional baggage, but when I spun this story together I started realizing that Anne and Gabriel have the sort of baggage that just sort of fits together. They’re stronger together.

I think that’s what readers will really be able to identify with. These are people with trust issues, self-image problems, and a very real desire to protect themselves even when they want so desperately to reach out and connect with a partner. In the end, isn’t that what we all want?

Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?

This story, like the rest of the Trilogy, is set in a bar called the Phoenix Rising. If you’ve never been to my bar, you really need to take a trip. The Phoenix is the sort of place where anything goes. The setting has a huge impact on the story because the characters are gritty and real just like the bar. If patrons at the Phoenix want a side of down and dirty sex in a dark corner with their beer, they can have it. The only rule is that it has to be consensual, and you’d better leave your inhibitions at home.

When I created the Phoenix, I was looking for the type of place that encourages people to check their repression at the door. There are so many things about sex that we giggle and whisper about, but we never give ourselves the chance to explore and ask questions. Let’s just say that I’ve been asked more than once if this place is real because readers are dying to visit.

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from Kaitlin Maitland?

I have several other contemporary romance series available. I’ve just finished up the last book in my Clan McKinloch series, and book 7 of my Boston Avant-Garde series is releasing this spring. But what I’m really excited about is a new paranormal series, Elemental Witchcraft. I laughingly refer to this as my triple threat series because not only am I working with ménage pairings, I’m incorporating shifters, and witches into the storylines.

I’m headed back to the Northeast for this one, specifically a tiny New England town named Haven, Massachusetts. Let’s just say that in 1692 when the witch Hysteria took place in Salem Town and Salem Village, there was a very powerful, very old coven in Haven that split right down the middle. Now after centuries of struggle, change is coming.

The first book is tentatively titled Water From Stone and I’m really excited to be working on it. I’m totally focused on this project for now and I think readers will enjoy the results. At least I HOPE they will!

Do you listen to music when you write? Does music ever influence your writing?

Um, YES! Every last one of my books has a specific playlist. I use iTunes, although I don’t suppose that really matters other than it means I can access that playlist wherever I’m writing, home, office, hotel, anywhere. Music is vital to my creative process and I think I’d go nuts without it. My playlists set the mood. I compile them pretty carefully. Sometimes when I drive and listen to the radio I’ll hear something that sparks an idea. So THAT song will most definitely wind up on the list. Others are picked either because the lyrics seem like something that would resonate with one of the characters, or because the mood just suits.

The best thing about unique playlists happens during the editing process. Writing for me is a little bit like being immersed in another world. Once I’m done with a book I move on to the next project. So when my editor ships me a bunch of edits for a book I may have finished months ago, it’s pretty hard to recapture whatever mood I was in way back then in order to preserve the original idea of the book or the mood of the characters. Being able to go back and pick up a playlist and immerse myself in that for awhile allows me to remember what I meant when I first wrote the story. Hans Christian Anderson once said that when words fail – music speaks. SO true!

Thanks again for stopping by, Kaitlin! Readers can discover more about Kaitlin Maitland here:

Phoenixrising_ByKaitlinMaitland-200x300Phoenix Flying
Phoenix Trilogy Book Three
Kaitlin Maitland
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: Novel
Word Count: 56395
Page Count: 268
Price: 5.99
ISBN: 978-1-941692-40-0
Release Date: 1-2-2015

Only when we shed our inhibitions do we truly fly.

Gabriel knows there are perks to being a bouncer at the wildest bar in town. The Phoenix Rising is known for being the place to go for a beer and a side of down-and-dirty sex, and Gabriel has seen his share of the action. Anything goes as long as both parties are willing, and when Anne walks in smelling like repressed passion, Gabriel is intrigued.

Anne is tired of being a perpetual wallflower. After divorcing the cheating ex, she heads to the one place in town guaranteed to help her find a good time—The Phoenix Rising. She can’t believe the gorgeous bouncer is attracted to her in spite of her plus-sized body. Being with him is like nothing she’s used to, and he makes her feel like so much more than just a dress size. But Gabriel has secrets. The former British Marine won’t talk about why he’s working as a bouncer in an American bar. Worse, he’s perfectly happy to tell her he doesn’t do long-term commitments. But now that Gabriel has taught Anne what it feels like to fly, how will she ever be able to walk away?

Contains BBW, ménage, voyeurism, and exhibitionism elements

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An Excerpt from Phoenix Flying


Gabriel was trying to figure out what was up with the woman standing on the sidewalk across the street. She’d been there since he’d opened the bar nearly ten minutes ago. Now he’d let in the queue of waiting customers, and she was still hanging about as if she wasn’t sure what to do.
From what he could see, she wasn’t bad looking. Her brown hair was scraped into a bun of some sort that made it impossible to get any idea of length or texture. It was also sort of hard to tell what her body was like beneath the sack dress she was wearing, but her figure was fuller in the hips and breasts so it couldn’t be all bad.
Gabriel liked women with a generous figure. Since leaving Britain and moving to the States, he’d seen nothing but waif-thin women who aspired to be even thinner. With the exception of Connor’s wife, Jessa, of course, but she was off-limits.
Not that they hadn’t had scrawny women back home, but Gabriel had spent most of his time away from the cities. He’d found that he much preferred a country-bred girl with curves. Of course, he’d come to the States to get away from women anyway. Better to go without than try to decipher the kind of games women liked to play. Sometimes though, he’d see a woman who tweaked his libido just enough to make him rethink his views. Like this one.
She swung around to walk away, and Gabriel’s cock twitched at the sight of her ample backside. He fought the urge to reach down and adjust himself behind the button fly of his black cargo pants. His shaft grew swollen, reacting to the image his mind conjured of how she’d look on her hands and knees before him, his hips bouncing against her plentiful ass with his cock inside her pussy.
“Were you really going to leave without coming inside?” Bollocks, did I just say that out loud?
She stopped walking, half turning and looking around as if she was trying to decide whom he’d been calling to.
In for a penny, in for a pound. Gabriel took one step toward the curb, just shy of stepping off the sidewalk. “There’s no one else around, love. It was you I was talking to.”
She seemed to be having some sort of internal tug-of-war. Gabriel had no idea which side won the argument, but he considered it the right one because she took several tentative steps toward him.
She wrung her hands together. “I’m sure the bar is lovely, but it’s not really my kind of place. You know?”
“Care to describe what kind of place would be more your type?” He asked more to keep her talking than from a desire to know the answer. Her voice was smooth as Irish whiskey and low. It was the sort of voice you wanted moaning your name.
The closer she crept, the more Gabriel could tell that her outside in no way matched her inside. For starters, the hideous cut of her dress was camouflaging a pretty spectacular shape. Not to mention her eyes. They were huge and brown. Rimmed in thick dark lashes, they gave meaning to the term “doe-eyed.”
“Well. I don’t know exactly,” she hedged. “That is to say, I’m not the kind of woman who is generally asked to participate in such…” She made a helpless gesture with her hands he found quite endearing.
Gabriel fought the urge to smile. He could practically smell her sexual frustration. It was time to be blunt. Fortunately it was something he did rather well. “You don’t like to have sex, or you don’t like to watch?”
She looked utterly taken aback. “Well neither I suppose.” Her cheeks flamed red, the flush creeping down her neck toward her breasts. “Not that I have ever been party to some sort of voyeuristic orgy.”
“You say that like it’s a good thing.”
Her eyes narrowed, and she tilted her head to one side as if she were trying to decide if he were serious or not. Of course, why shouldn’t she be unsettled by his words? He was actually teasing her, a rare enough occurrence these days.
“Pardon me.” She began to edge away. “I should be getting home.”
“Boyfriend waiting for you then?”
Obviously flustered, she anchored her brightly colored handbag more securely on her shoulder. “Oh no, I’m uh… I’m divorced.”
Gabriel immediately attributed her glaring lack of self-esteem to the arsehole who had granted her that status. He didn’t know why, but getting her inside the bar had just become his most pressing duty. “Hot date then?”
“Not exactly.” Her gaze dropped to the ground and stayed there.
His analytical brain began piecing together what little he knew of this woman. The fact that she was lingering out here all by herself on a Saturday night, her demeanor, everything about her told him she’d probably either been on a date that didn’t go well or had been stood up.
“Come in and have a drink, love.” Gabriel extended his hand, palm up. “What do you have to lose?”

Anne stared at the giant-size hand he held out toward her. His eyes were the most beautiful shade of cobalt blue, an intriguing contrast to his swarthy complexion. Excited, overwhelmed, humiliated, grateful, and now cautiously hopeful. Thanks to him she’d experienced more emotion in the last five minutes than she had in the previous year.
She wanted nothing more than to take his hand and step inside Phoenix Rising. She knew what she’d find. The exotic, the erotic, and the down and dirty all laid out for her viewing pleasure. So what was stopping her? Common courtesy?
It was a question of manners, plain and simple. One did not partake when one had nothing to offer in return. Anne recalled watching Jessa’s friend Alex casually pleasuring their friend Kitty. Bent over the bar with her dress hiked up to her hips, Kitty had begged Alex to make her climax. The sight had been the most arousing one Anne had ever experienced. She’d been married for twenty years without being that turned on.
But Kitty was beautiful, with a perfect body that looked scrumptious in the throes of pleasure. What she was getting, she was giving to those around her. Anne couldn’t reciprocate like that. She’d be embarrassed to gain satisfaction from watching others when she knew deep down they’d be clamoring for her to put her clothes back on if she dared expose herself. Places like Phoenix Rising were for the bold and beautiful.
Put that way, it sounded like a soap opera.
“C’mon, love. Just one drink. You won’t be sorry.”
Once again, his delicious British accent coated his words in an extra layer of sexy. The low timbre of his voice sent a jolt to her crotch and made her squirm. Her panties were already wet and she hadn’t set foot inside. She nibbled her lower lip, a mental image of Dave the Date floating in her mind. She deserved to take a little of this to sustain her on the boring dates that were going to plague the rest of her life.
“I suppose I have time for one drink.” Anne took the hand he offered.
Time ground to a halt when their fingers laced together in one smooth motion. Her breath rushed out of her lungs, and they burned for want of air. She hadn’t realized it was possible to feel the vibrancy of someone’s life-force through a simple touch, but she could sense the potency pulsing beneath this man’s skin. It was hot, vital, alive with the kind of fire she longed to touch. If only for a moment.
Every nerve in her body sang. The hair lifted on the back of her neck, and her pussy clenched involuntarily. Juice seeped from her core and soaked the thin strip of sensible cotton between her legs.
She followed along in his wake because her body gave her no choice. At that moment she’d have followed this man anywhere he asked her to.
Inside, it was just like she remembered. The entryway was close, the scarred floor divided by a chain-link barrier that stretched floor to ceiling. Beyond that, the bar itself stretched the length of the back wall. Like the long sides of an H, the wings on either side were dim. She could see nothing of what went on in the dark recesses of the room, but her instincts told her it was something she wanted to know more about.
Like a sentinel of hell, Jessa’s husband, Connor, stood on the other side of the barrier, one eye on the room, the other on their approach.
Her escort didn’t seem at all intimidated by Connor’s presence. “Mind if I step inside for a minute, mate?”

Anne knew the moment Connor’s gaze settled on her. She could actually feel his curiosity. Everything about Connor was intense and more than a little terrifying. She’d only met the man once before. Her knowledge of him was limited to a round of nasty gossip spread by Kitty, tempered by the fact that Jessa seemed to trust him implicitly. Given that, Anne made an attempt to quell the urge to hide behind the doorman.
“It’s Anne, isn’t it?” Connor’s tone was solicitous despite his forbidding expression.
Beside her, Anne felt her escort stiffen. “You two know each other?”
“I believe we’ve met once,” Connor explained. “She and Jessa knew each other in a previous life.”
“I see.”
The man holding her hand didn’t offer anything else, and Anne suddenly wished she knew his name. She didn’t know why, but she felt as if she owed him some kind of explanation. As if she could possibly explain the bizarre circumstances that had surrounded her last trip to this bar.
Connor opened the door. “Take all the time you need, Gabriel. I’m sure Jessa will be happy to see you, Anne.”
Anne’s stomach did a little flip-flop. His name was Gabriel. The more fanciful portion of her imagination quickly painted him into an avenging angel with long, curling black hair and stars dancing in his cobalt eyes. She was certain it was a notion he wouldn’t appreciate. He looked far too masculine to allow himself to be stuffed into a girlish fantasy like hers.
They’d barely gotten past Connor’s post when Jessa spotted them. At least Anne thought it was Jessa. The sex goddess in the snug low-rise cutoffs and a sassy green top had hair the same color as Jessa’s. Although, Jessa 2.0 had pulled her silky reddish-brown hair into a spiky knot held in place by two black lacquer sticks with silver embellishments. She’d also donned just enough eye makeup to give her a fresh-from-the-bedroom look.
It was all Anne could do to stay in place and not turn and walk out. Jessa had always been her fellow full-figured gal in the country-club set. Together they’d given each other a much-needed ally against women like Kitty who had been born with Stepford-Wife looks. Now it seemed like Jessa had graduated from dowdy outcast to sexy woman. Not so Anne.
“Oh my God! Anne! Where did you find her, Gabriel?” Jessa looped her arm around his waist and gave him a brief hug.
“Standing on the sidewalk outside, actually.” Apparently not even Gabriel was immune to Jessa’s charm. His face eased into a smile that sent his looks from merely handsome to drop-dead gorgeous.
Feeling tongue-tied and awkward, Anne tried to be casual. “I’ve been meaning to come in here and catch up with you forever. I’m living right around the corner now.”
“Since it would appear you’re in very good hands, I’ll leave you two ladies to chat.” Gabriel let go of her hand, and Anne felt as if the sun had fallen out of the sky.
Anne watched him walk away. His dark cargo pants were just tight enough to showcase a firm backside that bespoke of a man who kept himself in impeccable shape. She idly wondered if he was ex-military. She recalled Alex having the same sort of British accent, though his had been more muted. Were they somehow related?
Jessa cleared her throat. “His name is Gabriel Hawkins. He’s been working here about eighteen months. Before that he was in the Royal Marines. He and Alex were stationed at the same base while Alex was over in Britain. Any more than that you’ll have to ask Alex.”
“Huh?” Anne ripped her eyes away from Gabriel’s retreating form and forced herself to focus on Jessa. “I was just curious about the accent. That’s all.”
“Uh-huh, sure you were. Just like every other woman who walks through that door. Gabriel could have crooked teeth and pockmarks, and they’d fall for that voice every time.” Jessa took her by the elbow and steered her toward the bar.
Hearing about the “other women” who threw themselves at Gabriel was like a bucket of cold water thrown in her face. Anne didn’t want to hang around and chat anymore. “I can see you’re busy, Jessa. Why don’t I come back another time? Or, we could meet for lunch?”
“I’ve got a few minutes.” Jessa perched on a barstool at the far end of the row, shooing Anne onto the one beside it. “I haven’t talked to you in ages.”
Anne let her gaze drift down the length of the mahogany bar. A man several inches shorter than Connor and Gabriel was pulling beers for a group of guys who looked as if they’d just walked off a soccer field. Though the bartender was lighter in build, he was lean with tightly packed muscle, a mop of tousled gold curls, and friendly blue eyes.
“Well I’ll be damned!” He met Anne’s gaze and gave her a brilliant smile in return. “It’s Anne, right? Can I get you ladies a drink while you catch up?”
With as many women as they had walking in and out of the bar, how was it possible that both Connor and Alex remembered her name? Deciding it would be rude to refuse, Anne wondered what to order. “How about a mimosa?”
“Any woman who drinks champagne with orange juice is all right with me, sweetheart. Coming right up!” He flashed her an infectious smile that was cute but somehow didn’t pack nearly the punch to her libido as Gabriel’s had.
“So.” Jessa’s warm voice took on an edge Anne had never heard before. “How come you stopped returning my calls?”
“Oh, did I? Things were just so hectic…” Anne could tell Jessa didn’t buy the bullshit line any more than Anne did. Why had she stopped calling her friend? The truth might sting, but Jessa deserved to hear it anyway. “Honestly? You’ve changed so much, I just didn’t think we had anything in common anymore.”
Jessa looked more than stung, she looked hurt. Her hazel eyes grew dark and pained, and Anne realized her friend had taken those words altogether wrong.
“You’re not understanding. Please let me explain.” Anne struggled, knowing she had to get this right no matter how embarrassing it was. “You left your marriage behind when Will ditched you for some bimbo, and you never seemed to look back. I was so envious of you! You never seemed to miss a beat. You got a job here, met Connor, and turned into the most confident…” Anne waved her hand to indicate Jessa’s attire. “Just look at you! You’re hot and you know it.”
The hurt receded, and Jessa’s eyes filled with a knowing Anne would have paid a fortune to acquire. “Looking hot is one thing. Feeling hot comes from being with the right guy.”
Alex placed a frosty pint glass in front of Anne with a flourish. “One mega extra large mimosa on the house, sweetheart.”
“Charmer,” Jessa groused. “You’d give all the liquor away for free if you could.”
Alex didn’t bother to deny the accusation. “Only to beautiful women.”
Anne watched him swagger back down to the other end of the bar. A petite woman with wild dark curls wrinkled her nose at him, the bizarre expression somehow making her face even more adorable. Her baggy pants were cut off just below the knee, and she wore nothing but a stretchy camisole on top.
Jessa pointed at the newcomer. “That is a prime example of what I was just telling you.”
“I have to disagree.” While Anne watched, the tiny woman launched herself into Alex’s arms. He locked his arms beneath her butt and began to kiss her hungrily while she wrapped her legs around his waist. “Loving Alex did not give her the body of a prima ballerina. That’s all genetics.”
Jessa made a chuffing noise. “That’s okay, I know where you’re coming from. Connor always called my sense of beauty warped.”
“Considering what you look at every morning in the mirror?” Anne took a long slurp of her tangy drink. “Not from where I’m sitting.”
Jessa jabbed her finger in the lusty couple’s direction. “You think Connor would look twice at Emory?”
“Maybe not now. He’s got you.” Anne took another very long pull on her drink, enjoying the faint buzz that began at the base of her neck before seeping into her extremities as a series of tiny tingles. She wasn’t a frequent drinker. Sucking it down quickly wasn’t the best idea, but sometimes it felt good anyway.
“Fine.” Jessa gave her a sly smile. “What about Gabriel?”
Anne was doubly glad for the numbing quality of her buzz when she glanced across the bar to find Gabriel. He was standing beside Connor at the gate. His cobalt gaze was focused intently on what Emory and Alex were doing. Heaving a great sigh, Anne nearly polished off her giant-size mimosa in one more swallow. Stifling a tiny burp, she gave Jessa a pointed look. “From where I’m sitting, Gabriel looks pretty damn interested in what Emory looks like naked.”
Jessa waved it off. “He’s not staring because he wants to have sex with Emory. He’s staring because he enjoys watching Alex have sex with her.”
It took several moments for Anne’s alcohol-impaired brain to process exactly what Jessa was implying. “He watches them?”
The soccer players had settled at a nearby table, their eyes also focused hotly on Alex and his lover. In fact, now that Anne realized what they were doing, she couldn’t rip her gaze away either.
Alex had already let Emory’s baggy pants slide to the floor. She was now perched on the back counter, her body braced against the lowest shelf behind her. As Anne watched, Emory drew Alex’s T-shirt up and over his head. Her fingers trailed over the grooves in his arms before returning to his chest. From where Anne was sitting, she could see Emory tweak his nipples, rolling them between her fingers before ducking her head to give each one a taste.
Anne’s belly clenched against the onslaught of arousal. She gripped the bar, the wood biting deeply into her palms as she continued to watch. Alex gave as good as he got, popping Emory’s pert breasts over the top of her camisole. Her nipples were rosy pink and hard as diamonds. He took one in his mouth, nipping it lightly while Emory stabbed her fingers into his hair to draw him closer.
A low moan lifted above the other sounds in the room. Anne didn’t know if it was hers or Emory’s. It didn’t matter. Anne felt as if her body was on fire. Every touch Alex placed on Emory felt like a heated brand against Anne’s skin. She watched him suckle his lover’s breasts deeply before going lower, stooping down to lave a wet trail down her belly. When she leaned back and he parted her thighs to kiss her mons, Anne nearly came apart.
Emory’s knee blocked the fully intimate view, but Anne was so focused on the woman’s reaction, it didn’t matter. Dark curls trailed over naked shoulders when Emory let her head loll back to enjoy the pleasure crashing over her. Alex nuzzled her pussy, no doubt licking, sucking, enjoying his lover’s juices, and begging for more. He made a growling noise and Emory gave a high-pitched cry.
“This is the only thing Gabriel ever allows himself to enjoy about the bar.”
Anne would have forgotten Jessa altogether had her friend not spoken. Through the haze of lust clouding her mind, Anne slowly absorbed this new information.
“He likes to watch, Anne.”
Jessa was still talking and Anne tried hard to comprehend.
“And right now, the only thing he’s watching is you.”

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1 Response to Interview with Kaitlin Maitland

  1. elizabethellencarter says:

    A great interview! I love it when you know that two people just *have* to be together. As a reader it’s so wonderful to be part of that journey with them.

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