Friday, July 15, 2011

Interview with Erotic Romance Author, Viviane Brentanos

Today, my return guest is erotic romance author, Viviane Brentanos.  Her eBook, Cold, Cold Heart, is a recent MuseItHot Publishing release.

AUTHOR: Viviane Brentanos
BOOK TITLE: Cold, Cold Heart
PUBLISHER: MuseItHot Publishing

Please tell us about yourself?
First of all, it is wonderful to back here at Penny’s blog, and I thank her for inviting once again – brave woman that she is.

Oh dear, how long do you have? I am what I like to call European through and through; a crazy mix of English, French and Spanish and now married to a Greek and living on the beautiful Ionian Island of Corfu. {you gotta feel sorry for my children, really}.

Whilst I am not being a writer extraordinaire, I work seasonally as a hotel receptionist where I occasionally give out keys if I feel like it and abuse horrible children who do not obey the hotel rules. {I love that part}.

I suppose I could give you the official bio but as that is up on my site, I shall provide you with tidbits not listed. I am a great fan of pop culture. I have never grown up and don’t intend to. I am a music groupie. I adore Darren Hayes {main inspiration behind my character Daniel Haines}. I want to be Lady Gaga when I grow up, I have secret girl crush on Uma Thurman, I am a fully fledged Gleek {follower of Glee} and I want to put Sheldon Cooper {Big Bang Theory} in my cupboard and take him out periodically for cuddles. I regret never learning to play guitar because my lifetime ambition is to jam with Angus Young from AC/DC. Yes folks, I am a metal head. Love it love it love it.

What else – oh yes – I am a foodie. I suppose having a French mother I had to be. I love to cook but I don’t like any of this new-fangled Nouvelle Sh**. Give me good wholesome Mediterranean food any day. If I ever had a restaurant, I would probably kick out anyone who put ketchup on their food. Ketchup belongs on hamburgers; nowhere else. In case you haven’t noticed, I am also opinionated but then, and I as am always right, I think it’s magnanimous of me to share my wisdom with others, don’t you think? I am also extremely sarcastic and my oft caustic wit is always reflected through the characters I create.

 I am a staunch defender of animal and human rights, as my agent, Sir Maximus Rabbitus will testify. I signed with him when thousands wouldn’t.

Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is I am thrilled to announce Cold, Cold Heart was released through MuseItHot at the end of June. This single title romance was formerly publishing with Wild Rose Press back in May 2008, and I am delighted to have been given the chance to revamp this work and bring it up to date for 2011. I also am waiting with bated breath to hear back if my contemporary romantic suspense, Past Undone, has been accepted for publication by Muse. I have another waiting to be sent out, A Private Place.

On a personal front, I am waiting to see if Daniel Craig will accept my invitation to dinner. I hope so because I blew off Russell Crowe to accommodate him. 

When and why did you begin writing and when did you first consider yourself a writer?

With my kind of vivid imagination, I suppose I was conjuring up plots in the womb.  My whole childhood was one big adventure storyboard. It was a natural progression to put my fantasies into words.  I suppose I first realized I had a ‘gift’ when I wrote a piece of prose for an English lesson and my teacher nearly swooned in gratitude because she’d found someone who’d given her what she wanted. After that, I used to write short stories for my friends. I thought they were great but I was ordered out the classroom and sent to the headmistress’s office for writing smut. I think I used the word snog. Wait til I am Oprah. They’ll be sorry. As for present day – when I first decided to seriously write, it was because I wanted to read my own tale from beginning to end. That’s all. I had no plans to publish, after being pushed by friends, I decided I had nothing to lose. 

What inspired you to write your first book?
Mmm – this is a tricky question. What constitutes my first book? Was it the mammoth sagas I penned when I was fourteen years old that I passed around my class to my eagerly awaiting fans? I suppose so. At that time, I was in love with Donny Osmond.{hey – admit it; you were too}.  In fact, the storyline is one I still carry around with me and one I began to work on later on, when I first got married. I did, in fact, manage to rattle off 480 pages but then my mother-in-law burnt it as she thought it was rubbish – as in trash. {It probably was rubbish.} I have attacked this saga again and again. It sits in my yellowing file of old ideas, waiting for me to drag it out and revive it. I may do it one day but it looks as if it is set to be a saga of 1980’s style proportions. Did I answer the question? No really. So what inspires me? My dreams. This is where my scenarios are born.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)

For the purpose of this interview, I would like to focus on Cold, Cold Heart, as it is my latest release. The story line for this stemmed from a dream I had about Eminem, no less. Basically, struggling working mum meets rich, famous rock star who is nothing like she expects him to be. Polite, courteous, well-educated – and too interested in her. She is frightened by him as he poses a threat to her life.  Hovering in the shadows is a jerk of an ex-husband and controlling ex father-in-law.  Some of the incidents were inspired by run ins I had with my own ex. The character of Rachel reminded me {after I created her} very much of my best friend: loyal, hard-working, devoted to her son and sometimes scared to give in to impulse and have fun. My friend recognized herself straight off and was not in the least bit offended. The message behind this tale? Bullies eventually get their comeuppance., somewhere out there, we can find someone in our corner, true love means sacrifice and learning to give as well as take.

What books have most influenced your life most? If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

 As far as my writing goes, I have to say Gone with the Wind, purely because I think Scarlett O’Hara to be the most complex, ‘real’ character ever created. I strive to do the same in my works. I love my characters to be flawed. As for style and being introduced to witty and plausible romance, I have to go with Jilly Cooper as my mentor. I love her books – especially her early works: Harriet, Emily, Imogen. I love her tongue in cheek at Brit upper class society.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
I have to confess, I do not read much romance. It’s too much like work. I love to curl up with a good psychological thriller or detective story. I love Ian Rankin, author of the Inspector Rebus series. I have just finished a Kathy Reichs, Devil Bones. This author never fails to disappoint me. I am always in awe of her ability to weave such an intricate plot. What do I not like about it? Hard to say, really. Sometimes she spends too much time telling her reader how her protagonist takes off her clothes, makes dinner etc but that is something I don’t like in many books. It’s just my opinion. I know a lot of readers revel in such detail. I find I skip it. That’s what I love about Rankin. With the minimum of description, he pulls you into the scene and his character’s mindset.

What are your current projects?
Summer is upon me and soon I will begin my seasonal job as a hotel receptionist. It is during the quiet afternoon time that I sit down and pen the first draft of any project I may be working on. This summer, I have a couple of plots running around inside my head and I cannot decide which one to follow through. I a also toying with the idea of writing from first person pov.  My problem is, I become so attached to my heroes and I love getting inside their heads. I don’t know. It’s something I have to think about. And, of course, there is still that saga just crying out to be finished. Who knows….

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
I am most fortunate to have two single titles contracted with MuseItHot Publishing – the slightly naughtier side of MuseItUp Publishing.  Having worked with the founder and brains behind this new and innovative house, Lea Schizas, knowing that she is a truly a unique individual and a breath of much-needed fresh air in this oft stale and stuff publishing world, I jumped at the chance to sub to her when I heard she was opening up her own house. Her standards are high, the submission and editing process rigorous but then, I never expected any less. We are a happy, open, sometimes zany bunch over at Muse. It is hard work but it is also fun – as it should be. I am fortunate to have been assigned two wonderful editors and what I love is that we work together to produce the tightest final galley possible without losing my voice.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
So that’s it from me for today. Another huge thanks to Penny for having me over and I hope my answers have provided some insight into my life and my work. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the readers out there who have supported me in the past and I hope they will continue to do so. I would urge them to check out the many wonderful authors I am honored to call my stable mates over at MuseItUp and MuseItHot and remember – eBooks are here to stay.


Daniel Haynes has the world at his feet- fame, fortune, so why does he feel so empty inside? What is his interest in Rachel Warner, a girl from a quiet Home Counties English town? Why does she hold the key to his happiness? 

But Rachel Warner is scared. Daniel's interest in her threatens her ordered yet unsatisfying life because she has to live with the shadow of her ex-father-in-law breathing over her shoulder. Can she let go of her fears?


“You are not having a good day, are you?”

                She sat up, ramrod-straight. Daniel Haines leaned against the open door, his arms folded and gaze fixed on her, probing once more.

                “Do you always eavesdrop on private conversations?” Rachel rubbed at her eyes, grateful she'd been in too much of a hurry to bother with mascara.

                “The door was open,” he replied in that Yankee tone. “I apologize….” He made a point of knocking loudly. “May I come in?”

                Without waiting for her answer, he walked into the room, sat down in the chair on the other side of her desk and stretched out long legs before crossing them at the ankles.

                “Make yourself at home…I would,” Rachel muttered. She pulled herself together. He was, after all, a hotel guest and a very important one at that.

                For one long moment, he did nothing but stare at her, an unfathomable expression on his face. Then he said quietly, “You shouldn't allow him to intimidate you, you know.”

                At first Rachel thought she'd misheard him. “Are you always so presumptuous?” she managed to blurt out.

                “No.” He smiled at her. “I'm only concerned.”

                A frisson of unease ran down her spine.

                He leaned across the desk.  “Actually, I've come to apologize for Mai. She can be real possessive at times.”

                “Possessive?” Rachel tried not to laugh. “Obsessed more like. I mean I know she's beautiful and probably very obliging, but how can you stand to be smothered like that?” 

                “Excuse me?” He sat up. “Now who's being presumptuous?”

                Guilt caused her cheek to grow hot. “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply….”

                He waved her apology aside. “Forget it. You are free to think what you want. As I said, I'm here because I believe my crew treated you with less than professional courtesy. Sometimes the guys get carried away. Try and understand. It's hard being cooped up in hotel rooms for weeks on end.”

                Rachel couldn't hold back her grimace. Here it comes, the I'm-so-misunderstood-my-life-is-not-my-own sob story. She'd heard it a hundred times over and usually following a night of drunken excess and loutish behavior that prompted a host of complaints from the hotel cleaning staff.

                “Interesting.” The smile disappeared. “You're skeptical. Are you judging me?  You see me as an underworked, overpaid, and probably oversexed musician.  I don't impress you much, do I?”

                Her mouth fell open at the astute appraisal.

                “You don't know anything about me, Miss…or is it Mrs.? I seem to recall a child being mentioned.”

                Rachel’s hackles went back up. “It doesn't state anywhere in my job description that I have to discuss my personal life with the guests, Mr. Haines. I….” The words died in her throat. Reaching out to her, he pushed aside a lock of hair that strayed from her ragged chignon. Warm fingertips brushed against her cheek. She shrank back, her reaction born out of habit and her dislike of physical intimacy. She only felt comfortable hugging and touching Alex.

                “Please.” His tone caressed. “Call me Daniel.”

“No.” The word left her lips before she had time to think. “I…I couldn't. It wouldn't be professional.” She looked away, heat creeping up her neck and rising to her cheeks. To her relief, he sat back, arms folded.

                “You are so wound up.” Amusement etched tiny lines around his eyes. “You do need to chill.”

                “I am perfectly 'chilled,' thank you.” She sniffed, more than a trifle irked.

                “I think not. You're stressed. I can tell.”

                “Mr. Haines, just why exactly are you here?” She was in no mood for American psycho-babble. She shuffled the papers on her desk, feigning efficiency.

                “If you must know….” He folded his arms behind his head and the black T-shirt rose up, affording Rachel a glimpse of well-toned, tanned stomach muscles. “I've come to return your form. I know, I could have sent Mai, but I didn't want to be responsible for a blood bath. Quite honestly, I don't know who is scarier, you or Mai. Okay, okay, stop glaring.” He made the sign of the cross. “I'm kidding. Seriously, I couldn't think of anything to write. There’s nothing I need. We are all very comfortable here. My compliments to the man.” Gaze drifting to the shelf behind her head, he sniffed the air. “However…that coffee smells real good. I've changed my mind. There is something I need. A cup of that would just hit the spot. The stuff room service delivers is pretty damn weak. You can put that in the complaints section, if you like.”

                Rachel swallowed. He wanted a cup of her coffee? The entire interlude was too surreal for words.

                “Do you mind?” The blue eyes probed her thoughts again. “Only if it's not too much trouble….”

                “Mind? Oh…no…of course not. Excuse me one moment, please. I'll just...em...find another mug.” Dropping to her knees, she rummaged through the cupboard under her desk for an un chipped mug.

                Pushing aside four years' worth of debris, she wished the green hotel uniform had a longer, not-so-tight fitting skirt.     

                “Having trouble down there?”

                Rachel sat on her haunches, her face flushed, cream blouse in disarray. “No.” Clutching a stained cup to her palpitating chest, she got to her feet, stumbling as her thighs protested. “Milk, sugar?” She turned to the machine.  By now, she felt hot and bothered and more unruly strands of hair escaped the hairpins.

                “I'm hurt. Isn't it your job to know these things? Aren't you supposed to be acquainted with my every like and dislike?”

                Rachel spun round, sharp retort at the ready, but then she saw the sparkle in his eyes.

                He laughed at her pique. “You really don't know anything about me, do you? Oh, but don't apologize. It's really refreshing.”


  1. Thanks to Penny for inviting me back.It was a fun interview. A little hot off the press update, here. Past Undone and A Private Place now retitled as A Little Crushed have been been contracted to Muse It Up Publishing. Champagne anyone?

  2. Vivian, It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest. Thanks for the update, and congratulations on your latest contract. I look forward to working with you on it.

  3. Great interview. I have a son who says he'll never grow up. I like that attitude. I sometimes wish I hadn't. But I'm young at heart so I guess it's okay.

  4. Roseanne, at least you got to be a writer when you grew up! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Viviane, your interview was delightful! Thank you Penny for bringing us the softer side of Vivian.:) You are only as old as you feel and act. Age is so relative. It's the way you live that counts.:) I love cooking too, but I need too much time for it to be an every day thing.:)

    Your book looks really good. I love stories like this when the woman is being standoffish and the guy is being adorable. This is going on my TBR unless you are having a contest and I can win it!!!

  6. Barbara, thank you for stopping by. I haven't heard of any contests coming up, but as you know Lea is always running specials.