Readers who enjoy romances with an older woman and younger man will find themselves drawn to this erotic tale and its compelling characters. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Between You and I by Beth D. Carter, along with a quick Q&A with Ms. Carter, then add it to your bookshelf!
Thank you so much for having me here today! I’ve often had people ask why do I write erotica romance? Do I really have to use those words? Well, yes. Yes, I do. And I’ve had it all. The raised eyebrows, the nose in the air, even the rolled eyes. Everything that screams disapproval. All because I say I write erotica romance. People can’t seem to get past the ‘erotica’ part of that statement.
But I can’t NOT write. I might explode if I’m not at my laptop trying to find a synonym for the words ‘gazed into his eyes’. And why erotica romance? Because it’s real. The sex is graphic because the love is intense. My stories are not about people like the Cleavers, or the Brady Bunch. My stories are about people with problems…about an ex-soldier fighting PTSD, women kidnapped for a human trafficking ring, a man who was inappropriately touched as a child, a woman who has survived alone in a wasteland for years. These characters are raw. Their emotions are encased in ice. These people are helpless, hopeless…until love finds them.
In my latest book, Between You and I, the heroine, Madeline, is scared about feeling again after the man she loves walks away from her. She hides behind a plethora of interesting friends, keeping herself busy so she’s not lonely. Or at least, she tries to convince herself she isn’t lonely. When she meets Hunter, who is a little younger than her, she suddenly is confronted by the prospect of the numbness she’s wound herself in melting away.
I’m not sure what other writers do, but I often use my writing as a way of dealing with my issues. It’s very cathartic. I’m very proud to have written about a woman who has gone through the same emotional turmoil I went through. I hope Madeline’s story helps others who might be struggling with the same type of uncertainties...
What inspired you to write Between You and I?
This book was inspired by my own battle with endometriosis. I was diagnosed in my twenties and suffered with pain, depression, and insomnia for over twenty years. It’s still a medical condition most people don’t know anything about. I finally made the decision to have a hysterectomy last year and while lying in the hospital bed, I came up with Madeline. For a few years I’d been toying with the idea of a book, but it was that moment, right after surgery, that Madeline became a real person to me.
Tell us about the heroine, Madeline, in Between You and I:
Externally, she’s tough. She covers up her pain with a “no worries” attitude. But internally, she’s lonely. She wishes for someone to hold her and take care of her for a moment. In that respect, she’s a personification of what I went through. Writing, for me, is a very cathartic way of dealing with issues.
Was there as specific part of the story that you absolutely loved writing as well as not enjoyed writing?
I loved finding her balance with the hero, Hunter. He’s younger than her so having her get past her mental block on that was fun exploring. My least favorite part in writing this story was figuring out the ending. The one that the book ended up with was my second ending. It was hard figuring out the believable way to write their happy ever after.
Please tell a little about Between You and I without giving too much of a spoiler away.
This book was inspired by my own battle with endometriosis. For a few years I’d been toying with the idea of a book about a heroine who had it, but it was the moment right after my hysterectomy surgery, that Madeline became a real person to me. The hero, Hunter, had to be a right balance of understanding, hunky, and confused, otherwise, he’s too one dimensional. I think I hit that balance, and I consider this book one of my best.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Mostly my characters develop as I write them, but in this case, Madeline was planned out extensively, mainly because a lot of her is me. I used my own struggle with endometriosis as her emotional platform to find love with a younger man.
What is your favorite line in Between You and I? Why?
“Tell me, right now, what’s standing between you and I that makes you scared of that word,” he demanded. “Why are you so afraid of love?"
I love that line! It was the first line I thought of when I began to think of Madeline’s story and it’s where I got the title. I know it’s not grammatically correct but it sounds more dramatic than “between you and me”.
A broken engagement left Madeline Shawl feeling like a shattered woman. When she meets Hunter Caligari, he seems to be the perfect man for some friends-with-benefits action. But when the easy affair turns into something more, it threatens her comfortable grief.
The passion of the younger man nearly infects her until Hunter tries to articulate it with the three words she refuses to hear. When she pushes him away, wounding his heart, she finds her own broken all over again.
Still, Madeline struggles to leave the past and accept that when Hunter said, "I love you," he wasn't just speaking for himself.
“Where do you live?” she asked once they reached her sedan.
“Off Silverado,” he said. “The Mustang Apartments."
Madeline nodded and a few minutes later she was driving out of the parking garage, easing into traffic to head toward his home. The entire time she was acutely aware of his presence in her car, the warmth that his body generated inside the small confines. Or maybe she was simply hot and bothered.
All too soon she pulled in front of the gate that sealed off his apartment complex, and then slipped into an empty slot designated for future residents. She put the car in park and turned off the engine. For a moment neither one moved. She simply sat there, with her hands on the steering wheel, her heart pounding, and every nerve ending standing at attention. Waiting. Anticipating. He shifted and she felt his gaze on her, so slowly she turned. The overhead parking lights illuminated his face through the front window, highlighting his chiseled good looks. Suddenly the small confines of her car seemed hot. A bit overwhelming.
“I had a great time,” Hunter murmured.
Madeline wet her dry lips with her tongue. His head moved fractionally closer.
“Me…” She had to clear her throat from the huskiness coming through. “Me too."
He smiled and their gazes met. Locked. She had this sense of free falling, just plunging head first into an unknown abyss. Had she ever felt like this with Kevin? With him everything had been easy. Simplistic. Nothing like what she was feeling now, with Hunter. He brought his hand up to cup her cheek, and she leaned into it, absorbing his heat. His eyelids narrowed a bit and his attention shifted to her mouth. All sorts of delicious tingles spread through her body because she knew he was going to kiss her. God! She wanted to kiss him back so much it was an ache deep in her gut. His head descended and her eyes fluttered shut just as the first touch of his mouth on hers brushed her lips. So gentle, like the dewy wisp of butterfly wings, and she wondered if he had kissed her at all.
I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate highrollers. I try to write characters who aren't cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love.
I’ve been pretty fortunate in life to experience some amazing things. I’ve lived in France, travelled throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I am a mom to an amazing little boy. I’ve walked a red carpet event and visited the USS Voyager. I hate washing dishes but I love cooking. I hate washing clothes but I love wearing them. Writing my bio is difficult because I never know what to say so I hope you like this one. My favorite color is red but I look best in black (it’s slimming). I hate people who don't pick up their dog's crap in public places, people who don’t use turn signals, and I really hate people who are rude and condescending. I especially hate discrimination in all and every form. And although I love holding a book in my hand, I absolutely adore my ereader, whom I’ve named Ruby. I love to hear from readers so I’ve made it really easy to find me on the web.