Guest Author Anne Calhoun and Giveaway

Earlier today I reviewed Breath on Embers by Anne Calhoun, a very well done erotic novella. We are happy to have her and her sexy hero, Ronan at Smexy to chat.

Hot Men at Work (aka Ronan O’Rourke, Lieutenant, FDNY at your service)

I interviewed Ronan for this blog. Crafting his responses into something readable was beyond me, so I’m transcribing the interview as it happened at the Starbucks at 87thand Lex on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Ronan: I’ve got ten minutes before I have to be back at the firehouse and I want a coffee for the walk back. It’s freezing today. What’s up?

Anne (opens MacBook Air): I’m going to interview you for a blog post.

Ronan: Why?

Anne: To promote BREATH ON EMBERS, a story I wrote about you and Thea.


Anne: Yes. It’s a compelling story about light overcoming darkness that needed to be told. So settle down, sit down, and help me promote it. You’re quite tall and you’re in uniform. People stare when you raise your voice.

Ronan (sit and shoves hands into pockets): Look, I’m not talking about me and Thea. That’s just wrong.

Anne: Don’t be difficult. You don’t have to go into intimate details; I’ve already done that. Just tell me about you.

Ronan (glowering): Why do people want to know about me?

Anne (fingers poised over keyboard): Because you’re a romance novel hero.

Ronan: Don’t start with the hero bullshit. I’m nothing special. Yeah, I’m a lieutenant with a ladder company on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and yeah, I’m involved with Thea Moretti. That’s all you’re getting.

Anne (typing madly): That’s good. That’s perfect. You’re a firefighter. Why are you a firefighter?

Ronan: You know this.

Anne (tries out her own glower): Work with me, Ronan, or I won’t give Tim his own story. You want Tim to fall in love with the foodie, don’t you?

Ronan: Yeah, good luck with that. I’m a firefighter because my uncle was a firefighter. My dad and I didn’t get along when I was growing up, but Uncle Lance was always there for me. He died on 9/11. I didn’t apply to the academy right away. I went to college first because he wanted me to get my degree. I became a firefighter to honor the way he lived, with honor, and courage, and dedication to family and the people of New York.

Anne: Wow. That’s really touching.

Ronan (checks out the line extending out the door to the sidewalk): We done? It’s going to take forever to order.

Anne: No. Tell me about Thea. Why Thea?

Ronan: You’re kind of weird, you know that?

Anne: Yes, but we’re not talking about me. Thea?

Ronan: Thea. Thea was…dark when she shouldn’t be. She’s got blond hair and blue eyes and this amazing mouth –

Anne: This is a PG blog, Ronan.

Ronan: Get your mind out of my bedroom.

Anne: But your bedroom was so much fun.

Ronan: Her mouth looked like it laughed a lot, but when I met her she never smiled. Something was wrong there.

Anne: You have a classic rescuers complex, Ronan.

Ronan: Plus, I thought I’d drop dead from the charge I got when she looked at me.

Anne: So you met her at the St Patrick’s Day parade and you took her back to the firehouse and you –

Ronan: Watch it.

Anne: I am the soul of discretion. Except in the book.

Ronan: Yeah, I never would have done what we did if I’d know she was a widow. But she was light and dark, and hanging on by a thread, and so strong all at once. I couldn’t let her just walk away.

Anne: But she tried.

Ronan: She gets an A for effort. I just held out longer than she did.

Anne: So you get an A+.

Ronan (shrugs): I don’t quit.

Anne: I love that about you, by the way, the way you showed her light in the darkness. You can persevere in a relationship without being a jerk about it.

Ronan (checks watch): The line’s shorter. We done yet?

Anne: One more question. Why should people read this story?

Ronan: They should read it because Thea…she’s amazing. Her loss, what she did to cope, and how she comes through it…it was my privilege to be there. And, knowing you, there’s tons of sex.

Anne (primly): It’s just December 3 to Christmas Eve. I left out everything between St. Patrick’s Day and December 3.

Ronan: You included everything between December 3 and Christmas Eve? The scene at Idylle? The night with Tim?

Anne (slams laptop shut and grabs scarf): Thanks for meeting me. I have to go now. Give Thea my love!

If you want to spend a little more time with Ronan-with-a-rescuers-complex, and Thea, the woman who snared his heart and wouldn’t let it go, ask Ronan a question in the comments for a chance to win a copy of BREATH ON EMBERS! I promise he’ll answer all of them. :)


Book blurb —

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?

Anne’s info —

As Anne stated above, if you want a a chance to win an e-book of Breath on Embers, just leave Ronan a question in the comments below! Open to everyone through December 21.


  1. Katherine says

    That was, hands down, the best character interview I’ve ever read.

    Ronan – great name, by the way. If our second child had been a boy, he would have been named Ronan. Instead we got Madeline. Which was just fine.

    If you ever have a son or daughter, and s/he wanted to become a firefighter, would you encourage them or discourage them?

    • says

      Anne’s a tough interviewer.

      If my child wanted to become a firefighter, I would absolutely encourage that dream. Life’s too short and too precious to do anything less than follow a dream. It’s a risky job, but as Jesse proved, living’s risky. Manage the risks and then go balls to the wall.

    • says

      Tim’s kept the foodie close to his chest. He’s not the kind to tell stories out of school, but I can tell this one’s different. She’s making him think about things, about who he is and why he is the way he is. Not Tim’s strong suit. ;) Next year is going to be interesting for him.

  2. Texas Book Lover says

    So besides firefighting and spending time with Thea what else do you like to do?

    Really curious about the scene at Idylle and the night with Tim!

    Thanks so much!

    • says

      I train for triathalons, and I’m really into making soap.

      Okay, I’m kidding about the soap. Triathalon training works well with the physical demands of firefighting. NY’s got a great music scene, so I go to concerts when I can.

    • says

      Should fainting happen on the job, I’m a trained first responder. She’d be fine.

      As for what Anne wrote about me and Thea…I’m just a regular guy. I try to listen, to pay attention, but that’s it.

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