JC: Conquered Brides is somewhat of a departure from other anthologies we see today. The idea that all the stories begin at the taking of a castle and its inhabitants, and that all of the characters are coming from the same place of reference is an interesting idea. How did you come up with this?
KMJ: I know that the idea of the plot came from a vacation that James and I took to Europe last June where we toured Southern Germany, BUT I actually can't remember whose idea it was to do the box set. It was either James Johnson (my husband and the head publisher at SNP) or Renee Rose. Maybe a mix of the two. James got Renee to spearhead the idea and lead the group. She set up a private facebook group for the lot of us to compare notes and ask questions, and we also had an editor who checked our books for consistency since we tend to use many of the same characters. We all chose characters, and I picked the queen, so I wrote the first 1500 words to explain why the war was going on and up to the point where all these women would be carried off and married instead of... you know... raped. Which was surely the more common practice back then. After that, we all went in our own directions.
JC: Renee Rose spearheading anything is probably the wise move. This type of thing takes some coordination. I know in some of the anthologies I’ve been involved with, where there was a theme running through the stories, there was quite a bit of coordination, and those weren’t nearly as complex as your idea. You’ve got Renee Rose, Sue Lyndon, Dinah McLeod, yourself and Ashe Barker whom, until now, I was not familiar with. How did you come up with such an eclectic group?
KMJ: That was all Renee! She put the team together for us and I was asked to join. I don't know her rhyme or reasoning at all, not even when I was asked to do it, which I hadn't anticipated, even when my husband ran the box set idea by her this last summer. I was definitely present when the idea started, but James and I come up with tons of ideas, but we don't incorporate ourselves into any of them. So it was a cool surprise when I was asked to participate.
JC: Did you talk a lot with the others while you were writing your story, or did you all stay pretty independent once the idea was formed and you wrote the set up—which was great, by the way.
KMJ: Thank you! We did a lot of column A, a little of column B. Mostly we just went for it, except to let people know if we were using each others characters or if they were going to do something crazy. At the end there was a little bit to clear up, like the bad guy getting caught, etc. Our editor had a LOT of patience. There were a lot of things we didn't think to ask each other that our editor had to fix, like people being in the same space without acknowledging each other. So it wasn't perfectly smooth, but for the most part we did our own thing, wrote in our own style, and told our own stories.
JC: And that is where a good editor is worth his or her weight in gold. I can see how very easily a character could show up in a scene, or in room, and what a problem it would be if character #1 didn’t acknowledge character #2. Was the plan to write these in any particular order, or did the editor or publisher decide what order the stories would appear?
KMJ: The editor and publisher is pretty much the same person in this particular case. (Editor meaning content editor not the copy editor--that was another person). So James Johnson decided. Mine had to go first just because I wrote the part where the general of the army grants that they won't rape the women in the kingdom; they would take them as wives. Other than that, he just had to choose the best flow.
JC: Well it works. Can you talk a bit about the stories and what influenced each, if you know? And let's talk about yours specifically. Was the story brewing for you while you were visiting Germany, or later?
KMJ: I don't know what inspired the others. It'd be so cool if the group could just sit down, have a cup of coffee, and talk about that. As it is, we had to work from the internet medium, which is traditionally more brief. I think that's the downfall of internet teams--they lack a lot of personal closeness. It can still be fun, but not like the fun or conversation you'd get from working with someone face-to-face. I definitely got my idea in Germany while I was there. It's hard not to when you get to explore around a castle (especially a non-guided tour when you can just let yourself mull over what you're looking at. Ideas just flow. Especially because it was mostly a vacation, and I tend to be able to relax and actually get creative. Even then, I don't normally plot out a story in its entirety. I think of the characters, the setting, and the situation. The rest just comes out later.
JC: So you've written quite a few books over the years but I understand fans are having a hard time finding them. What's going on?
KMJ: It's tough to get a hold of an eBook copy of Pursuit of Glory, Otherworldly Discipline, Never Submit, Learning to Blush, Christmas Awakening, and Earning a Christmas Bride. The publisher that held those books' rights released them back to me nearly two weeks ago. When those books were published, I didn't have an editor, and I felt like they weren't as polished as my more recent novels with Stormy Night. When I see that I have a new review for one of those older books, I worry that something will be said about the editing. I might know the rules, but I've never been good at editing my own work. I've read those older stories several times, but when I read them I often still find things I’d change for the sake of style or clarity. I think the problem with being one’s own editor is the author knows how they WANT it to be read, not how their audience would actually read it. So sometimes a self-editing author will breeze over a lot of things they would have caught editing someone else's work.
I think that that people who like my books feel like they get nothing but heartburn and indigestion out of me. I keep imagining that they look at my available books and say, "This list is getting shorter, not longer!" despite the release of The Conquered Brides.
I plan to give a couple of the books more of a reboot, anyway. Not just an edit. There are a couple of things I want to flesh out in some, smooth over in others. When I first started writing in 2007, there were some things about novel writing, such as perspective, that I didn't do very well because I didn't grasp some of the rules of writing novels that apply beyond grammar.
JC: I’d love to take a stab at some older work, too. I might follow your lead there. So, the above mentioned books are in your possession, and you plan to re-release them? Your fans are doing a happy dance.
KMJ: I hope so! Because they’re either doing that, or they’re sharpening their pitchforks.
I wouldn't worry too much about that, my friend. Korey, thanks so much for chatting today. This was fun.
The Conquered Brides by Renee Rose, Ashe Barker, Sue Lyndon, Korey Mae Johnson, and Dinah McLeod
When the castle they called home is besieged and ultimately falls, five women are captured and carried off as wives by their foes. Will they be treated as no more than the spoils of war, or can their new lords prove themselves worthy of the love and submission of their conquered brides?
The Conquered Brides is a five-book collection featuring brand-new titles from five top erotic romance authors. This collection includes:
Commanding the Princess, by Korey Mae Johnson
As the ruler of Hohenzollern Castle in name only, Susanna has watched helplessly for years as her power-hungry uncle made one enemy after another for her. One enemy stands out, and the moment she catches sight of him, Princess Susanna is certain that it will be Gerhard of Bavaria who brings her world down around her. As his army smashes through her gates, Susanna makes the only choice she has left. She surrenders herself to Gerhard, hoping to win mercy for her people, though she fears it will come at the cost of her life. But she soon learns that Gerhard has other plans for her, plans which may end with her surrendering much more than just her castle to him.
The Knight’s Seduction, by Renee Rose
Avowed to never again yield to a man’s ill-treatment, Lady Daisy stands ready to fight to the death when her castle is sacked. The imposing knight Sir Barrett has other ideas, however, and to her dismay, Daisy soon finds herself not only disarmed, but soundly spanked as well. Sir Barrett takes her as his captive bride, but when she shows real terror at the prospect of consummating their marriage, he offers her a bargain. She will offer her body to him and accept the pleasurable torments he inflicts, but he will not claim her fully until she aches for it so badly she begs him. Certain she will do no such thing, Daisy agrees, but can she resist the knight’s seduction?
The Widow Is Mine, by Ashe Barker
Since her husband’s untimely passing, Lady Natalia has resigned herself to a quiet life as a young widow and perhaps one day as a nun. But when her adopted home is conquered by the enemy, her world is turned upside down. After he rescues her from the chaos of Hohenzollern’s fall, Duke Stefan of Richtenholst cannot imagine allowing Natalia to languish behind the walls of a convent. The duke takes Natalia home as his wife, and he quickly proves himself ready to compel her obedience when it is necessary, but can he ever truly make her his own?
Conquering Lady Claire, by Sue Lyndon
As Hohenzollern Castle falls, mayhem unfolds around Lady Claire, and her only aim is to lead as many women and children of the castle to safety as possible. In an odd turn of fortune, her courageous efforts ultimately lead to her capture by none other than Lord Galien of Minrova, the very man that her brother, a powerful duke, recently commanded to find her and claim her as his wife. Claire’s defiance is quickly overcome by means of a firm hand applied to her bare bottom, but Galien is not content merely going through the motions of a political marriage. His skilled lovemaking soon leaves his new bride begging for more, but can he conquer her heart as well?
Kidnapped and Claimed, by Dinah McLeod
When her husband’s repeated infidelities and drunken insults become too much to bear, Lady Cecily flees to her childhood home at Hohenzollern, but things quickly go from bad to worse and she is kidnapped from the castle stables only moments after her arrival. Cecily ignores her abductor’s warnings of ruin about to befall Hohenzollern and his claim that he took her from the castle only to keep her safe. She resists him every step of the way, until at last he spanks her long and hard. Despite his firm chastisement, it soon becomes clear to Cecily that her captor cares for her in a way her husband never did. But can she forgive him for stealing her from her home?
Publisher’s Note: The Conquered Brides contains spankings, sexual scenes, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
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Read a Longer Sample of Commanding the Princess by Korey Mae Johnson
Read a Longer Sample of The Knight’s Seduction by Renee Rose
Read a Longer Sample of The Widow is Mine by Ashe Barker
Read a Longer Sample of Conquering Lady Claire by Sue Lyndon
Read a Longer Sample of Kidnapped and Claimed by Dinah McLeod
Jade Cary writes Romantica and Romantic Suspense, on the rocks with a twist. Bottoms up!
SITES I DIG
A FADED ROMANTIC
ALTA HENSLEY, ROMANCE AUTHOR
ART OF AUTHORITY
BASIA ROSE, AUTHOR
BLACK VELVET SEDUCTIONS
BOTTOMS UP BOOK REVIEWS
CARA BRISTOL, AUTHOR
CDD FOR LIFE/PATTY DEVLIN
CELESTE JONES, AUTHOR
THE DISCIPLINED FEMINIST
EMMA K. GARDNER, AUTHOR
FREDDY AND EDDY - A WEBSITE OF ALL COUPLES
THE HAND OF LOVE
HEART AND SOUL
THE IMPROVED CHAUVINIST
KARLA DOYLE, AUTHOR
KOREY MAE JOHNSON, AUTHOR
LAZY DAY PUBLISHING
MY BOTTOM SMARTS
RENEE ROSE, AUTHOR
SADEY QUINN, AUTHOR
SARADORA'S SPANKING FICTION
SUE LYNDON, AUTHOR
TROLLOP WITH A LAPTOP