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Friday, July 1, 2011

Annie Rayburn and Bittersweet Obsessions 2 GIVEAWAYS!

2 GIVEAWAYS! Annie Rayburn will give to one lucky commenter a download of Bittersweet Obsessions

And ...

Another commenter will receive  downloads of Phantoms & Fantasies --     AND Insight ! These two novellas introduce you to Annie's erotic romances and her special race, the Crainesians. 
 From Bittersweet Obsessions:
" When it comes to love, they believe in one perfect mate, but putting the centuries-old belief to the test could bring them everything they desire.
     In a culture where it’s believed each person has only one life-mate, what happens when yours is beyond your reach? Teriza feels the mating call to a man married to a Human. Unwilling to be the cause of infidelity, Teriza distances herself from her mate after an intense pheromone-charged en
encounter that leaves her in precarious health. She requires treatment and  is sent to a clinic in Switzerland, where sexual surrogates are employed to heal such conditions.
After  Paul Craddock’s life-mate died, he turned to surrogacy to ease the pain of loneliness. His reaction to Teriza surprises him by being more than a casual attraction. He’s intrigued to discover she feels the same. They experiment with the Human way of courtship, but the ultimate bond that Crainesians experience eludes them.
Teriza fears Paul cannot be content with her since he’s experienced heartglow during his previous marriage. Paul worries that the existence of Teriza’s life mate makes him the consolation prize, good enough, but not her first choice.
Though they are falling in love, they’re in uncharted territory without the engulfing pheromone storm of life-mates to guide them. Will they learn to trust their feelings and listen to their hearts before it’s too late?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wouldn't it be nice to dispense with the blind dates, the awkward first kiss, the tentative "I love you's?" and just zoom! Know right off the bat that He's The One?
And as a woman, to be the one in control, to claim your Lifemate in your own time?
This is the Crainesian race that Annie Rayburn has created. She turns the male dominant world of dating and mating on its head with her strong heroines who see the man they want, and have the brains - and the hearts - to win him.
The sex in Bittersweet Obsessions is explicit and it's hot; the plot is complicated; the heartache is lingering; the commitments are tender and intimate and romantic. 
Paul and Teriza's verbal volleys and eventual passion will remain with you for a long while-- in that keeper shelf in your heart and mind, where you call up the journeys of your favorite couples.

Annie Rayburn  is no stranger to the oddities of the writing life. Perhaps it was the hot Texas sun, or the long, lazy days of summer that fueled her vivid imagination. Whatever the muse, she grew up with scenes playing in her head and imaginary playmates taking over the show while she patted out mud cookies dotted with Chinaberries.
The stories she crafts today are decidedly more adult than the ones that involved Ken and Barbie. The scenes still play in her head, the characters argue with her right to craft their very existence, but she’s learned to harness their energies, showing them the way through the sensual haze to a love that will endure.
These days, Annie writes for Red Sage Publishing. Her first release with them is Bittersweet Obsessions, an erotic romance with sci-fi and paranormal elements.


Meet Annie Rayburn, aka Carol Burnside:  

When you were working on your craft, were you also inventing the Crainesian species and world building all this time?
The Crainesian idea actually came to me in a horrific dream. The scene was Zeenie’s rape on Halloween. I saw it happening, felt her fear and outrage and crumpled spirit. I heard her mental scream for help, woke on the verge of tears about 2 a.m. and practically ran to the computer to write it down. I just knew that was a scene which would lead to an emotional story, and (as you know) it became Phantoms & Fantasies. I think it was necessary for me to feel what she went through (or as close as my imagination could take me) in order to understand how to write her as a woman cautiously opening herself up to love after a long recovery.

Insight came about as a way for me to develop the world and people I’d imagined. I fell in love with the Crainesian mating habits when I wrote Sela and Jonavon’s union.
Your Crainesians would turn Spock's world upside down! They're all about passion: physical and emotional. Even so, Sela, Zeenie, and Teriza, are very capable, intelligent, even sassy women. Do all of your heroines have some of you in them? What do Sela, Zeenie, and Teriza share with you?
All our heroines have a bit of us in them, don’t you think? I’d like to believe I’m like them, though I’m not always as confident. And they think of better comebacks than I ever do, dagnabbit! Teriza (Bittersweet Obsessions) was fun to write. She was confused and hurt to discover her life-mate already married, but even when weak and ill, she had sassy thoughts and never wavered from what she wanted from life. I love that about her.
You stand traditional human man/women dating & mating on its head with the Crainesians. I felt a tiny bit sorry for Turk in Phantoms and Fantasies. And same for Paul & Klaus... tsk, poor guys, sexual surrogacy-- such a difficult job! None of your heroes stand a chance against these strong women!
Your plots are much more involved than usual for erotic romances. Everyone is entangled with something, or someone from their past. I like the depth it gives your characters.
Well, thanks! We’re all affected by our pasts and the people we’ve encountered. To what extent is sometimes a surprise. Life is messy and we’re complicated beings, so I figure my characters should be too. Paul, from Bittersweet Obsessions had a background that surprised me. When I first started Bittersweet, I didn’t know he would play such a pivotal role, so I didn’t dwell on him much, but he’s such a big as life character, he grew on me. Until he told his story, I didn’t know what his background was. Such sadness in his life, yet he didn’t dwell on it, didn’t let that define who he was. That’s when I knew who really deserved and needed Teriza’s love.
Where will the next project you're working on be set?
Klaus lives here
Inspiration for you
I’m not sure. I’ve got a non-Crainesian project going and three Crainy ideas brewing. If I write Klaus’ story next, it will be set in Switzerland for at least the beginning. At some point, there might be a Crainesian story in Hawaii, another place I’ve lived.

Thank you  Annie... and Thank YOU, dear Readers, for visiting. Comment, ask a question, or just say Hello for a chance to win one of these downloads. Random.org will choose one winner for Bittersweet Obsessions, and another winner for both shorts:  Insight and Phantoms&Fantasies . psst! <- Those are links to excerpts on Annie's site, plus there's a special deal there! Winners posted Sunday night at 6p.m. 


  1. Looking forward to tomorrow, rather today, but later. I'm excited to meet your blog followers and answer any questions they might have.

    Pamela, thanks so much for your beautiful review of Bittersweet Obsessions. Obviously, you're a writer and I'm thankful, because I got a fabulous quote from this. If you haven't thought about hiring out as a publicist, you should.

    BTW, good news for anyone who wants to buy Phantoms & Fantasies, and doesn't win it here: It's on sale at Smashwords...50% off! :D

  2. Woohoo, Carol, I loved your books! I can't wait for what you have in store for us next!!!

  3. Great post and interview Pamela and Carol! Yes, I do want Pamela as my publicist someday. She does an amazing job. Looking forward to reading Bittersweet Obsessions, Carol. Warmest regards to you both. - Lindy

  4. Great job, ladies! Pamela, thank you for giving Carol another opportunity to share her work with the world and Carol, thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your process! Please don't include me in the drawing; I already own all three books, although I haven't read them yet. That's going to change soon- after today, I can hardly wait!

  5. The premise of Bittersweet Obsession sounds terrific. As a recent divorcee who hasn't been on a date in 40 years, this female-dominated courtship system intrigues me. Maybe I'll win and pick up a few pointers I can adapt to THIS world. LOL!

    Great interview!


  6. Oh, hey, Terry! Thanks for stopping by. Y'all, Terry is a CP of mine and writes award-winning wolf-shifter romances for Sourcebooks. She's also released several books and short stories Indie-style.

  7. Hey, ladies! (waives) Always nice to see my PetitFoursAndHotTamales.com blog sisters, Lindy and Pam. LOL, Pam. Don't know how you're going to pack reading in your day. Good luck with that.

  8. Thanks, Marilyn. I can see where stepping into the dating world again could be daunting. I think my Crainy ladies could give you some pointers, for sure. Good luck on the drawing!

  9. I want Pamela as my publicist, too! She expressed my feelings about Carol's stories beautifully. What an enticing world Annie (Carol) has created!

    No need to enter me in the contest. I already have all three books. :)

  10. Thanks for commenting, Linsey. I guess I'll have to write faster so you have another story to read. ;)

  11. Huge happy dance here! These books are on my holiday weekend reading list... So can't wait.

    Love the interview, Carol and Pamela!!! I totally thought Carol was a plotter, too. Goes to show ya...grin...

    Best of luck with that garden. I tip my hat to anyone who gardens. It is a lot more work than us sideliners really know.


  12. Tami, it is so cool for me to know that my friends and colleagues are reading my books. Kinda nerve-wracking too. There's always the fear y'll won't love the world I created as much as I do. However...when I think of all the hawt-hawt guys in these books (especially Bittersweet, which has 4!) I'm pretty sure you'll at least like it. ;)

    Just came out of the garden from gathering produce. Cut our first mini-watermelon today! That'll go great with a cook-out, right?

  13. If anyone would like to read excerpts from Bittersweet Obsessions, I have two posted on my website here:
    and here:

    Just copy/paste into your browser.


  14. What a wonderful review and interview! LOL. I love Annie's books and she has successfully created the Crainesian world.

    I'm sure whatever Annie publishes next will be just as hot and satisfying!

  15. Hugs, Liz and thanks for your faith in me. It means a lot.

    I still can't get used to that phrase, "I love Annie's books", but I'll keep trying. (Big fat grin.)

  16. Hi, Annie, your books sound amazing! I can't wait to try them!

  17. @Pavarti: Oh, good. My books have that. :)

    @B Snow: I'm glad you think so, B. Thanks!

  18. These books look amazing. I can't wait to read them!

  19. @lisasossamanbooks: Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  20. Can't wait to dive into the Crainesian world! The books look fantastic.

  21. Wow! Lots of people just getting to know Annie's genius! Let's spread the word... we need More Crainesians! Because once you get hooked on this series, you have to have more!

    Giveaway's up through the weekend ya'll!

  22. Passing this along from e-mail rec'd this morning:
    I'm still in New York and have been trying forever to figure out how to post a comment on Pamela's blog but can't seem to do it remotely from my Blackberry but wanted you and Pamela to know I read and enjoyed it. If you can figure out a way to post a comment for me here it is.

    Pamela, thank you for a wonderful write-up about Carol's books. Carol is a wonderful person and writer and all of her blogging sisters at the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales wish her a world of success.

    Marilyn Baron
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

  23. Hmm.... Shall we extend this giveaway so our NYC travelers have a chance to get home & recover & comment to win??

    I Do Believe WE WILL!

    Giveaway extended thru Sunday 10 pm, thru Random.org...
    Winners announced Monday 12:01AM....

    Good Luck!

  24. Hey, Hunter Romance. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll give my Crainy's a try and let me know what you think of them.

  25. Michele Strangis Stefanides
    Thanks for the interview, Pamela. I enjoyed hearing about how Annie creates such real characters. You know it's a good story when you could take away all the "steaminess" (although please don't!) and still like the story!

  26. What a sweet compliment, Michele! Thanks and rest assured the steaminess will stay. :D


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