Spotlight, Excerpt, Author Interview, Review & Giveaway : Flashes of Me: An Erotic Novella by Cynthia Sax

Book Blurb & Info

She longs to be watched…
He can’t bear to look away

Henley, the head of cyber security at Blaine Technologies, is a man no sane person crosses. He watches employees constantly using his network of cameras and enforces his rules by any means possible. Henley strives to protect everything in sight but rumors of his violent past, his scarred hands and huge size have resulted in him being feared by everyone… almost everyone.

In walks Katalina, the perky intern with a bright taste for fashion. Kat has made a big move across the country to escape her past, and comes alive at the first touch of Henley. Though she fears the revelation of her most painful secret much more than she fears Henley’s wrath, she sees the loneliness in his dark eyes, feels the gentleness in his marred fingers, and tastes the need in his kisses. She knows he watches her, and her only. His silly rules about not stripping for the cameras and no sex at the office are destined to be broken…it’s only a matter of time.

But can this beauty…
tame her beastly boss?

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Book Excerpt

“I think we’re on the quiet floor,” I observe. No one else is talking.

Camille’s walk is defiant. “We’ll change that.” She pauses in front of the stairwell. “Stairs?”

“Ummm . . .” I thought the human resources lady said something about the stairwells being for emergency use only, but I hadn’t been paying close attention to her monotonous spiel. I was too worried about not being chosen. “Sure.”

We clomp down the stairs, our heels ringing against the concrete. The supremely clean and brightly lit stairwell smells of stinky socks, the stale air making me dizzy. Camille appears unaffected by the stench. As we descend, she sings happily, her song choices being a collection of increasingly vulgar hip-hop songs.

We reach the second floor and Camille tugs on the door. It doesn’t open. She scans her passcard over a small black security box. The light remains red. “S**t on a stick.” She scans it again. Nothing happens. “Unbelievable,” she fumes.

“Let me try.” I wave my passcard over the sensor. The light remains red and Camille curses. Her vocabulary makes me blush and, as I’m a native New Yorker, that’s an impressive feat for her to accomplish. “We’ll try the ground floor,” I suggest.

We trudge down to the ground floor. This door is locked also. Camille tries her passcard. It doesn’t work, prompting another stream of colorful language from my new friend. I try my passcard. It’s as useless as Camille’s.

“We’re stuck.” I state the obvious, slapping the metal door, ignoring Camille’s ranting. “Do you have a phone?”

“Do I look like I have a phone?” Camille pivots in a circle, her arms outstretched. “Besides we’re in freakin’ Fort Knox.” She pats one of the walls. “These babies must be shielded to hell and back.”

“The doors are thick also.” I slap the metal door again, my palm stinging with the impact. “Hey.” I gaze upward. “They have cameras.” I point at the black lens positioned above us. “Security must be monitoring the stairwells.” I wave my arms at the camera. “They’ll send help.”

“If they’re real cameras, they’ll send help,” Camille scoffs. “Didn’t you hear about that girl in Westwood? She was trapped in a stairwell for four whole days. That stairwell had cameras too: fake cameras, installed to discourage thieves. She ate her fingernails down to bloody nubs.”

“Four days,” I repeat, staring up at the camera. It looks real, but I guess that’s the point. Fake-looking cameras wouldn’t fool thieves. “We could pull the fire alarm.”

“If we do that, we’ll get ourselves fired.” Camille shakes her head. “They’ll evacuate the building and we’ll look like dumb a****. Oh.” Her face becomes animated. “I could pick the lock.”

I stare at her. “Can you do that?”

“I’ve picked locks before.” She beams, acting as though this is a skill to be admired. “Let me have a look.” Camille shoves me out of the way. She examines the door, rattling the handle and poking her fingernail into the lock. “Do you have a piece of wire?”

The only piece of wire I have is attached to my bra. “Wait a second.” I unbutton my blazer for the second time today, unhook my bra, and pull it through the armholes. Jiggling the underwire, I try to poke it through the fabric. “I need scissors.”

“If we had scissors, I could jimmy the door open.” Camille eyes the lock. “And our problems would be solved.”

“You scare me.” I bite my bra, tearing the lace, and slide the wire out of the cup. “Here’s your pick, as I believe you criminals call it.”

“A few minor misdemeanors does not make one a criminal,” Camille mutters, taking the wire from me.

“Actually, I believe it does.” I sit down on the steps, the concrete cool under my ass.

“I freed information.” Camille straightens the wire and inserts the end into the lock. “This is America. Freeing information shouldn’t be a misdemeanor.”

“Sure, sure, tell it to the judge.” I watch her work, hoping to learn something.

Minutes pass. I don’t know anything about picking locks, but I do know how to read people and Camille is struggling with her assigned task, her curses growing louder and more colorful.

“Are you sure you’ve done this before?” I lean back on the stairs, spinning my bra around the tip of my right index finger. This is much more interesting than shredding paper.

“I’m not deliberately screwing the pooch,” Camille snaps. “This is a high-end lock.”

“Thank you,” a deep voice drawls, the low tones originating from behind me. “We try our best.”

I shriek, jump to my feet, and turn, dropping my bra. The behemoth from the park catches the lavender lace before it touches the floor, twisting the flimsy garment in his tanned fingers. Lightning flashes in his dark eyes. His square chin juts.

He’s big and sexy and impossible to resist so I don’t even try. I fling myself against his massive body, wrap my arms around his waist, and bury my face in his black cotton shirt. “You’re here. You somehow knew we needed help and you came to our rescue.” He’s warm, his body heat engulfing me, and he smells good, his lemon-and-cedar cologne filling my nostrils.

My mystery man stiffens, not moving for three agonizing heartbeats, and then he stuffs my bra into the front right pocket of his pants and hooks his arms around me. “I’ve got you, kitten,” he says softly, the words rolling up his chest, his body hard, not an ounce of give on his big physique. “You’re safe.” He rubs my back, his stroking reviving the passion I thought sated.

“You knew where to find me.” I snuggle deeper into his enormous form. “It’s as though we’re connected.” My parents have this same connection and their relationship lasted. Will our relationship last also? I tilt my head back and meet my stranger’s gaze. His eyes are the darkest brown, almost black. “How did you know where I was? Did you feel it in your heart?” I place one of my palms over that area on his chest.

“No.” His lips flatten. “I saw you on the security cameras.”

Toot's Review

Flashes of Me is a wonderful erotic contemporary romance by Cynthia Sax. It's the story of Katrina Volkov, who's beloved maga-mogul father has recently passed. To escape her grief and the insistent outpouring of sympathizers, she's moved to the other side of the nation in order to go incognito for awhile. While unhealthily dealing with her grief on her own, she also decides to get a job but unfortunately she has no work experience except what she learned by osmosis at her father's company. Her work skills are very limited, so she decides to apply for an internship at the next best thing, the company who's buying her fathers. Yeah, not the brightest bulb in the shed but she is literally crazy with grief and has kinda spun a cocoon around herself out of desperation.

While waiting for coffee before her first ever interview, she notices a behemoth of a man also getting coffee. Immediately she is attracted to him. He's dark, dangerous and defiantly a beast of a man. She's in love! Now how does she get his attention? Well, how do you get any man's attention when you're not really in your right mind, crazy with grief and you want to just live in a happy, sun-shiney world a little longer? YOU FLASH HIM!!! Hence the title, LOL.

Yes, the heroine is a little out there, yes, the hero is a huge, huge hunk of a man and yes, the premise is a little watery but all that aside, I loved this novella. It's scorching hot, it's full of fun colorful characters and full of the "love at first sight" warm gooiness we love so much. It also has an underlying theme of Beauty and the Beast.

All my fanciful verbiage aside, it's a fun read with heartache, true love and super hot office sex. Oh and it has lots of voyeurism which is the premise for Cynthia's series.

All in all, I loved it!


Hi Cynthia,

Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about your new novella Flashes of Me and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.

So first off, Flashes of Me Questions.......

In your own words, what is Flashes of Me about?

Flashes of Me is a modern sexy twist on Beauty and the Beast. Henley, the hero, is the huge, scarred head of cybersecurity at Blaine Technologies. Employees are scared of him, avoiding him in the hallways, leaving the elevator when he enters. Kat, a new intern, is more frightened of Henley learning her deepest, darkest secret, than she is frightened of the man himself.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

Flashes Of Me has several different meanings. Kat, the heroine, flashes. She exposes her body to strangers on trains, in the park, and other public places. She does this because her body is one of the only things she has control over and because…well, as any Mardi Gras party goer will tell you, flashing is fun. Kat also reveals her inner soul to Henley in flashes. Her past is painful for her and she can’t deal with long conversations about it. She flits to and from the topic.

Is Flashes of Me a standalone book or will it be part of a series?

Flashes of Me can be read as a standalone book but it is set in the same world as The Seen Trilogy (He Watches Me, He Touches Me, He Claims Me). Henley, the hero, appears very briefly in that trilogy. The third story, Breaking All The Rules, will release in April. This will be Camille’s (aka Goth girl’s) story.

For fans of the genre, what's unique about your story?

Flashes Of Me is written from Kat’s point of view only. She’s in denial about a tragedy in her past. Many of the other characters know about this tragedy but, because Kat won’t accept it, she doesn’t share the truth with readers. So yes, it is a Beauty and the Beast story but it is also so much more.

What was your favorite scene to write for either your hero or heroine in Flashes of Me?

There are so many great scenes. I think one of my favorites is when Kat and Camille get stuck in the stairwell. Their banter and creative solution makes me laugh. Kat’s reaction to Henley’s arrival is both sexy and humorous. It shows the soft, protective side of Henley.

What was the hardest scene to write?
It was very tough to write the scene where Kat finally accepts the event in her past. I cried writing it. I cried when I was completing the edits for it. I cry every time I read it. There’s a huge chunk of my soul in this story.

What's your favorite line or quote from this book?

Toward the end of Flashes Of Me, Henley says “Today’s not a day to be Mr. Nice Monster.”

I love this line because Henley is using his scary reputation, which in the past was something he wasn’t proud of, to protect Kat, the woman he loves. Instead of being a weakness, it is now a strength.


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?

I’ve always written. I wrote daily in a diary. I wrote for a daily and weekly newspaper. I wrote blog posts. I decided to pursue writing as a career when I placed second in a romance writing contest. I then realized that other readers might enjoy my stories.

What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?

I write for myself. I submit my stories to publishers for reading buddies. I’m a pantser, someone who doesn’t know the plot until she starts writing, so writing the story down is the only way I can find out what happens.

What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?

Cynthia Sax runs on Nutella. (grins) Characters are important to me. I usually build a story around one character. Every other character reflects some aspect of this main character.

Are you a Plotter or a Panster?

I’m a pantser. I don’t have a plot when I sit down at the blank screen. I know my characters well. We’ve sat back, had some lemonade and Nutella, chatted until the wee hours of the morning. I know their fears, their dreams, their secrets. I usually also have a first scene. Then I let the characters take over. It is magic.

Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?

I likely should have released my contemporary and SciFi erotic romances under different pen names. That would have been intelligent, too intelligent clearly for me. (grins) I tell reading buddies if there’s a sexy alien or a planet on the cover, it is likely one of my SciFi stories.

Toot is an official Avon Addict and so we'd love to know how you became an Avon author?

Yay! (hugs Toot) I love Avon Addicts! I also love Avon stories. Always have. Always will. When Tessa, my fabulous editor at Avon, said she was looking for a sexy serial, I pitched her The Seen Trilogy. She loved the idea, requested the story, and one of my writing dreams came true.

What's next for you?
Breaking All The Rules, Camille’s story, will release in April. I’m now writing a 12 novella serial for Avon. The first novella (approximately 100 pages) in Sinful Rewards will release in July. I’m super stoked about this story. I think reading buddies will love it.

Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your current and future fans?

My stories will never bore you. Every story is different. You’ll love some stories more than you’ll love other stories, but you will always be entertained. That’s pretty much a guarantee.

Personal questions......

Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing characters in this book, who is your favorite character and why?

I do love Camille (aka Goth girl). She appears in The Seen Trilogy (He Watches Me, He Touches Me, He Claims Me), Flashes Of Me, and her own story—Breaking All The Rules. I never know what Camille will say or do. She’s always getting into mischief and saying the most inappropriate things. I have a weak spot for her because she acts so tough yet she’s the best friend any girl could ever have.

What actor/entertainer do you envision playing your fav in a movie or TV adaption?

Camille has green hair, tattoos and multiple piercings. She also has a whole lot of attitude. I don’t know who would have the spine to play her… maybe a Hunger Games tough Jennifer Lawrence??

What would be the perfect date for the two main characters?

Kat has promised Henley she’d cook for him so they’d likely have a steamy evening at home. There would be cameras though. (grins) And maybe unicorns. Kat will force Henley to eat his broccoli and reward him with a sexy striptease.

If the book had to have a theme song, what would it be?

Kat really wants to be happy so Pharrell Williams’ Happy would be the perfect song. It is a bubbly and upbeat song.

Lastly , let's steal an idea from the magazines.....What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the book?

That’s a toughie. I don’t keep very many secrets from reading buddies. Anything running through my brain usually ends up on the internet. How about 1) the ending of my next story 2) what I’ll be writing in 2015 3) if I’ll ever figure out how to bake Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 4) when I will next attend a writing conference and 5) if I’ll ever run out of truly terrible puns. I don’t know any of these things so reading buddies likely don’t either. (If they do, I hope they’ll email me)

5 things fans don’t know about Flashes Of Me are 1) Kat’s secret 2) Kat is Mr. Volkov’s niece (Mr. Volkov appears in The Seen Trilogy) 3) Henley knows more about Kat than she thinks he does 4) Camille knows more cuss words than Kat and Kat was born and raised in New York City, and 5) the color of the cover plays an important role in the story.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it!

Author Info

CYNTHIA SAX lives in a world filled with magic and romance. Although her heroes may not always say “I love you,” they will do anything for the women they adore. They live passionately. They play hard. They love the same women forever.

Cynthia has loved the same wonderful man forever. Her supportive hubby offers himself up to the joys and pains of research, while they travel the world together, meeting fascinating people and finding inspiration in exotic places such as Istanbul, Bali, and Chicago.

Please visit her on the web at

Three winners will have a chance to win a digital copy of HE WATCHES ME, the utterly sexy first part of the Seen serialized trilogy by Cynthia.
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