Since Randi Alexander is all about the 5 things *grin*, I’m going to talk about my top 5 favorite books and how they have shaped me as a writer. Let me just say that while I write erotic romance, these books aren’t erotic. Most of my reading material isn’t. I find it keeps me fresh to read books that aren’t in the genre I write.


1. Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher—this books is an epic tale of a family in pre-WWII era. Think Downton Abbey. It’s rich with description and characterization—two of my favorite writing devices


2. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice—I love all of Anne Rice’s novels, but this one really stands out to me. Again, this book has something in common with #1. It is chockfull of description. You can see the vines clinging to the side of the old house in New Orleans. I also love the history behind the family.


3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens—this is one of those books I used to read every year. Of course, this is pre-offspring and several jobs. Are you sensing a trend in my favorite books? Dickens is known for his amazing characterization and detail in his writing.


4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott—I’ve always been a huge fan of historical writing. I lose myself in words we don’t use today, and revel in the simplicity of characters. Also, the timelessness of the problems. Money, illness, social classes.


5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon—while this first book was disturbing on a lot of levels with Black Jack’s character, I do love the series. The world becomes so vivid and you love Jamie so much, you can’t imagine ever giving him up, just like Claire.


I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about what books are never dusty on my shelf. I’ll leave you with an excerpt from SLICK RIDER, available from Loose Id ( )




Physical therapy assistant Lilly’s job is to keep rodeo star Juss Rossie off his injured leg and from using his bad shoulder to rope more buckle bunnies. Trouble is she wants—just for once in her life—to be one of those rodeo gals who gets the cowboy. Pushing him to the limits of his therapy will take some creative maneuvering, and she finds he responds in the yummiest ways.


Juss hates like hell to be laid up with injuries and off the back of a bull. But being at the mercy of therapist Lilly is torture—especially when she gets in the pool, on the mat, or crawls into bed with him. Can he recover from her mind-blowing advances without losing his heart?


JUSS STARED AT Lilly out of the corner of his eye. He hated being at the mercy of anyone, let alone a woman who weighed 120 pounds. The fact that she could maneuver him with such finesse grated on his self-esteem. He felt puny enough since his surgery without needing her help to get out of beds and wheelchairs.


She wheeled him down a small slope into the water.


The chlorine of the pool stung his eyes, and he raised his good hand to rub them. Damn these injuries. He’d taken on Bushwhacker before and never been thrown. For the two-thousandth time he replayed the ride—palm strapped to the saddle, arm upraised to compensate for whip. Knees locked and heels perfectly placed in stirrups. He shook his head. There’d been nothing unusual about the ride. His friends called it a freak accident.


“Let’s start ranging this shoulder.” Lilly removed the sling, took his wrist and forearm, and began to gently manipulate his arm. The buoyancy helped lessen the pain.


“Let me just get into a better position.” She sank to her knees before him, submerging herself to the collarbones.


Oh, sweet Jesus. His shaft jumped in his wet boxers. Being injured meant no sexy girls in his bed, and he couldn’t whack off right-handed.


“I used to swim fifty laps a day. Now I can’t even do this.” He raised his arm a fraction and winced.


She cocked a brow at him. Water slicked her golden shoulders, and he stared at each soft curve, wondering how she’d feel under him. His balls ached.


“First of all, cowboy, what did I tell you about flapping that arm like a chicken? The bone running over your shoulder from your clavicle is damaged too. If you don’t listen to my instruction, you won’t heal properly.”


He rolled his eyes. “I’m made of tougher stuff than most of your patients.”


She laughed, the sound echoing in the space. The throaty tinkle tugged invisible strings on his groin, and his shaft stood at straining attention.


He ground his molars. Christ, she was inches away. If his cock bobbed forward, it would skim her swimsuit.


The erotic notion only added to the fire. Through hooded eyes, he studied her.


He didn’t know if one could call her pretty so much as interesting. She wore her whiskey-colored waves long and loose, and her brows were a shade darker, arching over hazel eyes. Her nose was upturned, and her forehead was slightly broad while her chin was small. When she smiled, a line that wasn’t quite a dimple cut into her cheek.


She wasn’t anything like the Buckle Bunnies he was used to. Those girls were powdered and primped, bleach blondes in clothing so tight they could hardly draw breath.


I’m just interested because she’s the only woman in front of me right now.


Even as he thought it, he knew he was being unfair. He didn’t really believe it. No, if he spotted Lilly in an arena, he might run over to the stands to say howdy. He couldn’t quit looking at her.


She finished ranging his arm and reached for his knee. He jerked, and his cock swelled. Letting out a hiss like a deflating tire, he prayed he didn’t embarrass himself.


Hell, when had he ever cared about such a thing? He’d been known to walk nekkid through a hotel lobby to demand more towels. He sure as hell could handle being close to a girl in a prim swimsuit.


Gently, she swished his lower leg back and forth. “Are you having any discomfort?”


“Fuck, yeah.” Not the kind she meant. If he didn’t get some relief from his raging hard-on soon, he was going to start bellowing for Buckle Bunnies.


Thanks for reading! And huge thanks to Randi for hosting me!


Em Petrova

~hardworking heroes—in bed and out~


4 comments to “Five Books That Influenced Em Petrova’s Writing”

  1. ki pha
    August 13th, 2013 at 12:41 am · Link

    Great excerpt. And these authors on your shelf are new to me and they sound great. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Clare O'Beara
    August 13th, 2013 at 3:09 am · Link

    Some of your inspirations sound so conservative, and then you team them with Anne Rice! It shows that we all have many sided personalities and this is well expressed in your writing.

  3. Harlie Williams
    August 13th, 2013 at 7:30 am · Link

    I’m surprised that you don’t read the genre that you write in but I can completely understand why you would read historical novels. There is something about the richness of the settings, characters and also the depth of emotions that come out in historical novels. I’m a big Dumas fan and I’ve read different versions of The Three Musketeers (abridged, translated from the original text, and unbridged) and each is different in its own way.


  4. Mel Bourn
    August 13th, 2013 at 4:40 pm · Link

    I haven’t read all of those, but Outlander is definitely one of my favorites. That was one of the first I have read. Great list.

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