March 12, 2014

Character Interview: Alice Colvin from Crossing the Lines @mqbarber #RLFblog #contemporary

Crossing the Lines 
Title Crossing the Lines (Neighborly Affection #2)
Genre Contemporary erotic romance
Author M.Q. Barber
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
A safeword won't save her from love.
After six months of cavorting in her neighbors' bed, Alice admits signing the contract to be Henry's sexual submissive is the best decision she's ever made. He delivers on his promise to give her sexual satisfaction. But submitting to his dominance alongside his long-term lover shows her the sharp line between sex and love. Henry loves goofy, eager-to-please Jay. Neither man has promised to love her.
Hiding her feelings grows harder every night she spends with them. As they struggle with wounds old and new, her emotional turmoil threatens to shred their arrangement. Is it time to bow out before they show her the door? Or can a triangle be the shape of true love?

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Interview with Alice Colvin

What is it that you want, but cannot have? Authors call this the conflict of the story.
I want to stop wanting Henry and Jay so much. Not the sex – the sex is great. But it's all arranged, and I'm supposed to follow the rules Henry and I agreed to in our D/s contract. Lately, it just hasn't been enough for me. I see the way Henry treats Jay and I know it's something more for them. I'm just not sure – I mean, maybe I'm ready for that too. But I can't have it, not if it means taking something away from Jay.
What's your internal limitation? Meaning, what is it about you that makes it so you cannot do what it is you need to do during this story?
I need to break things off with Henry and Jay. Or I need to submit more fully to Henry's dominance and trust he knows what's best. It's hard to know which is the right choice. If I just had more data sets to work with, or if I knew the materials – see, metals and plastics are easy. They work in predictable ways. When I design something at work, I have all of the early tests in front of me, I know the tolerances, I understand the shapes and how they function. But people? People are tough. They don't make sense. Henry and Jay are a happy couple. I don't know what I'm doing with them. I don't know where I fit or what my function is – or when it'll come to an end.
What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
That I'm stealing something that isn't mine. Our arrangement is set up so I submit to whatever Henry wants from me every other Friday. It's just sex, right? Super-satisfying, okay, and I'm learning things about myself and what I like that I never would've known if I'd turned Henry down, but it's strictly a sex thing. Henry tells me I need to be honest with him, that a D/s agreement can't function without honesty, but how do I tell him that I have all this emotional junk in my head when I agreed to the sex-only thing in the first place? Henry and Jay are my best friends. I won't ruin their relationship.
Tell us about your significant other, that person who makes living worthwhile.
What, you mean Henry and Jay? They're the significant people in my life, and they're fantastic. Henry makes me forget fears and doubts. When I hand control over to him, I'm free. And Jay is such a sweetheart. He makes me laugh when I need it. But you shouldn't depend on other people to make living worthwhile. You have to make that happen yourself. People change. They leave. Life is what it is. You have to be able to go it alone.
Are you happy with the way your story ended? Why or why not?
Yes and no. I learned a hard lesson that I'm still struggling with. But I'm happy where I am now. I wouldn't trade what I have for anything. I just wish I hadn't gotten what I wanted quite the way I did.

About You: Questions for the writer.
Playing the Game 

Why do you write?
Characters talk to me. Wherever I am, there's a story going on in my head. If I don't write it down, it just goes 'round and 'round like a song on repeat. Writing is how I keep insanity at bay.
What other character from this book do you want to write about? Care to tell us why?
Two characters who show up briefly in Crossing the Lines have been nagging me to tell their stories. They're each struggling with painful emotions that weigh them down. Both would like me to write about the happiest times in their lives. The woman thinks hers are behind her. The man hopes his are ahead of him.
Are any sequels planned for this book?
Yes. Henry, Jay, and Alice weren't quite done with me yet. Their story will continue in June with the third book in the Neighborly Affection series, Healing the Wounds.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your readers?
Thanks so much for inviting Henry, Jay, and Alice into your life! I love being able to share their stories with you. If you want to tell me how I did – good or bad – please email me or come visit me on social media. I'm always thrilled to chat with readers.


  1. I absolutely love this series! Alice is such a strong female character, and, with MQ's guidance, maintains her individuality even in her submission. I hate weak, overly submissive subs and Alice's submission, just like Henry's gentle, even-handed dominance, is a gift that keeps giving. Throw adorable Jay into the mix (he's just the sweetest) and together this trio is unforgettable. Thanks, MQ. I'm addicted to your Neighborly Affection series!

    1. Thank you, LH! Alice is definitely proud of her independence. Henry and Jay have a big job on their hands, teaching her to share in a real relationship. Good thing they're up for it. ;-)

    2. Looks like you have a devoted fan, MQ. That is one glowing review right there. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer! June's not far away now. :-)

  3. I found the first book and could not put it down. I finished it in a day and then bought the second book and read that one in a day. I can't wait for the next episode in Alice, Henry and Jay's story. I feel like I will be missing my friends until the next book is published.

    1. Yay! Thank you, Janet -- I love it when the trio makes friends. My editor and I are checking the final version of book three -- Healing the Wounds -- for typos this week, and I just posted the cover and blurb on my website. It makes me all giddy. :-)


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