Interview with Wilkie Martin, Author of Razor

What can you tell us about your new release, Razor?

It is a dark comedy with a pinch of fantasy about a man calling himself Razor who is riddled with guilt after the death of his wife. When an attempted suicide is foiled, he realises he lacks the courage to try again and comes up with a brilliant plan—he hopes to end his life by heroically rescuing vulnerable people in danger. To his annoyance, a pair of mysterious strangers befriend him and keep getting in the way and as life stumbles on, he comes to realise there was more to his wife’s death than was apparent. He can’t find out what it was unless he stays alive, and someone wants him out of the way.

Although it changed course during the writing, Razor began as a sort of anti-Jack Reacher character, a world-weary hero lacking special skills, knowledge and courage.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always enjoyed stories and took to reading them from the moment I could make the written word make sense. When I was a child, my favourite part of the day at school was the time when we were given free rein to write our own and the impulse has always been there. Probably every book I’ve ever read has inspired me, but reading Tolkien as an adolescent had a massive impact. Having to work and getting into scuba diving took up too much of my time and I wrote little for too many years until I noticed the local college was running creative writing classes. I signed up, enjoyed it, learned a lot and decided writing was what I wanted to do.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I’ve read so many great books that singling out a top 5 seems mean to the rest of them! In addition, some authors such as Terry Pratchett, Tom Sharpe and Dickens wrote so many that it’s difficult to pick a favourite. However, here’s this week’s top five best books: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham, The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I’d love to talk to Neil Gaiman, who seems to have an unlimited imagination. I’d ask him about graphic novels because he appears to be a master of the form and I don’t really understand their appeal. What am I missing, Neil?

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The part where the characters dictate that the plot must move in a totally unexpected direction. For me, that’s when an abstract set of ideas starts to become a story. I also enjoy it when a draft has been re-written and edited to the point where it suddenly feels like a novel.

What is a typical day like for you?

Too many years working in an office got to me and I tend to work between 9 in the morning and 6 in the evening, though most days I also take some exercise and have a walk to ensure I am not too sedentary. At weekends, I tend not to write much, and find a break can allow new ideas to flower.

What scene in Razor was your favorite to write?

The one where Razor encounters a mentally unstable homeless man sheltering beneath a bridge. The poor man is terrified by a black-clad demon that Razor just can’t see, but Razor uses the opportunity to find a clue to a bloody murder.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Not really, but I’ve always liked this one from Terry Pratchett: ‘They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.’

Wilkie Martin is the author of the new book Razor.

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Interview with Cece Whittaker, Author of Angels in the Rough

What can you tell us about your new release, Angels in the Rough?

In Angels in the Rough, Joan, Annie, Helen, and Bernice are trying to move on with their lives as their true loves return from service in World War II. But the men are still fighting for those same things at home that they fought for abroad, in different ways. Their distraction from the women and preoccupation with life’s basics creates great frustration for Annie and Joan, who are so longing for romance. Their disappointment reaches a wild combination of distress and hilarity when an urgent need for their help changes everything. Very much on the lighter side, this fourth book in the Serve Series is about people’s connections and how comedic everyday life can be. But also it celebrates the importance of being true to oneself through the daily struggle of making the grade.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

It’s hard to know exactly what led me to writing, but it was probably the hours of listening to Mom’s funny character voices as she read us stories like Henry Huggins, Ellen Tibbets, Tom Sawyer, and Grimm’s Faery Tales. Dad had the same funny voice for each character which amused us all to no end. He liked to read unusual stories such as Slovenly Peter, the Cat Who Walked Alone, and Treasure Books, which for some reason he always referred as “Treasure Boxes.” Those experiences were kind of the lift-off point of wanting to create something good myself.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

The World of Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse
The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich
The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne
The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis
Hank the Cowdog Series, John R. Erickson

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I would probably ask the ghost of P.G. Wodehouse how he found so many unsavory situations in which to put poor Bertie Wooster, and if he had any help coming up with all of the miraculous solutions his Jeeves routinely brought about.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Writing fiction is my gateway to making life how I want it to be. It gets me to that kind of humorous Eutopia where my characters’ focus is on following instinct, finding the right answer, listening to love, and listening to God, and give us a lot to laugh about in the process.

What is a typical day like for you?

One of these days, I’m thinking I’ll have a typical day! Generally I have a coffee, play with the dogs then go into my office or somewhere in the car to work. I love to work in public place for the multitude of ideas one gets from being “a fly on the wall.” At least once a week I meet a friend for lunch and laughter in one of our luscious diners in New Jersey.

What scene in Angels in the Rough was your favorite to write?

I don’t even have to stop and think about this answer! I was working with two of the characters, Joan and Annie, who are both a little frustrated with their romantic situations. I was remembering the way one of my sisters used to slam around the kitchen when she was mad, and we’d kid her that she was acting like our grandmother, who used to wash dishes and stack them into the dish drainer so hard that you could hear the clanking all the way through the house. Of course that kind of kidding only made my sister angrier. And that’s what happened to poor Joan as she tried to make herself a calming cup of tea. The stove wasn’t working, and in her anger she showered herself in cold water from the kettle, and then miss-stepped and actually fell down onto the kitchen floor. When Annie comes in right after that, she can’t see Joan on the floor because she’s on the far side of the table, and Annie also slips in the water, pulling both the table and the tablecloth down on top of her. Just as she lands, and discovers that she’s got company, their friend Bernice walks in and discovers them. I don’t know if that ever happened later in my sister’s life, but Joan gave me a great way to revisit those days and create a comical scene which still makes me laugh!

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I think my philosophy which I try live by, not always successful there, is “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven,” which is a quotation from the Bible, by the Gospel writer, Matthew. Basically, to me it means put only your best foot forward, and take the time to make the right decisions, however hard that may be.

Cece Whittaker is the author of the new book Angels in the Rough.

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Interview with Emma Hart, Author of Frenemies

What can you tell us about your new release, Frenemies?

It’s a super fun romantic comedy about what happens when your old college booty call moves in next door—except he’s now got a three-year-old daughter. There’s a prank war, a naughty puppy, and a meddling Grandma who likes to read obituaries over breakfast.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always loved books and reading, but I didn’t start to write until I was at home with my daughter when she was a baby. My husband came home from work one day and said, “My God, why don’t you write a book instead of reading one?” So I did, and the rest is history. He’s never let me live that down.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Oh, gosh. This is cruel. If I just pick any five of the Harry Potter books, does that count?
If not, these are the ones that have stuck with me: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone for US readers), The Twins at St Clare’s by Enid Blyton, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Oh without a doubt: JK Rowling. I would ask her ALL the things about Harry Potter, the world building, the little nuggets that all tie in to something wonderful. But I’d probably cry first.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

That I’m creating a world that people can escape into. Good days, bad days, long days—the end product of all the hard work is a world where people can forget all their problems and immerse themselves into.

What is a typical day like for you?

Hectic! After my kids have gone to school and my kittens have been fed, I catch up on some emails/admin work. When my husband gets back from the school run, we discuss advertising and other data (he’s my ads/numbers guy, that stuff goes right over my head!) and then I’ll head out to my office and start writing. My assistant usually wakes up around my lunchtime since I’m in the UK, so I’ll check in with her on all things publicity, then get back to work writing or getting her some things that she needs to do her job. When my kids get home, it’s all about them until they head upstairs after dinner, and depending on where I am in a writing cycle, one off three things happens: write some more, do some graphic design work, or read/play Pokémon or The Sims to unwind.

What scene in Frenemies was your favorite to write?

Hands down the book club scene where Mason joins. I have a terrible habit of laughing at myself as I write, and this was one scene I found hilarious to put on paper.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I don’t have anything specific—I actually have an entire wall of quotes that I need to put up in my new office since we just moved, but I do believe that nothing in life worth having comes easily, and that if you can dream it, you can do it.
Also: wine always helps.

Emma Hart is the author of the new book Frenemies.

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Interview with J.S. Hudson, Author of Enhanced

What can you tell us about your new release, Enhanced?

I consider Enhanced to be my best novel to date. It’s about four friends in high school that are struggling to reach their goals, and through dire circumstances, they happen upon the chance to become cybernetically enhanced. This seems like a cure-all. But as their goals draw nearer, their relationships with each other become more and more distant. Focussing on escalating issues with their parents and peers while attempting to control their new abilities consumes them. Meanwhile, they have no idea about the magnitude of danger they’re in, or who is hunting them down.

There was a lot of turmoil in my life during the writing of Enhanced and it spilled out onto the pages. I set out to write just a good sci-fi thriller, but my heart literally bled into a few of the scenes. Although it’s a Y.A. novel – not graphic or disturbing, it’s a deeply emotional book for me, and I hope the parts that moved me, move you as well.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I believe my inspiration to write comes originally from a gift placed inside me by God. I’m not saying that I’m special, because we all have different gifts – mine just happens to be telling stories. One thing that appeals to me about writing is the longevity of a finished work and the ability of stories to teach without teaching. There’s a saying that a smart man learns from his own mistakes but a wise man learns from others mistakes. In other words, the characters in a book are those “others” and we can learn a lot by reading about them.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

My favorite books are the old Dungeons & Dragons paperbacks of my youth, the theology of C.S. Lewis, and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

If I was the host of a literary talk show, my first guest would be Stephen King. I would ask him to plan out my next ten years of writing across the airwaves for accountability’s sake.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The thing I love most about writing, is the ability to bring to life characters that you’d like to know personally or possibly defeat in battle – also places you’d like to visit or possibly flee from. It’s not a God complex, but the satisfaction over the worldbuilding aspect of writing might originate upstairs.

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me is a constant struggle against distraction. For me, passion only gets me so far, but self-discipline is my very best friend. I wake up and write as much as I can, usually around 1500-2500 words on a good day. The rest of my hours consist of trying to slip in marketing, media, and more writing, amidst my other, sometimes more important, responsibilities. I try to go to bed with either chocolate, black licorice, or candied ginger, but more often than not it’s just minty toothpaste and a cool pillow.

What scene in Enhanced was your favorite to write?

My favorite scene in Enhanced, believe it or not, is a scene with Ashley (The girl on the cover) at a restaurant with her mom. They haven’t seen each other for a while because of an awkward separation from Ashley’s father. There’s a huge elephant in the room as they exchange pleasantries, but they’re unable to stave off an inevitable blowout. Good stuff…

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I’d say my motto in life right now is “If you’re gonna fail, fail with friends.” Failure is inevitable, but if we don’t let the shame of failure isolate us, and instead, latch on to those who love us, we can go through seasons of failure much easier and much more quickly, too.

J.S. Hudson is the author of the new book Enhanced.

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Interview with Jeffrey L. Kohanek, Author of Wizardoms: Eye of Obscurance

What can you tell us about your new release, Wizardoms: Eye of Obscurance?

Eye of Obscurance is the first book in the Fate of Wizardoms epic, a tale of magic, intrigue, and twisted executions of many beloved epic fantasy tropes. It is an assassination/heist story that takes place in a world ruled by wizards and the ambitious vie for thrones able to grant the power of a god. Book one sets the table for a sprawling, epic adventure told in a modern, fast-paced style.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have always had a desire to create and fulfilled that need in various ways over the years including, drawing, painting, home remodeling, or building things. In 2014, my kids were nearing the end of high school, and I found myself with spare time I had previously lacked. That was when I decided to leverage the creative writing courses I had taken years earlier, and I began to write.

I now have over a million words published, and I recently retired from my day job to write full-time.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

While there are many fantasy series I adore, the one I found most gripping and remains my favorite is Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I wish we could have more books in that world, particularly if they featured Mat Cauthon.

With Fate of Wizardoms, I set out to write something in a similar vein but with a roguish character as the central figure and told with much faster pacing. I am not about to write 1,000-page doorstops like Jordan did. It doesn’t match my action-oriented storytelling style.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

It would be great to interview Brandon Sanderson so I could ask him about things hinted upon in his Stormlight Archives series. Brandon is among my favorite authors. He has had a significant impact on my writing style and approach to magic systems.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I am a storyteller by nature and fulfilling that need through novels is wonderful, but in the end, it all comes down to characters. I truly enjoy experiencing my stories through the eyes of my characters. In fact, they often do things that surprise me and take the story in places I wouldn’t have guess until it happened.

What is a typical day like for you?

I get up with the sun, eat breakfast and catch up on social media/internet happenings for about an hour. Then, I write. I often take a late morning break to work out, eat lunch, and am back to writing. I follow that up with the business aspects of being an author, such as managing ads, booking promos, and crafting my author newsletter where I share insights and free stuff with my fans. By then, I am ready for dinner and get to spend time with my family or friends. When I can, I fill in “free time” with reading, watching movies, and playing video games.

What scene in Wizardoms: Eye of Obscurance was your favorite to write?

While the heart-pumping action and spectacular magic are fun, I particularly enjoy witty banter between characters. One of my favorite scenes in this story is when the other main characters discover that Jace is really Jerrell Landish, a thief renowned for his outrageous exploits. They give him a hard time about a few of his exotic heists, and he bristles, unused to being the target of gibes. I would say more, but it would spoil the fun.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Good things await those who put in an honest effort and treat others well. If you cannot exhibit respect and compassion, you cannot expect the same in return. I try to be open, honest, and approachable with readers in hope of a real connection to both myself and the stories I weave.

Jeffrey L. Kohanek is the author of the new book Wizardoms: Eye of Obscurance.

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Interview with Kris Francoeur, Author of Tomorrow and Yesterday

What can you tell us about your new release, Tomorrow and Yesterday?

This is my fourth published contemporary fiction novel, and I am very proud of this story. This is the first novel that doesn’t have any connection to Vermont, and I greatly enjoyed branching out in terms of the setting, and I absolutely love the two main characters in this book. While I never know exactly where my story ideas come from, after a vacation in Indiana, I knew that I needed to have some of it take place in the Amish area of the state.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have written all of my life, but it truly was our son Sam who inspired me to become an author. He (along with the rest of my family) always believed that I would eventually be a published author. After Sam’s death, I knew I needed to honor his belief in me, and focus on my writing so that I could indeed become a published author.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Wow! My top 5 list…
Jitterbug Perfume
The DaVinci Code
Ferdinand the Bull
The Family Nobody Wanted
Life in a Jar

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

My first guest? My first guest would have to be Stephen King. I would want to ask how he keeps his enthusiasm for writing in the same genre for so long, then I would want to ask how his wife and son have been integrated into his writing career. Then, the most important question from the point of view of my youngest son, I would ask him who he thinks should be the next manager of the Boston Red Sox.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love how the stories just come to me, and how the characters control the story arc, sometimes against my own wishes. I love hearing readers say that my books have mattered to them or have touched them emotionally.

What is a typical day like for you?

My day starts with taking care of the sheep, alpaca, chickens and dog. Then coffee by the woodstove with my husband. After breakfast, I work at my day job of being a school principal, then come home to make dinner, do chores, and write, write, write.

What scene in Tomorrow and Yesterday was your favorite to write?

My two favorite scenes are the one where Delaney reunites with her horse, Freedom. My next favorite to write was the meatloaf scene in the diner.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

My philosophy of life comes from a song by the group Twiddle. The quote is, “Good things come to those who love relentlessly.”

Kris Francoeur is the author of the new book Tomorrow and Yesterday.

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Interview with Betty Shreffler, author of King of Kings

What can you tell us about your new release, King of Kings?

King of Kings is the 3rd book in the Kings MC Romances. If unfamiliar with the series, this story is about Nix. He is the older brother of Liz from Book 1, Castle of Kings. Nix is also the President of the Kings MC. He is the kind of book boyfriend who will leave you with a book hangover. He loves with all he has and protects the ones he loves with ferocity. Writing his story was one of the most thrilling and emotionally gut-wrenching books I’ve written. As the reader, you feel it all with this book; drama, heartache, tension, raw emotions, sizzling chemistry, heat, danger, and excitement.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

The majority of the time I read on my Kindle or the Kindle app with my phone. However, I do have a collection of paperbacks I’m working my way through. The book I’m currently reading is Slow Burn by Autumn Jones Lake.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

This made me laugh out loud at first because of the list of things that came to mind! I’d tell younger Betty that she’ll be okay because I grow up to be a strong, independent woman. I’d also tell my teenage self to go to college for media & entertainment, arts & design. I would’ve enjoyed that much more than a couple of business degrees.

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?

Reading. I don’t get to read as much as I would like to and I use to read for pleasure quite often.

What makes your world go round? Why does it bring you joy?

Being a writer makes my world go around. It’s a passion I’ve had since I was twelve years old and it’s a part of me as much as breathing and eating is. Writing gives me joy because it gives me an escape into a limitless amount of worlds. I can go anywhere, do anything, and love and live fearlessly through my characters.

What scene in King of Kings was your favorite to write?

When the male lead, Nix completely gives into his love for the female lead, Synne. It’s a steamy and romantic scene and I loved it.

Betty Shreffler is the author of the new book King of Kings.

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The Story Behind Firecracker by Kelly Jamieson

I’ve always been interested in demographic cohorts and what makes each generation different than the one before it and the one after it.

In my latest release, Firecracker, a group of millennials living in The Triumph, an up-scale apartment building in Lincoln Park, bond over post-college confusion, career challenges, breakups, hookups and heartbreak, to find friendship, happiness and love.

When I did research on millennials and the kinds of problems they face in their lives, I learned there are definitely things other generations didn’t have to worry about—college debt, housing prices that make it impossible for them to own a home, climate change worries, and older generations that dismiss them as lazy and entitled.

For the generation who’s been told “you can be anything you want to be”, life doesn’t always turn out that way. Promised a world of success and opportunity, instilled with a desire to succeed and set themselves apart, they yearn to “arrive”. But what does it mean to “arrive”? Is it a beautiful apartment? Marriage and children? A fabulous career? And when will they get there?

Living their lives on social media means this group sees the illusion of the perfect lives everyone else is living, and it means trying to make their own lives look just as perfect. They’re all struggling to make it look like they’re not struggling. But connections aren’t made with other people over fake perfection–connections are made over shared struggles, and it takes courage to admit you don’t have all the answers, to admit you’re afraid, and to make yourself vulnerable.

Firecracker is about a former prom queen and cheerleader who married the college football star. Arden wasn’t supposed to lose her husband to suicide and have to start her life over at twenty-eight with nothing. Back in Chicago, she discovers her brother’s best friend lives across the hall from her. It’s her younger brother’s friend, reversing that trope, and he’s no longer the skinny kid with braces she remembers.

Tyler’s parents told him he could be anything he wanted, but when he decided to drop out of college to become a firefighter, it turned out that wasn’t what they wanted him to be. Tyler’s lost people he cares about too, which makes him a rescuer, only sometimes when you try to hard to protect people you run the risk of pushing them away.

But not everyone in a cohort is the same. Arden and Tyler discover they both hate it when people talk about everything wrong in the world being because of millennials, and stereotypes about them.
“We’re not all the same,” Arden said with an eye roll. “Some of us actually do want secure jobs we can stay at for the rest of our lives.”

Neither of them have it all figured out, but together they realize they’re not supposed to, and even though being an adult is hard, it’s easier when you’re not alone. The journey is where they learn the things that help them grow and prepare them for the destination…even if they’re not sure what the destination is, and even if the destination changes along the way.

Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today best-selling author of over fifty romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes her coffee black, her wine white (mostly!) and her heels high, and she loves hockey!

Kelly Jamieson is the author of the new book Firecracker.

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The Story Behind Firecracker by Kelly Jamieson

I’ve always been interested in demographic cohorts and what makes each generation different than the one before it and the one after it.

In my latest release, Firecracker, a group of millennials living in The Triumph, an up-scale apartment building in Lincoln Park, bond over post-college confusion, career challenges, breakups, hookups and heartbreak, to find friendship, happiness and love.

When I did research on millennials and the kinds of problems they face in their lives, I learned there are definitely things other generations didn’t have to worry about—college debt, housing prices that make it impossible for them to own a home, climate change worries, and older generations that dismiss them as lazy and entitled.

For the generation who’s been told “you can be anything you want to be”, life doesn’t always turn out that way. Promised a world of success and opportunity, instilled with a desire to succeed and set themselves apart, they yearn to “arrive”. But what does it mean to “arrive”? Is it a beautiful apartment? Marriage and children? A fabulous career? And when will they get there?

Living their lives on social media means this group sees the illusion of the perfect lives everyone else is living, and it means trying to make their own lives look just as perfect. They’re all struggling to make it look like they’re not struggling. But connections aren’t made with other people over fake perfection–connections are made over shared struggles, and it takes courage to admit you don’t have all the answers, to admit you’re afraid, and to make yourself vulnerable.

Firecracker is about a former prom queen and cheerleader who married the college football star. Arden wasn’t supposed to lose her husband to suicide and have to start her life over at twenty-eight with nothing. Back in Chicago, she discovers her brother’s best friend lives across the hall from her. It’s her younger brother’s friend, reversing that trope, and he’s no longer the skinny kid with braces she remembers.

Tyler’s parents told him he could be anything he wanted, but when he decided to drop out of college to become a firefighter, it turned out that wasn’t what they wanted him to be. Tyler’s lost people he cares about too, which makes him a rescuer, only sometimes when you try to hard to protect people you run the risk of pushing them away.

But not everyone in a cohort is the same. Arden and Tyler discover they both hate it when people talk about everything wrong in the world being because of millennials, and stereotypes about them.
“We’re not all the same,” Arden said with an eye roll. “Some of us actually do want secure jobs we can stay at for the rest of our lives.”

Neither of them have it all figured out, but together they realize they’re not supposed to, and even though being an adult is hard, it’s easier when you’re not alone. The journey is where they learn the things that help them grow and prepare them for the destination…even if they’re not sure what the destination is, and even if the destination changes along the way.

Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today best-selling author of over fifty romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes her coffee black, her wine white (mostly!) and her heels high, and she loves hockey!

Kelly Jamieson is the author of the new book Firecracker.

Connect with Kelly:
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Firecracker: A contemporary romance

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The Story Behind The Forgotten Duke by Sophie Barnes

Carlton Guthrie, the Scoundrel of St. Giles, is without a doubt my favorite character from the Diamonds In The Rough series. I knew from the start, since his very first scene with Raphe Mathews at the beginning of A Most Unlikely Duke, that he’d one day have his own story. With this in mind, I went ahead with additional books in the series, continuously building on Carlton’s personality and backstory as I did so. Every part of this book was a joy to work on and while I felt slightly sad once I finished it, I was glad to have given Carlton the love he deserves.

Seeking justice for a terrible crime committed against him and his family decades earlier, The Forgotten Duke finally provides Carlton with the perfect opportunity to carry out his revenge. For as luck would have it, Lady Regina Berkly, the daughter of the man Carlton hopes to kill, suddenly finds herself relying on him for help. Having fled home to escape the arranged marriage her parents hope to force her into, she ends up in the slums of St. Giles with Carlton as her only hope for safety. Little does she know when she trustingly accompanies him to The Black Swan inn that he is determined to use her against her father. First as a means by which to taunt him, and later as bait. The only problem with the plan is that the more time Carlton spends with Regina, the greater the risk to his heart and vice versa. Innocent and good, she represents everything he isn’t while he in turn offers her the adventure she never dared hope to enjoy. Together, these two will learn that there can be so much more to a person than meets the eye, that they can chart their own course as long as they have the courage to do so, and that love is worth risking everything for.

In a way, this was one of the easier books for me to write because I already felt like I knew Carlton so well. Regina was a bit more challenging since she was new to me, so I had to get to know her first. I wanted her to be innocent and slightly naïve, but open-minded and strong enough to grow from her experiences with Carlton. Unlike my other Regency romances, this story lacks the lavish backdrop of splendid manors, grand estates, shimmering ballrooms and gorgeous gowns. It takes place almost exclusively in the slums of St. Giles, primarily at Carlton’s inn, but that was part of the fun: to surround a well-bred young lady with riffraff and see how she fares. I can only hope my readers will agree that this was precisely the way in which this story had to be written.

Sophie Barnes is the author of the new book The Forgotten Duke.

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The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5)

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The post The Story Behind The Forgotten Duke by Sophie Barnes appeared first on NewInBooks.