Interview with Roxie Noir, Author of Enemies With Benefits

What can you tell us about your new release, Enemies With Benefits?

This book is so much fun! I had a blast writing it – Eli and Violet are former nemeses who find themselves working together, and even though they don’t like each other, they also realize that their chemistry is off the charts. I loved writing their I-want-you-but-you-drive-me-crazy dynamic, their hilarious banter… oh, and their sex scenes. Those were really fun, too.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

To be honest, I don’t really remember! I’ve been a huge reader for as long as I can remember – I used to get in trouble in elementary school for reading too much – and I think it was only natural that I started writing my own stories! Sooner or later I realized writing could be a job, and from then on, that was the goal.

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

Beard Science, Penny Reid
This was the first Penny book I ever read, and I was hooked! I’d never read a hero like Cletus before – he’s totally eccentric, a little weird, and has his own sort of grumpy charm. He’s not at all an over-the-top alphahole, and I love that about him! Plus, Jen is such a wonderfully drawn character even though she’s a fairly young virgin, and her voice is so strong that you can’t help but love her, too.

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
This is probably a classic answer, but only because Outlander is great. Jamie is the dreamiest, and I love that Claire is smart, determined… and older than him! Plus, those sex scenes. WOW.

When A Scot Ties the Knot, Tessa Dare
This list aside, I honestly don’t read that much historical romance! I only recently discovered Tessa Dare, but her books are so much fun! I swear, the scene in this book where Jaime MacKenzie puts on glasses to read in bed… well, I get it. I totally get it. I think I’d read the banter between Madeline and Jamie for another five novels if Tessa wrote it.

Prince Albert, Sabrina Paige
Listen. I like a good, steamy novel, and oh man does this one deliver. Is it borderline smutty? Hell yes it is. But it’s also surprisingly romantic, and most importantly, it 100% sells me on the lust-to-love storyline. When Belle shows up for the final love scene wearing a butt plug with a rainbow pony tail attached, I’m a total believer in their love.

Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
Obviously, I like my romance light. I like it fun. I love banter. I’m not a big angst reader. I thought Nick and Rachel in this book were perfect together, and even more than that, I LOVED reading the crazy machinations of his family. This book is a total delight, through and through.

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

I think I’d go with Terry Pratchett, who wrote the Discworld series, just because I want to know how he organizes everything! Enemies With Benefits is the first in a five-book series, and keeping track of everyone and everything is so hard. But Pratchett has this huge world with so many characters, and yet every flows beautifully and all the characters have these delightful, distinct voices. Basically, I want organizational tips, I think, and I’d listen to him talk about character creation any day. RIP, Terry.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love making things up. I love when I write a character who surprises me and goes off-script, does something totally unexpected. I love making a world for these characters to live in… and, even though it always wrecks my plans, I love when they throw all my plans out the window and do what they want.

What is a typical day like for you?

I have a one-year-old, so I don’t think anything is ever typical! But I do try to get a run in, write for a couple of hours, and then of course lots of family hang out time.

What scene in Enemies With Benefits was your favorite to write?

Anything with Eli and his brothers was my absolute favorite – I love, love, love writing banter and these guys constantly calling each other on their shit was just so much fun.

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

“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” – the great Ron Swanson. I’m trying, Ron. I swear.

Roxie Noir is the author of the new book Enemies With Benefits.

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The Story Behind Her Bush by Penelope Bloom

By Penelope Bloom

Planning the book

If I was explaining to a reader of mine why they should be excited about this book and I only had one sentence to do it, I’d say…

“Her Bush gets back to the roots of what made this series special.”

I feel confident in saying that because it was my number one priority while writing it. I always make a point of going through all the feedback I get with every launch and I ask myself, “how can I improve?”

My biggest takeaway from the criticisms of my previous book in the series, Her Secret, was that readers came in with expectations that weren’t met. Specifically, I think readers who were familiar with the series sat down with the expectation that it’d be a super light-hearted, fun book. At times, I think it was, but I also know I put more drama and emotion into the book, which naturally tends to detract from the comedy and lightness.

So I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice, and since this is the last book I plan on writing in the series, I really wanted to end it with a home run. The direction I needed to go seemed obvious when I stepped back and looked at everything I had in front of me. This one needed to get back to having a title that was an in-your-face, sexual innuendo. The cover needed to be bold and attention grabbing. It needed to be dirty enough at a glance that it would make some people uncomfortable. Because that’s what the series is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be in your face, bold, witty, and unapologetic. It’s fun and carefree, and all of that needs to come through just from glancing at the cover.

Writing the book

I had a lot of challenges when I was writing this book. Interestingly enough, one of them came directly from my experience working with the developmental editor Montlake assigned to my first two books with them. Going back and doing that kind of broad stroke style of editing with somebody’s guidance helped me see how much I’ve been leaving on the table in my books. There were themes and threads of characters that I had just left hanging, waiting to be pulled and developed in my books I wrote for Montlake. Naturally, I figured they would exist in this book as well.

Unfortunately, my usual method is to kind of plow forward and refuse to let myself look back until I’m mostly finished. There will occasionally be books where I realize I’ve created a big problem and I can’t just continue because I need to know how I fix it before I press on. Aside from those cases, I really try not to let myself go back until the very end. With Her Bush, I think I literally went over the first 25,000 words about 10 to 12 times before I was finally comfortable moving on.

My initial issue was that I needed a better source of tension between Nell and Harry. I felt really great chemistry between them, but it quickly became clear that they got along almost *too* well. I didn’t want to sacrifice how good that felt to me on paper, so I had to think of an external wrinkle to throw into the equation. Sometimes, characters just clash, and in those sorts of stories, I hardly need to sprinkle more tension. Just putting them in the same room can be enough.

In cases like this one, I needed an X factor. Finding the right one was a big part of my back and forth. It would be too big, then not big enough, etc.

Once I finally found that, I struggled with the ending, which is also something I don’t normally struggle with.

But one way or another, I managed to get the book finished. I’m happy to say that all the back and forth feels like it really paid off this time. I think there are more satisfying layers to this book than some of my other light-hearted stuff, but those layer’s don’t come at the cost of bogging you down, slowing the pace, or detracting from the humor.

In short, I think this book ended up being the perfect ending to a series that has literally changed my life, both as a person, and as an author. Without these books, I wouldn’t have been given all these wonderful opportunities that have come to my attention in the past six months, from getting my books translated in more than ten languages, audiobooks, and of course, a traditional publishing contract.

I’m so excited to start reading reviews and seeing what people think. As always, I’ll be paying close attention to the feedback and looking for ways to keep improving as an author as I go forward.

Thanks for reading!
xx
Penelope

Penelope Bloom is the author of the new book Her Bush

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Her Bush (Objects of Attraction)

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FORGIVEN ARE THE STARRY EYED by CHRISTINE DORE MILLER

‘I told myself I had very few options now. I could just exist and accept that this was my life from now on. I’d be broken, but at least I’d be alive.’

The writing is superb and has an undercurrent of hopelessness and dejection. We are in awe that this is the first book by this debut Author, it was well written and touched on hard-hitting topics.

This Teen YA story deals with horrifically sensitive and extremely pertinent issues in today’s society. You’ve only got to turn on the news or scroll through social media to find stories like these on an almost regular basis. And those are only the ones we know or hear about or have been publicised. There’s still a dreadful silence and uncomfortable avoidance where topics of relationship abuse, violence, and sexual aggression are concerned. However, with the #metoo campaign, hopefully, awareness and support will be given, become a right and a deterrent.

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FORGIVEN ARE THE STARRY EYED by CHRISTINE DORE MILLER

Interview with Ethan Frechette, Author of A Civil War Within

What can you tell us about your new release, A Civil War Within?

The book is about three young men in high school who are taken on a camping trip. The purpose of the camping trip is to help these young men find their “name, their identity in life. Through the power of storytelling these boys are able to find peace within their own identity and are able to understand the reality of being an adult in this world. A Civil War Within is meant to help, but also push, people take responsibility for themselves, their lives, and their identities. This coming of age tale ends with the three boys being ushered into manhood through a ceremony with their fathers.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have always enjoyed writing, even as a child. The first book I wrote was in Middle School and I haven’t stopped telling stories since. A Civil War Within was motivate by my now four year old son. The idea and motivation to write this book started before he was born. I was working a very boring nine-to-five desk job with plenty of time to reflect on life. By doing so, I was about to work through many of the same issues you find in this book. I wanted to write something for my son that would explain what I had learned from life. I wanted him to learn from my mistakes, from my story, so that he wouldn’t have to repeat them.

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

  • A Gentlemen in Moscow
  • The Pale Blue Eye
  • Eat, Pray, Love
  • Autobiography of a Yogi
  • One, None, and One Hundred Thousand

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 would be Amor Towles, the author of A Gentlemen in Moscow. My question to him would be “when writing historical fiction what do you believe is your obligation to the events that actually happened? Your main character, Count Rostov, has a very influential role in the novel with many important historical figures. What is your obligation to those historical figures and the accuracy of events while portraying a historical fiction novel?”

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is being able to convey complex emotions that we face in life, like identity, through the art of storytelling. A Civil War Within is a fictional story yet the ideas and concepts behind the story are real. They are raw emotions that penetrate the intellectual mind and help the reader empathize with the characters. Writing helps readers draw parallels with their own life, their own story, and overcome those obstacles in their life.

What is a typical day like for you?

I am a nurse working with Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder patients. So my typical day is working and desperately trying to bring love and comfort to patients with these chronic diseases. After work, I go home and spend time with my beautiful wife and child. Often riding the bike with my son for several hours and ending the day on the porch of my apartment with my wife, listening to bird songs.

What scene in A Civil War Within was your favorite to write?

There is a scene where the character, Saul Treeborn, is forced to face his father during the Battle of Bull Run. The emotions in this scene are quite intense and was a very exciting scene to write and work through.

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

“Be afraid but do it anyway”. I don’t remember where I heard this quote but I have held onto the majority of my life making it my life motto. Fear is something that has the potential to cripple you, to bring stagnation into your life. This motto reminds me that life is scary but it is our duty to wake up every morning and “do it anyways”.

Ethan Frechette is the author of the new book A Civil War Within.

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Interview with John Forrester, Author of Demigod Rising

What can you tell us about your new release, Demigod Rising?

After finishing my last book, I struggled for six months with a new project I was working on. It just wasn’t working. I felt like I need to re-engineer myself as a writer and change both my process and approach to crafting stories. Luckily, I stumbled upon the book Story Genius, by Lisa Cron. It literally blew me away. Though I’d read countless books on writing, her approach and process to developing stories really resonated. I had written over twelve books, but I realized I needed to change what I was doing. So, I scrapped an entire book I had written and started over with a new idea for a new fantasy series, The Song of the Gods. I had this idea about the close bond between brothers and the impact of beliefs upon your life. I looked deeply into the protagonists core internal conflict (between his religious beliefs and his desire to find his heretical mother) and how the forces around him were knocking him out of his comfort zone. From there, the story propelled into a magical journey into an unknown and forbidden realm. Demigod Rising was quite a personal journey and it reflects the path many of us take in discovering our beliefs, the meaning in our lives, and our purpose. I had the privilege, at my twelve-year-old son’s insistence, of reading the entire final draft out loud to him. I smiled when he asked, “Just one more chapter?” at the end of each chapter. I knew then, that Demigod Rising was ready.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Like many, I had a wonderful English Teacher, Mrs. Zesch, in my Sophomore year of High School. She inspired me to be a writer. My imagination and storytelling drive never left me, and writing a book was always in the back of my mind. In 2008, after learning about Nanowrimo from a friend, I finally wrote the first draft of a book that I would later publish in 2011, Fire Mage, after fifteen or more complete rewrites.

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

Super tough question as I read broadly in fiction and non-fiction, and the fantasy genre along with literary fiction. But here you go: The Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix, East of Eden, The Way of Kings, and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

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

I’d invite John Steinbeck (via time-travel or seance). I’d ask him how we can inspire students to become storytellers and nurture their imaginations. I’d love to hear more about his ideas around free-thinking and allowing the mind to roam and how this sparks inventiveness. He railed against overly structured thinking and forcing students to become automatons.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The endless blue horizon of imagination combined with getting to know my characters.

What is a typical day like for you?

As a writer, I try to write early or late, squeezing in as much time as possible each day. I also try to write every day, knowing it is much easier to keep a good cadence and build momentum.

What scene in Demigod Rising was your favorite to write?

The scene toward the end of the book where Jeno is with his friends watching the sunrise over the Saranathian Sea. He sees this brilliant sparkle over the waters and he gets this strong sense of knowing where his mother is. The reunion scene in that humble temple stirs up something powerful every time I read it. Not only is it the moment Jeno realizes his divine nature, but it is also the moment he accepts himself, releases his doubts, and embraces what he is and who he has become. It is a moment of personal transcendence.

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

That which does not kill us makes us stronger – Nietzsche.

John Forrester is the author of the new book Demigod Rising.

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Interview with Lydia Michaels, Author of Hurt

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

HURT is the debut novel in The Hurt Series, and my first venture into the world of Dark Romantic Thrillers. It’s unlike any of my thirty-five priorly published novels, which stretch across the spectrum of contemporary romance. While HURT is a dark psychological thriller written for mature audiences, it is also an incredible love story readers will hold onto long after the last page. The best romance novels are the haunting ones, and HURT is guaranteed to sink its claws into your soul and stick with you—as true love should.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

When I began my writing journey twelve years ago, I was inspired by Bella Andre’s tenacity as a fresh, female entrepreneur, Lori Foster’s personable social presence on the scene, and Lisa Kleypas’s mastery of prose. I studied and admired all three, and moved on to think of them as colleagues in this eclectic community of book lovers.

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

This is never an easy question to answer and I always feel like I’m leaving a thousand wonderful titles out, but I’ll give it a try. 1.) Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas, 2.)Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas, 3.) Dark Notes by Pam Godwin, 4.) Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan, 5.) Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

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 would be J.R. Ward, because she’s rumored to be one of the nicest women in the book industry and I’m fascinated by her work. I’d ask her how she gets away with breaking the “rules” of traditional romance in so many novels, and how she overcame her greatest challenges as an author. She’s what I consider a Queen of Romance, and I think there’s a lot to learn from any woman who can wear class and write love and violence so well.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The writing! My job is a cycle of falling in love over and over again. There’s no better feeling than that!

What is a typical day like for you?

I’m usually at my desk before dawn. Then it’s a few hours of emails and marketing. Once the house is empty and quiet, I’m writing. If I’m in the middle of a novel, I can sometimes stay in my office for sixteen hours a day trying to finish. The hours are brutal, but the result is a well-crafted plot, rich in prose with flesh and blood characters. If I’m not writing, I’m usually out of my office by five and changing into my wife/mom cape. Then I pass out watching The Office or Friends around nine and it starts all over again the next day.

What scene in Hurt was your favorite to write?

HURT has so many dark scenes that pushed my personal hard limits, reading it is like jumping from a cold pool into a boiling hot-tub. The impact of the switch from brutal to intimate is made that much more intense by the contrast. So I would have to say the love scenes are my favorite, because they’re beyond tender and from the point of view of a character who survived hell and more, but still retained a delicate thread of his innocence. I find the romantic scenes in HURT incomparable to anything else I’ve read or written.

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

If you want it, never stop going after it. Never stop believing your dreams are possible. If you believe in only one thing, believe in yourself. In time, it won’t be a dream anymore. “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” JAMES N. WATKINS

 

Lydia Michaels is the author of the new book Hurt.

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The Story Behind Don’t Tell by Willow Rose

By Willow Rose

This story came to life when one of my loyal readers contacted me and asked me if I had ever heard about the story of Ella Maud Cropsey (or often known as just Nell Cropsey).

It was the story of a young girl who disappeared from the porch of her family home in North Carolina in November 1901 after a fight with her boyfriend.

This reader was related to Nell and was very fascinated by the story herself. She provided me with a lot of information, and I read a couple of books about this girl and her strange disappearance. Then I decided to write about it.

In my book, it is a boy and not a girl who disappears, and it’s a completely different town and so on (The Ghost Town in the Sky really exists, and I saw it when I went skiing in Maggie Valley this winter). But some of the details, like the body floating in the creek long after she was killed, and not being decomposed at all, and the mother sitting in the window looking down when it floats by, stuff like that I kept similar to the real story. It’s a truly fascinating unsolved mystery, and you can read more about it here:

https://northcarolinaghosts.com/coast/ghost-nell-cropsey/

Willow Rose is the author of the new book Don’t Tell

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DON'T TELL (Jack Ryder Book 7)

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TBB WEEKLY ROUND UP

WELCOME TO OUR BOOKWORLD WEEKLY ROUND UP! WE TALK ALL THINGS BOOKY PLUS BRING YOU A FABULOUS EMMA SCOTT GIVEAWAY!

Wow! Haven't we been blessed by the book fairies lately! We've savoured the most varied and amazing stories, each very different and each so incredibly captivating! We haven't come up for air, as we've discussed at length (as we always do) the latest books that have stolen our hearts.
Be sure to check them out in our post, plus, take a look at the book that currently has us glued to our Kindles and enter our Giveaway!

Read more here:
TBB WEEKLY ROUND UP

Books To Read If You Like Craig Alanson

Books To Read If You Like Craig Alanson

Craig Alanson is a New York Times Bestselling Author of science fiction novels. If you love exciting space adventures, you’ve undoubtedly read his popular Expeditionary Force series. We’ve made a list of some of our picks of new books to read if you like Craig Alanson. Enjoy these new releases from bestselling authors Lindsay Buroker, Jay Allan, J.N. Chaney, P R Adams, and more!


Shockwave

by Lindsay Buroker

Release Date: May 8, 2019

What if being a hero was encoded in your genes but nobody had told you? Casmir Dabrowski would have laughed if asked that question. This was a guy that had to build a robot for protection when he was in school. Thankfully, his life is much better now. He is a robotics engineer and professor. But he thinks heroics are for other people, not him… That is until robot assassins show up on campus trying to kill him.

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The Colossus

by Jay Allan

Release Date: April 15, 2019

The second book in the Blood on the Stars series… The Confederation has successfully retaken the capital for the Hegemony forces. But it seems they didn’t completely defeat the enemy. Far from it. Now they are back and this time have an unstoppable weapon… a vast superbattleship known as the Colossus. A deadly hybrid of Imperial and Hegemony technology, it is almost unstoppable.

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Renegade Empire

by J.N. Chaney

Release Date: May 4, 2019

Captain Jace Hughes is about to face the toughest enemy humans have ever faced. The Celestials are unrivaled in their strength, brutality, technology, but Jace will not be swayed. With some new allies, a joint amada, and some determination, Jace must start exploring the largest slip tunnel in the galaxy. They must learn all they can about this unknown enemy.

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Shadow Moves

by P R Adams

Release Date: May 12, 2019

The first book in the new The War in Shadow Saga… Faith Benson was heading for a promising career as a distinguished officer. Then she was sent to the Pandora. A posting aboard a search-and-rescue ship was usually the end of the line in the Kedraalian Republic Navy. But when the Pandora is sent to a demilitarized zone, the ship’s captain follows an SOS into enemy territory. Once the rescue begins, things start to spiral out of control.

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Caspian’s Fortune

by Eric Warren

Release Date: May 12, 2019

Caspian Robeaux has been betrayed and left to rot on the edges of the galaxy. Now in debt, he is stuck flying courier missions in a rustbucket he can barely afford to keep running. An annoying robot and a bottle of booze are his only friends. It’s definitely a far cry from his once-promising military career but he doesn’t care anymore. A lucrative job opportunity soon arises that may change his fortune and clear his name. But nothing in life comes this simple.

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Kaine’s Retribution

by D.M. Pruden

Release Date: May 31, 2019

Ten years ago an invasion was averted but it was at the cost of humanity’s interstellar transit network. Hayden Kaine is trapped at the edge of occupied space and languishes in guilt and regret. He was the one responsible for dooming a thousand worlds to permanent isolation. After being lost for a decade, his old ship and crew have mysteriously reappeared and they have brought with them some alien technology. This could change everything.

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