Interview with Loni Ree, Author of Blake’s Bombshell

What can you tell us about your new release, Blake’s Bombshell?

Blake’s Bombshell is the second book the Ryan Family series. It’s a short, steamy romance that follows characters I introduced in Lukas’ Angel. In the beginning, I didn’t intend to write a story about these characters, but one of the main characters, Blake, became a more central character in the other books, and I changed my mind and decided to write their story.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Years ago, a college professor encouraged me to publish my early work, but between work and family, I never found the time. I have always been an avid reader, and after years of dreaming of publishing a book myself, I finally took the time to make my dream a reality.

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

This question is too hard to answer. I have read so many books, and I have many favorites. My favorite book of all time is Wrong by Jana Aston. Out of the thousands of books I’ve read in the last thirty years, a handful of them stands out, but Wrong is my favorite of all.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Reading is my escape from the chaos of everyday life, and I like stories that make you forget about the stress in your life for a little while. I love to write the same type of stories that I have always read, and I get caught up in my characters’ lives. The fun part is deciding what they’ll have to go through to get to their guaranteed happily ever after.

What is a typical day like for you?

Every day is a new challenge for me. I have a hectic life between juggling my new writing career and my old healthcare career and my family, I don’t have any free time.

What scene in Blake’s Bombshell was your favorite to write?

I had a great time writing the entire book. At first, I thought it would be a short thirty or so page short story to quickly describe how Lucy and Blake threw a wrench into the Sterling-Ryan/Steele Company merger. The story took on a life of its own and grew until one day, I realized it had become a full novella.

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

Life is good! I say this about a thousand times a day, and I honestly believe it. I always tell people, if what you’re doing, makes you miserable, move on. Life is too short.

Loni Ree is the author of the new book Blake’s Bombshell.

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Interview with Alexa Summers, Author of Model Behavior

What can you tell us about your new release, Model Behavior?

Model Behavior is book two in my Slow Burn Series. I’m a fan of slow burn romance. After writing a historical/fantasy steamy romance trilogy called Maid for Majesty, under the pen name AJ Phoenix, I wanted to try Contemporary. In my twenties, I worked several jobs within the entertainment industry, and saw the life of those that live in the fast lane. I thought it would be an interesting setting for a series. The first book in the series, Touchdown, was in the sport entertainment world. Model Behavior takes place in the fashion world. There are cameos from some characters from one book to the next, and the books can be read in any order.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

My fifth-grade teacher always believed I should become an author and told my parents so. She once entered one of my stories into a contest, and it was published. I ended up getting a career in education, but couldn’t find much work. With the extra time I had, I wanted to take up more reading. One day after finishing a book and looking for something else to devour, I got a story idea and began tapping at my keys. After that, I didn’t want to stop.

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

Are you kidding? I have a top five for every genre! How about I tell you what I’ve been reading lately? Right now, I’m reading, Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell. I’m up to date of Penelope Bloom’s Objects of Attraction Series, and next up I’m reading Lauren Blakely’s, The Dating Proposal.

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

What a fantastic idea! I’d love to do literary talk show. I’d want to ask most authors where they get their ideas from and what their process is. I’d also like to see their writing space!

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

All my life, people have commented that I ‘drift away’. When I write, I’m in my own little bubble and can imagine and reimagine stories. The best part is, I can come and go as I please.

What is a typical day like for you?

I’m a mama, so there’s no typical day for me. My children are two and four and my day-to-day my schedule changes per the needs of my family. On a day where I write, I drop my son off at school, get some play time with my daughter. While she naps, I sneak away to my office and tap at the keyboard. Writing is my passion and my escape; it’s my me time.

What scene in Model Behavior was your favorite to write?

Aside for the steamy scenes, there were two scenes I enjoyed writing; the Meet Cute and Hannah’s visit to Central Park. With the Meet Cute, I loved the building tension between my main characters and the banter of Donna and Alexandra. Hannah’s time in Central Park is unexpected, and not something I’d normally write, but it seemed appropriate for Hannah and James. It fit with the rest of the story. I can’t say much more about that scene without giving away spoilers.

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

“I live in my own little world. But it’s ok, they know me here.” I know. It’s not exactly inspirational, but it describes how I live.

Model Behavior: A Steamy Fashion Romance (The Slow Burn Series Book 2)

 

Alexa Summers is the author of the new book Model Behavior.

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Interview with S.C. McGrath, Author of To the Waters and the Wild

What can you tell us about your new release, To the Waters and the Wild?

To the Waters and the Wild tells the story of Keelin, a fearless chieftain’s daughter. Gifted by the gods in the arts of healing and telepathy, and destined to become a priestess, she nonetheless rails against such a solitary and self-sacrificing life. When Eire is threatened by Roman invaders, Keelin must resolve her internal strife and join clan warriors to save her island from destruction.

To the Waters and the Wild is loosely anchored in history and filled with fantasy, excitement, and danger.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I was inspired by the books read to me by my parents when I was young. To name a few, The Story of Ferdinand (Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson), The Story about Ping (Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese), The Secret Garden, and A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) introduced me to the power of storytelling, the joy of reading, and the beauty of language.

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

I don’t really have a top 5 list of best books. Instead, there are books that stayed with me long after I finished the last page. Ones that come to mind are, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith), Green Mansions (W.H. Hudson), Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck), Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), and The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett).

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

I must say that the thought of being a host of a literary talk show terrifies me. However, if I was, I would probably chose to interview someone like David McCullough who writes wonderful nonfiction books such as The Path Between the Seas. Those writers who can make history come alive are incredibly gifted. I would love to know how much research they do on the characters and personalities of the men and women they write about.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is the ability to make my dream world come alive. I also love language and how words can flow together perfectly to create emotions, sensations, and images.

What is a typical day like for you?

My day starts early (5am, yikes!). I usually do my best thinking and writing in the morning. Sometimes my best ideas come while walking my dogs or riding my lovable big horse, Flanagan. My husband and I are lucky enough to live close to our two grandchildren so we see and help care for them almost daily. Although retired from my career as a CPA with an international biotechnology company, I am busier than ever with my writing, family, and friends!

What scene in To the Waters and the Wild was your favorite to write?

I love the scene with Keelin and the falcon, Bronach. The battle chapter is also a favorite simply because it was the most difficult to write effectively. I not only researched Roman battle strategies and tactics, but I also drew a map of the bay where the Romans landed, the battlefield itself and the positions of the various combatants, and finally, of the field camps and infirmaries.

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

I think Carl Sandburg said it best: Nothing happens unless first we dream.

S.C. McGrath is the author of the new book To the Waters and the Wild.

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Interview with Emma Calin, author of Power

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

Power is the latest in my steamy romance series about tough but sexy girl cops. All life, human and animal is about Power and the desire for it. Cops have power but are constrained by the law. Crooks have no boundaries and that gives them a unique power. In this story a young American congressman on the way up seeks to be president but also rejoices in his power to bring erotic joy to his woman. Power is just a way of describing relationships, the universe and the human condition.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

As a kid I loved stories. The saddest day of my life was when I realized that magic wasn’t true. I loved bible stories, movies, newspapers, comics and of course books. A neighbor gave me an old fashioned book called “Missing From Home” by a writer called Geoffrey Trease. I loved it so much but lost it somehow in a house move. I just wanted to write stories like that. I had a teacher who thought I had a gift for writing whereas most people said I was plain useless. I think of her every time I write.

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

1. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy.
2. A Round-Heeled Woman, Jane Juska
3.The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffeneger.
4. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
5.The Davinci Code, Dan Brown.

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

Tough question….I think it would be Jane Juska who wrote A Round-Heeled woman. She wrote shamelessly about the female sexual need and I’d ask how people around her responded to her frankness. In her book she clearly liked and admired men so I might ask her what she thought of feminism in 2019.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Simple – Power! I can create the characters I want and maybe get the kind of results I want. The truth is that my deepest relationships are with the characters in my books. The saddest thing about writing is when I write that last sentence and we kind of say goodbye. Maybe that’s why each of my standalone books brings back old friends from earlier stories. I love seeing how they’ve evolved. The oddest and most marvelous thing about writing is that once the characters come to life, they are unique individuals who pull the story along outside of my own will. When this happens it does feel weird but it’s one of the greatest joys in writing.

What is a typical day like for you?

The truth is that a writer spends more time on promotion and publicity than on actually writing books. My day starts with my in-box and social media activity. As soon as I can, I get down to writing. To get back into the “feel” of the story I read and re-write the stuff from the day before. Once I start writing I do tend to lose track of time and snap back to life when my partner tells me he’s fixed dinner or it’s time for bed. At least three times a week I try to get out for a tandem cycle ride, a river trip in our kayak or a long brisk walk. I just don’t have the knees for running. While I’m waiting for the computer to warm up or loading a video I have some free weights and do some exercises. Later in the day I speak to my partner about police procedures and matters of law (he’s an ex London cop) to ensure that things stay accurate. I’d like to say I have a glass of wine but currently I’m on a diet and I try not to tempt myself. I have to confess that stuff like shopping, dusting and domestic dross get lost or pushed aside.

What scene in Power was your favorite to write?

I shouldn’t admit it but I do like the sex scenes because they really are a challenge. You can end up repeating the same stuff that readers have seen so many times. I have to feel I’m there and at the end I know if I’ve hit the spot if I need a cold shower or …..you know, to calm myself down in some way. In the final session of Power, Jackson and Olivia make love. In the course of their story she has learned a lot about life and her own nature. In her need to embrace the animal in all life, however civilized, she bites his flesh to discover a new aspect of her uninhibited self. If I can cheat and add another scene it would be a daring chase across the Bay of Naples in kayaks. I loved writing that because it was very much from experience.

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

Yes, I do and just wish I could always stick to it. It goes “If you’re not on top of the job, the job is on top of you.”

Emma Calin is the author of the new book Power.

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Power: A Passion Patrol Novel - Police Detective Fiction Books With a Strong Female Protagonist Romance

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Interview with Nejoud Al-Yagout, author of When the Haboob Sings

What can you tell us about your new release, When the Haboob Sings?

It is a novel that touches on a subject that is both feared and ignored in my part of the world: apostasy.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. Rinse and repeat.

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

I would spend that extra hour researching all the scientific and spiritual theories of how and why twenty-four hours became twenty-five! And once the novelty of having entered a portal of another temporal paradigm wore off, I would add that extra hour to my daily reading regimen.

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

The notion of transcendence. It brings me joy because I see what is possible beneath (or beyond) our self-imposed illusions.

What scene in When the Haboob Sings was your favorite to write?

The opening scene where the protagonist Dunya Khair is in a prison cell because I knew that a book was in the making. I just knew.

Nejoud Al-Yagout is the author of the new book When the Haboob Sings.

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Interview with Lauren Blakely, author of Satisfaction Guaranteed

What can you tell us about your new release, Satisfaction Guaranteed?

It’ll make you purr!! Especially if you’re in the mood for a sexy, swoony second chance romance! Plus, it’s a return to my readers’ favorite genre from me — the male POV rom-com!

What are you reading right now?

I’m loving Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and when I finish that I’ll dive into Super Fan by Sarina Bowen, who I adore

What is a book you can return to again and again?

Harry Potter! Naturally. I read and listened to it many times with my son and now my daughter is on the 6th book so it’s fun to experience it again through her excitement!

What’s rocking your world this month?

Popcorn! Gah, is there anything more addictive than black pepper chia seed popcorn? I think not!

What scene in Satisfaction Guaranteed was your favorite to write?

I LOVED writing the scenes where Malone, our hero, is at the lounge-bar where he moonlights as a crooner after hours. I just love the crooner vibe!

Lauren Blakely is the author of the new book Satisfaction Guaranteed.

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Satisfaction Guaranteed: A Standalone Romance (Always Satisfied Book 1)

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Interview with Stephen Perkins, author of Sky Parlor

By Stephen Perkins

I’ve often heard it said and believed the following to ring true, the best examples of creative fiction – like that of Charles Dickens, for example –  not only serve as cultural signposts or profound commentaries upon the times in which the author has lived, but can also – beneath the visible surface – become transcendent examples of not just clever storytelling, but mythmaking.

The renowned philosopher, Joseph Campbell, once claimed the creation of myths act as cultural foundations and touchstones, and revered exaltations of elevated ideals – in essence – an idealized image; everything a people would like to believe about itself. Campbell was also rumored to have uttered something that could be applicable to what it means to becoming an author of creative fiction: “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

The kindle edition of my highly-anticipated new novel, science fiction/fantasy/supernatural/suspense/thriller, Sky Parlor – which is now live on Amazon, with print editions soon to follow – dares to delve into the abyss of mankind’s future and pose hypothetical scenarios regarding his relationships with developing technologies, and how that developing relationship will possibly affect his evolutionary process going forward.

In the future, will man and machine learn to procreate?

What sort of species will result, and will the hypothetical results become – ultimately – detrimental or hopeful?

Added to this – there is the supernatural element.

Have ancient gods, throughout the ages, been active in directing the affairs of humankind?

And, there is the question of reincarnation.

Or, as the opening lines to Sky Parlor’s prologue would have it: Is the past, present and future but one moment; have the distant and the dead always been with us – do the joys and the sorrows of forgotten lives frolic in the air like electric current waiting to be reborn?

With an epic narrative containing mythical and ancient gods, the resurrection of legendary historical figures, sometimes reluctant but – in the end – ardent heroes and Machiavellian villains, it is my sincere hope Sky Parlor will represent an enjoyable and transcendent literary journey for both new and loyal readers alike!

 

Stephen Perkins is the author of the new book Sky Parlor.

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SKY PARLOR: A NOVEL

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The Story Behind My Bully’s Daddy by Kelli Callahan

By Kelli Callahan

What would you do if you found out that the man you’ve fallen for is your worst enemy’s father?

That’s the premise of this story. There are a lot of popular bully romance books out right now, and I thought it would be fun to explore that genre in a totally different way. The Once Upon a Daddy series takes a lot of popular tropes and flips them upside down in order to give the reader something that’s a little different from the normal older man/younger woman romance laced with a hint of Daddy kink. The books are steamy enough to make a lonely housewife blush while delivering a healthy mix of drama and angst to get to the happily ever after the characters deserve by the last page.

In My Bully’s Daddy, you get to meet Hannah. She’s a student at Bradford Academy and constantly bullied by the Bradford Elite, namely the self-proclaimed queen of Bradford Academy, Bianca Carter. She’s looking forward to her mother getting a new job so that she can leave Bradford Academy behind, even if she has to graduate with strangers. Make no mistake, Hannah is no pushover, but it’s hard to fight back when you’re fighting alone. After an unfortunate run-in with the Bradford Elite after a school event, she ends up naked and forced to walk home in nothing but a blanket.

That’s when Justin comes along, her knight in a shining Maserati. He offers her a ride and even tries to call the police when he realizes that she’s injured. Hannah just wants to go home, so when Justin asks about her age, she tells him that she’s in college, and her injuries are the result of a prank by her sorority sisters. Justin has his concerns, but he agrees to just drive her home. On the way, he realizes that she’s naked under the blanket and isn’t sure how she’s going to get into her house since she confesses that her mother is out of town. In fact, he’s worried that she might not even live there, and maybe trying to rob the place.

Hannah’s attempt at breaking into her own house goes awry when Justin confronts her, but once again, he proves to be a hero by offering to let her stay at his place for the night.

Hannah has never met anyone that has treated her with that much kindness, and she can’t deny that Justin is the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, even if he is older than her. Justin is having the worst week of his life after signing his divorce papers and discovering that his ex-wife was cheating on him with his best friend. His daughter is also out of control, and he’s not there to keep her in line. Hannah is a breath of fresh air, but he struggles with his attraction for someone so young, especially when she needs to stay for longer than just one night…

Giving in to their desires is just the start of this story because neither of them will see what’s coming when they finally discover the truth.

One little lie.

One very big secret.

And then things get very, very complicated.

Get ready, and leave your panties at the door, because My Bully’s Daddy is one wild ride.

Kelli Callahan is the author of the new book My Bully’s Daddy.

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My Bully's Daddy (Once Upon a Daddy Book 5)

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Interview with Becki Willis, author of Wildflower Wedding: With a Killer Reception

By Becki Willis

Wildflower Wedding (With a Killer Reception) is the latest addition to The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series. Like the stories before it, Book 8 features a stand-alone mystery that needs no prior introduction. A continuing thread weaves among the stories, however, that entices readers to come back for more. Readers often tell me they can’t wait to read the next book because it’s like visiting with old friends.

Even though ‘the sisters’ are definitely characters in the series, they aren’t people: they’re towns. My tales are about the community as a whole, particularly Madison Reynolds and her network of family and friends.

When Madison finds herself widowed and penniless before the age of forty, she has no choice but to return to her hometown and live with her grandmother. This wasn’t how she envisioned her life, but as the mother of teenage twins, she’ll do whatever it takes to provide for her children. She opens In a Pinch Temporary Service and tackles any job that comes her way. As long as it’s legal, Madison gives it her all.

Her services are varied, and the more colorful jobs are interesting enough to merit their own book. And somehow, even the most innocent sounding jobs lead to danger and excitement. People hire Madison to spy on cheating spouses, to find a missing chair and missing Christmas presents, and to prove a teetotaler didn’t die of alcohol poisoning; not naturally, at any rate. She’s even taken on the formidable task of proving a man innocent of murder. In this latest book, an old man hires her to find his estranged family via a home DNA test, but he doesn’t live to hear the results. (Hence the killer reception.)

For me, the fun of writing is creating believable characters in believable situations. The homespun, quirky folks of Naomi and Juliet (aka The Sisters) are prime examples. Like any single parent, Madison worries about how to pay her bills and if she’s doing the right thing, uprooting her children and bringing them back to live in a small town filled with busybodies. Son Blake is a typical fifteen-year-old boy; life revolves around sports and his next meal. Twin sister Bethani resents the move to no-man’s land; she misses her friends, civilization, and the mall.

Granny Bert has an uncanny knack for knowing everything that happens in either town. The high-spirited octogenarian is full of witty sayings, sage advice, and gruff love, but she’s Madison’s biggest supporter. So is Genesis Baker, Madison’s best friend from junior high and owner of the local eatery. Between the two of them, they supply Madison with all the gossip and background information she needs to do a job.

Brash deCordova is Madison’s crush from high school and now the local Chief of Police. After following their unfolding love story in books 1-7, readers have been waiting for the Wildflower Wedding that unites this couple once and forever. Add in handsome firefighter Cutter Montgomery, Brash’s bubbly teenage daughter Megan, Madison’s flamboyant part-time employee Derron, Granny Bert’s old flame and rodeo legend Sticker Pierce, a recurring cast of nosy neighbors and disgruntled townspeople, and it could be any small town in the USA. These are people you instinctively know.

The stories are full of mystery and are often funny, but don’t be surprised if you get misty-eyed at times. These tales are also about families, and telling their stories can get emotional.

Most of all, I try to make my books believable. Many of the themes stem from something that has happened in my own life. (Don’t worry. I’ve never killed anyone.)

As for The Sisters, I first came up with the idea of sister cities when my son got married a few years ago at a venue that was once part of a large cotton plantation. Even now, you’ll find white tufts dotting the rural landscape near harvest time. A railroad runs amid the fields, complete with an old depot, but back in the day, it stopped to load cotton bales straight from the farm. The setting sparked a back-story for the series, which you can read on my website.

You may not find the towns of Naomi and Juliet, Texas on a map, but wander the backroads along the Brazos River—or through the pages of my books—and you may get a glimpse of the towns as they exist in my mind.
I hope you’ll decide to visit.

And drop in for an e-chat anytime! beckiwillis.ccp@gmail.com.

Becki Willis is the author of the new book Wildflower Wedding: With a Killer Reception

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Interview with Betti Rosewood, Author of Boys That Tease

What can you tell us about your new release, Boys That Tease?

It’s a story I’ve been working on for 6 months and I love the angsty, steamy book that came out of it! I’ve been toying with the idea of a bully with a heart of gold… and that’s exactly what the main character, Crispin, is like.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I was lucky enough to realize I wanted to be an author the first day of school – it sounds ridiculous, but I remember sitting at my desk learning to write my name and I knew this was what I wanted to do. I had an amazing teacher who always encouraged me and believed in me. I don’t think I’d be here without her. Also, my parents are HUGE readers and they really instilled a love of reading in me.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

In no specific order: Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher, Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, a bunch of books by K Webster (I can’t pick one, don’t make me), You by Caroline Kepnes & I loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I also ADORE Gillian Flynn.

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

I love this question! I would want to bring on indie authors and spotlight their books, because I think there are some truly amazing people in the indie industry, who are so very talented! People like LJ Shen, Jade West, Kitty Thomas and Ashley Jade are forever an inspiration. I would love to ask them all one question: What happens to the stories that never get written? The ideas they cast aside – do they have a story they want to tell but haven’t yet? Secrets intrigue me.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Telling the story that only I know and sharing it with my readers. My favorite part are their responses, reviews and love for my stories.

What is a typical day like for you?

I wake up late, have a meeting with my manager AKA boyfriend and then spend the day chasing plot bunnies! I take out some time for reading as well as my pets (I have 2 cats and a Lab Retriever).

What scene in Boys That Tease was your favorite to write?

Oooh this might get steamy… My favorite scene to write was the first sex scene. Because I’d explored these characters for so long, I felt like it was so special. I felt every word in that scene.

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

Yes, something my father taught me – ‘Per aspera ad astra’, through hardships to the stars.

 

Betti Rosewood is the author of the new book Boys That Tease.

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