Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category

Promises Kept… Interview with author Piper Huguley

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Today on ye old blog I’m so happy to have my friend, the super talented and all around amazing person, Piper Huguley here to talk about writing, her process and her much anticipated full length inspirational debut, THE PREACHER’S PROMISE (book 1 in her Home to Milford College series).

Hello Piper it’s so wonderful to have you here on ye old blog today! 

First off can you tell us a bit about THE PREACHER’S PROMISE?

1866 – Oberlin, Ohio

Devastated by her father’s death days after her triumphant graduation from Oberlin College, Amanda Stewart is all alone in the world. Sorting through her father’s papers, she discovers he had carried on a mysterious correspondence with a plantation in Milford, Georgia. To fulfill a promise she made to her father, she resolves to start a school there to educate and uplift their race.  However, when she arrives, the mayor tells her to leave.  There’s no where for her to go.

Virgil Smithson, Milford’s mayor, blacksmith and sometimes preacher man with a gift for fiery oratory, doesn’t want anything to do with a snobby schoolteacher from up North. On top of everything else, the schoolteacher lady has a will hard enough to match the iron he forges. He must organize his fellow formerly enslaved citizens into a new town and raise his young daughter alone. Still, his troubled past haunts him. He cannot forget the promise he made to his daughter’s mother as she died—that their child would learn to read and write.  If only he didn’t have secrets that the new schoolteacher seems determined to uncover.

 piper cover

 

Now here is a short excerpt from The Preacher’s Promise:   

 

If he had shot March with an arrow, he couldn’t have wounded his daughter more, judging from the screwed-up look on her brown face. And made him all the more determined for this pretty lady to get on about her business. This woman with her fancy bonnet and her big trailing dress with the smallest possible waist put big ideas into March’s head. What would he do with that once this lady was gone on about her rich life? Best to put all of that to an end. Now. Today. Well, at least tomorrow.

            He moved off the platform, and March dragged her feet in her dusty shoes. But the rustle of the lady’s skirts did not follow them.

            Virgil turned. She was still up there on the platform, a dark bell against the afternoon sky.

            “Got to walk. Town’s up this way, Miss. Can’t wait out here all night.” If she stayed all night on the platform, he really would be responsible for her then. The thought of what could happen to her in the night made his dry throat catch.

            “I’m staying right here, Mr. Smithson.”

            A stubborn female. An even worse sight for March to see.

            He started again. “Nightfall come, Miss, and the night riders could come and do you great harm. Wouldn’t want it to come to that.”

            Couldn’t she see her safety was at stake? And he couldn’t touch her to bring her on. He looked at March to see if she were concerned about this lady’s safety, but his daughter, his own child, looked away from him.

            Miss Amanda embodied danger itself. She had to go.

            “I mean to say, I can’t go anywhere else, Mr. Smithson. If you’ll just take me to the teacher house, I’ll be comfortable.”

            “I’m telling you, Pauline will put you up. What else you need to know?”

            “I’m homeless, sir. I have no home or family or anywhere else to go.”

            He dropped her case to the dust, clean out of options and responses. No matter that he was a freeman who bought himself out of slavery way before the war come. A man who used fire to make iron bend to his will had just met his match.

 

The Lawyer’s Luck is a prequel story about Amanda’s parents in 1844 Ohio.  It is a short novella. What inspired you to write this story?

The Reconstruction-era is not a time period that is often written about. So, I was looking for the history that was not written about, rather than gravitating to the often-told history. As it often happens, once I investigated the events of the time, the story grew out of those events in an organic way.  A bunch of teachers going in to tell native people that they were ignorant and needed to learn a new way of doing things?  Natural conflict.

 Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?

I have always thought they were more character driven, but having answered the above question, I would have to say maybe they are more plot driven. The history does provide certain answers when I am stuck.

What made you choose this genre to write in?

We see enough about the historical struggles of our ancestors.  I thought about this idea, and the idea for my 20th century series when I came to know, through the classroom, how younger people don’t know this history.  I thought of the fiction approach as a “fun” way to convey it.  Others on Facebook always proclaimed a desire for more African American Historical Romance.  It seemed to be a ready made market.

Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. I know you have a busy schedule also being a professor. How do you fit your writing into this world?  

I tend to write in the evenings.  I will settle down to the computer for an hour or two and fast draft.  Then I will go back and revise.  I love accountability groups. It helps me to get a kick in the butt and to watch the words pile up.  I’m always looking for new accountability groups to join!

What advice would you give other aspiring writers?

If you have an idea that is unique, don’t give up on it.  There is an audience. The beauty of self-publishing is that there’s a better chance of reaching a  smaller audience.  Traditional publishers feel that because the audience is small, reaching those readers is not worth the risk.  I understand their point of view, because they have to make money to pay for their overhead and expenses, but in self-publishing, that doesn’t exist.  Save your money to self-publish to ensure that your voice and idea can be heard in the best most professional way.

 

 Lastly what can readers expect next from you?

If it appears that people like my interpretation of this history, I’ll put out the next story in the series, The Mayor’s Mission.

I’m already loving the title! Can’t wait for that one to come out too.Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thank you for having me!

You all can find Piper in these spots around the web. Please look her up. You won’t be disappointed!

Blog: http://piperhuguley.com

Facebook: Piper Huguley, Home to Milford College

Twitter:  @writerpiper

piper author

You can pick up The Preacher’s Promise at these e-tailers:

Amazon 

Nook 

Kobo

All the best,

KMJ

Teeny Weeny Red Bikini… Interview with author Lauren Christopher plus a giveaway!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Today on ye old blog I’m excited to introduce you all to another fabulous author and friend with another great debut, Lauren Christopher with her novel THE RED BIKINI.

Laurie The_Red_Bikini cover.large

Hi Lauren, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat!

Thanks, Kwana! I’ve been a long-time blog reader of yours, and it’s been so fun and inspiring watching your success. (Especially because we’ve both been writing while raising kids at the same time and sending them off to college!) I’m just thrilled to be here.

Yes, we have both been juggling together. Thanks so much for being such a supportive friend. I’m happy to have journeyed along with you. First off can you tell the blog readers a bit about your current work?

Sure! I’ve just launched my very first novel, The Red Bikini. It’s set in a fictional California seaside town called “Sandy Cove,” and it’s got a divorced mom from Indiana, a younger man, sand and sunsets, and some sizzling summer romance. Here’s the blurb:

For the last five years, Giselle McCabe’s life has been about sippy cups and playdates. But when her husband suddenly leaves her, Giselle flees to her sister’s California beach house for a two-week getaway. Out of her element, she’s surprised to receive such a warm welcome—especially from gorgeous celebrity athlete Fin Hensen. …

Fin is escaping his pro tour for a season, trying to lay low until all the hubbub over a huge mistake in his past blows over.  And when he sets his sights on Giselle, he realizes that the beautiful good girl just might be his ticket to success.

But Giselle never expected romance to enter the picture again—especially with a hot twentysomething from a completely different world. And even though it feels like Fin is everything she’s trying to run away from, she can’t help coming back for more…

 

What inspired you to write this story?

I think I really like stories where things aren’t as they seem, and where people have to overcome stereotypes or assumptions to get down to truth and beauty. In this story, there are a lot of stereotypes being held – of surfers, of Californians, of beauty queens, of people who drive certain cars or have certain professions – and I wanted to write a story where all the stereotypes get stripped away, one by one, for both the hero and the heroine. I guess I wanted to explore how often, perhaps, our assumptions or misperceptions might get in the way of letting us make real connections with people, and might even get in the way of letting us fall in love.

 

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yep. I remember standing at the edge of my kindergarten teacher’s desk and dictating “The Runaway Easter Egg” and “My Baby Brother.” We bound them in yarn, and they went on display at the Huntington Beach Mall with the rest of my class’ books. I remember being so proud when my parents took me to see it displayed there. By the time I was in first grade, my first grade teacher wrote a little poem for me that went “Laurie, Laurie, tell me a story.” I think I was destined for storytelling!

 

What made you choose this genre to write in?

I really love writing about love. I myself married my high school sweetheart, and he’s the most amazing man – truly my best friend and the love of my life. So I really believe in true love. And I like exploring what makes it work for some people and how people find it. I mean, marriage is hard work and all – we all know it’s not all starry-eyed walks on sunset-y piers! But there is truth to the starry-eyed start: finding that special someone, and knowing he or she is your special someone, and making the commitment to making that relationship work for a lifetime. So I like exploring that in stories – putting two characters (two “types”) together and seeing how these two random personalities could do that. Can an introvert make it work with an extrovert? Can an optimist make it work with a realist? Can a homebody make it work with someone with wanderlust? It’s so fun to set two people up and see how sparks fly.

 

What characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?

This is a great question! Hmmm, let’s see. For me, the hero has to have an honor code of some kind. It can be a little thwarted at first (as it sometimes is in some of the bad-boy heroes I like to read), but it has to be there. And he has to have respect for women in general – we’ll usually see it in the way he treats a mom, sister or female friend first, so we’ll know the heroine is going to be in good hands ultimately, and treated with the respect that makes true love work.

And for me, the heroine has to be kind. It sounds so simple, but she just has to have a kindness that might extend to her pets or friends or other family members that lets us know that the hero is going to be in good hands, too.

 

Lastly what can readers expect next from you?

Whew! Well, the next book is already turned in to my publisher and comes out April 2015. It’s called Ten Good Reasons and features Giselle’s sister Lia. It’s got a workaholic heroine, a hero who looks like a pirate, some serious tanned forearms, a whale named Valentine, some Cinderella imagery, and a whole lot of fun! I hope readers will come along for another ride. And I’m writing the third book, for the youngest sister, now.

 

Wow! So many wonderful stories to come. I can’t wait. Thanks so much once again for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thanks for having me, Kwana! I want to do a little giveaway here to help celebrate my first book! (I’m just SO EXCITED!) I’d love to know others’ answers to your great “essential characteristics” question (and your answer, too!): As a reader, what characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?  If you answer below, or just say hi, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a “Sandy Cove” souvenir gift pack. Winner will be drawn Thursday at 10PM EST.

Thanks so much once again for being here Lauren and for the wonderful giveaway. Ugh you got me with my own question.  Hmm… essential for me? That’s tough I think for both the hero and the heroine it may be that they have to be prepared to ultimately put the needs of their loved ones before their own. Sacrifice is big for me and seeing through the other’s eyes.

 

You can find Lauren at www.laurenchristopherauthor.com, or chat with me on Twitter @mizwrite (https://twitter.com/mizwrite) or on Facebook here  (https://www.facebook.com/laurenchristopherauthor).

Laurie author LS-rectangular-Medium (397K)

THE RED BIKINI can be found at:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
BarnesandNoble.com
iBooks
BookDepository.com (free delivery worldwide, to Australia, Switzerland, Philippines and more)

All the best,

KMJ

A Perfect FIT… interview with author Rebekah Weatherspoon

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

I’m so happy to welcome for the first time to ye old blog, author Rebekah Weatherspoon here to discuss her recently self-published release FIT.  

Hi Rebekah, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat.  

First off can you tell us a bit about your current work?

Hi everyone, and thanks for having me, Kwana! My latest release, FIT (#1 in the Fit Trilogy) hit digital shelves June 3rd. Here’s a little bit about the story.

rebekah FIT

Violet Ryan loves the delicious food she gets to eat on the reality shows she produces for The Food Channel. What she hates is her expanding waistline. Determined to drop the pounds, Violet hatches a plan to kick start a fitness regimen. But when her determination isn’t enough to get her through even one intense group class without breaking down into tears, she knows she needs a new approach and possibly a new trainer—one with a lighter touch. 

Grant Gibson has always managed to mix business with pleasure, but now this trainer by day, and Dominant by night, is bored. Bored and lonely. Even though he owns one of L.A.’s hottest private gyms, his personal life is sorely lacking. After his last submissive tried to kidnap his dog and the contents of his bank account, he’s in no hurry to take a new lover under his wing. Not until the voluptuous Violet falls into his lap. 

She may be wary of his unorthodox approach of using sexual gratification as a reward, but even before her initial weigh-in Violet can’t seem to stay away from the sexy fitness god. She may have to let Grant show her there’s more than one way to get in shape…

 What inspired you to write this story?

I initially drafted this story for a specific publisher. Their rejection ended up being a blessing in disguise. I did a massive rewrite, changed Violet’s character completely and gave Grant a different backstory. I suppose I could have submitted it again, or to a different publisher, but when I came up with two follow-up stories I decided that I wanted to self-publish a trilogy. I had been planning to self-publish a trilogy of full length novels for a long time, but this cluster of stories was aching to get out. I have a great working relationship with my LGBT publisher, but I figure I would strike out on my own for a bit with my hetero titles.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

No. I wanted to be singer/actor/dancer. Pretty much I wanted to be Janet Jackson.

LOL. So did I. Now can you tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I am most certainly a plotter. I work quickly, when I actually sit down, to write, but I usually think about a story for months. The book I’m working on next, By Her Side, a spin off to my erotic romance, At Her Feet, I’ve been thinking about that for over a year. My plan is to write it in 4-6 weeks. That’s my schedule. Marinate on something for ages and then write like the dickens.

What advice would you give other aspiring writers?

Read, write, read, write and then read some more. Read outside of your genre. Check out stories you normally wouldn’t. Reread your favorite stories and think about why those stories are your favorite. Reread stories you absolutely hated and narrow down what ruined the story for you. Think about what YOU want to write and focus on that.

Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?

I have four releases hitting shelves before the end of the year.

Burn – a lesbian short to be featured in an anthology titled, All You Can Eat, will be out in August.

TAMED (#2 in the Fit Trilogy), the follow-up to FIT will be out in September.

Treasure, a lesbian New Adult romance will be out from Bold Strokes Books in October.

SATED (#3 in the Fit Trilogy) will be out in December.

Perhaps I’ll pause to take a nap in November some time.

In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from FIT:

 

Grant took the other seat and offered Violet an easy smile. He was dangerous, this one. “So tell me about yourself,” he said.

“Well. I’ve been wanting to get in shape. Actually, I have a goal weight I want to reach. I know it’ll take a long time. I can be patient, but I need to get started. I’m sick of looking this way and I’m sure, in some way I’m not seeing, these extra pounds can’t be good for my health.”

“That’s cool. So why don’t you tell me about yourself?” Grant repeated. He licked his lips, then smiled even wider. Violet almost kicked him in his stupid shin, but that grin he flashed her melted her reflexes. He was sarcastic. Okay. She could do sarcastic.

Violet leaned forward and mimicked his tone. “Why don’t you tell me about yourself. I’m fat. I want to pay you to make me unfat. Why don’t you tell me how you’re going to make that happen.”

Grant sat back and stretched his long legs out beside her chair. She thought about straddling him and kissing that look of satisfaction right off his face. But as fun as the brief fantasy seemed, it wouldn’t help her achieve her weight-loss goal.

“I’m not going to make anything happen. It’s on you, but here’s how I can help.”

“I’m listening.”

“I believe our outside reflects the way we feel inside, whether that’s good or bad, clean-cut or complicated. For some people, it’s about our weight. For others it’s about the way we dress or the way we sport our hair or the way we accessorize. Buddy of mine won’t leave the house without his gold watch.”

“That makes sense. So you want to know about my insides?”

Grant chuckled as he shifted in his chair. He had dimples under all that scruff. “Yes, Violet. I want to get inside of you.”

“Well, all you had to do was ask. My car is right around the corner.”

 

 A002_C005_0514C7.0001771F

Rebekah Weatherspoon is from Southern New Hampshire and now lives in Southern California with her favorite human and their two feline children. She writes adult and new adult romance, both contemporary and paranormal. Her work can be found at rebekahweatherspoon.com

 

You can pick up FIT at these e-tailers:

amazon

kobo

b&n

itunes

And you can find Rebekah here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebekahwsm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebekah-WeatherspoonAuthor/184372138243421

Website: http://www.rebekahweatherspoon.com/

 

Meeting…(Once) Again: Interview with author Theresa Paolo

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Happy new week! Today on ye old blog we have author Theresa Paolo here to talk a bit about her writing journey and her latest NA work (Once) Again.

Hi Theresa, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat!

Theresa Paolo _(Once)_Again

 

Thank you so much for having me!

Can you tell us a bit about your current work?

(Once) Again is the companion novel to (Never) Again and is about Josh a victim of a school shooting and his struggles.

The official blurb:

Josh will have to reconcile his past…

In order to make Kat his future.

After surviving a real-life nightmare, Josh Wagner is sent home from his dream college on crutches. Bedridden and tormented by flashbacks, he’s just seen his world shattered and his baseball scholarship go up in smoke. Josh’s family hires a health aide to help take care of him, but when he opens the door, the last person he expects to see is his biggest regret…

Katherine Singleton is the only girl Josh has ever loved. Now, even though she’s only taking care of him because it’s her job, Josh is determined to win her back. But Kat had to move on after their breakup two years ago, and despite her feelings for Josh, a lot has happened since he left…

When Kat’s past comes back to haunt her, Josh decides it’s his turn to take care of her. But protecting her—and redeeming himself—will put Josh in the line of fire again. Will he survive this time?

                                                    

What inspired you to write this story and its predecessor (Never) Again?

Several years ago I was home and a Breaking News story came on TV. It was about a school shooting (Virginia Tech) and I kept thinking about the family and friends who were watching and couldn’t get any information. I decided I wanted to write from that point of view and that’s how (Never) Again came about. Then Josh’s voice was so strong I knew he needed his own story.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? 

Pretty much. I wrote my first book when I was six or seven. It was a picture book and I still have it somewhere. I went back and forth though as to what area of writing I wanted to be in.

Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?

Definitely character driven. It’s what I love to read. The plot could be amazing but if I don’t have a connection with a character I have a hard time getting into the story.

What characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?

For both a hero and a heroine I like complexity and balance. If they are weak in one area I like to see them strong in another.

This is a favorite of mine. Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers?

Because it’s a favorite of yours I have to answer! As much as I wish I was, I was not an overnight success. I queried for five years, 5 books and over 200 rejections before I finally signed with my agent. I signed with Penguin 3 months later.

Wow! That’s a wonderful story. I’m so proud and happy for your perseverance. Thank you so much for sharing it with my readers.

Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?

I would love to write another book in this series, but we’ll have to see about that. I do have a YA book coming out in July under my penname Tessa Marie that I co-wrote with author Cassie Mae aka Becca Ann. It is called True Love and Magic Tricks and is the prequel to our Beds Series.

Well we can’t wait for that one too. Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thanks again for having me! It’s been a blast ! See you on Twitter/Facebook!

Theresa Paolo author photo

Theresa can be found in the following places on the web:

Facebook:
Twitter:
Goodreads:
Pinterest:

And (Once) Again can be picked up here:

Amazon:

Barnes and Noble:

 

All the best,

KMJ

Just Her Type… in interview from author Synithia Williams

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

 

Today on ye old blog we have a very special guest. The super talented Synitha Williams was kind enough to use her insider clout and get her heroine, Janiyah,  from her latest release JUST MY TYPE to stop on by and grant us an interview. I was lucky enough to read JUST MY TYPE in a sneak peek and so enjoyed Janiyah and Freddy’s story and I’m sure you will too. Now take it away Janiyah!

Synithia Just My Type Cover

 

Hi, K.M! Thanks for inviting me to you blog for an interview. I hope your readers enjoy it, and that they’ll check out how I snagged the man of my dreams, Fredrick (a.k.a. Freddy) Jenkins in Just My Type. Our love was a long time coming, but it was definitely worth waiting for.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a virtual assistant and love it. I don’t have to punch a time clock, I get to work on a variety of projects, and many of my power conference calls are done from the comfort of my living room while I wear pajamas.

What is your greatest fear?

Being unhappy with my life. I’ve seen how miserable people are when they’re stuck in a situation that doesn’t fit their personality. I love to try new things and pursue a variety of interests. I don’t want to become someone stuck in a routine and too afraid to try anything different.

Who was your first love and what do you like most about them?

My first love is also my last love. I’ve been crazy about Freddy since the first day he come over to play basketball with my older brother. I love that he’s so calm and in control no matter what’s thrown at him. The highlight of my day is finding a way to ruffle his feathers or make him smile. If I can make that wonderful dimple of his pop out, then my day is perfect. Oh, and he kisses pretty good, too.

What do you find most appealing in a man?

I love a man who isn’t afraid to go for what he wants. Assertive men that are willing to approach me are usually who I fall for. Throw in a nice smile and a sense of humor and I’m all in.

What do you find most unappealing in men?

Arrogance. It’s one thing to be confident and proud of what you do, but when you look down on others it really turns me off.

What word makes you the happiest?

Sale! I’m a big consignment shopper and seeing a sale sign … let’s just say cancel all afternoon appointments if that’s the case.

What turns you on?

Freddy’s smile, seeing him without his shirt on so I can admire his muscles, and that dimple of his.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Both, really. I tend to work late on assignments for my clients, but I can’t sleep past eight. It’s like I have an internal alarm clock or something.

If you knew a zombie apocalypse was coming in one week, what would you do?

Umm … pack up my clothes.

Why should someone read about your love with Freddy?

Because we were so stubborn, it’s funny at times. I think readers will find how silly we were humorous, but they’ll also understand why it was so hard for us to admit we were crazy for each other.

 

Just My Type Blurb:

Janiyah Henderson may be an adult, but her dad doesn’t see it that way. Granted, she’s enjoying her post-college life of little-to-no responsibility, but when her dad announces at a family meeting that she can’t handle working a “real job”, there’s only one thing to do: land a desk job and prove him wrong. When her brother’s best friend, Fredrick Jenkins, needs a new assistant, she knows she’s the perfect candidate. So what if she’s had a crush on the conservative accountant since she was nine? She’s the last woman Freddy would fall for.

But Fredrick is far from impervious to Janiyah’s charms. Though he can’t help but be attracted to her, he knows Janiyah is more interested in eating his cereal and teasing him than viewing him as more than the good guy next door. When he offers her the job, he can’t imagine her giving up her late mornings and colorful outfits for 8:00 a.m. meetings and pantyhose for too long. But as Janiyah excels as his employee, he fears he’s in danger of falling hard for a woman he shouldn’t care for.

Pretty soon the attraction they’ve tried to ignore boils to the surface. And after Fredrick shows Janiyah the man behind the numbers, she’s ready to show him that she’s just the type of woman he needs.

Buy Links:

Crimson Romance (where it’s always 30% off plus get an additional 10% off using code FFSAVE

Amazon

Barnes and Noble 

Kobo

 

About the Author:

Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It was only natural that she would begin penning her own romances soon after. When she isn’t writing, this local government gal balances the needs of her husband and two sons. Find Synithia Williams at www.synithiawilliams.com ,  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/synithiarwilliams , and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@SynithiaW .

Synithia head shot

 

It’s a Scandal! Not really but I’m on a podcast…

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

I’m so excited to be making my way in a couple of places around the net talking about BOUNCE today. 1st I was super honored when BOUNCE was chosen by Tia and Nia for their June read along book on their blog Two Writers One Book. Today I’m there answering some of their questions abut BOUNCE you can check it out and join in the convo here.  Thanks  ladies.

two writers

 

Am also excited, honored and biting my nails a bit over my 1st Podcast interview over at Scandalicious Book Reviews. The Scandalicious ladies are fabulous and made me feel quite a home. I thank them so much for having me. You can click on over here to listen.  Thanks so much!

Scandal podcast

 

All the best,

KMJ

A Question of Class… Interview with author Julia Tagan

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Today on ye old blog I’m so happy to have my RWA chaptermate, friend and debut author, Julia Tagan here to talk about her writing and her historical A Question Of Class out from Kensington/Lyrical. Thanks so much for being here today on ye old blog, Julia!

A Question of Class Cover small

First off can you tell us a bit about your current work A Question of Class?

Sure thing – thanks for having me! “A Question of Class” is set in New York City in 1810 and involves a woman who’s risen into high society, only to find out she’s being tossed aside:

On the strength of her wit and intelligence, Catherine Delcour climbed from Connecticut poverty to opulent Paris society. But once in New York, her lowly past is a scandal her wine merchant husband won’t tolerate. After five years of marriage, Morris announces their union isn’t valid and reveals his plan to send her to the West Indies. Fearing she’ll end up destitute, Catherine schemes to escape–and secure her future with his treasured bottle of wine.

Under the guise of supervising Delcour’s wayward wife, Benjamin Thomas seeks to avenge his sister’s death by ruining him. But Catherine isn’t the spoiled society wife Benjamin expects. His growing affection for Catherine threatens more than his carefully constructed plans. His vow to never touch another man’s wife has never been harder to keep than when he’s around the beguiling beauty.

When Catherine and Benjamin join forces, their sensual natures collide even as their individual desires for passion, vengeance, and escape threaten to tear them apart.

What inspired you to write this story?

I was inspired by a visit to the Morris-Jumel Mansion, which is located in upper Manhattan. A scandalous woman named Eliza Jumel lived there in the 1800s, and after reading her biography, I realized her story would make a great jumping-off point for a romance. Her ghost apparently haunts the mansion to this day.

What made you choose this genre to write in? Do you enjoy the research part of being a historical author?

I love the idea of stepping back in time, and I have to say the research part of writing is both enthralling and distracting. You can research for months and months and still feel you don’t know everything you should. At some point, you just have to start writing. For example, in an early draft I had a coyote howling in the distance, until one of the judges in a contest I’d entered pointed out that there weren’t coyotes in New York in the early 1800s. Who knew? Luckily, there were wolves, so it was an easy fix.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I am such a plotter, no question about it. I’m amazed and awed at authors who dive into a story without knowing their way out. My process involves first figuring out who the main characters are, doing tons of research into the period, and then setting up an elaborate diagram on the wall of my study, using different colored sticky-notes, to figure out what happens when. From there I write the synopsis and then I’m good to go. It helps because even if I’m stuck on one scene, I’m excited about what’s coming up and that gets me through any rough patches.

Lastly what can readers expect next from you?

My next historical romance, “Stages of Desire,” just went to contract with Kensington/Lyrical and will hopefully be released by the end of the year. It’s set in London during the Regency era and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure. I’m so excited for you and A Question of Class!

And thank you for being such an inspiration to all your fellow authors and readers!

Thank you too!

A Question of Class can be picked up here

Amazon

Nook

Kobo

iTunes

 Julia Tagan small

And Julia can be reached here:

On her site: http://juliatagan.com

& Her blog, on twitter, Facebook and on Goodreads .

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

 

Strolling along…

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Happy new week! I hope you all had a lovely Holiday weekend. Mine was very nice and now I’m ready to go back deep in the writing cave. I can’t believe how fast time is going and how slow I seem to be working. Eek! I think my mind is somewhere in Paris with my DD taking strolls down the Champs-Élysées. If you could take a stroll anywhere this week where would you take it?

champs

Oh and speaking of strolls, I’m blog strolling over at Night Owl Reviews and have an interview over there. Please stop on by if you have moment and check me out. Thanks!

All the best,

KMJ

 

image Antoine Blanchard

When Bootie met the Beast… an interview with author Falguni Kothari plus a giveaway!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Today on ye old blog I’m so happy to have my RWA chapter-mate and friend Falguni Kothari here to speak about her writing, life and her latest release Bootie and the Beast. Hi Falguni Thanks so much for being here today. It’s a real treat.

First off can you tell us a bit about your latest work work Bootie and the Beast?

Thank you for having me here, Kwana. The treat is mine, believe me, as I’d love to tell you all about the Beast.

As you can probably tell from the title, this book is a delicious metaphor of the traditional “Beauty and the Beast” with a voodoo/fate-tweaking bootie thrown in instead of a rose. (There is a rose involved but only as body art.) So, Bootie and the Beast is the story of Diya “Beauty” Mathur, a slandered Indian supermodel, who on her father’s angry insistence must hideout for a couple of weeks in Krish “the Beast” Menon’s Dallas lair. Beauty and the Beast have a long, bickering history and this cozy little marooning gives them a chance to deal with past issues.

Blurb:

For supermodel Beauty Mathur, life is one giant pink-colored party. For numbers man Krish Menon, life is all about control. She is vivacious, winsome and has a devil-may-care attitude. He is balanced, beastly and abides no nonsense. She jets about the globe, drenched in designer labels and inspires princely men to act out fairytales for her. He growls instead of talks, snarls instead of asks, and no one on the planet makes the Beast growl or snarl louder than Beauty Mathur.

Yet for all their differences Diya and Krish are friends—the rarest of friends.

When Diya gets embroiled in a shocking scandal that not only threatens her reputation but her single-and-fabulous status too, Krish steps in to protect her like he always has. But something is different this time. The Beast has a secret and Beauty will not rest until she peels it off him. The meddling has an unexpected result: it changes the status of Beauty’s relationship with the Beast forever.

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Buy link: http://www.falgunikothari.com/bootie-and-the-beast.php

What inspired you to write this story?   

Diya is a secondary character in my debut romance, IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK!

Even as an MC’s BFF, Diya Mathur was amazing and fun and the minute I put her in Wordfreak, I knew I had to give her a center-stage story. When Krish Menon (brother to Diya’s BFF, Alisha Menon) made his appearance, it was like a gong went off in my head. OMG! I thought, the BFF and the brother…the fashion model and the numbers man…how perfect. And it was…is perfect.

Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?

Definitely character-driven. I always imagine the characters first. Flesh them out in my mind and the plot/issue they have to deal with comes in after.

What made you choose this genre to write in?

I love to read about HEAs and get unrealistically ticked off when a book refuses to give two people who are perfect for each other a happily-ever-after. It’s fiction, for heaven’s sake! You can allow fictional characters to be happy no matter what insane thing you have to do to get them there. I think it’s the Bollywood diet I’ve been on all my life. Bollywood cinema is big on romances and Shah Rukh Khan, the King of Romance, gives me the shivers.

This is a favorite of mine. Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers?

I don’t know about “overnight” but yeah, sometimes it feels like that. About 5 years ago, my mother shook me out of my I-am-a-homemaker-and-mother-of-two-and-therefore-satisfied-with-life bubble by insisting I DO SOMETHING for myself. I got married young and did not finish college, so I thought why not jog down that road as I love reading and learning anyway. I decided to start with a couple of online classes at the community college, see if I could in fact study and give tests again. Surprisingly, all the online classes that I liked had something to do with literature or writing. I started with short and sweet courses, not too taxing. One of them was “How to Write a Romance Novel.” It was so much fun that I took another one on Grammar. By this time, I was hooked and had about half a manuscript down. A year later, I finished the manuscript and a friend who had read it pushed me to publish it. “There’s no harm in trying,” she said. “At the most, you’ll get rejected. What’s the big deal in that?” Other than my ego, nothing was wrong with that. But I put on my “brave woman” pants and looked into publishing protocol and found that in the US, I’d need an agent first. I didn’t consider e-pub or self-pub only because I thought until I know the business I’d rather have someone else deal with it. Of course, I was rejected—23 times for Wordfreak—but I did not get dejected as it was all too knew for me. Sometime amidst those rejections, I visited family in India. There, another friend suggested I chuck my manuscript at publishers in India, as my book was so “Indian” even if it wasn’t written in a typically Indian way. So, I did. And a few months later, Rupa Publications, India’s leading publisher, sent me my first contract. And that’s my success story. I know I have been luckier than most in many ways and believe me I do not take my fortune for granted for a minute.

What a wonderful story is perseverance.  I love it! Lastly, can you share with my readers what we can expect next from you?

I am in the process of finding a publisher for my Urban Fantasy, a project that speaks to my soul, and is quite aptly called Soul Warrior: The Age of Kali. This story is what I got when I injected the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, with a heavy dose of the Avengers.

What am I working on? My current WIP is an unconventional love story between three soul mates.

Three soul mates! That sounds really exciting. Thanks so much for being here today and best of luck with Bootie and the Beast!

Falguni author photo

 

Folks you all can keep up with Falguni here:

website: http://www.falgunikothari.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/falgunikothari.author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/F2tweet

Blog: http://falgunikothari.blogspot.com

Also Falguni has a great giveaway going on right now. Please be sure to click and enter for a chance to win a Kindle!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thanks again!

All the best,

KMJ

 

Breathless… Interview with author Sofia Tate plus a Giveaway!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Today on ye old blog I’m super thrilled to have my chaptermate and friend Sofia Tate here to talk about her debut BREATHLESS FOR HIM out July 1 from Forever Yours.  Thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today, Sofia. It’s a real treat.

Thank you, Kwana. It’s my pleasure!

First off can you tell us a bit about your current work?

BREATHLESS FOR HIM is a contemporary erotic romance about a billionaire named Davison Berkeley, who comes from a wealthy society family in Manhattan. One night, he retrieves a glove that he lost at a trendy bistro, and the instant he meets the coat check girl, Allegra Orsini, the spark is ignited-he is instantly drawn to her. For Allegra, the feeling is mutual. Allegra is the daughter of a butcher in Little Italy. She is also an aspiring opera singer and a graduate student of voice at a Manhattan conservatory. The lingering trauma of an event that happened to Allegra when she was five years old will affect her relationship with Davison, as will Davison’s ex-girlfriend, Ashton Canterbury.

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 What inspired you to write this story?

The basis of the story is a short story I wrote when I was studying for my MFA degree in creative writing. One evening in my fiction workshop, my professor gave us a story prompt-two left gloves. We had five minutes to write a story about them. I developed the story and titled it “Hearsay,” a word that plays a prominent role in the opening chapter. Basically, the first chapter of BREATHLESS FOR HIM is that story.

What made you choose this genre to write in?

Years ago, I tried writing a book in the vein of Bridget Jones’ Diary, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Around 2010, I wrote about 100 pages of a paranormal romance. Then I started buying RT Book Reviews every month to learn more about the romance industry. I read a review of SINFUL by Charlotte Featherstone and bought it immediately for my Kindle. After reading it, I knew I finally found my niche in erotic romance, but instead of historical erotic romance, I knew I’d be better at writing contemporary.

Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I’m a plotter, but I don’t use a whiteboard or Scrivener. I write in a notebook, always using these red Pilot rolling ball extra fine pens I get at Staples-I guess you could say that’s my superstition. If Pilot ever stopped making them, I’d be devastated. I usually write at night, but I also write during the day when I can.

This is a favorite of mine. Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers?

BREATHLESS FOR HIM had already been rejected by two publishers last year before I got the offer from my editor at Forever Yours. It took exactly a month between submission and the offer, which I think is mind-blowing and I’m still in awe of it all.

 Who are some of your favorite writers that have influenced you? (sub-question) What book is currently on your nightstand or e-reader?

Charlotte Featherstone, Eden Bradley, Samantha Young, Raine Miller, Sylvia Day, Logan Belle, and Kate Pearce. I just finished reading Collide and Pulse by Gail McHugh. Gavin Blake-oh my! That man….

What advice would you give aspiring writers?  

Hone your craft. Take writing classes. If you’re an aspiring romance writer, read RT Book Reviews. Go to the RT convention. Join RWA and your local RWA chapter. And READ! Read both in the genre you want to write in and outside it.

Right now, I’m working on Book 2 in my Davison & Allegra series, DEVOTED TO HIM, which will be out December 2 from Forever Yours.

Yay! I’m so excited to hear there will be a book 2 on the way! Throws confetti!

Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure. And now for some extra fun, Sofia has agreed to give one lucky commenter a copy of BREATHLESS FOR HIM, so comment away!  Winner will be announced on Friday!

sofia authorphoto2

Sofia Tate can be found:

on Facebook  here

on Twitter here

And you can pick up your copy of BREATHLESS FOR HIM here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

All the best,

KMJ

Author photo credit: Katana Photography