Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category

A thank you & Some of that Sweet Jazz… an interview with author Ursula Renee

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

 

 

Hello friends!

Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to all why participated and helped me with honoring my Nana by sharing yesterday on the #WeNeedDiverseRomance hashtag on twitter. I was so thrilled with how it took off and can only hope that the powers that be in the industry were listening. Whenever the mood strikes please keep it going. I know I sure will as long as it takes and as long as still #WeNeedDiverseRomance. You can check out lots of the tweets here on Storify.  It was my 1st time on Storify so I hope they were all collected. And as for the header? Not sure how Sorify picked that.

 

Now,  speaking of diverse romance I love it when I can bring a new writer to ye old blog and today I’m super excited to have my friend and RWA NYC chapter mate Ursula Renee here on Ye Old Blog to discuss her fantastic historical debut novel Sweet Jazz. Thanks so much for being here today Ursula.

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

Sweet Jazz is an interracial romance that takes place in Harlem, New York in 1938.

The Big House’s “Coloreds Only” policy makes the club popular with Harlem residents. The same policy makes it harder for the owners to find and retain musicians. After four weeks of listening to saxophonists with bigger dreams than talent, the owners are ready to hire the first person who walks in and plays “one good note.” Their words come back to haunt them when Randy Jones auditions.

Many of the employees are not thrilled when Randy breaks the color barrier. He does find an ally in Cass, the club’s sassy singer, who goes out of her way to welcome him. Offstage, Cass Porter looks like a teenager, but when she sings she’s all woman. Inside, she’s been hurt badly and has determined never to love again.

As their relationship develops, life at the club for Randy becomes complicated when he has to fight both Cass’s fear of opening her heart and those who want to keep them apart.

 

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I discovered the joys of writing after I wrote my first story when I was eight. Though I continued writing short stories, poems, and fan fiction, I did not considering pursung a career as an author until I started working on Sweet Jazz.

 

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

I like my heroes to be handsome, strong and confident. However, they also have to be willing to work with others and not insist on charging in to save the day alone.

A heroine should be strong, independent and smart. She should think before rushing into a situation that could potentially cause harm to her or others.

 

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

I write during my hour long commute in the mornings and evenings. I also try to schedule one weekend a month in which I focus entirely on my manuscript.

I think of myself as both a pantser and plotter. As soon as an idea pops into my mind, I have to get it down on paper. Once I have completed the first draft, I create an outline. I used this during the editing process to ensure that each plot point moves the story forward and the characters appear and act as I originally envisioned.

 

What advice would you give other aspiring writers?

Do not give up.

There may be times when you feel as if everyone is against you – family and friends may laugh at you; editors tell you the manuscript does not work; or the words will not come to you. In either case, stop, take a deep breath and remember that success does not come to those who quit.

 

That is perfect advice. Thanks so much! What can readers expect next from you?

I am working on an interracial romance set in 1957, between a first generation Italian-American and a Filipino/African-American.

 

Fantastic! And now friends an excerpt from Sweet Jazz:

Cass rolled her eyes as she slid a sheet of paper across the table. He glanced down at the sketch of an older woman standing next to a piano. She wore an evening gown, and her hair was pulled back in a bun, with a feather ornament holding the style in place.

“The Big House is proud to feature Cass, with music by The Big House Band,” Randy read. He

glanced from the paper to her, then back at the paper. He recognized the similarities in the facial features, but it couldn’t be possible. “You can’t be the same Cass.”

“No other Cass here.”

“Your momma lets you work here?” Randy asked as he handed back the flyer.

He knew some parents did not care what their children did as long as they were out of the way.

However, allowing a young girl to work in a club was beyond neglectful.

“My momma doesn’t have much say in the matter, seeing as how she’s down south,” Cass said, placing the paper on the table.

“Down south?

“That’s where she lives.”

“What about your relatives?”

“They’re down there, too.”

Randy lowered his foot to the floor and straddled the chair. He needed to sit down. There was no way she was up there by herself.

“Don’t you have someone lookin’ after you?”

“I’ve been looking after myself for six years.”

“Six years? Girl, you jokin’? You can’t be no older than…what…sixteen? seventeen?”

“I’m twenty-two.”

Twenty-two? It explained why she got away with arguing with Junior, but, still… Randy slowly glanced from the ankle socks and canvas shoes on her feet to her two braids. She looked as if she should be playing with dolls or jumping rope, not singing in a club.

 

Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

ursularenee

 

Ursula can be found on the web at:

http://www.ursularenee.com

http://blog.ursularenee.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ursularenee.author

And you can buy Sweet Jazz here:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

P.S. Sidebar: I’ll be appearing at Between The Covers in Riverdale NY on Monday 11/17 from 7-9 reading an excerpt from BOUNCE (I’ll try and find a spicy scene) And I’ll have some copies to sign! So if you are in upper Manhattan come on out! Details are here.

Bounce 1400 A

 

Spotlight Through Time… a chat with author Morgan O’Neill

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Today on ye old blog I’m excited to spotlight the fantastic writing duo of Deborah O’Neill Cordes and Cary Morgan Frates known together as Morgan O’Neil and their Italian Time Travel Series. But you know me, since I had them here to spotlight their latest work I had to ask quick question or two:

So ladies, why time travel?  We love writing time travel because it gives us the opportunity to write epic and intricate timeswept adventures, which take place in the present and past.  We love weaving real historical events into our storylines, with our heroines and heroes interacting with an actual historical romantic couple. It is also interesting to write these novels from the perspective of a modern heroine (or the occasional “out of his time” hero), who must deal with the conflict and dangers inherent in surviving in another era.

Where and when will you be traveling next? Our next time travel series will be a journey to Elizabethan England, with the debut of The Thornless Rose in November of 2014, to be published by Entangled Publishing, LLC.

That sounds fantastic and thanks for the preview and now let’s check out your wonderful series that’s out NOW!

 Deb OtherSideHeaven_CVR_LRG

The Other Side of Heaven, Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series

Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forebearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time. At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide. Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?

 

Deb TimeEnoughLove_CVR_LRG

 

Time Enough for Love, Book Two of the Italian Time Travel Series

Through dark magic, Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn has been swept back in time to medieval Italy. There, she finds herself in the midst of a war between Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide, and those who have kidnapped her and seek to usurp her crown. Risking her life, Gwen elects to play a pivotal role in the planned rescue. In the midst of the chaos, she is drawn to the queen’s champion, Lord Alberto Uzzo, who battles not only their military foes, but also his personal demons. Tested to the limit when he discovers Gwen’s true identity as a time traveler, Alberto nevertheless fights through his doubt and the whirl of superstition that surrounds this intriguing and strong-willed woman. Time is of the essence as the lovers seek to overcome the evil forces rallying against the queen they’ve vowed to save. Will Gwen and Alberto be able to overcome the groundswell of danger to find time enough for love?

Review Quotes:

“What an amazing adventure… These two books will have a very treasured place on my bookshelf.” ~ Review by Hitherandthee of Night Owl Reviews. Both novels were given Top Picks, 4.5 stars for The Other Side of Heaven, 5 stars for Time Enough for Love.

 

“Alberto and Gwen’s relationship was one of the most touching and heartfelt romances, that I’ve read in a long time.” ~ Review by Angela Searles, Satin Sheets Romance Reviews.

 Morgan O Neil DeborahCordes&CaryFrates

Bio:

Two authors writing as one, Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure, and romance – with a time travel twist. They are the award-winning authors of the medieval Italian time travel duo, The Other Side of Heaven, and its sequel, Time Enough for Love, and the forthcoming Elizabethan time travel series, which will debut with The Thornless Rose, from Entangled Publishing, LLC, in November, 2014. They are also the authors of the Roman time travel series, which will be re-released in 2015.

 

The Other Side of Heaven and Time Enough For Love can be found in these locations on the web:

http://www.morganoneill.com/

The Other Side of Heaven

Time Enough for Love

All the best,

KMJ

Talking Something Good… an interview with author, Jamie Wesley & a giveaway!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Today on ye old blog I’m so happy to have a friend who also happens to be a fabulous author, Jamie Wesley here to chat about books, writing and her debut release from Entangled publishing called Tell Me Something Good.

Jamie 1 TMSG cover

 

 Hi Jamie! Thanks so much for being here today. It’s a real treat. First off can you tell us a bit about Tell Me Something Good?

Thank you, Kwana, for having me and absolutely, I’ll tell you about my book! TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD is an enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance that takes place in the world of talk radio. It’s funny and sexy (in my opinion anyway). Here’s the blurb:

Two radio show hosts. One show. Who will come out on top?

In a moment of restlessness, Tate Grayson sold his multimillion-dollar company and spun his love of sports into a radio talk show. Life, and love, is too short to take seriously—a fact he enjoys rubbing in uptight radio host Noelle Butler’s face.

After the death of her parents, a tragedy she blamed on herself, Noelle vowed to live a controlled, focused life. Now a psychologist, she channels her need for connection into her radio show. But when the arrogant sportscaster next door tells listeners men shouldn’t get married, she’s all too happy to yank the silver spoon out of his overprivileged mouth.

Their heated on-air arguments are a hit, but when the station director forces them to do a joint show for two weeks, Tate and Noelle object. They can’t stand each other, despite the attraction sizzling beneath every interaction. But if they can’t pull the struggling radio station back from the brink, they’ll lose their jobs. Or worse, their hearts.

What inspired you to write this story? The song Tell Me Something Good naturally!

Three years ago, I was driving home from work, flipping through radio stations, when Tell Me Something Good came on. As I was singing along to it, it occurred to me that Tell Me Something Good would be a great title for a book.

I had no characters, no plot. Just a title. But it didn’t stay that way for long.

“Tell Me,” I thought. “Tell Me” led me to “talk” and then “talk radio.” And boom, I had an idea! What if two radio show talk hosts who couldn’t stand each other were forced to do a show together?

Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser? I’m a pantser, but I have to have some idea of the plot before I start. I’m not one to sit down at the computer with two characters and just write. I need to know something like they don’t like each other, but they have to work together at their radio station. With that said, I don’t plot the whole story out because – A. I can’t. I might have a general idea of what happens in the first few chapters, but chapter 8? No idea. And the quickest way for me to get frustrated and blocked is to try to figure out what happens in chapter 8 before I start the story. B. I lose interest if I know the entire story beforehand. I feel like I’ve already written it.

Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers? Funny how long “overnight” takes, isn’t it? I graduated college in 2002. While I searched for a job, it occurred to me that as much as I love reading romance, I should try my hand at writing one. I’d always loved writing, and English was always my best subject. At one point, I thought I was going to be a journalist.

I had an idea for a story, but I got halfway through the book only to realize I had no idea what happened next. I got a job and put it aside. In 2009, I took it back out and finished it. It only took 7 years to figure out the ending! Lol. I tried to get it published in 2010. That’s when I realized that the publishing industry can be the very definition of frustrating. You submit and wait. And then the editor who had your story leaves, but doesn’t pass it along before departing, so you submit again, only to have the same thing happen again.

Anyway, while I waited, I wrote some more stories. I knew my writing was getting better and I got some confirmation in 2012 when I was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Surely now, I would be published! Except no. I received rejections from agents and a few publishers, which sucked, but didn’t defeat me. The rejections just meant I had to get better. I knew the story was good, but it could be better. So I set it aside and worked on other things. Eventually, I came back to it. I worked on it, then gave it to a friend for a critique. She did a great job and I worked on the book some more until I thought it was ready. In 2013, I submitted it to Entangled Publishing and had an acceptance less than a week later. That book was TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD.

As for the first book I wrote? It eventually got rejected and it’s now tucked away on my computer hard drive. I still like the plot, but the writing isn’t up to the standard I’ve set for myself. Maybe one day I’ll get back to it.

Who are some of your favorite writers that have influenced you? I’ve been reading Nora Roberts for over 20 years. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Brenda Jackson, Julie James. So yes, the biggest names in contemporary romance. Lol. But there’s the reason they are the biggest names. They’re terrific writers. And this is by no means a complete list.

What advice would you give other aspiring writers? Read the books/authors you love and try to figure out why you love them. Know that you’ll get frustrated and there will be setbacks, but don’t give up. Strive to be a better writer today than you were yesterday.

Lastly, what can readers expect next from you? I’m working on the sequel to TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m going to refer to it as #notabadthing on Twitter. Yes, that’s in reference to Justin Timberlake’s song. The hero is having the hardest time convincing the heroine that he’s worth the risk. She may have her doubts, but my money is on the hero.

Thanks so much once again for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

No, thank you! I had an amazing time! As a thank you, I’d like to offer an e- copy of TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD to one of your readers. All they have to do to enter the contest is tell me the biggest curveball a boss has ever thrown at them (please put your contact info in your comment).

Here’s an excerpt from TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD:

She looked up. “I’m fine. Truly.” She grasped his hand on her cheek with hers and squeezed.

Tate stared into her beautiful, gray eyes. All he could see was her. All he wanted to see was her. His eyes slipped to her slightly parted full lips. His breath quickened as the pull between them strengthened. A force he was much too weak to continue resisting.

He lowered his head. A hand to his chest stopped him. He stilled, hoping she didn’t push him away. Hoping she did—to save him from himself. She didn’t. Instead, she gripped the shirt and slowly pulled him to her.

“Oh, man,” she whispered right before his lips met hers.

Lust he expected, but not the overwhelming sweetness and rightness that punched him in the gut. He slid his hand to her chin and tilted it up, seeking a better angle. She wrapped her left arm around his shoulders and pulled him closer. She sighed, a tiny sound that acted as a drug to his senses. He took advantage, slipping his tongue inside her mouth.

They shared a moan. He kept the kiss slow and languid, learning the shape and feel of her. What she liked. But his tactic did nothing to blight how mind-blowing the kiss was. Overwhelming desire filled every pore of his being. If her moans and her active participation were indications, Noelle felt the same.

He slid his hands down her back to her ass, cupped it, and drew her into his body. She went willingly and gasped into his mouth as his rock-hard erection made contact with her stomach.

He grinned against her mouth. Yeah, he wanted her. Bad. A swipe of her tongue against his bottom lip had him going back for more, the embrace turning harder.

Had a kiss ever felt so good, so right? So perfect?

Buy links: Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iBooks | KoboAll Romance

Jamie 2 author photo

Connect with me at:

jamiewesley.com

twitter.com/Jamie_Wesley

facebook.com/AuthorJamieWesley

 

Don’t forget to comment folks. A winner will be announced on Monday!

All the best,

KMJ

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