Posts Tagged ‘authors’

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!

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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!

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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

A Writing Process Blog Tour

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The fabulous and super talented Michelle Monkou tagged me in this writing process blog tour and as I do with all tag type things I froze but then realized we were not playing freeze tag so there you have it. I’m it… So RUN! No don’t run, sit a bit and read on about my process and how this writing thing works for me….Enjoy.

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What am I working on?

Right now the world is my oyster since Threads of Desire is now out and Bounce is too (psst the print version is soon to come).

But the thing about the world being your oyster and all means the possibilities are endless and oh boy pretty shiny thing over there. But no, I must focus and work on one project at a time (Well maybe two). This year I’ve got a fun romantic comedy brewing and I’m working on a sequel for BOUNCE so there is all sorts of sexy fun suburbia intrigue coming that way.

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How does my work differ from others of its genre?  I think the difference in my work, like what others have said before me, is voice. People say all the stories have been told and I don’t know, for the most part that may be true. But I do know the stories have not been told my way. It’s always fun for me to find a new author with an exciting and new voice and I hope that now some folks are getting that feeling in my works too.

Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been a dreamer, making up stories in my head. I’ve also always been a fan of romance and contemporary women’s fiction so writing in this genre was a natural fit.

How does your writing process work?

Can I just say it’s a mystery?

As for work? I don’t know how well it works. I’m always looking for ways to streamline it and write now I’m taking a fantastic Scrivener class given my Gwen Hernandez to help me get my many writing thoughts into a more organized contained place.

I’d like to get to the point that I wake, up sit at the keyboard and the words flow like spring rain and not my usual open laptop, sit and stare. Blink. Go to kitchen come back. Sit, stare some more, reach for the faraway word. Write a sentence. Stare at screen. Walk to kitchen again. Go back to computer. Turn away. Flip TV on then Off.  Check emails. Oh wait, Twitter! Look at clock an hour later panic then write a few hundred words. The character’s voices now too loud to be ignored a moment longer so I must write and quiet them down until the next day’s noise.

 

Yeah I’m thinking this process can be improved on dramatically. There are many stories to write and a smooth process will help it a bunch.

And now with me being it an all I have the fun job of tagging other writers so that they can share their processes with you. So I’m now tagging…

Synithia Williams: Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her publishing dreams. Her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love was published in August 2012 by Crimson Romance. When she isn’t writing, this local government gal, works to improve air and water quality, while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons. www.SynithiaWilliams.com

Jeanine McAdam : : Jeanine McAdam is a writer of twenty-five romantic short stories, a few spicy anthologies and three cowboy books. Telling stories about imperfect people finding perfect love is her thing.  She’s currently writing about bull riders and the spunky urban women who love them in her Skirts and Spurs Trilogy.  www.JeanineMcAdam.com

Falguni Kothari: Born and bred in Mumbai, Falguni Kothari currently lives in New York with her family and an utterly spoiled dog. She’s the author of BOOTIE AND THE BEAST (April 2014 via Harlequin Mills and Boon,) IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK! and SCRABBULOUS IMPRESSIONS, a short story.   www.FalguniKothari.com

All the best,

KMJ

Love is Easy….Guest post from author Irene Preston plus a giveaway!

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Hey there lovely peeps! As you know I’m always thrilled when I’m honored enough to have a fabulous author here on ye old blog with an interview or a guest post and today is no exception because after much coaxing (don’t believe what she tells you) I am finally able to welcome my friend Irene Preston on ye old blog. I was lucky enough to meet Irene when I found out we would both be writing for Crimson Romance. Later I became a huge fan of Irene after reading her fantastic book, Infamous. What a well written, sexy, adult love story. I’m so happy to have her here guest posting today. And now Irene ye old blog is your old blog (I do reserve the right to chime in here and there though. Be warned)

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Love is Easy….

 

Well, this is the month of love. Valentines. Cupids. Be Mine Forever.  So when Kwana invited me on the blog (okay, I begged) (see I told you don’t believe her LOL) , I thought I would do a little post about, you know, that ‘Forever’ part.

Here’s a little secret from the old married folks.  Falling is love is easy. There’s a sweet little chemical cocktail (adrenaline and dopamine with just a hint of serotonin) that makes the whole thing very dreamy and swell. There are dates (where you both clean up to the best of your ability).  There is a lot of being on your best behavior and sucking in your tummy.   There might be chocolate.

Yep, falling in love is just dreamy.

Being married is hard. (true that)  That’s the real secret us old married folks don’t tell you when you’re floating around on that haze of serotonin.

No matter how much you love someone, maintaining a daily relationship with them is hard.  Let me prepare you right now.   You are both going to do stupid stuff.  Not stupid like accidentally letting slip out that yes, those pants do make your partner’s ass look fat.  Trust me, anyone who’s lived together five minutes can patch over that little slip.  I’m talking  Relationship Armageddon level stupid.  You will BOTH do those things.

Kwana recently released Bounce  (love it, love it, love it), which addresses a major stupid moment as well as a host of other things.  I wish I’d written it.  Instead I wrote a flighty little book called Infamous(A fantastic book mind you!)  It’s sort of a ‘what if Paris Hilton fell in love with Mr. Super Conservative Soccer Dad’ type thing.

You know what happens? It’s all dreamy (Serotonin! Dopamine!) right up until real life blows up in their faces (or the dopamine levels dipped, whatever).

Now comes the fun part.  Can we put this happy couple back together?  To be honest, I love stories that start after the ride into the sunset.  That’s when the real challenges start. That’s when the serotonin wears off and we’re left with non-chemical-enhanced life (okay, maybe there’s a little wine with dinner).  And if we are very, very lucky and willing to work very, very hard – that’s when love deepens into something truly lasting and beautiful – when we don’t give up, when we fight to keep our happily ever after.

I hope you’ve read Bounce, because Kwana gets the whole thing exactly right.  (Kwana inserts snort) If you’re looking for another after-the-sunset read, I hope you’ll give Infamous a try. (Yes, do!)  It’s a little fluffier, but the message is the same. Love is easy. Marriage is hard. The rewards are worth it. (So very worth it!)

Here’s the blurb:

Four years ago, Morgan Riley and Jessica Sinclair’s love affair was pure Hollywood–the windswept beach, the whirlwind romance, the runaway marriage. Unfortunately, the ride into the sunset didn’t survive the publication of the bride’s tell-all book two months after she said, “I do.” Now, for their daughter’s sake, Morgan agrees to give his notorious wife another chance to be part of their family. But can a party girl be content with a quiet life in the suburbs?

As a Hollywood insider, Jessica has spent her life partying with A-list celebrities, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and living through scandal after scandal. When her estranged husband offers her a second chance at a “normal” lifestyle, she can’t pass up her shot at real happiness. Soon Jessica’s spending her days attending P.T.A. meetings and burning cookies, and her nights in sexy role-play, hoping Morgan will overlook her deficiencies as a homemaker. But what will Morgan do when Jessica winds up back in the tabloids–with his teenage daughter right next to her?

And, I’ve brought a little sample for you : 

            She took a deep breath and turned around.

            The site of him hit her right in the gut. He was standing in the wide doorway that separated the kitchen and living room. He had just come from the shower and his dark hair was still damp and glistening. He was wearing a faded polo shirt that stretched over his broad shoulders. A pair of well-worn jeans clung to his lean hips. He hadn’t bothered with shoes.

            She set the plates on the counter before she dropped them. The casual clothes were a dirty trick. She had been prepared to greet him in his usual business suit–but somehow the bare feet and damp hair seemed far too intimate. Which was silly, wasn’t it? Because the situation wasn’t nearly as intimate as it was going to get later tonight.

            Morgan crossed the room to drop a kiss on Kinsey’s forehead.

            “Miss me, pumpkin? Or have you been too busy spending all my money?”

            His dark eyes met Jessica’s over Kinsey’s head and he gave her a slow smile. It was not a businessman’s smile. It was a lover’s smile. It reminded her of all the things they had been to each other and done to each other in this house. Despite the heat glittering in his eyes, it reminded her that in this house Morgan ruled with his cool and logical mind and he would not be swayed by her passion.

            Well, she had come of her own free will.

            She lifted her chin a little and gave him a smile of her own.

            “Wine or soda?”

            It was the start of an evening that was terrible in its normalcy. It could have been the happy family scene in any Hollywood movie—pizza and sodas consumed at the island in the kitchen, sharing the cleaning up, then popcorn and a pay-per-view movie on T.V. in the family room. All evening, as they played their happy parts, Morgan’s eyes followed Jessica. All evening she smiled and smiled—the suburban wife and mother, home with her family. All evening she knew with awful certainty what a fraud she was—the jarring note in this otherwise perfect family setting. The words from the Sesame Street song echoed in her head, “One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just doesn’t belong.”

            To put the final, humiliating touch on the evening, she was hyper-aware of every move Morgan made. The three of them sat on the long sofa in the den. Kinsey was in the middle, but it was Morgan who was crowding her space. He lounged against the far armrest, his bare feet propped up on the coffee table during the movie.

            She couldn’t take her eyes off his feet. Good grief, when had she ever found a man’s feet sexy before? Maybe it was because she wouldn’t let herself look directly at him, and his feet were the only part of him solidly in her peripheral vision. If she let her gaze wander just a little farther up, she could see the outline of his strong legs under the jeans, and then her imagination would take her even further, to where the denim clung lovingly to his hard thighs and the slight bulge at the very top of one of them.

            She didn’t want to watch the movie. She wanted to watch Morgan, to drink him in and store him up. She very much wanted to keep this casual and relaxed Morgan that she had thought never to see again.

            She still wasn’t sure why he had let her come back. Sooner or later, maybe even tonight, he was going to realize she could never fit in here. The scene was all perfect except for the cookie-cutter wife. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how many strands of pearls she bought, she was never going to fit into that June Cleaver role. When Morgan came to his senses, she was going to wind up ruthlessly evicted again. She would be sent back to Hollywood with all the other glossy, plastic people who played happy families on the screen and made train wrecks of their personal lives.

Hmmm…is marriage getting easier or…erm…harder here.  I can’t quite remember.

 

You can get a longer sample (the full first chapter in fact) on my website.

 

Now, it’s your turn. Do you like books that start after a couple is already in a relationship? What about reunion stories? Or do you prefer first meetings and that super-sized seratonin cocktail? What’s your favorite example of either?

Since it is almost Mardi Gras – in honor of my cover, I’ll send a couple of Mardi Gras masks to one commenter.

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Irene Preston has to write romances-after all, she’s living one! As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

Visit her online at IrenePreston.com.  You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads.

 

You can get Infamous on-line at Amazon.com for only $1.99 (Sale ends Feb. 28)

Infamous is also available at Barnes and Noble, I-Tunes, and Kobo

As of this week, you can also find the paperback at Barnes and Noble and other local booksellers.

 

Thanks so much for being here today Irene and thanks for your too kind words about BOUNCE.

Don’t forget folks to comment for you chance at those cool Mardi Gras masks and please leave your contact info so Irene can get in touch with you if you win! Thanks.

 

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All the best,

KMJ

I’ll Follow You Into the Dark: Romance with Dark Themes… Guest post from Alyssa Cole

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Lucky day! Nope it’s not me today on ye old blog  today, but a good friend of mine and RWA/NYC chapter mate, Alyssa Cole here to talk about dark themes in romance. I do love it when things get a little dark and can’t wait to read Alyssa’s novel Eagle’s Heart. Take it away Alyssa (oh and don’t forget to comment for your chance to win a copy of Eagle’s Heart.

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In general, when we read romance we’re trying to escape from the horrors of reality. We want to retreat to the safety provided by Scottish lairds and billionaire bad boys. But sometimes, we want something a little darker, a little grittier. We want our hero and heroine to really be put through the ringer, to get that vicarious thrill of danger and suspense as they struggle to find love in a hopeless place. (Rihanna knows what I’m talking about. Also, now you have that song stuck in your head. Mwahaha!) We’ll follow them along the tightrope of their story because the safety net of romance’s golden rule is always stretched beneath us: no matter what obstacles get thrown their way, the hero and heroine will make it to the other side, where a happy ending awaits them.

Writing a romance with dark themes is a balancing act for the author, too. My recently released novel, Eagle’s Heart, tackles some tough subjects. Organized crime. Child abuse. Human trafficking. These subjects are integral to the story that needed to be told, but I also didn’t want to overwhelm the reader or plunge them into despair. Romance is supposed to make you feel good! To keep things balanced for the reader, I tried to apply liberal doses of humor.

My heroine, Salomeh, is a high school English teacher who is falsely accused of a heinous crime. But comedy is born from darkness, and she uses her sense of humor to give her situation some levity:

“Marta, they’ve already won.” Salomeh picked up one of the less icky tissues and swiped at her nose. “I may as well be Hester Prynne, but instead of being branded with a scarlet letter, I’m photoshopped into a picture with pedobear.”

Julian, my hero, is a hunky Albanian FBI agent known for his ability to charm information out of people. Julian hides his tragic past behind his carefully constructed persona, using witty rejoinders as his primary means of communication:

“That looked like it went well,” Julian quipped as Yates climbed into the passenger seat of the beige minivan. “Isn’t getting information from the community supposed to be part of your skill set?”

“She only called me loathsome, so I’d say that it went better than usual,” she said. “And before you start critiquing me, you should remember that shooting people in the face is also part of my skill set.”

“If you shoot as well as you talk to strangers, I think I’m safe,” he said as he pulled off, navigating the car around a group of kids on bikes.

By giving my characters a sense of humor about the darker aspects of life, I hoped to make some of the more bitter aspects of the story easier to swallow for the reader.

What do you think of romance novels with dark themes? Have you read any that you really enjoyed, or any that were just too much for you? Comment below to win a free copy of the book!

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Alyssa Cole is a Brooklyn-based science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie. In addition to writing, she hosts a Romance Book Club and teaches romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. When she’s not busy traveling, learning French, and, of course, writing, she can be found curled up in bed with her favorite books, Skyping with her fiancé, and watching cat videos on the Internet.

Visit her online at www.alyssacole.com. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

You can get Eagle’s Heart on Amazon here

And at Loose Id here

 

Thanks for being with us today Alyssa!

All the best,

KMJ

Strictly Professional… and interview with author Christina Jones

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

I’m so happy to have an interview with new author Christina Jones on ye old blog today. Christina is a talented author, blogger who is also a busy working wife and mom. It’s a treat to get to pick her brain for a few moments.

Hi Christina thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real pleasure. First off can you tell us a bit about your current work?

My latest work, Strictly Professional is the story of a 20-something, Gabi, who is trying her best to gain her independence and make her mark on the world, despite the efforts of her family and a (quite frankly) crazy ex.  In the midst of this, she develops a crazy level of chemistry with someone (Terrence) that it’s probably not a very good idea to become romantically involved with.  On the other side, we have Terrence, who is very focused on his career, and definitely not looking for love.  They both have to decide if they’re willing to risk not only their hearts, but their careers in order to pursue what could be happily every after.

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Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always known that I had a passion for writing, and storytelling, but I did not know that I wanted to be a writer. I started out writing in long hand, back in high school.  I would put together these folders of stories, and pass them around amongst my class.  There was a situation where someone I really cared about wasn’t supportive of it, and I stopped writing for a long time.  I actually hadn’t written in years, and started back up on a whim, writing fan fiction, just as a way to put my work out there, and get feedback from other people.  Then, I found out that I could publish my own work, and I just decided “Hey, I’m gonna write a novel!” So I did.

Wow good for you, going for it and putting yourself out there. That’s brave! Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?

I feel like my work is definitely more character driven.  Before I even put a single word on the page, I get to know my character.  What motivates them, what makes them happy, what pisses them off, etc.  Once I know them well, I’m confident in putting their story down on the page, and I won’t change my character to fit something that I want to happen in the story.  It’s not my story, it’s theirs!

What made you choose this genre to write in?

I chose my genre (Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction) because it is one of my favorite genres to read.  The other genre is Fantasy, and I am absolutely not equipped right now for the type of detail and world-building that goes into Fantasy!  I love to be able to escape into a book with characters and situations that I can relate to, and I want to create that type of feeling for other people.

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

I am absolutely a Pantser!  I have a graphic design business, two small children, a husband, and I’m in college full time, so during the semester, I just have to get in where I fit in!  Anytime I can grab thirty minutes here, an hour there, I take it and do what I can.  I’m definitely more productive during the short breaks from school.

LOL so just a little busy. Thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today. Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?

My latest WIP is going to be a bit more fast-paced and fun that Strictly Professional.  It’s a story of two sisters, and their struggles with family, career, and of course relationships.  These women are in their 30s, so it will be a little more grown up as well.  It’s untitled as of now, and I have no idea when I’ll finish, but I’m hoping I’ll be done and ready to start on the second part to Strictly Professional by this Summer.

Once again thanks for being here. It was a real treat and a pleasure!

Readers you can find Christina at these sites just a few clicks away.

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Blog- www.beingmrsjones.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BeingMrsJones

Twitter – www.twitter.com/beingmrsjones

And your can pick up your copy of Strictly Professional here.

All the best,

KMJ

Writing the Secret Baby Novel- Meet Mikey! Because This Is Forever- Guest Post and a giveaway! with Lena Hart

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

I’m so happy to have my friend and chaptermate Lena Hart guest posting here today talking about her latest novel  BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER and a fun romance  trope the secret baby! Please be sure to click on the raffle to enter her great giveaway! Take it away Lena!

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Meet Mikey: Writing the Secret Baby Novel + GIVEAWAY

By Lena Hart

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I have to admit, I never imagined I’d write a secret baby story. It’s a romance novel trope that’s been overdone and I just didn’t think I could write a unique enough story where the heroine would have a compelling enough motivation to keep her pregnancy from the hero.

But alas, I have written such a story and boy, was it a journey!

The most challenging part of writing the secret baby story: the “research”. This was a struggle for me—and a learning experience—because, not only did I have to learn to be a mother of an overly energetic 4-year old boy, I also had to get into the mind of said 4-year old. I don’t have any children of my own and don’t have much exposure to young children so writing about Mikey, my hero and heroine’s son, took a bit of Googling, ease-dropping, and quite a bit of people-watching.

During my online and field research I got to learn the dynamics of what eventually became Mikey. I learned that the average 4-year old speaks their minds—to the point of tactlessness—that they are picky eaters, occasionally demanding, and are a potential danger to themselves. Though some of my research came from watching the mothers on the bus or train, I have to give many thanks to the Mommy-blogs and YouTube videos that provided me with more insight into the mind of a toddler then I would have probably never gotten elsewhere.

The snippets I read and video clips I watched convinced me that there is little exaggeration needed when writing toddlers. They are truly natural-born entertainers. My heroine, Mia, certainly had her hands full with her chatty, energetic son and though I didn’t put in everything I gleaned from my online and field “research”, just having the knowledge made it seamless for me to channel the patient and occasional sternness my heroine needed in handle her son.

Ultimately, what I’ve learned about writing this story trope is that it’s one of those classic storylines that readers not only enjoy but can also connect and relate with. Yes, it’s a trope that may present little originality but like apple (or sweet potato) pie during the holidays, it never gets old. It’s a trope that introduces circumstances centered around some truth and I believe that provides a sort of comfort and familiarity to readers who enjoy reading about family and second chances at love.

I enjoyed writing Mia, Nate, and Mikey’s story—despite the mental and emotional rollercoaster this family put me on. And now I’m more than ready to take on the challenge of writing my next “Mikey”.

What do you love about the secret baby novel? Leave a comment and one lucky winner will be selected to win 1 of the 5 secret prizes. Prize and winner will be announced on December 1st.♥

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Lena Hart writes sensual romances with a hint of mystery and suspense. Her bestselling debut novel, BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER, was released October 2013. To learn more about Lena and her work, visit www.LenaHartSite.com or find her musing out loud at www.scatblogging.blogspot.com.

 

More about “Because This Is Forever”:

Read the excerpt | Watch the trailer

 

Purchase here:

Amazon | B&N | All Romance eBooks

 

Thanks so much for being here today Lena!

All the best everyone and best of luck!

 

KMJ

 

Friday Hangover and a Winner!

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a good night last night with plenty of treats and no tricks. Things started out slow over by me. I decorated the porch along with Jack who was without a costume this year but still feeling festive and we sat and waited.

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And waited some more. But once it got dark and my purple lights came up the kids really started to come out and it was quite a lot of fun answering the door in my Witch’s Hat. It started to drizzle around 8:45 which put an end to the Trick or Treaters wich was fine by me because it was  getting on time to settle in for the real Halloween scare with Scandal.

Wow! It was so good. You can check out my recap for the week over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. I’d love to hear your comments.

A big thank you to all who commented on the fab Lise Horton’s WORDS OF LUST interview. I’m so grateful to Lise for being here. Thanks to random number generator I have pulled a name for her book giveaway and the winner is Maria Ferrer! Congrats Maria! Lise will be in touch. And no worries if you didn’t win you can click here to buy your own copy of WORDS OF LUST.

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Have a great weekend!

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

image from Scandalabc tumblr

Getting Wordy with Words of Lust author Lise Horton + a Giveaway!

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

It’s a lovely day over here at ye old blog and an exciting one as I’m so pleased and honored to welcome my dear friend and fellow RWA NYC chapter mate, Lise Horton. Lise is here to discuss writing, life in the NYC and her fabulous debut novel out from Carina Press: WORDS OF LUST. Believe me folks this is one you don’t want to miss and a voice you will not forget.

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Thanks so much for being here today, Lise. I’m so thrilled to have you over at ye old blog!

Since I am a long time, ardent admirer of KwanaWrites, I am totally tickled to be here!

First off can you tell is a little about WORDS OF LUST?

This novel, my debut, is a contemporary, New York City-set erotic romance in which two very different people are brought together by fate and discover that love – and lust – can overcome all those obstacles: Age differences, IQ, disparate occupations, and even sexual history.

WORDS OF LUST is a pretty saucy (I adore that word) title. What was the inspiration for that? Did you come up with it or was it an editorial collaboration?

The idea for the novel itself was the final line of James Joyce’s Ulysses – the famous line where Molly Bloom climaxes, “. . . I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.” I created a woman who hasn’t had the experience of the heroines of the classic erotic fiction she teaches. My original title was Words of Love but it was decided it was not right for an erotic romance. And since lust figures prominently in my story as Nick and Serafina’s relationship blossoms, it seemed quite fitting.

WORDS OF LUST is a bit of an opposite attracts story (as many of the best are) tell us, what made you pair a professor with a construction worker? Sidebar: Don’t we all love a man that’s good with his hands?

I adore opposites attract stories because I love lots of conflict that my hero and heroine have to deal with, and what better than coming from different worlds.  It adds another lovely layer of complication and conflict, both internal and external. Nick and Serafina learn to discover that the truth, is hearts don’t recognize class, or wardrobe or bank accounts. And they’re also forced to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of society where loving outside of your group can get sticky. But in the end it allowed me to give my readers that terrific happily ever after and reinforce once again, that love can conquer all.

words of lust cover

You are a New Yorker, what does the city mean to you and how does it influence your writing?

I lived the first year of my life on the West Side of Manhattan. As a child and teen I visited often the historical monuments, the theatre and museums here. And I’ve spent my adult life working here at various jobs, and in various neighborhoods throughout the City. I lived  here for a decade (6 apartments in 3 years before finding my HEA apartment – pre-war, doorman building in the West 50’s – where I got my inspiration for Serafina Luca’s apartment) before moving back to LI to take care of my Mom. So I’ve experienced this grand and glorious metropolis during all the stages of my life and just can’t get enough of it. I am continually both awed and inspired by the life, the energy, the history and the amazing diversity here, both of experience as well as the citizens themselves. As a writer, I have my entire “world” right at my fingertips. So I am incredibly lucky to be able to use favorite neighborhoods, the habits of city dwellers, and attractions like the High Line, to give atmosphere, character and immediacy to my story. And these are a people I love to portray on the page! Like they say, there’s a million naked stories in this City (OK, so I took a bit of liberty there!)

Now for my favorite question, tell us the story of your “overnight” success.

As a former singer and actress, I’ve always gotten a kick out of that concept. In fact, while I’ve dabbled for quite a while, I didn’t get totally serious until 2008. That was the year I completed my first full-length novel. I started submitting in 2009, and made my very first professional sale in 2011: A short story called Share and Share Alike in the Ravenous Romance anthology, My First Threesome. The big moment came in November 2012, after I survived Hurricane Sandy and ten days in the dark in the aftermath, AND the ice storm that blew in just when the lights when on. (Although I can now brag I’ve cooked pasta on a hibachi and held back the darkness with my trusty book light and lots of great romance novels.) As you can all imagine, I was pretty burnt out about then. Then I received “the call” from Angela James at Carina Press. And it’s been a storm of a much more delightful nature ever since.

Lastly, what can we look for next from you?

I’m very excited to be finishing up book two in the Stellato Siblings series. I’ll be doing some revision and polishing before sending it off to my super editor at Carina Press, Alissa Davis. So I hope everyone crosses their fingers for me that she loves it as much as I do! And in the interim, I will have my short story “My Master’s Mark” included in the upcoming Cleis Press print anthology “Slave Girls”, edited by D. L. King. The story is dark – and it is pure erotica – but incredibly romantic (kinky, but romantic). I’m very proud of it, and thrilled to be in the company of some of the top writers of erotica in fiction today.

Thanks so much for being here today, Lise. What a great treat!

I cannot thank you enough for having me here, Kwana, and for being my friend, and being here to celebrate our mutual publications! Here’s to many, many more great love stories and thundering applause for all the readers who can’t get enough of them.

 

Lise Horton is a native of NYC and a Long Island suburb. She loves her rescued fur friends, her special needs brother, her mom, and writing books that make readers fall in love – and be just a little afraid. Words of Lust from Carina Press is her debut novel. You can find Lise at her Website:  http://bit.ly/1aRWECL and Words of Lust can be found on  Amazon:  http://amzn.to/19UmTfe and at Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1cZjZqV Happy Reading!

 

Now for some BONUS fun! Lise will give away a digital copy of Words of Lust to one lucky commenter. So please comment away and be sure to leave your contact info. A winner will be chosen on Friday by 12 noon EST.  Thanks Lise :-)

 

All the best,

Kwana

 

Author photo thanks to katana-photography.com

On Stage- Me at Lady Jane’s!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Those who have followed me for a while on ye old blog know what a fan I am of Lady Jane’s Salon, the monthly romance reading series held here in New York and now branched out in satellites all over the US. Well, since its inception Lady Jane’s quickly became my monthly getaway where I got to meet up with friends who were also lovers of the romance genre and hear some of my favorite authors whom I have long admired read from their newest works.

Well last night, and I still can’t get over it, it was my turn. Nervous doesn’t begin to express my feelings as I hit the Lady Jane’s stage since I’d been nervous for weeks and months leading up to the event. But looking out it was a pack house full of so many supportive friends, including my dear DH (we were enjoying our 24th anniversary last night too) and I went for it.

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And I survived. I even got a few laughs. My 8 minutes were up before I knew it. I said a few words, read from THROUGH THE LENS and was back by my dear’s side in no time. Finishing my drink. Whew! (here we are below with Ron Hogan who announced our anniversary).

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I can’t say thank you enough to all those snubbed their noses at Mother Nature and packed the house out ( and it was packed) and came to see Sara Jane Stone, Leslie Caroll, Jes Young and little old me! Thank you so much and thank you once again to Hope, Ron, Leanna and Maya for all the support and the continuous support of the romance genre.

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All the best,

KMJ