Today’s Featured Author – Jo Carey

Today, author Jo Carey visits my blog. Her book, Winter, the first in her Seasons de Santa Fe series, came out in July.

Interview

Where you were born and where do you call home?

I was born and raised in Ohio, but have lived in 7 states. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to live and work in Ireland for 3 years. That was a great experience. My husband and I now call Texas home.

Who or what inspired you to start writing?

My husband started writing to relieve stress. I read and edited his books so that we could discuss them. It was something we could share. We found that my editing took a lot less time than his writing, so he suggested I try writing. With one story under my belt, I was hooked.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I write in a number of different genres and many of my books are set in the League of Planetary Systems—a universe Frank created, and we now share, but when I write non-scifi I often set my stories in locations I’m familiar with. The first book in my Cassie Carter Cryptid Hunter Series—The Thunderbird Op, is set in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I lived for a few years. Book two in that series, The Black Fly Op, is set in the Connecticut Lakes of northern New Hampshire, a place I visited often when living in New England.

What do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I have a full-time job in government compliance.  After self-publishing our first few books, Frank and I decided to dedicate all our free time to writing and self-publishing. We still make time for family and friends, but we’ve given up all our other hobbies to ensure that we have time to write. I usually get an hour or two of time to work on writing or publishing each night and then several hours on the weekend.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Since starting our author journeys Frank and I have tried various methods for planning our books. I don’t outline. When I get close to finishing the rough draft of a book, I decide what I’m going to write next. I usually make a few notes about the main story line and list the major characters, then start writing.

Please tell us about your current release.

I recently published the final book in a traditional romance series called Seasons de Santa Fe. There are four books in the series—Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, each based around the staff and guests who stay at the Seasons de Santa Fe Hotel in New Mexico.  Now I’m working on a new YA scifi mystery series called ORBS. It follows four young people as they find their own paths in life while solving mysteries in the League of Planetary Systems.

How do you select the names of your characters?

We have a lot of whiteboards in our living space. One of them we use to write character names. We hear names or words and think it would make a good character name. Sports on television provides a lot of ideas. We sometimes change a letter or two or use a last name as a first name or vice versa.

Which of your characters is your favorite?   Do you dislike any of them?

That’s an interesting question.  Each of the books in my Snapdragon Ladies series focus on one particular woman. The main characters of the first two books Ciara and Nebulon are both characters my husband, Frank, created in his books. I liked them so much that I used them, but the third book in that series is Melicity—featuring a character I created for a scifi holiday book. Melicity is my favorite, though it’s hard to choose.

 If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I think it would be Cassie Carter from the Cassie Carter Cryptid Hunter series. She’s smart, strong, and unique.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Definitely my Galactic Cruise Lines Series. It’s a traditional cozy mystery series set in the League of Planetary Systems.  There’s an elf who is the Chief Sleuthhound (detective), a sexy Venlanten ship’s security officer, and they both are vying to win the heart of Kat, the cruise director. There are exotic ports, interesting characters, and lots of fun on board.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you right?

There’s always a small bowl of Coffee Nut M&Ms on my desk beside my glass of water. At least with a small bowl, I have to get up often to refill it.

 Book Blurb

Ellie’s life hasn’t gone the way she expected. Forty something, divorced, she’s moving to Santa Fe to help her dad run the family’s art gallery on Canyon Road. It’s another big change in a series of changes that has Ellie doubting herself at every turn. Right now the only two men she wants to focus on are her son, Tristan, and her dad, Gene. Romance is the furthest things from her mind.

Rod has enjoyed the time he’s spent in Santa Fe overseeing the building of his family’s newest boutique hotel, the Seasons de Santa Fe. He’s finally found a place in the family business that suits him. If he could just get his mom to stop fixing him up with women, his life would be darn near perfect.

When fate throws Ellie and Rod together, neither of them is ready for what happens next.

About the Author

Jo Carey grew up in the Midwest but her curiosity and gypsy-spirit has kept her on the move. She’s lived in eight US states and spent three years living in Ireland. She has always loved creature movies, so creatures and bugs often show up in her books.

Jo, a former information security compliance guru, writes fast-paced, character-driven stories in a variety of genres from medical thrillers to space operas and cozy mysteries. Her novels are filled with humor, romance, and sometimes creatures or aliens, or maybe even all of the above. She often builds her stories around a strong female lead character surrounded by plenty of hunky male heroes.

Jo’s been under fire on a golf course and climbed out the roof of an elevator in the Netherlands. Life hasn’t been boring. Now residing in Texas, setting often plays a huge role in her stories. Jo was intrigued by the League of Planetary Systems, a world her husband, Frank, created for his science fiction books, and she now writes mysteries and other types of tales sets in that world. Jo was bitten by a cat, a fire ant, and a snake, before succumbing to the bite of the writing bug.

Jo is currently working on a romance series set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The four-book series has a story set in each of the four seasons. Jo hasn’t had personal contact with a cryptid or an alien, but it’s never too late. Jo and her husband, Frank, produce a podcast—Xtreme Self-Publishing—which details their self-publishing efforts.

You can purchase Winter on Amazon.

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Today’s Featured Author – Terrell Williams

Today, I welcome author Terrell Williams to my blog. He is on a virtual book tour promoting his book But My Soul is Black.

8 Things

Tell us 8 things about the characters in your book.

1) Bobby is an Anglo who finds out more about himself than he ever imagined when he gets an opportunity to become familiar with another culture and has to come face to face with physical confrontations if he stands up for what he believes.

2) Jimbo for the first time feels the pain of not ultimately being on the winning side in a quest for the woman he truly loves.  He learns the hard way that being vain is not a virtue.

3) Karen, the object of pursuit of both Jimbo and Bobby learns the difficulty associated with discerning what constitutes love vs. infatuation, and whether physical attraction is as important as someone who shows true care and concern.

4) Uncle Fred is the big boss who has high expectations of those he employs and who he cares about, almost to a fault.

5) Grandma knows her grandson Jimbo better than anyone, and he really needs her sometimes tough love yet compassionate guidance when he encounters problems of the heart that he does not know how to handle himself.

6) Jimbo is a proud young man with flaws, but he takes care of his business for Uncle Fred, which is why he was made foreman over the job.

7) Everyone needs a “Helen”.  A true friend who will tell you the truth, regardless of whether you like it or not.  Helen, Karen’s best friend, was just that type of person.

8) Karen is an amazing lady, with beauty, education, emotional strength yet compassion.

Book Blurb

Bobby has high hopes for his new life in Detroit, and he will not, under any circumstances, blow his chances by messing up a prime job opportunity at his uncle’s construction company. But his first meeting with his mentor, African American foreman Jimbo, turns out even worse than expected when it becomes apparent that Bobby is learning the ropes to become Jimbo’s boss.

As Bobby tries to navigate Jimbo’s understandable resentment, he must also wrestle with the misperceptions of Black culture that his Caucasian family has passed on to him. Eventually, the two men become friends as Jimbo recognizes that Bobby doesn’t hold the prejudices of his uncle.

But just as things start to smooth out, Jimbo introduces Bobby to the kind, clever, and stunning Karen—Jimbo’s favorite woman to string along. Confused by his strong feelings for this intriguing woman and frustrated with Jimbo’s flippant treatment of her, Bobby struggles with whether to pursue Karen…at the cost of ending his newfound friendship with Jimbo and sabotaging his future.

Taking a candid look at interracial romance and the human experience, …But My Soul is Black reveals the cultural misperceptions that harm us—and the love that heals us.

About the Author

Terrell Williams began life as the 2nd eldest son of 9 children (4 girls and 5 boys) and was reared in less than affluent circumstances. The second in his immediate family to graduate from college, he went on to marry a wonderful woman, and who eventually became the proud parents of 4 children (3 girls and 1 son who is also his namesake).

Mr. Williams enjoys reading and writing poetry, and he has written several plays that have been performed and were well received in Texas. The idea for his debut novel, But my Soul Is Black, lay dormant for many years until Mr. Williams finally finished the novel upon his retirement, fulfilling his dream of becoming a published author. His romantic tale tackles controversial topics such as interracial relationships, generational differences of conceptual thinking about life and love. This novel seeks to remind the readers of the interconnectedness we share as humans, as well as showing that truly, love transcends all!

You can find out more about Terrell’s book tour on Facebook.

You can purchase But My Soul is Black on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Diana Rubino

Today, I welcome author Diana Rubino to my blog. Her time-traveling novel, Dark Brew, was released in July 2016.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books, and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaisance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

Born in Jersey City, NJ, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, and now call Cape Cod home with my husband.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I am now writing bio novels with no fictional characters, and have written 4 so far. I just began my next, which will be about Susan B. Anthony. I enjoy writing about strong women who shook things up, and call my books The Sassy Ladies Series.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I outline very thoroughly. I still use Donald Maass’s Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook, because it makes me explore every aspect of the storyline and characters, getting right down to minute details.

Please tell us about your current release.

My last book to be released is Dark Brew, a time travel romance.

What inspired you to write this book?

The story took 12 years from start to finish. I’m a longtime member of the Richard III Society, and in the spring of 2004, I read an article in The Ricardian Register by Pamela Butler, about Alice Kyteler, who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1324, and faced witchcraft charges. After her trial and acquittal, she vanished from the annals of history. I couldn’t resist writing a book about her.

How did you come up with the title?

I originally called it Strange Brew, but thought Dark Brew was more dramatic and compelling. It refers to the herbal brews Kylah, the modern heroine, mixes and drinks to transport her to 14th century Ireland, to solve the mystery that consumes her life today, and her past life then.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I thoroughly researched Druids, because Kylah is a practicing Druid. I also researched Alice Kyteler…I found a book about her trial that explained all the details about how the church influenced the court in 14th century Ireland.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Alice actually lived, along with the judge, her lawyer, her husband and stepsons who lived in 14th century Ireland, but all my characters in modern times are fictional, not based on anyone.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I’d say Kylah is my favorite, as she’s determined to travel to her past life to right an injustice, and she’s very brave to attempt living in those times, which were very dangerous.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

The black moment occurs when Kylah is accused of murdering her husband Ted and arrested. I don’t want to give anything else away.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

Time travels (I’ve written 3) are difficult in general, and since Kylah is the reincarnation of Alice, I found it difficult to describe what she experienced emotionally and physically as she traveled back in time. I also found it difficult to write the scenes in which she’s accused of murdering her husband, because she was innocent. It made me realize how much injustice is in the world.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would like to be Eliza Jumel Burr, who became the richest woman in New York City, a very astute businesswoman, and solved two murders. She led a fascinating life.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I’ve always wanted to spend a few days in the court of Richard III, and see what life was like in 1483-5.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

I always have a jar of nuts at my side to munch when I get peckish. And always a glass of water in reach.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

Oh, so many….but one of my faves is THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII by Margaret George. She puts you right there in Henry’s world. A CROWN FOR ELIZABETH, which I read in high school, is also another favorite.
I read a trilogy of novels when I lived in London, which are set in London, the first is THE L-SHAPED ROOM by Lynne Reid Banks. I read these over and over, never grow tired of them.

What book are you reading right now?

I usually read two or three at the same time, so I’m reading THE ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham and
George Washington A Life in Books by Kevin Hayes, about the books Washington had, combined with a timeline of what was going on in his life as he acquired each book.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Neither are alive–Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I’m a big believer in the paranormal and have gone on many paranormal investigations, though I have no psychic ability.

Book Blurb

DARK BREW

A time travel romance
Learn from the past or forever be doomed to repeat it.


Accused of her husband’s murder, Kylah McKinley, a practicing Druid, travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.

Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another­ she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate­ they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it.

About the Author

My passion for history has taken me to every setting of my historicals. The “Yorkist Saga” and two time travels are set in England. My contemporary fantasy “Fakin’ It”, set in Manhattan, won a Romantic Times Top Pick award. My Italian vampire romance “A Bloody Good Cruise” is set on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.

When I’m not writing, I’m running my engineering business, CostPro Inc., with my husband Chris. I’m a golfer, racquetballer, work out with weights, enjoy bicycling and playing my piano.

I spend as much time as possible just livin’ the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.

You can find out more about Diana on her website or her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase Dark Brew for the Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Pat Simmons

Today, please welcome author Pat Simmons. Her latest book, Love by Delivery, was released in February. She is currently finishing up her novella, Late Summer Love, which should be out by the end of summer.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My Name is Pat Simmons. I’ve been a wife for 34 years and a mother of a son and daughter. I graduated from a great college in Boston, and eventually worked in my field of broadcast journalism for over twenty years. I started in radio and was truly blessed with an opportunity to transition into television news for ten years. Because of my media experience, I head the publicity team for the RT Booklovers Conventions. In my free time, when I’m not writing, which seems like all the time, I enjoy sewing, tracing my family roots, reading, and watching romance movies.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

It was my play mother, the late Lorna Robnett. She had faith in me that I could do anything, especially after she heard me weave a story to a houseful of guests.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I received an email from a reader about my first book. That’s when it kicked in that I really was an author. That was 10 years ago.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I think each story has a little bit of Pat Simmons’ personality in them, or my alter ego, like Grandma BB or Sandra Nicholson in the Jamieson Legacy series. Grandma BB is the seventy something smart talking childless widow who says what she wants, when she wants. On the other end is sweet and sanctified Sandra Nicholson, who finally found love in her early sixties and married him. She was the epitome of an uncompromised Christian woman. The Confession won the Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance in 2016, so I was happy readers fell in love with Sandra and Raimond’s story. My news background has sparked many a plots in my stories. It’s my curiosity about a subject that has created great storylines, like Guilty by Association. Kidd Jamieson wasn’t fond of carrying his absentee father’s last night, but thanks to my genealogy search, I was able to write his story when I uncovered documents that showed pages of enslaved African Americans who were buried without last names.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Actually, I’m sitting on the second edits of a completed novel, Mystery of Love, because I’m trying to finish Late Summer Love before summer is over. I’ll close out the year with my annual Christmas novellas, Prayers Answered by Christmas, which is a sequel to Couple by Christmas. I’m looking forward to writing it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Yes, I’ve been writing full-time for about nine years. When I run short on cash, I’ll work a temp assignment, but my steady income is from my monthly royalties, mainly from eBooks. Since I’m a Christian author, I begin my day with prayer time, I study my Bible, hoping God will give me a message to incorporate in a scene, or a personal word of encouragement for me. After that, I try to start writing my ten a.m., and many times will write until midnight. I do take breaks for chores, eating, and a movie with my husband, but I spend a lot of my time doing administrative tasks: reading and sending emails, looking for blog content, newsletter content, monitoring my social media accounts, looking for stock photos for book covers, and most importantly, staying on my writing schedule to meet my releases. I think every author is always in search of promotional opportunities, me included.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

I want to say I’m in control of my income, but it’s God who supplies my needs, especially when I’m on the road and can’t write, or my funds get low. The worst? People don’t think I work—that writing isn’t a job, and therefore, I have to tell me people I’ll call them back or let it go to voicemail, then I forget to check voicemail. The other thing is some people think I can write a book in a month or less—I wish.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Since I release three to four books a year, I appreciate outlining them. I didn’t at first. When I did, I would go off the outline anyway, usually by chapter 7. But even now, God gives me fresh scenes every morning and I say, “Thank you, Lord that is a good one.”

Please tell us about your current release.

My recent book, Love by Delivery, was released in February. Since then, I’ve completed a full length novel entitled Mystery of Love that is waiting for me to do the second round of edits until I finished Late Summer Love.

What inspired you to write Late Summer Love?

It’s a sequel. Readers wanted Paige Blake to find happiness.

How did you come up with the title?

I got the idea last year while I attended my husband’s family reunion. The plot was perfect for Paige’s story, so I had planned to name it Summer Reunion, but a fellow friend had a release called Winter Reunion, so I changed it to Summer Love, but when my first round of re-writes for Mystery of Love worked me over, I knew my novella wasn’t going to hit a May or June release. I told my husband the story had to come out before the end of summer because it was called Summer Love. He joked, “It’s going to be a late summer love.” I thought about it, and tweaked the title and gave him the credit.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Of course. They are a mixture of physical characteristics, personalities and mannerisms. My best friend says she can hear our voices in my characters’ conversations.

Which of your characters is your favorite?

My hero: Blake Cross. It’s easy on the eyes and has a good heart.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This is book 2 of the Perfect Chance at Love series. I have to come up with another scenario for my main character’s cousin. I don’t have anything yet. I’m sure it will come to me.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

All my characters have too many issues for me to jump into their shoes. LOL. They all have happy endings, but their journeys aren’t easy. I’ll pass.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I have a home office that faces the front. I can write and be nosy—a great combination for an author.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

That I read—The Warmth of the Other Sun; That I’ve written—Crowning Glory.What book are you reading right now? I won’t read until I finish a project, then I’ll read three and four books to detach from my characters. I have a TBR pile.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

I’m around a lot of authors—indie and New York Times bestselling authors like Sylvia Day, Charlene Harris, Brenda Jackson, and Francine Rivers. So I count it a privilege to mingle with these ladies and others at the yearly RT Booklovers Convention

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I do have bouts of shyness, but nobody believes it—seriously!

Book Blurb

Could a chance meeting during two family reunions be God playing matchmaker? Paige Blake recently witnessed her best friend marry. Now, Paige is struggling to tame the pity party stirring within her heart, questioning whether God had forgotten about a husband for her. After twelve years of serving his country, Blake Cross is ready for civilian life. He soon learns there is another battle he must fight. When he meets Paige on an elevator, he’s drawn to her. There’s one slight complication to win her heart. Blake has to surrender to the Lord’s will in his life first.

About the Author

Pat is the multi-published author of more than thirty titles, and is a three-time recipient of Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.

As a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth, Pat is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. God is the Author who advances the stories she writes.

Currently, overseeing the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions, Pat has a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pat has converted her sofa-strapped, sports fanatic husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and her administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter.

You can find out more about Pat and her books on her website.

You can sign up on a wait list for Late Summer Love here or check out the rest of Pat’s books on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Marie Lavender

Please welcome Marie Lavender to my blog. She released her book, Upon Your Love, the third book in her Heiresses in Love series, in February. Please enjoy this excerpt.  

Excerpt

The neigh of a horse brought her out of her reverie and she looked over, but her mare stood quietly beside the stream. Adrienne’s instincts nagged at her and she stood up, her ears on alert. The clomp of hoof beats came to her on the swift afternoon breeze. Was the rider coming from the estate or perhaps it was simply a stranger? In any case, a sense of unease grew in the pit of her stomach and she reached down to unearth a small dagger Gabriel had gifted to her two summers ago. She kept it in a sheath around her thigh. Gabe had always said that if she didn’t have a sword on hand, it was best to have something. And she couldn’t agree more.

She clucked her tongue to alert Persephone and led her quickly by the reins under the cover of the trees. The rider was closer now and her mare shifted uneasily, blowing a breath out of her nose. She must have heard the approaching horse as well. “Shh. It’s all right,” Adrienne whispered, stroking her neck. She tied the reins to a tree and waited.

When the rider appeared from the forest, she couldn’t see him clearly. It was a man—that much she was certain—but the lapels of his dark coat and the thicket of limbs brushing her face kept her from placing his identity. He had dark hair and was tall, his body lean and muscled. She watched as he got down from a fine, black stallion and led it to the stream for a rest. The man took a drink from his cupped hands. He wiped the remnants of the water from his chin, and then seemed to search the area nearby. She shivered. Was it possible the man had been tracking her? If that was the case, her dagger would certainly come in handy. Adrienne crouched on alert, spying through her vantage point in the trees. From behind, she observed as the tension eased from his shoulders and he sighed.

A frisson of unease ran through her again. Taking it as a sign, she confirmed he was still faced away before she quietly eased out of her haven. Stepping up behind him, she lifted her dagger to his throat. A smile of grim determination danced over her lips as he stiffened.

“Who are you? Why are you here? Are you following me?”

“What if I was?”

Fine shivers moved along the surface of her skin, caused by the deep timbre of his voice.

“I would have to ask for your reasons, Monsieur.”

“I haven’t come to kidnap you, if that’s what you’re worried about,” he sighed. “I didn’t expect you’d be prepared. I commend the effort, of course.”

She frowned. The compliment threw her for a moment, but she then brushed it off. Surely, he ridiculed her, and thought he could overtake her somehow. She shook her head. He would be gravely disappointed.

“You will state your reasons for your presence and your identity, sir.”

“And if I don’t?”

“You will regret it, of course.”

“Indeed? Do you intend to harm an unarmed man?”

She scoffed. “Unarmed? No, I doubt that. With the way you appeared to be tracking me, I am sure you’re quite armed.”

“Right again. What will you do about it?”

She shrugged. “This is Bellamont land. You’ve clearly trespassed. If I must, I will drag you straight back to the house. You know, I believe the foreman has a Winchester sporting rifle. He can be quite formidable when he puts his mind to the task.”

“I’m sure,” he murmured.

“What say you then?”

“I say, Mademoiselle, that you have no idea who you’re dealing with.”

Before she could open her mouth to take him to task, she felt a blow to her arm and the numbing pain caused her to drop the knife. Everything else happened in a blur. As he turned, he caught her leg, which caused her to collapse. But, before she landed, he grasped her up in his arms. He was too close, she thought. Panic threatened inside of her, but she fought it by degrees. She was a fighter, not some idiot who would succumb to a man’s power. Gabriel had taught her many tricks, as had her father. She forced herself to go limp so that he’d pull her closer. She let her eyes drift closed and pretended to have swooned.

Mon Dieu,” he whispered.

Then she unmanned him with a swift rise of her knee. He coughed out a grunted response, releasing her.

She retreated from him, intent on finding her dagger, but did not see it. The leaves in the grass crunched beneath her hands and knees as she struggled to her feet. She would have to rely on the resources of the forest to save her if he pursued further. Somehow, she doubted he’d be able to. She turned and her mouth dropped open as she looked at her attacker.

His dark hair had fallen over one eye and he was hardly doubled over in pain. No, he scowled at her now and he seemed quite well. She’d missed her target, she realized. His identity shocked her further. She felt quite stupid for not recognizing him, even from behind. But, why had Christian tried to attack her?

 “How…,” she whispered.

“You are not as fast as I, Mademoiselle.” Then he laughed, but there was no mirth in his expression. His eyes seemed darker suddenly. “You little brat,” he bit out. “You almost had me.”

She sucked in a breath and, when she saw him advance, she backed away. But, it effectively put her back right up against a nearby tree. She cursed. Christian closed in, blocking her in with his arms as he braced his hands on the tree trunk. Her breaths came out in harsh pants and her stomach had fallen somewhere at her feet. Dear God, what would he do? She jerked her arms out to break his hold, but his muscles were like the ratlines between the shrouds of a mast in a ship’s rigging. Solid. Struggling with his obvious intimidation of her, she managed, “Why are you trying to kidnap me?”

Some of the arrogance left his face. “I’m not. I thought we already established that.”

“Then why… this?” she asked, weakly. And why couldn’t she breathe? His clean, male scent caused her to feel lightheaded. No, she thought. That just had to be terror.

“I wanted to get you alone so that we could continue our plans. I didn’t mean for you to see me as a threat. I certainly didn’t expect a dagger at my throat.” He reached out and cupped her face, stroking the line of her jaw gently with his thumb.

Adrienne gazed into his nearly black eyes. She thought she saw a hint of admiration and something more, perhaps desire, in his gaze.

“P… plans?” she stammered, annoyed with the hypnotic effect he had on her. And what was that strange, but wonderful scent coming off him? She detected cologne which contained a hint of fresh pine. But then, she’d smelled it before, both in her room and at the Broussard’s engagement party. Even though the fragrance was pleasant, she tried to ignore it.

“Our matchmaking endeavor, chére.”

“Oh. That.”

“Yes, that. Did you forget?”

She cleared her throat. “No, of course not.” Her resolve returned in full force then. She slapped his hand aside and sidestepped him. Stalking away to locate Persephone, she unearthed her mare from the brush in no time. When she returned, he still stood there, watching her. She shivered again.

Mon Dieu, she thought. Why was this happening to her? Why did the man tie her in knots?

Book Blurb

The Hill family saga concludes as loyalties are questioned, faiths will be tested and undying love may come at a terrible cost…

Fara Hill, mother and faithful wife, is torn between her family at home and her urge to be at sea. Soon, she learns some disturbing truths. Was the past a fairy tale instead of reality?

Chloe Hill, loving wife and young mother, questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Will she be able to keep her marriage from falling apart?

Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born of a valiant captain and a fiery redhead, is untamed to her core and will bow to no man. Then Christian du Plessis enters her life with an offer she can’t refuse. Discovering the man behind the polished gentleman, she is drawn to him in many ways. Holding out for love is a family tradition, but can she resist the temptation of passion?

Christian finds this young woman to be a fascinating challenge, and is torn between keeping his distance from her and succumbing to her charms. A fierce battle of wills ensues as he sees she is much more than he ever imagined.

But danger lurks, threatening to destroy everything…

Can these two strong-willed individuals unite in the cause before time runs out?

About the Author

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

You can find out more about Marie on her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You can purchase Upon Your Love on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Today’s Featured Author – Kay Blake

Today, I welcome author Kay Blake to my blog. The first book in her The Kim Brothers series, Catch Me If I Fall, came out in December.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey! I’m Kay. I write mostly contemporary and interracial romance. I started to write erotica under a different pen name and for that erotica one, I want to add horror to my genres. My stories are usually sassy, sexy, sweet romances. I’m currently finishing up my last semester in school as I will be getting my bachelors in June. I’m sarcastic as they come. Super nerdy. Super sensitive and a big horror fan. I’m a wrangler of three cubs and I love the written word.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I think I always put a piece of myself in my projects. I’m sarcastic as they come so at least one character has to have some sarcasm even if that person is a supporting character. I’m a bit feisty as well, and usually nine times out of ten my heroines are sassy because it’s a quality that I have, but one I appreciate in heroines. If I don’t put myself it may be a quirk or quality of those around me.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes, I have. My next one which will be out in April is a novelette called Breathe You. This particular story is for a close friend of mine that I promised I will write this story. It’s a bit shorter than my last projects, but it was fun to write none the less. The release after that is my rock star book which will be called I Knew You Were Trouble. This particular story is me wanting to see if I could write a rock star story.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I have done very little outlines. I tend to have an idea and I will plot little things and then I write. I have to just flow. One outlines and me have a very poor relationship. I can say I’m going to do this, and my characters will say “not today, Kay.”

Please tell us about your current release.

Catch Me If I Fall is Book 1 in The Kim Brothers Series. We are introduced to Kasi who is a woman dealing with loss in many forms. She meets the eldest Kim Brother Jae, and they have a buildup of getting to know each other as well as dealing with grief and finding love. Most importantly they figure out together how to live life after you think there is no way you can live life after devastation. I don’t want to give too much away, but I do think this particular story is one that others can relate to in different ways.  This was one of the hardest stories I had to write, so I’m quite proud of it.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I had to do a lot of research actually. My heroine is a woman who wears a prosthetic and my hero is Korean American. Two things I’m not familiar with and I wanted to try my best to make sure I can tell the story I wanted to tell and still get the details right. I looked up many articles and blogs about wearing prosthetics, the emotions around it and living life with it and relationships with others. I also spoke to a woman who was very helpful. I also spoke to a high school friend of mine as far as the Korean aspects of my book. I also looked up articles as well.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This book is Book 1 of a trilogy. The series is called The Kim Brothers. The series will focus on all the brothers and them finding love. Catch Me If I Fall focusing on Jae Kim who is the oldest of the Kim Brothers. He is a bit laid back and caring. Book 2 which will be called Free Me is scheduled to be released December 2017. It will focus on middle bother David. David’s personality is much different from Jae’s so I’m excited to see where this go as I’m still writing it.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

I think for me the most difficult scene to write was the first time we see Kasi grieve. I had to pull the feeling behind losing a loved one from personal experience as I lost a spouse before. It was tough because it dealt with real feelings, and it required me to picture if this was me how would I deal with this kind of grief?

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Any of the Harry Potter books. I would love to live in the world of wizards, witches and muggles. I would love to go to Hogwarts, be best friends with Hermione and talk to the infamous Snape. It is a goal of mine to visit the Harry Potter world at Universal.

Do you have an all-time favorite book?

Yes I have two actually. Carrie by Stephen King & Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Stephen King & J.K. Rowling hands down. Stephen King is my favorite author of all time. He is the king of the literary world in my opinion. Horror is my first love. J.K. Rowling simply because she is fabulous and she also created one of my favorite series.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

Hmm, I’m a twin. I have a twin brother. Most people if they don’t know me wouldn’t know that.

Book Blurb

catch-me-if-i-fallKasi:
I have reached rock bottom. The kind of bottom that is so dark, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is nothing, but pain, loneliness and helpless despair. I didn’t picture my life going this way. I wasn’t supposed to be unhappy and broken.
How can someone find the good in me when all the good I had was taken from me?

Jae:
Helping people makes me feel good. I don’t do it for any accolades. I do it because when I needed someone to talk to, when I needed someone to keep me from spiraling out of control, I found it.
From the first time I saw her, I knew that there was something about her. I didn’t know what, but like a gravitational pull I wanted to know more about her even if she was here only to find some support for her grief.
Maybe I couldn’t solve her problems, but I won’t let her face them alone.

About the Author 

kay-blake-author-photoKay writes sassy, sexy and sweet contemporary and interracial romance. She is from arguably the greatest city in the world. (New York). She is a sarcastic sweetheart who prefers snuggling at home with a good book. She is a mom to three cubs.
Kay indulges in strawberry cheesecake, horror movies, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, wrestling and of course a happily ever after. Kay also writes erotica under Nina Gabrielle!

You can find out more about Kay on her blog or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

You can purchase Catch Me if I Fall on Amazon and Amazon UK.

Today’s Featured Author – Jennifer Senhaji

Please welcome author Jennifer Senjaji to my blog. She is busy writing two different books but took a break to give us some insight into her writing. Her latest release was Angels in Disguise, a novella released in December. You can purchase it on Amazon.

Interview

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

There is a little bit of me in every character I write; of who I am or want to be.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes, I’m currently in the thick of writing two different novels. One, will be the third book and the finale to my Sunset Dreams Series. The other is the first book in a new series that starts where my last novella, Angels in Disguise (a prelude of sorts), leaves off. Both are contemporary romance.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I don’t write full time. I have a full time day-job and write in my spare time. My day-job is fairly high stress, so writing is definitely an escape. I occasionally write on my phone in my Evernote app, but usually wait to get home after work or on the weekend to work on my laptop. There is never enough time in the day for work, family, food, and sleep. You have to make the time. Instead of watching T.V. tonight, I’m going to write. Instead of sleeping in on Saturday, I’m going to write. If you want to do something bad enough, you will find a way.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received?

The best advice was to hire an editor. No writer should ever publish anything without hiring a professional editor. The worst advice was to publish a book every three months. I’m in no rush. I’m much more interested in providing my readers the best possible story I can.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I’m a firm believer in outlining and always use them. But outlines are fluid things that can change as you’re writing changes. Sometimes, I will write out scenes that my characters are hitting me over the head with before I forget them. Some of them make it into the outline, some don’t. But I love having a map, even if I end up adjusting course. Makes it easier to see where the story is working and where it isn’t.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would probably be Jenna Morris. Out of all of my characters, she is the closest to me in personality. I wouldn’t mind falling in love with Jake. Just don’t tell my husband. LOL.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Probably my novella, Sea Breeze. I love to travel and the idea of traveling the world and making a living doing it sounds divine.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I write at the dining room table. I don’t have a home office, so I spread out on the table until my family pushes me out.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

Coffee is almost always next to me.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

Yes. Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite. I’ve read that book more times than any other. It never gets old.

What book are you reading right now? I just finished Trampling in the Land of Woe by William Galani, a fabulous piece of fiction and I’m currently enjoying Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I love cheese, but who doesn’t? Um, my strengths are learning, not necessarily in the classroom, but… you show me how to do it, I do it; or I figure it out. That’s how I learned to speak other languages, taught myself to play a bit of guitar, and soak up everything I can on the craft of writing. I love learning. I’m also pretty good at languages. Other than English, I speak Spanish almost fluently, Moroccan, French, and if I practice, a bit of Italian. Now if only I could travel the world and write for a living. Sigh…

Book Blurb

51hogecvcalGabe, a software engineer with a long history of one-night stands and Alex, a practical romance writer with a distinct lack of romance in her life want to ring in the New Year with a little fun—and a lot of music—at a waterfront New Year’s Eve bash where costumes disguise one’s true nature.
Abandoned by their friends and forced together, first impressions leave them disenchanted. But attraction soon smolders between them causing Gabe to contemplate deeper connections and tempting Alex to cast aside all her inhibitions.
Can sexual chemistry, particularly between a devil-girl and a black-winged angel, lead Alex and Gabe to a midnight kiss? Or will their fears and first impressions leave them counting down the seconds alone?

About the Author

jennifer-senhajiI was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life, and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

You can find out more about Jennifer on her blog or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

You can check out her books on Amazon and Smashwords.