Character Interview: Marley Rose McClain from Linda Broday’s TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR {giveaway}

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TO CATCH 

A TEXAS STAR

Texas Heroes, Book 3

by

LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Date of Publication: July 3, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

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On her way to town early one morning, Marley Rose McClain finds a man unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. She loads him in the wagon and takes him to her family ranch.

Drifter Roan Penny fights for his life, his one goal eating at him—to find the ones who murdered his best friend. As he recovers, he finds himself falling in love with Marley. She’s everything he wants and dreams of making her his wife even as he knows it’s impossible.

A terrifying stranger appears and a long-kept secret shakes Marley to the core. Roan helps her through very frightening times and they pledge their love for each other.

As Roan hunts down the hooded men who killed his friend and grows closer to learning the truth of the stranger’s identity, he finds both himself and Marley being stalked. Shocking events unfold, secrets come to light, and a love refuses to be denied in this cat and mouse game where danger lurks around every corner. Will Roan and Marley survive to see the future they plan?

 

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Praise for To Catch a Texas Star:

“Fans of the previous books will enjoy returning to the McClain clan, and new readers will appreciate the story’s layered mysteries, emotional depth, and believable scenes of attraction.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved the twists and turns that this story takes. It is pretty interesting seeing this romance blossom and how much their relationship strengthens as they face danger and the truth together.” — Addicted to Romance

“Marley Rose has one of the most gentle and winsome souls; her affection and compassion for others and delightful creativity pour off the pages and you can’t help but adore her.” — Michelle (Goodreads)

 

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Today I’m with Marley Rose McClain from To Catch a Texas Star.

She’s a fascinating woman and I’m going to see if she will tell us a few things about the book. She strides into the room with confidence, a striking woman with dark hair and eyes. I see strength and pride in the way she carries herself and can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Me: What did you think when you found Roan Penny lying half-dead beside the road?

Marley: I thought he was dead at first. Scared me when he moved. So I got him in the back of the wagon and drove back to the ranch. I think if he’d lain there much longer he would’ve died.

Me: I hear Roan stole your heart, and frankly he stole mine too.

Marley’s eyes sparkle: I tell you, that man makes me swoon. He’s sure handsome with dark brown hair and twinkling gray eyes. He’s quite the kisser too. When his lips meet mine, I get all hot and fluttery inside. He’s tall and lean too. I just love a man who makes me feel so protected and cherished and when he calls me his Texas star, I just melt.

Me: What was he like when he was dealing with that mob that murdered his friend?

Marley: Those gray eyes can sure turn to ice to match his voice when he’s angry. I found out Roan Penny can strike the fear of God in a man, but you know that’s what it took in the old west. More often than not, justice was only what men found for themselves. Criminals and bad men far outnumbered lawmen back then.

Me: Let’s talk about the secret Duel and Jessie kept from you. How did you feel?

Marley: I was deeply hurt, confused, and angry that they let me believe I was their child all these years. I couldn’t fathom being won in a poker game. Did I mean so little? But then I came to see that I meant so much. Duel saved me. If not for him, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. Even as hurt as I was, I couldn’t hate him. But for a while there, I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Me: Tell me about little Matthew and him calling you Mama Rose.

Marley grins big: That sweet, little boy has stolen my heart. He’s so sensitive and worries about everyone. The smallest things make him happy and the best part of my day is reading to him at bedtime.

Me: Speaking of that, I hear you write children’s stories and you read your own work to Matthew.

Marley: That’s correct. Writing stories that bring the children such enjoyment brings me great satisfaction and joy. The reward is seeing their faces light up.

Well, that’s all the time we had. I thanked Marley and left. She has an incredible story to tell in To Catch a Texas Star. It’s out now so grab a copy. I think you’ll like it.

Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full length historical western romance novels and novellas. She’s published over twenty books and short stories and resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. On a quiet day, she can often hear their voices whispering in the wind. 

The love of this state and its people runs bone deep and she instills that into each book she writes. She sets all her stories in Texas because of the rich history and interesting people.

A mother, grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother, Linda finds research fascinating and always looks for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories. When she’s not writing, she collects old coins and confesses to being a rock hound in addition to making herself a nuisance at museums, libraries, and historical places which inspire her.

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Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Full Texas Heroes Series

Five Runners-Up: Signed Copies of To Catch a Texas Star

 

(US ONLY)

  July 3-12, 2018

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/3/18

Excerpt

7/3/18

Bonus Series Spotlight

7/4/18

Review

7/5/18

Guest Post

7/6/18

Review

7/7/18

Character Interview

7/8/18

Review

7/9/18

Playlist

7/10/18

Review

7/11/18

Author Interview

7/12/18

Review

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Interview with Brenda Jackson on the release of SEIZED BY SEDUCTION

Interview

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I believe in romance and love stories with happy endings.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?  

From writing stories to entertain my classmates in junior high school.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was 13.  First got published 21 years ago.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Romance and women fiction

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

My characters are Black Americans so I share Black love to other cultures.  

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Stories of true love

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Exploring the world of psychic investigators who assist law enforcement and accepting it is real in a lot cases.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

Reuniting with characters I had written about in the past.  Namely the heroine’s parents’ story was written 15 years ago.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Nora Roberts and Linda Howard.  From them I got my love of writing connecting books about families.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?  To write. 

Most useful is my ability to type. I graduated from high school typing close to 80 wmp.  It helped when I made the transition from writing long-hand to typing my manuscript.  What I find least useful at times is spellcheck.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I’m a full-time writer. Doesn’t affect my writing since writing relaxes me.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example. 

I worked in management for a major insurance company.  Didn’t impact my writing.  I found a lot of the skills I learned in the business world transferrable to my business of writing full-time. Such as time management and customer service.

What do you like to read in your free time?

Historical romances.

What projects are you working on at the present? 

Currently, I am working on a hero who belongs to the first family I’ve written about in four years

What do your plans for future projects include?

Making another movie from one of my books and moving forward to writing my 125th novel.

WOW!  125? You rock! 

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 

I dictate into recording app on phone while driving.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I take pride in naming my hero and heroine.  The name doesn’t have to be unique but I have to get the feel of it fitting the character.  I mostly use baby names books.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

She finally gets to Rest in Peace

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Reading people’s minds

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

Super Woman.  A Super Woman outfit with her lasso.

About the Book

 

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Title: Seized by Seduction

Author: Brenda Jackson

Genre: Contemporary romantic suspense

Series: Protectors, #2

Imprint: HQN

On-sale date: April 25, 2017

From the moment his eyes meet hers across the crime-scene tape, ex-con turned bodyguard Quasar Patterson knows he has to see the mysterious Dr. Randi Fuller again. She’s a renowned psychic investigator who can foresee danger for others, but not for herself. That makes Quasar doubly determined to watch over her—the closer, the better—as she’s drawn into a dangerous gang rivalry.

Both her psychic gift and their blinding chemistry tell Randi that she and Quasar are fated to be entwined. Even as they surrender to the heat between them, there’s no guarantee of a happily-ever-after now that an enemy has her in his sights. And claiming a future will take more than Quasar’s strength and skill. If he can’t risk the heart he’s always held in check, they’ll both lose for good…

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About the Author

Brenda Jackson is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, including two that have been turned into films—One Special Moment and Truly Everlasting. Brenda is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award and an NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread. Jackson is an advocate for diversity in romance and was the first African American author to make both the USA TODAY and New York Times bestseller lists in series/category romance genre.

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Interview with Anna Bennett, on the release of…I DARED THE DUKE

Interview

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

When I was fourteen, I read Pride and Prejudice, and it was the book that made me fall in love with reading. Before that, I’d enjoyed reading Greek myths, Grimm’s fairy tales and fantasy novels like A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but I always wished for something more.

Then I read Jane Austen for a literature class, and she delivered everything I craved in one book—romance, wit, and poignancy. My mother was (and still is) an avid reader and gave me a few historical romances to try. I was hooked!

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

You know the line from John Green’s A Fault in Our Stars, “My third best friend was an author who didn’t know I existed”? That’s how I feel about Lisa Kleypas! I adore her books for their characters, emotion, passion, and humor. And she once gave an amazing, incredibly inspiring speech at a Romance Writers of America conference that I listened to a half a dozen times–before my first book was ever published. Her stories perfectly capture that glorious, heady feeling of falling in love.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m working on the next Wayward Wallflower book, The Rogue is Back in Town. It’s the story of the youngest Lacey sister, Julie, who’s trying to protect her eccentric uncle from the rogue who tries to evict them from their house. It has lots of the tropes I love: a wallflower, a bad boy, enemies-to-lovers, and a love triangle. It’s been fun to write!

Fun Stuff!

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I track my daily word count on a paper calendar, and I swear it’s good luck when the number is a palindrome.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

One, but I could eat three in the course of a day—I like to pace myself. There’s this new donut shop near me that makes the donuts to order and serves them warm. Sugar and cinnamon with vanilla icing please!

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Why fight them? Let them run their course. 🙂

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Trefoils

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention. What do you think cats dream about?

World domination

This or That?

Dogs or Cats? Cats

Tea or Coffee? Iced tea, hot coffee

Winter or Summer? Summer and flip flops

TexMex or Italian? Love both, but will say Italian for mom’s eggplant parm

Vintage or New? Vintage

About the Book

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I Dared the Duke

April 4, 2017

Wayward Wallflowers Series, Book 2

DARE TO FALL IN LOVE

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.

Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?

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About the Author

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Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided historicals (with their balls, dukes, and gowns) were the best. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses include reality TV, cute shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

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Anna spends a lot of time procrastinating on Twitter and Facebook, and she’d love to see you there! You can also keep up with her book news by signing up for her newsletter.

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Character Interview with Alyssa Kaplan from Kendra C. Highley’s SWINGING AT LOVE

Interview

Q: How would you describe yourself?

AK: That’s a bit…personal, don’t you think?

Q: It’s an interview. Inquiring minds and all.

AK:  Um, okay. I’m middle height, athletic build, with crazy curly hair that will not stay in a ballerina bun no matter how hard I try, and green eyes. Nothing special.

Q: I hear a certain someone thinks you’re pretty darn special.

AK: I’d like to think so. Tristan’ pretty special, too.

Q: Moving on…what music do you have on your phone?

AK: Some classical from ballets I’ve danced in. A little Ed Sheeran, some Rhianna, Alessia Cara, X Ambassadors, and Sia. I really like Unbreakable.

Q: What’s your idea of a perfect date?

AK:  That’s almost too easy—great seats to a Rangers game with a guy who enjoys baseball as much as I do. If it’s a really good date, there will be churros. Kissing a guy who tastes like cinnamon sugar is awesome.

Q: Cinnamon sugar…interesting. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? And by anywhere, I mean anytime in the past, present, or future, too.

AK:  I’d go back to see the 1927 Yankee’s play. Or to the mid-40s to see Galina Ulanova dance with the Russian Bolshoi Ballet.

Q: Favorite food?

AK:  My mom’s spaghetti with homemade sauce. I’m watching my weight for a ballet tryout coming up, so I can’t eat a lot, but I love it.

Q: Speaking of ballet, what made you give up softball for dancing?

AK:  I love the grace of dancing, the way it makes me feel. Plus, I was starting to get tired of traveling to tournaments and coming home bruised after sliding. You get bruises doing ballet, too, but you’re less likely to be concussed.

Q: Do you have a favorite ballet?

AK: Most people would say The Nutcracker, but I love the music in Sleeping Beauty more. I’d love to dance in a production of it someday.

Q: What advice would you give to little girls starting out in sports or dance?

AK: Don’t quit. Be prepared to show up and work hard. Give it your whole heart.

Q: Okay, rapid fire time: M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces?

AK: M&Ms

Q: Coffee or Tea

AK: Coffee, black

Q: Sun or rain?

AK: Sun

Q: Pizza or Enchiladas

AK: That’s almost cruel…enchiladas. I live in Texas.

Q: Boxers or briefs?

AK: Depends on the guy?

Q: That’s fair. Last one: Cats or dogs

AK: I like both, but dogs. My dog is my best buddy.

Q: Great—thanks for speaking with us today!

AK: You’re totally welcome.

About the Book

9781633759299

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Outfielder Tristan Murrell has a problem. As the number two slugger for the Suttonville Sentinels, his team is counting on him to make their very first run at the state championship. But he has a secret—his swing has totally deserted him. As in, he can’t hit anything. He needs to fix the issue, and fast, but how?

Ballerina Alyssa Kaplan has a problem, too. The shiny new sports complex in town has left her family’s batting cage business on the verge of going under. Nailing her audition for a prestigious dance company is everything, but there’s no way she’s letting her some shiny big-box company destroy her family’s livelihood.

Tristan needs a miracle. So does Alyssa. And maybe, just maybe, Tristan’s secret weapon might be the girl of his dreams…

Disclaimer: This book contains hot, shirtless baseball players, kisses that bring a ballerina to her knees, and a lot of baseball smack-talk.

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About the Author

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Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

 

 

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Interview with Lily Blackwood

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I’d wanted to try my hand at writing a book for as long as I could remember, but I’d only ever written short stories. I discovered the genre of romance late in life. My only experience with romance novels before college had been reading the condensed versions of Victoria Holt books in my grandparents’ Readers Digest library, or the teen romances I could buy at the PX on the Army bases where we lived.

When I was on maternity leave, my mom and I were at a used bookstore and she found a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna and bought it for me. Holy cow! After I read that novel, I went back to the same used book store and loaded up. It didn’t take me long to decide romance was what I wanted to write. There’s just something very exciting about that first moment an amazing couple first encounters one another, and the sometimes dangerous and challenging dance that follows before they can find their happily-ever-after. 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

From my mother, and her side of the family. Everyone in my mother’s family are readers and book collectors. My aunt is a retired university librarian. My best early memories are of my mom reading to me. I had a younger brother as well, and every night at bedtime, he went to his room, and I went to mine, and mom came to our rooms separately to read a book of our own choosing, sing a song, and say a goodnight prayer. It was our special time, where my brother and I weren’t competing for her attention, and being that we were an Army family, with all the irregularities of life that brings, it provided us with comforting structure. Even now, as an adult, I usually read for at least ten minutes before bedtime. As we grew up, my brother and I would write silly round robin type stories back and forth with each other, trying to outdo each other–and there were just always books and full bookshelves and gifts of books and reading for entertainment. 

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Whenever I sit down to write a book, I set out to capture the story of my characters’ “most exciting days”! If they are 100 years old, and looking back on life, what memories are the most grand and epic? What’s the most exciting or dangerous thing that ever happened to them? What’s the biggest decision of their life? The most critical fork in the road? How did they almost lose the love of their life? That’s the story I want told on the pages of my book.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

My favorite place to write is in the car. I’d write in the car all the time if I could. When my house is a little too lively, I have gone and sat in the driveway in my car to write, just to isolate myself and focus.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

I’m a two donut girl. Or one donut, plus one kolache. (I confirmed this yesterday).

How violently do you have to fight the urge to scream when you hear the ice cream truck coming?

I have a very strong reaction to ice cream trucks, indeed!! Ice cream trucks are happy things, in my mind. One of my earliest memories of my dad is of him acting like a total fool, and insisting that I RUN with him to go catch the ice cream truck. I was probably four at the time. We ran across our neighborhood in the Army base, with him picking me up and carrying me most of the way, so that we could have ICE CREAM.

Say there’s like a whole box of your favorite snack in a room all by themselves. Say I left them there and told you not to eat any until I got back. How long would it take you to disobey my wishes?

The first thing that came to mind with this question was PIZZA!! which may not be a snack food, but hey. PIZZA! I’m not sure how long it would take me to disobey your wishes, but PIZZA! I’m thinking I probably misheard your instructions because (PIZZA!) you wouldn’t want it to get cold.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

I’m pretty sure my flame point Siamese, Tango, dreams about world domination.

THIS OR THAT???

Tea or Coffee?                      Coffee

Winter or Summer?             Autumn!

TexMex or Italian?               TexMex. Oh, gosh, but lasagna!

Chocolate or Vanilla?          Chocolate.

Vintage or New?                  Vintage

Aboutthebook

From the author of The Beast of Clan Kincaid comes the second installment of the dangerously tempting Highland Warriors series.

Set on the captivating hills of Scotland, THE REBEL OF CLAN KINCAID (St. Martin’s Press; December 6, 2016; $7.99; 978-1-250-08475-0), is a story of revenge, rebellion, and, most importantly, desire…

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Magnus isn’t who he thought he was. Unbeknownst even to the laird himself, Magnus is in fact Faelan Braewick the second son of the murdered Laird of Kincaid and his wife. Magnus wants nothing more than to unleash his revenge. Yet rather than reveal his identity outright he returns to Alwyn’s treacherous hall in search of answers about what really happened the night his parents were killed—but also to free the mysterious young woman imprisoned in the laird’s tower and claim her for his own.

Tara Iverach is a prisoner. Ordered to marry Bryce, the Laird Alwyn’s brutish eldest son, she’s been confined to the laird’s tower “for her own protection.” She fears the day she will be forced to marry Bryce…but fears even more that the laird has decided to keep her for himself. The only light in her days comes from Magnus and their fleeting glances and clandestine messages. But with her wedding day approaching and a dark secret rising to the surface, can Tara trust her heart to this rebel?

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abouttheauthor

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Lily Blackwood lives in Texas, with her husband, their two teenagers, a devoted red golden retriever and two rascally cats. She enjoys flea markets, cooking, eating and not cleaning her house! She recently taught herself to knit and has been making a mess with yarn ever since. She loves all things historical, and finds it thrilling to imagine a time period where each day held very real dangers, and true love stories and happily-ever-afters were precious and rare. Lily loves to hear from readers!

Lily is also the RITA Nominated author of Regency romances, Lily Dalton.

Sign up for Lily’s newsletter and follow her online!

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Guest Post by Marissa Campbell, Author of the AVELYNN Series

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As writers, it’s easy to wallow in uncertainty and doubt. Our brains seem hard-wired for this—it’s a creative curse. The road ahead is filled with valleys and peaks. But writing is a marathon, not a sprint. If we commit to this path, we are in it for the long haul. This is an adventure of epic proportions. One in which even The Hero’s Journey would approve.

We embark on this odyssey because we feel compelled to tell a story. Writing is a passion that burns deep in our hearts. To stop the flurry of tapping fingers on the keyboard, or still the sweeping pen in our hands would leave us lost, a gapping hole in our souls. That being said, it’s not an easy journey, but it’s one we must embrace and milk for every ounce of awesomeness we can find. We must not let the fear of rejection, or the fear of failure deter us.

Let me tell you about a recent phone call I received from my local newspaper. The editor/owner has known me for several years, and she had a proposition. In an effort to increase advertising revenue for the paper, for anyone who placed a half-page ad, she wanted me to visit their business, try their services, and then come back and write an article about it—kind of like an advertorial, but different. You see, I’m known around here as the Yes Woman. Why? Because I’m always up for an adventure. No obstacle is too large, no challenge too daunting that I will not at least attempt the journey. I may stumble, I may have to turn back, but rather than give up, I’ll always try to find another way around—unless the adventure involves risk of death… or snakes… or spiders. Seriously, there’s no going around that (shudder).  So, the idea morphed from a simple advertorial into a challenge to see what sort of situation I could get myself involved in and the resulting article about the mayhem.

I could have said, no. But where would that have gotten me? Life is an adventure. We thrive when we live our passions and follow our dreams. As it is with life, so it is with our writing. Even if we stumble across fallen branches, or become mired in a mucky trench in the road, we need to hike up our boots, lean into the wind, and keep on trekking.

My editor and champion at St. Martin’s Press left during the production of Avelynn. That meant when it came time to offer on Avelynn: The Edge of Faith—a new stand-alone historical fiction, and the second book in the series—I no longer had anyone invested in my story, or me as an author. They declined, and I was without a publisher. I could have let that stop the dream, but why would I do that when there are so many other amazing opportunities and options available to writers today? I’m the Yes Woman. Setbacks do not ruffle my feathers; they fuel the wind beneath my wings.

I made the bold decision to self-publish Avelynn because I owed it to readers to continue her story. It was not the easiest path—there were many scary creatures lurking about in the shadows of the unknown—but I am nothing if not stubborn. So, I set out on my noble quest with a brave heart. It was a fascinating journey, filled with wonderful people and sky-scraping towers of knowledge. There were epic battles against Doubt and Rejection, but I vanquished those demons and rose triumphant in the thrilling climax! The first road to publication for Avelynn: The Edge of Faith resulted in a dead end, but I found another way. I kept my passion alive and followed my dream. And thanks to that Yes Woman attitude, the second book in the Avelynn series will be in reader’s hands by the end of September, 2016!  

Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep sending your work out there. Don’t let the spectres of rejection or self-doubt thwart you! Write your heart out. Never give up on the dream.

In gratitude, 

Marissa xo

Aboutthebook

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Avelynn: The Edge of Faith
Book two in the Avelynn Series

Now Available!

In a struggle that forces Avelynn to question her faith, her hope, and her
future, Avelynn and Alrik are thrust into the world of ninth century Wales and
must navigate magic, greed, and betrayal while the iron hands of fate threaten
to tear them apart.

Forced to flee England, charges of treason, murder, and witchcraft follow Avelynn into exile.

Arriving in Wales, Alrik and Avelynn find refuge amongst friends of the Welsh nobility. Cast out by his half-brothers, Alrik seeks to regain his honor and earn favor with the gods. When war threatens, Alrik embraces gold and the opportunity for Raven’s Blood’s crew to become mercenaries, aiding the Southern Welsh kings in their fight against Rhodri the Great.

Desperate to return home, Avelynn seeks to find a way to prove her innocence, pitting her against Alrik as their desires for the future clash. With battle looming, Avelynn’s faith in their relationship is further tested through a bitter struggle with Marared, a jealous lover from Alrik’s past. Marared’s threats turn deadly, and Avelynn runs afoul of magic and sorcery, causing her to question her beliefs and role as priestess.

When the very friends Avelynn and Alrik had come to trust betray them, Avelynn is captured and Alrik is charged with regicide. The two become separated, a chasm of greed, deceit, and ambition driving them apart. In an act of harrowing faith, Avelynn will stop at nothing to find her way back to Alrik and break them both free from Wale’s bloodthirsty grasp.

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Also available, the first book in the series, AVELYNN.

THE LIBRARIAN’s Readers Choice Best Books in Romance pick for BEST BOOK OF 2015

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abouttheauthor

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Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Her debut historical fiction AVELYNN, was published through St. Martin’s Press, September 2015. Look for the second book in the AVELYNN series, releasing Fall 2016. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun!

Find Marissa online at these links:

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She will be talking about her new release and Vikings! So be ready to call in with your questions!

One lucky caller will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the new book!

Interview: Romance Author Melanie Scott

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My parents are both teachers, so I learned to read pretty young (I don’t actually remember not being able to). And they always read and my grandparents were readers so maybe it’s all genetic. I was the kid who always had her nose in a book and had to be shooed outside. Where I was big on playing games that involved making stuff up. The first story I remember writing down that wasn’t for school was when I was about eight, so the stories have always been there too.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

I have too many favorite authors! On the romance side of things, when I had just decided to try and write a book and sell it, someone suggested Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation to me and I loved that book and kind of had the “I want to write THAT” moment. Smart, sexy, a bit snarky, but still satisfying emotionally. On the fantasy side, my favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, Robin McKinley, Guy Gavriel Kay and Diana Wynne Jones. Who are all quite different but I think probably write a similar brand of character, which again is one who will use their brains, have a sense of humor and a sense of honor. They also lean toward more emotional fantasy (in different ways). There are fantasy writers who I enjoy but who write a shallower point of view, all about the action and the story and the world rather than the emotions but my favorites get the emotional side down too.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

I think the two most useful lessons for me are that you learn by writing and that every writer does it differently (and that your process for every book will be probably be slightly different too). The least useful type of writing advice is the “this is the one true way” type advice. No. No, it isn’t. What works for one writer will absolutely not work (or be actively damaging) for a lot of others. Anyone giving a craft workshop or writing a book should be forced to put a THIS IS HOW I DO IT, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY disclaimer at the start and stick to that attitude when teaching. I do read craft books and go to conferences and workshops but learned early on that if I tried something and it didn’t work, or wasn’t helpful, or I hated it, then it wasn’t for me and that was okay.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I will and do, read almost anything but I read mostly romance and fantasy but also enjoy crime and science fiction. Occasionally I wander off into other genres. I’m also a stealthy reader of cookbooks and crafty books. I’m a fast reader but have less time for reading than I used to when I wasn’t writing.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Finishing my Four Arts series (at this stage it will be three books), working on some contemporary things I can’t talk about yet, finishing my urban fantasy trilogy then I have an idea for a new romantic fantasy series and a new slightly more futuristic urban fantasy series. Too many books, not enough time!

Do you have any strange writing habits?

I do have a waterproof notepad in my shower because when I’m stuck, that’s often where I seem to get answers. I also write in my head while on long drives. The trouble with that is that I haven’t yet mastered the art of dictation while driving so I don’t always remember it when I get to destination.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

ALL the donuts. Donuts are one of my favourite foods. So I need someone to invent a zero calorie just as tasty version.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Drinking a glass of water backwards (as taught by my grandmother). Which isn’t really backwards but seems to work.

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Here in Australia we don’t have the same Girl Scout cookies but, because I have kind American friends, I can tell you I like Thin Mints and Samoas.

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?

I don’t think I ever start to hate songs I love. I might get tired of them and lose that first white hot crush feeling. I listen to music when I write and the muse often wants to listen to one song on repeat for parts of a book. I have songs I’ve listened to hundreds of times while writing a book. I still like them.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention…What do you think cats dream about?

How to evolve opposable thumbs so they can achieve world domination? Or how to manufacture patches of sunlight that stay on their favorite napping spot? In the case of my particular current cat, I’m fairly sure she dreams of a human who never wants to stop giving her belly rubs. She is the most belly rub loving cat I’ve ever known (and never does the weird no-stop-suddenly-I’m-fighting-you-thing while receiving them).

THIS OR THAT? (because The Librarian is just a nosey bugger)

Tea or Coffee? Neither, Coke Zero.

Marvel or DC Comics? Based on the movies, Marvel forever and always.

TexMex or Italian? TexMex.

Fried or Scrambled? Scrambled.

Bond or Bourne? Bond. Too much shaky cam in Bourne.

 

abouttheauthor

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Melanie Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s.

Her website is www.melanie-scott.net.

She also writes fantasy and urban fantasy as M.J. Scott (www.mjscott.net).

Follow Melanie on these social media outlets:

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Aboutthebook

PLAYING FAST is Melanie’s Latest Release in the New York Saints Series

THREE STRIKES AND HE’S OUT…

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When baseball bad-boy Finn Castro raises one eyebrow too many, the Saints send him down to the minors. He’ll have to earn back his major-league dreams with the Saratoga Springs Preachers,. Finn’s certainly never claimed to be a man of the cloth, and cleaning up his act isn’t going to be easy with stunning Eva Harlowe at the heart of the team’s administration.

UNTIL SHE THROWS A CURVEBALL

Eva knows having a crush on Finn is about as sensible as wishing for an eighth day of the week, but seeing the gorgeously muscled player in person melts her resolve. If she’s planning to leave baseball at the end of the season, a hot fling could be a fantasy home run. But when no-strings sex begins to feel like a perfect partnership, will Finn and Eva choose the love of the game or real life together?

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Read more about the book and find the buy links here!

 

Character Interview: Tanyalee Marie Newberry from STEALING TAFFY by Susan Donovan

Hello, everyone…this is Tanyalee Marie Newberry of Bigler, North Carolina speaking. Now, I know ya’ll were expecting the author Susan Donovan to write something on this blog, perhaps even answer some of the nice librarian’s questions. I know ya’ll weren’t expecting one of her contemporary romance heroines to just barge in uninvited and start blabbering away! But I don’t always do what people expect. I’m complicated and flawed. My insecurities have led me to use people — especially  men — to get what I want. I’ve done a lot of things for which I am not proud. But here I am. Susan has often said that once I showed up in her head, she just could not get me to shut up!

I hear that a lot.

My story came out on August 30, 2016. It’s called STEALING TAFFY, which Susan’s publisher thought was a catchy title since I have a problem with theft. I’m on probation for it, to be completely honest. But now that I’ve returned from ten weeks in a swanky rehab center and have started community service hours volunteering at the Cataloochee County afterschool Girl’s Club, I’m sure my probation period will just fly by! There’s another reason for the title is STEALING TAFFY. There’s a man, a DEA Agent by the name of Dante Cabrera, who is trying to steal my heart. (Don’t tell him I said this, but I might decide to give it to him willingly. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens, but let me just say this — Dante is one hot hunk of man! But that’s not all he is. He’s kind. Wise. Funny. And he likes his women “with an extra-large side of crazy sauce.” His words, not mine. So you can see the attraction.)

Now, let me address something that’s been a little concerning to Susan. It seems some of the advance reviews of my story are not very charitable. One reader said she threw the book across the damn room because she couldn’t stand me! Susan was a little shocked by this, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve never been Bigler’s most popular woman. There were even some readers who said they didn’t even like me enough to find out what happens in my story! They didn’t stick around to see how I grow and change, how I make amends to those I’ve harmed, and how I figure out how to love and be loved. I’m sorry they felt that way, but you know what I’m not sorry for? Telling the truth about who I am. Being honest about what I’ve been through. And being brave enough to try to be a better person.

Lord knows none of us are perfect.

Susan wanted me to tell ya’ll that this is the third book in the Bigler, NC series. She’s writing a Christmas novella set here as well, entitled HIS CHRISTMAS COOKIE, which will be available in e-format by November 1. It’s the story of two strangers who meet at the Christmas Eve wedding of Thomas (Tater) Wayne and Kelly O’Connor. I’ll be there, and I hope you will, too!

Thankyousoverymuch,

Tanyalee Marie Newberry

P.S. (Since I’m here I may as well go ahead and answer a few of the questions the nice librarian had for Susan, since she’s busy watching Bachelor in Paradise.)

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Susan started out as a newspaper reporter and decided to try writing fiction when she had young children at home. Since she was particularly interested in making a living at writing, she did some research and found that the best-selling fiction was genre fiction — like mystery, horror, sci-fi, detective, and romance. She decided she’d try her hand at romance, since it gave her the most storytelling freedom. She started writing in 2000, and by 2001 she’d written three books. Her first novel was published in December, 2002. In the years since, Susan’s had more than twenty-four novels and novellas published, many of which have been translated into dozens of languages.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Susan was born a storyteller. By kindergarten she was telling stories about the giraffes and zebras she met at the bus stop. Susan became very offended when her mother told her she had a wonderful imagination — since it was all completely true.  

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Susan says she thinks her novels are known for their fully realized, imperfect characters and a funny, sexy, and suspenseful story.  Susan frequently gets told she has some of the best secondary characters in romance.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

Lord love a duck — this is a long story, one Susan hasn’t talked much about. Only lately has she opened up about what happened when she was writing this book. But I’m going to go ahead and let ya’ll know.

When Susan proposed the Bigler series to St. Martin’s Press back in 2010, they asked for two novels about best friends who lose everything in the real estate collapse and are forced to return to their hometown in the hills of western North Carolina. So Susan wrote the sexy adventures of my sister Cherise (Cheri) Newberry and her BFF Candace (Candy) Carmichael. I made an appearance in both books, and Susan’s editor liked me so much that she asked Susan to write my story, too.

Well, that sent her straight to the Merlot.

You see, Susan had already made me so hilariously over-the-top awful that she had no idea how to turn me into a heroine. It was a wild ride, but she did it, and now she considers me one of her all-time favorite characters. Susan says that this book is for those who enjoy a funny and sexy redemption story.

This is where things take a turn for the worse.

Susan was supposed to turn in my book early in 2012 for publication in 2013. As ya’ll know, it’s now 2016. There’s a reason for the delay. In early December of 2011, Susan thought she had the flu, and put off going to the doctor. She ended up riding in a Medevac helicopter to University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Unit, where they determined she was in septic shock.  All Susan’s organs had failed. She had almost no blood pressure and a sky-high fever. Her heart went into tachycardia. The doctors said she was going to die.

Susan wants me to fast-forward to the punch line.  After three months of hospitalization and more than twenty surgeries, the doctors still didn’t know how she got an infection that spread from her left leg through her whole body. No one will ever know. But she was sent home with a pacemaker, one leg, and minor brain damage.  She couldn’t remember her own name let alone write a romantic comedy novel about yours truly. She tried many times to finish my story and failed. She found it impossible to return to a story she’d started in what now felt like a past life. So Susan set STEALING TAFFY aside and worked on another series. Finally, in early 2015, she decided to start all over, and it was a happy day in August of last year when she sent her editor a completed manuscript. Exactly a year later, we have publication!

Susan thanks her readers — and her publisher! — for being so patient.

Aboutthebook

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Ten weeks in a swanky Arizona rehab center and Tanyalee Newberry, aka Taffy, is ready to give up everything that isn’t good for her—her forgery habit, taking (i.e., stealing) things that don’t belong to her, and, of course, men. But when her flight home gets rerouted, she finds herself in a hotel room with her smoking-hot travel companion. One night together is all it should have been. But passion is oh-so sweet…

Special Agent Dante Cabrera has been duped at his own love-’em-and-leave-’em game by this so-called Taffy. To forget she ever existed, Dante buries himself in his work…until a case leads him to North Carolina and, impossibly, right back to her. He has no business messing around with this felonious femme fatale, especially one who could be in more danger than she thinks. But Dante also knows there’s more to her than great looks and hot nights—a soul-searching woman who wants amend her past sins. Is he ready to take their desire to the next level…and steal Taffy’s heart?

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abouttheauthor

LBTC Bonus Clip – Susan Donovan – Starting to write romance from Laurie Kahn on Vimeo.

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SUSAN DONOVAN’s novels are “the perfect blend of romance and women’s fiction,” according to Publishers Weekly. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Bigler, NC Series (CHERI ON TOP, I WANT CANDY, and STEALING TAFFY), The Bayberry Island Series (SEA OF LOVE, THE SWEETEST SUMMER, and MOONDANCE BEACH), and dozens of other novels and novellas. The former newspaper journalist has been nominated for two RITA Awards and received the Best Contemporary Romance award from RT Booklovers Magazine.

Susan loves to hear from her readers, so connect with her:
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Character Interview with Avery Collins from LA Fiore’s BEAUTIFULLY DECADENT

The Sweeter Side by Rita Bean

I recently had the pleasure of sitting with Avery Collins, the sensational, new pastry chef for the award-winning restaurant, Clover. We discussed her fabulous new job, where the ideas for her mouth-watering combinations come from and how she’s adjusting to her new home.

We met at her place, a beautifully restored carriage house on a property that was just picture perfect, well, all but the beat-up, pee-yellow station wagon parked in the drive. As soon as I climbed from my car, the scents of vanilla, chocolate, butter and cinnamon drifted toward me. I would be perpetually hungry if I shared space with Avery and likely several dress sizes bigger.

Upon knocking, she called for me to enter and my first image of Avery Collins was one I’m sure to remember. Dressed in sweats, her auburn hair pulled up into a knot, she was surrounded by delectable treats. The woman behind the masterpieces had a bowl tucked under her arm. Bright green eyes, filled with humor, greeted me first.

Avery: I can’t stop whisking or it’ll throw off the consistency of the mousse. Please come in. Not the best first impression, I look a bit like a mad scientist in my laboratory with the scattered remains of failed experiments, but I’m harmless.

Her greeting encapsulates Avery Collins perfectly…a woman dedicated to her craft, who happens to have a wicked sense of humor. I settled at the kitchen island, notepad and recorder in hand, but I can honestly say the chocolate cake smothered in blackberries distracted me. Avery noticed, a slight blush colored her cheeks.

Avery: I can be socially awkward, so there is a method to my madness. If I dazzle your taste buds, maybe you won’t notice that I’m not the greatest conversationalist. Now if you were interviewing my sister, she’s a brain surgeon, smartest person I know. She can talk about pretty much anything. And when you get her started on a subject she really likes, she can just go on for hours. That’s usually when I slip slowly into madness before my eyes roll into the back of my head and I die of boredom. But I mean, my sister’s great. She’s the best. I love her dearly. Oh hell, are you going to print that? You’re going to print that. You should print that, payback for her comment in Medical Weekly. She called me an airhead, the first documented case of a person being born without a brain. Can you believe that?

She tried for anger, but the affectionate smile that curved her lips was proof that she and her sister were very tight. And as much as I wanted to hear more about her sister, I steered the interview back on track.

Rita: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me and for it to be here where I can watch you work is definitely a treat.

Avery: Are you kidding? I’ve been reading your column for years. I can’t believe I’m actually going to be featured in it. I’ve been pinching myself since you called, gave myself a nasty bruise.

Rita: It’s always a treat for me to interview up-and-coming chefs, especially those that are fans of the column. It’s kind of my way of giving back. So getting right to it, when did you know this was what you wanted to do with your life?

Avery: I wish I could say something profound, but the truth of it is as a kid I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies with blueberries. I couldn’t find them, so I made them. Some kids dream of unicorns or winning the big game, of prom or becoming homecoming queen. Me, I dream in chocolate and cake, pudding and ice cream.

Rita: So you’re very passionate about sweets.

Avery: I wouldn’t have the ass I have without them.

Rita: Talk to me about your process? How do you keep pushing the envelope, finding new mouthwatering combinations?

Avery: I like sweets. It’s really as simple as that. I take combinations that I love and put a spin on them. It’s a lot of trial and error, but I do so enjoy tasting every concoction until I find the perfect blending. If I can dream it, I can create it. That’s kind of my personal tagline.

Rita: Tell me about your interview at Clover. I’m sure there are many readers curious as to how one interviews for a position as pastry chef?

Avery: I imagine the process is different from place to place. For my interview, Francois Moree, the executive chef of Clover, and Clover’s owner, Trace Montgomery, asked that I create three desserts. They watched as I prepared them, studying not just the end product but how I handled each step along the way. I selected recipes that allowed me to use a range of techniques.

Rita: That had to be nerve-racking.

Avery: Have you ever met Francois Moree or Trace Montgomery?

Rita: No.

Avery: Nerve-racking doesn’t even cover it. I tend to babble nonsensically when I’m nervous, but luckily for me I lost myself in the work once I started preparing the dishes. The interview was over before I knew it.

Rita: And we know it was a success. Congratulations. So you moved from Pennsylvania to the Bronx. I have to say, I felt like I was entering a secret garden pulling up the drive. It’s magical.

Avery: That was my first thought too. It’s amazing, so private and picture perfect, and you haven’t even seen the best part yet.

Rita: Best part?

She leaned closer as if trying to keep anyone from hearing what she said next, even though it was just the two of us.

Avery: My landlord is…I’m going to let you be the judge. I swear the fairy godmother that works this area needs a stern talking to. You think I’m kidding, but when I finish with this we’ll sit outside. He’s in his workshop now, but the scents coming from here will stir him from his cave. I have chairs outside; believe me you’ll want to be sitting down when you get your first look at him.

I can honestly say in the fifteen years I’ve been writing this column I have never had an interview quite like this one. And more surprising, I found myself intrigued, enough that we did settle in the chairs outside, chairs that were facing the house not the yard. We hadn’t been there long when a large, black dog meandered from the barn—her landlord’s workshop…a master carpenter who specializes in custom furniture.

Avery: That’s Loki. Rafe’s dog. He’s sweet, a little lazy, but we’re working on that. Aren’t we Loki?

She said this as she rubbed the large animal’s head. He dropped down on her feet, enjoying the affection. Minutes later, a deep voice carried from the barn.

Avery: Wait for it.

And I did, I felt Avery’s anticipation and it caused my own pulse to pound. And then her landlord appeared and she was right, I was grateful for the chair—tall, dark, handsome and then some. I typically would have edited out the following dialog since the focus of the interview was Avery, but the dynamic between her and her landlord provided another layer to the overall picture that is Avery Collins. And it was simply too juicy to cut out.

Avery: Amazing, isn’t he? I could stare at him all day. Hi Rafe. This is Rita Bean. She’s interviewing me for her column, The Sweeter Side.

Standing, I took the hand he offered. He was a tall, built with shoulder-length black hair and bright green eyes. The faint scent of sawdust clung to him.

Rita: You’ve a wonderful place here.

Rafe: Thank you. It’s nice meeting you. Avery, I smell chocolate.

Avery: I’ve a blackberry, chocolate cake with your name on it. And a chocolate mousse flavored with chilies. Chocolate cookies with raspberry purée swirled through them.

Rafe: I want all of the above.

Avery: I want y…to finish the interview and then I’ll plate you up a sampling.

It was unseasonably warm, but the temperature spiked even higher as I sat transfixed by the dynamic happening in front of me.

Rafe: I’m looking forward to tasting your…creations.

Avery: You’ll want to take your time tasting, to savor the flavors on your tongue—the sweet with a hint of spice.

The grin he flashed her, even I felt the effect of it.

Rafe: And I do like sweet things, even better when they have a bite.

Avery: Oh God, I’d like to take a bite out of…that chocolate cake.

Rafe’s head back laugh was well timed since the air was heating up to a combustible level.

Rafe: Come Loki. Let’s go for a walk. It was nice meeting you, Rita.

Rita: And you.

Avery: My IQ takes a hit every time he’s near, but I’m only human. I mean, seriously, look at him. He looks even sexier walking away. I am sorry for getting off topic. Rafe is very distracting. Would you like some cake?

Rita: And a tall, glass of water. I’m suddenly feeling rather parched.

Avery: He leaves me perpetually parched, so I totally get that.

Avery Collins is a refreshing personality with a gift for creating truly spectacular desserts. A woman who is humble, self-deprecating, honest and just a bit goofy. I thoroughly enjoyed my day with her, gained a few pounds, and got to witness first-hand the laws of attraction. Treat yourself and visit Avery at Clover. Your taste buds will thank you.

Text copyright © 2016, L.A. FioreBeautifully Decadent

AboutTheBook

Avery Collins has just landed her dream job, pastry chef for the posh-Manhattan restaurant Clover. Her new boss, Trace Montgomery, even helped with securing her an affordable place to live: a beautifully restored carriage house owned by his friend, Rafe McKenzie—a man that makes her catch her breath and stirs her imagination. Trouble is, he’s involved with someone, his father is being released after 25 years in prison and Avery is just his tenant. Exploring the attraction that sizzles whenever they’re together would be the icing on the cake, but Avery knows all too well that you can’t have everything. Of course, what’s cake without icing? LA Fiore Beautifully Decadent Teaser 4
Rafe McKenzie’s world shattered at nine when his father Liam—the only parent he knew—was arrested and convicted for armed robbery. Growing up in the system, Rafe managed to survive his childhood and now has a job he enjoys, a house he’s restoring and a tight circle of friends. He’s even working on reconciling with his dad, both eager to put the past in the past.

Happy for the income a tenant would bring, Rafe agrees to rent his carriage house to Clover’s new pastry chef. When Avery Collins pulls up his drive, she’s not at all what he’s expecting. Funny, sexy and as sweet as her desserts, it doesn’t take long for things between them to heat up. Just when it seems as if they’ll have their cake and eat it too, the past comes back with deadly intent leaving Rafe to figure out who’s pulling the strings before his world shatters again.

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Due to strong language/sexual content,this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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AboutTheAuthor (1)

LA Fiore logoL.A. Fiore is the author of several books including: Beautifully Damaged, Waiting for the One and His Light in the Dark. She’s also the social secretary for her two children, a tamer of ill-mannered cats, the companion to one awesome dog and married to her best friend. She likes her wine red, her shrimp chilled and her social gatherings small and intimate.

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Interview with author AM Arthur

AuthorInterview (1)

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I came out of background of writing urban fantasy, which is a bit of a muddled genre, having various degrees of romance. So much so, that often times UF series got confused with paranormal romance, and vice versa. But my books were very much UF, light on the romance. I just didn’t identify that frequently with the heroines of romance novels, and I often hated how they would simply give in to what the hero wanted.

Around the same time, I was falling in love with M/M romance as a reader. My very first was a KA Mitchell novel, and I loved it. I had no idea that it was an actual, thriving romance genre, and I dove in. I also discovered a deep love for Kish (the Fish/Kyle romance on cancelled soap “One Life to Live”) and started writing fanfic for those characters. I got great feedback on those stories, and one day it occurred to me to write my own original stories.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I wish I knew. As far back as I can remember, books have been a part of my life. From the earliest hardback readers to the illustrated Disney books. Then early readers, middle grade series like Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley Twins. I love reading. I love getting lost in other people’s lives. Probably because I’m an incredibly introverted person, and I don’t have many big adventures in my own life. Somehow my love of reading stories translated into sitting down and writing my own.

How long have you been writing?

I suppose I’ve been writing fiction since I was twelve years old, so about twenty-four years now. My first story was awful. A dreadful mess, and it’s since disappeared from my life. But all through junior high and high school, I scribbled down stories. Then I graduated to my mom’s typewriter. I didn’t get serious about writing as a career until college, when I had a professional in the field compliment my work and say he thought I could make a real go of it.

I’m so glad I listened to him.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I had a reader very recently say something to me on Facebook that has kind of become my brand: Angsty, without making you want to die. I like to tell stories about real people. People you meet on the street (a bartender, a landscaper, a receptionist at a dentist’s office) who are struggling with very real problems (homelessness, alcohol abuse, drug problems, domestic violence), but who find a happy ending and love.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

The musical aspect of it. My editor and I came up with the idea of doing a series around musicians. Personally? I can play the MASH theme on the piano, and that’s it. So I had to do a lot of research around indie rock, music festivals, and different instruments. I even bought “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory” so I didn’t sound completely idiotic in my storytelling.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Dominic Bounds. He was one of those rare characters who started telling me life story almost from the very first moment I dreamed him up. He came out fully formed, with a rich family history, and a lot of personal baggage that had to be sorted through before he and Trey could ever work. I adore Dom so much, and it was a pleasure giving him his HEA.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

Interracial adoption is something that is featured in this book, via Dominic’s family. Dom is half-Filipino and half-Italian, and his adoptive parents are black. He has a Latino adopted sister, a white adopted sister (who is also autistic), and two other black adopted siblings. Interracial adoption isn’t something I read about very often in fiction, and I enjoyed creating a family that is not only functional, but also very loyal and loving to each other. When one of them is hurting, they all rally to support them.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

As of January this year, I am a full-time writer. I was able to leave my full-time day job, and now I work there a few times a month to get out of the house on a regular basis. I’m a single, mostly healthy person, so I only have to support myself and two precocious cats. In regards to how it’s affected my writing, I was just looking at my monthly writing stats today. Some months I hit my target, some months I missed it, but on average I’m doing well. I’m not the most organized person, and getting myself onto a proper schedule has been haphazard. It also doesn’t help that my family seems to think I do nothing all day, so I’m available to them at their whim.

What do you like to read in your free time?

A little bit of everything, to be honest. Definitely MM romance. Sometimes I go on sprees, like last month when I binged on MM shifter romances. I also love nonfiction, especially about topics important to me, such as youth homelessness and poverty. Biographies when I’m in the mood. And books about nutrition/the processed foods industry.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I love this question. So besides completing two contracts (All Saints #3 and Body Rocks #3), I’m working on a third Cole/Jeremy book for my Discovering Me series. Those two are so stubborn, but I’m slowly coaxing a story out of them. I’m also working on a shifter story that begins with hot and heavy motel sex, so that one should be pretty spicy. There will be a third Prodigal-universe story, to add to Prodigal and Frozen, which I plan to self-publish. I won’t be bored.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

Q: How did you come up with the names of the two rival bands in “Body Rocks?”

A: The first band name, Fading Daze, just sort of came out of nowhere. I liked that it sounded like fading days, and it fit Trey’s group of friends. The second band, XYZ, I had more trouble naming. I couldn’t think of anything that I liked when it was time to start writing the first draft, so I used XYZ as a placeholder. By the time I got to the end of the book, I was so used to calling them XYZ that the name stuck.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I like to say “never say never” but even I have hard limits about certain things. Incest is one of them. While I actually did find a twin-incest series that I fell in love with (Twin Ties by Lynn Kelling, and she handles it brilliantly!), I don’t see myself ever writing about it. Also extreme BDSM, or a couple with a full-time D/s relationship. I’ve read some that are amazing and so well written, and I know I’d never be able to do it justice.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Mind control. I’d make Congress pass laws that actually help Joe Average, rather than pandering to Big Business and the oil industry.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Germany. I’m a little bit more than half German, so it would be wonderful to visit that country  one day. Plus, I work with a woman who was born there, and I love listening to her talk about how much she loves it. It’s also a beautiful country (I’ve seen pictures), with a deep cultural history.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose

Australian. And yes, I know even Aussie accents vary from region to region, but I love listening to them talk. I watched an Australian soap on Hulu.com last year, called “All Saints,” and it was wonderful listening to them hour after hour. Once in a while an American character would appear, and it would totally throw me out of the show!

AboutTheAuthor (1)

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and “bromance” (and “The Young Riders”) with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments. Visit her online at amarthur.blogspot.com

AuthorLinks (1)

Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/am_arthur
AboutTheBook

 

Arthur_Body RocksBODY ROCKS

By: A.M. Arthur      Pub Date: June 28, 2016  

(Sub)Genre: Contemporary, Rock Star, M/M LGBT      

ISBN: 9781250105851/Page Count: 300/Price: $3.99

Series: Off Beat (Book 1)*Interconnected Standalone

Everything is finally falling into place for Trey Cooper: his band has been accepted into one of the biggest music competitions in the country…too bad their drummer just quit to play with XYZ, their biggest rival. When Trey has a mind-blowingly hot hookup with a mysterious violinist, Trey definitely plans to see him again – just not on stage as a member of XYZ.

Dominic Bounds’ time to make his musical dreams come true is running out. If something doesn’t happen fast, he has to head home to find a real job. This competition is his last chance, and Dom needs to come out on top – but he never expected to fall for his rival. As Dom and Trey risk everything to begin a secret affair, there’s no denying their chemistry is off the charts – but could their band rivalry turn their romance into a one-hit wonder?

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