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Exclusive Interview with author Karina Bartow, plus a look at contemporary romance, FORGETTING MY WAY BACK TO YOU!

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our third official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of contemporary romance, Forgetting My Way Back to You. Please join me in welcoming Karina Bartow to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Karina. Please have a seat.

Author Karina Bartow:  Hi, Marie! I really enjoy your blog and your love of romance.

Marie:  Aww, thanks! It’s such a pleasure to see you here!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Karina:  I’m a full-time author, and I write love stories and mysteries. I enjoy it very much, but you’ll have to ask my readers if I’m good at it!

Marie:  (Laughs.) I’m sure your books are great, at least judging by what I’ve noticed so far. 😉

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Karina:  My parents have been married for forty-five years, and I have an older sister. She and her husband have an eleven-year-old son, so I enjoy being an aunt.

Marie:  Nice!

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Karina:  It was a simple ranch when I was born, but we added a second story and turned it into a Cape Cod style. We live in the country with an acre of land, which gives me good space to drive my prized possession, my golf cart.

Marie:  Awesome!

Do you have any hobbies, Karina? What do you enjoy doing?

Karina:  Like any girl, I love to shop, but I have a sporty side, too, and I’m a big baseball fan. I also really enjoy listening to music and reading.

Marie:  Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes!

Shopping is my Achilles heel. If I have any spare money, I can get myself into trouble 😉

So…what is your greatest dream?

Karina:  To have a family of my own.

Marie:  Oh, me too! I can’t have biological children, so when my fiancé and I get married, we’ll have to get a little creative.

The closest I’ve come so far is adopting kitties. 😛

But I think life has a way of surprising you just when you need it the most. ♥

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Karina:  I wish I could be someone who, as they say, doesn’t sweat the small stuff. I don’t know what holds me back. Probably age and circumstances.

Marie:  I know what you mean…I wish I could be a bit more casual about everything. I can get too serious about the stuff going on in my life.

Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Not to pry too much, but who was your first love?

Karina:  Dean Cain in his Lois & Clark days. Needless to say, it was unrequited!

Marie:  (Laughs.) OMG, how did I forget that? I was nuts about him when I watched that show. Those dimples were to die for! 😉

Let’s try something else now.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Karina:  Frankly, my disability. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and have tried to make the most of my life, but it affects every part of it. I don’t wallow in that, but I can’t say I’m thankful for it, either.

Marie:  Oh, no! 😥 I’m so sorry you have to deal with that, and I can’t blame you for getting discouraged. I have epilepsy, and I’ve definitely had to shape my life around that disability.

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Karina nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Karina:  To be a published author, and of course, I did achieve it!  It hasn’t been what I expected in that it’s not as glamorous as Hollywood makes it look. Unless you’re well-known, you don’t get a nationwide book tour or a call from Oprah. Authors have to put in a lot of time marketing their work, but I’ve come to enjoy that.Marie:  True enough! I don’t think most people realize how difficult it is to make a name for yourself in the publishing world.

So, who is your role model, Karina?

Karina:  My parents.

Marie:  Lovely! I know my folks were definitely an influence on my outlook with regards to how ‘love’ should be, and I can blame them for my interest in writing romance. At least a little. (Chuckles.)

Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Karina:  Nobody truly likes everyone they meet, but I try to be polite, regardless. Some test that, though!

Marie:  For sure! But I like your attitude…we need more of that in the world these days. 😀

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Karina:  To be faithful to God.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell me something, Karina. What is your greatest fear?

Karina:  Clowns!

Marie: 😯 Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! Though I guess they are a bit freaky.

I want to try something different next, Karina… 

Readers, let’s shift somewhat and get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Charlee Stoll. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Karina:  Charlee works as a physical therapist at a senior center, where her dad lives. She moonlights as a trainer for her alma mater’s football team. At age 29, she’s still single, quietly holding a torch for her high school sweetheart.

Marie:  Nice! I love second chance stories!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Karina:  She’s loyal and devoted to her family.

Marie:  Commendable, of course!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Karina:  She can act in haste, which sometimes leads to disaster.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of her favorite foods?

Karina:  Brownies, coffee, and ice cream—anything sweet!

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Oh, I definitely have a sweet tooth too!

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Karina:  She’s open-minded and trusts people, often giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Marie:  Not such a bad trait!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Karina:  I hope they’ll like her because of her mix of innocence, tenacity, and caring nature.

Marie:  Works for me!

Now that we have a real taste of Charlee, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Forgetting My Way Back to You?

Karina:  Forgetting My Way Back to You is comprised of parts of my first book, which was about a woman who developed selective amnesia after a head trauma. As young as I was—eighteen—when I started, I’d already experienced some events I wouldn’t have minded forgetting, just to be free of that baggage. Thus, like many stories, it began with the elusive ‘What if?’.

Marie:  Gotcha! Many of my stories launched that way.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Karina:  Pantster all the way! I enjoyed improv in high school drama class, and that’s how I write. It’s all extemporaneous. I think on where I am in the story throughout my day and sit down with a generic idea of where I want to go, but I never know the details until I’m in the moment.

Marie:  Sounds like quite a ride!

How about another question?

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Forgetting My Way Back to You or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?

Karina:  It took me nine years from the time I started it to when I signed the contract, so it was a long process. As far as writing it went, I couldn’t find satisfaction in it for a good while, and I think my maturity level played into that. I didn’t have enough experience to write good conflict, so it kept coming out as pretty childish. All in all, though, I wouldn’t change it because I learned a lot about myself and my craft.

Marie:  I know what you mean. My first historical romance took me nine years to write too, and I definitely matured as a woman throughout the experience. 

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Forgetting My Way Back to You appears to be. Congratulations on your new release, since it just came out in mid-October!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this modern romance by Karina Bartow, a talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Forgetting My Way Back to You:

When Charlee Stoll loses all memory of him, Hunter Jett knows his mistakes led to this moment. Though tempted to give up on their future together, he’s determined to use the twist to right his wrongs.

Through charm and deception, can he win back her love…before she discovers the truth?

Karina is also offering us a peek of the book!

After finishing off the Tuscan chicken and other treats from the buffet table, Hunter and Charlee wandered outside to look at the estate’s breathtaking gardens. In the last seconds of daylight, the colorful flowers’ bright petals stood out under the darkening sky. The staff members around them were busy deconstructing the sites where the two ceremonies had taken place and didn’t notice them at all. A few other guests strolled the grounds, too, but on such a large property, they crossed paths just once with each of them, leaving them alone for the most part.

They came upon a stone bridge, which no doubt had played a part in many weddings and photos over the years, and the two stopped to observe the scene. With the sun dipping out of sight, the stars came out in full display. The lit-up mansion softened the aura of everything that much more, showcasing the late Pennsylvania summer at its best.

“I didn’t think it could look any more beautiful,” Charlee mused aloud.

Hunter wanted to tell her that he thought the same every time he saw her, but he feared it would intimidate her.

“How’d you know about this place, anyways?”

He contemplated his reply, again worrying his honest answer would force her away, but he took the chance. “My grandfather took my grandma here on their first date, and because he’d heard the story of how it swept her off her feet, my dad gave it a try with Mom. Considering that my grandparents stayed together for over sixty years and my folks just celebrated their thirtieth, I figured it’d be a good choice. It beats taking you to a dance where everyone’s pushing us apart, at least.”

“Yes, that’s where we went wrong,” she joked. “But can crashing a wedding set us up much better?”

Hunter chuckled and shrugged his shoulders. “Well, if my family’s tradition doesn’t work out, maybe your dad’s motto will come true: ‘It isn’t about the way you started…’”

“‘It’s the way you finish that matters.’” She completed the proverb her dad had drilled into her head since her days of learning to walk.

He gave her a considering look, trying to discern how far he should take the romancing, before he extended his hand. “Speaking of which…”

She’d resisted taking his hand the whole evening, but she relented, letting him lead her back towards the carriage house. He veered off to the side instead of going into the building, where they could hear the opening words of ‘Wonderful Tonight’ playing inside. He took hold of her, and they danced under the moon the way they had years earlier.

“Was any of this an accident?”

“I may have made a request to the deejay,” he remarked with a grin. “Other than that, though, I could only hope you’d agree to come here with me. That said, I don’t think you and I being together can ever be called an accident.”

History repeated itself once more when he leaned in to kiss her. The same sparks flew, but this time, they glowed brighter.

Wow! I’m curious to find out what happens next in this book… 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bWzOPq

Publisher:  https://www.vinspirepublishing.com/forgettingmywabacktoyou

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this contemporary romance! ♥♥♥

About Karina Bartow

Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio. Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her. Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters that have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want. Her debut novel, Husband in Hiding, was released in 2015 and was well-received by readers. She’s excited about her new love story, Forgetting My Way Back to You, available now from Vinspire Publishing. She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Karina Bartow, here are some author links:

Website:  http://www.karinabartow.com/

Blog:  https://karinabartow.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarinaBartow

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KarinaBartow

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Karina-Bartow/e/B076L4FCGV/

https://amzn.to/2RyZIz9

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15045283.Karina_Bartow

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/117505120642906778021

Once again, I want to thank Karina Bartow, the brilliant author of this romance, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, Second Chances, small town, Writing

Exclusive Interview with author Suzanne Jefferies, plus a look at erotic romance, WATCHED, and giveaway!

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our second official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of erotic romance, Watched. Please join me in welcoming Suzanne Jefferies to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Suzanne. Please have a seat.

Author Suzanne Jefferies:  Hi, Marie! Lovely to meet you.

Marie:  It’s such a pleasure to see you here! I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have any other occupations? Do you believe you’re any good at them? Do you like what you do?

Suzanne:  I’m a copywriter, specializing in corporate marketing collateral, government case studies (South Africa), and personal profiles. I’d like to think I’m very good at it! I love it. I get to work on some really exciting client projects from the comfort of my home. Win/win all round.

Marie:  Nice! 

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Suzanne:  Driven. Chaotic. Next question, please.

Marie:  Oh, I hear you there! 😉

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Suzanne:  We moved a lot, including from the UK to South Africa. My earliest home was my favorite; surrounded by a cobblestone wall, overlooking the cold, grey Atlantic, and four houses from my best friend. We used to go down to the beach in our Wellington boots, dodging stinging nettles and sheep droppings. Every day was an adventure.

Marie:  Great!

Do you have any hobbies, Suzanne? What do you enjoy doing?

Suzanne:  Rolling on the mat at jui jitsu. Running half-marathons with my youngest sister. Drawing stories about the young me adventuring on that cold coast in South Wales.

Marie:  Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes! 😀

So…what is your greatest dream?

Suzanne:  I’m still single. So, I’m wishing and a hoping for true love/the fairytale/someone who I can partner with. Maybe a family.

Marie:  There’s certainly nothing wrong with those dreams…

As I’ve learned, true love has a way of surprising you just when you need it the most. ♥♥♥

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Suzanne:  I could do with being more extroverted. What’s stopping me is my introvert tendencies. I can do extrovert best when I’m a little drunk – that doesn’t roll so well on a Monday morning!

Marie:  (Laughs.) Very true…

Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Suzanne:  A boy named Gareth, with a lazy green eye who worked at the Pro Shop and smoked Camel filters. Did he break my heart? With a sledgehammer.

Marie: Aww…okay. I sense a big story there. ♥

Let’s try something else now.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Suzanne:  Lots of terrible things happen all the time, and I’ve certainly had more than my fair share. The funny thing, though, about terrible things is that, sometimes, they can lead me on to better, wonderful things. Other times, they’ve led me to the therapist’s door.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there!

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Suzanne nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Suzanne:  I wanted to write books. And, yay, that’s what I’m doing.

In a million years, I never dreamt that publishing would be so hard. In my career as a writer I’ve been plagiarized (legal fees nailed that one), had an agent run out on me, had a publisher go bust and close its door weeks before my release, and another publisher used my book as a vehicle to legitimize her self-publishing business. Epic.

For every step forward, another twenty or so back. People think of E.L. James or J.K. Rowling when they think of writers, but they’re outliers. Most writers I know are doing well, but aren’t finding their photo in People magazine.

Marie:  True enough! I don’t think most people realize how difficult it is to make a name for yourself in the publishing world.

So, who is your role model, Suzanne?

Suzanne:  Jane Porter. She moved me to tears with her story, because it was my story too. The difference was, she had the guts to stand up there and share. She’s a writer who never gave up, a successful publisher and a dedicated mom. I think she’s awesome.

Marie:  All right.

Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Suzanne:  Yes. I will not be revealing said person’s name to protect the innocent (me).

Marie:  No problem. I respect your privacy!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Suzanne:  To have a child of my own (looking super unlikely at this point).

Marie:  I know what you mean. The closest I’ve come so far is adopting kitties. 😉

So, tell me something, Suzanne. What is your greatest fear?

Suzanne:  That it will be too late – that all the things I still want to do and experience in my life, will somehow slip away from me into time’s black hole, and it will all be too late.

Marie: Well, I certainly understand your fears that time is a losing battle. But I don’t think it’s ever too late to accomplish what you set out to do.

I want to try something different next, Suzanne… 

Readers, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective on some of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Professor Eve Brown. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Suzanne:  Professor Brown, Evie, is newly divorced and questioning everything about her life. All of the roles and titles that seemed to apply, no longer do. She used to love her job, but she feels her passion slipping away. She’s no longer a wife. She’s no longer young. Everything’s changing.

Marie:  I see.

So, what are your characters’ greatest strengths?

Suzanne:  Resilience. She gets up, gets out there and gets on with what needs to be done.

Marie:  Admirable for sure!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Suzanne:  Young men named Cameron! The tendency to look backwards towards the past. That’s not where she’ll find her answers.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of her favorite foods?

Suzanne:  Sushi, vegetarian lasagna, and steak, mid-to-rare, with fries. And Chardonnay.

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Nice!

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Suzanne:  She’s open to change, open to experience, and open to difference. It’s not something she thinks of consciously; it’s part of who she is.

Marie:  Works for me!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Suzanne:  It could be easy to dislike her, considering that she does ‘break the rules’ with Cameron. But it’s part of her breaking her shackles to the past, and the person she was.

Marie: All right.

Well, now that we have a real taste of Evie Brown, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Watched?

Suzanne:  Trawling through YouTube videos I came across the Christopher Atkins turkey ‘One Night in Heaven’. Something about the teacher/student angle, had me thinking. And then I watched Laura Branigan’s video for ‘Self-Control’ and somehow the two non-related ideas kind of mushed and melded together (Still not sure how this inspiration thing works!).

Marie:  Gotcha! And I hear you. My story ideas come from all over the place.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Suzanne:  Pantster all the way! I let the story take me where it wants to go and hang on.  

Marie:  Sounds like quite a ride!

How about another question?

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Watched or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Suzanne:  Yes, there was a minor challenge. The relationship with Sophie is fluid, a friends with benefits, casual affair. So, it had to be clear that Evie wasn’t cheating on her. However, Sophie is polyamorous, so it’s not that Sophie would mind particularly. I had wanted to explore this more, but publishers were not so keen. Luckily, I reworked parts of the story and Wild Rose Press was happy to publish.

Marie:  Okay.

It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Watched appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this scorching romance by Suzanne Jefferies, a talented author! :)

Now, let’s learn more about Suzannne’s blog tour going on right now.

Here is the blurb for Watched:

Newly divorced Professor Evie Brown notices her student Cameron Slade and how attentive he seems, so totally unlike her ex-husband. Cameron is also delicious to look at, all taut body, broad shoulders, and hot eyes. He’s forbidden territory, but one late afternoon as she pleasures herself in an empty lecture hall, she looks up to find she’s not alone. He’s there…watching her.

And then there’s Sophie Walker. Ever since Evie met the sensual woman, she’s allowed her inhibitions to unreel, one by one. It’s Sophie who’s been sharing Evie’s erotic awakening, Sophie who she yearns for. Or is it?

Suzanne is also offering us a peek of the book!

I wipe clean the whiteboard, enjoying the push of the felt, swinging from side to side as I move, the squeaking sound it makes as it erases the past three hours’ worth of hard work. An image replays over and over—that unexpected reveal of Cameron’s torso—a handspan of bareness, the grooved shadow of muscle. It was a shock to the sterility of that lecture hall. My mouth waters. Bare, taut skin—that male skin, so much rougher, harsher than a woman’s.

Male.

I replace the lids on the markers and switch off the projector. Alone. Facing late afternoon emptiness.

If Cameron were to give me something I’d like… I’d like him, close to me, all sweet-sandy raw male youth, at my knees. Male.

I swallow back the desire that is starting to slither through me, stroking the space between my neck and collarbone. Cameron. I picture the way he ran his hands through his lightly gelled hair, the bulge in his arms as his hands extended behind his head. The soft curve of his lower lip. That vulnerable stretch of torso that was making my mouth salivate like a beast before its slaughter.

Nice! I’m curious to find out what happens in this book… 🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07B2BR84Z

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/watched-suzanne-jefferies/1128033307?ean=2940159047809

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/watched-19

Plus, Suzanne is giving away some wonderful prizes, two ebooks of Watched, during this tour. Two lucky winners will receive a copy. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

.•°☆ RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY °•.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b33/

Let’s offer some kudos to Suzanne’s sponsor as well…

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this erotic romance! ♥ Readers, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

About Suzanne Jefferies

Suzanne Jefferies loves to write romance. As a member of ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa), she knows that she’s not the only believer in romantic tension and emotional power smacks to keep the romance reader hooked. A movie fanatic, she spends most of her time as a writer-for-hire. Working in communication, she has done more than her fair share of corporate and investor PR, and now freelances in between editorial jobs for big, glossy company magazines. The Joy of Comfort Eating, her first contemporary romance novel, won the 2016 Imbali Award for excellence in romance writing.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the intriguing Suzanne Jefferies, here are some author links:

Website:  www.suzannejefferies.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneJefferiesAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/suzannjefferies

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Jefferies/e/B0076INQUU/

https://amzn.to/2GrvJrQ

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8193878.Suzanne_Jefferies

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/115131914653334849624

Once again, I want to thank Suzanne Jefferies, the brilliant author of this hot novella, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here! Fans, enter the cool giveaway while you still can!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, characters, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, steamy, Writing

Exclusive Interview with author Nermin Bezmen, plus a look at historical romance, KURT SEYT & SHURA!

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our first official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of bestselling novel (also optioned into a television series), Kurt Seyt & Shura. Please join me in welcoming Nermin Bezmen to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Nermin. Please have a seat.

Author Nermin Bezmen:  Hi, Marie! Lovely to meet you.

Marie:  It’s such a pleasure to see you here! I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have any other occupations? Do you believe you’re any good at them? Do you like what you do?

Nermin:  I am an author. I believe I am good at what I am doing, and I do not only like but love writing.

Marie:  Happy to hear it! 😉

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Nermin:  My family is very loving, kind, considerate and close-knit but everybody with a space of his/her own. We are all very artistic and all have free minds and free souls.

Both my daughter and son left their highly paid businesses to pursue their artistic dreams, and I am so proud of them for they have chosen to do what they love most and not what they earn more from. Earning your money from what you love to do as a hobby is a great happiness, even if it does not pay like the corporate life. I have three sweet grandchildren who are all into art one way or another. My husband is an actor and his son is also another dreamy artist. I think I should convince my son-in-law to spare some time for his drawing abilities in which he is great, but has no time from his corporate life.

Marie:  I love that your family is so creative! As for your son-in-law, I’m guessing he does what he can.

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Nermin:  Due to my father’s business (he was a civil engineer), we had to move quite often, and I remember vividly every one of the places we lived in. I loved them all because they were all home for me… home where my mom and dad, then my sister were, and where there was unconditional love — always. Our home was always tidy, neat. Mom made sure everything was in order, no matter what. And she spared time to read to me every morning and night till I learned to read on my own. There were always books. Both my parents read. My grandparents read. I can still smell the delicious cakes mom freshly baked for me every afternoon when I came back from school. I can still picture her singing to my dad at our dinner table and I can hear the tango playing on the radio, and I see my dad and mom getting up from the table to dance. I can see that they are in love. They were always in love…

This is what my childhood home looked like… it looked like LOVE.

Marie:  What a perfect picture for our readers, as we’re all about romance here! ♥♥♥

Do you have any hobbies, Nermin? What do you enjoy doing?

Nermin:  I love reading, listening to music – mostly classical, painting, growing orchids, classic cars, boating, yoga.

Marie:  Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes! 😀

So…what is your greatest dream?

Nermin:  My dreams never end and so there is no such thing like “the greatest dream” for me. One dream that seemed “the greatest” only a few years ago now is realized, so I have new ones on the horizon.

Now that my first novel is published here in America, I am dreaming of Kurt Seyt & Shura climbing to the top of the bestsellers list and then maybe made into a cinema movie and then maybe winning the Oscar. But as much as I work for this dream, I pray to God that I keep my mental and physical health to go on writing and seeing my family grow with love and happiness.

Marie:  Nice! There’s certainly nothing wrong with those dreams…

Kurt Seyt & Shura has such a great cover too!

 

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Nermin:  I am not a rigid person who goes by others’ rules. Never have been. So unless it hurts somebody or my ethics, I always choose the life I want to live and I can be the person that I want to be. Nothing stopped me, nothing stops me.  I am happy with myself. I like the person in me. This person is in great harmony with this body, this heart, this mind and soul. Although there are people I admire very much, I never envied anybody or wanted to be in someone’s place, no matter how successful or beautiful they are.

Marie:  That’s rather admirable, and refreshing to hear!

Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Nermin:  LOVE itself. Since I was a little girl I remember myself wanting to be in love and be loved. I imagined myself deeply, blindly, unconditionally falling in love… so much in love that it even hurt and made me cry. There was no figure, no physical reflection of any body. It was just LOVE itself that I was after. God must have heard me well. When my first husband kissed me for the first time, all of a sudden love gained a physical appearance. After he was gone, I thought I had my share of love and never again could love or be loved. But my prayers must still be echoing that God introduced me with a new love, my second husband.

Marie: Aww…(sighs.) I love romance. ♥

Wow! I’m so glad you were blessed with not just one perfect match, but two.

Let’s try something else now.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Nermin:  Quite a few terrible things happened to me, but nothing to call “the most terrible” because I always managed to make something positive out of them.

Marie:  How inspiring!

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Nermin nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Nermin:  I have always been a dreamer. There is always a dream in the niches of my grey cells. Most of the time more than one.

My first great dream was to enter and win the examination of AFS (American Field Service) scholarship. I was only seven years old then and to be eligible for AFS, you needed to be seventeen. So for ten years I went to school and studied with that dream. For ten years every night when the lights were out, I dreamed of myself giving a “farewell” speech to my family and friends on my imaginary way to America. When I reached seventeen, my dream was realized and my “farewell” speech was written already. There are so many other dreams that I had and worked hard to make each one come true. For me, dreams are like a lovely sail boat on the horizon while I am sitting on the shore. I don’t just watch it go by, I swim towards it.

Marie:  Such a nice thought! You’re truly a go-getter!  🙂

So, who is your role model, Nermin?

Nermin:  My role models are the women of my family. They are kind, elegant, passionate, loving, hard working, strong, no-nonsense women with great dignity.

My ancestors, both from my father’s and mother’s side have been refugees from different lands. They all had to leave behind once a very good life, great lands, houses and loved ones too, and had to run away on horseback or in a fisherman’s boat. And those women, without nagging, once stood beside their husbands and shared the struggle to start a whole new life from scratch, and raised their family. When some of them lost their husbands, they never bowed down to anybody to make life easier, but proudly took responsibility for their families.

When I was doing research for my novels, I could clearly see how steady they all were and how much pride they had in themselves even during the most vulnerable times.

Marie:  I agree. They all sound quite heroic!

Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Nermin:  I believe life is too short to pretend. I never pretend for anything. I simply exclude the people I would not like from my life, and keep and pamper those I like.

Marie:  I respect that!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Nermin:  To see the whole world in great harmony of peace and love.

Marie:  I’m with you. There’s far too much hate in the world right now… 😦

So, tell me something, Nermin. What is your greatest fear?

Nermin:  That evil people will not let this happen.

Marie: True enough. 

Readers, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective on some of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the hero and heroine of your story. Quite interesting characters. Can you tell us a little about them?

Nermin:  Kurt Seyt Eminof is the first son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman, a dashing first lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard of the last Russian Czar Nicholas II. Injured on the Carpathian front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea. Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic, rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura  (Alexandra Julianovna Verjenskaya) is an innocent sixteen year old beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights, who falls in love with Seyt. A potential victim of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, she is determined to follow her heart and accompanies Seyt on his perilious flight over the Black Sea.

Their love is the only solace to their crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers among hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied İstanbul.

Marie:  Fascinating!

So, what are your characters’ greatest strengths?

Nermin:

Before revolution: Seyit’s strength, besides his brave character, comes from his family, his title, wealth, education, and his military position. Shura, on the other hand, is protected by her wealthy, aristocrat family, being pampered as the youngest of her five siblings.

After revolution, they both lose all the physical and emotional touch they had with their families, motherland, wealth, titles and what strength remains is only their love and the desire to survive in a foreign country.

Marie:  All right.

And what are their greatest weaknesses?

Nermin:  His pride… Her naiveté.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of their favorite foods?

Nermin:  Karski, kievski, caviar, çibörek.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I’m not familiar with some of those! I guess I’ll have to try them sometime.

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your characters are unaware that he or she has?

Nermin:  Both Kurt Seyit and Shura went through so much tragedy and had to endure so many hard times, that there was not a quality left hidden in them. They had to bring out and use them all to survive.

Marie:  I see.

Will readers like or dislike these characters, and why?

Nermin:  It depends on how deeply they will read the psychology behind every action, every decision. While we are sitting in our cozy, warm rooms, cuddled up on a soft sofa it is very easy to judge the characters in the book. One should just dive into the pages and start following the characters on their pathways and feel not only love but also pain, heartache, bloodshed, atrocity, yearning, struggling that they went through and had to endure.

Marie: That’s a fine point!

Well, now that we have a real taste of Kurt Seyt and Shura, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Kurt Seyt & Shura?

Nermin:  Kurt Seyit is no stranger to me. He is my grandfather. I grew up listening to his adventures and for me, he was the Prince Charming that nobody wrote his story. My grandma kept telling me about him and his life each year with more details while I was growing up. And Shura was the most important character of that narration.

Years later, when I decided to write about my grandpa and grandma, starting with the second chapter, Shura was in my life and then I grew such a great admiration and love for this special woman that I decided this first novel would be of Kurt Seyt & Shura and then the second one of Kurt Seyt & Murka (my grandmother). I believed these two very different but great women each deserved a book with their own name on it.

Marie:  That’s awesome! I wish I had all the finer details about my grandparents lives; I might do the same.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Nermin:  I don’t draw lines for my writing. If I am writing a true story, a true character, it has its own demands and if I am writing a fiction novel, then it’s different.

I generally start writing in my mind with a feeling of “love at first sight” for either a character, or a place, or even a dream. I immediately have the name and the first sentence of the novel that very moment. If it is going to be based on a true story, then comes the deep research, which is very challenging, not just because you keep deciphering a great puzzle but you also have to know when to stop the research and start writing. A thorough research can lead the writer to other stories, too.

Psychology of the characters is very important for me. I work on the psyche of each character like I am sewing a tailored dress made to order, one of a kind dress for them.  It is the psyche of the person, what makes him/her converse, decide, feel, love, hate the way he/she does. It is the core of the novel. After I am happy with the details, I have to start writing… If it is fiction, after the few chapters my characters, mostly my hero/heroine tells me what kind of life they want, who they want to choose as a friend or a lover, where they want to travel, et cetera. So even fiction becomes real for me.

Marie:  Nice! And I think that’s pretty normal for a writer. I know I haven’t touched the deep heart of one of my characters until I laugh or cry along with them while I’m writing a scene.

They definitely have minds of their own, for sure! 😉

So, how about another question?

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Kurt Seyt & Shura or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Nermin:  It was twenty-five years ago that Kurt Seyt & Shura was published in my motherland, Turkey. After taking the book to many publishers and being put in line to be reviewed for a year, if not rejected, I was so frustrated. I had already spent four years with very painstaking research, and one more to write it. It was not only years that I put into this novel, it was my heart, soul and many tears. Seeing my disappointment, my dear late husband decided to self-publish it. And on the first week in the book stores, it was a best-seller. After that, the rest of the Kurt Seyit saga followed and many more which made it to the top of the charts.

Now, after twenty-five years, here we are. This time in the United States, and again meeting with our readers with a self-published Kurt Seyt & Shura. Funny? Yes, now it sounds funny, but again I had such heartbreaking times. Kurt Seyt & Shura, having been translated to eleven other languages and adapted into a TV series and touched the hearts of millions all over the world, still got rejection from literary agents. And, you know, in America you cannot reach a publisher if you do not have an agent. So, I decided to go ahead with self-publishing. But my wish would not have come true in such a short time with this accuracy if my darling daughter Pamira did not take the burden of preparing, coordinating, launching the book. She has done wonders and I can’t thank her enough for what she has achieved. She practically left her own business, which is photography, aside and has been dealing with publishing matters for me. And my darling son Pamir Cazım, who has done the cover designs for most of my novels with great perfectionism, now contributed his masterful skill again. The cover has to give the feeling of the interior. He made it happen so beautifully. Dear Feyza Howell’s translation was another exciting process. She is a great translator working on every detail as if she is going to write the book herself.

Create Space editors also did a great job. They worked very meticulously.

Since this was the first self-publishing for us here in the United States, we learned a lot during the process. I am sure next time it will be much easier.

I hope that I will be able to touch the hearts of American readers with Kurt Seyt & Shura like I have done in so many other countries.

Marie:  Well, I’m sure you will!

I’m a bit of hybrid, having been published by a publisher, as well as self-published several titles. It’s a juggling act either way, so I certainly feel your pain.

It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Kurt Seyt & Shura appears to be. Congratulations on your release to the U.S., Nermin!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this sweeping historical romance by Nermin Bezmen, a compelling author! :)

Here is the blurb for Kurt Seyt & Shura:

An instant bestseller since its début in 1992, Nermin Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura is a classic of contemporary Turkish literature, a sweeping romantic drama set as the splendour of imperial Russia is obliterated in the wake of the Great War.

Bezmen tells the story of two star-crossed lovers fleeing the wave of devastation wreaked by the Bolshevik Revolution, and does so with great sensitivity: one half of this couple who sought refuge in the capital of the dying Ottoman Empire was her grandfather.

​Translated into twelve languages, Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura inspired a sumptuous TV series that continues to enchant millions of viewers across the world. With the publication of this novel in English, fans can finally read the true story of this great love affair that triumphed over so much adversity, yet failed to overcome human fallibility.

​In 2012, the prestigious Turkish production company Ay Yapim offered to turn the novel into a television series. The producers pulled together an A Team of cast, crew, and director, who in turn created the acclaimed T.V. series “Kurt Seyit ve Sura”, with Nermin Bezmen’s guidance as a consultant and Ece Yorenc as script writer. The leading roles were played by the talented (and ahem, may we add also gorgeous) duo Kivanc Tatlitug and Farah Zeynep Abdullah. After its initial viewing in Turkey, the series was distributed in many countries, including the United States, where it is currently shown on Netflix. The production reached millions of viewers across the world and stole the hearts of many, creating new excitement and awe around the life story of the two lovers, about 100 years after their first kiss.

​The books in the saga include:

  • Kurt Seyt & Shura
  • Kurt Seyt & Murka
  • Mengene Gocmenleri
  • Shura Paris Years 1924-1927

Main heroes:

Kurt Seyt:

The son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman is a dashing First Lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard. Injured on the Carpathian Front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea.

​Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura:

The innocent beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights falls in love with Seyit at the age of sixteen. A potential victim in the sights of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, and determined to follow her heart, she accompanies her Seyt on the perilous flight over the Black Sea.

​Their love is the only solace to the crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers amongst hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied Istanbul.

Nermin is also offering us a peek of the book!

A Night in Petrograd, 1916

Snow fell in fat, lazy flakes, an immaculate white blanket settling over the sleeping city. The carriage turning left at Alexander Nevsky Square laboriously carved a wide arc through the snow that had piled up all night, rounded a corner, and drew up to the pavement outside a three-story house.

A few snowflakes fluttered at the windowsills, stuck to the panes and frozen solid. The coachman gazed upward as instructed; a net curtain parted, and a shaft of light beamed out. A male figure wiped the glass, waved, and withdrew.

 

* * *

The young man consulted the pocket watch he’d left by the lamp on the bedside table: it was coming up to four; he still had plenty of time. Carefully, so as to avoid rousing the sleeping woman, he lifted the duvet and got back into bed. He reclined against the pillow, still holding his watch. Then, a little more determined, he flung aside the covers and got up. He drew the curtain back a little more and looked out. The moon illuminated the whiteness starting directly outside the windowpanes, sweeping unbroken over the garden, the railing, and the broad expanse of road. A world in white. Everything sparkled when the moon shone between the scudding clouds, and the world looked more splendid under this white coat.

Heavy curtains kept the world outside the windows, where it belonged. In the semidarkness, the room spoke in scents: perfume revealed a woman’s presence, and vodka testified to earlier indulgences, both mingling with the lavender emanating from the bed linens.

He turned toward the bed for a look. Amplified by the snow, the moonlight cast a bright-white light on the sleeping woman’s bare back. He recalled what the darkness sought to conceal: the deep auburn of her hair, now cascading over the pillow in waves; the groove of her spine dipping delightfully from the nape all the way to her waist and vanishing under the covers; and the right shoulder glowing in the playful light, a flawless expanse of alabaster.

Seemingly oblivious to the cold, he leaned his bare back against the window; then, grinning at the memory, he moved to the round table by the fireplace. The fruit platter, carafe, and glasses still stood where they had been left: half eaten and half drunk from. She was an impatient one, that Katya. Or was it Lydia? Whatever. The auburn beauty had excelled at entertaining him that night.

He picked up one of the half-full crystal glasses, downed it in one go, and shook his head as the alcohol stung his throat. He lit the pink opaline lamp in front of the mirror, and the soft light of gas spread into the room. Digging into the jumble of garments on the sofa, he gathered his own clothing and collected his underwear. He was moving toward the bathroom when the woman spoke sleepily.

“Why so early, darling?”

He strode toward her, still carrying his clothes. She stirred, rounded shoulders and full breasts braving the cold, her face now more distinct. Sweeping her hair up with one arm, she reached out with the other. He stared with barely disguised lust; the charming armpit thus exposed looked as arousing as the ample breasts bathed in the pink light. The sleepy gaze was not necessarily reserved for this time of night: she had proven her expertise in seduction with those large dark eyes framed by long eyelashes, eyes that spoke of the bedroom, of the pleasures of the flesh. Full lips pouting in anticipation, she waited, eyes shut, arm still outstretched. Smiling at her unrestrained behavior and ravenous appetite, he sat down on the edge of the bed. Her provocative scent mingled with the bedclothes, fragrant from passionate hours.

He yielded to the invitation of the arms wrapped around his neck. Languid eyes smoldered into his as she tugged away the bedclothes separating them to free her warm, buxom figure and snuggle up to him. She stroked his back and the muscles in his arms, pressed his head against her breasts, and presented her nipples to his lips. Effectively captured by her skillful limbs—surprising on such a petite woman—he enjoyed a lingering kiss before drawing back.

“It’s time I got ready. You might like to get up too; I’ll have you dropped off.”

She pouted with a half shrug. “Couldn’t we stay just a little longer?”

“I need to set off.”

“Where to?”

“Moscow.”

“When will you be back? Will you call upon me again?” She stirred as if to get up during this barrage, hoping to tempt him to change his mind.

All she got in response, however, was a jaunty smile and a pinch on the cheek before he walked toward the bathroom. He mused as he washed; he couldn’t remember her name—just another one-night stand. Someone he had met at a wild party where the drink had flowed like water…and they had left together. She was no petty commoner, if the splendor of her dress and jewelry was anything to go by. In all likelihood, she’d arrived on someone else’s arm—probably the man who’d paid for that splendor.

As he shaved, his thoughts strayed to the journey ahead. Best to get a move on, given he had arranged to meet the others at the station in an hour.

By the time he’d returned to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, she was already dressed. He patted his cheeks and neck with lotion from a bottle on the console. “Wouldn’t you like to take a bath?”

“I never take a bath on my own,” came the flirtatious reply.

An irrepressible grin lit up his face as he combed his hair, thinking, Her husband—or lover, whoever it was—certainly has his work cut out. He dressed, ignoring his audience, who sat on the edge of the bed to admire the view.

Muscular and fit, the young man in his early twenties carried himself with an aristocratic posture and demeanor. His moustache and floppy fringe were chestnut. A cleft chin seemed to complete his striking looks: flashing dark-blue eyes, a straight nose, and a perpetually sardonic mouth.

The redhead patted her curls back into place and sighed. Her questions were destined to remain unasked as the young man, now in full uniform and boots, strode between wardrobe and dresser, clearly lost in his own thoughts. He picked up several items from drawers, and some books went into a suitcase. She watched, astonished that he appeared to have forgotten the many wonderful hours they had shared in bed. Her wiles had failed to hook him. She leaned back with another sigh.

Taking a ring from a box by the mirror, he placed it on his finger and then put a watch in his pocket. She remembered openly admiring them last night—she adored jewelry after all, and he’d said the sapphire-and-diamond ring was a family heirloom. The enameled gold watch adorned with rubies was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, he’d told her.

Soon they were ready to leave. A muffled clatter rose from the street. The second carriage had arrived. He picked up his coat and hat. “All right, let’s go,” he said. “I’ll have you taken home.”

He extinguished the lamp and walked to the door. She followed, surprised and not a little disconcerted at the absence of one last kiss or a plea for another meeting, as if there had been nothing between them.

The coachmen leaped down and ran over the snow. The young man turned to his guest, took her hand, and said, “Aktem will drop you off. Fare thee well, my lovely.” Her name wasn’t even on the tip of his tongue.

“Will we meet again?” she tried one last time.

“Why not?”

Happier now, she presented her cheek for a kiss, unbothered by the coachmen’s presence. Finally, gathering her courage, and with a bashful smile, she asked the one question that had plagued her all this time. “Tell me your name again?”

His merry laughter rang in the snowy street’s early morning silence. So the night had not been that memorable for either of them! Except for the ending, that is. He bowed, as if they had just met, and enunciated deliberately: “First Lieutenant Seyit Memedovich Eminof.”

 

* * *

As the two carriages drove away in opposite directions, the auburn beauty who had sweetened his night was already slipping from his mind.

Intriguing! I’m curious to find out what happens next… 🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B078T3WPNY

Kindle:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/product-page/kurt-seyt-shura-kindle-e-book-english

Website (international shipping for non-U.S. readers) :  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/buy-kurt-seyt-shura-english-book

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this historical romance! ♥

About Molly V. Lovell

Nermin Bezmen is an accomplished artist, art teacher, yoga instructor and broadcaster whose meticulous research into family history led to the publication of Kurt Seyt & Shura in 1992.

This fictionalized account of her grandfather’s life became an instant bestseller, and is now considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary Turkish literature to the extent that it has reached textbook status in several secondary schools and universities.

Exquisite detail distinguishes her writing as she proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and that our ancestors call out to us all from the pages of history.

Her powerful character analysis and storytelling skills invite the readers to explore their own dreams, sorrows, anxieties and even fleeting fancies.

Bezmen has to date published fifteen novels, two of which are biographical, and one is a fantasy; a children’s novel, a collection of forty short stories and a book of poems. She has two children and three grandchildren and lives with her husband, actor Tolga Savacı in New Jersey and Istanbul.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the intriguing Nermin Bezmen, here are some author links:

Website:  www.kurtseytandshura.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KurtSeytandShuraEnglish/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nbezmen1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2Ao8jjr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1259947.Nermin_Bezmen

Newsletter:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/sign-up

Once again, I want to thank Nermin Bezmen, the brilliant author of this fascinating novel, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here!

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Filed under Authors, Books, characters, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Historical Romance, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

New Release Feature: Starlight’s Curse by author K.C. Sprayberry

I am pleased to announce a cool book release by K.C. Sprayberry, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic suspense, Starlight’s Curse, officially released today, April 26th! Yay! That’s awesome, K.C.! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

K.C. is giving us a fun look at her new contemporary suspense novel, Starlight’s Cursre, today.

Starlight's Curse-001

Nice cover! As the author, can you tell us a little about your book?

KC

Author K.C. Sprayberry:  The South is full of mansions of the former glory, some restored to how they were back then, and others left to rot over time. Those homes are the ones that fascinate me, drive me to wonder what stories their walls could tell. Starlight’s Curse was born of a local home that was once beautiful but even more than a million dollars in renovations couldn’t restore it to its former glory. Seeing that place, one can’t help but get a creepy feeling… and that was the beginning of Starlight.

Marie: Ooh! Love a story centered around a creepy house. 😉

My assistant is telling me your characters just arrived. How exciting! It was lovely talking to you, K.C. Pardon us for a moment while we learn a bit more about your awesome new release…

We have Jayme Barclay on the stage. Hello, Jayme! It’s such a pleasure to meet you!

scene 21_poppy montgomery as jayme 2

Character Jayme Barclay: Hello! It’s nice to be here.

Marie:  Introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? And what should we know about you?

Jayme: My name is Jayme Barclay. I grew up in Landry. Went away to college but came back after only a semester. My baby, Tawni, was all I cared about once she was born. Not that some of the old women around here thought the same. They were always giving me trouble about being an “unwed mother.” Everyone wanted to know who Tawni’s daddy was, but I couldn’t let those women destroy his life, like they tried to do to me. No one was going to make me hide away in shame… until that night.

Marie:  Okay. What are your feelings about this story, Starlight’s Curse?

Jayme: We have to tell this story. Everyone has to know, so they realize it’s never all right to accept what you know is wrong as the truth. And to fight for what you believe in. At first, after I lost my baby, I just wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere and join her. But then I found a reason to live, a reason to tell her daddy what I took from him, and a reason to fight back.

Marie: I can respect that. How do you feel about being a character in this book?

Jayme:  People won’t see me at my best, but the time frame of this story was possibly the worst moment of my life. So, I like being a character in this book. Everyone will think I’m a fool at the beginning, for running away and hiding, but I come back and I’m ready to fight to do what’s right. That’s all that counts.

Marie: What do you see in your future? No spoilers please!

Jayme:  I love my future. And if you want to know why, you’re going to have to read the whole book.

Marie: Great!

Is there a sequel to Starlight’s Curse in the future? Will you be part of it?

Jayme:  Oh, I can’t spoil the ending, but honestly… I’m not sure.

Marie: Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actress would you want to play you and why?

Jayme:  Poppy Montgomery. She not only looks exactly like me, but her role in Unforgettable is the same kind of person I am.

Marie: All right. Thank you for stopping by, Jayme! (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now we have Brad Patterson on the stage. Hello, Brad! 😀

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Character Brad Patterson:  Hi. Thanks for having me here.

Marie: My pleasure. So, if you can, take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Brad:  Brad Patterson here. Jock in high school, graduated Purdue with a Criminology degree, and came back home. Boy, was I knocked over with a feather when I saw the girl I’ve always loved had a kid. And there was no daddy around. That didn’t matter to me. Tawni and me? We got along great. She was always like my kid. You should have seen her fishing when she wasn’t but six. Sat for hours until a catfish grabbed her bait. And her mama, what can I say? I’ve loved Jayme since we were both in high school. One day, I’m gonna marry Jayme.

Marie: (Sighs.) Lovely to hear! I love romance…;)

So, what are your feelings about this story, Brad?

Brad: I got knocked in the gut by a bunch of stuff that happened in this story. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, should ever go through what Jayme endured. That evil, wicked stepmother of hers deserves whatever happens to her. Nobody hurts my Jayme and gets away with it.

Marie: Okay. How do you feel about being a character in this book?

Brad: Wouldn’t be a book without me. (Laughs.) Well, I guess it could, but I certainly wouldn’t want to let Jayme handle a situation like she faced alone. Although, (cough, cough) I still want pictures of that one move she made. Lots of pictures.

Marie: (Chuckles.) What do you see in your future? No spoilers please!

Brad:  Oh, my future is definitely looking up. Jayme and I… ah, that’ll spoil the ending. Guess you’ll have to figure out where Jayme and I go by reading the book.

Marie: Definitely! 🙂

Is there a sequel to Starlight’s Curse in the future? Will you be part of it?

Brad:  I’d like to say I hope not, but I’m a cop. There’ll always be jerks in this world trying to make people hurt just because they can. Sure hope there really isn’t another one like what we went through. That just plain hurt.

Marie: Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor would you want to play you and why?

Brad:  A movie? You mean someone would actually want to make a movie about our story? Well… I think Eddie Cibrian would do a fine job portraying me. Kind of looks like me too.

Marie: (Giggles.) Uh, yeah, you are so right there. Sounds like a plan! 😉

Well, Brad, it was a pleasure meeting you! I think one of your co-stars is coming up shortly.

Brad:  Thanks for letting me visit! (Waves and heads off the stage.)

Marie: (Returns the wave.) Of course. (Clears her throat.) So, readers, we also have Jake Haskins, pardon me, I mean…Sheriff ‘Big Jake’ Haskins on the stage!

Wow! I don’t think we’ve had a sheriff before! A pleasure to meet you! (Shakes his hand.)

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Character Sheriff Big Jake Haskins:  Hello. The pleasure is mine, ma’am.

Marie: Please introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Big Jake:  You want to know about me? I’m just a country sheriff, who grew up on the mountain. Like a lot of mountain folk, I didn’t have an easy life. Big Jake Haskins is my name. And I treat everyone fair, until they break the law. You see, I’m not at all like the typical Southern sheriff. That’s because I made a vow when I was just thirteen, and I aim to keep it the rest of my life.

Marie: All right. What are your feelings about this story?

Big Jake:  Sorry story, if you ask me. If the sheriffs who’d been in charge when I was a kid had been honest, it wouldn’t have happened. But they were as corrupt as they come, so it was up to me to fix things. Took me forty years to figure everything out, but I’m not someone who gives up easy.

Marie: So, how do you feel about being a character in this book?

Big Jake: Pretty good tale, if you ask me. Kind of glad I got to be in it. As I said, I grew up hard, didn’t ever have much. Thanks to a pretty good bunch of people who believed in me, I’m going places. Might not be too happy about that now, but things will change. They sure will…

Marie: What do you see in your future? No spoilers please!

Big Jake: Oh, a lot of things. Definitely changes. Can’t say much about that, though. It would give away too much.

Marie: I respect that.

Is there a sequel to Starlight’s Curse in the future? Will you be part of it?

Big Jake: (Leans back in comfortable studio chair, shakes head slowly.) Now, I’m a realist. Had to be, after what I saw and experienced as a kid. I’d sure like to say there’s no chance of all that happening again. But I know people, and some are pure evil.

Marie: All right.

Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor would you want to play you and why?

Big Jake: A movie. (Snorts.) Who’d want to make a movie. (Nods head.) Yeah, I can see there being a movie. It’s got all the elements of a good story. Who would I want to play me? Why, that David Boreanaz fellow. You know, that guy who’s in Bones.

Marie: (Grins.) I Love Bones

Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, Sheriff. (Shakes his hand once more.)

Big Jake: Thanks for the invite. You have a nice day, ma’am. (Heads off the stage.)

Marie: (Looks a little starstruck.) It’s uncanny, right? He really does look like David Boreanaz. I hope my palms weren’t sweaty. Good Lord, his hands were huge! (Laughs a little.)

Well, there you have it, readers. After meeting the author and the characters, let’s learn more about this fascinating book.

Here is the blurb for Starlight’s Curse.

The discovery of three teenage girls found hanging from an ancient elm tree, alleged suicides, on the grounds of abandoned Starlight Mansion by a teenage boy sets him on a mission to find the truth. Nearly forty years later, now the sheriff, Big Jake finds himself drawn into the investigation of a mysterious “suicide” and the disappearance of another teenager.

Jayme Barclay sees her fifteen-year-old daughter swinging on a rope from a tree at the mansion the county commissioner is turning into a resort. Brad Patterson loses a piece of himself when he answers the 911 call to get to Starlight on a snowy December night.

A year later, the mystery surrounding Tawni’s alleged suicide still haunts both Jayme and Brad. Big Jake has been shackled in this investigation, much like another sheriff so many years ago.

Reluctant teens hold back information, until Jayme returns to the hometown she abandoned, to find the truth. Brad hates that he had to intrude on her grief, but also believes this is his chance to redeem himself for not protecting the daughter of the woman he loves. Big Jake suspects who the killer is and that the person isn’t done yet, but must stand back and allow a younger man to stand up against a powerful and corrupt group of politicians.

Here is an excerpt.

Sleet and snow whipped around Starlight Mansion. A young teen, a mere thirteen-years-old, scampered in and around the tree stumps, scooted around boulders filling a former field where corn had once grown tall, and laughed as the winter storm pelted his face and bare hands. Jake Haskins had no problem with the bitter cold. Not one bit. Even the legends surrounding the long abandoned, decrepit mansion didn’t bother him.

Being the normally curious boy that he was, Jake crept up on the rear of the fabled house and tiptoed onto the back porch. Planks creaked under his boots, held together with duct tape around the toes. There’d been hints he’d get a new pair tomorrow, if he was good. He figured being good meant staying away from Mama until she cooled off after their earlier confrontation. Of course, she might not cool off much, since their words had been those of an exasperated woman putting up with half a dozen young children and a surly teen stuck in a house that was too small at best. Getting angry with his life had never been something Jake did, but he was fed up with being called a poor pig farmer whose daddy couldn’t rub two nickels together.

His dreams were big. Huge, some might say. No one up here on the mountain, with the exception of the Gleasons, had anything but a hard life. They worked from sunup to sundown, Monday through Saturday only to have to start again in the new week. Children went without more often than not, and parents bewailed their lot in life, all the while teaching the next generation to continue the same problematic lifestyle, dropping out of school and taking low paying jobs at the local factories and mills.

But not Jake. He’d decided long ago that he’d one day be the county sheriff. He’d be a most excellent lawman, never once lying, or falsely accusing a family of doing wrong because they were dirt poor. Heck, he figured he’d seen enough up here to put the current sheriff, Jameson Emerson Waldon II in prison, if anyone outside Wallis County would believe Jake when he reported the mystifying comings and goings at Starlight Mansion. It was purely wrong for all those men to creep about inside that falling down building for hours on end. And the screams from what sounded like women hurt his ears and his heart. Jake had tried more than once to get the goods on the people Sheriff Waldon brought up here, but had been caught and threatened with the Mountain Home for Unrepentant Boys on more than a few occasions.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01ERRNFWQ

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6232743

Ooh! ♥♥♥

This looks like an interesting romantic suspense!

Thank you for telling us about your book, K.C.! It sounds like a riveting tale! 😀

Starlight's Curse-001

Author Bio

KC

 

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines.

Author Links

Website:  www.kcsprayberry.com

Blog:  http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Manic Readers:  http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

AUTHORSdb:  http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

 

K.C.’s Books:

Starlight's Curse-001

The Lie

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FamilyCurse

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Thanks again, K.C., for showing us your new release and letting your characters come to the studio!  ♥

Happy reading, everyone! And we hope to see you back on ILRB sometime, K.C. 😉

6 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense

A Character Interview with Kristen from THE GUARDIAN OF MY SOUL plus a conversation with author Emily A. Lawrence!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Emily Walker’s character on December 1st and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily A. Lawrence, the author of The Guardian of My Soul, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Kristen Mancuso, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Emily in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Kristen!

Kristen

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Kristen.  Please have a seat.

Character Kristen Mancuso: Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  Of course!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Kristen: Okay.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Kristen:  I graduated from UCLA with a degree in management, and now I work for my mother, who is a fashion designer, in her marketing division. I enjoy the experience and being able to learn from her, but one day I hope to be my own boss.

Marie:  Oh…interesting!

So, tell us. What is your family like?

Kristen: Born and raised in a wealthy family, I’ve always had everything my heart desired, except the freedom to make my own choices in life. Ever since my father passed away when I was little, I’ve lived with my mother. Her overprotectiveness increased as I grew older. Even though I know she means well, that she loves me and wishes nothing but the best for me, she sometimes smothers me too much. That’s when I wish I had other siblings the most.

Marie:  Parents can be difficult sometimes. 😦

Let’s try something else, shall we?

What did your childhood home look like?

Kristen:  I was raised in my family’s mansion in Los Angeles, where we still currently live. Located in Beverly Hills, it offers a wonderful panorama of the rolling hills north of Sunset Boulevard. My home is peaceful and it’s equipped with any facility one could possibly wish for, including a gym and a large swimming pool.

Marie:  Wow! Impressive!

So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Kristen:  I love horses and I’ve been riding ever since I can remember. Whenever I get some free time, I’m eager to escape the madness of the city and head over to my family’s ranch in Kentucky where I spend most of my time with Marley, my fourteen-year-old black stallion.

Marie:  Nice! I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride horses.

So, tell us…what is your greatest dream, Kristen?

Kristen:  One of my other passions is designing jewelry. My biggest dream is to one day have my own company. I’m just waiting for the best moment to bring it up to my mother, who is unaware of anything that has to do with my love for sketching all kinds of new designs, nor of the stash I’ve created, which I keep hidden from her. She’s always envisioned us working together and one day passing on her company to me. Now that her dream has come true, I’m not sure how she will receive the news, but I can’t help but hope she’ll be supportive.

Marie:  I see. Well, I hope it works out! \

Let’s try a different question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Kristen: I wish I could be a normal twenty-one-year-old girl and experience the freedom that comes with that age. What’s stopping me? My mother’s fame. I can’t go anywhere without a bodyguard. She says it’s imperative to be protected at all times. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just another way for her to keep up with what I do or if there’s really any danger out there…

Marie:  That is unfortunate, but I’m sure she has a good reason.

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Kristen:  I used to tell myself I would never fall in love…until I did. Problem is? He’s the very last person I want to love, the man I consider to be like a symbol of my lost freedom—my twenty-four-year-old bodyguard.

The Guardian of My Soul

Marie:  Love can certainly be unexpected.

So…what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Kristen?

Kristen:  My father’s death. He was my everything and then he was gone. Things were never the same after that…

Marie:  I’m so sorry to hear that. 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Kristen nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Kristen:  I’ve always wanted to be independent, to be able to do everything I set my mind to do, travel the world and grow outside the influence of high society. I’m still working on that…

Marie:  Dreams take time, for sure.

Can you tell us…who is your role model, Kristen?

Kristen:  My father. He was gentle, caring, successful, and he always knew the right things to say.

Marie:  Sounds like he was a really special person.

Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kristen:  There are quite a few…but the one who creeps me out the most is the CEO of Jaya Cosmetics, Niall Tomlinson, who’s helping Mother with launching a fragrance.

Marie:  All right.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Kristen:  To grow old with the man I love and our children. To live life to the fullest and at the end of the day to have no regrets.

Marie:  Well, that’s not a lot to ask. I think everyone wants their little slice of happiness in the world.

Let’s try a different question.

What is your greatest fear?

Kristen: Losing another person I love. I’ve watched my mother suffer for so many years. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to survive another loss.

Marie:  Aww…again, I’m so sorry about your father. (Pats her guest’s hand.)

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Kristen. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

Kristen:  Thank you for having me, Marie!

Marie:  My pleasure!

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Emily A. Lawrence on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Emily!

Emily A. Lawrence

 

Author Emily A. Lawrence:  Hello, Marie!

Marie:  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kristen. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Emily:  Kristen is a twenty-one-year-old girl freshly out of college, who, instead of being offered more freedom, is shackled with a new bodyguard, whom she can’t stand at first. Or can’t she, really? She likes to be in control…until she meets her match—Alec Warner.

All right.

So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Emily:  She’s smart and cocky, and knows how to get herself out of a difficult situation.

Marie:  Works for me!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Kristen’s greatest weaknesses?

Emily:  Alec. No one has ever impacted her as much as he did. He opened her eyes in many ways and showed her a different world than the one she was accustomed to. She would do anything to protect him and their relationship.

Marie:  I see.

So, let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Emily:  She loves chicken, chocolate, and her favorite food is pancakes with maple syrup.

Marie:  Can’t blame her for that, but certainly not all at once!  (Laughs.) 😀

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Emily:  Despite her wealth, she’s a humble, down to earth person.

Marie:  Great!

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Emily:  Hmm, I think they will love her once they get to know the real her. She’s a strong woman who’s been through a lot, and I loved watching her grow throughout the story and become a woman in the end.

Marie:  All right.

So, now that we have a real taste of Kristen, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Guardian of My Soul?

Emily:  It was the idea of impossible love. Bringing together two people with apparently nothing in common, and from totally different backgrounds and social statuses, and watching them overcome all the obstacles they had to face in their relationship.

Marie:  I like it!  (Sighs.) I love romance…;)

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Emily? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Emily:  I never sit down and plot. I don’t have an outline when I start a new story. I have an idea on how I want it to begin, certain events that should take place, and a vague ending, but I never know what’s going to happen next. I’m never sure what a writing day is going to be like. I get ideas as I write. Sometimes I have several options on how to continue and when that happens, I usually take a breather and detach myself from it for a while, thinking about how the story could develop depending on the path I choose. That said, I am definitely a pantser.

Marie:  Great!

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Guardian of My Soul or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Emily:  My biggest challenge was and still is time. Since I am also an editor, I am always working on something, so it’s difficult to find time to write. When I do sit down to write, though, I shut everything off and focus on the words playing around in my head. If I were to offer any advice to aspiring writers it would be to write what they know, in the genres they enjoy reading most. If anyone wants to become a writer, they must be readers first—and most importantly, they must be willing to learn. It’s the only way to constantly improve oneself.

Marie:  Oh, I totally agree! That’s great advice.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The Guardian of My Soul appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Emily A. Lawrence, a very talented author! 🙂

 

The Guardian of My Soul

Here is the blurb for The Guardian of My Soul:

When Kristen Mancuso turned twenty-one, she thought she would finally find the freedom she craved. She was wrong.

In spite of the luxury she lived in, Kristen was unhappy, a prisoner in her own home. When her overprotective mother hired Alec Warner to be her personal bodyguard, Kristen rebelled against it, unaware of the true reason why he was needed. She didn’t know the kind of danger lurking just around the corner.

Having Alec shadow her every move was the last thing she wanted. Or, so she thought…

Kristen was drawn to the handsome, intimidating Alec. While committed to his job, he refused to allow her to control him the way she did other men. Though their relationship was volatile and explosive from the start, they discovered they had more in common than they ever dreamed. They battled each other while they fought demons from their past and secrets which could tear them apart.

This was a battle where losing could very well give them everything their souls desired…

*Content Warning: intended for mature audiences 18+

Emily is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

I heard a banging at my door, not a gentle knock but a loud racket which shook the whole door. My eyes sprang open. What in the world? I looked around the room, trying to get my bearings. The hotel room was bathed in warm, bright light and my heart skipped a beat when I realized it was morning.
“Oh, Kristeeen?” Alec’s grumpy voice sounded over the loud banging.
Fred jumped off the bed and rushed to the door wagging his tail, visibly excited to hear him.
“Fred, how can you fraternize with the enemy?” I grumped, heading to the door. As soon as I opened it, my traitor of a dog jumped into Alec’s arms and licked him as if he were his favorite person in the world, making him chuckle.
“Finally, the princess decides to greet the day,” he said and grinned at me once he was done petting the dog. Suddenly, his eyes dropped and his smile slowly faded away.
I blinked, perplexed. Is he staring at my breasts? My God, he’s staring at my breasts! The realization elicited tremors all over my body, causing my nipples to strain against the fabric of my nightgown. Holy crap! My nightgown! I tensed when I remembered the transparent lace across my chest.
“Give him to me!” I snatched Fred out of his arms and used him to hide my aroused state. “What’s wrong with you, hammering at my door like a crazy man?” I fussed.
He cleared his throat as if to regain his voice before he answered me. “I’ve been standing here for more than five minutes calling you and nothing. What was I supposed to do? You said eight sharp and it’s almost eight-thirty.”
“Damn it!” I hurried back inside the room and put Fred on the bed, then quickly looked for something comfortable to change into. I took out a pair of denim shorts and a white shirt from my suitcase, then tugged at my nightgown to pull it off over my head. I stopped halfway when I noticed him sitting on my bed, casually assessing me. “Alec!” I gasped. Shock made me freeze. “What are you doing in here? Can’t you see I’m trying to change clothes?” I couldn’t believe he’d gotten a glimpse of my equally transparent panties.
“I’m just waiting to take your luggage.” He gave me a smile that set my teeth on edge. Clearly he didn’t find anything wrong with his actions.
“Wait outside, you peeping tom!”
“My bad,” he said dryly and left my room.
It took me a moment to recover and register the warm wetness between my legs. I sighed, once more feeling betrayed by my own body. “I can’t believe him! And I refuse to be turned on, no matter how he makes me feel!” I grumbled.
When I exited the room, I found him waiting in the hallway, and I marched up to him. “You saw me in my underwear! I’m furious with you.” I walked on, eager to put some distance between us.
“Hey!” He grabbed my arm and pulled me abruptly, my chest slamming against his hard torso. “You’re right. What I did was inappropriate. I’m sorry. I just found myself absentmindedly walking in. I didn’t mean to be rude,” he excused himself.
“You expect me to believe that?” I murmured, flush against him. His sudden change in attitude astounded me.
“Yes, I do.”
“You were checking me out.”
“Was not,” he retorted calmly, his face inches away from mine. Then I caught the smile in his eyes. He was lying like a dog.
“Let go of me,” I whispered, my chest heaving in agitation.
Being this close to him was doing funny things to me. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. Everything in me wanted to move closer, to lean in, to touch, but I stubbornly resisted the unwelcome temptation.
What are you doing to me? I cried out in my mind.
He leaned toward me slowly and I panicked, my breath catching in my throat. With a sudden jerk I managed to free myself from his grip and rushed to the elevator, never looking back. He followed me in silence, hauling my luggage after him. We traveled down together, and I was so aware of him, my whole body reacted as if he were a powerful magnet. I was drawn to him, hanging onto the rail just to stay upright. His eyes held mine with an intensity which made me feel lightheaded, and I gasped for air as the space around us suddenly appeared to be too small.

Ooh…love the tension. I definitely want to know what happens next! 😉

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Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00GQMHNNI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-guardian-of-my-soul-emily-a-lawrence/1117525594

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/4536309

About Emily A. Lawrence

Emily A. Lawrence

Emily A. Lawrence lives in Transylvania with her family, hence her love for anything paranormal. Her passion for writing began in high school, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Having her family’s support, and encouraged by friends and fellow authors, she pursued her dream of becoming a published author, landing her first contract in 2013.

Emily loves immersing herself in the worlds she creates and giving life to characters readers can identify themselves with. Usually, she writes contemporary romance in three heat levels: sweet, sensual, and erotic. However, she plans to try her hand at other genres, too, such as paranormal or mystery.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, new sceneries, food, meeting new people, or simply reading a good book.

Emily’s Books:

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The Guardian of My Soul

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Emily A. Lawrence, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://authoremilylawrence.blogspot.ro/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/author.emily.a.lawrence

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/EmyALawrence

Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20344150-emily-a-lawrence

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/116252410801447580127/posts

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/authorlawrence/

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/emily-a-lawrence/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Kristen, the female main character of The Guardian of My Soul, and Emily A. Lawrence, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, New Adult, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Julie from JULIE’S ASCENT plus a conversation with author Emily Walker!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Eryn Black’s character on November 24th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily Walker, the author of Julie’s Ascent, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Julie, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Emily in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Julie!

Julies

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Julie.  Please have a seat.

Character Julie: Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  Of course!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Julie: Okay.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Julie:  My occupation, if you can call it that, is Succubus. I guess I should explain. I know a lot of people think we feed from sex with men and that we survive and kill that way. It’s not what I do. My task is to send the bad people of the world where they belong. They pass through me and go directly to Hell where their punishment awaits them.

Marie:  Oh…interesting!

So, tell us. What is your family like?

Julie:  It’s hard to remember them since I went to Hell and then came back to Earth. We’re kind of supposed to let it go, the memories. I loved my parents, though, and when I got lost in another dimension, the scariest thing my mind conjured was my parents being tortured. I think about them a lot, even if I can’t remember everything.

Marie:  Oh, so sorry to hear that. 😦

Let’s try something else, shall we?

What did your childhood home look like?

Julie:  I can’t remember it. I can’t remember being anywhere except the dorms and the park. It’s sad, but some of my memories just didn’t return.

Marie:  All right.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Julie:  I like spending time with my mentor Asa, and staring at him. That’s not a hobby really. I enjoy reading some. At first I couldn’t find joy in anything, but reading these days helps pass the time.

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Marie:  Can’t blame you there! Reading is awesome! 😉

So…what is your greatest dream, Julie?

Julie:  To send people to Heaven. I can’t; it’s not what I do. I just think it would be nice to send someone to a good place for once. I don’t even know what it’s like.

Marie:  I see.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Julie:  I truly wish I could be alive again, tell everyone I care about that I do and soak in every moment so the memories would be too strong to erase. I am dead, so that’s stopping me. (Laughs.) I’m truly not being funny, it’s the truth. It just still makes me laugh uncomfortably to admit that I’m dead.

Marie:  It is unfortunate. I can’t even imagine it…:(

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Julie:  I fell in love with the wrong kind of guy for my first time. I don’t really want to talk about it.

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Julie in her old life…

Marie:  Okay, I respect that. I think most of us are guilty of that kind of mistake.

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Julie?

Julie:  Drowning was terrible. Being lost in some scary dimensions and not thinking I would ever get out was also terrible. I think they are tied.

Marie:  Again, I’m so sorry that happened to you. 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Julie nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Julie:  I don’t remember my dreams and aspirations so I’m just going to guess. When I was in college, I think I was majoring in Science – Biology, if I am not crazy. When I was majoring in Biology, I wanted to be a scientist, like a legit breaking discovery scientist. I gave that major up when I met him so I didn’t achieve that. Then when I changed majors to something else, I can’t remember what, I died.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Julie?

Julie:  Asa, my mentor, is my role model. He’s also supposed to be teaching me, but the dude has been through a lot, and he’s been in Hell a long time. He’s kept a sense of humor; that takes something special. At least I think so.

Marie:  I agree.

Okay, let’s try something else. Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Julie:  Not in this lifetime. Unless you count my teachers. Since I have to pretend to be a college student and Asa makes me actually go to classes, I dislike pretty much all of my teachers.

Marie:  All right.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Julie:  I think my deepest desire is to find peace. It’s hard putting horrible people through me and seeing what they did, how they did it. The world is full of some bad people.

Marie:  That’s true.

Let’s try a different question.

What is your greatest fear, Julie?

Julie:  Disappearing.

Marie: I  see.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Julie. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Emily Walker on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Emily!

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Author Emily Walker:  Hello! Thank you for having me!

Marie:  My pleasure!

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Julie. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Emily:  Julie dies in the beginning of the story, so that’s no spoiler she was handing out there. She goes to Hell and has to deal with the fact that even though she doesn’t remember it, she did something on Earth while she was alive that put her in the situation.

All right.

So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Emily:  Julie’s strengths are her drive; she goes into this job pretty much head first and doesn’t know what’s going to happen to her. She accepts it, so she’s driven to find out what happened to her and she thinks doing the job is the way to do it.

Marie:  Guess I can’t blame her there!  I’d want to know too.

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Julie’s greatest weaknesses?

Emily:  Slowly remembering things that don’t make sense are really hard on her and so is the fact that she has to control her power. If she doesn’t control it, she can kill everyone around them just sucking in their life essence. It’s like a drug.

Marie:  I see.

So, let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Emily:  Asa cooks a mean breakfast with bacon and all the fixings. Since they are in a married dorm, pretending to be married, he makes her food, although she doesn’t have to eat.

Marie:  Okay.

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Emily:  She was pretty; she was just insecure. In her Succubus form, she’s as close to perfect as it gets, but she doesn’t realize when she was alive she was just as appealing.

Marie:  I think a lot of women can relate to that…

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Emily:  I think they will like her. She’s dead and succubae, but she has some real insecurities, a crush on Asa, and fears. She’s realistic about what happened to her. Once it starts coming back, you have to root for her.

Marie:  Great!

So, now that we have a real taste of Julie, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Julie’s Ascent?

Emily: Originally the name of the story was The Reluctant Succubus, which I still like. It’s the name of the series and the prequel to Julie’s Ascent, where we explore some characters a bit more before Julie died. Julie’s Ascent has a couple of meanings; she rises to the challenge of finding out who she is, and she rises from Hell to Earth to do her job.

Marie:  Works for me! 🙂

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Emily? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Emily:  A little of both. I pantsed Julie’s Ascent, but I’ve become a lot more fond of plotting.

Marie:  All right.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Julie’s Ascent or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Emily:  Writing Julie’s Ascent was hard sometimes; it was dark. It gets dark and while it’s a paranormal romance, there are some scenes that kind of make you cringe a bit. Those are hard for me sometimes to write when I sit back and think man, where’d that come from. Also my mom was like, “Where do these thoughts come from?” I think she was a bit disturbed, but I balanced it out with humor, angst, and romance so I think it all comes together nicely. I don’t think I would do anything differently. I learn every day as a writer, and this one has been written for a while now so thinking things through and just going with my gut, a lot of the same the whole time I’ve been writing.

Marie:  Isn’t it interesting how the muse works?  🙂

Emily: Yes. Thank you so much for having me and Julie today! It was a lot of fun.

Marie:  Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Julie’s Ascent appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Emily Walker, a very talented author! 🙂

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Here is the blurb for Julie’s Ascent:

When Julie Monroe ends up in Hell, she has no idea why she’s there.

What she’s sure of is: she’s dead, she’s transparent, and she’s been given a second chance.

Kind of.

Given the unique opportunity to return to Earth as a Succubus, she jumps at the chance to get out of Hell. Problem is, she isn’t too keen on sucking souls for the Underworld. To make things even more complicated, she has a crush on her mentor, Asa. He’s been in the business of the Succubae for hundreds of years, and Julie can’t help feeling drawn to him.

Convinced she can escape, Julie tries to run and hide from the forces of hell. But, as she discovers different dimensions of Hell on Earth, she begins to realize that maybe, just maybe, there isn’t a way to escape her fate…

 

Emily is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

He doesn’t apologize. He just smiles an unnerving smirk and continues telling me about the world in which I would soon belong. I wonder if he is trying to anger me on purpose to see what I can do. Making me angry is not good for him, I don’t know how I know that, but I can feel the power at the end of my consciousness and it is a scary sensation.

“You will have to watch that temper, too, Julie. It will get you into trouble. Another thing you should know is it’s very easy for a succubus such as yourself to go over to the dark side.” He holds up his hand before I can ask him a question. “I know, you are already on the dark side, but you aren’t. You really have no idea how dark things can get, and I promise you the evil that will rape your soul is not worth the thrill you get from letting go.” His dark eyes hide a memory of some sort that he does not wish me to know.

Ooh…I definitely want to know what happens next! 😉

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00ZPM8Q36

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/julies-ascent-emily-walker/1122231067

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5561086

About Emily Walker

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Emily Walker loves creating worlds and stumbling around in them. She is constantly losing her chap-stick, and has an obsession with the color pink. Currently a resident of the mountains and loving the view she writes mostly paranormal fiction, horror and some romance. Her small family consists of her red bearded other half, a rat terrier named Rebel, and a cat called Mr. Creepy.

Emily’s Books:

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Julie's Ascent(1)

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Emily Walker, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://authoremilywalker.com/

Blog:  http://www.selfpublishordie.com/author-emily-walker/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoremilywalker

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorewalker

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Emily%20Walker/e/B0088EDLDS/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+EmilyWalkerauthor/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/64304.Emily_Walker

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/emily-walker

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Julie, the female main character of Julie’s Ascent, and Emily Walker, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Eryn O’Malley from THE GANGSTER’S WOMAN plus a conversation with author Ginger Ring!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Isobelle Cate’s character on November 10th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Ginger Ring, the author of The Gangster’s Woman, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Eryn O’Malley, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Ginger in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Eryn!

 

Eryn

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Eryn.  Please have a seat.

Character Eryn O’Malley:  Hello.  Thank you for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Eryn: All right.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Eryn: I’m a waitress. Am I any good at it? I guess so. Do I like it? It’s a job. With the depression on, we are lucky to have any work. It’s not easy but it’s a job.

Marie:  Forgive me. I didn’t mean to sound uncaring. I completely understand. 

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Eryn:  I have a beautiful daughter named Vivian and a brother named John.

Marie:  All right.

What did your childhood home look like?

Eryn:  I’m from Ireland and grew up in a loving family. When our parents died, my brother and I came to America.

Marie:  I’m so sorry to hear about your parents…:(

(Pauses.)

Let’s try a different question.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Eryn:  I garden and go to movies when I can. What do I enjoy doing? I love to dance and I work hard to pay for dance lessons for Vivian.

Marie:  You’re a good mom. 🙂

So…what is your greatest dream, Eryn?

Eryn:  To have a stable home and for Vivian to become the star she is.

Marie:  Okay.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Eryn: Law-abiding. What is stopping me? We need the money and I am always one step in front of the law and the outlaw, Ed Killian.

Marie:  Intriguing…I just know there’s a story there, but I sense you won’t tell me right now.

No problem. I respect your privacy.

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Eryn:  Scott Killian.

Marie:  All right.

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Eryn:  When Scott was killed and I knew my daughter would grow up without her father.

Marie:  Oh, no! I’m so sorry to hear that! 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Eryn nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Eryn: To be an actress. I wanted the excitement. Did I achieve that dream? No. Things changed. I had a daughter to raise.

Marie:  That’s understandable.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Eryn?

Eryn: My brother John.

Marie:  All right.

Let’s try something else. Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Eryn:  All the men that I have to pretend to like and let them kiss me before I drug them and take their money.

Marie:  Yikes! What a situation you’ve got yourself in. I hope you find a way out…

Let me ask you a different question.

What is your deepest desire?

Eryn:  To find a loving husband to take me away from everything. To be safe.

Marie:  I would say that’s not too much to ask.

So…

What is your greatest fear, Eryn?

Eryn: That Killian will find me and take my daughter.

 

The Gangster's Woman

Marie: I  can certainly understand that worry.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Eryn. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Ginger Ring on the stage today. It’s so lovely to see you again, hon. I remember when you visited us on the I Love Romance Blog last year, and we covered the first book in your series. Hi again, Ginger!

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Ginger:  Hello!! Thank you for having me!

Marie:  My pleasure!

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Eryn. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Ginger:  She was mentioned in the first book, The Gangster’s Kiss. Her brother was searching for her but never found her. When I started the second book, I really had no idea where she had gone. When I found out about a painting at an old gangster hideout in Madison, I went to see the photo. It was of a half-naked woman and it hung above the fireplace. I wondered who she was, why had she posed for the painting, and what had become of her. I had found Eryn.

Fascinating! Isn’t it interesting where the muse takes us?

So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Ginger:  She will do anything to survive. She never gives up.

Marie:  That’s certainly admirable!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Eryn’s greatest weaknesses?

Ginger:  Her innocence for falling for the wrong man.

Marie:  Well, it does happen sometimes…

Let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Ginger:  Sweets.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I guess I can’t blame her there! 😉

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Ginger:  Her strength to love and work hard.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Ginger:  I think they will like her. She does what she can and most will understand the struggles she has of raising a child alone.

Marie:  For sure!

So, now that we have a real taste of Eryn, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Gangster’s Woman?

Ginger:  It is the second story in a trilogy. They are all connected by the Gangster, Ed Killian.

Marie:  All right.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Ginger:  A little of both.

Marie:  Okay.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Gangster’s Woman or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Ginger: No, it was just tricky to mix real historical events with the story. What would I do differently the next time? Write faster. (Laughs.)

Marie:  (Chuckles.)  I know what you mean!  😉

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The Gangster’s Woman appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Ginger Ring, a very talented author! 🙂

The Gangster's Woman

Here is the blurb for The Gangster’s Woman:

Now that prohibition was over, FBI agent Michael Flynn hoped to enjoy the quiet life and a chance to finally concentrate on finding his best friend’s sister. He’d been in love with her since he first laid eyes on her picture. Unfortunately, the more he searched the more he realized she wasn’t just missing. Eryn was hiding from one of the most notorious gangsters around. One who wouldn’t rest until he knew she was dead.
Eryn O’Malley had been moving around for years, doing whatever legal, or illegal job she could find to survive. No time for romance or a normal life. A one night stand with a handsome man at the county fair seemed like just the ticket to escape for a moment from her troubled life. However, finding out he was a G-man wasn’t part of the plan. Now he was on her trail. Whether to arrest or rescue her, she wasn’t sure, and she couldn’t wait around to find out. If he caught her, would he forgive her checkered past or would he always think of her as the gangster’s woman?

Ginger is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

He took a seat on the bed, crossed an ankle over the other, and rested his back against the cheap headboard. Interlocking his fingers behind his head, he observed the woman in his room. Her back was toward him as she poured the liquor in the glasses.
The woman could be a movie star or one of those girls in the magazines who held a soda pop in an ad. Tall and elegant, nice round ass, and slender calves and ankles. If she was indeed John’s sister and he slept with her, there would be hell to pay, but it would be worth every glorious second. A wolf call whistle left his lips.
Eryn turned, a glass in each hand, and a slight tilt to her head. “Now, what was that for?”
“Just enjoying the view.” He winked.
“Well, then I better get closer so you don’t strain your eyes.” She took a few steps closer and handed him his drink. Damn, she was a pistol. If he didn’t calm down soon, he’d be firing off a shot of a different kind.
Eryn strolled to the other side of the bed and joined him on it. Her slender legs crossed out in front of her. He swallowed and his fingers itched to slide down that silky skin.
“Cheers.” The click of her glass touched his and he forced his eyes from her legs to the graceful fingers holding her drink.
“Bottoms up.” He downed his in one sip. Eryn took two sips and licked the rim of her glass. This time a groan escaped his mouth and he took her glass and placed both of them on the bedside table.
“Don’t want another drink?” Eryn’s gaze dipped to her hands and then back to his face.
“No, I’d rather do this.” To hell with John, he was kissing his sister.
His fingers framed her face. Her skin soft as velvet and her full lips waiting to be kissed. They didn’t have long to wait. His mouth settled on hers. She tasted sweeter than candy. The hint of alcohol lingered and made for a stimulating mix. Nipping at her lower lip, Eryn moaned and threaded her fingers through his hair. Michael deepened the kiss and echoed her appreciation.
It killed him to break the contact, but he did. Her green eyes smoldered like emeralds in the dim room light. “Stay the night with me.”
“Aye, I will,” she whispered. Her response was in an accent and words so familiar to her brother’s. He could already feel the beating John would be giving him for making love to his sister, but it would be worth it.
Michael slid down the bed and drew her across his chest. Her auburn curls framed her heart-shaped face. Auburn curls? It finally dawned on him that she didn’t even know she had a niece that looked identical to her. Taking in a deep breath, he slid his fingers through her hair. “I always had a thing for redheads, but I’ve never slept with one.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle with you,” she ribbed.
He burst out laughing. “You are something else, doll.”
“You have no idea,” Eryn promised and lowered her lips to his.

Ooh…sexy! 😉

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00VBZQE6C

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gangsters-woman-ginger-ring/1121745401

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5423263

About Ginger Ring

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Ginger Ring is an eclectic, hat-loving Midwestern girl with a weakness for cheese, dark chocolate, and the Green Bay Packers. She loves reading, playing with her cats, watching great movies, and has a quirky sense of humor. Publishing a book has been a life-long dream of hers and she is excited to share her romantic stories with you. Her heroines are classy, sassy and in search of love and adventure. When Ginger isn’t tracking down old gangster haunts or stopping at historical landmarks, you can find her on the backwaters of the Mississippi River fishing with her husband.
Ginger’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Ginger Ring, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://gingerring.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/romancewritergingerring

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/GingerRings

Amazon Author Page:   http://www.amazon.com/Ginger-Ring/e/B00FOXTYYG/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/118019623261583234943/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7325608.Ginger_Ring

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/ginger-ring/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/Gingernovel/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Eryn O’Malley, the female main character of The Gangster’s Woman, and Ginger Ring, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Event, Fiction, Historical Romance, Interview, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Writing

A Character Interview with Colin Butler from MY HAVEN, MY MIDNIGHT plus a conversation with author Isobelle Cate!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Linda L. Picl’s character on October 20th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Isobelle Cate, the author of My Haven, My Midnight, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Colin Butler, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Isobelle in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Colin!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Colin.  Please have a seat.

Character Colin Butler:  Hello.  Thank you for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Colin: All right.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Colin:  I am the Dux of the Leeds Cynn Cruors. I am one of the best recons the Cynn Cruors have. Most of the time, my right hand, Craig Shaw and I are assigned to missions with the Manchester Cynn Cruors. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. Call it a symbiotic relationship. When I’m not busy fighting, I’m busy making money. I have a club and restos, and organize raves. Do I like it? Oh yeah, especially when I see so many pretty young things. Am I any good at it? It would appear so if we’re raking in hundreds of thousands a night just in one club, Le Club Cinq Mille.

Marie:  Okay. Great! 

So, what is your family like?

Colin: My family? Ahh, Marie, we are treading on deadly ground here. And I mean truly deadly. If it weren’t for the woman I love and Blake Strachan, a Cynn Cruor brother who said something to The Hamilton, I might not be here talking to you. That’s all I can say and it’s already a lot. I’d rather keep the rest to myself.

Marie:  All right, I respect that. But, your response is intriguing, to say the least.

Let’s try something else, okay?

What did your childhood home look like?

Colin:  Much better. It was beautiful, it still is. I have returned to where I was born to raise my family and raise my son as a future immortal warrior.

I have built a home close to Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. There are majestic mountains that buffer my house not from the cold because I don’t feel the cold, but it separates us from the outside world. It’s a haven for my wife and my son away from the life I left behind when I was banished.

We used to have a longhouse where my parents, Makenzie, my brother, and I lived. Da was often with the Hamilton fighting the Scatha as far as I can remember so oftentimes it was Mam, Mack, and I who tilled the lands and watched over cattle with the help of the people who lived with us. These people had been driven away from their homes by the Duke of Cumberland during the Highland Clearances. The longhouse is long gone, but I haven’t built my house over it. I have kept it as a memorial of my parent’s sacrifice.

Marie:  All right, I can see it pains you to admit that…

Let’s try a different question.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Colin:  Hobbies? The only hobby I had for the longest time was to decapitate as many Scatha Cruors I could find. (Grins.) Now that I have a family, I enjoy spending every moment with them. When my son is older, I will enjoy teaching him how to be a Cynn Cruor the way my father taught me and my brother.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your greatest dream?

Colin:  My greatest dream is to see my brother once again and the end to the Cruor wars.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there…

Okay, so, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Colin:  I wish I could be the best Dux for the Leed Cynn Cruors. What’s stopping me? Let’s not go there. I don’t want to talk about something that continues to be a dull thorn on my side.

Marie:  No problem. I respect your privacy.

All right. I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Colin:  The woman I married. Amaryllis Hart.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance…

My Haven, My Midnight

All right. So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Colin:  The loss of Mackenzie, my brother.

Marie:  I’m really sorry to hear that. 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Colin nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Colin:  To be a great Cynn Cruor warrior. With The Hamilton training me together with Craig and the rest of the Manchester Cynn Cruors, I fulfilled that dream. Sure, there is a lot of fighting, but that was what I was born to be.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Colin?

Colin:  My Da. He gave up his life to save a family from the Scatha Cruors who fell on them when they were thrown out of their lands by the Crann Tara.

Marie:  Wow…so sorry. I didn’t realize that’s how you lost one of your parents. How horrible for you, but I can understand why you’d respect the honor he exhibited at the time.

Let’s try something else. Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Colin:  No. If I don’t like a person, I just won’t give him the time of day. So far, the only beings that fit that mold are the Scatha Cruor.

Save for one.

Marie:  Okay. You have me curious now…

Tell us. What is your deepest desire?

Colin:  My deepest desire is for the Cruor wars to end so that I can live in peace with Amaryllis and my son, Duncan.

Marie:  That’s understandable.

Let’s try a different question…

What is your greatest fear?

Colin: That I die before my son comes of age. I have seen many Cynn Cruor children who have become orphans so early in their lives. I don’t want that for my son.

Marie: I  can certainly understand that worry.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Colin. It was so interesting getting to know you!

Colin: It has been a pleasure, Marie.

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Isobelle Cate on the stage today. It’s so lovely to talk to you again, hon. I remember when we interviewed you on the Writing in the Modern Age blog back in March. Hi again, Isobelle!

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Author Isobelle Cate:  Hi Marie! Great to see you again. 🙂

Marie:  Thanks! We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Colin. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Isobelle: Oh yes, he was difficult to write. Colin Butler is a crack shot and one of the best Cynn Cruor scouts. He and his team do the recon for many of Cynn Cruors’ missions. He often has a ribald sense of humor and loves women…a lot. But he has a secret that can lead to his and his team’s death. Literally.

Marie:  I see…that’s quite intriguing, though. 

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Isobelle: He’s reliable, dependable, loyal to a fault, self-sacrificing.

Marie:  Nothing wrong with that!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Colin’s greatest weaknesses?

Isobelle: His being loyal to a fault and self-sacrificing is both his weakness and his strength. It’s how he and Amaryllis, his mate, lost his life.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something else…

What are some of his favorite foods?

Isobelle:  Beef and spicy garlic sausages. Sure, he has the vampire DNA inside him, but he doesn’t get affected by garlic.

Marie:  (Laughs.) That comes in handy! 😉

So…what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Isobelle:  Colin believes that he has to keep proving himself, to show his loyalty because of the secret he had kept hidden for so long.

Marie:  I see.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Isobelle:  Readers will definitely like Colin, maybe even love him for the sacrifices he has made through the centuries. He will stay with readers even after the last page of the story has been read.

Marie:  Can’t go wrong with that description! I’m dying to learn more about the book.

Now that we have a real taste of Colin, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

Isobelle:  Okie doke. Fire away!

Marie:  What first gave you the idea for My Haven, My Midnight?

Isobelle:  I was writing Midnight’s Fate and there was a battle scene. In that scene, Finn Qualtrough, the hero in Rapture at Midnight tears through a horde of Scatha Cruors and werewolves – the first time the Cynn Cruors fight the weres since the series began. Colin watches from his vantage point high up the Silver Cave and sees how his fellow Cynn Cruors viciously kill as many Scathas in the same way he does. It was at that moment that I thought, I needed to make Colin more interesting. He has always had this devil-may-care attitude when he battles the Scatha Cruors, he has an incredible zest for life, but he has a tendency to be suspicious. So while I was mulling over the scene, it suddenly hit me that Colin Butler has a reason why he was this way.

This is how My Haven, My Midnight was born.

Marie:  Genius!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Isobelle:  I am more of a pantser than a plotter. I do try to plot, but am unable to write down just the plot. Later on, the dialogue will come to mind and I have to write that down lest I forget. I am trying my hand again at plotting. It’s a slow process for me.

Marie:  All right.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing My Haven, My Midnight or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Isobelle:  Yes. Writer’s Block. I thought I was immune. Wishful thinking! I had it for a while and I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to finish writing the manuscript by my self-imposed deadline. I had to push through that block – I actually imagine it as a moss-covered wall I have to climb to get to the other side. I kept reading the drafts and I was not satisfied until maybe after the 7th draft. When I felt that it was the best that I could make it, then I sent it to my publisher, Beau Coup Publishing. Luckily, they liked it as well.

If there was anything I could do differently? Oh, gosh, I wish I had the luxury of time to write so that I can fully concentrate on writing continuously. And maybe do more plotting that pantsing particularly because the series is getting more complicated.

And to aspiring authors – never give up. All of us now have an opportunity to become a fantastic writer. There are so many readers out there who want to read the stories you are inspired to write. Do not think that just because one reader may not like your writing, the rest will follow. For every disparaging reader, there will be four to five readers who love what you give them. If there are naysayers, separate the constructive criticism from the I-love-to-troll-your-books attacks. There will always be people who have nothing better to do except to put people down. These are the people you don’t need to listen to.

Finally, believe in yourself. If you do, your characters will too, and they will give you the inspiration to be the best storyteller you can be.

Marie:  All of that is awesome advice!

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story My Haven, My Midnight appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Isobelle Cate, a very talented author! 🙂

My Haven, My Midnight

Here is the blurb for My Haven, My Midnight:

Amaryllis Hart has lived a hard life. Falsely accused of theft, she decides to live the life thrown at her until one encounter tosses her into a world she does not believe exists and into the arms of the immortal who steals her heart.

Colin Butler, Dux of the Leeds Cynn Cruors and his second, Craig Shaw, return to Leeds abruptly after a secret Colin has been keeping for centuries, returns. In their attempts to keep it under wraps, another situation blows up in their faces, bringing Colin face to face with his past and his future—a violet eyed beauty who heals his soul.

As luck would have it, Colin’s secret is unearthed. To top it all, Dac Valerian and Herod D’Argyl are in Leeds and the Ancients’ enforcer arrives to pass judgement on the Dux of the Leeds Cynn Cruors.

Colin has to make the hardest decision of his life. Either he walks away from the past that will forever haunt him or make up for a past he had no control of and lose the woman he loves.

Isobelle is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“Where are you?” Colin moved away from the group even as he opened his telepathic link with his men. He left the security room and made a beeline for the alleyway.
Keep Seth and the rest occupied.
“Wouldn’t you like to know.”
“Mackenzie—”
There was an angry growl. “I’m not Mackenzie. I haven’t been for a very long time.”
“Then why call me brother?” Colin knew he was goading Mackenzie. He could not help it. The need to know if his brother was still inside that Scatha shell was overpowering. He was desperate. He wanted his brother back. He wanted his fellow Cynn Cruor returned. Mack had always been a bit short-tempered, ever since their parents died. Colin pushed the fire door and walked into the alley.
“Fuck you!”
Colin’s hand rested on his hip and he looked up at the sky framed by the buildings’ rooftops. Yup, his brother was still there. A humorless smile crossed Colin’s mouth. “That’s quite a unique name you’ve given me.” When he heard a moan in the background, Colin lowered his head, his eyes narrowing at the brick wall in front of him. “Where are you, Mackenzie?”
“I’m not—”
“No matter what you think or do or say, you’re still bràthair to me.”
A painful moan.
“What the bloody hell did you do now?” Colin asked, his voice furious. He paced the alley.
“Always my fault, isn’t it?” Mackenzie accused. “I didn’t want to be a Scatha. You made it happen but it will always be my fault. Why can’t you get it through that thick skull of yours that you’re to blame?”
Colin’s chest tightened with the guilt that never left him since Mackenzie’s transformation. Now was not the time or place to dwell on it. “Where is she? I swear to God if you hurt her—”
“I’m the worse Scatha there is. I’ve got a fucking bloody conscience! I hate it!” His brother snapped before muttering, “I don’t know why the fuck I’m doing this.”
Colin kept quiet, his empty hand curling. “Where are you?” he repeated. “Let her go. Leave her in a place where we can pick her up. I won’t chase after you tonight.”
“No. I can’t do that.”
“Why the hell not?” Colin blazed, pacing the narrow alley. He bluffed. “We know where the Scatha lair is.”
“I’m sure you do, but I’m not there.”
“We’re just running in circles, Mackenzie.”
“I’m here. At the Faesten.”
“What?” Colin stopped dead. “Why?”
“Because I don’t want the Scathas to know about her.” He sighed, resigned. “She needs the Cynn Cruors’ protection.”

Ooh, riveting!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B0106CTVCY

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-haven-my-midnight-isobelle-cate/1122241164

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5588073

About Isobelle Cate

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Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks.  Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist.  Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations:  the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins.  Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.  Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.

Isobelle’s Books:

Coming Soon:

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Available Now:

My Haven, My Midnight

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Isobelle Cate, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  https://isobellecate.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIsobelleCate

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Isobelle_Cate

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Isobelle-Cate/e/B00E5OD27K/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+IsobelleCate/posts

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191925.Isobelle_Cate

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/isobelle-cate/

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbB7h0DL9CEVRPJqByDOzA/videos 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/clpardington/author-isobelle-cate/

Additional:  http://microcerpt.com/isobellecate/

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/Isobelle_Cate

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Colin Butler, the male main character of My Haven, My Midnight, and Isobelle Cate, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Angel Bennett from ANGELEA’S DREAMS OF YESTERDAY plus a conversation with author Linda L. Picl!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Natalie Alder’s character on October 13th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Linda L. Picl, the author of Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Angel Bennett, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Linda in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Angel!

Angel

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Angel.  Please have a seat.

Character Angel Bennett:  Hello.  Thanks for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Angel: All right.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Angel: Hi, thanks for having me. I am an antiques dealer. Am I any good at it? Yes, I think so; I have many satisfied customers. Do I like it? Yes, I do. The hunt is the most fun, and then, of course, the sale…that’s a close second.

Marie:  Okay. Great! 

So, what is your family like?

Angel:  I don’t have much family, I have my brother Rick, a beach bum who likes to hang out at the local bars. He’s a great guy though. Then I have my cousin Missy and my fiancé. That’s it. My adoptive parents died in a car accident a long time ago.

Marie:  Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your parents…

Let’s try something else, okay?

What did your childhood home look like?

Angel:  It looked like a foster home for quite a while until the Bennett’s came along, then it was the typical 3 bedroom ranch in the suburbs.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Angel: Oh, I have a great hobby. I love to scuba dive, looking for lost pirate treasure. I enjoy mainly diving and reading about the local lost ships in our area.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your greatest dream?

Angel:  Probably to finally marry Nate and live on the Atlantic Ocean. I want a wide open house right on the beach.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there…I want a beach house as well.

Okay, so, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Angel:  I wish I was more assertive. Don’t get me wrong, I can stand up for myself, but I hate to fight with anyone. What is stopping me? I’m deathly afraid of getting punched in the face.

Marie:  (Smiles.) Well, of course, no one wants that…

All right. I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Angel:  Well, that depends if you’re asking about my present life or my past. My past life I was in love with Alexander; he was the captain of a pirate ship. Now I love Nate. He’s my partner in business and in life.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance…

Angelea's Dreams of Yesterday

All right. So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Angel:  Having Alexander come back and try to claim me as his wife now. Of course he’s dead, but he sure made his presence known.

Marie:  Wow, that’s a bit creepy! 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Angel nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Angel:  My biggest dream as a kid was to find parents that loved me and my brother. We had it for a short time until they died, but I know we were loved. It was everything I thought it would be. They were excellent parents, very vigilant with everything we did and very giving of themselves.

Marie:  I think we all want that kind of love in our lives.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Angel?

Angel:  I guess my role model is Nate; he shows me every day how to be a good person.

Marie:  Wow, that’s wonderful!

Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Angel:  Some of my customers make me crazy, but most of them are sweet, so no, there’s no one I really dislike.

Marie:  Okay.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Angel:  Just to be loved, and I think I’ve found that with Nate.

Marie:  Happy to hear it! (Smiles.)

Tell us, Angel…what is your greatest fear?

Angel: Probably bringing up another item that has a bad spirit attached to it.

Marie:  Yikes! That fear is understandable.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Angel. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Linda L. Picl on the stage today. It’s so lovely to have you back, hon. I remember when we interviewed you on ILRB around this time last year. Hi again, Linda!

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Author Linda L. Picl:  Hello.  Thanks for having me today.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Angel. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Linda:  She’s a normal everyday girl who happens to get amnesia and think she’s married to a pirate. And she thinks her name is Angelea.

Marie:  Whoa!  Quite the predicament! 

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Linda: She’s stronger than she thinks she is. She’s not afraid to confront her demons.

Marie:  Nothing wrong with that!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Angel’s greatest weaknesses?

Linda:  She gives up too easily on the people around her.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something else…

What are some of her favorite foods?

Linda:  She loves burgers and fries, the greasier the better.

Marie:  (Laughs.) She must have great metabolism! 😉

So…what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Linda: Bravery. There’s not much that frightens her.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Linda: They will love her; she keeps going when things get hard and manages to survive an almost insurmountable problem.

Marie:  Can’t go wrong with that description! I’m dying to learn more about the book.

Now that we have a real taste of Angel, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday?

Linda: I wanted to try paranormal romance, after doing two previous romances.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan to me!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Linda: A plotter, although there are times I just start writing to see what comes out.

Marie:  All right.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing this book or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Linda: The only thing I would do differently is really examine my book for problems. Once it’s in edits there are no rewrites.

Marie:  You’re right about that. And that’s great advice, for sure.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Linda L. Picl, a very talented author! 🙂

Angelea's Dreams of Yesterday

Here is the blurb for Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday:

Nothing short of a miracle will convince Angelea she’s the person everyone claims she is. She thought she was just waking up from a nightmare, but her nightmare is just beginning. Her doctor tells her she’s someone named Angel Bennett, someone she’s never heard of and the bruises on her body tell her something horrendous has happened to her, but what? That’s something no one can figure out.
Nate Matthews knows who Angelea really is. She’s his lover and he’d hoped his future wife. But when she awakens in the hospital after a routine surgery and she claims she’s married to a man named Alexander from a time long ago, he knows they will both be up against something no one has ever had to face before. Maybe something evil. How will he convince the love of his life she is not married to a pirate?
Linda is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“I’m not sleeping in there, it looks like a Valentine card threw up all over that room.” She threw him a slight grin and turned to drop the pillow and blankets she clutched on the couch.
Nate exploded with laughter, “Thank you I’ve been telling you that for years, maybe now we can change it?”
“You can if you want, I’m not stepping foot in that room, and it’s all yours.”
Forgetting the situation for a split second he told her, “Babe you don’t like to sleep out here, it’s drafty and noisy. You always complain about it.”
Then it hit him. The reason she refused the bedroom was not the décor…it was him.
Her next statement confirmed his fears, “No, the couch will be fine, thanks.” He felt the air rush out of his lungs and his heart crush in his chest. The night she was in the hospital was the longest night of his life, he missed her so much. Now she wasn’t sick and gone, she didn’t want to sleep with him and refused of her own free will.
“You don’t mean that? Really?” He never had to before, but now he was pleading with her. Raw pain filled his eyes. This couldn’t be happening. They’d worked so hard to get their relationship to this point and now it somehow evaporated right before his eyes.
“Yes, I’m sorry I do.” He could tell she tried to soothe things over and understand his feelings when she replied.
“Listen Nate, I know, I know we’ve been together forever, but in truth I just met you. I’m not kidding when I say that. I can’t jump in bed with you. I am sorry. But the couch will be fine for now unless you want to take it.” He was beyond furious and had an angry fiery look in his eyes that made her cautious of what she said next. What he didn’t want her to know was the truth…he was heartbroken.
He dropped the bag of food on the kitchen table, “Fine. Here’s lunch, enjoy.” He turned, grabbed his keys and without a look back in her direction slammed the door on his way out of the apartment. He literally shook everything in the place to its foundation, including her.
He wondered what he was going to do now as he headed to his car. Everything they’d worked for and built was suddenly gone. Their life together obliterated in one day.
Ooh, love the tension…

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TWPIOEI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angeleas-dreams-of-yesterday-linda-l-picl/1121279321

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5331960

About Linda L. Picl

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Linda L. Picl was born in Illinois and got her love of reading from spending time in a tiny library under a police station in a small town there. From there she went on to work at many of the libraries in suburbs all around the Chicago area, which only fired up her love of romance novels.

Following her favorite authors Robyn Carr and Nora Roberts, she went on to write sweet romance books and produced her first book, Next Time Love Comes, and then Solitary Dreamer, both second chance at love romances. Not everyone gets lucky on their first try at love.
Those are the types of books Linda loves to write. She has just published her third book, a paranormal romance, Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday, released by Beau Coup Publishing, and more books are on their way.

Linda lives in a suburb of Wisconsin with her husband.

Linda’s Books:

Angelea's Dreams of Yesterday

Solitary_Dreamer

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Linda L. Picl, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  https://lpicl.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lindal.picl

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaLPicl

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Linda-L.-Picl/e/B00L5MBE98/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/106195602678238404498/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8329651.Linda_L_Picl

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/linda-picl/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Angel Bennett, the female main character of Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday, and Linda L. Picl, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with J.P. Ryan from CREWEL WORK plus a conversation with author Natalie Alder!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Katherine Rhodes’ character on September 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie Alder, the author of Crewel Work, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, J.P. Ryan, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Natalie in a bit, but now we have on the stage…J.P.!

J.P. Ryan

Marie Lavender:  Hello, J.P.  Please have a seat.

Character J.P. Ryan:  Hello.  Thanks for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

J.P.: Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

J.P.:  Race Horse Trainer. I love it and I am damn good at it.

Marie:  (Smiles.)

Great!  So, what is your family like?

J.P.:  My mom passed away from breast cancer when I was seven years old. My dad passed away from emphysema when I was seventeen years old. He smoked a lot. I didn’t have any brothers or sisters. The foreman, Tanner Ford, at Bridgeton Pass Farm, where I work, is my cousin.

Marie:  Oh, so sorry to hear about your parents…

Let’s try something else, okay?

What did your childhood home look like?

J.P.:  A small, dingy two bedroom apartment in a nowhere suburb.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

J.P.: I like riding. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like. And I like hanging out on the porch drinking beers with my cousin, Tanner, on the occasional Friday night.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your greatest dream?

J.P.:  I’m living it. I didn’t know it until I got the apprenticeship to be a race horse trainer, but this is a dream job. And I got the girl. (Smiles.)

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance…

Crewel Work

Okay, so, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

J.P.:  I want to be a good father, one who’s there for the kids, teaches them things, someone they can look up to. What’s stopping me? I don’t have one yet. I’m working on that, though. (Laughs.)

Marie:  All right. I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

J.P.:  Nellie Watson in the first grade. I think she’s a teacher now…

Marie:  So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

J.P.:  My mom died.

Marie:  Again, I’m so sorry you went through that. 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[J.P. nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

J.P.:  My dream growing up was just to have a good, steady job and not worry about money. Didn’t matter what I did. I’ve more than achieved that dream.

Marie:  That’s great! And I think we all want that for ourselves.

So, who is your role model, J.P.?

J.P.:  My cousin, Tanner. He’s level-headed and easy-going. I tried to be like him.

Marie:  Wow, that’s wonderful!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

J.P.:  No.

Marie:  Okay.

So, what is your deepest desire, J.P.?

J.P.:  To have a child.

Marie:  Well, I can certainly understand the urge. And I’m sure you’ll have that some day. (Smiles.)

So, tell us, J.P…what is your greatest fear?

J.P.: Getting hurt so that I can’t work – doing hard physical labor – have kids or provide for my family.

Marie:  That’s understandable. No one wants to be out of commission like that.

Well, we’re out of time, Thank you for visiting us today, J.P. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Natalie Alder on the stage today. Hi, Natalie!

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Author Natalie Alder:  Hello.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the hero of your story, J.P. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Natalie: He’s an all-American, good guy who was raised in a home without much love and is a hard worker.

Marie:  Nothing wrong with that package!  😉

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Natalie:  His natural talent with horses, patience and sexy good looks.

Marie:  (Fans herself.) Oh, do tell us more…

(Clears her throat.) I mean, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are J.P.’s greatest weaknesses?

Natalie:  He can fly off the handle at times.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something else…

What are some of his favorite foods?

Natalie: Pizza and BBQ.

Marie:  Can’t blame him there.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Natalie:  He isn’t aware of how gorgeous he is.

Marie:  Love that!  Conceited ones aren’t appealing…

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Natalie:  They will like him. He’s the boy-next-door cutie and a good soul.

Marie:  Can’t go wrong with that description! I’m dying to learn more.

Well, now that we have a real taste of J.P., we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for your book?

Natalie:  Daydreaming as a teen.

Marie:  All right.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Natalie:  Pantster.

Marie:  Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Crewel Work or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Natalie:  I had a bit of difficulty being sure to keep the timelines straight. I’d probably use a computer program that can help with that.

Marie:  I hear you. I think with each project, the writer stumbles across a new set of issues. And that’s great advice. Being organized is never a bad thing!

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Crewel Work appears to be.  I certainly want to learn more about the hottie J.P…ahem, I mean, the story! (Chuckles.)

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Natalie Alder, a very talented author! 🙂

Crewel Work

Here is the blurb for Crewel Work:

The key to a successful horse farm is the trainer. At Bridgeton Pass, J. P. Ryan is that key. William Becker is determined to protect his farm and keep Ryan on the job.
That goal is threatened by two things – a sinister act by another employee and the fact that his only daughter has fallen head-over-heels in love with J. P.
Becker can’t allow either of those things to threaten his legacy.
Audra grew up around the handsome trainer and fell in love with him at a distance, enchanted by his kindness and honesty. When they began stealing private but innocent moments, she found that she didn’t want to live without him. Audra is heartbroken when she has to choose between honoring her father and pursuing love.
J.P. wants Audra by his side, but he finds himself with a hard decision.
He is forced to choose between his career and the love of his life. Between the problems caused by the trouble-making barn hand and the frustration caused by his desire for Audra, J.P.’s job has become a ‘crewel’ work.
The story of the Becker family is woven as an intricate Tapestry. It is beautiful as a whole, but like any tapestry, you have to turn it over and look at the back side to see how the threads of love and family relationships are woven together into one intricate whole.
Welcome to the Tapestry series…

Natalie is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“Audra, don’t.” J.P’s voice was sharp. He was on edge. He was afraid to look at her. He knew he’d have no control if he did. And he didn’t want to see her cry. Grabbing her upper arms, he pushed Audra against the wall. When he did, his left hand grazed her breast. They stood for a moment, neither moving. J.P. let his thumb trace the curve of her breast, then slide over her pebbled nipple.

A small moan escaped her. She arched her back, wanting to feel more. He swallowed hard. Silently, she begged for him to kiss her, touch her, anything. Her need and desire were evident.

Inwardly he hated himself for touching her so intimately and bringing them to this emotional place where they shouldn’t be. He closed his eyes, dropped his arms and left the tack room.

Crewel Work Teaser

Ooh, I definitely want to read more!  😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00OFCK10S

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crewel-work-natalie-alder/1120965561

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5189626

About Natalie Alder

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I write stories about romance. They center on learning about the characters backgrounds, personalities and life circumstances that mold them into who they are and how they love.

I am a sassy 40-something year old. I live in a quiet farming town in New England with my husband of fifteen years and our three rescued cats. After college I facilitated improvement in the physical abilities of children and the elderly, then took the opportunity to enjoy my creative side. I love to sew, knit, write…sing and drink martinis (not necessarily at the same time).

Natalie’s Books:

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Crewel Work

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Natalie Alder, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://www.nataliealder.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNatalieAlder

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NatalieRomance

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Alder/e/B00OG20DOG/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NatalieAlder/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8473636.Natalie_Alder

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/natalie-alder/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, J.P. Ryan, the male main character of Crewel Work, and Natalie Alder, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

 

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing