Tag Archives: characters

Exclusive Interview with author Lisa Doughty, plus a look at historical romance, ELLA AND THE EXPERIMENT!

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 fourth 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 a talented author of historical romance novels. Please join me in welcoming Lisa Doughty to ILRB! 🙂

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

Author Lisa Doughty:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, it’s such a pleasure to have 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…

Lisa:  Originally my chosen occupation was in the music industry. I have a degree in Master Engineering – Making records specifically, vinyl records. That probably gives you an indication of how long ago that was. Now they are collector items! In any case, it didn’t matter how good I was at it, there was no money in it. When I met my husband and got married, I was forced to grow up and get a real job. We started our own business together and out of the need to feed myself and a growing family, I settled into the role of CFO. But I never lost my interest in show business. During the years in a job of necessity, I kept one toe in the industry by stage managing at the CMT theatre downtown San Jose and associate produced two indie films “X to Y” directed by Matt Sobel, which won best film at the San Jose film festival, and “Mayra Darnell” starring Lena Olin, which premiered at the SWSX 2017 film festival to great reviews and did well in Europe.

It seemed a natural progression into writing once my kids grew and did not need me anymore. Now partially retired, I can focus on this new career and my new artistic outlet of writing.

Marie:  Great! So, tell us…what is your family like?

Lisa:  I have a wonderful and supportive family. My husband of thirty-two years is encouraging and motivating in this new adventure. He has always gone along with every crazy creative outlet I’ve have indulged in over the course of our marriage with a large amount of enthusiasm. He is especially excited about my writing. He has read my books and feels I have something new to offer. My children think I’m crazy…again, no surprise there. But I love that they see that you should never be scared to follow your dreams, no matter what they morph into over the years.

Marie:  Good point!

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?

Lisa:  Hmm, a strange question that I’m not sure how you want answered. Do you mean physically or psychologically? Since I’m sure this is not a psych test, I assume you mean physically.

Imagine your typical 1960’s two story suburban track home – and there you have it.

Marie:  Okay.

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

Lisa:  I love everything and anything artistic. Writing, painting, creating with every possible medium. It’s an OCD thing, can’t settle for just one…

Marie:  Can’t blame you there! The creative monster needs to be feed, right?

So…what is your greatest dream?

Lisa:  To get back into film and theater on the writer/ producer side this time. I am currently working on a series for TV and am halfway through my first play. I’m hoping to produce one of them by the end of 2019.

Marie:  Nice! ♥

Let’s try another question.

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

Lisa:  Okay, now this is really starting to feel like a psych test…

Marie:  (Laughs.) Not a psych test at all. But I know that most readers want to get know authors as people too. 😉

Lisa:  Well, I can tell you honestly that nothing has ever held me back from pursuing what I wished to be. Wherever the wind has taken me over the years, I have boldly jumped in with both feet. Additionally, I am lucky enough to have a great support system to encourage me. They cannot wait to see what I’m going to do next! I am their biggest source of entertainment. In turn, I encourage my children to try everything. To not to be afraid to fail at something.

That is a lesson in itself; we all need to know what we’re not good at so we can find what we are! The true failure is being afraid to try.

Marie:  So true…

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

Lisa:  Gary Kibbie, age 7…fell in love with his blonde curls. Broke my heart when he wouldn’t play truth or dare with me. Never forgave him, but married a tall, blond Swedish man that I’m sure is my way of getting over him. Neener, neener!

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Well, I am so glad you got your happily ever after. 😀 (Sighs.) I love romance. ♥

Let’s try something else now.

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

Lisa:  Hands down, my father’s death. I’ll leave it at that.

Marie:  Oh, no! 😥 I’m so sorry you went through that.

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

[Lisa 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?

Lisa:  I had too many to mention. In a nutshell I wanted to try everything, and although the list is long, I have been slowly been working my way through. Some of them weren’t as fun as others so I dropped those. I’m not done, so I would never say I haven’t achieved one, I’d rather say I haven’t focused on trying that one yet.

Marie: All right.

So, who is your role model, Lisa?

Lisa:  No role models to speak of. I never understood why people have one, actually? Why would you want to be like someone else and not forge your own path? They’ve already forged theirs. Why repeat it? Boring!

Marie:  Okay. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Lisa:  Same answer!

Marie:  Gotcha! Your approach is refreshing. 😀

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Lisa:  To live my life to the fullest, eradicate complacency.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan!

Tell me something, Lisa. What is your greatest fear?

Lisa:  Not to try everything I wanted to. To look back at my life and wish I had put myself out there because I was afraid of what might happen if I did.

Marie:  It would be hard to live with that regret.

So, I want to try something different next, Lisa… 

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Lisa:  Probing question! I need a big island please, preferably in the Caribbean (I hate being cold), because I’m bringing my entire family, a fully stocked Costco, a complete Home Depot including the garden section, my bed, and my laptop.

Oh, I hate cold weather too! Add a long-life battery and magical Wi-Fi to that list, please… (Winks.) I think I would still need a way to do research for my books.

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, Lady Cordelia Cromwell, Countess of Middleton Park. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

 

Lisa:  Cordelia is a survivor. Scarred by her father’s abandonment and abused by her first husband, she remains resilient. Even though trapped in circumstances out of her control, she finds a way to make her life her own. Unfortunately, that requires that she build a wall of defenses around herself that threaten to hold her back from a truly fulfilling life. She is frightened to let anyone one in that can hurt her again.

Marie:  I guess I can’t blame her there! I found it hard to trust again too after the debacles with my two exes.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Lisa:  Resiliency and charm. Cordelia learns quickly how to use what tools she has left to rebuild her life. After the death of her husband, she is left with mounting debt and a dilapidated estate. Cordelia uses the only things of value her late husband left behind. Her position and her connections. Coupled with her charm and beauty, she becomes a matchmaker to the elite. Her uncanny ability to match couples soon becomes legendary, and she is sought after for her services from the highest ranked members of nobility.

Marie:  Resourceful!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Lisa:  Cordia is afraid of love for herself. Vowing never to be property of a man again, she pushes everyone away because of her fear. This soon becomes her biggest weakness as The Marquess of Roth, Lord Rhys Drayson starts to break through her defenses. As she falls for the charismatic rake, she realizes how lonely her life really is without someone to love and to love her in return. This starts to crack the foundation she has built and threatens to destroy the world she has built for herself.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of her favorite foods?

Lisa:  Cordelia loves cognac. Usually deemed a gentleman’s drink, she loves that no man can prohibit her from drinking it and loves the sweet, yet strong taste.

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Nice!

How about another question?

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

Lisa:  Confidence. Cordelia is unaware that her confidence matched with her beauty makes men off balance around her. She is often unaware of the effect she has on men. As she concentrates on keeping them at a distance, she often misses the effect it has. Instead of repelling them, which is her goal, it makes her mysterious, a challenge and gives her an unobtainable air that makes her even more attractive.

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

Lisa:  I hope they will like her! I want them to identify with her fight for independence, her role as a survivor and respect her for it. Although Cordelia is a fighter, she is also scarred. She deserves happiness, yet is afraid it doesn’t exist for her. I want the reader to understand her fears and wish for her to push through them, rally behind her and want the best for her.

Marie:  Works for me!

Now that we have a real taste of Cordelia, 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 The Countess?

Lisa:  The Countess is my eleventh book, The Matchmaker Series my fourth series. I have always loved putting unlikely characters together in a love story. After all, romance is about the journey. But with The Matchmaker Series, I wanted to try a completely different approach. Instead of writing their story toggling back and forth between both of the main character’s point of views, I decided to dedicate the first book The Countessbook one to hers and the second The Marquess-book two to his. This way I could go into much more detail about the characters, and give the readers a much deeper understanding of them. It also was a way to show how differently they perceived the situations they shared and their reactions to them. After all, we, especially men versus women, perceive the exact same event differently. It was fun to show this difference and how it shaped the outcome of their story as a whole.

Marie:  Oh, I love how unique your series is! I look forward to reading it sometime. 😉

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

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

Lisa:  I design my books specifically to be an easy read. No overly flowery sentences, or need to use a dictionary for every other word. Some may call this rudimentary, but I like and want my readers to be lost in the story, an escape from reality while they read. Not feel like they received a history lesson or a lecture on Literary English. I also try to stay away from too many mundane descriptions of landscapes or the surroundings. To me, endless pages describing buffet tables and furniture settings are tedious to read and often stall the story. I try to give just enough so the reader can get a picture of the setting, but still be lost in the character’s story. I am somewhat of a comedian too, can’t help it, but hope I pull a tear or two at times when the story calls for it.

Mostly, I want you as a reader not want to put it down. Feel anticipation of what might happen at their next encounter and be shocked when it didn’t turn out as you predicted. I used to call these red light reads – books you read at every red light when you are forced to deal with real life but you cannot put the book down.

Marie:  Sounds good!

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 Countess appears to be. Congratulations on your upcoming release…

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this historical romance by Lisa Doughty, once it comes out! :)

Here is the initial blurb for The Countess:

Lady Cordelia began life abandoned by her father, the Earl of Swanstone, to the Fountain Abbey School for girls after her mother died in childbirth. Cold, detached and heartless, her father never visited his daughter until she became of age, then arranged her marriage, or rather sold her to the Earl of Middleton Park, a man 30 years her senior, infected with the French disease, who was practically destitute thanks to the escapades of his former and now deceased wife. To make matters worse, the earl had very disturbing sexual proclivities. Cordelia, being innocent yet sharp, was forced to endure her circumstances and find a way to survive. However, the encounters with the earl leave her scarred for life, distrusting all men and their treatment of her. When the earl finally succumbs to his illness, she becomes the tenth Countess of Middleton Park at the tender age of twenty-two and vows never to wed or belong to a man ever again.

Left in debt and with a crumbling estate, Cordelia uses the only thing of value left to her by the late earl, her position and her connections. She begins a matchmaking service that caters to nobility, far and near. Clever and shrewd, she joins forces with London’s most sought-after designer Rodrigo, who creates the most exquisite and unique fashions for the debutantes in her service. The transformation of her clients is unbelievable and soon becomes her calling card. That, paired with her uncanny ability to match her clients to the members of the exclusive Ton, soon makes her a lucrative commodity. For the young, beautiful, yet unobtainable Countess this means independence and freedom, and she finally feels as if her life is her own. When she encounters a certain Lord Rhys Drayson, Marquess of Roth, she is taken aback by his handsome face and undeniable charisma. Lord Roth has a well-publicized reputation of being a rake and a womanizer, so Cordelia quickly decides to rid herself of the arrogant lord, who solicits her services at the insistence of his sister Lady Esme Drayson. Unable to escape the Marquess and the undeniable attraction between them, Cordelia soon starts to buckle under the rake’s attentions. As her defenses fall, so does her resolve to never give her heart to a man, until his past follows him to her doorstep and threatens to shatter her heart into a million pieces, despite the undeniable love between them.

Lisa is giving us an exclusive peek at the book! ♥

“Lady Cromwell, Lord Roth, and Lady Drayson,” the butler announced.

Roddy stepped forward immediately. “May I be the first to welcome you, my lord, my lady. I am Rodrigo,” he announced with a flamboyant bow. “And this is Lady Cromwell.”

Cordelia peeked at the couple from behind the brim of her hat.

The lady was lovely indeed, with raven hair and bright green eyes. Lady Drayson was smiling in anticipation, eager to meet her. Cordelia could not see the gentleman’s face. His broad chest and tall stature obscured her view. In a practiced motion, she kept her eyes downcast, watching where she stepped, adjusting her skirt as she turned, and looked at him through her lashes first. Good Lord, Roddy might be right about this one. First, she saw his Hessian boots. No high heels for this one. His black trousers ended inside his boots at the knee, and his muscular thighs strained the material above them. His jacket tails brushed his calves. This gentleman was no dandy, at least not in fashion. When she raised her eyes, they immediately locked with his. Handsome did not describe this man. For the first time her in her life, her heart skipped a beat. He was the male version of his lovely sister, but, where she was soft and feminine, he was rugged and masculine. His green eyes stared in hers with such intensity, it rattled her.

She forced herself to look at his sister and curtsied, bowing her head slightly so the rim of her hat hid her face. She took a shallow breath to compose herself. Roddy was looking at the Marquess longingly. He hadn’t noticed her reaction to the man, thank the Lord! If he had, she would have never lived it down! When she rose, she addressed Lady Drayson directly and did not look at either of the men. Her hat partially obstructed their view, which gave her confidence to speak.

“Lady Drayson, welcome to Middleton Park.”

“Thank you, Lady Cromwell. I have been looking forward to this pleasure for a long time.” Lady Drayson curtsied. “May I present my brother Lord Rhys Drayson, the Marquess of Roth.”

Cordelia smiled demurely and kept her eyes downcast as she curtsied but looked at him as she rose. She had better control of herself this time. She had the same reaction to him, Lord above, this man rattled her nerves. She tried not to stare, although she wanted to. Everything about this man radiated masculinity. His long black hair curled around his collar and forehead. His angular features and strong chin gave him his rugged appearance. But it was his intense green eyes that made her feel naked under his gaze. A thousand needles pricked her skin as he studied her. His eyes drifted to her lips when she spoke.

“My lord, welcome. Thank you for making the trip from London to escort your sister to Middleton Park. It must have been a major inconvenience.”

He stared at her for what seemed like an eternity without answering, his face expressionless. This man was disconcerting. He needed to leave. Luckily, she had already decided not to take Lady Drayson on as a client. Cordelia prayed that once she turned them down in person that they would return to London directly.

“Not at all,” he finally answered. His baritone voice matched his appearance. Cordelia suppressed a shiver as vibrations rolled down her spine. It would be best to get them on their way quickly. As fast as possible!

“Shall we retire to my office and discuss what you require of me?”

“That would be wonderful, wouldn’t it, Rhys?” Lady Drayson bumped her brother with her elbow, since he was still glaring at her.

“Of course,” he said, with a wave and a bow. “Lead the way.”

“Will Rodrigo be joining us?” Lady Drayson asked hopefully.

Cordelia had not noticed that Roddy had excused himself. “If we conclude our business today, you can meet with him first thing tomorrow,” she replied, not willing to dash the lady’s excitement in front of her guests or her brother until they were alone. Let her have a meeting with Roddy. He seemed eager enough to have her as a client. Then she could send them on their way, satisfied.

“You are behind the rest of the guests. They have been here for a few days and are well acquainted with each other already. And, if Rodrigo wishes to change your look, there is not much time for him to do it before the ball.” She chuckled, to take the worry out of her statement, but further planted the seed for refusal. Cordelia threaded her arm through Lady Drayson’s, and started toward the house, giving Lord Drayson no choice but to fall in step behind them.

Intriguing!

Additionally, let’s have a look at Ella and The Experiment, book one of the Ladies of Kent Series.

Here is the blurb:

Lady Ella McHenry is a genius like her father. Following her father’s death, she steps into his role at the University as a problem solver and tutor. Now alone, she must contemplate marriage in order to keep the fortune her father left her as well as her independence. Her Aunt urges her to add physical attraction to her list of logical and intellectual attributes she wants in a husband. Not seeing the point, she decides to test her aunt’s theory by conducting an experiment on the subject. When the handsome rake Lord Dexter St Johns comes to her for help on his artillery project, she makes a bargain with him. She will help him with his project if he will conduct an experiment with her. Little did the analytical Lady Ella know how much of her heart would become entangled in her conclusion and how important attraction can be.

Lord St Johns was in a race to be the first to complete a smaller more efficient weapon against his nemesis Lord Vanderguard. Desperate to keep such a weapon out of the warmonger hands, he is forced to enlist help from the most unlikely source, Lady Ella McHenry. At first glance he didn’t believe the petite and rather severe looking young woman could help his cause. Taking a leap of faith, he hands the top secret plans over for her analysis. To his surprise, she turns out to be the one person to solve his issues. When she asks for a favor in return he could not refuse her and blindly agrees to whatever she needs. To his shock, she wants to conduct an experiment that is beyond scandalous and even more exciting than he could imagine. As Lady Ella knocks him off balance and steals his heart, his project and her involvement in it puts her in mortal danger. Now he must not only save her, but his heart as well.

Lisa is also offering us a teaser from the book!

“There she is!”

“Where?”

“There!”

“Don’t point!” Dex hissed as he pushed Devin’s finger down. “Bloody hell, keep your voice down!” he shushed in a harsh whisper. “We are in a library, after all.”

Dex spied Lady Ella McHenry sitting by the window in a blue wing back chair. It fairly engulfed her, she was so tiny. She was much younger than he had expected. In fact, she looked like a child. If her hair wasn’t piled atop of her head in a mature hairstyle, and wearing a prim and proper dress, he would have thought her one. The glasses perched on her nose should have made her look older, but they didn’t. This couldn’t be the genius that Devin had been going on about.

She was engrossed in a book, her brows furrowed as she read. Then, to his surprise, she turned the book sideways, examining it curiously at the awkward angle. What was she reading?

“That cannot be her, Devin. That is a child.”

“It’s her, I swear. She is small, but I assure you, she is fully grown and a genius, just like her father. My dad thinks her intelligence may even surpass her father’s.”

“If this is some kind of joke, my fist is going to find your nose!”

Devin held his hands up in surrender. “I wouldn’t do that to you, Dex. I know how important this is to you. Besides, I like my nose just the way it is, thank you very much.”

Despite his friend’s assurance, he narrowed his eyes at him in warning. He was not in the mood to be trifled with. “Introduce me then. I have no choice but to trust you at this point,” he said, resigned.

****

Ella’s was actually reading book hidden within a book. She couldn’t very well read the Kama Sutra out in the open, after all, so she had hidden it inside a book on mathematics that she had memorized. From the outside, it looked as though she were studying. If anyone asked her a question about it, she could easily answer without hesitation. She thought the illustrations would have made her blush but, to her surprise, she wasn’t embarrassed at all. The cartoon-like drawings were graphic and anatomically detailed, but they didn’t make her uncomfortable at all, as her friend Gerard had predicted.

Ella was beyond determined to learn about sex and understand what all the fuss was about. She was sick and tired of her aunt and uncle asking if she were attracted to her choice of suitor. She could see no logic in picking a husband purely on the basis of attraction. The choice should be made for practical reasons. He should be intelligent, levelheaded and have a mind for business. Her future husband would be responsible for father’s fortune now that it was hers. That had to be priority number one.

Besides, she would not disillusion herself. She was not a classic English beauty that could attract a handsome lord. She was much too petite and plain to be noticed by that sort of noble gentleman. Small like her mother, with her father’s nondescript chestnut hair and brown eyes, there wasn’t much to catch a man’s eye. That had become evident after her one and only season she had had at her aunt’s insistence. The only suitor who had called on her ran for the hills once he found out she intended to participate in all decisions regarding her fortune. When she tested his business knowledge, he failed miserably. She could see no reason to continue the courtship since he would not agree to her terms. He married another heiress within a month. Good riddance.

Since then she decided to pick her candidates using logic. In the year since her failed season, she had tripled her fortune. In fact, her uncle had come to rely on her expertise about his own investments. It was just mathematics after all, simple percentages, profits and losses. It was not as difficult as all that. What she really needed was a business partner, not a husband. Of course, they would have to have an heir to secure the estate, but besides that, she needed a keen business man.

“Ella, I understand you are protective of your fortune,” her aunt patronized. “But you do have to procreate with the gentleman. Surely, an attraction to each other would be desirable, if not necessary. After all, it isn’t a chore that needs to be done. With the right partner, the act of procreation can be quite enjoyable.”

Ha! Attraction? The only men she was attracted to wouldn’t give her the time of day, no matter how large her fortune might be.

“Excuse us, Lady McHenry. May we have a word?”

When she looked up, there were two gentlemen standing in front of her. It was as if her thoughts had manifested into reality. Two of the Ton’s most handsome lords had materialized right in front of her, Lord Devin Armstrong and Lord Dexter St. Johns. Her mouth fell open. She closed it quickly and snapped her book shut to hide its contents. Shocked, she sucked in her breath and accidentally sucked some spittle down her windpipe in the process. Instantly, she started to choke. Embarrassed, she tried not to cough, but she couldn’t breathe.

“Is she choking?” Dex asked, as he watched her struggle for breath. “She is! She’s turning red!”

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

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/3nnv8B

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

About Lisa Doughty

Lisa Doughty has worked in theater and is also a film producer of X to Y and Maya Dardel starring Lena Olin has always had a knack for creative endeavors and storytelling. As an avid romance novel enthusiastic, she eventually became unsatisfied with the plots consistently having women as the damsel in distress. With her frustration of repetition she began writing. Her inspiration stems from the women who break through society’s suppression and stand out in their era, and that is how her incredibly successful book, The Black Star, was born.

Books:

Coming Soon:

 

Available Now:

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

Website/Blog:  https://www.lisadoughty.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lisa.doughty.180

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Doughty/e/B07KWS261Z/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16788681.Lisa_Doughty

Once again, I want to thank Lisa Doughty, the brilliant author of these historical romances, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥

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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!

3 Comments

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

A Character Interview with Darryl from BLESSED plus a conversation with author Maggie Blackbird!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Amber Daulton’s character back on June 7th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Blackbird, the author of Blessed, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Darryl Keejik, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Maggie in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Darryl!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Character Darryl Keejik:  Thank you for having me, Marie.

Marie:  Of course! It’s my pleasure!

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

Darryl:  Sure.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

Darryl:  I’m the self-governance coordinator for the reserve. I’d say I’m very good at what I do. I’ve been in this field since I graduated university. I’ve worked for two other aboriginal organizations in Winnipeg before I returned home to Ottertail Lake to help my Ojibway community work towards developing their own model for governing the band.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Darryl:  There’s only my aunt and I. I’ll leave it at that.

Marie:  Okay…I sense there’s a story here, but I won’t push.

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?

Darryl:  It’s one of the first homes built on the reserve, made from logs and constructed by my great-grandfather. My grandfather installed the hardwood floors. It’s nothing elaborate. A simple two-bedroom home with a wood-burning stove for heat.

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

Darryl:  I enjoy fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, and camping. I’m an outdoorsman at heart.

Marie: Nice!

So, what is your greatest dream?

Darryl:  For the Anishinaabe Nation to become a sovereign nation as we once were before.

Marie:  (Nods.) I see…

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

Darryl:  I wish I could be more forgiving, but after what my people experienced at the hands of the government and religious institutions, it’s a little hard to be that person.

Marie: That makes sense.

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

Who was your first love?

Darryl:  Emery Matawapit.

Marie: Aww. I love romance. ♥

So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.

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

Darryl:  Losing my whole family in a boating accident. My parents were drunk, going for supplies. I was at home with my aunt, only four, and too young to go.

Marie:  Oh, no! I’m so sorry! 😥

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

[Darryl 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?

Darryl:  As I said, my dream was to help my people become a sovereign nation. I’m still working on that dream. It’s a little hard to achieve when band members at our reserve practice different…spiritual ways and have differing beliefs, such as the Matawapit family.

Marie:  I understand.

So, who is your role model, Darryl?

Darryl:  Basil Skunk. He’s the elder for the Traditionalists Society.

Marie: Okay.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Darryl:  I tolerate Deacon Matawapit. We play our little game of politeness.

Marie:  Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Darryl:  A family of my own.

Marie:  Oh, yes, I think a lot of people want that…

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

Darryl:  That I’ll never have a family of my own.

Marie: I have that fear as well. Having kids would be almost impossible for me medically, unless I decide to adopt.

I’m so fortunate you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Darryl. 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 Maggie Blackbird on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Maggie!

Author Maggie Blackbird:  Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Darryl Keejik. Quite an interesting character. He’s a little tight-lipped and stoic. Can you tell us more about him?

Maggie:  Well, as you can see, your interview hit a few nerves with Darryl. He’s having some problems reconciling the past with the present. He’s an inter-generational survivor of the Indian Residential Schools. But I’m rooting for him. Darryl’s a fighter. He won’t give up.

Marie:  Admirable, of course!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Maggie:  His ability to lead. Although Darryl’s stubborn and opinionated, he has a great ability to listen, once he gets past his anger.

Marie:  Oh, we could definitely use better listening skills in the world. Everyone is all ready to jump at the next person for each little thing.

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Maggie:  His inability to forgive. Darryl holds on to past hurts. He’s all about the grudge.

Marie:  Ah. Well, I’m sure some of our readers can relate. It’s not always easy to let go.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Darryl’s favorite foods?

Maggie:  Darryl loves his aunt’s homemade moose stew and bannock. He also enjoys a good shore lunch of walleye, pan-fried potatoes, and corn when he’s out on the lake.

Marie:  Sounds delicious!

How about another question?

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

Maggie:  Darryl doesn’t realize how much love he has to offer others. His resentments stop him from becoming a great leader, because he sincerely loves his people and wants to see them succeed.

Marie:  All right.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Maggie:  It’s a little hard to say.  Some enjoy Darryl, others find him a bit of a jerk at the beginning of the book. Darryl’s an emotional and passionate man with a big chip on his shoulder. His childhood wasn’t the greatest, growing up without a family and raised by his alcoholic aunt who’s an extremely bitter woman. I’d say she passed on a lot of her bitterness to Darryl.

Marie: Okay, that makes sense…

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

What first gave you the idea for Blessed?

Maggie:  I come up with ideas based on the problems the Indigenous People of Canada face. Then I put a spin of “what if” on it.

Marie:  Awesome! Isn’t it fascinating how the muse works? 😉

Let’s try something else.

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

Maggie:  I call myself a planster – part panster and part planner. I always have a logline and blurb, my GMC, character arc, and sketches done. But I’m no BIG planner down to the details of chapter goals, scene goals, et cetera. The characters determine those.

Marie:  Nice!

How about another question?

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

Maggie:  Finding a publisher was hard because Blessed doesn’t fit a specific niche, and publishers do have their niches. It’s heavy on religion and spirituality, but doesn’t fit inspirational or Christian fiction because there are some very explicit adult sexual scenes, and profanity. As for doing anything differently, it is what it is. Darryl and Emery wrote their story, and I typed what they had to say. I’m not a writer. I take dictation for my characters. LOL!

Marie:  (Smiles.) Yeah…sometimes I think the characters are directing the story more than I am.

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 Blessed appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this sexy MM multicultural romance with a slight inspirational angle by Maggie Blackbird, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Blessed, book one of the Matawapit Family Series:

A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling:  the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his newfound power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

An erotic spiritual journey…

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

“You see what?” Darryl slapped his thigh. “Dammit, I’m trying to figure out why Basil asked me to talk to you first, instead of Clayton and the kids, ‘cause I knew we’d end up argu—”

“Basil asked you to speak to me?” Great, Darryl hadn’t phoned on his own accord. The elder had forced him to meet Emery.

“Yeah.”

A coward slunk away. A man of courage fought for what he wanted. Emery stood tall. “I appreciate your consideration. Why’d you listen to Basil?”

Darryl continued to glare.

Emery forced a chuckle. Maybe teasing would relieve the tension between them. “I’ve never known you to listen to anyone.”

“I always listen to Basil.” Darryl’s tone could cut rocks.

The anger permeating the air had nothing to do with Clayton, the protest, or Annie. Emery sucked in a breath. “What do you want me to do? Take off my clothes? Is that what I have to do to make you happy?”

“Sarcasm isn’t what I expected from you.” Darryl cocked his brow. “Fine. Take them off. Take them all off. If you need help, I got two willing hands.”

Ripe heat kissed the flesh buried beneath Emery’s underwear. His skin shimmered hot and cold. “I guess… guess I was right.”

“Wrong.”

As Darryl continued to glare, an irritating prickle sprang up at the nape of Emery’s neck. He scratched the mosquito bite.

Darryl turned and stomped around the four-wheeler, his breaths huffing and puffing. “I promised myself I wouldn’t behave like Saint Kateri’s father did. The thing is—I am.”

His face reddened. He kicked the rear wheel of the machine. “You make me so goddamned mad. Fine. I’ll let the youth down. I’ll let Clayton and the Traditionalists Society call me a traitor. And I’ll most likely lose the next election ‘cause I tossed my integrity out the door. Bottom line. I’ll do anything to make you happy. You come before anything that means everything to me.”

Darryl dug out his keys. “And even though I put your feelings first, I don’t expect you to do the same. Go ahead and love your god till the end of time.”

Had a tornado torn through the powwow grounds? This wasn’t how they were supposed to resolve the problem. Emery forced out the words caught in his throat. “Wh-what are you talking about?”

Darryl slid onto the four-wheeler. He jammed the key into the ignition. The engine roared to life. His eyes matched the snarl of the machine. “I’m voting in favor of paying the church’s hydro bill.”

When he revved the throttle, Emery leapt forward. “Oh, no you don’t. You’re not leaving me to eat dust again.” He clamped his hand over Darryl’s.

“You said you’re voting for the church to make me happy.” Emery kept his hand put or he might get run over. “As much as I appreciate what you’re doing, I won’t let you compromise your beliefs. My savior wouldn’t approve. Neither do I. I can’t be happy at another’s expense. At your expense.”

“And what about the people you spoke about earlier?” Darryl’s hand tensed beneath Emery’s. “Your parents? The others who go to church? If you let me vote, they’ll be happy. Don’t they count?”

“The Lord is their savior. They wouldn’t want you to compromise your beliefs, either.” Emery squeezed Darryl’s fingers. “Please, listen to me.”

Jaw clenched, Darryl scowled at the sky.

A few seconds passed. Emery’s heart ceased to beat for a moment. Now what was going through the head of the most stubborn person in the world?

“You got a million mosquitoes swarming you.” The fire in Darryl’s eyes vanished. “We can finish talking at my place.”

Emery’s heart swelled. His happiness did come first. Wait a second. He couldn’t go to the house. People would talk—especially the protesters. For sure they’d call Darryl a traitor.

The word no sat on the tip of Emery’s tongue. He swallowed. If he objected, he’d offend Darryl again. “‘Sure.”

Intriguing! Love the tension. ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/4AYy8o

Publisher:  http://www.extasybooks.com/maggie-blackbird/978-1-4874-1973-8-blessed/

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40722164-blessed

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

About Maggie Blackbird

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Book:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Maggie Blackbird, here are some author links:

Website/Blog:  http://maggieblackbird.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BlackbirdMaggie/

Amazon Author Page:  https://amzn.to/2CJUAEs

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18176196.Maggie_Blackbird

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/105368516440582848319

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/maggie-blackbird-032798169/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maggie-blackbird

Publisher:  http://www.extasybooks.com/maggie-blackbird/

 

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Darryl, a male character from Blessed, and Maggie Blackbird, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, characters, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Faith, family, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, LGBT, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Writing

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Kieran Blackmore from CAPTIVATING MELODY by Katherine McIntyre

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Katherine McIntyre, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, Katherine! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.

 

Writing A Paranormal Rockstar

 

When I sat down to write my Discord’s Desire Series, I wanted to offer a fresh spin on the rockstar romance trope—so I combined it with the paranormal. Writing a band made up of different types of fae let me play around with a whole different reason for the rockstar lifestyle, as well as an entirely new world as I meshed elements of fairy with the contemporary setting of San Francisco.

Thus Kieran Blackmore was born, the lead singer of Discord’s Desire.

File.Army

Charisma tends to run rampant when it comes to the lead singers of bands, and Kieran’s no exemption. However, what sets him apart is the fact that he’s an incubus, a fae who has the power to evoke desire in men and women alike. With a power like that, he could get any woman he wants, which made for a fascinating dichotomy in his character to explore.

Kieran can get anyone he wants with a simple touch, but all he really wants is for someone to want him separate from his abilities. Which of course led to the initial attraction he has for the heroine, Liz. She appears human, but she’s different—immune to his charms, which intrigues him from the get-go. However, the more he gets to know her, how she’s patient where he’s impulsive, how she’s logical where he reacts on emotion, then he ends up falling hard.

The other members of the band are just as fascinating and flawed, shouldering past scars from the complex politics of growing up amidst their kind. Whether it’s the slick siren bassist who always wears a mask, or the banshee guitarist who suffered years under living as a slave, the boys of Discord’s Desire ended up being a fun blend of realistic issues and the paranormal to explore. Each of the boys in the band have their own share of scars, but there’s a very human aspect to the family they’ve created for themselves on the road.

Edward Cisneros, Unsplash

In the first book, Kieran’s past damage is the focal point. He grew up an outcast in his own family who only ever cared about their station in the fae Courts. He’s impulsive and emotional, getting himself in trouble just as often as trouble from his past follows him. While he displays a lot of confidence and charisma, he’s also balanced by a vulnerability Liz is unwilling to offer at first, as she’s spent a life closed off from others.

At the end of the day though, what really drew me in with Kieran’s character was his loneliness and the fear that no one can ever love him as he truly is. He offers his love so freely to everyone around him and will defend his bandmates and Liz with his life, but he’s used to the false desire that comes with being an incubus. The real affection that grows between Kieran and Liz is brand new and thrilling to explore.

The most important thing in writing Kieran Blackmore, even more than his alluring incubus nature or the wild glitz of being the lead singer in their up and coming band, was his human flaws and aspirations as he struggled through the book. As different as the fae and their society in the series can be from real life, readers latch onto those struggles and dreams. Paranormal or not, what makes a hero resonate is the story they tell.

Too right, Katherine! And I adore paranormal heroes.
This book sounds awesome!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we, readers? 😀
Here is the blurb for Captivating Melody.

Cross a satyr, a siren, and an incubus with rock and roll, and you get Discord’s Desire, a band of panty-dropping hellions whose live shows incite orgies. As booking manager, Liz O’Brien has the monumental task of keeping the boys in line. She’s resistant to glamour of the fae and fame variety, which only makes her more tempting to lead singer, Kieran Blackmore. With his incubus charms, he could have any girl he wants—except Liz, who’s determined to stay professional.

However, when Kieran’s brother sends hitmen after the band, Liz discovers hunters with her abilities who are mortal enemies of the fae. Mercenaries might attack post-show, but Liz has her Beretta to handle that. What terrifies her more than any monster is how she’s falling for Kieran, which triggers every ‘run-away’ sensor in her foster kid handbook. With war brewing between the hunters and the fae, their love can only end in heartbreak.

And Katherine is giving us a peek at her novel!
EXCERPT #1
To her relief, the lights dimmed even more, and the spotlights circled to the front and center stage, casting a hush through the crowd. A smile curled her lips once Kieran’s sultry voice came over the speakers, the effects dropping like a pheromone bomb onto the audience. A visible ripple didn’t cascade through the air, but once his voice reached a familiar intensity and the rest of the band began playing, a huge scream resounded through the crowd.
Even without the incubus abilities at work, she had to admit, the man possessed a toe-curlingly sexy voice. As she scanned over the crowd, the beginnings of the orgy broke out, where strangers locked lips and deepened their kisses. A pair in front of her started getting handsy, and all of a sudden shirts were coming off. They weren’t even finished the first song, and the scent of sex laced through the room.
Liz let out a sigh. This was why she stayed backstage during the shows. Her glamour-resistance turned her into the one sober person at this lust inspired rager. Her dry spell would have to continue for now, since she refused to hook up with the tool next to her and didn’t mainline the swell of sexuality like everyone else. Plus, with Mr. Fae Bartender behind her, she needed to act with extra caution. Bolting from fae sent the same message as a red flag to a bull—pretty please, come chase me.
On stage, Trevor thrummed away at the guitar, his fingers plucking over the strings with the skillful focus he always employed. He leaned up to the mic in front of him to add in the background vocals, the sensual tenor blending with Ky’s baritone. Renn’s hair flew as he thrashed away at the drums, his hands moving lightning fast and his hooves tapping the pedals. Meanwhile Jett romanced the length of his bass, providing the deep undercurrent the siren always did as those notes came out soul-wrenching.
Kieran’s voice reached a crescendo, drawing her attention front and forward. Normally when he sang, his gaze cast far and wide over the audience, as if he were romancing the crowd as a whole, but tonight, his eyes were locked on one person alone. She tried to swallow, but her throat grew dry.
Long strands of his dark hair drifted across his eyes as he clutched the microphone and rocked back and forth with it, the intensity projecting in his voice. He’d tossed his patched leather to the floor, stripped to a black wifebeater that clung to him like a second skin and revealed the intricate phoenix tattoo coiling down his arm. His hips shifted while he moved to the beat of the music, his grey jeans clinging to those powerful thighs. Yet nothing snared her as much as his amber eyes focused straight on her the entire time.
Heat flushed through her at his undivided attention, and while she’d like to blame it on all the bump and grind going on around her, Kieran got her hot and bothered. However, she wasn’t one to sit back and melt. Liz met his eyes and winked with a smirk. She caught the hint of a smile by the crinkle in his eyes as he crooned away.
EXCERPT #2

“Come here often, beautiful?” a smooth, sexy voice drawled from behind her.

Liz folded her arms over her chest before turning around and fixing Kieran with a look. The man, given the chance, would flirt with himself, so she didn’t ever take him seriously. His lips curved in a cocky smile made even more dangerous by the pointed fangs peeking out. He wore his stage clothes from the show—ripped jeans, a gray wifebeater, and a patched leather that had seen better days. Yet combined with the studs in ears, the streaked guyliner, and the labret piercing, the man oozed sex.

“Cool it, rockstar.” She smirked, meeting his teasing eyes. “You’ve got a whole cavalcade of women who’d throw themselves at you in a heartbeat, already fallen under your spell. I’m immune to your hinky fae magic.”

His fingers snuck up faster than she could follow to trail down the column of her throat. “Isn’t that what makes it all the more interesting?”

Liz shivered under his silken touch, ignoring the hoarseness in his voice and the quickened pulse that followed in the wake. The incubus didn’t need any powers to lure women. His voice alone would send them flocking, and with the attractive package it came in—well, he proved damn near irresistible.

Purchase Links:
Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/mVBeWZ

 

Wow! I definitely want to know what happens next! ♥♥♥

How fun to learn about your paranormal romance, Katherine! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Pick up your copy of Captivating Melody today! Or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf, readers!

Thank you for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Katherine! Lovely to have you here! ♥
 
Guest Bio

Strong women. Strong words.

Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes–high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1816179461992109/

Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/pixierants

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00J8U4VNU

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473654.Katherine_McIntyre

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103953984130384189045

Newsletter Sign-Up:  http://eepurl.com/duIScb

Publisher:  https://bit.ly/2B6QKGa

 

Thanks again, Katherine, for giving us a peek into the world of your character. Awesome! 😀

Have a great weekend, everyone!

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Message, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, rockstar, Romance, Writers, Writing

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Avery Bell from FINDER KEEPER OF MY HEART by Vina Arno

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Vina Arno, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, Vina! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.

 

3 Reasons to Love A Beta Romantic Hero

 

Romance books and movies are full of swaggering alpha heroes who are larger than life. They are easy to fall for and hard to ignore. And, guess what else? They’re too common. If you’re like me, you probably want the quiet, smart, and sweet beta romantic hero for a change.

Created by Luis_molinero – Freepik.com

Welcome to the club!

When I wrote my second romance novel, Finder Keeper of My Heart, I chose a beta hero named Avery Bell. He’s a loner, a sensitive soul. He’s also a brilliant, MIT-educated software engineer who’s working on a super drone. Unlike the typical alpha jock, he’s got the lean-but-strong build of a triathlete.

Hotlanta Voyeur, Visual Hunt

Let’s take a look at the top three qualities and reasons why the beta male is irresistible—in Finder Keeper of My Heart and in real life.

Top Three Traits

#1. He’s quiet and mysterious. The beta hero is swathed with layers upon layers of mystery. He’s the opposite of the temperamental alpha male. Avery Bell likes to go camping by himself in Hawaii and read Thoreau. As fate would have it, Emma Munroe gets lost in the jungle and he saves her. Emma gets to know him in the course of her Hawaiian vacation.

Created by Freepik

Here’s a passage describing his quiet demeanor:

As the conversation downstairs grew louder, the more attentive he became, like they were the only two people in the world. She loved his ability to focus, on top of his other fine qualities.

#2. Nice guys don’t finish last. Women who are crazy for bad boys haven’t met an honest-to-goodness nice guy who’s also a winner. In Finder Keeper, the beta hero is a young, high-tech whiz who’s working on a super drone designed to provide help during disasters. He’s also a triathlete training for his first Half Ironman race. If you read this novel, you’ll see that whoever said nice guys always finish last is simply wrong.

Created by Kues1 – Freepik.com

#3. He’s more realistic and closer to what most women want in real life. It’s okay to fantasize about the sexy, badass guy who breaks our hearts. But, in real life, most of us just want a guy who will give us a kiss before leaving the house, open the door for us, and cuddle with us on the couch during Movie Night.

Created by Freepik

The beta hero does all of these things and then some. Here’s how Emma describes him: “Avery was male in the best sense, without touting it or taking advantage of it—solid, reliable, efficient, intelligent, and too damn hot.”

If you’ve been reading about alpha heroes all along, get to know a beta hero, and share your thoughts with us!

Fascinating, Vina! And I have to admit, I have a soft spot for a total gentleman. In fact, most of the male characters I write about are really good guys. 😉
Anyway, this contemporary romance sounds awesome!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we, readers? 😀
Here is the blurb for Finder Keeper of My Heart.

Emma Munroe, a Juilliard senior, snags a plum role on Broadway a few weeks before her twenty-first birthday. She travels to Hawaii with her best friends to celebrate. When she gets lost in a jungle during an impromptu hike, she happens upon a waterfall—and a naked hunk bathing underneath it.

When she finds out his name is Avery Bell, she’s dumbstruck. She believes she’s meant to love someone named Avery. It all goes back to a message in a bottle she found when she was nine, a letter written by a soldier called Avery to his sweetheart named Emma. He’d written it in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack during World War II. Since then, Emma has been searching (and saving her virginity) for her own Avery.

But Avery Bell is as mysterious as he is irresistible. Emma learns about his family secrets and bitterness. In the course of this vacation, an accident and a tragic death will shake both of them to the core. Her singular faith in him—her unwavering belief in love and destiny—proves to be his saving grace.

And Vina is giving us a peek at her novel!

Emma jogged for the next few minutes. Another brook, then a dry creek, before she faced a second switchback. Shit, she was lost! She slogged along, her legs now aching. Then a faint sound of water. Late July in Hawaii was hot and humid, but the temperature had turned cooler the closer she got to the source of the rumbling water.

It turned out to be a waterfall, partly blocked by overgrown grasses. She descended to the swimming hole and parted the tall weeds with both hands to get a full view.

Omigod! A naked man stood underneath the waterfall, his back to her.

Well, hellooo, hottie. She stood across from him, frozen and mesmerized by his beautiful body—tall build, broad shoulders, toned arms and legs. He braced himself against the water crashing on his face by gripping a boulder with each hand.

All of a sudden, he turned around, his eyes shut. Before she could hide, he stepped out of the cascading water. When he opened his eyes, his gaze shot straight to her. He cupped both hands over his groin.

“I’m sorry!” She swung around. “I’m lost. I need your help.”

He didn’t respond, and she didn’t dare look. Two, maybe three minutes passed.

“Hello? Are you still there?” she shouted without glancing.

“You can look now.” He stood several feet away, dressed in khaki cargo pants and a burgundy T-shirt marked MIT. He carried his hiking boots, socks, and a backpack.

“I’ve been lost forever.” She puffed out her cheeks and blew a gust of air. “You have no idea how happy I am to see you. I didn’t mean to intrude.”

He was probably a few years older than her. He didn’t appear embarrassed after getting caught buck naked, only annoyed.

“And your name is?” he snapped.

Okay, definitely pissed. “Emma Munroe—like Marilyn Monroe, but with a u.” She wanted to shake his hand, but didn’t get a chance since he perched on a big rock and proceeded to put on his socks and boots. When he rose, his dark eyes bored right through her.

He extended his hand. “I’m Avery Bell.”

“Avery?” She shook his hand, dumbstruck. Omigod! She had waited half of her life to meet someone named Avery—ever since she’d picked up a message in a bottle bearing that name.

He gave her a quizzical look.

She cleared her throat, composing herself. “Avery. I love that name.” My soul mate’s name is Avery. Could he be the one she’d been looking for?

He arched an eyebrow, like, really? He hauled his backpack over both shoulders. “How can I help you?”

“I need to get out of here.”

“How did you get here in the first place?”

“How did I get here?” she echoed like an idiot. Her self-confidence withered fast. She described the picnic on the beach and the hike up to the trail’s entrance. “I should have stayed put to wait for my friends, but my curiosity got the better of me. I chased the roosters and turkeys, plus I might have zoned out a little bit. I thought I was retracing my steps. I honestly don’t know how I got here.”

He nodded. “You’ve walked about four miles on the trail. Actually, you were probably not on the Muliwai Trail. You probably followed a fake trail. We’re a couple of miles away from Waimanu Valley.”

“You mean Waipio Valley?”

“I mean Waimanu Valley.”

She’d never heard of the place before. He walked up the weedy slope toward the trail.

She followed him. “Can you help me get out of here?”

He stopped, so she paused, too.

He turned his face to her. “I can take you to Waimanu Valley. I’m camping there.”

“Really?” Hope surged in her chest. He’s got to be the one.

Purchase Links:
Universal Reader link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07BHGMQRK

 

Yowza! I definitely want to know what happens next! ♥♥♥

How fun to learn about your new adult romance, Vina! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Pick up your copy of Finder Keeper of My Heart today! Or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf, readers!

Thank you for stopping by with your informative guest post, Vina! Lovely to have you here! ♥
 
Guest Bio

Vina Arno is the pen name of Cindy Fazzi, a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. Finder Keeper of My Heart, published by Painted Hearts Publishing, is her second romance book. Her romance debut, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015.  Her first literary novel, My MacArthur, will be published by the Sand Hill Review Press in 2018.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.cindyfazzi.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Fazzi-779654065440439/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CindyFazzi

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Vina-Arno/e/B00R1RYE8E/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9800535.Vina_Arno

Google+:  https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Fazzi-779654065440439/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/cindyfazzi/

Publisher:  http://www.paintedheartspublishing.com/vinaarno

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/31649

 

Thanks again, Vina, for giving us a peek into the world of your character. Awesome! 😀

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Writers, Writing

A Character Interview with Mason from ARRESTING MASON plus a conversation with author Amber Daulton!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Remy Marie’s character back on February 8th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Amber Daulton, the author of Arresting Mason, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Mason Harding, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Amber in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Mason!

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

Character Mason Harding:  Thank you for having me, Marie.

Marie:  Of course! It’s my pleasure!

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

Mason:  Sure.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

Mason:  I’m a mechanic, and yeah, I’m pretty damn good at the job. I like it too. My dad taught me everything I know about cars, and even though we don’t talk anymore, I’m still grateful to him for showing me the ropes. In all honesty, I didn’t plan to be a grease monkey growing up—in fact, I never really thought about the future when I was a stupid teen—but then I landed in prison and everything changed. A few years before my parole, I participated in an automotive work/study program to brush up on my rusty skills.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Mason:  My big brother, Alan, is supportive but overprotective. After all the crap I’ve put him through, though, I understand why he watches over me like I’m still a kid. Alan’s son, Danny, is adorable. I love my nephew to death, and I’m determined to not set a bad example for him. My parents and I are estranged. Alan is pressuring me into making amends with Mom, but I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.

Marie:  Oh, no! How unfortunate! 😦

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?

Mason:  It was just a typical two-story, cookie-cutter house in suburbia. You know the type: a big yard to play in, flowerbeds lining the foundation, and nosy neighborhoods. The best thing about my home was that it was only a few blocks from the city’s downtown area, but I guess that wasn’t a good thing after all. I got into way too much trouble back then, and most everything was within walking distance.

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

Mason:  Besides work, which I really enjoy, I like to exercise and read. I picked up both hobbies while locked up, and they seemed to have stuck now that I’m on the outside. I like to keep my body in good shape because I never know if some creep from my past will find me and make trouble. I read when I need to wind down after a stressful day. Disappearing into another world helps take my mind off my problems, you know.

Marie:  I know what you mean! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Mason:  I’d like to stay out of trouble, permanently, and just live my life with Mia at my side. She’s a wonderful woman and doesn’t deserve any of the bad stuff that’s happened to her. If I could forever keep her safe, I’d be happy.

Marie:  (Nods.) That makes sense…

Let’s try another question.

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

Mason:  I want to be a good husband, and I want to give Mia a few babies, but I’m not looking forward to telling my kids about my prison sentence. I’m not necessarily ashamed of my past, but I don’t want my son or daughter to look at me differently after they would know the whole story.

Marie: Well, when they’re grown enough to understand, I think they’ll respect you for making your life better after what you went through.

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

Who was your first love?

Mason:  I’ve had a lot of girlfriends before I met Mia, but never loved them. I cared about them, sure, but after being cheated on a few times, I’d learned to step out first before the girl I cared about stabbed me in the back. I regret doing so, and I’ve vowed to Mia to never hurt her like that. She’s my first love, and I know better than to throw away her trust.

Marie: Aww. I understand that. ♥

So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.

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

Mason:  Most people in my situation would probably say going to prison, but not me. The most terrible thing I ever did was when I robbed a liquor store with some friends. I knew it was wrong, but did it anyway. That mistake affected the outcome of my life, and there’s a part of me that wishes I could take it back.

Then again, I don’t think I would change anything I’ve ever done or had done happen to me because I’m happy right now. I have Mia and a great job, and I probably wouldn’t have either without doing the mistakes I’ve made.

Marie:  That’s true!

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

[Mason 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?

Mason:  Like I said earlier, I didn’t think about the future growing up. I just wanted to have fun and that backfired on me.

Marie:  I see.

So, who is your role model, Mason?

Mason:  Don’t have one.

Marie: Gotcha!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Mason:  No, I’m a pretty honest guy. If I don’t like you, I’ll tell you. No pretending for me.

Marie:  That’s refreshing!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Mason:  Just to live a good life under the radar from cops and criminals alike.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan!

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

Mason:  That I’ll mess up and land back in prison. Alan and Mia would never forgive me for it, so I try my best to stay out of trouble.

Marie: All right.

I’m so glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Mason. 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 Amber Daulton on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Amber!

Author Amber Daulton:  Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Mason Harding. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?

Amber:  Mason is a very frustrating character. He’s so stubborn with a temper a mile wide, but then he can be so sweet and caring. He definitely swept his lady love, Mia, off her feet.

Marie:  Nice!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Amber:  When he puts his mind to something, he never gives up, no matter the obstacles in his way.

Marie:  How admirable!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Amber:  His temper. He gets upset way too easily and says things he regrets.

Marie:  Ah. Well, I’m sure some of our readers can relate. It’s not always easy to avoid confrontation.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Mason’s favorite foods?

Amber:  Anything, really. After being in prison, he’s not picky.

Marie:  Okay.

How about another question?

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

Amber:  His ability to love. Though Mason wants to be a good person, he doesn’t think he deserves to have a woman show him unconditional love and acceptance. But when he loves someone, he doesn’t let anything stop him from showing and proving it.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Amber:  Mason has made a ton of mistakes—everyone has to one degree or another—but he’s ready to change and move on with his life. I think a lot of readers could relate to that, and they’ll like him because he’s a good person beneath all the scars and tattoos.

Marie: Very true!

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

What first gave you the idea for Arresting Mason?

Amber:  A few years ago, I found a submission call for a bad boy anthology, and the stories were supposed to be pretty short. By the time I finished the first draft of my manuscript, I had exceeded the word count and still wanted to add more scenes. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising the manuscript until it clocked in at 80 thousand words and sparked ideas for more books, which is now a 5-book series.

For how I came up with the plot, I must thank my subconscious since I dreamed about it. For days after, I kept thinking about the hero, the heroine, and her brother, and the characters wouldn’t leave me in peace until I wrote out a rough plot line. Though it changed quite a bit as I put the dream down on paper (or rather computer), the main premise remained the same.

Marie:  Awesome! Isn’t is fascinating how the muse works? 😉

Let’s try something else.

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

Amber:  Both actually. I plot as much as I can, but I get new ideas once I start writing and I usually follow them.

Marie:  (Smiles.) Yeah…sometimes I think the characters are directing the story more than I am.

How about another question?

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

Amber:  The biggest challenge for me was the word count. As I already said, I needed to write a short story (around 15k word count), but ended up with a manuscript that was around 40k. Then I kept building on it to make it a full length novel. Weaving in all those new scenes was difficult and required lots of re-writing to scenes already done. The only thing I would probably do differently next time would be to plot better.

Marie:  I hear you. I’ve written myself into a corner with plots a time or two.

I was in your situation before as well. Once I had an anthology challenge too, and it was so hard to keep within those guidelines. I think as a writer, I don’t like to be boxed in. (Laughs.)

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 Arresting Mason appears to be. Sounds like it’s right my alley!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this romantic suspense by Amber Daulton, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Arresting Mason:

Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

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

“Which one is your car?” She glanced around the crowded parking lot. A few streetlights pushed back the darkness and shadows. The restaurant served customers until midnight on the weekends, but no one loitered in the lot, at least from what Mia could see.

“Don’t have one at the moment.” Mason hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. “I took the bus. It stopped a few blocks from here.”

“Would you like a ride?” She pulled the car keys from her purse. “I feel a little ridiculous we met here tonight. I just wasn’t sure if you were some kind of freak.”

His eyebrow lifted, and he closed the distance between them as a tiger would zero in on its mate. A sexy, masculine smile curled his lips. “Have you made up your mind yet?”

“I’ll let you know in the morning.” Desire trickled down her spine. Mia nodded toward the passenger side of the car for him to hop in.

He confiscated her keys instead to unlock and open the driver’s side door for her like a gentleman. Then he leaned closer and nuzzled her temple with his nose.

Not sure if he planned to seduce her in the parking lot or if he merely wanted to tease her, Mia pressed her hand to his chest and tried to think straight. “You’re the first guy I’ve gone on a date with since my divorce. I haven’t slept with anyone since Evan.”

He tunneled his fingers through her wavy, chestnut-brown hair. “I haven’t dated anyone in a long time either. We’ll take it slow or fast, whatever you want, but I promise you one thing. After I’m done with you, you won’t even remember that bastard’s name.”

Oh, God. She almost melted right then and there. “Fast. I want you, Mason.”

“Take me to your place and you can have me.”

And some teasers!

Wow! Love the sexy tension. ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07BHGMQRK

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/3nOgre

Publisher:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5779-arresting-mason.html

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this romantic suspense! ♥

About Amber Daulton

Writing is the fruit of happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.

As a fan of contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter, and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when people are jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Books:

https://books2read.com/u/3nOgre
https://www.amazon.com/Callas-Summer-Fantasy-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01G99PUB4/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932161&sr=1-14&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Beginnings-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01IYI0AJK/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932135&sr=1-12&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Valentine-Adventure-Contemporary-Romance-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01BMSI3ZC/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932135&sr=1-8&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderella-Treasure-Trove-Lynette-Sofras-ebook/dp/B019E764YA/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-2&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Mirrors-Time-Samna-Ghani-ebook/dp/B01709VVQA/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-7&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Honor-Mirrors-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B014G2IFJ0/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-9&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderella-Body-Club-Collection-ebook/dp/B00YG0K1HW/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-3&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderellas-Enchanted-Night-Cinderella-Body-ebook/dp/B00Y1DAIKE/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-11&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Handmade-Christmas-Collection-Jennifer-Conner-ebook/dp/B00PUM5MQ0/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-10&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-City-Handmade-Christmas-Book-ebook/dp/B00PE54JEE/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932725&sr=1-13&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Montana-Ranch-Willow-Lightning-Bennett-ebook/dp/B00OJ9LLJM/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-1&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Lightning-Over-Bennett-Ranch-Collection-ebook/dp/B00KWEFP9K/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-4&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sexy-Romances-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H2WPFVI/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932938&sr=1-15&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Heros-Heart-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B00GFCZI40/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932744&sr=1-6&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Forever-Winter-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B00C2DWLWI/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932744&sr=1-5&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Marry-Merry-Christmas-Terry-Long/dp/1938076265/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932938&sr=1-20&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Amber Daulton, here are some author links:

Website/Blog:  http://amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/14JoZff

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AmberDaulton

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton

Publisher:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Mason, a male character from Arresting Mason, and Amber Daulton, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writing

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Mason Harding from ARRESTING MASON by Amber Daulton

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Amber Daulton, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, Amber! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.

Their chance encounter resulted in a steamy affair, but will his former gang and a parole officer tear them apart?

Mason Harding appeals to me as both a reader and a writer because I love redemption and second chance stories. Just because someone makes a mistake (depending on the mistake, really), I don’t think they should be ostracized from society, especially if they’re trying to make amends and trying to live a better life.

The idea for this character and the book came to me in a dream. In my dreams, however, I’m always the leading lady, and I fell in love with a secretive ex-con with a dangerous past. I couldn’t stop thinking about Mason for days after that, and his seductive voice kept urging me to write about him as I tossed and turned in bed at night, so I finally wrote out a tentative plot.

For Mason, he was 18 years old when he and a few friends robbed a liquor store. Two innocent men were shot as a result, but Mason did what he could to save the men’s lives. He went to prison for it and has regretted that night ever since, but he’s thankful he was arrested since he cleaned up and got his life together in the slammer.

Despite his past mistakes, Mason loves his family and friends, and he’s holding down a respectable job. He’s doing his best to be a responsible adult, but his past always seems closer than he likes. Though most people either think him a criminal when they see his scars and tattoos, he’s self-assured and doesn’t let other people’s judgment bother him.

Mason is a good example of someone turning their lives around for the better. Otherwise, his lady love, Mia Eddison, wouldn’t be with him. According to Mia, and I quote: “Mistakes are a fact of life. It’s how you respond to those mistakes, or how you cope, that defines you as a person.” I think that pretty much sums this up. Everyone makes mistakes, but those who can move on and make a good life for themselves and those they love, in spite of any and all adversity, deserves a pat on the back.

So very true!
This romantic suspense sounds great!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we, readers? 😀
Here is the blurb for Arresting Mason.

Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life.

That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

And Amber is giving us a peek at her novel!

They reached her store and he stared at her car parked by the curb. “Harper doesn’t know where you live or anything about you. That means you’re safe for now, but he’ll probably search this area to find us. Stay cautious, okay? Drive your car from now on. Don’t walk anywhere.”

“Why are you avoiding my questions? You can tell me anything.”

“Not this. If you trust me, don’t ask those kinds of questions.” He tightened his fingers around her forearm as she tried to jerk free from his grip. “Listen to me, damn it. You mean a lot to me, but I can’t tell you this. At least not right now. That’s nothing against you. It’s all on me. I just need time to take care of this problem. Okay? I’m fucking stressed, in a shitload of pain, and I don’t need you to hound my ass.” He dropped his hand from her arm and scowled as though he just noticed the dirt and blood on his knuckles. “I’d like to go upstairs to clean up before you take me home. I don’t want Alan to know what happened.”

Mia dug through her purse with shaky hands, so angry she didn’t trust herself to speak.

He took the keys from her before the little pieces of metal slipped between her fingers, and he hugged her despite the grime on his skin and clothes.

Tears clogged her throat. Her mind screamed at her to push away from him, but the strength in his arms enveloped her and stole her will. His heartbeat soothed hers, and she no longer cared about his lies or if filth caked him.

At least not at the moment.

“I never meant for this to happen, Mia. I will fix this.”

“I know, but at what cost?” She pried her face from his chest to stare up at him. “You’re nothing if not determined, but I’m scared and confused. You have answers to my questions, but I won’t hound you for them as you so eloquently stated. I just thought we got past this. I thought you knew I would never insult or condemn you for whatever it is you did.”

“And I thought you knew not to push me too fucking hard.” His deep voice sent shivers of unease down her spine. “I have to keep certain parts of my past to myself.”

“Whatever.” Mia finally pushed against his chest for freedom and stomped to the stairwell door.

Amber is such a tease…here is another promo as well to entice you with!

 

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07BHGMQRK

B&N:  https://bit.ly/2uOj90J

iTunes:  https://apple.co/2FVAQMP

Publisher:  http://bit.ly/2FSVvBa

Riveting! I definitely want to know what happens next! ♥♥♥

How exciting to learn about your romantic suspense, Amber! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Pre-order your copy of Arresting Mason today! Or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf, readers!

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Amber! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

Writing is the fruit of happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.

As a fan of contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter, and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when people are jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/14JoZff

Goodreads:  www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AmberDaulton

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368 

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Publisher:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

 

Thanks again, Amber, for giving us a peek into the world of your character. Awesome! 😀

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, characters, coming soon, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Message, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writers, 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

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Josh from FAT GIRL BEGONE! by D.E. Haggerty

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author D.E. Haggerty, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, D.E! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.

 

How Josh – the big ‘ol jerk – Came Into Being


Josh is a Big. Fat. Jerk.

Seriously, I can’t emphasize that enough. The first time we meet the man he’s dumping our home girl, Everly, because she diets too much. That’s right. He dumps her because he’s tired of her dieting. Everly is not actually fat. Sure, at five-feet-four-inches and 160 pounds, she’s a little on the chubby side, but she’s not Fat. What she is, is a yo-yo dieter. Something I know more than I little about.

I’ve spent most of my life yo-yo dieting with the best of them. You could call me an expert – I certainly do! Most yo-yo dieters consider yo-yo dieting a way of life, but is it possible to break the habit? And what would it take for a person to end their yo-yo dieting ways? Would a break-up be enough? Hmm… sounds like a book idea.

So, I knew when I invented Josh’s character that our first glimpse of the man would be him dumping the heroine. I didn’t want Josh to leave Everly because she was fat, though. Not only is that a bit cliché (and yes, I realize making a slight tweak doesn’t completely take away the cliché), but it also didn’t seem like enough motivation to force a yo-yo dieter out of her yo-yo dieting ways. Oh, sure, I could have her lose a ton of weight and then she rides off into the sunset with some guy, but what happens after that? Does she go back to her yo-yo dieting ways? Losing weight because a guy dumps you doesn’t end the cycle of yo-yo dieting. Nope. It’s just another reason to hit a low on your scale before the yo-yo rotates and starts climbing again.

I needed more of a reason for Everly to give up her yo-yo dieting ways. But what?

That’s when I realized I had a perfectly good example to follow – my hubby. My husband is one of those annoying people who doesn’t seem to gain weight and stays in good shape. Sure, he puts effort into it, but it seems effortless – if that makes any sense. But what does this type of man – the type for which slim fit clothes were invented – think of having a wife who yo-yo diets? He isn’t bothered. Naturally, he’s proud of me when I lose weight, but when I gain some of those kilograms back, he’s not disappointed with me. If I’m upset, he’s upset on my behalf, but he doesn’t really care about how much I weigh. He loves me just as I am.

There is one thing that does bother my husband, though. He doesn’t like how I let my weight affect my life. When I was younger, I could be quite emotional about the ups and downs my scale experienced. That bothered him. He’d often tell me to just accept the higher number and let all the emotional baggage go. I didn’t take that advice – who listens to advice from a man about weight? – but I did learn to be less emotionally invested in the number on the scale.

Thinking about the hubby and how he deals with his wife’s yo-yo dieting, I came up with the idea of Josh leaving Everly because of her dieting instead of her actual weight. I thought this could be a good impetus for Everly to learn to deal with her dieting and weight instead of just losing a bunch of weight. It also opened the door for a possible return of Josh when Everly loses some weight, but that’s a different story.

It sounds a bit strange to say that the ‘bad’ guy in my novel was inspired by my husband of twenty-one years, but it’s the truth.

 

Fascinating, D.E.! Isn’t it bizarre how the muse works? 😉
Anyway, this romantic comedy sounds great!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we, readers? 😀


Here is the blurb for Fat Girl Begone!.

I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it. Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business. Just call me Ms. Drama.

Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed.

Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.

And D.E. is giving us a peek at her novel!

After twenty minutes on the bike, I’m ready to go home. I know I’m supposed to do that circuit thingy with the machines, but I can skip it for this once. No one needs to know. I slowly sneak my way to the women’s locker room.

“Hey, Everly.”

Crap. Gabe’s standing right in front of the door to my freedom. I wave. Yep, I’m a total dork.  “Hi.”

“I saw you out there on the bike. Looking good.” He winks. Damn, he looks absolutely scrumptious standing there with his arms crossed over his chest. Trust me, it’s an impressive show of muscles. Not huge like a body builder but big enough to grab onto. “Looking for your clipboard?”

And there goes any chance I have of sneaking out of the gym. “Just refilling my water bottle before moving onto the weights.” I hold up my obviously full water bottle and try not to cringe.

“Sure, babe, but make sure you get your weight training done as well. A woman with muscles is hot.” With another wink, he takes off.

Did he seriously wink at me? Is this part of the personal trainer service? Flirt with the customers to ensure they want to do your bidding? Even in my head that sounded crazy. That hot man of muscles would never want me and my jiggly bits. I shake my head and force my legs to the personal trainers’ section to grab my clipboard.

If I thought the bike was boring, I was wrong. Doing a circuit of weight machines is what’s boring. I should download some podcasts or something. Or maybe some books on tape? Do they hire men with scorching hot voices to read the male parts in romance novels? Definitely need to do some research.

I quickly towel off the last machine and grab my water bottle. I stand from picking up my clipboard and nearly run straight into someone. “Shit! I didn’t realize anyone was standing there. Did you want this machine?”

“Nah.” He shakes his head. “How are you doing, Everly?”

It’s the guy I ran into on Wednesday. Shoot – what was his name again? “Um, hi.” If that’s not embarrassing enough, I do a little wave but the clipboard is still in my hand and I end up smacking him in the stomach. Thank goodness, I missed any important bits. “Shit. Sorry.”

He laughs and grabs the clipboard from my hand, presumably before I can do any more damage. “It’s Carter. Do you want to grab a smoothie?” My face scrunches up at the thought of a smoothie. He chuckles. “Or a coffee or something?”

“Um. I was going to head home like this.” With my now free hand, I indicate my ratty gym clothes.

Carter shrugs. “That’s okay. We can get a quick drink at the bar here.”

I can’t exactly say no after I ran into the guy and then hit him. “Okay, let me grab my stuff.”

He smiles and nods. I rush off with my thoughts whirling. Is he just being nice? Friendly? Or is this like a date thing? I’m not ready to date. Do I tell him that? Crap. It’s only a coffee. It doesn’t have to mean anything. But what if it does mean something? Can I give myself a concussion from thinking in circles?

D.E. is such a tease…here are some promos as well to entice you with!

Purchase Links:

How exciting to learn about your romantic comedy, D.E.! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Fat Girl Begone! Or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf, readers!

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, D.E.! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.

After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before deciding to follow the husband to Istanbul, where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.

But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague, where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Fat girl Begone! is my eleventh book.

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