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Marysol James

Best selling author of steamy, sexy, slinky romances. Unapologetic lover of coffee and cinnamon buns.

2016 is the year that I’m going to stop writing…

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… quite so quickly.

Wait. Did you think that I was going to say that 2016 is the year that I’m going to stop writing?

Oh, my, no. Nope. Never. No.

NO.

But – psych, huh?  😉

Anyway, back to the point, and the point is that 2016 is the year that I’m going to stop writing quite so quickly.

I published my first romance book, ‘Open Skies‘ on Amazon on July 1, 2014. Since then, I’ve written 22 more romance books.

Four more in the now-finished ‘Open Skies’ series. Five in the now-finished ‘Fighting For Love’ series. Seven in the ‘Unseen Enemy’ series. Six in the ‘Dangerous Curves’ series.

Twenty-two. Twenty-two books in seventeen months. That’s quite a few books, and it’s been quite a busy time in my life.

I love writing, though; I love it and need it and simply cannot imagine myself not doing it. I think I’ll be writing until I drop dead… I will absolutely be a little, old lady, pushing 100 years of age and half-blind and probably shouting at the neighborhood kids to Get off my lawn!, still writing about romance and passion and love. I look forward to it, actually.

But the truth is that I can’t keep going at the current pace. More than once over the past 17 months, I’ve wanted to slow down, take a break, take a breather. And I didn’t.

Why not?

Right up front, let me assure you that it hasn’t been because of any pressure from you guys. Nobody has ever made me feel like I wasn’t writing fast enough, or producing enough. Many of you have expressed excitement about upcoming books and told me that you “Just can’t wait for the next book!!” but the truth is, you’d have waited an extra two months for me. I know that now.

No, the pressure has all been placed on me by me. Me alone and nobody but me. And I applied pressure on myself out of fear.

See, making a good living as an independent, self-published writer is freakishly rare. It’s like winning the lottery in many ways, and when it happened for me out-of-the-blue and as a complete accident, I was taken aback and unprepared. I was thrilled, honored, humbled…and also scared to death that it was all going to end as suddenly as it all began, and I’d be unemployed and broke.

I worried about not publishing fast enough, I worried that readers would be disappointed in me if I published less-frequently. I was so, so afraid to relax or let up at all, and so I kept up this breakneck pace out of genuine fear that if I didn’t, I’d be swept away by the overwhelming and constant waves of new romance writers publishing on Amazon. I thought I’d get lost in the crowd. I thought that you’d forget about me.

That’s the truth. I thought I’d be lost and forgotten. I’m ashamed to write those words, but they’re the truth.

I know now that’s all bullshit. I now know – know with everything that I have – that you guys are with me. Like with me all the way. You know me, you know my writing, you know my dedication. I hope you know my heart and my character; I really, really hope that you know you can trust me, count on me, believe in me. I hope you’ll stick with me even if I slow down a bit, because when I say that I’m going to publish, you know (I hope) that I will publish.

And it’s because I have this hope that I’ve decided that 2016 will be the year that I’m going to stop writing quite so quickly. I want more balance in my life, and sitting and writing for ten hours a day, six days a week, has not been balanced. Not at all; not even close. It’s been awesome, to be sure, and I’ve enjoyed it about 90% of the time… but that 10% when I haven’t has been hard and lonely.

I want to spend more time with my kids; I want to spend more time with my husband. I want to swim again, do yoga again. I want to eat better, walk outside more, meet friends for coffee more than once every three months. I want to take a whole day off without guilt or the nagging fear that I’m going to lose you if I don’t publish again in three weeks.

I want to write longer books (the trend in self-published romance writing seems to be shorter and shorter books, published every three weeks, with amazingly weak and poor plots, and I’m actively resisting and rejecting this trend – I’m gonna go longer and deeper and richer!). I want to write new series this year, I want to do some new things with my writing in terms of style and subjects.

Also? I want to share more of my life with you. My decision to post pictures of my family Christmas vacation and pictures of my kids on Facebook wasn’t an accidental one: I posted them as a first step in being far more personal and open with you. Until now, I’ve hidden my face, protected my family, concealed my life. I’ll continue to respect the privacy of my husband and kids, only showing their faces in profile, for example, but I’m going to be more accessible to you.

That includes showing you my face, showing you my life. Showing you my heart.

How many books will I publish this year? Hard to say… but I can’t see it being less than seven or even eight, since I love writing and need it like air. I plan to start and release three new series this year, and I’ll finish both the ‘Unseen Enemy’ and ‘Dangerous Curves’ series at eight books each. Yes, it’ll be hard to say goodbye to those characters, but when it’s time, it’s time. And I feel like eight books in each series is perfect.

So. That’s what I want to do in 2016. I will publish my first book of the year in March, and I have a few things planned between now and then that will keep me busy. I will absolutely share those things with you as they happen, so keep your eyes peeled for my Facebook and Twitter updates.

I hope that you’ll wait a bit longer for my books… and I hope that when they do come out, they’ll have been worth waiting for.

Most of all, I hope that I won’t let you down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Fighting Back’ is live!

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And the fifth (and final!) book of the Fighting For Love series is live and available to buy on Amazon!

‘Fighting Back’ ties up the four relationships that were introduced in the first four books. It really mostly focuses on Nick and Mia working past Nick losing his leg, but you get some closure on all the relationships. I promise it’s true… I also promise you four separate HEA’s!

Thank you so much for being here, and reading, and sticking with me… take care, and I hope that you’ll consider buying my newest book 😉

 

Crazy Canuck New Year’s Blog Hop

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It’s still odd to me – though it shouldn’t be, I suppose – that most people assume that I’m American. I’m cool with it and since 90% of my readers are from the U.S., I totally understand why people would think that about me. All of my contemporary romance books are set in the States (though none of my contemporary literature books are), my characters are 99% American, my written English is American.

But the truth is that I’m Canadian. A 100% Canadian girl.

So when I was approached by a group of Canadian romance writers, I jumped at the chance to join them. And when Lisa Emme organised (yes, I’m using an ‘s’ here, not a ‘z’! Because I’m Canadian!) a blog hop for the Christmas/New Year break, I jumped even higher and faster. The chance to promote Canadian writers doesn’t come around often (OK, like never) and the chance to work with fellow Canadian romance writers comes around even less than that. Yes, less than never! That’s like… really rarely!

Anyway, to the point of this post. Well, the point is to talk a bit about some of my favourite (yes, I added a ‘u’!) Canadian romance writers. I’m not sure how far they’ve travelled (double ‘l’!) outside of Canada, but I know that some of them remain very-well-kept homegrown secrets.

One writer who I adore is Leonard Cohen. Yes, he’s best-known as a musician, but his poetry is shatteringly gorgeous, and his books are provocative. One of my favourite phrases is from his ‘Selected Poems: 1956-1968’ collection:

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

That’s his art, in a nutshell: vivid, concise, dark and – ultimately – hopeful. Beautiful stuff and the romance is subtle, sweet, poignant. Quite often, he writes gentle, teasing romance – but when he goes dark, he goes for the jugular and no damn apologies. He’ll take your breath away, I promise you.

But Canadian romance writers can do unapologetically hot erotica, too. Check out Northern Heat, a collection of erotic romance stories by some outstanding Canadian romance writers, including Cathryn Fox and Kate St James. These ladies really show how friendly Canadians can be! Also? They give their readers some very creative ways to pass the time whilst trapped inside during a snowstorm 😉

So, maybe give a yet-untried Canadian romance writer a go this Christmas season? I promise that you’ll find lots of smart, sexy stories to keep you warm during the long, chilly winter nights…

**

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As a part of this blog hop, I’m offering a free e-book copy of ‘Enemy Within’ (Unseen Enemy #1) to one lucky winner of the blog hop Grand Prize! I’m not the only one, though… there are almost twenty (!!) other Canadian romance writers taking part in this hop, and who are also offering free books. Here are some of the details that you need:

Join us December 27 to January 2 and ring in the New Year with some talented Canadian authors. Starting on December 27th, make sure to stop by and check out the posts of each of our hosts during the hop. Not only will you get to learn more about some of their favourite Canadian authors and books, but you’ll have the opportunity at each stop to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway.

Yes, a Grand Prize and you get almost twenty chances to enter and win! Wanna know what the prize is? Well, scroll on down…

Grand Prize

Digital copies of a book from each participating author including:

Altering Authority by Ashley Dooley
Dead and Kicking by Lisa Emme
Something in the Air by Marie Landry
Magic Resistant by Veronica DelRosa
The Naughty List by Cori Vidae
Firefly: Ice Born by P.M. Pevato
Thirteen by Shannon Peel
Enemy Within by Marysol James
Questing for a Dream by P.D. Workman
Vice by Rosanna Leo
Lakeshore Secrets by Shannyn Leah
Guarding Midnight by Kacey Hammell
3013:Renegade by Susan Hayes
The Raven Room by Ana Medeiros
Alien Next Door: Complete Series by Jessica E. Subject
Slow Ride Home by Leah Braemel
One Gold Heart by Sadie Haller
Unconditional Devotion by Kayleigh Malcolm
Festive Persuasion by Charlene Roberts
Two $10 gift cards for Chapters-Indigo

ENTER TO WIN!

Click to enter (available during the hop only – the contest opens on December 27th!)

And to get the full list of Canadian romance writers taking part, click on the little froggy below.



You’ll see a list of authors and each one is a ‘step’ in the hop. If you click on the writer’s name, you’ll be taken directly to their blog… so maybe hop in to the hop and check out a few new writers, eh?

(Aw, c’mon… I had to throw in one ‘eh’, didn’t I? Because CANADIAN!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Sarah Brownlee

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Ooooh, a sweet and smart YA Paranormal Dystopian Romance, and one that I really enjoyed! Meet the author, Sarah Brownlee, below…

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When did you start writing? What was the first thing that you ever wrote?

I started writing from a very young age – as soon as I could pick up a pen and form a word! The first thing I wrote was a short story about a dragon. No one liked him in the local town because he was so big and ugly, and he went to go live in a cave; he was befriended by a human girl who’d got lost on a hiking trip. No idea how it ended, I’m afraid!

Is writing your full-time job? If not, would you like it to be, and why? If so, what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of full-time independent writing?

I am a part-time author, but would love to write full-time. Writing is in my blood and I can’t imagine anything else I would rather be doing (except, of course, looking after my dogs – I would still like to keep them!)

How many books and/or series have you written to date? Which one of your books is your favorite, and why?

Currently, two of my completed novels are published. ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ and its sequel ‘How the Tiger Faced His Challenge’, both Young Adult books. I have two other children’s novels that are completed, which will be released next year. Of the four, one of the children’s books is my favourite. I honestly feel it is my best work to date and I am excited for its launch. ‘How the Tiger Faced His Challenge’ is also a favourite of mine. It was extremely challenging to write and, being someone who thrives on challenge, I pushed myself to the very limit. Crossing that finishing line was an amazing feeling and that is why this particular book is the one I am most proud of.

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What are your future projects?

I’m very excited about my upcoming projects. Currently, I am working on the prequel to ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ which is also a children’s novel and centres around the experiment in 2012 that gave Skye’s and Raphael’s ancestors the ability to transform into their spirit animals. I also have several other novels in progress; three are children’s books, one is another YA and there is also an adult book. So 2016 will certainly be a busy one!

Your book is classified as a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. Could you explain how or why it falls in to those categories? Why did you choose to set your story in the dystopian future?

‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ centres much more on the romantic aspect, as opposed to the dystopian one. The ‘Paranormal’ side relates to their abilities to turn into their spirit animals. Even though this was the direct result of a scientific experiment two hundred years previously, I felt it was a way to let readers know that there would be shape-shifting in this book. As to why I chose a dystopian setting, I wanted to write a story that related directly to the prequel, but was set in a different time. (I actually started writing the prequel around seven years ago.) It is easy for me to envision that type of future in London and I highlight the reasons why in both ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ and its sequel.

Why did you decide to write your heroine Skye in ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ as so defensive at first? What do you think the hero Raphael saw in her?

Great question. It doesn’t go into too much detail in the book, but Skye’s been very hurt in the past romance-wise. So for her to feel attracted to someone, let alone have feelings for them, is scary for her. She’s the type of person who becomes aggressive when afraid, hence her hackles shot right up when she realized she was unable to resist Raphael’s charms. She’s quite a defensive person in general (much of this has to do with the stigma of being a Morpher) and the threat of Raphael easing his way in alarmed her. Combined with her past hurts, plus career-focussed mentality, she felt her best option was to strengthen her defence barriers.

As for what Raphael saw in her, I think there were a number of things he liked about Skye. I wouldn’t say he was particularly attracted to her in the beginning, but the fact she was a Morpher intrigued him and made him want to get to know her better. As time went on, he found himself enamoured by her for several reasons. Raphael is used to women falling at his feet – it was the first time he had encountered someone who displayed no romantic interest in him and this enticed him. But more importantly than this, he felt at ease with her and felt she was someone he could be himself with. I can only put this down to a connection that existed between them, which had nothing to do with being Morphers – but simply something that just “is” between two people. And when they transformed together for the first time … well, it was all over from there.

Both characters are Morphers – why did you choose a white wolf and a tiger as their spirit animals?

Mostly because wolves and tigers are my favourite animals! Wolves are relatively misunderstood, but loyal to a fault and very protective of one another – I think this captures Skye’s personality very well. As for tigers – majestic, powerful, beautiful, strong. This is how I envisage Raphael.

The love scenes were emotional and sensual, but definitely not descriptive or graphic. In fact, the romance in the book is very sweet, almost innocent, though it’s clear that Skye and Raphael are strongly attracted to each other on a physical level. Why did you keep the sexual aspect of the book so ‘clean’? Was it just the YA aspect?

Another great question. I would definitely say the YA aspect had something to do with it; similarly, the prequel to this novel is also going to be read by children and I wanted to keep it relatively ‘clean’ because of that. Another reason was due to my own personal preference. I knew that if I was going to write a romance novel, I would want it to be somewhat innocent. A guy and girl who like each other, but are too shy to tell each other – that’s the type of romance I personally enjoy, the sort of ‘high school crush’ where there’s plenty of bantering and hinting, but very little action. As a result, Skye and Raphael may come across a little younger than they are, but on the other hand, I do believe that the insecurities that prevent them from getting together exist in all ages, and I wanted to highlight this.

Why did you choose to write the book as a cliff-hanger? What can readers expect from the next book?

The next book is very different from the first. There is not as much romance in ‘How the Tiger Faced His Challenge’ and the light-hearted tone that is prevalent in the first novel has vanished. This is a story about war, blood and destruction; the series has taken a darker, heavier turn and there is much more history about how London ended up in such ruins; the Morphers must now fight for their lives and the lives of everyone they care about. More action, more suspense; far more of a dystopian feel. This one is listed as a YA Fantasy Dystopian. I hope readers shall enjoy it just as much as I enjoyed writing it.

If a reader wanted to find out more about you, where could they do that? Have you got a website, blog, social media presence?

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The best place to find me is on my Facebook author page. I am also always happy to talk to readers and other authors on Goodreads.  I also have a blog where readers can check out my array of articles on various topics: skyespitfire.wordpress.com

Thanks very much for this interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed answering these questions and it has been a pleasure to be featured.

Interview with Lisa Emme

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One of today’s author interviews is with Lisa Emme. She’s written a sassy and cool heroine, Harry Russo. The book that I read is ‘Dead and Kicking’, and it’s a tense, smart and romantic Urban Fantasy. Find out more below!

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When did you start writing? What was the first thing that you ever wrote?

I started writing about five years ago. I’ve always had a great imagination and I liked to plan out story ideas. Usually, I’d write the ideas down, but I would never do anything more with them. Then one day, the opening scene for a romance just started playing out in my head and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I decided to try writing it out, not just point-forming the idea, but actually fleshing it out and trying to write the first chapter. The next thing I knew I was finishing up a 350+ page contemporary romantic suspense called Home Again.  It wasn’t until I finished writing the Harry Russo Diaries trilogy though, that I decided to explore the idea of publishing.

Is writing your full-time job? If not,would you like it to be, and why? If so, what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of full-time independent writing?

I wish it could be a full-time job, but it’s not. It certainly is enough work to be full-time, but alas, I need to pay the mortgage and the bills and my kid seems to think he needs to eat every day, multiple times no less. It would be a dream come true though, to be able to just focus on writing and publishing. Maybe someday.

How many books and/or series have you written to date? Which one of your books is your favorite, and why?

I currently have four books written. The first, my romantic suspense, Home Again, will be published in the new year (February 29, 2016). The other three books are part of my urban fantasy series called the Harry Russo Diaries. The first book, Dead and Kicking, was published in October 2015 and the second and third books (Tooth and Claw, and Deadlocked) will be released in January and June of 2016.  It’s really hard to pick my favourite, but Home Again will always hold a special place because it was the first (you never forget your first, do you?). There is also a little part of me in Allie, the main character.  She’s a single mom raising a child with special needs, something to which I can relate all too well.

What are your future projects?

It’s hard to say right now.  I have so little time to sit and write these days.  I have several ideas brewing, but nothing has really started to boil and scream “write me!” yet.  We’ll have to see which idea bubbles its way out next. It could be one of two romance ideas I’m mulling over, or there could very well be another story in Harry’s universe that needs to be told.

Your book ‘Dead and Kicking’ (The Harry Russo Diaries #1) has been classified as Urban Fantasy. Can you explain what exactly that is? How does Romance come into this genre?

Urban fantasy takes elements of fantasy and the supernatural and sets them into a world that is very similar to our modern urban life.  It’s like imagining everyday life and saying “but what if vampires, werewolves and other supernatural denizens actually existed?”  While there may be a magical element, the world itself is recognizable as our own. This is different from high fantasy where everything is reimagined, including the world in which it is set. 

I think having romance in an urban fantasy is completely acceptable and maybe even expected, especially if your intended audience is 18+. It all depends on the story of course; you shouldn’t be throwing sex in the mix gratuitously.  The romance should happen organically as part of developing a story with robust, well-rounded characters that interact with each other.  Where urban fantasy romance differs from contemporary romance or even its cousin paranormal romance, is that the romantic aspect is not the key focus of the plot, it is incidental to it. 

Why did you choose to write your hero, Cian Nash, as such a growling, moody guy? How do you think he redeemed himself for being so grouchy (pretty much all the time!)?

I can’t help but laugh at everyone saying Cian is so growly. He is a werewolf, after all.  But really, he’s gruff with Harry because at first he’s trying to keep his distance and later because he’s working through a realization he has had about her. Unfortunately, I really can’t go into more detail because it would be a major spoiler for books two and three. Let’s just say that things will move forward between Harry and Cian in a rather interesting way and Cian does get a chance to redeem himself and show another side.

I’ve read some reviews that call your book ending a cliff-hanger, while other reviews strenuously disagree. Why do you think there’s some disagreement about this?

I have to admit to being very surprised when I read that first review that said there was a cliffhanger. I really did not consider the ending of Dead and Kicking to be cliffhanger because the story comes to a conclusion.  Yes, there is a bit of a revelation at the end, but one that I think many readers will not really consider that big of a surprise (again, just my opinion which has already proven wrong) because there were certainly some hints that Harry preferred to ignore.  I think one reviewer called her the Queen of Denial!  When I wrote the end of the story, I put that last bit in as a hook to the next book (something that is quite common in Urban Fantasy). I wanted to leave you wanting more, but I didn’t want you to feel robbed of a proper ending either.

What or who was your inspiration for your heroine, Harry Russo? I thought she was funny and strong, but also very endearing… very likeable! Have you got a Harry ‘muse’?

There is no one person that is my inspiration for Harry. If anything, she might just be a bit of every urban fantasy heroine I’ve ever read glommed together with some of my quirkiness.  Harry definitely gets her geeky side and her love of Star Wars from me, and the relationship between Harry and Tess, her best friend, is modelled after one from my own childhood. I just wanted her to be a fun and capable person. There seems to be a bit stereotype in urban fantasy that the heroine has to be this tough, sarcastic bitch most of the time. I didn’t want Harry to be like that. Sure, she’s got a bit of a mouth on her, but she’s generally just a nice person who tries to do the right thing and that happens to get her into a lot of trouble. Luckily, she’s able to take care of herself for the most part, but that doesn’t mean she’s infallible, nor is she afraid to ask for help when she needs it. 

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If a reader wanted to find out more about you, where could they do that? Have you got a website, blog, social media presence?

I can be found at www.lisaemme.com and on Facebook.  If readers are interested in getting a sneak peek into Dead and Kicking and Harry’s world, I’ve set up a Prop Gallery on Pinterest. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase links for Dead and Kicking

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Kicking-Harry-Russo-Diaries-ebook/dp/B0142YLFOY/

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/dead-and-kicking-3

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-and-kicking-lisa-emme/1122541178

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1031910211

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/dead-and-kicking/9780994828804

 

 

 

Sneak peek of ‘Fighting Back’

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Nick and Mia have a rough road ahead in ‘Fighting Back’ (Fighting For Love #5)… here’s hoping that they make it!

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Nick Spencer swam back to consciousness, feeling nothing but fuzzy and blank. He didn’t mind, though, because he knew that these seconds – these dark, dim seconds – were the final ones that he had before he went over a line that he’d been dreading crossing.

But it had to be crossed.

When Nick had gone under the anesthetic, he had done so with two whole, entire legs. And now he had one whole, entire leg and one… not.

Yeah, he was going to cherish these last few, precious seconds before reality came crashing on down and in. Before he had to open his eyes and look down the length of his body.

And see what he was now missing. What he’d be missing forever.

“Nick?”

He turned to the voice, responding to his Mom’s worry. He cracked his eyes open. Blinked.

“Nick? Honey?” He felt a soft hand on his hair, smoothing it back, and marveled that Moms could make almost everything better with a single touch. Almost. “You awake?”

“Yeah,” he grunted.

“How you doing?” his Mom asked quietly, still stroking his dark-blond hair. “You feel sick?”

Nick shut his gray eyes again, trying to actually feel his body. For over a decade now, he’d had perfect command and total control over it, as he’d practiced karate religiously, first as a tool to kill the men who had killed his girlfriend, and then as a discipline worthy of respect. Over the course of all those years, Nick had learned how to use his body, to harness its immense power, and then to make it move in ways that were both lethal and beautiful.

Now, though, his body felt – strange. Unbalanced and off-kilter. He felt an absence, a void, and his heart sank as he fully realized for the first time that he’d be feeling it for the rest of his life. Where there had once been muscle and tissue and bone, now there was just air. Emptiness.

Nothingness.

‘Dark Curves’ is live!

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AND IT’S LIVE!!!

I uploaded ‘Dark Curves’ to Amazon early… and it’s already ready to buy here!

P.S. As a bonus, I included the first two chapters of the first book in my next series – so read ALL THE WAY to the end 😉

Interview with Abigail Sharpe

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Today’s interview is with Abigail Sharpe. She wrote a cute, sassy Contemporary Romance about a matchmaking show, set on a ranch. ‘Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy?’ has got humor and it’s got heat – and it’s got a HEA.

Enjoy!

When did you start writing? What was the first thing that you ever wrote?

I started writing in 2006.  I had read a book that was so awful, I thought, I can do better!  So I did… or rather, I tried.  It’s not as easy at it looks.

The first thing I wrote to completion was a novel for National Novel Writing Month.  It took the story of Pride and Prejudice and followed Mary after the weddings of her sisters.  Strangely, I had never heard of fan fiction at the time…

Is writing your full-time job? If not,would you like it to be, and why? If so, what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of full-time independent writing?

Well, writing is my full time job, but not writing romance novels.  I write and edit technical manuals.  I would like to write romance full time, though tech writing is fun, too!  (Stop looking at me with that glazed-over look in your eyes!  It’s true!)

I usually have two hours a night when I can write.  Kids, husband, and other activities keep me away from the keyboard.  At least I can type fairly fast.

How many books and/or series have you written to date? Which one of your books is your favorite, and why?

I have two novels and one novella released (the novella is under the name Gail Katz).  I have one paranormal completed that will most likely stay under my bed.  I find that I like writing contemporary romance better.  I’m thisclose to finishing Gone With the Wendy, the first in my Moonshine and Magnolias trilogy, but I put it on hold for NaNo2015 (and the second book in the series, Cupcake of the Month).

I must say, I really really really love Quinn, my hero of Who Wants to Marry a Doctor?  But Rob, the hero of GWTW, it growing on me.

Holy, I just imagined a scenario with all heroes hanging out together.  Yowzers.

I also released a non-fiction book called What’s Next? Dealing With Breast Cancer One Blog Post at a Time. 

I was diagnosed in 2006 and used a blog to keep my family and friends updated.  Earlier this year I took that blog and turned it into a book.  And Tess, Ainsley’s co-worker in Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy, starts the story having just finished her breast cancer treatment.

What are your future projects?

Finishing up the Moonshine and Magnolia trilogy (the third one is Blame it on Brandi).  It’s about two cousins and a friend who inherit/run a plantation-turned bed and breakfast.  Gone With the Wendy has a lot of Gone With the Wind Easter eggs in it, so I hope it will be a fun read for fans of Margaret Mitchell.

I’ve seen quite a few comments which have compared your book, ‘Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy?’ to the TV show ‘The Bachelor’. Do you think that’s fair? Why or why not?

Considering the show was the inspiration for the book, I’d say it’s completely fair. 🙂 I didn’t want to have TV cameras following everyone around on a ranch, so it’s a contained competition.  The TV cameras come in for book 2, Who Wants to Marry a Doctor.

Why would Ainsley and Riley agree to be part of this kind of matchmaking competition? She’s got her own business, he’s very strong-willed, and they just don’t seem like ideal candidates for such an arrangement. Why did you choose to write their characters as you did, yet have them also agree to do something that they weren’t really thrilled about?

I enjoy taking my characters out of their nice and tidy worlds and throwing them into fun situations that completely mess up their lives.  Riley participates because he loves his family and feels it’s something that will help them take their minds off a trying time in their lives.  Plus the women are already on their way for the competition.  Ainsley wants a break from her mother, and this ranch retreat is a perfect getaway.  She thinks it will be a nice vacation.  Falling in love wasn’t part of the deal.

At what point in the book do you think that Ainsley and Riley really ‘saw’ each other for who they really were? When do you think that Riley began to really trust her?

You know, it’s been a while since the book was released and the details have gotten sketchy.  Riley knew Ainsley was it when he bought her The Gift halfway through the book.  But of course, he didn’t give it to her, because Happy Ever After can’t happen on page 150.

Why did you choose to have a secondary love story running at the same time?

Well, I didn’t really choose to.  It just sort of happened.  Poor Edward was always so annoying when he was around Ainsley, but he wasn’t much of a jerk or clueless with Cecelia. He had his own problems to work out, and Cecelia helped with that.

Your book is funny, though it’s not a comedy. Do you like to inject humor in to your writing?

Yay, I’m glad you thought it was funny!  Yes, humor is very important to me.  What’s love without laughter? I tell ya, I giggle every time I read the scene when Riley is purposefully trying to get all the contestants to hate him.

How easy do you find it to write love scenes? Do you enjoy them?

I write love scenes with my eyes closed.  Makes it fun to edit. 

Honestly, the more I write, the more I’m getting comfortable with explicit words.  And sexy situations.  A lot of my readers told me they thought a scene that took place in a car was super hot in Who Wants to Marry a Doctor.  I personally thought the magazine scene was hotter.  😉  As you progress through my books, you’ll hopefully see growing maturity and risk taking, both in and out of the bedroom (and car). 

If a reader wanted to find out more about you, where could they do that? Have you got a website, blog, social media presence?

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I have it all!

You can sign up on my web page for my newsletter, which comes out about once every two months:  www.abigailsharpe.com  I hang out on Facebook:  http://www.Facebook.com/AbigailSharpeBooks

I’m on Twitter and Goodreads, too.

‘Dark Curves’ – the countdown will begin shortly

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‘Dark Curves’ (Dangerous Curves #6) will be out the 23rd, which is NEXT MONDAY (!!!). Mark your calendars, folks 😉

Deep thoughts on Friday morning

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Well, hey there! Whatcha thinkin’ about on this chilly November morning? And yes, I DO actually care!

(though maybe only just a little)

‘Dark Curves’ coming soon – win a free copy!

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Hard Curves’ (Dangerous Curves #6) will be available soon, guys!! I’ll be running a contest for a free copy, and the rules will be published in my newsletter, so remember to subscribe here.

Interview with Sawyer Belle

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This week’s author interview is with Sawyer Belle, and she’s written a gorgeous historical romance. Her heroine is a pirate (!!) and her hero is a knight (!!!).

Read on, and enjoy!

When did you start writing? What was the first thing that you ever wrote?

My memory doesn’t go back far enough to say when I actually started writing, but I can say that in elementary school, probably second or third grade, I wrote a story about Columbus and his voyages to America, but I did it from the perspective of his fictitious pet Beagle named Amerigo. It won first place in a school wide contest and I got to go to a pizza place in a limo with my mom and the school principal. I’ve written ever since. 🙂

Is writing your full-time job? If not,would you like it to be, and why? If so, what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of full-time independent writing?

Writing is not my full time job, unfortunately. I have a very demanding day job and I use writing as an outlet. Without a doubt, the greatest challenge to being an indie author with a day job is the balancing act: trying to juggle work, motherhood, and writing. It’s a difficult and delicate thing, and I am definitely not the best at it. The most rewarding thing about being a writer is feeling like I’m feeding my passion. When you work full-time and have small children, it’s easy to forget about yourself and the unique traits and drives that make up your identity. Mothers find ways to recharge and replenish their spirits in the ways that best suit. I write. Don’t get me wrong, I totally love it when readers love my stories, but the MOST rewarding bit is being true to my goals and pursuits.

How many books and/or series have you written to date? Which one of your books is your favorite, and why?

That’s a hard question to answer, because I’ve written way more than I’ve published. So, we’ll just go with published. I have five books out at the moment, four historical and one contemporary. Three of the historicals are part of a series I’ve called Love in the Sierras. It’s about western settlers in the early years of Nevada, my home state. Book three, Ruby’s Song, was just released last week! I feel it’s my best work to date, but my favorite story is Love of a Lioness, my medieval pirate tale. I think it has the just the right mixture of everything I love in books: passion, adventure, history, and action.

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What are your future projects?

In the immediate future, I’ve a Christmas novella to release as part of my western Love in the Sierras series. After that, I want to embrace my unfinished contemporary projects. I love historicals, reading and writing them, but they take up much more time and commitment to write. Readers of historical romance do NOT take lightly to anachronisms. I’d like to spend more time with my young children, so I’d like to write some stories that are not as research-intensive. I’ve got three contemporary romances that are in varying stages of completion. One takes place in the Bahamas, another in San Francisco with a pair of professional dancers and the third in Las Vegas in a spoof of The Bachelor. I’m really looking forward to writing all three of these.

Your book ‘Love of a Lioness’ is set in 1343, and so is most definitely a Historical Romance. What attracted you to this time period? How did you do your research?

I read a ton of history books. In college, I never sold back any of my history textbooks. That’s how much of a history geek I am. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I began devouring books on the Hundred Years War. The circumstances, the people, the battles, the politics were all so dramatic. It screamed for a romance. So, most of my research was done as pleasure reading. Then, of course, there were the tedious bits of researching the clothing, customs, the weaponry, shipbuilding, etc. But this was my first time getting into “the groove” as a writer, or what I call the “writer’s high.” Everything came together easily. The story poured from my fingertips and I was in love with it the entire time.

Your heroine, Isabeau, is a pirate (squee!!), called The Lioness of Brittany. Can I just say that I loved that about her? How did you get inspired to write a strong, amazing female pirate (squee!!) intent on avenging her father?

Ha ha. I love Isabeau. She is my favorite of my heroines (with Ruby following closely behind). Isabeau was inspired by the many true accounts of heroic woman during the Hundred Years War. Joan of Arc, Joanna of Flanders, Joan de Clisson – all extremely brave women who led armies in battle and conquered enemies. Reading their stories gave birth to Isabeau. I love strong, fierce, courageous women.

Our hero, Guy Dampierre, is an actual, real knight (squee!! again). Why did you choose to make him quiet and calm, especially when compared with Isabeau’s fire and fury?

Guy…….doesn’t he make you sigh? I’m a huge fan of opposites attracting because I think it provides balance. Guy was the anchor for Isabeau, someone to keep her true and grounded in what matters most. She needed someone as reliable as her father, someone she could trust. For someone as riled as she was, and given the reason for it, Isabeau could have never fallen for or trusted someone who was aggressive and antagonistic. Plus, it showed Guy’s maturity. I like heroes who don’t have to be arrogant and boastful about their strength.

Your love scenes are very hot, very descriptive. Do you find it easy to write them?

Ha ha – thank you! I don’t find it hard to write sex scenes. I do get a bit red-cheeked and that, but they are the easiest parts for me to write. It’s so much more difficult and important to write a good story full of tension, angst and pathos.

If a reader wanted to find out more about you, where could they do that? Have you got a website, blog, social media presence?

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My website has a good overview of my books and background. That’s at www.sawyerbelle.com, but I’m most active on my blog: www.sayitsawyer.wordpress.com. Of course, You can find me on Facebook as AuthorSawyer Belle, or on Twitter @Sawyer_Belle.

My favorite stomping ground outside of my blog is on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/SawyerBelle

Thanks so much for having me, Marysol!!

Excerpt from ‘Dark Curves’

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I thought maybe you’d like a sneak peek of my next book, ‘Dark Curves’ (Dangerous Curves #6). This is Warren and Shay’s story, and it’ll be out on November 23rd.

I hope you enjoy it!

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He got up again, crossed the room, disappeared once more in to the shadows. She squinted after him.

“Do you know where my glasses are?” she called in to the darkness.

“Yeah,” his faceless, formless voice answered. “On the window sill.”

“Thanks.” She lifted the long curtains, and sure enough, there they were. It was an immense relief to put them on at last, and see the world for the first time in what felt like a very, very long time. That was when he re-emerged from the darkness, and Shay took her first real-time, clear-eyed, non-brain-addled, look at Warren.

Dear. Sweet. Lord.

Why was her dream man also an MC asshole? Why? Why? What kind of cruel fate stuck her in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, all alone with the sexiest, hottest man that she’d ever laid eyes on… and then made said man a brutal, horrible human being?

But – was he? Was he really?

He lumbered over to her, all muscles and bulk in well-worn jeans and a tight black t-shirt, all soft blond hair and hard blue eyes, all raw power and cool toughness. It was literally unbelievable to her that this man – this man! – had held her through her fever and delirium and shaking. That this man had cared for her as tenderly as if she were a helpless infant. That even after their ugly argument and all his threats, this man had sat here in the dark, watching over her, keeping her safe.

It just didn’t make any damn sense. None of it.

“Here you go,” he said, extending his arm. “Put that on.”

She took the long-sleeved denim shirt, and he turned his back. Shay blinked in astonishment, then decided that she liked this little gesture of respect. She liked it quite a bit, actually.

She slipped the shirt on, and it fell over her slim hips, fell way past her knees. She did up the buttons, rolled up the sleeves, then she pushed the bed covers aside.

“All set,” she said, swinging her feet to the floor.

He turned back to face her as she sat in his shirt, and a glint of something flared in his eyes. Just for a second. But then his stare dropped to her exposed wrists, and he cleared the space between them in two steps. Knelt down in front of her, reached for her.

Shay gasped, but didn’t dare to protest when he took her hands in his. He turned them over, examined her wrists. His thumbs touched the bruises and cuts carefully, then he glanced up at her.

“Hurts?” he said, his voice raspy.

“A bit,” she whispered, caught in that intense blue gaze. “Not bad.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

He nodded, his eyes still locked on hers. “I’m sorry.”

She fell silent. She had no idea what exactly he was apologizing for, but she did know that it was sincere, and she knew that it was about more than a few bruises. This huge, terrifying man, this hard-boiled MC beast, was kneeling at her bare feet, saying that he was sorry – and she believed him. She believed him with everything that she had.

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