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Marysol James

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

Teaser for ‘Dark Curves’

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Soooo… I thought I’d share a quick teaser from ‘Dark Curves’ (Dangerous Curves #6) with you. And yes, Shay and Warren’s story will be published on November 23rd.

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Interview with Elizabeth Brown

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Ooooh, y’all. LOOK at that cover. Right?

My interview this week is with Elizabeth Brown. She’s written a sexy, funny, sweet contemporary romance that will break your heart (just a little bit) and raise your heart rate (quite a lot).

Enjoy!

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

Oh God, this is embarrassing… I tried my hand at writing some FSOG fanfic a little over a year ago, and enjoyed it immensely. That exercise became the basis of my first book, Determined.

Is writing your full-time job? If not, would you like it to be, and why?

Nope, I have a full-time job! I enjoy it, but heck yeah I’d love to write full time! As it stands right now, I write 25+ hours a week, and that means certain things have to slip (hello, housework). I’d love to be able to devote more time to writing… I really enjoy the creative process, and I feel like I still have so much more to learn. Plus, I’d have more time to read, which of course counts as research.

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

I’ve published four books. The first three were The Determined Trilogy, which is an erotic billionaire romance. The Lessons, which released in July, can be read as a standalone. It’s the story of a thirty year old woman named Natalie who hires Ryan, a sex surrogate, to lose her virginity. Originally, I thought it’d be a standalone novel, but now I’m working on spinning it into a series, with each installment focusing on different, but related, characters. The series is called “Off-Limits” and the next story is about Ainsley, Ryan’s little sister, and Ryan’s best friend, Lambo. It’s called The Rules.

As far as my favorite? I have to be honest, I love The Lessons. I love the heroine Natalie because she’s hilarious, and I have such a crush on Ryan.

What are your future projects? 

The Rules should be out in January, and I think readers will get a kick out of Lambo. After that, I think there will be two more books in the Off-Limits series, including a M/M story.  This month, I’m doing NaNoWriMo with a friend of mine, and fingers crossed, there will be a book done by the end. I don’t have a title yet, but it’s a story about a woman who gets fed up with her high-stress life in Corporate America, and leaves everything to run a small cafe in a national park.

What attracted you to the whole concept of sex surrogacy? What do you think makes a good sex surrogate?

I love stories that have a forbidden element to them… and sex surrogacy wasn’t as overdone as some other tropes…

As far as what do I think makes a good sex surrogate… interesting question! In terms of a hero/ surrogate, you want someone you can trust, someone who is going to make you feel totally at ease, someone who knows what they are doing, and someone who is attractive. I think Ryan fulfills all those, and much more! Like I said, I totally have a crush on him and I’ve heard from a lot of readers who feel the same way.

How was Ryan a good sex surrogate for Natalie? Why do you think that he overlooked his personal attraction to her, and took her as a client? 

I think because of what Ryan went through with his dad, he has an overdeveloped sense of duty. When Natalie and him talked after that first meeting, she had to do some convincing, and she managed to appeal to that side of his personality.

At what point do you think that the relationship between Ryan and Natalie went from ‘professional’ to ‘personal’ for both of them?

To be honest, I think they both tried hard, but they were really doomed from the start. Attraction is a strong thing and sometimes even though you try so hard with your brain, the heart doesn’t follow.

Why do you think that Natalie went to Ryan’s graduation, even after his perceived betrayal?

She needed answers. Everything that happened with Ryan and Lisa was just so confusing, so off character for him, she couldn’t shake it. Natalie is super logical and detail-oriented, so it made sense she would obsess over what happened. Plus, I think deep down, she had hope.

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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?

OMG I’m everywhere! (Insiders tip: find me on the Twitter for lots of hot guy pix)

www.facebook.com/readelizabethbrown

@elizbrownauthor

https://elizabethbrownauthor.wordpress.com/

www.goodreads.com/author/show/10796845.Elizabeth_Brown

Interview with Katharine Sadler

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Happy Monday, guys! Today’s indie author interview is with Katharine Sadler. She’s written a sexy, smart, fast-paced, urban fantasy romance with a banshee as a heroine. Yes, really!

Enjoy… and do support a indie author one in a while, huh? I can promise you that we totally appreciate it.

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

Even before I wrote, I loved words and made up songs, but the first creative thing I wrote was a poem that I wrote on the school bus when I was 10. I thought it was the best poem ever, but my poetry career was short-lived and I moved onto prose pretty quickly. The first prose piece I wrote involved a damsel in distress, a noble pirate, and lots of melodrama.

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, but I manage to spend a few hours a day on it. For me, the time constraints actually help me to be more focused during the time I do have. Someday, I’d love to be able to write full-time, but I’m happy with whatever time I can carve out.

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

I have written nine books to date, but only five of those are out right now. Book two of the Dying Dreams trilogy is available in late-October, and I’ll have the first two books of an entirely new series out in December. By the end of the year, I should have three series published, all urban fantasy.

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What are your future projects?

I’ll have the first two books of a new series, about a fae night club owner who teams up with a private investigator to find missing people, out in December. Next year, I’m planning to publish a new adult romance, my first foray into the genre.

You classify your books as ‘urban fantasy’. What does that mean? How do you introduce romance in to that kind of genre?

Urban fantasy simply means a book that contains all of the elements of traditional fantasy, fae characters and magic, in a modern, urban setting. I think romance is important to every genre, because it provides the human, personal element, but it is especially important in a fantasy genre where so much is outside our everyday expectations.

Traditionally in myth and fable, banshees are negative beings that foretell death. Why did you choose for your heroine, Liza, to be a banshee? Do you think that the government’s use of her ‘gift’ was commendable? Understandable? Despicable?

I started out by wanting to have a character who touched corpses and dreamed of how they died and then decided that I wanted her to be fae. Banshee fit the best. I think that even Liza would agree that using her gift to solve murders and stop killers is commendable, but the way the government goes about it, by not giving her a choice, isn’t fair. The government just goes too far.

Why did you choose to force Liza and Sloane physically/ sexually together at first? How did this relationship lead to a more emotional connection, with time?

Liza is an impulsive person and Rice is not, so I thought it was fun to push them together and see where they ended up. They are drawn to each other, but the physical connection leads to the bond and the bond changes everything. Every book needs tension and difficulty and forcing them together with a mystical bond added that tension in this story. Liza is feeling pushed and forced in every aspect of her life, so she sees the bond as a constraint rather than a gift. How they overcome that problem and figure out how to live with the bond was the most interesting question to me.

As an author, how easy or difficult is it to imagine a world of the future? Do you feel that it gives you more freedom in some ways? Why did you choose to ‘end’ our world the way that you did?

In some ways, putting a story in the future gives me freedom, but in a lot more ways it places new constraints on me as an author, because I have to make it authentic and believable. The fact that the setting is dystopic and technology has been stymied helped, because I have a really hard time imagining the technological advances that will be achieved in the next fifty years. I chose climate change as the ‘end’ of our world, because I believe it is a very real possibility and because climate change is an issue about which I am hugely concerned.

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 a website www.KatharineSadler.com and I’m on Facebook and Twitter as Katharine Sadler.

Interview with Samantha Christy

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Monday again, and I have another author interview for you! Today’s guest is Samantha Christy, and her featured book is ‘Purple Orchids’, a steamy, heart-wrenching, second-chance romance. I laughed, I cried, I blushed…

Enjoy!

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

Be My Reason was my first book. It was published last summer (2014). I had never written anything as much as a poem prior to that. I didn’t know I could do it or that it was even an option. I didn’t realize it would become my passion. It all started with me making a bucket list for my New Year’s resolution. Now, I think – wow, why did I wait so long to get started? I can’t imagine living without writing.

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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?

My full-time job is being a stay-at-home mom to my 4 kids. I have the best husband who allows me to do this and follow my dreams, no matter how whacky they may seem. I write when I can, which is usually in the mornings when the kids are at school. I’m not sure I would ever want to be a full-time writer, especially if I had to adhere to someone else’s schedule.

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

I’ve published 5 books to date and #6 is in the works. My first three are standalone novels. Books 4, 5, and 6 are part of my Mitchell Sisters Series, each a standalone but following one of three sisters.

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I think Purple Orchids might be my favorite. It was the first one I wrote with a male POV. It’s also my sexiest, steamiest novel so far. But White Lilies comes in a close second with its very emotional and heart wrenching story.

What are your future projects?

Right now, I’m working on Black Roses, the 3rd book in the Mitchell Sisters Series. It should be out early next year. After that, I’ve got some ideas. Maybe a trilogy? I’m not 100% sure yet.

Why did you choose to write most of the book from Gavin’s 1st person POV? As a female author, that seems potentially risky. Did you struggle with the male voice?

That’s why it was so fun to write! I loved being in Gavin’s head. I’m not sure it was a conscious decision, it’s just the way the book wanted to be written. I have a twenty-year-old son who (gulp) proofed it and gave me a few pointers, but he said he was surprised at how well I did it. (Yeah – we couldn’t look each other in the eyes for a while after that.)

Do you really think it’s possible for a couple to come back from so many lost years? What do you think that Gavin and Baylor had that was strong enough to pull them through that loss?

Yes! I think once you’ve experienced that kind of love, it can never truly go away. Plus, the betrayal they thought they experienced was not what it seemed, so when they got past that, I think it was easy to be together again.

Your love scenes are hot, and pretty descriptive. What do you enjoy about writing those kinds of steamy sex scenes?

Love scenes are very hard for me to write. They take two or three times the effort as a regular scene and you want to make sure you’re not just revamping the same scene over and over. I don’t usually enjoy them as I’m writing them, but I enjoy them when they are done. I feel a sense of accomplishment. I have to add, because I peeked at the question below, that the most fun sex scene I’ve ever written was the one where Gavin and Baylor acted out a scene from one of her romance novels.

Why did you choose to make Baylor a romance novelist? How do you think that her job helped her to cope with Gavin’s (perceived) betrayal?

It was fun have Baylor be a writer. Many things in the book are very true to life for me, such as her hugging the UPS guy when her shipment of paperbacks arrived. I thought being a writer would offer her the flexibility that she needed in her hectic life.

As a writer myself, especially a romance writer, my whole world is about HEAs. Baylor lives in this fantasy world of hope, pain, fulfillment and ultimately, love. How can she not impose some of those principles on her own life?

I have to admit that Part 3 of the book had me in tears. What do you think the future holds for Gavin, Baylor and Maddox?

Yes, I’ve had a lot of messages from readers who hated me for a bit during that part of the book. Anytime I can bring a reader to tears, I consider that a win!

The future – I see Baylor continuing to write (and live out every sex scene of) her romance novels. I think Gavin is going to be a loyal husband and successful producer. I think they will have a gaggle of kids who will grow up in Maple Creek, Connecticut. I see Baylor being the support system for her two younger sisters, Skylar and Piper who will have trials and tribulations of their own. And I see Maddox growing up to be a professional soccer player!

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 can be found at the usual places. I adore reader interaction and often do giveaways on my FB page!

www.samanthachristy.com

https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaChristyAuthor

@SamLoves2Write

https://instagram.com/authorsamanthachristy/

samanthachristy@comcast.net

‘Solid Heart’ is live!

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I uploaded it early, and so it’s already live and for sale, here.

As always, thank you so much for being here. I wouldn’t be doing any of this if not for the belief, faith, and support of my readers. You guys are great.

Interview With Veronica Del Rosa

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Happy Monday, guys! Today’s interview is with Veronica Del Rosa, a woman who loves to write Paranormal Romances. I found her book, ‘Sylvia’s Torment’, to be an action-packed adventure with a surprisingly sweet side… and the love scenes were holy hot, y’all!

So, here we go:

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

I’ve been interested in writing since I was a teen. I’d actually convinced my parents when I was about 16 to pay for a creative writing correspondence course. I wrote several short stories that I’d submitted for grading. Looking back, they were terrible. Seriously terrible. The writing was, of course, juvenile and melodramatic. I learned a fair bit from that course.

Then life got in the way and I stopped writing until three years ago. I’d been complaining to my husband about a book where the plot drove me nuts and the characters were one-dimensional. He told me to either write a better book or stop complaining. It was nicer than it sounds. 😉 He figured I’d stop complaining, instead I took it as a challenge. My first book, Magic Resistant, took over two years to write.

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

To date, I’ve written three novels, three novellas, and one short story. I’m currently working on the 4th novel of my Enforcers and Coteries series. My favourite book, well, that’s a toss up. I love Sylvia’s Torment for the same reason why I love Dawn’s Keeper – the characters. Sylvia is an amazing woman who went through a nightmarish time. Her pack and, more specifically, her mate, helped her through the healing process. I loved exploring the dynamics of the pack, and  how they interacted with each other.

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With Dawn’s Keeper, Dawn and Elijah were just so much fun. They are two powerful creatures who have had a lot of time to mature, explore life, and then say screw it, I’ll do what I want. It was interesting to get into the minds of those who’d seen so much and didn’t bother with social conventions.

What are your future projects?

I have three more books to write for Enforcers and Coterie, including the one I’m writing now. In total there will be six novels and five novellas for this series. After that, I’ll be working on the Revenant series and there is a total of five books slated with no novellas. Markus, Revenant, and Seraphina are the major players in this series. I’ll be deviating from my comfort zone since it’ll be urban fantasy and not paranormal romance. There is still some romance, but it won’t be the focal point. And no, it won’t have a love triangle.

‘Sylvia’s Torment’ (Enforcers and Coterie #2) most definitely falls in to the Paranormal Romance category. Why do you enjoy writing PNR?

I enjoy thinking up new and interesting ways the world could be, and how people would react within this world. With PNR, you can push the envelope for what characters would do. Emotions can be more extreme without jumping into the psycho realm.

Plus I really enjoy coming up with enemies who simply couldn’t exist in the real world. There are demons, Fae, werewolves, vampires, mages, and humans. Any of them could be working for or against our main characters.

Is it unusual for a wolf pack to have a female Beta? Why do you think that Sylvia is a good Beta to Derek’s Alpha? How do they ‘complete’ each other?

It is unusual for a female to be a Beta. They aren’t as aggressive as the male werewolves, and their society used that as an excuse for an all-boys-club. Derek, however, grew up with a Top Alpha mother. He saw firsthand that women are just as good, so he encouraged Sylvia. He recognized in her the desire and need for structure and order. And she wanted to prove that the time he’d invested in her wasn’t wasted. Also it gave Derek’s  mother ammunition in her fight against sexist Alphas; it showed that women had a lot to offer their society, as more than just housewives.

As for completing each other, neither one of them expects perfection from the other. As a Top Alpha, Derek has to show strength at all times. If he doesn’t, another could challenge him for his position or  others within his pack might not follow him anymore. With Sylvia, he can let himself relax and not worry. Sylvia need someone who can stand shoulder to shoulder with her, someone who isn’t intimidated by her and won’t force her into a mould she’d never fit into. They complete each other by just being who they are.

Why did you decide to have Derek wait so long to claim his lifemate? Why did you include the ‘complication’ of Victor?

Sylvia needed time to grow into her personality. When she met Derek, even though she was thirty years old , by werewolf standards she was a teenager with wild hormones. She would’ve been overwhelmed by him, especially since he’d taken over the reigns as Top Alpha only twenty years prior. He couldn’t let anything weaken him at that point, and their relationship would’ve suffered for it. Thirty years later, she knew her own mind, had enough life experience to stand on her own two feet, and wouldn’t be intimidated by Derek.

As for Victor, well, the poor guy just wanted a friend. She reminded him of his sister. And sometimes love gets a little messy even with the best of intentions. There also had to be another reason why Derek wouldn’t claim his lifemate, and Victor was a perfect reason.

Sylvia’s kidnapping and torture resulted in serious trauma for her, and what she needed was care and comfort. These words go against what we think of as ‘Alpha’ behavior, but Derek gave Sylvia control. Why did you decide that it was OK to make Derek look ‘weak’?

Derek, like most people, is a mixture of different traits. I felt his ‘weakness’ showed a strength of character, one who was willing to open up and do whatever was necessary to help the woman he loves.  I feel that someone who is able to put another above them, worry more about their loved one’s mental wellbeing and not how they are perceived by others, is a strength many undervalue. To love someone is to help them, not use them as a prop for their own image.

What do you think was the most important moment in Sylvia’s healing?

When she opened up to Derek and trusted him with what had happened to her.  She realized that one moment in her life did not define who and what she was. She survived. Her time with the scientists had changed her viewpoint on life, made her more wary now of strangers and even those who aren’t strangers. Trust was something she thought she’d lost. Derek’s understanding and unconditional support for her opened her eyes to the truth. Who she was hadn’t been lost, just redefined.

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Veronica-Del-Rosa-1421013791485096/timeline/

Twitter: @Veronica_DelRos

Website: https://veronicadelrosa.wordpress.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Del-Rosa/e/B00MRY9TY0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1443015394&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8186292.Veronica_Del_Rosa

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

Veronica Del Rosa

New date for ‘Solid Heart’!

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Hey, I have some news, and I hope it makes you guys happy.

I’m changing the release date for ‘Solid Heart’.

Things with the book have gone so well, I’ll be able to release it four days EARLY.

So… look for it on OCTOBER 15TH, not October 19th 😉

And, let the countdown begin!!

Interview with Rebecca M. Gibson

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Another Monday, another author interview!

Today, I’d like you to meet Rebecca M. Gibson, author of ‘Diamonds Fall’, a historical romance. Enjoy!

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

The honest answer here would be that I have no idea. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always found stories fascinating but I wanted them to end my way. The simple solution was to start writing them myself.

The first stories I remember writing were ghost stories, weirdly enough. When I was a kid, my mum had this big computer (the kind that takes up half a room) that I would sit at for hours, tapping away with fancy fonts and clip art images to enhance the prose. Luckily, the computer crashed and the hard drive got wiped, so none of those stories are traceable!

Is writing your full-time job? If not, would you like it to be, and why?

It is not my full time job…although I definitely work full time hours on my writing, if that’s what you mean. I also have an actual full time job in social media to pay the bills.

I feel like I’m living a double life sometimes.

Writing is something I couldn’t stop doing if I tried so I would certainly love it to be my full time job. Being able to wake up every morning and do something creative, sink into the corners of my imagination from dawn until dusk, would be a dream come true. Perhaps when I win the lottery or hit the New York Times bestseller list…

‘Diamonds Fall’ is your only book to date, I believe. What are your future projects?

You believe correctly. ‘Diamonds Fall’ is my debut novel although I did have a manuscript called ‘Towards Our Shared End’ up on Swoon Reads, (an imprint of Pan Macmillan, based solely on reader’s votes) which reached 3rd place out of over 200 manuscripts, about a year ago. That was my first real ego boost – helping me realise I could actually do this and people might want to pay attention.

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In terms of future projects, I have the first and last sequel to ‘Diamonds Fall’ – this one entitled ‘Rubies Fall’ – due out on November 4th. ‘Rubies Fall’ is set during the First World War and follows Annabel’s family as they traverse through the many perils of that era. The First World War is a period in history that I am very VERY interested in and so I am more proud of ‘Rubies Fall’ than anything else I’ve done in my life (degree and previous projects included)…am I allowed to say that? I’m just praying everyone else is as in love with the story and characters as I am…particularly one moment that I definitely want reactions from!! I won’t say anymore, you’ll just have to read it.

Your book ‘Diamonds Fall’ is set in Victorian times. Why did you choose that era?

I chose the Victorian era mainly because I’ve always been in love with the idea of it. I’ve always wanted to spend the day as a rich Victorian, walking about in a corset, fancy dress and wide brimmed hat. I didn’t ever have the scientific ability or patience to invent a time machine. Solution, write a book! It was only as I was mulling ideas over in my mind that I started to think about the reality of such an era. We have very rose tinted ‘Downton Abbey’ glasses on about the whole period but in actual fact, it was a very claustrophobic time in history. If you were poor, you were always poor and you were always treated badly. If you were rich, you were most likely going to always be rich but you had a very strict set of rules to follow in order to stay at the top. Appearances were everything back then.

I just really wanted to explore a really raw version of the period, whilst trying to keep a realistic teenage girl at the centre of it. Besides, pretty much every problem my characters face would have been overcome if they had the freedom of choice we enjoy in the 21st century.

Annabel, your heroine, is a spoiled and haughty young woman, verging on unlikeable at times, especially in the beginning. Why did you choose to write Annabel that way?

Annabel, at the beginning of the story, is definitely not who I would choose to have lunch with, I’ll admit it. She’s basically a 19th century Regina George. When you think about it though, she would never have been any other way. She grew up surrounded by people who told her what she wanted to hear and waited on her hand and foot. She had probably never even laced her own shoes or filled her own bath. I understand these traits can make her unlikeable at the beginning but that was what I wanted people to feel. I wanted Annabel to start off with a set of values she had been taught to have and would later learn to question through her own experiences. I wanted her, in essence, to grow up. If we all look back at our eighteen year old selves, I think we’d all have seen things in us that we have now changed completely. It would have been a pretty short book if she had started off with the same values she had ended with. Along with the romance aspect, there is a strong coming of age theme throughout ‘Diamonds Fall’ and I needed to really show how far she had travelled emotionally by making her a…spoilt brat, shall we say?…at the beginning.

Annabel suffers a horrible ordeal and it changes her profoundly. Of all the secondary characters in the book, which one do you feel had the biggest impact on her and why?

This is a hard question because I think all the characters change different things in her. They all teach her about friendship and love but they each have a very different approach. Billy is the first one to soften Annabel’s heart. He is a few shillings short of a pound in Annabel’s mind but it never stops him. This resounds in Annabel’s heart because she has always had this very vain idea of beauty yet Billy sees it everywhere. He hasn’t a resentful cell in his body despite having had the worst life of the lot of them. Patsy, I think, is more the mirror image of Annabel. She’s feisty and independent although still tragically young and innocent. She is a little girl trapped in poverty whereas Annabel is the girl trapped within society, although she spends most of her life oblivious to her isolation. Daniel on the other hand…Daniel teaches her about romance and all the wonderful things love comes with. Above all though, he teaches her that it’s the inside that counts, not just how expensive your dress is or how many jewels are in your hair. He teaches her it is alright not to always be perfect. In a world full of very dodgy idols, Daniel’s definitely the romantic figure girls can aspire to find. I wouldn’t mind a Daniel myself!

Considering the subject matter, some readers might question how this is a Historical Romance. In what ways is your book romantic?

I would say it’s definitely a romance. In my opinion love is the biggest theme in ‘Diamonds Fall’. However, it is all different kinds of love. There is romantic love, of course, and a cheeky love triangle, but there’s also the love of friendship and family – the love that keeps the world spinning. The love of money and what effect this has, plays a fairly big part as well but that’s an entirely different kettle of fish and is nowhere near as poetic.

I feel, personally, that Historical Romance and Erotica have become confused somewhere along the line. Let’s keep Erotica as one thing and Historical Romance as quite another. As you mentioned, my book is set in the Victorian times, my characters couldn’t be ripping off their clothes left right and centre – Annabel is from a very prestigious family and that would be most improper. Therefore, yes there are no bodice ripping moments or graphic sex scenes but there is love in abundance, which certainly makes this a romance in my eyes.

What role does suspense play in ‘Diamonds Fall’? Why did you feel that this was an important element to introduce?

Suspense plays a big role in all my books, I think. I was told by one reviewer I was ruthless with the emotions of my readers (in a good way). I always find the most emotional, frightening moments of a book or a film are not always the most graphic. The unknown or the build-up is by far the most emotive because it allows a reader’s imagination to work. If a reader has purchased my book, I don’t want them to just have everything laid out in front of them; I want to take them on a journey – an adventure. ‘Diamonds Fall’ in particular has a lot of tension in certain points and so the fear really needed to be portrayed to the reader. I want you to feel what she feels and experience what she experiences. I hope it’s worked!

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

Well, well, well, you have a whole host of options for finding out all about me – lucky you! Here are the top 3: I’m on Twitter @TheRGibson, Facebook via this link, and my blog, which has 45,000 views (just saying!), is here.

You can also buy my book via this link…if you like…*cough*. If you enjoy it, don’t forget to pre-order ‘Rubies Fall’ as well, due out on the 4th of November *cough*.

Happy reading everybody and don’t forget, the way to an author’s heart, is to leave a review!

Win a free copy of ‘Solid Heart’

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And the contest is open!

I’m giving away THREE copies of ‘Solid Heart’ (Unseen Enemy #7)! To enter and get a chance (actually, MORE than one chance) to win, click here.

The contest closes in 7 days, so good luck!

P.S. Please note that since Gleam chooses the winners automatically on an e-lottery system, you’ll need to provide them with your e-mail address so that they can contact the winners. They don’t send e-mail to you unless you sign up to receive notices of future contests that they run. Your e-mail address is just so they can reach you if you win.

Monday Morning Temptation

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Stop looking at me like that… if you don’t stop, I’ll NEVER start my Monday morning.

Interview with Jamie Campbell

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Happy Monday, everyone!

As an independent, self-published writer, I’m incredibly aware of how important it is to support and cheer on other indies. That’s why I’ve decided to start doing author interviews here on my blog, to be published every Monday.

The authors who have contacted me for an interview are a varied bunch: men and women, ranging in age and writing experience, living in different countries, writing very different types of romance. It’s been a fascinating thing for me to read their books, and get to know their widely-differing styles and genres.

My first interviewee is Jamie Campbell, and ‘Four Days’ is his first book. It’s a gentle, visually-beautiful book, with a slow burn between the main characters. His style is smooth, strong, confident; his writing is very descriptive – though the love scenes are not, in terms of language. They are emotional, and very ‘in the head’ of the heroine as she experiences the love-making.

So, here we go:

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

I’ve toyed with writing narrative fiction for about a decade and a half. Initially as a homage to the very ordinary town where I spent my student days. Those were the pre lap-top days, so writing meant writing longhand – and because of that I didn’t get very far… But that was my start.

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 very much have a day job. So balancing time is a challenge. Might by preaching to the choir on that one though. Still, making a living from the pen would be fraught with difficulties as far as I can see. It’s frustrating at times at projects dragging on, but I also have the freedom to be very pedantic about whether that comma should have been a semicolon.

How many books have you written to date? Which one are you the most proud of? Why?

Precisely one. It’s called “Four Days,” and I am proud of it. Mostly because people I have never met have told me it doesn’t suck. Granted, I do have a two star review floating out in cyberspace – so there’s also a complete stranger that thinks it does suck. But I’m happy with it; so I do have that. I’ve two more Luci novels in progress, along with a a Second World War action/adventure series – for something completely different.

Your book ‘Four Days’ is set in New Zealand, and in your bio, you say that you love the country. Tell us three things about New Zealand that you love and admire.

It’s more a love of the countryside.

The Kaikoura Coast

A farm called Valetta

It's always windy

(photos courtesy of Jamie Campbell)

With respect to New Zealand as a nation I intentionally used ‘like.’ It’s funny, and I think it’s part of our inbuilt sensibility, that we don’t use words like Love and Admire with respect to country. So what do I like about it/us? We’re fiercely independent but have no identifiable independence day (there are at least half a dozen dates that could be it. Most of us could name one of them). Our ten dollar note has the women who won universal suffrage in 1893 on it. Our most right wing Prime Minister ever (he’d have made Margaret Thatcher blush – and is also a Jedi) was instrumental in getting Gay Marriage legislation through parliament. So there’s three off the top my my head.

 

As I was reading ‘Four Days’, I really felt like there were three main characters: Luci, James, and New Zealand itself. Why did you feel that this ‘third character’ was so crucial to include? Do you think that your use of the landscape added an extra emotional dimension to the journey that Luci and James found themselves taking?

It all started as an Indie film concept. In part the choice of landscape was made for ease of filming on all those quiet roads. The result is, as you say, that the countryside becomes a character. More so with so few characters to begin with. Also, with Luci being from dead flat Flanders I wanted her awe at the landscape to underline her uncertainty, and the newness of her situation; both in terms of having time, and in terms of allowing herself to be free. I very much wanted her to be beyond the edge of her world – and to have to cope with being so far from home. Looking back I don’t know if Luci’s isolation informed the choice of landscape, or if the land informed her isolation. Either way I’m happy that it did.

I also needed the road-trip element so as to box Luci into either taking a chance or letting the chance slip away. And a road trip without the landscape as a character is little more than two people sitting in a box.

James often muses about wanting to take the fastest, most direct way everywhere, while Luci prefers the winding, meandering twists and turns of their road trip. Why did you choose to show their characters in this way? What do you think it revealed, especially about Luci?

Luci had no role in the choice of roads, and I did this to underline that she’s a passenger in her own life. To be honest the quiet/busy roads metaphor wasn’t something I planned. It’s kind of cool that readers have picked up on it though. As for what it revealed about Luci? I had in mind Death of a Salesman – and the notion of the contradictions playing out in the Salesman’s head.

With Luci I deliberately had her thoughts all over the place in the opening chapter. Yet, as fate gives her time and space, she begins to sort herself out. I also like the idea of a ticking clock driving a narrative. So on one hand Luci is given a chance to sort herself out. On the other, she has a very narrow window in which to do so.

With James I overtly gave him the responsibility of getting Luci from A to B in a physical sense. But kept his role in helping Luci in other ways more understated.

As for what the journey revealed about Luci? That’s an open question, and I’m happy to leave it open. Maybe that she can be self actualising. Maybe the realisation that she’s not the same as she was when it all started. I’m happy to leave it to the readers to make what they want of Luci’s journey.


‘Searching’ is a theme that is very present in your book. Over the four days, what do you think that James and Luci found in each other? In themselves? What do they have yet to discover?

I set out to have Luci find a strength in herself. That more than anything is why I chose a first person narrative. In deciding on that approach I knew that James would be somewhat more superficial by comparison. One of the criticisms that “Four Days” has received is that the chemistry between the two isn’t overt enough for a romance. And from a contemporary romance perspective I think the criticism is valid. My choice in adopting first person meant that a reasonably vital romance prerequisite is missing. I don’t mind. The romantic element dictates that she would, eventually, make the obvious decision. But the romantic element doesn’t have to dictate whether the readers agree with her, or think the choice wise.

There’s also the issue of what James saw in Luci. With no dramatic irony in the narrative; all we know of James is what Luci tells us. Again, something I’m happy to leave open to the inferences that Luci’s narrative allows us to draw.

What I wanted to show with “Four Days” was two uncertain people being uncertain with each other. So maybe what they discovered was a degree of certainty that neither of them thought they had. As for what’s left to discover, I’d say plenty. But that’s the thing about romance. How much do our characters need to know before they leap? How much did each of us as individuals know before we leaped?

Why did you choose to make James and Luci athletes?

On television we see our sports people as caricatures rather than characters. Genre fiction treats them likewise. I’ve read some insanely popular sports romances, and save for one, I’ve not recognised the characters as remotely authentic. Yet in providing caricatures of sports people so much is left unexplored.

For instance there’s the need for athletes to be arrogant about themselves and what they do. This arrogance comes through in the Bad Boy trope. But is it arrogance, or the mental armour needed by them in order to put themselves in the public gaze day after day, week after week? An hour ago I competed in front of thousands. An hour ago I had hope. Now I’m alone and a failure. Next week I do it again.

With these two imperfect athletes I wanted to see how private uncertainty about the non-sporting aspects of life would fit with such a life; especially when sporting failure ripples through the waters. I also deliberately had each of them with different historical reactions to their failures.


Your writing of the love scenes was romantic and lyrical, without being graphic. Do you prefer to write romance in this way? Or do you also write more descriptive love scenes? Which do you enjoy writing more, and why?

One of my pet peeves with the romance genre is the requirement that a character’s appearance be itemised. Flowing read hair? Check. Dimple? Check. Legs that go all the way to heaven? Check. So I held back on physical descriptions of Luci and James in a general sense. With that done (or not done) I couldn’t then get too physically descriptive with the love scenes. Having said that the first scene is still a very torrid scene. .

A writer friend described the first love scene as almost stream of consciousness. I can’t say that I set out to write anything other than a stock standard sex scene – but I’ll take almost stream of consciousness. But Luci’s narrative of their first sexual encounter wouldn’t have worked any other way than the way I wrote it; she had to be much more emotionally descriptive than physically descriptive. Because I needed to underline that Luci had emotionally crossed the Rubicon as far as her relationship with James went. If Luci had mentally gone for the one night only option then a more physically descriptive approach may have fitted with that. In the end I used the approach that best served the story. In doing so I accepted, again, that I’m out of step with a great deal of genre romance where the sex scenes are much more physically explicit. Oh well.

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’m very non-existent on line. I have a sadly neglected Facebook page, and plans for a blog with a movie friend of mine. But generally I hang out on a Facebook group of Indies called the Author Promo Co-op.

https://www.facebook.com/jamie.campbell.writes

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13816801.Jamie_Campbell https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25328719-four-days https://www.facebook.com/groups/1605983442956270

Buy links:

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Days-Luci-Wijn-Novel-ebook/dp/B00VWAPNE0 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/four-days-jamie-campbell/1121714863 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/533588

Protector

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A teaser from ‘Solid Heart’ (Unseen Enemy #7). Publication date: October 19th.

Teaser from ‘Solid Heart’

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‘Solid Heart’ (Unseen Enemy #7) will be out on October 19th… I’ll be posting a few teaser excerpts here between now and then, so drop in once in awhile. For now, enjoy!

**

Francine almost fell over backwards. Mark Hayden was asking her to have dinner with him? It was like every birthday, Christmas, and dirty fantasy of her life had just been handed to her on a silver platter, all wrapped up in a big, red bow.

Banishing the thought of Mark wearing nothing but a strategically-tied bow, Francine scrambled for cool. Dinner. Yeah, sure. Dinner was doable.

Everything about this man is doable.

Mon Dieu. Shut up, Francine.

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