Today on ye old blog we have fab author, Aliza Mann here to discuss writing and her latest project, a new adult paranormal romance novella called DARK HEARTS in the FALLING HARD Anthology.
Hi Aliza, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat.
KMJ: First off can you tell us a bit about your current work, DARK HEARTS?
AM: Hi there Kwana. I’m happy to be here. Long time fan.
Dark Hearts is really a story about taking chances. The hero is a young man who believes at the start of the story at least, that he can block himself off and protect himself from being hurt. It’s a story about the vulnerability that comes with trusting and loving others.
While struggling to contain the beast within, Mitchell Rowland imprints on the beautiful and mysterious Aurora Tanner. With Mitch’s dangerous lycan secret and Aurora’s demon father out to kill her, they must band together to fight against the very things that could ultimately keep them apart.
I sincerely enjoyed writing characters who was so passionate and young. It was a lot of fun and I hope the readers will enjoy it, as well.
KMJ: What inspired you to write this story?
AM: The inspiration for this story, like many, came from personal experiences. Mitch is very afraid of intimacy. He was the first character who popped into my head, and he was born from some of the things we’ve all experienced. There are times when you meet someone and think, hey, I wonder if I can really be myself around this person? It can be very scary to drop your mask for another person. And I was so interested in exploring those types of issues fully through my character’s lenses.
KMJ: What made you want to join in on an anthology?
AM: Oh, this was fun. I have a very fabulous critique group and at one of our sessions, someone said, let’s write an anthology! And as we unpacked all the reasons we should, and shouldn’t, we decided to go for it. And we decided to self-publish.
I can tell you, none of us knew what we were getting into. First, we decided we would have a thread of continuity throughout the entire collection through each relationship. For instance, Mitch is best friends with Hazel – in the last story of the anthology, Hunting Witch Hazel. I had no idea it was so difficult to capture another person’s character based on a description. I can tell you, there were times when Heather, the author of the other story, would tell me I had the voice all wrong. And it hurt my feelings, but I’d go back to the drawing board the next day.
Then there was all the self-publishing things, like book covers and editing, to deal with.
But was challenging as it all was at times, I had a great time creating this. I can’t believe it’s done, but it is just as rewarding as I’d hoped it would be. They really are a wonderful group of authors, and I’ve learned so much. That’s the reason behind it all.
KMJ: What made you choose this genre to write in?
AM: I have always loved paranormal, but because of some of the market trends and decline in new sales of paranormal romances, I haven’t been writing in the genre. Since we had complete control over the content, I took the chance to revisit my first love. It’s a story I was really interested in telling, so that was my opportunity.
KMJ: What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
AM: To never give up. Walking in stilettos takes time to learn, along with a few bruises along the way. I wouldn’t expect writing to be any other way.
KMJ: Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?
AM: Well, I have a few stories in the works. The first would be a sports romance, which is currently under consideration by a publisher, so hopefully that will be the next. My current work in progress is a contemporary romance about co-workers who begin a relationship and try to maintain professionalism. That one is fun to write. It’s always great to watch to strong willed people try to jockey for position. So, a couple of contemporary and we’ll see if I can get to another paranormal soon. I should mention, all are multicultural romances.
Aliza would love for you to join her and the other Falling Hard authors over on Facebook on 5/31 for their release party. Lots of fun and prizes to be had!
Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/events/376131875905513/
And now here is an excerpt from Dark Hearts:
Aurora Tanner had told herself that she wouldn’t get into any mischief. She’d been friends with Hazel since she’d arrived, and with the assistance of Hazel’s witchcraft and multiple safety wards at the bridge to keep her father at bay, Aurora had managed to stay out of trouble.
This Mitch was trouble on a stick. He had the swagger of a hip-hop star, the looks of an actor, and the body of a god. When he’d walked up to her, the awkward moment of silence had made her want to jump him with both hands and feet. He sent her demon intuits into overdrive.
Something about him cracked her exterior. “Well, you’re standing here. What can I do for you, Mitch?” she asked, glancing around the room. There was no sign of demon handiwork, so she relaxed a little.
Mitch stepped into her personal space. Inhaling deeply, he stared at her. Unlike most men, he focused on her face. “Oh, baby, you’ve done a lot for me already,” he growled.
His eyes were different. The deep coal black of them reminded her of her father. Alchoe, her incubus father, had those eyes, along with the rest of their kind. Mitch wasn’t a demon, but she could tell that he wasn’t fully human. His dark hair languished in his face, making him look somehow both deadly and safe. “That was classy,” she said.
This man stood before her, seizing her and making her want to latch onto him. His deep-set eyes were Superman blue with an icy edge, framed by thick, full brows, giving him a sexy, dark look. His jaw line was pronounced. Thick tufts of dark brown hair framed his face, the close-cut sides highlighting his chiseled features.
Her panties were suddenly uncomfortable as he leaned into her, too close.
“If I had a choice, I would apologize. Doesn’t seem that I do. I noticed you from across the room. You’re . . . different than the other girls,” he said.
You can pick up Falling Hard here:
And you can find Aliza Mann on the web here in these cool places:
KMJ: Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.
AM: Thanks for having me, Kwana. It’s been a blast.
So this post is long overdue, but in my own defense I just finally got my bags unpacked last night so there was that. Excuses, excuses. This past week I had the honor of going to Dallas to attend the 20th Annual Romance Slam Jam Conference.
Romance Slam Jam is a fantastic Black Romance reader meet writer conference where you can get really up close and personal. Everyone who goes considers it a bookish family reunion and it really is. I even got to see some members of my private fan group, TEAM KMJ in the flesh. Hey, Sharon, Midnight Ace and Jackie!
The readers get to attend sessions with the writers. Hearing about what that have upcoming, having their questions answered and even playing fun games. And the writes can attend reader sessions learning about what they really look for in the books they love, covers and what keeps them coming back for more!
I was so thrilled when at the annual Emma Awards, two of my good friends were honored with wins. First, Piper Huguley with debut author of the year and then the fabulous, Farrah Rochon with Author of the Year. There were big cheers all around our table!
I had so much fun and can’t wait for next year’s conference in Detroit where the amazing Beverly Jenkins will be the Keynote speaker.
I hope to see you all there next year!
All the best,
Just 1 more day to get BOUNCE for only 0.99 cents! Grab it while you can!
Today on ye old blog we have a different kind of interview going on. I’m talking with Caleb Cooper, general pain in the behind from my friend and RWA/NYC chaptermate’s novel THE BILL RIDER AND THE BARE BOYCOTTER. Let’s go Caleb…
Thanks for hosting me today Kwana, my name is Caleb Cooper. I am from THE BULL RIDER AND THE BARE BOYCOTTER where I consider myself a villain but others would probably call me a pain in the ass. But in my own quirky and loveable way I redeem myself in THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY because I’m the hero of that book. Not a knight in shining armor sort of hero but a decent guy nonetheless.
How did you come to your author’s attention?
My brother Logan Cooper is the hero in THE BULL RIDER AND THE BARE BOYCOTTER. Many, many times in that book I told my brother he was an asshole, an idiot plus all sorts of other rude stuff. I think the brutal honesty of my words caught Jeanine’s attention. I don’t think she completely agrees with how I treated my brother but it does create one hell of a story with interesting characters.
Did you give your author a hard time when she was writing your story?
No, not at all. I’m not that type of guy. Unlike my brother Logan, I have lots of potential as a human being. It just took a little bit of finessing on Jeanine’s part to turn me from a loudmouth idiot into a sensitive man. But I’m here to tell you, it happened in THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY.
What do you do for a living?
Next question. Holy hell, did you read the title of the book?
Ok ok! Next question…Who is the love of your life?
If I told you that THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY would be ruined. It’s called a spoiler. Look it up.
If there is a ‘love of your life’, what was the first thing you noticed about her?
She was pregnant. Hugely pregnant.
What’s your greatest fear?
Falling off a bull, hitting my head and turning into an imbecilic. Then again maybe that’s an old fear. If I were to update my fears, it would be Carrie Wang leaving me. Jesus H. Christ, I can’t believe I just said that. I hope Carrie doesn’t read this interview, she’ll think I’m a wimp.
What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done?
Now, you’re really pushing it (rolls shoulders). Have sex with a woman that I didn’t impregnate. By the way, Carrie was seven months along at the time we got together but I was gentle. That’s all I’m saying about her, don’t ask me anymore.
Will we be seeing you in future books?
You betcha. There’s THE BULL RIDER WEARS PINK. It’s about my sister Cassidy. She wants to compete against the men. You didn’t hear this from me but she’s probably a better rider than Logan and I combined. Her problem is, she’s a lousy Mom. Then again, she’s planning to work on that and I guess she gets involved with Pastor John. Talk about opposites attracting, I don’t know what Jeanine was thinking bringing those two together.
Sexy bull rider Caleb Cooper keeps falling off his bull and hitting his head. Smart neuroscience graduate student Carrie Wang is studying him. There’s just one problem, Carrie’s attracted to her broad-shouldered research subject. But she shouldn’t be, because Carrie is pregnant with Charles Winston’s baby. However, that one-night-stand occurred in a beaker closet and Charles wants nothing to do with her or the child.
Besides being handsome in a long-haired, scruffy sort-of-way, Caleb Cooper is kind and quirky. Carrie can’t stop touching him and their unprofessional attraction is mutual. Problems abound when Carrie’s traditional Chinese mother and Charles come to the rodeo. Carrie’s mother wants her to hook a husband and Charles wants Carrie to give the baby up for adoption. Carrie knows she could never let a stranger raise her child. Can Carrie go against everyone’s wishes and raise the baby on her own? Or could Caleb become a father to this child?
Jeanine McAdam is a writer of twenty-five romantic short stories, a few spicy anthologies and three cowboy books. Telling stories about imperfect people finding perfect love is her thing. Even though she lives in New York City she’s fascinated with the American west. She’s currently writing about bull riders and the spunky urban women who adore them in her Skirts and Spurs Trilogy. When she’s not writing she spends time with her teenage sons, ultra marathon running husband and two rescue Labrador retrievers named Desdemona (Desi) and Aaron.
Find THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY:
Find Jeanine at:
Web Site: www.jeaninemcadam.com
Thanks once again for being here!
All the best,
Happy Valentine’s Weekend!
I hope you are having a wonderful one filled with plenty of sweets and your favorite sweetheart 🙂
You all know that I’m a big advocate for diversity in romance and to speak to that I’m proud to have been invited to participate in a Romance Writer Chat #RWChat on twitter this Sunday 2/15 with the fantastic Alisha Rai to talk about diversity in the romance industry. If you are around at 7PM EST please hop on Twitter and join in as we’d love to have you. You know my motto: #WeNeedDiverseRomance Hope to see you there!
All the best,
It’s beginning to look a lot like…
It’s time to PANIC, is what it’s beginning to look a lot like. How in the world is it this close to Christmas? I’m so far behind right now that I might as well count it as December 26th and start in on next year. Oh well, I’m never one to give up so I’m going in full force now.
Don’t you stay here and hang out with whiny old me, head on over where things are a lot more holiday cheery. Go on over to the Smutketeers 12 Days Blog Hop.
Today is Day 10 and I’m one of the featured authors with a giveaway up. Leave a comment to be entered to win a 20.00 Amazon Gift card & an e copy of Through The Lens. And while you there enter for all the days to be in for the big 300.00 value Grand Prize. hey it’s Christmas, or at least that’s what the calender is telling me. Click here to stop by! Oh and did you happen to see the fun video?
All the best,
Happy Holidays! I hope you all are having a wonderful start to the holiday season. I’m hopping into it with bells on with a bunch of my favorite writer friends by participating in not 1 but 2 holiday blog hops! And of course I’m reluctantly pulling Jack along for the ride.
The 1st will be a fabulous Christmakwanzakah Blog Hop from December 8-19 (My day is Dec 12th) where me and other fabulous authors will be sharing original holiday themed short stories. How fun! Look out for tweets and notifications from me and be sure to stop by all the author’s blogs for a new story every day!
The next is a blog hop with the fabulous Smutketeers! This hop runs from December 9th -21st and I’ll be up on their blog on the 18th where you’ll see my greeting and can enter for a chance to win a 20.00 Amazon gift card! Stop by to see all the authors and enter every day and you’ll be eligible for a chance to win their big grand prize worth 300.00!
Whew, that’s a lot of hopping. I’m sure by the end you and me both will be ready for a spot under the tree with Jack.
Have a wonderful week and see you back here during the Holidays!
All the best,
Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to all why participated and helped me with honoring my Nana by sharing yesterday on the #WeNeedDiverseRomance hashtag on twitter. I was so thrilled with how it took off and can only hope that the powers that be in the industry were listening. Whenever the mood strikes please keep it going. I know I sure will as long as it takes and as long as still #WeNeedDiverseRomance. You can check out lots of the tweets here on Storify. It was my 1st time on Storify so I hope they were all collected. And as for the header? Not sure how Sorify picked that.
Now, speaking of diverse romance I love it when I can bring a new writer to ye old blog and today I’m super excited to have my friend and RWA NYC chapter mate Ursula Renee here on Ye Old Blog to discuss her fantastic historical debut novel Sweet Jazz. Thanks so much for being here today Ursula.
First off can you tell us a bit about your current work?
Sweet Jazz is an interracial romance that takes place in Harlem, New York in 1938.
The Big House’s “Coloreds Only” policy makes the club popular with Harlem residents. The same policy makes it harder for the owners to find and retain musicians. After four weeks of listening to saxophonists with bigger dreams than talent, the owners are ready to hire the first person who walks in and plays “one good note.” Their words come back to haunt them when Randy Jones auditions.
Many of the employees are not thrilled when Randy breaks the color barrier. He does find an ally in Cass, the club’s sassy singer, who goes out of her way to welcome him. Offstage, Cass Porter looks like a teenager, but when she sings she’s all woman. Inside, she’s been hurt badly and has determined never to love again.
As their relationship develops, life at the club for Randy becomes complicated when he has to fight both Cass’s fear of opening her heart and those who want to keep them apart.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I discovered the joys of writing after I wrote my first story when I was eight. Though I continued writing short stories, poems, and fan fiction, I did not considering pursung a career as an author until I started working on Sweet Jazz.
What characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?
I like my heroes to be handsome, strong and confident. However, they also have to be willing to work with others and not insist on charging in to save the day alone.
A heroine should be strong, independent and smart. She should think before rushing into a situation that could potentially cause harm to her or others.
Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
I write during my hour long commute in the mornings and evenings. I also try to schedule one weekend a month in which I focus entirely on my manuscript.
I think of myself as both a pantser and plotter. As soon as an idea pops into my mind, I have to get it down on paper. Once I have completed the first draft, I create an outline. I used this during the editing process to ensure that each plot point moves the story forward and the characters appear and act as I originally envisioned.
What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
Do not give up.
There may be times when you feel as if everyone is against you – family and friends may laugh at you; editors tell you the manuscript does not work; or the words will not come to you. In either case, stop, take a deep breath and remember that success does not come to those who quit.
That is perfect advice. Thanks so much! What can readers expect next from you?
I am working on an interracial romance set in 1957, between a first generation Italian-American and a Filipino/African-American.
Fantastic! And now friends an excerpt from Sweet Jazz:
Cass rolled her eyes as she slid a sheet of paper across the table. He glanced down at the sketch of an older woman standing next to a piano. She wore an evening gown, and her hair was pulled back in a bun, with a feather ornament holding the style in place.
“The Big House is proud to feature Cass, with music by The Big House Band,” Randy read. He
glanced from the paper to her, then back at the paper. He recognized the similarities in the facial features, but it couldn’t be possible. “You can’t be the same Cass.”
“No other Cass here.”
“Your momma lets you work here?” Randy asked as he handed back the flyer.
He knew some parents did not care what their children did as long as they were out of the way.
However, allowing a young girl to work in a club was beyond neglectful.
“My momma doesn’t have much say in the matter, seeing as how she’s down south,” Cass said, placing the paper on the table.
“That’s where she lives.”
“What about your relatives?”
“They’re down there, too.”
Randy lowered his foot to the floor and straddled the chair. He needed to sit down. There was no way she was up there by herself.
“Don’t you have someone lookin’ after you?”
“I’ve been looking after myself for six years.”
“Six years? Girl, you jokin’? You can’t be no older than…what…sixteen? seventeen?”
Twenty-two? It explained why she got away with arguing with Junior, but, still… Randy slowly glanced from the ankle socks and canvas shoes on her feet to her two braids. She looked as if she should be playing with dolls or jumping rope, not singing in a club.
Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.
Ursula can be found on the web at:
And you can buy Sweet Jazz here:
All the best,
P.S. Sidebar: I’ll be appearing at Between The Covers in Riverdale NY on Monday 11/17 from 7-9 reading an excerpt from BOUNCE (I’ll try and find a spicy scene) And I’ll have some copies to sign! So if you are in upper Manhattan come on out! Details are here.
I don’t do well when confronted with myself. Ultra critical, when I look in the mirror it’s the faults I see first, though I’m probably not all that special in that regard. But wait, it goes further. So cringe worthy is my self-reflection, that I find the sound of my own voice, intolerable and I won’t even do the recording on our home’s answering machine. That said, you can imagine how I feel about doing public readings or private ones for that matter, as I loathe the sound of my own voice even more when it’s chiming my own words back at me. Taking every flaw that was a mere whisper in my mind and scraping it out, long and slow like nails shimmying then quick skipping along a chalk board.
All that said, still, many months ago I went and entered my self-published book BOUNCE in the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf contest. The contest where the winner is announced in a crowded ballroom, full of edge of their seat romance writers waiting with baited breath to hear the winners words being read by the iconic, Anne Frazier Walradt. Why would I do such a thing? Me, a person with severe stage phobia who also doesn’t like to hear her own stories read aloud? It makes no sense.
Well, the answer isn’t all that deep. You see, I’d been the New Jersey Romance writer’s conference many times before and like so many others I always wished I was one of ‘the ones’. Those chosen special few who for that year got to get the applause, but more than anything got to have their work read so beautify by Anne. Each passage a perfect literary triumph. So I entered, and this is where it gets a little confusing, because if truth be told, I’m sure I entered, despite my phobias because I well and truly never expected my entry to get very far. You see I entered expecting to lose. I’m a wisher in the worst sense of the word. I make my wish and instantly negate it with a ‘and that will never happen’ on the back end on the wish.
So long story short I entered. I entered and I made a halfhearted wish upon my entry, I’m sure backing it up with my seal of doubt and then I let it go. But then, way later, a strange thing happened. I got a call that I, me, well someone by the name of K.M. Jackson had finaled in the contest. It was a total OMG, Snoopy dance and then what in the world can this really be real moment. The Universe must surly be playing a joke on me. Someone had took my wish and broken the seal of doubt. My system was good and truly wrecked.
But I went with it. And pulling up my big girl pants I, for the most part, slipped it to the back of my mind, telling myself that I was a not one of ‘The Ones’. That this was great and great was as good as it was gonna get so just roll with that and be happy. When friends told me to prepare an acceptance speech I laughed at them, saying what was the point. Preparing a speech took my wish and edged to closer to the dream category and dreams have a way of wiggling under your skin, making you put work behind them as you think they could possibly come true and I wasn’t ready to let that happen. Remember my phobias and I was fine with wishing ThankYouVeryMuch. So while I was wishing I was mentally working on my perfect Oscar clap and smile for the real winner for when I didn’t hear my words read by Anne.
Finally, it was the big moment. I was sitting with my friends, trying my best to look cool as we were waiting for my category to be called. I had it all together in my head and if things would go according to my fool proof unscientific calculations there was no possible way I could be the winner. I had my clap and smile ready and waiting. The Wisher was firmly in her lane. But then it happened. Anne walked up to the podium and I heard the first few words …
“Sean reaches over and pulls my body in close to his, cradling my backside into his groin. He’s sleeping soundly, but his erection is strong and wide-awake.”
Holy crap, she was reading from BOUNCE! I inwardly groan with embarrassment as my inner critic raised her hand to poke me in the ribs (who in the world opens a book like that?!) while at the same time my heart leaped with joyous pride. This was it. This is not my wish moment but my dream coming true. There were cameras and eyes turned my way but all I could hear was my own voice telling myself to focus. Just listen to Anne. Hear the words that I wrote. And you know what? They never sounded so good.
Thank you to Anne Frazier Walradt and the New Jersey Romance Writers for a night I will cherish forever.
And for making a Dream come true.
All the best,
P.S. Thank you to all who entered. The Winner of my Creative Hearts Giveaway is Jackie Roberts! Congratulations Jackie. Please email me at kwanawrites @ Yahoo. Com with your information so that I can send you your gift card.
Today on ye old blog I’m excited to spotlight the fantastic writing duo of Deborah O’Neill Cordes and Cary Morgan Frates known together as Morgan O’Neil and their Italian Time Travel Series. But you know me, since I had them here to spotlight their latest work I had to ask quick question or two:
So ladies, why time travel? We love writing time travel because it gives us the opportunity to write epic and intricate timeswept adventures, which take place in the present and past. We love weaving real historical events into our storylines, with our heroines and heroes interacting with an actual historical romantic couple. It is also interesting to write these novels from the perspective of a modern heroine (or the occasional “out of his time” hero), who must deal with the conflict and dangers inherent in surviving in another era.
Where and when will you be traveling next? Our next time travel series will be a journey to Elizabethan England, with the debut of The Thornless Rose in November of 2014, to be published by Entangled Publishing, LLC.
That sounds fantastic and thanks for the preview and now let’s check out your wonderful series that’s out NOW!
The Other Side of Heaven, Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series
Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forebearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time. At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide. Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?
Time Enough for Love, Book Two of the Italian Time Travel Series
Through dark magic, Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn has been swept back in time to medieval Italy. There, she finds herself in the midst of a war between Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide, and those who have kidnapped her and seek to usurp her crown. Risking her life, Gwen elects to play a pivotal role in the planned rescue. In the midst of the chaos, she is drawn to the queen’s champion, Lord Alberto Uzzo, who battles not only their military foes, but also his personal demons. Tested to the limit when he discovers Gwen’s true identity as a time traveler, Alberto nevertheless fights through his doubt and the whirl of superstition that surrounds this intriguing and strong-willed woman. Time is of the essence as the lovers seek to overcome the evil forces rallying against the queen they’ve vowed to save. Will Gwen and Alberto be able to overcome the groundswell of danger to find time enough for love?
“What an amazing adventure… These two books will have a very treasured place on my bookshelf.” ~ Review by Hitherandthee of Night Owl Reviews. Both novels were given Top Picks, 4.5 stars for The Other Side of Heaven, 5 stars for Time Enough for Love.
“Alberto and Gwen’s relationship was one of the most touching and heartfelt romances, that I’ve read in a long time.” ~ Review by Angela Searles, Satin Sheets Romance Reviews.
Two authors writing as one, Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure, and romance – with a time travel twist. They are the award-winning authors of the medieval Italian time travel duo, The Other Side of Heaven, and its sequel, Time Enough for Love, and the forthcoming Elizabethan time travel series, which will debut with The Thornless Rose, from Entangled Publishing, LLC, in November, 2014. They are also the authors of the Roman time travel series, which will be re-released in 2015.
The Other Side of Heaven and Time Enough For Love can be found in these locations on the web:
All the best,
Today on ye old blog I’m so happy to have a friend who also happens to be a fabulous author, Jamie Wesley here to chat about books, writing and her debut release from Entangled publishing called Tell Me Something Good.
Hi Jamie! Thanks so much for being here today. It’s a real treat. First off can you tell us a bit about Tell Me Something Good?
Thank you, Kwana, for having me and absolutely, I’ll tell you about my book! TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD is an enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance that takes place in the world of talk radio. It’s funny and sexy (in my opinion anyway). Here’s the blurb:
Two radio show hosts. One show. Who will come out on top?
In a moment of restlessness, Tate Grayson sold his multimillion-dollar company and spun his love of sports into a radio talk show. Life, and love, is too short to take seriously—a fact he enjoys rubbing in uptight radio host Noelle Butler’s face.
After the death of her parents, a tragedy she blamed on herself, Noelle vowed to live a controlled, focused life. Now a psychologist, she channels her need for connection into her radio show. But when the arrogant sportscaster next door tells listeners men shouldn’t get married, she’s all too happy to yank the silver spoon out of his overprivileged mouth.
Their heated on-air arguments are a hit, but when the station director forces them to do a joint show for two weeks, Tate and Noelle object. They can’t stand each other, despite the attraction sizzling beneath every interaction. But if they can’t pull the struggling radio station back from the brink, they’ll lose their jobs. Or worse, their hearts.
What inspired you to write this story? The song Tell Me Something Good naturally!
Three years ago, I was driving home from work, flipping through radio stations, when Tell Me Something Good came on. As I was singing along to it, it occurred to me that Tell Me Something Good would be a great title for a book.
I had no characters, no plot. Just a title. But it didn’t stay that way for long.
“Tell Me,” I thought. “Tell Me” led me to “talk” and then “talk radio.” And boom, I had an idea! What if two radio show talk hosts who couldn’t stand each other were forced to do a show together?
Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser? I’m a pantser, but I have to have some idea of the plot before I start. I’m not one to sit down at the computer with two characters and just write. I need to know something like they don’t like each other, but they have to work together at their radio station. With that said, I don’t plot the whole story out because – A. I can’t. I might have a general idea of what happens in the first few chapters, but chapter 8? No idea. And the quickest way for me to get frustrated and blocked is to try to figure out what happens in chapter 8 before I start the story. B. I lose interest if I know the entire story beforehand. I feel like I’ve already written it.
Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers? Funny how long “overnight” takes, isn’t it? I graduated college in 2002. While I searched for a job, it occurred to me that as much as I love reading romance, I should try my hand at writing one. I’d always loved writing, and English was always my best subject. At one point, I thought I was going to be a journalist.
I had an idea for a story, but I got halfway through the book only to realize I had no idea what happened next. I got a job and put it aside. In 2009, I took it back out and finished it. It only took 7 years to figure out the ending! Lol. I tried to get it published in 2010. That’s when I realized that the publishing industry can be the very definition of frustrating. You submit and wait. And then the editor who had your story leaves, but doesn’t pass it along before departing, so you submit again, only to have the same thing happen again.
Anyway, while I waited, I wrote some more stories. I knew my writing was getting better and I got some confirmation in 2012 when I was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Surely now, I would be published! Except no. I received rejections from agents and a few publishers, which sucked, but didn’t defeat me. The rejections just meant I had to get better. I knew the story was good, but it could be better. So I set it aside and worked on other things. Eventually, I came back to it. I worked on it, then gave it to a friend for a critique. She did a great job and I worked on the book some more until I thought it was ready. In 2013, I submitted it to Entangled Publishing and had an acceptance less than a week later. That book was TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD.
As for the first book I wrote? It eventually got rejected and it’s now tucked away on my computer hard drive. I still like the plot, but the writing isn’t up to the standard I’ve set for myself. Maybe one day I’ll get back to it.
Who are some of your favorite writers that have influenced you? I’ve been reading Nora Roberts for over 20 years. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Brenda Jackson, Julie James. So yes, the biggest names in contemporary romance. Lol. But there’s the reason they are the biggest names. They’re terrific writers. And this is by no means a complete list.
What advice would you give other aspiring writers? Read the books/authors you love and try to figure out why you love them. Know that you’ll get frustrated and there will be setbacks, but don’t give up. Strive to be a better writer today than you were yesterday.
Lastly, what can readers expect next from you? I’m working on the sequel to TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m going to refer to it as #notabadthing on Twitter. Yes, that’s in reference to Justin Timberlake’s song. The hero is having the hardest time convincing the heroine that he’s worth the risk. She may have her doubts, but my money is on the hero.
Thanks so much once again for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.
No, thank you! I had an amazing time! As a thank you, I’d like to offer an e- copy of TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD to one of your readers. All they have to do to enter the contest is tell me the biggest curveball a boss has ever thrown at them (please put your contact info in your comment).
Here’s an excerpt from TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD:
She looked up. “I’m fine. Truly.” She grasped his hand on her cheek with hers and squeezed.
Tate stared into her beautiful, gray eyes. All he could see was her. All he wanted to see was her. His eyes slipped to her slightly parted full lips. His breath quickened as the pull between them strengthened. A force he was much too weak to continue resisting.
He lowered his head. A hand to his chest stopped him. He stilled, hoping she didn’t push him away. Hoping she did—to save him from himself. She didn’t. Instead, she gripped the shirt and slowly pulled him to her.
“Oh, man,” she whispered right before his lips met hers.
Lust he expected, but not the overwhelming sweetness and rightness that punched him in the gut. He slid his hand to her chin and tilted it up, seeking a better angle. She wrapped her left arm around his shoulders and pulled him closer. She sighed, a tiny sound that acted as a drug to his senses. He took advantage, slipping his tongue inside her mouth.
They shared a moan. He kept the kiss slow and languid, learning the shape and feel of her. What she liked. But his tactic did nothing to blight how mind-blowing the kiss was. Overwhelming desire filled every pore of his being. If her moans and her active participation were indications, Noelle felt the same.
He slid his hands down her back to her ass, cupped it, and drew her into his body. She went willingly and gasped into his mouth as his rock-hard erection made contact with her stomach.
He grinned against her mouth. Yeah, he wanted her. Bad. A swipe of her tongue against his bottom lip had him going back for more, the embrace turning harder.
Had a kiss ever felt so good, so right? So perfect?
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All the best,