On a dark and stormy night—oh, wait—someone has already used that opening. I could start by telling you that even as a child, I made up my own endings to books and movies that disappointed me. That was a long—long—long, time ago but I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories. My first mini-epics were penned, or should I say, penciled with great love, if not with great care.
I’m still penning my stories, granted they are much racier and I pay more attention to story structure these days but there’s still one thing that rings true—I absolutely love what I do!
What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I’ve learned that 1K is about my limit. On good days, I’ll double that input but 1K is my usual goal. If the ideas are flowing, I’ll continue after a break or work on a different story but I’m generally devoting about eight hours per day, if not more to my career.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
When I first started out, I drove myself crazy trying to figure out where to spend my promotional time and money. I couldn’t seem to find the right balance and it was some time before I realized that writing the next book and getting it out there promotes better than any advertisement I’d ever purchased.
How much of yourself is hidden in your characters?
LOL—quite a bit! Most of my characters are concerned with social issues and several of my heroes and heroines reflect this trait. I think authors tend to identify emotionally with most of their main characters in some respect and it lends an authenticity to their actions.
Of all of your character’s, who’s your favorite and why?
That would have to be Bella Jacienski from HEAD OVER HEELS. Bella lives above her own quirky little thrift shop in the Crossroads art district in Kansas City. She’s fun-loving, passionate and genuinely cares about people. Plus, she doesn’t have to leave home to work. Oh wait, neither do I!
Do you eat comfort food and/or listen to music when writing?
As much as I love coffee, while writing, I drink herbal tea to stay hydrated and have been known to nibble M & M’s when I need some energy. I usually listen to music that reminds me of the story that I’m writing. While writing ASSASSIN’S KISS, my action/adventure shape-shifter novel, I listened to LAST OF THE MOHICANS, almost non-stop.
Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
Although the book won’t get written if you don’t sit your butt in the chair, don’t neglect the time you need to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. It took me a long time to learn that sometimes story problems worked themselves out if I was less stressed. Take time to lunch with friends, visit a museum or indulge in whatever passion sparks your creativity.
If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
I would definitely tell her to trust her instincts.
What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
Don’t tempt me. I’d love to try writing a Steampunk romance. I have one in mind but it’s at the tail end of a very long project list right now.
Any part of the book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle or end?
The middle is always the most difficult for me. Carefully weaving the threads of all of the story questions into an interesting conclusion can sometimes be daunting. Believe it or not; I sometimes write the ending before I finish the middle.
I knew both the beginning and ending of HEAD OVER HEELS; it was the middle that required the most work.
Bella Jacienski literally falls into sexy philanthropist Rhys Vincent’s arms while wearing her “magic” red stilettos, and wonders if the legend attached to the shoes is true. Has she found her heart’s desire—a passionate, lust-crazed lover who wants only her? Always and forever?
Rhys can’t keep his big hands off the curvy shopkeeper. Heated glances and sizzling touches turn into a hot office interlude and wild, break-the-bed sex that only makes him want her more. Bella is all the magic he needs.
He situated the ladder and started climbing.
“I admire a man who’s willing to battle cobwebs and lace doilies to make me happy,” she said, watching him balance three full hatboxes and step back down. The muscles in his legs and ass clenched and her mouth watered. She was going to be a giant puddle before this was over. She hastily cleared the counter.
He set the boxes down between them. “Anymore balancing acts I should know about?”
She shook her head. “Not this week,” she said as he grabbed his coat and hat. She didn’t want him to go but if he didn’t there was a real threat that she’d start rationalizing a quickie, drag him into the storeroom and fuck his brains out among the clutter and cast-off furniture. There was a fainting couch but the upholstery was shot and the stuffing was marginal.
Oh damn. She’d been without sex way too long.
He turned the handle and the door popped open. “I know I locked this.”
She shrugged. “I have to use the deadbolt if I want to lock it securely.”
He frowned. “Were you afraid of being in here alone with me?”
“Not for the reason you might think,” she said, smiling because the thought worried him enough to ask. And he did look worried. “You’re almost too good to be true and I don’t want to screw it up.” He shut the door, deliberately and she cringed. “I open my mouth and—”
He crossed the shop in quick, deliberate strides closing the distance between them.
“Open your mouth, Bella,” he whispered, lowering his head. His soft command swept through her and brushed away any doubt that this was what they both wanted.
Even in the impossibly high stilettos she had to stand on tiptoe until he wrapped his arms around her and lifted her closer. His mouth was warm and sweet, restrained for the second it took her to accept him and then he claimed. His hands were everywhere, around her, caressing her.
She pressed against his erection, hot and ready. The upholstery on the fainting couch in the storeroom wasn’t that bad. She could throw a blanket over it. Or she could lead him upstairs to her delicate, wrought-iron bed. And they could make the bed shake and the windows rattle.
She drew back and took a deep breath. She wanted to reach down and touch all that pulsating energy wedged between them but he pulled away, his fingers trailing down her arms.
“Do you care about any of them enough to want them back?”
Still dazed by his kiss, she shook her head. “I didn’t care enough about any of them to consider how terrific make-up sex would be,” she said, still fixated on his mouth.
He looked stunned for a moment then shook his head. “Let’s not make that our first time,” he rasped, drawing her out of her trance. He pushed his arms into his jacket, put on his hat and slung his scarf around his neck. “I can’t believe there isn’t someone in your past smart enough to want you back,” he said, pinning her with a heated gaze that just missed being a glare.
He unceremoniously grabbed her for another lingering kiss, cradling her head in his big hands and taking her mouth as if he were staking his territory. And then he was gone.
She watched him cross the street between lights, still hungry for his touch, another kiss. Rhys Vincent had to be the most passionate man she’d ever met. Lust was definitely part of the equation—and he wanted her.
Thank you so much for dropping by and taking the time to get to know a little more about little old me. It's always nice to make new friends and say hello to those I only see online. Be sure and leave a comment and a contact email if you’d like a chance to win an XL Romance Books ‘4’ Us tee shirt.
May 2014 bring you happiness!
Bend Over, Cowboy-5 Stars, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Petting Kitty-Ellora’s Cave
Cross My Heart-NOR Top Pick
Head Over Heels-5 Hearts, The Romance Studio
Assassin’s Kiss-4 Stars Romantic Times Book Review
No Holds Barred-4 Stars JERR