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Monday, April 7, 2014


This is my first official interview with a guest author, and I'm very excited. Lisa Renee Jones is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author and I was honored to meet and interview her. Today, Lisa is showcasing The Inside Out Series with Book 1--If I Were You. According to Lisa, the books need to be read in order. Don't forget to leave a comment for Lisa.

NOTE: To find out more about Lisa and her books, visit her author page at

Without further ado, welcome Lisa, the floor is yours!

50 Shades Meets Gone Girl

“Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with. I’m thrilled to develop a television show that will tell Sara’s whole story – her life, her work, her friends, and her sexuality.

-  Suzanne Todd, Producer of Alice in Wonderland

How it all began....
One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything that I knew about myself, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.

Soon, I was standing inside of a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying and dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure that she was okay. Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.

The dark passion it becomes...

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, all of whom I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that calls to me, that awakens desire in me in ways that I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways that I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.

All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know myself, and he says that I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.



Rounding the corner, I enter the hallway, and Chris is suddenly there in the narrow passage with me, pressing me against the wall, his powerful thighs framing mine.

My hand goes instinctively to his t-shirt-clad chest. I am immediately aware of the intimacy of the touch, of my body’s reaction to the man who has betrayed me. “Don’t shove me against another wall and try to intimidate me, Chris.” 

“I’m not trying to intimidate you. I was protecting you, Sara.” His hands move to my waist, scorching me, and my reaction to the sizzling touch is instant. I cover his hands with mine, trying to control what he does next, but it doesn’t help. Now, my hands are on his hands and his hands are on my body.

“Call it what you want,” I ground out, “but you had no right to do what you did.”

“He had to know he couldn’t manipulate your dream. Money, and my many resources at your disposal, does that.”

His words knock my anger and my breath away, and confusion consumes me. His actions and his words conflict at every turn. 

“Why would you help me? You said I don’t belong in this world.”

“Because I won’t watch him gobble you up and destroy you.”

I remember his words, and understand now that he wanted me out of this gallery, not this profession. “Because he’s a dark, messed up, arrogant asshole who will play with my mind and use me until there is nothing else left of me I recognize.”

“That’s right.”

“And yet you say you’re worse.”

He stiffens and cuts his gaze, seeming to struggle before fixing me in a turbulent stare. “I am, Sara, which is why you should run as far away from me as you can. And I should step back and let you.”

“Then why aren’t you?” I whisper.

His eyes hold mine, and what I see there, the depth of his desire, overwhelms me. He flattens his palm on my belly and I tremble beneath the touch, and he has to feel it too. “Because,” his voice low, seductive, his hand traveling up the center of my body, “I can’t stop thinking about you, and everything I want to do to you, everywhere I want to touch you.”

His hand presses to the swell between my breasts, and my nipples ache with a wish he would touch them. His boldness ignites something sultry and dark inside me, a side of me that defies the good-girl school teacher who is appalled I haven’t stopped this. I want him. I want him here and now, and any way I can have him.

And when his gaze lowers to my mouth and lingers, I know he is thinking about kissing me and I have never wanted to be kissed so badly in my life.

“Do you taste as good as I think you do?” he asks, but he doesn’t wait for my reply.

Suddenly, his fingers have tunneled into my hair and he’s dragging my mouth to his. I am all soft submission, yielding to the moment, to the man. I melt into him, welcome the hardness of his body pressed to mine. And when his tongue presses past my lips, a long, wicked caress, I taste his hunger, his need. There is possessiveness to his kiss, to his hand on my back, molding me closer. I am lost in the ache that has become my need for this man, this stranger I cannot resist. He says he’s protecting me; he says he’s dangerous. I am conflicted, and sure I should be angry with him, but I am completely incapable and unable of processing why.

Find Me Here:
I sat down to talk about sex with Diego, and we had an unexpected visitor! #funnycat #orientalshorthair


I asked Lisa to list her previous books but with a list of 40 books, we wouldn't have room! Instead I asked her a whole lot of questions.

How did you celebrate publishing your first book?

That was so long ago I don’t even remember.I took such a strange path. Library publisher. Lots of novellas to major houses. Category romance. Indie. Then finally my breakout that is the Inside Out Series being made into a STARZ TV show. That sale definitely was expensive champagne worthy.

Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?

I really trust the producers and the network. Thought I had pinups there are so many factors to be considered. Availability, schedules, willingness to do cable level nudity, age range for 7 years (the time a series might run if a hit) and so on. My pinup for Chris Merit was Chris Hemsworth and for Mark it was Alexander Skarsguard. For Sara, Odette Annable from House. But fans have made amazing choices. I love Charlie Hunnam and he has such range. He’d be an amazing Chris. I’m staying open minded.  

 How do you usually come up with a story idea?  Dreams?  Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations?  Newspaper?

Inside Out was inspired by a real journal we found in a storage unit when we were auction hunting aka STORAGE WARS. In the series the heroine has something similar happen and it draws her into mystery, danger, and seduction. 

The Secrets Life Of Amy Bensen came from an idea that was so far off from what it became. As I started plotting that idea just created a better one.

 What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?

It’s always writing the next book but as a hybrid author staying on top of the industry and what is happening and changing,to stay ahead of the curve is more important than anything. And the right agent I strategize with and trust is everything.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

There are little pieces of me in all the books but Sara from Inside Out is most like me, and I hope someone we all identify with. She let fears keep her from her dreams and she’s learning to overcome them and find herself. Don’t we all do that at some point? I know I did. I left the corporate world to chase a dream and went from a six figure salary to dirt poor. When I wrote her at the beginning I was living the hard side of the decision and lots of fears.

Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?

Sara, Chris and Mark from Inside Out because they changed my life and they are very real to me. I’m extremely attached. 

If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?

Everything. I hate all my early writing, even those published.

Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?

Many times. Inside Out is a prime example and often things that I experience show up in some way,shape or form. The third book of Inside Out takes place in Paris and I went there to write it. Almost everything I did in Paris is in that book.It’s so different there I would have written Paris wrong had I not gone and the books are being published in France so that would have been bad.

Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?

I get stuck at parts and can’t go on and it always means something is off. I have days of panic as my husband tries to calm me down. When I figure it out the fix always seems so simple when it hadn’t a day before.

Out of your entire back list, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?

I’d have to pull them all to look but I love the first paragraph of IF I WERE YOU. It’s a very scintillating journal entry that my school teacher heroine is unable to stop reading and then feels guilty or reading afterwards. When I heard it on audio it made me blush.  

How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?

No. I have to stay present in the world I’m writing in but since Inside Out is an on going story I don’t need to leave that world. Now, when Amy Bensen came to me I felt compelled to write her series. I plotted it and was ready to jump into it the minute I finished my contracted book.

Okay, now for some fun stuff.

Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the following sentences:
I love pizza with . . . .my fiancé on Saturday nights and one of our favorite show
I'm always ready for . . . .Chocolate
When I'm alone, . . .I am writing
You'd never be able to tell, but I used to . . . .be in the corporate world and all stuffy and formal
If I had a halo it would be. . .damaged.
If I could rule the world . . .I’d get rid of hatred.
I can never rule the world because. . . You can never get rid of hatred:(

Thanks again for being a guest on RB4U, Lisa!

Cynthia Arsuaga
Erotic Romance Author


Marianne Stephens said...

Thanks for being on RB4U today! Interesting to read that you were in Paris when writing your third Inside Out exciting to be there and write from experience.
Good luck with the Starz shows!

Suzanne Rock said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Lisa! I'm such a huge fan...not only of your books, but of your work ethic and determination behind the scenes. I just signed with Pocket Star, so I'm doubly excited that your Inside Out series is going to be shown on screen. You work so hard and deserve this. How you transformed yourself into a successful hybrid author is inspiring. Huge congrats!!

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Thanks so much for visiting the blog! I loved the excerpt, it drew me right in. Hard work does pay off and your career shows it. Thanks so much for sharing.


Sandy said...

Enjoyed the interview and excerpt, Lisa. I love finding out about other authors. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie said...

Such a great interview, Lisa! Thanks for stopping by.
Will you go back to you paranormal genre, like the Zodiac series, or have you found your niche?

Rose Anderson said...

I very much enjoyed your visit today, Lisa. Thanks for joining us today.

R. Ann Siracusa said...

I enjoyed your interview, and I can't wait to read your book. Drawing inspiration from other locations than your normal work space makes for exciting books. Thanks for being our guest.

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Loved doing this interview Lisa! Can't wait to see your TV production! Thanks again for doing the interview.

Sandy said...

Great interview, and it was great to learn about you, Lisa. What an intriguing premise for your story.

Judy Baker said...

Lisa, great interview and excerpt - thank you for sharing with us.

Polly McCrillis said...

What a wonderful series, Lisa and how exciting for you that it is being made into a TV series/movie. Congratulations on all your success and here's to much more!

Polly McCrillis said...
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Polly McCrillis said...
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jean hart stewart said...

Great interview and it's nice to know more about you. Your career has taken an exciting turn, so enjoy it to the hilt....

Polly McCrillis said...

What a wonderful series, Lisa and how exciting for you that it is being made into a TV series/movie. Congratulations on all your success and here's to much more!

Melissa Keir said...

What a fabulous interview! The books sound amazing but I loved the candor of the interview. Too bad you can't take over the world! But you are right about hatred!

Kyrulz said...

Awesome Lisa's books

amy said...

Lisa great interview I will get starz when the show starts because I LOVE your books!!!! Keep up the great writing please!!!!!

Carly Carson said...

Interesting concept, and a little eerie too. That's so glamorous to think of going to Paris for ahem, "research". I hope you had a grand time.

E.L. F. said...

Just waving! I have enjoyed watching this series unfold and congratulate you on your success. I am looking forward to the next story in both this and your NA series. I am in awe of the things you manage to juggle! Thanks for sharing.

Lisa Miller said...

I can't wait for the next book and tv series.

Gemma Juliana said...

Fun interview. Thanks for visiting, Lisa. What an exciting career you are building. Best of luck with it all, and the upcoming shows.

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