Q&A with Sharla Lovelace

Describe yourself in five words or less.

  1. Snarky (Might be kind of scary that this was the first one that came to mind.)

  2. Introverted

  3. Sneaky

  4. People-watcher (notice how I hyphenated to get an extra word? Yeah, see #3)

  5. Dog-lover (it worked last time

Can you tell us a little about your book?

It’s about lying! LOL. Truly, it’s about when all your little white lies catch up to you, and what the hell do you do then? You make up a gargantuan sized one to cover them, and then hope it doesn’t swallow you whole. Unless it’s in the form of a hot sexy get-under-your-skin man….then by all means swallow!  (I did not just say that.)

Lanie and Nick’s story was honestly one of my favorite books to write—EVER. It was so much fun, and such a runaway train ride with no hands! I loved literally watching them fall for each other, I loved Lanie’s spunk! I loved every second of it, and it birthed the town of Charmed, so I hope you will love it as much as I do.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

I Hope You Dance

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

My phone and a hair tie on my wrist. (That’s 2. Damn I have trouble following rules.)

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I adore writing intense scenes with either sexy-smexy chemistry burning up the page or fast snappy dialogue. Sex scenes before the sex…with the tease and the tension and the snarky back and forth talking…I love that.  Also fights are a blast with all that emotion churning around. Dialogue is always the most fun. I groan to write description…

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Everyone says this, but seriously, never give up. I met Sandra Brown at a writer’s conference, and she was behind a table signing for a line of hundreds, and when I got up there I said “Everyone in this line wants to be you one day.” She looked at me and said, “You’re here. You’re already halfway there. Don’t ever stop learning and don’t ever stop writing. You’ll get here. One day, maybe I’ll be in your line.” I never forgot that. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing by any means, but my first book was published almost exactly 5 years ago, and now A CHARMED LITTLE LIE is my 10th published book, and I’ve just finished writing my 12th.  Don’t give up on your dream. Also, remember that you write about life, and to do that you have to live. There are times (deadline evil times) that you have to stay in a cave and pound out words, but outside of that, find a balance and enjoy your life. It will show in your writing when you do…and when you don’t. If you write romance, kiss your husband every day. And if you are writing about hot sex and he is one of your readers, you’d better be prepared to give up the goods. Saying you aren’t in the mood after penning being banged against a wall—doesn’t cut it honey. ;)

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I wouldn’t be here without you, and I love and adore you so much for taking the time to buy my books and give my stories a try. And when you email or message me to tell me about it…oh my God you just don’t know the rainbows and unicorns that fill me up. Nothing is more important in this job than readers. When I make you happy…when I make you laugh or cry or feel something that you are moved enough to tell me about…my God, ice cream isn’t even as good as that. It’s close. But not quite. ;)

Q&A with Terri Reed, GUARDIAN

Was it different to write about a K-9 in the plot vs people?

Writing stories with dogs is both a challenge and a delight. I love dogs and find them fascinating creatures. Dogs have their own personality, just like people. Making them a character in the story without overshadowing the humans can be tricky. I like to show the bond between humans and canines, especially the special relationship of a K-9 dog and the police handler. They must rely on each other, trust each other and constantly train in order for the working relationship to function properly.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes the names come to me easily while other times I have to search for the right name depending on the characters personality, background and temperament. I have a reference book titled Names Through the Ages that I use quite often when looking for a name. I like to know where the name originated and the meaning of the name. I try to incorporate something in the characters to reflect the meaning or origin of the name.

Do you have any traditions you enjoy during Spring?

Here in Oregon we have The Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest during the spring months. It’s a wonderful sight to see the fields of colorful tulips swaying in the gentle breeze or sunlight reflecting off raindrops. The festival is a family affair with a children’s play area, hay wagon rides through the fields, and local food vendors providing delicious fare. Even dogs are welcome. It’s a wonderful place to create family memories. http://www.woodenshoe.com

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I would act out my stories for my grandparents when I was a kid. In junior high I had an English teacher who really sparked my interest in one day becoming an author. He made believe that my stories were worth telling. In college, my creative writing professor also encouraged me to pursue writing. However, fear kept me from taking the leap of faith for many years but I’m so glad I finally gathered enough courage to try.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I like to have 3 to 4 months to complete a book. Sometimes it takes longer or shorter depending on my deadlines and what is going on in my personal life.

What makes writing in the contemporary romance genre unique?

Writing the contemporary story requires a delicate balance of grounding the reader in the world of today yet not dating the book so that readers who find the book a few years later don’t feel like the story is outdated.

How many books have you written?

I’ve written over forty books in the span of fourteen years. Do you have a favorite? My second book, A Sheltering Love for Love Inspired, will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and the heroine in this story is closer to who I am than most of my other stories.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m reading a Harlequin Romantic Suspense by one of my favorite authors. Operation Alpha by Justine Davis, is book eight in the Cutter’s Code series. Cutter is an uncannily brilliant dog who not only knows when someone is in trouble, but he plays matchmaker amid well-done suspense plots. I’ve enjoyed all the books in the series and have read every book Justine Davis has written.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a couple of stories right now. Book 1 of the 2018 K-9 continuity series for Love Inspired Suspense. This series will be set on a fictional Air Force base and feature Military Working Dogs. I also just turned in the proposal for book 1 of my own new series for Love Inspired Suspense.

What advice do you have for writers?

Keep writing through the ups and downs of life. Be flexible, teachable and believe in your work.

Q&A with Brenda Novak, FINDING OUR FOREVER

Did writing about Cora Kelly, Aiyana and Elijah require a lot of research into birth mothers and adoption? 

Definitely! The story was actually inspired by a friend of mine, who has finally found her birthday mother (my friend is nearly 60) after a closed adoption at birth. Her story has been exciting, frustrating, heart-wrenching, just like Cora’s. She shared it with me as she was going through it. That’s what made me want to write about a woman who was also looking for her mother. Also, I did a lot of research online.

What is your favorite part about writing Contemporary Romance books?

I love the emotional honesty. They are stories that are so easy to identify with because the characters are often facing problems any one of us could face.

Do you have any traditions you enjoy during early Spring?

My birthday is in the spring (and everyone else’s in the family, besides my oldest daughter, is in the fall, all bunched together). I make my birthday last the whole month of May! Ha! (My family has often remarked on this.)

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I caught my daycare provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep all day while I worked as a loan officer. Once I realized what was going on, I quit my job to stay home with them myself. Problem was…I wasn’t working because I wanted to. I still needed to contribute financially. I had three of my five kids then, and I had no idea how I was going to help earn a living while taking care of them at the same time, but my sister sent me KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. It was a wonderful book, one that really swept me away. When I finished it, I remember thinking, “I wonder if I could write a book.” I started OF NOBLE BIRTH the next day and have never looked back.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I have deadlines every four months. If I was really pressed, I could probably do one in three, but not book after book.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’m always on the hunt for new character names. I listen when I meet people, pick up on certain names my children mention or other people mention around me. I’ve even gone online and looked up lists of the most popular names in America. My former assistant gave me a character naming book which has been helpful, too!

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I’ve written 61 so far. I have quite a few favorites—usually for different reasons—but if I had to pick only one, I’d have to say THIS HEART OF MINE. That book is really emotional for me, and yet it just poured out. It’s the easiest book I’ve ever written.

What book are you reading right now?

Sandra Brown’s STING. I have an online book group in which I select a fellow author to highlight in the months when I don’t have a release of my own. I’ll be going to Arlington, TX to interview Sandra live next week! I can’t wait. I love her work!

What are your current projects?

I’m currently finishing the fourth book in my Silver Springs series (comes out in November). Then I’ll be starting the third book in my Evelyn Talbot series, which is geared more toward suspense than straight contemporary romance.

What advice do you have for writers?

I can boil it down to just one word. Believe. It’s that simple. If you truly believe in yourself and your talent, you will be motivated to actually sit down and write the book instead of only dreaming about it. You will be driven to seek out any help you may need (research or craft-related) to make it the best you can create. You will follow through with marketing ideas until you sell it (or self-publish it), and you won’t give up if you don’t immediately reach your goals. Belief drives the entire engine—especially through the rough spots. 

Q&A with Michelle Smart, author of Once of a Moretti Wife

How do choose your characters’ names?

With great difficulty! Sometimes I’ll hear a name and immediately store it away for future reference, other times I’m quite liable to spend hours searching for the perfect name to match the character I have in mind.

What is your favorite part about writing Contemporary Romance books?

Writing all the heady emotions that come with them. They can be as much of a roller-coaster to write as they are to read.

Do you have any traditions you enjoy during early Spring?

Nope!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Probably when I realized I would never get paid for being a reader! I’ve always been a bookworm and always loved both reading and creating my own worlds.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends on the book. Some are harder to write than others. Some might only take me a month, others much longer.

What kind of research did you have to do to prepare you to write this book?

For Once a Moretti Wife, the biggest bulk of my research went on amnesia and its different variants and causes. I know I write high-fantasy romance but I always want it to be rooted in reality.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I’ve just started writing number eighteen for Harlequin Presents. Of them all, I can’t choose a favourite but I can choose a top three, and Once a Moretti Wife is one of them! The other two are Talos Claims His Virgin and the yet-to-be-released Buying His Bride of Convenience. Funnily enough, going back to your question about how long it takes for me to write a book, these three were probably the quickest to write!

What book are you reading right now?

I’m currently re-reading all my old Patricia Cornwell books and am up to Cruel & Unusual.

What are your current projects?

I’m almost three chapters into book number eighteen for Harlequin Presents.

What advice do you have for writers?

Keep writing and keep reading. Writing, like anything, takes practice. The more you do it, the better your writing will become.

Interview with Amanda Ashby, author of The Wedding Planner's Baby

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Bec’s quite wild and carefree and Lincoln is an English Lord and despite the differences they bounced really well off each other, which meant it was fun to write them. Plus, I loved Bec’s relationship with her best friend, Coop, so it was always a giggle when they were on the page together!

Name three things on your desk right now.

Colored Post It notes and colored pens

A large quartz crystal

A coaster in the shape of a Maori Tiki  

(and one thing that isn’t on my desk is me! I tend to travel around the house following the sun like a cat, leaving the desk untouched by human hands!)

What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silveria (loved this book so much and when I finished I did that sad blinky thing when you realize that you’re not in book world at all, but rather in your house).

The Starbound Trilogy by Aimee Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Storm Front by Jim Butcher.

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

The silly kind. I do have a tendency to go over the top with the situations that I throw my characters into and I figure that when it gets too ridiculous then my editor will haul me back. Though, every now and then they forget, and I end up with crazy weird things happening in my books. I really shouldn’t be left unattended!

What are you favorite types of stories to read?

I read a lot of Young Adult and Fantasy books and often describe my reading tastes as that of a twelve-year-old boy because I like a lot of action, sword fighting and magic. But I also love humor and romance so when I get a book that combines all of these things, I’m pretty happy!

What 5 things should readers know about you?

1) I can’t tell my left from my right without shaking my hand and then working out if that’s the one I hold a pen in (and yes, I know about all the tricks of making the letter L with your left hand and no one wishes that way would work more than me. Alas, it does not). However, despite not being able to tell my left from my right, I have a really great sense of direction, which was very handy in the pre Google Map/SatNav days!

2) I was born in Australia but have lived for many years in both England and New Zealand and as a result have a very strange accent. No, seriously, if we were having a strange accent competition I would totally win!

3) I will forever love The Spice Girls and all forms of 90s pop music. This makes my husband shudder, to which I merely reply zig-ah-zig-ah.

4) When it comes to black boots, I’m a firm believer that more is better!

5) The above policy also applies to purses and white linen blouses.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing when I was twenty-seven after suddenly waking up one day and deciding that I should write a book. I wish I could say I was exaggerating and that I’d some inkling when I was younger, but nope. Not a clue. I was really good at creative writing at school and had been a life long reader, but until that moment of clarity, the chances of me being a writer were as likely as me becoming an astronaut (which, no offence to astronauts, but it looks like a lot of work). But I digress. So, after waking up with the idea to write a book I promptly sat down and wrote a 50,000 word romance, enticingly titled Love Story. Yeah. It was as bad as it sounds! It took me about a month to write and if memory serves, I did the whole thing in bold. Because I really was that clueless!!! After that I kept writing more books and learning my craft until I finally sold my debut book ten years later. Probably another reason why I could never be an astronaut. I’m a very slow learner!

What do you do when you are not writing?

I also work in the children’s department at my local library, which is awesome! I love books and I love seeing kids reading books so it’s a win/win. I also spend lots of time watching television or having my own nose buried in a book. Oh and I have a small and totally under control addiction to buying vintage treasures, which keeps me busy!!! Apparently I also have a family to feed and water, so let’s pretend that they come further up the list!

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

I sure do! For a start, I’m so proud of everyone who listens to their inner voice, who dares to follow their dreams and who steps into the magical space of creativity, it’s an amazing place to be! As for advice, there is quite literally only one way to write a book, and that’s word by word. Yes, you might not have the craft nailed, or understand how a scene works but until you sit down and start writing your story, you’ll never figure it out. So, take a deep breath and get started. You got this!  
 

Interview with Christy Carlyle, A Study in Scoundrels

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

The hero and heroine of A STUDY IN SCOUNDRELS were introduced in the first book of the Romancing the Rules series, RULES FOR A ROGUE. I immediately knew that Sophia Ruthven, who was straight-laced and exceedingly proper, should end up with Jasper Grey, who reveled in being a scoundrel. The challenge was figuring out what each possessed that would appeal to the other. Since I knew Sophia loved detective novels, having them set out to solve a mystery together seemed a perfect way to keep them in each other’s company for a while.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed writing A STUDY IN SCONDRELS because of the opportunity to include a bit of mystery in the storyline. Like my heroine, Sophia, I am a big fan of detective novels. Sherlock Holmes was as popular in the Victorian era as he is today, and I was fascinated to learn that there were several “lady detective” novels published in Britain long before Conan Doyle’s sleuth appeared. Sophia loves mysteries and when faced with one, she can’t resist jumping in to investigate.

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

A small purse-sized notepad and a pen. After getting stuck at doctor’s offices and restaurants with nothing to write on when a story ideas strikes, I’ve learned my lesson. In desperation, I’ve written on the backs of receipts, napkins, and envelopes, but nothing compares to having a little notebook in which I can organize my thoughts during all those “waiting” moments that pop up during a week.

Name three things on your desk right now.

Sticky notes, an unfinished cup of coffee, and way too many pens. I feel like no desk is complete without a big heaping pile of sticky notes. I love their cheery colors and find them a useful tool to capture ideas as they pop into my head. I try to limit myself to one big cup of coffee a day, but many days I get busy and don’t end up drinking most of it until it’s gone cold. And pens? I seem to attract them. I clear off my desk each morning before starting to write, but by evening the surface is covered with pens. I tend to reach for another one every time I need to write something down.

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I love moments of tension, especially when they involve banter between the hero and heroine. Writing snappy banter is a challenge for me, but I enjoy the struggle because those are the moments that reveal so much about my characters. It’s a chance to build emotion between the hero and heroine, but banter also allows them to begin admiring each other for wit and cleverness, something beyond the initial physical attraction. 

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Secondary characters are always hard to let go of. Often harder than my heroes and heroines, since they haven’t had their stories fully explored. I have a dozen secondary characters that I’d love to revisit, but one, Rob Wellesley from my first Avon Impulse novel, ONE SCANDALOUS KISS, persists in my mind. I’ve received several reader letters about him and would love to give him his happy ending someday.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Persist and never stop learning. I’ve been writing for years, began publishing three years ago, and I still feel as if I’m a newcomer. There is always more to learn, more ways to stretch ourselves as writers. Rejections come with the territory if your goal is to publish, but each rejection is just an opportunity to improve your story and hone your writing skills. 

Q&A with Frank Daidone

For those who haven’t read it yet, can you give us a quick summary of what Life’s Equation is all about?

It’s really about asking ourselves ‘What is my purpose?”  More specifically, questioning whether or not we’re on the right path. As far back as I can remember, I’ve attempted to make sense of my own purpose in life, sometimes accepting only what seemed realistic while disregarding pretty much anything else. Most of us subconsciously go through this same exercise throughout multiple stages of our lives, while others constantly surrender to the critical voice in their head, replacing the possibility and creativity with resistance and doubt.  

We all have the tendency to set unfulfilling goals for ourselves, which restricts our personal potential and makes us miss valuable opportunities because of our own struggle with self-doubt. 

That’s how Life’s Equation came together. I wanted to share my own stories about people I’ve met along the way who influenced me in inspiring ways while also elaborating further on some basic, but unexpected truths and life lessons that I hope, in turn, will inspire readers of the book. I hope readers will celebrate their experiences through logically discovering their true purpose, all while helping to make the world a better place in the process. 

You are accomplished in so many parts of your life. What inspired you to take the plunge into authoring a book?

I’ve always had a unique, and I believe, acute perspective on reality. I also almost always apply logic to projects, challenges and truly any issue I’m dealt with, working to eliminate and/or reduce any emotional barriers that can cloud judgment and clarity. Throughout my life, I’ve had the ability to see my life and experiences both internally and externally. 

In other words, while I’m experiencing situations in the moment whether mundane or extraordinary, I’m collecting the information, almost as an observer, to be able to apply it in a scientific manner to gain a clearer perspective and understanding. I began putting a pen to paper to create a formula that made sense of one’s experiences and how information gained from those experiences is constituted through exploring a common energy in all living things twenty years ago. The reflection of my life’s experiences through this process is what inspired me to be a writer.

Memoirs are such a delicate craft - it’s really a balance between personal and the universal. Was it difficult to balance the two? 

Not really, when you have the connection of the personal to the universal, clarity and balance of the two become more accessible. The process itself was transformational and certainly there were certain roadblocks as it was almost like working in real time. Different from most people, I don’t have a problem putting myself out there, in fact I needed to check in to make sure it wasn’t too much and wanted to keep my stories relevant and with empathy for the readers. 

What do you consider to be the most essential elements of a well-written memoir?

I strongly believe that when one chooses to write such a personal exposé, it’s essential to go “all in.” In other words, if you’re not going to put everything out there from the beginning to the end, even being remotely tentative, you might want to choose another route. It’s just my personal opinion, but I believe writing in a relatable manner including honest stories, both humorous and heartbreaking is essential to a good memoir. 

Each chapter provides incredible insight and an overall lesson. Do you have a favorite from the book? 

That’s a hard question because I believe the lessons in all of the chapters are pertinent to the message. However, if I were to answer the question honestly, I do have a few; Chapter four on perspective is one of the individually empowering concepts that the reader can actually have control over.  I also like the final chapter on “purpose” because it incorporates imagination in order to help craft one’s future.

Your book has been impacting people across all ages and stages of their life. What’s the biggest lesson you hope they take away from reading Life’s Equation?

The feedback both verbally and through written reviews has been extraordinary. I’ve had people both young and old thank me in very emotional manners for writing the book and have expressed to me how much the message impacted them personally and often times helped with healing. I hope that the readers gain an understanding that while we are all unique in our own way, there really is a common energy in all of us. I hope that message is clarified and inspires them to want to help make the world a better place, not just for themselves, but for all.

A percentage your book sales goes toward United Cerebral Palsy. Can you tell us a bit more about how and why you got involved with the organization? 

As children, alongside my family, my sister and I were both volunteers for UCP as a result of my brother having Cerebral Palsy. In dedicating my book to my brother, I felt it necessary to get involved with a related organization to help in any way I could and formed a relationship with the Director of Institutional Support and donate $1 of every book sale to UCP.

That’s truly incredible! Can you tell us a bit about your brother Anthony, and how his CP impacted your family dynamic growing up? How did it affect you? 

Anthony was and still is my true hero and my inspiration for practically every charge in my life. While we never exchanged words verbally to each other we had a very special connection. His joy of life despite his extraordinary inhibiting circumstances far surpassed any level of contentment I have ever witnessed in any human being. While our family growing up was restricted to doing practically any normal family activities, outings or vacations together, Anthony’s existence enriched the dynamic in our family and shaped who we all are today. 

What’s on the horizon for you as an author? Can we expect to see more writing from you in 2017 and beyond?

I am currently working on book number two as we speak. It is a continuation of Life's Equation by taking the ideas and concepts to a new level attempting to address issues we all face as a society. I have a vision of a brighter more peaceful existence for all living things and I see a clear path on how we can get there. My next book will be a roadmap for peace.

Q&A with Karen Rock

Describe yourself in five words or less.

Romantic dreamer and complete dork.

Can you tell us a little about your book?

This is a high-stakes, action-packed second-chance romance that takes place on Alaska’s most deadly waters: The Bering Sea. Nolee Arnauyq is a crab fishing boat captain who’s determined to make her own way in a man's world after growing up dependent on others' charity. She doesn't want to be rescued, least of all by the ex that broke her heart, USCG rescue swimmer Dylan Holt who plucks her from her sinking vessel after he's been assigned back to his old hometown in Alaska. Out on the most dangerous waters in the world, where a tumble overboard will stop your heart in five seconds, Dylan's greatest worry is his returning feelings for Nolee, a woman who's never left his heart or thoughts, no matter how far he's traveled for his coast guard work. He plans to transfer stateside as soon as possible, and leave the stifling hometown that holds bad memories, but Nolee's proving to be one sizzling temptation his body, and heart, can't resist.

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

I’m addicted to Discovery Channel’s hit show THE DEADLIEST CATCH! I knew I wanted to set a book in this extreme setting but needed the right, high-octane story. When I saw an episode where a USCG Air and Sea Rescue team rescues a crab fishing crew from a sinking vessel, I imagined the ultimate sexy alpha hero- a fearless rescue swimmer daring and determined enough to fling himself into most dangerous waters in the world to save others. Of course, then I needed a heroine strong enough to go toe-to-toe with such a tough guy and who better than a headstrong, fearless crab fishing boat captain whose staked her claim in this testosterone-charged world. I wanted them to be second-chance lovers with lots to lose by risking their hearts with each other again. Putting them on a boat together in a life-and-death adventure, where they can’t resist their sizzling chemistry, made this one of my favorite sexy romances to write of all time.

What gave you the most trouble with this story?

My biggest challenge was the painstaking research I undertook to ensure that I created an authentic experience for the readers in the unique world of crab fishing on Alaska’s Bering Sea. In addition to watching lots of THE DEADLIEST CATCH episodes and videos of USCG Air and Sea rescues, I fact checked with USCG Commander Bill Friday, a Jayhawk pilot who was stationed for several years in Kodiak, Alaska and one of THE DEADLIEST CATCH’S captain's THE TIME BANDIT'S Jonathan Hillstrand. He provided the kind of insider details that helped me convey an unforgettably sexy romance set on treacherous waters.

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

My cell phone! I’d feel lost if I couldn’t connect to my family and friends via social media, email and texts. The downside is that it’s also next to me as I write and even though I mute it, and turn it upside down, I still find myself checking it way too much.

Name three things on your desk right now.

Since my “desk” is really an easy chair where I write with my laptop, the following three things are on it: a can of lemon-flavored seltzer water wedged between me and the arm rest, Post-It notes stuck to the edges of my laptop reminding me of appointments, changes to make to my MS, reminders for contests and grocery lists, and my puppy, Zoey, who takes her job as “author assistant” very seriously by laying at the end of my chair, her head resting on my ankle, as I write.

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? ;)

Nolee Arnauyq has a white father, who abandoned her before she was born, and an Inuit mother who struggled to provide for them due to her serious health issues. Growing up dependent on others' charity has made Nolee fiercely independent and determined to make her way in the world- even in a man's world- like becoming a crab fishing boat captain. This high risk job also comes with huge rewards and she's willing to gamble all, even her life, to never be dependent on anyone else again, and to provide for her mother. It surprised me just how easy it was to insert a female character into such a macho world. The crew men accept her as their leader and look up to her because she's good at her job and keeps them safe while pulling lots of crab to fatten their bank accounts. She can also transform from tough as nails captain to an irresistible temptress when she decides to make the most of her time with her ex, gorgeous USCG rescue swimmer Dylan Holt. If stranded on a deserted isle, the one thing she’d need to have with her would be a fishing pole since she’s an expert fisherman and could feed herself with it.

Dylan Holt grew up in Kodiak Alaska. He’s the youngest son of a father he could never please, especially when he refused to join the family business to join the Coast Guard as a rescue swimmer. He’s tough, fearless and gorgeous with a sense of humor that’s disarming and so sexy. He’s also loyal and passionate and he’s never forgotten his first love, Nolee Arnauyq, who crushed his heart years ago. He vowed never to return to Alaska, but can’t avoid confronting his past when he rescues Nolee off her sinking crab fishing vessel when he’s transferred to the USCG Kodiak Air Station. Dylan is a talented swimmer and exceptional athlete. If he were stranded on a deserted isle, he’d need to have his swim gear (snorkel, mask and fins) so that he could deep dive for crab and other fish to feed himself, and possibly swim to safety. If anyone could cross an ocean in fins- it’d be Dylan.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Military and law enforcement heroes are the ultimate sexy alpha male romantic hero. They’re strong, commanding, passionate, fearless and are smoking hot in those uniforms! I love personal courage and conviction and plan to write many more books featuring them. I’m drawn to stories with lots of edgy action and am currently working on a high-stakes suspense series set in a Dallas male strip club that will feature under cover law enforcement. Book One- Dangerous Moves- will be released with Kensington Press in 2018. For updates about my new releases and giveaways, follow my Amazon author page at http://amzn.to/1NSRVrT , follow me on Goodreads on http://www.goodreads.com/karenrockauthor or drop by my website at http://www.karenrock.com

Q&A with Rachel Lacey, Crazy for You

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I loved writing all the fun, adventurous things Ryan and Emma did together in CRAZY FOR YOU – rock climbing, cliff jumping, motorcycle rides, etc. They were so much fun to write, and it was the perfect balance to some of the heavier themes in the book. These two characters really bring out the best in each other, constantly pushing each other out of their comfort zones.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Dream On by Aerosmith – “Dream until your dreams come true!”

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

Chapstick! I have a weird obsession with it.

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.

Contemporary Romance Author. Wife. Mother. Animal Lover & Rescue Advocate. Hufflepuff. Powered by wine, chocolate, and books!

If you could have dinner with any three authors (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

First, JK Rowling because she is a literary genius and a fierce feminist, and I’d love to chat with her about anything and everything. Next, Mary Higgins Clark because she was my very first “favorite author,” and I’d love to thank her for that. And of course Nora Roberts because she is my hero and gives great advice. All three of these ladies have inspired me so much, and I would love to just soak up all the knowledge they could impart.

What are your favorite types of stories to read?

My favorite books make me laugh *and* cry. I want ALL THE FEELS while I’m reading!

Q&A with Lisa Berne

Describe yourself in five words or less.

Curious, creative; reader, writer, dreamer.
 
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
“Gonna Fly Now” from Rocky. Because perseverance is an important quality for a writer.
 
Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

Besides the necessary cellphone, wallet, and lip gloss? A little notebook and pen. (I know you said one thing, but this is plainly a writer’s indivisible unit of oneness.) Inspiration can strike at any time, and for me paper’s better than apps for jotting down notes about my writing.
 
Name three things on your desk right now.

A thesaurus. A couple of houseplants, which I’m sneakily categorizing as “greenery,” because I also want to mention my stack of Post-it Notes, without which I am considerably less productive.
 
What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I love writing scenes in which characters are talking and there are all kinds of things they can’t — or won’t — say embedded within their words, whether it’s because they’re wrestling with their emotions, unaware of their deep true feelings, constricted by the etiquette of the time, other people are around, and so on. Which means that in what seems like a simple conversation, the subtext can be deliciously complicated.
 
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

I’m not the first to suggest that reading — widely and voraciously across multiple genres, both for pleasure and with an analytic eye — is a necessary component for someone wanting to become a writer. There are also a lot of great, insightful books and blogs on the subject; I particularly like Stephen King’s On Writing, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Gwen Hayes’ Romancing the Beat, and Chuck Wendig’s bracing, blisteringly unsentimental approach to the writing life.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

With pleasure! Coming this summer is the second book in the Penhallow Dynasty series: The Laird Takes a Bride, featuring Scotsman Alasdair Penhallow, who’s forced by an arcane decree to marry and ends up with spirited Fiona Douglass. They’re both very resentful of the situation, and don’t find each other particularly attractive or appealing . . . which is, of course, a highly inauspicious way to begin a marriage. But it’s a very fun way to set a love story in motion.