Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Thanks for having me back Molly! Your blog always gets more traffic than mine (pout!)
Class Reunion is the sequel to All She Ever Wanted. A reader emailed me after reading it and wanted to know more about Brian the Banker-dude. And since I'd just attended two class reunions and ideas thrown at me for 'your next book', it was born. Here's the blurb:
After being burned pretty badly by two different women in his past, Brian Vellinger has sworn off romance. Commitment-shy for the past fifteen years, he is stunned by his sudden attraction to a woman he's not seen since the last day of their senior year.
Natalie Collier thinks she's successfully put Brian Vellinger out of her mind. After harboring a secret crush all through high school and into college, she is both alarmed and thrilled when Brian makes his intentions known at their 25th class reunion. But will she succeed in softening his casual, 'sex only' policy, or will she end up just another notch on his belt?
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
OMG, yes! I still have a wip which I get the urge to write more of every so often. The problem is, about a month later, I discover a friend is going through something similar. Eeerie.....I've not worked on it in several years. I'm kind of scared to finish it!
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
LOL....there's a little bit of 'me' in every book. My love of Food Network (obsession??) played a big part in Appetite For Desire and All She Ever Wanted; my real-life crush on my son's teacher inspired Teacher's Pet (I would have LOVED to act on it, but no....); and my love of Colorado showed up in Wild At Heart. And the person 'Brian' is based on, he and I had a love/hate relationship when he moved in two doors down from me in the 3rd grade and continued on through high school. But when we met up again in 1995, we realized we could maybe be friends again:) And in 2009, I posted a picture of us with our arms around each other with the caption directed at his sister, who I consider my 'other sis'' : "Did you ever think I'd get this close to your brother? LOL!"
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I do it primarily on an as-needed basis. Which can be frustrating when phone calls take too long to be returned, or I can't find what I need.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
Just pull up a chair, grab something to nibble on, and lose yourself in my story:) If I can brighten your day with a good HEA ending, then I've done my job!
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I mainly let the characters dictate their story. And the zombie story I'm working on? I did NOT plan on two twists which had me jerking my hands from the keyboard and say, "Whoa....did NOT see that happening!" In one case, it went totally the opposite of what I thought was about to happen!
How long did it take for you to be published?
I got lucky; I subbed my first two books in August, 2008 and both were rejected in October. Turned right around and sent the one I liked best off to Freya's Bower and it was accepted on the condition I add a few more chapters. I sent them off after Christmas, and by January had signed the contract. All She Ever Wanted was released May 2009.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
"Why did I wait so long to 'get' the idea of the e-books?" No, seriously....I would have subbed my work a lot sooner than I did. But I just didn't have the confidence at the time. Everything was about baby steps....and boy did I ever crawl!
Laptop or paper and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Lately, it's all been laptop. But when the youngling begs to watch NetFlix, I've been known to grab the pen and paper:) Especially since battling bronchitis since the beginning of the year. And the muse loves her sweets. Last fall it was Candy Corn; she also likes Hershey Bliss Chocolate Squares. I'm trying to switch her to Kettle Corn; less calories.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Look at the authors on your blog roll. Nearly every single one of them 'encouraged' me to spice it up a little. Teacher's Pet remains my 'spiciest' book to date, and is also my best seller:) As to favorite authors....check your reading schedule. I read just about anything which catches my attention, and like you, have a short list of e-books on the 'read again' list. Which includes Jae Roth's Access Denied; Anny Cook's Mystic Valley series; and anything by Ms. Pape. I also love, love, LOVE Brynn Paulin's Brotherly Bonds! Josh Cress can tie me to the bed....okay...Tempest might object to that...
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Seriously? After all of those 'Ten Things People Don't Know About You' Memes, you still ask me this question? Hmmmm.....something I've not divulged yet.....I was painfully shy until about ten years ago. Now when I walk into unfamiliar territory or a gathering, I paste a smile on my face and head toward the food! I can ALWAYS find someone to strike up a conversation with over food, lol! Unless I'm the only one there. Then it's search the room for a friendly face.
What is your favorite love scene to write or read? (ie: First kiss, passion after a fight, reunion)
I love reunion stories! Especially when they're well written.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?
Okay; maybe this falls into the 'thing you don't know about me' category. I have a bad track record with Valentine's Day. I've either broken up with boyfriends before, or even ON that day, but there are two memorable ones. 4th grade, when my crush gave me a beautiful handmade Valentine (I still have it somewhere!) and when my spouse and I were dating, he gave me a huge Hershey Kiss, which I'd asked for, and a chocolate rose.
Sweetest gift ever given to you?
Mom always made sure we had some form of chocolate or a gift on Valentine's Day. But my Hershey Kiss was the 1st time a man had ever brought me that much chocolate! I knew he was a keeper, lol!
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Here is where I can be found:
“Our second night together and we’re already acting comfortable with each other.” Natalie hugged him close.
“What do you mean? We’ve been friends for years, Nat. Just because we started sleeping together doesn’t change anything.” In the dark, Natalie felt his hand stroke her breast through the cotton shirt. “Like I said earlier, I thought we’d slow down a bit, and get to know each other. But every time I’m near you, my dick swells so hard it’s all I can do to keep from jumping your bones.” His voice grew husky as his hand slid under her shirt. “Shit. You left your panties on? Take ‘em off.”
She felt his fingers assisting hers as she complied, tossing the silky scrap free of the blankets. “Are you taking off yours?” She ran her hand down his chest and stroked his length which poked out of the elastic.
“Coming right up.” Soon they lay skin to skin from the waist down, exploring each other.
“Not fair,” he protested. “Now I’m naked and you have a shirt on.”
“That’s easily taken care of.” Soon, she was naked in his arms again. “I actually like this better, but didn’t want you to think I was a sex maniac or anything.”
“You mean you’re not? Darn…” Brian’s lips found hers. His tongue probed the corners of her mouth as his hands rediscovered her curves. “How long has it been since you’ve slept with someone?” His fingers smoothed her hair from her forehead.
“At least two months. You?”
“You don’t want to know…not now.” He kissed her, but she pulled away.
“We said we’d be honest with each other,” she reminded him. “Or does that only apply to certain questions?”
“Just trust me on this one. I’m single; that’s all you need to know right now.” He reached for her, but she rolled away. “Damn it, Natalie….”
“Just answer the question. You’re single, but you have, what, a favorite call girl or something?”
“Do you really have to know this right now?”
“What’s the problem, Brian? You’re the one who asked me about my prior sex life. Don’t you think I have the right to ask about yours? Unless you have a habit of picking up hookers,…thank God you bought the condoms the other night. At least you care enough to practice safe sex.”
“I don’t pick up hookers. I don’t do that.”
“Then what’s the problem?” She reached over and turned on the light. “Do you or do you not have sex with anyone on a regular basis?” Natalie hugged the blankets to her chest.
“I-okay, you want to know? Fine, I’ll tell you.” Brian sat up and faced her, squinting as his eyes adjusted to the light. “Yes, I get together on a semi-regular basis with a woman who I met a few years ago. We have an arrangement, and meet once a week for a drink and to relax a little. There’s nothing serious going on; we just talk and enjoy each other for a couple of hours. Is that so bad?”
“Are you…..never mind. I guess I don’t have the right to ask.” Natalie bit her lip.
“Am I going to see her this week? I don’t know. I told you this wasn’t going to be anything more than just a weekend thing, Natalie.”
“I know. I’m sorry I pushed the issue.” She snapped off the light, but stayed curled up on her side of the bed. “I guess I walked into that one.”
“No, I’m the one who started it. I’m not going to apologize for my lifestyle…”
“And you shouldn’t have to. You’re right. This is nothing more than a weekend fling.”
“Do you want me to leave?”
Thanks again for having me today Molly! And don't forget to enter my contest!