Friday, January 17, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author Cynthia Terelst

Joining me today in The Loft is Australian author Cynthia Terelst. Cynthia works as a project officer by day. By night she writes young adult and contemporary romance, adding in her own formula of a little bit of history, some Australian scenery, and a whole lot of love. Cynthia currently resides in Queensland with two cats and two foster cats. 

Author Cynthia Terelst

S:  Good morning, Cynthia! Tell me, what's your favorite thing about writing romance?

C:  Helping people fall in love, whether it’s for the first time or the second time around. I like seeing how they grow and develop their relationship, while navigating the push and pull of love. I like to add real life issues to my writing. My first novel touched on domestic violence and my second deals with loss. I think including these topics makes the writing more powerful and shows there is always hope.

S:  Do you believe in love at first sight? Has it ever happened to you?

C:  I believe in attraction at first sight. You can be attracted to how someone looks and their personality. But I don’t think you can love someone until you know them and what makes them, them. I have never felt it myself, so it's hard for my logical mind to understand. Funny really, that a logical person writes about love.

S:  (Smiles.) There is nothing logical about love. It comes in all shapes and sizes!

What’s the best advice you have ever given?

C:  Even if your partner is frustrating you and your relationship is rocky, it is important to show them appreciation. Everyone likes to feel that you notice the good that they do.

S:  (Nods.) I think that's missing in some relationships. People do need to know that they are appreciated.

Do you ever have a problem ending a book?

C:  The ending is not the problem. The problem for me is when the bad guy closes in, that last pivot point, when the couple feels there is no point in going on. I just want the couple to end up together. I find it hard to keep them apart for too long. But that time apart is important for their growth and to strengthen what comes next.

S:  What are you currently working on?

C: My second novel is a second chance romance called "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie." Tara and Shepherd have been apart for five years but when they join forces in a scavenger hunt, sparks fly. Even though their feelings for each other are genuine, it is hard to put the past behind them. It is about loss, trust, and love.

S:  Tell me about your book, "The Cat's out of the Bag."

C:  Sure. Here's the blurb--

One van. Two hearts. Thousands of kilometres.

Jesse’s a self-made billionaire who yearns to get away from his empty life and the money-hungry parasites who inhabit it. The plan? Go to Australia, tell no one about his money and find himself. Instead of finding just himself, he finds Evie, who is everything anyone should aspire to be. Now, what he aspires to be, is hers. But to be hers, he needs to tell her everything.

Evie has left her past behind. She has rebuilt herself, and her life, into one of happiness. After she meets Jesse, while volunteering at a cat shelter, memories of her past filter back in. She is stronger now and wants to trust him. But after all she has been through, is trust even possible?

The quest to find a cat a forever home leads them to travel across the country together. Can the close quarters drive them to open up to each other? Or will it drive them apart?

S:  Where can readers buy your book?

C:  It can be purchased on Amazon. Here's the link--

S:  Cynthia, thanks so much for joining me today. If you would like to learn more about Cynthia and her books, please visit--

Twitter:  @CynthiaTerelst

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Congratulations to Cheryl Headford on her new release!


Morgan Bentley is a bastard. Matthew knows this absolutely—until he doesn’t.

Matthew and his friend Cory are thrilled to attend one of the most prestigious universities in the UK. On their pre-entry visit, they met Morgan Bentley and his stuck-up friends. Matthew takes an instant dislike to the arrogant, conceited, self-obsessed, beautiful, intelligent, and charismatic boy. Throughout the next year, Matthew harbours his dislike, never missing the opportunity to complain to his best friend, Cory, what a bastard Morgan is.

Then, an unexpected turn of events catapults Matthew, Morgan, and Cory into a nightmare, and all the things Cory had said about Matthew’s true feelings about Morgan come crashing down on his head, and he realises that what he thought was hatred and anger was, in fact, growing attraction and begrudging admiration. But when the deadly nature of the elusive Project X is revealed, it seems their budding romance is doomed before it begins, as one of them is unlikely to survive.


Morgan Bentley was a bastard. An utter, complete, A-one, cut-glass bastard. He was arrogant, selfish, cold, standoffish, cruel, and completely heartless. His history was peppered with broken hearts and broken people attesting to the fact. There was no doubt about it—he was a bastard.

Morgan didn’t have any friends. What he had was an entourage: people who cared less for the person he was than for the prestige his company brought. At the moment he had a girlfriend, the undoubted Alpha Female of the university, a bitch called Charlotte Lethbridge, whose father owned half of Mayfair. The relationship wouldn’t last, though. They never did. And next week it could just as easily be a boyfriend.

No one ever said no to Morgan. No one outside his circle of “friends” ever said anything at all unless he invited them to, which he rarely ever did.

Cory often said Morgan was sad—he had to be. He had to be lonely and sad because he had no real friends, no lasting relationships, no one to share with. Not like us. Sometimes I had to stop myself laughing when he said that. Morgan Bentley sad? Not bloody likely. He had everything. I mean everything.

His father was a research chemist, heading a huge multinational corporation. They manufactured drugs and engaged in research projects, sometimes for the government. I think that’s why Cory was so fascinated with Morgan. He was getting a degree in biochemistry and wanted to be a researcher himself. Cory was awesome...but he had flaws, and his fascination with Morgan was one of them. Personally, I wouldn’t care if I never saw his smug face ever again. Hell, I’d have been so much happier if I hadn’t.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Today in The Loft: Author Tim Smith!

Joining me today in The Loft is fellow eXtasy author Tim Smith! Tim writes romantic suspense and contemporary erotic romance. An award-winning, best-selling author, he is also a freelance writer, photographer, and blogger. Tim has published more than 20 books with eXtasy, including Lido Key, The Dirty Blonde, and Warning Shot. When Tim isn't writing, he hangs out in the Florida Keys, researching new books, parasailing, and seeking the perfect Mojito.

Tim Smith
Author Tim Smith

S:  (Sips a Passion Fruit Mojito.) Good morning, Tim! Thanks so much for joining me today. 

Why did you become a writer?

T:  I’ve always had a creative spirit and have tried many forms of expression. I pursued music for a while, as a teacher, composer/arranger, and a performer. Photography has been a hobby since I was in high school and I dabbled in art. Writing has always come easy for me and when I hit the middle-aged-crazy years, I decided to pursue it full time.

S:  What attracted you to the romance genre?

T:  The human element and exploring the character’s feelings and emotions. I like to depict evolving relationships and what people experience when they realize it’s a genuine attraction. If you examine your own relationships, there was probably an “Aha!” moment when you realized you were hooked. It could’ve been something funny, sweet, sad, or dramatic. Most love affairs don’t involve Prince Charming or Rapunzel, and it’s fun to explore the reality of contemporary relationships. Life isn’t easy and neither is love.

S:  (Nods.) Relationships take work. Some tend to forget that.

What's you favorite thing about writing romance?

T:  I like showing two people getting to know each other and discovering what they have in common. Identifying the conflict and finding a resolution is also fun. It can be something as simple as where to spend a holiday, or as complex as a one-sided attraction, family objections, or third-party interference. I really enjoy writing flirting scenes and romantic encounters whether they lead to intimacy or not. I like to use humor because to me, that’s a huge part of any relationship. Realistic dialogue has always been one of my strong suits and I have fun with it.  

S:  Do you believe in love at first sight? Has it ever happened to you?

T:  The skeptical realist in me shrugs it off, but it has happened to me. In each case it didn’t work out, so my cynical side won the coin toss. I’ve known people who experienced the whole, “That’s the person I’m going to marry” thing when they met. It worked for some of them but not for others. On the flip side, my parents met in high school, never dated anyone else, and were married for 62 years. 

S:  (Smiles.) I'm always impressed when love at first sight works out!

What are you currently working on?

T:  I’ve finished the rough draft of this year’s Holiday Stocking Stuffer and I’m currently writing my next romantic spy thriller novel. I’m also working on a story for Extasy’s Summer Shorts series. Promo for all of my books is ongoing and I’ve already lined up a few book signing appearances for this year. I keep busy with some regular blog posts, and I’m always taking on freelance writing and marketing jobs.  

S:  Wow. You're a busy guy!

Tell me about your book, "Under a Christmas Moon."

T:  It's a tale of a young career couple preparing to celebrate their first Christmas together—until a little thing called life gets in the way. Here's the blurb--

Scott Burke and Lisa Berger were high school sweethearts once upon a time, but that was fifteen years ago. Sparks were rekindled one year ago, when Lisa found herself stranded in Scott’s hometown on Christmas Eve and they realized they never should have parted. Now they’re planning their first Christmas together as a couple, but a little thing called life keeps getting in the way. Both of their careers keep them busy, especially Lisa’s, and Scott begins to feel like the odd man out in the relationship. Can the two lovers keep the flames burning, or will they decide it isn’t worth the trouble?

S:  Been there, done that. It ain't easy! Where can readers purchase your book?

T:  It's available from all major booksellers, including:

S:  Tim, thanks for joining me today! If you would like to learn more about Tim and his books, please visit--

Friday, January 3, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author Dee S. Knight

Joining me today in The Loft is author Dee S. Knight. Dee writes romance in a broad range of sub-genres, including sweet, historical, contemporary and paranormal romance. Her characters kill people, fall in love, become drunk with power, and/or are sobered with responsibility. While she spends her days spinning tales, her nights are spent with the man of her dreams--her childhood sweetheart and long-time husband. Dee currently lives in the Midwest.

Author Dee S. Knight

S:  Good morning, Dee, and Happy New Year! 

You seem to write all types of romance. What attracts you to this genre?

D:  The fact that I personally believe in love and the miracles it can perform. Do I believe that everyone who falls in love gets a Happily Ever After? No. Life is not a Hallmark movie! But I believe that love can transform and change people for the better and make the world a better place. So what can I do but write romance? That sounded kind of schmaltzy. (Laughs.) But I am a true love, Kool-Aid drinker! I promote love when I can, and writing romance is one way I do that.

S:  I must admit you have a very heart-warming personal love story. That has got to enhance your view of romance. 

Do you remember your first kiss? What was memorable about it?

D:  My husband and I started dating in tenth grade. I’d known him for a couple of years, but we went out for the first time during Christmas break of our sophomore year. He attended a boarding school, and the last time we saw each other before he had to go back to school, he lightly kissed me goodbye. I felt like I could float. I feasted on the memory of that kiss for weeks, until he came home again. Funny, right? There was no touching, really. He held my hand. There was no tongue, no slanting of heads to deepen the kiss. It was just gentle and sweet. I was pretty sheltered. I took a survey in Vogue magazine my junior year of high school. The survey was to determine where you were on the naughty scale. The first question was, "Have you been kissed?" I answered, "Yes." Second question was, "Have you been French kissed?" Now, I had kissed someone that year who was not Jack. He ran his tongue across my lips. I had no idea what for, and that’s as far as it went. But because Jack had never done that, I thought that was French kissing! So I answered, "Yes." I didn’t answer Yes to any other question and was deemed, "Pure as the driven snow." And that’s with not answering the French kissing question correctly!

S:  (Chuckles.) I suspect I would have scored a little further down that scale. My first kiss was in Kindergarten and things just progressed from there!

What attracted you to your current partner?

D:  Jack has always been protective of me and supportive. He’s never tried to hold me back. In fact, he encourages me in everything I’ve tried to do and he’s pushed me to do more than I thought I could. He’s gentle and very kind. I feel safe with him. And—and this is so important—he makes me laugh.

S:  (Nods.) I adore a gentleman who makes me laugh!

How do you want to be remembered?

D:  would like people who meet me to remember me as a polite and fun person. I like to laugh and I like to make others laugh, too. I’d  also like to be thought of as kind. When people think of me, I’d like it to be with a smile.

S:  Do you ever have a problem ending a book?

D:  No. In fact, I often start a book with the ending in mind and work my way through with that ending in mind. Sometimes, I might rush the ending a bit, but I almost never have trouble thinking about how I should end the story.

S:  (Laughs.) I never know how my stories will end, only that they will end well. I'm a bit of a "pantser." I let my characters lead me. I seem to have little control over where things wind up!

Who is Anne Krist and why are we featuring her book here?

D:  (Grins.) It's my pen name. Years ago, I wanted to write a book based on a true story. I had heard of a Virginia mailman who died. When his family went to the garden shed to clean it out along with the house, they found several bags of mail! Evidently, there were days when he didn’t feel like finishing his route, so he went home and stacked the mail in his shed. I thought about that, and how lives were changed by the letter they didn’t receive, and created the story for Burning Bridges. I wanted to include Vietnam as part of the story, so the setting is in 2005. I didn’t want the story to be erotic romance, so I used the pen name, Anne Krist, to differentiate the sub-genre. I recently got the rights back for Burning Bridges, so it will be re-released in 2020. I hope readers love it like I do!

Here's the blurb--

Letters delivered decades late send shock waves through Sara Richards’s world. Nothing is the same, especially her memories of Paul, a man to whom she'd given her heart years before. Now, mending her own mistakes of the past and putting her life back together without burning any bridges will be the hardest thing Sara’s ever done.

S:  That sounds like a beautiful, emotional love story. I can't wait until it's re-release!

Dee, thanks so much for joining me today.  If you would like to learn more about Dee and her books, visit-- 

Amazon Author Page:

In addition, join Dee for her once a month, Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a select charity!

Friday, December 27, 2019

This week in The Loft: Author Joan Ramirez!

Joining me today in The Loft is New York-based author Joan Rameriz, who also writes under the names J.L. Regen and J.L. Ramirez. Joan has published three nonfiction books, including "Jamie is Autistic" and  "Let It Go, Let It Flow Leadership." She has also published a wide variety of articles and short stories online, and heads a company that offers training programs for entrepreneurs. She is currently crafting a novel of historical suspense, set during World War II. Joan is also a published photojournalist.

Author Joan Ramirez

S:  Good morning, Joan, and Happy Holidays! 

Why did you become a writer?

J:  I was inspired to become a writer by my beloved mother, who was a brilliant copywriter. She showed me the way.

S:  What attracted you to the romance genre?

J:  The happily ever after, which is so needed in today's world. People need people.

S:  (Smiles.) I also think that in these troubled times, people need hope, and romance novels provide that.

What is your definition of romance?

J:  It's not just wine and roses. It's that feeling you get in your heart when you're not with the one you love. A warm, fuzzy feeling that overwhelms you when he walks in the door. You have to feel something for someone to have romance. Otherwise, it's plastic.

S:  (Nods.) That's so true!

What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

J:  I get to have drama in my novel. The path to true love doesn't run smoothly!

S:  Do you write in other genres?

J:  I am also published in children's nonfiction and have published two leadership books for high school and entry level senior management. I am now preparing two suspense novels for submission.

S:  Tell me about your first romance novel, "Secret Desires."

J:  The story is about two lovers who join hearts against many odds. It's based on a real life story. Here's the blurb--

Margo Simmons is ecstatic when she inherits her uncle's Manhattan apartment and a handsome sum of money. To her chagrin, there are strings attached. She must be gainfully employed in a job for a year. Everything in Margo's life has complications. When she meets the man of her dreams, she anguishes over how to fulfill her secret desires for a loving relationship because he is still emotionally tied to his deceased wife and afraid to open his heart again. To replace her fractured childhood growing up with a distant stepfather, Margo becomes the guardian of an elementary student who longs for connection and closeness. As the story evolves, readers will see how these individuals unite. Secret Desires is a contemporary romance written from the heart and speaks to anyone who has suffered a loss and had to start over.

S:  That's sounds like quite an emotional journey! Where can readers purchase your book?

J:  It's available at all major booksellers, including--

Barnes & Noble: 

S:  Joan, thanks so much for joining me today! If you would like to learn more  about Joan and her books, please visit--

Amazon Author Page:

Friday, December 20, 2019

This week in The Loft: Author D.V. Stone!

Joining me today in The Loft is author D.V. Stone. D.V. writes fantasy and contemporary romance. Relying on past experience as an Emergency Medical Technician and as the owner of a restaurant, she created "Rock House Grill," which will be released in 2020. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., D.V. now lives in northern New Jersey with her husband, cat, and dog. She admits to a bit of wanderlust, having spent time on a Minnesota dairy farm and other regions of the U.S.  She enjoys traveling in an R.V., embracing the ideas and inspiration discovered on the road.

Author D.V. Stone

S:  Good morning, D.V. Thanks so much for joining me today!

You write fantasy and contemporary romance. What attracts you to the romance genre? 

D.V.:  Some of my work outside of writing has been difficult. For example, I’ve dealt with death as an Emergency Medical Technician as well as a volunteer in an Emergency Room. I've worked in a woman’s state prison for 12 years, where pain, hopelessness and despair infuses you. I've also lost a business and suffered from illness. All of that can bring a person to a pretty bad place. Romance is usually a happy ever after or a happy for now. It can bring you hope as well as life lessons. Reading romance is uplifting. Those who disparage it as a genre are missing out and missing the point. Life is a struggle. But hope, love, and relationships are what gets us through the dark days. I am an optimist despite my past. Romance is optimistic. We make a good team.

S:  I have to agree. Romance books provide a nice break from reality.

Do you write in other genres?

D.V.:  I do! I love fantasy. The magic of "what if." My book, "Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar," is a fantasy and a romance. One of my works in progress is an epic fantasy, think "Lord of the Rings," but with a strong romantic thread. Agent Sam Carter is a mid-grade paranormal. Early next year, "Rock House Grill," a contemporary romance is coming out.

S:  If you had to do it all over again, would you still write books? 

D.V.:   Absolutely. I love writing. Being creative is ingrained in me. I play around with music, art, and even making jewelry. But it’s through writing that I’ve found my greatest satisfaction. It’s not easy. Especially hard for me is editing. I’m not grammatically the best. Commas are my arch-nemesis. But through it, I’ve met some amazing and supportive people. 

S:  (Smiles.) If you don't love writing, you shouldn't be doing it. It's a bit like falling in love--If it's painful, it just isn't worth it.

If someone wrote a song about you, what would be the title? 

D.V.:  “Never too late to live your dream.” I began writing later in life. I was in my 50s. Though don’t tell my husband. He thinks I’m still 29!

S:  How do you want to be remembered? 

D.V.:  As a person who never gave up on hope and dreams while uplifting others. 

S:  Tell me about your next book, "Rock House Grill."

D.V.:  "Rock House Grill" is Book One in the Impact Series. Here's the blurb--

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He's rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save. 

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

S:  I'm a big fan of the Food Network. I love stories with chefs!

Where can readers buy your book?

D.V.:  It will be available in bookstores in early 2020, most likely in February. 

S:  D.V., thanks so much for joining me today! If you would like to learn more abut D.V. and her books, please visit--


Friday, December 13, 2019

This week in The Loft: Extasy author Maggie Blackbird!

Joining me today in The Loft is Canadian author Maggie Blackbird! An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie writes erotic romance for my publisher, eXtasy Books. She has a beautiful, peaceful setting in which to create her books: She resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two Alaskan Malamutes. Maggie is most known for her series, The Matawapit Family, but is here today to chat about her latest holiday release. 

The avatar for author Maggie Blackbird

S:  Welcome, Maggie! Thanks so much for joining me today. 

Why did you become a writer?

M:  I never became one or tried to become one. It was simply in me, if that makes sense.  Telling stories is a big part of who I am, whether I’m writing down stories using my desktop/laptop, or goofing off with my friends and coming up with some silly story to share with them. 

S:  (Nods.) I think that's true of many writers. Storytelling is simply in our blood. I know for me, the stories just flow naturally. And they never seem to stop!

What attracts you to the romance genre?

M:  What attracted me was the push and pull between the couples. I was quite young when I read my first romance novel, and it fired my imagination. I wanted to tell romantic stories, too. Ones that had two people at odds with each other, who overcome the barriers to be together. And, most important, when reading romance, I’m guaranteed a HFN (happy for now) or HEA (happily ever after). I don’t want a sad ending or a big breakup.

S:  What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

M:  Creating the conflict between the two main characters and digging deep into their psyches. I love when they have differing beliefs. The struggle to respect one another's beliefs and trying to reconcile their differences without disrespecting the beliefs of the other. It’s fun.

S:  (Smiles.) It's all about people finding love, despite their differences.

Do you write in other genres?

M:  I’m strictly romance. I enjoy reading other genres, but trying to write in them would be a new set of skills in itself, and something that I’m not ready for or desire to do at this point. Let’s take cozy mysteries as an example. I love cozy mysteries. They are one of my faves. But I’d have no idea how to write one. I’d have to learn how. If I did venture outside of romance, it’d be family sagas. I do enjoy them.

S:  I share that sentiment. I am a big fan of wolf-shifter and vampire romances, but I would have no idea how to write one! 

Complete this sentence:  “When one of my books is released, I….”

M: already knee deep in writing or editing another book.  (Laughs.) Seriously, I don’t get excited when one of my books are released. I do my promo and marketing, a little “whee!” here or a little “woot!” there, but I’m too deep into the next book that I’m working on. I spend a lot of time with each book--a lot of time--so when the book is released, I’m already head over heels in love with another of my creations.

S:  Tell me about your new holiday romance, "Tied Up With A Bow."

M:  Sure. Here's the blurb--

He’s got the perfect Christmas present for the community’s chief—vengeance wrapped in a shiny box with a red bow on top.

Joseph "Slade" Indian isn’t angry. He’s pissed. Pissed that the man who threw over his love for glory and money is back, and now leads their Ojibway community as the new chief. Holding the pain deep in his chest, Slade knows how he’ll celebrate the most miserable day of the year—opening a gift of recompense after being dumped by the one man he dared to love.

Gavin Pemmican is full of regret. He knows he made a big mistake leaving Slade for a materialistic dream of power and prestige. No longer the poor bullied misfit but an educated lawyer, he’s ready to put his skills to the biggest case of his life by brazenly challenging Slade in the kangaroo court of sexual torture he’s daring to stick Gavin in—and win back the only man he’s ever loved.

S:  I love these types of stories. Love lost, love reborn. So satisfying! And I love the cover!

Where can readers purchase your book?

M:  It's available at all major booksellers, including--

eXtasy Books:


S:  Maggie, thanks so much for joining me today and Happy Holidays! If you would like to learn more about Maggie, please visit--

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