Joining me today in The Loft is author Kimberly Beckett. By day, Kimberly is a civilian attorney for the Department of Defense. In her off-hours, she writes equine-facilitated happily-ever-afters. She has loved horses since she was a child and has been riding dressage for several years. Among her accomplishments: Kimberly has earned a U.S. Dressage Federation Bronze Medal. Currently, she writes and tends to her horses and greyhounds in southwest Ohio.
Author Kimberly Beckett
S: Welcome Kimberly! You and I have something in common. We are both lawyers who write romance! (Chuckles.) But I write about lawyers in love, while you favor horses. Tell me, why did you become a writer? K: I have
always loved to read, and after exhausting the books in my local library, I
started writing my own stories.However,
it wasn’t until I had been practicing law for 30 years, was married, and had a
grown son that I decided to pursue writing as a vocation.In my Horses Heal Hearts series, I have
combined my love of horses with my love of writing romance. S: What attracts you to the romance genre? K: In my
job as an attorney, I see people in stressful situations on a regular basis.
It’s my job to represent them and try to resolve their conflicts to the best of
my ability.As a romance reader, at the
end of the day, I reach for a romance novel so that I can find a place where
the conflict is manageable, and there is always a happily-ever-after. S: (Nods.) When I was studying for the bar exam, I think I read one romance novel a day, just to ease the stress. We actually passed around a bag full of paperbacks so everyone could indulge. What was your worst date ever?
K: I once
went out with a man who was the exact opposite from me in personality.He was a salesman who told bad jokes most of
the evening, then took me to see the movie “The Killing Fields” about genocide
in Cambodia.Not at all romantic.Suffice it to say that I never saw him again.
S: Wow. You must have been itching to go home after that one! Do you believe in love at first sight? K: I don’t
believe you can truly love someone just on first sight, but I do believe that
there are people in the world that we “know” even if we’re meeting them for the
first time.It’s hard to explain, except
that I believe in reincarnation, and that we can meet in this lifetime souls
that we have known in past lives, who come into our lives to help us or
encourage us in some way.It’s the only
way I can explain how once in a while you meet someone that you instantly
“click” with, and who seems to know you even though you have only just met.That phenomenon has happened to me several
times. S: (Nods.) Deja vu is real. What do you crave? K: I have
an unholy attraction to dark chocolate, and I also can’t resist ice cream.It’s my favorite decadent treat. S: I am addicted to dark chocolate coffee crunch bars. When I am in the middle of writing a book, I go through way too many! Tell me about your book, "Lionel's Leap of Faith." K: Sure. This is Book 3 in my Horses Heal Hearts series. Here's the blurb--
fateful decision in a moment of weakness destroyed Lionel Hayes’ life as he
knew it and led to the death of his long time partner and lover. At first, he
blamed his friend Michael Stafford for his misfortune and sought revenge, but
through his work rehabilitating abused horses, and the trust of one special
horse, he realized that he had to take responsibility for his actions, and that
he and he alone should take the blame. From that day forward, Lionel vowed to
restore his image and resume the career that he loved. In the process, he found the horse of a
lifetime, Gideon’s Rainbow.
Campbell was a rising star on the international show jumping circuit until he
lost his horse to injury. Desperate for a replacement mount, and with the
support of the British Equestrian Team, he leaned of Gideon’s Rainbow and knew
this horse was for him. To his surprise, the horse’s owner was also a perfect
match for him, although the man stubbornly refused to acknowledge it. How could
Monty convince Lionel they were meant for each other and would the sinister
force that sought to destroy Lionel destroy Monty as well?
Joining me today in The Loft is Canadian author Luanna Stewart. The author of spicy romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and historical romance, Luanna enjoys torturing her heroes and heroines. When not writing, she's in her kitchen baking something delicious. Luanna lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and two spoiled cats.
Author Luanna Stewart
S: Good morning, Luanna! Tell me, what's your favorite thing about writing romance?
L: Creating "what if" scenarios is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. My
Barbie doll went on all sorts of adventures of my devising and when I could borrow my brother’s G.I. Joe, Barbie had some romance in her life. I love
creating people from the ground up, not only what they look like, but their
entire life story, particularly the moments that formed who they are when the
story opens. I also enjoy making their lives difficult, giving them obstacles,
physical and emotional, to overcome. The best part is granting my characters
their well-earned happily-ever-after. S: I doubt my brothers would have surrendered their G.I. Joes to play with my Barbies! What is your perfect romantic evening? L: I have simple tastes and I’m an introvert. I crave silence. So my perfect romantic evening would be spent camping in the back country with my hubby, listening to the loons call their "good nights," enjoying the flickering light of a campfire, and just being. S: Complete this sentence: When one of my books is released, I… L: Put a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge to chill, pat myself on the back for a noteworthy accomplishment, sigh in relief that all the hard work is done, and worry that no one will enjoy reading the book I put months of writing, editing, and tears into creating. And then I get to work on the next book. S: If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose to write books? L: Absolutely.
I can’t imagine not making up stories and playing with words. I have great fun
writing myself into a corner that often leads to an interesting twist in the
plot. S: What’s the best advice you have ever been given? L: Do
it now while you still can. There is no guarantee that you’ll have a tomorrow.
Don’t wait for the "right time" because it may never come. Whoever said carpe diem however many millennia ago
was spot on. S: That's great advice, for writers and everyone else. What do you consider your greatest achievement? L: That’s
a difficult question to answer because choosing one thing sort of diminishes
the others. Raising our two boys and guiding them into adulthood is definitely
something I’m proud of. Staying happily married for 34 years, and counting, is
laudatory. We celebrated that milestone recently by buying a new freezer. S: Wow, 34 years. That's quite an achievement! Tell me about your latest book, "Love Proof." L: Sure. Here's the blurb-- Unemployed
photojournalist Raynor Elliot stops at a bakery near the famous Deerbourne Inn.
Not only does he get a lead on a job but the bakery’s owner is that awkward kid
he knew in high school, only now she has fabulous curves and an irreverent
sense of humor. The cozy bakery, with its aroma of sugar, vanilla and spice,
has more to offer than tasty cookies. Fiona
MacLeod has been plagued for years by the need to make amends for telling The
Big Lie. When the lie’s victim strolls into her bakery with his icy blue stare
and killer charm, she feels like she’s standing too close to a hot oven. Between
running her bakery and frosting cupcakes for the Mad River Garden Party, she's
pretty sure she's falling in love with this infuriating, sexy man. Can Fiona
dredge up the courage to confess, face the consequences, and hope for
Joining me today in The Loft is author
Claudia Shelton. The author of romantic suspense, thrillers, and contemporary romance, Claudia also presents workshops for readers and authors. Her debut novel, "Risk of a
Lifetime," was named one of eBooks Galore top reads for 2014. She is also a
two-time nominated Daphne Du Maurier (unpublished) finalist for excellence in
mystery. Claudia is also the author of the Shades of Leverage action-adventure romantic
Author Claudia Shelton
S: Welcome to The Loft, Claudia!
What attracts you to the romance genre?
C: Love, romance, hope, HFN (happy for now), HEA (happily ever after), all the different sub-genres, and what I write--Alpha heroes with a heart and the strong women willing to take a chance.
S: Can't discount those Alpha heroes, can we?
What is your favorite thing about writing romance?
C: I love that there is always at least a HFN, which to me says there's still hope for a HEA.
S: Do you believe in love at first sight?
C: I even believe in love at first dream of your soul-mate, the love-of-your-life. Yes!
S: Do you write in other
C: Currently, I
write romantic suspense, but one of my next releases will be a thriller. I love
writing action and suspense scenes, so I'm excited to try my hand at a
S: What do you crave?
C: Interesting question on so many levels. In spring, I crave the sound of birds returning with their songs, calling to mates about the nest they're building. In the summer, I crave good tomatoes and yummy watermelon. Winter, hot chocolate with whipped topping, divinity and a snickerdoodle to nibble. And in fall...I love everything about fall so I need it all!
S: (Chuckles.) I'm a fall girl, myself. I have a strange affection for pumpkin spice! Plus, I really enjoy watching the leaves change color. I see it as nature's way of preparing us for the blandness of winter.
What would you like people to know about you?
C: That I truly hope my readers like my book.
S: Complete this sentence: "When one of my books is released..."
C:I'm always excited to hold the print copy in my hands and to sign a copy for each of my family members.
S: If you had it to do all
over again, would you still choose to write books?
C: Definitely! Not
only do I love writing, I like most everything associated with the profession.
Besides, there are characters and stories running rampant in my head, just
waiting for their turn to have their story told!
S: How do you want to be remembered?
C: As the woman who tried to splash a little excitement and color as she traveled through this world!
S: Tell me about your current series.
C: I love my Shades Team! In the Shades of
Leverage series, not only are they all great agents with fun, exciting stories
to share, they all wear shades. They are sexy sinfull shades. The series includes--
After much delay, I am back. I will be playing catch-up for the next few weeks, so I will be publishing author interviews at more frequent intervals. Joining me this week in The Loft is author Holly Bargo. Holly has been writing since she first learned to hold a pencil. The author of more than 20 books, she has penned everything from contemporary to paranormal and fantasy romance. She currently resides on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters.
Author Holly Bargo
S: Welcome, Holly! I have to tell you, you are living my fantasy life. I dream about living on a hobby farm. For me, that's the perfect setting for retirement. Tell me, why did you become a writer? H: I have always told stories, even if I only told them to myself. Eventually, I realized that I was writing and telling stories that I liked and wanted to read, but could not find. Convinced of my own worthiness, I began writing for publication.
S: What attracts you to the romance genre?
H: I like romance because I believe in love. Since I began reading romance in the 1970s, I’ve seen some distinct trends come and go. Currently, I think romance is backsliding with regard to social responsibility to readers, but it’s still my go-to genre. I love the way it assumes that women’s happiness and fulfillment are of crucial importance. No other genre does that.
S: I have to agree with you. I think our responsibility to readers is an issue that has to be addressed. We have a lot of influence, so we need to be careful about the way we craft stories. It is just too easy to lead impressionable readers astray. Do you believe in love at first sight?
H: Absolutely, but it’s never happened to me, unless you include me and various four-legged beasties. The first time I saw Holly Bargo, with a foal at her side, I knew I had to have her. Something about that horse struck me as perfect. The same thing happened years later when I saw my other horse, Lady Anastasia, a spirited, demanding horse who gave me what I needed when I needed it. Love at first sight these days is often portrayed as “instalust,” a term I consider derogatory.
S: What attracted you to your current partner?
H: My current partner is the first man I kissed and to whom I lost my virginity—on our wedding night. I met him when he was still dating a girl who worked for my father. I thought nothing of it: we traded quips and friendly insults. In college, we finally connected on a romantic level. He’s my best friend who understands me better than anyone else and can always makes me laugh.
S: These days, that's a pretty amazing story, but a lovely one. How do you want to be remembered?
H: The answer to that depends upon who remembers me. I hope my children will remember me as loving them, even if that love was tough. I hope my husband will remember me as his best friend who supported him regardless of whatever hobby captured his fancy. I hope that my brothers will remember me with fondness, despite knowing that their sister never really got it all together. I hope my friends remember me as someone they could count on, someone who was always glad to see them and hear from them. And I hope readers remember me as an author whose books they enjoyed.
S: What a great answer! Tell me about your book, "The Eagle at Dawn."
H: Sure. "The Eagle at Dawn" is the fourth book in the Immortal Shifters series, but can be read as a complete, standalone novel with no cheating and a guaranteed HEA. Here's the blurb-- When Rachel's brother uses her as collateral to settle a debt with an outlaw motorcycle gang, she flees to a local bar and pleads with a darkly
handsome stranger to help her. His help results in homicide. When eagle shifter
Diego's vacation is interrupted by the innocent young woman he recognizes as
his mate, he flees with her across national borders, because she's his and he's
not letting her go.
Having essentially swapped one captor for another, Rachel knows the dashing,
sexy Spaniard is keeping secrets from her. He showers her with kindness and
generosity in exchange for her obedience. Diego's control over her and his
secrets elicit her distrust and resentment. When freedom beckons, Rachel answers its call; however, freedom brings hardship and indignity. Will she return to the controlling alpha make who stirs her blood or cling stubbornly to her freedom?
S: Wow. That sounds fascinating. Where can readers find your book? H: It's available on Amazon. Here's the link--