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--

Newsletter Sign-Up:

Friday, December 6, 2019

The week in The Loft: Author Fiona Lehn!

Joining me today in The Loft is Canadian author Fiona Lehn. Fiona writes speculative fiction and romance for a variety of writing shops, including my "sister publisher, " Devine Destinies. She is a Writers of the Future winner and is also a musician, having toured with the Fiona Lehn Underground Band. In addition, she penned the highly acclaimed, "Waiting for Dogot." Fiona lives with myalgic/encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and "serves a feline in perpetuity."

Author Fiona Lehn

S:  Good morning, Fiona! Thanks so much for joining me today!

Why did you become a writer?

F:  As an avid reader from a young age, I was dissatisfied with the roles of women in fiction, and in reality. I wanted to change that (and reveal how) women could live, so I began writing speculative fiction.

S:  What attracts you to the romance genre?

F:  Romance reminds me that love and goodness can grow out of the most challenging experiences and can flourish in the most unlikely places. Romance unveils the spark of magic in the mundane. It reveals hope when all is despair. I find that very attractive.

S:  Do you write in other genres?

F:  Yes, I do. I tend to cross genres and upend tropes. I don't consciously intend to rebel against genre classifications. This just seems to be the way I write. My fiction is speculative in nature, with strong LGBTQ+ and other outsider characters. My adventure and quest stories are often romantic and/or humorous, while my mysteries may be dramatic and/or psychological. All seem to get an infusion of sensuality, heartwarming fluffy stuff, and low to medium heat. My genre crossing results in distinctive and touching tales that I hope people enjoy.

S:  What's your definition of romance?

F:  Spark. Magic. Light. Glass half full to overflowing. New beginnings. Electricity. Quaking. Shuddering. Gasping--in a good way. Unpredictable. Irresistible.

S:  Do you believe in love at first sight?

F:  Absolutely. It really happens. I fell n love at first sight when I was 17. One glance and I was a goner.

S:  Do you remember your first kiss? 

F:  (Laughs.) Yep, I remember. It was an awful, horrible kiss.  His tongue filled my mouth like a giant, slimy, squirming eel and was so vigorous, so insensate, so...gagging. Aieee! Luckily, my next kiss was most excellent!

S:  What was your worst date ever?

F:  The guy who was my worst kiss. The night wasn't a total loss, though. The DJ played Foreigner, one of my favorite bands. It was the early 80s. I loved Foreigner.

S:  What do you crave?

F:  I crave energy and endurance. I crave meaning. I crave knowledge, connections, and Cricket Bars--yum! And like most humans, I also crave love.

S:  (Chuckles.) Okay, I had to look up Cricket Bars. They are as advertised, protein bars made with cricket flour.  Amazing that crickets are considered an emerging source of protein. 

What would you like people to know about you?

F:  My cravings--with the exception of Cricket Bars--are the things that drive me to write. I don't know, perhaps all writers are like that.

S:  What's the best advice you have ever been given?

F:  Don't look at the boxes and try to fit inside one. Trail blaze.

S:  You have a book coming out Dec. 27 from Devine Destinies called "Lift-Off." Can you tell me about it?

F:  Sure. Here's the blurb--

The world's first tourist space cruise launches from the International Spaceport in White Rock, British Columbia on New Year's Eve. One hundred free cruise tickets are hidden all over North America. You have three days left to find one. Would you...

Break and enter? Risk a billion-dollar inheritance? Betray the love of your life?

It's random universe. While millions around the globe celebrate the Quicksilver spaceliner's impending launch, a handful of our heroes struggle to achieve their most stellar dreams.

One of the is a methane heiress desperate for a free ticket. Another is a newscaster digging for a killer scoop. And another is a veteran astronaut who's never been in space.

There are more. Tween twins attempt a secret mission, a star is almost born, and everyone is trying to get to the launch before the Quicksilver--you know--launches.

A lot can happen in a random universe. Do-gooders become saboteurs, cowards must courage, and loners find love. Who will crash and who will soar? The clock is counting down to one moment that will change everything: Lift-Off!

S:  That sounds fascinating! Where can readers buy your book?

F:  It will be available at It will be available from other booksellers soon after.

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

Amazon Author's Page:

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Fill those stockings with great books!

All of my books and many others are currently 30 percent off at until December 31! Stock by and stock up on great reads!