Thursday, May 28, 2020

It's release day!

Coming soon to all major booksellers!

This week in The Loft: Author Kate Barnett!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Kate Barnett. Kate writes contemporary romance. She spins tales about strong women who are not afraid to pursue their dreams and the men who love them for it. Kate believes love is a theme which all people have in common. She resides in New York City with her husband and family.
Author Kate Barnett

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

What's your favorite thing about writing romance?

K:  My favorite part of writing romance stories is offering lots of juicy payoffs to the reader. As romance novel fans, we navigate alongside our heroes and heroines through plots loaded with tension, and plagued by strife. We feel those characters’ frustration right along with them, so we deserve the moments of satisfaction that make it all worthwhile. I love writing those scenes that readers wait for, whether it be the build-up to a tender first kiss, or red-hot sex with bodice tearing and buttons flying, or simply a long-awaited, honest conversation. Often, these are among the first scenes I write, and I structure the rest of the story around them.

S:  What was your worst date ever?

K:  My worst date ever, by far, was with a guy I liked a lot. I have been seeing him for a while. I was all dressed up for a fancy dinner, which never happened. When he arrived at my door, rather than take me out, he broke up with me! I was crushed. Flattened. Less than a year later, I had my best date ever, with the man who is now my husband, and the love of my life. So I really ought to thank that other guy!

S:  (Grimaces.) I think many have experienced those kind of break-ups. At least yours has a happy ending!

What attracted you to your current partner?

K:  My husband and I met in a bar, where we both were separately out with friends. The first thing I noticed was his sexy English accent, which stood out in that local neighbor-hood place in Brooklyn. Of course, I had to talk to him, and three hours later, we were still at the bar talking! The accent first caught my attention, but our endless shared interests and easy conversation were the big winner. It was the most effortless date I’d ever had, and it wasn’t even a real date! He called me the next day, and almost 15 years later, the rest is history.

S:  (Fans self.) It's sure hard to resist a British accent! 

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

K:  The best advice I have received is very simple: Put down the cell phone and put people first. Look your lover, child, parent, or friend in the eye, and have a conversation. Find out how they’re doing. Share a funny story. Ask for advice. Live in the moment. Watch a dance recital or soccer game without using the lens of your iPhone camera. Remember that a real hug feels a whole lot better than a “like” on social media.

S:  (Nods.) Sound advice. I hate it when someone is looking at their phone, pretending to be interested a conversation with me. It's just plain rude.

What are you currently working on?

K:  I always have lots of plot outlines, character profiles, and semi-written scenes in various stages of completion. The work I do on one book often influences what will happen in another. For example, "Hard to Break," which was published at the end of 2019, is the first book in a series of four. I am primarily focused on finishing Book Two right now, but as I write, I get lots of ideas for the following two books. So I digress occasionally, fleshing out those other outlines some more, and often writing whole scenes for the other books. I also have the beginnings of a spin-off series brewing, so there are plenty of projects on my plate right now. The hard part is staying disciplined and focusing on the primary book at hand.

S:  What can you tell me about "Hard to Break?"

K:  Well, as I said, it's the first book in my contemporary romance series. 

Here's the blurb--

Miranda Reed is a busy young marketing executive living in New York City. She has an active social life, a casual boyfriend, a fast track career, and a lot of confidence in herself. If she lacks real passion for her lifestyle and her work, she is too busy to notice. Adam Taylor lives life in the fast lane, focused on growing his real estate development business. He’s never met a woman who tempts him to carve out a place for her… until he meets Miranda.

When Miranda and her sister inherit their grandparents’ country estate, they are faced with a difficult choice. The property is too expensive to keep as a family retreat, but Miranda can’t bear to sell the place, with her fondest memories attached to it. Finding a creative solution to keep the manor provides a sense of purpose she’d never realized was missing.

The moment Adam and Miranda meet, their mutual attraction offers a tempting reprieve from her constant hard work. But when he becomes the unwanted management consultant running her renovation project, the prospect of a steamy affair becomes a lot more complicated. Still, Adam and Miranda cannot ignore the gravitational pull between them, and when they do come crashing together, the chemistry blows their minds. Inevitably, what starts out as a physical outlet for both of them evolves into a whole lot more.

By the time Adam and Miranda realize they belong together, their future is abruptly threatened. Miranda is viciously attacked by a malicious rival, and betrayed by somebody she trusts. Suddenly unsure of Adam’s loyalty, she shuts herself off from the closeness they shared. Adam is desperate to avenge the assault on Miranda and win back her trust, but after everything they have endured, is their love strong enough to survive?

S:  Wow. That's sounds pretty intense!

Where can readers buy your book?

K:  It's available at major booksellers, including--

Barnes and Noble:

S:  Kate, thanks for much for joining me today!

If you'd like to learn more about Kate and her books, please visit--


Friday, May 22, 2020

Today in The Loft: Author Karen Cino!

Joining me today in The Loft is romance author Karen Cino. Karen enjoys writing about local places that people can relate to. These days, she finds her inspiration for tales of romance, cozy mysteries, and women's fiction from walks along the Jersey shore.  The mother of two children, Karen and her husband reside in Toms River, New Jersey.

Author Karen Cino

S:  Good morning, Karen! Thanks for much visiting me today!

Tell me, what attracts you to the romance genre?

K:  I love happy endings and writing about the struggles the heroine goes through to find her happiness.

S:  Ah, the happy ending! I think that's what pulls many romance authors in.

What's your favorite thing about writing romance?

K:  That's an excellent question. I enjoy creating truer than life characters as I set up the perfect romance, or not so perfect, as they go through different stages in their relationship.

S:  What's your perfect romantic evening?

K: For me, sitting on the beach with a glass of wine and watching the sun set. 

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

K:  I remember my first kiss, but it was my first kiss with someone else many years later that I remember. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the magic. That kiss will always be a part of my heart.

S:  What was your worst date ever?

K:  Oh dear, that would be a comedy act. I was fixed up on a date and when I went to meet the man, he showed up in tights. He was coming from his job. I didn't know he owned a Cinderella pumpkin and horse. He sat in the restaurant dressed in his knight in shining armor costume and everyone was staring at us. Then he started talking really loudly, drawing even more attention.

S:  (Giggles.) I think that story tops all the others I've heard! I guess you're lucky he didn't arrive on a white horse!

Do you believe in love at first sight?

K:  Absolutely. It goes right back to that first kiss. 

S:  What would you like people to know about you?

K:  I love sitting on the beach and walking every morning My hobbies consist of my vegetable garden, reading, and buying clothes and toys for my granddaughter. 

S:  (Smiles.) You must have so much fun with a granddaughter. You are so lucky!

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

K:  Yes, I would. I don't write books to make money, I write them to release my inner soul, to share my stories, hoping to touch many people's souls. Writing is who I am. It's what defines me.

S:  How do you want to be remembered?

K:  I would love to be remembered for stories that have helped people get through rough times in their lives. I want to be the author whose books have touched so many hearts.

S:  What are you currently working on?

K:   I'm working on Book 6 in my Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery Series, doing edits on my women's fiction romance, Down at the Shore, and I'm writing a romantic mystery.

S:  What do you consider your greatest achievement?

K:  My greatest achievement was bringing up my son and daughter, watching both of them transform into wonderful, respectful adults. Both my kids are in the arts. My son is a singer/songwriter/musician and my daughter is a photographer. Supporting their dreams has been a dream of my own. I could sell a million books, but witnessing my adult children's success is my biggest achievement.

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

Facebook Author Page:
Amazon Author Page:

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Coming May 29: Martimus!

Agent Cate Creighton is in love. Unfortunately, as the Agency honeypot, she is knee-deep in an assignment that tests the bounds of her new relationship. It seems eight socialites have gone missing, all wealthy twenty-somethings with influential parents. No one seems to care until a former vice president's daughter disappears.

When the vice-president shares a tale of false arrest, a broken promise of deportation, an illegal diversion into a private prison, and an alleged trip to an unwater habitat called Martimus, Cate and her colleagues must find a way to follow the same path. In other words, they must enter the right prison, meet the right fixer, wind up on Martimus, and hopefully return in one piece. And it looks like Cate is the perfect bait.

That doesn’t sit well with Cate’s lover, former U.S. Navy Seal Warren Hazelton. He intends to protect her until death ‘til do they part.

Fortunately, another possibility appears, in the form of an MISix agent who has interfered in one too many Agency operations. Tillie Henderson owes them and they are all too willing to serve her up on a plate. It’s race against time as the Agency attempts to lure their adversary out of hiding and into their somewhat ambiguous trap. Maybe then Cate can finally focus on love.


Warren gazed at Tom. “That environment is more hostile than a prison. You may not be in danger from other inmates, but you are putting your life at risk. Three months sounds like way too much time to be stuck underwater though, especially if you’re not leaving the station for deep sea diving on a regular basis. They must be breaking up the time somehow, otherwise they’d have a pretty tough situation on their hands. A lot of contract workers would be headed to a rubber room. It would be extremely difficult to survive a month, much less three, down there.”

“Could they be treating the inmates like guinea pigs?” Hope asked. “Testing their limits? Tracking actual survival rates?”

Warren sighed. “Possibly. It’s not like they have to answer to anyone. They are located in international waters. No country in particular has legal oversight. I imagine they could be doing anything they want without recourse. Unfortunately, when the prospect of a reduced sentence is dangled in front of some people, they grab it, damn the consequences. If one or two inmates suffer some sort of harm or die along the way, they chalk it up to collateral damage.”

“And who’s going to know?” Cate shook her head. “Someone dies, they probably flush them down a chute into the deep sea and they become shark chum. No evidence left behind.”

Hope cringed. "God, that's kind of evil. But that still doesn't answer our original question. Where the hell is Fuzzy? Has he already served out his sentence? Has he been released, and if he has, where the hell is he? He's the one we need to find. He could have a lot of the answers."

“That lack of governmental oversight is troubling,” Tom said. “If Cassie McIntyre is down there, I can’t believe the CIA isn’t all over it. At least, our government should be doing a welfare check through the Red Cross or something.”

Warren grimaced. “Unless no one knows she is down there. Think about it. They are on the bottom of the ocean, more than two miles under the sea. It’s not like you can just go down there and knock on the door. Any regular monitoring would be impossible.”

Cate nodded. “And we haven’t been able to confirm that she embarked on the same path as Fuzzy. All we’ve got are suspicions. Right now, she’s missing. We need to sit down with her family and get more information. And we need to find other prisoners who contracted with Martimus.

“Otherwise, we’ve got nothing.”

Friday, May 15, 2020

This week in The Loft: Fellow eXtasy author(s) Adriana Kraft!

Joining me today in The Loft are two fellow Extasy authors who write as Adriana Kraft. The husband-wife team writes sizzling romantic suspense and erotic romance. I should add, their books are scorching hot! Anyone with heart problems should have a medical team on standby before indulging! The couple has published more than 30 contemporary and paranormal romance tales, which explore a range of pairings, including male/female, lesbian, bisexual, menage, and polyamory. Today, we're chatting with the female half of this prolific pair.

Avatar for Adriana Kraft

S:  Good morning, Adriana! I am so excited to interview you today. Your books were among the first I read before joining eXtasy Books. They made me feel like I had found a home, so thanks for that!

Why did you become a writer?

A:  My husband and I have always wanted to be writers. Our careers took other turns first and we met--and fell in love and married--in academia, where we’d both done lots of writing, together and separately. Starting to write fiction together was a means of bringing those long-held dreams to life. Creating a happy ending for ourselves, in a way.

S: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer?

A:  Shifting from dry academic writing styles to storytelling and realistic dialogue, for starters. Both of us were published in non-fiction before we decided to pursue our dream of writing fiction, so for the most part the grammar and basic structure issues aren’t a problem. Finding and honing our voice – a joint product – also took effort. We started drafting our first romance in 2000 and made our first sale in 2005, so you can tell we had to work at it. Lots of workshops, drafts, revisions, and submissions, in the era when that meant submitting a printed manuscript.

S:  (Smiles.) Proof that those who don't give up, who believe in themselves, succeed.

What attracts you to the romance genre?

A:  In the first place, we believe in love. We write romance because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation, or numerical combination. But happy endings always involve compromise, and we love exploring the characters’ transformation process as they come up against obstacles and must decide what they truly value. Watching them dig deep and make tough choices is part of what keeps us going and, we hope, part of what keeps readers turning pages.

S:  (Nods.) The journey to love is fraught with peril. When love comes easy, it is just not as exciting!

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

A:  Trick question, but I’ll have to answer “yes.” I'm not sure my husband would tell the story the same way. I still remember my visceral response when I first saw him at a get-together for new faculty, where we’d both just been hired to teach. In love? That might be an exaggeration, but he was definitely on my radar screen. The journey from that moment to a first date took an entire academic year, but was worth the wait. We were married a year later. Still in love. I hope it goes without saying.

S:  (Nods.) If the heat in your books are any indication, I would say so!

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

A:  Never give up. If you have a dream, work for it. Judith Viorst’s children’s book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" often saved the day for our son when he was little, so when I got a chance to hear her at a conference, I grabbed it. I haven’t been able to precisely corroborate this story online, but what she told us was that she started submitting her work for publication when she was still a teenager, and it was another 15 years before she ever received an acceptance. She never gave up.

S:  What are you currently working on?

A:  We’ve just finished an erotic romance manuscript about a Twin Cities photographer who specializes in erotic portraits and a South Dakota schoolteacher who signs up for a course at the academy where he teaches. She is unprepared for what he asks of her until she delves deeper into her own family history and realizes where she comes from. Extasy Books will release "Through the Lens in late June." Here’s the tag line, to give you the flavor: Prairie roots can be deceptive. Will Ellen Jeffers cling to the sedate past that’s familiar, or will she embrace a different version of her history—one that includes tragedy, scandal, fortitude, and freedom?

S:  (Grins.) Another sizzling hot masterpiece, I am sure!

Tell me about your latest book, "The Merry Widow."

A:  Sure. Here's the blurb--

The millennium arrived with such promise—will it deliver for recently widowed Merry Delaney?

So much for all the anticipation about the new millennium. Merry Delaney’s life is still in a rut and shows no signs of changing. Sex? A fading memory, gone long before her husband actually died. Excitement? Hardly the hallmark of an accountant’s life. At forty-two, what can she look forward to?

Until her best friend takes Merry’s predicament into her practiced hands. One passionate kiss unleashes possibilities Merry never dreamed of—and she wants to sample them all. Men? Women? Young? Old? Ménage? Toys? Yes, to all, to pleasure, to making up for lost time.

Enter Chicago Detective Jim Barnes, who solicits Merry’s help with a mob funds-skimming case. Can the scorching passion that soon smolders between Merry and Jim survive the escalating mob threats of exposure? Having discovered a zest for sex, will Merry ever again be satisfied with one man?

S:  Where can readers buy your book?

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



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

FaceBook Fan Page:
Amazon Author Page:
Newsletter:  Free download of our erotic romance novella Cherry Tune-Up for signing up!

Friday, May 8, 2020

This week in The Loft: Canadian Author Beverley Bateman!

Joining me this morning in The Loft is author Beverley Bateman! Beverley utilizes her background in nursing to craft medical thrillers and tales of romantic suspense. Now living in Medicine Hat, just south of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (home of the the World Famous Calgary Stampede), she delights in plotting perfect murders and helping her antagonists solve them. Beverley firmly believes that good triumphs over evil and love conquers all. 

Author Beverley Bateman

S:  Good morning, Beverley! 

Why did you become a writer?

B:  I’m not sure I had a choice. I have been writing since I was very young. I made up stories about my dolls, my toys, and my books. I would rewrite endings for my books. Then I wrote locked room plots. I was forever thinking up plots or characters for books and kept the ideas in folders. I still do.

S:  What attracts you to the romance genre?

B:  In the romance genre, you have well developed characters and supporting characters. They develop relationships and you get to watch both the characters and their relationships grow and develop.  It pulls you into the story and you become part of it. I read well-written murder/suspense stories with great plots, but that extra emotional pull from character and relationship development isn’t there. Plus, I like a happy ending.

S:  Do you write in other genres? Why or why not?

B:  Not really. I co-authored a romantic horror story once. He wrote the horror and I wrote the romance and the relationship. I’ve tried to write a murder story, but I had to keep bringing in a hero and heroine and develop a relationship and the romance kept creeping in.

S:  (Smiles.)  I have had the same problem. I finally decided that it wasn't natural to bar romance at the door. It's fact of life.

What is your perfect romantic evening?

B:  I think my perfect romantic evening was a one I had with my husband. Several years ago, we took a trip to Jamaica. We got to the resort and dinner that night was on the beach. They set up tables three or four feet from the water. The water lapped gently against the sand throughout dinner. We had a delicious seafood dinner by candlelight and it was served with an excellent wine. A Jamaican steel drum band played in the background. It was pretty much a perfect evening.

S:  (Sighs.) That is romantic! I think we all wish for evenings like that!

What are you currently working on?

B: I have just finished a romantic suspense book set in New Orleans. "Death Southern Style." It’s at my editor and after revisions, will be on sale. I’m now about a third of the way through Book Two in The Foundation series, "Liability Wife, Lydia’s Story." It’s an organization about women helping women, with romance thrown in, of course.

S:  How many books do you average a year? Which book is your favorite so far

B:  Under normal circumstances, I usually manage one book a year. I like many of my books, but I think The Foundation, Book One, "The Fourth Victim Sara’s Story" is my favorite. And the other one is "Targeted," a contemporary western romantic suspense story.

S:  Tell me about "Fourth Victim Sara's Story."

B:  As I said, it's part of The Foundation series. Here's the blurb--

Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married.  She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women and on the track of a serial killer.

Mac is been responsible for training women in special ops techniques, so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara, sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.

Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions? 

S:  Sounds like a very moving story! Where can readers buy your book?

B:  It's available from all major booksellers, including--


Friday, May 1, 2020

This week in The Loft: eXtasy Author Tim Smith!

Joining me today in The Loft is fellow eXtasy Books author Tim Smith. Tim is an award-winning and best-selling author of romantic mystery/thrillers and contemporary erotic romance. When not penning his tales of romance, he is a freelance writer, photographer, and blogger. Tim can be found in the Florida Keys, the setting for many of his books, where he enjoys parasailing and chasing the perfect Mojito.

Author Tim Smith

S:  Good morning, Tim! Thanks for joining me today!

What is your 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:  (Nods.) Humor is important in any relationship, especially when you're falling in love!

What are you currently working on?

T:  I’m currently finishing my next Nick Seven romantic spy thriller for release later this year. I’m also working on my Christmas Stocking Stuffer story, in addition to ongoing promotional activities and blogs.

S:  (Groans.) Writing a holiday story in spring is so tough!

What/who inspires you?

T:  I get inspiration from the little everyday things that may escape our notice at first. For story ideas, I’m always looking for off-the-radar news items, the ones that make me ask “What if this happened instead?” I do the same thing with personal experiences, looking for ways to incorporate them into a story, especially if they’re funny. While my characters are fictional composites, a lot of my own life events have found their way into my plots. I also get inspiration from talking with other writers, especially when I attend the monthly meeting of my local support group. Hearing what my peers have accomplished usually gives me the motivation to get back to work.  

S:  How many books do you average a year? Which book is your favorite thus far? 

T:  I’ve been averaging three per year, consisting of a summer and holiday short and a full-length novel in one of my two series (one featuring a former spy, the other showcasing a private eye). Choosing a favorite is difficult, so I’ll narrow it down to two. “The Neon Jungle” (Nick Seven Book 6) was a lot of fun for me to write, because it’s more of a tough urban romantic thriller than the others I’ve done in that series. Runner-up would be “Lido Key” (Vic Fallon Book 2). I had always wanted to write a pulp fiction private eye caper as a contemporary erotic romance, and this was my chance.

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

T:  The problem for me isn’t ending the book so much as crafting a finale that wraps up the action in a believable manner. When you come to the end of a story that’s part of an ongoing series, you need to keep the characters together with a happy-for-now while making readers want to come back for the next installment. You can establish the “Will they or won’t they?” but it’s a challenge to get readers asking “Do I really care what happens next?”     

S:  Tell me about your book, "Cuban Fire."

T:  Well, it's Book 4 in my Key West Heat series. Here's the blurb--

Take one newspaper writer who goes to Key West for an assignment, add a cute Cuban vixen looking for a good time, stir carefully with a Key Lime twist and let the beach party begin. Brad didn’t know what to expect when Chiquita set her sights on him at the bar, but he certainly didn’t think she’d change his cynical outlook on life. The free-spirited pixie with a natural flair for hustling opens his eyes to a different world, but can he adapt to her laidback, carefree lifestyle? Is there a future beyond the sunset?

Cuban Fire (Key West Heat Book 4) by [Tim Smith]

S:  Ah, romance with a little Key West in the mix! Enticing!

Where can readers buy your book?

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

S:  Tim, it's been a pleasure chatting with you. Good luck with your book! For more information on Tim and his books, please visit--