Friday, June 26, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author Elizabeth Black!

Joining me today in The Loft is fellow eXtasy author, Elizabeth Black! Elizabeth writes erotica, erotic romance, speculative fiction, fantasy, dark fiction, and horror. She also enjoys reworking fairy tales, resulting in tomes such as "Trouble in Thigh High Boots" (Puss In Boots) and "Climbing Her Tower" (Rapunzel). She has written a a column on sex for the ezine, nuts4chics, and her articles about sex, erotica, and relationships have appeared in publications that include Good Vibrations Magazine, CarnalNation, and On The Issues. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, son, and three cats.

Author Elizabeth Black

S:  Good morning, Elizabeth! I am so pleased you could join me today!

What attracts you to the romance genre?

E:  I'm rather surprised I write romance. My first love is horror, which is far removed from romance! I saw a submission call about a decade ago for short stories to be published by Scarlet Magazine, which was from the U. K. Scarlet published erotica and erotic romance. I had an idea in my head for quite awhile – what happened to Cinderella after her Happily Ever After ending? I had to give it a try. Suffice to say Cinderella wasn't happy with her Handsome Prince. The shine had worn off, and her sex life blew chunks. She was visited by a Magical Sex Coach who taught her to enjoy her sexuality rather than trying to please her man all the time. The change of focus did the trick. The Handsome Prince and Cinderella fell in love all over again, and the sex was hot. I had so much fun writing that story that I wrote more romances, mostly short stories. I still write horror, but I also love writing romance and erotica.

S:  What is your perfect romantic evening?

E:  There are so many ways to answer this question. I love to have dinner with my husband at a nice restaurant where I order local, fresh seafood. I live on the Massachusetts coast, so seafood is very good here. I'd drink a glass of champagne--my favorite alcoholic drink--and then iced tea with sugar and lemon. Weather permitting and if the sun hasn't completely set, my husband and I would go for a walk on the beach. I love beach walks, especially at sunset. We'd end the evening at home with a bottle of champagne or beer and something fun on TV, like a cozy mystery or a comedy.

S:  What was your worst date ever?

E:  I wouldn't exactly call it a date. I was seeing an immunologist who worked at the National Institutes for Health. He was horrid. While driving, he kept putting his hand on my crotch, and wouldn't remove it when I wanted him to. I was too scared to make an issue of it. He wanted to make out in the car and that was gross. When he took me to his apartment, he was mad his roommate was there, since he wanted to have sex and I didn't. I was glad the roommate was there. I was trapped and I couldn't get away. I couldn't leave without ending up stranded far from my college dorm with no way of getting home. Somehow, I made it through that dreadful experience in one piece without getting assaulted. I later read in the newspaper that he was fired for sexually harassing women at NIH. I wasn't surprised. I never saw him again although he kept pestering me by phone to go out. No. I was done. I never found myself in such a position ever again. 

S:  (Grimaces.) Wow. That's pretty horrifying. Too bad you weren't packing pepper spray. He certainly deserved it!

What attracted you to your current partner?

E:  We met at a science fiction convention over 20 years ago. I was dressed as Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation and he was holding a copy of Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat. The book caught my attention since I read it years ago and loved it. We spent a good deal of the weekend talking. He didn't try to hit on me and wasn't threatening in any way. Later that night, we went to a con party in one of the hotel rooms. I was still dressed as Troi. He painted something odd on his face, and I couldn't figure out what it was. I asked him why he had a Baked Alaska on his forehead, and he said he was supposed to be a zombie, LOL. After the con, we kept in touch. Spent a lot of time talking on the phone. I felt comfortable with him, and it later grew into love.

S:  (Smiles.) That's the best kind of relationship. Friendship blossoming into love.

What would you like to people know about you?

E:  In the early 1990s, I had worked as a gaffer, scenic artist, and makeup artist including FX for TV, movies, concerts, and stage. I was in a stagehand's union. I'm proud to have done lighting for the movies, 12 Monkeys and Die Hard With A Vengeance. I also did makeup, including FX, for the acclaimed TV show, Homicide: Life On The Street. The concerts were great fun to work since I saw the acts for free. Those concerts included The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, and Judy Collins. My husband was jealous I not only got to work Aerosmith and see the show for free, but I also stood a few feet away from Steve Tyler while working backstage. He was average height and wiry. Nice guy, too. Mick Jagger waved at me when I waved at him from the stage. Those were fun gigs. All of these experiences influenced my GLBT paranormal shifter romance, Full Moon Fever, which is set in the theater world.

S:  Sounds like an exciting life!  The Die Hard movies are among my favorites. I can't imagine what it was like to be on set.

What are you currently working on?

E: I’m working on a collection of erotic retellings of fairy tales, including The Pied Piper, Cinderella, Snow White, The Shoemaker and the Elves, The Little Mermaid, and Red Riding Hood. These stories are great fun to write. 

S:  Tell me about your book, "Full Moon Fever."

E:  It's a GLBT paranormal shifter romance. Here's the blurb--

William Shakespeare said All the world’s a stage, but he hadn’t counted on shifters under a theater’s hot lights. Lovers Sam Hightower and Grant Newsome live for the stage. Although they have enjoyed the wanderlust of traveling theater for many years, each has grown tired of the road and wants to settle down. They also have a secret. As shifters and no part of any pack, they are lone wolves in every sense of the word. The full moon brings out the beast in them.

Even though their work as gaffers—lighting techs—puts them in contact with a large variety of willing, sexy men and women to share their love, they prefer men. They find a dancer, Luke Pearce, who makes their blood run hot, but Luke has a secret of his own to test them. Add scenic artists and lovers Charlotte and Lina to the mix, and you have a wild and sexy fivesome.

To spoil their fun and to their surprise, Sam and Grant discover another shifter in their midst, but this young person is so inexperienced and terrified she could expose them to the human hunters and get them killed. How can Sam and Grant protect themselves as well as the people they love?

S:  That sounds exciting and tantalizing! Where can readers buy your book?

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

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


Friday, June 19, 2020

This week in The Loft: Barbara Mountjoy!

Joining me today in The Loft is  Barbara Mountjoy, who writes as Alana Lorens and Lyndi Alexander. The author of the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series, Barbara is a former family law attorney and also worked as a journalist in south Florida. Writing professionally for more than 40 years, Barbara spins tales of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and science fiction/space opera. She currently resides in Asheville, N.C. with her daughter--the youngest of seven children--and five crotchety cats!

Author Barbara Mountjoy

S:  Good morning, Barbara! Welcome to The Loft. It's always a pleasure to chat with a fellow attorney/journalist who also happens to be a romance author!

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

B:  Yes, because I didn’t choose to write books. I am a writer, period. I wrote my first novel at 14, and have written approximately 31 since. I’ve written short stories, the occasional poem, articles, and I was a professional journalist for seven years in south Florida. I’ve got two novels in progress now, one a sci-fi romance with a gender-shifting alien, and a contemporary romance set at a high-school reunion. I don’t think I’ll ever stop!

S:  (Chuckles.) Oh, those high school reunions! The possibilities are endless.

Do you write in other genres? 

B:  I do write in other genres. I don’t write to formula. I write whatever stories come to me. So on the romance side, I have contemporary romance and romantic suspense, written as Alana Lorens, and science fiction romance, science fiction/space opera, fantasy and YA post apocalyptic fiction, written as Lyndi Alexander.

S:  That quite a range--a sign of a very creative mind!

Do you remember your first kiss?

B: I was six-years-old, in the playground down the hill from my house in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. David Miller kissed me under the slide. It was mushy and wet. Couldn’t see all the appeal of it, at the time.

S:  At least you didn't almost get expelled from kindergarten. (Blushes.) Kissing in the coatroom at age five is apparently a grave offense!

You have accomplished so much. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

B:  While I’d love to say my international bestseller, I don’t have one, and it wouldn’t be true anyway. I birthed three amazing daughters who have grown up to be humans I admire thoroughly, who are raising their kids to be awesome. I have had many non-biological children, stepdaughters, adopted boys and girls, and others who passed through from time to time, who have also gone on to be successful. I think producing a strong next generation-whether as a mother, father, teacher or dear friend-- is the best thing anyone can do.

S:  (Nods.) Touching the life of a child--in your case, many children--is one of the most fulfilling accomplishments there is.

Do you ever have a problem ending a book?

B: Oh, gosh, yes. Endings are hard. Not because I just want the story to go on and on, but because you want to stop at exactly the right place, something moving, and clever, and rewarding. It takes awhile to choose the right words and the action that brings your story to a close.

S:  The prefect ending is the goal, but sometimes, it can be elusive.

Tell me about your book, "That Girl's the One I Love."

B:  It's a contemporary novella written under my pseudonym, Alana Lorens.

Here's the blurb--

Leyla Brand has one perfect day in her life: the day she meets rock singer Arran Lake at the Bele Chere Festival in Asheville. They have so much in common, Leyla is sure they are soulmates and will have a future together.

The very next morning, when Arran receives the call to hit the big time, he vanishes into the world of California rock and roll to become an international star, leaving her behind. Only a few phone calls keep them in touch — until his phone is disconnected. After that, all she has of him is every new song that hits the charts.

Five years later, she gets a message on the Internet from an unfamiliar address. Someone wants to know if she’s the Leyla of Bele Chere. Should she open that door and discover who this might be? Who else could it be? And if it is Arran, why does he want to contact her now, after all this time? Will he just break her heart again?  

S:  (Smiles.) Sometimes, love can be reignited with a single step--if you're brave enough to take it.

Where can readers purchase your book?

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

Barnes & Noble:

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

Amazon Author Page:

Friday, June 12, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author Amber Daulton!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Amber Daulton. Amber wrote the romantic suspense series, Arresting Onyx, and has also contributed to the Deerbourne Inn and Timeless series. In addition, she has authored several standalone novels. Her books have been published in eBook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and three demanding cats.

Author Amber Daulton

S: Welcome, Amber! I'm pleased you could join me today!

Why did you become a writer?

A:  I read my first romance book when I was 12, after I snuck a Harlequin paperback out of my mom’s bedroom. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to create my own story about two people having an adventure and falling in love. I wrote with pencil in a spiral-bound notebook and finished that 200-plus page story in about six months. It’s my first attempt at writing, and though I've revised the manuscript several times over the years, it’s currently not published.

S:  Wow, that's quite an accomplishment. I hope we get a chance to read it! 

What attracts you to the romance genre?

A:  The versatility. Most romance books nowadays are more than simple love stories. All sorts of plot devices are used, such as action, danger, mystery, emotional upheaval, and physical trauma, to name a few. If you take away the falling in love aspect from a romantic suspense story, for example, you have a suspense/action/thriller story. The romance genre is so widespread that I’ve heard of men reading and enjoying various books without realizing those books are classified as romance.

S:  What attracted you to your current partner?

A:  I met Greg, my husband, back in college. The first thing I noticed about him was his spiky hair, leather jacket, and moody attitude. I’m attracted to the bad boy type--most of my heroes fall into that category--so after a lot of flirting and waiting for Greg to ask me out on a date, I did the modern woman thing and asked him.

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

A:  Definitely. If I wasn’t writing, I don’t know what I would do with my life. I do, however, wish I could pass on some useful advice to my younger self. When I first started writing, back in the late 90s and 2000s, as a teenager, I was reading books published in the 1980s. The writing styles that were accepted back then are frowned upon now, but that’s how I taught myself to write. I didn’t realize passive voice and head hopping was no longer deemed correct, so now I’ve become crazy strict in writing in active voice and using proper scene breaks when switching a character's point of view.

Arresting Mason (Arresting Onyx Book 1) by [Amber Daulton]

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

A:  I think what I said previously works well here, too. For new authors, read modern books, what’s been published in the last five years. Publishing guidelines and styles change all the time, so you need to stay updated on what’s acceptable by reading newer books.

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

A:  Just keep trying, even when you’re feeling bad about yourself and the quality of your work. No one is perfect. Don’t rush a project. Give it the love and attention it needs to be the best it can be. You as the writer, the book itself, and the readers deserve it.

S:  That's good advice. You have to believe in yourself  or no one else will.

What inspires you?

A:  Everything around me. Sometimes I watch a TV show or read a book, and I think of a story idea that’s both completely different and along the same lines. When this happens, the characters keep talking to me in my head, and I cannot think about anything else until I at least write down a basic plot or idea. Inspiration often strikes when I’m sleeping. My dreams are usually pretty vivid, so I take what I can from the dream world and create a story around it.

Timeless Honor (Mirrors of Time Book 3)

S:  How many books do you average a year?

A:  I write a lot faster than my editor edits, so I have a lot of manuscripts gathering digital dust on my PC. On average, I can usually research, write. and edit a novella--15 to 35,000 words--in about two months or so. For a full-length novel--80,000 words or more--I usually take three or four months to finish. I don’t set a word count quota for myself, but I do set personal deadlines in which I try to have chapters done on a certain date, so I can have the entire story completed by another date. Sometimes, I make it. Sometimes, I don’t. I do my best to not get down on myself when I miss my deadlines.

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

A:  Sometimes. I’m more of a plotter than a panster, so I plot the whole story from beginning to end before I start writing. I usually have trouble ending a story in the plotting stage, but I can work through plot holes and tie up loose endings after bouncing ideas off my husband.

S:  What are you currently working on?

A:  The second installment in the Arresting Onyx Series is with my editor now and should be out in late 2020. "Arresting Jeremiah" follows hard-nosed parole officer Jim Borden and his obsession, Calista Barlow, as they stick their noses where they don’t belong and fall deep into the trouble with the criminal organization known as Onyx. This sexy, dirty-talking romantic suspense series spans five books with a standalone Happily Ever After (HEA) for each rough-and-tumble hero and their spunky heroines. The first book, "Arresting Mason," is already published.

S:  Tell me about your book, "Lyrical Embrace."

A:  "Lyrical Embrace" is Book 4 in the Deerbourne Inn Series, a multi-author collaboration of  novellas all set in the small fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont.

Here's the blurb--

Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.

Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.

Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?

S:  Where can readers buy your book?

A:  It's available in multiple formats from major booksellers, including--

Audio/Amazon:  https:/
Audio: iTunes:

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

Amazon Author Page:

Friday, June 5, 2020

This week in The Loft: Australian Author Jan Selbourne!

Joining me today in The Loft is a friend from "down under," author Jan Selbourne! Born and educated in Melbourne, Australia, Jan spent some time toiling away in the business world before finding her calling as an author. The world of dusty ledgers and accounting led her to Victoria, Queensland and the United Kingdom, but upon retirement, she settled in Maitland, New South Wales. Jan's tales of historical romance draw on war, battles, spies, and other intrigue.

Author Jan Selbourne

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

Why did you become a writer?

J:  I've always loved writing, but career, marriage, children, and everything else seemed to come first. When I retired, it was "me time." I was ready, but I didn't know what to write about. Inspiration came from an article in a magazine and my grandfather's war service records. "Behind the Clouds," set in Belgium during the early days of WWI, was published in 2015.

S:  How many books do you average a year?

J:  One. My fourth book, "The Woman Behind the Mirror," was published in April 2020. A lot of time is spent on research. With historical novels, I believe we should try to provide an authentic as possible background of the era. We can't just drop out characters into, say, the Tudor era and hope for the best.

S:  (Nods.) Kudos for that. I am a bit of a history buff. I think it is important to pay attention to details, not just dress someone up in costumes from the era and hope no one notices all the factual errors.

What attracted you to the romance genre?

J:  We are all romantics at heart, and the romance genre lets us escape to our hero and heroine’s world, be with them through their difficulties and then, happiness. It makes us feel good and we all need that.

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

J:  Definitely, although I’d be more prepared. When I began writing, I had no idea there was such a thing as Point of View. I head-hopped all over the place. A reader would be seasick lurching between my character’s heads. I look back and cringe. Why didn’t I see that?

S:  (Laughs.) The first time I was told I was "head-hopping," I didn't even know what it meant! Now, when I see it in other books, I just cringe.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

J:  When we are in a distressing situation or difficult relationship, we have choices. We can walk away and take a new road in life. Or, we can stay.  If we choose to stay, don’t complain later. It was your choice.

S:  (Nods.) Far better to make a choice, than to settle.

Do you ever have a problem ending a book?

J:  Yes. I think by the time I’m halfway through my book, the story is taking me along with it. The end is always different to what I’d envisaged. 

S:  (Smiles.) I know that feeling. My characters take over and tell me how they want the book to end. Most times, it's a surprise.

Tell me about your book, "The Woman Behind the Mirror."

J:  Here's the blurb--

Because of an arranged marriage to a man who repulses her, Sarah Forsythe runs away with the son of a minister. Not to Gretna Green, to the New World. Instead of a country filled with hope and possibilities, Sarah finds broken promises, abandonment, and shame. And her timing couldn’t be worse! After the infamous “tea party,” the siege of Boston worsens as the Americans rebel against Great Britain. Desperate for money, Sarah breaks open a safe only to find a bundle of Bank of England documents. Sensing they are of value, she guards them during the long, difficult journey from Boston back to England.

Bank investigator Neil McAlister doesn’t believe this woman who claims she “found” the documents and wants a reward in exchange for them—until he’s faced with two men using the same name and sharing nearly identical stories, each saying the documents belong to him. Who is lying? In time, Neil becomes aware that something is very wrong. As his feelings for her grow, he needs to know who wants the beautiful, defiant, and secretive Sarah dead?

S:  I love that story line! So intriguing!

Where can readers buy your book?

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

S:  Jan, thanks so much for joining me today. Please stay safe out there!

If you would like to learn more about Jan and her books, please visit--