Friday, February 26, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Ann Raina!

Joining me today in The Loft is fellow eXtasy Author Ann Raina! Ann began her career writing fanfiction. In fact, she blames her interest in writing on Hans Solo and claims the Star Wars movies failed to properly credit him for his role in helping the Rebels fight the Empire. Eventually, she moved on to erotic romance within science fiction, adventure, and crime/thrillers. Ann lives in Germany, where she enjoys riding her horse and gardening.

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

Why did you become a writer?

A:  I started writing when I was a kid and never stopped. I didn't think about becoming a published author for many years, but then, after being praised for my original characters in fanfiction, I wrote my first long novel and had it published with eXtasy Books. It was a good start, and the plotlines keep coming. There will be more books coming, and the series I'm currently working on already has three more sequels.

S:  What attracted you to the romance genre?

A:  I love it when people come together, spend their lives together. It's fun to write about all the little things that happen between couples. So there's always romance in my stories, even though the focus is on a crime or a thriller plot.

S:  Do you write in other genres?

A:  I have written science fiction stories, such as "Living for the Act," and many crime and adventure stories. I'm not into horror and even less into children's books. That might be something for my old days. 

S:  You are quite prolific. By my count, you have now published 26 books with eXtasy. That's very impressive!

What else would you like people to know about you?

A:  I'm a caring person and I like to see people happy. During the pandemic, I took care of two old ladies living next door and went grocery shopping for them. It was no burden and very rewarding to see them happy.

S:  I think the pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. It's commendable that you chose to help those in need.

Complete this sentence, "When one of my books is released, I..."

A:  I'm always anxious about how readers will react. I'm grateful for reviews telling me how my work has been received.

S:  What inspired you to write "Cold Rage?"

A:  I wanted to end a storyline that I had started in Book 3 of the Nick and Jacklyn series, "Blind Trust."

S:  Is there anything special you would like readers to know about "Cold Rage?"

A:  I combined two storylines into one novel and the twist is quite different from what you might expect.

Here's the blurb--

In Richmond, Virginia, Deputy Mayor Dobson is brutally murdered. The FBI investigation reveals that this case isn’t the only one in which an abusive husband died of unnatural causes. Special Agent Nicolas Hayes and his team begin the investigation but soon reach a dead end. There is no evidence and no suspect. When an old enemy appears on the scene, the investigation comes to a standstill, and Nicolas finds himself in mortal danger.

S:  Sounds suspenseful! Where can readers buy "Cold Rage?

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

Publisher:  https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2940-9-cold-rage/

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/-/de/dp/B08N489Y6S/

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cold-rage-ann-raina/1138152167?ean=9781487429416

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ann.raina.7

Friday, February 19, 2021

This week in The Loft: Canadian author Daryl Devoré!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Daryl Devoré. Daryl writes hot romance in all sorts of subgenres, including contemporary, fantasy, medieval, twisted fairy tale, rockstar, billionaire, and hockey. She writes part-time. In her free time, she indulges in yoga, workouts, Raks Sharqi (belly dancing), Tae Kwon Do, baking, and gardening. Daryl also enjoys taking long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoeing across the back acres, and in the summer, kayaking along the St. Lawrence River. She lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two cats.  

Author Daryl Devore is the large Tigger in this photo. 
It was taken in a Wall Yoga class on Halloween. 
The pose is the author's favorite--Bat. 

S:  Welcome, Daryl! Thanks for joining me The Loft today.

What would you like people to know about you?

D:  I’m Canadian, therefore I write in Canadian. No, those are not spelling mistakes in my books – favourite has a u in it – signalled has 2 Ls. I write stories the way I want to. I am not really good at following the rules. I’m an only child and we tend to grow up very independent. I don’t want to be like every other writer. I am me and I write my books my way. And one last thing – I don’t read romance books--other than those my author friends write. I don’t want to be influenced by the genre.

S:  (Smiles.) As an American, I always wonder if the authors I interview from other countries think I am misspelling words.

What is the best/worst thing that has ever happened to you as a writer?

D:  The worst was a comment by a fellow writer about a book. She said it was a good thing the book was only going to be an ebook because that’s all it was good for. Besides being an insult to a lot of indie authors, it hurt. I was really proud of that book.  The thing is – she’s an indie and publishes her books as ebooks. The best thing – the amazing group of writer friends I’ve made. They have helped with edits, and brainstorming ideas and opinions on covers, and a million other things in a writer’s life. I have friends all over the place - California, Florida, the Netherlands, and so on. I need to sell a million books so I can go visit them.

S:  Obviously, you read reviews? Why?

D:  Yes and no. I will read a four-star review or better because I’ll use it in a teaser for promotion. I do understand that not everyone will like my books, but I’m not going to change anything based on what the reviewer says and I don’t need the stress of the hurt. There's a quote I like to paraphrase--A good word makes you feel good for an hour. A bad word hurts for days.

S:  That's so true. I read all of my reviews because I enjoy learning what they like and don't like. Constructive criticism is fine, but intentionally hurtful words are not.

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

D:  Yes, I would still be writing. I started in high school, so I was writing long before I became a writer. That book I wrote in high school creative writing class has been revised--a lot--and has been published.

S:  What inspires your stories?

D:  An idea. A word. A song. I once wrote a whole book because I had the last line figured out. I wrote a trilogy because of a song. Someone said dragon and that was the inspiration for my latest.

S:  It's exciting when that happens, isn't it? 

What’s the best advice you have ever given?

D:  It has become an impossible piece of advice – but find a critique group. That’s where I have met all my writer friends. I learned from their writing styles. I learned from critiquing their chapters. And the bonds we developed have lasted for years.

S:  What inspired your book, "The Last Dragon?"

D:  A long time ago, I wrote an erotic medieval romance and someone said they kept expecting a dragon to appear. I have no idea why. There was no fantasy in the book. I laughed it off. But it seems my muse stuck that thought in the back of my brain and one day this dragon popped up and said, "Time to write a book."

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about your book?

D:  This book took a long time to write as I transitioned from solely an erotic romance writer to also a sweet one. It is my first attempt at fantasy and I really enjoyed it. There is another book being written that branches off from this one.

Here's the blurb--

What do dragons, knights and romance have in common? Grab a copy of multi-published author Daryl Devore’s medieval fantasy romance--The Last Dragon and discover the answer.

A sorcerer craving dominance merged with a dragon, the power overwhelmed him causing him to split into three dragons. Demora ruled thought, but was lost in time. Yidithe offered protection, shining like the light of the sun. Ayrradex craved chaos, revelling in destroying souls.

Many knights died, attempting to slay the devil beast. One knight, Prince Hawkyns, did not fear death. He’d lost everything. Away on a mission when Ayrradex attacked his father’s kingdom, Penrythe, Hawkyns returned to find his noble father – feeble and defeated. His wise mother – crazed. His beautiful wife and unborn child - dead. Only a pile of ashes remained for him to bury. He knelt before his King and vowed to slay the devil-beast or be slain.

Derry was born with powers that terrified her parents. They delivered her to a nunnery to be raised in secret. Jathe, a wise sorceress, discovered the young girl and trained her to one day use the secret hidden in her soul.

Legends spoken around campfires hinted the sole way to destroy Ayrradex was when the hearts of a knight and a golden dragon became one. But after a vicious battle with Ayrradex, the golden dragon was thought to be dead.

Can Prince Hawkyns’s bravery and Derry’s powers end the reign of the devil-beast’s terror?


S:  Sounds fascinating. Where can readers buy your book?

D:  It's available at all major booksellers. Here are some of the links--

Amazon---ebook:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QPW4CVF

Amazon--print:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QRVJ59P

Books2read--universal link--ebook:  https://books2read.com/The-Last-Dragon

Books2read--universal link--print:  https://books2read.com/The-Last-Dragon-

BookSprout:  https://booksprout.co/book/69199/the-last-dragon

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

Blog - Romance - Sweet to Heat

Twitter

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Friday, February 12, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Fiona McGier!

Joining me today in The Loft is fellow eXtasy author Fiona McGier. Fiona writes contemporary, erotic, and paranormal romance. By day, she works as a substitute teacher in high schools. By night, she writes romance and blogs. Fiona enjoys reading, camping, crocheting, sewing (mostly masks these days), and baking. In particular, she loves baking pies and is known for her never-fail pie crust--a recipe she features on her website. The mother of four adult children, Fiona and her husband live in the Midwest.

Author Fiona McGier

S:  Fiona, thanks so much for joining me today. It's always a pleasure to chat with an author who writes for eXtasy Books!

Why did you become a writer?

F:  I've always had characters talking in my head, telling me stories, or showing me scenes from their lives. I used to think that everyone walked around with their own entertainment playing in their minds. I wrote my first book shortly after my father passed away. I had to take over care for both of my parents while he was on hospice, dying from colon cancer, and when Mom got diagnosed with dementia. All of this occurred while I was working two jobs and had four teenagers in my house. After my father passed on, I desperately needed a happy ending--so I wrote a romance with a HEA (happily ever after). Then the heroine's best friend wanted me to write her story, and that ended up being a series of six books (so far). After I held my first published book in my hands, I was hooked! I love rereading my own books because I still enjoy visiting with those characters.

S:  I think many authors have tales spinning around in their heads. I know I do. 

What attracted you to the romance genre?

F:  As a long-time--over 30 years--happily-married woman who is still madly in love with her husband, sometimes I reminisce about the early days when we first met and we each realized we had finally found the one. I love those exciting days when you first discover that your feelings are reciprocal. Writing romance, and reading it, allows me to keep experiencing that heady feeling. I love happily ever afters.

S:  What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

F:  I write what I like to read. Seriously. I've always been an independent feminist, and I want to read about alpha females who have exciting lives--like female biker queens or secret agents. I don't want to read about mousy females with low self-esteem who need rescuing, or who long for the rich guy. I don't need money to be happy, so neither do my heroines. And I only write contemporary romance because as I state clearly on my blog page, the idea of sex without birth control is very scary. So the secret baby trope isn't something I'll ever write about or read.

S:  When I first started writing romance, I was worried that I would be required to adhere to tropes. Like you, I prefer to write real-world, honest romance. That's why I focus on solid, healthy relationships, where the couples are on equal footing.

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

F:  Yes and yes! It happened when I met my husband  I'd have married him after a week. It took him over two years, and six months of us living together, before he asked me in a bar, over pizza and a pitcher of beer. He leaned over the table and asked, "How about it?" I replied, "What?" He said, "You and me. Get married." I said, "No shit?" He smiled and nodded. I said, "Okay." Our kids tease us all the time about how romantic his proposal was! 

S:  What attracted you to your current partner?

F:  I'm the first to admit I was shallow when I was young. I was attracted to his long legs--he's 6'4" and I'm 5'3"--and his cute butt. And his mustache. When I discovered that sex with him was better than anyone else I'd ever been with, I decided that if I could only have sex with one person for the rest of my life, I had to marry him.

S:  What inspired your most recent book, "Two for Tuesday?"

F:  I had a vivid dream one night about a young woman choking in the bar I used to hang out at in college. A tall Black man performs the Heimlich on her, then her friends hustle her back to her apartment to party for being still alive. He thinks he'll never see her again, but that's not what happens in romance novels.

S:  I do wonder how many other authors get inspiration from their dreams. I keep my phone by my bed because I so often have dreams that inspire books.

Is there anything special you would like people to know about "Two for Tuesday?"

F:  I've been a feminist since before I ever heard that word. My kids joke that I'm the alpha of the family because whenever we go anywhere, I do the driving. Maybe that's just because I'm a control freak and I don't trust anyone else's driving. But the heroine of this book, Melanie, is a sexually-free and adventurous young woman. I hate the term slut-shaming, because it implies that it is okay for men to play around, but women are judged and assumed to be inferior for the same reason. That irritates me. So the heroines that I write are independent women who enjoy a casual hook-up but don't need a man to feel complete. So when they meet someone they bond with, it's up to the man to convince the woman that he's the only man she'll ever need. Like I said before, I write the books I want to read. 

Here's the blurb--

Dr. Marcus Jones is world-famous for inventing a procedure to make cardiac surgery quicker and safer. He has achieved much in the ten years since he graduated from medical school, including accumulating more wealth than he had ever dreamed of growing up in the projects in Chicago. But he has not been as successful in his personal life.  His lawyer-wife is divorcing him--but then he was never really in love with her. He has only felt that way about one woman--the one he dated back in college--the one who got away. But he didn't get to be rich and famous by not pursuing his dreams. And she's never been good at saying No. When he finds her name on the internet he contacts her, determined to see if he can rekindle what they once had together, back when he could only spare one night a week away from his studies, and his world revolved around Tuesdays. 


S:  Where can readers buy your book?

F:  It's available from the publisher and all major booksellers. Here are the links--

Publisher:  https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-3058-0-two-for-tuesday/

Other booksellers:  https://books2read.com/u/3n8RAP

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

Website and Blog:  https://www.fionamcgier.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fiona.mcgier/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2987252.Fiona_McGier

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/fiona-mcgier-27d35716-8cc6-4638-8470-03331056b1d7

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Fiona-McGier/e/B003J8QJGE?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1599599552&sr=8-3

Friday, February 5, 2021

Today in The Loft: Australian Author Estelle Pettersen!

Joining me today in The Loft is Estelle Pettersen. Estelle writes tales of erotic romance that explore empowerment, freedom, and finding one's strength. Her fiction and nonfiction stories are often featured on Wattpad, a social storyteller platform. Now a Wattpad ambassador, Estelle has won several book awards on that platform and is a guest writer for its Solace Magazine. When not writing, Estelle is passionate about history, languages, cultures, traveling, food, and wine. A former journalist, Estelle now lives in Norway with her husband.

Author Estelle Pettersen

S:  Good morning, Estelle, and welcome to The Loft! 

How do you get in the mood for writing? 

E:  I listen to music, which helps get me into the mood for writing. I have a cup of a warm drink, tea or coffee, with me as I write non-stop when I’m on a roll. I’m sensitive to noise, so I need a quiet space to zone into my world, and for my characters and their stories to come alive.

S:  Have you ever “shelved” a book? 

E:  Yes. I’ve bought highly popular books, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them are as good as they seem. Many books are great, but a few of these books have been shelved, collecting a little dust, because I struggled with connecting to the characters or plot. Thankfully, I’ve read more good books than books I did not connect with.

S:  What is the best or worst thing that has ever happened to you as a writer?

E:  The best thing that’s happened is meeting kind and wonderful people--both readers and writers. I’ve made a few good friends and have been contacted by readers who’ve asked me questions about my writing. The worst thing is the trolls/negative people—unfortunately, that’s part of being an author. When your book is published, you become exposed, mainly for good, but sadly, it attracts a bit of the bad. Other authors have advised me to ignore them, which is excellent advice.

S:  Unfortunately, social media seems to have brought trolls out of the woodwork! Ignoring them isn't always easy.

What would you like people to know about you?

E:  While my stories are racy, emotional, and punchy, I’m a quiet introvert who dislikes attention. I prefer my characters to soak up that limelight as the stage is theirs to enjoy. What brings me joy is when people enjoy the stories I write for them. If my stories can put smiles on faces, cheer up their days, and give them something fun to talk about, then I know I’ve done my job.

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

E:  Don’t take to heart any troll-like negativity. Keep writing and shut out the noise, including in social media. Stay focused on your writing goals.

S:  That's good advice. 

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

E:  Yes, I would still choose to write. Writing is my passion. It’s a part of who I am.

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

E:  Yes. I believe that attraction is the start of the feelings of love that you can develop for someone.  This type of attraction is as simple as their stance, gaze, voice, smile, or how they talk/write.

S:  What attracted you to your current partner?

E:  The empathy that was in his smile and eyes, as well as his intelligence and his kindness.


S:  What inspired your book, "Lessons on Seduction?"

E:  When I wrote my erotic romance book, "Lessons on Seduction," I was inspired by the concepts of freedom, equality, and empowerment. Both the protagonist, Sapphire, and her lover, Julian, personify that in their own ways. I purposefully made Sapphire a strong woman who breaks away from societal expectations and her stifling family to find what she wants in life. Julian is far from perfect, but he gives Sapphire independence and empowerment through balance in their relationship.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about your book?

E:  A few people challenged me to write something on the steamy side, so I dared and pushed my writing boundaries. I wanted a romance book with a decent plot, a bold and feminine protagonist, and a love interest who is intelligent, sexy, and relatable. The result is "Lessons on Seduction," an erotic romance story with light BDSM, where consent and equality are crucial in Sapphire and Julian’s relationship. The villain, Saira, is someone everyone loves to hate, so much that they’ve asked for more of her in Book Two of the Seduction series. Readers also loved the supporting character, Julian’s sister, Vera, a strong woman and a survivor of relationship abuse. Her story will be in Book Two, which I’m working on.

S:  Sounds like a scintillating series! 

Where can readers buy your book?

E:  It's available at--

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2Ng8YbD

Books2Read:  https://books2read.com/u/47XXG

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

Website:  https://elusiveromance.com/

Blog:  https://elusiveromance.com/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/elusiveromance

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/elusive_6788

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/elusive_6788

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/author/estellepettersen 

MeWe:  https://mewe.com/i/estellepettersen

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/estelle-pettersen-3716741b1/