Friday, May 28, 2021

Today in The Loft: Canadian Author Patricia Bates!

Joining me today in The Loft is Canadian author Patricia Bates. Patricia writes historical romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary suspense. She has authored two bestsellers, “Master’s Mistress” and “Spanish Flame.” Her writing style reflects her passion for history and strong independent characters with strength and integrity and their own unique flaws.

Author Patricia Bates

S:   Good morning, Patricia! Thanks for joining me today.

Why did you become a writer?

P:  This is a difficult question to answer because I have never not written. I started writing very early in life and was always writing poetry, short stories, novels. It was a way for me to express myself and entertain myself, too.

S:  I think many writers can identify with that. Writing has always been my preferred mode of communication.

What attracts you to the romance genre?

P:  Who doesn’t love a good love story? Romance is probably one of the first genres I was reading regularly.

S:  What’s the best/worst thing that has ever happened to you as a writer?

P:  The best would have to be hearing from my readers and having them ask me to write more. The worst would be my one-star review—before I learned to let them roll off my back.

S:  Ah, those darn reviews. We love to hate them and hate to love them, but I suspect more than one author has been influenced by them.

Have you ever “shelved” a book?

P:  Three so far. I liked them, but they weren’t true to my voice or the characters themselves wouldn’t speak to me. If I struggle too much with a book, I shelve it. I may come back later.

S:  As hard as it is to shelve a book, when it becomes a challenge to write, sometimes it's best to set it aside and move on.

What’s the best advice you have ever given?

P:  Write what you want. Don’t worry about writing what everyone else does. Your voice is your own.

S:  What do you want to be inscribed on your tombstone?

P:  She was never afraid to dream.

S:  What inspired “Chains of Rome?”

P:  “Chains of Rome” was born of my love of history and watching too many Roman programs.

S:  Is there anything you would like readers to know about “Chains of Rome?”

P:  It was a lot of fun to write. It’s dark and gritty and full of twists and turns.

Here's the blurb--

Born a slave Salaria has served her mistress, Roman noblewoman Icilia, from childhood. Skilled with medicines and potions, she's served as both her body slave and healer. From her position at Icilia's side Salaria's bore witness to countless indiscretions.

To protect herself and the slave children of the villa, Salaria has kept her mistress's secrets safe. When she unwittingly humiliates Icilia, Salaria is punished severely and thrown out of the house and into the slave quarters attached to the barn.

Her fate--to serve the men training to be gladiators.

Recently taken from the battlefield war chieftain Tritus has no love of Rome. His hatred deepens when he sees how Salaria, a spirited yet compassionate woman, is treated. T protect her Tritus begins to train her as a gladiator.

But the longer they're together, the more they yearn for each other. In Tritus, Salaria finds a man of honor, of integrity who sees her as an equal. A man who doesn't fear her or want to crush her beneath his heel. Love, however, is a luxury no slave can afford.

Pushed together for survival, they find themselves drawn to each other. But their futures are uncertain and one slip could mean they're torn from each other's arms forever.

Can they survive the fight for freedom and their hearts in the face of dark secrets and deep betrayals?

**Content Warning--Contains graphic scenes of violence, sex, and gore.

S:  That sounds pretty intense! Where can readers buy “Chains of Rome?”

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

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

Friday, May 21, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Brenda Whiteside!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Brenda Whiteside. Brenda writes suspenseful, action-packed tales with a touch of romance. She has also authored stories of historical romance, literary women's fiction, light-hearted romance, and romantic suspense with a touch of the mystical. A gypsy at heart, Brenda and her husband have lived in six states and two countries, and have not discounted another move in the future. Currently, they reside in Central Arizona with Amigo, their rescue dog. When not writing, Brenda plays in her fern fairy garden (see below) or tends to pots of herbs and greens.

Author Brenda Whiteside

S:  Welcome, Brenda!

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

B:  I remember being kissed the first time. I was in fifth grade and Donnie was the cutest little blond boy I’d ever seen. The kiss was more of a hit and run. I think my first real kiss came when I was in seventh grade. I kissed back. We were in the back of a pickup truck on the way home from somewhere. There were lots of other kids around. Oh my gosh, my heart pounded and my hands sweated. Lips on lips was wonderful.

S:  I always giggle when I write kissing scenes. First kisses are so innocent. Kisses as an adult, not so much.

What was your worst date ever?

B:  My worst date ever goes right back to kissing. My first experiences with kissing were so memorable, sweet and yummy. In high school, I went out with a guy who wanted to eat my face. We were at the drive-in theater, so I had no way of getting away from him. He was slobbery and covered my whole face with his gigantic mouth. I spent the night trying to keep him talking and away from my mouth.

Brenda's fern fairy garden

S:  What is it with men who slobber all over a woman? You have to wonder where they learned to kiss. 

What attracted you to your current partner?

B:  It took a few years of knowing FDW before falling in love. I thought he was cute the minute he asked me to dance, but what he said, “Hello, I love you. Would you like to dance?” he just about had me running in the opposite direction. Three years later, we were married. That was decades ago. I think he might’ve believed in love at first sight.

S:  Good thing you stuck around! 

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

B:  I would choose writing all over again…but I’d choose it sooner. I started to seriously write rather late in life. I’m not sure I’ll live long enough to get all of the stories in my head out.

S:  I am also a "late bloomer." I had written non-fiction, but it took me a long time to work up the courage to write romance.

What inspired "Secrets of the Ravine?"

B:  I was born and raised in Arizona. There is a town called Jerome that hangs on the side of a mountain in Central Arizona. I have been fascinated with it for years. Once known as the Wickedest Town in the West, it was a booming mining town in the late 1800s until the 1920s. The mines trickled out a small amount of copper for a couple of more decades, but by the 1950s, the town was dead. In the 1960s, hippies moved in, squatting in vacant homes and bringing some life back to the town. Some bought up the abandoned buildings and Jerome was reborn. The road is a mass of switchbacks to reach the now artsy tourist destination. I’ve been visiting it for decades and never tire of spending time there. My latest series, The MacKenzie Chronicles, is set in a town called Joshua. Hmm, looks a lot like Jerome. The MacKenzie family has lived in Joshua since the 1960s. 

S:  Is there is anything else you would like readers to know about "Secrets of the Ravine?"

B:  "Secrets of The Ravine" is Book One in The MacKenzie Chronicles, and Magpie MacKenzie, the eldest MacKenzie sibling, is the star.

Here's the blurb--

When a ringer for her long-dead love walks into her life the same day skeletal remains are found at the edge of town, Magpie MacKenzie can't ignore what the universe is telling her...solve the mystery, or become the next victim.

Lawyer Zack Peartree's life is orderly and entanglement-free until he visits purportedly haunted Joshua, Arizona, and meets free-wheeling shopkeeper Magpie. Despite experiencing troubling visions and odd moments of deja vu, Zack's instantly drawn to Magpie and to the unsolved murder which troubles her so.

Using clues from her father's past and Zack's deja vu moments, Magpie and Zack race to solve the mystery avoid a murderous fate, and discover their future...together.

S:  Wow, sounds like a suspenseful story.

Where can readers buy your book?

B:  It's available at--


Barnes and Noble:


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






Amazon Author Page:

Email newsletter signup:

Friday, May 14, 2021

This week in The Loft: Canadian author V. J. Allison!

Joining me today in The Loft is award-winning author V. J. Allison. V. J. writes small-town erotic romance. In addition to writing for eXtasy Books, in 2021, V.J. released her first independently published story, "COVID's Arrow." V. J. also runs her own graphics design firm, Veridian Rose Designs. A self-proclaimed geeky rocker chick, V. J. is an advocate for various chronic illnesses, including Occipital Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Diabetes, Migraines, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia, as well as a voice for Autism Awareness. The mother of a son on the autism spectrum, she and her husband also parent an adventurous Maine Coon cat named Marnie. V. J. lives in southern Nova Scotia.

Author V. J. Allison

S:  Good morning, V.J.! Thanks for joining me today!

Why did you become a writer?

V. J.:  It was always an escape for me. I find writing therapeutic and it helps my depression.

S:  I also find writing therapeutic. It relaxes me.

What attracts you to the romance genre?

V. J.:  Romances always have happy endings, and I love a good sappy story.

S:  Do you write in other genres?

V. J.:  I recently ventured into the paranormal romance realm and although it was fun to write, I cannot see myself writing anything other than contemporary romance. It was tough to build the relationship between the leads, as well as world-building.

S:  What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

V. J.:  Creating strong characters that others can relate to.

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

V. J.:  Yes, I believe in it, and yes,  it’s happened to me. I met a man just after my 17th birthday, and we were together from that point on. Thirty years later, we are still together.

S:  I love stories like that! 

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

V. J.:  Having people tell me they enjoy my stories. I love making people happy with my books.

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

V. J.:  That’s a big yes! I love being an author. Writing is therapeutic for me. I have chronic pain issues, and writing helps me forget the pain for a bit.

S:  How do you get in the mood for writing?

V. J.:  No one can be here. Only me and my cat, Marnie. I love to have a cup of coffee or Pepsi handy – depending on the time of day – and just park my butt in the chair and write.

S:  Have you ever “shelved” a book? 

V.J.:  One book. It was fully drafted, a 450,000 word monstrosity I’ve dubbed “The Abomination.” It took two of my previous main characters and turned them into Private Investigators, and put them in danger. Plus, it was highly influenced by others who have no bearing on the real romance or even the book market.

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

V. J.:  All of my stories are set in Nova Scotia, Canada. I found there was a huge gap by omitting the Atlantic Provinces in the romance genre. I’m hoping to fill in the hole by showcasing our culture, the amazing people, and of course, the gorgeous scenery of my beloved little province.

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



Facebook Fan Page: 



Amazon Author Page:

Friday, May 7, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Nadia L. Braeckel!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Nadia Braeckel. Nadia writes spicy contemporary romance and romantic suspense. The daughter of a Lebanese father and German-American mother, Nadia believes she sees the world through a unique lens. Her debut novel, "Torn Ties," is based on her own experiences with love and romance, and is based in her hometown of Tulsa, OK.  She currently lives in Tulsa with her husband and son.

Author Nadia L. Braeckel

S:  Welcome to The Loft, Nadia!

Why did you become a writer?

N:  I became a writer because after writing my first book, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else with my life and time.

S:  For most authors, the urge to write is unrelenting. The thrill of holding your book in your hands is almost addictive.

Do you write in other genres?

N:  Yes, I write romance mixed with a little suspense or mystery, because writing just romance over and over can feel a bit monotonous without a little thrill to back it up.

S:  What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

N:  The steamy sex scenes.

S:  Not many authors would admit that!

Do you believe in love at first sight?

N:  Yes, but I feel like it should be called attraction at first sight, because you can’t love someone you don’t know.

S:  There are so many facets of love, so many layers. Sometimes, it's difficult to distinguish between love and lust, or love and attraction. For me, instant attraction has led to love, but I have to agree with you, you can't love someone you don't know.

What inspires your books?

N:  Everyday life scenarios turned into twisted stories

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

N:  No matter what happens, just know the only person or thing you can control is yourself. Even if you marry, you can’t control anyone, and if you want to control someone, then you don’t truly love them.

S:  Good advice!

What inspired "Torn Ties?"

N:  I wrote this book when I had no voice. It is a fiction novel based on true events that happened to me.

S:  Is there anything special that you would like readers to know about "Torn Ties?"

N:  It’s based on the story of how I met my husband, but it's fiction. My hope is that this is a novel that people will be able to relate to it on some level.

Here's the blurb--

How can a relationship that starts for all the wrong reasons feel so right? That’s the question Natalya Zaher keeps asking herself. After all, her daily routine isn’t usually so dramatic…or so damn hot. By day, she works at a local men’s clinic, fending off advances from dirty old men and dealing with her boss’s angry tirades. By night, she sits at home, watching Twilight. Life has been remarkably routine—and lonely—until a chance encounter with a handsome man at the gym turns unexpectedly steamy. The only hang up? He’s already in a relationship. And Natalya wants more…much more. Alex Bowman isn’t sure what he wants. His long-term relationship has been slowly losing its luster. The sex is dull, and he’s growing frustrated with feeling controlled and demeaned. So when he meets the alluring, radiant young Natalya at the gym, he’s intrigued by her charm and upbeat nature. And when he discovers her sexually adventurous nature, he can’t stop thinking about her…and just how right their relationship seems to be. But Alex’s girlfriend doesn’t intend to let her man go without a fight, and she’s certainly not going to play fair. Even worse, Alex has been keeping secrets that threaten not just to destroy two reputations…but threaten to break Natalya’s heart too. Set in the heart of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Torn Ties is a roller-coaster ride of danger and desire that leaves the reader breathless to the last steamy page.

S:  Wow. That certainly sounds steamy! Where can readers buy your book?

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

Bush Publishing:  


Barnes and Noble:


S: Nadia, thanks so much for joining me today, and good luck with your first book! If you would like to learn more about Nadia, please visit--

Author Page: