Thursday, June 24, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Alana Lorens

Joining me today in The Loft is author Alana Lorens/Lyndi Alexander. As Alana, she writes romantic suspense and as Lyndi Alexander, she writes sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal mystery. She has also worked as a pizza maker, floral designer, journalist, and family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, N.C., Alana enjoys spending time in the Smoky Mountains. She lives with her daughter, the youngest of seven children, two crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages. 

Author Alana Lorens

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

What attracts you to the romance genre?

A:  Romance is something that makes people happy when they read. It helps people see that even though someone may face obstacles to happiness, that perseverance and determination can overcome them. Also, after working 30 years as a divorce attorney, I enjoy the irony of writing love stories. 

S:  That is a pretty bit of irony, isn't it?

How do you get in the mood for writing? 

A:  I prefer working on my desktop, even though my laptop is handy. The better quality of coffee, the more inspired I get. I’ve noticed, especially over the last year, that I tend to keep “butt in chair” a lot easier if I’ve got some kind of snackies to munch on. I especially like matchstick carrots! Music includes the soundtrack to Avatar, the soundtrack to The Stand, also music from The Hunger Games.  It’s interesting, months and years later, to hear the music somewhere and get transported immediately to a scene I’ve written.

S:  Have you ever shelved a book?

A:  I have tried to read literary-style books, and I just cannot get into them. I’m all for character development, but I’d rather see it happen with tense action and developing love or understanding instead of beautiful prose that just goes on and on. Call me a snob, I guess, but give me genre fiction any time.

S:  Well, you're not alone when it comes to those books. I read the classics in school, but even then, I suffered through them. When I start skipping pages to get to the end, I know I'm in trouble.

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

A: I would. It’s something I’ve been compelled to do since childhood. I wrote my first piece in grade school, my first paid piece at 18, was a journalist for much of the 1980s and then turned to novels. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

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

A:  Write. It’s the same on either side. I know writers who spend ages reading books about writing, or drafting detailed outlines, or talking about the book they’re going to write. They never write anything. If you want to write something, get it on paper or a screen. Polish it. Get comments on it. Submit it. Nike’s right on this one.

S:  What inspired the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series? 

A:  As a practicing attorney in Pennsylvania for 30 years, I have lived the life of my three heroines. I have certainly bailed out of town like Brianna in "Voodoo Dreams." I have fallen in love with a man much younger than myself, like Inessa in "Second Chances." I was a single parent of teen girls for many years, like Suzanne in "Conviction of the Heart." I worked with survivors of domestic violence for many of those years as well as served as a guardian ad litem for abused children in Miami. It’s important work and I wanted to share it with my readers.

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

A:  These books are stand-alone—no need to have read the others. But if you like stories about lawyers in love, even under unexpected circumstances and while coping with danger following close behind, then these books are for you.

Here are the blurbs and buy links--

"Conviction of the Heart." Family law attorney Suzanne Taylor understands her clients' problems--her own husband left her with two babies to raise alone. Now that they're teenagers, her life is full. The last thing she wants is the romantic attentions of a police lieutenant, no matter how good-looking.

Lt. Nick Sansone is juggling the demands of a new promotion and doesn't need complications either. But when he sends a councilman's battered wife to Suzanne for help, he realizes he wants to connect with the lovely, prickly lawyer on more than a professional level.

They are soon confronted with a different battle when the abused woman's husband threatens retribution. The powerful, well-connected councilman can damage both their careers--not to mention hurt those they love. Can they bend enough to admit they need each other in a time of crisis? Or will a husband's revenge take them down before they ever get a chance?

Buy link:

"Second Chances." When Inessa Regan gets a pink slip, laid off from her law firm at the age of 42, without prospects she’s sure her life is over. She hides from the world, until her neighbor brings her a client, a young Iraq war veteran dying of cancer.

Kurt Lowdon only wants to make sure his affairs are in order should the worst happen, but meeting Inessa gives him encouragement on the road to recovery. His quest to help her realize her self-worth leads them into dangers they never expected, as horrors from the war and long-hidden family secrets come back to haunt them.

Buy Link:

"Voodoo Dreams." When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can't wait to get out of Pittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious--but handsome--lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.

Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He'd much rather devote himself to her--especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.

Strangely compelled to follow the riddle's clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?

Buy Link:

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




Amazon Author Page:

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Congratulations to Lisabet Sarai on the release of "Bound and Breathless!"


Agony that burns - until it sets you alight with pleasure

For some people, kink is a game, a way to spice up sex by adding a hint of taboo. This book isn’t about those people.

These stories dig deeper, baring souls, exposing the heady thrill of power and surrender, intimacy and complicity. In the passionate dance of dominant and submissive, there is no tomorrow. There is only now, balanced between pleasure and pain, breathless with forbidden possibilities.


You! Come over here.” I started, my meditations interrupted by a rich, unfamiliar voice. The female crowd around Moresby had dispersed, and sure enough, he was beckoning to me.

Rude, I thought, but I obeyed him anyway.

I don’t know you, do I?” He smiled down at me. My brief irritation at his lack of manners melted away in the heat of that smile.

I’m Colette D’Arpignay. I just joined the Department of Languages and Literature this semester.”

Oh, right! The Sex Professor!”

I felt the blood rising in my cheeks. “Oh dear! I didn’t realize that sobriquet had spread outside my own department.”

Never mind. It doesn’t hurt to have a bit of a racy reputation. Makes you more interesting.” He scanned my body, not even trying to disguise his lascivious interest. “The question is, do you deserve it?”

My earlobes burned. Despite the air conditioning, sweat trickled down between my breasts. I was acutely aware of my tightened nipples, pressing against the purple jersey of my top. I couldn’t look at him.

He leaned over like a conspirator and delicately flicked one terribly obvious bud with his forefinger. A bolt of lightning sizzled through me and ignited a sudden blaze between my thighs.

I’m willing to bet that you do deserve it,” he murmured, close to my ear.

I pulled back, stumbling on my high heels, trying to regain control. “Please, Dr. Moresby. Remember where we are.” He did not look in the least repentant. “I’d rather not talk about it.”

Oh?” He looked at me skeptically, eyebrows raised. “I’m not sure I believe that. Anyway, call me Ryan.” He dug in his pocket and produced a slightly crumpled business card. “Here’s my card.”

I took it, unwilling but somehow unable to refuse it.

And may I have yours, Colette?” His eyes seized mine and wouldn’t let me look away. Later I couldn’t remember their color – only their intensity.

It seemed that I was moving in dreamlike slow motion as I extracted a card from my purse and handed it to him. He nodded. “Good. It’s got both your office and your cell. We’ll talk soon.”

Dean Evans appeared, with a busty, forty-something blonde in tow. “Excuse me for interrupting, Ryan, but I must introduce you to Larissa Carter, from Biology. She just came to us from UC San Francisco.”

Dr. Carter.” He took her hand and half-bowed. “I’m delighted to meet you.”

She looked as charmed by him as everyone else. I wondered if he’d tweak her nipples, too.

I turned to go. His hand on my arm stopped me. I was wearing long sleeves, but somehow I felt as though he was touching bare skin. “Don’t forget, Colette. I want to hear all about your research.”

And I want to learn about yours,” I replied archly.

Oh, you will,” he said with a strange smile, then turned the magic of his attention back to the buxom biologist.

Buy Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Universal Amazon Link:


Friday, June 18, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Gayle M. Irwin!

Joining me today in The Loft is award-winning author Gayle M. Irwin. Her series, Pet Rescue Romance, features tales of sweet contemporary romance that feature pets. Gayle has also authored numerous inspirational pet books for adults and children, and contributed to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. When not writing, Gayle volunteers for various dog rescue and humane society organizations, and donates a percentage of all book sales to those groups. She also enjoys traveling, nature photography, reading, and spending time at her mountain cabin. 

Author Gayle M. Irwin

S:  Good morning, Gayle. Thanks for joining me today.

What would you like people to know about you?

G:  How much I love animals and nature. I grew up in Iowa and spent many days in forests and fields, walking, exploring, nature observing, camping, and fishing with my family. We traveled west to the Rocky Mountains on several vacations, and when I was 17, we moved to Wyoming. None of us returned east. I still love the outdoors and appreciate nature. I also have a passion for pet rescue and adoption, and I weave those concepts in my romance stories and some of my children’s stories. I also weave nature appreciation into some of my stories, especially those for kids.

S:  What do you believe is your greatest achievement?

G:  First, having stories published in seven Chicken for the Soul books and receiving awards from Wyoming Writers, Inc., the statewide writers group, and from the Wyoming Press Association, for some of my articles in a state magazine. Second, I’m proud of how I help various animal rescue organizations--and therefore, animals in need--whether that’s through events or transporting animals for the rescue. I’m honored to be a part of helping dogs and cats find new homes and being saved by no-kill rescue organizations. I’m also grateful to have adopted several wonderful pets, from a blind springer spaniel to a puppy mill survivor. Saving the lives of creatures is an honor and a joy.

S:  Your accomplishments are impressive.

In addition to romance, do you write in other genres?

G:  Yes. In addition to writing sweet, contemporary romance, I delve into non-fiction and children’s books. In fact, my authorship began as a children’s author. I like to share inspiring, educational stories for kids, teaching them the joys of pet rescue and adoption and spending time in nature.

S:  You've certainly succeeded in sharing your love of pets.

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

G:  I experience a deep inner joy. I love to receive my first shipment of a book. I tear open the box and spill the books onto the dining room table, and I take at least two photos of the pile. Then, I post the pictures on social media. I feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement, and I like to share that with people I know--and even those I don’t! I find shouting to the world, “I’ve done it! I’ve written a book” exhilarating.

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

G:  Yes. However, I would start earlier in life. My first book, a children’s chapter book, was published when I was 47 years old. My first idea for a children’s book popped into my brain 12 years before that, when I lived next door to Yellowstone National Park. That book idea has still not seen the light of day, but I intend to write it one day.

S:  What inspired “My Montana Love?”

G:  "My Montana Love" is the sequel to my first contemporary novel in my Pet Rescue Romance series titled, "Rescue Road." So, you could say that the first book inspired the sequel. Both books are set in southwestern Montana, near Yellowstone National Park, an area in which I resided for nearly 12 years. I love that region. Bozeman, Montana used to be a sleepy, agricultural town, and it’s now become a residential destination. Although the population has grown, and most farm and ranch fields have been plowed under for housing developments, the Bridger Spanish Peaks, and other mountain ranges stand tall and rugged and are breathtaking. That’s the setting for "Rescue Road" and "My Montana Love." I have many fond memories of that area, and therefore, wanted to set at least one book there. Now I have two books that bring the beauty of the Gallatin Valley into my writings. I’ve dreamed of having an animal sanctuary and if I were ever blessed with that privilege, I’d love to have it located in this part of Montana.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about “My Montana Love?”

G:  "My Montana Love" is a story of love and the challenges of a middle-aged couple. A relationship, no matter how young or old the two individuals are, has its ups and downs. Life is filled with challenge, internally and externally, and love is often tested by health issues, financial problems, anxieties, fears, and lack of self-confidence. I believe “My Montana Love” showcases the reality of a relationship and that readers can relate to the ups and downs the characters experience in the story.

Here's the blurb--

Crisis and Chaos in Paradise

Rhiann and Levi married five years ago. Their blissful life on a Paradise Valley, Montana ranch, buying, breeding, and selling horses and operating a rescued animal sanctuary is challenged when Levi experiences a health crisis. A much-anticipated anniversary trip postponed, a financial situation she didn't expect, and a past experience she thought she'd put behind her causes Rhiann to face critical decisions. Can she keep the ranch and sanctuary solvent and her marriage intact, or will these incidents cloud her judgment and cause chaos she cannot control?

S:  Wow. That story really tugs at the heartstrings! Where can readers buy "My Montana Love?"

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

Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Print:

Barnes & Noble Nook:



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

Author Website:


Pinterest (under Waggin' Tales):


Amazon Author Page:

Friday, June 11, 2021

This Week in The Loft: Author Maggie Blackbird!

Joining me today The Loft is fellow eXtasy author Maggie Blackbird. An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking her dogs deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

The Avatar of Author Maggie Blackbird

S:  Thanks for joining me today, Maggie!

Why did you become a writer?

M:  Writing has always been a part of me, something I did for fun. So I can’t say I became a writer. Why did I become an author?  Because I wanted to share my stories with the world in hopes others will enjoy them as much as I loved writing them.

S:  What attracts you to the romance genre?

M:  The conflict and resolution between the two main protagonists.  There is something satisfying about the two making the journey together toward their happily ever after.

S:  I have a friend who claims that you have to love romance to write about it. That seems to be true for you.

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

M:  For the best, it was submitting to eXtasy Books--the second place I submitted to after I withdrew my submission from another publisher--and expecting to wait for the standard eight to 12 weeks turnaround time to hear whether my manuscript would get the yay or nay. Instead, the owner emailed me the very next morning stating she wanted my book. Whee! As for the worst, this is tough because I’m a naturally optimistic person.  Even during the worst situations, I find something good to take from the experience, whether a lesson learned, etc.  But if I did have to choose, I’d say getting my first full request from an agent and then being told she didn’t connect with my writing.  As I said, though, there is always a silver lining, because if not for her rejection, I wouldn’t have connected with another eXtasy author to ask her about the publishing house.

S:  Our stories are pretty similar. I also pulled my submission from the first publisher I submitted to, but it was due to a disagreement over the contract. 

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

M:  I sure would. I have to write. It’s in my blood.

S:  Have you ever “shelved” a book? 

M:  I sure have. I shelved eight. (Laughs.)  Seriously.  The seven-book series was written in the 90s and I still had a long way to go as a potential author. Those manuscripts weren’t fit for publication and still aren’t.  The same goes for the other manuscript.  It was a great idea, and I loved what I wrote, but I’d have to completely re-write everything to make it work.

S:  What inspired "Knight Moves?"

M:  This is an easy question because it’s the third book in the When We Were Young series, so I had to write it. As for the inspiration for the series, it came from another “shelved” manuscript. Oops, make that nine I shelved! I was very much taken with the character of René Oshawee, who was the chief one hero has a major crush on. I wanted to know more about René.  Then when I began the next book--oops another shelved book, so make that 10 now, but who’s counting--René had a bigger role. Even some backstory. And his backstory was Billy Redsky, the major hero in the When We Were Young series. At first, I tried writing them as adults, but Billy kept insisting I go deeper into their history, so I started writing a short story about their youth. This expanded into a novel.  In the first draft, Billy was 13 and René was 17. But I scrapped that and upped Billy’s age to 14. I scrapped that, too. His perfect age, I found, was 15, and it worked well! Some might say that’s a lot of writing to waste. Not so for me. I love writing. So I find that even if the work stays on my hard drive, all writing is good writing and tons of fun.

Here's the blurb--

After receiving his grade twelve diploma and marking his eighteenth birthday, René Oshawee cannot fight the temptation seventeen-year-old high school junior Billy Redsky blatantly offers now that what they share has become taboo.

When their secret romance is blown into the open, Billy’s foster parents send René to Toronto to complete the last of his schooling under the supervision of a family friend, leaving Billy behind at their Ojibway community.

Now Billy and René must make the biggest decision of their lives—fight for the true love they know they’ll never find with anyone else or go their separate ways.

S:  I'm impressed at the emotion you put into your books. Your latest story really pulls at the heartstrings.

Where can readers purchase "Knight Moves?"

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

Amazon: | | |


Barnes & Noble 

Devine Destinies

S:  Maggie, it was a pleasure chatting with you today. If you would like to learn more about Maggie and her books, please visit--


Facebook Page 




Linked In 

Amazon Author Page 

eXtasy Books Author Page 

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Friday, June 4, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Daryl Devoré!

Joining me today in The Loft is Canadian author Daryl Devoré. Daryl writes romance in a variety of sub-genres and heat levels, including new adult, episodic, sports, contemporary, urban fantasy, and twisted fairy tales. The author of 20 books, her latest tome, "The Last Dragon" is now an audiobook. A retired teacher, Daryl enjoys gardening--unless the mosquitoes are hungry. She lives in eastern Ontario in a 180-year-old farmhouse with her husband, two cats, and a few house ghosts.

Author Daryl Devore

S:  Good morning, Daryl! Thanks for chatting with me today.

You write in a vast array of sub-genres. What inspires your stories?

D:  Everything. And anything. For my rock star trilogy, I was in the car with my husband and we were driving to our daughter’s for a visit. "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor came on the radio. I grabbed my laptop and wrote three chapters of a book I didn’t know I was going to write and it grew into a trilogy. "The Last Dragon," eight years earlier, I wrote a hot medieval romance and someone said they kept expecting a dragon to pop up. That floated around in my head for years and suddenly one day, the dragon announced it was time to tell the story. That book has now led into a second book with the concept for two others.

S:  It's amazing what can inspire a story if you're paying attention, isn't it?

Do you read reviews?

D:  Yes and no. I will look at the number of stars and if it’s a four or five, I’ll read it. Not to pump up my ego, but to use it for teasers and in promo posts. The other reviews, I don’t read. There are a lot of trolls out there. Why raise your blood pressure over their nonsense? People have the right to have an opinion and not everyone will like a book. Telling me I should have written it this way or not written it that way is useless. The book is written. I like it--or I wouldn’t have published it. And I am not going to change it. I have very good critique partners and beta readers. If there was a massive problem with the book they wouldn’t hesitate to point it out. Because they know I have their back and would do the same for them.

S:  The opinions of your peers and beta readers should carry more weight. 

What attracted you to your partner?

D:  I fell for him, literally. We both were taking Judo at the time and he threw me on the mat. Somehow, we just moved on from that to now 37 years of marriage. We both left Judo. I took up TaeKwon Do and am now a 2nd degree black belt.

S:  A dangerous woman. I like that!

What would you like people to know about you?

D:  I love chatting with fans or people about writing. I met a wonderful lady, Colleen. It was fun to watch her chat with me like I was some A-list celebrity. I’m a barely-known author. But I have published books and that so amazed her. I think I am going to use her in a book one day, when I get over my current medieval fantasy phase. Most writers aren’t like the stereotypes. We don’t sit in caves and toss out books every so often. Nor do we sit by a crackling fire, sipping bourbon while tapping out bestsellers on our laptops. I guess there is one other thing to know about me – I’m female. My name is also female, but most know it as a male name. When the name is said to rhyme with Karl – that is the female version. When it is said to rhyme with Carol – that is the male version.

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

D:  Simple answer--Yes. I wrote my first book in grade 10 (sophomore year in an American school). I took a creative writing class and the first assignment was sort of chapter one. My teacher said, "Keep going." So I did. Yes, I published it. But many years later and after a lot of revisions. I was that kid in class who, when the teacher said there was an essay to write, I got excited. Writing comes naturally to me.

S:  What inspired "The Last Dragon?"

D:  As I mentioned earlier, someone mentioned a dragon and one flew around in my head for years and then boom, I sat down and wrote the story.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about "The Last Dragon?"

D:  Yes, it’s amazing. My narrator said he loved reading it because it flowed and that made his job a lot easier. I love the characters in this book. It just felt right writing it. Also, this bookmarked the division between me as a hot romance writer and a sweet romance writer. Detailed sex scenes did not feel right with the pure sweetness of Derry.

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, reveling 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:  Wow. That sounds fascinating. Your story was just released as an audiobook. Where can readers purchase it?

D:  The audiobook is available at--


Amazon Audiobook:

The book is available at--


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