Friday, October 29, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author D. S. Dehel!

Joining me today in The Loft is D. S. Dehel. A prolific author, D. S. writes paranormal, historical, erotic, and contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She is a lover of literature, good food, and the Oxford comma. Now retired, D.S. spends her days dreaming up new plotlines and adores literary allusions, writing sex scenes, and British men. She believes romance is universal to mankind, and claims it’s hard to think of a genre that doesn’t have a love interest or romance sub-plot. In her opinion, all books are romance books.

Author D. S. Dehel

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

You write a wide array of romance stories. What's your preference--brains or brawn/beauty?

D:  Brains, definitely brains. I tried dating a pretty but not very smart guy, and it was an absolute disaster. We had nothing to talk about. Having said that, I also dated a really smart guy, and that was equally bad, not because he was nerdy or anything like that, but because he constantly felt the need to prove he was smarter than I am, which was really annoying.

S:  My mother always told me to go for the smart guys, because even if their looks faded, they'd still have something to talk about. I think about that every time a guy pulls out his Mensa card on a date! 

What was your worst date ever?

D:  My first date, because I almost choked to death on pizza. Not a great way to begin an evening. The play we saw wasn’t that great, either.

S:  I can't believe you continued the date after almost choking!

What do people get wrong about romance?

D:  People who have never read romance as a genre seem to believe that all of the books are bodice rippers with ingenue poverty stricken, but noble and beautiful, of course--females being seduced by alpha male kilt-wearing billionaires who come across as hardened loners. They're not. Sure, some follow that pattern set waaay back in the early 18th century, but modern romances speak to life and love and sensuality as people experience it--or maybe wish they experience it. The subgenres in romance are myriad. There's something out there to appeal to everyone. And to be honest, those very first romances are quite readable and enjoyable today, and are far more salacious than people imagine. No, really. My jaw hit the floor reading "Fanny Hill" because I didn't expect it to be so frank in its sexuality.

S:  Do you write in other genres? 

D:  I currently do not write in any other genre, but I might in the future. There’s no real reason for me not doing so, other than the fact I haven’t found the right story I want to tell. Though I must admit the idea of a young adult (YA) historical murder mystery--or maybe Steampunk?--does intrigue me.

S:  That sounds like an amazing challenge.

Are there any characteristics the lead characters in your books share?

D:  Across all of my books, generally speaking, my lead females tend to be strong. One or two are genuine badasses in their own right. There are no Mary Sues or Fainting Violets. The men tend to be complicated--as most people are. All of my characters are layered, mostly because as a reader, I can't stand characters who are "one note," unless I am reading a fairy tale, but that's a different story altogether.

S:  What inspired "Nine for a Kiss?"

D:  I was talking with Maggie Blackbird, V.J. Allison, and Cameron Allie, and the idea of a progressive story came up. We dismissed that concept, but liked the thought of tales that share a common element. After a few days of back and forth, we each agreed to attempt to create a Halloween short story that contained a corn maze as a portal and a creepy scarecrow man. To me, Halloween is Poe first and foremost. Poe equals the Raven, of course, and it went from there. The really interesting thing is that each of our stories are radically different, yet feel very similar.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about "Nine for a Kiss?"

D:  The fourth book of the Irish Gods series features a young—nonverbal—raven as a minor character. Now he’s all grown up and encounters a very lost young woman in an unusual corn maze. Oddly, it’s my second book with a bird shifter.

Here's the blurb

Just one perfect day.

Nothing has gone right in Sadie Lyons’s life since the accident, but she’s trying her best to get back to normal. She’s just not sure if the trip to the old apple orchard was the best decision, and the creepy corn maze run by the even creepier owner confirms her fears. Inside, the maze is even worse, and she’s soon lost in a never-ending labyrinth that twists and turns but goes nowhere.

When a raven joins her as a guide, she feels better, but like the maze, the raven is not what he seems, and the news he brings her changes everything.

Love and loss intertwine in this tale of the endings and beginnings we all face.


S:  Where can readers buy your book?

D:  The book  is being released today, so right now it's available at https://www.extasybooks.com/Nine-for-a-Kiss. It will be available soon at other booksellers.

S:  D. S., thanks so much for joining me today and good luck with your latest book! If you'd like to learn more about D. S. and her books, please visit--

Blog:  https://www.dsdehel.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100024850654069

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ddehel

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard?ref=nav_profile_authordash

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/d-s-dehel

Amazon Author Page:  https://tinyurl.com/272dsyrm

Friday, October 22, 2021

This week in The Loft: Canadian author Maggie Blackbird!

Joining me today in The Loft is fellow eXtasy Books author Maggie Blackbird. Maggie writes contemporary, erotic, paranormal, fantasy, and young adult romance, and shares her Ojibway heritage in her stories. Based in 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.

Avatar for author Maggie Blackbird

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

Why write romance?

M:  I write romance because I love reading the genre. I guarantee readers a Happily-Ever-After (HEA) or Happy-For-Now (HFN). I love writing about two people getting together while overcoming the many obstacles in their path. I love watching my characters grow throughout the story. There are just so many reasons why I love reading and writing in this genre.

S:  To me, romance as a genre is the most inclusive. Love comes in all shapes and sizes and that is pretty freeing.

What do people get wrong about romance?

M:  They think it’s two people having sex. They also don’t understand the many sub-genres of romance and the storylines involved for two characters to get together.

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

M:  I sure would. There is nothing I enjoy more than working in the field of romance.

S:  What inspires your stories?

M:  Anything can inspire them. Headlines. An idea from the TV.  Lyrics in a song. You name it, it can inspire me to come up with a novel, novella, or short story.

S:  Complete this sentence: “When one of my books is released, I….”

M:  …keep working on my next release. Seriously, I don’t get excited over book releases.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite pleased, but by the time the release happens, I’m too excited over the latest project I’m working on.

S:  For me, the first book releases were exciting, but you're right. You're usually so buried in the next project, the release is a mere ripple in your day.

What inspired "Born for This?"

M:  An author friend came up with an idea about a corn field and a scarecrow. From there, four of us dreamed up our own ideas of what that could represent. For me, the scarecrow became Mandaamin, the corn spirit of the Ojibway people.

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

M:  This was the last book my dad helped me with--since he had a great understanding of the Treaty area and was the historian for our reserve--before he passed away. The book is quite special to me for that reason.

Here's the blurb--

She’s always been obsessed with her ancestors, and now he’s offering her a chance to live with them…forever.

Second-year university student Edie Whitecrow gobbles up each course on Indigenous studies.  If only she could experience the lives of her Anishinaabe ancestors instead of reading about them.  On her way to a Halloween party decked out as a historical Ojibway maiden, she spies a corn maze in a spot known to be barren.

A scarecrow figure beckons Edie to enter with the enticing offer of making her biggest wish come true.  She jumps at the chance and finds herself in the past, face to face with the man who haunts her dreams—the handsome brave Thunder Bear.  He claims he’s spent twelve years waiting for Gitche Manidoo to send her to him.

Life in the eighteenth century isn’t what Edie romanticized about, though.  When her conscience is tested, she must choose between the modern day or the world of her descendants—where the man she was created for resides.


S:  That sounds like an amazing tale. Your book will be released on October 29. Where can readers purchase it?

M:  Initially, it will be available at eXtasy Books. Then it will be sold at all major booksellers.

S:  Maggie, it's always a pleasure to chat with you. If you'd like to learn more about Maggie and her books, please visit--

Website:  https://maggieblackbird.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BlackbirdMaggie/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/maggieblackbird

BookbBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maggie-blackbird

Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/maggie-blackbird-032798169/

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Blackbird/e/B07KQP1FFG

eXtasy Books Author Page:  https://www.extasybooks.com/maggie-blackbird/

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Friday, October 15, 2021

This week in The Loft: Australian author Clyve Rose!

Joining me today in The Loft is Amazon best-selling author Clyve Rose. Clyve writes historical romance. She believes that love is the highest and strongest force known in the world and it only manifests when we are our best and truest selves. When not writing, Clive can be found pounding the sand on the beautiful beaches near her Australian home, engaging in short-haul ocean swims, and researching quirky historical fashion trends. Clyve shares her home with a small white demon dog and a budding Amazon warrior.

Author Cylve Rose

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

What inspires your stories?

C:  People inspire my stories, as does love. The way they brave their own worst fears and move through the world towards each other. The power of love between siblings and families, between parents and children, between friends and lovers. There are so many sources of strong, powerful love to learn about. It’s endlessly changing and endlessly fascinating.

S:  Are there any characteristics your lead characters share?

C:  I’d say yes, they are all outsiders in one way or another. Either they don’t quite fit in the place they’re expected to belong or they are truly strangers in a strange land. My heroine in my debut novel wasn’t English, but found herself housebound in an English manor house for some weeks with a duke’s son. In my Christmas novella, the earl’s daughter must maintain the fa├žade of wealth and privilege while the truths she lives with are far from this gilded lie.

S:  Ah, hidden truths always tantalize!

Do you believe in love at first sight?

C:  I believe in lust at first sight. I believe in chemistry and attraction. Do I believe love strikes like lightning, with nothing ever occurring to connect two people beforehand? I think love--powerful, resilient love--takes time. It grows and changes with the hearts involved. I do not think it is a single moment. It is many moments. That first sight of the other--that may be one of them, but it cannot be all of them.

S:  Do you remember your first kiss?

C:  I do remember it. His name was Nick, and he caught me completely by surprise, mainly because I knew he had a girlfriend at the time. It was the first time I realized that social mores only dictate behavior if we believe it does.

S:  What was your worst date ever?

C:  He brought his wife. That said, she and I had a great girl’s night out and dumped him at the first bar we hopped to. I believe they’re no longer together. Need I say more?

S:  That is a story worthy of inclusion in a romance novel.

What do you want inscribed on your tombstone? 

C:  My epitaph will undoubtedly read, "One more read through." My editor has to pry my work from my hands most times.

S:  Tell me about your book, "Love's Sweet Arrow."

C:  It's a holiday reunion novella appearing in the Regency Christmas anthology, Sweet Christmas Secrets. It sits alongside nine other sweetly seasonal Regency reads. Writing my first sweet romance was a lesson in patience, in listening to the characters and staying true to their story. If they are not the kinds of Regency figures to fall naked on a hay bale, then as the writer, I must find another way for them to discover their love. In the case of this story, their love was never in doubt--merely in stasis and difficult to admit, as love often is. The hovering, the waiting, the second-guessing and the wondering--all add poignancy to the sweetness of this style of romance and I may have loved it a little by the end. This novella gave me quite the toughest moments I’ve had as a writer in years. It feels sweeter, and less hot, that my usual work. It also feels more delicate--like tender lacework instead of sensuous silk ribbon. There were moments I believed it impossible to finish, but I never give up on a story. Not as long as the love is there.

Here's the blurb--

The battle-weary Captain Eversfield lost his heart years ago to a girl who was out of his reach – but now? Back from the wars but not quite whole, will his Christmas wish come true?

Lady Annette Ryehurst spent ten long years trying to forget the boy she’s missed all this time. With her mother causing scandals and scheming to wed Annette to her cousin, our heroine’s chances of love seem to shrink by the day. Then she finds a paper rose in an old friend’s carriage. Dare she hope again?



S:  Where can readers buy "Sweet Christmas Secrets?"

C:  It's available at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09C4D7994/

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

Website: https://www.clyverose.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/clyve.rose.5

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ClyveRose

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

Friday, October 8, 2021

This week in The Loft: Canadian Author Cameron Allie!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Cameron Allie. Cameron writes in a variety of romance subgenres, including contemporary, paranormal, erotic, and M/M. The mother of two toddlers, Cameron claims she spends most of her time these days watching Paw Patrol, eating Goldfish crackers, and obsessing over whether she's doing a good job parenting and when she'll find more time to write. Cameron lives north of Toronto, Ontario with her husband and two daughters, as well as a cat named Darcy, who was a wedding present.

Author Cameron Allie

S:  Good morning, Cameron! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. I know "toddlerville" can be very time-consuming. It's amazing that you can find any time to write.

What do people get wrong about romance?

C:  I’m going to assume this question is about the romance genre and not romance in general. I think one of the biggest things people get wrong, or at least assume about the romance genre, is that it’s a lesser style of book. People often look down on the romance genre. Readers of romance often feel they need to hide the type of book they’re reading, or give an explanation as to why they’re reading that “trash." Additionally, a lot of people tend to point at the genre and say it's anti-feminist. Which couldn’t be more wrong. Romance stories are mostly written by women for women. Many of the authors who write within the genre hold some sort of higher education, often they’re teachers or lawyers. I remember reading a statistic once that said the average romance reader is a black woman with at least two years of college education. The readers are educated women, the authors are educated women, and the heroines featured in most of today’s romance stories? Well, they kick ass at whatever they’re doing. They hold a variety of positions, and often they’re key in the destruction of any villain in the story. I’d like to also take a moment to point out that romance is a billion dollar industry and the genre outsells the next several highest selling genres combined. Clearly, not only are there hundreds of thousands of romance fans out there, there is also a need for these types of stories. The days of apologizing for reading romance are long over for me. I’ll proudly announce to anyone that I love the genre, I read the genre, and I write in the genre. I mean, who doesn’t want to read a sexy story that empowers women, and has a satisfying guaranteed Happily-Ever-After (HEA)? In today’s world, frankly, we need these stories.

S:  I couldn't agree more. I believe romance stories provide hope in a sometimes hopeless world.

What attracted you to your current partner?

C:  My husband and I met when I was about 20. So wow, we’ve been together for 14 years now. Married for seven. There were a lot of things that I found attractive about him. One of the biggest was how forward he was. He was interested in me and wasn’t afraid to show it. Back then I tended to be oblivious to guys liking me, they needed to be blunt, and at that age they just weren’t. I loved his honesty. He’d told me before we even got out of my hometown on our first date all of his flaws. Yep, he listed them off, including the fact that he’d failed grade 2. Coming from an emotionally abusive relationship with a long time cheater, the honesty was refreshing. But what really drew me in? During our first date he told me about his little 5 year old niece. He pulled out his wallet showed me the picture of this cute little girl who was missing her front teeth. He carried her picture around with him. How could I resist that?

S:  That's such a sweet story, and now he has two little girls of his own!

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

C:  My first kiss happened when I was 15. I mostly remember how excited I was about it. I’d been anxiously waiting for that first kiss--I’m excluding the time I kissed a boy after kindergarten graduation when I was five--so I was thrilled when it first happened. Mostly, I remember the setting. I remember it was early June, the weather was nice, and it happened outside after the sun had gone down. I couldn’t tell you much detail about the kiss itself. I think it was good. I just remember how excited I was to have finally experienced it.

S:  Do you write in other genres? 

C:  All of my stories fall under the romance category, but I do write within multiple subgenres within romance. Most of my stories are contemporary. I have a few M/M stories as well. My first paranormal romance came out in September, and "Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets" will be out in March. I’m also planning to jump into the sci-fi romance horror genre, with a series that has already been contracted. I kind of jump all over the place with genre and tropes, but I will always deliver that HEA, though admittedly it might be a few stories in the making.

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

C:  Definitely. I can’t quiet the characters in my head. They have stories to tell and I’m excited to deliver them. I can’t wait to hear what readers think of some of my upcoming series. However, I would likely do things differently. Right now, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I was pumping out stories very quickly at the beginning of my career, and I’m anxious to get back to such a fast pace, but in 2018, I had my first baby, and now I have two of them, and writing has slowed down drastically. So I might have planned releases and scheduling differently, but I’d definitely still be writing. Hopefully, one day I can make a full time career out of it.

S:  From experience, I can tell you that as your children grow older and become more independent, you will find more time to write. Meanwhile, it's best to settle in and enjoy the journey. Kids aren't kids for long!

What inspired "Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets?"

C:  I brought up the idea of a joint story collection/series to a few author friends of mine. We had discussed the idea of each writing our own story that connects somehow. We ended up deciding that while each story would be totally independent from the rest, but each one would have a corn maze, a creepy scarecrow type figure at the entrance of said corn maze, and within each maze would be a portal that would push our stories into the paranormal romance genre. As with most things in life, our plans got a little derailed, but each of us has produced a story with those elements and we’re working as a team to celebrate each release and help the others succeed. I ended up separating from our original publication and release plan for a few reasons--I couldn’t complete my story in time for the publisher’s deadline and my story morphed into a full length novel, rather than the agreed upon novella, and has launched an entire series based in the paranormal realm I’ve created. The other authors and stories, if you’d like to check them out, are being released this October: VJ Allison’s "Eternity’s Gamble," Maggie Blackbird’s "Born for This," and D.S. Dehel’s, "Nine for a Kiss."

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about "Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets?"

C:  Where do I start? This book is so special to me for so many reasons. It’s going to be my longest story to date, and my first big paranormal romance, not to mention it’s kicking of my first paranormal romance series. I’m so in love with the characters, and am excited to get into stories that follow this one. I know I have at least seven full-length novels planned in this series, and plan on writing bite-sized mini stories that will tie into the larger ongoing plot. They’ll be released in between the longer novels. But I image the series will be longer than seven books. I’m anticipating this being a project that I can come back to and write in often, as long as the interest is there from readers and the ideas keep flowing. This book and series is special to me because I’m writing stories that are more complex, with villains and an overarching plot and universe. I think it will show how much I’ve grown as an author over the last few years. I’m definitely excited to showcase the paranormal creatures and the unique twists I have planned on some old favorites.

Here's the blurb--

What do you do when your ex's werewolf boss wants to feast on the mortal you've sworn to protect?

Quinn was unaware of the love potion her meddling cat dumped into her tea, so when Ian Hannigan ends up injured on her property, she thinks she's dealing with another mortal, not the man who can help mend her heart. Her life becomes a balancing act as she attempts to keep him safe while hiding secrets better left buried with the dead.

In a realm filled with things that go bump in the night, Ian didn't expect to find security and happiness in the arms of a green-skinned witch, yet for the first time since his parents' tragic car crash, he's found some measure of peace. The rumors he hears in Clayridge aren't pleasant, but Ian knows there's more to Quinn than what people would have him believe. If he's placed his trust in the wrong hands, he'll be paying with more than just his heart. He'll pay with his life.


S:  This tale sounds enthralling! Where can readers buy your book?

C:  It's available for preorder at https://books2read.com/u/3RJ5xY.

S:  Cameron, it's been a pleasure chatting today. If you'd like to learn more about Cameron and her books, please visit--

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Cameron is offering a free short story in exchange for signing up for her newsletter. You can sign up here to get a free copy of "Arrested Valentine," which includes a sneak peek at "Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets." Currently, the excerpt found at the back of "Arrested Valentine" is unavailable anywhere else

Friday, October 1, 2021

This week in The Loft: Author Martha O'Sullivan!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Martha O'Sullivan. Formerly an Acquisitions Editor at MacMillan Computer Publishing, Martha writes contemporary and erotic romance with traditional couples and happy endings. A native of Chicago, Martha is living her own happy ending in Florida with her husband and two daughters.

Author Martha O'Sullivan

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

Why write romance?

M:  I write what I love to read--contemporary romance novels with Happily-Ever-After endings. Bonus points if they are part of a series.

S:  Writing what you like to read is a sound baseline for creating a book. I think you need to understand the genre and sub-genre before you start writing.

What would you like people to know about you?

M:  I was underestimated much of my life. Surprise!

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

M:  The best thing that has ever happened to me as a writer has been seeing my books in print. There is just something about holding your book in your hand. The worst thing is the years of rejection. But it makes you stronger, better. Sometimes, the last thing you'd ever want turns out to be exactly what you need.

S:  I have to agree. Rejections are great motivators.

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

M:  I would have to. Writing chose me!

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

M:  Write what you know, what you like to read. I loved writing "Second Chance" and the rest of the trilogy. I would read the books, even if I hadn’t written them.

S:  What do you consider your greatest achievement?

M:  My daughters.

S:  What inspired "Second Chance?"

M:  "Second Chance" was my first book and will always be the book of my heart. The setting was inspired by my summers in Lake Tahoe and my fascination with California as a girl. But Moira Brody, a secondary character in "Second Chance" and the heroine in "Last Chance," has a lot of me in her. "Last Chance" ended up being my favorite book in the series, although all three were a labor of love.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about "Second  Chance?"

M:  "Second Chance" and "Last Chance" were originally one book called "The Missing Piece." But the book was getting too long and was losing focus. So the Chances Trilogy was born!

Here's the blurb--

Is a Second Chance at love worth the risk of losing your heart forever?

Lindsay Foster has convinced herself that marrying Paul Webster is the right thing to do. But she and Brian Rembrandt have some unfinished business. And now that Brian is suddenly standing in front of her again, she finds herself torn between the life she's always wanted and the man she'll always love.

Brian is up for that fight; he's used to getting what he wants. And he's never met a rule that couldn't be broken. So when Lindsay won't come to him, he goes to her. Despite the passion-filled night they share, Lindsay sends Brian away and decides to go through with the wedding. 

But this love triangle has an extra side. Lindsay's lifelong best friend Moria Brody has a heart-wrenching secret. And she's not the only one struggling with an epiphany. The chain of events set in motion on the placid shores of Lake Tahoe come to a head on a foggy San Francisco night. And alter the course of four lives forever.  

S:  I love stories that twist and turn! Where can readers buy your book?

M:  It's available at https://books2read.com/u/bprgKW

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