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