Q&A with Ann Marie Walker

Ann Marie Walker authorAnn Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She’s a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl.

If it’s December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.

Connect: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Favorite writing place.

Honestly, it varies from book to book, but Black Tie Optional was written almost exclusively at the corner table of my local Starbucks and I have the gold star rewards to prove it haha.

If they could sit and write in a different country where would it be? 

I’ve had the chance to visit the UK recently and as a result am thinking of basing my next series there. Maybe it’s my love of Hugh Grant rom-coms, but after a few days in Notting Hill, the ideas were flying!

Co-writing have you done it with another author, if not, would you?

The first series I wrote, Chasing Fire, was co-authored with Amy K. Rogers. It was a wonderfully collaborative process but we always knew I would write solo as well (hence publishing under both our names versus one pen name) due to Amy’s demanding “day job”.

Name three things on your desk right now.

Coffee mug (a necessity), cell phone (a distraction), and a frame with a print of the first fan art someone ever made based on one of my books (a reminder).

What are you favorite types of stories to read? Continue reading

An Excerpt of Tracking You by Kelly Moran

Kelly Moran Tracking YouTitle: Tracking You by Kelly Moran
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: 5/23/17

Synopsis

Love isn’t always loud. Sometimes it’s silent.

Gabby Cosette has always been dubbed the good girl of quaint Redwood Ridge, Oregon, and being permanently put in the friend zone has left her dating life stagnant. With no prospects in sight, she clings to her friends and resolves to not let loneliness drag her under. So when the town Battleaxes set their matchmaking sights on her, she figures it can’t hurt. Yet the guy they think is perfect for her just happens to be not only her boss at the veterinarian clinic, but her best friend. Sure, Flynn O’Grady is attractive and the nicest guy around, but going there with him would topple both of their carefully constructed worlds and there would be no going back. Even if he is starting to make her girly parts zing.

Having been born deaf, Flynn has already felt like an outsider most of his life. Aside from his brothers, Gabby is about the only person who’s gone out of her way to treat him as more than a handicap. Which is exactly why he’s banked his secret attraction for his sweet, beautiful vet tech. Except his meddling family is trying to play Cupid and ruin the best thing to ever happen to him. Without Gabby, his work as a veterinarian, never mind his personal life, wouldn’t flow. Determined to ignore the antics, he’s secure in the knowledge she’s not interested in him romantically. But then a kiss changes everything . . . and he’s wondering if taking the ultimate shot at love might be worth the risk. Continue reading

Casey Bartsch Presents, Strawberries

Strawberries book coverTitle: Strawberries by Casey Bartsch
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Synopsis

Strawberries is the name he has been given.

When they let him out, they had no way of knowing what he was. A psychopath. A killer. The body count is at twenty already, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Agent Harry Bland can’t see one anyway. He doesn’t have a single clue to go on. It doesn’t help that his mind won’t focus. His heart just isn’t in it anymore.

Half way across the country, Sylvia is in a different state of mind. When she isn’t selling sex to the rich, she is doing her best to disappear. She lives a life of assumed names, one night stands, and a constant stream of narcotics.

Sylvia has heard of Strawberries. Of course she has. So has everyone who has turned on the television or surfed the net. Yet, she has no way of knowing just how much his life will affect hers.

Seedy hotels, cross country truckers looking for the meaning of life, homemade pie, a reporter with her own secret agenda, obscenely expensive champagne, and plenty of spilled blood await our cast. But make sure to read fast…..Strawberries has killed number 21.

A little Koontz, a splash of Palahniuk, and a pinch of Robbins. Strawberries is sure to make you wince as well as smile. Continue reading

Corine Mekaouche Presents, Last Semester

Last Semester book coverTitle: Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche
Genre:  Comedy, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis

College. Party. Drama. Life.

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down.

While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can.

Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

Navigating through college isn’t easy especially when you don’t know what the future holds, but Jo is determined to conquer her present even if it means figuring out what being an adult is all about. With graduation around the corner, Jo and her roommates have some growing up to do and the last semester is all they have.

College is complicated.

Partying is a necessity.

Drama is guaranteed.

Life is just beginning. Continue reading

Get to Know Author Rachel Harris

Rachel HarrisGet to know author Rachel Harris

Describe yourself in five words or less.

Silly, hopeful, romantic, and loyal.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m a home-school mom (my main job and passion in life), so you can usually find me with a book in hand and cuddled with my children. Or in my SUV driving the streets of Houston to one of their extra-curriculars and hoping like heck Google Maps knows where it’s going 😉

Family time is very important to me and our days are hectic and full. If I’m not doing any of the above, I’ll be in drinking wine with my husband or in the bathtub reading a good romance (a yummy candle is a must!).

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.

Love hides in the most surprising places: right under your nose, and sometimes, in the nanny’s tour bus bunk #FallingForYourBestFriend #Oops

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I’ve recently discovered that I LOVE writing scenes where the heroine is slightly tipsy lol. It’s so much fun to see how my characters act, what they think, and definitely the things they say, where their guards are down and their confidence is high. Hilarious settings and situations are a definite plus!

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

In some ways, I’ve always been a writer, but I never finished a story or ever considered it a potential career until about seven years ago. My husband bought me the Twilight books and I fell back in love with reading—and I read so much and talked my husband’s ear off so much that he suggested I try writing a book, too.

It was summer break for our home-school and my girls were very young, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I threw myself into research, studied my favorite books and read every blog post on writing from my favorite authors, and by August of 2010, I started what would later become The Fine Art of Pretending, one of my YA contemporary romances. I finished that by Thanksgiving, started My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by January, and that book released the following year.

In 2012, my fabulous editor at Entangled suggested I try writing an adult romance for a new imprint that she was launching, and I’ve been having a blast writing both ever since.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Continue reading

My thoughts on Home Chef Food Delivery Service

I’ve tried Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and now Home Chef. If you missed my thoughts on Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, you can view it here.

Hello Fresh won out Blue Apron for me, but I was looking for something more. I wanted to incorporate more veggies into my diet. An ideal mix for me would be more veggies and seafood and much less meat.

With Hello Fresh you either got all veggies or all meat and seafood. I didn’t like their choice of veggie meals; most were sandwiches at the time I was looking (keep in mind they change their recipes all the time).

Enter Home Chef. I checked out their menu for the month. I was highly impressed with the selections. You could mix and match which sold me, so I signed up for the special (they always offer a special to get you started).

First off Fedex dropped my box straight to my door! The others usually leave the heavy box at the office, and I go get it when the office remember to call me or leave a note.

The box was much smaller than the others and I got worried. It was in excellent condition though.

When I opened the box, the first thing that greeted me was the menu binder. That simply warmed my heart, it was so thoughtful of them to take the time to put together something like that. Continue reading

If you like 50 Shades, you’ll love The Velvet Chair by CP Mandara

Velvet Chair book coverTitle: The Velvet Chair (Velvet Lies #1) by C.P. Mandara
Publication date: February 6th 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Synopsis

“Oh, darling. You’re going to be so easy to conquer.” His finger reached under my chin and pulled my face back to meet his. “I can’t wait to strip you out of that dress and watch you crawl around my home naked. I’m going to spank that delectable ass with every damn pervertible I can find. Hairbrushes, wooden spoons, spatulas, and I might even try a damn baking sheet. That ass of yours is always going to be prettily pink and perfectly swollen while you’re under my roof.”

My name is Mark Matthews. I own half of London, and the part I don’t own, I’m working on.

Life was all going swimmingly well until Michael Redcliff entered my life, demanding that I marry his daughter. Actually, swap demand for blackmail. He’s got goods on me that I want no one else to see, so for the time being I need to be his little lap dog.

I’ll marry his daughter. I’ll give him all the status, money and power he can handle… for as long as it takes me to get a divorce. You see, I can’t renege on our little arrangement – but she can. I give her a week. One week and she’ll be screaming the place down for her legal counsel.

I am never wrong. Continue reading

What Hollywood has in common with Washington DC by Taylor Marsh

Taylor Marsh photoTaylor Marsh writes smart, arousing romance while deciphering world events. She lives in the Beltway area of Washington D.C.

Beltway Betrayers, Book 2 of The Beltway Series, will be out in May 2017 and Book 3 of this series will be out in the fall.

She is a former Broadway performer and beauty queen who was the Relationship Consultant for LA Weekly, then the nation’s top alternative newsweekly. Taylor is the author of two traditionally published non-fiction books, The Hillary Effect, and her memoir, The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen.

Taylor was profiled in The Washington Post and The New Republic for her coverage of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primary season. She became a contributor to The Huffington Post in 2006 and has written for Washington, D.C.’s The Hill, as well as for U.S. News & World Report and for Zócalo Public Square in Los Angeles, among others.

As a seasoned entertainer, communicator and speaker, Taylor have also been interviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera Media NetworkThe New York Times, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, among other outlets.

Why did you set your book in Washington, D.C., & Los Angeles?

The people who reside in or nearby these metropolises absorb the ego accumulated by the history made in them over decades.

The glamour and power that is Hollywood is unparalleled, and it remains one of the last bastions of male dominance.

It’s just one thing Hollywood has in common with Washington, D.C.

The pageantry and anointed royalty of Hollywood was born many decades ago in the Golden Age of cinema.

It wasn’t until the era of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy that Washington became the center of the world, with beautiful people commanding the ultimate power.

Hollywood had moved east. The world revolved around a swamp area populated by some of the most gorgeous creatures living off the lushest land imaginable, none of them human.

These two cities lend themselves to a psychological thriller (romance) because the continual competition can make for fragile egos, short-lived romances, and lethal battles of will. Continue reading

Blue Apron or Hello Fresh? Both Good, But….

Veggie picture

Photo courtesy Pexel.com

Having groceries delivered to your door is not a new concept. Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have married the concept of grocery delivery and food delivery to come up with a meal delivery service that can work for many different lifestyles.

If you live in New York City like I did, where space is limited and trying to maneuver 5 bags of groceries on a crowded train doesn’t sound like an absolute joy, then a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron is God’s gift to you.

Fast forward to ten years later, I live in Albuquerque, where space is in abundance and I have my own vehicle so grocery shopping is less of a chore. So what’s my excuse for using a meal delivery service? I hate to cook and I don’t like to go out to eat, so I’ve learned to master (if you want to call it that) about four simple dishes which I rotate.

I first heard about these meal delivery services from a woman I worked with. She paid about $60 for 3 meals that came in one box which arrived every week.

Personally, I felt that it was too expensive after all that’s $60 a week, $240 a month! I spend less than $100 a month in groceries, but then again I lack the culinary skills to pull off any meal worth talking about.

After months of should I? Is it worth it? I’m sick of eating the same food. Can’t wait for mom to visit so she can stock my fridge with mommy food (mom love to cook), I decided to take advantage of the introductory pricing $29.99 for 3 meals with Blue Apron. Continue reading

Drury Jamison Talks Writing Romance In A Field Dominated by Women

Drury Jamison photoDrury Jamison is not a bestselling author, yet. But he believes hard work will prevail. He has been writing since he could read and gave all his attention to the story at the expense of the rules.

Born an Army brat he finally settled and came to call the Missouri Ozarks home. While raising wonderful kids and failing at everything else he wrote screenplays, television scripts, advertising copy and filthy limericks. After many twists, and multiple once-in-a-lifetime life changing events, he returned to work on the short stories and novels he loved best.

Drury Jamison in his own words

I’m a guy who writes erotic, romantic/suspense novels. That’s an odd thing all by itself. Writing is one of the few artistic or business areas truly dominated by women.

Sure, you have genres that are bastions of maleness but even those are changing. Aside from writing the books, most agents and editors are women. I’m not complaining or taking a position on it. I think so much of the reason it is this way is that you can’t hide behind gender or bluster or tradition when you literally have your words doing the talking for you.

The thing that makes everything all the weirder for me is that my main characters are women and judged by women gatekeepers and readers. I hope I do a good job. The response had been overwhelmingly positive. But…

I’ve begun to notice something consistent in my criticisms. The main female characters in my books, the ones who are carrying the load of the story—the heroes—have been described to me as not feminine. The really strange thing about it is that those same characters are also getting a lot of attention, from readers, as true people.

This was something I did a lot of worrying and soul searching about. Then I believe that I came to an answer. The criticism is not about the women, it is about the role.

All of my female main characters defy gender expectations. In traditional mysteries, my Katrina (Hurricane) Williams series, I write about a female cop who has issues with PTSD, drinking, and violence. That’s to say I took a traditional male literary trope and put in a woman.

In my erotic suspense novels, my main characters tend to be strong women discovering their personal dominance. It turns out that I don’t write damsels in distress.

Defying expectations is what the criticisms are really about. I’m not saying my writing or my characters deserve no criticism. No writer can support that. But it is important, for the writer, to recognize the difference between criticizing the art and criticizing the expectation.

Like I said, I’m a white man writing books in a culture dominated by women and one very open to diversity. Maybe I’m getting a little taste of what my audience has experienced for generations. Not only is this my chance to learn from it, but maybe a chance to help expand the perceptions of what’s possible a little bit. I hope so. I’m a big fan of defying expectations. It seems my fans are as well.

Give my latest, The Red Kiss a chance and let me know how I’m doing. This time I created two strong women who are going through life changing challenges and heart changing relationships. The fun thing is, maybe they do the rescuing. Continue reading