Interview with Author Monica Knightley

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the delightful Monica Knightley about her debut novel The Vampire’s Passion.

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After a lifetime of saying ‘someday’, Monica Knightley is finally fulfilling her dream of being a writer. She writes both adult and young adult paranormal and historical novels. Like the heroine in her debut novel, Monica is an anglophile who loves to travel to Great Britain whenever possible, and England seems to show up in just about everything she writes. She recently left a long career as a primary school teacher, but still shows up occasionally as a substitute. Monica and her husband make their home in Oregon.

Kylie:  Welcome, Monica!  One of my favorite things to do is interview a newly published author and share in the excitement over their book release!

Monica:  Thank you, Kylie, for having me on your blog today.

Kylie:  First off, I love the title of your book.  The Vampire’s Passion sounds intriguing, so tell us a little about your story.

Monica:  Claire Seymour has had her heart shattered by her faithless fiancé, and decides to run away and live out a long-held dream of taking a summer class on Jane Austen at the Oxford University. She has no thoughts of falling in love again, and not even in her wildest nightmares would the object of her desire be her vampiric professor who at turns repulses and attracts her. But just as Claire is opening her heart to Gabriel Augustine she learns he is hiding an even greater secret than the fact that he is a vampire—a secret that has haunted him for centuries. A secret that could break Claire’s heart, just as it is beginning to heal.

Kylie:  Jane Austen, Oxford University and a vampire – wow!  Your character, Claire Seymour, has certainly landed herself in quite a situation, hasn’t she?  Here’s a challenge for you – describe your heroine in one sentence.

Monica:  Claire is tired of allowing her broken heart to rule her, and forces herself to make choices that pull her outside her comfort zone and that reflect her new philosophy of Carpe Diem—seize the day!

Kylie:  It sounds like a philosophy she will need to embrace in order to navigate the challenges she faces, right? But, what traits attracted the heroine to the hero?

Monica:  You mean, besides the fact that he is drop-dead gorgeous and makes Mr. Darcy look like pond scum? No, Claire is attracted to the fact that Gabriel is a gentleman—he has the manners of a bygone era—and that he is intelligent, and caring, and loves all things Jane Austen. But while she is first realizing that she is indeed attracted to Gabriel, she also discovers that he is a vampire, which repulses her. Being both attracted and repulsed by the man causes Claire some angst for a while.

Kylie:  Okay, you seriously made me laugh when  you said Gabriel makes Mr. Darcy look like pond scum!  Love the description 🙂 Let’s shift gears a little away from your story and on to you as the author.  Do you use a pen name?  If so, how did you decide on the name?

Monica:  I do use a pen name. Because of my particular day job, I knew I needed one. A friend who knew I was writing, and what I was writing, went to Happy Hour with me to help me pick a name. For some reason, he thought I was writing some kind of very smutty book, so as the evening and the drinks went on, the names he came up with started sounding like pole dancer names! Dismissing his creative ideas, I decided I wanted the name to pay homage to my favorite author, Jane Austen, and came up with Knightley, for Mr. Knightley in Emma.

Kylie: Some day you and I are going to have to get together so you can tell me what names your friend suggested.  I promise not to tell, but I can’t guarantee I won’t giggle a lot.  Every writer I know is also an avid reader, so what is your favorite book and why?

Monica:  Picking ONE favorite book is like picking a favorite child! I can never limit myself to just one favorite book, but if forced under duress I would say Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Her depictions of characters are so true and clear, and feel like people you might know. And her humor is as amusing today as it was when she wrote it. When I’m laughing at something in P and P, I forget I’m reading a book that was written at the turn of the Nineteenth Century—it feels so contemporary.

Kylie:  Did you spend much time on research for your story? If so, what did you like most about it?

 Monica:  Research for this book was minimal, as I was using places and information I was already familiar with. There were a few times when I had to look something up, or had to verify a fact, but not as often as I like. I love doing research, and most of my other projects are either set in historical times, or have historical aspects to them. I gleefully go down the research rabbit holes. Of course, then the writing doesn’t always get done! It’s a fine line I have to walk.

Kylie:  It seems like you have walked that line just fine.  It has been a delight to chat with you today.  Best wishes on your release!  If you would like to learn more about Monica you can find her through these sites.








The enigmatic, ethereally handsome, aristocratic Gabriel Augustine, professor of Nineteenth Century English Literature at St. Giles College in Oxford, England, is a man with many secrets. And it is not his vampiric nature that is his most deeply held secret. Though few know he is vampire, not human, none know the horror that has haunted him throughout his long existence. He has spent centuries attempting to atone for his greatest sin.

Claire Seymour needs to forget her past. She is ready to embark on any journey that will move her away from the pain that has been her constant companion since discovering her fiancé with her best friend. Four weeks at the University of Oxford, in a class on her favorite author, Jane Austen, seems like a good place to start.

Neither is prepared for the other.


Meet Jessica and Nate from Armed with Steele by Kyra Jacobs

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing two delightful characters from ARMED WITH STEELE the new release by Kyra Jacobs.  Welcome!

 Jessica: Thanks so much for having us on today. I had to drag Nate into the studio kicking and screaming, but he finally saw the light.

Nate: More like she threatened me with no se–(Jessica elbows him in side hard)—oof!

Jessica: On with the interview!

Kylie:  I can see you two are going to be fun to interview. (smiles)  Why don’t we start out with you telling me a little about your story.

Jessica: ARMED WITH STEELE was supposed to be a story about me and my best friend, Grace. She was in a horrific car accident, and I felt so awful because…well, I won’t go into all that. Too hard to talk about. But I knew as soon as Nate described the accident scene that something was amiss.

Nate: Meaning, she didn’t think I did a thorough enough investigation.

Jessica: No, I just didn’t think you, uh, explored all the avenues. (Nate rolls his eyes) Anyway, I was all determined to figure out what happened, and then Kyra drops this gorgeous hunk of a cop into my life. Needless to say, the story took a hard turn at the intersection of Suspense Street and Romance Road.

Kylie:  I have to admit that Kyra certainly knew what she was doing when she introduced you to Nate – whew.

Nate: (broad smile on his face as he waggles his eyebrows) Thank you, Kyra…

Kylie:  (turning to Nate) Jessica did a lovely job of summing up her view of things, but now it is your turn for a question.  How would you describe Jessica?  Let’s see if you can do it in one sentence.

Nate: Stubborn.

Jessica: Hey, that’s not a sentence!

Nate: Okay, how’s this: Jessica is a twenty-five year-old beauty living in Fort Wayne, Indiana who possesses the snark of Stephanie Plum, the ingenuity of MacGyver, and the compassion of, um….

Jessica: You can stop now before you go and embarrass me any further. (she plants a quick kiss along his chiseled jaw line)

Kylie:   So, Jessica, what attracted you to Nate?

Jessica: Ooo, my turn. Hmm, that’d be his uncanny sense of timing.

Nate: It wasn’t my fault you were speeding in chapter one.

Jessica: And that time you just happened to be jogging by my house?

Nate: Hey, that visit nearly got my head cracked open with your softball bat!

Jessica: I rest my case.

Kylie:  Ahem…remember me?  You know, the one doing the interview?  Let’s get back on track here.  Did Kyra listen to music while she wrote?  If so, what songs were playing?

 Jessica: I don’t really remember Kyra ever playing music for us. Do you, Nate?

 Nate: Nope. Though, she did have Boston’s “Peace of Mind” listed in an early draft. It’s one of her favorite songs.

 Jessica: (giving Nate a flat look) And how do you know so much about what music Kyra likes?

Nate: Uh, next question, please? (Puts hand up to hide his face from Jessica and adds in a whisper) Did I mention Jessica’s also a bit on the jealous side?

Jessica: I heard that!

Kylie:  Moving right along…  What do you do when you are not writing?

Jessica: Most of my writing is just copy edits for what my clients ask to have put on their websites. Oh—that reminds me! Wait until you hear about Kyra’s next romantic suspense: FLIRTING WITH FIRE! It’s going to be awesome! And yours truly will get some page time as well!

Nate: Oh, come on, Jess—you know they’ll all watch for the second book because I’ll be in it, not you. Everyone loves a man in uniform.

Jessica: Actually, Nate, they’ll all watch for the next book because of a certain smokin’ hot fireman named Torrunn MacKay.

Nate: (scowling as he crosses his arms) Looks like I need to have a little talk with T after we’re done here. Set some boundaries.

Jessica: Now who’s the jealous one?

Kylie:  I’ll definitely be watching for the new book.  Torrunn MacKay, you say?  Sounds intriguing.   But, let’s not get too sidetracked, okay?  Jessica, do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?  Why?

Jessica: Oh, I’m definitely an introvert. Grace is the extrovert, as is Nate. I just lurk in the shadows. Oh wait, no, that’s Nate, too.

Nate: One time. I surprise you in the shadows one time

Jessica: (mumbling) …and it better be the last… (she clears her throat and flashes a brilliant smile at her host) Kylie, thank you so very much for having us on today. Truthfully, we get kind of tired being restricted to the pages of an e-book. It’s nice to get out and stretch from time to time, isn’t it babe?

Nate: That depends—do these “stretches” involve Torrunn MacKay?

Jessica: Okay, looks like I’d better get back to ARMED WITH STEELE before Officer Steele trumps up another imaginary traffic violation on me.

Nate: The light was red, Jess.

Jessica: Orange. Burnt sienna at most.

Nate: *sigh* See you around, Kylie. And do me a favor—don’t run any reds in my city, alright? I’ll be watching.

Kylie:  No red light running.  Got it.  Although, I have to admit the temptation is a little hard to resist.  🙂  Just kidding, Jess.  Seriously.  You can stop frowning at me.




What happens undercover, stays under covers.

Jessica Hartley is looking for answers surrounding the mysterious car accident that nearly claimed the life of her best friend. She’s willing to risk it all, even her fledgling business, to find the person responsible and bring them to justice.

Nate Steele is more than willing to help Jessica, but for reasons all his own. He’s been watching the infamous Maxwell Office Solutions for some time now, convinced there’s more going on than meets the eye. When his chief issues a cease and desist order yet again, Nate has no choice but to accept inexperienced Jessica as an undercover partner outside the letter of the law.

Will Jessica and Nate be able to flush out Maxwell’s elusive villain, or will their growing attraction for each other sabotage their undercover ploy? Motives aren’t always what they seem when Jessica finds herself armed with Steele.

CONTENT WARNING: Beware drool-worthy men in uniform, touchy-feely coworkers, and vindictive ex-girlfriends.

Kyra Jacobs on the web:








Barnes & Noble:










Meet Calisa Rhose, Author of Risk Factors

One of the things I enjoy most about having a blog is being able to interview a fellow author.  It is a great way to get to know them a little better and hear about their newest release.  Today I have the awesome Calisa Rhose in the house.

Kylie:  Welcome Calisa!  Thank you for visiting and being brave enough to answer my questions.

Calisa:  I’m thrilled to be here, Kylie! We are gonna have fun!

Kylie:  You say that now, but you haven’t been grilled – ahem- interviewed yet. 🙂 Let’s start out with your newest release.  I’d love to hear about it.

Calisa:  It’s titled Risk Factors, released by Lyrical Press, Inc.

– available March 4, 2013

Love, like life, is not without risk.



Risk Factors

Risk Factors

BLURB- Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.

Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.

Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.

Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and  himself–enough to play the possibilities?

Kylie:  Ooh, this sounds good!  Who doesn’t love an EMT or a man who is raising his daughter?  Connor can rescue me any time – just saying.  Okay, moving on…who is your favorite character?  I’d love to see an excerpt that showcases why you like this character.

Calisa:  I adore Viv’s tenacity to get her man, no matter what it takes. Here’s a sample:

“Jelly Bean? What people?” Was he deliberately trying to confuse her? If so, he was wasting his time, because she spent half her time in that state…without help.

Connor laughed. The slow, husky sound curled Viv’s toes several times, like one of those party favors that rolled tight, and then straightened with each breath. His eyes darkened slightly.

Viv knew she was staring. Didn’t seem able to look away.

“Janna calls her pets ‘people.’ And some are territorial, while others think they can move where and whenever they choose. Giggles is a mover.” He still smiled.

Viv forced a swallow down her dry throat and broke her gaze from his. “I see. Jelly Bean…Janna, calls her animals people, and you call your daughter food. Got it.”

Boy did she. Bad at that moment.

His laugh ratcheted up a decibel, increasing her level of oh, my God, where have you been all my life? I think I lust you! craving. Not the it he was talking about, but definitely the it that made her walk from the room, before she said or did something stupid. His smile prompted uncontrolled idiocy in her for some awful reason she couldn’t figure out.

“Where do you want this?”

She turned at the surgical station to find him standing a foot behind her, holding up the carrier once again. The light gray polo shirt he wore stretched tight over his chest, outlining hidden muscles. He lifted the carrier, standing so close she could smell his light aftershave and soap.

Viv knew before she spoke that it was about to happen. She was helpless to prevent it as her mouth opened. “Do you want to have dinner?”

Kylie:  I love the line “I think I lust you!”  🙂  I’m curious…have you been writing long?  How did you get started?

Calisa:  I’ve been writing since I was a teen, but didn’t get serious about getting published until 2005 when I wrote a manuscript with the express purpose of submitting it. It’s sitting on my hard drive still. :/

Kylie:  I think most of us have a manuscript or two either hidden on our hard drive or gathering dust under the bed.  I dig mine out every once in a while just to remind myself how far I have come since those early days.  Which brings me to my next question – How do you deal with rejection letters?

Calisa:  With a grain of salt. Rejections just mean that one (or two or ten) publisher didn’t want my story, not that all publishers don’t. I’m a firm believer that if I do my job right and good there is a home somewhere for every story.

Kylie:  I couldn’t agree more.   Do you have a critique partner or a beta reader to help you polish your stories before you send them out?

Calisa:  Both! I am in a critique group and have several friends who are usually happy to Beta read my completed work and offer last minute suggestions. To me cps and Betas are invaluable. Every writer needs at least three. 🙂

Kylie:  What drew you to the type of book you write?

Calisa:  Mostly my love of romance and contemporary settings, modern cowboys and first responders.

Kylie:  Do you spend much time on research for your story?  If so, what do you like most about it?

Calisa:  It depends on the story content. If it’s a cowboy or small town story there’s not a lot of research necessary since I’m a good ol’ girl from the ranch and know most of what I write, unless I write about a specialty like a veterinarian as I did in RF. But for my first book, Home, I had to spend hours learning about the Vietnam war. I love learning about things I don’t know so research is fun usually.

Kylie:  What other titles do you have available?  How about its tag line?

Calisa:  Home, with The Wild Rose Press

What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Kylie:  What a great tag line!  I certainly want to know the answer.  Do you have a favorite book?

Calisa:  I don’t think I have one. I enjoy so many authors and so, so many books I can’t think of one I like above all others.

Kylie: Are you a plotter or a pantser?  Tell me about a perfect writing day for you.

Calisa:  I am a pantser! I’ve tried to plot but so far it hasn’t worked well for me. Lol A perfect writing day…well, I get up at 6, get the granddaughter off to school at 7 and go home and check a few emails. I’m also an editor so I have ‘work’ to do and this often means edits for my authors before I can settle down to write. I try to get to my work in the evening when I have other edits to work on, but we’ll say I don’t for this interview. I’d open my word doc around nine or ten, after checking four email accounts, and then write as much as I can (hopefully without interruptions from FIL whom I care for in my house too) until hubby and granddaughter gets home around three. Then it’s family ‘stuff’ until about seven when I’m free to check blogs, emails or ‘play’ on social media, then get in a few more words before bed.

Kylie:  That’s quite a schedule even on a perfect writing day – wow.  Do you ever struggle with writer’s block?  If so, how do you work your way through it?

Calisa: Yes. I’ve actually been struggling with it off and on since moving FIL in with us two years ago. It’s hard for me to ignore surroundings to write so I struggle with blocking others out even when they aren’t in the room.

Kylie:  Okay, one last question.  Do you use a pen name?  How did you decide on the name?

Calisa:  I do, sort of. Calisa is my real name. Rhose is after my mom who loved roses; flowers, color, perfume—everything rose. I added the ‘h’ in my name because there are already several authors with the common spelling and I like to stand out. <grin> I chose a pen name to protect my family, but thanks to FB I think most everyone already knows my real last name too. Lol

Kylie:  Thank you for taking the time to visit and being such a good sport answering my questions.  It has been a lot of fun 🙂

Calisa: Thanks for inviting me on your awesome blog, Kylie! It’s been fun talking to you.

I’d like to ask readers what you like to read about. If you could name a heroine, in one of my contemporary books, what would you name her? I have trouble coming up with jobs for my heroines. What should her job/career be?

Kylie:  Do you want to know where you can get Calisa’s book?  Links are listed below.





Also, Risk Factors is on Authorgraph! Get your copy signed.


Calisa Rhose


Author Bio:

Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.

She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders and firemen, as well as, the occasional ‘other’ heroes – and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.

Find Calisa at her website/blog

Twitter@CalisaRhose, Facebook/Calisa Rhose, Goodreads, Amazon and Pinterest


The Mystery of Attraction

“He drew me like gravity.”

~M. Leighton

Attraction doesn’t always make sense.  Why that slightly dorky guy standing in line to buy coffee will appeal instead of the hunk at the table is a mystery.  Have you ever gone shopping in a crowded mall and met the gaze of a complete stranger and felt a tug, an unexpected awareness that makes you take a second, longer look?  C’mon, admit it…you know you have.

Being a writer gives you the opportunity to explore the attraction between your characters and make sense out of the inexplicable – at least in your book.  From the first time they meet until the HEA we delve into their emotions, dance around their confusion and resistance to each other and help them understand why that sizzle of awareness exists.  We don’t leave it as a passing glance and mild curiosity.  Where would be the fun in that?

Most of us like to put complete opposites together.  The resulting fireworks can be fun. We take characters whose lives have been so completely different there is little common ground and root for them to find their way.

In Rayven’s Keep I took a naïve young woman and threw her in a situation so far outside her experience she didn’t know how to cope.  Add in a cynical, driven man, an instant attraction and throw them alone together onboard a ship traveling to the end of their star system.  Ahh, now it gets interesting.

They can’t hide from each other, can’t walk away or slam a door for privacy.  Petty grievances can fester, feelings can be hurt and underneath it all is that simmer of attraction making it impossible to ignore the ache of unfulfilled desire.

Below is an excerpt from my book.  Tru is struggling with the knowledge she is attracted to Nick.  I hope you enjoy 🙂

Excerpt from Rayven’t Keep:

Tru edged away from the callscreen. She hated being caught between two powerful, determined men. Even Callen and Seth watched intently, their stances showing they were alert to every nuance. It made the hair at the nape of her neck stand on end.

“I’m also sure you know my reputation and it means more to you than any official report, which can be easily manipulated. You also know I’m going to put a serious dent in your funds to protect Tru. I don’t work for free. Let me do my job, Creighton. I’m very good at it.”

Tru uttered a small, shocked protest before clamping her mouth shut. She glanced at Nick, but his attention was focused on her grandfather.

“It seems like we understand each other.” The smile dropped from his face to be replaced with something more genuine. “I assume you have a plan for protecting my granddaughter and flushing out the bastards at Lodestone?”

Tru didn’t stick around to hear the details, slipping unnoticed out of the room while all attention was on Nick. She resented being the topic of conversation without any consideration being given to her opinion. To think Nick thought of her as just another job to be done with a hefty payout at completion stung. The fact she’d intended to hire him herself didn’t matter and was beside the point.

What she was feeling wasn’t logical, but her emotions were in turmoil and logic was a distant memory. Confused and off balance, she sought a peaceful place to think and, if she were being honest with herself, to sulk. Muttering unladylike imprecations under her breath about Nick, and men in general, she went outside to get some fresh air.

Sundown set the sky on fire with streaks of deep purple and scarlet. The humidity had lessened along with the oppressive heat of earlier in the day. Night creatures stirred, their rustling in the shrubbery drawing her attention and making her nervous. She wasn’t familiar with the wildlife on Alludra and opted to remain close to the house. She wandered along the path she’d walked up earlier in the day surprised to realize it hadn’t been that long ago. So much had changed in such a short time and she acknowledged her rash decisions had put her here. She couldn’t blame Nick. He’d been direct and honest with her from the beginning.

Miserable, she clasped her arms around her waist and stared unseeing at the darkening landscape. She’d never met anyone quite like him before and the attraction she felt had been immediate. She didn’t know why her heart insisted on skipping a beat whenever he was close, or why she found the scar near his eye charming. He didn’t smile, ordered her about without compunction and treated her like a nuisance.

But, he’d also shown gentleness on the ship when she cried and offered gruff comfort when she told him what happened on Lodestone. His touch sent shivers down her spine, while warmth pooled low in her abdomen. She had no control over her reaction, didn’t fully understand all it meant, but there was no denying what she felt.

Sighing, finding no solution to her mixed emotions, Tru turned to go back to the house and ran smack into an immovable, solid wall. Strong arms grabbed her and pulled her close, preventing her fall. It took a moment for her brain to catch up and recognize what her body already realized.

Nick. Warm, solid and holding her too close. Her heart stuttered once before settling into a steady rhythm and her forehead dropped against the hard wall of his chest. She relished the contact even though she knew she should move away.

Kylie Wolfe Interviews Chandra Ryan, Author of Ulterior Motives

I am thrilled to have Chandra Ryan as a guest on my blog today.  Her new release, Ulterior Motives, is right up my alley –  a SciFi romance.


Kylie:  Hi Chandra and welcome.  I want to start out and say I love the cover of your book!  Why don’t you tell us a little about your new release?

Chandra:   Ulterior Motives is a sexy, sexy story about eminent domain. What? Eminent domain isn’t sexy, you say? Well it is when you have the devastatingly handsome lawyer, Jasper Lee, fly across the galaxy to champion the cause and help you save your land.

Kylie:  You had me at “devastatingly handsome lawyer” :-).  I am also curious about your heroine.  Here’s a challenge for you…describe your heroine in one sentence.

Chandra:  Kat is a tough but lonely rancher who loves her land and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep it out of the hands of the government cronies trying to steal it away from her. Whew! That might be the longest sentence I’ve ever typed.

Kylie:   What drew you to the type of book you write?

Chandra:   The characters. For me, it’s always about the characters. It starts with, “What if…” and then I have to create people who could, and realistically would, make that story come to life. Somewhere along the way, they become real. And that’s not just in my stories. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started bawling in public because I’m reading a good book. But for the book to be good, to really make people care, the characters have to shine.

Kylie:  Okay, curious minds want to know – are you a plotter or pantser?

Chandra:   I’m kind of a hybrid. I have a general idea what needs to happen when I start a book and then I just write until I find my way to happily-ever-after.

Kylie:  What would be a perfect writing day for you?

Chandra:  A perfect writing day….Hmmm….. I’m not sure I’ve ever had one. I think if I did coffee would definitely be involved. And an empty house. Yeah. That would be really nice.

 Kylie:   Rejection letters are a part of every writer’s journey.  How do you deal with them?

Chandra:   Ice cream and good friends. You’d be surprised at the number of crises that combination will get you through, though. You need a really good brand of full-fat, extra rich ice cream and a couple of people who never mind being cried on to live life to its fullest.

Kylie:  I like the way you deal with a crisis!  Now I am craving ice cream….must resist! Let’s switch gears a bit here; what was the biggest challenge you faced in writing your book?

Chandra:   The biggest challenge I have is overcoming that little voice of doubt that’s always saying the story isn’t good, or that I’m never going to finish it, or that nobody’s going to want to read it when it is done. I think I read a meme once (and we all know that those things only tell the truth) that doubt kills more dreams that failure ever will. It really resonated with me.

 Kylie:   You hear that horrid little voice, too?  Good thing you didn’t listen! So, what do you do when you are not writing?  Any hobbies?

Chandra:  My biggest hobby is reading. Big shock there, I know. I sometimes tease that I write so I have the money to buy books. But I also love hiking and swimming. It’s kind of a life of both extremes. I either want to be inside buried in a good book or outside in the sun sweating.

Kylie:  Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

 Chandra:  I’m an introvert all the way. And I know my friends are probably laughing at that one because I’m pretty good at hiding it. But the thing is, I’m always saying the most ridiculous things. Or zoning out in the middle of conversations. It’s really embarrassing. I know I’m socially awkward and that only makes me more awkward. I ordered ribs on my first date with my husband. Who does that? (He found it charming btw, which is why we’re still together fifteen years later.)

 Kylie:  As a fellow introvert I totally understand!  Your husband sounds like a smart man 🙂  I want to thank you for stopping in and sharing a little about yourself.  Here’s wishing you many, many sales.


Universal Defiance, Book One

On a rural settler planet, Kat must resort to putting out an ad to find a husband. She doesn’t expect to find love—that’s a dream in these parts—just a partner to help work her ranch. Then the devastatingly handsome Jasper answers her ad and turns her on in ways she never dreamed possible. Too bad he’s not who he says he is.

Jasper doesn’t know what he’s getting into when he ventures undercover to investigate a legal claim against Kat’s ranch. But after a toe-curling night under her roof and in her bed, he’s willing to do anything to stay there. He can’t say no to the tough-as-nails businesswoman who makes his body come alive.

When people start getting hurt, though, both Kat and Jasper have to decide how valuable one piece of land is. And the ranch that brought them together might be the very thing standing between them.

A Romantica® sci fi erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


Kat stared at the man on the platform. With thick dark-brown hair and a muscular body that filled his clothes out nicely, he was handsome enough. Not that his looks mattered. Not really. She needed a husband to be a partner. She wasn’t some young, naive thing with silly notions of lust and love. Practical and pragmatic were a much better fit for her life. Still, a pragmatic woman could admit that having a man about the house who was easy on the eyes wouldn’t be a hardship.

She chuckled under her breath as she made her way over to him. She doubted she would fare as well if he were hoping for a piece of eye candy for his wife. Oh she could be pretty when she needed to be. But coming all the way to town to collect a man didn’t merit the fuss. She worked long days on the ranch and this excursion had already caused enough of a delay. If she got all gussied up, she’d not only lose that time but also the time it took her to get back into her work clothes when they returned to the ranch. Time was her most valuable commodity right now. She couldn’t afford to squander it.

“Excuse me, sir.” Her calm words broke through the chaos of the port station and gained his undivided attention. This close to him, staring into his rich, brown eyes, her stomach began to churn with nerves. She quickly pushed through the sensation though. She didn’t have the time for silliness. And it was the height of absurdity for her to be uncomfortable around her soon-to-be husband. “I’m Katarina Maxim. My friends call me Kat.”

She held her hand out to him in casual greeting as she tried not to fidget. She’d debated how to greet him as she’d driven to the station. A kiss seemed rather forward. But she did want him to feel welcomed. A handshake seemed like the best idea at the time. Now, as she waited for him to take her hand, she started second-guessing herself.

“Katarina, that’s a lovely name.”

She noted that he’d called her Katarina but tried not to let that color her first impression of him. She didn’t hate the name nor did she hate being called by it. It just didn’t fit her. Not anymore. Katarina sounded soft, delicate—refined even. As she’d been before her family had moved here. She could only hope that he didn’t see her as any of those things. If he did, he would be sorely disappointed when he got to know her better. “Kat. Only my mother called me by my full name,” she pressed.

“Kat it is.” His smile seemed genuine but his palm was as soft as new leather when he finally took hers. If he stayed, that would change. This planet demanded calluses and blisters. Her hands were proof of that. “Jasper Lee, ma’am. I’m honored to meet you. Out of the thousands of applications you must have received, I am grateful you selected mine.”

Apparently his tongue was as smooth as his hands. That didn’t bode well for their future. Smooth men didn’t do well when faced with the harsh realities of settler planets. “I’m not a politician nor am I a starlet, Mr. Lee. Out here we speak our minds and we keep our words straightforward. My ranch is a great opportunity, especially if you’re looking for a fresh start. But I think we both know there aren’t thousands of men out there looking for backbreaking work on a world so uncivilized that its brothel is its only restaurant.” She took a moment to look him over carefully. He wasn’t a dandy. His stance spoke of power and awareness. She couldn’t very well start patting him down like a horse at auction, but as far as she could tell, her first impression had been spot-on. The man looked to be in shape. “But if you’re willing to put in the time and the work, I’ve a feeling you could make it here.”

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Is He Hero Material?

“I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.”

~ Bob Dylan

What makes a hero in a story?  Is it a strong and disciplined body?  The way he moves across a room and commands attention or that roguish glint in his eye?  Initially those are the things that will catch a reader’s attention.  But, if that is all your hero has going for him then your reader won’t stay long.

When I began Rayven’s Keep I wasn’t sure what my hero eventually would be like.  I had a basic idea, but it took time to make Nick Rayven more than one-dimensional.  I had to ask myself what traits did he posses that would make my heroine fall in love with him.  What was it that made him a hero in her eyes?

To know that I had to understand where he came from, what experiences molded him into the man he was now.  Right away, I knew he was an honorable man, driven by duty and his own moral compass.  I knew he could be impatient and once set on a course he would see it to the end no matter what.  He’s a man who has seen the worst life has to offer and still managed to survive.

In other words, he’s one tough dude.

That might be attractive at the on-set, but my heroine is feisty and a romantic at heart.  There had to be more to Nick’s than a tough exterior to keep her interested and willing to break down the emotional barriers he’s erected.  After all, this is her journey as much as his.

So how does a man who spent his life in the military fighting for a cause he believes in deal with the destruction of everything he’s fought for?  How does he move past seeing his home world destroyed?  For Nick those final horrendous minutes of battle are relived in nightmares.  This is a vulnerability he hates and has no control over.  Yet, in spite of everything, he has managed to build a new life for himself by being focused on establishing his business, Rayven Security.  It’s how he copes.

He’s also lived in an emotional vacuum for so long he doesn’t quite know how to deal with one small female getting under his skin and shaking up his world. It’s his gruff kindness, his protective instincts and the vulnerability she senses in him that draw her.  It’s the heat she see’s in his eyes and the baffled expression he can’t quite hide.  Its knowing he will walk through fire for her and recognizing it goes beyond his sense of duty.  That’s the Nick she fights for.  Wouldn’t you?

This is one of my favorite scenes with Nick.  What do you think?

Nick was no stranger to the tumult of feelings coursing through his body. He’d felt the punch-drunk assault of adrenaline many times in his career. He understood the heady rush of euphoria once the danger had passed and knew firsthand the reckless need for physical release in its aftermath. He recognized it a very human response to the need to reaffirm life continued.

All those feelings and needs made his hands shake and drawing breath into his oxygen-starved lungs difficult. He wanted to follow Tru to her bed and sink into her warmth with a painful intensity leaving his muscles taut and his emotions a tangled mess.

If the situation were different, he would have gone with his friends to a tavern and indulged in the usual male bonding ritual of congratulatory back-thumping and drinking until he was either too drunk to stand or had found a bed partner. A sobering thought. He’d been younger then, still idealistic and sure of his ability to survive what life threw at him. It seemed like a lifetime ago, and he’d learned surviving was sometimes almost too painful to be endured.

To let her walk away had cost him. The heavy thud of his heartbeat pulsed in his temple and restless energy held muscles rigid. He called himself ten kinds of a fool, even though he knew he did the right thing. He ran a hand across the back of his neck before he went in search of a canister of ale he knew was onboard. He didn’t drink often, but tonight promised to be long and lonely.

After he snagged the chilled canister, he returned to the bridge. Slouching in his chair, he nursed the drink and stared moodily into space.