Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Welcome Amber Daulton

Please welcome my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Amber Daulton, to my blog. I asked her a bunch of questions regarding her writing, and I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.

What is your writing style or schedule?

My writing style leans towards seriousness and sarcasm. I love witty dialogue and snappy comebacks, and I prefer writing in 3rdperson in duel hero/heroine point of views with proper scene and chapter breaks with each POV switch. It irks me when I’m reading a book from one POV and then out of nowhere the story jumps into another character’s head without any warning. I promise never to do that to my readers.
I try to write everyday, and I feel off-kilter if something prevents me from working. I don’t set a word count quota for myself, but I do set personal deadlines in which I try to have chapters done on a certain date, so I can have the entire story completed by another date. Sometimes I make it; sometimes I don’t.

Where do you actually write?

My laptop crashed a while back, so now I’m working on an old desktop computer in my office. Bookshelves cover each wall, and I have cute little decorations like stuffed animals, shiny wall hangings, seashells, and butterflies everywhere. 
My professional-looking stained desk somehow became horribly scratched up a few years ago when my husband and I moved to our new house, so my hubby sanded it down and I painted it an off-white color and drew ivy and flowers on the legs. It’s very whimsical now and fits great with my frou-frou decorations.

Do you write linearly or not?

Well, that depends. Since I always plot out each chapter/scene before I start writing, I can usually write from beginning to end without a problem.
Sometimes the characters take over and derail my plan, however, so I have to whip them back into gear and make them follow the plot I’ve established.
This doesn’t happen often, but I really get irritated when I’ve written myself into a corner even though I’ve plotted the scene beforehand. To solve that bit of writer’s block, I jump a few chapters ahead and start writing those scenes, leaving a big blank spot in my novel. When the later sections are done, I go back and fill in the blank areas.

What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?

Everyday life. My husband, Greg, cooks and mows the grass, but I do the sweeping and other cleaning. We share the laundry and gardening responsibilities. We love binge-watching TV shows—our favorite is Supernatural—and we often borrow movies from our local library. Besides that, I like to read and create scrapbooks, so that takes up some of my time.

Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?

Greg is very supportive and always reads my work. I belong to a few online writing groups (I mostly frequent Marketing for Romance WritersRom-Critters, and my publisher’s groups), and the authors there are always willing to swap critiques, give advice, and share their own personal experiences about writing and life in general.

How long does it normally take you to write a novel?

It depends on the length I plan to write, the research I need to do, and the amount of edits each book will need. On average, I can usually churn out a novella (say 15 to 35k WC) in maybe a month or so. For a full-length novel (80k plus), it usually takes me three or four months to finish the first draft.

If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?

The hardest thing for me is deciding on character names. Now, that might not sound like a big deal, but the names have to perfectly fit with the characters I see in my mind. I feel stumped and lose my creativity if I assign a name to someone and it just doesn’t feel right. I usually choose the names based on their personality, physical characteristics, family dynamics/heritage, the time period of the novel, or just what I find sexy! I sometimes spend hours, if not days, just scouring through baby name books and websites for the best names.

Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?

I would like a small, cozy room with lots of natural light. I also need silence to work. I just can’t concentrate when people are talking to me or around me, and I find music distracting. Repetitive background noise, however, like the sound of car traffic and static on the TV is soothing and helps me get into my zone.

Tell me about your latest book.

Erica was in a bad relationship and finally found the courage to break free. Even though she found help and the love of her life in Willow Springs, Vermont, the past still weighed on her shoulders.
Dylan has retired from the New York music scene, and he now teaches kids how to play instruments. He’s gotten his life back together after all the drama of being a semi-star. 
They have an instant connection, and their love of music drew them together.

Where did you get your inspiration for your book?

I love small town romances, especially ones with an edge and a little bit of danger weaved in. When plotting this story, I first pictured a young woman running away from the big city to escape her abusive boyfriend. I mostly write romantic suspense, so this idea worked. I think a lot of readers can sympathize with such a situation, especially those who have experienced neglect from someone claiming to love them.

I also love stories about music and rock stars, but I don’t like the cheating and drugs that go along with the lifestyle. I haven’t published a story featuring a musician yet, so I figured I should get on the ball and do it.
Despite the dark undertones, this story is fun, uplifting, and hot. The characters are real and flawed. I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope readers will love it.

Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?

Dylan is my favorite character from Lyrical Embrace. He’s both wild and outspoken, but also responsible and polite. Dylan and Erica have had a rough time, and they find a kindred spirit in each other.

What are you working on now?

Last year, I published Arresting Mason, book one in the Arresting Onyxseries, and my first book with The Wild Rose Press. Lyrical Embraceis book four in the Deerbourne Innseries, a multi-author collection of novellas. 

The next installment of the Arresting Onyx series should hopefully be out in late 2019. Arresting Jeremiah follows hard-nosed parole officer Jim Borden and his obsession Calista Barlow as they stick their noses where they don’t belong and fall deep into the trouble with the criminal organization known as Onyx.

The Arresting Onyx series is a set of five romantic suspense books with a standalone HEA for each rough-and-tumble hero and their spunky heroines. 


While I’m in the process of getting the Arresting Onyx series published, I’m also editing a series of unpublished vampire novels that are truly dear to my heart.


Lyrical Embrace 
  
Blurb 

Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.
Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves. 
Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?

 

Excerpt


Erica leaned up and combed her fingers through her hair. “I’ve never made love outside before. It’s a surreal experience.”
“We can do it wherever you want. In an elevator, in an alley, in my car. I’m game anywhere and everywhere for as long as you want me.”
“I want you so much it hurts.”
Dylan thumbed her knuckles and hoped she meant that. “I don’t know how you feel about labels, but I haven’t had a girlfriend in years. I’ve just had flings, but I want more than that with you. I want us to be with each other and no one else. I want a relationship with you.”
Tears welled in her eyes. “I feel divided in two. A part of me thinks we’re moving too fast, but another part says to jump in with both feet. I want something real with you too. I don’t want to feel dirty after we fool around. Just make me happy. Will you do that, Dylan?”
Her soft, pain-filled words struck Dylan like a dagger in his gut, and he bit the insides of his cheeks to steady his features.
Her ex-boyfriend had probably called her names and degraded her after they would find release in each other’s body, and the bastard likely never cared if she reached climax at all.
“I understand, Erica. I promise to treat you with nothing but respect, and I will do my very best to make you happy. I swear you will always scream your head off in pleasure every time I touch you. I’m not the sort of man to get my jollies off and leave my girl hanging.”
Her lips twitched up in a grin. “That’s good to hear.”
“So are you my girl?”
“Yeah, I’m your girl.” Erica giggled and tapped her fingers on his chest. “How could I not be? You make a very compelling argument, but I will have to hold you to it. I’m definitely looking forward to screaming every time you touch me.”
“Let’s rest, and then we’ll play again. The night’s early, and I’ve only just begun.”


Buy Links

Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2ChIhgR
Kobo – TBA
Google Play – TBA
The Wild Rose Press store – https://bit.ly/2AIkSFk

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. 
Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com.

Social Media Links

Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author
Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/14JoZff


Monday, February 4, 2019

February: The Month of Love

Since February is the month of love (and my birthday!), it’s the perfect month for a romance author to run sales and giveaways. And boy, do I have a lot of them going on that I want to share with you!

First of all, my book, In the Moment, is on sale for 99 cents. If you haven’t read it yet, now is a great time to try it, since almost anything else you buy will cost you more. JIf you have read it, will you please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or the site where you purchased it? 


Here are the sale links:


In the Moment, along with three other author’s books, is also featured on the February calendar page of my publisher’s calendar. The authors and I are going to be doing a giveaway closer to Valentine’s Day. It’s a great chance to discover new authors. 


Here is where you’ll see that information, starting on February 11:



Hearts & Chocolate
Valentine’s Romance Giveaway

February 1-18

16 Ebook & Chocolate Prize Packs Up for Grabs!

Who wants to win bestselling romance books and chocolate? You do! We’ve got the
prizes that will make your Valentine’s month rock. Bestsellling books from Nora Roberts, Madison Faye, Susan Mallery, Alexa Riley, K.F. Breene, Carolyn Brown, Scarlett Scott, Tracy Brogan and more. Chocolate from Godiva, Lindt, Ghirardelli, Ferrero Roche & more!

No matter your favorite romance subgenre…whether you like it sweet, sexy, or steamy, we have the prize pack for you. Enter now for your chance to win!


And finally, calling all romance readers! It’s more than hearts and flowers at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Love and Romance Book Festival. 42 romance books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card


I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book will be featured on February 8. Wait until you read my romantic tip to enhance your love life. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this festival and tell your friends:


So, happy month of love and hope to see you! Good luck!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Mondays

Mondays are my favorite day of the week. It’s probably due to the fact that I work from home. I distinctly remember hating Mondays (and Sundays from about 4 pm on) when I was a student and then when I worked in an office. But ever since I started working from home, I love Mondays. The house settles down, it’s quiet and I can get back into my routine.

It’s not that I don’t love my family. I do. And I love spending time with them doing things on the weekend I don’t normally do on during the week. But I crave my routine and my me-time, and Mondays give those things back to me. So my Sunday evenings are spent mentally planning my productivity for the next day.

In fact, yesterday, I took an exceptionally slow day and didn’t worry about getting anything done. I wanted to relax, everyone else was busy, and I figured that a day of relaxation was good for me. I could just be extra productive on Monday.

And then life happened. My youngest has been lactose intolerant, but without symptoms, for years now. And last night, she decided to try a meal she hadn’t had in a really long time. She asked me if I thought it would be okay, and I stupidly said yes. She’d had all the components before without incident. And she did great for about two hours. And then she most certainly did not do great.

I won’t go into details, but we were both up most of the night. This morning, bleach and coffee are my friends (ginger ale and crackers are hers). And that productivity I was looking forward to? Well, that’s going to have to happen tomorrow.

Hey, maybe Tuesday will become my favorite day? I’ll sure get a lot less weird looks when I talk about it!



Monday, January 14, 2019

Self-Sabotage

I just realized I self-sabotage myself. Those of you who know me well may have already figured this out about me. You’re probably also thinking that I’m pretty slow if I just figured it out myself. Well, that’s just the way it goes. But for the rest of you, let me explain.

Writing is my job. According to the IRS, it might only be a hobby, but I treat it like a job. I have times dedicated to writing, marketing, editing, etc. I invest in classes to improve my craft. I even feel guilty when I don’t accomplish enough in one day. 

I whine when people don’t take what I do seriously. Yet, at the same time, I am the first one to push my writing commitments aside in favor of someone else’s time. And when those people apologize for interrupting me, I say, “Don’t worry about it.”

Ugh!

I’ll admit, my writing is not going to save anyone’s life or solve world hunger. It’s not more important than my family’s health. It does have to sometimes be set aside so I can do other things that also need to get done in a more timely fashion. But that doesn’t make it unimportant. And there’s absolutely no way I can expect other people to take me seriously if not only do I not take myself seriously, but I also give them an out. I did that for many years, placing myself last on the priority list. Even when my husband, who is my most supportive person ever, bar none, suggested I take more time write, I found other things to take precedence. And my writing suffered.

Two years ago, I changed all that. I dropped everything that wasn’t giving me joy and was taking me away from my writing. And I published several books. But I haven’t changed my mindset. And that’s my priority now. This year is going to be a rebuilding year for me. I have lots of writing plans, but I’m not sure where or how they will be published. So, while I write, edit, polish and query, I’m also going to work on my attitude.

There are plenty of people who take what I do seriously. It’s time for me to start believing it too.


Monday, January 7, 2019

The Making of an Audio Book


The audio version of Addicted to Love came out over the holidays. I thought I’d tell you a little about the process of creating an audio book, since it’s my first one. 

Once I signed a contract that let my publisher know I wanted Addicted to Love out on audio, they submitted it to the voice company they work with and we waited for audio narrators to express interest. I was sent a number of narrator auditions, and I listened to them trying to envision them telling the story. For a writer, this is tough, because we have a voice in our head telling the story and there is no possible way a real person is ever going to sound like our imaginary voice. But finally, I received an audition from Meaghan Parent. While she didn’t sound like the voice in my head, she infused the characters with emotions and was pleasant to listen to—you’d be surprised at how many narrators sounded like they were reading a grocery list.

My publisher sent her the book and Meaghan began recording. My book was challenging because the characters are Jewish and there are many Hebrew and Yiddish words sprinkled throughout. So to make things easier, I created a list of all the words and phrases with their English phonetic pronunciation. She sent a few sample chapters for me to listen to and I sent back a few corrections. Then I left the book to her.

When she was finished, she sent it to me and I listened to the entire thing, looking for mistakes or things that needed to be re-recorded. It’s really strange listening to someone else read your words, but I knew it was good when I was able to disappear into the story. There were a few places that needed fixing—the trick isn’t whether or not she says every word on the page; it’s whether or not there’s a glaring error that pulls the listener out of the story. I didn’t follow along with the manuscript. I listened as a reader. Totally new experience for me, but fun!

Once the corrections were made, it was another two weeks until the audio book was complete and available for purchase. If you’re an audiobook listener, I’d love you to try it and let me know what you think, because I need to decide if I want her to narrate my other books in the series. So let me know!


Monday, December 24, 2018

Reflecting On The Past Year

2018 is winding down and in some ways, that’s a really good thing. The news cycle is horrific. Whenever I think things can’t get worse, they do. But then again, there were moments of bravery and humanity that brought me to tears and filled me with hope. 

There were adjustments and moments that gave me pause. There was looking for a new normal. There were illnesses and arguments and there was the “if you give a mouse a cookie” repair of my basement that led to a new driveway that didn’t quite go as we anticipated.

I lost old friends and made new ones and realized whom my true ones are. There’s college stress and “holy cow, you made it!” There was a lot of laughter and snark and circuitous logic and eye rolls.

And there was a new book, and an audio version of another book. There was writer’s burnout and learning how to get through it.

Through it all, there was faith and hope that we’d make it through. And we did—sometimes barely, sometimes miraculously, but always together. So, as we approach 2019, I’m going to remember what worked, what went well and what and whom I loved. I’m going to try to learn from my mistakes, but will probably repeat many of them. I’m going to treasure the “mom, you were right” moments and remember that worrying makes you suffer twice. 

And for my friends and family, I wish you all joy and hope and faith and love and lots and lots of laughter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Welcome Jessica Lauryn

I'm delighted to welcome fellow NJRW writer, Jessica Lauryn, to my blog today. We're doing a swap, so she's featured here and I'm featured on hers.

So tell me, what is your writing style or schedule? Do you have one? 

I’m a plotter, so my preference is to plot out everything I’m going to write before I actually write it. I clam up at the idea of creating a rough draft from scratch, but if I tell myself I’m doing an “outline,” the words just come. I think the story out before I put my hands on the keyboard, but a lot of ideas will come to me as I’m physically plotting. (Ideas = More Ideas!) My aim these days is to get as close to 100% of the story down on the first shot, with the idea that I’ll do several edits later, as many as it takes until there’s nothing more I can do to make the story better in my opinion, just different. I’ll include actual dialogue in my outline and as much description as I have the patience for at the time and can ponder up without becoming too distracted from the actual story. As a general rule, narrative (internal thought inside a character’s mind) comes pretty easy to me, and creating it also helps me to build a story in a linear succession. As far as an actual writing schedule goes, I’ve had to change mine up about a million times, as life surely has a way of taking precedence over writing. Most recently, I’ve taking to writing in small increments spread throughout the workday. I’ve been self-employed for a few years now, and I decided I may as well work that angle to my advantage and do my writing during a time of day that works for me, namely while there’s still daylight!

Where do you actually write?

This is something that has changed many times over the course of my writing career. Truth be told, I’ve typically not had the luxury to write where I want to, or when I want to. So, I’ve had to get creative and learn to tune out distractions. I’ve written at everyplace from Starbucks to my car while parked at lunch hour. One type of writer I have great respect for is the one who is so in love with her story and her characters that she writes her book at work. I’ve been there myself, so on a roll with my story that I couldn’t stop and raced through my assignment just so I could salvage whatever extra time I had left over, for writing. Nowadays I work for myself, and ironically I’m busier than ever! But I am learning all over again how to make my writing a priority and I am fortunate enough to be doing it from behind a desk where no one is going to sneak up behind me and tell me to get “back to work.” 😉

Do you write linearly or not?

Very much so, probably to an obsessive degree. I really find, for me, that I can get into the story what needs to be there when I’m writing it in order – it’s how I keep from having any missing elements later on. I will occasionally find a gap and realize that I need to add in a scene or two after the rest of the book has been plotted, but honestly, that’s rare. I outline a book line by line, scene by scene, chapter by chapter. I do my edits the same way. When an outline, or draft is complete I go back to the beginning and read the story straight through, making extremely detailed notes in a separate document about what I plan to change. This takes hours of course, but it’s best for me to do this in as close to one sitting as possible as I am literally keeping the entire book’s details in my head. I’m really not a story-bible author—I prefer to rely on my own memory. I work much better this way, and I repeat this process as many times as it takes for me to be satisfied with the story.

 What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?

I’ve recently started ballroom dancing with my fiancé. It’s something that I did briefly in college but I never really took the time to hone my skills, so Bill and I are making up for lost time together. Bill made it into the Silver level at our dance academy before we met, so I have a ways to go in catching up to him. It’s a great indoor activity for us, as it’s been such a cold autumn here in New Jersey – in the summertime we’re doing everything from kayaking to hot air ballooning, and we saw some amazing waterfalls this past year. I’m also a big antique collector – old perfume bottles, dolls and cameos are some of my favorite things to look for. I keep up with the soaps, even though good storylines sometimes come and go in waves. These visual stories can help me with my own writing though, especially so because I’m listening to actual voices speak, voices that I can perhaps play around with, in my mind, later on.

Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?

I have several family members who are supportive of my writing, one who serves as a critique partner to me and another who is a spot-on proofreader, better than any professional I’ve ever worked with. I’m also fortunate to be a member of New Jersey Romance Writers, our fabulous local chapter of Romance Writers of America, through which I’ve made invaluable connections, gained a well of knowledge about the publishing industry and made life-long friends.

How long does it normally take you to write a novel?

It usually takes me about a year to complete a novel. My novels are on the lengthy side, averaging around 92 thousand words, and I work full-time as well, so writing must be scheduled around that. I had a few years where the pace in my routine slowed down a bit and I wrote 4 full length novels in about 2 and a half years. That was a lucky break, however, one I’m not necessarily expecting to come my way again any time soon. 

Who or what are your inspirations?

One of my favorite things to do when I’m writing is to reform a former villain, a man or woman who’s lost their way for a time, having committed any wrong from white-collar crime to murder. I’m greatly inspired by characters and people who fit that bill, because, let’s face it, we all make mistakes, and it is incredibly uplifting to see another person bring themselves back from their lowest point—it reminds us that we all possess the same ability. It also demonstrates just how powerful the phenomenon of love is, as love is always at play somehow when a villain turns his life around. Suspense inspires me as well, (nothing too graphic or violent for my taste, I’m not one of those romantic suspense authors!) but I definitely want to see my characters in danger, perhaps several times leading up to the climax, or beyond it. Characters are often highly motivated to act on their desires when they fear their lives are in danger, and passion is what I, and my readers want to see the most! That said, I’m also inspired by the amazing stories some of my closest author friends tell, as well as by real-life scenarios and quite often, whatever crazy ideas find some other way inside the well of my imagination.

If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?

I’ve heard a lot of other writers say that doing edits frustrates them. I’d say the same, but I think (and I can’t speak for those other writers) that perhaps we have different reasons for feeling this way. I’m not intimidated at the thought of doing edits – books are rather like a math problem to me and I know that if I stare at a story long enough, any problem can be worked out. Also, my method of making notes regarding what ought to be changed works very well for me. But nevertheless, the process is a long one. In the time that it takes me to complete one novel I could have come up with the ideas for a hundred others, so I wish the overall process didn’t take as long as it does. There are so many stories I want to write – I hope I’ll have enough time during the course of one lifetime to get them all down!

Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?

Honestly, I wouldn’t need unlimited resources to create my ideal writing environment. But perhaps a little bit of control over the weather wouldn’t hurt! When it’s nice outside, particularly during those rare days of the year where the temperatures are mild and it’s bright and sunny, I love to sit outside, ideally by a pond or lake of some sort and just let my imagination take me where it will.  Being in a beautiful outdoor setting is very inspiring to me and I swear, the ideas come easier because of where I am. Opportunities to write in such an environment are especially beneficial when outlining or creating a new story because new ideas flow much more readily when I can shut out the rest of the world. A computer screen not affected by sun glare wouldn’t hurt the process either!

Tell me about your latest book.

A Sultry Performance is the third story in the Rabourn Theater Series, which is a series about love, passion and decades-old secrets. But A Sultry Performance is also a stand-alone title which can be enjoyed separately from the other stories. Chris Gordon, stage manager at Rabourn Theater, believes his late wife’s hit and run was never an accident. After learning that his wife was having an affair, he suspects the man she was entangled with, Oakley Sutherland, was responsible, and he ignites a plan to ensnare Oakley, working through Oakley’s fiancée, Victoria. Victoria, who is a dancer at Rabourn Theater, as well as the lead exotic dancer at Oakley’s nightclub Sultry & Sensational, won’t be taken advantage of. But when the most handsome man at Rabourn Theater takes an interest in her, she finds herself spiraling down a path she never expected to.  She agrees to give Chris’s daughter dance lessons, at his most insistent request. But as she finds herself falling deeper and deeper for her blackmailer, she wonders whether either of them will be able to keep from falling prey to the danger that lurks in the wings.

Where did you get your inspiration for your book?

It came from so many different places! First off, my initial inspiration for creating the Rabourn Theater Series spurred from my love of Phantom of the Opera. I loved the idea that someone (the Phantom) could become so obsessed with something so beautiful and that obsession, as well as past hurts and uncontrollable circumstances, could make that person very dangerous indeed. Thus, the major villain of the Rabourn Theater Series, Augustus Nathanson, was born. Augustus’s past, and present obsession with Rabourn Theater and the woman he once envisioned as its star affects the plot of each story in the series, and in A Sultry Performance we learn a big secret that Augustus has been keeping, which affects one of the major characters in the story. Chris Gordon, hero in A Sultry Performance is the funny yet mysterious man we meet in the first two stories, who acts as a sleuth on behalf of Evan Masters, stage director and Augustus’s one time right-arm. After writing A Passionate Play and An Amorous Dance, I wanted to know more about Chris and after noting at the end of An Amorous Dance that his wife was having an affair just prior to her murder, I was as eager as he was to reveal the truth about how she died and give Evelyn the justice that she’d never received. Enter heroine Victoria Morrow, the key to Chris’s plan. Having just started taking dance lessons again for the first time in over a decade, I was very inspired to write about this woman, who though at a severe monetary disadvantage in a world of privileged elites, possesses a dancing talent that is otherwise unparalleled in her universe. Victoria is the definition of a strong heroine and I wanted to see her bring a rumored ladies’ man to his knees, which she does and then some!

Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?

I really love all of the characters in this series but my favorite has to be Evan. Though he is a secondary character in A Sultry Performance, he is arguably one of the heroes at Rabourn Theater most in need of an epiphany. Having been lied to by Augustus Nathanson about the way his own budding acting career was destroyed, Evan is highly motivated to seek revenge, though his deep attraction to the late owner’s daughter, Hannah Rabourn has never died. I love creating dialogue and imagining it being spoken in Evan’s sexy British accent, I love his dry, sarcastic sense of humor and I especially love the way that he and Hannah can’t keep their hands off of one another as things heat up between them once again in An Amorous Dance, in an affair so hot and intense that it quickly becomes Rabourn Theater’s greatest scandal!

What are you working on now?

I took a brief hiatus from Rabourn Theater to dabble into my next series, which will similar to my debut series The Pinnacles of Power, in that we’ll once again be returning to a dangerous world full of criminal masterminds. My next series focuses on a group of crime-fighters, who’ve made it their mission to take down a very powerful drug trafficking organization. There’s danger, mayhem and a lot of passion along the way and be assured that love definitely conquers all! Once I complete the last pages of my final outline (I’m very close!), I’ll be diving back into book 4 of the Rabourn Theater Series. In this story, Dani Talbert, the dancer we meet briefly in An Amorous Dance and A Sultry Performance, has finally saved enough money to take her young son away from the place that has caused her so much pain. Having abandoned her dreams of being a lead actress long ago, Dani packs a bag only to be stopped by Ryder Nathanson, Augustus Nathanson’s younger son.  Ryder’s got his sights set on Rabourn Theater AND on Dani—they shared a brief encounter years ago and he’s never gotten her out of his head. His plan to take back his family’s legacy is simple, and it starts by improving his less-than-stellar reputation. If Dani doesn’t want her own secrets exposed, secrets that could put her in prison, she’ll have to agree to become his wife.    

Bio:

#1 BookStrand bestselling author Jessica Lauryn has been writing since before she could hold a pen. Her days of storytelling through the art of playing with dolls inspired her to write romantic suspense novels The Romance Reviews describe as having "Just the right amount of passion and romance!" Villains often reform in Jessica's stories, and just may become heroes themselves! Jessica is an avid antique collector, as well as a proud member of Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers.

Blurb:

Chris Gordon, stage manager at Rabourn Theater, suspects his late wife’s hit-and-run was never an accident. He believes the man she was having an affair with, Oakley Sutherland, was responsible and he vows to get Evelyn justice, igniting a plot to ensnare Oakley, working through Oakley’s fiancée, Victoria.

A well-known exotic dancer by night, Victoria Morrow has been fighting to make a better life for herself, and she won’t be taken advantage of. But when the most handsome man at Rabourn Theater takes an interest in her, she finds herself spiraling down a path she never expected to. Can Victoria resist Chris’s charms? Or will both of them fall prey to the danger that lurks in the wings?

Excerpt:

“I’m fine.” Victoria hid her eyes.
Chris tucked a disheveled wave behind her ear. “You don’t look fine. You’re trembling, and you look as though you’ve been crying.”
Victoria did her best to hold it together, like she always did. But seeing the compassion in Chris’s eyes, compassion that ran deeper than anything she had ever been on the receiving end of, the emotions welled inside of her. As the tears spilled down her face Chris took her into his arms. His strength surrounded her. He brought her inside of it, brushing one strong hand up and down her back.
“Victoria,” he whispered, “why are you marrying that man?”
Victoria tried, but couldn’t think of a single reason why she was. For years, she’d been telling herself that she was humoring Oakley, biding her time with him until she could approach him from a position of power. But the more time passed, the more she questioned whether that day would ever come. The night Oakley had asked her to marry him, there hadn’t been any question in her mind that she was going to say yes. Such had been the way of their disgusting farce of a relationship. She presented a hard-edged front to the world, but when it came to the man who’d been manipulating her for half her life, it was as though she had no power at all, as though she might just as well be nothing more than a mouse.
Avoiding Chris’s eyes, because she couldn’t possibly hide the truth from him if they were looking at each other head-on, Victoria simply said, “I love him.”
Chris’s arms stiffened and Victoria froze in turn, barely breathing as he took her by the shoulders, saying, “Victoria, that man just embarrassed you in front of two hundred people. He berated you, he manhandled you and he exploits you every night of your life. How could you possibly love a man like that?”
Victoria gnawed her lip, completely at a loss for words. She had no defense for the man in question and by aligning herself with him she was sacrificing more of her identity every day. Not that the life she’d led had made her crazy about relationships in general, but she wasn’t even opening herself to the possibility of another man’s companionship, to his soothing words and soft touch. Was it so wrong to want these things, so impossible to have them? Bringing Chris into the middle of her relationship with Oakley was liable to prove dangerous for both of them. But Chris was strong. He had to be, to have survived the loss he had.
Cautioning herself not to allow her thoughts to get away from her, knowing that Oakley would probably kill a man he perceived to be a serious enough threat to him, Victoria lifted her chin. “I know what it looks like, but I couldn’t count the things Oakley has done for me over the years. He’s protected me, and I sleep soundly at night knowing that no one is going to hurt me. He makes me feel safe.”
She realized right away that she shouldn’t have put things in those terms because the twinkle in Chris’s eyes told her exactly what his reply was going to be. She ought to run. He was giving her a chance to do just that, but her legs refused to stand. Instead, they eased sideways, leading the way like the smokestack on a train as her body leaned helplessly into that of the man sitting beside her.
“Tell me, Victoria—” Chris looked into her eyes, “does Oakley Sutherland make you feel like this?”  

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