Writer Wednesday: Meet J. L. Lora!

Author J.L. LoraWelcome to #WriterWednesday! We’re so glad you’re here.

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than by bringing you a fellow female romance author? Today I’m thrilled to have J.L. Lora here, talking all about her writing life and her latest release, Boss.

I hope you grab a good snack or something to sip on and that you relax and enjoy this quick intro to J.L. Lora!

What inspires you to write?

Writing is the way I cope with everything in my head. I hear something in my head, a line, a conversation and that turns into a scene, a chapter and then a story and if I don’t write that, it will continue until I do.


Which type of romance do you love most, and why?

Romantic suspense. I love the idea of love developing in these high pressured situations and the danger stalks every corner and the hero/heroine should be worried about saving their lives but they have to also deal with this explosive attraction neither can fight.


Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:

I learned a little bit about some guns, police procedures, and some medical stuff I wouldn’t wish on anyone.


Name two things people don’t know about you:

  • When I’m writing and I get stuck, I take two minute showers and that usually does the trick so sometimes I shower like five times a day.
  • I stopped watching baseball because I get too involved in the game and there’s a lot of screaming and hurling food at the TV.

What fellow romance author do you recommend reading, and why?

We all know the big names like Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I want to recommend my critique partner Cate Tayler’s book Love Me Now which is coming out in May and it’s a beautiful love story about a sassy young woman, a rebellious billionaire, and a pretend engagement.

What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?

I wish years ago, when I was in college, someone had told me that writing had nothing to do with life experience. That I should go ahead and start writing books but at the same time, I’m one of those firm believers in everything happens at the appropriate time. I’m more prepared mentally now to make the sacrifices I need to for a writing career.


What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?

This is a tough one. I have so many different ones and I am one of those people who misses characters so one day I wake up with the need to revisit those characters and have to pick up the book all over again. Yeah, you asked me a question. I can’t pick one, but here are some. Um, let’s see. Jude Deveraux’s Sweet Liar (Swoon!), Nora Robert’s Carolina Moon and Sweet Revenge, Julie Garwood’s Mercy, Amanda Quick’s Mistress, and Sandra Brown’s Mirror Images and Tidings of Great Joy.


A Bit About Boss:

Boss is the first in the Trinity Series. It debuted March 6, 2017. It’s a story about love, tragedy, empowerment, friendship and embracing oneself. It all begins with Alec and Carissa…

Determined to avoid the violence that claimed her family and friends, Carissa Elliott flees her hometown with a dangerous plan. She has proof that mafia boss Calum DeMateo killed her father—now she just has to catch him. To do so, she’ll have to transform herself from small-town ingénue to New York mafia queen.

When her path crosses with Alec McLean, the sexy stranger with whom she once shared a steamy nightclub kiss, things take an unexpected turn. Alec heads his family’s criminal organization, the kind of man Carissa should want nothing to do with. But he also has a plan to take down Calum, and the flames that flicker between them are irresistible.

Will their vengeful quests jeopardize their chance at lasting love?

Get Boss here:

TypewriterA Bit About J.L.:
J.L. Lora was born in Dominican Republic and came to the United States just at the age of 13. Her goal in life was always to be a writer. As a child, she told stories to her family and friends and wrote fiction about historic figures. Today, her stories explore the dark side of good characters, people who are backed into corners and how they react to it. She loves strong heroines and their equally powerful love interests. She currently lives in Maryland while pursuing her dream of writing compelling, sexy, can’t-put-down stories about empowered, badass heroines and take-yourbreath-away heroes.
Want to connect further with J.L.? Find her here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Thanks so much for being here, J.L. Lora! It was a delight to share this time with you!

Writer Wednesday (er, Monday?): Meet Sharleen Scott

sharleenscottWelcome to Writer Wednesday!

What’s that you say? It’s Monday? Oops. Yup. My bad.

See, much of last week I was at the hospital with a loved one, and, well, I forgot to post dear romantic suspense author Sharleen Scott‘s interview.

I apologize to her (and to you), but am so pleased to share more about Ms. Scott now.


Red heart shapes on a handwritten old journal.

What inspires you to write?

I enjoying sharing my stories. I’m inspired to write romance, specifically, because I love the romance journey. It’s great fun to create characters, conflicts, and plot twists, and tie it all up with a happily-ever-after ending.


Which type of romance do you love the most, and why?

Romantic suspense. I tried writing contemporary romance but my characters’ worlds always seem to contain mysteries and murders. I enjoy building the suspense.


Bull rider at sunset

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book.

The hero in Caught in the Spin is a retired champion bull rider and my heroine is a big rodeo fan, so I spent a lot of time reading about bull riding. I discovered that rodeo teams are huge at some colleges, which opened up some interesting backstory for my character. Tom Black was a college rodeo champion while pursuing degrees in business and psychology. Both degrees helped him in my story where he owns a ranch post pro-rodeo career and runs up against a psychotic killer.


Testament 1Name two things people don’t know about you:

1. I always include plants in my garden to feed the birds when the snow flies. This year I planted broomcorn as well as sunflowers.

2. I’m a genealogy nut. I can spend hours on it.


What’s your favorite romance novel of all time?

There are actually two. First is Nora RobertsIrish Trilogy. Three books, I know, but they go together and all are excellent. The other is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Jamie and Claire. Need I say more?


citsA Bit About Caught in the Spin:

When Tallie Peters lands the job of assistant to Nashville’s’ premier music manager she’s sure things are finally looking up for her and her son. Meeting gorgeous former bull rider Tom Black confirms it. But Tallie’s new life dives into a chaotic spiral with the premature release of her brutal ex-husband from prison. He wants his son and will stop at nothing to take him. Tom offers Tallie and her son refuge behind the gates of the Masterson-Black ranch but soon finds that the best security measures are no match for a determined ex-con with nothing to lose.

Find Caught In the Spin on Amazon!


Vintage TypewriterA Bit About Sharleen: 

Sharleen Scott is the author of the romantic suspense Caught series and Tangles, a novel about a family dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. She is currently writing the third book in the Caught series.

Want to connect further with Sharleen? Find her here:

Amazon | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks so much for being here, Sharleen! It was a delight to host you.

Writer Wednesday: Guest Post from Kathryn Barrett

Kathryn BarrettWriter Wednesday is back! Par-tay!

This time, we’re shaking it up a little bit. Instead of a standard interview, Kathryn Barrett is taking over the whole shebang (with my blessing, of course, especially since she was already subject to my quizzing in March) and giving us a little insight into her novels, including her latest, True Gold.

It’s kind of fun sitting back with the rest of y’all and seeing (okay, reading) what she has to say.

(Also, if you haven’t checked out her first book, Temptation, you should! I adored it – and have both Redemption and True Gold in my stack of books to read next!)

You gotta have friends…and so do your characters

Redemption Cover Kathryn BarrettLike any author, I love my characters, but sometimes, I love their friends more. My third release, True Gold, features a character who first appeared in my last book, Redemption. He’s the head of the company the main character works for, and he makes a brief appearance at the end, a supportive boss and friend. But as I was writing Redemption, I wanted to know more about this guy, who first appeared to me as a shadowy figure, a quiet man who didn’t have many friends, but who’d formed a friendship with Claire because they were very much alike in temperament.

My first book, Temptation, also features a friend of the main character Laura, who was also the hero of Redemption—Matt Grayson, a Hollywood A-list actor and director who, I knew, had been recently reunited with his true love.

When best friends pop in for brief appearances in my books—or even in the many book ideas that for now exist only in my head—I want to know their story too. When I first started writing I’d often be led astray by these friends. At its midpoint, the book I was writing became dull and difficult, so I let myself be distracted by the shiny new friend who’d appeared. Who is he? What’s her story? What’s he hiding? The tantalizing secrets they held intrigued me, tempted me away from the current work in progress. Finally I had to get tough with myself and just finish the book, promising myself I’d go back and write the other stories—discover what that character was all about—later.

temptationI think friends are easier to include than family members. There’s a reason why so many romance heroes and heroines are orphans: parents are often an inconvenient complication in a plot—unless they’re estranged, they need to show up once in a while if the story is to be realistic. But a friend can pop in long enough to offer valuable advice a character needs to get beyond the Black Moment she’s found herself in.

Other authors I like write the same sort of loosely connected stories: Nora Roberts, Susan E. Phillips, and Judith McNaught, whose books first convinced me I needed to write romance. And the best thing is, there’s never a shortage of story ideas. As long as a character isn’t totally friendless, there’ll be someone in my head, waiting in the wings for his story to be told. And then, I get to check in on my previous characters, too, as they inevitably make an appearance in their friends’ books.

What about you? Do you like to read or write about friends of previous main characters?


TrueGold_FINALConnor Forrest is a self-made billionaire only one generation removed from the emerald turf of his mother’s Ireland. Jaded by the high risk, high tech investment world he inhabits, he has little time for introspection, poetry, or true love. A piece of perfectly thought out logic, on the other hand, makes him weak in the knees.

Rebecca Evans is a brilliant computer programmer disguised as a ditzy blonde. She’s looking for love, but people are not as predictable as mathematical equations.

A fall in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park sends her straight into Connor’s arms, but getting into his heart is a much harder task.

Can Connor learn that true love, like gold futures, is worth a little risk?

Find True Gold here:

Simon and Schuster: http://books.simonandschuster.com/True-Gold/Kathryn-Barrett/9781623422158

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/True-Gold-Kathryn-Barrett-ebook/dp/B00ZPNZJIU

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/True-Gold-Kathryn-Barrett-ebook/dp/B00ZPMWPK6/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-gold-kathryn-barrett/1122135938

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/true-gold/id1006823331?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/true-gold-1

BooksAMillion: http://www.booksamillion.com/search?query=9781623422158


Kathryn Barrett reluctantly put aside childhood dreams of becoming an author and took a more practical approach, majoring in Business Administration in college. But after marrying an Air Force officer, she realized a career in high finance didn’t suit an itinerant lifestyle. She happily returned to her first love, writing stories that feature larger-than-life characters, family relationships, and of course, a happy ending.

Her award-winning novel Temptation was published in 2013, followed by Redemption in 2014.

Having lived all over the world, Kathryn and her family have recently relocated to northern Virginia. She enjoys long walks with her squirrel-obsessed dog, traveling to tiny European countries, cooking vegan feasts, and, only occasionally, she still reads the Financial Times.

Website: http://kathrynbarrett.com

Twitter: @KathrynSBarrett

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

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Barrett/e/B00BHSWH00/

Thanks so much, Kathryn!
I, for one, LOVE series interconnected by siblings or friends (as all my stories will be).
I’m so glad you could share your insights today. 

#ThrowItForward Thursday: Book Reviewer Becca from Becca The Bibliophile!

beccaSay THAT three times fast: book reviewer Becca the Bibliophile!

Yes, it’s Thursday! Which means around these here parts, it’s #ThrowItForward Thursday. Who needs pics of me as a kid (though I was a darn cute toddler) when we could be honoring those who honor, help, and promote authors, like romance reviewer Becca The Bibliophile.

Becca was the first major book reviewer to take a chance on A Man of Characterand I shall be forever grateful! (Want to read her review?)

Becca graciously paused in her whirlwind schedule to answer a few questions – so I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know a little bit more about the woman behind the review site.

Bibliophile Logo3What kind of romance do you most enjoy reading, and why?

That’s a really tough question! I love sports romance (hockey, baseball, football, race car drivers) I’m not so sure why LOL. I guess growing up with all girls in the family and my dad had all sisters so he was never really into sports… An athletic man – most are sarcastic and cocky yet can have a tender side, a romantic side once love hits them — I just kinda love that in a hero. And extremely close second is childhood friends that grow up and fall in love. There something about really knowing someone, all their secrets, all their insecurities and yet saying…despite all that…you’re my person. Love that!

For how long have you been reading romance?

I’ve only been reading romance for about 2 1/2 years. I’ve always been an avid reader, but always read classics or thrillers, mysteries. And like everyone else, I kinda fell into romance around the time Fifty Shades of Grey hit it big. I didn’t start with Fifty, though. I got an iPad for Mother’s Day in 2012 and our family was about to take a cross country road trip – 38 hours on the road to California (from Texas). I had no clue what type of books to download and so I went to the free books on iBooks and at the time the #1 downloaded free book was Perfection by R.L. Mathewson. I started reading the book and LOVED it. Funny, romantic, steamy…so by the time we hit San Antonio and lost wi-fi across the prairie… I bought her entire library (7 books at the time) and read all of the them by the time we hit Los Angeles. I was hooked! I asked friends of mine in LA for recommendations and they bought some more books for me… and I was off. Nora Roberts, Sydney Landon, E.L. James – I read the entire two week vacation and all the way back to Texas. As soon as I got home, I found a book club on FB and my whole world was opened up to the Romance world and Indie Authors.

Fountain penWhy did you decide to start a book review blog?

That book club I belonged to, well people started noticing that I read A LOT. Both of my kids were in school and I worked part time, so I had the time to read – and I’m a speed reader and so people started asking for recommendations. I started getting more and more emails heading my way and then I started fan clubs for authors I really loved on FB. So I started one for Raine Miller and The Blackstone Series. Ethan Blackstone was my husband in the alternate universe… I couldn’t get enough of him. I started up a friendship with Raine and she asked me if I ever thought about blogging. I really had no clue what it was and she warned me it was a lot of work…but she thought I would be good at it. So to launch my blog, she gave me the first ever interview with Ethan Blackstone and I had over 2000 hits that first day! And before I knew it… I was a blogger 🙂

What’s been the most fun thing since starting the blog?

For me it’s meeting all the new authors and traveling to signings and meeting other fans like myself. The book world is a magnificent world and there are so many different types of people who share this common passion — which amazes me.

What’s been the most surprising thing since starting your blog?

That people and authors recognize me. Ask for my autograph…That still blows me away.

How many review requests do you receive a month, on average?

At one point I was getting 20-25 requests a day from new authors or authors that I hadn’t read. Now I still get about 10 a day through email and 2 or 3 through my FB blog page. There are so many of you out there and I wish I had the time for everyone!

How many books are you able to read a month?

I average 8 a week so 32 a month. One month while on vacation for three weeks… I read 62 books that month. I easily hit 350 books in a year.

[ML notes: Jaw. Drop.]

Do you want to write romance, or stick to reading it?

I’ve had several people tell me that I should write. I am a storyteller…but I’m not a writer. I grew up moving so much (27 schools by the time I graduated) that I always seemed to miss grammar. LOL. I always had literature…thus my love for reading. I’m just not confident enough in my writing. And I’m ok with that.

Tell us two things about you people don’t know.

1. I play the violin and have since I was 5 years old.

2. I sing and have won several awards and competitions in singing and my dream job would be to sing on Broadway.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give aspiring authors?

old-books-11281939505MsrnWrite for you. Don’t write because you think you’ll be famous and get rich. Don’t write because your fans want you to write this way or that way. Don’t let people bully you into being a writer you’re not. When you start to write for anyone other than yourself…it shows. As long as you are proud of what you did – Own It. You can’t please everyone, but as long as you please yourself, you’ll make it far. Also when reaching out to blogger… Introduce yourself first. Know something about the blogger. Show your passion about your work. I get so many requests and the ones that I respond to the most are those you don’t just send me a “Hey my book’s on sale – can you post that for me?” I don’t even know who you are!! A nice “Hey! I’m so and so and I really appreciate you taking the time to look at my books…if they look like something you would like to read, I would love to talk to you and get on your schedule…..” That goes a LONG WAY!!!

Is there anything you want to talk about that I didn’t ask you?

Well, I could talk all day about a number of subjects!! Thank you for inviting me to hang on your blog! I truly loved A Man of Character and I can’t wait for book 2!

[ML notes: Eliza’s book, A Matter of Time, is coming this late fall!]

Woot! Wasn’t that fun? (I’m still trying to recover from the 350+ books-per-year revelation; I LOVE to read, but sadly these days am ecstatic if I manage 50 a year…). Want to stay in touch with Rebecca? Find her here:

Becca the Bibliophile https://www.facebook.com/beccathebibliophile
     Bibliophile Productions https://www.facebook.com/bibliophileproductions

Twitter: www.twitter.com/becbibliophile

Instagram: www.instagram.com/becbibliohile

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/becbibliophile

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/BeccaTheBibliophile

And of course, on her review site: http://www.beccathebibliophile.com


Thank you SO much for joining us today, Becca!
We wish you the best in all your future endeavors (and maybe a nap after reading all those books),
and look forward to all the reviews to come.
Bless you for being such a supporter of indie authors!