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Curses! guestpost jan

The Cursed Key Book Cover The Cursed Key
(The Cursed Key Trilogy #1)
Miranda Brock, Rebecca Hamilton
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Evershade Publishing
Publication date: January 14th 2020

A forgotten past, a dark mage, and an unyielding curse. Another team beat free-spirited archaeologist Olivia Perez to the dig of a lifetime, and now she’s left with the choice to wait for scraps or brave a dangerous, dusty tomb in hopes of finding other priceless artifacts. Her reward? A mysterious key she has no idea is cursed. Soon, Olivia realizes she’s brought home more than just an ancient rarity. Malevolent visions begin to plague her. Unnerved by what they reveal, she casts away the key…unknowingly placing it into the waiting hands of a dark mage bent on destruction. Only when a shifter agent from the Paranormal Intelligence and Tracking Organization arrives searching for the key does Olivia realize what a huge mistake she’s made. Forced to team up with the ill-tempered shifter, her journey to reclaim the cursed key leads down a twisting path of dark histories, dangerous magic, and deadly obstacles. But Olivia’s efforts to take back the ancient relic before the dark mage can destroy the lives of humans, shifters, witches, and fae alike are thwarted by her own dark past…and a price steeper than what she’s willing to pay. Fans of Tomb Raider and Ilona Andrews will love the blend of urban fantasy, magical adventure, and paranormal romance in THE CURSED KEY from Miranda Brock and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton!

Ten Series To Read If You Enjoy The Cursed Key!

as recommended by the authors

  • Jane Yellowrock Series by Faith Hunter
  • Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
  • Demon Days, Vampire Nights Series by K.F. Breene
  • Protected by the Damned and War of the Damned Series by Michael Todd
  • Innkeeper Chronicles Series by Ilona Andrews
  • Sea Fae Series by C.N. Crawford
  • Reign of Blood Trilogy by Becca Blake
  • A Touch of Ink Series by Rachel Rawlings
  • The Keepers Way Series by Miranda Brock
  • Shadows of Salem Series by Rebecca Hamilton and Heather Marie Adkins

Author Bio

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Harlequin, Baste Lübbe, and Evershade. A book addict, registered bone marrow donor, and indian food enthusiast, she often takes to fictional worlds to see what perilous situations her characters will find themselves in next.

Represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA, Rebecca has been published internationally, in three languages: English, German, and Hungarian.

Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter

From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them. (Although, if you happen to see a dragon flying around, do tell her.) Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods, playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered. Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Threatened? The author explains about Pirates

The Veiled Threat Book Cover The Veiled Threat
(The Veiled Duchess #1)
Sophia Menesini
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance
Independently published
Publication date: June 30th 2019

Captain Shea Lara is the current leader of The Veiled Duchess. The most feared pirate ship in all of Neried. And now, after completing her former mentor’s final score, she’s retiring. Everything seems to be coming to an end… Until a mysterious stranger drags her back into the fold with an offer for a score she can’t refuse. All she has to do is kidnap the crowned princess of the northern Queendom, Princess Joana of Arethusa. The prize is just within reach. But sparks fly as the two women collide. And an obscured threat that could upturn Shea’s entire world storms on the horizon. She’ll face it alone unless she can allow herself the support she needs from old and new allies alike. Something’s coming and Shea is at the center of it.

Sophia tells us:

  • Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I came up with the idea for Shea Lara in a DnD session. I’d never played before, I was there kind of by chance, and they handed me a character sheet and I just started writing about who I’d want to be in a fantasy world. I always loved pirates growing up, Pirates of the Caribbean was one of my favorites. The girl was a king, the guy was the damsel, and Jack was amazing. So I thought if I could be anyone I’d be a pirate. And Shea was born. I worked on the concept, evolved her into a story and Nereid was created soon after. I don’t know if my approach is unique, I tend to have a concept about a character and then I create a world around them.

  • Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

I self-published. I’ve never worked with a publishing firm, I’ve never really wanted to. I knew that I wanted to get my story out there and I didn’t want to go the traditional route, waiting on someone else to do the work for me. I thought I’m capable, I’m passionate about this. I’m going to do this. So I did.

  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Personally, I’ve never thought about it, if traditional publishing was to become an option for me in the future I don’t know if I would take it. I’ve done a lot as a self-publisher and it’s a lot of work but at the end of the day the reward is mine and the story is mine. I think if traditional publishing works for you, you should do it, but people should know it’s not the only route and it doesn’t validate your work. You validate your work by working hard and persevering.

  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?

When I’m at home, sick, and I need something comforting I pull out my old Percy Jackson books. I loved the first series growing up and it’s just sentimental. The stories are familiar, the epics, the characters and I love anything to do with mythology.

  • What is your favorite genre?

I’m a fantasy nerd. I write fantasy and I read it. I love historical fiction and high fantasy are my absolute favorites. I don’t tend to branch beyond that, I’ve tried but I’m not an everyday Brooklyn girl. I get too much reality in my own life. So any kind of book that features a mystical land or dystopian universe that expands imagination, it’s on my shelf.

  • If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

The living author would have to be Aimee Carter. I’m such a fan of her Goddess Test series, she’s a fantastic writer. And dead, J.R.R. Tolkien. Huge fan of the hobbit growing up and I am a very detailed oriented writing so LOTR was a huge inspiration to me.

  • In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Rick Riordan cracks me up in any of his series, he has got humor down pact. And all of his characters are so wonderfully relatable and Percy’s inner dialogues are my own half the time.

  • Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

I took a lot of pointers from Tolkien, and other writers in the fantasy interwoven with mythologies. Tolkien’s descriptions were something I really loved and I wanted to create a cinematic feel to my story as if you could see it happening in your mind’s eye. Rick Riordan, Aimee Carter, L.J. Smith are all masters at creating a kind of mythology of their own incorporating the original aspects and making incredible folklore. I definitely drew inspiration from their models for the world of Nereid.

  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I have all of them! I have all my childhood journals, my old fanfictions, my scripts for television shows, my “book” I wrote when I was 12 and they’re completely cringe-worthy but I love them and will keep them forever. I never know if maybe I’ll try and revive them again.

  • Do you have any pets? I do!
    • If so, what are they? Two Chihuahuas and a Cat.
    • And what are they called? Ziggy, Zeppelin, and Bowie.
    • Do they help you write? No, they’re complete distractions. But I usually make one of them sit on my lap at my desk anyway.
    • What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing? I remember one time Ziggy and Zeppelin my two Chihuahuas were begging for attention but I had to get this chapter done so I made them wait. But Bowie strolls into my office and sees his brothers trying to get my attention and how it’s not working and so he does what they cannot. He jumps onto my desk and lays himself across my keyboard much to his brother’s dissatisfaction. And I’m ashamed to say, he got the cuddles first.
  • What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

This book. It’s been a real reward. I worked so hard to get it out there. I am a college student, newly married, I don’t have the money to spend 2 grand on a professional editor and to keep sending out printed manuscripts to publishers. So I found an illustrator at my college for my book map and she did an amazing job, I had a good friend who’s an incredible English major and wants to be an editor, edit my book for free. And I do all the social media, marketing, I built my own website. I do it all. And occasionally there’s a review about a typo or spacing problem. And as soon as I get it, I fix it and republish. And I do this again and again because it’s worth it and because of my hard work I now can afford a professional editor who’s reviewing The Veiled Threat and my sequel right now. And those reviews about the stray typo are never about the story itself and that’s what matters. My story is out there, and being told, and loved and I am extremely proud.

  • If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?

Claire Fraser from the Outlander series. I am so sorry my dear husband, maybe I can take him with me. It would be really cool to travel through time, I’m a history major and Scotland in the eighteenth century is of particular interest to me. Plus Jamie Fraser, need I say more?

  • If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s my favorite place in the world, I’ve been four times and I’d love to live there permanently someday or even in the Scottish highlands. I think Scotland is the most beautiful place on earth. It’s rich with history and magic and lore. It’s an inspiration in itself.

  • What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Author Bio

Goodreads Amazon

Sophia Menesini lives in Martinez, CA with her husband, and their two small Chihuahuas, Ziggy and Zeppelin. The Veiled Threat is her first novel and the first book in The Veiled Duchess Series. Sophia is an avid tea connoisseur and lover of Scotland with an unconventional memory for obscure Disney and Broadway song lyrics.

You can find my blog, updates, and other entertainment at my website: www.sophiamenesini.com. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19257386.Sophia_Menesini

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And we learn about The Threat

The Veiled Threat Book Cover The Veiled Threat
(The Veiled Duchess #1)
Sophia Menesini
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: June 30th 2019

The Veiled Threat
Sophia Menesini
(The Veiled Duchess #1)
Publication date: June 30th 2019
Genres: FantasyLGBTQ+New AdultRomance

Goodreads Amazon

Captain Shea Lara is the current leader of The Veiled Duchess. The most feared pirate ship in all of Neried. And now, after completing her former mentor’s final score, she’s retiring. Everything seems to be coming to an end… Until a mysterious stranger drags her back into the fold with an offer for a score she can’t refuse. All she has to do is kidnap the crowned princess of the northern Queendom, Princess Joana of Arethusa. The prize is just within reach. But sparks fly as the two women collide. And an obscured threat that could upturn Shea’s entire world storms on the horizon. She’ll face it alone unless she can allow herself the support she needs from old and new allies alike. Something’s coming and Shea is at the center of it.

 

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I came up with the idea for Shea Lara in a DnD session. I’d never played before, I was there kind of by chance, and they handed me a character sheet and I just started writing about who I’d want to be in a fantasy world. I always loved pirates growing up, Pirates of the Caribbean was one of my favorites. The girl was a king, the guy was the damsel, and Jack was amazing. So I thought if I could be anyone I’d be a pirate. And Shea was born. I worked on the concept, evolved her into a story and Nereid was created soon after. I don’t know if my approach is unique, I tend to have a concept about a character and then I create a world around them.

  • Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

I self-published. I’ve never worked with a publishing firm, I’ve never really wanted to. I knew that I wanted to get my story out there and I didn’t want to go the traditional route, waiting on someone else to do the work for me. I thought I’m capable, I’m passionate about this. I’m going to do this. So I did.

  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Personally, I’ve never thought about it, if traditional publishing was to become an option for me in the future I don’t know if I would take it. I’ve done a lot as a self-publisher and it’s a lot of work but at the end of the day the reward is mine and the story is mine. I think if traditional publishing works for you, you should do it, but people should know it’s not the only route and it doesn’t validate your work. You validate your work by working hard and persevering.

  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?

When I’m at home, sick, and I need something comforting I pull out my old Percy Jackson books. I loved the first series growing up and it’s just sentimental. The stories are familiar, the epics, the characters and I love anything to do with mythology.

  • What is your favorite genre?

I’m a fantasy nerd. I write fantasy and I read it. I love historical fiction and high fantasy are my absolute favorites. I don’t tend to branch beyond that, I’ve tried but I’m not an everyday Brooklyn girl. I get too much reality in my own life. So any kind of book that features a mystical land or dystopian universe that expands imagination, it’s on my shelf.

  • If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

The living author would have to be Aimee Carter. I’m such a fan of her Goddess Test series, she’s a fantastic writer. And dead, J.R.R. Tolkien. Huge fan of the hobbit growing up and I am a very detailed oriented writing so LOTR was a huge inspiration to me.

  • In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Rick Riordan cracks me up in any of his series, he has got humor down pact. And all of his characters are so wonderfully relatable and Percy’s inner dialogues are my own half the time.

  • Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

I took a lot of pointers from Tolkien, and other writers in the fantasy interwoven with mythologies. Tolkien’s descriptions were something I really loved and I wanted to create a cinematic feel to my story as if you could see it happening in your mind’s eye. Rick Riordan, Aimee Carter, L.J. Smith are all masters at creating a kind of mythology of their own incorporating the original aspects and making incredible folklore. I definitely drew inspiration from their models for the world of Nereid.

  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I have all of them! I have all my childhood journals, my old fanfictions, my scripts for television shows, my “book” I wrote when I was 12 and they’re completely cringe-worthy but I love them and will keep them forever. I never know if maybe I’ll try and revive them again.

  • Do you have any pets?I do!
    • If so, what are they? Two Chihuahuas and a Cat.
    • And what are they called? Ziggy, Zeppelin, and Bowie.
    • Do they help you write? No, they’re complete distractions. But I usually make one of them sit on my lap at my desk anyway.
    • What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing? I remember one time Ziggy and Zeppelin my two Chihuahuas were begging for attention but I had to get this chapter done so I made them wait. But Bowie strolls into my office and sees his brothers trying to get my attention and how it’s not working and so he does what they cannot. He jumps onto my desk and lays himself across my keyboard much to his brother’s dissatisfaction. And I’m ashamed to say, he got the cuddles first.
  • What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

This book. It’s been a real reward. I worked so hard to get it out there. I am a college student, newly married, I don’t have the money to spend 2 grand on a professional editor and to keep sending out printed manuscripts to publishers. So I found an illustrator at my college for my book map and she did an amazing job, I had a good friend who’s an incredible English major and wants to be an editor, edit my book for free. And I do all the social media, marketing, I built my own website. I do it all. And occasionally there’s a review about a typo or spacing problem. And as soon as I get it, I fix it and republish. And I do this again and again because it’s worth it and because of my hard work I now can afford a professional editor who’s reviewing The Veiled Threat and my sequel right now. And those reviews about the stray typo are never about the story itself and that’s what matters. My story is out there, and being told, and loved and I am extremely proud.

  • If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?

Claire Fraser from the Outlander series. I am so sorry my dear husband, maybe I can take him with me. It would be really cool to travel through time, I’m a history major and Scotland in the eighteenth century is of particular interest to me. Plus Jamie Fraser, need I say more?

  • If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s my favorite place in the world, I’ve been four times and I’d love to live there permanently someday or even in the Scottish highlands. I think Scotland is the most beautiful place on earth. It’s rich with history and magic and lore. It’s an inspiration in itself.

  • What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Author Bio

Sophia Menesini lives in Martinez, CA with her husband, and their two small Chihuahuas, Ziggy and Zeppelin. The Veiled Threat is her first novel and the first book in The Veiled Duchess Series. Sophia is an avid tea connoisseur and lover of Scotland with an unconventional memory for obscure Disney and Broadway song lyrics.

You can find my blog, updates, and other entertainment at my website: www.sophiamenesini.com

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Why was she stolen? The Author explains

Stolen Princess Book Cover Stolen Princess
(Royal Conquest Saga #1)
Nikki Jefford
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, New Adult, Retelling
Amazon Digital Services LLC
Publication date: November 11th 2018

She sacrificed herself to save her family from poverty… The ball was only the beginning. It wasn’t enough to kill my mate, heir to the throne. My obsessive Fae brother-in-law wants the crown. And he wants me ruling by his side. I thought I was done with romance until a certain pompous elf reappeared in my life at the illustrious Monster Ball. A little teasing led to bruised lips and captured hearts. No one wants Jhaeros and me to be together, not even my favorite sister, Melarue. But she’s a teenager just coming into her elemental powers and discovering boys—the wrong kind—the type I want to shoot arrows through. My royal in-laws are playing a treacherous game, and my brother-in-law is determined to get what he wants. But this elf princess no longer has a master. I don’t want a crown. I want freedom, family, and the love of a lifetime. But love might be the one thing that destroys us all. **This book will now include the prequel novella Enemies and Lovers.

If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Just one? I am a huge Sarah J. Maas fan. Her storytelling and characters steal me away in every single one of her books. For a deceased author, I’d go with Jane Austen. I love her humor and all the family scandal that goes along with her novels.

In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Currently, Rainbow Rowell is cracking me up with her Simon Snow series. Listening to Wayward Son in bed on audiobook my entire body was shaking with laughter (while my husband was trying to get to sleep).

What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

All my spiral notebooks and three ringed binders stuffed with stories used to be stored in boxes beneath the stairs of my mom’s house in Alaska. She recently dumped them off at my current address in Washington State. Now they’re shoved in my closets. I’d never take the time to reread them, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to throw them into the recycle bin.

Do you have any pets?

I have a Westie named Cosmo. He will be 14 years old soon and has been my sweet little writing (and reading) buddy all along. With writing being such an isolated endeavor, having his company is a huge comfort. Luckily, he can’t reach my keyboard the way a cat can. He does like to sleep behind the wheels of my chair, so I have to watch out that I don’t back up and roll over him.

Which of your books are you most proud of?

I’m super stoked about my current series: Royal Conquest (Stolen Princess). It’s outlandish, unpredictable, steamy, and laugh-out-loud funny. Watching readers become hyper over how much they enjoyed the characters gives me an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and pride. Fans fuel the flames and keep the series going!

Do you have an unusual hobby?

I enjoy motorcycling. This is my husband’s passion. I never expected to take any part of it until six years ago when we were living on a remote island with a max speed of 40 MPH. I was getting bored with island life and figured that if I was ever going to learn, that was the best place to do it. It really revved up our relationship and gave us something fun to do on (sunny) weekends.

If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

I wish I knew! One thing is certain, my husband and I dream of living someplace sunny and warm most of the year. I was born and raised in Alaska for the first thirty years of my life. My husband grew up near Paris, which has Seattle’s similar overcast and rain. Somehow, we ended up in the Pacific Northwest with rain, rain, gray, gray, gray. Not ideal for motorcycling or healthy dose of vitamin D!

About the Author

Nikki Jefford is an award-winning, bestselling author of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and quirky combinations in-between.

She is a third-generation Alaskan now living in the Pacific Northwest with her Westie, Cosmo, and her French husband, who she wouldn’t trade in for anyone–not even Spike or Mr. Darcy!

When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking, or out riding her motorcycle, a Honda CB500F, (so long as it’s sunny and warm)!

To get in on the fun and adventure, visit Nikki at her website for release alerts, updates, exclusive giveaways, and a free story when you subscribe to her newsletter: http://nikkijefford.com/

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What stars?

The Stars in Her Eyes Book Cover The Stars in Her Eyes
Love in LA Quartet #1
C.M. Albert
Contemporary, New Adult, Reverse Harem, Romance
March 26th 2019

When Creslyn Knight auditions for the role of a life time, she never expects three things:

  1. To know the casting director—intimately.
  2. To be insanely attracted to the three stand-in actors at the audition.
  3. That she’d soon be putting her morals to the test when her resolve weakens.

Acting is in Creslyn’s blood, and she’s focused her sights on one thing: landing the role of a lifetime. But she’s always been told that everything comes at a cost. The casting director names his when he tells her she must make him believe she can surrender to a harem of men, or he can’t justify giving her the lead role.

Determined to prove him wrong and show him she can tap into a passion that deep, Creslyn throws herself into rehearsals. But the fine line between script and reality soon starts to blur, leading her and three men into unchartered territory. The only problem? She has a jealous roommate, a disgruntled mother, and a string of paparazzi hot on her trail, making Creslyn question the cost of everything.

In a world where some things are best kept secret, is the price of fame too high when it comes to the heart?

The Stars in Her Eyes is book one of the Love in LA Quartet and is a new adult, steamy contemporary romance reverse harem LOVE STORY that can be read as a stand-alone or as an introduction to the series. All the heat you’ve come to expect with a reverse harem, AND a storyline worthy of a contemporary romance love story. Finally, the best of both worlds!

CM Albert:

USA Today Best Selling Author C.M. Albert writes heartwarming romances that are both “sexy and flirty, sweet and dirty!” Her writing infuses a healthy blend of humor, inspiration, and high-heat romance. She’s a sucker for a good villain but is a die-hard believer in everlasting love. In her spare time, she and her husband wrangle their two kids and enjoy spending time outdoors. When not writing or kid wrangling, C.M. Albert is also a Certified Medical Reiki Master, chocolate chip cookie aficionado, kindness ambassador, and seeker of naps

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

    Thank you so much for having me! This is actually my first Reverse Harem novel, and boy was it a challenge at first. I was inspired by a publisher who asked me to write a short RH for a boxset—and since I love stretching myself as a writer, I accepted even though I’d always said I’d never write a RH. But as one reader said, I always need to put a “Colleen spin” on the concept. And that was very true for The Stars in Her Eyes. I wanted the story to be realistic and not just a bunch of sex for the sake of sex. Since it’s a contemporary romance and not a paranormal or fantasy RH, I really wanted to understand the female main character and how she could find herself realistically falling for three men at the same time—let alone having an arrangement to explore their relationships sexually. This book seriously wrote itself. It’s a cliché, but it truly did. Creslyn Knight came through hard and fast demanding that her story be told, and it’s now my favorite story to date. I think it’s different than most RH’s in that it is a longer book, and is equally balanced between the HOT HOT HOT scenes you expect with an RH (and there are plenty!) and the plot-driven storyline and characters readers need with a contemporary romance  love story.

  2. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

    I usually research as I go, when I discover I don’t know something or one of the characters throws a curve ball at me – like River in The Stars in Her Eyes, who ended up going to Julliard and was a classic cellist. On the plus side, as a result, I discovered the amazing duo 2Cellos during my research. But sometimes the topics are heavier, like with an upcoming novella where some of the characters are LGBTQ. I’ve already started interviewing several people who identify as this so I can do the story and characters justice from the get-go. But for The Stars in Her Eyes most research, particularly around location, was done as the need arose. 


  3. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

    So far, I am strictly self-published by choice; most of that has been because of a need for complete flexibility in my schedule up to this point. I am also a stay-at-home parent and my family comes first every single time. That’s not always the answer a publisher wants to hear. That said, I’m lucky enough that as the kids have gotten older and are in the same school now, I am able to write a lot more than I used to during the day. In general, I do believe it’s helpful to build a strong audience and brand before approaching a publisher. It’s certainly not required, but I think it does help them to see your dedication, commitment, and business savvy ahead of time. It also doesn’t hurt for them to know you have a built in audience and to see how people respond to your stories before taking a chance on an unknown author. In today’s market, it’s not that uncommon for authors to take this approach, or for publishers to find writers who bust their butts and are able to shine in a very dense market of eBook self-publishers. I also think it benefits the author because it helps give them a broader understanding of everything that’s truly required to publish a book and be successful, because only a small percentage of that is actually writing. 

  4. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

    I tend to go one of two ways, depending on my mood: YA dystopian (like The 100, Steelheart, Pure) or romance (Colleen Hoover, L.J. Shen, Skye Warren, Elle Thorpe, Melissa Foster).  

  5. What is your favourite genre?

    Hands down it’s romance, which is why I write it. I’m a hopeful romantic and love characters who are able to overcome personal challenges and still find a way to open up and love. In real life there’s always a lot going on politically and socially, so I think romance is a nice escape; it strips things down to the individual level while still giving us the bigger hope that love wins, despite the odds stacked against us. Humans are very complex (alone and in our relationships), and I love peeling back their layers to discover motivation. It takes a strong person to soften and open their heart to love again after experiencing tragedy, pain, heartache, or loss. And I think most of us can relate to that. Nothing makes me happier than for characters to get their happy ever after, whatever that looks like for them.  

  6. If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

    I could recommend a dozen living authors, but if I had to pick just one right this moment, I’d probably choose L.J. Shen. I never understood the appeal of “the bad boy,” until reading her books. And she writes hot bad boys like nobody’s business. I haven’t read a book of hers I didn’t end up loving, including her latest release, The Kiss Thief. What she excels at is making the bad boy sympathetic by the end of the novel (even if he still is a bad boy). It takes talent to make a reader cringe at someone’s behaviors throughout a book but by the end everything clicks into place and you love them more than any regular hero—exactly because of everything they had to overcome to brave it all for love. There’s something about cracking open a hard heart and seeing the light.

    As for a deceased author, I grew up reading Bertrice Small. She is the QUEEN of sexy as sin historical romance. I’m not even a huge historical romance reader, but I devoured every one of her books and miss her greatly. She was so detailed in her knowledge of the time period, wrote an amazing anti-hero, and set the pages on FIRE. That’s probably where my love for explicit romances began, as I read my first Bertrice Small book—Skye O’Malley—when I was just sixteen.

  7. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

    I’d probably say Melissa Foster. Her knack for writing both sweet, soul-quenching romance with a lot of heat really inspired me that it could be done well and be done successfully. Most writers are either sweet and clean, or bad and dirty. I think you can be both—which is why my author tagline nails what you can expect with my books so perfectly: “Sexy & flirty, sweet & dirty.” My first book, Faith in Love, was originally published as a part of Melissa Foster’s Kindle World. I chose to do that because I knew our audiences would be similar and I loved the world she created for her characters the Remingtons. It was an easy fit for my contemporary writing style that combines real, complex emotions with a high dose of heat and soulmate level attraction. Even though Kindle Worlds went away, I’m forever grateful that it pushed me to write and release my first book in the genre I love most.

    In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
  8. I don’t read as many funny books, but in the past I’ve enjoyed Laurie Notaro, David Sedaris, and Elise Sax when I needed a dose of laughter with my books.

  9. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

    I really haven’t, and that’s because I think for your writing to feel authentic to readers, you have to write it from your heart. There is something missing when a person just writes words to spit out books. The connection is missing. For example, I LURV L.J. Shen’s sexy AF, bad boy anti-heroes, but I would fall down all over the place if I tried to write one like her. It’s just not ME. And I think my readers would feel that disconnect in an instant. I always think it’s best to tell the story your way, because you’re the only one who can. The best feedback I get from readers is when they say they are touched by the way I was able to so easily blend heart, hope, and high heat—and I think this is my own unique style and brand – my “Colleen spin!” One of the best reviews I got was simply, “Fun, sexy, and poignant.” That’s what I try to hit every time.

  10. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

    I have kept them, but haven’t published any. In high school I wrote a lot of very angsty, depressing poetry. My dark years. Haha! I still have every horrible poem because that was what I was needing to release through my writing at the time. In college, I wrote more non-fiction and poetry (which got marginally better when I was told I could throw everything I thought I knew about poetry out the window).

  11. Do you have any pets?

    Absolutely! I think pets bring so much happiness and healing, so I’m a big believer in the strong connection you can forge with your pets. (I have had one soul mate kitty and one soul mate dog.)
    1. If so, what are they?
      We currently have 1 dog, 3 cats, 1 fish, and a bearded dragon. My daughter wants a chinchilla since she just lost her fish named NASA, and I’m obsessed with adorable little hedgehogs, but I doubt either will join our household. We have enough chaos right now!
    2. And what are they called?
      Dog, Beau. Cats: Patty, Sarah, & Leo (who is our asshole kitty; there’s always one). Fish: Javier. Bearded Dragon: Waffles.
    3. Do they help you write?
      Beau is my faithful companion. Sometimes the cats curl up with me, but Beau always is my sidekick. I write in a big club chair for comfort, and Beau is always napping on the couch right next to me in the sun, just being near me for love and comfort. It’s sweet.
    4. What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing? Mostly it’s just Leo who chases the other cats. I’ve been concentrating before on a really intense scene and two cats will tear through the room at warp speed, flying off the couch over the coffee table like mini super heroes, all spitting and hissing. Scares the bejesus right out of me every time because it’s so fast and unexpected. Leo is ALWAYS the instigator too. Haha! 
    5. Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A?
      Sure. I’ll attach a rare photo of Leo not being an asshole and snuggling up with my baby Beau on the infamous couch in my writing room.

Thank you so much for having me today—this was fun!

Beau and Leo snuggling

https://colleenalbert.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14931260.C_M_Albert

https://www.facebook.com/cmalbertwrites

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