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Gabriel Rocks:

Gabriel’s Album Book Cover Gabriel’s Album
(Cruise Control Heroes, #1)
by Sian Ceinwen
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: March 14th 2021

The rock star always gets the girl… I’m living my dream. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a rock star. And now here I am, about to start my first big tour, when she comes along. Ariana. From the second we meet, she’s all I can think about. Asking her to come on tour with me is easy. But she’s shy, insecure, and the paparazzi scare her. We live in two completely different worlds. I love her and I know that she’s worth fighting for. The problem is, I’m not sure if love is enough. Gabriel’s Album is the first book in the Cruise Control Heroes series. It’s the companion novel to The Album. Fall in love with Gabriel and Ariana all over again as Cruise Control embarks on their first world tour. 

The rock star always gets the girl

AUTHOR BIO:

Hi, I’m Sian Ceinwen and I live in Western Australia with my husband and two kids. I started writing this in the third person but it was just odd. A little bit about me, I’ve enjoyed writing all my life, getting the worlds and characters in my head down for other people to enjoy is my passion.

Writing a book wasn’t something I ever thought I could really do but inspired by a song, I aimed to do it. With a lot of coaxing from my friends for me to finish it so they could find out the ending.

I released Gabriel and Ariana’s story, The Album, on March 14th, 2020. Harrison and Heather’s story, The Wedding, came out on June 6th, 2020. Sebastian and Lita’s book, The Baby, was released on November 18th, 2020.

The first book in the companion series, Gabriel’s Album, is available for pre-order and will be released on March 14th, 2021. It’s Gabriel and Ariana’s story retold from Gabriel’s point of view.

I hope that you will fall in love with the Cruise Control world the same way that I have.

And you want to know more about Sian?

Here’s what she said to me:

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

I was inspired to write this story because of the song by The All-American Rejects called “Gives You Hell”. I just loved the idea of the ordinary girl who broke the rock star’s heart and went back to her ordinary life.

I also remembered when Maroon 5’s album “Songs About Jane” came out. I used to joke, “Whoever Jane was, she really did a number on somebody.” So, again, I liked the idea of the rock star writing an entire album about his ex-girlfriend.

Each chapter is a song from the album. It tells that specific part of their relationship, which I think is a bit different. And, of course, there’s a HEA. 😉

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it?
    • Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I’m big on Excel spreadsheets, so I have one with writing projects in it. I’ll write down in there any ideas or inspiration that I have for future books. I’m still writing my first book series, so for now I’m set. Once I started writing The Album (which Gabriel’s Album is the companion to), I planned out the four-book series with the other three band members as the focus of each.

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

I was big into music in my youth, so this was a pretty easy topic for me to write about. There are definitely aspects of it that I needed to research, though. I tend to write character-driven fiction, so I’ll start writing, and then research anything that I don’t know about as I go.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

It’s funny you should ask, just the other day I asked a friend how writers managed before the internet! I’m lucky to be writing in an age where we carry the entirety of mankind’s knowledge in our pocket.

At the moment, I’m writing Harrison’s Wedding, which is the second book in this series and the companion book to The Wedding. In it, Harrison gets a custom signature guitar made. Two of my friends have lots of industry knowledge, one was able to tell me all about what a guitarist would want in his dream guitar, and another was able to give me industry information on brand deals, etc.

I then spent two entire days watching YouTube videos of guitars being made, and one about St. Vincent’s signature guitar, then factory tours and the website of a guitar manufacturer, along with articles about how they’re made. It was fascinating, and hopefully no luthiers come after me for it being unrealistic when the book is published! 😉

  • How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you say you want to write about them?
    • Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

Again, I’m extremely lucky to have an author friend whose day job is literally being a doctor. She’s been so helpful to me. She was looking up drugs for me at her work to tell me the effects and how they’re tested for, etc.

  • If you need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance, do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?

As an example, I wrote a novella under a pen name where the hero lived in upstate New York. Well, I’m from Western Australia and have visited New York City precisely once in my life! I did a lot of Googling to find the right town to use, how far it would be to drive from the city, what the local restaurants and attractions are like, etc.

Most places have websites, these days, which makes it easy to do research!

  • 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?

At the moment, I don’t have any desire to become traditionally published. I suppose, it would be nice to have that feeling of being a “real” author. But I love self-publishing. I get to do things like publish each book on the band member’s birthday. I have control over what I want to do with my stories and don’t have to answer to anybody except my readers, which I love.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Unfortunately, not at the moment, but I’ve only just passed my anniversary of publishing anything. So, I still work a full-time job. Even though I’m making a decent amount from writing (which I’m incredibly grateful for!), as the sole breadwinner in our house, I would need to be able to completely replace my income before I could quit my day job.

The downside to self-publishing is that I have to pay out of pocket for covers, editing, proofreading, and marketing. The upside to still having a day job is that I get to claim it all on tax, at least. Yay?

  • Or what is the funniest thing that has happened to you when writing / researching a book?

Oh god, this might be too spicy, but last night I literally was Googling “male masturbation sound in shower” for my next book. I needed to know what could be heard over the sound of the shower running. I ended up searching on a *cough* different site to find out.

For those who are curious, the answer is that you probably won’t hear the sound, but you’ll hear the moaning. The more you know. 😉

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

I’m always reading other indie authors these days. Or writing my own books/reading them back to edit them. A good romance always makes me feel better, though!

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Steamy contemporary romance. Hands down. I write rock stars, but I mostly read billionaires.

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

Living author would have to be Sophie Kinsella. As much as I steamy books, she’s probably my favourite author. Dead author…oooh, tough one. I still have a soft spot for Enid Blyton’s books, but that’s more in a sense of passing them on to my children.

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

There’s no doubt about this one, it’s Liz Berry. When I was 10 years old, I stole my 15-year-old cousin’s library book and read it after he told me I couldn’t read it. That book was Easy Connections, and he was 100% correct that I shouldn’t have been reading it at 10! I have little doubt that it’s why I write rock stars, but it’s also why I make sure that consent is a running theme in my books. There’s nothing sexier than enthusiastic consent!

  1. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Ooooh, if you haven’t read anything by Missy Johnson, check her out. Her books are absolutely hysterical.

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

No. Not at all. No idea is new, of course, but I would never try to purposely imitate someone else’s style of writing. I think that would be far more difficult than writing what feels natural and comfortable to me.

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

Sadly, my parents’ house burned down during a bushfire in 2014, so we lost everything. The only memories I have from my childhood are things that I happened to have been given and were at my house before our family home burned down.

  1. Do you have any pets?

Sadly, no! I used to have two Burmese cats named Sirius and Remus, but they both passed away a few years ago. We do plan to get pets when we move into a new house. Our current place isn’t set up for pets.

  1. Which of your books / series are you most proud of?

I only have the one series, and I love it so much. I can’t wait until the final book in the series comes out in October and everyone can see how it all ties together. The book I’m the most proud of is probably The Wedding. I think it’s the book that has the most raw emotion and I love it.

  1. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

Aside from my boys, it’s definitely writing my books. As much as it’s easy for me to write a book, I’m aware that it’s not something that a lot of people can do. Nothing makes me happier than getting feedback from readers and hearing how my books have made them feel something. To have people connect with my writing is a beautiful thing.

  • Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?

I like to visit my friends in the US, and I set my books there. During the pandemic, I’ve been travelling only within Western Australia, and it’s been nice to visit places I’ve taken for granted. I went to Margaret River for the first time ever, and it’s amazing…I can see why everyone raves about it! 😉

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

Captain Marvel, definitely. She’s the strongest Avenger, and totally badass.

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

My initial instinct is that I love Perth and would never want to live anywhere else…BUT I absolutely love the snow and skiing. So, if I could l live anywhere else, it would be in a ski resort somewhere like New Zealand, or Switzerland, or Canada.

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

Ah, the joy of being a writer. It doesn’t matter which 3 books I take, because I can write stories in my head to keep myself entertained. It’s often how I get myself to sleep, by playing out scenes with my characters in my head.

However, I would definitely take “Can You Keep A Secret?” by Sophie Kinsella. I’m not sure what other books I would choose. I read lots of books in series, and I’d hate to have one of a series and not the others. So, I’d probably pick two random (hopefully long) steamy contemporary romances, then keep myself entertained otherwise.

  • Do you people watch to find characters for your books? How do you do this?

Really, it’s more about observing people in general and how they interact with one another. I write about friendships, so I just think about how people talk and act with their friends.

I often joke that if I like you, your name will end up in one of my books. The only person who I asked for permission to use their name was my friend Cal, because I wanted to use his first and last name for the character because he’s got a cool name.

  • What music – if any – do you think inspires you to write? Is it different for each novel or the same?

I make a playlist for each book. I start out by picking songs that I think will fit the theme and vibe of the book, then I’ll let Spotify play music based on that playlist. As I find songs that I feel fit the playlist, I’ll add them to it.

  • Do you write at home or away from home? If at home, what does your space look like? Are you a tidy person?
    • If away from home – where and why?

I write anywhere and everywhere. My friend got me into using Google Docs, so I’m able to write on my phone when I’m out. Otherwise, I’ll often use my laptop in bed or on the PC in our computer room. I write as often as I can, only my lunch break at work, I take my laptop into an empty meeting room, set a timer for half an hour, and write like mad.

  •  Do you keep a timeline and character traits pinned up on your wall? On post-its?
    • If not how do you remember important items about your characters like height, weight, colouring, likes and dislikes etc?

As I said, I’m big on Excel spreadsheets, so I actually have a spreadsheet with the entire Cruise Control series mapped out. I like Excel because I can use formulas to get exact dates. I have a timeline of their lives over a fifteen year timespan from when they first met as teens through to when the last book ends.

  • Were you inspired by any folk stories? If so which ones? And what was it about them that inspired you?

Only in the sense that I’m sure that reading them as a child inspired my love of storytelling and reading. I’ve just always loved spending time in book worlds.

  • Should monsters /criminals be given a second chance? Can they be reformed? What is the best type of prison for them? (you can include paranormals here)

This is a tough question. I do believe that crimes have punishments and when people have done the time, they shouldn’t be punished further. I do believe people can change; however, some crimes are so heinous that you can’t imagine the person should ever be let loose on society again.

  • Who is your favourite pirate and why?

Ugggggh, I hate myself but I’m going to say Jack Sparrow. Probably just in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was an epic performance.

  • Do you enjoy sailing? On a lake or the sea?
    • And what about tall masted ships- are they better than engines or?

I don’t hate it, but I’m not really a boat person. I’ll go out on a boat, and I love to swim, but I’m not so into boats that I have a personal preference about them!

  • Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?

I made the choice not to include the pandemic in my books. I don’t know if that was unwise or not but I’d already started The Wedding, which begins on June 6th 2020, in January before we knew that it would turn into a pandemic! I like that people can escape reality into my books where the pandemic doesn’t exist.

  • How many books did you write during Covid19/Lockdown?

I wrote four books, two novellas, and an accidental reverse harem last year! I definitely used writing as a way to escape.

  • If you were asked to write a family saga which century would you place it in?

I’d almost certainly write it as a contemporary because it’s what I enjoy. It would be about some impossibly wealthy family and their trials and tribulations. Someone would get shot, and we wouldn’t know who did it until book three. I’m just spitballing here. 😉

  • What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team?

I’m not a scriptwriter, so I wouldn’t want to write the script, but I would absolutely want to be involved in the production. I don’t know, I’ve just seen so many book to movie/TV adaptions that I’ve hated because they lost the essence of things that were important to the story and added things that weren’t.

  • What about ‘snark’? is it good or bad?

Snark is amazing. I don’t think every character should be snarky, but there should be someone with some balls to speak up.

  • Is it easy to write humour?

I think so. I basically just write the jokes and comments that I would make with my friends. I wrote something the other day that had me giggling for ages. It was Harrison making a joke that Gabriel would get a signature hair tie for his man bun. I’m giggling again, now. I guess you had to be there.

  • How many of the accidents – funny or otherwise, or bad experiences in your stories are based on your own experiences? Or those of your friends?

Oooooh, I draw on my personal experiences a lot. On a lighter level, I give my characters some of my favourite foods to eat and activities to do.

On a deeper level, I definitely draw on bad experiences, as well. In one of the books, something happens that’s quite traumatic, and the character turns to alcohol to cope until they get help and are able to find healthier coping mechanisms to deal with it. That’s definitely something that I did in my past, and no, it wasn’t healthy for either me or the character!

  • How easy is it to write a good sex scene? And do you have to have experienced these things do you think, to write about them successfully?

Ooooh, another good question. I hope my sex scenes are good! I think they’re pretty easy to write, and sometimes I think it’s better to have experienced things to know how they actually feel. I’ve read a lot of super unrealistic and cringy sex scenes before.

Something I see a lot are BDSM portrayals that come across as though the person has no real experience with it. If consent is key in vanilla relationships, it’s even more key in BDSM relationships. I think that’s definitely one sex aspect where it’s easy for people to write something that’s cliché and not even close to what it’s like in reality.

I should clarify that I left BDSM (mostly) out of my main series, but have definitely got it in my reverse harem. 😉

  • A challenge: Write 500 or more words including in it at least two of the following statements and 1 of the words.     
    • If my cat could talk it would say I was a …
    • Feed me now or forever clear up when I poop in your shoe
    • Pink? I am a tutu wearing cat but never pink!
    • May your fur be rainbow coloured and your tail a feather
    • Poopalicious
    • Humphthingalong
    • Scatishly
    • oopsadaisytuttuttut

It’s been a long day at work, and I’m tired. I drive home in rush hour traffic, almost getting killed fifteen times on the way by people who want to lane hop. When I finally get to my house, I pull into the garage, turn off the car and drop my head on the steering wheel.

I jump in fright as the car horn sounds, echoing loudly around the garage. I sigh loudly, and get out of the car. As I reach the door to the house, I hear the sounds of meowing and scratching, and I smile.

“Hello, babies,” I say as I greet my cats.

Humpthingalong and Poopalicious, or Humpy and Poopoo, were named by my niece and nephew. Life pro tip: Don’t let children name your pets. Especially if one is young enough to still think poop jokes are funny, and the other is old enough to think sex jokes are funny.

I make my way to my bedroom with Humpy and Poopoo following me, talking to me as they do. I drop my bag in the closet, strip off my work clothes and bra, then put on a pair of sweats.

Poopoo is glaring at me while meowing loudly, and I know exactly what he’s saying. “Feed me now or forever clear up when I poop in your shoe.”

“Okay, Poops. I’ll get you both some dinner.”

They trail behind me as I head to the laundry where I get their cat food out of the cupboard. The meowing intensifies as I open the container and put a scoop into each of their bowls.

“Play nicely, boys,” I warn them as I put the food away.

Humpy has a habit of scarfing down his food, then eating Poopoo’s before he has a chance to finish it.

I head to the kitchen and pull out some chicken to cook for dinner. I grill the chicken and make a salad to go with it, putting the leftovers in containers to take to work for lunch tomorrow. I’m sitting at the table eating my meal when Humpy appears. He sits at my feet and meows at me to pick him up.

“I’m eating my dinner, Humpy. I’ll give you pats afterward.”

He meows again and I look down at him. If my cat could talk, he would say that I was a cruel person who doesn’t give him enough food or love. I feel guilty for leaving them at home while I was at work all day, so I scoot my chair back and allow him to jump onto my lap. I eat around him while he rubs his face against my arms.

“I love you, too.” I grin down at him.

When I finish eating, I encourage Humpy to hop off my lap before I take my dishes to the kitchen. I rinse them off before stacking them in the dishwasher and heading to the lounge room to watch TV.

I lay on the sofa and put a show in Netflix. It isn’t long before both cats are sitting on me and purring loudly as I pet them while I watch the show. I can feel myself relaxing with the comfort of my kitties, and I couldn’t be happier to spend the evening in their company.

The End

(Side note: I really missing having cats, now!)

If you could be an animal which animal would you be? Give three reasons. You may NOT choose to be a dog or a cat.

I would be a dolphin. They’re wildly intelligent, and I love the water, so I’d be happy to live in the water!

  • How many ‘packs’ should a hero have? Are 8 too many and what might a character lick off them? Why?

Hmmmmm, I like a 6-pack. Super muscly bodybuilder types are too much for me, but a sportsman with an 8-pack is fine.

Lick off them? Anything, really. Whipped cream is a classic for a reason!

  • What music inspires you? And which instrument is best for which scenes?

Any type of music can inspire me, depending on the mood I’m going for, and the lyrics in the song. Obviously quieter more serious scenes require quieter and more serious music. I do love songs with mostly piano, it’s my favourite instrument.

50.   There are supposedly a number of character arcs. I have listed some archetypes and some characters below as examples. Which of these following do you use most? Why? And do you have any to add? And which book would we find them in?

·       Transformation

·       Maturity

·       Alteration

·       Decline

·       Mulan.

·       Black Panther.

·       Iron Man.

·       Emma Woodhouse

·       Elisa Esposito.

·       Ebeneezer Scrooge.

·       Bridget Jones.

I would say that I use Maturity and Alteration the most, but I have used Decline for part of one of the books. My favourite character arc over the series is Sebastian’s. I love that if you went straight from The Album to The Baby, you couldn’t imagine him as ever being the type of guy to fall in love with someone. You have to read The Wedding to see him as this amazing person who does love his friends very deeply in order to get it.

Well, that’s the last question. Thanks so much for interviewing me, I had a blast! 😊


Author links:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20018145.Sian_Ceinwen
https://www.facebook.com/SianCeinwen/
https://www.instagram.com/sianceinwen/

http://cruisecontrolnovels.com/

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Author Interview: And we need fear:

Fearless Book Cover Fearless
(Less Than Zero, #3)
Kaylene Winter
Adult, Contemporary, Romance
March 17th 2021

Family is everything, I protect mine with my life..

Connor McGloughlin had it all, a great family, a college scholarship and music.
Tragedy forced him to grow up too fast.
When his life finally is on track, Ronni Miller appears like a dream.
Kindred spirits in the most unlikely of circumstances.
There’s only one thing in the way—
Her dark past he’s determined to protect her from.

When your innocence is stolen, trust is a precious gift..

Actress Ronni Miller tasted fame at a young age.
But her path to stardom was riddled with tragedy.
She never imagined falling for Connor McGloughlin, a rogue, Irish rock star.
The thing is? Ronni’s got revenge on her mind.
Regardless of the risk or the consequences.
Or losing the one thing in her life that makes her feel alive.

Connor has only ever asked Ronni for one thing: her heart.
But when her bravery is couched in lies?
She risks losing the man who would do anything for her.
Unless she finally realizes being fearless means placing your trust in true love.

  • Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? 

    Two reasons. The first is my love of Ireland, in many ways this is a love letter to my second country. My husband is Irish and while he is not the inspiration behind Connor, it was awesome to be able to share how much it has influenced me (and a few Irish mannerisms/sayings as well). There’s a reason I’m releasing on St. Patrick’s Day!!  The second reason is my obsession with pop culture and blind items. I’ve been following a few different sites for years, and knew about the #metoo movement from the posts years before it became a thing. I wanted to develop a strong female lead who found herself subject to this type of behavior in the industry – with a couple of twists – and how far she’s willing to go to right the many wrongs in her life.
  • Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

    I’ve not read another romance book that has tackled this subject matter and the lengths that people go in Hollywood to make it big – it is a big industry blight. Combined with my super strong Irish bassist hero, it was just a really enjoyable book to write despite some of the darkness.
  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it?

    My LTZ series is more or less planned out for the next few books – but each one of the characters surprises me and sometimes do not comply with how I thought they would be. So, I’m always open to my own creative process and let the characters speak.
  • Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

    Yes – i use the “notes” feature on my iPhone when I get an idea, or something pops into my head that a character might say.
  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? 

    That depends on the subject. For this one, a lot of it is first hand experience (e.g. Ireland) and living with an Irish husband who has lots of Irish friends. I’d often use my iPhone notes section to write down little “isms” that I’d overhear.

    For the Hollywood #metoo/bearding storyline – it was something I had already done a lot of research on – but of course I had to make sure it was my own story with my own scenarios. Really, just concepts.
  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

    I’m an avid reader and an avid pop culture fan. My background before I was writing Rockstar Romance was a band manager and music promoter. I’m still very active in the music community here in Seattle, so it’s an industry that I know inside and out. All aspects. Business. Management. Touring – it’s in my blood. So its really fun to make it come to life as fiction!
  • How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you say you want to write about them?

     I love this question because it allows me to shout out to two awesome women who help me with all things medical. In Endless, Zoey has an injury and my doctor friend’s husband had a similar injury – so I just used all of the info she gave me. Another friend is a Rock Star Therapist – she used to work in touring and for a major record label and this is her second career. A lot of the things in ENDLESS, LIMITLESS and now FEARLESS when I refer to a counselor – this is her and she’s given me the information/advice to put into these books.  Famous people – especially musicians and athletes who are away from home for long periods of time – they have different issues than the rest of us.
  • Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?  If you need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance, do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?

    It helps if you have friends, but I think just reaching out – generally people are nice enough to help.


    All of the above. I love to write and work in places that I’ve been and loved. Helps to have first hand knowledge. I love to look up restaurants I’d love to try. Stores I’d like to get clothes from. Designers that would be fun to have custom make you clothes.

    For Connor’s home in Ireland, I perused real estate listings until I found my perfect home – and made it his!
  • 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?

    I always planned on self-publishing. This is not my day job, I’m still running another business and am active in my arts community in Seattle. For me, self-publishing makes sense because I have control. The downside is there is a lot to do – and I’m not always sure I’m on the right path. It helps to put together a “team” – I have a real editor, a real proofreader, a real book cover designer and photographer. It allows me to retain full creative control.
  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

    Not yet but crossing fingers!
  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?

    Rockstar Romances from my sister authors. I really just love contemporary romance. I do read biographies and sometimes I even design a few rooms on my design app!
  • If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

    Mari Carr, Carian Cole, Cari Quinn/Taryn Elliott, J.A. Huss, Piper Lawson, Jaine Diamond, Michelle Mankin, Anne Mercier – and my new obsession (currently binging) Sasha Marshall…
  • Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

    Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott and maybe Terri Anne Browning – because they were my first Rockstar Romance authors and really the reason why I’m here.
  • Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?  

    My handsome boy Boudi, a 3-year old Siberian Husky. He’s magical – please follow him on Instagram @boudithehusky
  • Which of your books / series are you most proud of?

    Less Than Zero is my FIRST series – which means I’m super proud of it!
  • What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

    My business. I own a business where I have 8 women working for me and we support tech/media companies. It is amazing to work with all women and I love mentoring them to be self-sufficient and awesome.
  • Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?

    Ireland and Australia – and you will see them prominently features. Also, Barcelona. Really, I love travelling.  I’m in LA and NYC for work a lot – so these are also cities that factor in heavily into my books.
  • Do you people watch to find characters for your books? How do you do this?

    I love to incorporate people’s traits into my books. The female characters are “inspired” by my close friends and a lot of the characteristics of the male characters I pull from my hubby and friends. Really, I think it’s authentic if you write from what you know.

    What music – if any – do you think inspires you to write? Is it different for each novel or the same?

    I love Rock music and am sad that it seems to be a dying musical genre. It’s so ingrained in everyone over 30, and I hope that we get a resurgence.  That is why my band LTZ is a “throwback” band that has brought it back into the mainstream – and they are the biggest (fictional) band in the world because of it!
  •  Do you keep a timeline and character traits pinned up on your wall? On post-its?

I recently started writing on Scrivener which allows you to do really keep track of everything all in one place – then you don’t need to shuffle around and find it. It’s a computer program, so it allows you to be neat and tidy. You can upload photos and reference material – it’s great!  Each character has a file that you can keep track of details – and all of the sub characters that pop up. Yeah, it’s really fun to write on it.

  • What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team?

    In real life I work with a lot of productions and production teams – so YES I’d love to be part of it. I’d love for LTZ to be the next Bridgerton – only more EDGY because it’s Rockstar Romance! 
  • What about ‘snark’? is it good or bad?

    SNARK IS KING!  It’s the best!
  • How easy is it to write a good sex scene? And do you have to have experienced these things do you think, to write about them successfully? statements

    Sex scenes are really fun to write – especially because you can use your wildest imagination. I love to try to make things realistic yet sexy – and try to avoid common ways to describe things to make it more like the characters see things. To prepare to write my first scenes, I literally skimmed about 50 books of all genres and just immersed myself to get over the “hump.”
  • There are supposedly a number of character arcs. I have listed some archetypes and some characters below as examples. Which of these following do you use most? Why? And do you have any to add? And which book would we find them in?

Transformation:  One of my favorites – because we are all transforming all of the time. Characters never stay the same because people and circumstances change you – so you should allow your characters to grow and evolve. My books take place over a number of years – so it’s fun to see how they change!

Author Bio

When she was only 15, Kaylene Winter wrote her first rocker romance novel starring a fictionalized version of herself, her friends and their gorgeous rocker boyfriends. After living her own rockstar life as a band manager, music promoter and mover and shaker in Seattle during the early 1990’s, Kaylene became a digital media legal strategist helping bring movies, television and music online. Throughout her busy career, Kaylene lost herself in romance novels across all genres inspiring her to realize her life-long dream to be a published author. She lives in Seattle with her amazing husband and dog. She loves to travel, throw lavish dinner parties and support charitable causes supporting arts and animals.


Author links:

https://www.instagram.com/kaylenewinterauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/kaylene.winter.5

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20367389.Kaylene_Winter

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Many Moments: Author and Actor!

Moments Like This
(From Kona With Love)
Anna Gomez & Kristoffer Polaha
: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rosewind Books
March 9th 2021

After Andrea “Andie” Matthews chooses her career over a marriage proposal and then loses a promotion she worked so hard for, she jumps at the chance to take a break and help run a friend’s coffee shop.

Alone in Hawaii, Andie befriends the staff and quickly grows to care for them, making her determined to revive the company.

As luck would have it, she meets the mysterious Warren Yates on Christmas Eve. They share a cup of coffee, some conversation, and even a moment, which leads to many more in the coming weeks.

But when Andie learns who Warren really is—and what he actually wants—she is torn between her feelings and his deception.

Will Warren be able to win her heart back?

http://fromkonawithlove.com/

KRISTOFFER POLAHA: tells us

Do you have an unusual hobby? 

Yeah, writing books! My day job is acting in movies and on television! 

How many books did you write during Covid19/Lockdown? 

I wrote three books during the Lockdown, two with Anna, Moments like This and Book 2 in our From Kona With Love series and a book for kids entitled How Are You Loved? 

My family and I also liked to watch a lot of movies during quarantine. My wife and I called it film school for our boys, we have them an education in cinema. 

What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team? 

Anna and I absolutely plan on turning our series into a series of movies and we will be producing them. Our plan is help keep the creative team telling the story from the page to the screen, so Anna and I will have a hand in writing the screenplays, production, and in my case, even acting. 

What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

I’m most proud of the family my wife and I have built together. We have three sons who are adventurous and excited about life, they are smart and creative, but most importantly, they are kind. Life is a rollercoaster, but we are enjoying the ride together! 

AUTHOR BIO:

Kristoffer Polaha is best-known for his long starring role in the critically acclaimed series Life Unexpected (The CW). Other TV series credits include Get Shorty with Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd, the limited series Condor opposite William Hurt and Max Irons, The CW’s Ringer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Valentine, as well as North Shore (FOX).

In addition to co-starring with Rainn Wilson in Backstrom (FOX), he had a multi-season role on the acclaimed series Mad Men (AMC) and Castle (ABC). Polaha is also well-known for starring in Hallmark Channel movies such as Dater’s Handbook with Meghan Markle, and the Mystery 101 franchise on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Polaha first received attention for his portrayal of John F. Kennedy, Jr. in the TV movie, America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story, opposite Portia de Rossi. He has appeared in numerous independent features, including Where Hope Grows, Devil’s Knot (Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon), and the Tim Tebow film, Run the Race.

Polaha has a featured role opposite Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984 and in Jurassic World: Dominion.

In addition to his work as an actor, producer, and director, Polaha is branching into the book world by co-authoring a new series. He is also involved with several charitable organizations, including being an ambassador for World Vision, a board member for HerArtsInAction, and The Polaha Family Circus Foundation.

Polaha was born in Reno, Nevada, and he is married to actress Julianne Morris. They have three sons.

ANNA GOMEZ tells us her story:

Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?

I travel constantly for work and for leisure, so I have many favorite places. I think the two places I consider like my second homes are Paris and New York. Just because I have made many friends and connections there over the past few years. There was a time that I was there for weeks on end, which made me feel like a local, having had the privilege of hanging out at less touristy places. And yes, I love incorporating different places in my books. Always. I write about the universality of love in any country, place or situation, and my characters are also from different parts of the world.

Which of your books / series are you most proud of?

Under my pen name, Christine Brae, I am most proud of my three books, all of which have won literary awards. But I think my heart is falling in love all over again with this new series of books – our From Kona with Love series. We have created so many amazing characters, I am finding myself invested in each and every one of them.

What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

I think, like Kristoffer, I am most proud of the life we have made here in the U.S. after almost twenty five years of hard work and resilience. To have made my way up the corporate ladder, starting off as a copy girl and to have had the most amazing mentors and supporters in my industry- what an experience! I have also witnessed my children evolve into such admirable adults and have managed through two careers in one lifetime. Balancing them out and bringing my whole self to the table every single day, is a privilege I don’t ever intend to waste.

Anna Gomez 

was born in the city of Makati, Philippines and educated abroad. She met and married her best friend who whisked her away to Chicago over twenty years ago. She is Chief Financial Officer for Leo Burnett Worldwide, a global advertising company founded in 1935. In her capacity, Anna serves on the board of several not-for-profit organizations, namely the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Organization and Girl Scouts of America. She is also the executive sponsor for a number of employee resource groups focused on Diversity and Inclusion.

Under the pen name Christine Brae, Anna has published six novels, has an established fan base, and a dedicated following. Her titles rank in the Top 100 months following their release. Her last three novels, In This Life, Eight Goodbyes, and The Year I Left, have won literary awards and were immediate bestsellers on Amazon, ranking #1 across multiple categories.

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Cruel Beauty: author interview

A Beauty So Cruel by Book Cover A Beauty So Cruel by
(Beauty & The Beast #1)
Beena Khan
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: February 14th 2021

I was a beauty, a stray orphan until the beast took me as his hostage.

Once upon a time…
A Don by the name of Vlad Vitalli ruled New York. He’s a mafia man. The leader of one of the ruling families, La Cosa Nostra. He’s a monster. A trained killer and a cold-blooded murderer. Tall, mysterious, with icy gray eyes, and he rarely smiles. His smile was made to fool any girl. He’s ruthless, cold, dangerous, and wants to kill me.

I was the wrong person at the wrong time.
Just an innocent at the masquerade ball. The mafia has rules: no witnesses left behind. To save my life, I made a deal with the beast. I handed myself to the cruelest man in the kingdom.

For him, It was supposed to be an easy kill. I’m an orphan raised in poverty. No one would have missed me. Just as the Don Vlad was about to order the hit, I threw off my masquerade mask, revealing my face, and offered myself to him. One look and I was doomed. He took me as his hostage. His captive. He didn’t know by taking me, Dahlia Hadid, he sealed his own fate.

Welcome to New York’s Underworld.
Loosely based on the fairytale.

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?

A Beauty So Cruel is the first book in the Beauty and The Beast series. This is a work of adult fiction, mafia romance, and billionaire romance. The tropes entail: enemies to lovers, forbidden love, captivity, and an age gap.

I’ve always been a fan of the fairytale that is a tale old and classic as time. I’ve always considered Belle my favorite Disney princess. I loved the Disney movie and the Disney beast. I’ve also read the original German and French Fairytales. Belle’s original name was Beauty.

I had planned on writing a mafia dark romance, but I wasn’t sure where to began because there are so many fantastic mafia books out there already. I wasn’t sure what I could contribute new to the genre. Then, I had the idea of Beauty & the Beast.

I’ve read many retellings based on this concept although many tend to be in the fantasy area. I hadn’t read many in contemporary romance, and there are hardly any in mafia romance. I’ve read about two similar mafia romance books that are based on Beauty and the Beast, but there’s not many in the genre. I’ve tried searching as well, but it was limited.

This was my take on it. It has similar concepts to the original fairytale such as people do call her Beauty even though that’s not her real name. Of course, she is beautiful, and she calls her captor Beast. She likes gardening and reading. It’s based in a large estate, a modern glass-type mansion with a rose garden. There are roses and snow similarities. It’s a winter tale. It doesn’t follow the original tale of the debt and it is more of a hostage situation. I wanted to make it more different and deviant from having too many similarities so it could be standalone uniquely. The two characters have intimate conversations about reading and literature as well.

There will be a sequel following the book, and two standalones of different characters in the book. The standalones will also be Beauty & the Beast retellings. Since it’s the first of the book, it’s only $0.99 release sale price and it will also be on kindle unlimited.

Author Bio

Beena Khan writes literary fiction and edgy, contemporary romance. She 27 years old and lives in New York. She’s from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology. She enjoys reading, writing, and netflixing. The Name of Red is her debut novel published at the age of 26. All of her books are on Kindle Unlimited + Free Novella!

Author links:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20221689.Beena_Khan

https://www.facebook.com/Beenaxkhan/

https://beenakhan.com/

https://www.instagram.com/Beenaxkhan/

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Frosty story: Author explains her writing

Chasing Frost Book Cover Chasing Frost
(West Side, #5)
Isabel Jolie
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 2021

He’s not exactly who he appears to be. But then again, neither is she… Chase I’ve never felt as out of my league as I did when I met Sydney Frost. Not in the years I’ve spent starting successful companies or since. Working for a prestigious firm gives me status and power, and I’m already a master at charming my way through a crowd—or into the bedroom. One new office colleague should be a piece of cake to win over. Ms. Frost, however, is giving my efforts a chilly reception. Time to remind her that I’m not afraid to live up to my name, either… “Sydney” On the surface, it looks like I have it all: a new, influential job, a nice salary, and the hottest young executive in the company falling over himself to introduce me to the best New York City has to offer. It’s all a lie. My name is Sadie Keating, not Sydney Frost, and I’m an undercover agent for the FBI on a case that could make or break my career. Chase Maitlin, my sexy and persistent would-be suitor, is the prime suspect in a major cross-agency investigation. I’m the rookie desperately trying not to fall for him. Chasing Frost, the fifth book in the West Side series, is a steamy, enemies-to-lovers, sometimes funny, sometimes suspenseful, contemporary romance featuring a smart, dedicated heroine and the sexy bad boy who steals her heart. All of the contemporary romance novels in the West Side Series are standalone and can be read in any order.  

  • Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? 
  • Chase, the hero in Chasing Frost, is the fun friend in the prior books. On the outset, he seems to have a big ego, but actually a lot of the tough bravado covers a degree of insecurity. When I thought about who he’d fall for, I decided a woman who could kick his ass literally, as well as possibly figuratively, might be just the challenge he needed. That’s how I came up with the idea of having him fall for an FBI agent.
    • What appealed to you about it?
    • I like FBI romance as a genre, but I especially like strong heroines.
    • Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
    • In their own ways, at the start of the relationship, both Chase and Sadie are pretending to be someone they’re not.
  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it?
  • I’m not quite sure, but ideas percolate for quite some time. I don’t measure it.

Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I do have stacks of notebooks and when I complete a notebook, I’ll go through and “file” pages under categories such as ‘Ideas’, or “Names I like”, etc. Only this past Christmas my husband gave me a device called a Remarkable. It’s an electronic notebook (for lack of a better word), but you can file pages by topic. I was skeptical, but I think it might replace my paper notebooks. My favorite feature is the ability to read articles on the web and send it to my remarkable for filing. It’s much easier than bookmarking (and hoping I can find it later) or printing (ie killing trees – and hoping I can find it later).

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write?
  • When I plot out my calendar for the year, I allow one month for research and outlining. But, I tend to have ideas well before the scheduled month and research long before the allotted month.
    • And for this book? I researched for several months, but I can’t say for certain how long.
  • What resources do you use?
  • In general and for the last book that you wrote? The internet, obviously, is a great resource. I also like nonfiction books. For this book, I found an author, Jerri Williams, who is a retired FBI agent. I read her book, FBI Myths and Misconceptions, and I also listened to a ton of the episodes on her podcast with other FBI agents, as well as some others she recommended to me by phone.
  • 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?

Publishing is a business. I’ve never been traditionally published, but it seems to me any author a publisher selects is a risk. An author who already has proven himself/herself, and has a subscriber base to market, represents a lower risk. So, if I were a publisher, I’d look for authors who have already shown readers like their work and will buy it. If I were a publisher in this competitive environment, I would look to minimize my risk.

Therefore, it seems to me, self-publishing to start would be a benefit. I’ve heard of people taking years to find an agent and/or publisher. YEARS. When I hear that, I think of all the books they could have published in that time, all the readers they could have gained, all the things they could have learned to improve their craft and marketing skills…and to me, it feels like wasted time.  All that time writing letters to agents and tracking responses, in my mind, could be better spent increasing one’s value as a writer.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

I published my first book one year ago, and writing (for me) absolutely does not provide enough income to live off of.

I’m pretty sure some author, somewhere, wrote that if you’re writing to become rich, you’ve chosen the wrong field. Maybe I just dreamed that, but right now that feels true. I think for the vast majority of authors, it takes potentially a few years with multiple releases before sales can cover expenses. This is my second year of publishing, so I expect I still have a ways to go before I’m living off the income.

  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?
  • Romance! I recently binged Bridgerton, and if I were sick tomorrow, I’d binge read that whole series.
  • What is your favourite genre?
  • Romance. Always has been. I do read a lot of nonfiction, but it’s never as enjoyable, and its always (for me) been something I choose to read for business purposes.
  • If you could recommend a living author – who would it be?
  • Jewel E. Ann. I love the variety in her work. A dead author? Maya Angelou.
  • In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
  • Jana Aston
  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?
  • Trash. I’ve moved far too many times to be a pack rat. The floppy disks it might have survived on were dumped long ago…back whenever computers that accepted floppy disks died out.
  • Do you have any pets?
  • Yes
    • If so, what are they?
    • A labradoodle and a cat.
    • And what are they called?
    • Roxie and Figgy.
    • Do they help you write? Eg our cats like to sit on my desk/computer and play with my mouse. 

Roxie is almost always next to me, no matter where I am in the house. Since I work from home, you could say she helps me write. Sometimes she interrupts me for a scratch or to go outside. Figgy hates Roxie, in a claws-out kind of way, and therefore he never comes around.

  • What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing?
  • I live on a lake, and one day Roxie was roaming our backyard while I was writing. A mother goose and her babies came up on the beach. Roxie charged forward, and the goose rose up from the water’s edge, wings spread out, expanding to easily three times her size. Roxie did a one-eighty, tucked her tail and ran back up to me for protection.

About the Author:

Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.

When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.

Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day.

https://isabeljoliebooks.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19801964.Isabel_Jolie

https://www.facebook.com/isabeljoliebooks

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