What inspired you to become an author?
The voices in my head. Truly. When I was younger, I used to put myself to sleep by imagining scenes in my head. As I got older, I realized there might be something to that. My high school psychology professor had us make life-long goals and one that resonated with me was to write a romance novel. There is nothing more powerful than writing down one’s goals.
Do you have a specific writing style?
It is important to me to focus on not just the romance of a situation, but also the humor. After all, if we don’t laugh, we’d cry more. Nobody needs that.
Do you write in different genres?
Absolutely! This book is contemporary romance. I’ve also written erotica, mystery and fantasy.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
We can overcome difficulties. But, mostly I want to entertain people – let them lose themselves for a few hours in another world where the men are romantic, the women are smart, and the children are funny, or non-existent, because it’s hard to have sex when the children are around.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Marian Keyes. If she only knew what a stalker I am. She is very inspiring. Marian has had all sorts of life difficulties, but she keeps cranking those books out. Her books take very serious topics and put a humorous spin on them. She could put a little more sex in her stories, but I guess that’s where I differ. I have a very open-door policy. Snicker.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m currently working on Nikki’s sister Jessica’s story. I wanted to flesh her out and make her likeable. She is much more worldly than Nikki, so how would she react to being sequestered for awhile? Let’s just say, she’s fighting it. And falling in love at the same time. Set in Scotland, it’s a bit zany with lots of crazy characters, including a clairvoyant aunt and a sharp shooter bartender. Titled The Laird Needs a Wife, my target release date is early spring of 2015.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time! Although, it’s amazing what I can do if I avoid Netflix and alcohol. Doing National Novel Writing Month for the first time taught me that. And editing. Lord help me. I’m a whiner when it comes to editing. Where are those little editing elves that can do it when I’m sleeping? I’m still on the lookout for them.
Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
No, thank goodness. All of my erotica stories are set in my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. It’s amazing how inspiring it is to be to be around water, sun, boats, and, of course, sailors. Although, I do love to travel. I was fortunate with Mistress for Hire that it stemmed from a month-long trip to Paris. A girlfriend of mine got the opportunity to house sit and as we were both unemployed at the time, we jumped on it. There was certainly an upside to being unemployed that year. It’s an old-fashioned saying, but “where there’s a will, there’s a way” is so very true.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing and try to be consistent in terms of output, such as 100 words a day. It doesn’t sound like much, but you’d be surprised how it adds up and motivates you to do more when you have a greater chunk of time. Set deadlines for yourself. And, submit! Self-publishing is great, but get some feedback from editors and/or writers. You don’t have to take their advice, but at least consider if it’s valid for your story. And, have fun! Check out 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron. Another book I wish I’d written. Happy Writing!
Thank you again, Roxanne!
Mistress for Hire
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: October 15, 2014
Number of pages: 172
Word Count: 50,000
Stranded in Paris, Nikki Sommers is desperate for a job, willing to sweep the floors of a local bakery. But Gérard Beauvais knows where Nikki needs to be – not in the bakery, but in his bed. Offering her a job as his personal assistant, Gérard introduces Nikki to the workings of international business, along with the romance and beauty of Paris.
Nikki falls under Gérard’s magnetic spell, only to get a nasty surprise when she discovers she is merely a pawn in an international scandal involving her own sister. Her heart is torn between family and a love she had only fantasized about.
Will she win Gérard’s heart or only be his Mistress for Hire?
Available at Amazon
Excerpt Chapter One
He entered the pâtisserie like a conquering warrior, indecisive patrons falling aside in the wake of his determination to reach the pastry case. His nostrils flared as he inhaled the essence of the bakery. Nikki shrank back from the power emanating from him as clearly as the smell of freshly baked bread rippled from the ovens in back.
Her grandmother’s letter crumpled in her hand. She thrust it into the pocket of her jacket.
The proprietress pushed through the other gray-haired clerks to wait on the man. “Bonjour, Gérard. What can I get for you today?”
To Nikki, the air in the bakery stood still as the massive man swept his chestnut mane off his forehead and his eyes scanned the wide display case full of sweet delicacies.
“Un petit macaron de mangue, s’il vous plaît.”
One small mango macaroon? How could such a large man limit himself to one bite?
“How are we to stay in business with customers ordering one macaron at a time?” she scolded him teasingly as one would a child.
He smiled slowly, his face softening as he looked at her. “Madame, you would make me fat.” He patted his exceptionally trim middle.
“Hmpf.” Madame shook her head and began to fill a large white cardboard box with pastries. Before she could close it, he thrust out his meaty hand, gesturing for the macaron. Nikki pushed her glasses up her nose, watching as he popped the red-and-orange-tinted cookie into his mouth. He closed his eyes, his face tilted toward the heavens, and his hands clenched the lapels of his black wool coat.
His groans and sighs filled the small room. Nikki’s body flushed as she imagined him groaning like that over a woman—over her. She pushed her glasses up again and wiped the perspiration off her upper lip, watching his tongue move under his lips, over his teeth. She couldn’t look away. She felt the pleasure as he felt it. The barely-there crunch of crust, the smooth interior, the silk of mango cream across his tongue. His tongue that would slide across hers when he kissed her. Sucking wet kisses that would consume her.
His eyes opened, a smoky blue-gray, targeting her, his stare pinning her to the wall. Could he see her lust—exposed as clearly as if she were naked before him? Nikki held his hot gaze, desire shimmering between them, then broke the contact, staring down unseeing toward the glass case. Her gut clenched and her heart pounded. By the time she looked up, his broad back blocked the light from the door. Not thinking, she stepped after him, only to be caught up short by the swirling gray fog. He had disappeared, taking her fantasies with him.
Gérard Beauvais adjusted his scarf against the chill wind, rustling dry leaves through the dark cobblestone alley and cursed his morning flight of fancy. As he strode away, he ran his hand down his face, blowing out a sigh. His reaction to the blonde had startled him—an instant attraction that made him forget the sensations in his mouth and feel other longings. He’d forced himself to turn away and not be tempted. He had enough aggravation in his life. But something about her niggled at his brain. Her high cheekbones, the tilt of her head.
He stopped short, the string of the pastry box cutting into his fingers. Of course! She had to be Jessica’s sister! The younger one supposedly still in the States. Once he realized it, the family resemblance was obvious, although he had never reacted to Jessica in such a physical way. Cursing his weakness, he tamped it down, his mind rolling over other complications.
Had she come to demand ransom for the files Jessica held hostage? Gérard turned to confront the conniving bitch, tossing the pastries into the nearest trashcan. He would shake her until the answers rattled out of her head.
Rounding the corner, he halted, seeing Tante Emmaline and the blonde in the window. Emmaline patted the younger woman while she wiped her tears with a tissue. Crocodile tears. Jessica only had to pull that trick on him once to see he was immune. Emmaline certainly had a softer heart than he as she pulled the woman further into the bakery, probably to fill the thief’s belly with sweets while listening to some preposterous sob story.
Gérard’s eyes narrowed as he stepped back into the warmth of the bakery.
About the Author:
Letty James has been devouring romance novels ever since she hid under the covers reading Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. And, yes, searching for all the sexy parts. She completed her first novel participating in National Novel Writing Month in 2005 and has been writing furiously ever since, fueled by chocolate and multiple cups of tea.
Along with writing, she enjoys reading, painting, watching movies featuring studly men, and listening in on other people’s conversations.
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