Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Virtue by Amy Jarecki

Do you write in different genres?

I write contemporary and Scottish historical romance.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

It took me a while to find my voice, but hands down, I prefer writing historical novels. I love doing the research, and bringing a different era to life.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I always start with a title. Virtue started as Cruise Dancer, then changed to Glitz, Feathers and a Virgin…and somehow, I settled on Virtue. I can’t even remember why now.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Goodness, I could spend the entire evening writing a list, but here are some of my favorites in no particular order:
1.    Wilbur Smith
2.    Monica McCarty
3.    Jen Greyson (new author)
4.    Suzanne Collins
5.    Grace Burrowes
6.    Patricia Cornwall
7.    Catherine Bybee

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I have five books scheduled to be released in 2014:
February 17 – Captured by the Pirate Laird
April 28 – The Highland Henchman
June 30 – Beauty and the Barbarian
October 2 – Rescued by the Celtic Warrior
December 18 – Celtic Maid

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure! Here’s the opening snippet from Beauty and the Barbarian, set to release June 30th:
Merrin had never seen a dead man before. Peeking over the rocky crag, the image of the Highlander face down on the beach did not repulse her. From her vantage point, the man appeared in his prime, well-muscled like a warrior. Why had he washed up on the caol—the narrow span of land which connected the tiny Islet of Fladda to the Isle of Raasay? From whither had he come? What caused his death?
Dry at low tide, soon the narrow gap would fill with sea water and wash the body into the Sound of Raasay. Merrin dropped the shell she’d found. Beneath her cloak, she lifted her kirtle skirts and climbed over the rock. She glanced at the deerhound behind her. “Gar, come.”
Scanning the scene for danger—any sign of life, she crept down to the Highlander.
Gar sniffed, nudging the man with his nose. Merrin stood at the Highlander’s side for a moment. Powerfully built, he wasn’t anything like her father or Friar Pat. His face was turned to the side, his damp flaxen hair pasted over his cheek and mouth. Wearing a dirty linen shirt, his broad shoulders tapered to narrow hips supporting a red-and-black kilt, a bold plaid. Perhaps he’s one of the clansmen from Brochel Castle.
Dark red blood soaked one side of his shirt. It clung against him, the wound still oozing. The Highlander’s kilt hitched awkwardly up over his thighs. Merrin stared, her pulse quickening. The kilt exposed the lower half of his buttock. It wasn’t rounded and soft, but chiseled, as if of stone. At the apex of his powerful legs was something soft, strewn with downy curls.
Pushing the hood from her head, Merrin stepped over the oars that rested askew beside him and knelt for a closer look. He had ballocks—just like Bucky, the ram…and Gar. That it surprised her—a man had ballocks—seemed odd when she considered it. How else would he breed? A stirring deep inside augmented her curiosity. Her breasts ached like they did just before she stared her courses. Merrin licked her lips and cast her gaze back to his face. With a soft whimper, Gar sat and leaned against her like he always did—the big sook.
Looking closer, though bloodied and bruised, the Highlander had a pleasant face with an angular nose and a bold jaw, thinnish lips, but not too thin. She scooted up and brushed the hair away from his face. Strands stuck to the stubble of his beard. Merrin gasped when the coarse bristles prickled her fingers as she swept the hair away. Her fingers stopped at the back of his neck, a long, very warm neck.
Merrin’s gut clenched and she placed her finger just under his nose and held it still.
He wasn’t dead.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Yes, for VIRTUE, I went to Belize twice, and took a cruise specifically for the purpose of interviewing people. I also write Scottish Historical Romances, and last year, I spent the Month of May in the Highlands, gathering material for my stories. I can add so much more realism when I actually travel to a place rather than reading about it (though reading helps as well).

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

“Latest” is a good question. Kim Jacobs from Turquoise Morning Press designed the cover for VIRTUE, which is the book featured on this blog tour. However, I soon to be released will be HIGHLAND FORCE, a three-book Scottish historical romance series, with book 1 coming out on February 17th. Those stunning covers were done by Kim Killion of Killion Designs. I can’t wait to release them!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Celebrate every small victory, and never give up. This is a brutal industry. Believe in yourself.

Amy Jarecki

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

Date of Publication:  12/3/13

ISBN: 978-1-62237-234-8
ASIN: B00H343Y1S

Number of pages: 338
Word Count: 88,640

Cover Artist: Kim Jacobs

Book Description:

Sheltered, raised in rural Utah, Zoe Marshall has never heard of the Mayan Prophecy of the Golden Goddess—but she’s about to.

At the moment she’s thrilled to have landed her dream job dancing on a cruise ship where she meets Belizean Gabriel AhKin. The sizzling bartender stirs her passion.
When the ship docks in Belize, Zoe disappears—spirited into the bowels of a Mayan cult led by a reclusive fanatic. When the madman sees her, he divines Zoe is the Golden Goddess. She is “the one” to fulfill the prophecy. Now Gabriel’s driving obsession is to save the woman who’s captured his heart.

Book Trailer:  http://youtu.be/kDtR0q3JPRY

About the Author:

Before college, I was a showgirl. I toured—singing and dancing my way around the world in a review called Follies on Broadway. Several years later, I dreamed up the plot for VIRTUE after I took a cruise to Belize...

How cool would it be to write a romantic suspense about a dancer who falls in love with a hot Belizean man and ends up in more trouble than Indiana Jones?

Twitter: @amyjarecki

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Amy Jarecki said...

Hi Roxanne! Thank you for hosting me on your blog today!