*** Congratulations Valorie P – you have won a signed paperback of Mark of Truth.
You have 24 hours to claim your prize! ***
Rae: Thank you Graceley Knox, Author of Mark of Truth, for hanging out with me today.
Graceley: Hi, Rae! Thanks for having me!
Rae: If we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an iced Latte with Coconut milk. What would you order?
Graceley: First off, I’m an ex-barista so my drink changes with my mood. Currently, I’m loving plain ole drip coffee (Black Rifle Coffee Co is a fave as well as a new one I just found, which is from a restaurant called First Watch). But usually, I’m a Starbucks Double shot with hazelnut and soy.
Rae: I must say congratulations on your book release tomorrow. In The Wicked Kingdom series you delve into a world of Elves, Goblins and Fae. Can you tell the readers your inspiration for your paranormal/fantasy debut series?
Graceley: Thank you! I’m so excited. And terrified, but mostly excited for tomorrow! As for my inspiration, I grew up reading about magical creatures, and different Celtic legends. It sort of became an obsession of mine. I was having trouble finding a good Fae series to read after I read all the greats, thus, I wrote a book I’d pick up in the store and then spend all night reading! Also, Ever wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had to write her first.
Rae: Is this a spicy series?
Graceley: Yes, the series is spicy. Book one is a bit of a slow burn, but book two really heats up ;). Early readers have been threatening to throw kindles at me if I don’t give them book three, lickety split!
Rae: Your website graphics are stunning – how did you come up with the design concept?
Graceley: Thank you! I can’t take any credit other than finding one stock image though! My cover designer, Desiree DeOrto, actually read Mark of Truth so when it came time for the cover, she told me to step aside, and ta-da, there is her genius. As for the teasers, Renee Ericson did those. The green magic that is my website is all her. Literally all I told her is, I’m feeling the color green for this, and she whipped it up.
Rae: What is your writing process? Are you a writer that sits at the computer 9-5 or do you squeeze it in when you can?
Graceley: As for my writing, I squeeze it in when I can. I work in the publishing industry by day, and I usually write late at night, on a plane traveling somewhere, or sitting on my deck at my house. My writing process usually involves me sprinting with a few of my writing friends, a solid playlist for whatever scene I’m writing, and coffee. Lots of coffee!
Rae: What can we expect to see in 2017?
Graceley: I’m hoping to release books two and three in the series, in short order (more on that soon). I also have plans to write a trilogy this year as well, which I plan to publish in early 2018!
Rae: If readers want to find you, where will you be in the upcoming months?
Graceley: I’m not attending any signings as of right now, my schedule is pretty full with work, but they can always find me online! I’m never far from my phone or social media!
Rae: I am thrilled you were able to join me today and look forward to the book release tour tomorrow. Readers be sure to stop by and check out Mark of Truth!
Graceley: Thanks so much for having me!
***** 11 Tantalizing Tidbits *****
1. What is a must read book and why? Anything Laurell K. Hamilton. Anita Blake and Merry Gentry, are hands down, out of this world incredible reads.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? The bookstore of course! That was my favorite haunt growing up and still is when I visit! Toadstool Bookshop is the name of it. And they make a killer latte as well!
3. Castles or Beaches? Why not a castle on the beach?
4. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go? Ireland or Scotland. I’m wicked Irish so I’d love to see the homeland!
5. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? I’ve got 18 tattoos currently, and plan on plenty more! My first one was a tattoo for my Nana after she passed away.
6. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)? Binge all the way! I can’t stand the waiting! Currently I’m watching Criminal Minds, but Supernatural and Bones are also favorites I re-watch all the time!
7. What is on your playlist? What isn’t on my playlist LOL? I’ve got George Strait, Ruelle, this artist Caitlyn Smith I saw play at a dive bar in Nashville a few weeks ago, some Nickelback, AC/DC is a favorite, as well as Yo-Yo Ma and Fall Out Boy. Just depends on my mood!
8. What is your favorite movie of all time and why? I can’t pick just one, but I’m a sucker for an action movie. Faves include, Live Free Die Hard, Harry Potter (the entire series), Lawless, Boondock Saints, and the Bourne movies!
9. Motorcycle or bicycle? I grew up on motorcycles, so bikes all the way! Harley Davidsons or Indians are my jam.
10. Person or persons you admire and why? Meredith Wild. That’s a woman who doesn’t take no for an answer. She’s also incredibly kind, thoughtful, talented, and did I mention amazing?
11. If you could give your 21 year old self advice what would it be? Tell your cousins to put down the camera LOL.
For a chance to win a SIGNED Paperback of Mark of Truth….tell us ..
What is your favorite movie and why?
Contest runs from 5/22/17 7:00 AM thru 5/24/17 12 Noon Winner will be announced on this blog post on 5/24/17.
Winner MUST comment on this post within 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.
Be sure to follow me the blog (link on homepage), Facebook Page (Books I Love A Latte Page) and Twitter @RaeLatte so you don’t miss that announcement post!
Be sure to swing by Graceley Knox and follow her on twitter (@graceleyknox) to stay up to date on the world of Elves, Goblins, and Fae! Not to mention other amazing news!
Graceley Knox is an up and coming paranormal and fantasy romance author with a serious caffeine and book addiction. She prefers to listen to music while she writes and is a former New Englander living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. By day she works in the publishing industry, and by night, she plots out the many ideas cluttering her mind. When she’s not reading, writing, or hanging out with her large extended family you can find her on her various social media accounts.
Social Media Links:
Rae: If we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an Iced Latte with Coconut Milk. What would you order?
Jay: Well, it varies based on the day. I am not a monogamous coffee drinker! But my favorites are a caramel macchiato, a mocha latte, or when they are in season, a peppermint mocha or a salted caramel mocha – yum!
Rae: Thank you for being here. I wanted to showcase a blogger that had a genre I don’t usually review. While I’ve featured M/M, M/M/F books on the blog, it’s not a regular post on my blog. I know that I have readers out there who want to know where to go for M/M books that are hot and not so hot and Joyfully Jay is just the place!
Jay: Thanks so much! It is great to be here, and welcome to all your readers! I hope you have a chance to stop by the blog!
Rae: How do you get through all of your books? I feel privileged and blessed to read a book before it’s released. Are you an e-book reader or a paperback junkie?
Jay: I used to be a die hard paperback reader, but since starting my blog, I read almost exclusively electronically. Almost everything I read at this point is a review book and we get them all as ebook copies. Now I am never far from my Kindle!
Rae: So, that begs the question, how did you get your start? Did you start out with associate reviewers? How often do you add associate reviewers?
Jay: I started out as just me. I never planned for it to be a book only blog, I just figured I’d use my blog as a place to ramble about assorted things. But honestly, within weeks I was pretty much exclusively a review blog. I was on my own for about 8 months, at which point I added two reviewers. We have grown quite a bit over the past 5+ years, and I currently have nine fabulous folks who review for me. People have come and gone over the years as other interests or obligations have come up, but I am usually at about 7-9 reviewers. That seems to be about the sweet spot for us, as we review about 20 books a week.
Rae: Is blogging your only job or do you balance with another career?
Jay: I have worked from home part time since I had my oldest daughter, so about 16 years. That makes it a little easier for me to blog, because as you probably know, it can be a full time job in and of itself. So I try to stay off the blog for a chunk of time each day to focus on work, but they are both time consuming.
Rae: Who would you say is a must read for a new reader in this genre?
Jay: Oh, that is a hard question. We review pretty much exclusively GLBT romance, with a focus on male/male. So that includes all sort of other combinations, but primarily we are all about the dudes. This is such a rich genre that is growing every day, and there are so many wonderful books. If your readers are interested in getting their feet wet, I’d suggest they check out our Favorite Books lists. These are lists of our favorite books in a variety of tropes/themes. For example, we have virgin heroes, vampire/shifter pairings, amnesia stories, rock stars, men in uniform…. So you can check out those lists for themes you like and then see our favorite books in those themes. You can find the lists here: http://joyfullyjay.com/favorite-books-by-topic/
Rae: There are so many conferences out there to connect with professionals and authors in this industry, which ones are at the top of your list?
Jay: Well, my favorite event of the year is always GayRomLit (https://gayromlit.com). It is a great event celebrating all things gay romance. We are a growing community, but still a relatively small one, with a really close relationship between authors and readers. So GRL is a great event to catch up with friends who you only get to talk to online the rest of the year. This year it is being held in Denver in October so I am really excited. It will be my 6th year and I wouldn’t miss it!
I also love the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention (which was just last week) and this was my fourth year. RT is a totally different vibe from GRL. Big and bustling and full of excitement. It is also a great chance to connect with the larger romance community and I always have a wonderful time there.
Rae: If readers and authors want to find you, where will you be in the upcoming months.
Jay: Well, the best places to find me are on the blog (http://joyfullyjay.com), as well as on social media on Twitter (https://twitter.com/jayhjay432), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/joyfully.jay) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/joyfullyjay/). After RT, the next event I think I will be at is GRL, and then hopefully a few more things early next year.
***** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits *****
1. What is a must read book and why? Oooh, this is a hard one because I have so many favorites. But I would say, read Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk (http://amzn.to/2pk3ZeK). It is a historical/paranormal mix with amazing characters. It is a long running series and I have yet to meet a reader who doesn’t love it. Jordan is an amazing author with several other wonderful series, but if you haven’t read Widdershins, you should definitely try it.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
Well I live in the DC suburbs, so my town itself is nothing particularly exciting. Great place to live, but not sure you would want to go out of your way to visit. But since I live so close to DC, I would say when you come to town, you need to visit the Smithsonian. We have wonderful museums and beautiful monuments. And if you come in the next few weeks, you may make it here before it gets unbearably hot!
3. Castles or Beaches? Beaches. Always beaches. We go every year since I was a kid and now we try to make it to the beach at least 2-3 times a year.
4. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Australia. I have always wanted to go, and it is so far away that it is one of those places that you really need to have time and money to get the most out of a trip.
5. What are you afraid of? I’m deathly afraid of anything in the rodent family. I even hate squirrels. They are just rats with fluffier tails!
6. Organized or Free Floating? Oh, organized. Well OCD is probably a better description. I am a planner in every way.
7. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)? Mostly a weekly viewer. I live by my DVR. Never watch anything live. But I occasionally binge watch, especially in the off season. I watched all of Orange is the New Black in about three weeks.
8. Are you a crafter? If so, what is your go to “thing” to create? I am a knitter. I picked it up about two years ago and now you will find me knitting needles in hand, watching tv most nights.
** To leave a comment for Jay be sure to click the Title of the post – Coffee With Jay from Joyfully Jay and then you will be able to comment. At the moment there are technical difficulties with the comment feature. We are working to correct this.**
Rae: Thanks for meeting up. What a cute shop! What do you recommend?
Julianne: Thank you! Isn’t this place great? And what a fabulous idea to have a coffee shop right next to the bridal shop. I know that more than once we’ve had to run over and re-fuel during a fitting session.
Natalie: Well, we don’t over-indulge, though. We need to fit into our gowns, right?
Harper: Ugh…no one has ever bust a seam over a scone have they?
Kayla: Rae, in answer to your question, they have a great chocolate chip Frappuccino that you should try. And a piece of the lemon pound cake. It’s awesome.
Rae: So tell me, how did you all meet? I know Harper is Julianne’s sister but the rest of you…how long have you known the blushing bride to be?
Kayla: Julianne and I have been friends since elementary school. We got paired up for field day in the fifth grade and bonded over our love of athletics. We didn’t meet Natalie until high school.
Natalie: That’s right, I’m sort of the newbie of the group, but I like to think that I helped make our little group complete.
Harper: Um…not to burst anyone’s bubble, but I didn’t really start hanging out with you guys until you were out of high school so technically, I helped make the group complete.
Natalie (huffing): You just couldn’t let me have that one, could you?
Julianne: Could we please play nice for the interview? Please??
Rae: How did you find the bridal shop? Aren’t the girls amazing! I hear they can make magic happen.
Julianne: We live locally and they are kind of legendary. A couple of my friends had used them and referred them to me and I’m so glad I listened! They have made this experience such a breeze for me.
Natalie: I wish I had known about them when I got married last year. My wedding gown I got from a bridal shop up in New York and all of our bridesmaid gowns we chose from a boutique up there as well that we had shipped to a seamstress here in Raleigh and…
Kayla: Not the point of the story, Nat.
Natalie: Oh. Right. Sorry.
Rae: Julianne – Zumba. Ok…I tried that once. I have a friend who’s an instructor and she’s trying to get me to try it. After attempting at home with a video… I could not seem to get myself moving in the same direction as the instructor in the tape. Any tips? I’m thinking I need to attend one of your classes!
Julianne: The key is to relax. No one gets it perfect the first, second or even the tenth time out.
Julianne: Really, you need to just go and give it your all and have fun and not worry about if you’re doing everything right. It’s about moving and to keep moving and get your heart rate up. But mainly, have fun!
Rae: Natalie – You must have so many ideas for Julianne. How long ago were you married? Is this the first wedding you’ve been in since you walked down the aisle?
Natalie (smiling brightly): Oh, I really do! I got married a year ago and my wedding was absolutely perfect. People are still talking about it.
Harper: Not including you…
Natalie (glaring): Our wedding was featured in several newspapers and it was all about how elegant it was. This is the first wedding I’ve been in since my own and while it’s a very different experience, I wouldn’t say it’s…bad.
Kayla: Of course not, because that would be…bad.
Rae: Harper – So tell me…are you able to keep your sister sane? You must be close 🙂 I was only a matron of honor once, for my younger sister. I hope your able to dodge the family squabbles 😉
Julianne, Harper and Kayla all laugh hysterically.
Harper: One thing you should know about my sister, she keeps her cool no matter what. It’s like some weird gift that she has.
Julianne: I don’t think it’s weird…
Kayla: it’s totally weird. Hush. I need to hear how Harper avoids family squabbles.
Harper: The other thing you should know is that I attract all of the squabbles. All of them. Even when they don’t involve me, somehow that’s how it ends up.
Julianne: Dramatic much?
Harper (sighing dramatically): Yes, I’m sure it’s a burden being perfect, Jules. But for me, I like to think that because we’re so close, that Jules can come to me and talk about the things she’s frustrated about.
Julianne: That’s because normally you’re the one I’m frustrated with.
Kayla: Girls! Don’t make me send you to separate corners!
Julianne: Seriously though, Harper really is a great sounding board for me – especially when it’s our mother who is making us crazy.
Harper: Which is all the time.
Rae: Kayla – I’m so jealous…photography. Your job sounds amazing – travel to exotic places and still have time to hang with friends and family.
Kayla: It’s not always glamorous, but it’s always amazing.
Rae: Are you photographing the wedding?
Julianne: Oh, lord…please don’t get her started on wedding photography!
Kayla: Okay, fine. Let’s just say that I’m not the wedding photography kind of girl. I prefer taking pictures of nature rather than posing the pretty people. That’s doesn’t make me a bad person?
Kayla: However…if I was needed, I would totally step in. You know, in the name of friendship.
Rae: Ladies – tell me…bachelorette party? Where are we going? A night of wild parties? Who’s job is it to keep the bride in check? Any method to the system?
Natalie: We’ve talked about all of the obvious choices like Vegas or New York, but I think we should…
Kayla: We should totally do whatever it is that Jules wants to do because it’s her party. You had your day in the spotlight, princess. Let someone else have a turn.
Julianne: Honestly, we are probably going to do something low key. My vote is for a weekend at the beach or a spa. I can totally get on board with someone bringing me fruity drinks while I’m getting a massage.
Harper: I second that!
Natalie: I think that is the best option too. Then, no need to keep anyone in check and we can all just relax.
Kayla: Or unclench, because…you know (nodding toward Natalie)
Rae: Have you all decided on a bridesmaid dress? Colors? Oh… the fun of it all!
Julianne (holding up her hand before anyone else can talk): I had no idea how crazy people will get over this sort of thing. We are normally four level-headed women and yet talking about dresses and colors turns us into rabid competitors. We’ve looked through magazines and talked but until we get in the shop with Hailey and the girls, I’m just going to say that we’re all open to suggestions.
Harper: Some of us are…
Kayla: I’m with you.
Natalie: I have a file I’ve been adding suggestions to on Google. Have you all been getting the emails when I update it?
Julianne: Eloping is looking more and more attractive by the minute…
Rae: Thanks again ladies! Good luck with the wedding plans and enjoy the rest of the day.
For more information on The Bridal Squad click here.
** To leave a comment for Samantha be sure to click the Title of the post – Coffee With The Bridal Squad (Samantha Chase) and then you will be able to comment. **
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.
For more information, please visit Samantha’s website – www.chasing-romance.com
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Facebook – www.facebook.com/SamanthaChaseFanClub
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SamanthaChase3
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/samanthachase31/
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Samantha-Chase/e/B006CZWRGC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Instagram – https://instagram.com/samanthachaseromance/
Rae: Thank you Xio for hanging out with me today.
Xio: My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
Rae: First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop, I’d be drinking a mocha latte with Coconut milk. What would you order?
Xio: I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I do drink a ton of tea. Probably a leftover from living in the UK. I’d probably order a Chai Latte or some other frothy, creamy drink.
Rae: I am thrilled you are here today. Congratulations on Hot on Ice being on the USA Today bestselling list!
Xio: Thank you! We’re all pretty stunned and, of course, thrilled. The support for this project has been tremendous.
Rae: The collection was fantastic. What was it like to work with 17 authors collaborating and writing about hockey?
Xio: Thanks! It was an amazing experience, and I have to give a shout out to Avery Flynn for inviting me to be a part of it. I learned so much from each one of those ladies.
Rae: Are you a hockey fan?
Xio: I am a HUGE hockey fan, actually. (Go Flyers!) Even if the anthology hadn’t been filled with some of my favorite authors, I still would have jumped at the chance. Sports romance isn’t my forte, but I loved combining two of my favorite things: hockey and romance.
Rae: Readers…check out my review of Hot On Ice for this fabulous story! You also write erotic romance, is it easy to switch genres?
Xio: Yes and no. Erotic romance is where I let my hair down, so to speak. I basically throw the rules out the window and weave rather lyrical stories when I’m playing in that particular sandbox. They tend to be a bit more abstract if that makes any sense. It’s something I’d like to do more often and hope to do again soon, time permitting.
Rae: I understand that you write music and perform, when do you have time to do everything?
Xio: That’s the million dollar question. I was a full-time singer and songwriter until 2013. There was a mini-recession in Europe, where I toured the most, and it decimated the Indie music venues that I frequented. Places either closed, changed hands, or stopped booking original music. I knew it would eventually recover, but it forced me to take a break. It was during that break that I learned about Romance Writers of America and started to pursue (what was supposed to be) a secondary career as an author. Of course, it’s all reversed now. I don’t tour much anymore, but I still record and perform. And I’ve found a way to incorporate music into my books, recording soundtracks/singles for some of them. Still, it’s a juggling act.
Rae: Do you have the same creative process for writing books and songs?
Xio: I suppose I do, yes. I’m fascinated by what-ifs. With a song, I might hear a guitar lick or a bit of harmonized vocals and wonder “what if I build a chorus around those few notes?” My books often start the same way. I’ll read an article or overhear a conversation and think “what if…?”
Rae: What can we expect to see in 2017?
Xio: The Warm Up, from Hot On Ice, comes back to me soon, so I will be releasing that with some bonus scenes. After that comes Camden, and I am crazy excited about that book. Later in the year, I’ll have the long awaited follow up to The Calum, a/k/a “the book that will be the death of me,” and also a story I co-wrote with Kim Golden called Crossing Paths. I have some other things on tap, including my first LGBTQ series, but I’m not sure what will come this year and what will get pushed to 2018.
Rae: If readers want to find you, where will you be in the upcoming months?
Xio: I’ll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta in May, and then at RWA’s Literacy Signing in July. That’s in Orlando. I’ll also be at the Baltimore Book Festival in September, though I’m not sure if I’ll be on a panel or just hanging around. Either way, it’s a great event.
Rae: You have posted that you’ll be at RT in Atlanta next month with Stu Reardon attending as your guest. Please tell me how that evolved. 🙂
Xio: Six months ago, I was in Dublin, Ireland for an author event and ran into Stu. For those who don’t know, Stuart is an ex-rugby player-turned-fitness guru and cover model. (He’s a sweetheart, by the way.) Anyway, Stu asked me about my career as an author and joked that I should put him on the cover of one of my books. Well, I thought it was a joke, but Stuart wasn’t joking. So we exchanged info, chatted a bit, and viola – Camden was born. It’s very different from anything else I’ve released, and I’m anxious to see how Camden’s story will be received. After Stu had planted the idea of being on one of my covers (actually, he’ll be on two), he offered to come to RT with me to help promote it. Again, I thought he was kidding. One thing I’ve learned in my budding friendship with Stu is that he’s a very serious business man. He loves to have fun, but he’s all business when it matters. I’ve learned a lot from him and hope that some of his drive rubs off on me. He would be a great life coach.
Rae: I am thrilled you were able to join me today and look forward to your next release.
Xio: Thanks again for having me! I had a blast.
Rae: Thank you again
***** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits *****
1. What is a must-read book and why?
Maybe Baby by Kim Golden is a book I return to again and again. I’ve known Kim for years, but we’d lost touch. When we re-connected, she’d just released Maybe Baby, and I bought it as a friend. I totally fell in love with Mads and Laney. Kim’s writing is so intimate and descriptive, and the story is so unique. I think I’ve read this book six or seven times.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
Philadelphia is America’s best-kept secret, lol. Everyone knows about the Liberty Bell and all the historical stuff, but when people come here, I take them to the Art Museum area. The scenery is gorgeous, with the Schuylkill River snaking its way through the heart of the city. You get a taste of what makes Philly so unique. It’s a naturally, almost sumptuously green city.
3. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
I read my first romance novel in 2013.
4. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist?
Hard rock though I love classical too, especially Bach and Debussy. I have way too many modern favorites to pick one, but I’ve recently discovered a Norwegian artist named Cezinando. He’s sort of a cross between Die Antwoord and Eminem. Such a clever lad.
5. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go?
Right now, Oslo, Norway. My current muse is a Norwegian actor named Henrik Holm. He inspired my new work-in-progress, so I’m obsessed with all things Norwegian at the moment. I’m even learning the language.
6. What is your guilty pleasure?
I’ve learned not to feel guilty about my pleasures. 😉
7. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one?
I have three, with two more planned. My first was the Cyrillic letter D (a nod to my husband).
8. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)?
My DVR is heavily used, and I tend to binge between manuscripts. Faves include The Walking Dead, Outlander, Colony, Game of Thrones, Preacher, and Sense8. But my absolute favorite show is SKAM. It’s Norwegian, lol. See a pattern there?
9. What play or musical do you want to see next?
Like everyone else on the planet, I’m dying to see Hamilton. I’m still kicking myself for not going it when it was in preview. The annual RWA conference was in New York that year, and the theater was right next door.
Rae: Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Latte 🙂 Happy Reading Dear Readers.
Happy Writing Xio
** To leave a comment for Xio be sure to click the Title of the post – Coffee With USA Today Best-selling author and then you will be able to comment. At the moment there are technical difficulties with the comment feature. We are working to correct this.**
Xio Axelrod is a USA Today bestselling author of love stories, contemporary romance and (what she likes to call) strange, twisted tales. She also writes erotica as Xio Nin.
Xio grew up in the music industry and began recording at a young age. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in the studio, writing songs, or performing on international stages (under a different, not-so-secret name). She lives in Philadelphia with one full-time husband and one part-time cat.
Website: http://www.xioaxelrod.com/ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Xio-Axelrod/e/B00JCFOOHY Email Signup: http://eepurl.com/SunFL Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/XioAxelrod Twitter: https://twitter.com/xioaxelrod Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/xioaxelrod Google+: https://plus.google.com/+XioAxelrod Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/xioaxelrod/ Instagram: http:// http://instagram.com/xioaxelrod/
Blurb: Sometimes there’s a moment when you know you’ve screwed up. For Camden Skinner, it’s the night a dead pop star walks into his pub.
As one-half of Skin, an agency which specializes in cleaning up behind the ultra-rich and infamous, Cam has gotten used to getting his hands dirty. A little too used to it. After the young singer at the center of a client’s controversy is found dead, Cam decides he’s out. He walks away from Skin in search of a simpler life. Maybe even a shot at redemption.
Redemption arrives in the form of Yara Bujold.
The singer’s meteoric rise to the top surprised no one more than Yara herself. All she ever wanted was to make music. Caught up in the dark underbelly of the industry, Yara is forced to fake her own death. But she can’t hide forever.
Yara tracks down one of the principals at Skin, the very people that helped to tear her down. She’ll force Camden Skinner to make it right, whatever it takes. What she doesn’t expect is remorse from the man that helped to ruin her. And she certainly doesn’t expect to lose herself in him.
Cam finds himself sucked right back into a world he’d hoped never to step foot in again, but he can’t walk away. He has to fix this. Not only for himself, but for her. For Yara. Because she might just be everything he didn’t know he needed. She just might be everything.
**Blurb provided by Xio Axelrod
Get your copy of Hot on Ice before it disappears forever on April 21st….here:
Rae: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an iced Coffee with coconut milk. What would you order?
Scott: I would order a large spice chai tea.
Rae: I am always fascinated with how a cover model got their start. How did you landed on your first book cover? Was it for a stock photo or did an author request you?
Scott: It was a request, by Cindy Holby, who had met me at RT-LA in 2011 after Cindy Walker recruited me into the ranks of the cover models.
Rae: Have you ever had a request that was out of your comfort zone during a photo shoot? If so, how did you navigate through that?
Scott: Yeah I was requested once to cup a woman’s bare breasts, and I was married and so that was off the table. It was easy to navigate around, as the photographers that I work with are top-notch and very professional, so it was an easy thing to work through. I like boob’s as much as any man (maybe more than usual) but I only enjoy Lesleys lol.
Rae: I recently read that you are available to model with your wife for cover photos, is that more or less stressful than with a model you don’t know?
Scott: You read correct, and it’s very fun and easy to do. Authors are always saying that couples on covers have to have chemistry, and even though it’s a still photo on a book, chemistry comes through, and we have so much chemistry that it’s easy to get as sexy, or contemporary as needed.
Rae: The RT Convention 2017 agenda lists you as appearing in Hotlanta and hosting the Cover Model Meet & Greet. For new attendees, can you explain what happens during those sessions?
Scott: I’m not exactly sure WHAT is gonna happen at the Hotlanta event, could get pretty nuts. The event organizors want me to bring my turn-out gear from my firehouse, but that stuff is very heavy and hard to travel with. So, not sure whatsup yet. As for the Cover Model Meet & Greet, it’s all about just coming to the event and meeting your favorite model. Period. Very simply put, we are eliminating the mess of festivities that sometimes accompanies the models at events, and making it about MEETING the models. You can chat, get photos and autographs and just have fun.
Rae: How often do you attend conferences during the year to connect with readers and fans?
Scott: I tend to go to, now-a-days, about 3-4 events. I just can’t afford to travel like some of these young kids can or folks with regular service jobs. I own my own IT consulting company, and it requires a lot of my time and expertise. I require my guys to be on point, so I have to be as well. So I don’t abuse the power of being the owner, not yet at least LOL /grin.
Rae: Any meet and greet fan moment stand out? Are the fans the same or is a new scene every time?
Scott: YES, the fan scene is different, but it’s also the same for me when I go to the large events like RT or Emerald City Writers Convention. A singular fan moment stand out…hmmm. I’d have to say, no not really. I enjoy all the folks ive gotten to meet through the years, and also who all I’ve gotten to work with. I’ve taken thousands and thousands of photos with fans, and each one I take time for. I also try desperately to remember everyone, but it’s very difficult sometimes. But we guys and gals try.
Rae: When you are not shooting covers, how do you spend you time?
Scott: Well, I truly enjoy my family time, more and more as Jacob gets older. Lesley and I just celebrated our 3yr wedding anniversary, but it seems like forever lol. I also own a IT consulting company, Linear IT Solutions, and with us growing like crazy, it keeps me hoping. I also like to compete as a powerlifter and I still take pride in my physique, so I bodybuild on a regular basis still. Heck, shooting is like middle of the list anymore.
Rae: What is your idea of escape for a bit of relaxation when you want to disappear with the family?
Scott: My wife’s family has a vacation home in North Carolina, and it’s in the mountains near Banner Elk, and so we go there 2-3x a year, and its great. I absolutely feel content there, and alive all at the same time. There’s plenty to still do, but you can immediately hide away in the mountains and be able to breath.
Rae: Time for a little fun. A few authors have sent me questions to ask you….in no particular order 😉
Rae: Robin Covington wants to know “What’s your favorite form of exercise?”
Scott: Favorite exercise….I do a hybrid form of powerlifting, and bodybuilding, it allows me to keep a pleasing physique that allows my narrow waist, and broad shoulders to still make ’em look twice, but also BE STRONG which is paramount to me. I know there are a LOT of guys that want to look strong and don’t care if they can move any weight functionally or not (some are other cover models) but that’s not my cup o tea. I like to “look” like I can move something heavy, and be able to actually do it.
Rae: MK Meredith wants to know “What do you think is the greatest challenge facing male cover models today and how do you think the best models overcome or deal with these challenges? What would be your dream photo shoot?”
Scott: Great question MK, lots of points on that one. This could get to be a long issue in discussion, but I’ll just touch the surface. Male cover models get a stigma of being meat heads. ‘laughing’ now some are, but most are very smart, hard working, and very successful in a lot of ventures. But the greatest challenge I think is that we are under the eye all the time. Now that social media is 100% over top of the book world, anything even possibly taken out of context can potentially ruin a career. Some guys and gals, have needed that. They turn on the gorgeous smile, and want to be all about the fans, but at the end of the day, they aren’t nice people. And eventually, that comes out. I try to keep this as business as possible. I don’t invite authors to my room at events, not only because I’m married to a completely gorgeous and wonderful woman, but out of respect for the author as well. Hate and jealous has many eyes, let me tell you. It’s also what has allowed me to NOT be a shooting star in this industry, but still be around 7yrs later. My dream photo shoot…man, it’d have to be on the rim of a volcano with a world class photographer. To have that immense power, and destruction, but also beauty, right behind me would be amazing to pose with/in.
Rae: Stefanie London wants to know “What’s their favourite type of ‘role’ to play for a cover shoot?’ I.e romantic or sexy or suspense etc.”
Scott: Of course sexy/erotic is fun because it’s easy, just look like your so damn horny you can damn near go nuts, and you nailed it. I like suspense/horror but mainly because I haven’t gotten to do a lot of it. So it’s interesting, and I also love that genre of movies and such, so I would say suspense.
Rae: Kimberly Kincaid wants to know “Do you read the books that you’re on the cover of and what doe thinks of being associated with that hero?
Scott: I haven’t read one book from front to back, not yet. I’ve always just been so busy that it’s difficult. However, Lesley has read a few that I’m on and it’s been funny to have her giggle and say “oh, yeah, you DO do that!” 0.o
Rae: Avery Flynn wants to know “You have a solid reputation as one of the nicest guys in the business. Why do you think it’s important to not just look amazing (speaking truth here) but act it as well?”
Scott: Awww again, thank you Avery (and Rae) for the compliments…it helps an old man to keep pushing in the gym 😉
I didn’t set out to specifically have a “nice” guy reputation, it’s just who I am. I wanted to change careers, become a full-time paid firefighter and EMT and help people the rest of my life. Use my God given athletic abilities and will to NEVER GIVE UP to help folks. Alas, that isn’t in the cards for me, I’m not going to be full-time, not now that I’ve decided to take on this IT business, and make THAT my end goal.
But it’s ok, I don’t have many regrets, and that certainly isn’t one now. I look at this way, instead of me giving up something to be a business owner, it’s what I was supposed to do and help make a fun, and intriguing workplace for my guys to be proud of and want to be apart of. We’re going to use Linear IT’s resources to volunteer at the local charities and non-profits to help them with their IT needs.
And it means so much to me, that I have that reputation. I DO wish it equated to more covers and promo work, but I guess you do have a limited shelf-life in this industry, maybe I’m just nearing the end of mine.
Rae: Speaking of photographs do you have a website of the photographs that you take? If you could have a photo session where or whom would it include?
Scott: My website is NOT a very good one, but again it’s time to get it redone. But, its http://www.scottnova.com and a photo session would also be amazing in someplace like Scotland, in front of the castles and landscapes would be amazing.
Rae: It was so much fun having you here today!
Scott: Thank you Rae, and the Coffee shop for such great spice chai tea.
***** 12 Tantalizing Tidbits ******
1. What is a must read book and why? I honestly don’t have an answer for this, I couldn’t tell you the last time I read something that wasn’t pertaining to my training, or with my business.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? Well, if you come to Columbus, certainly must visit Old Man’s Cave, it’s a great little system of hiking, and waterfalls, and caves that are a real pleasure to have fun with for a while.
3. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist? hm…kind of a mix…I like A LOT of different music and my two favorite bands are Def Leppard and CCR. Artist, Springsteen the boss.
4. What are you afraid of? Spiders
5. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? Tats for sure, I’d have WAY more but my wife my kill me. My first ever tattoo was a clown from the band, ICP (Insane Clown Posse) and even though I out grew their clowns on my body (its been covered up, btw) I still love their message.
6. Organized or Free Floating? Organized.
7. What’s on your playlist? I’m listening to Joe Cockers’ “You Can Leave Your Hat On”
8. What play or musical do you want to see next? Chicago
9. Best tip for relaxing? A snuggling wife that likes to hide her cold feet under your leg. It’s nice to be wanted LOL.
10. What’s your favorite TV show and why? NCIS – I want to be like Gibbs when I grow up.
11. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why? WHOA….ROUGH question here.
12. Would you rather see a movie in the theatre or at home on DVD and why? I definitely prefer the theater, as it’s a much larger canvas and the spectacle type movies really belong there.
Rae: Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Iced-Coffee 🙂
Happy Reading Scott
Rae: First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a Mocha Latte with Coconut milk. What would you order?
Ellen: English Breakfast Tea—I hate coffee!
Rae: Not only are you an author of paranormal romance, you have a backlist of sixteen books in non-fiction, and released a boxed set of Tarot cards. How did you make the leap from non-fiction to paranormal romance?
Ellen: Fiction was my first love. But I found success in New Age non-fiction, and I still am a part of the traditional publishing world.
Rae: What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Ellen: The biggest challenge I faced? Working in the novels around my last two non-fiction titles.
Rae: What inspired you to write The Legacy of Magick book and subsequent series.
Ellen: The Legacy Of Magick series was something I tinkered with for ten years. I always knew it would be a series, and once I let the characters “off the chain” so to speak, they sort of exploded on the page. And I’ve never had so much fun writing.
Rae: I am waiting patiently for your upcoming release with Barbara Devlin that will be released April 4, 2017. How are your stories connected?
Ellen: Sure, Bewitched & Beloved is a crossover book. That features stories from the Pirates of The Coast and Legacy Of Magick series. Barbara wrote the historical tale called The Buccaneer and I wrote the contemporary, which is entitled The Hidden Legacy.
Rae: Can you tell us without giving away too much? I love the cover and am excited to read this collaboration.
Teaser for The Hidden Legacy: A bewitched heirloom is handed down from Francie Osborne (Barbara’s heroine) to her modern day descendant (my heroine) Hannah Osborne Pogue. When Hannah inherits the heirloom she becomes the keeper of a magickal legacy that has been protected for generations.
A practical, modern Witch, Hannah is a single mother sworn to keep her Craft hidden from outsiders. Her well organized world is turned upside down when she meets Detective Henry Walker, a charming southern scoundrel.
Even as they clash their attraction grows. Leaving Hannah to struggle with the obligations of her family’s legacy, even while Henry is determined to discover whatever it is Hannah’s been hiding.
He’s feeling bewitched and she’s absolutely certain that he’d never be her beloved. Its going to take a special sort of magick to bring these two together.
Rae: What is on your upcoming release list for 2017? Are there any new series in the works that you can give us a tease?
Ellen: Spells Of The Heart: Legacy Of Magick book #7– June 2017
There is a very special holiday project, coming too…and readers should stay tuned because this is BIG. As in epic.
And I’m going to try like hell to get Gypsy Spirit: The Gypsy Chronicles Book 2 out by the end of the year .
Rae: When you are deep in writing, do you sit at your computer all day or put it on paper? Some writers work by daily word count or pages, do you have a daily goal?
Ellen: I work at my computer, and I write until I can’t focus on the screen anymore. I’d say on average 8 hours a day. Every day.
Rae: Not only are you an amazing storyteller but you are a talented artist. I adore your Etsy shop and LOVE my winter sign. I’ll be sad to put that one away soon. If readers have not visited your shop, they should check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/EllentheGardenWitch
Rae: I observed that you are very into decorating during the holidays, is there one you favor more? Do you decorate and go all out for all the holidays during the year?
Ellen: Halloween- hands down is my favorite holiday, with Yuletide a close second. Yes, I decorate my home and celebrate all of the seasons.
Rae: If readers want to find you, will you be on the road at any conferences or appearances in 2017?
Ellen: Not this year. I’m staying home keeping my butt in the chair and writing as fast as I can.
Rae: I am thrilled you were able to join me today and look forward to reading Bewitched & Beloved: A Pirates of the Coast/ The Legacy of Magick Crossover. It was so much fun having you here today!
Ellen: Thanks Rae!
****** 9 Tantalizing Tidbits ******
1. What is a must read book and why? The Natural Psychic by Ellen Dugan because it answers lots of questions for lots of folks.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? The Winery!
3. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? I’m a Master Gardener
4. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist? I have VERY Eclectic musical tastes and make different play lists for different books.
5. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go? Ireland
6. What is your guilty pleasure? Dark Chocolate
7. What are you afraid of? Typs I mean typos LOL
8. Organized or Free Floating? Hello I’m a VIRGO. I live for organization
9. What play or musical do you want to see next? You mean I could leave the house? I’ve never seen Wicked- always wanted to.
Rae: Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Latte
Happy Reading Dear Readers.
Happy Writing Ellen
Ellen Dugan is the award winning author of 17 non-fiction titles, and the Witches Tarot. Well known for her candor and humor, she is also a Master Gardener. Ellen successfully branched out into paranormal fiction with her first series Legacy Of Magick. Visit her website at www.ellendugan.com