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
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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: