Rae: First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a Latte with Coconut Milk and a drizzle of caramel and chocolate 🙂What would you order?
Roni: Ooh, yours sounds delish. I’d be drinking a cold brew coffee with light vanilla almond milk and one Sweet ‘n’ Low.
Rae: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.
Congratulations on your RITA nomination in the Erotic category for Break Me Down and Novella category for Nice Girls Don’t Ride. A DOUBLE nomination – OMG super exciting and what an honor. Where were you when you got the call?
Roni: Thank you! Yes, I’m beyond thrilled. I was at my desk trying to write (but completely distracted by people celebrating their nominations on Twitter, lol). When the call came in, I didn’t realize what it was because it was a New Orleans area code (where I grew up) and figured it was just some random family member. But it was author Farrah Rochon calling to tell me I was nominated! And she told me about one and didn’t tell me about the second nomination until halfway through the call—“Oh, you’ve got two!” Lol. So I was doubly excited.
Rae: For those who are not familiar with your work can you tell us a little bit about your books, there are so many to choose from! By the way – the covers are fab!
Roni: Aw, thanks. I’ve been very blessed by the cover gods (via the Berkley art department.) My work is primarily contemporary erotic romance. I have two series in that genre, and Break Me Down is a part of one of those, the Loving on the Edge series. So, super steamy romances with lots of emotion, some kink, and a dose of humor. But Nice Girls Don’t Ride is actually something a little different. It could be classified as New Adult because the characters are in college, but I think it falls more solidly in the contemporary romance category. So that one is lighter in tone and has more humor but still has the sexiness. : )
Rae: What was the inspiration for Break Me Down and Nice Girls Don’t Ride?
Roni: The inspiration for Break Me Down came from me wanting to write a heroine who was a female dominant (in BDSM terms) but still an every day kind of girl who was relatable. Someone who you could imagine being your BFF. And I wanted to write a submissive hero who was alpha and dominant in every other part of his life but secretly craved the submissive role in the bedroom. Basically, I wanted to upend the stereotypes. That’s always fun.
For Nice Girls Don’t Ride, it was completely a one off. An author friend suggested I write a biker story for a separate project, but I was a little on the fence because I have trouble connecting to those Sons of Anarchy type heroes who are typically in biker romances. I don’t mind reading them, but it’s not something I felt called to write. But then I started thinking—what if my biker hero was a nice guy? Sexy. Sarcastic. But not in your face with his macho, I’m-a-badass-biker attitude. And that’s when Monroe, the hero, was created. Now that I’m writing this, I realize that once again, it was about upending a stereotype, lol. I guess I have a thing for that. 😉
Rae: How many books can we expect from the Loving on the Edge series?
Roni: As for how many books in Loving on the Edge, that’s open ended. The next book, Loving You Easy, will be out in September. That will be the ninth full length book in the series, but the good news is that you can jump in wherever. They’re all connected through a place and group of friends, but each book is a standalone story for that couple or triad.
Rae: What can we expect from your next release(s)?
Roni: The next release is Wanderlust in July, which is a standalone story about Lex Logan, lead singer of a rock band, who’s trying to keep his band’s problems out of the public eye, and Aubrey Bordelon, the determined reporter trying to get the scoop.
Then, Loving You Easy in September, is a ménage romance. The heroine is a white hat computer hacker who has given up on the dating world and has restricted her love life to a sexy online game. But when her information is hacked and she tracks down the owners of the game (best friends Ren and Hayes), she finds out things are much better in person.
Rae: A quick little plug – readers should run to Amazon right now, many of your e-books are $1.99 on Amazon. A few perfectly priced books to start your collection dear readers or add to it! 🙂
Roni: Thanks! Yep, Nice Girls Don’t Ride is 1.99 and Break Me Down is 2.99 so both RITA nominated novellas can be bought for 5 bucks.
Rae: Love your website and how user friendly it is. For the reader who isn’t quite sure what he/she is in the mood for you make it super easy. Just select what your desire and suggestions pop up. By the way, fabulous web design!
Roni: Aw, thanks! I’m a little obsessive about my website and am constantly playing around with it. And yes, if you want to pick out a book by your favorite trope, I have them all divided up into categories like Friends-to-Lovers, Geek Hero, Fake Relationship, Hero in a Suit.
Rae: I enjoy reading your blog too – you have a lot of information that is helpful to readers. Great suggestions for organizers and helpful tips and tidbits!
Roni: Yay, thank you. I’m crazy about planners and office supplies and organization, so I end up talking about that a lot along with books I’ve read and loved. I like blogging and didn’t want to have a blog where it was just news about my own books all the time. Yawn. So it can be a bit of a mishmash over there.
Rae: Can you tell us when and where you will be in the upcoming months?
Roni: I’ll be at RWA in San Diego in July for the big book signing. And then next after that is Apollycon in Orlando, Florida in March of next year.
***** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits *****
1. What is a must read book and why?
That’s so tough! I guess it would depend on the genre someone prefers. If it’s erotic romance, I’d say you must read Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series because the characters are so fascinating. If it’s historical romance, I’d say you must read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon because Jamie is one of my favorite heroes ever. If it’s horror/thriller, I’d say you must read Stephen King’s 11/22/63 because it’s such a great mix of intrigue, time travel, history, and suspense. If it’s children’s literature, I’d say you must read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle because that’s the book that made me want to be a writer.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
I live in Dallas now, but I consider New Orleans my hometown, so I’ll say you have to see the French Quarter. It’s the iconic, can’t-miss spot if you visit. Then, you need to eat your way through it. 🙂
3. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist?
Hard Rock, hands down. I’m a concert junkie. Favorite Band: Foo Fighters (but the list is long).
4. What is your guilty pleasure?
I honestly try not to have “guilty” pleasures. If I like something and it’s not hurting anyone, why should I feel guilty about it? Life’s tough. The books/interests/TV shows/whatever that make you happy are gifts. Having said that, I have indulgences or treats. Almost always, that is some kind of dessert—cheesecake, fresh baked cookies, a great piece of pie.
5. Organized or Free Floating?
Well, you’ve seen my planner addiction, so in a lot of ways, I’m hyper organized. I have paper planners, I meal plan, the books on my shelves have a certain system. But when it comes to writing, I’m a pantser (fly by the seat of my pants.) I’ve tried and tried to outline or do a detailed plot ahead of time, but the creative part of my brain absolutely doesn’t work that way. So maybe I have to organize everything else in my life so that I have room to go creatively willy-nilly with my writing.
6. What’s your favorite TV show and why?
I actually don’t get to watch much TV. But since summer is about to start, I’ll say the show I look forward to the most in the summer is Big Brother. It’s a tradition with me and the hubs to watch it, and because it comes on so many times a week, you feel fully invested in it. Plus, it’s like the ultimate people watching—crack for a writer.
7. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
Dirty Dancing. I think that may be what made me fall in love with romantic stories early on because I saw it when I was young (age ten or so) and it imprinted on me. It has everything—sexy hero, dancing, first love, beautiful setting, angst. Love. It.
8. Do you love to cook or go out to eat?
I love both. I have a cookbook addiction and I cook throughout the week. But on weekends, we go out. Basically, I just love to eat!
Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Latte 🙂
Happy Reading Dear Readers.
Happy Writing Roni!
Get your copy here of Roni’s RITA nominated books:
Nice Girls Don’t Ride
To find out who wins the 2016 RITA in each category head over to Romance Writers of America on July 16 at 8PM PT. Winners will be announced and be sure to follow #RITAGH and #RWA16 for all the news that night!
Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. After earning a master’s degree in social work from LSU, she worked in a mental health hospital, counseled birthmothers as an adoption coordinator, and did management recruiting in her PJs. But she always returned to writing.
Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her cooking, watching reality television, or picking up another hobby she doesn’t need–in other words, procrastinating like a boss. She is a three-time RITA award nominee and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.