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Contemporary Romance

Author Interviews Featured Authors

An Interview with Barbara Delinksy

Which of your books did you have the most fun writing?

The most fun?  That would be my very first, which is no longer in print but which I wrote on a lark.  I had never thought to be an author until I read an article in my local newspaper about women who wrote category romances.  I read a bunch, sat down, and wrote my own.   It took me to the mountains of Brazil with people who had nothing to do with my life at home with three children, a husband, and cleaning, cooking, and refereeing.  I found that I loved the process of writing.  The words just poured out of me.  It was the best escape in the world – the glove of a career that fit me perfectly.

 I love that your website lists all the books you’re reading -how do you juggle your reading time with your writing time? Is it hard to read a book while in the process of writing?

Yes!  For the longest time, I couldn’t read other books while I was writing my own.  I needed to stay in the life of my characters without distraction.  I needed to stay in my own voice, not the voice of another author.  It was only when I began spacing out my books that I was able to pleasure-read more.   Now I have three books going at any given time – one in print, one on audio, and one on kindle.

How do you connect with your characters? Do they tend to take after people close to you, or are they a full concoction from your imagination?

I work really, really hard not to base characters on people I know.  I never want my family or friends to think I’m writing them into books.  That would be a betrayal – which isn’t to say that one characteristic or another, one experience or another from real life doesn’t enter my books.  Of course, it does.  Sometimes it’s subconscious.  I have a feeling that I’ve written about people in my past without ever realizing it!  

Do you ever travel to conduct your research for books? If so, what place has been your favorite?

So funny you ask.  I had always set my books in New England and had a slew of favorite towns that I visited often for research.  But a while ago my agent suggested I set a book on the West Coast.  At the time, my husband and I were making yearly trips to Big Sur.  San Francisco was not far north of there.  So I plotted a San Francisco book and after I’d done an outline and the first few chapters, flew out ahead of him and spent several days touring the city.  For whatever reason, San Francisco didn’t work for me.  In the single week after I returned home, I reframed the story to take place in Big Sur, which I did love.  That book, Coast Road, was a breakout book for me, my first hardcover to hit the New York Times list.

What were some of your favorite books when you were growing up? 

I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.  My mother died when I was very young, and these books took me to a safe family, a different time and place.  Growing up in Boston, I loved books about the American Revolution.  I even loved Nancy Drew mysteries, though I’m not at all a fan of thrillers today.  Life is too much of a thriller.  Y’know?

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date? 

No teaser yet.  I’m a third of the way through my next book but have paused to assess – which actually brings us full circle to your first question, about the book I had the most fun writing.  Writing is fun.  The business of writing is not.  When I wrote that first book, I had a ball.  But publishing has changed dramatically in the years since.  I’m trying to decide where to go from here.

Author Interviews Featured Authors

An Interview with Reese Ryan

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

Sometimes I need to write a few scenes to get into a character’s headspace. However, my stories are very character-driven, so I prefer to start with a clear understanding of who my characters are. I use profile charts to help me get a clear understanding of my characters and do a deep dive into that character’s history and past wounds. That work is typically done prior to writing the first words of the story.

Who is your favorite fictional couple? What qualities do they have that you love?

There are lots of fictional couples that I adore for one reason or another. My favorite is usually the couple I’m writing at the moment. Currently, I’m revising Return to Hummingbird Way—the follow-up to Second Chance on Cypress Lane. So I’m in love with Sinclair Buchanan and Garrett Davenport. We met them in that book because Sin is Dakota’s best friend and Rett is Dexter’s cousin.

They are basically each other’s high school hate crushes. Their best friends are high school sweethearts who reunite nearly twenty years later. Now, they are forced to work together for a couple of reasons. And I’m kind of in love with this couple’s vibe and energy. There is so much heat and attraction between them and that one-night stand five years ago no one else knows about. LOL. 

The book turned out differently than I’d intended, but I love the change. It’s been beautiful to watch Rett & Sinclair really seeing each other for the first time. They discover they don’t know each other as well as they thought, and a lot of what they believed about each other was all wrong. It’s been fun watching them really get to know each other and realize how much they have in common. What I love about them is that they are confident, strong, creative people. Yet, they are humble enough to admit when they’re wrong and apologize. 

If you could escape into one of the worlds you’ve created in your books, what character would you become and why?

I’d definitely spend time on Holly Grove Island, if I could. There’s that small time vibe, a strong sense of community, and beautiful beaches. And since I’m crushing on Rett right now, I wouldn’t mind being Sinclair. 😉

What were your favorite books growing up?

I was a huge fan of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. I read all of their children’s books and Blume’s teen books. But the book that made me want to become a writer is Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. That book and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott continue to influence what I write: strong, unconventional heroines and lots of family drama.

What’s something you are really good at that few people know about?

When I first started playing corn hole (bean bag toss)—the unofficial sport of the South—I was surprisingly good at it. I haven’t played much in the last year or so, so I’m pretty rusty now. Also, my husband and I watch lots of mystery shows (mostly period mysteries right now.) I’ve gotten particularly good at figuring out the murderer (or thief) pretty early in the show.

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date? 

I’m editing Return to Hummingbird Way, the follow-up to Second Chance on Cypress Lane now. Next, I’ll be writing the final book in my Bourbon Brothers series—a series about the romantic and business adventures of a family that owns a world-famous distillery in Tennessee. The release date of the final Bourbon Brothers book is February 2022. A date for RHW is TBD, since I’m still massaging the first draft of the book now. But I promise it will be oh so worth the wait. 😉

Author Interviews Featured Authors

An Interview with Jason Feifer and Jennifer Miller

Married authors Jason Feifer and Jennifer Miller both brought their own style and insight to their first, and only (so far!) romantic comedy novel, Mr. Nice Guy. Delivering a charming combination of flirty and steamy romance with your real-life romantic partner is no small feat, and we were thrilled the pair offered to give us some insight into their collaboration. Between juggling parenthood, a podcast, and two new novels in the works, the busy couple managed to give us the scoop on their writing process, their latest reads, and their winding career paths.

What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?

JASON: It took a long time to figure out what kind of writing I was good at! I first thought of myself as a writer in high school, when I contributed to local music magazines. But as I pursued it professionally, I tried on many different voices and identities. I discovered, for example, that I’m a terrible screenwriter and an excruciating political columnist. I once thought of myself as a contemplative writer who used complicated prose, but ended up finding a groove as a fast-paced, straightforward writer who leans heavily on lessons and takeaways. It’s all been a surprise!

JEN: How hard it is to make a living…actually, I knew it would be pretty damn hard! 

When you set out to write a book, how do you begin?

JASON: Jen’s the true novelist between us, so I’ll shut up here.

JEN: I think about the main character in the book and try to imagine where they are and what they’re doing at a critical moment in their lives. In Mr. Nice Guy, that moment has Lucas emerging from the sweaty NYC subway to start his job at the city’s most popular magazine. In my debut novel, The Year of the Gadfly, it has my protagonist Iris being swept away to a new (and rather creepy) mountain town by her parents. 

Both of you tackled a new genre when you wrote Mr. Nice Guy. What inspired your collaboration? Would you do it again?

JASON: When I was in my 20s, I struck up an e-mail friendship with a sex columnist. That gave me the idea for a novel: What if two people each week slept together and then criticized each other’s performance in a magazine? But I had no idea how to turn this into a novel. I tried many times, over many years. I kept failing. Then… I married a novelist! After Jen sold one of her novels, she was looking for a new project and I suggested that she write something based on my idea. She suggested we do it together. And so the collaboration was born.

JEN: Writing a rom-com was one of the most fun exercises I’ve done. There was something incredibly freeing about being able to lean into satire and romance and cheese all at once. And we were able to play to our strengths. All the sexy, steamy columns are in the book—but I’ve never been much of a columnist, so I made Jason do that part!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

JASON: Just keep experimenting. You may think a particular job, or project, or style of writing is lame—but you’ll learn a surprising amount from everything you do, and each experience will help you become a better storyteller later.

JEN: Stay away from social media. If you simply focus on your own work and what you love to do (and stop worrying about whether you’re successful enough), you’ll be much happier. My anxiety load significantly reduced when I finally quit Twitter! (I’m still there, but I only use it to track people when I can’t find their emails elsewhere and, occasionally, when I want to look up some breaking news.)

What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year? 

JASON: I am loving my friend Joe Keohane’s upcoming book, The Power of Strangers. It’s a nonfiction book about our relationships with strangers, and how to talk to them, and why connecting with people you don’t know is so important.

JEN: I’m currently reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. It’s been super fun to compare/contrast the actual historical events with the Lin Manuel Miranda version (which I know by heart, because our 5-year-old is obsessed and demands we listen on every car ride). 

What’s next for each of you? Are you working on new projects? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date?

JASON: Yes! We both have book projects—though both are nonfiction and neither of them are anything like Mr. Nice Guy

I’m currently working on a book called Build For Tomorrow, Not For Yesterday, which will come out in the summer of 2022. It’s about how to become more adaptable and find opportunity in change, with lessons drawn from the history of innovation and the smartest entrepreneurial minds of today. If you want an early taste of it, you can download a free audio course I created on the subject!

JEN: I’m writing a young adult non-fiction book about first-generation college students. It follows three students, all the first in their families to attend college, through their freshmen year. And we’re talking 2019/2020, so it was all quite unexpected and dramatic. 

Author Interviews

An Interview with Erin Nicholas

Your books span a wide variety of romance genres (billionaires, cowboys, everyday heroes, etc.), do you have a favorite?

I love small towns–the quirkier and the more fun side characters the better– and then I love to throw characters who are totally out of their element in small towns into one! Lol! I really love blue-collar heroes and those “everyday heroes” like Zach in Completely Yours. The guys who are heroic as just a usual part of their lives without even trying. 

What three qualities does an irresistible love interest have to have?

Ooh, male love interests? Awesome heroes? Well, a sense of humor is number one! For sure! Self-deprecating humor is especially great 🙂 They have to be crazy about the heroine. Even if he’s fighting it or she’s an “enemy” there has to be something that he finds irresistible about her. And he has to be the heroic type– meaning, the guy who will step up and step in when needed. Whether it’s a dog that needs to be rescued, protecting someone in a bar fight, literally saving a life (hello hot EMTs 😉 ), giving someone’s grandma a ride to her book club or repairing the town gazebo! Lol! That kind of stuff. He just steps up and gets stuff done because he’s a good guy and can’t help it.

How do you create chemistry between characters in your books?

I always know one character first. Sometimes it’s the guy, sometimes it’s the woman. And then I get to know them…figure out what situation they are in and why they are the way they are (grumpy, playboy, alphahole, wounded, nerdy, sweet, super confident/ kickass, whatever). 

Then I think about what kind of person does he/ she needs in his/her life to become the best version of themselves. Sometimes it’s someone opposite. Sometimes it’s that person who just “gets them” right away. Sometimes it’s someone who’s known them for years but never really *seen* them…there are so many great combos of this!  🙂 

But the chemistry comes when you put two people together who need each other on some level even if they don’t know it or want it (sometimes that makes the best chemistry of all!), who push each other to be more/ better, who “get” each other (even if they don’t want to) and who is that “other half”.

If you could escape into one of the worlds you’ve created in your books, what character would you become and why?

Oh, I definitely want to be Kennedy Landry from Crazy Rich Cajuns, part of my Boys of the Bayou series! She’s just this free spirit with SO much sass, a huge loving family, a don’t-give-a-f*** attitude that I WISH I could have! 😀 Oh, and amazing tattoos and various hair colors 😉 

What did you do to celebrate after you finished writing Completely Yours?

What I do after every book! 🙂 I took a deep breath, I let myself sleep in the next morning, and then I started the next book.  LOL! 

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date? 

I’m working on the first book in a NEW series!! I’m SO excited about this series and can’t wait to spill ALL the details! That series kicks off in April! 

But I have the last book of my Hot Cakes series coming out on January 19th! I love this series and this book so much, but it’s also the end of this series (at least for now) so it’s a little sad thinking about not spending time with this group of people who’ve been in my life and mind for the past year and a half! 

Here’s a peek at Gimme S’more! 

A hot boss, friends-to-lovers romance…

Piper Barry was in love with an amazing, brilliant, funny, good-looking man.

Who, at least twice a day, she wanted to smother with the stuffed dragon that sat on the corner of his desk.

Okay, maybe not smother. That was extreme.

But duct tape over his mouth? Oh yeah, she thought about that often.

“Is spit better than snot?” Oliver Caprinelli, that man—and her boss—asked her as she crossed his office to refill the water pitcher by the window.

“In every single context, yes.” Piper was also aware that in any other workplace with any other boss, that question would be strange. Here though, not so much.

On her way back past his desk, she set the two folders and the manila envelope she carried in front of him. He was just one of her five bosses and the least likely to open those folders or that envelope. She put them down anyway.

“Grant said that a soda flavor called unicorn piss wouldn’t sell well,” Ollie said, almost as if he was thinking out loud.

He did that a lot. Thought out loud.

That never stopped Piper from chiming in though.

“And you think that calling it unicorn snot would make it sell better?”

This wasn’t even the strangest conversation she’d ever had with Ollie.

“Wouldn’t you assume that unicorn piss or snot tasted good?”

She wrinkled her nose. “No.”

“Why not?”

“Uh, piss and snot.”

“But unicorn,” he insisted.

“I have never, not once, thought about the taste of unicorn… anything.”

“Well, think about it now. Yes, good?”

What she thought was that working for Oliver Caprinelli would be a lot better if he didn’t think out loud.

If he just sat there looking cute, things would be great.

“Why are we talking about unicorns?” she asked. “If you’re adding something new to Warriors, you can do better. Unicorns are overdone.”

The chances that this was about Warriors of Easton, the video game that Oliver and his four best friends had turned into the biggest-selling online game of the decade, was very good. It was nearly all Oliver thought about.


Even when she wore her sexiest dresses. And the body oil that all of the other guys said smelled like spicy candy and that made them walk extra close by her desk every time they passed just so they could get a whiff. And when she worked late just so it could be only her and Ollie in the office after dark.

“It’s not for Warriors,” Ollie said. He still sounded distracted.

Honestly, he sounded distracted 90 percent of the time he talked about anything.

The man was a genius and his thoughts were always going in a million directions. It was one of the things that fascinated her most about him.

And that made her think about picking up the dragon on his desk and stuffing it in his mouth. Trying to get Oliver’s attention was hard enough. Keeping it was nearly impossible. 

And if anyone wants to check out the Hot Cakes series, I’ve got a FREE series starter!

You can grab Sugar Rush for free from your favorite retailer here!