Video Interview– Borders True Romance Blog

So a couple weeks back, I mentioned that I had driven up to Ann Arbor to film an interview for the Borders True Romance blog.  It was a special author/author interview where Sue Grimshaw from Borders had another author, Joss Ware (who also writes as Colleen Gleason), do the interview.  I had such a great time doing the interview–both Sue and Joss/Colleen are fabulous!  We talked about my previous career as a lawyer, my books, what I’m reading now… all sorts of fun stuff.

Of course, the whole time I was watching this I was thinking, “That’s what my hair looks like?  Hmm.”

You can check out the interview here:

Julie James | Borders Media.

Some news, another giveaway, and Tracy Wolff is here!

**Please note: the giveaway is now closed.  Winner will be announced shortly.

So I had a very exciting day. . .  I just got back from Ann Arbor, where I filmed a special author interview for the Borders True Romance blog that will air in March. I’ll have more info on that later, but for now I can say that–whew–I think the interview went okay.  I believe it will be posted on the Borders blog on March 1st, the day before Something About You releases.

And here’s some more exciting news. . . as part of the countdown celebration to the release of Something About You, Tracy Wolff is here today!  Tracy writes everything from contemporary romance to paranormal to erotic suspense, and I have to say, she is one of the nicest authors I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.  Plus, I think she’s been blessed by the cover-gods.  Check this one out:

Whew!  Looks steam-y.  I asked Tracy a few questions about her writing and her upcoming release, Tease Me:

JJ: When did you first realize you wanted to write, and how did you  get started?

TW: I’ve wanted to write since I first knew I could use the alphabet to form words—and spent my whole life getting there.  I’ve got an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D in American Literature, but it wasn’t until we moved to Texas four years ago that I decided to take a year off with my then youngest child and actually write a novel.  I wrote two that year, and both placed in contests run by Harlequin looking for new talent.  My second book, The Turn for Home, was bought by Harlequin Everlasting Love and promptly became A Christmas Wedding.  My first novel, Full Exposure, was turned down by Harlequin Blaze after placing in the contest, but after a little work became my first erotic suspense for NAL.  I’ve been writing full force ever since.

JJ: What is it about writing romance that appeals to you?

TW: I love the happily ever after, love knowing that in the end no matter what I do to my characters (and I do a lot of terrible things to them) they’ll end up together and happy.  I also really like the diversity of the field—I write erotic suspense and paranormal romance for NAL, contemporary romance for Harlequin and YA paranormal romance for Walker Books.  What other genre would let me write all those different things?

JJ: What do you do on those writing days when you’re stressed, worn out, or distracted?

TW: Eat chocolate.  No, seriously, I force myself to sit at the computer and bargain with myself.  Write 1500 words and I can get up and do something fun for fifteen minutes.  Come back and write another 1500 and I can have a cookie or read a chapter in the book I just picked up or … whatever appeals to me.  But I don’t let myself move (barring blood or mayhem from my 3 boys) until I meet my goal—whether it’s 1000 words or 3000 words.

JJ:  What can you tell us about your next release?
TW:  My next release is called Tease Me and it was so much fun to write.  It’s getting great reviews and I’m really excited about it.  Here’s the blurb:

The “edgy and erotic” (Shannon McKenna, New York Times bestselling author of Tasting Fear) author of Tie Me Down and Full Exposure offers another steamy novel of sex, lies, and sultry games.

Burned once too often, true crime writer Lacey Richards has sworn off love. Instead, she explores her deepest desires through her anonymous- and very provocative-blog. Anonymous, that is, until her dark and ultrasexy neighbor discovers her dirty secret.

Stockbrocker-turned-carpenter Byron Hawthorne gave up life in the fast lane, hoping to start over in a new city. When he learns his alluring neighbor is the one writing the sizzling blog that keeps him up all night, he can’t resist offering to fulfill her fantasies in the flesh. But Byron isn’t the only man provoked by Lacey’s writing. Now Lacey doesn’t know who she can trust-and who she can dare to tease.
JJ: Sounds fabulous!  Can you share a brief excerpt with us?
Excerpt from Tease Me

“Is that what you want to do with the evening?” she asked. “Play 20 Questions?” Her voice was low and inviting and took the sting out of the question.

“Actually, I’ve got a better idea.” God knew, he had a few of them. But tearing her clothes off before the first glass of wine—for the second time in as many days—seemed more than a little rude.

“And that is?” She took a sip of her wine and then shot him a smile that had him straining against the zipper of his jeans.

He studied her for a few seconds, running his eyes over her clothes and jewelry. “I call it nine questions.”

“Nine?” She raised an eyebrow. “That’s a fairly random number.”

“Not really. It’s the number of items you’re wearing—if you don’t go commando, I mean. It also”—he glanced down at himself—“happens to be the exact number of items I’m wearing as well.”

“Well, isn’t that convenient?” She pursed her lips into an inviting O.

Had he thought he was hard before? As he watched her lick her lips, the blood rushed from his head so fast that for a minute, he was afraid he might pass out.

And wouldn’t that just be a kick in the ass, particularly on what promised to be one of the most erotic nights of his life?

“Am I correct in assuming that there’s a fee for every question asked?”

“You are, indeed. One item per question.”

“Are any subjects off -limits?”

He smiled then. “Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.”

JJ: Tres steam-y, indeed.  😉  Okay, now for some fun questions:  What are you watching on TV these days?  What are you reading?
TW:  I’m addicted to Bones and Project Runway.  Seriously addicted.   I just finished reading Christine Feehan’s Street Game, Laura Griffin’s Untraceable and Kathy Reich’s Monday Mourning.  I am waiting with bated breath for your next book and the third book in the Nora Roberts’ Bride trilogy.

JJ:  What are you listening to on your Ipod?
TW:  I’m a creature of habit—same old stuff—Green Day, Aerosmith, Dave Matthews Band, Tori Amos.  I did just buy the relief album for Haiti and listen to that a lot.

JJ:  What is your biggest weakness (shoes, purses, chocolate, etc.)?

TW:  Lipstick and fun, sparkly, dangly earrings.  A woman can never have too many of either, IMHO.

JJ:  Complete this sentence: One fun thing about me that people might  not know about me is that. . .
TW:   I love skydiving.
Thanks, Tracy!  So glad you could be here with us!
And there’s more–Tracy has offered to give away a copy of any book from her backlist (at the winner’s choosing) to one random commenter.  Tracy’s backlist, and more information about her and her books, can be found at her website or at her blog.  The giveaway will remain open until 10pm CST on Friday, February 12th.
Good luck!

Beth Kery is Here!

Please note: the giveaway is now closed.  Winner will be announced shortly.

Please join me in welcoming award-winning author (and good friend) Beth Kery, who is here to talk about her upcoming book, Release.

I’m so thrilled Beth is able to drop by, and cannot wait to get my hands on Release when it arrives in bookstores February 2nd.  I’m a big fan of Beth’s writing– and in addition to being incredibly talented, she gets extra bonus points for using Chicago as the setting for many of her books.  Here’s a little more about Release:

His need for her was so absolute, he agreed to share her with another man in order to possess her.

Genny loved her husband Max, but something was missing—a sexual charge that was instead ignited by his business partner, Sean. He was ruggedly handsome, with a heart-stopping smile and a slow, sexy New Orleans drawl that made Genny weak. The more time they spent together, the stronger the attraction between them became and when her husband offered to share her with Sean for one intoxicating night, both Genny and Sean were too tempted to refuse.

That night in the company penthouse, Max and Sean showed Genny the heights of ecstasy. But it was Sean who scored her very spirit, and one-on-one, they were red hot. But as Genny learns, there’s a price to pay for such impulsive pleasure. What began as a night of forbidden desire spirals into a whirlpool of murder, sensual submission, secrets, and a scorching passion that threatens to consume everyone it touches.

An excerpt of Release can be found here.


Beth has offered to give away a signed copy of Release to one lucky winner who leaves a comment below.  And here she is to tell us even more about the book:

Julie: Hi Beth!  I’m really looking forward to Release. How is it different from your previous books?

Beth:  I used flashbacks a lot in Release. The book itself takes place in the present, but the sexual tension, romance and danger all come from a pivotal event that took place three years ago. Well, pivotal events, I should say: an impulsive ménage a trois and the murder that followed. It was fun, but tricky, at times, to do the present, build up tension, and then flash back to an illuminating event from the past. It gave me whole new respect for people who use the method. It’s a little like doing a 3-D puzzle versus a flat one.

Julie: What was your biggest challenge in writing Release?

Beth:  The writing process itself was pretty smooth for this one. What was a challenge was that I got a call from my agent asking if I’d do a super quick proposal for a slot that had opened at Berkley. I came up with the concept for Release in about four days—in loose synopsis form. It’s a fairly complicated plot, so it made for some sleepless, brain-churning nights. Luckily, I have a friend from high school who is in military intelligence. He gave me invaluable insight into Sean’s background and the private intel firm that he owns.

Julie: Your hero and heroine of Release—Genny and Sean: which one would be more fun for you—Beth Kery—to hang out with?

Beth:  I’d have to go with Sean, just so I could hear his N’ Awlin’s drawl. He looks awesome in jeans (and even better out of them) and he makes great muffuletta. Seriously, the reason I like Sean so much is that he’s one of those people who had it rough as a kid. Really rough. He was practically born fighting for the right to survive. He doesn’t think he deserves the woman he loves—Genny. But he also figures he’s flawed, because he’s so stubborn that he’ll go against all the odds in order to have her. It’s a twist in a character I’ve never done before, and it endeared me to Sean. He feels undeserving, but that doesn’t stop him from staring fate in the eye, flipping her off, and taking this one beautiful thing in his life. In possessing Genny, he essentially affirms his right to happiness as a human being.

Julie: What are you most afraid of?

Beth:  Falling. I have terrible dreams about falling…down elevator shafts, out of a plane, stuff like that. As a result, I’m not so fond of heights, either.

Julie: What would you like people to remember about you as a writer?

Beth:  Deep emotion, great sex and a love story that lingers in the mind.

Julie: Give us a quick look at your next book. I know it presented some challenges for you.

Beth: The next novel I have coming out is with Samhain. It will initially be in ebook format, and then will go into trade paperback. It was a challenge for me because it’s a vampire book. I actually love the genre, but have shied away from it because it’s been done so much. I conquered my fear by putting my own special twist on it. I’m really interested in humans as energy beings…auras, things like that. So I made my Princes of the Underground both vampires of lore and energy/lifeforce suckers.

Oh. And they’re not really vampires.

Here is a bit about Velvet Cataclysm, Princes of the Underground, Book 1. It comes out May 4 from Samhain.

In his battle to resist, he found the impossible. His soul.

Christina Astor’s telepathic ability is an asset in her job as a psychiatric social worker. What’s driving her crazy, though, is her elusive, gorgeous landlord. She senses that Saint Sevliss wants her with an all-consuming hunger that’s somehow…different. Just how different becomes all too clear when his dangerous world collides with hers.

For centuries, Saint’s kind have been called vampire and werewolf. Even soulless. But their true nature remains a mystery. Bound by a magical mandate to control his bloodthirsty clone, Teslar, at all costs, Saint will do anything to keep Christina away. She infuses his gray universe with life and color, but his world—and his need—would destroy her.

When an attack reveals the true power of Christina’s gift, one thing is certain—Teslar won’t rest in his underground labyrinth until he possesses her, body and soul…

Julie: Wow– sounds really intriguing!  Please give us a paragraph or two from your writing of which you are particularly proud. Why do you like this portion?

Beth: I believe I like this little part in Release so much because it seems simple, but it highlights Sean’s uncontrived masculine charm and his pure love for Genny. Besides, there’s something about a man remembering such a small, intimate detail about a woman after all those years that encapsulates the poignancy of romance.

“Look what they had at the market, girl. That’ll cheer you up. I won’t say a word if you eat every one of ’em while you’re all snuggled up out there on the couch, either.”

Genevieve paused in the process of withdrawing some romaine lettuce. Her eyes leapt up to meet Sean’s. He wore a crooked grin as he watched her, his blue eyes lambent and warm. She hastily took the bag of gourmet bing cherry chocolates and set it on the counter, averting her gaze.

She didn’t know what to say. He knew they were her favorite treat, knew she craved them whenever she was a little blue. She’d once told him how she occasionally bought the treats and ate a whole bag of them while she read a trashy novel in bed. She recalled how he’d been fascinated by her revelation of that small intimacy.

The fact that he’d remembered—the repetition of that benign, personal secret in his husky voice—made her lose her already unsteady emotional footing. It had struck her as sweet. Precise. Intensely sexy.

So Sean-like.

* * *

Julie: Thank you for joining us, Beth!  I can’t wait to read Release.

Beth: It’s my pleasure, Julie. Best of luck with Something About You! I think it’s going to be a blockbuster.

Please note:  Beth’s giveaway will remain open until 10pm CST on Friday, February 5th.  Good luck!

And don’t forget about the Something About You contest, where you can enter to win a $100 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.  Details here.