Author Friends: Kitty Berry

Are you a panster or a plotter?
By “plotter” do you mean I get an idea while ironing my son’s clothes and jot it down in my notes folder on my phone? If so, then, yup, I’m a plotter!
 
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?
Sure, I believe in it. I’m happy to say that I’ve never experienced it. That’s probably because I don’t get the chance to write that much. I work full-time as an early childhood specialist and write any and every chance I get.
 
What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 
Is this a no judge zone? Yeah? Okay, I’ll say it…Fifty Shades of Grey.
 
Describe your perfect writing space: 
Let me begin by saying that it would NOT include my husband and boys repeatedly calling my name! Other than that, I sort of have a perfect space in my office right now.
Three walls are painted taupe, the accent wall is a deep, burnt orange. My middle son hung book shelves from floor to ceiling on one wall for my collection and a I have a copy of each of my books in a lighted display case. I have a white desk and a white leather chair. My Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers and a small fan sit on the left corner of my desk right near my phone holder. My notebooks and mechanical pencils are the on right next to a box of tissues and a candle that I light for when I write. I’m planning on purchasing a new laptop soon, but it’ll sit right in the middle of my desk where my current one does now.
I have a navy-blue sofa against the accent wall with orange pillows and my hubs keeps a desk in there too.
 
Do you write your title first or story first?
I do my titles first. 
 
And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone:
The last text I received was from my oldest son. It read, “Eating at home tonight.” I will write you a flash fiction piece that features Damian Stone from The Stone Series.
 
“Remember the first meal we ate together?” Damian asks his wife and mother of his four children. “We used to eat at adult places back then.”
Sydney smirks as a blush covers her cheeks. “How could I ever forget,” she says. “You fed me then said that I was better than any dessert your restaurant served.”
“You fed mommy?” Pebbles Stone asks her father with an excited clap of her hands. “Is this another part of your love story? Tell us, tell us!” she begs. “You’re so romantic!”
“Yuck,” DJ sighs. “Don’t make mommy and daddy tell us another story about how much they love each other.”
“Caden Stone,” Sydney reprimands her oldest son with his given name. His nickname, DJ, short for Damian Jr., fits him so well, she often forgets it isn’t his name. “You should be happy that your mommy and daddy love each other as much as we do.”
Sydney shifts her youngest daughter Piper on her lap then reaches for her phone on the table as she sees it shake from an incoming text.
Damian: You know what I wish I were eating instead of this shitty, kid friendly, tasteless pizza at an overpriced arcade?
Sydney rolls her eyes at her husband then begins typing.
Sydney: HMMM…steak?
Damian: Very funny. No. YOU!
Sydney’s body heats as the waitress approaches the table.
“Can I get you something else?” she asks.
“No,” Damian says. “Just the bill, please.”
“But you didn’t eat” the waitress points at Damian’s clean plate.
“I’m eating at home tonight” Damian says with a raised eyebrow for his wife.
  
 
Links:
Facebook The Stone Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheStoneSeries/
Anatomy of Love (AOL Book 1): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074MKL5D1
Dissection of Love (AOL Book 2): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V6R3L5
Sutures of Love (AOL Book 3): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0776HYNMD
 
Kitty Berry Bio:
Kitty Berry is the author of The Stone Series and The Anatomy of Love Trilogy.
Kitty is an only child who never wished for a sibling and she openly admits that she’s a spoiled brat. She currently resides in the suburbs of Connecticut with her husband and three sons. During any given evening you can find Kitty curled up in bed reading.
She is the daughter of an avid reader, the “real” Kitty Berry. It was her late mother’s desire of becoming a writer that prompted Kitty to create the characters that she places in worlds of wealth, power, seduction, dominance and submission.
Kitty’s love for reading and discussing literature didn’t come to her until her late twenties. Angst-ridden romances always mesmerized Kitty and fast-paced entertaining mysteries as well as witty “chick lit” contributed to her desire to not only be a reader but also a writer. She recently found herself at a time in life when the busy balance of career and family made her crave an escape into the world of romance with an erotic twist. Multidimensional characters spurred on Kitty’s creative spark to write about seduction.
Kitty loves dark chocolate, music inspires her writing and she plans on enjoying life to its fullest as soon as she’s done driving carpools, attending youth basketball games, and coordinating the social lives of her three adolescent children who have way more fun than she does. 

Author Friends: Jeanne St. James

Are you a panster or a plotter?

Pantser. I want my characters to surprise me.

Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?

Yes. I rarely have it. But reading a book is the best way to get my creative juices flowing.

What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 

 I don’t have any that I reread. I have too many good books on my TBR list to go back and reread any.

Describe your perfect writing space: 

 On a balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea in a comfortable chair.

 Do you write your title first or story first?

It just depends on the story. I’ve done it both ways.

Tempting Him (An Obsessed Novella)

 

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/TemptingHim

Blurb: 

It’s not just a love story, it’s an obsession…

Skylar:            

Every time my neighbor jogs past my house, I do my best to tempt him. Washing my car, watering my lawn, doing yoga in the grass with all my assets in the air. I’m not sure if he notices me, but I sure can’t miss him.

Then one day he falls… into my arms and into my bed. Surprisingly, we’re better matched than I would’ve expected. But when he reveals who he is, my world comes crashing down around me because if he finds out my secret we’re finished before we’ve even begun.

Cade:

Three days a week, I put myself through hell by jogging through my neighborhood. I suffer through it simply to catch a glimpse of a woman I don’t know. Every time I pass her house she’s outside tempting me. Until one day I fall… over my feet, over my heart, over this woman and into her arms.

I know nothing about her, but I want to discover everything. Even her deepest, darkest secrets. However, little does she know, I have one, too. One that may sever the tie that binds us.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Skylar:

 

I watch as sweat drips one bead at a time onto my over-priced yoga mat. The sun is so freaking hot and here I am, like an idiot out in my yard, bent over in the downward facing dog pose for the past million years. Okay, not years… maybe more like a million seconds. But my body has decided it hates me (nothing new) and is cramping while my head spins. Even better, my over-priced yoga pants have clawed their way up my crack (as well as one other place). And still…

No neighbor.

What the hell?

Despite my eyeballs’ attempt at bulging out of their sockets, I peek at my sports watch. He should’ve been by here two-point-five minutes ago.

Shit.

The man is usually like clockwork, jogging by my house on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons every week. For the most part, anyway. Though, thunderstorms seem to discourage him from his cardio. (Not sure why.)

On those days, I would be willing to recommend another type of cardio to get his heart pumping. And maybe get his hips pumping, too.

Anyway… look at me! Doing yoga on my front lawn, on the uneven grass, waiting like a desperate woman. (I’m not, really, I promise! It just looks that way.)

But, damn, the man is fine and when he jogs past shirtless, he’s shiny with sweat, which makes me want to drag him inside and give him a sponge bath with my tongue.

My thighs start shaking as I peek between my spread legs, because, of course, my ass has to be facing the street. I want him to get a good look at what I’m offering.

I may even wiggle it a little when he jogs by.

That is if I don’t pass out into a heap first.

I sigh.

Then sigh again a little louder just for good measure.

Maybe it would be easier if I just took up jogging. Wear one of those sexy sports bras, put my hair up in a cute little pony tail, plaster a smile on my face and follow him around the block at a perky pace.

I’ll die first.

****

Cade:

Why I ever started this shit, I’ll never know. No, I lie. I know. I thought, “Cade, dude, wouldn’t it be great to up your cardio game and start running?”

I answered myself with, “Yeah, man, that would be great and fun, too!” And then maybe I won’t get so winded when I play basketball with the guys. I’ll have more endurance, I’ll look and feel younger, and…

Fuck that.

Running sucks. And I don’t even think what I do can be considered as running. No, it’s more of a jog. Or a lope. Or trotting like a donkey with a lame hoof.

Inhell. Exhell.

My chest burns, my leg muscles spasm, my balls feel like they’re floating in a puddle of sweat, and the crack of my ass…

I’m not even going there. (Trust me, you don’t want to, either.)

So, why don’t I just stop the torture? (Good question!)

I’ve asked myself that for the past month.

And the answer has always been…

Her.

I sacrifice three days a week just to see a woman I don’t know.

Not sure why, but she always seems to be outside at the same time of the day. For that reason, I make sure that’s when I go running (jogging, trotting, limping) by.

Am I crazy to torture myself because I find someone attractive and I’d like to get her attention?

Eh. Maybe.

Why don’t I just knock on her door and ask her out? (Another good question.)

Maybe I want to impress her with my physique and athletic prowess.

But honestly, something has to give and it has to be soon. Because this running shit sucks balls and I’d rather stick razor blades under my fingernails.

At least my slow trot is the right speed to observe her without being creepy. Walking would be too slow and obvious. Driving too quick and useless, not to mention dangerous when she’s clearly a distraction.

And, of course, my pace always allows me enough time to enjoy the show she gives me.

On Wednesday, she was out washing her car, her top soaked, her nipples pushing through the thin fabric of her shirt, and when she bent over to scrub the hood of said car, my boner just about popped out of my shorts. You know, those little nylon running shorts. The ones with the mesh liner, clearly not made for sexual arousal.

But I digress.

The week before, she was out watering her lawn. And, once again, her top was wetter than her grass.

Here’s the thing, the entire neighborhood has built-in sprinklers.

Maybe hers are broken.

It’s possible.

I grunt as I turn the corner and try to push myself a little faster since I’m off my game today. I’m later than normal, and I want my running to look as effortless as possible. It needs to look as though I’ve got my shit together and I’m not secretly suffering.

My eyes swing to the left as I jog. She’s the fourth house up. The brick ranch home with the two-car garage.

Two houses to go yet.

One house.

My eyes widen as I see her ass in tight black yoga pants in the air. My step stutters but I can’t stop my momentum.

My mouth becomes an O, partly because I’m falling over my own two feet, the other because she’s dropped to her knees and is now arching backwards grabbing onto her heels, her generous tits straining against her top.

Last thing I see is her blinking upside down at me as her head hangs down her back.

Suddenly, I’m staring at nothing but pavement (and my loss of manhood). The little bit of oxygen I had sucked into my lungs is now gone.

Then, what seems like seconds later, bare, cute, red painted toes come into view.

I want to just die.

About the Author:

JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today bestselling erotic romance author who loves an alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing. Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages. Want to read a sample of her work? Download a sampler book here: BookHip.com/MTQQKK

To keep up with her busy release schedule check her website at www.jeannestjames.com or sign up for her newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup

Author Links:

Website: http://www.jeannestjames.com

Blog: http://jeannestjames.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeanneStJamesAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeannestjames/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanneStJames

Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/JeanneStJames

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JeanneStJames

Newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup

Review & Book Crew: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JeannesReviewCrew/

Author Friends: Skye McNeil

Are you a panster or a plotter?
I’m a bit of both. Initially, I like to plot the story, but I don’t always follow the plot as I write.
 
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?
Yes, I do believe Writer’s Block is real and it happens to us all! One of the best ways I get through Block is to watch sappy romance movies. Generally, it’s the ones on Hallmark Channel that motivate me to get back into action because they drive me insane. I also like to read other genres and new authors to help get out of my own head.
 
What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over.
I don’t think I have just one book I go back to. My bookshelves at home are filled with books from my high school days and I tend to steer towards them when I’ve had a bad day. I really don’t know why since they’re not genres I read anymore.
 
Describe your perfect writing space:
I prefer to write somewhere comfortable with quiet music in the background. Generally, it’s country that I write to because if it’s another genre, I tend to sing along too much.
 
Do you write your title first or story first?
I’ve done both over the years. Usually, the title comes to me after I’ve written down my initial idea. I like to weave the title into my book if possible, so it has to be an easy one. 
 
And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone: 
“I’ll be there to sign soon.”
That was the last message he sent me before the car accident. Now, he’s comatose in the hospital and I’m sitting by his bed. Moisture trickles down my face, but they’re angry tears. He was on his way to the lawyer’s office to sign the divorce papers. I never wanted the divorce, but I didn’t get a say. He was moving on with his life. College sweethearts don’t last. At least, that’s what his new girlfriend made him believe. She’s nowhere to be found either. It’s ironic. I’m the one he doesn’t want, but I’m here listening to the beeping sound of his breathing monitors. I should’ve just signed the damn papers two months ago and none of this would’ve ever happened. Instead, I held onto the hope that Brak would change his mind and want me again. I stare at his muscularly freckled arms and shake my head. But he didn’t.
“Holland, you really should go home,” the nurse says, walking in.
I push his auburn hair off his forehead. “That’s the problem. He is my home.”

A strong hand grips my wrist before I can yank it away. Heart monitors whir out of control and I gasp at the amber eyes staring at me.

“What happened?” Brak asks. His eyes dip to my hand and concern flashes on his face. “And why aren’t you wearing your ring?”
Holy mother of God. I swing my gaze to the nurse’s gaping mouth. “What do you remember?”
Brak licks his lips, maintaining his vice-like grip. “I fell while we were rock climbing.” He glances to the nurse then back to me. “Right?”
Well, this day just got more interesting.
 
Blurb:

No one stays dead long when you’re in the mafia.

#NEW #SALE Skye McNeil

➙Amazon US: amzn.to/2ClKSEl


➙All Retailers: books2read.com/exonerated

#Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ea80a6ed304/

Can second chances really exist for a bad boy mobster and the only woman to ever steal his heart?

There’s a hit out on Cameron Shearer’s life, his mafia ties dragging him down the path of darkness once more. After a harrowing meeting, he discovers no one ever stays dead when you’re in the mafia. Determined not to lose the only woman he’s loved, Cameron turns to the Del Rossi mob for one last favor. Unfortunately for him, the ending may not be as happy as he once hoped.

Joci Dorous has it all. She’s happy, engaged, and just started her own law firm with her best friend. Everything appears perfect, until she discovers a suspicious trail of money in her business accounts and her once dutiful fiancé suddenly turns as shady as his mob boss. When strangers clash amid mobs, Joci is left to decipher who her heart truly belongs to.

>>> Start Joci and Cameron’s story in Appointed by Fate (#1), while it’s only 99c.<<<
➙Amazon US: amzn.to/2w4UaSs


➙All Retailers: books2read.com/fate

Author Bio:

Skye McNeil began writing at the age of seventeen and has been lost in a love affair ever since. During the day, she moonlights as a paralegal at a law firm favoring criminal law.

Skye enjoys writing romantic suspense and contemporary romance that leaves readers craving more. Her contemporary and historical novels range from sweet and sassy to steamy and sultry.

Her constant writing companions are two cats and two dogs. When she’s not writing, Skye enjoys spending time with family, photography, volleyball, traveling, and curling up with a cup of coffee and reading.

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyesthelimitwriting

Website: www.skyemcneil.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mcneilskye

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/skyemcneil

Once Upon an Indie.

Indie, Hybrid, Traditional.

Sounds more like different types of cars, not authors.

After I finished writing my first full novel, Ivy (a paranormal romance) in 2013, I had no idea what to do next. Submit it to agents? Try to publish it myself? Look for one of the many small publishing companies out there? It was overwhelming.

REALLY overwhelming.

I’d heard a lot of nightmare stories from indie authors about how they’d been royally screwed over by editors, cover artists, publishers, agents.  On the flipside, I’d also heard amazing stories about brilliant companies to work with.

It was hard to know what the right route for me was.

Traditional publishing ended up not being for me. It didn’t feel right. I was already so far outside of my comfort zone with trying to get publishing, I decided not to make it harder on myself.

And to me, that’s the most important part of the journey.

Find what works for you.

It’s your writing path–no one else’s.

As a general rule, I don’t believe in giving author advice. Advice on writing is always best taking with a grain of salt because everyone has their opinions.

And those opinions will quite frequently conflict with another author’s advice.

There are two things I think every indie/hybrid author should know: 1. professional covers are essential. 2. research your editor before hiring them.

I’ve heard so many nightmare stories about authors getting taken by disreputable editors when a little bit of research could’ve saved them a lot of hassle and money. Ask around. Talk to other authors whose work is well edited.

When I started looking around for an editor, I looked at a couple different companies before discovering someone I already knew had started an editing company–Hot Tree Editing. They were brilliant. Worked with me…and were understanding when I didn’t always get things and had questions. (Fun #actuallyautistic fact: I struggle with instructions A LOT.)

It was a no-brainer for me to submit After the Scrum when Becky decided to start Hot Tree Publishing to them. I trusted Hot Tree. And…dealing with everything as an indie was so stressful. Traditional publishing didn’t feel like my path, but the more hybrid route fit me perfectly, mostly because of the incredible women who support me and my writing.

I suppose this long rambling post is mostly to say–write your own way and publish in a way that works for you.

And avoid comparing your path to others.

What about you?

Are you an indie, hybrid, or traditionally published author?

 

How do you tell the truth of a story when it’s unbelievable?

Have you ever had a near-death experience that you survived in a way you can’t fully explain?

I’ve had a three. My hubby and I got to talking about those moments where something just…stops you. And you don’t know why, but seconds later you realise how close you came to being seriously injured.

The one I want to share with you today happened when I was about three or four. We lived in a two storey house in Corby. My bedroom happened to be upstairs. Our staircase was narrow and went straight from one floor to the next without a landing.

(That bit is significant lol.)

It’s one of those crystal clear memories from childhood that I remember like it happened yesterday.

I’d run up the stairs to my room. I stopped at the top, but my little feet ended up being only halfway on the step. My body tilted, and I literally fell straight back.

Somehow, in all of this, I managed to fall without hitting a step, the wall, or the railing. It’s almost as though I floated to the bottom. I distinctly remember teetering on my toes, falling, and landing on the carpet at the bottom of the steps.

I didn’t even have a bruise.

I’ve no idea how I didn’t bash some part of my body against the stairs or wall.

Have you ever had an experience like that? Where you’ve no idea how you didn’t get seriously injured or worse?

 

Deja Who?

There’s no reason for the subject to be spelt wrong. It just made me laugh. I am a nerd.

I think most writers probably have certain themes that follow them through their stories. Character traits, or backstories, or tropes we can’ t help using. Often times, we might not even realise we do it.

It’s a question I’ve had on my mind for a while now.

What are the ones to follow me through my writing?

Here are the ones I thought about (and maybe why):

  • Banter

  • Adoption – I’ve had a few characters who were adopted, or orphans, or foster kids. It’s probably because I’m adopted, so there’s a wealth of emotional stuff there I can explore.

 

  • Autistic Characters – I’m autistic. That one is:

  • Pets. All the pets. So many pets. From Taine’s hamster to Sherlock in After the Scrum. I’m a fan of memorable animals.
  • Absurd moments. I find absurdity humourous. (Like giving a large rugby player a hamster for a pet.)
  • Rough childhoods. A theme running through many of my stories are characters who have survived abusive or neglectful childhoods. Again, as something I had personal experience with, I think it’s important that not ALL of your characters have blissful, amazing parents. I’ve found as a reader that I cherish the books that I can relate to. When I find a character who has pulled through terrible times as a kid, I see a bit of myself.
  • Nerds. I’m quite a bit geeky, so admit to giving some of those quirks to my characters.

How about you? If you’re a writer, do you notice certain themes consistent throughout your different novels?

As a reader? Do you pick up on these sorts of things?

Author Friends: Leslie McAdam

Are you a panster or a plotter?

Plotter all the way. I tried writing a book once as a pantser. It wasn’t pretty, and I don’t have the patience to rewrite that much. I try to get it as well-written as I can the first time around, which requires a lot of planning.

Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?

No. I don’t. Normally the problem is in thinking, not in writing. But since I think while writing, it’s the same thing for me. If I need to write, “I need to write, I need to write, I need to write,” I’ll do that. Sometimes the pump needs priming, so I’ll just write junk until I get the word count down and then I try another day.

What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over.

Only one? A House Like A Lotus by Madeline L’Engle. Followed closely by anything by Kristen Ashley or R.L. Mathewson.

Describe your perfect writing space:

Not interrupted every minute by my kids.
No, seriously, I can write almost anywhere. Normally, I’m in an ugly, old, pink armchair that has seen better days with a lap desk and my laptop. But I like coffee shops, too. Or the side of the road with a notebook and pencil. 

Do you write your title first or story first?

Nearly always the title. I often construct a story based on the title.

And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone:

Well. Just because Facebook kicked him off for nudity didn’t mean it was wrong. His body? One to worship. Lean, sinewy muscles backed with strength and power. Soft, tan skin. A few tattoos based on stories he’d never tell. He wasn’t about to go down fighting. He’d start his own website, more popular than anything on social media. If only he could get the funding.
Thankfully his best friend was a venture capitalist wanting to expand into new areas. Unfortunately he was also the brother of the only girl he’d ever loved…and lost.

 

Bio

Leslie McAdam is a California girl who loves romance, Little Dude, and well-defined abs. She lives in a drafty old farmhouse on a small orange tree farm in Southern California with her husband and two small children. Leslie always encourages her kids to be themselves – even if it means letting her daughter wear leopard print from head to toe. An avid reader from a young age, she will always trade watching TV for reading a book, unless it’s Top Gear. Or football. Leslie is employed by day but spends her nights writing about the men you fantasize about. She’s unapologetically sarcastic and notoriously terrible at comma placement.

Always up for a laugh, Leslie tries to see humor in all things. When she’s not in the writing cave you’ll find her fangirling over Beck, camping with her family, or mixing up oil paints to depict her love of outdoors on canvas.

Check out my website: www.lesliemcadamauthor.com
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