Hi, WordWranglers Readers! It's our pleasure to welcome a quartet of authors to the blog today, to talk writing, books...and give us a little sneak peek into their new anthology Love and Other Games! Please help me welcome Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kate and Kara Leigh Miller!
WW: Please tell us a little about yourself.
KARA: I’m a stay at home mom to five children, three cats, two dogs, and a husband. When I’m not taking care of them, I’m writing steamy, contemporary romances and working as a Senior Editor for Entranced Publishing.
ARIA: I’m a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer.
MELINDA: During the day, I work as a middle school English teacher. I’m also a mom of three boys and that keeps me very busy!
WW: Talk about the book(s) you’ve written. What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book? How did it develop?
KARA: I knew I wanted to create a character that was a tad different , someone who wasn’t totally enthralled with the Olympics or the athletes. So, the story actually started with Brenna and her hatred of the games. It spiraled from there.
ARIA: I’m going to cheat a little and just link you to this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2013/10/03/love-and-other-games-anthology-winter-olympics/2912861/ In summary: 100,000 condoms.
MELINDA: Aria’s thoughts about condoms, sex and hot athletes! I knew I wanted to write a goofy snowboarder and that’s where Trouble with Gold started.
WW: Was there a scene that was more difficult than others? One that you pondered whether or not to include it?
KARA: The ending. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to let them have a HEA at the games or let Cole be a true hero and hunt Brenna down in her hometown a fews weeks after the games ended.
ARIA: For me, the reconciliation was pretty difficult to write. Lia is very strong-willed. She’s not going to let Brandon off easily.
MELINDA: Like Kara, the ending was difficult. I’ve never written a short story and it was hard to to tie it all up and make the HEA.
WW: What do you keep in mind as you write? An overarching question? A theme? The last line of the book?
KARA: It’s different for each book really. With ICE GOLD, I wrote with a specific scene in mind -- an argument between Brenna & Cole in which her true feelings about Olympic athletes comes out. Everything else fell into place around that.
ARIA: I like to keep an atmosphere in mind. It can change, slightly, based on the situation, but it’s got to have an overreaching atmosphere.
MELINDA: To me it’s all about the characters. I often have their pictures (or who I visualize) around me and music to set the mood. For example, as I wrote in Ty’s POV, I would listen to Snowboarding playlists.
WW: What are you currently working on?
KARA: An erotic romantic suspense entitled DELICATE ORCHID and an erotic paranormal romance entitled ETERNALLY BOUND.
ARIA: A sequel to my Hansel & Gretel zombie retelling, Once Upon a Darkness.
MELINDA: A contemporary romance titled New York Minute, which is somewhat a sequel to my debut, Time Changes Everything.
WW: How do you balance writing, marketing, promoting, bookkeeping, family and work?
KARA: This is probably the hardest part of writing, trying to balance everything. I spend a little time each morning promoting on my social media and Sundays have become my guest post writing day.
ARIA: It’s a chaotic combination of: pathological reliance on Google Calendar & Docs, the willingness to give up things like TV and sleep, and creating a strong support system, including both IRL and online.
MELINDA: Thankfully I have a truly understanding family. I also drink lots of coffee.
WW: Thank you so much, ladies, for being our guests today! Okay, readers, here's your glimpse inside the books:
Love and Other Games Book Blurbs:
LOVE AND OTHER GAMES is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and Kara Leigh Miller.
Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze
Amy Pierce, the klutzy sister and manager of America’s Skating Sweetheart, is used to being invisible. But when a friend drags her to a party near the Olympic Village, Amy catches the eye of a sexy Norwegian ski jumper. It’s a magical night, but an awkward next morning has her running. Everyone knows Erik Andresen’s best shot at an individual medal was back in 2010, before an injury pulled him from the competition. He’s there for his team, but a hot night and a remarkable final training session have him wondering if a gorgeous good-luck charm could give him another chance at the podium. With a little bit of luck, these two might have a shot at something worth more than gold.
Trouble With Gold by Melinda Dozier
US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers. Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she's not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way. A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult. Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?
The Girl Behind the Gold by Aria Kane
Greek aerial skier Lia Milonas’s parents are about to lose the family farm. Saving it means medaling and landing a huge sponsor. While her no-nonsense attitude has her well on her way to a medal, it hasn’t won her a place in fans' hearts. “Come back with a story that will make readers cry, or don’t come back.” This is what Brandon James’ boss told him before he left New York to cover the Winter Games for Moment Magazine. With a wink and a smile, he can charm his way into any invite-only party, but that career-making story is nowhere to be found – until he meets Lia. The two strike a deal that should get them both what they want - but neither would have guessed they’d also find what they need.
Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller
Colton Campbell thrives on the fast paced, adrenaline rushed lifestyle of being an Olympic hockey player. Despite Brenna Jessup's abhorrence for the games and the athletes, she's hand-picked as the official photographer for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. When a faux pas by Brenna almost costs Colton his career, she owes him. Too bad for her, Colton doesn't want apologies -- he wants retribution! And he knows just how to get it -- and her -- in the process.
Find the book and authors on social media:
Love and Other Games on Goodreads
Melinda Dozer on Twitter
Ana Blaze on Twitter
Aria Kane on Twitter
Kara Leigh Miller on Twitter