A Lot of Flirting with Selena Robins!

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a fantabulous author (who is made of complete awesomeness), a fun-loving and straight laced gal (the latter part only applies to those who don’t know better), and most importantly… a dear friend of mine. So help me welcome Selena Robins and make her feel at home.

Moira: Selena, pull up a chair. Let’s break the ice shall we? If you were stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you had three people to help you fight of the zombie horde, who would they be?

Selena: My husband. He’s a wilderness pro and master of getting rid of spiders, I don’t
know, but I’m sure those skills would come in handy. My son, he’s read all the Walking
Dead books and watched the shows, so he could outsmart the Zombies. I can’t think of
a third, but if they can shoot silver bullets and bring chocolate, then they’re welcome to
hang out with me.

Moira: Hmm, let me see. *Rummages through closet* Silver bullets – check. *Heads
to pantry* Chocolate – check. Apparently I’m your girl! Okay now that we know how
you intend to survive the apocalypse, tell us a little more about you for my readers that
haven’t yet had the privileged to curl up in bed with you – I meant your books!

Selena: Here are some extra tidbits about me that are not listed on my bio on website
or blog.

I didn’t learn to speak English until I was six years old, sometimes this can still
effect me, as I think in one language and things come out in English in an awkward
way. “English wasn’t my first language,” is what I say. That’s my story and I’m sticking
to it. I learned to play the accordion at an early age. Hey, I’m Italian, it’s a right of
passage and no I didn’t play Lady of Spain. I wasn’t that good at it. However, I did enjoy
practicing at home and driving my older siblings crazy with my attempts at Twinkle
Twinkle Little Star—serves them right, they had me convinced for years that I was left
on the doorstep, plus I was a teeny bit gullible and was an easy target for their pranks.

I hate coffee. I mean really hate it. I want to ban all coffee beans from the earth, better
yet, give them to the Zombies, maybe they’ll leave us alone once they get a whiff of that
stuff. I know what you’re thinking, how could an F.B.I. (full blooded Italian) hate coffee?
Answer: “I’m special.”

I also took Highland Dance classes. Yup, an Italian speaking-accordion playing, freckled
short little girl, highland dancing. Eclectic at its finest.

I used to be quite the daredevil. Broken knee, wore a full leg cast (downhill skiing),
shattered my radial head in my left arm (roller-blading), broken toe (fell down the stairs
while multi-tasking, some will say, I can be a klutz, I don’t agree…well, not 100%).

My husband has recently stated that he’d love to start a blog called, “Things my wife
says and does.” I’m not concerned, he doesn’t even like to write emails. Funny guy. He
makes me laugh, I make him laugh. I love to cook, he loves to eat what I cook. I also
like to make him blush, like when I publicly state, he has given me my happy-ever-after
that I love to write and read about in romance novels.

Moira: You do remember that I bleed coffee and Guinness if you cut me right? The
coffee remark nearly had me bringing this interview to a close. Then you redeemed
yourself when you brought up Highland dancing.

Selena: I wasn’t worried, you love me, you really love me. Come on over to the tea
side, I promise you’ll love it and while you sip your tea, I’ll do the sword dance for you.

Moira: So we are back on task. If I were to buy you a book for your birthday or just
because I am such total awesomeness, what genre would I need to scour?

Selena: I’m as diverse in my reading as I am in writing, so really anything goes, except
horror, math books or self-help books. I love the romance genre and the sub-genres,
I also love a good mystery, or thriller. Sorry, can’t pick one, so I guess you’ll really be
awesome when you bring me a basket full of books.

Moira: Well, I’ve already established the fact that I’m awesome and forgiving (see
coffee remark), but I think I would need to challenge you and look for something new for
that eclectic reader’s palate of yours.

Selena: If you really want to top the charts at awesomeness, then you’d hurry up and
write more books. Don’t forget, you broke me into my first fae story, and I loved it. Give
me more of those. Thank you in advance.

Moira: Well if you insist. I do aim to please after all. If you are writing, what is your genre preference? Is there a specific appeal to it? Like does it come with a heavy dose of chocolate and sex or is it the innocence of the genre that tempts you?

Selena: My first novel is sex-free, lots of sexual tension but the bedroom door was
shut tight. However, I have the rights back to that story and I’m revising it, I’m thinking
of opening the door a fraction. Same with my short story, lots of fun banter, not really
romance, but on the brink of a relationship. My current release, bedroom door is wide
open, lots of steamy scenes and talk about chocolate. In one of my works in progress, a
suspense/thriller, the heroine actually doesn’t like chocolate, the hero loves it, and yes
there will be some steam between those two. I like to mix it up as you can see.

Moira: But the constant seems to be chocolate. I’m on to you Selena. I will be watching
(and guarding my chocolate to ration out during the apocalypse). And I’m not buying
your innocent ‘closed door’ act any more either. I’ve seen behind the curtain.

Selena: Actually, there’s no chocolate in Decoy in Stiletto’s, but there is Guiness and
a lot of vodka. I get extra cool-chick points for that, right? And just a minute there, Ms Coffee Bean Addict, you are part of my trio during this Zombie invasion, so you have to take care of me, which means feeding me chocolate. It’s in my future non-fiction book, “Selena’s Zombie-Survival-Handbook.” By the way, I am innocent, I have no idea what curtain you are talking about. Someone must have high-jacked my computer the night the Nine Naughty Novelists had their 20 Questions chat.

Moira: Right, that’s the story we’re going with – computer hijacking. Totally believable.  And yes cool points for the Guinness. The vodka, not so much where this girl is concerned. Anyway, name one scene you go back and re-read often because you like it so much.

Selena: Once a book is published I don’t go back and re-read it, because of my anal
tendencies, I’ll think…Oh, I could have done this better, or I should have done this or
that. It’s a curse to have this internal editor hanging out with me 24/7, she’s such a
bitch sometimes. In my works in progress, there are two scenes which I get a kick out
of when I go back to edit and polish (yes, I do that a lot, as I said, my internal editor is
a hard ass bitch). One is my Decoy In Stiletto’s novel, when the heroine finds out the
Russian Mob is out to kill her and her reaction to it, while the hero stands around and
just let’s her get her crazy on until she settles down. My heroine’s get scared, they’re
not to proud to say, “I need help, protect me!” The other scene which I love, is in my
suspense thriller and it takes place in a lingerie shop between the hero and heroine.
The last place the hero wants to be in is this shop. Lots of sexual tension, some black
comedy and the banter between them, I really enjoy reading.

Moira: What? He doesn’t want to be in a lingerie shop with the heroine? Surely there
are visions of what he’d like to do to her flitting through his head right? Put that tension
to work, get some chocolate, and get it done!

Selena: Oh, no, this hero does NOT want to be in the lingerie shop. He’s an alpha-
undercover cop, tailing a mob bosses’ daughter, who he likes to call the Mafia Princess
and she is driving him nuts and vice versa. She’s not innocent, he’s not innocent, and
the last place they both want to be in is in a confided space with ultra sexy lingerie.
Trust me on this, it works better for them not to get all jiggy in this scene. The push/pull
and internal turmoil I put them both through is way more fun to watch.

Moira: Okay, well you know them best, so I will trust your judgment (See, I told you I can be a good friend). What is the oddest place you found inspiration for a story?

Selena: I don’t know where my inspiration comes from in the first place. I know this is
not a good answer for an author, but it’s the truth. Things pop in and out of my head at
all times, at different places, especially when I least expect it.

Moira: Like yoga class when you are supposed to be centering yourself, not watching
squirrels out the window. I’m just saying. (You can slap me later if you wish, but you
make it too easy sometimes)

Selena: I’d never smack you, because I tattle on myself all the time. Yoga does bring
out some inspiration, but usually for a blog that makes no sense.

Moira: It made total sense and was extremely entertaining! Worst and best pick up lines you either used or were used on you?

Selena: It’s been so long since one has been used on me. I remember when I was
single, and it was during Halloween and a bunch of gals decided to go out to a trendy
bar. Everyone was dressed in costume, except me. I’m not big on Halloween and it was
a last minute decision, so I just wore more makeup than I would normally wear, and
figured that was good enough.

A guy came up to me and asked, “Why I aren’t you wearing a costume?”

I said, “I am.”

He looked at me and said, “What are you supposed to be?”

I said, “I’m really a guy.”

He put his arm around me and said, “Well, hello there, I’m gay.”

It was cute and funny and we ended up chatting most of the night, about bad pick up
lines and became friends.

If I did encounter pick up lines from jerkwads, I’d usually tell them I was overjoyed that
they chose to talk to me, asked them when they’d like to meet my family, told them to
keep all Sundays open for family brunches. Saturday afternoon we could go register for
our china patterns…they usually walked away after that.

Moira: Okay, the I’m a guy remark hilarious. The last bit…wow. I imagine that a guy
deciding to put himself out there can be just as difficult as it is for a girl choosing to pick
up on a guy. Remind me to never try and pick you up.

Selena: Notice I only said jerkwads, so the good guys don’t need any kind of line. My
husband had zero game and I was smitten pretty quickly.

Moira: Ah, true love. Green with envy over here. Any deep, dark, and/or dirty secrets you’d like to share? Trust me, my readers can keep a secret.

Selena: I once thought an athletic support was something a guy used for lifting weights
and put around his friggin chest. So I walked into a sporting goods store and asked for
a 42 inch athletic support, then got pissed off because the clerk and a few guys in the
store were making cracks and laughing at me. I was young, not my fault!

Moira: Um….*snickering* hmmm…I’m speechless. And my mother said she never
thought the day would come. (As she is sitting here having breakfast with me, she says
she seconds and thirds that) Let’s move on shall we? Why do you write?

Selena: It’s cheaper than therapy.

Moira: Right? We exorcise our demons by writing about them. Or we give voice to the
other ten thousand personalities we possess by giving them voice on the page. Therapy
shmerapy. So tell me, are the experiences in your current release WHAT A GIRL
WANTS based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Selena: The only similarity between the lead characters and my life is that their close
friendship led to love. Okay, I will admit to being a bit mischievous, but not nearly as
much as the heroine

Moira: A bit? I feel compelled to call bullshit on that remark…bless your heart. Why is
injecting humor so important in the stories you write?

Selena: Laughter, especially self-deprecating humor is something I appreciate in books
I read and they are also part of real life. Eliciting emotion from a reader means that a
writer has nailed it. If a reader tells me they laughed hard at something I wrote or even
cried, then I feel that I’ve done my job.

Moira: You can say that again. And you do it well my dear. You do it well. Please round
out our interview by sharing a little about your stories!

Selena: Thank you for inviting me on your blog. It’s been a blast and I hope your
readers realize how difficult it was for me to come out of my shell and be so open like
this.

Moira: I’m sure they will get that impression. Now lets get to the books!

What a Girl Wants is a contemporary romance for readers who enjoy a spicy ‘friends-to-
lovers’ themed romance, filled with witty repartee, lots of sexual innuendos, unexpected
twists, a splash of mystery, comedic moments and red-hot-sex scenes. The heroine
(Maddie) is known as “the woman with the black belt in mischief.” Alex (the hero) has
accepted Maddie’s pranks over the years and enjoys their friendship, even though
he compares her to Lucille Ball on Red Bull at times. Deep down, I think he really
likes it…well, most times. Ultimately, What a Girl Wants is about friendship, love,
commitment, family and forgiveness.

Excerpt: Readers can read an excerpt of What A Girl Wants on my website: https://selenarobins.com/Excerpt.html

There is also a fun character interview with the hero/heroine on my website: https://
selenarobins.com/Character_Interview.html (along with a picture of who I picture Alex, the hero to look like)

What A Girl Wants is available in both Paperback and e-Book at: Amazon, Kobo,
Barnes and Noble, Samhain Publishing and most e-book distributors.

Tempted by An Angel, a FREE Short Story, a comedy with romantic undertones is
available in all formats. Kobo, Barnes & Noble, I-Tunes, Sony, Smashwords and many
other e-book distributors.

Blurb: Matthew Lockwood hired entertainment for his nephew’s birthday party, instead an Angel showed up, wearing killer heels, carrying a bouquet of balloons and a body that was heavenly—except she had an attitude that was anything but angelic.

Unfortunately for Angel Montgomery, life doesn’t have auto-correct.

Matthew and Angel are both victims of unsynchronized mishaps.

Links:

Website: https://SelenaRobins.com/

Blog: http://SelenaRobinsMusings.com/

Follow Selena on Twitter: @SelenaRobins

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with Selena and I! We always love when others join our Mad Hatter Guinness, coffee, tea party!

A Cup of Joe and an Interview With Bethanne Strasser~

It was about five years ago that I had the honor of meeting the lovely Bethanne Strasser in a place called Romance Divas. Since the Diva Days, our friendship has grown and we’ve stuck by each other through the ups and downs of writing. Now I finally get the chance to share some of the inner demons fantastic things that make her so loveable. So let’s get started shall we?

Moira: So darling Betty, I have some mad little bakers in the back who are in need of something to bake. Cupcakes preferably.  So if you could have them whip you up the cupcake of your dreams, what would it be?

Bethanne: Oh, oh, oh! I’m dying to try your Irish Creme frosting and I just know you can whip up an awesome mochaccino cake batter. Mmmm.

Moira: Hmmm, mochaccino huh? I might have to see what I can do, but for now I will get my lil baking zombies to work on those Bailey’s cupcakes with Irish Creme frosting. Would you care for some coffee to wash it down?

Bethanne: YES! Coffee, black with one sweetner, or is it sweetener?

Moira: Sweetener my dear…sweetener, but those of us that are southern at heart like to drop letters so sweetner works just as well. I know you will be or have been asked this a lot, but what got you started in writing?

Bethanne: When I was pregnant with number 3, I had insomnia. At the same time some big name NY publishing house started re-releasing Trixie Belden. I love TB! I also felt bad for her… 39 years worth of stories and she never left young adulthood. In a way–and I don’t admit it with pride–my first story was fan fiction. *blush*  In case you’re curious…there is A LOT of TB fanfic out there and not all of it can be read by my grandmother. Bottom line? I was a reader. I never thought of writing a book until I was 28. Once the idea occurred to me, I couldn’t quite suppress it.

Moira: True-once the bug bites, it sticks with you. Is it difficult being superwoman? I mean you have five amazing kids and you are married to ‘the Army Man’  so where do you find the time to write?

Bethanne: Lately? I don’t seem to be doing much NEW writing. My polish isn’t as shiny as it looks from a distance. :D Mostly, I write when the kids are occupied. Bedtime, school, Wii, quiet time… Best of all, sometimes my husband lets me out by myself and I can go to a coffee shop or the library for a couple of hours. It’s wonderful! I pray and wish that for every one of my friends.

Moira: Well you might claim your polish isn’t that shiny, but I am not buying it. Tell me a genre you wish you read more of?

Bethanne: Ha! How about…romance, any genre! Because seriously, my reading hours seem so danged few! I’ve got a great idea about a young YA, step above middle grade…so I have been curious to pick up a few good middle grade books and a few good YAs.

Moira: Would have sworn you would have said Urban Fantasy. And the idea of you writing a YA always makes me smile. Any strange writing quirks or rituals? Perhaps you can only write with the worn out pink bunny slippers on your feet.

Bethanne: Honestly? I have no writing quirks… that I know of. What do you think?

Moira: Well, I’m not here to divulge all your dirty secrets – just the ones you give me permission to. If you could have dinner with your favorite author, who would it be and why?

Bethanne: I’d have dinner with Nina Croft. Because that would mean I’m in Spain sitting next to a pool. :D I’ve thought about having dinner with Nora Roberts, but I think… yes, I think I’d rather go to go Washington and sit with Christina Dodd. Again, because of the view. Plus, she seems more down-to-earth and smart ass than Roberts, which I would like.

Moira: Well, you and I can totally relate to being down-to-earth smart asses. The apocalypse is upon us. You wake to a world where there is only one person there, one book, and one additional item of your choosing. What are they and why?

Bethanne: OMG! One person?! That’s it! I just got a little verklempt thinking of my sweet baby Darla because, of course, my one person is Matt. Not that I don’t love the other kids just as much!!! But, ya know. Something about the baby. One book, I should say the bible. It would be good to pass that down to the kids as Matt and I repopulate the earth. I can always write what I want to read… or just talk it, for that matter. haha. one additional item… A knife.

Moira: Haha! Repopulate the earth! Love it. Betty you are priceless. Tell us about your current project.

Bethanne: Now–or as soon as I get For Love or Duty on the shelves–I’m opening my ms, Flashback, and rewriting the end. Shouldn’t take too long. Hopefully a month or so? Flashback is another military romance, this one with suspense. Emily Rogers is an FBI sharpshooter who has put down her guns, but when a threat appears in her life, she has to find the courage to pick them back up and get into a job she thought she’d left behind. It’s a strong woman kind of story.

Moira: I love a story about a strong female character, but while I can’t wait for more books from you to populate my Kindle, I want to know more about your release. Care to share a blurb from ‘For Love or Duty’?

Bethanne: Growing up the proverbial military brat, Valerie Standish has shed her old ways. Yet, she’s been around long enough to recognize that familiar arrogance when Kevin Morgan walks through the door. This time she is drawn to the persistent captain like she hasn’t been to any man before, making it harder to keep her promise—never get involved with an officer.

Kevin doesn’t have a problem with her unwillingness to commit long term. He isn’t quite ready to settle either. For years, he’s worked hard to earn a promotion to Major. He wants one last fling before tying himself to a wife for the rest of his life.

But time proves them both liars as they begin to fall for each other. Neither is prepared for the ache of betrayal as they come face to face with the truth about one another.

Will either of them be able to walk away unscathed or have the trenches of love already been dug?


Moira: Well if that doesn’t just scream READ ME! And if you haven’t had the pleasure yet, the lovely Bethanne will be giving away a copy to a lucky commenter! Have a burning question you would like to ask Bethanne about her publishing experience, life as an army wife, or even how she keeps her Super-Mom cape clean, here is your chance!


You can buy this fabulous e-book at these fine retailers:

 

 

The Name Game

I play this game with every manuscript. There is a lot of thought that goes into the names of not only the characters (which most of my friends who’ve ever helped me brainstorm a story can attest that I spend a lot of time doing this), but also into names that are used in world building.

For example, in my soon to be released story Blood & Moonlight, I wanted it to have a Celtic foundation of sorts. So when it came time to name the key players I scoured baby name books to find Gaelic and Celtic names that would suit my characters. However it went a step further than that for me. In the book there is a wolf pack. That means there has to be a hierarchy. Using names for the positions within the pack proved a little challenging, but once I settled on names, they just clicked.

Let us examine the name Cadeyrn, which I use for the pack leader in my hierarchy. When I was researching, I came across this name, which is an ancient Celtic name with Welsh roots. It means battle king, which I found befitting of a leader of shapeshifters.

I for one, find names to be incredibly important. Then again, I’m fascinated by names. How much thought do you give to a name as a writer? As a reader, once you are into the story, do names that are out of the ordinary throw you are build the world and pull you in?

Shock Me Shock Me Shock Me~

With that deviant behavior! One of the best lines from the movie Empire Records.

Okay, really there is reason behind why I even mention that line. As in most cities, you can drive around and see a multitude of fashion statements out there. Piercings decorating the teens at the bus stop or the people at work. (I kid you not) See the bump on girls courtesy of Snookie from Jersey Shore fame, some people can rock it, some can’t. Not everyone is meant to be a Guidette, sorry. Emo fashion in full swing with the dark clothes and skinny jeans (which I don’t get as a fashion statement for guys). It makes me think back to the days when I loved Skater Boys. Oh I was a sucker for almost any guy who hung out at the local skate shop. Oh the point? Right.

So really, I was just thinking about how such behavior and fashion statements make their mark on the books we read and write. I mean, I have a picture of a Emo girl that is destined to star in my first young adult book. So lay it on me people! What deviant types did you lust after? Or do you imagine yourself writing about?Give me all the dirty details.

Who’s Your Cowboy?

The winner of the autographed copy of the Wild Ride Anthology is….. ahem, can I have a drum roll please?

Shelley Munro!

Yee Haw! Okay, we only have a small request here. You have to let me know if you found it just as difficult to choose your favorite cowboy among the mix. I am quite partial to Levi since I did dream about him for so long, but my partners in crime in this novella wrote some equally hot and drool worthy cowboys, so I will take no offense. :)

Anyone else who has read ALL three stories present in the Wild Ride Anthology, sound off for me on your favorite cowboy if you will. Just because of curiosity sake and the very deep seeded desire to dish on all that hawtness!

What Inspires You?

This was a question that I thought I would throw out there after deriving some inspiration for a story I have in the back of my mind. Often times, as a writer, I find myself trying to work my way through the mind field of story ideas, pick the elements that will make a story unique and once in a while, I actually manage to share something with my best friend that makes her really excited. Why is this important? Because her excitement is what inspires me. It drives me forward when I feel like I am in a rut, helps me examine other possibilities when an idea may seem far too similar or overdone. 

We all derive inspiration from different areas of our lives. Whether we are talking music, art, movies, stories, friends, family, or just life in general…the important thing is to seize that inspiration and run with it. Who knows where it will lead. 

Where do you garner your inspiration? Great books can also inspire regardless of their genre, so if you are a reader, what is it about your favorite author that inspires you?