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1. Tell us about your current project.
My current project is Fredo’s Dream, which is Book 2 in the Fredo mini-series, a part of the SEAL Brotherhood overall series. In the prequel/novella Fredo’s Secret, my much-loved Latino SEAL, who sports a unibrow, thinks it’s unmanly to tweeze, and doesn’t eat anything green but cilantro and chilis, discovers he’s sterile. In Fredo’s Dream, there is a further continuation of his angst and a plot twist that brings them all to the HEA we’ve come to expect. Fredo gets more fanmail than any of my other SEALs. Not tall and handsome, he nonetheless is married to the most beautiful Mia, Armando’s former wild-child sister.
Here’s the blurb:
Navy SEAL Alphonso Manuel Esquidido “Fredo” Sanchez has the heart of a lion and would do anything to protect and honor his beautiful bride, Mia. He’d fought for her love tirelessly, even after his Team buddies suggested he give up. But it was more than pride that wounded him when he discovered he could not father children. He is raising another man’s son as his own, but can never give her what she wants more than possibly anything else in the world. He has kept this a secret only unto himself and his best friend, Cooper. And he knows time is not on his side.
Mia Guzman has come a long way from wild child girlfriend of San Diego drug dealers to devoted mother and now dutiful wife of the man she now knows was always there for her, and always will be. She yearns to have a child with Fredo, to honor him with her body in every way she can, perhaps making up for the years she discounted his devotion.
Their beautiful love and marriage will be tested to the limits through twists and turns before the dramatic final outcome readers will love.
2. What sparked the idea for this project?
I had readers constantly asking me for updates on Fredo, and for Christmas last year, I wrote Fredo’s Secret as a thank you to those readers. In the process of writing that novella, I discovered that there was a whole book in there. So this is the fulfillment to the promise I made my character, Fredo!
This book releases 11-15-16.
3. How do you choose your book covers?
I usually have photographers contact me about models and shoots they’re doing. I work with them, and then give the photographs to my graphic designer/cover artist to create. I like to have the finished cover before the book, oir as the book is written, so there’s no disconnect. It also helps me write the character if I can constantly look into his eyes.
4. Music seems to influence a lot of authors, what are your musical influences, if any?
Music is important because it puts me in the mood to write. I often cannot write without it. And every time I hear the music I think of specific moving scenes I’ve written. It’s been like this from the very beginning, for every one of my 24 books.
5. How do you handle "writers block"?
Writer’s Block is usually caused by a lack of exercising the imagination muscle. Or something from real life interferes with the place where I have to go to create. I have to say this election cycle, I wasn’t very good about staying off the news. Things distract me easily. When I’m in the groove, it’s called Fierce Writing.
6. Who has been your greatest influence?
I have to say the readers have had the biggest influence to me. This part of the business I had no idea would become so important. I cherish all my author friends, both beginning, very successful, or semi-retired. I learn from their great ideas and horrible mistakes! We are a community of writers, not individuals in caves (although it feels like that when I’m finishing).
7. Do you or have you ever had a muse?
I think my narrator is my muse. We live on opposite sides of the country, and only are able to get together in person a couple of times a year. We discuss characters, talk about stories, things that happened in our pasts and in our families. We just get together and spin tales. I’m usually very inspired when I hang up the phone. And if I’m having difficulty, sometimes he can help that, although most of the time that has to be cured from within a writer’s soul. But it’s helpful, exciting and the “fantasy” place I go to for inspiration, and in that way I’m lucky to have this “muse” of a friend.
8. What one subject is TABOO in your writing?
I don’t do BDSM or same-sex scenes. Just never felt a need or desire to. Not that I haven’t read some good authors who do that well. And I of course don’t do rape. We do get into unkind behavior, especially when the subject matter of PTSD is discussed in my books. I’ll take the review hits by people that might think this is “too realistic” since I’m bringing it out into the forefront. It isn’t pretty. It affects everyone in the family, even those who haven’t gone to war. Everyone suffers. Just because it’s romance doesn’t mean I can’t build fear, mystery, sadness and huge mistakes into my storylines.
9. What do you do when you aren't writing?
Gardening, sewing. Lately, that hasn’t been the case much. We vacationed in August at Disney World with all 5 grandkids and some days I still think I’m back there! But most days I write. That goes 52 weeks out of the year. I rarely miss a week with at least some writing. There’s also blogging and other things I do daily.
10. If there was one book you wish you'd written, which would it be?
11. What is your greatest passion?
The healing power of true love. My tagline (my first publicist hated it, but I still like it) is: True Love Heals In The Gardens Of The Heart. I firmly believe that with all my heart.
12. What one word best describes you?
Tenacious, easily distracted, creative and a people-pleaser. I notice everything. Anything can go in one of my books.
13. If you could change places with one of your characters, would you?
I like being the writer who gets to hang out with these wonderful characters. I think I don’t want to lose that job.
14. Is there one current tv show that is "can't miss" for you?
Ray Donovan and Mozart In The Jungle – two of the best-written shows ever produced, IMHO.
15. Money is no object, where do you go?
I buy an island in the Caribbean, have great internet, have a great big bed I can sleep in and hear the ocean at night, long white sandy beach to explore in the daytime or at moonlight. I’d like to not to worry about anything and just write. Someone else will package up everything and get it out there. I’d just write. I’d have the best staff around me that would handle everything else, but leave me alone. LOL. My idea of Heaven.
16. Tell me, please, the first two books on your TBR list.
I’m going to read Jameson by Nicole James next after I finish this book, and then I have several angel books on my Kindle I want to scan/read for ideas. If I had the time, I’d finish Diana Gabaldon’s books.
17. How do you choose character names?
I usually like short names for my SEALs. For my vamps and other beings, I either make them funny or match the face I see on the cover. Characters in real life are all over my books, but in snippets you wouldn’t recognize.
18. Tell us one thing we may not know about you.
I suffer from lack of confidence and I get frustrated due to my concentration issues. I don’t enjoy reading, the mechanics of it, so I get bored with books very easily. I’ve tried to take courses to fix this, but it’s probably something I’d have to do medication-wise and I’m very careful with that. I probably have some form of ADD.
19. What do you want to be when you grow up?
An outrageous older woman who can write circles around the young, pretty writers who get all the attention!! LOL. All in good fun, of course. I don’t desire to be anything but my current age.
20. Of the 7 Deadly Sins, which one have you committed most recently?
I horde chocolate and try to hide it from my husband. He’s good at finding it.