Today we are visiting with Marcia James. Welcome to JBR.
We are having a giveaway going on for November. What item are you giving away? (Anyone
can win the item by going to the rafflecopter on the right hand side of the pg.)
I'd like to give away five ebook copies of my contemporary romance Christmas novella,
Heating Up the Holidays.
First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
I write funny, sexy contemporary romances and romantic mysteries. All of my books have dogs
in them—Chinese crested hairless dogs, as well as other breeds—along with several cats. I love
to have my big, tough romance heroes bond with tiny, delicate crestie dogs. Not only do pets
humanize the Alpha male heroes, the cresties provide plenty of comic opportunities. My autthor
online bookstore known for its hot books, so Love Unleashed is a little hotter than my other books. When the rights to the novella reverted to me, I published it in all e-book formats. Love Unleashed is a reunion story, and here's the one-line blurb: With the help of a tiny dog, Ron Hart plans to win back his ex-lover, Cara Wilson, but learns that winning sometimes takes losing
What can we expect from your stories: action, drama, romance, sex, blood and guts?
LOL! I'm not a blood-and-guts-type author. I can't even watch bloody crime shows on TV. But
my books often have action and mystery; and they always have lots of romance and love scenes.
I love writing love scenes! I also have humor in my books since my "author voice" is humorous.
As a reader, I gravitate to romantic comedies (e.g., Susan Andersen's books), as well as romance
novels with comic touches (e.g., Suzanne Brockmann's books).
Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?
My favorite character is Dr. Ally Skye, the Las Vegas sex therapist/amateur sleuth in my comic
romantic mystery series, which begins with Sex and the Single Therapist. She was raised in a
commune and is very comfortable discussing sex with her patients. But she's also adept at t'ai chi
and can handle herself when her sleuthing gets her into danger. Her boyfriend, police detective
Zack Crawford, is a bit of a prude, which makes for some interesting love scenes. ;-)
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Since I write comic romances/romantic mysteries, I like all my positive, upbeat characters.
So my mystery villains would be my least favorite characters. Not only do I dislike the bad
things they do, but some of them are just plain evil. I'm writing the sequel to Sex and the Single
Therapist right now, and the villain is someone who has no empathy or conscience.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
I set my Dr. Ally Skye romantic mystery series in Vegas, since the town has a well-deserved
nickname of "Sin City." A number of things that are illegal elsewhere are legal in Nevada. Ally
consults with the police on sex-related murders (although her detective boyfriend would really
like for her to stay out of his work), and Vegas offers a great potential for fictional sex-related
crimes. But I admit that some of the websites I visit when researching my plots are a little, uh,
embarrassing. I make sure to update my anti-computer-virus program regularly and delete my
browsing history every night. ;-)
Has there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out?
I began reading romance novels in the 1990s, when I discovered Nora Roberts' books. When I
started writing my own romances, I was lucky to find two great author critique partners, who
became my best friends and supporters: Regina Hart/Patricia Sargeant and Janie Mason. And
other author friends have served as Beta readers.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Reviews and word-of-mouth are the kindest things readers can do. I put the following graphic at
the end of all of my books to thank readers:
Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
There are many publishing options these days for aspiring authors. But there aren't any short-
cuts. It's important to learn characterization, plotting, point-of-view, GMC (Goal, Motivation,
and Conflict), etc, in addition to being able to spin a good story. Joining a professional
organization like Romance Writers of America can gain an aspiring author access to a vast
amount of information on the technical side of writing fiction, as well as information about
publishers, agents, and marketing. And networking with other authors and finding critique
partners is another plus to joining a writing organization.
Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
I'm in awe of Suzanne Brockmann's characterization and deep POV. And I love the way Nora
Roberts (writing as J.D. Robb) created such a wonderful cast of characters in her "In Death"
series. One of my new favorite authors is Gail Carriger, who writes wonderful mashup romance/
mystery/paranormal stories set in a steampunk world. Humor and compelling characters draws
me to an author's work.
Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?
When I was in elementary school, I wrote poetry, which I remember because my relatives
wanted me to read the poems aloud. (I wasn't as out-going back then as I am now.) When I was
twelve, I wrote a risqué musical version of the Anthony and Cleopatra story for the Latin Club.
The school sent a letter home to my parents saying they were concerned about the racy lyrics in
some of the songs. LOL!
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
My sense of humor is a little off-kilter, so when I play the "What if..." game, I come up with
funny plots. For example, my first book, At Her Command, was set in a Washington, D.C. sex
club. The heroine is a sexually insecure DEA agent undercover at the club as a dominatrix. The
hero is an Alpha male D.C. cop undercover as a submissive. The idea for the book began with
me thinking, "What if several law enforcement agencies put operatives undercover at the same
sex club without telling each other?" I really enjoy writing fish-out-of-water stories. So much
humor can come from putting characters into situations they don't know how to handle.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets, or stories you would like to share?
Before I moved to Ohio, I lived for twenty years in Washington, D.C. I enjoyed volunteering
there for non-profit events—especially those that included celebrities. I have a photo album on
my website from some of those events: http://www.marciajames.net/Photos_Celebs.html Today,
I make and donate gift baskets to local charities. I also enjoy golfing and gambling, though not at
the same time. ;-) I love playing video poker!
Favorite places to travel or visit?
My two favorite places to visit are Napa Valley, CA and Las Vegas, NV. Enjoying beautiful
weather and great wine makes Napa a wonderful, relaxing getaway for us. And my husband
and I go to Vegas every May. Not only do I get to play video poker for a week and research my
Vegas-set series, but during this year's trip, I attended the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM.
And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and
tantalize us: ( Include links to were we can find your work)
I have blurbs and excerpts, as well as purchase links, for all of my books on my website: http://
www.marciajames.net/books.html Here's an excerpt from Sex & the Single Therapist:
Zack trapped her in the V of her open car door. After several heart-stuttering seconds, he
bent his head as though to kiss her.
She leaned toward him, and the din of traffic and chattering tourists retreated. The
warmth of the day paled, as sensual heat sparked between them. Ally waited, breathless.
When he hesitated, she spoke for his ears only. “It’s okay. I don’t bite...hard.”
Zack pulled back, but his lips curved. “It’s your mind, not your mouth, that concerns me.
I don’t feel like having my kisses rated by Doctor Skye.”
“Oh, well, if the tough cop has performance anxiety...,” Ally turned to climb into her car.
Taking her hand, Zack spun her back and into his arms in a single, fluid motion. She met
his determined gaze a split second before his lips took hers in a dominating, exhilarating kiss.
Ohmigod. Blessed, blistering sensory overload. Ally’s toes actually curled. For several
pulsing moments, her whole world was Zack.
To a cacophony of car horns, he broke the kiss. Confused, she slowly opened her eyes.
His lips were wet and his expression mirrored her longing, even as he set her away from him.
Zack started to speak, cleared his throat, then began again. “We’re blocking traffic.”
Light-headed, Ally glanced around. Vehicles had stacked up behind her Porsche, and the
drivers were either honking or clapping. She didn't know whether to blush or raise her fists like a
prize fighter. It’d been a gold-medal kiss.
Not trusting her voice, Ally got into her convertible and closed the door. She picked up
her notepad and drew a large number ten on it with a shaky hand. Then, in an imitation of an
Olympic judge, she held up the pad for him to see.
Zack laughed aloud at the perfect score she’d awarded his kiss
Thanks for visiting us here on JBR! We wish you great success!
Julie Ramsey, ADM JBR
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