1. What is the title of your book?
Well, I guess I’ll humor those who are visiting this site for the first time 😉
My book is titled, Control.
2. What is the genre and age rating?
After much deliberation, and frustration, I have created a brand new genre for Control…
It is a Paranormal Romantic Comedy and it is definitely for adults, it isn’t an erotic novel, but it is pretty damn steamy and my characters are known to throw a few four-letter words out every now and again!
3. Give a brief synopsis, using your own words.
Okay, this is the hard part…
I like to describe Control as more than you see on the surface. Yes, it is a Paranormal Romance. No, it isn’t like other Paranormal Romance novels. It has that extra je ne sais quoi, that makes it a little bit different. Actually, that isn’t totally true, because I do know what makes it different. It is comedy, fun, a light-hearted, and easy going attitude that makes you wonder not only what might happen next, but how are the characters going to respond this time?
It is about love and lust, friendships, and family, and it is about anger, hatred, and pure evil. There is magic, both good and bad, that is layered throughout the story. It is not overt, it doesn’t grab you and smack you in the face…it is subtle and it weaves through the story, implanting its mark on your subconscious. When it is finally revealed to the characters, it hits you with an AHA, I KNEW IT! Followed closely by an all-over body shiver of fear.
Everything is not as it seems in New Orleans and my little group of voodoo warriors aren’t prepared for battle, or love for that matter…
4. Is it part of a series? Is the series completed? What made you decide to do a series rather than an epic?
Yes, Control is the first book in the Soul of Voodoo Series. I’m currently working on the second book, entitled Power, and hope to have it ready for publishing in the next couple of months.
I decided to go with a series rather than an epic novel because each novel marks a dramatic change in the lives of the characters, so dramatic in fact, that I might have to create another genre for Power…nah! Seriously, I wanted to thoroughly develop the characters and their relationships before throwing them into the “mumbo-jumbo voodoo shit”, because once it gets going there won’t be time for out of control card games or powdered sugar wars…
5. Visually describe your main character and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.
Cecelia Milonas is more what I would call exotic looking than she is beautiful. She has a mixed cultural heritage that gives her a light olive skin tone and dark brown hair. Her eyes are almond shaped with a slight upward tilt and they are defined as hazel-green, the color of olives. She is very short, but not overly thin…more curvy, like a belly dancer. She is not into typical girly things, and tends to dress and wear her hair in ways that exemplify her free-spirited approach to life. She loves to have fun and is extremely impulsive, often putting fun before everything else. However, she is smart enough to know when to get her work finished, and most of the time, she manages to pull everything together at the last minute.
She doesn’t have many girlfriends, having been raised with three older brothers, she does not know how to relate to other girls. She doesn’t like to play mental games with other people, she is honest and outspoken to a fault! She is pretty easy-going and gets irritated with people who are overly dramatic (like James, they bring out the best and worst in each other).
Oh, yeah…she loves music and reading, and being in her own head. Free-spirited to the core! I don’t have an actual picture, but I imagine her looking like a cross between a gypsy and a hippie, but modernized.
6. What are his or her biggest faults? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?
Her biggest fault is her impulsivity, which gets her into some really bad situations. She knows that she has a problem with impulsivity and distractibility, and tries to maintain strict control over her behaviors…but when she slips…Oh Lawd!!
Another thing that causes problems for Cecelia is her tendency to be illogical in a way that is incredibly logical…sounds convoluted but everyone does this at one time or another. It is when you want something, but you know it may not be the best thing for you, so you rationalize the hell out of it and then go for it anyway.
“His eyes were the color of arctic icebergs, just as they dipped under the freezing waters. I would have expected his eyes to feel cold as they touched on my skin. They did not. I felt warm, comfortable, and very content. Damn, but that man has some beautiful eyes, I thought, and suddenly I felt the hum as it fluttered a bit in my belly. It had faded away as he left for the evening, and I had almost forgotten the feel of it. As we had sat together, talking and laughing, the hum buzzed between us. There was no longer any discomfort and no fear, only an odd sense of recognition.
Okay, I thought, jumping back to the present. There it is again, how can I recognize him? Maybe I have seen him around campus; I rationalized.
Then again, we had spent hours chatting like old friends. I cannot remember ever having that much fun with a man who was not:
- a.) dating me
- b.) trying to get in my pants
- c.) family
- d.) homosexual
Obviously we are not dating, he isn’t family, and I’m 99.99% sure he is not homosexual. James would have stuck around longer and flirted more, he is exactly his type. So nope, he is not gay. That only leaves one; he was trying to get in my pants. It could be possible, but it would be hard to get in my pants without asking me out or asking for my number. Maybe it was his intent initially; he seemed as surprised as I did with how easily the conversation flowed between us. I sighed at the memory of his voice, wishing I could hear it again; it was deep, rich, the voice equivalent of hot fudge on a warm, gooey brownie.
His laugh, my thoughts were tumbling over each other as I replayed the hours in my mind, he has the most wonderful laugh. His full lips, that always seemed to turn up at the corners, had spread to show perfect, white teeth. His laugh caused his arctic blue eyes to twinkle and his long, thick lashes would tangle together at the corners. The coup de gras, however, was the deep dimple in his cheek. I loved making him laugh. Like a little child, I felt proud every time I made that dimple appear.
So yeah, I could admit that I found him to be as gorgeous as Andre, but in a totally different way. Andre was ethereal in his beauty, he was elegant and perfect, while Lance was an amalgam of all things earthy and masculine, the beauty of man.
I like him, I admitted to myself, but he does not melt my panties. Only one man can be the panty-melter. Content with my conclusions, I felt more comfortable in reliving the pleasant memories of the evening. The smile on my face was brighter than ever.”
7. What are his or her best qualities? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?
Cecelia does many things well and is generally likable, but I think her best qualities are the things that make her a good person. She is incredibly loyal and caring, often putting the happiness of others before her own. With this loyalty comes integrity, she would never compromise her beliefs or herself, and she would never compromise the trust that another person has placed in her. She is no wilting flower, that is easily swayed by every man’s attention…and for that, I love her!
“The wonderful man had made me Eggs Benedict, remembering that it was my favorite, after a conversation we had had over a year before. The thoughtfulness of that act reminded me of so many considerate things he had done for me over the years, things I could now see for the gestures of caring that they were meant to be. The eggs had chilled slightly as we christened his kitchen wall, but he was able to heat it expertly before plating it and serving it to me. My mouth watered as I raised the first forkful to my lips. I took a moment to smell the amazing aroma while I held it poised and ready to move into my hungry mouth, but his sudden words stopped me.
“You’re wearing my shirt again, Cecelia.”
My mouth fell open in disbelief. I grinned at him, declaring, “You have got to be kidding.”
His look said he was not, “Will you go get my clothes from last night? They’re still in your bedroom.”
“Nope,” he said with a smirk.
“Wha…? Oh, you’ll pay for this, you turd,” I growled at him, glaring as he continued to smile at me.
Fine, I thought, standing to walk around the table. Let’s see what he thinks of this…
I still had my bra on and I had pulled on his briefs again, but he hadn’t commented on them, thank God. I walked around the side of the table so that I could face him as he leaned back against the bar. His body was on glorious display and the son of a bitch knew it. I smiled with saccharin sweetness, sliding my hands up the edges of his shirt, as it fell open to allow glimpses of my very limited clothing. Spreading my legs slightly, I jerked the edges open and let it slowly slide down my arms to the floor. I heard his gulp when it hit the floor, but I never paused as I spun and walked straight out the French doors into the courtyard, heading toward the doorway that led into the kitchen of the restaurant. The stairway up to my apartment was just inside that doorway, and I said a quick prayer that I would make it up my stairs without running into anyone.
I heard Andre laugh deeply after a moment and I stumbled to a halt, smiling at the sound of a laugh that I had never heard from him. In that moment, my anger melted. I thought back to my insecurities of the night before and mentally flipped them off. I give him THAT, I thought with a smile. He is playing, laughing, sleeping late, and cooking for me. I will gladly play these games with him; he is long overdue. Besides, we both know it is unlikely for anyone to be here this early.
Famous. Last. Words….er, thoughts.”
8. Is there a romantic interest for your MC (main character)…or maybe more than one? Would you describe it as antagonistic, angsty, steamy, romantic, and or loaded with sexual tension?
Control has a love triangle, that isn’t really a love triangle…yes, that sounds bizarre. The fact is, one of the love interests never really identifies himself as a contender, it is merely implied. That probably doesn’t clear things up too much, huh? Oh well, I told you it isn’t really a triangle…it is way more twisty.
Describing the romantic element, hmmmmm. Yep, all of the above (particularly that steamy part)!
9. Visually describe the romantic interest(s) and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.
Andre St. Clair, Panty-Melter Extraordinaire…
*Oh, I want to give you fair warning, this nickname appears frequently…because it is his NICKNAME! Damn, people, the concept is not that freaking difficult to grasp! If you don’t like it, too damn bad. I could have given him the nickname Dre, chef, or something else equally as stupid and no one would bat an eyelash…well, suck it up people, this isn’t highbrow literature.
Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest… Andre *she says with a sigh*. Andre is breathtakingly beautiful. He is tall, lean, and muscular, with deeply tanned skin and eyes as green as spring grass. He has longish hair that is the color of midnight, thick and wavy, that falls across his forehead. He is the master of the ‘hot gaze’, and he is fond of stalking Cecelia and ripping off every pair of panties that she owns. He is passionate, caring, and a little rough behind closed doors…*she says with a Grinchy smile*. In essence, he is chocolate covered sex on a stick. Yummy.
Lance is golden, earthy, and he positively oozes manliness, *she fans herself*. He carries himself with the relaxed grace of a cowboy, and the confidence of a man that knows the effect he has on women. He is muscular with deeply defined muscles that were developed by years of hard work on his family’s cattle ranch as well as swimming competitively for many years. He has a golden tan, and light brown and gold streaked hair that is often disheveled from running his fingers through it. His eyes are piercingly blue with long, thick eyelashes that tangle together when he laughs. He is dynamic, easy-going, very playful and fun. He keeps his passion hidden behind a noble exterior, but when he is pushed to release it…Whoa! He is blistering hot.
10. Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?
Without a doubt, I love James and had an absolute blast writing every scene that featured him. He is completely hysterical and you truly never know what to expect from him. He is an incredible and loyal friend, but is full of mischief and irreverent humor at everyone else’s expense. I’ll let you in on a little secret too, he is based almost entirely on a couple of my close friends. 🙂
I opened the door and walked straight into an outstretched hand holding what looked like a little piece of mangled lace. Oh. My. God. He found my torn panties on the stairs…I will never hear the end of this.
“Puh-lease tell me that fine man ripped these from your body and ravished you on the stairs!” James squealed. “Did you quiver with need when he pierced your loins with his manly shaft?!” His voice had risen to an ungodly level.
Oh Lawd, I thought. I glanced quickly out the window to see if any passersby had gathered for his performance.
“Ummm, James. You have to shut up now. Your voice is shrill and I’m bleeding from my ears.” I said dryly. I knew the level of his voice would rise in direct proportion to my level of discomfort; I was trying desperately to appear unimpressed.
He responded, in a much more normal voice, “Well, you’d better start spilling, sister. Otherwise I’m going to fling open those French doors and very loudly recite the sonnet that I composed to your Va-J-J this afternoon.”
I was momentarily stunned by his odd announcement and told him as much, “Let’s just talk about the fact that you composed a sonnet to my vagina, shall we? You are sending off some major stalker vibes, which is odd because you’re gay. You ARE gay, right?”
He narrowed his eyes at me and waved his hand in the direction of his ‘muse‘, “I don’t want any part of that thing. I just want to honor it for being the only known thing in existence to be touched by the dick of a god.”
My mouth fell open and before I could formulate a response, my bedroom door opened to let out the tousled, shirtless, god in question. Apparently our resident god was amused, because the jackass was smiling; that genuinely joyful smile that I had never seen before today. I thought about kicking his godly jewels, until I remembered how much I liked them. He turned that smile on James, and for a blessed few minutes, James was speechless. Halleluiah!
11. Were any of your characters inspired by people you know or have known?
Oh, were you expecting more? Well, I’ll say this: all four of my children appear somewhere in the book, my husband provided quite a bit of inspiration (character inspiration, not dirty-girl…pervs), a couple of friends were my inspiration for James, and I think I’ve mentioned before that I think the humor is genetic!
12. Post a short excerpt (1-2 pages max) that you think that readers will love…
“So, after refusing to go with the dynamic duo to the jam session, I sat alone in my apartment playing solitaire, again. I had been on a particularly good round when I was startled out of my thoughts by a tapping on my French doors, which was odd since there was no access to them except through my apartment. I walked over to look outside, and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw Lance standing below my balcony ready to chunk another piece of gravel at my window.
I opened the door before he could toss the little rock, “Hey Romeo! Do I really have to tell you how old-fashioned, and borderline disturbing, it is to find you throwing pebbles at my window?”
Before he could respond, I looked down at him indignantly and noted, “I thought you were going to The Four Horsemen with your new bestest friend, James.” I could not help but feel a little tingly knowing that he was here to see me, instead of going out with guy friends.
“Well,” he said with a big smile. Stupid sexy dimple. “I changed my mind; I was hoping to hang out with you for a while. Can I come up? I brought barbeque and I’m willing to share. But I get all of the pickles.”
“No way, no deal. You split the pickles 50/50 or you can just take your barbeque totin’ ass on home,” I retorted. “I don’t do pickle bargains. I’ll get my fair share and if you aren’t careful, I’ll grab yours while you’re not looking.”
I realized how bad that sounded as soon as the words left my mouth.
He was carefully holding back his laughter as he asked, “Ummm, we are still talking about food, aren’t we?”
“Oh, shut up. There is an entrance to the courtyard in the little alley on the opposite side of the restaurant. I’ll meet you down there to unlock the gate. You better have lots of food, because I’m starving,” I stated honestly. I love good food and I’m not ashamed of that fact. I might have more of an hour and ten minutes, instead of a plain old hourglass figure, but I am not going to turn down barbeque and great company over a few extra grains of sand.
Besides, I must be doing something right considering the company I keep, I thought, smirking at my sarcastic arrogance.
I didn’t bother to change clothes or try and pretty myself up; I don’t know how, but I knew that Lance wouldn’t really be the type to even notice that I was wearing wrinkled gym shorts and an old Grateful Dead tee-shirt rather than cutesy yoga pants or some shit like that.
The worn bricks of the courtyard felt cool and spongy as I lightly skipped over them to open the gate for Lance. He had a giant bag of food that smelled incredible. “Mmmmmm, if that tastes half as good as it smells, I will love you forever,” I murmured huskily.
He just chuckled and followed me into the courtyard. Once we emerged from the little alley, he stopped and looked at the courtyard in awe. He walked around for a few minutes, silently studying everything. I could see his many thoughts written across his face as he wandered the shadowed pathways. As much as Andre was a part of the garden, Lance seemed too large among the overgrown greenery. He was like a warm breeze with no room to move among the verdant leaves and flowers. My imagination placed him in a wide-open field filled with something golden that would wave along with the winds. My overworked imagination started to annoy me as I then pictured him dressed as a Roman soldier, a la Russell Crowe in Gladiator, all golden and oozing manliness.
Snap out of it you little harlot, I thought to myself.
“I’m going to head upstairs with the food, but you’re welcome to hang out and pick some flowers if you want,” I teased.
His snort of laughter made me smile; I had forgotten how much I loved the easy banter that we started at The Four Horsemen. Rather than trying to one-up each other with sarcastic comebacks, we tried to make each other laugh with witty observations or cleverly worded remarks. My smile was bright as he caught up with me…until he snatched the bag of food and ran upstairs.
I didn’t run after him, instead I grabbed a beer from the cooler that Andre keeps stocked with a few food samples and a random assortment of beer samples. I had sweet-talked one of our liquor salesmen, Charles, into leaving me an extra six pack of Abita Strawberries when he made our delivery the day before. I popped the top and slowly walked upstairs to watch his victory smile fade quickly as he saw me with only one beer. I smiled sweetly before I took a long pull from the bottle.
“Man, that was refreshing,” I said, still smiling. “I called out to see if you might want one, but I guess you didn’t hear me. I have some milk in the fridge though, just help yourself.”
“That is just hateful, Cecelia,” he looked so hurt that I almost felt guilty. I was just about to head down the stairs to get the rest of the six-pack, but I was reminded of a funny scene from one of our favorite movies…
“It looks like you could use a cool one, Clark,” I said waiting for his knowing smile before handing him my half-finished beer and then turning to go downstairs for the rest. His beautiful laugh followed me all the way down the stairs, setting off the hum that danced along my awareness, connecting us in some way I could not explain.
I quickly grabbed the beer, wanting to hurry back upstairs to see if he felt it as well. It intensified as I climbed the stairs, peaking at the top when I rounded the corner to stare straight into his eyes.
“Should we just ignore it and enjoy the night,” he questioned calmly. “Because, I have to be honest, I was looking forward to just hanging out, eating a good dinner, and then maybe laughing and talking for a while. If whatever this is…” he waved his hands around, opening his eyes wide as he spoke, “…is going to ruin the fun thing we had going, I’m game for ignoring it.”
He could not have said anything more perfect if he had spent weeks trying to prepare. My smile was gigantic and my heart swelled as I nodded, “I’m game for ignoring it.”
We heated up the barbeque sandwiches and ate them as we sat on the floor around my coffee table where I taught him how to play double solitaire.
For the next several hours, we played double sol, talking trash and getting more and more rowdy with each passing hour. As the youngest of four, and the only girl, I was highly competitive and had no problem admitting it, or rubbing someone’s face in it…or maybe even making up a little victory dance to celebrate it.
Lance was just as crazy competitive as I, and he was quickly getting fed up with my current winning streak. So when I stood up to do my victory dance after my fourth straight win, Lance leaped over the table, pushed me over onto the couch and rubbed the cards in my face while I laughed hysterically, calling him a loser the whole time.
We ended up tangled on the floor, covered in cards and laughing until our stomachs hurt. As the laughter started to fade, the hum that we had successfully ignored all night came back in full force, stealing my breath and making me aware of the heat between our bodies as we lay tangled together on the floor. The hum didn’t dance along our skin as it had previously, instead it shot straight into us, throbbing and pulsing hungrily. We shot apart at the exact same time. After a few minutes of simply staring at one another while we tried to catch our breath, he sighed deeply and stood to leave.
“This was honestly, the best night I can ever remember having, Cecelia. So, I’m going to leave on a high note,” he smiled softly.
I walked him to the gate through the courtyard and let him out, neither one of us saying a word. The hum was now buzzing just underneath my skin, but with each step he took away from me; it seemed to twist into me, leaving me aching. I walked upstairs, suddenly weary, my energy completely drained. I looked at the cards on the floor sadly; feeling like all joy had been ripped away from me. I dragged myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth and then fell in bed, not even waking when Andre climbed in beside me during the night.
I hope you have enjoyed this little sneak peek into my twisted little mind…if you want more of Control, you can purchase the book for only $2.99 at Amazon!!
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or right here on my blog so that you won’t miss any news about The Soul of Voodoo series, and Power, the soon to be released, second book in the series!!
Me, looking properly wistful and sincere…