Welcome to Under the Covers and congratulations on the release of BURNED. This is the second story you’ve written for COSMO RED HOT READS. How has been the experience to participate in that initiative?
It’s been so much fun. Writing for Cosmo was the first time I’d written a novella and it was great experience for me to have the opportunity to write a slightly shorter story, but the best part was being able to write fun, flirty stories with a slightly younger heroine.
Cosmo Red Hot Reads usually feature a strong and fearless heroine. How would you say yours measure up and what’s your favorite thing about each of them?
Both my Miller sisters, Rosie and Hayley, are strong independent women. They live full, busy lives, have a large circle of good friends and for them a romantic relationship is the icing on the cake.
Hayley, the heroine of Ripped is an engineer and she is super bright and a little bit geeky. I love her slightly ‘out of the box’ approach to
problem solving (when her sister asks her to remove some stray feathers on the Christmas turkey in RIPPED, Hayley applies her own unique methods – no spoilers here!). Rosie, by contrast, is physically fit and co-ordinated. She’s a martial arts expert and is likely to be practising her turning kicks while Hayley is lounging in her pajamas on the sofa. They made a fun pair!
What is the biggest difficulty when writing shorter stories like this one?
The Cosmo Red Hot Reads are novellas and the challenge is to pack an emotionally satisfying story into a shortish word count. It’s important to convey just enough detail about character and back story, but still focus on the central relationship. I hope I succeeded!
With martial arts an emphasis in this book, did you have to do a lot of research to better understand the sport?
Both my sons do martial arts so I had some help from them and I did some extra research along the way to make the story as authentic as possible. Research involved watching hours of footage of half naked men fighting. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it and I don’t mind suffering for my art 😉
Your stories are both fun and sexy. What kind of books do you like to read?
What I read depends on my mood. I love romance, I love to laugh, I love emotionally satisfying stories (but I want a happy ending). I enjoy
thrillers and also the occasional biography. I’m fascinated by other people’s lives.
Now let’s get personal! What’s one thing you would recommend to keep the romance alive in a relationship?
Communication, laughter, and spending time together no matter how crazily busy you are!
What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished the final book in my O’Neil Brothers series, Maybe This Christmas, which will be out in October. I’ve had so much fun with these characters. Next I’m moving on to another project for HQN, an exciting new contemporary romance series about three friends. I have lots of projects bubbling and I’m looking forward to all of them.
Trainer and martial artist Rosie Miller’s zen is seriously compromised when Hunter Black—her former coach and lover—becomes her new boss. And with all the sexual energy still crackling between them, her poor little zen doesn’t stand a chance. So this time, Rosie is determined to play by her rules….
‘I wish I’d met you for the first time now.’
I gave a half smile. ‘Because we would have had great sex. You’re the only man I’ve ever met who isn’t threatened by my turning kick. I don’t scare you or threaten your masculinity.’
He lifted his eyebrows. ‘That happens?’
‘All the time. My turning kick might not impress you but it’s a turnoff for some.’ I tried to keep it light and suddenly I didn’t feel like laughing.
The truth was I longed for someone who liked me the way I was. Who encouraged me and supported me while I travelled the route I’d chosen instead of always trying to push me onto another path.
Hunter wasn’t smiling either. He lifted his hand and pushed my hair back from my face. ‘I happen to love your turning kick,’ he said softly. ‘And you don’t scare me or threaten my masculinity.’
I suspected that nothing aside from a direct hit in the balls would threaten his masculinity and possibly not even that. I’d never met any man as comfortable in his skin as Hunter.
He was silent for a moment, as if making up his mind about something. Then he muttered something under his breath and let his hand drop.
‘So let’s pretend we’re meeting for the first time. Have dinner with me.’
It was the last thing I’d expected him to say. ‘Why would I do that?’
‘Because you want to. Because you’ve thought about me every day for the past five years.’
I gasped. ‘You arrogant b—’
‘And because I want to, and I’ve thought about you every day for the past five years.’
We are giving away a digital copy of the winners choice between RIPPED and BURNED.
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