Welcome to Under the Covers, Lucia! Since this is your first time here, let’s get to know you a little better! Tell us five interesting things about yourself that readers wouldn’t know!
Thank you so much for having me! I’ve actually been a fan of Under the Covers for many years, so being here is really amazing and incredible to me.
Ah, five things? Here goes—I actually hate talking about myself. Hate it. lol But I guess, I would share that I’m actually really, really shy. Sitting behind a computer and chatting is one thing, but in person, I can barely open my mouth. It takes me some time… and then you can’t shut me up. Country music is everything to me. I listen to it all day long, some songs on repeat. It inspires me and can shift my entire mood. If you meet me in person, you’d have to look down to find me. I’m only 4’11. And… If I could live on the beach, I would. I’m a total beach bum.
Can you please tell us about the Off Balance series? Where did you get the inspiration for this story?
Balance the first book in a three part series entitled Balance that chronicles the life of a fifteen year old elite gymnast, her quest for the Olympics, and the illicit affair she has with her much older coach. I happen to LOVE forbidden romance stories and age gaps, but I couldn’t find any that really pushed the envelope. The ones I had found, I devoured. I also adore sports romances but I couldn’t find any that focused on the sport as much as the romance. Being that I was a gymnast myself for many years, I sat down one night and decided to take the plunge.
BALANCE is the first book. Can you tell us more about Adrianna Rossi? What’s your favorite thing about her?
Adrianna is very determined. She’s levelheaded and mature for her age, like most elite/advanced athletes typically are. She’s focused on what she wants. Gymnastics is hard, one of the hardest and most dangerous sports to play, but she doesn’t give up despite everything thrown at her. She’s no doormat that’s for sure. My kinda girl!
Kova sounds intense. What do you hope readers will enjoy about his character?
Kova is intense! He’s very driven, and when he meets someone who shares the same aspirations and goals as he once had, it’s a challenge in more ways than one for him. He’s domineering and a hard ass, but not everything is as it seems with him. He has some issues he’s dealing with in his personal life, so I really hope readers see and enjoy his soft side when it comes out.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to write this book?
Writing Balance how I wanted to, and not how I was supposed to. There are so many “rules” in the book world of what I can and cannot do. If I do this, then I’ll get a bad review, but if I don’t do that, people will complain. Basically, I’m going to be crucified regardless. It’s very stressful and what essentially held me back from writing this story for a while since the theme is so complex. I wanted this story a certain way and being told how wrong I am over and over was playing mind games with me. After talking to an author friend, Micalea Smeltzer, she gave me some encouraging words about writing. I never forgot them. I realized I had to let go and write this story without worry or I’d regret it. She was right, and in the end, that’s exactly what I did.
Any fun bit of research you had to do to write this?
I’m a stickler for accuracy and while I know the majority of readers who read Balance won’t be gymnasts or understand half the skills I mention, they had to be on point and precise for me. Since I was a gymnast, a lot has changed, but I was fortunate enough to have a reader, Lori, who happens to love everything gymnastics. Doing gymnastics research is fun and I could do it all day long with Lori. When I was stuck on something, she was always willing to help. In fact, her daughter Haley, a gymnast with incredible accomplishments, is the model on my cover. 😉
What’s your favorite quote or scene (without being spoilery) from the book?
Your body can endure just about anything—it is your mind you have to convince.
If you had to summarize this book in a tweet, what would you say?
Ah, I suck with tweeting! I’m a wordy person and fitting in 140 characters is a lot harder than it seems. I guess I would say…
BALANCE is an evocatively tantalizing journey into the forbidden. Age is forgotten, tipping the scales of moral right and wrong.
Do you have a particular writing ritual?
The darkest coffee I can find and music in the early morning before the sun comes up is a must for me. I get up a little after 4am. It’s when I’m the most productive.
If we peeked into your purse, what would we find right now?
A complete and utter disaster! lol My purse is always a mess. There are tons crumpled receipts, about eight tubes of different brands of chapstick (I love chapstick), gum with dirt particles imbedded in it that I need to throw out, cell phone charger, a notebook in case I need to write… probably some food wrappers from my kids.
What’s the last book that kept you up all night reading under the covers?
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit and read a book, but I’d have to say Dark Notes by Pam Godwin kept me up all night. Oh—and Breaking Him by R.K. Lilley. Angst filled books all the way for me!
What are you currently working on?
Since Balance is a three book series, I’m about to start writing the second book, Execution. This is a continuation series so you’ll get to see the same characters in each book.
Thanks for spending some time with us today, and we hope everyone enjoys BALANCE!
Thank you so much for having me!
Available August 29, 2016!
by Lucia Franco
Released: August 29th 2016
Series: Off Balance #1
Published by Self Published
Adrianna Rossi is no stranger to the rigorous demands required of her body. Years of pain and determination make her one of the best. Olympic glory is the ultimate goal, and she'll do anything to achieve it. Even if that means leaving home to attend World Cup Academy of Gymnastics, a training center that serves one purpose—producing champions.
Perfection, precision, and dedication are required of his athletes. When two time Olympian Konstantin Kournakova is persuaded into training the young hopeful, he immediately regrets it. She doesn't come close to his high standards. As the relentless pursuit of her dream keeps her striving, a passion is ignited within him.
Kova's power and domination, coupled with Adrianna's fierce tenacity, reveal there is more for her body to learn. Every interaction can be misconstrued, but there’s no mistaking the darkening of his gaze, the lingering of his touch, or the illicit image of his bare skin pressed against hers. Integrity is on the line. One toe off the beam and their forbidden desires could ruin everything they’ve worked for, throwing it all off balance.
WARNING: This novel contains explicit content.