Thursday, July 18, 2013

An interview with prolific author, Amy Gregory!

Today I'd like to welcome author, Amy Gregory, to my blog with an interview. She comes with great news regarding her Racing to Love series -- she has just released the fourth installment to the series: Eli's Honor.

Amy: Oh Jan, it is an honor (no pun intended - I promise!) to visit your blog. I fell in love with your work and pounce each and every time you release a book! Above and beyond that, I'm so proud to have gotten to know you, and call you my friend!
Jan: Thank you so much, Amy! Happy to have you here.
Amy, your Racing to Love series is obviously geared around racing. Can you explain what kind of racing and how this awesome series came about?
There are several types of racing, so great question! This series pertains to dirt bike racing. To give you an idea of what these bikes can do, our son races on the "little bikes" on a KTM 50cc bike. It will top out at about 67mph - for an 8 year old. LOL He's always had a fascination with racing and we've always enjoyed watching the pros race, as well as the freestyle variety where backflips are pretty common!
You have four books in the series: Carter's Treasure, Jesse's Soul, Brody's Love, and Eli's Honor. Are the characters that inspired these books real people? Or characters that came alive in your imagination once you came up with the idea for the series?
These books and events aren't based on anyone, although, there probably is more of me in each of the girls than I'd like to admit. In Eli's Honor, there is a secret that is revealed that leads to the final book in the series - Alex's Destiny, due to release this November.
I will admit freely, I set out with very little in mind when I write. I do prefer to write in a series, so I had each of the characters names, but there is no plotting that I do in advance at all. I start typing, then one scene leads to another twist, and that may bring in a new person and so forth.
What inspired the first book?
Initially, it was due to lack of sleep! My husband travels a fair amount for work and so between tossing and turning, over the course of that week, I kept having this recurring dream, but each night more was vivid, the story more real. I woke and started just sketching it out so I didn't forget it -- to this day I don't know why I did that. I'd never written before so it was just a whim, that when I was finished I had over 400 written pages. I couldn't give up on it and shove it in a drawer. I learned the hard way how to publish and so now here I am.
Are there more stories brewing to continue the series?
The final book in the series is Alex's Destiny. I've been pretty quiet about that book, mainly because of a secret twist to the series. I couldn't answer any questions about it without giving away that big "secret". Everyone asks about my guys, Carter, Jesse, and Eli...well those that have now read Eli's Honor -- are in on it.
I love this family so much, I won't say that I won't revisit them with some short stories, but I will say that there is a certain detective that not only I fell in love with, but I had several requests for more of him. So the series will spin off into my second series -- Finding Perfect. The first book is about Detective Mike Sterling! Yes...He's back ladies and gentlemen. That book will actually release in September, I think.
You lead a very busy life. Do you schedule writing time? What helps you get in the writing zone?
Well, I will admit, this summer has been my "off time" because I require silence to write. So with three kids -- that's impossible. I used to get up at 4:00am and write, but after awhile, my body decided sleep was going to happen one way or another! LOL. I will say, for Christmas last year, my husband gave me a unique gift that I never would have asked for. A really nice set of noise cancelling headphones. So now, when I am taking kids to and from activities and have to stay due to distance, I can sit comfortably in a local Starbucks and the headphones allow me to write during those several hours that were before wasted time.
What is your biggest writing challenge?
Honestly, I am probably my editor's worst nightmare! I can write a story -- no problem! However, everything I learned in school regarding grammar, sentence structure, story structure -- yeah, all of that is gone...I remember nothing.
You've whet our appetites for Eli's Honor. Can you share the blurb and an excerpt?
Happy to!

How can you miss something you never had?
Retired pro motocross racer Eli Hunter had it all; at least that's how he chose to look at things. His life revolved around the sport he loved and he had been catapulted to rock star status. Eli loved the feel of a bike under him as he raced, even...when it almost killed him.
After fighting back from a debilitating injury, Eli has devoted his life to The Noland Racing Academy. As far as Eli was concerned that was all he'd ever need, that is until he sat across from Dallas, a young up and coming racer, and his widowed mother, Honor. It was then that Eli realized exactly what he had been missing.
The prospect of sending her son off to The Noland's Racing Academy was daunting enough without being faced by the devil in a pair of blue jeans. When Honor held the door open for Eli Hunter she knew she was letting him walk right into her life, but she refused to let him into her heart.
Eli has never backed down from a challenge and he wasn't about to stop now. Not when those long auburn curls and shy violet eyes were the answer to his unspoken prayers.
Excerpt:  (Airport)
     Eli paced. Checked the monitors for arrivals, looked at his watch and paced again.
     The movements had been the same for over the last half-hour. The plane was due any minute, and Eli felt like a little child impatiently waiting on the word go to open a present. When he had spoken to Honor on the phone the previous night, she gave him no reason to think she'd back out, but a piece of him wasn't going to be at ease until he saw her with his own eyes. 
     The anticipation of the plane's arrivals was also uncommon. Most students that came to the academy came for a week. Most students that came were brought by their parents in an RV, hauling their bike or bikes, depending on their financial situation. Most students came with a need to improve on the basics or their parents had the money to send them because of the academy's reputation.
     Dallas Graham wasn't...most students.
     Once in a lifetime there was an exception to every rule, and Dallas was that exception.
     So was his mother.
     Eli grinned picturing the sweet shock that had swept across her face when he'd grabbed her hand. He'd fallen for the way her violet eyes went wide in surprise at his touch, the tilt of her chin waiting on his reason for holding her hand. Eli melted at the soft surrender he witnessed in her when he'd whispered the one word please. In that simple moment, she let out a faint sigh, a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, and she gave a slight nod.
     Even with Molly's words in the back of his mind, he had gone to their home prepared to meet a mother who was going to beg him to help her son. Instead he stood begging her to come to him. Seeing the plane's nose, he grinned to himself and his heart sped at the sight of the plane slowly lining up at the gate.
     They finally arrived.
     Suddenly his head went blank, he blinked several times and felt his palms go clammy. If he didn't know better, he'd think he was having a heart attack, or at the very least a panic attack. He knew differently.
     He was nervous.
     Excited but nervous. About a girl. Actually a woman, but still, same damn effect. Cruising down the straightaway and getting closer every day to the big three-O, one would think he'd outgrown that by now, but as he watched Dallas come around the corner of the jet way, his pulse quickened with anticipation. Seeing Honor round it just behind him had Eli's heart pounding double-time.
     She looked beautiful. Her hair was down this time and his breath caught, seeing the long, loose waves that reached her lower back. She had worn very little makeup when he'd met her last week, looking very much the girl next door, but today she was anything but. She was in nothing more than a simple t-shirt and jeans, but her eyes were killer. She looked amazing.
     Unfortunately for Eli, his wasn't the only head that had turned. He watched as the man behind her tried several times to strike up a conversation just in the short time it took to walk up the jet way. Eli chuckled to himself watching her politely nod then ignore the man, getting more visibly frustrated with each passing moment.
     Always one to help a lady out, Eli swooped in.
     As she walked out of the secured area with the stranger still on her heels, Eli snaked his arm around her waist, pulled her close and kissed her cheek.
     "Hi, honey. I've missed you so much. I'm so glad you're home." His voice was loud enough for the eavesdropper and laced with the promise of welcome-home sex.
     He nuzzled against her, keeping eye contact with the stranger behind her. A little old-fashioned, but he claimed her publicly for all to see. He had marked his territory.
     Honor's face went wide with surprise, but quickly relaxed. He assumed she'd caught on to his ploy. Eli nodded to the man not far behind her, tempting him to dare say another word to the woman he still had in his arms. Eli guessed Honor thought it was an act, but in reality he didn't like the thought of another man around his woman.
     That thought would have scared the shit out of him years ago. Hell, even a few months ago. Just like Carter and Molly, then Jesse and Emery, it was the right person at the right time. Eli thought about Honor for days, processed his feelings, and came to the conclusion with absolute certainty. Honor was his. He was pretty sure that she was entirely unaware of the fact but he had a month to convince her. A month to make her fall in love with him. A month to persuade her to stay in Pennsylvania.
      Suddenly the confidence he had in his plan wavered. A month didn't seem like near enough time.
     "I missed you too, Eli." Her voice was quiet and sweet, not nearly as embellished as Eli's had been.
     His stomach clinched at her admission, reading way more into what she probably meant, but it was music to his ears.
     With her back to the stranger, the other man couldn't see the deep red in her cheeks, but it made Eli's heart soar. Something about the flush and embarrassed smile made her seem innocent and young. Poor Dallas had turned his back to keep from laughing, and Eli took a long minute to take in Honor's presence. The gaze proved to be too much for her. She grinned and broke the eye contact.
About the Author
Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions. Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you'll find shining through in the characters she's created.
I've spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I've finally found it. -- Amy Gregory
Twitter:  @amygregory548


Friday, July 5, 2013

With exaggerated mutiny...

This is one of my favorite scene's from...

     In two fluid strides Kasen was at the small, round table injecting them with suspicion. "What the hell are you two up to?" Before either could formulate a response, he bit into Riggs. "I know what you're up to." He moved on to Claire.
     Before he could zing her, she zinged him. "Riggs and I are having a clandestine affair, you pinhead." She cranked up the volume. "He was about to ring my bell right here in this coffee shop."
     Kasen's eyes turned a murky shade of blue.
     Riggs threw a blanket on the inevitable fire. "As fun as that sounds, Claire, you might want to rethink the fib." He chuckled and leaned back in his chair. "Kasen will toss me into a wood chipper if I touch the love of his life."
     "Love of his life? Ha!" The concept made her tremble but Claire was determined to stay in control. With exaggerated mutiny she slurped an overlarge sip of coffee. Oww! Oww! Oww! The coffee scalded her tongue and possibly gave her taste buds third-degree burns. Foolish and stubborn, she swallowed the coffee and tipped her chin. Her defiance was short-lived when their eyes met again. For a few remarkable seconds she saw beyond the shadowy depths of his anger, and detected...pain?
 *If you'd like to experience Claire and Kasen's story, you can find it at: