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Wordsmith Wednesday

Today is the first in my 2019 interviews with women wordsmiths. Up first to reveal her secrets is MV Ellis, author of four contemporary romances. Her new novel, Finding MV headshotMarnie, was released earlier this month. MV will be attending the Australian Romance Readers Association Romantic Rendezvous ARR2019 author signing in Sydney on 24 March.

What’s the first book you remember reading on your own as a child, or your favourite childhood read?

One of the first books I really remember loving as a child was a beautifully illustrated Winnie the Pooh picture book. I was enthralled by the combination of words and pictures. I still have a soft spot for Pooh to this day. There were many favourites though—Where the Wild Things Are was another that stands out in my mind. I was a big reader from day one, so my first solo read was so far back I don’t remember it, but I do remember reading Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol at around nine or ten, which started my love for Dickens.

What’s your favourite place to write?

Hmmm…I write at my three-metre-long kitchen table. However, I do have an office (aka the spare room), but it’s currently serving as a bit of a junk room during our home renovations. When that’s all done, I’m planning on taking it back over and creating a beautiful writing haven. In the meantime, when I want a break from the dining table, I head to our local café, or even IKEA for a change of scene.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned on your writing journey so far?

It’s hard to pinpoint just one, as the past year as a published author has been a steep learning curve. However, one thing I’m currently living by is that you just have to keep on keeping on. It’s not always easy, but you’ve just got to get your eyes down, bum up and keep working and moving forward. I write every day, more often than not, into the small hours of the morning, but I know that’s what I need to do to achieve my not inconsiderable short and long term goals. My current motto is “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

What do you do when you feel stuck?

I’m fortunate enough to never have suffered from writer’s block, but on the few occasion when motivation wanes, I force myself to write, no matter how paltry an amount. Failing that, I watch TV. I’m a very visual person, and I find that consuming visual forms of storytelling helps keep my creative juices flowing, while not specifically trying to write.

Writers are readers too. Please recommend a romance you recently read and enjoyed.

I recently read LJ Shen’s Dirty Headlines, and as is always the case for me with her books, it didn’t disappoint.

What was the inspiration behind Finding Marnie?

finding  marnie_fprjpegs_frontcover.jpgBeing the fourth book in a series, Finding Marnie was somewhat inspired by the previous books, but also by reader requests to know more about some of the supporting characters from the first three books—Marnie and Luke in particular. It was a chance for us to learn more about the troubled pair, and see events portrayed in the other books from a whole new perspective, and in a very different light. Having said that, it’s a standalone novel, so great to read even if you haven’t read the other books.

Tell us about Finding Marnie in 100 words or less.

Finding Marnie: Rock Star Romance (Heartless Few Book 4), the highly anticipated fourth installment of the Heartless Few series, takes us back to the rock ‘n’ roll world of the Jones brothers, but now from a different point of view. “Quiet twin” Luke has preferred to live in his twin brother’s shadow, but when Marnie, his life-long crush, finds herself at rock bottom he’s desperate to save her, even if it means defying Arlo. In this book we see this sexy rock god finally step into the light and become the man he was meant to be, proving to both himself and Marnie that they are worth fighting for.

Do you have an extract you can share with us?

I’D LEARNED to make myself small from an early age—even before my parents had decided that I wasn’t worth living for. They’d always been all about them, and I’d always felt like an inconvenient by-product of their love, rather than a cherished part of it. The state-ordered psychologist I saw after they died had said that nothing and nobody could take away or diminish the way I felt, but it was unlikely that my parents hadn’t loved me. They may have lacked the parenting skills to adequately demonstrate it and been hampered by mental illness and addiction, but apparently, nothing in their treatment of me suggested I had been unloved.

 Try explaining that to a three-, four-, or five-year-old who was never a consideration. I was just there. Not living but existing. I quickly learned that the less space I took up, the less mental real estate I commanded from them, the happier they were with me. The smaller, the better. If I could have made myself invisible, that would have been ideal.

 I curled myself into a ball next to Luke, hugging my knees to my chest. Fuck, he made my heart hurt. In fact, he made all of me hurt. No, that wasn’t right. He made me ache. All of me ached for him. When I was feeling weak and being stupid, I allowed myself to imagine what it would be like if things were different. If I were different. If I were the kind of woman who deserved the love of a man like him. The kind of girl who could match his gentle nature and give him the love he deserved.

 I was clearly feeling more stupid and weak than normal, allowing myself to think that way when Luke was within arm’s reach. When I could just stretch out my hand and run it through his thick dark hair like I’d imagined myself doing ten thousand times before. When I could brush my hand across the stubble of his strong jaw. When I could kiss his ripe, shapely lips just once.

Buy linksMV Ellis.jpg

Where can readers find you online?

 

The Millionaire Mountain Climber

The Millionaire Mountain Climber is now available.

BlurbMMC.jpeg

When danger threatens a bona fide city girl, an adventurer is her only hope of rescue

Mountain climber Matt Hanley is a former investment manager whose lean body and rugged good looks epitomize an outdoor adrenaline junky. When his business partner in their country hotel is injured, he needs an efficient replacement in a hurry.

Hailey Gordon lives a chic city life free of adventures and daredevils. She craves stability and security but loses her job and boyfriend on the same day. A holiday job in France is the perfect escape from her troubles.

Sparks ignite when Matt and Hailey meet, but she resolves to ignore the flame flickering between them. Aside from the fact Matt is her boss, she is convinced he is not her type. Matt is determined to teach Hailey to look beyond appearances. He needs to show her how good they are together, even if he must risk life and limb to do so.

Extract

Hailey drank in the landscape, noticing the clarity of the late afternoon sky and the way the snow-capped peaks glistened despite the fading light.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said Matt.  “Trending down the valley, you have the villages of Argentiere and Les Praz and the town of Chamonix. Behind Chamonix you can see the Grand Mama of all the peaks, Mont Blanc.”

“Yes, the pens––and the chocolates.” She shook her head. What hubris to name a pen after the magnificent towering peak, but what marketing genius.

Matt grinned. “Ah, you know the chocolates, do you? We’ll have to buy you some.”

“From the lips to the hips,” she murmured, “and I am sure they don’t do the mountain justice.”

“Come on, let’s get you inside before your face turns blue, and I earn a reprimand from Genie for chatting up scantily-clad women in sub-zero temperatures.”

“Really? You were chatting me up? I’m flattered.”

The smile turned wicked. “You’re welcome.” As he bent to pick up her suitcase, he dropped his head next to hers and murmured into her ear in a low, deep voice, sending shivers down her spine. “For the record, Hailey, your curves are perfect. A little chocolate won’t do them any harm.”

She blushed, and the fire of his words flickered all the way through her belly. When was the last time her ex had paid her a compliment? An appalling thought crossed her mind; she, the High Priestess of Order and Long-Term Planning, was ripe for the picking and contemplating a holiday romance.

eBook Buy Links

Amazon Australia IMG_3920

Amazon US

Amazon UK

IBooks 

Kobo

The Wild Rose Press

Paperback Buy Links

The Wild Rose Press

More coming soon.

New release: Play Me by Kimberley Kincaid

Mischief Under the Mistletoe banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for the box set Mischief Under the Mistletoe. I am going to focus on Kimberly Kincaid contribution, Play Me. However, it would be remiss of me not to let you know that  Mischief Under the Mistletoe includes 19 short stories by 19 different authors. The stories are adult romance books varying from sweet to super steamy. The box set will be on sale for only $0.99, that’s 19 stories for only $0.99, which is a bargain guaranteed to raise your spirits and get you swinging to that holiday vibe well ahead of the Christmas holidays. The fact that the stories are short means you can dip into them whenever you get a free moment, whether it’s baking, waiting for the school Christmas carols rehearsal to end or grabbing a quick coffee in the midst of holiday spending frenzy. Here in Australia, of course, you can also nip out to the beach and luxuriate in sun and stories. I advise you poor folk up north to stay indoors and grab a chair close to the fire.

I haven’t read Kimberley Kincaid’s books before, and I am so glad I have had the chance to review one. It’s been one of those occasions when you finish a book by a new (to you) author and think, ‘That was fabulous!’ and then promptly hit the internet to find out what kind of backlist she has available.

Sophie Drayton has run away from the family nightmare that is the music industry. She is studying to become a librarian and working part-time in an all-night diner to pay her bills, which is where she first sees Emilio Barrett, doodling in a journal of some kind. Sophie has certainly seen enough of the wild life to know that Emilio is bad news, and she is determined that this time around her head – and not her heart or her hormones – will rule her decisions. But somehow she can’t seem to keep the sexy stripper from invading her thoughts. Perhaps that’s because Emilio has a mind of his own, and he has decided Kimberley’s the one for him. Now he just has to convince that his part-time job is just that; a job to keep him earning enough money to look after himself and his mum and siblings until he can get his chosen career as a musician off the ground. But when he figures out Sophie’s connection to the music industry, he stalls on telling her about his dreams and desires. She seems to hate the business. Will Sophie’s past come back to haunt them, or will Emilio prove that a bad boy can be also be a good man?

This was a thoroughly enjoyable romance touching on important contemporary issues as well as sizzling between the sheets. The characters were well rounded. Sophie’s passion for books made her come alive. Emilio’s smouldering Latino looks and his comfort inside his own skin made him a good foil for Sophie’s cerebral approach. I also found the way Kimberley Kincaid explored the issue of family and how it moulds us very interesting. Sophie’s family is wealthy but damaged. Emilio’s family has always struggled and yet they are bonded in a way that Sophie envies. Emilio is afraid Sophie will think he is trying to abuse her connections if she finds out about his hopes and dreams to be a musician. When things go pear-shaped – as was inevitable with both of them keeping secrets – both of them believe their worst fears have come true. How do they manage to work through their fears and find the courage to reach out to one another? You’ll have to read Play Me to find out!

Heat rating:
Mischief under the Mistletoe: sweet to sexy
Play Me: hot!
4 hearts

 

 

More about Mischief Under the Mistletoe:
This box set contains is composed of nineteen contemporary romance novellas about holiday hotties just waiting to be unwrapped! The stories are written by a range of  NY Times, USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award Winning Authors. This anthology won’t last long. Grab it while it’s HOT!

Mischief Under the MistletoeMischief Under the Mistletoe
By Kristin Miller, Claudy Conn, Melanie James, Mindy Klasky, Holly S. Roberts, Stephanie Rowe, Diane Rinella, Kate Angell , Kimberly Kincaid, J.D. Tyler, Robin Covington, Suzanne Ferrell, Kathy Ivan, Selena Laurence, Jennie Marts, Teri Riggs, Jennifer Theriot, M.J. Fredrick and Deb Julienne

Note:
This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 17 till 23 November, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours. I was provided with a free advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.