As seen in the June issue of Uncaged Book Reviews
Uncaged: Can you tell readers more about the different series you have going?
My series is titled “Southern Men Don’t Fall in Love” It is based in metro Atlanta, Georgia. It is about family connections, trials and tribulations, love and loss. It’s also about six degrees of separation. As the series progresses, my readers will see how the characters relate to their families beyond the romance. Immediate families have a major influence on our romantic relationships, which is the reason why I give them a present voice in the romance and don’t solely focus on the couple and their interactions with each other.
Uncaged: Why a romance series? How would you rate your books on a romance scale? Clean or Erotica?
I delved into a romance series because that was what the spirit brought to me. I’d been playing around with the idea ten years before putting it to life on electronic paper. After I quit my defense aerospace position in 2008, the ideas came back in full force. I took the time to write the stories and have really enjoyed all of the characters.
My stories are purposely in the midpoint of the romance range. I knew that the characters would be getting engaged and married. Sexual descriptions and acts are taboo for a clean romance. I had more to say in the development of the characters and wanted them to have a deeper connection with their audience.
Erotica fell out of the range for me because I wasn’t comfortable going too deeply into the sex realm but I did want to show intimacy between the characters. My editor, Lex helps me balance the content and length of the sexual situations so I can stay in the midpoint range.
My first book “Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor” doesn’t have any sexual situations and has a few explicit words. The sexual situations progress in the second and third book as it relates to their engagement and marriage.
Uncaged: How long is your series and where would you like to see your series in the future?
With six books released and a trilogy on the way in the same series, I’d like to release at least fifteen books but who knows. When I move to other books, there will be new characters introduced. If my fan base has an interest in one of them or I get an idea for another story, I’ll add it into the series.
I would love to see my books as a miniseries or a movie. “Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor” has several scenes around Atlanta and that would be a really good one to see on the big screen. I could see Katie Pennington’s story “Fulfilling Katie’s Needs” and her sequel “The Man Who Needs You” on a Hallmark channel or something similar.
Uncaged: What do you have coming up next that you can tell us about?
The title of my newest project is named but may be retitled. It is the first book of a three book trilogy in the “Southern Men Don’t Fall in Love” series. Greg Speaks and Maya Dunbar are the leading characters who have been introduced in other books in the series. Greg is best friends with Doug Bader and Maya is Lisa Dunbar Bader’s first cousin.
This romance will take a long time to develop and it’s been one of my favorite books in the series to write. Greg has characteristics that I would love to have personally as a leading man in my life and Maya’s strong personality resembles a lot of what I would do or say if I were in her situation.
Uncaged: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yes. Write it and publish it. Don’t wait for others to dictate your dream. If traditional publishers aren’t looking at you then self-publish. If ISBN numbers are too expensive then Amazon will give you one. The point is publish it. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Find a really good editor, preferably one that edits in your genre and is up to date with the changes in the publishing world. There are several places that make covers and if you use Createspace, you can create your own cover through their cover creator.
Uncaged: Do you read your reviews? What do you take away from them?
I love reading my reviews. I learn so much from them. I had a few critical reviews in my first book so I made a few changes in latter books based on the constructive criticism. When you are a writer, you live in the world of the characters and give the view as you see or feel through them. The feedback expands my view and sometimes gives me new ideas for future releases.
Uncaged: What is one of the nicest things someone has said to you about your books?
It was from R. Riley on Amazon “Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down! It had me laughing so much, but the story was beautiful! Can’t wait to read Book 2!” Enjoyment of both humor and romance is the reaction I want to draw from my readers.
Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author?
I love being involved in the story. When I first started writing, spirit would wake me up between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. I would not be able to go back to sleep until the conversation was written down. I love sharing the story with people who’ve read the book and getting their reactions to the characters.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? Where is one of your favorite places on Earth?
I like to sit on the sand at the beach. I don’t get to go very often but when I do, I love to hear the crashing waves, feel the wind and the warmth from the sun. Wiggling my toes in the sand, sipping lemonade and watching people play in the water. Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL are two of my favorite places to go for a beach vacation.
Uncaged: What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting or publishing your books?
The challenge in being an author is the marketing. I want to focus on writing but I also need an audience and a following to ensure the success of my books. My books are on Amazon because it is easy for an independent author to enter the Kindle market. I also publish through Createspace to purchase paperback copies for book signings, contests and giveaways.
I’m experimenting with book promotion sites. There are several sites that have inexpensive or free submissions. I’ve scheduled marketing around the free book days and have noticed an increase in readership on Kindle Unlimited after the promotions.
Thankfully, my son Carlos has assisted with the marketing effort. He designed the website http://bookandspirit.com/ . He also researched marketing and keywords that will help interested readers to find my site.
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I’d love to hear from you! Please contact me with any questions related to the series. I also encourage you to join my email list and check the websites. I have several titles available on Kindle Unlimited and do offer download dates to receive titles for free on Kindle. I’m also available for book club appearances. Don’t be bashful! If you live far away, we could do video conferencing through the internet.
Life events happened and the books were put away until 2015 when the first release was published. The series was renamed to “Southern Men Don’t Fall In Love” and the first book was titled “Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor”. I have six releases in English and three releases in Spanish. My son Carlos translated the first book into Spanish and called two of his college friends to edit the books. I wasn’t sure which version of Spanish to release the book in so I have it released in Spanish of the America’s and European Spanish. All three books were released November 4, 2015 which is Carlos’s birthday. Although I’ve never learned to speak Spanish fluently, both of my children do. I believe it is important to have a second language and stressed at an early age that they learn Spanish. I would love to promote my translated books in the Spanish romance genre.
I am self-published through Book & Spirit, LLC and release twice a year. The second release date is April 26th which is my youngest son Marcus’ birthday. I may add additional release dates in the future. During the release of my first book, I met my current editor, Lex Hupertz. She designs my cover and edits my books. I could not stress enough the importance of an excellent editor and specifically one that understands your writing style as well as assists you with the development of your work. It makes a difference in a decent book to great reading. Her contact information is www.WNPublishing.org and email is Lex.WNPublishing@gmail.com I was delighted when I was contacted by Victoria Forte through Goodreads. She offered her services as an editor/translator for my series. Carlos was well on his way in his career and didn’t have the same time to translate and I really wanted my books available on both languages. She’s translated El Soltero más Codiciado de Atlanta II which is available on Amazon. She’s just finished translating El Soltero más Codiciado de Atlanta III and that is due to be released November 4, 2018. Her contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org My younger son Marcus has been tasked with translating “Fulfilling Katie’s Needs” into Spanish. It’s a shorter book and his career project. I’m anticipating that he will finish translating the book prior to entering law school this fall. The translated version of the book is expected to be released on his birthday April 26, 2019. I’ll also release the translated version of the sequel “The Man Who Needs You.” Victoria will be the editor and translator for that book.
Along with writing, I have a major interest in the metaphysical arts so I take classes that interest me such as tarot, astrology, mediumship and any other related studies. I’m an Advance Reiki Trainer as well as psychic medium. I’m also a left-handed March 4th Pisces. All of that balances my analytical side of being a CPA for 20+ years with most of my daytime career in the commercial and defense aerospace industry. I also have a Master’s degree in Government Contract Administration.
I live in a two bedroom apartment, write like crazy when the spirit moves me and I’m a plant parent.
In Ruthless Pursuit
Mia Mae Lynne
What’s a man to do when the woman he loves marries someone else?
Carter didn’t want to go to her wedding. He didn’t want to see her walking down the aisle to marry a man that wasn’t him.
He wanted her for himself.
But married life isn’t everything Terri thought it was going to be, and when her husband fails to keep his vows, Carter is determined to be the one who steps up to take his place.
He’ll take a marriage on the rocks with a side of sweet jazz, and that’s only the beginning of what he’s willing to do to get back the woman he let get away in the first place.
Can Carter convince Terri that he’s more than the strong shoulder he’s offered her? Will the chemistry between them finally click and lead to love?
Carter spent his Wednesday nights pouring out his sorrow for the love that he’d lost over the keyboard at Noel’s House of Jazz.
Once a week was enough to release his tension and keep his fingers in shape for his musically talented hands.
Sometimes his selections were somber and sometimes they were cheery and soulful.
Occasionally he took requests.
Tonight, he faced his past.
There Terri sat, alone with her glass of white wine. He tried not to allow her presence to be a distraction. When it was time for break, he approached Terri. Sadness and distress were in her deep brown oval eyes. Her dark hair was pulled up and her face was puffy as if she’d been crying
He took an empty chair next to her. “I didn’t know you were coming. Thanks for being here.”
“I had to get away for a while. I didn’t know where else to go,” she said sadly.
“Is everything okay?”
“No, it’s not. Some white woman keeps calling me and hanging up the phone. I have her number. I asked Ricky about it and he got upset. I don’t know what to do.”
As his mother always said, the chickens would come home to roost.
He now understood what that expression meant.
Ricky was still playing around.
Carter didn’t want to be in the middle of their domestic dispute, but he couldn’t leave Terri. Because even though he hated seeing her hurting, the spark in him that held out hope was delighted that maybe, just maybe, this meant he might have a chance to win her after all.
He scooted his chair closer to hers, placed his hand confidently, comfortingly on her knee. Held her gaze. Tried to play the part of good friend consoling someone in need, offering the faint hope they both knew wasn’t real but was expected between them. “I’m sure Ricky has an explanation. Probably some old girlfriend is trying to start trouble. Don’t worry about it. I’m here if you need me.”
“There’s more. I’ve found lipstick on his clothes, some woman’s earring; he’s working weird hours and, sometimes, when I call him, he rushes me off the phone.”
“What’s his explanation?”
“The lipstick…he said that he went to see his mother and she kissed him. The earring belonged to some client that rode in his car. Sometimes I can’t reach him at all and his explanation is that his battery died on his phone and he forgot to charge it. This isn’t right. Something’s going on.”
“My heart hurts for you. I don’t like to see you in despair.” He lightly stroked her back, grabbed a clean linen napkin from the table, and offered it to her.
The heavens opened and answered his prayers. The heaviness in his heart was lifted. This was the beginning of the end of a marriage to a man who didn’t deserve her. His happiness with her was eminent.
“I shouldn’t have told you this. You and Ricky are friends.” She sniffled and sipped her drink. She brushed the hair back from her face.
He lifted her hand and caressed his thumb on the back of her palm. “You and I are friends too. My door is always open if you need me. I have to finish my set. Will you be here afterwards?”
“No,” she squeezed his hand. “I have to go home and settle this. Thanks for listening and being a good friend. I’ll see you soon. I still owe you dinner.”
He smirked. “I’ll hold you to that.”
He stood up to leave and finished his set. As his music, wound down and he readied himself to leave, Noel motioned for him to sit with her.
“Hello, Miss Noel.”
“Hello, nephew. Was that her that was here tonight?”
“I hope you have that situation under control. I don’t want any jealous husbands shooting up my place.”
Carter laughed. “No, ma’am. You witnessed it. I only spent five minutes with her.”
“But if the opportunity arose, you would spend more time with her,” Noel stated.
“Creeping with a married woman in a troubled relationship can be dangerous.”
“How did you know she was troubled?” Carter asked.
“She came here twice without her man. There’s a reason for that. She needs you and she knows that she can’t have you.”
He sat back for a moment and thought about Noel’s strong words. He hugged her and thanked her for her motherly advice. He stepped briskly to his car, drove off and wondered what he should do next.