Uncaged had a chance to talk with author Stacy Hoff, for the May issue of Uncaged Book Reviews, and enjoy an excerpt from Betting on Love in Vegas after.
Uncaged: You are a lawyer by day, and you still find time to write. Do any of your clients know that you are an author also?
I work as in-house counsel, so my client is my employer. Nobody at my job knows I moonlight as a romance novelist. I love my secret identity. I feel like Batman. (Or Bookwoman, maybe?)
Uncaged: Do you read your reviews on your books? Do they influence your story at all?
I do read reviews. Usually while biting my nails. The most feedback I’ve had was on Facebook, right after my second DESIRE book (DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC) was released. I received lots of comments from people about where the third book should take place, and on different ways the money-grubbing television station should be punished. I loved those ideas! If I ever do draft a third book in this series, I’m sure those comments will influence me.
Uncaged: You just released Betting on Love in Las Vegas as the first book in the Building Love series. How many books are you planning for this series?
There will be three books in total. I’ve completed Book # 2 (tentatively titled BUILDING LOVE IN THE CARRIBEAN), which will be released this October. Right now I’m working hard to finish up the draft for book # 3 (tentatively titled BUILDING LOVE IN MADRID, with a release date of March, 2018).
I love staying ahead of my publishing schedule, although this ambition costs me many hours of sleep. I drink lots of coffee to avoid acting beastly around my innocent family.
Uncaged: What inspired the story, Jockeying for You? Have you been involved with horses or racehorses in your life?
This story happened by serendipity. I attended a writers’ conference featuring notable Hollywood script doctor, Michael Hauge. Michael challenged the attendees to come up with a story that mirrored the Hollywood story arc. The idea of a race entered my mind, one in which the heroine desperately wanted to win, but was too emotionally afraid to participate. I toyed with the concept of getting back in the saddle. I ultimately chose horseracing so my character would have to do this quite literally.
One of the biggest challenges I had writing JOCKEYING FOR YOU was my knowing absolutely nothing about horse racing. To learn, I visited two New York Racing Association tracks, the Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park. I also read several books about racing, riding, and breeding. After I learned as much as I could, I toured the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and then interviewed the staff members. (Even when I’m in my romance-writing mode, my compulsive inner-lawyer still won’t rest.)
Uncaged: What are your favorite genres to read right now? Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you like to read books that are part of series?
I read romances that are not in the category I write. This way, I am free to enjoy them in “off-duty” mode. Paranormal series are particularly fun to read (and have inspired me to write series of my own). I’m looking forward to reading the last book of Chloe Neill’s “Chicagoland” vampire series. I’ve read Neill’s work since the beginning, and I must admit, I’m hooked.
Another series I love is Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander.” Just. Too. Good.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I love playing outside with my kids, or even just hanging around the house watching Alaska reality TV shows with my husband. When I have the time, I also cater to my creative side by sketching live models at a local art studio. Figure drawing is one of my favorite pastimes; it gives me a sense of total freedom and calm.
Uncaged: Where is your favorite place to write? Do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music?
I need silence; it lets me hear the voices in my head. Okay, maybe not voices, per se. But since I am a “pantser” (someone who writes by the seat of their pants), it’s best for me to head upstairs to my tiny home-office, close the door, and tune everything out. Being shut off from distractions allows me to immerse myself in the scene I’m drafting.
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I’d like to say how very much I value them. I’ve managed to strike up quite a few friendships with readers who have reached out to me. Reading a fan message during my lunch hour is a real thrill in my workday. When it happens, I try not to grin like a maniac in my office’s break-room.
Enjoy an excerpt from Betting on Love in Vegas
Catherine(Cat)Warner has problems. The profits from her inns are down. The pressure from her parents is up. Her love life is non-existent. But Cat did manage to get the attention of tough, powerful, gorgeous hotel magnate Ty Orland. Unfortunately, his interest in her is for all the wrong reasons. Instead of wanting Cat, this debonair CEO only wants her land—a parcel he desperately needs for his next big development deal. Too bad, it’s not for sale. A people pleaser by nature, Cat knows to stand strong. If she caves in to the demands of this sexy, alluring man, it will be her own neck on the line.
Ty Orland has a lot of things going for him. Success. Power. Respect. Unfortunately, he’s also got an old chip on his shoulder and a new financial nightmare. His development deal is going down in flames—and fast. His only way out is if Cat sells him her strategically located parcel. But romancing the land from her is not easy when love gets in the way. The woman is as beautiful as she is beguiling. And Ty no longer knows which prize is more valuable.
Like any astute businessman, Ty knew when to act fast. To make an offer so appealing it could not be refused. He got into the batter’s box, ready for anything Cat threw his way. “We had a great time downstairs at the bar, right?”
“I hope you’re not implying I now owe you my land because of it.”
“Of course not,” Ty said hastily. Despite his firm, confident words, he was sweating. “What I’m saying is, we may not bond on a business level, but we seem to connect on a personal level. Am I right?”
Cat remained silent.
Ty arched an eyebrow at her, daring a confirmation.
“Yes,” she relented.
“Then if you won’t let me buy your land, our business transaction has concluded for tonight. Correct again?”
“Yes. Correct.” Her eyes narrowed, probably wondering what was he getting at.
“Great. We’re leaving. Together. If you want to take a coat, get it and let’s go.”
“What? Don’t take me wrong, I’m glad you’re giving up so easily, but I’m . . . surprised.”
“You’re not going to harangue me about my land anymore?” Her eyes were wide. She seemed afraid to believe him, yet hopeful.
Well, he was trustworthy. Mostly. “Oh, I might.” Ty grinned slyly. “But tonight both of us are done talking business.”
Slowly she smiled back at him.