Hi Mandy. Welcome to Books-n-Kisses. We are honored to have you on the blog to day
Sure! I’m an Arkansan with a teenage son. Yes, he is learning to drive, which means I have increased my wine budget. He and I live with two guys who are partners, one of which has been a best friend of mine for years. They are awesome and have been very supportive of my career. Of course, the BFF wants me to write hot M/M books…which I have also started to explore.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
Yes and No. I have always loved writing, but I never thought it was a feasible career choice living in the Deep South. So, when I went to college, I studied Liberal Arts. I wanted to study writing creatively but also on a technical level to be applied to my day job as an IT analyst (I’d already earned a technical degree). It was how I could justify studying it on the collegiate level. Then I became a victim of corporate downsizing and decided to go back to college to work on my masters degree. I seriously, seriously considered focusing solely on getting my MFA in creative writing, but ultimately chose an MBA course because I still had a hard time wrapping my head around the possibility of turning my passion into a career. I eventually came to my senses and stopped that madness to focus more time on my writing, and I have never been happier.
What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I talk to myself while I’m alone in the car. Seriously, I’ll mimic out scenes and then catch myself doing it, look around to see I if I got caught, and then tell myself to stop because people driving by will think I’m some kind of weirdo… only to start back up later. But I’ve come up with some great dialogue this way.
Surrounded by Secrets is the last official book in my Woods Family Series. It’s about the brother Jack who has been the asshole of the family. I saved him for last because I wanted people to fully grasp his hang-ups, and frankly, I knew I was going to have a blast pairing him with a woman who could go toe-to-toe with him. Because of the premise of the series—that no single women could be around them—I knew I’d have challenges introducing the heroines and still keeping each of the stories unique. But I took it a step further with Jack’s story. For me, it’s bringing the family story full circle by truly unlocking the myths of their heritage and gaining a better understanding of the fate of their deceased brother, Eric.
How did you come with the idea for this story?
I love shifter stories, but I hadn’t read one on mountain lions, so I’d been toying with the idea of writing a paranormal series with that animal (I’ve always had cats and love their mannerisms). However, not only had I never written anything paranormal before, but I’d never written anything erotic either. I came across an open submission call from a large publisher seeking short—as in 15,000 words max—stories in the paranormal genre. It was the push I needed to get my story out. However, when I finished the first draft of Josh’s story, it didn’t feel right. I put it away (deciding not to submit to the open call), but a few months later, it was still nagging at me. I decided then that I’d pull it back out and expand onto the story so that it felt whole to me, not limiting myself to any word count. I was so much happier with the newer version because it felt as if I’d finally done it justice. But I still wasn’t sure if publishers would agree. I decided I’d only send it to three publishers since I was working on other projects, and if I got any interest, then I’d pursue the series. I sent it to the three, got notification that it passed the initial phase of one and contract offers from the other two. I was floored.
Can you share with us your current work(s) in progress?
Remember the m/m suggestion of my roommate? Um, yeah, I’m working on a contemporary m/m series. I’m also working on a BDSM story that isn’t really a sequel to my book Digital Possession but does involve a minor character mentioned in that book. Also, Darkest Sin, my full length contemporary erotic romance has gotten great reviews and was even featured in RT Book Reviews Magazine and prompted my local paper to interview me. I will be finishing book two in this series next.
Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
Wow. Tough question. I love Laurann Dohner, but I met her. I was totally fan-girl stalkerish. We were both doing a book signing, but I kept leaving my table to go to hers. I haven’t met Sylvia Day or Megan Hart, but I have conventions booked this year where they’ve confirmed attendance. I will be embracing my fan-girl side then, too.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Write! And Read. You only get better at writing if you read books in your interested genre and actually put pen to paper. I release several books a year… this year, I believe I have seven scheduled for release…but I also read at least 100 books a year. You have to make time for both if you want to be a writer.
Can you share with us something off your bucket list.
I want to travel. I’d love to go to England—I am a direct decedent of British royalty, which means, I have the same great (times several) great-grand parents as the Queen. I’d love to visit the gravesites of previous kings and queens and other noble ancestors. And yes, my friends call me “princess” because they think they’re all comedians. LOL!
What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
Laurann Dohner’s next New Species book!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just want to remind y’all that if you haven’t started reading the Woods Family Series, my publisher has book one, SURROUNDED BY WOODS, for free right now on the major retailers. I’m not sure how long this will last, but it’s a great way to try out the series.
THE WOODS FAMILY Series
SURROUNDED BY DEATH – Prequel
His family speaks of his death as a tragic example of why it’s too dangerous for the Woods men to be around available women.
Eric Woods is now dead, but was his last night as a living, breathing mountain lion shifter as horrible as his family has always believed?
Experience Eric’s last night with Simone–a woman whose need for carnal pleasures for exceeds all rational thought.
Reader advisory: This book contains graphic language and explicit sex. It is meant as a bonus read in the Woods family saga and should not be viewed as a typical romance.
SURROUNDED BY WOODS – Book 1
When Mikaela Patterson must take on a client with specific requirements that no single women be allowed on his property, she keeps her broken engagement a secret. She doesn’t realize her client and his sons are mountain lion shifters whose instinct to mate with any available woman turns deadly.
Josh Woods is her client’s eldest son, and he is immediately drawn to Mikaela. Knowing his father would never allow an available woman on the property, Josh doesn’t understand his fascination with her. Josh and Mikaela fight their attraction because of their own secrets, but when the truth comes out about Mikaela’s true availability and Josh’s animal instincts, they must be prepared to face the consequences.
Reader advisory: This book contains graphic language and explicit sex.
SURROUNDED BY PLEASURE – Book 2
Krista Owens is an attorney who works too much and plays too little. When her colleague, Mikaela, requests her assistance for a month on the Woods estate, hinting that her brothers-in-law are all hot with commitment phobias, Krista agrees to tell the guys she has a boyfriend, hoping to finally lose her virginity.
Toby Woods doesn’t want anything to do with Krista, but watching his brothers fight over her ignites his feral side. He wants her, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her.
He knows it’s temporary, but will he be able to let her go when it’s time?
Reader advisory: This book contains graphic language and explicit sex.
SURROUNDED BY TEMPTATION- Book 3
When Krista needs Ariel’s biochemical expertise because her new boyfriend can turn into a mountain lion, Ariel thinks her sister has lost her mind. But the possibility of a major discovery like this is too much of a temptation to ignore. Create a drug to stop a shifter from forcing a mating? Only if she got to test his sexual limits herself.
Rob thinks Ariel is an angel in disguise, and he immediately knows she’s the one for him. But is he strong enough to resist his animal’s need to claim her once the temptation begins?
Warning: This book contains a shifter who must resist his feral need to mate and a biochemist who is hell-bent on testing his sexual limits. You’ll never look at science the same way again.
SURROUNDED BY SECRETS-Book 4
Lillian Caldwell has eyes on the hottie with the body, Jack Woods, one of the men who bought her family land and now new boss. She has big plans for Jack, including the getting-him-horizontal variety, and she always gets what she wants.
Jack is the family hard ass who’s trying to make amends. His plans of digging into the family secret he discovered are thwarted when he’s forced to work with Lillian, his gorgeous, pain-in-the-ass neighbor.
But a night of passion will unlock the secrets surrounding them and change both their lives forever.
Warning: This book contains a spitfire woman who doesn’t take no for an answer and a strong alpha mountain lion shifter whose preverbal bark really is as a bad as his bite.
There is more…..
GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
Mandy is giving away a $100.00 Gift Card to either Amazon or B&N (winners choice) to celebrate the release of SURROUNDED BY SECRETS.
TWO runners up will receive an eBook of SURROUNDED BY SECRETS.
To Enter: Fill out the Rafflecopter widget below. The more tasks you complete, the more points you get.