5 Minutes with Marta Acosta


Marta Acosta is from the San Francisco Bay Area.  She has degrees in degrees in English & American Lit and Creative Writing. She also writes romantic comedy under the name Grace Coopersmith.

Who would you want to be tied to for 24hours?

Well, my husband runs hot and restless, so he’s out. I’d have to say my best friend because we always have a great time whether we’re flying to London on vacation or staying in and watching movies.

What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

When I finish my work day, it’s time to make dinner. I create different meals every night based on what’s in season and my mood. A glass of wine, sitting with people I love, and chatting about our days is relaxing.

What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?

Maybe the 1970s.  There was good plumbing and electricity, but there was also craziness and some great music. I’d spend all my time and money seeing amazing bands for dirt cheap and going to clubs. You could wear too much eye makeup and trashy clothes and everyone drank martinis at lunch.

Have you ever faked sick?

My best friend (see top question) and I used to fake sick together. We’d each go into our respective offices without wearing any makeup and our coworkers would say we looked pale. We’d say, “Oh, no, I’ll be fine!” but they’d send us home. Then we’d meet up and go to the beach or take a day trip somewhere.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in lust at first sight. It can turn into love. I fell for my husband the moment I saw him and here we are many years later.

What is your perfect pizza?

When I was young and really broke, my roommates and I would go to a place in Noe Valley (San Francisco) and split a thin-crust pepperoni pizza and pitcher of beer on Fridays when we got paid.

Do you have a celebrity crush?

I’m mad about Richard Armitage, who played Guy of Gisborne on BBC’s Robin Hood. Armitage was also fabulous in the period drama North and South. He looks amazing in either black leather or a snowy cravat and suit. He’s brilliant at smoldering.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

I would change it to something easy to remember and spell. I’m not particular about my name. Ann Jones would be fine. Mary Brown would work.

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one?  If not, then which one is closest to?

Haunted Honeymoon, my recent release, is my favorite because I was able to work in themes from the previous books in the Casa Dracula series and give my heroine, Milagro, the deliriously happy ending she’d earned. It has moments of hilarity, but also scenes that are heartbreaking. It’s quite sexy and also has more action. My editor was laid off while I was writing this book, so I was not supervised very much and did whatever the heck I wanted.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

It’s true that some writers create a fantasy version of themselves, which means that they’ll tell the same story over and over again. I made up my characters, and I’m not really like any of them although I share traits with all of them. It’s easy to imagine what I would do or say in a situation; it’s a challenge imagining what my characters would do.

Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?

No, I’m always absolutely sure that readers will love my books and then I’m shocked if someone doesn’t. I do get really frustrated when my books are criticized because they don’t fit paranormal romance conventions, because my books aren’t paranormal romances and I never said they were, even though there is romance and vampires.

How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

It means everything. My readers are a small, but devoted group, and I love it that they appreciate my stories and love my characters. They always tell me that they want to be friends with Milagro and that means that I’ve succeeded in creating someone who seems real and lovable.

What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

There’s a scene in Tootsie where Bill Murray says, “I don’t want people to come up to me after a play and tell me they loved it. I want them to see me two weeks later and say, ‘What did that mean?’” We all see movies or read books that are enjoyable, but we instantly forget them. I want my stories and ideas to linger in peoples’ minds.  I want them to remember things that seemed casually mentioned and to perhaps rethink some of their assumptions.

I think of my books as fantastic desserts. I want them to appear effortless and delightful even though considerable effort and craft has gone into the writing.

If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast at the h/h?

I would make Haunted Honeymoon into a movie because Milagro gets amnesia and everyone knows that amnesia movies are brilliant. I would cast Richard Armitage in every role, because I’m sure he could rise to the challenge.

Who is your favorite author?

Jane Austen has written three of my favorite books: Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park. Most people hate Mansfield Park because Fanny Price is sickly, but she’s got a strong core. I also like the fact that the other characters are always saying, “My sweet Fanny!” and “My darling little Fanny!”

What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

When my first book came out, one reviewer trashed it because it didn’t have an HEA or alpha hero. I had no idea what an HEA was. I Googled it and found out that it meant a “happily ever after” ending. I assume she would have dissed Nabokov’s Lolita, too.  I also had to look up the definition of alpha hero.  Geez, the things they don’t teach you in a creative writing program at college.

What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

Gosh, I love it when reviewers see the themes, the allusions, and skill. I love having my books compared to Jane Austen’s comedies-of-manners. Some reviewers compare my novels to Bridget Jones’s Diary, which makes me very happy, because we all fell for Bridget, her screwed-up ways, her vulnerability, and her need for love.

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are 2 things on it?

Writing a bucket list would be another thing to write and I have other projects I’m working on. However, I would like a new bucket though for household chores, because mine is old and dingy yellow. Yellow is the color of apathy.

What is your favorite color besides YELLOW? I know everyone loves yellow.

Ha, you make the funny! Orange is the color of insanity, so that’s out. It would be a toss up between hot pink and violet. I painted a wall in my bedroom hot pink and my writing alcove apple green and my husband sneers that it looks like a Mexican restaurant and makes him want to order a margarita.

Boxers or briefs?

It’s not the wrapping, it’s what’s inside! However, my character Nancy Carrington-Chambers (featured in Nancy’s Theory of Style, published under Grace Coopersmith, my pen name) is obsessed with men’s undergarments. She is disturbed when they look “too European” and she deplores anything with sports insignias or cartoon characters.

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

I’ll have whatever Keanu is having. If loving Keanu is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Marta’s Books and her newest release:

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula (Book 1)

Vampires don’t exist in this day and age…or do they?

Milagro De Los Santos needs to get her career on track — and a sexy man to come home to. At a party for her ex-boyfriend, she meets the unusually attractive Oswald Grant, who sweeps her off her feet. But when he bites her in the heat of passion and she instantly falls ill, Milagro realizes Oswald is not just any fabulous man — he’s a vampire. Whisked away to his family’s estate to recover, Milagro learns the ins and outs of vampirism while falling for a wickedly inappropriate man. But when the vampires’ lives are threatened, Milagro uses her wits, her wiles, and an incredibly whacky scheme to bring down a power-mad secret society that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.

Midnight Brunch (Book 2)

What’s a girl to do when she discovers she’s the main course on the menu?

Hip, funny Milagro de los Santos thinks she’s finally found love and a home at the California ranch of fabulous Oswald Grant and his urbane relatives, who have a rare genetic disorder that some call vampirism. But Milagro is bewildered when she’s excluded from an ancient and mysterious midnight ceremony whose participants include Oswald’s unfriendly parents, a creepy family elder, and Milagro’s ex-lover, the powerful and decadent Ian Ducharme. What skeletons are the vampires keeping in their designer closets?

When Milagro’s life is threatened by a rogue family member, she flees to the desert to hide. Instead of solitude, she encounters an egomaniacal actor, a partying heiress, a sly tabloid reporter, and a lavish spa full of dark secrets — all of which might help her find a way home.

The Bride of Casa Dracula (book 3)

Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals.

To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shapeshifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the undead?

Haunted Honeymoon (book 4)

THERE’S MORE THAN HER HEART AT STAKE. . . .As the only human to survive vampire infection, Milagro de Los Santos has become quite a celebrity among the blood-drinking elite. Too bad the perks of her condition—increased strength, super-fast healing—don’t pay her condo fees. There are other complications too. She’s feeling guilty about her fling with enigmatic Vampire Council member Ian Ducharme, and pining for her ex-fiancé, Dr. Oswald Grant . . . the fabulous man whose kiss changed her life. It’s when Milagro—irked by Ian’s attentions to his neighbor—travels to London and enjoys a sexy flirtation of her own, that the blood really hits the fan. Suddenly, those around her are dying gruesome deaths and Milagro’s being interrogated. Who would kill to set her up as a murder suspect? Milagro just wants to turn back the clock and have another chance to make things right, but no sooner has she escaped to Oswald’s ranch than an accident obliterates her memory. Will the murderer come after her now? And will amnesia spark a romantic do-over with Oswald—or will she make all the same mistakes before she ever gets to say “I do”?

Thanks so much for having me at Naughty Edition! If anyone wants to know more about my books and hear my trenchant insights on, you know, stuff that isn’t yellow, they can visit my website, www.martaacosta.com, or my Vampire Wire blog, www.vampirewire.blogspot.com, my paranormal/urban fantasy site. I love hearing from readers, too!


Promo: Taming Chaos by Mahalia Levey

Taming Chaos

by Mahalia Levey

From Extasy books

Justice isn’t about right or wrong, it’s about balance of the Cosmos.

Goddess Serephine has come into her powers early. Without the proper tutelage, she spirals out of control, exploding into chaos and harming the current God of Order.
Guilt consumes Sere while she’s Chaos at her worst, at her best, she’s a lively young lady. If one man makes her nervous the most, it’s Darvon.

God Darvon has been recalled home to take his father’s stead. When he sees him wheelchair bound, he’s determined to have his revenge on the one who harmed him.
Until he enters the holding chamber and lays eyes on the pixie face of his childhood friend.

In absolute Chaos there can be no peace, with absolute Order there can be no growth. Neither party can deny their godhood. With Astraia demanding that they come to terms and their growing attraction, will they find balance to their souls?

Tarot Card: Justice

Excerpt 1

Serephine gripped the railing of her balcony. Rays of sunshine bounced off the blue green waters of the Aegean Sea, which brought warmth to her bronzed skin. The soft breeze fanned her hair out, causing wisps to caress her face. She smoothed the tendrils behind her ears and tilted her head up to embrace the peaceful day, glad for the moment of reprieve. Below her, the cliff’s jagged edge dropped off, sparse vegetation dotted the landscape. Like the turbulent waters crashing over the craggy rocks, the violence of her calling beckoned her, reminding her that peace was never everlasting.

Ravaged in body and exhausted mentally, she ignored the dark void charging within her, as if ignoring her gift would make it any less real, any less catastrophic. With each cataclysmic event, her soul ripped in two. Astraia, keeper of Justice, promised her balance would be brought to her life. Balance had been promised, but so far evaded her.

All her life, she fought to understand the positive side of being Chaos. Her mother taught her to accept her lot and let it overtake her. The older she became, the more her power increased. Filling others with darkness each time she passed them or touched anyone provoked panic. Years of alienation turned her into a withdrawn, solitary woman.

A soft sigh left her lips—enough pity. She turned from her balcony to head into her country cottage home. Step by step, she climbed the stairs, lifting her basket of sweet blooms from the rung she’d placed it on. Smiling, she bent to inhale the sweet fragrance as she swiped at an itch on her nose. Even allergies wouldn’t dissuade her from picking up her favorite sweet smelling blooms.

“Heavenly.” Sere pressed down the lever to open her front door. A slice of fear welled up in her throat as her vision hazed. No. Not now. The flowers slipped from her fingers, forgotten as she surrendered to the nature calling her. The seductive voice lured her, embraced her and sent slow strokes of fire igniting in her.

A vortex opened in front of her, ready to once again transport her to a new destination of destruction. Her fingers started to glow until her body broke apart and she was a swirling mass of red-hot embers. Conscious thought left as darkness descended.

Chaos landed on the earthen ground in St. Louis and began the ripping earthquake to take place. The wail of the city sirens sounded. Too late. The ground bottomed out as if the earth itself wanted to swallow it. Birds fell from the sky as sulfuric odors rose from gaping holes. Death slithered in collecting fatalities. Sere watched as Chaos, fed off the pandemonium surrounding her. Their body in non-corporeal form, Sere was little more than a ghost as they walked through the ravaged streets of the city. Buildings crumbled and fell while humans and animals sought refuge or medical assistance. She knew they’d suffer alone.

Free flowing energy tingled in her translucent limbs. Her feet glided across the ground as Chaos brought them far and wide, breathing in the delicious damage that fed her soul. While she cried out at the devastation, the bitch purred in satisfaction. The gaze that roved over the victims wasn’t Sere’s, nor was the absence of remorse that their lives had changed.

The hum within her grew again. The chaos within her sensed another task. In a flash, she saw the Eads Bridge crumble into the Mississippi River. Elation surged through her. The transfer process began to suck her in, she bounced off a protective barrier. Stunned, she lost her momentum, frozen in mid-transfer. Without the ability to regain her thrust, her body reformed. Incredulous, she focused, honing in on the God preventing her from doing her task. “You!”

“Goddess Serephine. I cannot in good conscious let you unleash another act upon humanity at this time.

” Alister, God of Order, held the solid shield entrapping her.

“You have no choice but to step aside—fate is fate,” the mouth belonged to Sere, the words Chaos railed, throwing everything she had against him.

“Settle down, Goddess. Look around you, at what you’ve begun. The others are scrambling to undo what’s been done.”

“You cannot control me. You cannot hold back what is beckoned of me. Step aside. This is your one and only warning.” Through Sere’s eyes, Chaos stared at him.

Alister crossed his arms. “You are unstable, Chaos, return to your resting spot. I vow you’ll not like what happens should you disobey me.”

“That’s real rich. Come now, do you really believe you hold the power to detain me? I have control of the winds, the capacity of destruction thrums in my veins. See how it flows through me like sweet red wine, warming and feeding me.” She shared her vision with him of the quake and tremors that would bring down the bridge.

Excerpt 2

An hour later, Darvon still questioned his fate. “Gah!” He stood up, his abrupt motion caused the chair to tilt back. He caught the armrest, righted it, blowing out a steadying breath. Without meaning to, she’d wrecked his perfectly structured life. Determination seized him. His leisure amble hastened. He stalked to Sere’s quarters to put some boundaries between them. Only when he eased open the door intent to speak, lust overrode his thoughts.


“Darvon.” Sere moaned. On the middle of the platform bed in view of the door, she adjusted the pillow between her naked thighs. Her shaved pussy rubbing against the fabric of the pillowcase elicited another moan from her lips. Her hair fell over her face, curtaining her breasts. She tossed her head back and lifted her body up. Wiggling her bottom, she slid back and forth, slow and deliberate to rub her distended clit over and over, pretending she was riding him.

She wanted his cock, ached for it to be buried inside of her. Instead, she fucked her pillow, taking pleasure in her approaching orgasm. Placing one hand behind her, she leaned back to give herself room to toggle her clit and allow the cream to drench her fingers. “Fuck me.” She bit her lip and closed her eyes. Out of breath from her work up, she came close to exploding.

Not yet.

Sere repositioned herself and rocked faster. Short pants of breath left her mouth, her body trembled and her pussy tightened. Burning with desire, the need to climax slammed into her. She denied herself the pleasure of coming just yet. Her pebbled nipples ached to be bitten. In her fantasy, she imagined Darvon ravaging her body, his lips on her nipples, her clit. Visualizing his finger sliding in her hole sent her careening over the edge. The strength of her orgasm sucked the breath right out of her. She pulled the cum-soaked pillow from between her thighs, tossed it to the foot of the bed and fixed her gaze on a movement by the door.

“Darvon!” Heat suffused her face. “How long have you been there?” Crumpled bedding surrounded her. She tugged the loose sheet in a vain attempt to cover her nakedness.

“Long enough to hear you cry out my name, not once but twice.” The door creaked when he pushed through it, entering, his gaze never leaving her flushed cheeks. “Fantasize much?”

“I—uh.” Her tongue ceased to work. Dry mouthed, she gaped at Darvon as he strode to her, his baritone voice caressing her skin with each syllable. Sere hid her aroused body beneath the sheet she’d gripped in her hands.

“Tell me…do you feel better?” he challenged.



Sere swallowed, his pectorals bunched as he moved, making her drool and her stomach fill with butterflies. Her heartbeat quickened. “I’m not lying.” Light sweat dampened her palms from her little white lie. The predatory gleam in his eyes sent shivers of desire straight to her pussy. Her nipples beaded so tight she whimpered at  the contact of her sheet brushing against them. Her eyes widened in anticipation of him hitting the edge of the bed.

Cologne never graced his skin, why would it?

Rugged, ripped, hot. Under lowered eyelashes, she took a closer look at the erection he sported. Sweet temptation urged her to reach out and grab it, though her hands remained gripping the bedding tightly. She moaned so soft she hoped he didn’t hear as she scooted to the head of the bed, placing distance between them, waiting, for his next strategy.

“We shall see.” He chuckled, closing the remaining distance.

“Darvon—what’re you planning to do?” Sere nibbled on her lip, afraid to make the first move. How long have I dreamed he’d make love to me? Damn near forever.

Her indrawn breath came out in a long hiss when he pulled his shirt off his body, baring his pierced nipples for her. Damn, that is sexy. Her gaze drifted lower, where his hands deftly unbuttoned his pants and dropped them.

“Figured I was over dressed for the occasion.”



5 Minutes with Brenda Gayle


Reading romance has been a big part of Brenda’s life. It began when her parents foolishly purchased a cottage on a quiet lake just as she was entering her teen years—who wants to leave their friends and go up to a remote cottage just when life is getting interesting? A woman a couple of doors down lived there year-round and was a voracious reader of romance novels. Each summer when Brenda arrived, the lady up the road would give her shopping bags full of romance novels. She loved losing herself in the wildly romantic exploits of heroes and heroines as they fell in love. Brenda was never without a book, and by the end of each summer she had pretty much read everything in the shopping bags.

Now that Brenda spends much of her day writing business documents, she relishes the opportunity to allow her creative muse to run free by writing deeply emotional stories of real women, real men and real romance and she still never goes anywhere without a book in-hand.

Brenda lives in Eastern Ontario with her wonderful husband, two fabulous children, a cat rescued by the Humane Society, and a Siberian Husky who wishes it was winter all year long.


5 Minutes with the Author


Brenda’s first book, SOLDIER FOR LOVE, is a Joyfully Reviewed Recommended Read. Although fictional, the setting was inspired by the geography, history and culture of Haiti. She is donating 25% of book and eBook royalties to Haitian relief and reconstruction as a way to give back to the men and woman who allowed her to share their world during the researching and writing of the book. For more about Brenda, visit her website at www.BrendaGayle.com or follow her on Facebook (Brenda Gayle) and Twitter (Brenda_Gayle).

Rayna: What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)

I am currently working on a contemporary romance series entitled HEART’S DESIRE, which chronicles the difficult road to finding love and family acceptance for three cousins. In the first book, HUNGRY HEART, dedicated children’s advocate Nora Cross doesn’t appreciate her meddling sister’s attempts to set her up with Santa Fe’s new celebrity chef. Hunter Graham is too young for her and his playboy reputation will ruin her career, which is already teetering on the edge thanks to the ambitions of the chair of her board. When her apartment and office are ransacked on the same night, it’s Hunter who comes to her rescue. And he couldn’t be more surprised to find himself falling for the uptight workaholic executive. As the threat to Nora escalates and Hunter tries to navigate the minefield of his family’s expectations, a bond is forged between them. But will it be enough? Particularly when the greatest danger is not the present but a secret from Nora’s past.

Rayna: What is your favorite snack?

Very old, very sharp cheddar cheese on some sort of herbed flatbread cracker (ideally served with a nice, robust red wine).

Rayna : I have heard from numerous authors that chocolate is the staple of their diet. Is it in yours?

Can I pass? I’m afraid if the truth becomes known I’ll be drummed out of the romance writer’s club. No? Okay, here goes. Deep breath. I don’t really like chocolate. I rarely eat it and if I do, it has to be really dark and bitter.

Rayna :Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

Great question. I have an eReader, which I love. It is convenient to have a whole bunch of books available in a small, portable device. I also use it to read what my critique partners are writing. Nevertheless, I still love the feel of paper in my hands and the tangible sensation of actually turning pages. I don’t sweat it if my paperback gets sand in it at the beach or sprayed with water in the bath.

I don’t believe the terrible waste of the mass production/mass destruction model of the traditional print industry can be sustained. eBooks will continue to grow in popularity and once a standardized format has been agreed upon, they will put a serious dint in print sales for popular fiction–romance, scifi, mystery. However, I don’t think paperbacks are going to disappear any time soon.

Rayna : If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be?  And why?

There’s a secondary character named Libby Hunter in HUNGRY HEART, the book I’m currently writing. She’s a feisty sixty-year-old–the grandmother of the hero. I love her no nonsense attitude. She has a kind and gentle spirit so she’s never mean or malicious but she doesn’t put up with any crap, particularly from her grandson. She’s reached a stage in her life where she can say and do what she wants and doesn’t care about the repercussions. I’d love to be like that.

Rayna :Who or what influences you when you write?

My kids. It’s important for me that they see me doing something that I love–writing. I want them to know that they can pursue their dreams, too. Plus, I can’t tell you how good it feels to hear the pride in their voices when they tell their friends that their mother is a published author.

Rayna :When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

I’m deadline-driven. I think it’s my journalism/corporate communications background. When I have writer’s block I set a deadline for myself and just plough my way through the story figuring I’ll eventually get to a place where it will all make sense. Then I’ll fix it in revisions.

Rayna :Who is your perfect hero?  And why?

Hands down it’s Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Here is a man’s man who genuinely likes women. He fully supports for his wife, Claire, even though he doesn’t always understand or agree with her.

Rayna :Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?

I would like to write a first-person woman’s fiction; something along the line of the stories written by Karen White and Jodi Picoult.

Rayna :What kind of research do you do for your books?  Do you enjoy the research process?

I’m impatient to get to the writing and somewhat resent the time I have to spend researching. Still, it is important to me that my characters and the settings are as true-to-live as possible. I read a lot of books, scan the libraries for source material, listen to music, and search the Internet for information that I need.

Rayna :What is your favorite movie of all time?  The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

The Way We Were. The final scene when Katie, finally a happy confident woman, walks away from Hubell and he realizes what he has lost makes me cry every time.

Rayna :If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you? *mind you, you do have a strong hunky man to help you with things* *grins*

Some days being stranded on a deserted island would be welcomed. Still, my first item would be a picture of my family because no matter how crazy they sometimes make me, I’d never want to be without them. Other items would be a fully loaded eReader so I’d always have something to read, a well-aged bottle of Lagavulin single malt scotch (do I need to say more?), my laptop with solar batteries, and last but not least, a large bottle of massage oil (to be applied by the strong hunky man).

Rayna :What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

To sit quietly in front of the fire and sip wine with my husband. Kids? What kids?

Rayna :Have you ever faked sick?

Moving on….

Rayna :Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in lust at first sight but love is something that has to grow over time.

Rayna :What is your perfect pizza?

A Louisiana special. Shrimp and hot sauce!

Rayna :Do you have a celebrity crush?

This week it’s Gerard Butler  (I loved him in The Ugly Truth and PS I Love You)

Rayna :What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

I think there is a bit of me in all the heroines I write, but perhaps Nora Cross, the heroine in HUNGRY HEART, is the closest. A dedicated association executive, she’s a bit of a workaholic who is out of her element socially. She has strong convictions and will defend them, particularly as they relate to her work, but she isn’t as confident in her personal life. Plus, as she approaches her 35th birthday, she’s starting to wonder what she’s really accomplished. Nora is at a point in her life that I was 10 years ago. I’m hoping she deals with it better than I did.

Rayna :How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

Reader response is everything. I’m always interested in what the reviewers have to say but there’s nothing as satisfying as hearing from an average reader that they connected with your book. Wow. That really makes my day.

Rayna :What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

Pleasure, pure and simple. I do include big issues in my books but I try to do it subtly in a way that doesn’t take away from the escapism romance is supposed to provide.

Rayna :If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast at the h/h?

I always thought SOLDIER FOR LOVE would make a fantastic movie. It’s got action, suspense, romance, and a bit of voodoo thrown in for good measure. I think Sandra Bullock would be a dynamite heroine because she can play strong and feminine. I’m not sure what to do about her height, though. My heroine, Julie Collins, is six feet and Ms. Bullock is only 5’7”. I’m not sure about the hero. Maybe one of your readers could suggest a 40-something, hot Native American actor.

Rayna :Who is your favorite author?

Can I only pick one? If so, then I’d have to say Diana Gabaldon. She has a way of bringing history to life–plus there’s Jamie Fraser.

Rayna :What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

I’m pleased that the vast majority of reviews for SOLDIER FOR LOVE have been positive; the reviewers really understood where I was going with the story. I was stunned, however, when one reviewer accused my hero and heroine of not being honorable people. She obviously didn’t get it. Here were two people who felt alienated from their world and were trying to find a way to resolve their problems in a respectful way. Oh well, you can’t please everyone. I just figured the reviewer had her own issues to deal with and I moved on.

Rayna :What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

A review I received from Romance Junkies for SOLDIER FOR LOVE said: “I want to be Julie Collins when I grow up.  Loyal, commanding, and surprisingly sexy, she is the epitome of one’s idea of a good soldier.” I struggled in writing my heroine for this story. I wanted her to be strong but not lose her femininity. She had to be tough because she had risen to become the commander of a unit but I needed to show a vulnerable side, too. I was so gratified to learn that I had succeeded.

Rayna :Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are 2 things on it?

To go south for the winter (it’s cold in Ottawa!) and to drive a really nice Porsche.

Rayna :What is your favorite color besides YELLOW?


Rayna :Boxers or briefs?


Rayna :Red Pill or Blue Pill?

Red pill. I have to KNOW.

I want to thank Ms. Gayle for taking the time to talk to us. Visit her at her website http://www.brendagayle.com/.

Newest releases:

Soldier for Love

Major Julie Collins should be on top of the world. Finally promoted, she has just been given her first overseas command. But when one of her troops turns out to be the handsome Native American who has just left her bed, everything starts to unravel. And then she’s kidnapped by a deranged voodoo priest.

5 Minutes with Giselle Renard

5 Minutes with Giselle Renard:

Eroticist, environmentalist and pastry enthusiast Giselle Renarde is a proud Canadian, supporter of the arts, and activist for women’s and LGBT rights. For Giselle, a perfect day involves watching a snowstorm rage outside with a cup of tea in one hand and a chocolate truffle in the other.  Ms Renarde lives across from a park with two bilingual cats who sleep on her head.

The best way to keep up with Giselle’s career in erotic fiction, as well as her desirous commentary and hyper-analysis of every facet of social existence, is to visit her blog.  With a name like Donuts and Desires, it’s gotta be good!

What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

Giselle Renarde: Nothing does it for me better than a cup of tea and a quality truffle.  If my girlfriend’s around to ravish me, that works too.

What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?

Giselle Renarde: World War II, absolutely!  With the boys were fighting on the front lines, a plethora of male-dominated jobs suddenly became available to women.  I would love to be in the factories and the fields with those girls as they exert their muscles, both socially and physically.  I have a grand appreciation of that era on a feminist level, and also as a queer woman.  One can only imagine what the girls got up in dark corners of munitions factories!

Have you ever faked sick?

Giselle Renarde: Only once.  I was sixteen years old and working in a department store that shall remain unnamed.  It was my grandparents’ 75th wedding anniversary, and I asked for the day off three weeks in advance.  My supervisor adamantly refused, so I called in sick.  I wasn’t going to miss such a special occasion.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Giselle Renarde: I think I do, but I’m not sure why.  Any counter-argument sounds very anti-romantic in my head.

What is your perfect pizza?

Giselle Renarde: Depends on mood, season, and hunger level.  At times, I can go for a big, greasy slice of pepperoni pizza with plenty of melty mozzarella.  During the summer, I prefer a thin-crust pizza with basil and olive oil, fresh mozzarella, maybe some brie and figs…and a side salad.

Do you have a celebrity crush?

Giselle Renarde: Professor Snape.  Okay, that’s a fictional character crush, I guess…

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

Giselle Renarde: I like my name.  I think I’d keep it!

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one?  If not, then which one is closest to.

Giselle Renarde: It’s extremely hard to choose, but I’ll go with “Secrets of the Solstice Sacrifice” because it is a rather unique work.  There aren’t many Welsh historical erotic MMF threesome fairy tales involving transgender characters on the market.  Not that I know of, at least.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

Giselle Renarde: Audrey from the “Audrey & Lawrence” collection is exactly the person I used to be.  She is involved with a married man, as I was for many years.  Her emotional states pivot from jealousy to ecstasy.  She can never be stable while they’re together.

Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?

Giselle Renarde: Have I ever NOT been? LOL

How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

Giselle Renarde: It means everything.  I don’t write for myself.  I write for readers.  Anything else is authorial masturbation, and what is the point in that?  A book that only sits on the shelf might as well not be there at all.

What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

Giselle Renarde: A greater understanding of the diversity that exists in this world.  We aren’t all white bread vanilla lovers.  There are many different ways to express gender and sexuality.  That’s what I’d love for readers to see in my work.

What is your favorite color besides YELLOW? I know everyone loves yellow.

Giselle Renarde: Burgundy.  It’s stood the test of time as my favourite.

Boxers or briefs?

Giselle Renarde: Everybody should wear lace undies.  They’re very sexy.  Especially if they’re burgundy.

Giselle Renarde
Canada just got hotter!

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