I love having authors over to share about their books and life. Let's welcome Kimberly Dean! Hello Kimberly and thank you for visiting today. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, everyone. I’m Kimberly Dean, and I write romance and erotica, primarily in the contemporary and paranormal genres. I’ve been published since 2004 and have written for Pocket Books, Avon, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, Black Lace Books, and several other houses. I’ve also been independently publishing stories in the last few years and find that so exciting. Outside of writing, I enjoy movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine.
Thanks! Those are some fabulous houses! It sounds like you have an interesting life. Now on to some personal questions. If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
I was raised to believe that if you work hard and follow the rules, you’ll get ahead in life. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that just isn’t true. I wouldn’t tell myself to slack off or cheat. That just isn’t in me. What I would do is encourage myself to think outside the box and take risks.
For what are you grateful? My family and their health. I’m grateful for my imagination.
If a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
I’d like to think it would take a while. I rarely get sick when a bug is going around. I’d pack my car with food, water, weapons, and extra gas. Then I’d head out for the CDC, because they’d surely be frantically looking for a cure. I’d partner up with the handsome, rogue scientist who saw the plague coming and tried to warn people. I’d protect him as he made the final tweaks to the anti-virus that would save us all.
Wow... You've really thought this through! What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Three words – hot stone massage.
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author. Did you always want to be an author?
I’ve always loved reading, but I didn’t think about being a writer until I actually tried it. When I was young I wanted to be a rock singer, but I was too shy. Some people know from an early age what they want to be when they grow up. They’re so lucky. Most of us fumble around.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
I remember reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton in high school. It really resonated with me, and I wondered why all books couldn’t be that way. Then I realized it was only the special ones that could do that. As I grew older, I found the works of Sydney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, and others.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
It just has to be quiet.
How did you decide to write a Young Adult story? Do you feel passionate about that age?
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business? To trust my gut. Everything is changing, and all the “rules” that were out there before don’t apply anymore. I’m wary of so-called experts. The most important thing for me is to remember that it’s truly a business.
Tell us about your latest release: (blurb, excerpt, cover)
Rielle Sands ventured too close to the fire once and got burned. Now when it comes to men, she’s vowed to play it safe. But then a dashing, mysterious man shows up at Luxxor Limited after hours, needing an escort.
Darien Scott isn’t what he appears to be. Beneath the sexy smile and wicked charm, he’s hiding secrets. Yet the sizzling chemistry between him and the pretty office manager is real. He tries to stay away, but his attraction to her keeps pulling him back. When he discovers that he’s not the only one haunted by danger, he changes tactics. To protect Rielle, he may need to stay close. Super close. Exclusive Luxxor contract close.
The reward is more than worth the risk.
Courting Danger Excerpt
‘Hello? Is anyone here?’
A low voice rumbled down the hallway, and her chest tightened. It was a man, but she didn’t recognize the voice. For a moment, she considered remaining quiet, but she licked her lips and made herself step forward. She was overreacting. If she wasn’t, there was an emergency call button hidden under the lip of her desktop. Security could be here in less than a minute if she needed them.
She returned to the lobby and scanned the area. Her gaze came to a screeching halt when it landed on the man who was already looking in her direction.
Her wariness didn’t decrease, but a different kind of awareness flooded her. ‘Hello?’ she said huskily.
Somehow he’d known she was there, yet he seemed taken aback. His weight slowly rocked back from the balls of his feet, and his eyes narrowed. They were blue eyes. Startling blue. ‘Good evening.’
She wasn’t overreacting. The guy had danger written all over him, in that good-girls-beware sort of way. Tall and strapping, he had closely cropped dark hair and a rough-and-tumble aura that didn’t go with the tuxedo he was wearing. That wasn’t to say he didn’t look good. He looked damn good. The combination was powerful, and it hit her first in her belly and next in her knees.
Sex appeal oozed from him.
Which, of course, meant he was here for an escort.
His gaze was running over her just as alertly as she’d evaluated him, so Rielle quickly put herself behind her desk. She tucked her barrette behind her phone and fought the urge to run her fingers through her hair. ‘I’m sorry, but we’re closed.’
He cocked his head. ‘The door was open.’
And that had been a mistake.
‘Did you have an appointment?’ She knew very well he didn’t.
‘No.’ Her question had been sharp, but his blue gaze didn’t flinch. Instead, the lines of his face softened, and she had to lock her knees to keep them from melting. ‘But I’m in a bind. I was hoping you could help me out.’
She lifted an eyebrow. The man might be putting out pheromones by the bucketful, but her brain was still functioning – admittedly better on some levels than others – and she’d begun to sense danger of another sort. The entrapment sort. Luxxor was not a company that took walk-ins. ‘For whom are you looking?’
He walked closer to the desk, and she instinctively gripped its edge. The way he moved, all silent and stealthy. The expensive carpeting absorbed the noise most people made, but the air didn’t even stir at his approach. Her fingers edged closer to the silent alarm, but she didn’t push it.
‘I’m looking for Luxxor Limited. I know I’m late, but I need an escort for the evening.’
Her guard stayed up. She knew they were alone in the office – she was acutely aware of the fact – but her company’s clients knew better than to go spouting off so casually about Luxxor’s line of work. They signed nondisclosure agreements to ensure it. If he was wearing a wire, she wanted to make everything perfectly clear. ‘You need someone to attend an event with you tonight?’
‘Actually, I need someone right now.’
She shook her head. Luxxor went to extremes to satisfy its clients. She’d blush if she thought about how far some escorts went, but there was no way she could accommodate his request. The employees they had working tonight already had their assignments. Even if she did contact someone, the timing was impossible.
And for some reason, that relieved her. ‘I’m sorry, but we don’t have anyone available on such short notice, Mr . . . I don’t believe I caught your name.’
‘Because I didn’t give it.’ He slid his hands into his pockets. The tuxedo looked good on him, but it was failing badly at taming him. Especially when he winked. ‘Tell me yours, and I’ll tell you mine.’
How did you decide on your story plot? The title, Courting Danger, came first. It just cried for a romantic suspense, and the genre made a lot of sense. The series is about the women and men who work at Luxxor Limited, a high-end escort service, so danger was an obvious premise. What wasn’t obvious was which character would take center stage. Imagine my surprise when it was quiet Rielle, the Luxxor Limited office manager, who kept popping up as I brainstormed.
Why was Rielle so quiet? Why would someone like that work at a place that teeters on the edge of respectability? Why was she so loyal to Nina, the company president (and madam)? If Rielle was the heroine, who was her hero? The word “danger” elicits so many feelings: fear, thrill, dread, curiosity, etc. It didn’t fit with an office manager. It fit better with an escort. That was when the key question hit me… What if the timid office manager took a risk one night and stepped out as an escort?
Boom. Suddenly, I had a plot.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story? The location was easy. Washington D.C. has been the setting for all the stories in the city. I chose it because, with the subject matter, it offered a lot of interesting possibilities. The names were more difficult, especially for the hero. He’s very mysterious, and his name isn’t revealed for a while. It’s actually part of the plot line.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why? I do. It’s a pivotal scene that comes early in the story. The hero is still a vague, shadowy figure. Everyone is telling Rielle that he’s bad news and to stay away from him. She’s angry with him, but when he appears, they have a quiet, intimate moment. It’s the quietness that appealed to me. By all rights, there could have been a big, dramatic moment with anger and yelling. Instead, there was a quietness that solidified to me that these two characters belonged together.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why? There are bits and pieces of each character that I can identify with. Rielle is quiet, and I tend to be that way. Nina needs to make sure things are in control and running smoothly. I can identify with that, too.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you… My website is http://kimberlydean.com and my Twitter handle is @Kdean_writer.
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!! Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Melissa. Just let all the readers out there know that I appreciate them, and I’m writing as fast as I can. If anyone wants to get a taste of the Courting Series, I have a free short story they can try. Courting Jealousy is available at most major ebook retailers.
Download for free: Amazon US │Amazon UK │Nook │iBook│Google Play│ Kobo │ Smashwords │ All Romance eBooks
About the Author
When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica. She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock ‘n’ roll, and a good book make for a perfect day.
Her latest book is the contemporary erotic romance, Courting Danger.
For More Information
Thank you Kimberly! I wish you all the best!!
If I were to read a ‘How to Write a Book’, I’m pretty sure no one would suggest the heroine should commit suicide in chapter one because the doctor said she had inoperable brain cancer.
But that’s how my book begins. Cass gathers up all the painkillers, and her really old dog, goes to the garage, turns on the car and dies by a combination of CO2 and painkillers.
Horrible right? Why would Cass kill her dog?
She hoped if they died together, they might come back together.
Before you become too outraged, Jess was 21 years old, making him one of the oldest Shiba Inus in the world. Jess also hoped by dying with Cass, he’d reincarnate with her, but sadly that’s not what happened.
We don’t know what happened to Jess, but it appears he had a twelve year life without her before he died yet again. Someday I may write his story, so I don’t want to discuss it here. However, I’m sure Jess remained very brave, willing to take on anything but mountain lions.
And if you are upset at Cass for taking matters into her own hands, let me reiterate she had inoperable brain cancer. My mother died, having both brain and liver cancer. She insisted she wanted to die at home, which meant two of her three children and her mother had to take care of her twenty-four hours a day. I worked on the east coast, so every Friday I’d fly to Arkansas, then fly back every Monday to do the weekend shift, day and night.
Those months were so bleak and horrible for everyone involved that I won’t share them. But there were no loving last words. No happy moments. Just pain that the pain killers could not mute, and my mother’s hateful accusations that I was trying to kill her — she was no longer in her right mind.
Thus, Cass’s choice to go out quickly while she still retained her mind is in my perspective a brave and kind act to both herself and to her loved ones. There is no glory in dying a long painful death. And I am positive our real God does not care if we choose a better way to die.
In this situation, we are much kinder to our animals. If an animal has pain that cannot be cured, we will, with love, have them put to sleep.
I realize I’m pushing a lot of buttons by writing this blog, and even more so by writing such a first chapter. One reviewer said she was so offended by chapter one that she almost didn’t read on, but she had committed to writing a review, so she forced herself to continue, and she really like the rest of book.
So why didn’t I drop the first chapter and just start with Chapter two. I could do it, I suppose, deemphasizing her death, making it backstory, but that felt like a cheat to me. If Cass is brave enough to end her life in a clean and simple way, than she deserves to die openly in Chapter one.
Cass wanted to say goodbye to all who loved her, but she couldn’t because then someone would, believing she would better off dying in a hospital or a nursing home, would alert the authorities of her plan.
I strongly believe every state should have a right to Die with Dignity law that enables people to choose how they die. Right now, only three states have Right to Die with Dignity laws that are enforceable: Washington, Oregon, and Vermont.
To qualify, the patient must have a terminal disease, must have an attending physician and a secondary physician confirm the disease is terminal, a phycologist must agree the patient has the mental capacity to make decisions and the patient must be a qualified resident of the state. (There are a great deal other detailed laws, but these are the key ones.)
Dying with Dignity is not considered suicide and thus life insurance policies must pay the recipients.
No person will by charged criminally for assisting a person’s right to die with dignity. But neither will any health care person be forced to participate.
Had Cass had such an opportunity in New Jersey, she could have had Jess put to sleep, sprinkled his ashes in Jess’s favorite hiking park, then notified her loved ones, had one last party, handed out her belongings and with her loved ones surrounding her, given her last bits of advice before quietly falling to sleep.
Instead she dies in her garage with her beloved dog in her arms, expecting she’ll return as a newborn baby.
Boy, is she in for a surprise.
Book 1 of the
Requires Rescue Series
When 80 year old Cass Goldman learns she has inoperable cancer, she decides to end her life, peacefully on her terms. So imagine her horror when she wakes to find herself in a hospital with strange rich people staring at her. It’s not until the doctor arrives to examine her that she realizes she’s no longer old. She’s in the body of a seventeen year old teen named Casey.
Unfortunately, her new body comes with some serious baggage. First of all, the kid has burned every bridge imaginable. Secondly, those ‘people’ in her room are her outrageously rich parents and while the Dad seems friendly, the mother wants nothing to do with her. The moment they take her home to a horrifically huge mansion, which she dubs Tara, she’s abandoned to the care of the butler.
While Cass is determined to turn this train wreck of a life around, doing so is far harder than she expected. In fact, without help, she’ll end up dead just like the last occupant of this body. Thankfully, her dad has his hunky head of security become her body guard. Between her eighty years of life lessons and hunky Troy’s help, she just might live long enough not to be jail bait.
Cass Goldman took the news of her death with stoic silence. She’d lived a long and fruitful life and was ready to discover what happens next.
“We’ll start chemo as soon as possible,” her ridiculously young doctor stated as he shuffled paper about his desk, looking anywhere but at her.
She opened her mouth to ask him what the hell chemo could do when he just told her she had inoperable brain cancer, but instead, she remained quiet. He might have already explained it in all his chatter. She’d stopped listening after “Miss Goldman, there’s a tumor in your brain, and it’s not operable.”
To her surprise, his words brought a flood of relief. She had fought growing old tooth and nail, but every year it just got harder.
If she met God in her future destination, she’d tell Him or Her that young people needed valuable lessons on what is truly important in life early on. By the time people figured stuff out, they were too old to do anything but barely breathe. Babies should come pre-programmed with useful life lessons.
Cass thought back to her youth, all her angst over what the other kids thought, her inability to see herself as a pretty young woman, all the foolish taboos about sex. What a damn waste of time! If she’d known then what she knew now, Cass would have treasured her youth and made it the best time of her life.
Honestly, her life hadn’t truly begun until she divorced her abusive husband when she was twenty-five and started over, alone and unfettered. And even then, she progressed in starts and stutters, like her Cessna with only half the magnetos firing…not enough power to fly against a headwind.
And life was full of headwinds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Liza O’Connor is a nut.
Not a real nut, but she is prone to being a smart ass at times, and not surprisingly her heroines say odd and inappropriate things in her book, as well. So even in a suspense novel you can expect to laugh along the way. That’s because Liza loves to see humor in the crazy world around her.
Saving Casey was actually the first book Liza published. Having recently reclaimed her rights to the book, she is happily re-publishing it as her 18th book. And because her books sell better when in a series, she using Saving Casey to kick of a new series called Requires Rescue. It will be different from her other series where the same characters show up in each book. This series will be about strong women who are trying to go it alone, only when help is offered, they have the good sense to accept the helping hand, because in all of our lives, there will come a time you need someone else to help you. Being strong doesn’t make us invincible. Book 1 is Casey/Cass’s story. Book 2 will be about an entirely different young woman who desperately needs help before she’s murdered on the streets of NYC. Book 3, well the plot is super unique, and more books will follow.
You’ll be able to read the series in any order you want, but in each case, you’ll have a strong young woman, a guy stepping up to help when no one else does, and danger galore with humor stuffed in anywhere I can.
I hope you’ll come along with me so you can laugh, love, and get revenge.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
Liza's Blog and Website Facebook Twitter
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