Please welcome, Paranormal and Fantasy romance author, Jessi Gage.
Here’s a picture of her fabulous book cover and blurb:
He has anger issues and she has amnesia, but together they have amazing chemistry.
Blurb: Lashing out in anger, construction worker Derek causes an accident on the freeway. His truck escapes unscathed, but he can’t say the same for his conscience. Plagued by nightmares of the wreck, his only comfort comes in the form of nightly visits by a mysterious woman who interrupts his dreams with sensual caresses and words of solace.
Cami has no idea who she is, until she wakes in a hospital bed and learns she’s been comatose due to a car wreck. Her visits with Derek must have been a dream, so why can’t she shake the feeling he was a real man who truly needed her help?
When Derek learns his mystery woman is none other than the driver of the car he cut off and she is fighting for her life, he must decide: Is he man enough to face her and ask forgiveness, or will he run away and avoid the consequences of his anger, yet again?
CONTENT WARNING: Sex with a perfect, imaginary dream girl who really isn’t imaginary
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance
Now onto the interview questions:
1) What genre(s) do you write in? Why?
Paranormal & Fantasy romance. I love dissecting the challenges of falling in love in a context where some the rules of normality are thrown out the window.
2) Is there a book or two that you wrote and love that’s not published? If so, tell us more.
Ooh, fun question. My first completed novel was an urban fantasy that was like The Bourne Identity meets Lord of the Rings meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since writing that one, I’ve learned how to edit myself, LOL! I now stick to a single sensational aspect to a given story!
3) Tells us about your next/ newest book release.
My latest release is Road Rage, a paranormal romance about a man who makes a bad decision on the road and ends up nearly killing the woman who is fated to be the love of his life. It’s an intense but heartwarming story about how one bad decision doesn’t make a person bad, how everyone is worthy of redemption and love.
4) Who would play your characters in a movie?
Derek is a rough-around-the-edges construction worker with anger management issues. I can see him played by Paul Walker of The Fast and the Furious. I’m woefully behind on my movie watching, so I’m not up to date on young female actors. Cami is athletic and sweet with an inner beauty that shines through in everything she does. But an incident in her past haunts her to the point of creating very real phobias for her in the present. She’d be played by an actress who can pull off wholesome but harboring an ugly secret.
5) What writers/books inspired you?
Some of my favorite authors are Karen Marie Moning, Charlotte Stein, and Cara McKenna. I love Highlander romances (KMM) and romance that takes me deep into a character’s psychology, neuroses and all (Stein, McKenna).
6) When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing fiction about 7 years ago, looking for an outlet for my creative side while I was studying for a PhD. I’ve since put the PhD on hold to start a family, but the writing has never been content to shift to the back burner. I’m always thinking about some book I want to write or actively writing or editing something. Usually, I’ve got 2-3 projects going at any given time.
7) Any suggestions for would be writers?
If you’re serious about creating an author brand* for yourself, don’t publish too soon. Make sure you have honed your craft to publishable standards before putting it out there. Readers have so much to choose from that they won’t often wait patiently for a writer to grow into their craft.
I’m not saying you have to be perfect right out of the gate. I am saying that if you’re being turned down by agents and editors left and right, the next logical step might be to seek some honest feedback as to how you can tailor your work to better suit the market as opposed to immediately self publishing.
I’m not speaking to hobbyist writers here! If you’re writing for fun and to see your name in print, by all means, self publish whenever and whatever you want and have fun with it! But if you’re hoping to turn writing into a career, taking a humble, teachable stance toward your own writing is one of the biggest indicators of who’s going to stick around in this business.
8) What makes a good story to you?
Anything with characters who learn something and change from the beginning of the story to the end. Being a romantic at heart, I usually require a happy endingJ
9) Do you believe writers are born or made or both?
Both. I think the inborn characteristics that contribute the most to a successful writing career are determination, work ethic, and creative thinking. These count for more than “talent” at writing. You can learn how to write. What is much more difficult to learn is the skill of turning rejection into motivation, or the patience required to rework an imperfect piece until it’s as close to perfect as possible.
10) Besides getting published, what was your awe moment?
Every time I see my kids learn something is an awe moment! Sarah is 4, and Titus is 2.5. I love reading to them and seeing them fill in the blanks of their favorite stories. I love watching the “light bulb” come on as their little brains make sense of the world!
Thank you, Andrea, for the questions and for the opportunity to appear on your blog! So nice to meet you!
And now the Road Rage Excerpt:
She had to be dead. There were too many checks in the column to keep denying it.
After spending the night on the edge of the man’s mattress, soothing him through his nightmares, she’d found herself back in the fog. Interminable hours later, it still held her prisoner.
She could move her limbs, but had nothing to move against, no foundation, no gravity. She didn’t know whether the person she’d been had believed in heaven or hell, but the fact that this disorienting nothingness clearly wasn’t heaven felt like a betrayal.
“Was I that bad?” she asked the fog. It didn’t answer. “Do you hear me? Anyone? Please!”
Frustration and desperation were her only companions.
“I hate this!” she yelled. The fog swallowed her protest without so much as an echo.
She felt abandoned. Worse than alone. A lonely person at least had a sense of self. She didn’t even have that.
But she’d had the blond man for company, even if just for a night. And she’d had the feeling he’d needed her. Maybe she had some kind of weird commission to comfort people having nightmares, and if she did a good enough job, she could earn her way into heaven. Since that hope stood between her and despair, she clung to it like a lifeline.
Suddenly, the fog thinned. A solid surface came up to meet her feet, and the last of the smoky wisps parted to reveal the man’s room. She was back in her corner.
“Oh, thank God!” She fell to her hands and knees in relief. Being somewhere, anywhere, beat that nothingness. But she had to admit, this room made her feel safe.
As she regained her composure, she noticed the man doing push-ups between the foot of the bed and the dresser, in nothing but a pair of tight, black boxer briefs.
His toes braced on the floor mere inches from her hands. Directly in front of her, his calves and thighs made a long, muscular line to a cotton-hugged rear end. His tanned back flared from a narrow waist to broad, muscular shoulders. Powerful arms bunched deliciously as he pumped the plank of his body up and down. The hair at the nape of his neck curled with perspiration. She had an urge to plant her nose in that moist hair and draw in his scent of Irish Spring soap and summer sunshine.
Virile, masculine flesh filled her vision, and the rhythmic rush of heavy breathing bathed her ears with a sound of life so welcome after the deathly silence of the fog. After hours of sensory deprivation, she greedily feasted her senses.
Before she could think better of it, she extended her hand toward the man’s right foot and stroked a finger down his sole, tracing the arch from heel to ball. His skin was warm and taut, slightly pink, and toughened with every step he’d ever taken. The touch sent a thrill of connection through her while at the same time she cringed back, fearing his response.
He gave no sign he’d felt anything.
Disappointment settled in her belly. Some sort of reaction would have been nice.
She thought about attempting something more insistent, like a pinch, but the man finished his push-ups and got to his feet. He moved out of reach and bent at the waist to stretch his hamstrings. On the one hand, being dead sucked. On the other hand, if she got to drool over buns like that as part of her afterlife, she supposed she could make peace with it.
Bio: Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.
Blue Collar Boyfriends #1