Five words and/or phrases that describe you:
Hmm... determined, for sure, and if you don’t believe me, I have 18 unpublished complete manuscripts and over 130 rejections prior to my first sale to prove it. What else? I have a massive sweet tooth for chocolate, cookies and tart things. Fortunately, they all give me headaches the next day, so I can often manage to refrain when I think about how many pages I have to write the next day and how much harder it will with a chain saw grinding at my forehead. I am fairly solitary, and I love spending the day totally by myself with nothing but my computer and a book. Now that I’m a full time writer and gets lots of alone time writing, I am much more social because I have enough alone time to recharge. Oh! I know. I’m very impatient. I have goals, I want to accomplish them NOW. The business of writing has been so difficult for me because it is all about patience and waiting and slow progress, and that’s not my thing. Fortunately, I have been blessed with an agent and a husband who know what I’m like and are brilliant at talking me down off the ledge. I’d never survive without them. Lastly, I think I’m a bit of a control freak. Having a toddler had done wondrous things to force me to learn to let go, because once you have a baby in the family, you quickly learn that control is an illusion and all you can do is hang on for the ride and do your best to come in for a landing every once is a while. But it’s all great, and I wouldn’t change a thing!
Five people and/or things that inspire you:
My two year old daughter is a huge inspiration, mostly because she shows me what I’ve forgotten in my cynical, old adulthood. To her, life is about laughter, it’s about being in the moment, it’s about finding joy in everything around her, it’s about hugging when you want to hug, running when you want to run, sleeping when you want to sleep. She reminds me to stop and notice the squirrels racing up a tree with acorns in his mouth, to stop and smell every flower as we walk down the street, to listen to the birds and dance to music in the car.
I am inspired by my husband, because he has an amazing ability to be positive and optimistic all the time. Nothing gets him down. He’s like a bar of soap bouncing on top of the water. You can hit him with tough stuff, and he lets it slide right off and he rebounds with a smile and optimism (but not in an annoying way). I truly envy his ability to be so positive and resilient. He’s been a great influence on me to work on being more positive when things get me down. I’m not his equal yet, but I’m working on it!
I am inspired by brilliant writing, by authors who can create characters so magical that you lie awake at night thinking about their problems and reliving their joys. My latest fave is the new Lisa Kleypas historical. It’s the first book of hers I’ve read and quite truly, she is brilliant. It’s humbling, but so inspiring as well.
I am also inspired by the World Championship bronze medalist, Kara Goucher. (see my blog post about her http://www.themidnighthour.net/it-all-comes-down-to-one-simple-word/).
I am inspired by chocolate chip cookie dough. How can something so simply be so truly amazingly delicious?
Five of your favorite authors:
Well, as of today, Lisa Kleypas is one of my new favorite authors, having just read my first book by her this week. It was awesome. Dick Francis, Julie Garwood, and Jayne Anne Krentz are on the top of my list as well, as you would deduce from the fact that I have every single one of their books on my bookshelf. As for the others... well... I have to admit I’m sort of fickle. I love so many authors and I am always immersed in whatever I’m currently reading. I recently got caught up in some romantic suspense by Marliss Melton and Samantha Graves—and I really loved those books. Can’t wait for their next ones! And of course, the list of paranormal authors is simply too extensive to list. I read a new author a week practically, sometimes more.
Describe five of your heroes/heroines through your eyes:
Oh... my heroines, as in from my writing? I was thinking my own personal heroines. Okay, my #1 hero that I’m in love with right now is Gideon, from my new paranormal suspense series coming out next year. He’s so tortured, but he’s so honorable and so hot, and so tender... I just adore him. His book is called: The Order of the Blade: The Rise of Temptation, and it’s the second book in a trilogy that being release every other month next summer and fall (2008). Actually, I really like all three heroes in that trilogy. I tend to be the biggest fans of whatever book I’m currently working on, and since I’m in the middle of revising that series, they are the three men on my mind and in my dreams right now (much to my dh’s dismay, LOL). I think my favorite heroine (well, of the moment) is the heroine in my book that’s being released next week, SEX & THE IMMORTAL BAD BOY. Paige has a really bad life with some really serious issues, yet she is so determined not to let it drag her down. I love her buoyancy of spirit, because that’s how I try to be (and it’s not that easy in real life!). Paige has strength, but a sense of humor as well (if a girl can keep a sense of humor about being turned into a soulless wraith who will destroy the world and everything she touches and make her Satan’s personal slave, how can you *not* like her?).
Five reasons to read you books:
Because there’s nothing like reading a story about people you admire and like, who face their worst nightmares and not only survive them, but triumph over them in a honest and soulful way, finding their true strength and their true love as they do so.
I believe in writing books that not only have a happy ending, but ones where people are good to each other, where the characters you fall in love with are touched in their soul by those around them, given hope where they previously had none.
I try to write stories of the power of dreams and of self, the strength of love, stories about equality in relationships where people learn they are at their most powerful when they learn to let themselves be vulnerable. And, of course, I believe in adventure, fast-paced action and plenty of sexy moments. (Was that more than five? Hmm....)
Yummy Excerpt From The Latest in the Immortally Bad Series
Sex & The Immortal Bad Boy
Paige froze for a split second, and then she returned his kiss with an enthusiasm that nearly dropped him to his knees. She opened her mouth for him, her tongue danced against his, and she plastered herself against him so her breasts were pressed against his chest.
A very female sound of satisfaction hummed in the back of her throat, and she kissed him deeper, meeting him thrust for thrust with every high-spirited movement of her tongue.
Her tongue flirted over his teeth, and her breath was warm in his mouth, tasting of spearmint. Her fingers twisted in his hair and she tightened her thighs around his hips, wiggling against him.
"God, you taste good," he muttered, breaking the kiss to nibble the bare skin of her neck, grinning when she whimpered. He slipped his hands under her shirt and spanned her bare back. Her muscles flexed under his hands, and he groaned at the softness of her skin. She was pure female temptation. All softness and innocence, and he wanted her so badly every muscle in his body was shaking.
He moved his right hand down over her hip, hooking his index finger over the delicate strand of lace on the sides of her underwear. He tugged it gently down, letting his thumb brush over the delicate skin on the inside of her thigh, and felt a surge of heat when Paige sucked in her breath and tightened her grip on his shoulders. Then there was a loud cat call and a whistle, yanking him back to reality in a cold hurry. He jerked his head back from her throat, cursing himself. Hell, Jed. On a street?
"No, no, no! Don't stop!" Paige grabbed his hair and tried to tug him back down. "I'm not done."
He chuckled softly as he returned the lace of her underwear to its proper position. "Yeah, I wasn't either, trust me." He carefully untangled her from him, and set her back on the ground, taking a sec to tug her shirt back down over her hips and run his fingers down her arms, before he finally dropped his hands.
Her eyes were wide, her lips parted as she ran her tongue over them, and the flush of arousal stained her cheeks. She took a deep breath that made her breasts rise under her tee shirt. "Well. I certainly wasn't expecting that when I came running out here."
He cleared his throat, feeling like an ass for molesting her on a public street. "Yeah, well, sorry. I didn't mean to—"
"Oh, no." She lightly smacked his chest. "Don't be sorry. It rocked."
Something loosened in his gut and he grinned. "Yeah?"
She nodded as she fingered her lips. "That a fantastic kiss, I'll tell you right now. I got kissed by this Markku a few weeks ago, and we were under the influence of Penhas pheromones, so it was pretty intense..."
His grin turned into a scowl.
She smiled, her eyes twinkled as she reach up and lightly brushed her lips over his. "But this was way better."
His hands went to her hips and he held her still.
For a moment, neither of them moved, then her eyes darkened with heat as she rubbed her belly against the front of his jeans. "Seriously, Jed, you can kiss me like that anytime. I have no problem with a public street if you want to do it again?" Her voice rose hopefully at the end.
He growled, entirely unable to resist the invitation as he hauled her against him and dropped his head to—
She threw up a hand to block him just before his mouth reached hers. "Oh, hell."
He blinked and tried to focus. "Oh, hell, what?"
"Hello? Where's my brain?" She patted his cheek and gently pushed him back. "I can't kiss you."
Extra!Extra! Stephanie has a copy of Date Me Baby,One More Time to giveaway to a lucky commenter.