Friday, February 21, 2020

Friday Author Spotlight Interview - Denise Wheatley


If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Los Angeles. I love all things Hollywood!

What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?
My characters are always sipping on some sort of fancy cocktail, but readers are always surprised to find out that I don’t drink alcohol. Never have.

How do you come up with names for your characters?
Usually when I think about a character’s traits, a name just pops into my head that’s fitting. When that doesn’t happen, I turn to the internet and search various websites.

Give a shout-out to a fellow author.
I’d like to shout out my fellow eXtasy Books author V.J. Allison. Not only is she an extremely talented writer, but she’s one of the most supportive authors I’ve met within the writing community.

What would the logline be for your book?
They bought men from a prison to fulfill their every need. What could possibly go wrong with such a simple little purchase?

What is your favorite word, and why?
Right now my favorite word is amazing. It’s got such a lovely ring to it, and is associated with positivity and success.

Describe your writing space.
If I’m not out and about writing in a shared workspace, I’m at home writing in bed or on my chaise lounge.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written ten books. My favorite is I WISH I NEVER MET YOU, because I was so free with my thoughts and words as I wrote. I allowed myself to pen whatever came to mind, which was a really liberating experience.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?
I’m oftentimes surprised when my characters take over my plot. I don’t always stick to the original plot that I’d outlined in the beginning due to twists and turns my characters may unexpectedly take, and that occurrence always fascinates me.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
I love the heroine Devon Jacobs in my upcoming novel, SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS. Devon is so brave and fearless, and proves that when you cast your doubts aside and go for what you want in life, things have a way of falling right into place.

Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you
can share with your readers?
I’ll just say that my character runs into several unexpected situations that readers won’t see coming. I love a good plot twist.

Does one of your main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
My main character in I WISH I NEVER MET YOU holds a special place in my heart because she’s so open and honest. She’s not afraid to go after what she wants, even if it’s the wrong thing. She just swallows her pride and accepts the lesson. She also fails at love over and over again but somehow manages to dust herself off and keep on trying.

If one of your books was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
I love Regina Hall, Zazie Beets, Trevante Rhodes, and Morris Chestnut.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
I recently completed a book proposal for my upcoming contemporary romance series SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS, and I’m currently writing the sequel.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
Right now I’m plotting out a romantic thriller about a woman in law enforcement who’s pursuing a serial killer.

What are you reading now?
I’m rereading Whacked by Jules Asner for inspiration.

What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?
Terry McMillan

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love studying true crime cases.

What is the best part of your day?
The middle of the night, which is usually when I hit my writing stride.

Would you rather be in a room full of snakes or a room full of spiders?

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
There is something about the city of LA that turns me on creatively. I come up with great ideas and churn out my best work when I’m there.

What turns you off?
Insecurity and moodiness

What is your favorite curse word?

What sound or noise do you love?
A baby’s laughter

What sound or noise do you hate?
Loud music coming from my neighbors’ homes

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A forensic scientist

What profession would you not like to do?
A mortician

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

You did well, my child. I’m proud of you.


Denise N. Wheatley is a lover of happily-ever-afters and the art of storytelling. She has written (and ghostwritten) numerous novels and novellas that run the romance gamut, from contemporary to paranormal, sweet to steamy. Denise strives to pen entertaining stories that embody matters of the heart, while creating characters who are strong, colorful and relatable.

She is an RWA member and received a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, the city where she was born and raised. When Denise is not sitting behind a computer, you can find her in a movie theater, on a tennis court, watching true crime television or chatting on social media.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wednesday Words of Wisdom - You are a Radio so Tune into Universal Intelligence

You don’t attract into your life what you want. You don’t attract what you think about. You don’t attract what you feel. Desires, thoughts, and feelings are all important, but these are more effects than causes.

You attract what you’re signaling.

Think of yourself as a vibrational transmitter. You’re constantly sending out signals that tell the universe who you are in this moment. Those signals will either attract or repel other vibrational beings, events, and experiences.

You naturally attract that which is in harmony with your state of being, and you’ll repel that which is out of sync with your state.

If your energetic self-radiates wealth and abundance, your physical reality will reflect wealth and abundance for your physical being.

If your energetic transmits anger and frustration, your physical reality will again mirror the transmission.

Since the signals you’re sending out at any given moment tend to be fairly complex, your experience of physical reality will be equally complex.

Once you can accept that your vibrational self attracts compatible patterns, it becomes clear that if you want to experience something different in your life, you must somehow change the signals you’re putting out. ~ Unknown


I’ve been listening to and or reading a collection of books over the past few months. I’ve mentioned them before, several times.
You Are a Badass Series by Jen Sincero.

First off, no I am not in the Sincero payroll, although if I was yay! I am repeatedly talking about these books because

A.) They are awesome.
B.) They are helping me create a more awesome life
C.) I want you to have an awesome life too
– No this is not a cult, although admittedly I worship Jen Sincero and have a gratefulness alter dedicated to her in my bedroom – just kidding about the altar, kinda.

Back to the words of wisdom. What these words are talking about is Universal Intelligence. And yes, you do know what this is. You have heard about it a million and one times.

Done unto others as you would have done to do
Reap what you sow
What goes around comes around
Give Love, get Love

You get the idea. If you are full of optimism, joy and gratefulness you will receive the same in return. Being optimistic, joyful and grateful in every moment, to the best of your ability (wait, my credit card just got hacked), opens you up to the possibilities and wonders of the world.

Wait, back up – yes, I heard the little voice in your head saying… oh goodness Amy is drinking the cool-aide.

I am going to try and put this as simply as possible.
We all want love, joy, hope, good fortune and options.
How do we get it?
Project joy, hope, good fortune and options.

Be joyful you have three screaming kids in the back of your mini-van at McDonalds. Because they are screaming, which in turn means they are happy, and comfortable in their world enough to feel free to express themselves. Have very healthy lungs and racing hearts determined they will get the toy surprise in the Happy Meal and brag to all their friends.

Have hope in the pouring rain that while making your car needing a good wash and the floors mopped due to all of the mud, the rain will provide the ground the nourishment it needs to bring about the greenery you love, the animals you watch on Instagram and the beautiful world we live in to thrive.

Be grateful in your good fortune. The generosity of others, the nod and smiles of those you pass. The child who opens the door as you walk into Little Caesars for Friday Pizza.

Think about your options, now and in the future. We live in a world of options – just go to Bath and Body Works, and a plethora of scents you can wear to match your awesomeness will deliciously overwhelm you. The universe is the bath and body works of Life!

You create your reality. Vibrate your power, your gratefulness, your badass awesome self (as Jen would say)

Make it awesome and don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise.  

The Badass Books – I picked up the first Badass Book because simply I have always wanted to be one. Now I am.

Love it.
Live it.

Own it.

Thanks so much, Jen!

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Teaser Tuesday - Stupid Car (Working Title)

Teaser Tuesdays I share a little excerpt of what I am currently working on ~ This week is Stupid Car (working title) ~

When Reese Clifton becomes stranded in small-town Georgia she never expects the man, the mystery and the danger awaiting.


Eyes open Jess Winters mentally checked everything was still attached and where it was supposed to be. He moved, his body protested, but he did it anyway. He was on his side, rather the truck was on its side, sitting in three feet of water. "Shit."

Jess looked to his right. His passenger hung by her seat-belt above him. Her eyes closed he couldn't tell if she was hurt. Grabbing for the CB mike, it fell apart and into the water. With no way to exit the door, he shifted and thrust his boot into the already cracked glass of the windshield. The safety glass shattered, and another kick finished it off. Jess moved to his passenger, he hesitated about moving her without knowing the extent of her injuries. Should he try to wake her?

She stirred and he breathed a small sigh of relief. "Miss, can you hear me? Miss..." Damn it, what the hell is her name? I suck at remembering people’s names. He saw his clipboard behind him and grabbed it. Reese. Reese Clifton. "Reese, can you hear me?" She shifted slightly and opened her eyes. At first there was nothing, then came the disorientation and fear.

"What happened?" She struggled against the seat belt and he instinctively put his hands over hers.

"Stop. Calm down, one thing at a time. Are you hurt?" Her eyes rose to meet his, clear and shiny, his chest tightened at the mirror before him.

"I don't think so. My head-- my head just hurts." Her hands shook beneath his and he knew it was a reaction to the trauma. He grasped them tightly, keeping her focus on him.

"I’m going to loosen your seat-belt. I want you to wrap your arm around my shoulder." She nodded doing as he stated while he worked the belt. It was stuck.

"What's wrong?" the evident panic in her voice irritated him, one little hiccup and she was already freaking out. "Is there a problem?"

"The belt is stuck," he grunted, tugging on it repeatedly.

"My purse."

He grumbled, women, "We can worry about..."

"No, there is a hunting knife in my purse. Maybe you could cut me out?" Jess stopped, for once there was a pleasant helpful surprise.

"Uh, okay, let me see if I can find it." His eyes scanned the immediate cab, he reached down into the water feeling around. "What does your purse look like?"
"Brown, handle, leather... it's a purse." He didn't respond, in fact, he suppressed a chuckle as he was expecting this detailed description down to the inlet on the side or the look of the tag. He kept his thoughts to himself continuing to search for the bag. His hand caught on something in the water and he pulled. The purse appeared and he dug into it. "Where is it? How can you find anything in here?"

"Just give me the damn thing." She took the bag out of his hand and after a moment retrieved the hunting knife. Handing it to him, he noticed she didn't even look at the remnants of her belongings, just zipped it up and dropped it on the ground in front of her. "Will that work?"

"Should, depends the last time it was sharpened." The blade was magnificent, serrated and curved, it was a paper thin but strong. He knew it could take his hand off with one swipe no problem.

"Two months ago, I know it has been a little while, but it hasn't been used so it should be fine... well that is not true exactly, I used it a few weeks ago to cut a hose to gerry-rig my fuel pump."

Jess took note of the comment, seemingly innocent but in fact very telling of her character. He began work on the thick belt and she waited silently. As the belt held her weight to the seat, he gave her fair warning when the belt came to its final strands. She braced for the release and when it came, she barely needed his assistance. "What now?"

"After you." He gestured to the broken-out windshield. She seemed to ponder how she was going to navigate the exit with a pencil skirt and heels, and he honestly was curious as well. Would she ask for help?

"Aw hell." He heard the ripping of fabric just before she climbed out the window. Using her arms, she lifted her body up and onto the exposed tire above her. Jess followed behind, seeing her working her way over to the muddy side of the ditch. He realized she'd removed her shoes and thrown them across the embankment. Next thing he knew he saw her lithe form in midair to get to the other side. She hit and rolled, exactly what he would have told her to do. Something you learned watching every action movie known to man. She wasn't a wimp he'd give her that. Jess once again followed her lead, landing on the ground just beside her. "My car!"

She rose, and he shifted in the direction she was facing. Her once intact car was upside down and smashed like a pancake. Her hand went through her disheveled hair and a pang of guilt curled in his stomach. "Now what?"

"Both of our phones are underwater, and the CB was shattered."

"What does that mean exactly?"

"It means we walk."


* * * *

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Friday Author Spotlight Interview - Curtis Cooper


If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose? Phuket Thailand. Loved the water, so clear I could see the bottom of the ship. Nothing like an island romance or
even suspense. . . with romance in it, of course.

How do you come up with names for your characters? I tried going back and forth from A, Z, B, Y, etc once. Normally I just pick one out of thin air, though I have been known to use past. . . way past, acquaintances names. My work in progress uses my son’s dentist’s last name. It determined my character’s nationality too

Give a shout-out to a fellow author. I’d say Hi to VJ Allison. She is always willing to help out other authors, by making people aware of their books

What would the logline be for your book? My current story, The Reluctant Private Eye would have – A widow searches for her husband’s killer and with the help of a young, handsome man uncovers a security conspiracy while running from the law, framed for another murder

What is your favorite word, and why? Never really thought about one I would like over another

Describe your writing space. My writing space is the driver’s seat of my SUV. I go to work about 45 minutes early and write before I go inside. I think I’m most creative at that time of day. Thank goodness for car heaters. Typing space is a dilapidated table with w computer monitor sitting on top of a thesaurus and a clipboard stand with a gooseneck light attached at the top. This is my spot after I get home from work. I do my chapter typing and editing in the evening.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I’ve written 10 novels, and about to submit my first novella. I also have three short stories under my belt. My favorite has to still be my break out novel “Straight from the Heart.” I poured my heart into it.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)? The beginning and ending often are fixed, but everything in between is fluid and more often than not, my characters lead me, not the other way around

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special. Interestingly enough, I have a secondary character that appears in all three of my Heart series books. She is the owner of the Oxford coffee shop. Pam is wise, honest, helpful to a fault, and treats her employees as family, bizarre as some of them are.

Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers? I used a torture technique that I saw in an original Hawaii Five-O episode. I’ve never let this info be known before now.

Does one of your main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why? In my latest story, no. But Markie in Straight from the Heart is a very special person. I put her through some highs and one of the deepest downward spirals I’ve created, yet she came out on top. And she didn’t do it all on her own.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about? I’m working on a novella for the “Noted” folder of Extasy. On a Side Note is about a young woman who purchases an antique desk (the desk I based it on is one I own that was built by my great great great great grandfather) and finds a note inside it, causing her to want to find the previous owner and maybe the link to the one who built it. I chose the title for a reason.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one? I am contemplating a fourth in the Heart series. As with the other three, there will be new main characters. This one will center around a divorced woman and a new owner of the coffee shop. Pam will still be in the story, though

What do you like to do when you are not writing? We have a cabin out of town that has a creek. It’s nice to get away to. I also like woodworking, and I do some baking

What is your favorite curse word? You won’t find any in my stories. I
believe that there are other ways to make a point. Of course, it didn’t help when I was a lot younger and my kids were barely speaking and my son might drop something and say “Shit, Goddamn!” It got a grin out of me, but it was an embarrassing smile. I knew exactly where he got it.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Musician. Loved the drums growing up, but had a neighbor who didn’t. The one biggest reason why I’ll never again live in a mobile home park.

What profession would you not like to do? Dairy farmer. Couldn’t get past the smell.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Come in.


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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Awesome Excerpt Thursday - The Prophet and the Snow Angel - Editor's Choice!

Blurb - Two Turtle Doves must save the throne of the most powerful church in the world before a terrorist act destroys it and all hope for Christmas.
When Navy Seal Team leader Charlie Stein is paired with Operations Analyst Aria Lockett, he is annoyed. Having the burden of an Analyst on a field mission is not a headache he wants to endure.

Operations Analyst Aria Lockett has been tracking The White Guard Terrorist cell for years. When they finally get a strong lead on an upcoming attack, she is ready to put an end to their terrorist reign once and for all.

With an imminent attack scheduled for Christmas Day in Rome, the pair must work together to thwart the threat. The unease between them quickly turns to trust and unexpected desire. When the terror cell is alerted to their plan, can they remain focused and save Christmas, or will their growing feelings cloud their judgment and destroy the path of hope?

She slept in his arms — something Stein hadn’t experienced in a long time. Having a wanted body against his, he found it unexpectantly soothing. Stein admitted only to himself he didn’t see the heated encounter coming. Yes, Aria Lockett is a beautiful, brilliant, dedicated, bad ass. However, she also seemed walled, guarded, and complicated. He avoided complicated. His life was complicated enough. He didn’t need any drama or distractions. He’d seen enough of his teammates try to hold on to relationships and crash and burn. It was ugly.
Shifting as not to wake her, Stein rolled out of bed and took a shower. He walked into the room, wrapped in a towel. He noticed Aria on her back, staring at the ceiling. Stein wasn’t sure what to do. Did he get back in bed? Did he get dressed? Did he offer to get coffee? What?

“That was doctor Angell, they are getting close.”

“That’s great news.”

“Yeah. But doesn’t solve our problem,” Aria rose from the bed walking past Stein to the bathroom. “I’m’ going to get cleaned up.”

He watched her close the door, and Stein processed the transition. The bathroom door opened, and she stepped out. “Can you do me a favor and start some coffee?”

“Sure.” He stated as he put a shirt on.

* * * *

Aria appeared from the bedroom dressed and ready. Her hair twisted into a ponytail. She immediately went to the couch and her computer.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Where did you find out about The White Guard? Before now, I’ve never heard of them.”

Her expression fell a little. She scratched the back of her head. She met his eyes and walked over to the coffee bar pouring herself a cup of coffee.  She took a sip and turned facing him leaning against the bar.

“A few years ago, I was in Pennsylvania visiting my family. It was my youngest niece’s confirmation. The whole family was there and I, of course, was late. I had just flown in from an assignment in Vienna, and well you know how it goes. When I finally arrived at the church, it was already gone. There were no survivors,” her focus on the carpet, he guessed reliving the memory in her mind. “Someone had wrapped the retaining columns with C4 to ensure there was no escape. Feds got a letter a day later claiming responsibility.”

“What did it say?”

“It had the address and name of the church, and then the words White Guard typed out. No prints, no demands. That was it,” an emotion in her voice he didn’t recognize.recognize “That church, my niece’s church was the eighth church in which The White Guard claimed responsibility. Since then, there have been three more. All different, all unique explosive methods, dates, locations. There is no discernible pattern. Nothing to link any of them except the letters. So, I took a leave and asked for reassignment to an analyst desk.”

“To find them.”

“To stop them.”


“This is the closest we have ever gotten to any real proof they exist. Up until yesterday, all the information has been a rumor, theory, and stupid luck. Nothing I can prove or prosecute.”

“What do you have so far?” Stein asked.

“Nothing concrete.”

“No, I mean, what do you have? Fuck what you can prosecute, what do you know?”

Aria walked to the couch, pulling out a rolled piece of paper. She unrolled it as she spoke. “I have identified six separate cells.”

“Based on what?”

“Chatter, message boards, rumor, whispers, again nothing concrete. The only concrete facts I have are the locations and the victims—” her eyes focused, and Stein knew something was happening.

“Aria, what are you thinking?”

“I told you yesterday eight years ago, the focus of the Guard moved from religion in general to a focus on the Catholic Church. What if it isn’t random?”

“You just said—” Stein started not following her train of thought.

“What if it is about the victims? What if these are murders?”

“The bombings targeted certain people, and the other victims are just collateral damage.”

“We need the victim list for every church bombing in the past eight years.”

                                              * * * *

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wednesday Words of Wisdom - Badass Melinda May & Finding Your Toilet Paper Spring

I was innocently watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D with my son last night. The S.H.I.E.L.D  team has a huge problem, nowhere to move forward and no way to solve it. “This is impossible!”

 Agent Melinda May looks to Daisy (aka Quake) and says “Number one rule of combat. Take what you have and use it to your advantage.”

This is a line the show has repeatedly used, but last night, for whatever reason, the words hit me like a ton of bricks. So much so, I grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled it down. I went to bed last night thinking about the concept and this morning I am creating social media posts and blogging my excitement.

Are you asking why?

I hope you are because if not, I'm going to tell you anyway…

My adrenaline-filled typing it fueled by several sources. The first being the reinforcement of the notion of people creating their boundaries. We are so busy creating reasons as to why we cannot accomplish something and how impossible a situation seems we forget to look around and use what we do have to the utmost advantage. I used to do this all the time. Seriously, looking back on it is rather nauseating. The I can’t – it’s impossible attitude I used to have is quick to build the walls and close me off from all other possibilities.

Where if we take what Melinda May suggests and look around. We may not have a solution but at the very least we can take a step forward and move closer.
Last year, I went to lunch at my favorite Ramen house here in Tulsa and upon a short visit to the ladies' room found myself locked in the bathroom. It was a single small bathroom. One you lock until you are finished. Well, there was a problem with the lock and when I went to leave the bathroom the door would not open. Realizing I did not bring my phone, and my daughter was probably still surfing social media, unaware of my extended absence. I tried messing with the lock for a good ten minutes to no avail. I pounded on the door, nothing. I thought, okay, what do I have I can use? I started searching my empty pockets, the cabinet under the sink, looking at the walls, the paper towel roll, the toilet paper roll. What the hell could I use to get someone’s attention and or free myself? Then a crazy yet brilliant Idea popped in my head. The toilet paper roll might have a spring.

I removed the toilet paper, revealing the plastic tension roll holding it and removed the spring. Going to the lock I searched for the screws attaching the knob to the door. I twisted the coil with the notion of using it to remove the screws.

Knocking on the door from the outside made me jump. I hear my daughter’s voice “Mom, are you okay?”

Needless to say, I didn’t have to remove the knob from the door. My daughter simply opened it from the outside and I was freed! We told the waiter about the experience, got a free sushi appetizer and a good laugh. My daughter and I were curious if my plan would have worked and when we returned home, we tried it out in our bathroom. Turns out, it would have worked!

While this is more of a utilitarian story, it still rings true. If you have a challenge you're facing, whether it be a locked door, or an evil genius looking to destroy the world, look around, figure out what you do have and use it to your advantage.

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