Author Spotlight: Lorelie Brown

Ahhh!!! I know, I know it’s been a little over a month since my last blog post. I’ve been a busy bee! I’ll explain next week where I’ve been and what caused my hiatus. Long story short, I’ve been writing. Shocker! I promise you’ll get all the gory details next week. For now, let’s focus on the present. This week, my feature is all about Ms. Lorelie. I met Lorelie last year at my very first RWA conference. The hotel lobby is by far the best place to dish and network. Well, second to the bar. We got to chatting, I asked her if she wanted to be interviewed for my blog, and here we are. She’s a very cool lady, and now you all get to learn a little bit about her. 

Take it away Lorelie… 

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

Um, probably that I’m radically insecure? I mean, I feel like if you follow me on twitter, you might get an idea, because I joke about it, but there’s a very large portion of my jokes…that aren’t jokes. So if you ever see me in person, tell me that I’m pretty and super smart. I’d really appreciate it. 

Finish this sentence: I believe all artists should have ______.

Their eyes open. We can’t create if we don’t first observe the world as it really is. I hope that would then lead to compassion for the people we observe and the situations we see, but that’s the optimist in me coming through. (Remember the part about being radically insecure? I’m now wondering if I have the hubris to claim the title of artist. See?)

This question applies to all genres. Name a book you wish you’d written.

I honestly don’t have an answer to this. I’ve read books and adored them, but I’ve never then wished that I’d written them. Mostly because I don’t think they’d be the same books if *I* had written them. I’d filter them through my own worldview and put my own spin on them, and then they’d be different books. And the whole exercise would be defeated. I just wish to write the best books that I’m capable of. 

Do you adhere to a writing schedule? If so, how strict are you with sticking to it?

Hahahaha, noooooo. No schedule for me. I’m the type of author who squeaks in a page or two wherever I can, at least for the start of the book. Once I get in deep enough that the pages are really singing, I start logging more hours at a time, but they’re still not on a schedule. 

We’re not that far into 2018. What’s one personal change you want to make this year?

I’m trying to find balance in the way I treat food. I was in a pretty major car accident at the end of September, and I kind of used it as license to lay in bed and eat Red Vines. I regret nothing, because I was pretty beat up and Junior Mints made me feel better, but I’ve got to find a bit more middle ground. Food is tasty and enjoyable, but it supports life; it isn’t actually all of life. 

Say you’re provided with an opportunity to have a personal chef for the evening. What meal is the chef preparing for your dining pleasure?

A lobster. I’ve enjoyed “lobster flavored” things, but I’ve never really enjoyed eating an actual, steamed lobster before. I’d like it personally prepared for me so I know if I really don’t like them, or if they’ve just been prepared in inferior ways. 

What would you like to see more of in the romance industry?

More of everything. More of life, as it actually is. People of color, and the *full* LGBTQ+ spectrum (not just hot white dudes banging.) More heroes with regular professions, not just billionaires. More heroines who have jobs that aren’t nurturing in some way. 

In your opinion, what’s the best cartoon ever made?

Beauty and the Beast? Or if we’re talking TV shows, maybe Muppet Babies. It’s not objectively the most delicately crafted cartoon, but I was kinda traumatized by having my collection of Muppet Babies happy meals toys stolen when I was a kid, so it looms large in my memory. 

Here’s the memory as I remember it: I was on a trip with my dad and playing with my handful of toys on a curb outside a gas station. He called me inside to go to the bathroom and when I came back they were gone. Absolutely tragic to a 7 or 8-year-old. 

Okay, but why the hell was I playing alone outside a gas station??? I hope I’m remembering it wrong, but it was the ‘80s, and parents were still kind of stupid in ways. 

In 2017, you were nominated for a RITA Award. Has that experience changed how you’ll guide your writing career moving forward?

Honestly? It froze me for a while! I went through this period of trying to write and being unable to get really deep into a story. I’d get a couple of pages in and then decide the story was trash and won’t ever measure up. I think I’ve gotten over it now. (Cross your fingers for me.) I’m trying to focus solely on the stories I want to tell and not think of the big picture. 

If you could have a dance battle with any celebrity, who would you choose?

I have very little confidence in my dance battle abilities, unless we’re going to put me in my 19-year-old body, put me in a rave and give me white gloves. Nowadays, I don’t move well, so I think I’d just like to use this opportunity to ogle someone who *does* dance well. As a result, I hereby challenge Channing Tatum to a dance-off whenever he’s ready. Come find me, Channing! I’m ready. Please wear a thin white tank top. 

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

I have. I’m toppy, but that’s about all I’m going to say to that! LOL.


After a semi-nomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. She’s traveled the world from South Korea to Italy and now lives north of Chicago. She set her Belladonna Ink series in Southern California because she gets enough sleet and snow in her real life. 

Lorelie has three active sons, a shih tzu and a yorkiepoo puppy. The yorkiepoo makes a guest appearance in one of her books. Readers can find out which by asking her on Twitter: @LorelieBrown.

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Get your one-click finger ready! Check out Lorelie’s latest release Her Hometown Girl, Book 3 in the Belladonna Ink series

Release Day Author Spotlight: Vanessa Riley

Happy Monday Everyone! 

Today, I’m featuring the wonderful Vanessa Riley on the blog! Vanessa’s latest release, The Bittersweet Bride, a Regency historical with a WoC heroine drops TODAY.  I AM SO PROUD OF HER! In case you needed a not so gentle nudge to spend your coins BUY THIS BOOK, NOW! I’m thrilled for Vanessa, and I wish her much success with this series. The preliminary buzz has been great, and I cannot wait to dive in. 

 Without further ado, take it away Vanessa! 

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

This is a very hard question. I think I’m rather boring and wholesome. I think that would be my accidental shoplifting heist. When I was kid, I thought the booklets on the counter at some store were free, and I scooped up a few and tried to put them in my mother’s purse. Let’s just say, they weren’t free, nor was my behind whooped-free, or the many times I paid having to hear the talk about how to act when in a store.

What inspired you to write the Advertisements for Love series?

I’m compelled to write romances because I truly believe all love stories need to be told. If you look at this advertisement, you can see how all the women were made fun of, but one woman, the Blackamoor was drawn to be grotesque. It didn’t sit well with me, and I decided to give the women the power and this series showcases three heiresses and hopefully they will find there happy ever after in this series.

Say you’re starring in a rom-com, who would you want cast as your love interest?

Always Pierce Brosnan. The answer is always the Best Bond, the Remington Steele.

What’s one rule you’ve set for yourself?

It’s okay to fail. If I tried and gave it my all, then it’s not really a failure.

What made you happiest in 2017?  

Other than my hubby and kiddo, it was working with my editor, Erin at Entangled. She gets me, and she knows how to make me better.

What’s your favorite board game? 

Monopoly. I’m the ironing board.

Finish this sentence: The quality of your life is the quality of ________.

Your memories. You have to live and love. You have to do things that bring you joy. Those memories should be spectacular.

Describe your most romantic date.  

Girl, I’ve been married for over twenty years, so you’re asking me to think. From what I remember, it would’ve been our first: a sweet dinner over a fire pit and then walking around downtown looking at the new Christmas season lights being put up.

If money wasn’t an issue, what would you spend your time doing? 

It would be writing full time. I love these worlds I create.

Take your time and think about your answer deeply before responding. People are reading with bated breath…

Best breakfast main course: Pancakes, waffles, or French toast? THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE

That would have to be pecan pancakes with hot bourbon maple syrup. Of course, this breakfast would have to be made by my husband, and he’s volunteering to do all the clean-up. Paradise.

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

Never tried. Not really into giving up that much control, and only my mama has ever spanked me. I’d like to keep it that way.


Vanessa Riley here. I write Delightfully Different historical romances set in 1800s England, giving voice to voiceless 10,000 peoples of color who loved, laughed, and lived full lives, even as the sands of time buried their stories. I write of the 10,000-person Blackamoor and mulattoes population living in London during the time of Jane Austen. This population was free and as some gained wealth, some intermarried but all mingled in society.

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Get your one-click finger ready to rock and purchase your copy of The Bittersweet Bride from any of the following e-Book retailers:


Barnes & Noble


Entangled Publishing

*waves* Heeey, it’s Harper chiming in for a sec. Thank you for reading this Release Day Author Spotlight! If you’ve read The Bittersweet Bride, please leave a review on any of the websites above or Goodreads. Release Day reviews mean the world to an author. If you recall, the first cover for The Bittersweet Bride was not an accurate representation of the heroine, Theodosia. Because the book world spoke up, Vanessa was granted a new cover. It’s important that her publisher (and other publishers) see readers supporting stories such as these. Buy, read, review, and spread the word. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed. 

Author Spotlight: Tere Michaels

Heeeeeey! Happy Monday, Peeps! 

Can you believe January is almost over? Holy crap. Some days it feels like this month is flying by, other days it feels like this month is SUPER LONG. LOL, I can’t win. I wish time would slow down a little considering I have a deadline I need to meet in February. Eek! 

But enough about me, let’s focus on the fab lady I’m spotlighting today. Tere Michaels is amazing. I first met Tere at the Liberty States Fiction Writers conference in 2016. The things that came out of the woman’s mouth during a game of Dirty Mad Libs would make you blush… and keel over with laughter. Her sense of humor is one of the reasons I ❤️️ her something fierce. 

Get to know a little about this massively cool lady. 

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

I am impatient. Like, so so impatient. Heavy sighing levels of impatient. I am not here for your indecision, meandering, or line-holding-up. Lines! Oh my Lord, lines! Does no one remember kindergarten?! Why are lines so difficult for adults?!

My evil doppelganger would tell you exactly what is going through my head when I’m waiting behind someone on line…and it’s really not pretty.  I should never be mic’d when I’m driving. It would just be an endless stream of bleeps.

Do you sing in the shower? If so, what’s your go-to song?

I do not. I don’t think I ever have! I do sing in the car but it’s usually just whatever earworm pop song that’s been created in a lab to become popular.

Aside from being an author, you’re also the Programming Coordinator for the RT Booklovers Convention. How on earth do you manage it all? Planning for RT is a year-round thing, what’s your schedule like?

My schedule is basically a rollercoaster of deadlines and more deadlines and shifting deadlines and also deadlines. This is my third RT as staff and while I’ve gotten a lot of things into a reasonable groove, it’s still impossible to map out a schedule. Some weeks are insane, some are quieter. The lack of rhythm sometimes works against me!

Basically, I’m in the city two days a week, work from home the rest, write when I can!

What’s the last thing you read, saw, or listened to that you wanted to tell someone about?

I am reading an arc of “Jane on the Brain: Exploring the Science of Social Intelligence with Jane Austen” by Wendy Jones. It’s a mix of brain science, Jane Austen, sociology, and psychology – like someone said, “What sort of book would Tere flip out over? Let’s make THAT.

It was released last month. Everyone should read it!

Favorite childhood Halloween costume?

When I was super small, maybe three, Mom took a suede jacket and sewed leaves on it. I was FALL. I mean, how cute is that?! I wanted to wear it like that beyond Halloween because it was so cool.

Other than an HEA or HFN, what else should a romance contain?

An emotional connection. Lust is great, meet cutes are lovely, external plot devices can be swell but if you don’t have an emotional connection between the characters (and I daresay, a positive emotional connection!), then you don’t have a romance IMHO. I want to internally melt and sizzle and writhe around on the floor over a GLANCE or a gentle touch because I understand the power of it, because of the emotional connection. It can make or break a romance novel for me.

Are you team waffles or team pancakes? I think I may make this a required question from now on. I need to know where allegiances lie and who I can truly trust.

Team pancakes! (Although, maybe my evil twin will insert themselves here and confess I don’t really care for maple syrup…)

What’s your bucket list must visit destination?

I want to go to Italy, Sicily to be exact, because that’s where my grandmother is from.

What’s the last five-star romance you read?

Lickety Split by Damon Suede!

In three words, sum up your thoughts on the report released last year by Leah and Bea, owners of the Ripped Bodice, on diversity in publishing. 

DO BETTER PEOPLE. (And about a thousand exclamation points.)

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

No I haven’t. Would I? I’m not sure. I’m fascinated by it; I’ve read it, I’ve even written it (at least the mental aspects of it, in my poly m/m/f romance, “Three to Get Ready”) but as far as participating, I’d probably say no. Without judgment, just knowing myself. There’s an allure, an aspect of it—letting go, giving up control—that appeals while at the same time my inner voice just starts laughing loudly.


Tere Michaels writes happily ever afters in the big city – with heaps of snark, angst and humor. Her focus is on characters and all the ridiculous ways they trip through life and love. She has written fifteen books including her popular Faith, Love & Devotion series and the superhero saga, The Vigilante.

She is a member of RWA and Liberty States Fiction Writers.

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Get your one-click on! Purchase Tere’s latest release, The Heir Apparent at the following retailers:

Dreamspinner Press


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