That's right, Jan Graham! I'm honored to have her in my crib today all the way from Australia. Don't you just love the Internet? Well, first I'm going to start off with an interview and then she'll get into the fun part with excerpts. So sit back and enjoy! Oh, and at the end leave a little love for Jan and let her know what you think. Thanks!
CYN: What makes a book great in your eyes?
JAN: I think a great book should have an intriguing storyline. I love romances but my favorite type of romance is one that has more than just boy meets girl and falls in love. I’m happier if there’s a bit of suspense or mystery thrown in as well.
CYN: I like the way you think Jan. Offer up a little more than the same old, same old. Do you have any guilty pleasures?
JAN: I enjoy spending the day in bed with a good book, particularly rainy days, although I don’t get to do that very often. I know it sounds boring but I don’t think I do have any guilty pleasures apart from that.
CYN: LOL, spending time in bed on a rainy day, with a book or a significant other is always relaxing. With that said, what influences your writing? And why?
JAN: I’m influenced by a few things. The style of book I like to read tends to be what I write. So I try to include additional storylines along with the romance aspect. Some of my books have a BDSM theme, because I’ve been involved in that lifestyle for a while now and it’s something that’s familiar to me. I think being Australian probably influences the type of humor that appears in the books and the easy going nature of my characters.
CYN: Name one thing readers don’t know about you.
JAN: I was born on September 11 but I don’t celebrate my birthday on that day now out of respect for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York. It just doesn’t seem right to be celebrating when so many people in the world are mourning. So now, each year I pick a date around the 11th and celebrate. This year my birthday will be the 8th September because it’s a Saturday so I can get together with friends.
CYN: What an admirable thing, Jan. You have a heart of gold. What are you working on now?
JAN: I’ve just finished the final novella in the Sydney Cougar series for Secret Cravings Publishing and I’ve started writing the next two books from the Wylde Shore Series which are the BDSM-themed books out through Siren Publishing.
CYN: I love the Hot Flash series with cougars as the common theme from different authors. How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newspaper?
JAN: Most of the time the story ideas just pop into my head, or should I say the characters do. There’s not a lot to it really. I start a conversation with the character and the story tends to flow from there. I do have a writer’s journal and I make notes of ideas that come to me about future storylines, but it’s more a reminder of what to investigate for the next book.
CYN: Sounds like you're a pantster! Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?
JAN: I listen to a wide variety of music while I’m writing and it’s usually dictated by the characters I’m currently creating. For instance when I was writing Playing Jax, my hero Steve, was a huge AC/DC fan so I listened to a lot of their CD’s. Katie from Catching a Cougar really liked Pink, so those CD’s got a workout when I was writing that novella.
JAN: I know most of my characters really well, and yes even down to what underwear they like to wear, or watch their love interest wearing. For some reason they are all big coffee drinkers, although, Rhia, in Playing Jax likes iced tea. Not a lot of them are alcohol drinkers, but my hero’s do like a nice cold beer occasionally. I think that’s an Aussie thing. I like to put details about likes and dislikes in my books because I think it helps readers have a better understanding of who the characters are.
CYN: Details are good. Makes the characters seem real. Who did you dedicate your books to and why?
JAN: I generally dedicate my books to my friends, Suzie and Hepsi. They are really supportive and read the books before I send them off to publishers. However, the latest two books are both dedicated to my SO who passed away recently. He’s had an honorable mention before as the main coffee and tea supplier while I write, but the latest books are solely dedicated to him. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to start writing full time if it hadn’t been for Shane, so I owe him a lot.
CYN: So sorry for your loss Jan, but his memory will be in your heart as well as your books forever. Now on a fun side for questions, if you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money?
JAN: I’d buy a house and a car, maybe go on a holiday. Then I’d share the rest with friends and family, make some donations to a few favorite charities and invest the rest so I had money to live on until I die. Yes, I know, not very exciting am I…lol.
CYN: If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?
JAN: I’d probably choose a wolf to be my mascot. I’ve read that wolves, like humans, have individual personality traits based on the environment they’ve grown up in and their individual genetic code. I like creatures that express their individuality. I guess I’d say that I’ve always been good at expressing my individuality. I’ve never followed trends or fashions. So, I share the individuality trait with wolves.
CYN: If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?
JAN: I’d change the perception that some people have, who believe it’s their right to be violent or abusive to others. I’d also change the world so diseases like cancer didn’t exist, you know people could just grow old gracefully (or disgracefully if that’s your choice) and pass away peacefully in their sleep.
I think both those things would change the world significantly.
CYN: I agree wholeheartedly. Both my parents passed from cancer (different types) as well as other family members. It is a hideous disease. Violence and abusive behavior is deplorable too. Let's move on to happy events and one more question. What holiday do you look forward to most?
JAN: My favorite holiday is Christmas. That’s when my best friend makes her husband climb up on their roof and douse their house with more Christmas lights than a Griswold movie. It’s really amusing to watch him stomp around, untangle lights, curse and know he’s doing it because he loves her, not because he enjoys Christmas.
Love it. So we've come to the end of the interview. Jan has brought us two covers and an excerpt. Enjoy!
Blurb & Link for healing a Cougar’s Heart Cover
Isabelle O’Connor never considered herself the type of woman who needed a knight in shining armor to come and rescue her, until one does. Well he’s more a knight in blue jeans and white shirt. After all, it is modern times. Unfortunately, her perfect hero has a flaw... he’s a cop. Isabelle decided years ago never to become involved with a police officer again, and she isn’t going to change her mind now.
Mark Dean loves being a cop. He also loves the hot redhead he rescued from a creep’s unwanted attention at a local nightclub. Mark knows that before he can gain Isabelle’s affection he has to convince her of something. Being a cop has nothing to do with her reluctance to date him. Isabelle’s heart never healed after the death of her husband and Mark makes it his mission to help heal this feisty Cougar’s heart.
Blurb & Link for Playing Jax Cover
Steve Jax buried his heart, along with his soul mate, two years ago. He had his turn in the game of love and it didn’t work out, end of story. His new neighbor might stir certain passions within him, but his dark, kinky desires aren’t the sort of thing a sweet, naïve ex-nun should be exposed to. All he has to do is convince the determined little minx of that?
Rhiannon McCabe has never been in love. She’s hidden under a religious veil since she was eighteen, now everything’s changed. She’s left the church, created a new life, and finally met the only man to ever arouse her sexual nature. Steve might think he doesn’t have the capacity to love her, but she’s determined to convince him otherwise. If love really is a game, then Steve Jax is a prize worth playing for.
Excerpt for Playing Jax
Steve watched Rhia thoughtfully. This was the penguin? Surely not. She was too shapely, too young, and too pretty. Hell, she was too damn sexy to have ever been a nun. He couldn’t decide if the fact he was growing hard under his jeans meant he was destined to go to hell. A smile edged at his lips as Rhia adjusted her top so he couldn’t see her stomach, the downward pull of the shirt revealing tightly budded nipples beneath the fabric. Maybe he wasn’t the only one in this conversation having impure thoughts. His cock pulsed harder as he thought of a befitting punishment for a nun with impure thoughts.
His black, heavy-weighted leather flogger sprang to mind. He imagined her cuffed to the St. Andrew’s cross he kept stored in his garage, him behind her, wielding the first lash of leather tails against her skin.
His cock stiffened and pressed uncomfortably against his tight denims. Steve needed to get his mind under control. If he didn’t, Rhia would be in all sorts of trouble. Besides, he got the distinct impression she was a little uncomfortable being this close to him. She fidgeted with her clothing some more. Maybe she simply felt a little exposed in that snug little PJ set…that damn-fine, hug-her-body-like-a-glove, little PJ set.
Stop it, you Neanderthal, she used to be a nun.
Steve cleared his throat and addressed the issue at hand. Well, one of them. There was nothing he could do about his erection at this moment in time.
“So…did you bring a key out with you, or do you need help to get back inside?” Steve removed his leather jacket and handed it to her. “So you don’t feel as exposed.”
He watched as she took his jacket and quickly shrugged it on, wrapping it firmly around her body. Well that did nothing to ease the throb in his pants. Now she looked even sexier. The jacket completely covered her. The arms were way too long, and the leather kissed against her bare thighs as she tried to adjust the sleeves so her hands were exposed. Jesus, now she looked like she had nothing on, except the jacket. The sound of her voice snapped him back to reality.
“Thank you, Steve, and yes, I do need help to get back in.”
He dipped his hand into his jean pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He could feel her watching him but knew he couldn’t afford to look at her. If he got any harder, he might bust the zip in his pants. Then there’d be no hiding what he felt about her. His beast of lust was trying to break its leash, and he was not going to let that happen. Well, not tonight anyway.
Not any night, you idiot. She’s Meg and Barry’s sister…and she used to be a nun.
I live on the fringe of both Sydney and the Southern Highlands in NSW, Australia. I have enjoyed writing throughout different periods of my life, but it is only now that I have the ability to work on it in a full time capacity. I love the imagery the written word creates in one’s mind and therefore I am an avid reader as well as an author.
At the end of 2010, after many years of working in the “real” world, I finally decided to make writing my career. I currently have books under contract with Siren Publishing and Secret Cravings Publishing.
I am pleased that I’m finally able to give the characters that swirl around my head on a constant basis the opportunity to put themselves down on paper, and hopefully entertain others as much as they amuse me. More information about what I’m up to can be found at http://www.jangraham.com.au
Thanks again for joining me today Jan! Hope you come back and visit again.