Fiction Vixen Book Reviews is pleased to welcome author Inez Kelley today.
FV: Hi Inez, welcome to Fiction Vixen. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
IK: I’m boring. I spend my life talking to imaginary people and washing real people clothes, feeding children and taxi-ing them places. *shrug*
FV: A reader is about to purchase one of your books for the first time. They don’t know you are the author and they ask you what you like about the author’s style and her books. You don’t want to embarrass her by telling her you are to author so you go with it. How do you answer?
IK: Well, if you like fantasy, Myla by Moonlight and Salome at Sunrise are beautiful, filled with sensual imagery and love stories so pure that they are only possible in the fantasy realm. If you want fast and hot, the novellas are the way to go. Short stories that still manage to tell a complete story with a high heat level. In Jinxed, the comedy takes center stage but the romance will make you ache. If you like the ache, Sweet as Sin delivers it tenfold. It is a darker emotional story that will rip your heart out and squeeze it.
FV: I have to say I totally agree with you about the heart ripping and squeezing. Sweet as Sin made me ache but I loved it.
FV: Tell us a little about your upcoming release, Turn It Up.
IK: TURN IT UP is a sassy tale of friends who discover they want more. It’s a lighter look at sex and a deeper look at forever and infertility.
Dr. Bastian Talbot and self-proclaimed sex goddess Charlie Pierce heat up the air waves with their flirty banter as radio hosts Dr. Hot and the Honeypot. Off the air, they’re best friends…but Bastian wants to be so much more. He wants Charlie—in bed, and forever.
Problem is, Charlie doesn’t do commitment. Sure, she’s had X-rated fantasies of Bastian, but he was always just a friend—until he impulsively proposes and unleashes the lust they’ve been denying for years. Charlie’s willing to explore where their wild chemistry leads, but she won’t marry him. And he won’t have sex with her until she accepts his proposal, despite her seductive schemes.
What are Dr. Hot and the Honeypot to do? Ask their listeners for advice on how to tame a sex kitten and turn a perfect gentleman into a shameless lover. The Race to Wed or Bed is on…who will turn up on top?
FV: What do you think readers will like most about Turn It Up?
IK: The interaction between Charlie and Bastian. They love to verbally spar-off and the dialogue is quick, smart and witty. They truly LIKE each other and that comes through.
FV: Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes. I loved that Bastian and Charlie were longtime friends and they worked together as radio talk show hosts. Where did you get the idea for this story?
IK: I had this character in my head for a while, a vixen who looked like Betty Boop and had no issues wither forward sexuality. I didn’t know what to do with her, really. When I sat to write a new story, she hopped on the page and said it was her turn. I had to find her polar opposite as a hero and they took it from there. The radio business just seemed fitting and I had the background to weave that into the story.
There also existed in my brain this guy, this long haired tattooed man with a drug issue. He wormed his way in as a secondary.
FV: Bastian has a sensitive medical condition and I don’t think I’ve seen many authors “go there” in a romance novel. At least not in the way you did. Did you research his problem?
IK: Oh yes. I don’t hide the fact that Bastian is sterile. I think it pops up in chapter two, so it’s no big secret. It shouldn’t be. It isn’t something shameful or something he should be embarrassed by. For several years, I was part of an infertility group and heard hundreds of stories. They took root in my brain so when it appeared in the story, I went, “Oh, okay” and just ran with it.
Still, I had two medical doctors who double-checked what I myself had researched through the internet. Personal interviews with some men, and through my own experiences with infertility. I also had a Urology nurse who assists on these procedures as a crit partner. She walked me through some issues. Bastian’s condition is real and there are thousands of men who deal with it every day. I wanted to get it right.
FV: Here at Fiction Vixen we always include our favorite quote or moment from the books we review. What is your favorite quote from Turn It Up?
Oh God, there are so many! I really let my word-diva show in this book. Some of my favorites give spoilers away so those I can’t share. I’ll give you two quotes and special moment, okay?
1- Bastian was Ward Cleaver in modern times. Charlie’s idea of a pearl necklace was nowhere near June Cleaver’s.
2- “I’m sorry. Can we chalk it up to blue balls talking?” // “Wow, your balls sound just like you.”
Instead a sweet song rose into the night, a gentle tune from a simpler time, medicine for an aching soul. She let the music sluice over her. He doctored her with melody.
“Littlebit, are you in love with him?”
An easy question with a hard answer. Charlie didn’t lie. Was she in love with Bastian? Salt coated her tongue and stung her eyes. “He knows I love him. I’ve told him that before.”
The falling night pressed too heavily. Love was risky but sex was safe. She was good at sex, not love. She could talk orgasms and foreplay all day, but commitment made her bones itch and her throat close. Spinning around, she pressed her butt against the iron and tried to divert the conversation with a flirty look.
“He knows I want him, too.”
Caz fingered up the guitar neck, eyes trained on the strings, and shook his head. “Don’t marry him, Charlie. If you’re just in heat and not in love, it’ll never last. But don’t regret it when he moves on.”
The twanging note pierced her heart like a knife.
FV: Do you get a lot of feedback from readers? Does it ever influence your writing?
IK: I love reader mail. I get a fair amount but would love more (hint hint) I try and respond to them all personally. I can’t describe what it means to a writer to have someone say they read your book and it touched them in THIS way. It is magic. As for influencing my writing, only in that I want to stay true to what the majority of that feedback praises, that I don’t shy from the ugly parts or the real-life aspects of the story.
FV: How many books do you usually write in a year?
IK: I can’t answer that, really. It depends on length and genre. Some books take a year to write, others a few weeks. I try to have something new happening all the time.
FV: No one in my immediate family reads romance and that just kills me since I like to talk about the books I read. Do your friends and family read your books?
IK: No. Which sucks. When I am fan-girl squealing over my favorite books, my husband just looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. I have to go online to get my interaction with other readers.
FV: It seems like almost every author has had at least a few interesting or unusual jobs in their lifetime. It’s like a prerequisite to writing good novels or something. Spill the beans, Inez. Where you ever a candidate for a feature on Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs?
IK: Dirty Jobs? Hmm. Possibly if mothering twin boys count.(It should)
In my life I’ve been a hotel maid, a kitchen-crew for a catering company, a reporter, working a radio station, a restaurant manager, and a 911 dispatcher.
FV: What do you do for fun when you aren’t writing?
IK: I like to read and bake. Told you, I am boring.
FV: What piece of writing advice are you glad you followed or ignored?
IK: Followed? That you have to ignore the market and write what you are passionate about. IGNORED? That readers don’t want to deal with realism in their stories. That one I don’t ignore so much as I pick and choose what to put in my stories. I don’t think readers want to read about the two hours and twenty minutes the heroine spent on hold with the insurance company, etc. But the real problems, the imperfect things with her or the hero, those things can make a story or character richer.
FV: What can we look forward to from you as far as future releases?
IK: Uhm… I have none scheduled at this time. BUT I have one in submission right now, one I am supposed to be revising (it’s on the to-do list) and a novella series I am planning out. I also have a few other things up my sleeve I hope to see come to fruition in the next year.
Thanks so much for chatting with me today Inez, it was fun!
Inez would like to giveaway two e-book copies of Turn It Up to two lucky readers. As you can see from reading this interview, Inez has tried her hand at several different romance sub-genres. To enter to win a copy of Turn It Up, leave a comment on this interview and tell us your favorite romance sub-genre or ask Inez a question if you’d like to. Your answer will not affect your chances of winning, I just like to know what people like to read.
Giveaway is open until August 5, winner announced soon after. Open to anyone who can read e-books! Good luck.