I’m hoping to get this read this weekend 🙂 (Work? What work? 😉 )
Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.
Time to get personal here LOL. My own divorce was final 13 months ago. 2013 was the year of life changes: divorce, moving back across the state, buying my own home (and all the stuff that comes with it), trying to get my kids adjusted to a new school and new life. There were a lot of ups and downs that came with that. But one of the best parts of that year, was remembering the person I was before I got married and learning to let her live again.
That’s a big part of the heroine’s journey in Tempting Her Fake Fiancé. One of my pitch lines for the book was “Falling in love is the best revenge,” and I still think that’s very indicative of her feelings. She is furious with her ex, but more than that, she wants to get her own life together on her own terms, and I think that’s a very common feeling after a painful split.
Wow—that certainly is taking us beyond! I love how you were able to take your own experiences and turn them into a new novel 🙂
Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?
Stasia is a recently divorced entertainment journalist. She was the woman who met her ex in college and was swept away by this guy who seemed to know exactly what he wanted and how to get it. And then, once he had her, she felt trapped. Her ex was very emotionally abusive to her, and him cheating was actually the thing that saved her from a horrible marriage. But it still takes her a while to recognize that forest when all she sees are trees named “divorce,” and “cheating,” and “alone,” and….
Evan is an A-list Hollywood star who did the whole going off the deep end with women thing before his own sister’s divorce made him realize what a jerk he’d been to women. So, now he’s trying to make amends, shore up his career, and get everything in order to take care of his family even if his career takes a nosedive. He’s the guy who’s trying to do all the right things but really has no idea how to make it all work.
I can’t wait to meet them!
What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?
The strip pool scene. First, because the fact that these hotel rooms seriously have pool tables in them cracked me up. Second, because it’s the first time we really see Stasia’s shell start to crack with regard to her attraction to Evan. She wants him so much but she’s terrified of the attraction. I love when a character is battling with the gulf that divides what they want, what they think they deserve, and what they think they’re allowed.
Hmmm. I’m obviously staying in the wrong hotels! 😉
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I started getting serious about writing back in 2007. I joined a writing group, got my ass handed to me by a couple crit partners, and got really determined to improve. I sold my first books in 2010, and this is what I’ve been doing ever since.
My inspiration was two-fold. First, I was a stay-at-home-mom and I kept feeling like I should be doing something more with that time. Not that being a mom isn’t enough, but I wanted to show my kids that you can follow your dreams no matter how old you are. Oddly, writing was a dream I’d had almost completely stomped out of me when I was younger. Then I wrote a sample paper for a class I was teaching (I taught high school before my son was born) and one of my students (Hi, Amy!) told me I should be a writer. I never forgot that. And every time I sell a manuscript, I think of her.
Wow—a student inspiring a teacher! Fantastic!
What do you like best about being a writer?
This is such a broad question that I’m going to narrow it down, I hope that’s okay.
What I love best about being a romance author is the ability to let myself drown in romantic fantasy. I can tell you that the idea of some Hollywood super-hero sweeping me off my feet is a personal favorite. The guy that got away suddenly coming back and professing his undying love years later. The trip where you meet some exotic man and, whether you start as friends or enemies, things fall into place and you find your prince charming. All of those things speak to me, and I love exploring the possibilities within them.
Quite a bit of my writing (or at least of my non-romance writing) focuses on dark things. So, I like being able to push aside most of that darkness and focus on the joy of finding love when I write romance.
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
Even with publisher-imposed deadlines, you’re mainly beholden to yourself. There’s no one standing over you reminding you that a manuscript is due or that edits need to get finished or that a promotional plan might be good to set up. You have to have a lot of internal drive to work even when you don’t necessarily have to work. Right now, for instance, I’m waiting for word on a couple proposals before I can start on a new, contracted project. I could sit around and do nothing (or I could paint my bathrooms, which are in desperate need of facelifts), but I’m working on a new writing project instead, because at some point all my contracts will be fulfilled and I’ll have to submit something else. I want to have things done and ready to go when that time comes, but no one is going to make me do that…except me.
I can absolutely see that. I’d have to say that would be one of the most challenging parts for me too.
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I’m hoping the next Gone Hollywood book will be out next year, as well as another New Adult title (whether a direct follow-up to Fall with Me or something different). The other me (Seleste deLaney) also has a new Agents of TRAIT book in the works as well as my first foray into self-publishing with Kiss of Life. So, lots of good stuff coming down the pike.
Fantastic! A lot to look forward to.
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
Different authors have inspired me in many different ways. One of the first people to really push me to get my work out there was Kelley Armstrong. The writing group I belonged to was on her forums, and Kelley has been amazing since the very first time I met her. She pushed me to go to my first Romantic Times convention and pushed me to pitch editors and agents. I can say, without a doubt, that if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be published.
Skyla Dawn Cameron actually published my very first piece. It was a poem in the charity anthology Nothing But Red. It’s crazy how important that first acceptance is, no matter what kind of writing it’s for. I hope she knows how much that meant to me.
And finally, I’d be a total jerk if I didn’t mention Katee Robert. Katee and I became crit partners back in…2009 I think. A good critique partner is a godsend in this business, and Katee has never been afraid to tell me when I suck. For that (and many other things), I will always value her input on anything. She makes me a better writer, and upon occasion, a better person.
You had me at Kelley Armstrong! I’ve gone to stalk see her twice—she lives just over the border from us. Mini Moe#2 and I love her books. It’s great that the (romance, but I’m sure it’s true of other genres as well) writing community is so helpful and welcoming.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz. LOVE her work. I actually was woken up by a nightmare last night (Damn American Horror Story and killer clowns) and sat up to finish the book before I could go back to sleep. (On a side note, loved the book. Then again, I love pretty much everything I’ve read from Tiffany.)
Tonight I’m starting You by Caroline Kepnes. Sadly, I don’t think this one will help get my mind off serial killer clowns though :/
Clowns are scary whether they’re killer or no…but Tiffany is amazing, I’m with you there!
Please share a favorite scene from your book with our readers.
He helped her stand, and then he knelt, tugging off her panties. Her skin glistened with sweat and her need. As he got ready to stand, he swiped his tongue over her folds, and she shivered, sagging back against the pool table. “Touch yourself for me. I want to watch you while I get a condom.” When she didn’t move, he licked again and dragged her hand forward. “Touch yourself, Stasia. Just the way you like.”
“Yes, you do. Everyone does. Only this time, you’re going to do it for me.” On his feet again, he moved toward the couch and his abandoned sweatpants, watching as she tentatively pressed two fingers to her clit and started rubbing in little circles. “Yeah, babe, just like that.” He dug in the pocket of his sweats, catching the foil packet he’d snagged earlier just in case. When Stasia arched her back, though, he almost dropped the damn thing between the seat cushions. He slid his underwear down as he approached, kicking them free as soon as he could. Her gaze fell on his cock, her previous task forgotten. “Don’t stop.”
Difficult as it was, he didn’t move any closer until she started masturbating again. Only when he was between her thighs with the condom rolled on did he shift her hand out of the way. Without a word, he wrapped her in his arms, picking her up. She wriggled against him, her goal crystal clear as he carried her to the nearest wall—the windows overlooking the Strip.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” She cast a nervous glance at the view behind her.
“Babe, it’s the middle of the night, and we’re several hundred feet from the ground. No one is going to see us.” As soon as she was pressed securely against the glass, he eased her over the head of his cock.
“Oh God, Evan. Go slow. Please go slow.”
He wasn’t sure how slow he could go, considering how tight she was around him. For the same reason, though, he had little choice if he didn’t want to hurt her. He caught her mouth with his, tugging her lower lip between his teeth. “I won’t give you more than you can handle.”
Stasia shook her head, and her hair shifted on the glass, forming a tangled mess as her nails dug into his shoulders. “I want it all. Every inch of you.”
Even with how slick and ready she was, sheathing himself in her was the most amazing kind of torture. Both of them were gasping when she reached his hilt. Her hips shifted as she rubbed against him, her insides squeezing even tighter. He growled in her ear. “Keep that up, and I’m going to come before you want me to.”
She trembled against him. “I want you to. And then I want to do this again. And again.”
Fuck. She undid him with her words as much as with her body. If it was the last thing he did, he was going to spend the night erasing sex with her ex-husband from her memory. And he’d enjoy every second of it. “As many times as you want.”
Gripping her ass to hold her in place, he thrust into her while he nipped and kissed every inch of skin he could reach. Far too soon for his taste, Stasia’s muscles clenched around him as she came again, screaming his name. The pressure pushed him to the edge, and he couldn’t hold on. The orgasm ripped through his entire body, and he bit down on her shoulder, hard.
Phew! That’s quite the excerpt 😉 Thanks so much, Julie! I’m so glad you could be here today.
Read on to find out more about Julie and her latest book, TEMPTING HER FAKE FIANCE…
Julie Particka was told to get serious about her future in Junior High. Several years after getting a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she realized being serious was over-rated and went back to her first love–writing. Now rather than spending her days in the drudgery of the lab or teaching science to high school students, she disappears into worlds of her own creation where monsters sometimes roam, but true love still conquers all.
She can most often be located in the Detroit area with her favorite minions (the ones who know her as Mom) where she is currently hatching a plot for world domination. It involves cookies for everyone, so she’s pretty sure there’s no way it can fail…except the minions keep eating the cookies.
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Tempting Her Fake Fiance
Author: Julie Particka
Blurb: A proposition leads to compromising positions…
Journalist Stasia Grant needs a hero. Specifically one who will help her humiliate her ex-husband after he publicly left her for another woman. In Vegas for the biggest interview of her career, Stasia is grappling with a broken heart, her cheating ex (and the other woman), and a serious need for revenge. Her salvation comes from the most unlikely place― charming and sexy-as-all-get-out action star Evan Stone.
After spending his life playing a superhero, Evan has a plan for delicious satisfaction: a fake, week-long engagement. He’ll not only show Stasia’s ex what he’s missing but gain some sympathetic publicity to turn around his image as a player. It’s win-win for them both. But neither expected the sizzling chemistry that erupts whenever they’re together. Stepping out for the paparazzi, Stasia and Evan are about to pull off the performance of a lifetime…but will they fall for their own con?