Love is in the Air
Chrys N. Jay’s Newsletter August 14, 2015
Welcome to ‘Love is in the Air’. This week join us as we introduce Ines Saint. She’s including an excerpt from, Flipped.
Stay tuned for upcoming issues, released every Friday. The following authors are scheduled for the next few weeks: August 21: Sherry Gloag, August 28: Jean Joachim, and September 4th: Davee Jones.
Thanks for joining us, and may your week be filled with love!
Chrys N. Jay
New Releases – Check it out!
After twenty-five years with Sam, their lives revolving in circles that barely touched let alone overlapped, was it time Margie consigned their marriage to an album of faded photographs? The Christmas ball at her mother-in-law’s retirement home would either be the final straw for their failing marriage or the perfect chance to reignite the old flame. Can the happy-go-lucky shenanigans of the retirement community remind Margie and Sam that falling in love has no age limit?
Author Spotlight — Ines Saint
Hi Ines! Welcome to ‘Love is in the Air’. Your book, Flipped, was recently released. I see it’s the first in a three book series set in the fictional town of Spinning Hills. Can you tell us a little bit about Flipped?
Thanks for having me! I’m happy to be here. Well, Flipped! is about Holly Bell, a ‘nose’ with goals, a daughter, and a past; and Dan, the long-gone Amador brother who has recently, and reluctantly, made his way back home. Their first meeting takes place in the basement of a house they both think they own… a house Holly has been dreaming of for five years, and a house Dan wants to flip. The particular circumstances of their first meeting leave Dan feeling like Holly is an irresponsible flake, taking on more than she can handle, while Holly ends up thinking Dan is an arrogant ass. Needless to say, things aren’t always what they seem, and it will be a long way to friendship and love for Holly and Dan, with a few unexpected twists and turns along the way.
What inspired the town of Spinning Hills?
My husband was offered a job in Dayton, OH five years ago, and I began researching the area before we moved. I came across blogs and articles about a few historic neighborhoods here that people were working hard to bring back. The before and after pictures of some of the houses, and even entire blocks, left me in awe. One neighborhood here, The Oregon District, has been nearly completely restored. The level of caring, hard work and determination that goes into achieving so much is inspiring. That’s where the idea of three brothers working to restore an entire town came from. When we moved here, we learned the region was home to a hippie town, the most haunted village in Ohio, and an entire town made up of houses built mostly between the 1920’s and 1940’s that looks like it was lifted from the pages of a children’s book. I thought it would be fun to create a town that captured a little bit of everything. The result was Spinning Hills, a town founded by wintering gypsies and made up of storybook architecture.
There are two books following in the ‘Spinning Hills Romance’ series. Needs a Little TLC is scheduled for release in September 2015 and Fixer-Upper is scheduled for release January 2016. All three have a home renovation theme. What about this theme called to you as a romance writer?
I spent a few years of my youth in the Boston area and many of my friends lived in historic houses that had such wonderful stories attached to them! Some of the houses in the area seemed neglected, abandoned and forgotten, but their beauty and strength shone through. I drew a parallel with people because I think we’ve all felt rundown at some point, and I thought it would be fun to do a series where characters find love as they rebuild both their lives and homes they feel a connection to.
You wrote two previous stand-alone books before Flipped. Charmed and Strangers in the Night. Was writing a kickoff book for a series any different than writing a stand-alone book?
Great question! I hadn’t really thought about it before, but, yes, it was different. I had to plant some small clues along the way because I knew Dan’s brothers would be getting their own books, and I wanted to make sure their stories didn’t feel like they were coming from left field. I also had to keep careful notes about the town and recurring characters. I strongly recommend that people start an organized series bible before they begin writing a series. My notes were scattered at first, and this made it difficult to find certain details later on.
Do you have a favorite character from your books?
I hope this isn’t cheating, but I have three favorite characters who are almost always together. Ruby, Rosa, and Sherry are the three elderly owners of the Gypsy Fortune Café and Bakery, and they’re as different as they are meddlesome. The one thing they agree on is that great coffee, sweets, and plenty of unsolicited advice can make any situation better.
You’re a wife and a mother of young boys. How many boys do you chase after? How does writing fit in with your busy life?
I have two boys, but like many kids now a days, they’re into a lot of different activities, and like many moms, I volunteer at their schools and with a few different organizations. I spend most of my afternoons and evenings taxiing the boys around and catching up on errands. My husband and I joke that “dates-nights” are when we’re alone in the car for a few minutes after dropping the kids off somewhere together. But I’m extremely lucky that I’m able to stay home and write while they’re at school because I can’t write at all when they’re home. I’m very easily distracted, and even anticipating distractions makes me less productive. I’m one of those people who needs complete silence to write. I can edit when they’re here, but I can’t produce a first draft. And, of course, life doesn’t stop just because I’m on a deadline.
What’s been the most challenging aspect of writing romances?
I love it when both the hero and heroine grow and learn, which means they need their individual journeys along with their romantic journey. I would say the hardest part is showing that the most important and rewarding journey is the individual journey, and that the romantic journey is just icing on the cake!
What has been most rewarding aspect of writing romances?
Every once in a while, I’ll get a review, an email, or a note saying something like, “This is exactly what I needed right now.” I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel. Many people pick up romances because they need to escape and unwind from the daily grind, and they need that promise of a happy ending. Knowing I’ve provided someone with a light but warm escape makes me very, very happy.
Would you like to share an excerpt from Flipped?
Here’s one with Ruby, Rosa, and Sherry. I hope you enjoy it.
“You know, this whole ‘pies have meaning’ thing started off as something fun to set us apart, but I think we hit on something. Your body craves what it needs. You just need to figure out what you need, and why you need it, so you can have a little bit of it and set yourself to rights again. Now, tell me if you’d like me to talk to Dan about selling the house back to you. Latinas can be very persuasive, you know.” Rosa had a melodious accent, talked too fast, and switched gears too quickly. It always took Holly a few beats to catch up to her.
“I was planning on paying him a little visit myself.” Sherry’s eyes gleamed. “We should go together. He can’t say no to two little old ladies he’s known his whole life.” She turned to Ruby. “Three little old ladies would be even better.”
“Yes…especially if one of them is the victim’s brokenhearted grandmother!” Rosa looked at Ruby, too.
Holly sat up, alarmed. “Um, please don’t. I’m no victim, and no offense, but you don’t exactly come across as little old ladies. If he’s known you his whole life, he won’t be moved.”
“Maybe he was only being stubborn with you because of the way everything went down,” Rosa said. “I think he’d listen to us.”
Holly sighed. Grand-smothering and meddling were the among only things the three women had in common.
“He never did like theatrics.” Grandma Ruby sent Holly a meaningful look.
Her grandmother was lecturing her on theatrics? “Would you say you know Dan Amador well, then?” she asked them in her most innocent and interested voice, hoping to veer the topic away from the house.
How can we find you, and find your books? Any websites, social media contacts, buy links etc:
Chrys N. Jay Books
ROSE: The rugged, muscular carpenter that came to fix Rose’s fence threatened to turn her world upside down. Once concerned only with keeping her struggling, independent animal afloat, she now finds herself distracted and thinking lustful thoughts about Johnnie. Their growing closeness sends him fleeing without a word. What will happen to Rose’s world now?
ALICE’S DESIRE: A sexy contractor soon has Alice flustered and in a tizzy. When her BFF and partner in their landscaping business, Lynn, makes her move for the man, Alice is torn. She’s using to stepping back and letting Lynn charm the guys. This time Alice doesn’t want to. Will the battle for Troy’s attention come between the two friends? Which one, if either, will end up in his arms? This short romance takes you to the worksite, where the handsome renovator aims to flip more than houses.