Today, I’m so excited to get to hang out with one of my favorite people, Jessi Gage. Jessi has been a friend and trusted beta reader for me. She’s wonderful and insightful…and just an over all good person. Some of my more long termed followers may remember her from a review I did called “So What’s Under Your Kilt?” but I felt that you guys deserved to get to know a bit more about her….and her new book.
Me: Hi, Jessi! Thanks so much for taking the time to come and hang out. As I said above, I’ve known and loved you for a while, but some of my readers may not know you, so why don’t you kick things off by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Jessi: Thanks for having me, Kitt! I remember when Mae Clair referred me to your blog. Little did I know one little click would open up a whole world of inspirational poems, thoughts on music, and gabbing about female sexuality! Not to mention friendship!
About me: I’m passionate about my family, the Lord, writing, Cheetos, and Candy Crush Saga. I’m developing an affinity for beading along with my 4yo daughter, Sarah. I’m not quite as excited about smashing toy trucks, but I can put on a good show with my almost 3yo son, Titus.
I can’t listen to music when I write, but I must listen to music when I drive.
I have a weakness for cupcakes.
I’m from New Hampshire and once drove alongside a moose on my way to work in white-out conditions. I would have stayed home that day, but I was selling Christmas trees at the flower shop I managed, so going in was kind of required. Fortunately, people in NH, and moose for that matter, tend to know how to handle snow on the roads.
I like the fact that I never have to drive in snow in Seattle, where I am blessed to live in close proximity to lots of extended family. But I miss watching it snow. We’re lucky to get 1 snowfall per year here.
Me: Ooh…. Cupcakes. But seriously….a moose? That’s hilarious (and a bit scary). Why don’t we talk about mutual passion. Writing. Or more specifically, writers who inspire us. Name your top 3 writers or books that have most influenced you either as a writer or a person.
Jessi: Amy Raby is a fantasy romance author who is also one of my critique partners. Her Hearts and Thrones Series is published with NAL Penguin-Signet Eclipse. I’ve been trading critiques with Amy for years, and her concise, fast-paced writing has majorly influenced me. I have a tendency to overwrite and be melodramatic. Through critique and the example of her tight writing, she has taught e much about the economy of words.
Karen Marie Moning writes urban fantasy and time-travel romance. I prefer her time-travels to her intense urban fantasy, but everything she writes is brilliant. It was after reading her story of how she became published that I began to believe this was something I could do. She’s also one of those authors who manages to keep tension high page after page, book after book. She’s an inspiration.
Kristen Ashley writes everything. Fantasy, contemporary biker romance, contemporary gothics, and probably some other stuff too. Talk about prolific! I love KA’s writing. I also love her commitment to interacting with her readers. I’m learning a lot about social media and marketing my books from watching what she’s doing. I’ve also just finished writing a contemporary that I suspect was influenced by her biker romances. Warning to anyone who hasn’t read her yet and wants to check her out. Her writing is like crack for romance lovers. You will not be able to quit her.
Me: *blushes* Although I’ve heard of all three, I have yet to read any of their stuff. Guess I’d better get to it, huh? So, next question…When you aren’t feeling very inspired, where do you go or what do you do to put yourself into the right frame of mind?
Jessi: Read, pray, sing with my kids, watch TV for inspiration, crush some candy. You know, the usual. Lack of inspiration doesn’t usually last long. I’m lucky in that way.
Me: I LOVE that. I’m a pretty big fan of almost everything you mentioned…especially the reading and singing. Speaking of reading… Do you re-read books? If so, which book have you re-read most and why? If not, what author/book/song/movie is your guilty pleasure?
Jessi: I don’t. I hang onto books because I always think I might want to re-read them, but I never do. There’s always something new and exciting to read. Or to write!
The closest I come to re-reading is going through my Kindle notes for my favorite highlights, like if I’m giving a review or if a particular book inspired my own writing. I have referenced a lot of Highlander romances in my research for my Highland Wishes series. My favorites for this kind of re-reading are all Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander romances, Sandy Blair’s books, and Julie Garwood’s.
Me: Those are some really good and diverse authors! My fave is Julie Garwood. She writes such interesting (and unique) leading men….and so do you! Millionaire heroes seem to be all the rage these days, yet you decided to buck convention and go blue collar instead. (Great choice, by the way.) What made you decide to go in that direction?
Jessi: You know how they say, “Write what you know?” Well, I grew up in a mobile home down the road from a granite quarry and a truck wash. We called it “the sand pit.” My dad was a gunsmith, a Harley rider, and a Vietnam veteran. To say my upbringing contained a lot of colorful language and exposure to blue-collar guys would be putting it mildly.
I love writers like Kristen Ashley for going into the worlds of people who aren’t necessarily rich or particularly successful in business. I love a hero who works hard, makes a modest living, and struggles with issues we can all relate to. Derek is that kind of hero.
He’s a divorced construction site manager with anger-management issues, but he’s not a bad guy. He loves spending time with his 11yo daughter and has a big heart. He just needs the right heroine to bring out the best in him, and that’s what I gave him. His dream girl…uh, literally.
Me: He’s definitely a hottie, that’s for sure! Give us a bit of a teaser… What’s up next on Author Jessi Gage’s horizon?
Jessi: This is a big year for me. After the sale of my former publisher to another press, I decided to get my rights back on my two backlist titles and to self publish them along with the three releases I had already planned for this year. That makes FIVE releases this year.
Reckless is my latest release. For the blurb and links, look below. And for a shot at a free e-copy of Reckless, click the word GIVEAWAY to go to my Rafflecopter page. You’ve got the whole month of April to enter. Winners will be announced May 1st!
Up next is the second in my Highland Wishes series, The Wolf and the Highlander, coming May 1st. I’m continuing to write in both my Highlander and Blue Collar series. For all the latest updates, make sure to subscribe to my blog and newsletter!
Me: Why don’t we share a little bit about your awesome book now? You know, I’ve read this book, too, and LOVED the story. It definitely wasn’t the typical pristine romance…
Sometimes it takes a miracle to find forgiveness.
Divorced construction worker Derek has anger management issues. Acting rashly on the freeway, he causes an accident. His truck escapes unscathed, but he can’t say the same for his conscience. Visions of the wreck haunt his dreams, but they’re always followed by the sweet caresses and soothing words of a beautiful woman who calls to everything male in him.
Cami assumes she is dead. With no memory of her past, all she knows is endless fog and the occasional visit to a darkened bedroom where she comforts a man battling nightmares. When she wakes in a hospital bed and regains her memory, she assumes the ruggedly handsome Derek was no more than a figment of her concussed mind.
As Cami recovers, she learns that Derek is not only real but also the driver charged with causing her accident. She should be furious with him, but their inexplicable nights together showed her a tender side beneath his rough exterior. Will she let one reckless mistake drive them apart, or will forgiveness have the right of way?
Jessi: Thanks so much for having me, Kitt! I always have a blast visiting your blog, either as a guest or a reader or commenter. You keep things lively!
Best of luck to you on your own recent releases!
Me: The pleasure was all mine, my friend! I consider myself blessed to have met you. You’ve a wonderful gift and a warm, generous heart.
Wasn’t she awesome, guys? Do you guys know Jessi yet? Have you read her books? If so, what was your favorite? If not, why not? 😉 Seriously…. If you’re wondering how to get to know Jessi better, here are her links. Go find her NOW!