When we think about fairy tales, the first few that come to mind are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast. Today we’ll meet Melissa Blue, a multi-published author, who has a slightly different take on these traditional fairy tales, and this is evident in her latest series, A Modern Fairy Tale.
Let’s welcome Melissa who will tell us about her new series as well as why she self-publishes her stories.
Melissa, I’m a fan of your work and so it’s my pleasure to have you as my guest today. Let’s start the ball rolling. Tell us a little about yourself.
I started writing in 2004, a month after my son was born. At the time I was convinced that I would write romantic suspense. Turns out I wrote crappy romantic suspenses. I fell into contemporary romances and haven’t looked back. Too much.
If a movie is made about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you? Who would be your love interest?
Jill Scott. Have you seen her perform live? OMG. That woman is electric. My life is a Jill Scott song. And, my love interest would be Idris Elba, because it’s Idris Elba.
What has being an author taught you about yourself?
That whole Pooh Bear quote is true. I’m braver than I believe. It takes a lot to stay in this business and not lose faith in what you do. Every time I’ve gotten knocked down I’ve gotten back up, rebuilt my foundation and come back stronger. I never would have thought I was capable of that when I started almost ten years ago.
Why not? Lol The truth of the matter is I had two books previously published that would have never seen the light of day again. I absolutely believed those books could do better with different covers, price point and a sort of clean slate on the publishing market. I’d heard how self-publishing could work and work well for unknown authors. I had nothing to lose. I gave it a try and I don’t regret making that choice for a moment.
Do you have any writing influences?
Everything influences my writing. There’s some authors who I want to be when I grow up: Nora Roberts, Brenda Jackson and a whole lot of others. Then, it’s the books I’m reading, the tv/movies I’m watching. What happened on a particular day when I first opened the WIP, or even while I was neck deep in a story. I live so that I can put it in my books. Nothing verbatim, mind you, but it’s all an inspiration and it all changes me.
Tell us about your Modern Fairy Tale series.
It’s a series tackling the concepts behind fairy tales and how my characters navigate through them in modern times. Did your eyes glaze over? Yeah. This series is also about three best friends (Emma, Abigail and Sasha) who find The One. Their heroes are not at all what they imagined, what they would ever describe as their dream guy, but each hero is exactly what they need.
So, Emma and Tobias are pretty much loosely based on Cinderella. Abigail and Drew are Beauty and the Beast. Sasha and Warren’s story is supposed to be about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but Warren is a writer. Thing in the last book in the series get muddled and I just couldn’t separate fairy tales out. They were all appro. And, because Warren isn’t at all what he appears.
Give us an idea about what to expect from you for the rest of 2013.
God wasn’t willing so the creek did rise. Right now, things are up in the air, but Double Trouble, which is Sasha’s story, will be out this year. When? No idea. The first book of a short story series will be making it’s way out in June. It’s called Bad Boy Next Door. It’s a sensual but sweet little romp. I really, really want to get Under His Kilt out, but that book is completely dirty so it will likely come out under a different name. This book made Weekend Lover blush. But, everything else I planned to do is up in the air.
Now on to your Modern Fairy Tales series:
First impressions are lasting impressions…
Pastry baker Emmaline Sharp is one business connection away from turning her bakery into something more than the dessert shop on the corner. She believes she’s found Mr. Right in café owner Tobias Merchant. His Caff-aholic brand of freshly brewed coffee makes him the perfect partner. When she accepts a dare that thrusts her naked self into Tobias’ waiting arms, she jeopardizes her entire future. Emma will have to convince him to give her another chance, and somehow she’ll just have to ignore the unexpected passion he ignites within her.
Tobias needs the connection with Emma’s bakery, Sweet Tooth, in order to liberate himself from the financial and emotional obligations of his past. Unfortunately, Emma’s reckless behavior leaves him doubting she can be level-headed and business savvy. Every one of his instincts tells him to walk away, but she’s a temptation he can’t seem to deny. He’s inexplicably drawn to the lightness in her, especially when he knows just how dark the world can be. Against his better judgment, Tobias ignores his instincts and proceeds to form a partnership with Emma.
When their relationship shifts from business to personal, will Emma and Tobias be able to conquer their demons and find their sweet reward before the deal turns sour?
Excerpt from Double Dare:
“Right,” he said.
She worried at the levelheaded way he agreed. The worry moved into the danger zone when she caught the ghost of a smile before he swiped caramel from one of the rejected desserts.
“Tell me,” Tobias demanded. Like he should be trusted with that degree of lust in his voice. “What do you taste?” He cleaned the caramel from his finger, his tongue not missing a beat.
Taking up the challenge, because it took the defeat out of his shoulders, she leaned into his space, flicking caramel onto her finger. Emma gave herself a moment before saying, “That doesn’t taste passionless. I don’t know what your problem is.”
She lapped at the caramel and watched his eyes go dark. “Really.”
The word brought him closer into her space. It wasn’t breaking a rule if he needed it broken, especially if every inch gave him that light back into his gaze and the abyss receded even more. Another swipe and the last of the caramel topping disappeared into his mouth.
He gave it second. “It’s completely without heart.”
“You,” Emma moved closer as she knew he wanted her to, so the space between them disappeared, “wouldn’t know heart if one was put in your chest beating.”
“Low blow,” he said, and she was practically in his lap now.
Head tilted, waiting for the kiss, she spoke quietly, “You wish.”
His caramel-drenched mouth crushed hers. She expected the kiss to be rough and demanding, instead it slowly stoked the sizzle into a fire. Tobias knew passion. If not in words, in a tongue sliding over hers, testing, tasting and tantalizing. She sighed when his free hand cupped the back of her head, bringing her closer and deepening the kiss.
Abigail Johnson would use three words to describe Drew Carter: lush, loafer and womanizer. When he struts into Adtivity, the advertisement company she works for, her world tilts on its head. He’s been hired as a consultant to help her ad account team go to the next level. She’s suddenly faced with a man who is a consummate professional, considerate and kind. It’s must be a farce, because he’s there to decide the fate of her career. When things heat up between them, she refuses to let those brief glimpses convince her to entangle herself in a relationship with him. Her career and heart is on the line.
Drew Carter is fully aware of Abigail’s trepidation. There’s no denying he hasn’t always been the kind of man a woman should trust, but no one woman has ever made him want the way Abigail has. Her stubbornness, loyalty and honesty appeals to his secret wish—to be open, unguarded and challenged by a woman. Abigail fulfills this unspoken need and he refuses to let her walk out of his life without giving them a chance.
It doesn’t take long for Abigail to suspect Drew just might be the one—the one. But can she trust him with her heart? The more she lets doubt rule her it just might be Drew’s heart that ends up broken.
Excerpt from Twice Smitten:
“I simply wanted to touch you,” Drew spoke softly.
The words almost did her in. She felt a subtle give in her frame. Her nipples puckered, and she tilted her head up without meaning to. This close, she felt the same pulsating need coursing through him too. If this were a game, he was playing for keeps. Fear lanced through her gut.
“You want me to believe you’re not all smiles and charm, Drew.” Huskiness threaded through her voice.
Irritation flashed in his gaze. She held on to his reaction for dear life. “These women you string along wouldn’t salivate over you the way they do without the façade, but then you show them something more. May not be on purpose. Just glimpses every now and then, but you do. It’s all a ploy.” Though she said it to him, the words were for herself. “So why should I believe this is real? It’s the timing and place. It’s you trying to seduce me like you do with every woman with a pulse.”
The weight of his forearm grew heavier on her back. “I’m not like that.” He slid his other hand up her arm to her chin.
“And I don’t string women along,” he said. “I don’t even go out with a woman who will get tripped up in loving me.” He ran his thumb along her jaw. “Some women see what they want to see in a man, be damned what’s really standing right in front of her.”
The touch was too intimate. The gaze too searching. The touch, the stare, made her ache for him in a way she never had before. Made her ache for him in a way Abigail knew she should never feel for him. Her heart thudded as he ran his thumb along the curve of her neck.
“We did this dance before, don’t you remember? And I chose Greg over you.” She forced her mouth into a smirk. The words rang with untruth, but it still drew blood.
His gaze darkened and a new line of tension stiffened his body. They had long since stopped swaying to the music, but he held her to him, and she hadn’t stepped back. The truth of the action settled between them.
“See, that’s the thing, Ms. Johnson.” He splayed his hand on her collarbone. “You could always see beneath the charm and smiles because we’re alike. There’s one important difference between us: I don’t lie to myself.”
Links to where Double Dare and Twice Smitten can be purchased:
You can purchase Double Dare here:
All Romance eBooks
You can purchase Twice Smitten here:
Barnes and Noble
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Twice Smitten, A Modern Fairy Tale
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Everything He Dreamed, Palmer Island series