Well, February is almost over and what better way to end the most romantic month of the year than with a final installment of Authors 2 Love featuring Maria K. Alexander.
I met Maria through the NJ Romance Writers and we soon became friends. Author of fast-paced contemporary romance, Maria stopped by to share some secrets about her new release, Forever in My Heart.
Getting To Know You
What do you feel is your best and worst quality? My worst quality is that I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes it takes me longer to finish something (like my books) because I continue to edit. My best quality is that I’m detailed-oriented and a natural planner. I guess it’s a good thing project management is what I do in my day job!
Do you have a quirk you can share? I like closet doors closed. It drives me crazy when my husband or kids leave them open!
Tell me about something you take pride in outside of writing. I take pride in having two wonderful and (hopefully) well-grounded children.
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do tomorrow? Write full time! But since that’s not going to happen, I’ll settle on the few hours I steal from the early morning and late evening.
Getting to Know Your Books
Did you always want to be a writer? Did you pursue a different career? Why?
I fell in love with computers when I was a freshman in high school. My dad was a data center manager and I remember going to work with him one time and seeing all the large mainframe computers and knowing that’s what I wanted to do. As a result, I have both a BS and MBA in Information Systems and work as a project manager in the Information Technology field during my day job. But I always LOVED to read romance and devoured books as a kid. I started writing poems in high school, pouring my feelings about the Danielle Steel books I read into my words. Once, I started a short story but never got very far. It wasn’t until ten years ago that I started thinking about writing but not until seven years ago that I actually decided to do something about it. I bought my own laptop, took online writing classes, joined organizations like Romance Writers of America, and never looked back!
How did you decide on a genre? What is it about this genre that inspires you?
As a kid I read Historical romance authors like Rosemary Rogers and Harlequin Contemporary romance authors like Janet Daily. Then I found Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts and completely got sucked into the world of Contemporary romance. I like that I can relate to the characters because we live in the same time period. They can be people I know or maybe they’ve gone through similar situations. For me, writing Contemporary comes naturally. I also like reading romantic suspense and found myself incorporating light suspense elements in my stories.
What authors do you admire? I think the work ethic of authors like Nora Roberts is admirable. She walks the walk and doesn’t let anything stand in the way of her writing. I also admire authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Marie Force, and so many others who have raised families while writing multiple books a year.
What is happening with your writing now? What do we have to look forward to?
My current release, Forever in My Heart, is the second book in my Tangled Hearts series. Vicky DiFrancesco owns the hot new café in town and is working hard to build her business. The last thing she needs is her high school boyfriend, now home from the army and causing her to remember feelings she thought she’d put behind her. But when her life is at risk, she must turn to her ex even if he’s the last person she thought she’d need. It’s a second chance at love story that integrates family traditions, friendship with a light overlay of suspense.
I am currently working on the third book in the Tangled Hearts series. This story, tentatively called Awaken My Heart, is about the oldest DiFrancesco sibling, Nick. He’s my favorite character. I’ve been weaving pieces of his storyline in both Untangle My Heart (Tangled Hearts Book 1) and Forever in My Heart (Tangled Hearts Book 2). He’s a detective and is recently divorced. He’ll get tangled in a web of deception that will rock his world and make him question his career and everything he stands for.
Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Anabelle!
Here’s a blurb and excerpt from Forever in My Heart.
Vicky DiFrancesco is ready to put the past behind her. After a humiliating divorce, she’s determined to make her new café a success. The last thing she needs is her first love around, reminding her of what they’d lost. But when her life is threatened, could he be the very man she needs?
Jamie DiSilva’s homecoming after retiring from the army isn’t the one he’d been hoping for. Now, he’s trying to start a home improvement business in a town settled on holding him accountable for the sins of his late brothers. Redeeming himself to the girl he never stopped loving and her family is difficult when his brothers’ secrets come back to haunt him.
Untangling themselves from the past means righting several wrongs and deciding if their love is meant to last forever.
Excerpt from Forever in My Heart:
Without thinking what she was doing, she slid her hands along his chest, fascinated by the changes in his body from the eighteen-year-old boy she’d last seen. She’d thought him beautiful then, but now—hell, he was downright breathtaking. The warmth of his skin seeped through her fingers and into her. She could have sworn she felt him tremble beneath her hand—or was it her hand that shook?
He brushed a thumb across her cheek. “Thanks for cleaning me up.”
Her heart pounded as she continued to touch him, her strokes getting surer as the seconds passed.
He took a step closer to her. “Vicky,” he whispered, his voice husky.
Nononono. God, no.
What had she started? This couldn’t be, she couldn’t want him—yet she did. He encircled her waist, pulling her against all six feet of hardness. His lips skimmed hers, the briefest of butterfly kisses.
Her nipples were tight against her bra, begging to be free—begging for his touch. She arched into him, wanting to press her chest against his hard skin.
Just as his hands slid up toward her breasts, her cell rang.
She jumped a mile and sprang away from him. “That’s Lucy downstairs. She’s probably wondering what happened to me.”
Reaching into her pocket, she withdrew the phone. “Hey, Luce,” she said, her voice breathless.
Vicky pressed a hand to her flushed cheeks. “I’ll be right down.”
She turned to Jamie, who also looked uncomfortable. Of course that could’ve been from the huge bulge between his legs.
“A group of senior citizens walked in. I gotta go,” she said.
He reached for her arm. “Vick—we’re not done with this.”
“We are for now.” She shook free from his grasp and headed downstairs.
You can buy Forever in My Heart at:
About Maria K. Alexander
Maria is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.
You can connect with Maria at http://mariakalexander.com
From February 20th through March 8th, Maria is having a release giveaway. Stop by here for a chance to win a digital copy of Untangle My Heart, the first book in her award-winning Tangled Hearts series or a $5 Amazon GC.