Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Meet My Latest Guest - Dena Garson!

I want to welcome Dena Garson. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi, Barbara! Thanks for letting me drop in. I’m Dena - I’m a Process Improvement Consultant by day and an author by night. I write contemporary romance as well as paranormal and fantasy romance. In addition, I’m a mother of two boys who keep me on my toes - they play lots of sports and xbox every chance they get.

Tell us about your latest release.

Risky Business is a book I published with Ellora’s Cave a few years ago. But after getting the rights reverted back, I have re-released it with only a few minor tweeks (and a new cover). It’s a story about two co-workers who are drawn together during their company’s annual party because of a bet.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Loki from the Marvel Universe. He’s one of my favorites because, like Snape from Harry Potter, you really can’t be sure if he’s a bad guy or a good guy. It keeps you guessing every time you see him.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

I really enjoyed writing Katie from Ghostly Persuasion. The world building we did as a group (it’s a multi-author series) made writing the book fun. Katie just blossomed as I wrote the story.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Romance! I have several contemporaries, a couple paranormal and one fantasy. I just write the stories that pop in my head - it really isn’t a matter of choice. My only choice is which story I want to work on at the time.

4.) What are you working on now?

As soon as I finish edits to my newest contemporary and send it off to the publisher, I plan to finish working on a Native American/historical/paranormal story I started last year.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Actually, it was a conversation I had with my BFF. We both read a lot and exchange books. One day while we were talking about a book we had just read, she turned to me and said, “One of us should be writing this stuff.” I agreed so I began researching how to do it. I joined a local writing group, attended RWA National Conference where I could take a bunch of writing workshops and started putting words on paper. A few years later I published my first work with a local magazine. It was a couple more years before I published my first book with Ellora’s Cave.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Ideas come from a variety of places - conversations with friends, scenes I witnessed while shopping, articles I read, or even lyrics from a song. It’s always the “what happened next” and “who are these people I’m seeing in my head” that drive the story.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I’d like to think there was a lot because I’d hate to be normal! It’s usually the other way around though - people who know me are surprised to learn that I write sensual romance. It’s really kinda funny! But I suppose most people are surprised to learn that I’m a Rock Chick. I love rock and roll - the louder the better - everything from Five Finger Death Punch to Rob Zombie to the Rolling Stones.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I do a variety of crafts but other than writing, my favorite pastime is making jewelry and other beaded pretties. I could play with my beads for hours.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

“Give yourself permission to write crap.” That was from Candice Havens. I am a bit of a perfectionist - I struggled with my writing in the beginning because I’d get caught up in finding the perfect word instead of getting the story down on paper. I got nowhere fast doing that! Candice’s advice helped me mute my inner editor until after I’d gotten the first draft done.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Cleopatra. I want to know what the real story is and see how she lived her life.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling (with Lzzy Hale). It’s a song about that feeling of being stuck and afraid of taking a chance but then you finally do. Love it!

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

I’d like to be a bird. I think the sensation of flying - the soaring, the dipping and diving, the wind in your feathers - would be fabulous. And the views you could see from up there! Oh, how marvelous!



Here’s the burb for Risky Business:
Mia Sanford has admired Jake Hudson from afar ever since she transferred to Marketing. She might be comfortable tangling with the company playboy in meeting rooms, but not in private. Facts and figures she can handle, but that blue-eyed devil is out of her league.

Jake was impressed with Mia, the sexy analyst who provides his monthly Marketing data, the first day he met her. Not only is she smart and reliable, she has legs that have inspired a few sizzling hot workplace fantasies. However, her girl-next-door demeanor and the company’s no fraternization rules force Jake to keep things strictly professional.

When Mia becomes the target of an embarrassing betting pool at the annual office party, Jake alerts her to the danger. But since he never expressed an interest in her until now Mia isn’t certain if he’s really looking out for her, or just trying to win the pool himself. If she trusts him, it might place both her reputation and her heart on the line.

Excerpt for Risky Business:

Thankfully, Mandy’s smug grin was hidden behind her glass when Jake stepped up to their little group.

“Ladies.” Jake’s deep, smooth voice rippled through Mia. Her skin tingled and her hair stood on end, as if to beg for his attention. She shifted her stance to adjust for the moistness she felt gathering in her nether regions as soon as Mandy mentioned Jake’s name.

“Jake,” Mandy said politely.

“Are those stiff accountants you hang out with behaving over there?” Robin asked.

Jake chuckled and looked over his shoulder in the direction he had come from. “For now.” He stepped closer to their little group and whispered, “Don’t tell anyone, but that’s the real party crowd. They’re just waiting for Patterson to leave so they can bust out their moves.”

Almost as one, Robin and Mandy leaned to the right so they could look around Jake’s broad shoulders. Jake and Mia shared a grin. When Robin turned back, it was clear she wasn’t sure what to believe.

“Are you serious?” Robin asked Jake.

“Very. Give those guys a little beer and a few wild women and you’d better watch out.”

Robin was looking more interested by the second.

Mandy elbowed Robin. “What do you think about going and introducing ourselves to some of Jake’s friends?”

“Works for me,” Robin said with a grin.

“You two aren’t really going over there, are you?” Mia asked in disbelief.

“Sure.” “Why not?” they said at the same time.

Mia looked at Jake for help, but he simply pasted an innocent expression on his face. Mia shrugged and said, “Whatever. Have fun, I guess.”

“Thanks for the inside scoop, Jake,” Robin said with a wink.

“See you two kids later,” Mandy added with a lift of her glass.

“And off they go,” Mia mumbled as she watched her traitorous friends weave their way across the room, leaving her alone with Jake. She turned and looked up into his eyes. Even though the lights were too low to see the exact shade, she knew they were the color of well-worn denim. “I hope you’re aware of what you unleashed on your pals.”

She considered the man standing before her. He was tall with broad, strong-looking shoulders. She knew he played ball with some of the guys in the office because she’d often heard them talking about the games over coffee in the break room. The way his shirts fit indicated he worked out. Add that to his classic blond hair and blue eyes and he was definitely drool-worthy, as Mandy would say.

The biggest question in Mia’s mind was whether or not he would ever see her as anything but an analyst with more opinions than boobs. Thankfully she had the data to back those opinions up.

“They may thank me in the morning,” Jake said with a twinkle in his eye.

“They might,” she conceded.

He stepped closer to Mia. Close enough that she could feel the warmth of his body radiating to her already flushed skin.

“Besides,” he lowered his voice and held Mia’s gaze. “It served its purpose.”

“What purpose is that?”

“To get you to myself.”

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