I got the chance to meet Jae this year at the Romance Novel Convention and I have to say that she was so much fun....especially during movie night.
1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
First I'd like to say Thank you Jamallah for allow me to be your guest today.
You are definitely starting with the hardest question first. I have lived most of my life surrounded by wilderness areas in far northern California between Mt. Shasta and the Oregon border. I raised my family here and have spent much of my adult life in and out of the forests on logging jobs with my husband. We both did 10 years of equine assisted behavioral therapy.
I’m married. We have 5 children and 9 grandchildren ranging from 5 months to 16 years who currently live locally and we see almost daily.
We have 4 dogs, 3 cats and 12 horses.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I really don't have spare time. We run our families 300+ acre ranch and do all the maintenance. We spend a lot of time with our grandkids teaching them how to farm and make hay for winter.
My husband is chief of the Shasta Nation and I am the genealogist for the tribe.
My husband is also a farrier when he isn't driving truck, so I am with him evenings/weekends assisting on his shoeing jobs. Other than that, when I'm not writing, I spend my free time with my family or riding/ training horses.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
Story ideas are all consuming for me but life often keeps me busy from 4 amto dark so I do most of my writing in pieces between laundry and running errands or taking my parents to town. I always carry a notebook so every idea and piece of scene or dialog goes in there for future reference. I get most of my larger blocks of writing done late in the evenings or early in the mornings. I have notebooks full of story ideas for future projects.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Most come from dreams. Some appear when I am listening to music or driving the thousands of miles I travel each year. Some just happen as random thoughts. Those what if moments we all have.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
That is easy since I am currently writing my first fiction series, TimberBeast. I love my forests and my logger/Indian culture. Hot Indian loggers in a forest with a heroine who wants to be an environmental spy. What’s not to love there?
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I can’t think of anything funny. I'm pretty open so what you see is who I am.
7. Are any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
My series is related to my life in the forest, but this series is definitely a work of fiction. It’s a story most have never heard and I feel honored to give it a voice. The closest thing I can compare it to is the movie Tom Horn and how Steve McQueen found himself a cowboy living in a world that no longer understood, wanted or needed a ‘real’ cowboy.
That is what has been happening to the American Logger since the 1970's. They are going the way of the cowboy and there are many who don’t remember how logging contributed a large part of building our country or how tied the industry has been to the history, and support of the California/northwest USA economy until the last 20 years.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
No muse per se. If anything my IPod and the select songs I have downloaded set my mood and help inspire my scenes.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I've never been a category type person. I call my books epic romantic outdoor adventure that revolves around Indian loggers and the forest way of life. I want to stay here until this series is finished.
I am contemplating contemporary romantic westerns next.
Eventually I may go back and write more non-fiction history books.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Mary Moriarity, Deborah Gafford, Katherine Loch, A.B. Mckinley. Jewel Adams, Jamallah Bergman . There are more but my mind has drawn a blank right now.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Right now it is my heroine and hero, Kelsy and Fox. They have the kind of chemistry we all want to find. The kind that knocks you off your game and changes the course of your life (not necessarily for the better). If you are brave enough to follow your heart I believe that kind of love is waiting for us all. They have a lot of real life setbacks, secrets and flaws. I like characters who take their time revealing who they are and what their motives are.
And I like the secondary characters already introduced in book 1 (TimberBeast) that will continue to cause trouble through the series. Then there is Tom. You haven’t met him yet. He was mentioned in book 1, and going to be around a lot more in book 2, DutchMan.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Finding the time to sit and get it all down in print.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Write, Finish, Edit, Submit, Repeat. Those are the only things you are truly in control of. Wishing and worrying and waiting will never get you published.
Start writing and don’t stop. Practice daily until you can type without thinking and the words flow from your fingers.
When you find the story that makes your heart sing , don’t worry if there is a category to put it into.
If you write a story with ‘what’s hot’ right now in mind you are already behind the curve and chances are the market will be flooded with other similar books long before you get yours done.
Write the best book you can. Finish it, either self pub or send to agent/pub then move to the next great story in your heart.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
I would be a writer. I have been writing stories since I was small and have continued to read and write daily. My other passion is spending time socializing and learning from my horses. I spent 10 + years as an equine therapist for behaviorally challenged children and have notebooks of information on possible books about that subject as well.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
I am the first person to say that I am not romantic. A getaway for me is going with my husband into the wilderness area next to my house. We do that every couple of years when we get a week of down time in the summer. We ride our ponies from our home and travel up into the forest to one of the hundreds of lakes to spend time in nature.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
I already have mentioned my current series. The first book, TimberBeast was published June 2013
It is sensual and filled with attraction, tension, twists and turns all wrapped in the 1991 world of high powered business in Los Angeles and a small Sierra Nevada logging community near Yosemite Park called Buck Meadows. (Coincidently this story is set in the heart of the area where the 257,000+ acre Rim Fire was located this summer)
So here is the blurb;
Kelsy Bowen is an up and coming advertising executive in 1991 with her future all planned.
A job she loves, a fiancé who adores her, and the L.A. skyline surrounding her world. Until a chance meeting with tall, dark, handsome and dangerous awakens desires she never knew existed.
When she becomes an environmental spy to find a mysterious person called the TimberBeast she enters a world she wasn't prepared for. Once in the forest she meets Fox, a timber faller trying to stay anonymous and keep his job. While searching for the TimberBeast Kelsy and Fox find an undeniable attraction that puts her engagement in jeopardy and changes the direction of their lives.
Now Kelsy has a decision to make.
With her eyes now open to the possibilities, how can she continue to live a lie with her fiancé when she may have found the love of her life and he represents everything she is sworn to fight?
Excerpt. From TimberBeast.
A rush of adrenaline passed through him at this pleasant and unexpected distraction. This part of Los Angeles could be a fun entertaining distraction after all.
At least for a day or two. His smile to this new twist to his day was spontaneous, then he pulled himself back. He studied the beautiful blond, trying to determine if she was a really hot, unattainable executive or an extremely available hooker in an expensive suit looking for an easy score.
Who cares? She's hot either way. He noted her own conflicted response. Unsure? Shy? If she's a hooker she's not a very good one.
He felt his skin reject his companion's smothering presence and stifled the impulse to shove away the nails digging into his arm. God you're insecure. Stop clinging. He kept his attention on the new game in town. Now this one's worth going after.
He couldn't help himself. He liked to be in control, the aggressor, and his companion's eagerness was irritating, exhausting and difficult to work around. There was no chase, no maybe, no escaping until he had followed through on his whispered promises and she was drunk and satisfied and passed out.
Maybe he could get that done early enough in the night to get something going with this blond. The brunette was becoming more of a chore than he had bargained for but at least she wasn't chatty. Hopefully the alcohol wouldn't bring out that unwelcome female trait.
Naw. She is what she portrays and she's—safe.
With the brunette there was no real mystery to her cardboard rich valley girl facade. She had bluntly stated that her father would be furious if he ever found out she was spending the evening with the likes of him and that had been enough at the time but now....now he felt suddenly cornered and he valued his freedom before the lure of any woman's charms.
Face it. You screwed up and not for the first time. He immediately pinpointed his tactical error. I was in too big of a hurry and she had been convenient, easy, young. She's not hard on the eyes, don't expect more than one night—or a few hours.
All the qualities he liked in a one night stand. She knew the rules. It hadn't mattered that she wasn't his first choice, not by a long shot, but she had worked into his plans—until now.
He watched the blond woman's eyes harden and her body stiffen. Damn. I'm impressed. White Suit sure as hell doesn't intimidate. She's looking right through me. She has guts to go with that hot bod Tougher ones than her have turned tail and run when they saw me watching them..
He kept staring at this new twist to this night's plans with undisguised excitement. His need for a new conquest made him forget about the danger and the possible consequences of changing his mind this late in the game. His evening just got a lot more interesting.
How long before she breaks our visual embrace? I could kiss those lips til I drown. What will it cost me to spend a night with HER?
Kelsy's defenses rose with each intense moment. Her smile faded. Her green eyes narrowed slightly. She stared back arrogantly trying to unsettle his composure. She wanted to read his mind as surely as he was reading hers.
At her icy visual challenge he couldn't stop himself. His eyes narrowed, then hardened, like glittering chips of obsidian. She was acting pretty high society for a street walker.
Does she really think she can intimidate me into a higher price? Was she that stupid? He could feel himself getting pissed. It wasn't in his nature to back down from anyone. Who does she think she is? She had no right to judge his life or his worth or what price he was able to pay.
Then his need to dive into an unknown tryst—or two, kicked into overdrive. He had to think this out and thinking hadn’t been part of this evenings plans.
Think. What does she really want?
Her eyes held his gaze, the heat on her cheeks slowly growing brighter. He could almost feel her warm sweet breath move between her slightly parted lips in small wisps. Her hands clenched, knuckles pale.
Now I've pissed her off. Maybe, if I give her some space— He turned casually feeling the brunette’s hand tighten then loosen, putting what he hoped was a noticeable distance between himself and the girl.
Kelsy saw distracted relief cross his face when the woman's hand slipped from his arm. He relaxed against the counter, arms still crossing his chest, his partner forgotten. Kelsy had his full attention now. She felt his eyes absorb every detail with a burning appraisal of her features and status in life.
A dim awareness of reckless physical heat washed over Kelsy making fear vanish. A man like him just doesn't exist, not in my civilized world. Her breath stopped.
Hungry. He looks, HUNGRY!
He saw her freeze, as motionless as a white rabbit in a garden. He wanted to laugh. She couldn't blend into the shelves stocked with brightly colored condoms if she tried.
His shadowed expression softened, his senses remained alert. His gaze moved with slow deliberation, then his evaluation stopped, his imagination captured by the movements of the unruly blond hair that made shameless suggestions and hid the curves of her body. It had been a long time since he had wrapped his hands in hair that blond. A long time since he had had a woman that hot, and she was tall. Tall enough to spin his world and turn his blood into molten lava.
She had to know how bad he wanted her. Had to see his body reacting to her presence. Had to hear his blood pounding in his chest and below.
Then he saw it. An intense curiosity. Oh she noticed him all right and she was ripe for the taking. Nothing could hide the blush that moved up her neck.
His skin was throbbing with need and desire. If I play this right tonight will be unforgettable.
Kelsy felt his attention settle over her, deliberately wrapping her in fantasy and promise, slipping past her defenses. The heat from his shadowed eyes caressed her face and sent tingles to the roots of her hair. She squelched the urge to smooth her hair into something more conservative.
I will not let him intimidate me into any apologies, but in hindsight she wished she had taken the time to capture the wavy mass into a dignified pony tail before hurrying to the market.
His gut tightened. He wanted this playing over, was ready to get down to business. He wanted to touch her soft skin and feel the excitement sparking from her narrowed green eyes. Wanted to feel the heat of her breath on his neck as they danced.
He couldn't stop the words from leaving his brain. You want me as bad as I want you.
Her eyes opened wide. He should have been surprised but somehow he had known she would feel his words and react. He couldn’t stop his thoughts or his need to play with her a little more. That's right I want you.
An insolent smile of certainty touched his firm lips. He knew better than to play this kind of game with a stranger but this time his instincts had been right. He saw the response he was looking for when a warm pink glow of desire leapt to the blond's cheeks. That’s right honey. You heard me.
He compared her wild mane with the expensive cut of her business suit, who's fooling who? You know your business all too well. You're playing the game and you're available and willing, for a price.
He knew down in his soul that this blond would extract a bigger price than he had ever paid before. Then again, hot blonds always brought a big price.
His teeth flashed in a wicked grin, slowing Kelsy's pulse.
Kelsy felt like someone had drugged the air she was breathing. Crazy thoughts were racing through her mind.
She paused then mentally shook off the deceptive seduction of his unspoken offers. Her emotions could not be manipulated so easily. As if I should care one iota about this bold strangers opinion!
Yet, despite all of her self-assurances, she felt a welcome rush of skin cooling relief cross her heated thighs when almost imperceptibly he nodded in approval, his lips turned slightly upwards as he liked what he saw.
Nobody, not even Sandy at his most ardent, had undressed her so completely with just a look. Made her have such suggestive thoughts. Something deep inside her resented such an intimate appraisal from this—this nobody! Teeth gritted, her eyes now frosty, she pulled her scattered courage together and met his stare with defiance. She was strong. She was independent. She was above such physical silliness.
She had nothing to hide and she was no man's trinket. Others played by her rules. A man like him? When she was engaged to a powerful man like Sandy? Really?
She would put him in his place, right back on the streets with his trashy companion! He was in her neighborhood and when he realized that he had stepped way over the bounds of acceptable social behavior his little game would be over.
The stranger seemed amused by her scathing look and bravado. Undaunted, his smile broadened in appreciation of her spirit.
His thin mustache twitched then his white teeth flashed for a moment before he mouthed the question for her eyes only. Meet me later?
Shocked by his continued boldness and obvious disregard for the brunette at his side, Kelsy looked away as if he had shouted the words. Cheeks burning she adamantly shook her head, NO, not trusting the man's audacity as she tried to calm her erratic pulse and regain her composure.
She had wanted a reaction, but instead of rejection, he was even more confident, as if she had yet to give an answer. His smile faded then he winked boldly as if they shared a grand secret and mouthed the words. Maybe next time?
Kelsy hesitated at his silent persistence and in spite her long awaited recent engagement a part of her was intrigued by this stranger’s suggestion.
Suddenly she gave herself a shake. What am I thinking? Continuing this flirtation could only lead to big life changing trouble.
He ignored the pounding of his heart and let his breath out slowly, the invitation still lighting his eyes. Don't show your hand. She can't be that rattled. She's played this game before and knows how to get a bigger price.
He watched but she gave no hint of acceptance. Refuse him? Like his money wasn't good enough to buy some of her time? Her hesitation had to be a negative response.
He shrugged, your loss, then he flashed her a devastating smile of patronizing forgiveness. Time to cut my losses and get closer to the eager one.
He turned his charm and attention back to the date he was sure of even as the thought of tangling his hands in all that blond hair gave him an aching need.
Damn. Too bad. That blond looks sweet and ripe for the picking. Someone's gonna enjoy her but tonight that sure as hell ain't gonna be me.
He picked up the small paper bag. Glancing inside he saw more than enough of the necessary personal items. Get your mind back in the game. She's young and by the looks of this bag she's expecting a long night. I'm not spending my last hours in L. A. sober and alone.
Still, when the brunette reached for him he felt a deep desire to push away her blood red nails. He froze his face in a slight encouraging smile before he pissed her off too. You're being an idiot. Get a grip.
Wasn't this what he had needed? To get laid? Here was a girl who could satisfy him for a few hours and he knew he would never have to see her again. He looked down at the girl smiling quietly up at him like she expected—.
He felt icy sweat on the back of his neck. Damn he had already forgotten her name. Better remember to call her Hon or Sweets.
His peripheral vision caught the blond still watching him with fire in her eyes. Maybe she was interested. A little. Maybe he could still salvage that option, for later.
Right now this choice sucks but the brunette is the best of both worlds, for tonight. Safe and non-demanding. Damn he hated it when he had to play this safe.
When her small hand closed around his arm he felt a polar blast from the watching blond. He knew she had slammed the door on any possibility of further flirtations, at least for tonight.
Damn damn damn. It's safe or nothing now.
He wanted to laugh at the possessive way the blond now coveted what she had just rejected only moments ago and the brunette had easily claimed. Dog in the manger.
God it felt good to have two women want his attention at the same time. He wasn't too old to enjoy that ego salve.
That woman has no sense of humor. This is what I get for finding a girl so early in the afternoon. Next time I'm in town I'll come here first. Blondie'll cool off by then and that is one wildcat I can't wait to bag.
His thighs ached for the hot soft feel of her willing in his arms, and she would be. The next time he came to this neighborhood she would be screaming his name by the time he was through pleasing her. He had never been so sure of anything in his life.
He should have known better when he impulsively picked up this brunette in that overcrowded dance club then asked her to spend the night with him but if he was going to spend the cash to get a hotel room he wanted to get his money's worth. He wasn't making that mistake again. Los Angeles had nothing if not an unending supply of progressively hotter willing females.
Once the girl's fingers were wrapped tightly around his arm he felt the trap snap shut, then again, I can turn any prison into pleasure. He looked down at his choice for the night and put on his most charming smile. His body was aching to get to know her better. Way better. He didn't have time for regrets.
His whispered words, “Ready Sweets?” made the girl smile. She leaned close and filled his senses with strong roses as she gave him an unobstructed view of her soft curves down the loose neck of her dress.
Oh yeah, and she don't need a bra.
She was sending all the signals he wanted to see. His lips brushed against her ear. “I can't wait to peel off this shiny red scrap.”
Her shiver and soft giggle was all the encouragement he needed. She would be easy to please and after that bottle she just bought was empty she would be more than willing to please him right back.
She looked up adoringly at her soon to be lover and nodded, batting her eyelashes for emphasis. He held the door open then led her out of the market and into the late afternoon light.
Kelsy watched the girl respond to the man's suggestive whispers and smile then the couple walked slowly out of her life.
What a fool. She doesn't even know what a two timing bastard that man is. No girl should be treated like that by any rotten man. You think you're hot? You don't know who you just pissed off. I'm not through with you, tall dark stranger. Not by a long shot.
The second book in the TimberBeastsaga is DutchMan. To be released November 1, 2013.
The story of Kelsy's life as an environmental spy in the Sierra forests continues. In her attempts to find the TimberBeast, she struggles to infiltrate the tight knit world of the logging community and stop the logging that is destroying the forests.
Fox is always nearby as a protector but learning his secrets is proving challenging. The temptation of having more than a casual friendship continues to dominate their relationship.
She finds that there is a fine line between danger and lies, need and desire.
She must ultimately decide who she is, who she wants to be, what she truly believes and if the price is worth paying.
Also available directly through CreateSpace and now available through Smashwords.
Signed copies are available directly by contacting me at email@example.com or my FB author page www.http://facebook.com/timberbeastsaga
I am in the process of setting up the links for Dutchman through the same venues.
My FB page will have current updates.
Thank you again Jamallah for having me as your guest