Author Speed Dating – C.K. Brooke

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.

This week’s guest: C.K. Brooke


15 Questions

1. Name the best New Year’s Resolution you have ever broken, and how quickly did you fall off the wagon?

Once I made a New Year’s Resolution not to put pressure on myself by making a New Year’s Resolution…whoops.

2. Hottest “The Avengers” actor: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlet Johansson (Black Widow) or Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye)?

Hey, how come Tom Hiddleston (Loki) isn’t on here??

3. What are the highest and lowest moments you’ve had as a writer?

Highest = my first-ever offer letter in 2014! Lowest = the 164 rejection letters that came before that!

4. Please let us in on a few of your writing plans for the brand new year 2018. Any new books in the pipeline?

THE EMPEROR’S DAUGHTERS, the 4th book in my Jordinia series (Fantasy), is coming in 2018, along with an e-box set of the entire series.

5. If you could only have one type of candy for the rest of your life, what treat would be satisfying your sweet tooth?

Don’t know about my tooth, but I’d gladly let Sour Patch Kids burn a hole through my tongue.

6. Which is your preferred writing location: home office with favorite music, coffee shop with white noise or library in total silence?

Home office with spa soundtrack…unless my husband and son are home!

7. What’s the worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?

I can honestly say the woman has never given me bad advice. (That’s the correct answer, right?) 😉

8. In which sub-genres are you published, and what does the wide or narrow focus say about you?

 The romance sub-genres under which I’m published currently include fantasy and historical. I reckon it says I like to escape far beyond the here & now…and I like to take my readers with me!

9. Name two of your favorite authors, one living and one no longer with us. How have their books impacted your writing?

Marion Zimmer Bradley taught me the joy of epic historical fantasy. J.K. Rowling taught me that you’re never too old for adventure. Both lessons translate into my writing of romantic adventures, be they historical or fantasy, every day.

10. When you are starting a new book, what are some of the activities you do to get know your characters and develop your plot?

Outline, outline, outline! I usually create an outline of at least 25 single-spaced pages, hashing out the plot and all the characters, before writing the first word of the story.

11. Preferred winter activities: ice skating, ice fishing and anything involving snow or Couch Potato Olympics?

Anything indoors – snow gives me the blues!

12. Which character from one of your books is most like or most radically different from your significant other?

The character of Orion in my YA fantasy romance, SECRETS OF ARTEMIS, is most like my husband – a gentle giant.

13. What is your most ridiculous fear?

Birds. The way their wings flap… *shudder*

14. What is your favorite social-media activity: watching cat or dog videos on Facebook, Tweeting #amwriting when you’re not or Snapchatting your face with kitty whiskers?

Reposting “Stranger Things” memes. I seriously need a Chief Hopper intervention!

15. Who were some of the other authors who helped you on your writer’s journey, and how did they make a difference for you?

I wouldn’t have had the courage to become a published author if not for Michele DeLuca, NY journalist and author of FOREVER MORE: A LOVE STORY FROM THE EDGE OF ETERNITY. Her constant support, readership, and belief in me has carried me farther than I can express. Thank you endlessly, Michele! And thank YOU, Dana, for this fantastic interview! Wishing you all a vibrant and prosperous 2018!






Commanding His Heart

By C.K. Brooke


They stopped in front of an unassuming door, and Commander Redding pulled the handle.

The first word that came to Em’s mind when she stepped inside was minimal. Not that the room was so small. But it was simple, tidy—virtually empty. A wooden bureau stood to the left, its surface clean but for a dimly-lit oil lamp. And to the right sat a single cot dressed in plain, fading linens. A cabin trunk completed the picture, and that was all. The walls and floor were old and unadorned.

Commander Redding closed the door, shutting them in.

Although he hadn’t yet granted his permission, Em assumed it safe to speak. “This isn’t a place you occupy regularly, is it?” It was more of an observation than a question.

“No, it isn’t.” The jovial manner he’d performed upstairs was gone entirely. He stood before her, a full head taller, his expression uncharacteristically stern. “Miss…Winthrop, is it?”

Em nodded. It felt strange that the man who had behaved so familiarly with her just moments ago wasn’t even certain of her name.

He opened his mouth, then closed it again. Sighing, he pinched the bridge of his nose. Em was reminded of the way it had tickled when he’d brushed it across hers above deck. She shoved the mortifying recollection aside.

“I’m at a loss,” he confessed at last.

“You want to know what I’m doing here,” she surmised.

“Yes, and why! And how you found me—!” He stopped, taking a breath to collect himself. Although he was understandably flustered, it appeared he was the sort of man who kept his temper in check. Em found she liked that.

“Sorry, but I had to leave Jamestown.” She met his eyes, and was unexpectedly transfixed by the hue of the ocean in them, visible even in the low lantern light. “You were my only way out. I…trusted you.”

His eyebrows came together. “You don’t know me.”

“Well,” Em hugged herself, “given your title and disposition, I’d deemed you trustworthy. And up there,” she cocked her chin, “you rescued me, did you not? Are you saying I’ve misjudged you?”

His tone was gentler as he studied her face. “You haven’t.”

She pursed her lips, her case made.

“But you’ve misjudged the situation. You never should have come here.” He began to pace, his features wrought with anxiety. “This is no place for a young lady. It isn’t safe.”

A laugh loosed from her. “But Commander, why ever would I be unsafe with my own country’s navy?”

He stopped in his tracks as though she’d thrown something at him. “Miss Winthrop, this is not a naval vessel. It is a pirate ship!”


COMMANDING HIS HEART,  a September 2017 release from Limitless Publishing and Book 2 in the American Pirate Romances series, may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.



About C.K.

C.K. Brooke is an award-winning author of over a dozen romance and fantasy novels and novellas. Her debut novel, THE DUCHESS QUEST, was selected by Shelf Unbound Magazine as a Top 100 Notable Indie Book of 2015, and her self-published YA novel, SECRETS OF ARTEMIS, received the Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award in 2017. She is also the author of THE WRONG PRINCE (48fourteen, 2016), a Global EBook Award Honorable Mention title, as well as the historical romance, CAPTURING THE CAPTAIN (Limitless, 2016), which was a 2017 RONE Award Nominee and a Finalist in the Mid-Michigan RWA Best Banter Contest. She lives in Washington, Michigan, with her husband and son. Visit her at and subscribe for a free eBook! Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.


Author Speed Dating – A.J. Norris

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: A.J. Norris





15 Questions

1. Which ALICE IN WONDERLAND character would best describe you when you’re writing on deadline?

“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”  The white rabbit.

I normally don’t write on deadline, but I’m currently writing a Christmas story with a deadline. I feel like I’m scurrying around, even though I have plenty of time.

2. Have you ever based a character, at least in part, on a real person you knew, and was that person able to see himself/herself in your story?

Um…yes and man, I hope not. 

3. Hot rockers over 50: Lenny Kravitz, Bruce Springsteen or Bono?

I’d say Lenny Kravitz because he doesn’t look 50.

4. What is “dressed up” for you: a designer dress and stiletto heels or clean yoga pants, a sweatshirt and tennis shoes without holes?

I’m a jeans and T-shirt gal. I do own dresses and heels, but I try to avoid wearing them for the most part. “Dressing up” takes me out of my comfort zone, but so does wearing sweat pants.

5. What was the most unusual comment you’ve ever received in a fan mail letter or a review?

I don’t know if this would be considered unusual, but I got a random request for an autograph from someone in another country. I was so flattered that I sent off a couple signed posters of my book covers right away.

6. What do you do when you’re in the middle of a book and a new idea pops into your head?

I immediately write that new idea down. I have an app called Evernote that I use to store story ideas.

7. If you could invite three of your favorite authors over for a summer barbecue, who would be chowing down on hamburgers and brats (or veggie burgers) in your backyard?

J.R. Ward: I love her, and she’s the reason I started writing.

Stephen King: I don’t necessarily subscribe to his writing methods, but he’s so creative, and I can imagine he would be very interesting to talk to.

Gena Showalter: Love her, nuff said.

8. How old were you when you had the first inkling you might be a writer, and what gave you that hint?

When I was about 37, I was wanting to deal with some old baggage that kept creeping up on me. So, I decided to write a fictionalized story of some things that happened to me. The book was more of what could’ve been if I’d made different choices. The experience wound up being cathartic, and I’ve been writing ever since.

9. Do you ban all pets from your house, tolerate them for your family’s sake or are you a pet lover, typing with a dog, cat and maybe a bird sitting on your lap right now? And if you are a pet lover, list your brood.

I’ve loved dogs for as long as I remember. I’ve never considered myself a cat person, even though my husband and I have had a couple of cats in the past. We now have two Yorkie mixes named Reese and Rollo. They are often snoozing in my office when I write.

10. If you could write a novel containing any generally “off-limits” element, what would we find in your story?

I want to write a horror romance, even though I can’t watch horror films. LOL. Is there such a thing?

11. Name a hero or heroine from one of your books you loved a little more than all the others. (Yes, it’s like picking a favorite child.)

I love Harry Hunter from TATTOO KILLER, Book 1 of the Tattoo Crimes series. He was the hero of that book although not the romantic hero. Harry is a 55-year-old, two-fisted coffee drinker and a grumpy but loveable police detective. I loved him so much I wrote book two in that series, INKED KILLER, about him. (Note: INKED KILLER releases in October 2017.)

12. Name the most unique vacation you ever took, and what was your favorite thing about it?

Yikes! I don’t vacation much. So, any vacation is unique for the simple fact that I took a vacation. I recently went to Orlando for the RWA national conference and brought my husband and son along, and I enjoyed traveling with them. It was also my son’s first trip to Disney, and he was so excited. I loved that I could give him this trip.

13. What book are you reading right now, and what is the best book you’ve read in a long time?

At this moment, I’m not reading anything. I also work full-time and have many writing projects I want to finish before the end of the year. This leaves very little time for anything else, and my family comes before reading.

14. Which of your books gave you the most trouble, and what helped you make it to “the end”?

They all gave me trouble. Sometimes the characters don’t want to do what I tell them to do. I’m a pantser for the most part. However, whenever I get to about the 20k – 30k word mark, I tend to hit a wall. Although I never start writing a story unless I know the ending.

What helps me make to the end is plotting out the climax of the story and working backward.

15. What has been your scariest moment as an author?

Release days are always the scariest moments. You never know if readers will connect with your characters or give you a bad review.





Tattoo Killer

By A.J. Norris


The expression on his face melted her insides. His eyes burned for her. She swallowed hard. That crooked smile of his made an appearance. The tiny bathroom grew larger and suddenly he seemed so far away. An easy fix. She removed her shirt and stepped closer to him, then slid her jeans down her thighs. Now it was his turn to undress. Luckily for her, he was only wearing gray plaid flannel pajama bottoms.

He gripped the waistband and ripped them down his legs.



TATTOO KILLER, Book 1 in the Tattoo Crimes series and an October 2016 release from Limitless Publishing LLC, may be purchased through these retailers: Amazon US, Amazon Canada and Amazon UK.


TATTOO KILLER is also part of a boxed set, MY SECURITY: PROTECTION AT ITS FINEST, from Limitless, featuring stories from seven romantic-suspense authors.


About A.J.

A.J. Norris is a romantic suspense and paranormal romance novelist. She began writing as a way to dim down the voices inside her head. She enjoys being able to get inside someone else’s head, even a fictional one, and see what they see. Watching how her characters deal with difficult situations or squirm with the uncomfortable ones make the hard work of writing all worth it.

She is a movie buff, especially book adaptations, loves watching her son play baseball and communing with other writers. She lives with her family who are extremely tolerant (at least most of the time) of all her late nights behind the computer.

Stay in contact with A.J. through her website,, and on Facebook and Twitter.