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: Shae Ross
1. If you celebrate, name a holiday food you would eat your weight in if you could do it guilt-free.
Green bean casserole. My brother and I used to hide the leftovers from each other in the back of the fridge!
2. Give the title of the first manuscript you ever wrote. How many years ago did you pen this masterpiece, and whatever happened to it?
CRUSADE. I wrote the first scenes of CRUSADE the summer between college and law school, which is to say, a long time ago! When I left my job to pursue writing, I had intended to publish CRUSADE, but in 2015 the new adult sub-genre was much more popular than medieval historical. Rather than finish CRUSADE, I let myself get distracted by Jett Trebuchet and Ryan Rose. I wrote their story in, PRETTY SMART GIRLS, LACE UP and sold it on my first pitch. I still plan to publish CRUSADE, someday soon.
3. If you could keep only the possessions that would fit in one suitcase, and you were limited to two books – one you wrote and one by someone else – which titles would you tuck inside your bag? Explain your choices.
Gosh, what a question! It makes me sweat to think of only having two books. I would pick my third book, RUSH, because characters from my first two books appear in RUSH—that way I’d kind of have them all with me, right? As for the other title, it’s a tie between PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, and OUTLANDER, by Diana Gabaldon. (I’d give up at least one pair of shoes to add in a third book though!)
4. In the winter, would you rather be zipping through powdery snow on skis or a snowmobile or escaping to a sandy beach? Now how do you really spend most of your winter?
Hmmm. I’m not crazy about either. Cold weather sports set off warning signals in my mind. I like the beach, but I don’t like to sit still that long. My idea of dream land is wandering through a city that has historical sites to explore, great cafes, and shopping markets!
5. Which character in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is your favorite, and what does that say about you?
I haven’t watch RTRNR in so long, I can’t remember the personalities. If there’s a reindeer who’s slightly rebellious and bossy in a non-offensive sort of way (usually), who likes to sing and dress fancy, that’s me! 🙂
6. In which genres and sub-genres are you published, and which others do you plan to add to the list in the next two years?
I’m published in Contemporary, New Adult and Romantic Suspense. I’ll publish another Romantic Suspense next, then likely another New Adult. After that I’d like to publish my Historical and a Women’s Fiction book with strong romantic elements. I have all of these books in progress at various stages. It’s just a matter finding the time to finish!
7. If you could visit the studio and hang out with any visual artist, past or present, whose creative space would you be invading? Why?
I’d love to hang out with Nora Roberts for a day and see what her writing process is like.
8. Do you listen to music when you’re writing? If so, name some of the artists whose work you use to get you creative juices flowing.
YES! Music inspires me, and I love listening to music almost as much as I love reading and writing. I make playlists on Spotify and listen to mixes on Pandora. I’m more of a genre listener than a specific artist listener. Some of my favorites include Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Carla Bruni, Melody Gardot, and Madeleine Peyroux.
9. What are you reading now, and what is the best book you’ve read in a long time?
I’m reading MOLLY’S GAME, by Molly Bloom, and NO EXCUSES, by Brian Tracy. One of my favorite recent romance reads is BLUE-EYED DEVIL, by Lisa Kleypas.
10. What is your strategy for writing over the holidays?
On busy days, I still try to squeeze in three hours of writing. I like to write every day, and I’m incredibly irritated with myself when I don’t. I look at the week ahead and try to time block out writing sessions.
11. Name three things that are in your purse or pockets right now.
Biofreeze, for neck and shoulder relief, a permission slip for my son’s next field trip, and a can of cherry vanilla soda.
12. Do you write a synopsis before you write a book, and, if so, does your finished product look anything like that road map?
I do write a synopsis. The finished product follows the synopsis, but has a lot more twists and turns in the road.
13. Are you a fan of reality TV, or could the current Bachelor marry every contestant on Cake Boss and then sing his lungs out on The Voice for all you care?
Yeah, not really a fan. I much prefer drama, especially if there’s a romantic element or historical setting. Right now, I am loving, Good Behavior on TNT, The Crown on Netflix, and Knightfall, which just began on the History Channel.
14. What is your biggest dream for your writing career? The New York Times bestseller list? A movie deal? Your own island in the Caribbean? All of the above?
My biggest dream is to keep writing and continue to balance my other priorities effectively—time with my husband, kids, extended family and friends. The above mentioned honors would be thrilling, but none would feel like success unless the people I’ve signed up to love, honor, and cherish are with me and they know that I’m with them. So far, so good!
15. What is your biggest hope for a reader when she opens one of your books?
I hope my readers experience what I want to experience when I read a book. I want to feel the characters’ emotions. I want to laugh, cry, think, learn something I didn’t know, be captivated by the hero and completely immersed in the story. Oh, and of course, I want the happy ending. Always.
16. Are you more a Times Square-ringing-in-the-New Year-type on New Year’s Eve, or will we find you at home, tucked into bed by nine o’clock?
My husband and I are pretty social. We enjoy going out as much as we love chilling with our neighbor pals at home, but we’ve never been big on going out on New Year’s Eve. We’ll be home.
Bottom of the Sky
By Shae Ross
He stops and flips upright in the middle of the moonlit river. His hands hold my waist as our feet cycle. “Why are we stopping?” I ask.
“So you can kiss me.”
His hands catch my ribcage lifting me as he tows me in.
My palms flatten against his slick, hard chest. “I make the rules, right?”
He shakes his head, and a wicked smile sprouts from the perfectly shaped lips. “This is no man’s land…the river is ruled by nature.”
His grin widens, ripping something open in my heart, and I think maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. He obviously needs the distraction and so do I.
I meet his kiss. His head slants over mine, and I open for him, sucking him in. Our bodies bob from the force of his treading feet, keeping both of us afloat. His hand slides to my back, slinging me in flush to his body. My breath jams in my throat when I feel him, thick and hard against my stomach, teasing the nerves gathered low in my belly.
“John…” I break the kiss and gasp a short breath. “I need to conserve some energy if I’m going to make it to the other side.”
He chuckles softly, twirling our bodies until we’re in the current again, but when I stroke to swim beside him, he glides underneath me, looping one of my hands over his shoulder and the other under his chest. I surf his back as he swims, resting my cheek on the wet strands of his hair, feeling the muscles of his chest moving under my fingertips with each stroke. Weightless and languid, water floods my limbs, caressing my bones. I’m floating through the Sky as if I’m on my way to heaven..
After several moments, John’s body shifts and his arm contracts. He’s caught the ladder to his dock, supporting our weight with one hand. He dips a shoulder and swings me in front of him. I point my toe and find a slippery rung. The ladder sinks as he steps onto the rung below mine, brushing my back with wet skin, gripping the rails and cocooning me with warmth.
Everything about this moment makes me want to stop and take it in.
I sway into him feeling his cheek brush my temple. He curves around me, dropping a hand to my stomach. I arch as it travels up and his knuckles graze my cleavage, prickling the sensitive skin. A voice inside echoes this isn’t me as his fingers continue upward, sliding to the side of my neck, but this is me with John.
“If you don’t want this, Gianna…” his voice sounds almost tortured. “Climb up.”
My toes curl, standing firm on the rung, submerged like anchors. His mouth lowers to the side of my neck, and I tilt giving him full access.
“If you don’t climb up now, I’ll keep touching you…”
BOTTOM OF THE SKY, a March 2017 release, may be purchased from Amazon.
Shae Ross grew up in Ferndale, Michigan. She attended Michigan State University and continued her education at Detroit College of Law. Prior to 2014, she spent the majority of her career practicing corporate law and engaged in entrepreneurial ventures.
After having too many stressful days at the office, Shae began to pursue her dream of writing and signed a contract with Entangled Publishing. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes who deliver stories filled with sass, smarts and sizzle.
Learn more about Shae through her websites, www.shaeross.com, or through her Amazon Author Page or Goodreads. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, and join her newsletter here.