Welcome to a new year of Author Spotlights on Mondays! I hope everyone has a great 2015!
Michelle Roth is visiting this week and sharing her latest release, In Full Bloom, book one in her Second Chances series. She's also giving us insight into her life as a writer. Welcome, Michelle!
From the moment that Taryn Michaels runs into her new landlord, Evan Connolly, on the stairwell, she is dangerously attracted to him. She's starting her career as a veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo and isn't looking for any complications. The more she gets to know him though, the more she realizes that he might be worth the risk.
Evan Connolly has moved back to L.A. to pursue his lifelong passion for growing exotic orchids. When he buys a florist shop, building and all, he gets far more than he bargained for when it comes with a gorgeous, feisty tenant. As the sparks fly between them, he's finding her more and more difficult to resist.
When they finally give into temptation, it quickly develops into something deeper. As the truth of Taryn's past comes back to haunt them, will Evan be able to break down the walls she's built around her heart? Will she let him?
As she started up the second flight of stairs, she let out a surprised yelp. Quickly dodging a box as it rolled down the stairs toward her, she turned to watch as it broke apart at the bottom of the landing with a thunk.
“Shit! I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” a worried voice asked from the top of the stairs.
“Yeah. I think whatever was in that box probably isn’t though,” Taryn said, turning back toward the voice at the top of the stairs.
He wore a pair of faded jeans that were torn in several places and a snug black T-shirt. His lower jaw was covered in dark stubble. His black hair was short and messy, as if someone had been running their hands through it. His eyes looked almost black in the dim light of the hallway. He was in his mid-thirties, Taryn decided. He was the very definition of sin.
Suddenly, aware she had been staring, she asked, “So, uh. Why are you throwing boxes down the stairs at me?”
Tall, dark, and sexy gave her an all-out grin now and said, “Hey now. I didn’t throw it so much as it fell.”
Dear Jesus. That voice. It was deep and smooth. A sexy face, a ridiculous body, and that voice, too? She couldn’t look away as he descended the stairs and stopped in front of her.
Reaching out, he extended his hand and said, “Evan Connolly. I bought the building.”
Taking his hand and giving it a firm shake, she said, “Taryn Michaels. Your tenant.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“You, too. I’m gonna head on up so you can can go ahead and finish throwing your things down the stairs,” Taryn said, grinning.
“Yeah,” he said, smiling good naturedly as he ran a hand through his messy hair. “I’m not likely to live that down, am I?”
“Probably not any time soon,” she said, stepping around him. “Have a good night.”
As she moved toward her apartment door, she thought, Well. This was certainly an interesting development.
An hour later, Taryn had showered and changed. She was applying a coat of mascara when she heard a knock on the door. Putting the mascara wand back in the tube, she moved back through the bedroom.
“Hang on,” she shouted as she moved toward the door.
When she opened it, her sister Cora stood on the other side of the door. All but tackling her, she squealed, “Tare, you’re a vet now!”
Grinning, Taryn said, “I am!”
Taryn pulled her inside and said, “Help me lace up the back of this shirt. When I bought it, I didn’t think about the dynamics of trying to put it on without help.”
Turning around, she presented Cora with the back of her red corset top.
“Ooh,” Cora said. “This is hot! Are you looking to get some tonight?”
Snorting, Taryn said, “You’re staying the night tonight. I’ll pass.”
“The girls were out,” Cora said, gesturing to Taryn’s chest. “I was just checking!”
Rolling her eyes, Taryn moved toward the bathroom, saying, “Lemme mascara and then we can leave.”
Ten minutes later, they walked across the street. Darla’s was a little hole in the wall place. Darla, an older heavy-set woman, had been behind the bar the few times that Taryn had gone in. It was low key and close to home. In deference to the fact it was technically her celebration, the girls from work had let her pick the place.
As they walked in the door, she immediately spotted Serena from administration sitting at a table with Mindy, one of the other veterinarians on staff. Serena immediately jumped up and said, “You’re official now! Congrats, honey.”
Taryn was immediately pulled into hugs, then gifted with a tiara and a martini. She took a sip of a martini, placed the tiara on her head, then introduced Cora.
Over the next few hours, several people stopped by the bar to congratulate Taryn. Even her new boss, Mike, had showed up for a while. He’d congratulated her on finishing her internship and reminded her that now she, too, would know the joy of telling the intern to shovel the poop from the rhinoceros cage.
Everyone had wanted to buy her a drink. After the fourth one, she’d started giving them to her sister and had switched to water. At 5’3”, Taryn was a light-weight to say the least.
It was after midnight when they finally walked back across the street to Taryn’s apartment. She wasn’t particularly drunk, but she was definitely feeling relaxed. As they turned to walk up the second flight of stairs, Taryn ran directly into a wall of warm, male chest.
Looking up, she saw Evan. Reaching out, she grabbed his shoulders to steady herself, then felt his hands settle on her hips. Feeling the warmth of his fingertips against small swath of skin between where her top ended and her jeans started, awareness coursing through her veins. She watched him now as he slowly appraised her, taking in the corset top and dark-washed jeans.
His hands flexed against her hips as he released her and stepped back. Even though they no longer touched, she could still feel the electricity arc between them.
Next to her, Cora said, “Well, hello. I’m Cora. Who are you?”
“The new Mrs. Weatherly,” Taryn answered, not breaking eye contact with Evan.
Sparing her a glance, he said, “Evan Connolly. Nice to meet you.”
Looking him over, Cora grinned and said, “Definitely easier on the eyes than Mrs. Weatherly.”
When neither party responded, she continued, “Well, I’m going to go inside and make another drink while you two stand out here on the landing and eye fuck each other.”
Giving a little wave, she wobbled up the stairs.
Buy Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/in-full-bloom
Mellanie: Do you see writing as a career?
Michelle: Absolutely. It's just like any other job. You sit down for however many hours a day and write. Granted, it's an awesome job, but it's a job nonetheless. ;)
Mellanie: This book is the first in a series. Do you prefer to write single title or series? Why?
Michelle: I much prefer series writing. As I involve other characters in my books, I find that they start begging for their own story. It's pretty easy to segue into that.
Mellanie: Give us some insight into your main character. What makes him/her special?
Michelle: Taryn Michaels is a fighter. Not in the boxing gloves sense, but she's had a tough life. Despite nearly insurmountable odds, she's managed to succeed. She may be a little bit of a mess emotionally, but she's never let that stop her from doing what she needed to do. Developing romance between her and Evan, watching her figure out how to love someone. That was fantastic.
Mellanie: Is there a message in your novel you hope to convey to your readers?
Michelle: I've noticed that my books tend to center around family. As I get older, something that I discover for myself is that family isn't a biological thing. They end up being the people that you choose to surround yourself with. If the book is trying to convey anything, it would be that family matters. Love matters.
Mellanie: I love a good conflict. What draws your main characters to each other and keeps them apart?
Michelle: This conflict is a little man vs. self. The main characters are immediately drawn to one another on a physical level. A number of different things hold them back. Evan is Taryn's new landlord, so both of them want to avoid any weird messiness that a relationship could bring there. Evan is also running a business now, so he's worried he doesn't have time to devote to a relationship. Taryn is just starting a new career and has some pretty deep issues with love and trust. All of these things make for an interesting roller coaster ride.
Mellanie: How did you come up with the title?
Michelle: The same place I come up with all of my ideas. In my car, randomly.
Mellanie: What new stories are you working on?
Michelle: I've got lots going on. I'm current working on book 2, with book 3 of the Second Chances series in planning stages. I've got a novella in the works for my last series. All kinds of good things happening in 2015. :)
Michelle Roth is a novelist from Los Angeles, California. When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book.
In her spare time she is typically hanging out with her awesome boyfriend and their two equally awesome cats. She likes taking road trips to nowhere in particular, cooking elaborate meals then making other people do the dishes, and being nerdy on the internet. Her books are currently available on http://www.bookstrand.com/michelle-roth.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Roth/e/B00KQNZOAW
Thanks for visiting with me today, Michelle and readers! Have a wonderful day!
Romance...With A Kick!