Hey there followers of After Dark Book Lovers. It has been awhile since the Shorties have done an Author’s Spotlight, we are so happy and honored to be featuring Rachel Blaufeld. She recently released Vérité and both Grace and myself loved this book. My first book of Rachel’s was Redemption Lane and [I] fell in love with her writing. I know Rachel is currently working on the second novel to Redemption Lane which will feature Lane’s twin brother Jake. If you check on Goodreads, she has also written Electrified (The Electric Tunnel, #1) and Smoldered (The Electric Tunnel, #2). Let’s get this party started. Thank you Rachel for taking the time and answering some questions.
What made you become a writer, or rather, what inspired you?
Honestly, I’ve always been a dreamer. I used to make up stories in my head as I fell asleep when I was a young girl. Seriously!
Then, a few years ago, I fell into blogging and freelance writing…but I still had all these damn characters in my head! I started writing another book first––one I never published––before I wrote Electrified. I keep thinking I will go back to my first book…it was a second chance love story.
I never imagined I would love writing as much as I do, but honestly, there is nothing I’d rather do. And YES, I do spend a few days a month in my robe, drinking coffee and writing.
What has been most challenging about writing?
The hardest challenge for me is switching between my non-fiction and fiction voice. I still write a few freelance columns, and I have to write those on a day I’m not writing my characters. Otherwise, everything gets jumbled up!
So let’s discuss a little about your latest novel Vérité, for those who haven’t read it yet, can you give us a bit of background?
Vérité — little synopsis – Up until this point, I had only written bad boys/alpha males, and while Tiberius is an alpha, he is also very much a good guy. I thought it would be interesting to turn the tables and write a stand-up Hero. I guess for some, Tingly is frightening, weak with issues and not the fixer of the relationship, but to me she symbolized so many frailties of college-aged women.
I think many college girls question who they are, who they should love, and what their parents may or may not want for them. Even if they pretend to be strong, it’s not always the case.
So in real life, are you a basketball fan?
YEP! I love NCAA basketball and my oldest son plays ball (he is entering high school). I get way into it, cheering and yelling. My husband sometimes comments he cannot believe what a nutcase I am with all of it!
What made you write a sports theme book?
Honestly, it just felt right. I loved the whole college setting, and I knew more about basketball than any other sport.
Grace and I fell in love with Tiberius, who was your muse for him? And who was your muse for Tingly?
For Tiberius, I didn’t really have one muse, I combined a number of basketball guys I know into one.
For Tingly, I was channeling Kate Bosworth circa Blue Crush.
Are you considering writing a book from any of the secondary characters, say for instance, Jamel?
Yes! I am going to write Jamel’s story and also I have a new player I am going to introduce.
What are you working on now? If it’s Jake story, what can we expect?
I am wrapping up Jake’s story––Absolution Road. Jake’s love affair is not one of those slow-burn type affairs, but with Jake, it wouldn’t be. He is the impulsive brother, the guy with a temper but a gigantic heart. In Redemption Lane, he was the one to convince Bess to go after Lane. Without admitting it out loud, he believes in love, and when he finally recognizes he deserves it…holy hell, he goes after it!
This is an emotional series, full of angst and not for the weak at heart. I did cry a good bit writing this story – so don’t forget your tissues.
Are you writing full time?
I consider myself a full-time writer, full-time mom, and full-time advocate for women. In my other life, I help women build businesses while raising a family. I still consult with mom entrepreneurs, and I am a champion of women doing whatever their heart tells them to do. Especially, if it is reading romance and drinking coffee!
Do you listen to music while writing and if so, what type of music do you listen to?
Yes. OMG, if you saw my collection, you would faint! It is everything from Neil Diamond to Miley Cyrus to Rick Ross.
Lately, I’m obsessed with Taylor Swift and whenever I cannot find something to fit my mood, I turn to Fleetwood Mac.
Ok so now let’s have a little fun with rapid fire questions:
What are you currently reading?
The Girl in the Comfortable Quiet by Susan Ward. I love this series, and now it’s ending. L
Favorite Author and/or Book?
I really can’t answer this. Honestly, I have so many. I still read about four books a week (I’m not a big sleeper).
If you had a gun to my temple, I would probably say Are you there God, its me Margaret by Judy Blume. It was a game-changer back in the day for me.
Favorite Romance Novel?
Aaagh, no way I can pick one.
All time favorite – Michael Jackson or Madonna (tough decision)
People sneezing and coughing on me. *GERMAPHOBE
Coke or Pepsi?
Neither. Coffee with skim milk and no sweetner.
Carnivore or Vegetarian?
Favorite Star Wars Character? (This is a required Shorties question, just saying).
Definitely the Ewoks. My younger son loves these movies, and he allows his Ewok LEGO mini-figure to hang on my kitchen window ledge with Buzz Lightyear.
Thank you again Rachel for hanging out with us and answering our questions.
Rachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.
Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.
Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, antiheroes, and mighty fine epilogues.
Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Website
Check out Rachel’s books:
Book Title: Electrified (The Electric Tunnel #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 294 pages
Everyone knows her as Sienna Flower.
Her curves and long lashes tease and taunt from her very own billboard where the desert meets the Las Vegas Strip. She’s the hottest stripper in town, known for her sultry and indecent moves coupled with her virginal eyes.
She’s a heady and unique combination, and a mystery to all who come to see her. Sienna captivates crowds nightly at the Electric Tunnel, leaving them wanting to know more about the sensual enigma. But no one ever sees beyond the heavily guarded stripper onstage. She is Sienna Flower 24/7.
No one other than her closest friend and boss, Asher Peterson, who helped turn a young and frightened girl into who Sienna is today. Together they created the sexual illusion known as Sienna Flower. They will go to any lengths to protect her image, which is why Sienna is convinced she must remain unattached and alone.
Like everyone else in Vegas, Sienna is hiding something and playing a role. A good girl in her former life, she was raised to be obedient and accepting of her fate, but there are some circumstances no one should be expected to accept. She escaped to a world light years away from the one she was subjected to…the Electric Tunnel.
Now she can never be anything other than Sienna Flower. Not only would she be hurt, but everyone around her would suffer the consequences.
That is, until she meets private detective Carson Graham, the dark and mysterious ex-FBI agent who watches her dance every weekend. With his dark hair and chocolate-brown eyes, Carson begins to heat Sienna’s heart and body, melting away the layers and secrets. Sienna doesn’t want to get attached to Carson, but when another man surfaces and starts hunting her down, bringing out the scars of her old life, she can’t help but seek comfort in Carson’s protection.
With everyone trading on the secrets of her past, Sienna finds herself caught in an awful web of lies. Her ultimate fear is hurting her friends at the Tunnel, but she doesn’t know who to trust. Namely, Carson. Is he good? Or bad? Does she have the luxury of finding out?
Book Title: Smoldered (The Electric Tunnel #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 281 pages
**BOOK 2 in the Electric Tunnel Series — Can be read as a standalone.**
Asher Peterson is a self-made man, owner of the Electric Tunnel, Sin City’s hottest adult entertainment spot. Brazen and formidable in designer T-shirts and motorcycle boots, he seems unflappable whether he’s making his rounds through the decadent decor of the Tunnel, or whipping through the desert heat on his bike. But inside he is a shattered man, desperate to understand what unconditional love from a woman feels like.
Hiding the effects of his emotionally stunted youth behind a gritty persona, and keeping his fractured soul buried deep while seeking out his baser instincts, Asher is convinced he is man enough to leave the past in the past. The only clue to his broken soul is his deep-seated need to provide safety and a good life for emotionally damaged women within the glamorous walls of his strip club.
Fooling himself that he deserves little in life, Asher keeps his big heart tightly guarded with everyone but Sienna Flower, his friend, business partner, and headliner. Until, that is, the night he runs into his childhood friend, Natalie Parker. While trolling a rival strip club, perusing their offerings for his own personal pleasure, he collides with his past. Coming face-to-face with a woman he only knew as a girl, he’s shaken when he finds the dark-haired beauty in a precarious position. Now all grown up, she’s a hardened soul who reminds him of where he came from, and stirs within him the need to protect yet another woman.
Known as Nat to most everyone, Natalie is a single mom to Quinn. But when she’s under the bright spotlights in a thong, she’s known as Natasha or Nataleigh Dallas. A girl who once had everything going for her, she’s now a jaded stripper with only room for her son in her life, and has erected impenetrable barriers around her heart. The strength of those walls is challenged the night a man she has known since childhood steamrolls his way back into her life, flashing those smoky-gray eyes that have always melted her.
A man she has loved from afar since she was a young girl, one who lights fire to her walls, burning deeper, setting everything ablaze––smoldering her.
Asher and Natalie, two people who are equally tormented by their own demons, set out to rescue each other as part-time lovers in a torrid, desperate workplace affair. Thinking they can remain friends while keeping their hearts at a safe distance, they find themselves at odds when their situation morphs into a messy, tangled mess.
Ripping free of each other proves impossible as they learn that the very web that connects them goes much deeper than they ever expected.
Book Title: Redemption Road (Crossroads #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 295 pages
Sometimes the past bleeds into the future.
Bess, a wild party girl running from herself, literally falls victim to her demons when she collapses in the most unexpected of places.
Lane, a tightly wound, up-and-coming CEO who can’t seem to stop enabling his brother, doesn’t know what hit him when Bess falls at his feet and into his life.
It was a night she doesn’t remember, and one he can’t forget.
But rather than stay and help the needy college coed, Lane decides to teach his brother a long overdue lesson––a decision that later comes back to haunt him and only adds fury to the transgressions of his past he is already fleeing from.
Years later, Bess and Lane meet again. She doesn’t know him, and he doesn’t share that he knows what happened on that ill-fated night when she almost died. After all, he has a web of complicated lies from his own youth to protect.
Both are seeking salvation in the arms of others and ignoring the truth—that the only road to redemption lies in confronting your past.
When the past and present collide, is there any chance at redemption?
Book Title: Vérité
Genre: Sports Romance
Length: 243 pages
That’s me—Tingly Simmons—athlete, foreign-language major, professor lover, obsessed idiot girl. Definitely not a frat rat or sorority slut. I’ve never even played beer pong.
I ditched the vapid, soulless high-society life of Los Angeles for the promise of something more meaningful in rural Ohio. Accepting a track scholarship for college, I tried running my way to happiness, but instead I ended up sleeping with my French professor and falling head over heels for him.
When that relationship fell apart, so did I.
Barely hanging on by a thread and using the most absurd coping skills, I was determined to hide behind my past indiscretions. That was, until I met Tiberius Jones. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d learn the truth about love from a six-foot-five basketball player.