Book Spotlight and Interview – Unexpected
I’m honored to have author Aja and her co-author Roy Glenn, hang out on my blog today! I had the pleasure of meeting Aja at the Romance Slam Jam conference in NOLA back in May 2014 and was excited when her and Roy agreed to stop by and introduce us to their recent release, Unexpected.
But fiirst, let’s get to know Aja and Roy a little better.
Me: What made the two of you decide to write the story, and what was your process in writing it jointly?
Aja: Roy and I have been working together for a while now. He has mentored me in writing and in harnessing my creativity and passion in my writing to create something longer than the short story ideas I have. You might notice I blogged a lot and shared some short works there but would never take it to the next step.
Due to encouragement from a friend, Deloris Harper, I went to Roy with a character (Maya) and a scene I saw her in. Deloris thought it should be developed into a story and he agreed but because I had trouble picturing the “hero”, if you could call Roman one, he created him and wrote Roman’s POV.
Roy: Our process involved creating a synopsis, drafting an outline and then writing our designated chapters. We often had to collaborate because both of the characters would be involved in the same scene.
Me: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Aja: The intended audience for Unexpected is any adult who enjoys reading a real romance. If you want to read a story about two people experiencing the woes that most of us experience while on a journey to find and keep love, then Unexpected is for you.
Me: Which came first – the characters or the idea for the novel? Or what was the first seed of an idea for the book?
Aja: Maya came to me first. She was actually in the driveway of her beau’s home, getting ready to surprise him. That whole scene played out like a movie in my mind. So what became the ending for the novella actually came to me first.
I knew that this unannounced, unexpected visit meant so much to her in her development as a person/character. And I also knew that the unidentified man was taking a big step in indulging her when she showed up.
Me: If the two of you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite? Why?
Aja: That’s a tough one. I admire so many and would probably say just about everyone because there is so much to learn from them all.
Roy: Walter Mosley, James Patterson, and Valerie Wilson Wesley
Me: I know Unexpected was recently released. Are you working on any new projects that you’d care to tell us about? If so, a little tease would be great!
Aja: I am working on I Am Yours and because it’s an erotic romance, I’ll stay away from teasing anyone here but if you read Unexpected, there is a teaser at the end.
Roy: I am wrapping up my next novel titled It’s A New Day. It will be released this September. After I finish, I will work on my next project, a romance suspense novel titled She Was the One. Aja and I also have project we are working on together titled The Pursuit. It will come out next year some time.
Please tell readers about – Unexpected.
Maya Taylor has been left stung by the arrow of love one too many times for her liking. Swearing off heartache she decides that the staid and boring life is just fine for her. But a well-meaning friend points out that she isn’t really living at all and helps Maya embark on a journey with a new attitude. This leads to a chance encounter with a handsome gentleman that is all about living in the moment.
Roman Newsome has constantly been on the search for the perfect woman. She needs to look beautiful, have something to talk about other than herself and be able to keep up with his prowess in bed. But having found out that most women pretend to have it all only to reveal their true unappealing colors, he’s decided the perfect woman must not exist. Until he meets Maya. . .
Can these two fundamentally different people make their romance work? Will he settle his spirit long enough to realize that “perfect” really just means, perfect for him? And will Maya accept that she has to take a chance at love in order to truly live her life.
What happens between them may just be . . . unexpected.
Me: Is there a scene in the book that you particularly enjoyed writing? Tell us about it and why it’s one of your favorites.
Aja: I enjoyed the following scene because in it, you can get a good glimpse at how challenging they’d be as a couple. There is no violin playing in the background and they are not seeing stars. Actually they kind of rub each other wrong but there was a glimmer of hope and potential there for them to grab and they reached for it.
This thing was being hosted by the Pine Haven Community Center where Stacy lived. The community was known for its progressive residents. The majority of which had good paying jobs, owned their homes and yes, most were married. So a single’s mixer was not so popular. But apparently these men came from far and wide to see what Pine Haven had to offer.
Just as I had given up hope that there would be any good music to help me get through the evening, Curtis’s Mayfield’s “Give Me Your Love” started flowing from the speakers. The smooth intro had me swaying and breaking into a smile.
Good music. Real music, at last.
I closed my eyes for a moment, tuning out the glittery atmosphere, and allowed the mellow jam to take over and wash away the past musical garbage that’d been playing. When I opened my eyes it was only to find a pair of dark ones staring into mine from across the room.
Damn, how had I missed him?
He sat near the back of the room on a high back stool; where he found it would remain a mystery. One foot was bent sitting on the footrest, the other on the floor like he wanted to bounce in any moment, but his relaxed stance said otherwise. He seemed out of place, like a Titan, in a room full of human males.
Tall, dark and handsome. Virile. Broad shouldered and long legs. My gaze drifted to his thighs that looked strong as in kept in time with the beat of the music. He was enjoying the good music too. I looked back up to his eyes and he smirked. He was also confident.
Something about him said powerful and not the type to need a mixer to help him meet a woman. I’m pretty sure he had them eating out of his hand so that made me curious. Why would he be here? A sudden movement to the left of him, told me why. And then I knew my assumption had been correct.
A tall slender, leggy, brown skinned woman leaned into him and those eyes that had been focused on me shifted with his conversation and he nodded a few times to her and then gave her a smile. They seemed familiar with each other. And I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the interruption and didn’t like that he had company with him.
This was a single’s event dammit!
It was irrational to be jealous of this woman who stole this fine man’s attention away from me, but his brief dark brown gaze warmed places that hadn’t been touched in years.
You hear me? Years.
Who was this chick?
“I’m going to the bathroom,” Stacy said over Curtis Mayfield. “Be right back.”
I barely heard her, but apparently my subconscious did because I mumbled something that resembled, okay. But I never took my eyes off of Mr. Amazing and Ms. Legs. I should call her Ms. Stilts because there was absolutely no shape to them.
When she walked away, his gaze caught mine again and I immediately felt our connection again. This time he shook his head as if he couldn’t believe I was still there. And then to my horror he unfolded himself from the stool and started to approach me. He had to move through a few different uncomfortable looking mixer discussions to get to me, seemingly unrushed, but once he and his wonderful smelling cologne arrived, I was all nerves.
I had to tilt my head back; he was that tall, maybe 6’3.
“Why are you here?”
The question was out of my mouth before I could take it back. He laughed and it was a deep rumble that made my toes curl instinctively.
“Why are you here?” he asked, throwing my question back at me.
“I was dragged here, kicking and screaming, trust me.”
He nodded like he could see me doing that. Interesting. Maybe I was giving off a snotty vibe to the whole room.
“You still didn’t answer my question. Why are you here? ”I inquired.
“I can’t come to mingle with other single people?
“You can but I didn’t see you mingling. You only talked to the one with the legs.”
Once again a nod like he was confirming something about me.
He moved in closer and once again his cologne reached out me. It was overpowering, not in strength, but in tone. It made me yearn to lean in closer to him, and nuzzle his strong neck to get a better whiff. But that would be rude, not to mention weird.
“The one with the legs is my sister. She invited me to come and because I try to do almost everything she asks of me since she recently won her battle with breast cancer, I agreed to come. She organized this thing. My other sister, Anita, is around here somewhere.”
I hoped he couldn’t see the foot that was now inserted in my mouth. Scrambling for a follow up, I said with all the sincerity I felt, “She sounds like an amazing woman to be thinking of others when she’s been through so much. And you’re an amazing brother for supporting her by coming. You don’t look like you need the help of a mixer.”
He slid his hands into his pants pockets looking even more relaxed. One thick brow rose, “How do you know what I need?”
“I don’t; not really. Sorry for my presumptions.”
“Lighten up—what’s your name?”
“Nice name, Maya. My name is Roman Newsome.”
“Nice to meet you, Roman.”
“Very nice to meet you too, Maya.” He shifted him weight from one leg to another and then he leaned closer to me. “But like I was saying; you think too much. Anyone ever tell you that?”
I smiled. “Yes, but I have a brain. That’s what it’s there for. Thinking”
“Yes, but you also have a heart. And it’s there for feeling. Use it and give your brain a chance to rest.”
Aja and Roy, thank you both for taking the time for me to interview you!
About the Authors:
Aja likes to consider herself a multi-genre fiction writer but those that have read her stories would say she has a gift for writing erotic romance. Not ready to fall into that category permanently, she’s working on several projects; one of which might stun those that have been following her work, but it still needs time. I Am Yours will be her first solo full-length book, slated for release in fall 2014.
Known as the master of urban suspense, Roy Glenn is the author of I Came to Bring The Pain, Treat Me Nice, Wanda’s Reign, and Is It a Crime, which became a best seller and gave birth to the popular character, Mike Black. Other novels in The Mike Black Saga include;The Indictment of Mike Black, Misunderstood, A Tale of Three Women, Out of Control, and Secrets of War. Roy is also the co-author of Unexpected, a romantic novella with Aja.
Roy was born and raised in The Bronx and currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida where he is working on several projects including, the next installments in The Mike Black Saga: It’s A New Dayand I Used to Love You.
Connect with Roy online: Facebook
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