Today I’d like to welcome romance novelist Liberty Blake. You may have read my interview earlier in the week with Liberty’s daughter, Amanda Torrey, a young adult paranormal author. (If you didn’t, be sure to check it out!) Liberty’s interview is below. Read about her new Boundless Billionaires series, her take on the supernatural, motherhood, and more.
Your Boundless Billionaires series is a new contemporary series about men with money and the women who love them in spite of it. Each book in the series is a stand alone novel. How did you get the idea for this series?
We love to read about people with money. The tabloids make a living by publishing stories about the rich and famous. The most popular stories are about a celebrity’s downfall or their redemption. We grew up on the Disney version of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Women who are rescued by rich and powerful men. What we don’t see in those movies is that the woman has rescued the hero from loneliness and the death spiral his humanity has taken. While the hero rescues the heroine from the drudgery of scrubbing floors, she restores his spirit and his soul.These stories are still the basis for many of the romances we read today. I love them! I hope I show independent women who love the man for who he is inside. If he gave all his money away to charity and worked along beside her on a subsistence farm for their food, she would still love him. Because she fell in love with the man and not the trappings of his wealth. I decided to write a stand-alone novel series so that the reader doesn’t have to read the books in any special order. They may be connected through friendship or blood, but they do not have a continuing story which you must read each book in order to follow.
What are some of the potential conflicts that can come up when you have a man who is a billionaire falling in love with someone who doesn’t have nearly as much money as he does?
Whenever you have a hero who is uber-rich and a heroine who is monetarily challenged you have a built in conflict. The hero must always be aware that he is a target for gold-diggers and the heroine must always be worried, at least on some level, that everyone will believe she is a gold digger. To be able to unite these two people they must have more to overcome than their doubts about the worthiness of the other.
Tell us about the characters of Cassidy and Theron in The Counterfeit Bride.
Theron is a billionaire, while Cassidy owns a bar in a small Texas town, but basically that is a surface difference. Underneath the trappings of wealth they are far more similar than different. They both grew up in dysfunctional family situations, were willing to go to extraordinary lengths to help others, and didn’t want to get married to anyone, let alone each other.
Tell us about your romantic short story Spirit Board. Are supernatural subjects an interest of yours?
Spirit Board is a short story, or novella, about Sara Jane Marafae. In ancient times her many times great grandmother, a witch had fallen in love with a fae (fairie). It wasn’t until an angry Fairie Queen exposed the fae for who he really was, that Sara Jane’s ancestor realized that she had been seduced by Oberon himself. As a result of the Fairie Queen’s curse all of the witch’s decedents are females who are destined to never marry. (This is all back story which will be revealed in future books.)
Sara Jane’s story begins on Samhain (Halloween). She gets home from work with barely enough time to shower and meet her family for their usual ceremony and celebration to find her house has been invaded by her former roommate. She meets the sexy Luke when she opens the door and falls into his arms.
The story is filled with characters, from Sara Jane’s nonagenarian grandmother, to the Captain, a former sea captain ghost who watches over Sara Jane.
I love the supernatural. I have been a working psychic and I have lived in many haunted houses. I was born on All Soul’s Day, which I think accounts for a lot and I am a great believer in Karma. I have never had to seek revenge on anyone. I just sit back and watch the show as retribution befalls them.
At what age did you first get interested in writing?
I think it probably started before I learned how to read. I was always changing the ending of the fairy tales my grandmother read to me. I always thought I could make them better. Then I went to school and they gave me books where Dick and Jane ran and the dog had the ball. They were b-o-r-i-n-g. I knew I could write a better story than that. All I had to do was learn how to spell. When I was nine I complained to my grandmother that a toy typewriter wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t write a real story on that, so she got me a cute little Smith Carona portable typewriter. It was baby blue and made me feel like a real writer.
As a mother, in what ways did you try to encourage your children to develop a love of books and writing when they were growing up?
Books! I gave them lots of books. I shared my love of Trixie Belden and all her friends in Sleepy Hollow with all my girls.
What is it like having your daughter Amanda sharing the writing and publishing journey with you? Were you surprised she became an author or did you expect it?
Amanda and I attend writing workshops and conferences together. It is wonderful having someone so close to share the excitement of a good workshop with. She is also very good at supporting me. She’s always telling me to shut off the television and get back to writing. I always believed Amanda would be a writer, even when she did not. While she was still in elementary school she wrote “They Called it Dare Mountain” which was published in an anthology titled Young Authors of America by Random House. Amanda is a very talented woman and talent like that cannot be kept hidden forever.
In what ways do you help one another with tasks such as book promotion, networking and critiquing? Do you each have strengths that you’re able to share with each other?
I am very good at promoting others. I am also a great content editor; I catch all the little mistakes that irritate a reader. Amanda is the grammarian and a super-duper speller. She is also very good at researching the latest foibles of publishing. Sometimes we talk about what we are doing with our characters or out plots, but in general writing is a solitary art form and we like to do our own brainstorming. Neither one of us is very good about incorporating another person’s ideas into our work. We put a new meaning to solitary writing.
What was it like for you to read Amanda’s Teen Fury books? Are there any scenes, lines or characters that you read and thought “That’s so Amanda,” knowing her as well as you do?
The stories are so good they bring me to tears! Felicia’s mother is patient, kind, and understanding. She is an outstanding mother and dedicated to making her child’s life as good as she can. She welcomes all of Felicia’s friends with open arms and treats them like her own. She would go to the ends of the earth and back again for her daughter. That is Amanda.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on The Misplaced Bride, Book 2 of the Boundless Billionaires series.
The Counterfeit Bride: Texas rancher and bar owner Cassidy Flynn is shocked to learn the bride’s name in an upcoming high society wedding – Cassiopeia Dolmides. Cassidy is a woman of secrets; the deepest is the identity she was born with and thought she had escaped long ago. If this bride is impersonating Cassidy, what trouble will that cause Cassidy and her infant son? Greek tycoon Theron Christofides needs to gain possession of Dolmides Cruise Lines and the little Greek island where it left a shipwrecked eyesore. A lot of people are at risk without his intervention. Old man Dolmides will sell on one condition: Theron must marry Dolmides’ illegitimate daughter. Seeing no other way to rescue the island’s people, Theron agrees to sacrifice himself and his future. As Theron stands at the altar with his bride-to-be, a fiery-haired woman in snakeskin boots and a cowboy hat interrupts their vows by calling his bride a fraud. In order for the wedding to continue, Theron must convince Cassidy Flynn to drop her lawsuit. Can he withstand Cassidy’s allure while he gains her cooperation? Or will they both be consumed by the fire of desire?
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Spirit Board: Preschool teacher Sara Jane Marafae is a descendent of Oberon the fairie king and a witch. As a result of her bloodline, Sara can see and communicate with spirits. In order to capture the head of a drug ring, hunky undercover agent Luke McGraw is sent to a party at Sara’s house. Trouble erupts when Sara’s ex-roommate gets her hands on the Marafae’s heirloom Spirit Board.
Christmas Spirit: Cross a Christmas phobic male with a caterer with Christmas bells on…can she ignite the Christmas spirit in him?
What the hell had just happened? One minute he was in heaven tasting the sweet nectar of the gods. The next the little vixen was running down the subway stairs. Harry pulled his wits together and gave chase. The turnstile wouldn’t budge. He was about to jump it when a voice said, “I wouldn’t if I was you. It’s a serious crime to steal from the Commonwealth. Buy a pass if you want to ride the train.”
Harry turned to find a T officer standing directly behind him. The man pointed a nightstick toward a row of machines. “You can get one over there in the Charlie machines.”
Card in hand, he was back at the turnstile in time to see the train Elle had jumped on pulling away from the station.
Damn. He didn’t know her last name.
Sexy computer tycoon Harrison Steele hates Christmas and has banned it in his offices. Noelle Barnes, a sandwich delivery girl, was born on Christmas and has a personal mission to spread holiday cheer. Harrison goes ballistic over her elf outfit and can’t wait to get it off her. He has no idea that Noelle is about to bring out his inner Santa.
Liberty Blake lives in New England in a large communal home with several of her children and five grandchildren, four dogs, and five cats. It is a wonderfully hectic family home. Liberty began writing stories on a toy typewriter that was replaced with a real typewriter when she was nine. She has slowed down at times, but she has never stopped writing. Liberty loves traveling, long walks on the beach, and looking at handsome men.