Amok on Mondays: Guest Jenna Bayley Burke

amok monday guest authorsWhich Disney princess are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?

Funny you should mention Disney…I tend to type my heroines by Disney princess. Yes, really. It’s part of my brainstorming process. Saskia in Caribbean Christmas is Tinkerbell, smitten and flitting about. I think I’m more Belle…and we all want Ariel’s hair. Right?

Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion? 

I’d beat them with my foam roller and plantar fasciitis braces. My posture brace is practically a straight jacket. Physical therapy for the win!

What do you like best about your current work, published or not?

The setting. I love the Caribbean. Okay, so I’ve only been once, briefly. But I loved what I experienced.

Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?

Beauty and the Beast. Oh, and knowing the difference between a Rapunzel and Cinderella theme. Rapunzel discovered who she always was once she was free, Cinderella gets a makeover to see herself in a new way, but retreats.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do with all that free time?

Sleep. That’s where I borrow my writing time from. I’d also volunteer more, like with my boys’ Battle of the Books team, or teach an art class for my wee small girl. I would read, read, read. I bet I would burn through Kindle’s the way I currently burn through laptops.

Jenna Bayley BurkeJenna Bayley-Burke

Caribbean Christmas excerpt –

Caribbean Christmas Jenna Bayley Burke

‘Tis the season for unwrapping the gift of pleasure.

Under the Caribbean Sun, Book 1

When Saskia snags a last-minute ticket home to the Caribbean isle of Anguilla, she intends to surprise her workaholic father and to reconnect over Christmas. When she finds he’s away on business, there’s still plenty to fill her time while she waits. Sailing, snorkeling…and an unexpected, very adult attraction to her girlhood crush.

Joe Prinsen is certain Saskia has returned to the island only to ask for money. He feels it’s time she learns the truth about her father’s depleted financial situation from the man himself. And he intends to make sure she sticks around long enough to hear it.

Except the girl he remembers has matured into a devastatingly sexy woman. She’s taking all his noble intentions and unwrapping them, one by one, until their shared desire is revealed in the warm Caribbean water. Saskia’s only home for Christmas. And once she finds out the secret he’s hiding, she’ll no doubt leave the Caribbean, and him, for good.

“By the time they got their clothes on and made it back to his truck, Joe knew he’d made a critical error.” Read the rest of the excerpt on Jenna’s website.

Product Warnings: The only thing hotter than the tropical sun is the sex—in the surf, on the water, against the bookcase… Readers will be wise to monitor electronic devices, and themselves, for overheating.

Amok on Mondays: Guest author Maggie Jaimeson

amok monday guest authors

I know soooo many interesting writers now that I have to share them with you. Today we have Maggie Jaimeson. I know Maggie from my local Romance Writers of America chapter, the Rose City Romance Writers. Maggie is one of my favorite kinds of writers: not just romantic at heart but smart and savvy too.

Read all the way to the bottom and click on the Rafflecopter icon to a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Maggie’s ETERNITY.

Which is your favorite myth, legend, urban legend, Aesop fable, fairy tale, or superhero, and why?

I must admit I’m a Wonder Woman fan. It was the first time I saw girls/women taking charge and defeating evil.  Because I’m not a kick-ass heroine myself—way too violent—I really loved her lasso of truth as a primary weapon. It wasn’t violent, it simply forced people not to lie. Definitely more my style, though the slicing tiara and cuff links that could protect from bullets were cool.

Which Disney princess are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?

My personality is probably most like Cinderella, the pleaser.  Though as an adult my Cinderella personality is more like the character played by Drew Barrymore in Ever After.  I like the spunk, particularly when she picks up the prince, throws him over her shoulders, and carries him away from the bandits. Go Cinderella!

For hair, from Disney characters, I want the hair of the princess in Sleeping Beauty. It’s long and thick and stays perfect even if you sleep for 100 years.

Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?

I’m definitely the wounded-hero-needs-to-find-a-good-woman-to-be-made whole gal.  It makes for more interesting characters and it tempers the alpha male characteristics that can sometimes run amok in romance stories.

When did you realize you were a writer? What was your inciting incident?

Definitely in 4th grade.  I came in second place in a national essay contest with a piece about patriotism.  Three things made me decide writing was pretty cool. 1) I got money! I think it was $5 for winning. 2) The school had an assembly where I read my essay and everyone clapped and cheered. 3) My parents bragged about it to all our relatives.  My Mom saved that original essay and I still have it tucked away in our safe with other important papers.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do with all that free time?

LOL. I’d become the slug I really am, zoning out on TV shows like the Voice and Project Runway fantasizing about how I woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion?

My laptop. I’d bring up an app like Angry Birds and they would get so caught up in trying to play it they’d forget about the invasion.

What do you like best about your current work, published or not?

I like that it explores the human condition—how we choose to become our best selves.  I think that is a work in progress for all of us.  Whenever I think I’m finally there, I always find something that needs to be improved.

What one question would you want to ask another author, living or dead?

One of my favorite SF writers is Octavia Butler, who died in 2006.  The series that introduced her to me was the Xenogenesis series (now called Lilith’s Brood series): Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago. The series concept is that the last survivors of mankind face a choice: extinction or evolution, the evolution is the birth of a new human race shaped by an alien vision. Later I went back and read some of her earlier works. She wrote about slavery in Kindred, invented a new religion in the Parable series, and even wrote a vampire novel in 2005. All of her novels dealt with race, sexuality, and what it means to be a member of a community.

In interviews, she’d often say she wrote the next book because she didn’t see anything like it already written. I believe her “outsider” status—a black woman writing in a primarily white male genre—gave her a perspective into the human condition that no one else had. The question I’d love to ask her is if the progression of her novels mirrored the progression of her experience of our countries evolution in tolerance and accepting people who are different from one another.

Maggie Jaimeson WordstockABOUT MAGGIE

I spent over 30 years in academia, moving from professor to Department Director and to Dean. There was an eight-year break to work for two software companies in the 1980’s, and I taught part-time at a local college. But I ended up returning to academia full-time where I felt I could make a difference. I ended my career as a Chief Technology Office for a large rural community college district with five campuses. My educational background is in psychology, counseling, computer science, and education. Somehow I found a way to satisfy both my left and right brain and fashioned a career that could do that. Over the last decade of my career my passion was assisting colleges and universities with technology, distance education, open source software, and open education resources. Now I consult on occasional jobs, when something interesting comes up. In the past year, most of those jobs have been overseas.

I am fortunate to now spend the majority of my time journeying into the world of my imagination and writing novels that reflect my passions and my belief that strong women can do anything, that the good guys win in the end, and that love will conquer all.

Contact Maggie:  website | blog | facebook | twitter |

Maggie Jaimeson Eternity-Cover--750hx469wMore about ETERNITY

Living 800 years is like the fountain of youth for some…and for others it’s worse than a death sentence.

Eternity, Inc. is the owner of a virus that allows humans to live up to 800 years–their physical bodies age only one year for every ten years of life. Miki Yokoyama leads a rebel organization known as the Agers. Her goal is to create a counter agent to reintroduce “natural” death, no matter the cost. When Eternity learns of the Ager plan, they send their best agents to infiltrate Miki’s organization and to sabotage any efforts to distribute a counter-virus.

Rohin Chawla and Miki were science partners and passionate lovers when they originally discovered the Eternity virus in Antarctica two hundred years ago. But they separated as enemies. When they meet again, Rohin realizes he must rally his resources to stop the Ager virus or risk the only viable future he sees.

But no one can foresee the extent human treachery will go when there are astronomical profits and world-wide political power at stake. Will Rohin and Miki combine forces against a greater evil, or fight each other over prolonged life or natural death? Their decision will determine who survives—and, ultimately, the outcome of humanity’s future.


I recommend Eternity for anyone who wants a well-written, character-driven science fiction, with a lot of heated romance throughout.” — S.J. Whist, Fantasy Cookie Reviews


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