Good morning. It’s Meet and Greet Monday!
With us today is Romance Author, S.J. Maylee.
So confession time, S.J. … your daily routine is really eating bon-bons, drinking wine and being pampered with cabana boys rubbing your shoulders right? I’m sure of it, but go ahead and tell us … what is a typical day in the life of S.J. Maylee like?
Give me a minute. You’ve given me a lovely day dream, lol. I’m simply a work from home mom. For the most part, my day starts between 6 and 7am. On good days, I workout before I have breakfast. Once my boys settle into an activity, I sit at my dining room table, check into social media, set-up a blog post if needed, and open the work in progress. I try and get a sold hour of writing/editing in before the evil day job butts in. From that point until the end of the day, I get back to my WIP as often as I can. At the end of the day, I usually make time to read for fun. I have to mix in a lot of mom and wife responsibilities too. My days move crazy fast.
Tell us, what’s the first thought that comes to your head when you read the following words –
Romance … A must have
Spring Break … Shameless fun
Margaritas … Yum
Alpha Males … Double Yum!
Game of Thrones … Gross, but I can’t not watch
What is your favorite junk food?
Chips and dip. I could eat the whole bag and I might even lick the tub once it’s empty, which is why I rarely buy them.
What do you like to do for fun and relax?
The best way for me to relax is to sit in a cozy chair with a cup of coffee and a book. Bliss. I also enjoy time in my garden. I like to compare weeding to editing, lol. Both kind of suck and they’re both worth it. Gardening is also a place I can relax into my thoughts and work out plot problems.
What is your guiltiest pleasure? (examples: annoying song, a tv show, candy, soak in hot bath for hours)
80s movies. Of course I love Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, but I also love Working Girl, Baby Boom, and most importantly Steel Magnolias.
We’ll sell t-shirts sayin’ “I SLAPPED OUISER BOUDREAUX!” <- I want that t-shirt. 🙂
Flannel jammies or silk?
Both! Not at the same time, lol. Silk for sleeping and flannel for when I’m reading with my cup of coffee.
Wine or something stronger?
I so enjoy wine. It’s soothing. I also enjoy a good beer.
If we were to come over to your house for dinner, what dish would you make us?
I’d probably make my homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Mangia! Mangia!
Who is your male celebrity crush?
Daniel Craig is so dreamy.
Who is your female celebrity crush?
I adore Natalie Portman.
Where have you traveled that you’d love to return? What made it so special the first time?
Italy. My husband and I spent about a week there before we had our boys, such an amazing experience. However, we didn’t get down to Calabria where I have family. I’d love to go back and meet them. I’ve heard my great aunt’s cooking is phenomenal.
What three words best describe you?
My first thoughts were passionate, introverted, and loyal.
Paranormal or Sci-Fi preference?
Both please. I actually have WIPs in both genres. Many of my early childhood movie watching memories involve the original Star Wars trilogy and I still enjoy reading from that series and many others in both genres.
What was the last book you read that completely wow’d you and knocked your socks off?
Cara Bristol’s Breeder series. So good. I can’t wait for the last book in the series. She’s talked recently about plans for a new series set in the same world. I can’t wait for that either.
If you had the chance to meet one author – past or present – who would it be? Why?
Cherise Sinclair. I’m obsessed with her books. I’d love to sit and chat with her about her characters and then talk her ear off about her writing process.
Did you always want to be an author?
No, actually. Well, I’ve always wanted to make up stories, but I never thought I should write them down. That’s something my brother did. When I caught the bug to write a few years ago, it was like the world shifted into place and I could see my whole life clearly.
If you weren’t writing, what other career choice would you have pursued?
In my evil day job, I’m a Project Manager, but that simply pays the bills. I’d drop it in a heartbeat if I could. I’ve studied dance all my life and even danced on scholarship with a Chicago Dance company. My knees had other plans though. I’ve since found Nia. It draws from martial arts, dance arts, and the healing arts. Its theme is dancing in your body’s way. Similar to aerobics, it’s choreographed movement and it’s quite the workout. I earned my white belt a few years ago which allows me to teach Nia. I love it.
Writing can be a crazy business. How do you stay positive within the craziness?
It is crazy and terribly lonely sometimes. In that loneliness, my insecurities tend to grow. My writer friends help a lot, but I have to force out the negative noise and get back to my characters. It’s with them that I remember why I do it.
No matter the story, where do you always draw inspiration from when you begin each story?
Music provides me with lots of inspiration. I’m always listening for that one lyric that can inspire a whole book. Plus, it can help me reconnect with a character. I sit back in my chair, close my eyes, and let the music take over. Once I let go, I can usually start seeing things from my character’s perspective and then my fingers fly over the keys.
I adore the development of a story. Following people while they fall in love is a fascinating experience. Seeing a character change over time is kind of an obsession of mine.
Simon Young, the hero from my new release, TAKING COURAGE, is a loyal man who enjoys helping others to find their way. So, you’d think he’d be over the moon when I put Janna Hall in his path. She’s a new submissive in need of his guiding hand. He was extremely pleased, at first.
When Janna forgets to tell him one pretty dang important thing, it hits Simon in a spot where he’s still healing. I know I’m an evil author. However, this was my way to see what they were both made of.
Lucky for Simon, Janna doesn’t remain crumpled from his stern reprimand. She finds the courage to go after what she wants. What happens next tests Simon and pushes him to find the courage to not only see Janna for the whole person she is, but also to forgive her mistake and open his heart to love.
TAKING COURAGE is a story of temptation, discipline, courage, and releasing your inner demons so you can let love in.
Simon Young is one hot hero and I hope you’ll fall in love with him too.
TAKING COURAGE BLURB:
Janna’s ready to make over her life and get out from under the controlling thumb of her father. She doesn’t want another failed arranged marriage. She’s ready to do whatever it takes for the career she wants, enter the lifestyle she craves, and to earn the trust and love of the man that has captured her heart, but heartbreak and career hiccups seem to be her destiny.
Simon’s still recovering after his last submissive lied her way into his life. He’s not ready for Janna and how she pushes against his prejudices. He needs to decide if he’s willing to lose her or if he’ll fight for her love and submission.