We are really happy to welcome author Toni Blake here at Book Lovers Inc. today. Whisper Falls, Book 3 of Toni’s highly acclaimed “Destiny Series” is now available and has been greeted with rave reviews! Please give Toni a warm welcome. And be sure to check out the end of the post. *wink*
BLI: Toni can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Toni: Let’s see – I’ve been writing since I was ten years old and always knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I’m a television addict. My secret ambition is to be a fashion correspondent on the red carpet. And I’m a balance-loving Libra. How’s that for a few random facts? ; )
BLI: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Toni: I write full time, starting around 8 AM and stopping sometime between 6 and 8 in the evening – but along the way I deal with email, eat lunch, and sometimes take a nap. And I’m definitely a planner.
BLI: On your website we found your wonderful photo album about your various vacations. Which was your favorite so far and which is your dream destination? A place you always wanted to go but couldn’t so far?
Toni: Glad you enjoyed the photos! I have three fave places so far: Italy, Hawaii, and the Canadian Rockies. Sorry I can’t narrow it down any further than that ; ) And there are so many places I still hope to go, but the main one is England. Talks for that are currently in the works, so fingers crossed ; )
BLI: Your Destiny series novels are all set in the small-town destiny. Why did you set them in a small-town like Destiny? Are you a small-town kinda girl yourself? What is it that draws people back into the shelter a small-town offers them?
Toni: I grew up in a small town, so it’s a very natural setting for me. And I also feel that right now in this fast-paced, technology-based, post 9-11 world, that many people are beginning to hunger for simpler times and simpler ways of life. Although there’s plenty of action and passion in Destiny, I do hope that maybe it transports readers to a simpler sort of life that they might be yearning for right now or can at least find comforting and relaxing in some way.
BLI: Your novels are always fun to read and never fail to make you giggle. Is it hard for you to bring the right amount of humor in your novels or is it just the way you are?
Toni: I’m delighted to hear this. And the humor pretty much just happens naturally – it’s probably the thing I have to put the least amount of effort into when writing.
BLI: What can we expect of Whisper Falls?
Tessa Sheridan came crawling back home to Destiny after her big city interior design career crumbled. Now not only must she struggle to make ends meet, she has to contend with a biker next door and the roar of Harleys shattering the serenity of her cabin in the woods. Worse still, her sexy bad boy neighbor makes her feel breathless and weak—and shy, petite Tessa knows what a major mistake it would be to get involved with someone so…dangerous.
They say that former teen rebel Lucky Romo has a dark, secret past—that he’s trouble with a capital “T.” Still, Tessa feels all tingly when she sees how well he fills out a pair of tight jeans. And when Lucky invites her into his world, she knows the intense heat sparking between them could lead her somewhere wild and wonderful…and, yes, dangerous!
BLI: Your heroine Tessa Sheridan is suffering from Crohn’s Disease. This is a life long illness which so far has no complete cure. Tell us a bit about this disease and why you chose it for your heroine?
Toni: Crohn’s and related ailments are of personal concern to me as my doctors tell me I have all the symptoms of Crohn’s, just not the diagnosis itself. I feel very fortunate not to have the disease, but I can also relate to what its sufferers endure. Readers can learn more about why I chose to pursue this storyline in the Author’s Note section on the WHISPER FALLS page of my website: http://www.toniblake.com/whisperfalls.html
BLI: We can imagine that your heroine didn’t have an easy life. What can you tell us about her? What keeps her going? How would you describe Tessa?
Toni: I can tell you from firsthand experience that a chronic illness leaves you two choices: you let it rule your life – or you eventually decide NOT to ; ) For Tessa, it’s a matter of will. Her disease has stolen a lot from her, but now she’s at a point where she refuses to let it take any more, a place where she’s ready to fight back and live life on her own terms, as much as humanly possible. Readers will find that Tessa relies largely on looking for the joy in her life, in both great ways and small, and it’s something I have in common with her.
BLI: Your hero Lucky, is the brother of Mike your hero from book 2. Lucky is a biker with tattoos and the bad boy image that accompanies those. Tell us a bit about Lucky and what we can find beneath his bad boy image?
Toni: Well, I think of Lucky as the baddest bad boy I’ve ever written – which is saying a lot. But there are reasons he ended up the way he did, and he’s cleaned up his life since those times. To say much about what’s underneath Lucky’s bad boy exterior would be to give away a lot about the story, but let’s just say that, at heart, he’s ready to be tamed by the right woman.
BLI: Will there be more books in this series?
Toni: Yes, the series is currently contracted for six books. Book 4, HOLLY LANE, will come out next November and is a Christmas story.
BLI: What is next on your schedule? Anything else we should keep our eyes open for?
Toni: The above-mentioned HOLLY LANE : )
I also write erotica as Lacey Alexander, and this coming May will see the release of my first book in “Lacey’s” new H.O.T. Cops series, BAD GIRL BY NIGHT.
BLI: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Hmm, let’s see.
1) People tell me my books “win them over” to things they don’t expect to like. For instance, some historical readers have told me they never liked contemporaries until they read mine. Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books didn’t expect to like reading about a chronically ill heroine, but in the end, she did. Many readers who don’t typically enjoy sex scenes tell me they enjoy mine anyway ; ) Which is all very gratifying, by the way!
2) I like to think I put a fresh spin on the small town series by giving my characters pretty deep dilemmas and also by making the books super sexy – these aren’t your grandma’s small town romances ; )
3) My books have a little bit of everything: passion, humor, angst, quaint settings, friendship, alpha males, simple lifestyles, heartwarming relationships – pretty much everything from hot sex to apple pie : )
All you have to do is ask Toni a question or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
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Giveaway ends on Thursday January 13th and we will announce the winner on Friday.