TNA: Hi, Felice, I’m so glad to have you here with us today. Let’s start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Felice: Ok! I live in NYC with my husband, a daughter who is graduating college this year and a son who is graduating high school. I work full time as an attorney specializing in labor and employment discrimination law. With the boring pedigree out of the way, I drink coffee all day, look forward to my glass of wine at night and have yet to pass up a really good sale on a handbag. Or another pair of black pants.
TNA: So many authors in the M/M genre have said they found their way to publication via FanFic, and to M/M by slashing some of their favorite characters. What led you to the M/M genre?
Felice: Should I duck and run since I’ve never read any Fanfic? LOL Before I came to M/M I’d never heard of it. I started out reading Regency romances like Julia Quinn and Grace Burrowes. I always joked in my next life I’m going to come back as a Duchess. I began writing Regencies and have 3 that one day when I find the time, I’ll actually publish. One day I was browsing on NetGalley, as I also reviewed, and decided to try something different. It only took one book, and I was hooked.
TNA: Do you recall the first M/M romance you ever read? What was it, and what was it about the book that left such a lasting impression on you?
Felice: It was one of the Market Garden series by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov. I think If it Fornicates. I was intrigued by the character development and the emotional component between the two men. I’d always been told my writing was too emotional and my men shared their feelings unrealistically. In the M/M genre, I found writers who allowed their male characters to express themselves, and I embraced it.
TNA: What’s the one book you’ve read in the past year that, when you finished it, you thought, “Wow. I wish I’d written that?” Speaking as a writer rather than a reader now, what makes it such a well crafted book?
Felice: Oh Good Lord, I’ve read over 100 books in the past year. Just one?? It has to be a Josh Lanyon book. When I found his books, I thought to myself, “Now that’s writing.” There’s something about his use of language and the way he crafts a story, that draws me in every single time. He inspires me to write better every time. One of my favorites is The Dickens With Love. But so many more….
TNA: Let’s chat a bit about your newest novel from Loose Id, A Walk Through Fire. What would you sayis Ash and Drew’s chemistry? What attracts Drew, who’s always believed himself to be straight, to Ash?
Felice: Ash is probably the most complicated character I’ve ever written. He suffers from such self-hatred and guilt it hurt my heart to write him (Yes, I do get a little too involved with my characters). He sees Drew, a sweet and good man and thinks he doesn’t deserve to love him. Yet deep down he’s as caring and loving as Drew, but suppresses it. He also wants Drew to stand up for himself and be strong against his family and friends. Drew was at first fascinated by Ash, who didn’t give a damn about what anyone thought of him, yet he sees through Ash’s man-whore ways to the innate goodness in Ash. They have a push pull, love-hate at first because Ash kept pushing Drew away. To Drew’s credit, he wouldn’t let Ash succumb to the guilt and let him know he’s a man worth fighting for.
TNA: What is it that you love about the gay-for-you/out-for-you/bi-for-you theme in M/M romance? What are some of the things you think are most important to help make the relationship believable for readers?
Felice: It’s funny that the first two books I’ve written have been in that theme, since I never specifically set out to write them that way. I think it’s the awakening of the senses in the so called straight man. It’s probably the reason why I love reading and writing a first kiss; it’s the wonder and the new emotions the man has to comes to grips with. how he handles it and the world around him makes for a potentially amazing read.
To make it believable in my book I think it has to be a slow build up. I personally would find it hard to believe in insta love or lust in a gay for you. Even if it’s out for you, there should be some hesitancy.
TNA: If you were casting the movie version of A Walk Through Fire, which actors/models/celebrities would you choose to play Drew and Ash?
Felice: Funny, I’ve never thought of it. Probably Matt Bomer as Drew and Ian Somerhalder as Ash. Both gorgeous men. Why not—Aim high I always say.
TNA: Will you share an excerpt from the book with us?
Felice: Of course
Blurb: Years after running away from an abusive foster family, Asher Davis still inwardly struggles with the guilt of leaving his foster brothers behind. He’s climbed to unimaginable heights as a ruthless, high-powered attorney, creating a life of power and control. He takes whatever and whoever he wants.
Blaming himself for the death of his parents, Dr. Drew Klein retreats into a shell of loneliness, merely going through the motions of life. After a disastrous, short-lived marriage, Drew decides to leave his lucrative medical practice to set up a clinic for abused young men and women. The decision has more repercussions than Drew could ever imagine when the dark and sensual Ash Davis volunteers to help.
Although Drew isn’t gay, Ash is inexplicably drawn to him. He vows to simply bed him and forget him like he’s done with every other man. However, Drew’s sweet and caring nature and unexpected passion stun and frighten Ash, who questions his right to any happiness at all. And when Ash befriends an abused young man who unwittingly draws the clinic into danger, threatening Drew’s safety and that of his beloved grandmother, Ash discovers that there is nothing he won’t sacrifice to protect the love he never thought he’d find.
Excerpt: “Have a drink, Drew, and tell me why you’re here.” Ash sipped his vodka and stared at him over the rim of his glass.
“No, thanks, I’m driving. But I do want to talk to you.” The man was a study in contrasts. Drew couldn’t think of a time he hadn’t seen Ash perfectly dressed, every hair in place, looking like he’d stepped out of a men’s fashion magazine.
Tonight however…well he looked off-kilter. Though he still had on his clothes from earlier, that white button down shirt and black slacks, the shirt was wrinkled and unbuttoned lower than he’d ever seen. Dark stubble shadowed along his jaw, and his hair lay unkempt and disheveled. Drew shifted on the sofa. “Look, I know this may sound stupid, but my grandmother was concerned about you, so she asked me to stop by and check up on you.”
“And of course you do everything your nana says.”
Drew’s face flamed. “Fuck you, Davis.”
A tiny smirk hit the corner of Ash’s lips. “What’s the matter, Doc? The truth hurts?”
The bastard. After all the nice things his grandmother had said about him, how she’d worried about him, this was his response? To act like the snide sarcastic son of a bitch he was at their first meeting? How dare he treat her concern as if it were nothing? And to think he’d actually thought they were friends. “What the hell do you know about the truth, huh? No one knows anything about you; you have no friends, no lover.” He stood, ready to leave. “No wonder you’re all alone. No one cares about you. You aren’t worth it.” Shit, he’d never spoken so cruelly to anyone. But then again, no one had ever gotten under his skin like Ash Davis.
Like a snake uncoiled, Ash jumped off the sofa and grabbed him by the shoulder. “Take that back.”
“What’s the matter, Davis? The truth hurts?” He mimicked Ash’s earlier words to him, and saw a flare of anger gleam in those colorless, glittering eyes.
“You fucking bastard. Who are you to say I’m not worth it, that no one cares about me? I have friends. People like me. Don’t you ever say I’m not worth it. I matter, goddamn you. I fucking matter.”
Ash tried to grab onto him, but Drew wrenched away and took off for the door, speaking over his shoulder.
“People don’t like you, Ash, they want to fuck you because you’re beautiful. That’s not liking. That’s not a friendship. How many relationships have you ever had with another man? You’ve never even had a boyfriend or a permanent relationship have you, because you have to have a heart. You have to care about someone. How can you value someone else in your life when you don’t even value yourself?”
TNA: Would you like to share some information on any of your current WIPs and upcoming releases with us?
Felice: Certainly! The second book in the series is going to be Luke’s book. All the men will return, including Nana, who has become a fan favorite. We see Luke struggle to push himself through his self imposed loneliness to accept love and reunite with his foster brother, Ash. The release date is February 24th, 2015. I am currently writing the third book, which is Brandon’s story. I have also decided to dip my toes into the self publishing world and will be releasing a book entitled Memories of the Heart, around Valentine’s Day as well. That book is the story of a ruthless doctor who must come to terms with his aging grandmother’s dementia, and a man who has left his life behind to start fresh but isn’t willing to share his past or his heart.
TNA: Thanks so much for being here with us today, Felice. Will you tell us where we can find you on the internet?
Felice: The best place to find me is Facebook. I’m usually on-line either through my phone or on the computer.
The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED