Paranormal Erotic Romance
Tonya: Readers love to know more about their authors. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Poppy: First off, thanks for having me Tonya! I’m excited to be here. As for me, I’m known as a “sassy Southern lady” and I blame it all on the amazing women in my family. Okay, I suppose the guys get some credit too, but my mom, grandma and aunts have taught me to speak my mind and be loyal to friends and family. In my spare time, you’ll usually find me outside tinkering in our garden or inside curled up with a paranormal romance.
Tonya: I love working in my gardens, too, especially when I get stuck in my writing. Do you have a day job?
Poppy: Writing is my day job…and night job…and any possible moment in between job!
Tonya: Some of us have things we do to get into the writing frame of mind like music, or drinks. Do you have anything special you do to get into the writing mood?
Poppy: It really varies depending on the book. Most of the time, I like it quiet. There are occasions though when I’ll turn on a Pandora music channel to fit the mood of a scene. I also do that if I’m cranky. It’s hard for me to be in a bad mood when Bubblegum Oldies are playing!
Tonya: Where do you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?
Poppy: I always carry a notebook with me to jot down ideas. Most of those are one-liners. A piece of dialogue, perhaps, or maybe a setting or person that I find intriguing. Ideas come from all around me, but usually from some little thing that sticks in my head and I say “What if…”
Tonya: Are you a daytime writer, night time writer, and do you have to be alone to write?
Poppy: I’m a daytime writer. I turn into a pumpkin at night! LOL. I generally prefer to be alone to write, but I sometimes do “sprints” with writing friends where we have a chat window open and power-write for a certain amount of time together. It seems to help to know someone else is putting words to page right there with you.
Tonya: What advice would you give to new authors?
Poppy: There’s a ton of advice out there but I’d say two things really come to mind. One, follow your heart. Write the story you want to read and not what you think will sell. Two, make sure you think about the fact that a writing career is more than just sitting down and writing a book. It’s a business and you have to consider marketing, accounting, and legal, oh my. Make sure you have your bases covered before you dive into the deep end!
Tonya: Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?
Poppy: I have the character image in mind first. In fact, I have most everything down first. LOL. I find pictures of characters, settings, clothes, anything that will help me be able to describe a fully realized world. I don’t want to be in the middle of a scene and have to stop and say “what does his bedroom look like?”
Tonya: What attracts you most about men?
Poppy: I think men are fascinating creatures! Now, if we’re talking looks, I’m a shoulder gal. I like a fella with broad shoulders that I can snuggle up against. But the mind…that’s where it’s at. I love to laugh and I love someone who can have a good debate with me. Give me a smart one any day of the week.
Tonya: We’re dying to hear about your latest book. What can you tell us without spoiling the storyline?
Poppy: Dayton is a human who finds out he’s the mate of a tiger shifter—who happens to be his best friend’s big brother. He’s in for a bumpy ride because he’s just sassy enough to say “Oh really? I’m your mate? Prove it!” He doesn’t go down easy. *wink*
Tonya: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Poppy: Thanks for all your support! I love to hear from my readers so feel free to track me down on my website or through other social media. I’m usually up to something!
Tonya: What is your favorite night time snack?
Poppy: I’m not a big snacker at night, but when I do, it’s usually fruit of some sort. Afternoons are my weak time.
Tonya: Do you like toppings on your ice cream?
Poppy: I don’t like toppings, but I like stuff *in* my ice cream. Like Oreos. Oh yeah. Oreo ice cream…hmm, I might have to go get a milk shake now.
Tonya: What’s your favorite meal - Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc?
Poppy: Southern Fried Cookin’! Or anything my dad grills. I can’t grill for anything, but he’s a master!
Dayton Whitmore injures his arm playing basketball with his lion-shifter friends, and his best friend asks Dayton to check on her estranged brother Hart while he’s in Atlanta visiting a specialist. Though Dayton and Hart were never close, he grudgingly agrees.
Banishment from his pride meant Hart Sherman could never see his family again. His liger heritage—a tiger mother and lion father—was a thorn in his alpha father’s side. He always planned to go back for Dayton, the man he knows is his mate, but he uses his career as an entertainment attorney as an excuse to avoid risking Dayton’s rejection. When Dayton shows up unannounced on his doorstep, Hart wants nothing more than to claim him.
Knowing what it means to be a lion’s mate, Dayton isn’t in any hurry to make a lifetime commitment. To convince Dayton he’s serious, Hart must come to terms with the circumstances of his birth—and find a place in the pride for them both.
He growled at Dayton, so Dayton did the smart thing and took a quick step back.
“What happened to you?” Hart’s voice was low and dangerous and matched the glare in his eyes.
“Oh, this? Some random thing where I hit a basketball hoop pole thingy and messed up my shoulder. It’s not that big of a deal.”
Hart grabbed him by the good shoulder and pulled him closer. “You smell like….”
“A sweat factory. Yeah, I know. You do realize it’s like a hundred degrees outside. I know your nose is all sensitive and stuff, but I can’t help sweating. Now I know why they call this place Hotlanta. Sheesh.”
Hart sniffed again. “No, you smell like them.”
Them. Hart’s family. The ones he wasn’t allowed to see anymore. “Oh.”
Hart pulled him inside the apartment. Decorated in all black and white, it could have been in some magazine for modern interior design.
Dayton hated it.
Before he could voice his opinion, another massive itching attack struck. “Oh fuck me.”
Before he could voice his opinion, another massive itching attack struck. “Oh fuck me.”
He pulled away from Hart and found the nearest doorway. He rubbed his back against it with a whimper.
Hart stared and blinked once or twice, but Dayton couldn’t focus on that. All he knew was that if his back didn’t stop this incessant itching, he was going to lose what was left of his mind.
Hart walked toward him, a puzzled frown forming on his face.
Dayton was tempted to stop so the little disapproving lines between Hart’s eyes would disappear, but the doorframe was doing exactly what he needed. He ignored the strange impulse and continued to make a fool out of himself by rubbing against it.
When Hart reached his side, he spun Dayton around and jerked his shirt up. “You’re rubbing your skin raw.”
“It itches. It won’t stop.”
Hart lowered his shirt again and slid the brace aside.
And then, heaven.
He scratched Dayton’s back.
“Oh, oh my God. Please don’t stop. Right there. No, a little to the left. Oh. Oh. There. Oh fuck, that’s wonderful.”
Hart ended the back scratch with a run of his large hand down Dayton’s spine. “They aren’t taking very good care of their pet.”
Dayton sighed in contentment as the itching stopped for a blessed moment. Then he realized what Hart had said. “I’m not their pet.”
Hart humphed. “Tawny assured me you were well.”
“I am well. Almost. Soon as I have this—” Dayton paused and waved his hand over his bad shoulder. “—whatever it is to make my shoulder better, I’ll be good as new. Accidents happen, you know? It wasn’t their fault. You remember what it was like. Sometimes you guys forget your own strength.”
Dayton looked up, and Hart stared down at him with his black eyes gleaming. His face became a blank mask, the one Dayton remembered all too well.
He crossed his arms over his chest as his voice became even lower. “They did this to you?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say did exactly.”
Hart grabbed Dayton’s chin and forced his head up. “Then what exactly would you say?”
“Look, it was a basketball game. They needed another player and asked me to jump in. I did. I got body checked. And can you let go of my face? You’re making me uncomfortable.”
Hart immediately dropped his hand.
Dayton checked to see if Hart had left a finger-shaped indention on his cheek. Damn shifter strength.
They stared for a long moment, and Dayton fidgeted.
“So, looks like that whole lawyer gig is paying off for you.” For a random subject change, it wasn’t his best effort.
Hart shrugged. “I do okay.”
“So is it true you’re the lawyer for that new hip-hop boy band? ’Cause I gotta tell you, they’re pretty amazing. Um, not that I really like boy bands or anything, but you know how the girls are. They always have that stuff playing, and it’s really catchy, so I find myself singing along. But hey, I don’t mind singing along with those guys, so it’s got to count for something, right?”
His second random subject wasn’t any better than his first.
“Yes, I am,” Hart answered. “I’d forgotten how much you like to talk. You smell like them.”
“Yeah, buddy, you’ve said that already. And I guess that’s bugging you, so I’ll just head on back home. It was good to see you.” Dayton nodded. Mission accomplished.
Except Hart didn’t seem to agree. He pulled Dayton back to him, and damned if this whole push-pull thing wasn’t getting on Dayton’s nerves. Hart wrapped his arms around Dayton’s chest and pinned him in place. “Don’t go yet.”
Dayton closed his eyes as he waited for his shoulder to throb with the sudden movement, but it didn’t happen. He opened one eye as he looked down at Hart’s large hands gently holding him. Hart had never been this touchy-feely with him. In fact, the liger rarely touched anyone. Maybe it was just a pretense to feel closer to his family. Something about that whole “smelling like the pride” business.
Hart began taking slow steps backward and pulled Dayton along with him. He began a purring rumble in his chest that sent shivers down Dayton’s spine. The good kind of shivers. Except not. Because this was his best friend’s brother, and he shouldn’t be having good tingles where Hart was concerned.
“Hart? Um, not sure what you’re doing here.”
Hart nuzzled his nose into Dayton’s hair. “Don’t like you smelling like them. Never have.”
Wait. What? Dayton’s mind floundered. “Wait. What?”