I was lucky enough to chat with Natalya Parks and Brooke Johnson this week. It was wonderful to meet them and I loved the opportunity to ask about some things I've been wondering about.
EEM: Natalya, What inspired you to write your first book? And how much of the book is realistic?
NP: “The Need to Touch” began as one of Brooke’s stories. She started working on it and asked me to join her. I think the storyline is realistic and very plausible. Ben is based on one of Brooke’s friends from high school.
EEM: Brooke, Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
BJ: Yes, young love is berated a lot in our society. I want them to realize that it is possible for young love to make it. I want the readers to see that opposites do attract.
EEM: Natalya, Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
NP: My favorite author is J. R. R. Tolkien. The amount of work he put into creating Middle Earth and its inhabitants amazes me. The amount of back story he created for “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” is astounding. I can’t begin to fathom the amount of time and effort it took.
EEM: Natalya again, What bores you in a book?
NP: I don’t like it when there is a long buildup to an event in a story and when you finally get to the event it adds very little tension to the story. It makes me think is that it? I just read all those pages for a few paragraphs of tension. That’s usually when I put the book down and finally go to bed.
EEM: The next few questions are for Brooke. Do you pay attention to literary criticism?
BJ: As a writer I don’t have much choice. I try not to let it bother me. When something is brought to my attention I fix it and continue on. I have learned as a writer and a reader that people are not always going to like your work.
EEM: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
BJ: I used to teach 11th grade literature so I’d probably go back to that.
EEM: What do you need someone to invent right away?
BJ: A cloning machine so I’d have two of me. J
EEM: And last, for both of you: What do you appreciate most in your writing partnership with Brooke/Natalya?
NP: Brooke writes quickly which pushes me to write more. She’s a very good friend and we have a lot of fun working together.
BJ: That we work well together. She is my best friend and I think that she helps me grow as a writer. She doesn’t just write and make stories, she works with me.
Thank you, ladies. It's been terrific chatting. Now, let's have a look at The Need to Touch...
Brooke Johnson lives in Louisiana with her five girls, wonderful boyfriend, and many pets. When she is not working on finishing her current degree, she can be found fishing, coloring, or blowing bubbles with her kids. Just over a year ago, Brooke decided she wasn’t going to back down from her dreams, and started writing full time. With the encouragement of her family she is proud to be publishing her books for the world to read.
Brooke started reading later in life. Unlike many authors who have always had a special love for reading, Brooke didn’t pick up a book until she was in her late teens. She remembers wanting to find something to do with her mom, who has always been her best friend. One day her mom was talking about a romance novel that she just read. Not being interested in it all, Brooke gave in and read the book. She’s been her mom’s reading partner ever since. They can now sit and talk, laugh and even cry about all the books they have read over the years.
So, with great pride and honor, Brooke is happy to thank her mother for encouraging her to not only read, but to follow her heart, and write her own books. What started as simple poetry on scrap paper, at the age of seven, is now a dream come true. Brooke started writing but felt something was missing. When she started writing with Natalya Parks, everything seemed to fall into place, and now here they are. Launching books, and writing more. This may be the first you see of them, but Brooke is determined that this won’t be last. Brooke is excited for you to meet their characters, and fall in love with the men that they have spent many hours with over the last year, just for you!!
Natalya parks lives is Louisiana with her beloved dog, Napoleon. Natalya enjoys spending as much time as possible with her children and grandchildren.
Natalya has had an ongoing passionate love affair with books since she was four years old. While her friends were getting in trouble for not reading she was getting in trouble for reading. She was late for dinner, forgot to do her chores, stayed up past her bedtime, forgot about homework and was late for the school bus on many occasions; because she couldn’t put the book down. Her most embarrassing moment caused by reading a book occurred when she was in seventh grade. The school bus pulled up to her stop and of course she couldn’t possibly stop reading. The story was just too good. So with her nose still in her book she slowly made her way down the aisle of the bus. She as she got to the top of the stairs she tripped over an instrument case that was jutting out just a bit into the aisle. Where she promptly fell head first down the stairs landing in a heap in the dirt, her feet resting on the bottom step. Natalya was wearing a dress that day.
She has wanted to be a writer since she was a teenager but never thought she could write anything good enough for someone else to want to read. Her dear friend Brooke convinced her otherwise and literally dragged her into the world of writing. Something she will be forever grateful. Now, not only does she get to love and enjoy works by other authors but also those that she has contributed to as well. Her mind still goes tilt, tilt when she thinks about the fact that she is a published author. Dreams really can come true.
Publisher: Cool Beans Publishing and Editing, LLC
Cover Artist: Aj Corza
You can only win someone’s heart once you’ve captured it.
Nineteen year old Ryder Harrison grew up near a small town in Montana, working on the family’s ranch and in love with his best friend, Landon Pennington. That was until his Grandfather decided he needed to go to college in California. Ryder promised his Mom before she died that he would finish his education. Staying true to his word, Ryder packs his clothes, and heads to California, confident that it would all be one big disaster. The only thing he hadn’t planned on was meeting Bentley Carter.
Twenty year old Bentley Carter has enough emotional issues to write his own ‘How to Cope’ manual. Surviving an abusive childhood, he made a personal promise to always stay true to himself, and never let emotions overrule his common sense. Content with his current life and friend with ‘benefits’, Ben is determined to not let his new roommate affect him.
Uncertain about their places in the world, and with each other, Ryder and Ben struggle to understand the person who is not what they thought they wanted, yet who they are unable to live without. Living in a sometimes cruel and unforgiving world they are determined to embrace the reality of falling in love and the challenges that follow.
“Welcome to paradise!!” Ethan yelled over the music.
All I could see was flesh, and hard bodies. Hard everything. Everywhere I looked, half naked guys were dancing and grinding together.
“Ry, honey, you okay?” Ben squeezed my hand, pulling me out of the fog of lust.
I hadn’t realized I wasn’t blinking, until my eyes started to water. Ben noticed my current state, smiled and pulled me onto the dance floor. He had me turned and pressed against him so fast I was dizzy. My hands trembled. He started grinding against me with his hands on my lower back. The press of bodies around us didn’t allow for additional space between us, and the music only encouraged our hips to gyrate.
I could feel his nipple rings through our thin shirts. Our thighs rubbed together every time Ben wiggled his ass and pressed his hips to mine. I growled in the back of my throat, holding him a little tighter.
We’ve been in the damn club all of five minutes, and I was about cum in my pants.
“Ben, I need a drink.” I leaned in to speak directly into his ear.
He must not have heard me because he pulled me closer, moving us to the rhythm of the music. Ben’s hard-on was pressed my thigh. I made a mistake looking into his eyes. Their intensity was magnified by the eye liner. I’d never seen anything so beautiful in my life. Ben leaned into me, and I tightened my arms around his waist, wanting what he offered.
Starting at the sensitive skin behind my ear, he licked his way down to my collar before lightly biting me.
8/25: MM Good Book Reviews
8/26: Andrew Q. Gordon
8/27: Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings
8/28: Jade Crystal
8/29: Amanda C. Stone, EE Montgomery
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9/2: LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Iyana Jenna
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9/4: Love Bytes
9/8: Cate Ashwood
9/9: Prism Book Alliance
9/10: Hearts on Fire
9/11: Fallen Angel Reviews
9/12: Foxylutely Book Reviews
9/15: Love of Bookends
9/16: Wake Up Your Wild Side
9/17: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
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