"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Monday, December 16, 2013

Getting Personal With Author Marcia James

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Marcia James. Marcia stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt from the latest installment in the Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist romantic mystery series Sex & The Single Therapist.

About Marcia James 
Marcia James writes hot, humorous romances and finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first comic romantic suspense, At Her Command. 
Her latest releases are Sex & the Single Therapist (a comic romantic mystery) and Love Unleashed (a sexy novella). In her eclectic career, she has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events and had her wedding covered by People Magazine.

After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying “researching” and plotting her novels' steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.

Connect with Marcia

And now, let’s get personal with author Marcia James!

What’s the best part of being a writer?
The best part of being an author is getting to work from my home creating funny, sexy stories that I hope readers enjoy as much as I love writing them.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Being a writer is similar to any self-employed job, in that you need to set a schedule and deadlines and be disciplined enough to stick to them.  That can be tough when family and friends are tempting you away from the computer and if you like "retail therapy" a little too much.

What is your writing process?
I'm a plot-driven author, so I do a rough outline of major plot points in the book and then develop the characters. My best time for writing is the afternoon, and I try to write at least 1,000 words or revise ten pages a day.

Where do you write?
I have a home office on the second floor of my house, where I do the majority of my writing.  However, I take a binder with me to hair appointments, doctor visits, etc., and write long-hand to make good use of the time away from my office.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I first started writing romance fiction, an author friend told me how important it was to learn the business side of publishing at the same time I learned the craft of writing.  Many writers wait until they're submitting completed manuscripts or have just received "The Call" about selling their first book to start researching things like contract terms and author promotion.  So I approached fiction writing as though I were going to graduate school to get a degree in it and needed to take both writing courses and business courses.  I've never looked at my fiction writing as a hobby.

What are you working on now?
For the first time, I'm working on several books simultaneously.  I'm revising my first completed manuscript for self-publishing while writing the sequel to Sex & the Single Therapist, my comic romantic mystery series starter.

What is your most current release and what is it about?
I revised my first published book, At Her Command, a comic romantic suspense, and I'm waiting for the rights to revert to me so I can self-publish it.  I don't have a release date for it yet.  Early next year, I'm publishing Southern Exposure, a comic romantic mystery.

How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title Southern Exposure because the book is set in a clothing optional Caribbean resort.  The investigative reporter heroine is very uncomfortable with the amount of skin she needs to expose as she goes undercover at the resort.  ;-D  The titles for my "Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist" series will all have a hint as to the order of the books in their titles.  The first book is Sex & the Single Therapist (single = one), and the next in the series will be Death & the Double Entendre (double = two).

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I absolutely love to play video poker, so it's a good thing for my bank account that I don't live in Las Vegas.  When I worked in TV and video production, I met quite a few celebrities -- photos of some of them are on my website (http://www.marciajames.net/Photos_Celebs.html).  And because my husband and I asked our wedding guests to donate to charity vs. giving us wedding presents, People Magazine covered our 1989 wedding.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
My husband gives me a gift certificate for a year's worth of pedicures and facials each Christmas, so you could definitely say I'm a little spoiled.  I also love to shop and "wine and dine."  ;-)

Describe your perfect evening.
My perfect evening would be a date with my husband, beginning with a romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant.  Then we would head home to snuggle on our sofa in front of our fireplace and a good movie.  The "apres movie" time is private.  ;-)

Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
New Zealand.  We'd love to spend one week on an Orvis fly-fishing tour of the country, followed by a second week of relaxing and getting pampered in one of their five-star resorts.  A very nice dream...

Do you have any pets?
I'm terribly allergic to pets, so I don't currently have one.  I did own an Afghan hound named Taffy when I was much younger.  Once we're retired and not on the road as much, my husband and I are thinking about fostering a "hypoallergenic" shelter dog.  I'm very pro-rescue-pet, so if I get another dog, it will be from a shelter or rescue group.

What is the story behind your dog logo?
In At Her Command, I included a tiny Chinese crested hairless dog as a DEA drug-sniffing dog to the comic romantic suspense.  Smokey was so popular with readers that I had a caricaturist create a drawing of him to use as a logo.  Since then, every one of my books has included a crested,. as well as some other dogs and cats.  I think animal characters can reveal a lot about a hero and heroine, and I love pairing a tiny, often goofy crested with a big, tough Alpha hero.

Thank you, Gabrielle, for this opportunity to be on your blog!  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year's to you and your readers!

Thank YOU, Marcia. We’re dog lovers here at Gabrielle Holly Romance and Sooo pleased to have a kindred spirit visit. Stop by any time – and bring your HOT heroes with you. We’ll be happy to scratch any and all behind the ear!

And now, Darlings, pour yourself something cool to drink and enjoy a taste of “Sex & the Single Therapist”

About "Sex & the Single Therapist
To clear an innocent friend, Las Vegas sex therapist Dr. Ally Skye launches her own investigation into a patient’s murder. The last thing she expects is to find herself trading heated words and hot kisses with a sexy cop. Can this free-spirited amateur sleuth and her posse of Vegas insiders solve the crime before the killer targets her?

Cynical homicide detective Zack Crawford has the murder of a tom-catting cad to solve and a grieving widow to investigate. The last thing he needs is the interference of a red-hot sex therapist who haunts his dreams. Ally is trouble, and he’s determined not to risk his bachelor freedom for any woman. Besides, given her job, would she grade his performance in bed?

In their search for the truth, Zack and Ally form an uneasy and sexually charged alliance. Murderers, extortionists and psychos are no match for these reluctant partners. Crime-solving was never this sexy or this fun!


Zack trapped her in the V of her open car door. After several heart-stuttering seconds, he bent his head as though to kiss her.

        She leaned toward him, and the din of traffic and chattering tourists retreated. The warmth of the day paled, as sensual heat sparked between them. Ally waited, breathless.

        When he hesitated, she spoke for his ears only. “It’s okay. I don’t bite...hard.”

Zack pulled back, but his lips curved. “It’s your mind, not your mouth, that concerns me. I don’t feel like having my kisses rated by Doctor Skye.”

“Oh, well, if the tough cop has performance anxiety...,” Ally turned to climb into her car.

Taking her hand, Zack spun her back and into his arms in a single, fluid motion. She met his determined gaze a split second before his lips took hers in a dominating, exhilarating kiss.

Ohmigod. Blessed, blistering sensory overload. Ally’s toes actually curled. For several pulsing moments, her whole world was Zack.

To a cacophony of car horns, he broke the kiss. Confused, she slowly opened her eyes. His lips were wet and his expression mirrored her longing, even as he set her away.

Zack started to speak, cleared his throat, then began again. “We’re blocking traffic.”

Light-headed, Ally glanced around. Vehicles had stacked up behind her Porsche, and the drivers were either honking or clapping. She didn't know whether to blush or raise her fists like a prize fighter. It’d been a gold-medal kiss.

Not trusting her voice, Ally got into her car and closed the door. She picked up her notepad and drew a large number ten on it with a shaky hand. Then, in an imitation of an Olympic judge, she held up the pad for him to see.

Zack laughed aloud at the perfect score she’d awarded his kiss.
Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy Sex & the Single Thereapist today from Amazon, and other fine eBook retailers


  1. Hi, Gabrielle! Thank you again for interviewing me on your blog. It's snowy here in Ohio, and I hope wherever you and your readers are that you're safe and warm. By the way, this weather is perfect for snuggling up with a good book or Nook! ;-)

    1. It's snowing here on The West Coast of Wisconsin too, Marcia! Yes, I agree, perfect reading weather ♥

    2. Hi, Gabrielle! It's good writing weather, too. ;-) And I try to keep a sense of humor about it. For example, I had to put my car in the shop today for some work, and they gave me a loner car -- a bright white car. I looked at the service guy and asked, "You're sending me out in a snow storm in a white car?" He didn't "get" it. Luckily I made it home okay.

  2. Great interview and book sounda amazing x

  3. Great interview. Marcia you are so interesting, no wonder your books are calling my name and my amazon account.

  4. Marcia, so many of your answers are similar to how I would answer! Esp. hardest thing about writing--self discipline, and the best part of writing! Nice to learn more about you.

  5. Hi, Pamela! Thanks for the kind words. ;-)

  6. Hi, Patty! Your comment made me laugh. ;-) I hope my books are calling to a lot of people's Amazon account. LOL!

  7. Hi, Michele! Nice to meet another writer. ;-) Have a great day!

  8. Always a joy to see you out and about Marcia! Wishing you all the very best and I hope to see you again soon! Gia

  9. Hi, Gia! {{waving from Columbus}} I missed seeing you at the Dec. 7th B&N booksigning. Maybe you and I can promote our Nook books together at the Feb. 7th B&N signing? Have a very happy holiday!

  10. Great interview, Marcia! And I loved the excerpt! What's even more amusing is that my son and his girlfriend share the names of your characters. :-)

  11. Hi, Donna! Thanks for stopping by! That's funny about the names matching. I swear I didn't know your son and his girlfriend when I wrote the book. ;-) But I do think Zack and Ally are great names!

  12. Hi from the East Coast of Wisconsin, where the snow is falling again! Love the interview and of course your excerpt. Hope to see you at Lori's again! Must show hubby what you get for Christmas to jog his brain....

  13. That's so cool that you're going to foster a rescue dog once your hubby is home for good. Problem is, who will he spoil more????

  14. Hi, Mary! Thanks for stopping by! Definitely tell your husband and Santa that you want to be pampered for Christmas, ;-) We all deserve to be a little spoiled! I look forward to seeing you at Lori Foster's annual event. It's already on my calendar, so I just have to make sure to register the second she opens registration.

  15. Hi, Janie! I have a feeling we'll both spoil the dog. ;-) LOL!

  16. Thank you again for hosting me on your blog, Gabrielle! I decided to draw 5 names from the commenters to win a free ebook copy of Sex & the Single Therapist. ;-) Congratulations to the winners: Pamela Morgan, Patty L., Michele, Donna Michaels, and Mary M.!! If the winners would email me and let me know what format ebook they would like, I'll send it to them. My email address is ACMarcia @ aol.com (no spaces) Thanks again to everyone who dropped by!