Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Author Wednesdays-Brenna Zinn-Author Interview & Giveaway!!!!

                                     © Astine | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Guess what day it is??? It's Author Wednesday again here at For Whom The Books Toll! My guest today is the great Brenna Zinn.  Thanks for taking the time to be here today Brenna.
Let's get right to the interview.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Where to start? I’m a coal miner’s daughter with a bigger than life imagination who grew up in Montana, Illinois, and Georgia. After eloping with my Navy man in Gibraltar and living in Naval Station Rota, Spain for three years, I moved to Austin, Texas where I now live with the same Navy man and three humongous English Mastiffs. I recently gave up my job of 20 years to stay at home and write full time. I know, I know. What was I thinking??
I love men with Scottish accents, televisions shows involving ghosts and hauntings, traveling to cool places around the globe, and drinking Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum and diet Coke. I believe Sailor Jerry is the younger, devilish brother of Capitan Morgan. Oh, and I love dancing. I used to win dance competitions in college for beer money. I was a very popular girl in college ;)
I also have an extremely low tolerance for stupid people and brussel sprouts.
You can read more about me, my books, and my crazy dogs by visiting my website at From there you can see how to be my “friend” on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or check out my blog. I’d love to hear from you!

Share 5 fun facts about yourself.
1. When I lived in Montana, I had a raccoon as a pet. Raccoons do NOT make good pets.
2. I’m a huge ghost fan. I’m fairly certain my grandmother said good-bye to me by filling my nose full of her favorite scent the day after her funeral.
3. I used to win beer money in college by winning dance contests.
4. I once won a hot legs contest.
5. Winning a huge pot during a Texas Hold’em tournament in a Las Vegas casino against a table of only men is one of my greatest joys.

What was your ideal career when you were a child?
To be a teacher. I remember spending many hours playing school with my younger sister. I’m pretty sure by the time she started first grade she was capable of doing third grade work.

Tell us about a typical writing day for you.
I wish I had a typical writing day. I truly do. I’m the kind of person who does best with some type of route or schedule. Unfortunately, since quitting my job to write full time, I haven’t found a schedule. Every day is different. The closest I have to typical is waking at 6am, riding twenty miles on a bike with my husband, taking my dogs on a walk, then cleaning house or working in the yard until about noon. After that I shower, get a little to eat and then get to writing. Usually I’ll get distracted and will check my e-mails and Facebook page, will run off to get something to drink, and eventually will get back to writing. I really should be tested for attention deficit disorder. I’m all over the place both mentally and physically.

On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
Forever. Seriously. A great day for me is writing 1,000 words. I’m currently working on a 60,000 word book, as well as a 30,000 word book. I typically don’t write on Saturdays or Sundays, unless my husband isn’t around. So you can see why it takes me so long.

How long does it take to write sex scenes?
I’m all over the map here too. A lot of my speed has to do with where my head is at sexually. If I’m in the mood for l’amore, then writing a sex scene is a snap. I’m especially fast if there’s a bit of comedy involved in the scene. I’m all for having fun when having sex. This concept seems self-evident, but it’s not. The act of sex can take on a wide variety of tones. Fun, dangerous, flirty, taboo, and sweet are only a small sampling. Once the tone is set, then the act of sex and the dialogue during sex tends to flow naturally, making my job to write it so much easier.

Where do you find writing inspiration?
Usually in the shower, while mowing my yard, or driving long distances. When I’m doing these things my subconscious decides to come out and toss around some of its thoughts. I’m constantly amazed at just what my brain will suggest as a story or as a way to resolve corners I’ve written myself into. Now, if I hit a block, I go out for a drive and let my brain have its way with me. I usually come back home with something to get on paper.

Do you have a favorite writing snack?
Gum. Yes, I know. Gum isn’t a snack. But I go through a ton of the stuff when I’m writing. I have to have something going on in my mouth at all times. (Yes, that does sound gross, doesn’t it?)

Do you have any writing rituals?
I always have a scented candle burning when I write at home. It’s wonderful having a nice smell in my office rather than the dog farts that are inevitable.

Where’s your favorite place to write?
I find that my favorite place to write is at seminars or training classes. Crazy, but true. For some reason I can write and write and write long hand when there’s some guy in front of my begging for my attention. I need to hire someone to try to teach me while I’m writing in my office. I’d probably get a lot more written that way.

What’s the best way to get over writer’s block?
Going on a long drive. I saw a Big Bang episode that explains how the mind will allow the subconscious to flow when the brain is involved with mundane things. Driving shouldn’t be mundane, I know. I should be focused. But I find my mind drifts to far off places while I drive. That’s when the ideas come.

What scene for you was the hardest to write and how did you overcome that obstacle?
I’ve had several scenes from different books that were hard to write. I found that the reason they were difficult is because my brain was trying to tell me the scene wasn’t working. Once I figured that out, threw out what I had and then started with a new scene, the words started flowing again.

What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
I know this sounds silly, but my biggest writing achievement was hearing that someone cried while reading one of my stories. Knowing that I was able to evoke such strong emotions through the use of my words gave me an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I want to be able to repeat that accomplishment over and over and over.

How do you celebrate a new book?
I like to go out to dinner with my husband, have a drink and toast myself. However, I’ve promised my girlfriends that if I ever hit the NY Times Best Seller List that I will take them all on a weekend spa trip with me. Now that’s what I call celebrating!

Can you tell us about your current book, Dagger’s Edge?
Dagger’s Edge is the only story I’ve written that was #1 on Amazon’s most downloaded erotic romance list for three days. Granted it was a free download, but it was still #1 for three days. That felt and continues to feel huge to me.
The story is about Dagger, a Navy SEAL (who doesn’t LOVE a Navy SEAL?) who is on leave in Key West, Florida. There he checks in on his best friend’s sister, Mia, the girl he’s secretly loved since meeting her in middle school. But Dagger never acted on his love for Mia for one reason and that reason is buried deep from his past. Aside from being an emotionally compelling book, the story has one of the greatest sex scenes I’ve ever written. I can’t tell you how many ladies have told me they can’t look at a popsicle without blushing.

What made you write ‘this’ story?
I was involved in a Navy SEAL series called SEALs on Fire with Desiree Holt, Cerise Deland, Regina Carlysle, Samantha Cayto, Allie Standifer, and Nicole Austin. So I knew the story would involve a SEAL. The story developed around the notion that sometimes deep emotional scars keep people, even big, tough SEALs from acting on their heart’s desire.

What do you think makes a good story?
Great, likeable characters, fun and smart writing, and a story that keeps a person engaged. Sagging middles does not a good story make.

What’s the hardest thing about writing and how do you handle it?
Getting words on the page. I struggle with each word I write because I want every word to be right and ever sentence to be the best written sentence possible. If I’m not happy with what I’ve written, it’s extremely difficult for me to continue to write. I feel compelled to go back and fix the words until I’m happy with what I have.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
I’d love to meet Dagger from Dagger’s Edge. I love his funny personality, his self-deprivation while managing to be cocky, and his bigger than life body.

If you could have dinner with 5 people, who would you choose and why?
I can’t imagine a more lively dinner or dinner conversation than with Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Leonardo DiVinci, Bill Clinton, and Will Rogers. We could talk religion, politics, art, science, literature…the possibilities and interesting debates are endless.

If you could travel in a time machine, would go back to the past or to the future?
The past, definitely. I’m a history major. I was going to teach high school history at one time in my life. I’d love to meet King Arthur to see a) if he’s real and b) if he’s anything like his stories.

What does your family and friends think about your writing erotic romances?
At most I’m a novelty. Generally, I’m just Mom, loving wife, or crazy ass friend.

How important is reader feedback, good or bad, to you?
I adore feedback. ADORE! I get a better feel for what works and what doesn’t work with reader feedback, which is invaluable with future stories. Plus there are days when I pull up fan mail just to make myself feel better when I feel like everything I’m writing sounds like crud. Fan mail always helps me pull myself up by my bootstraps (yes, I do wear boots. You should see them. Gorgeous!)

What is your greatest temptation?
When I’m writing, my greatest temptation is just about anything that gets me out of my chair. When I’m not writing, my greatest temptation is my family. I love hanging out with them when we’re all engaged. My evil temptation is booze. I like vodka. What can I say?

What is your greatest weakness:
My own self doubts. There are days when I wonder what the hell I’m doing trying to pass myself off as a writer. Then I get a piece of fan mail and I’m over the moon with what I’ve accomplished as a writer.

What’s the best advice you can give to an inspiring author?
Grow thick skin. You’ll need it. Breaking in to writing is not easy. A thick skin is needed for rejections, bad reviews, and criticism.

How do you relax?
I’m a type A personality. Relaxing for me is doing work that I enjoy. I don’t find relaxation sitting by the pool. I want to be up and active. I like accomplishing things.

What is your favorite all time book?
Why not ask me which child I love best?? Talk about Sophie’s choice. If I had to choose one book that was the only book I could read for the rest of my life, I think I would choose The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. That book was THE book that started my love of reading. I’m so appreciative of Mary Stewart for that book, which is the first of a series on King Arthur. Ms. Stewart was a tremendous talent.

Fun Questions

Pepsi or Coke? 
Diet Dr. Pepper, please.

Chips or pretzels? 

Chocolate or vanilla? 
Chocolate ice cream, vanilla frozen yogurt

Mountains or beach? 

Favorite color? 
White. Yes, white is color.

Favorite ice cream? 

Casual or dress up? 
If sweat pants and a t-shirt is casual, then I’m all about the casual.

Early bird or night owl
 I used to be a night owl. Owned being a night owl. But now I’m an early bird. Damned age!

Cook outs or restaurant dinners? 
Restaurants dinners. Who wants to cook when someone can cook for you?

Thanks again, Brenna for being here today and answering my questions. Very interesting answers, too. I love this part of doing Author Wednesdays!  All of the intriguing answers with some fun ones thrown in.

Though well hidden, deep scars from Dean "Dagger" Gregory's troubled past have influenced each important decision he's ever made, including joining the military and keeping his distance from his best friend's sister, Mia Benson, the only woman he's ever loved. But after Dagger's friend strong-arms him into checking on the feisty redhead during his leave in Key West, he finds himself under sexual attack and with no desire--or willpower--to retreat.

Buy Link:

A standalone book in the Toys-4-Us series
Gianna Romano has a dream, and opening her own restaurant has been a lifelong commitment requiring strict dedication and personal sacrifice. Now that her goal is almost within her grasp, she’s not about to jeopardize everything for a relationship with her next door neighbor. She can’t afford to lose focus and doesn’t have time for a man. Not even the sexy Scot with a delicious accent who wants to unleash her lust and make her a permanent fixture in his life, as well as his bed.
Kept at a distance by the strong-willed woman he desires, Colin McPherson faces the most agonizing decision of his life. The time has come to give up his lucrative computer security job and return home to take his place in the family business.
But Colin can’t leave without getting at least a taste of Gianna. Just how far will he go to satisfy his hunger? And after a night of explosive passion, how can he walk away

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For ten long years Carter Lang’s secret desire for Leslie Brighten burned relentlessly. His secretary and fifteen years his junior, Leslie was off limits—a potential liability Carter refused to chance. But on the day of his early retirement, Carter discovers Leslie in an erotic situation that not only changes his mind about pursuing the beautiful object of his intense passion, it will change his life forever.

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What does one hunky Navy Seal plus a blizzard equal on Valentine's Day for Michelle Bishop? One hot night in an elevator with nowhere to go and no electricity to get there. Add a holiday gift basket from Valentino's that's full of candles, body paint, and chocolate wine, and going down on an elevator becomes a Valentine experience she'll never forget... 

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Lady Pembrook went to great lengths, traveling thousands of miles and assuming a false identity, to satisfy her fantasy of a one night stand with a real Texas cowboy. But can she fulfill her dream of a naughty sexual encounter after discovering a mysterious stranger in dark sunglasses threatens to expose her scandalous behavior in America?

Though riding bulls and taming wild horses aren’t the only risks Burton King has taken in a lifetime of working on a ranch, nothing scarred him deeper than falling for the wrong woman. When he finds a damsel in distress, will the oath he swore to never get involved with another woman keep him from finding the lady of his dreams?

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Although this book can be read on its own, we recommend first reading Fatal Submission, by Nicole Austin.

It’s 1998, and what a great year it’s been for independent yet sexually submissive Emma Sutherland. She’s secured a great job teaching at the local university, bought a dream house in the country with its very own dungeon in the basement and found a masterful Dom who fulfills her every desire. Who could ask for more?

Chet Crosby can. Having hot, kinky sex with Emma is no longer enough. He wants to take care of her outside the dungeon and have a real relationship, which she’s not ready for. But ready or not, the horrifying and unexplainable occurrences in Emma’s home have her scared, and Chet’s more determined than ever to protect the woman he loves—even if it means facing unimaginable terror.

Reader Advisory: This story contains graphic scenes of bondage and horror that may haunt the reader for days.

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Though terrified of the ocean, Shelly Merdock finds herself alone in Cancun on what should have been her honeymoon--but not for long. A handsome and very naked man strolls out of the surf and onto her patio, claiming to be her lifemate. He also believes he's a merman--the great, great grandson of Poseidon no less--and insists they have sex in the water within twenty-four hours to complete the marriage ritual. Crazier still, Shelly actually considers his offer. Who could resist? But can she place herself in the hands of the sexy stranger, beyond a night of shared intimacy, and shed her fear of the water to live with him in his palace under the sea?

Buy Link:

      Brenna has a new release coming soon!!! Check it out.


Deep in the heart of Texas, there’s a place the women of Austin can mix fantasy with flesh and experience erotic temptations for the price of admission and a handful of dollars. Iron Rods. In this strip club, sinfully sexy men take it all off for their customers’ entertainment. But there’s more to Iron Rods than meets the casual eye. Behind the lights and glitter are real hearts and dreams that sometimes clash with reality. For some ladies, a trip down to Iron Rods turns into more than what they bargained for.
Find out more about Iron Rods at www.IronRods.NET

Author Bio:
I remember reading about Texas in an Illinois grade school and thinking I probably would never see the great state where real cowboys ride their horses to work every day and everyone wears western hats and boots. Then again, I never dreamed I would elope in Gibraltar with a Navy man who hailed from the Lone Star state. But here I am, smack dab in the middle of Texas, still married to the same wonderful man and boasting not only the greatest daughter on the planet, but three dogs who are as big as long horns.

In between grade school and now, my journey through life has taken me all over the United States, as well as many places throughout the world. Using my travel experience as a guide and peppering in interesting characters I’ve met along the way, I love nothing better than weaving tales of romance and leaving readers yearning for adventures of their own.

Contact Brenna:

 As for a giveaway from my backlist, I'm giving away a copy of When a Lady Meets a King and Private Showing.  Plus...readers who sign up for my newsletter at will be put in for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate.  Even people who have already subscribed to my newsletter will have their name put in the hat for the drawing.  

I hope everyone enjoyed reading about Brenna and found some great books to add their TBR lists. Once again, thanks Brenna for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today.

Please stop back next Wednesday when my guest will be the fabulous Regina Carlysle!!!!

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