Wednesday, 16 September 2015

LAUNCH DAY BLITZ, EXCERPT, AUTHOR INTERVIEW & REVIEW - What Lola Wants by Calista Fox


LOLA KNOWS WHAT SHE WANTS
Lola Vonn isn't sure exactly when it happened, but sometime between ages seven and twentysomething, her best friend, Alex, got hot.Really hot. He's hotter than the blazing Arizona sun-and definitely hotter than the nerdy-cute mathlete she grew up with. And, when she needs to crash at his apartment while looking for a place of her own, Alex becomes a temptation she can't resist. But while unbuttoning Alex's buttoned-up self is scorchingly fun, wild child Lola fears risking the best friend she's ever had on a fling.


HE KNOWS WHAT SHE NEEDS
Alex Reed has wanted Lola since they were teenagers and now that she's parading around his condo in sexy stilettos and short nighties, he can't stop the more-than-just-friends fantasies he has every time he looks at his new curvy blonde roommate. Luckily he's no longer the painfully dorky teenager he once was-and it's high time he showed Lola that he's the man for her.


EXCERPT


Lola vowed to herself not to rattle Alex’s cage while staying with him. Not too much, anyway. It was sort of a natural compulsion. Everyone should have a little excitement in their lives. A few twists and turns.

Regardless, she tidied up the breakfast bar, relegating herself to her room so Alex would have the space he needed to adjust to her being there. He deserved that from her.

She slipped off the stool just as he came through the door, though, foiling her good intentions.

“Thought you were having beers at Pete’s,” she casually said.

A beer.” He gave her a once-over, shoved his hands into the pockets of his dress pants and shook his head. “What are you wearing?”

“Huh?” She glanced down at her short, red-lace nightie. “I wasn’t expecting you back so soon, and I was just looking at my notes before I go to bed.”

“You do own a robe, right?”

“Actually, no.”

His jaw tightened.

“Geez, Alex. It’s just a nightie.” She set aside her papers and wine. “What’s the big deal?”

“Nothing.” He disappeared into his room, but came back seconds later, carrying a plush, navy-colored robe with a gold emblem on the chest from a fancy New York hotel where he’d attended this year’s insurance convention. Or maybe it’d been last year. She couldn’t keep track.

Thrusting it at her, he said, “Do me a favor and cover up while you’re here.”

She eyed him curiously. “Alex, women wear less than this on the beach. On TV, even.”

He stared unwaveringly, his eyes locking with hers. As though he didn’t dare look anywhere else but her face.

“Yes, I have breasts,” she announced. “Newsflash! Not.

“Just wear the robe, Lo.”

She took a step closer to him, but didn’t accept the garment he offered. “What is going on?”

“There are reflective surfaces in my condo. I’m sure you can see—on you—that is much more than ‘just a nightie.’”

Her gaze dropped again. Okay, so there was a healthy amount of cleavage on display. Not to mention thigh. Maybe a little ass cheek. Whatever.

She glanced up at Alex—and caught the flash of lust in his eyes. Possibly because there weren’t glasses to deflect the unexpected expression?

Something clicked in her brain.

“Alex—”

Oh, no way...

A smile spread slowly over her lips. “Oh, my God.”

He shook his head again. “Don’t make anything out of this.”

Too. Late.

Something had changed... She’d been wrong all along.

Was she imagining this, or...?

Holy cow!

Her body instantly gravitated to his as she took a step toward him, barely realizing it. “Alex—you’re hot for me.”

He groaned. “No, I’m not.”

“Liar.”

She’d seen that look before, after all. On other men.

Her gaze roved him from head to toe. He appeared thoroughly disgruntled. In a very sexy way. Completely unkempt. So not his style. His dark hair was unruly, which likely made him crazed, since he was an every-strand-in-its-proper-place kind of guy. He’d rolled up his sleeves and had loosened his tie. Something she’d never known him to do. He didn’t go for the disheveled look, but it totally worked for him. Especially with his current brooding, which made her skin tingle.

What if...?

Her breath hitched.

Maxi had nailed it—Alex had become tall, dark and delicious. He was single and, alas, hetero as far as she knew.

Sure, Lola was unpredictable and impulsive. So very different from him in every conceivable way, yet...opposites attracted, right?

But wait.

What the hell are you thinking?

Her spinning curiosity came to a screeching halt. Alex was so not her idea of a hot hookup.

Well, maybe it could be hot. He had chiseled facial features and broad shoulders. Really nice hands, with long, blunt-tipped fingers and neatly trimmed nails.

And though it seemed that he tried not to devour her with a hungry gaze...he did.

She beamed, rocking back and forth on her bare heels as exhilaration trilled down her spine. “When did this happen?”





Welcome to Novels in Heels, Calista.  We are delighted to interview you today.
Calista: I’m thrilled to be here! I love this blog and your Facebook page!
Can you tell us a little how writing began for you?
Calista: I’ve always been a writer, starting as a kid and then working as an editor on newspapers in school. I also majored in Journalism and Communications in college. I had a pretty intense job managing PR for the president and CEO of a health care company, and found that writing fiction on the side was a great creative outlet. I’ve always loved romances, and one day I picked up a Secrets volume (Red Sage Publishing) featuring some notable NYT bestselling authors and I fell in love with the sexy novellas. I decided to write my own. I submitted it to Red Sage, and Secrets Volume 13 was on bookshelves in 2005 with my story, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. I’ve been writing contemporary, paranormal, dark, and new adult romances with a spicy kick ever since!
Tell us how do you find writing?  Is it an easy process for you?
Calista: I absolutely love it and feel blessed to be able to write for a living. My process is really rather simple. I typically get an idea from a dream, and then I let it simmer in my head for some time. I start to play scenes in my mind. Then I piece the scenes all together like a movie and “review” it over and over until I have it mostly all worked out before I even begin writing. That way, I can be fully immersed in the book as it’s unfolding on screen and, luckily, that keeps me from getting stuck on plot points and characterizations.
What inspires or motivates you to write?
Calista: I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child. My parents are huge readers and we’d rather crack open a book than turn on the TV. So between my love of books and my overactive imagination, I have plenty of motivation. And I find inspiration all around me—scenery can spark an idea as much as people-watching or reading the news.
Do you have a mentor that you turn to for help?
Calista: I have several! One is the very talented NYT bestselling author Erin Quinn, who is fantastic at world-building, so I typically bounce my more complex plots off of her (such as the BURNED DEEP trilogy, Oct. 6, 2015 from St. Martin’s Press). I also rely on award-winning author Rachelle Chase to read some of my sexier scenes to get feedback on them. My agent, Sarah E. Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency, serves as a great partner in evaluating my manuscripts and finding ways for them to fill niches, as she did with WHAT LOLA WANTS from the Leave Your Shoes On (high heels and hot nerds) series!
How do you feel writing sexy, erotic scenes?  Do you write them with experience or lots of research?
Calista: Ha! My husband would prefer I say it’s all from experience! I really do have an overactive imagination, and that helps! I never considered writing sexy until I discovered SEX AND THE CITY, and with its popularity came the realization that a lot of today’s women want some extra spice in their lives!
What research do you do to write the stories you write?  How in depth is your research?
Calista: It depends on my plot and what I’m trying to accomplish with the story. When I’m writing a fun, sexy contemporary, they tend to be more character-driven and that requires delving into personalities and trying to understand who they really are and how they relate to others—and how others relate to them. For my paranormals and dark romances, I do much more world-building, and so I’ll research locations (typically someplace I’ve been before, though I also tend to create settings), and I’ll research whatever plot devices I’m using. I LOVE the research process!! It’s so interesting to learn things that might not have ever occurred to me to know about until I’ve started down a rabbit hole. And while the Internet is abundantly helpful, I like to ask experts my tougher questions and pick their brains.
For those of us that don’t know much about you, what is the one thing you want to be known for? 
Calista: Making you laugh, cry, or sigh. J
What types of books do you like to read?
Calista: I don’t get the chance to read as often as I’d like these days because I have numerous deadlines, but I’ll read anything from Jennifer Ashley and Cheyenne McCray, as well as Lorelei James and Megan Hart.
Tell us a little about yourself?  Something more than is in your Bio.  Or tell us something that none of your fans would know.
Calista: I collect miniature high heels! The more intricately designed, the better. I also have a collection of sparkly stiletto wine holders. My mother had a massive shoe obsession when I was growing up, and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to wear heels. I suppose that’s what spawned my love of modern, sophisticated heroines in designer shoes!
Have you ever wanted to give up writing half way through a book?
Calista: Absolutely! Chapter Five is usually when I’m ready to walk away, because that’s the point where I’m thinking, “No one is going to want to read this.” Eventually, I power through and fall in love with it again. I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally given up on a book, though I have had to backburner a number of them to work on manuscripts that are under contract. I have dozens of works in progress!
What do you do when you are looking to have a bit of fun?
Calista: I travel a lot and end up meeting people that way. I consider anything involving wine and chocolate fun!
How much of your books are real – how much a fiction?
Calista: Some of my plots and my characters’ jobs come from personal experience or a news article, but for the most part, I make it all up as I go!!
Have you ever acted out a scene in your book with your partner?
Calista: Of course! ;-)
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Calista: I would love to! Publisher’s Weekly just noted my Sept.15 release, WHAT LOLA WANTS, in an article about the new adult genre, and I’m over-the-moon excited about the Leave Your Shoes On series from Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. WHAT LOLA WANTS is Book 1 in the series, featuring a very saucy, curvy blonde named Lola Vonn, who has just returned to Scottsdale after a three-year absence and suddenly realizes that her nerdy best friend Alex Reed is now hotter than all get out! The sparks fly and Lola proposes a very risqué (and risky) friends with benefits arrangement while staying at Alex’s condo. He gets her creative juices flowing and she starts to rock her new job in the Marketing department of Staci Kay Shoes, but it’s always dangerous for friends to sleep together—especially if one of them falls in love!
The book releases on September 15, 2015 and is available for pre-orders. http://amzn.to/1KcZKVe
What is the best way for readers to get in contact with you?
Calista: I love hearing from readers!
Now a couple of naughtier questions if you will entice us.
What is your one (top) sexual fantasy?  Have you accomplished it?
Calista: I have a very sexy ménage series coming from St. Martin’s Press next year, and I’d have to say that that scenario tops my list of fantasies! Have I accomplished it? I’m not telling… ;-)
If you had a choice would you choose – flogger, blindfold, handcuffs, restraints, rope, whips, cane?
Calista: While I had a little handcuff fetish in college, I prefer no restraints at all—I like to touch! And I’m anti-anything that causes pain rather than pleasure!


What Lola Wants (Leave Your Shoes On, #1)What Lola Wants by Calista Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 RomCom Stars

What a wonderfully romantic and hilarious story. A little predictable, but still so much fun to read.
Best friends to lovers and all the escapades in-between. Who doesn’t love a fun ‘friends to lovers’ story?

I enjoyed this story. It was entertaining, fun and lighthearted and never missed a beat with the sexy stilettos and hot steamy scenes – right up my alley.

If you are looking for a fun, steamy and entertaining read, then this is definitely for you.


View all my reviews





About Calista Fox
Calista is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing! She is an Amazon bestseller and has won many Reviewer's and Reader's Choice Awards, as well as Best Book Awards and other competitions with publication as first prize. Calista is a college graduate and teaches online writing classes. She is also Past President/Advisor of the Phoenix Chapter of Romance Writers of America.