I have a debut author today. Just like me, Donina had her debut with Evernight Publishing. Congratulations, Donina!! I got her to answer a bunch of questions and share several things about her debut, Arms of Serenity. Please help me welcome, Donina Lynn.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I’m very excited to be here and to be sharing my debut novel Arms of Serenity.
I’m so glad you’re here. Okay, let’s get you comfortable. Picture your favorite place in the world. Now, can you tell us a little bit about the place you’ve pictured?
That’s a tough question. There are so many amazing and wonderful places to see. If I had to pick just one, I would go for New Zealand. I always wanted to vacation there. Years ago, I first fell in love with the landscape while watching Hercules and Xena. The country is breathtaking and I just gave away how old I am by mentioning those shows, didn’t I? 😉
Lol! I remember those shows. I’d love to go to New Zealand too. Great choice. Tell us about yourself: Who are you and why did you start writing?
I’m a small town girl who works for the local electric company in the warehouse. I get to drive around forklifts! I have a teenage daughter and a German Shepherd. Other than that, I’m quite a boring person. Back in school, I enjoyed writing and have always been a romance novel junkie. So, one day I decided to sit down and try writing one. Honestly, I think it was some part of my mid-life crisis! Instead of going out and getting a shiny car, I decided to write a steamy novel.
I’ve always loved the romances too. It was meant to be, Donina. 🙂 When you are not writing what are your favorite hobbies?
I am the definition of a couch potato! I love, love, love the TV. In fact, it stays on at all times even when we’re not in the living room. When there isn’t anything good on the channels, Netflix and Vudu are my best friends. Nothing like losing yourself in a good kick-butt movie … Oh, I like reading too. Can’t forget that!
I do get plenty of inspiration from TV. Now, I just call my couch potato time research. 😉 Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Does punctuation count? I’m grammatically challenged and didn’t know it until I saw my first edits. Whatever my editor makes, it wasn’t near enough for all the work she put in on my manuscript!
I’m right there with you, editors can’t possibly make enough. Love my editor. I can’t wait to work with her again. Can you tell us about a criticism you’ve received that pushed you into a better writing place?
I honestly haven’t had any outside criticism. At least, not yet. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to that, though. I’ve always been harder on myself than most outside influences.
That’s good though. I hope you also patted yourself on the back for getting published. Which one of your characters would you most like to meet in real life?
Oh, I love this question! I want to meet them all! Eva is so full of spunk. I want to bottle her and I love Nick and Becca. But, if there is one that I want to meet over any it would be Todd. Sounds odd wanting to meet one of the secondary characters, but my inspiration for him was Dwayne Johnson and seriously who doesn’t want to meet The Rock? 😉
I do, lol. You love your characters. That’s awesome. What turns you on creatively?
Everything. Inspiration is everywhere. You can find it in someone you might know, hearing a phrase or song, watching people … the list goes on and on.
What is your greatest fear?
I have an extreme fear of snakes. It’s so bad I can’t even really handle the reptile buildings at a zoo. Go figure, I live in the country where they are all over the place. I have a philosophy, though. If they don’t let me know they exist and show themselves, I’ll pretend they aren’t out there and ignore them!!
What is your greatest extravagance?
Wow! I really don’t have one. I think I’m a bit sad over that and have now decided to go get one!
You definitely deserve one, Donina. What is your favorite music (genre/artist/album/song)?
Everything except Rap. I’m a rock fanatic mostly and like anything that I can jam too. Country is my second favorite and will boot scoot whenever I get a chance.
What is the one thing you do after finishing a story?
Relax and go back to being a potato on the couch and enjoy some down time.
Love it. We need to hang out together. 🙂 Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on now?
I started a few novellas. Not sure where they are heading yet, though. I also have the preliminaries for the next story in the Rock Services Series down on paper. There have been so many characters and stories that have been rattling around in my head lately, I’ve been rushing to get them started before losing them. I think I would like to try my hand at a ménage or something paranormal or sci-fi somewhere down the road. So many stories, so little time! I guess I should get writing, huh? 🙂
Yes, get writing. 🙂 Thank you so much, Donia, great answers. Okay, before you share your blurb and excerpt, tell us a bit about your debut, Arms of Serenity and how it all started.
When I first sat down to think about what I wanted to write, the one thing I knew I wanted to incorporate was a message. That being that the events of the past shouldn’t dictate how we live our lives in the future. We should learn from our experiences and look to the future as an opportunity for a new beginning. Simple, right? But when we are unable to move beyond those events and they threaten to determine who we are today, is it ever that easy to forget and find the peace within ourselves to allow happiness into our lives? Life and especially love are never that simple.
In Arms of Serenity, you meet Nick and Becca. Both are emotionally damaged and in desperate need of someone to show them how to let go of their pasts and that love is possible as long as they are willing to let it in. Their story is full of inner struggles, laughs, romance and even a smidgen of danger. Doesn’t every good love story need at least one or two bad guys? 🙂
Rock Services, Book One
by Donina Lynn
Plagued by guilt, Nicholas Hollsten ended his military career in the Special Forces and returned home only to be forced into a life he never wanted. Nick found himself running his father’s company and making good on a promise to his team. Angry and frustrated with the direction his life was taking, he calms his thoughts by filling his evenings and bed with soft distractions. Until one woman captures his interest.
Rebecca Klayton thought she was happy in her small town, running her bakery and avoiding love. That emotion only meant heartache and being left exactly where you started—alone. Lesson learned. But, when the sexy stranger from their hot New Year’s Eve party shows up at her counter, will she be able to ignore the temptation or will she find what she’s been missing in the Arms of Serenity?
Becca got as far as the curb outside before she heard Nick’s voice calling her name. She closed her eyes and groaned.
Almost made it.
Why was he following her? Couldn’t he just leave her alone? She held up her hand to signal a taxi and hoped ignoring him would work until one stopped.
Becca heard him say her name again. Only this time he was too close to pretend that she didn’t hear him. She turned to find him holding the picture frame.
“You forgot this.”
He just wanted to give her the frame. She sighed in relief and reached to take it from him.
He looked at her and put a smug smile on before saying, “You forgot these also.” He reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a glimpse of white lace material.
Becca gasped when she realized it was her forgotten panties. She got closer to put her hand out.
“Thank you for finding them.”
Nick pushed them back in his pocket. “How about that coffee?”
Becca took a step back and crossed her arms. “Are you seriously holding my underwear hostage until I go out on a date with you? Doesn’t that border on blackmail?”
Nick laughed. “Just using whatever means I have at my disposal to get you to say yes.”
Becca would laugh too if she wasn’t so angry. He was being an arrogant pushy ass. She glared at him. From his polished shoes, tailored pants, and what looked like a cashmere sweater, he was head to toe everything that Becca wasn’t. Why was he doing this? Damn him for coming after her. Damn him for wanting more when he could go back into the ballroom and have anyone of those models sitting at the table.
“You’re not my type.” She turned away from him and once again put her hand up in the air.
She stood there not wanting to look back. He hadn’t answered her, and Becca silently hoped that he had walked away. She was a mess. Her insides trembled at the conflicting emotions of anger and longing coursing through her. It would be so easy to give in and go with him.
Becca felt a hand brush against her neck and his voice against her ear.
“I’m going to have to argue that statement. I seem to remember being exactly your type last night as you shook and screamed in pleasure when I was buried deep inside of you.” He kissed the spot behind her ear, and she gasped in response. Shivers cascaded through her, and she leaned back melting into his body.
Becca cursed herself.
Dammit, Becca get some control! He’s just a rich guy who thinks he can get anything he wants.
Becca pulled away and turned around to face him as a taxi finally came to her rescue. Opening the door, she stood behind it to use as a barrier between them and took a breath to steady her trembling legs and gain some courage.
“Nick, last night was great, and thank you for not saying anything back in there.” She nodded her head in the direction of the hotel and continued. “But I’m just not interested.” She got in the cab, closed the door, and stared ahead as she gave the driver her destination. As the taxi pulled away, she could see him in the rearview mirror. For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, she left him just standing and staring after her.
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/arms-of-serenity-by-donina-lynn/
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-armsofserenity-1304421-149.html
Hi! I live in a small rural Pennsylvania town on the outskirts of the Poconos. As in small, I mean we don’t even have a traffic light. We do, however, have a DG, a pizzeria and a Chinese restaurant. Thank goodness! Because, I would probably starve without takeout and a microwave. Cooking is something I enjoy during the holidays and for special occasions. But on a normal day, I take full advantage of a supermarket’s frozen section.
Even though I was born and raised a country girl, my idea of communing with nature is gazing out my window while guzzling mass quantities of coffee. Next to the microwave, my Keurig is my prized possession. Seriously, the inventors of that gadget deserve an award and are personal heroes of mine.
When I’m not at my day job, hanging with my family or friends, curled up with my Kindle, or typing away at the computer, you can find me in front of the TV watching anything paranormal, sci-fi or a good action flick. Kudos go to any movie or show that incorporates explosions, big guns, and gratuitous butt shots.
My addiction to romance novels started as soon as I could turn a page and has stayed with me until much later in life when I decided to sit down and give writing one a whirl. Who knew that decision would have brought me here? I am extremely grateful it has and hope you enjoy reading about the characters that have taken up residence in my head. There is a bit of a warning, however. I have a fondness – bordering on obsession – with the military, public service, bad boys, and men with bald heads, goatees or tattoos. Heroes with one or many of these traits might be a reoccurring theme until I can work through these issues. 🙂
You can find me at: