*** Make sure you read to the bottom for a chance at winning 3 books by Renee Harless***
As December draws to a close, I have a final Author Spotlight to bring some heat to the dead of winter. Please welcome Renee Harless, author of Coming Alive, set to release January 17, 2017.
So Renee, before we get to your book, I’d love to know what started your journey into writing.
I have always had a creative side. Growing up I participated in theater and show choir, but after moving I realized that those outlets weren’t available. I needed something to inspire myself. Then I read Twilight and it changed everything. I started writing the very next day and strangely enough E.L. James and I had the same thought when we read Twilight and used those characters as inspiration. I haven’t stopped writing since.
It’s funny, a lot of authors who have started writing in the past 5 years or so credit Twilight and Fifty Shades, so you’re not alone there. Where else do you draw your inspirations from?
I draw inspiration from everything. Books, movies, other people, the list is never ending. Just the other day I saw a picture of a small-town winter festival and I had to stop and write down an entire chapter freehand because it made me think of something that just NEEDED to be in my story.
Some good advice there for aspiring authors: always have a way to record your thoughts! I use voice memos myself. Who would you consider your favorite authors?
I go through phases of what kinds of books I want to read, but I always find myself gravitating towards the books of Kathleen Brooks. I love everything about how she writes and the stories themselves. I’m also a huge fan of Sylvia Day, Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, and Terri Anne Browning.
What’s the strangest thing you had to research for your writings?
My first series was BDSM related and in the last book I needed to do some heavy research in hot and cold play. There are some very interesting techniques for that kind of method.
I’m sure there are. BDSM seems to be the veritable “rabbit hole” – you get sucked into a whole new world of experiences. Other than hours on the computer researching and writing, what’s the hardest part of being an author?
Juggling your personal life and your writing life. I want to write all the time, but I make sure I set aside time to interact with my family.
You’ve mentioned your writing inspirations, yet how would you describe your writing style?
My writing style is narrative based mixed in with bits of intrigue and romance. I want to take the reader on a journey with the characters. I want them to feel every emotion that the character is feeling. I want you to feel like you’re a part of that story.
You’ve written multiple series – can you talk about some differences between them.
My first series, The Stone Series, was written in first person with heavy erotica themes, but what sets it apart from others was the suspense and thriller aspect that followed the couple. The current series I’m working on, Welcome to Carson, is written in third person with dual points-of-view. This one is what I consider contemporary erotic romance. Each book in this series can be read as a standalone, but I recommend them being read in order.
Let’s talk about your upcoming release, Coming Alive, for a moment. What inspired this particular story?
I started writing this book after I gave birth to my second child. My mind was swirling with all these intense emotions and I felt like I needed to write a story about a woman that has felt the full impact of all those emotions. Coming Alive was and is a very personal story to me because I feel that each reader can connect with at least one of the emotions the main characters had felt, despair, anger, love, and in that way the reader would feel what I was feeling when I wrote it.
Tell me a fun fact about this book.
It’s not fun so much as I find it funny. About 90% of the people that have already read Coming Alive as either an editor or beta reader has gotten very angry at me for making them cry within the first few chapters. In some twisted way that makes me happy and I find it hilarious that I can “break” people.
Well when you write with passion and to evoke emotion the way you’ve described, it makes sense people would react. Besides, I think we all have a little *evil* side in us. But, speaking of “breaking” people, have you “broken” any fans enough they’ve left you with a memorable encounter?
Luckily not yet. I also use a pen name so it makes things a little bit easier in my life.
Smart idea. Which actress/actors would portray the lead characters of your book?
I could see Avery being played by Alexandra Daddario and Logan could be played by Brandt Daughtry.
I looked both of those actors up and I am not disappointed! With regards to being disappointed… what’s one movie adaption of a book which you hated and why.
Twilight. And it’s for no other reason than I felt they left out so many good parts. I love the books and I love the movies, but just not in relation to each other.
That’s the worst part of the movie adaption – it never quite catches all the small intricacies which make books great. What’s your personal writing Kryptonite?
Deadlines. If I give myself deadlines it’s instant writer’s block. Of course I give myself theoretical ones and I do my best to stick with it, but if I say “Okay, this week I need to get out 30,000 words. It just isn’t going to happen.”
Is there anything you’re currently working on now?
I am finishing up Coming Together, book 2 in the Welcome to Carson series, and I just started the beginnings of book 3, Coming Consumed, and book 4, Coming Altered. I also have an ongoing paranormal WIP that I try to touch base with every once in a while.
Just make sure you hit those deadlines, LOL. Ok, last question, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never stop writing. Even if it’s an off day try to get a sentence written. There are days when I don’t feel like writing at all and the characters aren’t “speaking” to me, but if I wait until the next day then I’ll just find another excuse. I’ll write a short sentence, that may get deleted when I read through the next day, but it’s better than no words.
Wonderful advice. Thank you, Renee, for taking the time to talk to us about yourself and your series.
Want more information on Renee? Visit
Renee’s novel, Coming Alive, is set to release January 17, 2017, and is the first novel in the Welcome to Carson series.
When it comes to second chances…. Does one take it?
Avery Poindexter never expected to take another chance at love…actually, she had planned on remaining invisible for the rest of her life. Growing up in a family that would put Cinderella’s to shame, Avery Poindexter watched as her sister withstood years of abuse while she was sidelined to the staff quarters unable to fight for her own. However, she had a plan…
On her eighteenth birthday, with the signed paperwork from her malicious grandmother, Avery and her sister make their escape and never look back, but Avery should have guessed that her change in luck was too good to be true. After unexpected deaths, Avery finds herself simply passing through life….alone.
Banishing herself to a life of loneliness and solitude, Avery jumps at the chance to start over somewhere new: Carson, North Carolina. As Avery adjusts to a new beginning and a new life, she’s thrown a curve ball she wasn’t expecting – him – a man that has his own secrets and demons shrouded in the darkness of his past. He also happens to be one of her bosses and Avery finds herself drawn to him in a way she never anticipated, torn between wanting to wrap him in her arms and push him away in hopes to save his life.
Logan doesn’t trust women. Period. They play on your emotional vulnerability and use you if they can. They chew you up and spit you out. He should know; his family has a long history of lying, cheating, manipulating, and leaving women. Growing up in a trailer park, kicking post to his dad’s vicious temper, Logan made a vow to make something of himself. Determination and scholarships got him through medical school; women got him through lonely nights.
A one-night stand cut short exposes Logan to a mysterious woman that flips his world upside down. Logan never expected to meet her; the one that would make him question everything. Undeterred by her need to keep him at an arm’s length, he goes against everything he believes in the quest to prove that they’re worth fighting for.
Will Logan be able to breathe life back into Avery’s heart and offer her the things she craves…family? Love? Or will their devastating pasts force them apart?
****Renee has generously decided to give away the three novels of her Stone Series Trilogy: Stone Shattered, Stone Unhinged, and Stone Mended. For a chance to win, use the code “Renee” and sign up by Clicking Here