Publication date: October, 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
When Hayley makes a resolution to declare her loose lifestyle era R.I.P, it’s all good in theory…
That is until she meets Daniel Stark, a well-respected, mid-thirties business man who is known for his short temper, lack of steady relationships as well as his strict preserve of his private life.
Opinionated, sharp tongued Hayley accidently steps into his office leaving Daniel resolved to put Hayley in her place and have her in his bed.
Both Hayley and Daniel can’t avoid the immediate instigation of the attraction between them.
In a unanimously agreed upon verdict by Hayley and her two best friends, Ian the gay self-absorb, aspiring model and Natasha the witty, borderline neurotic soul mate, Daniel Stark is to be Hayley’s pure physical attraction, emotions aside era closure.
Will it indeed be a closure, or a beginning to something neither Hayley nor Daniel ever bargained for…
There's a high-end coffee machine calling my name on the countertop across the room. A quick little coffee and I am out of here.
I press the green small-cup button and the machine awakens with the noise of evaporating steam. The oh-so-aromatic, roasted scent wafts toward me as the machine fills the cup with a rich chocolate-colored liquid. I'm thrilled, already anticipating the taste. When the machine signals that the cycle is complete, I grab the cup too hastily, and some of the coffee manages to spill on my white blouse.
Observing the damage with irritation, I murmur, “Fuck me,” under my breath.
“Is that a request?”
Shifting my stare back to see who has just spoken; I find myself holding on to the counter from a momentary loss of balance, as I take in the sight of the orator.
Heat spreads from the center of my skull through my throat, to the top of my cleavage. And I don’t do blushing. What the hell?
Standing there is the very picture of hot, tall and sinful. White tee, jeans, and the most alluring bad boy stance. Something in his crooked smile inexplicably leaves me dumbfounded. For the space of a moment, I am lost in him.
His eyes roam over me with a wicked glee, stripping off every layer of clothing I have on. The air escapes my lungs at the intensity of that gaze.
I gape back at him, my jaw slightly dropped. “Mmm… just made some coffee.” I mumble my lame excuse and follow it with a thin smile.
“So I assume it wasn’t a request, then?” His teasing eyes are on me, that sexy grin is still plastered on his face, and his expression insinuates pure sin.
“Too bad,” he murmurs, and I have to swallow hard.
“Is that your thing?” I ask, recovering.
He cocks an eyebrow. “Sneaking behind people and trying to engage them in salacious activities?” A low laugh, deep and hoarse, comes as a reply.
“No.” He scratches his amused lips with his thumb, looking at me with a slightly tilted head. “And just for the record, I believe it was you who started with the indecent proposals.”
I open my mouth, looking frantically for some clever comeback that doesn’t appear to come, and instead feel my face heat up. Again. Damn.
Not exactly sure where they will end up next…
When she is not hiding in her office, writing, she enjoys music, reading and taking care of her little clan.
With a great believe in "don’t wait for things to happen - make them happen," she enjoys anything exciting life has to offer.
How would you describe Layers?
Layers is a plunge into the world of a sassy, confident woman that meets her equal and together take a leap into the unknown. While both protagonists have their share of flaws and fears to overcome, they try to take a chance on the relationship thing which they so far dreaded, only to find out it’s not as bad as it seems.
Who is your favorite character in the book? And what was your favorite scene to write?
This is like asking who’s your favorite masseuse. I honestly like them - all, really. Though, if I have to choose one, it’ll have to be one of the supporting characters, Ian. Ian is the best friend everybody secretly wishes they could have, he is so full of life and his “I don’t give a damn” attitude is just admirable. Frankly, I wish sometimes I could be a little Ian.
My favorite scene to write would be the scene when Daniel confronts Hayley after he finds out some disturbing information. It was an emotionally draining scene that got my heart to wrench and took some time to get over. Before actually typing it, the dialog and a certain song were eating at my mind for a long while.
How much of the book is realistic?
It’s mainly fiction, though there are some minor parts taken from real life, consciously and unconsciously. For example, in my past so called “corporate life” I worked at the equivalent of “Stark SW.”
Also, one of the supporting characters is based on a person who’s very close to my heart. And surprisingly, after actually editing the manuscript I’ve realized Daniel and my hubby share some similarities. The last, for sure, was unconsciously done.
You have quite a few steamy scenes in the book, are these scenes easy to write?
The steamy scenes weren’t exactly easy, because, I’m not a fan of using explicit descriptions so I had to tone down the acts and have the emotions speak instead of actually “showing” the “bites and pieces”.
Where do you get the ideas for these scenes?
A lot of practice and research of course. Not…
Just as any other scenes, my wild imagination. Talking about steamy and wild imagination, you should read those parts in the sequel, let’s just say that I was very pregnant when writing it… pregnancy hormones, if you know what I mean… Stay tuned *winking*
What is the funniest experience you have had while writing Layers?
It was in an annoying “writer’s block,” I’ve mocked one of the more intense scenes, I’ve actually rewritten it parody style. I literally laughed throughout the entire rewrite and it was actually a quite liberating experience. Though, it didn’t solve the block issue.
With as many Contemporary Romance which feature rich men and the women who “tames” them out there, what sets Layers apart in the fast growing genre?
I believe that the uniqueness comes from the tone in which the book is written. It’s a light and fun read, even the sorrow infused parts are laced with a touch of humor. That, together with the fact that Daniel is not your typical multi-millionaire, Hayley’s sassy personality, the dynamics between the characters as well as the supportive characters just adds the special something that sets it apart.
Which of the characters was the hardest to write?
Hayley, the protagonist, on one hand she is so together and confident but then she has all those doubts that you feel like shaking her to set her back in place. So basically showing her weakness was hard.
How are you publishing this book and why?
Though I’ve been offered a publishing contract I’ve chosen to self-publish.
Why? Due to major control freakery… Just kidding, or not.
Since the contract that I’ve been offered wasn’t what I’ve expected in terms of handling and marketing, I’ve decided to engage with some very talented people that helped polish and publish Layers. I just hope I won’t live to regret this decision. *Awkwardly smiling*
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on Inner Core, Layers’ sequel which I intend to release in a few short months. Inner Core is about the next step of Hayley’s and Daniel’s relationship, when love is there but there’s so much more to grow into while facing setbacks and learning to accept each other no matter what the differences are. As in Layers, also Inner Core is entwined with fun and light scenes and while there is angst there’s always an iota of humor to make it bearable.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
I find the names to be extremely important, I believe that the name have a great weight in the overall creation of a character. Usually I choose a couple of names and imagine them in some scenes to test how it sounds in my head.
For example, Hayley, from my point of view could not be a better name for Layers’ protagonist. It’s a name that describes a confident, creative and original, person, just like Hayley is.
What is the biggest high of being a writer?
When someone is moved by your story, relates and falls in love with the characters. That’s absolutely priceless.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I used to be a hard back kind of gal but you know what they say: “once you go Kindle, you never go back”. Kindle, I already have two and have my eyes set on the new paper white. (hint, hint, hubby…)
What novel are you most looking forward to reading this year?
I’d have to say the new Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy book. Like many others of my generation, this was the book in our twenties, yeah, that’s how old I am… So having a peek to Bridget’s future is like some sort of a sweet closure treat.
Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?
I’m quite positive that there are many. Speaking for myself, I’d go with mild spacing symptom. In some cases it’s really hard to stay connected to the present; many times the lines between reality and imaginary get blurred.
What is your favorite film and why?
I’m debating between two of Tarantino’s films, Kill Bill and Inglorious Bastards. Why? Can someone really define Tarantino? In two words, twisted perfection.
1. What it your favorite gadget?
Ehem, define gadget… *winking* Okay, my beloved Kindle.
2. Do you smoke?
Define smoking… Just kidding, no I don’t.
3. When was the last time you got angry?
I’m a mother… I guess that answers the question.
4. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
I try to do that as often as possible.
5. Was there a movie that you could not bear to see until its end?
Any private wedding movies, is there anything more boring than these? If you want to make someone suffer slowly and painfully, show them your wedding movie…
6. What character would you have liked to have played?
Beatrix Kiddo aka The Bride from Kill Bill.
7. "Sex and the City reruns", "Desperate Housewives" or "Gossip Girl"?
Sex and the City, in one word: Samantha.
8. Who do you currently have a crush on? The guy at the car wash, he always throws in one of those little trees fresheners for free.
9. What's the best moment of your day? The first coffee of the day, alone! 10. Which of your books is your best? Though I like them all, I do… I’d go with Inner Core.
One last thing before you go?
Thank you so much for having me here and I’ll take this opportunity to shout a big thank you to all those who read and reviewed – I’m grateful to you!