01 November 2015

Proust Your Protagonist with B. Thatcher

Meet Jenna, the heroine of B. Thatcher's sci-fi
romance Catching Her Balance, available now!


Jenna Markkus

As some of you readers may know, there are times where I can be a bit socially awkward and shy. Sometimes it's difficult for me to engage myself with strangers, and always prefer if I have a friend with me to give an introduction. When I first learned of Jenna, I knew I wanted to interview her, but reached out to B. Thatcher first for that coveted introduction:

Jenna Markkus’s exquisite, genetically engineered face and form conceals a lifetime of pain. Beloved of her Papa? No. Tool used in pursuit of her Papa’s rise to power? Yes. But enough is enough. Derrick Vittalar is her first, best hope for a life free of servitude and cruelty. All she needs to do is catch his eye.

That sounds somewhat manipulative, no?  The hidden story behind Jenna is the hidden horror of child abuse and parental-child exploitation. Behind her perfectly engineered smile and carefully selected clothing lies a lifetime of pain.  For her caretakers, that pain is their stream of income, their “yellow brick road” to a better life.

Jenna is pain. She exists in what modern medicine terms “PTSD Arousal Cluster.”  She is desperate to get away.  Desperation is the beating of her heart.

For her, there is only one way out. Derrick Vittalar.  The aggressive exploitation of her horrifying parents is not so easily thwarted.  The Vittalar family had the power, the authority, and (hopefully) the willingness to give Jenna a place of safety.  More, she’s praying that she might, finally and at last, be told “I love you” and not look for the oncoming fist.

And now, may I present my interview with Jenna, someone who I immediately felt for once we started talking:

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
My life wasn’t one of happiness, and my psychotic parents, who have continued their abuses.  I am not a commodity.  I am not a tool, a piece of meat to be thrown to the hungry for my parents’ benefit. My lowest depth of misery is coming to the realization that there may be no escape for me.  Derrick is my last chance.  His family has the strength to thwart my parents’ aggressive privilege and demands on my body and my mind.  I only want to be loved, not for my body, but for me.

Where would you like to live?
The Vittalar compound, certainly, but in truth I’d be happy wherever Derrick sets down his pillow.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Safety.  Love.

The quality you most admire in a man?
Intellect and constancy.  Bravery because I have monsters who will not let me go without a fight.  I want a man who will value me for me and find me worthy of his protection.  I’ve been betrayed too many times by my caretakers, whom I hoped would keep me safe, but in reality it was they are were the monsters.  I would fight for him.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
Someone I can trust.  Someone who believes me, listens to me and respects what I have to say.  Don’t get me wrong, I will fight for her as well.   

Your favorite virtue?
Again: intellect.  I’m not safe and there are monsters who haunt my life.  I need folks around me who won’t fall for the lies and the games.  Sadly, yes, I’m that scarred. 

Your favorite occupation?
Love stories.  When you’ve never had safety or love, it is something a person spends a lot of time contemplating.
Your most marked characteristic?

What do you most value in your friends?
Someone who believes me.  Loyalty and content of character, someone who will work with me to keep away the monsters.

What is your principle defect?
So many years I’ve been told that my mind wasn’t important and that all I had to offer was my body. Someone else’s benefit.  I learned how to separate my mind from my body and not to care.  From that, I learned how to walk across the backs of people, and that saddens me.  That’s not who I am. It’s what I was forced to be.
What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
Falling for my parents’ lies.  Maybe believing that there is some All-Loving Celestial entity that heard my cries for help…and actually cared about my tears.  I believed all that and because I did, I tried to show whoever that I was worthy of some eventual help.  That celestial help never arrived.  I was on my own.

What would you like to be?
I don’t know who I am, or who I could be.  I’m in transition.  I feel like I’m just being born and am so amid a war zone.  Mostly, though, I want to feel safe and loved.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Heroes?  I don’t really have them…well, except for my Derrick.  And his wingman, Jago.  They have educated me about sacrifice for a worthy cause, for willingness to submit to something greater than themselves, and to hold their course even if it’s painful to do so.  For me, that’s the epitome of heroic.

Who are your favorite heroines?
My sister Sylvie.  She’s always been there for me.

What is it you most dislike?
No-brainer of a question considering my responses above.  (he he.)  I have fought, and will continue to fight until my dying day, child abuse in any form as well as abusive parental privilege.  I dislike lies.  Manipulations.  Deliberate tweaks of people’s emotions for agenda or entertainment.  In fact, whenever anyone attempts to “prove their intellect” by minimizing mine.  Since I’ve been privileged to have Derrick in my life, and hopefully he feels the same way, I seriously kick over the furnishings and step up, fists first, no matter who tries that game.  No more will I be used.  No more will I be muzzled.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
The thing that makes people capable of loving me.  I seem to have missed that gene.  Shoot, not even my own caretaker found me worthy of loving care. (shrug.)

How would you like to die?
It doesn’t matter.  I probably wouldn’t want to linger, though.  I’d like for people to remember we for having created something beautiful in his life, something that helped people

What is your present state of mind?
There is a deep, dark hole of despair I try to avoid stepping into.  I struggle to hold onto a sense of hope and the idea that I may have a bright and loving future.  We’re in the middle of an invasion so I’m not sure how that will work out.

What is your motto? 
“Keep fighting for love.” This lyric means a lot to me: We will secure the health and benefit of the Seven Galaxies. / The future holds promise. / We will win this war.


About the Author: B. Thatcher (Brenda) began reading romance novels in middle school. Her passion for that genre has continued to this day. Love among the stars has always been a glorious fantasy. It started early, with Kirk and the Green Girls of Trek, Han and Leah, and even her of dreams finding her own star-struck lover among those unlimited vistas.

Blessed to live among the glory and grandeur of the USA’s Pacific Northwest, she shares her home with three cats, a tank of fish, her dreams and many, many daily critter visitors.

B. Thatcher also writes erotic romance under the penname of Michelle Robbins.

Come play among her imaginings. She promises that it won’t hurt.


For more of B. Thatcher, stop by her publisher page: B. Thatcher. You can also follow her on Facebook as well as her author blog, "Love Knows No Bounds." As Michelle Robbins, you can check out her publisher page, Facebook, and author blog, "Erotic Romance With an Edge."

21 October 2015

Happy Release Day! "Firebird" by Jennifer Loring

FIREBIRD by Jennifer Loring

Stephanie Hartwell is a journalist chasing the story of her career...

When superstar hockey player and notorious bad boy Aleksandr Volynsky is traded to the Seattle Earthquakes in a blockbuster deal, Stephanie demands the opportunity to prove herself by scoring an exclusive interview with a man with no love for the media...the same man she once though, as a naive teenager, she'd someday marry.

An Olympian and Stanley Cup Champion, Aleksandr has achieved every goal he's ever set...

Now expected to carry a failing team on his shoulders, Aleksandr's troubles deepen when he encounters Stephanie after a season-opening loss. His lifestyle of drinking and random hookups has been a futile attempt to forget the beautiful tomboy who stole his heart nine years ago. And worse, fame and fortune have made it impossible for him to trust anyone--especially Stephanie, who is engaged to another man.

Romance rekindles, but tragedy reveals Aleksandr's dark side...

Being with Aleksandr in the first place jeopardizes Stephanie's journalistic integrity and threatens her career, and when he spirals out of control, it reawakens fears from her own history, making her unable to commit to a future with him.

When Aleksandr discovers the truth behind his self-destructive behavior, will his newfound self-awareness be enough to convince Stephanie to give him one last chance...

Or will his revelation drive her away for good?

Author Bio:

Jennifer Loring's short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, webzines, and anthologies. In 2013, she won Crystal Lake Publishing's inaugural Tales from the Lake writing competition; in 2014, DarkFuse published her novella Conduits, and in May 2015, Omnium Gatherum released her debut novel, Those of My Kind. She recently signed a deal for a contemporary romance trilogy with Limitless Publishing; the first book, Firebird, is due out on October 20, 2015. Jennifer lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband, a turtle, and two basset hounds. She is currently at work on the second book in the Firebird Trilogy as well as a paranormal romance.

One e-book copy of Firebird

LISTEN TO THE BOOK SOUNDTRACK HERE! Firebird (Book One) from JenniferLoring on 8tracks Radio.