After a quick but memorable fling, Louana Higgins leaves the drummer for The Spades exactly where he belongs: a tour bus. The junior producer knows she’s dodged a bullet. Because, despite his melt-your-heart chocolate eyes and rising fame, Jake Riley is not boyfriend material. And those messages he sends in the middle of the night get filed under, “drunk text, best to ignore,” without delay.
Twelve grueling years of paying dues has finally resulted in a hit song for Jake. But, knowing the new zeroes in his bank account come with as many ways to blow it, he craves stability. So, stocked with an arsenal of charm, and a reminder of what happened against her front door, he persuades Louana to see him again the next time he’s in town. Now, certain he’s found the calm to his storm, he asks her for the previously unthinkable-monogamy.
Hesitant but smitten, Louana agrees. And as if long distance and groupies aren’t high enough hurdles, Louana’s new beau also comes with a malicious lead singer. Having lost his favorite partner-in-crime, the front man is ready to tear the couple apart by revealing a secret from Jake’s not so distant past. Unable to discuss it with Jake for fear his bandmate’s betrayal would mean the demise of his flourishing career, Louana must now decide if she can live with Jake and his secret or leave the rock star she loves.
Contemporary romance and erotica writer Deana Birch was named after her father’s first love, who just so happened not to be her mother. Born and raised in the Midwest, she made stops in Los Angeles and New York before settling in Europe where she lives with her own blue-eyed Happily Ever After. Her days are spent teaching yoga, playing tennis, ruining her children’s French homework, cleaning up dog vomit, writing her next book, or reading someone else’s.
An Interview with DEANA BIRCH
1. Were you a fan of love stories growing up? Not really. I rooted for the Wicked Witch of the West. When Wicked, the book, came out, I danced for joy. I love a great villain.
2. What inspired your love of writing? Reading and discussing books in college. I started writing poetry during some dark days and then put writing down for a few years. Then I went through a period of reading only non-fiction. When I finally got back on the fiction wagon, I looked at stories in a different light. I still read a lot and am a member of a monthly bookclub.
3. Do you plan out a story in advance or just wing it as you write? Both! I always start with my characters and they simmer in my head for months—usually when I’m alone in the car they speak to me the loudest. I work on their goals and fears and get to know them. When I sit down to write my first draft, I have a lot of happy coincidences. Or so I like to think.
4. Romance novels can be taboo in some circles – how do you respond to that? Writing is writing, and stories are stories. It’s true that Romance as a genre can get overlooked, but the readership is strong. That being said, it’s not for
everyone. I have sub-genres of Romance that I refuse to read and am not a fan of certain tropes. I like strawberry ice cream and you like chocolate. Don’t order strawberry.
5. What inspired you to give Louana such strong female role models? I consider myself a strong woman and I try to show that to the younger women and girls around me. But strength comes in many forms. Louana’s mother is quiet, but stable while her grandmother is vocal and fierce. I was just chatting with a writer friend of mine who writes Historical Romance about the importance of showing strong women. Showing them succeed in fiction helps inspire reality. And visa versa.
6. Are any of the characters based off of real people? Uhhhh…. Not Jake! Jake is an alpha man child fantasy. I definitely was inspired by things people do or have done around me, but I usually would take something like their job and then completely change their looks and personality. I am guilty of not looking too far for names.
7. Do you have any tricks to work through writer’s block? I am not someone who writes something new everyday. I write in bursts and spend most of my time editing. I also read, read, read.
8. Why did you decide to make Jake a musician? As if I had a choice! Jake and Louana showed up in my head and would not leave me alone for months and months. But music is something I am familiar with and was comfortable ground.
9. Will we see Jake and Louana again? Yes! Slower will be in my editor’s brilliant hands very soon.
10. What are you working on now? I have an Erotic Romance I just finished with my Critique Partner and we are just starting to shop that around. I also have a stand-alone Contemporary Romance completed and it will get my full attention this fall. There are two new characters building in my mind and I hope they will be as loud as Jake and Louana.