(According to Palessa's FB like page, Author Dina Redmon is credited for creating this portrait.)
1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the reader’s a little about yourself? How you got your start in the writing business?
(Palessa) Well, I started the whole storytelling journey when I was a teenager and it all stemmed from a broken heart, really. As I got into reading romances, I started playing around with stories and managed to write a really long story when I was in my late teens. It's always been a way for me to figure out emotions and feelings and motivations and to me, that's what makes a good story.
2. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(Palessa) I used to dread it because it's not fun. But what I find is that it's a signal that I'm either overthinking or overwhelmed. I usually take a break from writing. Then I'll put pen to paper to just try and write it out.
3. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glamor. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Palessa) Yep, I lead a pretty simple, boring life, I'm afraid. I don't really go out and surprisingly enough, I'm good with that. I'm hardly ever bored. I do freelance article writing for private clients as I'm an entrepreneur who's no longer used to being told what to do. I also have a couple of social media projects of my own that I'm working on slowly building. Blogs, guest posts…like I said, boring to some but fun for me.
4. I know many writers, such as Dirk and myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Palessa) Some do. I have a friend with whom I used to share my stories. She was the one person who kept telling me that I should get back into writing. I left her a message that my first fiction book was out and she was totally ecstatic. My Dad knows, obviously, plus a few select friends. I don't hide it but I don't go out of my way to really advertise it either
5. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Palessa) I find that I have favorite books more than authors just because I get in the mood to read certain types of books at times. As far as authors Barbara Taylor Bradford is most definitely at the top. I have read A Woman of Substance at least twice and recommend it highly. Anne Rice is another favorite. Read Witching Hour when I was 15 and it was epic. Read Taltos, Memnoch, Queen of the Damned. I like Dan Brown. His books are just brilliant, I think. Robert Ludlum is a another one I like. Ken Follett's Pillar's of the Earth was fantastic. I got to read the book and watch the miniseries which was wonderfully done. I love period pieces and classics. I find myself loving Charles Dickens. I read A Tale of Two Cities and Hard Times. Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen, I'm getting into as I've watched the movies and want to explore the books. Maya Angelou, I just love her perspective and I think it's fair that I mention Colleen McCullough, The Thornbirds. I think I fell in love with Richard Chamberlain thanks to that movie and the book.
6. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(Palessa) When it comes to Hollywood, I am woefully ignorant of who's hot, it, or whatever plus I typically don't have any solid picture of what the characters would look like. But when I was writing Unchained Hearts, I actually had a couple of people come to mind.
As Brandon, Scott Eastwood came to mind. He's the son of Clint and a spitting image of his father.
As Kyle, Sydney Tamia Poitier, daughter of the great Sidney Poitier came to mind.
As far as Virgilia, I had an old black and white picture of the late singer Celia Cruz. It was from back in the 50's and she was just stunning.
As far as who today….I don't know who would be the one to have that same look. Cass, it's up in the air. It would have to be two actors as I do deal with him younger and older...not sure. I figured the actors would be these unknown types, so I don't think we've met them yet.
7. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Palessa) Well, I'm editing the rough draft of Portrait of Gray, which is Book 2. It goes into the story of Grayson Baxter. I do have a rough excerpt that I've shared with my mailing list and certain sites.
8. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Palessa) They're on Amazon and as I only have one out right now it's pretty short list. J
(Palessa) They're on Amazon and as I only have one out right now it's pretty short list. J
9. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Palessa) Sure, I'm on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorPalessa That's the best way to get in touch and to get on my mailing list as I plan to do a couple more sneak peeks of Portrait of Gray. I am also on Goodreads, http://www.goodreads.com/AuthorPalessa and there's more to come!
10. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Palessa) Why Thank You!
(Palessa) Why Thank You!
Let me share a little about the book, Unchained Hearts:
Kyle Avery, CEO of Mama Avery Foods, has been summoned to a special meeting by a note from her late mother, Virgilia Avery. When she arrives, she meets the elusive mogul Newton "Cass" Baxter, CEO of Baxter Chemicals and learns of the nearly forty year history her mother shared with Cass, as well as the obstacles they'd been forced to endure. As Kyle struggles to understand their history, she's forced to confront the man who loved and left her, Brandon Hall, VP of Baxter Chemicals and the adopted son of Cass Baxter. Kyle and Brandon unite in love, but separate in tragedy. They are forced to deal with the sad legacy of their parent's lives as well as their own heartbreak. It's up to them to finally break the chains which bind their hearts and find their own path to happiness.
*Content Warning: Adult Content, may have some explicit scenes.
When she finally got her ticket, she stood at the door, digging through her purse. Just as she reached for the handle, her hand touched someone else's. She looked up at him and felt a sudden jolt through her body. Their eyes locked for what seemed like an eternity.
Virgilia was suddenly lost in his warm emerald green eyes. He looked at her brown eyes and caught his breath.
"After you," he said, as she suddenly remembered where she was and why.
"Thank you," she managed to get out as she walked through the door he held open.
Neither of them had ever felt that way before and didn't know what to make of it. Was it a case of static? It felt a little too good to be just a random shock.
Virgilia tried to shake it off as she made her way into the theater. It was packed and she craned her head to find a possible seat. There were a couple of vacancies close to the front. Virgilia hated being that close to the screen, but as the saying goes, beggars can't be choosers. She found a seat and relaxed a bit. Not long after, her green-eyed doorman sat next to her.
"I'm not following you," he said, grinning at the look of surprise on her face. "This is just the only seat which seems to be left"
"Don't worry. I didn’t think you were following me"
"Why not? Aren't you worth following?" he flashed Virgilia a devastating smile which made her blush. Before she could even think of an answer, the lights dimmed.
She felt him lean in to her "We will continue this discussion later." Her stomach shivered as she cleared her throat and focused on the screen.
Throughout the movie, the audience’s reaction just heightened the tension of the scenes. Virgilia had no idea how big this shark was, but she knew the next time she decided to go to the beach, she would definitely rethink it.
A couple of times, the movie made her jump, much to the amusement of her doorman.
"Don't worry, Precious," he whispered. "I'll protect you"
Virgilia felt the pit of her stomach flutter when he called her "precious." If it were any other man, she would have been offended, even threatened. With him, it felt natural to hear him to call her that and she didn't even know his name.
When the movie ended, she stared at the screen, reading the credits. When she turned to glance at him, he was gone. Virgilia felt a pang of disappointment.
As she exited the theater, she felt a presence behind her. She turned to see him smiling at her.
"You never did answer my question. Don't you think you're worth following?"
"I will only answer questions from men whose names I know."
"Fair enough" he said as he extended his hand "My friends call me Cass."
"I'm Virgilia," she said as she shook his hand
"That's quite a name. I think I'll call you 'Lila' for short."Normally she hated it when people called her by some modification of her name, but this one seemed different. "Do you often change the name of the people you meet to suit yourself?"
"Only the special ones."
Virgilia felt her cheeks get hot and her stomach do backflips. No stranger had ever made her feel so at ease.
For his part, Cass was fascinated by this vision he saw before him. There was something about this woman, a light, a fire which drew him in and made him want to lose himself in those gorgeous brown eyes. He’d never felt anything like it before and was not going to let this opportunity pass him by.
"Yes," Virgilia said, suddenly.
"Yes, to Lila?"
"That too, but I meant the answer to your question." Cass looked a little lost and then she said, "I am worth following."
Cass felt his heart flip as he grinned. "Shall we?" he said offering his arm.
They walked around and talked for what felt like minutes, but turned out to be hours as evening turned to dusk. Virgilia's face hurt from smiling so much; she couldn't recall the last time she had such fun by herself or with anyone.
Cass found her smart and witty and even more beautiful than when he’d opened the door for her. He had met some stunning women in his life, but tonight, they seemed merely passable compared to Lila.
"It's getting late." She said "I had better get home"
"I'll walk you." he announced.
"No, I don't live too far from here."
He held his hand up. "I'm not letting any woman walk alone at night anywhere, no matter how close she lives."
They’d only just met, but the look on his face said he wasn't going to take ‘no’ for an answer. She thought better of starting an argument as they slowly made it to the gate of her house.
"Well, this is me," she said.
He nodded and looked at the house. It was small, modest, and held a bit of charm with the low white fence separating it from the house next door.
"Cass, I had a wonderful time."
"So did I," Cass said as his gaze moved from her eyes to her lips. "I want to do it again."
Virgilia wanted the same, but she had to be practical. "Maybe we should leave it at tonight."
Cass looked Virgilia straight in the eyes with a determination he felt deep within him. He was not used to hearing the word ‘no’ from a woman. But from this woman, the thought of not seeing her after tonight was completely unacceptable. "I don't believe you believe that. I can see it in your eyes…"
It's available on Amazon Kindle http://amzn.to/1atKn6y
Ladies and Gents, I hope you enjoyed our interview with Palessa. If you have any questions or comments for Palessa by all means, leave her a message below. Thank you in advance for your visit!