What’s up? I bet you’re all wondering what I, Matt Riley, am doing here at the Spicy Butterfly Garden. It does seem odd that a fireman from an erotic romance novel would be blog-posting on his author’s website. But as it stands, Jessica Jayne asked me to interview her for the Meet the Author Blog Hop and I had a hard time passing up this opportunity.
For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Matt Riley and I’m best known as the hero of Jessica Jayne’s novel, In Flames.
I am a firefighter and with that role comes life-threatening experiences and moments of heroism. It’s a humbling, yet fascinating field and the camaraderie amongst my co-workers is much like a second family. And I owe a lot to them.
My brother, Chad, who was also a firefighter died while fighting a fire and that was a very difficult time in my life and his widow, Gracelyn’s. But Gracey and I became extremely close and have helped each other through the grieving process and are now moving on. I’m not going to go too much into the details of my relationship with Gracey. If you want to find out where we stand, you will need to read Jessica’s book. In fact, if you’re really curious, you can purchase it here:
Anyway, here comes Jessica! Hey there, Jess! How are you?
Jessica: Matt! Hi! I’m doing well. It’s been very busy, but good.
Matt: What is keeping you so busy?
Jessica: Well, my three children just started back to elementary school and that always seems to cause chaos in the schedule for the first several weeks. Despite all three of them loving school, it’s the getting everyone up in the morning and with the program that tends to be the issue.
Matt: Ha-ha! I can relate. Brian, Jenna and Josh will start back to school today (August 26), so Gracey and I have been prepping them by sending them to bed earlier and waking them up early for the last week. Not happy campers.
Jessica: It’s hard coming off summer vacation. I remember those days. It’s like coming off a vacation and going back to work when you’re an adult. It’s no fun!
Matt: Very true, Jess. So, did you do anything fun this summer?
Jessica: Of course! We took the kids to Legoland. Went bowling and to a trampoline park. Took the kids to their first fine dining restaurant for a “fancy dinner” as they like to call it. We did some fishing and spent some quality time on the beach. In fact, we rented a house on the beach for the family and hung out for seven days. It was glorious. We’d roll out of bed in the morning and right into the swimming pool. Then we’d wander back to the house for lunch and a nap. After nap, we’d roll out to the beach to hang for the afternoon and catch sunset. It was extremely relaxing. We had family and friends visit us. It was lovely.
Matt: Sounds like a great summer. Everyone can use down time. Did you do any other traveling over the summer?
Jessica: Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love to travel, so I try to squeeze in long weekends or quick trips here and there. My husband and I took a long weekend just the two of us and went to St. Augustine. We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast called At Journey’s End and just enjoyed the romantic and historic elements of that wonderful city. We did a historical bike tour, took a sunset sail on a sailboat and ate very well.
Matt: I know with kids it is not always easy to find that “couple time.” Sounds like you and your husband try to find that time. It’s important to the relationship.
Jessica: Couldn’t agree more. If you don’t feed your relationship, you will starve it. And we lucked out! Both of our parents live fairly close to us, so they love taking the kids from time to time to give us that “couple time” and they get that “grandparents time.”
Matt: So, what has you excited for the foreseeable future?
Jessica: Football! College football to be more precise! The Ohio State Buckeyes to be exact! And of course, GameDay with Kirk Herbstreit! *smiles*
Matt: I should have known you’d go there! *laughs* I’m pretty psyched about this year’s Buckeyes team too! What is it about football season that gets you all riled up?
Jessica: I grew up in the Midwest, in Ohio in a house with a father and a brother that lived and breathed sports, particularly football. I probably went to my first high school football when I was two years old. It has been ingrained in me since I can remember. Plus, it’s hard not to like a bunch of guys running around in tight pants getting all sweaty and stuff. *winks*
Matt: You women! *rolls his eyes and chuckles* Gracey says the same thing!
Jessica: Gracey is a smart woman!
Matt: That she is! Any new books you’re working on that you want to share with us?
Jessica: Actually… yes! I have new release coming out this Tuesday, August 27th! Board Approved is the second book in the Taking Advantage series. Board Approved involves Greg Snow, a 42 year old corporate attorney, that has dedicated his life to his work because his first marriage failed miserably. He didn’t really want to put his heart into a relationship again. He is a member of the board of directors for Advantage Insurance Company and meets Tessa Mills at Advantage on board day. Tessa is a twenty-something yoga instructor that teaches lunch time classes at Advantage. She’s had a rough go of things and has generally had a bad run of guys in her life. What happens to two lost souls when they find each other? Can they overcome all the obstacles that stand in their way?
Matt: What?! You aren’t going to tell us the answers to those questions? *laughs*
Jessica: Nope. You’ll have to read the book to find out. *winks*
Matt: How did you come up with the Taking Advantage series?
Jessica: I came up with the first book in the story, Board Stiff, while I was sitting outside of the boardroom waiting to give a presentation to a board of directors. I thought… hmmmm… there’s a story here! I flipped over a corner of my presentation papers and jotted down the idea. From there the series idea just popped into my head. So, I’m doing three books about three guys on this board. They are all good-looking, single and at the top of their individual careers. I thought they also needed a love life, so I’m giving them each one. *smiles*
Matt: It’s interesting that every day events in your life trigger a story for you. Not being an author or writer of any sort, I’d have thought you needed to sit down and really think to come up with a story line.
Jessica: Fortunately, life provides ample storylines. I carry a notebook in my purse and jot things down as they come up. Your story with Gracelyn came to me as I was waiting in my car in the parking lot of a restaurant. I was waiting to meet some friends and I saw this couple come out of the restaurant. They appeared in love, but yet, they seem restrained… afraid or concerned about people seeing them together. Hence, the scene in In Flames where you and Gracelyn are leaving the bar and grill. *winks*
Matt: Ahhhh! I love that scene! Though it was emotional.
Jessica: Wouldn’t be a romance if there was no emotion!
Matt: Very true. *chuckles* So, can you tell us three of your most favorite activities?
Jessica: Hmmm… spending time with my kids and husband is top of the list. I don’t really care what we’re doing. There are always laughs and I love few things more than the sound of my children’s laughter. I’m a family kind of person, so spending time with family like my sister, my brother, my parents, counsins, in-laws, etc. I come from a rather large extended family, so I enjoy that kind of stuff. I’m a relationship kind of person meaning that I’d rather spend time with people than spend money on things. So, one of my other favorite activities is spending time with my friends. I’ve always had good friends and over the last few years I’ve met some really amazing women that I consider some of my best friends ever. We do all sorts of things, like country line dancing, going to the movies, playing board games.
Matt: What is your favorite board game?
Jessica: Great question. My favorites have been Apples to Apples or the Fifty Shades of Grey game. Yep! There is a board game based on the books! It’s hysterical. But we had a game night recently with other couples and played Cards Against Humanity, a game for horrible people. I’m pretty sure none of us have laughed that hard in quite some time. We had a roll of toilet paper on the table so that we could wipe the tears that would flow from laughing so hard. It’s a must, but it’s definitely an adult game!
Matt: Sounds great. I’m going to look that one up when I get home. We’re always looking for something new to do with our friends. As I understand the rules of this blog hop, you have to offer a code word. Do you have yours?
Jessica: Sure do. Code word – fireman
Matt: *laughs* Great one! Anything you want to add before we wrap this up?
Jessica: I’d like to thank you for taking the time to interview my for this blog hop, Matt. I appreciate it! I’d also like to thank my husband, family and friends for their constant support in this crazy journey I’ve decided to take on. I’d like to thank Evernight Publishing for taking so many chances on me. They are a great publisher. I’d like to express great appreciation to the book reviewers and bloggers that help get us newer authors’ names out there! And I’d like to thank the readers for giving my characters and stories a chance. It’s always been a dream of mine to be an author and it’s a great privilege to be given the opportunity.
Matt: Awesome, Jess! Enjoy your week! 🙂
You can find Jessica here:
Thanks to Kasey Dean for putting this blog hop and giveaway together! www.kaseydean.com
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