I’m so pleased to welcome Elyssa Patrick to Teatime Romance today! I first “met” Elyssa back in the days of the Eloisa James/JQ BB. Like me, she is a voracious romance reader, and writes contemporaries. Obviously, it was meant to be. 🙂 Elyssa a very talented contemporary/NA author and I was so excited for her when she decided to start self-publishing her novels. I have no doubt she’s well on her way to a successful and rewarding career. She’s here today to discuss the release of her new NA book Stay With Me which is the first book in her With Me series. Here’s the blurb for the book:
With one look, I’m his . . .With one touch, he’s mine . . .With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me
Sounds SO GOOD, right??!! And it is! Elyssa was generous enough to give me an ARC, and I can tell you that Stay With Me is a wonderful story and not to be missed. I’m already anxiously waiting for the next book in the series. Without further ado, take it away Elyssa!
1. Can you tell us about Stay With Me and the With Me series?
Thanks so much for having me on here, Lisa! STAY WITH ME is the first book in the With Me series, but each book features a different couple. In STAY WITH ME, Hailey Bloom is a famous rock star/actress who’s been famous since she was little and has grown up under the public eye, but she leaves it all behind because she wants a normal life and to really discover who she is. So she goes to college in Vermont and meets the hero, Caleb Fox, who’s normal, sexy, and totally into her.
Lisa: That was one of my favorite aspects of the book-Hailey’s journey of self-discovery, how she gains her confidence, learns to open up and trust, etc.
2. What was your inspiration for the book and the series?
It was a combination of things. Mainly I wanted to write a story featuring a famous girl who leaves for college and falls for a guy who is non-famous. I also kept thinking about celebs like Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Lindsey Lohan, two of whom have grown up in the public eye. Each of them have dealt with break ups, family problems, personal issues–and the toll it must take. Then, Hailey popped in my head and the story idea, and I was off and running with it.
Lisa: Don’t you love it when a character just pops in your head and gives you the inspiration you need? And the whole celebrity aspect was a great way to add tension and stakes to the book
3. What drew you towards writing contemporary and NA romances as opposed to historicals, paranormal, or other romance sub-genres? And would you ever want to try another sub-genre?
I’ve always written contemporary but when I started writing for publication, I started writing historical. I was in the Avon Fanlit competition and actually finaled in one round, but I realized that my voice fit better with the contemporary genre. As to trying another sub-genre, probably not. I love writing contemporary romances and New Adult.
Lisa: Oohh another Avon FanLit author! I know so many authors who got their start there-Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Sara Lindsey, Tiffany Clare, etc. You’re in excellent company there! 🙂 And I’m with you-though the bulk of the romances I read are historicals, my voice is definitely contemporary.
4. What can you tell us about the hero and heroine Caleb and Hailey? Did you have any celebrities in mind when you created the characters, or any point of visual reference?
Hailey has been famous since she was a baby—she’s strong, vulnerable, and very realistic. Caleb is steady, confident, and knows who he is and what he wants—and who he wants. I actually don’t have any visual references for the characters; I try not to do that as I want readers to come up with their own image of what Hailey, Caleb, and others look like. I love seeing who readers envision for the characters!
Lisa: I liked that Caleb was so confident and grounded. No emotional baggage. Helps me have faith that there are still good guys out there! 🙂
5. What is next for you another book in the With Me series? Will you be continuing with your straight contemporary romance Rock Stars in Love series?
Next up is CHRISTMAS WITH ME, a novella, out in December. The hero of that one is Jamie McAlister. And yes, I definitely plan on writing more straight contemporary romances. I’m hoping to get the next Rock Stars in Love, THE TAMING OF A ROCK STAR, out next summer, but things can always change.
Lisa: I’m so glad you’ll be continuing with both series! And I love this new cover.
6. Who are your writing inspirations/idols?
A bunch of authors inspire me, including: Julie James, Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Tammara Webber, Maya Banks, Nalini Singh, Tiffany Clare, Maggie Robinson, Tamara Morgan, and Laura Florand.
Lisa: Lisa Kleypas and Julie James are two of my major writing inspirations and idols too. Great minds think alike!
7. What books do you recommend to romance newbies to introduce them to how awesome the genre is?
I have a huge list:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (I know this isn’t a romance-romance per se, but I’m still recommending it!)
Lisa: Awesome list! You have some of my personal favs on there. And P&P totally belongs on the list.
Also, these six questions are some “Get to know you questions.”
1) What was the first romance novel you ever read? I don’t really remember my “first” romance but the one that got me totally hooked on the genre was Shelly Thacker’s A Stranger’s Kiss.
Lisa: Ooohh looks like an Old Skool romance!! Will have to check it out.
2) Your house is on fire – which five romance novels do you grab on your way out? Well, I would grab my Kindle, so luckily I will save all my books. 🙂
Lisa: don’t think you’ll be surprised to know how many authors use the Kindle loophole to get out of answering the question. 😉
3) What is your secret passion? —blank— (I can’t think of anything.)
Lisa: No worries. I had trouble coming up with one too!
4) Why do you write romance? Because I love it. I love writing characters who grow and fall in love and get a happily ever after. Romances are full of hope, dreams, and the promise of a great future.
Lisa: AMEN! Couldn’t have put it better myself
5) Is there anything in your book that comes from personal experience? I think every book I write comes a little from personal experience—Hailey is very alone at the start of the book and has a hard time making friends, and I am awkward to the ninth degree.
Lisa: Awkward girls unite!
6) What is your favorite kind of tea, and how do you drink it? Earl Grey, black.
Thank you so much Elyssa! I wish you much luck and success with your new series.
GIVEAWAY!!! 🙂 Elyssa is generously giving one commentor a digital copy of Stay With Me. To enter, simply comment below or answer this question: Who were/are your rock star crushes? Do you enjoy books set in college-does it bring back fond memories? Have you read a New Adult book before?