Hey guys. So today’s feature is for a brand new indie author, Jessica Collins. Wait til you read her first novel, Stealing Beauty. Omg, it’s fantastic. It’s a contemporary twist on Beauty & the Beast. Our hero is a sexy, alpha, russian beast and our heroine is a smart, beautiful, independent law student. There’s even a nasty, disgusting, pig of a villain. I couldn’t put this book down. The chemistry between Belle & Aleks is hot enough to melt your tablet. Congrats, Jessica on an amazing 1st novel. I’ll be looking forward to your next book and watching your career take off. Keep reading for Jessica’s spotlight and make sure you read Stealing Beauty.
Who are you and where are you from?
Hi! I’m Jessica Collins, contemporary erotic romance author. I’m a born and raised Jersey girl and love it here (except the taxes!).
I live with my husband and dog. We’re high school sweethearts – have been dating since age 17 and have finally gotten married a little over 3 years ago. We’re working on adding humans to our little family unit, but in the meantime, our pitbull, Nala, is enough of a big baby for us to handle! All she wants is cuddles and kisses. And God forbid you leave the room – we’ve nicknamed her “Shadow”.
Do you write part-time or full-time, and if part-time are you working to build a full-time writing career?
I write part-time due to my full-time position. My 5 year goal is to have a baby, stay home and write. I’d love for my novels to allow me to write full-time, but I’m not there yet!
What kind of work do you do, if you have another job?
I’m actually a licensed Mental Health and Substance Abuse therapist. I also have a specialty in Gambling addiction. I’ve always loved reading and thought I wanted to get into writing eventually. In high school I fell in love with psychology and decided I wanted to help others as a career. I actually wanted to be Clarice from Silence of the Lambs, but didn’t realize how difficult it was to find programs to be a forensic psychologist! I work currently in an outpatient program with high-risk, high-acuity clients. Basically, anyone who should be in the state hospitals, or just discharged from them, and are actively symptomatic, but are working hard to prevent re-hospitalization.
What kind of car do you drive?
I have a Lexus RX 350. I love my car.
What is your favorite cocktail? Food? (Please share the recipes)
Hand me a Pinot Noir, any type, and I’ll drink it. I’m not much of a cocktail girl – they’re usually too sweet. Shots wise though I’ll take a Lemon Drop, or a Jameson with a cherry chaser (It’s delicious, really).
I’m a huge foodie, so I really love everything. I’m a huge dessert fan and love baking. I recently began making muffins, and OMG they are delicious!
Here’s my Banana-Chocolate-Chip Muffin recipe (make actual muffins, not cupcake size. You’ll thank me later)
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon sour cream
2 cups flour (all purpose or white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspon cinnamon
1 cup mashed banana, about 3 small or 2 medium
¾ cup mini chocolate chips, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pans or line with cupcake liners.
2. Mix together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3. Mix in mashed banana and sour cream until well blended.
4. Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until well combined.
5. Stir in ½ cup chocolate chips.
6. Use a cookie scoop to spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, greased or paper liners. Fill almost to the top. This will make for nice rounded tops. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
7. Bake at 350 for about 18 – ¬22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
What genres do you like to read? Do you have any favorite authors that you want to name?
I’m a fan of erotic romance and horror. My absolute favorite author is Stephen King.
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
The more I read, the more I decided I wanted to write. One of the things which bothers me about the erotic romance genre is the difficulty in the balance between the erotica and the romance. I want a story – a good story – with sex involved. I don’t want to read about a woman having 15 orgasms in a day, that’s just not realistic. I also don’t want to get so inundated in the sex I begin to gloss over it and skip pages. I want to get involved in the characters, and I want to get so sucked into the story the last chapter is a beautiful torture – I want to know how it ends, but not finish the story!
After getting frustrated with a lot of books in the genre, I decided to give it a shot myself. I wanted to write realistic stories where you rooted for the hero/heroine, where the smart-assed comments you make to yourself are acknowledged by the readers (really, a 22 year old, college, virgin, without Facebook… I call BS… I’m sure you all know what book I’m talking about). Hopefully I’ve delivered it all.
Where do you write? (Paint us a picture…laptop or pc…inside or out…house or condo/apt…do you have music on…do you dance around (naked or clothed? lol)…do you talk out loud to your characters…do you use props…are the neighbors convinced your crazy?
I have a room in my house which has become “the office”. My laptop sits on the desk and I have a black, plush, comfy, office chair on wheels. Normally my dog sits behind me, chomping on her bone until she gets frustrated and plops her head right on my leg until I give in and play with her for a while. It’s normally right as I get involved in a scene, and then if I stop the writer’s block kicks back in. It’s a cycle of sitting in the chair, distracting myself with Facebook – playing with my dog – sometimes writing – and then getting annoyed I hadn’t gotten as much done as I wanted! Sometimes I’ll play music, but normally not otherwise I’ll end up singing and yes, dancing, and then I’m back to nothing getting done.
What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of research?
Honestly, I haven’t done anything crazy yet. I have looked up some questionable searches though – for a week there I was worried the FBI was going to add me to their “watch” list for looking up information on Green Berets and making bombs.
What genres do you or will you be writing for?
My current series is contemporary erotic romance. I do have an idea for a horror novel though which is on the back burner.
So I know some authors work on a book for years and it might change considerably from where it started, but the bones of it are still the same. And some authors never share their 1st book with anyone. What was the 1st book you wrote and is that the 1st one published or are you still hiding it somewhere?
The first book I started writing was a psychological thriller. The basis was a woman who was being stalked by a client, yet couldn’t prove it. He drove her into such a negative place she ended up getting committed and then… well… there was more drama. I’d love to return back to that book, but I re-read the first few chapters and all I have to say is… it needs work.
Which of your characters is the most like you and how?
Belle, from Stealing Beauty. There’s a lot of me in her. I felt that way about Belle from the Disney movie though. She’s smart, and introverted, and enjoys reading, and stands up for herself. I always felt connected to her. The stubbornness too.
If I helped you hide the body, who would you kill and why? (Of course I meant one of your characters lol)
Out of my published characters, Gabriel Avenant (Stealing Beauty). He’s arrogant, pushy, misogynistic, and just an overall bad guy. However, he doesn’t hold a candle to the villain in my next book!
What do you have coming up the rest of this year (book signings, groups, conventions, etc.)?
There’s a convention of book signings in Atlantic City over the summer. I’m trying to swing by that but not sure yet. I’ll let everyone know.
Any other books planned? When is (are) the next one(s) due for release?
I’m working on the second book in the Fairy Tales After Dark series, as well as working on an erotic romance based out of a coffee shop. Me and a few authors from our publishing company are going to be contributing novellas to the anthology which should come out later this year.
Anything else you would like for us to know about you or your work?
It’s my debut novel, and I’d love reviews… honest reviews! I want to write not just because I enjoy it, but for others. Please let me know what you loved, what you disliked, and don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings. I want to be a better author for you.
And if you REALLY love it.. please leave a review on any of the buy sites. It would really help get me out there. (If you hate it and want to leave a review, please feel free also. I won’t lie though in saying I’d rather have positive reviews!! Obviously.)
For my book obsessed friends, below is the contact information for Jessica.
Please like, follow and support her using the social media and book links below.
Facebook Profile https://www.facebook.com/jessica.collins.author.75054
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacollins/
Facebook Group (Fairy Tales After Dark): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1393011250760671/
Twitter: @AuthJessCollins (https://twitter.com/AuthJessCollins)
Thanks so much Jessica for giving us peak into your corner of the world. You guys make sure you check out Stealing Beauty. Oh and while you’re here don’tforget to fill out the form at the bottom of the page to stay up to date on all the mischief happenin round here!