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Mailbox Monday #673

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has its own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Velvet, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

This is what we received:

Floating On Air (Struck By Love Book 1) by Syrie James, which I purchased.

On a hot summer’s day in 1986, Southern California radio deejay Desiree Germain is hosting a contest on the air when she’s entranced by the deeply masculine voice of caller number twelve.

Voices never matched faces. Desiree knows that better than anyone. As KICK’s hottest radio host, she has a sultry voice that leads people to expect a tall, voluptuous bombshell. Petite in every sense of the word, she hardly lives up to that image.

To Desiree’s surprise, caller number twelve turns out to be Kyle Harrison, a handsome, wealthy businessman from Seattle. Kyle has come to claim his prize—and her heart.

They are soon involved in a whirlwind love affair that makes Desiree’s heart sing. Is it worth the risk? All the rules say that long-distance romance and radio don’t mix.

But a man who is answering a siren’s call doesn’t care about rules.

What did you receive?

Kindle Deal & Interview with Syrie James, author of Struck by Love series

Welcome to today’s interview with Syrie James, who’s here to talk about her Struck by Love series of books. Don’t forget to stay until the end for the Amazon Kindle deal.

Syrie James just revised, retitled, and rebranded two of her most popular romance novels as the Struck By Love series: FLOATING ON AIR and TWO WEEK DEAL. The books are set in the awesome 80s and are inspired by the early days of Syrie’s whirlwind romance with her late husband. More on that in Syrie’s new blog “7 Ways My Real-Life Romance Inspired FLOATING ON AIR.”

Before we get to the interview, let’s check out the first in the series, Floating on Air:

A siren called.
He answered.
A successful radio deejay embarks on a thrilling, long distance love affair with a charismatic entrepreneur, a relationship that plays havoc with her carefully controlled life—and heart.

On a hot summer’s day in 1986, Southern California radio deejay Desiree Germain is hosting a contest on the air when she’s entranced by the deeply masculine voice of caller number twelve.

Voices never matched faces. Desiree knows that better than anyone. As KICK’s hottest radio host, she has a sultry voice that leads people to expect a tall, voluptuous bombshell.

Petite in every sense of the word, she hardly lives up to that image. To Desiree’s surprise, caller number twelve turns out to be Kyle Harrison, a handsome, wealthy businessman from Seattle. Kyle has come to claim his prize—and her heart.

They are soon involved in a whirlwind love affair that makes Desiree’s heart sing. Is it worth the risk? All the rules say that long-distance romance and radio don’t mix.

But a man who is answering a siren’s call doesn’t care about rules!

Check out the second book in the series, Two Week Deal:

It’s just business.
Or madness!
In this romantic romp set in wintry Lake Tahoe, a talented graphic artist gets the opportunity of a lifetime working with the headstrong owner of an advertising agency.

But can business and pleasure mix?

At a holiday mixer on a cold winter's eve in December 1987, freelance graphic artist Kelli Ann Harrison gets an unexpected job offer that throws all her plans into disarray. She came to South Lake Tahoe to oversee the final phase of construction on her brother’s glamorous vacation house and hoped to get in a little skiing on the side.

But when Grant Pembroke, a smart, attractive, take-charge advertising executive invites her to team up with him for two weeks on an ad campaign for a local casino, it’s a proposition that’s too exciting to refuse.

Professionally, they make a wonderful team, coming up with one clever idea after another. But privately their strong personalities tend to clash, a situation further complicated by the high-voltage romantic charge that sizzles between them.

Is this two-week deal just business … or madness? If Kelli and Grant play their cards right, can a whirlwind love affair last forever?

Doesn’t that sound fantastic? We all need a bit of romance, don’t we?

Now, let’s sit down for a chat with Syrie James:

What has your writing journey been like? When and how did you start writing and what keeps you going?

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. When I was in sixth grade, my grandparents noticed my obsession and gave me an old typewriter from their office. I started writing my first book on that typewriter but unfortunately, I never finished it. I had a fun premise but got halfway through and couldn’t figure out what should happen next. It was an excellent lesson about the importance of an outline! Today, I can’t imagine my life without writing. When I’m working on a book, I’m in my Happy Place.

Let’s talk about Floating on Air, formerly Songbird. What inspired you to revisit this series of novels? How has the process been for you?

Floating on Air is inspired by the early days of my romance with my late husband Bill. I miss him dearly and revisiting this book series was wonderful—it was like stepping back in time and reliving the thrilling days when we first met. I had forgotten how much humor there is in these books; they were both so much fun to write!

The new title Floating On Air is an homage both to the joyful state of mind of the heroine as she falls madly in love, and to her profession (she’s a radio disc jockey).

A book set in the 80s has got to pull out the big hair and the ripped jeans. What other delights will readers find in these pages?

I love the 80s! The clothes were so much fun. Desiree’s outfit of choice is a pair of super short denim cut-offs—remember those? It was a simpler time in terms of technology. There were no personal computers, no internet, no cell phones, no Facetime or texting. In some ways I liked that better—people actually called each other and wrote letters or showed up in person! In others way it was a challenge. Desiree and Kyle have to navigate a long-distance relationship, which was trickier at the time. For more on the subject, check out my blog, 8 Things I Love About the 80s!

Desiree is a radio deejay; what are some of the qualities she had to have? And what songs are on her playlist? What songs were on your mix tapes in the 80s?

Desiree is a successful radio deejay due to her cheerful upbeat personality and her deep sultry voice, which in her mind, leads people to expect her to be voluptuous bombshell. She has a complex about that because she’s petite and feels she doesn’t live up to the image.

I LOVE the music from the 80s. In the novel, Desiree plays such classics as Rita Coolidge’s “Be Mine Tonight,” Johnny Mathis’s “So in Love With You,” and Barbra Streisand’s “Songbird.”

My favorite 80s songs include “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Live” (from the film Dirty Dancing), “Walking on Sunshine,” “Uptown Girl,” and Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” (from the film Working Girl). I smile every time I hear them!

How much of your own experiences are in this romance over the airwaves between Desiree and Kyle?

A lot! Floating on Air is based in so many ways on the early days of my whirlwind romance with my late husband that I wrote about it in my blog “7 Ways My Real-Life Romance Inspired FLOATING ON AIR.”

Book 2 in the series, Two Week Deal, is also full of personal details. It’s set in wintry Lake Tahoe (one of my favorite places). There’s skiing (one of my favorite sports); a red-hot, whirlwind romance; and lots of clever creative energy as the hero and heroine work together on an advertising campaign for a casino. I used to work in advertising and that was super fun to write!

What other projects are you working on? Any hints?

I’m working on a new book—all I’ll say is that it’s set in 19th century England, and I’m excited about it!

Lastly, if you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?

Study your craft. Write, write, write. And then rewrite. Listen to feedback. Be patient and persevere. Sometimes it takes a long time and many drafts for a story to reach its optimum potential. Most importantly: outline before you start. I highly recommend the Save the Cat story structure by Blake Snyder. It was developed for screenplays but is an invaluable foundation for every great story. I use its structure beats to outline every book I write.

A NOTE FROM SYRIE JAMES:

I hope you enjoy my Struck By Love novels as much as I enjoyed writing them! To keep up with my book news and blog posts, please visit my website, sign up for my newsletter, and follow my blog! I blog about the inspiration for my books, all kinds of historical topics of interest, and I post reviews of my favorite books. I look forward to seeing you there!

KINDLE DEAL!!

As a special Valentine’s Day promotion, FLOATING ON AIR is on sale now for only $.99 on Kindle. The discount runs Feb. 9 – Feb. 14.

About the Author:

Syrie: pronounced like the App, but spelled better.

SYRIE JAMES is the author of thirteen critically acclaimed novels of historical fiction, romance, and young adult fiction that have been international, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers and won numerous awards. Her books are published in more than twenty languages. A research and story structure maven, Syrie is committed to taking her characters on challenging journeys of growth and discovery.

Syrie’s novel The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen sold at auction to HarperCollins in a bidding war between three major publishing houses, became an instant bestseller, and was a Library Journal Editor’s Pick of the Year (starred review). Syrie explores Jane Austen’s real-life romance as a teenager in Jane Austen’s First Love, also a Library Journal Editor’s Pick. The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen (starred review, Kirkus) offers the ultimate Janeite fantasy: the discovery of a long-lost Jane Austen novel.

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë won the Audiobook Audie Award and was named a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Read. Nocturne was an Amazon bestseller, Barnes and Noble’s Romantic Read of the Week, Best Novel of the Year by Suspense Magazine and Romance Reviews, and Bookbub’s Best Snowbound Romance.

Syrie’s contemporary romances Floating on Air and Two Week Deal, which she recently re-branded as the Struck By Love series, are set in the awesome 80s and are dear to her heart, because they’re inspired by her real-life romance with her late husband.

Syrie’s interest in the paranormal inspired her romantic thriller Dracula, My Love and the young adult series Forbidden, which she co-wrote with her son Ryan James. Syrie’s love of all things English led to a Victorian historical romance trilogy including the #1 Amazon bestsellers Duke Darcy’s Castle and Runaway Heiress.

A Writer’s Guild of America member, Syrie has sold scripts to film and television and adapted bestselling books to screen. Syrie’s work as a playwright has been produced off-Broadway in New York City as well as in California and Canada. A member of the Historical Novel Society of North America and the Jane Austen Society of North America, Syrie has addressed dozens of organizations, universities, and literary conferences across North America and in England.

Syrie lives in Los Angeles, where she is currently writing her next book.