Aliyah- Risky Pleasures is the story of the youngest of the Wright siblings. Well, the six in the series. Delicia has always been in love with Archer and he with her, they just didn’t know it. He hails from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak, not being born in the wealth class as she. She’s a huge fan of being outdoors and can’t stand to be fussed over. He’s a hard worker who knows what he wants and goes after it. Part of his past arrives and throws a wrench into his plans, so he has to overcome that also.
McKenna- Risky Pleasures is about Delicia Wright Archer Bennett. They both have known each other from childhood although they weren't really friends. Delicia has had a crush on Archer for a long time. He makes her babble and lose all sense. Archer is also attracted but doesn't go to make her his. At least at first…when they do get together is explosive. There are some obstacles for them to overcome but ultimately they realize that they are each other's soul mate.
This is book three in the McKingley series, so what can you tell us about the previous two?
Aliya- The other two, All the Wright Moves and The Best Thing Yet are about the other two sisters in the Wright family, Katiya and Arissa, respectively. Katiya runs a community centre and Arissa is an ER doc. They each have their own crosses to bear and struggles to overcome.
McKenna- All the Wright Moves is book 1 of series which is about Warwick Taylor and Katiya Wright. It all started with an attraction that was right from their first meeting. These two have both suffered pain of loss. Now they come together and find that maybe they can have love again.
The Best Thing Yet book 2 is about Arissa Wright and Deiter Schneider. For them all it takes is a single glance. They meet on a cruise and their interaction is hot and sexy. But Deiter had to leave suddenly and they lose touch with each other. Then a fate brings them back together and now the two of them have to decide if they want to keep the best thing yet that happened to them or let it go.
Aliyah, you are an avid reader, so who are your favourites?
I read almost anything and do so voraciously. When I have the time to sit and read, it’s not uncommon for me to go through 3-4 books a day. Romance-wise, I love Suzanne Brockmann, Christine Feehan’s Dark series, Karen Hawkins, Leigh Greenwood, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter, Julie Garwood, and so many more. I also read Jennifer Roberson’s Cheysuli series (one of my faves), Steve Berry, Joe Buff, H.J. Rinker. I love Shakespeare, Pushkin, and of course research books which I tend to get lost in reading. Yes, I’m a geek.
McKenna, you have loved the written word since you first picked up a book, so who were your early reads?
I've read so many books in different genres before I read my first romance. Some of my favorites were The Tempest by William Shakespeare, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Color Purple by Alice Walker and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Plus so many more I can't list.
My first early romance books were Catherine Coulter, Brenda Jackson, LaVyrle Spencer, Danielle Steele, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux and Francis Ray.
You went straight into themes of love and family in your writing so tell us about your earliest attempts.
Aliyah- I’m a sap, bottom line, so for me it’s all about love and family. My first is a historical western (I plan on pulling it out and reworking it one day when I have some time) that deals with adoption and fitting in.
McKenna- In my books I've always used the theme of love and family. Family is the base of us all. It can be blood family and those you chose to be part of your family circle. I love exploring the themes.
The stories keep filling your head until you wrote down, so do you formulate the whole idea in your head first and then write it down or do you have another process?
Aliyah- Oh, I’m a pantzer all the way. I have an idea but how I get to the end is all a mystery. There is but one sure thing when I start any story. It will have a Happily Ever After. I said before I’m a sap and I want to believe in HEA. We read romance to get away from the grind of our daily lives and I want to make sure mine end with a happy note.
McKenna- My process is I let the characters take me on their journey so I don't formulate the whole idea. When I sit down to write I have a kernel of an idea of how to start and possibly how it may end but not anything set since the characters tend to do as they want too. I've learned to let the character have free rein and they will tell their own story. I get surprised when I write at the twists and turns the story takes.
How did your collaboration come about?
Aliyah- McKenna and I have written together before along with Taige Crenshaw on the Satin Notes site so I think it just kind of evolved from there.
McKenna- Aliyah and I have collaborated for years. We met through a mutual friend and hit it off. Then Aliyah, I and our mutual friend wrote a few books together. That worked out well and play off each other as we write adding dimensions to each of our stories. Eventually we also paired off to do other books. Like this series Aliyah and I are doing. I enjoy collaborating and it is a balancing act and if you don’t have the right chemistry it won’t work. I’ve been very lucky and grateful to have some great collaboration projects with some wonderful authors and they all worked well.
The book has been compared to Jessica Sorensen and Barbara Freethy, so how does this make you feel?
Aliyah- Honoured. Totally and completely honoured. To be mentioned (or have a book I collaborated with mentioned) in the same sentence with two NYT Bestselling Authors is…can I say honoured again? Or perhaps speechless is the word I’m looking for. Let’s go with both. Thank you for those who’ve said that.
McKenna- Really! I had no idea. I'm glad readers are enjoying the books so much.
How does your combined writing process work?
Aliyah- I don’t know if we really have a process since we are each allowed to let the story go where it tells us it needs to go. We don’t sit down and say, okay, now we have to hit this right here, so make it happen. There’s no, have to have a kiss by page X or need to have this happen to him/her by page Y. I am such a pantzer it works well for me this way. We don’t write in a box, if that makes sense.
McKenna-We work on the stories together. We weave them as a team. The characters quirks and things that make them who they are created by both of us. The plot of story is created by us. We write in such a way that we want it to be seamless and the read is pulled into the story.
What is next for you both?
Aliyah- I have a couple of things in the works. One is a series for Total E-Bound which I’m excited about. New and different for me but hopefully it will all work out. I’ll be busy that’s for sure and I’m looking forward to it.
McKenna- First, I’m working on Intentions —a spin-off series to McKingley. Going forward I will be writing books whose setting is in McKingley—solo. That series will continue to explore the characters that live in McKingley. There will be familiar faces —characters that already had their story told may from time to time make an appearance. There are more Wright’s who are from various branches of the family. Also some of the sub-characters will get their own stories told. Plus there will be new characters introduced as I continue to explore McKingley. I’m in love with the city and will continue to write more stories set in McKingley. The books will continue with…the road to enchantment leads to McKingley. The Intentions series will be hopefully be starting early next year. :)
Second, I’m also working on another series where I will be building a new community of characters and city. The series will explore the men and women who protect and serve and what happens when attraction knocks them off their feet. When attraction strikes the rules change, get broken, then remade to fit each person’s personal needs and they have to go with it. It takes them on a journey that will take the worst parts as well as the best parts and make them whole as they find that special someone who sees all that is them and loves each part of them—body, heart and soul. This series will also hopefully be starting early next year :)
I’m excited about them. I will post more details to my website and blog once I can share it.
You can purchase Risky Pleasures from Total-E-Bound Publishing!
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