We are delighted to welcome Rayka Mennen to Book Lovers Inc. today! Rayka is here for the next stop of her Entangled Publishing Blog Tour in celebration of the release of her paranormal romance, Enchanted Destiny, which will be released from Entangled Publishing tomorrow October 4th. Enchanted Destiny is the first of a series of stories to be published by Entangled Publishing. Enchanted Desire, the next novella in the series will be available in December 2011. Rayka loves to travel and has journeyed the world over, you can read more about the places she has visited by visiting her website where she notes: New places, people, foods, cultures — and a story just waiting to be found on every trip!
Lea: Rayka! Welcome to Book Lovers, it’s such a pleasure to be able to chat with you about Enchanted Destiny! 😀
Rayka: Thanks so much for having me here – Oh my that sounded a little Silence of the Lambish, didn’t it- I’m having an old friend for dinner.? Anyway, glad to be here.
Lea: Rayka can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Rayka: I’m an academic and a research scientist from eight in the morning to seven in the evening. Romance writer the rest of the time. I love traveling – you can find a travelogue on my website- and I often set my books in those awesome, faraway places I am lucky enough to visit.
Lea: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Rayka: I wish I did have a typical day. But essentially, I wake up around 5 AM, get a cup of espresso or a latte (I have the coolest machine), and answer some emails. And then I write or edit till about 7: 30 after which I head into to work. In the evening, its write, write, write for about 3-4 hours again. Boring? I know, I know. I have a great view from my study though and a few weeks ago, I was all about the nesting Gila woodpeckers in the tree outside – they had one baby; he comes and hangs out in that tree every now and then. And I do spice up the evening with a little TV here and there and good Scotch (though the laptop is still open). I’m a hybrid – pantser. I plot a general outline; many times I use a basic W plot. From then on, my characters rule the roost.
Lea: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Rayka: Now this I know – a Book Lover reads voraciously – all the time, anywhere, everywhere. A BL has shelves and shelves and boxes and boxes of books and these days, maybe a Kindle that has had memory added twice to accommodate the growing library. And a BL will shock the house movers by taking a martial stance before the bookshelf with her beloved signed, first edition of Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer, informing them in frigid though polite tones that SHE will pack said book and they had better back off or else.
Lea: What can we expect of Enchanted Destiny?
Rayka: Enchanted Destiny is a light, fun, paranormal romance read. I wanted to write about a heroine who was just making the best of what fate had handed her (the whole ticking-bomb destiny thing) and a guy who’s sexy, lovable and someone you want to hold on to. I hope readers will enjoy the relationship that builds between Kat and Jake, despite the circumstances.
Lea: Kat Richetti is an extremely likable heroine. She and her cousin Gina own and operate a salon where Kat practices massage therapy using her powers to help people. She comes from a close knit family and is full of life and love. Can you share more about Kat with readers Rayka and maybe talk a little about her capabilities?
Rayka: So Kat is who I could really want to be when I grow up. Like I said, tall, gorgeous, ahem…anyway. Kat is a very powerful witch with empathic and telekinetic powers. But she hasn’t really used them to their fullest potential. You’ll see her grow into them even more in Gina’s book.
Lea: Would you say Kat has a fiery temper? Lol
Rayka: LOL -actually, Kat is pretty even-tempered except when the man she loves is acting like an idiot. Then stay clear of the fireworks.
Lea: You created a very appealing and realistic hero in Jake Taggert who is a devoted single dad of Cam, his 18 month old son. Jake had a rather bad time of it with his ex-wife and certainly isn’t looking for commitment when Kat crashes into his life while he is working on a construction project on her street. Please share more about Jake’s background with readers and maybe talk a little about how he and Kat first meet.
Rayka: Now Jake’s the kind of guy you take home to meet the parents. He’s real, you know – single dad, focused on giving his son a great life. And then this sexy, brunette waltzes into his life claiming to be a witch and that he is her destined soul mate. Come on, give a guy a break, will ya? LOL. Jake is a solid, middle class guy – loves his kid, his Ducati, his sister – in that order. Before they actually meet – he’s heading up the street repairs on the street where Kat lives (…now sing along with me…I have often walked down this street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before –sorry – that was my digression into My Fair Lady); anyway, this one morning, he actually knocks into her by mistake when she walks by (and it truly was an accident) and then she comes tearing back to him telling him to get the hell out of there. Now to see why, you’ll have to read the book.
Lea: Great conflict between these lovers because Jake initially believes Kat is crazy in relation to her ‘vision’ and her belief they are destined to be together. Then he learns the true extent of her capabilities which unnerves him further. The poor guy wants to run for the hills doesn’t he? lol
Rayka: Can you imagine being told you are someone’s destined soul mate and that they saw that in a vision? *grin*. Now me, I’m just crazy enough to ask what I was wearing in the vision and if I had lost any weight…but poor Jake thinks Kat is nutso.
Lea: You dedicated Enchanted Destiny “To second chances. May there be many.” I couldn’t help but think of Jack’s situation in relation to your dedication when I finished the story. Was his character the impetus for this novella?
Rayka: Wow, I wasn’t sure anyone would pay attention to that. So I used that dedication mainly because this book, which is re-released in the current, very expanded version, was a second chance for Kat and Jake to tell their story. Also, I took a break from writing for several years, and I feel like this is a second chance for me, and for Jake to find a new family.
Lea: I really liked how you incorporated Kat’s special and supportive family into the narrative of Enchanted Destiny Rayka. Kat’s grandmother, mother and her father each play pivotal roles in the plot of your story don’t they?
Rayka: I think this stems from the fact that I come from a culture where large extended families are the norm. They can be a pain but also a great support. Ever see Bend It Like Beckham? That was my life except I played field hockey not soccer – aunts, cousins, people everywhere. Besides, I think, too often we forget we are part of a community and so are our characters. I am so glad you liked them.
Lea: Please tell us about Kat’s feisty cousin Gina and Jakes best friend Eric. 🙂
Rayka: Aha! Now see, here’s a discerning reader, who picked up on that teeny bit of foreshadowing. Gina is Kat’s cousin and best friend, and runs the business end of their salon. Eric is a cop and Jake’s best buddy. They are horribly, terribly, oh-help-me-keep-my-hands-off-him/her attracted to each other.
Lea: What can readers expect from Enchanted Desire, Book II of your series?
Rayka: Enchanted Desire is a little sexier–Gina & Eric are both trying to resist the attraction but man, it’s tough. Gina however has a lot of issues to deal with including the fact that she’s a witch without any real powers. And Eric, well, he’s sort of been the Mr. Two Week Relationship guy. Until….and I hope you’ll pick up the book in December, 2011 to find out more.
Lea: Will there be more books in the series following Enchanted Desire? And, following book II what can readers expect next from the desk of Rayka Mennen?
Rayka: There is one more novella planned in this world – a very cute witch whose sister casts a spell that backfires on her with her oh-so-sexy boss. I’m finishing up an eagle shapeshifter and an Irish witch book. And am I working on a series with Guardians of earth elements (water, fire, plants, etc) and the unlikely mortals they fall in love with. After that….oh, the possibilities are endless – which is why I love writing romance.
Lea: Are you pleased that the novellas in your series are releasing back to back?
Rayka: I love it. Can I just give a shout out to Entangled Publishing for this brilliant idea? How many times have you finished a book, sighed in satisfaction, gone to the author’s website or to Amazon and said, “What? The next is book is coming when?” *grin*
Lea: Can you summarize Enchanted Destiny for us twitterstyle (in 140 characters or less)?
Enchanted Destiny – destiny has never looked so good 😀
Lea: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Rayka: Sexy, fun, characters you can relate to.
Besides, I’d really like to quit the day job 😉
Lea: LOL! Man, so would I!
Rayka, thank you so much for joining us at Book Lovers today. It’s been wonderful to be able to chat with you about Enchanted Destiny!
Rayka: Thanks so much – these were fun questions. I’ll check back in to see if folks have questions.
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