Throughout the month of April, I’m featuring fellow eXtasy Books/Devine Destinies authors. In the interview chair for today is author V.J. Allison who writes for the imprint eXtasy Books. She’s here to talk about her latest release Under Your Scars, a small-town, contemporary romance.
V.J. Allison on Writing:
1. First, what’s your favourite scene in the book? Not in regards to writing, but reading, and why?
VJ: I think it’s where Seth and Alexis are in the cafe, talking about their past. It’s a newer scene that I added in the revisions stage of the game, and it turned out a lot better than I had hoped. It really showcases their backgrounds, and their motives for their actions.
2. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
VJ: I would have written it more to eXtasy Books’ standards – more descriptions, more action, and less skipping over details.
3. Share a “side story” about the characters.
VJ: When Alexis finally got to meet Seth’s parents, she tripped over her own shoes and his father caught her before she hit the floor. It was a dramatic entrance, and one that they plan on telling their children, if they have any.
4. If you could spend time with one character from your book, who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
VJ: Probably Mirabelle. She’s silly, stylish, and has a ton of sass. We’d spend the day shopping and taking in a movie.
5. Did the characters hijack the story or did you feel like you had control of your book?
VJ: I felt I had more control over the book, except for the love scenes, and the big finale between Seth and the antagonist of the story. The characters took their own lead in those scenes, and in my opinion, it made a much stronger story with a lot of oomph during the tenser spots.
6. How did you come up with the title for your book?
VJ: Like a previous work, the title comes from a song… “Under Your Scars” by Godsmack. The song itself is a huge reflection of Seth and Alexis, and how they are imperfectly perfect.
7. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the leads?
VJ: Natalie Portman would be perfect as Alexis, and I think Ryan Reynolds would work wonderfully as Seth.
8. If your book was a candle, what scent would it be and why?
VJ: It would smell like sheets dried in the sunshine, because the relationship between Seth and Alexis is so new and fresh, despite their troubled pasts.
9. If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?
VJ: Under Your Scars by Godsmack… Again, because the song hits the nail on the head with Seth and Alexis being perfectly imperfect.
10. If your book was a colour, what would it be and why?
VJ: Yellow – sunshine! It represents a bright future ahead.
11. What did you edit out of the book?
VJ: A crazy phone sex scene, that happened after their first date. It worked at the time I wrote the book in 2017, but my writing and style have changed a lot in the last three years, so I 86’ed it. It was one of the few things that didn’t make the final cut.
12. What can we expect from you in the future?
VJ: I am currently in the middle of drafting a companion story for my debut novel, Stricken. It’s called “FOR ZIA” and follows Joshua Campbell, and his relationship with a Nova Scotian woman named Lauren – who has a huge secret.
I’m also plotting Tri-Town 3, but that won’t be in the works until later this year or early next year. I have a few other ideas I’d like to do, a couple of standalones, but they are not fully gelled yet.
All About V.J. Allison:
1. What is something unique/quirky about you?
VJ: I can move my eyes independently. I can be looking right at you with one eye, and the other one will be aimed at my nose. It’s creepy but a great way to break the ice.
2. What are some of your pet peeves?
VJ: Text speak, drama llamas, winter weather, and stuff piled all over my writing area.
3. Where were you born/grew up at?
VJ: I was born in Bridgewater, NS, and I grew up in a small community called Crousetown. I spent a good chunk of my time in Petite Riviere on the coast, so I list that as my hometown.
4. Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
VJ: Short, introverted, bookworm, geeky metal-chick.
5. Who is your hero and why?
VJ: Lady Gaga. Like me, she is a chronic pain warrior. She never gives up no matter how much she’s hurting. I think she’s an amazing woman.
V.J. Allison on Reading:
1. What book do you think everyone should read?
VJ: The Letter by Katherine Hughes.
2. What do you think about the current publishing market?
VJ: There’s a ton of competition out there, mostly good, some bad. You have to be on the ball with promos, etc and keep promoting yourself to make it – whether you are Indie or trad published.
3. If you could have been the author of any of your fave books that you’ve read, which book would you choose and why?
VJ: “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Margaret Atwood presented the perfect dystopian novel. It’s so unique and interesting.
4. Share your favourite character from a book that you’ve read, and why they are your fave.
VJ: It’s so hard to choose one. There are so many well-written characters out there.
5. On average, how much do you read every week?
VJ: I try to get at least three to four hours a week but it doesn’t always work out.
Title: Under Your Scars
Series: Tri-Town Series, #2
Author(s): V.J. Allison
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Small Town Romance
Heat Rating: 3 Flames
Publication Date: March 06, 2020
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Book Length: 68,500 words
You can run from your past, but it will catch up to you eventually.
Blurb: Alexis has that special something about her that Seth can’t fathom. His friend Mirabelle’s new employee is even prettier than the merchandise she sells. Too bad she’s distantly polite when he tries talking to her.
Alexis is attracted to Seth, but she’s in hiding from her past and her mistakes. Getting involved with the one person she’s attracted to could blow her cover.
When they’re forced to work together, their libidos ignite. Alexis is terrified to open up and give in to her feelings for Seth. If he remembers that night five years ago, he’ll never speak to her again.
It becomes a question of whether Seth will expose her and force her to keep running, or if he’ll help her face her past.
“Fuck me!” Seth bellowed as he hurled the phone across the room. Great, the only night Alexis and I have left this weekend, and Mirrie fucks it up. She knows Alexis hates parties. I wish she’d take her craziness and drive it so far up her ass it hangs out her nose. They were supposed to be watching movies there, and he was hoping to start the sexual side of their relationship. Seth didn’t think his hand or his dick could handle any more masturbating. He wouldn’t be surprised if he was getting carpal tunnel syndrome from whacking off so much. A smoky glance from Alexis was enough to send him into such a tizzy that he’d come after three strokes.
His room was prepped for her to spend the night. There were brand new freshly washed sheets on his bed, lots of battery operated candles to create ambiance, and lots of pink cloth flowers—mostly lupines—in vases around the room. Seth hoped Alexis would love it. He had never been so anxious to have everything perfected for a woman he was dating. Alexis deserved the best after what she went through with pussyface.
He rubbed a hand along the back of his neck. “Christ.” A picture of Alexis naked formed in his mind, and his cock reacted painfully. Damn, he needed to get laid. Now.
Unfortunately, the universe never gives me a break. Jesus.
A trill from behind the couch had him scrambling. Locating the phone on the fifth ring, he scooped it up, hit the talk button and barked, “What the fuck do you want?”
“Your cock in my mouth, for starters. What’s up with the screaming?”
“Huh? Wait a sec, who—shit. Sorry, Alexis. I thought it was someone else.” Relieved it was his girlfriend, he rubbed a hand over his face and sighed.
“Let me guess. Mirrie, right?” Snark flew across the airwaves.
“Yeah, how’d you know?”
“She texted me a few minutes ago.”
Aw fuck. Don’t tell me Mirrie bugged Alexis about it, too. “She wants you to talk me into going to her party tonight.”
“Yeah.” Alexis sighed loudly.
“Do you want to kill her, or do you want me to do it?”
“I want it. I’m so fucking pissed at her. I could shove her into a volcano!”
“Let me know if you need help.” Yeah, Alexis was angry, all right. Hell, he was so pissed, he could have chewed uranium and loved it.
“You can have what’s left. Are you going to that fucking shindig of hers?”
“Unfortunately, yes. She wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
“Jesus. Hang on.” She was quiet for a second. “Oh my god. She just texted me again. Either I show up, or she’ll come drag me out by my hair. That’s it. She’s a dead woman,” Alexis growled.
“Fuck. Someone must have cancelled, or else she wouldn’t be so forceful,” Seth murmured. “Get ready. I’ll pick you up on my way. Mirrie can’t ruin our entire evening.”
Alexis sighed. “Good, I get a few minutes alone with you before the insanity,” she said softly. “I really missed you in the chaos this last week with Mirrie needing help setting up for the grand opening.”
He snickered. “I have to get some time with you, or else I’ll wind up killing Mirrie myself.”
“So, I distract you?” There was a huskiness in her tone. It sent his libido soaring.
His cock went to half-mast. Slow down. I’m not beating off now. I want to save it for Alexis. She needs me full on and ready for her. “You always distract me, but in the best way possible. How’s about I pick you up at six-thirty?”
“That sounds like a plan. Maybe if we’re lucky, Mirrie won’t notice if we sneak off a little early. I don’t want to be too tired when we hit your place later on.”
He could almost see her winking to emphasize her point. His dick turned to concrete. Shit, I’m a walking hard-on, thanks, Alexis. He couldn’t get her to his house and in his bed and fuck her fast enough. “Keep your fingers crossed.”
V.J. Allison was born and raised in southern Nova Scotia, Canada, and her work reflects her strong Maritime roots. She is a stay-at-home mother to a son on the autism spectrum, married to the love of her life, and “mama” to a rescued Maine Coon cat named Marnie.
She has been writing various stories of novel-length and short stories since her school days, and sees writing as a vital component to her life.
When she isn’t writing, she loves to read romance and science fiction novels (notably Star Wars); listen to music (heavy metal, rock, alternative); watch various crime and forensic dramas; watch science fiction television shows and movies; and spend time with her large family and many friends.
This self-proclaimed geeky rocker chick is a warrior and advocate for various chronic illnesses including Occipital Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Diabetes, Migraines, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. She is also an advocate for the prevention of animal cruelty and is a voice for Autism Awareness.
Her first book, Stricken, was released by eXtasy Books on March 17, 2017, and has garnered positive reviews.