Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today: Christa Tomlinson is a pop culture loving, anime watching, nerdy fangirl who lives to read and write romance. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Christa currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player.
Thanks so much, Christa, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
CT: I’ve known I wanted to write and write romance since middle school. That’s when I started making my first attempts. I realized I was actually good at it when I queried my first novella – Martini Seduction – and received offers from multiple indie publishers. It was so exciting to get those acceptance emails!
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
CT: I write erotic romance. I label it as such because the sex scenes are open door, intimate, and very steamy. The sub-genres that I enjoy writing in mostly center around speculative fiction – fantasy, sci-fi, and superheroes. I like to write romances that are inspired by pop culture movies and TV shows. For that reason, my author tagline is Fandom Inspired Romance.
JSC: Do you reward yourself for writing, or punish yourself for failing to do so? How?
Yes! I order small little prizes such as earrings, nail polish, computer glasses, and graphic tees. I keep them in a box.
JSC: What book is currently on your bedside table?
CT: The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation / Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.
JSC: How did you choose the topic for Dr. Z?
CT: DR. Z is book two in a superhero romance series. As I was plotting out the series, I knew I wanted to have at least one couple that started off not getting along even though they were forced to work together. So, I thought a hot-headed exotic dancer and a strait-laced former soldier would be a good pairing to bring that dynamic to life! I like to think of them as the romance versions of Wolverine and Cyclops.
JSC: What character in the story gave you fits and fought against you? Did that character cause trouble because you weren’t listening and missed something important about them?
CT: Z I had trouble getting Aiden/Stardust right on the page. It started off with me giving him the wrong name and having to change it half way through. And I kept wanting to see him as one way, but what was coming out on the page was a different personality. I finally had to stop fighting it and let Aiden be the character he was meant to be.
JSC: Where do you like to write?
CT: In my car. It’s quiet, the seat is comfy, and there are zero distractions. I normally go and get a coffee from Starbucks and sit in the parking lot nearby to write for an hour or two.
JSC: Name the book you like most among all you’ve written, and tell us why.
CT: The book I like the most is The Rookie and The Vet. This one is my favorite because it’s a professional wrestling romance – something that I’ve been a fan of since I was a kid. And the dynamic – grumpy vet and sunshine rookie was fun to write. I love both characters, but Devin – the rookie is one of my favorites. He’s so cheeky and fun!
JSC: What food fuels your writing?
CT: BBQ potato chips. But it can’t just be any brand. It has to be the store brand from Aldi. I don’t even want to count how many bags of those chips I’ve eaten while writing my books.
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
CT: I’m currently working on BEAST which is Book 3 in the Arch City Guardian superhero romance series. It features Caleb, the team’s tech genius and Rene Broussard – a man who was cursed to become a gargoyle. It’s sexy and fun and I think readers will enjoy it, especially if they’re fans of redeemed heroes and the quiet one who becomes a bad ass to protect their loved ones.
And now for Christa’s latest book: Dr. Z:
Dr. Z doesn’t know if he wants to kiss his new partner or toss him in the Mississippi.
Mike Zielinski has joined St. Louis’s superhero team under his new secret identity as Dr. Z. He’s partnered with Aiden Saliette, code name: Stardust. Mike is immediately attracted to his gorgeous partner, but determined to keep their relationship professional, he hides his attraction behind a no-nonsense exterior. It works, until one night, in an unguarded moment between them, he reveals his secret desire.
Aiden loves being a superhero. What he doesn’t love is being stuck with an uptight new partner. However, he grudgingly accepts Dr. Z’s help in order to stop the zealous attacker terrorizing the city. Long nights on patrol lead to shared intimacy, and Aiden comes to realize that behind his partner’s stern façade, is a scarred, vulnerable man longing for love. Aiden is tempted to explore the powerful chemistry that sparks between them but his own relationship fears and emotional wounds hold him back.
As partners united against evil villains, Dr. Z and Stardust are an unbeatable team. But the ghosts of their pasts might be too strong for them to defeat. The super-powered lovers will have to fight to save the day, and for a chance at a love that lasts forever.
DR. Z is Book Two in a steamy superhero romance series. It has heroes in tight pants, post-battle kisses, and a triumphant Happily Ever After. Fans of comics and movies who want to see their favorite heroes kiss will love this series!
Publisher | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon DE | Amazon AUS | Goodreads
Mike crossed his arms over his chest, looking as if he didn’t quite trust Aiden’s thanks. But he truly meant it, without any reluctance or sarcasm. Patrolling for villains was one thing, but treating a Player’s injuries when he could very well have considered his job done after stopping the attack was another. And Aiden appreciated it. “I’m serious. Thank you.”
Mike inclined his head once. “You’re welcome.”
Aiden made to walk past him and leave, but Zielinski grabbed his arm.
Aiden looked at him with his head tilted to the side in question.
“You’ve dodged the question twice tonight.”
“What question?” he asked as if he didn’t know perfectly well what Zielinski meant.
“Are we partners or not?”
Aiden turned his body, leaning into Zielinski until the rough material of the former soldier’s vest rasped against his bare chest. Head lowered, Aiden looked up at him from beneath his lashes. “You sound desperate to tie yourself to me, Beefcake,” he said in a soft whisper.
Zielinski dropped his arm as if Aiden had the power to burn him with his skin. He stepped back, away from Aiden, before he spoke again.
“No. I just want clarification. To know where I—where we stand.”
But Aiden wasn’t going to give up his game that easily. He took a single step forward, pursuing the big man into the space he’d tried to put between them. His thigh bumped Zielinski’s as he came an inch shy of sliding his leg between the other man’s. “You need me to set the rules for you?” He paused to bite his bottom lip, then slowly released it. “Interesting,” he whispered, drawing the word out so that each syllable was distinctly pronounced.
A flush crawled up the strong column of Zielinski’s throat, matching the pink that had returned to his ears. But he didn’t back down either.
“That’s not what I meant. I want to know if you and I are going to work together on this situation in the Playground.”
Aiden didn’t get why Zielinski, a newcomer to St. Louis with zero ties to the Playground, was so determined to get involved with the muggings, but if the man was willing, he might as well accept his help. And he had helped—Aiden couldn’t deny that. Saving him from getting hit by that stun gun their first time out, strategizing so that they eliminated the mugger’s accomplice, and giving aid to a mugging victim. “Fine. We’re partners. On this mission only,” he emphasized.
“Good,” Mike said with a stiff nod.
The matter settled, Aiden backed out of Zielinski’s personal bubble. He watched him for a long moment before he spun around to leave.