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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Power Play (Blades Hockey #1) by Maria Luis: Author & Charater Interviews

Power Play
(Blades Hockey #1)
by Maria Luis

Summary from Goodreads:

He (was) the hottest player on the ice.

She's a (struggling) sports journalist looking for her big break.

Charlie Denton has been handed the most impossible assignment from her stick-in-the-mud boss: get an exclusive interview with the NHL's golden boy, Duke Harrison.

The catch? She's got eight days or she’ll be demoted. Fired. Kicked to the curb - No way is she letting her future rest on the broad shoulders of a goalie who is at least three seasons past his prime.

She has eight days to convince Duke that the loyal fans of The Cambridge Tribune (annual circulation: 1,000) are dying to know about his life, on and off the ice. Eight days to stand toe to toe with a man who is pure sex on a stick. Eight days to remember that every mind-blowing kiss is nothing but a power play.

What could go wrong?

Available at:

Author Bio

Maria Luis is the author of the contemporary romance NOLA Heart series, though she’s got some top-secret historical romances hidden away on her desktop too. (She's just waiting for the day to unleash these bad boys on the general public...)

Maria currently lives in New Orleans with her better half, where she can generally be found hiking with her two dogs, Zeus and Athena, kayaking in Louisiana’s intercoastal waterways or curled up on the couch with a good book. 

You can usually find Maria chatting with readers on Facebook, but also feel free to find her at her website https://www.marialuis.org or over on Instagram - @marialuisauthor, where she likes to post pictures of pretty things.

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Please welcome Power Play author Maria Luis to Diane’s Book Blog.

What is your favorite part of the story, Power Play?

Power Play, the first book in my Blades Hockey series, is one that honestly had me cracking up laughing while I was writing. And the scene that had me giggling the most? When Charlie, our heroine, and Duke, our hero, face off against each other on the ice. It's not that often that you see sports romances where the heroine is just as athletic, and that's one thing that I love about Charlie. She's not scared to get out there and go for what she wants. But it just so happens that this face-off ends up being a little bit like foreplay too :)

If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side?

Duke from Power Play, for sure. He's strapping and capable and has quick hands -- oh, desert island, you said? Yes, he could totally build us a campfire, and I have no doubt that he'd learn how to fish on a dime. Even though he's never fished in his life, he's just one of those manly guys who can do everything. 

If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?

Casey, for sure. Casey is Charlie's co-worker, but she's secretly the co-worker we all want in our lives. Silly, snarky, steadfast. She's right there for Charlie every step of the way through her journey with Duke, and I think Casey and I could easily become besties. With that said, she's not the most serious of people, so if I had to have a heart-to-heart, I'd go with Charlie instead.

What inspired you to write your first book?

This is such an interesting question because, quite honestly, I began writing when the very first Pirates of the Caribbean was released in theaters. I had recently fractured my back, thanks to my competitive gymnastics career, and suddenly found myself in a back brace and with very limited mobility. I turned to TV to fill my days after school (classics, you know, like Oprah and Dr. Phil, LOL), until my mom told me to pull myself together. So, I decided to write. My spin on Pirates of the Caribbean came alive, and it remains the first romance novel I've ever written!

What is your favorite book that you wrote?

This is such a difficult question, because it's a bit like picking between your children, right? But, if I have to choose, it'll be Dare You To Love Me. Now, this book hasn't released yet, though it's due to launch in August. Currently, it's sitting on my desktop awaiting edits, but, boy, I love this story. Absolutely love it. The hero is hunky and wants nothing to do with dating the heroine, as he's got a lot of personal stuff going on. But through the book, we see his character unfold. We see him slowly start to come out of his shell again and it's downright magical, I tell you. This book is the final book in my upcoming NOLA Heart series, which takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

I've always wanted to be an author, but I've always done everything else first with the intention of taking the "safe track." I've worked as an editor's assistant at a NYC publishing house; I've written for historical journals across the country. (In my day job, I am a historian). But through everything, sitting in the back of my head, all I've ever wanted to to is write romance novels. I love happy endings, and I don't think there are enough happy endings in real life. If I can bring that to life in my books, I absolutely will.

What's your favorite book-turned movie?

The Lord of the Rings, for sure. Both the books and the movies are masterpieces in my mind. While not directly romances, Tolkien has filled the pages with so much hope and optimism, that I can't help but think of romance in the same way. Plus, I love me a blonde Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Yes, I said it :)

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My favorite authors can be broken down by sub-genres, I think. For historical romances, it's either Sabrina Jeffries or Lisa Kleypas. Both are goddesses in my mind, and I have read every book they've ever written. It's Lisa Kleypas' attention to detail that gets me, and Sabrina Jeffries' quick wit among her characters. For more contemporary stuff, I'd have to say Rachel Gibson (love her!) or SEP, because who doesn't love Susan Elizabeth Phillips' quirky heroines? With all of these authors, the thing that sticks out most is the attention given to the couple's romantic development, but also to their personal development too. That's key, and something I try to emulate as well. I don't like to write characters that are perfect are stagnant. Writing about imperfect characters is so much more fun!

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Whenever I suffer writer's block, my first plan of action is to get my butt out of my chair and get moving. I'll either take my dogs for a walk, or I'll go for a run. I've been known to run miles because I need to work out a bit of my plot. In fact, I think the times in my life where I've been the most fit is when I'm having trouble with a book! I have no idea what this says about me though, LOL :)

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I'm currently working on Sin Bin, which is Book 2 in my Blades Hockey series. This is definitely one of those books that's pushing me to run farther and farther because the characters are determined to do their own thing! But, the main scoop is a sexy rom-com, which centers around Zoe and hockey player, Andre Beaumont. Although they are hated enemies now, less than a year earlier, Zoe was Andre's PR coordinator - until one unexpected romp in the most unlikely of places, lands Zoe without a job, and Andre being transferred to a new team. Now, Zoe is getting back on her feet. She's found herself a new job with the Boston Blades' head PR firm as their coordinator. She is ready to get back in the game - until in walks Andre himself, and he's her new client. This book is proving to be both hilarious and totally surprising! 

What book are you reading now?

I've actually just begun Emma Chase's Royally Series. Everyone is raving about them, and the covers are gorgeous, and I have no idea why it's taken me so long to get on these books!

What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks? 

Ebook or paperback. Ideally, paperback, but as my apartment is quite small and I have more boxes of books than I do space to put them out all prettily, I've turned to buying more ebooks lately.

What is your favorite thing about sports romances?

The hunky sports heroes! But, really, I love sports in general. So reading sports romances allows me to mesh my love for athletics and my love for romance novels. I really want to write a sexy contemporary romance about the Highland games, mainly so that my hero can wear a kilt and throw tree trunks around. If you would read this let me know! :)

What do you love most about hockey?

I love the adrenaline that pumps through your veins at games. I grew up playing street hockey with the neighborhood kids, and going to as many Boston Bruins games as we could afford. My family and I always sat in the nosebleeds, but, boy, the anticipation hanging in the air? The crowd going wild after a particularly feisty throw down on the ice? It's addicting, and something I love about the sport. The game is so fast paced, but most often times, the best parts are not where the puck is. 

Who is you favorite real life hockey team?

The Boston Bruins - while I live out of Massachusetts now, I am a Boston sports fan through and through, and I couldn't resist bringing another hockey team to the city in my Blades series! Two pro-hockey teams; one city. I feel like only Boston could handle such a thing :)

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope you'll enjoy reading about the Boston Blades as much as I've enjoyed writing about them! If you like fast-paced, quirky rom-coms that hang out on the sexy side of the spectrum, then my books will totally be your jam! 

Character Interview  

Please welcome Charlie and Duke from Maria Luis' Boston Blades Hockey series to Diane’s Book Blog.

What is your full name? Do you have a nickname?

Duke: Her name is Charlene--

Charlie: No, Duke. It's Charlie. I don't go by Charlene, that's just my grandmother's name.

Duke: Well, she asked for your full name.

Charlie: All right, Mr. Duke Wellington Harrison.

Duke: ...You went there.

Charlie: I totally did. Diane, his full name is Duke Wellington Harrison. He's named after the British General, not the entree item.

Duke: Fine. Diane, her full name is Charlene Denton; Charlie for short. She is not named after Charlie Sheen.

Charlie: You are totally sleeping on the couch after that comment.

What is your hair color? Eye color? 

Charlie: I have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Duke: Same here. Charlie likes to tell me that I look like Charlie Hunnam. I hope that's a compliment.

Charlie: It's definitely a compliment.

How old are you?

Charlie: I'm twenty-six. He is--

Duke: Do not say that I'm old.

Charlie: I totally didn't say that...yet.

Duke: I'm thirty-four.

Charlie: *whispers behind her hand* He's real sensitive about the age thing.

Duke: I can hear you, you know.

Where were you born? Where have you lived since then? Where do you currently call home?

Duke: I grew up in northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border. But I've lived in Boston for over a decade now, since the Blades drafted me.

Charlie: Cambridge, Massachusetts. It's pretty much Boston, though. 

What is in your refrigerator right now? On your bedroom floor? On your nightstand? In your garbage can?

Charlie: I plead the fifth.

Duke: What she's saying is that nothing is in her fridge. Thankfully, she's moving in with me soon, so I don't have to worry about her starving anymore.

Charlie: *sniffs* He's right, but at least I don't leave socks all over the floor. He does that--all the time.

Duke: I throw them at the laundry hamper. Sometimes I miss.

Charlie: It's probably a good thing that you're a goalie and you sit in the net, then, so you don't have to worry about scoring.

Duke: Low blow, sweetheart, low blow.

Who are the people you are closest to?

Charlie: I have a lot of friends, but probably Casey and her twin Caleb. We do everything together.

Duke: Charlie.

Charlie: *turns to Duke* Really?

Duke: *flushes* Well, yeah.

Charlie: That's adorable! Okay, confession. I'm closest to you, too, but I didn't want to sound cheesy.

Who is your funniest friend?

Charlie: Caleb.

Duke: Agreed -- Caleb. I haven't even known him that long, but he's hands down one of my favorite people.

What is your biggest fear?

Duke: Reporters.

Charlie: I'm not going to take offense to that.

Duke: Good. I'm not scared of you--anymore.

Charlie: What do you mean, 'anymore'? 

Duke: I plead the fifth. *looks to Diane* Can you see why she's scary now?

What is your most treasured possession?

Charlie: My Red Wings hockey jersey. It's the last jersey my dad gave me before he passed away.

Duke: My first pair of skates. I still have them tucked away in my office. Those bad boys haven't fit on my feet in over thirty years, but I can't force myself to get rid of them.

Charlie: You just aged yourself again.

Duke: Why do I love you?

Charlie: Well....*leans over to whisper in his ear*

Duke: *tugs on his shirt collar* Ah, yeah. Good point.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Duke: Charlie.

Charlie: Duke. 

Which living person do you most despise?

Duke: Charlie, don't say her name...

Charlie: Gwen! I said it, I'm sorry. Mostly. I mean, I don't hate her. But she's not my favorite person.

Duke: I won't tell her you said that. *looks to Diane* Gwen is my PR agent. 

What is your greatest regret?

Charlie: Betraying Duke's trust.

Duke: *lays a hand on Charlie's knee* Honey, let's not talk about it, okay?

Charlie: Done deal. I love you, by the way.

Duke: I love you, too.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Charlie: The talent to know when juicy stories are about to burst before they do, so that way I'm ready to report on all the latest findings, and yet never have to worry about being left behind.

Duke: Did you breathe in that sentence?

Charlie: Maybe. 

Duke: Huh. Well, I guess that I would like the talent to make sure that my knees stay good in my life. I know that sounds weird, but with my profession...any small injury and I might be out of the game for good.

What is the quality you most like in a man/woman?

Charlie: Someone who knows how to make me laugh.

Duke: I make you laugh.

Charlie: *blows him a kiss* Exactly.

What do you most value in your friends?

Charlie: Loyalty.

Duke: Same.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? In real life?

Charlie: Um, I do love me some Channing Tatum from Magic Mike. 

Duke: I think Diane wanted a real answer.

Charlie: Channing Tatum is a real answer. Okay, okay fine - I really like Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I'm a total romantic and I can't help it. But in real life, I would love to meet Bobby Orr, Boston's greatest hockey player.

Duke: I thought I was Boston's greatest hockey player.

Charlie: You're okay, I guess.

Duke: I'll remember you said that. 

Charlie: Love you!

Duke: You're forgiven. I'd actually like to meet Bobby Orr, too. He's a legend in Boston, and I would kill for the opportunity to shake his hand.

What is your motto?

Charlie: Reach for your dreams with both hands. No one will ever give it to you, so you have to grab for everything yourself. Take hold, and never let go.

Duke: Remember to enjoy every moment. Sometimes it's all too easy to just skate on past--I've spent the last few years trying to remember this.

1 comment:

  1. Love the character interview! And I am totally up for a Highland games book. Yeah!


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