The book Vanguard by CJ Markusfeld came to my attention on Aeastas Book blog. After reading this glowing review I couldn’t not check it out. A great sexy summer page turning read, I read it all in one sitting.
This is CJ’s first book and worth checking Vanguard out. Check out her answers to my 5 (or 6) burning questions.
1. Lets start off with Kill, Marry or Screw? Gideon Cross, Kellan Kyle or Mikeal/Michael? (I thought Michael looked like a younger Mark Ruffalo)
So listen … I have no idea who those other two guys are. (CJ consults briefly with a knowledgeable friend, then with Dr. Google.) First let me apologize to Sylvia Day and S.C. Stephens. A few years ago, I became so disenchanted with the trends in the romance genre that I took an extended break from writing and reading it. I switched instead to historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi and the occasional dose of YA. It’s not that I don’t love romance – far from it, it’s my chosen genre to write in. Writers weren’t writing the romances I wanted to read, so I went out and wrote some myself.
I know, I know … I didn’t answer your question. Having absolutely no context for the choice, I’d probably marry this Gideon fellow (he’s a billionaire, right?), fuck the rock star child Kellan and almost certainly kill Michael. Or at least kick his backside very hard.
2. Do you remember the first romance book you ever read? Can you tell me about it? I think mine was Bitch by Jackie Collins and I was about 10 or 11.
I’m sure I read a few Harlequins with the covers torn off as a kid, the ones with the throbbing members and whatnot. However, a romance I read very early on that heavily influenced my writing is The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. It’s a genre-defying book about an Englishman raised as a native-born Hindu in British India, and his unending love for Anjuli, an Indian princess. It’s part romance, part historical, and a deeply political statement about the colonization of developing world countries by the super-powers of the time. It’s several hundred pages long; I read one copy until it fell to pieces and had to buy a second.
3. What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing or reading?
My favorite thing to do. Well, I’m a single parent, have a challenging career in online marketing, and I write – not a ton of time left over for interesting hobbies. Love to travel, but don’t get to do it very often anymore. Mostly I love talking to my friends and my daughter, listening to their stories, asking insightful questions, learning. With the circumstances of my life limited, I’ve come to deeply appreciate human interactions with the people I love most.
4. What type of stories would you like to write but haven’t yet? Menage, BDSM or a sexless romance. The sexless romance should come with a warning. Don’t you think?
Sexless romance – is that a thing now? That’s a bit of a letdown. If I’m buying a book for the purpose of reading a hot, racy story, I’d feel pretty ripped if I got a sexless romance, so there’s something to be said about the warning idea.
I know, I’m being difficult. I’d choose other genres to write first. I’d love to try my hand at a fantasy or sci-fi novel. If I had to choose, believe it or not, I’d probably write the sexless romance. A truly great romance doesn’t need sex to make readers swoon; it’s all in how you write the characters and their love. To write that kind of love without having the physical to fall back on? That’s a fascinating challenge.
5. If you could have a rock star dinner party and invite anyone to it, who would it be?
A rock star dinner party … I can invite anyone at all? No matter how improbable? Then I’d invite my on-again, off-again partner’s mother. She died the week I met him, and it’s a great sadness that I never got to meet her. She was a progressive artist who really rocked life. I’d love to treat her to a great meal and hear some of her experiences first hand. Maybe she could give me some insights into her very talented, annoying, eccentric son. (We’re off again, as you might be able to tell.)
6. For bonus points, what’s your favorite swear word?
I am an appalling potty mouth in multiple languages. A VP at my last job said it was part of my personal brand. “Fuck me” is probably my signature phrase, but the variety is truly endless. How I’ve managed to avoid getting fired in the course of my career is nothing short of astounding.
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