Today I’m interviewing author Ryan Jo Summers about her latest release, Upon the Tide!
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I started when I was ten, taking a family situation and moving it to pen and paper, then colored pencils to illustrate it. At the time, it was a coping skill, now I see it as my first writing. A few poems followed. Then short stories. Finally novels in my mid teens. I did not get serious about becoming a writer until my early 20’s, and it still waxed and waned on life events like marriage, children, building a home and business and family. In the mid 2000’s, I found myself alone and turned to writing full time to fill the voids. It started paying off in short article publications and free lance work.
Q: Tell us about your road to publication.
A: It began in the mid to late 2000’s with magazine articles, devotionals, opinion and humor pieces. Still, I submitted short works and novels. One memoir took honorable mention in a national contest. No cash but a nice nod of acknowledgment. Finally, in 2012 I sold my first novel to Black Lyon Publishing. It was a contemporary/ paranormal/ mystery romance. That poured gasoline on the fire to write and publish more. I was starving to write and be a published author! In 2013 Soul Mate Publishing offered contracts for my second and third novels– a Christian time travel and a mystery romance respectively. Soul Mate then took a novella for their Christmas anthology in 2015 and released another two novels. I signed with Melange Books last year to release two novellas (one came out in Feb 2016) and a short story for their Food and Love anthology. It’s been a real roller coaster of a ride since 2012 but I am not complaining. Four years of living a dream come true!
Q: What advise would you give aspiring authors?
A: Never give up! Learn your craft. Be honest. Submit only your best work when it’s ready, to the right places. Keep writing something. If you block on your masterpiece, find something else to write short term. Writing is a never ending road of learning, working and keeping your eyes open to opportunities.
Q: Tell us about your latest release.
A: “Upon the Tide” is a mystery romance. I originally wrote the storyline in the late 1980’s. It was a terrible love story but I liked the mystery element. I resurrected it a few years ago and rewrote it as a real romance. I absolutely love the boat that provides a home for the hero/heroine as they race for their lives and fall in love.The tag line is “Tossed together by happenstance, fleeing for their lives and falling in love under the Caribbean sun as paradise turns deadly”.
New York Fashion designer, Piper Kincaid, just wanted a pleasant visit with her cousin down in Florida. That was before she and handsome beach bum, Kade Wyatt, become the targets of a gang of robbers and killers.
Kade simply wanted some fish for his pet seagull. Now he and the lovely exec from out of town are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. He’s busy concentrating on Piper when he should be focusing on keeping them alive.
Fleeing for their lives aboard Kade’s houseboat, ‘The Hightide’, they experience risk, surprises, mystery and romance during the Great Caribbean Boat Chase. However, the biggest surprises are waiting for them back at port.
“Seems we have a good thing going here,” he joked, handing his bowl over. “I cook and you clean. At least I won’t get dishpan hands.”
He remained at the table, sipping his sweet concoction while she cleaned the few dishes. As she passed the window, a gunshot rang out. The bowls she’d been about to put away crashed to the floor, shattering.
Instantly Kade lunged from his chair, grabbing her by the waist and landing on the floor, her body pressed under him.
“You’re heavy!” she complained, squirming. “Get off me.”
“Shh!” he hissed in a fierce whisper. “Someone’s shooting at us. That means they got past the guards. Stay down and keep still.”
The impact of their predicament hit Piper, feeling like a lightning bolt sweeping down from above. Like her dream of last night. She smelled his musky scent and felt his hot, anxious breath on the back of her neck. She inhaled the sweet coffee he had been drinking just seconds before. The fuzzy hairs on the back of her neck slowly pricked as her body hummed.
His hands covered hers and she felt the strength they contained and even his callouses. His long frame successfully held her pinned against the hard wood floor.
Lowering his mouth to her ear, he whispered softly, his words quick and hot on her skin.
“You smell really great. But aside from that, we’re no longer safe in this safe house. I have a plan, but we need to get out of here alive first. And I have every intention of doing just that. When I say ‘now’, roll over behind the sofa. It will give you some protection in case they storm the place. Stay down. Get ready.”
She went cold. Storm the place? Had they really come this far and were still to die at the robber’s hands? Numbly she nodded her understanding of his instructions. A volley of gunfire sounded outside, and she wondered who was winning. All she heard were echoing gunshots.
Kade’s trained ear picked out three different kind of guns. “One is a police issue service revolver and two are ordinary pawn shop pistols. But all three can kill.”
She felt Kade tense himself, and she drew in a painful breath, waiting for his word, her heart thumping loudly.
“Now!” he hissed, heaving himself off and away from her. She rolled over to the relative safety of the sofa, ducking behind it. Kade dove for the protection of the largest chair.
The gunfire stopped as quickly as it started. Breath held, they waited, Piper’s nails digging into the sofa, her pulse racing…
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.
Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants (50 ish and growing), poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.