Saturday, July 26, 2014

Author Saturday Spotlight: Skylar M. Cates *Interview and Giveaway*

I pretty much went on a Skylar Cates reading binge one month. When I was done I knew she was always going to be the type of author that I'd see a book of hers available and just get it.

Like all great authors, she has a style all her own. Her characters are not only well written with great back stories. Her flow is spot on and each book is intriguing, beautiful, lovely and a bit hair pulling. I love it!

Naturally, I had to spotlight her and that brings us here today. I have a wonderful interview with Skylar, a FANTASTIC giveaway and of course a look at her available work. Let us begin.

Skylar has a series The Guy Series. In the interview you'll get the answer if there is a third coming out but in the meantime lets glance at them, shall we?

The Guy From Glamour (Book 1)
Anthony Carrino loves his big, gregarious Italian-American family, even if his sisters are interfering, and his dad, the local sheriff, knows everything going on in town. He’s happy as a middle school guidance counselor. Despite helping kids and their parents fix their problems, Anthony can’t manage to get his own love life right. If only everyone would stop calling him the “nice” guy.

Dean Pierce doesn’t do relationships. A tough-minded military man, he is dedicated to his job as a Night Stalker, flying Chinook helicopters and not speaking much to anybody. He certainly doesn’t want to deal with a mess of emotions. But when tragedy strikes, Dean finds his hands full with his troubled niece, her irresistible guidance counselor, and a meddlesome family, which includes a rather large puppy.

The Only Guy (Book 2)
Aaron Weiss knows how to escape. Years ago, he ran from a romantic disappointment and impulsively joined the Army. Now, he’s forced to take a medical discharge and readjusting to life at home proves a challenge.

Jesse Ross knows how to hide. He realizes he’s an oddball, and that he’s an outsider within his own family. He also knows his secret love since childhood, Aaron, only wants his good-looking, favored older brother. Yet Jesse could never completely abandon his intense feelings for Aaron. Over the years, Jesse was a faithful pen pal to him. Still, he's shocked to his core to find Aaron on his doorstep.

As long-buried secrets and past hurts take center stage, the two are overwhelmingly drawn to each other. But it’s their future that may force them to risk everything.

You will love these books! JUST LOVE! I read them back to back and even had a bit of a book hangover when I was done.

Skylar also did a collaboration with Cate Ashwood called Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart:

When Trey and Liam meet in boarding school, they couldn’t be more different. Liam is a classical violinist with a scholarship, and Trey is a punk rocker with famous parents. Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they hit it off and bond over their love of music. But after spending every waking hour together, Liam is devastated when Trey leaves school without an explanation. Worse yet, Trey capitalizes on a song they wrote together.

Seven years later, they bump into each other at a charity benefit in New York. Old sparks fly, but Liam hasn’t quite recovered from the pain Trey caused. Liam doesn’t know if any explanation Trey can offer will be enough, or if he can find it in his heart to forgive the only man he’s ever really loved

And LAST let me show you the book the brilliant Skylar M. Cates is featuring as the giveaway today...

After years of running from a traumatic secret, young journalist Rafe Quintero is making his way in the world alone. Now that he’s landed a job at a Miami newspaper, he’s hungry for success. His goal? A blistering exposé on closeted PGA golfer Daniel Andrews. Rafe will stop at nothing to get the scoop—even if it means going undercover on Daniel’s private yacht.

Daniel is used to being in the spotlight, but his reputation for being cold and unfriendly hasn’t made him very popular. Still reeling from his mother’s death and his ex-boyfriend’s engagement, he hides out on his yacht to escape the press hounding his every step. His instant attraction to Rafe, his new crew member, is a problem he can't ignore.

When Rafe and Daniel begin a steamy affair, Rafe knows it’s only a matter of time before Daniel discovers his betrayal. Now he has to choose: confess and hope Daniel can swallow his pride and forgive him, or put his ambition ahead of his heart and follow the story

WOOHOO! Are you freaking out? I would be!

 Of course you can check these all out and purchase yourself on her Amazon page : Skylar on Amazon


Can you tell us your writing process? Obviously it all starts with a plot bunny, but how do you go about making it into a book?

Yes, it starts with an idea. For example, with The Guy from Glamour, I wanted to write about a warm, loving family for my MC. Then I immediately wanted the other MC to need love and family------Anthony and Dean were born. With Exposed, I wanted a story of betrayal and false identity.
Once I have that main idea, I start to shape the characters. I outline all of this, but I always deviate from my notes a little too. The beginning of the book is usually pretty definite for me. And, unlike many authors I know, I usually have a strong sense of the ending. For me, it is the middle that is the most challenging to build. I’m always concerned that the middle part reflects love and not simply lust, and love is a wayward, often tricky path.

 I loved the Guy series. You created an outstanding world. Will there be a book 3?

Thank you! That makes me so happy to hear!
Yes, there is a third book, Henry’s story. It will be released around early December.  It has an enemy-to--lover vibe. I think it is a fun one! It’s pretty hot and heavy too, as they battle through their feelings, and has some twists that were fun to put in there. I’m excited for it to be released.
 Possibly, there might be a holiday novella set in this world too, where all the guys can be seen one last time. I’m kicking around the idea of A Guy’s Fourth of July, but that one is not definite.

 Jesse, in The Only Guy, is physically flawed. It's so rare I read a not glamorous looking man in a book. It's refreshing! I'd love to know how Jesse came to be?

Originally, with Aaron’s backstory in The Guy from Glamour, I was going to have the usual physical perfection for the love interest, the brother he had a crush on, but I changed my mind. I was in the mood for more of an Ugly Duckling story. I always had a soft spot for romances that portray somebody who is not the best looking person in the room, except, of course, to the other MC, he becomes beautiful.  I wanted Aaron to go through that sort of discovery with Jesse.

 You are giving one lucky reader an ebook copy of Exposed. It's about love, golf and journalism. Are any of these things (besides love) close to your heart?

Ha! It’s not really about golf at all. Daniel is actually running away from the spotlight. I picked golf because I wanted a sport where you could be filthy rich, and a sport without teammates. It was either tennis or golf that fit my criteria. I’d read a few tennis romances, but I hadn’t read any with golf.  I did use several friends for my research, since golf was not close to my heart. I wanted Daniel outwardly reserved, privileged, but hurting and shy. It felt like the correct sport for him.
Journalism is closer to my heart.  Rafe gets intoxicated with words at times; I can easily relate to that part. He is hungry for a story and to show the world he can be a success.
Exposed, for me, is truly about two men clashing, having totally different worlds and different dreams, and then discovering love. There is a struggle with assumptions and pride, forgiveness and redemption—--all aspects of love that I feel strongly about and wanted to explore.

 How do you think you've evolved in your writing?

I’m not sure. That might be better answered by critics, but I have learned a few things. For example, I realize my characters grin and shrug too much.  *grins and shrugs* 
 I try and keep a list of words and actions to be aware of repeating.
I’m also always exploring doing something new (even if it remains in the romance world). Henry’s coming story, for instance, has a thriller element, which I never attempted before this book. I think it is good to grow and explore. Perhaps simply being willing to evolve will keep my writing fresh.

You write in the M/M genre, did you choose this or did it more choose you?

It chose me. But I honestly love it!

 Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?

Sure, but I have to warn you my answers keep on shifting (based on what new and shiny project catches my eye).
1.      I’ve started a new M/M series. It revolves around four housemates in Florida. When they face an unexpected tragedy, it impacts on them all.
Book One is almost done for submission
Book Two and Book Three= planned out in notes

2.      A holiday YA novella—short and sweet—for Harmony Ink.
3.      A werewolf shifter novella— action-packed, unrequited werewolf love (This one is done, but I feel it needs a sequel. I’m considering self-pubbing it on Halloween for fun though)
4.      Cate Ashwood and I have a half-written novel about a college athlete involved in a scandal. Care just had a baby, though, so this in the waiting zone
5.      A fictional account of three open water swimmers

 Tell us about the covers for your books. Who designs them and how much say do you have in that process?

Dreamspinner has amazing artists, let me say that right away. I’m fortunate to have worked with several of them.
 Reese Dante did Exposed, and I was so new, I barely said a word, lol. I did know that I loved Daniel’s face right away.  With The Guy from Glamour, however, I drove Maria Fanning a little nuts. We had trouble finding a guy in a white shirt with Dean’s body type.  We must have gone through fifteen drafts, but I love the cover. It’s just right!
That experience did make me realize that I could speak up for my covers, and the Dreamspinner artists would try and work with me. I try not to abuse that or be a PITA, but the cover is very important.
The hardest part is that the artist has NOT read the book. Since I’m not an artist, it is occasionally hard to articulate what I want to them.

 What are you hopes as a writer in 5 years time?

Still writing, I hope!
My goal is to build a steady backlist, develop a good relationship with my readers, and do the best work that I can. I’d like to write a few more series in the M/M world. I could see myself branching out in to other genres, too, like a family saga or something, but I’m happy at the idea of producing work that people generally respect and enjoy. 
It’d be great to quit the day job and focus on writing one hundred percent---that’s the big dream.  Oh, might as well throw in a cleaning lady to keep my messy house in shape while I write too, lol. It all gets a bit chaotic at times.

How can your readers follow you through Social Media or websites?

Thank you Skylar! This is so awesome of you :)

My pleasure!  Thanks for hosting me!

You all will truly fall in love with Skylar's books if you haven't already!

Giveaway time. Above is the cover and blurb for the giveaway. Exposed.
Enter below and when the contest finishes I will email the winner. You will simply have to tell me the format and email you'd like your copy of Exposed to be sent to.

Thank you so much to Skylar M. Cates for letting me spotlight her! Be sure to purchase all of her work and all her future stories.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love this and I am definitely going to check out her stuff. I have to be honest, I never heard of this author or the books so Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. It's cool when you find a new author. ALL THE BOOKS! LOL! Good luck

  2. She is a new to me author.....just added her books to my wish list!

  3. I have The Guy from Glamour on my Kindle. I just got it the other day; otherwise, Skylar is a new author for me.

  4. I have just started reading the Guy from Glamour and I am keen to buy the next one so I can be ready for Henry’s story later in the year. I am just a sad book addict, so thank you for a chance to win a book by Skylar that I can add to my growing collection :)

    I also enjoyed this interview and was interested to learn a bit more about the author and the process of plot bunny to story development. I was just thinking about the comment that golfing does not require any team work and that made me think about the unsung hero of a successful golfer - his or her caddies. The job isn't easy and they are expected to be prepared: know the distances on the course, have the correct number of clubs, know the way the ball bounces all over, how far their player's clubs go, how the wind affects their golfers play and to be moral booster all times.

    Thank you again for this giveaway :)

  5. She's a new writer for me, I like to see big families in a story , sounds so interesting. Thank you for the giveaway!!!

  6. Skylar is a new to me author
    would love to read any of these!