Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Alysia Lyons: How the Hart Breaks, the first novel in the Isabel Hart trilogy, was released at the end of November last year. I'm currently working on revisions to the second novel in the series, From the Hart. Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Alysia Lyons: I grew up in Fresno, Ca in a family of six kids. I was the fourth child. (The cliche madhouse). My grandfather was most influential on my love for writing. He used read to me when I was child. My favorite was always Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff. At the point when I felt comfortable, I began to read to him. I got my love of books and story-telling from him you could say. I started off writing on Post-It Notes, then Journals and ultimately computers.
Tammie King of NOR: If you could be one of the characters from this book - Who would you be? And why?
Alysia Lyons: That would be a tough choice between my main character, Isabel and her best friend Mackenzie. Isabel leads the life of a pop princes and I know if I could spend a day in her shoes, it would be an eye opening experience. I think I would want to be Mackenzie on a more permanent basis. She has a lot of fun with life and knows everything about Isabel. She supports her friend and isn't afraid to speak her mind.
Tammie King of NOR: Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc?
Alysia Lyons: I was in high school when I wrote this book so a lot of my inspiration came from my real life friend, Isabel. She was always asking me for the next chapter and that helped push me through to the ending. Since then, I have found inspiration in other things, namely a song by Nickelback called Far Away. Something about the guitar and the lyrics together with Chad Kroeger's voice just makes me want to write.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
Alysia Lyons: Isabel Hart is pop princess who has had enough of the spot light and wants to try her hand at a normal life. She decides to go back to school and winds up falling in love with fellow student, Jason Reed. But soon there's trouble in paradise and Jason's desire to meet famous person after famous person leaves Isabel wondering if Jason cared more about her fame than her. Then enters Dylan, a cocky sexy man that catches her eye on a basketball court. Their playful banter leads to a night tangled in the sheets. When Jason realizes the error of his ways and asks for her forgiveness, Isabel finds her heart torn between the two men.
Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next?
Alysia Lyons: I'm currently working on the sequel to How the Hart Breaks called From the Hart.
Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?
Alysia Lyons: There wasn't a lot of research needed for this book really. The setting is in New York; I've never been to NYU so I needed to familiarize myself with what the campus looked liked. Research isn't my favorite part of the writing process but it has to be done or else you have a novel that doesn't make any sense.
Tammie King of NOR: What would you like to tell your readers?
Alysia Lyons: I would like to tell her "Hi!" Hehe, just kidding. I'd like to tell my readers thank you for taking a chance on an unknown author. I love receiving emails from readers to give me their thoughts and opinions about the book.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Alysia Lyons: I've formed several "critique groups" with my friends and fellow writers. Hearing other's opinions about what I've written is a tremendous help in the writing process. Without brainstorming with a friend, I doubt How the Hart Breaks would be the book it is today
Tammie King of NOR: Thanks for joining us again. Before you go please tell our readers how they can get your books and how to keep abreast of your work. Do you have a website, newsletter, etc.
Alysia Lyons: How the Hart Breaks is available online at PDBookstore.com, Barnesandnobel.com, Amazon.com and Target.com.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Alysia Lyons: This is an excerpt from the chapter entitled A Walk in the Park:
Isabel tightened her jacket around her waist as she began her walk down the crowded sidewalks of New York City. Although it was widely known that no one should walk alone in the city, at that moment, she didn't care. What she needed was time to think, to get away from it all. Jason was still floating in her thoughts, and no matter how hard Mackenzie tried, nothing seemed to erase him from her mind.
Isabel sighed and kept her eyes on the ground for fear of someone recognizing her, which was the last thing she needed at that moment. By the time she looked up again, she found herself in an unfamiliar park. This was the first time she had been on this side of the city, and she found herself growing uneasy in the dark neighborhood. Although she had only been living in the metropolis since the beginning of summer, she quickly understood why people warned her to stay away. Usually, she was very careful where she went, but tonight seemed to be an exception.
The chilly air wasn't helping the eerie mood, nor was the dark looming shadows that fell upon every inch of the park. The only light provided was from the stars and moon, which shone brightly in the night sky. Isabel stopped abruptly, hearing the sound of a twig break in the distance. She turned around in a circle, her sharp eyes taking in everything they could, surveying her surroundings to make sure it was safe to continue. By this time, she was cursing herself for leaving the safety of the club. Clutching her purse, she made sure her cell phone was accessible in case she needed it. With a few calm breaths of air, Isabel began her trek through the park again, her ears perked. As she walked further, Isabel noticed a light peeking through the branches. Thankful to see something other than darkness, Isabel continued down the trail she was on and walked toward the light in hope of finding her way.
She looked up and found she had walked directly to a basketball court that seemed to be unoccupied. As she reached the lighted area, she heard the faint sound of a ball bouncing on the pavement. Looking up from the ground, her eyes fell on a young man. A spark of curiosity hit her as she continued to look at him. With his back turned to her, he shot a free throw into the net effortlessly. A smile tipped her lips as she watched him carefully.
Fond memories flooded her mind of childhood days playing basketball with Mackenzie's father. Rooting for opposite teams was always the highlight of her Sunday afternoon. Isabel continued to reminisce, not noticing the ball rolling toward her feet. It hit her ankle, coming to a stop as she jumped from the soft blow, looking down. Slowly, she bent over and picked up the cold ball, feeling the familiar bumpy texture under her fingers.
Isabel shifted her gaze and looked up to see the young man walking towards her. She froze for a second as he continued approaching her, his stride assertive and full of dominance. While Isabel stood there, the ball in her hands, she did a quick rundown of his figure, her heart practically pounding out of her chest.
If there was any word to describe this man, it was gorgeous. Mountains of curly tendrils topped his head, and his shoulders, broad, strong, and muscled, were covered by a muscle shirt. The thin material hugged every inch of his formed physique. As he came to a halt in front of her, she saw he towered over her 5'5" frame like a giant. "Are you going to stand there staring, or are you going to give it back?" he asked bluntly.
He continued to stare at her, waiting for some form of intelligence to escape her gawking form. As time ticked away, and she proceeded to remain silent, he rolled his eyes and ripped the ball from her hands. Turning around quickly, he walked back to the middle of the court to continue his game.
"Women," he muttered, quickly repositioning to shoot the ball.
Isabel stood there, her eyes never leaving the man. For mere seconds she had gazed into a pair of crystal blue eyes, a color unlike any she'd seen before. It was only a few moments until she realized how much of an idiot she had been, staring at him as if she were a lovesick puppy.
Taking a deep breath, she walked onto the court, feeling her cheeks warm with a sudden blush as she watched him play his game. His body moved effortlessly around the court as he dribbled with an eccentric style. Isabel's eyes moved away from the bouncing ball toward the young man holding it. She focused more on his face this time; his strong jaw clenched tightly, his eyes narrowed in complete concentration. He was unlike anyone she had ever seen before, with his curly hair so wild and yet so alluring. His well-defined cheekbones made his features more attractive, and he had a set of lips that almost beckoned to her.
"Is there some reason you're on my court?" He narrowed his eyes at her and he tucked the ball under his arm, walking over to her again. "Are you lost?" he asked. "Can you talk?"
Isabel continued to stand there silently. What was going on with her? She never lost control around gorgeous guys. Her eyes finally sparked with life as she cleared her throat to speak. "Of.of course I can talk," she replied, cursing herself at the impression she was making on him.
He nodded as his eyebrow lifted in a questionable stare. "Good. So then tell me why you're here." He looked her over as she started to back away, attempting to use her jacket to further cover herself up. Smirking, he shook his head and turned around. "Don't flatter yourself. If I wanted to check you out, you would know it," he replied, beginning to bounce the ball again, the rhythmic sound echoing through the silence.
She looked at him and walked nearer, ducking as the ball flew by her head, inches from hitting her. Regaining her balance, she looked at him angrily. "Hey! Watch where you're aiming that thing!" She placed her hands on her hips. He scoffed and turned to her, rolling the ball around his fingertips. "Let me guess, you're some snotty little rich girl who is lost in a big city and now you want me to help you find your way home to your precious mommy and daddy?" he replied arrogantly. He shook his head and let the ball fall. "Well, fat chance. You got yourself in this mess you can get yourself out of it." He turned his back to her again.
Isabel's eyes flared, her mouth dropping open in complete shock. Quickly she marched to him and grabbed the ball from his hands roughly. "Are you always this much of a jerk or is tonight some kind of special occasion just for me?" He kept his calm expression and reached over, ripping the ball back from her hands. "I'm just in a bad mood tonight. I get that way when prissy little girls get onto my court and hinder me from playing my game." He winked before turning from her to go back to his game.
Taken aback by his forwardness, Isabel stomped her foot in frustration. "Even if I was lost, I wouldn't ask you for help. For all I know you could be some rapist, wasting your time here until you can find someone to assault." He bounced it a few times and then looked up at her, his handsome features settling into a thoughtful expression. "You know, you're right. For all you know I could be a rapist. Hell, I could be a serial killer, for that matter." He looked up at her, his eyes locking with hers. "But if that was the case, you would be an idiot for staying here." He grabbed the ball between his hands and began squeezing the sides together, his lips puckered. Circling her, his eyes weighed her down as she stared back at him. "But you don't look like an idiot. It must mean you don't really believe I'm a rapist. You must be hot for me."
Isabel rolled her eyes. "Oh, yes, that's it. I'm so hot for you," she said, sarcasm dripping from each word. "I want you, I need you." She rolled her eyes as a cocky smile crossed his lips. "Get out of my face."
He waited for her to show some sign that she planned to leave, but she just stood there, her arms angrily crossed over her chest. "Well, then if you're not here because of my good looks, you must be here because you want to see me do what I do best." He dribbled the ball a few times.
"I don't want to know what you think you do best," she replied, cringing.
"Hey, I wasn't the one checking me out. You must not find me that repulsive," he replied with a cocky grin. She looked at him with a mixture of shock and annoyance. "I wasn't checking you out!" she cried defensively. Laughing, he nodded. "Sure you weren't. I know your kind. You come out to a dangerous neighborhood, looking for some poor fool so you can get laid, and then go brag to your bratty friends at school and tell them how you tricked some innocent guy into thinking you liked him."
Isabel listened to his rambling, blown away by the gall this man had. She walked to him and glared into his captivating eyes. "If you think that I purposely got myself lost here in hopes of finding some conceited, cocky, jerk, then I guess I succeeded. I found the biggest one on the planet. You're not that good looking." She looked him over again, praying her attraction wasn't obvious. She kept her cool as he continued to stare her down with those intoxicating orbs. "What are you looking at?" she asked, quickly feeling the discomfort of his eyes on her.
Tammie King of NOR: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
Alysia Lyons: Thank you for taking an interest in me and my writing. I look forward to hearing some more feedback in the future.
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Thank you for this opportunity!