1--What is the title of your latest release?
HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER. I’m thrilled to share this new series titled The Six Gems with you. The idea sprung from taking a girl’s trip with my best friends to Gatlinburg last year. I’ve been friends with many of these amazing women for twenty to thirty-five plus years. They aren’t just friends anymore; they’re my sisters and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them.
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
When travel blogger Wynter Barrington’s wealthy, disapproving family cuts her off, she finds comfort in a passionate chance encounter with Riley Davis, her best friend's brother. He’s hot as hell…and totally off-limits. And when they meet again months later, they begin a sizzling affair. Wynter knows Riley doesn’t do love and marriage, but her youthful crush is feeling more and more like a real relationship. If she’s not careful, Wynter may put more than her relationship with her best friend on the line. Can she survive falling in love with the one man she was never supposed to touch?
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
About a year ago, I ran a poll on my Facebook page asking readers where they would like to see my next books take place. San Antonio was 1st pick, followed closely by Denver, Memphis and Phoenix. Each of these locations will show up in the Six Gems series.
4--Would you hang out with your heroine in real life?
Absolutely. In a way, Wynter is my alter ego because I love to travel and so does Wynter. The only exception is she’s doing it full-time while I have to squeeze in my vacations during the 4-weeks I get a year from my full-time property manager job.
5--What are three words that describe your hero?
Sexy. Passionate. Caring
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I don’t think I learned it, but I was able to share the power of friendship because I’ve experienced it with my three friends that I’ve known for three decades and longer. There’s nothing that can tear us apart and there’s nothing we wouldn’t do for each other.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
Typically, I don’t re-read what I wrote except the last few pages where I left off to get back into the character. I usually wait until I’m done with a draft, then I read it straight through multiple times.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
Truffle fries. It combines my favorite thing to eat: French fries with the decadence of truffle oil.
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I’m lucky because when we were built our dream house 3 years, I knew I would have a dedicated office. It’s painted a serene soft lilac, by best friend’s favorite color who passed away. I have a big girlfriends’ canvas behind me with Yahrah St. John in script writing on the wall. I have an adjustable standing desk so when I get tired of sitting, I can stand. Two metal bookshelves are on either side of the desk and house family/friend pics, book awards, books, and miscellaneous nick knacks. I have my own walk-in closet in which Closets by Design can in and built for me. It has a book wall with attic stock of all my books, author promo items, 4 built-in file drawers and some extra closet space for my clothes because I’m a shopping addict. Finally, a cozy wing-backed chair and ottoman by the window, so I can curl up with a good book.
10--Who is an author you admire?
Brenda Jackson. I’ve met her numerous times, and she gave me some good advice when I signed my first contract years ago, not to mention she has had an amazing literary career. I look up to her immensely.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
I can’t think of a book that changed my life. However, in recent years I have really enjoyed listening to memoirs from Michelle Obama to Robin Roberts to Mariah Carey. My most recent listen was Finding Me by Viola Davis. Hearing her story and her trials and tribulations to get where she is now – is nothing short of inspiring. I always thought I had a hard life and then I heard Viola’s and realized, we all have a story.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)
It’s been many moons since I was asked the question because I have been a published author for 18 years. “The call” came after I met my then editor (current author) Chandra Sparks Splond at Romance Slam Jam, a book conference for African American romance. She expressed interest and took the synopsis and 3 sample chapters with her on the plane. 3 days later, she wanted to read the whole book. 3 months later, the editor phoned because she was leaving publishing house. Told her not to worry. 2 weeks later, BET Books called & offered me a 2-book deal.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
I still love romance. It started when I was in my early tweens with Harlequin and Danielle Steel and has evolved to incorporate African American romance that sprung up in the early 90s and now contemporary romance, chicklit, women’s fiction and all the genres in between that have a romance thread.
14--What’s your favorite movie?
It’s a toss-up between Pretty Woman and Love Jones. I love Julia Roberts smile. Larenz Tate in Love Jones was oh so sexy, especially when he was speaking poetry.
15--What is your favorite season?
Fall. Sadly, I don’t get enough of it living in Orlando. I miss the changing of the leaves, wearing blazers and cool booties, sipping on hot chocolate. Winter in Orlando is sort of like fall because at least it’s cool out.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
Lately, I’ve been leaving the country. Last year was Barbados. This year, the hubby and I ventured south to the island of Curaçao for my birthday. I’d never heard of it until Sandals sold us on the new resort, they were opening this year. In case you don’t know, Curaçao is near Aruba and is one of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao). All Dutch speaking islands. It was interesting to explore the area, try local delicacies and relax on my birthday. Mr. B is no slouch to romance and made the day special with breakfast in bed, a couples massage and dinner on the beach. Next year, the big 5-0 is my bucket list destination: Africa.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
I love romance and drama, so I have a few and they’re all on Netflix. I’m currently indulging in Firefly Lane, love the friendship between the two leads because it reminds me of me and my bestie though we never broke up. LOL. I’m also a fan of Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and Bridgerton on Netflix because they are all based on great-selling books. Forgot to add, got have a little fluff in your life and Emily in Paris does the trick!
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
It used to be Italian or shall I say American Italian because when I went to Italy, I realized they cook nothing like us. Now, that I’ve become well-traveled I’m open to everything and dabble in French, Greek, Mexican, Thai, Indian and more. Can’t wait for Spanish cuisine when I finally hit Spain/Portugal in March 2023 after 3 years of COVID delay.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
When I have free time, I love to travel and find someplace I have been to before. I like going off the beaten path and trying new foods because I’m a foodie.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
The 2nd book in the Six Gems series: Her Secret Billionaire. Chef Egypt Cox is flattered when a handsome stranger raves about her restaurant. But before their sizzling attraction can ignite, he’s attacked—and left with amnesia! Egypt still doesn’t know who Garrett is, but their chemistry is off the charts…as are the nights he spends in her bed. But when Egypt discovers her mystery lover is none other than corporate shark Garrett Forrester—and his secrets may threaten their newfound connection...
Childhood friends become forbidden lovers in this sexy start to the Six Gems series from Yahrah St. John.
Their fiery affair fulfills her fantasies…
And puts everything at risk.
When travel blogger Wynter Barrington’s wealthy, disapproving family cuts her off, she finds comfort in a passionate chance encounter with Riley Davis, her best friend's brother. He’s hot as hell…and totally off-limits.
And when they meet again months later, they begin a sizzling affair. Wynter knows Riley doesn’t do love and marriage, but her youthful crush is feeling more and more like a real relationship. If she’s not careful, Wynter may put more than her relationship with her best friend on the line. Can she survive falling in love with the one man she was never supposed to touch?
Multicultural African-American | Women's Fiction | Saga [Harlequin Desire, On Sale: December 27, 2022, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781335581617 / eISBN: 9780369724434]
Yahrah St. John is the author of thirty-one published books and won the 2013 Best Kimani Romance from RT Book Reviews for A CHANCE WITH YOU. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northwestern University. A member of Romance Writers of America, St. John is an avid reader, enjoys cooking, traveling and adventure sports, but her true passion is writing. Visit my website for more info.
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