Today's #WriterWednesday interview is with Author Yahrah St. John. Check her out!!
AT: Where do you live?
YSJ: I live in the City Beautiful, sunny Orlando, but hail from Chicago.
AT: What genre do you write?
YSJ: I write contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
AT: My 2 favs! Are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
YSJ: I’m a publisher author. I am traditionally published with Harlequin Kimani Romance. However, I also self-publish my own work. I have 25 published books.
AT: What inspires you to write?
YSJ: Growing up, we didn’t have African American romance novels. I grew up reading Harlequin with Caucasian hero/heroines. When the African American romance market debuted in the nineteen nineties it was refreshing to read images of who I saw looking back in the mirror. So I’m inspired by a desire to see positive images of black men and women falling in love without some of the negative images reflected in today’s media.
AT: I love it! Name one book you wish you’d written.
YSJ: There’s a romantic suspense series in my head based on my husband who is a retired 20-year veteran and was in Special Forces.
AT: Wow! What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
YSJ: Working full-time, writing part-time, and being a newlywed of 3 months leaves me very little time for reading. I’ve actually become addicted to audiobooks because I can listen to them on my way into work. The last audiobook I listened to was a 3-book series called Manwhore by Katy Evans that was recommended on Goodreads. It was a delicious series that was part romance and part women’s fiction. I totally dug it.
AT: Who is your favorite author? Why?
YSJ: I love Brenda Jackson because she’s been a trailblazer for African American romance authors. Her books whisk you away into her characters' lives and loves. Her characters come from all walks of life and ages, but have a sensual side.
AT: Well, she is the queen! Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
YSJ: Red. Because it’s bold and vibrant which would describe my personality
AT: What would your autobiography be called?
YSJ: That’s a hard question. I’ve thought about writing my autobiography, but didn’t have a title because I wasn’t sure I wanted to write due to some painful elements in my past. Off the cuff? Maybe something like… Overcoming Obstacles - the Yahrah St. John Story.
AT: Nice...Do you believe in love at first sight?
YSJ: Yes, I’m sure it could happen, but for me and my husband, it was a slow burn.
AT: Ain't nothing wrong with a slow burn! If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
YSJ: I’d wish my mother was still alive to see me successful and happily married. I would become a NY Times best-selling romance novelist with my books made into movies. I’d wish we could all be better, healthier people and stop the violence going on in the world today.
AT: Beautiful wishes! Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
YSJ: I love spring because it’s a period of renewal and that’s when everything blossoms.
AT: Tea or coffee?
YSJ: Definitely coffee. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was about 9. That’s when my mother allowed me to have 1 cup a week while she read the Sunday paper and I read my comics.
AT: Awwww, that's sweet! Tell us about your most recent/current project.
YSJ: My current book, #25 is Miami After Hours. Below is a small blurb:
She's got sky-high ambitions to match the glamorous penthouses she shows, but real estate agent Angela Trainor keeps both feet firmly on the ground. Her attraction to her sexy boss, Daniel Cobb, needs to remain at bay, or it could derail her promising career. But when Daniel takes Angela under his wing, introducing her to clients at society events, mutual admiration becomes a sizzling physical connection. Daniel has turned his starter company into Miami's premier agency. In the process, he's earned his place among the Millionaire Moguls—an elite and exclusive organization dedicated to paying success forward. He's known for showering women with lavish gifts, attention… everything except commitment. Now the lovely Angela has discovered the pain in his past and is daring him to open up. But will it be enough to convince her that he wants so much more than just an unforgettable fling?
Angela couldn’t believe how warm, friendly and downright accommodating Daniel was being. Nor had she realized just how deep his ties to the community went. If she hadn’t heard for herself, she’d have thought of Daniel Cobb solely as a ladies’ man, but he was far more than the image he portrayed to the world.
After they’d smiled for several photographs with the starting lineup for the Miami Heat, Daniel took her to the Hyde lounge where they would have a bite before dinner. The lavish supper club was the ultimate experience, and Angela luxuriated in the appeal of being waited on with private bottle service at the table. Daniel was sparing no expense, and she couldn’t help wondering if he’dprearranged this for Alejandro Rivera. Or was this all for her?
She didn’t know.
And she didn’t care.
She was having too much fun seeing how the other half lived.
And Daniel was just the man to show her.
“You’re just a mass of contradictions,” Angela said when he regaled her with stories over appetizers and champagne. She hadn’t objected when Daniel had requested a bottle of an expensive champagne. Instead, she sipped the delicious drink, allowing it to delight her taste buds.
“What do you mean?”
“You come off that you’re all about business,” Angela replied, “but there are many layers to you. Perhaps some you don’t want to be seen.”
“I’m showing them tonight, to you,” Daniel responded, picking up his champagne flute and taking a sip. He held her gaze over the rim of the flute.
“Yes, you are,” Angela said. “Joshua mentioned that Prescott George fund-raises for charity. What else do they do?”
Daniel filled her in on his volunteer efforts with the organization that supported black youth. “I participate when time permits and when I can’t, I open my checkbook. But don’t go giving me all the accolades. I’m not the only member of Prescott George who gives back to the community. Even though it’s our mission statement, they’re words we all live by.”
“Very commendable.” Angela said. “And when you’re not giving back, what does Daniel Cobb do to relax?”
Over the remainder of the meal, they laughed and talked, and Angela found herself dropping the guard she normally kept around herself in Daniel’s presence and enjoying the moment. He was her boss, after all, but tonight he was a man. A man she was attracted to. And if the gazes he gave her when he thought she wasn’t looking were any indication, he was just as attracted to her.
Once again she looked at him from underneath her lashes. There was no denying the chemistry between them. The eye contact alone sent a current of electricity humming through her veins, tingling every nerve ending. When the meal finally concluded, she was happy to move. She’d been as jittery as a coiled spring. It didn’t help when Daniel helped her from her seat and grasped her hand in his again.
Her heart raced and her stomach quivered in nervous anticipation.
“Relax,” he whispered as he walked her back to the arena with the other basketball fans. “I don’t bite.”
Angela wasn’t so sure about that.
She wasn’t surprised when his hand met the small of her back as they walked to their floor seats and she felt a rush of heat. Nor that her breath hitched when Daniel’s thigh brushed hers as they sat down. She’d come out tonight under the assumption that she was spending the night with her boss while he wooed a client. Instead, she’d found herself on what was essentially a date with Daniel.
She was thankful when the lights dimmed and music blared, disturbing her thoughts as the speaker announced the starting lineup for the Charlotte Hornets. There were lots of boos in the crowd, but the momentum changed and sparked to life when they announced the Miami Heat.
“These seats are great,” Angela said when they sat back down after the national anthem. They were at center court, in front of all the action. If Alejandro had come, he would have been very pleased.
“Thanks, I’m glad you like them.”
Angela glanced sideways at him. “And do you bring all your women out to expensive basketball games and private dining?” As soon as she said the words, Angela realized they belied her innermost thoughts and that she was curious about his love life.
“All my women?” Daniel snorted. He glanced behind his shoulder. “I don’t see a gaggle of women lined up to date me.”
“Oh, c’mon,” Angela said, “don’t be coy.”
Daniel grinned broadly. “I get around.”
“So you admit you’re a player?”
“Who, me?” He shrugged. “Never. My women, as you call them, know the score. And so what if I treat them well? I don’t make any illusions about my goals and objectives for the future.”
The Heat scored a three-point basket and Daniel jumped out of his seat, clapping furiously. Angela liked this relaxed side of Daniel just as much as she liked seeing him in the jeans he wore. She was sure they were designer, as were the shirt and loafers he had on. Daniel exuded sophistication and class even when he dressed casually.
“Ahem!” Daniel coughed, returning her focus back to his face.
Angela blushed, and she could feel her cheeks stain red at having been caught checking him out. “Sorry.”
“I don’t mind when a beautiful woman stares at me like that.”
“What?” he asked innocently. But she knew he knew better.
“And what’s wrong with a little innocent flirting among friends?”
“Uh, I think it’s more like employer-employee.”
His eyes turned dark. “Not tonight.”
Angela swallowed at the implication. Was he saying that what happened tonight wasn’t on the record? So they could indulge in whatever fantasy their creative minds cooked up? If so, Angela was thinking of all sorts of things she’d love to do to Daniel, like ride him in the back of the limo while they drove the streets of Miami.
Where in the world had that come from?
She wasn’t an exhibitionist and she liked to keep her private life private. However, there was a tiny part of her that had kicked into overdrive at the thought. From afar, she’d always found Daniel intriguing and sexy as hell, but in person with all his attention focused on her, he was so much more.
“Penny for your thoughts.”
Angela chuckled. “I’d expected a lot more from you, Daniel. Like a five, maybe even twenty. I don’t just let anyone into my head.”
He threw back his head and laughed. “I like you, Angela. I like you a lot.”
I like you a lot?
What had possessed him to verbalize what he’d been thinking?Angela. And those warm brown eyes of hers. They’d beguiled him all night. As did her beauty. Those loose blond-streaked curls. Flawless skin. Sexy figure. It made him want her, burn for her. He wanted nothing more than to take her back to his place and fill her until she surrendered to the passion that had been simmering between them all night.
But he couldn’t.
It wasn’t right.
But that didn’t stop him from wanting what he couldn’t have.
The game was a nail-biter, with the Heat clinching the win in the last minute with a three-point shot and a foul. When it was over, they walked back toward where the limo had dropped them off earlier. Daniel pulled Angela closer to his side when the throng of people pushed her forward. That was the wrong move.
With Angela so near, Daniel could smell the sweet scent of her hair, catch a hint of the perfume she was wearing and feel her breasts pressed against his biceps.
Eventually the throng dissipated and Daniel was able to weave them through the crowd to the VIP area where the chauffeur stood waiting for them. He tipped his hat to them as he opened the door. Angela entered and Daniel was close behind her.
Once the door closed, the sexual tension between them was palpable and so thick it could be cut with a knife. Angela sat with her eyes downward and her hands folded in her lap. Daniel wanted to ruffle her feathers, make her feel as undone as he’d felt all night.
“Angela,” he whispered her name.
She half turned in his direction, and that was all the invitation Daniel needed to act on his attraction.
for a chance to win a Free Kindle or a free book on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/237637-miami-after-hours
AT: How can readers connect with you (share website and any social media links)
My readers can connect with me at www.yahrahstjohn.com, https://www.facebook.com/YahrahStJohn,
AT: Any final words?
YSJ: My next project Taming Her Billionaire will be released on November 1st. It’s the second book in my Knights of Los Angeles series. The idea came from watching Empire during that initial first season. I loved how the brothers were pitted against each other, a sort of Cane-and-Abel story. In Taming Her Billionaire Maximus Knight is the legitimate son who has to fight for control of Knight Shipping with the illegitimate half-brother Lucius Knight he never knew he had. And his father’s will has just given gorgeous gallery owner Tahlia Armstrong a tie-breaking stake in the company. Maximus' plan? Seduce her into turning over her shares—and controlling interest--to him, but it backfires when the two share a sizzling passion too powerful to ignore.
AT: Sounds so good!!