Fans of Monica Murphy, Jen McLaughlin, and H.M. Ward will be seduced by Bash and Olivia's story and will look forward to a new installment in this ongoing family saga every month!
We sat down with Christine to talk about her upcoming series, among other things. Here’s what she had to say...
FIX YOU is the part one of Sebastian and Olivia’s story in your new serialized romance series. Tell readers why you chose to write serial romance and why you feel it will appeal to them:
I decided to write serial romance because it appeals to me as an audience. I’m an avid reader as well as a big television fan. My family and I glom onto a series and don’t let go. Like Game of Thrones, for example. We talk about it, we bond over it, we pause and rewind and gossip. It’s like our thing. And part of what makes us love it is the anticipation. When the season ends, we’re ALREADY pumped for the next season, planning our big premiere viewing party (which is just us but with elaborate food and themed cakes) I guess I’m a glutton for punishment, lol.
So when I started reading some of the New Adult serials that had become so popular, I realized that I love the format. Now, I don’t want to wait FOREVER. But in some twisted way, I DO want to think about the next book, guess what’s going to happen, get excited as release day draws near etc... It’s part of the fun for me.
A book can last the three hours it takes me to read it, but I'm finding that a serial spread over a few months gives me much more pleasure. So it was a no brainer that I had to write one. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to torture my readers, lol! Mine are set to release super close together, one a month, and there are only three for each couple’s story. That way, readers get to anticipate and guess and maybe even eventually have some input on future stories. I’m SUPER excited about it all!
You're a USA Today Bestselling author, with more than twenty traditionally published titles but FIX YOU is self-published. Why the switch to indie?
I decided to move into indie publishing in an attempt to diversify. I love my publisher, Entangled, and still plan to release category romance through their Brazen and Indulgence lines. At the same time, I also want to be able to create something I love without boundaries. Category is very specific (in length, regarding tropes, in tone, etc...).
I decided to write a new adult series on my own so I would have total creative freedom. My books are still professionally edited, formatted, and have professional covers, but at the end of the day, I get to determine what stays on the page and what doesn’t, and I get to decide if the cover art is exactly what I want. It’s very freeing.
Why do you feel indie publishing is so hot right now?
I think more and more self-publishers are taking the time to package their books in a way that can compete with traditional publishing. There is a wealth of freelance talent out there, so great editing and covers can be had if authors are willing to utilize it. Not to mention that many traditionally published books are priced in the $5.99+ range while indie authors can price their books at a very competitive $2.99 price point (while offering, say, the first installment at a discount of free) and still make a fair royalty for their work. It’s a win-win for authors and readers.
Please tell readers a little about the book:
FIX YOU is about a girl in trouble. Her family is on the brink of losing it all, and some part of her knows there is more to that sordid tale, but she is struggling with another, bigger problem at the moment. Her long-time boyfriend has addiction issues and has become abusive. She feels all alone in the world, and terrified. Enter Bash McDaniels. He’s gruff and from the wrong side of the tracks, but there is an honesty and a realness about him that draws her to him.
They can’t contain their attraction for each other, but they know they can’t possibly have a relationship. He has goals and dreams that will take him far from Boston. Her family has expectations of her that do not include some “loser without an education”. Their lives are in turmoil, and no one wants them together. Not her ex-boyfriend, not Bash’s brothers. And still, they can’t stay away from each other…
When can readers expect the following installments of Sebastian and Olivia’s story and when will they meet the other McDaniels brothers?
Bash and Olivia’s story will unfold over three books, released one month apart, in March, April and May. Then, each of the other two McDaniels brothers will get his own, three-part story. I don’t have a firm release date for those yet, but I’m hoping to have Matthias’s first book come out late summer and go from there, one a month (or faster, if I can!)
Can you give readers a sneak peek at books two and three in The McDaniels Brothers serials?
I’d love to give readers a sneak peek at books two and three, but I’m not sure I can without giving spoilers away on book one! Something pretty major happens at the end of book one that very much plays into the second and third books and changes their course drastically. And, as things progress, Bash and Olivia’s bond gets stronger while forces become even more determined to pull them apart. Cryptic, right? SORRY! I just don’t want to ruin book one for anyone!
In your opinion, what kind of readers will enjoy FIX YOU?
If you love sexy contemporary romance with a younger feel to it and some serious angst, I think you will love these books. Bash and Olivia have this chemistry that is so magical, and yet they are each struggling with their own demons that make it seem impossible for them to be together. I found them compelling to write and hope readers find them just as compelling.
Share a bit about your hero with us, and what makes him "hero" material:
Bash McDaniels is the middle of three brothers who lost their parents at a young age. Bash was separated from his other two siblings when they went into foster care and the state couldn’t find a family to take all three, so he has had the most difficult time in a lot of ways. He loves his brothers, but also is a little bitter than he missed five years with them. Even through all his struggles, and with no solid male role model, he has a strong work ethic. He busts his ass as a bar-back at night and trains to become a professional boxer during the day. He also knows how to treat a girl. When he sees a stranger in a potentially dangerous situation, he doesn’t hesitate to risk his own neck, and job, to protect her.
Introduce your heroine and tell us what makes her a "leading lady":
Olivia Beckett is an only child who has had everything. At least, from an outsider’s perspective. She’s pretty and fun and has the “perfect” captain of the rugby team boyfriend. Her family is wealthy and she gets to go a fancy private college that most girls would dream of. But behind the smile, Olivia is falling apart. Her boyfriend is abusive, her parents are in financial trouble, and she's feeling alone and helpless. I think she’s a leading lady because she doesn’t just bury her head, or give up. She’s a fighter. And when she meets Bash, she doesn’t let him write her off. She proves herself to be worthy of his respect, and learns to stand on her own two feet. I admire those traits in someone so young.
Do you have a behind the scenes team?
I have a great, behind the scenes team that helps me produce these books. I have several first line beta readers, a content editor and then a freelance copy editor who I work with to make sure the books are in tip-top shape. Then Dee Tenorio of Laideebug Digital does all my covers and my book formatting. Once the book is produced, I turn it over to my publicist, Dani Barclay of Barclay Publicity, and she helps me the rest of the way. I realized long ago that each facet of putting out a book is specialized. People go to school for years to learn design, how to edit, how to market a product, etc... Just because I CAN do something (albeit poorly), doesn’t mean I should, lol (and believe me, you guys should be glad I didn’t!)
Can you recommend other similar books that readers might enjoy once they've devoured FIX YOU?
Some of my own favorite NA authors are Jen McLaughlin (LOVE her Out of Time, Out of Line books, and have her latest cued up on my Kindle), Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait for You<3), Monica Murphy (One Week Girlfriend) and HM Ward (The Ferro Family). I have so many books waiting on my Kindle to read, as well, so I’m sure I’ll have more favorites to add soon!
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Tell us a bit about your road to publication:
I didn’t actually really start writing until I was thirty-five. In fact, I didn’t even know I wanted to write. All I ever knew was that I was never truly satisfied with my job, no matter what I was doing. I did a lot of different jobs, from working at a library (which I DID enjoy for a long time), to selling computers (which I did NOT enjoy). I went in every day, did my job to the best of my ability and made the best of it, but I always felt trapped. Like a bear in a cage. So I’d work for five years somewhere, and then, typically, have some sort of mental freak out where I felt like I HAD TO GET OUT! So I’d call my husband and say, “I can’t do this anymore.” And, bless his amazing heart, he’d say, “Okay. So quit.”
Then I tried to flip houses, which was fun but short-lived. After that, I decided I’d stick in with a day job, but try being a rock star at night, so I joined a band and sang. Turned out, after six months of gigging, I still hadn’t gotten over my crippling stage fright so rather than be sick 80% of the time, I broke up the band. That kind of thing continued, and after years of a happy family life but a dismal array of “careers”, my husband suggested I go back to college and try things until I found my passion. At around the same time, my sister Nicole (who is a practicing psychic) told me she pictured me making a living as a writer. I added some creative writing courses to my schedule and found I loved it. I was happier than I’d ever been.
When I finally went back to a day job, it was with renewed determination that it would be my last. It took me five years, but I was finally able to call myself a full time author in 2012! It’s been the ride of a lifetime and I’m so grateful to my family who supported me and all my craziness to get here.
Fun fact #1: I’m actually a princess. Okay, not ACTUALLY, but sort of. I’m the descendent of Russian Prince Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov. Our family was exiled long before I was able to grab my tiara, but our pictures (and those of other descendants) are housed in the Winter Palace in Russia and a Russian film company just did a documentary about our family. SO cool, right?! But once I got over the excitement of that, I realized the odds of me getting my rightful place on the throne were nil, and I had to figure out what I COULD do that would satisfy my soul. Hence, the writing.
Fun fact #2: In my quest to find my niche, I also tried my hand at being a professional poker player (I’m good at it, did well, and even won several tournaments, but it turns out poker is WAY more fun when it’s a hobby). I still play, but writing will always be my true passion.
Olivia Beckett’s once-charmed life is falling apart. Her family is about to lose everything, and she has almost no chance of continuing her college education. She can't even seek solace from her high school sweetheart. He's changed. She doesn't recognize the boy she used to know— his violent behavior is escalating and it scares the hell out of her. Her whole world is crumbling, and she has no one to turn to……
Sebastian “Bash” McDaniels is an up and comer in the boxing world working nights at the local college bar until he can land the fight of his dreams that will get him the hell out of Boston and away from his family's tragic past. He’s weeks from his goal when Olivia Beckett comes tumbling into his life in a flash of silky dark hair and haunted eyes. When he saves her from a potentially brutal beating, they begin to grow close, but Olivia's ex isn’t ready to let her go so easily.
Bash can't bring himself to walk away, but fixing Olivia just might leave him broken…
Add FIX YOU to your TBR pile on Goodreads!
Christine Bell is a USA Bestselling Author of contemporary romance novels and one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold 'Em.
Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate...or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun, sexy romances, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page, or find her on Twitter@_ChristineBell.