[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Sofia, and welcome to the Manga Maniac Café! Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Sofia Harper] Part smart aleck, part book nerd. The rest of me is pretty much coffee addict.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Hot Knight in Paradise?
[Sofia Harper] Leah’s stranded, broke and in need of a job so she can get back home. Her only hope is Marshall. He’s pretty much exiled himself from America and runs a bar creatively named the Rum Shack. (Yeah. I know.) Until she earns enough money to end her disastrous vacation, they’re stuck together. Sparks fly. Pasts are revealed. Love happens. So, it’s your basic boy meets girl while girl is stranded with a hot man.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Sofia Harper] I wanted to write a redemption story. I love those. I’d been watching the now defunct show Life and the idea of feeling guilty of wrong you didn’t commit appealed to me. At the time there was a huge kerfluffle online about rape culture. Leah and Marshall stepped into my head and the story came together.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Leah?
[Sofia Harper] Will shoot trespassers.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Marshall had a theme song, what would it be?
[Sofia Harper] DayDreamer by Adele. “He can change the world with his hands behind his back.” It’s song about an amazing, sexy man. This song fits him down to the bone.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Leah is never without.
[Sofia Harper] This is a tough one because Leah gets mugged of all her belongings. The first things she buys is something to tame her hair. If I’d given her a choice, she’d have grabbed her hair products along with her ID and passport.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Marshall’s bathroom?
[Sofia Harper] Cologne, nose hair trimmer and baby powder.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Leah’s greatest regret?
[Sofia Harper] Not being there for her cousin when she needed her the most.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Sofia Harper] Music. It shuts off the world and I can hear the story in my head. I need some form of solitude to tap into my creative well. Sometimes I need words that fit a character or scene perfectly.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Sofia Harper] Coffee, computer and place to sit. I’ve written without pretty much everything else I sometimes I feel I need, but without those three I’m not likely to get any work down. lol
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Hot Knight in Paradise?
[Sofia Harper] Sleep. It’s not often that a story writes itself, but this one was it. I wrote the last 20,000 words in two days. So, sleep was definitely something that kept me from finishing sooner.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Sofia Harper] Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox. I have a hard time reading contemporary because I write it. The internal editor is always talking while I’m trying to enjoy the book. She shut up while I read this book. It was simply incredible. And fresh.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Sofia Harper] The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I read this book as a child and the world just seemed so wonderful. The idea that you could walk into something as mundane as a closet and there were worlds to be found. I loved it.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Sofia Harper] Spend time with children. They are wonderful, if I say so myself. They’re funny and entertaining. I also watch a lot of TV shows on DVD. It’s a family thing. I’m currently trying to get my daughter to stop watching Degrassi though. OMG, talk about teenage emo drama. I sat through nine seasons. Please make it stop at ten.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Sofia Harper] These are the places you can find moi:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/sofiaharper.author?
Goodreads Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7154484.Sofia_Harper
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the author:
Sofia Harper started writing contemporary romance a long, long time ago. When Sofia’s not spending time with imaginary people in her head, she’s corrupting two little trouble makers. Currently she lives in California where the wine is good. She also going full-throttle on the ride called publishing. These two thoughts are not related.
“I find it hard to believe a man like you would consider bartending his calling.” She gave him a dubious look. “And I’m feeling like a margarita. Got some limes?”
“Of course.” He opened the compartment where he kept the salt. Using some of the tequila, he lined the lip of the glass.
“How’d you know I wanted salt?”
“If you want lime, you want salt.” He took his time making the drink. “You’d be amazed how listening can change the world.”
He cut the lime in quarters, placing one on the rim, the rest in another cup. “Now I didn’t say you didn’t get something out of what you do. I said it’s probably not your calling.”
The weight of his past darkened his tone and he leaned against the bar for support. “You can save someone’s life by what you say.”
She sipped her drink and then sucked on the lemon. Her breath whooshed out. “You make a damn good margarita.”
“Thanks.” He nursed his bourbon as he tried to beat back the memories, but then her hand was on his face, bringing him back to the now.
“Hey, where’d you go? We’re debating.”
“Political analyst,” he said.
“I’m not that cynical about mankind,” she said.
Her tongue flicked out, licking at the salt from the corner of her mouth. His mind blanked. When his brain came back online he could only wonder if the tartness of lime would complement her taste. She must have noticed the expression, because her gaze went to his mouth.
Her tongue lashed out again. “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable when you look at my mouth with an I-want-tobite-
you expression,” she said quietly. “Though I want to say my eyes are up here, but—”
She bit her lip, and his gaze followed the action. He wished she’d look away, make a joke…anything to break the moment, but his heart rammed against his ribcage.
“I’m insane,” she murmured.
Marshall frowned, finally tearing his gaze from her mouth. Leah pushed their drinks aside and leaned over the bar, and then her mouth was on his, and he couldn’t think. His lips parted automatically, and she was there, supping on the taste of him. Leah’s tongue explored urgently, as if they’d been kissing for eons, and he matched her rhythm.
“Wait,” Marshall said, pulling back, which was probably the dumbest thing he’d ever done in his life.
He knew if she had enough time to consider what the hell they were doing, she’d end it and run. He took advantage of her moment of confusion and untied the scarf holding back the soft curls.
“There,” he sighed.
This time, he claimed her mouth. The kiss lost its urgency, and still the taste of her seared his tongue. He had the time to nip and lick, noting the softness of her lips and how the lime only made her taste better. He couldn’t be anywhere but in that moment. He tightened the hold in her hair, forcing Leah still and allowing him to deepen the kiss. He made illicit promises with his teeth and tongue until she moaned in his mouth, and it took everything in him not to have her there on the counter.
With the little room he allowed, she pulled back. “Wait.”
He loosened the hold on her hair. Leah climbed the counter, knocking over the stool in the process. Once settled in front of him, she fisted her hands on his shirt and yanked him forward. Forgetting honor, he pressed against her, felt the heat between her thighs along his erection. Keeping a hand in the curly strands, he exposed her neck. He sucked softly at first and then hard on the flesh between her neck and collarbone. Her legs tightened around his waist, binding him to the heat. Trailing kisses up to her ear, he bit the lobe. She gasped.
“Do you want me to stop?” he whispered.
“Yes,” she moaned.