Spotlight, Author Interview & Giveaway : Seducing Her Rival by Seleste deLaney (CR)

Book Blurb & Info

She’s trapped with a man she hates…and can’t resist.

Mercedes boards a cruise frequented by investors with one goal: garner donations for the children’s charity she works for. The man who knocks her off her feet is not part of the plan. Sexy as sin and richer than God, Lucas sets off alarm bells in her head. But then he invites her to join him at the captain’s table to pitch her charity for an onboard fundraiser, and she decides Lucas might not be as bad as she thought.

Lucas is drawn to Mercedes’s spirit—and the fact she doesn’t recognize him. One scintillating night leads to another, but the afterglow is shattered when an early morning phone call reveals his identity as the man whose company is closing on the same property her charity needs.

Feeling betrayed, Mercedes storms out, but Lucas isn’t one to give up when something feels this right. And as much as she fights it, Mercedes can’t stay away from Lucas. But which one of them will seducing the enemy into surrendering?

Buy Links for Seducing Her Rival
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Hi Seleste,

Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview.

Thanks for having me!

So first off, Seducing Her Rival Questions.......

In your own words, what is Seducing Her Rival about?

Seducing Her Rival is about finding love in the most unexpected places, in this case with the one man you never met but hated anyway. It’s also a lot about redemption, but not in the typical way of getting someone else to forgive you, but in forgiving yourself. And sex. Hot, sweaty sex. ;-)

How did you come up with the title of the book?

LOL I better not get in trouble for telling this story. Seducing Her Rival was not always the title. It originally had a more “common” title (which I won’t specify for reasons ;-) ), but there was a conflict with another book and one of our titles had to change. I got a phone call informing me of all this and I started to panic (because I am not the best at titles—they either just come to me or I have a horribly hard time with them). Luckily, Seducing Her Rival was offered up as a new title and I jumped on it. It actually fit the book better than the original title…plus, no one else seems to have used it before, which is a huge bonus in my mind.

Is Seducing Her Rival a standalone book or part of a series?

Both? It’s a standalone in that the story is complete on its own, but there will be two follow-up novels featuring other women who play a role in this book. They all link together, but none of them will require reading the others.

What was your favorite scene to write for either your hero or heroine in Seducing Her Rival?

I love the scene where she finally tells him about her tattoo. He doesn’t really realize it at the time, but she’s being very emotionally vulnerable in that scene and telling him all the reasons she doesn’t think he could ever really love her.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The piano scene. I love the scene, but it changed so many times. So it wasn’t so much hard to write as it was hard to get right.

*with a wink* Did anything memorable happen to you, that you wouldn't mind sharing, during the writing of this book?

I was a captain in a secret war against the zombie hordes and effectively contained the outbreak to prevent the zombie apocalypse. You’re welcome.

Seriously though, there was some significant life upheaval that happened while this book was in progress. It involved moving and huge changes to a lot of things. But that’s way less fun to talk about than the zombies. ;-)

And with another wink, did you have to do any fun, sexy or interesting research for the book that you would like to share?

OMG, yes. First, I finagled the family vacation to happen on the sister ship to the one the book takes place on. That was a RIDICULOUS trip. I have so much love for Royal Caribbean, it isn’t even funny.

As for sexy, I was trying to figure out a man I knew who was the same height as my hero and realized the only one I could think of was one of my least flirty male model friends. (Some of them will talk dirty to everyone and their mothers, but not this guy.) So I messaged him with something along the lines of, “So…if you had a woman on a bar…” Thankfully he knows what I do for a living and played along without too much embarrassment. And I totally appreciate his help.


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?

I wanted to be a writer when I was little—in fact, my mother kept an assignment from about 3rd or 4th grade in which I wrote that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up because I wanted to create worlds for other people to disappear into. (I was a pretty smart kid if I do say so myself.) Unfortunately, for a lot of years, writing was set aside for more sane pursuits—you know, the kind with 9 to 5 hours and job security.

Then I had my son and became a stay-at-home-mom. There’s nothing like having a near-death experience (don’t ask—no lights or anything) and a little person to inspire to make you start chasing your dreams. Of course, I had to muddle through a few years of diapers first. Once I started, I never stopped though. I found a writing group and had my ass handed to me in critiques. I started looking at writing as a career choice in late 2007, but I had a lot to learn. My first works were published in 2010 and I’ve been going strong ever since.

What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?

First, I rarely write longhand. When I was little, my pediatrician told my mother my handwriting was sloppy because my hand couldn’t keep up with my brain. And that was when I was trying to write neatly. When a story is pouring out, it comes too fast. I end up with pages and pages that take me hours to decipher. It’s not pretty.

As for inspiration, I’d say that’s two-fold. One, I’m a Capricorn. Personal drive is part of my nature. I want to do more and do better and be the best that I can be (without joining the army, thank you very much). But I want my kids to grow up knowing that chasing your dreams is a good thing. That it’s worthwhile, even if it’s scary. So on the days that I dread writing anything, I think of them and how they see me as a role model. That’s not something I take lightly, so I put my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard and get to work.

What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?

I drink three fingers of scotch every morning before I sit down to write in nothing but my silk bathrobe.


Kidding, obviously. My writing process changes a little with every piece. For my urban fantasy, I’m a fairly hard-core plotter because I have no choice. There are like seven point-of-view characters, if I didn’t plot, I’d drop story lines and forget about them. (Bad author, no cookie. Mmmm….cookies… Where was I?) Most of my other work falls into two categories…

1) I totally pants the first 10,000 words or so. Then I freak out and have to start plotting because I find myself rambling and going nowhere.

2) I do what I call road-mapping. It’s sort of like taking a road trip with a destination in mind but I can stop and see whatever sites I like on the way. So I have certain plot items I want to hit, but how I get there and what happens there is left up in the air. It’s like the best of both worlds between plotting and pantsing.

Having said all that, I did write a novella recently (and I wrote a novel like this once too) that I completely pantsed. All I knew was “here are these characters, here’s how they get shoved together, and they get a happily ever after.” This rarely works for me (see the above comment about rambling).

Oh, and one thing I always have is pictures of my major characters. Yes, I am a “caster.” I need those images in my head or I have a nasty tendency to change people’s eye or hair color at random. Plus, if I have no title, I can call a book “The Tony Stark/Santana Lopez book.”

Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?

Yes. I write young adult and new adult under the name Julie Particka. There’s only been one release so far under that name, but I’m re-booting things during 2014, so there will be more coming. Some of the new adult titles will still have sex (in varying degrees) in them, but the younger the characters, the less sex there will be, but they still have the banter and pacing that my adult works have.

Any advice for would-be writers?

Be sure you want this. Writing as a career is the best job ever, but it’s not easy and it’s not easy money. Most authors have day jobs. And you need to grow a thick skin with regards to both rejections and editing. On a day-to-day basis, read a lot and write a lot. Make yourself write pretty much every day—at least a page or two. Try new things. Find crit partners who are around your level and learn as much or more from giving critiques as you do from getting them. Never say never. And if you want to succeed, never ever give up.

What's next for you?

A lot! After Seducing Her Rival, I have Conning for Keeps (Follow up to Gaming for Keeps) coming in, I think, January. The next of my Brazens (title is still in flux) coming in, I believe, March. Either December or February will see the next Blood Kissed book (I’m self-publishing that one, so it will come out when I have enough time to breathe between other releases, but one of those months for sure). And I *think* I have something else coming in April, but that’s still not set in stone. After that… I’m not sure of my schedule yet. LOL It’s going to be a busy year though!

Is there anything you’d like to add before we get into the personal questions?

The thing about being an author is you have to love it. Have to. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t love the work, it will never be more than drudgery. But if you do love it…sure, you still notice the work, but even at the worst bits of that, the story still gives you goosebumps and you still want to work on it. It’s not just deadlines and money—it’s the love of the craft.

Personal questions......

Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing stories, who is your favorite character and why?

I have several whom I adore. Specifically I love Remy from the Blood Kissed books because he’s just so…ambiguous in every way. It’s fun writing a character when no one (often including me) knows what he’ll do next. But a more recent addition to my favorites is one that’s introduced in Seducing Her Rival. Eva Martindale makes me absolutely giddy. She’s completely unapologetic about who she is and, considering she’s the youngest of my heroines in that series, says a lot about her as a person. She’s bold and brash and sexy and… *happy sigh* I cannot wait to start her book.

Are there any of your stories that hold a special place in your heart?

The ones nearest and dearest to me tend to be the ones that aren’t published (or aren’t published yet). I wrote a YA called Memory Keeper that hit me in the feels so hard I cried almost every night when I was writing it. The ones that are special to me are usually the ones that hurt. They are emotionally cleansing and help me refocus—even if no one else ever gets to read them.

What was the last book you read and can you share any thoughts on it?

I just finished reading Burning Down the Spouse by Dakota Cassidy. I love that series, and this one in particular resonated so much with my life right now that I didn’t want it to end (I portioned it out a chapter a day so I could make it last LOL) These books have helped me through some tough times and reminded me that no matter how dark life seems, it could be worse, and it will get better. Plus, they’re funny as hell.

Lastly, let's steal an idea from the magazines.....What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the book?

O.O Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows I’m kind of an open book, but I’ll do my best here…


1) I have man hands. No, seriously, I have short, stubby fingers.

2) Seleste is not my birth name. I get the “real name” question a lot. I always explain that it’s the name I chose for myself and, to me, it’s as real as my birth name.

3) I want to be Kelley Armstrong when I grow up. Or Tiffany Reisz. Maybe I can become some sort of twisted hybrid of the two—that’d be fun.

4) One of my dogs is named Zeus, but he’s not really named after the Greek god. I named him after Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Die Hard with a Vengeance.

5) I always said I would never move home again after high school, but this summer I moved literally a mile from the high school I went to (in one direction) and less than a mile from my parents (in the other). In other words, I’m a liar, but only when it really matters :P


1) Katee Robert made me write it.

2) The very first version had a lot of Valentine’s Day stuff in it, but we changed that when it wasn’t coming out for Valentine’s (and it’s better without it)

3) The Rumba scene was added after I went on my cruise and took that very class.

4) The playground memory was cut very short, which was a good thing since my experience with drugs is limited to alcohol and the stuff they gave me after I had my kids. (Yes, I am that person.)

5) I speak no Spanish so, while I had a friend helping me with the translations, anything that slipped through is my mistake alone. (Please don’t point them out. I will feel very sad.)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it!

Author Info

Seleste started on her career path as a young child. Stories of talking animals soon gave way to a love of superheroes and science fiction. Her first foray into the world of romance came at age twelve when she envisioned a sweeping epic love story of two people thrust together and torn apart again and again by fate. As she recalls, the plan was for them to admit their love on his deathbed. But, as is often the case with pre-teen girls, a story of that depth gave way to other pursuits, and sadly it is completely lost other than vague memories.

After that, she occupied herself with short stories for a while, and then poetry until after she had earned a degree in chemistry, spent time as a high school teacher, and became a mother of two. Then she delved into writing fiction once more.

She never lost her love of the fantastic, and her stories now always reach into other realms. The worlds and people she creates occupy as much of her time as the real world, and she is most fortunate to have a family that understands her idiosyncrasies and loves her anyway.

Connect with Seleste deLaney
Website | Twitter | Goodreads


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  1. I cant wait to read this nice excerpt

  2. Loved the excerpt! A good one is the best way to make me want to read a book. :-)

  3. Looks really great.Thank you for the giveaway!