Jen: Today we welcome Jasmine Hill to Romancing the Book. Jasmine, will you share a short bio with us?
Jasmine: Jasmine was born in Australia and grew up in Sydney. She currently lives in Madrid, Spain with her husband.
She adores reading all genres but in particular she enjoys erotic romance novels and thrillers.
Jasmine loves writing and is always looking for new ideas for stories that will provoke inner passions, stimulate the senses and ignite the imagination.
Her interests include cooking, traveling, yoga and skiing.
She has won some short story competitions and is now excited to have started publishing her erotic romance stories through Totally Bound Publishing.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Jasmine: My newest release is called The King of Infierno. I wrote it for Totally Bound’s new Totally 5 Star imprint. I love the idea around this imprint —a luxury hotel chain with hotels in fabulous locations around the world. I’m Australian but I currently live in Madrid and it’s such a beautiful city that it seemed a perfect setting for my hotel and novel.
The inspiration for my hotel design and building came from various locations and structures around Madrid. The city is filled with wonderful examples of architecture, old palaces and lovely plazas, each with a fountain taking pride of place in the centre. The fictional hotel I designed for The King of Infierno, was originally a palace owned by a Spanish nobleman — I felt that is was an appropriate concept for a Madrid hotel. The novel is erotic BDSM, Contemporary in genre.
Donovan King is a Dominant. He owns a chain of nightclubs across Australia and a chance encounter has him pursuing a woman – something he’s never done before. Makayla Carrington, after meeting Donovan suddenly finds herself in a whirlwind romance and on her way from Sydney to Madrid. But a sheltered upbringing means Makayla is unworldly and largely inexperienced and Donovan has to tread carefully if he doesn’t want her to run from him. Makayla discovers Donovan’s BDSM lifestyle and gives Donovan a surprising ultimatum. But events continue to test their union when someone from the past intrudes on their relationship and has Donovan doing everything he can to keep Makayla close.
Here’s a short excerpt:
The limousine pulled to a stop in front of a very impressive-looking building.
“It looks like a palace,” Makayla breathed in awe. “It’s beautiful.”
Donovan smiled. “It did use to be a palace. You will see lots of noble features reminiscent of its royal heritage.”
She stepped from the car and gazed around. Large, ornate pillars and two marble lions framed the grand double entrance doors inlaid with beveled glass. Petunias flowed in colorful abundance from the numerous window boxes, their unusual scent making Makayla instantly reminisce about summers past. Even the fierce little gargoyles perched in varying degrees across the edifice provided a charming addition. A doorman, in full livery, guarded the entry, opening doors and hailing taxis. A pristine red carpet covered the steps, lending a celebrity-like status to guests and leading them into the opulent lobby.
“Come.” Donovan took her arm and led her into the hotel. Instead of a front check-in desk, he guided her to a lounge suite upholstered in a rich floral satin.
“Mr. King, welcome back,” a tall, attractive gentleman in a crisp suit greeted Donovan enthusiastically. “Please, help yourself to some refreshments.” He motioned to a tray with tea, juice and pastries on the table in front of them.
“Thank you, Fernando. I’m happy to be back.” Donovan turned to Makayla. “May I introduce Miss Makayla Carrington? She’ll be staying with me. Makayla, this is Señor Fernando Martínez, the manager here.”
Fernando bowed slightly and took her hand. “Encantado, señorita. Welcome to the Totally Five Star. I’m the manager here, so please let me know if anything is not to your liking.”
“Thank you. But I’m sure everything will be perfect.”
Fernando turned to Donovan. “Your usual suite is ready, Mr. King. I just need to finalize some details with you.”
While Donovan spoke with the manager, Makayla surveyed the glorious refreshments laid out for them. Cut crystal carafes held water and juice, beside them matching tumblers. A three-tiered ceramic cake stand displayed lovely bite-sized morsels of pastries and little finger sandwiches. Dainty matching plates with heavy damask napkins were laid out neatly next to it. The care and attention to detail was extraordinary, and Makayla had never seen anything like it before. It made her feel special and important. She poured herself a glass of juice and took a sip. It was freshly squeezed orange juice and the flavor was fruity and intense. She’d read that Valencia oranges were the best in the world and she was willing to bet that it was from those oranges she was now partaking. She selected a pastry and a finger sandwich and nibbled on each. The sandwich was prawn salad with watercress and tasted divine. She thought that the pastry was what they called churros, but had been made finger-sized to assist with dainty eating and tasted a little like an upmarket donut.
Jasmine: I’d have to say that authors I read when I was younger, probably had the most influence on me. My favourite author is Jane Austen — I can read her novels over and over again. Other favourites of mine were the Brontë sisters. These novelists also started me on the romance journey! Also, they all instilled in me a love of reading and you have to enjoy reading to enjoy writing.
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Jasmine: Often the names come to me quickly and they stick. They just feel right for my characters. Others I choose for a reason and the meaning behind the name. For example, in The King of Infierno I chose Donovan King as my male protagonist’s name for two reasons. Donovan means “strong fighter”. It’s a powerful name and fit my Dominant alpha male perfectly. King, I chose for its connection to rule and authority. It also worked within my storyline — Donovan is The King of Infierno but you’ll have to read the book to find out exactly what that means.
I also chose my female protagonist’s name for the significance behind it. Makayla is a female variant of Michael, which means, “who is like God”. I thought that it fit with my character’s innocence and goodness.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Jasmine: For me, the most challenging aspect is the activity required to establish an identity and a presence — the self-promotion aspect. It’s the time required to dedicate to social media, maintain my website and blog about my latest releases. These are all crucial aspects in establishing an author’s name but it does take away from writing.
The easiest aspect for me is the actual writing — probably because I enjoy it so much! Of course I do have days where the writing process is slow going and a little tough, where I’m unsure exactly where I want to take my storyline but I work through these times and often give myself a break to re-charge the batteries.
The most rewarding is the end product! When I write the final sentence and I’m happy with my story. It’s also extremely rewarding to hear that a reader enjoyed my book!! That really is a special feeling.
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
Jasmine: I can see Hayden Panettiere playing Makayla. Hayden is beautiful and sexy but she also has a fresh, wholesome quality.
I couldn’t go past Chris Hemsworth for Donovan King! He is Australian after all and he has that drop dead gorgeous, sex god look! He also plays, strong, alpha male characters.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Jasmine: I always have a notebook and pen handy. Of course I could type notes into my phone or iPad but I prefer using the old fashioned method. I have a notebook and pen in my bedside drawer too, so I can jot down notes in the middle of the night, which is when many of my ideas come to me!
Jen: What’s next for you?
Jasmine: I enjoyed writing The King of Infierno so much that I’m working on a storyline for a new Totally 5 Star novel. I’m lucky enough to have travelled to quite a few places in the world so I have lots of inspiration. My next one will be set in an entirely different location, a location with an exotic edge.