I took a much-needed mini staycation last week, and this week has been words, words, words as I dive closer to the editing deadline for Secrets of the Soul. It’s spring here in NZ and the sun is shining, the gardens are blooming and the kids are tired as we wind down to the end of the year. I hope no matter what you’re doing you find something to make you smile.
But that’s enough from me, let me introduce this week’s guest Chloe Archer.
Chloe Archer writes M/M sci-fi and paranormal rom coms with laugh out loud humor because she’s all about bringing the funny-sexy back. Oh, yeah!
She currently call Minnesota home, but has lived abroad in places like Montreal, Edinburgh, and Tokyo. She’s hoping to relocate to Scotland permanently in the next few years if the stars align.
Chloe is a fur mama to two adorable Yorkies, Jasper and Teddy, and she loves them in a crazy dog mama kind of way. When she isn’t busy writing, she enjoys visiting friends and family, traveling, reading, binge watching movies and TV shows, and practicing her karaoke skills. She does a mean cover of Pat Benatar and Cher, or so she’s been told.
Chloe’s Quirky Questions
Holly: What’s your drink of choice?
CHLOE ARCHER: These days, I’d say tea. I do love coffee with a passion but my stomach can’t handle it every day anymore (a sad new reality of being over 40 for me!). Thankfully, I love all kinds of tea: black, green, oolong, pu’er, etc. But, caffeine is a must! It’s the fuel of most writers.
Holly: If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
CHLOE ARCHER: A dragon! I mean, come on. It would be majorly cool to be a dragon. And I already have hoarding tendencies when it comes to books and shiny-sparkly things. Plus, I could fly which would be so freaking AWESOME. I can see it now. I’d totally be a dragon with style and class. I’d have rainbow scales and pretty iridescent wings. And a very majestic tail–can’t forget the tail. Heck, yeah!
Holly: What did you plan on being when you grew up?
CHLOE ARCHER: Funnily enough, I planned to be an author. I started coming up with my own stories in first grade when school was far too boring. I’d regularly get in trouble for daydreaming about going on exciting adventures rather than focusing on my lessons! But when I was growing up, the only way to become an author was via traditional publishing and it always seemed like an impossible thing to achieve. Everyone told me it wasn’t a viable career path, so I pursued another profession. I still have that job but I write on the side and hope to be able to retire early and write full-time within the next 5-10 years. The growth of self-publishing options convinced me to finally pursue my childhood dream of being an author. Better late than never!
Holly: Tell me something hardly anyone knows about you.
CHLOE ARCHER: Hmm. I’m a fairly open book because I’m a terrible liar. Acting was never in the cards for me! I can share that I’m a HUGE karaoke nerd and learned to love it when I lived in Japan while teaching English there years ago. During the pandemic, I ended up buying my own portable home karaoke machine that became the inspiration for one of my side characters in my Tentacular Tales series. Singing karaoke, just belting out some tunes on my own in my house, is major stress relief for me. I totally recommend trying it!
Holly: What is the most meaningful thing a reader has said to you?
CHLOE ARCHER: Oh gosh! Honestly, every single glowing reader review of my work or personal message to me is super meaningful. Positive feedback from readers makes me want to keep writing and sharing my stories. Knowing there are people who ‘get’ and connect with my brand of storytelling is the absolute best! More specifically, though, I’d say that readers who tell me my books are comfort reads for them really hit me in the happy feels. When they tell me my books make them happy when they are sad or having a hard time, I’m over the moon. Personally, I’m a mood reader (and writer!) and I regularly reread or rewatch my own comfort books and movies. Having my work fill that same need for others is super humbling and utterly amazing.
Holly: What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
CHLOE ARCHER: That’s a tough one. I think writers need to try out a lot of different tools to find out what ones work best for them and their writing process. Everyone’s process is a bit different. For me, my must-haves are the Otter.ai app that I use for my dictation (this is the main way I write) and Google Docs, which I use to edit my dictation. I format my own books, and I’m a Mac user, so I love Vellum. It’s a great tool for book formatting and I use it with every book I create. BookBrush is handy for creating promo images, especially for those of us who aren’t graphic designers! I think that BookFunnel is also an affordable and valuable tool for sharing ARCs, making freebies available, and helping grow your audience through related promotions. Another tool that is essential for all writers is a platform to start growing your newsletter. I use MailerLite, but there are many options out there with various pros and cons to them.
Holly: How many books have you written, and which is your favorite?
CHLOE ARCHER: So far I’ve written and published five novels and three novellas. It’s hard to pick a favorite! They’re all my favorites. I write the kind of books I want to read, so they’re all special to me in different ways. If I had to pick, though, it would be my first book It’s Not Unusual To Be Loved by an Alien. I wrote it during the pandemic when I was in need of some joy and laughter. It’s a book that rekindled my love of storytelling and gave me the confidence to keep going as an author. On many levels, it is a very candid peek into my geeky nature and my zany sense of humor. It’s a very “me” book and when people tell me they love it, my heart just melts!
All I Want for Christmas is Tentacles:
A Winter Holiday MM Tentacle Romance
There’s no way in Helgar’s Nebula I’m marrying the candidate my parents have chosen for me. I don’t want to be the house-husband of some stoic warrior who only cares about training all day. Boring! Thankfully, I’ve learned a thing or two from all those rom-com human movies I’ve illegally downloaded off the intergalactic web. No one will see it coming when I pull a runaway groom maneuver on them!
Once I make my escape, I can go on the solo honeymoon of my dreams—to planet Earth. It’s almost that wondrous time of year when they celebrate their holiday known as “Christmas.” Human Hallmark movies make it seem so magical. I want to experience it for myself! Now, I just need to find a human who can make my wish come true and help me have an authentic holly jolly time…
Scrooge was right when he said “bah humbug” to Christmas. This time of year sucks balls, and not the fun kind. I’ve just lost my crappy part-time job and I’m slowly sinking under a sea of student loan debt and crushed dreams.
Just when I think my life couldn’t possibly get any worse, my cat and I are abducted by an alien who wants me to help him experience a “real human Christmas” on his ship. WTF? Clearly he’s chosen the worst possible candidate for the job.
But there’s something about Khephren’s enthusiasm and eternal optimism that starts to melt even my grumpy, cynical heart. Heck, I even agree to be his fake fiancé to get his parents off his back! I don’t know what’s happening to me, but Khephren’s charm is making me feel things I never have before. And those bright pink tentacles of his are strangely fascinating. I can’t help but wonder what all they can do…
As we spend more time together, I start to realize I might not want to go home and that maybe, just maybe, I’ve found what I’ve always been looking for. Could Khephren feel the same? If so, it would be a Christmas miracle and I don’t believe in those…right?
I nod in time with my eager tentacles. “Indeed. We’re on a direct course for Earth!”
Najar frowns. “We don’t have clearance to land on Earth. There’s no way the Alliance will let us do so.”
I can’t hold back a pout. “I know. It’s quite unfortunate that our physical appearance would be too upsetting to the majority of Earth’s population, at least according to the Alliance. However, based on my calculations, it is nearing that time of year when the humans celebrate the most magical of all Earth holidays.”
Najar groans long and loud. “I should have known better. Kheph, you can’t be serious about this.”
Luna does a little dance in her seat. “Right on! This is going to be awesome.”
Rambo beeps a few times and says, “The Dude abides.”
My tentacles quiver with excitement. “Yes. It’s almost that special season in which humans celebrate the holiday known as Christmas.”
“Kill me now,” Najar mutters. “Your mutual love of this foolish human holiday is ridiculous.”
Luna ignores him and sighs dreamily. “It’s so romantic. The Hallmark movies make it seem so festive and special. And true love is always in the air.”
My tentacles wriggle enthusiastically. “Exactly! I have become so enamored of this holiday that I wish to experience it for myself. The real deal, as Earthlings say.”
Najar crosses his arms, and a couple of his tentacles, and scowls at me. “There is no way we’re going to be able to celebrate this holiday incognito on Earth. The Alliance will have us deported in a heartbeat.”
I waggle a tentacle at him in admonishment. “No, no, no, my dear friend. We’re going to celebrate Christmas on our ship.”
He looks confused. “Why do we need to go to Earth for that?”
“Because I want to create an authentic Christmas experience, and to do that I need the guidance and knowledge of a human.”
Najar frowns. “I already told you—”
I interrupt him. “So we’re going to invite one on an intergalactic Christmas adventure aboard our ship!”
He freezes. For the first time in a long time, I’ve rendered Najar speechless.
I’m rather proud of that.
Luna’s eyes sparkle. “Who is this awesome fucking rebel and what did he do with my friend?”
I beam at her. “I’m just embracing my true self at last.”
Najar finally recovers. “Adventure isn’t the word I’d use for what you’re planning. It’s another ‘A’ word entirely.”
“But it will be an adventure,” I protest.
Rambo does a little pirouette of sorts. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“This is a very bad idea,” Najar moans, his tentacles coiling and uncoiling with obvious displeasure.
“Not at all,” I tell him confidently. “We give one lucky Earthling the experience of a lifetime on an actual alien ship and, in return, they teach us the true ways of Christmas. Besides, we’ll give the Earthling some very nice gifts to take home at the end of their stay with us. It is a requirement of the holiday after all.”
Luna gives me a high tentacle again. “This plan sounds epic and I’m totally on board. Let’s do it.”
I fire up the light speed ignition. “Heck yeah.”
“Hold onto your butts,” Rambo says as we jolt forward on a direct course for planet Earth.
Christmas, here I come!
All my links: https://linktr.ee/authorchloearcher
What I’m reading this week!
His Gingerbread Omega by Raiven Matthews
I wouldn’t call myself a Grinch, but I’m not a huge Christmas reader either… Buuut when I saw Raiven’s name, I had to have it, and she maybe might have just converted me.
This story has everything!
Penguins who skate. Reindeer with attitude. Sexy times that will melt the North Pole. A sweet cast of secondary characters, both old and new. A beautifully crafted world that jumped to life off the page.
Nik is grumpy, a grinch, who seems to hate all things Christmas and Keegan is sunshine, dressed as an elf, and embracing every second as the Christmas season swings into gear.
Enter a 7-foot elf, yes, you heard me, sent to drag Nik back home again.
This story made me smile so much.
I devoured it in one go and will read it again in a heartbeat. Whether you read Christmas stories or not, this grumpy sunshine, Alpha omega goodness, will melt your heart!
I’ll be waiting patiently for Bal’s story next, Raiven… 👀 ahem, Kendrick. Ahem, yes, please!
I’ve been determined to get through some of my backlist and my, oh, my, the treasures I’ve found.
I finally got to finish Tavia Lark’s Prince and the Betrothed, which is book #5 in the Perilous Courts series – I’ll be not so patiently waiting for book #6 – February is soon, right?
I read Silvana Falcon’s Only Fangs – I love her dragon books, and let’s just say she does Vampires like a goddess, too!
I read The Cemetery Tour by BL Maxwell and will be sure to get more of her books very soon.
I read Elf King by H L Day – my first book from this author and I was immediately transported into their world – another author I’ll be sure to check out their Amazon page.
I read Flight by Leta Blake, and I was left wondering why I hadn’t found this author sooner – sweet, sexy, spicy fae realm magic – yes, please!
And when I was out shopping the other day, my hubby spotted Iron Flame, and I had to grab it. I loved Fourth Wing and am about halfway through this mammoth paperback – as soon as I’m done with words, I’ll be diving back in.
new from me!
Secrets of the Soul
Soul Solace Book #3
Release date: December 11th, 2023
Secrets and dead bodies put their new bond to the test. Join Kane and Kevin as they put the concept “love conquers all” to the test.
Triggers include scenes depicting death, mention of stabbing, shooting, being burned alive, torture, being held captive, and family drama.
But if you are looking for an angsty, fated mates romance, with a happily ever after, this is the story for you.
Want to read the first two while you wait?
I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of Holly’s Quirky Questions.
A huge thank you to Chloe. You are awesome!
Next week we have Stella Rainbow.
Until then: Find a Spark of Magic Every Day.