Welcome to Worlds of Wonderment, Pepper. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks so much for having me!!! <3
For those who haven’t heard about your book, could you give us a quick overview?
Sure, the best way to describe Tears of Tess is: Dark Romance. There are some areas that are hard to read such as violence and rape, but ultimately it’s a story about love and finding your perfect other even in the strangest of situations. It’s a HEA with no cliffhanger, but there is a second book as I loved the characters too much to stop.
Can you describe Tess and Q in five words?
Um, Passionate, Obsessed, Secretive, Strong, Complex, and Warriors
You cover quite a few dark and gritty subjects in Tears of Tess, how were they to write?
Pretty hard as I really tried to put myself in Tess’s situation to understand how she would feel. Her heart would be racing, her thoughts all scrambled. It wasn’t nice just to imagine… I can’t fathom what it would be like in reality. The scenes with Q were hard too as she has so many hidden desires she really is a stranger to herself.
Human trafficking is such a terrible issue, what made you want to cover it in your book?
After watching Taken with Liam Neeson I started researching just how rampant it is in the world and it’s pretty horrific. You aren’t safe anywhere these days. India, Egypt, Thailand, Bali, Mexico. If you don’t keep close or aware these sort of situations can happen. And for someone who travels a lot, it’s always been a deep seated fear of mine.
What is the overall message you’d like readers to grasp after reading Tears of Tess?
The fact that everyone has someone out there for each other. Never settle unless your soul is on fire and you are worshipped. If they also take away a harder message to help stop slavery that would be fantastic too.
What is the most interesting thing you learnt while writing your book?
Probably learning about my characters. They really didn’t give a lot of themselves away until I started to write the story. Q always remained very distant in my head, only giving snippets of his thoughts. It wasn’t until the epilogue that he made sense to me.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Purely from imagination. I’m not someone who goes looking for images or bases a location on something I’ve seen. I like to start from scratch in my head.
Describe your ideal setting when writing.
Ideal setting is in my office upstairs with the sun streaming in. However, I mainly write on the couch in the lounge as that is where the heater is and it’s been a cold winter. Lol
I think the category has always been around, it’s just been mixed with full adult fiction for so long. It’s nice to have the distinction of a younger adult, compared to an older adult dealing with heavier things like child raising and divorce. I think the ease of separation has meant easier book selection J Plus all the readers who got hooked on YA needed to evolve to something and NA was the next step.
Summer or Winter?
Even though my last name is Winter and Tess and Q love winter. I’m a summer girl through and through. I HATE being cold. I would be happy if it was 38 c degrees all day everyday. J
Boxers or briefs?
Oh tight boxers for sure. I hate silky boxers and I hate tighty whities, but boxer-briefs. Yum
Do you have a guilty indulgence?
Um, probably Coke Zero. I sip on a glass while I write. I don’t drink coffee or anything else but water and Coke so it’s the only way to get caffeine J
Is there anything you are currently working on that you could share with us?
You know, I wasn’t going to do this as Last Shadow is no here near ready yet, but I’m going to share a bit from this book. Here is the work in progress blurb:
Blurb for Last Shadow
I may exchange dollar signs for a life, but it doesn’t mean I’m without morals.
I may not know my true name, but I don’t need one.
I may be human, but my soul is rotten.
Kage is a perfect shadow. A highly trained killer and unforgiving mercenary, he’s been trained since birth to suffer no emotion, remorse, empathy, or compassion. He’s void, empty—a black unrelenting darkness.
Vivienne is sunlight and happiness. Her twin sister is her reason for living, and she believes her life will be filled with romantic movie-like-moments and golden wrapped opportunities.
But then Kage kills her sister.
His real target was Vivienne, and he steals her away to cover up his blunder. But nothing is secret from the Society of Shadows and Kage is ordered to deliver Vivienne to a high roller in Thailand as a gift for his screw-up.
Kage does his job, and Viv becomes the latest acquisition in a harem of women at the mercy of the highest sadistic bidder.
Life shattered for Viv, and Kage managed to tie up loose ends, but they both weren’t prepared for the unexpected, or a force greater than a human hand.
Excerpt: (unedited, subject to change, copyright Pepper Winters)
Two days later, I boarded a plane to Brisbane, Australia, along with a hoard of brash and loud mouthed imbeciles.
I wanted to wring Sonny’s neck when I took a seat next to a pretty blonde woman with an accent like a broken clarinet. “G’day. Oh, I’m glad you’re sitting next to me and not some horrible hairy old man.”
I guessed that was a compliment seeing as my grey eyes were red-rimmed from lack of sleep, my black t-shirt was scuffed and embellished with the band Korn, and my black jeans needed a wash two weeks ago. I wasn’t exactly a sleek and pretty killer. I preferred to ruff it. Hang with the lower crowd. I found if people were frightened of me, or just plain sickened by my wardrobe sense, they subconsciously stayed away.
I didn’t know if it was my upbringing in the hills of Japan, with no other contact but karate masters and weapon geeks, or if I’d always been a recluse, but I hated the human race with a vengeance. Hence why I’m perfect for my role on earth. An exterminator of a virus gone way out of control. My hatred for humans went so far, I even hated myself. I wanted Sonny to call me after some animal, not a shadow… at least then I could prove I wasn’t human.
“Looks like,” I grunted, slouching in my chair and immediately grabbing the inflight magazine in pretense to shut her up.
A white dainty hand appeared beneath the pages. “I’m Chantelle. If I’m going to be sitting next to you while we fly across the world I think we should be on first name basis.”
Ever so slowly, I lowered the magazine, all the while feeling rage and hatred and need to hurt bubble in my blood like an undetonated bomb. I fixed grey-black irises on her, and let my longish black hair cascade over one eye. I didn’t say a word.
It didn’t take long.
The sparkle in her pretty, innocent eyes dissolved, and fear cast a shadow in one quick swoop. My stomach tensed, recognizing the terror, the awareness that something wasn’t quite right with me. And it fed me better than any drug or delicacy.
She was right to fear me.
I kill in the shadows. I’m your worst nightmare.
Writer, reader, sometimes wife.
An avid devourer of sexy romance and angsty New Adult.
Nothing beats lolling in a bubble bath with her array of book boyfriends.
Her two titles: Tears of Tess and Broken Chance are coming soon.
She loves mail of any kind:
pepperwinters at gmail dot com