Hi everyone! We have another voice in publishing here with us today, author Naya Jayne. She’s a member of Heartland Romance Authors with me, and I’ve had the pleasure of previewing the book she has out now, Blue Aspen. It’s an engaging, memorable read.

So, Naya, can you tell us how you started writing, and how you decided writing was “for you”?

NJ: I began writing around age eight. My first work was a children’s story about a fat cat who freed other pets and solved various problems. I wrote lots of stories in my youth, but I didn’t have much support at home. In fact the home team preferred that I stop writing. I think that has been my biggest hurtle. My husband and my best friend are my supports now, but aside from that I don’t really have much.

Blue Aspen is a paranormal story – is this your favorite genre to read? If not, what is?

NJ: Romance in all of its categories, is my favorite genre to read. Fantasy, SF, horror, and Christian are the genres I write in. As far as other pen names, I’m pleading the fifth.

For those who aren’t familiar with your work, do you have other titles available as well?

NJ: Blue Aspen is currently my only published title. I’m in the process of seeking representation for my second novel, Forbidden Forest.

Well, let’s talk about it, in depth then! (Drum Roll)


When seventeen-year-old Dulcee Elders' mother embarks on a road trip from their home in California, Dulcee knows something odd is about to happen. Her suspicions are confirmed when they arrive at Uncle Jack's house outside of Durango, Colorado. Without another word, Dulcee's mother is gone, and Dulcee faces life with her reclusive and wealthy uncle in a looming rural mansion.

Dulcee has suffered from insomnia ever since her father died more than ten years ago. But once at home at Uncle Jack's, inexplicably Dulcee now can sleep; sleep brings not only strange and intricate dreams, but a dream lover. For now, Vincent Sands is only the silhouette of a man, but when Uncle Jack leaves town for business, Dulcee's dream world and reality collide. Once she is alone, the silhouette is no longer content to remain only in her dreams.

When Dulcee is asleep, Vincent can give her anything she wants, even the ability to talk to her dead father. Inevitably, Vincent must leave when Uncle Jack returns. Dulcee experiences the high price of loving Vincent-an addiction rivaling that of any hard-core drug. Desperate to bridge the gap between them, Dulcee faces a crucial decision that carries irreversible consequences.


So, tell us -- Where did the idea come from for Blue Aspen?

NJ: I began working on Blue Aspen when I was fifteen. I would put it down and pick it up but I didn’t begin writing it seriously until I was 24. I had lots of psychology research to do before I could write the second half of the book. It surprised me to learn the importance of dreams in psychology. All of the dream sequences in Blue Aspen are filled with subtle meaning, and are far from random.

What about Vincent, your hero? Are there tidbits you can share? He’s a very intriguing man.

NJ: There is a lot you don’t learn about my hero, Vincent. The very last line of the book reveals his true identity. One thing you might not know about him is that he is a chameleon of sorts. Many, many women have loved him, but his love for my heroine, Dulcee, is the first real love he’s ever experienced.

What’s one thing about him that makes your heart go pitter-pat?

NJ: Vincent is sexy and mysterious, but the thing about him that makes my heart go pitter pat is his super natural ability to burn you up inside.

If he were to have a pet, what sort would he own?

NJ: Vincent doesn’t have a pet in the book but I can easily envision him with a sleek black wolf by his side.

Ah, yes, so could I! Very fitting.

Moving on to heroines – every great hero must have one. What would you say Dulcee’s greatest fault is?

NJ: I would say Dulcee’s greatest fault is her inability to think objectively about her future and the consequences of her decisions.

What strength does she provide to Vincent?

NJ: The strength Dulcee provides Vincent is also a great weakness because she becomes the one thing he cannot let go of. Every other woman has been dispensable.

If Dulcee were your daughter, what advice would you give her on meeting Vincent?

NJ: I’m not quite sure what advice I could give Dulcee, if she were my daughter. I might tell her to stay away from Vincent, but how do you stay away from someone who can enter your mind?

If we were to take a peek into Dulcee and Vincent’s future, where would they be 10 years from now?

NJ: I can’t tell you what you’d see in Dulcee and Vincent’s future. It would ruin the sequel.

Oh – teaser! That’s no fair! But after reading the first, I can say I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Let’s go back to you for a minute. I know writing has changed my life, and I’ve heard that from so many authors – how would you say it’s changed yours?

NJ: Writing has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I believe everyone has their “thing”. That one thing that they are meant to do, that gives them happiness and a complete feeling of rightness. That’s what writing is for me. I HAVE to have a creative outlet. I’ve tried many types of art but when I write everything clicks and I can assuage the excess of images swirling in my head.

What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

NJ: I’m currently reading Scribbler of Dreams, by Mary E. Pearson. I would say every author I read has an influence on me in one way or another, but Angela Carter, Patrick Suskind, Nora Roberts, and Meredith Ann Pierce are a few that have a strong pull over me. Strange mix, I know.

What has surprised you the most about being a published author?

NJ: The thing that has surprised me most about being a published author is the publishing industry. Being a writer is one thing. Venturing into the shark infested waters of publishing is something different. Writing and publishing have an odd love/hate relationship.

That’s sure the truth! It definitely takes a strong spirit and strong spine to succeed in the publishing industry. Great insight to share!

Thank you so much for dropping by today. Everyone, go check out Blue Aspen – it really is memorable and Vincent can make you melt.

Meanwhile, Naya, please tell everyone where they can do that? (Check out the book that is.)

NJ: Tenayajayne.com is my website and also the home of my blog. You can also follow me on twitter.

Anything else you’d like to share?

NJ: I’d like to thank all of the readers out there. And I’d like to thank Claire Ashgrove for the opportunity to be on her blog.

You’re most welcome. Come back anytime! Before we close, I’d like to share an excerpt from Blue Aspen with everyone.


Patricia Verell hadn’t cried in years. She held people at a distance and trained herself to not care much for them. For a woman, she was decidedly emotionless. But on this night, she most certainly did cry.

It was after hours at the hospital, the halls were quiet, and the mentally disturbed all tucked safely in bed. Patricia cloistered herself behind the door that bore her name and title and sat hunched over her desk, trying to heal herself. The tears running from her eyes collected at the tip of her nose before they fell onto the notebook in front of her. Everything she had been so proud of was turning into a throbbing pain inside her head.

Patricia looked around her office, trying to figure out why she suddenly hated it. It was a nice office on all accounts, the best furniture, a large window, a whole wall of bookshelves. But the walls—the walls were oppressing. Covered with large frames of degrees and awards, her name was plastered everywhere. But could theses gilded pieces of paper tell her who she really was? Could anyone? She was known to her friends as Pat, and to everyone else as Dr. Verell. Since she only had two friends, it seemed to her that she had no real first name at all.

This wasn’t why she was crying.

Down the hall and through the corridor was a long row of identical doors, heavy steel doors with little reinforced glass windows. Capsulated behind the third door on the right side was a seventeen-year-old girl, Dulcee Elders. Dulcee was crying, also. The two women were connected in ways that neither understood. Even the reason why they were both crying was connected, one cried because she had lost the other because she had found. They were both in a prison and were about to battle over the means of escape. It seemed to Dr. Verell that she had the upper hand, the power of a doctor over a patient. But Dulcee’s madness was the vehicle that she longed to climb into and go for a ride. Dr. Verell was riddled with weakness. Weak with wanting, weak with jealousy. She had found the very thing she wanted, but it already belonged to someone else.

The day Dulcee was committed, a battered notebook was confiscated from her. Every page was filled with the girl’s writing. When Dr. Verell was assigned to Dulcee’s case, the notebook had been given to her. After reading it, she asked Dulcee what it was.

“My autobiography,” Dulcee had answered plainly.

It was not an autobiography, however. It was not a diary or a journal. It was the intricate hallucinations of a schizophrenic with post-traumatic stress.

It was a love story.

Dr. Verell had been nonplused with the hurtle before her. How was she to give Dulcee the best therapy when she was a case like no other? At first Dr. Verell had been diligent, caring, but jealousy crept in, and her concern had vanished. It vanished not only for Dulcee, but for her other patients as well. The quality of her work was disintegrating. All she cared about was the notebook. Dulcee’s fantasies had fueled some of her own, but these fantasies were only giving her frustration.

Dr. Verell wiped her eyes, looking down at the notebook, now spattered with tears. On the cover, Dulcee had drawn a heart with the name Vincent written inside it. She slowly traced each letter with her fingertip…longing, such terrible longing. She sighed heavily before opening the cover, once again to be swept up into Dulcee’s fantasy.


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