Genre: Contemporary Romance
About Shelly Cruz
Shelly Cruz is a native Bostonian who lives in Miami, FL with her Husband and their rescued dog. She’s a Latina Lawyer who survives on cafécito and yerba mate, is obsessed with wearing lipstick, and speaks fluent Spanglish. When she’s not researching and writing legal documents, she enjoys expressing her creativity by writing fiction. She’s a lover of love, romance, and relationships, which is why she writes wicked sexy romance. In her free time, Shelly loves reading, traveling, and riding on the back of her husband’s Harley Davidson motorcycle while enjoying the open road.
We asked Shelly some questions and here are her answers:
Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
If by latest book you mean “last published” – Nine Years Gone is the title. It was inspired by some real life events that occurred in my life. If by latest book you mean my current work in progress, it’s titled Amor in the 305 and it’s inspired by my Husband and his journey from Cuba to the United States.
Q2: What are five words that describe your writing process?
Visualization, chaotic, deliberate, reflective, and cathartic
Q3: What authors, or books have influenced you?
Tarryn Fisher, A.L. Jackson, Christine Brae (Anna Gomez)
Q4: What is the first book to make you cry?
Present Perfect by Alison Gaskin Bailey
Q5: Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?
No, I’m a full-time lawyer so I only write fiction when I have time but I would love to write novels full time.
Q6: What is the best advice you have ever heard?
You control you and your actions. Everything else just is.
Q7: What is your favourite genre to read?
Romance—all sub-genres of it.
Q8: Do you have any writing quirks?
Sometimes I can’t think of some words in English so I write the word I know in Spanish as a placeholder until I can figure out the English word. Also, I’m not a linear writer. I write scenes as they come to me & I envision them, then piece them together.
Q9: What are you working on now?
Amor in the 305, my second novel set in Miami Beach.
Q10: What are you currently reading?
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Excerpt from Nine Years Gone:
I thrust myself off the door and pad across the office until I’m standing before him. I drop my bag on the couch and push my hands into his wild mane, down the back of his head, to the nape of his neck, spreading them to his shoulders to gently massage him.
His body stiffens, but I don’t stop, although I should because I’m selfish when it comes to Massimo. His hands find my hips grasping them tightly, the feel of them evoking memories of him making love to me. He rests his head on my belly, and I move my hand back through his hair, tangling my fingers through the thick strands.
Massimo is shaking. I can hear his labored breaths and the sniffles that undoubtedly accompany the tears I cannot see. My heart breaks for him, and I want to ease his pain, so I continue tousling his hair with my fingers. It’s all I can do.
We remain in that position for what seems like forever. The silence between us is filled with unspoken emotions, accompanied by Dave Matthews Band’s “Crash Into Me” playing on the radio.
I am at a loss for words. I don’t know how to console the man before me because he’s no longer mine. Aside from our last two encounters, I haven’t seen Massimo in nine years. The last place I expected to find myself is comforting him as I am now. There is still much unsaid between us, much I have to apologize for, yet now is not the time to get into all that.
“Lena,” he murmurs while tightening his grip on my hips, the burning between my legs intensifying under his touch.
Massimo lifts his head, peeking up at me, letting his gaze linger before shifting his eyes back down to my tummy. He moves his hands to the front and begins pulling my blouse out from where it’s tucked into my skirt until my skin is exposed. He places his lips on my belly—the touch of them like flames licking at my skin.
My head tells me I should ask him to stop. My heart begs for him to keep going.
“I missed you so much, you have no idea,” he mumbles, kissing the area above the skirt’s waistband between each word.
My eyes burn when I hear his confession. I lean my head back to fight the tears from releasing. I should stop him, but my self-restraint has always been weak whenever I’m near him, his presence stripping me bare. Despite not seeing him in nine years, he’s dominated my thoughts nearly every single day. I am selfish and want him to touch me. Having him so close to me fulfills all of my heart’s desires. I let out a long breath, shifting my head back down to watch him.
Massimo begins unbuttoning my shirt, starting with the bottom button. He moves to the next, his large fingers struggling with the small buttons, kissing the skin he exposes with each one that comes undone.
Thank you, Shelly, for participating in our indie author featured spotlight. It was lovely getting to know you.
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