Hey everyone! My name is Jillian Liota and I am a contemporary and new adult romance author. My very first novel, The Keeper, is a forbidden romance between Rachel and Mack, a college athlete and her coach. It’s low on smut, but high on depth of emotion, and it doesn’t take the path of least resistance.
Let’s Get To Know Jillian Liota
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: Slammed by Colleen Hoover is what initially got me interested in writing again.
The Driven Trilogy by K.Bromberg is the series that made me realize I am all about the romance genre.
Kulti by Mariana Zapata is the book that I keep opening in my phone and reading over and over again.
Only Between Us by Mila Ferrera is the book that stressed to me how important it is to have a reflective relationship between the H and h.
Hyde and Seek by Layla Frost gets an honorable mention just because I love it so much!
Q: What’s the funniest thing a reader has ever said/emailed to you?
A: When my mom read the first few chapters of The Keeper, there was a VERY mild scene with kissing and she had a little meltdown. She shot me a text immediately that said something along the lines of “Okay if there is gonna be sex in this book I’m not sure I should read it. It makes me uncomfortable.” I laughed so hard.
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: I think I would have started the self-promotion earlier. There is a lot of information available on how to market and promote, but I didn’t really start looking at those resources until about a 5-8 weeks before my release date. I could have been taking advantage of a lot of resources and sharing more copies of my book to encourage early reviews.
Q: What fictional character would you punch if the face if you thought you could get away with it without going to jail?
A: I’m fairly certain one of my least favorite characters is Travis in Archer’s voice. Just the idea that he would do some of the things he’d done to someone who had lived a life as depressing as Archer’s was MIND BLOWING to me. He deserves a little pop in the face.
Q: What’s your favorite AND least favorite thing about being a writer/author?
A: I think my favorite thing is creating a world that I wish I lived in. I’m the type of person that likes to infuse pieces of who I am into what I write, so I like to ensure that the pieces of me IN the book would enjoy the world I created. That being said, that will likely also be my least favorite thing. Because I put so much of me into the text, that will make negative critique that much more difficult.
About The Keeper by Jillian Liota
Soccer goalie Rachel Jameson is in her final year at Glendale College on academic and athletic scholarships. It’s quite the achievement for a young woman who grew up in a home filled with drunken abuse, who barely made it out of high school alive.
But she’s smart, dedicated, and has her eyes set on that cap and gown next spring. Nothing’s going to get in the way of a hard-fought battle for the freedom and independence she’s so desperately craved.
Until she meets Mack.
He stumbles into her world with a flirty smile and warm eyes – a man that pushes Rachel out of her comfort zone and into his arms. Their chemistry is swift and undeniable, and soon after meeting the two recognize the depth of their connection.
But an unfortunate circumstance forces the two to abandon their romance before it has truly begun. Rachel’s carefully planned life begins to shake like an unstable house of cards, and when she risks losing Mack completely, she has to decide what’s more important.
“I’m heading to meet some friends at O’Reilly’s,” I offer. “Do you want to come with, or…?” I let my voice trail off as he shakes his head ‘no’ and then takes a step towards me.
He’s inches away when he reaches his hand to me and places his palm on the back of my neck, tracing his thumb along my jaw. His eyes drop to my lips and he stares. He just stares at them with such intensity and focus I begin to wonder if he’s trying to read my emotion in the creases in my skin. If he could, my body would be shouting at him. Kiss me, kiss me. Please kiss me.
And then he does.
He presses his lips against mine. Softly. Delicately. Like my lips are fragile and he doesn’t want to break them. He kisses my top lip, sucking on it lightly. Then he kisses the corner of my mouth, and the side of my jaw, and my neck. His mouth opens against me and I feel his tongue on my skin. A moan escapes from deep in my chest.
Suddenly everything moves from slow and languid to full speed. He’s back at my lips, and our mouths part, our tongues seeking entrance. His hand is still behind my head, his fingers gripping my hair, his other hand at my lower back. He pulls me against him. I can feel just how much he’s enjoying this kiss, but I know there is no way he could possibly be feeling as riotous and reckless as I do.
I snake my arms around his neck, letting my fingers tangle in his hair as our kiss deepens. When I tug slightly, he moans into my mouth, and his hand at my lower back drops lower to my ass and he squeezes. He takes a step into me, and with nowhere to go, I find myself backed up against the door. He presses himself against me and my stomach muscles clench. We are nothing but a pile of moans and kisses and tongues and heavy breaths.
I feel something brewing inside. I’ve never been kissed like this, like my next breath can only come from this connection, like if we pulled apart something inside of my soul would tear in two.
Our hands are everywhere. On shoulders and arms, gripping skin and clothing, pulling and tugging to get our bodies closer, closer, so much closer. We are fused together, my body soft and pliant, his body hard and firm. He grips my thigh and lifts my leg just slightly, pressing into me with a roll that has the space in my lower belly tightening and shivers skittering through my body.
I can barely breathe and suck in a long breath through my nose and inhale his warmth. His scent is familiar. Comforting. I breathe him in as deep as I can, to try and imprint the essence of who he is into my veins, burrowing that comfort into the lining of my lungs.
And just as quickly as the kiss became frantic, I can feel it slowing down. He leans further into me to kiss my neck, and then my jaw, and then the corner of my mouth, before kissing me one more time on the lips. Softly. Delicately. Our foreheads are resting against each other. Our eyes our closed. Our breathing ragged.
“Wow,” I whisper.
“Wow isn’t enough,” he whispers back, bringing words to my unspoken thoughts.
I smile as I try to catch my breath.
“So, what now?”
He pulls his forehead away and looks me in the eyes.
“Now, I head home and take a cold shower, and try to think of an amazing second date to knock your socks off.”
I laugh, taking his hand from where it still rests on my shoulder and interlocking my fingers with his. “Trying to get into my socks already, huh? I knew you were only after one thing.”
He tugs on my hand and wraps his free arm around me, snuggling me in for a hug and a kiss at the crown of my head. Then he’s releasing my hand and taking a step back. His smile is small but genuine. I can’t help but return it with my own.
“I’ll hear from you soon?” I say, as I open the door to head back into my apartment.
“Count on it.”
My favorite quote from The Keeper is:
When I’m with you I alternate between feeling like I can breathe deeper, and wondering if I will ever be able to catch my breath again.
The Keeper by Jillian Liota
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Weekly Feature: The Keeper by Jillian Liota was first published on Fiction Vixen
This post first appeared on Fiction Vixen – Romance And Urban Fantasy Book Reviews, please read the originial post: here