Read My Lips by Kelle Z Riley ( Interview)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

 A billionaire-in-disguise meets career-focused lover in

this sparkling and sensuous chocolate-filled romance.

Title: Read My Lips
Author: Kelle Z Riley
Series: Riches & Royals (Book 1)
Genre: Billionaire Romance, Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self Published Release Date: Sept 7 2021

Temptation always leads to trouble…

Claire Lennox thought she could have it all—until trusting the wrong man destroyed her career, her reputation, and her heart. Now, as director of a literacy foundation, she has new ambitions. But when a sexy client tempts her to love again, does she dare?

Billionaire chocolatier Clayton McClaine risks everything—even his heart—when he goes incognito, hoping to overcome the dyslexia that haunts him and threatens to destroy his carefully crafted image.

They’re perfect for each other, except for one little thing—the billion-dollar deception that lies between them.
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 What was the inspiration for this novel and for your characters?

My first romance manuscript was entitled A Sweet Affair after the San Francisco Bay Area bakery where my husband worked at the time. Later, I envisioned an alphabet series of “Affairs” with “L” representing A Literary Affair, in which a teacher and a dyslexic billionaire find themselves falling for each other. At the same time, a friend described the “kinesthetic” techniques she used to help her children conquer spelling. A “light bulb moment'' inspired me to incorporate kinesthetic teaching methods into the book, leading to some of my favorite playful, sexy scenes.

 What are some of the themes of the book and why were they important to you?

I love a “Cinderella” theme in all its variants but I felt it could use a modern twist. Thus my Riches and Royals feature smart, career-focused women who happen to fall for billionaires and princes, only to discover it isn’t as easy as it looks in the movies. They struggle with issues of family, self identity, and transitioning from one set of circumstances to another, ultimately deciding love is worth the sacrifices it demands of them. To be fair, the men in my books also struggle with similar

You’re a writer, but also a full-time chemist! What’s it been like juggling the two

It’s a lot of work! But there is nothing I would rather do. I used to think my unique combination of analytical and creative skill sets meant I could never fully succeed in either career. When one boss asked why I didn’t write science fiction, and I replied that I didn’t want him to think my research reports were made up! Much later, another mentor helped me see both how rare, and powerful, the combination was, and also how successful I had been in both areas .

You’ve previously published a cozy mystery series, so how’s the process been different writing a romance novel?

I actually started writing romance novels first, but the mysteries were the first to be published. The world building skills and character crafting skills are the same for both genres, and much of the story line follows from character conflicts and growth. Mysteries give me a cathartic rush as I use people who annoy me in real life as inspiration for both victim and killer. But read them closely and you’ll see I pack as much romance inside as the readers will allow. At heart, the joy of falling in love--over and over again with each new set of characters--is too much fun to resist.

Let’s talk about chocolate! What was your favorite part of the research, and
what inspired you to focus on that industry?

Tasting, of course! I always envisioned my dyslexic hero in a food-related career that required hands-on skills, and quickly realized that chocolate was not only a beloved junk food, but also an aphrodisiac that embodied temptation and desire. Over the course of my research I trained my palette in all things cocoa (is it Dutch processed or not? Milk or dark chocolate? What flavor enhancers are present?). The highlight was the “Food of the Gods” tour in Maui where I tasted the cacao fruit and made a version of Aztec hot chocolate. Oddly enough, my chemistry labs are located a block from a major U.S. chocolate manufacturer and in the afternoon the air smells heavenly.

Writer, speaker, global traveler, Ph.D. chemist, and safety/martial arts expert, Kelle Z. Riley has been featured in public
forums that range from local newspapers to national television.

Her other publications include a romantic suspense (Dangerous Affairs); the Undercover Cat Series books: The Cupcake Caper, Shaken, Not Purred, The Tiger's Tale, and Studying Scarlett the Grey, which feature a cupcake baking scientist-turned-sleuth; and the Riches and Royals Series: Read My Lips, Royally Scandalized, Reluctantly Royal, and Counterfeit Commoner in which modern working women discover loving a prince is harder than it looks.

A former Golden Heart Finalist, Kelle resides in Chattanooga, TN. She is a member of the Chattanooga Writer's Guild, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers’ of America and various local chapters. When not writing, she can be found pursuing passions such as being a self defense instructor, a Master Gardener, and a full time chemist specializing in water treatment and safety with numerous professional publications and U.S. patents. 

Kelle can be reached at www.kellezriley.net

Follow Kelle Z. Riley on social media:

Instagram @Kelle.Riley
Twitter: @KelleZRiley


Kelle Z. Riley said...

Thanks so much for the interview. I loved working with you. Now if FB would only let me post a link to this site...

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I would love to hear your thoughts. :) HAPPY READING !!!!