Spotlight -Author QandA: The Books of V.J. Allison

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Q&A

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Most of my characters are straight out of my imagination. However, Rikki, the daughter in Away to Me, is loosely based on some of my own experiences. Until she was thirteen, she believed her mother was her birth mother. Then she and her stepdad find a note from her father saying that she was adopted. Until I was sixteen, I believed my grandmother was a lady named Alice who passed away a year before I was born. I’m named after her. Mom always referred to Alice as “Mom”, and still does. However, it came out that Alice was actually my mom’s grandmother, and Mom’s birth mom was a woman I thought was her oldest sister. I drew from my experiences from learning that to write Rikki’s reactions and letting her to get to know Kelsey. 

Dana, a main character in one of my upcoming books, is ultra-loosely based on my oldest niece. Like my niece, Dana is pansexual. I always pictured Dana as the one Campbell female who marches to the beat of her own drummer – like her cousins Ewan and Joshua (he’ll be featured in Book 5) – and decides to throw away the family restrictions on women and become her true self. 

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? 

Away to Me was hijacked, but not by a main character. The dog, Punky, took over during the first drafts of it, and looking back, he really dragged the story down. When I looked at it five years after finishing its initial draft, I saw how he had turned it from a romance into a general story with some sex scenes tossed in. The story was about him, not the mains Kelsey and Neil. So the first thing I did was eject the scenes and parts of scenes where the dog had taken over and either put something else in its place or just let it be. I left one scene in that featured the dog chasing Kelsey’s newly adopted cats, but that was tossed during round one of edits with my publisher. My editor Trish suggested I remove it and looking back, I think it should have been removed before I submitted it. Oh well, lesson learned. The only characters I’m letting hijack things from now on are the two main characters. No sides allowed going crazy!

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes, and it will never see the light of day. It was a “sequel” to what is now Stricken, and it’s horrible. I wrote it specifically to someone else’s ideas, and it wound up being a disaster. It was over 450K, full of passive scenes, inconsistent ramblings, dull “erotic” scenes, and tons of garbage that didn’t make sense. It turned the leads of Stricken into “undercover agents” of a type. They’re not that. They’re ordinary people, not the police. Geez. It’s so bad, I’ve dubbed it “The Abomination” and the thought of reading it again makes me sick. It was heaved to my external drive to gather dust forever. From that point forward, I decided to only listen to those who had experience as an author or editor. I’m glad I did because listening to the right people paid off for me in the end. I wound up getting on with a great publisher, and met a lot of wonderful, talented people in the process.  


V.J. Allison was born and raised in southern Nova Scotia, Canada, and her work reflects her strong Maritime roots. She is a stay-at-home mother to a son on the autism spectrum, married to the love of her life, and “mama” to a rescued Maine Coon cat named Marnie. She has been writing various stories of novel length and short stories since her school days, and sees writing as a vital component to her life.She is a small town erotic romance author published by eXtasy Books, and her novels have been received with great acclaim. Her second novel, Away to Me, is a recipient of the eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies’ Editor’s Choice Seal of Excellence and Enjoyable Reading.On January 4, 2021, she released her first independently published story, COVID’s Arrow, which had been previously released in the Together We Stand charity collection of stories about essential workers.When she isn’t writing, she loves to read romance and science fiction novels (notably Star Wars); listen to music (heavy metal, rock, alternative); and do graphics design. She runs her own graphics design company, Veridian Rose Designs, specializing in book promotional posters and Facebook cover photos. This self-proclaimed geeky rocker chick is a warrior and advocate for various chronic illnesses including Occipital Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Diabetes, Migraines, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. She is also an advocate for the prevention of animal cruelty and is a voice for Autism Awareness.

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Stricken
Feathered Tartan Book 1
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance

A heartbeat later, he was alone—shattered, confused and suicidal. Why had Marti walked away from him? Years later, in another place and a new chapter of Ewan’s life, fate brings them face to face again. They start building a friendship, but Ewan wants more. He wants Marti as his wife, while she seems to prefer their current status as friends.Can he convince her that taking another chance at their failed future will be the start of the best part of their lives?

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EXCERPT from Chapter Three: 

The tan door was ajar, and he could see the blue and cream tile turned into a soft blue carpet at the threshold of the office. With a hope Kara was wrong, Ewan glanced around quickly, but a movement to his right drew his attention. 

Marti’s back was to him as she rooted around in a file cabinet drawer and shook her head periodically. Her outfit was professional, from the roll of hair in a French twist at the back of her head, to the black skirt suit with brown pin-stripes, and the suede two-inch heeled shoes on her feet. 

As he tapped his fingers on the doorjamb, a vision of her wearing nothing but one of his t-shirts and a solitaire engagement ring flashed through his mind. 

“Yes?” Her voice was distant, cool and polite. 

“Dr. Brown said you were in.”

Her back stiffened as he spoke to her without an audience for the first time in years. “I have no clue why you would want to see me,” she replied and dug a folder out of the drawer. 

A soft sigh of exasperation came out of his throat as he entered the office and stopped halfway between the doorway and her desk. “I owe you an apology.” 

“For what?” 

“Saturday night. Shannon treated you like dirt, and—” 

“I’ve dealt with people like her before and it hasn’t killed me yet.” 

“That doesn’t excuse it—hell.” Ewan rubbed a hand down his face as he tried to find the right way to express himself. 

“Maybe that will teach you not to take someone like her around your friends and coworkers.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” 

“It’s your life and your choice. If you want to go dumpster diving, that’s your business, but if I were you, I’d be careful on what I brought home.” She flipped a page in the file. “I have a meeting in less than an hour, and I’d like to be fully prepared for it, so if you don’t mind…” 

“Look, I know this isn’t the ideal situation, but can’t we at least try to make an effort, for everyone’s best interest?” 

So he wouldn’t look at her, he glanced around the room, and his gaze finally landed on a picture frame in her book-case. An unwelcome, searing bolt of jealousy zoomed up his spine when he saw it was a photo of her and a man with their arms around each other. 

His eyes moved to the large windows facing Citadel Hill, and locked with hers via the reflection, a memory’s shadow of their first date at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg. 

Like that day, almost nine years ago, Marti was the one to break eye contact. 

“How are we going to do that?” she asked.

“I don’t know, but unless we try, Kara and Dennis are go-ing to chalk it up to something big, and from what I’ve heard, you’re not open about your past.” 

“That’s my life and my choice, isn’t it?” 

Ewan sighed and raked a hand through his hair as he took a step toward her. When she stiffened, he stopped and shoved his hands into his coat pockets. 

“Dr. Lewis—Marti…” He let out a long breath. “I am sorry about invading your life. If I had known you were living here, I wouldn’t have taken the promotion, and told Miran-da I was moving on.” 

“Some things are beyond our control or knowledge. Hali-fax is a big place. I’m sure you and I can avoid being in the same area at the same time as much as possible.” With a shrug, Marti turned to face him. 

As her cool and detached gaze met his, Ewan nodded, and his stomach dropped as the full impact of her calm and professional air hit him. 

What was I thinking when I thought that maybe… 

Hell. 

The girl he knew was gone, replaced by this cool, sophisticated, and distant woman. 

“Okay,” he murmured, and wondered why he felt as if his heart had been ripped out again. 

Marti’s expression softened as she held up the file. “I’m not chasing you out because—I really do have a meeting, and I’d better get moving if I want to be ready for it.” 

Ewan nodded and moved his gaze to a spot on the carpet. “Yeah.” With a final nod, he turned and walked out of her office, not understanding the heavy feeling around him.


Sweet Child of Mine
Feathered Tartan Book 2
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

In the city on the harbour, miracles happen.It’s Christmas Eve.Ewan and Marti Campbell are hoping to have a quiet holiday season, their first as a married couple, and the last one before their new baby arrives.A crisis at the real estate agency tosses a huge wrench into their plans, as does the sudden onset of Marti’s labour. As Ewan fights to get home before his child appears, more crises are flung at him. If he is to make it on time to help his wife bring their baby into the world, he’ll need a miracle…A big one.

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Away To Me
Tri-Town Book 1
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance

What would you do if you found out your late spouse wasn’t the biological parent of your stepchild as they had led you to believe? Would you let it go, in hopes the child wouldn’t go looking for their birth family, or would you help them in their search?This is the dilemma Neil Falcon faces when he first discovers his late wife, Rita, wasn’t the biological mother of his teenage stepdaughter, Rikki.His decision to look for her roots puts them on a path that leads them to a part of Neil’s past, one he thought was locked away forever.Kelsey Wagner is shocked to see the man she once adored appear on her doorstep with claims that Rikki may be her biological child. After finding out her daughter wants her to be a part of her life, she agrees.Amidst the confusion of raising a teenage daughter, the old feelings resurface. They know their daughter wants them to become a family, but can they make it work?

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Under Your Scars
Tri-Town Book 2
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Alexis has that special something about her that Seth can’t fathom. His friend Mirabelle’s new employee is even prettier than the merchandise she sells. Too bad she’s distantly polite when he tries talking to her.Alexis is attracted to Seth, but she’s in hiding from her past and her mistakes. Getting involved with the one person she’s attracted to could blow her cover.When they’re forced to work together, their libidos ignite. Alexis is terrified to open up and give in to her feelings for Seth. If he remembers that night five years ago, he’ll never speak to her again.It becomes a question of whether Seth will expose her and force her to keep running, or if he’ll help her face her past.Add to GoodreadsAmazon * eXtasy Books

COVID’s Arrow
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When two people are in love, social distancing cannot prevent them from being together.Vicki has been half in love with her friend and co-worker, Mason, since she started working at a grocery store eight months ago. When a pandemic reaches the province, social distancing protocols are installed, and their friendship is put on hold. A break at work brings them back together, but will they have the time Vicki hopes to pursue her hidden desires?**Only .99 cents!**

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Hiltz’s Grocery Store, 

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Vicki Demone stood behind her assigned register and wiped down her side of the recently installed plexiglass barrier and uttered a long sigh. It had been another busy eight-hour shift, filled with the usually kind customers, but the amount of rude people had been slowly increasing since the social distancing rules of the new decade had begun. 

She flipped a lock of white-blonde hair out of her blue eyes as she recalled the last customer who had gone through Mason’s checkout, barely five minutes ago. The man had been extremely rude, from saying a number of offensive terms about other people, the distancing itself, and how it was inconveniencing his lifestyle. 

The customer had been so loud, Vicki could hear it well above the din of her own register beeping and the quiet chatting between people at a distance. Mason being screamed at was only part of the abuse they took on a daily basis with the virus restrictions in place. Social distancing was the norm now, even with things slowly opening up.

Like Mason, hearing a customer complain was not unusual for her, after working as a customer service representative for the last five years. She had started at Hiltz’s Grocery eight months ago, and although she loved the work, it was exhausting. She would go home from a shift, dragging her feet, and barely able to take a shower before crawling into bed and falling asleep.

She glanced at him across the two-register gap between them, and let out a soft sigh as he leaned over to wipe down the conveyor belt, as he always did between customers nowadays. His black polo shirt stretched taut against his back, showcasing the sky-blue store logo tight against his lean musculature. The back of his brown hair brushed the top of the collar, showcasing how long it had been since he’d had his hair cut. Vicki’s fingers tingled as she wondered what it would be like to feel its softness against her palms.

A sharp stab of longing ran through her. She missed their talks in the lunchroom during their breaks, or before and after a shift, as well as their movie nights. He had become her best friend in the five months before social distancing and the stay-at-home order came from the premier, not quite three months ago. 

Mason glanced over his shoulder and his brown eyes met her gaze. He gave her a sad smile, one that conveyed his frustration over the last customer. Vicki returned it and sighed inwardly, wishing they could stand next to each other, so they could talk privately. It wasn’t easy to share their innermost secrets with the required two metres between them. She had been to his place a few times, in the public areas of his apartment building’s lawn, and he had done the same with hers, but it wasn’t the same. It was not like they were in a theatre, or hanging out, watching hockey in his small apartment or hers, like they had just started doing when the virus hit Nova Scotia, and the State of Emergency edict had been declared. 

Vicki glanced to the left and saw her supervisor, Carrie, approaching. The fiftyish woman with blue eyes and grey hair was kind to everyone, even when she was reaming someone out for unprofessionalism. She was one of Vicki’s favorite people, and the reason why Vicki loved working at Hiltz’s Grocery.

“Vicki, go on your break. I’ll take care of this.” Carrie gestured to the register and smiled.  She stood a ways from the register, to keep social distancing protocols in place.

Vicki nodded and smiled as she exited her area behind the plexiglass. “Gotcha. See you in half an hour, boss.”

“Tell Mason it’s time for his break too, he’s been on since eight this morning,” Carrie replied and typed her code into the register. 

Vicki’s heart raced, and a surge of joy went up her spine. She and Mason hadn’t had a break together in three weeks, and although they had called and texted each other, and chatted via social media, it wasn’t the same. It would be nice to have five minutes with him. She would give her right arm to spend that, and more time with him. He had said the same thing during his last text to her that morning, long before their shifts had started. It was almost as if he felt the same.


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