Hello InspyRomance! It’s election day in the US, and maybe I’m just feeling a bit patriotic — but I’m super excited to be interviewing one of my good friends and favorite authors – Jess Mastorakos. I hope you’ll get to know her a bit, and check out how you can get a free book at the bottom of the post!
Hey Jess! Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed! To start, can you tell us about yourself and your writing career? Why do you write Military romance?
Hi! I’m Jess. I’m a homeschooling mama of four kids under seven. I am also a Marine wife, so the idea of writing romance novels about the Marine Corps was born out of an urge find love stories I could relate to. I published it and its sequel on Amazon back in 2013 and 2014. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anything about sales and marketing at the time, so I just let them exist without very many sales all the way until 2019. After having some success with sales in another industry, I wanted to apply the skills I’d learned to publishing. That’s when I decided to re-write my first two books and really make a career out of my writing. There are now six books and a prequel in that military series, with the seventh and final book coming out this month.
You and I have talked a little about your faith and how that has impacted your books. When did you become a Christian and what did that mean for you, your family, and your books?
When I wrote those first books in 2013, I was still really early in my walk with God and I feel like I was sort of walking a line between my old life and my new one as a Christian. I was uncomfortable with adding steamy parts to the books, but I did because I thought I had to for it to be a romance novel. It wasn’t until I got involved with a church community and made more Christian friends that I learned about clean and Christian romance. It felt like a lightbulb moment for me because I could finally tell the stories on my heart in a way that would be more aligned with my faith. That was my biggest motivation for unpublishing and re-writing them as clean and inspirational romance. I wanted to help share a bigger message.
Wow! You unpublished your books and rewrote them. That’s a lot of work, but I have so much respect for that decision! What can you tell us about your latest release?
My latest release is called Home with You, which is about a single dad finding love again after losing his wife to cancer three years earlier. The only problem is, he discovers the woman he’s interested in is his son’s PE teacher, which brings some complications for her. It’s a sweet story about life after grief, and the eight-year-old son, Finn, is probably my favorite character. It also explores the meaning of second chances in other ways with a sub-plot about long lost family.
I can’t wait to read it! What are you working on now?
Right now I’m finishing up the seventh and final book in the series, Adored by You. Our Marine hero in this one is in love with a celebrity, and it’s fun watching as she discovers there might be more to life than fame and fortune.
When I discovered your books, I read four books in four days, I think. For readers who’ve never read a Jess Mastorakos book, what are some things they can expect with each book?
In addition to just a sweet and fun love story, you can also expect to find a big emphasis on loyalty and friendship between the characters. The books all follow this one group of friends, and each book is about a different couple, but you get to see the other characters all the way through. One of my favorite parts about being a Marine wife are the friendships with other Marine families. We don’t always have family nearby, so in our world, your friends are your family. It’s a huge theme in my books.
I love that. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and with your recent move I know that’s true for you also. What has been the best part of your year?
It has definitely been a whirlwind, but I would say the best part is that our faith has gotten so much stronger as we’ve navigated 2020. We moved our family of six (plus my mom and grandma) from Pennsylvania to Hawaii with dates changing on short notice, face masks on toddlers, three long flights, and a two week quarantine, all while continuing my book release schedule. It was an adventure to say the least. But it was our faith that made it feel like an adventure and not a crisis, and God was moving mountains every step of the way. We won’t look back fondly on 2020 for a few reasons, but 2020 brought us to the base in Hawaii and we are beyond grateful for this blessing.
I am so grateful for your friendship over the past year, and I can’t wait to come visit in Hawaii (someday!) Where should InspyRomance readers connect with you?
You can hear from me regularly (and get a free story) by signing up for my newsletter here: http://jessmastorakos.com/forever-with-you/
After being left at the altar, Sara came home to run her parents’ bookstore. She’s sworn off love, but as she gets to know the handsome Marine Recruiter who works next door, she can’t help but wonder if he might be just the man she always needed.
Sergeant Vince Moore is struck by Sara the moment he meets her. To win her love, he’ll have to show her he’s trustworthy and reliable. But with a job like his, long hours and broken promises are part of the territory.
As Vince and Sara get closer, can their relationship survive the demands of the Marine Corps and her past coming back to haunt her?
Thanks so much for having me!