As we approach a year of this pandemic, I have never been more thankful for books in my life. Stories have kept me moving and escaping from the daily pandemic life, that we have all settled into. Briana Cole’s latest, The Marriage Pass, falls in line with these reads, providing a perfect escape. Her latest is the perfect blend of romance, suspense and drama. I was thrilled she took the time to be my latest Open Book. She is my kind of gal from her coffee order to her music choices. Read below to get to know this fabulous author ❤
via Amazon ~
In a smart, sexy spin-off from her Unconditional Series, Briana Cole continues to explore unconventional relationships and question all assumptions about love, lust, and monogamy in this tantalizing drama that takes the “what if” of a free pass to a whole new level…
Can you really have the best of both worlds?
He’s rich, successful–and has been faithfully married to his longtime girlfriend for nearly one grueling year. Because for Dr. Dorian Graham, too many women is never too much–no matter how loyal his wife, Shantae, has been since their college days. So when she proposes they both celebrate their first anniversary by spending a no-questions-asked, no-consequences night with their greatest temptation, Dorian is shocked, but can’t resist. Especially since Shantae’s wild-card younger sister, Reagan, is gorgeous, uninhibited–and the one who got away…
It turns out one sizzling night with Reagan isn’t enough. Yet the more Dorian takes, the more she demands–and the more he suddenly has to lose. Soon, with his mind games being used against him and his every move checkmated, Dorian will be forced to go all-in on one last desperate play to win. But winning might just be another way to crash and burn…
Open Book feature interview questions with Briana Cole
1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with? Just three? This is tough. Of course, Dr. Maya Angelou. She has been a tremendous inspiration to me. I would also pick Terry McMillian and Kimberla Lawson Roby. I believe we would have some fun, engaging conversations. In addition to this, I would want to be in the room with all three of these idols to pick their brains and soak up their wisdom. Also, could Stephen King and Oprah drop by once in a while?
2. Current binge series? I am currently binging Lovecraft Country. It’s different but I am hooked. Since Netflix has put all my favorite shows on, I’m also re-watching some of the TV shows I enjoyed growing up; like One on One, Girlfriends, and Moesha.
3. Last favorite book? Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I enjoyed that book so much I cracked it open and read it again immediately after I finished it.
4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? Where is it? Phone (not so much to communicate with people but to write and take plenty of pictures), maxi dresses, and my kids (does that count?). I love to cruise and I am a Disney fanatic so my dream vacation would be a Disney Cruise, sailing to each one of the Disney theme parks around the world and ending in Aulani, the Hawaiian Disney resort.
5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? US Weekly, for sure. I am all about the entertainment industry!
6. Last movie you saw? Black Box on Prime Video. Definitely five stars!
7. Book you read that you wished you wrote? I wish I had written My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. That book was so authentic, so well-written with such a great narrative that I would have loved to have been attached to that story. Really, I can say that about ALL of Jodi’s books.
8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? At Georgia Southern University, my mentor and Creative Writing professor was Peter Christopher. He was very instrumental in steering me towards a career as an author. I valued his constructive criticism and he gave advice on overcoming my personal challenges, such as procrastination, writer’s block, and stepping outside of my comfort zone to try other genres. Mr. Christopher has since passed away, however I will always remember how much of an impression he left on my life and my writing journey.
9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? It depends. Sometimes, I prefer complete silence because I am hyper-focused and I don’t want noise to distract me. Other times, I may listen to music while writing because it can help put me in the right headspace and get the creative juices flowing. I usually oscillate between R&B, Neosoul, and slow jams because the music is smooth and mellow. Who I listen to depends on the mood of what I’m writing, but I’ve put on Heather Headley, Boys to Men, New Edition, Meshell Ndegeocello, BabyFace… really any artist with a song I know that matches the vibe of my scene. For example, if my characters are going through something traumatic or heartbreaking, I will play Whitney Houston’s Where Do Broken Hearts Go or Patti Labelle’s Hurts Like Hell. Those two work for me every time.
10. Describe your writing space? I don’t have a designated writing space because I write EVERYWHERE. When I say everywhere, that is exactly what I mean. I have a desktop computer in my office so sometimes, I write there. I also have a laptop so I may feel like writing on the sofa by the window, in bed, or outside on the back porch. I also write on my phone so people may catch me writing on my cell in restaurants, on planes, in cars, or sitting on a park bench while my children play. I once flew to LA on a personal writing retreat and wrote about a third of my book on the beach on my cell phone. Even when I’m driving on road trips and I am unable to physically type, I have recorded myself or used my phone’s ‘talk-to-text’ feature to have the words annotated and I can clean it up later. So, my writing space is anywhere I can get the words out of my head.
11. Tell me your coffee/tea order? I am not a huge coffee drinker, but the occasions when I am craving something, I will order a Tall Caramel Macchiatto from Starbucks. Tea is another story. I drink Sweet Tea nearly every day, preferably the home-brewed kind.
12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? My books, of course! If you mean something other than mine, I usually like to gift non-fiction books or memoirs with powerful messages, depending on the receiver. For example, I used to gift the Chicken Soup books. The last few books I gifted were First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir and journal Becoming, because she speaks such a strong truth about finding your own voice; a message I relay in my own motivational speeches.
13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of? The Chain by Adrian McKinty. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would love to see that one on the big screen.
14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? Hall of Fame by The Script. That is my empowerment song and I feel those lyrics represent my mindset. In the chorus, the song says, “Standing in the hall of fame/And the world’s gonna know your name/Cause you burn with the brightest flame.” This speaks to me and motivates me to push through the discouragement, the rejection, the ‘not-so-glamorous’ side of the writing industry. I feel this song captures Briana Cole and why I strive as hard as I do.
15. Must have beauty product? There was a time I had to have eyeliner. I couldn’t leave home without it. I have since “upgraded” and now my must have beauty product are lashes. Love, love, love lashes. I just wish I could figure out how to put them on myself.
16. Royals- yes or no? If so, who is your favorite? I don’t really follow the royal families but if I had to pick a favorite, I would say probably Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. She’s outspoken and not afraid to stand up for what she wants, even if that means going against the grain.
17. Favorite Instagram account? I don’t have one favorite IG account. I usually just scroll on my feed until something catches my interest. I do have a number of hashtags I follow, including #bookishlife, #bookstagram, and #acting just to name a few.
18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? Probably my current read Perfect Peace since that sounds like a makeup product. And because I love nude lipsticks, it would be a shade between pale pink and beige with a gloss finish; something I could wear every day.
19. Current #TBR pile? This could go on for pages because, like most avid readers, for every book I finish, I add three more to read. I better keep this to the top five on my list for now. ☺
- When No One is Watching – Alyssa Cole
- Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris
- Don’t Look for Me – Wendy Walker
- The Silent Patient – Alex Michaleides
- Verity – Colleen Hoover
20. Best advice you’ve ever received? I am the kind of person that will do everything for everyone else and make myself a last priority. I once mentioned to my Soror how exhausted I was and I’ll never forget her response to me: You can’t pour from an empty cup. That has resonated with me ever since. Now, I make more of a conscientious effort to take some time for self-care.