Character Interview with Sunny Drysdale (EXPLOITS by Clara Grace Walker)

 

Have you ever read a book and found yourself wondering what a given character would say if you had the chance to interview them?  Me too!  Fortunately, being an author, and fiction being what it is, I have found this is entirely possible.  In fact, I frequently interview my major characters before sitting down to write the first draft.  This interview with heroine Sunny Drysdale, however, was conducted after publishing my novel, Exploits.  I thought it might be fun to check in with Sunny, and get her perspective on events after they had played out.

Happy Reading!  Clara

An Interview with Sunny Drysdale:

If you had it to do all over again, would you do anything differently when you found Boyd’s body in your car?

It’s easy to think if you knew all your mistakes in life ahead of time, you could avoid them.  What’s not always immediately clear, however, is how avoiding those mistakes will change, not only the way events play out in your life, but who you become as a person because of them.  Growth is a result of trial and error…of making mistakes and learning from them.  While deciding to try and return Boyd’s body to Darla was clearly the wrong decision, I really grew as a person, becoming more self-confident and courageous in the process.  More importantly, if I hadn’t been en route to Darla’s that fateful morning, I wouldn’t have come across Jeremy, stranded on the side of the road and in need of a lift…and might never have met the love of my life.  So, taking everything into account, I’d have to say no…I wouldn’t change a thing.

When did you first become aware of Darla Arnold’s negative/competitive feelings toward you?  

Shortly after attending her open house in Delray Beach, it became clear she, for whatever reason, really had it in for me.  I think it was only two weeks after that she began posting negative reviews of my books online and tagging me in her social media posts.  From there the animosity really escalated.  I was stunned and hurt when the harassment started, and did my usual crawl into my shell routine.  Now I’d be much more likely to call her out on the behavior…and take more proactive steps to try and stop it.

Have you heard anything from Darla since your rescue from the cave? 

She sent me e-mail a few days after our rescue, complaining about how Jeremy and I were hogging the limelight.  I did mention to Lila Goodwell that she might want to interview Darla also, but that suggestion was not well received.  Apparently, something went on between them that really upset Lila.  I’m not sure what it was, and frankly, I’m glad not to be a part of it.  Anyway, she did say thank you for saving her life, and shortly after that she started dating Armani, at which point I stopped hearing from her.  I think she’s happy now…at least, I hope she is.

Tell me about Lou Narducci. Did you expect to find him funny?  Are you still in touch? 

Oh gosh…I never expected to find him funny…or even human really.  I think my writer’s imagination had built him up to be some terrific monster…like a one-eyed Cyclops or something.  Discovering that was, in fact, funny…and just a human being like anyone else surprised me.  Although as a writer, I should have known better.  After all, that’s always something I’m trying to portray when writing the villains in my books, that they are real people.  As for being in touch with Lou, yes, I write to him in prison, (he’s a little miffed his lawyer wasn’t able to get him off the hook), much to Jeremy’s chagrin.

Going back to the night you first saw Jeremy at Mindy and Earl’s wedding reception…what is the one word that comes first to mind?  

Destiny

How about when you saw him stranded on the side of the road the next morning? What one word would describe that encounter?    

Insanity

When did you first realize you loved Jeremy?

The romantic in me wants to say it was love at first sight…and it was probably close to that, however, I think in reality it was our second date when he drew me out of my shell and got me onto the dance floor.

When did you believe he loved you?

When he saved me from the cave and didn’t arrest me.

What’s next on the horizon for you? Any new books in the works?   

Haha!  Funny you should ask.  I’ve just started a time travel where Lady Elaine travels forward in time to present day.  Guess I wasn’t lying to Jeremy after all! 

Any news in the Jeremy department?

I’ll let you look at the ring on my left hand and answer that question for yourself.  We’re still working on a date.

Aboutthebook

Book Title:  Exploitsfinal-exploits

Category/Genre:   Mainstream Romantic Suspense

What would you do if someone left a dead body in the backseat of your car?

Publicity-shy author Sunny Drysdale is forced to find out. After bumping into celebrity impersonator Boyd Bradford at a wedding reception the night before, and seeing him leave with rival author Darla Arnold, Sunny knows exactly who to blame for his appearance in her car. She’s suffered countless dirty tricks at Darla’s hands, and Sunny is determined this one will be the last. Her plan to return the body to Darla is thwarted, however, when she is flagged down, corpse still in car, by handsome police Chief Jeremy Jennings.

How can you love someone if you can’t trust them?

Jeremy is torn by his attraction to Sunny. If life has taught him anything, it’s that relationships are a trap. Wteaser.jpgorse still, he has two main suspects in Boyd Bradford’s disappearance, and Sunny Drysdale is one of them. With counterfeit bills popping up all over town and Boyd rumored to be a mob hit, Sunny is either in way over her head, or a beautiful, but devious criminal. His head says she’s only using their romance to distract him. His heart is determined not to care. Telling himself his interest in Sunny is only about solving his case; Jeremy loses himself to the passion simmering between them.

Will these two ever be honest with one another, and give in to the desire tempting them both? Or is their romance doomed to a catastrophic end?

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abouttheauthor

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Bestselling romantic suspense author, Clara Grace Walker, writes about fictional worlds populated with characters living out soap opera style lives.  Expect sex, murder, and more than a little back-stabbing inside the pages of her books. Her debut series, Desire Never Dies, is comprised of three books, Gratification, Gossip and Redemption, all of which have made their mark on Amazon’s bestseller list.  People and circumstances are rarely what they seem in these stories, and getting to the truth can be a dangerous thrill-ride.  So hop on board and hang on by your fingertips as you read your way to Happily Ever After.

Currently, Clara is immersed in the romance, danger and intrigue of her four-book series, Sex and Secrets. The first book in the series,Exploits, was released in July . Learn more on her website.

Listen to The Librarian’s interview with Clara Grace Walker

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Connect online with Clara Grace Walker:

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Interview with Lily Blackwood

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I’d wanted to try my hand at writing a book for as long as I could remember, but I’d only ever written short stories. I discovered the genre of romance late in life. My only experience with romance novels before college had been reading the condensed versions of Victoria Holt books in my grandparents’ Readers Digest library, or the teen romances I could buy at the PX on the Army bases where we lived.

When I was on maternity leave, my mom and I were at a used bookstore and she found a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna and bought it for me. Holy cow! After I read that novel, I went back to the same used book store and loaded up. It didn’t take me long to decide romance was what I wanted to write. There’s just something very exciting about that first moment an amazing couple first encounters one another, and the sometimes dangerous and challenging dance that follows before they can find their happily-ever-after. 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

From my mother, and her side of the family. Everyone in my mother’s family are readers and book collectors. My aunt is a retired university librarian. My best early memories are of my mom reading to me. I had a younger brother as well, and every night at bedtime, he went to his room, and I went to mine, and mom came to our rooms separately to read a book of our own choosing, sing a song, and say a goodnight prayer. It was our special time, where my brother and I weren’t competing for her attention, and being that we were an Army family, with all the irregularities of life that brings, it provided us with comforting structure. Even now, as an adult, I usually read for at least ten minutes before bedtime. As we grew up, my brother and I would write silly round robin type stories back and forth with each other, trying to outdo each other–and there were just always books and full bookshelves and gifts of books and reading for entertainment. 

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Whenever I sit down to write a book, I set out to capture the story of my characters’ “most exciting days”! If they are 100 years old, and looking back on life, what memories are the most grand and epic? What’s the most exciting or dangerous thing that ever happened to them? What’s the biggest decision of their life? The most critical fork in the road? How did they almost lose the love of their life? That’s the story I want told on the pages of my book.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

My favorite place to write is in the car. I’d write in the car all the time if I could. When my house is a little too lively, I have gone and sat in the driveway in my car to write, just to isolate myself and focus.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

I’m a two donut girl. Or one donut, plus one kolache. (I confirmed this yesterday).

How violently do you have to fight the urge to scream when you hear the ice cream truck coming?

I have a very strong reaction to ice cream trucks, indeed!! Ice cream trucks are happy things, in my mind. One of my earliest memories of my dad is of him acting like a total fool, and insisting that I RUN with him to go catch the ice cream truck. I was probably four at the time. We ran across our neighborhood in the Army base, with him picking me up and carrying me most of the way, so that we could have ICE CREAM.

Say there’s like a whole box of your favorite snack in a room all by themselves. Say I left them there and told you not to eat any until I got back. How long would it take you to disobey my wishes?

The first thing that came to mind with this question was PIZZA!! which may not be a snack food, but hey. PIZZA! I’m not sure how long it would take me to disobey your wishes, but PIZZA! I’m thinking I probably misheard your instructions because (PIZZA!) you wouldn’t want it to get cold.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

I’m pretty sure my flame point Siamese, Tango, dreams about world domination.

THIS OR THAT???

Tea or Coffee?                      Coffee

Winter or Summer?             Autumn!

TexMex or Italian?               TexMex. Oh, gosh, but lasagna!

Chocolate or Vanilla?          Chocolate.

Vintage or New?                  Vintage

Aboutthebook

From the author of The Beast of Clan Kincaid comes the second installment of the dangerously tempting Highland Warriors series.

Set on the captivating hills of Scotland, THE REBEL OF CLAN KINCAID (St. Martin’s Press; December 6, 2016; $7.99; 978-1-250-08475-0), is a story of revenge, rebellion, and, most importantly, desire…

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Magnus isn’t who he thought he was. Unbeknownst even to the laird himself, Magnus is in fact Faelan Braewick the second son of the murdered Laird of Kincaid and his wife. Magnus wants nothing more than to unleash his revenge. Yet rather than reveal his identity outright he returns to Alwyn’s treacherous hall in search of answers about what really happened the night his parents were killed—but also to free the mysterious young woman imprisoned in the laird’s tower and claim her for his own.

Tara Iverach is a prisoner. Ordered to marry Bryce, the Laird Alwyn’s brutish eldest son, she’s been confined to the laird’s tower “for her own protection.” She fears the day she will be forced to marry Bryce…but fears even more that the laird has decided to keep her for himself. The only light in her days comes from Magnus and their fleeting glances and clandestine messages. But with her wedding day approaching and a dark secret rising to the surface, can Tara trust her heart to this rebel?

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abouttheauthor

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Lily Blackwood lives in Texas, with her husband, their two teenagers, a devoted red golden retriever and two rascally cats. She enjoys flea markets, cooking, eating and not cleaning her house! She recently taught herself to knit and has been making a mess with yarn ever since. She loves all things historical, and finds it thrilling to imagine a time period where each day held very real dangers, and true love stories and happily-ever-afters were precious and rare. Lily loves to hear from readers!

Lily is also the RITA Nominated author of Regency romances, Lily Dalton.

Sign up for Lily’s newsletter and follow her online!

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Interview: Donna Grant on her new SONS OF TEXAS Series

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Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My parents cultivated a love of reading early on. Both read all the time, and I had a vast library of their books to read, and when I found other books, they never hesitated in taking me to the bookstore to load up.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve always written, but didn’t seriously consider doing it as a career until 1999 when I sat down and wrote my first book. Two years later I had four books written, and I knew what I wanted to do.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Every author has a thread throughout all of their books. For me, it doesn’t matter if I’m writing historical or contemporary, paranormal or military, it’s always good vs evil.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

Not using the paranormal element I’ve been using since I began writing.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Not using the paranormal element I always use.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

A writer picks up things throughout their life. Every book I’ve ever read influences me in ways I can’t begin to understand. It’s why its so important for writers to read.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I write full time. It’s my only job – besides being a mom. There are so many aspects of being an author nowadays with social media, publicity, marketing, conferences, along with the writing, that I normally work 14-16 hour days. I used to leave my weekends free, but even now, I’ll take an hour in the mornings and get 10 pages written on the weekend. With writing five different series, I have to or I get behind.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Dance teacher, waitress, and bookkeeper

What do you like to read in your free time?

I tend to stick to the romance genre or the thriller genre

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m writing the 12th book in my Dragon King series and getting ready to do edits on the 11th book. I’ll have the book and edits done, along with a novella in my LaRue series by the end of the year. Then I start the next Reaper book.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’m releasing a Dragon King coloring book just in time for Christmas. I’m very excited about it. It’s something my readers have been asking for, and I’m glad I get to deliver it to them. I got the rights back to my first ever series that I sold – Druids Glen. Those books are getting fresh covers and will re-release in January in print and ebook. I’m also returning to my roots and doing a historical paranormal series that will debut in 2017. All while continuing my Dragon Kings, Reapers, and the Sons of Texas while wrapping up the Chiasson and LaRue series.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names are everything. Sometimes I’ll have a name before I flesh out a character. Other times, I’ll choose a name, but it won’t fit the character and I have to search for one that does. I like unique names. I also can’t use a name if it’s someone I know well in real life. At least I won’t use them as main characters.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I won’t write horror. I hate those movies, and I can’t read the books.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation so I wouldn’t have to get motion sickness, and I could travel as much as I wanted.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I’ve got a huge list of places I want to visit. Paris, Rome, Venice, hell – all of Italy really, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Greece, Norway, Prague, and the list goes on and on

Aboutthebook

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“The Hero (Sons of Texas, Bk #1)” by Donna Grant

 

 

THE HERO’S HOMECOMING

Owen Loughman is a highly-decorated Navy SEAL who has a thirst for action. But there’s one thing he hasn’t been able to forget – his high school sweetheart, Natalie. After over a decade away, Owen is returned home to the ranch in Texas for a dangerous new mission that puts him face-to-face with Natalie and an outside menace that threatens everything he holds dear. He’ll risk it all to keep Natalie safe – and win her heart. . . .

Natalie Dixon has had a lifetime of heartache since Owen was deployed. Fourteen years and one bad marriage later, she finds herself mixed up with the Loughman’s again. With her life on the line against an enemy she can’t fight alone, it’s Owen’s strong shoulders, smoldering eyes, and sensuous smile that she turns to. When danger closes in, she holds close to the only man she’s ever loved…

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The Sons of Texas Series Links
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Join the fun and chat with Donna Thursday, December 1st at 8pm ET

 

abouttheauthor

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Author Links:

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Guest Post by Kendra C. Highley, Young Adult Author

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Writing for a YA Audience

Many people ask YA author’s what it’s like to write for a YA audience, and what the challenges are. Personally, I love to write Young Adult, finding it a fertile ground to explore things like love, friendship, struggles, and triumphs. Teenagers face things for the first time, and that adds a richness to each situation that isn’t there in Adult fiction. It gives an author a license to explore things on a whole different emotional level.

Think about being a teen—I know for some of us it’s painful—and how BIG everything seemed. When you look back from an adult lens, it’s easy to say “melodrama” and “angst” because you’ve faced those issues many times as you grew and aged, but back then you hadn’t. Are teens “melodramatic?” They can be, but it’s not an unreasonable reaction when you understand where they are in life. Most of the teens I know are actually far more levelheaded than we give them credit for. And more mature, too. But when you’re dealing with your first breakup, and your heart is broken, it’s a little difficult to be rational.

But, to me, the biggest challenge is staying real. Is my vocabulary too adult? Now, I’ll argue with anyone who says “a teen wouldn’t say esoteric”—have you looked at the SAT vocab list lately? I literally heard a band kid use that on the bus when I chaperoned a few weeks ago. But, it’s not the vocabulary, per se. It’s the voice. Do they sound teen; do they sound less aware of themselves and issues? Do they tackle things with less information than an adult would? Do they make decisions that makes my mom-self shake my head? If the answer’s yes, then you’re closing in on authentic.

My other challenge is “adult” situations. Here’s the thing…as much as we parents don’t want to believe it, our teens (even as young as thirteen) hear—and say—curse words every day. They hear about sex…and many of them are having sex. They drink, too. I don’t love to hear about underage drinking one bit, but they do. So, when a YA uses foul language, explores sexuality, and shows drinking, here’s what we’re actually doing: we’re creating a risk-free space for your teen to experience things, and hopefully showing them what responsible relationships look like. Oh, and demonstrate that bad decisions can have consequences. That’s not to say we preach to teens, but we want them to see a character acting in a way that might keep a reader safe down the road. To parents who take issue with these themes in books…sheltering your kids from literature doesn’t mean you’re sheltering them from the thing itself. In fact, you might be taking away the one place they can learn how things should go.

All in all, I find YA to be one of the most exciting areas of literature today. The rules are very broad and creativity soars. Teens can suspend disbelief for anything as long as the emotions strike a chord with them. I think that may be why so many adults read them too.

 

Aboutthebook

The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Teen – Crush

Publication Date: November 14, 2016

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Baseball player Kyle Sawyer has many labels: bad boy, delinquent, ladies’ man, fearless outfielder… Only one of them is actually true. But then sweet ballet dancer Faith Gladwell asks him to help wreck her reputation, and everything goes sideways.

Faith knows a thing or two about love, and what she had with her cheating jerk of an ex wasn’t it. When he starts spreading rumors about her being an Ice Queen, Faith decides it’s time to let a little bad into her life.

Lucky for her, Kyle Sawyer—dark, dangerous, totally swoonworthy Kyle Sawyer—is landscaping her backyard over Spring Break. Shirtless. And if she can convince him to play along, “dating” Kyle will silence the rumors.

But Faith’s plan threatens to expose Sawyer’s biggest secret of all…and that’s a risk he’s not willing to take.

Disclaimer: This book contains drop-the-book-and-fan-yourself kisses…and touches. Fall in love with a bad boy at your own risk.

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abouttheauthor

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Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

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Interview with Romance Author Lilly Christine

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  

I wanted to tell stories that everyone could relate to: I chose love stories because we all need to believe in a Happily Ever After, whether we find it in our personal relationships, or in another of our life’s passions.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

As a child I read voraciously, and began to intuit dialogue and plot. I loved the magic of getting lost in a story, being transported to the emotional and sensory world the author created. I love words: nuances of expression, the breadth of vocabulary, the cadence of language, turns of expression, how subtle shifts could convey vasty different moods and meaning, in both literary description and nuance of dialogue. I’ve become pretty confident in my storytelling skills; I don’t have the command of language that true literary figures possess, but it’s something to aspire to!

How long have you been writing?

I started writing seriously in 2010; I’d been part of a writing group that got together once a month and worked from Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing the Bones” since about 2000. One of Natalie’s prompts is “mashed potatoes”. As I free associated garlic and roast-tipped,  the butter-and-love, hand-whipped version my grandmother served came back to me. That’s the magic of words; transporting a reader viscerally to a place defined by specific sensation. I loved to craft witty reflective essays on personal interactions that made everyone’s sides split, and incorporate comedic elements in my novels. The “funniest” of my books are “Designs on Daphne” and my new release “New Year, Baby!”, but the character of Aunt Olivia offers comic relief in my debut novel, “Crashing Into Tess”. Tess was released in September 2013; I’ve written two more novels since, and eight novellas to date, with six more planned releases by June 2018.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

All of my work is personal in some way. “My Kinda Bull” pits Greenpeace activist Christina Rodriguez against petroleum engineer and geophysicist Heath McGreer. The passions that climate change precipitates served as an underlying external conflict between Chrissie and Heath, also an internal conflict for Heath. Heath understands in a nuanced way what the impacts are; he has guilt about his role in fossil fuel exploration, which Chrissie doesn’t at all expect in a guy who’s made a fortune in that field.

I once dated a geologist working in acid rain mitigation, introducing him to another geologist friend involved in petroleum exploration at a bar. I thought they would have geology in common, but they were on opposing sides, philosophically. Both had dedicated their life’s work to geology; the tension was palpable. Ironically, the first conflict in “My Kinda Bull” occurs outside a bar. Climate change would seem to be about very broad global policy, but I loved the very real way issues around climate change were interpersonal in Heath and Christina’s story, at first deeply divisive, then powerfully unifying.

“New Year, Baby!” was fun for different reasons; it’s another frenemies to lovers trope, but the underlying conflict is Mollie’s inability to trust. Set in Philadelphia, Derk, aka “Jerk Derek” remembers Mollie as a guileless, innocent University of Pennsylvania freshman, the girl he kissed on Boat House Row. That’s the girl Mollie still really wants to be, but life has been rough, shoving her in a completely different direction. With an overbearing mother, an overbearing ex-husband, and overbearing male work colleagues, Mollie’s on the verge of becoming bitter, and Derek has somehow become her target. Her feelings for him initially confuse her; she’s resentful of their shared past, bogged down by her own personal baggage: her parent’s untimely divorce, her father’s selfishness, her own divorce, precipitated by her ex’s selfishness, and the bitter custody feuds she finds herself in the midst of daily as a divorce attorney. She’s also drawn to Derek; admitting to herself that it feels like she hates him, yet she deeply admires his life’s work as a documentary filmmaker, forcing her to face her own personal conflict about her profession, which drives the inner shift she needs to see Derek as a prospective mate. “New Year, Baby!” is the launch of “Philadelphia Love!” a four novella holiday series with “Valentine, Baby!” coming Feb, 2017, “Sing It, Baby!” March 2017, and “Independence, Baby?” June 2017. The characters lives will overlap, as they do in my McGreers Series, because I love giving readers glimpses into past characters continuing lives. I love extending the character trajectory for each novel, into the overall series.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

The romance genre gives me a tiny soapbox, allowing me to incorporate real racial and socioeconomic tensions, as well as contemporary issues, into happily ever afters.  It makes writing books, and the books themselves, more interesting, I think. The McGreer boys are all white alpha males; well endowed, well financed, noble, and easy to love. The hero of Loving Lulu (McGreers #5), Julio Rodriguez, faces very different challenges.Julio is the child of migrant laborers: his dad was deported when he was only six, his mom had already become a US citizen. He married young, quitting a promising career in professional baseball. Now, with two young children at home, his wife Luanne has become frustrated by her limited options, and wants to stretch her wings. The real financial pressures of being a ranch worker, instead of a ranch owner, are taking his toll on his marriage, compelling the reader to root for him even harder.

His sister Christina, the heroine of “My Kinda Bull”, channels her grief over her deported father, who she barely knows, into climate activism, by fighting the establishment. Christina and Julio’s mother, Angelica, is Ty McGreer’s housekeeper. Christina is a very driven achievers, academically and professionally, yet in some ways, she still feels less than. Torn by her mother’s disapproval of the match, she’s intimidated by Heath’s wealthy parents.

I flavor my books with contemporary political and social issues, which might make them a little bit edgier than typical romance genre flair. I launched my own publishing company, Libra Press, specifically because I didn’t want to force my themes into a publisher’s line restrictions.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

I’ve been fortunate in the high quality support and coaching I’ve received, which pushed me to read and study plot, turning points, beats and characterization.Jennifer Crusie’s blog, “Argh, Inc” has great writing analysis and plot structure commentary.  Robert McGee’s ‘Story’, which I listen to while driving, illuminates “beats”. Understanding that each scene needs a turning point to drive the plot has helped me become a much better editor and tighten my craft. As a pantser, I thought of a scene shift as a setting shift. It took me the entire first act to understand character, I toiled through the second act, and the third act was torture. Understanding story mechanics has helped with story conception; I can now define key turning points from the outset, which drives scene formulation, tightens plot, and helps me write better stories faster, without angst, or having to wait for inspiration, or laborious editing and revisions. It also helps drive dialogue, choosing which point to feed back story and conflict to raise tension and reader interest. It’s been a labor of love; each story has taught me a craft and writing lesson as well. It’s the thrill of discovery in characterization, plot evolution, and process, that drives me to keep writing.

Aboutthebook

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Once Upon a Schuylkill, there were magical, moonlit kisses. . . After years of friction, Philadelphia divorce attorney Pit Bull Mollie is out for blood, and Jerk Derek, a talented documentary filmmaker, still doesn’t know what he did wrong. A chance encounter on an overbooked flight leads to a showdown.

Why is Jerk Derek still trying to get it right? His attraction to petite, fiery Mollie must be some wierd kink! And what is it about Derek, anyway? He’s sexy, accomplished, kind…really not at all a jerk, so why can’t Mollie leave it alone? Old sparks kindle an explosive encounter, promising the New Year’s Eve of a lifetime!

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New Year, Baby! Philadelphia Love #1

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Also out now…

McGreers Series #8, My Kinda Bull

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My Kinda Bull

Sassy Cowgirls snag Can’t Miss Cowboys. . Check out all the McGreers!

abouttheauthor

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Lilly Christine’s debut novel, Crashing Into Tess, won TRW’s 2013 “Catherine Award”,  was a 2014 finalist in DRW’s “Best First Book”, and “Best Contemporary” categories, and is the first in the popular McGreers Series. Lilly returns to her birthplace for the setting of “Philadelphia Love!” an exciting new urban rom-com Holiday Novella Series! In 2017, look for “Valentine, Baby!” “Sing It, Baby!” and “Independence, Baby?” 

About Philadelphia Love Series . . 

I first fell in love with Philadephia as a child. Born there, I remember learning to read via Sesame Street, playing in Fairmount Park and our cozy city-block stone house with the deep front porch. We moved to the country before I was five, but I could explore all the city had to offer on visits  to grandparents and aunts. Wanamakers, City Hall, Independence Hall, Betsey Ross House, Ben Franklin Press, the Zoo and the Thanksgiving Parade were childhood delights.  It’s been great fun to set my Philadelphia love series in that city. I hope you are transported. .

Lilly currently resides in Reno, Nevada. When not writing, she can be found walking her Daschahuahua rescue puppy on the Truckee River

Follow Lilly Christine online:

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Email: LillyChristine13@gmail.com

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Guest Post by Author Aubrey Parr

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kindle-coverHello, I’m Aubrey Parr. I’m a debut author of contemporary romance. I am currently writing book 2, Love on Ocean Drive, in my Love on… series. But, please check out my first book, Love on the Malecon.

I thought I’d do something fun with it. I love music. I feel like we have soundtracks for our lives. It only made sense that I have a soundtrack for my book. I put together a list of songs from scenes I thought could use specific songs. Check out my page on Amazon. You can get Love on the Malecon in print or ebook. Then follow the links to the music below while you’re reading it.

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In Chapter 1, when you meet Nicole and learn her back story listen to Rascal Flatts – My Wish

In Chapter 2, when you meet Derek and learn about his past and how he started his company. Listen to Dexter Freebish – Life of Saturdays.

In Chapter 5, the first time they’re in Nicole’s hotel room together. Listen to Dexter Freebish – Higher.

In Chapter 9, when Nicole comes down into the lobby and Derek is waiting for her by the bar. She’s wearing a beautiful, gold dress that he bought for her.  Listen to Chet Faker – Gold.

In Chapter 12, Derek has made a huge decision in his life. Listen to Dexter Freebish – Beautiful Girl

In Chapter’s 14 and 15, after a big scare for Nicole. She is trying to be strong and brave, but ultimately she’s still vulnerable. Listen to X Ambassadors – Unsteady.

In Chapter 17 Nicole makes a big step in her life. Listen to Dierks Bentley – Somewhere on a Beach

In Chapter 21 and into 22, there is another stressful time. Their relationship grows from everything that happens. I don’t want to give away the plot, but listen to The Frey – Heartless

In Chapter 25, Nicole and Derek decide to go for an impromptu run on the beach. It’s a very freeing moment for Nicole and there is a sense of relief. Listen to Coldplay – When I Ruled the World

Again in Chapter 25, when Nicole and Derek go to the little restaurant with her father’s favorite fajitas. Listen to Heartland – I Loved Her First

In Chapter 27, the final pages of the book – during the last scene. Again, I don’t want to give away the plot, but please listen to Wild Cub – Thunder Clatter.

You’ll notice that a lot of music is from the band, Dexter Freebish. They’re an amazing band out of Austin, Texas. I could probably have used their music for the entire soundtrack. Make sure to check them out as well.  http://www.dexterfreebish.com/

Aboutthebook

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In the heart of downtown Puerto Vallarta, there is a magical oceanfront promenade known as the Malecon. As a tribute to her father’s life, Nicole James travels to his favorite place on Earth. On the cobblestone streets of charming Puerto Vallarta, she meets Derek, an ex-MMA fighter who invested his winnings into land for luxury hotels. Derek is fabulously wealthy, aging like fine wine, and lives on resorts like an endless vacation. Could her father have orchestrated this chance meeting with Mr. Right from beyond the grave? Derek Stone never thought a woman would fit into the world he created, until Nicole came along. She’s beautiful, smart, and sexy. More importantly, she has no idea of his money. Derek has taken care of himself for his entire life. He’s not used to trusting anyone.

Can he tear down his walls and let Nicole inside?

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Aubrey Parr waited until she was forty to publish her first novel. Although she received her Master’s in Accounting, Aubrey always knew that she wanted to write. With a few years of life experience under her belt she decided it was time. She lives with her husband and daughter outside of Chicago, Illinois. When she’s not chasing after her daughter she sneaks off to create steamy stories of wonderful love affairs.

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Interview with Mary Shotwell, author of Weariland

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I wrote Weariland not only for myself but for my teenage nieces. I wanted the protagonist to be relatable to them, which steered me to write Young Adult. In addition, I’ve always enjoyed fantasy and sci-fi, and that is where my imagination leads me.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I grew up with six siblings and working parents. No one had much time to read to me, so I yearned to learn how as fast as possible. I wanted to know the stories behind the colorful covers of the books at the library. Once I learned, I couldn’t stop. I had the freedom to explore wherever I wanted with whomever I wanted.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Currently I write Young Adult, in what I call “light” fantasy. It’s not as heavy as, say, Lord of the Rings, in terms of descriptions of familial hierarchies, landscape, etc. I have to write scientifically for work, so I enjoy the complete opposite end of the spectrum to exercise my creativity.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Even though I write light fantasy, I try to be as real as possible—make events realistic, or if they’re beyond our realm, make reactions of characters to the fantastical world realistic. I like to think my writing is clean and fast. Not much of a “fluff” writer. My scientific writing experience keeps me in line there.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

Ugh. Cutting out whole characters and chapters. I sent the manuscript off to agents, and I received feedback from one or two that recommended I cut out a side story following a reporter. I ignored the feedback at first, and queried more agents. I repeatedly received advice to stick to Lason’s story more and less to the reporter’s part. Finally, I gave in when an agent from Writers House said the same thing, but gave me details as to why, in addition to in-depth feedback elsewhere. I had to cut my reporter out, and it hurt. It was the right decision, but it still aches thinking about it.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Michael Crichton! I love how he incorporated the realistic with the fictional. I read in a brief bio that he wrote 10,000 words a day. Although I strive to have his pacing, clarity, and imagination, I realize I probably won’t if it takes 10,000 words a day. That’s crazy.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

Planning. Having all the character attributes, character paths mapped out, and action in each chapter makes writing incredibly smoother. Some have said, “As long as you wrote today, then you were successful.” Rubbish! I wrote mostly “off the cuff” for about 25,000 words of Weariland and it took forever. I changed my mind, I went down blind alleys, and it was exhausting. When I got serious and mapped out the story, I was able to finish.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

Part-time. I write less when it’s part-time, since I prefer long chunks of time per sitting. I can remember what I already wrote and who was doing what to move forward more efficiently (2000-4000 words a day). I get that time in the summer, and get a taste of what it feels like to write full time for a few weeks (it’s wonderful). During the school year, I only have nights to write, which results in 300-1000 words per day, and I don’t write everyday (*gasp*).

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Too many to list all of them. My first real job was as a server and party hostess at Chuck E. Cheese’s. I worked as an undercover buyer of cigarettes to fine stores if they didn’t card me, gave campus tours as an undergrad, and substituted K-12. All experiences aided in getting to know people. Working with kids and teens helped in characterizing that demographic in writing.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m finishing a dystopian YA novel in which the protagonists are brother/sister. It takes place in the distant future (as most dystopian does) and explores the evolution of humans when the smartest minds seclude themselves from the rest of society.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

I anticipated a question by people who read both the book and one of my earliest blog posts. In the post, I write about my history with my sister. After writing Weariland, I wondered if readers would ask, “Is the character of Nicholas a reflection of your sister?” The answer is No. Perhaps subconsciously, but I didn’t plan him to be an interpretation of my sister and our relationship.

What book do you wish you could have written?

I changed this to book and/or screenplay here. The Boxtrolls and The Lego Movie are so clever, in both surface story and deeper levels. I also wish I had written The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is genius, and I would have worked with the amazing Danny Elfman.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I take names seriously. I Google girl/boy names to get ideas, but often I pinpoint a region and time period to get appropriate names. I’ve also taken a character trait and jumbled the letters or sounds. For instance, Ruban is a red rabbit, and I found his name by picking letters from ‘auburn’.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Hard to say, but the question made me think, How cool would it be to have ‘To Be Continued…’

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Has someone already said Hogwarts? Ever since seeing Dr. Zhivago, I’ve wanted to visit Russia. Perhaps not in the current political climate, but then again, the past hasn’t offered many better times to travel the country.

abouttheauthor

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Mary grew up in northeast Ohio, so it was only natural for her to pursue a degree in marine biology. After studying dolphin behavior and estimating great white shark populations, she earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics in Charleston, South Carolina. It was there, during the arduous dissertation process, where she had the idea to write a book.

With Alice and the crazy characters from Wonderland staring her down from her bedroom poster, Mary envisioned what that fantasy realm would look like in current day. Creative writing served as a natural escape from technical writing, wedding planning, pregnancy, and job hunting.

Mary is excited to debut Weariland (Merge Publishing, 2016), a novel introducing Lason Davies, a teenager who learns about her family’s past in a world once called Wonderland. She currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and three children.

Aboutthebook

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Lason is haunted by the last words of her murdered relative as she and her mother fly to England for the funeral. The crime is a sensation, but the clamoring reporters and news photographers aren’t the only ones interested in their arrival.

As Lason copes with the family loss, she encounters a mysterious stranger. He hails from Weariland, a dreary world once known as Wonderland. Lason wants to confide in her mother, whose long-repressed family demons have resurfaced, along with her erratic behavior. Convinced she’ll find answers about her grandmother’s death, Lason takes the leap to help the stranger, leaving her world behind.

Lason’s mother wakes to find her biggest fear realized—Lason is missing. When the murder investigation turns up traces of unknown black goo and pictures of a giant creature, she believes in her gut something out of the ordinary truly is happening. And it’s not the first time a loved one has disappeared.

As her mother confronts the past she so desperately tried to forget, Lason must navigate through an unpredictable realm, encountering colorful, fantastical characters and discovering her family’s elusive history. Ultimately, she must rely on her courage to brave it alone when her guide is captured, along with her only chance to ever getting home.

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Interview with Suzanne Enoch on her latest release, Hero in the Highlands

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

My first writing love was actually fantasy. I received a couple of promising publisher rejections for a pair of fantasy books, got frustrated, and took a bet from my sisters to write a Regency Romance since I clearly loved reading them. (Hey, they still each owe me a dollar.) That was the book that a publisher bought, and so that’s the direction I headed. Eventually I’d like to dig out those old fantasy books and look at them again, but for the moment I’m quite happy to be writing romance. I love a happy ending.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Both my parents are big readers, and that’s what I thought every family was like. Every summer we’d go to the library every two weeks and check out a three-foot stack of books from multiple genres. As for the writing gene, I think that came from my great-grandfather, who was a cowboy in his youth. He wrote for a local Texas newspaper, and had a book about his life published (Cowboy Life on the Llano Estacado, by Vivian Whitlock).

How long have you been writing?

That’s a tough question. I started out one-finger typing pages from “Little House in the Big Woods” to give as Christmas presents back when I was six or seven (and before I knew about plagiarism). In elementary school I wrote stories like all the other kids, but I REALLY liked it. After I read Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” and Jane Goodall’s “In the Shadow of Man” at about age ten I decided I would be a zoologist in Africa and write about my adventures. Then when I turned 13 I saw “Star Wars” and it dawned on me that I could make up adventures and not be killed by poisonous snakes. That stayed my plan from then on.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I mostly write full-length Historical Romance, Scotland-set at the moment, though I also have a contemporary Romantic Suspense series featuring the same pair of protagonists.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I think it’s the humor and the wit – I try to approach a book from the attitude of one of those 1930’s screwball comedies, where everybody is clever and conversations are like intricate dances (or swordfights).

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

My hero, Gabriel Forrester, is a career soldier. I’m not a soldier, but I wanted his point of view to be authentic – the way he approaches problems, the way he views life and death – and that was a little different for me. I’m pretty proud of the way he turned out.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Oh, the banter. I love writing witty, flirty banter. I get to write two characters who make all the quips and retorts that we all wish we could managed on the spot, but that are really tricky to pull off in real life. I love finding ways for the characters to reveal parts of themselves by the words they choose to use, and the ones they avoid.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

I majored in English in college, so I spent a great deal of time learning story pacing, naming the five parts of a story, point of view, active voice, etc. The most valuable advice I got was from one of my professors, and he told me to read – not just in the genre that interested me, but any GOOD writing. And the more, the better. James Joyce, Mark Twain, James Fenimore Cooper, Jane Austen – books that have stayed in the public eye because they’re well-written. I’ve always been a big reader so I had a lot of that background already, but I found him to be totally, utterly correct.

The thing I was happiest to disregard, even though it took some time and experience to figure out, was the idea that every word I put on paper had to be perfect. Now I go by the rule that anything can be improved, but first it just has to be written down. I call it WTBD – Write the book, dummy.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I’ve been writing full time for about the past fourteen years. It’s weird, but in a way I think I’m a little less focused than I was when I had a much more limited time to write. Overall my production has stayed about the same, but I REALLY don’t miss the stress of my day job. I feel like I have more time to play around with a story now, to see where it takes me.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

All the way through high school and college and thereafter I knew I was going to be a writer, so I looked for “jobs” rather than a “career”. I worked in a movie theater box office, did billing and Girl Friday stuff for two different law firms, served as public relations and alumni assistant for an optometry college, and spent eleven long years as the assistant to the president of a Mercedes dealership. The only bonus to that one was that it gave me writing time most afternoons.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I never seem to have much free time these days, but I enjoy reading English and Scottish history and mythology – you never know what might spark an idea. And of course I read my friends’ books, which I can’t do while I’m writing.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I just finished MY ONE TRUE HIGHLANDER, the second book in this “No Ordinary Hero” trilogy, and I’m starting on book number three, which doesn’t have a title yet.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’d like to write a few more novella-length stories, because they have more of the pacing and rhythm of the old traditional Regencies. And I REALLY want to get back to work on the next book in my contemporary series, because I’ve already taken a seven-year break. That’s probably a bit much, and I’m really grateful to the readers who keep cheering me on instead of throwing things at me for taking so long.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I handwrite my books as much as I can. I go through about five college-ruled notebooks and about ten pens per book. Every afternoon I transcribe what I’ve written into the computer, which gives me an immediate first edit. It’s a little slower, I suppose, but I find that I have way fewer rewrites when it takes a little more effort to do the first draft.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names are very important to me. I’ve been known to trash an opening chapter because the hero or heroine’s name doesn’t fit with the world it needs to occupy. I have a couple of baby name books, but I also like to look through indexes and bibliographies of books published during the time period in which I’m writing. I’ve also found some lists of Scottish names and meanings online, along with lists of Highland clans and the septs beneath them. Those are invaluable when I’m staying with a particular clan but don’t everyone in it to have the same last name.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

I love talking in accents. I do it all the time, anyway. My favorite three to listen to are proper English (the one the Shakespearean actors use), Scottish, and Jamaican. Oh, and Cajun is pretty cool, too.

 

abouttheauthor

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Suzanne Enoch grew up in Southern California, where she still balances her love for the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer and classic romantic comedies with her obsession for anything Star Wars. Given her love of food and comfy chairs, she may in fact be a Hobbit. She has written more than 35 romance novels, including traditional Regencies, Historical Romance, and contemporary Romantic Suspense. When she isn’t working on her next book she is trying to learn to cook, and wishes she had an English accent. She is the bestselling author ofThe Scandalous Brides series, The Scandalous Highlandersseries, and One Hot Scot.

Connect with Suzanne online:

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Aboutthebook

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Scotland, 1812: He’s ferocious and rugged to the bone, an English soldier more at home on the battlefield than in any Society drawing room. And when Major Gabriel Forrester learns that he’s inherited the massive Scottish Highlands title and estate of a distant relation, the last thing he wants to do is give up the intensity of the battlefield for the too-soft indulgences of noble life. But Gabriel Forrester does not shirk his responsibilities, and when he meets striking, raven-eyed lass Fiona Blackstock, his new circumstances abruptly become more intriguing.

Like any good Highlander, Fiona despises the English—and the new Duke of Lattimer is no exception. Firstly, he is far too attractive for Fiona’s peace of mind. Secondly, his right to “her” castle is a travesty, since it’s been clan Maxwell property for ages. As the two enter a heated battle of wills, an unexpected passion blazes into a love as fierce as the Highlands themselves. Is Fiona strong enough to resist her enemy’s advances—or is Gabriel actually her hero in disguise?

If you haven’t already, then as bestselling author Lisa Kleypas said, “It’s time to fall in love with Suzanne Enoch.”

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Interview with Melissa Cutler, Author of One More Taste

Please describe One More Taste in one sentence.

When a brazen chef tries to prove her chops to her sexy new boss, they heat up a lot more than the kitchen.

What can readers expect from One More Taste?

Readers can expect my signature combination of a book full of both humor and emotional resonance…with one seriously spicy romance woven throughout it.

Which of your characters would you most & least like to invite to dinner, from which book and why?

The characters from this series that I’d most like to invite to dinner are all those hot, sexy cowboy heroes (surprise, surprise!). Decker, Micah, Knox, and (from upcoming books) Paul and Gentry. Mmm….sexy cowboy heroes at my dinner table…now there’s a dream come true!

The character from the series that I’d least like to have over for dinner, and which readers of the series would probably agree with me, is Ty Briscoe, the villain of the first three stories.

Are there any differences and/or similarities between Emily from One More Taste and Carina from The Mistletoe Effect?

While Emily and Carina are best friends, they have very different personalities. Carina is all about becoming a mom and not working too hard, which is a shift because she used to be a work-a-holic, which Emily still is. On the other hand, Carina is a rule follower, while Emily is more of a rebel. What they do have in common is that they love each other and their home of Briscoe Ranch Resort very much.

Out of all of the secondary characters within One and Only Texas Series, do you have one or two favorites so far? If so, who are they and can you tell us why?

What a fun question. I tend to write books that have huge casts of characters, so there are lots of secondary characters to choose from. My current favorite is from next year’s release, ONE WILD NIGHT, and it’s the heroine’s grandmother, Mama Lita, who clashes with Granny June at every turn because, while Granny June is the consummate matchmaker of the series, Mama Lita is a wild spirit who doesn’t believe a woman needs a man in her life.

Random Question (so I can try to have your name listed in that color) – What is your favorite color?

Red. Love it!

June Briscoe is one of my favorite characters.  She’s appeared in all the books.  How did you come up with her and her amazing personality (sneakiness, quirks and all)?

She’s one of my favorite characters in the series, too. When I wrote her character’s first ever scene, in scene one of THE MISTLETOE EFFECT, she seemed like an old, strict Italian mafia grandma with old world superstitions at first, which probably would have been fine, but I then wrote a draft that lightened her up and turned her into the scene’s comic relief…and I instantly fell in love with her! Hence, the Granny June we all know and love was born.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Growing up, my house wasn’t a pleasant one, and so I kept to myself in my bedroom as much as possible. In a huge way I’m grateful for the way my childhood played out, because my imagination flourished. The earliest I can remember writing stories and poems is age four. Writing them and reading books took me away to other times and places and let me live, for a little while, in magical places. Even then, I knew I was a writer, an identity that stayed with me in all the years since.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

What most characterizes my writing is a combination of humor and emotion weight. I’m really interested in real issues and the struggles that everyday people face in their lives, not just romantically, but with family and friends and their careers. My heroines tend to be quirky, smart, career-focused women and my heroes tend to be blue collar workers. In that way, Knox Briscoe, the hero of ONE MORE TASTE, is unusual. I rarely write about wealthy men because they don’t tend to hold my interest, but what I love about Knox is how he rose to wealth from blue collar roots, which makes his relationship to his wealth and his family really complicated in the best, juiciest possible way for an author to explore.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about One More Taste, but no one has? Please write it out here, then answer it.

Q: Have you ever executed a revenge plot (like Knox does in the story)?

A: Mwahahaha! I’ll never tell! ☺

Q: Has your car or house ever been haunted by a dead relative?

A: No, but I fully plan on returning to my high school to haunt it after I pass away like the ghosts at Hogwarts do in the Harry Potter series. [kids whispering to each other] “They say she never recovered from getting that C in Spanish her freshman year, and now she walks the halls begging for extra credit to raise her grade. Poor, tortured soul.”

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I can’t decide between these two: 1) controlling the weather, or 2) having the power to heal people with a touch. Either one would make the world a better place in significant ways.

What literary character is most like you?

Depends on the day. You know how it goes—some days you’re George, while other days you’re Lenny. Captain Ahab pops up every so often. And Jack Reacher, sometimes. And then there are those days that we all have when we’re Frankenstein’s monster. Mostly, I aspire to be Olivia, the pig from the children’s picture book. Oh, if we could all be more like Olivia. 

abouttheauthor

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Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world writing sexy contemporary romances and romantic suspense. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.  Find out more at Melissa’s website: http://www.melissacutler.net/.

Amazing Praise For Melissa Cutler:

“Cutler’s engaging, down-to-earth storytelling makes this contemporary romance soar. A prideful, strong-willed heroine in Emily combined with Knox’s toughness and grit, along with the battle-of-wills between them, will appeal to readers. With genuine, delightful secondary characters, a rock-solid plot, and the passionate tension between Emily and Knox, Cutler’s latest is full of humor and heart.”—RT Book Reviews on One More Taste

“Melissa Cutler is a bright new voice in contemporary romance.” —New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde on One Hot Summer

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Aboutthebook

Melissa Cutler, author of One Hot Summer is back and ready to quench your thirst for romance with her new novel ONE MORE TASTE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; October 4, 2016; $7.99), where one man will discover that revenge is a dish best served sizzling hot…

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ONE MORE TASTE by MELISSA CUTLER

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Welcome to the Briscoe Ranch Resort, where love is always on the menu.

Chef Emily Ford has the talent and ambition to make it in the cutthroat culinary world—which is why she refuses to accept her demotion at the hands of Knox Briscoe, the new CEO of Briscoe Ranch Resort. He has grand plans that include bringing in a celebrity chef to helm an exciting new restaurant at the resort, but Emily has plans of her own—to do whatever it takes to change his mind…

Cut out of the Briscoe fortune by an old feud that left his family in ruins, Knox grew up dreaming of revenge. Out-maneuvering his uncle for control of Briscoe Ranch is merely the first step in a grand plan that doesn’t include the brazen and beautiful Emily Ford…or the attraction that sizzles between them. With both their futures on the line, can they keep their desires on simmer—or are they headed from the frying pan straight into the fire?

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Excerpt

A knock sounded at the open door. Everyone turned, relieved at the distraction. A woman Knox would recognize anywhere filled the doorway, a folder clutched in her arms and a hard-set look of determination on her face. Chef Emily Ford.

***

            “Ty told me about you. You’ve worked at this resort since right out of culinary school a decade ago. No internships, no stints as a sous chef at a celebrated restaurant, nothing remarkable, not even a chef competition show on TV. Your whole career, you’ve been here at Briscoe Ranch, laboring in obscurity. If you’re so talented, then why have you been holding yourself back?”

            He watched the shift of her weight from one foot to the other, the extra squeeze she gave the folder in her hand. He’d hit a nerve. Good. Turnabout was fair play.

            “I’m not holding myself back. All the years I’ve worked here, laboring in obscurity”—she said with a scoff—“I’ve had the freedom to cook what I want, every dish completely original instead of imitations of more prominent chefs or attempts to pander to critics’ fickle tastes. Over the last decade, I’ve risen from a graveyard-shift line cook in the room service kitchen to the executive catering chef, one of the principal roles at the resort.” She spun the folder onto his desk and speared a finger on it. “A few months ago, Ty agreed to my proposal to open a high-concept, signature restaurant at the resort. Subterranean, I’m going to call it. We were in the process of securing funding when you showed up and ruined everything.”

            He took a step nearer to her, then another, stopping just short of arm’s length. This close, those freckles on her cheeks came into focus again, as did a faint, hairline scar along her jaw that curved to her chin. He refocused on her furious green eyes. “I did not take this opportunity away from you. Ty did. He was the one who contacted me, looking for investors. My presence here to execute my vision for the resort, as well as the timing of it, was at his invitation. If he let you believe your restaurant would be possible under this new vision, then he was stringing you along. He’s your enemy, not me.”

            Emily blanched, but only for a split second before recovering her wits. “He wasn’t stringing me along. I’m sure he was grooming me for your takeover, knowing you’d want to step up the caliber of the resort’s dining options. He’s not my enemy. He’s the employer who gave me a chance. All I need is an open door and a budget and I will give you the restaurant of your vision.”

            She’d been dead on about his sixth sense and the rush he got with each thrill of discovery. He felt that familiar rush right now while sparring with her. He couldn’t wait for her to leave so he could read her proposal. He should have eaten the damn soup. Now he’d never know what he’d missed. “You and I aren’t so different in our ambition, you know.”

            She sniffed at that, feigning a nonchalance he saw right through. “You couldn’t be more wrong. I possess a patience that you clearly lack.”

            Oh, this woman. She wouldn’t stop pushing his buttons. He felt heat rising on his neck. He had to stuff his hand in his pockets so he wouldn’t give in to the discomfort and tug his tie loose. Emily had no idea how much patience it had taken to wait for the right time to make his move against Ty Briscoe. Years of planning and strategy, years of positioning himself in the right business, with the right connections, silently closing in on his prey, waiting to pounce until the time was right—until the prey thought it was his idea and came to him, on the verge of bankruptcy and begging for a bailout.

            “Prove it,” he heard himself say, not knowing exactly what he meant by the dare.

            Her gaze was unflinching. “How?”

            He had to think fast. “I’ll give you four weeks. If you can prove to me in that time that you’re as gifted a chef as you claim, then I’ll hand you the reins of the restaurant along with whatever budget you require for this . . . Subterranean.”

CREDIT: From ONE MORE TASTE by Melissa Cutler. Copyright © 2016 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

 

Kate Meader talks about her new release on THE LIBRARIAN

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Host Tabatha Pope welcomes Kate Meader to THE LIBRARIAN on Authors on the Air Global Radio Network at 7:30 PM ET, tonight!  Join live or listen to the podcast later here.

abouttheauthor

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Kate Meader was raised on romance. An Irish girl, she started with Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, and spiced it up with some Mills & Boon. Now based in Chicago, she writes romances of her own, where sexy contemporary alpha heroes and strong heroines match each other quip for quip. When not immersed in tales of brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, Kate lives on the web at katemeader.com.

Aboutthebook

SPARKING THE FIRE
BOOK 3: A HOT IN CHICAGO NOVEL

by KATE MEADER

Pocket Books

September 27, 2016

ISBN 9781476785936; $7.99

Praise for Sparking the Fire, Book 3:

“The tale of hot firefighters and the women—and one man—who love them has come to an end. Meader ends this series with role playing, fierce family loyalty and multiple orgasms. The male protagonist goes through a transformation that showcases his vulnerability, insecurities, possessiveness and protectiveness. The many instances of a family sticking together through it all are more than enough to tug on the heart strings, but the steamy sex and sentimental pillow talk make this book a must-read.”

RT Book Reviews Four Star Review, Scorcher

 

“Can a firefighter and a movie star really make it work? Meader (Rekindle the Flame, 2015) immerses you in Wyatt’s tight-knit family of foster siblings that she’s built throughout the Hot in Chicago series, and readers will feel like part of the family in no time. Her descriptions of Chicago will leave fans wanting to travel to the Windy City and fall in love with their own firefighters.”

—Booklist

About Sparking the Fire, Book 3:

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Heating up reading lists this Fall will be Kate Meader’s highly anticipated Sparking the Fire, the “sexy and sassy” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux) steamy third novel in the Hot in Chicago series, where former lovers unexpectedly reunite for a sizzling affair that will have the director yelling, “Quiet on the set!”

AN OLD FLAME STILL SIMMERS…

Wyatt Fox, resident daredevil at Engine Company 6, needs a low key job to keep him busy while he recovers from his latest rescue stunt. Consulting on a local movie shoot should add just enough spark to his day. But then in struts Molly Cade: the woman who worked his heart over good, and then left him in the Windy City dust.

BUT WILL A NEW SHOT AT LOVE LEAVE HER BURNED?

Actor Molly Cade, America’s fallen sweetheart, finally has her shot at a Hollywood comeback with a dramatic new role as a tough-as-nails firefighter that promises to propel her back into the big time. And she’s not going to let anything stand in her way—even a certain brooding, blue-eyed firefighter she’s never quite been able to forget…Their story is straight out of a script: irrepressible, spunky heroine meets taciturn, smoldering hero. But these two refuse to be typecast, and when the embers of an old love are stoked, someone is bound to get burned…

 

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S&S  AMAZON  B&N  BAM  INDIEBOUND  IBOOKSTORE (ebook)

KINDLE (ebook)   NOOK (ebook)   GOOGLE PLAY (ebook)

 giveaway

We are excited to do a Kindle Fire Giveaway to celebrate the third in Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series, Sparking the Fire. This giveaway will include Flirting with Fire (Book 1) and Playing with Fire (Book 2). You can visit all sites on the blog tour to enter the Fire Giveaways – but keep in mind you can only win once! U.S. only.

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Check out these stops on the Blog Tour:

September 14:

RT Book Reviews – Exclusive Excerpt only

September 20:

Heroes and Heartbreakers – Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway

September 23:

USA Today’s Happy Ever After – Exclusive Excerpt only

September 26:

Harlequin Junkie – Spotlight + Giveaway

Under the Covers – Interview

A Midlife Wife

Mrs. Leif’s Two Fangs About It

September 27:

Collector of Book Boyfriends

Literary Gossip

The Romance Reviews

Once Upon a Twilight

Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews

September 28:

Four Chicks Flipping Pages

In Between the Pages

Reviews by Crystal

Read Love Blog

September 29:

Abigail Books Addiction

Read Your Writes

Booklovers for Life

Dirty and Thirty

September 30:

Lush Book Reviews

Art, Books & Coffee

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

The Lovely Books

October 3:

The Romance Dish

Margie’s Must Reads

Girl Meets Books

Dirty Girl Romance

Jen’s Reading Obsession

Jackie’s Books ‘n Bags

What’s Better Than Books?

TJ Loves to Read

Curvy and Nerdy

Hot Guys in Books

KT Book Reviews

October 4:

About That Story

Love is a State of Mind

Closet Geeks and Slow Mo

Book Junkiez

Books Are My Friends, Come See Why

Off-Grid-Momma’s Bookshelf

Fire and Ice Book Reviews

Polished Book Worm

Ingrid’s Book Blog

Thoughts of a Blonde

E-Reading After Midnight

October 5:

Cocktails and Books

WTF Are You Reading?

Alathia Paris Morgan

The Reading Café

Those Crazy Book Chicks

Anonymisses

The Sassy Bookster

Always Booking

I Love Romance

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Kitty’s Book Spot!

October 6:

Bea’s Book Nook

Kricket’s Chirps Romance Blog

Ever After Book Reviews

Marie’s Tempting Reads

Jenerated Reviews

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore

Ebookobsessed.com

A Fortress of Books

Author Liaisons

Sexy Bibliophiles

The Librarian – Blog Talk Radio Authors on the Air – Interview – Listen Live at 7:30 pm ET!

October 7:

Once Upon a Page

Ramblings from this Chick

Southern Yankee Book Reviews

Dog-Eared Daydreams

Oh My Growing TBR

Bujoijoi22

After Dark Book Lovers

Literary, Etc.

Misty’s Book Bin And More

Fiction Fangirls

The Book Quarry