One of the best parts of our job as reviewers is bringing new authors to our readers. Jenna Sutton is one of those authors. The first book in her brand new series Riley O’Brien & Co., All the Right Places comes out in June, and I for one am excited to read it.
We have just a few questions for Jenna to help us all get to know her and her characters.
TBRG: Hi Jenna, welcome to The Book Reading Gals, are you ready for this?
JS: Absolutely. I’m excited to be here.
TBRG: I promise this won’t hurt…much 😉
JS: I think I’ll be okay. I have a fairly high tolerance for pain, and I also have a bottle of wine standing by.
TBRG: Okay let’s get started.
TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
JS: If we’re talking about authors, I’d say Rachel Gibson has been the biggest influence on my writing. I’ve been a fan since her very first book, and SEE JANE SCORE ranks in my top 5 favorite romances of all time. I love her witty dialogue, the way she builds sexual tension, and the fact that her heroes think and act like real guys. If we’re talking about people close to me, my sister has been the biggest influence. She has perfected the magical combination of encouraging and bullying, and without her, I never would have attempted to write a book.
TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?
JS: I am a spoiler queen. If there’s any doubt that a book, movie, or TV show will not end happily, I seek out spoilers from other people who’ve seen and/or read it. Otherwise, I am too anxious to actually enjoy the experience. Here’s a spoiler for ALL THE RIGHT PLACES… there’s a HEA J
TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?
JS: THE BRONZE HORSEMAN by Paullina Simons is one of my favorite novels, and I’d love to visit Russia and explore some of the places I read about. I hope one day I’ll be able to take a river cruise of Russia.
TBRG: What was the first romance book that you read?
JS: I can’t remember the title, but I know it was a Harlequin Presents book. My aunt was a voracious reader of those novels, and she had floor-to-ceiling bookcases full of them. When I was about 12, she let me pick out one and take it home. The only thing I remember about it was that the hero was a sheik, the heroine was a virginal blonde who rubbed red lipstick on her nipples to make them darker so the hero would be tempted to ravish her when he caught a glimpse of her breasts through her diaphanous caftan. As you might imagine, I was quite intrigued by her strategy.
TBRG: Um…wow. I must have either missed that one or blocked it from my memory.
TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?
JS: I love everything by Lisa Kleypas, Rachel Gibson, and Elizabeth Hoyt. I’m also a big fan of Julie James and Anne Stuart. I recently discovered Penelope Douglas, Elle Kennedy and Jackie Ashenden, and I love their voices. I just finished reading TIME SERVED by Julianna Keyes, who is a new author for me. I’m so glad I decided to download TIME SERVED because I loved it: incredibly hot ex-con hero and a smart lawyer heroine with a painful past between them.
TBRG: I’m heading to GR now to check out Julianna Keyes because that just sounds awesome.
TBRG: What is your guilty pleasure?
JS: Umm, I have a lot of guilty pleasures including visiting Zappos too often and indulging in cupcakes when I should eat veggies. But my guiltiest pleasure is watching Married at First Sight. I’m totally addicted to that show, even though it makes me squirm in discomfort and embarrassment while I watch.
TBRG: Do you write to music or the TV as background noise? If music who is on your playlist when you are writing? If TV what shows?
JS: Not really. I just tune everything out when I write. But I listen to music when I’m brainstorming or outlining my books. I like Alt Nation on satellite radio… Kings of Leon, Meg Myers, and The National are some of my favorite artists.
TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?
JS: It sounds corny, but I can find inspiration everywhere and from anything.
TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?
JS: I’m a planner, some would even say I’m a mastermind [insert evil laughter here]. When I start a new book, I outline it from beginning to end and really flesh out each chapter. I already know how the story is going to end before I even open up a Word document to type the first word.
TBRG: How did you come up with the Riley O’Brien & Co. series?
JS: Proof that inspiration can be found anywhere: the idea for ALL THE RIGHT PLACES came from a bumper sticker. My husband and I were coming back from a shopping trip to Target (which receives at least 10 percent of our annual household income, no kidding), and as we sat at a stop light, I noticed the bumper sticker on the car in front of us. It advocated breast cancer awareness, and it said: Save the Tatas.
I pointed out the bumper sticker to my husband, and he pointed out that there are a lot of words for breasts. And then he oh-so-helpfully proceeded to name them all: boobs, hooters, jugs, melons, rack, tits… oh, the list just goes on and on.
And then I started thinking that there were a lot of words for butt, too: ass, backporch, badonkadonk, booty, caboose, derrière… again, so many words, so little time.
That thought led me to another – listing the synonyms for butt would be a fun beginning to a romance novel. But who would be thinking about butts all the time? And then it came to me – someone who was involved in the clothing business.
And the most popular clothing for butts? Jeans.
That’s how I came up with the idea for Riley O’Brien & Co.
TBRG: That has got to be the best answer we’ve ever gotten for that question.
TBRG: Tell us about the series?
JS: Around the world, people wear Riley O’Brien & Co.’s iconic jeans, known as Rileys.
Unfortunately, competition from designer denim is eroding the company’s market share, and the women’s division is in really bad shape. The company has alienated its female consumers, and it must find a way to win them back.
The three heirs to the company—Quinn, Cal, and Teagan—have differing opinions on how to do that. Responsible, risk-averse Quinn clashes with smart, headstrong Teagan, while easy-going, witty Cal is kind of stuck in the middle.
In ALL THE RIGHT PLACES, Quinn is currently running the business, and he reluctantly partners with up-and-coming designer Amelia Winger for a new line of accessories. He views the partnership as a last ditch attempt to salvage the women’s division. Amelia, however, views the partnership as one piece of a larger plan—one that Quinn knows nothing about.
TBRG: Tell us about Amelia and Quinn.
JS: Amelia grew up in small Texas town in less than ideal circumstances. When her best friend wins a singing competition, Amelia’s dream of becoming a fashion designer suddenly becomes attainable. She gets a gig designing accessories for Riley O’Brien & Co. and ends up working with Quinn, who isn’t happy about the new line of accessories. She fights her attraction to him, not only because of their professional relationship, but also because she’s working behind his back on a secret project.
Unlike Amelia, Quinn was born with a lot of credits in his life bank. He’s handsome, well-educated, and extremely wealthy. He has a loving, supportive family and he’s poised to take over Riley O’Brien & Co. He is committed to honoring and protecting his heritage. He wants his family company to thrive for another five generations, but he has a lot of self-doubt. He’s petrified of doing anything that could harm it or the people who work for him. The Riley O’Brien legacy weighs heavily on him.
TBRG: How would Quinn describe Amelia in 5 adjectives?
JS: Smart. Talented. Sexy. Fascinating. Guarded.
TBRG: How would Amelia describe Quinn in 5 adjectives?
JS: Genuine. Bossy. Gorgeous. Spoiled. Irresistible.
TBRG: What are you working on now?
JS: There are three full-length Riley O’Brien & Co. novels. The second one, COMING APART AT THE SEAMS, is scheduled for publication on Dec. 1, 2015. The third in the series, HANGING BY A THREAD, will come out in spring 2016. I’ve also written two Riley O’Brien & Co. novellas, but I don’t have any specifics on when they’ll be published.
I’ve started working on a new series, and I’m really excited about it! I’m about a third of the way into the first book, and though I don’t want to share too much about it, I can tell you that my hero and heroine meet in a hotel bar and have a one-night stand (something that is out of character for both of them). They think they’ll never see each other again. They also think it will be easy to forget what happened in that hotel room. They’re wrong, on both counts.
TBRG: We want to thank Jenna for stopping by today…Jenna is there anything we left out that you want us to know?
JS: Despite the fact that the Riley O’Brien & Co. series is based on a denim empire, none of the books are small town romances. ALL THE RIGHT PLACES is set in San Francisco, and there are a couple of scenes that take place in Nashville, where Amelia lives. And, because romance readers are always curious about the heat level, I wanted to share a couple of reviews: Romantic Times says there is “plenty of sizzle and sex in this tale” and Booklist says my debut features “sizzling-hot sex”.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here today. It was a pleasure, and I hope I can visit again soon.
The first in a brand new contemporary romance series starring the men and women who are determined to keep the billion-dollar denim dynasty, Riley O’Brien & Co, on top, but aren’t about to let success stand in the way of love…
Amelia Winger is a small-town girl with big dreams of becoming a successful designer. So when she gets a gig designing accessories for denim empire Riley O’Brien & Co., it’s a dream come true. Amelia can handle the demanding job, but she isn’t quite prepared for sexy CEO Quinn O’Brien. She’s doing her best to keep things professional, but the attraction sparking between them makes it personal. And so does the secret project she’s working on behind his back…
Quinn’s not interested in the new accessories, but he is interested in the woman designing them. Amelia is smart, sexy, and talented, and he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her since they met. Mixing business and pleasure isn’t wise, but that doesn’t stop him from coming up with excuses to spend time with her. He thinks he understands the risk he’s taking when he gets involved with Amelia. But he doesn’t know he’s risking a lot more than his heart.