Cindy Gerard and Tara Janzen interview + giveaway

When it comes to writing black ops books and heroes there are two authors that in my opinion are the queens at writing them. Tara Janzen and Cindy Gerard. I have been in love with the Steele Street Boys and the guys from BOI ever since I discovered them. When I got to meet them last year I had a serious fan girl moment that lasted for most of the week-end.

Cindy and Tara are working on an amazing project with several talented authors to help our soldiers, and they both have agreed to come on and tell us about it, as well as a bit about themselves.

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

TJ:  Some real groundbreakers in the romance novel world: Laura Kinsale, Judy Cuevas (Judith Ivory), Suzanne Brockmann, and my beloved Cindy – she’s who I most try to emulate when I feel my stories are moving too fast and furious, with too much action, and realize they need more serious emotional interaction between the big bad boy and the woman of his dreams.

CG:  LaVryle Spencer and Sandra Brown are at the top of my list.  But I agree with Tara – Suzanne Brockmann totally rocks.  And I was a fan of Tara’s when she was writing Loveswepts as Glenna McReynolds way back when.  It’s a mutual admiration society, let me tell ya.  I adore Tara and her work.  And like her, when my plots bog down with too much emotion and relationship, I always look to her for inspiration on the big, bang plot points!

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?

TJ:  I can hit a ten-inch circle at a thousand meters with a .308 caliber rifle.  That’s ten football fields away.

CG: I can eat a ten-inch pizza without a rifle or a football field in site!  LOL.  And I know not to tick Tara off.  She’s kick ass with that rifle of hers.

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?

TJ:  Ohmigsoh, just one???  The Amazon River and Machu  Picchu, and back to Edinborough, and Italy, anywhere in Italy.

CG: I was fortunate enough to make that bucket list trip last March when the amazing women of the Australian Romance Readers Conference invited me over to be a keynote speaker.  Getting to see Australia and New Zealand was nothing short of a miracle for me.

TBRG: What was the first romance book that you read?

TJ:  I LOVE this question!!  It was SWEET SAVAGE LOVE by Rosemary Rogers.  Wow!

CG: OMG – I didn’t know that, Tara.  That was MY first romance novel too!  I was hooked from that day forward … and ‘til death do us part :o).

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?

TJ: I am currently immersed in non-fiction research books and just finished THE REINDEER PEOPLE, Living with animals and spirits in Siberia, by Piers Vitebsky.  One of my “go to” writers, besides the ones mentioned above, is Mary Jo  Putney.  I also love Stephen Hunter for thrillers, and George R.R. Martin for fantasy.  All-time favorites: J.R.R. Tolkein and Frank Herbert, the author of DUNE, and James Clavell, author of TAI-PAN and SHOGUN.

CG: Oh, this is so hard because there are so many that I love to read. But right now, I’m reading a Lee Child novel.  I seem to gravitate toward thrillers these days – they help keep me in the zone for writing my romantic suspense plots.

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?

TJ:  Shooting more and competing in more shooting matches

CG: I’d be traveling and reading more.

TBRG: What is your guilty pleasure?

TJ:  Ethel M’s lemon satin cream chocolates!!!!!!!  Okay, girls, you live in Vegas, you know where the Ethel M factory is – not too far off the Strip J

CG: Chocolate, Cheetos and ice cream.  Yum yum.

TBRG: So Tara you probably don’t want to know that Mel and I live around the corner from the Ethel M Chocolate factory right? And Cindy my husband (Mel’s brother) introduced me to Cheetos and ice cream and its a family favorite around our house.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?

TJ:  everybody from Bob Dylan to The Silent Comedy, from the Kings of Leon to Cher, the Randy Rogers Band to Golden Earring, and if it was popular in the eighties, I probably bought it,  Motown to Ramstein,  Lita Ford to Leona Lewis, Eminem to Concrete Blonde, Rolling Stones to Roy Orbison, Jewel to Springsteen, David Gray to Dierks Bently, no music/no writing.  Mostly rock-n-roll. I am deeply indebted to iTunes!!

CG:  I’m so boring compared to Tara with my choices.  I simply have some radio station on very soft in the background – generally country.   I can’t listen too hard to the lyrics or I get distracted.  Right now, however, I’m loving The Pistol Annies – a group that features Miranda Lambert.  And speaking of Miranda, what’s not to love about her hunky hubby Blake Sheldon?  ‘Footloose’ anyone??

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?

TJ:  The CRAZY series really started with the cars.  I wanted to write books that moved as fast as classic American muscle from the ‘60s and early ‘70s – once I had that figured out, I just looked inside to see who was behind the wheel J

CG: Everyone asks me this and I don’t really have an answer.  It could be a song lyric, a line from a movie, a news headline … I simply never know when or where inspiration is going to strike me.  I will say, however, that both the Body Guard and the Black Ops series came to fruition as a result of 9-11 and the subsequent military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I wanted to know what those specialized soldiers did when they separated from the military.  And I admired them so for all they sacrifice.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?

TJ: fly by the seat of my pants.

CG: I’m a little of both.  I have to have an outline to get me started.  But I look at my outline as a map.  I have this central, main highway that I can follow if I want to but I am ever so aware of all the off road, blue highways that branch out from the main route.  What would happen if I took THAT road instead of staying the course?  The curiosity generally gets the best of me.

TBRG: Tell us about the book – SEAL OF MY DREAMS?

TJ: I think Robyn Carr says it best in the forward at www.sealofmydreams.com  It was very inspirational to read her forward for the book.

CG:  Tara is right.  Robyn says it so well.  But for the history, SEAL OF MY DREAMS came about as a result of some tweets that were initiated by Christie Ridgway and Allison Kent after seeing a photograph of a SEAL in the NYT following the Bin Laden raid.  It snowballed from there.

TBRG: Who are the other authors that helped to contribute?

TJ: There are 17 fabulous romantic suspense writers who contributed stories. Christie Ridgeway and Alison Kent are the two who had the idea and got the whole thing rolling.

CG: Let me see if I can remember the others: Jamie Alden, Stephanie Tyler, Rocki St. Claire, Barbara Samuels, Kylie Brant, Helen Brenna, Stephanie Bond, Ell Kennedy, Helen Kay Dimon, Marliss Melton, Loreth Anne White, Leslie Kelly, Joe Leigh, Gennita Low – plus Tara and me.  Quite the line up, huh?

TBRG: What made you want to be a part of this project?

TJ:  I love being able to use my skills to help the soldiers who put themselves in the fight and serve our country.

CG: Same goes.  It’s a privilege and an honor to be a part of a project that can guarantee that 100% of the profits are going to the Veteran’s Medical Research Foundation, an organization that specializes in brain injury and PTSD and helps our serve men and women from ALL branches of the military.

TBRG: Tell us about your story in the book?

TJ:  PANAMA JACK is about a Navy SEAL on assignment with a CIA agent in Panama.  She is very savvy, very skilled, and is trying to keep stolen missiles off the black market, and she is darn glad to have a SEAL watching her back when the bad guys end up on her tail.

CG: SEALed With A Kiss is an addendum to my most recent Black Ops, Inc. story. SWAK features Luke – Doc Holliday – Colter and Val – Valentina, the hero and heroine of With No Remorse.   I wanted to give readers a little taste of the ‘after the story, story’ and sent them on their honeymoon, which, as you might guess, takes an unexpected turn and both of their lives end up on the line.

TBRG: What do you want us to know about your heroes?

TJ:  Jack Corday is intelligent, irreverent, calm under pressure, calm when there is no pressure, and he’s built like a block of granite – just like a Navy SEAL

CG: Luke Colter is all of the above.  He’s also a bit of a smart ass :o) – loveably so – hopelessly in love with the woman of his dreams and has to come face to face with his own mortality.

TBRG: I can hardly wait to read them. Tara I love your hero’s and Cindy I think I told you that Luke was my favorite of the BOI guy’s. 

TBRG: Using 3-5 adjectives describe your hero and heroine.

TJ:. Hmmmm, for Lani:  3 adjectives:  tough, deadly, blonde.  In more than 3 words: besides “savvy” and “skilled,” she’s a shooter and looks drop-dead gorgeous in a zebra-striped mini-dress.  For Jack: confident, funny, warrior

CG: Oh, boy.  Luke: Irreverent, masterful, hunky.  Val: Loyal, brave, gorgeous.

TBRG: What are you working on now?

TJ:  Still in the research stage and hoping it has something to do with all the reindeer books I’ve been reading J – also throw in some of the Sahara Desert, a crippled university professor who needs a bodyguard, a long-forgotten place, and a mystery that hasn’t been forgotten, long or otherwise, and some folks who have “been there, done that” and are ready to do it again.  I’ve had the title for 5 years – just been waiting for the story.

CG: Oh, I’m so glad you asked :o)  I finished the 7th and final Black Ops story – LAST MAN STANDING (Joe’s book) this past summer (which will be out in February, 2012 btw) and just started work on the first book in a new series featuring Mike – Primetime – Brown, an amazing character who showed up in With No Remorse and made another appearance in Last Man Standing.  Mike was such a compelling character I decided he had to have his own book.  Add in a couple of his buddies and a new series – One-Eyed Jacks – was born.   Mike and two other former military heroes are in various stages of coping with an operation gone wrong eight years ago in Afghanistan.  This series is edgy, sexy, action packed and explosive!  I can’t wait to dig in deeper.

***One of the things that I am most passionate about is supporting our men and women in uniform. With that in mind we will be giving away a copy of this book to one commenter. Contest rules apply, you need to follow us on twitter and like us on fb. Open to International. ***

An interesting tidbit about the picture of the SEAL on the cover of this book. He isn’t model posing as soldier he is an actual SEAL who was stationed in Fallujah when this picture was taken as he got ready to go out on patrol. 

America is in love with the Navy SEALs.

We stood witness as a nation, as a world, to acts of bravery and mastery driven by patriotism as they took down one of the world’s most dangerous villains. When the highest level of competence and fealty was required, the SEALs were called. And they did not take a bow.

Here’s what they are not – they are not celebrities, movie stars or sports idols. They are flesh and blood men who have volunteered for the highest level of military training available and taken an oath to perform heroic acts at great personal risk in the defense of a country that will not put their pictures on magazine covers or pay them a multi-million dollar contract. Indeed, their ‘bonus’ will come in the form of hazardous duty pay. They are compensated by their rank and could choose far less dangerous or frightening roles. And their success as SEALs depends, at least as long as they serve in this capacity, on anonymity.

Who better equipped to honor the image of our greatest warrior heroes than the gifted pens of some of the romance industry’s finest authors of romantic fiction. In this volume the visage of some of the world’s most revered heroes is captured in scenes of love, bravery, laughter and passion, all created to bring into focus the SEALs of our dreams, those men we hold in such high esteem.

 

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Elisabeth Naughton interview + giveaway

One of our favorite authors is on the blog today Elisabeth Naughton and I for one am super excited to have her here. Both Angela and I have read her books and loved every page of them.

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
EN: Thanks so much for having me here during the Tempted blog tour!

Gosh, you throw out the hard questions right at the start! Okay, the biggest influence on my writing is probably my critique partner, author Joan Swan. Joan and I have been CPs for over 5 years and I trust her implicitly with every aspect of my writing—from brainstorming, to character development, to advice about plot and even promo. Joan always, ALWAYS sees things I don’t in my books, and she’s a genius at pushing me to make every story better than the last.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?
EN: Probably that I don’t read a lot of paranormals and didn’t before I started writing them. I began my writing career writing (and reading) romantic suspense (and still do), so when I started writing paranormals, I had no idea if I was doing it right or not. These days I still don’t read a ton of paranormals (especially when writing) so I’m not influenced by other authors’ ideas. But I love reading them when I’m working on something else. I think it’s important to see what others’ in your genre are doing.

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?
EN: Crete. Haven’t gotten there yet but I will. Someday soon!

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?
EN: Right now I’m reading Cover Me by Catherine Mann. I also have Tawna Fenske’s Making Waves on my nightstand. My comfort reads include older books by Judith McNaught, Elizabeth Lowell and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?
EN: Hmm…that’s a tough question! I love a good party so I might be doing some form of party planning or even interior design (another hobby of mine…since I don’t have a white wall in my house and my husband has told me there’s nothing left to decorate, I’d likely be doing that for others.)

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?
EN: The EG books tend to be dark and violent and to get into the mindset of my guys, I’ve got a lot of Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park, Staind and Skillet on my ipod. But I’m also fairly eclectic in my listening habits so I also have Emmy Rossum, Kenny Chesney, even a little Enya mixed in. When I’m actually WRITING though, I can’t listen to anything with words so I gravitate toward film scores. Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, Spirit and Transformers tend to be my favs.

TBRG: What is your guilty pleasure?
EN: Champagne. I love a good mimosa in the morning. But I save those for special occasions.

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?
EN: My characters live inside my head. I know character long before plot, and let the stories grow organically from there. At times I feel like I have multiple personalities, but that goes hand in hand with the writing career (at least for me!) at times.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?
EN: A little of both. My critique partner calls it “plotting into the mist”. I can see about 3 chapters ahead in every book. Often I can see the ending, but not the path to get there. Figuring it all out is the fun part of writing to me.

TBRG: How did you come up with this series?

EN: I have loved Greek mythology from the time I was a kid. I love reading about the different stories, the tragedies, the romances, the lies and betrayals. I mean, today’s soap operas can’t even compare to the ancient myths! When I was researching Stolen Fury—my debut book—I spent a lot of time studying different myths as there was a Greek artifact in that book that all the major players were searching for. Midway through that research I knew I wanted to write a series linked to that mythology, and I had a really cool idea about this otherworldly warrior who has to find a human woman who will complete a prophecy to save his world but who will die in the process. The problem? I was writing romantic suspense at the time and I wasn’t quite sure how to make that awesome idea work.

Then one day I was perusing blogs, and an author asked what type of paranormal creatures readers would like to read more of. Someone suggested the heroes from Greek mythology and suddenly…everything clicked. The idea for the Eternal Guardians hit me and made perfect sense. So I wrote the book, sent it to my agent, and it eventually became MARKED, book one in the Eternal Guardians Series.

TBRG: I for one am glad that everything clicked for you… I love this series and the book covers are very eye catching.

TBRG: Tell us about this new book?

EN: Tempted is the third book in the Eternal Guardians series but if you’re new to the series you don’t have to read the other two to figure out what’s going on. The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece. They were slated—by Zeus—to protect the mortal realm from one vengeful goddess intent on annihilation. Tempted is Demetrius’s book. He’s a descendent of Jason, the famed hero who gathered the Argonauts on the Argos and sailed in search of the Golden Fleece. During that voyage, Jason fell in love with a sorceress—Medea—and Demetrius can trace his roots back to both. In Tempted, the princess of Argolea is kidnapped and Demetrius is sent to save her. But he’s not what everyone thinks he is and things do not go as planned. There’s witchcraft, daemons, mythological monsters, deadly secrets and a smokin’ hot romance in this book. A little of something for everyone!

TBRG: What do you want us to know about Demetrius and Isa?
EN: They both go through significant character changes in this book. Neither is what readers expect when they start the book, and they’re different people when it ends. Watching them each transform—and those barriers they’ve each built around themselves so long crumble—is one of my favorite things about the book.

TBRG: If you had to describe Demetrius and Isa using 3-5 adjectives what would they be?
EN: Demetrius – dark, brooding, alpha, loyal and secretive. Isadora – petite, timid, unappreciated, compassionate and fierce.

TBRG: If I send you a box of Jean Phillipe chocolate covered strawberries will you PLEASE tell us whose story you are working on right now? Angela thinks it is Orpheous, and I’m hoping for Nick.
EN: LOL…I can always be bribed!

Book four is Orpheus’s book. Though Orpheus technically isn’t one of the Eternal Guardians, he plays a big role in Tempted and his book—Enraptured—picks up where Tempted left off. Don’t worry though, I have plans for Nick and his book is going to be really good.

TBRG: DH ordered the strawberries and they will soon be on their way to you! 

*** Time for the fun part, we have 2 copies of Tempted to give away, just tell us what Myth, Hero, Legend you love to see in books. Contest rules apply, you need follow us on twitter, like us on FB, then go and follow Elisabeth on twitter and like her on FB. Contest open to US and Canada only.***

TEMPTED BY ELISABETH NAUGHTON – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2011

DEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior even his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pound through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius did all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she’s gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned.

As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought.

And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

 

A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from her home in western Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA Awards of Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf, and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about her and her books. Her next book in the Eternal Guardians series, Enraptured, will be in stores in April 2012.

Like Elisabeth on facebook follow her on twitter

Erin Quinn interview + giveaway

When we were at RomCon this year we meet another new to us author Erin Quinn. We had a blast getting to know her over the course of the week-end. We even discovered that we had brought a copy of her book with us to give away. Melanie decided to pick it up and read it and then proceeded to make everyone we met read a paragraph on page 4.

Erin has lots of goodness coming out this month and next month and we wanted her to come on so that you guys can get to know her and her very amazing books. The first book in her Mists of Ireland Haunting Beauty was re-released this month, and the fourth book Haunting Embrace comes out on Oct 4th. She also re-released her book Echoes this month.

EQ:  Heather and Melanie, I met so many fabulous people over that weekend, but you two were the absolute frosting on the cake of the conference.  I love (love, love, LOVE) meeting readers (and not just of my books, lol) and talking about what’s good and what’s not and you both are “in the know.”

Anyway, thank you for inviting me to come be a guest on your blog!

But of course we would invite you on, we love you :) 

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

EQ:  You’ll laugh, but here it is:  EB White and Stephen King.  I learned from both of them that a story can be about anything.  (A pig and a spider…  A rabid dog…).  EB taught me that emotion is the heart of any good tale.  Stephen King—well, I personally think he’s one of the most brilliant writers to ever breathe.  If you look at the diverse tales he’s penned (The Shawshank Redemption, The Stand, The Green Mile, Salem’s Lot and on and on and on).  His characterizations are legend, IMHO.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?

EQ:  I’ve sat in the gas chamber at Florence Penitentiary and lived to tell about.  J

TBRG: What was the first romance book that you read?

EQ:   Oh hell, I can’t remember!  I can tell you that I became addicted to Harlequin Presents at a young age, devoured every one of them in the library and then ordered them by subscription when they didn’t come fast enough.  Anne Mather was my favorite because once—(and remember this was a LONG time ago—so long, that I’m not going to tell you how long, ha ha)—her hero used tongue when he kissed the heroine and it was the first time I’d ever read such a thing.  Since I hadn’t, myself, been kissed with or without tongue, I was quite titillated by it.

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?

EQ:  Right now, I’m reading my friend Sylvia Day’s Seven Years to Sin.  Love Sylvia and her books.  I can’t tell you who my go-to authors are because the list is so long that it boggles the mind.  I was recently scanning my Kindle account and I read an average of 8 books a month—that’s on top of a full time job, a writing career, husband, kids and school (yes, I’m in school, still slogging through for that piece of paper that says I’m as smart as I think I am.)

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?

EQ:  I honestly can’t answer that question.  I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid.

TBRG: What is your guilty pleasure?

EQ:  Reading in the bathtub.  My kids call it marinating because I’m in there so long.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?

EQ:  I don’t listen to music while I write—it distracts me.  I tell myself my story as I write it, so I’m talking out loud during the process.  However, my latest’s favs:  Save Me San Francisco (Train), Mockingbird (Rob Thomas), Edge of Glory (Lady Gaga) and Remind Me (Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood)

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?

EQ: Outerspace.  There’s no other possible explanation

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?

EQ:  Total pantser.  I wish I was a plotter.

TBRG: How did you come up with Mists of Ireland Series?

EQ:  I really don’t even know where to begin on that one.  When I’m writing, I sometimes feel like there’s a direct link from my creativity to my fingertips and I’m channeling something outside myself.  It’s when my brain gets involved that the writing is difficult, ha ha.

TBRG: Tell us about the series?

EQ:  The Mists of Ireland series takes readers to Ireland to meet the families MacGrath and Ballagh.  For centuries these two families have been entwined in love, jealousy and the mysticism surrounding an ancient tome called the Book of Fennore.  Surrounded by lore and superstition, this ancient Book wreaks havoc on humanity—but when it falls into the hands of the MacGraths and Ballaghs, it ignites powers within them that make them its most formidable enemy.

TBRG: okay I have to put this in here, aren’t these cover absolutely gorgeous.

TBRG: Tell us about the Haunting Beauty and Haunting Embrace?

EQ: Haunting Beauty is the first book in the series and Haunting Embrace is the last.  In Haunting Beauty, readers’ meet Danni Jones, who doesn’t believe in destiny until the seductive Sean Ballagh shows up at her door and the two travel through time back to Ireland, to a moment in her own past when her life was destroyed, giving her the chance to change everything and rewrite history.

Each book was written to stand alone and if you haven’t read the others, you should be able to jump in anywhere.  (I think you started with the third book Melanie).  That said, in Haunting Embrace, readers’ discover the answers to questions posed throughout the series.  Meaghan Ballagh meets Áedán Brady in the world of Fennore and together they time travel to small town where Meaghan grew up, in the era of her grandparents.  What she doesn’t know is that within her surges the blood of a sorceress whose ancient love for a druid ended in treachery—a druid who just happens to be Áedán.  To survive, she must piece together the history of the woman who haunts her and the man who needs her—while not destroying her own future and his.

TBRG: What do you want us to know about Danni and Sean and Meaghan and Áedán?

EQ: When I finished Haunting Beauty, I thought I’d wrecked myself for any other man.  I loved Sean so much that I had a hard time moving on.  And then I started the second book, Haunting Warrior and OMG—Rory became the man of my dreams….until I started Haunting Desire and then it was Tiarnan who I’d tortured to no end in Haunting Warrior.  When I got to Áedán, I wasn’t sure how he could compete with the others but I sooo underestimated him.  I finished Haunting Embrace months ago, and I’m still thinking of Áedán, of the hard road he had to traverse, of the wonderful hero he became.  As for Danni and Meaghan (and Saraid and Shealy)—I had to write the perfect women for all of these men—women who had inner strength and fortitude, but who also had vulnerability and a capacity for love and forgiveness.

TBRG: What are you working on now?

EQ: I’m working on something totally new that I’m very excited about—but it’s too soon for me to talk about it.  I haven’t yet proposed it to my publisher and I’m still in that gooey stage where all the ideas are in my head and slowly coming together on paper.  BUT I also have a novella coming out with wonderful authors Calista Fox and Mary Leo next month.  It’s called Touch of Twilight and will be released in the next few weeks!  Hope you’ll look for it!

 ***Thanks again for having me as guest!  I’d love to give away a copy of Haunting Warrior to one lucky commenter, so talk to me! Contest rules apply, you need to leave a comment here, follow us and Erin on twitter and FB. If you don’t have a twitter or FB account that is okay you can still follow Erin on her blog. ***

 

Erin Quinn (also known as Erin Grady) is an award winning author. Writing as Quinn, her titles include the Berkley Mists of Irelandseries HAUNTING BEAUTYHAUNTING WARRIORHAUNTING DESIRE and HAUNTING EMBRACE (Oct 2011.). Writing as Erin Grady, she has three stand alone titles, also by Berkley, the most recent of which are WHISPERS and ECHOES. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Golden Quill, Best Books, Book Buyers Best, Booksellers Best, Award of Excellence, and Readers Crown.

You can find Erin around the web at the following places

her blog Quinn Essentials

her website Erin Quinn

on twitter ErinQuinnAuthor 

and on facebook

 

 

 

 

Katharine Ashe Interview + giveaway

We are excited to welcome Katharine Ashe to our site today. This is Katharine’s first visit to our little spot in cyber space, and want to make her feel welcome, and want to come back.  She is here to talk about her brand new book, In the Arms of a Marquess, out this month, and let us get to know her a bit better as well. This book is also part of the K.I.S.S and Teal program.

 

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

KA: Other novelists. Reading my favorite authors’ books I’ve learned what moves me, delights me, makes me weep and laugh out loud and feel intensely. My favorite authors include romance novelists, historical novelists, essayists, and writers from ages long gone by.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?

KA: I love professional and college ice hockey. Love. But maybe that wouldn’t come as a surprise to my readers. Hockey has all the danger, drama, and unpredictability I like to fill my books with. And strong, handsome men battling for their lives. Naturally.

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?

KA: St. Petersburg, Russia. Romantic, grand, full of spectacular, epic legends.

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?

KA: There are so many fabulous authors it’s hard to name just a few! I’m about to read Rachel Gibson’s latest, with Melissa Marr’s DARKEST MERCY next in line, and Tim Tyson’s BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME after that. For historical romance I go straight to Liz Carlyle, Eloisa James, and Lisa Kleypas.

TBRG: I loved the last Rachel Gibson book..what a great hero Sam made.  

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?

KA: Nothing! (Scandalous question!) Actually, I’m a professor of history. But I think I’d like to be a dog walker. Or maybe a gardener. Or a meteorologist. Or a test driver for Mustang convertibles. Or a researcher on Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso. Or a professional champagne taster.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?

KA: The playlist for my new novel, IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS, helped me shape the romantic journey of the hero and heroine, Ben and Octavia. And an intensely emotional journey theirs is! Here are a few songs from that playlist:

“You’ll Ask for Me” – Tyler Hilton

“Replace You” – Samantha Moore

“Vulnerable” – Secondhand Serenade

“Animals on Fire” – Kate Walsh

“Fear” – Sarah Mclachlan

“New Divide” – Linkin Park

“Here With Me” – Dido

“You and Me” – Lifehouse

“Shine” – Rosi Golan

TBRG: What a great play list New Divide is one of my personal favorite songs.

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?

KA: They present themselves to me. For instance, I first met Miss Octavia Pierce on the verge of sixteen sprawled in a chair with her coltishly long legs thrown over the arm like a thorough hoyden, reading an Atlas of the World. She was a minor character in the book I was writing at the time (her sister’s story). Still, instantly I knew Octavia would have a grand adventure.

Shortly thereafter I met Lord Ben Doreé on a snowy night in the corridor of a country greathouse that I was writing. In that scene in the first book of my Rogues of the Sea trilogy (SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS), that hero told his lady that the work he did upon the sea saving others — noble, honorable, perilous work — had a wealthy patron. And (here’s where it gets weird) there was Ben standing behind me while I wrote, telling me he was that patron, he the powerful man of mystery behind that noble work. I’d never met him before. But there he was, all tall and lordly and deliciously gorgeous, and quite confident of himself. And he said he wanted Octavia — a girl whose heart matched his perfectly — to be his heroine.

Yes, it’s nuts. But I swear to you that is how it happened. That is how it happens every time. A minor character — usually a woman — lifts off the page while I’m writing, and almost immediately her hero makes himself present to me.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?

KA: I begin with the couple — the hero and heroine — and their romantic dynamic. They tell me who they are (as I noted above), I throw them together (which makes them happy) and they tell me what they think of each other (honestly), then I torment them. I make it impossible for them to be in love easily. But since I care about them a lot I also give them a taste of bliss and satisfaction. Then I torment them again. Then more bliss, more torment, and so on until the ultimate bliss of Happily Ever After. At some point during the first few chapters of this I plot out their whole story. So yes I do plan, guided by the lovers’ needs and fears and dreams and by my own addiction to deeply emotional roller-coaster romance.

TBRG: How are the books in your Rogues of the Sea series connected?

KA: Loosely. The Prologue of my novella, A LADY’S WISH, actually best explains the connection between the heroes of the three novels of the series. (That Prologue is on my Yahoo Free Reads group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/katharineashenews/ ) The novels in the trilogy can easily be read stand-alone.

TBRG: Tell us about In the Arms of a Marquess?

KA: Seven years ago in the exotic heat of the East, a girl about to enter society and a wild young lord tumbled into first love… passionate love… forbidden love. Then they were torn apart. Now Octavia has returned to England, but Ben is no longer the man she lost her heart to. Instead he is a powerful, wealthy lord. He has never forgotten her, the taste of her lips or the touch of her hand. This time danger threatens, and he will do anything to protect her… and to have her again.

TBRG: What do you love most about Ben and Tavy?

KA: That they’re perfect for each other. That they’ve been in love for years despite forces that have kept them apart, including their own fears and misperceptions. That they cannot get enough of each other. That ultimately they will do anything — anything — to be together.

TBRG: Where did this story come from?

KA: Since reading M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions as a teenager, I’ve adored the history of British India — the dangers and adventures and beauty and passions of that time and place. Octavia and Ben’s romance, settled firmly in Regency England, nevertheless allowed me to write the sort of epic love story that defies society’s rules and expectations.

TBRG: What do you want us to know about this book?

KA: In her Barnes & Noble column on romance fiction last week, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James said, “Every woman who ever dreamed of having a titled lord at her feet will love this novel.”

TBRG: What are you working on now?

KA: My Falcon Club Series debuts in February 2012. One night, behind the façade of a townhouse that looks like a mere gentleman’s club, five British secret agents abruptly quit! But what’s an ex-secret agent to do now with all the spare time? In Book #1, WHEN A SCOT LOVES A LADY, a snowstorm throws a scandal-plagued London spinster into the arms of a roguish lord. The beauty suspects that succumbing to the beast’s seduction may be the only way to tame him, until she discovers the beast is in fact no beast at all…

TBRG: This book is a part of Harper Collins/Avon’s K.I.S.S and Teal program, what made you want to participate in it?

KA: As a writer and historian I’m all about spreading the word, especially when the word whispers but needs to be shouted out instead. Knowledge is empowering, and I love helping other women feel empowered. I also have friends who have suffered from Ovarian Cancer and wish they’d known earlier what signs to look for. I’m excited and honored to be part of Avon’s K.I.S.S and Teal campaign to spread awareness of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Let’s all SHOUT against the whisper!

TBRG: One a side note when I putting together this post I saw that Katharine has been inside the hallow halls of the Vatican Library..can I say JEALOUS!! Course I loved the fact that instead of looking at all the amazing works there she instead wrote a romance story.

***We have 4 copies of this book to giveaway, all you have to do follow us on twitter (if you aren’t already) like us on fb, oh and ask Katharine a question***

Katharine writes lush, sexy historical romances. A professor of European History, she lives with her husband, son, two dogs, and a whole bunch of plants about two hours from the Atlantic Ocean.

You can find Katharine around the web at these places

www.katharineashe.com

The Ballroom Blog (if you haven’t checked this blog out you have to stop over there it is hilarious)

Twitter and Face Book 

 

 

Carly Phillips Interview + giveaway

One of our favorite people in the world is Carly Phillips. When she told us that she was working on a new series we were super excited to get our hands on it, and I have to say that her new book is one of my favorite books of the year.

We are excited to have Carly on today…

Before we get started can you tell us about the new book?

CP: Thanks for having me here! It’s been so great to get to hang out with you guys at RomCon the last two years!

Serendipity is the name of both the series for Berkley and the first book set in a fictional small town in upstate New York.  At the center of the town is the landmark Harrington Mansion, the epitome of wealth and privilege.  The series opens with SERENDIPITY,  which introduces readers to the estranged Barron brothers, brought together by a teenage sister they didn’t know they had and family drama they haven’t yet put to rest. These books tap deeper into emotions than my more recent books while keeping the trademark sensuality and light moments my readers expect.  Book one, Serendipity 9/11 is the story of Ethan Barron, the “bad boy” oldest brother.  Ethan returns home after ten years and finds himself tempted by the girl who was too good for him in high school, but now their social status are reversed, as he now owns the Harrington mansion – in which she grew up.  At heart, Serendipity is the story of a man who is looking for redemption and a woman in search of a place to belong.

 I’m so excited about this series and I hope readers really respond to the town and the characters, all of whom I already love.  The Serendipity series will continue with the other two brothers, Nash Barron in Destiny 1/12 and Dare Barron in Karma 6/12.  I hope to then continue to write about the town and people in Serendipity in three book arcs,  and continue to spin on to other characters in the town readers have already met within the pages.

 In case you missed here is the link to our review of this most amazing book  

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

CP: Oh I should have known you wouldn’t go easy on me! Let’s see … I would say that answer goes by times in my life – before I started writing, LaVyrle Spencer was the author who captivated me and had me learning about Romance.  I’ve never met her and was devastated when she retired! In a real life way, my first critique partner had a huge influence on my life.  Kathryn Attalla and I met at a local RWA meeting.  We critiqued in the years we had to send things to each other by snail mail! She taught me so much about writing, the male pov, plot … love her.  And then life being cyclical and things changing, after I sold to Harlequin Temptation, Brenda Chin taught me so much about myself as a writer … mostly by just believing in me.  Oh and then there were the 4 page revision letters.  It doesn’t matter how far along in writing you are, Brenda will give it to you straight and teach you more.  And then, the Plotmonkeys who I met thanks to Brenda (Janelle Denison, Julie Leto, Leslie Kelly) who are my plotting pals, who teach me daily about the business, writing and friendship!  Probably more than you wanted to know!

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?

CP: I have to laugh because I always find out it’s the friends closest to me who become most surprised at what they learn when they read my books! My readers … they must already know the important things – I love writing and reading romance just like they do! But something surprising? I’m shy and I don’t do confrontation well.  At all.  :)

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to, a place on your bucket list?

CP: Israel.

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and who are you reading right now?

CP: I’m guaranteed to be forgetting someone – I can’t get enough of reading or books! I’ve also expanded beyond contemporary (finally!) It’s so hard to answer this question but here goes:

Contemporary – Jill Shalvis, Toni Blake, my Plotmonkey pals Janelle Denison, Leslie Kelly, Julie Leto, Lauren Dane

Paranormal – Nalini Singh (Psy series), Larissa Ione, Sydney Croft

HOT – Lauren Dane, Lainey Reese wrote an all time fav of mine, A Table for Three … So many more …

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?

CP: I’d probably be pretty miserable!  There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.  Honestly.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?

CP: Well I’m not a music person, I’m a TV person – I love to write with the ABC Soaps on in the background – don’t ask me what I am going to do without them.  I’m so devastated!

TBRG: This one is for me…who is your all time fave GH couple?

CP:Jason and Sam – because it’s amazing to me how much like a real romance couple they are – they just GET each other – support each other – LOVE them.  It’s not just about sex and attraction for them, there’s depth! okay I have to insert that they are my favorite couple as well.

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?

CP: Everywhere! What usually happens is I take a kernel of an idea or a personality trait, something I’ve seen on TV or read in the newspaper or a magazine, and spin off that.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?

CP: Both but mostly fly by the seat of my pants.  I’ll figure out where I’m going as I go along.  I do know how I’m starting, I know all about the characters, and where they will end up.  It’s the specifics of how they get there that can make me crazy but I can’t preplan ahead.  I’ll turn to my plotting pals when I’m stuck, or in he beginning to nail the overall plot – then I write and see what happens.  This means a lot of rewriting as I go along.  The first half is harder than the rest.  Always!

TBRG: If you had to choose one of your series to be made into a movie which would it be and who would you cast?

CP: Ack! Probably the Hot Zone series because the three sisters are so different and I think there is so much to mine from there.  Casting? I don’t know.  I’d love to hear what readers think, LOL. I see them in my head, I feel them in my heart.  Not sure I can define them by actor/actress!

TBRG: What do you love most about this new series?

CP: Definitely the depth and the way so many threads wind together throughout all three books.  I love these brothers and how hurt they are, how much they need the right person to understand them.  To me that’s what makes them special.

TBRG: If you had to describe Ethan, Nash and Dare with one adjective each what would it be?

CP: Can’t do just one. Nope. Sorry! LOL.

Ethan – dark and brooding.  Determined.

Nash – unyielding and stubborn.  Responsible.

Dare  –  more complex than he seems. Protector.

TBRG: What is the one thing that you want readers to know about Serendipity?

CP: I’d love my existing readers to know that these books dig deeper than past stories, there are no slapsticky “Carly” moments that were in Kiss Me if You Can, but there is so much to explore.  And I want new readers who may not have picked up one of my books before to know these are romances but also deal with issues that both tear apart and bring these brothers together.  I’m really excited for the book to finally get into readers hands.

***Now for the really fun part, we’ve managed to get our hands on a copy of this book. All you have to do is leave a comment here telling us why you like Carly’s book, like our FB page (it’s easy the link is on the sidebar) and follow us on twitter. If you aren’t on FB or twitter that’s okay you can still be entered to win by leaving a comment. Open to US and Canada only***

Carly Phillips is the New York Times Bestselling author of over 30 romance novels with contemporary characters and plotlines that today’s readers identify with and enjoy.  Carly is a stay at home mom of 2 daughters (now almost old enough to read her books!), one soft coated wheaten terrier and a brand new Havanese puppy.  She’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.  More information on Carly can be found at www.carlyphillips.com.  Around the web you can also find Carly at:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips

Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlyphillipsfanpage

Blog: www.plotmonkeys.com

 

 

 

Julie Garwood interview part 1

Last month I was able to do something on my bucket list I was able to talk on the phone with one the authors that I look up to the most Ms. Julie Garwood. I had such a fun time talking to her. We talked about Vegas and shopping here. How much I have enjoyed reading her books over the years and so much more. Unfortunately I can’t put everything we talked about here, but there is a lot of good stuff, so I am breaking this up into two posts. So get your beverage of choice and sit back and enjoy my interview with Julie..

I called her from work and that started the conversation off…

J: Where is 702?

H: Vegas

J: I love Vegas, I take my sister there. I put her in front of a slot machine and I shop.

H: We do have some great shopping here.

H: One of my favorite bookstores is in Crystals

J: I didn’t see a bookstore there.

H: It is by Wolfgang Pucks…it is one of those stores where my kids have to stand outside and not touch anything. They always ask to go somewhere else as it is boring

J: How old are you kids?

H: They will be 11 this summer?

J: Twins?

H: Yes, we are going into the pre-teen ages.

J: I’m so sorry…I laugh whenever I have a friend that says they are starting to act weird.

H: I am hoping that they discover girls soon, so that they will start giving me their laudry and bathing, so that I don’t have to spray febreeze on them when we leave the house.

J: I totally understand.

H: mom’s of boys get it..moms of girls not so much.

We talked kids and sports for awhile and it was great to get the perspective of a mom with grown kids.

H: I have to tell you I was so nervous to talk to you.

J: How come?

H: You read my fan letter on the website..

J: Not only did I read it, I printed it out and thought on days when I wondered how am I going to fix this, or do this I am just going to whip this letter out. It is very sweet

H: Thank you so much..So you can imagine how many years I have been reading you. I think the very first book of yours that I picked up of yours was the The Gift and it had just come out. I have been through they years. I have two authors really well I have four but I met two last year, that are on my life bucket list to talk to, you and Nora Roberts. In fact I was talking to a friend of mine today about how nervous I was and she told me that if she ever met Steven King she would pass out, I said if I ever meet him I would pass out to as he scares the crap out of me.

J: I’m that you like what I do. When I first started I wrote a children’s book, which is really a YA, but I didn’t know that back then, and at the same time I was taking an ancient medival course so I decided to get a knight redy to go into battle, and I dressed him, then I though well his all dressed what now. And that is how I wrote that first book, and then I put them both on a shelf until I met an agent, and she called about the YA which is what she told me it was, and asked if I had anything else, and I told her I had a love story, but there is a catch it takes place in 1086, and she said well that is a historical. I told her later that I though she was probably thinking DORK..

But not knowing anything I was lucky in that she sold them both.

H: Was that The Prize or Honour’s Splendor?

J: It was Gentle Warrior

H: Is that one with Geoffory and Elizabeth?

J: Yes

H: I haven’t read that book in awhile, I love that book. But I gotta tell you I love the Prize.

J: It is so cool to me that everyone has their book. I always wonder about some author who everyone has that one book and it is their first book. If that happens that’s not good. They never get any better. The Prize was fun to do.

H: She was just a kick but heroine. I think for me for you every time I pick up one of your books I fall in love all over again. I don’t think I could pin point a favorite, I love them all. There are scenes in every single book…in fact my sister and I were talking about this the other night, she said I have the strangest brain I can remember all these characters and plots, but what I think I really like about your books is that I get something new every time. It is like discovering a new author all over again.

J: That is so nice

H: I love them all equally is what I am trying to say.

J: When I was writing Heartbreaker, I tried making it a historical by the way, I had this idea for this book,  I couldn’t get the story I wanted to tell in a historical setting so I broke down and wrote a contemporary, and well that is the Buchannon’s, if you told one brother than you had to tell the other’s. I come from a big family and the only you can understand is to bei there, with everyone being loud and talking over you.

That is what I did with the Ideal Man, he is one of seven.

H: Can I just tell you one of my favorite lines from that book is “let me talk to my white brother”.  The reason is I tell my oldest son all the time that he might be black but he has a white mama. And I was just like OMG, and then at the end when he is pacing in front of the elevator talking to himself about her and what was going to happen and how she could just deal with it.

I went your last name doesn’t match but you could so be the descendant of Ian or Brodrick but we already know who their descendants are.

J: Some guys are not real flowery

H: I thought though that Max and Ellie are the perfect match for each other. I really enjoyed it. In fact I didn’t even miss Noah who is my favorite of your FBI characters. In fact I think I even said it in my fan letter that when I finished reading the Heartbreaker I went is he a relative of Cole.

J: I love bringing them back, in fact in Sizzle I did it again, and took them back to Scotland.

H: I know, I was reading it and not even putting it together and then at the end I gasped and went NO WAY.

Noah is one of my favorite of your characters. The Claybournes are one of my favaorite families of yours. I do have to tell you that I saw the movie For the Roses, and I was so mad at that I threw my book at the tv.

J: Keep in mind, I had nothing to do with that movie. I didn’t write it I wrote the book

H: That is what my mom said..I saw the movie after Cole’s book came out.

J: I was one of the very first romances that Hallmark purchased, I was very proud of the fact. but I had no approval over anything because you sell the rights. No one was more surprised than I was. In fact I remember thinking uh oh, I knew I was going to hear about it, and I did. I got a lot of how could you, and I had to say I didn’t.

H: I think since then authors get to keep more control.

J: I think so

We talked movies for a bit longer, about how she would love to have HBO or Showtime make her FBI series a show so long as she could have some say.

H: Who would you cast as Nick and Noah and Dr Morganstern?

Morganstern is one of my favorites, he would have to be short with thick glasses. The interesting thing about these is these guys never age. When you write them they are 28 – 30 and five books later they are the still 28-30 years old. I am going to have think about it. Who would you cast.

H: For Morganstern I would cast the guy that played opposite Meryll Streep in Julia Julie

J: He’s fabulous.

H: For Nick and Noah I have no clue

J: Talk dark and handsome that is a hard one.

There is so much more to this interview that I couldn’t put all in one post so come back next Monday for the rest of the conversation as that is what it turned out to be.

 

Guest Blog Melissa Schroeder + giveaway

Last year when we did the RomCon Reading Challenge we discovered Melissa and I have to say that I have been hooked ever since. I LOVE her Harmless series so much that when Melissa asked me to read A Little Harmless Addiction I immediately said YES! I was already in love with this series but oh my Kai and Jocelyn made me sigh.

When Melissa told me that she had the opportunity to meet Jocelyn on her recent trip to Hawaii and was able to interview her, and wondered if we would be interested in posting it, well I of course said yes.

With that I turn the blog over to Melissa

INTERVIEW JOCELYN DUPREE

I met with Jocelyn after she had finished work at Cynthia’s Bakery. She brought me one of her fantastic malasadas and a cup of Kona as she sat on a bench at the pier waiting for Kai. For those of you who read Kai’s interview, this is a few days earlier.  Jocelyn is a stunning woman. Creole, she has amazing skin and reminds me a bit of Halle Berry. Which is why I didn’t bring my husband with me.

 

MEL: Jocelyn, thanks for making time to chat with me. I know you are really busy with the bakery.

JOCELYN: nods I am trying to take some stuff off of Cynthia in her condition.

MEL: And thanks for the mallasada. I bite into it and the taste of cinnamon and flaky crust fairly melts in my mouth. One of the best I’ve had.

JOCELYN: Thanks. It took a while to get it just right.

MEL: Which says a lot because you have a lot of schooling. Aren’t you considered one of the top pastry chefs in the country?

JOCELYN: Yes. Although I am going in a direction I never thought I would go, but yes.

MEL: Direction? How is it different than what you wanted?

JOCELYN: Looks out over the water. I thought I wanted to be in that big celebrity chef status. I wanted all the attention. Or, well, people made me think I did. When things sort of fell apart, I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted. The real joy for me was that I was the baking, the creating. All the other stuff just became not important.

MEL: How did Kai factor into that?

JOCELYN: He didn’t at first. I was so not ready to fall in love. I didn’t even want to date. But, I met him the first night and there was that… I don’t know…flicker of interest. After the problems with my boss, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to handle another relationship. I wanted to. But, it was iffy, especially so soon after the incident.

MEL: What drew you to him?

JOCELYN: smiles Well, he looks tough, right? All those tats and piercings, and he is. He will be the first to tell you he was working on the docks as a teenager. I wouldn’t doubt he could probably kick some serious ass, although I have never seen him in action…that way. But he has this cuddly softness within him.

MEL: How did you know that? I mean it sounds like you had issues with trust so how did you know you could trust him?

JOCELYN: His eyes. He might be a hard ass, but he has kind eyes. He is gentle with me. But, he also does what his sister asks him to. You can tell he is solid. Not perfect but solid.

Her attention is on the water and I see a boat pulling in. I know then that she has been waiting for Kai

MEL: I’ll let you go.

JOCELYN: Oh, no, stay.

MEL: I would love to, but we were up early to go to Sea Life Park for the dolphin thing and we have a meeting tomorrow.

Thanks again!

JOCELYN: No worries.

She walks toward the docks with a lighter step another bag of malasadas in her hand as she goes to greet her love.

 

We want to thank Melissa for being her today, and for the great interview. If you have not read this series I STRONGLY suggest that you remedy that immediately. Here is the link to Heather’s review of A Little Harmless Addiction.

****As as added bonus we are giving away 1 ebook of A Little Harmless Addiction to a commenter. All you have to do is tell me What kind of story draws you in and keeps you coming back for more. Is it the plot, the characters, or the author? Open to International as this is an ebook.

Falling in love might not be the smart thing, but it might be the one thing they both need.

Jocelyn Dupree has come to Hawaii to heal. After a horrific experience with her last boss, she is on the mend and ready to start again. She is focused on rebuilding her life and her career as a pastry chef. She definitely doesn’t need a man in her life, or so she thinks.

Kai Aiona has always been the guy to mend a broken heart. Unfortunately, the last heart that was broken was his. He has sworn off damaged women, but he can’t resist Jocelyn’s sad eyes, not to mention her determination to succeed.

One little date turns into several and soon, Jocelyn finds herself easily addicted to Kai’s sensual nature. Resisting him becomes impossible, but Jocelyn isn’t ready to trust completely. When Kai discovers she hasn’t been telling him everything, Jocelyn is left with two choices: trust her heart, or let the one man she has ever loved go.

Product Warnings

Scenes from Hawaii, nosey friends and family, two people who are right for each other but too stupid to realize it, a tattooed and pierced hero, a sassy Southern heroine, one drunken night, and love scenes that will curl your toes, warm your heart and leave you panting for more. Remember, Harmless stories are not for the weak.

 

 

 

Interview with Lori Foster + giveaway

We want to thank Lori for being here today. Both Melanie and I love her books, and I think between the two of us we own all of them.

TBRG: Can you tell us a bit about your latest series Men that Walk the Edge of Honor?

LF: I got the idea for this series while seeing the movie, “Taken.” In that movie, Liam Neeson is on a quest to rescue his daughter from human traffickers. By necessity, he has to walk past a lot of young ladies who aren’t his daughter to keep from tipping off the bad guys. That broke my heart! I wanted a hero who would somehow manage to rescue everyone – thus an idea was born.

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

LF: I can’t name one particular influence. There have been plenty of writers who influenced me just by writing amazing stories. Johanna Lindsey, Linda Howard, Catherine Coulter, Julie Garwood, Kresley Cole, Jayne Ann Krentz… they’re some of my absolute favorite authors. There are too many incredible storytellers out there for me to name them all. Reading their work makes me want to be a better writer.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?

LF: I’m such an open book on all my social networking sites; I doubt there’s much that interested readers don’t already know. I love scary movies, then action flicks. I’m not a fan of chick flicks or dramas. I love MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and I’ve met quite a few fighters. (Did the fan-girl thing and got my picture taken with each one!) I am amazingly terrified of bugs. :::Shudder:::: Love being near water, but not so much in it. Love scented candles and burn a bunch whenever I’m writing. I really enjoy hard rock music. Love to be out and about in the RV, love to be in nature, not a fan of expensive restaurants or clothes, or really anything/place fancy. I live in my blue jeans, prefer to be barefoot but will tolerate high heeled sandals or boots when pressed. Detest pantyhose; they were created by the devil. ;-) Love animals and anyone else who loves them, and I have no tolerance for anyone who hurts children or pets, or really, for cruelty of any kind.

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?

LF: It’s not an unreachable goal, but I’d love to get to Hawaii some day. I haven’t yet because it’d be so difficult to take my menagerie of pets with me. LOL. And I don’t like to leave them for long.

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?

LF: Right now I’m not reading anything. I’ve been slammed with work that just breathing is an effort. But as soon as I get a little room, I want to read the newest Johanna Lindsey and I’m two books behind on Kresley Cole. Can’t wait to catch up with them both!

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?

LF: I have NO idea. My creativity is limited to creating characters – not in altering the universe. LOL.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?

LF: I have a mix of great music – mostly Kid Rock, KORN, and Marilyn Manson, but also some Aerosmith, Macy Gray, Nirvana, Uncle Kracker, etc…

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?

LF: Who knows? I can tell some specifics – like the connection to the movie, “Taken,” for my current “Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor” series with “When You Dare,” “Trace of Fever,” “Savor the Danger,” and then in 2012, “A Perfect Storm.” And my love of MMA inspired my fighter series – Causing Havoc, Simon Says, Hard to Handle, My Man Michael, and Back in Black.

Other than that… I don’t really know. Ideas crowd into my brain and I just go with it. I let the characters take me on a journey.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?

LF: Definitely a panster. If I did a lot of pre-planning, I’d be bored before I ever started the story, because it’d already feel “done” to me. I always have a visual first. I see a scene, and build from there. It’s a process for me, discovering who the characters are in the scene, why they’re there, the conflicts, and how they’ll resolve them. I’m a very visual person. I sort of see my stories the way many would watch a movie. And I write it out as I see it.

TBRG: In this series you tackle a topic that is swept under the rug a lot, that of the female sex slave trade, what made you decide to write about it?

LF: I’ve done a ton of research for the human-trafficking element in this series, and educated myself in the process. I knew it existed, and I knew it was a big problem. I had NO idea it was so wide-spread and overwhelming. I read many reports that listed Ohio as a “hot bed” for human traffickers. I read about children being sold, and I want to go on a rampage against the evil in the world. There is so much abuse, so much tragedy in our world.

By writing about it, I have the opportunity to make others more aware, to get people talking.

TBRG: I think it is in Trace’s book you talk about how there are no laws, and no way to catch the people doing this, was this a shock to you? Are the states trying to change this?

LF: It was a HUGE shock to me! It’s amazing how our legal system works – that they need a specific law to address specific crimes in order to really prosecute heinous criminals. Luckily, many states are getting on board and really becoming aware of – and actively involved in fighting – human trafficking.

One thing I learned, too, is that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have a foundation that does a lot to fight human trafficking. They were a great source of information. It’s called the DNA Foundation:  http://demiandashton.org/

TBRG: What are you working on now?

LF: Writing-wise, I’m finishing up the 4th book in the series, which won’t be out until May 2012, titled, “A Perfect Storm.”

Outside of writing, I’m doing promo galore for the current series and finalizing details for the 2011 “Reader and Author Get Together.” http://www.lorifoster.com/community/readergettogether.php

Busy busy – as always!

Lori Foster completed ten novels before her first book, Impetuous, was sold. It was published in 1996. Since then, she’s maintained a pace that might have felled a lesser person, often writing six or more romance novels every year. Having cracked national bestseller lists with Jamie in 2005, there’s been no stopping her.  In the past six years, her novels, and anthologies featuring her work, have claimed a combined 115 weeks on The New York TimesUSA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.  Hard to Handle reached the number two spot on Times’ paperback bestseller list. She’s the recipient of the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for both Contemporary Romance and Series Romantic Fantasy.

 

 

 

That said, there’s no doubt that the trio of heroes she’s created for her back-to-back novels, WHEN YOU DARETRACE OF FEVER and SAVOR THE DANGER, published in May, June and July 2011 respectively, are strong, skilled, relentless and kind of scary. Her male protagonists—Dare, Trace and Jackson—are connected to each other by their work.  Each is an undercover mercenary, committed and specially trained to fight and win.  Each combats corruption by whatever means necessary. None of them expect to fall in love.  But the women Lori’s put in extreme, dangerous situations, and challenged to be stronger than they ever thought possible, are not like anyone—mercenary, government or “civilian”—that Dare, Trace or Jackson have imagined coming into their lives.  Molly, Priscilla and Alani are far more than they appear.  They’re each stronger and more courageous than even they know. Behind those soft exteriors lie three women ready to do anything necessary to protect those they love.  They just haven’t realized it yet.

On Lori’s fb page this last week she asked which of her series was everyone’s favorite…I want to know this as well. One lucky commenter will win a copy of the first book in her new series When you Dare. Contest ends on Friday May 27, 2011.

 

Interview with Jane Odiwe

We are excited to welcome Jane Odiwe to our blog today to talk to about her latest book, Mr. Darcy’s Secret.

TBRG: Before we get to the burning questions that everyone wants to know, can you tell us a little bit about your book?

JO: I am very excited to be here – I think this is my favourite book yet, thank you so much for giving me the chance to talk about Mr. Darcy’s Secret.
At the end of Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet is set on course for true happiness with Mr. Darcy, the most eligible man in England. The new Mrs. Darcy is ecstatically happy as mistress of a grand house and wife to the dashing, yet proud Darcy who is proving to be everything she has dreamed of in a loving husband. His former arrogance is rapidly diminishing under her sunny influence; he is even becoming indulgent and sensitive towards her visiting family. But, the discovery of a secret correspondence and rumours involving Mr Darcy’s past threaten the very downfall of Pemberley plunging new bride Elizabeth headlong into a chain of dramatic events to challenge everything she believes in, ultimately testing the Darcy’s love and their future life together.

Mr. Darcy’s Secret is a story about love and misunderstandings; of overcoming doubt and trusting to the real feelings of the heart as our sparkling and witty heroine Elizabeth, and the powerful, compelling figure of Mr Darcy take centre stage in this romantic tale set in Regency Derbyshire and the Lakes alongside the beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice.

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

JO: Jane Austen has been the biggest influence on my writing, as well as some later authors like Frances Hodgson Burnett, Edith Wharton and Elizabeth Gaskell.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?

JO: I went to Amy Winehouse’s backstage party in Brixton, London, on her last major tour.

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?

JO: New York – how is it possible that I have never been? I don’t know, but I am determined to get there some time soon!!!

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?

JO: Elizabeth von Armin, E.M. Forster, Dorothy Whipple, Barbara Pym, plus those authors already mentioned. I’m currently reading Fenny by Lettice Cooper.

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?

JO: I love drawing and painting and would love to indulge myself with painting huge oil canvases which I haven’t done for some time.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?

JO: Because my novels are set around the Georgian and Regency period, when I’m writing I listen to music from the period like Mozart or Haydn, and have recordings of music that Jane Austen enjoyed.

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?

A lot of my ideas come immediately after reading Jane Austen’s novels because of the questions that arise on finishing them. When I wrote Lydia Bennet’s Story, Jane Austen didn’t explain how Lydia came to end up with the scandalous Mr Wickham and so I decided to write about their story in the Regency resort of Brighton and of course, what happened afterwards. In Willoughby’s Return, I wanted to know what would happen if Mr Willoughby came back into Marianne’s life and how her younger sister Margaret turned out. In my new book, Mr Darcy’s Secret, I wanted to see Lizzy in her new marriage installed at Pemberley and wondered about Mr Darcy’s past as Jane Austen tells us little about it. I was also interested to see how his sister Georgiana would grow up. Taking secondary characters like Lydia Bennet, Margaret Dashwood and Georgiana Darcy gives me a chance to expand on the lives of these characters, tell their stories and also introduce them to some new characters of my own. Lydia, Margaret and Georgiana all find handsome heroes that are entirely my own.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?

JO: I do a bit of both – I have an overall plan, but I often find that my characters want to take me somewhere else so I try to be flexible in my planning to allow for that. It’s more exciting that way and I often find ideas for plot twists come when I’m least expecting them!

TBRG: What made you want to write Jane Austen stories?

JO: I’ve loved Jane Austen’s books and stories ever since I can remember, and started by painting and illustrating scenes from Jane Austen’s life accompanied by letters I’d written as her sister Cassandra. It was a short step to writing a sequel and I have had such a wonderful time continuing Jane’s stories for my own pleasure with the amazing rewards of becoming a published author in my own right.

TBRG: If you were to cast Pride and Prejudice who would you cast?

JO: Richard Armitage as Mr. Darcy and Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Bennet. Scarlet Johansson for Jane Bennet and J. J. Feild for Mr. Bingley. I’ve always thought Carey Mulligan would be a great Lydia. Hugh Bonneville makes a lovely Mr. Bennet!

Mr. Darcy’s Secret

One dark secret can completely ruin a bright future…

After capturing the heart of the most eligible bachelor in England, Elizabeth Bennet believes her happiness is complete—until the day she unearths a stash of anonymous, passionate love letters that may be Darcy’s, and she realizes just how little she knows about the guarded, mysterious man she married…

Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen, as well as Lydia Bennet’s Story. She lives with her husband and three children in North London. You can find her online at her blog Jane Odiwe.

Interview with Judi Fennell & Giveaway

We are excited to welcome Judi Fennell to our blog today to talk to about her latest book, I Dream of Genies.

TBRG: Thank you for being here today.
JF: Thanks so much for having me!

TBRG: Before we get to the burning questions that everyone wants to know, can you tell us a little bit about your book?
JF: Think of I Dream of Jeannie meets Indiana Jones. That’s actually how I pitched it because I knew it was about a genie in her bottle and something happened and she was off on an adventure, complete with theme music. That’s pretty much all I knew, but soon came to go on that adventure with her and Matt when she inadvertently escapes her bottle and vows never to be back in The Service to mortals again. Unfortunately for her (and Matt), the evil vizier, Faruq, isn’t going to let her go so easily. He’s got plans for her, both personal and professional. No way is he letting his sexy meal ticket slip through his fingers. So Eden has to figure out some way to avoid Faruq while trying to find her bottle and figure out what’s gone wrong with her magic that is now acting screwy. Throw in a cat with an agenda, a cross-dressing High Master genie, and an Egyptian goddess with her own agenda, and it really was like a zany magic carpet ride to write this.

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
JF: I don’t know that it’s been any one person, per se, but the campy, tongue-in-cheek humor of 60’s and 70’s sitcoms (like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island, The Addams Family, etc.), as well as Disney’s movies. Then when I started entering contests before I was published, my work kept getting compared to Katie MacAlister and MaryJanice Davidson. I started reading them, found Judi McCoy’s goddess series, Stephanie Rowe’s dragons, and I realized that I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed light-hearted, paranormal romantic comedies. For sheer fun, I highly recommend Jill Barnett’s Bewitching; it’s my all-time favorite romance.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?
JF: That the left and right sides of my brain are equal. I have a day job where I have to be very organized and methodical, handling paperwork and computer software. Then there’s the other side of me that creates these fantasy worlds with flippant humor.

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?
JF: Europe. All of western Europe. I lived in Spain and have been to Portugal, but that’s it. I keep saying I will get to Italy, Greece, France, Switzerland, etc., but with kids heading to college in a few years, that might be a bit of a ways off. But I plan on living to 113, so I’ve got some time.

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?
JF: Go-to authors: Kate Brady, Julia Quinn, Cindy Gerard, Roxanne St. Claire, Stephanie Julian, Olivia Cunning, and countless others. I just love to read.

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?
JF: For a while before I pursued publication I taught baton twirling in my local school district. I got involved with publication while my kids were little, so now that they’re grown, I don’t know what I’d be doing. I didn’t figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up until I grew up.  Once I realized it was possible to become a published author, that was what I wanted to be. Well, actually, I’d always wanted to be one, but never knew it was possible until I found Romance Writers of America. I love to travel, but, again, with kids in school, it’s not that easy. Then there’s that day job thing.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?
JF: Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Yanni, Kenny G… I need instrumental and preferably something I can’t sing along with so I can focus on the story. I just need background noise. When I was writing the Mer stories, I listened to the sounds of the sea a lot. Put in my earphones and cranked up the whale song.
TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?
JF: I have no idea. I usually wake up with them in my head. A line of dialogue or a scene, or even an idea. I came up with the Mers because I was writing twists on fairy tales and needed a new one to twist (I’d already written one on Cinderella, another on Beauty and The Beast, and another for Snow White, so The Little Mermaid was natural). The easiest way to twist that story was to make HIM a merman. For the genies, I wanted to come up with a paranormal being people weren’t writing about. I loved I Dream of Jeannie as a kid, and it was also a natural fit for me. But the characters themselves… no clue. They just sort of evolve when I’m writing them. Sometimes I don’t know why the way they are until a good portion into the story. I remember with Reel, the hero of In Over Her Head, it wasn’t until he’s on the deserted island with Erica and he thinks about children that he made sense to me, and I think that’s about 2/3 of the way through the book.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?
JF: Mostly pantser, but at about chapter 3 I stop and write a synopsis of where I think the story is going to go. Five books in to my editor, and not one of them has gone the way of that synopsis. But it helps me focus and think about what has to happen to get to where they need to get to. But I don’t plot out a whole story because the characters define it for me.

TBRG: It was nice to read a book with different types of characters instead of the same old thing that has been floating around for awhile. You created such an imaginative world for the Genie’s, what did you take your inspiration from?
JF: I like to keep my worlds as close to reality as possible, at least at the launching point. Djinn, or genies, are based in Islam, so I wanted to build the worlds with those influences. Luckily, I lived in Spain in college, and the south of Spain, especially, is full of Islamic architecture. I built Al-Jannah, the Djinn magical city in the middle of the Sahara after Seville, Spain. Even brought up a map of the old town and plotted out where the High Master’s palace, the park, Faruq’s office and palace, the square where Matt and Eden kiss, etc. are.

TBRG: I loved the witty humor between Matt & Eden will we have the opportunity to catch up with them in upcoming books?
JF: The difference between my Mer series and my Genies is that the Mer series is interconnected and the Genies aren’t. In the Mer series, each book is about one of the Tritone siblings. In Genies, Eden knows who Kal (the hero in Genie Knows Best) is because she meets him at the trial where they’re both sentenced for their crimes, but that’s about it. There is a mention made of Eden in Genie Knows Best (at least, as it stands now; I’m just starting the editing process with my editor, so that might change), but no, you won’t see them in the subsequent books.
That being said, however, I have ideas for more genie books where you might, so never say never.

Thanks so much for having me! If anyone would like to see an excerpt, there is one on my website at www.JudiFennell.com.

If you want a chance to get your own copy make sure to comment – 2 winners will be choses (US & Canada only)
About the Author

Judi Fennell is an award-winning author and writes what she calls “fairy tales with a twist.” Her romance novels have been finalists in Gather.com’s First Chapters and First Chapters Romance contests, and have won numerous RWA Chapter Awards, including the FF&P Prism Award, and the New Jersey Golden Leaf Award. Judi lives with her family in suburban Philadelphia, PA, where she is working on the next book in the Genie Trilogy, Genie Knows Best, set for release in November 2011. For more information, please visit http://www.judifennell.com/.

Interview with author Julie Garwwod

Several months ago I asked Julie if she would be willing to do an interview with me for this blog. She very graciously said yes, however between her schedule and mine we weren’t able to get it down until now. I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I did. Don’t forget to leave a comment so that you can be entered to win two of Julie’s books.

1.As an avid reader and language and literature teacher I have my literary gods and goddesses, you being one of them, so I have to ask who are you literary hero’s or gods and goddesses?

When I was growing up, I fell in love with writers who could grab my attention. I loved Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s the book I recommend most to young readers. I also enjoyed O. Henry’s stories because of the way he could surprise you at the end. Another favorite was John Steinbeck. He could evoke such strong reactions. I remember reading a passage about the dust bowl in The Grapes of Wrath and having to stop long enough to get a drink of water. I think it was then that I realized the power of writing.

2. When you are relaxing with a good book, who are some of your favorite authors and books to read?

I love a good romance, but there are so many friends who are amazing romance writers, I hesitate to single any of them out. I also enjoy a suspenseful mystery. I was lucky to be a judge for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award last year, which gave me the opportunity to read some wonderful novels by authors like David Ignatius and John Hart and Daniel Silva.

3. What is one thing that your fans would be shocked to learn?

I’m a compulsive baker when I’m beginning a book. There’s something about the activity of baking that helps me clear my thoughts and concentrate on my story. If anyone in my family walks into my house and smells fresh-baked cookies, they immediately know I’ve been plotting.

4. In our families emergency packs we each have between 5-10 books, what books would you put in your emergency pack?

I’d take the complete works of Shakespeare. Every so often I’ll open one of his plays and just read a few lines and be awestruck at what he could do with words, so I’d probably want to look at them periodically. I’d also include To Kill a Mockingbird and Grapes of Wrath. Then I’d grab one of the many books stacked on my shelf that I haven’t had time to read yet, something that’s a current bestseller so I can keep up with the times. I’d definitely take a dictionary and a thesaurus. Finally, I’d take whatever book I’m writing at the time. Even in an emergency, I’d most likely want to keep working.

5. If any of your books were to be made in a major motion picture which would you want to see made, and who would play the hero and heroine?

The one I’m asked about most is Mercy. I think it would make a really fun movie. How about Gerard Butler or Ryan Reynolds as Theo? I don’t know about Michelle. Natalie Portman might be convincing as a doctor.

6. In your FBI series we have seen the descendants of Cole Claybourne, Brodrick and Gillian Buchannan, and Alec and Jamie Kincaid, are there any others we have missed? and who can we see in the future?

I’m sure there will be more. When I finish a book, I find it difficult to say good-bye to the characters, so I’m always looking for ways to bring them back in another story. I can’t bring the characters from the historicals back, but the way I’ve gotten around that is to introduce their descendants. So far, I’m relieved to know that my readers like them.

7. If you could travel to any time period where would you go?

No question. The Middle Ages. Ever since my college days studying medieval history, I’ve been fascinated by that period. I’d especially like to see the Highlands of Scotland. The Scottish clans were remarkable in that they were primitive and barbaric, but at the same time they developed a relatively structured society. It would be great to see them firsthand. I probably wouldn’t want to stay long, though. I doubt I’d like the living conditions.

8. What is your secret indulgence?

Reality TV. I have to admit I like the competitions – the dancing, the singing, the designing.

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Interview with author Tracy Fabre

Tracy Fabre is a relatively new author, her second book Reasons was published last year. I recently was given a copy of it to read and review. In conjunction with that review I have done an interview with Tracy to introduce her to everyone. Here is that interview

As readers and authors we all have literary idols, a few of mine are Jane
Austin, Walt Whitman, Chaucer, Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood. Who are your literary idols?
I always had a soft spot for those who could make me think and
feel (ideally good).  Authors who could do that more than once?
Dick Francis, Donald Westlake, Jane Donnelly, Lewis Grizzard,
and Jane Austen of course.  I used to read a lot of Stephen King;
I liked his characters and dialogue (it was never the horror which
drew me in but rather the people).  I love but am way behind on
Terry Pratchett, too.

In our families emergency packs we each have between 5-10 books. Which
books would you put in your emergency pack?

Oooh, interesting question.  I would put:
1. The Stand / Stephen King
2. Love For A Stranger / Jane Donnelly
3. Guards! Guards! / Terry Pratchett
4. Pride & Prejudice / Jane Austen
5. Holes / Louis Sachar
… but if I keep thinking about it, the emergency pack’s gonna get
awfully heavy!

When I am feeling sick or down I have about 5 authors that I refer to as my
comfort authors (much like chocolate and chips and salsa are my comfort
foods). Who are you comfort authors?

Hmmm, I’m not sure I have an answer to that, most likely because
when I need comfort, I don’t go to books. I know that may sound
shocking, but it’s true. I’m more of a wallower.  :-)

What are your top five favorite books of all time?

But who can pick five?  You’re a ruthless one, you are.  I say, for
starters, those I listed above. But there are others I really loved…
Measure of a Heart by Lane Von Herzen, Scaring The Crows
by Gregory Miller, many of the Dortmunder novels by Donald
Westlake, most of the Tony Hillerman Leaphorn series, Ishmael 
by Barbara Hambly, and various nonfiction books, such as James
Lileks’ Gallery Of Regrettable Food, and Interior Desecrations.

What do you like to watch in your free time?

Monday is my big TV night — House and 24!  Don’t EVEN think
of interrupting, calling, showing up, or setting anything on fire; I will
not be moved.  Period.  But I don’t do reality shows, and I may be
one of only about six people who doesn’t watch American Idol.

The plot for your book Reasons is one that I haven’t read before, without
giving anything away as the review will be posted tomorrow where did this
story come from?

Ironically… the guts of Reasons came into being when I was about
18 and really had no clue how to write. Young and idiotic, I didn’t
get very far, but kept the Notebook Of Ridiculousness it was born
in, since I always thought I might do something with the plot line of
the hit-and-run. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I’d thrown the
notebook into the shredder pile that I began to be haunted by this
question: how would I have ended it? So after a few days of trying
to resist this (I was in the middle of moving and had no time), I gave
up one night and wrote the last five pages. Then I wrote the section
before that.  Then I wrote the middle.  Then… at some point, I had
a completed novel which was a thousand times better than my 18-
year-old self had even been able to imagine.  But as to where the
plot came from?  Heck if I know!  I can remember thinking about
it endlessly at the time but how it popped into my adolescent brain
is still a mystery to me.

What are you currently working on now?

This interview.  :-)  I have a couple of things in progress which are
waiting for my tender loving attention but I admit that mostly what
I write these days is fluff for Gather.com.  I hope I do get back to
those works in progress, particularly one set on Mobile Bay which

is about a writer working on solving a murder from sixty years back.

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know this author. My review of her book Reasons will be posted tomorrow, and on Saturday I will have a guest blog by Tracy.

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Naida the Bookworm Interview

In my opinion one of the best parts of BBAW is getting to read all the interviews of the different bloggers and finding new blogs. This year I got to interview Naida The Bookworm, and it was fun. Her blog is now bookmarked and one that I check out daily. So sit back and meet Naida

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a married mom of two great kids, and I have a furbaby named Diego. I read every day and I like to blog about books ;) I also crochet.
2. How long have you been blogging? What got you started blogging?

I started my book blog in May of 2007. I love to read and discuss books and blogging was the perfect way to combine the two. I’ve met so many great book bloggers out there, it’s really an amazing thing.
3. Who are your top 5 go to authors?

Alice Hoffman, Philippa Gregory, Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Jane Austen.
4. What was the book that got you started on your love of reading?

Well, i’ve always enjoyed reading and can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading something or other. In my early twenties, I fell in love with Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind then after that I began to read the classics. That’s when I discovered Jane Austen and my obession with Pride & Prejudice took off from there.
5. What 5 books are in your 72 hour kit? (if there was an emergency and you had to evacuate taking only what you had out aside for an emergency)

Oh my gosh, I’d run and grab Pride & Prejudice, Twilight, The Shining, Gone With the Wind and my copy of Emily Dickinson’s poems.
6. In your opinion who are the 10 most influential writers of all time.
Great question! I’d have to say William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, Poe, Kate Chopin, Charles Dickens, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Emily Bronte to name a few.
7. What is your favorite genre? Why?

I read just about anything but I tend to gravitate more towards romance, historical fiction or mystery. It really depends on my mood. I also love the classics.
8. Your least favorite genre? Why?

I don’t read too much non-fiction. No reason really, but I have to be very interested in the topic to pick up a non-fiction book.
9. If you could read anywhere where would it be?

On a sandy beach somewhere tropical, laying down underneath a palm tree.
10. Where are your favorite places to find out about new books?

Online, fellow bloggers, friends and magazines.

Naida sent me a cute picture of her baby Diego….

So head on over to Naida’s blog and check her out, but before you do leave a post here telling me about a new blog that you have discovered that I might like, or that you just want to share and be entered in the daily contest for 1 of 4 $20 gift certificates to Borders.

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Interview with Sarah from Small World Reads

As part of Book Blogger Apprecication Week I got to interview Sarah over at SmallWorldReads and she got to interview me. I have loved this part of all the excitement for this week and am going to spend the morning reading some of the other interviews that have been done for this. So after reading my interview Sarah head on over to My Friend Amy and check out some of the other interviews

Before you start reading I am going to say that when Sarah sent me the list of questions to answer I loved them so much I sent them back to her to have her answer. So thanks Sarah.

What does reading a good book do for you? Is reading an essential part of your life?
Sarah – A good book sticks with me, makes me see beyond my own small world. Reading is an absolutely essential part of my life and has been as long as I can remember-on my mother’s lap.

Do you have to read before going to sleep?

Sarah – Absolutely. That’s my main reading time.

How many books are in your TBR pile?

Sarah – I have 186 books on my TBR list

When do you do most of your reading?

Sarah – Before I go to sleep.

What is your favorite place to read?

Sarah – Probably in the living room in the big blue chair, but when I start to get sleepy, I transfer to my bed.

How many books would you say you read each year?
Sarah – I probably read between 50-60 books for myself and I can’t imagine how many books I read to my kids each year!
Do you have any reading goals? Do you participate in challenges?

Sarah – I suppose my reading goal would be to get through my TBR pile. I don’t do many challenges, but I’m currently sponsoring the Life Books challenge, and I am doing the New Classics and Around the World challenges as well.

What are the 3 most memorable books from your childhood?
Sarah – From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, The Happy Hollisters, and The Headless Cupid.
What books might be in your Top 10 list of favorite books ever?
Sarah -

To Kill a Mockingbird
How Green Was My Valley
All the King’s Men
The Chronicles of Narnia (I know there are 7 but I’m counting them as one!)
The Kite Runner
The Glass Castle
The World According to Garp
East of Eden
Slaughterhouse 5
My Antonia

What are the best books you’ve read this year (but not necessarily published this year)

Sarah – All of these reviews are on my sidebar:
A Death in the Family
I Have Lived a Thousand Years
Year of Wonders
Winter Wheat
Unaccustomed Earth
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Sky Isn’t Visible from Here

If you have children, what are some of their favorite books?
Sarah – Harry Potter, Little House series, Chronicles of Narnia, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Lord of the Rings, and my teenager is going through a Stephen King phase!
Do you read while you eat?

Sarah – Absolutely, unless it’s supper and we’re all together.

Why did you start a book blog? How often do you post?

Sarah – I started a book blog because my book reviews were hijacking my regular blog! I post about 4 times each week.

What do you like most about the book blogging community?

Sarah – Finding amazing new-to-me books!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Interview

Sarah over at smallworldreads got to interview me she came up with some really good questions so I thought that I would give you a couple of them and send you over to her site to see the rest.

What does reading a good book do for you? A good book will take me out of my world and transport me into the world created by the author.

How many books are in your TBR pile? Oh wow let me think, at least 25

How many books would you say you read each year? Wow, never really thought about it. This year so far I have read based on challenges that I have done at least 100.

What are the 3 most memorable books from your childhood? The Boxcar Children….

Do you read while you eat? Of Course

Do you wear reading glasses? I wear glasses all the time

What do you like most about the book blogging community? The various books and authors that I have discovered and would never have read.