Borders True Romance (and a Giveaway)

Hey everyone!  So you may have heard–ahem–that Something About You won the Readers Crown Award for Best Long Contemporary.  Whoo-hoo!  As part of that, today I’m over at the Borders True Romance blog, offering up a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration behind the story.  (And if you haven’t heard the story, it’s a good one.)  For extra fun, I’m giving away three copies of the book.  Drop by if you get a chance!

P.S. I also drop a teeny, tiny hint about my next book About That Night.  Like, a blink-and-you-missed-it, micro nugget.  But it’s something. : )

One more thing: if you’re in the Denver area, or plan to attend this year’s RomCon, I’ll be at the convention August 6-7th.  You can find out more about the convention here.

Sherry Thomas is here! (And a giveaway)

**Please note: the giveaway is now closed.  Winner will be announced shortly.

As promised, I’ve got a another giveaway this week. . . .

I’m delighted to welcome Sherry Thomas today!

Sherry and I met last year at the RWA conference in D.C. and got a chance to hang out at the RT Convention in Columbus this past April–and I have to tell you, she is a riot.  And I’m such a fun of her writing–she writes fabulously angst-y, emotionally complex historical romances.  I read Delicious last year after meeting Sherry and loved it.  So when I saw her newest release, His At Night, available in the RT goody room I immediately snatched up a copy and devoured it as soon as I got home from the conference.   Here’s a little more about the book:

Elissande Edgerton is a desperate woman, a virtual prisoner in the home of her tyrannical uncle. Only through marriage can she claim the freedom she craves. But how to catch the perfect man?

Lord Vere is used to baiting irresistible traps. As a secret agent for the government, he’s tracked down some of the most devious criminals in London, all the while maintaining his cover as one of Society’s most harmless—and idiotic—bachelors. But nothing can prepare him for the scandal of being ensnared by Elissande.

Forced into a marriage of convenience, Elissande and Vere are each about to discover they’re not the only one with a hidden agenda. With seduction their only weapon against each other—and a dark secret from the past endangering both their lives—can they learn to trust each other even as they surrender to a passion that won’t be denied?

* * *

So without further ado, here’s Sherry to tell us more about His At Night and her writing process:

Q. When did you first realize you wanted to write, and how did you get started?

I wrote bits and pieces of—what else?—love scenes throughout college, but never really thought about a whole book because I didn’t know where the stories would go beyond their opening love scenes.  (They were kind of awesome, by the way, full of old romance chestnuts mixed with the most overdone sci-fi clichés.  If you want a virgin courtesan whose clothes split apart along electromagnetic lines embedded in the fabric, I’m your gal.)

Then I read a bad romance when I had the least patience for bad romances, threw the book across the room, and declared to my husband that I could do better.  Wise man that he was—and is–he said nothing as I spent the next eight years not getting published.

Q. What is it about writing romance that appeals to you?

You mean besides virgin courtesans whose clothes split apart along electromagnetic lines embedded in the fabric?  : )

I like creating characters and testing them in all kinds of trying situations.  I like fiddling with words.  I love the community of readers and writers.

Once upon a time I heard about this survey on what women would most like to be and romance writers came in second, right after goddess.  So really, it’s all good.

Q. What do you do on those writing days when you’re stressed, worn out, or distracted?


I eat, I goof, I play computer games and surf the interwebs endlessly.  What can I say?  I have the worst self-control ever.  When distractions appear, I wave the white flag without shame or hesitation.  So I can only be thankful that I’m not stressed or fatigued all the time!

Q. What can you tell us about your current release?


His at Night is my attempt at light fare.  The premise is that of a gentleman spy who pretends to be an idiot, which lends itself to all kinds of comical situations.  And then he is trapped in marriage by the one young woman he wants to avoid above all, so now he’s totally screwed–and the fun really begins.

Q. Can you share a brief excerpt from the book?


I’m sending this tidbit because it made my husband laugh out loud.


“But do you know what the most important aspect of judging a dairy cow is?”

“No, I‘m sure I don‘t, my lord,” she said, stabbing her knife into the muffin on her plate.

“Mammary development, Miss Edgerton, worth a whopping thirty-five percent of the overall score. The udder must be very large and very flexible. The teats must be of a nice size and evenly placed. Milk veins, extensive; milk wells, capacious.”

He was no longer looking at her face but at her chest. “I don‘t believe I‘ve viewed a dairy cow quite the same since. Now when I see cows, instead of just saying to myself, ‘Oh, look, cows,‘ I study their udders and teats for their conformity to the principles of animal husbandry—and for the sheer enjoyableness of studying udders and teats, of course.”

Q.  Fun questions: What are you watching on TV these days? (Or what are you reading?)


Not so fun answer: We don’t watch TV in our house.  Not for any noble reasons, but because when our Senior Kidlet was a tot, he would be so enthralled by the TV that we couldn’t budge him to do anything else.  So one day we made the decision to just turn off the TV.  It wasn’t a permanent decision, but as we weren’t following any particular shows on TV at that particular moment in time, we didn’t really miss it.

This, however, doesn’t mean we never watch any TV shows.  If we hear enough about it, we’ll get around to it.  I watched the first three seasons of House on DVD, the fourth season kinda lost me though.  We recently finished the whole series of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica—loved it so much!  And within the last two weeks we zoomed through the first two seasons of Lost.

And Mad Men and Glee, someday.

The most recent book I finished is an apocalyptical YA called Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  I got it after Senior Kidlet requested it, but then I got totally into it.  And finished it in front of my shower, naked, because I’d stripped for my wash, but couldn’t put the book down.

Q. What are you listening to on your Ipod?


Hanging head in shame: I don’t have an Ipod.  And you probably guessed it: my cell phone doesn’t do anything except making phone calls.  I’m so amazingly low-tech sometimes it takes my breath away.  : )

Q. What is your biggest weakness (shoes, purses, chocolate, etc.)?


Hmm, first you have me doubt my fitness for modern life, now you have me doubt my chromosomes: I have very few pairs of shoes, hardly any purses, and don’t generally keep chocolates at home—although I will gladly eat them elsewhere!

As a person, I don’t have any consistent weakness, i.e., nothing my husband can point to and commiserate with his friends about—if he were the kind of man to complain his wife before others, which he most definitely is not.  Thank goodness for the strong, silent type.  : )

What I do have are fits and bursts of situational madness.  There was a time when I lugged in tons of clothes from White House Black Market.  Their clothes fit me so well, but ultimately I can’t live on just two colors.  Not long ago I’d buy huge containers of roasted pepper hummus and bags of pita chips from Costco, and then just sit down and demolish it all—until I realize the havoc that much hummus and pita chips wreaked on my butt.  And then from time to time there would be casual games that get me so addicted I have to delete them from my computer, because I can’t get anything else done.

I really miss scarfing down a tub of hummus at a go.

Q. Complete this sentence: One fun thing about me that people might not know is……


From everything I’ve said so far—no TV, no music, no nothing–it might seem to folks that I’m completely disconnected from pop culture.  But that is the furthest thing from the truth.  I learn everything I need to know from celebrity gossip blogs.  I know the stars of movies, TV, music, and even sports. I know who has slept with whom and who hates whom, who’s popular, who is cheap, who is genuinely nice, and who is completely fake.

And of course I know the latest situation in the Jolie-Pitt household!

* * *

Thanks for joining us, Sherry!  For all of you, Sherry has generously offered to give away a copy of His At Night to one lucky person who leaves a comment or question below.  The giveaway will remain open until 10pm CST on Friday, July 2nd.  More information about Sherry and her books can be found at her website.

Good luck and happy reading!

Guest blog and Giveaway: Louisa Edwards

Please note: the giveaway is now closed.  Winner will be announced shortly.

As part of the countdown celebration to the release of Something About You, Louisa Edwards is here today!

Louisa writes contemporary romances for St. Martin’s, that are, as she describes them, “foodie inspired romances.” Her first Recipe for Love novel, Can’t Stand the Heat, released last September, and the second in the series, On the Steamy Side, will be out on March 2nd.

She’s Never Met A Man So Mouth-Watering

When Lilah Jane Tunkle fled her dull life in Virginia for the bright lights of New York City, she didn’t expect to wind up a nanny to a gorgeous celebrity chef’s ten-year-old son. Working for the delectable Devon Sparks is a sure-fire recipe for disaster, especially after Lilah gets a tantalizing taste of his perfectly seasoned kisses…

And He Can’t Resist Her Down-Home Spice

Devon’s not sure he can handle one more surprise ingredient in his life—he left his popular TV show, his culinary reputation is on the line, and now the son he barely knows is back for seconds. Lilah’s Southern sass is supposed to keep the boy in line, but soon enough she’s teaching Devon a thing or two about homespun food . . . and turning up the heat.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  I asked Louisa a few questions about her writing and her upcoming release:

JJ: When did you first realize you wanted to write, and how did you get started?

LE: I’ve always loved reading, and I think the desire to write flows pretty naturally out of that. I also got very into theater in college, and there are aspects of the two that are similar—the ways you have to get inside a character’s head and try to see the world from that person’s point of view. That’s my favorite part of both writing! I started my first romance manuscript in college, but it took me about five years to get far enough along with it to realize that I needed to set it aside. In the meantime, I’d graduated and gotten a job as an editorial assistant at Berkley, which turned out to be great prep for a writing career; just came it from another angle.

JJ: What is it about writing romance that appeals to you?

LE: Romance novels are the ultimate in storytelling, for me. They have everything I want, all the important stuff like drama and tension and suspense and humor—but all of it is focused through the lens of the characters’ relationships to one another. What could be more fascinating than exploring the ways people fall in love? I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

JJ: What do you do on those writing days when you’re stressed, worn out, or distracted?

LE: I would love to say that I always make super healthy choices when I’m stressed, like working out or talking with a friend. Sometimes I do, and it definitely helps, but more often I tend to pull in a little. I pour a glass of wine, draw a hot bath, and escape with whatever’s on top of my TBR pile. That works really well, and is definitely better for me than the times when I plunk down on the couch with a bag of chips and watch five episodes of Top Model in a row!

JJ: What can you tell us about your next release?

LE: In just a few short days, my second Recipe for Love novel will be out! ON THE STEAMY SIDE hits stores on March 2nd, and I’m so excited about this book. It’s about a celebrity chef (Devon Sparks, you might remember him from CAN’T STAND THE HEAT) whose life gets turned upside down when he has to take care of a friend’s restaurant and get to know his ten-year-old son. Lucky for Devon, he hires a sassy Southern girl as a nanny, and she helps him figure some things out. I’m so happy with the way this book turned out; it’s a story about family, discovering, what’s important in life, and most of all, love.

JJ: Can you share with us brief excerpt from your next release?

LE: Let’s see if this little taste whets your appetite! (For a longer excerpt, feel free to check out my website here.)

He waited as long as he could, but it had been a few years since Devon had been forced to wait for anything he truly wanted, and he was out of practice.

So when he tapped on the bathroom door and she called “Come in,” Devon wasn’t surprised to be sucked into a humid fog. The shower was still running, everything in the bathroom steamed up and misted over. He knew he was probably supposed to turn his head away or squeeze his eyes shut or something, but he’d never been very good at doing what he was supposed to do. He zeroed in on the glass shower door as if his eyes were hi-beam Xenon headlights that could penetrate steam.

No such luck.

JJ: Love it.  Now for some fun questions: What are you watching on TV these days?

LE: Hmm…current TV obsessions are: Supernatural, Top Chef (and Top Chef Masters, Top Pastry Chef, whatever’s on), The Big Bang Theory, No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, Lie to Me, and House. All time favorites are Buffy, West Wing, Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, and Buffy. Did I mention Buffy?

JJ: Ha–I’m a big Buffy fan, too.  Next: what are you listening to on your iPod?

I was in a big punk phase for a long time: Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Buzzcocks, Ramones, etc. And I guess I still sort of am, but I’ve moved on to some more recent punks like Muse, the Killers, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Franz Ferdinand. Although I have to admit the song on endless repeat on my iPod right now is Adam Lambert’s version of “Mad World.” I can’t get enough!

JJ: What is your biggest weakness (shoes, purses, chocolate, etc.)?

LE: Shoes, definitely—I love the way you can change an outfit’s entire look by just changing shoes! When I travel, I usually end up packing at least five pairs. I know. I also buy lots of books, but I don’t consider that a weakness. ; )

JJ: Complete this sentence: One fun thing about me that people might not know is…

LE: One fun thing about me that people might not know is that my husband and I live with two of the cutest, most hilarious, worst behaved dogs on the planet. Hunter and Oscar:


Aw, how cute are those two?  Thanks, Louisa!  So glad you could be here with us! Louisa has a great giveaway for you guys. One lucky commenter will a copy of her first Recipe for Love novel, Can’t Stand the Heat AND a Recipe for Love apron and spatula set.

The giveaway will remain open until 10pm CST on Friday, February 26th. More information about Louisa and her books can be found at her website.

Good luck!