Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?
Driving Mr. Wrong Home by Shirley Jump: When a handsome man from Gabby’s past agrees to a cross-country road trip, her master plan to re-launch her art career quickly morphs into an unexpected, romantic reunion.
The Sheriff’s Secret by Susan Meier: Marney’s 9-1-1 emergency help arrives in the form of a rugged, blue-eyed cop. Now she has the perfect bodyguard to keep her safe during those dark, steamy nights…
Love Unleashed by Jackie Braun: The last thing Mia wants is a relationship…yet the headstrong florist can’t keep her hands off her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend. Will she open her heart before he leaves town for good?
Love in the Shadows by Barbara Wallace: Jenny is a woman on a mission – she’ll even resort to dognapping to make her point! But can she teach a reclusive, emotionally-wounded tycoon that love heals all thing?
Interview with Susan Meier
Do you have one favorite quote or saying?
“Inch by inch anything’s a cinch.”
Why? Because writing is a profession of scenes and words. You’re telling a story using the building blocks of scenes, but you build scenes with the building blocks of words. So good writing can be broken down into bites. It also makes it possible for a writer to believe she can tell her story, if she takes her time and works at it one scene, page, paragraph, sentence and word at a time.
The saying is about more than writing. It speaks to anyone who wants to accomplish anything big. We all need to work on something big, something daunting to realize who we are. But when we look at our big tasks, we gasp in fear and trepidation. LOL So, break down those big tasks and you’ll see that inch by inch anything’s a cinch! And you can become the person you want to be.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, and could only have five modern conveniences…what would they be?
LOL. An e-reader first because I could have hundreds of books. Then I’d choose a coffeemaker – assuming I had a generator and could charge my e-reader battery and run my coffeemaker. After that I’d need my laptop so I could write about my experience of being stranded. I’d want a TV with satellite, if only for the news. And probably a microwave so I could heat up my coconut milk. J
How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in your genre?
I infuse the stories with bits and pieces of my own life. I have over thirty nieces and nephews of varying ages and, if I wanted to, I could use them to get the most up-to-date slang. LOL But I watch their comings and goings. Their loves and losses. Their educations and friend groups and notice what really matters. What really helped or hurt them. What made them cry, what makes them tick.
I think that puts reality in my stories and helps readers connect to my characters.
I also like big things. Grand gestures and memorable moments. I want readers to walk away from one of my stories saying, “Oh, wow, when your heroine did [whatever], I howled with laughter…or cried…or cheered.” I can usually predict the scenes that will resonate – the scenes that will make people love the book and make them glad they read it. J
If you could spend a day with anybody from history, who would it be?
Either Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis or Maryln Monroe…Beautiful women who were also pretty smart and tough. Especially Jacki Kennedy. But Elizabeth Taylor had such heart. All three were beautiful, smart, talented and lived tragic lives. I’d just wanna ask them how they survived and I’d really listen.
What’s the one thing readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I volunteered at Hospice for a while. Everybody was shocked when I took the training and just jumped right in. But I had a real sense of purpose when I volunteered there. A sense that I could ease some burdens and make some people’s lives a bit brighter. It was one of the most fulfilling times of my life. If my schedule allowed it, I’d do it again.
What are you passionate about these days?
Physical fitness. I let myself get out of shape, spending long days in front of the computer, and last year finally broke down and joined a gym. After only 2 weeks I realized I needed a trainer because I didn’t know how to use half the machines. I haven’t lost weight, though I have lost a few inches, but the dramatic change was the increase in energy. I love it. My trainer encouraged me to join a Zumba class and I adore that. It’s fitness that’s fun. But it’s also fun to do the training and work on strengthening my core and getting some tone back into my arms. I have energy. My thinking is sharper and my mood’s improved. If I could, I’d take everybody to the gym with me!
What makes you happy?
I love big family functions. There are 11 kids in my family, add spouses and all those nieces and nephews I told you about, and we have some wonderful traditions and parties.
One of our traditions is Wednesday morning breakfast in the summer. Because there are some teachers, students, and shift-working nurses in our ranks (not to mention an author who can make her own schedule) every Wednesday morning in the summer one of us makes breakfast and everyone else comes over. Some people like my sister, Tammy, make delicious things like blueberry French toast casserole. Others like me buy Dunkin Donuts and make really good coffee! But it doesn’t matter what we eat. It’s a time to catch up on everybody’s lives. A chance to see all the kids who are growing up much too fast.
We also have a big fourth of July picnic. We invite some cousins to that and our in laws. That’s a chance to see the families of our brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. That’s usually a hoot.
Our Christmas and Thanksgiving are getting so big we think we may soon have to rent a hall! LOL
But it’s so wonderful to have a big family, to watch kids grow and find mates and have their own babies. It’s fun to see talents surface and develop. To watch pick-up wiffle ball games between twenty-something kids who dummy down their skills to make the game fun for the four and five-year-olds simply because they love them.
That makes me happy. J
What would you like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Lots. I’m contracted for five books next year. LOL But I’m also in the brainstorming process of a single title series.
So I’ll be busy!
What’s your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is just plain old spaghetti and meatballs. I order that a lot when we go out, mostly because my son and husband don’t like spaghetti so if I want it I have to order it at a restaurant. LOL
But I’m also a big fan of the traditional turkey dinner. I love stuffing and dark meat and gravy on mashed potatoes. And pumpkin pie. Oh, my. I don’t just love pumpkin pie… I bake a wicked good pumpkin pie.
And that’s saying a lot since I can’t cook. LOL!!!
What’s something that you absolutely can’t live without (besides your family, of course!)?
Two things…coffee and pretty boots.
We live in the mountains of West Central Pennsylvania and we get some snow. But, since there’s nothing we can do about that, some of us make the best of it by loving big, snuggly sweaters, or neat blazers with jeans…or fantastic boots.
Boots can make an outfit. They can turn plain jeans into a work of art. LOL They can make you look cooler than you are while keeping your feet warm. If you’re smart and get non-skid, they can prevent you from falling while showing off you sense of style.
I’m a boot fan. Give me a cup of coffee and a neat pair of boots that make me feel sexy and I can be happy for days!
The authors will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
ABOUT SHIRLEY JUMP
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump spends her days writing romance and women’s fiction to feed her shoe addiction and avoid cleaning the toilets. She cleverly finds writing time by feeding her kids junk food, allowing them to dress in the clothes they find on the floor and encouraging the dogs to double as vacuum cleaners. Look for her Sweet and Savory Romance series, including the USA Today bestselling book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, on Amazon and Nook, and the debut of her Sweetheart Club series for Berkley, starting with THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN in September 2013. Visit her website at www.shirleyjump.com or read recipes and life adventures at www.shirleyjump.blogspot.com.
BOOK TITLE: “Driving Mr. Wrong Home” in THE BILLIONAIRE’S MATCHMAKER, Indulgence
About Jackie Braun
Jackie Braun is the author of more than 30 contemporary romance novels. She is a three-time RITA Award finalist, a four-time National Readers’ Choice Award finalist and was nominated for Series Storyteller of the Year by RT Book Club in 2008. She lives in Michigan with her husband, their two sons and a former shelter dog named Pip.
Anthology name and my title: The Billionaire’s Matchmaker/Love Unleashed.Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jackie_BraunWebsite: www.jackiebraun.comBlogging 2 Tuesdays each month on The Chocolate Box: www.chocolateboxwriters.com
About Susan MeierIn 2013 Susan Meier lived one of her career-long dreams. Her book, THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHER was a finalist for RWA’s highest honor, the Rita! The same year NANNY FOR THE MILLIONAIRE’S TWINS was a Book Buyer’s Best Award finalist and National Reader’s Choice finalist.Susan is the author of over 50 books for Harlequin and Silhouette, Entangled Indulgence and one of Guideposts' Grace Chapel Inn series books, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS.One of eleven kids, Susan never lacks for entertainment or amusement from her over thirty nieces and nephews. Her family’s Wednesday Morning Breakfasts are the highlight of her summer. And with lots of her nieces and nephews now in their twenties, wedding season is in full swing!Susan lives in west central Pennsylvania with her husband, son and two crazy cats.THE SHERIFF’S SECRET in the THE BILLIONAIRE’S MATCHMAKER anthology for Entangled IndulgenceConnect with Susan atsusanmeier.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/susan.meier.54
About Barbara WallaceBarbara Wallace has been a life-long romantic and daydreamer so it’s not surprising she decided to become a writer at age eight. However, it wasn’t until a co-worker handed her a romance novel that she knew where her stories belonged. Her first Harlequin Romance debuted in November 2010.Barbara loves writing sweet, smart, ‘it-could-happen-to-you’ style romances. She lives in Massachusetts with her other loves – her husband, their teenage son, and three very spoiled pets (as if there could be any other kind). She also loves hearing from readers.You can find her at her website (www.barbarawallace.com), on Twitter (@BarbaraTWallace) and on Facebook.