Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
There's Only Been You is my latest release and the proverbial `book of my heart'. Meant To Be, the sequel, releases later this fall. I've had lots of readers ask if Garrett will have his own happily-ever-after, and I love him so much I went to work on his story right away. :)
I'm also working on the sequel to Welcome To Redemption which I wrote with my good friend, Stacey Joy Netzel. Stacey and I have been blessed with amazing reviews, including a Reviewer Top Pick (5 Hearts) from Diana Coyle of Night Owl Romance and 4-1/2 Stars from Romantic Times. So many people have asked if we planned to write a sequel, and frankly, there was never any doubt. Stacey and I love the town of Redemption, and couldn't be more pleased with the response from readers.
Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you so much for having me! And I'd be happy to, I just hope I don't put you to sleep. I'm a happily married, stay-at-home mother of two. My nine year-old recently asked me if she could take a copy of one of my books to school because some boy (who I suspect she has a crush on :o) didn't believe her that her mom writes books. I actually teared up when she put the book in her backpack with that determined little look on her face...LOL
I read my very first romance when I was twenty years old. Growing up, my mother had always been a fan of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, so when I came across some of her books in a cute little used book store while on vacation, I picked them up as a gift. Curious, I started reading The Wolf and the Dove on that long car ride home, and by the time we arrived, I was hooked. In early 2004 I was bitten hard by the writing bug. I sat down at my computer, fiddled around with my word processor, and eight months later my first draft of There's Only Been You was finished.
Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
I would love to . :o) Here's the blurb & an excerpt (plus my cover quote) for There's Only Been You, which is available in e-book from the Wild Rose Press, and in print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders:
"There's Only Been You is a heartwarming story of family and a second chance at love. Reading Donna Marie Rogers is like coming home."
~ Best-selling, Award-winning author Tori Carrington
Blurb: Sara Jamison has no clue where Mike Andrews' been all these years, but she knows where she's been - busy raising their son. Two weeks after he accused her of cheating and disappeared from her life, Sara discovered she was something she never expected to be - an unwed pregnant teenager. But with the love and support of her annoyingly alpha-male family, she's managed to make a good life for herself and her young son. She even owns her own business, Sara's Bakery, which she's built into a thriving success. Sure, she works too hard and her social life is nonexistent, but for the most part, she's content.
Until the day Detective Mike Andrews walks into her bakery and back into her life...
"Not a chance. I made that mistake once, I won't make it again."
Sara glanced over her shoulder when the screen door opened. Mike. The pan she'd been drying fell from her hands and clattered to the floor.
"We need to talk."
"Where's Garrett?" she asked, attempting to peer around his broad shoulders. She tried not to make eye contact with him. As long as she didn't look him directly in the eye, she'd be able to maintain her composure.
"You've always put him on a goddamn pedestal."
She bent over to pick up the pan. "Don't you dare say anything unkind about him."
"He's a pain in the ass."
Sara shot him a look. "He's not the only one."
A slow smile curved his lips. "Now there's the Sara I know and love."
"Don't you dare throw that word around. If you loved me we wouldn't be in this situation." A surge of emotion tightened her chest, and she silently cursed herself for letting him get to her.
Hands on his hips, Mike sighed. "Look, I know you have every reason to believe that, but it's just not true. I've loved you since the first moment I laid eyes on you."
She paused. God, how she wanted to believe him. But if he'd truly loved her as he claimed, he'd never have been able to stay away for so long. She swallowed past the lump in her throat and reached into the drainer for something else to dry.
"All right, I'm done playing. Come on, we're going for a ride." Mike reached out and grasped her elbow.
"I'm not going anywhere with you," she said, yanking her arm free. "If you want to talk, we'll talk, but we're doing it right here." She tossed the dishtowel on the counter and crossed her arms over her chest.
"You either follow me to my truck or I'll throw you over my shoulder and carry you there. But one way or another, we're taking a ride."
She gasped. "If you touch me I'll scream bloody murder."
"Then I guess I'll have to gag you as well." He took a step toward her. She took a step back.
"You stay the hell away from me." She took another step back and bumped into the table.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I have two releases coming out later this year. Meant To Be, as I mentioned, is the sequel to There's Only Been You and features Sara's brother, Garrett Jamison, a big moody cop with a heart of gold.
I also write erotic romance as Liza James, and later this year Hot For Teacher releases from eRed Sage. I'm also working on another Liza James title, Three Alarm Blaze.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
I love a typical alpha hero, and nobody writes them better than NY Times Bestselling author Lori Foster. I love all of Lori's heroes, but my favorite is Joe Winston from Say No To Joe?. I'd like to think my Garrett Jamison from Meant To Be is a little like Joe. Big, strong, sexy, loyal, super protective of those he loves. In fact, I dedicated Meant To Be to Lori & Joe. *g*
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I'd love to write a vampire series. :o) At a friend's recommendation, I started reading J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood last year and became instantly hooked! I also read Lara Adrian who is phenomenal.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I don't belong to a critique group, but I have a critique partner, Stacey Joy Netzel, my co-author of Welcome To Redemption. Stacey has had a huge impact on my writing, and I hope she can say the same about me. In fact, every review we've received has commented on how similar our writing is, that's it's hard to tell us apart. Surprising and flattering. :o)
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I'd be happy to. Here's a blurb and the very first excerpt I've ever posted from Meant To Be:
Officer Garrett Jamison is at the lowest point of his life. He believes a cop's greatest asset is his instinct and feels he lost his the night he got shot and his precious nephew kidnapped right out of his own bed. So he takes a leave from the force while he considers whether he wants to remain a police officer, or start looking into another career. If only his infuriating-and gorgeous-neighbor would keep her pesky cat from howling outside his window at all hours of the night...
Jessica McGovern struggles back from the brink of depression after the death of her young son. She packs up her old pickup truck, her mammoth gray-and-white tabby, Mr Louie, and moves halfway across the country for a fresh start in Northeast Wisconsin where she's rented her uncle's house. As it turns out, Midwesterners are just as friendly as she's always heard they were. Too bad her cranky new neighbor is the exception to the rule...
By the time Garrett pulled up in front of the house, it was nearly four-thirty and the light drizzle had turned into a steady rain. He killed the engine and swung the door open in time to see Jessica dash barefoot across the front lawn to her own truck. She yanked open the door, hopped inside, and rolled up the driver's side window so fast her head bobbed up and down with the motion. The first genuine smile of the day tugged at Garrett's lips.
He slammed his own door and ran through the rain straight for her truck. Before she could utter a protest, he swept her up in his arms and sprinted to her front porch.
"Now that's car side service!" Jessica grinned up at him, her arms wrapped around his neck.
Garrett held her easily with one arm while opening the door with the other. "Someone's in a good mood today." He set her on her feet just inside the door.
Jessica dried her feet on the carpet, then held onto his arm while slipping into a pair of fuzzy blue slippers. "I made over sixty dollars in tips today. Want some tea? I just put on a pot." She disappeared into the kitchen.
He wiped off his boots before following after her, his sullen mood dissipating in the face of her exuberance. "Sure, as long as it's not that nasty green stuff."
She waggled a familiar white tea bag at him. "Only the best for my company."
Garrett leaned back against the counter, crossing his arms and his booted feet. He watched Jessica move around the kitchen, pulling cups from the cupboard and milk from the fridge. Her gorgeous legs were encased in a slightly damp, skin-tight pair of well-worn jeans, her shapely ass just begging for his hands. She wore a red halter-top that crisscrossed over her ample cleavage. The wet, gauzy material clung to her breasts, leaving very little to the imagination. Garrett's hands clenched. Christ, how he wanted her.
He cleared his throat, grabbed a small, dog-shaped squeaky toy off the table and started tossing it in the air. "I took a leave of absence from the force today."
Jessica stopped dead in her tracks and stared up at him. "What? I don't understand. You love being a cop. Isn't that what you told me the other day?"
He caught the toy in his fist with a loud squeak, his gaze locked on her face. "It's complicated."
The tea kettle whistled, breaking the tension. Jessica gave him one last considering look before turning to take care of the tea.
Garrett set the squeaky toy back on the table and came up behind her. She stiffened as he brushed against her and brought his hands up to rest on her bare shoulders. Her skin was warm and soft, and it took nearly all his self-control not to crush her in his arms.
He closed his eyes for a brief moment to get himself under control only to have the flowery scent of her freshly washed hair assault his senses. It alarmed him how much he wanted her. How often he found himself thinking about her-fantasizing about her.
Slowly, he turned her to face him. He reached up and tucked a stray wisp of hair behind her ear. Her lips were parted, her cheeks slightly flushed. She was so incredibly beautiful, and some deep-seated instinct told him to turn tail and run as fast and as far as he could.
Instead, he leaned down for the kiss he'd been craving all week.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
Just that I hope you'll give my books a try if you haven't already! Keep an eye out for Meant To Be by Donna Marie Rogers, and Hot For Teacher by Liza James!
Thanks for joining us again. Before you go please tell our readers how they can get your books and how to keep abreast of your work.
Thanks again for having me, Tammie. :o)