Character Interview with Greg from Hope Tarr’s The Cinderella Makeover


Hope Tarr and Greg Knickerbocker, hero of The Cinderella Makeover, took over the virtual offices recently.  They stormed the offices and I wasn’t even able to get a word in edgewise!  Read on for details!

*thump! rattle! Klonk!! Keyboard wrestled from my control as Hope and Greg descend on the studio*

Is this thing on??

Hi Folks! First off, many thanks to our wonderful blogger for having me here as her guest to chat about THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER, the second novel in my Suddenly Cinderella Series of contemporary fairytale themed romances for Entangled Publishing.

Internationally famous fashion photographer, Francesca St. James (Ross’s ex from OPERATION CINDERELLA) gets considerably more than she bargained for when she leaves New York for Los Angeles to join the cast of a newly launched reality TV show as a fashion coach. “Project Cinderella” aims to remake fashion frogs into styling Cinderella princes and princesses. Silicon Valley CEO Contestant Gregory Knickerbocker is a geek with a heart of gold, a six-foot three leanly-muscled hunk in need of a mercy makeover. Fortunately Francesca loves nothing more than a challenge and serving as Greg’s “fashion fairy god mentor” promises to be that and then some. Can a pair of vintage Saks Fifth Avenue red slippers help her look beyond Greg’s center-parted hair and gray hoodies to the Prince Charming that lies beneath?

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Greg Knickerbocker, the hero of THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER.

Greg, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the CEO and founder of a Silicon Valley tech startup, Cloud Flyer, as well as the developer of a bunch of awesome apps and software products. Most recently, I’ve been a contestant on Project Cinderella, a reality TV show that aims to turn ugly ducklings into swans, so to speak.

What are your hobbies? How did these come about?

I don’t really have hobbies—I have passions. I’m a huge fan of classic films from the silver screen era and beyond. And thanks to my time on the show, I’ve become kind of a gym rat.

What is your job and how did you come to do that?

See my response to #1. I made my first million when I was still in college—enough said. ((grins))

Do you have an enemy or nemesis?

One of the fairy god mentors on the show turned out to be a real biyatch but mostly because of her ongoing rivalry with Francesca. I guess you could say I was collateral damage, not the main target, still it was pretty tough going for a while.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Getting past the whole frenemies thing with Francesca so we could be together.

What is the one event that you feel has helped to shape your personality?

Going on the show has changed me in a major way, especially the one-on-one photography episode. Stripping down to your g-string in a room full of people with cameras rolling isn’t something I’d ever imagined doing, but it was part of being a contestant on the show. I’d say more, but I don’t want to give anything away. ((winks))

What is your earliest memory from your childhood?

Playing outside with my siblings and our dog.

Are you involved in a romance?

I am now! I just never thought my soul mate would turn out to be the same pushy, nose-in-the-air, beautiful Brit photographer who first barged into my office.

Favorite indulgence?

Beer and chips.

Do you have any pets?

Not currently, but I plan to fix that soon, once Francesca and I settle which coast we’ll live on. A dog would be really nice, preferably one from a shelter or rescue group. Francesca’s more of a cat person—but thanks to Bosco she’s coming around.

What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?

For Francesca to agree to marry me. I am definitely working on it—and her! By the time the Suddenly Cinderella series wrap up releases this summer, she may just have said yes. That’s my goal anyway.

If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?

Hold onto your dreams—and then build foundations beneath them. Cloud Flyer started out as a crazy vision I had when I was a teen—and now it’s a multi-billion dollar company that recently went public. Likewise I came on Project Cinderella hoping a public makeover would turn my love life around and steer me toward my soul mate—and did it ever!

If you could say one thing to your author, what would it be?

Did you have to put Francesca and me through such hell, Hope? I mean, seriously, wasn’t the whole opposites-attract setup enough of a challenge? Did you have to add the enemies-to-lovers trope, not to mention all the other logistical complications? And starting off by dressing me in gray hoodies and track pants—you had to know that as a fashion photographer, she would hate my fashion failures. You’re just evil, Hope, seriously evil.

I hope readers in search of unusual heroes and heroines will love Francesca and Greg as much as I do. And, if you enjoy THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER, please check out my previous Suddenly Cinderella releases: OPERATION CINDERELLA (Macie and Ross’s story) and the in-series novella, A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS CAROL (Starr and Matt’s story).

*And with a whoosh, they were both gone, leaving me alone in the empty office*

You can purchase The Cinderella Makeover from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below

About the book:

Fashionista Francesca St. James has agreed to work as a "fairy godmother" on the reality TV show Project Cinderella, taking contestants from geeky to dreamy. When Francesca’s archrival bets she can’t transform the awkwardly sweet CEO to hot in under eight weeks, Francesca accepts the challenge.

As CEO of a tech company, Greg may have billions, but what’s it worth without a woman to share it with? From day one on the show though, he clashes with his gorgeous fairy godmother—yet off-set, he can’t stop thinking about her. But this sexy woman is so far out of his league…and wants to change every single thing about him. It’s up to him to show her it’s more than clothes that make the man.May the best man or geek win…

About the author:

Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of twenty historical and contemporary romance novels including THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER, Book #2 in her Suddenly Cinderella Series of contemporary fairy-tale themed romance novels. Hope is also a cofounder and current principal of Lady Jane’s Salon™, New York City’s first, and so far only, monthly romance reading series now in its fifth year with five satellites nationwide. Visit Hope online at and as well as on Facebook ( and Twitter (@HopeTarr).

Interview with Amber T Smith, Author of If The Shoe Fits

Please welcome Amber T Smith to the virtual offices today! Amber is here to chat about her new book, It The Shoe Fits.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Amber T Smith] Wife, worker, & writer, mother of two children, two cats, and two lizards. Tries not to procrastinate too much, but usually fails abysmally!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about If the Shoe Fits?

[Amber T Smith] IF THE SHOE FITS is a modern comic spin on Cinderella. My Ella is a fun and flirty heroine, with a fondness for vodka and swearing, and an unfortunate habit of tripping over fresh air and flashing her body parts. She’s also under the impression that she’s losing her marbles, owing to the fact that her cat has started talking to her, claiming to be Ella’s fairy godmother. There are lots of giggles throughout as Ella flies from one disaster to the next in her quest to hook her very own Prince Charming!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Amber T Smith] Honestly, I have NO idea!! I’m a pantser when it comes to writing, and ideas tend to come out of the blue. One day I woke up and decided to write a modern fairy tale. My beautiful cat was in her usual place (on my lap), and she has such a quirky nature that I thought I’d include her in the story, too. Next thing I know, I had a feline fairy godmother who spoke to the heroine, and the modern fairy tale became a comic caper!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Ella?

[Amber T Smith] Cute, clumsy & cheeky!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Muse had a theme song, what would it be?

[Amber T Smith] Ha! What a fab question! Let me see… the theme from Mission Impossible, I would think, as she plainly thinks that her quest to get Ella hooked up with ‘Prince Charming’ is bordering on lunacy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Ella is never without.

[Amber T Smith] Her sarcastic wit!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Ella’s purse?

[Amber T Smith] Bottled water, a hairbrush, and a diary. She’s SO disorganized!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Amber T Smith] I have several, spread across a few genres. J.K.Rowling is one, as I admire her determination so much. J.R.R.Tolkien, as the sheer scale of his storytelling is phenomenal. In the romance genre, I’m a sucker for historicals, so Mary Balogh and Julia Quinn are my top picks. Both characterize beautifully, and often have a fabulous witty undertone in their writing, which I adore.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Amber T Smith] Social media – I have several windows open on my laptop at all times, and when I feel stumped I take five minute breaks to clear my head.  Other than that, I’m not really needy – I like to have a couple of coffees, maybe, and also a pen to chew at while I’m thinking (bad habit, I know, but there we are).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Amber T Smith] I read Robin Hobbs’s Farseer Trilogy, and it blew me away so much that I read it again within a month!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Amber T Smith] I’ve been a bookworm since I was about eight years old, and I’d probably say that my first ever favorite book was Louisa M. Alcott’s ‘Little Women’. I still love that book, it’s a classic!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Amber T Smith] I read. Not very original for a writer, I know, but it’s what I do whenever I get any spare time. Other than that, I love interacting with different people on social media sites.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Amber T Smith] They can find me at either of my blogs: and

My Twitter handle is @Amber_T_Smith_ , plus I have an author page on Facebook –

Thanks for hosting me and having such fabulous questions!!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase If The Shoe Fits from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below

About the book:

Life isn’t a fairy tale . . . except when it is.

There’s nothing wrong with Ella Gibson’s life – it just isn’t very exciting, despite being surrounded by lingerie. Working for Cardiff’s top modeling agency should have been glamorous, but most of the time Ella is running around with memos and cups of coffee. It’s a far cry from living the dream, but skirting the edge of her fantasy life is enough.

Then comes the day when her cat starts to talk, claiming to be Ella’s fairy godmother. As if that weren’t crazy enough, the pesky puss becomes a fashion advisor and behavioral expert, too. Add an evil ex-stepmother, a hunk called Charming, plus a looming party-cum-ball, and you have all the elements of a classical fairy tale. There’s even a couple of ugly sisters – the fact that they are two gorgeous gay men being neither here nor there.

Ella’s not your typical fairy-tale princess though, and it will take more than a discarded glass slipper to get her man. It’s quite possible she may have to curb her enthusiasm for cursing a wee bit, not to mention her love of vodka. And can Muse, her surprisingly straight-laced feline friend, overcome her prudishness long enough for Ella to sneak a kiss or three with her intended beau? 

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors