Interview with CJ Carmichael, Author of Promise From a Cowboy

Please welcome CJ Carmichael to the virtual offices this morning. She’s here to chat about her latest Harlequin American Romance, Promise From a Cowboy.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  Empty-nester, book-loving, nature freak who loves hiking and biking with her life-partner Mike and hanging out with family & friends when not writing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Promise From a Cowboy?

[CJ Carmichael]  The hero of this book, BJ Lambert, decided to keep mum about an arson and accidental death that occurred when he was eighteen years old. He did it to protect his girlfriend’s brother, but the price he pays is losing her in his life. The story picks up over ten years later, when new evidence is found that leads to re-opening the investigation. His girlfriend is now the County Sheriff and the kicker is…he still loves her.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  BJ is the oldest of four in the Lambert family of Coffee Creek, Montana. I love writing connected stories because this allows me to spend time developing a community feel to the stories and also to include sub-plots that span the length of the series.

The sub-plot in the Coffee Creek books involves the domineering, manipulative Olive Lambert (mother of BJ as well as Corb, Brock and Cassidy) and her feud with her much nicer sister, Maddie Turner.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  determined, responsible, fearless

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

[CJ Carmichael]  Once in a Lifetime by Keith Urban (Because despite all their years apart, Savannah is his Once in a Lifetime girl)

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

[CJ Carmichael]  her Sheriff badge. It means everything to her, because she craved respectability as a kid, and who could be more respectable than a Sheriff?

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

[CJ Carmichael]  Any other woman but Savannah, hair gel—he likes the natural look, and cologne—he’s not that guy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Savannah’s greatest regret?

[CJ Carmichael]  Savannah’s biggest regret is that she wasn’t there the night the old Turner barn caught on fire and a man died in the loft.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  I love spending time in Montana (show me anyplace more beautiful than Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake), perusing Western magazines and cowboy pictures on Pinterest, listening to country music—all can be very inspirational for my cowboy romances.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  Quiet. Quiet. Quiet. (and a computer)

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

[CJ Carmichael]  I can only name one? Sigh. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  One of the earliest novels I remember reading was Little House On The Prairie. I grew up on the prairies, so that made the story more relevant to me.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  I love to spend times outdoors, whether it’s hiking in the mountain, biking or sitting on the patio playing cribbage or scrabble with Mike and enjoying a glass of wine. I also love family dinner when my girls are home and we end up playing board games after.

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

[CJ Carmichael]  Just try to avoid me! I’m on twitter as CJ_Carmichael, on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, and I have a blog called CJ’s Desk Diary on And hey, you can always send me an e-mail! I’ll contact you  if you review one of my books on Goodreads. I think it’s awesome when readers take the time to spread the word about a book they’ve read and I try to personally thank everyone who does this for mine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[CJ Carmichael]  Thank you for the fun questions, Julie!

About the book:

A Cowboy With Something To Hide…

On the rodeo circuit, B.J. Lambert had plenty of chances to forget about his first love. Back in Coffee Creek, it’s impossible. Savannah Moody is as irresistible to B.J. as when they were teens. He’d still do anything for her – except give up the secret he promised to keep.

Sheriff Savannah Moody knows B.J. is hiding something. Not his feelings for her – it’s obvious to both of them that the attraction is as strong as ever. But she simply can’t afford to give in. She has her sister to care for, and the family land, and B.J. might be gone tomorrow. She also has a job to do: to pursue the truth and discover what really happened eighteen years ago when a barn burned and a man died. Even if it costs her dearly….