Interview with Marisa Cleveland, Author of Reforming the Cowboy

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hi, Marisa, welcome to the Manga Maniac Café!  Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Marisa Cleveland] writer. reader. infinite dreamer. that’s me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Reforming the Cowboy?

[Marisa Cleveland] Thanks for asking! This book is about a guy who needs a girl to help him get back on the Country music charts. It’s also about a girl who needs a guy to help her launch her dream of owning a successful coffeehouse. But as they both help each other get what they want, it makes them better people and changes their perspective.

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

[Marisa Cleveland] There are many different ways this story came into existence. One piece of it comes from my addiction to espresso and music. So, I gave Lacey the coffeehouse and Billy the Country tunes. I’m a huge fan of Blake Shelton, The Voice, and Starbucks. This story let me combine all three!

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

[Marisa Cleveland] Creative. Loyal. Reformed!

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

[Marisa Cleveland] Oh! I love this question! Theme song… theme song… there are too many! Okay, the best one for her pre-Billy would be BareNaked by Jennifer Love Hewitt.

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

[Marisa Cleveland] His guitar. :)

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

[Marisa Cleveland] Oooooh! How fun! Her phone, bubble bath, and cookies!

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

[Marisa Cleveland] Billy’s greatest regret is not being able to save his parents.

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

[Marisa Cleveland] I’m influenced by so much of the world around me, but my hubby is definitely one of my greatest creative influences. Him and champagne.

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

[Marisa Cleveland] Besides the computer/tablet/phone to pour out my heart, I also need champagne and hand lotion.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Reforming the Cowboy?

[Marisa Cleveland] Hehehehee… my hubby! He’s working on his doctorate in information systems, and we converted a bedroom into an office. I love that we are in the same room, but I will admit, it’s distracting at times. ;)

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

[Marisa Cleveland] I have read so many fabulous books lately! I mean, it’s crazy amazing how many great authors are out there! The last knocked my socks off book that I read comes down to timing. I was lucky enough to grab Jaime Rush’s Dragon Awakened (releasing in December), and WOW!

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

[Marisa Cleveland] I don’t remember a time without books, so I can’t say for certain which specific book turned me on to reading. But I do remember sitting in front of the stereo (record player) and following along to my favorite books over and over again.

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

[Marisa Cleveland] When I’m not writing, I’m usually daydreaming or thinking about writing or I’m reading. My hubby and I take long walks and talk about random topics that spring to mind. We like to play chess, eat strawberries, and Fox Trot around the kitchen. Sometimes I play with Adobe Photoshop or Corel VideoStudio. I have a sewing machine I don’t know how to use. But mostly I’m writing or reading.

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

[Marisa Cleveland] I love to connect with other readers through social media!

Social Media:

Website – http://www.marisacleveland.com

Twitter – http://twitter.com/marisacleveland

Facebook – http://facebook.com/marisacleveland00

Google Plus – http://plus.google.com/102206201174009013772

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/marisacleveland

Tumblr – http://marisacleveland.tumblr.com

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/marisacleveland

Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I love your unicorn graphic. Unicorns are a personal fave of mine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you so much for stopping by!

Purchase link

About the book:

Country singer Billy Hardy needs to get back on the charts. His manager assures him headlining the opening of a cafe in South Beach is his best chance at getting back to the big time. If he fails, his career is over for good this time.Lacey Durant can’t believe opening night includes the country singer she crushed on through college. And her customers agree he’s dreamy. But his playboy reputation threatens her cafe’s image and she can’t afford that. She insists Billy stay with her so she can keep an eye on him, and thwart overenthusiastic fans.Billy’s charms and Lacey’s sexy curves prove more than either can resist, but she refuses to be just another lyric in his well-known songs of heartbreak.

About the author:

Marisa Cleveland loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. As a writer, she writes. Every day. If she couldn’t express herself through writing, music, and dance, she would die. Perhaps because she married her best friend, her adult romance novels focus on playfully naughty relationships developed through friendship and family-oriented values. She believes romance novels are the perfect “how to” books, because no matter the obstacles, the characters keep working toward their happily ever after. She loves to connect with writers and readers through social media.

Excerpt

He stepped back, his eyes regarding her with unreadable scrutiny. "Do you have to control everything?"

A shiver of fear slid in her stomach. She was a private person. She didn’t want the whole world to know how close she’d come to failure. "Just promise me."

Flashing her a sardonic smile, he drawled, "Honey, I don’t make promises I can’t keep."

Her hands fisted at her sides. "You are so insensitive! For just once in your life, why can’t you be reliable and make a promise and keep it?"

Her eyes widened as she realized what she’d said.

He advanced forward, and she shuffled back until her back hit the refrigerator, even though nothing but the ferocity of his gaze pinned her in place. "Honey, in Country, in order for a song to be good, it has to be honest. This is me being honest."

Interview with Sofia Harper, Author of Hot Knight in Paradise

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Sofia, and welcome to the Manga Maniac Café!  Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Sofia Harper] Part smart aleck, part book nerd. The rest of me is pretty much coffee addict.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Hot Knight in Paradise?

[Sofia Harper] Leah’s stranded, broke and in need of a job so she can get back home. Her only hope is Marshall. He’s pretty much exiled himself from America and runs a bar creatively named the Rum Shack. (Yeah. I know.) Until she earns enough money to end her disastrous vacation, they’re stuck together. Sparks fly. Pasts are revealed. Love happens. So, it’s your basic boy meets girl while girl is stranded with a hot man.

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

[Sofia Harper] I wanted to write a redemption story. I love those. I’d been watching the now defunct show Life and the idea of feeling guilty of wrong you didn’t commit appealed to me. At the time there was a huge kerfluffle online about rape culture. Leah and Marshall stepped into my head and the story came together.

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

[Sofia Harper] Will shoot trespassers.

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

[Sofia Harper] DayDreamer by Adele. “He can change the world with his hands behind his back.” It’s song about an amazing, sexy man. This song fits him down to the bone.

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

[Sofia Harper] This is a tough one because Leah gets mugged of all her belongings. The first things she buys is something to tame her hair. If I’d given her a choice, she’d have grabbed her hair products along with her ID and passport.

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

[Sofia Harper] Cologne, nose hair trimmer and baby powder.

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

[Sofia Harper] Not being there for her cousin when she needed her the most.

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

[Sofia Harper] Music. It shuts off the world and I can hear the story in my head. I need some form of solitude to tap into my creative well. Sometimes I need words that fit a character or scene perfectly.

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

[Sofia Harper] Coffee, computer and place to sit. I’ve written without pretty much everything else I sometimes I feel I need, but without those three I’m not likely to get any work down. lol

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Hot Knight in Paradise?

[Sofia Harper] Sleep. It’s not often that a story writes itself, but this one was it. I wrote the last 20,000 words in two days. So, sleep was definitely something that kept me from finishing sooner.

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

[Sofia Harper] Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox. I have a hard time reading contemporary because I write it. The internal editor is always talking while I’m trying to enjoy the book. She shut up while I read this book. It was simply incredible. And fresh.

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

[Sofia Harper] The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I read this book as a child and the world just seemed so wonderful. The idea that you could walk into something as mundane as a closet and there were worlds to be found. I loved it.

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

[Sofia Harper] Spend time with children. They are wonderful, if I say so myself. They’re funny and entertaining. I also watch a lot of TV shows on DVD. It’s a family thing. I’m currently trying to get my daughter to stop watching Degrassi though. OMG, talk about teenage emo drama. I sat through nine seasons. Please make it stop at ten.

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

[Sofia Harper] These are the places you can find moi:

Website: http://sofiaharper.com

Blog: sofiaharper.blogspot.com/?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sofiaharp?

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/sofiaharper.author?

Goodreads Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7154484.Sofia_Harper

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link

About the book:

Stranded in paradise with no way to get home, Leah Smith needs a miracle, and fast. Instead, she gets Marshall Jackson, surely the sexiest man alive. Too bad he’s got an emotional wall around himself–and her only hope of getting off the island … Marshall has a strict no damsels in distress policy, but there’s something about Leah that makes him want to break his own rules. He agrees to let her work in his bar until she earns enough to get home. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is to deny the scorching attraction between them. Soon hot island nights provide balm to their wounded souls, but will these two flawed exiles make peace with the past in time to claim the future they deserve together–or will paradise be lost?

About the author:

Sofia Harper started writing contemporary romance a long, long time ago. When Sofia’s not spending time with imaginary people in her head, she’s corrupting two little trouble makers. Currently she lives in California where the wine is good. She also going full-throttle on the ride called publishing. These two thoughts are not related.

Extended Excerpt:

“I find it hard to believe a man like you would consider bartending his calling.” She gave him a dubious look. “And I’m feeling like a margarita. Got some limes?”

Read more

Spotlight: Reforming the Cowboy by Marisa Cleveland

It’s already the middle of September?!  Yikes!  That means that I’m way, way behind on my diet of new Indulgence titles!  I’m going to spotlight one title each morning for the next four days, so check out these releases if they look interesting to you.  I’ll get things kicked off with – no surprise – COWBOYS!!!

 

 

Reforming the Cowboy: A South Beach Book by Marisa Cleveland

Imprint: Entangled Indulgence

About the book:

Country singer Billy Hardy needs to get back on the charts. His manager assures him headlining the opening of a cafe in South Beach is his best chance at getting back to the big time. If he fails, his career is over for good this time.

Lacey Durant can’t believe opening night includes the country singer she crushed on through college. And her customers agree he’s dreamy. But his playboy reputation threatens her cafe’s image and she can’t afford that. She insists Billy stay with her so she can keep an eye on him, and thwart overenthusiastic fans.

Billy’s charms and Lacey’s sexy curves prove more than either can resist, but she refuses to be just another lyric in his well-known songs of heartbreak.

Purchase link

About the author:

Marisa Cleveland loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. As a writer, she writes. Every day. Perhaps because she married her best friend, her adult romance novels focus on relationships developed through friendship and family-oriented values. She loves to connect with other writers and readers.

Marisa Cleveland loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. As a writer, she writes. Every day. Perhaps because she married her best friend, her adult romance novels focus on relationships developed through friendship and family-oriented values. She loves to connect with other writers and readers.

Marisa’s Social Media:

Twitter – http://twitter.com/marisacleveland

Facebook – http://facebook.com/marisacleveland00

Google Plus – http://plus.google.com/102206201174009013772

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/marisacleveland

Tumblr – http://marisacleveland.tumblr.com

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/marisacleveland

Novella Review: Gamble in Gold by Natalie Anderson

 

Title: Gamble in Gold

Author: Natalie Anderson

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Seven years have passed since shy Lexie Peterson had her heart trampled by her teenage crush. And Luke Marchetti walks into his flat to find Lexie in a negligee, all he can think of is having a little flirt and fling. But Lexie’s determination to keep him at a distance makes him realize she deserves more than he can offer. Is one kiss enough to entice the two to take a gamble on love?


Review:

I’ve read one other novella by Natalie Anderson, and it really worked for me (Melt).  Gamble in Gold, sadly, did not.  Even though it featured one of my favorite tropes,  it was too short and too predictable to keep me engaged in the story.  Worse yet, a day after reading it, most of the plot has escaped my memory, so it’s also fairly forgettable.  Mango the dog, though he played only a small role, was the most memorable character for me.

Lexie is crashing at Luke Marchetti’s flat while he’s out of town.  He’s supposed to be gone for a month, so color Lexie very surprised, and also embarrassed, when he walks into his home and finds her in the kitchen.  In a gold negligee.  At the sight of him, Lexie is overcome with many emotions.  She’s had a monster crush on him since she was a foreign exchange student staying with his family in high school, and to her dismay, she hasn’t gotten over it.  Mix in the hurt from his cool dismissal of her – after sharing her first kiss – and she’s instantly on edge and angry.  He’s probably still a man whore, lacking any ability to have a real, caring relationship.  When she discovers that he’s hurt his leg in a training accident, though, her heart thaws, just a little.  Maybe he’s not so bad?

Unknown to Lexie, Luke has been attracted to her since she was a shy guest in his parents’ home.  When they’re caught kissing, his father tells him in no uncertain terms to keep his hands to himself.  With Lexie off limits, Luke turns to serial dating to forget her.  All he does is frustrate himself and break her heart.  With so many misunderstandings between them, can he convince her to give him a second chance?

I think my favorite part of Gamble in Gold was Luke’s realization that Lexie is the one for him, and that he’s finally ready to settle down with one woman.  When she coolly brushes off their night together as nothing more than a one night stand, it’s his turn to be hurt.  Lexie is beating herself up for succumbing to Luke’s charm, knowing that it will only result in heartache, so she wants to cut to the chase and make him think that he means nothing to her before he can do it to her.  Luke must plead his case, and he has to face some of his fears about a lasting relationship as he does so.

I was also disappointed with the length of GiG.  Based on the file size, I thought it would be longer, but the included preview took up a big chunk of the end.

Grade: C/C-

Review copy provided by publisher

Review: The Best Man’s Baby by Victoria James

 

Title: The Best Man’s Baby

Author: Victoria James

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Florist Claire Holbrook has always played by the rules her entire life, but breaks them to spend one night with sexy lone wolf Jake Manning, a man she’s adored since she was a teenager. Six weeks later things get complicated when she discovers they created a bond that will last a lifetime…Jake has never played by the rules. Getting Minister Holbrook’s daughter pregnant wasn’t part of any life plan, but he won’t run from his responsibilities. He’ll step up and be the best man he can, even if he doesn’t have a clue where to begin. The more time he spends with Claire, though, the more he wants her, and the harder it is to get close because that would mean sharing the one thing he hasn’t with anyone–the truth and his heart.


Review:

The second book in Victoria James’ Red River series is a knock out.  Both Claire and Jake are believably broken, suffering from dysfunctional childhoods.  Claire’s mother is a perfectionist, and she pressured a shy, uncertain Claire to be the best she could be.  Relentlessly.  Any imperfection was picked apart, leaving Claire feeling worthless.  Add in bullying at school, and before long, she had tried to drown her sorrow by overeating.  As the pounds began to pile on, both her mother and her classmates hounded her, mocking her figure and adding yet another blow to her self-esteem.

Jake, too, suffered emotional trauma during his childhood.  He never understood why his parents treated him differently from his two brothers, and when he discovered the awful truth, he felt nothing but revulsion for himself.  With nobody to confide in, he acted out, causing suffering for himself and earning himself a bad boy reputation.  Only Claire’s father, a minister, saved him, and now he’s grateful to him and forever in his debt. 

After hooking up at his brother’s wedding, Jake abruptly abandons Claire.  He leaves town, returning to an unpleasant surprise.  Claire, pregnant with his child and with a mounting fury that would cause a Navy SEAL to run for cover, makes her condition – and his betrayal – publically known.  How? By stabbing the positive pregnancy test stick in his burger at a barbeque.  This moment in Romancelandia will go down in history as the most creative, and socially awkward, way to make a pregnancy announcement.

I loved this story because I could relate so well to both characters.  My own internment in high school was soul draining and challenging, and I have fought to put every insult, nickname, and prank  behind me.  It hasn’t been easy to find a sense of worth after suffering through years of bullying, and I could easily sympathize with Claire.  Struggling to live up to the high expectations of her mother, she had nowhere to turn, and only found refuge when she became friends with Holly (the heroine of A Risk Worth Taking).  Claire is used to taking care of herself, and she’s made a successful business of her florist shop.  Now that she is pregnant by the guy she’s been crushing on since she was a teen, she realizes that he’s just a jerk.  He couldn’t run away from her fast enough after their night of unbridled passion, and now she is determined to raise her child by herself.  What she doesn’t expect is that Jake wants to be part of his child’s life, too.  She resists Jake’s attempts to apologize, and digs her heels in when he insists she let him accompany her to doctor appointments.  And when he suggests that they get married?  Oh, hell, no, Mr Love ‘em and Leave ‘em!

There’s a lot of humor in this book, as well as heartache, and ultimately, redemption, for Jake and a new understanding between Claire and her mother.  When Jake refused to share himself with Claire, I wanted to scream with frustration.  He is finally given the chance to be himself and share his most terrible secret, and he almost blows it, and his relationship with Claire, to Kingdom Come.  He lacks the ability to trust anybody, even his brothers, and it almost costs him his happiness with Claire. 

The Best Man’s Baby is a moving read, with highs, lows, and every emotion in between.  As with A Risk Worth Taking, I was caught up in the characters and their emotional turmoil, and found myself cheering for their HEA.  I usually dislike baby books, but this romance is now one of my favorites.

Grade:  A-/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Meet Jake Olsen from Robyn Thomas’ Famously Engaged and Giveaway!

 

We have a special guest in the virtual offices this morning!  Rocker hottie Jake Olsen from Robyn Thomas’ Famously Engaged dropped in for a visit, so please give him a warm welcome.

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Jake Olsen] Only five? I’m accustomed to being the ‘mouth’ of Five Awesome Emperors and talking us up in interview situations, so limiting my answer will be a challenge. I’d have to say: caged, ambitious, loyal, itinerant and overconfident.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you share a typical day in the life of Jake Olsen?

[Jake Olsen] There is no pattern to my days. They start early, finish late and usually involve some combination of the following: long distance travel, public appearances, radio interviews, video and photo shoots, working out, recording, performing and song writing. If all five Emperors are in the same city, and our schedule can be twisted to accommodate it, I get the band together for a quick jam session.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words come to mind when you think of Beth?

[Jake Olsen] Beth is essential, admirable, strong and grounded. (Did I mention that I can’t count?)

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Jake Olsen] Beth’s loyalty to her ex-husband drives me CRAZY. Their divorce failed to break the bond between them and his upcoming wedding shows no sign of succeeding either. I can’t understand why she’d settle for his company when she has access to me 24/7.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Jake Olsen] I wouldn’t change a thing. I carried around some hefty regrets before I met Beth, but every bad decision and foolish mistake I ever made combined to lead me to her doorstep. Music is important to me, but I could always write songs for other people, tour with a different band or pursue a solo career. Beth is my weakness, my strength and my reason for living. I can’t imagine a life better than the one I share with Beth, so I have no desire to change anything.

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the book:

A chef and a rock star. They couldn’t be from more different worlds…

Rock star royalty’s favorite son, Jake Olsen, couldn’t help but interfere after listening to his future brother-in-law talk non-stop about his ex-wife, Beth Carlisle. Jake decides that the only way to get the groom’s mind off his ex-wife is to give her a fake fiancé.

Before Jake can convince Beth of his plan, he’s forced to move in with her to avoid the paparazzi. Their instant attraction makes for a sizzling "first date", but soon Jake’s fame gets in the way and Beth wants out. Too bad Jake’s figured out just why her ex is so obsessed with her, and he’s afraid he’s not going to be able to give her up either.

Now it’s up to Jake to convince this chef together they make the perfect recipe.

About Robyn Thomas:

Robyn is a cheesecake connoisseur, caffeine addict, and mother of two boys. Happily married, she lives in Melbourne, Australia. Writing romance helps her balance the effects of living in an all-male household. Robyn loves romantic comedies, art glass, cooking and browsing in quirky gift shops.

Author Website ? Twitter ? Goodreads

Meet Blake Matthews From Barbara DeLeo’s Dishing Up Desire and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Barbara DeLeo back to the virtual offices!  She’s brought along a special guest this morning, so please give a big “Hello” to Blake Matthews, hero of Barbara’s latest Indulgence release Dishing up Desire.  After we get to know Blake better, please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Contract For Marriage!  You can also enter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

[Barbara DeLeo] It’s great to be back at Manga Maniac Café. This time I’ve brought along Blake Matthews from my latest book, Dishing up Desire.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hi, Blake! Can you describe yourself in five words or less.

[Blake Matthews] Ex-international model. Something to prove

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Blake Matthews?

[Blake Matthews] No such thing for me. I work with people to totally transform their image. That might be anything from helping an IT entrepreneur sharpen up his wardrobe to giving a politician a few lessons in subtlety and decorum. No two people are the same, so no two days are the same and I like it like that. At the moment I’m working with celebrity chef Kirin Hart to turn her homemaker image on its head and it’s not any easy ask.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Kirin?

[Blake Matthews] Stubborn, sexy, hurting

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Blake Matthews] Kirin doesn’t know her own power. She’s built a cooking empire, she has a fan base of millions, and yet at her core she doesn’t trust that those people can see inside to the person she really is. It’s my job to marry the outside version that Kirin presents to the world, with the one that I know lies deep inside her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Blake Matthews] I’d push my brother away from the heater before he got burnt. Changing that moment in time wouldn’t have changed what I wanted to do with my life, but it sure has hell would’ve changed the raging need I have inside to prove everyone wrong.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you, Barbara and Blake!

Giveaways!!!

[Barbara DeLeo] I have an e-copy of an earlier book, Contract for Marriage to give away to one lucky commenter, and at the end of my blog tour we’ll be drawing the name of one commenter from all of the blogs to win a deluxe “Dishing up Desire” chef’s apron and a $50 Amazon gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the book:

Image consultant Blake Matthews is facing his toughest PR challenge yet: salvage the image of celebrity chef Kirin Hart. Once he does, he’ll be able to acquire LA’s most successful PR firm. But Kirin’s no easy fix. She’s stubborn about changing her comfortable homemaker image, and is being sued for sexual harassment by a junior staffer. She needs a PR lifeline fast. Only problem is Blake wants more than to make her over…

Kirin doesn’t need a makeover—her fans love her as she is. But she could lose everything if the sex scandal and reputation that has followed doesn’t get quashed right away. Kirin agrees to let model-perfect Blake work his magic for two weeks, but things get complicated when she can’t deny the way her body flares to life whenever he’s near.

About the author:

Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.

She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.

Website: http://www.barbaradeleo.com

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/14PSjgi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraDeleoAuthor?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12GeDpN

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbDeLeo

Interview with Tracy Ward, Author of Fair Play and Giveaway!

 

Please give a warm welcome to guest Tracy Ward! She’s visiting the virtual offices to talk about her new release Fair Play.  To celebrate, she has a tour wide gift card to giveaway, too, so please enter the giveaway after reading Tracy’s interview.

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

[Tracy Ward] Wife, mom, adventurer, finder of lost things, a terrible cook and a worse dancer.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Fair Play?

[Tracy Ward] Every writer has a muse and playwright, Ashlyn Carter is no exception.  In order to secure her inheritance, save a regional theater from bankruptcy, and earn her spot on Broadway she must team up with her sworn enemy—her big brother’s best friend, Noah Blake.

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

[Tracy Ward] I love the theater and I love stories about writers. So I asked myself, what would happen if your enemy was your muse in a love story? And from that other questions arose. What would happen if the one girl you could never touch– your best friend’s little sister–turned out to be the only girl you’d ever love? Ashlyn and Noah took shape from that and Fair Play was born.

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

[Tracy Ward]

sassy

messy

focused

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

[Tracy Ward] Comfortably Numb, the Eddie Vedder version.  For some reason I found myself listening to this song almost every time I wrote in his POV.  But then Ashlyn comes along and pushes all his buttons and it turns into something more along the lines of Crossfire by The Killers.

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

[Tracy Ward] A ponytail holder.  In the Texas heat, no girl with long hair should ever be without one. :-)

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

[Tracy Ward] He’s not a metro-sexual, so I’d say 1). Hair gel  2). moisturizer   3). a hair dryer

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

[Tracy Ward] Inviting Kyle back to Noah’s place that night in New York is her biggest regret.  She was only seventeen at the time, young and naive.  Not only did she think Kyle would actually share her script with his famous father, but she thought she could make Noah jealous in the process.  Boy did that backfire on her.

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

[Tracy Ward] Music, movies, and people watching.  I know the people watching thing sounds totally creepy, but I like listening to other people’s conversations, observing their mannerisms and body language.  It gives me all kinds of crazy insights and ideas.   

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

[Tracy Ward] 1). A laptop.  I’ve never been one of those pen-to-paper people.  My mind works too fast and my hand writing is way too slow. 

2). I almost always have a Diet Coke close by

3). I need to be alone.  I’m not one of those people who can sit in a room and feed off of collective energy.  I need my own space and my own noises. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Fair Play?

[Tracy Ward] My kids.  They’re 8 and 10 (7 and 9 at the time I wrote FP) and are active in sports, which most of the time my hubs and I coach.  There’s always a practice or game to go to or communications to be sent to parents.  And if there isn’t a practice or game, I’m planning for the practice/game.  I’m always thinking about how well we’re doing in teaching and preparing them, not just for the next game, but for life in general.  So maybe the answer isn’t just my kids, but the neighborhood kids too. :-)   

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

[Tracy Ward] The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.  That was a phenomenal series that started slow for me, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading.  I’m really really sad there won’t be any more of those.  Lisbeth Salander has to be the most compelling character ever created. 

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

[Tracy Ward] The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  My sister, who is three years older, read it.  I think it was the first and last book she ever read.  :-)  I was in fourth grade at the time. It captivated me and I’ve been devouring books since.

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

[Tracy Ward] I play on a rec league women’s basketball team.  We’re all pretty competitive, I don’t know how you can play sports and not be. And it gets rough out there, which is a tremendous stress reliever, but I wouldn’t trade the bruises I’ve taken or given for anything. 

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

[Tracy Ward] http://tracyaward.com/

https://www.facebook.com/#!/tracyaward

https://twitter.com/tracyaward

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7094817.Tracy_A_Ward

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

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About the book:

Writing three plays for a nationally acclaimed theater in Phair, Texas, wasn’t supposed to put my inheritance at risk and force me into constant contact with Noah Blake–the very guy I love to hate. But with one chance to prove to my controlling father that I can succeed as a playwright, I’ve developed a major case of writer’s block.

Cue Noah, my older brother’s best friend and the guy I’ve avoided since my crush-gone-bad days. And now my director thinks he’s the key to unleashing my creativity. He thinks Noah is my muse. Discovering the fate of the theater is also in my hands, I have no choice but to collaborate with my worst enemy. But it’s more than just a great scene Noah inspires. Now everything I thought I wanted is put to the test. And the guy I swore I was over still has a hold on my heart.