Get into Bed with Kelsey Browning (Author Interview)

Kelsey Browning - HeadshotKeira: What’s the best way to keep a secret… secret?

Kelsey Browning: Hmm…this is a hard one for me because I’m pretty much an unfiltered, open book. LOL. But I think the best way to keep a secret is to realize what’s at stake for the person who has the secret. And the other way would be never to tell another single person. A secret is hard to contain once even one other person knows. :)

Keira: What would make you break a promise to keep a secret?

Kelsey: If the secret could hurt either the person keeping the secret or hurt someone very close to me.

Keira: Eden Durant, your heroine in Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights), also has secrets, that have her starting over. What does she feel are the best and worst things about starting over?

Kelsey: The best and worst for Eden is probably the same thing—that no one really knows the real her. It keeps her “safe,” but it also keeps her from getting too close to anyone. Keeps her from having the relationship that—deep down—she craves.

Keira: Have you ever started over in your life? What did you find the best and worst about starting fresh?

Kelsey: Oh boy, have I. My family “started over” when we left Texas to move overseas to Doha, Qatar (a small country just off Saudi Arabia). The best was experiencing a new adventure and leaving behind so many of the expectations about the way we were supposed to live our life. The worst was being without family and friends from home. It was tough being half a world away from so many of the people we love.

Keira: Name three not-so-secret-secrets she might only tell the hero, Beck.

Kelsey: All the restaurants where she worked between California and Texas. Why she dresses like a color-blind toddler. :) How she really feels about sex.

Keira: Ladies love a man in uniform – how did Beck get his?

Kelsey: Deputies (including the Chief Deputy, Beck Childress) serve at the pleasure of the sheriff. Beck was hired by the current Crockett County sheriff when he moved home to Shelbyville after leaving a career on Wall Street.

Keira: Beck is also running for election. When and why did he decide to do that?

Kelsey: Let’s just say if you read the first scene in Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights), you’ll know the answer to that. ;)

Keira: How do you define love? What makes it real and work?

Kelsey: You like to ask the easy questions, huh? LOL I think love—at least romantic love—is a combination of attraction, respect, and trust. Other than that, it’s a mystery. As far as making it work for the long term, I think the trust and respect are critical. And learning how to be a good listener—something I’m still learning after 20 years of marriage—is a biggie.

Keira: Is it ever okay to keep a secret from a spouse or loved one?

Kelsey: Yow – you’re on a roll today! A big, ugly secret? No. A surprise party? Yes.

Keira: Now for the hardest question. ;) What are you working on next?

Kelsey: I’m working on a new Texas-set contemporary series and book two in The Granny Series!

Problems In Paradise Cover - FinalBook Summary:

Eden Durant hasn’t always been Eden Durant. She’s made a fresh start in Shelbyville, Texas, far from her mother’s notoriety. Running the Paradise Garden Café is as much excitement as Eden wants—or it was, until she meets Beck Childress. Although he’s the one man who could expose her past, she’s willing to open up enough to see if he might be her future.

Chief Deputy Childress is determined to get to know the real Eden, when he isn’t busy cleaning up after the sheriff and running in the election to replace him. When several men fall sick after eating in Eden’s café, he investigates even as her mysterious past raises both his suspicions and his protective instincts.

As their relationship heats up, so do the pressures of Beck’s campaign. When Eden’s secrets are revealed, jeopardizing his dream of becoming sheriff, he’ll need to choose: serve and protect the town he loves or the woman who makes it home.

Buy: Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights)

Author Bio: Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and cozy Southern mysteries. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, and Bad Dog. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series.

Connect with Kelsey: Email / Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sushi – The Food of Love?

by Christina Courtenay, guest blogger and author of The Scarlet Kimono

Hello Keira and thank you so much for inviting me onto your lovely blog to tell you a bit about my new novel The Scarlet Kimono.

From the heading of this post and the title of the book you’ve probably already guessed that it’s set in Japan, a country I absolutely love.  I was lucky enough to live there for a while during my teens and had the best time of my life, so it seemed natural to set a novel there.  Since I also love history, I decided to combine the two.

The Scarlet Kimono is the story of Hannah, a young English girl in the 17th century who envies her brother’s adventurous life.  She decides to stow away on his merchant ship and ends up in Japan, but once there, she is abducted by a warlord, Taro, to whom she’s instantly attracted.  He, in his turn, is fascinated by her, but there’s a clash of both cultures and wills and that of course stops them from admitting the attraction.  With Hannah’s brother desperate to find her and a jealous rival equally desperate to kill her, she faces the greatest adventure of her life. And Taro has to choose between love and honour …

Like many other westerners, Hannah has a tough time getting used to Japanese food at first.  She finds raw fish slimy and, well, fishy (!) and she misses bread, butter and big roasts of meat.  Although there is meat in Japanese cuisine, it doesn’t form the main part of their diet the way it did in many parts of Europe, so poor Hannah can only dream of the dishes she’s used to.  Most of the time though, she has other things to worry about!

I have to admit that although I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t massively keen on sushi when I first tried it.  It’s definitely an acquired taste, but once you get it, there’s no going back.  During a holiday in Japan a couple of years ago, my family and I visited the famous fish market at Tsukiji in Tokyo and the sushi served in the little restaurants there was so fresh it almost melted on your tongue.  And some of the other traditional dishes, like tempura (deep fried king prawns) and yakisoba (fried noodles) are delicious as well, so I imagined that my heroine adapted quite easily to her new circumstances.  Besides, surely it’s worth giving up bread to find the love of your life?

So could sushi be the food of love?  It doesn’t sound as romantic as a box of chocolates for instance (my absolute favourite – I’m a complete chocoholic!), but just imagine feeding your man little bits of sushi with your chopsticks while gazing into his eyes …  Well, I guess it could work.  Maybe.  What do you think?

GIVEAWAY: If you’d like to win a signed copy of The Scarlet Kimono, please leave a comment below and tell me what you consider to be the food of love – I’d love to know! Last Day to Enter: February 25, 2011.

Thank you again for having me!

The Scarlet Kimono is published by Choc Lit on 1st March (ISBN 978-1-906931-29-2)

(For more details and an extract please go to www.choc-lit.co.uk and if anyone would like to know more about me, my website and blog are at www.christinacourtenay.com and I also regularly blog in the Choc Lit Authors’ Corner at www.blog.choc-lit.co.uk

About the Author

Christina Courtenay writes historical novels with a hint of the Far East and loves history and all things Oriental.  Her first novel Trade Winds was based on the Swedish East India Company’s first journey to China in 1732 and featured a Scottish hero and Swedish heroine.  This novel has just been shortlisted for the RNA’s Pure Passion Historical Novel Prize 2011.  Christina is half Swedish/half English and lives in London with her husband, two daughters and three mad (but adorable) dogs.