Get into Bed with Julia London (Author Interview)

one mad nightKeira: One of the things I liked best about your rivals romance One Mad Night was that the hero and heroine played fair and it was still fun! Was fair play important to you and why was it important to the romance?

Julia London: To a point, yes.  The novella is short, so if the hero did something unfair (and it would be the hero, right?), there is not really enough time to redeem him.  And honestly, I think rivals can play fair.  It’s healthy competition that makes for healthy relationship.  I sound like a psychologist.

Keira: What made you decide they were competing over a car ad?

Julia: I thought that sort of ad would be a good and natural tension, because car ads seem to slanted toward men or women.  I noticed minivan ads are all about mom and the kids, and then the luxury cars are all about hip, handsome men. Figures!

Keira: What is your favorite part about snowed-in / isolated / desert / intimate (this subgenre goes by a lot of names!) romances?

Julia: That no one can escape.  The characters have to deal.  No one can run away and talk to friends or think, or pull any of that.  They are stuck.  Delicious!

Keira: What do you love best about writing historical/contemporary romances? 

Julia: Well, I love to read good love stories.  I love to watch them on the big screen.  So I guess I am naturally drawn to them.  I love establishing the male and female leads and their first real notice of each other.  It’s always fun to see where it will go after that.

Keira: Your characters always have such lovely chemistry with each other. What to you makes two characters rub along and create sparks?

Julia: Thank you!  That’s a wonderful compliment.  In high school, we did this play about a couple on a train.  I can’t remember the name of it, but what I remember is that it was my first conscious comprehension of the emotional differences between men and women.  Men want everything to be uncomplicated and unemotional, and women are incapable of leaving everything black and white.  It’s fun to push and pull those two dynamics.

Keira: How do you define love? How do you recognize your true love? What makes it last in the long run and not fizzle out?

Julia: In books or in real life?  Mutual respect and admiration is love.  What makes it last in the long run is appreciation and listening.  I think men and women can put up with a lot if they feel they are heard and appreciated by the ones they love.

Keira: What makes a steamy and sexy sex scene?

Julia: For me, the anticipation and sexual tension is steamier than the actual sex scene.  It’s a problem for me as a writer.  Some readers really like graphic sex.  I really like the build up to the actual depiction.  I have to straddle those and find a happy medium.

Keira: If not for writing, what would be your dream job? “Big business” job?

Julia: Writing is my dream job!  I’ve had the big business jobs before.  I would love to learn how to write screen plays, but there is only so much time, you know?

Keira: What is the hardest part and the most fun part of writing?

Julia: The hardest part of writing is actually writing.  I want each book to be better than the last, so I keep raising the bar for myself.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  But I have to challenge myself to try new things and execute them well.  The most fun part of writing is meeting fans.  I work alone and I don’t know how my books may or may not speak to a reader.  So when I meet them in person and they are so complimentary and sometimes even moved my meeting me, it makes every moment spent alone with a stinky dog, tossing out everything I wrote the day before and trying again very much worth it!

Keira: What are you working on for us next?

Julia: I have the next two books in my historical Cabot Sisters series (The Devil Takes a Bride and The Scoundrel and the Debutante) coming out in late January and late April, respectively.  The Perfect Homecoming, the third book in my contemporary Pine River series, is coming out in February.  I am currently writing a book about rich summer people and the inevitable conflicts with the year round residents at a lake resort.  I just started it, but you know some worlds are going to collide!

One Mad Night Anthology
By Julia London

Two Romantic Adventures…One Mad Night

Two delightful contemporary romance novellas in one book from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London.

One winter’s night a blizzard sweeps across the country, demonstrating that fate can change the course of lives in an instant…and fate has got a sense of humor.

One Mad Night

Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together—oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…

The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella

RITA Award Nominee for Best Romance Novella of 2013

Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all.

Praise for Julia London:

“London knows how to keep pages turning…winningly fresh and funny.” —Publishers Weekly, on RITA Award nominee The Bridesmaid

Buy: One Mad Night

About the Author

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Homecoming Ranch contemporary series, the Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, and numerous other works. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance.  She lives in Austin, Texas.

Connect with Julia London:

www.julialondon.com  | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Excerpt from One Mad Night by Julia London

It took a moment for Chelsea to notice him, which gave Ian a moment to admire her. He was going to crush her tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from appreciating a figure that guys like him dreamed about. Chelsea was wearing a skirt today. It hit about mid-thigh and was tight enough to show off all her curves. She looked a bit taller today too. He glanced at her feet and noticed the shoes. Chelsea was walking on stilts, and her legs, good God, her legs. She was smoking hot in that dress and those shoes.

“Hey!” she said sharply, her voice full of accusation.

Ian’s head snapped up. “Hey,” he said con-genially. “Practicing your pitch?” He settled one hip onto the conference table.

“Do you mind?” She gestured to the door in a be-­off-­with-­you way.

“If you want, I could listen and give you some feedback.”

Chelsea’s mouth dropped open. And then her green eyes narrowed into little slits. “You have got to be the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.”

Ian smiled and shrugged.

“You can go, Ian,” she said, marching around the conference table to usher him out. “I think I’ve got it.”

“Suit yourself.”

“I will.”

“So hostile,” he said with a wink as he stood up. “I’m just trying to help. It never hurts for someone to hear the pitch, right? You’ve had someone listen to you go through it, right?”

“Yes, I’ve had—­Hey, hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “Are you trying to play me?” she demanded. “Because it won’t work. I’m not some junior account person, you know. You can’t intimidate me.”

“Well, obviously,” Ian said and poked her back. “You wouldn’t be pitching at all if you were a junior account person. I know I can’t intimidate you. It wasn’t a declaration of war, you know; it was an offer to help.”

“It wasn’t a let-­me-­help, best-­friends-­forever offer, either. I’m not playing games with you. This account means a lot to me—­”

“Me too.”

“Oh yeah?” she said, shifting closer. “Well, don’t get too attached to the idea. I’ve got seniority, you know.”

“So why are you so afraid to show me what you’ve got?”

“Because it’s none of your business.”

“On the eve of the championship, it’s okay to go out and shoot some hoops with your competitor. It’s not going to affect tomorrow’s big game. It’s not like I can go out and change weeks of work overnight if I see you’ve got something better.”

She laughed. “Good try, Rafferty, but I think maybe the reason you want to see my pitch is because you’re worried about the strength of your pitch. Is it a little rough? Maybe I should listen to you.” She winked, and her green eyes shone with pleasure at her comeback.

“I’m definitely not worried about my pitch.”

“No? Seems to me if you’re presenting three,” she said, holding up three fingers and wiggling them at him, “then you must be uncertain which one is the winner.” Her smile broadened into sheer triumph, as if she thought she’d really zinged him.

She hadn’t zinged him, but Ian did wonder how she knew what he had…Zach. Of course. That rat bastard. “Have you been talking to Zimmerman?” he asked accusingly.

She shrugged and studied her manicure. “Maybe. Does it matter? I thought we were doing the let’s-­help-­each-­other thing. But if we’re not, would you mind toddling off? I have a lot of work I need to do before tomorrow. I plan to hit the ground running with this account on Monday.”

She was amazingly and annoyingly confident. Ian was generally a confident guy, but she was making him a teensy bit nervous. “You really think you’re going to get this, don’t you?”

“I don’t think, I know,” she said, looking up.

He tilted his head to one side to study her. “Isn’t it obvious to you why they brought me in?”

“I don’t know—­I haven’t given it the slightest bit of thought.” She lifted her chin, and Ian realized she lied about as well as she engaged in verbal volleyball. “I’ve been promised that this account is as good as mine. Didn’t they tell you that when they brought you in?”

A bit more of Ian’s confidence leaked out of him. He’d been in New York advertising long enough to know that the industry was full of snakes. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to feed him a bunch of half-­baked promises to get him to commit. “Who told you?”

She grinned. “None of your beeswax.”

“Come on, tell me—­” His phone rang, distracting him momentarily. He fished it out of his pocket and noticed the number was the Grabber-­Paulson main number. That was weird. “Listen, I’ll just say this,” he said, clicking off the phone. “Don’t be so sure of things. People say things they don’t mean, especially in this industry.” He started for the door.

“Uh-­huh, I know. And I would offer you the same advice, Mr. Rafferty,” she said in a singsong voice, and she flashed a dazzling smile, full of straight white teeth.

“Cocky too. I like that about you,” he said. “I’ll keep it in mind when I make partner.” He winked at her, smiled as if he was completely unbothered, and went out of the conference room.

Buy: One Mad Night

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Review: A Vampire’s Passion (A Romance In Central City, Book 3) by Jordan K. Rose

a vampire's passionReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Brandt is aware of homeless going missing and an evil army vowing to take control of the city, but if he has anything to do with it, they won’t get the chance. Brandt has enough trouble on a reconnaissance mission to find out more on Menhadens, a restaurant in Central City. There he meets Rachel a waitress working there who takes his fancy almost in an instant with her amazing blue eyes.

Review: We first meet Brandt when he’s busy scoping Menhadens for the kind of people who enter the establishment. Brandt doesn’t like having a sidekick, and certainly not one he labels as the world’s most irritating vampire, Garrison. After being on Earth for a hundred years, he still can’t get on with people the way he hopes. He always gets ribbed about being anti-social by his sidekick and anyone else who knows him. When he meets Rachel she’s the most stubborn woman he has ever met, but there is something about her he can’t resist, even being a vampire.

He and Garrison are looking into the dangerous and cruel experiments that Panthera Laboratories are getting up to, and he is afraid that Rachel might also be getting caught up in them. Raymond Tyrone is the kingpin and things could get bad if anyone finds out. Rachel might have an attitude that offends the ones who eat at Menhadens, yet out of work she’s a caring person who feeds a street guy affectionately called “Hank.” She remembers growing up poor as a kid, and doesn’t mind sneaking food out of the work’s kitchens if it means saving someone from starving. Brandt begins to question his standing as a vampire when she has the ability to resist him, even though he is more than interested in her being the one for him. Rachel compliments Brandt’s lack of human warmth toward the men he works with, as she is compassionate even if she is stubborn.

Good Bits:

  • The humour that runs through the whole novel.
  • Brandt is a very well thought out character and proves it.
  • A place called Crap Alley and who coined the name.

Summary: This is a vampire cop mystery that will interest those interested in supernatural romance, and though it might seem that Brandt and Rachel aren’t made for each other, it could be said readers might change their minds half way through.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: A Vampire’s Passion: A Romance In Central City, Novella Three

Writing Tips with Franny Armstrong

I’m author Franny Armstrong, ParaNovelGirl. Para stands for paranormal, as in psychic abilities, Novel…well, it speaks for itself. As for Girl, I decided that even though I’m a woman, girl sounds so much better. There, now you know my secret. lol

I’ve learned a TON over the past twelve years as a professional writer. The what DON’T do’s tend to outrank the DO do’s. As in spelling do’s. (NOT a word) Honest.

As a Canadian, I write in the US version of English. Colour becomes color, and about isn’t truly aboot, like Americans think we Canadians sound it out.

The most important thing to remember before submitting your works, is to make sure your grammar and punctuation are perfected. Nothing ticks off an agent/editor more, than finding a plethora of mistakes in a manuscript.

Next, check your plot out as you write. There must be a thrilling beginning, a critically exciting middle, and a smashing end to the happily ever after story. Fun WOW?

The first page has to capture the reader’s attention and hold it. There’s nothing like a hot page turner to keep a reader on the edge of their seat. If they like your ‘hook’, they’ll continue to turn the pages. Setting a nice fast pace is important as well. Too much description of the background or of the room the hero/heroine is in can kill a story before it begins. Give it some spice by adding a few tidbits of information at a time. This will help the reader follow your lead.

One of the critical things to remember is that, even if you receive a rejection letter, don’t be shy about sending a ‘thank you for your time’ email, or a kind email asking what you need to work on to have them accept you. Some editors/agents will give you a second chance. TAKE IT!

There are many more things to remember, but we only have so many things to list in a short blog. Always use your manners, and never cut down the editor/agent online. Words travel fast, and the walls have ears. Once you post your thoughts, they stay on the WWW for all to see.

Best wishes for success, and remember one more critical thing: NEVER GIVE UP! No matter how many times you get rejected. Instead of crying over spilt milk, remember to ask questions to find out why you’re work was refused. Follow up, and always be polite. That’s it in a nutshell. Do you want to be successful? What would you do make this happen?

Sincere thanks for visiting this blog.

Franny Armstrong

www.paranovelgirl.com

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Jinn & Toxic Print Cover 200x300A team that doesn’t exist…

Toxic Tango Troop is an elite team of soldiers who are betrayed by one of their own. Their goal is to prevent shipments of illegal drugs to North America. The team struggles to find the teammates, missing after they scatter to evade capture. The government won’t acknowledge the team, so they’re on their own.

She is a military secret…

Jinn Dennison takes the place of her identical twin sister, Julie, a soldier on the team. They think she’s dead. Jinn shows up to save her sister Julie, whom she knows is alive. She races against time to find her before it’s too late. Using her psychic abilities, she connects with Julie who she hasn’t seen since they were ten years old, but someone is blocking their silent communications.

He believes she’s a traitor…

Tab ‘Toxic’ McIntosh has a special gift that is top secret. He captures Jinn then uses her as bait to stop the Iceman, a notorious drug runner, and unearth the traitor. Tab’s sister, Tara, was kidnapped from a resort, and he wants her back at all costs. Things get complicated when Jinn and Tab fall in love.

Can Jinn and Toxic battle against all odds to win the day, or will they die trying? Time is of the essence in this fast paced adventure where anything can happen.

Buy: Jinn & Toxic (Toxic Tango Troop Book 1)

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Franny Armstrong Author PicFranny Armstrong Bio

Franny Armstrong is a mother of three and a grandmother of four. Her husband supports her imagination and has the patience of a saint. Her characters are well rounded and share her wacky sense of humor.

FACEBOOKhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/franny.armstrong.author

BLOG http://www.paranovelgirl.blogspot.com

Review: The Escape (Survivor’s Club, Book 3) by Mary Balogh

escapeReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Sir Benedict Harper, a former soldier who has survived the Napoleonic wars wants to return home to get some kind of support and companionship. He could meet any woman, but Samantha Mc Kay is aided by Benedict who believes she must leave her oppressive in-laws. Benedict gets her safely to Wales where she can claim an estate she has since inherited.

Review: This is the third in the Survivor’s Club series, the first being The Proposal, and the second, The Arrangement. This book is the latest in the saga, and also one of the most interesting.

It might be a simplistic plot as Ben helps Samantha flee her oppressors in order to make a new life for herself, but it is more than that. Harper is a man left with war wounds he can’t easily get over. He feels as though he has nothing to offer a woman as handsome as her, and this gives him a dark outlook on life, one he doesn’t mean, but one that leaves him feeling quite sorry for himself. Ben has unwittingly inherited the family title, yet he is not a well enough man for the role of running the estate. Samantha has to contend with her in-laws after the members of her family die one by one and she is left alone with the others running her life. As she feels like she has let this happen, they now control her every movement preventing her from seeing visitors or going on long journeys to see friends. Her only outlet is to wander around the gardens with her dog at her heels.

Ben first meets her while she is out with her dog but it doesn’t go well but thankfully he makes it up to her. The story is a steadily paced one with both Ben and Samantha thinking about how each other will react to the love they feel. As she is in deep mourning, she has to act rather unhappy around everyone, even him, but when she reveals she wants to dance, he knows that she doesn’t want to feel that way anymore, instead she wants to get on with living her life, even enjoying it.

Good bits:

  • Ben’s reaction to Samantha and her dog while out riding.
  • Beatrice trying to be an outrageous match-maker for Ben!
  • Samantha’s friendship with her dog.

Summary: Though Samantha has reservations about Ben, she can only take action if she is to get the life she wants away from Bramble Hall. The Escape like More Than a Mistress and No man’s Mistress has remarkable characters weaved into a captivating story where anything can and will happen.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: The Escape (Survivor’s Club Book 3)

Review: The Secrets of a Scoundrel (The Inferno Club, Book ) by Gaelen Foley

galen foley secrets of a scoundrelReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Nick Forrester is a legendary rake of a lord, and after living the life of a warrior and ex-spy he’s stuck in a dungeon in Scotland until Lady Virginia Burke lets him out, on one condition – he must agree to be her spy on a mission dictated by her, and her alone. Nick can’t help but take a fancy to her, and she in turn admires his half naked body while she discusses the mission with him in his cell. The question is, will she be able to resist him enough to complete the mission?

Review: I love humour in period novels so this one instantly took my fancy. Lord Forrester (Nick) is a rake, a cad and whatever else you could call him. He’s had women at his feet for years, yet since his last impropriety, he has found himself in dire straits. Virginia tries to rescue him out of his situation, yet is it more a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire, or is her proposal enough to make him want to take her up on it?

As a private investigator she had worked on a case about a young girl who, it seemed has been abducted by a gang of white slavers. If she can get this ‘scoundrel’ to help her track down the gang, and retrieve the girl, she feels she would have been some use to the ones who hired her, but without Nick’s strength and previous spying experience, she feels she can’t find them to bring them to justice.

Good bits:

  • Nick’s thought that Gin is a widow, ‘Praise God!’
  • John Carr, Gin’s associate and a “very beautiful young man.”
  • The big reveal of who Lady Virginia (Gin) really is.
  • Nick’s favourite pudding!

Summary: Nick might be a rake, but he is interested in Gin. He is surprised at who she really is, and understands that he knows more about her than he thinks. She, once letting him out of jail keeps his reputation intact back at the Deepwell Estate. I liked the initial chemistry between the two, the intense yearning they feel at being in each other’s company and the end result of their interest. This, for me was essential Regency reading.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: The Secrets of a Scoundrel (Inferno Club)

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