I have three winners to announce today. The winner of Liz Flaherty’s book, One Summer, is Cathy S. The winner of Phoebe Conn’s book, Captive Heart, is Aretha Zhen. And the winner of one of Ann Roth’s backlist books is Amy Medeiros. Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be in touch.
Multi-published, multi-talented author Phoebe Conn is back on the blog with us today, guest blogging about her latest books. Phoebe has written so many wonderful novels over the course of her distinguished career, and I would urge my readers to check out her extensive backlist on her website. Right now, I’m going to turn the blog over to Phoebe, who’s going to tell us how she researches the settings for her wonderful books.
People often ask me if I travel to do research. When there’s an opportunity, I quickly pack my bags. When my husband served as an Army officer, we lived in Germany and used every day of his leave each year to tour Europe. We took photos and I made notes in a journal. The Internet is terrific for research when I can’t visit the site of a book for colorful detail. I also use travel guides with plenty of photos and essential facts to base my stories in reality.
For DEFY THE WORLD TOMATOES, a Samhain contemporary, I chose a town up the coast from Santa Barbara for the setting and named it Monarch Bay. I crisscrossed the downtown, which was filled with shops catering to tourists. I bought frozen yogurt and watched the people passing by. There is a beautiful outdoor nursery and gift shop there, and it was the inspiration for the Defy the World Tomatoes nursery my heroine and her best friend open. I used a historic mission style inn in Riverside for the inn Griffin and Darcy visit. I had a fictional town, so anything needed for the story could easily be shifted to a new location.
There is a stately Langham Hotel in Pasadena, I chose the setting for a reunion party in TANGLED HEARTS. I visited on a rainy afternoon in my trench coat carrying a clipboard. I walked around the hotel making notes on the décor and bought postcards in the gift shop. (I once heard no one questions someone with a clipboard because they appear to be working.) Favorite restaurants appear in my books. There’s no reason to invent a café when there are so many delightful ones, and it’s a perfect excuse to dine out! Takeout menus provide tasty ideas for meals and are a wonderful resource.
Setting a scene in an actual location adds to the readers’ experience. When a scene is rich in detail, the story comes alive. I toured Scandinavia to collect background for my February Samhain Retro release, CAPTIVE HEART, a passionate Viking adventure. I’ll give a free copy, print or ebook, to one of the people who comment. It’s one of my most popular books and a New York Times bestseller. I love to hear from readers. Please send me an email at:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit my website.
Well, you heard the lady! Let’s start leaving those comments. Just tell me what country or place you dream of visiting more than any other to have a chance to win Captive Heart.
Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog. My featured authors next week will be contemporary romance author Susan Fox and historical paranormal author Zoe Archer. You won’t want to miss either of them!
I have a very interesting and accomplished writer featured on the blog today. She’s Phoebe Conn, and she writes contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance. Phoebe has 34 books to her name, having written for Kensington, Dorchester, Warner Books, and Silhouette. She’s a New York Times bestselling author, with more than seven million books in print under her own name as well as her pseudonym, Cinnamon Burke. On top of all that, she’s won several RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards and has been nominated as Storyteller of the Year.
Whew! Pretty impressive writing resume, wouldn’t you say?
Currently, Phoebe writes contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing, and Samain will also be releasing some of Phoebe’s previously published historical romances. In addition, she’s taken on the world of indie publishing, writing new contemporaries and re-releasing some of her backlist. To get all the details, stop by her website and check out her previous and upcoming releases. Make sure you have a look at some of her backlist books, with their wonderful old-school covers. They’re absolutely gorgeous!
And while visiting her website, check out the About Me page to find out how Phoebe got her start in the romance writing business. I’ll give you a tantalizing hint: it involves Ricardo Montalban!
Phoebe has a new book that’s just been released in print from Samhain. It’s the wonderfully titled Defy The World Tomatoes.
Here’s the blurb for Defy The World Tomatoes:
She knew he was trouble, but she’s no coward.
Darcy MacLeod’s Army brat childhood drives her to sink roots as deep as the plants with which she works. As part owner of a nursery/gift shop in Monarch Bay, she’s well on her way to her dream. Though she’s haunted by the lingering fear that her one chance for true love has come and gone.
When Griffin Moore asks her to landscape his sumptuous new estate, she’s entranced by the internationally renowned pianist’s air of mystery. Yet as she is inexorably drawn into his bed, her instincts tell her that secrets lurk behind his sophisticated mask.
With her carelessly styled hair, grubby overalls, and hands that see more dirt than an earthworm, Griffin finds Darcy a refreshing ray of light in his shadowy world. His globe-trotting concert schedule makes him the perfect Interpol informant-and makes a permanent relationship too dangerous to risk.
Their passion rivals the music of the great classical masters, but even as Darcy dips a toe into Griffin’s extravagant world, darkness reaches out to strike a dangerous chord. And Darcy must fight to keep her second chance at love-and her lover-alive.
Warning: Contains meddling friends, high adventure, down and dirty sex, and a couple who make beautiful music together-in bed and out.
Doesn’t that sound great? And I love the fact that the hero is a world-famous pianist. I can drool over Navy Seals and tough cop heroes as much as the next gal, but that’s a really cool twist to have a musician as the man to capture the heroine’s heart.
For my readers today, Phoebe has graciously donated a copy of Defy The World Tomatoes. Since the hero of Phoebe’s novel is a musician, let’s talk about that. What’s your favorite kind of music, and why? One person who comments will win a copy of the book.