Guest Author: Kieran Kramer & Giveaway!

I’m so thrilled to have a special guest on my blog today—the fabulous author of humorous Regency romances, Kieran Kramer!  Kieran’s debut novel, When Harry Met Molly, was a breakout hit on the romance writing scene.  It’s the first book in her Impossible Bachelors series, and it garnered rave—and I do mean rave—reviews, including starred reviews from both the Library Journal and Booklist.

It also received this Top Pick Review from RT Book Reviews:

“You’ll smile and even laugh out loud reading Kramer’s delectable debut—even the title’s nod to the famous film elicits a grin. With her perfect sense of pacing, comic timing, poignancy and marvelous characterization, this utterly enchanting new voice will have you eager for more.”

Books two and three in the series are Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right and Cloudy With a Chance of MarriageBesides having FABULOUS titles, they also received great acclaim, including more Top Picks and starred reviews.  And no wonder—I can assure you that Kieran’s books are delightful, romantic reads.  If you haven’t read the first books in the Impossible Bachelors series, you really must!

Kieran has a new book coming out in November—If You Give a Girl a Viscount—and it promises to be just as much fun as her earlier books.

Kieran is here today for a fun little interview, giving us a glimpse into her writing life.  Please welcome the wonderful Kieran Kramer to the blog!

Hi Kieran!  It’s so great to have you here with us.  I have a question I’ve been dying to ask—who are some of your favorite Regency rakes, real or fictional?

Oh, my goodness, I have *one* huge Regency crush–who else but Mr. Darcy? But I also fall madly in love with Mary Balogh’s heroes!

When you’re writing a book, do you avoid reading other Regency historical romances?  What genres do you like to read instead?

When I decided to get published, I thought, “I should do what the successful people do, and maybe I’ll be successful, too.” And so I listened to every word that came out of Debbie Macomber’s mouth. One thing she said was that she reads outside her genre when she writes (which is why she loves Regencies, LOL!). Anyway, that habit really resonated with me. So I have missed out on lots of great Regencies. I’m dying to read Sarah MacLean’s ELEVEN book, Julia Quinn’s ALMOST LIKE HEAVEN, and loads of other Regencies.

To be honest, when I got published, I wasn’t reading a whole lot of Regency historicals other than Julia Quinn and Mary Balogh’s. I had read a huge stack of Signet Regencies in college, but then I moved away from historical romance in general for a long time. Mary Balogh, Amanda Quick, and Julia Quinn brought me back, not that others couldn’t have done the same, but I had lots of other reading interests to indulge, too, all those years. During that more “contemporary “era,” I was reading lots of Jennifer Crusie, Jayne Anne Krentz, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I also fell in love with Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton. I also read a lot of non-fiction and re-read some classics, including children’s classics with my kids.

Does music help you write? Do you put together play lists for each book? If not music, what other creative techniques do you use to spark your imagination?

Yes, music helps me a lot when I write. But I’d say 50% of the time I write in total silence. It depends what is required in the scene and what my brain needs to get creative. The closer I get to deadline, the more I listen to music. I don’t come up with playlists book by book–I tend to stick with the songs that inspire me all the time. This list I came up with on my Spinsters Club blog covers some of the basic tunes that rev my Muse.  Music, movies, going on a walk with my dog, hanging out and listening to stories from family and friends, reading the newspaper, surfing the Net…those are my indulgences that grease the rusty cogs of my imagination.

Thanks so much for being with us today, Kieran!  Just for my readers, Kieran will be giving away an extra special treat–a Regency-inspired porcelain tea bag rest along with some “tea time” goodies and a signed copy of Cloudy With a Chance of Marriage(Kieran’s cat Joon is not part of the giveaway!)


Kieran and I thought it would be fun to talk about books—what have you read recently that really knocked your socks off?  And if you have any questions for Kieran, feel free to ask!

Super Bowl Sunday Redux

Super Bowl Sunday.  Love or loathe it, but it’s hard to ignore.  I’m not a football fan, although everyone else in my family is, some to the point of lunacy.  So I grew up with it as a background note, even being dragged to the occasional Eagles game by my parents.  But now that I’m an adult I never watch football.  Except for that one Sunday, when like bazillions of other people I’m sucked into a vortex of canny programming, uber-patriotism, stunning talent, and even more stunning idiocy.

Even if you don’t like football, there’s something for everyone.  Such as some truly spectacular men like the Packer’s Aaron Rodgers. Sue Grimshaw, the romance buyer at Borders, rightly pointed out that Rodgers is hunky enough and cool enough to be a hero in his own romance novel.

For anyone who’s read Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Chicago Stars series, you can easily imagine Rodgers cast as one of her football hunks.

But even if the game or the athletes leave you cold there are the commercials, which have become a sport unto themselves.  This year saw the usual group of winners, losers, and just plain bizarre entries – yes, I’m looking at you, Groupon.

The most popular choice so far seems to be Volkswagen’s Star Wars take-off.  You’d have to have a heart of stone not to get a chuckle out of that one.  I’m also a sucker for anything to do with dogs, so the Doritos Pug Attack and the Bud Light party commercial both gave me a laugh.

Then there’s the idiocy part, which was Christina Aguilera mangling the national anthem.  And the halftime show by the Black Eyed Peas was pretty wretched, too, another example of spectacle overwhelming the performers.

But my favorite part of the entire evening happened before the game with the reading of the Declaration of Independence by current and former NFL stars, joined by military personnel and by people from local communities.  Yep, I know how corny it’s supposed to be, and I’ve also read the criticism about it.  But I found it pretty darn moving, and I also liked that it showcased the men and women in the armed forces who risk their lives every day.

I gotta say, though, by the end of the looonggg evening with way too much food and alcohol, I was happy – very happy – to turn off the TV.  Super Bowl Sunday is a lot of fun, but I’m grateful it only happens once a year.