Kyra Jacobs!

Hi, all!  I’m so happy to spread the news that Kyra Jacobs’s third and last book in the Checkerberry Inn contemporary romance series will be out on July 17th, and it’s available for pre-order now.  I love Kyra’s writing–both her romances and her dragon series–so I asked her to do a question and answer for us and to tell us a little about her new book.  Here goes:

Questions for Karen:

  1. This is the third and final book in your Checkerberry Inn series. How did you enjoy writing a series?  Did it have any challenges?

I love series writing, and being able to draw on the supporting cast from prior books to help drive new stories. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to plan ahead. I’ve got to be careful not to make a future hero/heroine act contrary to what you want them behaving like in their upcoming books.

  1. You tend to write about feisty heroines. Freudian, maybe?  A little bit of you sneaking into your fiction?

Hah! I’m pleading the fifth, here. Pleading. The. Fifth.

  1. Besides writing romances, you skip off to write PNR novels, too. How did that happen?

Honestly, I don’t know. The dragons struck me out of the blue (re-releases coming 7/31!) , as did my latest fantasy/PNR novel (work in progress). But I’ve found that keeping a foot in each genre tends to help balance me out, crazy as that may sound. With my contemporary stories, I have certain plot rules for romance to follow, as well as making the story/setting/characters believable. With fantasy, I get to break all the “normal” rules while I create new ones that shape my alternate worlds.

  1. Your third book features a female chef. Do you love to cook?  Are you a secret cookbook hoarder?

Ha! No, not a cookbook hoarder. Though, I’m certainly a cookbook/recipe user. If I don’t have directions to follow, I’m lost. Maddie, the chef in my story—she’s a wiz in the kitchen. Me? Not so much. I do love to bake (again, all about following the recipe) and have been trying my hand at grilling this summer. So far, so good!

  1. What about the hero, Cole? He’s a musician, isn’t he?  Can you tell us a little about him?  You’re a little addicted to music, aren’t you?  Do you listen to it while you write?

Ah, Cole. He’s such a sweetheart but so misunderstood. I was glad to bring him a much-needed HEA. And yes, I do love music. If I’m in the car, I’m singing along. Working in the yard or on a walk, headphones are likely in (but I spare the neighbors from hearing me sing). During writing time, though, the music stays off. I need quiet for the stories in my head to make it onto my keyboard.

  1. Okay, tell us a little about you. If you were gifted a perfect day, what would it be?

Oh, wow. There are so many “perfect day” scenarios to choose from! I’m thinking one that has a little of all my favorite things in there—time with my boys, time in my flower gardens, time writing, maybe even a bit of yoga thrown in the mix. And something tells me, music will be included as well. 😉 

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Can you share your new book’s cover, a blurb, and excerpt with us?

Thank you so much for having me here today, Judy!

herunexpectedhero-900px

Blurb:

Maddie Frye, the Checkerberry Inn’s snarky, introverted chef, just wants to be left alone. But with the inn’s upcoming gala, Maddie’s boss has matchmaking on the brain. So when the gorgeous new guy in town helps her out for a night, she comes up with the perfect solution to her problem…

Cole Granville is looking for a fresh start. When a part-time job opens in the Checkerberry’s kitchen, he takes it without a second thought. The only catch? He’s got to help his sexy new coworker snag a date for an upcoming dance. But as he coaches Maddie on attracting her crush, Cole realizes he’s the one falling for the curvy brunette. 

 

Excerpt:

“Hey! You!”

Cole froze, his heart racing. The last time he’d heard those words, they were followed by “Stop! Police!” Resisting the urge to run, he turned toward the voice and stared. The Checkerberry’s spitfire of a chef was running toward them, apron flapping in the wind.

“Uh-oh,” said Brent. “What’d you do to make Maddie leave the kitchen at this hour?”

“No idea, I haven’t seen her since church on Sunday. Maybe she’s yelling at you?”

Brent chuckled. “Looks like we’re about to find out.”

She came to a stop a few feet back, her peaches and cream complexion flushed from exertion. “Hey, hi. Cole, right?”

The men exchanged a glance. Brent offered him a victorious smirk.

“Yes, ma’am. What can I do you for?”

“Ma’am? Good grief, I’m not ninety. Even if I do feel that way sometimes. It’s Maddie. Just Maddie.”

She put a hand to her chest. Cole’s gaze followed the movement but he did his best not to let it linger there. He’d admired her curves from a distance many times, but never this up close. Today, her top was unbuttoned farther than it usually was on Sundays…

She cleared her throat and brought the hand down to plant on her hip. “You still looking for work?”

Cole stared at her, momentarily dumbstruck.

“Work.” She waved a hand in front of his face. “Are you still looking for work?”

He blinked, trying to clear the fog of surprise from his mind. “Yes, ma’am—I mean, Maddie. Did you need help moving something? Or lifting?”

“No. More like washing dishes. You got two working hands and arms?”

“Yes, ’um.”

“Then you’ll do. Please tell me this was your last run of the day.”

“It is.” More like his only run of the day. Probably wasn’t even necessary, but Old Tom hated to see him sit around bored on the days he filled in at Granville’s Hardware. Not that he’d ever complain—those days were what graciously supplied the roof over his head until Cole got on his feet financially.

“Perfect. You finish with Brent, I’ll call your grandfather.” She hurried back toward the inn, leaving the men to themselves once more.

“Come on,” said Brent with a grin. “I’ll help you unload so you can get to our queen bee.”

Cole smirked. “Thanks.”

“I hope you didn’t have any plans tonight. Big gathering up there, lots of old biddies. They stay longer than you’d expect.”

“Nah, no plans.” Cole looked back toward the inn, seeing it for the first time as a possible ticket to success. Who knew? If washing dishes paid a decent wage, maybe he’d find a way to stay longer than expected. And a cash advance.

In fact, his dream studio was counting on it…

 

 

 

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I will be sunshine-y:)

People who  know me well know that I’m a pretty happy person.  I tend to look at the glass half-full.  Does that make me cheerful?  Bubbly?  Nah, not so much.  Because I can see all the bumps in the road before I reach my destination, and I like to grumble about those.   So when my writer friend Kathy Palm listed me for a Sunshine Blogger Award, I decided to go with it and enjoy.

sunshine-blog

Kathy is one of those really chill, positive people I consider myself lucky to know.  She calls herself weird.  I think of her as cool.  But she has her dark side, too.  I mean, she loves to read and write horror, and that has to come from somewhere, right?  On top of that, she writes YA fantasy, so she’s a woman of many talents.  You can find her blog here: https://findingfaeries.wordpress.com/ and she’s on twitter: @KathleenPalm

As part of the award she gave me, I have to answer a list of questions.  Here goes:

  1.  Kissing?  No kissing?    Romance makes Kathy squirm:)  But that’s what I’m writing now, so I say pucker up, snuggle up, and well…  see where things go.
  2. Will you watch a horror movie with me?    Does SNOW WHITE count?  There’s a mean step-mother and a dragon.  No?  Well, I can do creepy and dark, but slasher movies and anything too intense is too much for me.  I just watched REVENANT with Nate this week, and talk about brutal.  I’m pretty much a weinie.
  3. Cake or pie?    Love ’em both, but I’d have to say cake, especially if it’s a torte or has a great filling.
  4. Sunrise or sunset?    Does morning start with sunrise?  I’m not an early bird.  That’s why I love the moon.
  5. Winter, spring, summer, or fall?    I love them all.  I’d miss the seasons if I didn’t have them, but there’s something about watching flowers bloom and grass green after a long winter.  I’m so ready for the earth to wake up again!  Hello, spring!
  6. What are you reading now?    I’m critiquing a manuscript for another writer friend, Karen Lenfestey.  She writes women’s fiction–serious stuff.  I love her novels, but I’d never be able to write them, so it’s fun to edit them.  You can find Karen’s novels here:  http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Lenfestey/e/B004SBIK2M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1468696386&sr=1-1
  7. What is your greatest talent?    I’d love to say writing, but the truth is, I think my greatest talent is probably cooking for people.  I love to feed friends and family, and I’m always collecting new recipes to try.  It makes me happy to cook a meal that someone loves to eat.
  8. What was your best day ever?    Yikes!  That’s a tough one.  Some of my best times are travelling with my husband and our kids or grandkids.  Heck, I have a great time travelling with my sisters, friends, and brother-in-law, too.  I guess I like to get away from routine once in a while to travel and visit with people I like.
  9. Roller coasters or merry-go-round?    Ten years ago, it would be roller coasters.  Now?  I’d rather wave as other people whiz past me.
  10. Camping or hotel?    I don’t leave home to wash dishes.  Definitely hotel.
  11. Will you be my friend forever?    For you, Kathy, YES!

 

Okay, by now, you probably know more about me than you ever wanted to know.  Now, I’m supposed to nominate other people who I think spread joy and give them a list of questions.  I also know that most of my writer friends are pinched for time and have deadlines, so I’ll make both lists short, and if they can’t get to their Sunshine Award, they’ll know I think they deserve one!

 

Mary Lou Rigdon, who writes Regency romances that I love, love, love!  https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Julia+Donner&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Julia+Donner&sort=relevancerank

Rachel Roberts who writes literary fiction and has such a subtle, rich voice, she makes me jealous:  http://www.rachelsroberts.com/

Kyra Jacobs who’s unfailingly nice and supportive and writes great books:  http://www.amazon.com/Kyra-Jacobs/e/B00E5PIJ04/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1468699404&sr=1-2-ent

Mae Clair, whom I’ve never met, but is supportive and warm and wonderful. http://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1468699558&sr=1-2-ent

I have many more, but I’ll stop here.  I know for sure that some of my friends are swamped right now, so I won’t add more “to do” things to their lists.  Now, for the questions:

  1.  Wine or beer?
  2. Your favorite food?
  3. If you could transport back in time and WATCH a moment of history, what would it be?
  4. If you won a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  5. If you could be any author in the world, past or present, besides yourself, who would you be?  And why?
  6. Cats, dogs, or guinea pigs?
  7. Your favorite movie?

There.  Only 7–like the 7 deadly sins:)  Easy!  I think you’re all awesome!  Happy writing!

 

 

 

 

Fangirl moment

I need to pinch myself.  USA Today HEA did an interview with me for COOKING UP TROUBLE.  THAT was a big enough moment for me, but one of the questions was “What three romance writers do you fangirl about?”  I don’t fangirl very often.  I like to think I’m too practical, but I mentioned Nora Roberts–that woman can hang anything on a romance and make it work, Sarah Addison Allen–I love how lyrical her writing is, and Catherine Bybee–because she mixes it up and surprises me with what she adds to her romances.  And then I snuck in my friend Julia Donner–because I honestly think she writes some of the best male characters I read.  It was a fun interview.  I felt all giddy when I saw it on the USA Today site this morning.  But then, EVEN BETTER, Catherine Bybee retreated it and mentioned me on her twitter page.  Catherine Bybee herself!!  I’m going to float for the rest of today:)

If you’re interested, here’s the interview:

Interview: Judi Lynn, author of ‘Cooking Up Trouble’