A Q&A with Liz Talley and Perfectly Charming. Book two in the Morning Glory series, Perfectly Charming, is a light, contemporary read on the surface, but beneath the beachy fun, lies plenty of old wounds that need balm. So on one level there’s plenty of playfulness but on another both Jess and Ryan are two people who have past issues they must address before moving forward.
I am so glad you could join us here at Romance Junkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current project?
Book two in the Morning Glory series, Perfectly Charming, is a light, contemporary read on the surface, but beneath the beachy fun, lies plenty of old wounds that need balm. So on one level there’s plenty of playfulness but on another both Jess and Ryan are two people who have past issues they must address before moving forward. The setting is Pensacola Beach in Florida with a trip home to Morning Glory toward the end of the book. The thing I love most about this book is the hero – Ryan Reyes is a former nerd turned playboy and there’s something so engaging about a man wanting to claim a life for himself.
In Perfectly Charming, your hero has changed a lot from his nerdy high school days. Do you relate better to his dorky high school persona, or his more confident attitude?
Both. Honestly, I hid my geekiness in high school beneath my cheerleader uniform. In high school, I was the quintessential high achiever and around Patty Simcox. LOL. But I LOVED to read and study as much as I loved admiring the well-honed jocks in my high school. So, yeah, I’m definitely weirdly both.
Did you go through any major changes after high school or college?
I’m not good at change. I’m that girl who refuses to get rid of old sweatshirts and, hey, I married my high school sweetheart, but everyone has to go through changes, right? After college, my new husband and I moved to New Orleans. As a small town girl, I was paralyzed in fear at living in the city but eventually I came to love New Orleans and the adventures travel held. After New Orleans, we moved to South Carolina and had a baby. Change, change and more change, but when we change we grow. I’m happy I was foisted from my comfy nest to enjoy a whole new world.
Your hero and heroine have some adventures on the ocean–are you a sailor or fisherwoman?
I love to fish. I’d rather be on a pier though. As a Virgo, I’m an earthy girl. Give me a hike or a long country road and I’m happy.
What are some of your favorite adventures that you have experienced first hand?
I’ve been deep sea fishing. I got a little sea sick ☹ but I caught some fish. I visited Vancouver and Alaska on our 20th wedding anniversary and that was so cool. I saw orca and bears and eagles. Oh, my! And as a Louisiana girl I’ve been crawfishing, watched gators glide across the lake and seen my share of cottonmouths <shiver>. Oh, and I’ve been bitten by a monkey.
Your Morning Glory stories take place in varying places — from New York City to the Florida coast, and your heroines’ home state of Mississippi. Which one of these locations do you like the best?
Well, I love New York City. It’s fascinating…exciting…and very expensive. So I couldn’t live there. And the beaches of Florida’s gulf coast are gorgeous. White sand and emerald waters that will take your breath away, but I think I prefer an old farmhouse, a big front porch and a swing. At heart I’m a country girl, a virtual Barbara Mandrell song
Where are you taking readers next?
Eden’s book will take readers from Morning Glory to New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. There will be an Irish nun, a speakeasy called Gatsby’s and talented Broadway-style singer named Lulu LaRue (psst, Lulu is really Eden). I loved creating a dramatic world on Bourbon Street and giving the quiet Eden a spotlight to showcase her talent. But she gets conflicted when she falls for the single father of a disabled child. It’s a beautiful tale of trusting new wings unfurled…and of finding the place where Eden’s meant to be.
Perfectly Charming by Liz Talley
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Morning Glory native Jess Culpepper is desperate to get out of town after divorcing the only man she’s ever dated. She takes a temporary nursing job in Florida and, thanks to the bequest of her late friend, Lacy, has the funds to rent a condo right on the beach. She’s not prepared to literally trip over her old high school lab partner—and definitely not prepared for how deliciously hot he is now.
Ryan Reyes, once known as “The Brain,” has worked hard to become more than the skinny nerd that jocks bullied and girls politely tolerated. At twenty-six, he has retired from science to run a charter fishing business in Pensacola and spend his leisure time catching up on the debauchery he missed. But when the unattainable girl of his teenage fantasies moves in down the beach, old feelings come flooding back.
Their scorching attraction soon leads them into bed—but what starts as no-strings-attached fun is complicated by a return to Morning Glory and the shadows of their shared past. Can the head cheerleader and the geek redefine themselves and forge ahead to find their happily ever after?
Liz Talley is the author of sassy contemporary romances, including the RITA-nominated The Sweetest September. A finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award in the Regency romance subgenre, she made her debut in contemporary romance in June 2010 with Vegas Two-Step. She went on to publish fifteen more titles. Her stories are set in the South, where the tea is sweet, the summers are hot, and the men are hotter. She lives in northern Louisiana with her childhood sweetheart, two handsome children, three dogs, and a mean kitty. Readers can visit her at www.liztalleybooks.com to learn more about her upcoming novels.
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