Q&A With Authors
What can you tell us about the small town setting of your new romance?
Samantha Chase (author of RETURN TO YOU): The south shore of Long Island had always been my heroine Selena’s home. Born and raised minutes from the beach, she always dreamed that it would be where she’d find love, raise a family and live happily ever after. The small coastal town really hadn’t been part of James Montgomery’s plan for his own life, after meeting Selena, it’s suddenly a very appealing part of his future.
Grace Burrowes (author of KISS ME HELLO): Damson Valley lies in rural Maryland, about an hour away from both Washington, DC, and Baltimore. The Appalachian Mountains give the town a protected, bucolic feel, despite the proximity of big city lights. My hero attorney MacKenzie Knightley loved growing up with his brothers on a farm right outside Damson Valley, and was all too happy to go into practice with both James and Trent. The Knightley farm is now owned by foster mom Sidonie Lindstrom, who has moved away from Baltimore to give her foster son a better start in life. Sid has no patience for small town life, though before too long, the scenery does catch her interest…
Andrea Laurence (author of FEEDING THE FIRE): If you’re willing to turn your car off the highway and venture from the beaten path, you might be lucky enough to run across a town like Rosewood, Alabama. Steeped in southern charm and the traditional values of God, Family and Football (although not always in that order), Rosewood is like a time capsule preserving everything modern cities have lost. Here, you’ll find homemade pies, perfectly brewed sweet tea, and beauty parlors filled with lively gossip. It’s the kind of town where everybody knows everybody – and everybody knows your business whether you like it or not! Thanks for stopping by. Sit a spell and tell us what you know.
Sharon Sala (author of I’LL STAND BY YOU): Blessings, Georgia is a typical small Southern town. The city grew up around the Court House built in the town square. They have an elementary school and one high school, the local eating/meeting place called Granny’s Country Kitchen, a newspaper and a small fire department, a police station with a police chief and a couple of deputies. In the summer it abounds in glorious color – blooming azaleas, huge oak trees along city streets – manicured lawns and flower beds bursting with color. One side of town appears cookie cutter perfect – nice houses with pretty landscaped yards and lives and then the others who live on the other side of the railroad track. Same kind of people – just less money to flaunt. There are kind people and stingy people and people with dreams that never come true. And some who still believe in the good in everyone and happy ever afters on both sides of the track.
Where in the town did your couple have their ‘meet cute’?
Grace Burrowes: MacKenzie and Sid meet just outside Damson Valley, when the therapeutic riding program sends Mac to investigate two horses Sid claims have strayed onto her back forty. Mac finds Sid prepared to defend the Ponderosa from two tons of errant equine with nothing but a broom and plenty of grit.
Where is the best ‘date spot’ in your small town?
Samantha Chase: Who doesn’t like a good date spot? When they were teens, James and Selena had their first informal date at the local pizzeria. He joined her and her friends for lunch there on a school day and it was the first time that they really had the opportunity to get to know one another a little bit. At the high school level, it was the hot spot!
Word can really get around in a small town. Do noisy neighbors and gossip cause any problems in your couple’s romance?
Andrea Laurence: Pepper works in the local hair salon – Curls. If there’s gossip, she hears about it there first. She usually knows everything there is to know about the folks in town. But when she spends Valentine’s Day with Grant at Whittaker’s, she becomes the subject of gossip. There was only one person she was trying to keep her relationship from and that was her mother. Word gets to Mom on the steps outside the Baptist church on Sunday morning, and Pepper has to report and answer for her “questionable” choice in men.
What is the most romantic spot in town?
Sharon Sala: The most romantic spot in this story belongs to the hero, Johnny Pine. It is his old rundown house on the wrong side of the tracks, and it becomes the heroine’s refuge after the fire that destroys her home and ends her grandfather’s life. The heroine and hero come together in tragedy, stay together out of necessity, and in the end, are together out of love.
About the Authors and Books
Sharon Sala is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 100 plus books in print under her name and her pen name, Dinah McCall. She is published in five different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. First published in 1991, she’s an eight-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence, winner of the Heart of Excellence Award, as well as winner of the Booksellers Best Award. In 2011 she was named RWA’s recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books are New York Times , USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.
I’LL STAND BY YOU releases June 2, 2015. You can preorder the title here: http://amzn.to/1wzioDG
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
KISS ME HELLO releases March 3, 2015. You can order the title here: http://amzn.to/1GzO387
Andrea Laurence has been a lover of reading and writing stories since she learned to read at a young age. She always dreamed of seeing her work in print and is thrilled to finally be able to share her special blend of sensuality and dry, sarcastic humor with the world. A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, she’s working on her own “happily ever after” with her boyfriend and their collection of animals including a Siberian Husky that sheds like nobody’s business.
FEEDING THE FIRE releases March 16, 2015. You can preorder the title here: http://amzn.to/1ADp431
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well. When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.
RETURN TO YOU releases March 3, 2015. You can order the title here: http://amzn.to/1EV1EpC