Hi Tracyand welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, LOVE ME SWEET!
Hello! Can’t wait to share some tidbits about my upcoming release, LOVE ME SWEET!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Delaney Masterson isn’t looking for fame. But as the breakout star of her family’s TV reality show, Pop Rocks, she’s suddenly in the spotlight. And when an old boyfriend releases a very private video, her name becomes every late-night comedian’s favorite punch line. To escape the media frenzy, she sneaks away to tiny, obscure Bell Harbor, Michigan—during the worst winter in fifty years.
Adventure show cameraman Grant Connelly has stayed away from hometown Bell Harbor—partly by circumstance, mostly by choice—but when a family obligation converges with a spontaneous career decision, it’s time to return. He expects his family to be happy to see him. They’re not. He’s also expects the house his grandfather left him to be vacant. It’s not. Because his mother has rented it to Delaney.
With few options, Grant and Delaney agree to share the house. But bad weather, missing money, honky-tonk musicians, and Elvis impersonators complicate that plan. On an unexpected road trip, emotions get all shook up. Yes, they know only fools rush in, but these two can’t help falling in love.
But Delaney has a secret that could tear them apart forever. Can they weather the storm? Or will this romantic ride end at the Heartbreak Hotel?
Please share the opening lines of this book:
For a sun-kissed California girl like Delaney Masterson, frostbitten Bell Harbor, Michigan, was a ridiculous place to hide, which – naturally – made it the perfect place to hide. No one would look for her here. Not in this off-the-beaten-path, lakeside town tucked somewhere between Central Nowheresville and Eastern Neverbeentheresburg.
Please share a few Random facts about this book…
- I wrote this book during the Polar Vortex of 2014, when the entire US was having bad weather. I hadn’t originally planned for weather to become a part of the story but it played right in to the plot. When my agent (who lives in sunny Florida) read it she said, “Wow, I can really feel the cold!”
- The hero of this book is Grant Connelly, brother of Tyler Connelly from THE BEST MEDICINE. In the first book, Tyler didn’t have very fond feelings for his older brother so when I wrote a scene in LOVE ME SWEET where they reunite, I had to make sure Grant redeemed himself. But I had to re-write that scene a couple of times because I kept forgetting this wasn’t TYLER’S story! Ultimately I think I managed to show both sides of a complicated brother relationship. I hope readers think so, too!
- I have a charm bracelet with a charm for each one of my books. The charm for LOVE ME SWEET is a little Volkswagen Beetle.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
This book was fun to write because the heroine has a secret, and a good reason for keeping it. She’s basically a nice girl caught up in a not-very-nice situation and I loved dealing with the moral dilemma of her not being completely honest. She struggled with it, too, because she’s an inherently honorable person but circumstances keep preventing her from revealing her truth. In the end, however, she learns that honesty is always the best policy, even when it’s not the easiest thing. She comes out on the other side as a much stronger person for having this experience.
To do research for this book, I took a trip to Memphis with a dear friend. We visited Graceland, and stayed in the Burning Love Suite at the Heartbreak Hotel. It was pure cheesy goodness. No Elvis sightings, though. Although I did have a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich (The King’s favorite) and it was delish! And we met a couple of sexy-fun, honky-tonk musicians who were, um, inspirational.
For the title, I wanted something that invoked an Elvis-y feel, but not too much. Love Me Tender was too obvious (and too overused) so LOVE ME SWEET seemed like the next best thing. Plus it really fits the tone of the story.
What, in your mind, distinguishes this book from other books out there in the same genre?
I have a unique sense of humor. An acquired taste, some might say. Things that I find hilarious might not strike a chord with everyone, but I see laughter in the most obscure places. (For instances, my books can be found on cruise ship libraries. I think that’s funny. I mean, who would ever think their book would be on a Love Boat??) So I think it’s my voice and humor which sets my books apart. My characters are quirky but relatable. They make bad decisions but for the right reasons.
I also don’t write very steamy. Heaven knows that love and sex can be very, very funny, but I find that laugh-out-loud stories don’t really lend themselves to graphic scenes. I decided to keep to a certain light-hearted tone, which is not to say that my love scenes don’t have emotional power. They do, but I focus more on what happens outside the bedroom. Or the Volkswagen.
The First kiss…
…happens when the hero is lying on top of there heroine strictly for body heat. (*wink*wink*)
Did any scene have you crying or laughing (or blushing) while writing it?
I confess I really love the first meeting between Grant and Delaney. I’m so happy with how it turned out and it still makes me laugh even though I wrote it. And a fun side note to that scene is that I reference another book, The Chieftain, by Margaret Malory. My daughter thought I should use one of my own books but I didn’t want to pull readers out of the story. For this scene, I needed a really glorious historical-style type cover. Something that a guy would look at and say “What the…?”
Here’s a snippet:
The surge of adrenaline he’d felt when she entered the bathroom burned away, and now Grant was more fatigued than ever. Traveling home from Peru had been hell in a bucket and he hadn’t had a decent night sleep in forever. He just wanted to dry off and find a bed. “Okay, so can I please finish this shower and talk to you when I have some clothes on?”
She paused, looking skeptical once more. Her gaze slid back to his groin where he had the paperback book held firmly in place.
“You’ve ruined my book.” She pressed a thumbnail against her lip, and he reminded himself that flaunting his physical state of interest would probably not work in his favor. But she was so confrontational, he couldn’t resist. If she was going to keep staring, he’d give her something to look at.
“This book?” He lifted it chest high and smiled as both of her hands slapped over her eyes with a smack so loud the sound bounced off the walls of the bathroom.
“Oh my gosh, yes, that book. Never mind. Put it back. Put it back.” She turned away and waved a hand at him, refusing to look.
Wow. She really was a homecoming queen. She would’ve fit right in on that church bus he’d come home on. He looked at the soaking wet paperback. The cover had a bare chested man holding up a great big sword. Nothing phallic about that. “The Chieftain? Hmm, looks racy. Don’t worry. It’ll dry.”
She gave a single shake to her head. “Trust me. It’s ruined. So… I guess… I guess I’ll just wait for you in the kitchen. But if you’re not downstairs in ten minutes, I’m calling your mother. And the police.”
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters?
I’d chose the first kiss scene where Grant and Delaney are stuck in a cold car.
Ten minutes turned into thirty, and the temperature inside the car plummeted. It was beyond frigid. It was whatever temperature came right after ice age and just before the end of days. Delaney couldn’t stop shivering. She was like one of those creepy, little wind-up monkeys that clashed brass symbols together and clicked their teeth.
“Okay, I’m totally not making a pass at you,” he said, “but we need to share some heat. Tilt your seat back as far is it will go.”
She didn’t care if he was making a pass. Whatever it took to get warm. She pulled the metal bar under her seat and it creaked backwards until it hit the backseat cushion. She looked at him for further instructions. Her brain was too frozen to formulate a question.
“Good. Now unzip your coat.”
What? That her brain needed clarification on. “Unzip? Why would I unzip it?”
“Because we’re going to combine body heat and that will work better if we’re… sweater to sweater instead of coat to coat. Just trust me.”
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
Well, I guess I would tell them to always be honest. But if I did that, I’d have a much different story!
What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2015?
I’m just finishing up a Christmas novella called JINGLE BELL HARBOR, and then I’m switching gears a bit and writing a World War 2 love story that has been rattling around in my head for far too long. I love that story and it really needs to be told. After that, I’m contracted for a few more romantic comedies so I’ll be busy for a while!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’ll be giving one lucky winner a complete set of Bell Harbor books, including CRAZY LITTLE THING, THE BEST MEDICINE, and LOVE ME SWEET! And I’ll include a fun tote bag and a few other goodies, too! International entries welcomed.
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: If your life was turned into a reality TV show, what would it be called, and what might happen in one of the episodes?
Grant pulled her to the dance floor and into his arms. The song was something sad, a story of love gone wrong, but nothing about this felt wrong.
Everything about this was just right.
The truth was, he’d never felt this way before. This was different. He wasn’t naive, of course. He understood she was shiny and bright, and everything about them had that new car smell, but he couldn’t imagine ever growing tired of her. He’d never grow tired of her lips because they tasted like caramel and set his skin on fire. He wouldn’t grow tired of her laugh and the way it burst like a firecracker. And he’d certainly never get tired of the way her body moved like water under his palm. Nope. Never getting tired of that, either.
Grant pulled her closer, nuzzling the curve of her neck. He could spend the rest of his life there, breathing in the scent of that sweet spot. Lane was beauty and heartbreak and everything in between and he had to kiss her. Right now. In the center of a crowded dance floor, he had to kiss her. So he did. She kissed him back, and he knew this night would be even better than the one before. And it needed to start right now.
Delaney Masterson isn’t looking for fame.
Sure, she has famous parents and a reality TV show, but she’s not the wild-child celebrity the paparazzi have painted her to be. That is until…The Scandal. When an old boyfriend releases a very private video, Delaney’s name becomes every late-night comedian’s favorite punch line. To escape the media frenzy, she sneaks away to tiny, obscure Bell Harbor, Michigan—during the worst winter in fifty years.
Adventure show cameraman Grant Connelly has stayed away from Bell Harbor—partly by circumstance, mostly by choice—but when a family obligation converges with a spontaneous career decision, it’s time to return home.
Bad weather, missing money, honky-tonk musicians, and Elvis impersonators throw Grant and Delaney together on an unexpected road trip, and emotions get all shook up. They know only fools rush in, but these two can’t help falling. Still, Delaney has a secret that could tear them apart forever.
Meet the Author:
Tracy Brogan is an award-winning, bestselling author of fun, funny contemporary romance. Her debut novel, CRAZY LITTLE THING, has sold more than half a million copies world-wide and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award for Best First Book by Romance Writers of America. She is a two-time Golden Heart nominee, a two-time Golden Quill winner in dual genres, and has also won the Book Seller Best award for her historical romance, HIGHLAND SURRENDER. Her books have been translated into several languages including German, French, Japanese, and Hebrew. Brogan resides in Michigan with her family and, like most MIchiganders, is prone to pointing to the palm of her hand when explaining where she lives. (For those of you lousy at geography, Michigan is the one shaped like a mitten.)
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