Spotlight & Giveaway: Protector for Hire by Tawna Fenske

Posted June 25th, 2015 by in Blog, Spotlight / 59 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Tawna Fenske to HJ!

Hi Tawna and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Protector for Hire!


Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book:

Protector for HireP is for: Um, is this a family-friendly blog? Because I can think of a couple p-words that fit right in with this book (so to speak).
Ahem, in all seriousness, I’m going with Pop-Tart. My gruff, reclusive hero, Schwartz, has a secret weakness for them.

R is for regrets. While my book is a romantic comedy, there’s some serious stuff underlying it, including the reason Schwartz isolated himself in the Montana wilderness 10 years ago.

O is for opposites. They do tend to attract, don’t they? Especially a fashion-obsessed city girl and a surly, secretive mountain man who looks like the love child of Bigfoot and an NFL linebacker.

T is for togetherness. There’s a whole lot of it when you’re forced to hide out together in a remote mountain cabin.

E is for earnest. I think my editor originally expected me to draw humor from my city slicker heroine bumbling naively aound the wilderness, but that’s not exactly how I chose to play it. Janelle may be ill-equipped for life in the woods, but she’s earnest and eager to learn. It’s a trait Schwartz admires in her.

C is for critters. There are a lot of them in this book, including Sherman (Schwartz’s wolf/dog hybrid) and oodles of wildlife ranging from moose to cougars.

T is for town. While 75% of the story takes place with Schwartz and Janelle holed up in the cabin with only each other for company, there are a couple scenes set in the nearest town several hours away. Since I lived in a remote Montana cabin right after college, I know how stir crazy you can become if you don’t occasionally venture out and interact with other humans.

O is for orgasm. There might be one or two in this book.

R is for Redemption. Hey, it’s a romance novel starring a hero having a tough time forgiving himself for something that happened during his military service. You’ve gotta figure the happily-ever-after will include some sort of redemption, right?


Please share the opening lines of this book:

Am I allowed to cheat and throw in several extra lines? Because if you let me add just a few more, I feel like it’s a pretty darn good overview of the tone of the whole book. If not…uh, well, it sounds kinda like a tea party.

Schwartz slammed the chipped brown coffee mug on the
oak table in front of the brother he hadn’t seen for nearly
ten years.

“Cream?” he offered.

“No.” Grant reached for the mug and peered into it as
though assessing the contents. “No cream, thanks.”

“Good. I don’t have any.”

“No sugar, I assume?”

“Do I look like a guy who has sugar?”

“You look like a guy who has bombs stashed under his
bed. Seriously, what’s with the beard?”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • Like I mentioned earlier, I really did live in a remote mountain cabin in the middle of nowhere Montana when I was 22. Unlike my novel, it wasn’t all that exciting and romantic.
  • This is the fourth book in the Front and Center series, though I’ve written all of them so they can be read as standalone books. Is it okay to admit this book is my favorite of the four?
    Schwartz’s wolf/dog hybrid is based on a similar animal owned by my landlord when I was in college in Montana. Like Sherman, Griz was huge, fierce-looking, and ridiculously sweet.
  • Writing dialogue for Schwartz was some of the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on.
  • Not only did I get to curse a lot, but I got to trot out some of driest, wittiest lines I’ve ever written for a character.
  • My critique partners tease me for writing so many sex scenes that take place in a shower. I reached a point with this story where I realized I’d inadvertently landed yet another set of characters in a shower together with things getting hot and heavy. I was determined not to give my pals more fodder for teasing, so I found a way to relocate Schwartz and Janelle before the big moment.


Was there a scene in this book that was harder to write than others? 

Without giving too much away, I’ll say there’s a scene involving a potentially dangerous animal and an “us or him” situation. My hero and heroine were in serious peril, but I’m an animal-loving softie who can’t even squish bugs. So how on earth could I handle the scene in a way that was realistic? Readers will have to wait and see if I managed it.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I want them to laugh hysterically and feel tingly in the swimsuit area.


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: A digital copy of Best Man for Hire by Tawna Fenske.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Protector for Hire is very much a “fish out of water” story with two people forced into a situation that’s totally outside their comfort zone (often with hilarious results). Can you share a time you’ve been in a situation that was sooooooo not your thing? How did you handle it?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Info:

Keeping her safe is crucial. Guarding his heart is impossible.

Haunted by his time in Iraq, former soldier Schwartz Patton goes off the grid, retreating deep into Montana’s untamed wilderness. Now, ten years into his self-imposed solitude, his brother tracks him down and asks for a favor. A woman is in danger, and she needs help…and Schwartz is the only one who can protect her.

Designer-loving city girls like Janelle Keebler don’t belong in the wilderness. Unless, of course, they’re witnesses to a murder by their psycho drug-trafficking ex-husbands. Still, Janelle can’t help the immediate physical response she has to her sexy-as-sin protector that leaves her wanting more than she could have ever imagined. Even if he does make terrible coffee…

Every word, every touch, every kiss ignites a need Schwartz thought he’d lost forever. He can’t stop the desperate attraction simmering between him and Janelle, even if he wanted to. Even if it means it could get them both killed.

Buy links can all be found on the Entangled page devoted to the book:

Meet the Author:

Tawna FenskeTawna Fenske is a romantic comedy author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Her offbeat brand of romance has been praised by Booklist as “A tame Carl Hiaasen on cupid juice,” and RT Book Reviews nominated her debut novel for contemporary romance of the year. Tawna is a fourth generation Oregonian who can peel a banana with her toes and who loses an average of 20 pairs of eyeglasses per year. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband, step kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets.

Twitter: @tawnafenske

59 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Protector for Hire by Tawna Fenske”

  1. evejeann

    Being asked to speak about a program that I had know knowledge of. I ended up being truthful and politely declined to speak about program.

  2. vadensmommy1

    I thought I was going to a friends party turns out we went to the wrong place &it was a meeting for drags queens, which was for guys only so me &my girlfriends made the best of it and needed being allowed to stay,we danced and shared make up tips…best time ever

  3. Meredith Miller

    When I went back to college I felt very out of my element since so many people were so much younger than me.

    • Tawna Fenske

      I’ve often wondered if folks who attend college a little later in life end up getting more out of the experience because they’re more focused and clearer on what they want out of life. Did you find that to be true?

  4. Mary Preston

    I’m like that at parties sometimes. People are going crazy & all I want to do is go home to a cup of tea and my book.

  5. ndluebke

    I worked as a Custodian at our local library for 20 years. I checked books all the time. Anyway part of the time I had to work around the public. At one point in time, I had a stalker. Since my DH worked the evening shift, he came down to the library and hung around for a while. Since I wasn’t the only one he stalked, one of the older workers sat at a table he was sitting at and just stared at him, like he did others. He stopped coming in then.

  6. marcyshuler

    I’m shy until I get to know someone and don’t like public speaking or crowds, so college wasn’t always easy. I just gritted my teeth and got through it. LOL

  7. glam009

    when i was in high school and I just arrive to a new school and have to speak to not in my class but a whole school for my experience on this new school… I was shy so it was a bit embarrassment for me and the speech was awful…

  8. lrhubble

    I can think of a couple of times when I was at a company party with a lot of people I didn’t know and the way I got through it was ask questions and listen.

  9. Sylve T.

    hmmm i went camping with my scouts group. I’m glad i got the experience but i hated every minute of it. Got attacked by these HUGE (i think dragonflys but i’m not sure) green flying bugs. As i hate insects it was not a pleasant time for me. I didn’t sleep the whole three days. everything about it was awkward. I was also the new person, so i at that point hadn’t had the chance to get to know any of the members.

  10. Becky R.

    When I was in high school I was supposed to perform a saxophone solo in front of judges, and walked into the gym with my saxophone, only to stop short and realize that the gym was packed with a bunch of male athletes, and no musicians. They all stopped and stared at me, I blushed, looked down at my feet, and promptly turned around walked back out of the gym. I later learned I had gotten the date and location wrong.

  11. erinf1

    i *love* Tawna’s books!!! thanks for such a fun interview! Ummm… probably the one and only time I was a bridesmaid. I’m not a big girly girl so all of the frou frou stuff was not fun for me. And the wedding… o vey… everything that could go wrong, did. I went to the bride’s hairdresser, who had never styled “oriental” hair before and it was awful. I ended up having to dunk my head in a sink at the church to get all of the hairspray off so I could restyle, 20 minutes before the ceremony. Then all of the bridesmaid dresses did not make it to the church cuz the bride’s mom forgot them (and this after they insisted we bring them over for them to bring). Once we got to the reception, the special table centerpieces of goldfish in bowls were set too close to the votive candles and all of the poor fish ended up boiled. And at the end, here’s me, in a baby blue corset/a line skirt combo, not my choice (I’m 5 foot, so this was not a great look for me and I felt the shop cheated me since I had to pay full price for the skirt and they had to cut 1/2 of it off). I was on the dance floor, waiting for the rest of the wedding party to do the first dance… and *I’M THE ONLY ONE THERE* being stared at by everyone at the reception, cuz the entire wedding party sans me, was outside the country club, getting high. So… awkward for me! I think of it and laugh now but, it was awful!

  12. Erika

    Not sure of any but maybe my wedding a little….so many people, all looking at me, and just not your everyday event.

  13. doveknoll

    When I was in a new High School I was in the Home Ec club and ran for office. I ran for Secretary and got religious leader. Still don’t know how that happened especially since I’m not religious at all. During a school assembly I was told I had to lead everyone in prayer. I did mention I’m not religious, right? I was totally out of my element and just winged it by making stuff up as I went along. Was told I did an amazing job. LOL Go figure.

  14. Cheryl Hastings

    I went to a very rural college about an hour away from my home. The town rolled up the sidewalks at 4pm, not much to do during the evenings or weekends….so not my thing. But the roomie who liked to walk around nude was the last straw….I went home and enrolled in the local college, and met my future hubby!

  15. kermitsgirl

    I took a job once where I was just supposed to be doing data entry in a back room – and then my second day on the job, they asked me to take over radio dispatch so everyone else could go out to lunch! I am uncomfortable on the phone, let alone a radio where I don’t know call signals or any of the codes used. I only stayed at that job for a week. That wasn’t what I was hired to do!

    • Tawna Fenske

      LOL! I had a similar experience answering phones at a hotel during my first day on the job and not knowing ANYTHING. I fumbled with an answer when the owner called asking for the manager, and he started yelling at me. I ended up hanging up on the guy, then walking out and never returning.

  16. JenM

    I don’t have kids and always feel awkward and out of place whenever I have to interact with them or take care of them. Once they hit the age of 10 or so, it’s all great, but prior to that, not. Luckily, most of my friends don’t have kids either, and I pretty much just avoided the others until their kids were older.

    • Tawna Fenske

      I spent the first 36 years of my life not just avoiding kids, but actively hating them. Then I ended up dating (and eventually marrying) a single dad with the best kids on the planet. Suffice it to say, kids kinda grew on me (or at least these ones did!)

  17. Kristy dean

    I am not a drink. And when I do drink it effects me differently. I turn red and get silly and lovey dovey. So when I drink I make sure my friend or love doesn’t since they need to watch me. I have kisses a lot of people I didn’t know one night since my friend decided to drink and not tell me. Thank god I stopped drinking called for a family member to come and get me.

  18. shadowwolf

    I had to give to presentation at work, and I hate being in front of people. I had to do my best to think outside myself, and somehow I made it through ok. 🙂

  19. KV

    I felt out of place giving a speech in school. It went well & I got more experience talking in front of people.

  20. Texas Book Lover

    When I was 30 my mother bought (then insisted I reimburse her) a plane ticket for me to go to Ohio to & meet my biological father, half brother & three half sisters. Words can not express how uncomfortable I was because I was so completely different I was then them. Not to mention I had no interest in meeting them after being legally given up and traded in for said other family. I hung around when I had to and escaped out to the woods with a blanket and my book whenever I could!

  21. Colleen C.

    Fish out of water… that is me when it comes to anything new… I am so awkward sometimes that it is funny when I think back.

  22. dutcheja

    I’m pretty adaptable so there aren’t many times that I can think of where I am totally out of my element but there have been a few uncomfortable times in my life. I grew up with a brother and a sister and my parents moved us around a lot for my Dads job most of the time all we had was each other one summer my parents decided it would be good for us to go sleep away camp, the first night there my sister and I were so homesick that we went into the bathrooms and held each other as we cried our eyes out. That was one of the worst times in my life.

  23. Rachael Brown

    I dreaded having to take public speaking in college. I scheduled it during the summer so that there wouldn’t be as many people enrolled in the class and I would have a smaller audience.

  24. mrsmac19

    The first time I taught a self-contained Sp. Ed class in the South Bronx was very much out of my element. Despite my Master’s degree, student teaching, etc. NOTHING really prepared you for grades 1-3, aged 6-10 (yes, we were outside of the legal age range), unmedicated ED. I survived, but what a learning curve!!!

  25. Leanna

    I went with my sister to a gay bar. I am straight, it wasn’t that bad because everyone knew I was straight and it was a good time.

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