Please welcome USA TODAY bestselling Harlequin author Mira Lyn Kelly to HJ
Mira for all of my readers who may not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?
Thank you so much for having me today! Okay, so a little about me…I’m a write-at-home-mom of four kids ages seven through eleven. I grew up in Chicago (a fave book setting!) spent several years in California, and now call Minnesota home.
Like you, I’m a total junkie when it comes to romance and have been for as far back as I can remember—marrying off the numbers six and seven, and the colors red and blue while I watched Sesame Street. As addictions go, this is totally the one to have, lol, and I’ve happily embraced it…managing to even turn that need for my fix of HEAs into a career writing for Harlequin.
I write flirty, sexy, fun contemporary romance…have four Presents Extras on my backlist and a brand new release introducing Harlequin’s new KISS line this month. It’s FREE you should get it!! (Okay, and maybe I’m a book pusher too!)
Do you usually begin a book with a character or a plot?
Usually my stories start with a single idea. A line or incident that sort of snares my attention and keeps me coming back to play with it until the scene and characters start to take shape.
In WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING it was a tired pick-up line, and both the hero and heroine’s response to it. In FRONT PAGE AFFAIR… an escapee bridesmaid trying to protect her hideout from an encroaching hero. THE S BEFORE EX… “Isn’t that your husband?”. NEVER STAY PAST MIDNIGHT… Bruno the puppy beast taking Elise for a drag. And in WAKING UP MARRIED it was the Megan doing just that…waking up married, with no idea how she’d gotten that way.
From those ideas the plot and characters sort build off each other…but not necessarily one before the other though.
What can you tell us about Harlequin’s New line KISS?
It’s contemporary with a capital C! Exactly the kind of modern, fun reads I love, with heroine’s you’d want to have as best friends, and heroes strong enough to be able to laugh at themselves. And the line-up of authors is amazing. Every month the readers are going to have a new favorite!
Which of your characters would you most/least invite to dinner, and why?
Hmm…okay, you know I love them all, so picking just one doesn’t seem fair. But because it’s been so long and you always remember your first…Cali and Jake from WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING. A couple of fun lines to introduce them to the other dinner guests… “she had a sweet tooth for man-candy and didn’t get kissed often enough” and “he was a modern day knight in pricey denim, rescuing damsels in distress from whiskey breathing barflies”.
Honestly, they made my dreams of becoming a Harlequin author a reality…so I owe it all to them!
What are you currently working on? What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m just wrapping up ONCE IS NEVER ENOUGH, another KISS title that will be available this summer. This story has been a blast to write. It’s about how a night of no-strings gets all tangled up when the heroine realizes the man she’s brought home is her best friend’s semi-reformed-player brother.
Yay! Yes, yes! I’m so excited about this one, I’ve been going nuts waiting for it to finally come out! WAKING UP MARRIED is being offered FREE as an early introduction to the new KISS line.
Here’s the cover copy…
From USA TODAY bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly comes WAKING UP MARRIED, a free book in Harlequin’s brand-new contemporary romance collection—Harlequin KISS.
Her first thought: “Who are you?”
It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!
Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!
Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?
“I don’t want a divorce.”
What sparked the idea for the book ‘Waking Up Married’?
Dare I own up to this?? Oh, fine, we’re all friends here, right? And you guys won’t tell anyone…will you?? So the deal behind this story… it’s possible, I may not exactly remember my first kiss with my husband.
Terrible, I know!!
We were very good friends, in our early twenties, and out together that fateful night I tried this really delicious…totally sneaky Vodka Lemon Drop that didn’t seem strong at all…so why not have more than one?? Yeah…lol, live and learn!
So the next day my roommate was giggling to me about the kiss everyone knew about but me…and while I laughed, I just couldn’t get past the idea that I’d missed something. Big. Big enough that neither my then-friend nor I could really let it go. And so…
Well, eighteen years and four kids later, we’re living our happily-ever-after… but the power of that missing kiss always stuck with me. And eventually it had to hit the paper. Cue Megan and Connor’s night of excess!
If you had to sum up ‘Waking Up Married’ what would you say?
At its core, WAKING UP MARRIED is a story about a connection forged within a brief window of missing time being strong enough to change the course of two lives in a very happily-ever-after kind of way.
If you had to pick your favorite scene from ‘Waking Up Married’ …
Again with the picking favorites!! Okay, how about the scene where Connor and Megan are getting ready for the wedding she came to Vegas to attend. Megan’s got a plan for her future and marriage is not a part of it. But Connor’s a pretty convincing guy and Megan is finding herself more than a little susceptible to his charm. Connor wants her try the marriage on for size and he’s not above seducing her into putting his ring back on her finger…
He was so close she could feel the heat radiating off his body, the wash of his breath against her jaw, the tickle of his open shirt grazing her arms.
Decadent. Intimate. Too seductive to resist. Her fingers closed around the draping fabric, pulling him toward her until only the barest space remained.
She pulled again. A subtle nudge. Then a stronger tug, but all it earned her was another one of those devastating half smiles and the slow shake of Connor’s head as he reached into his pocket and withdrew her ring.
Braced on one arm and his knees above her, Connor slid his free hand up her left arm, rolling the glinting diamond band along the path of her skin until he held it poised above the tip of her ring finger, so close she could feel an almost magnetic pull from the wanting.
It would be so easy to give in. Give him what he wanted. What, on some level, she wanted too. Let him slide that platinum band over her finger, and say yes to what would inevitably feel good in the moment, but had the potential to devastate if she wasn’t careful.
Forcing the air in her lungs to move again, she managed a single word. “Wait.”
Connor’s smile quirked suggestively. “Nervous? I promise I’ll be gentle. I’ve done this before.”
Her eyes closed as she once again found herself relieved by his sense of humor and ability to lighten the mood without undermining the seriousness of what was at stake.
Finding more breath, she whispered, “We can’t. Not yet.”
“Why not? We’re already married.” His voice dropped lower as he lightly teased the diamond band around the tip of her finger. “I can tell you want it.”
Who would play Megan Scott and Connor Reed in the movie version of your book? And why?
When I’m putting together my synopsis at the beginning of a new book, I always include a couple images of actors or models that fit with my idea for the characters. For WAKING UP MARRIED I chose Christian Bale and Elizabeth Banks and here’s why…
A look at Connor:
…Hand raised in casual greeting, mahogany eyes fixed on someone across the room, he was tall, dark and handsome in the most traditional sense. Broad and tapered, chiseled and cut. All clean lines and classic good looks. The balanced symmetry of him so flawless, it might have made him bland.
If not for his mouth.
This guy had one of those slanted smiles going on. The kind so lazy only half of it bothered to go to work. And yet, something about the ease of it suggested a near permanence on his face, while its stunted progress implied—well, she supposed that was part of the lure. It could really imply anything.
That smile was the kind women got lost in while trying to unravel its mystery.
… She’d been “authentic” with her sharp wit and gently rough edges. Her too-wide
smile, assortment of freckles and sexy laugh… The girl-next-door giving in to a bit of wild.
And let’s keep in touch!
You can find me chatting away on FACEBOOK at MiraLynKelly.Author, follow me on TWITTER at @MiraLynKelly, or pop over to my website www.miralynkelly.com for excerpts from my complete backlist. Hope to talk to you soon!!
Giveaway: Mira will be giving away a copy from her backlist to one lucky reader.
To Enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and Post a comment to this Q: Have you ever made what seemed like a terrible decision that changed your life for the better? I’d love to hear it!
An excerpt from the opening of WAKING UP MARRIED…
Talk about an inconvenient burden. No matter how his stomach rocked and his head slammed,
there was no way he could make a bolt for the beckoning doorway to freedom at the far wall.
Wrenching his gaze back to his own slightly green reflection, he turned off the tap and wrung
out a towel. Pushed some empathy into his expression and prepared to face the music.
“Hey, gorgeous,” he called, crossing over to the pitiful creature half leaning into, half clutching the toilet in front of her. “Feeling any better?”
Raccoon eyes peered out from beneath a blond rat’s nest as she reached for the damp cloth he held in offering. “Carter—”
“Connor,” he corrected drily, torn between amusement and what, by all rights, ought to be the
very antithesis of it.
“We need a lawyer,” she gasped, barely finding the time to look chagrined before the next wave of revolt took her.
A lawyer. Not exactly a stellar kickoff to their honeymoon. But then, this wasn’t exactly a stellar situation to begin with. Of course, in the less than fifteen minutes since the warm body sprawled beside him had moaned—once, and not in a good way—then lurched from the bed to the bathroom, he hadn’t quite put all the soggy pieces of the night before into place. But based on the shocking evidence at hand—or more specifically, finger…and the band of glinting diamonds encircling hers—this was the worst-case scenario come to life. Cutting loose gone bad. Consequences in action. Yeah, in all likelihood, this was going to be a major hassle to clean up.
So a lawyer sounded like an ideal place to start.
Once the upchuck portion of the morning concluded, at any rate.
“One thing at a time, babe. Let’s get through this, and we’ll worry about the rest later.”
Whatever her choked response was, he got the gist it was an agreement of sorts.
Damn, what a disaster.
Rubbing a hand over the back of his neck, Connor gave his blanching bride a not-so-subtle once-over.
Twelve hours ago she’d been “authentic” with her sharp wit and gently rough edges. Her too-wide smile, assortment of freckles and sexy laugh.
Now, with her hair threatening to dip into God only knew, she just looked…rough. No gentle about it.
Still, even as he stared at the hot mess she was before him, fragmented images bombarded his mind with hints of who she’d been the night before.
The girl-next-door giving in to a bit of wild.
The perfect fit for his bad-boy mood. He’d thought she looked like a few hours of fun.
So how the hell had she ended up flipped over his shoulder, giggling about how crazy he was, as he toted her into one of those all-night chapels Las Vegas was famous for?
Megan turned, giving him a full-on frontal view of the too-tight, hot-pink T-shirt she’d been wearing when he’d stumbled into the bathroom after her.
Stamped across her bust in black block letters were two words: GOT SPERM?
Oh, right. That was how.
While WAKING UP MARRIED is available now, the KISS line will officially be launching in February, offering four books a month.
DOWNLOAD your FREE copy Here: