Please join me in welcoming Carina Press author of the book Planning for Love, Christi Barth to HJ
Christi: Very buttoned up, thanks to strict parents. Teacher’s pet, studious and musical. Until I turned 17 and went off to college. The rest of my teenaged years were basically the opposite. Well, still musical as that was my college major, but did a 180 and went a little wild and crazy with the freedom at being an eight hour drive away from home.
What was the first romance novel you read that made an impression on you?
Christi: Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was magical. I was hooked. In fact, I urge everyone to read it – a sweeping saga that will transport you.
What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
Christi: Ha! I won a game at a bachelorette party this weekend for having the most items crammed into my purse. 1) A notepad to jot story ideas (started this after I ended up scribbling around the edges of my symphony program one too many times). 2) Lipstick – I go NOWHERE without full makeup. 3) Gum, to help stave off hunger cravings 4) Ibuprofen. Because you never know….
Let’s talk about your new release Planning for Love
Christi: Funny, sexy & filled with romance.
Here’s the teaser:
Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes
anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott
request the pleasure of your company for
their disaster of a courtship
What sparked the idea for your novel Planning for Love:
Christi: Ah, every author’s dreaded question. For once, I’ve got a great answer to this question! I used to be a wedding planner. 9 out of 10 people who learned this would say you should write a book! Then they’d launch into elaborate eye winks about bridezillas, and mother of the bride horror stories.
Except, in my experience, 90% of weddings are wonderful. They are a celebration of friends and family and enduring love. Most people do pull it together and behave like grown-ups. So I didn’t want to write a scathing tell-all. But a series that focuses on the wedding industry, showcasing people who spend every day creating the perfect happily ever after? That felt like a good place to start. And maybe a few crazy hijinks did slip into my manuscript. It is a comedy, after all!
What’s one quirky thing about Ivy/Ben?
Christi: Ivy’s quirk is that she likes to celebrate ridiculous daily holidays, like National Donut Day on June 1. Ben’s quirk is that he doesn’t ‘live’ anywhere – just has a trunk at his sister’s house full of stuff. But you’ll have to read the book to learn why!
If you had to pick your favorite scene in the book:
Christi: I love the scene where Ben plays poker with the guys and opens up about his big secret. They force him to remove his emotional armor. And I just adore writing men’s dialogue.
Who would play your Ivy & Bennett in the movie version of your book? And why?
Christi: Bennett would be played by Aaron Eckhart, because he is the physical model for him. Trust me, it was no hardship to scour the Internet for inspirational photos of my hero! Ivy would be Claire Danes. Just because she can swing so well from serious to beaming in a blink of an eye.
Do you have any other upcoming releases?
Christi: The Aisle Bound series continues in Book #2, A Fine Romance, the story of Sam the baker/aspiring chocolatier and Mira, the manager of Ivy’s new romance store who doesn’t like chocolate. Spoiler alert: there is a VERY hot sex scene that just might involve melted chocolate…… Book #3, Friends to Lovers, follows Daphne the florist and Gib the British lothario as they journey from—well, friends to lovers! Just finished writing their aphrodisiac dinner that works far better than either of them expected. Also, please keep an eye out in December for my novella Ask Her At Christmas, in the anthology Romancing the Holiday, also featuring stories by Jaci Burton and Helen Kay Dimon. It, too, is set in Chicago, with a cameo appearance from the hotel where Ivy & Ben have their one torrid night.
Giveaway: Christi will be giving away a copy of ‘Planning for Love’ to 2 Lucky winners
Please enter your email in the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment answering this: Did you ever plan for a particular man (i.e. set your sights on him) and get him? When you did, was he worth it, or was it a horrible mistake?
Would you please share an excerpt from the book
“I want to taste you, Ivy.” The scrape of his feet against the stones came to a halt. A gentle nudge with his forehead tipped her head back. Their eyes locked. “Why don’t we get a jump on the inevitable? Because I don’t want to wait another moment.”
Ivy had a split second to decide. Stick to her guns—and her professional ethics—and slip out of his arms? Or stay and lock lips with a super sexy man in the moonlight? Really, it was easiest to not decide at all. Her eyelids drifted shut as she waited for Ben to make his move. And waited. Nothing happened. She peeked out from beneath her lashes to see the merest hint of a smirk lifting the edges of Ben’s mouth. Her eyes flew open the rest of the way.
“What? What happened to the tasting and the moment?”
“The moment’s not right until you decide to commit to it. I promised earlier I wouldn’t steal any more kisses from you. Kissing is interactive. A two-way street. You’ve got to choose to slide behind the wheel and turn the key.”
Why did men turn everything in life into a car metaphor? Well, she could play along. Despite showing every sign of being something of a player, Ben had shown her, with that one little pause, that he also had bucket loads of integrity. No sane, single woman could turn down an honest to goodness gentleman. They were a rare breed, and she didn’t intend to waste this particular chance sighting. Time to seize the day…or at least what was left of the night.
“Oh, my motor’s fully revved. You’d better buckle your seatbelt, Mr. Westcott.”
Ivy tightened her grip around his neck and went up on her tiptoes to reach his mouth. The mouth she’d stared at off and on all day, remembering the firm albeit brief feel of his lips against hers. He wasn’t the only one who wanted a taste. She puckered up and planted a soft kiss. And then Ben quite expertly elbowed his way back into the driver’s seat.
His lips slanted hard across hers, instantly ratcheting the level of heat up from tender to full on sizzle. This was no getting-to-know-you smooch. Ben claimed her mouth with possessive pressure. His teeth nibbled open her lips, allowing his tongue to sweep inside. Her moan of pleasure was all the urging he needed to slide his hands down to not only cup her ass, but lift her off the ground.
Ivy’s world spun. Under the spell of the spring night, she’d yearned for nothing more than a touch, a quiet kiss. She’d wanted a sip of water to slake her lustful thirst. Instead, Ben’s kisses drowned her in a downpour of passion and heat. The arch of her foot curved around his calf, looking for something to ground her. Each stroke of his tongue ignited an array of sparks behind her closed eyes. He tore his mouth away but hovered his lips a breath away from hers. Eyes heavy lidded, he moved not at all, aside from the pounding of his heart thumping through his tuxedo shirt. Suddenly, she realized what he waited to hear.
“Okay, Ben. You’ve convinced me to have a drink with you.”
A hum of approval sounded low in his throat. He buried his face in the curve of her neck. And then from somewhere behind them, a short high gasp, and the unmistakable crash of glass breaking on the stone floor. Ben’s grip bobbled, but he didn’t drop her.
“Get your hands off my friend’s ass right now, or I’ll call in someone a lot bigger than me to make you.”