Spotlight & Giveaway: Anything But Love by Beth Ciotta

Posted September 18th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 70 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Beth Ciotta to HJ!

Hi Beth, Welcome to HJ

Thank you for having me!

What would you say are the defining characteristic of your novels?

Beth CiottaMulti-layered heroes and heroines. Quirky secondary characters. Interweaving plotlines. Humor and a sense of adventure. Sexy and/or tender romance. Heart.

5 best things about being a writer?

– Creating magic
– Touching and/or inspiring a reader
– Dress down day is every day
– Attending conferences and mingling face to face with readers and fellow writers
– Never having to retire from doing what you love

If you were a heroine in a book, your character would be – The girl next door, the damsel in distress, Kick-butt take charge heroine or the aloof ice queen and why?

In the real world—the girl next door. In my fantasy world—the damsel in distress. Sorry. Can’t help myself. To me there’s something incredibly exhilarating and romantic about being rescued from a dicey or dire situation by a brave, noble, alpha knight-like guy. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t try fending for myself, but the rescue thing? Sexy.

Let’s talk about your newest release Anything But Love

If you had to summarize ANYTHING BUT LOVE for the readers here…

ABLANYTHING BUT LOVE is a story about two people from the opposite side of the tracks, drawn together by a basic mutual attraction and tested by a life changing complication.

Please tell us about the characters in your book

There are several characters in this book and many are highlighted given the nature of this friends and family story. However, Luke Monroe and Reagan Deveraux take the lead.

Luke is the town Romeo—a good-hearted, down-to-earth charmer who runs a popular local pub. He’s fiercely loyal to family and friends and, aside from a learning disability that he keeps hidden, leads a carefree life.

Rae is the neglected daughter of a Hollywood celebrity, a supremely smart and kind woman who just came into a large inheritance. It’s her chance to live the life she always dreamed of, only a past and recent entanglement with Luke complicates matters beyond her imagining.

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?

Any scene involving the Cupcake Lovers is always fun to write. As a result of a personal slump, Luke recently joined the Cupcake Lovers in a bid for company and distraction. Only that’s not going so well. During one particular meeting he gets the distinct impression that he’s about to get kicked out of the club. The ladies swear they wouldn’t do that, especially given his . . . depression.

“You’re off your game,” Chloe said with a sympathetic smile.
“And so close to Valentine’s Day,” Helen said. “Doubly depressing.”
“Have you thought about Ellie Tate?” Judy asked.
“You know,” Daisy said. “Bert Hawkins’s granddaughter. She recently moved back to town, fresh out of college. Doubt she’s ready for anything serious. ”
“Young. Unfocused. Right up your alley,” Casey said.
Heart pounding, Luke gawked. Oh, hell, no. This same crew has been trying to match Sam up with a soulmate for weeks. Luke had caught a glimpse of that hell and wanted no part of it. “Can we get back to my status in the club, please?”
Rocky took pity on him. Sort of. “We’re not kicking you out, Luke. Just . . . ”
“Don’t make any more cupcakes,” Daisy said.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

Hmm. This is tough. Where Luke and Rae are concerned there’s a major “spoiler” element that I don’t want to give up so I’ll have to pass on sharing the scene that proved the hardest to write. Instead I’ll share a scene between Luke and his cousin Sam. This scene was difficult to write because the emotions behind it had been building for months (and two books). Also it features two good men, cousins who were once close and are now at war because they want the same thing—Rae.

“I’m guessing this has to do with Rae,” Sam said, making the first play.
“I haven’t been entirely forthright,” Luke said while stuffing his gloved hands in his pockets. “All I can say is, it wasn’t intentional. I didn’t pursue Rae. I didn’t charm or seduce her. Hell, I didn’t even flirt. That first kiss, it went down like I said. Purely innocent. Then, because I was worried about her, I hired Jayce to track her.”
“You flew to Bel Air,” Sam surmised.
“I saw red when I found out who she was and how she’d betrayed us. There was a confrontation and an incident. I didn’t think I’d see her again. I sure as hell didn’t think there was anything between us.”
“But there is.”
“There is.” Luke rocked back on his heels, hunched his shoulders against the biting wind and wondered if hell was going to freeze over before Sam reacted to the news.
The man just stared.
Most people crumbled under Sam’s famous death glare. But Luke was too primed. Too pissed. It wasn’t his fault that Rae had fallen for him and not Sam. He wasn’t a homewrecker. They’d never been a goddamned couple. “Are you gonna slug me?” Because Luke was suddenly itching to slug back.
“No. I’ll just wait.”
“For what?”
“For you to screw up.”
A haymaker would have hurt less. Luke had always looked up to Sam and before this thing with Rae, he’d been as tight with the man as any of his other cousins. And that was damned tight. The censure stung, but it also torqued Luke’s pride. “What if I don’t screw up, Sam? What if I make a commitment to Rae and follow through?”
“You don’t know jack shit about commitment, Luke.”
“What? Because I’ve never been engaged or married?”
“Hell, you’ve never even been monogamous.”
“You weren’t exactly a boy scout before you met Paula.”
“Are you saying you feel for Rae what I felt for my wife?”
“I’m saying we’re involved. Back off, Sam.”

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

I would be over the moon if that happened and I actually have two specific actors in mind. My dream romantic leads for ANYTHING BUT LOVE would be…
Ryan Reynolds as Luke Monroe
Michelle Williams as Reagan Deveraux

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2013 into 2014?

Presently I’m writing the fourth novel in my smalltown contemporary series, The Cupcake Lovers. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE releases July 2014.

As far as the rest of 2013 goes, ANYTHING BUT LOVE (Cupcake Lover Novel #3) releases 10/1, followed by a Cupcake Lover holiday e-novella—SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL—on 10/22. I also wrote a holiday novella that will be included in a Christmas anthology along with stories by Heather Graham, Deborah LeBlanc, and Kathleen Pickering. THE KEEPERS: A CHRISTMAS IN SALEM releases 11/5. Also coming this winter, re-edited reissues of my historical wild west trilogy—LASSO THE MOON, ROMANCING THE WEST, and FALL OF ROME.

2014 is still in the planning stages. Definite releases include two more installments in my steampunk series—The Glorious Victorious Darcys—as well as IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, the fourth Cupcake Lover novel.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

My website:
Or Facebook:
Or Twitter:

Thank you for stopping by HJ!

Loved the questions. Thank you again for the feature!

Giveaway: 2 print copies of ANYTHING BUT LOVE

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Speaking of questions, here’s one for the readers. Are you drawn to books set in small towns? If so, why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Info:

Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publisher’s Weekly, Beth specializes in writing Romantic Comedy with a Twist of Suspense and is published in contemporary, historical, and paranormal romantic fiction. “I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than writing stories where everyone (except the villain, of course) gets a happy ending!”

Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at

70 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Anything But Love by Beth Ciotta”

  1. Kelly Kline

    I think I’m drawn to the books about small towns because I’m from a small town. It kind of brings the story home for me.

  2. Mary Preston

    I do like small town settings. Love the fact that everyone knows everyone elses business & the hero & heroine are basically forced to interact.

  3. ndluebke

    Not only in a small town does everybody know everybody, they are almost all connected. I found that out when I started working on genealogy for my moms family. I live in that town now. However, it has gotten a lot bigger now so it changes everything.

  4. Pat Lieberman

    Small town romance – like em – warm and fuzzy reads with everyone having each others backs.

  5. Winnie Lim

    Yes I love books that are based in small towns. I love the feel of the tight-knitted community where people are willing to chip in to help each other, even though there may be some irritating people who love to poke their noses in other people’s lives.

  6. Jenn McElroy

    I enjoy small-town stories, though I also enjoy big-city stories, too. I think it depends on my mood (looking for something more home-sy, etc.) and I like to alternate somewhat for balance. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  7. SnarkyMom

    No, I’m not necessarily drawn to stories in small towns. It depends on the author & the tone of the book. There are some small town setting authors that just make me flinch whenever I read their stuff LOL!

  8. Janine

    I do like the small town feel of books. But, I don’t limit myself to them. I have read the first book in the cupcake lovers series. I need to get up to date here.

  9. Jesica F

    I normally don’t pay attention to the setting but I think that i prefer it because of the feeling of closeness that is often portrayed in them. Big cities are often shown as kinda cold and busy as opposed to a small town where all the neighbors are friendly if a little nosy XD

  10. orchid7

    I love books that are based in a small town! I grew up in one, so it’s familiar. I also like the relationships between the characters in these types of stories.

  11. Lori Meehan

    I love small town romance. Some of my favorites are Lucky Harbor, Jill Shalvis Bramble, Texas, Katie Lane

  12. Erika

    I think I am drawn to small town settings since I’ve never lived in one. Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. xoxotawnydee

    I’m drawn to small town settings because I have lived in small towns since I was thirteen or so. They just feel more like home so I can imagine them better.

  14. Sandy Xiong

    I am definitely drawn to books set in small towns. There is always more details in it and everyone knows each other especially the H/H. They are usually old friends or acquaintances.

  15. Leanna

    I love books set in small towns (think Fool’s Gold, Lucky Harbor, Virgin River and Serendipity) . I like small towns because everyone takes care of each other.

  16. Chanpreet

    I love books set in small towns. I live in a metropolitan city and small cities have that old time feel to them where everyone knows their neighbor and has roots going back years if not generations.

  17. Sharlene Wegner

    Small town books are great, because everyone helps each other out and/or gets in their business. I loved the first 2 books in the series & am looking forward to this one!

  18. Kim Perry

    I love books set in small towns. It’s interesting to have a few places that everyone in town seems to frequent. I really love that the main characters can’t escape the interesting secondary characters, such as friends, family, and neighbors, I loved the previous books and I can’t wait to see what happens with Luke and Rae! Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Kai W.

    I’m drawn to small towns because life just seemed so simpler than living in the big city. I live in the city of Los Angeles. It is so big that it can fit 7 major cities in its size.

  20. Evelyn

    Love books that are set in small towns because I live in a big city, but I wished that I lived in a small town where everyone knows everyone and have close relationship.

  21. Anita H.

    I very much enjoy books set in small town. It makes the reading more intimate and character focused and I think it reveals more about the characters in how they deal with close-knit communities and the problems that crop up by having everyone know everyone’s business 🙂

  22. Michelle Huang

    Drawn to small towns because the people tend to be friendly and help each other when needed. Even though rumors can spread like wildfire, we all can’t help it but we still love them!

  23. Kimberly Mayberry

    The actual location (Small town/big city) is actually secondary to the dynamics of the characters relationship for me. It really does not matter much to me where the story is set, because I am buying the book because of the story line and interaction between all of the characters.

  24. bookcaselaura

    Yes! I think one of the great things about romances set in small towns is there is much more likelihood that the main characters will “bump” into each other or interact in some other way without it seeming forced. Plus, I grew up in a small town – still no fast food or stoplights!- so I love them for that reason too. Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. Ada

    Love reading books set in small towns. Those books seem to have the best secondary characters an make me want to move there. I just want to feel a part of their town even when it seems you have no privacy or anything.

  26. CateS

    I grew up in a small town and have lived in others… One time, when some friends started talking about who was related to who…. I demaned a graphic chart be started so I could study it!!! It certainly made the old adage about not saying anything bad about someone/anybody easy to understand!!

  27. Kate

    I am, I have always lived in big cities and would love to live in a little town of village in the countryside.

  28. amel armeliana

    Yes, I loved the story that set in the small town, because I also grew up in the small town. Even now I’m staying a big city, but still my town is very special to me.

    Thanks for this giveaway 🙂

  29. Tricia P

    Looking back through some of my favorite reads, I think I am drawn to books set in small towns. I’ll read books with other settings, there is just something about those small towns. A small town can become one of the book characters with its quirky but close knit community.

  30. kp

    I love stories about small towns because you get to know so many different characters from the community!

  31. cindy r.

    I’ve always been drawn to small towns, probably because I was born and raised in one. I have lived in a lot of places inn the eastern and southern U S. and in Canada. Some big cities, but mostly, small towns because I feel more comfortable there.

  32. Sue G.

    I love stories in small town. You really get to the know the characters and feel like they are your friends.

  33. Karen j

    Oh absolutely! I love small town romances! Maybe its because Im from one myself..I dunno. But they are my favorite type of stories!

  34. conniefischer

    Books that take place in a small town gives me a sense of comfort, closeness and security that I get when I’m around my family. Knowing that you have so many friends you can call upon and for whom you can return the favor makes ones happy and content. I’m looking forward to reading this book. The plot sounds so nice.

  35. Susie F

    I grew up in a town of 15,000 people which might not seem small, but after 12 years of school with the same people, you get to know them, warts and all. Also back then, parents called each other if they saw you do something you shouldn’t be doing. Irritating then, but wish there was more of that today.

  36. Rita Wray

    I love books set in small towns. They always have likable characters and everyone knows everyone else.

  37. AnneM-SC

    I am drawn to books set in a small town – especially series. Love following the characters throughout and the involvement of all the folks (yes, even the busy-bodies! 😉 )

  38. Beth Ciotta

    So enjoyed reading all of the comments. Thanks for chiming in everyone. Love learning everyone’s take on small towns. Good luck in the drawing!

  39. Jessica M

    I love reading books set in small towns. I don’t know why, I guess I just like the homey feel of it.

  40. Jessica

    Yes, I live in a small town… big cities scare me. LOL. I love books set in settings I understand

  41. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    I love stories in small towns. They make the story and the characters seem more real.

  42. Diah Didi

    Amen to Jennifer Zorko-Legan. Reading about stories in small town felt more real, and humble, and it could happens to me in daily life. 😀

  43. Tammy

    Because there’s something magical about a small town, maybe less stress, calmer, simpler life.

  44. Marcy Shuler

    I like stories set in small towns because of all the quirky characters who usually also live there.

  45. Tawnya Bentley

    Yes, I love that feel of neighbors helping each other out when they know something is wrong. Or coming together to help paint a house for a single mom/dad. Bring meals for a new family.

  46. Erica M

    I love books set in a small town, because I was born and raised and still live in the same small hometown. Everyone knows everyone else.

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