Spotlight & Giveaway: Sweet Talk Me by Kieran Kramer

Posted April 11th, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 88 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer to HJ!


Hi Kieran, Welcome to HJ!

What would you say is your motto or maxim as a writer?

Kieran KramerWrite Hard.
And what I mean by that is put everything into it. Readers read for emotion. And if you don’t feel it, they won’t. It also means you have to write a lot. Unless you’re bloody Shakespeare, you can’t pull a magnum opus from the sky. You need to work your tail off to get it right. And guess what? Shakespeare worked his tail off, too, LOL!!

If you were stranded on a deserted island…

I’d first make sure I had a great hammock to lie in to do all the reading I’ll finally get the chance to do!! PLEASE, send me to that desert island, LOL!!! I’d love to have a stack of books a mile high there, along with copious amounts of Mediterranean food, good English black tea, milk, and brownies with colored sprinkles on top. My hut would also include straw mats for my hubby and kids and extended family and pets. So this hut will be large…it will ramble ALL over the beach, quite frankly, and the volleyball net will get constant use (maybe we’ll have to throw coconuts across it)!!! As for writing my books, I’d have to get a waterproof, sandproof laptop with a solar battery recharger, and damn, there’s got to be wifi on the broken-down boat we came in because no way can I be out of contact with all my writer and reader friends!!!

Let’s talk about your newest release: Sweet Talk Me

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…

Sweet-Talk-Me1In a nutshell:
A starchy Southern belle named True and Harrison, her country singer ex, work together to pull off her wedding to another man.

Please tell us about the characters in your book

True—a former debutante all grown up and down on her luck
Harrison—sexy international country music star from the wrong side of the tracks
And then there’s a cast of colorful secondary characters that I devote a lot of time to making come to life—and that includes the fictitious town of Biscuit Creek, SC!

As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

It surprised me that True was so good at all the stuff she might not have done in the old days…cooking for a crowd, even tending crops in a field. She’s a born hard worker. As for Harrison, I was surprised at what an old-fashioned romantic he was. There’s a funny scene about that in the book.

What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?

It’s too hard to choose a favorite! But I loved writing the scene where Harrison comes to True’s house for the first time in ten years.

“How come your parents aren’t coming to the door?” Harrison murmured to True.
Her pupils dilated. “They’re occupied.”
“A Maybank is never too occupied to greet a guest or run off a foe,” he said softly. “I’m going to lift your arm. And then I’m going to walk into your house, invited by your sister. So no complaining about this being a home invasion. A man can only be unfairly accused of that once in his lifetime. Twice, and he just might not go running away. He might stick around and call some people out. Hear?”
“Over my dead body.” True shut her eyes and pressed herself back against the door.
Weezie got to the screen. “Move,” she told her sister. “The mystery drink’s melting.” The three dogs whined around her legs, their claws clacking on the wooden floor.
All Harrison had to do was put his hands on True’s exposed waist—it was slender and strong and his palms cupped it perfectly–and her arms came off the doorframe in an instant.
“No!” she cried.
Releasing his hold on her body was hell on the primitive part of his brain. But he did what he had to do and was inside the house the next moment. It had the same smell: salt water breezes, freshly ironed linen, and old wood. The slightly buckled wide-plank floors ran clear through the house to the back.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

The scene where True and Harrison break up. There’s a lot of emotion there, lots of different things going on. I’d rather keep that as a surprise, but here’s the next morning:

Being a mature man sucked, Harrison thought the next morning at breakfast. Gage was making everyone fried egg-and-bacon sandwiches. He even had fake bacon for Weezie. What a guy.
Harrison sat in the chair next to True, which was tough. But he soaked up every second of being near her while he ate his sandwich, a puny distraction but pretty damned good. He felt like shit, but for Weezie and Gage’s sake, he was determined to go out on a good note. Let True see what she was missing.
Damn that girl. But damn him for not knowing what to do about her. Again.
He could pull it off. He’d done a concert once with a 103-degree fever and vomiting between songs. Leaving behind a heartbreaker with a penchant for wearing pearls at breakfast would be a piece of cake.

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

True: Reese Witherspoon at 28
Harrison: Chris Hemsworth at 28

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 honestly wouldn’t want to give them ANY advice because then they’d be smart right away and get together immediately–and there would be no book, LOL!!! I want them to go through the angst and confusion, an entire process of self-discovery before they can unite.

But if you insist on my giving them advice, it would be: always follow your heart.

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

I just finished HE’S SO FINE, another Southern contemporary romance, and after I do revisions on it, I’ll be thinking about my next one, which I’ll have finished writing by this fall.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

I’m always on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can also go to my website and reach me there.

And thanks so much for having me here!!! Everyone, have a great spring filled with lots of fabulous books!!! XOXO Kieran

GIVEAWAY: 2 print copies of SWEET TALK ME

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Dear Readers, what do you like best about contemporary romances? Get as specific as you can!! Thanks!! I’d love to know….

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Chapter 1

When country music superstar Harrison Gamble appeared on the sun-dappled sidewalk outside the hotel on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, the crowd roared its approval, everyone, that is, except True Maybank. She’d as soon scream as chase a pig around a mud pen. Maybanks didn’t holler. They believed in decorum. Tradition. Using something until it wore out. Keeping up appearances even when the world had gone to hell in a handbasket.
“Well, I swanny,” she murmured, her entire body filling with a prickly sensation. She never thought she’d see him again.
Behind her late great aunt Honey’s oversized Nina Ricci sunglasses, she watched Harrison take his fans’ hysteria in stride, as if it had nothing to do with him, his smokin’ hot body, that sparkling white smile, the bronzed skin, sexy stubble, and those sideburns, which were longer than they used to be—just long enough to qualify for serious bad boy status.
Move on, girl! You got a wedding dress to get home!
She circled around the heavily policed chaos, risking her life in the street for a few seconds, and quickly began walking again, uphill. With her mother’s newly repaired vintage gown in her arms, it was as if Mama were walking with her, Mama with all her high expectations and impeccable standards. And here True merely hoped that the double whammy dreamboat behind her—the first guy she’d slept with and her only one-night stand–wouldn’t somehow recognize her.
At the corner, she couldn’t resist a glance over her shoulder back down at the scene at the hotel. What a collage that would make. The thought crept up, wily and insistent, and she fought to dismiss it. But it was too wild, too alive….
It kept coming, the image, blossoming in her mind and taking over her body, making her fingertips buzz with the need to arrange. She would collage this memory. She would. It would be her best work yet.
And no one would ever see it.
Harrison signed an autograph, and with a quick kiss to the crowd, got into the back of a black Humvee. Two Taylor Swift look-alikes scooted inside as well. The car’s dark tinted windows slid up, its front tires angled toward the street, and True’s arm began to sweat under the plastic bag.
Change, light, change!
Seconds later the Humvee whooshed past her. Two more scary-looking black SUV’s followed behind.
She took a deep breath. There. It was over. Harrison was the Big Bad Wolf to millions of captivated Red Riding Hoods, and once upon a time, True had been one of them.
Admit it. You nearly got sucked in again today.
No. She wouldn’t think of him anymore. It had been a crazy minute in an otherwise fairly sane week. All she had to do now was get to the parking garage, find her car, and drive the four hours back to Biscuit Creek. Back to Weezie, her sister. To Carmela, her best friend. And to Dubose, the man she was to marry.
Back to the life that was finally falling into place.
A block later, a sporty aqua blue coupe with darkened windows slowed to a crawl next to her, and the passenger side window lowered a crack. “Get in, Miss Junior League,” Harrison’s voice rang out loud and clear.
True’s heart clanged like a fire station alarm bell, and she stopped walking.
She was seriously nonplussed. In Biscuit Creek they’d say she was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. But True favored words like nonplussed, probably because she was a big reader. She had a book stuffed up the right leg of her Spanx right now, a dog-eared Agatha Christie paperback that didn’t fit into her pocketbook. That minimalist creation—a Target find, a faux yellow leather tote–was actually overflowing with three lipsticks of varying coral shades, a two-inch Velcro hair roller, travel hair spray, a pack of Kleenex, Juicy Fruit gum, her cell phone, a round hair brush, a black Sharpie, her keys (which weighed a ton), a banana, a tube of Advil, a pair of sunglasses, and her ancient Cinderella wallet from Disneyworld, which had a rubber band around it to keep the cards and money from falling out.
“Well?” Harrison revved the engine. “You gonna get in here and tell me what you been up to all these years or stand there stiff as a poker and pretend you can’t see me?”
True pivoted on a heel to face the car. “I see you, all right.”
Daddy always said if you couldn’t run with the big dogs, stay under the porch. True wasn’t an under-the-porch sort of gal.



The last person True Maybank expected to run into while picking up her wedding gown was country music superstar Harrison Gamble. Years ago, when they were small-town teens in Biscuit Creek, South Carolina, they shared a forbidden night of passion. Now that she’s about to settle down, True’s love affair with the handsome crooner is a thing of the past. Or is it? From the moment he says hello, she has to fight swooning like an adoring fan.


Today he’s rich, famous, and on every woman’s hot list. But back in the day, Harrison wasn’t good enough for debutante True. Since then she’s had her fair share of marital prospects, including the perfect Southern gentleman she’s about to settle down with. Is Harrison the only one to realize the mistake True’s about to make? Can the society girl and the sexy singer make music together—this time around?

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble





88 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Sweet Talk Me by Kieran Kramer”

  1. Pat Lieberman

    I just don’t enjoy reading historicals. The only ones I will read are western historicals.

  2. Kai W.

    Contemporary are more realistic for most of us. We don’t have the thrill or suspense that would happen. We have family drama and the everyday’s problems that we all deal with.

    • Kieran

      Kai, I always want to give you a little bit to hang onto the edge of your seat for…hopefully, you’ll find that in this book!

  3. orchid7

    I like the friends to lovers trope, and I also like being able to relate to the characters.

  4. Lisa Dalesandro

    I love the fact that I could star in a contemporary romance – meaning they usually include realistic situations with real people and emotions that ring true to me. It gives me hope that one day, I too will get my happily ever after…or at least a reasonable facsimile?

  5. Tracey Parker

    I like contemporary romances because it does have more to relate to in terms of the times. I myself am a homeboy, married, with 2 kids, and medical issues, so don’t know too much of the night life or dating issues now.

    • Kieran

      Tracey, it’s always fun to step into a character’s shoes and “live” their life for a while!! Good luck with your medical issues!! 🙂

  6. marcyshuler

    I like contemporary romances because I can actually see myself in the situations. They’re relatable to me and don’t take a lot of imagination as an historical would. (But I also love historical romances. LOL)

    • Kieran

      Marcy, I love them both, too!! But I know what you mean about contemporaries. It’s easier to imagine because it’s our time.

  7. Sharlene Wegner

    I am a fan of Kieran’s historical romances, so I am looking forward her new contemporary romance! I think contemporary romance allows you to identify with the characters & physical environments, while still allowing the fantasy of the romantic situation.

    • Kieran

      Well said, Sharlene! I totally agree!! And thanks for sticking by me through thick and thin!! 🙂

  8. ki pha

    Why I like contemporary is that I can identify with some of the characters and understamd some of thexstruggles they have. Easier to relate to. More realistic, as in falling in love and .taking a relationship work. It gives us hope even if it’s fantasy fiction. 😉

    We can always dream~

    • Kieran

      Ki Pha, Dreaming is *essential.* We need our imaginations–they enhance our lives and help us cope. I love what you said!

  9. lavendersbluegreen

    Contemporary is more now. So the characters are relatable, the scenery and situations are familiar, everything fits very well into the puzzle of our current world. Sometimes you want an imaginary world that is really close to your own as a reader; a contemporary romance definately provides this.

    • Kieran

      I loved this answer, Lavendersbluegreen! And isn’t our current world a real puzzle, sometimes? In fiction, you can try to sort out the confusion and get some answers that resonate.

  10. Krysten M

    It is so much easier for me to picture what’s going on and for me to relate in contemporary romances

    • Kieran

      Kitten, that seems to be the predominant thought–that we can get into the character’s story more easily!! 🙂

    • Kieran

      Mary, it IS our world. I really love being able to write about it. It allows me to think a lot about what’s valued nowadays. And here is what I’ve discovered: people are people no matter what time period you write in. We all want to love and be loved!!

    • Kieran

      Anita, I love this answer! Yes, so many characters have become, in a very special way, my best friends!!

  11. Kate I.

    I dig contemporary because the situations typically are more relatable than stories set in the past or in alternate worlds. Many of the struggles and choices faced by characters in contemporary romance are similar to those encountered by readers in real life.

    • Kieran

      Kate, there’s something reassuring about that, too. When I read contemporary, I think, “Ah. So I’m not the only one who thinks this way or dreams about certain things!”

  12. DebraG

    Contemporary is something you can relate to. It is more realistic from your own personal perspective.

    • Kieran

      Personal perspective–I like that! Yes, you can map your experiences on top of the characters and find some common ground.

  13. Monique D

    They’re easier to relate to. Sometimes I wonder in historicals about men being so mindful of women’s sexual pleasure, among other things.

    • Kieran

      Monique, that’s a fascinating point! How different are the attitudes toward sexuality? We could talk all day about that! I do know that when I write historical, I try to remember that no matter what century we’re focusing on, there HAVE to be smart, independent women and caring men. I ignore all the rest and focus on them, LOL!!!

  14. KateS

    We all live in a pretty mundane world – but most of us do have family drama… which drives a great many of the contemporay romance books… so these books are more like our lives, just enhanced a bit.

    • Kieran

      Kate, I love that–yes, enhanced is a good word. I’m only writing about what you’re already experiencing in your real world, but I’m putting a magnifying glass on it!!

  15. Ada

    I like contemporary romances because, not only is it easier to relate to, but it’s situations I might just find myself dealing with or have dealt with.

    • Kieran

      Ada, I love that aspect, too. For example, in this book, I got to deal with secondary characters who have Aspergers syndrome. My own son has that, so it was fun to write. I was really happy recently in an Amazon review to read that the reviewer has Aspergers, her husband does, and so does her child–and she said that I either did very good research or know someone with Aspergers. I’m excited in contemporary to be able to deal with real-world issues in a way that hopefully supports my readers who are confronting such issues themselves. Ultimately, I want to give hope. Life is messy, painful, and hard– but it can be glorious, if we only choose to see it that way. We need love to do so.

  16. Cathy P

    I love Kieran’s historical books and am sure I will love her contemporaries as well. Contemporary romance is more realistic to our times. They tend to focus on everyday things that could be going on in all of our lives.

    • Kieran

      Cheryl, I sure hope you’ll be able to relate to my characters in SWEET TALK ME. I sure do love all those people, and I love Biscuit Creek!

  17. Kelli Jo Calvert

    Any more, authors write real people in real situations. And you can identify with the characters.

  18. Betul Erikci

    It is very close to the “normal” world we live in so I relate to it more.. It is more likely to be true than for example a billionaire CEO romance book.

    • Kieran

      Betul, I often wonder how many billionaire CEO’s there are! People say that a lot about historicals, too–how many dukes can there be?!? 😉

  19. Glenda

    While contemporary novels are easier to relate to in many ways they are more difficult to pull off without making them seem dated even 5 years down the line. Technology changes so quickly authors have to be careful about what they do and don’t include. I love reading great contemporaries that won’t be horribly dated in even a few months. 🙂

  20. tawnyabentley

    I enjoy reading just about every type of Romance, however I find I can’t read too many of the same type short time span. Like Historical for instance, so I need to change it up and even add short novella’s in keep the pace moving. Contemporary is always my go to when I need that change from either historical, paranormal, or the dark romances. Probably because they are such light and easy reads.

  21. ndluebke

    While I like all types of Romances, this is like a bit of reality thrown in to get our minds in gear. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. Kim

    I like both historicals and contemporaries. I like well-drawn characters with a plot containing some humor and some angst with a HEA.

  23. Allison

    I love how it’s always a happy ending, which is really all anyone wants, that it’s a sweet escape.


    Altho I like other genre’s, contemporary is easy reading, nice and relaxing and I don’t have to get too emotionally involved in the plot

  25. Julie Duffy

    I love historical romance but I need to read a contemporary romance now and again to bring me back to my own century and to things that I can relate too.

  26. anasnotes

    I don’t like contemporaries all that much, but if I do read one, it will be because the plot intrigued me.Can’t really pick any other reason.

  27. Jen B

    I like contemporary romance because it’s realistic, I could actually happen to someone, somewhere.

  28. veRONIca

    I like contemporary romances because they are more realistic. Usually the woman has a job and has to balance finding love and having a relationship with all of these other engagements in her life. It is just, personally, easier to relate to

  29. Laurie G

    Contemporary romances deal with situations we are familiar with and a time period we grew up in so we can relate to the characters and their situations. Contemporary romances feature firefighter, military and policemen in hero/heroine roles. I like the latest trend with the sports heroes or heroines. I also like successful business men and women going after what they want and attaining it. I like alpha personalities which fit well in all these roles/occupations.
    Small town romances/ series work well in the contemporary format too. You feel lik eyou belong to the community or are part of the family.

  30. mrsmac19

    I think I enjoy contemporary romances because they have the potential to involve familiar situations or experiences. I can’t really get into historical romances because I’m too far removed from the experience. In contemporary romances, I am more likely to be around the same age as the characters or have possibly had some of the same experiences. I think I can identify with these stories more than books in other genres. Thanks for giveaway! 🙂

  31. BookLady

    Contemporary romances are realistic and easy to relate to. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  32. Amy Rickman

    What I enjoy about contemporary romances is the fact that the issues are about what’s current here and now and how easy I cannot relate to what’s being written about.

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