Thanks so much for having me here at Good Choice Reading today. My latest release is a novella from Entangled called Melting the Millionaire's Heart. It's a funny, sexy, and sweet story about two strangers who end up snowed in together. (Snowed-in stories are some of my favorites -- there's something so romantic about the idea of having to spend time with someone that maybe you normally wouldn't, and then finding something to love about that person.) In Melting the Millionaire's Heart, the heroine, Kayla, has a bad attitude toward the millionaire whose estate she is traveling to when her car slides off the road in a snowstorm. Her boss has told her to kiss up to this unknown donor to encourage him to give money to the school for special-needs kids where she teaches. Based on past experience with other donors, she suspects the guy is probably a wealthy blowhard making a donation to the school for PR purposes. She's rescued by a handsome stranger, little dreaming that he is in fact the donor she's come to meet. He doesn't admit it, either, which leads to all sorts of complications as their attraction to one another grows!
Do you read reviews of your books? What do you do when you read a not-so-nice one?
I do read reviews, although I may have to revise that policy if I'm going to keep writing and preserve my sanity. This may sound nuts, but when I get a bad review, I look up bad reviews for books I love. It could be a recent romance I really enjoyed, an all-time keeper, or a classic by Austen or Dickens. No matter how much I adored the book, I can always find bad reviews for it. It's a good reminder that some people just want different things out of a book than I do, and that no book pleases everyone.
What's the one piece of technology you can't live without?
My laptop with Internet connection. I'm not actually all that fond of cell phones, and although I enjoy reading on my Kindle, I often still read print books too. But if I have to go too long without checking my favorite blogs, Goodreads, Twitter, and so on, I get a little itchy.
If you could choose one book cover to put on your wall as a poster, what would it be?
The cover for Melting the Millionaire's Heart, which was designed by my editor at Entangled, Heather Howland. Heather's covers have won numerous contests, and no wonder. She's awesome!
Do you have a book in your house that's just destroyed because you've read it so much?
I've been lugging around my favorite keepers from the late 80s/90s by Patricia Gaffney and Laura Kinsale for years -- I've reread them heavily and they're in pretty bad shape! I don't mind, though. A book so good that you read it again and again--what could be better than that?
How much of the characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I wouldn't say any of my characters are based directly on myself or anyone I know, but most of my heroines start off somewhat less-than-confident, and that's true of me as well. I don't think I could relate to a brash, full-of-herself heroine who's always sure she's right.
How many times were you turned down form a book offer before you finally got published?
My first book, Forget-Me-Not, was bought by the third publisher I submitted it to. Most people think you never have to worry about rejections again after you're published, but that's not true. I wrote Melting the Millionaire's Heart specifically for an Entangled call for submissions, but other books I've written since being first published have been rejected multiple times. Your work has to be at a certain standard of quality to be publishable, but once you reach that threshold, it's really about getting your work on the right agent's or editor's desk at the right time. You need a little luck to go along with all your hard work to be a success.
What are you working on now?
I have a finished category contemporary romance that I'm shopping around now, and I'm working on a follow-up to Melting the Millionaire's Heart right now. It's Carolyn's story.
Can you share a teaser of your book with our readers?
Sure, here's a short scene when Kayla and Ryan have taken shelter together to ride out the storm. The power is out, so they're roasting some hot dogs and making s'mores over the fireplace:
A dimple appeared in his left cheek. Whoa, he was adorable. If her mother hadn’t raised her right, she’d be tempted to lean forward right now and explore that cute little indentation with the tip of her tongue. Maybe she would, later—she couldn’t rule it out.
She finished off her hot dog. Should she have another?
No, the s’mores beckoned. “I’ll do the honors for dessert. I’ll have you know I’m a s’mores expert.” She stuck a couple of big marshmallows on the end of her skewer and held them over the fire. The sonorous tones of the grandfather clock announced eleven o’clock.
“Really?” He leaned back on the hearth rug, propping himself up on his hands. The position showed off his long, leanly muscled thighs. “And where did you come by this expertise?”
“Years of relentless training in the Brownies and Girl Scouts.”
“Ah. Sounds grueling.”
“It was,” she said. “I made sacrifices and suffered a lot. In the end, it was worth it because I became a Jedi master of marshmallow toasting.”
“Do tell,” he said, his white teeth flashing in the firelight.
The sight gave her a pang somewhere very near her heart.
God, she really liked this guy.
Published December 18th 2012 by Entangled
Special-needs teacher Kayla Johnston writes off any shot at New Year's Eve romance when she's summoned to a fundraising event for her school at the remote estate of a wealthy would-be-donor. But when a massive snowstorm hits and Kayla careens off the road, the sexy stranger who rescues her brings to mind cozy fireplaces and steamy midnight kisses…among other things.
Reclusive entrepreneur Ryan Langford may be missing his own fundraiser, but being marooned in a cabin with Kayla beats ducking a room full of people after his money any day. Too bad she's so irritated with the gazillionaire who ruined her New Year's Eve that he feels like he has to lie about his identity. But when the sparks fly and they fall into each other's arms, Ryan knows he's made a big mistake. Will she be able to trust him once the snow melts and the truth comes out?