I am so happy to have Karen visit with us here at The Book Tart. I met her on Twitter a few weeks ago and we hit it off. I am thrilled to get to know her better and tell you about her new book! *whispers* there’s a giveaway at the bottom of this post.
Me: Hi Karen, welcome to The Book Tart. Please take a seat on my virtual couch. *scoops up books and yarn and drops them on a chair* Can I get you something? What’s your favorite daytime drink? I should say water :p But I’m a Dr. Pepper girl myself.
Karen: I should say water too, and I do drink a lot of it, but I can’t get through the day without a Coke Zero. Dr. Pepper, eh? Sounds like Sidney Bristol to me!
Me: lol is she a soda addict too?
Oh, *sets bowl of m&ms within reach* want some?
Karen: I always want m&ms. Always. My husband says that you can’t have a party without peanut m&ms, although I’m convinced that’s just an excuse to buy peanut m&ms because we don’t throw a lot of parties.
Me: <g> My kind of reasoning :p Besides, you are prepared, m&ms= party lol
How are you? I’m excited about fall- it’s my favorite seasons. *sigh* I love the leaves changing color and the way the air feels. Living in the south, you must be excited for the weather to cool down a bit. 🙂
Karen: I love fall too! Absolutely one of my favorite seasons. I love wearing sweaters and scarves and all of that. And yes, you’re right, living in the south does make me very excited for the weather to cool down. Even so, I’m not a fan of winter and so that’s the downside of fall. I know what’s coming.
Me: I am thrilled for the chance to get to know you better. 🙂 We met on Twitter and I had fun tweeting with you. I see that you’re a Midwest transplant to the south. I moved from Montana to Mississippi for 4 years I began speaking with a southern/Midwestern mash up accent *snicker* Has that happened to you?
Karen: Yes! It’s so bad when we go to Minnesota or my relatives come to stay with us. That’s when I begin speaking in a most bizarre twangy drawl containing lots of long “o” sounds.
Me: I throw in the random Ya’ll just cause I like it 🙂
What has been a big adjustment and/or a big enjoyment about the south…. Besides the amazing food 🙂
Karen: There’s a lot to get used to in a new place, but I’ve been a transplant for 22 years so I’m more than adjusted. I love the friendliness of the south and of course the food is amazing. I can’t see myself living anywhere else. People are real in the south (for the most part—there are always a few bozos, no matter where you live) and I love that.
Me: True that, *nods head*
Your new release “For Keeps” is out now! By the way- Gorgeous cover! I love pops of red.
I read a Jude Deveraux romance The Invitation when I was an impressionable teen and loved the younger man/older woman relationship in it. Did you plan to write Cooper younger than Allie?
Karen: The inspiration for “For Keeps” came from a single friend who was dating a much younger guy. What can I say? I like to live vicariously through my friends. So, yes, I definitely set out to write a younger man/older woman story, but I was dead-set on it not being a cougar story. Part of that was addressing the gender factor—no one questions a 40 year-old man with a 28 year-old woman, but the reverse situation only seems to bring up the term cougar.
In the book, Allie doesn’t see a younger man as an option, so she’s had plenty of time to see Cooper as more than the hot young stud in her apartment building. Granted, she isn’t blind—she looks. All the time. But beneath his well toned physique, he is someone with whom she has a natural rapport. They both own their own business and understand the stress of that. They are very compatible in terms of intelligence, sense of humor, and what they want from life. It’s really only the age difference that gets in the way. Much of that is Allie’s to overcome although Cooper manages to muck up a few things along the way. He more than makes up for it in the end.
Me: How did this story start for you and was it smooth writing or a bumpy road? Details! Details :p
Karen :My stories always start with the characters. Once I can envision whom they are and what has happened in their lives to bring them to this point, things usually take off from there. “For Keeps” came pretty easily, but I had to tweak Cooper a bit. He was a big talker in the bedroom at first, but as I went along in the story, it didn’t feel quite right. He’s so over the moon for Allie that a few borderline raunchy things had to go. Don’t worry. He still does all the same stuff with her. It’s only the commentary that’s toned down.
Me: I enjoy your blog http://karenbooth.net/ and your love of 80s rock stars made me grin from ear to ear. I especially love your pinterest board on John Taylor from Duran Duran <g> Can you tell me about some other crushes and songs that are particular favorites?
Karen: Sigh. It all comes down to John Taylor. I can talk about other rock stars, but it would only be posturing. He really is the penultimate in my book. He did it for me when I was sixteen and he still does it for me today and the man just turned 52 (June 20th, mark it on your calendars). And damn, it is a beautiful and glorious 52. Gladly, I love the new Duran Duran music just as much as the old and they are just as good live now as they were in the day. Maybe even better. I got to meet JT twice over the last twelve months—the first time was in October of last year in Washington, DC and the second time was in August in Durham, NC. I was so dumbfounded both times that I couldn’t do much more than say hello and shake his hand.
Me: *pets Karen’s hand* You shook his hand?! I would die! *squee!*
Can you tell me what you are working on now? Pretty please with a cherry on top <g>
Karen: I just started a story about a married couple, Brian and Olivia. They have a good marriage, but their love life became decidedly tamer after kids came along, so they escape to New York for the weekend to spice things up again. While they’re there, Brian decides to finally tell Olivia his greatest fantasy and she helps to make it come true.
I’m also plotting out a story for the Ellora’s Cave Fusion line, which is dedicated to multi-cultural romance. Still figuring that one out, but I can tell you it stars a super hunky Puerto Rican guy named Emilio.
Beyond that, I’m hoping to write a sequel to “Bring Me Back”, which is my first full-length novel, out late January 2013 through Turquoise Morning Press. It’s a book about a music journalist who meets the British rock star she was obsessed with in high school, twenty-two years later. Bonus points if you can figure who was my muse.
So much writing to do, so little time!
Me: Yay! I am very excited about Bring Me Back and I can’t wait to read it. 🙂
Tell us about your new release For Keeps in twitter style 140 characters or less. Go!
Karen: Allie hooks up with super hot younger guy Cooper. They think it’ll be a fling, but when things become tangled, they’re playing for keeps.
Me: Alrighty- I’ve had so much fun visiting with you. Thank you for letting me pepper you with questions! I can’t let you leave my virtual couch without a quickie…get your mind out of the gutter! *blush* Er….maybe that was just me :p
The Book Tart Quickie
- Last book you read?:Currently reading “How To Be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran
- Spike or Angel?: Angel, based purely on aesthetics.
- Spicy or mild?: Spicy of course!
- Laptop or PC?: Laptop.
- Favorite color?: Aqua. All shades.
- Chocolate or vanilla?: Vanilla. By connotation, it’s simple. In reality, it’s incredibly complex.
- Do you sing along with the radio? : I can’t NOT sing along with the radio. It’s a problem.
- Tv or movies? TV, but I try to spend as little time in front of it as possible.
- Ebook or print? Ebook. I love being able to toss my Kindle in my bag and not worry about what I want to read.
- Drink with an umbrella or in a chilled bottle? Hmmm. Guess I’ll go umbrella because that vaguely implies I might be on vacation.
Me: I LOVE that- an umbrella does imply vacations… somewhere sunny
Thank you so much for stopping by and telling us about your stories. I hope you visit again! 🙂
Karen: Anytime, Kat! Thanks for having me!
Me: Ok, Karen doesn’t know about this… but because she’s been such a great guest and I’m so thrilled to have made a new friend and added new books to my TBR pile… I’m doing a giveaway for some Ellora’s Cave epic swag. lol I’m actually wearing my Ellora’s Cave pants right now. They are super comfy. So, the details are at the bottom of the post. Don’t forget to enter.
Click HERE for Excerpt:
Software entrepreneur Cooper Hale doesn’t have time to stock his fridge but he’ll sure as hell stop to smell the roses—he takes every eyeful he can get of criminally sexy Allie from downstairs.
During a neighborly dinner, Cooper decides to finally make a move on Allie, setting off sparks in the kitchen that ignite a wildfire in the bedroom. Allie’s grateful the twenty-eight-year-old hunk has the guts to seduce a woman twelve years his senior, but she’s stunned when he suggests they get tangled in the sheets again and again.
Casual becomes complicated as Cooper grapples with powerful feelings for Allie and she worries that he will eventually want someone younger. When he pulls a jealous stunt, she sees the inevitable end, but she’s about to learn that love, not age, changes the game when you’re playing for keeps.
I’m Karen, a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on 80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. My lifelong preoccupation with Rock ‘n’ Roll led me to spend my twenties working my way from intern to executive in the music industry. Much of my writing revolves around the world of backstage passes and band dynamics.
My first full-length novel, “Bring Me Back”, is a story I had in my head for nearly eight years before my fingers hit the keyboard. Sleeping and eating quickly became a luxury, a plan I have since dubbed the Writer’s Diet. I channeled teenage memories of plastering my walls with posters to weave the tale of music journalist, Claire Abby, and the dreamy British rock-star crush of her youth, Christopher Penman. “Bring Me Back” is a work of women’s fiction and will be published by Turquoise Morning Press, January 20, 2013.
When I’m not creating fictional musicians, I’m listening to everything from old-school Cheap Trick to Duran Duran to Superchunk with my kids, honing my Southern cooking skills (I make some mean collards), or sweet-talking my astoundingly supportive husband into whipping up a batch of cocktails.
Play with Me:
For Keeps giveaway!
Enter to win this great SWAG I brought home from the Ellora’s Cave
party at the Romantic Times convention.
It includes a pair of sports pants (sz L)
A Bad Girls of Romance T-shirt (sz XL)
A Ellora’s Cave hat, necklaces, trading cards and a big bag,
plus a calendar (it’s 2012 but the pictures are delicious!)
and last but not least an ebook of For Keeps!
This contest is open to US residence only (sorry, it’s a LOT of stuff to mail)
Must be 18 to enter
Contest is open from Friday, Sep. 21st-Sat Sep. 29th
The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter and notified on Sep. 30th.
The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
Please leave a comment telling us your
favorite boy band…
mine’s The Backstreet Boys :p
lol well not very many boy band fans <g>
I’m a fan of Mmbop by The Hanson’s too
future commentors just tell us your fav front man
There are other ways to enter but they are not mandatory.