Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Author, author... Valerie Mann + a #giveway

...read all about it !!

Today we have the ever wonderful Valerie Mann....


Hi Valerie, so great to have you here with us.  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hmmm. I’m pretty boring. But you asked for it:
 
Currently, I work for Decadent Publishing in a variety of capacities, including taking care of submissions, handling the various blogs, review coordinating, and managing and editing for the 1Night Stand series, Edge series, and soon-to-launch, Challenge series
 
I got married too young, and am still married (to the same guy), which proves young lovers actually do know what they’re doing sometimes. We have five kids and have lived all over the eastern half of the US. I’m always on a diet, or thinking about the next one. Or trying to forget about thinking about dieting. I’m a dog person, but have two cats and a grandcat (since our eldest daughter moved home and brought her furkid with her). All of our cats’ names end in an O.  I’m a news junkie. I will read just about anything except mysteries. I go to the movies at least twice per week. Don’t ask me about the 13-hour Twilight marathon I went to last week. I’m still recovering.

Do real life events find their way into your stories?

Not really. As an author I draw from experiences and everything I’ve done has affected my author voice, but there has only been one published story that you could compare to my “real life”.

Do you ever mimic family members or people you know when you choose characters?

No. That would be decidedly ugly and possibly dangerous.

Do you find yourself going back to the same inspiration for each story or is it always something different?

My heroes are always strong, somewhat silent and tend to brood.

In November 2006, my husband took me to see the James Bond movie, Casino Royale. You know the one…Daniel Craig in the sexy blue bathing suit? Yeah, that one. We were at a true crossroad in our life, husband had just lost his lucrative job and we were being fairly nomadic with three kids still living at home. One of our beloved dogs had just died. There was nothing stable in our lives. I sat in the theater, and not even five minutes into that movie, I had this epiphany: I’m going to write a book.

I think I’ve seen that movie twenty times and every time I do, it inspires me. Daniel Craig is the quintessential sexy, brooding hero.

When do you write?  Early morning? During the day sometime or all day?  After the kids go to bed?

I can’t write if there are other things pressing on me, and since I work from home, I never get away from the pressing stuff. Which is why my book releases are eighteen months apart, LOL  I do find that if I set a deadline, I can usually meet it.

How do you feel about marketing your book?

Someday when I’m rich and famous, I’ll pay someone to do it for me.

What social sites do you feel work best for marketing?

Good question! Whatever I’m most active on at the time. Probably Facebook. I don’t do Twitter, I have a Dumbphone and I don’t want to be tied to it any more than I have to.

Do you like to pitch stories to your publisher or do you wait until you have written the story and have a final manuscript to turn in?

I write mainly for the 1Night Stand series, so I just submit it. Since I’m one of the creators of the series, my stories are pretty much a shoo-in, LOL!

Is there any other genre that you would love to try writing?  If so, what is it?

Not really. I love contemporary romance, I feel like my voice is truest in that genre. However, I dipped my toe in paranormal romance with one book and I would love to do it again. But that worldbuilding stuff is intimidating. And I’m my harshest critic, so I won’t attempt a genre unless I’m sure I can pull it off.

Do you always/ever see yourself as the heroine/hero when you write a story?

Never. Nope. Not even once. But they all sound like me. If I try to make a heroine sweet, shy or having good grace and manners, she quickly fights back and gets mouthy and sarcastic. Just like her mom J

Now just for fun, I have a few personal questions:)

Favorite 5

1)    Favorite Male Actor  - Daniel Craig (because he’s hot) and Clint Eastwood (because he’s sarcastic like me!) Tom Hardy could star in a few of my fantasies with no problem, too.

2)    Favorite vehicle –  In my dreams – a Maybach Exelero. With Daniel Craig driving. In reality – an H2 Hummer. With me behind the wheel.

3)    Favorite way to relax – Going to the movies. Once in awhile I’ll read, but I edit so many hours per week, nothing holds my attention for long. Until JR Ward’s next Black Dagger Brotherhood book comes out and then I’m glued to my Kindle for a few hours.

4)    Favorite ice cream – Friendly’s Butter Crunch. With hot fudge, salted almonds, and whipped cream. Can you tell I used to work at Friendly’s?

5)    Favorite outfit – Jeans, comfy shirt and slippers. Pretty much what I’m wearing right now. It’s awesome to work from home!

And for a bonus:  If you could pick any place in the world to live, besides where you are now, where would it be?  (Of course, without the hindrance of jobs or money needed)  In the Scottish Highlands with Daniel Craig as my next door neighbor. Just so you know, my husband is well aware of this insane crush I have on Dan. He’s not in the least threatened, more’s the pity.


Where can our readers find you?? 
Email:  ValerieMann09@yahoo.com
Twitter:  mann.valerie (but don’t expect to see me there. It’s like spotting an endangered species when I wander into Twitterville)
Facebook: Valerie.Mann
Website/blog:  valeriemann.com
Amazon author page:  Amazon.com/Valerie-Mann/
Goodreads:  Valerie_mann
TRR/Manic: manicreaders.com/ValerieMann/

 

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it? 


My latest book, First Comes Marriage, released on November 16th…which also happened to be a milestone birthday for me…I won’t tell you which milestone though. This was a fun book to write because it’s the first time Madame Eve, owner of the 1Night Stand dating service, went beyond her normal scope of services and arranged a marriage. Mystical woman that she is, she knew one night would not be enough for Beth and Chris, two lonely people who wanted companionship, love, and children, but hadn’t found the right person yet.

And for readers who read the first 1Night Stand (and we’re going on 150+ contracted stories now), you’ll remember Jackson Castillo, the owner of the hotel chain where Eve tends to send her clients on their one-night stands. He had his own one-night stand in To Feel Again and ended up marrying Leah, a petite ball of fire. Jackson and Leah show up in First Comes Marriage and they were fun to revisit!

Buy links for First Comes Marriage:


 

First Comes Marriage


Who agrees to an arranged marriage in the 21st century?  Beth Malone can't believe a date request with the 1Night Stand service morphed into an arranged marriage offer.  But after a heartbreaking divorce and no kngith in shining armor coming to sweep her off her feet, her desire to find that knight and have a family is looking more like a reality.

After filling out a 1Night Stand questionnaire worthy of the CIA,  Christian Ramos is stunned when Madame Eve offers to arrange more than a date for one night:  she suggests a wife!  What the Hell?  After his best friend Jackson Castillo stops laughing, he advises him to consider the offer.  Between the fortieth birthday looming on the horizon and his Latino upbringing, Chris is forced to take a hard look at his life.  Reality check --time is running out for what he wants--a family and  woman to share his life.


First comes love, then comes marriage isn't part of their matrimonial situation, but neither Beth nor Christian anticipated the immediate attraction and contentment that comes with saying, "I do."
 
 


Excerpt: 

“We need to get this over with.”

Her eyes widened in shock. “Get what over with?” But she knew.

Chris dropped his hand and gave her a rueful smile. “We’re married. I want to make love to my wife.” He waited for her to respond again and when she didn’t, he added, “Now.”

Beth blinked. Her heart started beating again. She liked a man who knew what he wanted. Especially when he wanted her. Stretching up, she gave him a light kiss. He clasped her waist with both hands and pulled her against him, fusing his mouth to hers, nothing like he had during their wedding. He invaded her, tasting and exploring with his tongue, forcing her to open for him.

She wound her arms around his neck and gave in, letting the invasion happen. Every fear disappeared and the only trembling happening was from desire. Her breasts swelled, aching to be touched. She wanted him. How wonderful he was hers.

Chris eased away but didn’t let go, wearing the same dazed look she must have had after their wedding kiss. He stepped back a few paces, bringing her with him, until he reached the bed.

“Turn around.”

Beth narrowed her eyes but obeyed. The zipper on the back of her dress descended and the silky garment puddled at her feet as he turned her back to face him. His hungry gaze swept over her, and she shivered with anticipation. Leaning in, he kissed the space between her breasts, his face tight with desire. No man had ever looked at her body that way…so appreciative.

Reaching behind her, he unhooked her bra, and tossed it on the floor to join the dress. Her nipples stood at attention, swollen and needy. She shivered again.

He tilted his head back. “Am I going too fast?”

She cupped his face and gave him a hard kiss. “Hurry,” she whispered.

 
 
 

 Now, before we let you leave us today.  I have a thing about cooking and am always looking for new recipes to try and share. Anything you can share with us?



Lemon Brownies

 

1 box lemon cake mix

1/2 c. oil

3 eggs

1 small box lemon Jello

 

Topping:

1 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. lemon juice

 

Mix all ingredients together well. Bake in 9 x 13" pan for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Don’t be afraid to overbake a bit until top is brown. Remove from oven; while still hot, punch holes in top of cake with toothpick and pour topping mixture over cake. Cool first and cut into squares; powdered sugar may be sprinkled over all.


****

 
Valerie, it was a pleasure having you with us and please come back soon!  I'm going now to make the lemon bars :)

Readers, you need to visit the buy links and get your copy of First Comes Marriage!!

Decadent Publishing | Amazon| All Romance | Barnes& amp; Noble


Now make sure to visit the rafflecopter for your chance to win Valerie's ebook,  To Feel Again.


Until next time, happy reading !

Krista
 

 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for having me! Daniel Craig and I will be over later to see how the baking went! :-)

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    1. It was my pleasure !! Oh you better hurry...my hubby loves lemon lol. If you're bringing Daniel, maybe I can send my hubby to the store for a while ;)

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  2. You go, Val!

    (Great story, great hero!)

    (I do not think it's appropriate to call them "Lemon Brownies," though. Lemon bars, maybe. Or maybe Lemon Chewies. Or Lemon Cakies. Or Lemon Yellowies. Brownies require chocolate. Lots and lots and lots of chocolate. Lots.)

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  3. I am not as big a movie goer as Val, but I admit Daniel Craig totally rocked his Bond. I was one of those on the fence about it because I was crazy for Pierce Brosnan, but I liked the internal reboot and they totally kept Judi Dench as M! Great interview and a great book.

    P.S. Val rocks as editor, too. Just saying.

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  4. Still giggling over the grandcat. Valerie, you're an awesome author and congrats on the new release. This was a fun blog and it was neat to learn a little more about you :)

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  5. I didn't make up the name, silly. But I bet you'll still like them! Thanks for liking my book!

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  6. I already love the story...bt lemon brownies??? They sound grat!

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  7. Hehe. Love that all of your cats names end in Os. And your favorite outfit sounds like mine. :)

    Congrats on your new release!!

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  8. They are grat! *snicker* Good thing Kate Richards has a good sense of humor. She needs one, working with me on all the fabulous 1Night Stand stories!

    Thanks to all for stopping by!

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  9. Great interview! I don't think I saw Casino Royale. Hhhmmmm, something to look into next time I take a break.

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  10. Congrats on your release, Valerie! It sounds great :D and I must admit, those Lemon Brownies sound intriguingly delicious...

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  11. I know you're going to hate me but you can have Daniel Craig. He never smiles!!!!!!
    Congrats on your release!

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  12. Congrats on the new release, which sounds wonderful. I've done a couple of stories about arranged marriages: one historical and one contemporary. They're tricky, but fun. I look forward to reading this one.

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  13. The Scottish Highlands does sound wonderful. I wouldn't mind visiting there with your books :)
    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. thanks for sharing..

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