Friday, July 17, 2009

Special Guest: Donna Marie Rogers

Today I’m happy to announce that The Cozy Page is a stop on romance author Donna Marie Rogers’ virtual book tour for her new novel—launching today!—Meant To Be:

She's running from her past, he's unsure about his future. Maybe together they can figure out what was Meant To Be.

Officer Garrett Jamison is at the lowest point in his life. He's lost faith in his ability as a police officer after unwittingly setting his sister up with a dirty cop. Garrett ended up getting shot, and his sister's son kidnapped right out of his own bed. He takes a leave from the force, in need of some time to make a decision about his future. Too bad he can't get a decent night's sleep thanks to his sexy new neighbor and her howling cat.

Jessica McGovern moves halfway across the country to start a new life in Green Bay, Wisconsin after her ex-husband is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their young son. Her new neighbor is as infuriating as he is handsome, but when her ex is released from prison early and shows up in town, Jessica discovers she's never needed anyone more.

I’m thrilled to have you here today, Donna, and to learn more about the sequel to one of the best contemporary novels I’ve read in some time, There’s Only Been You.

Thank you so much, Amber, and thank you for having me. I’m thrilled you enjoyed There’s Only Been You and hope you feel the same about Meant To Be.

First of all, please introduce yourself. Tell us about your home life and how’s the weather where you are?

Well, I live up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and today the weather is quite nice. Warm, but not too warm, and slightly overcast, which I prefer. I’m one of those nuts who prefers cloudy and rainy days to sunshine & warmth...LOL The hubby and I have been married for 14 years, and we have two young daughters, 5 and 10. We live in a renovated old schoolhouse out in the country...or what I call country considering I’m a city girl who grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago. :)

Meant To Be is the second book in a series, am I correct? Did you plan to write a follow up to There’s Only Been You or did Garrett’s character simply demand it? :)

Yes, Meant To Be is the second story in my Jamison trilogy. There’s Only Been You, which features Garrett’s younger sister, Sara, is first. Head Over Heels is the third book in the trilogy and will feature another brother, Nick (though that story is only in the plotting stages right now).

I don’t know that I planned it from the start, but Garrett quickly wormed his way into my head, and melted my heart. I started on his story as soon as the first draft of There’s Only Been You was finished. I love the relationship between Garrett and his nephew, Ethan, especially in light of the bad blood between Garrett and Ethan’s father, Mike. So I knew Ethan would play a prominent part in Meant To Be.

Since relationships fascinate me, what makes Garrett and Jessica click and was it fun to write such opposing characters?

Relationships fascinate me as well, which is probably why I’m such a sucker for reality shows. Since Garrett is a big moody cop (6’ 5” and built like a Mack truck) and Jessica is barely over 5’ tall, I wanted to start things off with some major conflict. It just so happens that Jessica gives as good as she gets—which turns Garrett on in a big way. LOL He’s the oldest, so Garrett’s used to being the voice of authority. And here’s this tiny little woman in his face, not letting him get away with squat. She really turns him on his ear. ;-) I had a blast writing for these two, no question about it. And Uncle Luke has a little romance of his own in Meant To Be, just in case you were curious...LOL

Will we be seeing anymore of the Jamison family? (Please say yes!)

LOL Yes! Nick’s story, though I’m not sure when, will definitely be written. And I’ll probably write the youngest brother’s (Danny) story as well.

You’ve also written an anthology with Stacey Joy Netzel called Welcome to Redemption, which received an excellent review from Romantic Times Magazine. There’s a rumor going around about a sequel. Care to enlighten us? (You knew I’d ask ;)

As a matter of fact, that’s what we’re working on now. :) Though I had a lot going on the first half of the year, so I’m waaay behind in my writing. Stacey already has her first story written, and as soon as I can, I’m diving back into Home Is Where the Heart Is (Yep, Drew & Lindy’s story ;-).

You’re a strong contemporary writer, but you delved into western romance with Golden Opportunity with praise from readers and reviewers alike. Being a lover of western romance myself, I have to ask: did you enjoy your cowboy jaunt and do you have any plans of doing it again?

Wow, Amber, I need to guest blog for you more often...LOL Thank you for your kind words. I love cowboys. Next to cops they’re my favorite kind of hero. :) And I loved writing Golden Opportunity. Stacey’s the one who piqued my interest in Colorado. One day I was reading about the city of Golden, looking at the most gorgeous pictures, and was struck with the urge to write a western. I always laugh because I’m such a city girl. But Stacey, thankfully, owns horses, so she helped me with the details; made sure I didn’t embarrass myself too badly. LOL I do plan to write the brother’s story. I asked everyone who read it if they thought Reese was redeemable, and almost everyone did. I’m just waiting for inspiration to strike as far as his storyline.

And speaking of hot cowboys and high praise, Amber, I’ve read some incredible reviews for your own contemporary western Blackest Heart. ;-)

Aw, thanks, Donna! Please write another western! You know how I feel about cowboys. According to your website, the late, great Kathleen E. Woodiwiss inspired your love affair with the romance genre. I know it’s hard to choose, but in your opinion what is the greatest romance you’ve read to date?

That really is a tough one, you’re right. But if I had to choose, I’d have to say A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught. It is simply the most incredible romance I’ve ever read. In fact, I really should dig it out of my closet and read it again soon. Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood comes in a close second. Rainbows & Rapture by Rebecca Paisley is at the top of my list, too. Well, and I can’t leave out Cry No More by Linda Howard. I could tear up just thinking about that book. LOL

Your tagline reads “Sizzling Romance, Small Towns, Simply Irresistible.” What is it about writing small town romance that keeps you going?

To me, there’s just nothing sexier than a blue-collar hero. Especially if he’s a cop or handy man, like a carpenter or electrician. And if he drives a pickup truck, even better. LOL No idea why, but those boys just do it for me. ;-) For whatever reason, big city locations usually don’t excite me the way those homey small town ones do. There’s just something about that close knit, small town mentality that’s charming and inviting.

That's an intriguing theory! Would you mind sharing a short snippet of Meant To Be?

I would love to, thank you, Amber!


"Come here, Miss Crabbypants."

Jessica resisted, but it was no use. The big oaf outweighed her by a ton. "Look, I just want to finish my tea and relax. Today's my last day off for almost two weeks."

He leaned back and frowned down at her. "Why are you working so many hours?"

She rolled her eyes. "Um, I have bills to pay...?"

His gaze became pensive as he massaged the back of her neck. Slowly, she relaxed until she was leaning into his broad chest, eyes closed, inhaling his spicy masculine scent. He always smelled so good...Damn, the man was a magician; she'd already forgotten why she was mad at him...Wait, oh yeah. "So what's with all that hammering?"

"We're building a doghouse."

His busy fingers moved to her shoulders wringing a groan of ecstasy from her. Oh, God, was she drooling on his shirt? Then his words registered. Jessica leaned back and swiped her mouth with the back of her wrist. "A doghouse? But you don't have a you?"

"No, but Ethan's been begging for a puppy for a couple years now. I guess he finally wore Sara down. And Mike's still in the ‘buy-Ethan-anything-he-wants' phase." Garrett glanced down at his T-shirt and chuckled. He reached out and recaptured the back of her neck. "Liked that, did you? You do seem a little tense—"

"Oh, no you don't." She ducked out of his reach and took a few steps back. He started to follow but she held up both hands. "You stay right where you are."

He propped his hands on his hips. "So do I have a date tonight or what?"

"Or what."

He grinned. "Wear something sexy," he said with a wink before strolling out the back door. The jackass even had the nerve to whistle.

Jessica walked over and slammed the door with a muttered, "Nutjob." Then she headed into the bedroom to search through her closet.

* * *

LOL, already I love the banter! Thanks so much for stopping by today, Donna! Meant To Be is definitely on my auto-buy list and should be on everyone else’s!

Thank you for having me, Amber, this has been a blast!

**I plan to choose a winner from everyone who posts a comment here today, and the prize is a free download of Meant To Be! So everyone, I’d love it if you told me what your all-time favorite book is. :)

Ooh, that's a great prize. I'm jealous already ;)
To learn more about Donna and her books, visit her website. And be sure to visit The Wild Rose Press to grab your copy of Meant To Be today!

Romance author Donna Marie Rogers lives in a renovated old schoolhouse in beautiful Northeast Wisconsin with her husband and children. She's an avid gardener and home-canner, as well as an admitted reality TV junkie. Her passion to read is only exceeded by her passion to write, so when she's not doing the wife and mother thing, you can usually find her sitting at her computer creating exciting new characters, fresh new worlds, and always happily-ever-afters.


Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Happy release day, Donna! Wishing you many sales!

Great interview, Amber, you covered a whole range of topics.

Emma Lai said...

Great interview ladies! Congrats on the release, Donna! What a fun excerpt!

Judy said...

I really enjoyed the interview. Congrats on your new release. The excerpt sounds great.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

It really was a fun interview, wasn't it? :-)

Stacey, Emma, and Judy, thanks for posting! I still can't believe this book is finally available!! I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning...LOL

Mary Ricksen said...

Congratulations, and I enjoyed the excerpt. Good stuff!!
If that's the case...Merry Christmas!

Kris Kennedy said...

Great, enthusiastic interview, Amber. And happy release day, Donna!! I love the title, and hope you sell thousands of books. :-)

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Thanks, Mary, glad you enjoyed the excerpt. :-)

Hi Kris, thanks for stopping by! Hey, I'm about 35 pages into The Conquerer and loving it!

Auddie said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to read your new book. I'm very proud of you!!!

lindseye said...

This story sounds like it will be a great read. I have to go track down book 1 so I understand this story.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Hi Auddie, so happy to see you!! I hope you like Garrett's story as much as you did Sara's. :-)

Lindseye, I sure hope you enjoy book one, There's Only Been You, because you WON a download of MEANT TO BE!!

Thanks for having me, Amber, and thank you to everyone for stopping by!!

Chiron said...

Wonderful interview, Donna! I'm getting to know you so well. *grin*

Congrats to Lindseye on her win. I absolutely adored There's Only Been You. Now I can't wait to read the sequel. Yay!

Happy release day. Wishing you great success and many, many sales (all with happy and satisfied readers).

Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul: