Thursday, September 23, 2010

Special Guest: Nana Malone

Today we welcome fellow The Wild Rose Press author Nana Malone to The Cozy Page! Nana's latest, Game, Set, Match, is a new contemporary release....

Off the court, tennis star Jason Cartwright’s playboy image is taking a public beating. On the court, he’s down forty-love. A knee injury is shutting down his game, and the paparazzi are splashing his love life on every magazine. A comeback is in order, but the makeover he needs to save his faltering career is in the hands of the woman he loved and left fifteen years ago.

While single-mom, Izzy Connors, sees people for who they really are through the lens of her camera, even without it, she knows Jason isn’t the star he appears to be. Although his charm and good looks haven’t dimmed since he broke her heart, all she sees is his wasted talent and playboy lifestyle.

Can Izzy put the past behind her and help Jason get his game, and his image, back on track? Or will the click of her camera shatter his world as well as his heart?

What compelled you to write in your chosen sub-genre? What is your favorite aspect of this type of story?

Contemporary suits my voice. Hilarious as it may be to have me using slang in a historical, somehow I think that wouldn’t sell. Lol!

How did you come up with the premise of Game, Set, Match? What do you like most about this story?

A friend of mine started adoption procedures a few years ago. It got me thinking about adoption scenarios you never see. Then add in a few complications like a birth mother who’s still in the picture, a birth father who has no idea about his son and you’ve got some serious conflict.

Tell us about the heroine. How do you think readers will identify most with her?

Izzy is struggling to keep her family together while building her career. She’s loyal and protective and she guards her emotions, but she’d give everything of herself for those she loves. Every woman will identify with her strength. It’s what we all pull from to be mothers, friends, lovers.

Tell us about the hero. Is he an alpha or a beta? What will readers like most about him?

Lol. Well, let’s say he’s somewhere in-between. In a world of flash and not much substance, Jason is looking to find meaning in his life again. He might be a macho sports star but he’s at a crossroads in his life where he might lose all of that, so he’s a little more in tuned with himself. And Gosh, I hope readers will find him sexy and honest. But mostly sexy :)

What kind of research did you have to do for this storyline?

Well, as the daughter of an avid Wimbledon fan, I had the tennis part down. When I say avid, I mean avid! Every spring/summer in our house if there was a television on, there was tennis showing. As a former athlete, I know what it’s like to lose your future over an injury and how that changes your outlook. At I’ve pretty much had a camera hanging around my neck since I was about ten or so. I love how photographs give a (pardon the pun) snapshot of time.

How does this book compare with other books on your backlist or that you have written?

Game, Set, Match is my debut novel. The previous novels are hidden in the back of a drawer somewhere. And let me tell you, that’s where they belong. I started writing with no idea of story structure, plot or characterization. I thought a cute meet and sizzling chemistry were all I needed. It took me eleven years three completed manuscripts and more rejections than I care to count but I’m finally here I certainly hope I’ve learned something since the first manuscript.

Now for the fun part of the Q&A! What is your zodiac and what is it telling you today?

I’m a Leo. And my horoscope today is telling me I don’t’ have to be an expert at everything and to cut myself some slack. Hmm. Fitting since I’m a perfectionist.

If you could set a story in your real-life setting, what would it be? Heartfelt contemporary, high-flying fantasy, or steamy romantic suspense?

Heartfelt contemporary. My husband and I met the first day of our freshman year of college. We’ve been together for the past fifteen years.

If you were a mixed drink, what would you be and why?

Ha! Had to ask hubby. He says a Bloody Mary. Because of that kick of Tabasco :)

What recent read would you recommend?

Anything by JR Ward. I’m obsessed. It’s taken me three days to plow through the first two novels.

Ah, a kindred spirit! I'm a BDB fan, too! What is your favorite smell and what makes it significant?

The smell of roasting plantain. As a little girl growing up in Ghana, I remember my mother making it for me as a snack. I pretty much love plantain any way you make it.

And last but not least, if you found the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, what would you see in it? (Note: If you aren't an HP junkie like me, the Mirror of Erised is a magical object that is inscribed “I show not your face, but your heart’s desire.” Orphaned Harry sees his parents, his friend Ron sees himself distinguished as Head Boy and Quidditch Captain, and Albus Dumbledore supposedly sees himself with a pair of socks.)

Uhm. I am a self-confessed total HP junkie. I would see me, my husband and my daughter on the beach in Ghana. And as my husband helped Siaki build her first sand castle, I’m settling back to enjoy a New York Times bestseller with my name on the byline.

Would you like to share an excerpt from Game, Set, Match! with readers today?


Dark glasses masked his eyes, but Izzy knew behind them, she’d find intense heat able to strip her to the soul. His tousled blond hair just as she remembered it, a little unkempt, as if he hadn’t bothered with it. He was every bit the Hollywood playboy portrayed in the press. And that devil-may-care sexiness was going to be the death of her.

Before she could say anything else, his strong arms and a warm musky scent enveloped her.

Involuntarily, her body stilled like an ice sculpture as her breasts came into contact with the hard planes of his chest. Unable to process the situation, she heard a faint clatter as his sunglasses fell to the floor. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried not to think of the last time she’d seen him, the last time he’d abandoned her for Sabrina.

“Damn, Izzy, you look amazing.” He set her down, but kept hold of one of her hands. Whiskey eyes poured warm amber over every inch of her body. “How’ve you been?”

The source of her greatest humiliation wanted to know how she’d been, as if they were old buddies. She reminded herself they, for all intents and purposes, were old buddies, until she’d made the mistake of pegging him as her first lover.

Behind Jason, his companion, with his rugged dark good looks and infectious smile, saved her from having to speak. Not that she could have. “Did I miss something, Jase? You two know each other?”

Jason’s smile flashed, making her want to do all manner of inappropriate things. Smash his head in with a frying pan? Strip him bare and see if he still looked as good as he promised? Launch a full TET offensive on him with her lips?

Not necessarily in that order.

Thank you for sharing today, Nana, and congrats on your debut! Readers, if you'd like to find out more about Nana and her debut novel, visit her website. You can get your copy of Game, Set Match at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon!


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Nana,
Great interview and excerpt. Unusual setting with a tennis star hero, but it works very well. Best of luck with it.


Maeve said...

What a wonderful interview and GREAT excerpt! (I'm a HP fan too) best of luck to you, Nana. :-)

P.L. Parker said...

Hello, sorry I'm late, but busy trying to get things settled before we leave for the weekend. Great interview and love the concept of the story. 17 year old son is an avid tennis player and tennis is on our TV practically every weekend.

Nana said...

Thanks Margaret! I love tennis players and had never seen that before in a romance. So I thought I'd venture into the unknown territory. Thanks for stopping by :)


Nana Malone said...

Hi Maeve! Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. That exceprt is one of my favorite scenes in the book. Thanks for leaving me a comment.


Nana Malone said...

Hi P.L.,

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview:) Who are some of his favorite players? Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment.