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Debut Print Book: The Trouble with Cowboys by Melissa Cutler (and Giveaway)

Debut Print Book: The Trouble with Cowboys by Melissa Cutler (and...

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books.

Melissa is giving away two paperback copies of The Trouble with Cowboys (anywhere The Book Depository will ship).  Leave a comment to be entered in  the random giveaway.

The-Trouble-with-Cowboys-Cover

Name of debut release: The Trouble with Cowboys

Release date: 10/02/2012

Publisher: Kensington Zebra

2 sentence summary: Amy Sorentino, a failed contestant of a televised chef competition show, returns to her hometown to open a restaurant only to find that her key supplier is just the kind of Stetson-tipping bad boy she’s sworn to avoid. But cattle rancher Kellan Reed has a few secrets of his own—and cowboy or not, Amy can’t resist that kind of wild ride.

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance

Characters: Amy Sorentino—who’s holding her head high after her nationally televised meltdown turned her fifteen seconds of fame into a nightmare. This high octane chef has a weakness for cowboys and dicing celery, and a penchant for getting into food fights with her sisters.

Kellan Reed—a cattle rancher with a soft spot for curvy brunettes, a perfectly cooked steak, and cinnamon candles. But when the secrets of his past come rearing up to threaten Amy’s future, he no longer has the luxury to deny the man he really is.

What makes this story different: For one thing, there’s a steamy love scene involving artisanal salts. ‘Nuff said. Okay, sex with salts AND a western romance that shines the light on gourmet food from the field to the table. Catcher Creek is a ranching and farming community that lovingly cultivates its own produce, meat, and dairy, and so the citizens know the value of eating well. From Kellan’s grass-fed beef to his best friends who are goat cheese makers and Amy’s passionate creation of new dishes with local ingredients, this is a book that celebrates good eats grown the right way. Prepare to leave hungry!

Is this a series?: Catcher Creek

Why you wrote this book: Initially, I was intrigued by the labels that television producers assign the participants of reality shows. A person might be painted as the show’s “villain” or “grandma” or “America’s sweetheart”. Remember Boston Rob? Or the “married clowns” on last season’s Amazing Race? Then, throughout the show, their words and actions are edited to fit that label, much in the same way our brains filter our impressions of the people we meet based on the labels we assign them.

I started the book by building a character who’d been burned by her reality TV experience—an “America’s Sweetheart” who’d fallen from grace. And I decided that, being human, she had a (hypocritical) thing for cowboys in the most superficial sense of the word. And I thought, who better to match her wits against in the love department than a real-life cowboy who seemed to fit the label on the surface…until she dug deeper?

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? Why, indeed. I’d always known I was a writer at heart, a truth that my family’s also known since I was eight years old and all I asked for from Santa was a dictionary and thesaurus (sometimes I want to go back in time and hug my nerdy self. “Oh, little Melissa, it’s okay that you never take your nose out of a book. Because when you’re older, you can hold your first release up like a big, hot cowboy middle finger to all the kids who teased you.”)

But I somehow got it into my head that the right book idea would someday sprinkle down from the sky like unicorn glitter. Then, six years ago, I had a grand mal seizure and the docs found a brain tumor. And, stupid me, who’d been waiting for unicorn glitter, hadn’t done the one thing in life I’d always dreamed of. After brain surgery ridded me the tumor and the docs gave me the great news that it was benign, and after I was all healed up, I made that first book idea happen by willing it into being.

Fast forward to the present: I’ve been writing romance novels for five years, and THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS is my fourth book. The second book I wrote is my upcoming November release, SEDUCTION UNDER FIRE. The third book I wrote is waiting patiently for its time to shine, but I’m confident it’ll have its day in the sun. And the first book, which was really more of a practice novel, will stay tucked under my bed for all times, never to see the light of day.

What’s your writing process? At the risk of revealing my deep writer neurosis, I can’t start writing a book until I know the characters well enough that I can hear their voices in my head. So to get to that point, I spent a lot of time developing my characters’ personalities and back stories. Once I hear them talking, the plot usually falls into place, because to me, the plot serves primarily to bring the characters’ deepest fears and needs to the surface and make them deal with the things that are holding them back. Everlasting love (which should always include mindblowing sex) is the reward for conquering their fears and realizing their true worth.

Your next published book. Seduction Under Fire, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense that launches on October 16th

The last book you read that you loved. . I’ve read a lot of books lately that I like a lot. But loved? That would have to be HER BEST WORST MISTAKE by Sarah Mayberry. I was so sad when it was over (despite the deliciously happy ending). I rarely read books a second time, but I know I’ll need to spend more time with that book soon.

The last book you read for research. The Complete Guide to Horseshoeing, because the hero in my second COWBOY book grew up the son of farriers. And, really, what’s hotter than a man in a leather apron, wielding tools and demonstrating mastery over a horse?

The romance book character you most identify with. Judith Hampton from THE SECRET by Julie Garwood. One of my favorite books of all times. Judith is plucky, book smart, and brave. I love that she sobs all her extra adrenaline out after her feats of bravery. Plus she has the good sense to fall in love with a Highland laird who loves her just the way she is. Score a point for womankind with that choice, Judith!

You can check out more about Melissa Cutler and her books at http://www.melissacutler.net

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Debut Print Book: Barging In by Josephine Myles

Debut Print Book: Barging In by Josephine Myles

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

Name of debut release: Barging In

Release date: 08/07/2012

Publisher: Samhain

2 sentence summary: A devil-may-care city boy crashes into the life of a closeted boater on the English canals. The two men can’t keep their hands off each other, but neither has any intention of falling in love…

Genre: GLBT, Erotic Romance, Contemporary

Characters: Dan Taylor:a flirtatious and promiscuous travel writer totally out of his depth in the countryside. Dan has a working class background but with his sunny nature, manages to make himself at home pretty much anywhere.

Robin Hamilton: a surly, tattooed boater, still smarting from a past betrayal. Robin is a posh boy gone feral for reasons of his own, and Dan reminds him of everything he dislikes about gay men.

What makes this story different: The canal setting is not only unusual for a romance, but I was able to use my two year’s experience of living on a narrowboat to give it authenticity. The tensions between the boating community, British Waterways and the canalside locals near Bath are all based on my own experiences.

Is this a series?:

Why you wrote this book: I always knew I’d write something set on the canal one day, and when I discovered the m/m genre I felt like I’d come home. Finally, I’d discovered a community of readers out there hungry for the kind of stories I wanted to tell.

As for the story itself, there’s a lot about class differences and class mobility which is something we Brits are always aware of. I liked the idea of having two heroes from very different social classes, but who had both moved in the other direction and could meet in the middle. Apart from that it’s very much an ‘opposites attract’ romance, as all my stories seem to be. I find a vein of rich inspiration in putting two very different but well-matched men together.

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? Although I’d written plenty of short stories and a couple of not-fit-for-publication novellas, this was my very first completed novel. I worked through a crazy number of drafts before daring to send it to Samhain, and was stunned when they accepted it!

What’s your writing process? I work with a very rough plan and don’t worry too much about the first draft. My goal at that stage is simply to get the story out of my head and onto the screen. I find my characters take over as I write and change the story in ways I could never have anticipated, but I’m no longer quite so freaked out by this phenomenon and have learnt to trust my muse.

My redrafting process is extensive and I pay close attention to feedback from my beta readers, along with a few trusted critique partners who are also multi-published authors. I find my drafts grow longer each time, as I have a tendency to underwrite.

Your next published book. The Hot Floor – an m/m/m erotic romance from Samhain, September 2012

The last book you read that you loved. I recently reread KA Mitchell’s Collision Course which is one of my all time favourite gay romances. I love Joey as a character, and I’m so impressed by the way Mitchell makes me root for him and Aaron, despite them being such polar opposites. I’m still not sure I like the arrogant Aaron Chase, but I’m willing to concede that he’s perfect for Joey.

The last book you read for research. I’m currently dipping into a book on rope bondage for my WIP. It’s called Two Knotty Boys Showing You the Ropes.

The romance book character you most identify with. If we’re talking female characters then I’d have to go with a classic, fearless heroine like Dona in Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek. I mostly read gay romance these days, though, and can quite happily identify with male characters. I’m a huge fan of Crash, one of the side characters in Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop series. He’s a scene stealer, and I love his unapologetic hedonism, tempered with loyalty to his friends and wonderfully snarky humour.

You can check out more about Josephine Myles and her books at http://josephinemyles.com/

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