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Debut Print Book: Can’t Buy Me Love by MollyO’Keefe

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.

Molly O’Keefe has several published books under her belt via the Harlequin Superromance line, but in the publishing world, a mass market debut is considered a debut title.


Can't Buy Me Love Molly O'Keefe

Name of debut release: Can’t Buy Me Love

Release date: 06/26/2012

Publisher: Bantam

2 sentence summary: A girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Tara Jean Sweet knows that opportunity will never knock; she’ll have to seize it, so she agrees to play the part of a gold-digging fiancée to lure an old rancher’s estranged children home.

Luc, an ice hockey superstar sidelined by injuries, is the new owner of Crooked Creek ranch and Tara Jean’s boss and oh the sparks, they fly.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Characters: Tara Jean Sweet is a street-smart woman hiding from her dubious past

Luc Baker is a hockey player living in fear of a future without the sport that defines him

What makes this story different: I think for fans of contemporary romance there’s a good mix here of what we love – drama and angst, interesting characters and some sexy sex. I like those books that hit the sweet spot between emotional and smart – hopefully I’ve done that.

Is this a series?: The Crooked Creek Ranch

Why you wrote this book: There are two answers here. The first is that my agent worked really hard to convince me to push myself out of my comfort zone at Harlequin Superromance. I had two little kids and very little sleep and I was really happy with the work I was doing. But when my son hit kindergarten I realized I had some time and some extra brain cells that weren’t exhausted, so I gave it a shot. My first two attempts were rejected far and wide but Can’t Buy Me Love stuck.

As for the story – Sydney Crosby is a hero in Canadian Hockey. That overtime goal in the Gold Medal game in the Vancouver Olympics – amazing. I’m not even Canadian or really a huge hockey fan but he captured my imagination. And then suddenly he got that concussion and wnt hiatus and I thought – what happens to a guy who is so good so talented and he doesn’t have hockey anymore? The fact that the NHL, after some shocking and sad deaths, is starting to grapple with the concussion problem in hockey has been fascinating as well.

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I feel like I’m cheating here. This isn’t actually my first book. I’ve written twenty books for Harlequin.

What’s your writing process? Drink coffee, check email and twitter and facebook, drink more coffee, tell myself to get to work. Work. Check emails. Think about dinner. Consider cleaning out the silverware drawer. Realize I have to get out of the house. Go to coffeeshop. Drink coffee. Work. Stop for the day and feel great about every single magical word I have written. On walk home realize it was all garbage and have to rewrite the whole scene. Dinner. Play with kids. Put kids to bed. Work. Feel great about every single magical word I have fixed. Go to bed. Wake up at three realizing it was all garbage and I have cut the whole scene and write a new scene. Cry a little.


Your next published book. Can’t Hurry Love and after that Crazy Thing Called Love

The last book you read that you loved. The Scorpio Races – WOW. Just gorgeous in every way.

The last book you read for research. Luckily (just so you all know, this is the lie I tell myself) writing contemporary romance, there isn’t a whole lot of research needed. For the hockey information in this series, I had great in depth conversations with my husband and a friend of ours who is a writer for The Hockey News. I then worked very hard to make the research and story fit – which isn’t always easy. I have huge HUGE respect for those historical authors who are so diligent about accuracy and detail.

The romance book character you most identify with. Oh my gosh – what a tricky question. I wish I could say Katniss or something equally cool. But sadly I am not much of an archer. And I would sit at the Cornicopia crying. Emily from the Emily of New Moon books – as a kid I read those books and felt like LM Montgomery had looked inside my soul. But these days, as a mom trying the best she can and sometimes failing I am going to have to go with Rachel from Dream A Little Dream. She’s tough, but gooey. Trying really hard in spite of it all…I just love her.

You can find out more about Molly O’Keefe’s books at her website:


Guest Reviewer


  1. Kate Hewitt
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 10:30:13

    Congratulations on your mass market debut, Molly! It sounds like a fun and sexy read; I love the idea of a heroine posing as a gold-digger instead of being wrongly accused as one. I love Emily from Emily of New Moon, but then I’m a huge LM Montgomery fan. I’ve always identified more with quiet, dreamy, slightly melancholy Emily than the sparkier Anne of Green Gables.

  2. Cally Beck
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 15:04:34

    Bought it on your recommendation; loved it. Don’t want to wait for Can’t Hurry Love D:

  3. SuperWendy
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 21:51:39

    Molly O’Keefe has several published books under her belt via the Harlequin Superromance line, but in the publishing world, a mass market debut is considered a debut title.

    This. This drives me batshit crazy. It’s basically a back-handed way of saying that category romances aren’t “real” books. You also see it when a romance author moves on to write “something else.” When Linda Castillo went mainstream suspense, that first book in the series was touted by her publisher as her “debut” – despite the fact that she had published several category romances and romantic suspense single titles.

    Ugh. Seriously, batshit crazy.

  4. Liz Talley
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 16:04:13

    First, YAY! Molly! Love seeing a fabulously talented author branch out and conquer new publishers :) And it’s only sweeter than you’re a seriously nice person with a fun sense of humor, generosity and a small dollop of sarcasm. Love you.

    Second, YAY! SuperWendy! Because, yes, category books are real books, too. In fact, the more I introduce readers to category writers, the more my reader friends say things like, “These books are really good. Why does everyone think they’re bad?”

    Hmmm…good question.

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