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Debut Print Book: Reservations for Two by Jennifer Lohmann

Debut Print Book: Reservations for Two by Jennifer Lohmann

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.

Reservations for Two by Jennifer Lohmann

Name of debut release: Reservations for Two

Release date: 02/05/2013

Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

2 sentence summary: A chef falls into love with the anonymous restaurant reviewer whose review made her the laughingstock of Chicago.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Characters: Dan Meier is a charming food writer and anonymous restaurant reviewer for a popular Chicago blog. Tilly Milek is the dedicated and colorful chef of Babka, a Polish restaurant dedicated to her grandmother.

What makes this story different: Chicago isn’t just the setting, but a character in the novel. Plus, there is a lot of Polish food referenced in this book. I hope you’ll be hungry when you finish.

Is this a series?: It doesn’t really have one. The Milek series, I guess.

Why you wrote this book: I read a book (published years ago) where a chef got a terrible review and fell for the reviewer, only the reviewer was the sports reporter filling in and didn’t care much about food. I wanted to write a novel where they both cared about food and so the conflict was deeply personal. Resolving that conflict was harder than I thought.

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? This is the first book I finished. Maybe I would’ve sold one of my earlier books had I figured out how to finish them. I have five half-finished novels.

What’s your writing process? I have a general idea of the book (chef and reviewer, for example), start writing and see where it goes. I write the first third or so, then the last quarter or so of the novel. Then I panic. I hike and run a lot and figure out how to connect points A-H and U-Z. What took me so long to finally finish a book was the recognition that I was allowed to write parts I-T out of order and go back to smooth out the bumps. Honestly, it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure that out.

Your next published book. The First Move, about Renia Milek (Tilly’s sister). It comes out April 2, 2013, also from Harlequin Superromance

The last book you read that you loved. This question is impossible for a librarian to answer without naming several books, but I’ll try. The current book I’m raving about to patrons is The Black Count by Tom Reiss, a biography of General Alex Dumas (father of the novelist). If like Joanna Bourne’s romances, you should read this book. If you’re interested in African-American (as in from the Americas, rather than from the United States) history, you should read this book. If you like adventure tales you should read this book. I think nearly everyone should read this book.

The last book you read for research. The Chinese in America: A Narrative History by Iris Chang

The romance book character you most identify with. Lauren Edgeworth from Mary Balogh’s A Summer to Remember. Into the life of every goody-two-shoes, a Kit should fall.

Jennifer Lohmann

You can check out more about Jennifer Lohmann and her books at http://jenniferlohmann.com/

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Debut Print Book: Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

Debut Print Book: Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

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.

 Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

Name of debut release: Waltz with a Stranger

Release date: 12/04/2012

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

2 sentence summary: A man who never expected to inherit, a woman who never expected to wed, and a choice that pits their honor against their hearts. One dance will change their lives forever.

Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery

Characters: Aurelia Newbold, an American heiress lamed and scarred from a riding accident three years before the story begins. She’s convinced she is both undesirable and unmarriageable, unlike her beautiful twin sister who seems destined for a brilliant match.

James Trelawney–handsome, chivalrous, and kind–who draws Aurelia out of her shell for a secret waltz by moonlight and wins her heart. But can she ever hope to win his, especially after he succeeds to an earldom and her dazzling twin stakes a claim to his hand?

What makes this story different: A heroine who lives with permanent disability and disfigurement–no miracle cures, only the best treatment available at the time.

Twins whose sisterly bond is every bit as strong as their love for a man.

A triangle in which all three parties are sympathetic figures struggling to do the right thing–even when they’re no longer sure what the right thing is.

Is this a series?: The series is unnamed at this time.

Why you wrote this book: Several things inspired me to write Waltz with a Stranger: the transatlantic marriage market of the late 1800s, Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, and an early Tennyson poem, “The Sisters,” about a man who falls in love with identical twins. The poem ends tragically, but there’s no clear-cut villain–just three young people trying to do what they think is right and making a hopeless muddle of it. I wondered just how a happy ending could have emerged from all that confusion. The romantic triangle between the hero and the twins is at the heart of Waltz with a Stranger, but it is much more happily resolved than in the poem that inspired it!

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I wrote and shopped one novel before Waltz with a Stranger. My first novel did win me representation with my agent and there were a number of readers who liked it, but as of this writing, it hasn’t yet found a home. So we set it aside for now, and focused on finishing Waltz with a Stranger, which sold quickly once it went out on submission.

What’s your writing process? I write in the early mornings when the house is quiet and in the evenings when all the cooking and clean-up is finished. I try to produce 1000 words a day. Sometimes I make my quota, sometimes I fall short, sometimes I hit a hot streak and go well beyond it. But having a projected goal tends to help.

So does having a general outline before I begin a project. It’s like having a road map before going on a trip: you need to know your starting point and your ultimate destination, even if you take some interesting detours along the way.

Your next published book. A Song at Twilight, a loose sequel to Waltz with a Stranger.

The last book you read that you loved. Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas

The last book you read for research. In a Gilded Cage: From Heiress to Duchess by Marian Fowler

The romance book character you most identify with. Harriet Vane in Gaudy Night–which isn’t strictly a romance, but has a major romantic subplot–mainly because she’s work-oriented, independent, slightly prickly, and rather sardonic, but capable of deep love all the same.

Pamela Sherwood

You can check out more about Pamela Sherwood and her books at http://pamelasherwood.wordpress.com

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