Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Interview with RaeAnne Thayne, Author of Snowfall on Haven Point + Giveaway (Continental US only)

I'd like to welcome RaeAnne Thayne to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Snowfall on Haven Point from HQN Books!

Welcome to Books à la Mode, RaeAnne! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

I’m not one of those people who knew from birth she was destined to become a writer. I always loved to read and throughout my childhood I could usually be found with a book in my hands. To the disgust of my friends, I even enjoyed creative writing assignments that made them all groan. But I had other dreams besides writing. I wanted to be an actress or a teacher or a lawyer.

Life took a different turn for me, though, when my mother made me take a journalism elective in high school (thanks, Mom!). I knew the first day that this was where I belonged.

After I graduated from college in journalism, I took a job at the local daily newspaper and I reveled in the challenge and the diversity of it. One day I could be interviewing the latest country music star, the next day I was writing about local motorcycle gangs or interviewing an award-winning scientist.

Through it all—through the natural progression of my career from reporter to editor—I wrote stories in my head. Not just any stories, either, but romances, the kind of books I have devoured since junior high school, with tales about real people going through the trials and tribulations of life until they find deep and lasting love.

I had no idea how to put these people on paper, but knew I had to try—their stories were too compelling for me to ignore. I sold my first book in 1995 and now, more than 40 books later, I’ve come to love everything about writing, from the click of the computer keys under my fingers to the “that’s-it!” feeling I get when a story is flowing.

I write full-time now (well, as full-time as I can manage juggling my kids!) amid the raw beauty of the northern Utah mountains.

Even though I might not have dreamed of being a writer when I was younger, now I simply can’t imagine my life any other way.

It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which hits shelves tomorrow:

There's no place like Haven Point for the holidays, where the snow conspires to bring two wary hearts together for a Christmas to remember

It's been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie's friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who's recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.

Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie's gentle nature is a salve, and her kids' excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all.

Marshall Bailey is the sheriff of Lake Haven County and the older brother of Andrea’s friend and neighbor, Wyn Bailey. We saw a few glimpses of him in Riverbend Road, but at what point did you know you wanted to make him a central character in this book? Can you tell us a little more about him?

Marshall, the serious, dedicated lawman who had a minor role in Riverbend Road, drew me right from the first. As I tried to think of what kind of hero Andrea needed, I realized he was standing in front of both of us. Marshall is exactly the kind of man she needs, even though on the surface he would represent everything she thinks she doesn’t want. Marshall has a deep core of strength and protectiveness inside him that appeals deeply to Andie, and he’s wonderful with her children, which surprises both of them.

There is a particularly dramatic plotline in this book that revolves around Marshall’s hit-and-run accident, which he suspects wasn’t an accident at all. How fun was it to explore this storyline and play with elements of thriller and mystery writing within a romance novel?

I loved it! Early in my career, I wrote about two dozen romantic suspense novels, and it was so fun to exercise those particular writing muscles again! A little danger and mystery can add such a delicious edge to a story and heighten the emotional journey of the characters!

One of the subplots in this novel deals with Marshall and a surly teenage boy who lives next door with his grandparents. Can you tell us a little about that relationship and why you wanted to explore it in this book?

I sometimes write myself into a corner with heroes or heroines who first appear as secondary characters in previous stories. When I decide to move them up to center stage, I can be faced with certain limitations I have to figure out how to write around. In Riverbend Road, I had set Marshall up as the sheriff of Lake Haven County and had him living in the nearby town of Shelter Spring. That became a bit of a problem when I decided he was the perfect hero for Andie. If I wanted to give them a chance to fall in love, I needed his orbit to collide with Andie’s on a regular basis. I had to give Marshall a strong reason to move back to Haven Point... and a possible connection to the troubled teenage boy next door definitely offered that! It also turned Marshall into something more than jus a sexy sheriff. He’s got troubles of his own, things he needs to work through in order to open his heart to Andie, and Christopher plays a big part in that.

One of our favorite returning characters in this book is Charlene Bailey—Marshall’s overbearing but lovable mother. Is she based on your own mother, or any mothers you know?

I think Charlene is an amalgamation of many mothers I have known! My mother, my beloved mother-in-law, my feisty grandmother, my four sisters, some dear friends. My mother has been gone three years now, but I remember with deep fondness how she always fussed over me and my six siblings, much like Charlene does with her brood of five.

I know families who have that “protect-and-serve” gene that the Baileys do in Haven Point. I can’t imagine having an entire family in law enforcement! It must be constant worry. In Charlene’s case, her family has already sacrificed enough. She has justifiable reasons to fret over her children. I hope readers can give her a little empathy for her sometimes intrusive ways.

What’s next for you? Are you planning more Haven Point novels? If so, can you give us some hints about what’s coming up?

Right now I’m working on Katrina Bailey’s book, which will be out next summer. She’s quickly turning into one of my favorite heroines ever! I’ve given her a sexy geek of a hero with a mysterious past, in the midst of an extremely challenging situation. I can already tell the two of them are absolutely perfect for each other! I’m still working out what I’ll write after Kat’s book, whether I’ll stay in Haven Point, return to Hope’s Crossing, or start something new. Readers have been asking me for Aidan Caine’s book (he’s the only unmarried Caine sibling from my Hope’s Crossing series), so I’m still trying to find the perfect match for that sexy helicopter pilot.

Where can you be found on the web?

It was a pleasure to be able to get to know you better today, RaeAnne! Thank you again for dropping by, and best of luck with future endeavors!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Snowfall on Haven Point—woohoo! To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What are your most-visited websites?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. RaeAnne and I really want to hear your thoughts! :)

The usual: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, because they're somewhat of a lifeline for me. But just to browse around for fun, I love r/MakeupAddiction and Tumblr blogs!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Little Bird Publicity!
Giveaway ends October 12th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to continental US residents only—sorry, everyone else!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!