Friday, September 30, 2016

Blame It on the Cowboy by Delores Fossen Giveaway (US/Can only)

Blame It on the Cowboy (The McCord Brothers #3)
Delores Fossen

Every cowboy has a wild side—all it takes is the right woman to unleash it...

All of Logan McCord's carefully laid plans erupt the day he walks in on his would-be fiancée getting... well, not so carefully laid. Tonight, just once, Logan is acting on instinct. And that instinct is telling him to say "Happy to oblige" to the cute stranger looking for a no-strings fling with a Texas cowboy.

When chef Reese Stephens made her bucket list, she mistakenly thought she had weeks to live. Not that she regrets her one-night-stand with the gorgeous rancher. But she does regret leaving an heirloom watch as a parting gift. Tracking Logan down is easy. Walking away again is another matter. Because Reese's crazy past and Logan's battered heart are no match for the kind of chemistry that could turn one night into the start of a passionate lifetime.

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!

Giveaway!


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!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis Giveaway (US/Can only)

The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2)
Jill Shalvis

If she has her way...

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her.

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him.

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice...

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 one finished copy of The Trouble with Mistletoe—yay!!


To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
Have you ever been caught with someone under a mistletoe? Tell us all about it!
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. Jill and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I have never actually seen a mistletoe hanging around... why do I feel like that's so old-fashioned? I do remember in high school, a guy from my youth group wore a Santa hat with a mistletoe dangling from a wire coming out of his hat, so that anyone standing next to him would be "under the mistletoe" with him. Hilarious!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at Sullivan & Partners!
Giveaway ends October 11th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to continental US and Canada residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
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!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Infamy by Robert K. Tanenbaum Giveaway (US only)

Infamy (Butch Karp #28)
Robert K. Tanenbaum

The “rock-solid” (Kirkus Reviews) prosecutor Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi, return to solve the suspicious murder of a US Army colonel and battle corruption at the highest levels of the United States government in this novel by New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum.

Intrigue, murder, corruption, and dramatic courtroom battles combine to make Infamy another must-read in Robert K. Tanenbaum’s “tightly-written” (Booklist) legal thrillers. When a former Army veteran suddenly murders a colonel in New York, he claims that he had to do it because he was being used in mind control experiments. Surprisingly, a top Wall Street criminal defense lawyer, one with ties to the White House, decides to defend the killer, arguing that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan and that it’s his patriotic duty to assist him.

As New York District Attorney Roger “Butch” Karp prepares a murder case against the veteran, he meets with investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel, who suspects that one of her sources for a story on high-level government corruption was a victim in the shooting. This points not to a random act of violence, but a hired killing that goes to the top levels of our nation.

In this fast-paced thriller, Karp goes up against corruption so powerful that he, his family, and his friends are in danger if he intends to prosecute those responsible for the murder of an FBI whistle-blower. Filled with edge-of-your-seat action, stunning plot twists, and, solid courtroom scenes, Infamy will keep you guessing until the very end.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 two finished copies of Infamy—yay!!


To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is your favorite or most used "life hack" aka a tip that makes something in your life easier?
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. Lis and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

For actual life, I would say remembering the names of people you have just met. It seems like not that big a deal especially since everyone forgets new names, but taking the effort shows you are invested in what they have to say and who they are as a person. It's specifically useful in social situations (e.g. making friends) and at work (e.g. making network connections!). 

A household hack would be meal-prepping. In other words, make a large batch of food over the weekend, and you have a week's supply of meals (rice, chili, soup, etc.) so you won't have to take the time to cook every night during the week. This is a lifesaver, especially if you are a student or work long hours!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at FSB Books!
Giveaway ends October 8th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
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!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Confectioner's Tale by Laura Madeleine Giveaway (continental US only)

The Confectioner's Tale
Laura Madeleine

At the famous Patisserie Clermont, a chance encounter with the owner's daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air. But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins.

Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words “Forgive me.” Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.

A literary mystery and love story, The Confectioner’s Tale is as pleasurable as the finest French patisserie.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 two print copies of The Confectioner's Tale—yay!!


To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is your favorite type of confectionery chocolate? Give us details!
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. Laura and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I LOVE dark chocolate; the darker the better (80% is my jam). I've been known to enjoy roasted almonds in my chocolate bars as well... mmm. I've also recently discovered the magic of salted caramel. Not a huge fan of caramel by itself, but the combination of salty and sweet is to die for!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at St. Martin's Press!
Giveaway ends October 4th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to continental US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
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!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale + Giveaway (US/Can only)

Everything We Keep
Kerry Lonsdale

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free... or shatter her forever.

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis Giveaway (US/Can only)

The Spice Box Letters
Eve Makis

Katerina inherits a scented, wooden spice box after her grandmother Mariam dies. It contains letters and a diary, written in Armenian. As she pieces together her family story, Katerina learns that Mariam's childhood was shattered by the Armenian tragedy of 1915.

Mariam was exiled from her home in Turkey and separated from her beloved brother, Gabriel, her life marred by grief and the loss of her first love. Dissatisfied and restless, Katerina tries to find resolution in her own life as she completes Mariam's story—on a journey that takes her across Cyprus and then half a world away to New York.

Miracles, it seems, can happen—for those trapped by the past, and for Katerina herself.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 one print copy of The Spice Box Letters—yay!!


To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is the most important letter (or email) you've ever received?
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. Eve and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I don't know if I've ever used letter correspondence for anything critical (although I do cherish postcards from pen pals!), but I would say the most anxiety-inducing email I've gotten was the admission decision notification from my university. I thought my heart would pound out of my chest as I opened it!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at St. Martin's Press!
Giveaway ends September 27th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
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!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Exclusive Sneak Peek: The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhem Whalen + Giveaway (US/Can only)

The Things We Wish Were True
Marybeth Mayhem Whalen

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson Giveaway (US/Can only)

Karolina's Twins (Liam and Catherine #3)
Ronald H. Balson

She made a promise in desperation
Now it's time to keep it

Lena Woodward, elegant and poised, has lived a comfortable life among Chicago Society since she immigrated to the US and began a new life at the end of World War II. But now something has resurfaced that Lena cannot ignore: an unfulfilled promise she made long ago that can no longer stay buried.

Driven to renew the quest that still keeps her awake at night, Lena enlists the help of lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart. Behind Lena’s stoic façade are memories that will no longer be contained. She begins to recount a tale, harkening back to her harrowing past in Nazi-occupied Poland, of the bond she shared with her childhood friend Karolina. Karolina was vivacious and beautiful, athletic and charismatic, and Lena has cherished the memory of their friendship her whole life. But there is something about the story that is unfinished, questions that must be answered about what is true and what is not, and what Lena is willing to risk to uncover the past. Has the real story been hidden these many years? And if so, why?

Two girls, coming of age in a dangerous time, bearers of secrets that only they could share. Just when you think there could not be anything new to ferret out from World War II comes Karolina's Twins, a spellbinding new novel by the bestselling author of Once We Were Brothers and Saving Sophie. In this richly woven tale of love, survival and resilience during some of the darkest hours, the unbreakable bond between girlhood friends will have consequences into the future and beyond.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 one print copy of Karolina's Twins—yay!!


To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is the best movie you've seen recently?
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. Ronald and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

It takes a lot for a movie to impress me wildly, so I'll go with The Revenant!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at St. Martin's Press!
Giveaway ends September 20th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
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!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Newest Installment of The Carsons of Mustang Creek: Always a Cowboy by Linda Lael Miller Giveaway (US only)

Always a Cowboy (The Carsons of Mustang Creek #2)
Linda Lael Miller

He's the middle of the three Carson brothers and is as stubborn as they come—and he won't thank a beautiful stranger for getting in his way!

Drake Carson is the quintessential cowboy. In charge of the family ranch, he knows the realities of this life, its pleasures and heartbreaks. Lately, managing the wild stallions on his property is wearing him down. When an interfering so-called expert arrives and starts offering her opinion, Drake is wary, but he can't deny the longing—and the challenge—she stirs in him.

Luce Hale is researching how wild horses interact with ranch animals—and with ranchers. The Carson matriarch invites her to stay with the family, which guarantees frequent encounters with Drake, her ruggedly handsome and decidedly unwelcoming son. Luce and Drake are at odds from the very beginning, especially when it comes to the rogue stallion who's stealing the ranch mares. But when Drake believes Luce is in danger, that changes everything—for both of them.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Always a Cowboy—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is your birth order? Are you a first-born, middle child, or the baby of the family? How do you think it has affected your personality?
I'm a first-born but because there's a huge age gap between my younger sister and me (8 years!), there was less competition/jealousy and more of me feeling like a third parent lol. The stereotype of first-borns being leaders is definitely true in my case.

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. Linda and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at Little Bird Publicity!
Giveaway ends September 19th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US readers only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open internationally. There are plenty to choose from!
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!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Interview with Brandi Megan Granett, Author of Triple Love Score + Giveaway (US only)

I'd like to welcome Brandi Megan Granett to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Triple Love Score from Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing!

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

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

I am filled with a passionate desire to share one key idea with the world. This idea is that thoughts are things. The very stuff we fill our minds with spills out and fills our worlds. By learning what we are thinking and where those thoughts come from, we can change our experiences within the world.

One way to make this happen is to study and revise the stories we tell ourselves. Just as we can examine a story or film and suss out the meaning behind it, we can do the same for our internal stories. Once we have experience something, it lives on in us, influencing us, and how we perceive the world as a form of a story. We can stop being just characters in those stories and become their authors.

To do this, we apply the same tools I have used in the teaching of creative writing for the last sixteen years. My Ph.D. in Creative Writing is from Aberystwyth University in Wales. I hold an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, an M.Ed in Adult and Distance Education from Penn State.


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

Triple Love Score is about a poetry professor who stumbles into fame as an anonymous online Scrabble poet.

So, what happens when you stop playing games?

When playing-by-the-rules poet Miranda Shane throws out convention and begins to use a Scrabble board instead of paper, she sets off a chain of events that rattles her carefully planned world. Her awakening propels her to take risks and seize those chances she previously let slip by, including a game-changing offer from the man who got away. When the revelation of an affair with a graduate student threatens the new life Miranda created, she is forced to decide between love and poetry.

Describe Triple Love Score in six words (or less!).

What happens when you stop playing games? Shoot—that is seven! How about Choices, Romance, Sex, Responsibility, Fame.

How did you arrive at writing romance?

The short answer to why romance is because I fell in love with my best friend of 19 years after a rough marriage and divorce. After going through such a tumultuous shift in my life, I needed my writing to be fun again. What’s more fun than writing about people falling in love and getting internet famous?

What was your inspiration for the book?

I would send chapters to my then boyfriend, now husband, each day. What kept me writing each day was eliciting emotions from him from the NSFW chapters to the ones that made him tear up in the middle of a meeting.


As a huge fan of first lines, I'd love to hear the first line of Triple Love Score. Can you give us a brief commentary on it?
Even at twelve years old, Miranda knew better than to dissuade her mother from orchestrating her own funeral.
This line sets the tone for an emotional event that influenced the tenor of Miranda’s life. She learned, sadly, at an early age not to trust the world. Triple Love Score explores what it takes to break through this early and tragic education.

Tell us about your road to publication.

The best thing I picked up along the way on the journey to publication is the group Tall Poppy Writers. I met the founder, Ann Garvin, at a pitch conference. While I didn’t land an agent through that conference, I landed a great group of women fiction writers that keep me motivated to write each day. Tall Poppy Writers work together to support each other throughout the publication and promotion process. It is the best surprise in this whole journey.


Are the characters from your book based off anyone you know in real life? How much else of your actual life gets written into your fiction?

Miranda’s experiences as the Blocked Poet and seducing a student are purely her own. I related with the choices she faces between trusting someone from her past or making her way on her own terms. When I started Triple Love Score, I found myself falling in love after a long and tough marriage ended. Like Miranda, I needed to figure out what I wanted for my life and whom I wanted in it.

Which character from Triple Love Score was most difficult to write?

Scott was the most difficult character for me to write. I needed him to be more willing but unavailable at times. I found this to be a delicate balance to strike as I wanted Miranda to have a true partner, but art does imitate life, and rarely does a true romance go off without a hitch or two.

Name the top five novels that have made the biggest impact on your life or on your writing.

Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
And anything by Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, and Margaret Atwood.

What’s the greatest thing you ever learned?

Thoughts are things. My archery coach taught me this. It shows how each moment how we react to things shapes what they become for us. Just as an author can revise a story, a person can take steps to revise their life.

How do you react to a negative or harsh review to your books?

I teach a lot of creative writing, so I am often the one to provide the pep talk about not being afraid of people’s reactions to your work. I remind students (any myself) that there can be thousands of books in a store or library and never in a million years would I read and enjoy all of them. Not every book is for every person.

Blog babes, click "Read more" to find out Brandi's random favorites, how she deals with negative reviews, and what makes Triple Love Score stand out as a book from all the rest. We're also hosting a giveaway for a finished copy of Triple Love Score, so you don't want to miss that either!