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Monday, July 15, 2013

Author: Christine S. Feldman Interview and Giveaway!

I'd like to welcome Christine S. Feldman to the blog today to celebrate her new release, The Bargain from Crimson Romance. Be sure to stick around until the end to get the chance to win a copy and also some Amazon bucks!

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

Will you please share a brief bio with us?

Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and, to her great delight, she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts—and has even won a couple of them. In 2012, one of her screenplays was featured as a staged reading in New York City at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival, and later that same year she signed her first publishing contract for her debut novel, Coming Home, with a second one to follow July 22nd.

When she is not writing, she is teaching kindergarten, puttering around in her garden, ballroom dancing with her husband, or doing research for her next project.

So glad to have you here with us today! Readers, here's a little bit about Christine's newest book, The Bargain:

Tomboy Shannon Mahoney has always been a lot more comfortable with power tools than high heels or lipstick, and she wishes she could reinvent herself and finally tell her perfect boss, Drew Kingston, she has had a crush on him since high school. But she is just as tongue-tied and awkward around him now as she ever was, and long-familiar patterns are hard things from which to break free...

Ladies' man Michael is a former bad boy looking for redemption. He is desperate to atone for past mistakes that he made with his family, but younger brother Drew has cut him out of his life and refuses to even speak to him. Which means Michael needs help getting to Drew.

And so he approaches Shannon with a proposition: If she will get Drew to agree to hear him out, Michael will mentor Shannon in how to win his brother's heart. Suspicious of Michael's motives, Shannon initially enters into the bargain just to make sure Michael isn’t actually in town to cause trouble for Drew, but the two unlikely allies are surprised to discover they enjoy each other’s company far more than either expected.

Shannon starts to realize that maybe love isn't about reinventing yourself after all... it's about finding your perfect match.
Buy the book at: Amazon | Kobo | iTunes

Can you describe The Bargain in six words?

Sweet, funny, quirky; unlikely love match.

How did you arrive at writing romance? Are there any other genres you'd like to tackle in the future?

I started writing romances because I seem to always prefer a romantic storyline in a book, no matter what the overall genre might be. Seriously, when does a little romance NOT improve a story? :) But I enjoy reading AND writing in lots of genres, and right now I've got several ideas percolating...

What was the inspiration for The Bargain?

I wanted to write a story about an unconventional heroine because I love quirky (I always watch Bridget Jones’ Diary when I find it on TV; can’t get much quirkier than Bridget, can you?). I also liked the idea of the former high school wallflower winning the heart of the former high school heartthrob, and it was a lot of fun to write about the evolution of their relationship.

Bridget Jones is a contemporary romance goddess! Readers, click "Read more" to learn about dealing with negative reviews, the most disastrous date she's ever been on (it's a juicy one!), and the underlying message in The Bargain. You also don't want to miss the great giveaway at the end—it not only involves a free copy of the book, but also an Amazon gift card!

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

Well, I get out my handy dandy Voo Doo doll and—er, I mean, I respond in a mature and reasonable fashion. *Hides box of straight pins* Actually, I have a complex and thorough support system in place that incorporates cookies 'n' cream ice cream, weeping into my pillow, and calling my mother so she can assure me I’m an absolutely fabulous writer who can do no wrong (aren’t mothers wonderful?). Sometimes chocolate is involved. Sometimes I curl up with my husband, or my beagle—or both. After my family talks me down from my emotional ledge, I try to take a step back and look for elements in the review that might help me improve my writing in the future.

But mostly I eat ice cream.

Sounds like my kind of coping mechanism!

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Now for some randomness...

All-time favorite quote? One of my favorites—and one that has motivated me a lot over the past few years, especially with pursuing writing—is the one by Wayne Gretzky about how you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take. You’ve got to go after your dreams, because they aren’t going to just fall at your feet, you know? So why not take a chance and see what happens?

Such a classic. You gotta love Wayne Gretzky—he's such an inspiration. Most romantic thing a man has ever done for you? Flowers and chocolates are always nice, but the most romantic thing a guy ever did for me was less traditional. He called me and found out that I wasn’t feeling well, so even though he must have been worn out himself from a full day’s work, he drove 45 minutes just to see me and give me wonderful massage, and then he turned around and drove another 45 minutes home. Pretty sweet, huh? I sure thought it was, so I decided I’d better marry him. And I did.

You have good judgment! ;) Most disastrous date you’ve ever been on? Hmm... it was a long time ago, so the details are a little fuzzy. All I can remember for sure is that at some point the guy was relating a story to me in which he decided to put his nipple in a vise—don’t ask me why, because I can’t for the life of me recall (I think I may have blocked it out). All I do know is that right about then I realized that this was not the guy for me...

LOL! What did you want to grow up to be when you were little? A horse rancher! See what happens when you grow up reading Black Stallion books?

Ha! Upon devouring Lemony Snicket's books as a kid, I swore I wanted to be an orphan... (yeah, I know). Last time you laughed really hard and why? I teach kindergarten, so I think the last time I really laughed hard was when I was relating to my husband some of the cute things my students have done or said. Here’s one that an adorable Shirley Temple lookalike said right near the end of this school year as she was proudly showing off a structure she had built with blocks: "I made this all by myself!" *Points to friend* "And she helped!"

Cute, huh? Gotta love five-year-olds! :)

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Are there any occupational hazards to being a writer?

Yes. The two most hazardous are carpal tunnel syndrome and "Can’t Stop Obsessing Over Amazon Sales Rank Disorder." A tragic number of budding authors have been lost to the latter... *sighs sadly*

Oh, the tragedy! What is the message in The Bargain that you want readers to grasp?

To not let the past hold you back, especially when it comes to the power we sometimes let other people’s opinions have over us.

What are your goals as a writer?

World domination! Or to make it onto the New York Times Bestseller list. You know, whichever comes first... although if I achieve the first goal, you’d think I could also swing the second one pretty easily. Hmm. Something for me to think about.

In the meantime, I’m going to focus on refining my writing and—hopefully—writing stories that both move and entertain people.

You're off to a bright start—your books sound fantastic! What's next for you?

I’m working on a few short romance stories that I hope to self-publish on Amazon later this year, and I also have a couple more contemporary romances I’m working on that I hope to publish through Crimson Romance. Plus a few different genre possibilities...

Of course! Can't wait for those. Where can you be found on the web?

It was a pleasure getting to know you today, Christine! Thank you so much for joining us, and best of luck with your future endeavors.


Books à la Mode is giving away a digital download of The Bargain and a $10 Amazon gift card—yay!! To enter, leave a comment in response to Christine's question:
What are the qualities in heroines that make them the most memorable to you so that long after you put the book down, you still carry those particular ladies around with you? Remember to leave your email address so I know who to contact as a winner. Don't make me track you down!!
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses like "A good personality" or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Christine and I really want to hear you guys' preferences! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the author—a huge thank you to Christine!
Giveaway ends 30 July 2013 at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to anyone in the world! Woohoo! However, please keep in mind the Amazon gift card is only redeemable through the Amazon US website. 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!