Friday, September 22, 2006

A Conversation With... Emma Petersen

Today I'm chatting with Cobblestone Press author, Emma Petersen.

Bebe: Hi Emma. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Emma: Well, I’m single, enjoy walks along the beach and have a semi-debilitating shopping addiction. Opps, you mean author wise? Well I first started writing in high school after reading Comanche Flame by Madeline Baker. I didn’t even know it was a romance. I was at my second home (the library) and the line to check out books ran along a row displaying paperbacks. There was a book with a a shirtless man on horseback on the cover (what more did I need?) so I checked it out. Then the next day, I went back and checked out everything I could find by her, and then went on to Connie Mason, Fern Michaels, Susan Johnson and Brenda Joyce. When the library ran out of romances, I decided to write my own. It was a gripping saga about a woman whose shoes had been stolen. In order to get her shoes back from the bad guy she hired a gunslinger to take her across country, of course they fell in love, retrieved her shoes, built a huge house with two shoe closets and lived happily ever after.

Bebe: How do you work writing in to your routine?
Emma: I go to my local coffee house and write two hours before work and two hours after work. Espresso helps me focus but I can’t drink too much. It’s hard to type when the shaking sets in.

Bebe: Tell us about your current release with Cobblestone Press.
Emma: Branded. (Just came out today. :D Buy it! Buy it! So I can buy more shoes!) I love historicals, I love cowboys and I LOVE secret baby books. Branded is my cowboy book. Jenny and Ty have known each other forever and have wanted each other just as long. But it’s never been the right time or place for them to be together. So when tragedy strikes, they finally give in to their feelings. But Ty, being a man, messes up. (No offense to any men reading this, but you know it’s true. You guys do mess up sometimes.)

Bebe: I understand you also sometimes write with a partner. What’s that like?
Emma: Scary? LOL! No just kidding. It’s pretty awesome because she balances me out. I am the Queen of sap (Hello! I love secret baby books and Greek baby daddies!) and she’s more realistic, so she often pulls me back from the brink and refuses to let every heroine I create be a virgin or secretly pregnant. It works.

Bebe: Do you have any upcoming projects to tell us about?
Emma: I have quite a few! Next up in Dragon’s Mate. It’s about Maya and Eric. Eric wants Maya but she isn’t so sure she can trust him. After all he did try to kill her. So is great sex worth risking her life and her heart? It very well may be.

Bebe: Do you cook? What is your signature dish?
Emma: Cook? As in food? Umm…not so much, but I do boil a mean cup of water.

Bebe: Besides author, what is your dream job?
Emma: Cabana boy masseur. Cabana boys work really hard and I think it’s important that they keep their muscles in prime working condition. And what better way to assist in the development of their muscles besides rubbing them down with oil?

Bebe: Do you participate in any sports? Any hobbies?
Emma: Shopping. It’s my sport of choice as well as hobby. I’m known to cover a mall in under two hours, shopping bags and all.

Bebe: Who are your favorite authors?
Emma: Besides myself? Hmm…I have so many but one of my ultimate favorites would be Toni Morrison.

Bebe: You have been given an all expenses paid vacation. Where will you visit? And who do you bring along?
Emma: A tropical island and Cabana boys. You can’t go to a tropical island without a Cabana boy or four.

Bebe: What’s next from Emma Petersen?
Emma: More books. More books until my poor little fingers cramp up and I can no longer type. Then Franz, my Cabana boy, will have to type for me. But until then you can visit my website and blog to see what wacky adventures Duchess and I are up to.

Bebe: One last question… where can I find the perfect egg roll?
Emma: The Lotus Blossom off Chapman and the 55 in Orange Park Acres. If you go pass Crawford Canyon you’ve gone too far! They also have a yummy shrimp in lobster sauce dish!

Thanks for a great chat, Emma! To find out more about Emma, stop by or

Friday, September 15, 2006

Conversation With... Sela Carsen

Conversation With… Sela Carsen

Bebe: Hi, Sela. Welcome. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Sela: Hmm. Not much to tell, really. I’m a mom, a wife, a writer. I’m a big dog person, but we’re sadly between dogs at the moment. I’m a dreadful housekeeper. A bit of an extrovert, but I like my Hermit Cave, too.

Bebe: You sound like a busy lady. How do you work writing into your daily routine?

Sela: The routine changes from year to year, depending on what else is happening. During the summer, it was chaotic and I hardly had a chance to write. Now that the kidlets (aka the Monkey Children) are back in school, I usually get the computer to myself until about 11am or noon, then I turn it over to my husband for the afternoon. After dinner, I can have it back. So far, that’s working. I’ve been able to get a fair bit done.

Bebe: Besides author, mom, and wife to the nearly perfect husband, what is your dream job?

Sela: I always wanted to see my name in lights on Broadway. Not gonna happen, but it was a lovely dream.

Bebe: Your novella, Not Quite Dead, is now available with Samhain. Tell us a bit about the story.

Sela: Who knew hanging out in a cemetery could land you the man of your dreams? Certainly not Sabine Harper, who expected to end the night curled up in front of the television with some ice cream. Instead, her kooky wannabe-witch cousin actually manages to raise the dead. Add a vampire and the night gets extra interesting.

Willem Breaux only has three days to avenge his murder, and he’s after the vampire who turned his fiancee into a literal backstabber. But those three days with Sabine, who bears an uncanny resemblance his deadly ex, are filled with an unexpected attraction that turns to love.

I’ve been fortunate to get some really great reviews of the story, which you can find at Once Upon A Romance, Sensual Reads and Reviews, and Two Lips Reviews I also have another review coming out September 25 at Romance Reviews Today.

Bebe: I loved Not Quite Dead! What are you working on now?

Sela: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s been out for nearly a month and I’m just now getting over the shock of realizing that people are actually reading my story!

Right now, I’m working on a semi-fantasy somewhat erotic romance (I’ve never written this hot before!) and a re-told Norwegian fairy tale. We’ll see what gets finished first.

Bebe: As part of an Air Force family, you’ve traveled all over the world. Which assignment was your favorite? Would you consider moving back there?

Sela: I’d move back to England faster than you could say “Bob’s your uncle!” I loved it there. We lived in the most wonderful village and it was just a great experience. England is gorgeous and I’d love to see even more of it.

Bebe: You’ve won a month long, all expenses paid trip for two. Where will you go? And who is tagging along?

Sela: Italy. North, south and everything in between. I want to learn the language and take some cooking lessons. Strangely enough, I might see if Stephen Frye was available. I know he’s gay, but he seems like he’d enjoy it. And he’d be such an interesting person to talk to. He seems very easy to get along with.

Bebe: Tell me something about you that will surprise me.

Sela: I can’t drive a stick shift, but I have a secret yen to drive a race car. I wanna go reeeeeally fast.

Bebe: What do you do to kick back and relax? Any favorite hobbies?

Sela: Reading. And watching movies. I’m a sucker for old musicals. I like to sing. Oh dear. I’m quite dull.

Bebe: You’re not dull! So, who are your favorite authors?

Sela: C.S. Lewis and Harper Lee. I love Robin McKinley and once I read one story of hers, I usually end up on a re-reading glut of all of them. Anne McCaffrey, Rudyard Kipling, George Bernard Shaw. I like Dorothy Parker, but only in small doses, otherwise she’s too bitter.

In romance, they’re too numerous to mention. In no particular order, and there’s no way I could name them all, I like Nora Roberts, Christina Dodd, MaryJanice Davidson, Marjorie Liu, JR Ward, Elizabeth Vaughn, Julie Cohen, Theresa Medeiros, Laura Kinsale, Lynn Viehl, Linnea Sinclair, Robin Owens, Sasha White. There are so many fantastic writers out there.

Bebe: Speaking of fantastic writers, what’s next from Sela Carsen?

Sela: Who knows? I’m flighty. I’ll work on something until I hit a wall or I lose interest, then I switch gears. Unfortunately, that’s not a good way to build a career. Must focus. Need more coffee.

Bebe: Rumor has it, you are an excellent cook. What are you making for dinner tonight? Is this a new recipe or an old standard?

Sela: Tonight? I have no idea. Last night was Chicken Florentine. A blend of an old recipe and a new technique I just learned. You’d be amazed at the things I can’t cook. I can make a perfect pan sauce, but I can’t make a meatloaf. I can make baklava, but I can’t make Rice Krispie Treats. And for years, I’ve had the hardest time cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They always ended up tough and gummy. Yuck. But I think I may have finally figured it out and it was so easy I had to smack myself on the head. They have to be a uniform thickness. Whether you pound them flat or cut them in half horizontally (very dangerous – use a sharp knife and watch what you’re doing), it makes the whole thing easier.

Maybe I’ll go grocery shopping today. I’m in the mood for soup. I wonder what the butternut squash looks like now. Hmmm……

Bebe: Sounds yummy! I love soup. But, it’s Friday. And on Friday’s I’m in the mood for Chinese. Where can I find the perfect egg roll?

Sela: Zab E Lee’s in Atlanta, near the aiport. It’s this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a run-down strip mall and it’s some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had. It even has a prime Zagat rating! Family operation and you wouldn’t believe the food. Or the price. A family of 4 ate there – and had leftovers – for under $25. But the eggrolls were amazing. Crisp on the outside, tender and flavorful on the inside. Most Asian restaurants get the outside all right, but the fillings are mushy and doughy and bland. Not these. Absolutely perfect.

There’s also a great Thai place with wonderful egg rolls in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England. But that’s tougher to get to from here. *gg*

Visit Sela at

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Conversation With Katherine Warwick... Dancing with the Stars Special Edition

Conversation with… Katherine Warwick.

Bebe: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Katherine: I’m a California girl-Utah-transplant. It’s taken me about ten years to adjust to the move. (LOL) But now I love it here. And it’s a been a great place to raise our six children, ages 21-9.

Bebe: Besides author, what is your dream job?
Katherine: I’ve actually HAD my other dream job: doing makeup. I love painting faces, showing women how gorgeous they can look with a little blush and mascara.

Bebe: Your Ballroom Dance Novels have been very well received by the dance community. Tell us about the stories.
Katherine: I’ve written four in the ballroom series: NOON, WILDE, SAVAGE and DANCING WITH HIS HEART. Noon, is about a troubled skater (teenaged boy) who’s recruited off the street to be the partner of a champion ballroom dance competitor (teenaged girl). At first they can’t stand each other, but the rigors of practicing and competing brings them closer. Noon follows their relationship through devious competitors bent on destroying them, through a separation and on into adulthood when they find themselves competing against each other.

Dancing With His Heart is actually the last of the dance series. It follows the lives of Lauren, a competitive dancer and teacher, and her nemesis, Alex. He “buys” her, by offering her and her partner a carte blanche sponsorship ( a ballroom dancer’s dream ), and she can’t refuse. Then he proceeds to try and win her heart, but she’s not easily convinced. Originally, I wrote DWHH to fit into Silhouette’s guidelines. When they weren’t interested, I had a shorter, sassier read on my hands, so I placed it at the end of the three ST’s in the dance series.

Bebe: How did you come up with idea of using dance as a central theme?
Katherine: The dance floor is such a natural place for romance. And there was nothing out there with dance as a thread, so I made it my niche. Are you a dancer yourself? Not professionally. But dance comes easily to me.

Bebe: Season 3 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars premieres tonight. Are you a fan of the show? Why or why not?
Katherine: Love it! Ashly was my kids’ dance teacher! She’s such a sweetie, and was nice enough to read for me and give me her endorsement. But more than that, I love the passion and sizzle. It’s just so exciting! And really good pros like Ashly and Louis and the others on the show, are absolutely poetic when they move!

Bebe: I’m a big fan of country star Sara Evans, so I’m hoping she does well. Is there a dance team you are rooting for already?
Katherine: Well, Ashly of course. But may the best win! Last year, it was so cool watching how hard the stars worked and how far they came. Whoever earns it, deserves it in my book!

Bebe: You are also a Young Adult author. What project are you working on now?
Katherine: I’m just getting ready to release MAGIC HANDS, a hilarious story about a jock that gets a job in a nail salon. I love writing YA because my teenagers can point me in the right direction when I’m veering off. My current project is: FALLING FOR ROMEO, which follows MAGIC HANDS.

Bebe: What do you do to kick back and relax?
Katherine: Read. Write. Go to the movies.

Bebe: Who are your favorite authors?
Katherine: For romance, Nora Roberts and Penn Williamson. For YA, Markus Zusak and Celia Rees
Bebe: Where can I find the perfect egg roll?
Katherine: Not in the freezer section! ( If you find one there, share it with me, will ya??) In Utah: The Great China restaurant.

Visit Katherine at her websites and

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Conversation With... Marty Kindall

This week, I'm chatting with Wild Rose Press author, Marty Kindall.

Bebe: Hi Marty. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Marty: I was born and raised in Ohio, and spent my college years in Michigan and Arkansas. I’m a college administrator and history teacher in a super-creative environment. To work with creative people has really been encouraging to me as a writer.

Bebe: How do you work writing in to your routine?

Marty: I have a fairly regimented weekday schedule--a definite start/end time to work. But with teaching, you also have preparation for class, grading, reviewing future materials. All of that takes time, too. I discovered the reward system works best for me--when I get done with everything on the “must do” list, then I’m free to write. I can usually string a couple hours together each evening and more on weekends.

Bebe: You have an e-book out with Wild Rose Press. Tell us about the story.

Marty: My book, The Knot was released earlier this month, but The Wild Rose Press officially launches on Sunday, September 10 (check my blog for details). The Knot is ultimately a story about redemption and the power of love. I didn’t intend for it to be a mystery/suspense story--that’s not my main gig--but it took that twist and I went with it. Here’s the official blurb:

“When Ben Sheridan is released from prison in 1936, he returns to his hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains with only one goal--to lead a simple life. Although he's paid his debt to society, he's never forgiven himself for the unthinkable act that forced him to take the life of his step-brother over a decade before. Small-town storekeeper Heather O'Malley has never played the victim, but to most she's still that "scarred" young woman, the past prey of a madman. Unconventional and independent, she seizes the opportunity to help Ben restart his life, in part to atone for her silence about the events that sent her rescuer to prison. Ben can't resist Heather's free-spirited approach to life, and she can't resist his reluctant charm. Neither intends to fall in love, but when dangers from their past threaten their fragile connection and another young girl turns up missing, they discover just how knotted together their lives are--and how fiercely they're willing to fight for each other and their future.”

Bebe: I love vintage romances! Are you planning a sequel to The Knot?

Marty: I am in love with this era, and I hope that as the Greatest Generation passes on, the hunger for their stories will grow. I’m not planning a sequel in the strictest sense, but I’m definitely doing more stories in this era, and have in mind to show the development of the town, kind of like a character, so there will be some character overlap within the following stories. All sorts of interesting things happen in small towns, you know.

Bebe: According to your author profile at The Wild Rose Press, you are originally from Ohio, but you now consider North Carolina your home. Did you experience culture shock moving from the north to the south?

Marty: Charlotte is a wonderful city--and anyone will tell you it’s a city full of Yankees. It’s hard to find a native. I think the pace of life was the biggest difference for me--everything really is a little more laid back, a little less urgent. I think the culture shock was bigger when I moved to Arkansas to attend college, so I’d experienced the south before. I see myself staying in the south, mostly because I’ve become a big wuss about cold weather.

Bebe: Do you cook? What is your signature dish?

Marty: I do cook--and as a single gal, I get to experiment as much as I want. I like soups, and if I had a signature dish, is would probably be my White Chili. But I like to bake more than cook--everything from bread and bagels to cookies. I have this recipe for Snickerdoodles that uses a cake mix that I love. My criteria for the kitchen: must be easy and yummy.

Bebe: Besides author/history professor, what is your dream job?

Marty: When I was little, I always wanted to be a firefighter or police officer. Although I really love working in education, I might make a pretty good cop.

Bebe: Do you participate in any sports? Any hobbies?

Marty: I played college basketball, so I occasionally still do that. As for hobbies, I’m a self-confessed media-whore. I love movies and music and television. Last year, I bought a townhouse, so I have several decorating projects lined up as well.

Bebe: Who are your favorite authors?

Marty: I don’t read as much as I used to, which seems to be an unfortunate byproduct of writing. I like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Gena Showalter...I read a lot of paranormal. Other favorites are Anne Rice, John Jakes, James Clavell and Jeff Shaara--historical fiction.

Bebe: You have been given a time machine. Do you go forward or back in time? Where do you go first?

Marty: I always go backward. I’ve sometimes felt I was born into the wrong era, or I had a past life I couldn’t let go of. These days, I’d beam myself back to the Roaring ‘20’s and have a good time!

Bebe: What’s next from Marty Kindall?

Marty: I just keep doing what I do...I’ve learned the hard way that not every move has to be mapped out. I’ve taken some interesting detours and wouldn’t want to take myself so seriously that I miss out on something fun.

Bebe: One last question… where can I find the perfect egg roll?

Marty: There’s a fantastic place in Charlotte, the Panda Den, over by the university. EVERYTHING on the menu is perfect!

For more information on Marty, visit her website at

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Conversation With... Stacy Dawn

Bebe: Hi, Stacy. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Stacy: I’m a stay-at-home mother of two and the only female in my house. (Sports of any kind dominate the topic of conversations 90% of the day.) I’ve been writing for years but seriously for the last four years.

Bebe: How do you work writing in to your daily routine?
Stacy: I try to fit my writing in the mornings and early afternoons for a few hours—not necessarily all together with kids underfoot LOL. But at the same time, I’ve kept this routine so they are used to it.

Bebe: You have two e-books out with Wild Rose Press. Tell us about the stories.
Stacy: The Theory of Love is a fun and flirty story. Abbey’s doubts about her friend’s sparks and fireworks theory only grow when a set-up date turns into a no-show dud. Vowing never to let her friend set her up again, the last thing she expects is a jean-clad dancing plant putting the theory to the test

Shadows of Moonlight is a bit darker paranormal but unlike the usual out there. In essence it is a love story that transcends time and takes a close look at the way we view ourselves compared to the way others view us. Over the centuries, Rick Shayne has loved and lost the same woman four times. Her reappearance only deepens his guilt and he refuses to risk her life or his heart again. Liz Greyson isn’t about to let him off that easy, but will her secret be his saving grace or cast him back into the shadows of moonlight forever.

Bebe: What do you find is the biggest misconception about Canadians?
Stacy: Honestly, it’s an oldie but a goodie. Everyone thinks all of Canada is snow-covered freezing 90% of the year LOL. I’m not denying we have cold, snowy winters but in truth, especially where I live in Southern Ontario, we get beautiful springs, hot summers, and cool autumns just like a lot of places.

Bebe: I love your game show, ESCAPE the Mondayn, which is featured on your blog on Mondays. How did you come up with the concept?
Stacy: I was looking to put up something fun for my fellow writers who visited regularly so I thought of a start about vacationing on a beach. Then I thought I’d add a little prize. Well, by the time my overactive brain fiddled with the concept for a day or two, ESCAPE the Mondayn was born. I never actually meant for it to go as far as it has but now it’s just too fun to stop.

Bebe: Umm. Hate to ask this, but… Could you have Jon Bon Jovi on again?
Stacy: **wink** I’ll have my people call his people. I’m sure something can be arranged.

Bebe: Besides author, what is your dream job?
Stacy: I’m living it. Even in high school, I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and write.

Bebe: What is the best movie you’ve seen in the past three months?
Stacy: How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. It has everything in it I love about romantic comedy. Mix-ups, misinterpretations, and Matthew McConaughey.

Bebe: Who are your favorite authors?
Stacy: This seems so easy for some people but I really can’t say. I don’t have favorites because I read such a variety, I enjoy so many.

Bebe: If money were no object, describe the car you would drive?
Stacy: Red ’69 Firebird.

Bebe: What’s next from Stacy Dawn?
Stacy: I’m thrilled to say along with two other short stories, A Matching Fancy and Sold, coming soon from The Wild Rose Press, I also just signed a contract for my very first full-length novel with them. This will be available in ebook AND print and is called Wanna Make a Bet—When aspiring artist and purposefully single Sophie Montgomery mutters those four fateful words, her sexy neighbor, Jay Coltrane, pounces on the opportunity to prove she’s not as immune to him as she thinks. Before she knows it, Sophie finds herself not only betting against a seduction, she’s betting against her own ability to keep her dreams intact and a certain luscious landscaper out of them.

And the best news is that TWRP recently changed printers and will now have their print books available through

Bebe: One last question… where can I find the perfect egg roll?
Stacy: China. But a fair one can be found downtown at The Red Rice LOL.

Visit Stacy Dawn at

Friday, August 25, 2006

Conversation with Amanda Brice

Today I'm posting my conversation with chick-lit author Amanda Brice.

Bebe: Hi, Amanda. Thanks for stopping by. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Amanda: I’m 29 years old and live in Arlington, Virginia with my absolutely wonderful husband, who’s also my best friend. We met at a party the first week of law school. He claims I was spitting in his face, but I have zero recollection of that (damn that Maggie forcing me to drink all that red wine!). Anyway, somehow he still liked me. Go figure.

Bebe: I love it! It sounds like a scene out of a romantic comedy. Anything else you want to reveal?

Amanda: I’m an intellectual property attorney, specializing in trademark and copyright law. In my spare time, I dance. I used to do all styles—ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, flamenco, ballroom, Latin—but I don’t have the stamina or body that I had when I was a teenager or in college. So now it’s just ballet and jazz.

Bebe: You seem very artistic and creative. How did you get into the field of law?

Amanda: It’s kind of a convoluted story. The short answer is I didn’t have anything better to do.

Bebe: LOL – Care to expand on that?

Amanda: The longer answer? I loved writing stories when I was a little girl, but my dad told me I should do something more practical.
Because I’d always been really good with languages, I decided I would major in International Relations, take the Foreign Service Exam, and go work for the State Department overseas in the American Embassy in Paris. (I was quite naïve about the process, clearly.)
The problem was that the year I graduated from college, they didn’t give the Foreign Service exam, and I would have to wait a whole 18-months longer before I could take it. So basically, I needed a job.
I had a double major bachelor’s degree in political science and French & European Studies, so basically, I was prepared to do absolutely nothing. LOL! I found a job as a legal assistant in one of the big DC firms in the Intellectual Property department. I was the liaison between the firm and their foreign counsel in other countries, so I dealt with IP issues around the world.
I decided it was really interesting, so I ended up taking the LSAT instead of the Foreign Service Exam and then applying to law school.

Bebe: What’s it like being an attorney? Is it really as exciting as it seems on television?

Amanda: NOTHING like the shows on TV.
Most attorneys never actually see the inside of a courtroom. My life is pretty much all paperwork. They’d never make a legal drama about a transactional attorney, because that would be the most boring show ever.
It was much more exciting when I was a counsel to a Congressman, because at least then I had hearings and meeting with lobbyists and I was involved in the process of creating law, but now my job is much more sedentary. But I like it. Intellectual property is a fascinating area of law.

Bebe: How do you work writing in to your routine?

Amanda: Unfortunately, sometimes my writing gets squeezed out by life. Weeks or even months go by that I don’t add to the word count of any of my WIPs. But I’ve been making it a priority to write at least a page a day.
At RWA in Atlanta, one of the lunchtime speakers—I think it was the RWA pres—said that if you just write one page a day, then at the end of the year you have a completed manuscript. That really struck a chord with me, and I’m making it my mantra.
But because I don’t get home until close to 8 on weeknights, I have to do much more on the weekends. Fortunately, my job is very flexible, so I work longer hours Monday through Thursday and am able to take off on Fridays. So I try to get the bulk of my writing done on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Bebe: Your e-book, She’s Got Legs, is published by Freya’s Bower. Tell us a little bit about the story.

Amanda: I was given a prompt by my fabulous editor, Faith. Basically the prompt was about a hideously ugly pair of platform sandals that made women’s legs look fantastic. I had to use that pair of shoes in both stories, so I just started brainstorming.

SHE’S GOT LEGS focuses on Daria Wyatt, a former wallflower who’s blossomed into a successful Capitol Hill attorney. At her sister’s urging, she attends her 15-year high school reunion. She doesn’t really want to go, but she gives in and goes rummaging through her sister’s closet to find something to wear. She means to grab the Jimmy Choos, but instead ends up wearing the most horrible shoes ever. At the reunion she meets her former crush, Greg McCauley, but she’s embarrassed to see him.

Bebe: Ugly shoes are the worst! Describe the ugliest pair of shoes you ever owned.

Amanda: Probably this pair of shoes that we wore for a lyrical routine back when I was like 13, maybe? The routine really should have been done barefoot, but someone’s mother was violently opposed to the idea of her daughter dancing barefoot, so our choreographer came up with the idea of using these weird half-shoes. They had suede soles, so it gave us the right give-and-take of friction and glide, but there were no heels. And I don’t mean that they were low-heels. I mean, there was no back at all to the shoe. The suede sole was only under the ball of our foot, and it was open-toe and sort of was strappy like a Grecian sandal, but like I said, there was nothing under our heels. They were really weird.

Bebe: Who is your favorite shoe designer?

Amanda: Can I have a fictional shoe designer as my fave? My friend Gemma Halliday recently released an absolutely hilarious novel, SPYING IN HIGH HEELS, about a shoe designer named Maddie Springer. If she was real, and if she wasn’t designing Strawberry Shortcake Velcro sneakers, then I’d say Maddie Springer all the way. LOL!

Bebe: What about it real life?

Okay, you want a real answer. Hmmm…I love, love, love Prada and Jimmy Choo when I’m in a dream-world dress-up mood, but that mood doesn’t last beyond the store, because I can’t exactly afford them. I try them on and play around in the store but don’t take them home. So in real life, I guess I’d say Kenneth Cole, Chinese Laundry, Enzo Angiolini, or Steve Madden.

Bebe: Chick-lit is considered “fluff” in some circles. As a young professional, do you feel the criticism is justified? What attracts you to reading and writing in the genre?

Amanda: Well, so is romance in some circles.

Bebe: I know what you mean. I think romance was looked down on in every college level creative writing class I’ve taken.

Amanda: Personally, I don’t understand this need that some people have to tear down other people’s tastes, like if I don’t read “literature” that I’m somehow less intelligent. Quite frankly, if a book that’s light and humorous is considered fluff, then I guess I’m guilty of reading and writing fluff. But really, is that so wrong? I spend my entire day reading and interpreting case law and statutes, so I want something I don’t have to study and over-think when I’m relaxing. Sometimes I just want to laugh and be entertained, no strings attached.

Bebe: Besides attorney/author, what is your dream job?

Amanda: I’d love to combine my interest in writing and publishing with my knowledge of IP law and be a literary agent some day. But that’s well into the future.

Bebe: You’ve won a month long, all expenses paid trip for two. Where will you go? And who is tagging along?

Amanda: Why thank you! When do I leave? LOL! Hmmm, I think perhaps South America. My hubby and I would start off with a few days in Lima, Peru, and then fly to a remote Amazon village, where we’d board a riverboat for a week floating down the river through the rainforest. Then we’d fly to Machu Picchu to see the extraordinary pre-Columbia ruins. Next up would be a week or so in Argentina, eating lots of meat and taking tango lessons. We’d finish up with a week on the beach in Brazil. Of course, I wouldn’t pass up a month in Italy either. I love traveling.

Bebe: Who are your favorite authors?

Amanda: I’ve got so many, I know I won’t be able to list them all here. But I really love Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Alesia Holliday, Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green, Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Crusie, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, James Patterson, G.A. McKevett, Perri O’Shaughnessy…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Bebe: What’s next from Amanda Brice?

Amanda: Right now, I have partials and fulls of my chick lit manuscript out there with agents, so hopefully something will come of that.
I’m also working on finishing up my YA mystery.
The next project is a Christmas-themed novella that I’m working on with two other writer friends. We’re each writing a novella and then we’re going to combine the stories to form a novel. Each of us is focusing on one main character, but the main characters from each of the other novellas also find their way into all of the stories—they’re all friends. It should be challenging, but fun. It’s just kind of weird to write about the holiday season when it’s 90 degrees out!

Bebe: One last question… where can I find the perfect egg roll?

Amanda: Easy…my husband’s Aunt Janey’s house in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her husband is a fabulous chef. Mmmm…we eat so well whenever we visit any of his relatives. It’s one benefit of marrying a Taiwanese-American man. :)

You can visit Amanda at her BLOG. You can pick up your copy of SHE'S GOT LEGS at Freya's Bower.

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Conversation With... Crystal Jordan

Bebe: First things first, tell us a little about yourself.

Crystal: I was born and raised in California, but for the last few years I've lived and worked in Indiana, Tennesse and Kentucky. Talk about culture shock! I'm a university librarian and when I started my first "real" job, I found I had all this time that used to be eaten up by homework and assigned readings. So, I started writing as a hobby. Now, it's a second career for me and I love every minute of it. Even when I want to throttle my stubborn characters.

Bebe: Besides author, what is your dream job?

Crystal: World explorer. In fact, my critique partner and I wrote a book about explorers that we just sold to Cobblestone Press, called Finding Paradise.

Bebe: Your e-book Full Swing is out today with Cobblestone Press. Tell us a little bit about the story.

Crystal: Full Swing is a reunion story about a husband and wife who are struggling with their marriage and split up, but circumstances bring them back together and they decide to give their marriage a second chance. I absolutely fell in love with these characters because they're so different and very strong in their own ways (and stubborn, I always get the stubborn ones).

Here's the official blurb: Pro-golfer Jill Brandon's life and marriage changes when her Army Ranger husband is injured. It takes a painful separation and a brush with danger for Tyler to realize what he's lost. He's determined to bring their marriage full swing. He's always done his best convincing in the bedroom. Will it be enough?

Bebe: What made you write about golf?

Crystal: I wrote about golf because I wanted to write a book where the heroine, rather than the hero, was a professional athlete. Usually it's the hero who's a football player or baseball player and I wanted to change it up a bit. The only sport I knew enough about to write was golf. So, Jill was born, the Tiger Woods of the LPGA tour.

Bebe: Sounds great! Are you a golfer?

Crystal: I played on the varsity girls' golf team in high school. I really love to watch golf, but I haven't played since I was 18. I don't even want to know what my handicap is now. Yikes!

Bebe: What kind of books do you like to read?

Crystal: I like romance, young adult, chick-lit, science-fiction, and fantasy.

Bebe: Who are your favorite authors?

Crystal: Favorite authors? Sheesh, do you have all day? To name a VERY few: Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard, Elizabeth Moon, JRR Tolkien (duh), Jax Abbott, Gena Showalter, Robin D. Owens, Elizabeth Hayden, Robin Hobb, Jaci Burton and Angela Knight.

Wow, I know I'm forgetting some of them.

Bebe: Are you working on a project now? Tell us about it.

Crystal: I'm working on my first dark paranormal novella called Revenant. It's about a woman who thinks she's insane because she can see and speak to people no one else can. It turns out she's talking to ghosts, or revenants, and if she doesn't learn to harness her abilities soon, she going to end up dead. My hero is a cranky revenant who's been hanging around for a few centuries.

Bebe: What do you do to kick back and relax?

Crystal: I go out to dinner with friends and talk about anything but work or writing. We have two rules: eat when your food shows up, don't wait for everyone's food to show up; and no talking about work of any kind.

Bebe: Speaking of food, do you know where can I find the perfect egg roll?

Crystal: The very best egg rolls can be found in this little hole-in-the-wall resturant in Sacramento, California. I can't even remember what it's called, The Golden Lion or something. But the egg rolls are perfect, crunchy and gold on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside.

Bebe: Mmmm. Yummy.

Crystal: Okay, now I'm hungry.

Bebe: I’m glad you could stop by to chat, Crystal. I can’t wait to read Full Swing!

Crystal: Thanks, Bebe!

Learn more about Crystal at her website or blog!