Saturday, January 23, 2010

Guest Author - - Sandra Hill

Hailed by the Romantic Times as having a “magical touch when it comes to creating heroes who are warriors but have a vulnerability that appeals,” author Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories. She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons. VIKING IN LOVE is her Avon debut. 

Avon has generously offered three copies of VIKING IN LOVE to be given away today to randomly selected commenters.  One of those lucky posters will also win a Viking Barbie! 

About seven years ago, I was browsing the bookshelves at my local store looking for something entertaining to read when a title caught my eye. I bought the book, started reading it that evening and was still reading about 2AM the next morning – in between bouts of boisterous laughter. The book was THE VERY VIRILE VIKING, a time travel story by Sandra Hill and, with that one book, I was hooked. A New York Times Bestselling author of more than 30 books, she is now one of my auto-buys. Whether she’s writing historicals, contemporaries or time travels, I know that I’ll always be entertained when I pick up one of her books. Please join me in welcoming Sandra Hill to The Romance Dish. ~ PJ

We’re delighted to have you with us today, Sandra. Your newest release, VIKING IN LOVE, will be in stores on January 26th. Will you tell us a bit about the story and why you decided to return to straight historical with this book?

I’m an avid reader, and my first love was historical romance. I have always wanted to return to historicals. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy writing contemporaries and time travels, too, but still…

VIKING IN LOVE is the story of five Viking princesses on the run after killing the abusive husband of one of them. Think a medieval version of the Dixie Chicks video “Goodbye Earl.” Princess Breanne meets her match in Caedmon, a Saxon knight who lives in a rundown castle with his dozen children.

I’m looking forward to spending more time with Breanne’s sisters. How many books will be in this series?

Well, Tyra was the heroine in MY FAIR VIKING. Breanne stars in VIKING IN LOVE, although Vana’s story gets told there, too. Then, in THE VIKING TAKES A KNIGHT (tentative title, 9/2010), Ingrith gets star billing. The only unmarried princess left is Drifa. Definitely, she will get her own book someday.

Vikings figure prominently in many of your books, both the time travels and straight historicals. What appeals to you about the early Middle Ages and Vikings in particular?

First of all, I can trace my family tree on my father’s side all the way back to the tenth century and the Viking Rolfr, the first duke of Normandy. That started my interest in Viking and what I discovered fascinated me.

The Vikings were a truly magnificent race, and isn’t it sad that they don’t exist as a separate race today.. The men were taller and better looking than men of other societies at that time. They had a wonderful sense of humor, as evidenced by their sagas. And resourceful! Since their land (rocky and not suitable for farming) couldn’t sustain their growing families, they developed an art for shipbuilding and seafaring. And when all that didn’t work out, they blended into the countries and cultures that they conquered. Women loved them, and no wonder!

You’ve been quoted as saying that your family doesn’t think you have a sense of humor and that you grew up a shy and serious girl, yet the stories you write are filled with laugh-out-loud moments. What’s been your inspiration for the humor that fills your books?

My husband and sons have great senses of humor. The first time I met my husband, he was a political aide and I was a newspaper reporter. A group of us were walking into the governor’s office when I felt someone pinch my butt. Today that would be considered sexual harassment. Then, it was just funny. Remind me to tell you sometime about the romance cover art my husband wanted to hang in his stock brokerage office.

There have been many swoon-worthy heroes in your books. In VIKING IN LOVE, there’s a scene where Breanne and Caedmon are stranded together in a locked room. If you were single and could be stranded for a weekend with one of your heroes, who would you choose and why?

OMG! What a question! Almost any of them, really. I always say that there’s nothing sexier than a man who can make a woman smile in bed. Every one of my heroes can do that. My husband, too. I’ll take that a step farther. Is there anything sexier than a tortured hero with a sense of humor?

Oh, I agree!  A hero who can make his lady smile, and laugh, in bed is very sexy indeed.  Flipping the coin, if you could arrange a girlfriend’s getaway with three of your heroines who would you invite and why?

Tante Lulu would be there cooking up a batch of gumbo. Then, the shrewish Viking Madrene would be a good addition, and Charmaine, the unabashed Cajun bimbo. A great combination, I think.

What a fun weekend that would be!  Sandra, you’ve written contemporaries, time travels and straight historicals. Is there any sub-genre, era or location that you haven’t written about that you’d like to try?

For years I’ve thought about doing Viking vampires, but I think the time has passed for that idea. Sexy inspirationals? More Amish settings like PEARL JINX. Possibly more post Civil War Louisiana books.

Many of us here at The Romance Dish have favorite comfort reads. What books or authors do you turn to for that “warm and fuzzy” reading experience?

Mary Balogh, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Maggie Osborne, Cait Logan western historicals (a recent find and glom of mine), Lisa Kleypas, Suzanne Brockmann, Dorothy Garlock, Karen Moning, Christine Feehan, Susan Wiggs, Trish Jensen, Loretta Chase, and for really warm and fuzzy, Lora Leigh.

Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?

I have a novella “Tomorrow Is Another Day” in the anthology LADIES PREFER ROGUES out in March. Although it’s not a sequel to FRANKLY, MY DEAR and SWEETER SAVAGE LOVE, readers will recognize the area in Louisiana and a few names.

Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Sandra.  Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Are there any books or characters you would like to see me do in the future? Are you interested in signed bookmarks or bookplates? If you are interested in upcoming news or books about to come out, you can sign up for my mailing list at Or do you consider these occasional newsletters a nuisance?


  1. Hi Sandra

    I am very sorry to say that I have not read one of your books yet but I have heard so much about them that is going to change I have added Viking In Love to my must have list and I know I will be hunting down your backlist after that.

    Off to put my name down for the newsletter list I for one love getting newsletters etc to find out what is happening.

    Congrats on the new release

    Have Fun

  2. Hey Sandra, Viking in Love's intrigued me. This is the first time i heard about your name *g*.

    to be honest, i'm more interested in signed copies : )
    since for me, the signed copies like treasure that i won't let anybody take them away!

    Congrats on the release

  3. Hi Sandra,
    I LOVE your timetravel stories! And Viking in love sounds great too so please count me in.

    I'm looking forward to your story Tomorrow Is Another Day. Love bookmarks, they always make me remember books or authors I like.
    As for newsletters, I enjoy them and if I don't feel like reading them it's not as if I have to.

    Take care,

  4. OMG! Total fan-girl moment! Hi Sandra and welcome to the Dish. (you probably won't remember but I'm the Brit who gushed over you at a NJ romance conference a couple of years ago *g*)

    I'm a huge fan of your books (I mentioned your Viking/SEAL time travels on our Romance Bandits blog only yesterday!) - I started with the Jinx series, went back to the Cajuns and then glommed on to the time travels. next up will be the Vikings series I.

    If I ever need cheering up, you're one of my must-reads, as you always make me laugh.

    I have to say that Tante Lulu (and St Jude) is one of my favourite characters of all time. So, I'd love to see more of the Cajuns/Jinx Gang.

    Oh, and personally, I'm very grateful for your newsletters alerting me to your latest book - it's so hard to keep up with all the new releases and a reminder is very welcome.

  5. Helen, I think you'll enjoy Sandra's books. She has hot heroes, feisty heroines and never, NEVER fails to make me laugh.

  6. Mariska, I know what you mean about signed copies. They are treasures, aren't they? Mine have a special place of honor in my bookshelf.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Good Morning, Kirsten! I'm also looking forward to "Tomorrow is Another Day." Don't you just love that title?

    I'm with you on the bookmarks. I collect them and when I get more than one of a particular bookmark, I share them!

  8. Hi Anna! I had a feeling we'd see you over here today. :)

    Isn't Tante Lulu a hoot? I adore her!

    You have a lot of fabulously fun reading ahead of you with Sandra's Viking I and Viking II series. Enjoy!

  9. Really enjoyed this post, love Sandra Hill! We met at the NJ RWA conference a couple of years ago. Your books are marvelous.

  10. Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping by. Do you have a favorite Sandra Hill series?

  11. Hi Sandra, I'm ashamed to say I have yet to pick up one of your books but I'm definitely intrigued by Viking in Love and will be checking your backlist for sure lol!

    Glad to say we do have similar taste in warm and fuzzy authors, I adore most if not all of the authors you've mentioned!

    A huge congratulations on the release :D


  12. Hi Sandra -

    Sorry to admit but I'm new to your work. The word "Viking" in the title caught my attention, I don't think I've read a Viking romance in years!

    I am subscribed to many newsletters, they are not a nuisance at all. It's a great way to communicate with fans.

    Thanks for blogging.

  13. Sandra, your books sound so fun and I am so sorry I have never picked one up. If the weather cooperates today, I will be running to my fave little bookstore to get some!

    I think Vikings are fascinating, too, and since I'm Danish, even moreso. I have seen King Gorm's Viking mound, and since his ship is buried in there, it's huge! My cousin Hanne and her husband Poul Erik have a very small one in their backyard! They are not allowed to do anything with it since it belongs to the Danish government.

    I enjoy newsletters and signed up for yours about 6 weeks ago.

    Thanks for being here today!

  14. Sandra I love your Viking books. A Very Verile Viking is one of my favorites. Magnus is an endearing and memorable character.

    Newsletters are great as are signed books. Nothing guarantees more that a book will stay on my shelves then if it is signed.

  15. Hi Sandra,
    Congrats on your release! I haven't gotten to read any of your books yet either. I read about this one earlier on The Season Blog and thought it sounded amazing. I still think it rather sounds great! And i look forward reading eventually. ^w^


  16. I like getting newsletters and I do use the bookmarks. Newsletters are good because I can read them at my leisure and then I know when an author I enjoy has a book coming out.

  17. I have to say I suddenly have a fondness for vikings, so this sounds wonderful!
    I have heard of you Sandra, I went and yes, I have one of your books in my stash, "Down and Dirty" (love that title!)so I moved it up in my TBR pile.
    I don't mind getting newsletters, as long as it is only once in a while, informative way to hear about releases.
    And I love bookmarks, I am getting a great collection!
    All the best with the release!

    Oh, and can I say...Viking vampires??? I would buy that in a flash!!

  18. Hi, Sandra! Just wanted to say that I'm a huge fan :) One of my very first romance reads was a Viking Romance and ever since then, there hasn't been a VR I haven't said no to yet. Congrats on your newest release!

    Fantastic interview PJ!

  19. Hi Sandra, Viking in Love sounds like a very exciting book. I also collect bookmarks and when I get more I take them to The Book Bug and she gives them out to other readers and I hope that I'm helping out by letting others know about the author and their books. So far she keeps asking me for more.

  20. Hi, I have not read one of your books either and would very much like to look for one to read. Sound like they would be very interesting. Sure ejoy this sight. Mary Ann

  21. Hi Camille! I hope you enjoy Sandra's books. You really can't go wrong with any of them.

  22. Thanks for stopping by, Scorpio. There aren't many authors out there who still write Viking stories. I love them so I hope Sandra never stops writing them. She does it so well.

  23. Hi Deb! I didn't know about your Danish background. I bet you have some fascinating family stories to tell.

  24. Hi Beth! Like you, I adore Magnus. I'm always happy when he pops up in one of Sandra's books.

  25. Hi Melissa! I hope you enjoy Sandra's books. They're the perfect remedy for a cold winter's day.

  26. Maureen, thanks for stopping by!

  27. Hi Drew! Hope you enjoy Down and Dirty. It's a lot of fun!

  28. Fantastic interview PJ!

    Thanks, Okie! And thanks for stopping by. We're always happy to see your smiling face here at the Dish.

  29. I also collect bookmarks and when I get more I take them to The Book Bug and she gives them out to other readers and I hope that I'm helping out by letting others know about the author and their books. So far she keeps asking me for more.

    Great idea, Kimmy!

  30. Hi MaryAnn! I hope you enjoy Sandra's books. They always leave me smiling!

  31. Hi Sandra,

    You're a new author to me, but I love time travel stories.
    I enjoy getting newsleter b/c they keep me updtd on the author.


  32. Congrats on the upcoming release, Sandra. Looking forward to your new series. I haven't read a Viking romance in a long time. I do want more Cajun books. I think it's okay for an author to shoot off a newsletter about four times a year to let us know about releases and works in progress.

  33. Hi Sandra,

    I like getting newletters, they help to keep me informed on what the author is planning and their new releases.

    My most cherished prize is a signed book. They have a special place in my library.

    I read a great pirate book not to long ago and there aren't that many being written today...Have you thought about that genre? I think you would write a terrific pirate...since you write the hottest vikings I've ever read!!! Hehehe.

    Congrats on the new release....and continued success!!!

  34. Anna: Of course I remember the Brit at NJRW. Thanks for your kind words.

    Deb: A Dane who hasn't read my Viking books? Shame! Just kidding. I'll be interested in what you think.

    Hey, y'all should tell your freinds to come over. The odds are good for winning a free book or the Viking Princess Barbie, which is spectacular in its original collectible box.

  35. Terrific interview, PJ and Sandra! And congrats on the new release, Sandra! I've not read your books either, but if PJ recommends them, then I should!

    Btw, I love newsletters. They keep me on my toes and informed about new relases and what might be coming soon.

  36. Hi Sandra,
    I'm looking forward to reading Viking in love.
    I like newsletters!

  37. It always amazes me when I see notes from people who have yet to experience a Sandra Hill book. You who dip your toes in the waters are in for a fun surprise! And you probably won't be able to find her backlist fast enough. Then again, I could be a WEE bit biased. We've been critique buds for 17 years. So I get to read and laugh first. :) Have fun!

  38. Hi Sandra! Sorry I'm so late commenting, but I was away all day. Great interview with you and PJ! I've enjoyed your Cajun novels immensely, so I know I'll adore your Vikings as well. :)

    How cool that you can trace your family history back to the Vikings! No wonder you have an affinity for them.

  39. I haven't read any of your books sad to say. I will definitely have to look them up. I get a lot of newsletters and I like the information I get from them. Signed stuff is great too.

  40. Thanks for stopping by, Linda. Hope you enjoy Sandra's books. You have a whole lot of fun reading ahead!

  41. Sandra, I read Viking In Love and I really enjoyed it. Out of all of the vikings in your books I would have to say that Selik is still my favorite...but I would take any of them. When is "Tomorrow Is Another Day" coming out? I know you said in March but do you know a date yet? Keep writing those sexy viking books. There hard to come by now. Thanks for all the good times and memories I have with your books.