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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today's Special - - Heather Snow


We love hosting debut authors here at TRD and it's especially fun when said author's debut book has blown me away.  That's exactly what happened with Heather Snow's SWEET ENEMY.  It's fresh, emotional and fast paced, with engaging characters and an underlying mystery that kept me guessing through most of the book.  When I turned the last page, my first thought was, "How long do I have to wait for the next book from this wonderful new author?"


Please give Heather a warm welcome!


I am thrilled to be here at The Romance Dish today!  Thank you, ladies, for having me.  It’s hard to believe SWEET ENEMY came out two weeks ago, today.  It’s a bit strange knowing that my words are out there in the world, and it’s been wonderfully surreal, hearing from readers who have loved Liliana and Geoffrey’s story.

But unlike many authors, I haven’t been waiting my whole life for this moment.  I didn’t set out to be a writer at all.  In fact, my degree is in Chemistry.  So today I thought it might be fun to talk about how, a left-brained chemistry major like me went about creating a formula for love on the page…

First, inspiration struck.  I went to an exhibit at a science and technology museum (I know…it doesn’t sound romantic, but truly, it is what inspired me to write romance!).  The exhibit introduced me to a scientific event that happened in the Regency period that I’d never heard of before, and while perusing the fascinating display, a “What if?” mystery formed in my mind involving a scientist from that day and age.  I couldn’t get it out of my head over the next few weeks.  But while I love a good mystery, I love a good romance even more.  I knew if I were going to write a story, it would have to be a romance…so I decided to tackle a novel that had both.

I knew nothing about writing, though.  So what would any good scientist do?  I went about it methodically—that’s my natural way of approaching anything first.  I pulled my six favorite books of all time and evaluated them from all angles.  I wrote my own synopsis of the stories, boiled them down chapter by chapter, character by character as I would if I were trying to analyze an unknown substance in the lab.

Oh, you can laugh.  I laugh at myself now, too, though I do think that process helped me get my head around what I was trying to do.  I thought a lot about how I could make my book stand out…how could I twist things to make it fresh and yet still deliver a great story?  That’s when I decided to make my heroine the scientist.  In most books I’d read, if anyone got to be a scientist-type, it was always the hero.  And blast it all, why should the men always get to be the interesting ones? ;)

So Liliana, my Regency-era lady chemist was born.  As I settled on the idea, I liked it more and more—as a woman with a chemistry degree myself, I felt I could lend a unique perspective to her character.  I got to create a woman who went against the mold, and even better?  I got to design the perfect hero for her—a man who was strong and self-assured enough to let her be who she would.

And then, I experimented.  A lot.  I learned that writing romance and chemistry were more alike than I’d imagined!  There are rules to follow, and some you can break when you want to experiment.  Historical romance, like science, requires careful research.  Most chemical reactions require a catalyst to drive them, just like characters require motivation to drive the story forward.  And finally, both chemistry and writing, if done well, involve a precise mixture of elements and careful manipulation to achieve that perfect reaction that makes you want to sigh with satisfaction.

I hope you find Liliana and Geoffrey’s story quite sigh-worthy. 

I’d love to know what elements of a great romance make YOU sigh with satisfaction?  One commenter will receive a signed copy of SWEET ENEMY. 

Sweet Enemy...
A Veiled Seduction Novel ~ Book One

"Historical intrigue and heart-pounding passion make Sweet Enemy a great read.  Romance fans will love it." ~#1NYT Bestselling Author JULIE GARWOOD


Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty—take up the responsibility for his family’s estates.  His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word—heirs.  When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford.  But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart. 

Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a countess.  If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge.  However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.
Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula.  But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can't control...

If you’d like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of Sweet Enemy, you can find it here.


~



Heather Snow is a historical romance author with a degree in Chemistry who discovered she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab.  She is forever trying to wrangle her left and right brain to work together (some days with more success than others!), but if her two sides had to duke it out, left would win every time—which can be a creative challenge.  Luckily, she loves challenges…she just goes about solving them analytically. 

Heather lives in the Midwest with her husband, two rambunctious boys and one very put upon cat.  She sincerely hopes you find her stories have just the right chemistry…

Please visit her at www.HeatherSnowBooks.com, on Facebook www.facebook.com/authorheathersnow or on Twitter www.twitter.com/HeatherSnowRW
Sweet Enemy is available wherever books are sold and at these fine retailers.

 Rainy Day Books (Heather’s local Indie)

51 comments:

  1. Congrats on your debut release, Heather. I love the part when the lead characters resolve their conflict and confess their love for each other.

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  2. Congratulations!! I know I will enjoy reading SWEET ENEMY.

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  3. So glad to "meet" you here Heather! I somehow missed hearing about Sweet Enemy in the shuffle of work and school and all that jazz, so I'm glad I caught this post since Liliana's story has intrigued me:) I REALLY want to know what the scientific event was that you saw at the museum to inspire the story but I'm guessing it'll give away the mystery so I'll have to ask after I've read it, lol. I love hearing about writer's previous jobs too; I've found that many of my favorite romance writers are lawyers! lol Looking forward to reading Sweet Enemy:)

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  4. I think what makes me sigh with satisfaction are the right characters and the writing. It all starts with a likeable, capable heroine, builds with a hero worthy of her, and engaging writing to make it all perfect. ;)

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  5. D'oh! totally forgot to answer your question: I like the tension! I enjoy the back n forth between the couple, whether it be through banter, pranks, or challenging each other's worldviews and preconceptions, I love that push/pull that leads to love between the couple:D

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  6. I think Blogger hates me this morning, as it won't let me reply individually.

    @Jane -- thanks so much! I like that part best, too...and I especially like when it doesn't happen until the very end of the book. It's hard for me to stay focused on the rest of the story if the love story has already been resolved.

    @marybelle - thank you! I hope you love it. :)

    @Rosie - great points. That's really the fun of writing, too, I think is creating that one hero that is JUST right for the interesting/unique heroine that you've envisioned. I hope you find Geoffrey is the perfect match for Liliana :)

    @Bella -- I'm glad to "meet" you, too! And yes, it would totally give away the mystery, so don't open the back of the book to read the author's note first...lol :) Funny, some of my best beta readers are lawyers, too! Oooh, yes, I love the push/pull as well--you'll find quite a bit of it in Sweet Enemy, as they are complete opposites who just happen to also be perfect for each other. It just takes them a while to figure it out!

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  7. Oh this sounds great, I love, love, love an intelligent heroine. I agree with you, I don't think it should only be the hero having all the intelligence.

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  8. Hi Heather! Welcome to TRD! I so enjoyed SWEET ENEMY! Liliana and Geoffrey were wonderful characters; total opposites, as you said, but absolutely perfect for one another. If I hadn't been in love with Geoffrey already, his proposal gift (he understood her so well) would have sealed the deal.

    I'm off to work but will be back later today to play. Have fun, everyone!

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  9. congrats Heather

    ouch.. i think i'm a fool, i love reading book so much but when people ask me why you like this book or what make you like this book or how can you like this book, i just can say : i like this, that's all ;)

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  10. Hi, Heather! We're so happy to have you here today. I'm really looking forward to reading SWEET ENEMY. It sounds fab!

    Sorry that Blogger is not letting you reply individually. It can be temperamental. LOL

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  11. Hi Heather! This book sounds wonderful and unlike anything I've read before. It has been added to the TBB list. ;)

    I agree with Dianna. I love a book with an intelligent heroine.

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  12. Hello and welcome, Heather! Congrats on your debut release! I have added it to my list for the next time I hit the bookstore. ;-)

    I am with Bella ... I *love* sexual tension. It makes me continue to turn those pages!

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  13. Hi heather
    Congruation

    I love a book with love romance, great hero and Heroine and happy ending story

    Thanks for giveaway

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  14. Witty dialogue between the H/H, a great first kiss (hopefully a little teasing one, not one that leads to the big event), some vulnerability in the hero, some sass in the heroine, a great, long love scene when the deed is finally done and the I love you after a few misunderstandings and tears!

    Sue P.
    pennsdog(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  15. Witty and Romantic dialogue... That always work for me...

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  16. Congratulations on your debut, Heather. I knew when I read PJ's review that Sweet Enemy was a book I wanted to read. I'm only a few chapters into it now, but I'm loving it.

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  17. The HEA is the biggest thing! I also enjoy witty banter, a great first kiss, spunky heroine, and a strong hero with a vulnerability for the heroine.

    Congrats on the debut book! Wishing you LOTS of success.

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  18. I have this book so no need to put me down for the contest- I actually met Heather at a book signing recently and she's a sweetheart! I'm looking forward to reading my copy of Sweetest Enemy:)

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  19. Blogger is still being mean to me, so I'll respond in one comment again!

    @Dianna -- I'm SO glad to hear you say you love the intelligent heroines, because that's what the Veiled Seduction series is all about: science-savvy heroines with mysteries to solve!

    @PJ -- Thanks for having me! And for spreading the word about my debut. It's hard to get noticed as a new girl amongst all of the awesome authors out there, so I appreciate every little bit anyone does to help me get my story into the hands of readers they think will love it! I really loved Geoffrey's proposal, too...made me happy to write that scene. Well, until...you know.

    @Eli - You're definitely NOT a fool :) Sometimes a heartfelt "I loved this" is the best thing you CAN say!

    @Gannon -- Thank you! And no worries. Blogger's gotten a little uppity lately, hasn't it? ;)

    @TrishaM -- Thank you! I hadn't read any like it either, which is maybe why it's received such a great response from readers, because it is a little different. The next in the series features a Regency-era Bones (think Temperance Brennan, not Star Trek) who gets tangled up with a Regency-era James Bond like character.

    @Andrea -- Thank you! Oh, yes...the sexual tension. I like the kind that builds for the better part of the book. Sure, there is the occasional story that benefits from characters hopping right into bed, but I'd rather watch it build and build and build until... :)

    @newan -- Thank you! Yes, there MUST be a very satisfying happily ever after to make me happy!

    @Sue P -- Oh my, Sweet Enemy sounds right up your alley then. There's lots of teasing and experimenting (Liliana IS a chemist, after all ;) ). And one reviewer described Geoffrey this way “Geoffrey was not always sure of himself and had moments of the sweetest humility.” Oh, and there's definitely some misunderstandings and some tears. Hope you LOVE it!

    @May -- Yes indeed! I enjoy that myself.

    @Janga -- Oh, I'm so glad you are enjoying it! It's one of those books that picks up speed and tension as you go along, so I hope you love the rest of the ride!

    @cherylc -- thank you so much!

    @Maria -- Hello! Lovely to see you here :) I had such fun at my first signing! Everyone was super gracious to the new girl. I hope you adore Geoffrey and Liliana's story.

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    1. Exactly, Heather! That slow build is *almost* as good as the end results. ;-)

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  20. Hi, Heather. Congrats on your book; it's on my TBB list. I like a good romance to have some funny moments along with the tender moments. Of course, then the big HEA is what I look forward to in the end. I like HEAs to have some explanantion to it and not be over and done with in a page. (I like epilogues!)

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  21. Congratulations on your debut. I like a book where there are obstacles, but ultimately there is a HEA. I also like an epilogue where we can see the couple are still together.

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  22. @Deb--Thank you! I love epilogues, too :) And I agree with you about the funny moments...even though my stories are a little darket (due to the mysteries), I strive to put lighter, funny moments in.

    @Kim-- Sounds like a great formula!

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  23. This book has gotten such wonderful comments & I'm intrigued that Liliana is a chemist.
    I love epilogues too - such fun to see how the couple is fairing after all the dust has settled.

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    1. Ah, looks like blogger will let me reply from my ipad...fickle program!

      Yes, epilogues are great! I also think that's part of the appeal of books in a series, because we get little snippets of past characters and what is going on with them!

      Thanks for stopping by

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  24. Congratulations Heather on your new book! I always enjoy a romance where the hero and heroine show how much they care for the other through their actions.

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    1. Hi Maureen- Thank you! Yes, actions definitely speak louder than words...although a little witty/flirting banter is never amiss :)

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  25. Congratulations on your book! I like the happy ending and when the main characters finally reveal their true feelings to each other.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. That really is the sweetest moment, isn't it?

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  26. Hi Heather!! We are so happy to have you with us today. As you probably already know, we just adore debut authors here. There's something special about the excitement of a debut author.

    I *love* the sounds of your book!!! How fabulous to have the heroine as the chemist!!! I'm looking forward to having the time to dive into your book. And look at you ... a quote from Julie Garwood!!!! She is the author of my very first romance -- THE WEDDING.

    As a few people have already said, I absolutely love sexual tension, and a lot of it ;-) Also, tortured heroes seem to pull at my heart.

    Wishing you much success!!

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    1. Thanks for having me, Buffie! And I LOVE Julie Garwood...she was one of my first favorite authors, and continues to be one. I almost swooned when she took an interest in my book and ultimate did the cover quote!

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  27. Hi Heather, I have been following the progress of your debut book through FaceBook and various other blogs. Now here you are at my favorite one, The Romance Dish! First, please accept my sincere congratulations! I have such admiration for writers and their artform. To watch you take on writing, from where you started as a sceintist, to having a book published and a series planned, is a wonderfully noteworthy accomplishment! It reminds me very much of Stephanie Laurens' path to writing as an escape from her career of science. I wish you the same success she has had!
    You have already heard so many plotlines here that people like; let me give you one I dislike. My pet peeve is the plot that goes on,and on,and on, about how the protagonists never communicate so there are way too many conflicts and misunderstandings. when that cycle repeats too many times I just want to knock some sense into them. The HEA doesn't have to be so painful and a good writer avoids that trap.

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    1. LOL, fsbuchler--I remember getting very excited when I read her bio! It was very inspiring to me. In fact, I met her at my first RWA conference and told her I aspired to write from my science background and looked up to her :) I'll take even just a bit of the success she's had and be very happy! ;)

      Yes, I'm not a big fan of the perpetual misunderstanding...unless there are REALLY good reasons not to have a conversation that can clear things up, it annoys me!

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  28. Hi Heather and PJ!

    Great interview Heather!
    Thank you PJ for inviting Heather today and letting her share with us.

    Big congrats on your new release!
    I've heard nothing but great reviews on SWEET ENEMY, YAY you!!

    Wow, a degree in Chemistry, how wonderful. You are one smart and talented lady on top of being one heck of a writer. Like I said, nothing but great reviews on your book.

    I can't wait to start reading your book, it really has me wondering what's going to happen between Geoffrey and Liliana, besides the HEA of course. :-)

    What I enjoy in books is all the ups and downs they go through before their HEA. I also like a bit of angst thrown, that's always good in a story.
    Some witty dialogue is always great!

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    Wishing you all the best!

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    1. Hi Dalila. Thank you so much--I've been thrilled with people's response to Geoffrey and LIliana's story. I hope you LOVE it! Fair warning, they go through a lot to get to their happily ever after, but I enjoyed getting them there :)

      Appreciate your well wishes

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  29. The elements of a great romance that make me sigh are the chemistry between the hero and heroine - especially if they don't really like each other very well at first and are fighting the attraction. That moment when they give in and admit there's something there is very sigh worthy.
    I'm really looking forward to reading Sweet Enemy, it sounds like such a fantastic story.

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    1. Thanks, Barbara! Sweet Enemy definitely has it's share of chemistry, of all kinds :)

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  30. Hi Heather!
    Congratulations on your debut! How exciting for you! SWEET ENEMY sounds like a ton of fun, and I'll be adding it to my wish list over at Amazon!

    As for what makes me sigh with satisfaction.... I just loooove those dark tortured heroes, and the strong heroines that love them. Lol!

    Congrats again!

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    1. Hi Monica! Thanks--I'll be interested to know what you think if it once it makes its way from your wish list to your bookshelf :) I love dark tortured heroes...our hero in Sweet Deception is definitely darker than Geoffrey and the hero from Sweet Madness, darker still. I'm working my way there, LOL!

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    2. Hahaha! Soooo looking forward to it! ;)

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  31. Congrats on your new release. I have been hearing a lot of good things about it.

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  32. Congrats on your release! Everything I have read about it is great. I guess what makes me sigh is really well written characters and a story that draws you in. If the story is one that makes you daydream about it, and sticks with you long after the ending, it is great to me.

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    1. Thanks, June! I hope you still remember Geoffrey and Liliana years from now :)

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  33. Congrats on your release. What makes me sigh is magnetic characters that draw you into the story. I especially like it if the heroine is a kick-ass heroine.

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  34. congrats on the release and all the positive reviews. some good tension, likeable characters & of course some chemistry between the h/h, perhaps add in a touch of humor, mystery &/or adventure and I think you have the elements of good story.

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  35. Well, with a romantic lead named Wentworth, you can't go wrong--I am adding this to my wishlist. ;) I love realistic angst (not high school ohmigawd stuff), the more the better as it makes the resolution so satisfying. Intelligence is a must. And, a humorous author (the characters don't have to be witty, though it is a plus) since this is supposed to be fictional work ending in a HEA. Levity is important. In an historical, factual accuracy and reasonably accurate dialogue & slang is a plus as I don't want to be jarred out of the story. Love the female chemist.

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  36. Characters really make a novel special for me. Congrats on the book. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  37. Your approach makes perfect sense to me. A good analysis helps figure out how things work.

    I think having the hero and heroine truly understand each other, and accepting and loving for who they are is it. It may not sound that romantic, but understanding and acceptance are necessary for a love that will last.

    I am glad you made your heroine a smart scientist. It took so long for women scientists to be accepted and taken seriously. I hope SWEET ENEMY as well as the rest of the series is a great success.

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  38. Congrats Heather! :) I love books that have a smart and sassy woman who isn't afraid to stand up to the hero and I need a hero who has enough humor to roll with whatever punches she may through him without letting himself be walked on! Thanks! I so look forward to reading this book and I hope I win! allicat0818[at]yahoo[dot]com

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