I'm delighted to introduce you to contemporary author Tracy Brogan today. Tracy is a newly published author who is already making a name for herself with great reviews and a 2013 RITA® nomination for Best First Book.
Past or present, Tracy loves romance! She writes fun and breezy modern stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and also lush historical romance full of political intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt. (We ♥ men in kilts!)
She's a best-selling author in both contemporary and historical romance, as well as a Romance Writers of America (RWA) RITA® finalist in the Best First Book category for her debut novel, CRAZY LITTLE THING. She is also a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist.
Tracy loves to hear from readers so send her a note via her website at tracybrogan.com!
Hi Tracy! Welcome to the Romance Dish! Congratulations on the upcoming release of HOLD ON MY HEART. Will you please tell our readers what to expect from this story?
Thanks so much for having me here today! I love to dish about romance! Readers who read my first book, CRAZY LITTLE THING, know that humor is a big part of my stories. That’s true for HOLD ON MY HEART as well, but this book has a much deeper thread running through it. The hero, Tom Murphy, is a widower with a teenaged daughter. He’s not looking for drama, and he’s certainly not looking for love, but you know how that goes! Heroine Libby Hamilton has recently lost her job, and her fair-weather boyfriend has moved away and sublet their apartment. Now she’s back where she never expected to be – living at home with her parents. When Tom and Libby join forces to help her father turn an abandoned one-room schoolhouse into a vintage ice cream parlor, walls come down, hopes are built up, and Libby gets a hold on Tom’s heart that won’t let go.
I fell hard for Tom (What can I say? I’m a sucker for an emotionally wounded hero, especially if he’s well built and wearing a tool belt) and Libby had me laughing from the get-go. Their introduction was my first clue that this book was going to be a fun ride. What do you want readers to understand about Tom and Libby?
One could argue that this is really Tom’s story. He was a powerful presence in my head and I knew I had to tell the story the way he wanted it told. Sounds wackadoodle, doesn’t it? But those of you who listen to the voices know what I’m talking about! Libby was a good sport and open to anything. She started the book stuck in a bit of rut, but she knew she’d find her way out. I needed to keep her light to balance with his dark. My natural inclination is to take a sad situation and use humor to bring people through it. I think sharing laughter bonds people together as much as sharing misery, and in a much more enjoyable fashion!
Here’s a fun tid-bit. I love the cover of this book. I think it captures the essence of their relationship perfectly. But this is the second cover! The first one was in production and at the last minute, we realized we needed to use something different and I could not be happier that the first one didn’t work out. Fate interceded.
Would you like to share an excerpt for our readers?
Oh, I’d much rather share the trailer! It even has original music, and I confess, the trailer has made me fall in love with this story all over again. Here’s the link:
We love call stories here at The Romance Dish. Please tell us about yours.
I’m incredibly lucky to have received a few nice “calls,” like when my agent called to tell me Montlake had made an offer. She said, “Did you ever think I’d be calling you with good news?” Dubious me said, “Are you calling me with good news right now?” Fortunately, she was!
My most recent “awesome call” came on March 26th which is RITA and Golden Heart announcement day. My routine has been the same for the last three years and it seems to work. I drop my kids off at the bus stop. Then go to the drive through window of the nearest Starbucks. I get myself a vanilla latte, (decaf and sugar-free because I’m already wired enough,) and then I buy coffee for the person in the car behind me. I figure that way, even if I don’t get a call, at least I’ve done something useful with the day. Then I go home and stare at my phone while pretending to write.
It seems that every year on announcement day, my husband has just worked a night shift and is sleeping, so after my call, I have to hop around *not screaming* until he wakes up. When he finally wanders into my office, he’s inevitably in nothing but a tee shirt and boxers. This is part of the tradition I would like to change.
I’m thrilled/humbled/amazed/giggly to be a RITA nominee this year! It hasn’t really sunk in. Mainly because I’m on deadline right now so all I can think about is getting this next book finished and off to my editor before July! In addition to that, immediately following the RWA conference (immediately as in Sunday morning!) I’m flying from Atlanta to North Carolina to join my family for a weeklong vacation – which means I have to pack for both the conference, and the vacation, before I can leave home. So while I should be kicking up my heels in pre-celebration, instead I’m mostly banging my head on the desk. But these are good problems to have – conference and vacation!
And I will confess I special ordered a lovely dress – which arrived too tight in the butt and too loose on the top. I’m considering wearing it upside down.
You’ve also published a historical romance. What type of books do you write in this sub-genre?
My historical romance, HIGHLAND SURRENDER, just won first place in the 2013 Golden Quill contest, and is also a nominee in the Book Sellers Best contest so I’m really excited about that! It’s set in 1537 Scotland and is full of political intrigue, damsels causing distress, and yes, a few kilts. But my historical stories are all over the board as far as setting and time period. I have a World War 2 story coming up next, another story set in 16th Century Scotland, and one that begins in Ireland and ends in America during the mid-1800’s. One common theme through each of them is a heroine who doesn’t quite fit the mold of her time period. She’s willing to defy expectations and follow her heart.
We’re always looking for new books to read around here. Any you’ve read lately that you would recommend?
I’m a big fan of Joanna Bourne and Cecelia Grant. They are auto-buys for me, as is Kristan Higgins. And although I don’t typically read paranormal, I love the FIRST GRAVE series by Darynda Jones. Right now I’m working my way through the RITA nominees and loving every minute of that. What a wonderful group of authors we have!
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up two more books set in Bell Harbor, the same location as CRAZY LITTLE THING. They’re not sequels but readers may “recognize” a few characters. This next one is about a female plastic surgeon who turns thirty-four and realizes, “Oh, crap! I forgot to get married.” So using all the scientific data available to her, she sets about to find the perfect husband. Things don’t go quite as she plans!
After that is a story about a beautiful, mysterious, young woman who shows up in town with a backpack full of money. Everyone wants to know who she is, and who the money belongs to, especially her sexy new landlord.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Tracy. Would you like to add anything else? Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
I’d love to know what readers think of author newsletters? I’ve never sent one but am thinking about doing something quarterly. So what kinds of news would readers like to hear from me? Any burning questions they want me to answer? They can sign up for my newsletter at TracyBrogan.com.
Also, I’d also love to give some books away!!! Three lucky readers who leave a comment by June 21st will win a swag bag full of goodies!
Okay, readers. Let's get those comments coming. There are some great prizes up for grabs!