Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Happens in San Antonio - - Part Two



Wednesdays always start early for me at the RWA National Conference.  It's my morning to volunteer at the conference registration desk, a tradition I began with the first conference I attended, back in 2008.  RWA has a wonderful staff but there aren't enough of them to run a conference this large.  They need the assistance of volunteers to do everything from checking people in to moderating workshops to setting up signings to checking badges at the door.  Volunteering is fun, rewarding, a great way to meet people and, for four lucky people, very profitable.  You see, every day of the conference RWA randomly chooses one person who volunteered that day to receive a paid registration to the next year's national conference.  That's almost a $500 value folks.  If you're planning to attend next year's conference in New York City, I highly recommend signing up to volunteer.  Honestly, it's one of the highlights of my week.

Eloisa James & Hellie
Did I mention that volunteering (especially at the registration desk) is a great way to meet people? This year, one of those people was our very own Dish reviewer, Hellie.  Now Hellie and I have known one another online for many years but we had never met in person until last Wednesday. Yes, there was squealing (that would be me). Also hugs. And a date made to meet for mid-morning refreshment after my shift ended. That's one of the joys of attending a conference such as RWA national - the chance to make new friends, nurture existing friendships and take cyber friendships to a deeper, real-life level.








Lunch was next up on my schedule and my lunch date for Wednesday was another wonderful Aussie friend, Kandy Shepherd.  Kandy is writing for the Harlequin Romance line now and has a wonderful contemporary series set in a fictional Australian coastal town.  The first two books in the series are The Summer They Never Forgot and The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner.












The actual conference doesn't begin until Thursday but festivities kick off Wednesday evening with the giant Literacy Signing, usually preceded by small author/reader parties.  This year I attended two such parties Wednesday afternoon; one hosted by Sabrina Jeffries and another by Eloisa James.  Sabrina's party was held at Rita's on the River and included the surly taxi driver I spoke of in yesterday's blog.  He may have been the only rude person I encountered in San Antonio but he couldn't dampen the spirits of a group of happy women ready to party.  The fabulous frozen margaritas at Rita's on the River may have helped too. Here's a photo of Sabrina pouring.







The Menger

At Sabrina's party I was delighted to meet fellow readers who I have known online; readers such as Kristy Birch and JacknSusan Knight (screen names). Kristy and I were both going to Eloisa's party at the historic (and apparently haunted) Menger Hotel so we set out together to catch a taxi to our next destination. Remember, it was really HOT in San Antonio at 3:45 in the afternoon.  Alas, there wasn't a taxi in sight so I ducked into a western clothing store and asked for directions.  The associate (or maybe the owner?) was a stereotypical Texan with big hair, a big hat, kick-ass boots and plenty of sparkle.  I wanted so bad to take a photo of her but was afraid I might offend so I didn't ask.  Anyway, she was sweet as apple pie, gave us directions and told us the Menger was "right around the corner."  Not exactly, but pretty darn close.  We managed to walk there with a minimum of heat-induced "glow." At Eloisa's, we made more new friends (are you sensing a theme here?) and had a lovely time getting to know everyone.

It seemed we had just settled in at the Menger when it was time to be off again.  This time, our destination was the Marriott Rivercenter and the Literacy Signing, a huge, crowded, crazy book signing with 400+ authors. Visualize a kid set loose in the world's biggest candy store then replace the kid with readers and the candy with authors and their books and you'll have a good idea of the frenzied excitement that filled the room. Here are a few of the many photos I took at the signing.





Rita Finalist Courtney Milan








Rita Finalist Courtney Milan


















Elizabeth Michels and Trish Milburn













Kristan Higgins and Double Rita Finalist Jill Shalvis











Rita Winner Sarah MacLean














PJ with Susan Andersen and Stephanie Laurens











Historical Author Valerie Bowman











The Literacy Autographing raises money to support literacy in the city where the conference is held.  This year's signing raised more than $53,000.  You can see more of my photos from the signing at my facebook page.  


Beth Andrews, Donna MacMeans, Tawny Weber, Anna Sugden


You might think I'd be exhausted by this time and you'd be right (grin) but I had one more social obligation with a group of some of the best women on the planet:  The Romance Bandits.  The Bandits generously offered drinks at RWA to the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research and I won the item!












We met next door at Maria Mia's Mexican Restaurant for drinks, dinner and a rousing good time. They are some of the nicest, most generous, most talented authors around and I adore them.  If you aren't familiar with their multi-author blog, do check it out.







And that does it for Wednesday.  Be sure to come back tomorrow for the next installment of RWA 14: What Happens in San Antonio!


As you may have gathered, we did a lot of eating and drinking at RWA 14 and, being as we were in San Antonio, many of those drinks and dishes were Mexican.  So tell me, what's your favorite type of food?  Do you have a favorite drink?  Do you enjoy trying new dishes or do you stick with your favorites?  

If you could have dinner and drinks with any author - or authors - who would you choose and why?

If you could attend the Literacy Autographing which authors would be at the top of your "must meet" list?

Do you have any questions about the RWA Conference?  

One person randomly chosen will receive a package of books and swag from my conference stash.  (U.S. only)

One person randomly chosen will receive one signed book from my conference stash (Canada only) 

One person randomly chosen (international - not Canada) will receive one book of our choice from bookdepository.com.

Winners will be randomly selected from all comments left by 12:00am Saturday, August 2nd.

~PJ





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Happens in San Antonio - - Part One




I live in the South.  It gets hot in the summer.  But hot in North Carolina and hot in south Texas are obviously two very different things.  I landed in San Antonio at 7 pm Monday evening, walked out of the airport and my glasses immediately steamed over. "Wow," I thought, "it's really hot!"  Taxi driver Eduardo greeted me with a smile, warmly welcomed me to his city and said, "Isn't this weather great?"  It's supposed to get hot later this week. At this point, I had two thoughts.  First was, "Holy guacamole!" and second was "I wonder if I'll sweat enough to fit into the RITA dress I brought with me?" Who says I don't have my priorities in order? LOL!

Thanks to Eduardo, my initial impression of San Antonio was a favorable one that set the tone for what was to be a lovely week in his city.  Everyone I encountered; from the hotel housekeeper who cleaned our room (Dolores Q rocks!) to the wait staff at local restaurants to shop owners to river barge drivers/tour guides to people on the street were friendly, accommodating, proud of their city and eager to help.  Okay, there was that one taxi driver who got ticked off that we only wanted to go five blocks in his cab but I don't count him. I'm sure he was a transplant from somewhere less friendly.

My roommate, Lisa wasn't scheduled to arrive until Tuesday so I hit the sack early Monday night for a good night's sleep in preparation for what was sure to be a week of sleep deprivation.  RWA's national conference is like that.  ;-)

PJ & Elizabeth Essex
Tuesday morning I awoke refreshed and ready to explore San Antonio with the awesome Kim of the SOS Aloha and Aloha On My Mind blogs.  While I was waiting for Kim in the hotel lobby I ran into historical romance author Elizabeth Essex.  At RWA, the hotel lobby is a great place to meet and greet, second only to hotel bars.  We started chatting about places where we get great ideas and when I mentioned I write entire reviews in my head while in the shower but forget key points by the time I get to the computer, Elizabeth whipped a pad of Aqua Notes (waterproof note pads) from her purse with a magician's flair. This product is my new best friend.  Thanks, Elizabeth!

Kim and I kicked off our exploration of San Antonio with a riverboat tour of the San Antonio River then followed that with a walk around San Antonio and the River Walk.  Following are a few highlights:

Captain D

We really lucked out when we stepped onto Captain D's boat.  He was funny, knowledgeable and made the trip entertaining, educational and fun.  Tip:  River cruises begin running at 9am.  Take the early cruise before the heat becomes unbearable.


The River Walk is a calm oasis of lush vegetation, sparkling waterfalls, cozy shops and festive restaurants. It's also the number one tourist attraction in Texas according to the official River Walk website.  Most hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions - such as the Alamo - are easily accessible via the River Walk.  











One of the gorgeous flowers found along the River Walk. 











It's an optical illusion but check out the cool "flat" Nix Professional Building shown to the left.  It's a 23-story hospital on the River Walk that, at the time it was built, was the tallest hospital in the U.S. A bit of trivia: Carol Burnett was born in this building.













The Bexar County Courthouse is one of the most distinctive buildings in San Antonio.  This historical landmark sits on the Main Plaza along with the Cathedral of San Fernando.  Completed in 1896, the red sandstone building is on the National Register of Historic Places.  














The Cathedral of San Fernando was founded in 1731, is the oldest, continuously functioning religious community in the state of Texas and one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States.  In 1836, the cathedral was instrumental in the siege of the Alamo when, according to Wikipedia "the cathedral, still a parish church, played a role in the Battle of the Alamo when Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna hoisted a flag of "no quarter" from the church's tower, marking the beginning of the siege."  













The Cathedral also houses the burial tomb of Davy Crockett, William B. Travis, Jim Bowie and other heroes of the Alamo.  













Speaking of the Alamo, we visited that too!  















While at the Main Plaza, Kim and I checked out the Farmer's Market where we met these hardworking folks from the San Antonio Food Bank. If you're on Instagram, check out fitbot3000 for healthy eating tips.    

















They say everything is bigger in Texas...including the animals at the Buckhorn Gift Shop.  
















And, of course, no visit would be complete without a seeing a few cowboys.



These two work a couple days at the shop but the rest of the week they're out on the range doing real cowboy work.  











All that walking around in the heat - believe me, it was hot - conjures up a mighty thirst so I popped into Schilo's German Deli for a glass of their homemade root beer.  Having grown up on "real" A&W root beer (not the bottles and cans that can be found at grocery stores), I consider myself a root beer aficionado. I have to say, Schilo's make one delicious root beer!  If you're ever in San Antonio, I highly recommend it!  









PJ & Anne Gracie
After my day of sightseeing, I returned to the hotel for a shower (I don't care what Eduardo said, it was HOT and I was soaking wet by the time I got back to my room) and got ready for my Tuesday evening dinner date with one of my favorite Aussies, Anne Gracie. Anne is one of those people who instantly puts you at ease and it doesn't matter how many years there are between visits.  When I see her we pick up as easily as if we had just seen each other a couple months ago.  We kicked off the evening with delicious frozen margaritas and followed those with authentic Mexican cuisine at Casa Rio, the first business to open on the River Walk (in 1946) and one of the most photographed with its patio of colorful umbrellas bordering the river. The core of the Casa Rio building is a Spanish hacienda on land first granted by the King of Spain in 1777.  Anne and I enjoyed a leisurely dinner and great conversation about a variety of topics, including her 2014 RITA nominated book, The Autumn Bride.  If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it!








The colorful patio umbrellas of Casa Rio.  









PJ and Erica



Back at the hotel, I stumbled upon my roommate, Lisa Lin as well as (suspense author) Carey Baldwin, (historical romance RITA finalist) Tessa Dare, (historical romance Golden Heart finalist) Lenora Bell and (historical Romance author) Erica Monroe.  We caught up over drinks (Strawberry Margarita, anyone?) before finally heading to bed. I knew I'd need a good night's sleep for all the fun and festivities of Wednesday!











Tell me about your latest vacation.  Where did you go?  How was the weather?  Were the people friendly? What were some of the highlights of the trip?  Were there margaritas? Have you been to San Antonio?  

One person (U.S. addresses only) who leaves a comment will receive a package of books and swag from my conference stash.  I'll randomly choose a winner from comments left before 12:00 am, EST Saturday, August 2nd.  

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the second installment of What Happens in San Antonio!

~PJ


Monday, July 28, 2014

Review - - The Game and the Governess

Morning, Dish friends!  I finally made it home from RWA last night - hot, sweaty, exhausted and five hours later than originally scheduled.  I dragged my luggage (filled with books and other goodies we'll be giving away here at the Dish) into the condo, sat down on the couch, promptly fell asleep...and didn't wake up until 9:30 this morning.  So, while I upload photos, write RWA blogs and give my poor, neglected dog the attention she deserves, please enjoy this review by Janga of The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble. It's the first book in what looks to be a terrific new series and, like Janga, I loved it.  Don't forget to check back later for installment one of What Happens in San Antonio!  


The Game and the Governess
By Kate Noble
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: July 29, 2014


Ned Granville, Earl of Ashby, is known as “Lucky Ned” because of his phenomenal luck. He has proved lucky with cards, lucky with women, lucky in inheriting a title that, barring a tragic accident, should never have been his, and lucky to have returned from the Napoleonic Wars a hero. So confident is he of his luck that when his friend and secretary proposes a wager, Ned, after some hesitation accepts. If Ned can persuade a lady of good breeding to fall in love with him, not as the Earl of Ashby but as Mr. Turner, the Earl’s secretary, within two weeks, he will win the family mill that Turner has dedicated himself to restoring. If Ned fails, he will pay Turner 5000 pounds. The proof of Ned’s success is to be a dance, a token of affection, and intimate knowledge of the lady. The need to make a decision about the cottage and land he inherited from his mother provides a setting far enough from London to make the exchange possible. The two men, having exchanged identities for two weeks, set out for Hollyhock, a small town in Leicestershire where Ned lived in genteel poverty with his mother until at the age of twelve he became heir to his present title.

Ned’s life moved from poverty to privilege; Phoebe Baker’s journey was the reverse. She was only seventeen, still a student at an exclusive school for girls, when her father’s death left her destitute. No longer a cherished, sheltered young lady looking forward to a London season, she was suddenly a young woman on her own with no money, no family, and only references and the name of a family in need of a governess as a means of survival. Before she is forced to leave the school, Phoebe writes a letter to the man she holds responsible for her plight, an aristocrat who allowed a thief free to prey on others rather than appearing foolish in the eyes of his peers. Phoebe’s father was one of his victims. Phoebe swears if the opportunity ever affords, she will see that the aristocrat suffers the consequences of his action. The letter is addressed to the Earl of Ashby.

When Ned and Turner arrive at Puffington Arms, the home of Sir Nathan and Lady Widcoate, where they are to stay for their two-week visit to Hollyhock, they find a house filled with ladies, all of them interested in the Earl of Ashby and none of them interested in his secretary. When it becomes clear that Ned’s contact with the ladies in the party will be severely restricted, he focuses his attention on the thin, plain governess, particularly after he discovers that she once attended a prestigious school for girls, thus qualifying her as a lady and the likeliest candidate to help him win his wager. Phoebe does her best to avoid attention and blend into the background, but Ned’s persistence and charm gradually erode her defenses. Even more gradually, Ned finds himself captivated by Phoebe’s humor, courage, and quiet beauty. But the more deeply Ned falls in love, the more he recognizes the consequences of the deceit in which he has chosen to engage.  A careless wager may cost him what he wants most.

Noble gives her readers an intricate plot and a sizeable cast of characters in a story that is part romantic romp, part moral tale. The switched identities predictably lead to some humorous moments, and the secondary characters from the Widcoates and their guests to the townspeople are generally amusing. Ned is totally unprepared for the realities of life without the privileges that he takes for granted. Noble takes something as simple as bath water to draw chuckles and to make her reader aware of how encompassing the hierarchical structure of her world is. The taciturn, introverted Turner is no more prepared for the social responsibilities and lack of solitude that comes with Ned’s title than Ned is for the lack of status his secretary is given. Both men learn from the experience.

Phoebe is a wonderful heroine. She possesses intelligence, strength of character, a lively sense of the ridiculous, and integrity in the fullest sense of that word. She has a rare wholeness in that there is little distance between the beliefs she espouses and the way she conducts her life. The reader first sees her as a hurting, angry young woman who is given sound advice by one of the teachers as she leaves the school where she has spent five years of her life. Phoebe’s decision to follow the advice rather than surrender to bitterness occurs offstage. What the reader sees is Phoebe putting the advice into practice. She is not perfect (Thank goodness!), but she is an interesting, appealing, admirable heroine.

In the early chapters, Ned is an arrogant, self-absorbed young aristocrat bored with life. He is a man who lives on the surface, using self-indulgence to avoid thinking deeply about anything. While experiencing life as an earl’s secretary increases his awareness, it is his relationship with Phoebe that truly changes him. Although it happens in a way far different from that which the young Phoebe had envisioned, she does indeed show him that choices have consequences. Frankly, I found the first part of the book rough going because I disliked the hero, but the hero’s growth is central to this story. Ned grows into a man with a keener mind, a sharper conscience, and a larger heart, and I loved watching his growth.

If you like romance that combines the light and the substantive, I highly recommend this book. I have added it to my list of the Best of 2014, and I eagerly await John Turner’s story and hope for the story of Ned and Turner’s doctor friend, Rhys Gray, as well.

~Janga




Monday, July 21, 2014

On the road again...





The Dishes are taking a break!  
Andrea is going on vacation with her family and PJ will be attending the 
Romance Writers of America (RWA) national conference in San Antonio this week 
so we're closing the cyber doors for a few days.  
Not to worry though.  
We'll re-open on Monday, July 28th with RWA blogs, photos and giveaways!  

In the meantime, you can follow PJ's RWA adventures through her postings 
on Twitter and Facebook. 
Here are the links:

Facebook - The Romance Dish 

Twitter - @TheRomanceDish

See you all next week!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Releases winner!



The winner of a random book from my prize stash is:

Pam Westfall

Congrats, Pam! Please send your full name and address to theromancedish AT gmail DOT com with "Andrea's winner" as the subject and I'll get your book in the mail. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Review - - Return to Homecoming Ranch

Return to Homecoming Ranch
By Julia London
Publisher: Montlake
Release Date: July 22, 2014


Effervescent Libby Tyler thought she had a perfect life. For four years, she had been in love with Ryan Spangler, living with him, sharing his life, and mothering his two young children. Libby thought she and Ryan were forever until one day Ryan told her they were over. She didn’t find out until months later that he had been cheating on her with his ex-wife. Rage over her blindness and Ryan’s betrayal caused her to lose control and attack Ryan’s prized pickup with a golf club. Broken truck windows and a furious Ryan were not the only result of her rampage. Libby ended up at Mountain View Behavioral Health Center for a week of “rest.” When she returns to Pine River, she is the subject of town gossip and the object of family concern. Ryan has a restraining order against her. She is not allowed within three hundred feet of Ryan and his family, which means that she can’t see the children, a restriction that she has great difficulty observing.

Sam Winters knows what it’s like to return to Pine River after your life has spun out of control. Back in the day when he and Libby Tyler worked together in the sheriff’s county headquarters, Sam was a man with a wife, a job, and a future, on track to becoming sheriff, but alcoholism ended that life. Sam came back to Pine River after three months at a treatment facility in Denver and another six months in a halfway house. His marriage was over, and Sam considered himself lucky to have a job as a rural deputy sheriff in Pine River. It’s the job he still has after two years of sobriety, and part of his job is to enforce the restraining order that Libby Tyler seems determined to disobey. For a man committed to fixing a lot of broken people and holding on to his sobriety one difficult day at a time, Sam is spending way too much time trying to see that Libby stays out of trouble.

With everything else in her life gone, Libby focuses on turning Homecoming Ranch into an event destination, but things are not going well on that front either. Just when Libby reaches a new low, she and Sam are snowed in at his cabin. The attraction that has simmered between them and flared briefly with some kisses they both agree should never have happened reaches fire point when they are trapped in Sam’s cabin. But Libby and Sam are both bound by their pasts: Libby can’t accept the new reality that has replaced her happy family fantasy, and Sam’s fear that emotional complications will cause him to lose his sobriety won’t allow him to take the risks that come with any relationship.  They can’t find happiness together until they find freedom separately.

The second book in London’s Pine River series has the emotional power and layered characters that her readers expect. Libby and Sam are flawed characters who are sympathetic even at their most wrong-headed moments because London allows her readers to see why the characters behave as they do. Choices and consequences are clearly linked.

As with the first book, the setting is superb. Geographically and sociologically, Pine River feels like a real place rather than a painted backdrop. The combination of warm-hearted support and busybody gossip will ring true for most readers familiar with actual small-town life. Even the minor characters have a dimensionality that renders them credible and individual. Strangely, my one quibble is that Madeline Pruett and Luke Kendrick, the heroine and hero from the first book who also have roles in this one, don’t seem to do anything but interact with their siblings and bill and coo. I kept wondering what they were doing with their lives.

Again, Leo Kendrick, Luke’s brother, a former football player with motor neuron disease, intermittently narrates chapters. Again, his humor and courage in the face of his continued physical disintegration mark him as a true hero even though he is not the romantic lead.

If you like small-town romances with atypical elements, if you like romances with protagonists who are deeply human with all the flaws and complications that implies, or if you like romances that make you laugh and squeeze your heart, I recommend Return to Homecoming Ranch.

~Janga


V.K. Sykes Winners





The two randomly chosen winners from PJ's Q&A with V.K. Sykes are:

Laura L

and

kaisquared

Congratulations!  Please send your email address and choice of e-book format to

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com




PJ's Sound Off Winners






Many thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my questions.  Your information is much appreciated!  Random.org has selected our winners so here goes.

U.S. Winners

Each will receive a package of books from our prize stash.

librarypat

Di

kipha

Please send your full name and mailing address to us at
theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

International Winners

Bridget C

Kathleen O

Please send your full name and mailing address to us at
theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com
Please tell us which one of the following books you would like:

Where the Horses Run by Kaki Warner
The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley
Never Been Kissed by Molly O'Keefe
Christmas in July by Debbie Mason





Amy Andrews Winner






The winner of an e-copy of Risky Business by Amy Andrews is:

Texas Book Lover

Congratulations!  
Please send your email address to us at
 theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com 
and let us know what e-book format you would like.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Today's Special - - Kate Noble


I discovered historical romance author Kate Noble early in her romance writing career and have happily devoured each new book she writes.  Several of them occupy places on my keeper shelves and her newest, The Game and the Governess is destined to join them. A national bestselling author as well as a RITA finalist, Kate has also earned coveted starred reviews from Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly. You can find more information about Kate at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.








Welcome back, Kate!  It’s always a pleasure to host you here at the Romance Dish, especially since that usually means you have a new book out, something that makes Andrea and me very happy!  Speaking of your new book, will you please share with our readers what they can expect from The Game and the Governess?

-- Thank you so much for having me!  What readers can expect from The Game and the Governess is a little bit of silliness and a whole lot of luck.  (And some sexy times.)  The book starts off with the Earl of Ashby, known as “Lucky Ned” making a wager with his best friend and secretary John Turner, to see if Ned can get any young lady to fall in love with him without the benefit of his title.  Thus, on a two-week trip to the country, Ned and Turner switch places.  Nothing after that goes according to plan.  It’s my version of the Prince and the Pauper, and I enjoyed the hell out of writing it.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! 

Phoebe and Ned both have lessons to learn on their journeys of growth and discovery.  What do you want readers to understand about each of these characters?

-- That the surface they wear is not who they are.  Ned presents himself to the world as “Lucky Ned”, but he’s hiding a lot of pain from his past.  And Phoebe, while reduced to the hard life of a governess, is determined to be optimistic, no matter what life dishes out to her. They both can learn a lot from each other, in that sense. 

What was your greatest challenge in writing this book? 

-- Finding the right balance between silliness and seriousness.  Something I’m certain all us authors struggle with.

What was the most fun?

-- Finding those scenes with Ned and Phoebe together and being delighted by what they discover.

 Would you like to share an excerpt from The Game and the Governess?

Certainly!  Here’s a short excerpt about splitting a blackberry tart…

“There are no forks, so, by all means, you go first.”
She moved the plate closer to her, and picked up her half a tart, taking the smallest of bites.
It was delicious.
She made a small, throaty sound, a sigh of appreciation. Her eyes closed, and she let the blackberry juices fill the inside of her mouth, savoring.
When she opened her eyes, he was giving her the most curious look, his own mouth hanging open.
And he didn’t stop staring.
A self-conscious hand flew to her mouth. “I’m sorry, did I… am I a mess?” she asked.
“No!” he cried. “Not at all –” he remarked with a smile, one so wide it reminded Phoebe of a few short hours ago, when he had thought he had something stuck in his teeth. “I am pleased to see you enjoying the tart. It really must be exceptional.”

Are you able to give us a glimpse into the next book in the series?  When might we expect that book?

-- The next book is John Turner’s story.  And since it follows directly from the events of The Game and the Governess, I can’t tell you too much about it without too many spoilers.  But I will say this – where Ned has always been lucky, Turner has always been unlucky – but he’s determined to change that, especially since a certain countess has now entered his life. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how he accomplishes that! 

You have a lot of writing irons in the fire, Kate.  Romance readers may not be aware that as Kate Rorick you have written for television, the Emmy Award winning transmedia series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and the recently published book, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.  How did you come to be a part of the Lizzie Bennet writing team and did you have any idea that it would become such a mega-hit?   

-- Well, my friend Margaret Dunlap is sitting right next to me as I answer this question.  Margaret was co-executive producer on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and having worked together before on a different TV show, she knows about my secret life as a romance novelist (and devoted Austenite).  When they decided to expand the writing staff of the web series, she suggested me and a meeting or two later, I was hired.

I understand that you’re also working on an upcoming television series.  Are you able to share any information about that project?

-- I’m a writer for the upcoming television show The Librarians, on TNT (a 10-episode drama series scheduled to premier in December).  It’s based on the incredibly popular series of “The Librarian” movies, starring Noah Wyle.  It’s a mix of Indiana Jones, Doctor Who and the fun episodes of the X-Files, and it’s a total blast. 

Okay, so you have a book that released in June, a book coming out in July, a new television series you’re working on and, if that weren’t enough, you’re expecting a baby any day.  When do you sleep?  LOL! No, really, how do you keep all those balls in the air?  Any helpful tips for the rest of us multi-taskers?

-- Survive and advance.  All you can do is what you need to get done that day, and move on to the next one. 

Let’s turn the focus away from writing for a bit.  Summer has arrived which means I give myself permission to turn off the calorie counter every now and then to indulge in some special warm weather treats.  My favorites are root beer floats and frozen chocolate dipped bananas.  What summer treats do you give yourself permission to eat or drink?

-- Well, if I wasn’t expecting a baby any day, I would be enjoying a good beer at the ballpark right now.  But I love summer because it’s when all the delicious fruits come into the grocery store, which means the variety of pies I can consume goes up dramatically.  Anything with cherries is my kryptonite. 

As I type this question, I’m looking out my window at beautiful potted geraniums, a deep pink crepe myrtle tree, green grass and a bright white fence.  What’s the view from your window?

-- My window looks out onto the balcony, where my husband is in full summer gardening mode.  There are 3 different tomato plants, strawberries, multiple herbs, pepper plants and for some reason, marigolds.  All grown from seed.  Mind you, I do none of the work, but I partake in the deliciousness.

Your fairy godmother waves her magic wand and gives you one week in any place of your choice and an unlimited supply of books to read.  Where do you go and what books (or authors) do you reach for first?

-- I would kill for a week at a lakeside cottage.  Nothing to do but enjoy the view and go swimming.  As for books, I would grab my massive TBR pile, and let it surprise me J 

Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to visit with us today, Kate.  It’s always a pleasure to host you here at TRD.  We wish you all the best with your many projects. Would you like to ask our readers a question today?

-- Of course!  Since The Game and the Governess is all about trading places – who would you trade places with (temporarily!) and why?

Leave your answer in the comments and someone will win a signed copy of The Game and The Governess! (US only, please)