Monday, August 9, 2010

Guest Author -- Lila DiPasqua

Boy, have we got a treat for you today!!

Joining us is debut historical author Lila DiPasqua. Lila's first book, AWAKENED BY A KISS, was just released on August 3, 2010, by Berkley Sensation. It is a wonderful collection of three stories based on classic fairy tales which Lila has graciously spiced up and is calling "fiery tales". And believe me they are fiery!!! I absolutely loved the book and my review will be post here on Wednesday, August 11.

Please give a warm welcome to the delightful Lila DiPasqua!

Lila, thank you so much for joining us today. First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born at Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m married to a wonderful, totally supportive man and we have three children. I adore history and travel. I’ve been to four continents so far. Formerly a law clerk, I used to work in a high-end law firm and specialized in litigation. I quit after my first child was born. Now I’m blessed to have the best job in the world. I get to write love stories about gorgeous men and strong women in historical settings. Best of all, I get to share my historical romances with readers.

Wow, four continents? You sure do get around. I know you are very excited about the release of your debut book. Please tell us a little bit about AWAKENED BY A KISS.

AWAKENED BY A KISS is the first in my Fiery Tales series. It’s a collection of three classic fairy tales, scandalously retold. I’ve taken Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots and have given them my own romantic and sexy twists. This steamy historical romance anthology was inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairy tales. He was the creator of The Tales of Mother Goose, and I set this book in his lifetime – when the genre of fairy tales was born!

I think the book blurb describes it best:

Three classic fairy tales--"Sleeping Beauty," "Puss in Boots," and "Little Red Riding Hood"--cleverly retold with enough sensual twists to prove wickedly ever after does exist...Once upon a wicked time...

Sleeping Beau: Five years ago, notorious rake Adrien d'Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss-and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory. Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress-and this time, he has no intention of letting her go...

Little Red Writing: Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambelle, has been assigned by the King to uncover the secret identity of the author writing scandalous stories about powerful courtiers. He never expected his investigation would lead to his grandmother's house, or to a ravishing woman who would stir his deepest hunger...

Bewitching in Boots: Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants-and she wants Tristan de Tiersonnier, Comte de Saint-Marcel, an ex-commander of the King's private Guard. A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position, but Elisabeth is determined to make him see he's every bit the man he once was-and more than man enough for her...

I have to say that I just love your twist on fairy tales. Where did you get the inspiration for turning classic fairy tales into sensual romance reads and why are you drawn to classic fairy tales?

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are the first romances I ever read. Charles Perrault was the first to write them down. Taken from folklore, he added morals to his fairy tales and soon the genre of fairy tales became wildly popular. I know a lot about the time period in this book, when fairy tales were created. It was a time that was elegant and opulent with a healthy dose of salaciousness. The realm was ruled by a lusty King, and his court, like their monarch, were connoisseurs of the carnal arts. The pursuit of sinful pleasures was a pastime. Sex, an art form. That made it easy to give these stories a sexual spin.

We LOVE call stories here at The Romance Dish. Would you share your call story with us?

I actually never got “the call”. My agent sent me “the email”. We’d been emailing back and forth that day about various projects. Then about mid-afternoon my agent sent me another email. I opened it, read it and screamed. It was summer vacation, and my kids were home. Startled, they came running into my office. After assuring them that I hadn’t fallen, seen a spider, or lost my mind – I reread the email three more times before I was sure I’d read it correctly. Berkley was interested in my historical romance AWAKENED BY A KISS! It took a few more days until the deal was finalized. I officially sold to Berkley the day before I was to attend the Romance Writers of America conference last year. I packed, jumped on a plane, and arrived in Washington still reeling. I had an amazing time at the conference. It was such a thrill getting to meet my wonderful editor and agent in person!

WOW, I bet you were on cloud nine during the entire conference. Did do anything special to celebrate your sale?

I celebrated with family and friends when I got back home. A nice restaurant. Champagne. And dark chocolate! Lots of dark chocolate.

I understand your second book THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED will be released November 2, 2010, and that you have sold another fiery tale book scheduled to be release in October 2011. Congratulations on these sales!!!

Thank you! I’m so thrilled and excited that the Fiery Tale series will continue. THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED features more scorching fairy tale retellings —“The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling, and “The Princess and the Pea,” wickedly retold and renamed, “The Marquis’ New Clothes”, “The Lovely Duckling” and “The Princess and the Diamonds”. This book is based on fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen.

In 2011 a very different Fiery Tale will hit the shelves! This book won’t be a collection, but a single fairy tale retelling. Which one, you ask? One of the most beloved fairy tales of all – Cinderella – as you’ve never read before! It will be just as romantic and steamy as AWAKENED BY A KISS and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED. This Cinderella tale has a sinfully delicious hero and a strong quick-witted heroine who will make him lose his heart, not to mention some scorching hot love scenes! And yes, there is a ball, a glass slipper and a loveable, yet highly opinionated fairy godmother and a cast of eccentric secondary characters to keep the hero and heroine on their toes.

Oooooo, both of those sound utterly delicious!! I can't wait to read them!!

Since you will now have three books published in just over one year, how do you manage your daily life, what with being a writer, mother, wife, and traveler? What is a typical day for you?

I take the kids to school and grab a coffee at my local Starbucks on the way home. Coffee is a must. I walked through a snow storm to get coffee once. I do most of my writing when the kids are in school. At times the muse disappears on me. Then I visit on Facebook and Twitter until it returns. Like most mothers, I juggle career and family. And I never ever miss out on an opportunity to jump on a plane and travel. In a few weeks, I’m going to London, England. I can’t wait!

What authors do you reach for when you need to just escape life? Do you have a particular book that is a comfort read for you?

Loretta Chase, Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Hoyt, Cheryl Holt and Kathryn Smith, to name a few. Any of their books are a treat to my soul.

Those are some wonderful authors and ones I truly enjoy too.

You attended the RomCom Convention in Denver. How was your first experience at a conference as a published author?

It was wonderful! I had so much fun! I’ve been to the RWA conference many times, but always as an aspiring author. It was so exciting being at RomCon, and talking about my book with others who love romance! I met so many lovely people. My favorite events were Speed Dating and Sexcapades.

Speaking of RWA, it was such a delight to meet you in Orlando. Please share with us one of your favorite moments from this year's RWA?

There were so many wonderful moments that happened at RWA this year. But there was one particular moment I'm sure I'll never forget! This year I got to participate in my first Berkley signing! I didn't have books, as AWAKENED BY A KISS wasn't released until Aug. 3rd (and the signing was on July 30th). But I had bookmarks and sample chapters to sign, and well, I had to pinch myself. Looking around the room, I couldn't believe it! I, me, moi was part of a signing with these uber-talented authors --- including The Nora Roberts! I even got to speak to her briefly before the crowds came in. It was an awesome event and a dream come true!

It was a wonderful experience to meet THE Nora, but I can't imagine how you felt signing in the same room as her!!

Now it's time for the Quick Six:

1) Plotter or Panster? A 50/50 split

2) Jeans or skirts? Both.

3) Cake or pie? Cake

4) City or countryside? City

5) Coffee or Tea? Coffee

6) Baseball or Football? Hockey. (Sorry. I’m a huge fan!)

Lila, thank you so much for spending some time with us!! As I said before, it was a pleasure to meet you in Orlando and I look forward to your next collection of fiery tales. Before you go, would like like to ask our readers a question?

Do you have a favorite fairy tale movie adaptation? If so, what is it and why do you like it so much? It can be animated or not.

Two lucky commenters will win a signed copy of AWAKENED BY A KISS!

To learn more about Lila DiPasqua and her fiery tales, please visit her

You can read an excerpt for AWAKENED BY A KISS

Check out Lila's fabulous book trailer for AWAKENED BY A KISS:

~ Buffie


  1. I'd have to say the Disney version of Cinderella is the fairy tale movie I love the most. I've seen a few modern update movies that I enjoyed, but the Disney animated movie is still my favorite.
    I can't wait to check out Awakened by a Kiss, it sounds wonderful.

  2. Hey Barbara! I love all of the Disney animated movies. I have a pretty large collection of them and still watch them on a regular basis.

    AWAKENED BY A KISS is a fabulous book! Check back Wednesday for my review ;-)

  3. What a great post I will be adding this book to my must have list boy does it sound great.

    One of my favourite fairy tales is Cinderella for me she is taken from the cleaning and being taken for granted to such a wonderful life with a geat hero and I gotta say I do love the thought of a fairy godmother and I think everyone has one in real life in some form or another.

    Have Fun

  4. Hey there Helen! You will definitely like this book!! Did you see that trailer? OMG, it is fabulous!

    I agree with you on a real life fairy godmother. I know I have had several of them in my life.

  5. Pretty Woman is my favorite movie adaptation with a Cinderella theme.

    Ex-prostitute becomes an executive's wife and the man's emotional supporter

    He rescues her and she rescues him right back.

    I love how they both change and grow through out the movie. He turns her (Vivian)into a respective young lady and he (Richard) becomes a man concerned with the effects of his actions. He becomes more in touch with himself. He allows himself to love and feel!

  6. oops forgot my addy

    johnslake at usa dot com

  7. I think my favorite fairy tale is Beauty & The Beast because she was able to look past his supposed ugliness to see the inner goodness of the man.
    Awakened by A Kiss sounds like an incredibly sexy read. Can't wait get get a copy!!

  8. I absolutely adore Ever After with Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott. Why? Um, Dougray Scott, for one thing! Seriously, it is a wonderful take on the Cinderella story and it has all kinds of interesting and unexpected aspects to it, like the gypsies and the fact that not all "steps" are bad - and Leonardo daVinci! Ah, just so much to love about this movie.

  9. I think Disney's, Sleeping Beauty is my favorite. I must have watched over 100x growing up. Something about Aurora & her 3 fairies just grabbed me.

  10. *waves* Hi everyone! I'm so happy to be here! Thanks, ladies for having me!

  11. @ Barbara E. - Thanks so much for the lovely comment about AWAKENED BY A KISS! I have a special place in my heart for Disney's version of Cinderella. My daughters and I have watched that move again and again. :)

  12. @ Buffie -- I'm so delighted you liked the book!!! :)

  13. @ Helen - Thanks for stopping by and sharing! I adore Cinderella. Ever After with Drew Barrymore has got to be one of my favorite films. :)

  14. @ Buffie -- Aww, thank you! I'm very pleased how the trailer turned out. I think it really captures the essence of the book. :)

  15. @ Laurie -- OOO! That's definitely a Cinderella tale. I just love the ending to that movie. ---and that line you quote! :)

  16. Hi Lila! It's so great to have you with us today. I'm looking forward to reading Awakened by a Kiss.

    I've always loved the Cinderella story and, like Margay, Ever After is one of my favorite movies.

    Another fairy tale that I adore is Beauty and the Beast, specifically the TV series of the same name staring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. The first two years of that series are some of the best television I've ever seen. (I pretend the third season never happened.)

  17. @ Sue K - I just love Disney's version of that fairy tale. I have had many wonderful moments watching that with my daughters, too.

    Thank you for the comment about AWAKENED BY A KISS! It's definitely sexy. ;)

  18. @ Margay - I feel the same way about Ever After. It's such a lovely take on Cinderella. I never tire of watching it! Thank you for sharing. :)

  19. Hi Lila,

    Congratulations on the release of your debut book. I've been reading a lot about it on the web over the past week or so and it really sounds like a good read. Thanks for an interesting interview too.

    I've always loved 'Cinderella' but I really like 'Fantasia' too.

  20. @ Scorpio M. --- Great choice! I do love those fairies, too! In AWAKENED BY A KISS, I have my version of Sleeping Beauty, -- Sleeping Beau. I gave him 3 delightful godfathers. :)

  21. Hi PJ!! LOL over your comment of the 3rd season of Beauty and the Beast. That was a great TV series, for sure!

    Thank you! It's so great to be here! :)

  22. @ Karen H in NC - Thank you for you lovely comment! I'm so glad the book intrigues you. :) I like your fairy tale choices!

  23. Congrats on the debut! I was so sorry that I got to the signing after you had run out of books. Gar!! I love the premise for your series and the covers are fabulous.

    I really enjoyed the Drew Barrymore Ever After as well. Such a clever retelling of Cinderella with Da Vinci as a secondary character and Drew playing a strong, independent girl who was still sweet and vulnerable.

    The other adaptation I really loved is Bettie Sharpe's darker retelling of Cinderella called Ember. She had it as a free read on her website and I couldn't believe the level of the writing and the creativity there. I've revisited it several times.

    Sorry for rambling! I can't wait to read your fairy tale.

  24. Hey Laurie!! Pretty Woman is one of my all time favorite movies. Gotta love Richard ;-)

  25. SueK -- Beauty and the Beast is wonderful, isn't it?! It always reminds me to look past the outside appearance!

  26. Margay -- You had me at Dougray Scott ;-)

  27. Scorpia -- I think those three little fairies add so much to the story, don't you?

  28. Welcome Lila!!! It is so wonderful having you with us today.

  29. Karen H -- you are REALLY going to love Lila's book!!!

  30. Jeannie -- thanks for the information on Ember. I haven't heard of it before, but I'm going to check it out :-)

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Congrats on the release :) I love how Disney animators handles fairy tales. They do such a wonderful job of bringing the story to life with such beauty & innocence. They've managed to keep that from the early ones that I watched a child through to their most recent stories. Maybe it's that they animation that make them seem more like the story coming alive than with live action versions of the same stories.

  33. @ Jeannie -- Thank you! I'm so delighted you like the concept of the series! :) Like Buffie, I've never heard of Ember. I definitely have to check it out.

    I completely agree with your remarks on Ever After!

  34. @ Kirsten - It's definitely a delightful version of Beauty and the Beast. What's not to love about that scene? :)

  35. @ gamistress66 -- You are so right! The Disney animators are incredible!! They really do make the stories come to life. Thanks for sharing! :)

  36. Hi Kirsten!! I'm a brunette just like you ;-) The scene you described from Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites too. I love when Mrs. Potts starts singing . . . tale as old as time.

  37. Thanks for stopping by gamistress66!! I think we are all little girls in our hearts and that is just one of the reason we love animated fairy tales.

  38. What a great post! I enjoyed getting to know Lila better and must say I'm totally digging the concept of her books. :)

    I adore Disney's Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. A non-Disney fav is the Swan Princess. I'm so glad I had a girl. She's always game to watch them with me. :)

    I wonder if there are fairy godmothers who do laundry. LOL I could so use the help!*wink wink*

    Congrats on your success, Lila! Best wishes for a very long and wonderful career.

  39. I love the Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and Robin McKinley's Beauty.

  40. Hi Lila, hi Dishie-gals! :)

    I like Disney's Beauty and the Beast the best for two reasons A) I think Belle is the smartest princess (she reads alot, you know) ;)
    and B) After Beast is transformed, I think he's the hottest prince.


  41. Hi Sarah! If you find a fairy godmother who does laundry, please send her sister my way. ;-)

  42. Hey Genella!! One of the first things I noticed about Belle in Beauty in the Beast was that she loved to read. Needless to say, I claimed her as my sister immediately. :-)

  43. My favorite fairy tale is Disney's The Little Mermaid because...

    1) the songs are fabulous
    2) Sebastian the crab is hilarious
    3) when Ariel sings "A Part of Your World" it makes my heart ache for her to have her HEA come true with Prince Eric.

  44. Wow, sounds like my kind of Fairy Tales! I don't have a favorite rendition, I like all of the Disney productions.

  45. @ Sarah Simas - Thank you for your good wishes and kind comment! I have 2 daughters and we've watched the Swan Princess more times than I can count! Wonderful movie! Thanks so much for dropping in to chat with me.

  46. Hi there, Lila! So glad you could join us today! I am really looking forward to AWAKENED BY A KISS. Buffie has raved to me about it and since we have the same taste in books, I know I'll love it. *g*

    I have to pick one fairy tale movie?? I like so many, but if I had to choose one then count me in the Disney's Cinderella camp. There's just something magical about a Disney movie. :)

  47. @ Rosie Hong -- Thanks so much for sharing your choices! :)

  48. Genella -- Hi Genella! LOL...No argument here on both counts! So glad you dropped by!

  49. Jennifer - You're so right about The Little Mermaid! I wanted her to have her prince so badly. And I wanted him to kiss her during that song, "Kiss the Girl". :) Thanks for stopping by to chat!

  50. Dianna - I can't blame you for not being able to choose. Disney has made so many incredible fairy tale movies. :) Thank you for your lovely comment about AWAKENED BY A KISS!

  51. *waves* Hi Andrea - I know! It's so true what you say about the Disney movies being magical. They really do appeal to people of all ages. And who doesn't love Cinderella!

    Thanks for the kind comment about my book! I hope you enjoy my three sexy rakes. :)

  52. *waves* at Buffie! Thank you! I'm having so much fun here! :)

  53. Jennifer, thanks for reminding us of The Little Mermaid!! Under the sea . . .

  54. Dianna, these are fairy tales for the mature woman ;-)

  55. Oh yes, Andrea, you are going to love it!!!

  56. Lila, thank you so much for joining us today!!! It has been such a pleasure. Wishing you much success with AWAKENED BY A KISS.

  57. disney's the little mermaid was one of my favorite movies as a child. i must have watched it a million times.

    in the fairy tale genre but not from traditional fairy tales is the princess bride, not animated, but possibly the nest movie of all time.

    meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

  58. Meaghan - I absolutely loved The Princess Bride!!! Fantastic movie! Great fairy tale choices! :)

  59. Thank you for your good wishes, Buffie! Thanks ladies for having me on The Romance Dish! I've had such a nice time chatting with everyone here. :)


  60. Hands down my favorite is BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I relate to Belle, not the beauty part, but the love of books and not fitting in. The Beast figure is the type of hero I like - not what he seems.

    Have seen many reviews for AWAKENED BY A KISS and all have been most positive.
    Best of luck with the book's release.

  61. Oh, I'm so late to the party. Welcome, Lila! I'm so sorry I missed meeting you in Orlando. Even though I was there, for one reason or another our paths never crossed. I hope we can meet next year.

    Buffie has been raving about your book. Can't wait to read it!

  62. First of all, is this open to international readers ? :)
    *cough* like me *wink*

    Coz, i've been trying my very hard to win your book, in several places but no luck for me so far :(

    My favorite will be Cinderella, Why ? because it has magic in it :)

    and Beauty and the Beast, WE just need LOVE to see the Heart inside the 'beast'..

  63. A few months before Disney's The Little Mermaid was released, I had actually received a book containing the original Hans Christian Andersen story. I remember that I had cried so much at the ending b/c of the description of how her feet hurt while she was on land. So when my mum took me and my younger brother to see the movie, I repeatedly kept on telling them that I knew what was going to happen, that this was a very sad movie and so I was going to cover my eyes with my hands as I didnt want to watch it! But that resolve didnt last long and 5 minutes into it, I was totally "under the sea" with Ariel and loving her adventures.

    I cherish this movie because it gave me back a happy ending. I had been so heartbroken when reading the original story and seeing the movie made me believe in fairy tales again.

    Having read the preview of Awakened by a Kiss on your website, I just loved it and cant wait to read more.

  64. Meaghan -- you know, I have never sat and watched the entire showing of The Princess Bride. Something I must do soon!

    Pat -- I'm shaking my head yes as I read your post. I too relate to Belle and not fitting in. But I'm happy she found the Beast who adores her just as she is!

    Mariska -- You are in luck. The contest is open to everyone.

    KanchB -- I *must* have the happily ever after in my movies and my books!!

  65. What a NOVEL idea, how romantic, and what better way to nurture the child in you.

    Reading your books is the perfect bridge, where we can both lose and retain our childhood!


  66. @ Buffie - Yes, me too! I reckon there's enough sadness and looming disasters in this world already.