I'm delighted to welcome Tracy Brogan back to the blog today for a Q&A in celebration of her new book, Love Me Sweet, a story that had me grinning from beginning to end.
Tracy 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.
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.
You can find more information about Tracy and her books at her website as well as links to connect with her online.
Hi Tracy! Welcome back to the Romance Dish. I just finished reading Love Me Sweet and once again you’ve made me laugh out loud, shed a few tears and sigh with deep satisfaction. Please tell our readers what they can expect from Delaney and Grant and their rocky road to love.
I’m happy to be here, Romance Dish! And thrilled to know that LOVE ME SWEET made you laugh, cry, and sigh. The trifecta!
In this story, Delaney Masterson is a (reluctant) reality TV star on the run from scandal and Grant Connelly is Bell Harbor’s wandering son. He’s spent the last several years as an adventure show cameraman, but thanks to a series of unforeseen circumstances, he and Delaney end up on a road trip full of bad weather, honky-tonk musicians, and a few Elvis impersonators. She’s got a secret, and he’s got a chip on his shoulder, but still they can’t help getting all shook up and, of course, falling in love.
Music has a strong role in this book. I especially enjoyed the scenes on the Paradise Brothers’ tour bus and with the band in Memphis. Do you write to music or do you require silence? If you’re a musical writer, what songs/artists provided the soundtrack for Love Me Sweet?
When I first started drafting this book, I took a trip to Memphis with my best friend from high school. We stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel, visited Graceland and enjoyed all its cheesy goodness, and went to a bar called the Blues City Café where we saw The Eskimo Brothers. They were adorably enthusiastic singers, not too hard to look at, and their lyrics were blushingly naughty. So during break I chatted them up and said, “I’m a romance writer and you’ve given me an idea for my next book.” I bet they thought I was kidding but I wasn’t! But when I’m writing, I don’t listen to music. I need absolute silence – which is very inconvenient for me because my house is as quiet as a school cafeteria.
Would you like to share an excerpt from the book?
Why yes, I would. Here it is:
Grant pulled her to the dance floor and into his arms. The song was something sad, a story of love gone wrong, but nothing about this felt wrong.
Everything about this was just right.
The truth was, he’d never felt this way before. This was different. He wasn’t naive, of course. He understood she was shiny and bright, and everything about them had that new car smell, but he couldn’t imagine ever growing tired of her. He’d never grow tired of her lips because they tasted like caramel and set his skin on fire. He wouldn’t grow tired of her laugh and the way it burst like a firecracker. And he’d certainly never get tired of the way her body moved like water under his palm. Nope. Never getting tired of that, either.
Grant pulled her closer, nuzzling the curve of her neck. He could spend the rest of his life there, breathing in the scent of that sweet spot. Lane was beauty and heartbreak and everything in between and he had to kiss her. Right now. In the center of a crowded dance floor, he had to kiss her. So he did. She kissed him back, and he knew this night would be even better than the one before. And it needed to start right now.
Delaney is surprised to discover the talent of one of the band members that inspires a baby hat making competition. What talent do you have that readers would be surprised to discover?
Sadly most of my talents are so well hidden I have yet to find them. But I will admit that whenever we play Band Hero, I crush the competition with my rendition of LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD. My family tried to get me to sing it at a hotel’s karaoke bar not too long ago but I didn’t want to make the other caterwaulers feel bad. I can also make all the people in my house quiver with fear when I give them The Look.
Love Me Sweet opens with Delaney on the run from her family’s reality television show. If you could be a contestant/cast member on any real-life reality show, which one would you choose and why?
Oh, Survivor, for sure. And I’d be the first one voted off the island because I’d complain about the bugs, I’m no good at puzzles, I can’t go more than a few hours without brushing my teeth. And let’s just say wow, thirty-nine days of me without my tweezers? That would be bad. Very, very bad.
I recommend your books to people who enjoy Kristan Higgins. What author would you recommend to readers who enjoy reading your stories?
That’s so funny! I’m constantly recommending Higgins’ books, too. In fact, I once got a letter from a very sweet woman who said one of my books looked interesting to her but she wondered if it might be too racy. I told her my books weren’t racy by today’s standards but that, just to be on the safe side, she should go read Kristan instead! I also love to recommend Kim Law’s Sugar Springs series, anything by Marina Adair, and of course there are the masters, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Crusie.
What are your plans for 2015? Will you be attending any conferences/booksignings where readers will have the opportunity to meet you?
I had to dial back my conference attendance this year but I will be in NYC in July for the Romance Writers of America® National Conference. And I’ve been invited to visit my publisher’s headquarters in Seattle in March. Very excited about that. I recently learned that my books have sold over one million copies. Apparently that earns you a free trip!
I’m currently finishing up a Christmas novella called JINGLE BELL HARBOR that I’m so excited about. It’s very light and fun. I probably could have called it Crazy Little Christmas! After that, I’m switching gears and finishing a World War 2 love story that I’ve been wanting to write for ages. Then it’s back to the romantic comedies because I just signed a new five-book deal with my publisher. So that should keep me out of trouble for a bit.
Thanks so much for visiting with us, Tracy. Would you like to ask our readers a question?
Thanks so much for inviting me! I hope all the readers have enjoyed learning more about me and the Bell Harbor books. And I’d love to celebrate the release of LOVE ME SWEET with the offer of a lovely tote bag full of Brogan goodies, including autographed copies of CRAZY LITTLE THING and THE BEST MEDICINE. To enter, all you need to do is answer this question:
What is your funniest or worst road trip memory? (And sometimes those “worst” moments end up being the funniest, too!)