debut novel

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

on November 28, 2012

I was tagged by the lovely and talented Kat Cantrell to participate in The Next Big Thing series. Last week she posted about her debut release, MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS, which you can read about here.

The Next Big Thing is a blog hop of sorts wherein someone is given the opportunity to answer ten questions about their current WIP. They then tag four more people, who will post about their respective WIPs the following week and pass this invitation on to four more writers to keep The Next Big Thing going.

I’ve invited the following people to participate (I too had difficulty finding four)–Joan Kayse, Tina Glasneck and Marnee Bailey. And now, on to the questions!

What is the title of your book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

As usually happens, the lead characters of this story showed up in my brain just as I was nodding off to sleep one night nearly five years ago. The hero showed with his full name and let me know he was attracted to the woman engaged to marry his brother. I think this was shortly after I’d seen Dan In Real Life so that movie played a part, I’m sure.

What genre does your book fall under?

This book is a Single Title Contemporary

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Luke Danes - Scott PattersonI’ve never been able to find an actor or model who really looks like my hero, Joe Dempsey, but his character was greatly inspired by the character of Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls. So I guess Scott Patterson would have to be cast in the role. (Joe wears the flannel but not the backward ballcap.)


Evangeline LillyBeth Chandler is the epitome of the all-American girl-next-door so finding the right actress was hard. But this picture of Evangeline Lilly is perfect. Beth has green eyes instead of hazel, but the hair and face are almost exactly how I picture Beth in my mind.


What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Life gets complicated when Beth Chandler takes a seemingly innocent trip to meet her future in-laws and ends up falling in love with her fiancé’s brother. (I should add here that I’m terrible at this sort of thing!)

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

My book is represented by the Spencerhill Associates literary agency and will be published late spring 2013 by Montlake Romance.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The rough draft of this one took seven months then the initial revisions took just over two months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.
I’m terrible about making comparisons with my book because it feels almost sacrilegious to even consider my work in the same category as my favorite authors. But if I have to, I’d have to go with author styles instead of specific books. Kind of Jodi Thomas meets Susan Elizabeth Phillips with a hint of Jill Shalvis minus the uber-sexy alphas.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The characters are always my inspiration. They walk into my life and in no time I begin to care about them. I want to take this journey to love with them. To help them reach their HEA. It’s a ride with definite ups and downs, but I’m always happy I came along.

What else about your book might interest the reader?

This story takes place on fictional Anchor Island, which is completely based on a real place. Ocracoke Island is located at the base of the Outer Banks off the North Carolina coast. The lighthouse, the street names, and most importantly the charmingly simple lifestyle on display in the book are exactly what you’ll find if you ever vacation on Ocracoke. You will not find the Dempsey family, but you will find the restaurant that inspired Dempsey’s Bar & Grill. So if you decide to take an east coast vacation and you’re looking for a quiet, out-of-the-way destination, book a stay on Ocracoke and be sure to visit Howard’s Pub while you’re there.

You never know. You might find a hunky fishing boat captain of your own.

And as a little something extra, here’s a blurb:

Lifelong people-pleaser Beth Chandler will do anything to make a good impression on her future in-laws, including defy her fear of boats to make the ferry crossing required to meet them.  Lucky for her, a lovable mutt and his tall, sexy, blue-eyed owner provide enough distraction to subdue her paralyzing panic attack. But Beth’s human tranquilizer turns out to be her future brother-in-law, Joe Dempsey, and their instant attraction is both unwelcome and undeniable.

Joe expects his brother’s fiancé to follow the materialistic, blond-bimbo stereotype that is Lucas’ usual fare. Chestnut haired, sweet natured Beth doesn’t fit the part, but she does fit him and his island better than any woman he’s ever met. Though the men haven’t been close for years, Joe would never put the moves on his brother’s fiancé. That means Beth is off limits, no matter how much he wants her.

When a demanding case pulls Lucas back to the city, Beth begins to realize her fiancé is already married – to his work. Are solitary nights and mind-numbing dinner parties really what she wants for her future? Torn between loyalty to Lucas and her growing feelings for Joe, Beth begins to rethink her choices and consider a future different from the one laid out before her. One that includes an island, a dog, and a man she can never have.