Since we’re all busy this holiday season, I’m going to pair up the 3QQs with the six authors who are signing at Saturday’s Turn the Page Bookstore event from noon – 2 pm.
First up? Jill Shalvis and Sarah Morgan. TTP customers have been saying for years that they would love to meet Jill at a signing and we were finally able to find a place in her busy schedule to fly east to sign the latest addition to her Animal Magnetism series. Sarah’s flying west from London for the big event where she’s signing copies of her first single title book.
As luck would have it, Jill was one of the earliest readers of Sarah’s “big” book and she provided the cover blurb. But these two talented writers only met in person at Nora’s RWA party this past summer (where they hit it off quite nicely) . Let’s meet them and see what they have to say in 3QQ. Actually, it’s going to be more than three.
Jill Shalvis’ official bio describes a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of nearly 50 contemporary romances. But the bio doesn’t capture the warmth and fun of Jill’s daily blog which gives readers a glimpse of a life full of kids, dogs, and even bears. Jill easily admits she’s a misplaced city girl living in the Lake Tahoe area, but somehow you know it’s grown on her. Nor does that bio say that she’s found some interesting photos of inspiringly gorgeous men – which has gotten her into some trouble with Facebook at times, yet manages to delight her readers everywhere. I pried her loose from her current obsession, Sleepy Hollow, to ask her 3QQ.
1. Rumor Has It is the newest Animal Magnetism. It’s the story of Griffin Reid, who’s back stateside after being injured in a blast, and second grade teacher Katie Evans, who takes care of everyone but spouts scientific facts when she’s nervous. I’m not sure what to ask: A) What is it about a wounded hero that’s so appealing? or B) How do you find out those facts for Katie?
I find a guy in uniform (or out of it, as the case may be) appealing. It implies he’s strong of heart and spirit, able-bodied, and … well, tough. Now you take a guy like that and injure him? Well, that’s just yum on yum. (in my humble opinion).
As for Katie’s facts, I just loved making her so smart, and yet so utterly socially inept that she spouted science tidbits whenever she got nervous, which was just about in every scene she had with Griffin. Thank you, Google.
2. Always on My Mind is your latest Lucky Harbor book. This is the story of firefighter Jack Harper and pastry chef Leah Sullivan. Which is more appealing: a fireman or a pal who gives you pastries?
A firefighter is always appealing. Hello, the uniform itself guarantees it. Again, you have a hero who is, by the very nature of his job, willing to put life and limb on the line for perfect strangers. That’s the definition of appeal, if you ask me. Now that said, a friend who will bring you pastries? Well, that might be the one thing that is hotter than being a firefighter… just sayin’.
3. What’s your favorite part of Christmas?
Cookies, snow, twinkling lights, cookies, Mistletoe (!), COOKIES, presents…!
Sarah Morgan is an equally accomplished author, but again her official bio about 11 million books sold and winning back to back RITA’s ( she’s first Harlequin Presents author to receive a RITA) doesn’t give us a full picture of the effervescent woman who lives near London, England and vacations in fabulous places like Corfu. This fall, after years of writing extremely popular Harlequin Medical Romances and Harlequin Presents, she took the leap into single title release with the first book in her trilogy about the O’Neil brothers of Vermont.
1. Sleigh Bells in the Snow is set in a fictional Vermont ski resort. Where’s the best place you’ve ever skied? And were there any O’Neil brothers lurking about?
The best place was Zermatt, high in the Swiss Alps at the foot of the Matterhorn, probably one of the most famous mountains in the world. The old part of the village has cobbled streets and a mixture of artisan shops and high end boutiques. There are horse drawn sleighs, an ice rink, and some of the best skiing in Europe. You can ski high up on the glacier with views of the Matterhorn or weave your way down through pine-scented mountain forests. There is nothing better than a perfect blue-sky day in the mountains after a fresh fall of snow. Sometimes I’d take my skis off and sit and look at the view, or if I wanted extra comfort I’d find a mountain restaurant. Hot mulled wine flavoured with cinnamon and spice tastes extra delicious when you’re outdoors with the cold stinging your cheeks and mountains stretching in front of you.
There were no O’Neil Brothers, but I was there with my husband who is an expert skier and did his best to teach me. I spent a lot of time flat on my face in the snow but I was very happy!
2. What has been the best part about writing about three brothers and their loving, nosy family? What’s been the hardest part?
We have two sons and the interaction between boys fascinates me. The three O’Neil brothers are all very different and I enjoyed exploring their relationship with each other and with other family members, as well as with the women in their lives. There is plenty of brotherly banter which was so much fun to write.
The hardest part will be ending this series because I’ve enjoyed writing it so much. The place feels real, the characters feel real and moving on to something else will be a real wrench.
3. What’s your favorite part of the holiday season?
I love Christmas and we have lots of family traditions but my favourite is choosing the tree. We wrap up in lots of layers and go to the forest. It’s usually freezing cold and occasionally snowy, but the foresters always have a fire blazing in a clearing and they roast chestnuts and sell creamy hot chocolate so the whole event becomes a seasonal party. When it comes to choosing the tree itself, our family tradition is that the boys and I pick an enormous one, and then my husband points out we’ll have to move house to accommodate the tree so we choose a slightly smaller one. But only slightly smaller.
Bonus Q — You’ve been to NY, Anaheim, Atlanta, but not Maryland? What do you expect to find in Boonsboro?
I can’t wait to visit Turn The Page Bookstore! Like most writers, I love all bookstores and I can’t imagine anything better than a store crammed with Nora’s books. I’m also looking forward to seeing the Inn BoonsBoro,, complete with Christmas decorations. Maryland is a new place for me and visiting new places is always an adventure. Like most writers I’m endlessly curious. If I have time I’d love to put the toe of my boot on the Appalachian trail and then bring my family back to explore it properly at some point in the future.
Since Jill and Sarah were asking me so many questions about what to expect at TTP, I shot out a speed round of questions. First up, Sarah:
1. What three words come to mind when you think of Jill Shalvis?
Warm, funny and super-talented (that’s four words but never mind. I always talk more than I’m supposed to).
2. What is your definition of hot (as in “is he hot?” – one of Sarah’s favorite questions)?
Mm, the body, the smile, the look in the eyes………
3. How often do you see the Queen ?
I see the Queen as often as the two of us can make time in our schedules (HAHA only kidding).
1. What three words come to mind when you think of Sarah Morgan?
Sweet, fun, special, fellow cookie lover (yes that’s more than three words, I don’t tend to follow directions very well)
2. What is your definition of hot? (See above and add a British accent).
Hot is a wicked and naughty sense of humor, a twinkle in the eyes that says he can back up said sense of humor, and … don’t judge me for being shallow … a sexy bod.
3. How often do you see a bear? (Which are probably more scary than the Queen).
ALL THE TIME. There is one in my yard right this very minute, sitting there with my trash like he’s Winnie-the-Pooh with his pot of honey.
Even if you can’t make it to the signing, you can take advantage of Turn the Page’s Virtual Signing feature by ordering a book and having your favorite author personalize it for you before the event is finished.