I’d like to introduce one of my very talented Lyrical Press sisters Gemma Brocato… Start us off with telling everyone a little about yourself.
I’m a middle child, and a Virgo. And that should be enough said. But to clarify (yup- that’s the Virgo in me): I go out of my way to make everyone feel included and welcome. I’m also a list maker and prefer to live life without clutter and chaos free. So if you show up unexpectedly at my house, I’ll invite you into my tidy home and offer you some sort of tasty refreshment.
What genre/genres do you write?
I’ve focused my efforts on contemporary romance, because I’m lazy. I didn’t want to have to do all the research necessary to write historical or Regency romance. I’ve also written a science fiction romance novella (again – no research. I got to make stuff up). When I first quit my full-time job to be a writer full-time, I tried my hand at a time-travel story. I still love that story and will probably try to complete it some day.
If you are a pantser, how do you handle when you write into a corner?
I’d like to say I go to the gym and get some exercise. But that would be a whopper. My approach varies. If I believe it’s a recent development, I’ll go back a couple of chapters and edit my way out of the corner. When it’s really severe, I pull out my Tarot cards and Tarot for Writers book and ‘read’ my way out of it.
Is Hearts In Harmony part of a series? If so, tell us about it.
It is book 2 in the Five Senses Series. When I was writing the first book, Cooking Up Love, I enjoyed three of the secondary characters so much, I decided to give of them each a story of their own. Because I like a challenge, I decided to center each of my protagonists’ employment around one of the five senses. And since there are four children in the Kerrigan family, I had to develop a fifth character. I’ll be introducing Gunnar in Exposed To Passion, which is book 3 and due out in October. I can’t wait to tell his story.
Was Hearts In Harmony easy to write?
I’m not sure about easy, but I had a better sense of place and time due to having completed the first in the series. I didn’t have to reinvent my world, just build upon it.
What is your favorite part?
I wrote a scene where Clay sneaks into Pippa’s backyard in the dead of night to replace the small seedling her children had received at his Christmas tree farm with much larger trees. Personally, I think this scene is the first time Clay is truly loveable. Here’s an excerpt for it:
“I have a plan. This is why I needed you to plant the trees tonight.” He gestured to the hole where they’d planted a seedling earlier.
Except now, instead of the small sprout they’d tucked into the earth before bedtime, a miniature Christmas tree rose out of the ground.
Her mouth worked, but no words came out as she took in the five-foot-tall tree. She stared at it, then turned her gaze to Clay. Who leaned on his shovel, grinning. Her head swiveled from the hole to the man and laughter bubble up from the bottom of her belly. She clamped a hand over her mouth, trying to muffle the sound once Clay’s plan became clear to her.
“Oh my God, that’s brilliant.”
“I wanted to replace the small trees with these magically taller ones. I thought Mason and Mia would get a charge out of it.” Clay kept his voice low, stepping closer to her. “And you too. I figured you’d guess what happened, but I thought the initial surprise would be fun.”
She grinned and whispered back, “This is just…inspired.
Now for some fun questions:
What’s your favorite TV show or movie of all time?
Star Trek – All the incarnations of the show, and most of the movies (except the first feature length movie. It moved too slowly). I’m especially fond of the last two, but that might be more about Chris Pine and Karl Urban.
If you could chose a period in history to be born in, what would it be and why?
I’d say somewhere around 2500 BC. I’ve been to Stonehenge three times and I really want to know how it was built.
What was the most embarrassing thing your husband/boyfriend/partner/friend ever did to you in public?
My husband coached my daughter’s softball team and the umpire made a bad call. I must have protested a little to vehemently, because dear Mr. Gemma turned around and shushed me. I was embarrassed and hurt.
What is the one place you have never visited but would love to?
Scotland. I kept trying to get there while we lived in London, but it never worked out.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could chose any famous person (living or dead), who would you chose to be stranded with you and why?
Merlin, the magician. I think if he couldn’t magick me out of there, he could at least conjure food, drink and shelter.
Cake or Chips Chips – Salt and Vinegar please.
Steak or Veggie Burger – Veggie burger
Chocolates or Roses – Roses – I love the smell.
Boxers or Briefs or Nothing at all – A hybrid of the two – boxer briefs.
And since I write both, I have to know which you prefer… Vampires or Cowboys – Vampires make me swoon.
Make sure you check out Gemma’s contest at the end for an awesome prize!!!
Hearts In Harmony
Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love.
Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.
Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.
What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.
CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.
A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance
Pippa opened her mouth to retort, when the irony of his words hit her. Yes, he did have a right to speak his mind. It was a privilege her husband had fought and died for. She just wished he wasn’t so crude about it.
Clay eyed her and crossed muscular arms over his chest, daring her to respond, waiting for a chance to chastise her again for her stupidity.
She swallowed the words she’d intended to use to put him in his place. “You’re right. Thank you for helping me.”
Shock and confusion rippled across his strong face, and laughter tickled the back of her throat. She’d managed to shut him up. The same way she might have with one of her kids when they needed to listen to reason. It was a little fun to take the wind out of his sails this way. She’d done it all her life with her brothers and had seen the same look of consternation floating on their faces.
But she’d never wanted her brothers to keep arguing with her. If this green-eyed hunk wanted to go another round with her, she’d relish it—welcome it. There was something about him…
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.
Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.
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Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Kensington Books/Lyrical Press, Inc
Date of Publication: May 5, 2014
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: appox. 80,000
Cover Artist: Renee Rocco
Be sure to enter my Rafflecopter drawing for a chance to win the grand prize pack worth $100. Each item in the pack has some significance to the story. I’ll be drawing one random winner on May 31. Good Luck.