Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Meet Melinda Curtis

My guest in My Writing Corner today is author Melinda Curtis. Tell us a little about your
writing journey.

I’ve always been an avid reader across multiple genres.  I read everything from Conan the Barbarian to The Grand Sophy.  I once read a book I loved by Susan Crosby, who had a P.O. box you could write to (in the days before Facebook).  I sent her a letter and asked her how a multi-tasking supermom could learn how to write a book.  She invited me to her chapter’s RWA meeting. I met several romance authors I knew.  Many more I’d never heard of but came to love.  A few of my author friends were writing for Paula Eykelhof at Harlequin. I became a stalker – whatever conference Paula went to, I went to. I must not have creeped her out, because she eventually bought my first book.
Tell us a little about your newest book.

The Christmas Promise is a romantic comedy set in Ecuador. It’s a cross between Runaway Bride and Romancing the Stone.  It’s released now in a boxed set: Sweet Christmas Kisses (all stories of romance without explicit sex), but will launch individually retitled The Wedding Promise on October 15.
What gave you the idea for this story?

My friend Kim went to Ecuador to research a new cocoa product (translation: she wants to create a new chocolate snack organically). Kim was in a very remote part of Ecuador and her weekly updates fascinated me.  All the things we take for granted – a bug-free home, air conditioning, internet – she didn’t have any of that. One week, she reported the humongous size of bugs that landed on her, a snake sighting, and a trip from the cocoa fields uphill in the rain with a flat tire on her wheelbarrow.  For a romantic comedy writer, it was nirvana! A fish out of water story was born! Add a wounded warrior, three matchmaking nuns, and I had myself a story.
Do you always know how your story is going to end?

Usually, I know there’s going to be a happily-ever-after (the perks of writing romance), but this story was a bit different. I can’t give away the ending, but Tiff and Jax kick off my Bridesmaids series, so they’ll be recurring characters in the next three books.
You write in two different genres. How do you handle that?

I write both sweet and steamy romances.  The advantage to this is that I know how to keep that sexy, stomach flutter of attraction going in a sweet book without mentioning body parts and mechanics.  And since I tend to ping-pong from sweet projects to steamier ones, when I write steamy, I let all that’s been contained out and have fun with it.
Please give a blurb of your latest book.

Tiffany Bonander (of Bon-Bon Chocolates) grew up in New York with a silver spoon, a heart of gold, and a lifelong supply of sweets.  But now her life is falling apart.  Recent changes in cocoa supply are threatening the quality of the family’s chocolate and sales are down.  Add to that Tiff’s penchant for falling in love quickly and breaking engagements at the last minute… Can this runaway bride turn around a cocoa plantation in South America?
Jackson Hardaway is trekking through the Andes as a tribute to a fallen comrade.  This wounded warrior didn’t expect to meet a beautiful damsel in distress and her three fairy godmothers…er, trio of meddlesome nuns…on his journey.  Everything in Ecuador is bigger – the trees, the snakes, the attraction.  Is this love?  Or just another case made to label Tiff a runaway bride?

How about an excerpt?

It was raining.  Again.
Tiffany Bonander tried humming a few bars of White Christmas.  It was, after all, December 23.  Cheer was called for.
           But the incessant beat of fat raindrops on the tangled foliage of the Ecuadorian rainforest and on her pink rain slicker, drowned out her cheer.
          Or maybe she was just drowning under the pressure of heavy responsibilities.
          Ankle-deep water rushed down the steep, muddy road toward Tiff and her precious cargo–thirty pounds of cocoa beans.  She couldn’t lose the beans.  They were the answer to all her troubles. 
         Thunder boomed.  And boomed again.  The downpour increased to a deluge.
         Tightening her grip on the wheelbarrow handles, Tiff tried to find purchase with her rain boots, tried to make it to the next rise before the road turned into a river.  Tried…and failed.   Somewhere above her the river had risen high enough to crest a bank.  Water surged toward her.
         Tiff’s father claimed they’d abandoned this cocoa plantation years ago for drainage reasons.  He should have used the F-word: flood.
          Tiff stumbled to her knees, and water rushed into her boots–cute, pink-flowered plastic ones which quickly filled with water and felt as heavy as cement shoes.  If not for her grip on the wheelbarrow, she might have been swept downhill.  Just last week, she’d heard about a woman who’d been carried away by the cresting river and smashed into a tree.  Smashed as in: to pieces.  Dead.
          That would be worse than being broke and the laughing-stock of the civilized world.
          This was karma, plain and simple.  She shouldn’t have jilted Chad at their engagement party or left Malcolm at the altar. 

Bio/Special Offers
Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, as well as the Bridesmaid series independently. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.  Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.” 

Readers of this blog will be emailed a FREE fun, sweet novella set within the Hollywood

Rules world by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter. Link: http://www.melindacurtis.net/join-melinda-s-mailing-list

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/Zd6FuJ
iTunes: http://bit.ly/1lVUtc2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/ZgZ2mZ
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-christmas-kisses-donna-fasano/1120405161?ean=2940150461093

How can readers reach you or find you online?
Website: www.MelindaCurtis.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor
Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melcurtisauthor/
 
Thank you, Melinda.  I still have more questions and Melinda will be back next week with a look at how she writes and word on her latest book. Any questions? And please everyone, be sure to sign up for Melinda's newsletter to get a free novella

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for having be today, Rebecca! It's great to get "away from my desk" and meet new people!

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  2. Great sounding book. Wishing you mega sales.

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  3. Great interview! I enjoyed "meeting" you both.

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