First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an iced Coffee as I’m ready for the summer 🙂 !
What would you order?
Since the weather has been getting progressively warmer here in Oklahoma, I’ll have a decaf iced coffee with a shot of vanilla. And now I really want one.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.
Thanks for asking me!
Congratulations on your RITA nomination in the Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length for Love After All. Super exciting and what an honor. Where were you when you got the call?
Thanks so much! I am so excited about this. This is my first book to final in the RITA Awards® and I can’t tell you what a shock it was to receive that phone call.
I was at my desk working when the phone rang. I knew RITA calls were going out that morning because my awesome best friend, author Shannon Stacey, and I have a ritual every year. We have virtual coffee together (she lives in New Hampshire and I live in Oklahoma, so real coffee together would be one heck of a road trip) and we wait for the finalists to get their calls. We love watching to see who finals. We also hope we’ll be one of those finalists. I’ve been entering the RITAs for as long as I’ve been eligible. Love After All was my 69th book so when the phone rang and the amazing Cynthia D’Alba was on the other end to tell me I finaled, it was a dream come true for me. I was incredibly thrilled to have Love After All final. It’s a book I am so proud of.
For those who are not familiar with your work can you tell us a little bit your books. You have multiple series, stand-alone and anthology reads in your backlist. Can we expect any more releases from your current series? Do you have any new series in the works that you can give us a tease? What was the inspiration for Love After All?
I’ve been published since 2003 and I’ve written a lot of books that readers can find on my website. I’ve completed several series, and written in multiple genres. The current series I’m working on are my Play by Play sports romance series, and my Hope small town contemporary romance series. There are new releases coming up this year for both of these series. And yes, I do have a new series in the works, but that won’t be for a while yet.
For Love After All, both main characters had made appearances in my previous Hope books. I hadn’t originally intended to match up high school teacher Chelsea with bar owner Bash, but there was one scene they were in together in a previous book and sparks flew between them. That’s when I knew they were destined to be together. And I had the perfect storyline for them because Chelsea is a perfectionist who is very picky about men. And Bash? Let’s just say he’s not her idea of the perfect guy.
With multiple series and a bookshelf of standalone reads, is it easy to keep characters from crossing over?
Each series stands separate and distinct. However, within each series, characters from previous books do make appearances in other books. I do like to give my readers glimpses into characters lives once they’ve had their happily ever after.
Each book has fantastic covers – do you have a part in the design?
Thank you! I’ve been so fortunate to write for an amazing publisher who has an incredibly talented art department. They’ve done such wonderful work on my covers over the years.
I cover conference with my editor for each book and I’ll give a general idea about what I want on the cover, which tends to include the basic information on the characters, setting, etc. But to be honest, the art department knows what they’re doing, and they’re familiar enough with my series to deliver something fantastic every time. And they do!
Writing with a family and other commitments is a challenge, do you have a writing ritual or secret location to get the work done?
I’m not much on rituals since every day presents different challenges. First thing in the morning is always coffee and taking care of the dogs. Then I’ll catch up on email and social media before I settle in to work.
Since I have a laptop, I’m free to move around, so I don’t have a specific location. Summer is my favorite time because I love to write out on the back patio. The dogs and I enjoy sitting outside, watching the birds and squirrels and rabbits. Okay, they watch the animals while I write. 😉
Thank you so much for being here today.
***** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits *****
1. What is a must read book and why?
A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. I’ve read this book over and over again and it’s on my keeper shelf forever. I know the ending is somewhat controversial for some people, but for me, it’s a timeless romance. And hey, if nothing else, the ending is a great conversation starter.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
The Blue Whale—it’s a landmark on Historic Route 66. It’s actually not much. But it’s cute and funky looking and hey, historic Route 66. Road trip!
3. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist?
Hard Rock. Favorite? That’s a hard one. I’d have to go with Queen. You can never go wrong with Freddy Mercury.
4. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one?
Tats. I have six. My fist one was a parrot because I had birds at the time.
5. Are you a binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)?
Weekly viewer. I watch a LOT of television. Here’s a few: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Agents of Shield, Jane The Virgin, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Modern Family, Blackish, The Big Bang Theory, The Blacklist.
6. Do you love to cook or go out to eat?
I do enjoy cooking, but if I had my choice I’d much rather have someone else cook for me, so I’m going to choose eating out. But to be perfectly honest, I’d rather have a personal chef to come to my house and cook for me. It’s like the best of both worlds, right?
7. Motorcycle or bicycle?
Motorcycle – We have a Harley and we love to ride.
8. If you could try any career for a day, what would it be?
A surgeon – I watch a lot of medical shows and I’m not squeamish. I could totally handle this!
Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Iced-Coffee 🙂
Happy Reading Dear Readers.
Happy Writing Jaci!
Love After All (A Hope Novel)
Chelsea straightened. “So, thanks for breakfast. I should be going now.”
He walked into the kitchen and grasped her wrist, his fingers on one very fast racing pulse.
“What list, Chelsea?”
There was something about her that got to him in the most basic of ways. He dated a lot of women, and typically not for long. He’d known Chelsea for a lot of years, but she wasn’t the type of woman he went out with. First, he figured she was high maintenance, with her fancy clothes and her high heeled shoes and her ideas about men. They just didn’t mesh.
But there was chemistry between them—something he’d definitely been noticing a lot more in the past several months. And the way her pulse ticked up and her eyes dilated and the way she licked her lips whenever he got close?
Yeah, she noticed it, too.
Plus, she had a fiery personality, and he knew damn well that would translate to a spitfire in bed. He couldn’t deny he wouldn’t mind experiencing a little of the wildcat Chelsea in bed.
But he’d garnered enough from the conversations she’d had with her friends at the bar to know she was looking for a relationship. And that was the one thing he wasn’t at all interested in. He didn’t mind dating the same woman for a while, but he always made it clear he wasn’t into anything permanent. Being married once had taught him an awful lot about what not to do. He wasn’t ready for another round of bruised emotions and battered hearts. He was better off keeping things light and simple between him and women.
But Chelsea? He couldn’t seem to stop himself from teasing her. After all, they weren’t dating. They were just friends, and had been for a long time.
So when she didn’t answer his question, he had to press the issue.
“You were talking to my dog about your list. And the fact that I don’t meet the criteria.”
“I said no such thing. You misheard me. I was talking about my grocery list.”
Now he was really curious, because she sure as hell hadn’t been talking about him and food in the same sentence. “I don’t think so. You said I still have marks against me on your list, and you wouldn’t consider me anyway. So what list is this? The one you were making at the bar yesterday?”
She looked down at where he had hold of her wrist. He let her go, and she went into the living room to grab her purse.
“If you don’t tell me, I’ll just start making things up. Like maybe you’re making up a list of men you’d like to help you make a baby.”
She stopped and turned to him, her eyes wide. “I do not need any man to help me make a baby.”
He scratched the side of his nose and slanted a grin at her. “Well, yeah, you kind of do.”
In answer, she rolled her eyes at him. “You know what I mean. I’m not trying to have a baby right now, Bash.”
“Then why don’t I qualify for your list?”
She huffed in a breath of frustration. “None of your business.”
“It is my business if my name is on it.”
“That’s just it. Your name is not on it. It could never be on it.”
He stepped in closer. “Yeah? And why’s that?”
“I’d prefer not to say.”
“So back to my idea about you finding a man to make a baby with…”
She gave him an exasperated look. “Bash.”
“I’m only trying to help, Chelsea. Not that I’m going to give you a baby, but I know a lot of guys . . .”
He liked seeing that fire in her eyes, the one that turned her emerald green eyes dark.
“This is ridiculous. But fine. You’re not on the list because you’re not my idea of the perfect man.”
His brows rose. “You made a list of the perfect man? You know the perfect guy doesn’t exist, right?”
“Of course he does.”
“You’ve met him.” He didn’t like the way his gut tightened at the thought.
“Not yet. And that’s the problem. But I know what I want, and I’ll know who he is when I do.”
“Really.” He sat on the edge of the sofa. “Show me your list.”
“I don’t think so.” She wrapped her arm tighter around her bag, as if he were going to wrench it away from her. Obviously, whatever was on Chelsea’s list was important to her. That made him eager to see it.
“No, really. Maybe I can help. Show me your list.”
She hesitated, but finally dug into her purse and pulled out her notebook, flipping the pages, then gave him a hard stare. “You cannot laugh.”
“I promise I won’t laugh.”
She thrust the notebook at him.
He scanned the list, the corners of his mouth ticking up.
He held up his hand. “I’m not laughing. But yeah, I can see why I’m not the man for you.” He handed the notebook back to her and met her gaze. “I’m divorced, I work at night, I love sports, and you’ve already met one of my crazy ex-girlfriends. Though she’s not my fault. She was normal when I met her.”
Chelsea arched a brow.
“Hey, I don’t set out to date crazy women. I like them unemotional and uncomplicated.”
That won him an even harder stare.
“Maybe I’m not making myself clear enough.”
He figured the best way out of that one was to leave the crazy-ex-girlfriend topic alone. “As far as the rest of your list, I’m a beer-and-burgers kind of guy. I spend all my time at a bar, I’m definitely not a suit guy, and my perfect weekend getaway is camping. And while I like kids, I’m not ready to have any yet. Plus, I apparently just adopted one of those yippy little dogs.”
She crossed her arms and nodded. “Exactly my point. We have nothing in common. Nothing at all.”
He stood and approached her. “You’re right. Nothing in common.”
They were standing only inches apart, and damn, she smelled good. Like a cinnamon roll and fiery brandy or something. Hot and spicy—and he suddenly wanted a taste of her. If he were honest with himself, and he always tried to be, he’d wanted a taste of Chelsea for a long time now.
She tugged on her lower lip with her teeth, and he felt the tight pull in his groin, the fierce rush of desire that had nothing to do with a list and everything to do with basic chemistry.
Jaci Burton has generously donated ONE autographed copy of Love After All.
Answer the following question in the comments to be eligible to win – Would you ever make a list of “requirements” for finding your soulmate?
Contest ends on 5/19/16 at 11:59 PM
One winner will be randomly selected. Winner must comment within 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.
Contest open to US/International.
Good luck to all!
To find out who wins the 2016 RITA in each category head over to Romance Writers of America on July 16 at 8PM PT. Winners will be announced and be sure to follow #RITAGH and #RWA16 for all the news that night!
The author of the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Play by Play and Hope series, Jaci Burton has written over 70 books since she first started writing full time in 2001. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and dogs. A lover of sports, Jaci can often tell what season it is by what sport is being played. She watches entirely too much television, which she considers “book research”. When she isn’t on deadline, Jaci can be found at her local casino, trying to become a millionaire (so far, no luck). She’s a total romantic and loves a story with a happily ever after, which you’ll find in all her books. You can find out more about Jaci at her website at jaciburton.com, on Twitter at @jaciburton, on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuthorJaciBurton, and on Instagram at instagram.com/jaciburton