In a week of firsts, I’ve got another one today. Author KARI LEMOR is visiting me and she’s a fellow Kensington/Lyrical Press author, my new publisher. Kari’s new book WILDCARD UNDERCOVER releases today and she is super stoked. She’s having a huge facebook party today to promote the book as well and I’m pleased to be joining her. Click the link so you can stop by. There’ll be prizes, interviews, and lots of fun stuff going on all day.
Sit back and learn a little about my new writing sistah.
Kari Lemor, The Writer
- What drives you to write?
The voices in my head. And my muse who never leaves me alone and constantly pings me with new ideas that won’t go away until I do something about them. The characters themselves will sometimes haunt me in my sleep until I agree to write them. It can be very annoying trying to make them shut up.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why?
I write suspense and contemporary. Suspense because I love adding a little (okay, maybe a lot) of danger to my stories. It gives us the hurt/comfort that my romantic soul craves. I write contemporary because I’m too lazy to do any kind of historic research.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
It might be better to ask what I don’t read. I was never much for Historical until Julia Quinn spoke at a conference I was at and we got a free book. I was hooked. But it’s not a genre I read as much. Same with paranormal. Not my thing unless it’s my Critique Partner, MA Grant, because she can WRITE!! And make me like it. She’s got a new M/M fantasy series that she’s working on that I am in love with. Who’d have thought? But mostly I love contemporary with every day people. Keep those sheiks and billionaires away from me. Totally can’t relate to that. I want the boy next door or a law man or firefighter. Someone who’s good with their hands…in many ways!!
4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?
I have a full time day job (groan) so can’t always put coherent words on a page after that. But I always do something related to writing each day. Reading, networking with other authors, promo, editing. I try and do all my new words on weekends and vacations. I’m a teacher so I get lots of time in the summer.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?
Now that my kids are all grown and moved out, I actually have a nice office. My son painted it a lovely shade of peach for me (my favorite color). I always have some pretty smelling candle lit and my little water fountain going and my salt lamp turned on. I have tons of books in a series of book shelves that I made myself with wooden crates. And my desk is even made of wooden crates as well. Everything in there is just snuggy and cozy and makes me feel so good.
- 6. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision?
I can’t have it too noisy. When my kids were younger I would put a classical channel on the computer while attempting to write. Now I just like the sound of my water fountain gurgling. I definitely can’t write in a coffee shop or somewhere public though I love being outside in the summer and hearing the sounds of nature.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No, although I could if it didn’t have words but I really love the silence especially after being in a noisy classroom most of the day.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
This book actually started as a dream. Not the whole thing, but the first scene. My heroine grabs the hero and kisses him and then accidentally pushes him in the pool. I was intrigued at what was happening and wouldn’t get out of bed until I figured out why they heck she had done that. Then I had to get out of bed and scribble about ten pages of notes. I didn’t actually start writing the story though for about another 5 years.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
I’m not sure which comes first. Usually, I get an idea of a character and something they are doing. I probably don’t have a full deep knowledge of who they are or exactly what they are doing but I have a basic premise. Then I start fleshing them out and as the story unfolds so do they. Sometimes they’ve surprised me with a few facts.
- What 3 words describes you, the writer? Goal-oriented, determined, verbose
Kari, The Person
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!
My great (x 5 or 6 ) uncle (Joachim Murat ) was married to Napolean’s sister Caroline
2. Who was your first love and what age were you?
This boy named Jim who sat in front of me in History class in college. I was around 20. That was a long time ago and he’s still my only love (and husband for 30 years.
3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….
The day after my first child was born. I was still in the hospital being waited on. They brought her to me and said she was hungry. I held her and drifted off again (tired from labor and delivery) and she stopped crying. When the nurse came back in I said I hadn’t fed her. She said, “I guess she just needed her mom.” Thinking of that moment still makes me cry.
4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? I’m liking these new boxer briefs.
5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? If I had to give something up… I guess it would be concealer. I’d use the face powder instead to hide my bags and dark eye circles.
6. What three words describes you, the person? Loyal, maternal, gregarious
7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? No one would ever ask me to sing. Take my word on this one. My children beg me not to. But if I could sing with Jimmy Fallon, then Paradise By the Dash Board Light. Fun song!
8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it be, why, and what would you do together? Hmmm, maybe Pollyanna because she’s always so perky and glad. We’d go fishing and picking berries and just hanging out in a sunny field relaxing.
- Favorite sound – water, any kind, ocean, lake, waterfalls, stream.
- Least favorite sound – the ice cream truck. Talk about an ear worm
- Best song every written – Desperado by The Eagles
- Worst song ever written – anything rap that talks trash about women
- Favorite actor and actress – Joe Flanigan and Kate Hudson
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Peirce Brosnan’s wife. Because …duh!
- What turns you on? Dads with their kids
- What turns you off? Intolerance
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “Oh, I figured it out” (the plot twist of the movie we are watching – and then proceeds to tell me) And yes, this happened on a date.
- What’s your version of a perfect day? Bar Harbor, Maine, sitting listening to the ocean or Jordan Pond with the sun beating down and a cool breeze keeping it from being too hot. Top it with a good book and I can’t think of anything better.
Kari’s newest book WILD CARD UNDERCOVER releases today!! Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your reading appetite:
All that glitters in Miami is not gold . . .
Lured in by a bad ex-boyfriend and the moonlight of Miami, Meg O’Hara is trapped in a nightmare situation, waiting tables for a crime boss and fearing for her life. When undercover FBI agent Christopher Shaunessy offers her a way out, she seizes it. Getting the goods on Salazar Moreno might not be easy, but she’ll do anything to be freed from her servitude and Moreno’s sexual advances, even if it means moving in with the charismatic agent.
Chris Shaunessy pretends to be Meg’s lover in order to keep her safe, but he steels his heart against further involvement. Passion has no place in the sordid world of organized crime. And yet, the closer they get to cracking the case, the stronger his feelings for the spirited waitress shine. It’s a dangerous game he’s playing, and taking Meg in his arms for real could prove a fatal misstep . . .
“Does that man never have a day off?” Margaret Kathleen O’Hara grumbled, grabbing her tote bag and sarong to move surreptitiously along the chairs by the pool. If the hotel manager saw her here again she’d be toast. He’d more than toss her out. Threats to call the police had been thrown at her for months now. Although in her case, that might be a better deal.
With her eyes trained on his location and the Miami sun beating down on her exposed skin, Meg backed along the water’s edge attempting to leave the area before he spotted her. She needed to shower the chlorine out of her tangled hair and change for work soon. He looked in her direction and she rushed behind the closest object. It was six-foot-plus of blond-haired gorgeousness. The man’s eyes were glued to something on the upper deck. Her boss was sitting there with one of his expensive bimbos. Did Blondie like that type? Maybe he wouldn’t notice her little game of .
She leaned around him, ducking back when she saw the Pool Nazi still present. Getting caught was not an option. She already owed more than she could ever repay.
“Are you okay?” Forest green eyes stared down at her, puzzled. Would he buy that she was simply looking for shade? He was big enough to provide it.
With strong hands, he reached for her shoulders and Meg reflexively batted them away. She got enough of people groping her at work. Scorching curses froze before erupting from her mouth as the hotel manager moved, staring in their direction. Her mind kicked into overdrive, scrambling for a way to hide in plain sight.
“Sorry,” she squeaked. Grabbing the man’s head, she planted her mouth solidly on his. Short, thick strands of hair tickled her fingers. Firm lips yielded no resistance to the increased pressure of her mouth. Better make this look good.
An electric current skittered over her skin causing her heart to race. Maybe too good? Slowly he pulled her closer with his muscular arms. Her eyes flew open and she broke the connection. His hair-covered chest was too close for comfort. And much too tempting. Distance, she needed distance.
Her eyes darted around, seeing no signs of the manager. A sigh escaped. Time to make her exit as well.
“Sorry,” she mumbled again, looking up. Big mistake. The stranger’s curious eyes captivated her. They were soft and tender and filled with something she could…trust? If she still had any of that left in her. His hands were gentle as they held her. A tiny smile played about the full lips she’d brazenly kissed. She couldn’t believe she’d done it. Her mother would be appalled. But it had worked.
The chlorine scent from the pool faded into the background as sweat and suntan lotion wafted off the man’s damp skin. Her stomach did cartwheels followed by a few back flips. Dangerous.
“Let me go,” she hissed as reality returned. She gave a swift shove at his well-defined pectorals, rushing to get past, to escape from this distraction and the possibility of being caught. Her head whipped around at the sound of a splash and water droplets from behind. Gorgeous was just breaking the surface of the pool. Had she pushed him that hard?
“Oops.” No time for apologies. He looked like the forgiving type. She had to blow this joint before the Pool Nazi came back. Grabbing her fallen sarong, she ran across the deck to hustle inside the luxury hotel.
The manager stood sentry near the front door. A crowd appeared at her back making that way impossible. The stairwell to the left would have to do. She’d go up a few floors then down to the side entrance. She wrapped her sarong around her as she carried out her plan to avoid being seen…and caught.
Meg should stop coming here to use the pool: this proved it. Sneaking in was adding to her already hellish life but swimming always helped work out the stress and the pool here was more accessible than any other on the strip. Pretending she had money to stay in a place like this, rubbing elbows with all the beautiful people, yeah, that got her through too. She’d learned the best times to come and not be seen. Well, for the most part. It was well worth the risk to get away from her dump of a room and its enchanting neighborhood. She’d leave this all behind her soon. She kept telling herself that. Had to believe it for her own sanity.
Footsteps behind her pushed those thoughts away. Her bare feet padded silently along the lushly carpeted hallway. Heart racing, she ducked into the ice machine alcove, her sigh echoing in the silence. She glanced down. Her bag? She must have dropped it as she rushed off. How had she not realized? It couldn’t have been the threat of being arrested. Or the crooked smile of the handsome stranger she’d kissed. The one with the kind eyes and gentle hands. No, she couldn’t allow herself to be led astray by a pretty face. Not again.
She continued down the hall, her trip cut short when someone grabbed her by the arm and spun her around.
* * * *
Kari Lemor grew up as one of those kids who read all night under the covers. Once she had her first glimpse of a romance novel at age 12, it was all over. Romance was in her blood.
It would be many years before the stories that ran rampant in her head finally drove her to put words to paper, though. She wrote self-indulgently for the first few years and only recently began penning stories to share with others.
She still writes stories that are self-indulgent but hopes others might get some enjoyment from them too. Now that her children are all grown and have moved out, she uses her spare time to create stories of love and happily ever after romances where heroes ride to the rescue of damsels who have already saved themselves.
She lives with her husband in a small town in New England dreaming of warmer weather. But only if it’s near the ocean.