WINNERS! WINNERS! The winners of last week’s blog with Terri Osburn are: Becka Lynn and Ellie . . . and the autographed copy goes to: Julie S.! Please email me at: christie (at) christie-craig.com with your preference of Amazon e-book or paperback. (If you choose paper, please send your snail mail addy . . . you, too, Julie!) Congrats!
I have another special author for you to meet today and I’m very excited! Ava Miles launched her series last month with the book, Nora Roberts Land, and is here with us today to talk about the second book, French Roast. And don’t forget to leave a comment because two lucky people will win a copy!
OK, Ava, you know I am a big wine drinker. So, if you were to pair a wine with your book, which would it be?
Well, since my current hero is a French chef trained at The Culinary Institute of America, I would have to say Côtes du Rhône, which is one of my favorite red wines from France. I also enjoy drinking wine like Christie, thinking about the land that grew the grapes and who brought in the harvest, whether it’s a multi-generation family-operated venue or someone starting out fresh. I also came to appreciate wine more when I worked as an apprentice chef in a restaurant that catered to celebrities, politicos, and some big media people. I participated in creating the new menu, which involved a number of wine tastings. I learned a lot about wine that summer. And had one pretty rascally waiter bamboozle me with the biggest line of all: that you measured a wine’s aroma by ascribing it a light, medium, or deep penetration. Yes, ladies, he did. And I fell for it. For about twenty seconds. Then I gave him the hairy eyeball, and that was that.
LOL! Can you tell us about your favorite or least favorite scene in the book and why?
Gosh, I hope I wouldn’t have a least favorite scene in my own book. LOL. One of my favorite scenes is when my characters, Jill and Brian, decide to take their relationship to the next level. They were childhood best friends, so even though they’ve known each other most of their lives, it’s a huge step. Since Brian is a chef, he offers to cook for Jill. It’s winter in their small town of Dare Valley, Colorado, so he chooses some hearty fare: a mushroom veloute soup accompanied by Spanish chorizo sausages and handmade French bread. Sounds delicious, right? When the heroine arrives, Brian has the funniest thoughts. I still crack up when I read them.
He turned back to the sausages and decided they were like a bad joke. Why hadn’t he picked something that didn’t resemble a dick? Like pork tenderloin. Hell, even that had “loin” in it. Why hadn’t he realized how sexual meat was? Legs. Breasts. Loin. Throw in shank, and you had Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
And then they both finally start talking about how bad of an idea the sausages were for their “get it on” meal. They end up laughing like the best friends they are. The innuendo is like a Robin William’s monologue. Hi-lar-ious!
Name three qualities you are envious of in your hero or heroine.
Jill is a small town businesswoman, who took some money inherited from her grandmother and used it to open a coffee shop based on a college business plan. She wants to be a big businesswoman on a grander scale like her grandfather, the town’s leading legend, Arthur Hale. She’s confident in her own power about her abilities to create community and spread good coffee to everyone. Her best friend is a cop, and after hearing she and her fellow officers use instant coffee at the precinct, Jill wants to save cops everywhere. She’s smart, funny, and has a big heart—three things any of us would like to ascribe to.
OK, since it’s a tradition, last and most serious question . . . what is your guilty pleasure?
Other than being a fan of George Michael in the “Faith” days? Haha. I would have to say it’s watching the TV series, Nashville, right now. It’s a total soap opera with cowboys and country music—something one of my future books will have in it. Minus the soap opera part of course. 🙂
Love it! Now can you tell us about your book and how to find it?
Small-town biz wiz Jill Hale has been in love with her childhood best friend Brian McConnell for as long as she can remember. A falling out led to years of estrangement, but when Brian returns to Dare Valley after trying to make it big as a chef in New York City, Jill’s determined to make amends. She’s convinced that starting a restaurant together will be the perfect win-win situation, allowing her and Brian to work together and play together.
After a series of missteps sliced and diced Brian’s career in the Big Apple, he came home to regroup and find himself. He’s convinced that reestablishing his connection with Jill, the girl who got away, will put his life back on track. And when she approaches him with her plan for going into business together, he’s certain it’s the one way he can have it all—his dream job and his dream girl.
Jill and Brian are falling for each other all over again when Brian’s ex sashays into town, intent on sabotaging their reunion. Add in a mysterious investor who’s determined to get Jill on board with his project, and the bond between the couple is tested to the limit. Will their second chance at love implode, or will they find their own recipe for a happy ending?
Sounds like a wonderful read! Thanks so much for being here, Ava! OK, now leave us a comment and tell us about your guilty pleasure and two lucky commenters will win a copy of Ava’s book! Good luck!
Ava Miles’ first novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, kicked off The Dare Valley Series and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Much to Ava’s delight, USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog praises the book saying it “combines small-town romance with big-world issues in a full-bodied romance” and noting its “great hero…wonderful, idyllic setting… [and] great characters” while Joyfully Reviewed calls it “warm, funny and totally entertaining” and Romance Reviews Today highlights the “chemistry between Meredith and Tanner, and… [the] dangerous, exciting plot line woven throughout.”
Now, Ava reaches out to readers once more, bringing them her new novel, FRENCH ROAST, and taking them back to the small, Colorado town of Dare Valley and the residents who make it memorable, including the Hale family who, like Ava and NORA ROBERTS LAND heroine Meredith Hale, are descended from a long line of journalists.
Ava’s great-great-grandfather won his first newspaper in a poker game in 1892 and her family has had something to do with telling stories, whether to share news or, in her case, fiction, ever since. In fact her clan is still reporting on local events more than one hundred years later at their family newspaper.
Since childhood, Ava has been scribbling down ideas and writing. Despite having hundreds of pages under her belt, she says it wasn’t until her characters “wouldn’t stop talking” that she knew she had the perfect characters and a story arc she simply had to share, and thus, went on to complete the first of several novels she had begun. Having done so, she went on to write more Dare Valley novels and is currently at work on a novella and plotting her next series.
Having worked as an apprentice chef in a restaurant popular with celebrities, politicos, and other journalistic luminaries, and as a private chef while in graduate school, Ava had no lack of inspiration as she dealt with the foodie aspects tied to FRENCH ROAST and the restaurant central to her plot.
Born and raised in the Midwest, where her family’s newspaper is located, Ava went on to earn an undergraduate degree in writing and advanced degrees in political science and conflict management. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Washington Romance Writers. She is also part of an unofficial group that regularly convenes a writing retreat at Nora Roberts’ restored Inn Boonsboro in western Maryland. Having left behind the “day job,” which took her, literally, all over the world, she now writes full-time in the peace and quiet of her northern Virginia porch-swinging-friendly community.
FRENCH ROAST, Book 2, Dare Valley Series, by Ava Miles
August 2013/On Sale 8-13-13/$4.99 (eBook), $14.99 (print)/ISBN:
www.avamiles.com • facebook.com/AuthorAvaMiles • pinterest.com/authoravamilesfacebook.com/NoraRobertsLand • twitter.com/authoravamiles • plus.google.com/110201714901830875706