Lily will be awarding, at each stop, a gift basket with beach related stuff – salt water taffy, sand dollars, Carina Press discount coupon postcard, etc. (US Only)and one randomly commenter during the tour will win a $25.00 gift card to Amazon. Follow the tour and comment at each stop to increase your chance in winning. You can follow the tour here at Goddess Fish.
To save his flailing real estate development project Mitch McKenna knows what he must do: persuade his nemesis and neighbor Emma LeFleur to go to bat for him and convince the town that he’s a sweetheart. Easy as pie, unless you consider he’s threatened to bulldoze her home with her in it.
She trudged down the dark hallway, Bogie closely following at her heels. Sighing, she yanked open the door. “David—” Her words ground to a halt as she met a pair of intense blue eyes.
“Sorry to disappoint,” Mitch said.
“What do you want?” Her breath hitched in her throat.
His gaze settled on her lips. “What did Bruin want to discuss with you?”
“None of your business,” she snapped. She was sick of men trying to garner things out of her tonight. If she wanted to share something, she’d do it on her own.
His jaw clenched. “He didn’t stay long.”
“So? What’s your point?”
He rubbed his stubbled chin. “He couldn’t have had a chance to get out of the dugout.”
Heat crept up her neck at his insinuation. “You actually think I would do something inappropriate with David for your sake? You really are a jerk.”
He waited a beat. “How far did you let him go for my sake?”
She rolled her eyes. “Go to hell!” She attempted to slam the door, but he wedged his boot in the way.
“I’ve been in hell for the last half hour,” he growled. In one smooth move, he slipped inside and shut the door behind him.
Emma drew in a short breath. Like prey, the fight-or-flight instinct took over and she backed up the stairs one step at a time.
Hello and thanks for stopping by and visiting with me and the bunnies. It is so nice to have Lily here. Readers I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Oh, hold on Lily every time someone new stops by the dogs and bunnies go crazy.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I do have a full-time job as an instructional designer and business analyst. I basically create training for adults.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Prior to moving to the US back in the mid 70’s, I only had access to what my parents had in the house. So during my tween years I read my dad’s eclectic collection of Robert Ludlum, Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins, Erica Jong, Jacqueline Susann, and all of my mom’s weekly supply of sweet contemporaries from Mills & Boon (she was a DTC subscriber). Of course, my parents also bought me kid appropriate books so I read the entire Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. Why, yes, readers, you should be scared, very very scared of the stories that will come out of my brain.
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Yes! I preferred the movie version of The English Patient. It is just such a visual movie and the chemistry between Almasy and Katharine was so palpable on screen. All the lushness of the desert and the secret glances between the lovers. Plus, Dafoe was scary intense as Caravaggio. It just didn’t capture it on paper in my opinion.
Another one, of course, is Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. The book almost reads like the screenplay because so many of the actual dialogue was used in the film version. The movie version, of course, was an amazing cinematic work of art. I had to watch it several times before I realized that every time there was a death, someone was eating an orange. Don’t believe me? Check it out.
I could go on and on here because I love when novels are adapted into screenplays. I should say an honorable mention to Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. I believe the book may have been slightly better than the movie. Only slightly, because well, Ryan Gosling. Need I say more?
Do you buy a book by the cover?
I don’t buy a book by the cover but the cover influences me to read the back blurb which makes me buy the book. Hmm…this sounds like one of those trick answers.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
I believe it is written in the Book of Authors’ Perks that authors should only write wearing their pajamas.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
For breakfast I eat two poached eggs drizzled with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Sometimes I’ll fry the egg along with charred cherry tomatoes and hot peppers. I don’t drink coffee, only espresso – really dark like Indonesian or Vietnamese beans with a little bit of condensed milk.
One of your favorite quotes –
Gosh, I love this quote from Goethe I had read somewhere, but I’ve tried to find it again and can’t. So, readers, if you know where I find it, let me know. I don’t remember the exact wording. In essence, I’m paraphrasing here so please excuse the massacre to Goethe’s words.
If only we can create our new world one second before our old world is ripped off our feet.
This is the basis for most of my stories. I really am obsessed about the moment in our lives when we don’t yet realize that the next words someone may say, or action they do, or something we see – changes who we are. For a moment, our lives are destroyed and it’s maybe seconds or minutes before our defense mechanism kicks in and we go through the stages of loss.
What is your favorite type of pet?
I am a dog lover and have had a dog since I was eight years old. My first mutt’s name was Puzzle. When my family moved from the Philippines to the US, I gave him to one of my good friends who had a huge plantation in the province. Puzzle had a good long life of luxury. I’ve had Golden Retrievers who were the love of my life. I miss them so much. Today I have a Chihuahua and a Boston Terrier. Readers, go check out my website for their pics! www.lilysantana.com
In Unexpectedly You, Bogie is modeled after my adored Golden Retriever, Ripken, who earned his angel wings in 2006. I’m not admitting, but I’ve been seen with a tiny, apple-head Chihuahua sporting a ‘dogs rule’ sweater.
What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is yellow. When I lived in Phoenix, I painted my single story ranch a squash yellow on the outside with white trim. I bet it shone like a beacon on Satellite. On the inside I painted the entire living room yellow including the ceiling. When I got married back in 1993, my bridesmaids wore Snow White style satin gown in bright yellow. They still hate me for it. I’m in color correction therapy now and have sworn off yellow for at least 5 years. J
What is your most embarrassing moment?
I have many so many but I’ll pick one that just happened last month. Let me set the stage. It’s a beautiful summer afternoon in Oregon. The sun is shining, it’s Saturday. I am driving to the hotel where a good friend will have her wedding outdoors in one of the gardens. The Bride and Groom had asked the guests to glam it up for the Mad Men themed wedding, so I was dolled up, fake lashes, red lipstick…you can picture this right? When I get to the hotel, I can’t find any signage nor anyone I recognize. But it’s a huge place so I venture forward, smiling at people who were, no doubt, checking out my outfit. A few minutes later when I still can’t find the venue, I decide to text another girlfriend who was also attending. I smile and wait at the entrance of the main hall and am feeling pretty special in my get up until I read my friend’s text that said “You know the wedding is tomorrow afternoon, right?”
I slink back to my car…hoping I don’t see the same people tomorrow.
Pick one profession you would choose if you were not an author. Why?
If I can choose another profession that I feel very passionate about it would be cooking. I love to cook and can be very inventive here as well. I like to mix up the various flavors from different cultures to create unique tastes. I have a few signature dishes that I make every month – it’s called Cayenned Shrimp Chardonnay. It’s shrimp (with shells and head on) cooked in a Chardonnay and butter broth and spiced up with peppers. You eat it with your hands and a crusty baguette. Yum! My dream vacation is to go on a worldwide culinary tour. That’s why I watch Anthony Bourdain for hours at a time sometimes to the detriment of my writing.
Where can readers find you?
Readers, I have a website where you can find the latest information on my books and events. I am also very active on Twitter @lilyoftheword. I’d love for you to say hello. I will have a Facebook page soon, but at this point in my journey, I want to focus a lot of energy on my writing which means limiting a lot of fun distractions. I also have author pages on Amazon, Goodreads and Night Owl Reviews.
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
I know many writers say they’ve been writing forever. I’d be lying if I said that. I did start journaling when I was a teen, a time full of angst and self-indulgence. I finally stopped last year. Kidding. I may not have always been a writer, but I was always a storyteller. To the utmost embarrassment of my parents, I’d volunteer to do impromptu drama skits during family gatherings. There would always be a death scene and I’d cry my eyes out on my knees cradling the unfortunate victim. I was a morose drama queen child apparently. Honey Boo Boo’s got nothing on me.
What is your writing process?
I do a lot of thinking before I put words on paper. I imagine scenes in my head full of dialogue and action. I test it out in my mind first to decide if it’s a good enough scene to add to the work-in-progress. I hate to delete and am convinced that this is one of the reasons why writers have writer’s block. They write these beautiful scenes that they just love and then they try to write their stories around them. Eventually, they’ll get themselves stuck in a corner with no way out.
That’s happened to me quite a bit. I finally learned and now I start fresh, and barely use existing scenes. This helps me, but it may not be helpful for others.
I like to think of my first draft as a bold stroke as in painting. There is no definition, just parameters and big ideas. Then with each revision, I use a finer and finer brush until the details emerge to really bring the story to life.
I wish I can be like Stephen King who apparently writes an almost perfect first draft. His second draft has just minor revisions. I’m so very envious.
I have at least five or six drafts. But I’m new, so I can always improve with each story.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on the follow up books to Unexpectedly You. The next book follows Shane McKenna, Mitch’s older brother who is a deep water charter fisherman. It’s a reunion romance; think Sweet Home Alabama meets The Perfect Storm. The story is set in another small town called Bandon-by-the-Sea, a charming seacoast village on the Southern Oregon Coast. The third book will be Samantha and Brandon’s story – tentatively called Crush on You.
Any upcoming events?
I will be attending RT Books 2014 Conference in New Orleans in May. I hope to see you there.
Any last words?
I’d like to thank the staff of Bunny’s Book Reviews for hosting me. It has been a great pleasure. Readers, please take a chance on a new author. I may just surprise you J.
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today Lily. It’s been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
Lily Santana is an author of contemporary romance. Her first book, Unexpectedly You will be released August 26, 2013 with Carina Press.
Lily is a native of the Philippines but stewed for twenty-five years in the melting pot of New York City to which she credits her respectable ability to curse in multiple foreign languages. Fortunately, she also discovered the NYC Library where she spent countless hours daydreaming of one day becoming an author.
Like many of her readers, she began reading romance as a tween when she stumbled fortuitously upon her mother’s stash of Harlequins and Mills & Boon. She loves sexy alpha heroes with a sense of humor and a little bit o’ grit.
Today Lily lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her two adorable puppies. When she’s not writing, Lily spends her time splashing into puddles, shucking oysters, and learning to eat ice cream in the rain.