Please welcome Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press author Gemma Brocato to the blog today! She discusses second chances, the importance of emotion in romance, and her latest release, Hearts in Harmony.
Book Related Questions:
1. What is your latest book about?
Hearts In Harmony is about second chances. I’ve pitted Pippa Sanders, a very grounded war widow raising twins, against Clay Mathers, a gruff man who in very involved in the military and has never put down roots. Pippa loved her husband very much, and hadn’t considered ever replacing him, at least until Clay came barreling into her life. Clay’s in town for a short time and getting involved with him might be wonderful, but it can only be temporary. Pip’s afraid to lose her heart again, but to a man who’d leave willingly.
2. What’s your favorite scene in your book? Can you describe the scene?
There is a scene in the book where Clay sneaks into Pippa’s back yard in the middle of the night to replace some seedling trees with much larger ones. It’s part of his campaign to win a spot in Pippa’s bed while he is in town. As strategies go, it’s brilliant. Who wouldn’t be enchanted by someone planning a delightful surprise for her children? Pippa is charmed in spite of her resolve to keep her distance from a temporary man. Based on her reaction and the kiss they share in her shadowy backyard, I’d say Clay’s plan is a success.
3. Imagine you are trapped on a deserted island. Which character would you prefer to be stuck with, and why?
Gosh, that’s a great question. I should say Clay, because he’s resourceful and smart and surviving until we were rescued would be assured. But… I’m going to say Mason and Mia, Pippa’s six-year-old twins. They are funny little moppets and having them to care for and protect would make me work hard to find clever solutions for our survival. And they’d be fun. Imagine the sand castles we’d build.
4. What makes your book stand out from all the others on the market?
There are a couple of things. First, since Hearts In Harmony is part of the Five Senses Series, I’ve woven a strong cast of characters and plopped them all down in a solid family driven story. Although the book is about Pippa and Clay, their families play significant rolls.
Second, I am not afraid to make my readers cry. I’ve been told there is such strong depth of feeling and emotion in the story that readers hate turning the last page. Just hate it. But I’m working on a continuation of the story now that should be out in August.
5. What do you want to resonate with readers when they read “The End”?
That people can change and there is redemption for everyone.
1. Coffee or chocolate? You can only choose one!
Coffee, and I’d like to blame that on the diet I’m on, but truthfully, I haven’t got much of a sweet tooth. Now, if you’d asked about chips or coffee that would have been hard!
2. Favorite movie or TV show?
Right now – Penny Dreadful. It’s a Showtime program that puts all the classic horror monsters that scared me when I was younger into one program. Frankenstein, vampires, Dorian Gray, ghosts and demons. Plus Josh Hartnett.
3. Book that made you laugh hysterically, shed tears, or want to change the world?
The first book I cried over was Little Women. When Beth died I sobbed. The first book that made me want to change the world was Michael Crichton’s State of Fear. I loved that book and his take on the politics of global warming.
4. If you could write in any other genre, what would it be? Why?
I think Science Fiction, mostly because I’m lazy, LOL. I can create a world of my own, without having to do any research. I admire historical and Regency writers because they have to work so hard to get all their facts right.
5. What was the first romance novel you ever read?
I’m sure it was something by Georgette Heyer. I found her in the high school library and never looked back.
6. What do you think is the most important element a book needs to be successful?
Emotion has to be there. I need to feel the story for it to hold my interest.
7. How can readers connect with you and learn more about your writing?
Publisher: Kensington Books/Lyrical Press, Inc
Date of Publication: May 5, 2014
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: appox. 80,000
Cover Artist: Renee Rocco
Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love.
Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.
Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.
What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.
CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.
A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance
Pippa opened her mouth to retort, when the irony of his words hit her. Yes, he did have a right to speak his mind. It was a privilege her husband had fought and died for. She just wished he wasn’t so crude about it.
Clay eyed her and crossed muscular arms over his chest, daring her to respond, waiting for a chance to chastise her again for her stupidity.
She swallowed the words she’d intended to use to put him in his place. “You’re right. Thank you for helping me.”
Shock and confusion rippled across his strong face, and laughter tickled the back of her throat. She’d managed to shut him up. The same way she might have with one of her kids when they needed to listen to reason. It was a little fun to take the wind out of his sails this way. She’d done it all her life with her brothers and had seen the same look of consternation floating on their faces.
But she’d never wanted her brothers to keep arguing with her. If this green-eyed hunk wanted to go another round with her, she’d relish it—welcome it. There was something about him…
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.
Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.
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