Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Curling Up with Nancy J. Parra's DREAM MAN

I have the great pleasure of hosting a friend, Chicago-North chaptermate and all-around marvelous person on Brant Flakes today--Nancy J. Parra!! Her latest novel, Dream Man (The Wild Rose Press), just came out in December and is a wonderfully intriguing story. Take a peek at the blurb:

A NO NONSENSE WOMAN...Dr. Eva Stanford only wants to help her patient sleep through the night. Little does she know that the old woman holds the secret to a thirty-year-old mystery that threatened the political life of a presidential candidate and Eva's own family. A MAN WITH A DREAM...FBI Agent Nate Cancaid has a reoccurring dream of a woman with dark hair and blue eyes whose murder he is unable to prevent. When the blue eyed doctor enters his office, he feels the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. A MYSTERY THAT TRANSCENDS TIME...It's bad enough when Eva's patient claims that Eva and Nate are her married assistants, but coincidences grow too complicated for her scientific mind when some of the clues come straight out of Nate's dreams. Can Eva keep from losing her heart to a man of intuition or has fate already dealt her a losing hand?

This is a fabulous romantic suspense that you won't want to miss. And, to add to the fun, Nancy has a special giveaway for visitors: On Friday at noon, the name of one commenter on this blog post will be drawn to win one of Nancy's soft Dream Man sleep masks, bookmarks, a signed book plate and silky hand lotion, too. Thanks so much for visiting us today, Nancy!

Can you tell us the basic premise of your new book? Dream Man is a romantic suspense where Doctor Eva Stanford has a patient who reaches third stage REM and becomes another woman. That woman is the missing first wife of a current presidential candidate. To help her patient and solve the mystery, Eva contacts Nate Cancaid, local cold case FBI Agent. Her hope is that solving the missing persons case will “cure” her patient. FBI agent Nate Cancaid has a recurring dream of the death of a woman he believes is his wife. So he vows to never so much as date a blue eyed brunette. Until Dr. Stanford shows up in his office and he realizes that you can’t walk away from fate.

What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why did it excite you? I love the scene early on when Eva comes to Nate for help and he recognizes her from his dream. He is instantly attracted and yet believes his dream has told him how it all will end. He tells himself to stay away, pawn the case off on someone else. But he just can’t seem to help himself.

What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication? The best advice I received was from an agent who told me I should join Romance Writers of America. RWA taught me so much about craft and marketing. Plus brought me many, many wonderful friends. I have no idea where I would be without it. If you aren’t a member, scrap up the money and join. It is worth every penny.

Did you go on any special trips to research the setting? I lived in Kansas City when I wrote this novel, so research was a simple as leaving my house. I like to set stories in places where I live. I think it adds authenticity.

What do you think readers might be surprised to know about you? I joined the Air Force in my early 20s and trained as a satellite downlink repair tech. I was stationed on the island of Guam and then returned to the States and finished my four years in Colorado. Yes, that was me in combat boots ordering around 300 young men, including parade calling, (hup, two , three. four...) uniform inspections, (Yes, while they were wearing them. *G*) and general duties, i.e., shining my boots for me. I now belong to a great group of other veteran romance writers--check us out at http://www.romvets.com . You can find pic of me in uniform on the before and after page, along with pics of Merline Lovelace, Joann Ferguson and Diana Cosby, to name a few.

Do you pay attention to book reviews? If so, has there been any particular review that made your heart do a little dance? Yes, I do. It’s sort of a paranoid writer thing to do, but you always hope for a reviewer to love you. My latest was a Night Owl Romance reviewer who wrote, “This is the first time I’ve read Nancy J. Parra and wow...” I’ve also been lucky enough to have 5 starred reviews from ALA’s Booklist and my western historical romance, The Lovin’ Kind, was named one of the top ten romances of 2006 by Booklist.

What’s next for you? Is there a new book in the pipeline? As of writing this blog, I don’t have another book release date. But never fear. I have six books out on submission and am certain one of them will be picked up for sale soon. Please keep your eyes on my website and my once-a-week writing blog for breaking news.

So glad you were able to include us as part of your blog tour, Nancy!! Congrats, again, on your terrific new release ;).


Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marilyn,

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I really enjoyed writing DREAM MAN with hunky Nate and sensible Eva and the mystery that turned their world upside down.
I look forward to popping in and reading comments, so if your readers have any questions I'll be happy to answer them. Cheers~

June said...

Nancy, what a great interview! I love a good mystery! Six books on submission?!?! WOW. Good luck!

Marilyn, thanks for having Nancy today - you are so sweet - as usual!


Marin Thomas said...


I ordered Dream Man yesterday and can't wait to read it! You do such a great job with setting and characters. Congrats on your latest release!

A Cowboy Christmas (Dec 09)

Pamala Knight said...

What an awesome interview Nancy! Thanks to Marilyn for hosting you and I can't wait to get a spare moment to read DREAM MAN. The premise so right up my alley it isn't even funny, lol (well apparently it is ;-)). You Nancy dear, are certainly a work horse--six books out on submission, holy cow! Good luck with all of them.


Terry said...

Hi Nancy and Marilyn!

I can't wait to read Dream Man. And Nancy, I'm still hoping to get up your way sometime and see you again. :) Congrats on all your success - and I can say "I knew you when" hehehe


Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi June, thanks! I'm like the mad writer- crazy, I know. ;)

Hi Marin, great to see you here. I just finished A COWBOY CHRISTMAS and loved it!

Hi Pamala, *waves* I do hope you'll like it. Thanks for all your wonderful support.

Hi Terry, remember our long drives into KC for chapter meetings? Didn't you have a radar detector in your car? ;)

Pamela Cayne said...

Nancy--wow, what an amazing premise! This book sounds fabulous and I must get some form of it in my hot little hands ASAP!

I loved reading more about you, and kudos to Marilyn for another fabulous interview. Can't wait to see you both at Spring Fling!

Marilyn Brant said...

Nancy, it's an absolute *pleasure* to have you here!!

June, isn't Nancy amazing with those 6 books?! (And thank YOU for being so sweet, too. ;)

Marin, glad you had a chance to visit. You're gonna love Dream Man!

Pamala, thanks, hon! Looking forward to seeing you soon :-).

Terry, hello!! So glad you stopped by.

Pamela, *can't wait* to see YOU at Spring Fling, too!! It'll be here before we know it...

Edie Ramer said...

What a fabulous plot! I think every person can identify with your book. I know once in a great while, I have dreams that seem so real.

Good luck with your six submissions!

Linda Kage said...

Hi, Nancy! Great interview. I swear I learn more about you all the time. Have you ever considered Air Force romance stories? I do love a man in uniform!!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Pamela, can't wait to see you at Spring fling! We'll have to share a beverage in the bar and talk.

Hi Edie, aren't dream themes fun? Do you ever get book ideas from your dreams?

Hi Linda, one of my submissions is a rom. suspense with an Army Ranger hero. I agree-love a man in uniform.

Heather Snow said...

Wow, Nancy...I was surprised by the Air Force answer. How awesome to learn something new about you!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by~ Yes, I'm a vet. They called us Space cadets at the time. ;) I even got to tour the NASA station on Guam. Awesome.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Nancy and Marilyn,

Great interview, ladies! I learned something new about you, Nancy! Awesome blurb, and good luck with all of those submissions!

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Hi Marilyn,

Thanks for having Nancy on your blog. I love hearing stories about my favorite authors - which happens to include both you and Nancy:)


Seeing that manuscript number that you have on submission makes me feel like a slacker. Thanks so much for continuing to give us wonderfully fun stories to read. I've already flown through DREAM MAN and loved it.

Marilyn Brant said...

Edie, I agree--it's a fascinating plot!

Linda and Heather--Hi to you both! Thanks for stopping by for Nancy's Q&A :).

Debra, I learned a few new things about her when I read it, too!

Joelle, thanks so much! Looking forward to doing an interview with YOU this fall when your debut releases!!

Nancy--somewhere I have the premise snippets you shared with me for each of your 6 submissions, but I can't find that email now! (My inbox, like everything else in my life, needs to better organized. ;) If you'd like, would you be willing to tell everyone a few--or all!--of those plots? I think a lot of people would be interested!!

Sara Daniel said...


You're amazing, and I am totally intrigued by your plot. Can't wait to read it!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Deb, thanks for the well wishes.
Hi Joelle, I'm glad you liked DREAM MAN.
Marilyn- all six? lol
Okay--1)A ST contemporary fairy tale about a girl who discovers having a fairy godfather is not all its cracked up to be.
2)A rom. suspense where a colonel's daughter must protect a rogue army ranger.
3)A thriller where the death of a congressman's son leads a e-zine journalist into an international intrigue.
4) A sweet historical western where the heroine life is turned upside down by a secret service agent.
5)A paranormal older YA where the 17 year old heroine must sacrifice herself to save the world.
6) A steampunk middle grade book for boys called Thaddeus Renquist and the Penrose school for inventors.
:) oh and I have a regency set historical partial out, too.

I am nuts. :) Thanks for asking.

Morgan Mandel said...

That sounds like fun - ordering around a bunch of men! That is something I didn't know about you, Nancy.

Dream Man sounds like a great book. Much success!

Today, I get a two-fer - visiting two great RWA friends - Marilyn and Nancy!

Morgan Mandel

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Sara, so great to see you here. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Morgan, thanks for coming by- yes it was kind of fun ordering guys around. ;)

It's been a great day. Thanks to Marilyn for hosting me and thanks to everyone for stopping by!

Marilyn Brant said...

Sara~thanks for popping in to say hello ;).

Morgan~wonderful to see you here, too! Thanks for visiting.

Nancy~LOVED reading all of your different plot ideas! I barely know what "steampunk" is and you've already written one :). Thanks for answering all of our questions today. Looking forward to the Friday drawing!!

Jen Stevenson said...

Terrific premise, Nancy! I can't wait to read this!

Robin said...

Congratulations, Nancy! Your book sounds great! And your other stories? Fantastic! Best of luck with them! I'm in awe of how much you've written!

Thanks for another great interview, Marilyn!

Marilyn Brant said...

Jen and Robin~thanks so much to both of you for taking a moment to stop by!! Hope the rest of the week goes wonderfully well for you both ;).

Maria Geraci said...

Sounds like a great book, Nancy. Congratulations!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Thanks Jen, Robin and Maria, for stopping by and leaving comments.

Marilyn is the best hostess, isn't she?


Marilyn Brant said...

Maria~Hi!! *waving*

Nancy~Thanks, again, for being here. I'll post the winner of the drawing just after noon today :).