Monday, February 1, 2010

Laura Moore's Q&A and Double Book Giveaway!

Happy February!!

I have long awaited the day I could celebrate the release of the first book in The Rosewood Trilogy with my dear friend and fabulous critique partner, Laura Moore. She's crafted a beautifully written romance in Remember Me (Ballantine, January 26, 2010)--a novel with characters who linger with the reader long after the book is closed. And I know this for a fact since I had the privilege of reading this story a couple of years ago, while in draft form, and I still find myself smiling at certain scenes that featured Margot and Travis. Sigh. But I'm not the only one who thinks so... While I'm not allowed to give away any plot secrets, I can share this snippet from the 4 1/2 star review RT gave this book:

"Brava! What a delicious read. Moore's heartfelt tale will resound with fans of Diana Palmer and Judith McNaught. The characters are vivid, the settings stunning and the emotional conflict between Margot and Travis will stay with the reader long after the last page. This reviewer cannot wait for the next installation in the Rosewood Trilogy."

Brava, indeed!! Laura, it's SUCH a treat to have you here today. Welcome :).

Q: Can you tell us the basic premise of this story?

A: Remember Me is the first book in a trilogy--The Rosewood Trilogy—that I’m writing. The trilogy is about three sisters who come together after a tragedy to save Rosewood, the grand old home and horse farm that have belonged to their family for generations.

Remember Me is Margot Radcliffe’s story. She’s the middle sister, and when we meet her she’s an unhappy and impetuous teen, flooded with hormones and the craziness of her first serious crush. Unfortunately, the person she’s fallen for isn’t just some callow youth but her father’s horse trainer: Travis Maher.

At a family party, Margot suffers in short order devastating rejections from the two most important men in her life: Travis and her father. Hurt and convinced there’s no place for her at Rosewood, she runs away.

Eight years later Margot has forged a successful career as a fashion model. But when she receives a call from her older sister Jordan with the news that her father and stepmother have been critically injured in a plane crash, she returns to Rosewood, a place she never expected to see again. Once there, Margot discovers that in order to save her family’s horse breeding farm she’ll need the help of Travis Maher, the one man she’s never been able to forget.

Q: What’s one scene from this book that you loved writing and why?

A: I really loved writing a scene that comes early on in Remember Me. It’s when Margot attempts to seduce Travis in a tack room. She’s been dreaming of him for months, and on the night she attempts to dazzle Travis and make him see her as a woman, she’s made herself as sexy and alluring as she can. She’s even gone so far as to memorize a come-on line from Cosmo.

The scene is one of those cringe-worthy moments that happen in adolescence and I think it captures what Margot was like then: lovely but spoiled and self-centered--basically a confused mess of a girl. Whatever polish and poise she has is about an eighth of an inch thick. Underneath, she’s just a lonely, motherless kid, desperate for affection. Unfortunately, when it comes to Travis, her teenage desire blinds her to the reality of the situation.

Q: Name 3-4 of your favorite musical artists or groups. Did you use any musical references in your novel? If so, do they play a significant role?

A: I don’t know whether I can only name three or four! I’m a big rock and roll fan. I grew up listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, then the Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Allman Brothers, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Springsteen, Elvis Costello, REM, U2, and the list goes on and on. Music often makes its way into my books (sometimes as titles, too, as in the case of Night Swimming and In Your Eyes). In Remember Me, I have Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ playing on a boombox when we first meet Travis. It’s definitely a song that suits him, with his hard-scrabble background and bad boy attitude. (I *love* that song!!!)

A lot of my characters are in this small sense like me: they work to music. I don’t know whether a lot of other writers feel this way, but I actually believe my words flow better when I have my favorite radio station playing or streaming.

Q: What’s your writer fantasy--i.e. to see your book made into a feature film, to be on the New York Times’ bestseller list for forty consecutive weeks, etc?

A: I have a very, very active fantasy life, so I’d say all of those things, plus having Nora Roberts come up and tell me how much she loves my books and how pleased she’d be to write a book blurb for my next release, and having my publisher tell me that none of my titles will ever go out of print! And by the way, Olivier Martinez, who starred in The Horseman on the Roof , will of course be playing the role of Travis Maher (and because it’s a fantasy, Olivier Martinez will look just as he did in 1995). For those who haven’t seen The Horseman on the Roof, it’s a great romantic adventure and beautifully filmed.

Q: Writers are usually big readers, too. How do you make time for reading and what are you reading at the moment?

A: I love to read. Unfortunately, between writing and teaching, I now have far less time to curl up with a book and get lost for hours. I do most of my reading for pleasure at night for about an hour before I fall asleep. I just finished reading Alice Munroe’s Too Much Happiness and Anne Stuart’s The Devil’s Waltz. Now I’m on A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen, edited by Susannah Carson. Next on my docket is Olive Kitteredge by Elizabeth Strout.

Q: Do you pay attention to book reviews? If so has there been any particular review that made your heart dance?

A: I do pay attention to reviews—and by the way, Marilyn, I thought your blog entitled On Criticism and Writing (Dec. 31) was spot on, so good and smart. (Thanks, Laura! :) Probably the review that gave me that incredible lift of joy was for my first novel, Ride A Dark Horse. It was a Romantic Times review, and it was wonderfully generous and positive in tone. It made me think I might actually have done something right. But to tell you the truth, these days what really sends me floating on a cloud of happiness is the mail I receive from readers. Nothing beats having readers write to say how much the story meant to them or ask whether the characters I’ve created in one novel will go on and star in their own book.

Q: What’s next for you? Is there a new book in the pipeline?

A: I’ve finished the second book in The Rosewood Trilogy, which is entitled, Believe in Me. It’s coming out in late 2010. Presently I’m writing the third installment, Trouble Me, which I believe will be out in 2011. After that, I think I’d like to write about a couple of the characters from my earlier novels that readers keep saying they want to hear more about!

Laura, I can't wait to get my hands on the full version of Believe in Me! The segment I got to read of Jordan's story was fabulous. And you know I've been looking forward to Jade's tale for a long time now... Thank you for being here...and for giving away 2 autographed copies of Remember Me to commenters! (Much as I love to give away prizes on Friday mornings (!!), this week the winning names will be drawn on Wednesday afternoon. ;)

So, I should tell those visiting today--one thing Laura does incredibly well is to explain how horses are cared for and the life on a horse farm. Aside from going horseback riding with a college friend (just once), I don't have much experience with horses. What about you? I'd love to hear some stories!


Jen said...

That sounds like such a great book. I would love to win a copy!

Edie Ramer said...

I love the sound of this book! I'm going to look it up and read more about it. And more about your first book, too.

Pamela Cayne said...

Welcome, Laura--this book sounds fabulous! Such perfect timing, too--I've been feeling a McNaught-like absence for a while, so Remember Me is being added to my bookstore list. Do you have a horse background you can tell us about? (Sometimes I feel like Lisa Simpson in that I've always wanted a pony.) Thanks for a wonderful visit!

And, as always, thanks to the delightful Marilyn for hosting. You throw such lovely parties, dear!

Robin said...

Congrats on your latest release, Laura! I love the premise and am also adding it to my list! Thanks for the introduction, Marilyn. I seriously need to become a speed reader so I can read all these fabulous books without neglecting my already huge tbr pile for too long.

Happy Monday!

Debra St. John said...

Hi Laura,

I can't wait to read your new book. I always love anything you write, so I'm sure this will be no exception.

It was great to "see" you here today...it's been a while!

Tiffany said...

Cringe worthy adolescent rejection -- how hard -- or easy -- was that to write?

Laura Moore said...

Hi, Jen, Edie, Pamela, Robin, and Debra...and Marilyn (of course),

Guest blogging here has been such fun and you all are so wonderful in your comments. Thank you for the encouragement and support! When I read Marilyn's work I'm so wowed by her writing, that I hope my story won't be too much of a let-down for According to Jane fans!

Take care, and thanks again for writing in!


Laura Moore said...

Dear Pamela,

Yes, I do have a horse background. I grew up riding and showing, and was lucky enough to own both a pony (gypsy) and horse (Antigone). Unfortunately I had to sell them when I went away to school (a wrenching experience that I know is shared by many horse lovers) but fortunately I was able to work in local stables during the summer months, grooming and exercising horses. As I mentioned in my blog, I have a very active fantasy life, and one of my dreams is someday to be able to afford to ride on a regular basis. I guess that's what the lottery is for!



Pamala Knight said...

Thanks for the awesome interview Laura and Marilyn and the book sounds divine. Can't wait to meet Laura at Spring Fling!

Marilyn Brant said...

Hi, Everyone!!
I was away from home for most of the morning and came back to see so many wonderful messages here! Thanks to all of you for stopping by to welcome Laura (*waving* to Jen, Edie, Pamela, Robin, Debra, Tiffany and Pamala!!! :), and thanks again to Laura for making time to visit us today. Your stories are so gorgeously written, my dear, I'm pretty sure I'm the one who'll suffer by comparison!

Wishing you all a fabulous start to the week ;-).

Laura Moore said...

Dear Tiffany,

Margot's cringe-worthy adolescent scene was fairly easy to write, probably because I have so many still-vivid memories of my own adolescent debacles! When I think of some of the truly idiotic things I did...well, all I can say is I'd rather be slathering on anti-wrinkle cream than be sixteen years old again.
Do any of you feel that way, too?

Morgan Mandel said...

It's good to see your smiling face again,even
if only in a photo.
I'm looking forward to reading your trilogy.
Love the cover of the first one.
I don't ride horses by the way, but they are
beautiful animals.
Morgan Mandel

Heather said...

Hi, Laura! (And Marilyn!) Can't remember where exactly I first heard of this book, but I put it on my TBR list ... imagine my pleasant surprise to find out you're a fellow Chicago North-er! (I'm relatively new.) Looking forward to meeting you.

Winning a signed book wouldn't be so bad either. :)

Heather Marshall

Rain Maiden said...

Laura Moore is a new author to me. I will be putting this book on my wish list. I grew up around horse's and this sounds like a wonder read. Thanks for sharing.

rhea said...

Hi Laura and Marilyn. This book sounds wonderful. I wanted to hear/read more about it. I look forward to reading your books.


Joelle Charbonneau said...

Marilyn - Thanks so much for having Laura on your blog. I can't wait to read this book!

Laura - Congrats on the fabulous RT review. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy and get it signed by you at Spring Fling!

Virginia C said...

Hi, Laura and Marilyn! Great interview. Laura, thank you for the care and thought that you put into creating your characters and their stories. I'd love to win!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Marilyn Brant said...

Laura~I agree with you completely. I'm pretty sure I'd rather be ANY age than go through adolescence again!

Hey, awesome Chicago-North friends! Thanks, Morgan, Heather, Rhea and Joelle for stopping by to say "hi." It's always great to see you ladies ;).

Rain and Virginia~*waving* Thank you so much for visiting today!!

Sandra Ferguson said...

What a beautiful cover. I love these stories of adolescence gone wrong because we can all identify. Every HONEST female can recount at least one horrifying story of young love gone bad, and when the story turns for a heroine and she not only gets the best kind of revenge -- she makes the the guy who got away regret every minute of it -- but then to find true love, well, that's a happy ending beyond better. This story sounds great.

Blythe Gifford said...

Day late and dollar short, but just wanted to say hello and glad to see a new Laura Moore book on the shelves!

Laura Moore said...


Is it just your site or are all blogs this much fun? After holding out for so long, I think I'm becoming a blog convert! What a great group of people you have visiting you. To all C-North writers, thanks for dropping by and I can't wait to see you this spring (I'm pretty sure we all can't wait for spring after such a bitter winter) and to all you Marilyn Brant fans, mega thanks for your enthusiastic response. I hope the adolescent angst/horse setting/and fashion world of Remember Me entertain each and everyone of you!

Marilyn Brant said...

Sandra~I loved your description of how those young-love-gone-bad stories can get turned around for the best of all HEA ;). So, so true!

Blythe~You're not late at all, and it's always a pleasure having you visit! Thanks so much for stopping by :).

Laura~I know I'm lucky... I have some truly wonderful friends in this blog community, and I so appreciate the way they support the releases of other writers. And it's been an awesome thing having you here, too!!

lainey bancroft said...

Terrific interview ladies!

Laura, congratulations on your trilogy, sounds like a sure fire winner. There's nothing I love better than those characters who linger long after I've closed the book.

Marilyn Brant said...

Lainey, thanks so much for taking time to visit and comment, my dear! Hope your week is going well ;).

Spav said...

This book sounds great. I would love to win a copy!

Laura Moore said...

It's great how many of you have dropped by. I really appreciate your comments and your open-mindedness. If you do get a chance to read Remember Me, please write and let me know your thoughts. As I mentioned earlier, nothing beats hearing from readers!

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Spav! We'll be sure to add your name to the drawing...

...which will be taking place in just a few minutes! I'll post the winners as soon as we have them. Many thanks to everyone who participated and, of course, to Laura for the great giveaway!!

Wanda said...

I would love to win this amazing book. I know already that I'll want to read the others in the series.