Tuesday, November 19, 2013

There are wars . . . and there are wars--New Jersey style

Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author RoseAnn DeFranco who brings Emma Grant, heroine from Return to Audobon Springs, a humorous contemporary romance, recently released from The Wild Rose Press.
First up is Emma. Where are you from? I was raised in a wealthy New Jersey suburb but spent all my summers growing up at my family’s summer home in Audubon Springs at the Jersey Shore.
Please tell us a bit about Return to Audobon Springs. It’s pretty much about how Rafe Iuliano and I try to push one another out of my family summer home that my father left us in his will. We go a little nuts. Let me just say, the house wars ended in a freak hurricane yard sale with all of Rafe’s belongings out on the front lawn and his underwear tied in a bag hanging on the front door. I used them for rags after our food fight, so they had to go. The harder we pushed, the stronger the pull. I’ve been in love with Rafe all my life, so some might say it was inevitable.
Sounds interesting. What did you think the first time you saw Rafe? I was six years old and he crashed into my sandcastle on the beach to make, what he still calls, a spectacular catch. So I wasn’t thinking much other than – jerk! To this day, I still take my sandcastles seriously.
And your second thought? I next this kid better help me fix this castle. After I chewed him out, he stayed and helped with the rebuild. We’ve been friends ever since – until we grew up and became more than friends and it was Ah-Mazing – until it all fell apart.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Well, it was definitely friendship at first sight, but I’ve had a thing for Rafe for forever. It’s impossible not to. He’s just…well, ask any woman in Audubon Springs. I know several who set their alarm clocks just to watch his early morning run on the boardwalk, he’s beyond gorgeous.
Oh yeah. We can get into that part of things. What do you like most about him? In addition to being passionate about everything, especially his family, Rafe is funny. I’m not sure he even means to be funny, but combined with his stunning looks, he’s pretty hard to resist, and even though he has a temper, he has a big heart.
How would you describe Rafe? Confident, passionate, generous…but I think you really want me to describe his physical assets. Rafe and his brothers are pretty much legend around Audubon Springs. You can find vivid descriptions of Rafe carved into the wood planks under the boardwalk in Audubon Springs. I’m a little uncomfortable repeating them. He’s larger than life and leaves a lasting impression!
How would he describe you? Well…he tells me I’m gorgeous all the time, and recently he deemed me a worthy opponent, so I’d like to think he considers me smart and a bit devious, oh…and smoking hot, too – his words!
What made you choose to become a middle grade fantasy author as a profession? To be honest, Rafe inadvertently steered me in this direction. Years ago when I was a teenager my horse, Golden Fire, died and Rafe encouraged me to write about him. My writings evolved into this world where Golden Fire is still alive and well.
What is your biggest fear? For the longest time I feared Rafe would never forgive me for keeping our daughter a secret.
How do you relax? Pretty much any beach activity relaxes me, but mostly making sandcastles and boogie boarding.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Gideon from my Anderria Falls middle grade series. He’s modeled after Rafe. What’s not to love?
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? From Rafe’s mother. Mama Iuliano is fearsome. I never thought she’d forgive me, but eventually she told me that I needed to “get in her son’s face.” It shocked me to know she wanted to see us together, that she still wanted me to be a part of her family.
Now we get a chance with RoseAnn: What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? I am a big Susan Wiggs and Virginia Kantra fan. Their books are very family centric and heartfelt like Return to Audobon Springs. I’m also a big Jane Austen fan. Her secondary characters are very important to the story as are mine. The comedic influences in my books might come more from movies, like When Harry Met Sally, or You’ve Got Mail.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them. I’m published with The Wild Rose Press. I knew about them because a few of my author friends had previously published with them. I met an editor at a local conference and pitched my book. She got back to me very quickly and passed my manuscript off to the appropriate Senior Editor for Contemporary Romances.
Tell us a bit about the submission process. How long did it take from query to release? A few months later I heard from my editor as my book had been passed off to her. She was very interested and said I’d be hearing from her within a few weeks. We signed the contract soon after. The funny thing about all this is the first contract I signed with The Wild Rose Press was for the second book in my Brothers of Audubon Springs series, “Second Hand Romance”. Soon after I submitted the first book in the series, “Return to Audobon Springs”, my editor decided to publish the three books in the correct order. It has been interesting working on all three stories in different phases over the past few months. I can never decide which brother I love the most and always feel like I’m cheating on the other two when I’m with one!
RoseAnn and Emma brought along an excerpt from the story. Here's a peek:
“This is your fault!” Emma shouted.
“My fault?” Rafe blinked through the thick coat of flour. “You’re the one who started this.”
“Me?”
“Yeah, you—Miss Macrobiotic Princess!” They used the barstools for support, and pulled themselves up from the slippery floor. “You’re immovable just like your mother.”
“And you’ve got about as much depth as a toenail. For the life of me, I can’t remember why I was ever with you.”
With a predatory look in his eyes and gait, Rafe advanced. In two long strides he pinned her to the counter, his hands grasping her hips. “Don’t!” His voice, low and dangerous, and his near proximity overwhelmed, charging her body with a jolt of electricity rendering breathing impossible. His gaze locked on hers for an eternity, then without warning, he dipped his head and licked lavishly at the syrup on her chest and neck.
Need and heat consumed her at his touch, fraying what was left of her nerves. She dropped her head back, shivered, and her knees buckled. He held her steady, fully pinned against the counter and continued to feast on her neck. Then with a shake as if waking from a dream, he stepped away, taking his heat with him.
Emma swayed and gripped the counter. Goose bumps rose on her flesh at the storm brewing in his eyes.
“Say or do anything you want to push me out of this house, but don’t ever say you don’t remember.”

This series sounds fascinating—and from what we've just read a total riot. Much luck to you with this story and the entire series.
Kat and Veronica

To learn more about RoseAnn DeFranco and the stories she creates go to: radefranco.com.